Thursday, June 25, 2009


Can you hear heart just broke into a thousand pieces. I just heard Michael Jackson passed away. Truly Michael was the first boy I ever loved, my first crush. I remember me and my cousin would get into arguments about who was the bigger MJ fan and who he would date between the two of us. I LOVE MJ, I'VE BEEN A FAN SINCE I WAS 5 YEARS OLD AND I AM 33!!!!! MJ holds fond memories of me and my brother dancing and singing along to thriller and beat it. I remember my mother dressed me up in a beat it jacket with pleather pants and my brother had a thriller jacket with red pleather pants and we looked too good on Easter. I know MJ had all those surgeries and had that child molestation thing... but you could not deny his talent. I remember when they would do world premiers of his videos me and my family would sit around the television and be mesmerized by this amazing guy doing amazing moves. He seemed so full of charisma and charm. Michael is the reason me and my brother got Jherri Curls. MJ is the King of Pop and there will NEVER be another like him. Last night my friend's and I had a memorial service for Mike and we had a blast. We made pizza rolls, brownies and nachos and turned on BET, CNN and MTV and watch the coverage. We sang songs, drank koolaid jammers, discussed how Mike had to fight so many demons and keep his head up at the same time. We laughed at our favorite MJ memory. We basically had a good time celebrating the life of the legendary Michael Jackson. We lost a great one y'all. Michael represents a time when I was naive and innocent, when music was fun and life was easy. My family was good, I was good and it was the 80's. I remember in the
70's having a dancing contest with my family to the song dancing machine. Man before the song was over everybody in the house was dancing, bell bottoms moving and grooving. I've shared so many moments of my life with Michael. He is part of the sound track of my life. I feel like a family member passed away. You know who you get that bad gut feeling that won't leave, well that is how I feel. Michael was personal to me, he was apart of my life. I really will miss him more than than the words on this screen can convey. But what gives me joy is my little brother is in heaven and I believe he was waiting on MJ to clear the gate so he could get a personal dance lesson. Life is precious, time is priceless, spend it wisely. Be kind to others, understand that everyone is not like you and that is okay. We love you and we will miss you. Mike rest in peace and fly, dance and sing with the angels baby. When you see my lil brother John in heaven, please teach him how to do the moon walk the right way....without socks gliding on the kitchen floor!

What the Hell is Going on Iran

If you are like me you may be wondering what the hell is going on in Iran. Currently I do not have cable and do not have a converter box either. Therefore everything I watch is on dvd, however when I listen to the news in the car I keep hearing about the protest in Iran. My job keeps CNN playing in the break area and I saw what seemed to be riots, people marching, fires and basically a bunch of pissed off people.

With that in mind I decided to research the problem.

On June 12th there was an election. Although there were a few candidates the real race was between the incumbent president and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hossein Mousavi.

Many people felt that the incumbent president represented the “old” Iran and the people wanted the change the international perception of their country. With uncertain and declining oil revenues and a global financial crisis, Iran has fallen on hard times. The nation suffers from high inflation and an unemployment rate that tops 30 percent (according to unofficial figures) -- one of the highest in the region, despite the country's huge oil exports. Public discontent over the faltering economy has seen President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad become increasingly unpopular. His reformist and conservative opponents alike have criticized him publicly for spending too much time agitating the U.S. and Israel and not enough trying to fix the crumbling economy. Some feel he has essentially alienated the country because of his vampire-like blood thirst for nuclear weapons and hate for Israel.
The youth was really excited about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and their was kind of an Obama effect associated with this man. The youth openly support him in the streets, but instead of donning branded merchandise they dress head to toe in brilliant green. Some even paint their faces. , Mousavi has publicly criticized Ahmadinejad’s incompetent, foolish and irresponsible behavior on the international stage. He said he wanted to increase positive relations with neighboring countries and the United States. Mousavi also claims his effort to advance the nation’s nuclear program will be for “peaceful purposes.”

Many Iranians felt this election represented the need for freedom in Iran. Freedom of a tyrannical government and freedom under an oppressive leader.
To the dismay of many the incumbent president won the election then all hell broke loose.

Supporters of reform candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, upset at their announced loss and suspicions of voter fraud, took to the streets both peacefully and, in some cases, violently to vent their frustrations. Iranian security forces and hardline volunteer militia members responded with force and arrests, attempting to stamp out the protests. The protest went on for days and is still going on in some areas
I guess I can understand what the people of Iran are going through. They want freedom in everyway, a true democracy that pushes away dictatorship. It also reminds me of the McCain and Obama election. People were tired of the same ole thing and wanted change so badly that they voted a black man into office. Frustration can be a great change maker and that seems to be what is going on in Iran. We would have been rioting too if Obama lost the election. When the people want, need and desire something that their government refused to give will jumpstart a revolution. My prayers are with the protesters and the people of Iran. Just for a moment I pray that peace will be still

Friday, June 19, 2009

American Companies Assisted Apartheid

Think slavery was a bitch…..apartheid was no fun either. Imagine living in a land where your people are a majority and still subjected to being treated as a second class citizen. For those of you that is not familiar with apartheid I will give you a brief run down.

