Category Archives: Institutional Racism

Donkey of the day (Michelle Rodriguez) (a response by Jack)

Michelle Rodriguez made a comment recently that was spurned by many.  She was asked, in jest, would she be the next Green Lantern.  The Green Lantern is a popular comic book hero, who is having a movie centered around him and his story line.  Her response to the question: “Ha ha ha That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard…Ya..I think it’s stupid like..because of this whole minorities in Hollywood thing..But it’s so stupid…Stop stealing all the White people’s superheroes..make up your know..”

Michelle, from my perspective, is quite an accomplished actress.  She has made away for herself and has helped to break down cultural barriers with her choice of roles and characters that she chooses to plays.  She is generally known for her role as “female bad-ass”.  The tough chick who needs no one accept herself to save her own skin.  A delightful archetype indeed.  But the statement she made, in a sense set back all the ground she has covered with her role, it strips these roles of their mystique and power.  Even though the statement does have a negative side to it, it does make a strong point–and a very valid point at that.

Let us begin with the misunderstanding within the statement–the negative aspect.  Her primary misstep was stating “Sop stealing all the White people’s superheroes.”  Ironically enough, many of these superheroes that she speaks of were indeed directly created from or based off of heroes from antiquity.  Many of which were derived from Greek heroes, who were ultimately replica’s of character’s from African folklore and the like.  The heroes she so despises to be hijacked were stolen ideas in the first place. This is only one aspect of the statement that turns people off from the valid truths that the statement contains.

The next aspect that turns people off is her dismissive attitude towards the “whole minorities in Hollywood thing.” It is as though she dismisses the idea that there is a dominant white-male-patriarchal paradigm that has and does dominate the Hollywood scene if not the entire American scene.  She compounds this by essentially defending the paradigm, by saying if you want to be a part of the paradigm you cannot, go make your own paradigm—your own heroes. An industry that is dominated by a particular class of people does not want anyone infringing on there niche.  And this provides the crux of the Blog.

The superhero plays a large part in the psyche of the collective consciousness of the American individual, as well as any individual that is part of popular culture collective consciousness.  Much like Jesus or Santa Claus has done, superheroes such as Superman and Batman have plugged themselves into our psyche—whether we consciously acknowledge so or not.  We are constantly bombarded with the archetype of a White Male being our savior on so many levels.  Whether it be as a child—the bearer of all things good; whether it be as an adult—the protector or guardian of our souls; or whether it be on an imaginary level—the guardian of our well being and planet.  However you splice it, we are constantly reinforced and reaffirmed that this White Male archetype is our “God” in a sense.  And if you have to be convinced of something chances are it is the furthest from the truth.  See my “” for further clarification.

Yes, a society in which all the laws were established by a particular group of people.  All industry was established by a particular group of people.  And the entire framework of the system that is our society was created by a particular group of people.  It would make sense for this group of people to constantly flaunt their power or rather convince the social consciousness that their perceived power is a reality. It is a voracious attempt to cling unto what little power they do have—which is the power to persuade perception.

Insert Michelle Rodriguez, unbeknownst to her by defending this white-male power structure she has actually subconsciously undermined it.  And this is the beauty in her statement.  Despite where these superhero narratives originally came from, she understands that the white-male lays claim to it now.  And instead of being so possessed with taking back the old—go forth and create more.  Although, there is nothing new under sun, we are in a new era.  Create a new hero, for a new era, to combat the heroes that are already in place.  Symbolically what she is saying is along the lines of Malcolm X.  Why put energy into being a part of someone’s else reality when you can go forth and create your own reality and create your own truths—essentially: save yourself.  Rather, reclaim your truth and re-express it.

And despite how inarticulate you expressed her sentiment, and the true intention of her statement, this is the truth that she was attempting to convey.  Although, that truth is smeared in mud and not presented in the best of lights.  There is a truth within her statement.  Free yourself from the bondage of another’s narrative, go forward and craft your own narrative.  Stop letting someone else dictate your history and your future.  Claim your history and write your future, and this can be done through the narrative of the story—which is best expressed in the modern era through superheroes and fictional characters.  Like it or not, people identify with fictional characters.  People idolize, latch on to, and derive personal meaning from the lives and actions of fictional characters witnessed through the medium of entertainment—whether it is reality or not it affects reality.

And so before we become so quick to demonize her statement.  Let us marinate on the truth the lives embedded with the muck of her statement.  Perhaps…. She on to something!

Black History Month? Why not… Celebration Bitches!..! (a blog by Jack)

Black history month… Myth put to the test… 

As the month of February draws to a close, the spirit of the month is examined.  February is indeed called “Black History” month. The seemingly vague description implies so much.  It provides some answers but creates more answers than it has the ability to answer.

For starters, what is Black History? Who are we defining as Black? How far back are we honoring those people’s history? If every aboriginal man on every piece of of Native land across this earth was of darker flesh, than who’s history are we really celebration?

I have a brief anecdote that may shed some light to some of these questions.

A good friend of mine, who I will call Richard Feltington, for the sake of the story, works for a government agency.  At the beginning of February he noticed that he, as well as other people of brown hue, was added to an email list inviting him to various “Black History” celebrations. And rightfully so, he felt uncomfortable. For whatever reason he didn’t feel the need to be singled out on a list and had no idea what they were celebrating. He decided to pass on the majority of the events, until it was pointed out by a coworker that he had not attended a single event. So he decided to attend the next function which happened to be a pot luck. Apparently everyone in the office was looking forward to attending the celebration because he over heard everyone clambering about what they were going to bring to the pot luck. He overheard a middle aged white lady saying ” I’m gonna google a good southern fried chicken recipe to bring to the pot luck”, apparently this is appropriate food for the function– understandable. Any whoo, the day of the function Mr. Feltington walks in and immediately sees an Asian man with his eyes closed, bopping his head back and forth, vibing to a “Negro Spiritual”. Although he wa slightly put off, Mr. Feltington proceeded to the food and took notice of all the deep fried foods, greens, cornbread  etc. Mr. Feltington did not just eat one plate but went back up for seconds and thirds.

This story gives insight as to the typical American’s mindset towards “Black History” month and why it goes unrecognized by so many. As history tells us, America was built on the slayings and enslavement of the native copper-man indigenous to to this land. As so many would choose to not to acknowledge this fact remains as a gross family secret no one speaks about, and when spoken about is quickly dismissed as something to “get over” not unlike 911 or “The Holocaust”. Each of which lasted significantly shorter time periods and cost significantly less lives in totality. Yet, I find it ironic that when “Black History” rolls around the only history that is celebrated is that of an enslaved people.

As though America is not so much providing a reminder of the atrocities it has done but celebrating its conquest of the people native to this land and the people brought over from a distant land. Perhaps the month should be entitled to a more accurate description “Enslavement Appreciation” month. Although it lacks PC, it more than makes up for it in accuracy.

Despite the lack of credit, black history reaches far back. Even if you restrict black history to the natives of this land it reaches far back. It definitely does not begin with American slavery. From a descendant of the enslaved I see that as nothing to celebrate, in any fashion or sense. As a conquered people who has assimilated to his conquerers culture, I still see it as nothing to celebrate. 

And as a man living among the conquerers, I do see why the month goes seemingly unrecognized. Who in there right mind wants a constant reminder of their ills. Consciously, like I, they have no idea what they are celebrating and on a subconsciously level they have even less desire to celebrate the month– their guilt would not allow it.

I suppose it’s up to the individual to do what they want with the month. My life is a constant reflection upon the creators of the earth and original man. For one month to imply and sum up my history is nothing less than a slap in the mouth. But as a conquered people, beggers can not be choosers. We should be grateful for the titles we are given, and the acknowledgment that we are bestowed. Until next February rolls around….

Happy Black History Month!

30 for 30 Rand University (A response)

A reflection upon a revealing documentary… Although, I felt the documentary was insightful, It appears to be a story within a story. A story unfulfilled because to be quite frank the story is uncomplete– a skeleton without muscle or organs. The documentary is centered around polarizing professional athlete Randy Moss (one of my favorites). Like so many other melaninated athletes the documentary depicts his plight from tremendous odds to athletic immortality. The documentary explores his troubles with the law as a youth. His psychological response to racism (a people who want you only for your athletic prowess and nothing more). Also, his perpetual fight with the myopia that the small town life fostered. And his overcoming perseverance that led to his seemingly apparent success…This documentary addresses it all.

A private figure… Randy actually opened up and shed a light upon a portion of who he is. This allowed insight into the psyche of so many young melaninated males in similar dichotomies.

I describe this as a story half told because of an aspect of the documentary that struct a nerve with me. The documentary is entitled Rand University. This is attributed to the fact that there are so many exceptional athletes produced in that region but never make it “out”. In fact most of em “end up drinking 40 ounces outside of 7-11” This is what the locals deem Rand University. All the prodigious athletes graduate high ftschool and attend an existence of nothingness and forsaken hope.

This is an exponential tragedy because Rand University have campuses in every state in every city in every town across the United States of America. So many young men are living under a delusion.. A very strong delusion… The implanted truth that the only road to success in America is through being praised by America. The avenues to being praised or beloved or embraced by America is through physical prowess(athletics) or showmanship (musician or entertainer). This is a grave tragedy. An unspoken axiom that goes unchecked and unchallenged. And I myself am not exempt from this delusion.. Growing up, even I thought that that was the only means of “success”. I do not know where this mentality came from exactly. I do not know where it took root. It wasn’t as though I was not exposed to professionals of melanin. It just always seemed as though nothing else was attainable. It seemed “possible” and I knew I had the “ability” but it never felt real or achievable…

What general consensus has swept young melaninated people’s to put all their hope in their ability to be embraced by the masses. Without that “love” they feel worthless. Without that hope they are cursed to live a destitute life of nothingness.. As I said I am of no exception.. I was always told to go to college… But I never felt or saw an end game. This has stunted my “progress” in life. I saw college as an ends… Not a means to an end and this has left me some what stuck… Trying to figure it all out. I’m at least lucky enough to have the wherewithal to try to figure it out.. As this documentary highlights, there are so many of my brothers who simply lose hope after the initial dream is shattered.. After one run in with the law… After one ill placed tragedy… They are left with nothing…. No direction… No ambition.. And without hope!

There is one part in the documentary that embodies this spirit. It’s when one of Randy Moss’ childhood friends who didn’t “make it out” is recounting his mishap.. Retelling how he lost his opportunity.. He simply broke down and cried. As though his world no longer had meaning because of a dream unfulfilled. Yet, in reality he is a young man… Under the age of 40… He has all the world to gain… No matter the circumstance it all can turn around… It starts with one idea and a whole lot of drive and determination.

But, so many of our brethren don’t have that idea… That thought never enters their mind. The seed just lands on harsh soil and never takes root.


How do you break this psychosis if it alone defines your reality? And you know nothing beyond your reality…

Is it the responsibility of a society to look after its individuals? Is it the responsibility of the individual to save himself by any means necessary? Is this mentality of individualism productive to the collective? How does an individual with nothing to lose react when they feel it’s them against the world? Who seeks to gain from the decisions that this individual will potentially make. Prison industrial complex? Illicit drug industry? Etc?

So we are left with an untold story. The story of one shining star. One individual who defied the odds. A survival of the fittest narrative played out to perfection. Yet, the nature of humanity isn’t so much a survival of the fittest, but a survival of the collective. The true issue is why so many individuals are innately not part of the collective unless they “earn” their way in. Why are some born on the outside looking in? Why is that generally accepted?

Why must one earn their way into a society that they have no way of escaping?


Rebuilding the Black Woman… Guardians of our Souls..

Kara Walker’s piece ” A Subtlety” is the launch point of this blog. An image that has provided the impetus for an exploration of our subconscious mind’s primary motif– an artistic requiem of glory lost.

Front depiction of the sculpture...
Front depiction of the sculpture…
A rear view of the sculpture...
A rear view of the sculpture…

This blog will begin to scratch the surface regarding the significance of the image of the Black Woman. It is a reflection upon the restoration of the Black-woman archetype and her/its importance to humanity.

One look upon Kara Walker’s work opens up the vastness of a million portals–portals leading to truths of both past and present. In this larger-than-life sculpture, Kara depicts a modern rendition of a Sphinx like figure. We have the likeness of a woman crafted out of all white sugar. The woman has a “mammy” resemblance to her that is accentuated by the adornment of her crown with a scarf–something you may be used to seeing atop the head of Harriet Tubman. Her bust is large and exposed as if she were offering her bosom for suckling to any onlooker. In place of an animal body the figure maintains its womanly-curvaceous physique. All capped off by a vagina exposed from the rear view of the sculpture. Depending on the frame of reference of the viewer, we have a hyper-sexualized image of a woman. All the while the woman has a smirk on her face. Almost like she is taunting the observer to explore the depths that she has to offer. As if to say you can scratch the surface but you have the slightest idea how deep it can get.



We can juxtapose this image to that of the actual Sphinx. The image of a regal guardian spirit that stands poised in protecting her city– from a spiritual stand point and an authoritative stand point– a guardian queen if you will.

The two images side by side depict how far the Black Woman has been exiled from her thrown. And also the moral degradation that has gone hand in hand with this vanquishing of her archetype…


The archetype of the Black Woman has a universally visceral response to all that experience it. Her presence is never subtle. It is encompassing and this is evident on both a conscious and subconscious level. The vibrations that her spirit gives off is undeniable and often commands respect in one fashion or another.

She has fallen from the Creator-of-Man era…

To the Queen– the Ruler-of-Man era..

To the Mammy the Caretaker-of-Man era….

Too the hyper-sexualized– the Whore-of-Man era…

And along with her fall from grace has come the destruction of societal morality and spirituality. Yet her fall has not been of a natural order. It has been carried out in a systematic manner by the would be ruler of the present era. Her ruling archetype type has been assaulted and bombarded by her rival and polar opposite that of the White Male. A patriarchal dominated society who’s morality encompasses all but not limited to: greed, avarice, licentiousness, wanton, gluttony, selfishness, and anything else that appeals to one’s flesh induced desires.
This patriarchal archetype whether it be consciously or subconsciously is perpetually attempting to strip the Black female archetype of all power and authority. Yet as the “Subtlety” has proven… You can change her image but she will never leave her post…

As per popular culture the image of the Black woman is both imitated and mocked. There is a relentless assault upon the motif of the Black Woman. She is often both ridiculed and mimicked–creating a paradox of a unique kind. On the one level she is mocked but on a deeper level she can’t help but to be imitated as she is the purveyor of all civilization.

There is attempt to bring about a new way among the people of this planet. The key to providing the perfect segue into this way of being is the removal of our humanity. And the cornerstone of our humanity is the Black woman. There is an attempt to usher in a new era. One in which man is devoid of spirituality… Devoid of uniqueness.. Devoid of his bond with the universe… Supplanting himself as above or without integration into nature.. Almost as though we were transfiguring ourselves into machines…

Our humanity is what is at stake. There is a war going on that no man is safe from. And if we don’t protect our guardians on the most basic of levels. How do we expect them to protect us on the most critical of level–that which can not be seen and is ever changing? How long can they stand guard if they lack sense of Self? And we lack sense of perspective?

Are you Black Enough?


Are you Black Enough?

I begin this Blog with a quote from the great Dr. Frances Cress Welsing.  Many people have no idea of what racism is and throw around the term “racist” without discretion.  They use the term in great folly and error without giving much meaning as to what the term actually embodies.  Dr. Welsing provides the most encompassing working definition of what racism is, and when understood it sets a precedent upon the observer and alters their outlook of the world in which they operate within.

Her definition of racism:

“A local, national, global system— behavioral system of thoughts, speech, action and emotional response consciously and or subconsciously determined practiced by people who classify themselves as white in all areas of people activity: economics, education, entertainment, labor, law, politics, religion, sex and war for the ultimate purpose of maintaining white genetic survival and preventing white genetic annihilation on planet earth.  A planet upon which the overwhelming majority of people are classified as non-white by the minority of people who classify themselves as white.  Those who are classified as non-white are genetically dominant in terms of skin coloration compared to the genetically recessive white skin-people.”– Dr. Frances Cress Welsing

I would also add to this comprehensive definition the hording and allocation of the earth’s natural resources.  This inclusive definition implicates so much and one could literally derive several essays from this one definition.  And this shall provide the spring board for our discussion.

I was recently asked a question: How do you determine how Black someone is?  Are you black enough?  If so what does that entail?  Now of course one can not quantify black, but I can provide a definitive exploration of what it means to be Black.  And you can see what side of the spectrum you fall upon.

