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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Rantations of a pretty Prince...

1)  So let me get this straight--Chicago Public Schools are being UNDER utilized...yet we just had a teachers strike where the staff alleged that they weren't paid enough and that they needed smaller classes.  The school system is also fiscally broke...yet the city can spend $55 million to help DePaul (a private, religious institution) build a new stadium for its mediocre--no scratch that, HORRIBLE--men's basketball program, and a hotel nearby.  I get it--the money earned from amusement taxes on tickets (if any are purchased) and hotel rooms will make the city a bunch of money.  And the $55 mil isn't real cash, its more "tax credits" where money is actually taken from several sources (or not paid into several sources)--including schools.  But somehow this doesn't seem right.  Money we could use to fund our inner-city-mostly attended by black and brown student-schools is going to fund...a stadium where white people can go and watch one predominantly white, catholic school's team get decimated by another predominantly white school whose entire team is made up of about 50% of their black students.

2)  Folks are up in arms that Dr. Dre gave $35 million to USC to help establish a specialized degree program.  They're mad because as a successful Black man, he chose to spend his money at a rich, quality predominantly white institution, instead of giving his cash to a struggling Historically Black College or University (HBCU) to improve one of those schools.  The argument--$35 million to USC is a drop in the USC bucket, considering that USC's endowment is larger than all the endowments of all the HBCUs combined--including Howard, Morehouse and Spellman.  Now I won't go so far as to say there isn't a need for HBCUs anymore, but there should definitely be fewer.  I'm all about creating as many opportunities as possible for those who otherwise wouldn't get them.  But if those "opportunities" aren't useful, what's the point?  Shouldn't we be more about a quality education these days?  Why support an institution barely staying afloat or able to keep its accreditation?

3)  I don't want to hear another American claim to be thug or gangsta.  Until we get people who will run over someone with their car, then get out of the car with hatchets, and then attempt to chop up the body while the person is still broad daylight with people watching...and then give a TV interview after...while still holding the hatchet...and not wearing a mask, they aren't gangsta.


Thursday, May 2, 2013

America doesn't like brown people

Not to sound like Kanye West--and by no means am I a Kanye apologist--but he was right.  George Bush didn't like Black people.  The former President of the United States was simply a symbol of the bigger entity--the United States of America.

Make no mistake, we now have a Black President.  Yet the policies of these United States with regard how it treats its own citizens--particularly those born with more melanin in their skin--haven't changed.  Sure he's appointed several worthy Black, brown and yellow people to high posts, but as a whole, nothing has changed.  And you only need one example to see my point.

In Afghanistan--the country we invaded in order to fight a war on an ideology--part of the United States' strategy was to use foreign aid in order to improve the conditions of the people in the country.  The idea: the better the conditions, the fewer "insurgents."  In other words, give the people another option, and they won't want to go join the Taliban.

In America we have gangs who operate in similar fashion to the Taliban.  They don't own any property (or own limited property) yet through intimidation and strong arm tactics "run" certain territories.  They operate outside the bounds of the law--an insurgency if you will.  Arguably gangs don't threaten the "national security" of the United States in the same fashion the Taliban has and allegedly continues to, however they do threaten the security of several communities (Chicago for example had 20 people shot on May 1 alone).

Despite these parallels, the United States continues to push for cuts in domestic aid, while continuing to pour billions in foreign aid in other countries for the purposes of defeating insurgency.  Said another way, providing opportunities at home for young Black and brown people to give them other options than joining a gang is of less importance than providing opportunities to others abroad to dissuade them from joining in "jihad" against the United States.  The domestic idiot with a gun is more likely to kill innocents than some foreign national thousands of miles away--its probably why Chicago hasn't been a terrorist target.  Here in the windy city, we're used to seeing innocent people killed as a result of senseless violence.  Its damn near a daily occurrence.  Militants may want to attack, but figure "damn, they're already killing each other!  What's the point?"  From a media standpoint however, "tragedy" occurs when the innocents are a little..."lighter" complected.

In 2001 the United States made great efforts to strip certain constitutional rights away in order to be able to defeat "terrorism."  These laws sought to find both foreign and domestic threats.  They've been used occasionally--see the attempted shoe bomber, the attempted Christmas Day bomber, and the recent Boston bombing--but I contend they should be used a little more liberally.  Declare the Latin Kings, the Bloods, GDKs, etc. "terrorist organizations" and their members "enemy combatants."  Give the state police and county sheriff's departments the same powers and resources of Homeland Security (broadly covering the DOJ, I.C.E., and the FBI) and let's see what happens this summer.  Giving illegal firearm possession stiffer penalties isn't the answer.  You think criminals are scared of MORE jail time?  That's like threatening Hugh Heffner with busty brunettes if he keeps baggin hot blonds.  The threat of going to jail longer isn't going to stop someone who's already an idiot and looking to shoot up a crowd.  "Man if I pull this trigger I could get 20 years instead of 6..."  Fuck outta here.  Even more hilarious about that idea is jail overcrowding forces the state legislatures (and the feds) to have provisions where prisoners only do a certain percentage of the time sentenced.  "Stiffer penalties" won't get you less stiffs.  Put that P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act to use and sic the alphabet-boys on these fools.

Yeah I know I should be your monarch,