Tag Archives: Nation of Islam

We GOT Our Reparations…

If we ONLY knew what we were capable of...

If we ONLY knew what we were capable of…

 

It’s all in your mind.

We’ve been free since 1865, and REALLY free since 1965. Stop begging for reparations, because you are asking a THIEF to pay what he stole–he won’t. God has given us reparations, but you’re spending it on bull shit. Stop asking White Jesus for it; he’s ordained your pastors to live in million dollar mansions and to drive Bentleys and shit, so HE won’t give it to you. We already have our reparations: $1.1 Trillion worth.

If I hear one more brother or sister say we are not free, I’m going to fucking BUST. No one is stopping us from taking our money and doing what we need. But you gotta budget it. We are too wasteful, too foolish with our money, for God to hand you a check like he was fucking Santa Claus. If Negroes got $100,000 each today, by the end of the summer, 99% of us would be broke and the Koreans, Jews, Chinese, White folks, you name it–would be flossing with our fucking money. But that doesn’t mean we can’t write our own ticket to success and full freedom. Most of us sign away our wealth as soon as we have the credit to do so. Each time you drive a nice car on a car loan, you use your credit card to go on vacation, you finance jewelry or a house you really can’t afford–you are STEALING your children’s inheritance, in basically pissing away your reparations. The thing is, everyone knows it, and that’s why they put check cashing places, buy-here-pay-here, liquor stores, and everything else we don’t need right in our neighborhoods. I predict on the Day of Judgment, when black folks ask God why He didn’t give us reparations, He will have to put out a memo that He did, but we spent it on bullshit.

We are a hell of a lot freer than we were when slavery was legal. The Black community is like a lion in the circus, or better yet–a lion raised since a cub in someone’s back yard. We are Lions who think we’re puppies and this is why the white man has his foot up black asses. We have enough financial power. manpower, voting power to build or destroy any institution in this country. but as long as we keep thinking we’re still slaves, every ethnicity will pass us in social status and political power. we are worth 1 trillion dollars, and still begging for reparations. we have made damn near every industry in America rich, from nails to movie theaters to Nike to thrift stores to the aftermarket wheel industry to jewelry to education, yet we can’t keep a damned black owned corner store in our neighborhoods open 6 months.

We need to stop acting like ex negroes and take our place in this community. You know, when white folks say we cry, they have a point. invoke the struggle–but don’t use it as a reason for failure or worse–inaction. We are POWERFUL and we are FREE. we just need to act like it. we need to stop waiting on White Jesus or Uncle Sam to make it right, they won’t. God has already opened the door. We just too busy throwing chrome doorknobs on the mother fucker instead of walking through.

Take a look at his picture. It illustrates us well. We just don’t know what we are capable of.

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Filed under Message to the Black Man

Effective Civil Rights 101

You may have heard me say several times on this blog that the opposite of racism is not equality–it is prestige. “Prestige” as in “better than”. Prestige as in “Black superiority”. Prestige as in “Uppity Niggers”. Prestige as in “Reverse racism”. If you ever saw a Black man claim that there is no racism left or claim that racism is not a major obstacle for Black people, that Negro ain’t crazy… from his point of view, he may see something the rest of us don’t see.

Don’t get your panties all in a bunch yet; let me explain.

See, there is much truth to what that handpicked Negro is saying. I’m saying here that I agree with him to a point, but I disagree that he said it. What he is saying, when he claims that racism is a thing of the past is this:

Racism exists. But it cannot hold you back if you don’t let it.

Some of us give White America way too much power and way too much respect. There are many things we can do to eliminate the affect racism has on us, but we simply don’t do it. Now, I’m not suggesting we can escape its clutches in a 100% guaranteed, surefire way. No way–this is still the home of racism and prejudice. But if we do certain things, we can isolate it to areas where it can be contained and dealt with. So much of the racism that we encounter is simply OUR fault. Meaning, had we not done this–that wouldn’t have happened. Had we done more of that, this wouldn’t happen. If we dot our Is and cross our Ts, this country would have fewer opportunities to wield the racist stick at us and do what he enjoys doing the most. However, so many of us screw up–we play right into the hands of Willie Bobo himself, and it gives him great pleasure to do what he does.

And let me say this:  If we do our part, we make it very difficult for racist practices to be used against us. We will never eliminate it completely. That’s like expecting the Lion to be a vegetarian. What I am saying is if you want to avoid the Lion’s jaws, stay the fuck out his cage. A 17 year old tried as an adult on his first offense and given the maximum prison sentence wouldn’t be able to complain that the cop beat his ass and both attorneys and the judge conspired to ruin his life had that stupid mother fucker NOT shot another Black child. Capiche? This country is going to fuck with us. Just don’t make it easy for them, is all I’m saying.

So. What are the steps now to gaining, building, and maintaining prestige? I’ll tell you.

Who remembers how much White people hated Asians in the 1970s and 1980s? Yeah, after the Philippine Insurrection, the Korean War, Pearl Harbor, and Vietnam–White folks HATED Asians. Even Asians who had nothing to do with this shit. Thai, Indonesian, Okinawan–if you resembled anything labeled the “enemy” they hated you and wanted to kill your children. But what happened? I recall being called a “Chink” at summer camp when I befriended two Taiwanese boys who spoke little English, because I had lived in Taiwan and spoke Mandarin (okay, I’m half Filipino too. sheesh). Those boys who ostracized me for being friends with the “Vietnamese” boys learned that shit somewhere. In 1982, none of us were old enough to truly remember Vietnam or Pearl Harbor–they learned that bullshit from their parents. But today, we would all be in our 40s, and I guaran-fucking-TEE most of those same White boys wanted to fuck an Asian girl, a few might even be married to one, loves Asian food, watches martial arts flicks, has at least three or four Asian friends, and probably works with a few Asian guys, and get this:  Will raise their hand to God and swear on their mother’s grave that they were raised to see “no race” or some bullshit ass lie like that.

What happened? Why do White folks no longer hate Asians? When was the last time you even heard a White guy ranting about Asians or calling people Guks, slant eyes, or chinks? Where did that racism go? Did Asians protest or get a law passed? Did they form organizations like we did to combat that shit? Did they push for an Asian President, walk around in Asian clothing, get mad at Asian guys who fuck with White girls or Asian women who have children by White men? They were able to eliminate that racism, but we–in all our effort, been here 300 years longer–with all our money, celebrities, even our Negro President–you can be a law-abiding, college educated, peaceful, friendly, successful Black man, and in the eyes of the dirtiest, poorest, most illiterate White dude in the trailer park, you ain’t nothing but a common Nigger.

And this is why the Brother at the beginning of this article seems to be a tad bit mentally ill when he says “Ain’t no racism”. There will always be racism. Yet Asians aren’t stung by it. And I’m sure if a White dude who really hated Asians out here allowed himself to actually say, “What are you doing talking to that Chink?” 90% of the most racist White cats who hate Obama and love Trump would look at that dude and say “Mother fucker are you crazy?”  Cause he would be. Ain’t nobody tripping off Asians no more. So the question, my brothers and sisters is “WHY?”

Let me break it down:

  1. First, Asians do commit crimes. They prey on each other, too. But they do not highlight those who commit crimes. More energy is spent on the ones who don’t commit crimes–their children and academics, local businesses, cultural centers. We, on the other hand, follow our criminals to make sure they are “punished fairly”, we glamorize those who have been to prison, our kids look up to them, we embrace them, write songs about them, pretend to be criminals ourselves, we dress like them. Asian crime doesn’t represent Asians. Black crime is actually a part of our pop culture. Don’t get mad; I’m just calling it like I see it. Any time a brother with a job is seen by our women as less sexy than a brother with a record–we are in mother fucking trouble
  2. Asian communities are ethnic. They embrace their cultures–we look to erase it. Either that, or we let big business tell us what will be our culture. You mean to tell me a billionaire record exec can determine what’s popping in the streets? Hell no–but whatever they decide negroes will listen to–y’all MFs will buy it. Asians on the other hand, send their children to “Chinese school” so that cultures are lost. We make fun of Afrocentric programs, or marginalize them
  3. They humble themselves and sacrifice their generation to make way for the next. We dress up, buy nice cars–as soon as we have the money. Yet when we die, our children must hold car washes to bury us because we spent our money in our youth and didn’t leave them shit but bills. Each time a Black man buys luxury items for himself, while his children have no college fund, and no inheritance (via our own retirement funds)–we are actually stealing from our children’s future.
  4. We “love our children” buy dressing them in the latest fashions, buying them electronics, sell them a fantasy of being a professional athlete or future entertainer–while ignoring their education. We will buy $200 sneakers but think $80 is too much for math tutoring. Many Asian kids got through college under parents who have no education past grade school, some didn’t even speak English. Our children make fun of children who excel and exclude smart Black children from the race (“you talk so White”, as if Black children aren’t articulate too)
  5. Many Asians do not believe in credit or banks. They deal with cash, save money in safes and freezers. We apply for credit and live beyond our means. This is why they can open businesses and we can’t. We live for show. By the way, please don’t believe the bullshit that every Asian arrives in America to a government loan to open a business. If they do get a loan, do you know where it comes from? It comes from a family member who had saved money for years before they arrive. How many of you would loan your cousin $15,000 to open a shop? I didn’t think so.
  6. They pool resources. Entire families will run a restaurant, a store, sometimes two or three families will collaborate on a business. You can’t even stand your own relatives for a weeklong family reunion or  Thanksgiving dinner.
  7. Here’s something you may not know:  Asian families buy in bulk. My mother use to buy a whole cow, a hundred pounds of chicken, entire goats–with a cousin and her family, sometimes two. She and my cousin would buy an 80 lb sack of rice and split it. We often sent food back and forth between households. Babysat each others children while the other worked extra jobs. For a twenty year period, we almost always had a relative living with us. Everyone had money, even though we may have looked poor. Ijs!
  8. Politically, Asians look at politics as the White man’s game. Just stay your ass out of Chinatown. Asians know these guys have no love for them, and they don’t try to demand it neither. My mother use to warn me about complaining about racism: it’s like asking the tiger to be a vegetarian. Get yours, let him get his. Stay out of his pockets and he’ll stay out of yours. We haven’t learned that. We live here, and prospered most when we couldn’t go to his stores and lived in his neighborhoods. But now that we live in his neighborhoods, and you wonder why his police are fucking with you?
  9. If we could somehow stop 90% of our children from commiting crimes and instead focus on education, if we could stop our men from using drugs and drinking alcohol and solving problems by fighting–we could singlehandedly shut down the prison industrial complex. Like it or not, this is true. A judge can’t throw the book at you if you don’t get arrested. Sure, false arrests happen. But if none of us committed crimes, it would be far easier to isolate those instances when they happen. We must eliminate crime and crimespeak from our everyday language and actions. So many kids are playing gangsta, it’s hard to discern who is a real gangsta and who is just dressing like one!
  10. Asians don’t ask America for much at all. They may demand here or there when there is an injustice–and very often that demand is answered. More on this later. But other than that, Asians don’t demand jobs; they create jobs. They open businesses. They will get into every business thinkable. If you spend money on it, Asians will sell or provide it.
  11. But here’s the thing ^^ once it is known that Asians have a business–they automatically have a client base. A fiercely loyal, consistent client base. When was the last time a Chinese or Vietnamese came into your business and spent money solely with you?
  12. Speaking of which ^^ Asians don’t say stupid shit like we do along the lines of “See? This why I don’t spend money with other Asians!”
  13. I don’t care if you offer something cheaper than a Chinese or better than a Vietnamese–most of them will not go to you when their brother sells it
  14. And items #10-13 all go towards creating not just a geographic Chinatown. They create economic Chinatowns which shrink the size of any city where Asians are spread all over. In the 1980s, my mother would travel from Silver Spring, Maryland on the BUS to shop in Fort Washington, MD, just because it was the only Filipino store in town–until one opened in Wheaton (easily 30-40 miles). We as a people do not have that kind of discipline. We only had it when we the White man told us we couldn’t shop nowhere but Black owned stores. As soon as he gave us permission to buy from him–we busted through door like they had learned to bottle up sex or something.
  15. And that economic Chinatown is what empowered all Asian people who were a part of that community. Even in cities where there is no “Vietnamese Town”, the Vietnamese know where all the Vietnamese businesses are–and will cross Hell and highwater to shop there. This circulates the money made from one Vietnamese family to the next, over and over, until someone decides to break the chain and spend the money elsewhere. If you ever got in good with an economic community–you will quickly see how powerful they are, because you will have so much business even if you hated Vietnamese–you would learn to respect them and shut your damned hole. This economic community is more powerful than any protest or social media campaign. It may only represent 2,000 families–but we are talking each member of those 2,000 families and their incomes. And their votes. And their labor. And their spending power. And their ability to not spend with you. And their friends and their families. 2,000 families isn’t much, but you take 2,000 families working in unison–it is more powerful than an atomic bomb.
  16. Question, how much money do Black people spend on nails in a month? How much money do nail shops bring in each month? Why aren’t more of us opening our own shops? The school is only 10 weeks long. Do you know how much money a nail tech makes in a day? Hundreds, but you worried about a damned $15/hr job. For as much as Black folks spend on nails each month–damn near none of us have a shop. So we are throwing millions of dollars at that community, financing their kids college funds, financing their other businesses, their cars, their homes, their monthly budgets–none of which is spent in a Black business.
  17. Now, let’s replace “Nails” with everything else we spend our money on. Alcohol. Clothing. Cars. Phones and electronics. Insurance. Rent. Groceries. Gas. Day Care. You name it. How many of these businesses are Black owned businesses?
  18. And there, ^^ is the problem. There are Black businesses out there–but you aren’t patronizing them. You might go to work, but you are, I’m sure, making less than you’d make if you sold one of those products we spend our money on. We simply don’t. Why? Because opening a day care, buying an apartment building, selling alcohol (yuck, more on this later), selling groceries, selling insurance–is not in our plan.
  19. Asian communities, then, are 100% self reliant. You think Asians don’t like Black folks? Well guess what–Asians don’t like WHITE folks. And they will not spend their money with them, they don’t ask them for shit neither. They come here, and don’t even respect America enough to learn to speak the language like you’d like em to. On one hand, you can cuss em out, tell them their dick is small, learn to speak English, whatever. But the bottom line is that he is throwing you out of HIS business, and he will never do anything to benefit you, yet no matter what–you will still end up spending money to benefit HIM. White or black, this Asian is existing here in America without asking you for a damn thing, and his resentment for what y’all did to his family back during the war is irrelevant because he is mostly likely completely independent of most of us and none of us can hold him back from achieving his goals. And if the US gets to irritating for his taste, he will take his money and hop on a plane and go someplace else. For as much as Black folks love Africa and hate the White man–how many of us will board and plane and go? Yup. That’s why the white man has no love or respect for you; cause you in his house, he knows you are not independent of him, and you will always end up having to go back to him for something. Permission, justice, money–something. We are somewhat politically immature, you see, true racism is not words and insults and calling names. TRUE racism is how it affects lives. It is economic. It affects freedom. It affects health and whether you live or die. Remember that. So what these white folks don’t like you. Live your life so that their hate has zero effect on your pockets, on your household, on your life. Stop expecting the people that hate you to accept you. Integration is garbage. Learn to be independent.

