Curly Morris

Posts Tagged ‘Racism’

Stupid ‘is’ as stupid ‘does’

In Politics, Racism, Uncategorized on July 27, 2009 at 1:02 am

Conspiracy or Stupidity?

Conspiracy or Stupidity?


Which of these three men acted more ‘stupidly’ in the past week?
A. Professor Henry Louis Gates
B. Sgt. James Crowley
C. President Barack Obama

Well, let us attempt to make sense of the actions of these individuals before we determine a winner to our ‘stupidest’ contest. I will not rehash the entire story because by now anyone who follows any news source is familiar with the incident in Cambridge Mass. on July 16th. In summation,Gates was arrested by officer Crowley and charged with disorderly conduct after being questioned about a suspected “break in” by Gates at his own home. President Obama subsequently chimed in with his opinion on the incident, infuriating law enforcement officers nationally with his unflattering characterization of Crowley’s handling of Gates.

Immediately after Gates arrest, every major (and minor) media outlet seized the opportunity to bring yet another story of racism among police officers against African Americans. Unfortunately for Crowley and the Cambridge police department, Gates, to paraphrase the words of that great negro poet Ice Cube was obviously the wrong brother to mess with. All charges against Gates were eventually dismissed.

I decided to hold off making any commentary about the incident until I heard all the talking heads who offered opinions and analysis on the matter, and until I felt as though I had enough factual information about the events on July 16th to make a qualified assessment.

Now, back to the contest.

Professor Gates has been one of the premiere voices of African American experience for several decades now and has been recognized as one of the most distinguished and articulate voices to come from Black Academia in the history of our nation. Gates has a degree from Yale, has taught at that University as well as Cornell and Duke University. He has authored or co-authored no less than 11 books and in 1997 Time Magazine listed him as one of the “25 Most Influential Americans”. Oh, did I mention that he has the President of the United States on his speed dial? To put it bluntly, the man is very, very, very smart.

Still he obviously is not smart enough to know that black people are not allowed to get belligerent with white police officers in Massachusetts. I wonder if throughout Gates’ career defining the African American experience anyone ever bothered to hand him a copy of the memo that has been circulating around ‘the hood’ since the beginning of time that says black man rule number one: police do not need a reason to arrest black people and any arrest could easily result in a severe beating and/or being shot. Gates was within his rights to be perturbed that he was being questioned about his identity while standing in his own home, but if Crowley had decided to shoot him instead of arrest him (a real possibility in America) the story coming out of the Cambridge P.D. would have been very different. Plus when the President is your man there are two things to immediately consider. Firstly, if he had kept his cool he could have had Crowley demoted to School Crossing Guard with one phone call. Second, when your man is the big boss, don’t put him out in public to deal with a mess, have that conversation on the low.

Sgt James Crowley is a member of the Cambridge Mass. Police Department…translation: Sgt. Crowley has been trained the there is no bigger threat to this nation than a black man. It doesn’t matter if the black man is 60 years old, walks with a cane and is standing in his own home, black is black. Crowley had an opportunity to give Gates what I call the Fred Sanford pass. If you’ve ever watched the 70’s television show Sanford & Son, you’ll notice that Red Foxx’s character Fred G. Sanford was always loud and obnoxious whenever the police showed up at his place of business. Sanford was never degrading per se, just loud enough to say to the police, I’m a black man that had made to 60 years old in this country and your desk Sgt is going to look at you like a moron for dragging me down to the station because I was shouting. Instead Crowley, clearly disrespected by Gates’ remarks, one of which evidently referenced Crowley’s mother, decided to arrest Gates on the old ‘Disorderly Conduct’ law. A law so vague that I’m sure that if your neighbors hear you and your spouse making love too loudly, you can be booked.

