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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Next on Afronerd Radio........



I think we are going in a different direction for tomorrow's Afronerd radio broadcast. We were slated to discuss immigration and the Asian model minority mythos but we have decided to discuss beauty and skin tone issues within the African-American community. The immigration show will go forward this upcoming Sunday. Chalk it up to the recent Oprah show for inspiring tomorrow's show topic. Due to previous scheduling conflicts, Thursday's show will start at 8pm. Give us a call at 646-915-9620 or you can reach the show via IM/email at afronerdradio@yahoo. Reach out to us with your thoughts, this is sure to be a hot one.

Jiggaboos vs Wannabes-When will the madness stop?

Sometimes further analysis is unnecessary.....

This gentleman has said it all. Except that there is such a thing as slumming. But I digress. Take a look at the Washington Post article below as it is making the rounds in the blogosphere (or afroverse, thanks to Mr. Little for that term):

Black Culture Beyond Hip-Hop

By Thomas Chatterton Williams
Monday, May 28, 2007; Page A17

Over the past three decades black culture has grown so conflated with hip-hop culture that for most Americans under the age of 45, hip-hop culture is black culture. Except that it's not.

During the controversy over Don Imus's comments this spring, the radio host was pilloried for using the same sexist language that is condoned, if not celebrated, in hip-hop music and culture. As the scandal evolved, some critics, including the Rev. Al Sharpton and the NAACP, shifted their attention to the rap industry. Indeed, every couple of years, it seems, we ask ourselves: Is hip-hop poisonous? Is it misogynistic, violent and nihilistic? What kind of message is it sending?


But what critics consistently fail to emphasize in these sporadic storms of opprobrium, as most did during the Imus affair, is that the stakes transcend hip-hop: Black culture itself is in trouble.

Born in the projects of the South Bronx, tweaked to its gangsta form in the 'hoods of South Central Los Angeles and dumbed down unconscionably in the ghettos of the "Dirty South" (the original Confederate states, minus Missouri and Kentucky), there are no two ways about it -- hip-hop culture is not black culture, it's black street culture. Despite 40 years of progress since the civil rights movement, in the hip-hop era -- from the late 1970s onward -- black America, uniquely, began receiving its values, aesthetic sensibility and self-image almost entirely from the street up.

This is a major departure for blacks, who traditionally saw cultivation as a key to equality. Think of the days when W.E.B. Du Bois "[sat] with Shakespeare" and moved "arm in arm with Balzac"; or when Ralph Ellison waxed universal and spoke of the need "to extend one's humanity and one's knowledge of human life."

The historian Paul Fussell notes that for most Americans, it is difficult to "class sink." Try to imagine the Chinese American son of oncologists -- living in, say, a New York suburb such as Westchester, attending private school -- who feels subconsciously compelled to model his life, even if only superficially, on that of a Chinese mafioso dealing heroin on the Lower East Side. The cultural pressure for a middle-class Chinese American to walk, talk and act like a lower-class thug from Chinatown is nil. The same can be said of Jews, or of any other ethnic group.

But in black America the folly is so commonplace it fails to attract serious attention. Like neurotics obsessed with amputating their own healthy limbs, middle-class blacks concerned with "keeping it real" are engaging in gratuitously self-destructive and violently masochistic behavior.

Sociologists have a term for this pathological facet of black life. It's called "cool-pose culture." Whatever the nomenclature, "cool pose" or keeping it real or something else entirely, this peculiar aspect of the contemporary black experience -- the inverted-pyramid hierarchy of values stemming from the glorification of lower-class reality in the hip-hop era -- has quietly taken the place of white racism as the most formidable obstacle to success and equality in the black middle classes.

As John H. McWhorter emphasizes in his book "Losing the Race: Self-Sabotage in Black America," "forty years after the Civil Rights Act, African-American students on the average are the weakest in the United States, at all ages, in all subjects, and regardless of class level." Reading and math proficiency test results consistently show this. Clearly, this nostalgie de la boue, this longing for the mud, exacts a hefty price.

A 2005 study by Roland G. Fryer of Harvard University crystallizes the point: While there is scarce dissimilarity in popularity levels among low-achieving students, black or white, Fryer finds that "when a student achieves a 2.5 GPA, clear differences start to emerge." At 3.5 and above, black students "tend to have fewer and fewer friends," even as their high-achieving white peers "are at the top of the popularity pyramid." With such pressure to be real, to not "act white," is it any wonder that the African American high school graduation rate has stagnated at 70 percent for the past three decades?

Until black culture as a whole is effectively disentangled from the python-grip of hip-hop, and by extension the street, we are not going to see any real progress.


I'm not going to pontificate on this one, what does the class think about Mr. Williams' supposition? Inquiring minds want to know.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

When Will this self-hatred sh%t stop? Didn't Wesley, Angela & Morris Stop This Years Ago?



There have been a number of recurring themes in Afronerd-personal responsibility, diversity of image, conservatism and especially Black pride. I want you take a look at the above snippet from a Oprah episode which aired this past Monday. I wonder if you guys will be as frustrated as I was after viewing this particular show. I may even excuse your lack of frustration as you might not have had an opportunity to have seen this show in its entirety. Nevertheless, someone has dropped the ball in the promotion of pride among many in our culture.

This might explain why we have been slow to move on correcting the modern day cooning that is ever so pervasive in the Black entertainment class of 2007. This program highlighted several individuals (with the supposition that this is widespread in many communities of color, Blacks notwithstanding) who literally hated their appearance, solely based on racial/genetic factors. Again, one of the main reasons why I defected to the conservative political spectrum was the constant usage of the vicimization model to help define Blackness and the African-American struggle. When will people of color stop suckling the teat of the White patriarchal paradigm.

Young Kiri Davis was again interviewed due to her Kenneth and Mamie Clark inspired film short, A Girl Like Me. This film is a stark reminder of just how crazed and absurd it is for young Black girls (and other minority/ethnic females) to still (60 years after the original study) view White features as the apex of international beauty. What exactly makes dark complected skin unattractive? This question truly boggles the mind. The number of tanning salons and respective products disproves this notion. We must be ever vigilent to provide information, history and pride to our youth as further proof that this perception is a complete fallacy. Hopefully, our Asian bretheren will get this same memo when it comes to desiring Occidental eyes. The beauty is in the difference. This must be questioned as it ruining our collective self-esteem. I find many looks to be attractive but perhaps I am the odd man out. Let's hear your thoughts.


"Who taught you to hate the color of your skin? Who taught you to hate the texture of your hair? Who taught you to hate the shape of your nose and the shape of your lips? Who taught you to hate yourself from the top of your head to the soles of your feet? Who taught you to hate your own kind? Who taught you to hate the race that you belong to so much so that you don't want to be around each other? You know. Before you come asking Mr. Muhammad does he teach hate, you should ask yourself who taught you to hate being what God made you."
-Malcolm X

Hooked on Phonics: The Black Edition



I must give thanks to the Booker Rising and Nykola.com blogs, respectively for bringing this story to my attention. I'm pretty sure that many of you are familiar with the 1996 Oakland (CA) initiative, which was put forward by a contingent of local educators that attempted to legitimize Ebonics. Thankfully, there appears to be at least one individual who is combating the absurdity of Ebonics-enter Garrard McClendon. The above snippet is from a Fox news report highlighting McClendon's personal efforts to help acclimate Black youth to the virtues of speaking (standard) English. McClendon's crusade is perhaps best encapsulated in his book, Ax or Ask? The African American Guide to Better English.

In my estimation, there needs to be a clear distinction made between the usage of slang and what is considered Black English. Unfortunately, both types of vernacular translate poorly when one is attempting to seek gainful employment or move up the corporate ladder. It is imperative that African-Americans employ a duality of speech, not unlike our bilingual counterparts from foreign nation-states. I'm sure some of our readers may interpret my diatribe as capitulating to a White corporate power structure mindset. This is just not accurate. Whether African-Americans want to admit it or not, we are just as American as any person of European extraction-we have been in the Americas for well over three centuries. There is absolutely no reason for people of color to not have a command of the english language when there have been other individuals who have been in the US for a shorter period and are able to speak properly. No excuses folks. For more info regarding McClendon's efforts, check the link below:

McClendon report

Monday, May 28, 2007

An Insider's View-Confessions of a B.E.T. Producer

Confessions of a BET Producer

Add to My Profile | More Videos

I've known about this online video series for a few months but never actually got a chance to view to it-it's absolutely compelling. I have railed against BET and it's programming for years, even before this blog's inception. When it comes to Black America's disjointed and minstrel imagery, BET reigns supreme in its promotion. Check out this young lad's story-it's really time to galvanize an effort to combat what BET currently disseminates. For more of this gentleman's story, click on the link below:

Confessions of a BET Producer

Oh....If You forgot....it's still Sumertime Folks....Finally



After looking at the above video from the master, I'll keep asking til' I get an answer-what happened to the music? No bands.....No musicianship....No class...just gangsterism and vitamin water. Perhaps things will change. I'm still waiting on that internal revolution. Meanwhile I'll listen to Prince's Revolution.