With the enactment of apartheid laws in 1948, racial discrimination was institutionalized. Race laws touched every aspect of social life, including a prohibition of marriage between non-whites and whites, and the sanctioning of ``white-only'' jobs. In 1950, the Population Registration Act required that all South Africans be racially classified into one of three categories: white, black (African), or colored (of mixed decent). The coloured category included major subgroups of Indians and Asians. Classification into these categories was based on appearance, social acceptance, and descent. For example, a white person was defined as ``in appearance obviously a white person or generally accepted as a white person.'' A person could not be considered white if one of his or her parents were non-white. The determination that a person was ``obviously white'' would take into account ``his habits, education, and speech and deportment and demeanor.'' A black person would be of or accepted as a member of an African tribe or race, and a colored person is one that is not black or white. The Department of Home Affairs (a government bureau) was responsible for the classification of the citizenry.

Now that we all on the same page… apartheid victims have won the right to sue companies in the United States.

In a major court ruling, victims of South Africa's apartheid era have won the right to sue General Motors, IBM and other multi-national corporations
for complicity in human rights abuses.
A federal judge in New York gave the green light Wednesday for class actions against the corporations under US law allowing rights claims from abroad to be addressed in a US court.

IBM is being sued because it is likely that the tool which made the most crucial contribution to the system of apartheid was the computerized population register. The Plural Affairs Department maintained the passbook system on the more than twenty five million Africans defined as black. These records were all kept electronically on British-made ICL hardware. The Department of the Interior maintained the "Book of Life" files on the other seven million citizens classified as non-blacks using an IBM hardware system. The main purpose of the population registry was administration of the influx control system, a system which channeled needed black workers into the labor force to be exploited, and confined others to the desolate homelands. The passbooks, which every black person was automatically given at the age of sixteen, coupled with the computer database, guaranteed one's instant identification and one's history of government opposition. If these passbooks were properly endorsed, the owner had the right to work or live in "white areas", and lack of these endorsements or failure to produce the passbook resulted in arrest and jail. Many were detained for months at a time without a trial and their families were not given notification of their whereabouts

The lawsuits argue that the car-makers knew their vehicles were being used by South African forces to violently suppress protests. Allegedly Daimler, Ford and General Motors aided and abetted apartheid, torture, extrajudicial killing and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment -- in part because their security personnel were”intimately involved" with the torture and inhuman treatment of several plaintiffs and also because the companies provided the military equipment and trucks used by the South African Defense Forces and the special branch for attacks on protesting citizens and activists;

Based on the ties many American companies have with slavery it would not be a far fetch idea to believe they were involved with apartheid too. The American and European economy was built on the exploitation of Africa. Stealing her diamonds and her most precious commodity… her people. Not only do I hope the victims of apartheid are victorious in their court case, I also hope reparations can be paid to the descendants of slavery. I know this has been debated by far more educated and refined pundits, but I feel that issuing an apology is wack and not enough. Seriously, they paid the Japanese and Native Americans, why not pay the African Americans. Hell at this point 40 acres and a Ford F-150 don’t sound too bad.

The sad part about apartheid is it ended in 1994. I graduated from high school that year and I never knew that people in Africa was dealing with such racism and hatred. My school(s) never taught about the trials and tribulations of my African brothers and sisters. However, they did teach us about European history and every February we would talk about Martin Lutha Kang...Harriett Tubman, W.E.B. Dubois, and Fredrick Douglas. They acted like these were the only black people worth discussing for the 28 days of black history

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Resurgence of Colt 45

Y'all remember the tag line. Colt 45 is the dynamite taste and It works every time. Lately I have been seeing adds with Billy Dee and Colt 45 all over the hood. First I saw it on a billboard on Kingshighway, then I saw it advertised on a bus stop covering on the South Side, then I was on hwy 367 and saw it on my way to work. I was like damn when did they start back advertising Colt 45 again. This time the add is in cartoon animation and Billy Dee still looks like he is 25, when in reality he is probably closer to 75.

Colt 45 brings back childhood memories for me. I remember my Aunt Dee use to love drinking a cold 40oz of Colt 45 after a long day. Aww lawd when they came out with double malt Colt 45 she would be sipping on the foam and feeling real lovely after the first 3 cups. By the time Aunt Dee knocked down her 3rd Colt 45 errbody would have been cursed out, threaten, put out or fucked up. She would play the quiet storm all night while she sat up and drank that "fo-five"

I am just in awe that they are trying to revive that brand. I mean really what type of person in this day and age would be dying to try a Colt 45. Are they trying to capture a new market or get the old market back? I wonder if they still come in glass 40oz bottles or if they switched to cans. I know one thing thank the Lord Aunt Dee is gone to glory cuz if not she would be the first one in line and Hawks Liquor and Check Cashing getting her a ice cold "fo-five"

Monday, June 8, 2009

Got Damn Po Pos

I'm hotter than a fire cracker right now. I am closing on my house tomorrow and every thin dime I got is going towards that and I just have a great deal of stuff on my mind. Today while visiting my Aunt the police pull me over for bumping a stop sign. Man this police pulled up out of no where and came down on me like I had 9 bricks of white girl in my truck.

