Friday, May 28, 2010

#64. No Loitering Signs

Loitering. Nationwide, businesses are confounded with the problem of individuals who have the apparent goal of standing around pointlessly with no desire to purchase any goods, but to merely engage in prolonged periods of fixed lingering.

No attempt is made to make a transaction by these loiterers, but shuffling around endlessly causing discomfort to those who are shopping is an unsettling byproduct of such behavior.

In every effort to maintain positive relations with the law, businesses erect "No Loitering" signs that are attempts to discourage the persistent lurking of unwanted individuals who make no effort to be called customers.

By law, businesses cannot discriminate against would be customers by the basis of their race, ethnicity or religion, but placing "No Loitering" signs in clear visibility is an indicator of that companies uneasiness with people of color.

Policies of "No Loitering" are in place at most malls across America, restaurants and bars and even theme parks:

Walt Disney World ejected four of Florida State University's top football prospects from Downtown Disney last weekend under its anti-gang, no-loitering policy.

The four, including the son of a Disney manager and the son of a Philadelphia civil-rights lawyer, were banned for life from Disney World property late Friday.

A Disney spokeswoman said the youths were expelled because they had been loitering for an extended period and refused to leave when Disney security told them to.

Parents of the youths wonder whether there's another reason: They're black.

"I keep thinking to myself, `This is crazy,' " said Mark Nugent, stepfather of Vincent Williams, football star at Ridge Community High School in Polk County. "Once they realized they weren't gangbangers, why didn't they let them go? They took their pictures. They fingerprinted them. And treated them like common criminals."

Because of concerns about a rise in ganglike activity at Downtown Disney lately, loitering or "any other inappropriate behavior" by groups of youths is not going to be tolerated, spokeswoman Jacquee Polak said Tuesday.

"No Loitering" signs are legal because the business owner is not practicing discrimination against customers, but preempting thievery by singling out shiftless layabouts who make no effort to part with their cash.

Black people often bear the brunt of "No Loitering" signs because of their willingness to travel in packs, which can be mistaken for gangs. Across the nation, discernible patterns of petty theft, crime and destructive decisions are attributed to Black people, which makes business owners weary of their presence.

The Flash Mobs in Kansas City where fueled by a seemingly uncontrollable flame of Black loiterers:

A growing number of youths had begun loitering on the Plaza in recent weeks with trouble erupting Easter weekend.

Police estimated 300 to 500 youths gathered April 3, caused fights and displayed gang signs. Police used pepper spray to break up several fights. Officers arrested a 17-year-old in a car with a gun.

Loitering drives away qualified customers who find the presence of such vagrants a sign of potential trouble and a dis-settling shopping experience. Worse, the nightclub experience for Black people is often objectionable due to an unpleasantly frequent derelict who is participating in loitering outside the club:

City officials have formed a committee and are crafting new rules to address concerns of violence and other problems at local nightclubs, in the wake of a deadly shooting at the Everyday Club and Lounge.

Located at 1603 Seventh Ave. N., the Everyday Club and Lounge Thursday stood vacant and silent, closed in the aftermath of the violence.

And nearby residents were pleased at the emptiness.

"My kids can't come out and play, since I've been here," Lashonda Jordan, who has lived in apartments across from the club since August 2009, said, noting she was "glad" the club was closed. "It's ridiculous ... Black, white, no matter. It's ridiculous how people are acting."

Quentin Antonio "Que" Spencer, 20, of 455 Merry Valley Drive in Columbus, was killed in an April 20 shooting at the club, in which an unnamed suspect opened fire, also injuring three others...

The committee also will be requesting bar owners sign agreements giving the CPD permission to "ride through" problem areas and warn loiterers and people engaged in potentially dangerous or problem behavior around the clubs for first offenses, with second offenders to be "picked up" by the CPD.

And "no loitering signs" will be placed on club buildings, Smith added.

These signs are aimed specifically at Black people, in a legal attempt by business owners to dissuade prospective miscreants from adding to the already overburdened penal system in America.

In Washington DC, an anti-loitering bill was introduced to discourage such behavior:
A bill criminalizing gatherings of more than two people in DC is drawing outrage and opposition from community and labor activists, as well as civil rights advocates. “This is a clear and blatant violation of the Constitutionally-guaranteed right of the American people to assemble,” said Metro Council President Jos Williams. “That it’s been introduced in the nation’s capitol is a travesty of justice." The Hot-Spot No-Loitering bill, recently introduced by Councilmember Jim Graham, would empower the DC police to declare a “hotspot zone” at any time, making it a crime to gather with two or more people on public property and giving the police the power to arrest people in the targeted zone with $300 fine and/or 180 days in jail.
Washington DC is more than 65 percent Black. Worse, the problem of Black crime is found nationwide and is not geographically isolated. In some cases, incidences of loitering by Black people can get so bad, entire malls must shut down in an effort to stave off financial losses:

Highland Mall closed early on Saturday, a day when the Texas Relays were in town, "because the safety and security of our shoppers and retailers is our top priority," according to an e-mail from the mall's general manager. Because the Texas Relays attract visitors who are mostly African American, the mall closing sends the message that Austin does not welcome their business. But the reaction from the blogosphere was mixed, with some defending the mall's action as prudent in the face of an unwelcome invasion of rowdy teenagers.

The struggle to racially integrate lunch counters in the 1960s made history. But equally important was the struggle to integrate shopping. The Highland Mall debacle shows that society is far from achieving that goal.

During the civil rights era, equal access to stores was high on the list of demands for racial justice. Before Jim Crow laws were repealed, many stores restricted their facilities to whites only. Black customers often were not allowed to try on clothes, eat at lunch counters, or use public restroom facilities in stores.

Small towns even implement "No Loitering" policies, to the bereavement of Black parents:
After her 30 year old son was arrested for loitering at Simms Street Apartments on Friday, April 16, mama was not happy. But it was apparently the Public Safety Viper Team she was angry at berating one officer and telling him he was doing the work of the white man.

Officer Bradley told several persons they would have to move along. One male, identified as "Durrell", looked over at Calvin Butler, sitting in a chair in front of a building, and said "Xxck these motherxxxxers, lets go". Sergeant James Dollar warned the male that his conduct was disorderly, and that he could be arrested, especially with the numerous small children in the area.

Sergeant Dollar advised "Durrell" and Calvin Butler to move along and leave the property immediately. Durrell continued to curse and be belligerent but walked on to an apartment porch. Butler, who had a white cup full of beer in his hand, was muttering and arguing with officers saying he did not want to be there anyway.

Loitering is a grave problem because it drives away respectable business, potentially bringing about financial ruination to said owner and depriving a community of an important part of the local economy.

Of course, some businesses employ low-tech measures instead of nasty "No Loitering" signs through the advantageous playing of classical music to ward off loiterers:

The market started using classical music about three years ago to repel loiterers and vandals from their buildings. Senn said the method appears to be working. Since he began playing the music, Senn said he hasn't called police to the lot as much, although the Seattle Police Department wasn't able to confirm that.

Businesses and transportation systems use classical, opera and country music as a crime-fighting tool around the globe.

Stuff Black People Don't Like includes no loitering signs, because Black people are painfully aware that they speak directly to them. Well, and Jay and Silent Bob.

If dress codes can't keep Black people out, "No Loitering" signs will.

One Game Changes Everything

If you watch ESPN, you have seen this tag line for the 2010 World Cup quite frequentlyOne Game Changes Everything.

The idea behind this marketing strategy is to imply that with the first game being played in South Africa (on June 11) all is changed, changed utterly.

The continent of Africa has never hosted a World Cup and curiously, the only nation capable of fielding this global event is South Africa. But 16 years removed from international boycotts levied by the entire world, South Africa was graciously allowed to formalize normal trading relations once minority-rule by those who created that nation was supplanted with majority-rule by those who had the good fortune of living on that continent in vastly superior numbers.

