Deaf Ears, A Letter Written to John Stossel In 2012: Political Correctness

  Latti Nerd Gangsta

doctanian.latti@gmail.com

Minnesota, MN

5/2012

John Stossel

john.stossel@foxnews.com

5/2012

     Dear John Stossel,

I’m an avid viewer of your show Mr. Stossel; you bring many of the views I agree with up on your show and you also allow open discussions/topics from those of varying ideologies and opinions. It’s refreshing, especially how you let many express themselves, whether it’s correct or wrong. One episode did give me pause, even though I completely understood why Pat Buchanan was on your show; his views were not popular or accurate pertaining to ethnicity, and MSNBC gave him the boot because of it. I feel that decision was wrong, and not wise; why? Because it gave his comments legs to stand on and all views should be expressed in order for us to educate each other. At the same time freedom of expression and speech doesn’t not protect you from rebuttals from others and possibly losing your job, because of it. There is nothing stopping Buchanan from starting his own podcast, so he can have his delusional rants on race and president Obama.

I would love it, if you had some scholars that could give Pat Buchanan a respectful rebuttal. I wish I could do it myself, but talking in front of a live audience in general scares me. Comments like Pat’s do give off a false notion; “Minorities didn’t have any or little contributing factors to this country,” it is a dangerous and false notion. People really do believe Anglo Saxons are the sole builders of this nation or minorities did minimum contributions.  People express this attitude even though it was Black labor and innovation that made the U.S into an economic powerhouse. I would like to give you the unheard side of history, if you don’t mind.

The Revolutionary war wasn’t just fought by Anglo Saxon Americans, and we don’t only have European Founders of this nation. The Native people were the founders of The New World and were just as creative and sophisticated as some of the Europeans who landed on their shores. In addition to the forgotten free people’s of the continent of Africa who also came to the New World. The sad reality is, not only White Americans do not know these facts but many Black Americans as well. It’s not taught in school.


(In reference to this video)

Revolutionary War 

James Armistead Lafayette

(more…)

Natural Hair Movement Continue to Rise

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Confederate Flag Controversy

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David Walker: One of the Greatest Appeals Ever Written

David Walker and Maria Stewart (Maria will be touched upon in a separate piece) was the precursor to Black nationalism and unity. David expressed how he felt about both the Republican and Democratic party; they didn’t care about the plight of African Americans. He felt that people of African descent had a right to be treated as equals under the law and deserved respect for building The United States of America. It wasn’t just African Americans free-labor that propelled the U.S into the forefront, but their ingenuity as well. Creating crops like rice, knowing how to work the land more efficiently than their European counter-parts. The few who came over as free peoples and the vast majority who came over as slaves brought needed skills with them. Skills that if left absent would have made America a footnote in history.

This invigorated freedom fighting spirit is what made David Walker public enemy number one in the U.S, because he didn’t sugarcoat anything to make it more palatable to White society.

http://docsouth.unc.edu/nc/walker/walker.html

People have to comprehend that the Puritan work ethic as Martin Luther King eloquently stated, didn’t build America; Black Americans did. Free Black Americans were taxed higher than any other ethnic group. (Which still lives on today in many areas of the U.S like Ferguson). Every facet within Black culture was marginalized, while being used as profit at the same time.

People of African descent did not sit back to leave their fate within the hands of White society. Unlike popular belief, the major reason why slavery was abolished was due to the tenacity of African Americans/Caribbean/South America. From the slave revolts, to the creation of Abolitionist, and to their uncompromising integrity.

Albert Einstein and Civil Rights

Albert Einstein, a German-born theoretical physicist and philosopher of science, was also a passionate, committed anti-racist and stood for and with some of the most brilliant minds of the 20th century.

In addition to developing the general theory of relativity, his mass-energy equivalence formula (better known as E = mc2), and positioning his thoughts into one of the pillars of modern physics, Einstein was also the winner of the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics.

It is his history within the African-American community that has not had much exposure in the soon-to-be 60 years since his passing. What has been revealed has come courtesy of Fred Jerome and Rodger Taylor’s incredible book Einstein on Race and Racism (Rutgers University Press, 2006).

Throughout the 154-page recounting of Einstein’s life and legacy within the civil rights movement, readers are impressed to learn that he not only stood against racism, but delivered speeches and supported initiatives for education and against lynching.

