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Gender: Male
Hometown: VA
Home country: USA
Current location: VA
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 39,539

About Me

Blocked on Twitter by that rat bastard fuck @ggreenwald

Journal Archives

Stuart Scott Spoke the Language of My Generation

We didn’t have to know you to know that you knew us, got us and embodied us. That you spoke like us and got the duality of being both a professional and a poet.

That a home run ball leaving the park wasn't “hi-yoooo!” it was “boo-yahhhh!” And you got the difference for us, the kids from broken homes with cousins named Pookie, who wrote out rap lyrics in our notebooks and signed our names in bubble letters.

You didn’t patronize us free-lunch kids, you asked that we be included in the conversation. You slid our language right next to theirs and let it be. You included the music of your people and the experiences of your life to add to your depth. And your vast knowledge of hip-hop did not embarrass you. You were proud of it. You took the bullet for the rest of us; spoke our speech on-air so that even a throwaway phrase like “Yo” became commonplace.

“You had white guys, in their 30s, all with catchphrases,” ESPN host Dan Patrick said of Stuart Scott. “Stuart certainly wasn’t that.”

Nope. He was ours first—with the baggy-pants suits and tight fades that he wore early in his career—and in turn he became everyone else’s. This is the cornerstone of the legacy of Stuart Scott, a man who battled cancer three times with an authentic gangster mentality that most rappers only spit on wax.

According to his doctors, he refused to know what stage his cancer was in because he didn’t want to be defined by his illness. He chose to live on his terms, and that included rigorous chemotherapy treatments and ended with grueling mixed martial arts training.

Weeks before he would accept the ESPYs’ Jimmy V Perseverance Award, Scott spent days in the hospital undergoing multiple surgeries, but he was there, on the ESPY stage in Los Angeles, because he wasn’t going to let cancer hold him back. He was thin and war-torn, but not down.

“When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer,” he told the crowd. “You beat cancer by how you live, why you live and the manner in which you live.”

This is the true spirit of hip-hop and one that Scott embodied all the way to the end—for us. That although the odds are against you, it doesn’t mean that you can’t live to the fullest, out loud.

Or, as Notorious B.I.G. spit, “Remember Rappin Duke? Duh-ha, duh-ha. You never thought that hip-hop would take it this far.”



Where Safeway Fears to Tread

West Baltimore’s unlikely source of fruit.

A large black mare is tethered to a chain-link fence in West Baltimore. She pulls at it, causing the loose metal to rattle, and paws at the hot asphalt beneath her, scratching chalky cave drawings into the blacktop. Her name is Beauty.

“Hey, hey, cut that out, girl,” says Yusuf Abdullah, aka BJ, approaching with an old spray bottle filled with water. BJ’s hair is braided into cornrows, and he wears an oversized shirt, holed jeans, and a pair of purple and green high-top sneakers. In an hour, he and Beauty, pulling a wagon loaded up with fruit, will be heading out into the most dangerous streets of Baltimore to hawk peaches, cantaloupe, and other fresh fruit. Selling fruit in this way is called arabbing here (pronounced AY-rabbing), and fruit sellers like BJ are known as arabbers.

“Do me a favor and roll by my mama’s house,” says a man buying peaches on West Hamburg Street. “She got diabetes, and she needs this stuff. Tell her her son sent you.”
On this day, three men, including Donald “Manboy” Savoy, an 82-year-old widower who has spent the last half-century working as an arabber, help BJ load up his wagon with fruit while BJ heaps a large, black leather saddle over Beauty’s sagging back. All arabber horses are fitted with elaborate tack and regalia—black Pennsylvania Dutch saddles rimmed in gold, caps with red and yellow plumage, and a long belt of bells and white bone rings that hangs from either side of the harness. It’s a style known as Baltimore fancy.

