On Harry & Meghan

When Henry Charles Albert David and Rachel Meghan Markle, aka Harry and Meghan, decided to pack up and leave the majesty, the pomp and the trappings of the Royal Family I knew it was ultimately about racism. Not because I was a cynic looking for a fight. In fact, I never gave a rat’s ass about The Queen or any of the madness surrounding it all. I remember asking someone to explain to me what it was all about in the first place. Didn’t America become ‘American’ in part because they wanted to get as far away from the monarchy as possible? I was surprised to learn out the Queen didn’t actually run anything policy wise for the UK. Yea, I was really informed. 

Still, when Meghan and Harry became an item I noticed early on the code words and dog whistles surrounding them in the media. Especially in Europe. The realist, not the cynic in me knew white folk stuck up on the gravitas that is all things Queen and royalty would view Harry’s choice as something taboo. It’s one thing to sew one’s royal oats through youthful shenanigan’s and discrete indiscretions. It’s another to bring those indiscretions homeand for all the world to see!  Well I never!

When the couple left for Canada in early 2020, during the beginnings of a pandemic no doubt, in my heart I knew Harry was in essence choosing his wife over his position and subsequently his family. Watching Oprah Winfrey’s interview brought it all the way home for the world to see. Watching that interview brought many thoughts and few emotions to bear for me.

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  1. Meghan Markle is a G! For those who don’t get the lingo that’s short for ‘Gangsta’, (spelled correctly) a Boss, one who fully understands the situations and circumstances presented to her and has perfected the art of perseverance and stamina to become the winner! She is poised, peaceful, vulnerably and authentically human. Seeing her talk about the utter lack of support from the press and Harry’s family, as well as the betrayal of her father was heartbreaking yet familiarly typical. Rejecting her was typical. The heartbreaking part was seeing the pain of rejection and back stabbing after giving her most ardent attempts to broker peace through some compromises understanding the traditions of the institution. An institution which foundations are grounded upon caste and a total unwillingness to cede space for her humanity. She never had a chance. Her father, also a white man found pleasure in her mother’s body yet betrayed the seed his private joys produced when he saw an advantage for himself. Oh how so typical. Thomas Jefferson would be proud. Markle was broken to the point of not wanting to live any longer. Seeing her victorious now, is as much a triumph as was the evil attempts to destroy her from within that system.
  2. Harry is also a G! A remarkable young man who no doubt learned from the events pre and post the death of his mother. He could have easily chose the status of his birthright and lived the ultimate celebrity welfare experience like the rest of the clan. And yet he honored a commitment he made to his wife and infant son choosing love and freedom in circumstances most would never have the courage to overcome. It was refreshing hearing him admit he had blind spots when it came to the racial/caste systems and how he had to learn to see through his beloved eyes. Instead of encouraging her to deal with it, he got her the hell out of there. Now estranged from his father, his brother and many other relatives he moved to another country, escaping the welfare system having to figure out how to provide for his family; not only for food and shelter but for basic bodily security. Though he wouldn’t say who had the audacity to talk about the skin tone of his potential offspring, one can still see the disgust in his eyes just thinking about it.
  3. Hearing Markle address Buckingham Palace’s system as ‘The Firm;’ describing how her passport and keys were taken, her freedoms heavily restricted, it sounded like some Skull and Bone shit to me! A syndicate, an underworld of puppet masters lording over its inhabitants. At all cost the business, the machine of the Queen and the systems it supports must be continually reinforced to sustain its power. The palpable relationship Harry spoke of between the Palace and the British Press was also telling. With hands scratching one another’s backs I can only imagine the debauchery within the Palace walls during those Christmas parties.  
  4. Speaking of The Queen. Both Harry and Meghan speak adoringly of her and vouch for both her guidance and support. This leads me to believe she has no say in a damn thing that goes on around there. Or at least she believes she doesn’t. If she is as supportive and loving of her grandson and his family, how in the hell was his security detail pulled? Is she is a literal figure head ruled by The Firm? Or is she quietly complicit with her own situation?

Ultimately these are personal matters though limited details are played out in the public. I am very happy that Harry and Meghan spoke their truth. I am happy the race/caste system in the Palace have been exposed and revealed fully enough. Most of all, I am glad Harry was strong and courageous enough escaped the bullshit that killed his mother and with his wife able to raise two healthy and well balanced children. Good for them! Love wins!