Einstein’s efforts were routinely ignored by the mainstream press, which only highlighted his activities that weren’t geared toward an anti-racist agenda, as his collaborations with the likes of Paul Robeson,Lincoln University, and Marian Anderson are oftentimes overlooked.

Einstein Felt Blacks Were Treated The Way Jews Were In Germany

According to Jerome and Taylor, the mutual pens behind Einstein on Race and Racism, “Einstein realized that African-Americans in Princeton, N.J., were treated like Jews in Germany.” Einstein’s response to the blatant racism and segregation was to cultivate meaningful relationships within the town’s African-American community. In the book, elder blacks who still live in the town recall Einstein as a “white-haired, disheveled figure” who casually and calmly rolled through their streets, oftentimes stopping to strike up conversation with the locals, and handing out sweets to their children. Einstein lived in Princeton from 1933 until his death in 1955.

The writer William Faulkner once said, “History isn’t just a reflection of what was it’s also a reflection of what is.”

http://www.techtimes.com/articles/34617/20150224/black-history-month-6-ways-albert-einstein-supported-civil-rights.htm

http://www.inquisitr.com/1923798/why-is-albert-einsteins-history-with-the-african-american-civil-rights-movement-forgotten/

http://www.snopes.com/politics/quotes/einstein.asp

Crossroads: A Story Inspired By Robert Johnson

https://i1.wp.com/image.tmdb.org/t/p/original/yz4Pc1FTiZNs8z1EhNZqocVJho7.jpg

I held my guitar, strumming the strings to hear its cool twang echo bounce through the forest as I stepped up the moonlit dirt road. I thought I was pretty good. Some said I had talent, but I was never talented enough to step on stage.

But that was about to change. I reached an intersection, where four worn roads came together. By this time, the forest was behind me and there was nothing but miles of sweeping Mississippi farmland coating the earth. The distant, pained howl of a hound lingered in the night air for a second before fading into silence.

A man stood in the center of the crossroads, dressed in a sharp gray suit with a fedora tipped sideways atop his head. The look in his dreary blue eyes sent a whirlwind of doubt ripping though my subconscious. I stopped within six feet of him; a lump filled my throat.

“I believe you know how this works, right?” he asked, his voice as pale as his skin.

I nodded and swallowed my uncertainty. I stepped closer to present my guitar to him.

His eyes widened. “I suppose not. We’ve changed policy, dear.”

Before I could raise an eyebrow, he slipped a hand into his jacket, pulled out a sleek pen and a sheet of paper— offering it to me. I placed my guitar on the ground, next to his briefcase, and took the instrument.

“Sign the dotted line, please,” he said.

The paper was strong enough to write on without need for a clipboard and it was glazed with legal jargon. Some words I couldn’t even pronounce, let alone understand.

“Midnight doesn’t last forever,” he said after a few minutes.

Fearless of sin, I scribbled my name in pen. The signature glowed a bright blue, but the ink started to sizzle and smolder to a coal black. There was a blank section below the signature line which filled itself in with words that formed my biography. Before I could speak, the man snatched the paper back and scanned it.

He arched an eyebrow. “Keisha Williams? Born in New Orleans, sixteen-years-old, and second daughter of James and Angela Williams?”

I nodded.

He bit his lip. “I see, and what do you plan to do when you’re a rich and famous musician?”

I paused for a second. “Charity,” I admitted.

A thin mocking smirk played on his lips. “For the hurricane, I assume.”

“Yes.”

He tore the paper to pieces and blew them into the humid air. Like fireflies, the pieces lit up the night sky before fading into darkness.

The man then reached into the breast-pocket of his jacket, taking out a red pack of cigarettes and a pack of matches. He shook a thin single out and plopped it between his lips. “Please don’t try to undo our work, Ms. Williams. You have a good evening.”

He struck a match and a bright flash nearly blinded me; my eyes slammed shut. The flames crackled like witches. When my eyes flicked open, he was gone. The dirt beneath me was covered in dark soot.

My guitar sat next to my sneakers as a pile of black ash. Left were the twisted metal strings protruding from the instrument’s charred remains.

Law school it is, then.

