Thursday, May 30, 2013

The African American Black Man: The New Neanderthal?

BENEATH THE SPIN • ERIC L. WATTREE

The African American Black Man: The New Neanderthal?
 
I was in Los Angeles on the corner of Vernon and Central the other day, just after school let out. If it hadn't been for the fact that I grew up in that area and recognized my surroundings, I would have thought I was in Mexico. What use to be an almost exclusively Black community was now filled with happy, playful - and mannerly - Hispanic children coming home from school, and as I looked around, I saw thriving Latino businesses being patronized by poor, but thriving Latino patrons. I was intrigued, so I decided to take a detour through the neighborhood.
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Now, I don't know whether the area is primarily Mexican-American, or filled with illegal immigrants, but what was clear was that the area was changing. There was a new vitality there. I saw fathers and teenage boys in the yards, both at home and enjoying the love of family rather than hanging out in the street. I saw a neighborhood free of young men glaring at me, or waving me over as I drove by. The neighborhood was no longer threatening. It was a neighborhood that now said family, instead of gangster. It was a neighborhood that was clearly trying to make a comeback.
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It felt good to see my old stomping grounds rejuvenating itself, but I also felt a twinge of both guilt and envy. I felt guilt because my own teenage antics contributed greatly to dragging this very neighborhood down to its previous state, and envy that what comes so easily to most cultures seems to be so elusive to my own. I also felt more than a tinge of fear, because to anyone who's familiar with Charles Darwin's theory on natural selection, it's clear that the Black man is swirling around the event horizon of a massive black hole. If we don't do something to get our young people's attention real soon, at best, the Black man is going to become irrelevant, or at worst, the new Neanderthal.
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According to Darwin's theory of evolution, which at this point is considered more fact than theory to most scientists, nature is in a constant process of selecting which groups or species will survive to perpetuate itself, and which will die out. The concept is called natural selection, or popularly known as the survival of the fittest. In order to insure that only the best, most adaptive, and strongest life forms populate the Earth, nature eliminates the weak to insure they won't procreate and contaminate the Earth with their weak offspring.
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The process of elimination starts even before an individual is born. Every individual starts out with as many as 40 million potential brothers and sisters, all scurrying towards their mother's egg. But most die off before they reach the mother's egg. Therefore, just the fact that you were born means that you're not just one in a million—you're one in 40 million. You were the strongest and most viable of over 40 million others.
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And nature takes the survival of the fittest very seriously. Anyone who has ever watched a dog or a cat give birth to their young have probably seen first hand how brutally serious nature can be in this regard. If you haven't, just ask yourself, when was the last time you saw a puppy born with a birth defect. If you have, it's very rare, because if an animal is born defective in any way, the mother will kill it on the spot—and in many cases eat it. Nature doesn't provide animals with a welfare office, so they know by instinct that they, and their young, must to be able to hold their own weight in this world, or die.
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But a life form doesn't have to have a physical defect for nature to weed it out. Nature will also weed out things that are maladaptive or have an inability to adapt to its environment - like many of us, for example. God made birds to fly, fish to swim, and man to think. If a bird refuses to fly, it cannot survive. If a fish refuses to swim, it will not survive. The very same rule applies to man. If a man refuses to think, he will not survive - and that has become a serious problem in the Black community. Many of our young Black men simply refuse to think.
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It's as though we're on a mission to ensure our own extinction. While the men of other cultures seem to have no problem in stepping up to the plate to solidify the family unit and ensure their children get a running start in life, we're abandoning our children, and referring to the very womb of our culture as "bitches and whoes"; and if we're not killing other Black men over drugs, we're killing ourselves with drugs - and then struttin' around braggin' about it! And even when we aren't killing ourselves, we're making dumb decisions that's causing us to have to spend years at a time locked up in jail like animals. Many of us have embraced a philosophy of manhood that enforces a moral obligation to be stupid. It's like, you're not a true Black man unless you take a pledge to remain ignorant.
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This is a sad state of affairs, because nature is already hard at work weeding the Black man out, and we're giving her all the help that she needs. Every time one gang member or drug dealer kills another, that's nature at work upgrading the gene pool. Every time someone dies of an overdose, nature's right there - "well, I don't have to worry about him fathering anymore weak minded people." And when you go to jail, that also takes your seed out of circulation.
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But the biggest impact is right around the corner. Look around you, Black man. While you're acting a fool nature is also selecting traits in Black women that's allowing them to do without you. Notice that while you're out there saggin' and getting dumber and dumber, Black women are becoming better educated, and getting good jobs. That's right, brother - nature is rendering you irrelevant. You are no longer a suitable mate, so nature is preparing the Black female to do without you - and it's happening right before your eyes.
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So if you're a young brother, you can just standby. That pretty young lady of yours may think your droopy pants are cool now, but as she becomes better educated and gets that good job that you're too maladjusted to be considered for, she's going to begin to see you for what you really are, a looser—and a broke one at that. She's going to realize you're not a suitable mate. And she's going to recognize that saggin' (spell it backwards) doesn't make you a man. In fact, it makes you an embarrassment in the world she wants to move into - and it's not because she's getting uppity, it's because it's true. She wants to live, and she wants her children to live and prosper, but she can't do that with you, because you're a dying breed. As a direct result, their very survival is going to require Black women to go outside of the Black race to find suitable mates.
