Tuesday, July 30, 2013

AB.com's 40th Birthday Open Mic.

No, the site isn't turning 40. The blogger is.

I turn the Big 4-0 later this week. So as you might guess, posting is gonna be light around here. If you'd like to send your favorite blogger a monetary donation for his Geritol/Depends Fund, shoot that PayPal kite to AverageBro@gmail.com.

Anyways, some linkage of note to keep you guys talking in my semi-absence...
Chris Christie Fires Back At Rand Paul, Accuses Him Of ‘Pork Barrel Spending’ And More - I find it fairly hilarious to watch the two GOP 2016 "frontrunners" sniping at each other like two middle school girls.

What Oden Has To Offer - Hard to believe this guy was the number one overall pick once. He's on his way back, apparently.

Disturbing Video Shows Court Officer Sexually Assaulting, Then Arresting Mother While Judge Does Nothing - Somebody call Gloria Allred.

A party defined by whiteness? - More fallout from Steve King's brilliant "cantaloupe calves" comment.

Alaska Republicans would pick Sarah Palin in 2014 - Caribou Barbie is heading to DC.
Question: What's on your mind today? Did you turn 40 yet? Is it all downhill from here? Drop some links, start a convo.

Friday, July 26, 2013

GOP Congressman Calls Hispanic Teens "Drug Mules".

Since getting their asses handed to them last November, the GOP has talked a good talk about "expanding the tent" being "more inclusive" and "reaching out to minority communities". Well, actually they haven't. They merely said they would during their post-election autopsy, but have gone right back to being the jerks they are.

No GOP politician typified said jerkdom more than Iowa Congressman Steve King, a guy who is the DC incarnation of Rush Limbaugh. Never one to hold his tongue when it comes to talking about minorities, King delivered a racial insult of legendary proportions last week. And wouldn't you know it, House Leader John Boehner is speaking up to finally throw King under the proverbial bus, albeit an entire week after the fact.
House Republican leaders are denouncing one of their own for remarks made last week that disparaged most illegal immigrants as drug smugglers. The comments by Rep. Steve King (Iowa) came as the GOP is trying to improve its image and political prospects among the fast-growing Latino community.

King, one of the House’s most vocal opponents of immigration reform, told the conservative Web site Newsmax that for every young illegal immigrant who becomes a valedictorian, “there’s another 100 out there that — they weigh 130 pounds, and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”

Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) condemned King on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Rep. Raul R. Labrador (R-Idaho), who was born in Puerto Rico, called King’s remarks, made last Thursday, “irresponsible and reprehensible.”

“What he said was out of touch with the conference. There’s nobody in the conference who would say such a thing, and I hope that he, if he thought about it, he wouldn’t say such a thing again,” added Labrador, who spent months working with seven House colleagues on a comprehensive immigration reform bill before dropping out of the stalled effort last month.

King’s office did not respond to a request for comment. But in an appearance on Radio Iowa on Tuesday evening, King stood by his remarks, saying his description of some immigrants as “drug mules” came from talking with Border Patrol agents.

He said that if immigration reform proponents “choose to characterize this about valedictorians, I gave them a different image that we need to be thinking about, because we just simply can’t be passing legislation looking only at one component of what would be millions of people.”
Wowzers. Not only did King not apologize, he basically doubled down. But thanks for telling us all about the astronimical calves of Hispanic teens, Steve. Cool story, bro. Sure, it might offend the millions of kids who work hard in school, and just might make these kids lifetime Democrats by default, but hey, the comparatively miniscule number who might actually be drug mules need to be grabbed by their grapefruit.. err, cantaloupe sized calves and thrown back over the border.[1] Amirite?

And that, my friends, is why the GOP is on a fast track to becoming totally irrelevant.

I've long contended that if the party's leadership merely stood up and publicly denounced some of its less savory members when they say stupid sh*t like this, it would help project the sense that such opinions aren't welcome. In retrospect, that was silly. Reality is, the party needs to quit promoting and helping get people who say ignorant sh*t like this elected in the first place. Still, kudos to Boehner for doing what decent human beings do when in roles of leadership.

Question: Is there anything the GOP can do to reach out to minorities when people like Steve King are in policy crafting positions?

