Friday, February 29, 2008

Michael Jackson Selling NeverLand Ranch?

Brotherdoc just read that Michael Jackson is selling NeverLand Ranch. He is also having trouble paying the mortgage on the Jackson family mansion in Encino. I know the housing crisis has reached epidemic proportions. Thousands of people are losing their homes daily. But the King of Pop!! Times must be really tough when Mr. “Thriller” can’t make ends meet.

I hope Mike doesn’t have to sell the Elephant Man’s bones because I know how dear they are to him. Bubbles the chimp may have to get a part-time job. Maybe he could go work for the UniverSoul Circus. I'm sure Zeke could find something for him to do.

I should have known there was a problem years ago when Mike could only afford one glove.

I guess all those child molestation settlements caught up with him.

Mike, keep your head up, and if you need some spare change just let Brotherdoc know. We can put your picture on a cup at the local Zippy Mart and ask for donations.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

NFL Combine "Slave" Auction

While watching the NFL combine on television today, an uneasy feeling came over me. The combine bares a strong resemblance to a slave auction. Watching (mostly) Black men in various stages of undress, run, jump and get measured by (mostly) White men, conjures up images of African slaves on the auction block.

I understand that these young men stand to become multimillionaires depending on their draft positions, but swapping the cotton field for the football field does not change the relationship that these Black men will have with their wealthy White owners.

The NFL combine is quite dehumanizing and more befitting a race horse or show dog rather than a Black man.

(image on bottom: slave at auction)
(image on top: Maurice Stovall at NFL combine)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

update-China and the Genocide in Darfur

Brotherdoc would like to take a moment to bring everyone up to date on a story written about in an earlier blog. It appears that, after Steven Spielberg resigned his position as the Beijing Olympic artistic advisor and I wrote about this issue in my blog, China has started to reconsider its stance on Sudan. According to the New York Times, “China has begun shifting its position on Darfur, stepping outside its diplomatic comfort zone to quietly push Sudan to accept the world’s largest peacekeeping force, diplomats and analysts say.”

Brotherdoc understands that this is not much, but at least it is a first step.

Smiley Hating on Obama

Tavis Smiley is upset at Sen. Barack Obama because Obama did not attend Smiley’s State of the Black Union meeting held in New Orleans. Smiley has used The Tom Joyner Morning Show to put Obama on blast for not giving Smiley (though not the meeting) due reverence.

Obama had campaign appearances that he could not reschedule to attend Smiley’s event. Brotherdoc could be wrong, but campaigning for President of the United States may be just a tad bit more important at this particular moment.

Brotherdoc understands how important the State of the Black Union is to Smiley, and to Black people. But attacking Obama for not attending is entirely inappropriate. I am disappointed in Tavis Smiley especially since I once held him in such high esteem for his work on BET, NPR and his nightly talk show. Smiley’s criticisms of Obama strike me as childish, and self-serving.

Obama sent Smiley a letter expressing his regret for a tight schedule. Obama even offered to have his wife, Michelle Obama, represent him. But even a future first lady was not good enough for Smiley. Smiley has made it clear that it was either his way or no way at all.

Smiley has spent the last several months hating on Obama. So much so that one wonders if Smiley thinks that he is the voice of Black America. For all his hating, Smiley has been flooded with protest. Smiley says he has even received death threats against his family. I do not agree with the threats against people’s lives. I do, however, find it refreshing that so many people have taken Smiley to task, while also voicing their support for Obama.

As for Smiley, Brotherdoc does not see that much has changed since last year’s State of the Black Union meeting. If Obama is not elected President, I do not think that much will change for the better before next year’s State of the Black Union meeting either. So Tavis, please chill on the hating!!

