Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Must Talk About "Idol"

I must admit American Idol has lost some of its lustre since I first fell in love with the show from its inception. My favorite season will still be the year Fantasia was crowned winner. There was just so much talent in that group including one later Oscar winner - Jennifer Hudson.

Since then, I've enjoyed Idol for the most part for its auditions. Oh admit it! That is one of the best guilty pleasures on TV: Hearing William Hung innocently singing "She bangs" to the disgust of Simon but Hung using that minute of audition to the longest 15 minutes of fame I've ever seen. I just like to laugh at folks who are convinced they can sing, nay, sing professionally and can't carry a tune.

But this season (as well as last season with two "Davids) have been quite special and I won't go into bringing a new judge (Kara) - I think she brings something different (in a good way) because whether you want to admit it or not Paula (Abdul) may be sweet but she can drive you nuts - at least for me. Let's here it for Simon! (Love him!) And don't get me started on Randy with all the Dawg, Dude, pitchy - did I miss any other over-used word from Randy's judging?

So it comes to this season and boy, there are some mad talent. Used the word "boy" for a reason because the edge of talent (as last year) goes to the guys. The gals with such promise are Lil Rounds and Allison Irahert (I can't believe that girl is 16 - SHE CAN SING!) Which girl did I deliberately omit - MEGAN! Why is she still there? America, Get the wax off your ears! I know the girl is stunning but this is A SINGING COMPETITION for crying out loud!

Hear my case out against Megan: I'm going to concentrate on two major weeks out of the last three (excluding Country week) which featured Michael Jackson's songs and last week dedicated to Motown. And in my humble opinion, I can speak of those two weeks with authority.

On the week for Michael Jackson songs the girl picked OF ALL SONGS Rocking Robin - Seriously! A song Jackson did when he was a boy - come on! She was horrible! But they sent the wrong person home. Then last week came and the girl killed (and not in a good way) one of my fave artists song - Stevie Wonder's "for once." OMG! And you guys chose to let her stay again and voted the nice guy (Michael - the oil rigger) off. So he wasn't that good but he wasn't the worst - It was MEGAN! Please vote her off!

Then you guys did another unthinkable and put Matt Giraud (a guy with real soul) in the bottom three after a stirring Marvin Gaye "let's get it on." But then again, it might be the curse of being first - folks tend to forget the person who was the first to start off the competition.

So who are the top contenders on the guys side. No doubt, the final two that will be left standing at the end of this competition will be good guy Danny Gokey and glam rock dude Adam Lambert. And the edge? If I can look in my crystal ball (lol) I will give it to Adam - just judging the two weeks of Jackson and Motown, he's overtook Danny who's been playing it safe - a kiss of death in the music business.

Hear me out: On Jackson week, Adam did "Black and white" and nailed it! What did Danny do? P.Y.T (Pretty Young Thing) - Oh Gosh Danny, haven't you heard of song choice? You couldn't pick out something that will show your powerful vocals? How about "man in the mirror?" You would have KILLED IT (In a good way). But check out Adam:

Then Motown came and I really didn't give Adam much chance, I thought the glam rock thing will get in the way of the "soul" of Motown music but I'm glad I was proven wrong. The boy flipped the script even to his look. And to sing Smokey's song when he was serving as mentor - that takes balls (no pun intended). And "tracks of my tears" hold a special place in my heart especially the version with the duet with Michael McDonald and the late Ray Charles. Adam got it! Whatever "it" is, he got it!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Mishmash of Musings

I have a lot on my mind and about to give the rundown of my musings:

The President's Prime-Time Press Conference: Is CNN's Ed Henry's jaw off the floor yet after the President put him in his place. In case you missed it, it was when Henry asked Pres. Obama why he didn't show the "outrage" (and y'all know from last week how I love that word - not) after the AIG executives bonus mess and waited two (a lifetime in Media) days to give a response and the Prez' sharp comeback was (paraphrased): I like to know to what I'm talking about before I speak. OH SNAP! In your face Henry! You've just been posterized.

Ok let me get back to my dignified self. Perhaps I enjoyed the exchange because I could relate to some folks getting on your last nerves, and knowing how to wield the sword of the tongue just so that the words will only be a "flesh wound" - you'll feel the impact but it won't be damaging or deadly. One of my guy friends sagely observed a while back: "You know what Mo, you have a way with words that it takes a minute for someone to catch you've just insulted him." I just had an innocent smile on my face (I'm not admitting to anything).