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That's right - that beautiful young sister that you love so much is going to have to go out and find her a real man, one who's capable of survival in the real world. Then once that starts to happen, what was once a proud Black race is going to become less and less Black with every generation that passes, until the Black man, at least, as we know him, will only exist as pictures on the wall of natural history museums–a relic of the past.
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I can hear the anthropologists discussing us now - in the past tense, of course. They'll probably give us a scientific name like "Africantus Americana Fool". They'll be in the museum looking up at some brother that they found dead of a drug overdose in the snow and then had stuffed. Then the anthropologist will say to a class of visiting students, "You know, it's really amazing when you think about it. They had the intellectual potential to thrive, but they just didn't have any common sense. The major downfall of 'Homeboy' (a nickname they assigned to our species) was that he lacked a sense of community, and had less than rudimentary coping skills. But there's one thing you've got to give him - he was the coolest thing on the planet, while he was around. He didn't have much common sense, but the brother could sho'nuff sag."
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The upshot will be, we'll finally get the attention that we so passionately craved. But the downside is, it'll be on the History Channel.
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I Bear Witness
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I sit, I watch,
and I grow ever more obsolete
as I bear witness.
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I bear witness
to a once vibrant people greedily gulping down society’s hemlock. Even as they claim to be “keeping it real,“ they continue to maim, kill, and despise their own in hot pursuit of the prime directive with the passion of a sheetless klan.
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I bear witness
to Black fists in the air in false solidarity promoted by self-serving poverty pimps as the world looks on and giggle at crooked fingers pointed elsewhere.
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I bear witness
to the superficial attempt to ban the “N-word” while the new "un-niggas" stand around watching children killing children and fathers drugging sons, as they celebrate, lionize, and enrich those who denigrate the very womb of their culture with impunity.
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I bear witness
to a generation of lost knowledge, cut off from its roots by Ronnie’s “Just say no” generation of crack, greed, death, and political corruption; A generation where the new N-word is pronounced “Responsibility” and the keepers of the flame completely ignore the destructive power of bitch, slut, whore, and tramp.
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I bear witness
to the reckless disregard of the words uneducated, irresponsible, and classless. Should we not ban these words as well, or should we ban banning words altogether as we celebrate their meaning?
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Yes, I do bear witness.
I bear witness to a new world -
a world where gross ignorance comes disguised as enlightenment, and funky sneakers look down with disdain upon the sweet smell of Florsheim; a world where saggin’ pants and gaudy glitter enable country bumpkins to masquerade as elegant, and the exquisite surrender of eloquence is the very essence of what it means to be hip.
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Where's Langston? Where's Baldwin? Where's Oscar Brown, Jr?
We need you stormin' this beach, because . . .
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I now bear witness
to a world where motherhood stands alone, to be “dope” renders a smile, and posterity is forced to embrace the wind for paternal sustenance; A world where the walking dead strut about rapping the wisdom of idiocy, and we praise the illiteracy of vulgar nursery rhymes as profound; a world where the mother of salvation's final gasp is compared to the pigmentation of brown paper bags.
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Malcolm, Martin, where are you?
I once stood with a crowd. Now seemingly alone, I'm forced to bear witness -
horrific witness . . .
to the imminent demise of our people,
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And my heart bleeds.
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The Tail Wagging The Dog
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The focus of this article is a critique of the Black popular culture and the negative impact that it's having on Black youth - and through extension, the Black community as a whole - and not the vast majority of Black people who are fully functional and well adjusted. The reason we decided to emphasize the dysfunctional is, due to the focus of the media, the tail is wagging the dog. A 15% minority of the Black culture is dictating the trajectory of the remaining 85%  of the Black majority. So the tact taken here is designed to hold a mirror up to the more responsible segment of the Black community and wake them up to what we're allowing to happen to our culture. We would be remiss, however, if we didn't present at least a glimpse of the Black community that you don’t generally see in the media.
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FACTS THAT THE MEDIA DON'T TELL YOU
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The vast majority of Black people in this country are middle class or above. African Americans are the second largest consumer group in America with a combined buying power of over $892 billion currently and likely over $1.1 trillion by 2012. In 2002 African American owned businesses accounted for 1.2 million of the US's 23 million businesses, and 47% of Africans Americans own their own homes. - U.S. Census Bureau
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So again, the bottom line is, the media focuses on the 15% of Black people who are struggling, unemployed, and/or dysfunctional. But they never discuss the 85% who are gainfully employed, never go to jail, don't use drugs, and are living the American dream just like any other group of middle-class Americans:
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 Eric L. Wattree
Http://wattree.blogspot.com
Ewattree@Gmail.com
Citizens Against Reckless Middle-Class Abuse (CARMA)
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Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everyone who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Is the President of the United States Engaged in a Covert Conspiracy Against Tavis Smiley, or Has Tavis Finally Made it to Never-Never Land?