I’ve arrived at the Fremont Stables on the good word of friend Holden Warren, who is the vice president of the Arabber Preservation Society. This is not a full-time job; Warren tells me the preservation society operates on a budget of $5,000 to $10,000 annually. Still, the commitment to upholding tradition runs strong, and Warren has even tried his hand at occasional arabbing himself. (Since he is the only white arabber on Baltimore’s streets, this turns some heads.)

Arabbers are a group of itinerant merchants in Baltimore who have sold fruits and vegetables out of horse-drawn carts since pre-Civil War days. (The practice became almost exclusively African American after World War II.) The etymology of arabber is believed by some to date back to a 19th-century London reference to the homeless, but no one really knows. Today only a dozen arabbers carry on the tradition. Most of them travel more than 15 miles per day, bringing in from $100 to $300, depending on the season. Considering the costs of the fruit and the use of the horse and cart, arabbers leave each day with about $50 in pocket.

BJ, who is 26, has been arabbing for several years, and his father was once an arabber, too. Like many young men from West Baltimore, he has been in and out of prison. “I used to bang in the streets,” he says. “I used to like that fast money. But after a few stints at the D.O.C., I figured out slow money is good money. I can come out here and do honest work that helps people, and I don’t have to look over my shoulder.”

These blocks of West Baltimore are mostly abandoned, with large boards barricading the row homes. White marble stoops crumble into nothing and black plastic bodega bags float through the streets. When we are quiet, the only sounds are the disyllable clop of a shoed horse and the crunch of the wheels. “Suh-weeeeet peeeAAYCH- es!” calls out BJ periodically. “Can’lope! Can’lope hurrr.”


I'm not excited to post this, but it *IS* a notable first...

Utah’s Rep. Mia Love takes spot in history

Washington • Utah’s Mia Love raised her right hand in the House chamber Tuesday to take the oath of office and enter the history books as the first black female Republican member of Congress.

"I’m in awe," she said earlier as she greeted waves of well-wishers in her new office, now sporting the official Representative Mia B. Love sign. "I’m just taking it all in and enjoying it. I’ve decided I’m not stressing today."

Love, who is also the first Haitian-American in Congress, got the star treatment on her first day as Utah’s newest representative: Rep. Paul Ryan, the former GOP vice presidential candidate, escorted her to the House chamber, Speaker John Boehner kissed her on the cheek and Majority Whip Steve Scalise brought her a gift.

"For everybody who did so much to work on this campaign, thank you so much for bringing this budding star to Congress," Ryan told a crowd of supporters huddled in Love’s office. "We’re so proud of her; we’re so thrilled for her; and we can’t wait to see what she’s going to do."

Love, 39, won her second bid for the 4th Congressional District in November after Utah’s only Democrat, Rep. Jim Matheson, opted against running for re-election. With Love, Utah now has an entirely Republican delegation.

Reps. Rob Bishop, Jason Chaffetz and Chris Stewart were sworn in again Tuesday.

Love, though, stole the spotlight. A line of folks stretched out of her office, each hoping for a photo with the new congresswoman. Love’s family, including her parents, who flew in from Connecticut, held court in the packed space.

Her father, who immigrated to America from Haiti, didn’t stop smiling.

"This is a country of hope and opportunity," Maxime Bordeau said. "This is America."


Former Kansas official files federal suit against Edward Snowden documentary

Source: The Wichita Eagle

A former Kansas Secretary of Transportation has filed a federal lawsuit seeking to keep Edward Snowden and filmmakers from profiting from a documentary about his release of classified information on covert government surveillance programs.

Horace Edwards is asking the court to order a government seizure of the proceeds from the film “Citizenfour,” which chronicles Snowden’s evolution from National Security Agency contractor to whistleblower to international celebrity fugitive. The suit was filed Friday in Topeka federal court.

“This lawsuit seeks relief against those who profiteer by pretending to be journalists, but in effect are evading the law by betraying their own country,” Edwards’ lawsuit states. “Through this charade in the film ‘Citizenfour,’ a fugitive senior intelligence official … together with the ‘Hollywood Defendants,’ intentionally violate obligations owed to the American people, misuse purloined information disclosed to foreign enemies, and covet financial gain for their misconduct.”