Truthfully, we all have a li’l black in us… It’s a conscious choice rather to identify with it or repel from it…

At the very core one must understand that they are a conquered people…And I am speaking from a Black-man-living-in-America’s perspective. One must understand that they are indeed identifying with their capturers when choosing to perpetuate their system that is in place: whether this be consciously or unconsciously…

So if one uses the term “you’re not black” or “you’re not black enough”, what is that person truly saying?  When one says oh you’re trying to “talk white” what are they truly stating? If you are called a “sale out” what does that mean?

On a conscious level these statements sound very ignorant. It implicates because you have success, because you have brains enough to fulfill the white man’s idea of success you’re being white.–Because after all only a white man can be smart, have nice things, and speak the Queen’s English. On a surface level it is indeed very ignorant… But one must not stop there, because it is usually the subconscious that drives us. It is the subconscious that is subversive and responsible for most of man’s actions… It is our “ancient brain” telling us that there was a way of life prior to this modern world we live in.  There was a way of interaction and purpose that we as a populace exacted before we became a conquered people. This is not oue natural dialect.  This is not our innate ideal of “success”—the pursuit of money and other superficial gain. Perhaps there was much more to who we are than what we’ve become and have been presented ourselves to be.

So, there is a cognitive dissonance held there of some sort.  On the one hand we are a very talented people. We are pioneers of the earth, so when presented with a challenge it is innate for us to overcome.  So, we excel in this system put in place and tend to blame others for their lack of acumen in which they can’t succeed. It’s their fault… They had the same opportunities as me… Blaming the victim complex because after all it helps us create a disconnect from who we really are.  After all they aren’t like me.  We’re different. I can’t possibly be like them… I’m better…This is a great untruth. A truth rooted in falsehood. Although, I do believe that we all are unique, and the fact that one has climbed a social and cultural latter better than someone else is no grounds for identifying “greatness”.

Thus on some level I can honestly say we all have “black” in us.  We all have the ability to be great, lend hand to brother, establish communities in which man is brothers’ keeper, use talents for the betterment of most not just self, have the courage to be who you are minus the social constructs.  Yet some of us choose to identify with the false truth of reality that has been placed in front of us by our captives.  Our “Ancient Brains” know it is not enough.  Thus we seek outlets—we seek drug abuse, we yearn to get high, we yearn for something “else” something “real”.  Some of us identify with our conquerors so much that we hate the very hair that’s on our head. This is quite ironic, because our conquerors have integrated their captives’ culture into all aspects of their society.–Using it as a means of economic gain by any exploit they see fit.

The feeling of complacency… The feeling that you’ve made it is that which is to be loathed…. The feeling that you’ve accomplished in this world and you choose not to shake up the system that has conquered you… That’s when a lil blackness begins to bleed out… Drip by drip… At that point you are consciously or subconsciously surrendering your bloodline (legacy) and capitulating to a system that has your brothers and sisters in servitude…

This creates a large schism between those with the wherewithal to pursue excellence by all means and the, what I like to call, natural nihilist.  Both are equally destructive to what it means to be Black yet one is looked on a favorable light by our conquerors.  You have those who pursue excellence by any means which have had great success—like our entertainers, athletes, upper middle-class folk.  All are looked upon favorably as something to strive for—an ideal that reinforces the established system.  Then you have the nihilist—those who reject society by any means.–The derelicts who choose to abuse the system—who are looked as being criminals, lazy, jobless, ignorant, violent, compulsive if you will.–Those individuals who have a natural propensity for rebellion but know no viable rather healthy means to manifest this rebellious nature.  So you have this vicious cycle of each hating the other.–Each recognizing the lack of blackness in the other.  The blame game occurs.  When in actuality both are right to an extent and both are completely misguided in their approach to rectifying and creating a better situation.

Thus I can conclude this disposition by answering what I believe it means to be Black.

It means to constantly be in pursuit of the truth.  It is a realization that you may not have all the answers, but you are going to be who you are regardless of the situation.  It is greatness and excellence despite circumstance.  It is the courage to stay resolute and shake up the norm because the norm is forever evolving.  Black is discipline.  Black is not all about I.  Black is love.  Black is rebellion.  Black is self-sacrifice.

Are you black enough?

Shambles by the Bay… (An unwritten letter for a defenseless student..)