Beneath the Spin * Eric L. Wattree

Is the President of the United States Engaged in a Covert Conspiracy Against Tavis Smiley, or Has Tavis Finally Made it to Never-Never Land?
It seems that Tavis Smiley believes that he’s so important that the President of the United States is engaged in a covert conspiracy against him.
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Michael H. Cottman reported in his BlackAmericaWeb.com commentary, "Tom Joyner’s Opinion on Tavis Smiley’s White House Accusations," that "Smiley told the Associated Press that members of the Obama administration, whom he didn’t identify, have successfully convinced sponsors to stop funding Smiley’s ventures, including his anti-poverty initiatives."
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As Cottman alluded to in his commentary, the mere fact that Tavis failed to identify exactly who in the Obama administration "convinced sponsors" to stop funding his ventures, and exactly which sponsors he’s talking about, is particularly telling. That’s not like Smiley. If he had any evidence whatsoever to support his allegation he’d be holding one of his PBS "gibfests," complete with "expert analysis" by the prince of gesticular verbosity, Dr. Cornel West, pointing his finger at the president, and condemning the people in the administration who were involved.
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Because the fact is, even if the corporations involved didn’t want to reveal themselves, he could have at least attributed his allegation to "a source who wants to remain anonymous."
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But why would Tavis’s corporate benefactors even want to hide the fact that they were being pressured by Obama? Trying to put pressure on Walmart, Nationwide Insurance, or Exxon/Mobile would not only be extremely dumb on the part of the administration, but it would be a gift from God to Tavis’s ALEC connected corporate benefactors. Can you just imagine what Darrell Issa could do with something like that in his House Oversight Kangaroo Committee? He’d turn it into Watergate.
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So it seems that yet again Tavis is being deluded by his overblown ego - the same ego that made him assume that Obama had an obligation to come on his "State of the Black Union" show to be anointed by Tavis to run for president; the same ego that made him think that he’s been slighted when Obama failed to do so; the same ego that caused him to go all over the media complaining that "For the very first time in my career I haven’t been invited to the White House;" and the very same ego that made him think that he had enough clout in the Black community to challenge the first Black president of the United States.
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The fact is, President Obama hasn’t given either Tavis Smiley, or Cornel West, a second thought since he’s been in office. He hasn't had to, because he, like just about everyone else in America - at least, with good sense - could see that he didn’t have to. Tavis and West were making themselves look like perfect fools on their own accord, so the president didn’t have to say, or do a thing. All he had to do was sit back and watch them implode - and that’s exactly what he’s done.
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It’s a monument to Tavis’ lack of foresight that he couldn’t see this coming. In October of last year in an open letter to Pacifica Radio I wrote the following:
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"Tavis and West have become the new Amos & Andy of the Black community, and their trajectory is identical. They not only fail to represent Black interests, but they've become a major liability and embarrassment to many in the community. This will become more readily apparent as they begin to lose the major corporate sponsors currently propping them up - corporations that make it their business to know what’s going on in the community. Once these major corporations begin to see that these two have become liabilities rather than assets, they’re going to drop them like hot rivets. They probably already see it, but Tavis and West are still of marginal value - at least, until after the election." http://wattree.blogspot.com/2012/10/an-open-letter-to-pacifica-radio.html
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And later on the Smiley and West website I wrote,
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"The only thing that Tavis and West have to sell is the Black community, and once they lose that, which they’re currently hemorrhaging, they become a liability rather than an asset to their corporate benefactors. At that point, they become irrelevant. http://smileyandwest.ning.com/forum/topics/tavis-smiley-and-cornel-west-going-down-like-the-titanic.
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So if I could see this coming over the horizon, why couldn’t Tavis? It’s quite simple - because his all consuming and gargantuan ego blinded him to reality.
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Eric L. Wattree
Http://wattree.blogspot.com
Ewattree@Gmail.com

Citizens Against Reckless Middle-Class Abuse (CARMA)

Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everyone who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What Do Conservatives Really Mean When They Spit Out the Word Liberal?

