The Black Snob

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Black, For Your Displeasure: Blackbird, the Negro-Pandering Internet Browser

with 8 comments

Did you know there’s a new Web browser that’s exactly like Firefox, but now all “Negro-ed” up for our pleasure? Yes! Yes there is! And it’s called Blackbird! And it is DUMB. Amazingly dumb. Especially considering it is exactly like Firefox only it’s black-colored and has some black interest Web sites built into the bookmarks.

Let Adrian Covert of Gizmodo explain:

Wait, why do I need a special web browser? I mean, I get there’s been a long standing digital divide between black America and the technological world (controlled by The Man). But do I really need a repackaged piece of software whose name evokes the Jim Crow era?

Maybe 40A, Inc. (the creator of Blackbird) meant well with Blackbird, but it comes off as a lazy marketing ploy that plays on the emotions of people who are (admittedly) still marginalized when it comes to the online world. And playing along with the notion that blacks and whites (or anyone, for that matter) can’t enjoy any of the same things, is the same retarded line of antiquated, ethno-centric thinking that the internet is supposed to destroy. Blah.

Blah, indeed!

Nothing like some old fashioned, take an existing product, wrap it in Kente cloth and try to sell it to me scheme! Haven’t seen one of those in a while. Just dip the white Barbie in brown paint. No one will even know the difference!

But as long as we’re “colorizing” products that are colorless, here are some other product suggestions that could use some blackening up!

  • Feminine Hygiene products — Black women shouldn’t have to use products with such Westernized names. Fuck Summer’s Eve. Give me Africa’s Dawn! I want to smell like the MOTHERLAND every 28 days!

  • Fabric Softener — because Downy is a sell-out softener. Bounce, not as bad, but still kind of supporting the white patriarchy. What about Homey the Fabric Softener? It would have Damon Wayon’s face on it. The commercials he could beat the softness into your clothes with that dirty black sock from the old “In Living Color” comedy bit. I’d bet he’d do it for cheap too.

  • Baby food — Gerber almost never has a Negro baby on that bottle. Besides, there’s no turnip greens, pig’s feet or sweet potato flavored baby food. I don’t want my baby eating no mashed peas unless it’s mashed black-eye peas!

  • Condoms — Black! For her pleasure! Wait. Do “Rough Riders” count as “black” condoms?

  • Cable TV Packages — There are too many “white” channels on my basic cable. Where’s my special “black package” that comes with nothing but 10 different flavors of BET, VH-1, MTV, ESPN, TV One, CNN, TNT and HBO? And it should have a special version of TV Land that shows nothing but The Jeffersons, Good Times and Sanford & Son. And don’t forget my BET Starz where I can watch all 15 versions of Trois, including Trois Goes to the Inauguration: Welcome to The Freaknik of Hope, starring Tyrin Turner and Jill Marie Jones, featuring Wesley Snipes in his BET Starz original film debut as “Rob Johnston,” billionaire owner of the Black Broadcasting Network who gives Turner and Henson an “indecent proposal” after getting “four thumbs down” from the President-elect and Mrs. Obama.

  • Pain killers — for those racially tinged headaches you get when your co-workers won’t stop touching your hair!

  • Handguns — they could come with rapper’s endorsements. 50 Cent brand 9MMs. They could come in different colors to match your outfits. Special grips so they stay secure to your sweat pants if you’re a certain nightclub hopping, shoot-yourself-in-the-leg football star. They could come bedazzled in diamonds and rhinestones. More bling for your bang! They would practically sell themselves!

  • Alcohol — Wait … never mind. Ripple, anyone?


Written by blacksnob

December 12, 2008 at 5:33 pm

Dying For Dollars

with 16 comments

There are jobs that people take on, like becoming a police officer, firefighter or soldier, where you know there’s a good chance you could die while at work. You know this. Everyone knows this.

That’s why there are fund raisers for the families of those who have lost husbands and wives in shootings, fires fights or in Iraq and Afghanistan. They were doing dangerous work that saves and protects people. You could say you can never pay someone enough for that.

Then there are the jobs that aren’t worth dying over — for anyone. Your minimum wage, “not my problem” jobs. Horrible, sometimes hard, sometimes mundane jobs that happen to many people at some point in their lives. There are no benefits. The hours can be brutal. But you need the cash for yourself or your families, so you put up with it. And if someone ever put a gun in your face for the register you give them the cash because — seriously — you’re not dying for $7 an hour.

But the reality is many people working low paying service jobs do find themselves, unwillingly, in the line of fire and some do wind up dying for simply showing up at work that day. And it is in these tales of ordinary people who get killed working mundane jobs where you learn why and how corporations, and people serviced by them, get their reputations as being cold, soulless entities.

Take the case of Taneka Talley.

In March of 2006 she was stocking shelves at a Dollar Tree in Fairfield, Calif. when a man came into the store and shot and killed her. According to California law, businesses have to pay death benefits to the families of people who lose their lives while on the job, with an exception for employees killed by individuals they have a “personal” relationship with, i.e. spouses who kill their husbands or wives at work. But Dollar Tree contested paying Talley’s 11-year-old son death benefits because Talley is black and was killed by a white man who said he was looking to kill a black person that day.

He just happened to choose Talley.

In the eyes of the lawyers for Dollar Tree and their insurance company, that counted as a “personal relationship.” That act of extreme racism that lead to murder was tantamount to an abusive spouse executing their not-so-loved one. Now facing a boycott, a court case that they stand a good chance at losing and some extremely ugly press, Dollar Tree is offering to pay the full benefits.

Of course they are. It only took them two years.

In a statement Monday, Dollar Tree said it was acting voluntarily because “we feel this is the right thing to do.” But a lawyer for Talley’s mother and guardian of her 11-year-old son said the company was clearly responding to the public anger that followed news coverage of the case.

“I think they would like this to be done with,” attorney Moira Stagliano said. “The media helped settle this claim.”

Stagliano said she’s optimistic about resolving the case but isn’t there yet. “What they have offered is not quite the full value,” and negotiations are continuing, she said. (San Franscico Chronicle)

Then we have the more recent tragedy of Jdimytai Damour, the temporary worker trampled to death on “Black Friday” at a Long Island Wal-Mart.

The store was set to open early at 5 a.m. but not early enough for the shoppers who smashed the glass doors and ran right over Damour to get their discounted Nintendo Wiis and digital cameras.

His death was so profound for Wal-Mart that they had to close for a few hours, but somehow were able to put the grief aside and … those brave little soldiers … reopen the store when Damour’s body wasn’t even cold earlier that same afternoon. Who knows if the other employees working that day even got to grieve in those few hours the store was closed. Never mind the fact that some shoppers refused to stop shopping as Damour’s body remained on the floor. Even when the cops asked them to leave they were indignant. They’d been waiting outside all night, after all, and needed to buy their cheap crap. Who cares if someone died in their pursuit of manufactured bliss? He was just a temporary worker with family and friends who loved him and affectionately called him “Jimbo” for short.

Obviously not human.

Or at least not deserving of any dignity and humanity in death. Not when the game of death for dollars is being played in America. Four other shoppers, including a pregnant woman, were also injured in the melee.

Damour’s family is now suing Wal-Mart because … well, who can blame them? They obviously weren’t prepared to handle the 2,000 person mob that spelled Damour’s demise. Many believe he was placed at the door because he was so big and tall (Damour was 6-foot-5 and weighed 270 pounds), and that his death was a combination of “mob mentality,” poor crowd control and Wal-Mart’s low, low prices.

(Terry) Hemeyer, who also teaches marketing, public relations and advertising at the University of Texas at Austin, places the onus on retailers to prevent such accidents. He said that throughout history, consumers have been attacking each other to get sale items that are in short supply, even when people are lined up waiting for the doors to open.

Hemeyer, who made a point not to attack Wal-Mart, said if store managers don’t understand the “herd mentality,” then they are not doing their jobs.

“In other words,” he said, “if you do something that the doors open at 8 and that’s when the sales start and it’s a limited supply, I think that’s a formula for a problem because everybody has to be there at the same time.” (Houston Chronicle)

Pictures of Damour, a 34-year-old Jamaican, were rarely seen as this story was reported on in the press. Even online it’s hard to find an article about him. Most stories focus on Wal-Mart or whether our society is decaying because people are dying for cheap Chinese-made goods at big box retailers. But people have always died working retail. It doesn’t happen often, but ask anyone who works at a gas station, liquor store, late night diner or fast food restaurant or 7-11 how they feel about their safety and you’ll know that you don’t have to be a police officer to face death at work.

I just hope Wal-Mart, which doesn’t have the best record on this, does the right thing in Damour’s case. If not out of the goodness of the heart I know Wal-Mart doesn’t have, out of the the good PR they would get in a time where Wal-Mart is blamed for pretty much ever evil in our society. It’s true he was a temporary worker, but he died for their dollars.