The Party Of No: Seriously, can somebody send a memo to the Republican party that they need to REALLY get a message and it shouldn't be all about saying NO to stuff to make our lives better. It seems they're in the "terrible twos" stage except these guys and gals are full grown. You want to fix the economy? No! You want to fix the environment? No! You want to increase benefits to our veterans? No! What about the broken health care system? No! How about we increase taxes lightly to go back to the 90s (when more millionaires were created) and stop giving tax breaks to less than 10 percent of the society? Double NO! Get the picture?

You Need to Catch Prince On Tonight Show: If you haven't seen Prince the past two nights on Tonight Show with Jay Leno, you don't know what you're missing but you still have one more chance - Friday night. Ok I'm a bit biased because I'm a fan but I just saw his second showing 45 minutes ago (a bit tamer than last night) but still with punch. I can't (well I can) believe someone could speak on socially conscious talks (i.e race matters) and do so with funk!

As Prince strummed his guitar as if it was the first time (I just noticed the pun in my words, anyhoo), I thought to myself I don't care for the metrosexual look but Prince can wear all the high heels, guy liner (eye liner to us ladies) and shiny fabrics all he wants and still be all "MAN." NO other guy will get away with that.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

25 Random Things? Well Maybe Less

I wasn't lost on the "25 Random Things" feature on the web for folks with blogs, facebook, etc earlier this year. I've had a shift with my time and to be honest, I just couldn't come up with 25 things others might not know about me - ok maybe I could come up with a lot but I also thought how do I share and still keep the air of mystery about who I am? I think I can manage to do both, so here goes:

Born in the USA but I've traveled and/or lived in four continents before the age of eighteen. I guess that helped shaped the way I see the world. For example, a couple of years ago when folks kept saying then Sen. Barack Obama wasn't black enough, it baffled me. My aunt had to remind me that as much as I saw myself as an American, I have more of "world" view and not the "American" view on things. I'm still wondering if she's right.

Those who are close to me call me "Mo" which is part of my first name and the initials of my first and last name (got that) among other affectionate terms. But you better have known me before using that because my first name is short enough. A late friend found that out the hard way, he was my then college roomate's boyfriend (and later her husband) and I was meeting both of them for the first time. When I introduced myself, he said "can I call you Mo?" Without missing a beat I replied "No you can't." He was taken aback, then I replied "only my friends call me that." "Well I'd like to get to the point you can call me a friend." He became one of the best I've had.

Yes my name is a conversation starter. I've just resigned myself that (given a unique name) is part of my lot in life - so go with the humor.

I'm a night owl. I don't understand early risers who are truly AWAKE in the morning. I need some coffee to function before 10 am.

I'm a foodie. Willing to try all kinds of ethnic foods unless I'm gross out from the onset what went into making the food. So one of the things I love (before the recession) was checking out different kinds of restaurant or hole-in-the-wall places with great food. My favorite cuisine? Don't have one. It used to be Italian, then I discovered Thai (which I thought was an expensive version of Chinese food) some years ago and I was hooked. Thai food is still more expensive than Chinese but definitely not the same. For one, Thai is healthier and spicier (my kind of forte).

So how do I keep my lean (with sharp curves) frame if I love good food? See, I try this novel concept called working out:-) I'm also fortunate to have great genes.

I don't smoke. I find the smell disgusting . . . not to talk of what it does to your health.

I don't drink (at all) but I'm down for a good rum cake. Lol! A few waiters have chided me on not even having a brand of wine, in their words "to truly complete a meal." For me, dessert completes my meal. How about that!

How do I relax? You will find me at a bookstore (have a knack for the used-books bookstore), at the beach, or a basketball game.

So what am I reading? I'm one of those weird folks who read about four books at a time including periodicals. I'm reading the current Vanity Fair (with our President on the cover), Vogue (with our First Lady on the cover), "O" (the historical cover where Oprah shares the spotlight with you guessed it "Michelle Obama), and I'm reading one of my Christmas gifts "Team of Rivals" by Doris Kearns Goodwin.

