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How To Be Black: I have to agree with Mia McKenzie

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One of my Facebook contacts thought it would be funny to post an article titled  “How To Be Black In America: A (Relatively) Short List” written by author and activist Mia McKenzie. Mia studied writing at the University of Pittsburgh ; and is described as being a smart, scrappy Philadelphian (now living in the bay area) with a deep love of vegan pomegranate ice cream and fake fur collars. She see’s herself as being a black feminist and a “freaking queer” (her words not mine); who’s thoughts and ideas are often reflected in her writings, which have won her such awards and grants as:

  • Astraea Foundation Writers Fund Award, 2009
  • Leeway Foundation Transformation Award, 2011

She comprised a ‘short list’ of things that black people should do in order to become accepted or seen as normal by the rest of society.  Now,  knowing my friend I’m assuming this list was brought forward in attempts to poke fun of CNN anchor and social contributor Don Lemon. Who recently shared with the world the lessons his families elders taught him about to conduct himself. But in my personal opinion, her ‘list’ actually back fired.

Now, I’m no one of importance, I haven’t won any literary awards nor had any of my works published, but (based upon what I’m seeing) I feel that If  she was attempting to engage in a game of snarky sarcasm, it honestly didn’t work. Because I and many others happen to agree with the list she provided. But I’ll explain the hot sticking points for me, in more detail; because I think some ignorant, close-minded, and petty black folks are missing the over all big picture.

Here’s some of the list

1. Don’t sag your pants. Pull them up. Slowly. Don’t make any sudden movements: I don’t know about not making any subtle moves, but yes, please pull  up your pants. And while you’re at it, wear a belt. I do not want to see your boxers, much less think this prison style of dress is appealing or cool. This goes for the young ladies as well. Advertising your goods in low-rise jeans or cut off shorts that stop two inches short of your burning bush is not the example of a respectable young woman. Nor is this look cute either. And you’re wondering why you’re having men make derogatory comments via sexually explicit and suggestive ‘complements’.

2. Stop talking about racism. That’s over. (see: black President): No, don’t stop talking about racism, but do understand that we too are just as guilty of being racist. Not only towards other ethnicities, but we do it to one another (inter-cultural racism based upon complexion). We too become enraged with black men/women whom chose to date/marry someone who’s not black, and we too say and carry out racist actions towards others.

So if we’re going to point out the wrongs of others, we MUST acknowledged what we’re no better. If we’re going to talk about slavery, let touch on how ‘we’ (some of our African ancestors) sold us into slavery as well.

Let’s focus on how the Black Egyptians enslaved the Black Israelites/Hebrews.

Let’s talk about how we’re still slaves in mentality as a result of the physical enslavement we’ve endured (and how we continue to perpetuate this mind-set with our actions towards one another).  If we’re to have an honest talk about racism, let’s be honest with ourselves and acknowledge the part that we play.

3. Stop asking the black President to do anything to help you. That’s reverse-racism. Or something: This one still baffles me too this day. Because I keep asking black people this, what do “WE” want him to do for us that we can’t and shouldn’t already be doing for ourselves?

We keep harping on what he’s done for other communities, but we don’t mention the fact that these other communities do what we refuse to do; work together! They fight together; stand together for what they believe in and they hold the government (not just the President) accountable as such.

They learn the process of authoring bills and legislation in their favor, and they fight to push these bills and acts through the house and senate. They’re active in local/state/federal government and they don’t take no for an answer.

They VOTE during the primary and mid-term elections; because they understand that who ever is voted into the house/senate and local government affects the issues they hold dear. This is something many of ‘us’ fail to do. How can we hold the President accountable for what’s wrong in our communities when WE won’t even hold one another and ourselves accountable is my question? If we don’t fight to keep our communities free of drugs and gang violence, how in the heck do we expect the President to rid our communities of crime? He can’t do that for us, we have to do that!  If we don’t fight to ensure our children receive adequate health care and eduction, why do we expect him to do it for us?

