Archive for July, 2013

The Cyber Pimp

Posted in News on July 31, 2013 by geniusscribbleink

pimp

Procuring; such a sophisticated synonym for such a provocative trade better known as prostitution. Prostitution has been loosely regarded as “the world’s oldest profession” as we can trace the acts of solicitation as far back as biblical times, as we see references of this said profession in the story of Judah and Tamar in Genesis 38. The procurer in this profession, also known as as a “pimp”, acts as an agent for the prostitute, collecting the monies for the sexual acts provided in exchange for supplying varied services for the prostitute such as protection, advertising and the securing of a place of operation (I.E.: the street corner, brothel, etc.). The business of pimping here in the United States, is usually built upon an internal structure of violence, as a majority of pimps are believed to be gang affiliated. So it comes as no surprise as we read about the recent F.B.I nationwide sting operation that rescued 105 underaged victims ranging between the ages of 13-17 from sex trafficking/prostitution rings; that drugs, money and weapons were prevalent as well. This 76 city raid resulted in the arrest of 150 individuals, who now face a multitude of both federal and state charges. It is quite disturbing to know that so many underaged individuals were a part of this demoralizing act of degradation. In knowing that I have a niece who is seventeen, as well as, numerous cousins that fit this age demographic, it is hard for me think of leniency when assessing the potential punishment these individuals should inherit. One would have to ponder as to how 105 young people could go off the grid and not raise an eyebrow of concern from their parents or guardian. Well, what is to be noted is the predatory acumen of a pimp; they only seek out those with little to no family ties. To add additional macabre to this pedophiliac playground is the fact that it has now gone viral over the internet. Both the pimps and exploiters hold forums online at a site called “backpage.com”, lending further credence that this $20 billion conglomerate is no longer restricted to just brothel rooms and street corners. In an age where human trafficking and child pornography are on the rise, the financial windfalls associated with the industry of prostitution, gives way for a terrorizing juggernaut that has its site squarely fixated on our youth. The Internet is the proverbial informational highway, but it has also become the devils playground. Prostitution is a global disease that rapes the soul of the world’s youth. We have to stay informed and stay alert, as this could literally save and greatly impact a child’s life. #letuspray

Penis Monologues

Posted in Trending on July 29, 2013 by geniusscribbleink

penis

New York playground legend and former NBA all-star point guard Kenny Anderson, was famous for his ability to dribble past his opponents and deliver countless passes/assist to his teammates in an effort to allow them to easily score points. It is safe to assume that our innate abilities are our most transferable abilities. No matter what environment or arena we may find ourselves in, usually whatever that comes most natural to us is what we tend to resign to do. Kenny Anderson is undoubtedly proving my theory to be true, as he is now assisting victims of molestation.

Kenny Anderson was named “New York State Mr. Basketball” in high school and was highly touted by all of the major college programs throughout the nation. He was New York State’s all time scoring leader amongst high school school students and was living the proverbial dreamscape that is often reserved for fairy tale literature. He had slain the iconic dragon by overcoming the elements of poverty and single parenting and had positioned himself for future success. But as the saying goes: “At every new level, there is a new devil”. Unfortunately for Kenny Anderson, he would meet his devils at the ages of 8 and 9, as he would fall victim to molestation twice by two different individuals. One of the individuals lived in his neighborhood and another was a coach. The alarming statistic that i found as it relates to pedophilia, is that only 1-5% of our population molest children, yet somehow Kenny Anderson met two within a span of a year. The other statistic of concern is that there are 400,00 registered offenders and yet between 80 to 100,00 are missing and off the grid (approximately 1/4). It makes you wonder about the fails-safes that are in place to protect the victims and potential victims. In the Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne was forced to wear a letter to signify her unacceptable societal behavior. Is this the answer for those who commit acts of pedophilia? Should we have a tracking device or a chip inserted in them upon release? We are signifying that they are no longer acceptable in certain areas that involve underaged children and must register whenever they move or leave the state, so are these ideals far fetched? Long Island, in an area known as Gordon Heights, had a cluster of some 45 high risk offenders living in one hamlet that was unknown until reports showed a map reflecting where offenders lived. It made me reflect on Kenny Anderson, who grew up in a low income area in Queens much like the low income area of Gordon Heights, as I wondered just where do they place those who commit these heinous acts as well. Do they place them In low income areas where no one cares? Once again, 1-5% of the population molest children, Kenny Anderson meets two within a year; alarming and unacceptable. A definite wake up call for parents and society as a whole; change is needed.

