Friday, July 23, 2010

...and the home of the BRAAAVE!

The Honest Man was having a conversation the other day with his conscience the Reverend Doctor. We were talking about the whole Shirley Sherrod-USDA "controversy" that has kept America captivated this week. But captivated in the wrong way. This literally has to be one of the worst fuckups in the history of fuckups. And I'm talking how the situation was handled.

I'm hoping my readers are up to speed on this but if you're not, here's the cliff notes version of what happened. Black woman works for the government. Black woman speaks at a NAACP function. Black woman is videotaped. Someone posts an edited version of the video online on their blog. The edited version focuses on the Black woman's past dealings with a White farmar some 25 years ago. Black woman is then publicly crucified by the White House, NAACP, Tea Party, and ultimately her job fires her. Someone comes to Black woman's aid. That someone plays the entire video. The entire video shows Black woman not saying anything supposedly controversial. All people who threw stones at her look like major assholes. Did you follow that?

As you can imagine, there's a lot of egg on many people's faces. We live in an age now where unfortunately when you are speaking in a public forum, no matter how large or small an audience, someone is normally taping the event. And thanks to evil doers like photoshop and video edit software, it empowers stupid people to do stupid things like post a video without completely showing all the facts.

I could easily play the race card and say how much more I am disappointed in my President and the NAACP for falling for a trap. But nope I'm an equal opportunist and everyone gets the gas face. Folks have been so happy slinging mud at one another, they wanted to throw dirt on someone else. And now Mrs Sherrod is having the last laugh. Got her former employer offering her job back to her. Got CNN in her grill like the bread on the meat of my sandwich. Got the President talking that "In hindsight" stuff on ABC. Yea, it's not good America, not a good look at all.

I'm literally speechless at the stupidity exhibited by a lot of people. Regardless of my opinion of all the parties that jumped on the "Let's teach this black girl a lesson" bandwagon, I do recognize these are educated people that led this witchhunt. And it makes me wonder at one point did they major in dumb ass decisions or I'm with stupid degrees. We've become a culture that now believes guilty until proven innocent instead of getting our facts right first. And then shit like this happens....

Today's Lesson

But you know how this could have been avoided? If the Honest Man had posted his Race Relations blog on July 17 instead of July 23 :-)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Race Relations

"You can't compare a chocolate monkey like R. Kelly to Jerry Lee Lewis. Jerry Lee Lewis was the king of rock and roll "Great Balls of Fire!" Besides that situation was different... that was family..." - Uncle Ruckus

The Honest Man could not decide what to write about today. USDA-Sherrod situation and the complete fuck up of a mess by all political and activist parties involved. Backhanded compliments and the dumb asses that say them. Another roommate story, this time involving a different roommate and his rational that giving me 10 Chick Fil A sandwiches equals me hooking him up with a $150 coat from Abercrombie & Fitch. Nope, I opted for the following conversation after talking with my "Jewish" lawyer, BA Baracus....RACE RELATIONS!!

Quick Background. BA Baracus. Known each other since junior high school. Son of a prominent veterinarian and accomplished teacher. Nephew of a Hall of Fame basketball player (the teacher is his sister). Grew up in if not the wealthiest, one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in all of Columbia, South Carolina. One of the smartest kids I've ever known. Also one of the most absent minded cats I've ever known (used to call him Absent Minded Professor LOL). Real tight. So tight we worked at Arby's together and promptly got banned from working together during the same shifts at Arby's (another day, another blog). Now he's a big shot lawyer and I told him if I ever get into "real" trouble, he will change his last name to something Jewish like "Goldstein" to prevent me from doing jail time. But before you start calling us the new age Danny Glover and Mel Gibson, Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney or any other Ebony-Ivory combo, that's not the point of today's blog.

