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Op Ed

Fuck VSB

mrmarlonrice@gmail.com'

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I read the absolute most horrible blog article of the year this week, a piece written by a male named Damon Young, titled Straight Black Men Are the White People of Black People. It took me a couple of days to actually read the article, because the title is so disrespectful. In fact, it’s more than disrespectful. It is irresponsible.

To attempt to make a snarky comparison between the acute and despicable damage that the white race has inflicted, not just on Blacks in America, but on all peoples of color across the world, to even try and somehow equate this with the complex relationship between Black Men and Black Women is completely irresponsible. Completely Irresponsible. Either this Damon Young doesn’t know the history of White people, or he doesn’t know the history of Black people, or maybe he doesn’t care either way.

These new generation bloggers value cuteness over substance, and because the weaponization of tolerance in this country has decimated the ability to check anyone on their ways and actions, clowns like Damon Young get to write unmitigated bullshit without having to answer for it.

These new generation bloggers value cuteness over substance.

So, it took me a couple of days to read the article. I wanted to ignore it, just like I ignore most of the corrupt verbiage you find on social media. But, what I began to witness in my newsfeeds and timelines was what always happens when some irresponsible full-of-himself prick writes something that low-key reinforces the white supremacist strategy of tearing apart the Black family. Black men and women were beginning to have public heated debates and arguments about the article. You see Damon Young, our Brothers and our Sisters are damaged by a litany of issues, some self-inflicted, and others systemic. Emotionally hurt and damaged people will always start their personal healing process with finding someone or something to blame. It’s called the blame game, basic Psych 101. It is always easier for a person confronted with the truth, that things aren’t the way they should be, to blame someone else for what is wrong, rather than to look at themselves. Humans do it all of the time. This is why it is so important that those of us who have created a voice in our communities and in our common spaces use that voice responsibly. As soon as I began reading the arguments on Facebook, I knew for true that Damon Young had done no such thing.

Our Brothers and our Sisters are damaged by a litany of issues, some self-inflicted, and others systemic.

I will use plain and direct words to describe my thoughts on the article. The first thing that I want to say is that I do not disagree with the assertion that misogyny exists in our culture. Yes, misogyny exists. Our sisters are constantly under attack in our communities, whether from perverts and aggressive attention seekers that push for our sister’s acknowledgement when she just wants to get on the train and go to work, or from the popular music of our culture which continues to glorify the objectification of our women as nothing more than strippers and promiscuous women of advantage and deceit. This is the absolute truth of us. Our culture is misogynistic. I have a mother, two sisters, two daughters and two nieces that all live and experience the misogynistic side of our culture every time they step foot out of the house. Denying its existence is also irresponsible, and no man should ever try to downplay or minimize these issues as women see them. I learned from a woman that if a person feels wronged in any way, even if you don’t fully understand how they were wronged, it is still in bad taste to deny to them that they have been wronged. This action is called compassion. I have a great deal of compassion for my sisters, and would never look to write anything that takes away from their plight as women, living in a patriarchal society bereft of justice and equality.

Black men are the White men of absolutely nothing.

My problem with the article is Damon Young’s weak attempt to draw parallels between the way he feels about Black Man/Woman relationships and the privilege that White men specifically are able to exercise in this society, and it is that attempt that sours this article. I feel weird having to even address why this parallel makes no sense. Even more, Damon admits that he didn’t even make the term up. He says he read it somewhere. So, he read this silly phrase somewhere and accepted it? Says a whole lot about him. Black men are the White men of absolutely nothing. There is no Black man privilege, no place where our Black masculinity is enough to part waters or change policy. Your own article proves the fallacy Damon. When have you ever wrote anything as stirring and vehement regarding White men? This diatribe you posted, masked as some form of progressive journalism, speaks in way too many plural pronouns. We aren’t all included in your assessment of what Black men aren’t doing, and if you were a Black man you’d know that. We aren’t all turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to the literal and figurative issues that our sisters face on a daily basis. We aren’t ignoring misogynistic language or going blind to domestic abuse. And, we are certainly not resistant to discussing these issues with Black Women, and offering our unwavering support and security. No, I and others like me are not included in your we. Your generalizations are amazingly narrow-minded, and better suited for whatever males you hang with, but with all due respect, don’t ever in your life speak as if you’re speaking to or for the whole.