[1] BTW, if you think the quote on the photo above is just some silly internet meme, you're wrong. Yes, an elected official actually said that.

Juror B-29 Speaks.

I really don't have the time or energy to expound on this one. Ya'll have at it.

Question: Does "Maddy's" story add up? Is this too little too late? Should she have stuck to her guns?

2013 NBA Free Agents

We are approaching the “dog-days” of the NBA season, those six weeks when nothing much gets done as the league prepares to enter its unofficial “slow” period, the stretch between the end of summer league and the beginning of informal team pickup games that usually commence after Labor Day.

However, fans who bet on NBA still expect to see some movement in the free agency, despite the fact that the remaining players could prove a gamble for interested teams.

Our first thought was that Mo Williams, despite his limitations, could still do a job for someone. It’s true that he has his limitations on the defensive side of his duties but he can shoot from deep and score, all he has to do is accept that he’s now going to be a bench player and not be a first-choice selection.

He doesn’t deserve the minutes, salary, or role that he once did but he can still score points and, if he can be hidden and protected defensively, he’s well worth a gamble.
All teams need a fighter who brings energy to the team and can get into a tangle offensively and defensively. Ivan Johnson is that player and, although he started life late in the league, he can still produce the numbers.

His games not pretty but he will surely be attractive to a few teams as someone who can act as the right sort of support and protection for your scorers.

Few would want to pick Lamar Odom for his scoring prowess these days, especially as his shooting percentage was down to 42.9 last season with the Los Angeles Clippers, but what teams shouldn’t forget is that he is was - and still is - a very underrated defender. Odom could be a solid addition if he's in the right physical and mental shape going into the season.

Tyrus Thomas may have had an overblown contract in Charlotte that was made to look even worse due to some very lack-lustre play at times and his large quota of injuries but some NBA betting pundits believe that a minimum deal for Thomas would be worth a punt.

A new environment could be just what he wants to provide him with fresh motivation. He is still young and athletic, and would be a good asset to any team if he could regain his form.

It is a quiet period in the NBA but keeping an eye on these free agents may provide enough interest over the next few weeks.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

AB.com Open Mic Tuesday.

I'm on the road this week, so ya'll have at it. Some stuff of note...

Woman who survived Chesapeake Bay Bridge car plunge describes swim to safety - Sista rear ended by 18 wheeler swims to safety after her car is knocked off bridge. Black folks, ya'll better learn to swim!!! Seriously, go read this story, it's amazing, and I'm waiting on the Lifetime flick to be made.

George Zimmerman Saves A Family From Overturned SUV - Sounds fishy.

Royal Baby Arrives - I'm still wondering why I should care.
Question: What's on your mind today? Drop some links, start a convo.

How Will The Ball Impact FIFA World Cup 2014 Play?

A soccer ball is a soccer ball, right? Guess again—the construction and design of an individual soccer ball can impact many aspects of 'the beautiful game' including scoring, ball handling and goalkeeping. In other words, the specific ball used in soccer competitions is very important to players, fans and soccer bettors alike.

A newcomer to soccer may be surprised to learn that the ball has changed significantly over the years. Individual pro soccer leagues have their own protocol concerning the most important piece of equipment, but FIFA has the final say over the World Cup ball. Since the 1930’s, World Cup soccer balls have changed several times to incorporate new manufacturing technologies and to keep up with the evolution of the sport itself. The original World Cup ball was made of 12 individual panels of brown leather sewn together and bears little resemblance to a modern soccer ball.

Beginning in the 1970’s, Adidas has manufactured the balls for the last 11 World Cup competitions. The first Adidas ball had 32 leather panels in the classic black and white design. In the decades that followed, there were changes in the number of panels, use of supplemental man made materials to increase speed and reduce water retention, and a move from stitching the panels together to the use of thermal bonding.

The 2010 FIFA World Cup soccer ball , named ‘Jabulani’ by Adidas (‘Jabulani’ is from the Zulu language of Africa and means ‘To Celebrate’) was a technological marvel of 21st century industrial design. It was comprised of 8 panels that were actually molded together which results in what Adidas proudly declared as ‘perfect roundness’. It also had ridges and texturing on the ball added during the manufacturing process. The concern was that the fewer panels would have resulted in a ball that was too slick, and the texturing gave the ball a certain ‘roughness’ or ‘grip’ which helps maintain balance during flight. If you want to get FIFA World cup predictions on the ball, you can get those too.

