Hi all. You can call off the hounds. I'm alive and well.
Been a little busy lately. The job has been pretty demanding; mid terms are coming up; I'm presenting my research next month; and I'm headed to New Orleans next week. Lots going on; not much time to process it all.
All that being said, I'll keep this post short. I just want to drop a line or two about what's going on in the news. Actually, these are more like rants that I had to get off my chest...
NBA All-Star Tim Hardaway has been put in the hotseat by the league for his recent homophobic remarks. When interviewed about the presence of homosexuals in the NBA, Hardaway went on the record by stating that "[He] hates gay people." He later apologized.
I always get a chuckle watching people spew hate messages and spread bigotry only to later apologize once they get slapped on the wrists for their actions.
Gambling or charity?
Speaking of stupid statements made by basketball players, NBA Hall-of-Famer Charles Barkley made an interesting comment that I'm not sure most people would even consider offensive. But, I did. After participating in an event for charity, Barkley commented that he was happy that they were able to raise enough for charity to play "two hands of Blackjack" (the check was made out for $50,000).
I suppose that what bothered me most is that Barkely, notorious for wasting millions of dollars on gambling, openly suggested that he recreationally squanders about as much money as he would spend to help the needy. I suppose you could make the same argument about any one of us who spends recreationally. But when you compare their million dollar paychecks to what we bring home, there's some major contrasting to consider. I like Barkley, but I'm disappointed with his lack of social consciousness and the egotistical way he lets us know about it.
Casualties of war
According to this article, a 22-year-old Marine was sentenced to eight years in prison for his role in the kidnapping and killing of an Iraqi civilian. This is a prime example of what happens when you send kids who are barely old enough to drink alcohol off to a foreign and hostile land and put guns in their hands. When war casualties are reported, we hear about the death toll (well, sometimes). We hear about the injuries. But we don't hear about the decline in human decency.
This war needs to stop. Right now.
Oops. She did it
I don't even know why I'm wasting my time mentioning this. But I just read that the ultra-surreal, infamous party girl Britney Spears completely shaved her head before entering rehab. These silly celebs don't know when to stop. I hope that all of the media whores keep this nonsense in mind while they follow these mindless celebs around (as if they died for our sins or something.)
While we're (regrettably) on the topic of idiotic celebs, if I hear one more thing about Anna Nicole Smith, her baby-daddy, or how her death 'touched' the world (Yeah. I heard someone say that.), I'm going do something bad. Who knows? Maybe I'll start watching Fox News for a change.
Seriously, is there nothing else going on in the world today besides Anna Nicole Smith? I've got an idea: how about we turn our attention to the soliders fighting and dying in this nonsensical war? If anybody's deaths are important and touching to the world, it's theirs. But, since hearing touching stories of those who lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan will only make the country oppose the war even more, I wouldn't be suprised if the media's attention has deliberately been turned to a stripper; turned Playboy model; turned golddigger; apparently turned tragic hero.
Grammy heroes (*snicker*)
Can we please stop talking about how the Dixie Chicks were 'vindicated' by winning a bunch of silly awards? To be vindicated implies that they had some horrible; almost catastrophic thing happen to them, only for them to rise about it all. Let's not confuse getting bashed by right-wingers for using their concerts to spread their opinions on the war with getting persecuted. After all, maybe the right-wingers were on to something. Most people don't pay $50-60 a pop to listen to political tirades. If they wanted to hear commentary and rants, they would sign up for a Political Science class (or read my blog perhaps?)
Also, can we please stop patting Ludacris on the back for publicly blasting Bill O'Reilly and Oprah Winfrey? Just in case you're in the dark about the feud, O'Reilly and Oprah both -- at one point or another -- criticized Luda for his work in the rap industry. When Ludacris won a Grammy award, he used the platform to exact revenge on them. Granted, O'Reilly is a loser on every front and Oprah is a first-class snob who has lost touch with the black community. But it hardly lends itself to being credible in the industry to start feuds with these guys. Maybe somebody should remind each of the idiotic players in this story to use their voice for something a little more purposeful; more purposeful than just serving the interests of their respective demographic groups. Sheesh.
The GOP is at it again. Ever since Barack Obama declared himself a candidate in the 2008 Presidential race, GOP pundits have been quick to chime in with their assaults on Obama's race. Between Rush Limbaugh's racist Halfrican American comments, Glen Beck's ignorant statements about Obama being colorless and how he may as well be white, and Brian Sussman's echoed Halfrican American comments, it's clear to me that conservatives who claim to be ostensibly committed to equality and 'colorblindness' are the ones most obsessed with Obama's race. Silly Republicans.
Obama's black leadership
If the GOP are the ones obsessing about Obama's race, the rest of the world is obsessing about Obama's role as a black leader. Can we please give it a rest already? Does the black community really need more political leadership at this point in our existence? I like Obama, but I don't want him being my black political leader. We tried it with Jesse Jackson, but he had too much mess under his rug. We tried it with Al Sharpton, but it turns out he has some dirt too (I hear that he was an FBI informant). Not since the likes of Shirley Chisholm have we had a true black leader in the political system. But in today's time, do we really even need one?
Black folks make up one of the largest consumer markets in the world. Black intelligentsia is continuously rising. Home ownership is up. Salaries are on the increase (not by as much as our white brothers and sisters. But it's still something that has shown improvement). College admissions are up (no thanks to the so-called Michigan Civil Rights Initiative). Simply put, we've got our stuff together. Yes racism (both of the individual and instutional variety) still exists. But, black folks are more empowered (or, at least have the tools to be empowered) to combat racism now than ever before. To continuously rely on a 'leader' to stir the masses -- to me -- is a diss to those who fought for the progressive movements that allow us the self-determination and the opportunities to prosper today. The sooner we realize that, the sooner we won't have to rely on Obama to be our "Great Black Hope."
OK. This post wound up being a little longer than expected. They always seem to get that way when I'm ranting about random things (I mean, are you really surprised though?). Hopefully, this should keep you full until the next time.
Now I've really gotta get back to work.
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Hi all. You can call off the hounds. I'm alive and well.