Now, we are about to find out how wonderful life in South Africa is now, thanks to the benevolent rule of Africans over that of the malicious reign of terror imposed by the white minority called Apartheid. We’ve discussed South Africa before at SBPDL, but next week you’ll be treated to the most in-depth preview of the coming World Cup in South Africa available anywhere.

Bloomberg Businessweek dedicated a cover story to South Africa, the impending World Cup and the current standard of living that citizens of that nation enjoy. For all the praise that is heaped in the general direction of Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu, the macabre underbelly of the actual day-to-day struggle of life in South Africa is shockingly sadistic:

The couple is thoroughly conversant in South Africa's challenges: crime, poor schools, a recent outbreak of anti-immigrant violence, political corruption. They recount headlines about black students outside of Cape Town who went on strike because their class size of 60-plus prevented anyone from learning anything. "It can be discouraging at times," says Eberhard.

They also know that somewhere between 500,000 and 1 million white South Africans, depending on whose statistics you believe, now live in Britain. Some have gone seeking opportunity; others have fled what Young calls "the more difficult aspects of being a young democracy." Crime is high on that list. The U.S. State Dept. still ranks South Africa as among the most crime-ridden nations on the African continent, reporting that it has "the highest incidence of reported rape in the world."

The individual behind this site has read every book possible on the so-called “Beautiful Game” that Americans call soccer and the world calls futbol. Trying to understand a sport so many Americans – and Black people in particular – shy away would difficult, were it not for the bountiful supply of books that have been published recently that explain the game to a laymen and adds further proof to the thesis of this site: without sports, Black people would have absolutely no positive role models.

One Game Changes Everything. If the World Cup in South Africa goes off without a hitch, despite the fact that The Wall Street Journal has already published reports on the melancholy ticket sales and interest in traveling to the ‘Rainbow Nation”, then what is gained?

Will the Disingenuous White Liberal's of the world smile if the World Cup goes off without any problems, since it was FIFA President Joseph “SeppBlatter who pushed for the tournament to be hosted on the Dark Continent:

But the FIFA chief said his first task was to deliver a successful World Cup in South Africa in June and July.
"The World Cup in South Africa is my World Cup," Blatter said.

"I wanted the World Cup to go to Africa and I have to see it through. The international media, especially in Europe, are watching me.''

Blatter told The USA Today that his great hope for the games is that Nelson Mandela can be present for them, since the current state of South Africa is his legacy:

But, as FIFA president Sepp Blatter has suggested all along, South Africa 2010 could have a lasting effect throughout Africa, not just in the host country.

"We can all applaud Africa," Blatter said way back in 2004, when this cup was awarded. "The victor is football. The victor is Africa."

Blatter remains hopeful Nelson Mandela will be healthy enough to attend the opening game at Soccer City, one of 10 stadiums being used in nine cities. South Africa's most famous citizen campaigned hard to bring the World Cup to his country, and tears of joy filled his eyes when it won the tournament.

But Mandela is 91, and rarely makes public appearances anymore.

"We cross fingers that Nelson Mandela ... can realize this dream. And his dream would be to be at the opening of the World Cup," Blatter said. "It will be his World Cup."

Already, reports of strikes within the transport and electrical industries threaten the peace and harmony of the World Cup. And we are still two weeks away from the first kick. Security for the games has been a huge concern, as South Africa had 19,000 murders in 2008 (50 per day). The Telegraph in England published a story on May 28 in an attempt to downplay the violence in South Africa:

Much has been said in the build-up to the World Cup about South Africa's crime problem and the threats to visiting supporters. While crime is a serious problem here, it needs to be put in perspective. The country's murder rate has decreased from 67.9 per 100,000 in 1995 to 37.3 in 2009. That is an overall decrease of about 44 per cent. Of course, this figure is still extremely high when compared to the global homicide rate of 7.6 per 100,000 and, in real terms, amounts to almost 50 murders per day. However, in almost 80 per cent of murders, the victim and killer are known to each other – in other words, it is within a social context that poses no direct threat to strangers. The same can be said for other so-called "social fabric" crimes such as rape, assault and attempted murder.

House robbery, business robbery and car hijackings are currently South Africa's biggest crime threat, and attempts to address this problem have not been very successful. However, with the possible exception of car hijackings, they, too, pose little threat to tourists. Visitors who rent cars may face the same risks as South Africans as far as hijackings are concerned, but it should also be pointed out that during the six weeks of the Cricket World Cup in South Africa in 2003, when hijackings were more or less at the same level, no hijackings connected to the tournament were reported.

Probably the biggest potential threats to tourists are street robbery and muggings, which still constitute about 60 per cent of all aggravated robberies. According to the police's annual report for 2008-2009, firearms were used in 57 per cent of these crimes and knives in 38 per cent, but these weapons were mostly used to threaten and not to cause physical harm.

The Los Angeles Times published an excellent guide to those traveling to South Africa to view the World Cup and stated that despite exorbitant crime and AIDS rates, it is still beautiful country. Of course, this website pointed out that the eyes of the world are unprepared for the sight of corruption they will soon see when the cameras are on and broadcasting from South Africa.

Next week, the preview of the upcoming World Cup in South Africa begins. A clearer picture of what will unfold there will not be found anywhere else. We are reminded of the movie Invictus when we hear the phrase, One Game Changes Everything.

That film ends with the 1995 rugby victory, but forgets to show the viewer what followed that wonderful moment of reconciliatory congratulations and hope for racial unity. Perhaps the 2010 World Cup will provide a most apt sequel:

Blacks for the most part still live in poverty, and the gap between rich and poor has only grown since 1994.

The end of apartheid was also the beginning of a national experiment in building unity. Sport has been used to move the process. Recalled by last year’s Oscar-nominated film “Invictus,” black President Nelson Mandela made a statement at the 1995 rugby World Cup final by wearing the green and gold jersey of the Springboks, the country’s national rugby team many blacks associated with the most racist whites.

Pillay, a researcher at South Africa’s Human Science Research Council, said the World Cup “now is the emotional glue that holds the country together.”

While soccer fans might be shocked to see beggars — black and white — outside gleaming shopping malls, South Africans are used to living in two worlds at once.

Think of the legions of black maids who leave shacks without running water or electricity, boarding buses before dawn to travel into white areas to clean palatial homes.

Johannesburg businessman Mandla Sibeko summed up the contrasts: “South Africa, we’re a crazy nation.

“The world is going to be amazed at how hopeful and how patient South Africans are.”

One Game Changes Everything. Join us next week to find out why.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Is Racism a Mental Illness?

SBPDL travels a lot. Having the opportunity to visit virtually every state in the union grants a unique perspective to the tastes and peculiarities of Black people in geographically diverse areas.

Recently while waiting for a connection in the surprisingly clean Detroit Metro Airport, an advertisement was played on the bothersome giant flat screens in the terminal that have the menacing quality of Orwell's dystopia.

That advertisement in question featured CNN's Jane-Velez Mitchell defiantly claiming "racism is a mental illness." Here is the transcripts from the show in which that quip has its origins:
But also from a psychological perspective, realize that the person exhibiting the racism is the person with the problem. The person exhibiting the racism is the person who has low self-esteem because otherwise, there would be no reason for them to try to elevate themselves in this manner over someone else. And that essentially, in my humble opinion, racism is a form of mental illness, and we have got to start really treating it as a sickness.
An avid reader of zombie literature, the writer behind SBPDL looked around and realized that we already live in a world where the zombie apocalypse has occurred. Watching individuals shift aimlessly through the airport with little drive or motivation and displaying an incurable level of fecklessness is one form of proof, but the slavish mentality that people watch television in airports and unwittingly nod their heads at such statements is further justification of the existence of the apocalypse we all now live through.