With the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil just a year away the soccer world is anxiously awaiting the unveiling of the Adidas ball designed specifically for that competition. At this point the only thing that is known about the ball is it's name—it will be called 'Brazuca'. This name was chosen in a vote of Brazilan soccer fans over 'Bossa Nova' and 'Carnavalesca'. Adidas has released pictures of a 'mocked up' ball but they've kept the details about its construction under wraps.

So how could this impact FIFA World Cup soccer? All of the technological advances in ball engineering are designed to improve control, accuracy and speed. In theory, that means more goals. More goals obviously means higher scores, but also that good teams have an easier time putting up margins on less talented sides.

Before the 2010 World Cup there was borderline outrage among players—simply put, no one was happy with it. Goalkeepers said it was harder to see and stop. Scorers said it was harder to shoot. Midfielders said it was harder to pass. Once the games began, however, there were few complaints.

So once the new 2014 FIFA World Cup ball is released expect complaints from every quarter. That will be before the players start to practice with and gain a familiarity with the new balls. Once the competition itself begins it will most likely be 'business as usual' and there will be nary a word about the ball itself.

Friday, July 19, 2013

President Obama's Trayvon Martin Speech.

You've probably noticed I haven't said much about President Obama here lately. That's purely intentional, and if you need a refresher on why, just rewind a bit.

So, no, I'm not exactly on the hardcore #TeamObama bandwagon anymore. But don't worry, I'm not morphing into a breastless Conservative Black Chick before your very eyes either. I'm just finding less and less inclination to stick up for sh*t he and his administration are doing anymore. Call it Negro President Defense Fatigue. Or don't call it anything. I don't care. Whatever.

So when I got a news alert that the President was finally breaking his silence on the George Zimmerman verdict, I was naturally skeptical, given his "tiptoe through the tulips" approach to issues of race since being elected. I haven't watched this myself yet, maybe I will later (or not) and weigh in. Either way, here it is.

Question: What did you think?

We Almost Lost Detroit.

I've been to Detroit before. Used to have in-laws there. All jokes about wise cracking city councilwomen, crippled Benihana-loving struggle rappers, and disaster pRon aside, it's a lovely city. I wouldn't live there myself, because I love DC and don't particularly enjoy shoveling snow, but I wouldn't dissuade anyone else from either. Especially when you can get a pretty large house for less than the price of a used Accord in many parts of the city.

Correction: make that a used Taurus.
Michigan Governor Ricky Snyder and Detroit's emergency manager Kevyn Orr sought on Friday to assuage residents' concerns over the city's bankruptcy proceedings while acknowledging that a lengthy court battle awaits.

"We're the comeback state in Michigan, but to be a great state we need… Detroit on the path to being a great city again," Snyder, a Republican, said at a press conference.

On Thursday Detroit, a former manufacturing powerhouse and cradle of the U.S. automotive industry, filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection, making it the largest municipal bankruptcy in American history.

Snyder acknowledged that the bankruptcy would be seen as a new low point for the city, but said "this is the day to stabilize Detroit."

Detroit has tens of thousands of creditors and the city already faced a number of lawsuits before filing for bankruptcy and experts expect the court case could last years and cost tens of millions of dollars.

Orr acknowledged that the court battle could be protracted and difficult, saying that straight off the bat the city will "have an eligibility fight, I suspect" over his right to file bankruptcy.

News of Detroit's bankruptcy, meanwhile, sent prices tumbling across the $3.7 trillion municipal bond market, which has been on a weak footing for weeks thanks to uncertainty about the future of the U.S. Federal Reserve's massive stimulus program.
I can't add anything to this story that hasn't already been said, so I'll just drop the song this post is titled after here.[1]

Question: Would you move to Detroit?