You may wonder why I entitled this blog “Penis Monologues” given the fact that this article relates to pedophilia; so here’s why. As I mentioned before, Kenny Anderson is assisting victims of molestation. He has decided to come forward to speak out and share his story in a symposium entitled “Penis Monologues”. This act of bravery on his behalf is to be commended, as it gives a voice to a silent victim who may have not come forward yet due to either fear or embarrassment. Sex offenders are four times more likely to recommit a sexual crime. That statistic alone is a great reason to educate yourself and your child and to reevaluate their surroundings. Perhaps this can assist in keeping innocence inside a child’s eyes. #savethebabies

Man to Man: Real Talk

Posted in Trending on July 26, 2013 by geniusscribbleink

man 2 man

There is a certain telling about an individual (male) in the type of handshake he extends upon first greeting. I, for one, believe in offering a firm handshake, along with, direct eye contact upon first encounter with another male (females I will address in a minute). I don’t know whether or not there is a rule of etiquette or a man code that offers a guideline or standard; however I entitled this entry: “Man to Man: Real Talk”‘ so that’s what we are going to do, talk man to man and keep it real (ladies this is for you too).

I’m not a father, but I am a role model to my nephew who is now eleven years old. His father has been deceased for some seven years now, so you can pretty much say that I have endured the “wonder years” in watching his growing process (wonder years=wonder where the time has gone). As in most cases, you find that moulding a child is not as simple as a mound of wet clay in a pottery class. One day the clay cooperates, while on other days the clay tends to have a mind of its own. But I have learned two things: 1) always keep your hand on the clay and 2) always continue to spin the wheel. I say that as I am still discovering what being a man is myself, as its definition is forever evolving. Although I consider myself to be a W.I.P (work in progress) I still tend to share certain principals with my nephew about the building blocks required in order to resemble a respectful and responsible man. He knows that when he enters a house, he is supposed to remove his hat. I tell him that young men don’t cry (or whine) to get their way. Crying is for moments of sadness or for moments of joy and not to be used as a form of negotiation. He knows to pray over his meal(s); he knows to be respectful to a woman, especially his mom. I emphatically preach about the dynamics of the relationship of a mother and son to both my nephew and my teenage niece. There are three types of men: The Momma Lover Boy, The Mother Respecter and The Mother Hater. I tell them that 2 out of the 3 should be avoided at all cost of becoming, or in my niece’s case, dating, (yes I am inventing the digital chastity belt as we speak ) and this is my reason why. Let me first state for the record, all men are momma boys and every woman in the world knows this; but what you may not know are the different types. “The Momma Lover Boy” is a bit misleading, because he loves his mother, but maybe loves her to the point like he’s dating her. She will never let him go and he will never put her in her place (avoid dating, avoid becoming). “The Momma Hater” has the Norman Bates gene. He has a disdain for his mother and anything feminine and has the respect level equivalent to that of a rabid wolverine. Bottom line; if he can’t respect his mother, he won’t respect you because he does not respect himself (avoid dating, avoid becoming). Last, but not least, we have The Mother Respecter. He will be “the catch” of the group. He respects his mother, he loves his mother but also loves having his own life (good to date, good to become). These sample isms I utilize with my nephew is to show him the schematic levels of respect, self worth and value. Understanding how to conduct yourself in public, regarding how you appear, what language you utilize, how cleanly you are and most important how you receive and are perceived by people can be surmised in one phrase: Its Your Reputation. It is what we live with, die with and what we are remembered by. Your reputation is always on the line.

This blog entry was inspired by a conversation I had with a peer who was raised with similar values that I had engrained in me since I was a child. You respect your elders, you stand like a man, you honor your parents and you never bring shame to your name. In a time where I see young men wearing their pants like knee shackles and looking unkept and unclean, I recognize that my values and principals are becoming obsolete. I see mothers struggle to find respect from the children they labored to bare, while the men who helped create the said life, abandon them both as soon as the condom snaps. If you have influence on a child whether as a parent, mentor, family member, etc.; make sure you are cognizant of what examples you are teaching/displaying in front of them. If respect becomes a legacy that can be handed down from one generation to another, especially with men, the world’s compassion changes. The world could use a few more good men and I am confident that my nephew will be one of them. #proverbs 19:18

M.L.B (Men,Lies, Biogenesis)

