Social Media Content Control or No New Sharecropping, No, No, No

Social media content control, as well as curation, can be a difficult process. Once we have comfortably programmed our favorite phone application to remember our screen names and passwords, we tend to forget that we are providing content in a means similar to sharecropping. Now, for Black African Americans familiar with US sharecropping, this metaphor might seem a bit of a stretch. Like with most things US, economic, and Black, the story is much more hostile, violent, and inhumane than the story outside of the United States. In the same way that slavery in Brazil or England tends to read much less brutal than in the United States, so does the practice of sharecropping tend to read much more fair in other places.

 

To keep things neat and tidy here, the essence of the analogy of Twitter user to Twitter as tenant farmer to landlord, is producer/worker to owner. As of the date of this writing, the Owl’s Asylum account on Twitter is suspended. That means, I do not have the ability to delete, republish, or respond to any of the one hundred thousand plus pieces of content I have provided Twitter the company with. I do not have access to the one-hundred and twenty shy of six thousand followers I have accumulated over the past four or so years. I have no control over any of the writings stored on the servers that house the content of Twitter. As a result of this relationship, Twitter severing ties with Asylum has lost me half to one-third of my organic traffic to Asylum. Those are not good numbers. But, I blame Owl for this.

 

I do not blame myself for Twitter suspending my account. If I had a guest post on Asylum that generated five thousand or more users to interact with it daily, like say, this post, and I was discomforted by the writer of that post, I would not pull the post. But, I am Owl, not the owners and developers of Twitter, and they have their own rules to abide by. My point of accountability lies in developing a stronger content model on the apparatus of someone else, than on my own.

 

I have worked incessantly to establish the brand Owl’s Asylum, Owl, and Asylum under the same principles of “poor righteous teacher” that I live by. In being one that is capable of forging radical ideas and developing ingenious tactics to deploy said ideas, I am upset that I have spent so much time in one channel that I do not own. As the person that developed Owl’s Asylum, the only space online for Black people to examine media, entertainment, culture, and Black African American history from the perspective of someone that has seen prison, homelessness, and university, I am upset with myself. As the person that developed Owl’s Asylum, a space for thinking Black people to gain insights into the messages being communicated to them so they can better think for themselves as opposed to allowing others to think for them, yes, damn it, I am extremely salty with Owl.

 

I write for the Thinking Person. People who read Owl’s Asylum are people that like to ask questions and do not like when their emotional drawstrings are pulled. This especially when those emotional drawstrings are also doubling as their purse strings. When most online content providers were “dumbing down” their content, I was looking for a bigger thesaurus, a more unabridged dictionary, and more abstractions to apply to the everyday struggle. I should have known better, as stated here, I am a “Digital Hustler”, and that implies something I hate admitting I overlooked. Social media is a great opportunity to meet new people, but unless you are paying the server fees, I cannot advise you providing content on these sites as if you are.

 

According to eMarketer predictions, Twitter will reach an ad revenue generated evaluation of one billion dollars by the year 2014. That is ad revenues generated primarily(53%) through mobile devices. Let me ask a series of questions here:

 

How many people do you know logging into Twitter to read ads, “promoted content”?

 

Of those that you know that definitely do not log on to Twitter dot com to read “promoted content”, how many log on to read the content provided by others?

 

Of that group of people that log on to read the content provided by others, how many of the people they log on to read are getting any percentage points of revenue directly from Twitter the corporation?

 

Now, that is sharecropping the United States of America way. Twitter was not even willing to provide Owl and his Asylum a reason as to why the account was suspended. I had to search engine my way to an understanding of why my followers were asking about my whereabouts. I came across this piece on the topic, and this article, then this one, and this one, and then this one. After reviewing the consistencies across a few other channels, I still do not know why Twitter suspended my account. Nor do I feel compelled to fight to have access to provide a company with free content that they are receiving a projected one billion dollars in ad revenues from. Like the Digital Hustler, I am, I am willing to chalk this lack of social media content control to the game, and keep moving.

 

A few months back I was reading an article posted by Sonia Simone. The article was posted on highly recognized CopyBlogger dot com. The title of the article is “The Most Dangerous Threat to Your Online Marketing Efforts”, and she discusses the concept of “digital sharecropping” and the lack of social media content control, in a slightly different tone than I am(I mean, come, come, now…who in all of the interwebs writes anything with the same tone or perspective as Owl?), but providing much of the same essence. She opens the composition of caution with this story I am reproducing here:

 

We have a great bookstore in my town — the kind of place you picture in your mind when you think of a great independent bookshop.