Just some Summertime Fun



We have a lot of great stories going forward, true believers (shout out to Marvel Comics fans) but it is Memorial Day weekend, so it just seems befitting to take a break and provide you with lighter fare. Between eating, writing and weight training this holiday, I also indulged in some internet viewing of some past Pimp My Ride episodes. Of course, one might ask how might an afronerd have an interest in a cheesy car customization show. Well, it appears that I actually like the international and UK versions of the MTV program better than the original U.S. version hosted by rap artist, Xzibit. So in typical nerdic fashion (no relation to nordic), I came across a Youtube clip that pays homage to the king of auto customization, the legendary George Barris. I'm also pretty sure that comic fans are familiar with Barris' handiwork, as he was responsible for hundreds of custom vehicles that were used during the early days of Hollywood. What would the 60s Batman and Green Hornet tv series be like without Barris vehicles? Anyway, enjoy your day off-kick back and take a look at the Barris and Pimp My Ride UK clips. Don't worry, expect more serious topics coming up in the next few entries. Excelsior!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Sorry Folk......Afronerd Radio Show cancelled....

Due to time constraints, we will not be able to do the show today but we will be able to reschedule for Sunday at 5pm. Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience....remember, same show Sunday, May 27th at 5pm.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

A Continuation of Our Riff Show-Next on Afronerd Radio!



Just letting you guys know that we have another live radio broadcast scheduled for Thursday at 9pm. Since we ran out of time during the last broadcast, we were unable to tackle the remaining subjects-i.e. immigration and Asians as the model minority. We will address those topics as well as discuss the politics of braiding in communities of color. Give us a call at 646-915-9620 or you can reach the show via IM/email at afronerdradio@yahoo. We look forward to hearing from you.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Musings from a Ghetto Intellectual......



Check out the above clip of rap star, T.I. (aka Clifford Harris) proselytizing about the virtues of gangsta rap and the art of "keeping it real." Mr. Harris' nugget of wisdom (or is it a nugget of stronger pungency) was displayed at a recent BET conference in which the current state of hip hop and censorship were discussed. You will also notice actress, Tichina Arnold (Martin, Everybody Hates Chris) nodding her head in tacit approval, as if Harris said something truly profound. Will there ever be a day when these monosyllabic sycophants are challenged? Can someone explain to these people that there is a difference between social commentary and glorification?

It is safe to assume that Harris no longer lives in the area that he is talking about, and yet record sales have somehow ordained him the arbiter of ghetto authenticity. T.I.'s media access would give one the impression that everyone living in a impoverished situation resorts to criminal activities-this is a complete falsehood that must be brought to task. I have stated many times during our radio broadcasts that Black people (from a historical perspective) were the most censored individuals on the face of the planet. Now that we have the ability to speak, the best that some of us can do is exclaim "bitch," "ho" and "nigga?" I'm not buying it. And I would suggest that you stop buying syncopated doggeral like T.I.'s music. Let's teach Mr. Harris that hip hop and the people that listen to it are diverse (as are their stories) and they deserve better. We all do.

Middle Class Blacks vs Underclass Blacks-The Silent War?

While perusing the halls of fellow conservative blog, Booker Rising, I noticed a spirited debate regarding an Essence article (and a critique of the same piece) pertaining to a growing divide between classes within the African-American community. Our blog discusses this diviseness practically on a daily basis. Check out the link below for more from Booker Rising on this topic. After reading (the two articles, actually) share your thoughts with the class.


Quote of the Day

The Return of the Bionic Woman.....



I believe I mentioned that network executives are putting together a revamped version of the 70s sci-fi classic, The Bionic Woman in a prior entry. This may actually be a serious, if not successful effort, as the makers of another re-imagined series, Battlestar Galactica are also the wunderkinds behind the Bionic effort. I'll leave it up to our readers to give their solid opinions based on the above snippet, courtesy of our friends at Youtube. My only gripe-will we ever see a re-imagined series (of any genre, sci-fi notwithstanding) where the protagonist chosen is a minority and/or person of color? I guess the more things stay the same......Share your thoughts.

Monday, May 21, 2007

The Stars have Aligned when Master P Says it's Time for Hip Hop to Change



Once again, kudos to our resident Sergio for submitting several articles to our attention pertaining to rapper/entrepreneur Master P. It appears that Master P (a.k.a. Percy Miller) has had a change of heart to go with a change of a record company. More bluntly, Miller is developing a record label that is totally devoted to clean and non derogatory hip hop music. To paraphrase the creator of the "uhh," he admitted that he might have been part of the problem (in the current state of hip hop) but now he intends to be part of its redemption. If that wasn't enough, according to EURweb.com, Miller has written an open letter to 50 cent, imploring him (as well as BET) to consider making similar changes. Here's an excerpt from Master P's letter in question:

I wrote the blueprint for this generation. The only difference is there's no more honor and respect in the game.

Think about it: people in jail are not writing letters proclaiming to come out and do the same thing that landed them there in the first place. People in the hood don't want to stay poor for the rest of their lives. They want to change. Parents that really love their kids would rather sacrifice their own lives so that their kids could make a change to have a better life and a better education.

I'm glad that there are people like Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and organizations like the NAACP that are out there fighting for our rights and dignity. I have finally realized that EVERY person is either a part of the problem or part of the solution and that is why I have decided to take a stand! I'm reaching out to corporate America to form an alliance for the sake of putting the value back into our communities by rebuilding and developing schools and businesses.

First of all, it's simply disappointing to see people that are in a position to help make a change just sit back and entertain the negativity. It's sad to see Steven Hill set all of these programming standards at BET, just to contradict himself for the sake of marketing dollars or artist performances in order to create the appearance of a successful award show. The record company with the biggest marketing check controls the music video stations so we need to go after the people who actually control these programming networks if we want real CHANGE.

I guess by taking a stand, my son and I will probably not be invited back to the BET awards. But it's O.K. I got love for BET; there are a lot of good people there. Hopefully, this will help people to see the real changes that need to be made. My son and I will sacrifice our airtime because this is bigger than us, this issue desperately needed to be addressed a long time ago.


Master P channeling Dr. Cosby? Maybe the planets and stars really are aligning. For more of Master P's letter, click on the link below:

MASTER P's OPEN LETTER: Yes, you can consider this his official response to Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Carl Wright of ‘Barbershop’ movies dies

This just in...



Carl Wright of ‘Barbershop’ movies dies
Actor, tap dancer, died of cancer at age 75
The Associated Press
Updated: 7:03 p.m. ET May 20, 2007

CHICAGO - Actor Carl Wright, who began his career as a tap dancer and comedian and later appeared in movies including “Barbershop” and “Big Momma’s House,” has died, his family confirmed Sunday. He was 75.

Wright died of cancer at his home Saturday in Chicago, according to his daughter, Kia Wright.

Wright’s film credits also include “Soul Food,” “Barbershop 2: Back in Business” and “The Cookout.”

Born in Orlando, Fla., Wright traveled the world as a young man working as a tap dancer, and he once danced with a one-legged partner as a team called the Three-Leggers, his daughter said. He also worked as a comedian, emcee and songwriter.

His movie career began late in his life, his daughter said.

“He’s done so many things,” she said. “He worked with everyone from Elvis Presley to Frank Sinatra.”

Wright is survived by his wife, Shirley, two other daughters and a granddaughter.
© 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Mr Starks

One Word.......Genius!



Tell Rich Boy and Yung Joc to suck on this. Nuff Said.

Just a Riff Session-Next on Afronerd Radio

Radio time folks....today on Afronerd Radio we are going to riff a bit on a variety of subjects: the problem with hip hop fashion, blog topics/comments, immigration and Asians as the model minority. Whew! Be there and be square! Once again that's this Sunday (May 20th) at 5pm. We would like to hear from our readers/commenters-call us live at-646-915-9620 or IM the show via afronerdradio@yahoo.

It's a Riff Session Folks! Time to talk about a FEW subjects!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Looks Like Hank McCoy (X-Men's The Beast) may move from the fictional to reality



From the UK's The Northern Echo:

Surprise U-turn on hybrid embryos


A GOVERNMENT U-turn cleared the way last night for North-East scientists to pioneer treatments for cancer and Alzheimer's disease using human-animal embryos.