What else do I consider a hobby? Readers of this blog can tell I love music. Who do I listen to? Many! The King of Pop (Michael Jackson) will always be in my playlist. Love Prince, Stevie. All kinds of Motown singers. Michael McDonald, Hall & Oates (they put up a great concert), New Edition etc. Don't do country much. But I heart Dolly Parton (one of my Parents' taste from childhood which stuck) and Kenny Rogers (also from childhood, he gives you lessons in life like knowing when to hold 'em, fold 'em or run:-) What about some new cats? I love me some Robin Thicke! Ne-Yo (great songwriter and singer) Will-i-am (I love that he's also an activist with his music) Lupe Fiasco. Gospel? I love Clint Brown (Gospel's version of Michael McDonald), Israel, The Winans, Commissioned.

I wish I had a poker face - can't tell what I'm thinking . My loved ones rib me for having a very expressive face even if I'm not saying a word. You will know if I don't like you , you bore me, or I'm not buying a word you say.

What do I find sexy in a guy? I think the brain could be the sexiest part of a guy's anatomy - if he develops it. There's nothing more disappointing to me than a guy in tip-top physical shape and you find out his brain hasn't got the same rigor of training. I find a guy who's comfortable in his own skin sexy. And I believe there's some truth to whoever said "a woman laughing is a woman conquered." Have a good sense of humor PLEASE!

I think the world's religious crisis will be solved if folks took a look at my family. I'm part of a family who's had a Nun (Rest in Peace) who used to babysit me and my brother. A Priest (found that out last year, and my first question to the person who delivered this news was "he's never gonna have sex?" To which she replied "that's the point Mo-"), a few Alhajis (a sizeable number of Muslims), one Jehovah Witness I knew of growing up, the Agnostics, and me who took a shift in my Parents' practicing faith some years ago. The way one of my agnostic Uncle responded after a good discussion about my so-called decision was "at least you still dress well." (LOL! Gosh you gotta love family). I believe if you're really secured in your faith, you don't have to tear anyone else's down.

What do I love about living in South Florida? The food! Ok aside from that, the people (you find all kinds of nationalities here) which fit with my international background and makes me more sensitive to other's cultures. And the weather . . . gotta love it. The hurricanes not so much but you pay a price for living in paradise.

What don't I love about living in South Florida? The traffic - makes me want to scream! Also, the people too sometimes because they quickly want to box you into one cultural group. I can't tell you how many times I've been asked if I'm Jamaican or someone just starts speaking Creole (assuming I'm Haitian), or Spanish. Then when you speak English, people say you "speak so well." I never say thank you . . . I'm supposed to speak "well." That's when sometimes, I feel like being up north again.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Pope and Condoms - Oh No!

File this musing as "things that make you go hmmm." Or things that make you go WHAT? It's about the red-loafer wearing pope saying condoms make AIDS worse. And of all places to say this scratch-of-the-head notion is to say it in a continent (Africa) where AIDS is an epidermic.

Did I mention this was the Pope's first trip to Africa? What a way to bring good tidings I say. I find it confounding that he will bring his standards of vow of celebacy to preach chastity is the only way to solve the AIDS crisis.

This shows the ignorance of many about the wonderful continent. Millions who have died of AIDS there didn't do so because they couldn't get enough SEX. Many were women who have been married to just ONE HUSBAND and many of these women didn't know they had AIDS while they were pregnant from their cheating husbands, so the virus went to the children. And the cycle continues with children dying of this horrific disease.

So if the Vatican wants to solve this problem. How about start with educating girls and women. I remember hearing a famed author saying "educate a man, educate an individual, educate a woman, educate a community." You might start in empowering these women about their bodies and futures and it might come in the courage to tell the jokers to have some CONDOM SENSE. And their communities will thrive instead of being ravaged by the virus which leads to many deaths and worse economic status to those left behind.

And then you might want to start donating money to hospitals who can't keep enough medicines for HIV-infested individuals to lead as normal of lives they can and not see it (the virus) as a death sentence.

The Pope says AIDS can't be cured using condoms? Ok what does he propose (besides abstinence)? I've given him a couple of pointers in this blog, it's time for him to build upon them and care about the lives of Africans and not some religious dogma.

Since I've Been Gone .. .The Outrage

What an "OUTRAGEOUS" week. The outrageous remark is in quotes because it seems for a few days this week that was all I heard about the bonuses given to AIG executives. Seriously, couldn't some folks come up with other words in the dictionary.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
The Notorious AIG
Daily Show Full EpisodesImportant Things w/ Demetri MartinPolitical Humor

So why am I not filled with you say it, "OUTRAGE?" Well, for one, I've already written about it last year and this stuff going on with the TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) money is very complicated even for those folks showing their disdain in Congress but wrote the loophole to grant those bonuses. Yeah, that's the dirty little secret.

