The Thoughts of an Educated Young African American Male

My Ghetto Graduation

Over the past weekend, I was fortunate to graduate from law school. I have not posted in a while because I have been busy getting prepared for this date. I won’t be posting much after this because I will be studying for the bar. But, at my graduation from an HBCU, the band put down their instruments to dance while people recieved degrees, people grabbed the mic and “shouted-out” their frats, family, and friends while people recieved their degrees, and fraternities and sororities party hopped around their seats while people recieved their degrees.

It was a sad day for black higher education. In a moment to celebrate, we looked like fools. This post is edited, as in a moment of bad judgment, I spoke of the fellow alumni in a maner unbecoming of them and myself. Name calling gets us no where. However, I still hold contempt for those who made my graduation a minstrel show. Can we ever hold ourselves out with dignity and respect. And, if not at graduation, then when? Just a question.

May 8, 2007 Posted by | African American, Black men, Black women, college, ghetto, graduation, HBCU, Uncategorized, university | 10 Comments

The results of being a thug!

Thanks to Afronerd for posting this. I had no idea. Of course, the media will not nationally cover things that may deter the gang culture in our society. I don’t know about the coverage in NY, but down here in NC we heard nothing.

Ronell Wilson, who is a gang member, executed two undercover detectives to boost his street cred and steal a measly few hundred bucks, was convicted of murder by a federal jury – which now must decide if he should be put to death.

Stupidly, he decided to write a rap song about the murders before he was caught. This sounds painfully familiar to these rappers who rap about drugs, guns, and killings. The difference is, they make millions telling lies, this guy may be sentenced to death.

The misspelled, barely intelligible lyrics read: “You better have that vast [vest] and dat Golock [glock]. Leave a 45 slogs [slugs] in da back of ya head. Cause I’m getting dat bread [money], ain’t goin stop to I’m dead.”  

Well, art imitates life because he may be sentenced to death so he will stop shooting people in the back of the head and robbing them afterwards. At some point, we must show our young culture that this type of behavior has consequences.

December 29, 2006 Posted by | African American, Black men, court, detectives, Gangs, gangsta, hip hop, New York, NYPD, rap, Ronell Wilson, undercover | 13 Comments

A conscience vote coming for democrats, especially for North Carolinians

John EdwardsHilary Clinton and Barack ObamaJohn Edwards, NC State and NC Chapel Hill educated, is running for President of the United States again. He loves our great state of North Carolina. And, while many North Carolinians do not like him, he is going to be hard not to vote for. I have met him personally. He is genuine, sincere, and a good man. He has little experience, but in the south, we stick with our own. Wait, that’s where the problem seems to lay, loyalty.

 

Because, while I would normally vote for the North Carolinian, a man I met and liked personally, Barack Obama is also likely to run for President of the United States. Obama, is of course, African American. He is also, in my opinion, one of the best candidates our culture has ever put forward to run for President. He is smart, charismatic, educated, and well rounded.  It’s going to be hard for African Americans to not want to vote for him. If, we get out and vote!

And of course, Hilary Clinton is going to run for President. She is a strong candidate. And for women, she is going to be hard not to vote for. Women are going to want to see one of their own in the White House, just like everyone else.

So, the democratic primary is going to be interesting to say the least. Where will loyalties lie? Will they be with the home town Tar Heel, the African American candidate, or the qualified female candidate? Only time will tell, but I can see the democrats bruised and battered after their primary. I foresee this getting ugly.   

December 28, 2006 Posted by | African American, Barack Obama, Black men, democratic primary, Hilary Clinton, John Edwards, loyalty, North Carolina, President, vote, voting | 4 Comments

Suprise, Suprise! Rape Charges dropped in the Duke Lacrosse Case

Ok, the District Attorney of Durham, NC dropped the rape charges in the Duke Lacrosse case. He managed to hold on to the sexual offense and kidnapping. Some are going to wonder the difference between rape and sexual offense. The major difference is that:

(1) Rape involves vaginal intercourse. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-27.2 (2006).

Sexual offense involves : a sexual act defined by North Carolina statutes as, cunnilingus (oral sex on a female organ), fellatio (oral sex on a male organ), analingus (oral sex on the anal region), or anal intercourse, but does not include vaginal intercourse. Sexual act also means the penetration, however slight, by any object (including human body parts) into the genital or anal opening of another person’s body. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-27.1(4) (2006).  I added everything in parenthesis for clarity.