Beneath the Spin * Eric L. Wattree

What Do Conservatives Really Mean When They Spit Out the Word ‘Liberal?’
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The one factor that contributed most to the downfall of the Democratic Party during the seventies and eighties was allowing conservative Republicans to seize control of the political rhetoric. During that period, much like today, the Democrats simply sat back and allowed themselves, their constituency, and their agenda to be redefined in the eyes of the American people by conservative "spin doctors" without rebuttal. As a direct result, they've allowed the term "liberal" to become a bad word in the political lexicon.
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When you consider how methodically the conservatives went about mounting their assault on the liberal agenda you can't help but recognize that it was a stroke of genius. Ironically, the conservatives took the Democratic Party's strength and made it a political liability. First they took the party's penchant for being concern with the plight of the poor and downtrodden and coined phrases such as "bleeding heart liberals" and "tax and spend Democrats." They then played on the frustration of the middle class by tying civil rights legislation, welfare, and crime into one neat bundle as the source of middle class woes; then they attributed all of these problems to what they called the Democrat's tendency to be " bleeding heart liberals." Once the connection was made between minorities, welfare, crime, and the liberal agenda, it was just a matter of repeatedly hammering the message home.
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In addition, conservatives used such tactics as spitting out the word "liberal" as though they were saying rapist. In that way they not only implanted a negative attitude toward liberalism in the mind of the voter, but it was said in such a way that the implication was made that it went without saying that all the negative stereotyping of liberalism was true. Or in other words, their attitude seems to suggest, "I could substantiate what I'm saying about liberals, but I don't think it's necessary, since we all know what they're like." And in the election that spawned the "Republican revolution" the voters said, "Yes, we do."
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Through these strategies conservatives accomplished three goals with one ingenious stroke - they defined minorities as slovenly criminals, they define liberal Democrats as "soft on crime," and they allowed themselves the freedom to place these thoughts in the American psyche without having to substantiate their facts. Moreover, they accomplished all this in every sound bite, and without seeming to be racist, with the use of just one word, "liberal." In fact, conservatives have been so thorough in their disparagement of liberalism that at this point the word "liberal" is treated like vulgarity, and simply referred to as "the L word."
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But don’t be fooled. The word "liberal" as used by the GOP is political shorthand for "nigga lover." That’s why it’s repeatedly used, and used with so much venom - and we’re doing ourselves a grave injustice by tap dancing around the issue, just as the middle class is doing itself a grave injustice by denying that we’re currently knee-deep in a class war. By turning a blind eye to these issues we’re, literally, sharping the knife that conservatives are going to use to cut our throats.
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If people would actually take the time to look these terms up instead of deriving their definitions from the implication of Rush Limbaugh’s intonations, they would begin to realize that "liberal" and "conservative" are not so much fixed political philosophies as they are personal predispositions, so they can only be defined in the context of the political environment in which they’re being used. In the United States, conservatism relegates women and minorities - especially Black minorities - to a subordinate stature in society, and anyone who doesn’t recognize that is either blind, or a fool.
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But "liberal" actually means open to change, and "conservative" means dedicated to "conserving" tradition. Thus, a conservative in a country with liberal traditions would be predisposed to conserving those liberal traditions, and a liberal in that same country would be more open to considering traditions that we in this country would consider more conservative, because, by dictionary definition, a liberal is open-minded, while a conservative is dedicated to tradition.
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So, again, the only way that you can ALWAYS tell the difference between liberals and conservatives, in ANY political context, is to understand that liberals tend to be open-minded, and conservatives are dedicated to maintaining tradition - if a conservative is not a traditionalist, by definition, he’s not a conservative.
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But the issue becomes more complicated when we add religion to the mix, because major religions cross geographic and political boundaries. Religious conservatives are predisposed to strictly adhering to their respective religious tenets, while liberals tend to be either areligious, or open to varying forms of religions. That’s how a handful of more fanatical Black people find themselves defending, and even advocating, conservative traditions that are dedicated to subjugating them, and everything they represent. They give they’re religious beliefs priority over their common sense. While time has erased the memory of the event, here’s how Black people were initially indoctrinated into the religious conservative mind-set:

The Conversion
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"Come here nigga and let me teach yo crazy, animal ass about the Lord. The first thing you got to learn is to Love thy Neighbor . . . especially me."
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"Yes sir, Massa. Why would anybody not love you, Sir? You so good to me, Massa. Anybody don't love you needs to have dey ass beat real good, Massa."
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"Shut up, nigga. I'm talkin'."
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"Listen, you been blessed already, and you don't even know the Lord. The Lord made it where you don't have to worry 'bout a thing. I feed you, I put clothes on yo nasty ass, and I give you a shed to sleep in, and all you have to do is whatever the hell I tell you to. Do you know how blessed you are?"
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"Oh, indeed I do, Massa. You take good care of me. I's so happy."
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"Now, listen real good 'cause dis impotant. God said, thou shalt not steal from me, thou shalt not kill (unless I tell you to), thou shalt not stick another coon's wife (unless we tryin' to make some mo niggas), and nigga, whatever you do, thou shalt not even look like you want to stick a white woman, or we gon lynch yo black ass. You here me, nigga?"
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"Oh yes, Massa. We know dat! But Massa, I thought you said thou shalt not kill?"
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"Dat means people, fool - real people! Dat don't go for niggas. God wants us to keep you in yo place."
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"Dat's right, Massa. We sho gotta keep niggas in dey place. No tellin' what a happen if we let dese niggas git loose. God so smart."
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"I said shut up, nigga, and listen to the word."
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"The next thing you got to learn is, whatever happens on this plantation is God's will bein' done. And if you listen to me, you'll get to live like I do when you die and go to Heaven."
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"Live like you, massa? A nigga ain't got no business livin' dat good. What a Po nigga like me gon do with all this? You know I ain't got sense enough to run nothin' like this."
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"Just shut up, nigga!" When you dead you gon get some sense - the lord gon give it to you. The Lord can do anything, even give sense to a nigga. And he gon give you all the other niggas you gon need to help you in the fields, too."
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"Massa, you so good to me! Thank you for tellin' me all dis. I'm gon be a good nigga - the best nigga you ever seened. Look, I'm gon pray for you right now, and thank the Lord for givin' me so good a massa."
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"Shut up and get up off your knees, ya dumb nigga! The fields need tendin'! You pray to the Lord on your own time. God don't won't you talkin' to him when you s'pose to be workin'."
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"A couse, Massa. What I been thinkin'? I's so dumb. I don't know why you put up with me, Sir."
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"How many times I got to tell you to shut the hell up, nigga?"
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"Yes Sir, I's a shuttin', Massa. I's a shuttin', right now."
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"Now get yo ass out there in that field and let's get some work done around here . . . Oh, and Toby, have yo woman meet me in the barn. I need to tell her 'bout the Lord too."
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"Yes sir, Massa."
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"And another thing, Toby, if my momma come a lookin', tell her I'm playin' in my tree house."
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"Why you gon go fibbin' to yo momma, Mr. Tommy? She knows you like to sit wit Lou Ann."
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"Just shut up, nigga, and do what I said! And tell Lou Ann to wear that pretty dress I like, cause we gon be talkin' 'bout the Lord, so it's gon be like chuch."
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"Yes Sir, Mr. Tommy." . . . "Whaaaaaaat a friend we have in Jeeeeesus . . ."
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The indoctrination process above is what makes the concept of a Black conservative so ridiculous. It's also why over 90% of the Black community don't trust them. The minds of Black conservatives are so warped that they even spew slanderous conservative talking points against their own people. According to them, Black people align themselves with the Democratic Party because they're lazy, and they want something for nothing.
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That's not why Black people support the Democratic Party at all.  The truth is very simple - Black people support the Democratic Party because we're not damn fools.  How can ANYONE want to align themselves with a group that is philosophically dedicated to ‘conserving’ a tradition that relegates them to the status of second-class citizen at best, and an animal, at worst? Black conservatives, for the most part, have been transformed into trained seals. The link below is the result of that process. The speaker below is Bishop E.W. Jackson, the Republican nominee for Lt. Governor of Virginia.
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Go figure it.
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Related Articles
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Eric L. Wattree
Http://wattree.blogspot.com
Ewattree@Gmail.com
Citizens Against Reckless Middle-Class Abuse (CARMA)
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Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everyone who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.

Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Let’s Get Real - What We Call ‘American Ideals’ Are a Sham