[1] Can you name the most notable hip-hop song to sampled this? Should be easy if you know your stuff.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

AB.com Open Mic Thursday

One day till the weekend. Thank you Jesus! I'm sorta busy catching up today, so ya'll have at it. Some stuff of note...
Trayvon Martin’s Parents Speak Out On All Three Major Networks, Call On Obama To ‘Investigate’ Zimmerman - Yeah, good luck with that.

Al Sharpton Talks ‘Cultural Disconnect’ With Jeantel: I ‘Understood’ That’s ‘Just The Way Some Of Y’all Talk’ - I honestly haven't been paying any attention to the latest media developments in this case. I know one guy who will not be talking anytime soon: Zimmerman. There's a book deal already in the works. The game is to be sold, not to be told.

Tennessee Woman Suffering From Back Pain Diagnosed With ‘Ghetto Booty’ - Yeah, this really happened.

CVS won’t sell Rolling Stone issue featuring Boston bombing suspect - Good for them. Turning an (alleged) terrorist into a Tiger Beat style coverboy is a tasteless move for Rolling Stone. I know this is all about attention/selling magazines, but seriously?

Black Women Seize TV Center Stage at Last - Funny, cause I thought it was just "Scandal". But anyways...
Question: What's on your mind today? Drop some links, start a convo.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Let The Rioting Begin! #NoJustice4Trayvon

Last week here, I suggested that the aftermath of the George Zimmerman trial would likely result in social media outrage, but no actual looting in the streets. I was at www.topbettingaction.com putting wagers on the likelihood of this not happening. Yeah, so much for that.
Protesters ran through Los Angeles streets Monday night, breaking windows, attacking people on sidewalks and at one point raiding a Wal-Mart store, while others blocked a major freeway in the San Francisco Bay Area in the third night of demonstrations in California over George Zimmerman’s Florida acquittal in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

Thirteen people were arrested after multiple acts of vandalism and several assaults in Los Angeles’ Crenshaw District, Mayor Eric Garcetti and Police Chief Charlie Beck said at a news conference.

More than 300 officers were called to the scene and were at first slow to directly engage protesters in an attempt to allow a peaceful end to the demonstration, Beck said. But the chief said police would take a much stricter posture in the coming nights.

Several hundred mostly peaceful protesters gathered Monday night at Leimert Park southwest of downtown LA, many of them chanting, praying and singing.

But a smaller group of between 100 and 150 people splintered off and began blocking traffic on nearby Crenshaw Boulevard, some of them jumping on cars and breaking windows at liquor stores and fast food outlets.

Several protesters ran into a Wal-Mart store, where they knocked down displays before store security chased them out, and police began guarding the door.
Let's be real here: these looters (they're not rioters) have nothing to do with #Justice4Trayvon. These are opportunists who saw an open window to procure a few free bottles of Loopys[1] and a PS3 for their "suffering". These Negroes deserve whatever lumps the LAPD doles out. And while we're at it, how about this latest "kewl Internets meme" ?!?
Trends come and go on social media, here’s hoping this one goes quickly.

People have taken to posting pictures of themselves online imitating the picture of Trayvon Martin’s dead body aired on live TV Friday during coverage of George Zimmerman’s murder trial.

Done by teens, most of whom are white, Trayvoning involves people lying motionless on the ground with Skittles and an iced tea, often while wearing a hoodie.

‘I don’t think it’s very appropriate to do,’ one woman told Fox 40. ‘It hurts me, and it’s not my son,’ James Shelby, president of the Greater Sacramento Urban League, told the station, adding ‘We need more conversations in homes about how we can all get along better. In turn, our kids are educated in things we shouldn’t do.’
I can has visit from George Zimmerman?!?


Question: What's up with these kids?

[1] What ya'll know bout' that?!?

Monday, July 15, 2013

After Trayvon Martin.

[Editor's Note: This is not spellchecked, and it's also likely incoherent at points. Forgive me. Blame the hands, not the heart.]

I, like many of you, was devastated to hear the verdict Saturday night. As the jury forewoman read the words "not guilty", my mind numbed. Did I really hear what I thought I'd heard? My wife hit the repeat button on the DVR, and yet again, the verdict, stated so quickly and matter of factly, was still "not guilty". And with that, the whole thing was over. Zimmerman was a free man, one with a bright, lucrative future once his inevitable book and movie option deal materialize. And the Martin family was screwed, left to go on without their child, with feelings of justice denied.