Snowden’s release of information confirmed mammoth U.S. government surveillance of e-mail, phone calls, Web searches and other data of citizens in the United States and allied nations.

The film draws its title from Snowden’s assumed identity at the beginning of his effort to reveal the extent of NSA surveillance. It has won several awards from film critics and is considered a potential front-runner for an Academy Award.

Read more: http://www.kansas.com/news/local/article4829898.html

Before anyone asks:

1. I am not Horace Edwards
2. I am not any of the "John/Jane Does" listed as plaintiffs
3. I am 100% certain this lawsuit isn't going to last 30 seconds before being tossed out
4. Why am I posting it? Because it's LBN with a bit of entertainment value

Sums it up brilliantly:


White Anxiety and the Futility of Black Hope

This is the third in a series of interviews with philosophers on race that I am conducting for The Stone. This week’s conversation is with Shannon Sullivan, a professor in the department of philosophy at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. She is the author of “Good White People: The Problem with Middle-Class White Anti-Racism.” — George Yancy

George Yancy: What motivated you to engage “whiteness” in your work as a philosopher?

Shannon Sullivan: It was teaching feminist philosophy for the first time or two and trying to figure out how to reach the handful of men in the class — white men, now that I think of it. They tended to be skeptical at best and openly hostile at worst to the feminist ideas we were discussing. They felt attacked and put up a lot of defenses. I was trying to see things from their perspective, not to endorse it (it was often quite sexist!), but to be more effective as a teacher. And so I thought about my whiteness and how I might feel and respond in a class that critically addressed race in ways that implicated me personally. Not that race and gender are the same or can be captured through analogies, but it was a first step toward grappling with my whiteness and trying to use it.

What really strikes me now, as I think about your question, is how old I was — around 30 — before I ever engaged whiteness philosophically, or personally, for that matter. Three decades where that question never came up and yet the unjust advantages whiteness generally provides white people fully shaped my life, including my philosophical training and work.

G.Y.: How did whiteness shape your philosophical training? When I speak to my white graduate philosophy students about this, they have no sense that they are being shaped by the “whiteness” of philosophy. They are under the impression that they are doing philosophy, pure and simple, which is probably a function of the power of whiteness.

S.S.: I think I’m only just discovering this and probably am only aware of the tip of the iceberg. Here is some of what I’ve learned, thanks to the work of Charles Mills, Linda Martín Alcoff, Kathryn Gines, Tommy Curry and many other philosophers of color: It’s not just that in grad school I didn’t read many philosophers outside a white, Euro-centric canon (or maybe any — wow, I’m thinking hard here, but the answer might be zero). It’s also that as a result of that training, my philosophical habits of thinking, of where to go in the literature and the history of philosophy for help ruminating on a philosophical topic — even that of race — predisposed me toward white philosophers. Rebuilding different philosophical habits can be done, but it’s a slow and frustrating process. It would have been better to develop different philosophical habits from the get-go.

My professional identity and whether I count as a full person in the discipline is bound up with my middle-class whiteness, even as my being a woman jeopardizes that identity somewhat. Whiteness has colonized “doing philosophy, pure and simple,” which has a significant bearing on what it means to be a “real” philosopher. Graduate students tend to be deeply anxious about whether they are or will eventually count as real philosophers, and whiteness functions through that anxiety even as that anxiety can seem to be totally unrelated to race (to white people anyway — I’m not sure it seems that unrelated to graduate students of color).

G.Y.: For many whites the question of their whiteness never comes up or only comes up when they are much older, as it did in your case. And yet, as you say, there is the accrual of unjust white advantages. What are some reasons that white people fail to come to terms with the fact that they benefit from whiteness?

S.S.: That’s a tough one and there probably are lots of reasons, including beliefs in boot-strap individualism, meritocracy and the like. Another answer, I think, has to do with class differences among white people. A lot of poor white people haven’t benefited as much from whiteness as middle- and upper-class white people have. Poor white people’s “failure” to come to terms with the benefits of their whiteness isn’t as obvious, I guess I’d say. I’m not talking about a kind of utilitarian calculus where we can add up and compare quantities of white advantage, but there are differences.

I’m thinking here of an article I just read in the Charlotte Observer that my new home state of North Carolina is the first one to financially compensate victims of an aggressive program of forced sterilization, one that ran from the Great Depression all the way through the Nixon presidency. (A headline on an editorial in the Observer called the state’s payouts “eugenics checks.”) The so-called feeble-minded who were targeted included poor and other vulnerable people of all races, even as sterilization rates apparently increased in areas of North Carolina as those areas’ black populations increased. My point is that eugenics programs in the United States often patrolled the borders of proper whiteness by regulating the bodies and lives of the white “failures” who were allegedly too poor, stupid and uneducated to do whiteness right.

Even though psychological wages of whiteness do exist for poor white people, those wages pay pennies on the dollar compared to those for financially comfortable white people. So coming to terms with whiteness’s benefits can mean really different things, as can failing to do so. I think focusing the target on middle-class white people’s failure is important. Which might just bring me right back to your question!


NASA chief delivers U. of Michigan commencement

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — NASA chief Charles Bolden Jr. has told University of Michigan graduates that it's their time and responsibility to lead the next generation.

Bolden delivered the annual winter commencement speech Sunday on the school's Ann Arbor campus.

He is the 12th administrator of NASA and the first African-American in the role. He has been on four space flights, commanded two missions and piloted the space shuttle Discovery, which deployed the Hubble Space Telescope in 1990.

Bolden also received an honorary Doctor of Science degree Sunday.

The Ann Arbor News reports that Bolden called graduates part of "the space generation."

"Your generation is going to take the things that people of my generation started and make them your own," he said. "It's time for you to go out and challenge the status quo ... and enrich the future.

"My advice for you is quite simple: Dream big dreams. Do what you want to do. Don't listen to anyone who tells you you can't do something or don't belong somewhere, and don't let any opportunity pass you by."

Other honorary degree recipients included Susanne Baer, a justice on German's Federal Constitutional Court; Ralph Cicerone, a top atmospheric scientist and the National Academy of Sciences president; and Dr. Hamilton Smith, the winner of the 1978 Nobel Prize in medicine.


Russia: 'Good news day' decimates website's readership

There's a reason why so many local newspapers focus on crime and accidents - and a website in southern Russia has found out the hard way.

The City Reporter, based in Rostov-on-Don, says it lost two-thirds of its readers after deciding to publish only good news for just one day. "Do you feel like you are surrounded by negative information? You don't want to read the news in the morning?" the website had asked its readers. "Do you think good news is a myth? We'll try to prove the opposite tomorrow!" On 1 December, as promised, the website carried only positive headlines. "No disruption on the roads despite snow," declared one. Another announced that an underpass would be built in time for Victory Day.

But as uplifting as they were intended to be, the good news stories sent readership numbers plummeting. "We looked for positives in the day's news, and we think we found them," wrote deputy editor Viktoriya Nekrasova on Facebook. "But it looks like almost nobody needs them. That's the trouble." The following day, the City Reporter decided to return to more reliable staples: car crashes and burst water pipes.


Police aggressively questioned girlfriend of African-American man gunned down by cop in Walmart

Police aggressively questioned the tearful girlfriend of a young black man they had just shot dead as he held a BB gun in an Ohio supermarket – accusing her of lying, threatening her with jail, and suggesting her boyfriend had planned to shoot the mother of his children.

Tasha Thomas was reduced to swearing on the lives of her relatives that John Crawford III had not been carrying a firearm when they entered the Walmart in Beavercreek, near Dayton, to buy crackers, marshmallows and chocolate bars on the evening of 5 August.

“You lie to me and you might be on your way to jail,” detective Rodney Curd told Thomas, as she wept and repeatedly offered to take a lie-detector test. After more than an hour and a half of questioning and statement-taking, Curd finally told Thomas that Crawford, 22, had died.

“As a result of his actions, he is gone,” said the detective, as she slumped in her chair and cried.

Crawford had been shot by police officer Sean Williams , after a customer called 911 and claimed the 22-year-old was pointing a gun at passersby. Surveillance footage released later showed Crawford picking up the BB rifle from a shelf, wandering the aisles and occasionally swinging the gun at his side while he spoke on his cellphone to his ex-girlfriend.

A 94-minute police video recording, released to the Guardian by the office of Mike DeWine, the Ohio attorney general, in response to a public records request, shows Thomas, 26, being interviewed by Curd after she was driven from Walmart to the Beavercreek police department. Curd later told investigators he had not yet been told Crawford only had a BB gun that had been on sale at the store.

Curd promptly asked Thomas whether she and Crawford had criminal records. Already tearful and breathless, Thomas explained that she may have had some traffic offences and had been arrested for petty theft as a juvenile.

The detective then became increasingly aggressive and banged on the table between them with his hand. “Tell me where he got the gun from,” Curd repeated. Thomas insisted Crawford had been carrying only a white plastic grocery bag when they arrived at Walmart to buy the ingredients to make s’mores at a family cook-out.

Asked one of several times whether Crawford owned a gun, Thomas said: “Not that I know.”

Curd told her: “Don’t tell me ‘not that you know’, because that’s the first thing I realise somebody’s not telling me the truth”.

He later repeated: “You need to tell me the truth” and “You need to be truthful.”

Crawford was talking on his cellphone to LeeCee Johnson, the mother of his two sons, when he was shot by Williams. Curd repeatedly suggested to Thomas that Johnson, who was in fact at home in Cincinnati, may also have been in the Walmart store and that Crawford was there to attack her.

“Did he ever mention ‘I’m going to shoot that bitch’ or something like that?” the detective asked Thomas, who insisted that Crawford had not. Johnson, whom Thomas had never met, was miles away and listened over the phone while Crawford died.


Alia Atkinson Becomes The First Black Woman To Win A World Swimming Title

Jamaican swimmer Alia Atkinson recently became the first Black woman to win a world swimming title with the 100m breast stroke at the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) in Doha, Qatar.

“Atkinson completed the short course race in 1 minute and 2.36 seconds, tying the world record, which according to FINA standards counts as its own record,” reports Jezebel.

Atkinson says she hopes her victory will strip away stereotypes about Blacks being non-swimmers. “I am very hopeful that my personal success in Qatar will ignite others, especially those in the ‘so called’ non-traditional sports to try even harder because now they can see for themselves that significant achievements can be attained,” Atkinson, who lives in Florida, told Jamaican Observer Online. “But let me stress that it takes a lot of work, in fact very hard work, mixed with very heavy doses of patience. I have had disappointments, I have had some good results and it all came together in just over a minute in Doha. I have worked really hard for my achievement in Qatar.”
She will start competing again in February 2015 with the US Grand Prix races. “But for now it is rest, rest and more rest,” the 25-year-old said.

Remember the Jamaican bobsled team? The team entered a sport most people would not associate with Jamaica, nor Blacks in general. Many have said swimming too was not a sport for Blacks. But Atkinson has proved them wrong.

- See more at: http://madamenoire.com/495096/alia-atkinson-first-black-woman-win-world-swimming-title/#sthash.HI1yV6w3.dpuf

I've personally never understood the "we're not good swimmers" -stereotype, since I've been swimming since childhood...I was never competitive, but it is something I do well and enjoy...On the flipside, I'm a horribly uncoordinated dancer, so I guess it evens out
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