Oh The Irony

Ya’ll remember when they got mad at NWA for singing “Fuck Tha Police?” They arrested these dudes in Detroit for singing a song. They group never harmed actual police. Remember when Ice-T had to concede to drop the distribution of the song “Cop Killers?” Body Count never did harm to any police. On January 6 these defenders of Whiteness actually KILLED and maimed COPS! But in the Whiteness Manifesto, these murders are merely casualties of war. They rap themselves like Vanilla Ice:

Fuck the police coming straight to The Capitol

My guy lost the election and it’s bull!

Stand by until the leader speaks

We have the authority to kill a Pelosi!

THIS is the game! They never actually cared about POLICE! They ONLY care about the power the police have to enforce Whiteness. As long as Black bodies are being battered and murdered it’s all good! Otherwise… seriously, fuck the police!

4RealTho Show: Death, Fear & Anger

This is the first release recorded May 28, 2020. The initial start was going to be in June. However, the George Floyd thing really messed me up. I couldn’t wait and I felt I had to get some things off of my chest. I knew I wasn’t alone. So I did what I could. It was recorded via Zoom audio digital recorder. I thought I was also recording with Zoom video but I was not. Tried to do a do-over but it wasn’t as organic in my opinion. Therefore personally I choose the original audio version.

Where Are The Blogs?

It’s been a long time
I shouldn’t have left you
Without a dope blog to step to…

Well I’ve wondered about all of that myself. Where has my inspiration been? Not like I haven’t had anything to say. I think I figured it out. These days there is so much going on in the world, and at such a break neck lightening pace that information overload is taking up places and spaces in my mind. These bits and pieces are consumed on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  Who has time to read something long and thought out? Who has time to write something like that?

Good writing takes time and thought. And shit, by the time you get your thoughts out well enough to articulate it in a way that makes some kinda sense, something else explosive has happened in the world. I don’t know about you, but when that happens to me, my energy and focus has shifted. I credit social media in that need information can indeed travel fast, even in real time. Equally, it’s sucked the creativity out of me when it comes to this writing thing. There is no doubt in my mind for all the great attributes of social media it has a dumbing down affect. It can be addictive and I’ve had to check my social media crack pipe tools. It’s ongoing.

On a higher note, I started my podcast back up, 4RealTho Show. It had been over three years since my last episode. Moving to another state, starting everything from scratch was a big and unexpected move. It was disappointing not to express myself or have access to that venue. But I was determined one way or another to not quit on it.  One of the ways I kept it close was to use my original show logo as my lock screen to my phone. Every day I had to see that logo multiple times and it reminded me of what was needed, what was to be resurrected.

We (I) have a couple episodes loaded and though the technology and studio building is still being tinkered around with, I happy to have it back up.  I’ll post those here for anyone interested.

As for the writing; well this is a start right? The last several months have been as stirring for me as anyone else. I have never been one to just write to be read, or to force content out of ego.  If it’s not something inspiring or true, I keep silent. I hope to do more writing, however, as it is quite cathartic. There will always be room for words that come from sincere thought and curiosity. I certainly am learning to appreciate the value of a few quiet moments in front of the keyboard. No distractions. No sounds beyond the clicking of the keys. Just me and my thoughts.

Maybe the time away will serve as a lesson. Maybe I just needed a respite and a restart. Maybe I’ll have more important things to say than even before. Who knows.

One thing is for sure; I’m still here.

 

 

Uncomfortable Truths

Imagine Oprah Winfrey became partners with the NFL and when asked about Colin Kaepernick saying, “We are beyond kneeling now. It’s about action.” The same people that hate Oprah and Gail King by association would be saying, “That bitch Oprah always trying to keep a black man down! She needs to stay in her lane!” They didn’t say that about Jay-Z.

Imagine Oprah buying into Papa John’s Pizza making a commitment to clean up its image after the owner was caught calling black people niggers in a conference call. Then it would have been, “See that bitch working against her own people. She needs to stay in her lane. We trade Oprah for Ellen!” They didn’t say that about Shaq.