Today's post is about improving race relations. And before some person reading this goes oh you solved racial problems, no stupid I said improve not solve. That means take steps to reach a solution. And it doesn't take a genius to realize our country's race relations are not the greatest. I believe the root of it is a misunderstanding of one race's perceptions about a another race. And obviously black folks and white folks have been misunderstanding each other since the slave ships touched land :-).

Well let me tell you a story about how I learned more about BA Baracus. Remember I said he lived in a wealthy neighborhood right? One day, he impromptu invited me to his house since we got out of school early and had time to kill before soccer practice. I had wealthy black friends in the neighborhood too, had been inside their MTV cribs type homes, and had hood dreams of having my own type crib. When I got to BA's house, I was expecting the same thing. And looking on the outside, that's didn't do anything to dissuade me from thinking I was REALLY about to see the dopest house on the block.

We get inside BA's house and it's pretty straight. Not crappy. Not oh shit. Just straight. The first sign of wow that's a misunderstanding of white folks was when I asked BA for a snack. This fool broke out Frosted Mini Wheats and Apples. That's not a typo. Told me his mom didn't buy snacks like that. And to add salt to my crushed diabetes dream, he said we got water and orange or apple juice to drink. Again first sign. Second sign was we went to the living room and I'm like let's see what's up on ESPN. He shot back oh, we don't have cable. This BIG ASS house and ya'll aint got no cable. I'm seriously like wow. No junk food, no cable. No wonder this kid is whuppin ass and taking names in school. His parents decided to invest in their kids' health and goods that will appreciate (art for the ignant) instead of ding dongs and MTV. What a novel idea!

The next time I came over to his house, BA let his Mom know I was coming over and it was like night and day. The fridge was stacked with pizzas, sodas and the pantry had cookies, Lil Debbie snacks, etc. Now she didn't have cable installed but I was cool with not having to feast on Frosted mini wheats for a snack LOL.

How does solve the misunderstanding? The above is exactly what my parents did to me growing up. If we didn't have guests coming over, my mom would have us eating leftovers for days, snacks consisted of fruits and veggies, and don't you dare even ask about going out to eat. But if you came over, it was like we hit the lotto, moms' is ordering pizza, stocking the pantry with all kinds of shit that I could OD from a sugar rush on, and make you think this is the best place ever.

Add in my line about his parents making him work too, I thought to myself wow that is how smart people stay wealthy and live longer. And also let me know that white folks are like black folks. We all try to do what's right for our kids, no matter if we agree with it or not. And I also learned, the next we have time to go to someone's house, man forget BA's house, we going to my house to have hostess Cinnamon rolls and watch Sportscenter ;-)

Today's Lesson

BA never knew this until now but going to his house on two occasions taught me something new about white people. They like saving money and boy they love them some Frosted Mini Wheats :-). Black people, white people, reach out to your fellow white or black person and make your own Lethal Weapon ;-).

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Kentucky Fried Negro

Did you ever hear the song "Fried Chicken" by Nas? Great ode to the tasty dish that my peeps love and cannot get enough of. I can't remember the first time I ever had it but I do know that not a year goes by and I don't have at least one serving of fried chicken (shit probably not even a month goes by). Well I thought I was a chicken connoisseur but learned I was a rookie compared to a roommate of mine in college.

Ace Jackson. Seattle born and raised. Writer. Streetball Player. One half of one of greatest video rental businesses the East side of the Mississippi in GQ Rentals. And also my roommate. Ace is man 50 grand until the end. And this Negro LOVED chicken. I mean like eat that shit twice a week a love. Like even though we're paying for the on campus meal plan, he's saying fuck it, I want some chicken, I'm getting some chicken right now love. And we had most of the known spots near campus. Church's. Popeye's. Mrs Weiners. And his favorite, KFC (my favorite, Bojangles didn't arrive in Atlanta until after I had moved :-( ).

