Friday, May 10, 2013
S-Dot for The S-Dot Files I AM MALCOLM X!!! In the summer of 1992 at the conclusion of Spike Lee’s brilliant autobiographical masterpiece “X” when it was released in theaters many of us stood on our feet with tears streaming down our cheeks and boldly shouted, “I Am Malcolm X!” This generational declaration soon had us dubbed as “Generation X” by Madison Ave. As Generation X, we adorned ourselves with fitted “X” caps, t-shirts, plastered our walls with posters and submerged ourselves in books and tapes on our beloved shining hero of Black Liberation Minister Malcolm X (Malik El Hajj Shabazz). Yet, none of us actually had to pick up the mantle and shoulder the burden of actually “Being Malcolm.” As time progressed, many of that merchandised got shoved to the back of closets, a lot of that fiery angst got toned down in order to get “good jobs” and those angry protests just became hushed conversations. Generation X became Generation ‘I got next’. However, 8 years earlier, Malcolm Lateef Shabazz was born “Malcolm” in 1984. As the first male heir of his grandparents the Honorable Malik El Hajj and Dr. Betty Shabazz, he lived his life “Being Malcolm.” For him, his “X” was an almost inescapable shadow cast over every one of his actions. Inheriting a legacy is a difficult mantle to carry. It is oftentimes a thankless burden with overwhelming expectations and harsh criticisms from opinionated outsiders. Those who speculate usually perpetuate an atmosphere of angst and turmoil. He could do no wrong, and everything he thought he did right still fell short of “Being Malcolm.” His name became his prison. He was watched. Not like most of us Black males who find ourselves occasionally under suspicion when we exit a store, pulled over driving, stopped after going through the turnstile on the subway or fitting the “description” of someone who looks nothing like us. He was watched for real. There will people assigned to track and monitor his coming and goings. His associations were cataloged and his involvements were placed in a file. Most of us won’t see that file until it is ‘declassified’ decades from now. On Thursday, May 9, 2013, just 10 days before what would’ve been the 88th birthday of his grandfather Malcolm Lateef Shabazz was murdered in Tijuana, Mexico in what has been reported as a botched robbery which led to him being thrown from a roof to his death. Coincidence???
Thursday, April 25, 2013
By S-Dot for The S-Dot Files Being called "angry" when you're Black is oftentimes meant as a condescending stereotype which is intended to lull the militant, misbehaving individual back into submissive control. This is communication a tactic which is used frequently whenever a Black man, woman or children simply refuses to accept an unacceptable condition or their mistreatment passively. Sound familiar? While listening to the new unreleased gem by Lauryn Hill "Black Rage" and transcribing its lyrics, I thought long and hard about those who try to silence our voices with threats of physical and socio-economic violence. The barrage of taunts and leering looks of disdain that come when Black people simply want to love Black people... Being introspective...makes you a sad n*gg*. Expressing indignation...makes you a mad n*gg*. Fighting against injustice...makes you a bad n*gg*. It seems the world wants and expects you to be a glad n*gg*. It's enough to inspire...Black Rage!!! ((( sDOTtv ))) now playing Lauryn Hill “Black Rage (Live)” BLACK RAGE by LAURYN HILL I simply remember all these kinds of things And then I don’t fear so bad… Black rage is founded on two-thirds a person Rapings and beatings and suffering that worsens Black human packages tied up in strings Black rage is founded on these kinds of things Black rage is founded on blatant denial Squeezed economics, subsistent survival Deafening silence and social control Black rage is found on wounds in the soul So when the dogs bite And when the beatings And when I’m feeling sad I simply remember all these kinds of things and then I don’t “fear” so bad Black rage is founded who fed us self-hatred Lies and abuse while we waited and waited Spiritual treason This grid and it's cages Black rage was founded on these kinds of things Black rage is founded on dreaming and draining Threatening your freedom To stop your complaining Poisoning your water While they say it's raining Then call you mad For complaining, complaining Black rage is founded on blocking the truth Old time bureaucracy Drugging the youth Murder and crime Compromise and distortion Sacrifice, sacrifice Who makes the fortune? Greed, falsely called progress Such human contortion Black rage is founded on these kinds of things So when the dog bites And when the ceilings And I’m feeling mad I simply remember all these kinds of things And then I don’t fear so bad Free enterprise Is it myth or illusion Forcing you back into purposed confusion Black human trafficking Or blood transfusion Black rage is founded on these kinds of things Victims of violence Both psyche and body Life out of context IS living ungodly Politics, politics Greed falsely called wealth Black rage is founded on denying of self Black human packages Tied and subsistence Having to justify your very existence Try if you must But you can’t have my soul Black rage is founded (made by) on ungodly control So when the dog bites And the beatings And I’m feeling so sad I simply remember all these kinds of things And then I don’t feel so bad So when the dog bites And when the ceilings And I’m feeling mad I simply remember all these kinds of things And then I don’t fear so bad