When Bill Cosby spoke at Morehouse University talking down to black graduates – then followed it up with what was coined The Blame The Poor Tour, saying black people name their kids Shaniqua and Muhammad, and all that crap – (because he was talking down to poor blacks he neglected to say the name Condoleezza) – when he called young black men thugs who need to pull their pants up, who justified police shootings over a pound cake – many black folks applauded Cosby saying he needs to air this dirty laundry and challenge black people to a higher moral standard. When this same Cosby went down for breaking the moral standards he chided Blacks with lesser income and wealth, the same Cosby who admitted in court he drugged women without their knowledge…who did comedy about giving women Spanish Fly to get them into bed. Then this same Cosby – who somehow gets a twitter account and post from prison applauds Snoop – who has made millions upon millions of dollars making records calling black women bitches and hoes for decades calling Gail King a horse face bitch these same black people continue applauding Cosby disrespecting another black woman. R Kelly gets caught basically kidnapping young girls keeping them from their parents isolating them from their families, support system and foundations, and black people are like, “Where were the mommas?”

At some point and sooner than later we need to stop denying and seriously address this hate of black women in our own culture. We also need to do some self-examinations about the shit we way, the things we write, and not take the most popular and easy way of thinking into subject matters that deserve sophistication and perspective. We also need to stop denying and seriously address this hate of black women in our own culture. We are a most brilliant people. We deserve better, and we can and should do better.

We can agree and disagree on many topics. We are not monolithic. Some of my BEST friends and I disagree on shit all the time. Sometimes vigorously with plenty of profanities in tow. But we never disrespect one another’s person or manhood. It’s always love and true love at that. Somehow we have to find a way to disagree and criticize one another’s actions without the vitriol that tears our souls out right from within our own lips. There are few exceptions where I will just cold kick a black man/woman to the curb or the proverbial revoke their cookout privileges. That is only reserved for the most extreme measures.

And let us not forget: Some of ya’ll mad at Gail and Oprah absolutely hated Kobe both when he played and afterwards. Many black women hated Kobe during Colorado talking about him ‘fucking with white bitches.’ Many black men hated that he mimicked Jordan’s style and strove to be as great as if not greater than Mike. Some of ya’ll hung on to MJs balls so hard you couldn’t appreciate what Kobe brought to the game. Many of ya’ll hated him because you were team Shaq during their personal feud and didn’t identify with Kobe because he came from suburbia. You preferred AI. The killer part is just on a basketball level, the most hard core brothers in the league like Iverson, Stephen Jackson and Matt Barns all LOVED and respected Kobe often saying Kobe was more hard core gangsta and committed to the game than they were. I remember debating a brother in the fall of 2019 for calling him a snitch! I was like, “Man really? You do know he was like 23-24 years old then right? He was an underdeveloped man like many of us were at that age.” He was like, “Still a snitch!” But on his timeline he dogging King with NO mercy. So is it REALLY about Kobe? I think not.

At some point and sooner than later we really need to do some self-examinations about the shit we way, the things we write, and not take the most popular and easy way of thinking into subject matters that deserve sophistication and perspective. We are a most brilliant people. We deserve better, and we can and should do better.

With Love,

CMac

The NBA, China, and Hong Kong in Bullet Points

A friend recently asked me what I thought about the NBA and Chinese kerfuffle. There was too much to text.  I figured by the time I’d get to it the story would be over; at least till next summer when NBA players make their next pilgrimage to the People’s Republic where over a billion fans await.  But a certain NBA player decided to make a public statement so it’s back to the front pages. I’m not going to offer an essay. But I will share some observations I’ve pondered of view through bullets.

  • If you are not too such what the big deal is, at the very least it would help to do a simple Wiki on the relationship between China and Hong Kong. I’ll provide a link here.
  • When Daryl Morey tweeted, “Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong,’ almost 2 weeks ago, I thought it was the most ‘woke’ thing ever associated with his name. I was surprised he tweeted it, but impressed nonetheless. IMO Morey is a GM obsessed with analytics with no common basketball sense. This is why his teams always underachieves in the playoffs. On the flip side, he obviously didn’t count the cost nor was he willing to pay the cost to stand behind his statement. Soon afterwards he rescinded the tweet, and replaced it with something soft with his tail tucked between his legs. Bottom line, if you ain’t no freedom fighter, if you ain’t willing to stand on that hill with your chest out, just stay quiet. Morey is in management. He has no union to protect his job. And from the little I know about Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta, he’s lucky to still have one. Side note, I’m thinking Adam Silver talked Fertitta into keeping Morey out of expedience. If he fired Morey, he would look as if he is submitting to a communist government. Besides, we already have a president for that. But if the Rockets don’t win the NBA Championship in 2020, oh he’s gone faster than you can say Crab Rangoon! Save your $$ this year D!

