Friday, August 18, 2017

The NFL's Last Straw

Revised version.


Artwork by the artist.



Ok. That's it.

I'm done.

Stick a fork in it.

El Finito.

I'm through with the NFL, and no, it has nothing to do with Colin Kaepernick. That's another topic for another blog.

The NFL has been sticking its foot in its mouth since it decided to create its own moral compass, and institute a personal conduct policy in 2007. This was supposedly designed to curb and deter irresponsible off-field behavior from players, and to retain a "clean" public image. Since then it has done nothing but dug an even larger hole for itself with seemingly selective justice against certain teams and players, hypocrisy, inconsistent punishments, double standards, and above all created a tyranny in leadership in the form of current commissioner Roger Goodell.  Now players can receive long term suspensions for off the field behavior that have no impact on the game whatsoever, while actions that can directly jeopardize the impact and integrity of the game either go unabated or receive much smaller suspensions, as what has happened to the New England Patriots, head coach Bill Belicheck, and quarterback Tom Brady.

So much for integrity.

Last week  Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott was placed on a six-week suspension for "violating" its vague domestic policy, where he was accused of assaulting his then-girlfriend in July of 2016. This happened despite not being charged by the local police department, citing inconsistent evidence from the accuser, and an affadavit from a friend who states the accuser was lying. This comes after a year long investigation performed by the NFL, after the Columbus, Ohio police department decided not to press charges. A 14-month long investigation.

So much for due process.

In its statement last week, the NFL stated it received "substantial and persuasive" evidence that led them to believe Elliott committed the offense. Sounds like circumstantial evidence is being used here.

So much for innocence until PROVEN guilty.

This reminds me of an article written in a local newspaper sometime in 2013. The author, a black female public figure, came up with this erroneous opinion that if a young woman accuses a man of sexual assault or violence, and the evidence appears inconclusive, your safest bet would be to take the side of the young lady. She reasoned that if in the final analysis the man is actually innocent of the charges, he can recover, whereas if the accuser is correct but not believed, it can have devastating effects. Wow.

So according to her analysis, if a man who spends time in prison for assault/rape is found innocent, he should be able to fully recover with no problems at all. Even if he can't get back the 1-10-20 years he spent in prison falsely accused.

Wow.

Recently Elliott has joined with the NFLPA and appealed the decision. This promises to get very messy.

Even messier than the Ray Rice fiasco in 2014. Nobody likes to recall that public relations nightmare, however reflecting on the Ray Rice incident again provides us with much insight on why the NFL continues to suffer from bad PR today, and who may really be behind all of this mess.

Ray Rice and his then-fiance Janay had an altercation in February of 2014. He was charged with misdemeanor assault, arrested, and shortly after released. The NFL in response suspended him with a two-game suspension later that summer. From the initial response, both Ray and Janay were content with the decision. Goodell even defended the decision shortly after when confronted by women's groups.

Then things took a turn for the worst, but not by their hands. Somehow that celebrity-gossip tv show-suddenly turned- reliable news source TMZ  got a hold of the videotape and broadcast the incident on their show. Then the crap really hit the fan.

The "public outrage", mostly comprised of women's groups, forced Roger Goodell to reverse Ray's punishment, suspending him indefinitely, after the initial suspension. So now we have double jeopardy.

So much for constitutional rights.

If one looks at the tape without others' commentary, they will clearly see Ray Rice backing up from Janay, and Janay charging at Ray, to which he quickly reacts by punching her, laying her out flat on the elevator floor.

It's not a pretty sight to see, however such a sight should not lead us to judge by our emotions and jump to conclusions, which is obviously what happened here, referring to the altercation as"domestic violence", which is code language for men who have the audacity to hit women. They could not claim spousal abuse because clearly it was a fight between two people, and Janay started the altercation by slapping him.

So despite the cries of feminism and equality, we still seem to have this contradictory ruling that a man cannot defend himself when a woman charges at him.

