Thursday, January 31, 2008

Leaving Minnesota

I'm busy closing up shop here in the Twin Cities today. Enjoy these fine words from some of my select co-signers sponsors. Be back tomorrow.


Brother to Brother

Full Of Hot Air


What Would Thembi Do?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Kwame Kilpatrick Needs To Step Down (and go to the Free Clinic)

Yeah, I'm still on hiatus from politricks. And yeah, it's killing me to not be able to blog about the botched abortion that was Rudy 4 Prez, Bill's "so what? Jesse Jackson won SC too" diss, or the way Obama cold carried Hillary at the State of the Union Address the other night. But reality is, I'm still very much burned out on this whole election nonsense, and need another week at least before I jump back on the wagon. I'll see ya'll come Super Tuesday. If you need a politricks fix in the meantime, peep my man The Human Resource over at StartSnitching. He delivers the kind of blunt, fact-filled political analysis I wanna slang one day when I grow up.

So while my favorite topic is off limits, my next favorite topic, talkin' reckless about general examples of Extreme Niggadom is not. And now meet Exhibit A: Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

Just last week, I bought you the story of our sullied hip-hop mayor, who has himself in some major trouble right now. Kwame, who is married, was carrying on an affair with his chief of staff (also married, but who cares?), fired a police whistle blower who was threatening to expose the affair and other general corruption, lied under oath during the successful ($9M judgement) civil trial filed by this whistle blower, and had his business exposed to the world when thousands of text messages exchanged with his paramour were made public last week.

So, imagine you're Kilpatrick and in the midst of this self-manufactured hailstorm? What do you do next?

A. Assemble your fam for a contrived press conference/photo-op, and gracefully quit your Day Job to "spend more time with the wife and kids"?

B. Go to church (followed by TV cameras and reporters) to ask/beg/cry for forgiveness?

C. Find yourself another jumpoff who's (presumably) far more discreet, and stay the hell off your city-issued Blackberry?

If you answered either B or C, pat yourself on the back and break out the Capri Suns. A? Not so much.

I couldn't even begin to put myself in Kwame's shoes, but one thing I know I'd be doing in laying low till this whole thing bubbles over and calling my divorce attorney. This dude is bout' to get reamed in court. But in the true vein of Nigga Nonsense, look what this swole-up Chris Webber-lookin' bama goes and does instead.

Reports that Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick had a woman other than his wife with him at the Grove Park Inn before speaking at the Martin Luther King Prayer Breakfast left event organizers disappointed Friday.

Detroit television station WXYZ aired a report Friday that the mayor had been with a woman who called herself Carmen Slowsky and that the two had enjoyed champagne and a whirlpool bath together at a cost of more than $500.

A copy of the hotel invoice shows a stay arranged for two.
Yes folks, your tax dollars at work. I sure hope he used some of that city money to buy some prophylactics.

Some of you openly ask why I often seem to badmouth public figures, particularly black ones, for presumably no good reason. I hate saying something so trite, but reality is, I throw this kinda stuff out there because we have to do better. Maybe putting folks on blast will somehow discourage others from repeating their very public mistakes. Then again, if Kilpatrick was paying attention to his mayoral forefathers like Marion Barry, Sharpe James, and Bill Campbell, he might have avoided this fate. Then again, maybe not.

Kilpatrick was born into a life of privilege and favor, mostly due to his family legacy in Michigan politics. He was given the world on a platter and he handed it back, covered in loose dollar bills and 3rd rate hotel key cards. The question is, why?

Kilpatrick is already suffering a major fallout behind all this. His alma mater, Florida A&M, asked him to step down from it's foundation board. Citizens of Day-Twa are calling for his head on a platter. He could still eventually go to jail, but tomorrow he'll visit a Detroit church to "break his silence" about the whole ordeal. I can't wait to see the Youtube of that one.

For being a colossal f*ckup, ruining his family's name, and making the city of Detroit even more of a national laughingstock than it already was, there's really only one thing Kilpatrick can do next.

Step down, Kwame.

[Question: Why would a man like Kilpatrick, who seemingly had it all, throw it all away so callously?]

Detroit mayor’s reported tryst saddens King event organizers [Asheville Citizen-Times]

Kilpatrick expected to break silence Wednesday night [Detroit Free Press]

Pandering and Patronizing? No Thanks, I'd Rather Just Be Ignored.

[Editor's Note: This isn't technically politricks, just a post about something that really irks me with some appropriate contextual examples. The moratorium's still on.]

First, some definitions to set the table.

Pander: Accommodating special interests without any principles, for instance, a politician who says to whatever group that he/she is addressing what they want to hear to win their support, contributions or favors.

Patronize: To treat condescendingly.

Now, watch this bullsh*t.

Seriously, who the heck says "Who Let The Dogs Out?" "Bling! Bling?" It's 2008, not 98'. Doesn't this cat have some semi-young staffers who could have helped him update his slang? Does he spend any time around people of color? Who told him this was hip? Why does he need to be "down"?

He coulda just holla'd "Ay! Bay! Bay!" or "Woooooooowwww!!!" and kept it movin'. Instead, he only looks more like the pompous, out-of-touch, unlikeable jackass he truly is.

Just in case you were wondering what Mitt Romney was doing around all these young Negroes anyway, it was MLK Day, so technically, he sorta kinda had to do it. You know, since his Dad marched with Dr. King and whatnot, I guess this is his way of paying homage.

Pandering/Patronizing is borderline condescension. It's a nice way of saying I want to get something from you, without bothering to know enough about you to engage you in a respectful manner. The Clintons practically wrote the modern-day book on this. Watch Hillary C.H.I.N. morph into Shirley Caesar last year in Selma, AL.

Last time I checked, that wasn't exactly a Chicago accent. Then again, all these preachers are paid consultants anyway (just Google the term "street money"), so at least somebody's getting something out of this whole charade.

For real, for real tho', if you don't have nothin' nice to say to me, just don't say jack. I'd rather be ignored than marginalized. At least my intelligence wouldn't be insulted. I'm just sensitive like that. Call me AB Tresvant.

Since we're on the topic of patronizing/pandering, I thought I'd throw this one out at ya'll. I'm still here in Minneapolis (Temperature? Negative 13. Wind chill? Negative 38. My face? I can't feel my face.), and still working with the same group of folks I've been with for months now, including Mr. C.Y.I.N. himself, whom I've got firmly in check now. Needless to say, as the only dark spot in the whole crew, I'm always a little on edge when people's conversations start veering beyond basic workplace chatter. There were some carefully worded jabs at the Obama SC victory yesterday. Semi-edgy pre-Superbowl discussion about ex-Viking Randy Moss. Something about Jessica Alba's black(ish) baby daddy. I pretty much stay focused and let this stuff go in one ear and out the other, but today, two of the young female analysts I'm working with had an inside joke moment, of which I was the butt. And I don't like being the butt. [||]

One of the chicks (they're sitting side by side) asks me if it's okay to start running a program on her machine. I concur. She acknowledges me by asking again.

"AB, I'm going to run this program. Are you 'down wit' that'?" {stated with "you go girl" type voice inflection}

I normally wouldn't think too much about this, I know that jive talk is a typical white dude's defense mechanism when he either feels uncomfortable or threatened by his environment and wants to lighten the mood. Been there, heard that. But what made this a little different is how the two chicks started lightly giggling (and bumping elbows) after the first one made the 'down wit' that' statement. It was like the embodiment of some sorta ladies-room giggly jibberjabber.

Again, I felt like the butt of a joke I'd never get the punchline to. And while it's more annoying than anything else, it makes me wonder just how often this kinda stuff happens to other folks.

Question: How often do you get "jive talked" and pandered to? How does it generally make you feel? How do you usually react?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Paying for Grades: Outside The Box Thinking or Hidden Racism?

As anyone who's followed this site for any period of time knows, AB is for the chill'rens. I heavily advocate becoming a tutor, mentor, or coaching youth sports because I believe the children are our future, and since most adults are already eff'ed the eff' up, it's best to concentrate your efforts there if you wanna actually make a difference. I practice what I preach, and have spent the last four months or so making weekly visits to AverageMentee's school when I'm not up here in Minneapolis freezing my butt off.

[Editor's Note: This is finally my last week in the Twin Cities, and it couldn't come soon enough. The D-bag customer I told ya'll about in the C.Y.I.N. Chronicles last week is out of my way, so this week's a breeze. Literally. This morning it was 34 and sunny. Bamas were wearing sweatshirts and fleece pullovers like it was October or something. Tomorrow, when you mix in the wind chill factor, it will be something like negative 40 degrees. That's like an 80 degree swing in less than 24 hours. Seriously, WTH? Black folks just ain't built for this kinda weather. Or at least this one ain't.]