————————————–

Robert Johnson was the inspiration for this story. I felt it could’ve went in a better direction, but I see these shorts I’m posting as literary exercise than anything else. Decent to be written in a day I’d hope.

https://i0.wp.com/www.sacurrent.com/imager/king-of-the-delta-blues-robert-johnson/b/original/2401841/9337/cityguide48-1.jpg

Robert Johnson was a 30’s blue musician, passing away at the age of 27 and joining the legendary 27 Club (with Kurt Cobain and Jimi Hendrix), Johnson left a huge dent in music despite his short tenure in blues. In the 60’s his re-released works grew immensely popular and went on to inspire many white and black powerhouse artists of the day.

It’s always been according to legend that Johnson made a deal with the Devil to play the guitar the way he did. That, coupled with the fact little is known about Johnson’s life besides his music career and his early demise, and you have yourself the music blues legend.

Things like this “alleged footage” increase the spookiness factor.

The idea of the crossroads has always interested me. Standing alone by yourself, making a choice in which direction to go. Or hoping to meet something of supernatural origin to strike a deal that you’d soon regret.

Check out some of Johnson’s music:

Sources:

http://www.robertjohnsonbluesfoundation.org/biography

http://www.biography.com/people/robert-johnson-9356324

https://i0.wp.com/fc03.deviantart.net/fs45/i/2009/124/6/f/Robert_Johnson_by_jugodenaranjo.jpg

American Bandit + Black Literary Magazines

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From the darkness, I approached a woman with a daringness and audacity not seen since the Old West. Her brown eyes lit up. I flashed a gun and any intention of heroics died in an instant. I aimed the barrel at her chest and she froze; her silk green dress ruffled in the wind.

But those shock-stricken eyes were familiar. Thick, white lines of cocaine had nearly erased my memory, but not of her. I blinked and she came back in flashes. I remembered her short, curly black hair and her smooth, dark skin. Danielle, the woman I once loved.

My confident smirk faded and my head sunk low like broken ships into the cold harbor. A shadow lingered above me, not below. She said my name, asking if I needed help. The worry in her voice was a needle to my heart. I could feel the spots and blotches dotted along my arm. I needed help. I needed her.

I didn’t want help, though. Help strangely always arrived and handcuffed me. The blue bandits. Red and blue lights flicked in my eyes just thinking of them. I didn’t want to risk rotting. A drizzle of rain pattered on the worn sleeves of my jacket as I contemplated both lunacy and salvation.

“Just give me the money,” I said.

I closed my eyes held out my hand, expecting crumpled bills or a credit card on my palm. After a few seconds of silence, a soft hand wrapped around mine and squeezed gently. Whispers of support floated through the air.

I squeezed back.

——————————————————–

I’ve been reading more, so that’s inspired me to write more. Not my best work, fairly heavy-handed, but pretty decent for 15 minutes. I’ve been struggling between activist and artist for the past year now.

I’m leaning more towards artist.

Black Literary Magazines to check for:

http://www.unionstationmag.com/issues-3/

http://www.spectermagazine.com/

http://www.ebony.com/entertainment-culture/new-literary-magazine-spook-228#.VQh5M-FsWM8

The Boondocks: In Hindsight

Season 4 of the Boondocks was probably one of the best examples of Seasonal Rot, where a show gets progressively worse with each season. Which is sad, because the show had some of the cleverest writing, most beautiful animation, and likable characters I’ve seen in a long time.

For me, seasons 1 and 2 are perfection of comedic satire. While season 2 was more outlandish and less grounded in reality than Season 1, it captured the feel of the comic strip perfectly. The show constantly caused controvery from having Dr. King say the N-word to directly calling out BET in two episodes. Season 3 lost the social commentary, but not the humor.

Season 4, neither profound nor funny, was panned.

Aaron McGruder, the creator of the season had suddenly left. And once season 4 was announced, his lack of involvement was announced soon after:

“As the world now knows, The Boondocks will be returning for a fourth season, but I will not be returning with it. I’d like to extend my gratitude to Sony and Adult Swim for three great seasons”.

“I created The Boondocks two decades ago in college, did the daily comic for six years, and was showrunner on the animated series for the first three seasons. The Boondocks pretty much represents my life’s work to this point. Huey, Riley, and Granddad are not just property to me. They are my fictional blood relatives. Nothing is more painful than to leave them behind”.

“To quote a great white man, ‘Hollywood is a business’. And to quote another great white man, “Don’t hold grudges”.

“What has never been lost on me is the enormous responsibility that came with The Boondocks – particularly the television show and it’s relatively young audience. It was important to offend, but equally important to offend for the right reasons. For three seasons I personally navigated this show through the minefields of controversy. It was not perfect. And it definitely was not quick. But it was always done with a keen sense of duty, history, culture, and love. Anything less would have been simply unacceptable”.

