A murderer was sentenced to death today. Not anything new. This is the CITY. The school of hard knocks. People die DAILY. Yeah, but this dude's different. He killed COPS. Two of 'em. We screamed for his blood: "Fry!"
Did this guy deserve what he got? That's not for me to decide. However, I'm definitely not gonna celebrate when we decide to take an eye for an eye. I'm not gonna put exclamation points behind a headline of death.
I'm not gonna celebrate the future murder of a murderer, while so many questions surrounding Sean Bell's murder remain UNANSWERED and UNASKED. Where are those headlines? Where are those exclamation points and bold fonts? Where are those headlines askin' for the killer cops to "fry," or at least to ask them WHY?
Those headlines are right here. I am not saying this piece of shiite blog is the answer. But that's what this blog ish is for. Spreadin' the word. Creating news when the establishment decides it's not news. Eff that "all the news that's fit to print." News is what WE decide to print. News is what WE decide to RESPOND to.
If you had a choice of SHADE, which one would you choose? The lightest shade, of course!
Now, your family's prejudices against those real dark brothers, sisters, and cousins has SCIENCE to back 'em up. To all the moms out there who carried the torch for supremacy, you were right. To all the moms that have said, "She'd be prettier if she wasn't SO dark." You were right! All that money spent on lightening creams and other assorted SUPREMACY beauty products may actually have payed off. Now, we can hope for, not only, healthy babies, but light-skinned ones. A recent study found that lighter skinned immigrants earned more, on average, than their darker counterparts. Skin tone was scored on a scale of one to ten, ten being the darkest. Each decrease in shade was shown to be equivalent to ONE YEAR of education (controlling for many factors including race, type of employment, etc.). If you added height to the equation, each extra inch was equivalent to a one percent increase in wages.
Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses of LIGHT-SKINNED and TALL.
Eff school, we need more lightening creams. If we all work hard and scrub our faces every day and every night, we can hope to achieve a decrease of 4 shades. That's like a college degree! If you scrub extra hard, including nights and weekends, maybe you can get that Ph.D you've been dreamin' about!
Bush and other rich, powerful, White men decide YOUR fate. Killer Mike - F**k You Pay Me
We at Biochemical Slang are not conspiracy theorists. We're just truth seekers. Period. I'll lay out some facts. YOU do the math.
G DUBBZ has been pushing his we-are-addicted-to-oil-and-hence-the-Middle-East mantra for a minute now. He has also been pushing CELLULOSIC ETHANOL as a viable, clean, and cheap solution to our oil addiction. Alcohol for your car? Less fumes in the air? We can make the world a cleaner place WITHOUT changing our behavior? Futuristic ish, right?
Since July 14th, stock in America's leading ethanol producers has plummeted by 25-63%. Since G DUBBZ's State of the Union, Pacific Union (major ethanol producer) stock dropped another 10 percent. Furthermore, since G DUBBZ's big alternative energy push, falling oil prices have seen a little spike in price per barrel. Also, turns out the maximum annual ethanol production is extrapolated to be about 17 billion barrels, less than half of DUBBZ's goal of 35 billion barrels. And, this cellulosic ethanol isn't THAT cheap, at a little over two dollars a gallon. Hmmmm, is ethanol a viable solution or a temporary distraction? These are just the facts. YOU do the math. Here's another one that I wish I could make up. Here's a snippet of G DUBBZ's Securing America's Future Energy press conference: "I can sign a comprehensive plan that will assure the American people that as we look forward into the 21st century that we'll be more energy dependent and good stewards of the environment." That was more than just a Freudian slip.
Just the facts. Even when he's down, DUBBZ STILL finds a way to eff his enemies and feed his family.
Every situation between two people, previously unknown to each other, involves an inner dialogue. The parallel universe dialogue, the one where you can say whatever the eff you FEEL like saying. But, nah. This is the real world. You have to RESPECT everyone. You have to WATCH what you say. You have to IGNORE the 800 lb. gorillas.
The dude that brushed your soldier squeezin' by you at the bodega. The woman that took your seat on the train. The loud-talkers at the restaurant. The cashier who snapped her gum one to many times. That guy that smelled funny. That girl that looked at you funny.
Black. Yellow. Brown. White. Woman. You remember 'em ALL. Vividly. You can fit 'em all into your neat, concise human interaction puzzle, nestled into that comfortable corner of your gray matter. That corner that sees the world the way it is and the way it should be: YOUR WAY.
Than a woman and a black man had to mention that they were contemplating running for president. RACE. SEX. POWER. SUPREMACY. The gorillas seemed to materialize out of thin air, like they were there all along. Like they had been watching us all along. Like they had been standing on our shoulders, weighing us down, all along.