Man charges at man = man can defend himself
Man charges at woman = woman can defend herself
Woman charges at woman = woman can defend herself
Woman charges at man = man cannot defend himself.

Clearly an open door to assault by females toward men.








If I stated right now that the average man is physically stronger than the average woman, I would be called a misogynist. You know it's true. But a woman can use that same analysis to prove that a man should not put his hands on a woman. This is the problem humans face when using double standards to achieve "equality" among the sexes.

Shortly after the indefinite suspension, Goodell received a letter signed by 16 female senators, comprising of fourteen Democrats and two Republicans, stating that under no unconditional terms should a man who hits a woman be given a second chance to play.

Examine Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's take on the Ray Rice issue.





Listen to the language, and how she says Ray admits to "beating" her, not hitting her. When did one or two punches constitute a beating? She describes it as if Ray was constantly punching Janay even as she lay on the floor unconscious and defenseless. The video shows differently. Then she describes the reaction by the league and team in a way most typical of feminists/liberals, that of this "patriarchy" where every male is out to get the woman, and will cover up any damning evidence that could incriminate them.

Remember now, sixteen women senators signed that letter and sent it to Roger Goodell.

Seems to me the people were more upset that Janay was knocked unconscious rather than the fight itself, but honestly ask yourself, if Ray charged at Janay, and in self-defense she happened to knock him unconscious, would we have the same reaction towards Janay?

I think not.

Even Janay herself took to social media to voice her opinions about how the media and the public blew things out of proportion, and also to show support for her husband. But what was the response by the media?

Mostly to view her as a co-dependent, beaten and battered woman.

Even Democrat Senator Richard Blumenthal chimed in by presenting legislation designed to compel leagues to adopt and enforce zero-tolerance policies toward "domestic violence", code word for men who hit women.

Wow. I wish the Democrat senators had that same passion and sympathy for those little babies they feel have no right to live, using ridiculous pseudonyms such as "reproductive rights", code name for abortion. Rather than show compassion, they develop sick theories and redefine rape to include men who have sex with women without verbally asking, "honey, can we have sex?" or "baby, can I have some of you?"

And having stripper/models/porn stars to advocate this mess does nothing positive for your credibility.

I wish those same Republican senators would've kept that same pacifist approach that they try to spew on those countries and populations they wish to oppress and take their resources.

So much for compassion.
So much for unconditional love.
So much for forgiveness.
So much for equity among men and women.
So much for loving thy enemy.
So much for turning the other cheek.

And some of us actually felt that the likes of Hillary Clinton would be a better choice for President of the United States than Donald Trump? Really? As one person stated, they're both two wings on the same dirty bird.

And while we're on the feminist topic, since they're so upset with White Male Privilege, where were they to add support to the Native Americans for the removal of the racist Washington Redskins nickname? Where was Blumenthal in all of this? Where was his legislation to enforce the removal of such an offensive name? Where was the outcry for the removal of Team Owner Daniel Snyder for upholding the name?

Crickets.

So much for women's rights. It's been proven time and time again that it's not equality they seek, Their actions have proven that even THEY don't believe in equality, nor do they respect diversity. They would rather try to disrupt a current order, regardless if it is just or unjust, or even worse gain an upper hand, an advantage. They seek the same privileges they accuse men of fostering.  And now they have an upper hand in the decision making in the NFL. Roger Goodell answers to nobody...

...except women.

But the NFL has no one to blame but themselves for this mess. I can say it all started when they decided to court the largest consumer bloc in the world; women.

Using Breast Cancer Awareness as a Trojan Horse and creating a slick PR campaign, the NFL decided to tap to the female market in 2008.  Players were then "encouraged" in the month of October to add pink to their uniforms. The playing fields became decorated in pink, and pink paraphenalia containing the NFL logo was heavily promoted and sold during this month.









Since then it has done nothing but made a mockery of itself, insulting the intelligence of its fans, patrons, and it has given selective outside entities certain entitlements, while leaving the very players who sacrifice their health, reputation and overall well being at risk in order to patronize a certain demographic that at one time had no say nor impact in the affairs of this institution.

