Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Kramer? Who's he?

For our collective attention to be paid to an irrelevant comedians rants is pretty much useless. We've bought into the sensationalism of the "N" word advertised and packaged as the end all of back in the day racism. Really, was it the use of the word itself that our parents fought against, or was it the systematic application of legalized racial bias tied into it?

The N word rings hollow to me. I'm not living in the 60's, I live in a time where its said behind cliched rhetoric to justify our mistreatment. Why the hell do heads wait for some talentless comic or some inbred hick to get ticked? Do we lack the intestinal fortitude or just too mentally lazy to delve into REAL issues regarding racism? As a matter of fact, this is perfect segue for me to introduce the things we AREN'T paying attention to.

After 13 years in a long heart filled struggle, the NYC public schools will FINALLY be allocated almost $2 billion in funding, $3 billion smaller than the original amount, they've been categorically denied by paid bigoted mercenaries of the Pataki administration.

Who are these paid mercenaries you ask? People like David Armor who received $250,000 in taxpayer funds for their services to defend the Pataki's administration from withholding school funds to the mostly black and Latino students that make up the majority of the children in the NYC public school system.

Are you curious as to what Mr. Armor said to justify it? Take a peek.

Jenkins v. Missouri, 1997. Question: "Do you agree with this statement?: African-American students, if given high standards, a challenging curriculum, accurate resources, and trained teachers, can achieve in school on a par with students of other races?"

Answer: "I disagree with that."

Riddick v. School Board of Norfolk, Virginia, 1984. Q: "So one cannot account for differences between blacks and whites solely by socioeconomic data? That's what you're saying?"

A: "Yes, there are whole attitudinal dimensions and other lifestyle differences that may also be part of the family differences between black and white." He specified that "practices like requiring homework" and other "rules of the home that either emphasize school work or not" had a racial component, with blacks and whites of the same socioeconomic status "differing."

Hmmm. What's more egregious? Kramer on stage with his tired rant, or the loquacious N-word free talk of Mr. Armor's?

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Daily News continues pattern of protecting police with contrived outrage over 20 year old center named after Assata Shakur

In my last submission, I covered the NY Daily News continued pattern of protecting the police since the police shooting death of Sean Bell shooting 3 weeks ago.

Well, last weeks Daily News, its pushed front and center with this front page cover greeting its readers.

The page 3 article goes into great detail about the Guillermo Morales/Assata Shakur Community Center at City College University of New York named in honor of Ms. Shakur who allegedly participated in the execution of a fallen cop.

Sentenced to life in prison in 1973, Assata broke out of prison in 1979 and fled to Cuba and has lived there ever since.

The Daily News, following its recent trend of poor journalistic integrity, however forgot to add two important ingredients to this tasteless diatribe. The who, what, where, when and why, are staple of any article required of a journalist when producing their written work. But missing or lightly covered in this article is the when, who and why answers that left me somewhat malnourished.

So I took it upon myself to add to whats missing, and came up with some important tidbits that the article looked past.

When: The Guillermo Morales/Assata Shakur Community Center was named in 1989.

Who: by students that successfully countered a tuition hike.

Why: (In their own words) We know that many Black people that fought for better conditions in the 70s were framed. We consider Assata Shakur to be one of the people who were wrongfully and purposefully framed for her activities. And we consider her a hero and role model for standing up for our people and putting her life on the line.

So I'm back at this back at this place called "why".

"Why" would the NY Daily News find sudden interest in a community center named almost two decades ago in Ms. Shakur's honor?

"Why" would Pat Lynch of the Policeman's Benevolent society choose to speak out on this today out of all days almost 20 years of the establishment of the center?

I can only come up with one conclusion.

The news is obviously serving and protecting the image of those whose job is to serve and protect now under scrutiny, particularly by the African American community since the gunning down of Sean Bell.

Yet, the Daily News wants the anger over police actions of Mr. Bells killing to be confined to the African American community and the African American community alone. A lesson learned from the Amadou Diallo case where people of all kinds collectively stood in protest.

By gently sending a series of subtle cues to certain segments of the public, the news presents out of date issues fresh on the minds of its readers. Our outrage is undeserving of a shared call for justice, and our remorse is that of a self centered people, seriously, "look at who they celebrate."

The NY Daily News is far from impartial and is simply carrying the water for the NYPD rather than the public good of providing unbiased and balanced news.

Friday, December 22, 2006

I pimp smack a NY Daily News columnist in an email exchange over her article about the Sean Bell killing

As many of us are aware (I hope), a major tragedy took place in Queens two weeks ago when NYPD officers gunned down 23 year old Sean Bell, an unarmed groom-to-be several hours before starting a new chapter in a life to be shared with the mother of his two children.

The merciless and unrelenting loading, discharging and reloading of over 50 shots in a one sided exchange left a future wife a grieving widow before her time, their children fatherless, and a community incensed.

And what's followed since is the bunker mentality relationship of police and the local media co-joined by the hip, the latter protecting and serving those expected to protect and serve the now angry and stunned, but providing their usual dish of disservice to an African American community accustomed to their poison.

With professionalism cast aside, formal training forgotten, and their integrity an afterthought, police and their guardian scribes play a game of Simon Says at the expense of our lives and our collective character.

Myself as an up and coming journalist, I am taught to be at the behest of my readers to whom I'm expected to serve fair and objective news. However, the tragic killing of Mr. Bell has exposed where many in my field fall short. I can look no further than the NY Daily News and its recent coverage over this tragedy.

