I find it utterly hilarious that in this day and age we still attempt to assign specific behaviors to specific groups of people then label all people who resemble that demographic according to said behavior. For instance, I used to think Africans had the market cornered on eating rice everyday…until I met Latin folk….until I met Asians…until I met Indians…. The fact of the matter is there is no particular genre of music, choice of cuisine or preferred sport that is 100% indicative of any race or gender (except for field hockey of course, only dames play field hockey).
We tend to promote commonly accepted stereotypes without questioning motive or source. The problem with sweeping generalities however is they are all encompassing and quite limiting so although you meant to say “some” blacks that you’ve encountered, you said “blacks” and although you meant to say “some” whites, you said “whites,” insinuating “ALL” and thus propagating more harm than good in whatever message you originally intended.
As an example, there are 2 million people in prison. Half are non African American. If you turn your television to any of the programs that follow the “customers” of the criminal justice system however (Cops, The First 48, Lockup, etc.), chances are the African American is overly represented and the Caucasian male is the 3-horned unicorn seen only every 3rd vernal equinox… during a lunar eclipse… on Friday the 13th… of a leap year. For ease of communicae and often to the detriment of the unflavored, it is simply easier to attribute all crime to blacks, all oppression to whites, and discount all other races in between.
I’ve been dunked on by white guys and I’ve outscored Asians on the math section of the SAT. I love watching reruns of Good Times but I will shut everything down if Jeopardy is on. Where does that place me exactly? Who knows? More importantly, does it matter? Unless you are Alex Trebek, the answer is probably no. And if you are Alex Trebek then “What it do, big homie?! Can you get a brother on Celebrity or Teen Jeopardy? I’m telling you I will Ken Jennings all them suckas, son!”
Labels make life easy. Who wants to constantly define every person, place and thing and on every occasion of their lives in the interest of actual correctness, let alone political correctness? Carlton Banks was no less black than the Fresh Prince and it is only ignorance and apathy that allows some of us to recklessly associate behavior with identity.
Now if you will excuse me, my chicken flavored basketball is running low on air and my baby momma left the pump in her section 8 Apt/Recording studio/drug den. In the meantime, look out for my new mixtape on World Star Hip Hop called Extra Crispy Crossovers Vol. 1
10 ways to tell if you are “Black Enough”
- You like Chicken
- The thought of Summer Jam makes you excited
- You ain’t tryin’ to hear that bullsh*t
- White people ask you not to hurt them
- After dark, you are aware of every human in a 2 block radius
- Your Bodega sells “Looseys”
- You love Neil Patrick Harris from Harold and Kumar
- Your Favorite Emcee is Biggie
- Your Favorite (and only) Will Smith song is Summer Time
- The police still pull you over
10 ways to tell if you’ve transcended the hood and may just be “Blackish”
- You still like chicken, but prefer it grilled and in a salad
- The thought of Summer Jam makes you nervous
- You are willing to hear what others have to say
- White people ask you for directions
- “Oh hey Bill! I didn’t even see you standing behind me. How the heck are ya?”
- Your bodega sells American Spirits
- You love Neil Patrick Harris from How I Met Your Mother
- Your Favorite Emcee is Drake
- Your favorite Will Smith song is Getting Jiggy With It (“Nana Na Na Nana”)
- The police still pull you over
Rest Easy Eric Curran a.k.a M.C Krispy E
Almost every year for the past 6 years and on the same day, I’ve posted the same pic of me in the hospital during my temporary and untimely demise in 2015. A few weeks after I was back to “normal”, I asked Eric “Why’d you take the pics?” And he said, “I knew you would want to write about it if you lived.” Eric was right. Eric was often right and Eric always had my best interest at heart. I am going to miss my friend.
You ever meet someone and become friends immediately?! Well this was not the case with Eric. Before he was my manager at Morgan Stanley, I would often see this 6’4″, giant white guy walk up to the only black woman at work, say something then walk away without any hint of human emotion. Naturally I thought he was a jerk until I asked her “Yo, is that dude bothering you?” She laughed and proceeded to tell me he was a great person, which I ultimately got to experience first hand. Little did I know this Italian from Staten Island was more Brooklyn than most Brooklynites.
Eric was not with the shits!! If there were ever someone who lived their life in direct, honest and no uncertain terms, that would be Eric. He would ask me questions at work like “Why are the other consultants making more money than you?” I knew the answer to that question and so did he. Eric then proceeded to increase my salary by 15K. After arguing with all our managers that “You need to hire Alfred!”, they eventually did 1 year prior to the 2015 incident. In the hospital, one of my friends asked me, “What if you didn’t have health insurance when this happened?” I would be in debt for the rest of my life is the obvious answer. I still am in debt for the rest of my life but at least, it is to those who made sure I had a more enjoyable life and for that, I will gladly repay.
My mom loved to tell me the story of how she met Eric. After they told her I was going to be in the ICU for some time, she told the doctor “Well I’m not going anywhere.” She then hears a voice from that back of the room that says “Well I’m not going anywhere either!” That was Eric and in true form, he was at that hospital every single day until I was discharged.
Eric passed away in December 2021 of stage 4 cancer. After feeling faint on his way to my bbq, he went to get checked out and was diagnosed. During the past 5 years, Eric lost his mom, twin brother and dad. I can’t even begin to imagine what that must have felt like but I’m glad that pain he was feeling is no more.
From being my manager to my business partner, writer, book editor, artistic director, and most importantly, my friend, I am going to miss you MC Krispy E a.k.a “Enrique Pollazo!” And although you told me Enrique means Henry in Spanish and not Eric, it was too late!
Sidebar. The day I was discharged, while everyone was deciding what was best for me, no one had remembered that I would need clothes in order to leave the hospital. Eric shows up (unasked) with all the clothes I had on the day I coded, laundered and ready to go. I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve friends like this but i need to keep doing it! Sidebar complete.
Rest in Peace Eric. “Be Good.”
Writing Your First Book / Should I Self Publish?
I had the distinct pleasure of participating in a panel discussion on writing your first book, presented by the Harlem chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. Alongside Jim St. Germain, Author – A Stone of Hope: A Memoir and Dr. Keneshia Nicole Grant, Author – The Great Migration and the Democratic Party: Black Voters and the Realignment of American Politics in the 20th Century. We opined on pain points, benefits and strategies regarding our inaugural voyages into authorship. Feel free to watch for your self and I hope this provides some insight to all those looking to make the same voyage. Enjoy!
What the NFT is a BEEPLE?
On March 11 this year, the digital artist Beeple sold a collage of digital images from his “Everydays” series for nearly 70 million dollars as an NFT, or non-fungible token. And if that sentence confuses you, you’re not alone.
A non-fungible token is a unit of data on a digital ledger called a blockchain, where each NFT can represent a unique digital item, and thus they are not interchangeable. NFTs can represent digital files such as art, audio, video, and other forms of creative work. While the digital files themselves are infinitely reproducible, the NFTs representing them are tracked on their underlying blockchains and provide buyers with proof of ownership.” – Wikipedia
Still confused? Let the artist himself explain it, and learn how he went from NFT newbie to making the third most expensive artwork by a living artist in three months. Not to suggest Beeple is an overnight success. The “Everydays” series alone involved creating a piece of art every day since May 1, 2007 – and he hasn’t missed a day.
Check out some of Beeple’s amazing and controversial work below.