BENEATH THE SPIN • ERIC L. WATTREE

Let’s Get Real - What We Call ‘American Ideals’ Are a Sham
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While this country professes to honor the ideals of freedom, independence, liberty, and justice, that's just lip service. We have a long history of stifling each and every one of those ideals, and anyone who doesn't believe that should simply try suing a major corporation for an injustice, or try embracing the "freedom" to live an unconventional lifestyle. This country frowns upon those things just like any other country. Gays and women are learning that lesson as we speak.
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All of the institutions that are supposedly designed to protect our freedom and justice are nothing more than facades that are actually designed to give us the ILLUSION of freedom and justice. While I don't want to throw a monkey-wrench in anyone's comfort zone, it's very important for us to wake up and be realistic about what we DON'T have, in order to work towards actually achieving what I choose to call "The American Wish List."
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According to "TakePart.com, "In 2008, eight states had no laws requiring students recite the Pledge of Allegiance at school. That number has recently dwindled to five, with Nebraska being the latest state to adopt a statewide mandate."
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Many conservatives enthusiastically advocate that children be mandated to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in school. Conservative talk show host, Sean Hannity, said, "Why wouldn’t anyone want to say the Pledge of Allegiance, unless they detested their own country or were ignorant of its greatness?” Notice that even in Hannity's statement advocating the recitation of  the Pledge of Allegiance, which guarantees "Freedom and Justice for all," you can hear a clear indictment against those who may choose not to recite the pledge.
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That's the kind of gross and narrow-minded hypocrisy that makes people not want to recite it in the first place - "I love the freedom, liberty, and justice in America so passionately that I'm willing to take it from you to get you to love it like I do." That's also what makes us look like the Beverly Hillbillies of the "free world" - rich and powerful, but as presumptuous, backward-thinking, and unsophisticated as they come.
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The problem with many conservatives like Hannity, Limbaugh, and other's is they're so blind that they fail to even see the hypocrisy of their position. Thus, as a middle-class African American male - in fact, as a human being of good conscience - I take great exception with making it mandatory for our children to recite a lie as fact at a time in their lives when their thinking is being molded without their consent, or the consent of their parents. Because the Pledge of Allegiance represents the worst kind of hypocrisy, and it serves no useful purpose other than to brainwash the nation's children.
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One would think that as a conservative Mr. Hannity would recognize that the very essence of freedom is the freedom of parents to raise their children according to the philosophy that they see fit. Therefore, forcing a pledge down the collective throat of America's children constitutes an unconscionable intrusion by government on a family's rights. It's un-American by definition, and it violates the very pledge that our children are being forced to recite.
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A mandatory pledge is a blatant act of indoctrination. What other motive can we have for forcing children to recite a pledge that they don't even understand? When I was a kid coming up during the height of the civil rights struggle, I was forced to pledge my allegiance to a nation that frowned upon everything I represented, and was dead set on thwarting anything that I ever hoped to become.
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At the same time, so-called "patriotic Americans" - while enthusiastically insisting that we recite The Pledge - simultaneously lynched African Americans, bombed black children in church, and formed angry mobs to show up and jeer black children attempting nothing more than to go to the school of their choice.
