What is Love?

I wonder if we should shift the way we talk about some things, the way we ask questions and thus learn about certain ideas; namely, love. I had a recent conversation with my little sister about boys, love and relationships. She wanted me to tell her what it means, what it feels like when you know that you love a boy.

My first instinct was to chop her in the throat and dare her to ever look at a boy, let alone love one but I also didn’t want to answer her question because I know that love is something so personal, something so unique to us and our experiences that no person should ever try to define it for us.

What Occupiers May Not Recognize

I just recently stumbled upon the tweet by the writer/comedian Elon James White that says, “Oh? The NYPD are treating you badly? Violent for no reason? Weird.” – Black People. At first I couldn’t help but laugh at the truth behind this simple statement and the nonchalant voice of “Black People” welcoming Americans, more specifically Occupiers, to the issues our race has been facing for decades. I found this tweet especially interesting because of all the talk I’ve heard of Occupy Wall Street – and that is a lot – I’ve never heard this argument made.

Obama 2012: The Billion Dollar Man


The first TV ads have been launched by the Obama campaign to generate support for the 2012 election. It is estimated that the cost of his re-election bid could be somewhere between $750 million and $1 billion dollars. That is a lot of money. Especially for a country that is in such a stressful economic situation. I’m sure the right-wing talk shows will be all over how Obama is using the much needed dollars of the American tax payer to support his TV ads and bus tours. I am also sure that they will not dare mention the budget of the military or get down to the real reason why this country is in such a financial crisis in the first place, the monetary policies of the Fed.

When the Invisible is Visualized, Stories that are Untold: Monica

I think it is important to capture the stories of people who very seldom have a voice. Even though I recognize my limited power in giving people a voice, I can still try (dammit). So every now and then when I hear a story that I feel people should hear, I will try to make those invisible moments—visible.

When interviewing Monica, you could immediately detect the discomfort she felt in talking about her past. She was happy to be interviewed and to “have her story told” because she felt as though it brought legitimacy to her experience, regardless of how painful it was to revisit. But she stressed that her real name not be used in this blog. Monica is the name given as a pseudonym.

Report: Nearly All Arrested NYC Students Are Black or Hispanic

According to a recent report, an average of 1 New York City student is arrested per day. Of those arrested students, 88% are male, and 96 % are either Black or Hispanic!

From the New York Daily News:

“The numbers, released to comply with a new city law, only cover July 1 to Sept. 30 — two-thirds of which was summer school.

Cops arrested 63 students — about one a day in 50 days of classes — and issued 182 summons to students — three a day for offenses ranging from robbery to riding a bike on the sidewalk.

Of the arrests, 68% of the students were black and 25% were Latino.”

Obviously, these findings are outrageous, and point to the likelihood that NYC schools are over-policed, and that NYC public school students are victims of widespread racial profiling.

Free Lunch Program Surge Reflects Economic Distress

According to a recent New York Times article, Free Lunch Programs are swelling with new participants nationwide, indicating rising levels of poverty and economic distress across the country.

Millions of Americans are utlizing these programs for the first time, after losing jobs or settling for under-paying positions.

The number of students receiving subsidized lunches has risen 17% since 2006-2007.

From the New York Times:

“‘These are very large increases and a direct reflection of the hardships American families are facing,’ said Benjamin Senauer, a University of Minnesota economist who studies the meals program, adding that the surge had happened so quickly ‘that people like myself who do research are struggling to keep up with it.’

VIDEO: Michael Jackson "Remember The Time"


Yesterday, Michael Jackson’s former physician Conrad Murray was sentenced to four years in prison for the pop mega-star’s untimely death in 2009.

The entire situation is terribly sad, and no amount of jail time will bring Michael back. But at least we have his incredible music to enjoy.

Check out the classic (John Singleton-directed) MJ video for “Remember The Time” below!


Have a great Wednesday, people!

The Power of Words

In a time where words are abbreviated into consonants and symbols and three letters can signal an entire sentence, it becomes interesting to look at language in depth. Whether our ‘wyd’ for “what are you doing?” is a reflection of life lived on the go or a need for differentiation, our words and phrases change faster than Merriam & Webster can look up aardvark in the dictionary. How often do we analyze the reason behind our speech or think before we speak to choose our words meticulously? We are constantly deciphering messages from those around us via the internet, television, and in person. It may be useful to probe the source of our daily thoughts, conscious and subconscious, received through our constant contact with others.

Recently, I saw a movie called Waking Life, which posed various questions about our world and below is the clip on language.


Where's Africa? Don't ask a Republican

Forget Jersey Shore and Snookie’s emotional rants. Forget Real Housewives of Atlanta and all of its ratcheness classiness. If I really want to get a good laugh these days I tune into a Republican Presidential Candidate debate. I try to take politics seriously but when you have so many clowns in the arena it’s hard not to laugh, at least giggle a little bit.

Most of America knows that Rick Santorum has a Google problem. After last weeks Republican debate though, it is clear that the GOP hopeful has a geography problem as well. Responding to a question during the debate televised on CNN, former Pennsylvania Senator Santorum committed a major gaffe on a little, obscure place called Africa. It seems Santorum seems to think that the world’s second-largest continent isn’t all that important — or a continent at all. Fielding a question from former Bush Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz on poverty in third-world nations, Santorum said that American action in Africa to deal with their AIDS epidemic is “absolutely essential.”

Santorum probably should have stopped right there. Sadly, he didn’t.


“Africa was a country on the brink of complete meltdown and chaos,” he added.

Alabama's Hate Bill Drags the State Back to it's Ugly Past.

Che “Rhymefest” Smith and Jasiri X outside 16th St Baptist Church in Birmingham (Photo by Paradise Gray)

State Senator Scott Beason, one of the principle architects of Alabama’s anti-immigration bill HB56, is a racist. That’s not just my opinion, that’s what he was called by U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson. Beason was a key witness in trial recently and was asked by the FBI to wear a wire. The wire picked up Beason making blatantly racist statements, calling Black people “aborigines,” “illiterate” and implying we can be enticed to vote with buffets. This lead Judge Thompson in his ruling to single out Beason. The Judge said Beason’s statements “demonstrate a deep-seated racial animus and a desire to suppress black votes by manipulating what issues appeared on the 2010 ballot” and added, “Lawmakers who harbor such sentiments lack the integrity expected from elected officials.”

It’s no surprise that Beason’s name is attached to a piece of legislation that singles out a specific group of people for racial profiling, harassment, and arrest. Alabama’s HB56 is not only the harshest anti-immigration law, it’s inhumane. HB56 requires schools to verify the immigration status of students upon enrollment, allow law enforcement to check the status of people they suspect are undocumented during routine stops and arrests, and prohibits renting property to undocumented immigrants. It also makes it a felony for undocumented immigrants to apply for a driver’s license, license plate, or business license. In other words if you’re a human being in Alabama with no papers, it’s a crime to live.