4. Get an education somehow. Speak properly, for Christ’s sake. But don’t be uppity: I love this one! YES, WE DON’T STRESS education enough in our homes and in our communities! So yes, I’m all for education and I feel we need to fight diligently to ensure that our children understand the importance of being academically competitive.

AND YES, we need to teach our children how to speak proper English. Slang and street talk won’t help you get a job and it won’t assist them with effectively articulating themselves. The perception of individuals who ‘talk like that’ is one of negative stereotypes  (uneducated, dumb and ‘hood’). And may we agree with it or not, it assist people with passing judgment upon first meeting you. If WE seek to be seen for our intelligence and not appearance, DO NOT give society more ammunition to label you.

5. Be nicer. You know people are intimidated by you, right? Why are you making it harder on yourself?: There are some sisters and brothers with some nasty, unsavory attitudes. Even though this is not specific one ethnicity, we can all admit that we’ve shaken our heads at them while standing in line at the supermarket.

We’ve witnessed them speaking harshly to customer service representatives, and cursing out cashiers.

We’ve seen them hold up lines at events cursing out the volunteers because they paid “too much money” to get in for this.

WE see it all the time and it’s not a good look for us. THEY (the one’s whom demonstrate this behavior) make us all look bad, because there’s no need to be that way. You don’t have to curse people out or tell them like it ‘T.I. is’ (rolling my neck and snapping my fingers) to get your point across. But we see this every day. The manner in which many of ‘us’ carry ourselves is very unbecoming and ugly.

6. Be successful somehow. But do it without any kind of help. I mean, that’s how white people did it, right? No help whatsoever: Check out the chart below, and ask yourselves’ why don’t ‘we’ American born Africans get it?

Black Africans and people of African Origins come to this country and fare better in entrepreneurship, education, and finances than that of American Born Africans; whom have the same opportunities available too them, yet we’re lagging in these areas. They come here with absolutely nothing but a few mere belongings and they open businesses that are thriving (some within our community), they’re graduating with higher GPA’s from prestigious institutes of higher education and they pass down self-made wealth to their children.

That speaks volumes for how ungrateful ‘we’ (those of us born here) are. They’re more successful that most of us; and they do it with very little to no assistance.

We teach our children to become great workers (depending upon someone else to create job opportunities for us) while they teach their children to become the employers.

They understand the importance of commerce and how it’s linked to successful business ownership.

They do what we fail to do, stress education!

So, if they can find a way to be successful with nothing, what’s stopping ‘us’? They work together! They fund businesses with one another and they understand how there’s power in numbers. And its less of them; but they’re faring better than ‘us’; making do with next to nothing and still making it.


7. Read a lot of books. Get recommendations from awesome people: YES! Black people need to encourage reading not only for our children but for ourselves. The problem I see with many of us is that we don’t read enough. And its one of the reasons why the chart listed above shows how we’re falling behind in education, and median house hold income.

Many African Americans refuse to broaden their scope and perception of life while gaining a plethora of knowledge on various topics by taking the time to read.

We’ll read Zane’s Sex Chronicles and 50 Shades of Stupidity; but we won’t read about African History, or how to become economically successful. There’s nothing wrong with encouraging reading! Pick up a book and turn off them damn soap operas and loosely based realty T.V. shows.

8. If you’re black and GLBT, choose which of those communities to align yourself with. I think the choice is obvious. (see: Recent Supreme Court Rulings): WE do this to our GLBT sisters and brothers! African-Americans reject them based upon sexual orientation due to religious beliefs and what we assume to be social norms.

WE see them as being an abomination, because many of us mistakenly believe that they made the choice to be gay (going against God’s design); thus such broad support within the African-American community for Prop 8.