Poverty, behaving like a familial disease, passes itself down from generation to generation. Its environment does nothing but to catalyze the process. Crumbling schools, lead paint-filled apartments, joblessness, apathy, drugs, and violence. All forces working to keep poverty a PANDEMIC, endemic to many areas of our nation's cities and rural areas. The cycle continues. Housing becomes a privilege, once the cycle becomes a downward spiral.
Words such as PANDEMIC, ENDEMIC, CYCLE, and GENERATIONS don't lend themselves to quick solutions. Don't get it twisted. We in the good ol' U.S. of A. need our dose of feel-good NOW. Making a difference is not as easy as Angelina Jolie makes it look. But eff it. Watching a movie is about all you're gonna get out of us. How do we even begin to approach the pandemic of American homelessness? Easy. Step one: We go to the movies! Step two: we talk about taking homeless people to the movies on Oprah! It's that easy. After you take the homeless to a movie, you can go home. You can feel good about yourself. You can smile and say, "I've made a difference today. I'm worth it, god dammit."
Man, eff the homeless. After watching that Will Smith movie, it sure looks like that as long as you try hard enough, you can stop being homeless. It's all their fault. If only they could just see that movie, they would understand that they don't have to live that way.
July 12th, 1964. Charles Moore and Henry Dee were murdered. Beaten. Taunted. Drowned. When they were found, they were just more dead black boys. They weren't those northern civil rights workers that everyone was talkin' about. They were just two dead black boys, pulled out of a Louisiana swamp. End of story.
They probably wished they had murked Charles Moore's brother too. If no one goes looking for the truth, Thomas Moore decided to do it for himself. 42 years later, the Feds are goin' after murderer and known Klansman James Seale. The charge? Kidnapping.
Justice. It's a dish best served cold.
James Seale's son claimed his father had died. Of course, the stalwarts of unbiased evidence collection at the FBI took this at face value. All the while, James Seale is livin' the life of a Nazi in Argentina. These are the same people that have been lookin' for Osama for years. These are the same people that gave up on pursuing the double murder case. They were just two dead black boys, right?
May this unfortunate story serve as a warning. This isn't a reminder of an ugly past. The past is alive in OUR present-day. This is a warning. If we don't come to terms with our past, our present, and our future trajectories, we are bound to a destiny of running in circles.
Words can be powerful tools. Tools of communication. Tools of argument. Tools of negotiation. Tools of coercion. TOOLS. Tools that can manipulate and be manipulated.
The State of the Union Address is an anomaly to me. A necessary speech with unremarkable outcomes, full of we've-heard-it-all-befores and statements-of-the-obvious. What becomes more interesting to me are the WORDS that are carefully chosen to deliver this message of monotony. Now take that monotony and make a game of it, for the whole family!
Check out this NYTIMES graphic. Watch as words and phrases such as social security, economy/ic, Afghanistan, freedom, and Medicare have slowly faded from the State of the Union vernacular. All the while, words such as Iran and oil have increased in frequency. Hmmmmmm. This is more than just subliminal.
See if you and the kids can find words that were not even uttered. Notable ABSENCES include KATRINA (even in the 2006 State of the Union). Tell the kids Bush didn't mention EDUCATION and RACISM. Make a game of it! Try to find MORE words that DUBBZ doesn't care about!
I know this has been a Bush-centered week, but it's just too easy.
Here's some pointers for your big speech tonite: 1. Keep it simple. For your sake, as well as ours. 2. Mention 9/11, as often as possible. 3. When you mention 9/11, don't mention the the whole first-responders-dying-thing. 4. Try to minimize the mentioning of the whole crisis-in-Iraq-thing. 5. Use words like surge, sacrifice, and freedom. 6. Be sure to mention GAYS and ABORTIONS and STEM-CELLS. 7. Try to disregard the whole clusterfuck-in-New-Orleans-thing. 8. Bring up issues without discussing how you will actually FACE them (these can include, but are not limited to health care, unemployment, corporate corruption, disenfranchisement, national security breaches, minorities, urban education, racial tension, affordable housing, and the overstepping of power by the executive branch). 9. Be sure to zip your fly (NO MARK FOLEY). 10. Thank Jesus.
Yeah, they may have a team that almost made it to the Superbowl. But, that's about it. 17 months later the city looks much like the chilling images we all saw on the news. Only now, those houses are drier. Jobs are still a thing of the past. Houses are still empty. The schools are in worse condition than pre-Katrina. Murdered bodies are piling up at a record rate.