Posted in Sports on July 23, 2013 by geniusscribbleink

mlb

“Take me out to the ball game, take me out to the crowd, buy me some….”. Ok, perhaps this song needs a remix. We do live in a Hip Hop generation, so lets go the route of reggae superstar Shaggy. “You caught me with a steroid? It wasn’t me. They said they saw me at BALCO? It wasn’t me. They say my body got bigger. It wasn’t me”. If only I could use this Jedi Mind-trick when my wife asks me about the dishes in the dishwasher. Then again I didn’t marry a woman who lacks intelligence and (in my Hahn Solo voice) “Cause no mystical energy field controls my destiny”. I, on the other hand, subscribe to a little thing that seems to be a foreign dialect to the Sammy Sosa’s of the world (no speaka the englis). I like to call it “the truth”.

Baseball is often considered America’s Pastime. Such a befitting phrase as it mirrors the true essence of America, at least from a governmental standpoint. Yes, baseball, much like our government elected officials, specializes in the art of empty promises, negligent behavior and the ability to lie in front of a camera with a straight face. The sport throughout its history has always been marred in controversy. They have endured The Black Sox Scandal, Pete Rose’s lifetime ban for gambling on games and of course the reason I am writing this blog; performance enhancing drugs. I, for one, often wonder whether baseball officials were aware of steroid usage prior to the mudslide of sullied assaults on historical baseball records. Jose Canseco was the first noted whistleblower, who actually came out in a book proclaiming he used and that many of his peers were users of steroids. Baseball pretty much 8 Balled him and declared his claims as blasphemous and unfounded. Fast forward and we now find that Jose Canseco has been the only truthful person throughout the scandalous era, commonly known as the “Steroid Era”. Baseball, post the lockout of 1994 , had fallen from atop the rankings of the major league sports (football, basketball, hockey) in America and desperately needed a makeover in order to revive and reestablish it’s stature. Enter an epic duel between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa’s chase of Roger Maris’ 61 single home run record. I will admit that for that moment, I too became a fan of “the game” more so as I have always stated that I’m a fan of the Yankees and not a fan of the game in its entirety. The whole world watched, which means more viewers, more advertisement and more attention. We would find out years later that both men were being investigated for drugs that gave them an added edge in competition. We would then see the likes of Barry Bonds slay the home run margin a few years later, after a noticeable change in his body structure. Bonds would also go on to break Hank Aaron’s all time home run record. Other noteworthy Hall of Fame candidates like Raphael Palmiero, Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte, would also face allegations of using banned substances in order to gain an advantage in competition as well. Can we truly believe that Major League Baseball had the proverbial wool pulled over their eyes or were they simply wearing rose colored transitional glasses? We know about Major League Baseball implementing stringent drug policies now, however, why was steroids not handled with the same ferocity and unforgiving stance like Pete Rose when the knowledge became available. I’m sure the player’s union would fight tooth and nail in the best interest of their clients, however, who is fighting for the best interest of the fans of baseball? We now have Ryan Braun and Alex Rodriguez facing the same types of allegations in 2013. Braun went on a campaign of personal integrity and character assassination as he stood in front of the world blaming a lab sample transporter for his testing positive for a banned drug. Now, he decides to finally admit that his campaign of personal integrity was a campaign of shameful smoke and mirrors and that he was guilty of “something”. Of course, Alex Rodriguez is blaming the Yankees for conspiring with Major League Baseball in order to void the remainder of his contract. My question is what good business entity would not try to void a contract that is detrimental not only financially but publicly as well. If this was a normal job, there would be little debate; he would have had his ties severed immediately. But being that this is not a normal occupation and the standard of operation is not normal as well, who do we blame? Should the players receive lifetime bans? Should baseball label this era differently as it pertains to the Hall of Fame? Are performance enhancers/steroids a bad substance if administered properly? All poignant questions that we may never have answered, but we can conclude that baseball, much like cleats on a rain soaked field, will be forever muddied by men lying about companies like Biogenesis.