“As for me, I’m finally putting a life of controversy and troublemaking behind me with my upcoming Adult Swim show, BLACK JESUS”. –

Source

In my opinion, either 1 of 2 things happened:

1: He lost the rights in a dispute.

2: He sold the Boondocks to move on to other projects.

Either one is unfortunate, but based on his “don’t hold grudges” comment, I’m guessing he lost the rights to his show.

The Boondocks was a property that could’ve been handed down to the right people, and could’ve gone in so many different directions.

Take the concept is that Huey is in love for example. Whether it’s with Jasmine or another cynical radical revolutionary remains to be seen. Perhaps, never to be seen. There are probably hundreds of writers slamming their heads on the keyboard. A show that had so much more to dive into.

There were entire arcs from the comics that could’ve made great material for the show, yet were completely abandoned. Like when Huey and Caesar (who was never introduced in the TV show) tried to create an alternative media outlet.

Or Jasmine’s struggle with racial identity.

Or day to day racial prejudice.

I haven’t even bother to watch Black Jesus, not because I think it’s bad. But because it truly seems like this one gag of “how funny would a black Jesus be?”. Same with Black Dynamite, while hilarious, it’s often void of the social consciousness that the Boondocks has (or had). And because it’s a period piece, you don’t get to see much outside 70’s African American culture. Whereas the Boondocks is the something where you can comment on African American culture, history, and progression as a whole.

This is why, personally, I’m always wary when people of color decide to sell off their ideas and brands. Like when the natural hair company and African American owned Carol’s Daughter was bought by L’Oreal Monpolizes and cooperate is something that can screw over anyone of any ethnic background, but in a country where minorities already own so little, for once, I’d like to see this trend end. Something becoming mainstream and then taken over.

On the bright side, these rights can be bought back,

But for now, the Boondocks has become a parody of itself.

Sources

http://colorlines.com/archives/2014/03/aaron_mcgruder_sorta_explains_why_he_left_the_boondocks.html

http://blogs.indiewire.com/shadowandact/aaron-mcgruder-finally-explains-why-he-left-the-boondocks

http://www.okayplayer.com/news/aaron-mcgruder-not-involved-boondocks-fourth-season.html

http://www.npr.org/blogs/codeswitch/2014/10/24/358263731/a-black-cosmetic-company-sells-or-sells-out

Africans and The Making of the Americas: Part 4, Agriculture

There was a desperate need for African agricultural skills in the Americas.

Diverse groups of Africans from the coastal regions were highly skilled at clearing and cultivating forest land, an expertise that was unknown to Europeans at the time. One African technique involved burning delineated sections of forest and later using the ash for fertilizer, this had to be done carefully. Many also knew how to raise crops in semi-tropical and tropical soils; high temperatures and heavy rains cause nutrients to seep out more quickly than they do in temperate climates.

The complex art of rice cultivation practiced by West Africans for centuries rescued the U.S. The technique and technology used for rice cultivation was unknown by Europeans outside of southern Italy at the time. Rice cultivation was one of the most difficult types of work one could do, working in knee-deep water every day. By 1750, South Carolina became the rice-growing center of North America; rice was the colony’s major export. Other crops introduce by Africans include, black-eyed peas, pumpkins, sesame seeds, kola nuts, cotton, yams, sorghum, muskmelon, and water-melon.

The agricultural skills of Africans and African-Americans garnered extraordinary wealth for the Americas and Europe.

List of Crops Introduced by Africans/African-Americans

black-eyed peas

pumpkins

sesame seeds

kola nuts

cotton

yams

sorghum

muskmelon

water-melon

okra

tania

kidney beans

lima beans

millet

red peas

Source:

http://www.nypl.org/locations/schomburg

http://slaverebellion.org/index.php?page=crops-slave-cuisines

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/03/140301-african-american-food-history-slavery-south-cuisine-chefs/

 Part 1: http://sincereignorance.com/2015/01/27/africans-and-the-making-of-the-americas-part-1-exploration/

Part 2: http://sincereignorance.com/2015/01/27/africans-and-the-making-of-the-americas-part-2-mining/

Part 3: http://sincereignorance.com/2015/02/03/africans-and-the-making-of-the-americas-part-3-herding/

African American Economics: Consuming

All credit goes to Afric Network.

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