Thursday, August 30, 2007

Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, Keep It In Your Pants

It's official.

Since I have more naive faith in the nobility of black men than my average reader, I tried to hold off on creating the "Keep It In Your Pants" tag as long as I possibly could, but I can't any longer. After week after week of Michael Strahan, Senator Craig, Travis Henry, and now this moron, how can I not!?!?

Just a motivation to clean up his police department. That was the testimony Wednesday from a soft-spoken but firm Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who denied infidelities and asserted he has no regrets about terminating then-Deputy Chief Gary Brown from police internal affairs. Kilpatrick testified for more than three hours in a whistle-blower lawsuit Brown and another former officer filed.

Allegations of adultery are a central theme of the civil suit brought by Brown and a former police bodyguard, who claim Kilpatrick ruined their careers to halt an investigation that would have revealed embarrassing personal information as well as misconduct by the mayor's security team. Brown and former Officer Harold Nelthrope are seeking monetary damages from the city and Kilpatrick.

Nelthrope and another former police bodyguard, Walt Harris, testified earlier that Kilpatrick cheated on his wife, Carlita Kilpatrick, with other women as the bodyguards stayed outside. Nelthrope testified that he and another officer in 2002 drove the mayor to a rendezvous with a "Jamaican friend" at a barbershop on the west side of Detroit about two blocks from the Kilpatrick family home.
Kilpatrick, son of a Congresswoman, gained national acclaim as he rose to power a few years back, and was dubbed the Hip Hop Mayor for his youthful slang, flashy diamond earrings, and $3,000 suits. Once the youngest mayor of a major US city, Kilpatrick has been constantly dogged by allegations of corruption, infidelity, and misspending of city funds (notably for a family vacation, jet skis, and a cherry red Lincoln Navigator) throughout his two terms.

Perhaps the most damning is an alleged 2003 party at the mayoral mansion involving hordes of strippers, one of whom was gunned down shortly thereafter. Efforts by Detroit police to investigate the death of the dancer, Tamara Green (aka: Strawberry) have resulted in alleged cover ups to protect the mayor, as well as the unjustified firings of several whistle blowing officers, like the two currently suing him.

Dag. Whatever happened to mayors who just governed their cities? Mayors who paved the streets, balanced the budget, got the trash picked up on time, and kept their noses clean and pants zipped?

I've never been to "The D", but I've got in-laws out there, and every summer they come to DC, they've got loads of juicy stories about what Kwame's been up to. The alleged (it was never proven) wild party at the Manoogian Mansion is supposedly the stuff of urban lore in Detroit. The Motor City clearly leads the country (although LA, Newark, and SF are all honorable mentions) in City Hall Drama. On the other hand: employment, literacy, overall economy, poverty rates? Not so much.

I hear Kilpatrick has indeed done some good things, most notably improving the city's long blighted downtown. But when your city is still known more for it's philandering mayor than anything else, perhaps it's time to consider your other options. I hear Windsor, Ontario isn't such a bad place to live.

Keep it in your pants, Hip Hop Mayor.

David Dinkins is crying inside. So is Chris Thomas.

Kilpatrick: I did nothing wrong [Detroit Free Press]

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Karrine Steffans: The Black Woman's Worst Enemy

I got into a casual convo with a friend today about this Karrine Steffans , whom many of you will remember for her celeb-exposing tell-all "Confessions of a Video Vixen". I don't even really remember how the whole ball got rolling, but it made we wonder: why aren't black women boycotting this chick?

Think about it: this woman is basically the walking personification of everything that's ugly, misogynistic, and sexist about hip-hop, and she has practically made a career out of celebrating this. If you're unaware, and I hope you are, Steffans, who also goes by a nickname so vile I won't even mention it here, rose to "fame" by "modeling" in music videos, doing low budget porn, and sleeping with lots of rappers, ballers, and random celebs. If he's black, somewhat rich and even moderately famous, there's a good chance she uhhh... "serviced" him at least one time.

Jay-Z. Nas. Shaq. Xzibit. Method Man. Ja Rule. Vin Diesel. Busta Rhymes. Kool G Rap. Allen Iverson. Even Ray J got him a piece.

Ray J. Talk about a lack of dignity.

This broad has more nuts in her than a Baby Ruth.

She's screwed more black men than FEMA.

More semen in her than a submarine.

I could go on and on. It's that bad. Really.

Still, some publicist thought it was wise to have her package her stories as a celebrity tell-all. As opposed to portraying her as the floozy (my grandma's favorite word for loose women) she is, the PR spin was that she was a woman abused as a child who didn't know any better and these men victimized her then. But now, she's older, wiser, has found God, and wants to warm little girls about the perils of engaging in celebrity fellatio. Now Mother Theresa Sister Karrine wants to use her past as a tool for empowerment for women to remind them that despite how many times they've scuffed their knees, they can find true love and still succeed in life as strong black female role models.

Trick, please!!!

[I know I am probably about to lose half my female readers here, but I hope all 4 of you will listen very closely to my point before you close the browser or flame me with bad feedback. Then you can flame me.]

If she had really had a great change of heart and realized that her former whoring ways were wrong, wouldn't the noble thing be to write your book and disappear back into a life of obscurity? Wouldn't she perhaps stop dating rappers and just go back to raising her kid(s), rather than continuing to pop up on this red carpet and that with every D-list rapper (Lil' Wayne), washed up Kang of R&B (yes, Bobby Brown got him some), and random white dude (Bill Maher too)? Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't a change of behavior typically accompany a change of heart? I don't know this woman's private life, but if it's anything like the public one I happen to see from time to time while perusing junk food sites like Bossip, Concrete Loop, and Crunk & Disorderly over my lunch hour, I'd say she hasn't changed much. Outside looking in of course.

What's worse is that with the media attention she's gotten, in my opinion, she's legitimized the whole concept or "video chick" as a legitimate come-up. She's already spawned several copycats, like the tell-alls by Nas' baby mom, radio personality missjones, and reportedly a similar book by singer Mya, who really should have better things to do. Steffans has been on Oprah, 20/20, and of course Tyra Banks (not that that's saying much of course). She has another installment in the series, The Video Vixen Diaries or some such nonsense coming out soon, which to me confirms that she's still ho'ing. And I just happened to see the other day that she's now engaged, although she ain't telling who the unlucky dude is yet. If course, she did note that he's someone famous. Surprise, surprise.

Where's an appropriate Too Short quote when I need one!?!?

Question: why don't black women have a real problem with this? For all the criticism (justifiably so) about "B's and H's" in hip-hop, and all the kerfuffle (unjustifiably so) about shows like "Hot Ghetto Mess" of late in this post-Imus world, it's amazing that nobody really seems to have anything to say about this. Doesn't a woman like this undermine everything that's right about hip hop in general, and black women specifically?

Yes, there are lots of male rappers who spout this mindless garbage and they should be criticized. I'm totally with you on that one, don't get it twisted. But why the relative silence on a woman who darn near celebrates, personifies, and profits from this sort of attitude herself? Wouldn't such a woman actually further perpetuate such nonsense? Where is the outrage? Where's the email campaign and e-petition asking for her publisher to stop this garbage from being published.

Am I missing something here? Isn't Karrine just as much (more?) of an enemy of black women as Snoop, Ludacris, or Lil' Boosie (although I kinda like "Wipe Me Down" - so shoot me)!?!?

Ladies, educate me. I don't get it.

Lena Horne is crying inside. So should every sensible black woman reading this.

Video 'Vixen', Author Karrine Steffans Engaged [AccessHollywood]

When Makin' It Rain' Goes Wrong

Rapper Lil' Wayne recently took a much needed break from lip' lockin' with his mentor/stuntin' daddy/DL lover Baby aka: Da' Birdman (photographic evidence above) to throw a concert at Morgan State University. While performing his hit single (or was it actually Fat Joe's song?) "Make It Rain'", Wayne went all Pacman Jones and tossed some money in the air for "dramatic effect". Of course, contrary to his "Bling Bling" heritage, his cheap ass only threw a wad of $1 bills wrapped inside a single dub, but no matter.

As expected, the understandably broke Morgan St. Bears went buckwild trying to grab the cash, and lo and behold (shocker) somebody got trampled a bit.

Is that a frivolous lawsuit I smell? Get Greenberg and Bederman on the phone, pronto!

