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            Showing posts with label You Must Learn.
            Showing posts with label You Must Learn.

            Thursday, October 6, 2016

            Of Gangsta Rap Radio Edits, Precocious Kids & Bad Parenting...

            I drop my kids off at school every morning. Obviously, this presents an issue because I want to listen to music that I like, but they are seven and four years old. So a fair compromise is to let them listen to classic rap instrumentals. I get a beat I can ride to, they can bop along in the back seat and they don't get polluted with grown-up messages. Win win.

            So anyway, an instrumental they absolutely love is Snoop Dogg's "It Ain't No Fun". We've listened to it every morning for the past 2 weeks. My daughter (who is 4) asked me could she "hear the words" to the song. Of course I'm a responsible adult and wouldn't do that to my kids. Instead, I went on YouTube and found the song labeled "It Aint No Fun" (extra extra clean version). I'm thinking, what's the worst that can happen if they bleep out half of the words anyway? Press play.



            Well the song gets about 4 bars in and Nate Dogg's already said "open up your gap" and I'm quickly going for the pause button to close the app but I have to swerve suddenly (I am driving after all. Judge me.) and the phone slides across the seat where I can't reach it. Before I can reach for the volume, Nate is already at the "next time I'm feelin' kinda horn-aaaay" part and I'm feeling like the worst black father of all time.

            I cut the song off, and silently pray that my kids are not going to ask me what they've just heard. But of course they are smart kids, so my daughter asks "Dad what is horny?"

            "Like rhino honey. Like a rhino. It has horns."

            "So the man feels like a rhino? That's a weird thing to sing about,"
            says my 7 year old son.

            We'll just stick with the instrumentals until they're teens.

            Friday, September 23, 2016

            Top 5 Tips for Creating a Successful Career in Art

            How to make careers in art or how to make money with art – these questions are popular not only among the recent graduates of Academies of Arts with scientific degrees, but among experienced professionals (many people are working at the same place for many years and cannot understand how to become an artist and how to become famous). The career prospect is even more significant than a decent salary for many people (but usually one follows from the other). This is not strange.

            If you desire to, or just thinking about how to become a famous artist and desire to get a good salary in future, then you need to make thoughts about what qualities you need to have and what to do for a quick promotion.

            Bohemian crowd, photographers, light music, flowers, clinking of glasses with the champagne, elegant reception and paintings. And what artist does not dream of this becoming a reality? Who do not want to become the main character of this? Today, when art has an unusually high demand, such dreams may become a reality, but what to do to build a successful future career in arts and what should be the starting point? Art related careers are very difficult to create.

            Try to make yourself famous
            Those who chose the path of a freelance craftsman as well as the path of the , automatically becomes an entrepreneur and, like every other aspiring businessman, should try to make himself famous using original ideas to attract the attention of important gallery owners as well as potential sponsors and clients. Those people who do not understand how to become a successful artist should be able to explain why people need him and his paintings, sculptures or . You should understand this.

            Ask for help
            Beginners, who have no experience in marketing, can consult with special service centers - for instance, there is a good service for those people who want to learn the information how to make money in art in the Career Center at the Berlin University of the Arts. A young entrepreneur will learn the secrets of a successful start of his professional career, receive a lot of practical advices and understand how to make a business profitable from this particular career center. This is brilliant information.

            Ask for support
            In the starting phase of the career, the person can apply for financial support to artistic funds. For instance, only Bonn Art Foundation annually provides about 1.1 million euros of scholarships to people and various art projects. It is a huge sum of money! Rarely an artist suddenly awakens famous. They can even be starving or have to attend group therapy meetings or meet personal therapist because of the failures they had faced before becoming famous and finding themselves in . In jobs that involve art, you are climbing up the career ladder and have to overcome it gradually, one step after another. But if you do not stop, every step will be a significant bonus for success.

            Organize your personal exhibitions
            The art career includes active exhibition activity: this event requires the cost of rent of exhibition space and the printing of mini-directory is desirable. The main question here is a personal activity: availability of personal exhibitions is necessary for the career of an artist. The most significant thing here is to start the communication and friendship with collectors and buyers. For the artist it is extremely important to be in touch with the collectors and to maintain relationships with them: to meet, to talk about the world of art and do not expect a short-term buying activity from them. Remember this.

            Bring your paintings to an auction
            The statistics of auction houses is the only thing that is always in the public domain. As obvious to all market participants, this information can play in favor of the artist: the auction affects directly at the promotion of an artist. It is a series of consecutive and strategically sound measures to promote. In the modern era of postmodernism the artist promotion needs a very important integrative approach. The fine career of the artist in the art business is made up of several terms. Only involvement of all the mechanisms of promotion on the market can give the desired result. If you desire to become famous and have money, try to do your best and remember to never give up.

            MUST-GO PLACES OF STUDENT SUMMER-2017

            Summer is the season of inspiration and opportunities in any student’s life. Besides holiday pleasures, you can gain new knowledge and skills, passing summer courses abroad or performing some jobs which you like and know how to do. The students-trip will fill you with great impressions and experiences. Here are the ways one can make this season gorgeous:
            • combining studies with active and self-developing rest in summer school abroad;
            • applying for a position in a summer camp and enjoy visiting interesting places for free;
            • joining a volunteer project and get to know around the world without considerable fees, accepting a challenge in solving problems facing the entire world.
            A student looks for getting new experiences and saving own budget. The best vacation spots meeting different student priorities are listed below.
            • Sign in short courses of the summer school abroad. If you want to improve your academic performance, make international friendship with your peers from various countries and become familiar with a new culture and society, this is just it. Delight with completely new environment with Trinity College short courses. Learning youth increases their level of specific knowledge, has a nice occasion to express their views, opinions and inclinations taking up a favorite activity within any of multiple organizations or clubs while spending summertime 2017 . It’s a high time to form new acquaintances through the communication. The Ireland capital is also one of the popular tourist destinations. The latest innovations don’t disrupt a quiet majesty of the culture evaluated by hundreds of years and there are many fun places to go in Dublin. Residence advisors assure the safety of learners’ stay in their residences. This staff passes a special training and the state Irish police inspects them regularly. Numerous organizations represent the possibility to get studentships. Why not to use this tip and decrease the fees for studies in Trinity College summer school to the minimum?
            • is the way of an active rest. The camp is the place, where a student can both provide other people with own experience and get the skills necessary for professional and personal development in the future. It’s the opportunity to travel over USA with minimal expenses. The practices of camp leadership will help you be in a more advantageous position than other job applicants. Spending vacations in any of summer camps, one guarantees for oneself a good mood and the advantage over other seekers of a promising position.
            • Are you going to have a cheap and impressionable summer tour? Consider . If you are the person striving for making this world better in any possible aspect, all destinations will be available for you. The projects in Latin America are enticing for optimistic and romantic persons. The volunteering areas are oriented to the protection of the environment and wildlife in particular. Getting aware of a marvelous nature of the region, you can also express your optimism and willingness to act in the domains of healthcare, teaching and learning Spanish. Volunteering is an excellent platform for a wonderful vacation. Practices of volunteer activity are useful for professional growth.
            Whatever plans of summer travelling you are going to have, the study goals should be prior. Anyway, you should carry out all tasks of your learning. Otherwise, you won’t be satisfied with choosing the places to go. You should successfully submit all papers not to be disappointed at the end of the academic year. Skilled perform all assignments you put in. This cooperation will supply the learners with more free time. It helps to fulfill the expectations relating to summer.

