How to Discredit A Black Man? Just Call Him Angry

Kanye West and Eddie Murphy

Kanye West and Eddie Murphy

This morning Kanye West gave an interview on the popular morning radio show the Breakfast Club and almost immediately the reactions started to pour in. Everything from he supports child molesters and slut shaming to he’s crazy for loving his wife. Now to be fair you also had the “he’s a genius crowd,” which is also understandable.

Let’s talk for a minute about what Kanye is. He’s a man that’s pretty open about his faith, one of his biggest hits was “Jesus Walks.” He’s a man that dropped out of college to literally become one of the biggest musical stars in the world. Something we praise Mark Zuckerburg and Steve Jobs for. He’s never been in prison or fathered a bunch of children. He’s never glorified the selling of drugs of pimping and killing of women or children. Everyone that works with him talks about his work ethic and passion.

Let’s talk about who Eddie Murphy is. This is a man that at 19 saved Saturday Night Live. A writer, actor and director that has always hired black people not just in front of the camera but behind the camera. Everyone he’s worked with raves about his loyalty and comedic timing.

Both are proud and talented men who’ve recently been given the “angry” label. Eddie Murphy chose not to make fun and mock a man he’s looked up to for all his life so he’s “angry.” Kanye talks about his love for his wife, defends his best friends wife, makes a song dedicated to his daughter and late mom. He isn’t passionate or a standup guy he’s angry and emotional.

We diminish black men’s thoughts and concerns by reducing them to temper tantrums. We allow the media and trolls to highlight a sentence here or quote there and turn a valid point into a catchy punch line.

I’ve often been accused of being too serious but the world lacks serious men. Everything can’t be about getting a laugh or fitting in. You have to stand for something. And if you decide to stand for something and have a voice people will try and silence that voice.

Blaming the Victims or Guilty Until Proven Innocent?

Bill Cosby

Bill Cosby

Log onto Twitter, Instagram or Facebook on any given day and you’ll see vicious debates on whether or not Bill Cosby is innocent. There are people that will tell you there’s no way dozens of women have come forward to accuse him and all of them are lying. There are also people that will say why have they waited so long to come out and accuse him?

Just this week both his wife and daughter have come to his defense. No matter what you believe there’s someone on the other side of that argument that believes the exact same thing. When disagreeing with whether or not Bill Cosby or any other man is a rapist are you protecting his right to being innocent until proven guilty or are you calling the victim a liar. In calling her a liar are you scaring other women from coming forward because they don’t want their name dragged through the mud?

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this in 2014. Once the Ray Race video surfaced of him and his wife people immediately asked the question: was it her fault? She even came out and placed blame on herself in a sense. She accused the NFL and Baltimore Ravens of asking her to take responsibility for her role in the incident. To a lot of people that came off as them asking her to say it was her fault even if that wasn’t what she was literally saying. There’s no easy answer. There are cases all over America and the world where men have been falsely accused of rape only to be vindicated after years in prison or living with damaged reputations. There are cases all over America and the world where women have been raped and abused with no justice which so ever.

It’s easy to be black and white. He did it, he needs to go to prison. He didn’t do it, they need to stop lying on him. The truth is we don’t know the truth and for a lot of people that’s are more terrifying concept than anything they can imagine.

To be the women or man screaming for someone to be locked up for the rest of their life only to realize they’re innocent has to give you a feeling of guilt you can’t control. To be the man or woman defending a rapist only to realize he’s really a rapist is something that will live with you for the rest of your life.

As a writer I try to remain impartial but if I can give anyone advice I’d give this; stay away from absolutes until you know without a shadow of a doubt that he or she is guilty or innocent.

Coretta Scott King: More than the Wife of a King

Coretta Scott King in college.

Coretta Scott King in college.

“If a man had nothing that was worth dying for, then he was not fit to live.”
~ Coretta Scott King

There are some women that just make a lasting impression. It doesn’t matter when you meet them or for how long, once you do, you’re just impressed. I’m sitting at my computer researching an article I’m writing about the early years of Dr. King and Coretta Scott King’s relationship and something strange happened. I realized that I was falling in love with Coretta Scott King, Dr. King has been gone for a while and so has she but I almost felt as though I was doing something wrong.

I just couldn’t help it though, the more I read about her, the more I became fascinated by not just her strength after he was assassinated but with the woman she was before she became his wife. I could go into full writer mode and break it down but we live in a 15 minutes of less society so I’ll make it simple.

I’ll tell you all why she may be my favorite woman of all time!

One- When she was ten she picked cotton with her siblings so that her family could have extra money. Her father was the first black man in their town to own his own pickup truck and he built a lumber mill. When he refused to sell it they white men in the town burned it down. She knew struggle, sacrifice and hard work from an early age.