If 'racism is a mental illness' why did Newsweek devote an entire article to bemoaning the recent scientific findings that babies notice racial differences?:

In our new book, NurtureShock, we argue that many modern strategies for nurturing children are backfiring—because key twists in the science have been overlooked. Small corrections in our thinking today could alter the character of society long term, one future citizen at a time. The way white families introduce the concept of race to their children is a prime example.

For decades, it was assumed that children see race only when society points it out to them. However, child-development researchers have increasingly begun to question that presumption. They argue that children see racial differences as much as they see the difference between pink and blue—but we tell kids that "pink" means for girls and "blue" is for boys. "White" and "black" are mysteries we leave them to figure out on their own...

How do researchers test a 6-month-old? They show babies photographs of faces. Katz found that babies will stare significantly longer at photographs of faces that are a different race from their parents, indicating they find the face out of the ordinary. Race itself has no ethnic meaning per se—but children's brains are noticing skin-color differences and trying to understand their meaning.

When the kids turned 3, Katz showed them photographs of other children and asked them to choose whom they'd like to have as friends. Of the white children, 86 percent picked children of their own race. When the kids were 5 and 6, Katz gave these children a small deck of cards, with drawings of people on them. Katz told the children to sort the cards into two piles any way they wanted. Only 16 percent of the kids used gender to split the piles. But 68 percent of the kids used race to split the cards, without any prompting. In reporting her findings, Katz concluded: "I think it is fair to say that at no point in the study did the children exhibit the Rousseau type of color-blindness that many adults expect."

As has already been established here at SBPDL, only white people can be racist. Never mind the near monolithic support Black people gave Mein Obama in 2008's Presidential Election, nor the near perfect approval rating that Black people give Zod Obama today (as every other definable group bails on him, even Disingenuous White Liberals), only white people have the innate capacity to be racist.

This is a healthy reaction to the zombie apocalypse that threatens to overwhelm us all, the banding together of a distinct group to protect group interests. White people, when faced with the zombie apocalypse around them have decided to endorse Ayn Rand as their antidote and embrace the cult of the individual.

There are some who make the claim that race is a societal construct and that the pernicious manner in creating division within the "we are all one" world by stating race is a biological fact is not only erroneous, but worse - evil.

Regardless of which you take, one truth must be stated: the inhabitants of modern-day Detroit are a socially-destructive people. Worse, cities don't spring forth like Athena from the head of Zeus. They are designed and inhabited by people, built and maintained by individuals working together for the good of the collective - not just the economic benefit of the individual.

Reason magazine recently ran a cover story on how to save America's dying cities by dispensing libertarian advice on improving the quality of life in Cleveland:

Since its population hit a high point in 1950, Cleveland has lost more than half of its residents and essentially all of its economic and cultural capital. The Rapture happened here, but instead of going to the bosom of God in heaven, the elect ended up in Houston, Charlotte, Los Angeles, New York, and, most galling of all because of its proximity and broad-shouldered similarity, Chicago. There was a time, at the turn of the 20th century, when Cleveland and Chicago were real rivals, but that competition long ago devolved into a sort of lopsided Clippers vs. Lakers fiasco in which the clear winner need not even acknowledge that a competition ever existed.

As Chicago was becoming the hog butcher for the world and tool maker and stacker of wheat, Cleveland peaked as the seventh-largest city in America, with nearly 1 million residents, before beginning a long, slow, steady decline underscored by race riots, the Cuyahoga River bursting into flames, and a 1978 default on its municipal bonds. This year Cleveland earned the dubious honor of being named “the most miserable city” in the U.S. by Forbes.
Strange that the decline of Cleveland eerily parallels the declining percentage of the white population and the dramatic rise of the Black population.

An interesting piece from The New York Times published in 1996 points to the disturbing trend of white flight and the Black people who realize that this migration of white folks is merely a precursor to financial and societal destabilization:

In 1980, Matteson was 84 percent white. Ten years later, the figure was 53 percent. Today, this village of about 11,000 residents, settled by German immigrants, is 47 percent white and 48 percent black.

Now, the interracial village board is aggressively trying to woo whites to town with a carefully aimed "affirmative marketing" campaign. Some here say the plan is a necessary step toward maintaining property values and diversity as the hopes of "I Have A Dream" are fading across the country. Brotherhood, they say, sometimes needs a push.

As we learned when discussing Whitopia's, those white people who dare decide to congregate in the same geographic area do so because of the school's, never admitting that the reason the school's are so good is due to the obviously distressing homogeneity of the students.

Harvard educator Robert Putnam showed in his meticulous studies that diversity leads to a chronic breakdown in trust and civility within a town:

IT HAS BECOME increasingly popular to speak of racial and ethnic diversity as a civic strength. From multicultural festivals to pronouncements from political leaders, the message is the same: our differences make us stronger.

But a massive new study, based on detailed interviews of nearly 30,000 people across America, has concluded just the opposite. Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam -- famous for "Bowling Alone," his 2000 book on declining civic engagement -- has found that the greater the diversity in a community, the fewer people vote and the less they volunteer, the less they give to charity and work on community projects. In the most diverse communities, neighbors trust one another about half as much as they do in the most homogenous settings. The study, the largest ever on civic engagement in America, found that virtually all measures of civic health are lower in more diverse settings.

Forbes ran a story in 2007 about the top cities for volunteering, where Putnam's ideas quoted above brought to light a harsh reality that helps elaborate on the picture presented in the New Orleans vs. Nashville debate: cities with a lot of Black people seem to be places of extreme mistrust:

So does some heightened sense of civic good grow deep in the heartland? Maybe. But there are pragmatic reasons as well. According to the study, four major factors tend to encourage high volunteer rates: attachment of a community (such as high levels of home ownership), low commute times to and from work, high education levels among the population and the presence of nonprofit organizations in a community.

"These factors tend to build social capital and to directly or indirectly encourage volunteering," says the report "Volunteering in America: 2007 City Trends and Rankings."

The coming collapse of Birmingham, Alabama and the complete collapse of Clayton County in Georgia aren't attributable to the factors delineated by Reason magazine when they lament the passing of Cleveland. No, the direct cause of each of these places is simply the tragic loss of the white populations that built and sustained them until the societal indicators of impending chaos as described by Putnam where entered into the equation.

Reason is wrong about Cleveland and that city's jaw-dropping fall, but as devout followers of Ayn Rand they believe that collectivism is racism. They too are part of the zombie apocalypse, but they cling to hopes of an undefinable rebirth of individualism that will to thwart what ails society.

As Rand Paul has shown, this will not come. Like some tin-foil hat wearing nut, these people will retreat to their cabins in the wilderness and hope the storm of collective insanity rushes past them, never comprehending that that storm passed long ago.

The zombie apocalypse has happened and for those who can see this once believed to be a prospect of horror and science fiction, is but an eventuality that comes as no surprise.

Major cities throughout the United States are designated no-go areas and off limits for those who long ago fled the metropolises that their ancestors once lived in without fear. Save for the few sporting events that families who participated in the great Dunkirk of white flight might attend, major cities in America continue to languish in squalor and criminality.

Racism is not to blame. The current inhabitants of these major cities are to blame. However, since we live in a world where the zombie apocalypse occurred bloodlessly, racism will be designated a mental illness soon.

It is those who can see that pose the only threat to the mind-numbing falsity of egalitarianism, which blinds Libertarian and Disingenuous White Liberal, Crusading White Pedagogue and proponents of Black Run America alike.

It is not human flesh that the zombies lust for, but the continuation of egalitarianism at any cost that sustains them. Even if it means the insolvency of Cleveland and Birmingham in the process.

A Black female undergraduate journalist from Florida A&M sums up the strong points of the mental illness of racism by writing:
Racism is an issue that many people try to avoid, although it is something that still exists today. Can racism be tied to something deeper than a difference in skin tone, perhaps, a mental illness?