            Monday, May 11, 2015

            Nancy Gordeuk, TNT Academy, And Should Racist People Lose Their Jobs?!?

            , assuming you weren't under a rock or too consumed with NBA buzzer beaters this weekend.[1]
            A high school graduation in Georgia turned bizarre Friday night when the school’s founder and principal accused African-American attendees of disrupting the program that she had flubbed herself.

            Nancy Gordeuk, of the nontraditional TNT Academy in Atlanta suburb Stone Mountain, blurted out, “Look who’s leaving — all the black people” to the stunned audience at a local church, two videos of the incident show.

            The graduation had fallen off track when Gordeuk somehow forgot to call on the school’s valedictorian to speak and then attempted to call the room back to order when alerted to her mistake at the end of the bumpy ceremony, WAFB-TV reported.

            You people are being so rude to not listen to his speech,” she tells the audience in the footage. “It’s my fault that we missed it in the program.” She adds: “Looks who’s leaving — all the black people.”

            The entire audience gets up and leaves after the educator’s rant devolves into the race-based accusation.

            Gordeuk apologized in a TV interview the following day and claimed the video had been taken out of context. But longer footage of the incident recorded in a different section of the audience shows her calling a man who was filming with his tablet a “goober” and a “coward” and challenging him to identify himself.
            Here's the video. I'm not gonna lie, at first I thought this was a Lisa Lampanelli standup routine gone viral, but then googled the school and found out TNT Academy is an actual real life thing and holy sh*t, this woman's in charge of an actual real life school!!!!



            So far, the response over the internets has been predictable. A lot of people think this woman is a best uncouth, and at worst, blatantly racist to single out black people for leaving early when clearly there are lots of people of all races leaving. Others are siding with Mrs. Gordeuk, asserting that she was merely calling attention to the race of the majority of those leaving, and besides, "if blacks didn't loot and riot in Baltimore nobody would say such things in the first place" and "if only you people stopped killing each other and pulled up your pants and quit voting for Democrats all the time".

            Gordeuk, in a strange sequence of events, initially (!!!) for her momentary racism before settling on the "goobers" in the audience who brought the "racist comment" (her words) out of her mouth.

            Here's the thing my parents always taught me: Nobody can bring anything out of you that's not already in there. Nobody.

            I find it quite hard to believe that this was the first time Gordeuk done anything suspect, and many of those in attendance at the graduation seems to echo that sentiment. Since she's technically the founder of the school, it's unlikely she's be fired, but she might just need to fall on the sword anyway since whatever government funding her school gets is inevitably gonna be pulled after this. And props to parents of all races for getting up and leaving after this classless and offensive display.

            Seriously, America, grow up already.

            Question: Does this lady deserve to be fired? Was her statement racist, or just racial?!?

            [1] Seriously, three days, three buzzer beating game winners. In what other sport does this occur?

            Monday, March 23, 2015

            Martese Johnson, Respectability Politics, And Why Being A Young Black Male Is So Damn Treacherous.

            So another week, another brother catching a beatdown from police. I didn't touch this story when it broke last week, mostly because I was busy with life, but also because I'm just plain tired of these stories. They're all the same: someone gets beatdown by cops, the usual suspects step forward to claim that maybe the guy had it coming, while others immediately jump to the conclusion that the cops were racist. The rush to judgement from both sides is predictable, yet still ultimately counterproductive.

            I don't know Martese Johnson, but I'm only about 90% certain I looked just like him, high top fade and all, when I was a youngster in college. We share the same fraternity. We were both at college on academic scholarships. I'm pretty sure he had the whole "work twice as hard to get half as far" mantra drilled into his head by his parents as I did. I'm certain he was taught to be respectful of those in positions of authority, especially when said authority figures have guns. And like me (and, well, every college student ever) he drank before he was of legal age, because again, that's just what kids do.

            What happened between the time when Johnson was asked to leave the Irish pub after being denied entrance and when he ended up face down on the concrete bleeding like Tully Blanchard remains to be seen. What's somewhat notable about this case is that despite there being dozens of people standing around when this happened, there video evidence made public to date only shows the end result, not the events that occurred before Johnson caught a beatdown. Since society loves to jump to conclusions, many (including the arresting officers) have asserted that Johnson had to be belligerent and drunk, thus leading to his arrest. Well, the owner of the bar is finally speaking (perhaps to mute some rumblings by former employees that they actively discriminated against black male patrons) and .
            Martese Johnson, the University of Virginia student whose bloody arrest outside a pub last week triggered protests, was "polite and cordial" when he was denied entry and did not appear drunk, the management of the bar said. Images of Johnson being held down by officers, his face streaked with blood, were shared widely online. The hashtag #JusticeForMartese gained popularity online, while some people held "Black Lives Matter" signs on a march through Charlottesville.

            Trinity Irish Pub said that Johnson, 20, was denied entry after he gave the wrong answer when a bouncer examined his ID and asked him the ZIP code. The bar's statement quoted its managing owner, Kevin Badke, as saying that Johnson was "a disappointed patron."

            Mr. Badke immediately responded that he could not accept it. Mr. Johnson, probably realizing the reason for the error, stated that he had moved. At this point, Mr. Badke and Mr. Johnson had a brief conversation because Mr. Badke is from the south side of Chicago, where Mr. Johnson indicated he was from. In Mr. Badke's opinion, Mr. Johnson did not appear to be intoxicated in the least. Despite the conversation, which was cordial and respectful, Mr. Badke reiterated that he could not permit him to enter. He handed Mr. Johnson his ID back and Mr. Johnson began walking in a north westerly direction up University Avenue. A few moments later, Mr. Badke heard a commotion, turned, and saw Mr. Johnson on the ground about 30 feet further up on University Avenue with ABC agents detaining him.