This is what I say to give my two cents to AIG and CitiGroup (CEO who spent $10 Million to redecorate his office): Let me hip you to a biblical verse - "Shun (flee) the appearance of evil." It never said you should flee evil because by the time you noticed something is evil, it might be too late.

So when something doesn't look good AIG and CitiGroup executives, here's a thought "DON'T DO IT." Don't give bonuses to folks when your company is in the tank and oh, ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY DON'T WORK THERE ANYMORE. Give the bonuses when they've actually done some good, like oh TURN THE COMPANY AROUND TO BE IN BLACK. And if you say they those folks might sue you. SO WHAT! Let them try when Americans emotions are very raw.

And to CitiGroup CEO - WHY? What was wrong with the office you had. It doesn't look good even though you just spent millions to spruce up your corner office.

Tags: Bailout, AIG, CitiGroup

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Another Man Lays Hands

There are times I wish I wasn't proven right especially when I shed light to things like domestic abuse others don't want to talk about. I wrote about the Chris and Rihanna drama over a week ago and I called to carpet men for staying silent and Preachers (overwhelming men) who deal with this matter as hush-hush.

So imagine seeing it as ironic exactly a week after I wrote about the above, hearing one of my favorite gospel artists, Bebe Winans was charged with assault on his ex-wife.

As I left my church service this afternoon, the song "I'm lost without you" by Bebe and Cece was playing on my radio, and I must admit it didn't do anything for me because I was reminded about the cloud of an alleged domestic assault surrounding Bebe.

Now I'm not saying because he's a Gospel artist, he's any different from Chris Brown; he's STILL A MAN. Hence the reason I have a problem with preachers who choose to stay silent and rappers who support their boys to the point of one of them opening his mansion (Hi Diddy).

I'm begging these guys to get professional help. To find the source of their anger and not use any woman as a scapegoat for their issues. I'm also begging guys who swear they won't hit any woman but choose to remain silent and support their friends who do. Your silence is DEAFENING! And in this case, your silence is not golden - IT IS JUST PLAIN YELLOW.

Tag: Domestic Abuse

Friday, March 13, 2009

Give Wade The MVP Already!

To NBA fans, we know the three contenders for this season's MVP are: Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, and Dwyane Wade. But if these NBA voters are worth any of their basketball acumen, they will give this prestigious MVP award to Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade.

In the words of Heat's newly minted coach Eric Spoesltra: I don't know what else this guy (D-Wade aka Flash) has to do (in not getting this award). If anyone watched the Monday night madness of a double over-time game between Miami Heat and the Chicago Bulls, there should be no further doubt that Flash unequivocally deserves the MVP.

But I'm not surprised that Flash always seem to be the under-rated player to King James (Lebron) even though he was the only Rookie standing in the playoffs in the much acclaimed 2003 class. He's already won an NBA championship (in his third year) and was the MVP of that championship. And during the last Olympics, most basketball insiders said D-Wade was the MVP of that "Redeem Team" even though he came off the bench after devastating injuries that kept him out of the game last season.

It seems D-Wade always have to be the one to prove something to all these knuckleheads who get a mic in front or attached to them that he's indeed one of the three best players in the league . . . but he brings something more than the much hyped (who has lived up and above the hype) Lebron James or the sickening playing ability of Kobe Bryant. What more you say? Well, in the words of "Legs" (NBA Analyst Tim Legler), D-Wade brings the speed of Chris Paul, the strength of Lebron (in getting to the basket), and the closing ability of Kobe.

Besides, when did the MVP start being about the team with the best record? Oh I know, in the past five years! When such broad definition upsets basketball purists like me. If you take Kobe out of the Lakers, the Lakers will still have a decent record and make the Playoffs and so is Lebron out of the Cavs but not so with the Heat. Hence, the meaning of MVP -Most Valuable Player. Duh!

Also, why in the world would you want to give the MVP to ball-hugger Kobe who only after a decade of being in the league knew to drop a dime to one of his teammates. Nah! He'll rather try to score 81 when the rest of his team score less than 60. Seriously! Not so with D-Wade, he's leading the league in scoring and is the third in assists (hear that KOBE?), and third in steals and a force in blocks. The guy's defense has shot up!