A Morgan State University concert-goer has filed a lawsuit alleging that she was knocked to the ground and trampled last year when a large amount of cash was thrown into the crowd during a performance by rapper Lil' Wayne.

Tyrique Layne, a student at Morgan at the time, filed the lawsuit yesterday in Baltimore Circuit Court, claiming that she required overnight hospitalization as a result of injuries she suffered last October at the concert held at the university.

In addition to Lil' Wayne, whose given name is Dwayne Michael Carter, the suit names Universal Records Inc., Cash Money Records Inc. and Young Money Touring Inc.

Last year's Morgan State concert was sold out in a field house that holds 4,000, officials said at the time. Three women were hurt when the money - mostly $1 bills, but including some $5, $10 and $20 bills - was tossed into the crowd, according to accounts then.

The lawsuit contends that Layne, who is seeking $1 million plus interest and costs, suffers frequent and severe headaches, neck and back pain, memory loss, difficulty concentrating, fatigue and other symptoms as a result of her injuries.
Like any frivolous lawsuit, this one tries to make the "victim" seem even more victimized by noting that Layne is an honor student and high school valedictorian. She has since left the school for reasons unstated, but I'm sure she'd say this has something to do with this accident. Bullcrap.

Reality is, this chick probably just got elbowed by some guy who beat her to one of those precious dollar bills, probably got her weave twisted in the process, as well as probably got embarrassed like all get out. But is this grounds for a $1M lawsuit? Wouldn't she be better off going after Morgan State for not providing adequate security? How is Lil' Wayne really, really responsible? Sure, he threw the dollar bills, but does that mean he made these kids elbow each other? I think not.

There is somewhat of a hip-hop precedence for this. Any 70's baby will recall the 1991 incident at CCNY where students were trampled during a security related snafu at a Heavy D concert (promoted by none other than P. Diddy, who was still skipping classes at Howard at the time). Diddy (who was then simply known as Sean Combs) was found liable, but 9 people died, and 28 people were seriously injured. Quite different from 1 chick with a headache and wounded ego if you ask me.

My prediction: the judge will take this case and drop it like it's hot.

Morgan concert attendee files suit [Baltimore Sun]

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Thank God For Bleach, Silicone, and DexaTrim...

...because if those things weren't invented, a chick like this might literally starve to death.

During last week's pageant, Miss Teen South Carolina Lauren Caitlin Upton was asked why one-fifth of Americans couldn't find USA on a map.

"I personally believe that US Americans are unable to do so because some people out there in our nation don't have maps," she said tentatively.

She also made random references to South Africa, "Asian countries" and "the Iraq", and said they needed support from the American educational system. Upton told South Carolina's The State newspaper she "completely misunderstood" the question and "didn't do anything wrong". "I wasn't expecting (the question). I lost my train of thought."

A video of the incident has become a YouTube hit, with almost three million hits since last week's pageant. Despite the fumble, Upton came third in the Miss Teen USA competition.
You sorta feel bad for the girl. I mean, what the hell kinda question is that anyway? I just might have gotten a little frazzled myself.

On the other hand, considering this is the "make it or break it moment", it's somewhat of a shame that somebody can so terribly butcher such an answer? All she had to say was "I value education... blah blah blah... children are our future... blah blah... teachers should be paid more...blah blah... I'd really like to spend one evening with Martin Luther King..."

She's a peroxide blonde. Nobody expected much of her, but by rambling incessantly about how poor education is in South Africa, Iraq, and Asia (WTH?), she revealed herself to be far more of a bubblehead than anyone could have possibly imagined.

Anna Nicole Smith is crying inside.

Miss South Carolina Teen USA Explains Herself [ABC 4]

Senator Larry Craig: The Passionate Conservative - Take II

Hmmm, just when you thought it was safe to vote with a conscience again, here comes another "news of the weird" type story that makes you want to stay home on election day. Not that I recommend that of course, but maybe I'd understand it.

Idaho Senator Larry E. Craig pleaded guilty earlier this month to misdemeanor disorderly-conduct charges stemming from his June arrest by an undercover police officer in a men's restroom at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, a court spokeswoman and the senator's office said yesterday.

Craig issued a statement confirming his arrest and guilty plea, which were reported in the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call. But the Idaho Republican maintained that he had not engaged in any "inappropriate conduct" and that the airport police misunderstood his behavior.

Roll Call, citing a copy of a report by airport police, said officers had been conducting a sting operation inside the men's room because of complaints of sexual activity there. The police report gives this account of the arrest:

The undercover officer was monitoring the restroom on June 11. A few minutes after noon, Craig entered and sat in the stall next to him. Craig began tapping his right foot, touched his right foot to the left foot of the officer and brushed his hand beneath the partition between them. He was then arrested.

While he was being interviewed about the incident, Craig gave police a business card showing that he is a U.S. senator. "What do you think about that?" Craig asked the officer, according to the report obtained by Roll Call.
Wow, talk about pulling rank. This isn't much better than the "do you know who I am?" defense used by many pro athletes, including one who famously showed his playing card when asked for a driver's license that he didn't have on him. Sorry, I don't have a link to that story, but trust me, it happened.
In 2006, a gay activist said he had spoken with men who had sexual encounters with Craig, including in the restrooms at Union Station. Craig's office told the Spokesman-Review of Spokane, Wash., that the allegations were "completely ridiculous." Craig is married and has three grown children.

The activist, Mike Rogers, who runs the Web site, has complained about Craig's opposition to gay rights. The conservative senator has supported an amendment to the Constitution banning same-sex marriage and voted for the Defense of Marriage Act in the 1990s. Craig, who served in the National Guard, has also spoken out against homosexuals serving in the military.
That the guy voted against same-sex marriage and spoke out against "don't ask, don't tell" is hypocritical as hell obviously, but not exactly surprising. After all, if his constituents have wondered for years if he went the other way, it's fair to say that voting for such measures would only intensify these suspicions. You don't see suspected racists voting against affirmative action do you?

Ok, bad example. Anyhow...

Between David Vitter, Mark Foley, and Randall Tobias, this has hardly been a banner year for conservatives leading double lives. Then again, it's not like Democrats are any better. Two prominent California politicians, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsome, and LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa have their own extra-marital dilemmas, so, let's just say getting your freak on within the realm of marriage is a bipartisan issue.

Note to Senator Craig: Get some help. And a new career while you're at it.

GOP Senator Pleaded Guilty After Restroom Arrest [WaPost]

Don't Let the Doorknob Hit You, Alberto

Politricks As Usual Week begins...

If you've been reading AvBro over the past couple of weeks, you've probably noticed a distinct change of topics from our usual politics and bullsh*t to more sports, entertainment, and general Negroes Behaving Badly type bullsh*t. This isn't by design.

Believe me, I'd love to blog about more substantial topics than drunken starlets and rapidly copulating athletes, but to be honest, it's a been a slow news summer for things that actually matter.

Summer's over.

Yesterday, deliberately (you can't convince me otherwise, the timing is too coincidental) obscured by the continuing Mike Vick WitchHunt (BTW, I thought Vick was honest, sincere, and genuinely contrite in his apology) were a couple of bombshells. I'll get to the Senator Larry Craig Gay Sex Scandal in a moment.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, after years of bumbling ineptitude and ride or die loyalty to the President finally stepped down. I sure as hell hope that history remembers Bush's presidency as one of not only war, but constant internal scandal. Between Harriet Miers, Rod Paige, Tom Ridge, Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Randall Tobias, Karl Rove, Bernard Kerik (briefly) and now Gonzales, the unemployment list of Bush appointees who fell from grace and were removed when it was too late to make a difference is staggering.

Gonzales, whether knowingly or through pure ignorance, did a lot of things wrong. Guantanamo Bay. Secret wiretaps. Firing federal attorneys who weren't Bush cronies. Selective amnesia. Possible perjury. It's a wonder that he didn't get kicked to the curb sooner.

Like many things Bush once hung his hat on (ie: take credit for record levels of home ownership in the early 2000's, but remain silent on record foreclosures now) but now conveniently forgets, I wonder how the whole "Cabinet that looks like America" mantra he once trumpeted sounds to him right now. Reality is, Bush appointed Gonzales (legal counsel, then Atty General), Rod Paige (Education), Condoleeza Rice (National Security Advisor, then Secretary of State), Powell (State), Elaine Chao (labor), and Alphonso Jackson (HUD) just as much for their race as he did for their capabilities.