Anyways, after spending many hours at AverageMentee's school, I've begun to understand firsthand the ups and downs of education in a large public school system (this is suburban DC. Prince Georges County, MD to be exact). The school's facilities are old, but the teachers are young, energetic, and in many cases, not completely demoralized by the system (yet). The kids are generally bright and well behaved, but clustered together in classes with widely varying levels of reading ability (this is intentional, I forget the scientific term for it though), which sometimes seems counterproductive. The students spend an inordinate amount of time "learning" how to take standardized tests, but hardly any time at recess/PE. Some parents are quite involved and routinely take time off work to volunteer at the school, but many others don't even bother showing when they have scheduled parent teacher conferences. And despite all the resources, mentor programs (like mine), and state mandates, the school (especially the black boys) as a whole is struggling mightily to merely read at a basic level of proficiency. It's not quite as bad as the school depicted on last season's The Wire, but it ain't too far removed either.

I only visit the school an hour each week, but doing so has helped me gain an even greater appreciation for the job that our teachers are faced with each day. AverageMentee is bright and inquisitive, but we jointly struggle each week with overcoming his reading comprehension impediment. Some days, this is mutually frustrating and draining. I often leave the school wondering if I am even making a difference, or merely trying to fool myself into thinking I am. So imagine taking this occacasional level of discouragement and multiplying it times 25 kids, 8 plus hours a day, 5 plus days a week. And you're not even gettin' pizzaid to top it all off. Real talk: if you chose teaching as a profession, you get automatic lifetime props from Holler at me, I'll send the CapriSuns. You earned em'.

So, while I consider myself a very small cog in the eventual solution of the achievement gap dilemma, I also salute educators who are willing to try some unconventional approaches to fixing the chasm in uneven quality of modern day public education. Geoffrey Canada's well-publicized Harlem Children's Zone, and the KIPP Academies in many East Coast cities are great examples of such innovation. But when I peep this plan out of New York City, part of me wonders if this tactic is a bit shortsighted.

New York City students could earn as much as $500 a year for doing well on standardized tests and showing up for class in a new program to begin this fall, city officials announced yesterday. And the Harvard economist who created the program is joining the inner circle of Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein, according to an official briefed on the hiring. The economist, Roland G. Fryer, who has published several studies on racial inequality in public schools, met this month with school principals around the city to push his program, which uses money raised privately.

Both Mr. Klein and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg have been eager to hear Professor Fryer’s thoughts on how to reverse the persistent lagging of poor and minority students, who make up most of the city’s public school enrollment. But educators have been skeptical, saying students have to love learning for its own sake, not for cash prizes.

Under his plan, fourth-grade students will receive up to $25 for a perfect score on each of 10 standardized tests throughout the year. Seventh-grade students will be able to earn twice as much — $50 per test, for a total of up to $500. Fourth graders will receive $5 just for taking the test, and seventh graders will get $10.

Cash incentives for adults will include $150 a month for keeping a full-time job and $50 a month for having health insurance. Families will also receive as much as $50 per month per child for high attendance rates in school, as well as $25 for attending parent-teacher conferences.
I'll just outright ignore the underlying inference that poor, minority students can only achieve academic success when paid. There's a little "soft bigotry of low expectations"-type racial politricks going on there. There's also the small issue of rewarding mere mediocrity (you get money for just coming to school, and for taking standardized tests that are required anyway) as opposed to excellence. But the issue of how to best motivate students to achieve is one that goes beyond socioeconomic babble. It's about the deeper issue of what makes an individual tick.

And BTW, $500 aint even enough for one pair of Red Monkey jeans. If they're really trying to get youngins to buckle down and study, they need to step they stipend game up. Over the years, I've been bribed for academic achievement, as well as bribed my fair share of mentees and nephews. I can personally vouch for the fact that "paying for grades" is a temporary motivation at best. And now that I've got a budding child prodigy of my own to raise, this issue is something constantly on my mind. Most of the books I've read on the topic, including the insightful Raising Motivated Kids: Inspiring Enthusiasm for a Great Start in Life, seem to back up this assertion. Point blank: kids have to want it for themselves.

As much as I admire NYC's "outside the box" thinking, part of me says this will work in the short term, yet a few years from now, lots of the other school systems nationwide copying this approach will probably regret opening this door in the first place. And the reason is simple: external motivation (in this case financial) is good for some things, but encouraging a desire to learn is not one of them. At least not in any lasting fashion.

This may (or may emphatically not) surprise some of you, but AverageBro was an extremely AverageStudent in grade school. I was diagnosed as one of those "gifted and talented" students early on, and thrust into a post-Antebellum South environment of "the only black in the class" from primary school forward. Somewhere around the 9th grade or so, I got tired of being "the only smart black guy in school" and got infected with a Grade A Case of Nigganosis. In short, I just plain stopped trying, dumbed myself down to fit in with the rest of my peers, and did just enough to get by for the next four years. Without exerting much effort, I was still a solid B+ student even though I seldom even bothered bringing books home. I never pushed myself to take AP courses. I always did the bare minimum. I still ended up finishing in the Top 10% in my graduating class, which got me a full ride to study engineering at my Negro College HBCU. Needless to say, I thought college would be a breeze, but old habits of laziness and general slackerdom are hard to break. After only three semesters, I had already blown the scholarship and was on academic probation.

Faced with the crisis of coming back home and working menial jobs for the rest of my life, I heeded my old man's advice (he wasn't paying for anything beyond one more semester), buckled down, turned my act around and graduated on time with honors and nine job offers. What was the difference? How was AB able to go from ashy to classy? It's very simple: I finally wanted to learn.

Yes, getting internships, ensuring my future, showing my Dad I could hold my own, etc. were all important, but what was most crucial was a need to prove to myself that I could do better. That I wasn't a dummy. That it was in fact, okay to be smart because, duh, what the heck else are you going to college for? The financial carrot (scholarship and stipend) wasn't enough to make this happen. My Dad's constant "you better plan on getting a job if you fail out, cause you ain't movin' back here"'s didn't do it. Only I could make that decision. And I think that's where the NYC plan will fall short.

If there's one thing I've learned in my brief time at AverageMentee's school, it's that school systems spend too darn much time on structured lessons preparing kids to pass standardized tests, and don't give teachers nearly enough time, resources, and latitude to be creative and find ways of encouraging kids to gain a desire, heck, a lust to want to learn. Not to learn to pass a test. Not to learn to get $100 for each A. Just to learn, just because. Parents, obviously, could do a lot to encourage this desire to learn in every kid from Day One, but then again, there's no Standardized Test for Parenting. Maybe there should be.

So, while I think that's happening in the Big Apple and in school systems nationwide is a novel concept, the eternal pessimist in me just don't see it having a lasting, longterm effect. What do ya'll think?

Question: Do you think New York City's pay for grades program is a lasting motivator for kids? If you're a parent of a school aged kid yourself, how do you recommend developing a "desire to learn"?

Schools Plan to Pay Cash for Marks [NYTimes]

More "You Must Learn" Posts From
No Wonder Our Schools Are So Bad. [Oct 07']
Why Tyrone Can't Learn... The Achievement Gap [May 07']

Monday, January 28, 2008

AverageBro Makes The Big Leagues

Break out the CapriSuns! It's a celebration!

When I started this blog 9 months ago, I really just wanted a creative outlet to release some of the Day Job angst. Nothing more. The first month or so here, my only actual AverageCommenter was AverageSisterInLaw. Putting your heart and soul into what you think is a quality drop, only to see the Magic Goose Egg in the comments section sometimes made we wonder if this was worth the trouble. Still, I stuck with it, mainly because there's something very liberating about "saying something", even if hardly anyone is listening. Over time, the blog's daily hits steadily grew, jumping here and there when the occasional post was picked up elsewhere. Thanks to some strategic agitation, some lucky cross linking, and a few God-sent co-signs, the blog's popularity and exposure grew steadily, and when I won the Black Weblog Awards Judge's Selection for Blog To Watch, things really took off.

Now, after nearly a year, the blog has grown to nearly 1,000 daily hits on average, which isn't bad considering the fact that I don't really "work the angles" and do a lot of cross linking with other sites or blog aggregators. Or at least not as much as I should. Most of what's happened here has been all word of mouth, so I have to thank you guys for that. Of course there were lots of other folks, like Racialicious (what up Carmen?), DC Blogs, WAOD, DallasPenn, and Afronary who really looked out and gave me great exposure when they really didn't have to. All I can say is thanks. I owe all of ya'll one... or twenty.

All this grunt work culminated nicely last month when I was contacted by NPR and asked to be an occasional contributor to their daily show News and Notes, hosted by the brilliant Farai Chideya. The show has a regular segment called Blogger's Roundtable, which is more or less a black version of The McLaughlin Report, using various personalities from across the blogosphere. I am thrilled, and furthermore honored to be a part of this feature, and will make my debut in a few weeks.