Like most domesticated Negroes, the thought of going to Best Buy and stealing a few PS3's never crossed my mind. I took my frustations to social media, which is pretty much the 2013 equivalent of rioting. I predicted this would be the medium most used to air their frustrations last week, and (much to the chagrin of media outlets who clearly wanted riots!) was correct. Yesterday, I avoided any form of media (social, print, televised) like the plague. There wasn't anything I needed to hear from anyone to make me feel any better about what had happened.

Two days after The Verdict, I'm wondering what we, as Americans, have learned from all this. That black life posseses inferently less value in this country's judicial, educational, and economic systems? I doubt anyone with a functional brain didn't already know this. Did we learn that "it's not what you know, it's what you can prove"? Again, anyone with a decent understanding of the law already knew that. The burden of proof was on the state, not the defense here. And reality is, they simply didn't run a solid enough case. I said so for 4 weeks. The way that the state closed its case gave me some glimmer of hope, but again, if you look at the evidence as submitted via the state, it was clear all along that they simply didn't have enough to convict Zimmerman.

This, of course, doesn't make Zimmerman innocent of wrongdoing. We all know he wouldn't have profiled a similarly attired white teenager. That he shouldn't have gotten out of his car. That he should have identified himself as a neighborhood watchman. That he shouldn't have engaged Martin at all. That he, by virtue of pulling that trigger, is the reason why Martin is dead. We know all of that.

I don't know is how to explain this to my children. How to prevent my two sons from meeting the same fate Martin did one rainy Sunday night in Central Florida. I, as a parent, can prepare my kids, teach them to respect autority, explain to them why they need to always be aware that they're being judged by a slightly different set of rules, even when those judging have no recourse for doing so. Just as my father prepared me and my brothers. Just as his father prepared him and his brother.

They can do all of that, and still end up dead in the grass, because someone assumed something about his based purely on your appearance. And the man responsible can walk and become a millionaire, why I, as a father, would be left feeling every bit as helpless, angry, and hopeless as I'm certain Tracy Martin does today.


Friday, July 12, 2013

George Zimmerman Trial Open Mic.

Closing arguments are today, and we may have a verdict soon. You're gonna wanna talk about this, here's your forum.

Question: What are your observations on the closing statements? How do you think the jury is viewing this?

Thursday, July 11, 2013

No, Mainstream Media: Black People Will NOT Riot If George Zimmerman Walks.

The George Zimmerman 2nd degree murder case seems to be limping to the finish line, with closing arguments beginning today, and the jury likely to begin deliberation by Friday. I've personally been appalled by the awful, and completely terrible job the State of Florida has done in trying Zimmerman. I won't bother rehashing my thoughts here. If you follow me on The Twitter (and seriously, why aren't you? Just go do it now.) then you already know how I feel about the state's attorneys. Go read the timeline. I'll spare myself the carpal tunnel.

In any event, many in the (primarily, but not exclusively Conservative) media have posited that should George Zimmerman get off scot free, Negroes are gonna take to the streets in the name of justice and tear some sh*t up. The Sanford Police Department is apparently so weary of such an outcome that they commissioned this video to preemptively beg people to chill the f*ck out.[1]

Honestly, that video makes we wanna riot. Seriously, what in the hell was that? Rap? Spoken word? Acapella dub step? Liturgical dance? Huh? Did I miss something here?

BTW, I love how they put the white cop in the middle, almost as if to imply that they're gonna protect white people from angry Negroes, no matter what happens. #message #3rdeye #thatsh*tisracist

Anyways, I just don't see a repeat of the Rodney King Riots should Zimmerman walk (which I suspect he will now). Black people are smart enough to know that the Feds watchin' venting by stealing a plasma TV is both wrong and impractical. I mean, the boxes are so big, and damn near impossible to fit in a back seat. I might grab a PS4, but they ain't even out yet.[2]

Times have changed, and people have other vehicles for venting. Thus, I think people will take to the streets (aka: Black Twitter) and express their disdain, and in a few days this'll all boil over. That's it, and that's all.

Me: I might go down the the Peruvian Chicken joint and steal some napkins. Lots of napkins.