Judging by how Powell (didn't agree with powers that be on Iraq), Paige (No Child Left Behind was a bust), and now Gonzales (a total and complete cluster) were all run out of office for failing to carry out Bush's mandates, I wonder how ole' girl Condoleeza is feeling about her job security today. In my loosely educated opinion, Gonzales was just a pawn in the game: hired to pander to a voting populace, dangled as a token Hispanic, and hung out to dry once he was deemed more of a liability than an asset. I think the man is only guilty of doing exactly what he was told to do, and nothing more. And when you think about it, that is a crime of sorts.

Happy trails, Alberto.

Embattled Gonzales Resigns [WaPost]

Get Rich Or White Tryin'?!?

Some of the feedback I've gotten on my recent post about Rappers vs Oprah Winfrey seems in indicate that quite a few people feel just like the rappers do: Oprah caters to white middle class America, and that's the real reason she is the world's only black female billionaire. Naturally, there's some truth to this, but I guess it just underscores what I've long suspected: it's impossible to become rich in America, heck, in the world for that matter without White Co-Signers.

It's entirely true that Winfrey's ability to appeal to the masses (read: the folks who don't read AvBro) is what's separated her from say, Iyanla Vanzant, who more or less is of the same ilk, and who show bit the dust after just a year. But isn't that really the case for everyone who's black and rich in America?

Think about it: by most accounts, an overwhelming majority (70% - 75%?, depending on whose figures you believe) of rap music is purchased by suburban white teens. These guys aren't purchasing 50 Cent because they want to support black bidness, they're buying 50 Cent because they want to vicserally live an exaggerated caricature of blackness. Many rappers aren't who they present themselves to be. Ludacris is college educated, although you never hear him drop this in a rhyme. Lil' Jon is the son of an Engineer and a National Guard reservist. Old Dirty Bastard, contrary to what he presented, was raised in a stable two parent working class household. We all know the story about 90's female one hit wonder, BOSS, who was classically trained pianist that coopted a gangsta chick persona loosely mimicing Ice Cube and NWA. Clearly, all of these people, and the 100's of other MySpace rappers living in their mothers basements, are catering to a lowest common denominator to sell records, mostly to people who don't look like them.

Except for easy targets like Hammer, and Young MC, I have yet to hear a rapper labeled as a sellout. Why?

Is it even possible to get rich without appealing, blatantly or not so blatantly, to people other than your own? AvBro had to do a little research.

The World's Most Accurate Encyclopedia has an entry called Black Billionaires. As of today, there are only two of them in America. Winfrey, and BET Founder, Bob Johnson. It goes without saying, that by trafficing the very images that rappers create, Johnson caters to white America.

Not-quite millionaires dominate the sports and entertainment industry. Earvin "Magic" Johnson made a name for himself playing in front of mostly white crowds for a team mostly funded by white owned corporations. Michael Jordan did the same. Tiger Woods is half (or quarter, or what the hell ever) white, and I don't need to tell you who he plays for, to, and with. Mike Tyson entertained whites, in and out of the ring, until they grew weary with his act. Michael Jackson probably wasn't been black for 20 years now, so there's no point in really mentioning him.

Indeed, among the very few extremely wealthy blacks who didn't overtly cater to whites to make their fortunes are (self-proclaimed) billionaire attorney Donald Watkins , and the late Reginald Lewis of Beatrice Foods.

My point being: why even use the "caters to white women" excuse if you're trying to down Winfrey? To me, it seems like you can't really get rich in America, without doing so on some level.

Black Billionaires [Wikipedia]

9 Babies, 9 Mamas: Travis Henry Should Be Spayed and Neutered

Negro Nonsense Month continues...

Just when you thought you'd heard the worst about athletes and paternity tests, like some weird episode of Maury comes this news out of Denver.

Denver Broncos running back Travis Henry, 28, has fathered nine children by nine women in at least four Southern states and has been ordered by various judges to provide child support for seven of them, according to court records involving one child living in DeKalb County. DeKalb Superior Court Judge Clarence Seeliger this week ordered Henry to provide $3,000 a month for the Lithonia boy he fathered out of wedlock three years ago with Jameshia Beacham, now 29.

Henry isn't the most thrifty guy, according to court records, so the judge wants to ensure payment by establishing an unusual $250,000 trust that Henry must fund by next spring. Seeliger wrote that the football player displayed "bad judgment in his spending habits," dropping $100,000 for a car and $146,000 for jewelry. Meanwhile, Henry fell behind on support payments for his child with Beacham that were mandated by a previous order. Threatened with jail, he borrowed $9,800 from his former team, the Tennessee Titans, to pay the bill, according to court records.

The trust ensures Beacham will get timely payment if the pro player falls behind on his installments again. Yet the trust could be a sticking point for Henry, who could appeal. His lawyer, Shiel Edlin, said that to his knowledge the trust would be without precedent in Georgia. A quarter-million dollars is a lot of money, even for Henry, Edlin said. "He has some concerns and he's weighing his options."
Weighing his options? If Mr. Henry is truly concerned, let me present an option: get yourself fixed.

I know that sounds dramatic, but as I've stated here before, it's not as if Henry seems to actually want these babies. Common sense would dictate that after seeing his wages garnished after Child #4, something would click and say "hmmm, maybe I should strap up". By continuing to engage in Russian Roulette with women he could probably care less about, he's clearly showing a complete lack of understanding of consequences. Also, a man who spends $150k on jewelry when he's behind on child support payments clearly isn't working with a full deck, even though he can run the heck out of a football and would be a great sleeper pick in your upcoming fantasy draft. Running behind that offensive line in Denver's system is going to mean lots of yards and TD's. But I digress.

I case you think I'm being overly judgemental here, this is the same Travis Henry who plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of attempted sexual misconduct with a 15 year old a few years ago when he played for the Buffalo Bills.

His defense? "She said she was almost 18." Classic.
Beacham could not be reached for comment. Her lawyer, Robert Wellon, said he asked that the trust be set up because Henry rarely made the payments mandated by an earlier order, though they were $800 less a month. Wellon said there was testimony establishing that Henry received a $1 million bonus earlier this year but quickly spent most of it, buying, among other things, a Mercedes and gold jewelry.

"My argument was, if he makes wise investments, other than in gold chains, then he should be able to make the payments," Wellon said.
Again, clearly not a guy working with a full deck.

Henry, obviously inspired by Hall of Famer Professional BabyMakers like Evander Holyfield (at least 11 kids), Derrick Thomas, (7 kids) and Shawn Kemp (at least 7 kids), has taken Ludacris' song "Hoes in Different Area Codes" a bit too literally.
Records show that Henry's children are scattered across both the American and National Football Conferences, including Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia. Wellon said Henry talked about gathering them together to watch him at training camp. Indeed, part of the custody arrangement Henry reached with Beacham requires two weekend visits when he is playing pro ball.

Edlin said Henry wants to be a good parent. "I know these are a lot of kids, and there might be some questions about it," he said, "but he's a really committed father."
Yes, committed to bustin' a nut. That's about the extent of that commitment.

Still, part of me says you can't blame Henry entirely. What about the women who know this man already has 6-7 kids scattered around like dominos, yet still make a conscious decision to let him go bareback? What type of self-respecting woman willingly gets herself pregnant by a man with 9 kids and 9 babymothers? What sort of support (other than financial, and only as long as he's playing even in that case) do you expect such a man to provide for your child? What kind of chick lays down with a dude like that? So, forgive me for not being very sympathetic to the babymoms here. They should know better.

Clearly, the only victims in this case are the kids. There's no way a man can effectively be a presence in the lives of 9 different children living over 4 states. Parenting requires time, patience, and as I'm finding out, a consistent physical presence to truly effect the life of your child in a positive manner. As a father of one child, with one child's mother (aka: AvgSis), I am constantly worn out. I could hardly imagine trying to raise two kids, let alone nine, and with nine different women. So, most likely, in all aspects of what a father provides (discipline, unconditional love, nurturing, protection), these kids will be ass out, by none of their own doing, but rather because a rolling stone of a running back couldn't keep it in his pants and a hoochie mama of a groupie wouldn't let him. And that, my friends, if what you call triflin'.

I know, many of you will say these kids will be well off financially, and that's probably true, at least until Henry blows out a knee and can't play anymore. But with his selfish spending habits, chances are 6-7 years from now, AvBro will be blogging about an NFL player jailed for massive arrears on child support of 15 kids by 18 mothers. And there's nothing funny about that.