            "There have been reported comments that management of Trinity were belligerent towards Mr. Johnson or that Mr. Johnson was belligerent towards management," the statement said. "Those allegations are patently untrue, as the brief conversation that occurred was polite and cordial."
            So yeah, it seems like Mr. Johnson didn't present a fake ID[1] and wasn't being some drunk hothead after all, not that even that would have justified how he was treated.

            We'll see how this case unveils, but one thing I'm certain of is that Johnson's gonna sue the state of Virginia and will probably get a very nice settlement when all's said and done. Not that that makes this any easier, of course.

            Question: What do you think actually happened here?

            [1] I do have the question the judgement of a 20 year old trying to enter a 21 and over bar with an out of state non-student ID that was 4 years old. I mean, come on bruh, you're 20 now but look 16. In that ID photo you must have looked 12. Bad look, homie.

            Monday, March 9, 2015

            Oklahoma Fraternity Suspended For Being Racist Idiots.

            ? I'm not really sure...
            The University of Oklahoma is immediately severing "all ties and affiliations" between the school and its local Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, the university president said today, in the wake of a video that purportedly shows members of the chapter singing a racist chant.

            The video, which surfaced over the weekend, was posted to Twitter by Unheard, which describes itself as "an alliance of black students organized for change within campus administration and atmosphere." The video shows young men on a bus chanting, "There will never be a n----r at SAE."

            The tweet, directed at OU president David Boren, said, "Racism is alive at The University of Oklahoma." Boren said in a written statement today that all ties and affiliations between the school and chapter are "hereby severed."
            Here's the video in question.



            Note: If you look at the photo above (apparently the same frat, different chapter, a few years ago) you'll notice there are indeed, quite a few niggers in SAE. But whatever.

            I'm glad the school moved quickly and swiftly to root out these morons. Good for you, OU.

            Question: Does this even surprise you?

            Tuesday, March 3, 2015

            Letting Your Kids Play Outside Unsupervised Is Now Known As "Free Range Parenting".

            I grew up in an outer suburb of a medium-sized city in North Carolina. In the 80's. Our town was safe, meaning random violent crime was basically non-existent. Like most of you, I played around the neighborhood, rode my bike all over town with my friends, went out first thing in the morning and came 北京体彩网官方网站 when the streetlights came on. And yes, I occasionally got into trouble and did a lot of stuff a preteen probably shouldn't have been allowed to do. In retrospect, I probably had a little too much freedom, but reality is, having few boundaries as a child actually helped me learn to respect them as an adult.

            Fast forward 30 some years, and I have 3 kids of my own. I live in the inner suburbs of a very large city. It's every bit as safe as the neighborhood I grew up in. Sometimes I see kids ride their bikes up the street without parental supervision, but most of the kids who are outside tend to congregate in driveways and shoot hoops at most. Our kids are too young to do much of anything outside without us, and I'm not sure they will when they're of age. Not because the world's become more dangerous for kids (it hasn't), but because societal attitudes towards unsupervised play have changed dramatically. In short: if your kids are out on their own, somebody is prolly gonna call CPS on your ass.

            .
            The Maryland parents investigated for letting their young children walk 北京体彩网官方网站 by themselves from a park were found responsible for “unsubstantiated” child neglect in a decision that has not fully resolved their clash with authorities over questions of parenting and children’s safety.

            Danielle and Alexander Meitiv hoped the nationally debated case — which has lit up social media and brought a dozen television film crews to their Silver Spring 北京体彩网官方网站 — would be dismissed after a two-month investigation by Montgomery County Child Protective 北京体彩网官方网站.

            But the finding of unsubstantiated child neglect means CPS will keep a file on the family for at least five years and leaves open the question of what would happen if the Meitiv children get reported again for walking without adult supervision.

            The parents say they will continue to allow their son, Rafi, 10, and daughter Dvora, 6, to play or walk together, and won’t be swayed by the CPS finding.

            The case dates to Dec. 20, when police picked up the two Meitiv children walking in Silver Spring on a Saturday afternoon after someone reported them. The parents said that they gradually let the pair take walks on their own and that their children knew the area, which is along busy Georgia Avenue.

            The Meitivs said they would not have allowed the one-mile outing from Woodside Park to their 北京体彩网官方网站 if they did not feel their children were up to it. The siblings made it halfway before police stopped them.

            The Meitivs’ decision letter, dated Feb. 20, said the CPS investigation had been completed and would be closed. It cited a finding of unsubstantiated child neglect and made note of an appeals process.
            Since this happened not far from my house, I've probably got a very different take on this than some might. The park that the kids were left in is notorious for having 北京体彩网官方网站less people and random walkers by. Sure, there are lots of parents there usually, but it's a huge, sprawling area with lots of trees. If someone wanted to grab your child and make a run for it, they prolly could and you wouldn't notice it. Likewise, the mile that the kids walked 北京体彩网官方网站 is through a very busy and congested downtown area. The cops probably should have stopped the kids, and were definitely in the right for considering this a case of possible neglect. Walking back 北京体彩网官方网站 from your neighborhood playground, this is not.



            On the other hand, I sorta get where these parents are coming from. While society's views on this topic have changed, reality is that kids simply don't get abducted by strangers any more now than they did when I was a child. Sure, the omnipresence of shows like "To Catch A Predator" and "20/20" makes it feel that way, but more times than not when kids go missing it's via a parent and part of a custody battle. You've got a better chance of winning the DC Lottery than your kid being snatched off the sliding board.

            All that said, while I admire these parents (and really, really hate the term "Free Range Parenting"[1]) they were dead assed wrong here. There are other ways to prove your point. Having your kids play Frogger on Georgia Avenue isn't one of them.

            Question: Do you allow your kids to play outside unsupervised? Do you differ from your parents on this issue? Were these "Free Range Parents" dead assed wrong?

            [1] "Free Range Parenting" sounds like something you do to livestock.

            Tuesday, February 24, 2015

            Meet CJ Pearson: 12 Year Old Black Tea Partier.

            I've often said, without a trace of cynicism, that if I wanted to get instantly famous and rich, all I had to do with convert to an Obama-hatred site. I wouldn't need to solicit Conservatives for money or exposure. That would just come to me automatically, because there's always a market for Black People Who Publicly Profess Their Hatred For Obama. There probably always will be.

            Most of the Obama haters are grown-ups, so since I'm 41 it's not like I'd be cornering some new market. But , and he's about to cash in handsomely.
            Many 12-year-olds have figured out how to become overnight internet sensations. Twerk. Try to swallow a spoonful of cinnamon. Sing like Beebs. But C.J. Pearson took a different approach: a three-minute rant against President Barack Obama and his, “downright hate for the American values our country北京体彩网官方网站 holds.”