Both first degree rape and sexual offense, in relevant part, must include one of the following:
      a. Employs or displays a dangerous or deadly weapon or an article which the other person reasonably believes to be a dangerous or deadly weapon; or
      b. Inflicts serious personal injury upon the victim or another person; or
      c. The person commits the offense aided and abetted by one or more other persons. (clearly the element the State is going after).

Also, both rape and sexual offense carry the same punishment. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-27.4 (2006).

So, rape is vaginal intercouse while sexual offense involves other sex acts. Also, the punishment for both crimes is the same so this is not quite the victory it appears.  

It seemed clear from this point that a rape didn’t occur, and the sexual offense charges are a way for the State to maintain their belief in the story of the accuser. They might be the only people who still believe her. 

I wonder if all those people who were ready to burn the players’ house down, and vilify those who wanted to wait before coming to a decision will apologize. Also, when are the black panthers coming back to Durham? It’s about time for another circus act to come in town.

Also, some relevant case law to consider.

  The guarantee against double jeopardy under U.S. Const., Amend. V protects against multiple punishments for the same offense. Defendant may not be punished for both first-degree kidnapping and sexual assault, where sexual assault is used to elevate kidnapping to first degree. 

Further,  where defendant was convicted and sentenced for sexual assault and first-degree kidnapping predicated on one sexual assault, trial court was required to arrest judgment either on conviction of sexual assault or on conviction of first-degree kidnapping. Defendant could be resentenced for second-degree kidnapping, if judgment on first-degree kidnapping was arrested. State v. Coats, 100 N.C. App. 455, 397 S.E.2d 512 (1990), cert. denied, 328 N.C. 573, 403 S.E.2d 515 (1991).

December 22, 2006 Posted by | African American, Black men, Black Panthers, Black women, college, district attorney, Duke Lacrosse, Durham, Law, NC, rape, rape charges dropped, sexual offense, strip club | 7 Comments

2 FAMU Kappas convicted for Hazing

Leon County Sheriff’s Deputy Debbie Giangrosso, left, tries to pull a handcuffed Michael Morton away from kissing his fiancee as he and Jason Harris, center, are being led to the Leon County Jail after being found guilty of hazing.This post pains me, mainly because I am a member of a black Greek letter organization founded before 1913, and I understand, while disagreeing, with the hazing culture which it fosters. But, with two of the Kappas getting convicted under
Florida’s new hazing statute, the stakes seem to be higher than normal to haze guys.

I have already commented on my blog before about how stupid I think hazing is. I have standing to say it because I was hazed and am a member of one of these organizations. For those who disagree, I ask, were we founded for the purpose of going to jail for hazing? Were we founded to look more like gangs than non profit organizations for the purpose of service? Are the guys how are going to jail any more “real” for their acts. Truthfully, they are paper, because where they are going they have no credibility. They are not thugs. They were college men attempting to get a good education at a respected HBCU. They are not ready for their possible maximum 5 year sentence.

And, the parents are unsure if they are suing the fraternity civilly. This is sad and should serve as a wake up call, because no black Greek organization can survive a major civil suit for the hazing the majority of us inflict. Just think, to be sure your pledges get the respect; you may be the sole cause for bankrupting and ending your organization. Is that what you want? I doubt that’s what the founders wanted.

December 21, 2006 Posted by | African American, Black men, college, court, FAMU, Gangs, hazing, HBCU, Kappa, Kappa Alpha Psi, university | 7 Comments

How Much Must We Be Disrespected Before We Decide to Vote?

rep-burmeister.jpgGeorgia people should know this case well. They also likely know Representative Sue Burmeister, who is Secretary House Republican Caucus, Vice Chairman Rules, Secretary Special Committee on Tort Reform from House District 119, and a Republican representing Augusta, Georgia. She is currently serving her third term as a State Legislator. But do you realize her racist views?

In the seminal, and new, case of Billups v. Georgia, 439 F. Supp. 2d 1294 (2006), Burmeister’s sponsored bill to require that all registed voters in Georgia who vote in person in all primary, special, or general elections for state, national, and local offices held after July 1, 2005, was challenged. She wanted everyone, including poor blacks, to pay money ($35) for the ability to present a government-issed Photo ID to officials as a condition of being admitted to the polls and before being issued a ballot and being allowed to vote.

When questioned about the possibility of disenfranchising African Americans from voting (preventing us from doing something we rarely, if ever do…vote) she said, “that if there were fewer black voters because of this bill, it will ONLY be because there is less opprotunity for fraud.” She went on to say that when black voters in her black precints are not paid to vote, they do not go to the polls.