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And shortly before that, these same "patriotic Americans" forced Black WWII heroes (the Tuskegee Airman) returning from Europe to give up their seats to German prisoners of war. Yet, there I was, standing there reciting the Pledge of Allegiance - "and to the republic for which it stands" - every morning. Even as a child, if I had understood the meaning of the words that I would later have to dredge from my brain just to be able to think clearly, I would have refused to recite them - regardless of the consequences.
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And beyond the pledge being morally disingenuous and a monument to the worst kind of hypocrisy, the entire text is, literally, a lie: ". . . One nation under God." In light of what I've just described, what is that supposed to mean? "Indivisible." The Civil War demonstrates that's a lie. "With liberty and justice for all." I won't even waste the ink to address that issue. So again, other than brainwashing, what other motive could we possibly have for requiring our children to start off every morning with a lie of that magnitude?
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Now, I realize that I sound like a wild-eyed radical, but if I do, it's only because I have a very low threshold for bullshit. I love this country, but I love truth and clear thinking much more. So I'm eclectic in my views. I believe in clear, unadulterated thought, and addressing every issue on its own merit. As a result, sometimes I agree with liberals, and at other times I agree with conservatives. That doesn't always make me very popular, but I'm more than happy to forego popularity in return for moral and intellectual clarity. I was taught that's what it means to be an American. Maybe I'm naive, but I took that lesson seriously.
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I'm in pursuit of truth, not an agenda. For that reason I stand with conservatives on issues like set-asides based on race, because moral and intellectual consistency dictates that if you're against discrimination, you must be against all discrimination. Thus, if we're going to set aside resources for the poor, those resources should be available to all of the poor, regardless to race, creed, or color. Our failure to recognize that fact ran a lot of White people who marched with King right into the arms of the Republican Party during the Affirmative Action controversy.
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Yet, I stand with liberals in being against vouchers. The mere fact that conservatives want to create an entitlement program "in the best interest of minorities" immediately sends up a red flag for me. Creating schools run by corporations is the fastest way that I can think of to create young fascists who are running around speaking in fundamentalist tongue.
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A voucher system would also lead to a two-tier society. What would happen to low and middle-class children if private schools raised tuition  beyond their parents' reach and the public school system have been destroyed? I'll tell you what will happened - the parents would be chained to corporations to work for crumbs just so their children could learn to read and write.
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Proponents of a mandatory pledge contend that our children should be taught to love and respect our country. It is my position that too much nationalism and not enough principle is what caused the kind of animosity toward this country that led to 9/11. We need to teach our children to embrace high ethical standards and principles, and then if the leaders of our country followed suit, the nation would benefit from the uncoerced love and respect of its citizens and the world.
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Thus, the Pledge of Allegiance should not be a pledge at all. It should be presented as a goal. Then instead of lying about who and what we are, it would encourage us to focus our energies on actually becoming the society that we profess to believe in. Maybe then we'll create the kind of nation where brainwashing our children for their allegiance won't be necessary.
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Tupelo, Miss. Judge Jails Attorney for Refusing to Recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
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Eric L. Wattree
wattree.blogspot.com
Ewattree@Gmail.com
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Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everyone who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.