And another thing with these voters and Miami teams is that they have this notion of Miami being a place of glamour. So the Refs and the talking heads don't give them a chance unless the players work for it (more than most). But what they don't understand while is duly noted that Miami could be glamorous (i.e. SoBe - that's "South Beach" to those who are not locals), they forget the grit of the city (i.e. Liberty City - a place you don't want to be after a certain time).

That is the dichotomy - and it is embodied in this NBA team called the Miami Heat with one of its co-captain nickname called Flash (the Glamour) while the other captain is UD (Udonis Haslem) who shows the "grit" (straight up from Liberty City). This is a team that will out-hustle any team but still shows the poetry in motion by the athletic ability of Flash. After all, NBA folks, don't you want your MVP to be an embodiment of both.

So to NBA voters, this is not a homer speaking, just someone with a high basketball IQ (in my humble opinion:-). Give Wade the MVP and send a strong message that though you sidetracked for some years, you understand the true meaning of MVP and it belongs to "Wade County." (A pun out of Miami-Dade County)

Tags: Dwyane Wade, MVP

Dear Mr. President . . .

Dear Mr President:

This entry is coming from one of your ardent supporters (me). But though I think you're one of the most brilliant men (trust me, that's a lot for me to give as an accolade) I know, I'm having a couple of concerns about your moves during this critical time in history.

My first concern is the area of education. This week you talked about revamping teacher's pay to correlate with merit. Part of me says "yeah!" and another part says "hold up! wait a minute!" I understand some tenured teachers have rested on their laurels instead of striving for more innovative ways to make educating this generation exciting and compete with their counterparts around the world.

But how do you judge "merit?" Is it just having "A" schools or students scoring high marks on their PSATs or college SATs? Hel-lo, not all great students are great test-takers. And being a great test-taker doesn't guarantee one's success in college or life. And what about those teachers who teach "artistic" kids? Or teachers of adults dealing with illiteracy (a well-known secret of our society) who are getting back into the school system. Please EXPLAIN!!!

My second concern and the most critical is the ECONOMY. Yes, while I applaud you for doing more in over 50 days than some Presidents did in a term (hint: Dubya), I'm quite apprehensive that you're taking on a lot when we have greatest economic debacle since the Great Depression.

I personally want you to have the Power of One - finding the most critical thing and focusing on that ONE THING. Like Tiger Woods with Golf, Wayne Gretzky with hockey, and Michael Jordan with Basketball. Is it too hard to say that you should focus on this thing we call the ECONOMY? I don't want to sound like the slogan that clinched Bill Clinton's win for Presidency (and yours after September 15th) but IT'S THE ECONOMY, STUPID!

And I know you've responded to your critics a few days ago about taken on a lot - that you could really multi-task. Again, I commend you for being fly like that (I'm also a multi-tasker) but how do you want a concerned citizen like me to feel when you're yet to fill positions in your TREASURY and COMMERCE departments. I'm just saying.

Also, checked out what your (and my) economic guru said earlier this week? I know you heard the Oracle (Warren Buffet) who said this economy has "fallen off the cliff "(strong words huh!). And in the Oracle's words to you: FOCUS NUMBER ONE SHOULD BE THE ECONOMY, FOCUS NUMBER TWO SHOULD BE THE ECONOMY, AND FOCUS NUMBER THREE SHOULD BE THE ECONOMY.

Thanks for hearing me out and remember I've got nothing but love for you . . . that's why I'm speaking my truth IN LOVE.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Some Pop-Culture Musings

OK Guys I haven't done this in a while - giving my rapid fie response with all things that have bombarded us during the week. So here are my musings:
The Bachelor is Public Enemy #1: ABC's new bachelor Jason Mesnick is setting most folks off with his proposal to Melissa then having second thoughts about the proposal six weeks later for the first runner-up Molly.

Can I just say this: I am SO HAPPY that I didn't get sucked into this show since I saw and watched the very first installment some years ago. I wouldn't have known about this if it wasn't for my Aunt who watched the finale (and very angry about the outcome) and then my TV screen being hijacked the next morning.