So there you have it. Whites don’t have to hide the fact they are trying to prevent you from voting. They don’t even hide their racial views, believing that the only way blacks will go and vote is if they are paid. 

So, what are we going to do about it? Vote? Malcolm X, the man we love to quote and adore, advocated for it when he said the ballot or the bullet. The phrase is just as relevant now as it was all those years ago. If we don’t vote people who think like us in, we will suffer from the bullet of tyrany from whites who don’t believe in our abilities.   

Please, vote in the upcoming elections. Go and register now! Don’t prove these racist right!

December 14, 2006 Posted by | African American, Black men, Black women, disenfranchise, Georgia, Georgia v. Billups, Law, malcolm x, republican from georgia, Sue Burmeister, vote, voting | 2 Comments

“Top 5 Dead or Alive, and that’s just off 1 LP”

Sorry Luda, Jay Z Takes the Number 1 Spot!Ok, so JadaKiss made the above quote, but who is the best rapper? In one of the many conflicts of an educated African American, we listen to the same music we hate. With that said, and the mass of new CD’s hitting the I Tunes market, lets take a second to evaluate.

(1) Jay Z – I doubt most “Street” guys will like it, but I love it. He’s talking about being on another level. Not about being a thug, but about progessing to a business man. I feel that. Most African American males and females should. His progression from a thug to businessman, and not being affraid to make a record about it, makes him by number one rap artist today, and of all time.

(2) The Game – He name drops like a whore, talks about being street when he was on “Change of Heart” and the girl had a change of heart, and had a tattoo of a butterfly of his cheek (which even sounds gay to gay dudes). All in all, the Game is aweful, but the beats are hot. Not to mention, be brags about being in a gang to which he doesn’t belong. That is going to sell. Stupid, but that makes him second.

(3) Emenim – Same old, same old. Ripping new ass wholes, wishing he would be named as the greatest, wondering why people don’t beef with him when he tries to start drama. No one cares. Get off your drug habit, lock down your girl, and say something I haven’t heard you say. But, with a full collaberation albulm where he is only on a little less than 1/2 the songs, I will give you the 3 slot for putting others on.

(4) Nas – Haven’ t heard it yet. Sure, everyone’s got the bootleg, but I’m waiting. Hip Hop is Dead? True indeed, but you lying about what you’ve done in your street life isn’t going to bring it back. For that, you get the fourth spot.

(5) Anything from the south exept Little Brother – Young Cheezy, I mean Jeezy – LAME! Didn’t like the first.Won’t like this. Go ahead, promote your snowman shirts, be a detriment to our youth, and act like a clown. No one should support you. You may make money, but you are a sell out!

Laffy Taffy, snapping fingers like you’re a homosexual, no content, and all detriment. Luda is ok because he knowshe’s not a thug, and TI knows his mom went to Duke. I don’t know you? You’re mom got a premire education. Lil’ John, your parents are educated. Say YEAH to them. That probably call you the clown that you are. 

(6) Snoop Dogg – I was once fooled by you persuasion. Not now. I know you to be the clown that you are. I am not sold.

So, rap music is down these days, but I still like Jay Z. Thanks for truely keepin’ it real.       

December 12, 2006 Posted by | African American, Black men, Black women, college, Emenim, Gangs, hip hop, I Tunes, Jadakiss, Jay Z, Lil John, Little Brother, Luda, Nas, rap, Snoop Dogg, The Game, TI, Uncategorized, Young Jeezy | 15 Comments

Understanding Racial Profiling

The framework of this entry is based in the legal profession which I will be employed shortly. I intern during the year at a local district attorney’s office. There, I interact with roughly 300 or so African Americans per day. I see many African Americans at the trial and punishment phase for the crimes they commit. As such, I have a duty to run their criminal records for sentencing purposes. After performing such searches for over a year, I have become immune to African American mens and women’s records which are 6 – 8 pages long, with conviction after conviction for a multitude of crimes. When they are in court, they dress as they would in their normal life: long white tee shirts; big baggy jeans; long chain around their neck; and a hat if the bailiff did not make them take it off.

 

In undergrad we were required to take a class called psychology. There, we learned the concept of conditioned stimuli. The concepts’ premise is that when you see or hear something repeatedly (the condition) and it is accompanied by a certain result (stimuli) you will eventually expect the result (stimuli) every time you see or hear the condition. The concept is similar to training a dog. If you point your finger down and tell the dog to sit (condition), once the dog knows he will get a treat every time he obeys the command (stimuli), he will do it mostly every time.  