 

  • I had to admit I was surprised by the Chinese government’s response. Not that they were pissed. Don’t get me wrong, I knew they were serious about their communism over there. They ain’t about that free speech life and every bit of media communications is distributed by the state. I’m talking TV, radio, newspapers and so forth. Imagine if Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity are in charge of all the news coverage of the president in the whole United States. That’s China but on steroids! What surprised me was just how incredibly butt hurt and in their feelings the government was. Though the Morey drew back a nub and Fertitta separated himself from the tweet, China went berserk! They wanted Morey executed! Or at least fired. But as I already said, Silver didn’t want the NBA, the ‘wokest of the major sports leagues’ firing dudes over tweets. Especially tweets he knew had some level of validity. So Silver rides the thin line of wanting to maintain a partnership with China, but not turn into a Chinese sycophant. That wasn’t good enough for President Xi Jinping; no sir! Instead, the he doubled down, cancelling games, removing signage from buildings and shutting down press conferences. Talk about having a hissy fit. Somebody needs to give ole boy a binky!

  • As the NBA and the remaining players in China lodged in their 5 star hotels tried to get their bearings, there appeared a big ole elephant in the room. “Hey guys, we make a lot of money off these dudes. And these dudes are really serious about their anti-human rights campaign.” Even as The Rockets trotted out James Harden and Russell Westbrook to talk about how much they love China, they appeared fragile and uncomfortably childlike. It was a terrible look. Especially considering what the Hong Kong citizens are fighting for. Let’s not forget them in all of this!

 

  • So, time went on. The players flew back home and that was supposed to be it. At least till next summer.  I thought to myself, “I know they can’t WAIT till opening night and put all of this to rest for a few months.”  But no! Somebody put a microphone in LeBron James’ mouth and he started talking crazy. “I don’t want to get into a … feud with Daryl Morey, but I believe he wasn’t educated on the situation at hand and he spoke. So many people could have been harmed, not only financially but physically, emotionally, spiritually. Just be careful what we tweet, what we say and what we do. Yes, we have freedom of speech, but there can be a lot of negatives that come with that as well. … Sometimes social media is not always the proper way to go about things as well…. “When you’re misinformed or not educated about something, and I’m just talking about the tweet itself, you never know the ramifications that can happen. We can all see what that did, for our league and for all of us in America and people in China as well. Sometimes you have to think through things that may cause harm not only for yourself but for the majority of people.” WTF?

 

  • Let’s examine this: LeBron James is the same dude who told Laura Ingram he will not shut up and dribble. This is the same LeBron James that stood up for Travon Martin and wore an, “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirt for Eric Garner. LeBron has been that athlete that has made so much money and garnered so much equity that he has 0 fucks to give about Donald Sterling losing the Clippers or what many in White America think of his opinions. Well, it turns out perhaps one of the reasons he has so much money and equity is because of the money he makes from China. According to Fox Business, James holds a lifetime deal valued at $1 billion with Nike. Nike’s sales in China were up 27 percent to nearly 1.7 billion in the most recent fiscal quarter alone. This makes James’ comments seem as if he is numb regarding the hell Hong Kong citizens are catching from the Chinese government.

  • I don’t know this for sure. But I suspect like when Harden and Westbrook were thrusted into the camera to offer China a verbal hand job, making a comment about Morey’s tweet wasn’t LeBron’s call. Somebody else involved with Nike asked him to do it. But his comments put him a very bad light with people like me, who are big fans of his on and off the court but who are not into kissing his ass. The only thing Morey was uneducated about was obviously James’ bottom line. Even Muhammad Ali’s former wife, Khalilah, a fan of James’ said, “He is no Muhammad Ali. But ‘he could be’ if he changes the way he handles global political issues. As another friend of mine told me today, LeBron’s response may very well be, “Ain’t no Chinaman ever called me nigger! The ironic thing I can imagine with LeBron is that he doesn’t realize that NFL owners are looking at him saying, “You wanted us to stand up for Kaepernick? Welcome to our worlds!  Now your money is talking and you sound like Thomas telling Malcolm X “Get your hands out my pocket!”