Instead of serving as a basic buffoon, ready and eager to use a broad stroke to point out issues in such a polarizing manner, issues that in truth can only be repaired as a whole, together, and not by taking sides, you should be using your vehicle to build bridges, and not to throw a certain group under the bus. That connection you guys have made with The Root recently has you acting like them now, politely backslapping Black men whenever you see an angle to do so. Maybe that’s what your check writers want from you, I wouldn’t know. However, your article serves as a perfect example of why dudes like GFK and KRS-One used to look for Hip Hop journalists in these streets to offer corrective advice to when they felt it was needed. You have a responsibility as someone who has a voice to use that voice in a responsible manner. Calling out Black Men as being the White people of Black people is irresponsible, not to mention dangerous to whatever gains we’ve made with regards to our complex and layered relationship with Black Women.

By using your article to reinforce stereotypes in such a blanketed fashion, you’ve done more harm than good. So, hold that Damon. And, be prepared to stand firm on your ideals when confronted.

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Op Ed

KavaNAW

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The first season of #metoo is heading towards a climactic season finale entitled “KavaNAW.” With all the twists and turns involved in this latest episode, it’s sure to garner the vaunted ratings our Child in Chief adores.

We start things off with a Supreme Court judge nominee that went above and beyond to express the influence of women in his life during the beginning of his hearing – detailing how his mother was his role model, his wife his rock, and the joy he felt coaching his daughter’s basketball team.

Just when we thought we were headed to the end of the episode, the plot twist revealed itself!

That was followed by a slew of questions from the Senate that revealed his impeccable memory and a sudden convenient case of amnesia that struck in the middle of the scene. Let’s just say KavaNAW’s acting performance in this segment will not garner him an Emmy nomination.

Just when we thought we were headed to the end of the episode, the plot twist revealed itself!

It appears that KavaNAW foreshadowed the dilemma to come by trying to head us off at the pass. His previous admiration of the women in his life has now been interrupted by allegations of fawning over a classmate in high school. The only problem is the type of fawning alleged seems more like attempted rape than expressing interest.

Now we’ve reached the pressuring of the alleged victim by the Republican senators to appear before them without any further investigation this part of the saga. Seems pretty fair if you want to expedite a vote for a supreme court justice for life ahead of midterm elections. I’m sure the Republicans aren’t afraid to hear from the American public in the polls.

If your head isn’t spinning yet, try this one on for size. A second woman has come forward with sexual misconduct allegations against KavaNAW while I was writing this article! Let’s just say it’s going to be a very interesting SEASON FINALE!

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Op Ed

The Trump Error/Era

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The Trump error took place on November 8th 2016 and his era began on January 20, 2017. But for all intensive purposes, error and era may be interchangeable at this point. But the true question at hand is “will the error be corrected before the era comes to an end?”

The list of atrocities under the buffoon in chief surpasses the imagination of even his worse critics. When his former opponents warned the American public of how much of a disaster Trump would be (before they started licking his boots), we should have ALL listened. But plenty of U.S did not for our own selfish/scared/racist reasons.

Now our country is seeing its’ demise at the speed of a tweet on a nightly basis. Some of his supporters may feel this is exactly what they wanted (even if they’re lying to themselves.) These supporters will find out soon enough just how this administration’s policies will ultimately have an adverse effect on their future.

Here’s a quick look at some of the policies that will come back to bite us all…including the sheep that follow him.

America First – Retracting from a world that is increasingly getting interconnected.

Tariff Wars – Raising taxes on imported goods while garnering a similar response eventually leading to an economic crisis.