WE don’t believe that their fight for equality is civil like ours, so WE reject their claims and tell them that their concerns are not ours!  We’re the one’s who reject them. Now, I have to admit that throughout the years our ideas and stances have changed, but African American’s still stand stanch in their fight against these civil unions (or making their marriage legal)


9. Try really hard to get on a jury: YES! We complain about African-Americans not being judge by a jury of their peers, but we’re not getting actively involved in the litigation process. We will refuse to sit on jury duty (see it as an inconvenience) yet get mad when a brother or sister is convicted of a crime by people who don’t look like them. Take a look at these statistics and just image if we’re more active in the legal system, ensure that everyone is judged equally.


10. Love: Yes, this is another problem with ‘us’! We don’t love one another enough. Black men and women don’t show one another enough love; and our mothers and fathers don’t show their children they love them enough.

We don’t have enough love for our communities, public schools and homes to ensure that they’re crime and drug free, up to code and a healthy environment for our children to flourish.

We don’t love our streets enough to keep them clean (NO we don’t) and we don’t love ourselves enough to ensure the images being projected of ‘us’ are not the negative and stereotypical images we see daily.

We don’t love ourselves enough to eat more healthier, nourishing foods that will combat hyper tension, diabetes and cancer. Many of us don’t even drink water because we don’t like the taste of it.

So yes, the Black Community is in dire need of love, love for one another, our children, our environment, our health/overall well-being and ourselves.

11. Look hard at your own individual selves and fix it so you can be better at love: One of the worst things in the world is witnessing a man or woman who refuses to take responsibility for their contributions to the dysfunctional relationships they engage in. These people will always blame everyone else for what went wrong in their relationship/marriage (it’s always the other person fault), while completely (conveniently) absolving their actions and themselves of being a contributing factor to why they’re either unhappily married, or can’t stay in a healthy relationship with anyone.

Some of ‘us’ fail to understand that for every action there’s a reaction and that sometimes the things we do and say to those we keep company with can be the reason why they’re “crazy”. Crazy doesn’t happen over night, there’s a gradual process of perpetual behavior (in most cases) that causes an individual to react a in a specific manner. Although this is not specific to one ethnicity, I always stress to both women and men how important it is to take the time they need to work on one’s self first! Prior to hopping into a new relationship after leaving another. I see so many people seek love from others, because they lack the spiritual tools needed to find love for one’s self. So I’m in complete agreement with this one.

12. Make crazy good, life-altering art: This one I can agree with 100%. And Its one of the reasons I started my small, minority, veteran, woman owned entertainment company. I was tired of seeing the images that society (and black people) believes to be an accurate representation of who we are. I seek to provide thought-provoking, socially controversial art that makes people think about how we as a people are being viewed and how “we” as a people view ourselves. We’ve seen so much of the negatives in the media that not only do other ethnicities believe this is who we are; we’ve come to terms with these images by embracing, internalizing and emulating them in the media geared towards black social-psycho consciousness.  The ‘art’ that we see today is no longer imitating life. And I’ve arrived at the conclusion that the lives of young black men (and women) is now imitating what we have been brainwashed into believing is art. Which is composed of nothing more than mediocre rap verses, over a hot looped track, heavy base line with half-naked (or fully nude) women in videos and on album covers; has replaced  what many within the African-American Community consider to be creative. There must come a time when ‘we’ become sickened with the perversion of our art by the entertainment industry; that’s telling us what it means to be black.

Please read “The 2nd Amendment vs. The Thug Image of Color”

I’m not sure if Ms. McKenzie was seeking to be funny, or poke fun of African-American pendants via social satire; but may she realize it or not, she made some really good points.


When Being Freaky is Being Plain Greedy

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Image I happend to run across this posting on a friends Facebook page that I frequent and stir the pot of controversy in from time to time.  The posting read

“I’m a 39 year old black man who’s so much in love with my wife… But at the same time I’m real freak…I have fantasize about having a threesome…how do I go about telling her.”