            Pearson said the video is in defense of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who first launched the “Obama hates America” charge in criticism of the president’s policies on ISIS.

            It was only Saturday that Pearson launched a YouTube channel and posted his very first video, “President Obama: Do you really love America?” As of Monday afternoon, it has gotten more than a half million views, nearly 6,000 likes and about 500 thumbs down.

            He was trending heavily on Facebook and several blogs. Television stations and newspapers – some international – have picked up his story. Several GOP and conservative sites picked it up. Allen West forwarded it. He said he is scheduled to be on “Fox and Friends” later this week.

            Slight in stature, his hair is closely cropped. Put him in an oversized suit and tie and he could be any other 12-year-old imitating Obama at his school’s annual President’s Day assembly. He talks years – or maybe decades – beyond his age, repackaging conservative talking points into neat little sound bites.

            Last November, he started his own political group, “Young Georgians in Government,” where he is listed as executive director. He said he started it to bring “real solutions to government.”

            Pearson said he got involved in politics by studying the 2008 presidential election. He supported John McCain, because he agreed with his conservative views. He was five years old. He has recently campaigned for the likes of Nathan Deal and David Perdue.

            “I would say that my political ideology came from researching the principles that I held dear,” Pearson said. “Limited government, personal responsibility, liberty and freedom. I personally identified with Republicans.”

            Pearson said his parents, who would not comment, have been supportive of his political course. “My parents are not as politically active as me,” Pearson said. “They are Democrats and have different views than I have.”

            There are inherent risks in becoming an internet sensation, especially when race is involved. It is not without irony that Pearson is a bright young African-American blasting the president and his love for America. Comments on his pages and throughout social media have been wildly supportive and vitriolically angry – falling largely along racial lines.

            And what about Pearson’s future? He said he has serious political aspirations and has already tried to craft legislation for this year’s general assembly.
            Here's the pro-Rudy/anti-Barry screed that's made this kid an overnight Conservative sensation.



            Okay, I'm gonna take the glass half full approach here: it's actually refreshing to hear a black kid speak good English, and find notoriety online for something other than the usual Terrio/Yeet!/Latarian nonsense. So there's that.

            Look, I get it: this is an easy way to get yourself on Fox News. He'll probably get paid to show up at CPAC or something like that. I'm sure there's a deal for his own radio show being worked on at this very moment. Even if you don't believe in what you're saying (and I'm thinking this kid is waaaay to young to even understand the talking points he's spewing) this is a damn clever way to make some quick cash, maybe even enough to afford a good shapeup a semester at community college someday.

            On the other hand: seriously, kid, WTF?

            Does he really even know what he's saying? He's clearly reading a script (quite well, FWIW) but no 12 year old can actually comprehend international diplomacy. Sheeeit, most 52 year olds can't actually comprehend international diplomacy. And yeah, I'm wondering what exactly this kid's parents are doing here. Maybe they know "the game", find their child's speeches amusing, and see an easy way to fatten up the kid's 529 Plan. If I was the sort to place wagers, I'd go to and put $100 on it.

            In any event, I hope someone semi-responsible is in this child's life. Much like , he's gonna probably realize how dumb this looks when he's 17 and suddenly wants to get laid. Either that or he's gonna be used as a Conservative Puppet and discarded before he even hits puberty.

            Word to Herman Cain. And Michael Steele. And Angela McGlowan.

            Quit while you're ahead, kid. This ends badly.

            Question: Is this poor kid heading for a very sad letdown, or is he running the ultimate Grand Hu$tle on Conservatives?

            Wednesday, February 4, 2015

            Bad Assed Kids, George Jefferson Haircuts, And The Inherent Laziness Of Public Shame Parenting.

            As any one with sons will tell you, raising boys is hard. Not that raising girls is any easier[1], mind you. But boys present their own share of problems, the most persistent of which is behavior. My 8 and 6 year olds are a case study in this issue: they fight each other, don't clean up after themselves, are notoriously picky eater, and complain when asked to do something they don't want to. Despite all this, they do very well in school, and their teachers would probably be flabbergasted to know how differently they behave at 北京体彩网官方网站.

            Disciplining our sons is an ongoing struggle. My wife and I have tried every technique imaginable, from timeouts, to whippings, to the "Take Sh*t They Really Like Away For A Few Days" method. Some of this works for awhile, and then it's back to the usual "Boys Will Be Boys" tomfoolery. One thing we haven't tried is public shaming, which thanks to Black Twitter, seems to be all the rage nowadays. So much so that .
            Got a kid who’s raising hell? Afraid the police will be called if you break out the belt? A suburban Atlanta barbershop may have a solution for you.

            Three days a week, parents can take their misbehaving kids to A-1 Kutz and ask for the “Benjamin Button Special,” which Russell Fredrick and his team of barbers are offering — free of charge — to parents who want to try a novel form of discipline.

            The cut involves shaving hair off the child’s crown until he begins to resemble a balding senior citizen, inviting that unique brand of adolescent humiliation that can only come from teasing classmates and unwanted attention. Supporters say it’s the perfect punishment for misbehaving kids who want to “act grown.”

            Fredrick, the A-1 Kutz co-owner and a 34-year-old father of three, said he decided to advertise the cut after he used the unique disciplinary measure on his 12-year-old son, Rushawn, last fall — and saw immediate results. Rushawn’s grades, which had fallen, “dramatically skyrocketed” after he got his old-man haircut, Frederick said.

            Even so, he added, giving your child a haircut that makes them look like a mini-George Jefferson should be a last resort. The 10-year-old child in the photos he shared on social media had been brought to the barbershop by a single mother who told Fredrick she was looking for a way to teach her son a lesson after he misbehaved in school.

            One person who is willing to make a value judgement is Willie Jefferson Jr., a Houston father of two who shaved his 11-year-old son’s head after he misbehaved in class last fall. “I know what works for my children,” said Jefferson, who noted that he grew up in an “old school Mississippi family,” where corporal punishment was the norm. “When I spank, it corrects behavior. You may be able to talk to some kids; for others a spanking or an embarrassing haircut may be a great option.”

            Jefferson told The Post that the threat of public humiliation was so effective, his son is still on good behavior several months after he was given an old-man haircut. He noted that spanking or a humiliating haircut should be a last resort for parents, but an option nonetheless.

            “Shaming isn’t bad for children if it teaches respect,” he said. “It taught me respect, it taught my parents respect, it taught my grandparents and great grandparents respect, and that’s what I’m going to stick with.”
            When I first saw that kid's photo on Black Twitter, I thought "Damn, kids are going to the barbershop and asking for 'The Lebron James' now"? Sadly, there was much more to this photo than met the eye.

