Don’t Be Blind, Racism Exists

I wasn’t going to speak on the racist chant heard all over the world, but over the course of the last few days I feel as though I have no choice. I’m angry. The foolishness that unraveled at the University of Oklahoma with the fraternity members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon and their racist chant has made national news and affirmed what many people know to be true…racism is still alive and present.

What’s got me fuming is that black people can’t catch a break. I mean if you caught the fall out from “Morning Joe” you know that some conservatives blamed the foolishness that occurred on black people. Specifically black rappers. Because in their words, “The kids that are buying hip-hop it’s a white audience and they hear this over and over again.” So, they are justified right?

Heck no! They were wrong. Stop trying to look for an explanation for this racist chant that says:

“There will never be a ni**** SAE. You can hang him from a tree, but he can never sign with me. There will never be a ni**** SAE.” – CNN

Umm, what hip-hop song did you hear that from sir? None. Because that is not in a dang rap song. Jon Stewart, The Daily Show, responded by saying:

“Two things…the kids on that bus were not performing a rap song that they heard. They were gleefully performing one of their fraternity’s old…let’s call them anti-negro spirituals. Featuring a word that pre-dates rap and probably folk and thought. Black rappers did not introduce that word into the vernacular. And second of all how come when conservatives talk about African Americans they say “these people need to take responsibility for themselves pull up those pants and get a job? But when white people do something racist they’re all “you can’t blame them. How can those poor children know wrong from right when after being driven to madness by the irresistible power of the hippity-hoppity?” – Jon Stewart, The Daily Show

Thank you Jon Stewart. Stop blaming us for your racist attitudes and behaviors. Heck, Parker Rice admitted that the song was taught to them. Not by a black rapper or hip-hop, but their own fraternity.

“One of the students identified in a video of University of Oklahoma fraternity members reciting a racist chant said “the song was taught to us,” but Sigma Alpha Epsilon denied that the chant originated at the national organization, blaming the since-shuttered chapter.”- ABC News

Now, what I’m left wondering is where is the accountability? I get that people make mistakes. I get that people shouldn’t be judged for the rest of their lives for stuff they do, but that is life. That is the life we live now in this digital age. Your reckless behavior has people believing that you are a racist. Even if you are not, you will be judged as such.

Some of you may ask, “What about freedom of speech? Shouldn’t they be allowed to say what they want?” According to one of my classmates, yes. But, you have to face the fire, My classmate (who is one of the coolest men I know) said:

Freedom of speech guarantees them the legal right to sing their ignorant song last Saturday and every day for the rest of their lives. That by no means is a guarantee against all consequence.

No truer words. You can say what you want, but you can’t be surprised or pissed if people hate you, don’t hire you or call you a racist and wonder were you raised by animals. But, is freedom of speech the issue or is it the fact that there seems to be a systematic history of this fraternity having a “whites only” philosophy? Probably a combination of things.

We are only 50 years removed from Selma. But, you want to convince me that racism is dead? It’s not. You keep trying to blame these behaviors on isolated issues. They’re not.

But, I will just continue to fight for the injustices of the oppressed. Regardless of color. Without being ignorant to the fact that in this country where I have a black president, some people will still view me as another ni**ger.

So, I’m going to get off my soapbox now and leave you with this video by Eric Striker, the football captain of OU’s team:

Please click on the title if you are subscribing by email and can’t see this video. It is powerful.

September 11th – My Story

It was a warm day. I was a new transplant to NYC having only lived there for the last three months. I was still naive and afraid of the “big city” so I would wake up every day and make my fiance look at me to confirm that he knew what I was wearing when I walked out the door. You know in case, I got kidnapped and murdered on the way to or from work? Naive right?

I was wearing a red light weight sweater and navy blue pants that I had just bought from the mall inside of the north tower of the World Trade Center that weekend. I woke my fiance up to look at my outfit and hurried down the steps of our fifth floor walk up apartment to catch the #6 train downtown to Brooklyn. I was working for a company in Metrotech, downtown Brooklyn, right over the bridge. I walked in the office with a cup of coffee and began to check my messages.

As I began to work, I received a call from a billing agent for one of our health plans about the erroneous billing for terminated members. I was frustrated. We got off the phone and I walked to find my boss to tell him the news. He was walking towards his office as I was approaching him. His head was down with tears in his eyes. I began talking and I stopped and asked “Keith, what’s wrong? Is everything okay?” He said, “No, a plane just hit the World Trade Center.” I asked, “Someone, can’t fly?” He responded, “New York City has a no fly zone. This wasn’t an accident.” He told me to look out the window of the executive conference room.