We think prestige is a state job where you dress sharp and have a nice house, clothes and car. No–prestige is not needing your oppressor for a daggone thing. Prestige is having something your oppressor wants–your business, your money, your votes–and not giving it unless he does something for you. We have no prestige. You could be a millionaire Black man who is loved by many–and he will charge you with a crime and imprison you and no one will do a damned thing about it. That isn’t prestige, there is no price tag on it. It is a condition, a state of being.

No election talks about the “Asian voting bloc”. You know what Asians are getting involved in elections? Most likely, Asians with little connection to their culture and community. Most have never been to their parents’ countries, they don’t speak the language, they have 1/2 white children. Ethnic Asians know that no matter who is in office, Chinatown will operate the same, and it will not affect my income and lifestyle. The Civil Rights leaders of the 60s had a role:  they were combating human rights issues. We no longer have that same fight, the playing field is more level. Even when they were in the middle of their Civil Rights struggle, they did not protest; they withdrew to their communities and built lives without White folks. So there is no White support of Chinatown–who gives a fuck. We tend to invite them to interfere–excuse me, join–us in whatever we do, and we so badly have it wrong. Build our communities, strengthen our families, concentrate our power and efforts. That’s how you build prestige, and that is how you eradicate racism.

Bottom line:  Effective Civil Rights movement shouldn’t focus on this country or the White man. America will always be America, the White man will always be the White man. But we focus on ourselves, our families and our communities–we make it difficult for our enemies to attack us, and we make it easy for our allies to support us. You cannot ask a man who is feeding you or seeing you at your worse to treat you with respect and dignity. You can only demand it by being a people who is worthy of it. Most of us are worthy of respect. Too many of us are not. We have to turn our focus inward. Don’t ask him for anything, be independent, be strong, be united. When he is no longer needed to feed our people–and only then–we will have the opposite of racism. Remember I said this:  You can only hold down a people when they are not standing tall. Get off your knees, my brothers and sisters.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

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Where We Messed Up… (I, Too by Langston Hughes)

This may be considered blasphemy by some of you, but I have to say it.