Crowley is a police Sargent, not some beat cop fresh out of the academy. He has certainly seen enough real crime and debauchery in his career to understand how a black man that can afford to live in the community where Gates lives is certainly going to get a few things off his chest when the police are harassing him, and once Gates produced identification that verified that he was indeed in his own home, then every moment that Crowely remained at the residence in a shouting match with the professor was indeed harassment.

President Barack Obama has a million things on his plate right now and the Republican Party is breathing down his neck every second of the day. He also has at least half a dozen writers and/or advisors who are supposed to filter his every word before he verbalizes anything to the public. Saying that Crowley acted ‘stupidly’, while indeed quite accurate, is not speech that becomes the President of the United States. That was a George W. Bush slip-up. Although I sure Bush would said something like “Sgt Crowley acted un-racified” or something along those lines. Obama should’ve taken the high road on this matter, a simple “The incident with Mr. Gates seems to be the result of several layers of miscommunication and while unfortunate for Mr. Gates, I’m confident the Cambridge P.D. will have Mr. Gates best interest in mind once things settle down a bit”. Then he could’ve called the Governor of Massachusetts and made it clear that Gates was a friend and Obama would like nothing more than for Crowley to be working the crosswalk at a local elementary school by the next day.

For all you Obama haters that think that would tantamount to abuse of power I have two words for you ‘Scooter Libby’.

Instead Obama jumped the gun and has since been forced to back pedal and even offer up an apology to Crowley who in my humble opinion really does need to be working school crosswalks, preferably in black neighborhoods for at least the next six months. What Obama did was give fuel to all self respecting, profiling police officers nationwide to inform us how much their feelings were hurt and they felt disrespected (which seems to me to be grounds for mass disorderly conduct arrests…hmmmm).

So who was the most stupid Gates, Crowley or Obama?

Neither of them, if you ask me, they were all about the same. In my opinion the stupidest person in the entire affair was Lucia Whalen who works for the Harvard alumni magazine and you would certainly think she knows who Gates is and where he lives, I mean she works on the same block where Gates lives and Gates is probably the most recognized black man in the region not named Kevin Garnett or Paul Pierce. Whalen, who was driving by the house told two police she saw two black men with backpacks on the porch of Gates home. When in fact the men had two suitcases and one of them was indeed a gray haired man walking with a cane and it was broad daylight. Excuse me if that visual doesn’t strike me as a your typical ‘breaking and entering’ scenario.

Then again to an overzealous 40 something white woman maybe that does look like a threatening situation, which I guess if the problem in the first place.

The Company You Keep

In Politics, Racism on July 20, 2009 at 4:57 am

Hey G.O.P....Who Ya Wit'?

Hey G.O.P....Who Ya Wit'?

Last night I was watching “Real Time” with host Bill Maher and one of the guests was Joe Scarborough of “Morning Joe”. Scarborough was doing Bill a solid by appearing on Maher’s show while on vacation in Nantucket or Cape Cod or somewhere near Martha’s Vineyard.

At one point while discussing the GOP’s handling of the Sonia Sotomayor hearings, Maher made this statement:

“Of course it would be ludicrous to insinuate that if you are a Republican than you are a racist, because obviously not all Republicans are racists. But it certainly seems that if you are a racist then you are a Republican. Fair or not fair Joe?”

Scarborough immediately dismissed Maher’s assertion while going on to chide the GOP’s obsession with alienating future Hispanic voting blocks with their public gaffes challenging Sotomayor’s position on race issues.

Scarborough, a Republican and former Congressman in the state of Florida, deftly buried the depth of Maher’s question and skillfully went on the attack against current GOP tactics, thereby avoiding both any confrontation from Maher as well as avoiding finding himself in the position of having to defend any slips of the tongue he might have been subject to had he himself gotten embroiled in a racially charged discourse concerning the Republican Party.

The man’s smooth.

Still, Scarborough’s artful dodging did not satisfy my hunger to hear that topic addressed by some of the GOP’s more vocal mouthpieces, although I’m sure that will never happen.