  • Still the best thing LeBron could have done is to have said nothing! And the NBA is not off the hook either. I’m sure that Chinese bread is wonderful. But as a business you knew what you were into in the first place. Hell if it wasn’t Morey some player may have tweeted or said something eventually. Maybe the league should have thought it through as to how it would handle the consequences. Either way, now the league is caught in a game of chicken and face saving because the Chinese want more than what the NBA is giving as Morey’s head is not on a stake. Furthermore, Silver defended Morey’s right to free speech; again something the Chinese government don’t know nothing about. Stay tuned. None of this is simple. But it damn sure ain’t that complicated either from an American perspective. The issue at the end of the day is, “How much do you want that money and what are you willing to do to keep it!”  I wonder what Stephon Marbury thinks about all of this?

Murder, Justice, and Biblical Psychobabble

The murder of Botham Jean and the subsequent trial and conviction of Amber Guyger definitely has its share of conflicting narratives. First there was the murder itself. Then there was the cover up. Then there was the cover up of the cover up.

So many of my family and friends held our breaths trying to determine how the trial would turn out. In the words of Snoop Dogg, “Murder was the case,” was an easy call. What else would you call walking into a man’s apartment and shooting him dead while he was chilling in his drawers minding his own business? We know that common sense ain’t always common. Especially when it comes to Black people and the police.

I’m in an ongoing text group with people from the East to the West Coast. Two in particular live in Dallas. Minutes after the verdict, the Dallas guys quickly transitioned to the sentencing. The immediate suspicion was the amount of years Guyger received would be way closer to the minimum 5 year range than the maximum 99 years within the sentencing guidelines. It matched my suspicions after the September 11 attacks. When the second plane hit World Trade Center, I calmly got up from my office in St. Louis, went to my car and drove to the gas station to fill up. Sure our nation was under a terrorist attack. Still, I knew many would turn this attack into a money making opportunity. Sure enough, by the time I got off work many stations had gone from an average of $1.23 per gallon to upwards of $5.00.  America had trained me well. These men obviously received the same training. We understand the fact that most of the time cops get away with doing dirt to Black folk.

When the sentence of 10 years was revealed, the thoughts I and many of my brethren felt was familiar. “Dammit! One step forward two steps backwards!” We got the right verdict, but the jury (who were encouraged they could focus on a lighter sentence) made it so Officer Guyger received more compassion than her victim.

Immediately the media focused on the love showered upon Guyger by the brother of Botham Jean, Brandt, as well as the judge in the case Tammy Kemp. Photos of Jean and Kemp embracing a sobbing Guyger became a weird symbol of grace and mercy for a cold blooded murder in the spaces of what was supposed to be a righteous judgment. As those photos circulated the internet, reactions were strong. Many are bewildered at how a young man who lost his brother in a brutal and unjust shooting can ask to hug the woman who is responsible for taking his life. These questions deserve answers.

The reason is simple. Christianity; specifically black people’s version of Christianity. The following statements are going to seem sweeping. Those that understand nuance understand the context of sweeping terms when something is generally true without taking into account every single individual sample. Historically in America Christianity has had a dual sense of purpose and benefits. For White folk, ever since slavery, God, Jesus, the bible are all tools and symbols based in reinforcing their inherent belief that they are god’s chosen people on the earth. For Black folk, God, Jesus, the bible are tools symbolic of helping to survive being second class citizens on earth, waiting to receive the true citizenship and value they deserve in heaven. This was taught from the beginning on American soil. How else could one justify slavery and all the horrors that came with it in the first place? Slavery wasn’t just about forced labor, bloody violence, rape, splitting up of families, it was about a system of mental degradation and oppression. One wonders how you can have both the slave and enslaver share the same religion at the same time. The only way that’s possible is to emphasize a different form of core teachings as it relates to earthly vs. heavenly life. White folks taught Blacks, ‘Slaves obey your masters.’ They taught Blacks to accept; no EMBRACE their subservient place and endure whatever they had to endure. After all, the more meek, humble and docile you are, the better chance god will reward and let you into heaven where there would be no more slavery or violence forced upon you.  White folks never had to take on that perspective. They believed in receiving their benefits right here on earth as they lived. For enslavers, Jesus preserved the order. For slaves, Jesus would reward them in heaven for submissive and loving behavior towards the enslaver on earth. Black Christians spend their lives trying to get to heaven. White folk demand earth as its birthright. Heaven is a forgone conclusion.