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
By S-Dot for The S-Dot Files ((( sDOTv ))) now playing Uncle Ruckus The Confederate flag, for many is still a revered symbol of pride. Many laid down their life to protect what it represented. They rejoice in their sentimental fondness for the “good ole days” when it was expected and respected to put darkies in their place. For them, it isn’t an emblem of treason against their country. The proud rebel son is unapologetic about his lynch mob heritage and affinity for strange fruit. He doesn’t deny his terroristic history of rape and murder, he embraces it. To him, it is what it is. The song “Accidental Racist” is the equivalent of saying “I have a Black friend” which is what suspected racists claim whenever they’re called on their BS by more observant individuals. This the old, “I can’t be a racist because I live next door to…work with…listen to music by…” rationalization used to disarm discerning critics who smell the stench of racism still rearing its ever-present ugly head in everyday life. The “accident” supposedly is that flag wearers are “unaware” of the racist sentiments attached to their Confederate flag. They are somehow clueless that it symbolically represents an allegiance to plantation culture which relied solely on chattel slave labor. It’s not their fault that despite access to Google they don’t know about the hateful heritage attributed to many who brandished their beloved Dixie memorabilia in an effort to keep things the same. On the one hand, many ‘conservative’ whites celebrate their heritage of exploration and conquest. They see themselves as heirs apparent to a powerful numerical minority (white people make up 8-to-9 percent of the global population) who have shrewdly seized majority privileges (resources) from the global masses of non-white people. On the other hand, some ‘liberal’ whites cringe with red-faced embarrassment at ever-present contemporary reminders of the atrocities committed to enable them to pretend they don’t see their unearned privileges or notice allure of their stolen power. To the disenfranchised, white is white. People denied power and privilege make no distinction between ‘conservative’ or ‘liberal. They are symbolically one in the same. One is overt and the other is covert in their practice of racism; not just as an ideology, but as a religion. Racism (white supremacy) is not an accident. It is an intentional system of suppression and oppression. The ‘accidental racist’ is a mythological character. This non-existent individual is a figment of the misguided imagination of victims who would rather believe certain individuals are ignorant rather indifferent to the truth of what racism is and how it works. Contrary to their wishful thinking racism is alive and thriving. It is rampant and ever-present as a subtext to our everyday conversations and interactions. Despite all the proclamations of being in a ‘post racial’ world racism continues to divide us because of our unwillingness to acknowledge its presence and confront its ugliness. UNCLE L BECOMES UNCLE RUCKUS I hoped and prayed it wasn’t so, but when a younger hip-hopper sent me a tweet yesterday of the new “Accidental Racist” video starring Brad Paisley and LL Cool J my mouth was left wide open in a WTF grimace. James Todd Smith aka LL Cool J was once considered the G.O.A.T. (Greatest Of All Time) in hip-hop. His discography is chock full of memorable classics – I Need A Beat, I’m Bad, Doin’ It, Mama Said Knock You Out – too numerous to name. He has dominated the music charts, captivated the small and big screen, dabbled in literature and served as brand ambassador to global trendsetters. His accolades speak volumes of his “LL” standing for “living legacy”, but that legacy has been tarnished. The irony that LL is peddling a new album entitled “Authentic” slated to be released April 30th and is featured on such a “inauthentic” song has countless people dismissing him as irrelevant and out-of-touch with today’s reality. Having to explain to a 45-year old man that racism still exists is sad. For someone who was born January 14th, just one day before Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (January 15, 1929) in 1968, the same year Dr. King was assassinated to be