So to all members of the Republican Party let me address that topic from the point of view of most minorities in America. Most Black Americans do in fact think that most if not all of you are racists.

Sorry for being so coy, but it’s the truth. Now I know that most Republicans will point to talking heads like Niger (are you serious?) Innis, Michael Steel, Juan Williams and Armstrong Williams and their frequent appearances on FOX New programs as evidence of the diversity of the GOP. As for Innis, Williams and Armstrong, trust me, their credibility in the black community has been shot down so long ago I find it laughable that FOX News even bothers to trot them out (I guess to speak to people in West Virginia).

In fact, Steel’s appointment as the Chairman of the Republican National Committee as well as Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s rise to prominence in the party seems like nothing more than Democratic Party’s equivalent of kissing black babies at churches during election campaigns.

Despite hip hop mogul Russell Simmon’s endorsement of Steel while running for the Maryland Senate in 2006, Steel so played himself with his Rush Limbaugh debacle, first denouncing him as pretty much a media clown on D.L. Hughley’s show and then calling Limbaugh to apologize for his remarks, this after Limbaugh saying publicly that Steel wasn’t fit to lead to Republican Party.

What a sellout.

By the way…99.9 percent of Black Americans despise Limbaugh as well as his pocket lawman, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

(Ditto for Bill O’ Reilly)

If Jindal was so much the face of the new GOP then why wasn’t he a keynote speaker at the GOP Convention last fall?

I’ll tell you why.

During the McCain – Obama race the Republican Party was so sure that it could garner enough anti – black sentiment from it’s base that by selecting a moron like Sarah Palin (who could not articulate the alphabet to second graders) they would certainly dominate the white female oh I’m so scared of the big black beast vote and rustle up enough dormant hard line right wingers to seal Obama’s demise.

Personally I am still so flabbergasted by that absolute and total inept strategy that I still find myself shaking my head whenever I see Palin open her mouth on television.

Obviously the GOP’s strategy did not work, primarily because the Bush Cheney regime had indeed further alienated the black population from the GOP after the debacle that was the White House’s response to Hurricane Katrina. While there is still more than enough racial distrust in the nation, most Americans have at least gotten used to the fact that although we may not necessarily break bread or worship together on Sundays, we do indeed have to work together and live in close enough proximity of each other that any overt show’s of bigotry could certainly be detrimental personally as well as professionally.

Yes Rodney King, we can all just get along.

As Americans are in fact getting along, the Republican Party’s assault on the lower class, which is overrepresented percentage-wise by minorities, continues. The biggest disappointment in the Republican Party right now is the lack of strategy. This lack of strategy has manifested itself in overt racial attacks as in the instance of Young Republican National Federation Chair Audra Shay, and even outright comments that border on treason as in the case of Rush Limbaugh.

I have attempted on many occasions to eloquate the position that the Republican Party has held in the ascension of black Americans into national politics. From Frederick Douglass to Abraham Lincoln to Colin Powell to Condaleeza Rice, the Republican Party has always been on the forefront of black pioneerism in U.S. politics.

The current mouthpieces for the black experience in the GOP are nothing more than poo colored figureheads in the minds of most black Americans, primarily for the company they keep.

The new GOP strategy has nothing to do with creating a new agenda for the country which can be outlined and demonstrated to our Republic as a way out of our current diaphanous position in global politics and finances. It is, rather, an attempt to create deep distinct divisions not nearly as much among lines of black and white, but even more so the informed and under-informed.

By appealing to the lower ebbs of our respective cultural ethnicity, the Republicans have managed to exacerbate the fragile divisions among races that so American community and spiritual leaders have worked and died to eradicate.

For years most of black America has felt as though the Republican Party had no love or concern for African Americans or any other minority group in America. Instead of using its vast intellectual and supposed patriotic resources to quell any such notions, the party of O’ Reilly, Limbaugh, Cheney and now Shay has only verified it.