Two- Her sister was the first African American girl to go to an all white college. She took it one step further and tried to be the first woman to become a teacher in that district but they wouldn’t let her. So she left and took a scholarship at a college in Boston. She was willing to fight but knew that some battles just couldn’t be won.

Three- She’s a sorority girl. A member of Alpha Kappa Alpha to be exact. Who doesn’t love a sorority girl?

Four- She gave up her singing career to be the wife of a Baptist Preacher in Alabama. She wasn’t singing in lounges and clubs she was a degreed, talented opera singer. For her love and being with a man that could make a difference mattered more than her career.

Five- She’s gorgeous and all we have is black and white pictures. Could you imagine what she would look like in color and if she had Instagram filters? Beautiful, brave, hard working, smart and can sing? She’d be huge!

Six- The first time she met Dr. King’s father he told her that he didn’t think a singing career was cool for a minister’s wife. She told him, “Who told you I was taking your son seriously?” She then told Martin that she couldn’t talk to a man that couldn’t stand up to his father. She also asked that the word “obey” be removed from her vows. This was in the 1950’s where women rarely spoke up like that. That’s confidence and heart.

Seven- After his death she hesitated in taking a leadership role in the Civil Rights Movement but eventually she did and she kept his legacy and the legacy they created together going.

Eight- She was cool with JFK, everyone wants to be cool with JFK.

Nine- MLK Day, the King Center in Atlanta, all of these are monuments to her husband that she built. She was the one that pushed through legislation to get her husband a Holiday because of all he’d done. She was the one that fought Boston University to get his papers even though she lost.

Ten- She never remarried after Dr. King, never dated or gave her time to any other men. For as long as she lived she kept her vows even though he was gone. That’s loyalty, that’s incredibly cool.

America, Syria, Moral Obligation and the Machine

a flag America, Syria, Moral Obligation and the Machine
The United States has the largest military in the world. We have the most military contractors in the world. Our Navy could go against every country in this world and we would win. Our Air Force could wipe out any foreign military that we want. We spend more money training our marines than the University of Texas spends training a 5 Star QB.

Regardless of what you think our nation was built on war. We won our freedom by fighting the British and after we beat them we went on to murder every Native American that wouldn’t leave their lands and lay down.

As a country we import three times as much as we export. Clothes, technology, food, cars and almost anything you can think of. Why is a country that’s so dependent on other countries and relatively small so feared, so respected? Because every country in this world knows that our military influence can break them.

The only way to justify spending the amount of money we do on our military is by actually using that military. The reasonable part of me wants to believe this is simply about helping a country that’s being oppressed but if that’s the case there’s countries all over the continent of Africa, countries in South America that are experiencing genocide. We’re going to war because we can beat them and show our power.

War is necessary in the world we live in, there will be times when there is no other options. In the vase of Syria this is not one of those times. Our military is a hammer, they are very good at blowing things up and winning the fight. However, when you destroy a nations military and make proud men beggars you create enemies.

We’re still in Iraq and Afghanistan because if we leave them defenseless all hell will break lose. We can’t save everyone. We don’t save African or South American or Ssian nations so why the moral obligation to the Middle East?

4 Factors to a Happier Work Week: Sleep, Masturbation, Exercise and Conversation

182240_562470723185_118401058_31406809_1126638_nHow often do we see or hear people crying about Mondays? Not because they had a good weekend, not because they had a bad weekend but simply because it’s Monday. TGIF has become a phrase everyone uses even when they have no plans for the weekend! Now some of it is because people simply hate their jobs and anytime away from work is a blessing. Some of it is mental, the weekend means no dropping kids off or getting up early, no worrying about what you’re going to wear or if you need to get gas before work or after work.

Those are all valid reasons but here’s the most serious reason: People let work and home life consume them. They go to work, fight traffic, have an hour or two of down time and then have to do it all over again the next day. You can’t live like that and not expect to be mentally drained. It’s why someone can sit in front of a computer all day and feel like they’ve just ran a marathon.

You have to take care of your body and mind. These are four factors that will not only help you make it through the work week but will also give you some clarity when everything around you is chaos.

Factor 1- Sleep

We love our technology, I’ve been guilty myself of carrying my cell phone from the kitchen to the bedroom to my office. Messing with my tablet while watching TV while my laptop is open in front of me. Technology has made our lives so much easier but it’s also killing our sleep. How many of us are on those cell phones in bed? Have the TV on in bed? Our bodies need rest, our minds need rest. Studies have shown that you are twice as likely to get a good night’s sleep if you stay off technology at least an hour before bedtime. If you can get a nap in at lunch or on the weekends do it. Sleep is us charging our batteries. You’d be amazed at how much the work week wouldn’t suck if you weren’t so tired.