Let me say this: The guy shouldn't have broken up with her on camera - THAT WAS A PUNK MOVE! Have some dignity for goodness sake! Nobody was expecting you to marry her - have you seen the track record of marriages for that show? Zero percent. So do what others expect you to do - break up with her privately in four to six months. I'm just saying.

Also, what was up with all the crying!!! OMG! Ok, I'm not for a guy not revealing his emotions; we've come a long way from the cave-man era but COME ON! The guy didn't lose any loved one, his favorite team who's been losing for a lifetime (like Boston Red sox before four years ago) didn't finally win a championship, and he wasn't getting married on his wedding day. So what is the problem? HUH!

The OctoMom Should Shut-Up Already: Is it only me who's fed up with the Octomom's story being called news for three weeks. Seriously!

We get it (no we don't) that you love being a mother to point you will have 14 with no means to support them and you don't want our help (but you could set up a website asking for donations) or the government's help (but it shows you're getting almost $500 in food stamps).

Now all we ask is for you to do what you're supposed to do - find a way to raise those kids and stop giving another interview everyday of the week about your plans, plastic surgeries (or the lack thereof as you said, even though the Angelina Jolie look is uncanny) and your parents' issues.

Jacko (I mean Michael Jackson) Is Back! So the King of Pop announced his comeback saying "this is it!" But why is this Jackson fan (moi) not that excited! I don't know, perhaps his off-the-wall (pun intended) appearances haven't really convinced me he's ready but I will gladly change my mind if in five minutes of the so-called concert, he shows he could still moonwalk and show the mad crazy moves of "smooth criminal." Until then, I'd like Jacko to "beat it!"

I'm Not Watching "WatchMen:" I love superhero movies but why do I have a blah attitude towards the much-buzzed movie "Watchmen?" Simple, I don't get what it's about! I've never read the comic (which apparently debuted in the mid 80s) and don't know the premise.

See, most superhero movies are uncomplicated (in a little complicated) way. But don't give me a complicated movie with complicated characters (they were good but became bad because of some conspiracy theory government). I need to escape at the movies NOT GET CONFUSED!

In the meantime, I'll stick with Superman, Spiderman, the Hulk (nobody likes it when he's angry), Ironman, and my favorite BATMAN!

Michael Steele Is An Aliminium: You want to support a "brother" who heads an opposing party even if you think (ok know) that the said party (the GOP) is only using him because another brother (Barack Obama) got elected to the highest office. But what you can't support is a brother who seems to have lost his spine and for the love of all things decent he was named "Steele."

How do you explain a guy like Michael Steele who said what most thought of Rush Limbaugh then go crawling back to him apologizing for saying the RIGHT thing.

That is NOT BEING A LEADER. You should be a leader when it is convenient and when it's not and that might mean speaking truth to power (even though the notion of thinking Limbaugh is in a "powerful" state makes me cringe).

Tags: The Bachelor, Michael Steele, Rush Limbaugh, OctoMom, Michael Jackson

Friday, March 6, 2009

Lost In Translation - Yes, We Talk Differently

Ok, this blog is a public service and my private pleasure. As a public service, I know there are readers of various backgrounds reading my blog and I appreciate that - I've said it before: I'm not a "black" blogger, I'm a blogger who happens to be black; there's a difference. So I try to cover things that interest me as an individual and yes, sometimes race creeps up.

It is no different for our current President. No matter how he tries to just be America's President who happens to be black, we're reminded by some stuff he is still the "Black President." And as the first one in that position, he will have to bear the brunt of most concerns.

The latest concern is the "coded" messages the President seems to talk in when he's in the company of some "urban" folks like when he was at DC's famed "Ben's Chili Bowl" and he was leaving without taking his change and a worker alerted him to it and Obama replied "Nah, we straight." A reporter quoted this exchange later as "No, we're straight." LOL!

I don't have to tell you the color of that reporter who was lost in translation do I? But because of this major gaffe, as well as others on the campaign trail and now in Obama's first term some white folks are lamenting the fact that the President is speaking in codes. Seriously! I thought this was the same guy who wasn't "black enough?"

Everyone speak in codes and as a black person you have to be "bilingual" and even "tri-ligual" sometimes. Last week I had the heading of a blog post as "What had happened was . . ." Now after I posted the blog, I thought to myself if my audience of the lighter persuasion will get such heading. I knew the heading wasn't the proper grammar; it was straight up Ebonics but it was a tongue-in-cheek commentary of being missing in action. We say "what had happened was" if we're trying to get away from an uncomfortable situation we need to explain. It's like an inside joke . . . most times you get ribbed by loved ones for saying the phrase with an "uh-huh . . ."