The best news out of New Orleans is the possibility that Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt may be moving there. The way things are looking, NOLA is probably the closest thing to visiting a third world country. They may not be able to save the Africans in NOLA. However, they should be able to buy one of those NOLA frozen embryos and make themselves a genuine N'Awlins pickney.
They could raise the test tube kid like one of their own. Brangelina. Savin' minorities. One embryo at a time. NOLA, things are lookin' UP. Madonna, where you at?
No matter what the administration decides to cloak the truth with, it's still a war. We didn't INVADE Iraq...we liberated it. Whether they call it Operation Iraqi Freedom, our brothers and sisters still die. Whether they call it Operation Forward Together, we still have to deal with the pain of loss.
January 20th, 2007 marked the day 24 American soldiers sacrificed their lives, making it the third deadliest day since we "liberated" Iraq. Tell their mothers this was a surge. Tell their sons this was a surge. Tell them this is liberation.
Even with 2/3 of the country opposed to his surge, Bush is pushing ahead with his plan. Even with 62% of the country disapproving, he's steadfast. His PR peoples own a thesaurus. Apparently, there's a lot more "surges" ahead.
"There's a light on a hill That's far out in the distance. And it calls out my name. It calls out for a change. Far away voices That want their own choices. Sigh for a plea As it calls out for a change." - Chris Dowd and Kendall Jones (Fishbone)
After cutting their budget, G DUBBZ decided to pay the NIH a visit. You know, just to show 'em that he'll eff-em-in-the-a and expect them to SMILE and nod the next morning. This budget cut of nearly 100 million dollars comes after the Dept of Homeland Security and Military budgets have increased by record amounts. To give you perspective, we're gonna do some math. The NIH yearly budget is about $28 billion. The federal government throw's about $45 billion annually to education. The Iraq war MONTHLY budget is $8.4 billion dollars. Most high schools still organize car washes and bake sales to fundraise. Many high school grads have died in Iraq.
YOU do the math.
If I haven't lost you with all these numbers, brace yourself for some more sobering math: Americans account for 14% of the world's college graduates, a decline from 30 percent over the last thirty years. RIGHT NOW, for every 100 ninth graders, 18 of them will go on to receive an Associate's Degree or BA/BS. Outsourcing is what Bush wants you to call it. It's always easier when we blame THEM. Those people. Way over there. If they're way over there, what can WE do about it?
Don't get it twisted. Education and innovation are two-way streets. Our skewed federal budget is one piece of the puzzle. WE are the other piece of the puzzle. We stampede, kick, shove, and push our way to the front of the line. As long as we come home with our NEW PS3. Our fresh kicks. Our BAPE wear. How many of us stampede, kick, push, and shove our way to parent-teacher conferences? How many of us TURN OFF the television when our kids gravitate towards its magnetic-glow? How many of us kick, push, and shove our way to our representative's door when our school district budgets are on the chopping block? How many of us remember every dead-rapper-lyric but forget to bring a pencil and notebook to class?
YOU mad cuz I'm stylin' on you. Fugees - Rumble in the JUNGLE James Brown - Soul Power (live) YOU mad cuz I done styled on you. These guys were definitely mad. Ali STYLED on 'em. Wish Ali a Happy Birthday, even if you catch this a day late. Watch or listen to "When We Were Kings," if you haven't done so already. If you need a good book to read, go pick up David Remnick's "King of the World."
I know it may not true, but eff it. I want to believe that ALI was the originator of the STYLIN' ON YOU movement. It just makes too much sense NOT to be true.
Recently, Brooklyn was named as one of the world's HOTTEST tourist spots. Instead of planning your next vacation to one of those exotic, minority-filled countries, think about the County of KINGS. Instead of going to a Jamaican beach, where they don't let actual Jamaicans walk (unless they're servin' you a pina colada), come to the BK. Come explore the 5 million dollar Brooklyn blocks. No, these aren't your average Hollywood-style million-dollar-home-Lexus-in-the-driveway-block. Save that ish. These blocks run up 5 million dollar INCARCERATION bills. Annually. With no sign of abatement, so you can come next year too! If the building is empty, you KNOW the CHINESE RESTAURANT is goin' nowhere. They'll make you anything you want, as long as it's fried.
With the city's 2.1 BILLION-DOLLAR surplus, things are lookin' even better. Where else are you gonna find 46 kids in ONE classroom? Where else are you gonna find unannounced high school shut downs? Where else are you gonna find 50% high school graduation rates? Where else are you gonna find a mayor that responds to that horrendous fact with: at least the rates are “the highest in 20 years?" And all that WITH a 2.1 BILLION dollar surplus. Brooklyn. Open for business. With all these tourists comin' in, there's gonna be a lot of service-industry jobs available. Lots of hotel rooms to clean. Bar stools to wipe. Pina coladas to serve. Good thing we have that 50% high school graduation rate.