Factor 2- Masturbation

I’m saying masturbation and not sex because I’m not married. If I was married this would obviously be sex. Masturbation is important because it allows you to release stress without all the feelings and emotions that come with sex. Sexual pleasure is one of those gifts from God that we need to thank him for everyday! It’s not just the act by the way of getting yourself off but it’s the memories. Stay away from porn, that corrupts the mind. Use your mind, use your imagination, take the time in the shower or before bed to give your body that release. Just because you’re single or celibate doesn’t mean you can’t have a productive sex life. With sexual fulfillment comes less anger and stress and watch those work days be just a little bit less annoying.

Factor 3- Exercise

I’m not one of these people that are all excited about supplements or going to the gym everyday. I’m not even going to pretend I do any of those things. But I have come to understand the importance of working out on some level. Whether it’s jogging for a bit before work, going to the gym after work or the punching bag and some jump rope. Just thirty minutes to an hour four or five days a week gives you so much energy and with a slight change in diet does wonders for your body and mind. You wake up and all of a sudden you can fit into those pants that you couldn’t a month ago or you look just a little bit better naked watch that swag when you walk into that office!

Factor 4- Conversation

Real conversation is so underrated. Not gossiping with your friends or mom or talking to that co-worker you just don’t care for. But real conversation with someone of the opposite sex. Genuine laughs, real words. I have nothing against texting or FB’ing or emails but nothing compares to seeing the name of someone you really want to talk to popping up on your phone. Even if it’s just twenty minutes on your way to work that conversation can last you the entire day. Ask questions, read the paper and discuss something that they didn’t know about. That you didn’t know about. Part of weariness is a tired and unused mind.

Stand for Something or Fall for Anything

black historyThis past couple of days has shown me a lot about some people. I find it disheartening when I see so many that simply don’t care. I’m not asking that you become a freedom fighter or boycott or march for peace. I’m not asking that you start to care about social issues or care about people that aren’t as fortunate as you. What I can’t understand though is how you don’t care about this Trayvon Martin issue? It touches at the soul of ignorance, racism and privilege.

I watched a juror on National Television say in front of the whole world that she felt sorry for “George,” that she could relate at the pain and suffering he went thru because of what happened to “that boy.” I watched person after person that doesn’t look like me say that a sidewalk was a weapon. I watched person after person say that it was both their faults.

You want to know why I’m not mad at these people walking on freeways or blacking out their pictures or being angry? I’m not mad at them because I’ve watched person after person say that this could have all been avoided of Trayvon would have just ran or told Zimmerman what he was doing walking at 7pm. Do you want to know what would have happened if Trayvon would have ran, he would have gotten shot in the back. Do you want to know what would have happened if Trayvon would have killed that man or really hurt him; he would be in prison at this very moment.

So we’re on the same page, I wasn’t even upset on Saturday night. When I heard the verdict my logic was a jury heard the case and voted what they thought was right. Over these last three days though, hearing the background of the jurors, their mindset. Hearing the attorneys and Zimmerman’s family, seeing the ignorance on social media, now it means so much more to me.

How can you only care about yourself, how can you only want to post pics and talk about your haters?

Those that know better do better!

Those that don’t, well… They end up running this same damn rat race.

Demez F. White

49 Years Ago Today…

black history ~ July 2, 1964 – U.S. President Johnson signed the “Civil Rights Act of 1964” into law banning discrimination against others because of their race.

People love to complain that black people as a race need to move on, need to let go of bitterness and excuses from slavery, reconstruction, Jim Crow and criminal and financial slights that have occurred for the past 200 years. How do you rebound from all of that injustice and ignorance in 49 years? Sure, a few will rise and prosper but it takes generations, not decades to change the fortunes of a race.

Last week the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was butchered. I’ll give you all the cliff notes version; they basically said that people have to have a State ID to vote. Now understand this, the reason why voter turnout is so high is because you can vote using a Voter ID. There are a lot of people that don’t have drivers licenses or State ID’s. Older people, college students, people that lost their license for some reason.

They also passed law that for all intent and purpose will cut affirmative action. Why do we need it a lot of people say? We need it because we have to keep the haves honest. 80% of the University of Texas is white, that means 20% is split between every other race you can imagine. Do you think the people at UT will add more minorities or accept less if they don’t have affirmative action hanging over their head?

I respect hard work, I respect people’s ability to create their own way and be great but understand this… Life isn’t fair and sometimes we need a little help making it just a little more fair.