 

It’s perfect for browsing, with lots of comfy chairs to relax in. The books are displayed enticingly. There’s a little coffee shop so you can relax with an espresso. They get your favorite writers to come in for readings, so there’s always a sense of event and excitement.

 

They do everything right, and they have always had plenty of customers.

 

But they still closed their doors last year.

 

No, not for the reasons you might think. It wasn’t Amazon that killed them, or the proliferation of free content on the web, or the crappy economy.

 

They closed the store because they were leasing their big, comfortable building … and when that lease ran out, their landlord tripled the rent.

 

Literally overnight, their business model quit working. Revenues simply wouldn’t exceed costs. A decision made by another party, one they had no control over, took a wonderful business and destroyed it.

 

And that’s precisely what you risk every day you make your business completely dependent on another company.

 

It might be Facebook. It might be eBay. It might be Google.

 

The analogy here is precise. Simone also provides tactics and strategies that I have implemented over the years, so, in closing I will add my own “also do” list here:

 

1:: Along with owning your own domain name and paying for your own hosting, continue to add the link to your site to all digital exchanges and content. You should be typing- or having automated- the words “Read more here…” until you earl.

 

2:: With an increased linking of your content, also back up all of your social media exchanges that might work as stand-alone content on your site, or just writings you wish to keep. For Asylum, I use ThinkUp and it plugs right into your online database, giving you absolute control over what is stored and when.

 

3:: The last tactic I am going to leave here is create a ratio that demands you to have more content on your own site than on any other. It is not wise to have more images of your product or service on Pinterest or Instagram than you have on your purchased domain, and regularly billed site. You are paying a recurring bill, act like it.

Why I’m Totally Embarrassed By Google’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Doodle

 

I was conferencing on Twitter with Nikki, well, you’ll know her best as @Chey_Marly_Mom, and my Tweetdeck froze. I decided to switch to Firefox, but anyone working with 2 sticks of 1gb RAM and less than 60gb of on board memory knows the hassles of Firefox’s resource drain. So, I convinced my Self to download Chrome for my Interglobe site surfing. Upon entering Google, I was beckoned by an image of Google being spelled out by this one Black face digitally painted and skewed for convenience(lazy pricks), another one of a Black man with his eyes closed for the ‘G’, and another guy looking really close to Jesse Jackson with his hands in “raise the roof” formation. I wanted, maybe even needed, to call Earl(for my not so lumpen Afkan(Afrikan Amerikkkan) readers, I just wrote that I wanted to regurgitate with dry retching and praying).

 

As my loyal readers already know, I’m not very big on holidays(“holy days” either…same thing?). I might as well have been raised a Jehovah’s Witness, I’ve probably celebrated 2 born days as a child, and 1 or 2(I see you, Calvin) as an adult. I get upset with the New Year celebration because it isn’t really a complete new cycle for me, it is just a collective celebration of one. I’ve even asked Asylum Staff(that’s fun, isn’t it) why people don’t give gifts on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday like they do Jesus’ birthday. I mean, Dr. King, Jr. played a much more significant role in the lives of Afkans than Jesus ever will, and there is no argument about his existence, rise, or crucifixion. I suppose people that have been as psychologically gang banged and ghetto gagged as Afkans would need some one White to suggest it and show them how to do it. I wonder if Tim Wise answers emails.

 

Anywho…

Continue reading “Why I’m Totally Embarrassed By Google’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Doodle”

Cultural Attenuation

Perspective is the child of cultural attenuation and resonating principles. Resonating principles are often a balance of media synthesis coupled with experiential osmosis. Cultural attenuation is the process by which a person imbibes the values, standards and practices of their culture, commits to memory the lessons passed down through oral tradition and then begins a routine of procedural steps that tend to weaken the spirit, or flow of mental energy being given to them. The stronger the resonating principles of influences not directed by the culture, or better said, the culture of those that have sacrificed the most for the well-being of the individual, and the perpetuation of the said culture through that individual, then more attenuated the cultural signal will become.This is not an argument to absolve the irresponsible or the selfish of their need to convince others to conform, however, conformity is a natural state. The question that should be dealt with is the degree to which humans are conforming to nature versus forces of influences commanded by manipulators. A simple statement? Indeed. And yet, how many of the slaves raped by European Americans, how many of the millions of Africans sold by their more resourceful counterparts, how many black males murdered by the discharge of police pistols do you think it would take to change the tide of conformity through manipulation? If the answer to that question alludes you, you are not alone.