In a surprise move, ministers opted to drop plans to ban the controversial technique of creating part-human embryos for medical research.

They acted after mounting pressure from scientists, charities, patient groups and MPs, who insisted the ban would harm British science.

advertisementThe decision clears the way for a team from the North-East England Stem Cell Institute (Nesci), who are working on the next generation of medicines for cancer and other debilitating diseases.

They are one of two teams in the UK applying to mix animal and human genetic material to produce stem cells for research into breast cancer and multiple sclerosis, as well as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

Professor John Burn, head of Nesci's Institute of Human Genetics, which includes scientists from the universities of Durham and Newcastle, said: "This change of heart is very good news for the country, and particularly for the North-East.

"It will accelerate our research and give our scientists a lead."

He added: "I'm delighted that common sense has prevailed and I applaud the Government ministers for accepting the power of our argument and changing their minds."

Many scientists believe stem cells - which can develop into different types of cell - promise cures for hundreds of diseases.

However, the cells are in short supply, and some experts want to create more by adding human genetic material to rabbit or cow eggs.

The Human Tissues and Embryos Bill unveiled yesterday would allow the creation of "cytoplasmic" hybrid embryos that are 99.9 per cent human and 0.1 per cent animal and would also permit human embryos to be altered by the introduction of animal DNA.

However, it would still be illegal to allow embryos to grow for more than 14 days or implant them into a womb.

Prof Burn said: "It feels a bit uncomfortable when you see pictures of franken-bunnies or hear talk about embryos. These are not little babies - we are talking about pools of cells in a dish. They will never be put into humans."

Some religious and campaign groups reacted angrily to the Bill.

Dr David King, director of Human Genetics Alert, said: "Do not be fooled by the claim that this is "just research". Once we start down the path to GM (genetically-modified) babies, it will become very hard to turn back."

Josephine Quintaville, of Comment on Reproductive Ethics, said: "This is a highly controversial and terrifying proposal, which has little justification in science and even less in ethics."

However, Harrogate and Knaresborough MP Phil Willis, who will chair the committee scrutinising the Bill, said: "People have every right to be concerned, but you have to look at the scientific purpose. This research could help thousands of people with incurable diseases."

Prof Burn's application to produce hybrid embryos will now be considered by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, with a decision on the principle of the work expected in September.

Some people need to be removed from the earth

This is absolutely unbelievable. Just when you think that these stories can't get any worse, they do.
We are truly in trouble folks.

May 18, 2007, 1:20AM
State takes daughter of man accused of putting her in microwave


© 2007 The Associated Press

GALVESTON, Texas — The state has taken custody of a 2-month-old who was burned after police say her father put her in a microwave oven, officials said.

Children's Protective Services took custody of the child Tuesday, the day her father, 19-year-old Joshua Royce Mauldin of Warren, Ark., was arrested on a charge of felony injury to a child, CPS spokeswoman Gwen Carter said. The baby will be placed in foster care once she's released from the hospital.

Carter said CPS has asked that no family member be allowed to visit the child at Galveston's Shriners Burns Hospital, where physicians from the University of Texas Medical Branch have performed two skin grafts.

The child suffered burns on the left side of her face and to her left hand, police said.

Galveston County District Attorney Kurt Sistrunk said he had seen photographs of the child's injuries. "They clearly met the definition of serious bodily injury," he said.

A Galveston County grand jury indicted Mauldin on Wednesday after hearing evidence that he placed his daughter in a microwave at a motel for 10 to 20 seconds last week.

Mauldin, who said he came to Galveston with his wife and mother because he was called to be a preacher, told police on May 10 that he put his daughter in the microwave because he was under stress. The family had arrived in Galveston the day before.

Police have said the mother and grandmother remain under investigation.


Mr. Starks

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Not only is our Musical diet poor, but also our food diet-ask Harlem!




Courtesy of the NY Post:

WORLDS APART
FOOD STORES OF HARLEM & E. SIDE
By MAGGIE HABERMAN

May 17, 2007 -- Junk-food-filled bodegas and fast-food restaurants are far more common in Harlem neighborhoods than on the tony Upper East Side - a trend found by Health Department officials looking to combat obesity.

The food stores in Central and East Harlem are twice as likely to be bodegas instead of supermarkets, which are more common on the Upper East Side, the survey found.

The bodegas in Harlem are half as likely to carry low-fat milk and seven times less likely to carry diet-friendly leafy greens, according to the survey.

And of the 336 restaurants in those Harlem neighborhoods, 53 are fast-food joints. That's compared to just eight of the 184 restaurants located on the Upper East Side.

"Bodegas are convenient but offer fewer healthy options," said Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Frieden, adding that diabetes and heart disease, which are triggered by poor dietary habits, cause more than a third of the deaths in those Harlem neighborhoods each year.

"All New York neighborhoods should have the option to buy healthy foods in their neighborhoods."

Two bodegas on East 112th Street and Second Avenue visited by The Post yesterday stocked some bananas, and cans of sliced pineapples and sliced pears. More prominently displayed were cheese puffs, cupcakes and Chef Boyardee canned meals.

But it was a different story at a bodega on East 71st and Second Avenue, where arugula, scallions and leeks were among the goods for sale. Customers also had a selection of high-end cookies made with oatmeal and flaxseed, cookie fingers covered in dark chocolate, and several varieties of yogurt and cottage cheeses.

Among the other findings in the report were:

* Only one in three of the Harlem stores carry some kind of fresh fruit.

* Only 18 percent of bodegas sell either low-fat yogurt or cottage cheese, compared with 39 percent of stores on the Upper East Side.

* Some 20 percent of the Upper East Side bodegas offer veggies like kale, collard greens and spinach, but just 4 percent of those in East Harlem and 2 percent in Central Harlem do the same.

Assemblyman Keith Wright, a Harlem Democrat who recently was named chairman of the Social Services Committee, said the findings didn't surprise him.

"After years and years of glaring racism, environmental and otherwise, this is what happens," he said.

"Hopefully, with the issuing of this report, it will put a light on . . . something that we have known for years and years."

But Richard Lipsky, a lobbyist for the Neighborhood Retail Alliance, said, "The report doesn't break new ground. There has always been less demand for these so-called healthier products in low-income neighborhoods."

He added that the cost of healthy foods is also higher than less nutritious ones, saying, "If in fact the efforts of the department are successful in increasing that demand [for healthy food], and we certainly hope they are, then store owners will respond as retailers do all over to their customers' wishes."

When a Good Deed Goes Wrong: Extreme Makeover-Home Edition




I'm submitting this story to the class for an opinion. I first heard about this matter while listening to Leslie Gold's Radio Chick radio show a few days ago. This case involves two families, The Leomitis and the Higgins (pictured, above). The Higgins are comprised of five children/young adults, ranging in age from 16 to 22. Due to severe tragedy and extreme circumstances, the Higgins children found themselves destitute and almost homeless because of the sudden deaths of both of their parents within a few months of each other. The Higgins' church intervened and took care of the their parents' funeral arrangements. Also through the church, in an act of kindness, the Higgins children were taken in by fellow congregants, The Leomitis. This is where the story gets sketchy, either Extreme Makeover contacted the families or it was the other way around, the Leomitis' (as shown on the March 27th, 2005 episode) home was refurbished to accomodate the combined families.

Here's more on this story from the Digital Journal website:

The Leomitis family signed a contract allowing their home to be rebuilt and a separate contract was signed by both families for rights to their stories.

The families were sent on a Bahamas cruise while it was being built. The house went from a three-bedroom two-bath home to a whopping nine-bedroom six-bath home with a backyard the was Polynesian-themed in celebration of the Leomitis' Samoan heritage.

When the new home was shown to them in Feb 2005 they found that the builder had paid off the mortgage and they had been given other gifts such as 2 years of groceries, computers and six cars, three for each family.

The happiness quickly faded as within a few weeks the oldest Charles and Michael who were 21 and 19 moved out and soon after the other children moved also.

In August a lawyer was hired by the "orphans" to sue the Leomitis family, ABC and its parent Walt Disney Co., "Extreme Makeover" producers and the company that renovated the house.

The lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages on allegations of fraud,
intentional infliction of emotional distress and breach of contract, although that last count has since been dismissed.
The Higgins family are now claiming that the Leomitis family became greedy and perpetrated deceptions on them. Using racial remarks that insulted and offended them.


Who is right in this case? Did the Leomitis use the Higgins children to get a new house and then kicked them out when they were no longer needed? Or is this a case of children who were disrespectful and didn't want to abide by the rules of the Leomitis household (which is what the Leomitis have stated as to the cause of the riff). What is your opinion? Share your thoughts.