In Wednesdays NY Daily News, columnist Patrice O'Shaughnessy wrote an article about Vincent Perrega, an unfortunate crime victim murdered by a remorsless two bit criminal, following a trend by the paper of using the emotions and pain of others to diminish and question the outrage over the Bell shooting.

This followed a Michael Daly article who a day prior wrote a similar piece regarding a widowed police officer whose husband was killed in the line of duty last year.

So I emailed this "journalist" and got an email back from her less than ten minutes later. Here's what transpired:

Reb: "Is there any legitimate reason you're using the pain and anguish of the victim of the crime in your latest piece to buffer the anger over the killing of Sean Bell? "

O'Shaughnessy: people should be angry over both-- the police shooting an unarmed person and the lack of protection of citizens, who are getting shot by criminals in increasing numbers.
perraga's family does not want him or his case to be forgotten

Reb: Sorry to tell you, but the job of those asked to protect and serve our communities tend to blur the lines of who are the criminals and who aren't, and unfortunately both Mr. Bell and Mr. Perraga are victims of that.

But I feel that you're misusing the emotions of the Perraga family to diminish the anguish behind the Bell shooting. I'm not sure if you've attended the stop the violence rallies in some of these communities since they draw little attention in the Daily News and are pretty much not newsworthy. Now that the community has made its say about the Bell killing, the attention of the news is suddenly aroused, and you view the community's anger as displaced. Where were you and your coverage at the stop the violence rallies that take place all over the city? Why whack the hands of those you feel whose anger are displaced?

You're just as much the problem as you think you are the solution in pointing out the lack of even handed anger in your article.

O'Shaughnessy:yes, i guess the media is the root of all problems. thanks for writing

Reb: I guess if you believe that's my line of thinking, ride that angle to the ground for all I care. But if you're going to be fatherly in your articles and point out the community's anger not being even handed, accept the responsibilities that come with being a so called parent. You play a part too.


To be honest with you, outside of the surprise I got in hearing from her so quickly, I expected a much more intelligent response than what I was provided with. And since our email exchange, her article has been pulled from the papers website, even as far as being removed from its search engine. But I hope the next time before she places her fingers onto a pen or keyboard to write that type of trash, she'll think twice before submitting garbage to her editor.

I'll be keeping my eyes open.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The joke that is called "sports journalism" 12/21/2006

I think my page has taken on a far too serious tone at times. See, I'm a lover of many things, sports being one of them considering football was my first passion only to fall flat on my face without a Plan B.

But who would've known us colored boys can posses multitudinous qualities other than toting a microphone or a leather ball? Someone should've told me sooner or maybe I wouldn't be as late as I am at this journalism thing.

So now I'm on playing on a different surface, taking on suckas and finding myself do the things I once did as a football player......beating up on those considered bigger than me or out of my league.

I live for it, getting off on breaking the will of these so-called "journalists" who believe they go by as "THE" last word on sports. Making them back down before they decide to come at me, or in this case, at my team with their pens (or keyboard) in hand. By now, you all should know the colors of my uniform.

But there's a stark difference between the current conditions of the playing field of sports journalism than it was for me playing football at the University of Oklahoma. I thought I beat some serious odds to departing the sweet confines of Brooklyn, NYC leaving for the biblebelt of the country. But a 2006 study conducted by Institute of Diversity & Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida came up with some staggering numbers of the new odds I now face.

- White men and women make up 88 percent of newspaper staffs covering sports throughout the US.
- African-Americans make up 6.2 percent of newspaper staffs covering sports around the country.
- Of the sports editors at major papers in the US, 94 percent were white with 90 percent being white males.
- African Americans make up a paucity 1.6 percent of sports editors in the country

Staggering is an understatement. When gauging my prospects of what lays ahead of me, I find myself out manned and outgunned. So of course I have to work times as hard just to be in the game.

Yet it's not that I want to remain on the opposing team. I'd actually prefer to play alongside them. A welcomed addition and the missing piece while bearing a flair and flamboyance that typically comes along with people cut from a charcoal colored cloth.

But there's rarely a day that goes by when my peripheral senses aren't subject to a rant by a smug print columnist or on air personality sheltered behind the safety of the aforementioned stacked deck firmly stating that someone of my kind is on the opposing team.

And that's why they're on the other side.

I have to break up the monotony of this boys club. They're far too comfortable fattening themselves at the expense of mischaracterizing players who more often than not share a similar hue to myself. Not that many of these players need to be rescued since some are self centered collateral damage .

But since the overhyped and oversensationalized slap and skatefest that took place at the Garden last Saturday (basketball players can't fight worth a damn) between the New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets, I've read that its endemic of an encroaching "culture of violence" ready to engulf the sanctity of sports.

Basically, my generation has been called out by sports columnists and reporters turned sociologists who claim to have a keen understanding of my generations make up and why we do what we do. The same things they've been doing for years. So I've been invited to the game whether I wanted to participate or not.

So in my future blogs, I'm going to have a long line of enemy combatants, walking blindfolded in a row wearing Guantanamo Bay Burnt Orange prison jump suits with their ankles chained together in loose fitting shackles, with one hand placed on the shoulder of the one ahead of them, not realizing they're standing before a one man firing squad, leaving their articles and media generated talking points pock marked and speckled like the aftermath of someone whose suffered from a severe outbreak of smallpox.

They need to hear about themselves.

Damn....did I come off too serious again? I need to work on that.