The issue was first raised 40 years ago by a group of black psychiatrists who asked the American Psychiatric Association to classify forms of extreme bigotry and prejudice as a mental disorder.

The APA rejected their request on the grounds that racism is a “cultural and social problem and cannot be attributed to any disorder.”

The APA also said that labeling racism as a mental illness will not do anything to rid society of the problem and doing so will carry too many political implications.This has remained the general consensus.

Recently, some psychiatrists argue that the notion deserves a second look. “To continue perceiving extreme racism as normative and not pathologic is to lend it legitimacy. Clearly, anyone who scapegoats a whole group of people and seeks to eliminate them to resolve his or her internal conflicts meets criteria for a delusional disorder, a major psychiatric illness,” said Alvin F. Poussaint, a professor of psychiatry at Harvard University.

Not recognizing racism as a mental illness seems to legitimize it. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV, a mental disorder is defined as a behavioral or psychological syndrome or pattern that occurs in an individual and that is associated with present distress or with a significantly increased risk of suffering death, pain, disability, or an important loss of freedom.

Black's who engage in monolithic support of Mein Obama are excused from the mental illness of racism. Only white people can be racist, thus only white people can be mentally ill.

The zombies won. Watching CNN's advertisement featuring Mitchell's declaration of retardation for those who profess racism was dumbfounding. The cable channel who brought us 'Black in America' has all but declared war on white people without realizing that the Newsweek cover story about the proclivities of babies to respond positively to members of their own race speaks to the biological reality of race in ways no boring study on IQ and racial differences in LSAT or SAT studies could.

Racism isn't a mental illness. The rejection of what guides the various races to self-segregate is unhealthy and the true mental illness, but when you factor in that the world has undergone the zombie apocalypse already then it all makes sense.

White people recoil in fear at the mere mention of the word racist. It is this cowardice that is unhealthy.

Regardless, Cleveland will continue to lose residents and no amount of individualism and Libertarian magic from Reason can change that fact.

Stuff Black People Don't Like can only laugh at the question of racism being a mental illness, as this illness - as defined by CNN - is only found among white people.

Boarding the airplane to leave Detroit and upon taking off, the writer behind SBPDL could look out the window and view the crumbling ruins of that city from an ascending point of view. Acres upon acres stretched out in ominous sadness, a massive monument to the tragedy of racism being viewed as a mental illness.

Sipping on a Coke and eating poorly salted peanuts, it became crystal clear that we live in a world governed with the same rigged and enforced tyranny as the one depicted in the remake of The Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

#321. Journey

It is telling that in the final episode of the HBO show The Sopranos, the song Don’t Stop Believing played at the series denouement. The Sopranos was a show that Black people viewed with apprehension since the first episode and that discord grew with each passing installment:

No television show is as provocative in dealing with race as "The Sopranos."

That's saying a lot, especially since the acclaimed HBO drama has never had any actors of color among its regular cast members. Yet throughout its five-season run, the disconnects, misunderstandings, and suspicions underlying this nation's tinderbox racial dynamics have been as much a part of the series as mob violence and family acrimony.

In this week's episode, Janice (Aida Turturro) was forced by her husband Bobby (Steven R. Schirripa) to attend anger management classes after she was arrested for assaulting a snippy parent at her stepdaughter's soccer game. During her session, Janice at first presented herself as racially enlightened -- she claims to have participated in the civil rights movement -- then says the bitter result of her noble activism is the sight of black folks

riding around in SUVs and blasting rap music. It was almost a throwaway line, delivered as still more proof of Janice's temper. And the black woman to whom the comment was directed confronted Janice, not about her casual prejudice, but her inability to control her anger and address its real source. Yet amid the evening's beatings, excavation of several long-dead adversaries, and jokes about Tony's ever-expanding midsection (this show's subtitle could be "Fat Guys in Track Suits") it was another one of those little "Sopranos" moments revealing how bigoted thoughts or opinions are never far from the surface.

An even better example came in last week's show, one of the best of the season. Among the various storylines -- from Carmela's futile attempts to find a divorce attorney to Vito's apparent, and shockingly revealed, homosexuality -- was a single thread running through the episode. Four characters -- Tony (James Gandolfini), his cousin, Tony B. (Steve Buscemi), Meadow (Jaime-Lynn Discala), and Vito (Joseph Gannascoli) -- blame various crimes on black men.

In each instance, a different term is used:

Tony B claims his limp was the result of a mugging by "black guys." Vito drops an N-bomb to describe the phony assailants in a concocted story about another mobster's vicious beating at a construction site. Meadow tells her boyfriend that her former paramour, Jackie Jr., was murdered by "African-American" drug dealers. And Tony continues to tell everyone that he missed a big heist -- the one that sent his cousin Tony B. to prison for more than a decade -- because he was jumped and beaten by "jigaboos," who stole his shoes and split his head open. (The episode's title was "Unidentified Black Males.")

Fitting that Tony Soprano would select the song Don’t Stop Believing out of the hundred at his disposal for the climactic scene of the show, as Journey is a band that Black people find infuriating also.

If you want to see a room full of white people clamor to their feet and arise with righteous cause, put on a Journey song. If you want to see a room full of Black people descend into the doldrums of music induced sadness, play Journey.

Looks of “What the f is this?” from the latter and looks filled with pure joy from the former will be seen as Journey is the one band that acts as the panacea for white people’s melancholy and yet has the auditory power to unnerve all Black people.

Power ballads are strictly the forte of white, big hair 80s bands and Journey has the market cornered in singing tear-jerking numbers that have accompanied more nights of copulation and – axiomatically - procreation than any other band on record.

Black people are long thought to be the standard when it comes to composing and singing hits in music that have the ability to create hysteria and adulation in crowds, yet Journey is a band with fan base that is almost entirely white and though they continuously reinvent themselves, are a group most known for their run with Steve Perry at the helm with lead vocals.

Many people believe that no music is greater to attract the most desirable group of people – twenty-something white females – to frequent a nightclub in any major city across America than rap music. The fusion of rap music with pop and R&B has resulted in a musical world where new hits are produced daily that seem largely indistinguishable from one another.

The inchoate sounds that Top 40 artists of today employ have the unfortunate result of appearing contrived, bland and unemotional not to mention rootless.

However, it is bars and nightclubs throughout America that have bands like Journey blasting from their loudspeakers that attract the most desired crowds and constantly bring in the biggest profit margins.

Throughout the south, fraternities and sororities utilize bands to play at their formals and important events and for the past decade, the most popular have been 80s cover bands. It is understood that 80s cover bands have one song in their arsenal to unleash on the crowd that is guaranteed to cause group singing and an emotional response of unparalleled quality – Don’t Stop Believing.

Black people have long wondered what the appeal of Journey is to white people and why this one band has so many popular songs that few Black people have ever heard. The reason is simple: the songs Journey performs are quintessentially Pre-Obama America, conforming to ideals that once thrived among that boring, white bread world.

Songs like Faithfully and Open Arms that bespeak a time of intense devotion to a significant other run counter to the prevailing trends of unholy matrimony that plague the Black community.

Don’t Stop Believing, the song Journey is most known by, is a song that has an ethos completely antithetical to popular Black songs like Jagged Edge’s Let’s Get Married:

Meet me at the altar in your white dress
We ain't gettin no younger we might as well do it
Been feelin' you all the while girl I must confess
Girl let's just get married I just want to get married

Journey sings songs about never giving up and never settling for anything that you don’t deserve, especially in the glorious game of finding true love. Monogamy and the nuclear family seem to be hallmarks of white society and deep down, white people embrace the lyrics of songs performed by Journey that celebrate the search for love and the resulting joy it brings:

Just a small town girl
Livin' in a lonely world
She took the midnight train goin' anywhere

Just a city boy
Born and raised in south Detroit
He took the midnight train goin' anywhere

A singer in a smoky room
A smell of wine and cheap perfume
For a smile they can share the night
It goes on and on and on and on

Strangers waiting
Up and down the boulevard
Their shadows searching in the night
Streetlight people
Living just to find emotion
Hiding somewhere in the night

Working hard to get my fill
Everybody wants a thrill
Payin' anything to roll the dice just one more time

Music has the frightening ability to remind people of past experiences; some that are profoundly great and elicit joy while other memories that many wish were only fiction. The mere chords of a familiar, but long forgotten song can take you back to moments of sheer ecstasy, or to that one moment when the choice you made forever altered your future.

With Journey, white people have a band that emits timeless songs that few, if any, Black people can identify. Looking at videos of Journey live shows from the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, a sea of white faces greets the band in every city.

In fact, when Journey brought in a Steve Perry sound-a-like to front the group many worried about racism on the parts of white people who wouldn’t embrace the singer:

Then, in early December, a short time after I'd heard that Journey was holed up in the recording studio, the band announced on its official Web site,, that it had hired Arnel Pineda, "the Steve Perry of the Philippines," as its new lead singer…

Since English is Pineda's second language - his first is Tagalog - he worked on phrasing and diction with an accent reduction coach.

When he was hired over a singer from a Journey cover band, he also had to learn to deal with an undercurrent of racism among some Journey fans.

"When there were rumors about me joining Journey, there was a lot of that," Pineda told me. "One of the worst things I read on a fan messageboard said that Journey is an all-American band and it should stay like that. But I don't care. I just say, 'Hey, grow up.'"

In this era of globalization, having a nonAmerican fronting a classic American band like Journey is an invigorating development that gives the band a new look and the possibility of expanding its fan base among Filipinos and Asians.

"We've become a world band," Cain said. "We're international now. We're not about one color. I kind of like the whole idea of having a singer like him. It's exotic."

White people won’t admit, but they love Journey precisely for the reasons the article quoted above intimates: the band is authentically Pre-Obama America. Black people know this and despite the recent addition of a third-world replacement singer (who sounds remarkably like Steve Perry), steer clear of Journey.

Worse, Steve Perry who supplied the emotional voice during Journey’s glory years is accused of using racial slurs.

Stuff Black People Don’t Like includes Journey, a band that white people of all ages adore. Black people have no idea what appeal this band has to white people, but know to seek shelter whenever Journey is coming to town or is being played in a public setting, because Journey is seen as one of the ultimate "All-American" bands and of course that terms doesn't include non-whites:

But not all of Journey's die-hard fans — and there are plenty — have embraced Pineda with open arms. When Nell, who did not want to reveal her real name, started an Arnel Pineda fan site in December, the Florida-based web developer says angry Journey fans left death threats on her answering machine. The band's traditional fanbase is mostly white and American, and some are upset that Pineda is neither. "Journey is supposed to be an all-American band," one fan wrote in an online forum

Saturday, May 22, 2010

#65. Dress Codes

Do private businesses have the right to decide who frequents their establishment? In Black Run America, the notion of private businesses serving customers at their discretion is not allowed, as all companies hoping to maintain positive standing with the government are coerced into conducting business with patrons of every race.

However, Black people are painfully aware that special rules exist that circumvent the law of forced association mandated by legislation that work to include Black patrons where they might not be welcome.

Notoriously, night clubs and bars throughout the United States utilize the clandestine methodology of barring Black people from patronizing their establishment through the elaborate usage of dress codes to deny entry to those who fail to uphold the standards of proper accoutrement's as prescribed by the owners.

Black people are known to have a unique sense of fashion, primarily wearing pants that routinely are on the ground instead of their waist. Owners of bars and restaurants are in the business of turning a profit and these proprietors are painfully aware of the track record that exists of Black nightclubs and bars that routinely are profiled on local nightly news channels for unsavory accomplishments.

Clubs and restaurants across America, forbidden by the government to practice discriminatory policies of denying patrons by the color of their skin instead deny entry to potential customers based on the clothes that adorn their bodies.

Kansas City - recently the home of Flash Mobs - has an area of town popular for the nightlife offered there that strangely imposes rules that seemed targeted toward barring Black people in a fashion completely legal:

Cordish instituted a dress code in June 2008 that has been called racist by critics. The dress code includes a ban on bandanas, work boots, ripped or baggy clothing, shorts that fall below the knees, athletic jerseys, and chains.[City Hall questioned the Cordish company about the dress code, noting that the dress code seemed targeted towards black males and was inconsistently enforced.

Councilwoman Melba Curls said her son was turned away from the district, while Counselwoman Beth Gottstein stated that "the message I keep getting is that Cordish is only available to some." David Cordish stated that the company was merely attempting to reduce gang related activity.[21] Critics further accused Cordish of exhibiting racial bias when after DJ Jazzy Jeff left the stage early during a performance.
It has long since been established that Black people do not like belts. Many restaurants and bars have enacted dress codes that deny entry to people who wear baggy pants, which seem to target Black people excessively for their propensity for finding belts unbecoming is legendary.

Cornrows, a popular hairstyle found uniquely found in the Black community, seems to be unpopular to owners of bars and restaurants who find this style of hair a potential harbinger of trouble to their place of business.

Dress codes, you see, are primarily a ruse conducted by business owners who wish to return to the days when freedom of association was a right awarded to everyone, even those who own popular restaurants and bars.

Refusing to serve someone based on the color of their skin might seem archaic and nefarious, but the freedom of an owner to serve customers was a right guaranteed once in the free market. Simply instituting policies such as a dress code act as a modern-day Governor George Wallace standing in the door keeping Black people out of enjoying the fun inside the bar:

Mother's, a popular night club in Chicago, appears to be reinstating Jim Crow laws as they recently barred entry to six African-American patrons. The six students were part of a senior class trip of 200 students from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri and had made plans to visit the establishment. Upon trying to entering the venue, the Black students were denied entry and were told it was because their pants were too baggy.

Not believing the hype, a white student switched pants with one of his classmates and tried the entry process again. Lo and behold, the white student was still allowed in while the Black student was left outside.

The situation in Chicago is not to be outdone by the one brewing in Kansas City, where a forum was recently held to discuss the validity of dress codes and find out, once and for all, if they exist to deny Black people entry to private restaurants denied the right by law to deny an individual entry based on their race:
At a forum entitled, “Is it your Clothes or your Color?”, sponsored by the Human Rights Commission of Kansas City, Missouri a panel of experts, academics, civil right activists and business owners were brought together to discuss the use of dress codes in the city.

The issue of whether or not dress codes were being used as a tool of racism became front page news a couple years ago when people of color, mostly African American men, began reporting problems with their enforcement at the Power and Light entertainment district Downtown.

Several complaints were made to the Human Rights Commission, which then took several steps to investigate violations of the Public Accommodations Law, initiated its own testing and worked with the management of Power and Light to make changes to the code.

Held at the Bruce R. Watkins Center, some panelists used their time to explain their experiences with dress codes around the city, while others discussed the social and legal implications of dress codes and their effectiveness. Members of the community also were given time to express their feelings about the issue and offer anecdotal information regarding the legacy of racism in Kansas City entertainment areas, including Westport and the Plaza.

Moderated by Daniel Weddle, Clinical Professor at the UMKC Law School, the issue of dress codes aimed at particular sections of the community—particularly people of color---came sharply into focus.

Nia Webster, organizer for Power and Lights Out (PLO) said her organization wasn’t against businesses establishing dress codes but want to help people understand about racial discrimination and how to properly report and respond to those incidents.

“Dress code should not be created to discriminate,” said Webster. “Dress is a perception. A person in a suit isn’t any different than someone with a white shirt and jeans. People who are troublemakers are troublemakers.”

Webster said her organization did a survey and that “90 percent knew someone who had been discriminated against.”

Anthony Burnside, a security specialist and consultant, who was Deputy Sheriff and former nightclub bouncer, said a business “had a right to have any dress code the want”.

“It should be posted on their website instead of people being surprised when they get there and are turned away,” said Burnside. “The point is to make money and have a good time.”

Burnside said when he worked as a bouncer in Westport the management let it be known what type of crowd they wanted; “Mix 93”, a local radio station that has a younger, white demographic.

Dr. Clovis Semmes, author and professor of Black Studies and Sociology at UMKC, said the phenomenon of dress codes is occurring nationally and its history was being written in places like Kansas City.

“They (dress codes) may be emerging as a proxy for racial discrimination,” said Dr. Semmes. “It’s a form of market regulation of prime commercial space.”

Dr. Semmes stated that factors like dress, musical selection and demographic targeting were raising many issues “regarding the physco-social perception of young black men” in “prime commercial areas”.

“If you played heavy metal music or country music you probably won’t see a lot of black people,” added Dr. Semmes. “If you have hip-hop or R&B, which has white fans as well, they don’t want to replace a young white demographic with a black demographic.”

Dr. Semmes went on to mention that sociological studies from the 1960s and 70s pointed to problems with how blacks where perceived by whites.

“In every case, black men were seen as more aggressive,” said Dr. Semmes of the studies where whites compared blacks--acting in the exact same manner as their white counterparts. “It only takes 30 percent of an audience for whites to perceive that blacks are in the majority.”

Dr. Semmes said that in “geographical context” dress codes were an issue of “dealing with corporations regulating markets in prime commercial real estate,” and were rare in “areas that are not prime commercial space.”

Andrea Shelby-Bartee, owner and manger of BodyWorks Phase II nightclub at 84th and Troost said her establishment has used a dress code for years in order to “create a clean, safe atmosphere for everyone to have a good time.”

Bartee added that her establishment was targeting to be “an upscale type of venue” but didn’t feel the dress code discriminated against anyone because of race or ethnicity.

This problem of dress codes isn't geographically isolated in the mid-western states, but affects nearly every state where Black people reside and wish to enjoy a beverage:

On a blustery Saturday night, the usual line of 20-somethings was missing from in front of Peabody's, the Virginia Beach club.

Instead, small knots of people approached the doorman waiting outside on a stool.

When a young white guy accompanied by two women walked up, the doorman looked at him and his black football jersey, jeans and sneakers. He was rejected.

"This is the fifth place I've been turned away from tonight!" he told his friends.

It's common knowledge among clubgoers that Peabody's has a tight dress code.

Some people have speculated that the policy there and at many other clubs might be a subtle ways of discriminating against black people. Club owners, however, say the dress codes weed out patrons who might cause trouble and, in turn, harm their customers and their business.

White patrons say they're often turned away, too, and some black patrons agree with the policies.

"Our policies keep people safe, and it has worked for eight or nine years," said Brandon Ramsey, one of Peabody's operating partners. "People can take that the wrong way. But Peabody's is a mixed crowd. We work hard so people can come here and have a good time."

The irony is that across Hampton Roads, the music thumping inside clubs is often hip-hop, which dominates the charts and lures large crowds to dance, yet club owners set up dress codes that target the "hip-hop look " - the baggy clothes, work boots, 'do rags and other markings.

Ba Da Bing, another Oceanfront night club, looked considerably different than Peabody's from the outside. That night, the patrons were exclusively black, and the people in line had a style that swayed toward roomy pants, boots and camouflage. A security guard, however, said they also don't allow 'do rags, jerseys, gang-related beads, white T-shirts, flags or bandanas.

Ba Da Bing has a reputation for fights.

"A lot of clubs in Virginia Beach make dress codes to keep us out," said James Tamry, 25, a black Norfolk resident who was hanging outside Ba Da Bing on Saturday. He wore a striped Enyce polo shirt and jeans. "We dress a certain way."

At the same time, he said, he understands. "You have a lot of the younger guys, 18 to 21, that come out just to prove how tough they are."

Tamry, who is in the Navy, said clubs "are trying to keep the peace. But to me, something can happen anywhere."

Indeed. Norfolk police spokesman Chris Amos said a suspect was taken into custody last weekend after a knife fight in the Waterside parking garage, ostensibly after leaving one of the mall's very non hip-hop bar-restaurants.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia filed a discrimination complaint last week against Kokoamos, a bar and grill in Virginia Beach. The ACLU said the club's practice of banning cornrows and dreadlocks was discriminatory and potentially a violation of federal law.

Kevin Martingayle, a Virginia Beach lawyer whose practice areas include civil rights, said clubs are free to discriminate but not on the basis of race, gender or disability. Any place, therefore, that conducts business transactions with the public is within its rights to bar people with baggy jeans, because nearly anyone can wear big pants. But banning blond hair, for example, would discriminate on a different basis that might violate federal law.

Kokoamos' owner Barry Davis said the hip-hop look creates an atmosphere in which violence is more likely to break out. Hair aside, other club owners more or less shared that sentiment.

"It's more a young thing," said Terry Webb, who runs Reign in Norfolk, a trendy spot favored among upscale hip-hoppers. "How many women do you know who work at a Fortune 500 company that would talk to a man in a white T-shirt? At a certain age, it has to stop. No grown man should be going out in a jersey unless he's going to a sporting event."

Why is this trend of dress codes mandated by business owners appearing in virtually every city in America and why do they seem to target the habits of dress primarily associated with Black people?

We know that Black people do not like tipping, so perhaps it is an economic issue. Patrons of bars and restaurants normally tip a waiter or bar tender based upon their service, but Black people are known to refrain from parting with money in a voluntary manner for services rendered.

Or, perhaps it is due to the high-levels of violence that follow Black people at nightclubs throughout America. Bar owners are working to make a profit and develop of reputation of providing a fun, safe environment for patrons to enjoy a good time replete with shots of alcohol and removed from shots that come from guns.

Like the William Gates Foundation Scholarship which is only available to minority students, dress codes seem targeted only at minorities. Private businesses and corporations are mandated by law to serve every patron, regardless of race, yet few people question the rights of a private charity to grant scholarships solely by race, excluding all white people.

If one is morally wrong, shouldn't the other be as well?

Dress codes exist in nearly every city, an attempt by business owners to proactively engage troublemakers by keeping them out of their establishment and they target only Black people in the process.

Business owners risk lawsuits and horrible publicity to implement such dress codes. Perhaps, after failing to enact the three rules set forth by Dalton in the film Road House on how to properly run a bar, business owners realized they would rather face financial ruination by social ostracism than allow Black people to grace their businesses.

ZZ Top said every girl loves a sharp dressed man. Business owners say - through the advent of dress codes - that everyone still doesn't like Black people in their establishment, regardless of the publicity that accompanies any attempt to implement a dress code.

Stuff Black People Don't Like includes dress codes, for utilizing such draconian methods to bar Black people from frequenting a place of business should have been relegated to the bad old days of Jim Crow.

Yet, if forced diversity is so great and freedom of association such an outdated method of conducting of business, why do restaurants and bars across the United States continue to risk closing by having dress codes?

Even the NBA - a league that is 80 percent Black - instituted a dress code for its players. Bars, restaurants and the NBA all have the commonality of dress codes to Black people's chagrin.

Friday, May 21, 2010

An Anniversary at SBPDL: Time Does Fly by When You're Having Fun

One year ago, six friends gathered in a house to discuss amongst other things, Black people. As many people are painfully aware, public discourse hardly reflects the private conversations that take place throughout the nation among the safety of ones friends.

After a few jokes were tossed around, the conversations turned in another direction: white people. More jokes followed.