Those of you who think NPR is just that station on the far end of the dial where everyone speaks in a library voice will probably be surprised by the show. Since Tavis Smiley was brought over to add a little color to the station a few years back, their programming has become far more diverse and dynamic. And now, your boy is headed over there to shake things up even more.

Step One in the AverageBro Master Plan for Media Domination is underway. Keep it locked.

The Politricks of Dreaming

[Editor's Note: Friday, I promised a moratorium on Politricks as Usual. Don't be fooled, this ain't a post about politricks. And I also know this isn't my best writing, so lay off me. And no, that's not my son. I also don't recommend Googling the term "black boy" if you need a stock photo. Bad move. Awww, just read the post already.]

Tonight, my son and I took a break from our Tivo sponsored Little Bill marathon to peek at some of the concession speeches on CNN. I purposely didn't pay much attention to the coverage of returns to that point. Like I said, whole process is beginning to get too dirty, and too draining. I needed a break. My wife called upstairs and told me Obama had been deemed the winner early, which was enough for me.

Later, as my son lay there on my chest and we both watched what could very well have been the best speech of any sort that I ever experienced in real time, a thought hit me like a lightning bolt.

This could really happen.

I'm not necessarily talking about a Black man becoming President. It's about that of course, but so much bigger. I'm thinking more about black parents being able to tell their kids they can be anything they want to be, and actually mean it.

My Dad told me I could be anything I wanted to be when I was a kid, but I could look in his eyes and tell he didn't really mean it. He knew there was one thing I could never be. President.

It's not that he didn't have faith in his youngest son and namesake. It was more so a lack of faith in our country, a disbelief that a child who looked like me could ever be accepted by enough of America on his own merit, an America that didn't see his skin color as a detriment. Even when Jesse Jackson had his impressive runs in the mid-80's, there was still the nagging realization that he was mostly succeeding on a platform that spoke to and for blacks. This was great of course, but was never going to gonna get him elected. Not in a million years.

The Presidency is that "final frontier" of black achievement. We've run Fortune 500 companies. We've become billionaires. We've gone to the moon. But the Presidency is different, it's unique in it's prominence and power, and it's has to be granted, not merely earned by "working twice as hard".

All other reasons of merit, qualifications, and experience aside, I finally realized tonight what truly makes the Obama campaign special.

The ability to dream.

As my son and I chewed crushed ice and watched the Obama speech, I finally allowed my cynicism to melt. Hell, I won't even lie, I actually teared up just a little bit, but don't tell nobody. But seriously, who's to say a black man can't be the catalyst for making America the best country it can really be? Who's to say Blacks, Whites, Latinos, and Asians can't all get just along? Who's to say my son can't be President? Certainly not me. Now I can look him in his eyes, say it, and really, truly mean it.

It could really happen.

[Question: Did watching that acceptance speech Saturday night actually make you more hopeful for the future of our country? Just in case you ain't peeped it yet, here it is.]

Hiring A Hitman On Craigslist? What A Dummy!

There are dumb criminals, dumberer criminals, then idiots like this who make me thankful for court-appointed public defenders.

A woman advertised on the popular Internet site Craigslist for an assassin to kill the wife of a man with whom she'd had an affair, authorities said Saturday.

The ad by Ann Marie Linscott, 49, was posted in November as a generic request for somebody to perform a "freelance" job, court document said. Her true intention was only communicated to those who e-mailed her seeking additional information about the job, the Craigslist CEO said.

Linscott offered $5,000 for the hit, had the name and work address of the woman she wanted dead and she described successful candidates as "silent assassins," according to agents and court documents.

Two women and one man responded to the ad, with at least one applicant believing it to be an offer for freelance writing work. During subsequent emails, Anne Marie divulged that the task was actually a hit.

"Marie informed (one of the people who responded) that she was looking for 'silent assassins' and she asked him to eradicate a targeted victim," offered 5,000 dollars for the job and provided the address, name, age and occupation of the man's wife.

"Asked what she meant by 'eradicate,' Anne Marie said 'Duh. Well to have her killed," the court documents said.

The intended victim and her husband have not been identified.
I've bought and sold lots of crap on Craigslist, so I can vouch for the kinds of kooks you run into out there. People will email to tell you they're interested in the product, then never respond again. People will tell you they're coming to look at the furniture after work, then never show up. Then there was that really odd time when two guys came to buy a television from me and showed up with a pickup truck without a tailgate or any tiedowns. Mind you, the TV was like 150 pounds (this was one of those huge Sony's with a tube screen) and wide as a refrigerator. Considering all the hills in my neighborhood, I was grateful they were paying me in cash and locked the door as soon as they left. I knew this was going to end badly. Not even 30 seconds after they pulled off and rounded the corner, I heard a loud thud.

Note to anyone selling crap on Craigslist: Get paid in cash.

Sure, that story had nothing to do with this odd case of Ann Marie Linscott, but it's still funny to this day.

As for Linscott, how stupid do you have to be to post a hit on Craigslist. Even OJ knows that's a bad look. Aren't there Soldier of Fortune magazines for that sorta stuff? Couldn't this chick have gone to a seedy bar down by the river or something like they do in all those LifeTime Movies For Women flicks? Not that I watch Wifetime or anything, so ya' know, I wouldn't really know and whatnot.

Either way, Linscott joins those two cats in The Natti who robbed a few banks and blamed it on rising tuition costs (riiigght) last year as AB's Dumbest Criminals of the New Millennium.

FBI: Woman Sought Hit Man on Craigslist [AP]

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Clintons Fooled Us Again: My Conspiracy Theory

Those crafty ********s fooled us again.

Is it just me, or are ya'll sick of hearing, talking, and even thinking about this election? has been all politricks all the time since the New Year rang in, and honestly, I'm getting jive tired of typing the words "Clinton", "Obama", and "South Carolina". So, in the interest of keeping things moving, I'm issuing an indefinite Politricks as Usual Moratorium after this post. Somebody will win in SC this weekend, but there's a good chance you won't be reading about it on this blog come Monday. Sorry ya'll, I just can't take it no more.

Something occurred to me last night as I was peeping the umpteenth "race vs gender" vignette on CNN. This race, just weeks ago, had few mentions of race. Clinton was smokin' Obama in every poll. Heck, I even temporarily shut down the Barry 4 Prez tag. Then Hillary starts talkin' greasy, Obama surges in the polls, wins Iowa, and the next thing you know, the campaign turns into an all out race war, with 99% of the offensive bombs being thrown from the Clinton camp.

The latest polls (not that we trust them anymore) show Obama leading bigtime in SC (sound familiar?), which seems to indicate an easy win for him this weekend, which coupled with his electoral win in Nevada, and victory in Iowa mean he's right back in this jawn, right?

Maybe not.

Could it be that the Clintons, rather than intentionally going for the black vote, are talking greasy on purpose with the intention of injecting race into a campaign that was "all about the issues" just a month ago? This of course has turned lots of black folks against The First Black President, and has boosted Obama's appeal and support in the black community. But let's not forget, black folks are barely 10% of the voting populace. We matter, but we don't matter that much in the grand scheme of things.

Obama has was running a "refreshing" and "new" campaign, that didn't have to focus on race. But once attacked, he (justifiably in my opinion) started clapping back. I thought this was necessary to clear up the misinformation floating out there. But reality is, to the legions of Obama supporters (or those considering voting for him) who wanted "hope", "a colorblind society" and "a new kind of politics", Barry is now looking a whole lot like his predecessors (Jesse and Al). And I don't need to tell you that these folks didn't vote for those guys.

One of my AverageCommenters (I forget who, but props to you) suggested a few weeks ago that the Clintons were running a "short game/long game" trick on us. I didn't really know what this meant at the time, but it sure as hell seems to make sense now. Namely, sacrifice South Carolina, knowing that injecting race and attack style politics in the picture will probably make lots of Americans reconsider voting for Obama. Short term loss, long term gain.

Call me a crackpot, but something told me all along the Clintons were too smart to be dropping the racist B.S. they've spouted the past month without expecting ramifications. My theory now is that all that was intentional, they knew how blacks would react, and knew how whites would react to how blacks react.

The net-net is that Obama will probably win the battle (SC), but lose the war (the nomination).

If you're reading this and wondering what AB is smokin', I wouldn't blame you for thinking that. But when I see the same theory more or less spouted by former Clinton advisor Dick Morris, a man far smarter than myself, it gives the theory a bit more credence. Peep the article below, and read it in it's entirely before you tell me to check into rehab.

[Question: Is AB smokin' some of that goody good, or does the Clinton Conspiracy Theory™ have some merit?]

Either way, this is my last politricks related post for awhile. I'm sick of this crap.

MLK is crying inside. So is AB.

How Clinton Will Win the Nomination by Losing S.C. [RealClearPolitics]

Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is a Dumbass... And Going To Jail

Yeah, I know I promised to be a kinder, gentler, less critical blogger yesterday. Uhmm, let's wait till Monday to try that one out. Besides, when you see such BS as this from the Motor City (courtesy of WAOD), you gotta call a spade a spade.

