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I caught some of Tavis Smiley’s “State of the Black Union” yesterday, in particular the panel on financial empowerment. I applaud Tavis Smiley for what he’s doing; however, there are a number of panelists who appear each year regurgitating the same old jargon and same tired finger pointing. Of course the finger pointing is directed at my generation.

Make no mistake, I know my generation is selfish, spoiled, inconsiderate, and in many ways, lazy and oblivious to what’s going on around them. Still, the holier than thou attitude that some members of the Civil Rights generation have baffles me: Are you not the same generation that raised us?

I listen to panelists go on and on about our consumption based generation; our obsession with self; our ever dying need for bling. Well, in a capitalist society, it’s not that big a shocker that people are selfish and obsessed with material possessions. I’m not excusing this ignorance, merely pointing to what helps create it.

Interestingly enough, the language used to stress the significance of entrepreneurship was very much based on how important it is for one to secure a certain level of money and status. I’m glad the columnist from the Washington Post said we need to talk more about what actually defines wealth and how it relates to our happiness.

Speaking of money and status, those two key factors have a lot to do with the failures that came after the Civil Rights Movement ended. I am grateful every day of my life for the rights I am now afforded. On the other hand, I’m not blind to what happened after those basic rights were written into law. The Civil Rights Movement was not just about equal social rights; it had a lot to do with economic empowerment in the black community. In a capitalist society money talks, bullshit walks. For many members of the Civil Rights Movement, they were already upperwardly mobile. Their grievances lied in not being able to socialize with the mainstream. Once many of them secured those rights, a lot of them became satisfied and blacks on the lower end of the totem pole were left behind.

With that being said, it’s not completely surprising to see why many of us at the lower socioeconomic levels turned out the way we did. I know many of our own struggles have a lot to do with our own poor choices. But, the nihilism that exists in our community is real and a simple, “You should know better” isn’t going to help anyone – especially if you’re pretending to be aloof in your own role in help spawning it.

The blame game will continue to wedge a gap between the generations. What’s more, having the same people spit out the same messages, all competing for airtime won’t assist matters either. I’m glad Tavis said he brought in more young people this year. That is an important step in bridging the gap. Hopefully, with each passing year, people will stop diving into their soundbites of the past, and start thinking about what will really connect with young people in the present, so that all of our futures will be brighter.

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Saw this over at Phoenix Rising. I’m almost certain in an hour I’ll have different answers for every single question.

1. A favorite political track.

Anything from It Takes A Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back.

2. One of those tracks that make you dance on the dance floor no matter what.

DJ Jubilee – “Get It Ready Ready”

What y’all know about bounce music?

3. The song you’d use to tell someone you love them.

D’Angelo – “When We Get By”

Stevie Wonder – “You and I”

4. A song that has made you sit down and analyze its lyrics.

Notorious B.I.G. – “Suicidal Thoughts”

Prince – “Billy Jack Bitch”

Erykah Badu – “Green Eyes”

Amel Larrieux – “Make Me Whole”

A Tribe Called Quest – “Sucka Nigga”

Billie Holiday/Diana Ross – “Good Morning Heartache”

Donny Hathaway – “You Were Meant For Me”

Michael Jackson – “Lady In My Life”

5. A song that you like, that a two year old would like as well.

Beyonce – “Check On It”

6. A song that gives you an energy boost.

Three Six Mafia – “Stay Fly”

D4L – “Laffy Taffy”

Soulja Slim – “Jiggalators”

Lil KeKe – “Pimp The Pen”

Bouncy – “Crazy In Love” (One of the few go-go influenced songs I can take)

Lil Boosie – “The Ratchet”

7. A song that you and your grandparents (would probably) like.

Aretha Franklin – “Call Me”

Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes – “I’m Weak For You”

8. A song that you really liked when you were 14-16, and still really like now.

Jennifer Lopez f/ Ja Rule (w/ Ashanti ghostsinging for Jenny) – “I’m Real”

They played that song at the Diner the other nite. We all sang along.

9. A sad song that would be in the soundtrack of the movie about your life.

Mary J. Blige – “My Life”

10. A peppy song that would start the opening credits of the movie about your life.

Michael Jackson – “Off The Wall”

Now if we’re really talking about peppy, something ign’t and southern that would get folks up out of their seats.

11. A good song from a genre of music that no one would guess that you liked.

Fiona Apple – “Across The Universe”

I’m not a big Beatles fan, but I love Fiona Apple and this is one of the best remakes ever.

12. A song that you think should have been playing when you were born.

Prince – “Baby I’m A Star”

How cocky. Almost a cliché, isn’t it?

13. A favorite artist duo collaboration.

Lauryn Hill & D’Angelo – “Nothing Even Matters”

Lauryn Hill & Mary J. Blige – “I Used To Love Him”

Mary J. Blige & K-Ci Hailey – “I Don’t Want To Do Anything Else”

Faith Evans & Mary J. Blige – “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore”

Method Man f/ Mary J. Blige – “You’re All I Need”

14. A favorite song that you completely disagree with (politically, morally, commonsensically, religiously etc.)

Ying Yang Twins – “The Whisper Song”

Misogyny at its finest. Damn that beat.

15. The song that you like despite the fact your IQ level drops several points every time you listen to it.

Most southern uptempo joints; old No Limit songs; most Cash Money hits.

16. Your smooth song, for relaxing.

There are so many, but hmm, I’d say I love listening to Janet Jackson’s “Twenty Foreplay.”

Marvin Gaye’s entire I Want You album always does the trick .

16a. Favorite Song to Bone to:

Mind yours, freak.