Keeping it PG here, he explained that she’s no longer providing the ‘spark’ that he’d once experienced upon meeting her many years back; and that he was contemplating adding an ‘additional member‘ to his team. In his mind, he felt that this would bring forward a newness of passion that would provide excitement to a rather dull love life. But, the new team member could only be coached by him! Since he was the team hitter, no one else (no other man) could step up to the plate and take a swing at his wife. “that’s me and mines” he proudly stated.

Here’s my take on this whole issue that men face when dealing with desires of new flesh.

I had to explain to him that its quite possible that he’s not the only one who’s think about a new member if that area of his marriage is lacking. Trust and believe there are times that his wife deals with pleasing him while sacrificing her own needs (and possibly thinking about something new). And I assured him (as well as many other men that’ve had this conversation with) that his spouse may not feel that his performance is all that great either. Thus she’s putting the same efforts into these lack luster sessions as he is. You get what you give. When ever your spouse feels that being with you becomes a duty, he/she will no longer feel a desire for intimacy. Because now it becomes one of those chores that we must do but really lack the time, patience or energy to complete.

You’ll experience this lack when YOU as their spouse fail to continue to do the same things you did to get them, as a means of keeping them. Drafting a new member to your husband and wife team does nothing but add complications to a situation involving two people who’s business should be kept amongst themselves. The bedroom is the sanctuary of a married couples love; that’s designed to nurture the intimacy they share between one another, contained within the vows they took before God unto each other. Their flesh has become one. And the last thing anyone (man or woman) should want to do is bring forward someone who’s values for love and intimacy may not be the same as yours, or that may bring added drama into your union.

I personally can’t for the life of me understand why anyone would want someone else to view first hand the dysfunction between them and their spouse? The most intimate details that should shared between the woman/man in which you’ve formed a covenant before God should be taken before God, not “Sugar” the shake dancer.

But I found it funny how he loved his wife so much; and she was everything he ever wanted in a woman; but he was unwilling to ensure that she was just as satisfied as he wanted to be. He couldn’t see how selfish he was in his desire for new flesh; using the cop-out that its in his nature as a man to want more than one lover. This ‘desire’ which is really greed was causing him to have a mental block, that was hindering his ability to see the sensuality in his wife. His self-proclaimed ‘freakiness’ was nothing more than a selfish justification to satisfy his lust for another woman. Because I’m sure he’s already got the woman he wants to introduce to his wife picked out. If he hasn’t already slept with her.

After an exchange of opinions, he finally admitted that he simply really wanted to leave his wife for another woman. Which is a classic case of someone thinking that the grass is greener on the other side.

The 2nd Amendment VS. The Thug Image of Color.

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1016920_4928400260706_2106243091_nI find it interesting how we view gun ownership in this country (The United States Of America). On one hand, one image is seen as patriotic and a freedom of one’s rights to bear arms. Where as on the other hand, one image is seen as a depiction of impoverished crime, pre-medidated murder and a prime example of what’s wrong with our society.

Or, its seen as being justification for why the first image must fight to defend their rights to bear arms.

I don’t like to make such topics an issue of ethnicity (not race, because we’re all of the human race). But I like to focus more on the damaging affects of social norms, stereotypes and sensationalized propaganda in the media.

The first image is seen as being a normal American family, that’s proud of their impressive collection of firearms. The father is a man that provides for his family and will protect them at any cost. Society would have you believe that they’re all in their right minds, have no criminal records and have possibly never been convicted of a crime. They’re middle class (or affluent), drug free, educated and possibly reside in the suburbs. You wouldn’t think that maybe (just maybe) the guns they’re holding may have possibly been purchased on the black market (illegally). Thus they’re not accounted for and may have been used to commit a murder/crime. Looking at this image, you first thought would not be organized crime, nor would you see either of them as being members of a White Supremacist, anti-government group.

Maybe they are, and maybe they aren’t. But would the negatives of who would we assume they are would not be the first thing that comes to mind.

