Monday, November 29, 2010

Just How Rude Are We As A Society?

Is it me or has civility gone out the back door in this society?
I mean what's up with the rudeness that we endure daily while we work,shop and play?
While growing up in the late 1950's and 60's I can't remember people in my neighborhood being as uncivil as my neighbors are presently.
Everyone knew just about everyone on their block or street and would always say hello or good morning .
 But in today's world ,it seems to me that people go out of their way  not to interact with you.
I read an article in the New York Times recently on this subject and some of the reasons given  for the up tick in rudeness were,anonymity,stress,lack of time,lack of restraint and insecurity.
What are your thoughts on this question of mine?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving Should Be Everyday Of Your Life!

It has been said to me on more then one occasion,that I will spoil the spirit of the season by making my opinion on holidays we celebrate in this country known.
Every year for as long as I can remember about this time of the year when it gets cold,it seems everyone and their mother wants to make sure the homeless and the downtrodden have a coat to wear.
Well what about the others months of the year,does it matter ?
Why is it  this time of the year we all want to go and feed Skippy and Ray-Ray who's been on the corner drinking Wild Irish Rose all year?
Let me be short and frank,the brand of humanity practiced in this country is so fake,even Stevie Wonder can see through the hypocrisy.
Even feeding the hungry and the poor is a money making operation in most places in this country,if its not a direct money making scheme it's one to get you to join a church or organization before they feed your behind!
And when you are hungry and cold and have a few young ones in tow,well you do what you got to do to get them feeded and clothed.
For poor people here in Pittsburgh to receive help with your gas and electric bills during the winter season they make you jump through so many hoops you think you are trying out for a NBA team.
But they advertise this program like they are Jesus standing on the mount coming to save your behind!
These do good er organizations and government agencies need to stop all this feed and clothed people once a year crap!
They need to take all that good money and start to teach these people how to become self-reliant,and the reason they won't do that is because that would put their behinds out of business.
One organization that I use to give to up until a few weeks ago(Salvation Army) are the biggest gangsters in  this keep your broke and dumb game.
I found out that the people who are enrolled in their rehabilitation programs,get nothing for the labor and work that they do,which includes working in their rehab centers,driving trucks picking up donations and all the other work done in the organization.
Modern day slaves if you ask me,and all of this is done in the name of the lord!
Everyday should be Thanksgiving and Christmas all rolled up into one,we should be caring about Skippy and his boys down on the corner everyday.
We should be caring about the elderly and young who don't know no better everyday,we all need to stop pretending that we care!
Because if we really cared like we want people to think we care,there wouldn't be as many people in bad shape like they are.
So it's time to wake up and put your money where your mouth is,what would Jesus say if he was to knock on our doors for a honest reconciliation of your goodness?
I know my list would be incomplete and short.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Learning To Keep My Mouth Shut

Ok I know this will sound a little arrogant but I'm a very knowledgeable person on a lot subjects.
I  remember when I was a kid some of the people who I ran with use to say I had the gift of gab.
That gift of gab has been a blessing and a determent to me throughout my life.
Every new day brings a understanding that my gift of gab  is from God and should be treated with reverence.
One  shortcoming of mine is not listening to what others have to say with both ears.
Oh I  hear bits and pieces of what you are saying to me, once I think I got your premise my mouth and thoughts are off to the races,that's something that needs to be corrected.
I have had the privilege of having conversations  with people who are smarter and more knowledgeable then me, because of my desire to control and win and be seen as all that and a bag of chips ,I missed a lot of wisdom they had for me.
It dawn on me a few weeks ago when I encountered a older gentleman who started a conversation  on  spirituality,that it's not always necessary for me to add my two cents to every thing someone wants to part to me.
I don't remember the exact words today that the man said to me then,but I do remember they were profound at the moment and it was like God just came down and put some duck tape over my mouth  so  I could really hear what was being said,without me adding my commentary.
Oh I just love for people to know that I know just as much or more about the subject at hand or what is being discussed.
The who,what and where of that insecurity  that exist in me is something God and I are working on daily.
Often throughout the day I ask God for clarity and wisdom for the right words for  every  situations I may encounter.
I will share with you some of my thoughts on why the gift of gab can work for and against someone like me.
I see  others throughout the day engage in behavior or thinking that I know will lead them  down a road that is dark and unproductive for their lives.
Often I say nothing too many because I know they won't hear me for  many reasons.
But I do know deep down inside as a African-American Male in this country this society don't expect or want  clarity or wisdom coming out of me.
Honor and integerity coming from a African-American Male in this society is a oxymoron for many.
Maybe that's why I fight so hard to be heard and understood!
But there is a place for humbleness in my life and ,I'm going to  let it come into fruition despite the odds and other peoples expectations.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

It's Time For Charlie Rangel Too Say Goodnight!