I believe that during the Civil Rights Movement, Black folks made a grave mistake which cost us the lives of many of our leaders–as well as severely hampered the success potential of the movement. When the conscience of the nation began to chip away at the national value called “White supremacy”–the media launched an attack on the Civil Rights Movement by characterizing Black people as impatient, ungrateful and everything else they’ve traditionally called us. The repulsive actions of American leaders, law enforcement, and citizens turned many against the existing system and support for the movement grew so America had no choice but to support the movement. This is where the nation’s leaders learned to use the media as propaganda to influence the masses.

There were two approaches to the Civil Rights Movement. One philosophy assumed that most of White America were good people, or deep inside them was a good person who just needed to hear the demands of Black people in order to make the right decision. This side of the movement sought to appeal to the conscience of the nation. It sat in, it gave speeches appealing to the “Christian values” that White folks held dear, it talked of fairness and doing what was right. On the other side, we called it like it was:  An evil, violent (or apathetic) people who cared less about the plight of the Black man in America or our suffering. This group understood that America would never do right by the Black man until he was forced to do so by law or gunpoint. It didn’t ask of anything of White America; it demanded equality and gave consequences if those demands were not met. It did not pander to the arrogant notion racists Whites projected that they were good people who were trying to do right; it pointed out the hypocrisy of a nation that claimed to be God-fearing but did nothing that God instructed them to do within their own religions–as well as its own Constitution. The Black Church stood on one side, with its “nonviolent” policy. The Nation of Islam, the Black Panther Party, and Black Nationalists stood on the other with a policy of self-defense-if-needed. Guess who received the media coverage? Guess who was painted with a “terrorist” brush?

Well, since the non-violent regime was covered more in the media, it also received the most money and the most prestige. Black people forever came to support that approach (even in current times)–which encouraged patience, discouraged outrage, demanded that Black people use an unfair/ineffective “legal/justice” system to get things done. This is why today, the Black man has made very small amounts of progress and can be all but ignored by today’s leaders and even made to feel guilty about demanding justice! When White America is offended and wronged, they are allowed to express outrage and demand immediate relief. Yet when Black America is offended and wronged, even Black leaders themselves will caution Black people not to rush to judgment or action. They will tell the Black man to calm himself down and let our already corrupt police departments to police themselves, investigate themselves, and find out “what happened”. (As if everyone doesn’t know “what happened”)  If you ever wanted to know why, in 2016, Black people are still discriminated against and never get justice from our leadership and by our criminal justice systems–look no further than how we have accepted rules favorable to those who commit these wrongs. The very people who commit crimes against Black people have written the rules about how you will react to those wrongs. This alone explains the impotence of Black leadership as well as any Civil Rights actions we undertake now. It started with “I Have a Dream“–paying no attention to “Ballot or the Bullet“, and is reflected today in today’s pussified NAACP and Al Sharpton demanding Black calm in the light of children killed by police.

This was reflected in poetry as well. If you look at the poetry of a Langston Hughes versus a Sonia Sanchez, you’ll see why you can name the poetry of one and why you couldn’t name one poetry of the other. I guarantee you never read Sonia Sanchez in school if you attended a Black public school–and I guarantee you never read either if you attended a predominantly White school.

Here is Langston Hughes’ “I, Too (Sing America)”. Following is Sonia Sanchez’s “Malcolm”, which I have memorized. In a future article, I’ll explain the differences of philosophy a little further. Thank you for visiting my blog.

Never forget...

Never forget…

 

I, Too

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.

They send me to eat in the kitchen

when company comes,

But I laugh,

And eat well,

And grow strong.

Tomorrow,

I’ll be at the table

When company comes.

Nobody’ll dare

Say to me,

“Eat in the kitchen,”

Then.

Besides,

They’ll see how beautiful I am

And be ashamed–

I, too, am America.

–Langston Hughes

do not speak to me of

martyrdom,

of men who die to be remembered

on some parish day.

I don’t believe in dying

though, I too shall die

And violets like castanets

will echo me.

yet this man,

this dreamer

thick-lipped with words

will never speak again

and in each winter

when the cold air cracks

with frost I’ll breathe

his breath and mourn

my gunfilled nights.