Ace was normally an equal opportunity cat when it came to our roomie situation. Wanna play on his Playstation? Cool, I got the sticks. Wanna check out some of my CDs? Cool, I'm poppin' in the latest and greatest. Wanna have some of the goodie bag stuff my moms sent? Cool, I'm eating Ace's mom's cookies. BUT when it came to that chicken boy, it was like trying to ask Tyrone Biggums for a hit of crack. Shit just wasn't happening....

Let me put this in perspective so you understand Ace's love for chicken. Like I said before, he grew up in Seattle. If you ever gone to Seattle you can somewhat appreciate his love for the poultry in grease. I interned in Seattle one summer and I remember asking someone where's a KFC or Popeye's around here. Cat was like oh we got like 2 Popeye's in the city. TWO. In a city that large?!?! Whoa nellie, I was like no way in hell I'm ever living here LOL. But think about this, if you have a desire for something but rarely ever get it, your desire starts to increase rapidly. And when that rarity becomes a constant, then you have an addiction ;-). Ace's addiction was that chicken

One day, I remember Ace basically walking in the room, throwing his arms, and saying the cafe was basically shit for dinner. So he did his normal routine and went up the street to get the Colonel's chicken. He comes back in the room and dude has a 12 piece bucket. I'm like what the hell, you stashin' for a rainy day :-). I agreed dinner was shit and was still slightly hungry from dinner. So I asked my roomie if I could have a wing or leg, thinking he respond with cool I got you. Nope he said he's eating the entire 12 piece. I'm going so you eating an entire 12 piece bucket in one day. Riiiight.....

I keep telling you readers Karma is a muthafucka. The first night Ace probably ate 3 pieces tops of that 12 piece, put the rest in the room fridge. The second night he didn't even bother to try the cafe, he was basically dreaming about eating that chicken. I got a lil haterade in my heart like fuck you non sharing muthafucka LOL. I remember that he took his chicken out, and left the room to put the chicken in the dorm microwave. He came back to the room like 1 min or less later to do something, then went right back to get his precious chicken. Musta been 30 seconds later when he bust back in the room screaming "someone STOLE my chicken!" 30 seconds and the KFC thief had struck the dorm room. And I'm smilin' on the inside like a muthafucka because that was a that'll teach you not to share trick!

Today's Lesson

Maybe ya'll didn't know but you shouldn't mess with one of God's children LOL. When you mess with me, you mess with Him. And He does things like take away your addiction. Speak on it Honest Man!!!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Legend of Honest Freeman

"You wanna be in this business, you got to pay the cost to doing business, and when the cost gets too high, you get out of business" - Riley Freeman

The Honest Man is a huge fan of the Boondocks. And after watching a classic 2010 season, the following is an ode to that. Whether it's reading the strip or watching the episodes on TV, that is one of the Honest Man's guilty pleasures. Bold, truthful, and don't give a fuck attitude. That's what today's post is about. Bold, truthful, and the Honest Man don't give a fuck about you or ya mama.

Back in the day, before the Honest Man got his Higher Learning on, I was grinding after hours to realize my MLK dream. My dreams didn't involve hand holding with other lil white children. My dreams involved getting paid in full and talkin' shit when I got there. I set my sights on getting an MBA to help realize that dream. Because I didn't major in business nor took any business classes in college, I needed to strengthen the resume in the eyes of the MBA recruiters that would be giving me a look. So on the advice of one school, I signed up for an accounting class at the local community college.

Four days a week. Three hours a night. 6-9 pm. 2 month class. Keep in mind, I'm still holdin' down a day job too but like I said, I had MLK dreams so I was in full grind mode. When I started the class, I was low profile, exchanged conversations when necessary, and had a goal of just getting an A. The class was 7 deep and my instructor was mad cool. She didn't want to be there anymore than we wanted to so she said, "We are not going to be here all 3 hrs every night!" She promised if we paid attention, did our homework, and showed up on time, we'd be out in 2 hrs or less every night. BET!