Check below for additional links, concerning this harrowing tale:

A made-for-TV fairy tale becomes nasty in reality


"Extreme Makeover" and Leomitis family face lawsuit from Higgins family


'Extreme Makeover' lawsuit

Here's the dumb quote for the day....Or the year for that matter!

The following is R.Kelly speaking to the New York Post.
This guy gets no respect...


“My greatest competition is, well, me . . . I’m the Ali of today. I’m the Marvin Gaye of today. I’m the Bob Marley of today. I’m the Martin Luther King, or all the other greats that have come before us. And a lot of people are starting to realize that now.”



Mr. Starks

Bo Diddley Hospitalized.....



It is imperative that we really hold on to the "greats" because when they pass on into the afterlife, one may never behold such artistry ever again. I just found out that one of the greatest Blues musicians (and architects of Rock & Roll music), Bo Diddley has been hospitalized due to a stroke he sustained while performing in Iowa recently. Here's more from the NY Post:

Bo Diddley Suffers Stroke

May 17, 2007 -- Bo Diddley is in intensive care after suffering a stroke.

The legendary, 78-year-old singer-songwriter-guitarist is in guarded condition at a hospital in Omaha, Neb., said his publicist, Susan Clary.

Diddley, who has a history of hypertension and diabetes, was hospitalized Sunday following a concert in Council Bluffs, Iowa, in which he acted disoriented, she said.

Tests indicated that the stroke affected the left side of his brain, impairing his speech and speech recognition.


Let's all send our prayers to this great musician and hope that he recovers-with the current state affairs relating to substandard musicianship in our culture, he is still sorely needed. Bo diddley, bo diddley have you heard? You're still needed sir!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Another Geek Moment.......Being Prepared or Why Superman would lose to Bats!



Ordinarily, I wouldn't highlight the WB's The Batman, as I have more of a fondness for Paul Dini and Bruce Timm's early 90s effort, but the above snippet reminded me of what the previous series possessed-hutzpah! I always refer to The Batman as the "Jackie Chan" version as an obvious send-up to the martial artist's cartoon from a few years ago which was also known for its substandard manga style animation. Anyway, sometimes a goofy cartoon can serve as an excellent allegory for lessons in life. Case in point, the concept of preparedness. There has always been this playful debate among comic book heads as to who would win in a fight, Batman or Superman. This episode answers the question. Think about how man has always (well most of the time) bested beast. And chew on this adage-If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Enough said! More serious fare coming up in the next entry.

Dr. King's Eldest meets her father in the afterlife....Yolanda King passes....



This just in from the International Herald Tribune:

ATLANTA: Yolanda Denise King, daughter and eldest child of civil rights leader the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., has died, said Steve Klein, a spokesman for the King Center.

King died late Tuesday in Santa Monica, California, at age 51.

Klein said the family did not know the cause of death but think it might have been a heart problem.

Born in 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama, King was just an infant when her home was bombed during the turbulent civil rights era.

As an actress, she appeared in numerous films and even played civil rights heroine Rosa Parks in the 1978 miniseries "King." She also founded a production company called Higher Ground Productions.

She was also an author and advocate for peace and nonviolence.

Her mother, Coretta Scott King, died last year.

Yolanda King is survived by her sister, the Rev. Bernice A. King; two brothers, Martin Luther King III and Dexter Scott King; and an extended family.

Funeral arrangements would be announced later, the family said in a statement.

The I-Black War......another War on Terror

It appears that our resident commenter, "Sergio" is always on time with pertinent articles such as the one below. Afronerd (and to a larger degree, Afronerd Radio) as of late, has been accused of "putting down" Black folk. What many consider to be putting down, others have correctly deduced as being constructive criticism. This next story is another tragic example of a community that is spiraling out of control with the decent amongst us being caught in the storm. If we continue to deny that a number of lower tier African-American people are espousing a nihilistic lifestyle, the deathtoll will continue to rise with no end in sight. Now on to the story in question-here's an excerpt from the Chicago Sun Times:


What are we to do now? That question nagged me every time I thought about the family of Blair Holt. Blair was the 16-year-old Julian High School junior who was killed Thursday when a 16-year-old gang member opened fire on a 103rd Street CTA bus.
Michael "Mario" Pace, an alleged gang member, has been charged with one count of murder and five counts of attempted murder. Kevin Jones, 15, who allegedly gave Pace the gun, faces the same charges.

How in the hell does a 15-year-old boy get his hands on a gun?

As is usually the case, the intended target of Pace's hatred -- which was apparently driven by an ongoing rivalry with another gang member over a girl -- walked away without a scratch.


But Blair, an honor student, was shot when he used his body to shield a girl from the gunfire. He died during surgery. Four other teens were wounded in the armed attack.


The Chicago Sun Times article in its entirety:

War among blacks is too easy to ignore

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Afronerd Radio plays "Dueling Banjos" a.k.a. White Trash Blues.....



For the uninitiated, the dueling banjos reference is not only a famous scene from Burt Reynolds' Deliverance but also serves as an excellent example of Appalachian or "White Trash" culture. As I mentioned in a previous post, we experienced technical difficulties which caused our White culture (or more specifically, White Trash) analysis show not to air. So I guess that makes us entitled to a do-over. On this Thursday's (May 17th at 9pm) broadcast we are going to discuss the similarities (and differences) between "white trash" and ghetto culture, respectively. We would like to hear from our readers/commenters-call us live at-646-915-9620 or IM the show via afronerdradio@yahoo. Be there and be square. And in homage to our topic, take a look at the above clip of one man's astute synopsis of a White trash dish better served cold-a proposed reality tv reunion between Amy Fisher and Joey Buttafuoco. You gotta love it.

Time to talk about White Culture. Hey turnabout is fair play!

The Father of the Evangelical Right/Moral Majority Dies



This just in from the AP wire:

The Rev. Jerry Falwell, who founded the Moral Majority and built the religious right into a political force, died Tuesday shortly after being found unconscious in his office at Liberty University, a school executive said. He was 73.

AP's earlier story is below.

LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) The Rev. Jerry Falwell was hospitalized in "gravely serious" condition after being found unconscious Tuesday in his office at Liberty University, a school executive said.

Ron Godwin, the university's executive vice president, said Falwell, 73, was found unresponsive around 10:45 a.m. and taken to Lynchburg General Hospital. Godwin said he was not sure what caused the collapse, but he said Falwell "has a history of heart challenges."

"I had breakfast with him, and he was fine at breakfast," Godwin said. "He went to his office, I went to mine, and they found him unresponsive."

Godwin said Falwell was receiving emergency care. A hospital spokeswoman said she had "no information to release at this time."

Falwell, a television evangelist who founded the Moral Majority, became the face of the religious right in the 1980s. He later founded the conservative Liberty University and serves as its president.

Falwell survived two serious health scares in early 2005. He was hospitalized for two weeks with what was described as a viral infection, then was hospitalized again a few weeks later after going into respiratory arrest. Later that year, doctors found a 70 percent blockage in an artery, which they opened with stents.

Liberty University's commencement is scheduled for Saturday, with former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich as the featured speaker.

Sister Toldjah is....well....telling you about media double standards



I was just perusing the halls of the SisterToldjah site and came across a story that I was vaguely familiar with, involving the grizzly death of a Knoxville, TN couple last year. The alleged perpetrators were African-American and it is Toldjah's supposition that due to the reverse racial role in this case, the story was largely ignored because of our liberal media. I'm not sure if I agree with her assertion but I do believe that the media by in large has a liberal slant (which led to the development of Fox News as a counter) when it comes to their portrayal of people of color. Whether it's Three 6 Mafia's new MTV show, Adventures in Hollyhood or the preponderance of minstrel programming (in print, TV and radio), their existence is by in large due to liberal bias. Take a look at an excerpt from the SisterToldjah article in question:

Imagine this: A young black couple in Knoxville, TN go out for a night on the town, but instead are viciously murdered - their bodies mutilated and burned, after being brutally gang raped, sodomized, and tortured at the hands of five white thugs. The story easily makes it onto the front page of the national news, right? For weeks, we hear of little else outside of the manhunt that takes place for the suspected perps. Pictures of the perps are shown on national TV, and the mediots play up the racial angle of the crime, which leads to commentary from purveyors of ’social justice’ exclaiming that the white suspects are guilty of what ‘all’ white people are guilty of, and that’s ‘hating black people’, in this case, to the extreme.


For the piece in its entirety, click on the link below:

The murders of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom: Media double standards working overtime

The Latest from Stanley Crouch...