            I'm gonna keep it two hunned here: This is some ignorant assed sh*t. The parents who say this worked for them are not being truthful with themselves, and using this technique to excuse the fact that they've been generally sh*tty parents. You may see a temporary change in behavior, but I doubt the longterm results are going to be favorable.

            For kids, self esteem is everything. Expecting a 10 year old to endure ridicule from his peers, and learn some sort of lesson in the process is insane. That kid's probably going to be very resentful, and maybe even become more of an asshole as a result. And if a kid's acting out that badly and screwing up in school, it's most likely a symptom of some greater issue going on at 北京体彩网官方网站. This addresses none of that, it's the parenting equivalent of Fix-A-Flat. It'll work for a minute, but rely on it too much and you're gonna end up with an even bigger problem than you started out with. Or something like that.

            Sorry, I think this is terrible parenting. I'm sure I'm in the minority. I don't care. This is some bassackwards sh*t and it does not need to be glorified. Stop it already.

            Question: Is Public Shame Parenting a viable method for correcting your child's behavior?

            [1] My two year old daughter is... to put it lightly... a handful.

            Wednesday, November 19, 2014

            White Daughters & Black Boyfriends: A Father's Worst Nightmare?!?

            , but well, that excuse is getting a little played out...
            Students at Booker T. Washington High School in Norfolk, Virginia walked out of class on Monday to protest a school official’s Twitter message that referred to young black men as a “nightmare” for white fathers.

            According to WVEC, the Twitter post was made in June by the school administrator, but students only recently noticed it.

            The tweet was a reposting of a message from an account called @OrNahhTweets. It showed a photograph of seven white girls in prom-style dresses with seven African-American young men in tuxedos. The caption on the photo read, “every white girl’s father’s worst nightmare or not.”

            Over a dozen African-American students walked out of classes with protest signs on Monday after they said that school officials and the school board refused to respond to their complaints.

            “This was the only actual way we could get someone’s attention, was to walk outside. It shouldn’t have come to this, but [the administrator has] avoided all meetings and public speakings and emails, just avoided them all,” student Michael Lemelle told WVEC. The students said that they didn’t want the school administrator fired, they just want officials to know how hurtful the tweet was.

            “Me being a young African-American, I don’t think of myself as anyone’s worst nightmare,” Lemelle explained
            Here's the video.



            Every black male has and example of encountering such racism during their teenage years. I remember sitting at a table in my high school library with two other black male classmates and a white girl working on a class project. The librarian, an old white man, walked over, grabbed the girl's arm, and told her "you don't need to be around them". Mind you, we were working on a project for class, because we were all assigned to the same group. We weren't trying to gangb*ng the girl, we just wanted to get an A on the project.

            I told my parents when I got 北京体彩网官方网站 and they hit the roof. They met with the principal the next day, told him what happened, and the librarian (who apparently had a history of this sort of thing) was suspended indefinitely without pay. He "retired" at the end of the year.

            My point being: this sh*t happens all the damn time to black males. It just happens to be more out in the open in the age of social media, but it is nothing new.

            As a Dad of three, my worst nightmare is my kids being taught by an a$$hole like this.

            Question: Do you have such an example of racism from your high school days?

            Monday, July 28, 2014

            Black Kid Gets Suspended From School 5 Times... Preschool.

            Sometimes I come across stories that I have no real words for, but just feel like passing along for the sake of starting a conversation. I'm a parent of two black boys (and one girl) so I couldn't help but throw this one out there for ya'll.

            A recent commentary in the Washington Post by motivational speaker and author Tunette Powell relayed her experience as a parent of two preschoolers who have been suspended a combined 8 times this year. After swapping stories with white parents at the same school, she realized her kids were being suspended while their kids were merely being corrected with a phone call to their parents. It's a pretty polarizing first person account that you'll need to read in its entirely before chiming in below.

            Here's a snippet...
            I received a call from my sons’ school in March telling me that my oldest needed to be picked up early. He had been given a one-day suspension because he had thrown a chair. He did not hit anyone, but he could have, the school officials told me.

            JJ was 4 at the time.

            I agreed his behavior was inappropriate, but I was shocked that it resulted in a suspension.

            For weeks, it seemed as if JJ was on the chopping block. He was suspended two more times, once for throwing another chair and then for spitting on a student who was bothering him at breakfast. Again, these are behaviors I found inappropriate, but I did not agree with suspension.

            So I punished JJ at 北京体彩网官方网站 and ignored my concerns. Then, two months later, I was called to pick up my 3-year-old son, Joah. Joah had hit a staff member on the arm. After that incident, they deemed him a “danger to the staff.” Joah was suspended a total of five times. In 2014, my children have received eight suspensions.
            Again, you'll need to , so please do that before commenting below.

            Question: Do black kids really get suspended at higher rates and if so, what's the reason? Does this woman have a legitimate beef or should she (and her husband, who is curiously only mentioned in passing) do a better job? What has your experience as a parent been like?

            Monday, March 17, 2014

            Would You Publicly Whip Your Teenaged Daughter With A Belt For Twerking On Facebook?!?

            My daughter turns two in a couple of months. She looks and sounds every bit of 3 already. She speaks in full, intelligible sentences, is over the 100th percentile in height and weight, and already has perfected the art of selective listening. She's also cute as a button. So yes, I have sleepless nights wondering what this is all going to look like in about 11-12 years. Namely, how I'm going to juggle the typical father/tweenage daughter dynamic.[1] You still have to maintain some level of authority while allowing a girl to find herself. Push too hard and it's revolt city. Be too passive and she'll walk right over you. It's a precarious balance that some fathers ace, and others don't even bother to navigate.

            So when this video, courtesy of The Uppity Negro landed on my radar, I had to post it. And yeah, I already know. I'm scouring World Star Hip Hop for post fodder. It's that sorta day. Deal with it. Or Beal With It™. The video description says "Bad parenting or is this type of discipline acceptable now a days? Father disciplines his 13-year-old daughter after missing for 3 days messing around with boys & then posts all on facebook." and that's about all the context I have here.

            Warning: This video contains some very offensive imagery and isn't for the weak at heart.



            Well let's get one thing right out of the way: if you're going to publicly flog whip your child, you might want to check to make sure nobody has their i北京体彩网官方网站Phone out before you start whipping your child's ass in the Piney Courts Projects parking lot. So yeah, this guy is prolly going to jail for assault. Dumbass.

            Beyond that, it's clear this sperm donor.... errr, "father" has no authority or control over his daughter. And while it's certainly understandable that he's upset (clearly!) there were probably 1,928 other ways to process and relay his disappointment. And he chose the absolute worst option possible. Great judgement, buddy. Pull out next time.