Let’s flip the script for a second

The second image could be one of an individual who has legally purchased and owns his firearm. Its possible that he resides in an environment where he’s forced to own a weapon to protect both his family and himself. Fire arms that he may have purchased legally! But, because of his style of dress, and yes; his ethnicity he’s more than likely to be seen as a repeat offender who’s been incarcerated and is possibly actively engaged in organized crime. The images being projected of individuals who looks like image two has programed society into believing that he’s a thug, gangster or pimp that’s ready to rape, rob, kill and steel.

Maybe he is, and maybe he isn’t. We know no more about him than we do the family in the first image. But his skin tells us what he is and what he’s about. Why is this an issue?

I place the blame for the manner in which we view image one verse image two to rest squarely upon the shoulders of the entertainment industry and the 24 hour news programming. Carefully selected stories and crime dramatizations assist with feeding society a hearty helping of visual and electronic media that tells us image two is bad, and image one is good. Not to mention the dramatic change in the hip hop/rap industry that glorifies trafficking narcotics, prison culture, premeditated murder and sexual objectification of women through date rape/sexual assault; its easy for us to view image two as representing the negative of American society.

But what if neither is good, nor bad?

What if they both have a criminal history?

Or what if neither have ever been incarcerated?

If you where to see either of these images walking down the street with an open carry weapon; what would your reaction be? Your reaction to their presence demonstrates your perception of who they are as people (may you know them personally or not). And it demonstrates how media has assisted you with developing your opinions people who look like them.

You’re Pro Life, but you Love Guns, Support the Death Penalty, and Hate Government Aid For the Poor

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934651_623154197709566_1828265228_nI personally have found the whole pro-life stance interesting. Because the people who protest against abortion will sit for hours upon end picketing and protesting outside of abortion clinics, even going as far as bombing the buildings and shooting doctors who perform the procedures. Yet you won’t see them putting the same time and energy into ensuring hungry children both stateside and abroad are feed; or that children in war torn and impoverished communities/countries receive the care they need.

They’re all for adoption, as long as the couple seeking to adopt is a stereotypical, heterosexual, Christian/Puritan model of what society deems “wholesome” and “stable”  Homosexuals, single women/men and immigrants need not apply.

Do NOT abort your child after a rape/sexual assault; because

A. That was in God’s plan

B. Your body should have ‘shut that whole thing down’, so its possibly your fault that a child was conceived during that ‘situation’ you got yourself into.

C. At 15 weeks a human fetus can pleasure his/herself ; so they have a concept of pain.

I kid you not, A Republican Representative used that explanation as his reasoning for standing against Abortion and Planned Parenthood.

In my honest opinion (and this is just me speaking) you can’t say you care for the well-being of an unborn fetus future; yet care nothing for them once they’re here. And this is not to say that all children who’re spared from abortion are birth into these unfortunate circumstances, but the question comes to light

Do pro-life people really care about the lives of these children?

Or do they care more about pushing a political/religious agenda?

You hate abortion, but you’ll kill someone when standing your ground. And you have the right to defend your property; you’ve worked for it and its yours. But when you see these people justify the slaying of unarmed individuals (such as Travyon Martin) based more so upon behavior in one’s past or stereotypes.

Are you really “pro-life” if you feel he deserved to die?

You hate abortion, but you can’t stand such government funded programs as WIC, Foodstamps and TANIF, that assist parents on hard times with providing nourishment for their chdilren. BUT you feel that billions of dollars in Government spending is justifiable as long as its for new military weapons systems and vehicles.

You’re cool with bombs and bullets, but hate breadbaskets and free government cheese.

Never mind educating these children after their born. Because you feel the Department of Education should be done away with. So not only do you NOT care if they starve, but you have no problem with them being shot and killed if someone feels threatened by their clothes and stature, and you care nothing about supporting the very system set up to ensure they’re academically competitive if they lack the funding needed to attend privatized institutes of education.