It's open season on hip hop's thug

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BY STANLEY CROUCH
DAILY NEWS COLUMNIST

Monday, May 14th 2007, 4:00 AM


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I recently participated in a "town meeting" at John Jay College with students, faculty members, media professionals and law enforcement executives inspired by the "60 Minutes" segment "Stop Snitchin.'" That report looked at black community attitudes toward the police, police conduct in the black community and the influence that certain hip-hop artists have on discouraging black people from cooperating with the police.

In the report done by Anderson Cooper, Geoffrey Canada smacked the problem right in the face.

As a Harlem community worker with 20 years of experience dealing with and nurturing young people, Canada said that the message coming out of hip hop was deadly and irresponsible. The lyrics imply that cooperating with the police is being an Uncle Tom. Canada found this reprehensible and said that it amounted to saying to criminals that the community was theirs to have.

Prof. Douglas Thompkins began the discussion by pointing out that, no matter what the history of police community relations had been, he saw that the black community needed to change its attitudes because losing the rule of law means that black people live in subhuman conditions in their own communities and those inhuman conditions were created by violent criminals.

There were many of the usual explanations for crime, such as slavery, poverty and police harassment that came from the audience of students and from some John Jay professors, but the panelists - with one exception - did not give in to the regular line of excuses. Almost everyone rejected the idea that black or Latino criminals were helpless victims buffeted around by external influences. They made choices; they had to be accountable.

Thompkins has credibility. He served 18 years in prison and was the leader of a Chicago street gang. He understands that police overreaction or excessive force is something that must be factored in and protested against. Thompkins said that when refusing to cooperate with police became synonymous with minority identity, that attitude brought a kind of hell to the black and Latino lower-class communities. In summarizing, John Jay Prof. David Kennedy felt that we are on the verge of a new kind of civil rights movement in which the people oppressed by crime move to liberate themselves by reprimanding the police whenever they resort to excessive force.

But that is only one part; the other is that they make it clear to criminals that they are not going to be protected by the community which they are busy destroying at every opportunity. While the worst of hip hop is not entirely responsible for negative attitudes toward cooperating with the police, it has become a part of the problem.

Kennedy saw that discussion as the beginning of the new era in which everyone has to take responsibility for the degree of crime that takes place in lower-class communities and move to make whatever changes are possible. Those possibilities are numerous and I think we will begin to see them take place sooner rather than later.

Check Out the American Way.....





Cool Comic Alert! Cool Comic Alert! I wanted to let you guys in on a trade paperback that I just picked up that was originally released as an eight-part series written by John Ridley, entitled The American Way. If Ridley seems familiar, it might be due in part to his December 06' Esquire article, The Manifesto of Ascendancy for the Modern American Nigger which caused quite a stir in the Black (and general) blogosphere. American Way takes place during the tumultuous 60s with the question of race and racial politics looming in the background. Here's Wikipedia's synopsis of Ridley's Way:

The first issue introduces the Civil Defense Corps, a team of superheroes, and their handlers the FDAA (Federal Disaster Assistance Administration). The FDAA stages showdowns between "superheroes" and "supervillains", who are in reality little more than superpowered actors that front for the public. The FDAA is put on the spot when Old Glory, a hero representing the epitome of American ideals, dies of a heart attack during a staged superhero battle.[1]

The New American is introduced in the next issue. Offered as Old Glory's replacement, the New American is secretly an African American man named Jason Fisher. Jason was selected by the FDAA to undergo gene therapy treatments that gave him superstrength and invulnerability, but with a built in weakness: Jason had the pain receptors of a normal human, so that if he was subjected to enough pain he would die even if his skin remained unbroken. The New American is outfitted in a helmet and a pseudo Astronaut's uniform, because 1962 America was depicted in the series as not ready for a minority superhero.[2]

The New American is accidentally "unmasked" at the end of the third issue, while battling a crazed Wanderer.[3]

In the fourth issue the FDAA unleash Hellbent, a homicidal and sociopathic supervillain, to draw attention away from the racial strife caused by The New American's unmasking. The team is split in half along racial views with the southern heroes leaving in disgust. Most of the rest go to confront Hellbent, who has slaughtered a busload of people on their way to a civil rights rally. They fail miserably, with CDC members Freya being decapitated, Pharos wounded, and The Secret Agent losing a hand. The New American's brother was among the wounded survivors.


For those who are interested in a truly engaging read that encompasses Cold War politics, race and (super)heroism-The American Way is the graphic novel for the job.

Monday, May 14, 2007

The power of the Playstation 3

Yes, Sony dropped the ball with their pricing strategy for the Playstation 3, but check out this story to see how the console is being used for more than just games.



Can the PlayStation 3 aid cancer research?
May 14, 2007


While gamers endlessly bicker about which system will come out on top of the console war, a group of inventive scientists at Stanford University are concerned with a very different kind of battle - the fight against incurable diseases.

The university's Folding@home project focuses on protein folding, a chemical process that may hold the keys to unlocking the mysteries of diseases like Alzheimer's, Cystic Fibrosis, Hodgkin's and various other cancers. The team has created a program that simulates the nearly infinite number of ways proteins can fold, a system that requires a massive amount of computational power.

Instead of taxing resources by building a battalion of supercomputers to crunch the data, the Folding@home team decided to tap into the vast quantity of lonely home computers in the wild. And it worked -- since the program's inception in October of 2000, hundreds of thousands of ordinary folks have lent their computers' unused processing power to the project, effectively creating one of the largest distributed computing networks in the world.

But once kindhearted PS3 owners got involved, the numbers went from solid to staggering.

Folding@home was tucked into a recent PS3 firmware update as a small icon found in the Network section of the console's front end, allowing users to willingly join the program in a few quick clicks. It has since blossomed, with over 250,000 registered PS3 owners donating enormous amounts of spare power in the name of philanthropic science.

"The PS3 turnout has been amazing, greatly exceeding our expectations and allowing us to push our work dramatically forward," said Folding@home lead Vijay Pande.


"Thanks to PS3, we have performed simulations in the first few weeks that would normally take us more than a year to calculate. We are now gearing up for new simulations that will continue our current studies of Alzheimer's and other diseases."

How significant is the sudden rise in computing power? In roughly one month, PS3s alone have more than doubled the output of all other operating systems combined, pushing the project towards achieving an unheard of petaflop of processing power. That's burlier than the world's fastest supercomputer.

Though much of Folding@home's PS3 success can be attributed to its ease of use -- the program can be set to run in the middle of the night, folding proteins while you snooze -- it's also tailored to appeal to the gamer mindset. Users can easily join "teams" of folders and watch as they rise or fall in the official rankings. A snazzy graphical interface shows the protein folding process itself in real-time; users can toggle between the traditional 'spheres and sticks' chemistry class model or a more organic (and somewhat creepy) fluid representation. You can even scan the globe for other PS3 folders denoted as tiny yellow lights.


Sony isn't the only one interested in lending some helping RAM. Microsoft spokesman Peter Moore has come out publicly in support of the program, though the Folding@home crew is skeptical that the Xbox 360 can handle the data as quickly as the PS3. Those are fightin' words, to be sure, but for once, the two companies are fighting on the same side.



Mr Starks

Wisdom from Sir Charles......



Let me give a special thanks to regular our commenter/reader for this submission. Click on the link below for The New Republic's interview with Charles Barkley:

Beyond Basketball: Race, Class, and Politics

Do we really need this right now?

This just in from the Times Online:

Iran 'will fight back if America attacks'

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran today threatened severe retaliation if the United States attacked his country.

Mr Ahmadinejad told a news conference in the United Arab Emirates that Iran would not hesitate to launch military reprisals if the row with the West over Iran's illicit nuclear programme escalated to the point of violence.

“They realise that if they make such a mistake the retaliation of Iran would be severe and they will repent,” Mr Ahmadinejad said, speaking through an interpreter.

“All people know they cannot strike us. Iran is capable of defending itself. It is a strong country.”

The West could not stop Tehran from pursuing its nuclear energy programme, he said. “Superpowers cannot prevent us from owning this energy.”

The Iranian president’s comments followed those by Dick Cheney, the US Vice-President, who said on Friday from the deck of an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf that the US and its allies would prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and dominating the region.

The US, which has a strong military presence in the Gulf, accuses Iran of wanting to produce nuclear weapons. It has sought tougher UN sanctions against Tehran. Iran says it wants only to generate electricity to allow more oil exports.

Using stronger language than yesterday, when he called for US troops to leave the region, Mr Ahmadinejad said that Gulf countries should “get rid of” foreign forces, which he blamed for regional insecurity.