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Thursday, May 09, 2013

Socrates: The Hood Rat of Antiquity

Beneath the Spin * Eric L. Wattree

Socrates: The Hood Rat of Antiquity
Socrates was indeed the hood rat of antiquity. He had absolutely no stature in society, and he never wrote a thing for posterity. To modernize his own words, his sentiments were essentially, "My thing is simply hangin' out on the block and discussing reality."  So we wouldn't have even known who he was if it weren't for "youngsters" like Plato, Aristotle, and Xenophon, who spoke of him in their writings.
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So when I think of Socrates, it brings to mind some of the older brothers in the neighborhood that I grew up in, and who were very much responsible for the awaking my own mind. They used to sit around for hours on end pontificating on everything from political science to the origin of the universe. While they held absolutely no formal "credentials" to validate their knowledge, their legitimacy was girded firmly in place by their wisdom, insight, and tremendous intellect alone. These were the Eulipians:

THE EULIPIANS
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Some of the greatest minds I've ever known held court while sitting on empty milk crates in the parking lot of ghetto liquor stores. At their feet I embraced the love of knowledge, and through their tutelage defined self-worth In my own terms.
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These were the "Eulipians" - writers, poets, musicians, painters, and uncommon drunks - those shade-tree philosophers who contemplate the fungus between the toes society; Who dance with reckless abandon, unfettered by formal inhibition through the presumptuous speculation of the ages; and who live in county jails, cardboard boxes, alley ways, and luxury Apartments - insignificant here in Great Bruteland, but of ultimate significance in the eyes of God.
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While these obscure intellectuals stand well outside the mainstream of academy, I’ve watch with astonished delight as they sang, scat, and scribed their various philosophies into the mainstream of human knowledge.
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Miles, Bird, Trane, Langston Hughes, Eulipians all. I’m a Eulipian. We’re easy to spot, because we all sing but one song - "Knowledge is free, thus, will transcend all attempts to be contained through barriers of caste and privilege, leaving man's innate thirst for knowledge free to someday overwhelm his passionate lust for stupidity."
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OSCAR BROWN, JR. - EULIPIAN

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Eric L. Wattree
Http://wattree.blogspot.com
Ewattree@Gmail.com
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Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everyone who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.

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