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.