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....


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:

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....


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Still At It....

12 x 16 Pastel painting entitled Safe and Sound. 

Just when I got into the groove of blogging, other things pop up, and blogging takes a back seat. I'm preparing for a showcase coming up in which yours truly will exhibit my work to my local community, something I haven't done in 5 years, and it's been long overdue. This one here promises to be somewhat different than the previous showcase, due to changes in certain areas, especially in the rebuilding of the local library. This is a big plus for me, because not only do I get to exhibit my work, I can also access classrooms with projectors and screens, and trust me, I do have something planned for that as well. I don't want to spill all of the beans right now, but just to inform those who started getting into the habit of reading my blog regularly that I would be off the social topics for a while, but only on this platform.

 I know I had not finished the blog concerning Leslie Jones and Milo Yiannopolous, but in this age of fast food information and hot gossip, it's become passe' anyway, not that it's no longer important to discuss the issue, but one with much insight will see this issue pop up in another way shape or form, and the Leslie vs. Milo incident can be used as a reference point. But that's for people who value critical thinking and reasoning, which is not what our world is concerned with. 

Anyway an extra special thanks to those who take the time to read my lil' ol' blog, it is greatly appreciated. Not to get too involved with stats and metrics, which brings me back to my old customer service rep ways (UGGGH!) but last month set personal records for my blog in terms of views and readership. It's only fitting that I show gratitude in some form for those who take the time out of their busy schedule to come and See What I See (CWATIC). 

Until next time, take care and hang tight, we're only getting started here. 


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