My interest in watching football began waning back when the colleges began succumbing to the corporate "sponsors". All of a sudden, the Cotton Bowl kept switching sponsors and names from The Mobil Cotton Bowl to the AT&T Cotton Bowl, to now having the annual New Year's Cotton Bowl game being played outside the Cotton Bowl itself. Then the collegiate stadiums and the bowl games followed suit and became known for their sponsors name.

Then the corporate fever hit the professional circuit. With teams leaving cities abruptly, billion-dollar stadiums surfacing, people being displaced from their homes, among other things, football seemed more like a political bargaining chip more than mere entertainment. And now this. Too many outside interests have spoiled a great spectator sport, and a game I enjoyed playing in the yard as a child.

So much for the NFL.

And I still haven't commented on the Colin Kaepernick situation.... yet.













Saturday, January 7, 2017

B. A. D for America

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

The Holy Bible: Exodus Chapter 20 Verse 16

O you who believe, stand firm for Allah(God) as witnesses of Truth, and do not let the hatred of a people cause you to be unjust. Be just, that is closer to God-consciousness. And 
fear Allah, verily Allah is Well-Aware of all that you do. Allah has promised those who
believe and do righteous deeds for them there is forgiveness and a great reward.

The Holy Qur'an: Surah Al - Maidah, verses 8-9

In the 90's I used to deliver cleaning equipment and mats around the greater DFW area. One stop in Ft.Worth there was an older White man who worked in the back of an Albertson's grocery store, who I met on a weekly basis. Shortly after becoming a Muslim in 1992, I started wear a particular hat, a black kufi, trimmed with silver threading throughout. Once this man saw that kufi, he started asking me about Islam, but then he started mentioning about a Black controversial politician by the name of John Wiley Price. Those who know Mr. Price are familiar with a lot of his antics, but for the sake of brevity I won't delve into that subject.

But suffice to say that whenever Mr. Price made the local news, I had to field questions about  
statements and actions from this man, as if I knew this Mr. Price personally, and I supported EVERY action he took. For some strange reason he drew parallels of Mr. Price's confrontations with Islam and Black people in general. I grew tired of these encounters, and one week I really got to him. He came to me ranting about the police needing to arrest Mr. Price following certain altercations, to which I replied that it doesn't matter to me if they arrest him, but just be consistent. Do the same with unions and other people or groups who commit the same offenses. He didn't like that by any regard. It seems some Whites are quick to lump all people of a different race or belief into a monolithic entity, but don't hold that standard to themselves.

I recall that anecdote whenever situations pop up, even to this very day, because it seems nothing has changed in the American climate of hatred and bigotry. Every time a Black person, or a Muslim is accused of something in America, either certain organizations or the whole collective community is accused of sanctioning such action, and the whole collective community, beit Black or Muslim, has to bear the brunt of such scorn. 

We've seen this too many times in the past, and we see it now, where marginalized people are blamed for the decay in this country, and steps are taken to justify and consent to the removal, slaughter, or incarceration of collective groups of people in America, all because of somebody's bigotry. Very little truth, if any, is broadcast about such groups, and the masses of America become inundated with distorted news articles, soundbytes, and cut and paste video, all claiming to be accurate and non-partial information. And now with Youtube, the madness knows no end.

We've seen this too many times happening with the Black Lives Matter Movement, as well as ISIS/ISIL/IS, whatever the heck they want to refer themselves to. In many cases, it's the same media using the same tactics regarding both collectives. Blacks and Muslims for the most part find themselves having to field questions about such collective groups, to alleviate White people's fear and anxiety.  

Then we find such collective groups and/or certain organizations holding press conferences to publicly denounce and condemn actions that were neither sanctioned by the groups, or explain if such group has any affiliation or relationship to the accused at all. This is especially for Muslims, who we find are always having to fend off accusations o f terrorism and/or affiliation with such "radical Muslims", whatever the hell that is.