clueless about racism is truly reflective of how detached we’ve become from the reality of the ‘dream’ which remains a ‘nightmare’ for many. LL appears simply clueless. Perhaps he’s spent so much time “acting” that he’s lost sight of the ‘keep it real’ credibility factor demanded by the streets. With more than two-decades of putting in work he is fast-becoming irrelevant. Check the blogosphere. It’s over for LL. Many are saying “it’s a wrap” for the now disgraced rapper/actor. Check the rhyme yourself: ((( sDOTv ))) now playing Brad Paisley featuring LL Cool J "Accidental Racist" Dear Mr. White Man, I wish you understood What the world is really like when you're livin' in the hood Just because my pants are saggin' doesn't mean I'm up to no good You should try to get to know me, I really wish you would Now my chains are gold but I'm still misunderstood I wasn't there when Sherman's March turned the south into firewood I want you to get paid but be a slave I never could Feel like a new fangled Django, dodgin' invisible white hoods So when I see that white cowboy hat, I'm thinkin' it's not all good I guess we're both guilty of judgin' the cover not the book I'd love to buy you a beer, conversate and clear the air But I see that red flag and I think you wish I wasn't here I'm just a white man (If you don't judge my do-rag) Comin' to you from the Southland (I won't judge your red flag) Tryin' to understand what it's like not to be I'm proud of where I'm from (If you don't judge my gold chains) But not everything we've done (I'll forget the iron chains) It ain't like you and me can re-write history (Can't re-write history baby) First of all, there’s nothing culturally empowering about a man wearing a head scarf (doo rag). The absurdity of comparing and contrasting a fashion accessory with an emblem of nationalist pride is embarrassing. As a Black man, I am not just offended by LL’s ignorance, I am ashamed of his pathetic attempt to pretend he is socially-conscious after nearly two-decades of silence. GTFOHWTMFBS! “Dear Mr. White Man…” As usual, the confused victim of racism shuffles his feet and shows reverence for those he views as being socially superior. Not surprisingly, “Mrs. White Woman” gets off again without so much of a mention. Interestingly enough, it was because of Mrs. White Woman that Mr. White Man committed some many horrific atrocities and willingly raised that rebel flag to ensure she could remain a creature of comfort. The only people confused about racism are victims of racism (Black people). The beneficiaries and practitioners are quite intentional about their everyday activities. They are told they have privilege and power based upon their racial classification as soon as they're born. There is no such thing as an "accidental racist", and it's not necessary to focus on the victim (LL) and his lack of knowledge because that's a diversionary tactic used by the skillful racist. Just as we don't berate rape victims for wearing the "wrong" clothes or not "knowing better"; pummeling of the victim (LL) seems counterproductive in this instance. But I could be wrong; I too suffer from racial retardation.
Friday, March 22, 2013
By S-Dot for The S-Dot Files Generational depression is running rampant today. Many people who are often perceived as having a lot of “potential” are experiencing extreme bouts of sadness which they are unable or unwilling to share with others. With so many distractions (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to preoccupy their time this generation is becoming more disconnected from resources that can help stop their hurting. Are you depressed? Here are a few signs of depression: - Find yourself focusing on other people’s lives more than your own. - Constantly negatively comparing yourself to others and feel like a failure. - When you see someone accomplishing something you verbally attack them (“He/she thinks they’re better than…”) or spread malicious gossip (“I heard he/she…”) to contribute to conflict. - Smoke or drink yourself to sleep and/or awake to smoke/drink to get your day started. - Six-pack turns into a keg or 40 oz (you are abdominally challenged). - Find yourself consumed with television programs or video games. If any of these signs sound familiar it is highly likely you are suffering from depression. You should reach out and get help today.
Friday, February 1, 2013
By S-Dot for The S-Dot Files As we come to another February which is set aside as "Black History Month" each year, I think it's vitally important that we not just look back and reflect on unsung heroes/sheroes of yesteryear. It is equally important that we acknowledge the continuing efforts of those committed to growth and development of Black people right here, right now. DR. FRANCES CRESS WELSING
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
By S-Dot for The S-Dot Files
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
By S-Dot for The S-Dot Files