After discussing the pros and cons of the popular website, Stuff White People Like, an idea was floated to do a website devoted to the Stuff Black People Like. Soon, a eureka moment occurred and with the the magical addition of simple word, Stuff Black People Don't Like was born.

Strange that a year has past since that moment, which seems frozen in time now. The idea tossed around by six people became an avocation of one person who continues to dutifully write a new blog entry at a regular pace.

Ideas have come from a variety of directions: old friends made aware of the websites existence; emails from new friends who find the website a fun diversion from the endless insanity that seems to stream across the television; movies viewed with family, friends and girl friends that spark some memory deep within the recess of my mind; and most importantly, news stories that seem to flow forth with ever increasing candor.

Stuff Black People Don't Like was started as a joke. Read the first few entries to judge for yourself. Swimming, fried chicken and a Maury Povich reference within the first week.

Somewhere though, something happened. Emails started coming in from strangers who found the words written here enjoyable. Many wondered what the impetus behind the site was and at first, no answer could be given.

Now, looking back across the past year of writing Stuff Black People Don't Like one is forced to take stock of all that has happened and come to stirring conclusion: it has been a blast.

This writer has received touching emails from people that they might never meet, but in reading them learn more about that person then they might ever know about a long-time friend.

There is the reason Stuff Black People Don't Like continues and grew a sizable audience over the past year: honesty. What is written isn't vetted (normally having no editor, to the chagrin of many readers) and comes from the mind in a delirious fashion, fast and furious and unrestrained

People might not agree with everything that is written and may adamantly oppose many of the ideas floated around this website, but in the end they cause reflection and pause. The agenda at SBPDL is pretty obvious: to help educate people about Black people.

Many might find this site an oddity: is it a Black person or perhaps some evil intentioned white person behind the website? Could it even be a Jew, which might cause more heads to explode if it were true than the aforementioned potential identities.

Regardless, a year has past now since the day this website was founded. It has been a great honor to exchange ideas through the comment sections and through many emails with readers. We are all busy people, with jobs and families, duties and obligations. But to have people take time out of their schedules to visit (tell your friends!) means a lot. Thank you.

At first, it was hoped a reprieve from that might be offered here, along with the occasional laugh. Perhaps delusions of grandeur set in and other goals were created, but we never wavered from the original impetus behind the site.

As you read this, the writer behind SBPDL thanks you for taking the time out of your busy life to visit this admittedly goofy website. It has been a fun journey over the past year and an experience that has taught one important lesson: perseverance.

People can accomplish things they might deem trivial or insignificant, but it all begins with that first step. SBDPL started with one-step and a year later, we caused a company worth $472 dollars-a-share to change its search algorithms to exclude any mention of this site when people inquire about Black people there.

One year is but 365 days of memory. Some of those days might pass insignificantly into the future with hardly a moments hesitation, causing a temporary desire to relive that moment differently, more vigorously.

SBPDL no longer worries about the past, for it is the one judge whose verdict we can't supplicate.

We move forward into year two of SBPDL and will continue mixing humor with seriousness. Irreverent entries will be more frequent, plus some more serious commentary.

As SBPDL turns one, this writer sincerely thanks all of the readers and those who have commented here. The emails of encouragement are appreciated, the emails of disdain and venom more so.

Obviously, something right is being done at this URL ( A billion-dollar company wouldn't have declared war on us otherwise.

Thank you for reading. The writer of SBPDL is going to have a celebratory glass of Rombauer, toast old memories and prepare for an exciting year of new ones.

So, thanks again to all readers. If you have suggestions for new entries or how you would recommend changing the website for the better (a new format is being worked on now that will take us off of blogspot), email us at

And now, a moment of levity. The writer behind this site might have been born in the 1980s, but a song written BEFORE they were born perfectly encapsulates the mood for year two at SBPDL.

Year Two at SBPDL: Combing the Desert for Truth, starts tomorrow. See you then.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Robin Hood, Rand Paul and Courage

Out in theaters last weekend is the latest cinematic interpretation of Robin Hood. Directed by Ridley Scott and starring Russell Crowe as the eponymous hero, something atavistic is on display that is oddly out place in Black Run America (BRA).

In the 1991 version Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, political correctness dictated that Morgan Freeman was a necessary addition to the lily-white cast starring Kevin Costner:

If nothing else, ROBIN HOOD: THE PRINCE OF THIEVES is resolutely politically correct, positing a feminist Marian, adding women to the band of merry men, and inventing the incongruous Azeem, a black Muslim. Costner's surprisingly portly Robin is less a dashing force of justice than a decent kind of guy forced by circumstance to do the right thing because the wrong thing--embodied in the flamboyantly wicked Sheriff of Nottingham--is so obviously unacceptable. He's a Robin Hood for an age when no one believes in heroes.

Playing the role of Azeem (an entry in the hallowed collection of Fictional Black History Month), Freeman was depicted as technologically superior and advanced to the wayward English Luddites and gave a rousing and inspiring speech that energized the bandits Robin had collected to storm the castle and save the virginal Maid Marion from the would be ravages of the dastardly Sheriff of Nottingham.

He helped deliver a child, despite the protestations of Friar Tuck and provided a chemical compound that turned out to be gunpowder.

Gone in the 2010 version of Robin Hood is any semblance of political correctness.

Most recently BBC produced a version of Robin Hood that had Friar Tuck portrayed as a Black male. For some, this might be a welcome addition to the mythology of Robin Hood as a diverse cast ostensibly appeals to a diverse audience. Historically though, this inclusion of a Black character amid the white inhabitants of Sherwood Forrest is akin to casting Clint Eastwood to play Nelson Mandela in a biopic on his life.

Historically inaccurate and ludicrous as these castings of Black actors to play comrades of the merry men of Sherwood Forrest might be, the Ridley Scott version drops all sensibilities of appeasing to the current zeitgeist.

SBPDL decided to see the film and quickly surmised a masterpiece was unfolding before our very eyes as only celluloid can deliver.

We’ll spare you detailed plot points from the movie and just say it represents something truly sinister: opposition to evil. Recall the words of the Declaration of Independence that were quoted reverently by Nicolas Cage’s character in National Treasure:

"But, when a long train of abuses and usurpations,
pursuing invariably the same object,
evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism,
it is their right, it is their duty,
to throw off such government, and
to provide new guards for their future security."

Like Pat Tillman, Robin Hood (in this version) was critical of the military campaign that was leading to the financial ruination of the realm. He still fought in the Crusades and followed King Richard the Lion Heart, but in one poignant scene gave his earnest opinion of the war, only to be rebuked by him as “brave, honest and naïve.”

Standing up to what is wrong and indecent may seem a difficult task. This movie shows it is necessary and vital through the constant usage of the term, “Rise and rise again until lamb becomes lion”.

Most people understand there is something fundamentally wrong with America, or more precisely Black Run America (BRA). CNN has been designated the official news provider for BRA and watching this channel gives one entry into the mindset of Disingenuous White Liberals (DWL) and the Black mindset through the opinions of Roland Martin.

Rand Paul recently won the Republican primary for the Senate seat in Kentucky and appears to be the front-runner against his Democratic opponent in the November election. Castigated for his views on the rights of private businesses and ownership which run counter to Civil Rights the son of Ron Paul is on the defense for his beliefs. What does he do, defend them? Yes, but he invokes the name of the true father of modern America, Martin Luther King, Jr. in the process:

"What I've always said is, I'm opposed to institutional racism, and I would have--if I was alive at the time, I think--had the courage to march with Martin Luther King to overturn institutional racism, and I see no place in our society for institutional racism," he said in response to a first question about the act.
"You would have marched with Martin Luther King but voted with Barry Goldwater?" asked an interviewer.
"I think it's confusing in a lot of cases in what's actually in the Civil Rights Case (sic)," Paul replied. "A lot of things that were actually in the bill I'm actually in favor of. I'm in favor of--everything with regards to ending institutional racism. So I think there's a lot to be desired in the Civil Rights--and indeed the truth is, I haven't read all through it, because it was passed 40 years ago and hadn't been a real pressing issue on the campaign on whether I'm going to vote for the Civil Rights Act."