Note to Travis Henry: get yourself fixed, bruh.

Broncos player ordered to pay child support in Georgia: Travis Henry reportedly fathered nine children in four states [AJC]

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Note To Rappers: Leave Oprah The **** Alone. Or Else.

Ah, another week, another ignorant rapper lashing out at Oprah Winfrey in a tired and poorly worded manner. What's new?

Oprah's list of hip-hop adversaries is lengthy. In addition to David Banner, who not coincidentally has a new album on the way, others like Ice Cube, 50 Cent, Killer Mike, and Snoop Dogg have all taken shots at her. The whole brouhaha allegedly began a couple a years back when Ludacris, on the show to promote his role in the movie Crash, felt he got blindsided by an unexpected question about his lyrics, and some creative editing.

The rapper-turned-actor was miffed when he went on her show to promote "Crash" and got severely edited because Winfrey has a rule of not promoting rap or rappers. "She edited out a lot of my comments while keeping her own in," Ludacris told GQ. "Of course, it's her show, but we were doing a show on racial discrimination, and she gave me a hard time as a rapper when I came on there as an actor.

The rapper reveals Winfrey insisted on further lecturing him on his lyrics once the show was over. He adds, "After the taping, she pulled me into a room and we had a five-minute conversation. What I got was that by having rappers on her show, she feels like she's empowering in them. "It was like being at someone's house who doesn't really want you there."

"I don't see why people like Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle, who I am huge fans of, it's OK for them to go on 'Oprah.' They speak the same language as I do, but they do it through comedy, so I guess that's acceptable."
Uh, yes, Luda. Because Chris Rock and Chappelle are comedians. They don't make songs called "Move Bitch". But I digress.

Among the many criticisms lobbied at Oprah are the relative lack of rappers that have been featured on her show, and the feeling that the show caters primarily to middle-class white women. The always eloquent 50 Cent even opined that Oprah "started out with black women's views but has been catering to middle-aged white American women for so long that she's become one herself."

Note to Hip-Hop: Oprah doesn't owe you shit!

The rappers above fail to realize a few key things. First, and foremost, Oprah is 53 years old. There's a great chance that her day to day activities don't include watching 106th and Park and crankin' that Soulja Boy. If she doesn't want to bring on artists whose lyrics she finds offensive it's her own business, she isn't obligated to have anyone on her show. She is not of the hip-hop generation, so to expect her to be Dee Barnes isn't just unrealistic, it's delusional.

Does Oprah's show "cater" to middle-aged white women? Not in my opinion. I think it just caters to women, period, regardless of age or race. If you want something more gender, and age appropriate, Maury's always on. Perhaps that's more your speed, you know, with the paternity results shows and whatnot. And if a majority of her viewers just happen to be white, so what? It's well known that a majority of those who buy rap albums are white, and probably a good number of those consumers are female. Whoop-de-damn-do! Pot, meet kettle.

I also get a bit tired of hearing people say Oprah doesn't do anything for the black community. Bullsh*t. When you're a billionaire, giving away money is a full time job just to keep the IRS off your ass. Oprah's given away millions over the years, to HBCU's (she's a Tennesse State alum), community centers, scholarship programs, etc. Let's not forget the recent opening of South Africa’s Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls.

What exactly have rappers done to help advance our communities? BET UnCut? Celebrity weekends that don't actually end up producing any money for charity? Vile and self-congratulatory "benefit concerts"? P.I.M.P scholarships? Negroes, please.

Finally, let's not overlook one very, very important fact: At a net worth of $1.5 Billion, Oprah is the richest self-made woman in America. Translation: if she gets tired of getting bashed by no-hit-wonders like David Banner, she could probably just make a couple of phone calls and have his sh*t cut slam the f*ck off. Remember how Hammer was talkin' smack for a minute about being a better dancer than Michael Jackson? Mike got off one of those tweens long enough to give one of his connects a ring, and faster than you can say "Chapter 11", Hammer's ass was doing self-parodying commercials and dancing for chicken. I'm just sayin', it can happen.

There's some obvious woman hating going on here, but I suspect some of this criticism is just bad rappers wanting to get the same shine and acclaim as their better known peers. Oprah has featured LL Cool J, Kanye West, Common, Queen Latifah, Missy Elliott, and of course Will Smith over the years, so it's not like she doesn't have rappers on. But to expect her show to become Sucker Free Sundays is just stignorant.

Oprah's obviously not without fault. Her shows sometimes shy away from significant discussions on black issues, and she tends to over sensationalize to a dangerous degree on occasion. Then again, it's TV. It's not supposed to be all things to all people. If you want a serious examination of race, or heck, any topic for that matter, stop expecting to be spoon fed and go read a book.

Whatever you do, David Banner and Co. better learn one lesson: Don't mess with the Queen of All Media!

Get At Me Dog!!! DMX Is Next Contestant in Witch Hunt.

If you're a black man with a dog, this might be a good time to consider other pet options.

Maricopa County sheriff's deputies found three dead dogs and seized 12 undernourished pit bulls Friday from the Cave Creek-area home of rapper-turned-actor DMX.

Deputies, armed with a search warrant, also found drug paraphernalia, a cache of weapons and several cars with license plates that could not be traced back to the vehicles they were on, authorities said.

"We have to send a message," said Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, "that we're not going to put up with animal cruelty, no matter who they are."

The dogs were seized after officials received reports about two weeks ago of "animal abuse/neglect" at the home, said Capt. Paul Chagolla of the Sheriff's Office.
Bipolar and washed up as he is, DMX didn't deserve this. I can't substantiate it, but I'm 99% sure that whomever called in and snitched to cops about his, uhh, dogs, was gassed up 24/7 Mike Vick coverage, and felt compelled to do something. I'm sure animal rights activists will see this as a noble thing. As a black man, who admittedly doesn't really care much for dogs though, I can't help but think this is the beginning of a new, really absurd type of racial profiling.

X, of course, didn't do himself any favors by having a sh*tload of guns and "a half pound of illegal narcotics" on him. I'm sure the authorities will take one look at his rap sheet, and given the current climate, throw the book at him. Earl, meet your new cellmate Jamal Barrow. Now THAT would be a good album.

DMX isn't the only rapper known to have well known links to organized kennels. Antwan Patton, better known as Big Boi from Outkast is the owner of a well known kennel in Georgia. Now that most of the bandwagon "Hey Ya" fans that abandoned the group after the disastrous Idlewild have moved on to another fad, something tells me Mr. Patton better be on his P's and Q's. For that matter, any black man might wanna learn a new mantra.

In this post-Vick era, dogs are not a black man's best friend.

Dogs seized from rapper's home [AZ Republic]

Friday, August 24, 2007

White Chicks Rule: Take II

Further proof that blonds (okay white ones... or at least somewhat white ones) do indeed have more fun.

Nicole Richie was released from jail Thursday after serving 82 minutes of a four-day sentence for driving under the influence of drugs.

The reality show star, who checked into a women's jail at 3:15 p.m., was released at 4:37 p.m. "based on her sentence and federal guidelines," Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Maribel Rizo said without elaborating.

Under a federal court mandate to manage jail overcrowding, arrestees sentenced to 30 days or less for a nonviolent offense are usually released within 12 hours, the sheriff's department said in a statement.

Under the guidelines, Richie was "treated in the same manner as other inmates with a similar sentence," the statement said.

Richie, 25, was originally sentenced to 96 hours in jail, but that was reduced to 90 hours because of time served when she was arrested.
Not to be outdone, Lindsay Blohan copped a light sentence of her own.
Lindsay Lohan reached a plea deal Thursday on misdemeanor drunken driving and cocaine charges that calls for her to spend one day in jail, serve 10 days of community service and complete a drug treatment program.

She was also placed on 36 months probation, is required to complete an 18-month alcohol education program, pay hundreds of dollars in fines and must complete a three-day county coroner program in which she'll visit a morgue and talk to victims of drunken drivers.

"It is clear to me that my life has become completely unmanageable because I am addicted to alcohol and drugs," Lohan said in a statement released by publicist Leslie Sloane Zelnik.

She said she did things she was ashamed of. "I broke the law and today I took responsibility by pleading guilty to the charges in my case."
Ahh, to be white (or at least half in Richie's case) in America. Williams Sonoma. Dockers. Jamba Juice. The Rolling Stones. Wayne Brady. The perks are endless.