Withdrawal from Paris Agreement – Climate change is real and now our policy is to help experience those effects much quicker.

Environmental Policy – Increase fossil fuel use and abandoning renewable energy use (which happens to be the future)

Economic Policy – Doing away with the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Consumer Protection Act that was in place to protect us from the banks playing Russian roulette with our money. Yes you guessed it…another pending economic crisis on the horizon.

Immigration Policy – A land of immigrants from stolen land now want to restrict the immigration from what they deem undesirable places to try and thwart the inevitability of a more diverse population.

Family Separation Policy – Detain illegal immigrants at the border and separate their children from their families. I’m sure this policy won’t create the next wave of terrorist that will be much closer now.

I think it’s safe to say that we all hope our American Idols Paul Manafort, Micheal Cohen and Michael Flynn team up and sing the prettiest tune Robert Mueller has ever heard. Our collective sanity depends on hearing “Trump, you’re FIRED!”

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Op Ed

I’m Better Than You Because The SHSAT Said So

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For the past week, Mayor Bill DeBlasio of New York City has proposed a gradual phase out of standardized testing for all specialized high schools. Reason being, the lack of minority students, specifically Af-Am and Latino students, who make up 70 percent of NYC public school student body but only have an 8% demographic representation in these schools. Within that time, many alumni have chimed in either in favor of or opposed to that suggested legislation. Regardless of stance, what I was most taken aback by was the level of hubris from all sides.

It’s been eye opening watching alumni from my alma mater (Brooklyn Tech) engage in these discussions. It’s akin to watching feudal lords debate the fate of commoners and peasants; “They should find their own way like we did.” “We have a responsibility to help those that come after us.” “Asians are predisposed to educational success because of their culture.” “If Asians were culturally predisposed, they would’ve always been the majority.” Mind you, these folk making all these assessments often have no direct connection to the demographic they champion or denigrate and regardless of stance, the level of arrogance (from all sides) left me a bit unnerved.

I’ve embraced that “elite” badge that comes with being labeled intelligent ever since it was bestowed upon me. After several decades of framing my intelligent, myopic lenses however, I may have lost sight of what it actually means.

Intelligent (Adjective)
Having or showing intelligence, especially of a high level; able to vary its state in response to varying situations, varying requirements, and past experience.

I won’t re-litigate any of the predominant arguments because they really don’t matter. What I will focus on is how we actually engage. For all the ingenious ideas and suggestions given, they were all provided from a 10,000 foot view looking down on those we are allegedly trying to help. Some alumni only seem to be able to dedicate hours of service to their school when it comes to drafting articulate responses in chat groups. When it comes to lifting the same Twitter fingers for some good old fashioned, grass roots participation however, “Tech Stark, Warden of the North and defender of all things Intellect”, will be back after these messages.

The sad truth is the main concern seems not for the middle school students nor the quality of education they currently receive. If we cared about the K-8 Pipeline, we would probably already be engaged in changing it or realize just how daunting a task change is. And if you believed the SHSAT should be changed or done away with, you probably would’ve been engaged in that struggle also. What seems more likely is that the outrage comes from our brand identity being threatened and the social vapor trail that come with that.

Although I shared those halls with thousands of students from varying backgrounds, it seems we all somehow missed each other. Brooklyn Tech championed academia but you were pretty much on your own when it came to social competence and quite frankly, some of us fell short. After witnessing scores of us try and outwit each other in rebuttal rather than help the community that shaped us, I’m left wondering what the benefit of all this “smartness” is if the application does not extend beyond debate and personal interests?

Sidebar: The most important aspect of the SHSAT is showing up. Prepared or not, it doesn’t matter if you are not in attendance. We should probably apply participation to other aspects of our educational interests as well. Sam Adewumi is one such alumni engaged and getting results. Kudos to all those that are hands on and engaged in the ongoing educational struggles in all communities. It is appreciated.

 

 

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