Let them know why they should care.

To contact Dollar Tree, click here.
To contact Wal-Mart, click here.

Written by blacksnob

December 11, 2008 at 5:55 pm

Blog Asks "If Michelle Was White." More Like Could Harold Ford Jr. Get Elected Dogcatcher In Blackland?

with 137 comments

The Chicago Tribune’s Exploring Race blog has posed the question “What if Michelle Obama was white?” This “well, duh” question has already been explored by most black blogs and the universal answer is that he wouldn’t have even been a senator, let alone president.

But they asked anyway, you know, for poops and giggles I suppose and they will likely get some passionate responses (and passionate responses to those responses), but the reality is despite all of our progress in the better acceptance of interracial couples, it’s hard to get elected to office when you are a black person married a white person.

Case in point: Former Tennessee Rep. Harold Ford, Jr. who I wrote about earlier this year. A member of our quasi “black aristocracy” (as in he comes from a political family of influence and means), Ford reached prominence on his family name and good looks, then ran a campaign for the senate where he lost by a narrow margin. Some say he was hurt by his religious pandering. Others say he was hurt by a Republican backed commercial that portrayed Ford as a white woman chasing, playboy bunny hound.

Which was kind of, sort of true, but mean/racist because what did that have to do with being a senator? Then Ford married Emily Threlkeld and ALL. KINDS. OF. HELL. broke loose in “Blackland.”

Comments from Big Head DC’s blog:

“I think he has not given his political career any thought. If he runs for any office again, surely he won’t win. You don’t carry the black vote and marry white. I will never vote for him again.”– Pat, Memphis

“The reason so many blacks are upset is because Harold Ford Jr. has always courted the black vote and black people except when it comes to his marriage. I am sure when he is running for office and goes into the black neighborhoods he will not take his white wife along. This also gives black women the assumption that as black men progress their appreciation of black women decreases. It also gives the impression that they are saying “I have made it and here is my trophy”!!!!!” — Connie, Memphis

“The only use Harold had for blacks period in the 9th Congressional Dist was votes. After 10 years of his representation we ALL need Anus Reconstruction Surgery. He did a number on us. This young man took Self Serving Politician to a new level.” — Anonymous

And there is this long, over-the-top, angry note which pretty much sums up how well this all went over with some blacks. It essentially accuses Ford of treason, then slaps him around for a perceived slight against Martin Luther King, Jr.:

This couple had the nerve to have their engagement party on MLK’s 40th anniversary marking his assassination in Memphis. This was very disrespectful to the dead leader and to the community. It was insensitive and disrespectful to have an engagement party on this day at all. However adding injury to insult, MLK and his black wife did not make the sacrifices that they did so that well off black men can marry white women as trophies. (Seventy) of black families are being raised by single mothers, which is leading to the deterioration of the country as a whole. Children who are abandoned by their fathers are becoming negative statistics and impacting the entire society. Many black men do not value black women enough to marry them and raise their families, partially due to the after effects of slavery and the medias propaganda that white women are more desirable and should be valued. As a politician this man is supposed to be a role model, by this action he is setting the example that well off black men should abandon their responsibilities to their communities and marry trophy white women who should be valued more than black women. His fiancée is an unattractive woman, with a seemingly mediocre background and would probably never have married an attractive well off man of her own race. So one would get the impression that this is not love, but that he is showcasing a white “trophy” on MLK’s anniversary, which is the height of disrespect and in my opinion shows that he is brainwashed, confused and needs deprogramming. Many people view this marriage as political suicide.

You don’t have to be an sociologist or a psychologist to figure out that despite our progress there are a still a lot insecurities in the black community and nothing brings them out more passionately than that shunted feeling black people (especially black women) get when black men who “make it” marry outside their race.

When you’re used to getting kicked around it’s hard not to take it personal. Even I get that feeling from time-to-time and I like to considering myself pretty egalitarian about the issue. I’m almost two people about it with the logical side of my brain saying people should be judged by their character and can marry whomever they want because their marriage is about them, not me and I wouldn’t want someone nosing in my personal business, casting judgment on my intentions.

But my gut wants to strangle Elin Woods.

It’s insane because Tiger Woods is not my personal property, so what do I care? Yet I do. This is because I grew up watching black women get unceremoniously dumped all the time. Or seeing them not in the running at all as viable mates. I can’t help it. I take it personal, but I temper my response, my logic reminding me that this is NOT about me.

Plus, being a trophy wife isn’t exactly an ideal thing, considering a lot of it is hedged on your appearance, but it’s the wanting to be desired that gets us. Everyone wants to be desired. Everyone. Especially black women. Hence why being married to a white person, particularly a black man married to a white woman, is a death knell to getting the black vote.

Black women and older black voters make up the bulk of the black vote and they are the ones most likely to not approve due to that giant “I’ve been personally affronted!” feeling they would have every time they’d see someone like Emily Threlkeld’s smiling face. And any smart person running against someone like Ford would use this rift against him, never quite saying he was a sell-out, but would repeatedly question his loyalty to his constituents, arguing that Ford would only serve his own interests, not that of the community.

It just wouldn’t work. All things aren’t that equal in Blackland yet.

Not that white people are 100 percent comfortable with this notion either. There’s a reason why a lot of politicians are as personally boring as possible (straight, married to someone who is not “exotic” in any kind of way, Christian, usually with some kids), because that’s what voters what. There are exceptions to the rule (Jeb Bush is married to a Latina — but then he was governor of Florida, so that probably helped him), but for most politicians the rule of the day is to be married, preferrably within their own ethnicity and religious sect, be Christian, be heterosexual and not to have any kink in the closest that could come out to haunt them.

(Like paid hookers or interns or Euro sex clubs or nasty text messages or cocaine or secret half-black, out-of-wedlock children or male pages or hook-up trolling in airport men’s restrooms.)

None of that stuff. Can’t have it. Americans are both notorious freaks and prudes all at the same time, hence all the politicians have to at least be able to appear as close to June and Ward Cleaver as possible. People want the fantasy. They will vote for the fantasy.

For many in Blackland, a white woman is simply not part of that fantasy.

Written by blacksnob

December 8, 2008 at 4:25 pm

When Usher Impersonators Hawk McNuggets

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I can’t decide if he’s parodying anyone specific or simply doing a parody of a parody of a parody about fast food and R&B music videos. McDonald’s tends to make amazingly dumb commercials when they are geared towards African Americans (remember “Calvin” getting a job at McDonald’s, as later parodied by Dave Chappelle? Or a then unknown Tyrese Gibson singing on a bus? Oops. That was Coca Cola. Or that horrible little kid with the boombox in the “Cha Cha Slide” commercial about the apple dippers? Or anything involving rapping?) This commercial is amazingly cornball, but it’s in that catagory of “corny things I love” right now. It didn’t make me want to buy any nuggets, but I did find the words “McNugget lovin'” have officially entered my lexicon. Way to go, Madison Avenue!

Written by blacksnob

November 26, 2008 at 12:00 pm

Can You Guess What the Two Most Popular Baby Names In Kenya Will Be?

with 15 comments

Reuters will give you a little hint — it rhymes with “rock” and “Danielle”:

KISUMU, Kenya, Nov 5 (Reuters Life!) – The U.S. election has triggered a new generation of mini Barack Obamas with parents in Kenya and the United States naming their newborns after the new president-elect.

At the Nyanza Provincial General Hospital in Kisumu, western Kenya, Barack’s ancestral homeland, several mothers were naming their babies after the U.S.’s first African-American president.

The mothers told Reuters Television that they wanted their babies to grow up to have thesame successful traits as Obama.

“I would like that by the time he is in his 40s he becomes the president of this country,” said Nancy Otieno proudly of her newborn son Barack Obama.

Another new mother, Millicent Akoth, named her new daughter Michelle Obama after the soon-to-be first lady.

Obama has been elevated to rock star status in the east African nation which has named a beer, “Senator,” after him and where “Obama: The Musical” opened last weekend.

Obama, who was born in Hawaii to a white mother from Kansas and a Kenyan father, is idolised by many Africans in the way the Irish revered U.S. President John F. Kennedy in the 1960s — as one of their own who succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.

Sweet. Totally sweet. And I wouldn’t be shocked if a few blacks here in the Americas do the same. The West Indies. All parts of Africa. Blacks sprinkled throughout Europe and the UK. Oh yeah. Some babies are getting named Barack and Michelle. And you know the naming of people and things after the first black First Family, First Couple, First Lady and President isn’t going to stop here. My future babies are totally going to Barack Obama High School someday. Word, BOHS is going to have the coolest debate team ever.

Written by blacksnob

November 6, 2008 at 2:00 pm

David Alan Grier and DL Hughley Have New Comedy/News Shows, Should We Be Frightened?

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I guess it would be too much to ask Dave Chappelle to come back.

