Tag Archives: NFL

Kaepernick’s ‘Unpatriotic’ Conviction

 

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color…” “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

(http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000691077/article/colin-kaepernick-explains-why-he-sat-during-national-anthem)

As the dog days of the national sports world comes to a close, many networks are looking for virtually anything newsworthy to chew on until college and pro football lines up for the opening snap. That includes socio-political issues that have become immersed in sports talk much to the chagrin to the common man’s sports junkie pleasure. Which brings me to the story of Colin Kaepernick, who, for all intended purposes, might not even keep a roster spot by years end. The story of Kaepernick’s political protest has created lighting rod in sports talk because it has more to do with what’s critical and eye opening instead of what’s popular. It transcends the sports world and makes typical Americans focus on a matter that’s often swept under the rug. No, we’re not talking about the usual “black on black crime” that usually circulates the media circuit and puts the emphasis on black folks to get it together. Kaepernick’s statements shines a light on law enforcement which is to the American masses is a slap in the face, followed by an indignant middle finger to everything deemed “white American.” By Kaepernick refusing to stand and acknowledge the national anthem, he has become in many people’s eyes an “anti-American” who is ungrateful for what our military has done—past or present—so he can have the opportunity to enjoy life as a citizen of the alleged free world. How dare Colin commit the sin of patriotic blasphemy, or did he?

None of Kaepernick’s detractors will stick to what he actually said, nor will they point to the reason why he said it. They are quick to point out our service men but will not address our local so-called service men that have gotten away with killing black people with impunity. For instance, you have law enforcement that has been captured on camera murdering African-Americans in cold blood, yet these same officers have as Kaepernick has stated, “getting paid leave for getting away with murder.” So how does such a pivotal statement get misconstrued? Simple because Colin has as Stephen A. Smith articulated, made Americans choose sides; like it or not. If one was to look at social media this past weekend, you can clearly see how the American populous took to Colin’s conviction which was mostly met with venomous ire.

Then you have your Victor Cruz’s and now Jerry Rice’s of the world coming forth trying to diffuse Colin’s stance at the appeasement or out of their own opinion, which coincidentally sides with the prevailing popular opinion—of white folks. I wonder though if these Negro athletes are familiar with the person who wrote the national anthem in the first place? None other than American honored Francis Scott Key, who was a lawyer by day and a slaveholder by all means necessary to benefit the capitalistic so-called patriot. Even if one was to dive in the annals of the Smithsonianmag.com, there lies an article which begs to question “Where’s the Debate on Francis Scott Key’s Slave-Holding Legacy?” Here’s an excerpt for those who just don’t know:

In 1814, Key was a slaveholding lawyer from an old Maryland plantation family, who thanks to a system of human bondage had grown rich and powerful.

When he wrote the poem that would, in 1931, become the national anthem and proclaim our nation “the land of the free,” like Jefferson, Key not only profited from slaves, he harbored racist conceptions of American citizenship and human potential. Africans in America, he said, were: “a distinct and inferior race of people, which all experience proves to be the greatest evil that afflicts a community.” (http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/wheres-debate-francis-scott-keys-slave-holding-legacy-180959550/?no-ist)

If one was to read further in the article, you would discover that Key’s racist views were parallel to President Thomas Jefferson and many others; for even he too thought the Negro was a inferior being. With that being said, how can anyone justify their scrutiny towards Kaepernick for not standing for a country whose original sin continues to haunt them at every angle? Whether it be through the media or our government, the fact is the so-called American Negro hasn’t received its well-deserved justice and those who think otherwise are living in a color blind society.  America has made it common practice for the Negro to forget what has happen to his ancestors while having no problem propping up so-called Jews and the travesty of their Holocaust. This is the minimization of black culture which gives rise to the affluent blacks who have quote, “made it” but share the same ideology that is pro bono for white folks.

In the end, what Colin Kaepernick has done is open that same can of worms that too often gets fed to self-righteous journalists, pundits, and typical American skeptics who would rather hear about if Colin will make it to his or hers fantasy league. Given his limited platform, Kaepernick has decided to break the sports code for Negroes by not only refusing to acknowledge the national anthem, but telling you why he does by directly pointing to an institutional problem with law enforcement. I wonder, would Kaepernick’s stance be considered this “newsworthy” if it was something other than black lives? Kaepernick’s stance should leave the normal American downtrodden NOT because you agree or disagree with Colin, but for the simple fact that when you express your beliefs according to our Bill of Rights, you get vilified. The hatred especially gets intensified when you speak on black issues. This is a no-no in America or you’ll get labeled as being a “victim” or some KKK affiliate (for what reason I don’t know) when black folks DO NOT have a history of oppressing folks. But it is what it is…peace and love y’all!