If I have not stated before I will state now I do not support the Black Lives Matter Movement, due to ideological differences regarding Black feminism, whereas a false premise has been created where Black men are accused of systematically suppressing Black women from all socio- economic and political endeavors in America, as if Black men were enjoying these privileges themselves to begin with. I also oppose this notion of intolerance behind the LGBT community as well, which BLM states, creating buzz words ( and hard to mention buzz words at that) such as heteropatriarchy and heteronormativity to use as some form of victimization from Black men in America. 

But with all of that being said, I also disagree with associating acts of violence with Black Lives Matter, such as the recent social media incident involving four Black youth and a "mentally challenged" White youth in Chicago, Illinois,  or with the shooting last year in Dallas, Texas,  whereas an alleged lone gunman opened fire, killing 5 police officers, at a rally following the deaths of two unarmed Black men by police, Philandro Castille and Alton Sterling. Those who remember can recall many newscasts labeled the rally a "Black Lives Matter" protest, when the reality is the rally was organized by the New Generation Action Network, along with others. 

In addition I am a Muslim, and I am familiar with Salafi movement, and have fundamental disagreements with them as well, however I also disagree with associating terrorism with such a group as well, and the labelling of Wahhabi, which is actually one the Names of Allah, Al-Wahhab, meaning The Bestower, and not this conjured up concept by bigots who hate the Islamic Way of Life by manufacturing lies about a group of people, claiming they are hell bent of forcing the whole world to believe in what they believe, employing young women, and in one case employing a young "feebleminded" teenage girl to perform a suicide bombing in Nigeria as reported, or random acts of killing people without true evidence, such as the Orlando, Florida incident last year as well.

My disliking and/or disagreement of an individual or group does not give me license to distort, lie, defame, vilify such person/s or movements. Truth will always come out in the end, and only then will factual evidence, and not tabloid journalism and witch hunts bring about any removal of wrongdoing and injustices. Marginalized people should not be made to feel anxiety whenever an incident flashes across the screen, leaving them to offer prayers that the alleged resembles or represents one of them, for fear of unjust reprisals.

America's fall or degradation cannot be attributed to any of these incidents, for the statistics about murder, crime, the impoverished, and other forms of social decay either show major contradictions, or outright lies made about Blacks and Muslims in America. But rather America's bigotry, or intolerance of other races and beliefs, accompanied with racism and a lack of truly understanding diversity, and not their twisted definition of diversity, and worst of all DENIAL of intolerance, bigotry and racism will be America's downfall.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

What You Watchin' Common? A Response To Common's Comments About Obama's Legacy Pt 1.

Painting courtesy of the artist.

One of the lies we(Black people) tell ourselves is that we're making progress...We're 
not making progress. We tend to equate progress with concessions. We can no
longer make that mistake...

...There is no difference between the Democratic and the Republican Party. The 
similarities are greater than the differences in those parties. What's the 
difference between Lynch' em Johnson and Goldwater? None!

But a lot of you (Black people) running around, talking about you Democrat, 
and the Democrats got you in the biggest trick going! They tell you "it ain't our fault,
it's the Dixiecrats' (another way of saying Republican) fault!" There's no such thing as 
a Dixiecrat! The only difference between George Wallace and Lyndon Johnson is one 
of them's wife got cancer. But you go for it.  You go for it because you're chumps...
You enjoy being lied to...

Excerpts from a 1968 address to the Black Panthers by H. Rap Brown (now Imam Jamil Al-Amin)





For all intended purposes, I am a huge fan of  legendary rapper Common, and I thoroughly
enjoy most of his work, especially his 2014 album "Nobody's Smiling",  which I still rock to this day. At a time when Black youth are being socialized and conditioned to render any Black person dead or alive, and over the age of 30 as old, dead and/or irrelevant, while simultaneously rocking apparel with Marilyn Monroe's 1950's, old dead image plastered on it, I found it comforting that a legendary rapper produced a relevant and remarkable album about the plight of today's urban youth, especially in his hometown of Chicago, Illinois, complete with guest appearances from younger contemporary rappers. This was achieved without trying too hard to sound "updated" or appeal to only a younger audience. I found it very insightful, and something that every music fan and art enthusiast should enjoy. 