He was the sun that tagged

the western sky and

melted tiger-scholars

while they searched for stripes.

he said, “fuck you, white

man. we have been

curled too long. nothing

is sacred, not your

white face nor any

land that separates

until some voices

squat with spasms.”

Do not speak to me of living,

life is obscene with crowds

of white on black.

Death is my pulse.

what might have been

is not for him/or me

but could have been

floods the womb until I drown.

“Malcolm”

–by Sonia Sanchez

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Filed under Message to the Black Man, Message to the White Man, Poetry, Politics

Black Problems

Wrote this piece while watching a lady in a laundromat do her daughter’s hair. I know that struggle; I became a single Dad when my daughter was 9 months old and I didn’t know anything about taking care of Black hair. My best friend came to California to hang with me for the summer two weeks after my ex left. My sister visited pretty frequently that summer from the Bay area. Then my mother arrived three months later and stayed with me for almost a year. None of us knew a thing about braiding or cornrowing. Fortunately, my next-door-neighbors were Sudanese and both daughters taught me to braid, and I ended up dating a beautician… Well, I thought about how Black girls had to balance beauty with self-esteem in a world where it seemed no one–not even Black men–loved them and who they are, or how they looked. Here was my beautiful Black daughter, in a family of non-Black women. I swore she would never have straightened hair (although her hair is somewhat straight)–I even carefully chose mates who wouldn’t leave her feeling left out or feeling like her Dad didn’t value women who looked like her. This is the dilemma of raising a Black girl in a White, male-oriented world. Teach her not to love herself as God made her, and you run the risk of teaching her not to love herself. I get that. To some, it’s just hair. To those who know better-she is the young, female version of Sampson. You teach her so much more by the seeds you allow to sprout from her scalp. I whipped out a pen, grabbed a flyer off the wall, and wrote this piece. Hope somebody out there can feel me.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

 

BLACK PROBLEMS

with a fine-toothed comb

she sorted out kinks

curls

and imperfections:

lint, grease, and debris

remnants of four-hundred years of ugliness

hoping to straighten out her blackness as well as her naps

wants nothing but the best for her baby

painful process with the power

to pursue a pampered life

mother’s prerogative to pass on

a pretentious policy for a positive future

pressing in

beauty, success and acceptance

all contained in what she perceives:

presentable hair.

as if relaxing away her pretty locks with a perm

could also relax away the tense life of being a Black woman

“life ain’t no crystal box of crayons, honey—”

mother’s desire to elevate her daughter’s beauty and status

by eradicating her African roots

the ignorant notion

of solving and sorting out Black problems

with a damned comb.

🙂

©2004

The Queen and the Princess...

The Queen and the Princess…

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Filed under Poetry

Financing Our Own Reparations: With a Convenience Store… (part I)

Ever wonder why all foreigners who want to open businesses open businesses in the BLACK community first? No disrespect, just making a point.
It’s because the Black community spends a LOT of money. We might call ourselves second class citizens/poor communities–but we are far from it, especially if you compare what we generate to other communities.
Said all that to say this: We must think of ways to circulate money within our own communities. How do we do this? Answer this question:
**WHERE IS THE BLACK DOLLAR ESCAPING THE COMMUNITY MOST??**
  • Food/grocery
  • Clothing
  • Rent
  • ALCOHOL and other bullshit
  • Hair and hair products/Beauty/Nails
  • Fuel
  • Movies/Entertainment
Family, **millions** of dollars are being made off us, while we work jobs in non-black companies–making them money and just to finance these non-black businesses in our community. We must change how we view opportunity. We cry about reparatations and equal opportunities, but we consistently squander our wealth while pursuing work in companies and places that rarely hire Black folks. Think of it; don’t most of us work in places where we are a small, tiny minority? Most of us work in places that basically do not hire Black people. You might have a decent job, but like it or not–each one of us in our well-paid positions is our company’s token. You can’t bring your friends and family members and get them hired like the next man can. So why aren’t we gravitating towards work that we CAN hire other Black folk?
In the meantime, every Chinese owned restaurant in the hood, every Vietnamese owned nail shop, every Indian owned liquor store, every Korean owned grocery–in your neighborhood is making a MINT off you and your neighbors and they won’t hire your Black asses for shit.
An Indian brother told me (he told the Filipino Mustafa Akamo, not the Black one), that I could secure a commercial spot in the hood for less than $2,000/month, buy my racks and shelves for pennies on the dollar at an auction, and STOCK a convenience store (minus alcohol and tobacco–which I won’t sell anyway) for around $3-4,000…. That’s right, about $7Gs and I’d be in business. Five brothers could get together and open one at about $1,500 a piece. Convenience stores gross at a **minimum** $100,000 a year. Split that five ways. Come on y’all. We can do this.
Change how you think. Build your own reparations. Everything a community needs–we can sell to ourselves. Why are we still begging?