            I won't add much more here, other than to say this man is wrong assed wrong, and that his daughter is prolly gonna be missing for a week "messing around with boys" next time, and might have a bun in the over upon return. Seriously, if you were that concerned, why didn't you call the cops and get them to issue an Aisha Amber alert? You know, like sensible concerned fathers do?

            Instead, this ass hat is headed to jail and his daughter is one step closer to the pole. #message

            Nice work, breh.

            Bonus: Since I'm already scraping the bottom on the internet barrel for material today, he's another example of Atrocious Black Parenting™ that I meant to post awhile back. This one's rather self-explanatory.[2]



            Question: Add your two cents to this senseless story.

            [1] Other than owning a firearm to ward of... err "vet" potential suitors.

            [2] Is it just me, or do SOME Black people not understand the concept of putting your phone in "landscape" mode instead of "portrait"? Just sayin'.

            Wednesday, February 26, 2014

            Why "Urban" Radio Sucks.

            About 12-13 years ago, I abandoned black radio for good. By "black radio", I mean the terrestrial "Hot/Kiss/Power/Where Hip-Hop & R&B Live!" format that permenates the airwaves in every major US city. I still occasionally listen to "Adult Contemporary" radio (for the 35+ demo I'm in) when I don't have other options, but otherwise I'm listening to Sirius XM or my own music via Spotify or some other app. The reasons are many: repetitive playlists, corny "on-air personalities", and the "national show" trend that has made local stations somewhat obsolete. But mostly because of the music. It sucks, we all know that, and for years I've wondered why. Everyone has that artist they love whom they know would blow up if they just got more airplay. So why don't they get more airplay, when black radio can find time to play a Chris Brown song 8 times per hour.

            Here's why.



            I meant to post this awhile back. It's not a "new" video, since it's been out more than a year, but it explains precisely how black radio is programmed, and as a result, precisely why black radio sucks. If you're not familiar, New York's Hot97 is basically Black Radio's Flagship Station, and Ebro Darden is its Program Director, which is a nicer way of saying he's the guy that has to strike the balance between what listeners (presumably) want, and what makes the corporate entity that owns the station money. It's a precarious balance, and one that Mr. Darden seems to have a solid grasp on. Speaking with The Combat Jack Show's Reggie Osse, Dallas Penn (a friend of AB.com), and legendary producer Just Blaze, Darden explains exactly how records are chosen for airplay (hint: it involves advanced analytics and focus groups), why DJ's don't even really exist anymore, and (in a roundabout way) admits that this is why modern black radio is so awful.



            I admire Ebro's honesty here. He knows he's part of the problem, and doesn't shy away from admitting that. He also knows he couldn't "fix" the problem if he wants to keep his job. This is in 3 parts, and there's some light banter at times, but there's some serious knowledge on the radio and music industry being dropped here. If you've got time to digest it all (and I think you should, it's pretty fascinating stuff), I'd encourage you to.



            Question: Do you still listen to "black radio"? Was anything in these videos enlightening?

            Monday, August 26, 2013

            Would You Twerk To Pay Your Tuition?!?

            My daugher is now 15 months old, and she is truly the apple of daddy's eye. She can do no wrong. No. Wrong. She craps rainbows and her eye boogers prolly taste like Skittles. She is the world's cutest baby by a wiiide margin, and that's not even up for debate. She's a baaadd girl.[1]

            Last night, for the first time, she escaped the crib, which in some odd way let me know she's not a baby anymore. She also talks, sings along the the medley of her favorite Nick Jr. shows, and of yeah, she dances. Anytime music of any sort (gospel, children's music, techno, lullabies) my child immediately starts gyrating up and down. It's a really innocent thing, of course, and the subject of hours of entertainment for our entire family.

            And now, in the most awkward segue of all time (don't worry, I'll tie this all together), I present to you, .
            Who says twerking doesn't pay? Yesterday, Juicy J promised tuition money for the best female twerk champions, tweeting, "im giving out a 50k scholarships to the best chik that can twerk.”

            However, he didn't give up any other details, which means the post could've been a prank or a publicity stunt promoting Stay Trippy, which includes a track called "Scholarships." If the former is true, not everyone in the Twitterverse laughed it off. "Juicy J is giving away a scholarship to the girl who sends in the best twerk video? And my hope for human race is OFFICIALLY gone…," tweeted user @DanaLynn03.

            Others were more than willing to twerk it for college funds and a bunch refused to believe the story all together.

            Juicy eventually deleted the tweets but kept up those regarding Stay Trippy, out next Tuesday (Aug. 27). The release, his first on Wiz Khalifa's Taylor Gang imprint, features A$AP Rocky, Chris Brown, Justin Timberlake, Big Sean, Trina and more.
            Okay, where do I begin here?

            1) While I'm happy that Juicy J has somehow managed to re-invent himself and milk his Grammy win, adding another 3-4 years to his career, I can't help but wonder why a 40 year old man thinks this is a good idea. Does he not have daughters of his own? Nieces? Shouldn't you graduate from this sorta sh*t around age 35?

            2) That said, I can't really pick on this guy for his age when 40 year old rappers seem obsessed with keeping pace with peers half their age. Patron Saint of all cRappers Jay-Z even had a "come to Jesus moment" and said (then retracted, which only made it worse) he'd stop referring to women as b*tches now that he's got a woman to raise. So, no, rappers don't have the greatest track record of acting their age. Does this mean point 1 isn't valid? No.

            3) Isn't this sorta pointless? Isn't the whole "stripping to pay tuition" (as opposed to "because I have Daddy Issues") thing already accepted as a cultural norm? If anyone should be offended, I think it would be exotic dancers.

            4) I won't go as far as to say "twerkin'" is ruining an entire generation of young girls, both black and white (I see ya' Miley), but it's damn sure making them look bad. And unemployable. Seriously, if you know of an underaged girl with a #TwerkTeam video on Youtube, please tell her parents to have that sh*t removed. No, it won't disappear from the internets forever, but damn, at least make it harder for potential employers to Google. Cause yeah, potential employers do look at this stuff.

            5) I suppose I'm supposed to make some grand point about Miley Cyrus now becoming the most famous twerker of all time, and how this makes her a cultural interloper along the lines of Elvis, Justin Timberlake, and Robin Thicke, and how that's an awful thing. Seriously, I ain't got the energy for all that. If the girl wants to twerk, let her twerk. She will be eating off Hannah Montana residuals for the next 50 years. There aren't exactly the same ramifications for her. And besides, it's twerkin', not jazz, not beebop, not rhythm & blues. It's just twerkin'. In the annals of "sh*t I'm perfectly fine with white people claiming", this ranks right up there with the word "bling", The Harlem Shake, and Wayne Brady. Take em' all. Please.