A simple understanding of the degree to which many of us have been separated from nature is a question I ask people often when describing ailments. How much water are you drinking? How often are you eating, and what? How often are you exercising? Due to the template short-circuiting of many of my associates, the common answers are not answers to the questions I’ve raised. Those queried tend to respond with statements that suggest that they are drinking enough water, exercising enough, and the like. And yet, if I were a doctored practitioner of medicine attempting to create a funnel where the populaces income could be channeled into my banking account, I could develop all sorts of undocumented and unhealthy means to sell as solutions to ailments that are simply bodily imbalances. Oh, I’m incorrect? The water you intake is what prevents you from dehydrated. At 70% water necessity, the human body must become a capacitor along the circuitry of any water system. If you are suffering from simply gastric imbalances, forms of jaw locking, dry eyes, migraines that stem from dry eyes then why wouldn’t a suggestion to drink more water from an individual who has suffered all of this suffice? Cultural attenuation. Elijah Muhammad told the world to eat to live. Black community still suffers from the dietary habits of slavery.

What makes it so difficult for many Blacks to listen to other Blacks? Why is that there is so much ado about posturing in the black community? What is occurring where Blacks who are creating the most common forms of Black(US) speech are being attacked Ebonics promoters that are simply imitating the same media the white people are? Francis Cress Welsing discussed the atrocities that come with the alienated mind and yet the Black community still has yet to embrace every facet of its expression. For every polemic dispersed from the pen of Cheik Anta Diop came an opposing arguments from the very individuals that needed the psychological healing of well studied findings.

Lethal Weapon Faux Pas

I understand the culture that has built a certain wall around the term “nigga”. So, when I read that Mel Gibson threatens his former lover, Oksana Grigorieva, with the word “nigger”– as in “You look like a fucking pig in heat, and if you get raped by a pack of niggers, it will be your fault”— I am offended.

Regardless of what occurs inside the black community, if you are not black then your degree of disdain for blacks and stereotypical approach to dealing with people is questionable. There is a huge difference between a black person saying “nigga” and Mel Gibson saying,”nigger”. Huge difference.

I understand the discussion regarding American Blacks and certain unacceptable behavior patterns. When I hear Dead Prez say “nigga”, I understand what they are discussing. When Mel Gibson says,”nigger”, within a particular context, I understand what is being stated. Not that Mel Gibson is far from an intoxicated rant, but because the state of affairs between American Blacks and white americans is so strained. I can forgive Mel for his drunken disposition, but I can only alert my people to the fact that his statements are a reflection of the image that has been historically pressed into this society’s psyche regarding Black males.

Incidentally, 52% of all rapes in the US are perpetuated by white men.

We all have our faults, and we all should be corrected when at fault.

Vaccination: Q5

So I woke up this morning, got my vital signs checked, laid down for another hour, and got stuck in both arms…again. In some ways, I’m being extremely nice about this because it is a sister that is doing it, but I’ve definitely got to make sure she only sticks me in my right arm. After being poked for blood, I washed up and went into the room designated as the eating room for the lab rats volunteers(that never gets old). Upon entering the room, a discussion was in process that allowed me to immediately handle the disturbance of the night prior.

I used the Quentin Tarantino history of using the “n-word” in his movies as my starting point. Immediately, it was understood where I was going. It is never cool for a non-black person to ever use that word. I feel that it could have been left alone, but I do understand the need for communication and dialogue among members of opposite ethnicity when the time presents itself. And ultimately, it is cathartic to express your angst.

A couple of hours after that discussion, a few of us met up in the area we are calling the ‘sun room”. Our sleeping quarters don’t provide us any sunlight, and during the day this seems to be our grove of sorts. The sun comes down into our pores through a window on the roof, and the room itself is spacious enough for us to kick around a soccer ball. The conversation traveled light speed through various topics such as revolt versus revolution, anarchy, music as a form of communication, what it means to be a radical, and the criminal as an agent for change. Our critiques of society seemed to converge well. I felt that to be socially uncanny, Which can cause me a slight paranioa. As a media analyst, it is difficult for me to seperate the thought from where it originated, and I’m always asking myself if we think alike because we have been programmed alike.

I’ve been extremely social lately, and actually I’ve been in pretty much every major discussion that has occurred here. I don’t necessarily feel I’m representing for the American Black any more than I feel those who are caucasian are representing for their ethnicity or race. I do recognize the class differences, and the attitudes inherent in that particular consciousness. Those that think they are better tend to stick to themselves more. I could be wrong, but there is a pattern that I’m sure I’m not overanalyzing, or hypothesizing incorrectly.