With Roger Goddell’s New Rule, Ray Rice & Adrian Peterson; Will African-American NFL Athletes Become a Bigger Target of Aggressive Victims?

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Don’t think for one second you’ve misread the title of this article incorrectly Ladies and Gentlemen. It would also be in your best interest not to misinterpret what you are about to read. I was actually going to release this article a few weeks ago in response to the NFL’s new domestic violence policy; however, in lieu of what has transpired last week with now former Baltimore Raven’s running back, Ray Rice and his wife, Janay Rice—and the NFL Commissioner Roger Goddell—I had to go back to the drawing board. This incident not only reminded America on how truly dehumanizing domestic violence really is; rather, when it comes to having an honest discussion about domestic violence; as a nation, it is still a one-side issue. Millions watched as the TMZ video went viral in a matter of hours on this past Monday showing the graphic elevator confrontation between Ray and his then fiancé, Janay Palmer (since married). Almost immediately it was trending all over social media (and still is), press, radio, local and national news as it became not just news, but breaking news interrupting several televised programs. The video was so huge; it even drew the attention of the certain congressmen down in Washington, D.C. The court of public opinion was already disgusted with the original ruling of a 2-game suspension for the now troubled running back, Ray Rice. But after TMZ, (which is a celebrity gossip magazine for crying out loud) was able to get a hold of the footage that Commissioner Roger Goddell seemingly couldn’t; the uproar for the dismissal of Rice—and now Goddell—grew exponentially. With domestic violence and sexual assault now taking precedent over the actual NFL games themselves; you would think the victim in all of this—Janay Rice—all of sudden became the unofficial voice for domestic violence victims everywhere. Instead, Janay stuns all domestic violence advocates and supporters with a startling message from her Instagram account in defense of her husband.

Since the disturbing video of Ray Rice was released nearly two weeks ago, critics ranging from sports reporters, pundits, and most notably the National Organization for Women otherwise known as N.O.W., have all but demanded Roger Goddell’s head on a silver platter insisting his resignation immediately. This also comes in light of new developments reported by the Associated Press that NFL Headquarters was in fact aware of the full Ray Rice video leaked by TMZ last Monday. While Goddell maintains his innocence, the league has decided to hire former FBI director Robert S. Mueller III, to handle an independent investigation to see if indeed Commissioner Goddell knew about the entirety of tape prior to last Monday. The NFL is now facing immense scrutiny for allowing San Francisco 49ers defensive end, Ray McDonald and Carolina Panthers defensive end, Greg Hardy, to play in their season openers while McDonald hasn’t been charged in his domestic violence altercation; however, Hardy was charged in his as of July this year. The Panthers have since placed Hardy on the “exempt list” pending Hardy’s appeal in his case involving his ex-girlfriend. Whew, can we finally say we are ready for some football, right? “Not so fast my friend!” As popular commentator of ESPN’s College Game Day, Lee Corso would utter. As week two approached, the league was hit with yet another blow involving one of its most marketable superstars. Minnesota Vikings star running back, Adrian Peterson, was indicted on felony child abuse charges stemming from a whipping in which Peterson disciplined his son with tree branch; commonly known to black folks as a switch. At first, the Vikings stood behind their all-pro running back; but when advertisers such as Nike, started to back off of Peterson, the Vikings soon joined the party. There also seems to be yet another allegation of child abuse from another one of Peterson’s baby mother’s as well. But for now, the all-pro running back has been placed on the exempt list as well pending his sentencing for the child abuse charges that occurred in 2013.            259915_5_

Now with the media pressure at an all-time high due to Peterson’s child abuse charges, Goddell, (feeling obliged from sponsors such as McDonald’s, Visa, Anheuser-Busch and Fed Ex) was again forced to react. Even after he modified the league’s domestic violence policy, the issue of child abuse (which is also included in the domestic violence policy btw) has lit a fire across America in regards to what is and what isn’t an appropriate way to discipline your children. Reports say Peterson has acknowledged his mistakes but feels he has done nothing wrong due to the fact of it was how he was raised. With the NFL’s most prolific running back now indefinitely sidelined, Goddell tried to ingratiate himself among his female fanbase by hiring a distinguished group of women to oversee the affairs in the league involving domestic violence and sexual assault. Among the accomplished group of women Lisa Friel, Jane Randel, and Rita Smith; the most noteworthy is former White House Official Cynthia C. Hogan, naming her Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Government Affairs. While this may be an astronomical leap for the league for allowing a woman’s voice to be heard in a significant way involving domestic violence and off the field issues; we must remember one thing: the league and its player’s is overwhelmingly 66% black. And with the league’s attempt to solve its domestic violence issue; it left out an important demographic of people that suits the narrative: the black woman.