            As for my child, there shall be no twerkin'. Nor will my sons be PIMP Scholars[2]. They will all get into [insert your own prestigious college here] the old fashioned way: Good grades and racial quotas.

            Question: Would you allow your child to apply to be a "Twerk Scholar"? Other than a lame excuse to plug Juicy J's next album (#GrandHu$tle), is there anything more we should infer about this publicity stunt and what it says about the state of hip-hop?

            [1] The fact that she'll someday be gawked at by boys (and men) isn't lost on me at all. And yes, that sh*t keeps me up at night. And yes, I'm considering getting a gun. Just off GP. And no, that's not a joke.

            [2] This was the begining of the end for Nelly. Well, that country北京体彩网官方网站 music song prolly was, but this ain't exactly help.

            Thursday, February 7, 2013

            A Nation Of Hatred.

            These two clips came across my virtual desk. I felt the need to pass along.

            Recently fired Fox News "political analyst" suggests that the GOP can pull in Hispanic voters by convincing them to not behave like "The Blacks".



            Jackass Alabama High School Teacher calls the FLOTUS a "fat butt". Talks sh*t about teh gheys. Gets suspended, not fired.



            Question: Is this country北京体彩网官方网站 more racist now than it was pre-Obama?!?

            Monday, December 17, 2012

            Is There Really A Need For A White Student Union?!?

            The founder of a “White Students Union” at Towson University cited Greece’s neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party as a model in an interview explaining his intentions to RT on Friday.

            In the interview, Matthew Heimbach outlined his plans for the organization becoming a positive influence on the school, saying it was “kind of [like] the idea where you have political parties like Golden Dawn, which take care of Greek people first.”

            After winning 18 seats in the Greek parliament for the first time in May, Golden Dawn’s leader, Nikos Michaloliakos, warned that “The time for fear has come for those who betrayed this 北京体彩网官方网站land.” The party has subsequently been accused of engaging violent assaults against immigrants, a practice abetted by Greek police.

            Heimbach obliquely referenced this practice, saying his group engaged in “safety patrols” looking for “people who have perpetrated violent crimes.”

            The group will also bring in guest speakers to discuss “white identity” issues, Heimbach said, and protest policies like affirmative action, which he accused of being discriminatory against white students, and the North American Free Trade Agreement, which he said “sent our jobs overseas to third-world countries like Mexico that undercut our wages and put us out of work.”
            Here's the moving pictures, for those of you who prefer not reading...



            Poor fella. He sees his America disintegrating before his very eyes and feels the need to do something, anything to prevent this atrocity. And in his eyes, there's not a single racist thing about feeling this way. And in a sense, he's correct. In post-racial America, nobody is racist anymore.

            Besides, if you read between the lines here, this guy isn't saying much that differs dramatically from the core principles of the GOP. He's anti-gay. He's anti-immigration. He's anti-affirmative action. He's concerned about America's cultural shift to that of a 3rd world country北京体彩网官方网站. He thinks he's being inclusive, yet almost certainly is clueless that "the blacks, the Jews, and the Hispanics" would be offended by his idea of inclusion. He name-checks Pat Buchanan. He thinks the Founding Fathers built this country北京体彩网官方网站 all on their own, from scratch, without the contributions of anyone else. He thinks multiculturalism is a slippery slope to becoming a 3rd world country北京体彩网官方网站. If he removed all the "pro-White" rhetoric, given his clever way with words and unflappable nature, he'd prolly be the next Newt Gingrich.

            Instead, by spelling out such an ignorant, short sighted vision of a "pro-White" America, he's prolly just gonna find himself with some seriously short odds for future employment.

            Pity this poor young man should he have to interview with a black boss.

            Question: Do Mr. Heimbach's general sentiments vary that much from mainstream Conservatism?!? Does he look and sound like a young Newt or Rush to you?!?

            Thursday, August 23, 2012

            Is Hampton University's No-Cornrows Policy Oppressive Or Professional?!?

            Any black person who has successfully navigated the world of Corporate America knows that assimilation is a necessary evil. Nobody likes having to suppress who they are to fit in, but it damn sure beats having an engineering degree and working the cash register at Chipotle. So to not scare off potential employees and advance once you're in the door, black people do a balancing act of speaking King's English, keeping ratchet behavior to a bare minimum, and never listening to 2Chainz in their cubes without headphones.

            It's a somewhat large price to pay just to pay your bills, but it's not like black people are the only ones that have to assimilate. Pretty much everyone has to change a bit of who they are to fit in. It just so happens that standard Corporate Culture is furthest away from default Black Culture, so we have to change/adjust arguably more than anyone else. In my almost two decades of gettin' legal paper, I've damn near got the Corporate Negro steez down to a science.

            With all that said, I'm a little uneasy about what's happening at The Other "HU".
            Hampton University's business school dean is standing by a controversial ban on dreadlocks and cornrows for some students.

            Male students enrolled in the school's 5-year MBA program who take the seminar class cannot wear dreadlocks or cornrows in class. The ban, which began in 2001, has been controversial over the years.

            Business School Dean Sid Credle believes the ban has been effective in helping his students land corporate jobs.

            "We've been very successful. We've placed more than 99 percent of the students who have graduated from this school, this program," said Credle

            Credle said it's important for students to look the part when looking for a job.

            "What we do is pay tribute to that image and say those are your role models. This is a way you will look when you become president," Credle added, "If you're going to play baseball, you wear baseball uniforms. If you're going to play tennis, your wear tennis uniform. Well you're playing that business."

            Pat Woods owns a braiding salon called Just Braids in Newport News and says cornrows and dreadlocks can be a professional and natural look.

            Dean Credle disagrees and says when people criticize the ban for denying cultural aspects of style, he believes cornrows and dreadlocks have not been a historically professional look.

            "I said when was it that cornrows and dreadlocks were a part of African American history?" Credle added, "I mean Charles drew didn't wear, Muhammad Ali didn't wear it. martin Luther kind didn't wear it."
            Credle is right: MLK, Ali, and Drew didn't wear locs. Of course, none of those guys ever worked for Pfizer either, but why let that ruin a perfectly good point.

            I do understand the goal here: you want to graduate students who represent the University well, and whom recruiters find attractive. Without some level of guidance, left to their own devices some students may dress/talk/act in a way that doesn't give them the best shot at getting that job. I recall plenty of days when I showed up for an interview at my HBCU's Employment 北京体彩网官方网站 Office, only to find myself surrounded by fellow students wearing Girbaud Jeans, school athletic apparel, or fraternity sweatshirts.[1] The concept of getting a clean haircut, shaving, and wearing a suit is foreign to some 20-year olds. So on that account, I sorta applaud HU for insisting on standards.