Rep.Charlie Rangel has finally had reality thrown in his face after 40 years of representing Harlem
New York as it's Congressman,Mr.Rangel was stripped of all of his power and prestige earlier this week,and kicked to the curb and remanded back to the fields.
Rep.Rangel was accuse of thirteen counts of misconduct as a sitting member of Congress,some of the charges he was convicted of includes not paying taxes on property he owns,taking donations from people and corporations who had business before the powerful House,Ways and Means Committee that he chaired.
Now before some of you get on your soapbox and exclaim that all politicians do the same thing as what Rep.Rangel has been charged and convicted of,let me agree with you.
The difference is Mr.Rangel seems to have forgotten that he is a African-American and that the standards  that apply to White politicians in good standing don't apply to him.
Lets be real here folks racism and discrimination is alive and well in our country today,you can't make a law and change people hearts.
Mr.Rangel was so consumed with the power of his chairmanship,he actually thought he had assimilated into the American dream.
Instead of using that power to bring jobs and renewal to Harlem,Congressman Rangel was too busy playing a game in Washington that he truly didn't understand.
It's time for the people of Harlem to elect someone who's character and commitment to the community is above reproach.
Now that maybe a pipe dream on my part,but I think having leadership of that quality is a pipe dream I'll keep dreaming!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I'm So Sick And Tired Of Tyler And Folks Of His Ilk

I had no intentions of writing about Tyler Perry this morning but after reading a post from over at one of my favorite blogspots( the steam just welled up in me.
How much more money does this NEED-TO-GROW need to make off of the misery of other peoples lives?
Some of the posts and comments that I have read this past week really got me to thinking,some comments were written in a fashion  not wanting to come off as hating on Tyler Perry,others were done  in a diplomatic way as not to be offensive but to also express displeasure at his latest work.
I'm not going to hold back on this one folks,because I'm simply tired of Tyler Perry,Oprah and all of the other sell-outs pimping my community.
Both Tyler and Oprah have made enough money to do better by our community.
Don't misunderstand me and think I'm advocating  for hiding the dirt and filth of some of my fellow black men.
If Tyler and Oprah really wanted to get this monkey off the backs of the Women in our community,they should both put their dam money where their mouth is.
It's hard enough already as a black man to go out here in this world and try to make a dam honest living.
Without some "House Negro" stereotyping my life any further.
Sorry folks I won't watch another Tyler Perry or Oprah sponsored or financed production again until both of them clean up their acts!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Intergration and the downfall of the Black Community

Most people I talk with now days don't seem to get the connection of integration and the disappearance of the black community.
Black folks don't have communities anymore,we just have neighborhoods where we are push into and exist.
Some of us  don't own anything in our neighborhood except for a few folk who were lucky enough to get a mortgage,that is now under water.(Mortgage is more then the house is worth).
Before integration we had everything we needed to live and survive in this country,from school systems to supermarkets,at least in Baltimore where I grew up.
And from what I have learned about the Black Community of Pittsburgh before integration it was the envy of the Black communities in the mid-west.
So here's what I think has happen when legal segregation was ended in this country, it allowed Black folk to do some of the things White folks had always been able to do, and we went hog wild crazy!
We started to abandon the communities that served us for generations for the house in the suburbs or in the white neighborhoods.
We were offered a MasterCard and charge account at Macy's and  that completed the trip to madness ville
for us.
Many of us began to think that if White folks said it was alright to do or buy we agreed and brought it also because we believed we were on the road to the American dream.
We abandoned the neighborhoods and the schools and colleges that had served our community well for the University that had been off limited to us.
Today the HBCUs that have  given our community the leadership and professionals for  generations are not on the radar of most black youths coming out of high school.
I have talked to many young black kids here in Pittsburgh,along with their parents and always asked them where are they planning on going to college.
Most say Pitt or some other school here in state,none seem to have a clue about the existence of the Howard,or Fisk Universities.
I'm curious as to how others feel about some of the points I have made.
                                                                       Big mac

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Mis-education Of Our Children

The article below is a reprint from a local blog site I often read,called Pittsburgh's Future.
read and let me know your feeling on its contents.