Question: Are predictions of LA RIOTS 2013!!! overblown? Is the media using an outdated stereotype for the airing of black frustrations.

[1] Funny... I haven't heard anyone tell gun owners and the kooks who sent Zimmerman hundreds of thousands for his defense team to preemptively calm down should he be found guilty of something or other. Wonder why...

[2] Jokes.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Ashy Or Classy?!? Lebron James Is (Apparently) A Rapper Now.

Let's be 100% honest here: there isn't a single black man in America that doesn't think he can rap.[1] I'd go a step further and assert that roughy 50% of all black men under the age of 40 have either...

1) Recorded a rap song or
2) Made a beat.

Personally, I've done both of the above, and while nobody else (other than my family) may agree with me, I consider myself fairly decent at both. My brother and I once recorded an entire 12 song album one weekend after he was unexpectedly snowed in at my house.[2] It's really not that hard, and thanks to technology (ie: FL Studio) it isn't even expensive anymore. If you have a computer, a mic, and some imagination, you can make it happen. So it's not wonder why this hood dream is seemingly one shared by darn near everyone. Even if you haven't recorded anything yourself, there's a great chance you know someone who knows someone who did, Six Degrees Of Black Kevin Bacon style.

I say all of this, because I'm not gonna disparage Lebron James' his right to drop bars when I've done the very same thing myself. No certainly not gonna disparage him for being a rappin' athlete because that's been done several times before, and it's not like he actually needs to be in the gym improving his game. Nope, I'm gonna disparage Lebron James because he has #StruggleBars, as the "snippet" he released earlier shows.

Ughhh. With all the money this guy has, couldn't he pay someone for an original instrumental, or download some sh*t off DatPiff? Jesus, how many random Negros have already ruined "N*ggas In Paris" since 2011? Did we really need a 1,022,392,231st? No.

I don't even care what the finished product sounds like: 3 1/2 bars of struggle is more than enough for me to declare this Ashy.

Question: Ashy Or Classy? Does Bron Bron have a future in the rap game? Do you rap/produce/sang? Be honest.

[1] Not na'er one. I bet even Clarence Thomas thinks he coulda been in the Sugar Hill Gang.

[2] Before anyone asks, no I will not be sharing said songs, because it's just a hobby my family/friends and I occasionally mess around with. Don't bother.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Ashy Or Classy?!? The Most Ratchet 100 Year Old Woman Ever.

True story: I once met a 114 year old woman.[1] A few years ago, I was visiting my Grandmother and she told us she wanted to go visit a woman she'd read about in the local newspaper who'd lived in 3 different centuries and was still tickin'. So we drove to the woman's town, my grandma stopped at a gas station and asked where the woman lived, we successfully located her house, and were greeted at the door by her granddaughter, who was elated to see three strangers at the door (my brother was with us) and invited us in to see the lady we'd driven an hour to find.

The end result was nothing at all like this ghetto sh*t! somethin' like this.

Sorry, I know some of ya'll are gonna say this is cute, but this sh*t is ratchet as f*ck. I guess this is would would happen if Miss Joseline somehow made it past age 40. It's not amusing. But maybe that's just me.

This is very, very Ashy.

Question: Ashy or Classy? Is a 100 year old woman entitled to talk about as many random d*cks as she likes, or does this lady need to be at Shady Knolls?!?

[1] Completely true story, BTW. I was probably more amazed that this family just allowed as random assed folks to walk up in their home more than anything else. The lady was surprisingly lucid for her age, and nothing like the one-time Cab Calloway jumpoff in the video above. It was pretty inspiring. This was several years ago, and last I heard she was still alive.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Do Poor White People Exist?!? (Revisited)

I found a story about hunger/poverty in rural Tennessee in today's Post interesting. Maybe you will as well.
Here, in the rural hills of Tennessee, is the latest fallout of a recession that officially ended in 2009 but remains without end for so many. More than 1 in 4 children now depend on government food assistance, a record level of need that has increased the federal budget and changed the nature of childhood for the nation’s poor.