When it comes to the African-American community, sadly black women experience intimate partner violence (IPV) rates 35% higher than their white counterparts and 2.5 times the rate of men and other races. Yet when the NFL chose to elect female authoritative voices they disregarded the voice that impacts most of the league’s players the most. The group called “The Black Woman’s Roundtable,” has expressed its frustration with not including an African-American woman’s voice in the NFL’s attempt to clean up violence towards women as ABC News reports:

“However, your lack of inclusion of women of color, especially black women who are disproportionately impacted by domestic violence and sexual assault; and the fact that over 66% of the NFL players are made up of African-Americans, is unacceptable..”

Not allowing an African-American voice to an apparent African-American issue (as the liberal media is propagandizing it) is utterly disrespectful knowing that it was an African-American woman–Janay Rice–who was at the fore front of this whole debacle. Unfortunately, this maybe the point at which some African-American readers may vehemently disagree with me; but on behalf of many ‘brotha’s’ out there who love our sista’s I would be remised if I didn’t mention the aggressive and abusive tendencies many African-American women engage in when it comes to our relationships. This is in no way an excuse for black men to go oops upside a black woman’s head; however, it’s also not an excuse for black women to go carte blanche on a black man in the midst of a domestic dispute either. I’m only speaking from the black perspective because I’ve seen an abundance of overly aggressive black women not only confront or verbally abuse their men, but physically abuse them as well. This is the core of my problem with this whole ‘domestic violence’ issue—especially–when it comes to the lack of culpability that black women play when it comes to domestic disputes. What seems to be the liberal media’s attempt to remind America that black men are nothing more “brutes and thugs,” you have black women (and black men) television personalities being propagated as staunch advocates against domestic violence and child abuse—while putting the guilty under the bus. Unfortunately, just like Ferguson, we as a community (so-called) only get outraged when the predominately white media is involved with a societal epidemic that not only affects people humanistically; but it took a black face (Ray Rice) to make the problem germane.

Please don’t get it twisted because I whole-heartily agree that if a man abuses a woman, he should be punished as applicable to law. However, I am NOT blind to the facts that many of our women are just as abusive in the relationships they encounter as well. See, a month and a half ago, Stephen A. Smith tried to balance out this issue over the democrat controlled airwaves of ESPN on his show called First Take. Only to no avail due to a colleague of his (Michelle Beadle) taking to Twitter venting her displeasure with Smith’s comments involving the word “provocation,” Even with all of the hoopla turned importance surrounding domestic violence, it continues to be a one-sided issue; which once again portrays women as weak, innocent victims and men as out of control brutes.. Some of y’all may not like my assertion about this dilemma (which domestic violence is important btw), but all I see is a political, feminist narrative being pushed for women to have just as much as a voice (and power) in what is called America’s favorite sport, pro-football; in what they call a bridging of the gap when it comes to gender equality. Simply stated, they want their voice to count.

While gender equality is not the reason why I did this article, the promotion of black men being public enemy number one is. Trust me; I’m not excusing any abuser of women and or of children. However, what I won’t put up with or stand for, is allowing the media to tell black people not only how to raise our children; but to propagandize and leave an impression that black men are not only a menace to society; but a threat to his family as well. Just remember how much the black athlete is perused  even after he’s paid for his crime a la Michael Vick (who is still berated by apparent animal rights activists). Could you imagine if Rice or Peterson were to return to the league next year? Even while I’m finishing this article, there have been yet two more NFL athletes who have been brought to the media’s attention involving domestic violence: the Chicago Bear’s wide receiver, Brandon Marshall (on an old charge btw) and Arizona Cardinal’s running back, Johnathan Dwyer.

So this leads me to my most arguable, controversial, and contentious question yet. Will women (specifically black women) use not only Goddell’s new rule as leverage against African-American football players; but with the help of feminist organizations such as N.O.W. and the women involved with domestic violence and sexual assaults for the league—as a way to control not just football players, but to send an eerie message to men in general? Please understand my intent is not to point the finger, but to call attention to what could happen when we give a group of people too much power. Or maybe I should just remain naïve because with the help of feminist organizations maybe they will finally bring men and women together to further better an egalitarian in pro football.