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Blacks Aren’t the ONLY Ones Who Need Help…

There is a separation of colored people from white people in the United States. That separation is not a disease of colored people. It is a disease of white people. I do not intend to be quiet about it.Read more at http://www.snopes.com/politics/quotes/einstein.asp#M8piyxVDEkBD7UQ8.99

There is a separation of colored people from white people in the United States. That separation is not a disease of colored people. It is a disease of white people. I do not intend to be quiet about it.Read more at http://www.snopes.com/politics/quotes/einstein.asp#M8piyxVDEkBD7UQ8.99

There is a separation of colored people from white people in the United States. That separation is not a disease of colored people. It is a disease of white people. I do not intend to be quiet about it.Read more at http://www.snopes.com/politics/quotes/einstein.asp#M8piyxVDEkBD7UQ8.99

There is a separation of colored people from White people in the United States. That separation is not a disease of colored people. It is a disease of White people. I do not intend to be quiet about it.

–Albert Einstein, 1946 (speech at Lincoln University)

Ole Dr. Einstein was much smarter than we give him credit for. I’d like to make the argument that this is not an outdated idea…

I contend that racism is not a thing of the past in America. While it is no longer in-your-face and obvious–for aware people of color, it is all around us. And racism is not just for skinheads and extremists in the Midwest and Southern states–it exists among you, even some of you reading this article today. Racism in America is like a disease that no longer hurts or shows up on the outside:  Often, those afflicted either are in denial that it exists (within you or among you), or you believe you are in remission from it. That is, until some event arises that pulls it out of you:

  • Your daughter dates a Black boy
  • You witness Black people acting ignorant
  • You see a crime committed by Black people
  • Someone Black pisses you off
  • Someone you trust and respect brings your own actions and words to your attention

Like all diseases that go untreated or ignored, racism will fester like an infected sore until it erupts in some embarrassing, uncharacteristic outburst or action. You may end up like one of these White men on the job, now labeled a “racist”, when you know damn well you aren’t racist–although you may have allowed something to come up you barely realized was there… Or failed to recognize that it was, in fact, racist.

I would like to tell you about two experiences I had that may sound familiar. Actually, it’s something I experience a lot. My name is not a common name. My first name is Muslim, my last name is Filipino Muslim in origin. I have sent résumés to companies with my name that have received no response at all. I occasionally will send a second resume with a race-neutral name that at least gets me an interview. When I returned from deployment–and I tell this story often–I had done exactly this. Same resume and experience, different name. Guess which one got the interview? Well, it was over the phone, and by the time I had received a job offer, no one in the company had seen my face. I stayed there 7 years, promoting several people of color into a previously all-white management team. And I received the Jackie Robinson/Obama treatment:  people refusing to call me “Mr. Gatdula”, complaints or reverse racism–although I still promoted mostly White males and very few Latinos and Blacks, it was just too much color for my counterparts and subordinates. The only friends I had was our COO and our Vice President–the latter of whom helped me land my first VP position when I left 7 years later. Well, even then, I was only seen as a Filipino and not Black. I doubt my Black ass would have survived 7 years in this company, and barely in the industry. Today, I work for myself and I only work with minority-owned companies (that’s not by choice) as a consultant.

The second, and the reason for this article:  Today I was cold calling in Fair Oaks, CA. Fair Oaks is a majority White area of a predominantly Latino and Asian city, and it’s a mostly upper middle class area. I walked into a lumber yard with a guard shack and barbed wire, while wearing a shirt and tie. As soon as I walk in, the staff is all over me, thinking I might be a customer. When I present my card and introduce myself as a salesman for a security guard company, one man is shaking his head “No”, while his friend proceeds to lie to me about whether they use a guard (they do), whether they have experienced a loss due to theft or burglary, and that his boss is NOT interested in discussing their security. Both men, in fact, refuse to accept my card and both lied and said they have no card. While one was simply hostile, the other (the one who told all those lies) smiled at me the whole time with that “I-don’t-hate-people-of-color-but-I’ll-never-do-business-with-you” look. Black people know what I’m talking about. Asians and Latinos, not so much because they are mostly in denial about their level of (un)acceptance…