I even found myself coming to his defense somewhat after the backlash concerning comments he made in a 2015 interview with former host of  The Daily Show Jon Stewart about Blacks "getting past the history of racism and slavery" by extending their hands in love, and not fists. This and other comments raised the ire of many Blacks, which led to calling Common names such as Uncle Tom, sellout, and mostly the word used so popularly now, coon.  While wildly disagreeing with his stance concering racism in America and how to deal with it, I can neither agree with the oversimplification and the dismissive nature of those who oppose his view by simple name calling, and especially a sellout, or a coon. It goes to show how those who utter these words ad nauseam do not have any idea what they mean.

Common's stance towards racism is a typical Black Christian stance, a passive, "turn-the-other-cheek" stance, which goes over well concerning both White conservatives and liberals' interests. Neither of the two can fathom the idea of Blacks and other people of color or minorities going beyond mere marching, singing and voting, and becoming more aggressive and even militant in seeking justice from a country which has basically turned a deaf ear to the cries of the slain and marginalized.

But what worries me about Common, as well as others who uphold this approach is the lack of understanding of who really benefits from constantly turning the cheek at those who continue  to strike, maim, and kill Blacks without any impunity. It's not about Blacks wanting mere "payback" or "getback",  or "kill Whitey" but there is nothing in place in this country to deter these hateful people from committing these heinous crimes. Years of singing "all you need is love" and passing ineffective hate crime and civil rights bills have produced nothing, at least for Black people, and in particular Black men. 

While he and others like to push Dr. Martin Luther King's philosophy of non-violence, even at the expense of self-defense, it seems that it only encourages the aggressors to amplify their "terror" (YEAH I SAID IT...TERROR!) and terrorism. The reality remains that these actions stem from a ideological belief, and only the removing of these racial fallacies that encourage racists and bigots to disenfranchise and slaughter those who they deem inferior and blame for the moral decay of the nation( nevermind the statistics proving otherwise) will begin the process of healing. Love cannot conquer hate, despite what Marvin Gaye said. 

NOTE: I didn't mean to go this far into depth concerning Common's past comments on The Daily Show, however after careful consideration I felt I had to elaborate further on it, due to the emergence of a peculiar pattern that seems to land Common on shows like The Daily Show, and recently Chelsea, with host Chelsea Handler, which provides Blacks who hold similar views a platform to broadcast their "views" and "opinions". In reflecting on this I'm reminded of a statement 
by Frances Stoner Saunders in her book The Cultural Cold War which stated;

"The most effective propaganda was defined by the CIA as the kind where the subject moves to the position you desire, but for reasons he believes to be his own."
Seems like a long time ago when Mos Def (now Yasiin Bey) boldly declared on Bill Maher's show that Osama Bin Laden was not responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Nowadays Bill spends time talking about "radical Muslims" and "terrorists" with panels of people, and not one of them will include an
actual Muslim. Which makes Common's appearances on these shows nowadays all the more suspect. And no I'm not calling him an agent. 





Now let's get to the heart of the matter....


PART 2 COMING SOON....





Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Today Was A Good Day...Well Sorta (PART ONE)


Last week was a momentous week for certain residents of Highland Hills, a small community located in Southeastern Dallas. For the past 8 YEARS the area lacked among other basic necessities a grocery store. Imagine 8 YEARS without a grocery store. Imagine having to go to another city to get food. Imagine having to ride the bus to go to another sector of Dallas, to go to a store and get fresh food. Imagine having to walk as much as 45 minutes to an hour to and from an adequate supermarket to get food. Imagine having to bring backpacks on your journey to load up with groceries to take back to your home. Imagine having to hop on the bus or walk with a couple of bags of chicken, a 15 pound bag of potatoes, a gallon of milk, bread, veggies among other things. I did all of that, and wore out numerous pairs of shoes in the process.