Look, when the former President (isn't it great to say that) George W. Bush used all kinds of Evangelical coded messages like "wonder working power," to his base, why didn't the Media talk about Dubya speaking coded messages to his base? But now you have a "Brother" in the White House who's from a really diverse background they have a problem.

Checked out the inauguration? Did you see when some bands from Hawaii marched by and Obama gave them a hand gesture sign in salute which means hang loose? That is wisdom. I don't talk (I mean speak) the same way in every arena - that's being smart and it doesn't make me less authentic. I'm not going to be in my place of business and use all kinds of slangs when I need to be taken seriously. When I'm with family, it's a different side of me you'll see and so it is with friends. Like if I tell a friend not to fall for a guy's "okey-doke," she'll get I'm talking about his "game" or his wiles.

If on a basketball court, a person said a player dropped some "dimes" - I know that meant the player had some "assists" in his game. It doesn't mean the player dropped dimes as in "ten cents" on the floor. The same goes for other coded messages whether in the texting world or in hip-hop. I loved what Stephen Colbert said last week when he satirized talking about race and Eric Holder's "nation of cowards" speech. Colbert was honest in saying "I don't like rap because I can never figure out if "shorty" means a baby or the baby momma." That drew a laugh from the audience and this viewer at home.

So to my Caucasian friends and others who're not as in touch with the urban "speak." Don't think of it as folks or the President isolating you when you hear words you don't quite understand. Remember we had to "de-code" some of your innuedoes for years and just remained silent because who needs another race fight. If you don't understand something just ask and it might be time for you to get out more and break out of your comfort zone of just your suburbia friends. And if you don't want to, it's ok . . . we straight (and I mean we will still be cool regardless, we're fine . . .)

Coded Messages

The Vicious Cycle of Abuse

Yesterday, Chris Brown was arraigned for assault and making threats against Rihanna - that wasn't a shock. But what seems to be a shock with most folks (especially in the Media) is that Rihanna apparently took Christ Brown back.

Can I just say this wasn't a surprise to this blogger. One in four women is abused in this country in less than a minute and most stay in those relationships regardless of their status. So why is it a shock to the Media Rihanna is doing the unthinkable by not pressing charges and wanting Chris Brown back?

Now some folks in the media are using this relationship (which is a picture of thousands of relationships) as a way to question Rihanna's judgment especially after the horrific details of the abuse was released. I wish they (the Media) took the time to really focus their attention to many without a voice or recognized face like Rihanna. Rihanna is a celebrity who happened to show what millions of women are dealing with everyday. I wonder how many times members of the Media have looked the other way when a woman with bruises in their neighborhood seeking domestic shelters was not highlighted because it wasn't the "Juice" of the day.

Here's what I know for sure: Unless a woman finds a place in herself to know she deserves more than some flashes of affection from her boyfriend, fiance, or husband, she will keep staying in the emotional, mental, or physical abusive relationship regardless of how many people tells her to get out. I've seen the scenarios play out on a college campus, in my former place of work, and with a few friends.

Another thing I know for sure is that men need to take domestic violence more seriously because that could be their daughter, sister, aunt, or mother someday. Just like some whites had to sacrifice their lives for the cause of civil rights, men have to put these guys in check and stand up against violence against women. I'm yet to see a man wear a T-Shirt for V-Day (a day to stand against violence against women). Can you imagine what a powerful sight that will be?

Not all men are guilty of this; some men have highlighted this case on their show (i.e. Tom Joyner and Michael Baisden) and shown their outright disapproval and I say kudos to them. But you have a guy like Sean "Diddy" Combs lend his Miami home (reportedly) to Chris Brown and Rihanna for some "R & R" - WHY??? You have Usher say something honest in an off-the-cuff moment reprimanding Chris Brown for jet skiing in Miami last week only to retract his statement with a weak politically correct statement "to wish all parties all the best." ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?

I wonder how many Pastors who are overwhelmingly men would do the bold thing and start preaching against this horror from their pulpits instead of relegating it to a "private" counseling session where the woman feels guilty to return to the house of torment.

Until these solutions start happening, we'll continue seeing these cases and some that will lead to deaths; and that is what I know for sure.