(image: Tavis Smiley)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

black is the New Black

While reading the Washington Post today, I came across a very interesting article by Rick Weiss entitled, “Their Deepest, Darkest Discovery.” The first line of the article read, “Black is getting Blacker.” Of course this piqued my interest because Brotherdoc is always looking for thoughtful discussions on blackness. Apparently, scientists have created something that they are calling "Super Black", which “is a paper-thin material that absorbs 99.955 percent of the light that hits it”. According to the story, if your body is covered with this “blackness,” you become invisible. Brotherdoc is not sure how much money or time was spent on this "creation", but I could have told them that for free. In fact Ralph Ellison wrote about this invisibility caused by “blackness” over 50 years ago.

For those readers that do not have time to read Weiss’ article, Brotherdoc has taken it upon himself to interview the esteemed men of science who have provided us with “Super Black.”

Brotherdoc: So, what is "Super Black"?

Scientist Shawn-Yu Li: “Nothing comes back to you. It's very, very, very dark.”

Brotherdoc: I see. So, once you go Black you never come back!

Scientist Gerald Fraser: “ The more black the material the better”.

Brotherdoc: Um hmmm. My momma always told me, the blacker the berry the sweeter the juice.

Scientist John Pendry: “The big issue is persuading the light to go in there in the first place”

Brotherdoc: Oh, so what are you saying!? You don’t deliver to those neighborhoods?

Scientist Shawn-Yu Li: “[We are] providing a blacker background to detect faint stars.”

Brotherdoc: Gotcha. Faint stars taking up blackness like Pat Boone, Elvis Pressley, Justin Timberlake, Vanilla Ice, and Alan Thicke’s kid.

Guys before you do any more studies about “blackness,” please give Brotherdoc a call, I can save you a lot of time and money.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Think About It?!

It seems that some Black Congressional members committed to Senator Clinton are having second thoughts. There are indications that some are starting to feel the pressure to reconsider their Clinton endorsements. According to
One Black supporter of Clinton, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri, said he remains committed to her. "There's nothing going on right now that would cause me to" change, he said.
He said any suggestion that elected leaders should follow their voters "raises the age old political question. Are we elected to monitor where our constituents are ... or are we to use our best judgment to do what's in the best interests of our constituents."

He said Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois had recently asked him "if it comes down to the last day and you're the only superdelegate? ... Do you want to go down in history as the one to prevent a black from winning the White House?

"I told him I'd think about it," Cleaver
Think about it?!?" Black folks have lost their minds!!!

Brotherdoc will be praying for Bro. Cleaver.

(image: Rep. Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Thank You for Your Non-Support

Brotherdoc is in a quandary when it comes to the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. The question I am grappling with is—why aren’t Black “leaders” supporting Barack Obama? Instead, many are endorsing Hillary Clinton, or they are silent on Obama. Interestingly enough, Obama seems to be doing just fine without them.

The conclusion that Brotherdoc has come to is that these Black leaders are out of touch with their constituents. Their constituents don’t seem to like the race-baiting tactics of “Miss Hillary,” as John Lewis affectionately calls Clinton. Their constituents no longer want to defer their dreams. They are saying that the time is now, as Shirley Franklin reminded us, a Black president is not a “fairytale.”

Most interesting to Brotherdoc is the fact that these Black leaders’ endorsements of Clinton has ironically made Obama a more desirable candidate among a wide variety of Americans .

I understand that “Black leader” is a nebulous term, and that Black people are not a monolithic group. But, the lack of support from elected officials is curious. Those expressing their opposition to Obama include: Black Caucus members Maxine Waters (CA), Corrine Brown (FL), Gregory Meeks (NY), Edolphus Towns (NY), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX), Emanuel Cleaver (MO, Stephanie Tubbs Jones (OH), Alcee Hastings (FL), Kendrick Meek (FL), Dianne Watson (CA), Laura Richardson (CA), David Scott (GA), John Lewis(GA), Donna Christian-Christensen (VI), Yvette Clark (NY), Charles Rangel (NY), and Julia Carson (IN).

We should take note that in Alabama, none of the four elected Black State representatives supported Obama, but he won the state with a rousing victory. The same thing happened in South Carolina. Eleven of the thirteen Black elected officials in South Carolina supported a candidate other than Obama, and he kicked butt there too. Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin was the ONLY one, out of eight Black elected officials, in Georgia to support Obama. He won Georgia handily as well.