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his chief of staff lied about their relationship last summer at a police whistle-blower trial that has cost the cash-strapped city more than $9 million, according to records obtained by the Free Press. The false testimony potentially exposes them to felony perjury charges, legal experts say.

Kilpatrick and chief of staff Christine Beatty denied during testimony in August that they had a sexual relationship. But the records, a series of text messages, show them engaged in romantic banter as well as planning and recounting sexual liaisons.

The messages are also at odds with the pair's trial testimony that they did not fire Deputy Police Chief Gary Brown in 2003, an ouster that led him to sue. The text messages show Beatty recalling the "decision that we made to fire Gary Brown."

The newspaper examined nearly 14,000 text messages on Beatty's city-issued pager. The text messages cover a range of issues, from the daily minutiae of city business to political gossip to the latest doings on "American Idol." Kilpatrick and Beatty, both 37, exchanged personal messages almost daily, including romantic notes.

"I'm madly in love with you," Kilpatrick wrote on Oct. 3, 2002.

"I hope you feel that way for a long time," Beatty answered. "In case you haven't noticed, I am madly in love with you, too!"

Other texts contain sexual content, like this exchange on April 8, 2003:

Beatty: "And, did you miss me, sexually?"

Kilpatrick: "Hell yeah! You couldn't tell. I want some more. "
Yeah, I know I'm not supposed to "tear down" "successful black people" but man, do you really expect me to pass this one up?

All they had to do was admit they were having an affair. Yes, both Kilpatrick and Beatty's marriages would have suffered, but both would have likely kept their jobs until the next election (at worst) and they would have saved the fine people of DayTwa $9M in the process.

Keep it in your pants, folks.

Kilpatrick, as I told you right here, presumably dodged a bullet a few months ago, but his dirt has finally caught up with him, and this time it's probably going to cost him his freedom. Considering the fact that homeboy was hailed at "The Hip Hop Mayor" when he was elected several years ago at the age of 30, and is the son of a Congresswoman, this descent might just go down in the all-time annals of Sugar to Sh*t. Then again, Marion Barry got re-elected, so what do I know?

[Question: ....doggonit, I don't even have a question for this Negro Nonsense.]

If you're being lazy and wanna see a YouTube news story instead of reading the Free Press article, here ya' go. Lots of pictures, and moving pictures.

Mayor Kilpatrick, chief of staff lied under oath, text messages show [Detroit Free Press]

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Newsflash! Averagebro's Identity Revealed... And He's A White Dude!

That's right folks, I'm a white dude.

Some of you were wondering if this was indeed the case all along, and you were correct. How else could you possibly explain the way I mercilessly "find a successful black person... tear them down ... make fun of how people speak... make fun of their spelling" as some random Anonymous commenters frequently opine? How else could you explain the relative lack of rhythm (I still can't do the New Electric Slide)? The relative lack of brand consciousness? The ebonics-free posts? The oh-so-blatant self hatred? The constant and annoying shilling of sweatshop manufactured goods available at the Store? Besides, black dudes don't even refer to each other as "Bro". That's a white guy thang, ya'll wouldn't understand.

We all know these things are synonymous with being white, so if you by proxy deduced that I was white, you were correct all along. Congrats, I've been outed. Break out the Capri Suns!

Since we're on the topic, why is it that the AverageCommenters who drop such BS as what I quoted above always sign their posts as Anonymous?

Things that make you say "hmmmmm" indeed.

I know I shouldn't let this kinda mess bother me, especially when the folks who spout such BS always insist on posting their comments as Anonymous. It's obviously the pot calling the kettle black (no pun intended again) to pick at these folks since I'm an anonymous blogger myself, but it's still somewhat cowardly to toss such mindless grenades without even creating a Blogger profile first. Am I right, or am I right?

When I started this blog, the aim was to encourage critical thought on issues of relevance to "you people". Part of this means pointing out foul behavior where it resides, whether the offending party is black (like most of my readers) or white (like me). I try and keep it nice and even, but reality is, I cater to the whims of my readers, and more times than not, this means putting Negroes on blast. Sometimes I miss the mark, but judging by the comments (and the steadily rising number of daily hits) here, I seem to hit it pretty often. However, since I've been outed as a white dude and my cover is blown, I clearly can no longer continue masquerading as AverageBro. Stayed tuned for, coming soon.

Question: Seriously, when did critical thought and examination of black folks issues become self-hatred?

[Editor's Note: This is obviously satire, and poorly worded satire at that. is black as a country midnight, and ain't goin' nowhere. But after another 13-hour (and still counting) day slaving at the Day Job (yep, same customer as C.Y.I.N. post), I damn near blew my gasket [||] when I read that ignorant assed comment. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, peep the Starbury post comments from yesterday and put that misguided bama on blast. Point being: if you don't like what I'm writing here, close your browser and go read a book, have a Coke and a smile, and you know the rest.]

Would Somebody Please Shut This Honorary Negro Up!?!?

Things clearly aren't going well for the Clintons right about now. First Barack Obama delivers the proverbial pimp slap in Monday night's debate. Then Bill gets caught on tape snoozing during an MLK day celebration. Today, Hillary decides to forgo campaigning in SC altogether. But her husband, who clearly must always have the last laugh, took a parting shot at the Obama campaign, accusing them of (what else?) race baiting.

Former President Bill Clinton made it clear he's had it with complaints that his wife's campaign is playing a dirty game of racial division, CBS News anchor Katie Couric reports.

"This is crazy. This rhetoric is getting a little carried away here," Clinton said.

"She did not play the race card, but they did," he said.
Motherf***** say what!?!?
According to reports, a South Carolina Democratic official who supports Barack Obama claimed the Clintons were borrowing a page from the Republican playbook: injecting race into the campaign. That, apparently, was too much.

"This, this is almost like once you accuse somebody of racism or bigotry or something, the facts become irrelevant," Clinton said.

He suggested the Obama campaign and accomplices in the news media were promoting the charge.

"They're feeding you this because this is what you want to cover; this is what you live for, but this hurts the people of South Carolina," he told a reporter. "What you care about is this and the Obama people know this, so they spin you up on this and you happily go along."
I could have really missed something, but I didn't see a single "race related" charge that originated from the Obama camp. Just lots of justifiable replies and responses when the Clinton camp threw race into the equation. Yes, the Obama campaign is guilty of circulating that press release bringing attention to the greasy talk The Clinton Machine has thrown out there, but can you blame a person for defending himself when being slandered? Seriously?

I look at all this and can only conclude that the Clintons don't give half a crap (would that technically be a turd?) about Bill's tumped up legacy as "The First Black President" anymore. They just wanna win, which is certainly understandable. But blaming the Obama camp for injecting race into the equation is asinine, and borderline delusional.

Question: Did AB miss something here, or has the Black President officially lost his mind?

Bill Clinton Slams Media, Obama Campaign [CBSNews]

Minus Clinton, Democratic rivals compete in South [Reuters]

Hillary Leaves South Carolina To Bill And Chelsea [Huffington Post]

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

C.Y.I.N. Case Study: Avoid Stephon Marbury's Cheap A$$ Shoes At All Costs

[Editor's Note: Yes, I realize I tend to lose many of my readers when I talk sports, but this story isn't all about sports, so please peep it. The AverageBroSports blog is coming soon. Till then...]

Things went from sugar to sugar honey iced tea really quickly for Knicks guard Stephon Marbury.

Just a few months ago, none other than yours truly praised Marbury for teaming up with discount retailer Steve and Barry's to create a line of ultra-affordable sneakers. Given the ridonculous prices being asked for some athletic shoes, Marbury's $15 kicks were a refreshing change of pace. Parents who couldn't afford nice stuff for their kids would have a reasonable alternative. Kids could have a decent looking and stylish shoe without forcing their parents to choose between the lights or the rent. It was the consummate win-win.

The accompanying good PR changed public perceptions (or at least my perception) of Marbury, who has long been seen as an overrated locker room cancer who's never been beyond the first round of the playoffs. Using his humble beginnings on Coney Island as a backstory, Marbury and Co. rode the good vibes to the tune of millions of sold shoes and an explosion of the S&B stores that carry them. One even opened in my local ghetto mall just before the holidays. When Chicago Bulls center Ben Wallace and tennis star Venus Williams signed on for similarly priced lines of shoes and clothing, it gave the "movement" legitimacy and was seen as a potential game changer in the industry of athletic apparel. After all if the shoes, regardless of manufacturer, only cost $3 to make in some Honduran sweatshop, why the heck would you pay $150 for Nikes when the Starbury shoes are essentially the same product?

The whole ploy worked well, especially for a cheap cash strapped dude like me who isn't particularly brand conscious. I mean, seriously, I'm over 30. What the hell business do I have dropping $175 on some Jordans when I got a kid to feed and a 529 to fund? It's called priorities. Shoes is shoes. I bought a pair... uhh.. or seven.