I’ve learned a great deal about communal behavior, and true radical thought. Which is strange, because I didn’t expect I would learn much through my experience here. From what has been admitted, none of us really thought we’d be as social as we have been. Which is ironic, because we all sort of made sure to break the ice rather early in the study.It is no strange thing the beginning of the word “community” is shared by the word “communicate”. In so many ways that is all we really have. We play cards together, we read together, we eat together, we watch movies together, and none of this was by force, and none of it would have occurred if we weren’t interested in the furthering of the extended conversations we share. Total strangers that seem to share a common appreciation for knowledge, and a need for money, obviously, but definitely a respect for learning and living from that place of new thinking.

My vital signs have been terrific. My blood pressure is down, and I’ve even managed to lose a couple pounds. Still not feeling any of the symptoms of either bacteria strand. My more suspicious side is still looking for a camera in the air ducts and vents. Just not willing to accept it as is. But who knows.

Vaccination: Day Zero

So, I’m a part of a vaccination study for a university in town. The overall objective of the study is to see which method of three delivery methods beings studied will assist in making the vaccinations of streptococcus pneumonia(S. pneumo) more wide spread. S. pneumo is one of the most common causes of bacterial infections in the lung (pneumonia) and brain and spinal cord (meningitis). It also causes infection in the blood, ears (otitis media), sinuses and other body sites. These infections can be difficult to fight and lead to many deaths worldwide. The method of vaccination delivery I am helping to study(read: being a guinea pig for) is the oral digestion of a trace of the S. pneumo bacteria being carried into my system by another trace of Salmonella Typhi (S. Typhi) bacteria. Vaccines work by presenting the immune system with a small amount of an antigen so that the immune system can produce antibodies that will destroy the less potent antigen while teaching the immune system how to recognize the antigens if they were a stronger pathogen, eg. a full blown virus.

Since the type of vaccine is a live-attenuated vaccine at a high dose, I am not allowed to leave the facility. Since I am shedding the bacteria from my body, I might infect a person with a compromised immune system. Also, I have to avoid contact with babies under the age of 2 years young. Due to the possibility of my carrying the bacteria longer than my stay here, I could middle ear infection, and other complications. The need for me to stay confined is serious.

I am speaking in first person singular but there are actually around eight other people here with me. Upon arriving here this morning, I was offered my choice of room. Now, this is just a converted hospital, so it is a nine by ten foot room with the bed surrounded by lights. There is also a regular television with basic cable channels and the phone with the strange extension as a direct line for the phone .

As the day progressed, I met the rest of the lab rats volunteers while being prepared to receive the vaccine. When it came time, we all stood around a rotunda facing a bottle of Ensure that had been poured into two cups, while our numbers were called for our dosages.

This is about the time my history lessons started flying through my head and all sorts of thoughts of impoverished American Black men and women being injected with syphilis and denied penicillin treatments in Tuskegee, Alabama conducted between 1932 and 1972. For a second, my mind went back to the very term “vaccination” with its roots in the cow pox disease that protected many of the early European settlers from the viral small pox disease that would become a form of the western world’s bio-chemical warfare. During the Native American attack around 1752 on the British terrorist encampment Fort Pitt (which would become Pittsburg, Pennsylvania), Jeffery Amherst, Henry Bouquet, and Simeon Ecuyer, in order to “use every strategem in our power to reduce them”, conjured up the idea to send infected blankets and a handkerchief to the Native Americans in an effort to an “extirpate this execrable race”.

All this passed through my mind as we, upon instruction, quickly gulped two-thirds of the Ensure bottle and then drank the bitter vaccination like a shot of Tequila (actually the phrase “Shot, shot, shot..” was chanted by a nurse and a few of the lab rat volunteers). We then poured the rest of the Ensure into the same container with the remaining droplets of Salmonella Typhi laced with Streptococcus pneumoniae.

So, far I haven’t felt any of the effects, but my immune system has always been pretty strong, and there are only trace incidents, or so I’ve been told.

Of course, what would this post be without me describing the others. It is a motley crew at best: A young brother working on his neurology degree, an agriculturist working on projects in the impoverished areas of the city, a welder, a dietitian, a choir director, and the other alternate that came on with me. I know the descriptions are bland at best, but as the project goes on, I’ll fill you in on the specifics. Thus far the conversations — all starting with a name-statement-name staccato in effort to memorize each others names — have been about societal designators, class designations, the degree-job ratio and sushi. Oh, and the other alternate wants to smuggle in liquor. That ought to be interesting!!