In a way, Black folks embrace certain moral core principles of Christianity similar to how we believe in the moral core principles of The Constitution. It appears we believe in the ideas more than the ones who brought it and tout it the most. But those that gave us the constitution and to a large degree the bible never intended for Black folk to receive any of the benefits in the first place.

One key principle that black Christians embrace is that of forgiveness. We take seriously the principle that God will not forgive us unless we forgive others. As Brandt Jean took the stand to talk about how the murder of his brother affected him, he kept talking about how he hoped Guyger would receive Jesus. This is key for him because even as he attempts to grieve and process the loss of his loved one, he is told constantly to depend on his faith in god. While grappling with his pain, grief and anger, his faith tells him that god isn’t pleased with his anger. He must forgo it and give it to god. As a result there is a constant pressure or being pressed on two sides of harsh reality. On one side it’s watching this woman and her backers lie, cheat, and attempt to do everything in their power to escape justice. On the other, it’s Jesus looking down on him demanding he show compassion and mercy for the sake of his own soul. This isn’t unusual at all. When Dylan Roof took 9 Black lives at Mother Emmanuel Church, plenty of surviving members went out of their way to express forgiveness in tears and wailing to a man who detested the sight of them.  To be honest, I put myself in Brandt’s shoes. I was raised in the same kinds of churches he was. When I was his age I may have done the same thing.

Now contrast this to White people’s experiences, again they’re version of Jesus isn’t the same. So if the tables were turned, instead of touting grace and forgiveness looking to absolve the perpetrator of as much internal guilt as possible, they would simply lean in towards the calls of justice. “You reap what you sow. We have to be tough on crime and punish criminals harshly as a way to preserve order in society. The criminal must take personal responsibility for his actions. Where were his parents? Why are they as a people so violent? They must pay for what they’ve done.” This is the difference in the outlooks. Both sides were raised Christian. But Christianity and its emphasis in this area are polar opposites. Whites were never told to forgive Blacks for anything.

There are two basic camps among Black folk. One says, “I’m tired of Black folk doing all the damn forgiving toward Whites for the deadly shit they do. The other says, “You can’t tell Brandt Jean how to grieve. If he wants to hug his brother’s killer, then so be it.” I think the most important thing is to understand what is behind his motives and how he got there. The fact is, forgiveness is a personal decision and journey. Unfortunately, many of us feel we must display it publicly in order for it to be legitimate. I also believe we don’t really understand what forgiveness is and what it isn’t. In other words, it’s one thing to release someone from causing you pain and turning your grief into darkness. There are plenty of people I’ve had to forgive. But for some, the acts were so devious and damaging there is no way in hell we are going to be hugging it out. That is not the same as wishing harm on the person or seeking to ruin their lives. Forgiveness in this case is no less valuable or sound than Jean’s. In fact, it’s probably more sustainable.

Again, there was a time in my life I may have reacted the same way as Brandt. I grew up with his brand of faith. Now if someone took away my only sister, at worst the hounds of hell will be unleashed if I have anything to do with it. At the very least, I’m going to be like them White folks and be on the side of justice. But I digress.

What I cannot justify, however, is Judge Tammy Kemp’s behavior in also hugging the murderer in her courtroom. There is something to be said that the Fraternal Order of Police in Dallas support her. Take that how you like it. But it’s interesting that she chose to give Guyger a bible. In most cases if someone is about to do time, you give them a bible for comfort in a time of need. In this case, Guyger already received just about everything she needed. A dramatically short sentence, the forgiveness of the people she hurt in public, and oh this… she’s expected to appeal so who knows maybe the murder conviction is overturned altogether. Hell, according to the established rules of the game, she should have given the bible to Brandt.