Our Children Aren’t Ready for the Jobs of the Future

As the nation’s economy struggles to recover from the recession, how is our region doing in preparing children to compete for the jobs of the future?

Not very well, unfortunately. State test scores for 2010 show that over one-fourth (28%) of our 11th graders can’t read adequately and more than one-third (37%) aren’t proficient in mathematics. That means southwestern Pennsylvania schools are sending nearly 10,000 young people into the workforce every year without the minimum skills they need to compete for the jobs of the future.

It’s not just the high schools that are failing. The problem starts all the way back in elementary school. Nearly one-third (32%) of the fifth graders in the region can’t read at grade level, and nearly one-fourth (22%) aren’t proficient in math.

No business could survive if a third of its products were defective. Our region can’t expect to succeed, either, if 30% of our workforce lacks basic skills.

If you think this isn’t a problem in your local schools, think again. Only one high school in the entire region (Upper St. Clair) had 90% or more of its 11th graders proficient in both mathematics and reading, and only 11 of the region’s 319 elementary/middle schools had 90% or more of their 5th graders proficient in both mathematics and reading.

In fact, if we graded schools the way they grade kids, more than half of the elementary schools in the region would get a “D,” “E,” or “F,” and nearly three-fourths of the high schools would get a “D” or worse. (If you’d like to see your local schools’ grades, go to

Although news media tend to focus on the Pittsburgh Public Schools because of its size, fewer than 10% of the non-proficient students in the region are from the City of Pittsburgh. Most of the problem is in the other 123 school districts, and we won’t have a competitive workforce unless every school district improves.

The problem is getting worse, not better. Fewer than one-fourth of the elementary schools in the region improved student proficiency in both reading and math between 2009 and 2010, while one-third did worse on both reading and math proficiency.

Wait a minute, though – didn’t the state Department of Education say that most schools were making “adequate yearly progress” (AYP) according to federal standards? Yes, but AYP is not a standard that any school should be proud to achieve. A school can have over a third of its students (37%) failing in reading and nearly half (44%) failing in math and still be labeled as making “adequate yearly progress” under federal standards. (See for more information.)

As bad as the overall performance of our education system is, it’s far worse for African-American students. In 2010, over half (59%) of the African-American 11th graders couldn’t read adequately, and more than two-thirds (70%) weren’t proficient in math. Here again, this is not just a City of Pittsburgh problem – two-thirds of the non-proficient African American students are in high schools outside of the City of Pittsburgh.

Educators often claim that low proficiency scores should be excused in schools that have large numbers of economically disadvantaged students or disabled children. But in the majority of schools, 25% or more of the non-disadvantaged, non-disabled 5th graders can’t read adequately, and 20% or more aren’t proficient in math.

The problem isn’t lack of money. Some of the best performing schools in the region are in districts that spend below-average amounts. For example, in the Beaver Area School District, more than 90% of the fifth graders were proficient in both reading and mathematics (the best performance in the region), but the district spent only $6,260 per student in 2008-09, 16% below the regional average. In contrast, in the Quaker Valley School District, which spent $10,734 per student (the highest spending in the region and 44% higher than the regional average), only 78% of the 5th graders were proficient in reading.

It’s time to declare that “adequate yearly progress” isn’t adequate, and to demand that schools dramatically improve their students’ proficiency with the resources they already have. Although Presidents, Congressmen, Governors, and State Legislators all talk about improving education, it’s the more than 1,110 elected school board members in the region who actually control how nearly $5 billion in tax monies are spent to educate the 350,000 children in the region. Half of these school board members are up for election next year (2011). Typically, there is little competition for these positions, and most incumbents are re-elected. If you’re unhappy with your school district’s performance, now is the time to think about recruiting new candidates who are committed to dramatically improving performance. Information on how to run for a school board seat is available at