What does this teach our children or generations to come? In all honesty it says cheat, until you get caught and depending on who your employer is, will determine the type of penalties you will face. None of these noted drug users and corrupters of justice have faced a minute of jail time. It teaches them also that life is not fair. America’s Pastime has become the American way; the way of lies, drugs and deception. “One, two, three strikes you out…”, pertains to the game itself, however baseball continues to strikeout on an even grander scale. From the majors to the minors, all have felt an impact of this “steroid era” and high school was not safe from steroids even when I was there some twenty years ago. Perhaps the Hall of Fame, needs a Wing of Shame added to it, in order to justify how a routine catch turned into a botched play. No more peanuts and Cracker Jacks, we only want the truth and the facts. #playball

In Review: The Movie: Red 2

Posted in Movies & Television on July 22, 2013 by geniusscribbleink

red 2

Lights, camera, action, bombs, Kung Fu and humor. Usually you would have to watch five different movies to achieve all of these things. It’s rare that you leave a movie theatre nowadays elated about having watched a successful film. Often we are just happy to walk out without having sticky soda residue on the bottom of our sneakers or the remnants of popcorn butter glistening on our fingertips because we ran out of napkins (more like Amor Oil than butter). Often times “The Wife” and I look for discounted movie theaters or simply wait for it to arrive at a Redbox kiosk, simply because the movie quality versus the arm and leg they charge for a ticket is usually just not worth it. But once in awhile, just like Ground Hog Day, we find a shadow of hope illuminating from the marquee that is worth both the price of admission and the overpriced concession stand rip offs (order the kids meal it’s cheaper). Yes, Red 2 is worth it all.

If you haven’t seen the original Red, rent it, but its not necessary (however why not double your fun). I recall my first thought when thinking of whether or not I wanted to rent the original. I was reluctant, as I pondered just how good could an action film featuring old actors/actress be. Bruce Willis had done so many Die Hard movies to the point that I just thought of him like a roach after a nuclear shower; he just won’t die (yippee ki yay). But I am happy to say that I was completely wrong. The movie was excellent. So when The Wife inquired about Red 2, I didn’t need any stale popcorn kernel coaxing; I was ready to go. The result? Kick Asteroid good. Helen Mirren is a scene stealer, Bruce Willis rekindles that wry demeanor of The Whole 9 Yards and John Malkovich is forever brilliant. Anthony Hopkins needs no introduction, as he’s masterful in any role. But the surprise comes from Byung Hung Lee. His last name is apropos as he is a young Bruce Lee in the making. If you are looking for a great, action filled, humor laced film, I strongly recommend Red 2. If you don’t like it, the microwave popcorn is on me. Go check it out.

Stars and (Yankee Pin-) Stripes

Posted in Sports on July 21, 2013 by geniusscribbleink

yankees

“Don’t ever underestimate the heart of a champion”. A phrase emphatically echoed by the former head coach of what was then the back to back National Basketball Association World Champion Houston Rockets. This proclamation was directed towards the doubters and naysayers who did not believe that his team was capable of returning back to the promised land/top of the mountain. I extract a few key words from that phrase. The words: “don’t”, “underestimate” and “heart”. When reflecting on sports in its entirety, I cannot recall many players over my forty years of life, that I can truly attach those three monikers to. I mean we all know Michael Jordan had these qualities of course, as he refused to accept anything less than championships. We have watched Eli Manning rise like the sun in the east when it was time to standup and be counted in Superbowl lure. We have also seen Serena Williams seemingly be out of the championship conversation, only to storm back and remind the world she had never left. Of course, I have one that is dear to my heart for many different reasons. His name? Derek Jeter.

Steven A Smith, who is an analyst for ESPN, has a charismatic tone he utilizes when saying Derek Jeter’s name aloud. It truly embodies the way that all Yankee fans feel towards our captain. My father (rest his soul) was a huge Jeter fan, as when the playoffs would begin, the walls could repeat like a parakeet, what he would often bellow out loud: “Ole Jeter is a bad boy”. And to that statement, who can truly argue against this fact? I have been a Yankee fan since I was a kid, from the days of Thurman Munson, Reggie Jackson, Micky Rivers, Willie Randolph, Ron Guidry and Goose Gossage. But even throughout my viewing of all these great Yankee legends, I still cannot recount the same nostalgia I have felt throughout witnessing the illustrious career of Derek Jeter. In the great moments or clutch moments, we have watched him rise to the occasion and live in greatness, all while playing on the biggest stage and for arguably the greatest franchise in the history of all sports. This earned him the nickname “Captain Crunch” because he’s not just a big fish in a small pond, he’s a whale swimming inside a teardrop in NYC. We “don’t” “underestimate” his “heart”; however what we have to estimate now is his health. It is no shock to all of us fans of the Yankees or Major League Baseball, that something is missing from our team. We are missing leadership and we are missing heart; things we associate with Derek Jeter. With Mariano Rivera taking his last bow from baseball, we are watching the backbone of our team slowly being removed and leaving us to look for a replacement that won’t make us look like a jellyfish. Not an easy task to accomplish when trying to replicate a once in a lifetime great player. Derek, who has never been considered the top echelon in the league for his position, may hold an even greater importance then Mariano. Derek’s work ethic, professionalism, approach to the game and personified class are everyday examples that the guys in the locker are able to mimic and adhere to. This impacts the youth and instills within them the Yankee way and the way of a legendary warrior. These are qualities that when replicated by others, helps to build the heart of players that ultimately can lead to a championship heart. In a day that will see young players like Cano, who could one day be the face of this franchise as Jeter begins to wind down his career, it is imperative he learns “the Yankee way” and not the ” Joba way”. This is why we need our captain back if we plan on trying to right this ship.