The overall quality of the shoes was just so-so. I wouldn't trust my ankles to $15 basketball shoes [spoiler alert!!!], so I passed on the admittedly cheap looking signature Starbury One sneaker (pictured above). I did however cop a few pairs of the $10 Air Force One and New Balance ripoffs. They aren't bad shoes for the money, but there's a clear reason why the real things cost five times more. You to some degree get what you pay for, even if you're overpaying. I am more than happy however, with the $15 Starbury Timberland ripoffs (seriously). No, they aren't as well insulated or heavy as the real things, but you'd be hard pressed to otherwise tell the difference in passing. The rest of the Starbury "gear" was a bit too juvenile for my refined grown man tastes. I don't really get down with suede jumpsuits and orange and blue knockoff NBA apparel, so I passed. So, while I rate the experiment somewhat of a mixed bag, I'm still just happy someone realizes how ludicrously overpriced shoes are and tried to do something about it. I applauded Steph, and Steve and Barry's for at least making an effort.

Some folks are clearly not comfortable handling the trappings of success and goodwill, or at least not handling the perceptions of success and goodwill. Stephon Marbury would be such a person. Marbury showed it's possible to go from pariah, to saint, and back to pariah in barely a year's time. He proved this by C.H.I.N. too many times in the past year when he would have been so much better off just shutting up and playing ball. Just a sampling of his gaffes include:

Noting that he didn't see what the big deal about Mike Vick's dogfighting issue was, because many black people consider dogfighting a sport anyway.

Making a very, very, very odd appearance on local NY sports show talking completely out of his a$$ and possibly referring to his own wife as a b*tch. If you've yet to see this infamous 8 minutes on MSG, you're SOL because it's been since pulled from the web. But trust me, it was one of the strangest things I've evar seen with my own eyes.

Admitting to an affair with a Knicks intern during testimony in the Anucha Browne Sanders vs Isaiah Thomas trial this summer. And no, it's not totally relevant to the story, but the intern of note was straight BUSTED. Steph's wife is an ex-model. Poor judgement abounds.

Announcing his intentions to leave the Knicks next season when his contract expires to go play in Italy and further promote his shoes to a global market.

Playing preseason games in non-Starbury shoes.

Completely dogging it on the court for a dysfunctional Knicks team that was supposed to be greatly improved. When benched for poor play, Marbury clashed with Knicks coach Isaiah Thomas and was told to go home. He apologized the next day and returned to the team against the wishes of his teammates.

Returning to the court too soon after the death of his father, and while clearly still grieving and frustrated, further endearing himself to Knicks fans by again dogging it on the court. Booed mercilessly by Knicks fans for his half-assed effort, he is forced by the team to take time off.
Now, the proverbial final daggers were just twisted. Marbury is about to have ankle surgery and will likely be out for the season. And nobody is saying it outright, but there's some inference from the team that his ankle problem was caused by those cheap assed shoes.

Even worse, as part of a "winter clearance", Steve and Barry's has the shoes on sale for the crackhead price of $7.99 a pair. Industry speculation seems to be that Steve & Barry's is dropping Starbury as a pitchman before he completely ruins the company's reputation.

Meanwhile, I'm stuck with a gang of really cheap asses shoes I've never really gotten around to wearing.

Question: Did you buy any Starbury shoes? If so, what do you think of them? Have you been to Steve and Barry's? What do you think of the store itself?


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Bill Clinton Has A Dream... ZZzzzzzzz...

Most of us had the day off yesterday. Some of us used it for humanitarian purposes. Some of us laid at home and watched Judge Joe. And some of us, like me, celebrated Dr. King's holiday in a way that truly upholds the values Dr. King fought so very hard for: by going to an NBA game.

I went with AverageBrother to watch my Washington Wizards trounce the hapless Dallas Mavericks. It wasn't a particularly exciting game, and around the 3rd quarter, I looked over and noticed my brother dozing off. I was gonna get a little upset, given the money I shelled out for the tickets, but reality is, when there's little excitement, you can't blame folks for tuning out and catching a "z" or 20.

I would imagine that's Bill Clinton's rationale for what he did yesterday while pandering for the black vote honoring Dr. King's legacy in Harlem.

Play-by-Play courtesy of the NY Post...

Bill Clinton showed yesterday why he made it into the book "The Art of Napping."

During an appearance at the Convent Avenue Baptist Church in Harlem, the former president was caught nodding off.

Clinton was there during a service to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., while his wife was nearby at Abyssinian Baptist Church, where she was endorsed by its minister, Rev. Calvin Butts.

Clinton has had napping episodes before. Among others, he nodded off at a Mets game and at Ronald Reagan's funeral.
In Bill's defense, pandering does get pretty tiring after awhile, and listening to the admittedly dry MLK III recite the same boring speech for the 43rd time would probably lull me to sleep as well. Peep this.

Still, it's not a good look by any means to doze off, especially on King Day, and double especially when your wife is under fire for marginalizing Dr. King's contributions to the advancement of rights for colored folks errywhere.

If you haven't peeped the video for this yet, here you go.

Hopefully all this is causing Black America to wake up. I guess we'll see for sure come Saturday.

Note to The Clinton Machine and Black America: Get Some No-Doze.

Question: Is this a bad look for the Clintons, or do you blame Bill for falling asleep during that dry speech?


C.Y.I.N. Case Study: Barack Obama (Finally) Grows Some Testicles

Well damn, it's about time.

After months and months of playing Mr. Nice Beige Guy, Barry finally abandoned The Politricks of Hope angle and came out swinging [||] during last night's South Carolina Democratic Debate. Apparently one of his campaign staffers must read, because he clearly peeped last week's C.Y.I.N. discussion on the boards here and took some of what was said to heart. Seldom in my 30+ years have I been more proud of another black man that wasn't dribbling a basketball.

Democratic presidential rivals Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama accused each other of repeatedly and deliberately distorting the truth for political gain Monday night in a highly personal, finger-wagging debate that ranged from the war in Iraq to Bill Clinton's role in the campaign.

Obama told the former first lady he was helping unemployed workers on the streets of Chicago when "you were a corporate lawyer sitting on the board at Wal-Mart."

Moments later, Clinton said that she was fighting against misguided Republican policies "when you were practicing law and representing your contributor ... in his slum landlord business in inner city Chicago."

Obama seemed particularly irritated at the former president, whom he accused in absentia of uttering a series of distortions to aid his wife's presidential effort.

"I'm here. He's not," she snapped.

"Well, I can't tell who I'm running against sometimes," Obama countered.
Last night was what debates (and boxing if you think about it) are supposed to be about. The three candidates discussed the issues and the differences (which anyone with a brain can surmise are minimal at best) in how each of them would handle these issues when they become President. Each candidate had the opportunity to call his fellow debaters out on past B.S. comments, and with only three participants, moderator Wolf Blitzer allowed Hillary, Edwards, and Barry to more or less duke it out sans interruption. It was Must See TV with real life implications.

If you were busy watching Hell Date or WWE Raw, please, just kill yourself right now. Life isn't getting any easier.

Some of you (and you know who you are) mistook the whole concept of C.Y.I.N. as meaning that standing up for yourself and drawing clear boundaries for others is "niggerish". This clearly shows me that someone didn't read the original post and has no idea what they're talking about. C.Y.I.N. is not about standing up for yourself and having common dignity. Everyone should have that regardless. C.Y.I.N. is all about taking it to a whole' n'other level when somebody crosses that other line and when such drastic times call for drasticer measures. Yeah, I know that's not a word, so what.

Last night, by my definition was not a C.Y.I.N. Moment for Barack Obama. Quite the contrary, I think it's the first time that he universally and consistently showed his black side. He played offense rather than defense. He was in control and assertive, yet still charmingly disarming. He didn't let any snide remarks float by without a response. When double teamed by Edwards and Clinton, he kept his composure, yet still got his points across (albeit sometimes in a longwinded fashion, but tell me one black person who doesn't?). He showed last night that he could be a Negro without being a Nigga. And I don't need to tell my AverageCommenters, there's a big difference between the two.

Some pundits say Obama's momentum is on the wane after two straight losses, but I disagree. He didn't lose by much in New Hamphire (2 pts) and while Hillary won the popular vote in Nevada, Obama quietly won the electoral vote.
Nevada’s rules allocate delegates, the people who will ultimately vote for a nominee at the national party convention, based on a formula that is not bound strictly by the statewide vote in the caucuses. The rules are weighted to preserve the voice of voters in rural precincts, voices that might otherwise be dimmed by the influx of new voters in metropolitan Las Vegas.

Clinton won decisively in Las Vegas and surrounding Clark County, but statewide, Obama won more votes in 11 of Nevada’s 17 counties. When the state’s arcane rules were taken into account, Obama could claim 13 delegates to Clinton’s 12.
Ask Al Gore just how much good that popular vote does for you.