Of course, just in case you were somehow unaware of just how great it is to be white, the fine folks at the AP and MTV took the liberty of scientifically proving it.
From their relationships to their jobs to their money even from they time they first roll out of bed young white Americans are happier with life than their minority counterparts.

According to an extensive survey of 1,280 people ages 13-24 by The Associated Press and MTV, 72 percent of whites say they are happy with life in general, compared with 51 percent of Hispanics and 56 percent of blacks.
Wow, I always suspected that with racial profiling, police brutality, bell curves, and Karl Rove, things were pretty shitty for me because I'm black. Thanks to The Associated Press and MTV for rubbing my nose in this shitty existence of mine.

Preciate' it, dude.

Nicole Richie quickly sprung from jail [AP]

Lohan gets 1 day in jail on DUI plea [AP]

Poll: White Youths Happier Than Others [ABC]

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Put on a Freakin' Belt Already

Old Folks Completely Detached From Reality Week continues...

Welcome To Atlanta, Where The Playaz Play. And pull up ya' damn pants, shawty!

Baggy pants that show boxer shorts or thongs would be illegal under a proposed amendment to Atlanta's indecency laws. The amendment, sponsored by city councilman C.T. Martin, states that sagging pants are an "epidemic" that is becoming a "major concern" around the country.

"Little children see it and want to adopt it, thinking it's the in thing," Martin said Wednesday. "I don't want young people thinking that half-dressing is the way to go. I want them to think about their future."

The proposed ordinance would also bar women from showing the strap of a thong beneath their pants. They would also be prohibited from wearing jogging bras in public or show a bra strap, said Debbie Seagraves, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia.

The proposed ordinance states that "the indecent exposure of his or her undergarments" would be unlawful in a public place. It would go in the same portion of the city code that outlaws sex in public and the exposure or fondling of genitals.
Where do I begin?

I have peeps in the "A", and find it a generally pleasant place to visit from time to time. On the other hand, it isn't Disneyland, and clearly like most big cities, it has it's share of problems with murders, drugs, corruption, and of course really, really bad rap music.

While I personally thing saggy pants are a most tacky, ghetto mess this side of fingerwaves, I can't imagine that they're enough of a problem for an otherwise busy city council to have to address. C.T. Martin, the fine fella who thought it was such a critical item that he sponsored the amendment, doesn't even have it listed among "The Issues" on his own website. Appropriately, crime, recreation, senior outreach, and beautification efforts are noted.

Basically, this is just another example of the outrageous chasm of understanding between Civil Rights era politicos like Mr. Martin, and the youth they are supposed to be shepherding. Yeah, I know, baggy pants are an extension of prison culture, blah, blah, blah. But unless the fine City of Atlanta has already solved the issues of the achievement gap, eradicating murders, their godawful foreclosure rates, and snap music, they really don't need to be bothering with this. Surely, there are bigger trout to fry.

Maynard Jackson is crying inside.

Atlanta Considers Banning Baggy Pants [Forbes]

PETA Is Hypocritical

So, let's see. Mike Vick gets reamed in the press for his part in an elaborate dogfighting scheme, and rightfully so. PETA seized the opportunity to take advantage of an easy mark to advance their agenda. Vick cops a plea. Everyone's happy. Thanks for coming out, God bless, good night.

Not so fast.

Turns out there were actually quite a few of the neglected dogs still alive. Since they're so passionate about all God's creatures, you'd think the fine folks at PETA would swoop right in and adopt these poor canines, giving them a safe and loving home for once, right?

Uh, not exactly.

The deadline has come and gone for the owners of 53 pit bulls seized in April from the Virginia property owned by Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick to claim the animals, but the dogs' fate remains in limbo. Prosecutors have asked a federal judge for permission to exterminate the pit bulls, but it's not known when this would take place.

Owners had until 5 p.m. ET Thursday to claim dogs, said Mary Kay Hatton, division manager for the Clerk's Office at the U.S. Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. She said she's not expecting a judge to rule on the prosecutors' request.

Two of the dogs have died, and a third was returned to its owner August 13, according to court documents filed Thursday.

Officials and animal rights advocates agree that the dogs should be killed because their brutal training could make them a threat to people and other animals.

"These dogs are a ticking time bomb," Daphna Nachminovitch, a spokeswoman for PETA, told reporters. "Rehabilitating fighting dogs is not in the cards. It's widely accepted that euthanasia is the most humane thing for them."
So, let me see if I have this right: PETA, after slamming Vick for killing dogs, is going to allow half a hunned of them to be offed? Never mind the fact that dogfighting itself doesn't usually result in dead dogs (Vick killed the losers on his own, just out of spite). How much sense does that make?

To put things in some sort of perspective, nearly 10 million animals are euthanized in the US each year, but I'll dare you, heck, double dog dare you to tell me the last time such a case involving an animal drew this sort of scrutiny. Go ahead, Google dat' and holler back at me.

Seriously though: PETA dominates the news cycles for damn near a full month arguing for ethical treatment of animals, yet when they have the opportunity to actually save some a for a change, they punt. What part of the game is that? Ironically, the world's most accurate encyclopedia notes that PETA has come under scrutiny in the past for the number of animals they've had euthanized, so maybe this is just par for the course. They've also campaigned against KFC in the past, so clearly they aren't the black man's best friend.

This simply goes to prove my point: PETA jumped on this case, not to save these animals, but to advance their agenda, whatever in the hell it might be. They succeeded here, their work is done, and hey, if a few more animals had to die in the process, so be it.

Translation: YOU try spending another 2 weeks in Virginia in August! The guy's in jail, we're goin' home.

Net-Net: a dead dog is a dead dog. By passing when they had the opportunity to save the very animals they accused Mike Vick of putting in danger, PETA exposes itself as nothing more than a bunch of self-righteous, puppy loving hypocrites.

PETA: People Enthralled with Their Agenda. I like the sound of that.

Deadline passes for dog owners in Vick case to claim animals [CNN]

Stephon Marbury Is An Idiot

The Mike Vick Fallout Continues...

Stephon Marbury just had to find a way to blow all the good PR he's gotten for putting out those surprisingly high quality $15 basketball shoes. Yep, we all knew it was too good to be true.

Sometimes I wonder why reporters ask athletes dumb questions, knowing they're bound to get dumb answers like this.

New York Knicks guard Stephon Marbury defended Michael Vick, calling dogfighting a sport and comparing it to hunting.

Marbury spoke Monday about the federal dogfighting conspiracy charges against Vick while promoting his basketball shoe in Albany, N.Y.

"I think it's tough,'' Marbury said, according to Albany TV station Capital News 9. "I think, you know, we don't say anything about people who shoot deer or shoot other animals. You know, from what I hear, dogfighting is a sport. It's just behind closed doors.''
Newsflash Steph: dogfighting isn't a sport. Curling is. So is competitive eating. Dogfighting? Not so much.
"I think it's tough that we build Michael Vick up and then we break him down,'' Marbury said. "I think he's one of the superb athletes, and he's a good human being. I just think that he fell into a bad situation.''
Vick didn't fall into a bad situation, he created one himself and dove in head first. The NFL gave him the world, and he handed it back, covered in chicken grease and weed residue. Marbury, no stranger to alienated teammates and bad situations of his own making, comes out of this looking just as bad as Vick (ok, maybe not that bad, but still, it hurts).

Stick to hustling your cheap affordable shoes leave the social commentary to more qualified minds, Steph. Or at least get back to your cable access show so we can enjoy more classic moments like these...

That clip nevar gets old. If you didn't find it amusing, you clearly didn't watch the whole thing. Do yourself a favor and watch it again. And again. Pure entertain-mint.

On a related, but just as irrelevant note, the NAACP is advocating on Vick's behalf now. I guess the whole Jena Six thing isn't sexy enough to stay after, or at least there aren't enough cameras covering it.

Negroes. Please.

W.E.B. Dubois is crying inside.

See The Shockingly Bad Video Yourself [SportsNet.Ca]

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

White Chicks Rule

Snort coke. Drive drunk. Steal a car. Chase a former acquaintance. Wreck a car. Flee the scene of the crime. Blame "the black kid". Ditch rehab.

This might sound like the rap sheet of your favorite female rapper, but au contraire, it's just a basic party weekend for falling starlet Lindsay Lohan.