On the way out a nice man (and HE is the reason I am not giving the name of this facility) stops me to ask if they had taken care of me. No, I answered, and I gave my spiel all over again. Not only was he in need of guard service, he was interested in what I had to say and impressed that I was familiar with his business. You see, before I walked in, I had read about his burglaries and had seen the damage done to his fence. People of color know this, because we have to:  We must be three times more qualified and prepared than the next guy because we already have a strike against us. I cold call constantly because 50% of those I meet will never do business with me simply because I am a man of color. So I work twice as hard to yield the same benefits as the next guy.

This was not about the fact that some guys can disguise their treatment of me as “I don’t like solicitors”, however. It’s about the denial of what is really going on inside their heads, the smile on the face, the passive aggressive door slammed in the face of any applicant with dark skin, or a “ghetto name” whose resume is thrown in the trash, the boy your daughter likes that you disapprove of, because something (oh no, not race!) about him makes you uncomfortable. It is no longer socially acceptable to harbor certain feelings about race, so you must deny that you even OWN those feelings.

^^ And this, my White brothers, is why you are still sick with racism. You cannot cure a disease until you first acknowledge that it exists. No one will lash and flog you. Hell, every BLACK man in America has some level of ill feelings toward White people; that is, especially until you have proven yourself to not be an enemy. But we understand that we are this way, and that is why we aren’t crippled by it. You must admit that when you look at large workforces with people of color but only White managers, it looks strange. You are seeing the world through eyes that have no color man’s filter. You think anytime someone claims he sees racism, he is being unreasonable. You believe that George Zimmerman just might not be crazy, and that Trayvon Martin really was menacing. You don’t want to admit that the thought of mixed grandbabies enrages you. You honestly believe that your company’s Black Vice President is unqualified, and that he got his position by sucking someone’s dick or because of the evil rule called Affirmative Action is taking jobs from White men. If we are ever to truly be ONE America, you must see what we see, or at least understand why we see what we see. And you will have to look in the mirror, and understand that a second pair of eyes is needed to see the man within.

Racism, regardless of how slight it may be, is a disease that America really needs to cure. It’s like cancer; it won’t go away. It is also like a hereditary disease as well–if you aren’t careful, you will pass it on to your children.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

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The Wisdom of the Fish Program (Kujichagulia)

NOI fish III

Kujichgulia. It’s Swahili for “Self-determination”. Every self-respecting Black visionary should understand this term. The days of blaming White men for our shortcomings is gone and past, and is old and useless. We must look towards what we can, and what we must do now. The Black community must foster and embrace a sense of entrepreneurship. We must teach our kids that this is an option to getting a job. And when we encounter Black and Brown businesses, we should support them.

If you’re going to talk about “self-determination” and “do for self”, you are going to have to go in a little deeper than just selling incense and perfumed oils. You have to think big. You have to pool resources with friends and family and put your every dime into it. You have to commit and MAKE it work. You cannot be lazy. You cannot beg your oppressor  for a hand out to do it for you. You may have to choose between working a job and missing a few meals to make it successful. And it must be practical.

The Nation of Islam taught the Black man to cure his own ills, to take care of his own family, and to lace his own bootstraps. You don’t have to like his religious doctrine, but respect the wisdom. Phooey to those who missed the Million Man March because Minister Farrakhan isn’t Christian (actually it was founded by Bro. Benjamin Chavis; Min Farrakhan was just the spokesperson, and housed at Phi Beta Sigma HQ)–his 2 hour long speech was teaching us this very lesson.

 

NOI fish II

The Fish program was where Black men went to Peru and negotiated the delivery and purchase of two million pounds of fish at a time when most employers wouldn’t hire a Black man. The fish was quickly sent to cities all over America and sold far cheaper than what any grocery store could provide. In cities such as Atlanta, NYC and Chicago, they actually called the police to stop the brothers from selling fish because it affected their bottom line. When they were successful in stopping the brothers, the NOI then opened restaurants and held fish frys and sold the fish for even more money. When the smoke cleared, the NOI had made MILLIONS… Some of you probably still throw Church fish frys as fundraisers, don’t you?

NOI fish

Like I said, respect the wisdom.

By the way, Happy Founder’s Day to my sisters of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated!!

Thank you for visiting my blog.

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