So you want them alive, just malnourished, impoverished, uneducated and at risk for targeting.

I’m honestly on no side of the fence when it comes to such hot button issues as abortion. Because I feel that various circumstances arise which may cause a woman to make an unfortunate choice (which is not an easy one). But I just wonder about the people who’re pro-life, yet stand against programs that provide food aid, medicine and education for disadvantaged children? Not saying that a poor woman must abort her child; but

are you really pro-life if you don’t support the programs that assist some people (disadvantaged and impoverished) with sustaining life?

“Fatherly Advice”

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Let’s have some ‘real talk’ here. Cause I’m a little heated right now!

This past Wednesday, I had the honor of offering my videographer services to “Urban Cusp” and Panama Jackson of Very Smart Brothers; for the “Blackness In the Media” town hall meeting. It was uplifting, inspirational, and a breath of fresh air to see so many ‘naptural‘ brothers and sisters in attendance; engaging in enlightening debate about the double-conciousness of ‘black folks’ and how we portray ourselves in the media.

But something very troubling was brought to my attention, that I honestly had no knowledge off until that function.

Rapper and I guess ‘street pimpologist’ Todd Anthony Shawbetter known by the stage name Too Short (stylized as Too $hort), was witnessed conducting a video interview with the hip hop magazine XXL; where’ he was advising young boys (middle schoolers) on how to ‘turn a girl out’. According to his pimp logic; the rapper advises young middle school age boys how to dip their hands in the sexual goodie bag. His advice was some where along the lines of inappropriate to borderline advocating the sexual assault of young women in the same age range.

Too $hort:

“When you get to late middle school, early high school and you start feeling a certain way about the girls… I’m gonna tell you a couple tricks. This is what you do, man. A lot of the boys are going to be running around trying to get kisses from the girls, we’re going way past that. I’m taking you to the whole different level. Find a girl, throw her up against the wall, and put your hand down her pants. Play with her mind”

The video went viral! The bloggasheper blew up and people lost their minds. Feminist where (and still are) calling for the resignation of the magazines chief editor and many where suggesting that the rapper provide funding to various charities that deal with young black and latino women who’re victims of rape/sexual assault. Some even took it a step further and recommend that the rapper spend a designated amount of volunteer man hours at a rape crisis center. In which, as a Sexual Assault Victims Advocate, I have to say I agree. I think that he’s so use to being a ‘pimp’ or in pimp mode that it may do him some good to see the physical, mental, emotional and psychological effects of rape/sexual assault on a young woman.

Side Note: For those of you who don’t know, ‘turning a girl out’ means to turn a good person with minimal or shy sexual experiences into a freaky, sex crazy individual; or to lead a woman into prostitution. Normally the man turning a woman out becomes her pimp; and now owns rights the money (her body) that she makes from selling herself. And he’s successful in getting her to conform to his wishes through violent acts of rape/sexual assault and physical abuse. 

Once he and the magazine realized the hornets nest had been stirred, he immediately reached out and offered what I call an apology just short of saying “F You”, I do what I want; by issuing this statement:

“I want to apologize to anyone I may have offended with the XXL video interview I recently did. When I got on camera I was in Too $hort mode and had a lapse of judgement.I would never advise a child or young man to do these things, it’s not how I get down. Although I have made my career on dirty raps, I have worked over the years to somewhat balance the content of my music with giving back to the community. Just coming from a man who wants to see young people get ahead in life, I’m gonna do my best to to help and not hurt. If you’re a young man or a kid who looks up to me, don’t get caught up in the pimp, player, gangster hip-hop personas. Just be yourself.”—XXL Staff

This man and XXL is not sorry ladies and gentleman.