We had our first test, a week or so into the course. MLK dreams are a killa kid! I was so driven that I knew after I took that test, I killed it. What I didn't know was how much I did. So 2 days later, we in class, I'm joking with this one chick, who truly didn't give a fuck about life. What I mean is, she had a nice whip, was living off someone's $$, and was just there to say I'm there. We just cuttin' jokes until the instructor shows up. The instructor announces 2 folks in the class scored over a 100: Another chick in the class and yours truly. Because of how high we scored, we prevented the rest of the class from getting a curve. I could sense a few folks angry stares breathing down my neck but no one said anything. Then later in class, the instructor had me come to the class to do a balance sheet problem (actually this question was beyond simple but whatever). As the teacher says "Nice Job!" and I'm walking back to my desk, the same chick who doesn't give a shit, whispers to me "SHOW OFF!", then mutters "actin' like you know everything.." And like that it's on like Donkey Kong.....

Lemme say upfront, I'm a team player. That's how my parents' raised me. If the team wins, then I win, and we all can get ours. Doesn't matter the place or activity, school, work, sports, etc, I'm laid back, working to help others, and take care of my own business. But throughout my history, no matter the above, if I'm ever challenged or called out by someone, I take it personal and decide it's time to play Jay Z and reintroduce myself! In this classroom case, I was like oh it's like that. Up until that point, I had no qualms with no one. But after that, I decided I'm going to fuck up the curve to spite you. And that's literally what happened. 3 more tests. 1 Final. 100 or more on every single one. And the curve was all a dream. Because yo silly ass wanna talk shit when yo game ain't tight.....

Let's fast forward to today. Recently the Honest Man came up at work. I've been in the game for 10 plus years and no matter where I was, no matter who I was working with, whenever I came up, my whole team congratulated me. EVERY TIME. Interesting enough when the good news came this time, less than half the team said anything. And a couple others didn't say congrats but wanted to know what that meant in employee level. Because now they checking to see if I'm at their level or not. Which is Haterade 101. So I hopped back in DeLorean ala Back to the Future and just said "Oh it's like that!"

Those that really know Honest Freeman, know I'm about teamwork and working together. They also know how determined I am. And they also know I can be a jackass too. Put those all together and it's a scary combination. So like they say on Chappelle Show, it's a wrap B!

Today's Lesson

It's time for me to fuck up the curve again! To the Honest Mobile......

Friday, July 9, 2010

Hulk Hogan

By now, you've heard the biggest story in America today. Nope not the Oscar Grant travesty (which honestly should be based on the jury's outcome). But about Prince James and his decision to take his game to South Beach. Personally, it's a good look for him. He gave up more money to opt for winning a title faster. What's not a good look for him is publicly using TV to announce his intentions (nor is his former boss' public email reaction).

As you know I'm a HUGE wrestling buff. And last night's news immediately took me back to the summer of 1996 when Hulk Hogan turned his back on the Hulkamaniacs and decided to form the New Wrestling Order. Or NWO. He gave the legdrop heard around the world on Randy Savage on Sunday night, then cut a fuckin' dope promo on Monday Night Nitro the following night. Lebron even had the black beard going like the fake one Hulkster sported on Monday night. All LBJ needed was the bad guitar riff in the background to complete the transformation.

All Prince James needs now is another special to cut his own promo "Tell the Lebronamaniacs and Lebron groupies to STICK IT BRUDDA!!" It's only fitting considering the epic fallout from his decision. And it would just validate my point about how wrestling like the 2010 NBA Free Agency bonanza has been. Enjoy the stroll down memory lane below...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I used to love H.E.R.

"I met this girl, when I was ten years old
And what I loved most she had so much soul" - Common, I used to Love H.E.R.