I walked to the executive conference room and stood there with three other co-workers and saw the north tower on fire. It was just before 9 am and I stood there in shock. Five minutes later I saw the second plane hit. I screamed. People started yelling, “This is not an accident”. I was in shock and said, “I need to call my fiance”. I ran to the phone to try and call my house.

There was no dial tone. I kept pressing the button on the phone by the receptionist’s desk over and over. Trying to get a dial tone. Finally, I heard the dial tone and called home. My fiance answered, “Are you okay?” I responded, “Yeah, I think so. What is this?” He yelled, “I don’t know. Get out of Brooklyn now. Get home.” I responded, “How can I come home?” He responded, “I’m going to call Muhammad to try and get you to his house.” I replied, “Okay, I will try and call you back. I need to call my mom.”

I rushed back to the window to see what was going on. With tears running down my eyes I looked at the TV that someone had cut on in the conference room. Chaos. What was happening? I rushed to my desk to call my mother. I knew she was worried. I couldn’t get a dial tone. I pressed the button on my phone repeatedly praying for a dial tone. I heard the familiar tone and called my mom at work. She didn’t answer the phone. I left a message saying, “Mommy, it’s me. It’s chaos. They’re saying we’re under attack. I’m okay. I am at work. I don’t know how or when I will get home, but I’m safe. It’s hard trying to get a dial tone. But, I love you. I’m okay. Please tell everyone.” I hung up.

I called my sister and my brother-in-law answered. He was asleep. He had just gotten off work two hours prior. He worked overnight. I said, “William, it’s me. Please wake up. Please tell my sister that I’m okay. Please tell her I’m safe.” Sleepily he replied, “Okay.” I hung up. I ran back to the executive conference room and continued to watch with horror the burning towers. I looked at my watch. It was 10 am. Five minutes later, the second tower where I saw the plane hit collapsed. More screams and chaos.

New York City had already been shut down. Flights grounded. This was not happening. This was America. We are the strongest country in the world and we are under attack. I didn’t know about terrorism. It was a foreign concept. Terrorism was crazy militant folks killing kids in Oklahoma not bringing down planes on Wall Street. The fire, the debris, the sounds of sirens. The MTA buses that drove down the streets empty with passengers but filled with armed military men and women with machine guns. The dust, the smoke, the reality.

I will never forget the events that occurred on September 11, 2001. I witnessed history. What was meant to break us, made us stronger and we are survivors. So, say what you will about a country that has it’s faults, but in times of crises we become one family. United. New York taught me that I can overcome anything. You can rebuild. You will survive and you will be stronger because of it.


Mom’s and their Psychosis

My mom and I were discussing the Shaquan Duley tragedy last week. We had two different views on whether or not she had suffered a psychotic break. If you don’t know what happened, here’s a brief recap of the situation. Shaquan Duley is a 29 year old single black mother from South Carolina. On August 16, 2010, she rented a hotel room and suffocated her two young sons by covering their mouths with her hands. They were ages 2 and 1. She then buckled them into their car seats and drove her car into a lake. They were dead before they hit the water. The police pulled her car out of the lake and the boys bodies out of their car seats. The story being circulated in the media is that she has confessed to murdering her two sons due to pressures from her mother on her ability to not care for her children. She is facing two counts of murder.

As a mother of one, I can’t imagine the pain that this family must be going through. I’ve never been to a child’s funeral, and I hope I will never have to go to one. My son is 2 years old and I can’t imagine there being any reason that I could ever take his life. However, I don’t and can’t begin to pass judgement on this woman and her family. I don’t know what pushed Shaquan to the edge where she saw no way out of her situation, but to take her children’s lives. I just believe that she had a psychotic break. The medical dictionary ( describes psychotic break as:

Psychosis is a symptom or feature of mental illness typically characterized by radical changes in personality, impaired functioning, and a distorted or nonexistent sense of objective reality. Based on this definition, I would tend to believe that Shaquan is suffering from psychosis. Maybe she suffered from Post Postpartum Depression (PPD). I believe that if PPD is left untreated, it can last a lifetime. I am not saying she is not guilty of her crime, but if we look at the number of women who seem to loose their sense of reality and commit the most horrendous crimes, then we realize that she is one of many. Look at Andrea Yates, Susan Smith, Kenesia Berry, etc. There are many stories of women who kill their children. Many of these stories don’t make the national headlines, but they exist and we shouldn’t forget their fallen angels. Let’s not rush to pass judgement on this case or the next because as her lawyer, Carl B. Grant said: “I have often said in cases like this, where the emotions of the masses have been aroused so high, there is a thin line, truly, between lynching and a trial.

To read the article, double click on the below link: