Today in Houston…

The Mexican National Soccer Team (FIFA ranking: 17), will square off against Angola’s team (FIFA ranking:85) at Reliant Stadium. It’s a friendly match which means that

  • It doesn’t count for anything except extracting my countrymen’s hard earned lawn-mowing money
  • No Barkleyesque elbows will be flung in the direction of Angolan athletes.

Because it is my beloved Tri that is playing, expect to see this in the stands,


[Photo credit: Me. Took it during a México v. Belize match at Reliant Stadium]

The festivities will em, kick off later today.  No news if the wonderful folks at the so-called Minuteman Project will stage a whinefest.

That’s today in H-town, yesterday there was a protest led by none other than “local activist”, one might say “community organizer”, Quanell X.

As one might have guessed the protest had to do with racism, perceived or otherwise. Recently, a Bellaire officer, Jeffrey Cotton was acquitted of aggravated assault on Robbie Tolan, a Bellaire youth. Sgt. Cotton shot Tolan while the latter was in his front yard. By all accounts it was a misunderstanding, since Cotton believed that Tolan had stolen a car (the officer punched in the wrong tag number).

A confrontation ensued with the boy’s mother and the officer believed Tolan was reaching for a weapon and opened fire, wounding the young man. Personally, I believe the situation could have been avoided if Tolan had simply followed orders and waited for the misunderstanding to get cleared up.

Maybe it’s just me but if a cop tells me to do something, I’m going to do it and not put up any resistance. Remember folks, there are more of them than there are of you and they carry radios (not to mention guns). Besides, if you’re free of wrongdoing then that will come out in the wash, why aggravate the situation?

Quanell the Tenth decided to stick his nose in all this because Tolan is black and Cotton is white. At the protest, Mr. Tenth said,

This cop is a criminal, this cop should be in jail. If you shoot one more black man in Bellaire in cold blood, then your damn city will go up in flames.

I find his tone very interesting. Yes, it is possible that Cotton’s demeanor was influenced by the fact that Tolan is a young black man. Young black men and the police don’t seem to get along very well. I don’t find it outside the realm of possibility that the officer might not have been so trigger-happy if Tolan was white.

That said, Quanell the Tenth just made it more difficult for young black men in Bellaire. His passionate and extremely careless threat just paints a very negative image of blacks in the minds of Bellaire residents. In their minds, he’s painting an image (if not reinforcing) of black men as being violent, hot-tempered and not too hesitant to making threats. That’s a disservice to the very people he claims to represent.

To me, it’s very similar to when Muslims get their knickers in a twist when anyone suggests that some professing Muslims have violent tendencies.

As I’ve said before,

If someone says that you have a tendency to get out of control, and you don’t like it, then probably it’d be better if you didn’t get out control with your reaction…

Aunt Jemima or Mrs. Butterworth’s?

From the state of Louisiana,

Black Barbie Sold for Less Than White Barbie at Walmart Store

In the story, psychologist Thelma Dye said,

The implication of the lowering of the price is that’s devaluing the black doll…While it’s clear that’s not what was intended, sometimes these things have collateral damage.

The markdown was due to economics and had nothing to do with race, at least from Wal-Mart’s end of it. However, the perception of hypersensitive people will be that whoever made the decision is racist.

I don’t know, perhaps racism does play a role but it would be from customers who aren’t buying up these dolls at the same rate as they buy the “white” ones.

Or maybe it just has to do with the fact that whether we like it or not, human beings tend to gravitate towards people or in this case, dolls, that look like them. While this is often seen as racism, it’s not in all cases.

What buying a doll that represents someone of a different race has to do with the buyer being or not being racist I do not know.

What I do know is that one of the most prejudiced and racist people I’ve known had a few dark-skinned dolls in her house. Granted, they were “mammy” dolls but who’s counting.

All this raises the question, if Wal-Mart is capable of so brazenly “devaluing the black doll”, what’s to stop them from offering up Aunt Jemima’s syrup for half the price of Mrs. Butteworth’s?

The question lingers overhead…

I Have a Dream… A Capitalist Dream

From Dr. King’s famous and inspiring speech,

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

Contrary to popular opinion, Barack Obama’s election to the Presidency was for the most part, a betrayal of Dr. King’s dream. Why? Because his historic victory was buttressed by the many who voted for Sen. Obama, not because of his character, but because of the color of his skin (Columnist Bret Prelutsky makes the same point in Mourning in America).

Then there is this,

King family seeks to cash in on MLK-Obama items

What kind of items? For example, t-shirts like one the woman on the left is wearing in this picture:

obama-mlk

(Matt Rourke/AP Photo)

Is it just me or does the shot look like a capture from one of those annoying ‘lower your interest rate’ web ads?

According to the story, MLK’s nephew, Isaac Newton Farris Jr., who is the head of the King Center, said this about the merchandise in question,

Some of this is probably putting food on people’s plates. We’re not trying to stop anybody from legitimately supporting themselves, but we cannot allow our brand to be abused.

Our brand, huh? Intere$ting…

On a related note, here is a picture from L.A.,

obama-mlk-malcolm-xAnne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

Wow, some enterprising soul hit a trey from the corner by sneaking Malcolm X into a shirt. I wonder if his people are going to throw their hat into the ring.

The $us$pen$e is riveting…

Comparing Barack Obama to Royalty

No, the post does not refer to the endless and erroneous comparisons to Camelot, the closest America has had to even a hint of royalty.

The comparison is to Princess Di and it came in one of the 2 columns referenced here.

Both of these pieces ran in the UK’s Daily Mail, quick someone cue up Paperback Writer!

One piece is written by Peter Hitchens (below)

The night we waved goodbye to America… our last best hope on Earth

peter-hitchens
To paraphrase Brian Giles, “his brother’s Christopher”

Whether or not Mr. Hitchens’ laid it on a little thick with the column’s title can only be ascertained after reading his opinion. I thought he made a couple of keen and dispassionate observations.

Here’s the intro to the column,

Anyone would think we had just elected a hip, skinny and youthful replacement for God, with a plan to modernise Heaven and Hell – or that at the very least John Lennon had come back from the dead.

The swooning frenzy over the choice of Barack Obama as President of the United States must be one of the most absurd waves of self-deception and swirling fantasy ever to sweep through an advanced civilisation. At least Mandela-worship – its nearest equivalent – is focused on a man who actually did something.

I really don’t see how the Obama devotees can ever in future mock the Moonies, the Scientologists or people who claim to have been abducted in flying saucers. This is a cult like the one which grew up around Princess Diana, bereft of reason and hostile to facts.

It can be argued that Obamamania hasn’t been described any better than this.

The second piece is by Liz Jones and it focuses on our future First Lady, Michelle Obama.
Read more of this post

Senator Barack Obama wins the 2008 Student Council Election

That is ABC’s projection at least. If this inevitability holds up (and it will), Sen. Obama becomes the first biracial individual to be elected President of these United States.

What I think interesting about this whole deal is the focus on how we as a nation have come a long way in exorcising our racist demons of years past. Tonight I watched/heard a black U.S. Congressman say on national television that (I’m paraphrasing) America is ready to bury its race burden.

Really? I agree, racism (regardless of the criterion) is an evil that should be buried and done away with (one day it will but not by our efforts) but is this nation ready to bury its race burden?

Not judging by this election. Not when a large number of people vote for a candidate based mostly (if not solely) on the basis of the color of his skin (or half of his ancestry).

A black person voting for Barack Obama on the grounds that he’s half-black is just as racist as a white person voting for McCain on the grounds that he isn’t half-black. A Mexican voter voting for a Mexican candidate just because of his ethnicity is equally injurious. Racism is racism no matter who it’s coming from.

I truly believe that true progress would be marked by a total disregard for a candidate’s ethnicity or skin color. Color blindness is not making a huge deal of the melanin a person’s genes are programmed to express. Color blindness is looking past this, not focusing on it as has been done ad nauseam throughout this laborious election process.

Congratulations to Senator Obama on winning what has become, the world’s most important popularity contest. He should thank the press for delivering this victory to him, I would (tonight, ABC’s Diane Sawyer found it a Sisyphean task to contain her glee).

Judging by the amount of people present at his victory party, methinks the President-elect needs a bigger Jeep than this one (click on the pic and watch the celebratory hilarity ensue):
obamajeep

Just so long as he keeps the tires properly inflated…

Sarah Palin Mannequin Raises Question

Caught this story on Drudge,
Halloween Palin Prop Sparks Controversy In WeHo

Apparently a West Holly wood man thought it a great Halloween idea to hang a mannequin dressed as Sarah Palin (picture from the story):

According to the story, Chad Michael Morisette, who hung the mannequin by a noose, had this to say about it,

It should be seen as art, and as within the month of October. It’s Halloween, it’s time to be scary it’s time to be spooky.

Now is a good time to remind everyone that if this country were nearly half the neo-con fascist theocracy that folks in some quarters believe it to be, Mr. Morrisette would have been cast in prison and then summarily shot. And oh yeah, his family would be charged for the bullet, but I digress.

No doubt, this election season has been a trying one for all involved. Race, unlike any previous election, is inevitably a focal point due in large part to the fact that one of the nominees is half-black.

In this election you have racists voting for Senator Obama because he is half-black and racists not voting for Senator Obama because he is half-black. These 2 groups of people have more in common than they realize.

I don’t intend to stir the simmering racial pot but a question if I may:

Would a mannequin of Senator Obama hanging from a noose, say in the Deep South, be seen as “art” or as a vicious “hate crime”?

Judging by the irrational hysterics that went on last year in Jena, Louisiana (and parts beyond) methinks the latter…

The Whitening of NFL Rosters

I became a huge Jason Whitlock fan after watching him take Al Sharpton to task for the latter’s alarmist tactics.

Whitlock is a gifted writer not to mention a brilliant communicator, which is why he is linked to right in the “Opinion” box.

A column he wrote for Fox Sports (his new home) titled,
“NFL buffoons leaving terrible legacy”, expounds on the effects of hip hop culture on the composition of NFL rosters.

A sample,

African-American football players caught up in the rebellion and buffoonery of hip hop culture have given NFL owners and coaches a justifiable reason to whiten their rosters. That will be the legacy left by Chad, Larry and Tank Johnson, Pacman Jones, Terrell Owens, Michael Vick and all the other football bojanglers.

In terms of opportunity for American-born black athletes, they’re going to leave the game in far worse shape than they found it.

It’s already starting to happen. A little-publicized fact is that the Colts and the Patriots — the league’s model franchises — are two of the whitest teams in the NFL.

If a white journalist would have said this, Al Sharpton would have called for the man’s immediate dismissal and subsequent hanging. Even if our theoretical white journalist would have added what Whitlock did further down the page,

Race is not the determining factor when it comes to having a good or bad attitude. Culture is.

I recommend reading the entire column to consider the following question: Does Jason Whitlock have a point?

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.