Sunday, November 24, 2013

“I watched this video and the verdict is in…The woman, the single mother of FIVE children, is dead WRONG!”

First of all, I would like to start off by saying that police shooting at a vehicle filled with a mother and underage children is completely out of order and the cop who did the shooting and claiming to be only shooting at the tires (liked that made shooting at the vehicle filled with children any better) needs his ass handed to him on a hot, flaming platter. He should be fired and charged with attempted murder. The policemen who busted out the damn windows creating further trauma in the little children need their asses kicked in an ally as well as in court. This experience has definitely taught these black children that police have no love or patience for them and anyone who looks like them. This experience, in my opinion, should have also taught the children that their mother is somewhat irresponsible, selfish, and really did not have their best interests at heart on this particular day. I am so glad that the young black man did not get beaten or even killed because of his mother’s negligence.

Ok. Many of you are wondering why I am saying this. Here it goes. As a long time counselor, therapist and even mentor to young people, I have always preached and taught prevention. I have taught young people the importance of staying away from drugs because of the negative consequences of using drugs. I have taught many in counseling groups over the years how to avoid psychotic episodes in their lives by simply taking their medications as prescribed along with exercise, relaxation, and eating healthy.  Our parents have even taught us prevention when they would say things like, “A hard head makes for a soft behind.” Or “If you don’t start nothing, it won’t be nothing.” 

The woman, Oriana Ferrell of Memphis, TN. (my hometown) was completely the cause of the entire melee’ that occurred on that day. All she had to do to prevent the cops from busting out the windows of her car, shooting at the car, and possibly getting her son 14 year old son murdered was to just give the officer her driver’s license and car insurance after being pulled over for allegedly speeding. If she did not possess either of the items he requested, all she had to do was sign the ticket and keep it moving. I think that’s how most of us would have handled the situation instead of becoming argumentative with the cop because of possibly “riding dirty” and then pulling off. What kind of sense did that make? Then, when the cop catches up to her, she still had no intentions of complying with anything the cop had asked her to do. It is because of her immature and resistant behavior that her son risked his life (in his mind) to protect his mother, when it should have been her protecting her children by handing over the damn license and insurance at the first stop and not driving off, which created in the cop’s mind, the ultimate suspicion. I am not even going to ask why the hell her son’s hair was green.

However, I will ask these questions. What in the hell is she doing with five children and no man in sight? Why do so many Black women have so many children and then want to be given a special status in society? When she mentioned in the video that she was a single mother of five children, was that her attempt to gain sympathy from the public? Where was the father or fathers of these children? Why wasn’t there another adult on this trip with them? Was she running away from an abusive relationship? What in the hell was all of that stuff tied to the roof of the van? The report stated that there were drugs found in the vehicle. Hmmm, I guess the cops have already begun to put together their justification for their criminal and thuggish behavior with the shooting and the busting out of the windows. Hmmm, maybe there was a roach in the ash tray that she had finished the night before and she forgot to dump out the ash tray before the trip. I know many of you are looking at this as a case lased with racial overtones. You are very correct in doing so. The easy part is to view this case as a racial issue because it probably is. As intelligent people who are supposed to be aware of living in America and having a clear understanding of the history of America her relationship with all people of color, but especially black people, we should not be surprised by the behavior of the cops. Cops have never liked Black people. It will never change. Still, with this historical knowledge there is a way in which one should conduct themselves whenever coming in contact with the police. So please join me in not just looking at this case as just a racial issue, but also as a case of child endangerment on the part of the mother.

The mother (although FINE as hell) was dead wrong. Her actions on that day were reckless and thoughtless. Her actions created this avalanche of danger and trauma for her children. I wish she had practiced some preventive measures on that day because now her children will need extensive counseling to help move past this experience. Her son will have a hate for the police that will not work well for him in the long run. Meaning, he may continue to grow up thinking that in order to combat the next police officer whom he feels is disrespecting him; he will need to only sharpen his boxing skills, which will not be a good idea if he values living. To combat the cops in the future whom he may feel behave the same way as the ones on the day he and his family members were stopped for allegedly speeding, I would advise this young man to first go to counseling for anger resolution therapy and trauma. Next, I would advise him go to the gym to sharpen his boxing skills and maintain good health. Finally, I would advise this young man to go to law school and become a constitutional lawyer and ultimately become a judge who presides over cases involving police brutality and other cases involving the police mistreating the people.  