The previous local store, E-Zee Shop, which existed even before my parents arrived here in 1972, had become a shell of a supermarket until it closed around '07/'08. The atmosphere was dreary to say the least, and most of all meat, fruits and veggies were not up to par, the refrigerator equipment had become well outdated, causing meat and fruits/veggies to lose their freshness. Bread was rumored to have mold and droppings in them. I say rumors because I didn't witness it myself, but I clearly remember seeing Flour Weevils in a couple of cake mixes I purchased. When I went to the owner/operator to tell them what happened, they informed me of a switch in warehouses, mostly likely an older warehouse, as the reason for the change in the quality of food. 

Plus the people there were not always the best when it came to customer service. Some people had run ins with them. The old man who owned the building was somewhat cool, but after his death, it was off the hook. The story as some folks tell it was they closed up because they were robbed at gunpoint. Typical hood story, yeah I know.

However a neighboring tenant who ran her own tax service stated they were not only mean to customers, but also to her as well, and cited that mistreatment among local citizens may have actually caused the robbery, as an act of retaliation and not just some attempt to get money.

I can agree with that analysis, because after closing shop for several months, the same people came back as another so-called grocery store, this time they called themselves Value Giant, promising to open up as a totally different store, even promising to open a deli, and allow customers to rent DVDs. Doesn't sound to me like the robbery attempt affected them that much. 


Within days, maybe less than a week or two, Value Giant had to close down, selling off their meat at prices like 25 cents a pound. Did another robbery cause this to happen? Not at all. What happened was Value Giant was using E-Zee Shop's old outdated equipment (since they were the same people anyway), including the refrigerator, causing the meat to become brown and aged, and ultimately they could not operate any longer. My question is simply why would you try to re-open a store using the same antiquated, broken down, substandard equipment anyway? What does that say about your perception of the community you claim to serve?

Well you know how it is in the hood right? It's never their fault as to why these areas become targets of urban neglect, right? It's not the city's fault as to why a prison was built in the surrounding area before the crime actually came, right? It's all these damn criminals around here, right? Even if crime was not a problem at all, even when Highland Hills was considered a lower-middle class neighborhood designed and built especially for African-Americans who were looking to move their growing families into actual homes they could afford to buy, before the crack and drug era, before the proliferation of street gangs, but hey, let's not blame them, and definitely do not bring up the subject of racism. Racism and Dallas, Texas does not go together at all, even if in 2010 they allowed a casino named after a Native American tribe to post an offensive giant size advertisement in the middle of Downtown Dallas.


It's always the citizens' fault, and we blindly jump right on the bandwagon, with our self-hating, one -bad-apple-spoils-the-whole-bunch, believe everything they say about us, selves. Can you believe local ex and current politicians actually believed that developers refused to assist in "revitalizing" and investing in the area because of a few young Black men who wore baggy pants, and the supposed crime in the area? 

During a talk about art in 2013 one ex-politician tried to challenge me on not believing such an idea, leaving me to present the flyer that the city of Dallas was sending out in 2010, encouraging local residents to vote yes to allowing liquor and beer to be sold in local stores, claiming the money accumulated would help build roads, parks, and aid in the police force.



For more information on this please read my blog "Sobriety Is The New Enemy." Here is the link: http://realquwwa.blogspot.com/2010/10/sobriety-is-new-enemy.html

So imagine this community being persuaded to allow a store that we don't have, because nobody wants to invest in such a "crime-ridden" area (code word for "a place filled with niggers") to sell a DRUG which contributes to up to 20,000 road deaths ANNUALLY, but not good enough to actually put a STORE with FRESH, QUALITY, AND REASONABLY PRICED FOOD in a neighborhood to aid and assist its citizens? And don't tell me nothing about paying taxes...We all know about taxation without representation...


Now that's gangsta nigga....


(TO BE CONTINUED)


































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