 

When people in court see black men and women dressed a certain way 300 times a day (condition), and run their records half the time, seeing long records of convictions most of the time (stimuli), they become conditioned to believing that most every young black person they see in their personal lives dressed that way has a long record for the crimes like the people we see in court.   

 

Further, there is nothing in these white peoples lives to break the condition. When they go home, they have no reason to interact with blacks who look that way. Of course, they work with other blacks and went to school with many others. But, those blacks seem different and outside the condition. They do not wear their jeans baggy, with a big white tee-shirt, and a straight brimmed hat. Thus, they do not place the blacks they know within the conditioned group. The result is that when you dress a certain way (like anyone in a basic rap video) you will be perceived by these whites to have a long criminal record.  And, I do not condone such stereotyping. However, I must say, I understand where it comes from.

 

Some will say, they don’t know the real me. That is true. But, they do not have to get to know you. They see many blacks on a daily basis, and a person’s record is as much a reflection of their person and character as anything. 6-8 pages of convictions for assaults, larcenies, theft crimes, and violent crimes tells a white person all they need to know. We may not like it, but its real.

 

All of this just to say, we need to break the mold and do better to stop the conditioned stimuli.   

December 3, 2006 Posted by | African American, Black men, Black women, college, court, Law, racial profiling, teens, university | 5 Comments

Can I get an advance on those Seinfeld royalties? Quick!

jackson_kramer.jpgThe pimp has his eyes on his latest hoe. Michael Richards paid his way to be able to stand beside Jesse Jackson while apologizing to blacks. Apparenly, standing beside Jesse is symbolic that blacks are supportive of this apology. No we are not! Jesse got what he wanted, a pay check and a chance to be in photo opprotunities, keeping him a relevant person to see (and later pay) when whites act out in racism.

I once heard a quote that”pimpin’ ain’t dead; dem hoes have just been mislead.” Clearly, Michael Richards is the hoe who has been mislead to believe that paying the pimp Jesse Jackson will resolve any issues concerning his racial rant. Jesse will tell you that pimping is still alive and well. Corporate America still knows that , for the right price, Jesse will continue to be the hoe he really is.

December 1, 2006 Posted by | African American, Black men, Jesse Jackson, Kramer, michael richards | 2 Comments

Gangstas Cry why they get in trouble?

snoop_dogg_150v2.jpgSo, word on the streets is that Snoop Dogg was arrested again after a search warrant on his vehicle revealed cocaine, marijuana, and a gun. In regards to the warrant, I can only assume that he is a felon on probation and must submit to searches of his person (which would include his car if he was in it) which ordinary citizens would not have to submit to. I doubt the validity of the warrant, mainly because I doubt the police had enough information to submit to a magistrate to give him, the magistrate, “probable cause” to issue the warrant. So, on that basis, I doubt Snoop will wind up on jail.  But, if he is a felon which must submit to searches, the point may be moot.

 

However, interestingly enough, Suge Knight came out in response to the Snoop Dogg beef. He describes Snoop as a person who throws up, likely because of fear, and cries to police. WAIT! Snoop is a gang member! He claims to be so hard! A gangsta’! Snoop would never cry or get nervous about trouble. Would he?

 

Not that any of these rap stars are credible, but I believe Suge on this. I believe Snoop gets scared when he believes he is going to jail, because then he will have to move away from his mansion and body guards, and in with men whom he taught, persuaded, and encouraged to be thugs. They listened, and will want to prove they are really thugs by messin’ with the very  person they were influenced by. Snoop should be scared of those thugs.

 

Snoop may have been in a gang. But now he does Girls Gone Wild videos and puts his kids in private schools. Snoop has money, a family, and things to live for. He is not ready for the thugs whom he told to “not give a fuck!” When Snoop goes to jail, they won’t care. They won’t care about Snoop, his family, his money, or his “hoes.” They will treat him like any other guy who goes to jail. My friends, I don’t know from experience, but from what they say, it ain’t good.

 

All of these rappers who brag about being from the streets, being “hard,” and moving “weight” should all spend some recent time in jail. Let’s see if they can really live the lives they make up on compact disks. Snoop, if that warrant was valid, it might be time to start throwing up and crying!  

November 30, 2006 Posted by | African American, Black men, Gangs, gangsta, hip hop, Law, rap, Snoop Dogg, Uncategorized | Leave a comment