True to form, despite her coke fueled Memoral Day bust, Lohan may get off scott free.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ there is a "strong possibility" the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office will NOT file felony charges against Lindsay Lohan in connection with her two DUI arrests.

We're told charges may be filed tomorrow, and the D.A. is leaning toward rejecting three possible felonies. Sources say the D.A. almost certainly will not file cocaine charges in connection with her DUI bust Memorial Day weekend in Beverly Hills.

As for her July 24 arrest in Santa Monica, the D.A. could charge her with felony cocaine possession, and bringing cocaine into a correctional facility -- also a felony. But we're told that the D.A. is inclined not to file those felony charges either.

That basically leaves misdemeanor DUI charges for both incidents. If Lohan is found guilty of both, she'd have to serve a minimum of four days in jail, and that beats prison, baby!
Damn. To be (bleached) blond, (silicone enhanced) busty, and (starvation diet) thin. What. A. Life.

Lohan and fellow (peroxide) blonde starlets like Britney Spears and Paris Hilton just prove time and time again that White Women's Coochie is the world's most powerful commodity, since it's more or less what all white men (who rule the world) value most. I could go off on some "if they were black chicks" tangent, but really, what's the point? Black men barely value black women.

Oddly enough, I don't really, really blame any of these women for their moronic actions. They, like Mike Vick, Mike Tyson, etc. are simple products of their environments. Lohan's parents are dysfunctional drunkards who have depended on her for every meal and mortgage payment since she was 9. Spears is a trailer trash chick done good (for awhile at least). Hilton's air of privilege and entitlement was no doubt fostered by parents who probably had better things to do than raise kids, and instead let her raise herself with a trust fund and gold card. This broad didn't even finish high school.

We'd be crazy to expect anything better. Seriously.

Lohan May Dodge the World's Biggest Bullet [TMZ]

Somebody Cares About Missing Black Women

CNN and USAToday may not give a crap about missing black women, but at least somebody does. A quick shout out to Deidra at the Black and Missing blog.

Give it a visit.

Random Web Junk

AvgBro Actually Works Week continues...

Bill O'Reilly is at it yet again. I'm not saying Nas is the cleanest of rappers (let's not forget this dude made a song called "Oochie Wallie" which was basically about running a train on a groupie), but for Bill O'Reilly to suggest that he shouldn't be invited to VATech is ridiculous. Let's not forget, VATech accepted money for massacre victims from R Kelly's benefit track/PR ploy on iTunes. If Robert Sylvester Kelly is good enough for the Hokies, so is Nasir Jones.

Then again, Bill O'Reilly (nor his "hip-hop expert" counterpart) can't even pronounce the name "Nas" (it's Noz, not Nazz, dummies) correctly, so I guess any debate here is falling on deaf ears. Of course, O'Reilly has to make Mike Vick, rap music, and black culture in general responsible for this somehow. BTW< how do you like the old black dude vs young black dude dynamic? The old "divide and conquer technique" is tried and true for ratings, but is really necessary?

Then again, even Time Magazine knows Hip Hop is Dead, so who really gives a flyin' flip?

Either way, if you want to get yourself all riled up for 10 mins, have a listen.

No, this isn't a MadTV skit. Yes, this is a real ad. Where are The Black Crusaders when you need em'?

Jesus help us!

This isn't quite as bad, in fact, it's pretty cool. This dude reminds me of that uncle we all have who got a real job, but couldn't give up his R&B sanga aspirations.

Eff' a swap meet, it's just like a Mini-Mall.

Mike Vick Is Not a Political Prisoner

Since Hip Hop is crap, I spend 90% of my commute listening to talk radio, including DC's black talk station, WOL-1450am. Since Mike Vick decided to cop a plea yesterday, I've digested hour upon hour of call-in opinions on stations across the dial. People seem to fall into one of two categories when speaking about this case.

1. Mike Vick should burn in hell for killing those dogs
2. Mike Vick is the new school Mumia Abu-Jamal

I can't really say I subscribe to either train of thought. I don't necessarily think that what Vick did was bad. Chalk this up to one of many factors: a bad childhood incident with a dog, complete apathy towards Peta, or the fact that while I'm a sports fan, I don't really care too much for football. Either way, I just fail to see the logic at either end of the spectrum.

Still, one thing that seems to stick out most to me, is the insistence of any callers, nearly all of them black, that Vick getting caught up in this dogfighting scheme was somehow a "conspiracy". I've heard callers spout the Festival Of Typical Negro Soundbytes like "build you up to tear you down", "if this was a white man...", "this is another way they maintain white supremacy", "they're trying to set an example of him", "what about Mark McGuire", and all types of other BS.


Reality is, Vick bought this on himself. Period. There is no disputing that he provided funding, was well aware that such activities were taking place on his property, and may have even participated in the torture of a number of dogs. There's nothing noble about that. Your boy is guilty, and his 12-18 month sentence (you know he won't do more than a year tops) is appropriate punishment, this being a federal offense and all.

Still, I couldn't help but wonder: why do we still stick up for people "cause they black", when they're clearly in the wrong? Believe me, I was raised with the "don't talk bad in front of company" code, which says don't badmouth another brotha in front of "them". I think that's somewhat understandable when I consider how one sided the media (especially unfiltered media like blogs and sports talk radio) can be when discussing issues that involve blacks. Listening to host after host refer to dogfighting as "a black thing", I wanted to call in and put somebody on blast myself. But how you explain the same tired dialogue on a black talk radio station? Who exactly is the "company" that we're not trying to talk bad in front of?

If we can't keep it real with ourselves, can't be honest, truthful, and transparent about the flaws of our people, then how will our situation ever get better?

On this blog, I try to present an unbiased, straight to the point assessment of current events, usually ones that involve "us". This often means I'm going to end up ruffling some feathers, since because I call em' like I see em', I'm often going to make some other black people look bad. I've been called some pretty bad things by commenters here since AvBro started: sexist, racist, a race traitor, even a Republican (gasp). But I can't NOT tell the truth. Sorry. If the truth is too much for you, find a kinder, gentler blog someplace else. It's a free country.

While I don't think Mike Vick did anything particularly heinous, I don't think he deserves your sympathy. Reality is, Vick has a $130M contract to play a child's sport, and threw it all away to help a few of his boys run an illegal dogfighting scheme. Even worse, his boys all ended up snitching on him, violating every Rule of Weed Carrying in the process. They should be tarred and feathered. But that doesn't make Mike Vick a saint, and it doesn't mean he shouldn't pay for his part in this whole thing. In addition to pleading guilty to dogfighting, Mike is guilty of very poor judgement.

That doesn't make him a political prisoner.

Playing to Wrong Crowd: Longtime Loyalties Are Seen as Culprits In Vick's Undoing [WashPost]

Monday, August 20, 2007

AvBro News Briefs

AvBro, contrary to popular belief, does indeed have a Day Job, and does indeed work (from time to time). Thus, in the interest of time, here's a quick rundown of some stuff that's interesting, but not interesting enough for the full post treatment.

Newark College Student Killers Found

I opined last week that mayors, like Newark's Corey Booker, can't be held responsible for murders, just for making sure the right people are in place to solve them. Turns out I was somewhat correct here. Six men, presumably illegal aliens associated with the MS-13 Salvadoran gang, have been arrested in connection with last week's gruesome triple murders. No motive has been given yet, but some suspect the slayings were gang related, possibly a part of some bizarre initiation ritual.

While this certainly doesn't bring back those Delaware State students, at least the family can find some solace in knowing that the alleged killers will have their days in court. That has to count for something.

Manhunt nets last of 6 suspects: Arrest in Newark crime takes place in Elizabeth [New Star-Ledger]

When Art Doesn't Imitate Life

I was too lazy to write a review of Don Cheadle's excellent movie Talk to Me, which may or may not still be in theaters. Still, I wondered just how accurate the movie's depiction of legendary DC talk radio host Petey Green actually was. Turns out: not so accurate. A recent Post article exposed the movie as a made for Hollywood star vehicle for Cheadle, which wasn't very true to Green's real life story, and overplayed the relationship between Green and radio magnate Dewey Hughes to turn what was an icy relationship into a feel-good buddy film. While the movie is certainly entertaining, it's lack of accuracy has outraged Green's family, who weren't even invited to it's local premiere, and had to pay to see the movie themselves. They also weren't even consulted while the film was being made, nor have they received any royalties. Green's burial site doesn't even have a headstone.