I feel most sorry for the children in this case for the simple fact that children don’t ask to come here and they definitely can’t choose their parents. I wish the mother well in a possible pursuit of legal satisfaction. I hate that any of this happen. However, if it were not for the mother not utilizing common sense and acting as a MOTHER with young children in the vehicle to protect, I don’t think the situation would have gone that far. Instead of choosing to use preventive measures, Oriana Ferrell, in my opinion, chose to look out for her own interests which could have ended up with much dire consequences.



Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Best Man HOLIDAY: My movie review.

I went to the movies this weekend to check out this flick. However, please allow me to vent a little before I go into my movie review. First of all, when in the movie theater, stay wake! I literally sat through 20 minutes of someone snoring during the last 30 minutes of the movie. The person snored like he/she had not had any sleep since the 1800’s.  I mean damn! It was like I was in a different movie theater watching a different movie called, “12 Years A Snorer!” Look. If the 10:15pm movie showing is past your bedtime, make sure you get a ticket for the 12 noon showing of the movie or at the very least the 6:45pm movie showing. Next, scoot over God-dammit! Ok. I was a little long in the concession line. The people taking the order were as slow as a turtle pissing! This is why I and many others entered into theater 17 as the movie reviews were playing. I mean, people were saving seats for two and three people and pretending not to see you when you were suffering with anxiety trying not to look too uncool trying to get to a seat the damn dark! Scoot over God-dammit! Everybody can’t sit close to the edge of the rows to get the edge on the other movie goers when the movie is over. Also, why in the hell don’t people fill out the entire rows in the theaters? Meaning, people sit in groups of four and five, filling up both ends of the row, with two or three seats in the dead middle left open. WTF!? Fill in all of the damn seats so the end seats can be for those of us who may come in during the previews because of the slow ass workers at the concession stands!!! Anyway, I am done with this. I just had to share this little tidbit. LOL!

Ok, now on to my review of the movie. Overall, I loved the movie. I thought the writing was good. The cinematography was of great quality. The writer and director of the movie, Malcolm D. Lee, did an excellent job with the development of the characters from the first movie. I loved the way he brought all of their lives full circle in this second installment of the franchise. I laughed at the punch lines. I wiped away tears as I witnessed the character, Mia, battle cancer and even when her husband, Lance, physically broke down in deep sadness and in disbelief of his wife’s death at the burial site. I loved the way Anthony Hamilton and Marsha Ambrosius did a slow re-make of the Stevie Wonder classic, “Always” at the funeral. This part of the movie where Mia struggled with cancer struck a personal chord with me because my favorite aunt died of pancreatic cancer three years ago. She went through a very similar experience during her battle with cancer. Mia even looked like my aunt as she laid in the bed sick from her illness. My family and I just like Mia’s friends in the movie, stayed with my aunt during her final days. The pain they felt as they witnessed her struggling to hold on was very familiar to me. I would not wish this experience on any one.


However, even though I said that I loved the movie overall, I do have some analytical criticisms. The movie was not perfect. It has some flaws. Everyone who knows me knows that I have never been one to follow the crowd. They know that I can’t just been herded like a mindless sheep. They know that I have never been one to just allow my brain just shut off because I am being entertained by a movie of any kind. I watched this movie with the same analytical and critical brain as I did with the movies, “12 Years A Slave” and “Lee Daniel’s-The Butler.” A few things stood out for me in this movie. The night before I went to see the movie, I read an article regarding the movie in this month’s Jet Magazine. In the movie, it mentioned how writer and director, Malcolm D. Lee, had to convince the Hollywood movie studio executives that this movie was worth funding. Hmmm, so when I went to see the movie, I waited to see what convinced the Hollywood studio executives to finance this movie. This is the same thing I wondered to myself when I noticed all of the slavery themed movies that have been brought to the big screen this year. I knew something had to be sacrificed, compromised or a particular message to black people had to be slipped into the movie in oder to make Hollywood happy and feel comfortable about financing a movie with an all black leading cast. Well, it was the same message that appeared in “Lee Daniel’s-The Butler,” “12 Years A Slave,” The TV show, “Scandal,” and quite possibly in “DJango Unchained.” Those of you who went to the theaters to see "DJango will have to let me know if this message is in the movie. Based on what I have heard and read about that particular movie, the message is the same. The message being, the white man is the savior, not all white people are bad, and the promotion of interracial love between Blacks and whites. Funny. You never see these messages being promoted to Jews in films about Jews when it comes to the current and historical enemy of their people, the Nazis or even today's Nazi skinheads. Anyway, Jordan, the strong, independent, career driven Black woman ends up with the white man in the movie as the only man who she finally realizes she loves. Shocking! LMAO!