He was speaking during a visit to the UAE, a US ally which, like Iran’s other Gulf Arab neighbours, has expressed concern about Tehran’s nuclear plans.

“We in the Persian Gulf are faced by difficulties and enemies. Those do not want the region to live in safety," he said.

"Peace can be achieved by getting rid of these forces. They intervene in the region and make it insecure.

"They claim that lack of security is the reason for their presence (but) the problem is the intervention of foreign powers.”

Despite the tense words, the US and Iran announced yesterday that they have agreed to meet in Baghdad to discuss security and stability in Iraq.

Today Mr Ahmadinejad said that Iran had agreed to the talks in order to help the Iraqi people.

“The Americans, in order to solve the security situation in Iraq, requested to talk to Iran," he said.

"In order to support the Iraqi people we will talk to them. It (the meeting) will take place in Baghdad in the presence of the Iraqi government,” he said, adding that a date for the talks had yet to be set.

The White House announced yesterday that US and Iranian officials would meet in the next few weeks in Baghdad about security in Iraq, confirming a similar announcement by Tehran.

Oprah Delivers Commencement Speech At Howard University



I was looking at CNN by happenstance and came across footage of Oprah Winfrey's commencement address to the 2007 graduating class of Howard University. Once again, I truly believe we are in the midst of a burgeoning internal movement as Winfrey's stirring and heartfelt speech seemed to possess a Cosbyesque quality to it. Check the AP's take on the Oprah appearance:

Oprah urges Howard grads to serve others

WASHINGTON (AP) — Oprah Winfrey, whose show has remained the top-rated TV talk show for 20 consecutive seasons, says her success comes from maintaining her principles and serving others.
"My integrity is not for sale, and neither is yours," Winfrey said at graduation ceremonies Saturday for Howard University, recalling times when she was under pressure to change course or avoid topics to boost ratings or appease advertisers. "Do not be a slave to any form of selling out."

Winfrey recalled how early in her career at a TV station in Baltimore, executives told her she was "too black" and "too emotional." She said they tried to have her TV name changed to something more recognizable, but she refused.

Finally, Winfrey was put on a talk show, she said, to run out her contract.

"And that was the beginning," she told 30,000 people who crowded onto the Howard campus.

Winfrey drew repeated big cheers from the moment she took the stage. She called on the graduates to maintain their integrity and to "go forth and serve."

"I stand here as a symbol of what is possible when you believe in the dream of your own life," Winfrey said. "Don't be afraid. All you need to do is know who you are."

Winfrey said that while growing up her grandmother, a servant in 1950s Mississippi, hoped that Winfrey would "get some good white folks" to work for.

"I regret that she didn't live past 1963 and see that I did get some really good white folks — working for me," said.



Also check out a snippet of the speech on video at the link below:

Oprah Delivers Commencement Speech At Howard University

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Afronerd Radio Talks about Mothers.....after all it is Mother's Day



Please accept our apologies for last Thursday's show, it appears due to technical difficulties our show did not air, therefore we will have the "White culture" show on Thursday, May 17th. Stay tuned for tomorrow's special Mother's Day episode scheduled for 5pm. We will be honoring and analyzing motherhood-those who do it right and conversely, those that do it wrong. Reach out and share your thoughts, we would like to hear from our readers/commenters-call us live at-646-915-9620 or IM the show via afronerdradio@yahoo. Be there and be square.


Guess What? It's Mother's Day....Time to talk about Matriarchs!

Friday, May 11, 2007

First Imus......now Opie and Anthony



One would think that after the Imus fiasco, these shock jocks would temper themselves. But, of course, this is not the case. A few days ago, during a mid-day XM radio broadcast, Opie and Anthony still found a way to cross the line on unrestricted satellite radio. The skit in question, involved a regular guest dubbed "Homeless Charlie" who went into an expletive ridden diatribe professing his desire to rape Condoleezza Rice, Laura Bush and Queen Elizabeth-if given the opportunity. Not only was this reprehensible but it's just not funny or even slightly amusing. And this incident coincides with a merger proposal between Sirius and XM looming in the background. It will be interesting to see how this plays itself out considering that the merger also requires FCC approval in order for it to become reality. Here's an excerpt from David Hinkley's NY Daily News column regarding this issue:

The actual comments were made by a guest the shock jocks call Homeless Charlie. As each woman's name came up, he said, "I'd love to f--- that b----."

They laughed as they imagined "the horror" in Rice's face and what it would be like to hold her down and punch her in the face.

The crude cracks came a month after CBS gave Don Imus the boot for calling members of the Rutgers University women's basketball team "nappy-headed ho's."

As an audio clip spread across the Internet, XM quickly issued a condemnation. "We deplore the comments made on today's 'Opie & Anthony Show,'" said an XM spokesman.

Opie and Anthony themselves offered an apology yesterday evening:

"We take very seriously the responsibility that comes with our creative freedom and regret any offense that this segment has caused."


Trust me when I say that this will not go unanswered. Vulgar speech and minstrel hop are on the chopping block. In the immortal words of El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, "the chickens have come home to roost."

Unedited Version thanks to You Tube:




For the Daily News article in its entirety, click on the link below:

You can't say that!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Artifacts of Racism......Courtesy of the Schomburg Museum



More wisdom from yet another straight shooter, Errol Louis of the NY Daily News:

Exhibit A: Racism

Negative images of blacks reveal hate's long history in America

By ERROL LOUIS
DAILY NEWS COLUMNIST

Wednesday, May 9th 2007, 7:55 PM


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This weekend, an exhibit opens at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture that will shine a penetrating, much-needed light on our nation's shameful Jim Crow era, the period after the Civil War when demeaning and degrading caricatures of blacks were a staple of American culture.

For the first time in its 80-year history, the Schomburg will exhibit dozens of racist images and artifacts that were plastered on everything from toothpaste tubes and movie posters to children's books, postcards and paintings.

The hard-hitting exhibit, "Stereotypes vs. Humantypes," couldn't arrive at a better time, given the current national battle to halt a rising tide of commercialized cultural contempt aimed at black Americans by everyone from hip-hop minstrels to hate-spewing nitwits like Don Imus.

The mad swirl of grotesque, popeyed subhumans so popular in the 19th century bear an unmistakable resemblance to today's parade of cartoonish pimps, strippers and gunmen used by Madison Avenue to sell sneakers, CDs, movies and booze.

But in a stroke of genius, the Schomburg curators set aside a room next to the virulent, dehumanizing images and stocked it with pictures and paintings from the same period - the 1890s through the 1950s - depicting blacks getting married, gathering in church, marching for civil rights and generally living every dimension of the American Dream.

The juxtaposition makes clear that the depiction of blacks as less than human was always a conscious choice that could - and can - be rejected. The exhibit's most moving images are those of black families who chose to sit for portrait photos less than a generation after slavery's end, projecting grace and dignity even as the country was flooded with caricatures.

"At first blush, you look at this stuff with a certain sense of disbelief, then a kind of rage," says Howard Dodson, the Schomburg's director. "Then you realize these are figments of white imagination."

According to Dodson, the use of black caricatures like Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben to sell pancakes, rice and other products is key.

"These caricatures actually become brands, so customers don't have to look at people as individuals - you just see the skin and hair and the reaction is automatic," says Dodson. "Interestingly, things don't change until the late 1960s and early 1970s, when companies discover that black families represent a growing market themselves, who obviously would not buy such images."

What images we will or won't buy remains the question of the hour, which Dodson poses by placing a mirror at the end of the exhibit. Visitors are invited to look at one last image and ask themselves what kind of person they - and the rest of the world - see.

Rev. Hot Comb Does it Again......but he may also wiggle out of it again......



It appears that after the Imus debacle, which is all about language (or its inappropriate usage), Sharpton is in the mix again for statements he made relating to Mormon presidential candidate, Mitt Romney. During a debate with noted atheist author Christopher Hitchens, Rev. Sharpton stated "and as for the one Mormon running for office, those that really believe in God will defeat him anyway." This jibe has been construed as being a bigoted remark towards Romney and his religion. Interestingly enough, Sharpton does have a legitimate argument regarding the Mormon religion's historical racist stance regarding African-Americans-something that Romney must ultimately address. Check out an excerpt of Newsbusters.org's take on this issue:

In going on Paula Zahn's CNN show this evening, was Al Sharpton's goal to quell the controversy surrounding his comments about Mormonism, or to inflame it? If the former, he failed miserably. If the latter, he succeeded admirably. Far from retracting his earlier allegation that Mormons aren't real believers, he repeated it, adding an allegation of racism for good measure.