Abstract reasoning would be one of the last phrases that comes to mind when the name George W. Bush Jr. is mentioned. I'd pin him for more of a concrete reasoning type of guy. The following G DUBBZ internal monologue can't be too far from the truth:
"Well, Martin King was Black. That means this is a Black holiday. That means I should go to one of those shitty Black schools, just down the road. Martin King's wife died last year, I should mention her name too. I should probably mention Katrina. That usually works. Can't forget to hug the little pickneys. Media'll eat this up. This whole president thing is pretty damn easy."
I'll even throw in some irony for ya, straight from the pages of the Washington Post: "I encourage people all around the country to seize any opportunity they can to help somebody in need," Bush said from the library of Cardozo High, a predominantly poor, minority high school about 10 minutes from the White House."
IRONY: walking to your shitty public high school, while the Washington Monument is in your field of vison.
IRONY, walking back home from your shitty day at your shitty school, knowing the White House is just down the road.
IRONY: knowing your school's location has afforded you more photo opportunities than job opportunities.
John and Alice Coltrane Riff in Heaven: Alice Coltrane 1937 - 2007
More than the wife of John. She was a composer. She made the harp a viable instrument in the jazz setting. She took pieces of the blues, gospel, and Indian music and made it HERS. She made spirituality something you could HEAR. Something you could FEEL.
"Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream."
War. Religion. Borders. Melanin. The aforementioned all have a shared characteristic: they help us rationalize our separation, our fear, our distrust. Whether that separation is physical, whether that fear is psychological, whether that distrust is built upon family values passed on through the generations.
Rarely, a human being graces our time that sees through the artificial and just sees the real. The humanity behind every human; transcending every man-made article of supremacy, focusing only on our shared human spirit.
They show us that the voice of truth is one that cannot go unheard. They show us that one voice can galvanize the many. They show us the possibility of humankind. They show us courage in the face of unrelenting evil. They show poise when nothing goes their way. They show us that a trajectory towards TRUTH is not a straight line. They show us that conviction will ultimately prevail. They show us humility is the greatest facet of humanity. They show us the POSSIBILITY of humankind. They show us how far we have yet to travel. They show us that humanity prevails, beyond the flesh. The truth will set you free. They show us the POSSIBILITY OF HUMANKIND.
"Men often hate each other because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don't know each other; they don't know each other because they can not communicate; they can not communicate because they are separated."
Do a Google News search titled "Barry Bonds" and you'll come up with nearly 1,400 hits. Let me do the math for you: Black + athlete + drugs + attitude = NEWS. Even better: try a Google News search titled "rapper," and you'll come up with 136 articles about NORE testifying at a murder trial. NORE? Who shot who? Who shot ya? Who the EFF CARES?
Drugs, urban safaris, and black people fit into the American puzzle just right. It just feels right, like apple pie and baseball. Like a white picket fence. Like young black thugs. All just pieces of the American puzzle. Black athletes. Black criminals. You can take 'em outta the hood, but you can't take the hood out of 'em. Animals. Everything fits. No questioning your longstanding beliefs. You can sleep well tonite. The world is how it always was and always will be. Do a Google News search titled "Mo Vaughn" and you'll come up with three hits (two from the DailyNews and one from the Post). While we gossip about the latest Rosie vs Trump feud, Mo is about to buy a 385-unit housing complex in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Period. No drama, no glitz. Just a brother helpin' another brother out. Simple as that. Many of the tenants faced eviction, as their slumlord wanted to convert the apartment complex to a homeless shelter. Somehow, that's legal. Somehow, if Mo hadn't stepped to the plate, the slumlord would've been paid 5.8 million dollars yearly for providing a place to keep homeless people out of sight (and, preferably, out of Manhattan).
Mo's plan involves renovating the complex, allowing all of the residents to keep their apartments at their original rent. This isn't the first time Mo has come through for NYC. The last time, he was able to keep rents at about $270/month.
Don't talk about it, BE about it. RESULTS. When have the residents of Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, and beyond WITNESSED a promise become a REALITY? When has Mr. I'm-for-the-hood-I'll-die-for the-hood hip-hopper stepped to the plate? It's a testament to our bureacracy that the residents of Brownsville and Mott Haven have more faith in Mo Vaughn than their own government. Disenfranchisement ain't dead. Thankfully, Robin Hood ain't either.