With steroid allegation looming and players not understanding how to respect a legend (Joba/Mariano), I would be lying if I said I am not concerned. I am a spoiled, yet grateful, Yankee fan who has had the pleasure of witnessing championships throughout the years. As we look upon this year, we have to hope for timely health and minimal outside distractions, however, the shadows of the evening are getting long, the sounds of summer are drawing to an ending and soon we will be heading into the fall classic. Will there be another magical post season for the Yankees? Only time will tell. It is getting close to crunch time; looks like a job for Mr. November. #pinstripes4life

Boston Bomber or Bombshell?

Posted in Trending on July 19, 2013 by geniusscribbleink

the bomber

“Whoever controls the media, controls the mind”-Jim Morrison. An appropriate quote in many ways when pondering the latest Rolling Stone magazine cover featuring alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. His picture has sparked several different avenues of emotions from many abound, including chain stores that have elected to ban the magazine from their shelves in an act of protest for the way Tsarnaev was portrayed in a favorable light. In fact, my ode to Jim Morrison, was due to the fact that in my opinion he resembled the famed rock star in the picture Rolling Stone elected to use. I am more than sure that this picture was a calculated decision for the reasons I mentioned as it served its purpose in generating a public frenzy. Lets face it, there is no such thing a negative publicity. There have been several covers of national publications that have raised the ire of the public in the past. In 1938, Time Magazine elected Adolph Hitler as their Man Of Year. Life Magazine, in 1965, displayed a photo of a Vietnam prisoner with his eyes and mouth taped shut. Charles Manson donned the cover of Rolling Stone in 1970. Time magazine, in 1994 , utilized a darkening technique on O.J. Simpson’s photo that portrayed him in what many considered to be a menacing fashion. This latest “cover shoot controversy” falls in line with a tradition that has been exercised amidst controversial segments of U.S. and World historical events throughout. Does it glorify or vilify the individual(s) on the cover? Do the covers of noted publications influence our views and thoughts? Do the covers create a polarizing persona that can make the individual(s) into an occult type figure? Most important, how does it effect those who are directly effected by the acts they committed? All of these are valid questions that are hard to attach answers to. I had one person divulge to me that they were not bothered by the cover featuring Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. My retort is whether or not it didn’t bother that individual because they had no direct emotional attachment to the incident. What if it was a sensitive subject? What if a cover touched your hot button? Would you boycott or would you be open minded and read on? It’s hard to presume emotion, as empathy is the hardest shoes to fulfill, especially when the shoes don’t fit your walk of life. I do know one thing, healing takes time and perhaps timing was the issue more than the image in itself. #prayers

Code Of The Da Vinci Syphilis (Yasiin Bey)

Posted in Trending on July 18, 2013 by geniusscribbleink

yasiin

Leonardo Da Vinci’s Virtruvian Man is widely recognized as the quintessential “Holy Grail” of drawings that depict the mathematical proportions of the human body. Leonardo was fascinated with the human anatomy and would often dissect corpses in order to get a greater understanding of the gross anatomy of the human body and its inner organ structures. Leonardo is credited for having made advancements in the studying of blood flow throughout the chambers of the heart. His experimentation with the workings of body would go on to be a foundation for the science of human anatomy. Leonardo, in August of 2013, will receive credit for his accurate anatomical depiction of the human body versus that of modern day MRIs at the Edinburgh International Festival. It is believed that Leonardo was seemingly hundreds of years ahead of his time. Thus we can conclude that Leonardo’s experimentations basically carved out a pathway for modern science and medicine. His impact on the history of aforementioned fields of study are undeniable, however, did his experimentations also open up another hidden compartment in Pandora’s box that bordered on a different type of scientific theory? Lets explore alchemy.