Maybe it's somewhat karmic that the movie, however entertaining, is tanking at the box office.

Left Out of the Picture: For Petey Greene's Family, 'Talk to Me' Is Anything but a Feel-Good Hit [WashPost]

All Is Forgiven When You're 6-11 With A Jumphot

Washington Wizards forward, Andray Blatche, was of course arrested a couple of weeks ago for soliciting sex from an undercover police officer. At the time, I said that while Blatche's indiscretion probably wouldn't mean the team would completely cut ties with him, the 5 year, $12M offer he had on the table would likely be greatly reduced.

Turns out AvBro was completely wrong after all (for once). Blatche just signed a 5 year, $15M contract with the team. So, if my logic and math are correct, it seems that he was actually rewarded an extra $3M for soliciting a prostitute.

What. A. Country.

AverageBaby isn't even a year old, but I've already got him working on dribbling (juice and basketballs) to his left. Now, if I can just find a child-friendly version of one of those ancient stretching racks, we'll be well on our way to millionaire status is about 17 years. To hell with flashcards and Baby Einstein. Education is for punks anyway.

James Worthy is crying inside.

Despite legal woes, Wizards re-sign F Blatche [AP]

Some Rappers Should Really Just Shut The &*#% Up

Al Sharpton, with his snazzy perm and tricky vocabulary, is an easy target for many, but rapper David Banner is perhaps taking things a bit far with his recent tirades against Sharpton and Oprah Winfrey.

As previously reported by SOHH, Sharpton organized protests across the nation earlier this week, calling for the end of the music industry's government funding, unless rap artists clean up its act. The reverend is specifically demanding the removal of the words n***er, b***h and h*e from rap recordings.

Now, members of the hip-hop community are speaking in their own defense against Sharpton's crusade. David Banner weighed in on the subject, saying that he is not and has never been a fan of Sharpton and that he is doing more to hurt the situation than to help.

"The next time you see Al Sharpton, tell him I said @#*$ him and he can suck my @#*$," an animated David Banner exclaimed. "I might change the name of my album from The Greatest Story Never Told to @#*$ Al Sharpton. I hate Al Sharpton. This is the kind of @#!* that I'm talking about. They're killing kids in New Jersey and all across the country and all a @#*$% got to talk about is rap lyrics? @#*$ that about they're our elders and we gotta respect them. I'm tired of this. They're like the parents, but the parents are crucifying the kids.

"They tried to crucify Nelly and Akon...we need to come together because they're only doing this because we're not saying anything," Banner added. "He's [Sharpton] a permed-out pimp. Him and Jesse Jackson are out here charging people to do rallies with them. They're more worried about their investors than our kids. Tell him David Banner said it."

"@#*$%s talk a good game about we need to clean up the hood and the lyrics and all that. But I'm out here doing it. Who can say that?"
Boy, talk about subtle critiques.

Banner, like many rappers, is missing the bigger point here. Reverend Al may indeed have some issues of his own, but if your entire (misguided) point is to defend your right to free speech, is this really the best way to go about that?

Banner, the rare college educated rapper, with not one, but two degrees, should probably be more savvy about how to approach such a topic, and how to show reverence for his elders. Then again, if my career prospects hinged on my ability to continue making songs such as "Like A Pimp (Make Them Hoes Get Down On The Floor)", and "Don't Play Wit It' (Work Them Hips, Run Girl)", maybe I'd be a bit desperate about music censorship as well.

Note to David Banner: Do Better.

Listen to Banner talk (ignorantly) about rift with Sharpton/Jesse []

Daily Hip-Hop News: SOHH Exclusive: David Banner Revolts Against The Rev, "F**k Al Sharpton...He's A Permed-Out Pimp" []

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Media Still Doesn't Care About Missing Black Women

I'll freely admit that I'm pretty hard on the media here at AvBro, especially as pertains to the subject of race. A solid 75% of the posts here are race related. I'm sure many of my Caucasian readers will wonder "why on Earth is this guy so obsessed with race?". The answer is simple, a black man in America can't afford NOT being "obsessed" with race. You can't avoid it, especially when it's so in your face, all day everyday.

The cumulative effect is, after 30-some years on this planet, I tend to look at everything with a 3rd eye. Thus, when I'm reading a story with any racial undertone, I'm either seeing:

1) A writer who completely missed the point.
2) A writer who hit the point.
3) A writer who tried to hit the point, but ended up missing.

Sadly, scenario three is the case in evaluating MSN's series on the disparity between missing persons coverage in the media.

Anytime the media tries to be critical of itself, you know you could be dealing with a mixed bag. Sure, all papers have Ombudsmen (women too) to catch errors and tactically field reader complaints, but when media outlets try to self-police, they often toe a fine line between discrediting themselves and trying to be self-examinatory. Such is this story on missing persons.

If you've followed this site for any period of time, you know I have been very critical of media coverage of the Stepha Henry missing persons case. It's comparative lack of coverage vis-a-vis, say the Jessie Davis case has been startling. Anyone with half a brain knows this is because Henry is black. After all, black people, kids, women, men, and the elderly, go missing everyday. This has been the case since the beginning of time, but there's yet to be a black or Hispanic Laci Peterson, or Chandra Levy.

MSN's Michele Chan Santos tries to tackle the reasons behind this startling disparity, focusing specifically on the Henry case, and just when we think we're getting somewhere, totally drops the ball.

If you are kidnapped or missing, it helps to be the right race, age, social class and gender. Otherwise, don't expect the media to cover your story. "Sex sells, kidnapping sells, but not every kidnapping is equal," says Roy Peter Clark, vice president and senior scholar at the Poynter Institute, a training center for journalists in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Kelly Bennett, a case manager for the National Center for Missing Adults, agrees. "Unless it's a pretty girl ages 20 to 35, the media exposure is just not there," she says. The most highly profiled missing persons cases in recent years have fit into this category: Chandra Levy, Laci Peterson, Jessie Marie Davis. All of these women were also white.
I guess the inference here is that black women, notably Henry, aren't pretty. Bullsh*t.
What about Stepha Henry, a 22-year-old black woman who disappeared while on vacation in Florida in May? Her case has gotten some media attention, but her face and story haven't received the same relentless level of coverage as those of other missing young women.

Henry's case, however, has not been taken up by the media with the same fervor as that of Jessie Marie Davis, a 26-year-old pregnant white woman who disappeared from her Canton, Ohio, home in mid-June, about two weeks after Henry was reported missing. Media coverage of Davis' disappearance was nonstop. TV stations nationwide, as well as newspapers and magazines, followed the case closely. Thousands of people volunteered to search for her.

The disparity in exposure for the two cases is evident on the Web, too. A news search on Davis returns almost 20 times the results of a search on Henry.

There even seems to be a difference in reward money. The FBI offered $10,000 for information on Davis. Currently, there is a $6,000 reward for information to help find Henry, but that sum came from donations. Henry's family contributed $4,000; Crime Stoppers offered $1,000; and another $1,000 was donated by a family friend.

"There is a huge disparity between black missing women and white missing women when it comes to coverage," Goslee says. "If Stepha could receive half the coverage of the other white girls who are missing, they might find her."

People of every race and age disappear. But missing minorities, men and the elderly simply don't generate as much media interest.
Sadly enough, as opposed to digging deeper into why news outlets don't consider missing minorities as important as missing white chicks, the story veers off into the Netherworld of White Guy Excuses, stating (correctly) that white men, and men in general don't drum up as much media attention either. Nor do less classy" white women, like prostitutes and runaway sex workers.

This may all be true, but it still doesn't answer the question central to the debate: why isn't Stepha Henry getting the media attention that's needed to locate her?

I give MSN a bit of credit for at least attempting to tackle this issue, but by diluting the question by introducing related, yet irrelevant issues like celebrity coverage (Paris Hilton bounced Henry from MSNBC), class, and aesthetics, they just seem to prove my very point.

Even when they pretend to, the media still doesn't give a sh*t about black women. What's new?

Missing People Face Disparity in Media Coverage [MSN]

Part 2: Law Enforcement Reaction to Missing Person Reports Vary [MSN]

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

When Girl Rappers Attack

Nigga Nonsense Week continues...

Do the ladies run this mutha mutha... heck yeah. Today at least.

Never one to run from trouble, completely irrelevant raptress Foxy Brown caught yet another case last night. Yawn.