The first two lines apply to what the Honest Man is about to discuss today. But before we go into that, let's talk about why we are here. Lebron James. Bron Bron. King James. The L train. The Savior. Rightfully so, he is the biggest NBA free agent this summer and my personal opinion, the biggest one since Shaquille O'Neal became one in 1996. Unrightfully so, there has been WAY too much coverage of tracking his free agent moves. Sports sites creating Lebron Trackers. Sports reporters swapping their unborn kids for the right to say where Lebron is going. It's like watching a fat kid at a buffet. Absolutely disgusting.

The latest news is Lebron is going to announce his decision in a primetime special via ESPN. I don't even need to look at the TV guide to know it will be a bunch of cats either guessing or interviewing Lebron up until the last 5 mins of the show, when Bron Bron says "I'm signing with (insert team)." Do I blame James for some of this stupidity? Partially. So who do you blame Honest Man? I blame the media. I've been mortified at how much time they are giving this. Of course, unlike the '96, the Internet is in full bloom so everyone's got an opinion. In some ways, I'm part of the whore group as I'm doing a blog on this but hey my voice has got to be heard.

If you looking for me to talk more about where is James playing next season, you need to stop reading. This is the Honest Man's rant on ESPN, the ultimate culprit in all this marketing bullshit. For those that can remember, think back to when ESPN was first getting started. They had 4 30 minute shows airing in the morning, lunch, early evening, and late evening. That was it. For sports reporters besides Rome's first (and failed) show, Up Close, and Sports Reporters on Sunday, that was it. This was in the late 80s and early 90s. Along the way ESPN had a transformation. Kinda like those nerdy looking chicks in those cheesy sitcoms that start off the episode looking homely, then transform into a Meagan Fox by show's end. ESPN became a Meagan Fox when Y2K started. And like Meagan Fox, they kinda let the success get to their head....

Today, ESPN shows 1 hr shows starting at 5am EST which repeat until noon. Add in a 6pm show and a 10pm show, that's 7 hrs of sports reporting. Daily. Also add in the sports reporting show block of Jim Rome, Around the Horn, Pardon the Interruption, from 4 to 6 daily, that's another 2 hrs. Oh don't forget ESPN 2 got upgraded and now has Mike and Mike, First Take, and Colin Cowherd's show. That's another 7 hours of sports reporting. Oops can't forget ESPN News. See where I'm going. These mofos are EVERYWHERE. And when you have that much programming, you have to have relevant news to discuss. The keyword is relevant and ESPN has appeared to lose understanding of that.

Forget the latest debacle. They have been doing What the Fuck stuff for a minute. For me that What the Fuck moment started when they decided to nationally televise high school football and basketball games. I mean it was hard enough to get these games locally and then BAM ESPN was all over the place. Then they took it a step further and used their ESPNU channel to dedicate a day to HIGH SCHOOL KIDS announcing what college they would attend to play football. So technically I shouldn't be like What the Fuck about the Lebron signing but yet I am.

Seriously, What the Fuck happened to you guys? I used to love getting home from school and watching legendary combos like Dan Patrick/Keith Olbermann and Stuart Scott/Rich Eisen do their shows (who can forget the latter doing "Vlade vlade we likes to party"). Now it's just a shell of its' former self. They have their moments but for the most part, a good number of the anchors and reporters are out to make a name for themselves so they are doing overreporting and a lot of stupid "zany" shit to attract a following.

This is the world we live in. Folks are out to do what they can for self and the almighty dollar. Everyone's got a source on what superstar athlete is doing. Now even the athlete's entourage members are treated important, even lil Sammy who just carries the bags from the car. B/c you know we gotta know what we gotta know. And that means not taking NO for answer, ya dig!

Today's Lesson

Don't blame the athletes folks, blame the system that has decided to market them for the sake of a dollar. The athletes already had an ego before the media pumped them up to legendary proportions. It's so outta control that the athletes themselves start believing the hype. And when the hype doesn't match the output, guess who's there to throw ashes on you. Yep, Mickey Mouse and his wonderful world of friends. CHUUUCH.....