17. A song you would send to someone you hate or are mad at.

Probably something from Marques Houston. That’s torture.

18. A favorite track from an outfit considered a “super-group.”

You got me there.

19. A song that makes you reminisce about good times with a family member.

I guess something from Mary or Jodeci. My sister loved them both.


20. Your favorite song at this moment in time.

“So Amazing” – But only if my friend is singing it.

Elle B. – “Despite What They Say” (Hey there, friend)

Mary J. Blige – “You Bring Me Joy”

Yummy Bingham – “Sick Wit It”

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Let me start off by saying, I think Jamie Foxx is a great actor whose success is long overdue. Yeah, now that I’ve gotten that crap out of the way, let me go’n head and get to the real: He’s been irking the hell out of me lately. I’m really trying to figure out exactly what he does now other than make continuous references to Ray Charles and make dry R&B albums that recall Carl Thomas and John Legend.

I guess one of his activities include speaking w/ Entertainment Tonight about other celebrities.

According to the acclaimed Oscar winner, Lachey is “not a real man” if he opts to pocket half of estranged wife Jessica Simpson’s total earnings and file for spousal report. “Jessica, if you want a real man, come my way,” Foxx says.

I like that he can assert his masculinity based on some trite views of what defines manhood yet he can still hang his head high as a singer and actor…all the while building his career mimicking a dead man. And is it me or has Jamie been acting like Kanye’s hype man lately?

*

Over the weekend, Hollywood reacted to the news. “I don’t really agree with that because I think it’s a cop-out,” Oscar winner JAMIE FOXX told ET. “You got to get up and do your own thing.”

How many times a day do you think he wakes up saying, “Imma make it do what it do?”

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1. Why hasn’t Christian Milian given up yet?

2. Speaking of not giving up when they’re way behind, is that the one trend Ashanti has set for 00s R&B? When is someone going to tell her she’s not anywhere near it, let alone still on it?

3. Who in their right mind would cast Brandy to portray Diahann Carroll?

4.When Kelly Rowland begins promo for her sophomore solo album, how many times do you expect her to bring up how wonderful Beyonce is?

5. Is Nas the loser for signing to Def Jam or is Jay-Z being forced to eat his words – “One was nah, the other was Illmatic . That’s one hot album every ten year average and that’s so laaaaaaaame?”

6. If I get a bunch of mixed girls to appear in an overpriced video full of over the top graphics in wide screen from, can I call myself Hype Williams?

7. Am I the only one not particularly impressed with Jamie Foxx’s album?

8. Must U2 win every single major Grammy category they’re nominated for?

9. How cold was NARAS for not letting Mariah Carey accept at least one of her awards during the broadcast?

10. Is Robin Thicke the Neptunes’ new Justin Timberlake?

11. Where’s Missy? Do we care?

12. How high is Snoop in this picture?

13. Do you think Mike’s saying, “Hey no need to bring up Juanita right now, pimpin?”

14. Will Teedra Moses get more shine with her second album, TheYoung Lioness?

15. After apparently insulting Ronald “Please Call Me Mr. Biggs To Make Me Feel Younger” Isley at a radio studio, don’t you wish someone would take a belt to Bow Wow’s cocky ass?

16. How much do you want to bet Ciara can bench press Bow Wow?


17. Can we get a pick of Kanye West and Kool Mo Dee together already?

18. Will someone please stop Fonzworth Bentley from releasing an album?

19. Doesn’t Russell Simmons’ all soprano female group, Black Buddafly, sound a lot like the Chippetts?

20. Don’t you just want to throw a copy of It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back at Flava Flav’s head for “Flavor of Love?”

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Earlier in the week the world said its last goodbye’s to a woman who continued to chase the dream of equality. Coretta Scott King, wife of beloved Civil Rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was laid to rest on February 07th at the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta. Thousands of mourners gathered in celebration of her life and legacy.

Sadly, Fred Phelps, head of Westboro Baptist Church and known for his message that “God Hates Fags,” chose to picket the funeral because Mrs. King believed in equality for gay people. Picketing a funeral because you disagree with someone’s embracement of tolerance…doesn’t seem the least bit Christ-like.

Coretta Scott King was a human rights activist. She believed that discrimination in every form is wrong. She spoke against the proposed federal constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages. She championed for HIV/AIDS awareness. She took her husband’s message of equality and tolerance and applied it to current trends in bigotry. She is a humanitarian.

Not so says Westboro Baptist Church.

“WBC has warned Mrs. King for more than 10 year [sic] that by endorsing the homosexual agenda she was bringing down the wrath of God upon herself, her family and the black civil rights movement. She is an ingrate — unthankful and holy,” the church said in a press release.

“The homosexual agenda” – a trite little phrase indeed. Very akin to the “those Negroes just don’t know when to quit while they’re ahead” adages of yesteryear (or today, take your pick), but I digress.

There is no way for me to eloquently state this: If you believe Coretta Scott King is an ingrate, unthankful, and holy, then you’re a fucking moron. There’s pretty much no way around it. God, in every structured religion, is typically depicted as a spirit of love and peace. The second you argue that God hates any of his creations, it is you that is unholy, not thankful, and an ingrate.

As mentioned in the article, even King’s daughter Bernice is against homosexuality, having actually mobilized a formal protest in support of the constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages. She is free to feel the way she does as is Phelps.

However, to protest at someone’s funeral and to declare that she brought the wrath of God on herself is despicable. No true man of God would ever disrespect someone’s life in that manner, nor would that promote a message of hate in God’s name. Coretta Scott King deserves better.

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