There’s just one problem; I’m no fool.   1410992544000-EPA-USA-NFL-DOMESTIC-ABUSE-67319630

Fortunately, there is a phrase that says, “Absolute power corrupts absolutely,” so I believe not only black players will be targeted and extorted by the likes of so-called woman advocates (many who are really feminist) like Gloria Allred; but I’m reminded of a crooked system that’s already used to screw men in general.

And it’s administered through the family court system.


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“The NBA (Players) could learn a lot from the Gay Community”

NBA: Playoffs-Miami Heat at Milwaukee BucksYesterday at the NFL Draft, Michael Sam was selected in the 7th round by the St. Louis Rams and became the first openly gay player in the history of the league. While people took to social media to either congratulate or disagree with the kiss seen around the world, I realized the NBA could learn a lot from the gay rights struggle. Just last year, NBA journeymen Jason Collins, made his announcement that he was an openly gay player. Since then, Collins has had the support of fellow NBA players such as Kobe Bryant, former league commissioner David Stern, even from the President and the First Lady, Barack and Michelle Obama. A free agent at the time of his announcement, Collins signed a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets and had the #1 online selling jersey this past February (http://www.cbssports.com/nba/eye-on-basketball/24457433/jason-collins-jersey-skyrockets-to-no-1-on-sales-list). Some call it propaganda, I call it power. Whether you agree or disagree to whether or not there’s an “agenda” going on, one thing is for sure, the gay community is not backing down.michael-sam-drafted

As I have previously mentioned in an earlier blog, I believe the NBA players had an opportunity to make history in its own right, by refusing to play during the Donald Sterling fiasco. It would of sent a clear message that one, to the NBA, two, the owners, and three, to America as a whole when dealing with the issue of race. More importantly, it would have put a league (which is predominately African-American) in a position of power. Power, that gets to dictate to a league that our self-respect means more than our pay checks. Of course you have people who have rebutted saying, “They have to feed their families etc.” Well, correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t NBA players have guarantee contracts? It’s not like the NFL where you can get released a year after signing your only guarantee dollars ironically called a “signing bonus.” The NBA situation spoke volumes about how many African-Americans would rather be accepted or have someone come to our defense/rescue, than to be respected and taking it by force. I believe there’s a certain party in politics that has done this for years…. I just can’t remember its name???

Michael Sam is just a microcosm of what the gay community has done in its efforts to be (I will say it again) RESPECTED in the annals of American society. Again, whether you agree with the lifestyle or not, the fact that they are breaking down barriers in areas of legislation, marriage, entertainment and sports, cannot be denied. One could even make a case about which movement has generated more progress in the area of civil rights; but that’s another topic for another day. The point is this; the gay community has taught the NBA players and many ‘progressive’ African-Americans a valuable lesson. If you really believe in something, stand for it. Don’t just have a message, become the message-embody it. Sadly, like most things “black” in America, this too will fall on deaf ears. Because like in the words of a famous YouTuber, Tommy Sotomayor, when it comes to addressing the issues in the black community we would rather be “SYBIL then CIVIL.”

Looks like when it comes to our issues as African-Americans, we just continue to drop the ball. No pun intended.

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“God Forgives, Dog Lover’s Don’t.”

michael-vickI really didn’t want to do this blog because I didn’t want to be accused of being “pro-black,” or making this an issue of race. However, because we still have a covert system of systematic white supremacy, I believe this situation, fits the bill. What would you say after someone went to prison, served their time and have made efforts to rehabilitate themselves to become progressive members in society? The only people who know the nature of their crimes is the employer, public record, family members and friends. Their criminal record will follow them as long as they live, but it’s between them and their future employers. However, for Michael Vick, it follows him everywhere-even after he’s showed contrition, remorse, participated in charities, (and continues to do so) and public speaking events denouncing his past criminal acts. Vick continues to be haunted, scrutinized and villianized by the American dog worshiping culture to the extent they want to make sure he never forgets his crimes. Oh, if we could list  the American crimes this country wants YOU to forget. Can you smell the hint of hypocrisy here?