A Slim Critique of Slim Thug’s Thoughts

It is funny how over time, the same specious arguments find a way to reinvent themselves. During the 1960s Black Power Movement a young white man with ambitions and a destination for a seat in congress constructed a report. It would be historically referred to under his name: the Moynihan Report. In this white man’s mind, the problem with the Negro Family was the inability of black men to outperform black women. His stance was that there would be great improvements in the Negro condition if it were more patterned after other patriarchal societies. From that statement, many of our great minds – Amiri Baraka and Eldridge Cleaver come to mind most – promoted a culture of black hyper masculinity that significantly placed black women as the enemy. With due respect to bell hooks and her viewpoints, Michele Wallace who wrote “Black Macho and the Myth of the Superwoman” presents to us one of the only firsthand accounts of how black men in SNCC, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee that spurned the leadership of Stokely Carmichael would joke about their offices being taken over by women, and how they would pass up the black women for white women. It is even telling that Eldridge Cleaver wrote of the black woman as the strong woman, yet dated a white woman. The stereotypes of that ear have extended themselves through the misogyny of rap music and media. And today, none other than the brilliant and scholarly Slim Thug voiced his opinion. And of course, because Slim Thug is such the sociologist and our champion of intellectual thought, we must consider his words.

LAUGHTER.

What a lot people don’t want to accept about the submissive woman is that she was made. During the early days of the white race, female babies were considered a threat to survival and they were buried alive. We see this same pattern of behavior in the Arab history. During the early days of the US, white women were hunted down in what has come down through history as the witch hunts. To be a white male aristocrat meant that you had to have a submissive female show piece. The ideal of the woman as the show piece has made it past all of the work of the women’s liberation movement somehow. Another tidbit of history that seems to escape most radars is the fact that women – and yes, your precious white women as well – had to work just as hard as the men during feudal Europe and during the beginnings of this country if they were not wealthy. The ideal of the submissive white woman still exists because of the media being controlled by the same sorts of men that conjured up the ideal. So why are black men still so easily mislead about these things?

During our struggle for human rights in this country, we forgot about true revolution and settled for an inkling of manhood. It was cool that we could just be considered cool. No, we don’t need any land to till, let’s just be recognized for having big dicks and athletic prowess. Who cares that we have no national independence? That people cross the street when we approach them? The fight for black self-determination became an acceptance of hyper masculinity as manhood. It is not strange that the brother Slim Thug would take on the imagery of the “thug” that has become the warped and sensationalized caricature of the black man as a warrior and survivor. It is not strange that the same term that Tupac used has been misshapen and misconstrued on so many levels. It was misconstrued before Tupac by those that raised him and protected his mother. There are very important points to consider in the pro however. In Slim Thug’s statements, there is an overall general problem we all need to consider. His anecdote of a friend that chastises him often because he dates a “submissive” white woman overshadows all that could be worthy of discussion. Furthermore, he insists that his woman’s more submissive side is because she is half white. His full statements found here.

I have no problem with interracial dating, although as I have stated in the past, a culture of interracial dating in a society controlled by white males could be dangerous if the American Black is truly set on being an ethnic designation. Simply put, if we are to all seek out white mates, then soon there will be fewer and fewer American black genetic phenotypical traits in the society. Whether this is of importance to you makes no difference; the reality is in the math. We also should take note that this division of family and division of black male and black female has taken on higher precedence in the media. We watch shows such as “Girlfriends” produced by a white Jew and watch a main character, a middle class black woman, settle on a white man, as her friends go through black male after black male. Now, we have a black male who is a representative of the hyper masculine black culture continuing this propaganda against black women.

It has been stated that history repeats itself. I truly hope not. From what I have read about being black in this country, my miniscule pains and trials are nothing compared to what the majority of American blacks once endured. I hope that we all can read more of our history and understand the precise indoctrinations that have extended them to us through time. If we are to overcome anything on a level beyond symbolism, we must consider the origin of many of our thoughts. The paradigm is worthy of change.

At What Point Does Unity Begin and Freedom End?

I’ve been thinking a lot today about unity. Mainly organizations and working with others. I find that I can work with others to a degree. It is like the minute we start getting too personal then it happens. And in the back of mind I’m playing this video of all the times I’ve had to deal with personalities that I clashed with. As the type of person that seems to get his kindness taking for granted, I have to constantly be on the watch for people who like to put boxes around you. Which I tend to believe is very normal, actually. Humans need a high level of repetition to feel comfortable, further we are socialized to be competitive. That creates a situation where people want to size you up, mentally comparing you to people that they have met in the past in order feel a sense of balance. Which is all fine and dandy, but when it comes to manipulation, my tolerance is real low.