First, schools became the country’s biggest soup kitchens, as free and reduced-price lunch programs expanded to include free breakfast, then free snacks and then free backpacks of canned goods sent home for weekends. Now those programs are extending into summer, even though classes stop, in order for children to have a dependable source of food. Some elementary school buildings stay open year-round so cafeterias can serve low-income students. High schools begin summer programs earlier to offer free breakfast.

And late last month came the newest iteration: a school bus retrofitted into a bread truck bouncing along a potholed road near the Blue Ridge Mountains. It parked in a valley of 30 single-wide trailers — some rotting in the sun, others swallowed by weeds and mosquitoes alongside the Nolichucky River. The driver opened his window and listened to the utter silence. “It feels like a ghost town,” he said.
Go read this story, and chime in with your thoughts below.

I hate beating a dead drum here, but while I found this piece to be well written and enthralling, I can't help but compare the tone of the piece with your typical urban poverty story. Here, once again, the concept of personal responsibility is foreign. Unmarried white omen with multiple kids by multiple fathers aren't taken to task for their poor decisions, crime (which is surely a problem) isn't mentioned, and there's a convenient excuse (Obama!) for why these otherwise motivated people find themselves on society's bottom wrung. The people (teens, young mothers, kids, but oddly no grown men) are victims of circumstances beyond their control, not people whose own life decisions landed them where they are. They are humanized in a way poor urban blacks seldom are.

I'm sure some of you think I'm a little paranoid (I am) and insensitive to the people in this story (I'm not), but seriously. It seems like the mainstream media pretends the millions of poor white people in this country don't exist, and only "discovers" them for well written, nuanced pieces like this one. Frankly, although I (obviously) enjoyed reading this excellent piece of longform journalism, I'm getting a little tired of this.

Question: Did you read the entire article? What are your thoughts?

AB.com Open Mic Monday.

Hope ya'll had a restful holiday weekend, and nobody caught any permanent injuries from fireworks or vodka. Or both. I'm sorta busy catching up today, so ya'll have at it. Some stuff of note...
George Zimmerman Trial Shifts To Defense - Did the prosecution's weak case make Zimmerman a free man? In retrospect, did Rachel Jeantel's horrible testimony basically seal the deal?

ObamaCare Delayed - Is this the final nail in the coffin? Do you even care anymore?

San Francisco Plane Crash - Does this make you less likely to fly?
Question: What's on your mind today? Drop some links, start a convo.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Dear White America: N*gger And Cracker Aren't The Same Thing.

Since this topic has surfaced recently during the George Zimmerman Trial, often followed by cringeworthy analysis, I figured I'd break this down to the very last compound. I mean, seriously, CNN did this.

Boo. Lemme explain for anyone confused.

Okay, here's a very simple test for all of you who think there's a "double standard" for the two offensive terms, N*gger and Cracker.

Let me walk up to your wife (guys), whisper sweet nothings in her ear, and suggest we continue the evening at a hotel. I'm fairly sure she'd smack me in the mouth, and possibly even call the police. She'd be well within her rights, because I'm a stranger.

Now you go to your wife and say the exact same things I just said. She'd probably be flattered, and would likely be lining up someone to babysit overnight right now. You'd be in for a fairly nice evening, because you're her husband.

You can say the word n*gger as much as you'd like, to anyone you'd like. It's called free speech. You are free to do so. You are not, however, free from consequences. See the example at the top for clarity. Please note that I don't use the word n*gger because I think it's pretty ignorant. I would venture to say an overwhelming majority of black people do not use the word with any regularity. A few hundred rappers and comedians is in no way indicative of 30+ million people any more than Larry The Cable Guy and Michael Richards are indicative of all white people.

The word cracker has not been used to systematically oppress whites in this country. The word n*gger has been used to systematically oppress blacks. Simple as that.

There is a double standard, as is the case for many words. You don't have to like it, or even abide by it.

If you'd like to trade this double standard for a few that black people have to endure (redlining, subprime mortgages, racial profiling, being followed in stores, having people clutch their purses when they sit next to you on an airplane... yes, an airplane!) then I'm pretty sure we black people would consider this a fair exchange.

Until then, just accept it as-is. Or don't. And suffer whatever consequences might follow.

Question: Are n*gger and cracker the same thing? Equally offensive? Who should be allowed to say what?