Since Michael Vick signed his 1-year deal with his new team, The New York Jets, there has been a petition (which has now reached over 20,000 signatures) on Change.org by SUNY Cortland wanting Vick banned from practicing on their campus due to his 2007 conviction on felony dog charges. Even though this petition probably won’t work, what I want to deal with is the ongoing cancerous group of people who continue to spew hatred towards Vick after he served his time. This isn’t just about this petition, but several others that are infringing Vick from getting on with his life, even to the point that these people are petitioning against EVERY public endeavor Vick is apart of. There are petitions to ban a speaking engagement, his clothing line and his endorsement deal, which are all available on Change.org website. Of those petitions (his clothing line called V7) is being targeted by these people, even though the proceeds is going towards a Boys and Girls Club in Philadelphia as charitable work. I mean, how do you petition that?! No one, (not even the court who convicted him) is excusing him of his heinous crimes in dog fighting. However, the continuous efforts to assault this man calling him everything from a “psychopath,” to a “murderer,” and other numerous vehement expletives, are completely out of line.

People want to look at the fact that he’s ‘privileged’ because they only see him as avick haters professional football player. The professional athlete always seems to get the quote on quote “second chance,” when they get into trouble off the field. They are expected to be role models, while other entertainers are given excuses by the hypocritical hopeful: the American public. What is happening to Vick is just another extension of the criminal justice system, but it’s disguised by free speech and the court of public opinion (even though public opinion is based on people who get away with their crimes). If Michael Vick wasn’t Michael Vick, he would still have a hard time finding employment due to his felony record. These so-called Americans are basically policing Vick’s every move and I wonder how these efforts have affected him psychologically. But I thought this was America, you know, “the land of second chances?” Sure you’re right, Ray-Ray, sure you’re right.

I understand people have an affinity for animals and in this case dogs, but where is this same passion for the 3,700 babies who are aborted everyday? Can’t hear you America? Maybe because you call it a woman’s right to “Pro-Choice.” Well, what about the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals commonly know as PETA, whose founder Ingrid Newkirk, has admitted to euthanizing  animals. So America, where’s the outcry? The petitions? The constant public policing of this organization? Let me help you; there is none. Yet seven years later, the animal lover’s continue to remind not just Vick, but America, that Vick still doesn’t deserve a second chance? But the second chance I speak of is the rehabilitation for Michael Vick; not just as a football player, but as a human being.

 

“The NFL can seek to ban the use of the “N” word, but Hip hop can’t?”

You never thought Hip Hop would take it this far..”-Notorious B.I.G.

Things has definitely gotten ‘juicy’ these days in the sports world as the verse above fromNFL 2 the entitled song called Juicy indicates. I know you maybe wondering, “What does hip hop have to do with this post?” The answer is everything. Unless you’ve lived under a rock or something, there were two stories that made national headlines involving the NFL and the issue of race. One, involving Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper, who was caught on video saying “I will fight every n*gger in here,” while attending a Kenny Chesney concert. Yea, I said the same thing. The the latter involved two Miami Dolphins offensive linemen, Richie Incognito and Johnathan Martin, where Incognito was accused of bullying tactics against Martin. Of these tactics, the most sinister included a voice mail message in which Incognito left racial slurs such as “Half n*gger piece of s**t.”  With the national press, sports and televised media pinning the NFL into a corner,  the usual question is always  asked “Is racism still alive in America?” Even though in the eyes of many is the negative narrative, (it’s not really an issue anymore) the media will still satiate at the chance to cover any story about race, even if it’s at the cost of cheap ratings. This why those who “race bait” for a living have a never-ending career as political media pundits.  Don’t believe me, just ask MSNBC.

NFLRecently, the NFL has decided that the use of the “N” word will fall under the”unsportsmanlike” conduct rule which usually results in a 15-yard penalty during an NFL  game. Richard Sherman, of the Seattle Seahawks, called such a rule “atrocious” and it’s often used in the locker room. Then Sherman went on to say “It’s almost racist, to me. It’s weird they’re targeting one specific word. Why wouldn’t all curse words be banned then?”(Espn.com) Although I agree with his statements, I personally commend the NFL for taking a stance against a known historically offensive word.  Yes, there are other words which are used in our society which are considered lewd, profane and even blasphemous. However, we’re dealing with more than just  a word, but a racial slur. A word, that when used by whites, would elicit intense rage due to its ominous past and how it was used towards blacks. By far, there is no other word in the English lexicon that breeds more contempt, hatred, discrimination, humiliation, degradation-yet many African-Americans, use this word as a term of endearment with each other. As posthumous rapper Tupac Shakur once said, “N*ggas are the ones with gold [chains] ropes, n*ggers where the ones hanging on the ropes [noose].” Interesting, Hip-hop’s most decorated and transcendent figures would make such a statement. But I’ll leave Tupac alone because you got people (just like Elvis) who still believe he’s alive, so I don’t want to catch the backlash after another album of his drops.