The message to this group of particular Black women is that your Black man in no way can measure up to you and your success. You are way too tough for him to handle. You are too strong for him. There is no way any man can handle you unless he is white.  Next, to top off this little “get together” the writer of the movie tried to make it seem as if Jordan was not digging her white boyfriend in that way. A dying Mia had to impart some wisdom regarding finding love as she lay dying. She said, “Jordan, be open minded and be open to love!" It is amazing that we can’t be this wise when it comes to finding love with each other in the black community. I’m just saying. The total disrespect of the Black man and Black marriage and commitment came when the ex-stripper, Candie, literally lusted out loud after the only white man in the movie, who happened to be Jordan’s boyfriend. Mind you. Candie is married to Julian, the college brotha who took her nasty ass out of the strip club and tried to make a legitimate woman out of her. This bitch was so horrible in her “Scandal-ous” lust for this white man that she made sexual comments about the white man right in front of her husband. So much that he actually heard her. Total disrespect! She did it throughout the entire movie!

Of course, the N-Word was tossed around a few times in the movie by Terrance Howard’s character. I did not see the need for it because this certainly was not a movie about slavery. Finally, the issue of Black women and hair crossed my mind. Yes. Mia was dying of cancer. To bring the point home, she removed her hair hat during a heated argument with her husband Lance which revealed her natural hair that had fallen out to that of a very low length. I thought to myself during this scene in the movie, “So, will it have be cancer that will allow Black women to feel good about wearing their natural hair without the weave, chemical relaxers, and transsexual looking hair hats?” Chris Rock’s movie/documentary, “Good Hair,” which showed black women where their hair weave comes from and how the chemicals used in perm relaxers ate through aluminum cans in a lab did not seem to create any fear in the majority of black women.

Of course, I am not wishing cancer on Black women to get them to love their natural selves. I will let God continue to work on them. It is definitely, in my opinion, an issue that black women who wear weaves, perms and hair hats will have to work out with their Higher Power. So, this is the end of my review of the movie, “The Best Man-Holiday.” I just wish WE will get to the point of funding our OWN movies and TV shows so that we don’t have to continue to make others happy and comfortable in order to get a movie about us or at least marketed to us financed and distributed to television and to movie theaters.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

“Hey, What’s with all of the movies about slavery?”

Last night, I went to the movies to see the period flick “12 Years A Slave.” This movie is being reported as a true story based on the autobiographical book of the same name which was written by Solomon Northup in 1853. The book is based on Solomon Northrup’s actual account of what he went through as a free black man living in the north that was kidnapped by white hunters and re-sold back into slavery to white “slavers” who ran “slave farms” in the south. Before this movie, I went to see “Lee Daniel’s-The Butler.” This movie has a black slave farm theme in it as well. There was another movie released this year with a slavery theme to it, but with a comedic twist called “Django Unchained.” Needless to say, I did not waste my time or my money going to see that crap. I agreed with Spike Lee when he stated his reasoning for not supporting this particular film which was, “There was nothing funny about slavery.”