Charity doesn’t make it Right

But I love how these “rappers” feel that by doing what they call “giving back” (i.e. buying some little league football equipment or opening up a recreational center in the hood) it’s going to reverse the negative affects of the media in which they pedal. To me, Its a free pass for them to sleep at night knowing that the album they just pushed out the studio will be forgiven if they sponsor a pool party for the under-priviagled youth at the “back to school splash jam.

How can you “Jokingly” advocate how you feel women are nothing but tricks that need to be pimped; and then find the mind to do community/charity work for the very same women who’re listening to YOU talk about them your rap songs?

Giving money to the poor doesn’t take away from the fact that your music and rap videos demonstrate negative stereotypes of black people (black women) world wide!

And what the hell is “Too$hort Mode“? Is that a new defense we can use when we do something wrong; knowing we know better? So I guess when a man backhand’s a woman he can now use the defense that he was in “Too$hort” mode and couldn’t determine right from wrong at the moment.

Does he have a switch on his ass that he flips ‘on and off’ during an interview?

We know You’re Sorry, but what’s you excuse? 

I couldn’t wait to hear what he had to say in response to this debacle of ignorance, so here’s his explanation on Hip Hop “See, what had happened was….”

He claims it was a joke gone wrong. Stating that he was ‘going with the flow’ of the interview and that he thought (which is where he made his first mistake in my opinion)  it would be funny to throw those tid-bits of pimp knowledge out to young men on how to get into a woman’s head. Based upon what little I do know of Too$hort and his career (as well as his background) he’d aspired to be one of two things in his life; and that’s a rapper or a pimp. And he was actually both before he made his first hit song/record and become internationally known as a rap artist. While pimping and hustling, he made money on the side by creating rap mix tapes on at the request of people in his community. Which is really how he was discovered. Thus, I don’t feel he’s sorry for what he said or did, in my honest opinion he’s sorry over the fact that he got caught and his comments were made public.

I’m sure he engages in conversations of such nature with family and friends on a daily basis, which is why he was so comfortable making such remarks . As my grandmother use to say “from the heart the mouth speaks”. I HOPE his rap persona is not that strong the point where he can’t determine when he’s lil Todd Shaw vs. Too$hort. And if he is having a battle within himself (hearing voices in his head) he may wan to seek the assistances of a trained mental health specialist.  I pray that you go and take care of that as soon as you can my brother.

And this is just my assumption of him, because I don’t know him personally, but I’m sure that as a former (or maybe even current) pimp; he’s ether tried this and was successful, or have taken his actions a step further in order to ‘break’ a woman in like a wild Philly. This man is speaking from personal experience, and he’s even stated in previous interviews that what he raps about is ‘real ish’. It’s what he knows; because for him its real life. Meaning his lyrics are a direct reflection of how he lives (or has lived) his life, so he speaking realistically when providing such informative advice.

There are no ‘punch lines’ that include Rape and Sexual Assault 

I grew up in an environment where I’ve witnessed women close to me become victims of rap, molestation and sexual assault. I’ve watched almost every woman in my family at some point in time in their lives become either witnesses or victims of domestic violence that was accompanied by sexual assault at the hands of a lover or spouse. This is reality for A LOT of women both young and old, even the young women who’re in the same age range as Too$hort’s targeted audience. There are women who’ve witnessed and experienced the same atrocities world-wide!  thus, there’s nothing funny about it.

Subjects such as rape, sexual assault are not to be taken lightly much less joked about! The is no punch line in physically violating someones personal space. And this is why I feel he wasn’t joking, because as a self-proclaimed pimp I’m sure he’s done that and possibly even worse to women whom he’s turned out and tricked.