Malcolm X states that he looked at Elijah Muhammad as a father. He states that he felt betrayed. Sometimes I revisit that thought as I enter into relationships with people. I once spoke with a brother that discussed leading and following with me. Many feel in order to be a good leader; you have to be a good follower. I tend to agree, however, I also notice that most people telling others that are in the leadership position, and aren’t even trying to follow half of their own tenets. My acquaintance simply related to me that he had reached the point where he simply didn’t want to be harnessed anymore. To “harness” means, “to tie together”. And I understood exactly what he meant. It is quite appropriate to have a vision, and to even seek out those to assist you in carrying that out, as I discuss in my eBook, The Better You. Someone is willing to assist you in bearing that load. I am not as aggressive in my leadership, more of a magnet than a gun, so I have a difficult time accepting aggressive leadership and demands on my time. I dislike being taken for granted, and I don’t like having my identity nullified by what other feel I ought to be doing. Working a job is one thing, pay me to do a service, I’ll do it. At the end of the day, I go home. I don’t like corporate bodies. I’m not trying to be a part of your “professional family” that I can be fired from. I would rather export my expertise, pick up my money, and bid you a fair ado.

I feel the same way with unity. I’d rather say solidarity, but we can interchange them as this thought progresses. I don’t have to believe like you to be working on the same causes as you. I don’t have to wear all black to feel a part of the pro-black movement. In fact, let’s discuss that. I am not black by virtue of anything other than the trading of bodies that occurred during the birth of this nation. The whole notion of race for me is ambiguous, but I understand the social pressure. If you have whites who will toss my application away because it says “black”, then I need to be working with other blacks. In order to ward off the economic and social ills of white power, I am forced to align myself with those who I’ve been categorized with. Although, I strongly believe that in order for a group of people to stay bonded, they should share some cultural norms and ideological percepts, as we say in dominoes…mine don’t fit. And for the most part, I’d rather not have anyone force their beliefs on me, no matter what. Certain sacrifices I can no longer afford.

I am a pretty bright guy. I don’t have to speak to shine. My gifts don’t require me to play in any popularity contest. My personality doesn’t need any extra wattage. What I have seen in the few black organizations I have been a part of, are these very things. I’ve watched people run out of meetings screaming that we need to do this and do that, and upon further reflection, I came to understand that to mean, “since I’m only good at this particular act, it is the most important one–thus you should follow me!!” I’ve heard the whispers in the pews of elder members, “They think they white…” Let me take a moment with that one.

This whole notion of a “real” black person has saturated and in my opinion, tainted the very fabric of every movement it has birthed. What I have found is that most don’t want unity or solidarity of purpose, they want control. In that same vein, those that wish to label you as not being “black” enough, or the new one that has cropped up, you are “too black”, seek to control you as well. In a world of transparency by surveillance, it is often difficult to for one to express their self honestly, because everyone either wishes to put you in a box, or assassinate your character. That is not something I’m always comfortable with.

I enjoy expressing myself a bit too much for the normal crowd. I don’t want you in my business, mainly because I don’t need your judgments. You can barely think without regret, what makes me think I’ll get a good hearing in your courtroom? Many American Blacks are swept away by this notion of white unity. There really was none though. There were blacks and there were poor whites that needed to be harnessed by rich whites. This is your unity. You had landowners that had prospered and no longer wished to be taxed by England. Grand discussions and noble ideas were written in timeless documents, but the spirit was superficial. Unfortunately, for me, symbolic gestures are like masturbation. I say that this is unfortunate for me, because like Obama, you realize real quick how important symbolism means to most of the population of earth. There are way more metaphysicians than scientists. More “healers” than doctors.

Too many con artists and not enough truly skilled at the art of earning and deserving our confidence…

Money, Sex, Male Aggression & More Raped Sisters

So much goes through my mind…

Personally, I’m getting tired of writing about negative events that occur in the Black Community. I might start writing about family reunions and barbeques. This constant pouring over of heinous acts and just savage behavior can’t be good for my rehabilitation. Where is superpresident when you need him…?

Alright.

