Friday, September 21, 2007

On Black Thursday, OJ, Idiocy and Mos Def..

Apparently, black clothes, 90 degree temperatures and a slick perm aren't as combustible a combination as I'd imagined..

As before, when I felt compelled by both internal and external pressures to comment about Mike Vick and D.L. Hughley, I'm now feeling the urge to provide feedback on a series of current events. I'll try to convey each of these opinions as succinctly as possible, mainly because my mother-in-law, who reads my blog regularly, can't seem to make it beyond four paragraphs.

1) I think that yesterday's Jena Six Rally was a tremendous symbolic success.

Some have likened it to the great marches on Selma although this is a bit much (for a number of reasons, not the least of which is Selma had MLK and Hosea Williams and Jena had Al Sharpton and Michael Baisden). I do believe, however, that we did very well.
First, we sent a considerable message, not only to the powers that be in Jena, Louisiana, but to the the American justice machine as a whole - an APB with a single idea. Namely, that black people will not sit idly by while biased enforcers of the "law" attempt to destroy our children's lives with 'the stroke of a pen.'
Second, the young brothers that were railroaded know with certainty that their people have their backs. Can you imagine how they felt (if they were allowed to see it on television) when they witnessed their town being besieged by a throng of that magnitude, responding to their predicament and saying simply, "This won't do?"
Finally, and less importantly, any time hundreds of thousands of African-Americans can be convinced to wear black as a sign of solidarity (in extreme heat!) that's got to count for something. I saw a significant number of purposefully ebony-clad black folks (albeit, mostly women) at both my job and my school. I'll be honest, it made me put my cynicism temporarily on the back burner.

2) I just can't figure out why "they" won't leave OJ alone.

There he was, in Las Vegas, Nevada, undoubtedly on the trail of the elusive Real Killers of his brutally murdered ex-wife and her lover, when somebody, probably connected with the LAPD, set him up (again). I mean, really, does OJ strike you as the kind of dude who would show up to a hotel room with a couple of goons and start making like a tough guy? Did you listen to the audio of the alleged robbery? Sounds more like Tony Soprano than OJ. I mean, who records themselves being stuck up anyway? I tell you what: I'm really going to start losing my confidence in our justice system if shit like this keeps happening to Orenthal.

3) "Don't tase me, Bro!"

Surely you've seen it by now. The video of the student being taken down and tasered by police shortly after he broke up a John Kerry town hall speech with a few "inappropriate" questions. I've had a ton of people ask my opinion about this episode. Are you ready? Here it is: that kid deserved every bit of that taser. Maybe I feel that way because he reminds me of the self-absorbed, self-righteous assholes with whom I attended undergrad. Or maybe it's because people are attempting to liken the situation of this assumably privileged nincompoop to that of those who are regularly harassed by the police simply because they are poor and/or non-white. Or maybe it's because this guy was indeed resisting arrest. Or maybe it's because he was hamming it up and trying to make a free speech martyr of himself. OR maybe it's because he ignored rules two, five and six of Chris Rock's PSA, "How Not to Get Your Ass Kicked by the Police." At any rate, NO ONE should mistake a legitimately applied taser to this. And finally...

4) Yes, I did see Mos Def on Real Time with Bill Mayer.

Yes, I had been looking forward to it. Yes, he did sound like an uneducated, paranoid, pseudo-revolutionary idiot. Yes, he did waste a golden opportunity to represent hip hop in a positive manner. No, I am not supplying you with a link to this travesty. Find it yourself if you're so inclined.

To Brenda: I'm sorry I ran a little long. If you've made it this far I promise I'll treat you to dinner.

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At 3:08 PM , Anonymous Viece said...

I would just like to note that every single Today Show anchor was wearing black that day....on purpose.

At 3:09 PM , Anonymous Viece...again said...

Oh, and I missed the Bill Maher (or however you spell his name) Mos Def interview, but if he sounded as bad as you say, I don't think I care.

At 12:38 AM , Blogger John said...

1. I couldn't agree more. Hurray for Jena 6! I must say, I am thoroughly enjoying the solidarity of the protests surrounding the Jena 6. I too wore black.

2. Why won't O.J. leave it alone himself? I have my opinions about his murder trail. But, O.J. isn't helping himself at all. Publishing that book definitely didn't help. I just wish he would go away....

3. That fool definitely deserved to be tasered. I enjoyed the Hammer remix of that fool. Funny how he is found to receive an enormous amount of media attention for his buffonery. That fact that minorities are clearly victims of rampant, excessive tasing on a regular basis truly angers me that this fool is receiving so much air time. Free speech violation they're calling it. How about Civil Rights violations of minorities?

4. No, I didn't see Mos Def. I heard a few stories about it. I must say, I am disappointed because Mos Def is one of my favorites and I would have thought that he would represent in an admirable manner. The fact that he didn't is saddening.


At 1:28 PM , Blogger BLESSD1 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 1:30 PM , Blogger BLESSD1 said...

Man...I was so with you on all of your points, up until the Mos Def comment. Now, granted, I'm extremely jaded b/c I'm a big fan, but I don't think his interview was THAT bad. Even though he debates relevant topics, Bill Maher encourages a more lively, fun-spirited conversation with his guests, and I think Mos was actually just carrying himself in a comfortable manner. We KNOW the brutha can carry himself intelligently if needed, but probably felt an air of familiarity with Bill as such was displayed in their conversation. Also, let's ask the question: when defending hip-hop as was recently done on B.E.T., who would you rather have as a panelist; T.I. and they were panelists on the show, or Mos Def? Still, I can see how someone who's never had any exposure to Mos could definitely mistake him as just another caricature personifying hip hop. Overall, good post, sir!

At 4:46 PM , Blogger Another Conflict Theorist said...

Peace blessd1,

Here's my thing: You can be comfortable on a televised panel and not come across like a stark-raving lunatic. How many times did Dr. West have to tap Mos on the arm and clarify what he'd just said? Keep in mind that this wasn't one of his concerts. Most people watching the show had no idea who he was and he left the impression that he's an idiot - which you and I know isn't true.

Don't believe me? Google "Mos Def" and "idiot" and see what comes up.

At 8:26 AM , Blogger Breez said...

I have mixed feelings on the Mos Def thing. He could have done [much] better, but I don't think it was an absolute train wreck.

I also have mixed feelings on the Taser guy. [Daily Show Quote Alert!!] Jon Stewart referred to his actions as douchebaggery [a word that I have decided to incorporate into my daily lexicon]. At the same time, police in ALL forms are starting to smell themselves just a little too much, and that concerns me. Here, there investigating an off duty cop that may or may not have played "Gunsmoke" by capping a 14 year old in the back of the dome over a stolen mini-bike. Cops are selected for their ability to control a situation [and their emotions]. Part of this comes from laziness. Rhymefest has a lyric "Can't run, so they're chasin' niggas down with bullets." It's too true.

As far as Freddy Kru-I mean OJ...*sigh*.

At 8:35 AM , Blogger BLESSD1 said... made some fine points, but please allow me this retort; NO ONE, INCLUDING Bill Maher, knew what the hell Dr. West was saying!!! LOL! As I watched the clip, my coworker and I were laughing at how, in his attempt to clarify what Mos was saying, Dr. West seemed to just lose Bill and the rest of the audience. I can, however, definitely concede that Mos could have expressed himself more intelligently, and that to the folks who aren't familiar with his works, came off as a blubbering idiot. *SIGH* I guess he did kinda shoot himself in the foot. I'm still gonna support the brother; there are far worse clowns saying far worse things. Peace, brother


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