Alchemy has several definitions, however, I want to use Merriam Webster’s third definition that says: an inexplicable or mysterious transmuting. We are well aware that medicine basically manipulates or tricks the body into improvement or relief. There’s of course a fine line in determining what is a good drug versus a bad one. It is an individuals political, religious and social viewpoint that determines how proverbial tilts regarding that, but I’m not concentrating on cannabis compared to codeine or aspirin compared to alcohol. All of these types of decisions are made of ones free will, unless of course some evil person slips something in your food or drink. I want to talk about those things that are not of ones choosing.

The Caduceus symbol, which is the symbol of medicine, depicts two snakes coiled around a wing staffed. In its earlier rendering (the Johann Frobenius version), the Caduceus is depicted with two snakes surrounding a dove with the biblical epigraph of Matthew 10:16. Matthew 10:16 states: “Be ye therefore wise as serpents and harmless as doves”. No need to dwell on what a serpent is and what a dove is in a biblical sense, however the Caduceus has often been considered a symbol of the occult and a symbol of alchemy as well. Alchemy is once again is described as: an inexplicable or mysterious transmuting. In a recent documentary by the musician/actor Yasiin Bey (a.k.a Mos Def), in which he agreed to be subjected to the same force feeding methodology that some 44 prisoners in Guantanamo Bay who have elected to go on a hunger strike have endured (Video). We see an alarming and graphic act being committed, as they would manipulate and “transmute” the body’s natural function in a way that is usually reserved for lab rats. I am sure that in some way, this act of force feeding violates some issues of human rights regardless of the crimes these prisoners committed. If they choose not to eat, then who is anyone to take those liberties of choice away and handle them like they are mere cattle on the range. This recent act of alchemy reminded me of another deplorable act in our country during the years of 1932-1972; The Tuskeegee Syphilis Experiment. This experiment was ran by U.S Public Health Services to track untreated syphilis cases in rural African American areas. Some 600 poverty ridden blacks males were unaware that they were the basic rats in a lab experiment. The U.S. Public Health Services were aware that 399 of the men had contracted the virus but never revealed this information to them, in fact they were all told that they were being treated for a blood condition. The men were never treated for syphilis, which required a simple dose of penicillin; instead they were given a free meal, free burial service and free medical. The other 201 unknown participants, were not carriers of the disease, however, the control of the experiment was to see how it would naturally progress when untreated in a rural area. This “inexplicable and mysterious transmuting” of a disease by way of this experimentation with human subjects was nothing less than a method of alchemy. When human beings are treated less than farm bred animals, then perhaps we have gone far past the ideals of medicine and science being a new frontier. In fact if these methods are anything, they resign to something along the lines of barbaric in nature. I don’t claim to be aware of the crimes committed by those 44 prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, but I am aware that when we start to view humans like those innocent men in Macon County Alabama, we are treading into a dark territory that is far from the fascination that drove Da Vinci’s coded mind.

Human life was once thought to be a precious commodity, but in my short span of existence I am finding this to be less of the case. Where do we draw the line? When human sacrifice is viewed by the public like a trending pair of sneakers, it puts into perspective just how far we are removed from being human. Society tends to make a mockery of murder and death (just look at Facebook for prime examples), so human experimentation is no longer seen as cruel and brutal. Leonardo Da Vinci was fascinated by the components of the body, giving us a foundation to build upon. I often wonder if he was to draw the chambers of the heart today, whether or not he would find a cold stone located in the middle of it. Then again he lived by a moral code of such, the problem being is that we have been unable to break it. Where is Dan Brown when you need him? #code breaker