You know the question was raised about the culture of males. For me that would immediately mean American Black males, but the stories abound in all communities. And although many of the crimes involve women and girls as suspects and perpetrators, the acts all stem from the male culture of hyper masculinity and oversexualization. The headers all read similarly:

Bloods gang members went to Brooklyn schools to recruit underage girls as hookers: prosecutors

Agents Swarm Newburgh in Raid Against Gangs

In Newburgh, Gangs and Violence Reign

27 Arrested In Apartment Complex Where 7-Year-Old Was Gang Raped

Aiyana Jones, 7-Year-Old Shot And Killed By Detroit Police, Was Sleeping According To Family

Although the circumstances of each is different, what we are seeing is a pattern of gang related, or collective male demonstrations of violence and rape that stigmatize the community. The stigma helps to legitimize the historical culture of police brutality. As a media analyst, it is difficult for me not to point to the prominent images of black males as superniggers and black girls and women as ultra-sexual objects.

The historical portrayal of Black women in American culture and media has always been that of the sex toy. Regardless of figures such as Sojourner Truth, Ida B. Wells, Angela Davis, Assata Shakur, and even Oprah Winfrey, the media continues to present us with Halle Berry’s and “Superheads”. The idea that women are “eye candy” and for the most part just gyrating bodies, “bitches and hoes”, has promoted a culture that deems the rape of a seven year old by a suspected 5 males ranging from ages 13 to 20 as acceptable.

If I may be so allowed to step outside of the objective, and ask, “How does a seven-year young child ever look sexually appealing to a 13 year young, let alone a 17 year young?” The forcible rapes should be punished by death squads, and deep in my heart I believe so should the touching. There is something sick and twisted about the whole idea that causes me to tremble inside. At what point does this all become acceptable behavior? The savagery of group behavior is well studied and documented, but the degree of pure immorality haunts me.

In the same vein, you have young boys and girls, some above the age we tend to regard one another as adults, recruiting young girls for prostitution. I remember watching Steve Cokley ask his audience would the women there be willing to have sex with someone for the revolution. If I were a women in that room, my immediate response would have been, “Nigga would you?” It seems to be a mentality even within the ranks of women that the female body is simply a sexual tool. For the American Black woman that is infinitely truer as her history in the US has always forced her to be at the disposal of male aggression. Even in R & B, which once placed the American Black woman on a pedestal, we see Usher with Niki Minaj soliciting a woman for multiple partner sex. Obviously pimping ain’t dead, as the ring of gang members beat and forced high school age girls to ”get out there and make that money”. Brutalizing those that were tired or hadn’t met a daily quota of $500. Money and sex, male aggression and more raped black sisters. The US just doesn’t change.

The degree of inhumane behavior only gives more and more credence to military style police involvement. After the rape of the seven-year old, the apartment complex was raided. Reports say that the arrests involved mostly women with minor infractions being yelled at and asked, “What happened to the little girl?” In what was reported to be the attempted arrest of a 34-year young accused of slaying JeRean Blake, half his age, a home was raided in a military fashion. That particular incidence of bloodshed led to the flash grenading of a residential home and the subsequent murder of Aiyana Jones by the police. The police and FBI are seen here “gathered at a former National Guard armory to prepare for a raid of more than 36 homes”. The pattern is quite clear.

From the destruction and terror of the communities of Negro Wall Street, to the destruction and terror of the communities within the MOVE organization, to the legitimized destruction and terror of black communities nationwide. From the caricature of the Buck, to the portrayal of the Black male as Buck in movies such as “The Birth of A Nation”, to the media portrayal of the black militant movements of the sixties, to the release of “Colors” and the advent of the “Gangster rapper” to the “gangster” rapists and pimps. From criminalization to criminal. From slave patroller to military style invasion legitimized by the behavior promoted through so many channels.

How long will the nigga gene be acceptable? We’ve already reached a class breach where many in the middle class are too far removed from the slayings and the raping to understand the need for more education, more investors in the community, more jobs, and more vehicles for the expression of masculinity to be based upon. A sadistic and criminal culture of capitalism will only create a sicker, more sadistic culture of capitalism where capitalism has failed to be a viable system of economy and thought. As long as boys feel inadequate being intellectuals without having to play the role of the “thug” or “pimp” or “player”, then the “thugs”, the “pimps” and “players” are not going anywhere. Apart of human behavior is the desire to procreate, and that drive dictates a behavior that will allow boys growing into men, to be selected by women. If the women aren’t truly happy with what they see in the community of males, choose more wisely. Stop feeding the culture the attention it needs to breed. Or watch more and more young girls being victimized. Watch more and more young boys find themselves dead or incarcerated until death.