            That said, this might be taking it a wee bit too far. People (especially black women) choose hairstyles for lots of reasons that have little to do with aesthetics. Going natural/having locs is easier to maintain for some women, and for others, their hair is an extension of their religious/cultural beliefs. Forcing people to forgo individualism for the sake of getting a job seems a bit heavyhanded, even if it's coming from the right place. I should note, however, that this "policy" ain't exactly new. I have a colleague who graduated from Hampton in the mid-90's who says they had a "no straight hair, no job interviews" policy way back when. So maybe this is much noise about nothing.

            What ya'll think?

            Question: Is Hampton's "Cut Off Your Locs!" policy overbearing or is it in the students' best interest to present themselves in as professional and non-threatening a manner as possible? What's the real "HU"?!?

            [1] It was the 90's, folks. And I'mma let you guess which frats/sororities were the most frequent foulers.

            Thursday, August 16, 2012

            Hot Cheetos & Takis.

            It's . Get familiar.



            Meanwhile in China北京体彩网官方网站, a similarly aged set of kids just mastered Boolean algebra.

            #Losing

            Monday, July 23, 2012

            Penn State Penalties Imposed. Too Severe, Just Right, Or Misplaced?!?

            . I'm still not totally sure how to feel about this.

            Penn State was socked with a four-year postseason ban, the loss of 40 scholarships over four years and a $60 million fine stemming from its coverup in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal.

            In addition, all victories from 1998-2011 have been vacated, a huge blow to the coaching legacy of Joe Paterno, now formerly the winningest football coach in college football history.

            NCAA President Mark Emmert announced the penalties, saying that “one of the dangers in our love of sports is that sports themselves can become too big to fail, too big to challenge.”

            The $60 million fine, which amounts fo one year’s gross revenue from the football program, will be used to endow a fund for victims of abuse and to prevent future abuse, Emmert said. Athletes will be free to transfer and retain immediate eligibility.
            Part of me wonders why the nuclear option wasn't enacted here. If the NCAA truly believes the school was wrong in the coverup, why in the hell are they playing any football this Fall? Wouldn't it send a much bigger message about the importance of a child's game vs a child's innocence if they just scrapped the whole program for a year?
            While Penn State avoided having its football program shut down, the NCAA’s “corrective and punitive measures” probably will severely affect a school that ranks sixth all-time with 827 victories at college football’s highest level and won two national titles during Paterno’s 46-year tenure as coach.

            It also will have an immense effect on the school’s finances. In the fiscal year ending in 2011, Penn State’s athletic department generated $116.1 million in operating revenue and posted a $14.8 million operating profit, according to school records.

            Of Penn State’s 29 sports teams, only football and men’s basketball were profitable last year, with football generating an operating profit of $43.8 million on $58.9 million in revenue. The Nittany Lions had a 9-4 record last season.

            A shutdown of the football program would have cost Penn State and the surrounding community more than $70 million, according to an economic study commissioned by the university for the 2008-09 school year. That included $51.1 million spent on hotels, souvenirs, food, services and entertainment by out- of-state visitors, which represent about 15 percent of those attending games at Beaver Stadium, which has a capacity of more than 106,500.

            Penn State has an endowment of $1.3 billion, the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette reported in March, citing Graham Spanier, who was dismissed as university president in the scandal.
            .

            Question: Should the NCAA have been more severe or is this punishment just right?

            Wednesday, May 30, 2012

            Mitt Romney Makes A Play For Black Voters. Uhhhm, Yeah, Good Luck With That.

            . Hilarity, but sadly no YouTube classics, ensued.

            Making a rare inner-city campaign stop, Mitt Romney preached the merits of traditional two-parent families and touted his platform of educational choice at a West Philadelphia charter school Thursday.

            The Republican presidential candidate had little political reason during the primaries to visit heavily Democratic neighborhoods like Carroll Park. And his initial foray as the all-but-certain GOP nominee probably had more to do with outreach to suburban moderates than to African Americans, who are strongly behind President Obama.

            When Romney's customized campaign bus rolled up to the Universal Bluford Charter School, he could see signs on the row houses across the street, including one that bore Obama's picture and the words "We got your back." Another read, "Stop Privatizing."

            Inside the newly renovated two-story brick school building, the welcome was much friendlier, though Romney was challenged repeatedly during a round table discussion with educators to defend his claim that reducing class size doesn't improve student performance. The former Massachusetts governor contends that pressing for smaller classes is a ploy by teachers unions — one of his favorite targets — to get more teachers hired.

            Steven Morris, a music instructor at Bluford, told Romney: "I can't think of any teacher in the whole time I have been teaching, 13 years, who would say that more students [in the classroom] would benefit them. And I can't think of a parent that would say I would like my teacher to be in a room with a lot of kids and only one teacher."

            Ronald Benner, whose technology classes range from 23 to 28 students, chimed in that "you can give more personalized attention to each student if you have a smaller class size." Another teacher emphasized the importance of keeping classes below 18 students in early primary grades.

            Inside the school, Romney debated issues with educators and tried to connect with the students. When he visited a classroom where the kids in the elementary school choir were standing, swaying and clapping to the beat of Kirk Franklin’s “I Smile,” Romney appeared charmed but did not dance with them. Rather, he tapped one of his toes slightly and bobbed his head, but did not catch the rhythm..

            “You just sang a song about smiling,” Romney told the kids. “You’re all smiling right? Smile! Oh, that’s great.”
            Classic Romney Awkwardness™. Where is the YouTube, doggonit, I needed to see this. I'm willing to bet it didn't look to different from this...



            "Who Let The Dogs Out?" was already played out when the 2008 election rolled around, but don't let that distract from the awesome awkwardness on display here. As a guy who sometimes struggles with what to say/do in social situations himself, I find this sorta endearing, and think Romney would be wise to play it up in a self-deprecating manner. I doubt he has that level of self-awareness though.

            What's very clear here is that this isn't a play for Black votes, but an end-around to white moderates and independents. After a primary season in which Romney either sat idly by, or in some case co-signed some truly appalling statements by his opponents, he needs to look "inviting" "accepting" and "open minded" to appeal to well-meaning white voters who aren't crazy about Obama but don't really care to be associated with the stench of what was a really negative, and in some cases scary GOP primary seasons. When in doubt, pull in some adorable black kids. Never mind Romney's out of touch theories about class size and two parent households being the Bain[2] of black education. A photo-op cures all concerns.

            Now if he'd just do something about that Trump endorsement.

            Question: What's Romney's real goal here? Can he capture 10% or more of the black vote?

            [1] Pun intended.

            [2] Ditto.