Hip hop originated over forty years ago in the South Bronx area of New York City. Some of its pioneers include: Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five, DJ Kool Herc, Afrika Bambaataa, and KRS-One. Hip hop derives its art form on the strength of four fundamental elements which include: rap music, (oral) turntablism, (aural) breaking (physical) and graffiti art (visual) (Wikipedia.com). Since its start, hip hop was primarily a form of escapism for inner city youth through music and dance held at local neighborhood block parties. As the momentum of this new genre began to spread, Hip hop became more than just fun party music, it also became a social and political voice for many young African-Americans. One significant song at the time was Grand Master Flash’s “The Message, ” which spoke on issues such as poverty, violence and the neglect for the lives of black youth. There would be other socially conscious political groups such as Public Enemy, but through the years Hip hop has always managed to balance itself between being socially conscious, and culturally relevant. Even if it’s at the displeasure of others; including itself.hip-hop-albums

Hip hop heads and black people in general, have always used the “N” word, however it’s usage and popularity wasn’t always commercialized and acceptable as it is today-at least not by black people. Prior to the 60’s,  African-Americans despised the word because of its negative connotation, and it served as a reminder of slavery, lynching, segregation and discrimination. In fact, some African-Americans didn’t even take kindly to the word negro, although it became a more accustomed name versus its earlier term, colored. Fast forward to 2014, the”N” word has become more ‘endearing,’ I mean popular, than ever. A word so repugnant,  yet so widely celebrated and embraced not only in Hip hop, but by many African-Americans. Again, I know hip hop, heck black people didn’t create the “N” word. However, we as black people have a responsibility in how we carry ourselves and how we are perceived.  It’s almost like hip-hoppers have become like the black Christian in a way. You know, the one that says “Don’t judge me, God knows my heart.” All while living a lifestyle that contradicts what the bible teaches entirely. Likewise, this is what the (black) rapper does when they make excuses for the usage of the word. Don’t get me wrong, even I used to use the word. When I say I used to use the “N” word, it was my favorite transitional word!! However, when I started hearing younger kids and females use the word openly in front of other non-black people, I thought to myself “Do we have no shame?” I implied ‘we’ because I was part of the problem-a problem which originated from my adherence to Hip hop music.

My point is this, if the NFL can take a stand against this socially deviant word at the price of protecting its business and image, why can’t Hip hop? This is not my attempt to be a reincarnation C. Delores Tucker or sound like those bought off so-called ‘black’ leaders. It just amazes me no other ethnic people group embraces or condones a racial slur as term of “endearment.” Even if other ethnic groups may call one another a slur, it doesn’t go outside of their community. Maybe that’s Hip hop’s, wait a minute, black America’s most troubling problem-the absence of community.  See, when one comes from a community, the people ‘police’ it’s own. They don’t allow what is frowned upon or something that brings shame to their people, be looked at as an overall representation of their culture. They don’t glorify ghetto behavior. In relation to Hip hop, most of its participants unfortunately, come from environments which lack a sense of family AND community.  Also, Hip hop in some peculiar way, became a Father figure to an otherwise fatherless generation. Now what does a natural Father demonstrate? They give structure, discipline, affirmation and most importantly, they teach honor. When you have no honor, you have no respect and rebellion becomes your alter-ego. Also, if we really look at Hip hop, you see many of its artists stuck in adolescence-arrested development I tend to call it. I could go deeper, but I’ll digress for now. In closing, I’m not saying you can change overnight in regards to using the “N” word. It has become a word that in all actuality, feels good to use (speaking from personal experience) but carries destructive results. I’ve heard black people from the preacher to educator, from the sweet old lady to the vile speaking thug.  Some African-Americans believe there are some ‘black folk’ who actually personify the very meaning of the word! (that’s another story for another day, ha ha.) I just wish the so-called ‘elders’ of this Hip hop culture would call out this type of language and make it a serious matter. They have the platform, the influence and (to some degree) the power to promote change. If Hip hop can inspire young people across the U.S. to “Vote or Die” for our President a few years ago, why can’t it lead the charge on something that directly affects Hip hop it’s self? Sometimes we can’t hear or see exactly what’s really going on. That is until the music stops.  ***drops the mic***