Men have to be better role models. The “do or die” culture comes from the “ride or die” culture of the black power movement. The need for approval, the need for acceptance based on aggression has got to be worked on. Black people really are blessed that the suicidal culture stops at killing others before killing oneself. The minute that changes, a whole new problem will be bred. We are too hard. So hard that just being hard is acceptable. The male susceptibility to attention from the opposite gender has gone from niggas with attitude to niggas with their pants hanging off their butts. We are capable of altering and defining masculinity in ways that don’t have to boil over into sexual aggression. That doesn’t boil over into massive homicides. That doesn’t boil over into our homes destroying children’s lives. Sure, you need a defensive and capable manhood, but don’t let the superficial dictate. Marcus Garvey asked where are your men of industry, not where are your pimps, and dope dealers and brothers that want to look like a pimp and drive around dressed like a dope dealer. Not men with professional jobs who use the vernacular of the dope dealer and wish to act like the pimp, while turning their noses up at the real pimps and dope dealers. Stop being so comfortable with just being a nigga.

The massive bloodshed and pure lack of human life was the Black story as written by White America. Time for a new author…

That “Nigga” Gene…

Interesting enough is the particular identification with the “ghetto”, or “hood”. This internalizing of poverty as an expression of “survivor”, you know(won’t go away without effort, I swear)? There is this sense of achievement of just saying you lived in a particular neighborhood, even if the person is still living there. Many have this need to blame the environment, and yet are determined to hold on to it. Define themselves by it.

There is a major sense of pride that comes with that. In the same way that soldiers or people who have been in the military during occupations and wars might point to a medal, or mention the particular operations they were a part of. We even hear it, “I’m a ghetto vet”. Now, would that be a domestic occupation? And for some, being a “thug” is an occupation! And although I’m being slightly facetious, there is something in A) the reality for some that there is a war occurring on US soil, and B) the overall comodification of the urban male/female image.

To be certain, it would be wise of us to realize that the image isn’t a new one. Nor is it for the most part an organic one as opposed to a manufactured one. The same sorts of behavior projected through time that were once used to make the American Black seem animal like, or less civilized, have been used to criminalize them. What would once be considered highly offensive, propagandistic, and in many ways inhumane, is now widely accepted as the way it is. It is just “keeping it real”. In many ways it is a pattern of how some might even want it. For some, it is just a joke, depending on who is telling it of course.

Granted, the notion that stereotypes are exaggerations of possible truths may have some validity. The roles that we choose to adopt to express native ability, or even gender, are often given to us by those who have an interest in promoting a particular image. There is market for a Queen Latifah to be a cover girl, or even for women to adopt the ideal of “Barbie”. There is something telling when we see a personality such as Monique exerting herself, comically or otherwise, to replicate the movements of Beyonce. As if to say yes, it is “F— skinny b—-es, but we still can dance like you.”

So, it would seem as though, if the stereotype doesn’t apply, or if the role presented by the image is difficult to maintain, a certain insecurity is developed. In that insecurity it seems that overcompensation occurs. Or humiliation, whichever comes first. Even in a Kanye West, a black male rap icon that admits to dressing like a homosexual there is a need to reflect the images of what might be the stereotypical rapper. Although, Kanye is in a league of distinguished gentlemen, we find him posing with his hands on his girlfriend’s butt holding a bottle Hennessey. Later in the same night, after possibly enjoy the said bottle cognac, he upstages, as part of his normal award show routine, Taylor Swift while giving her acceptance speech.

For black males in the urban community there is no Marlboro man to consider. But there is the “real nigga”. Not only is there the difficulty of simply being a man, and whatever standards come with that, there is the need to push beyond “real” man, into a role that society has been taught to fear. The athletic professional must not only be skilled in the techniques of their sport, but highly aggressive, demeaning, and often wrought with a lifestyle that mimics rappers mimicking what is perceived as the drug lord’s lifestyle. Which can get confusing these days, as many drug lords are mimicking rappers and athletes.

The need to not only possess that traits commonly held as masculine, there seems to be the desire to adopt the projected roles. You can’t just be highly talented basketball player, you’ve got have guns, and be seen with an entourage of “friends” from the dreaded “hood”. You can’t just be a brilliant scholar, a political phenom, a gifted orator, you’ve also got to have Ludacris on your ipod, play basketball, walk with a limp, and eat at the local grease pit. You can’t just hold a phd in theology or philosophy, and boast of intelligent works, you’ve got to be able to recite Nas’ discography.

Even as the black man with the most respect and fear in the world, it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t fit the description. You’ve got to have that nigga gene…