No More Buffalo Soldiers

Posted in Trending on July 15, 2013 by geniusscribbleink

buffalo soldier

“Fighting on arrival, fighting for survival”. Easily translated as being prepared to fight for the preservation of life. The song continues to engage the listener by saying “If you know your history, then you would know where you coming from”. These are verses written by arguably one of the greatest musician in the history of the world, Robert Nesta Marley, in an effort to pay homage to the Negro Calvary of the 10th Calvary Regiment of the United States Army of 1866. I revisit the brave men of this regiment in an effort to speak about the war of attrition as it relates to the voice of the modern day African American athlete. Sun Tzu pronounces: “if you fight with all your might, there is a chance of life; where as death is certain if you cling to your corner” The men of the 10th Calvary Regiment continuously faced life and death situation throughout their service to this country during times of war. What is to be dually noted, is the fact that they were also fighting a domestic war as well. They faced a barrage of racial prejudice and acts of violence against them from U.S Army Civilians where they were stationed at as well. In spite of all these seemingly insurmountable odds, the men of this regiment would go on to forge a legacy inside the hallowed halls of American history. Their acts of nobility amidst a raging pool of molten racism, did not stop them from stepping up in the line of fire and standing up for what they believed in. This is honorable to say the least, as we can see the spirit of the Buffalo Soldiers in many African Americans throughout history, in such notable figures as Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey, Frederick Douglas and Medgar Evers. These men and their plights are well documented, however, what is often not spoken about enough are the contributions of the African American athlete and the voice(s) they would lend in a time of racial unrest and injustices in this country. They too were Buffalo Soldiers, fighting on a social frontline that mirrored that of the 10th Calvary Regiment. What a tragic anguish it must have been in showing up to work, only to be to have guns pointed at you from all sides. Something that only a real soldier can do.

Marianne Williamson intelligently stated in the poem “Our Deepest Fear”: “your playing small does not serve the world”. The poem continues that statement by concluding that: “There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.” As I recount the African American athlete’s voice, I find the latter of that statement to a greater truth than any other time in our country’s history. We had Jesse Owens, who in the face Hitler and his theory of Aryan supremacy and the ideas that African athletes were inferior, win gold medals at the 1938 Berlin Olympics in the long jump, the 200 meters and 100 meters respectively. We had Muhammad Ali, who refused to enlist in the armed services during the Vietnam War. An act that decimated his professional career as he was stripped of his heavy weight championship. His character would fall under extraordinary scrutiny when he decided to join the Nation of Islam; a group who was viewed as militant and a public enemy to the society due to their radical beliefs as it related to racial injustice in America. We have the Texas Western men’s basketball team of 1966 that started five black players for the first time in NCAA history that faced racial slurs, violent attacks and degradation on their way to winning a National Championship. Of course Jackie Robinson breaking the color line in the MLB holds an even greater impact on social changes that stem far beyond athletics. Other notable activist like Jim Brown (Cleveland Brown Hall of Fame Running Back) and Bill Russell (Boston Celtic Champion and Legend), all were activist in social change during a time when the racial climate was a festering storm, violent recourse was less deterred and death was an imminent weapon used in trying to silence the Civil Rights movement in our country. These men or should I say soldiers, could have easily “played small” and “cling in their corners”, but they chose to step into the line of fire as they recognized that they had an obligation to not just themselves, but they also had an obligation to their communities. As we sit in the wake of Trayvon Martin’s verdict, I am hearing the screams of injustice and heartbreaking empathy for his parents by athletes, via Twitter. I am here to ask those athletes, where were you? Where were you during a time of social injustice against a young man that probably resembled you at that same age? I am willing to believe he owned at least one pair of your sneakers or wore some of your teams apparel or merchandise. No one can’t tell me that he didn’t have at least one of your video games. I see a symbolic display of tweeting out pictures in hoodies like its a candlelight vigil, but what is a candle with no flame but a ball of wax. Would it have been too much for a Miami Heat player like Lebron or Wade to show up at the court house? Would it have change the outcome of the law interpretation? No. But would it bring light to an obviously flawed law in their own state? Yes it would. The modern athlete is more concerned with enhancing their brand and stock portfolio and less about those who spend their hard earned income and their invaluable time looking up to them as role models. We lack positive black men in our households at an alarming rate and most of the examples that young black men have sadly enough are athletes and entertainers. Most of these modern black athletes are extremely aware of this, as this too was life for most of them as well. It is quite stunning that the consciousness of the black athletes social responsibility to their communities are less than that of a white male. Sean Penn is trying to rebuild a ravaged Haiti, meanwhile Michael Jordan continues to charge his urban minions $200.00 for tennis shoes. Where are the Buffalo Soldiers? Perhaps they are more along the line of Buffalo Wild Wings, as they are nothing more than a franchise looking to sell anything for a buck.

The word responsibility holds a tremendous weight in its meaning. Add words such as nobility and righteousness and you will find that very few exhibit these characteristics. The frontline is not for the weak at heart. I often equate life’s plight to a game of musical chairs. When the music stops and there are no chairs left, are you brave enough to stand alone? Soldiers run towards a war with fear for their own safety following behind them in the wind. Perhaps I am fooled into believing hope is never lost; however I am having a hard time tracking down its address. Are there any Buffalo Soldiers out there? If so I prefer a smoke signal, no more tweeting. #in the heart of America

Lauryn “Kunta” Hill?

