Monday, December 22, 2008
A lot of people are up in arms about President-Elect Obama asking pastor Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration on January 20th.
Pastor Rick Warren is the author of the top selling book, "The Purpose Driven Life" and is also a big supporter of the proposition 8 initiative that was passed in California in November banning gay marriage.
Gay marriage is an explosive issue in America all of a sudden, it has aligned itself with abortion as being the two issues that are the dividing line of morality in our country.
Proposition 8 was passed because people are scared of change. They are scared that their concept of marriage will change. But the throughout the years it has changed drastically. Marriage in it's original concept is a business arraignment between two families. What we know of as marriage today is a religious institution. Two people declare their love for each other before God. They stand in front of a priest or a rabbi. But If the Church doesn't recognize the marriage then you just don't get married in a church. People get married at City Hall. In fact the Mayor can marry you. In that case don't even call it a marriage then, call it a Civil Union. But that Civil Union should afford those two people the same right as any other people who marry as far as the law of the state is concerned. right?
Nope. the Church defines what marriage is. What happened to separation between Church and state you say? Well that's a wonderful concept and ideology but it isn't a law or an amendment in the constitution. It's a suggestion of a concept written in a letter penned by Thomas Jefferson referring to the first amendment.
What seems to bother me most is that people who are not gay nor can have children let alone abort one feel so threatened by these issues. I, myself fall into this category. and when someone asks me what my view is I say I don't have a view because it doesn't affect me. But I have realized that that is only partly true. I am affected in that when one persons freedoms are taken away or when one person isn't afforded the same rights as another because of their orientation then that marks the beginning of the end of our democratic way of life.
But Barack Obama is a smart man, why would he invite Rick Warren knowing their differences in opinion regarding things like abortion, and gays?
Appealing to the masses is tricky business especially in this country. I learned that a few years ago when decided to put out an album. Like Jay_Z said you dumb it down to double the dollars. Not everyone is going to get Talib Kweli. Only the "progressives" and the "elites". But shouldn't we be striving to be better, to understand more? When you are pulling double shifts to feed your family on close to minimum wages and you get a chance to relax, puff an el and listen to some tunes you don't want to be trying figure out what the emcee is saying. You just want to hear some slightly witty, silly shit over a good beat. simple. You want to know that republican means good and demorcrat means bad. or visa verse. simple. It's the same even when we go to the movies. Within the first 20 minutes of any action movie you know clearly who the good guys are and who the bad guys are and those lines never get crossed. This clean cut way of thinking cuts across many lines culturally. In religion, well, Christianity at least, God is good. Anything that is not good is of the Devil and considered evil making the clear enemy of God, the devil. simple.
In the abortion issue there are those who are pro-life and those who are pro-choice. This battle has waged on for so long that those who fight on either side actually believe that they are the opposite of the other just because they oppose each others view. But that can be no further from the truth. Someone can actually be pro-choice and pro-life- but that would be too much for the average american to understand and come to grips with. They wouldn't know who the enemy was. And we need an enemy, believe me. This is where I think the brilliance of Barack Obama is at work. Americans have to fundamentally change the way they look at issues. One of Obama's quotes that really stuck with me was when he said that no one is pro- abortion. we're not on two clean cut sides of an issue. If we listen to each other we might just get a broader understanding of where we are coming from.
Baracks choice of Rick Warren to do his invocation is a statement of grey, explaining that nothing is as black and white as it seems.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Plaxico Burress is an idiot.
I don't think too many people will disagree with that statement. Wait here's another: Michael Vick is an idiot. I bet I'm 2 for 2, right? How about this, OJ Simpson is a monumental idiot.
I find it hard not to see them and be embarrassed. Obviously it is because they are black. Each of them had careers that I could only dream of having and made piles of money. Plaxico will lose his 137 million dollar contract of which he's already received 10 million of if he goes to jail; Michael Vick has already filed for bankruptcy because he is totally broke. When he gets out in June he will be on his knees to the NFL begging for re-instatement.
I guess I wouldn't be as embarrassed if we didn't just elect the first Black President of the United States. And though it was a landslide victory I know there are people out there just waiting for him to fuck it up so they can say "ya see, can't give those ngiggers nothing". Whoa, whoa, whoa... the "N" word... yeah, I know but I'm sure in a few years if you google "Dumb Nigger" you'll see a picture of OJ Simpson.
I don't think when Elliot Spitzer was busted with that call girl, white people we're embarrassed. They said "fire his ass"! So why am I so troubled?
I remember back in 1995 when OJ was was acquitted of the murder of Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman. I remember the throngs of black students on campuses across America cheering. the opinion on whether or not he was guilty was split down racial lines. It was quite similar to the explosion of cheers when the news channels announced that Barack Obama had won the Presidency except it wasn't so racially split. well, at least not in NYC. But I bet if you polled those students from 1995 now asking whether they thought OJ had done it or not, I'm sure a lot would say that they think he did. But back in 1995 it wasn't about whether he had done it or not, it was about things being fair. By 1995 young people had been used to police brutality- ala Rodney King and Yusef Hawkins- and innocent black men being accused and imprisoned- ala the Susan Smith case- for things they didn't do, so much so that those who were guilty were looked past. We did little about gang violence and found reason to excuse gangster rap until it killed Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G. It wasn't until 2007 when Don Imus called the Rutgers Female basketball team "a bunch of nappy headed hoes" did we really start to address the language used within the black community. But the speed in which the ban on the "N" word that Al Sharpton and Russell Simmons implimneted went out of the news and out of our minds is a clear indication of where we are as black people in 2008. Nowhere.
In fact I'll go as far as to say that I don't think there really is a "black people" anymore. What defined us as a people in the 60's and prior was a common enemy. Whether you were from the South, the North or the West, to white people all Negroes were the same. Though racism still exists in many aspects in America, there are other issues within the black community that are more pressing and don't get addressed, like the question: why do young black men have to wear so much jewelry and have so much cash in their pockets that they have to protect themselves with unregistered guns when they go to the club? huh? why?
Maybe there just isn't a black community anymore. I do remember when I was growing up, if I was to act up when my parents weren't around, there was always an adult to straighten me out. But now when I ride the train during after school hours and the kids are out in full force, acting up, I look over and see that some of the adults are dressed just like them, quiet.
Hey this is my opinion and what I have witnessed in my city. This is a blog, not professional journalism so feel free to disagree with me. But maybe it's just a latent instinctual reaction left over from the civil rights era that makes me cringe when I see someone like Plaxico Burress throw away such a promising career over something so stupid or when I see the surveillance footage of a brother punch an old woman in an elevator to steal her purse or when I see OJ, who might have gotten away with murder, not move out of the U.S. and just keep a low profile.