Now the reason I am pissed is because I did not bump the stop sign. I am so tired of these small municipalities making money off harassing the citizens and visitors of people in their communities. The bastard asked me, " Do you have a legal reason for bumping that stop sign." A legal reason....... what "legal" reason can I give you. So I gave the asshole my licence and proof of insurance and he wrote the ticket. Just Saturday my cousin pulled out of my Aunt's driveway and drove to the corner and forgot to turn on his headlights, he was only about 10 yards from the house and the police pulled him over and gave him a ticket too!

I swear this shit gets on my damn nerves. I told my Aunt she will have to come visit me because this will be the last time her city makes money off of me. I call Allstate to see if this ticket would affect my rates and they told me it depends. I'm like depends on what! The lady sounded all confused while she tried to give me some technical answer. But she basically said it depends on the underwriters...I said let me speak to the underwrites, she said they don't take calls. I wanted to choke the bish right through the phone. I was hot.... and I mean I was on fire. Have you ever been broke and it seemed like every one in the world was after you money, well that is what I feel right now. I've decided to get a lawyer to plead down the ticket and keep on moving. This type of shit keeps me on blood pressure medicine.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Blacks and the Subprime Mortgage

As I get closer to the date to close on my home, I often wonder about those suffering from foreclosures. Are we out of the woods? Is the economy finally starting to turn around…….they approve me right? My heart goes out to families that got caught up in that subprime mortgage scheme.

Last Week the New York Times reported that middle class families of color have been most hurt by the subprime crisis in New York City. The article authenticate what many have thought for month which ismiddle and upper income borrowers of color across the country are more likely to receive predatory, high cost loans than whites--even low-income whites.

This action has caused Black, Latino, Asian and American Indian families are burdened with the heaviest weight of foreclosures.

The article goes on to state that …..

The New Deal-era Federal Housing Administration (FHA) extended credit by making mortgages more affordable. But racial exclusion was written into government lending guidelines and people of color were explicitly denied access to loans. The practice became known as redlining because red lines were drawn around neighborhoods of color to mark them as high risk. Redlining and privately enforced restrictive racial codes or covenants designed to maintain all-white neighborhoods created segregated cities. White families accumulated home equity and people of color did not.

With the advent of the GI Bill, thousands of veterans were given access to low-cost loans but people of color were still denied mortgages because of racist lending practices. According to Columbia University Professor Ira Katznelson, by the time most of these loans matured, the median wealth of a family of color was just 9 percent that of a white family.

Over the ensuing decades, redlining and restrictive covenants were outlawed through the Community Reinvestment Act and other laws, yet their lasting effects left neighborhoods of color with few prime lenders who could help them to buy homes. In place of these traditional services, non-traditional lenders moved into communities of color. Then, in the late 1990's, the Financial Services Modernization Act deregulated mortgage lending and opened space for new arrangements between investment banks and lenders--arrangements not covered by the Community Reinvestment Act. Because communities of color had long been denied fair lending services, predatory mortgage lenders who faced little competition swarmed into their neighborhoods with hardly any regulatory framework to prevent abuse

Thus, the now illegal practice of redlining set up communities of color for what's known as reverse redlining. Reverse redlining--where people of color have access only to risky financial products regardless of income or credit scores while whites are much more likely to have access to traditional 30-year prime loans--became the norm across the country. In the mostly Black neighborhoods of Detroit where Hines lived, it's easy enough for anyone to find a check cashing outfit or loan shark while traditional banks are just about nowhere to be found. These neighborhoods of color are the same ones hit hardest by foreclosure. It is now troublingly clear that we could have prevented these abuses if we had applied the same racial justice lens to new lending practices as we had to the old.

As a result of our research at the Applied Research Center, we propose including racial impact assessments in all policy and regulatory rulemaking. Modeled on environmental impact assessments, which help prevent potentially negative environmental effects, a systematic review of potential racial impacts prior to the passage of new laws can help prevent the replication of long-standing and new forms of racial inequality.

Many people still think racism is intentional, conscious and personal. It's not. As the economic crisis shows, we are facing racial inequities that have their roots in the explicit racism of earlier generations but which now devastate communities of color without intent. This is where we now need to turn our attention. It is the only way we will stop what Hines calls "an American nightmare" that is "two or three nightmares if you're African American."

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