South Carolina is a big one this weekend, and it will be very interesting to see just how black voters (who only seem to matter in SC, and no place else) respond. Recent polls, which clearly can't be trusted, show Obama now ahead of Hillary in the ever important Negro Vote in the Palmetto State, and Obama garnered an astounding 85% of the black vote in Nevada (although, let's be honest, there's only like 12 brothers in NV). So, with Super Tuesday looming, it's probably fair to say Obama needs another high profile win there to regain national momentum.

We'll see how that works out.

Question: Assuming you watched last night's debate, what were your impressions?

Just in case you had better things to do (like helping kids with homework or something else noble), here's a clip of a notable exchange.

Clinton, Obama Engage in Bitter Debate [WashPost]

Loser Obama wins more delegates [LATimes]

Monday, January 21, 2008

CYIN Case Study: Tiger Woods Should Be Offended By Now

Last week, we bought you the puzzling story of one Eldrick "Tiger" Woods, and his softshoe treatment of the comments of his Golf Channel "friend". I noted that because Woods is "Cablinasian" (his words, not mine), it's somewhat understandable that he wouldn't be completely offended by a "friend" who suggests that his fellow golfers "lynch him in a back alley". I mean, dude is like 18 different ethnicities, and he can't always be offended. Maybe 1/4th offended, but not totally offended enough to get up in that broad's grill an Channel His Inner Nigga.

When Tiger actually turned the tables and supported Kelly Tilghman, it was predictable (he's been called worse), but still disappointing. As the old idiom goes, if you don't stand up for something, you'll fall for anything.

Note To Tiger Woods: It's Time To Stand The F*ck Up!!!

The editor who put a noose on Golfweek magazine’s cover was cut loose Friday by its publisher. The noose, which ran on the cover of the Jan. 19 issue of the magazine, attempted to depict a Golf Channel anchor’s use of the word “lynch” in a comment about Tiger Woods.

Golf Channel anchor Kelly Tilghman was suspended for two weeks because of comments she made during the second round of the Mercedes-Benz Championship that suggested young players trying to compete with Woods on the PGA Tour should “lynch him in a back alley.”

The Golfweek cover showed a noose against a purple sky and the title, “Caught in a Noose.” The subtitle said “Tilghman slips up, and Golf Channel can’t wriggle free.”

Seanor took responsibility for the cover on Thursday night. It was removed from the magazine’s Web site this morning.

“We apologize for creating this graphic cover that received extreme negative reaction from consumers, subscribers and advertisers across the country,” Turnstile Publishing Co. president William P. Kupper Jr. said. “We were trying to convey the controversial issues with a strong and provocative image. It is now obvious that the overall reaction to our cover deeply offended many people. For that, we are deeply apologetic.”
Seriously, at what point does some of how Tiger's treated offend that long suppressed 1/4th of him that's black? How can he show his face at his paternal family reunion after he fails to take up for himself time after time?

Sometimes they ARE laughing at you, not with you.

Earl Woods said his son would one day "change the world". His multicultural background, natural charisma, and athletic excellence would pave the way for a life of philanthropy and public service that would touch millions. And for the most part, this has proven to be true. You can't deny the efforts and community outreach of the Tiger Woods Foundation.

But as much good as Nike sponsored golfing academies can bring, something else could be far more impactful. Tiger Woods, instead of issuing a standard "non-issue" press release the next time he's publicly slighted, could take a stand and put some mutha*****'s in check. I'm not telling him to Channel His Inner Nigga, it's not even that sorta party. All he needs to do is stand up to Golfweek like he should have stood up to Fuzzy Zoeller, and Kelly Tilghman, and all the other folks who have cold carried him without a mere tepid personal response for years. Tell folks it's time to think before they speak. Consider the feelings of others before they talk.

Tell them to keep your name out they mouth.

Of course, this will never happen. Woods, much like his Nike Uncle Michael Jordan, knows where his bread is buttered, and will never mouth nary a controversial word, because he knows Phil Knight-sized checks are hard to get from FUBU. It's sad, but it's so predictable.

My issue with Tiger Woods has always been that he seems to claim blackness when it's only convenient and advantageous (and therefore profitable) to him. Who can forget those Nike commercials with PGA pioneers Lee Elder and Charlie Sifford a decade ago when Woods loudly proclaimed "I won't forget... I will never forget"?

Selective amnesia is a mutha.

Question: Should Tiger Woods be offended and C.H.I.N. this time?

Golfweek fires editor over Tiger Woods graphic cover [NY Daily News]

Friday, January 18, 2008

C.Y.I.N. The Sequel: When Keepin' It Real Goes Wronger

[Everybody's got a lil' I.N.]

Funny how real life sometimes imitates art. And if you consider this blog art (I know, it's a stretch), you'd be spooked at how my day played out.

Yesterday, I told you fine folks I was tied up with The Day Job, and dropped one on my favorite, most slept on posts of all-time, the apocalyptic Channelling Your Inner Nigga™ as an AB Rewind to fill the space here while I toiled the night away [||] in a 3rd rate hotel down by the river. If you still haven't read this thing, please do yourself a favor and peep it, leave a comment, then come back, because this post will go right over your head otherwise.

Anyways, I had the consummate "To C.Y.I.N., Or Not To C.Y.I.N.? That Is The Question" moment today. As I've told you guys, C.Y.I.N. is darn near an essential life skill if you're black, just like code switching, knowing the "new" electric slide, and knowing all the lyrics to "La Di Da Di". For the universe to maintain it's perfect balance, some mother******'s just need to be checked on the regulack. You can't permanently C.Y.I.N., you have to use it in controlled bursts when then the need arises. If you're always in C.Y.I.N. mode chances are you are, have been, or will be incarcerated. I don't make the rules folks, that's just how it beez.

While C.Y.I.N. is a must sometimes, it's not something you can really do on the job, especially not if you work in the ever-constrictive environment of Corporate America, and double especially if you're a guy like me whose job is billing customers exorbitant rates for blogging while on the clock hour upon hour of backbreaking work. Staying on good terms with the customer is just as important as the actual work itself. I say all this because I peeped some of the comments (thanks, BTW) dropped in the C.Y.I.N. post from yesterday, and there were some strange parallels to what I experienced today at work.

I will save you guys the boring particulars, but essentially, my customer completely crossed the line today by blatantly accusing me of not knowing a specific technical aspect of my job well enough. Essentially, this dude questioned my intelligence, which isn't offensive or rare in and of itself. After all, the rare black man in a hi-tech field is always going to have to justify his thug, just because it's natually assumed that you don't know what you're doing. A black man playing basketball? Not so much. It just comes with the territory.

So I didn't have nearly as much of a problem with him second guessing my skills as I had a problem with the way he did it: loudly, with his index finger wagging, in front of several other people. The tone of sarcasm and rank condescension was about 20 steps over the line.

To put it bluntly: if we were on the street, it's the kinda stuff that would have probably resulted in An Interracial Nigga Moment.

But when encountered with such an attack in a professional setting in which you need the keep billing and collecting, you can't afford a Nigga Moment, unless you have other ways of paying your mortgage. Whoopin' somebody's ass on G.P. is a noble concept, but AverageToddler can't eat G.P. Countrywide doesn't accept G.P. Pepco won't give me lights and heat on G.P. They want general principal, not general principle. And needless to say, you guys aren't buying nearly enough of those T-Shirts for me give 2 weeks notice and an accompanying two finger salute just yet (evar?). A million thanks for having my back on that one.

So, I was faced with The Ultimate Corporate Negro Dilemma: Suck it up and keep cashin' checks, or C.Y.I.N. and probably lost my job at least, and maybe catch a case at worst?

I won't bother telling you guys which route I chose, primarily because I'd like to know how you would have handled such a situation, have handled such a situation, or will handle such a situation if presented with the same set if circumstances. Trusty AverageCommenters Ginger, Carmen D, and EBW have weighted in already, but I'd like to hear from the rest of ya'll.

Question: Is it EVER okay to C.Y.I.N. in a corporate environment to put a mutha******* in check, or is that an instant trip to the unemployment line?

Weigh in early and often you-know-where.

For those of you who have no idea what the heck we're talking about, here's a dramatization of what can happen when you C.Y.I.N. in an inappropriate setting. You might know this as Dave Chappelle's When Keepin' It Real Goes Wrong. I know it as Maybe AB Shoulda Whooped Somebody Ass.

Oggling Venus' Booty: Sexist Or Just Plain Creepy?

AB is not a sexist, or at least I don't think I am. How could I be sexist? Some of my best friends are women! (Sarcasm alert!) So although I have my opinions about whether or not this story from The Land Down Under is offensive or not, I'd rather hear what you guys, especially the ladies, have to say instead.