Evoking the MLK defense in Black Run America is a sure-fire way to renounce any connections to the racism and bigotry and Paul is groveling when confronted with the awesome power of BRA.

We have stated it time and again here at SBPDL: any attempt to dismantle the Federal Government will be construed as racist. As Tea Party members demand that the size of the government be curtailed, Black people, DWLs and worse, Crusading White Pedagogues will demand for even greater governmental powers.

Libertarians who worship at the altar of Ayn Rand fail to realize their ideas when seen to conclusion would result in the vast dismantling of the entire structure of BRA, with millions of Black people safely ensconced in high-paying public sectors jobs suddenly forced to compete in the so-called free market.

Daring to privatize BRA would be the doom of middle-class Black people who rely on cushy lifetime jobs as government bureaucrats. The rate of Black employment in the Federal Government is truly astonishing (only to be outdone by the McDonald’s Corporation), as Black over-representation in nearly every agency means that they will fight tooth and nail against any attempt by Tea Party, Libertarian, or offspring of Ron Paul who dare try and curb spending and waste.

It won’t happen. Libertarians are individuals who lack any sense of community and commonality to engage BRA decisively and would rather engage people in pointless, mind-numbing debates that rely on the theoretical and the largely impractical.

Reason magazine, one of the main organs sustaining Libertarian opinion (also slandering any of those who oppose egalitarianism as Ron Paul once did) published a review lauding Robin Hood:

The new Ridley Scott film Robin Hood, which has opened to mixed reviews on its merits as entertainment, is also drawing some critics' political ire. In New York's leftist weekly, The Village Voice, Karina Longworth laments that "instead of robbing from the rich to give to the poor, this Robin Hood preaches about 'liberty' and the rights of the individual" and battles against "government greed"; the film, she scoffs, is "a rousing love letter to the tea party movement." On a similar note, the New York Times' A.O. Scott mocks Robin Hood as "one big medieval tea party":

You may have heard that Robin Hood stole from the rich and gave to the poor, but that was just liberal media propaganda. This Robin is ... a manly libertarian rebel striking out against high taxes and a big government scheme to trample the ancient liberties of property owners and provincial nobles.

Whatever one may think of Scott's newest incarnation of the Robin Hood legend, it is more than a little troubling to see alleged liberals speak of liberty and individual rights in a tone of sarcastic dismissal. This is especially ironic since the Robin Hood of myth and folklore probably has much more in common with the "libertarian rebel" played by Russell Crowe than with the medieval socialist of the "rob from the rich, give to the poor" cliché. At heart, the noble-outlaw legend that has captured the human imagination for centuries is about freedom, not wealth redistribution—and this is reflected in many previous screen versions of the Robin Hood story…

Of course, the idea of Robin Hood as an early socialist has had a lot of currency as well. Ayn Rand declared the fabled outlaw a symbol of evil—taking from the productive and giving to the parasites—in her novel Atlas Shrugged; on the other side of the political spectrum, a coalition of international aid groups in England recently made him their mascot when they proposed a "Robin Hood tax" on high-profit industries to help the poor in developing nations. But the original Robin Hood, while he has many different faces, is above all a fighter for freedom from tyranny—and that's what made him a legend.

In the Libertarian mind those with cash are automatically the heroes, titans of industry and above scrutiny. After all, the invisible hand of Adam Smith has smiled upon thee. SBPDL does not begrudge anyone with money and joins in praising those who devise clever manners in accumulating large sums of cash, whether it is legitimate business, sound investing or more providential manners. In most cases, SBPDL believes greed is good.

However, equating everything with the market is fatuous and inane. Sometimes people must rise against evil, standing for principles. Ask any veteran if they went off to war to defend some vague notion of free markets or individual liberties that would be used to justify the legalization of the most base and amoral behavior.

Libertarians refuse to acknowledge race, believing it to be a sinister form of collectivism to pit group against group and curtail individual freedom. If only Black people would understand the importance of individual ambition and self-reliance instead of relying on the government, they argue, then we could cut government spending, balance the budget and live in harmony singing songs, holding hands all the while lighting up on cannabis.

Fortunately for Black people, they understand the importance of group cohesion and use it for their collective advantage and survival.

In the onslaught of vitriol Dr. Rand Paul receives at the hands of the main stream media (NPR and CNN come to mind) those paying attention see the awesome power of BRA at work and concurrently, the fear they see in the ideas he espouses.

Middle American Radicals still exist and though many still hide behind the clumsy rhetoric of liberty and freedom - evoking the name of Martin Luther King, Jr. when any hint of racism is detected as the ultimate repellant against such dangerous thoughts - the ultimate fight will continue to elude them.

The Civil Rights movement and the laws created in its wake ensured forever the continuation of sins (real or imagined) by all white people against Black people. DWL’s atone for those daily, while Libertarians and Tea Party followers repent continually by wallowing in saccharine speech that constantly praises MLK, the father of BRA and individual most responsible for its continuation.

The 2010 version of Robin Hood introduces a dangerous idea that few seem to grasp: Courage. In the face of likely defeat, defiance and audacity is the only ally.

Rise and rise again until lamb becomes lion’, is heard no less than 15 times in the film. When asked what that means, Robin simply states, “courage.”

Rand Paul has shown he has courage. He finds few words but detectable feigned praise to bestow to the memory of the father of this nation, MLK. Yet he stands firm in the onslaught of invective from the media.

SBPDL recommends Robin Hood, a movie replete with a mesmerizing score (reminiscent of Batman Begins), dazzling sets and complete with idea long since dead in BRA: courage.

This is no Libertarian movie, as a Libertarian movie would largely be set in a dingy, smoke-filled basement with four disheveled and ill-groomed virgins debating the virtues of private property, private enterprise and the importance of the gold standard. Midway through the film, one of the characters mothers would come down reminding the 30-year-olds engaged in self-effacing discourse it was time for dinner.

No, Robin Hood is a film that dares praise men of action who find mere debate trivial. Worse, it shows the ideas of liberty, freedom, common law and the rights of man grew in lowly, white-bread England. People fought and died for these ideals, instead of the latter-day nitwits who wax intellectually and pontificate about the ideal society where the free market will solve all ills.

A distinct people fought for centuries over these ideas and have yet to perfect them. Now, Rand Paul and his Tea Party followers believe that BRA will go quietly into the night due to the profound correctness of their theories and ideas. As we are witnessing, BRA is sharpening knives to throw at Paul with uncanny precision.

Limited government is an idea that white people fight for as they band together in Tea Parties across the nation and that DWLs and their Rainbow coalition of supporters in BRA refuse to endorse, knowing full well what an implementation of such policies would bring.

As we stated in the review of The Second Civil War, BRA will do everything to crush its opposition and survive. Even in the face of the largest ecological disaster in recent history, opinions that counter the prevailing political attitudes are verboten, regardless if they come from the prodigious mind of a recognized genius in physics like Dr. Katz. Major damage will continue to be inflicted upon the Gulf of Mexico by oil, but at least no one will have their feelings hurt by Dr. Katz politically incorrect thoughts.

Every generation gets the Robin Hood they deserve. In the 1990s, the politically correct Kevin Costner version served as the perfect fodder for the decade, accurately depicting the mindset of those in charge.

However, the 2010 account has a much more poignant message for those who live in this dark time: courage. Never waver from it.

Arizona is the beginning. Rand Paul might be the next step.

Rise and rise again until lamb becomes lion.