(Modern Covert Racism: Do Groomed Locks Illicit Fear?)

Not Christopher but a close enough example to how his hair was worn...
Not Christopher but a close enough example to how his hair was worn…

To whom it may concern,

In the politically charged and racially sensitive landscape of today’s America I have found myself in the crossfire of cultural insensitivity, racism, and prejudice.  The aftermath of a power wielding institution that has not the individual in mind but merely its own power—maintaining its own survival.  This phenomenon is being personified and actualized in the form of one Denis Kane (Basketball Coach: Mission Bay High School).  I am but a student, a student who is by no means perfect but a student who is trying nonetheless. I attend classes and a big part of my life is basketball.  It takes much of my free time, and it is a large focus of my life and of whom I want to be. I work hard like my classmates, I’m a tax paying citizen like my classmates, I expect to be afforded the extracurricular activities as my classmates, and to be held to the same standard as my classmates. My dream of playing basketball is being derailed by my conviction to stand up for my personal expression and cultural freedom.  I hate that the two are conflicting but I feel obligated to take a stand as integrity leads me to do so.

Allow me to briefly explain my situation.  I, Christopher (Blank), was kicked off of the basketball team for wearing my hair in a particular fashion.  I have my hair in locks (often referred to as dreadlocks) which are common to my ancestors and have great cultural context which I will not expound upon here.  In modern society I will admit, locks have taken on a phenomenon of their own, nonetheless I keep mine neat and aesthetic.  I was told by Dennis Kane that he didn’t “like the way that I had to remove the locks from my eyes” while playing basketball and that he wanted me to fix the issue. I took the proper protocol and decided to put my locks up.   This essentially is to braid the locks in a design that would keep them from hanging in my eyes.  When Dennis Kane saw this hair style he told me that the hairstyle was “ghetto” and he didn’t want “ghetto” people going to his games.  Implicating that I could not rejoin the team until my hair was cut. This leads me to my current dilemma.

Everything is everything...
Everything is everything…

I considered conforming to this man’s demands, but upon further contemplation I feel that this issue is bigger than me.  The scope of this issue is a microcosm of a far larger phenomenon that is embedded in the psyche of the American conscious—its cultural and social implications are far grander. The intolerance and xenophobia imposed by this man’s will is merely a perpetuation of a supremacists view point—a view point expressed and felt by many that commonly leads to discrimination.  For one man to deem my hair as “ghetto” what exactly does that entail?  Am I being judged for my cultural expression? If so is it deemed with a negative connotation?  It appears that I am being punished for one man’s fears and insecurities.  And for a public institution to support this man’s decision would have far greater implications.  Because I look a particular way, he has preconceived, ill contrived notions about a hair style and he is punishing me for his misconceptions.  Now I’ve taken heed to all the young individuals in the media that look like me and brutalized by individuals that harbor adjacent mindsets.  People see an image and they take action. ( See Trayvon Martin, Romie Mims, Jordon Miles, Joquan Wallace)

If my hair is “ghetto” it is also shared by Akintunde Ahmad and many other prosperous individuals.  With Mr. Kane’s Mindset, should Mr. Ahmad not be “allowed” to play sports?  With his 5.0 grade point average should he not be admitted to Ivy League schools because his appearance is “ghetto”, “threatening”, and not up to Mr. Kane’s standards?  The fact of the matter is Mr. Kane’s rationale is solely based off his personal bias; it is bigoted, unfounded, spiteful, and unjust.


This letter is a call to action.  I’m not asking for Dennis Kane to lose his means of income by being fired or anything of that nature.  But I am asking for him to recognize that an injustice has been done.  I am asking that this issue be brought to his attention in the manner of enlightenment not as an attack on his character.  I am asking that I be reinstated on the team and I am asking that no retaliation be taken upon me.  I do fear, that when a man who feels he has a secured arena of power and has that powered threatened, that he will be naturally inclined to retaliate.

Thank you for taking the time to hear my side of the story.

All for the good,


Christopher (Blank)


(Update: Since this letter was written, I regret to inform you that the above student did indeed cut his hair.  His fear kept him from going through with the letter.  I don’t know if it made a difference with him being on the team or not, for it is my personal belief that this coach had a bias against him.)

(I initially was going to leave out the coaches name school, but upon further thought the only innocent person here is the young man.)