I am not writing to give a play by play account of what I saw in the two movies that featured slavery themes that I did go to see at the theaters. I am writing to take a critical and analytical look at why “Hollyweird” has all of a sudden taken an interest in putting these movies out there. I will say this about the movie “12 Years a Slave” in that it is not a movie about slavery. It is a movie about one free man’s experience on a slave farm. You see. Solomon was a free Negro living a middle class life with his family in Washington DC without a care in the world about what was going on with Blacks in the south or anywhere else for that matter. His world was rocked simply because he naively trusted these two white men who flattered him with compliments and convinced him to leave his home in DC to go off with them to work in a circus type set-up to play his violin for some extra money. They paid him very well. He even went so far as to drink and have dinner with these two shady white men after work one evening. This is when they poisoned his wine. When he woke up, which appeared to be days later, he awoke to ragged clothes and locks and chains in a dark enclosed dungeon in the middle of nowhere.

The movie is graphic and very reminiscent of how most Blacks act today in society. The movie reminds you of what Blacks today do to survive under white rule today. The plantation scenes are very telling. All I can say is Black people are in dead last today because we refuse to read the history of our TRUE relationship with the white man. By the way, to all you African Americans out there, they enslaved Africans. It is the African who was colonized and made into the Nigger. The word Nigger was used so much, I thought there were rappers in the building. The word baboon was even used in one of the scenes in the movie. On the plantation is where the African was force fed the myths about Christianity and a so called Jesus Christ. It was on the plantation where the African had drummed into his psyche that the White race is superior. The enslaved Africans were also conditioned to believe that as long you obeyed your master, you shall live long and when you die you shall receive a reward in paradise and get the chance to sit next to some lord and savior. In the movie, after a whole week of picking cotton, chopping sugar cane, and getting ass whippings, the plantation owner had church on the lawn with his family and with all of the kidnapped Africans where he read from the Bible about obeying your master and working hard.

I mentioned that it was Africans who were kidnapped and brought to the plantations because many of us today seem to believe that we are descendants of a country called Black. WE are descendants of enslaved Africans from Africa. Of course, over the years to help forget this harsh reality, we call ourselves Negros, African-Americans or Blacks. Again, the white man did not go to a country nor a continent called Black and kidnap Africans. They went to Africa, a people with a culture, an identity. On the plantation, the enslaved Africans were not often referred to as Africans. They were often referred to as “my property” boy, gal, wench, Nigger and the Blacks! In the movie, “Lee Daniel’s-The Butler,” the first 15 minutes of the movie showed a female mulatto slave farm worker (the butler’s mother) get raped violently and her husband (the butler’s father) get shot in the head at point blank range by the son of the plantation (slave farm) owner and killed for attempting to stand up to him for he had just done to his wife. Again, this act was further conditioning the Blacks to never stand up to a white man.

I know I went there anyway with a little play by play action, but I guess I could not help myself. One would think that this sudden barrage of slavery themed movies this year would be laced with good intentions. One would even think that “Whorelywood” has taken an interest in making sure that Blacks today really learn some valuable American History in an effort to show how Blacks have come such a long way despite or in the midst of such adversity. Yeah right! Keep dreaming. The strategy of any prison today or any plantation back them was not to give the key to your freedom. You have to break out own by force your or create your own key to get away. Many Black people felt some type of justice after they left the movie theaters after having watched the movie “Django Unchained.” Many Blacks left the movie theaters feeling upset with the Black Panthers when they left the movie theaters after having watched “Lee Daniel’s-The Butler.” Blacks left the movie theater I was in last night in tears and feeling grateful to a White man who mailed a letter for Soloman, which led to his rescue from the slave farm.

However, I left the movie theater feeling the same way as always. These movies are created to gauge where we are in our desire to escape white rule and thinking like slaves and become the proud Africans we once were. These movies are created and widely distributed to allow us to do what Facebook, online blogs, Twitter, etc. allows us to do, which is to be angry in silence. History has taught us all that revolutionary fighting is not done at home behind a computer screen or sitting with your date at the movies. It is fought in the streets. After three slavery themed movies this year, it is safe to say that Blacks in America are safe in their fear and ignorance. The white man is still safe in his supremacy. Still, I would advise parents to take their children see “12 Years A Slave” and “Lee Daniel’s-The Butler,” There is something in these movies that just might spark something in the youth that has totally been missed on the old folks like me. For it will be the youth who shall spark the necessary revolution that will bring about the much prayed about equality and independence that the adult Blacks in this generation have failed to acquire.