Posted in News on July 11, 2013 by geniusscribbleink

lauryn

Lauryn Hill’s song “World is A Hustle” stated: “When the whole world is a hustle, exactly where did we arrive, in this manufactured life, to sell my soul just to survive” When listening to anything Lauryn Hill has written or produced, you come away with something that is innovative, as well as, a certain enlightenment or awareness that you never had prior. She is the embodiment of “I am woman, hear me roar” as her intellectual insight is something that many young women, no matter what background or ethnicity they have or are, can view as a role model of sorts. Whether its speaking on religion, politics, love or feminism; Lauryn has an opinion and a voice that forces an ear to adhere and listen to her. In other words she’s a bad mama jamma (cue the Carl Carlton song). Of course Lauryn has other sides that are not great examples for young women. She took an image hit when she had several children by a married man and during her music/public hiatus, Lauryn was often seen in public looking troubled, disheveled and seemingly on some recreational pharmaceuticals. Of course that’s “alleged” as we can only speculate what may have been going on. Needless to say, the quality of her artistry and her intelligence are things to be celebrated and admired as there is always a fine line between ingenuity and insanity. So lets get past the music and the baby daddy issues as they are irrelevant to this blog. I would however like to concentrate my efforts on the things that I hold her in high regards for her having: a voice (not the singing one but a platform) and her intelligence.

Lauryn Hill was recently incarcerated for failing to file tax returns for two years (2005-2007) on a sum total of $1.8 million dollars. Her sentence was three months in a low level security federal prison in Danbury Connecticut. Lauryn is believed to have sold 16 million copies of her music world wide with an estimated earnings (not personal, but album sales) of $600 million dollars. Currently, her net worth (record sales, tours and real estate investments) is valued at $8.7 Million dollars. Now, don’t get me misconstrued, I recognize the tremendous gap between what was generated versus what she earned. There’s no trick math calculator needed, the industry has always made money off of the so called “entertainment” whether in music, movies or television. Are there exceptions to this (see Master P, Tyler Perry and Oprah)? Yes; but this has always been the standard forever. We live in a capitalistic society. Capitalism is nothing less than Pimps and Prostitutes with a mutual understanding. So if I, in my small circle of personal wisdom and knowledge, am cognizant of this systematic process or machine, then how does this escape Lauryn Hill? Upon Lauryn’s sentencing, she professed to the judge when the subject of her estimated earnings of $600 million that she lived a modest life at the time off of her earnings, stating: “Someone did the math, and it came to around $600 million. And I sit here before you trying to figure out how to pay a tax debt? If that’s not like enough to slavery, I don’t know.” Let’s relive how I started this blog. I quoted one of her songs that had a part in it stating “to sell my soul just to survive”. Well she was correct. Not only did she sell her soul, she sold the souls of her ancestors as well (Black Moses turning over in her grave right now). When did slaves, throughout the grueling trade of life for labor, ever earn $8 million dollars? If you were lucky, you may have eaten the worthless, leftover remains of slaughtered animals (this is where most soul food delicacies derive from). But to expect revenue and real estate in return was blasphemy and would earn you nothing short of death in return for even thinking about it. There are blacks in this country who never received 40 acres or a mule. For the most part, many died never owning the rights to their own life. To proclaim that a “choice” she made to join an industry versus those who had “no choice” is nothing short of her “selling her soul ” for a “manufactured life” “while hustling the world to keep it. There is nothing more disheartening then an intelligent person claiming ignorance. People who are knowledge driven know a little something about everything. To attempt to turn this into someone forcing you to plank next a dead body across an ocean, is a complete misinterpretation and “Miseducation” of us. Shame on her for that. It’s both offensive and appalling.

Trouble finds us all. How we tend to handle our problems or situation is a matter of substance and character. I was taught to own my mistakes and suffer whatever consequences it incurs. We are all aware of what is right and wrong ever since our parents filtered the word “no” into our psyche. What you don’t do is place the blame of your action on others or absolve your involvement by stating that “the devil made me do it”. The bottom line in all of this is that Lauryn didn’t pay her taxes because she didn’t want to. This is not Django and she is not Broom Hilda. Use the empathy of racial suppression to describe a time that was. I can say this with great conviction, our President is black and ascended there off of the blood, chains and death of others. What’s her excuse? #killingmesoftly