Being Black and female is still not a much sought-after census denomination in America. Let alone in the early 1900's. Yes, life can be hard now. But one thing's for certain, all of our lives are easier now, all due to the work put in by our architects.
Jane Bolin was one of them. She was evidence that the experiment that is America CAN work. She is also a testament to the gaps that still exist in the experiment that is America. Why wasn't she mentioned in my high school American history classes? Why is her name unfamiliar to most Americans?
Jane Bolin was Yale's first black woman law school graduate and New York's first black woman judge. Although, if you asked her, she had a lot more important things to worry about: "Everyone else makes a fuss about it, but I didn't think about it, and I still don't," she said. "I wasn't concerned about first, second or last. My work was my primary concern."
Respect the architects. They put in WORK laying the foundation that WE walk on. The architects are now asking something of US: What are YOU GONNA BUILD on top of the foundation?
Flavor of Love proved to be a great return on VH1's initial investment. Granted, VH1 must've had a bit of trepidation about the show, before WE tuned in. Who'da thunk a show that revolves around a has-been, cracked-out rapper lookin' for love would've garnered record-breaking numbers. Minstrelsy, saliva, stereotypes, whorish behavior, and costume jewelry came together in a way that it never had before.
And we loved every minute of it. All 7.5 million of us. VH1 investors were happy. Money was made. Black people are STILL different from white people. The VH1 board of execs breathed a sigh of relief, smoked a cigar, and ordered another round of buffoonery. They got kids to send to college and a mortgage to pay, ya know.
The VH1 execs offered us another plate of black-people-are-different-from-white-people idiocy. Like the LEMMINGS we are, we jumped down the cliff and lapped up their offering, all while VH1 execs cashed their checks. 4.43 MILLION Americans, aged 18-49, tuned in to watch "I Love New York," a VH1 record for a debut show.
The score, so far: VH1 execs 2, American public ZERO. YOU do the math. And the cycle continues. Unfortunately, we don't plummet to our deaths when we take that plunge of the cliff. Yeah, we may have a couple of bumps and bruises, but we'll climb right back to the top and JUMP all over again for the next "reality" series or black-people-are-different-from-white-people "comedy." The pain of stereotypes, the slaps of supremacy, and the kicks of the status quo. Yeah, they hurt, but it's JUST entertainment, right?
The solution? Turn off the mothereffin' radio. Turn off the mothereffin' television. The ballot comes around once a year. Your wallet is your greatest weapon. An investment with no return is as good as dead.
Biochemical Slang's 3-Step Mini-Empowerment Program: 1. Spending your money at Company X implies you agree with EVERYTHING Company X stands for and practices. 2. Time is money. Spending time watching TV is making someone else rich. 3. Throw away ALL of your remotes and replace them with the Biochemical Slang UNIVERSAL remote, pictured below.
No Child Left Behind is celebrating it's fifth birthday this week. Ok, so Bush tells us the achievement gap isdecreasing. What relevance does this hold when we live in a country that doesn't value an education? What does it mean to close the achievement gap, when ALL of our kids are achieving nothin', relative to their colleagues all over the globe? When your yard stick is an inch, everything LOOKS real good.
Happy Birthday NCLB! May your next year be as glorious as your last five. You've managed to make school a glorified test preparation center with free baby sitting. You've managed to maintain the status quo. You've managed to create a generation of children that have not been shown the value of critical reasoning. You've managed to fuel the fire that is burning in Iraq. May the fire stay burning forever.
Biochemical Slang. Hood TRUTH Soldiers. We on a mission.
Men often hate each other because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don't know each other; they don't know each other because they can not communicate; they can not communicate because they are separated.
None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. We got here because somebody - a parent, a teacher, an Ivy League crony or a few nuns - bent down and helped us pick up our boots.
Some people say, "How can you live without knowing?" I do not know what they mean. I always live without knowing. That is easy. How you get to know is what I want to know.
Any real change implies the breakup of the world as one has always known it, the loss of all that gave one an identity, the end of safety. And at such a moment, unable to see and not daring to imagine what the future will now bring forth, one clings to what one knew, or dreamed that one possessed. Yet, it is only when a man is able, without bitterness or self-pity, to surrender a dream he has long cherished or a privilege he has long possessed that he is set free â he has set himself free â for higher dreams, for greater privileges.
A man once told me that you step out of your door in the morning, and you are already in trouble. The only question is are you on top of that trouble or not?
Music Disclaimer: Any music presented at Biochemical Slang is for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, go out and support it. Catch a live show. Buy an album directly from the artist. If you have questions or own the copyright to the music presented, please contact me.
Biochemical Slang: Hood TRUTH Soldiers. What are YOU fightin' for?