These elected officials have a lot of explaining to when it is time for them to seek re-election. It is time for these officials to get on the same page as the people that they elected to represent. They should lead or get out of the way of progress.

Civil Rights pioneer Andrew Young has questioned Obama’s blackness, and went as far as to imply that former president Bill Clinton was more Black because, in Young’s opinion, Clinton has “gone with more Black women”. Julian Bond, current NAACP Chairman, has written a letter on NAACP letterhead to Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean urging him to seat the delegates from Michigan and Florida. As you may or may not know, all of the Democratic candidates agreed not to campaign in either Michigan or Florida because the Democratic Party decided to punish those two states for changing the dates of their respective primaries. In fact, neither Barack Obama nor John Edwards were even on the ballot in Michigan and 37% voted “uncommitted” rather than support Hillary Clinton. I do not think that it is a coincidence that Mr. Bond is making this recommendation because these two uncontested states went to Hillary Clinton and not Barack Obama.

The list of prominent Black people endorsing Hillary Clinton also includes: record producer Quincy Jones, Robert Johnson, founder of BET, Rep. William Gray former president of the United Negro College Fund, Douglas Palmer Mayor of Newark, NJ, former Mayor of Philadelphia, John Street, Bishop T. Lane Grant, and Florida Attorney Willie Gary.

We are still waiting to see which candidate Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson will choose to endorse. The Jackson household appears to be split at the moment with Jesse Jackson, Jr. firmly in the Barack Obama corner and Jacqueline Jackson, Jesse Jackson’s wife, doing commercials for Senator Clinton.

I don't know what these folks are thinking about, but as Chris Rock said when introducing Barack Obama at a recent campaign event, “I would sure hate to be on the wrong side of history.”

I second that!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

China and the Genocide in Darfur

Brotherdoc would like to take a moment to applaud the recent decision made by film director Stephen Spielberg to withdraw from his position as artistic advisor for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Mr. Spielberg’s decision was in response to the Chinese government’s complicity in the continued genocide being carried by the government in Sudan. China purchases 2/3 of the oil produced in Sudan and in exchange China sells weapons to the Sudanese government. The Darfur region of Sudan has already witnessed the murder of over 200,000 and the displacement of 2.5 million people. In a BBC news report, Spielberg "accused China of not doing enough to pressure Sudan to end the ‘continuing human suffering’ in the troubled western Darfur region.”

The Chinese government has yet to respond to Mr. Spielberg’s withdrawal, but I doubt that the Chinese government will be pleased with the direct connection being made concerning their involvement with the Sudanese government and the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of innocent people. I believe that it is imperative that others join Mr. Spielberg in pressuring China to reconsider its support of the government in Sudan, especially now that the world will be turning its attention to Beijing this summer.

It is time that we all joined Stephen Spielberg, along with Don Cheadle and George Clooney, and raise our voices to stop the terrible tragedy happening right before our eyes.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Can We Apologize for Slavery?

“For the pain, suffering and hurt of these Stolen Generations, their descendants and for their families left behind we say sorry...we apologise for the laws and policies of successive parliaments and governments that have inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these our fellow Australians.”

Brotherdoc wants you to note that not only has Australia apologized to its Black/Aboriginal citizens for its racism, but the country has also confessed to the subsequent discriminatory laws and policies that have worked to continue to harm Blacks.

Brotherdoc wants people to know that a few states apologizing for slavery in the U.S. is not enough. Perhaps the U.S. needs to follow Australia's lead. First, the federal government needs to issue an apology on behalf of the country. Second, the U.S. needs to also acknowledge that every decade since slavery discriminatory laws and policies have been legalized that have worked to harm Blacks. Legal discrimination did not die with the Emancipation Proclamation. Remember:

Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. (19 How.) 393 (1856) "So far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect."

Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 (1896)--
"Separate But Equal"

Jim Crow-Racial caste system from 1870-1960 which relegated Blacks to second-class citizens