Tennis commentator Roger Rasheed was the butt of both criticism and support following his saucy delight in Venus Williams' posterior during Channel 7's live Australian Open coverage. Tennis fans voiced a volley of views on the former coach's decision to show slow-motion replay shots of the four-time Wimbledon champion's posterior in play on Tuesday night.

Williams, the world No.8, was wearing figure-hugging white shorts when she played China's Zi Yan in Rod Laver Arena.

"Take a look at this now," Rasheed said. "Make or think as you will, ladies, but, for me, that's a pretty good sight," he told co-presenters Nicole Bradtke and Tracy Austin.

A Seven spokeswoman confirmed the station had received a number of complaints after the comments and slow-motion replay were aired.

"We did get a number of calls, but we don't ever comment publicly on those," she said. "We had 30 calls in total on a night we attracted a national viewing audience of 3.89 million," she said.
Question: Were Roger Rasheed's comments merely poorly conceived space filler or an affront to Venus' womanhood? Ladies, if you were Venus, would you be offended by this? Fellas, what do you think?

If you wanna match the visuals with the story, here ya' go. Knock yourself out.

Venus Williams booty call stirs up viewers [Sydney Herald Sun]

Thursday, January 17, 2008

AverageBro Rewind: In Case You Missed It

AB is busy fighting for his professional life this week, billing 12-14 hour days for a d-bag customer, staying in a 3rd rate hotel down by the river, and subsisting on Red Bull and endless bowls of Honey Bunches of Oats. I have a deadline to reach by EoW... or else. Let's just say that blogging, while therapeutic and all that good stuff, is not high on my list of stuff to do right now. It beez like that sometimes.

I hope you guys understand. I'm sure you do.

It's still technically the holidays, because when I left home my neighbors still had their Christmas lights not just up, but still ON. Although it seems pretty triflin', maybe this is typical suburban behavior, so that to me says Christmas. And Christmas to me says fruitcakes. And you know what fruitcakes say... Regifting (and diarrhea).

If you folks enjoy these fine posts as much as you occasionally claim to, buy a damn shirt or mug or something cause I just might really, really, really need the money very soon.

With no further adieu, The AverageBro Rewind.

Channelling Your Inner Nigga™ - My magnum opus of bloggdom, a masterpiece which came waay too far ahead of this blog's popularity curve, and still has a puzzling, big fat ZERO comments. Go read this, and for the love of all things precious, leave a comment.

The AverageBro Broken English Hall of Shame - AB's list of not-quite-slang, but far from King's English terms he'd love to see disappear.

AverageBro Is A SellOut - Did you know has it's own store chock full of cool stuff you can buy to support a Jamba Juice and iTunes habit the starvin' chill'rens in A-ka-fra? Buy some stuff and make the world a better place. If things on the Day Job keep up at this rate, AB just might need to proceeds to pay his mortgage.

Take The AverageBro Challenge™ - Real talk. Read it, and do something.

Enough Is Enough Better Stay Off Debra Lee's Petunias - The often imitated, yet seldom duplicated BET post that sparked a million internet copycats and swagger jacks.

'Could Mr. Right Be White?' - The AP's Assault on Black Marriage - Because mindless chatter about interracial dating is always Blogger Gold™, and because the article's author ripped me a new one somewhere in the comments. Also, my first AB CyberStalker staked her claim here. I'm pretty sure this isn't the same person as the AP reporter, so let's just say I touched a nerve or six with this one.
Enjoy the show, folks. And pray for focus, steadfastness, and a stable Oracle database for your boy. I need every break I can cop between now and Friday.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Stepha Henry Case Takes A Turn For The Worse

I had a really rough time at the Day Job today, but then someone forwarded me a news story that put everything in perspective. A man suspected of having murdered missing college student Stepha Henry was arrested today in New York.

The body of Stepha Henry has not been found, but so much of her blood was in the car that took her to a Sunrise nightclub that she could not possibly have survived, officials said Tuesday.

At a news conference at the Miami-Dade Police Department, officials for the first time said Henry, 22, was brutally murdered last May, and though she remains missing, her killer, police said, has been located.

Police in Brooklyn arrested Kendrick Lincoln Williams, 32, Tuesday morning and have been questioning him much of the day, said Jim Loftus, assistant director of investigative services for the Miami-Dade Police Department. Williams is being charged with second degree murder.

Henry, a recent graduate of John Jay College who aspired to attend law school, was visiting her aunt in North Miami during the Memorial Day weekend last year when she disappeared.

Prosecutor Abbe Rifkin, of the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office, said the second degree murder charge against Williams could change as the investigation continues. Williams is also charged with tampering with evidence.
The body has yet to be located, but all signs seem to point to a bad ending.

I've had people periodically ask me why I kept posting updates about this story, when there really hasn't been any new news since June. I guess my thought has always been that Henry could just as well be my wife, mom, aunt, sister in law, or for that matter, my son, since this phenomenon of "who cares if they're black and missing?" is hardly gender specific. How would I feel if my loved one was missing, yet I couldn't even get the police to search for them because they didn't fit the typical profile of a distressed missing person?

While Henry's case did get some low level of cable news media coverage, it is nowhere near the frenzy typically generated by a missing Jesse Davis, Natalee Holloway, or Elizabeth Smart. The case is perhaps most notable for having been famously bumped from cable news coverage when breaking news of Paris Hilton's imprisonment pre-empted it. And that's a damn shame, but it tells you a lil' something about the country we still live in. Politricks of Hope™ and "A New America" aside, we still have a long way to go.

I could go off on some tangent about how that pregnant marine story is all over the news, yet I wouldn't have heard about the break in this case unless my readers told me about it. Would more media attention to Henry's disappearance have possibly lead to her safe return? The world will never know. Why is it that the media, and by proxy (in some cases), the police don't seem to care about missing people of the wrong hue? If you're a male college student like Julian McCormick, a female college student like Henry, or any age above and below, reality is, you better find your own damn self, because nobody will be looking for you. Except for your family, friends, and Black and Missing, nobody cares. There is no Laquita Alert.

What is true is that none of that matters right now.

A life is quite possibly lost, and though I don't know anything about Ms. Henry other than what I've posted here for the past six months, I felt a deep and profound sense of sorrow when I was forwarded this story.

If these allegations are true, I hope there's a sauna in West Hell waiting for Mr. Williams.

Please pray for the Henry family in this time of sorrow, and always pray for God's hedge of protection for your loved ones.

Police: Blood evidence shows Stepha Henry was murdered [Sun-Sentinel]

Every Hero Needs Theme Music. Cue That Jay-Z, Son!

"They're my theme music. Every hero's got to have some." - John Spade*

Okay, so much for no politricks as usual. That lasted about 10 minutes.

Tell me this ain't funny though.

Presidential hopeful Barack Obama claims to run a clean campaign, but someone in his camp took a swipe at Hillary Clinton through the candidate's theme song.

As Obama and his wife, Michelle, strolled triumphantly into his victory party in Des Moines, Iowa, on Jan. 3, Jay-Z's "99 Problems" was blaring. In it, Jay raps, "I got 99 problems, but a bitch ain't one."

Some listeners took it as a not-so-sly reference to Hillary.

"We didn't know he used that," a shocked Clinton spokesperson said.

Obama has no problem admitting he's a rap fan.

"I tell you what, I can tell you the kinds of stuff I love dancing to . . . I'm sort of the generation of Stevie Wonder and Earth, Wind and Fire," he told CNN on the campaign trail. "But I'm sort of hip to the younger stuff. You know, like Beyoncé's 'Crazy in Love.' That's a good song to dance to. Eminem . . . although he curses sometimes."
Ok, so maybe funny ain't the right word. I ain't the biggest Jigga fan, but sometimes a song is just too perfect to pass over. Speaking of which, why hasn't some shrewd politician adopted PE's Fight the Power as their official campaign theme song? Except for the "Elvis was a hero to most" line, which might be somewhat offensive to some folks, this song is perfect.

Here's the song in question, just in case you live under a rock. Be forewarned, cop them headphones first unless you want your cubemates to call for security. Not safe for work language ahead.

Since we're talkin' about hip hop, maybe someone needs to teach Obama some moves while we're at it. Dude has zero rhythm. He makes me look like Chris Brown by comparison.

This bama is gonna mess up the Lectric' Slide at his inaugural ball.

Question: Is Obama channeling Jay-Z as underhandedly offensive as Clinton's cronies dropping those dopeman subliminals? Some cable talking heads have suggested as much. You tell me.


* Cyber props to the first person who can tell me what movie this quote is from.

The Death Of The Black Comedy

[I'm taking a momentary pause of Politricks and B.S. For the newbies, don't worry, I'll be back on that tip soon enough.]

We all know TV sucks, but damn, whatever happened to the cinematic gimmie of Black Comedy? Sometimes you just need to laugh to keep from crying, especially when you're 1000's of miles away from home, billing 14 hour days for a d-bag customer, in a desolate city of Arctic level temperatures, staying in a 3rd rate hotel down by the river, with no end in sight. Or maybe that's just me.