Now, I understand he makes his living off dirty rap lyrics, and projecting this image of himself as being a gansta pimp who has no love for them h03’s. By all means, it’s a free country, we live in a capitalist society run by supply and demand. WE as black folks demand that crap, thus the rap industry continues to supply it. I and no one else in this world can stop you from projecting that negativity unto anyone stupid enough to buy into it. But this most recent incident (including many in the past) is a prime example of the foolishness that Black People allow to be projected of ourselves. WE  feed that media machine that continuously cranks out images of “us”; as being hyper-sexual, sex crazed, psychopathic deviants that will do anything to anyone and any body (legally and illegally) to get our rocks off or for financial gain. We’re the only ethnicity of people who feature artists are introduced to the world, its through negativity (i.g. stereotypical behavior of a black man/woman) vs. that of ‘other’ people who have to mess up first (get arrested for drug position and intoxication) for us to see them negatively.

Same Thang, different Ninja

Almost all rappers, look, dress, rap and act the same. I bet one months rent that anytime you see a modern-day main stream rap video, its features the big booty, big chi-chi ‘red bone’ being pushed up on; or engaging in borderline soft porn with a rap star on screen, while he’s showing off his “jesus piece” (they love bringing the lord in their mess don’t they?), flashing his grills and throwing stacks of money at the camera. Almost every lyric you hear in todays ‘hip hop’ (if you can even call it that) consist of the following factors

1. Money and how much of they have on hand or make annually

2. Women (aka hoe’s)

3. Name brand clothes

4. What car they’re driving (year, make and model, suicide doors included)

5. How many levels there is too their homes (the homes they don’t own) that can be foreclosed upon at anytime if their records don’t sale.

6. What they’re drinking if they’re ‘buying out the bar’ and ‘popping and pouring out bottles’ on a strippers head as she slides down a pole.

7. How often they have sex, with whom they have sex with, and how many times (with the number of partners) they’ve engaged in the act.

8. How much ‘weight’ they’re pushing (i.e. trafficking narcotics)

9. Mabach’s and Private jets that can whisk them away from one country to the next (knowing darn well they’re lying).

10. Their rap sheet (arrest record).

11. Their penis and how long or big it is. This seems to be the staple of Black male masculinity in African American culture. Some mistakenly assume that all black men are well endowed (which is not true) and they capitalize on that by bragging about how they use their family jewels as a means of demonstrating their dominance over women and even other men. I’m assuming they feel that in claiming bragging rights to one’s anatomy, they can demonstrate a level of control over the women they come in contact with through ‘breeding’; or demonstrate to other men that they’re not ‘big enough’ to hang with the ‘big dogs’; thus he should know his place and stay on the porch.

Todays rap artist have allowed media moguls in the entertainment industry to corrupt a form and style of music that was once used to uplift and socially educate a generation of people who gave birth to its origins; by turning it into a form of brainwashing that leaves many of our unstable youth into assuming that the only way to achieve that level success is to:

A. Become a rapper and sell their souls in the same manner as all the other cookie-cutter artist have. Thus they become actively engaged in the modern-day cake walk that we know call rap.

B. Portray the image of being a tatted up, thugged out, drug dealing, organized crime boosting, womanizing “rap artist” (using the term loosely) that’s more engrossed in his/her image than his/her talent.

C. He/she must be a womanizer that has very little to no respect for women (and this must be evident in the images and lyrics projected in the songs and music videos); or willingly engage in a diluted form of prostitution by building a brand based upon sexual promiscuity, and your T&A.

Rap today is pretty much a modern-day rendition of the racist movies “Good Bye Uncle Tom” and “Birth of a Nation” in one. And because ‘we’ as a people settle for what the media feeds us, our kids gobble it up like a stack of hotcakes, because “we’ are not willing to provide mentally nourishing food for thought; that promotes positivity. Any one who tries too is  shut out, called ‘weak’, ‘lame’ and their product gets no air time. We don’t wanna hear nor see it! And we wonder why our kids are out of control, engaging in sexual acts that most of us as adults have never tried, and have no desire to be anything in life other than a celebrity.

And we’re always the most boisterous in how we disapprove of our images in the media; but I guess its cool when we’re the one’s doing it right?

We need to do better in order to expect better from our people!

He was not playing

Rapper Todd Shaw, "Too$hort".