Surprise: Too Short is a Dirty Old Man

I understand the outrage at rapper Too Short’s latest comments. But should we be so up in arms? Since dropping his first song, the rapper has consistently degraded and disrespected women in his music. But it wasn’t his lyrics that drew the ire of the media and the general public over 20 years ago when he first released his single “Freaky Tales”. Instead, we listened. We allowed it, we allowed him to flourish. We allowed his ascent, consuming his music whole, misogyny and all, authenticating his persona. He ushered in the first wave of misogynistic hip hop in the 1980s and we allowed it.

We created the monster.

So why do we get up in arms behind the statements he made in an interview?

REPORT: Only 4 Percent of College Students are Black Males

According to a recent study by the Washington, D.C.-based Council of the Great City Schools, Black males account for only 4% of college students in the United States.

Meanwhile, in New York State for example, over 50 percent of prison inmates are Black males.

Poverty is clearly a major factor perpetuating the school-to-prison pipeline. But many community activists  point specifically to a lack of male role models in the lives of young men, and intervention that comes too little and too late.

A variety of youth programs and colleges are working hard to counteract these trends, but is it enough?

Catching 5.0 Slippin’

Among the many ways in which Black youth continue to be treated unlawfully, nothing proclaims that the constitution was not writen for us more than illegal search and seizures. Angered by my inability to protect my brother from the unreasonable treatment of police, I decided to do some reasearch. As I suspected, the police are not allowed to conduct searches at whim; the direction of these situations purely depends on the consent of the person that owns the car or lives in the house. I want to encourage my brothers and sisters to excercise their right to say no.

Raising Girls in Public

This week has been the week of concern for young girls everywhere. From the death of Whitney and the fear of the consequences for her daughter to the examples of Too $hort and RiRi, it is no question why many are in distress. In an age where youth regardless of gender are tuned into the media almost as much as they are into school, there has to be a bigger to do about the lessons they are being taught. It cannot be a question of whether or not the intent is to represent a role model but more so a realization that youth will emulate who and what they perceive to be cool. Like it is said, with great power comes great responsibility. 

Supreme Court Will Hear Case Challenging Affirmative Action

Today the Supreme Court announced they will once again hear a case challenging the constitutionality of Affirmative Action.

This particular case involves whether or not the University of Texas at Austin can consider race during the admissions process. The last time the Supreme Court heard a case challenging the policy was in 2003, regarding the admissions process at the University of Michigan Law School.

And proponents of Affirmative Action may have some cause to worry, as it is being reported that Elena Kagan, an Affirmative Action supporter, it likely to recuse herself from the case.

Rihanna and Chris Brown Release ‘Birthday Cake (remix),’ and the internet explodes…

Rihanna set off a firestorm of controversy last night when a remix of RiRi’s Talk That Talk mini-song “Birthday Cake” leaked, featuring none other than former boyfriend Chris Brown.

In case you forgot, Chris Brown is still on probation after assaulting Rihanna the night before the Grammys in 2009.

Needless to say, fans and critics are divided over Rihanna’s decision to be even remotely friendly towards Brown, let alone record music with him. And the overtly-sexual nature of the song doesn’t make things much better.

Brown’s first line: “Girl, I wanna fuck you right now/Been a long time, I’ve been missing your body.”

So is it RiRi’s prerogative, or is she setting a bad example for young women?

Chicago Charter School Fines Students for Untied Shoelaces and Chewing Gum?!

Chicago-based charter school network Noble Street College Prep is at the center of controversy over their costly method of disciplining students.

Noble Street students are charged fines for seemingly minor infractions like using a cell phone or having untied shoelaces. The school says that by sweating the small stuff, they have cut down on more serious infractions like fighting or drugs, and that grades and test scores are up.

Critics say fining students is just inappropriate, and that it disproportionately impacts (and potentially forces out) low income students.

Last year alone, the school collected over $190,000 in disciplinary fees from students.

Jesus, The Community Activist

Today I would like to talk about a very simple subject-conflict-and Jesus, the community activist. Although these concepts may seem diametrically opposed; Black liberation theology tells us that Jesus Christ was a community activist. Many of my self-proclaimed “educated” brethren consider themselves to be above religious teachings, especially Christianity, because they believe that it is a religion that was imposed on African-Americans, the same way Malcolm X said, “Plymouth Rock landed on us”. Some have expressed to me that it preaches passivity, especially in the face of oppression. However, Black liberation theology deals primarily with the African-American community, to make Christianity real for blacks. It explains Christianity as a matter of emancipation here and now, rather than in an afterlife. The goal of black theology is not for special treatment. Instead, “All Black theologians are asking for is for freedom and justice. No more, and no less.”