But seriously, look at these trailers and tell me you'd drop $40 of your gross household income on such Extreme Coonery.

First Sunday

Roscoe Jenkins

And here's a few from last year.

The Perfect Holiday

Who's Your Caddy?

Seriously, WTF!?!?

Movies like this make me wistful for Pootie Tang.

Whatever happened to good black comedies like Carwash? Which Way Is Up? 48 Hours? Hollywood Shuffle? And of course my personal favorite...

20+ years later, and that movie is still comedic gold.

Yep, it's official. I'm gettin' old.

Question: Am I being too hard on these movies? Are you planning on going to see First Sunday?

If I'm stuck in the Twin Cities in subzero temps (seriously, it was 1 degree this morning. 1.) again next week, I just might be tempted to see First Sunday if for no other reason than to detox after dealing with this customer all day. I guess it beats suffering through another game of Exciting Timberwolves Basketball. Does this make AB a hypocritical coon'? Do I need to issue myself an honorary "kill thyself" for even entertaining the thought?

A Freakin' 150 INCH PLASMA TEEVEE!!!

Yeah, I know the economy is crappy, and I also know that TeeVee Sux, thanks to the writer's strike. I haven't seen a new episode of 30 Rock since way back in 07'. Watching TV nowadays is about as depressing as listening to a Mary J. Blige interview*. Thank God for library cards.

Note to Hollyweird: Work it out already.

Still, tell me you don't look at the photo above and find yourself somewhat excited [||] (or maybe a little tingly for the ladies).

Yes folks, it's a freakin' 150 INCH PLASMA TEEVEE!!! (caps intentionally added for emphasis. look at that friggin' thing, it's bigger than the woman!)

Panasonic President Toshihiro Sakamoto kicked off the first official day of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas with a slew of announcements, including a 150-inch plasma TV.

The 150-inch plasma, dubbed "Life Screen," is now the largest in the world. It boasts 2,000-by-4,000 pixel resolution and is 11 feet wide, or the size of nine 50-inch plasma TVs, Sakamoto said.

"It's capable of an amazing picture that is four times the resolution of our current full HD plasma displays," Sakamoto said. "It gives new meaning to the words reality TV."

He did not announce any pricing information, though the 103-inch plasma retails for $70,000, and reports have put the 150-inch version in the $100,000 range.

The massive TV was "designed especially for digital cinema and commercial installations, but might also be found in some very luxurious special homes in the future.
Hot damn! For merely the price of a rural home (somewhere in the South, $100k won't buy you a 0 Bedroom 0 Bath home in DC) you can have the fight party of all fight parties (never mind the fact that boxing sucks too).

Size matters, folks. [||] Imagine watching The Wire in HD on that bad boy. Imagine playing Madden or NBA2k on the PS3. Lifesized Yo! Gabba Gabba! Nonstop Lifetime Movie Network Hardcore Action and Sci-Fi flicks. NBA League Pass.

Yes, I just hyperventilated.

I would probably quit my Day Job and just lay at home in my draws watching Judge Joe, Maury, and Judge Mathis all day. My wife and kid would probably leave me, but goshdarnit, that's a freakin' 150 INCH PLASMA TEEVEE!!! Wooo hoooo!!!

Damn a 401k, the heck with retirement, I'm saving up for that right now.

I should have enough to afford it by 2027 or so. And considering my dubious track record of always being 2 years late with new technology, they'll prolly come out with a 250 inch model the next day.

Still, a freakin' 150 INCH PLASMA TEEVEE!!!

I'm goin' down to the corner store to play my numbers right now.

Question: Would you refi your home to cop one of these? I'm damn sure considering my options. Somebody get Countrywide on the phone right now!**

Panasonic's 150-Inch "Life Screen" Plasma Opens CES [PCMag]

[Editor's Notes: * No, seriously. Watch one of these and tell me if you're not instantly bummed out. ** This is a joke. Sorta. Kinda.]

Monday, January 14, 2008

Bob Johnson Should Be Beaten and Publicly Flogged

We knew The Clinton Machine™ would start digging deep into their trickbag with South Carolina looming and the race for The Number One Spot getting tighter by the day. But even I didn't figure they'd steep this low, this soon.

Then again, yeah, I sorta did. Sorry in advance for the lengthy quoting, but I didn't wanna cut any details from this one.

One of Hillary Rodham Clinton's most prominent black supporters said Sunday he was insulted by the characterization by rival Barack Obama's presidential campaign of her remarks about the civil rights movement.

Bob Johnson, the nation's first black billionaire and founder of the BET cable television network, said Obama's campaign had acted dishonestly and had distorted Clinton's remarks about Martin Luther King Jr.

Johnson also seemed to hint at Obama's acknowledged youthful drug use, an issue that led another Clinton campaign official to resign. Johnson later denied that was the case.

Clinton was quoted just before the New Hampshire primary as saying King's dream of racial equality was realized only when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Some black leaders have criticized that remark as suggesting Johnson deserved more credit than the slain civil rights leader for the passage and enactment of major civil rights legislation.

While introducing Clinton at Columbia College on Sunday, Johnson criticized Obama's camp.

"That kind of campaign behavior would not be reasonable with me for a guy who says 'I want to be a reasonable, likable, Sidney Poitier,'" said Johnson, owner of the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats. He commented after Clinton said in a televised interview Sunday that she hoped the campaign would not be about race.

Johnson also said Obama's own record should give voters pause.

"To me, as an African American, I am frankly insulted the Obama campaign would imply that we are so stupid that we would think Hillary and Bill Clinton, who have been deeply and emotionally involved in black issues — when Barack Obama was doing something in the neighborhood; I won't say what he was doing, but he said it in his book — when they have been involved," Johnson said.

Obama wrote about his teenage drug use — marijuana, alcohol and sometimes cocaine — in his memoir, "Dreams from My Father."

Johnson later said his comments referred to Obama's work as a community organizer in Chicago "and nothing else. Any other suggestion is simply irresponsible and incorrect," he said in a statement released by Clinton's campaign.
Note to Black America: Bob Johnson, doesn't give a sh*t about you (just turn to BET for evidence), and considering how they keep rolling out proxies to drudge up that old "drug dealer" angle, the Clintons don't either.

Anyone with half a brain knows Johnson has long been an F.O.B. (if you have to ask, you don't need to know) and thus his recruitment in this smear campaign is both deplorable and predictable. But it's not like you didn't already know this dude was clearly out for dolo. I won't even waste anymore keystrokes on him and his D-League basketball team. Thank God for TV One.

Considering how Reverend Al is still on the fence, yet chose to weigh in on that Tiger Woods debacle last week, I wonder what he'll have to say about this one. Then again, he's an F.O.B. himself, so don't expect jack.

The more I think about it, the angrier I get at this tactic. The double standard here is amazing. The Clintons keep lobbing subliminals at Obama, all with racial undertones. The she essentially does on Meet The Press this weekend and accuses Obama of reverse racism. If Obama had the nerve to say something similar about Clinton, the word "sexist" would stick beside his name in perpetuity, much like you can't find a paragraph without the terms "Louis Farrakhan" and "anti-semitic". Go head and Google that one. Tell me I ain't right.

By now, I'm convinced, any black person who would stand by and watch how The Clinton Machine™ smears a black man, yet still pull the level for Hillary is nothing short of a house nigga. I'm sorry for go hard [||] like that, but damn, how much clearer does it need to get for you people? These folks DO NOT LOVE YOU!!! They DO NOT RESPECT YOU!!! They DO know HOW TO PANDER TO NEGROES, because they know we DO NOT READ, and DO NOT THINK CRITICALLY!!! They want your vote, and know that enough of us will give it to them on the strength of the urban mythology of "The First Black President".

I hope the Negroes in South Cack aren't so starstruck by Slick Willy showing up at their church and talkin' greasy that they don't pay attention to the details behind the headline. Maybe hope ain't the right word. Pray.

Speaking of "hope", Obama needs to kill the Politricks of Hope™ bullsh*t and come out swingin'. You're in the major leagues now, patna. Swing! Hope is gonna have your beige ass back in Springfield if you don't Man Up and start fighting fire with fire instead of letting these bamas cold carry you erry day (sorry for the DC slang). Leave that Sold Negro routine to the Cablinasians. Clap back! Otherwise, we're lookin' at 8 years of "Mrs. Black Prez", and believe me, that ain't gon' be pretty.

My $5 $500 campaign donation is looking more and more like a damn waste. Somebody please tell Barry to sprout some testicles and get in touch with his Inner Nigga™. Pronto.

Question: If you're a black Clinton supporter, does this race baiting by Hillary have you reconsidering your vote?

Here's the video of Rob Johnson talkin' extra greasy for context. What an Uncle Tom.

Bob Johnson criticizes Obama [AP]

Clinton, Obama clash over race issue [AP]