For the Newsbuster's article in its entirety, click on the link below:

Sharpton: Prior to '78, Mormons Weren't 'Real Worshippers of God'

Forget the two step, let's backpedal! A Russell Simmons followup.

Russell Simmons Issues Public Apology to Obama, Clarifies Kucinich 'Endorsement'

Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons has publicly apologized to Sen. Barack Obama whom he referred to as a 'mouse' in a recent New York Times interview. Simmons says his comment was taken out of context and was not meant to downplay Obama's viability as a presidential candidate.
I'd like to publicly apologize to Senator Obama for any hurt it has caused," Simmons said in a statement. "There has, I believe, been more made of my statement that "all of the Democratic candidates are controlled" than I would have expected. The full statement, I believe, was clear in its intention. The statement in its proper context was meant to make a point about all of the candidates and American politics, in general. In the future, I will be more careful in how I express my views. For the record, I believe Senator Obama is a strong, solid candidate and I wish him the best in his run for the Presidency.

Rush also clarified his recent statement expressing support for Rep. Dennis Kucinich. Contrary to earlier reports, Simmons stresses that he's yet to pick a candidate and will make an official announcement when he does.
"I stated that I would like to hear more from Dennis Kucinich in the debate because I believe he has very relevant, important and useful ideas to add to a discussion," said Simmons. "When I appeared on “The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch” on April 25, I was asked about the Democratic Primaries and I said that I had not yet picked a candidate. Donny then asked if a change had to be made right now, what would it be. At that point I said I would put Dennis Kucinich in office. I believe that all of the democratic candidates have good qualities and any one of them has the ability to start a process of changing our relationship with the world and improving the lives of the poor in this country."



Mr. Starks

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Cho-esque madness continues......

PlayStation row sparks US college shooting
Police say one person was killed and two others wounded when a California college student opened fire following a row over a PlayStation 2 video game.

They say the shooting took place late on Monday night (local time) near the campus of California State University in Fresno, north-east of Los Angeles.

The alleged gunman, identified as 19-year-old criminology student Jonquel Brooks, was arrested later on Tuesday after police surrounded a campus apartment complex on the suspicion he was inside.

Fresno police chief Jerry Dyer says Brooks is in custody and will be charged with murder and assault with a deadly weapon.

Police say the dead person was a 19-year-old former student at the college

The two other victims, aged 19 and 22, were released from hospital after treatment for gunshot wounds.

C'mon Russell, who's REALLY a mouse?

From Henry Adaso
Russell Simmons Backs Kucinich, Calls Obama a "Mouse"


Russell Simmons, Def Jam co-founder and long-time Democratic supporter, has thrown his weight behind Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich in the 2008 Presidential Election, according to the Cleveland Leader. In an interview with Adam Bernard, Simmons offered an explanation for his endorsement:
"I like Dennis Kucinich, how bout that? If you were black you’d have to like him and if you were interested in preserving mother earth you would like him, and if you were interested in fighting poverty you would like him. If you were interested in practicing a different relationship with not only mother earth but all of the species on it, as a vegan, like him, you’d like him. If you’re interested in lifting the planet up and having a higher consciousness you’d like him. No one else knows about him, but I’m just making a point."

Simmons, whose latest book Do You! 12 Laws to Access the Power in You to Achieve Happiness and Success recently landed on the New York Times' Bestsellers List, has long expressed his disinterest in both of the Democratic party front-runners. In an April interview with Deborah Solomon of the New York Times, he referred to Sen. Barack Obama as a "mouse" who is "controlled, just like everyone else."

In that same interview, Simmons disclosed that he's talked to Democratic candidate Sen. John Edwards "more than anyone." One explanation for the tension between Simmons and Obama is the latter's criticism of derogatory rap lyrics.

Mr. Starks

Wow, talk about irony! Brought to you by Oprah and R.Kelly...




R. Kelly's invite to 'Color Purple' is inexcusable
May 6, 2007

BY MARY MITCHELL Sun-Times Columnist
I knew it couldn't be R. Kelly on the red carpet at the premiere of Oprah Winfrey's "The Color Purple" on Thursday night.

Sure enough. It was him!

Kelly is facing 14 counts of child pornography stemming from a videotape allegedly showing him having sex with a 14-year old girl.

But it looks like the popular R&B star -- who croons inspirational ballads one minute and raunchy lyrics the next -- has a fairy godmother. Although indicted in 2002, his trial has been repeatedly delayed. Now the judge sitting for the case is also presiding over the Brown's Chicken trial, and Kelly's lawyer, Ed Genson, is representing former Chicago Sun-Times owner Conrad Black, on trial for allegedly pilfering millions from stockholders.

On Thursday night, Kelly told reporters stationed outside the Cadillac Palace that he saw "The Color Purple" seven times in New York. He was out and about because he has just finished an album, Kelly said.

"I figured this is the time to come out and enjoy myself. When I got invited, I thought there's no better way to do that," Kelly told reporters.

"He was invited. He was definitely there," said an employee with Margie Korshak, the public relations firm that handled the invites. The employee didn't know who extended the invitation and seemed surprised I inquired.

It has been more than four years since copies of the pornographic video flooded the streets, and a lot of people have forgotten Kelly is at the center of a case that involves videotaped sex acts with a minor.

Frankly, an invitation to the press review of "The Color Purple" was the hottest ticket in town.

In the newsroom, reporters started asking about tickets at the beginning of the week. An invite would give them a chance to mix work and pleasure, of course.

"You're going, aren't you?" a colleague asked.

She was shocked to learn I hadn't gotten an invite, either.

But I have my own fairy godmother. That same day, I ran into a big-hearted A-Lister who had two extra theater tickets. Unfortunately, by then there was no way I could attend the event. Still, I stopped by the Cadillac Palace Theatre to watch as celebrities made their way down the red carpet.

The area hummed with anticipation.

Thanks to Jonathan Jackson (he pulled me past security), I even got a chance to experience what it feels like to have dozens of flashing cameras aimed at you.

That's how I happened to see Kelly make his entrance. No one booed.

Despite the unsavory allegations hanging over his head, Kelly has managed to keep his superstar status. Kelly is a multiple-Grammy winner, and since his indictment, he has been nominated for numerous civic and industry awards, including the coveted NAACP Image Award.

Shortly after Oprah took her triumphant stroll, Kelly strutted down the red carpet, just like Mayor Daley and his wife, Maggie, had done earlier.

The irony is jarring.

Oprah's production is based on a horrible tale of the sexual abuse that was heaped on a young girl in the rural South. Besides being raped by a man she believed to be her father, Celie was given to a mean-spirited older man as his wife, and throughout the relationship, she was used as both a sexual object and a workhorse.

Alice Walker, who won a Pulitzer Prize for her fiction, withstood being called a black male-basher to bring us this book. In the 20-plus years since its publishing, it remains a healing balm for women who have witnessed, endured, survived and ultimately thrived, despite physical and emotional abuse by cruel men.

To witness Kelly being treated as an honored guest at the premier of "The Color Purple" sickened me. It was a slap in the face of every woman who has gone through such abuse.

Unfortunately, I didn't get to see "The Color Purple" Thursday night.

I gave one of the free tickets to my colleague. The other, I passed along to a woman who was standing outside watching the spectacle from a distance.



Mr. Starks.

More Dirty laundry..........

Queens church robbery suspect caughtIt happened in the St. Albans section
Eyewitness News
(Queens - WABC, May 8, 2007) - An Eyewitness News crew was at the scene of a bloody attack Tuesday. It started with a frightening armed robbery of a elderly church pastor in Queens, and ended when the pastor saw the alleged gunman commit another crime.

And our camera was rolling when the suspect tried to escape.
Eyewitness News reporter Lucy Yang is in Queens with the story.

It was high drama on Linden Boulevard in the St. Albans section of Queens Tuesday night: One woman was bloodied and had been assaulted, a pastor was robbed inside his house of worship, and a man fleeing down the street was later stopped by police around the corner.

Here's how the dots are all connected:

At 4:20 Tuesday afternoon Bishop Melvin Artist was in his Pentecostal church when he says three men walked in and robbed him of $1500 dollars in cash, God's money.

"The guy went through my pockets ... said shoot him and the other guy said no let's get out of here," Artist said.

The bishop was spared a bullet to the head and was prepared to give thanks when a woman next door was beaten in the head. Pastor Artist ran to help and when he pushed a man away, he says he knew he saw that face only a few hours ago.

"He changed. He put on a blue hat, but I remembered his face ..." Artist said.