Rapper Foxy Brown was charged with smacking her longtime neighbor with her Blackberry cell phone in the Prospect Heights section of Brooklyn last month.

According to reports the 27-year-old, whose real name is Inga Marchand, turned herself in to detectives at the 77 Precinct at around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon. She was charged with felony assault, menacing, harassment and criminal possession of a weapon. Brown was arraigned last night and released on $5,000 bail. Her next court date is Sept. 26.

Police say the trouble-prone rapper, who is on parole, was accused of assaulting her 25-year-old neighbor on July 30 at around 6:50 p.m. at the corner of Carlton Avenue and Prospect Place.
So, Fox Boogie, who hasn't had a hit since... damn, she ain't had no parts of a hit since Touch Me Tease Me, and I was still in college then. When your rap sheet is longer than your Rap Sheet, maybe it's time to pick another career. I hear UPS is hirin', Inga. Give em' a call.

This has hardly been a banner year for rap chicks.

Remy Ma allegedly tries to off her ex-stylist for stealing from her purse.

Lil' Kim, already fresh out the click, is now dating Ray J, which means a sex adult themed tape is coming sooner than you can say "licky licky".

Eve can't lay off the booze after her shitty UPN show was canned. Oh, she had a sex adult themed tape leaked too.

Khia (the one hit wonder behind the classic hit My Neck, My Back, a song so filthy, you'll need a tetanus shot when you're finished listening to it) is a walking mugshot.

Jackie-O (the one hit wonder behind the classic hit, My Nookie) is a hot ghetto mess as always.

Trina (the one hit wonder behind the classic hit.... uhh???) loses a $300k home to foreclosure.

Kelis, who isn't a rapper, but married one for good measure, gets arrested for screaming racial profanities at cops. (seriously, WTF?)

We all know how screwed up Lauryn Hill is.

Surely I'm missing someone here, but do we really need any more examples?

Women have always fought for equal treatment in hip-hop, since way back when Roxanne Roxanne battled UTFO. When the female rap game went from "chicks with skills" (think Jean Grae and Bahamadia) to "trickin' on wax" (think Foxy & Lil' Kim) in the mid-90's, I wondered what the long term effect would be. Alas, with rap music hardly selling nowadays, it's only logical that female rappers would end up on the ass end of the pyramid. Sadly enough, these ladies only have themselves to blame. And thus, Lil' Mama is about as good at it gets nowadays. When songs about Lip Gloss are the best you can offer, it's no wonder that girl rappers stay losing.

MC Lyte is crying inside.

Foxy Brown in trouble again; charged with felony assault [ABC7Online]

Revenge of the Nappy Headed Ho's

Frivolous Lawsuits Week continues here at AvBro...

Yesterday, we brought you a story of incredible Nigga Nonsense involving a black man suing a florist for more or less helping his wife bust him, exposing an affair. Today, the ladies, never to be outdone, have their moment in the spotlight.

A member of the Rutgers women's basketball team sued Don Imus and CBS on Tuesday, claiming the radio personality's sexist and racist comments about the team damaged her reputation.

Kia Vaughn filed the lawsuit alleging slander and defamation of character in state Supreme Court in the Bronx the same day Imus settled with CBS Radio in a deal that pre-empts his threatened $120 million breach-of-contract lawsuit against CBS. The settlement allows him to make a comeback bid at a new station.

There is no dollar amount listed in the suit.

"This is about Kia Vaughn's good name," Ancowitz said. "She would do anything to return to her life as a student and respected basketball player, a more simple life before Imus opened his mouth on April 4."
Hmmm, where do I begin? Part of me says Kia should get a little something for her inconvenience here. After all, let's not forget that the Rutgers ladies lost the national title game to the Tennessee Lady Vols, so having their names dragged through the mud by Imus was the proverbial insult added to injury.

That being said, I can't really understand how this whole fiasco damaged her reputation. Your average cat on the street didn't know Kia Vaughn before Imus, and wouldn't know her afterward had she not filed this B.S. lawsuit in the wake of his settlement with CBS. If she really wanted to "return to her life as a student and respected basketball player", wouldn't she be better off just shutting up and working on Mikan drills, rather than getting her name in the paper yet again? And you have to love the dubious timing of the whole thing, Vaughn just happens to file her lawsuit the same day that Imus' settlement is announced. This hardly sounds like someone who wants to just move on with life.

Homegirl is tryin' to get pizzaid! Those Greenberg and Bederman commercials must work after all.

If I'm trying to understand her rationale here, maybe Vaughn is suing because her rep as a result of this media exposure could adversely effect her future employment prospects. This would be 100% valid and logical. But if Kia really wanted to preserve her reputation, wouldn't it be in her best interest to keep her name out of the papers as much as possible?

Any sane employer will see her resume in the pile, run a Google/Nexis search, and see that she's a former Rutgers player. Since damn near the entire country was sympathetic to her, this could only be a plus. However, now that she's managed to eff' around and throw a questionable lawsuit out there too, I'm guessing that most employers will say "too much baggage". Bad move, Kia. Really bad move. So, as much as it pains me, I have to file this one under Nigga Nonsense.

If Vaughn really wants to restore her rep, she'll get back to those Mikan drills and work on finishing with her left hand. Because once the judge drops this lawsuit like it's hot, the WNBA is about the only place she's gonna be able to work.

Althea Gibson
is crying inside.

Rutgers player sues Imus and CBS Radio [AP]

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

More Black Men Are Dying In B'More Than Baghdad.... Yawn.

[I don't usually do the whole "forward this post to everybody you know" thing, but this is serious biz. Please take a break from fwd people more Microsoft free money, and Tommy Hilfiger on Oprah email hoaxes, and shoot this one to your mailing list instead. You'll thank me later, and they'll thanl you.]

There are lies, damn lies, and statistics. Sometimes though, the numbers simply tell the truth, and this truth hurts like a mutha'. Read it and weep.

Black Americans accounted for 13 percent of the U.S. population in 2005 but were the victims of about 15 percent of all of the nonfatal violent crime and about 49 percent of all homicides, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. Blacks were victims of an estimated 805,000 nonfatal violent crimes (rape, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault and simple assault) and of about 8,000 homicides during 2005.
I know I'm usually on joke time, but ain't a damn thang funny here, folks. We're just over 10% of the population, yet nearly half of all murder victims.

This ain't the KKK, this is black men killing other black men. It's an everyday occurrence as common as the sun rising that only really makes the news when it's something particularly heinous. Still, murder is murder. Children, fathers, sons, mothers, aunties, uncles, grandpas, and nephews are killed erryday, and all day. The killings go on, and on, and on, yet there's no moral outrage. No special government program. No march. No boycott. No special episode of 20/20. No commemorative concert. No benefit track on iTunes.

No nothing.

Black people erase each other's lives on the daily, and nobody gives a shit. We just keep leanin', rockin', and pop lock' & droppin'. Oh, and killing more and more of each other.

Somebody please make some sense of this for me.

8,000 black Americans were killed in 2005. Just to put that in perspective, we currently in year 4 of an expensive and seemingly never-ending war in Iraq. 846 American soldiers were killed there in 2005.

800 killed in a war. 8,000 killed at home. A black man is safer in Baghdad than he is in Baltimore.

Chew on that one for a second.

It's very easy to point fingers here at all of the underlying issues that cause black people, especially men, to kill one another at such a prolific clip. If I put one of those Soundbite Olympics panels of black talking heads together, I'm sure the usual explanations like lack of economic opportunities, Willie Lynch, the legacies of slavery, lack of policing, too few recreational opportunities, easy access to guns, poverty, the war on drugs, George Bush, and probably Young Jeezy would all be tossed out there. And that's all well and good.

But at some point, the epidemic has to resonate with people and cause them to rise to action, rather than continue to wallow in excuses and finger pointing.

The gubb'ment sure as hell ain't gon' fix this. So how about doing your part instead of bitchin' and complaining?

Here's how:

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America

100 Black Men of America

America's Promise Alliance


MIMAUE Mentoring Program (for my DC Folks)

Work with a kid. Any kid. If you don't have one, find one. If you've got one, get off the Internet and go work with/talk to/raise/help/pray for him or her.

Whatever you do, don't do nothing. The problem doesn't need to hit home for you to be part of the solution. At least, I pray it doesn't need to.

We really got to do better.

Martin, Malcolm, Sojourner, and every ancestor is crying inside.

Full DoJ Report [US Department of Justice]