Police report that the man now under arrest will likely be charged with both crimes. Meanwhile, the pastor tells me he has forgiven the robbers and prays this will be a turning point in their lives.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

You Know......I think the Revolution IS on it's way after all



I came across a few insightful videos that appear to mirror the views espoused here at Afronerd. I think the time for pontification is unnecessary.....just check them out and tell us what you think. The video above is especially on point because....well, they're my conservative bretheren. Preach! And don't forget to check out the other clips....this time the revolution is televised-thanks to Youtube.



Wisdom from Sister Toldjah!



Check out the above video featuring columnist Jason Whitlock and Rev. Press & Curl. It relates to a recent entry from the Sister Toldjah blog, here's an excerpt:

Take a look at the below interview, which was broadcast last month on CNN. Soledad O’Brien is interviewing Sharpton and KC Star columnist Jason Whitlock, who was and still is the voice of reason in the black community on where the real problem is (IOW, he knows Don Imus isn’t the real issue). In the video, take note of how Sharpton says that he and his “National Action Network” have been after hip hop music for the ‘last couple of years’ to ‘clean it up’ yet says that Imus’ remarks and firing were just the ‘tip of the iceberg’ compared to what he wanted to do next. Oh really? Going to call for the firing of all rappers who produce and rap violent misogynistic lyrics, Al? I think not. According to you, it’s only ‘appropriate’ to have someone fired or forced out if they are white and/or Jewish and say something ‘offfensive.’

Also take note of how he dismisses Whitlock’s criticisms of him at the end by saying, essentially, that those who aren’t in the fight are always trying to call it, as if Whitlock - a black man who has strong opinions on the issue - isn’t in the ring battling!

The message from Al is: “Unless you’re on board with my message, you’re not a part of the battle.”

BTW, Reverend Al, do you know how long controversy has existed in rap music? Longer than a ‘couple of years.’ Where were you? Oh wait, I know where you were and what you were doing. There was hardly time to criticize rap music when there was race and Jew baiting to be done!

In the meantime, there ARE people out there who know just how to target thuggish, misogynistic rappers like Akon - and win.

Time for you to take some notes, Rev.


For more from Sister Toldjah, click on the link below:

Why did it take Don Imus to ‘wake up’ Al Sharpton and the hip hop community?

Monday, May 07, 2007

Tired of Muslim Mickey? Check out the Classics-Old School Nazi Hits by K-Tel!




Before there were Islamic extremists (in theory), you had the Third Reich. We have another case in point moment-the two girls pictured above. Alodia Witaszek, left, and her sibling Daria, were among 250 youngsters taken from their families as part of a Nazi scheme to improve the Aryan gene pool. Check this out from the AP:

Documents Shed Light on Secret Nazi Plans
Breeding Program Designed to Achieve Racial Purity
By MELISSA EDDY
AP
POZNAN, Poland (May 6) - On a sunny April morning in 1944, 6-year-old Alodia Witaszek was combed and scrubbed, sitting in the children's home that had primed her for membership in Hitler's master race.


A Dual Life

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Over the past year she had been snatched from her family, gone hungry in a concentration camp and been beaten for speaking her native Polish. Now she had a German name, "Alice Wittke," and a new - German - mother.

"Guten tag, Mutti!" she called in flawless German to the young woman approaching her. Good morning, Mommy.

Only years later would she discover the full truth: that she was among some 250 children seized from their families as part of a Nazi attempt to improve the Aryan gene pool in pursuit of a mad dream of racial purity.

Her adoptive mother, Luise Dahl, would later say she too had no idea. In a letter written after World War II she said that she knew nothing about snatching children for racial purposes; all she had wanted was to adopt a war orphan. An illness had left her barren, and her husband, a German army officer, was stationed hundreds of miles away, in Paris. She was desperately lonely.

More than 60 years later, the story emerges in part from a rare collection of documents held by the International Tracing Service, or ITS, a unit of the International Committee of the Red Cross, in the small German resort town of Bad Arolsen.

In files to which The Associated Press has been given access in the past seven months are orders from Heinrich Himmler, Adolf Hitler's SS chief, to find children with "eindeutschungsfaehigskeit" - the potential to be Germanized. Other documents tell part of the children's stories. One of those children was Alodia Witaszek, aka Alice Wittke.

Luise Dahl had written to more than a dozen orphanages listed in the phone book before a response came asking for personal data about herself and her husband, Wilhelm - health, income, relationship to the Nazi party.


Trust me when I say that the madness never stops-the article continues below:

Documents Shed Light on Secret Nazi Plans

Where fore art the Black Ballerinas?



IN 1933 Lincoln Kirstein wrote a passionate 16-page letter to his friend A. Everett Austin Jr., the director of the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, introducing a man named George Balanchine and a dream: to remake ballet for America. The plan, as Kirstein wrote, was to have “four white girls and four white boys, about 16 years old, and eight of the same, negros.”



Aesha Ash is a member of Alonzo King’s Lines Ballet, a San Francisco company. She was in the corps of New York City Ballet but left in 2003; since then the company has had no black women.



Tai Jimenez was the only Dance Theater of Harlem alumna to find a job in a major classical company, Boston Ballet, where she danced until injuries forced her to step down.
What resulted from that letter — the School of American Ballet and New York City Ballet, both founded by Kirstein and Balanchine — have endured as major cultural institutions. But Kirstein’s plan for student diversity was never realized, and while other minorities have made inroads in classical ballet, the complicated reality of racial inequality persists, especially for black women.

Because male dancers have always been in short supply, black men have attained some success, the most famous being Arthur Mitchell, who was a principal dancer at New York City Ballet before founding Dance Theater of Harlem in 1969 with Karel Shook. But there has never been a black female principal in the ranks of American Ballet Theater or City Ballet.


For the remainder of this NY Times article, click on the link below:

Where Are All the Black Swans?

Mickey Mouse has a Muslim Brother? And he's a Terrorist? Meet Farfur!



It is safe to assume that various Islamic terrorist organizations have used a myriad of tactics to indoctrinate children but each time it is witnessed, it still manages to give the viewer the chills. This also reminds me of another terrorist organization, the KKK. I remember seeing news footage that showed Ku Klux Klan members teaching their progenies hate in an equally insidious fashion. Case in point, Hamas TV is currently airing a new children's show, entitled "Tomorrow's Pioneers." This program has co-opted a Mickey Mouse look-a-like, named Farfur (along with a young female co-host, Saraa) to preach death and destruction to Jewish folk as well as all Westerners. In the immortal words of comedian Dana Carvey's Church Lady character, "Isn't that Special?" Take a glimpse at an excerpt of an WorldNetDaily article as it pertains to this aforementioned horror show:

Farfur tells children they must pray in the mosque five times a day until there is "world leadership under Islamic leadership."

"We, tomorrow's pioneers, will restore to this nation its glory, and we will liberate Al-Aqsa, with Allah's will, and we will liberate Iraq, with Allah's will, and we will liberate the Muslim countries, invaded by murderers," the mouse character says.

Saraa' explains the nucleus of world Islamic leadership will be from "all of Palestine," meaning elimination of the entire state of Israel.

Farfur urges the children to "resist" Israel, "the oppressive invading Zionist occupation."

In one segment, Farfur says, "We will win, Bush! We will win, Condoleezza! We will win, Sharon!" Then, he quips, "Ah, Sharon is dead" (sic), reinforcing his message that the plan for world domination is progressing.

Saraa' warns the children they must give an account to Allah after they die for what they did or did not do for Palestinians imprisoned by the Israelis and for the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, disputed territory Palestinians consider sacred to Islam.

"I remind you that Al-Aqsa and the prisoners are a responsibility on our shoulders, and Allah will ask us on Resurrection Day what we gave for their sake."

Child viewers phone in to the show and recite poems with images of hate and violence, according to PMW.

One child said, "We will destroy the chair of the despots, so they will taste the flame of death," and another, "Rafah sings 'Oh, oh.' Its answer is an AK-47. We who do not know fear, we are the predators of the forest."

Hamas, which won a majority in parliament in January 2006 elections, officially is considered a terrorist organization by the U.S. government.

As WND reported in March, an online forum tied to the website of Hamas posted a photo of a little girl in a combat vest and the head band of the terrorist Al-Qassam Brigades.

"Have you seen the new child martyr who will soon shake Israel [to the core]?" says the caption, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute blog.


This is a difficult battle that world may not be ready for-we are not fighting individuals that are about the "fair play" of an actual war. Fighting a person that wears a neat uniform with a swastika on his sleeve is a far cry from combating an idea. Even if a Nagasaki-like response was executed, I doubt that would stave the problem. But it might be a start. For more of the WorlNetDaily piece, including a snippet from the children's show in question, click on the link below:

'Mickey Mouse' promotes jihad