This doesn’t mean that I don’t think comedians David Alan Grier and DL Hughley deserve their own shows …

What am I saying? They’re the last two black comics who should have their own shows. Katt Williams should have his own show before these two and I’m not even a fan, so … seriously cable networks — Grier and Hughley?

It’s not that I didn’t think they could pull off a good show. I know they can’t pull off a good show. I watched most of Grier’s Chocolate News and Hughley’s DL Hughley Breaks the News through my fingers.

Both have the ability to be funny in their moments, but I don’t think Grier’s been funny since he stop directly working with someone for “Wayans” as a last name. And Hughley, to me, has never been funny. I’ve always found his comedy mean spirited, petty and unimaginative. (But he was really nice that one time I interviewed him for work!) But Comedy Central and CNN did not ask me which black comics would be good at a politically-based comedy show.

(Aisha Tyler, anyone? She’s smart and funny. Anyone! Did they even bother calling her? Chris Rock? Steve Harvey? Wanda Sykes? — Non sequitor: God, I’d LOVE to watch Wanda Sykes do a political comedy show with Aisha Tyler. They could invite Monique and do an all black girl parody of The View. Jasmine Guy could play the Barbara Walters character! Wait … no one steal my show idea! I have to make some phone calls!Marlon Wayans could do a show. Hell, even Sinbad or Arsenio Hall would have been good and both those guys need a second bite at the apple.)

But nope, no one asked me. So this is what we have:

A recent skit from Grier’s “Chocolate News” on “Thugs Against High Gas Prices.”

A clip of DL Hughley talking to Freddie Mac, not the mortgage giant, but “Ashy Larry” as Freddie the Mac Daddy of Federal Loan Financing.

Both shows are “edgy,” and by edgy I mean profane because, really, that’s appears to be the only kind of edgy that matters. Grier, while not exactly Eddie Murphy, manages to pull off playing a multitude of characters, but seeing him still makes me think of In Living Color and thinking of In Living Color only makes me wonder if Chocolate News would be more palatable to me if it was Damon and Keenan running the show again? Wouldn’t it be better to see seven black performers with a job rather than two? Or to just see all those Wayanses hire themselves to put on a show again? Yeah, “Little Man” was an embarrassment, but I say, c’mon, TV, give them another chance! They can be good again!

As for Hughley’s show I was amazed by the “shut your mouth bitches” line from Ashy Larry, if only because I’m watching CNN. It’s one thing to be wild and raunchy on Comedy Central, home of everything raunchy in comedy, they have no morals. They show Sarah Silverman with a potty mouth and a bed-wetting problem, South Park and that gross Kenny Versus Spenny thing that I hope to dear God was canceled.

Seeing Grier play a transsexual whose boob keeps popping out is actually at home in that environment. But Hughley is his own island on a network that is primarily about straight news. And it is surreal and painful to watch actual reporters interact with Hughley as opposed to joke reporters like the ones on Chocolate News and The Daily Show. Real reporters are not funny and I image the ones who showed up for Hughley’s premiere episode were wondering why CNN was wasting their news gathering time? You work hard, you pound the pavement, you pester sources and you beg your producer for camera time and this is what they give you?

Hughley seems out of place on the network, even if he did get a newsworthy nugget out of yet another defecting Republican, this time former Bush press secretary Scott McClellan who said last week that he is voting for Barack Obama on Hughley’s show. I hate to say this, but … Glen Beck’s show made more sense. Now, I don’t like Glen Beck and Beck has run off to FOX News, leaving his old gig at CNN Headline News, but Beck was/is supposed to be funny and did a political/news-of-the-day interview show that didn’t make me want to drink Drano. It would have made more sense for CNN to find someone not necessarily like Beck, but someone with his basic skills set, like Whoopi Goldberg, Dennis Miller or Lewis Black, heck, Eddie Murphy might do it if you ask nice enough, but someone who has the ability to be funny and can also pull off a decent interview.

Naturally, I wasn’t the only person “amazed” by Hughley’s show. Dr. Boyce Watkins (and many other critics, primarily black) are pretty much ready to grab the pitchforks and torches and send DL back to the comedy plantation from wince he came.

In the following clip, Watkins shouts out every black comedian as being cool-to-great with the exception of Hughley who he says he’s never been impressed by.

“You don’t bring a gun to a baby shower. You don’t put a liquor sign in a church,” Watkins gripes, before getting into the flip side of it, that CNN has had many black commentators and journalists, yet the first African American to get their own show on CNN is DL, a comedian. Watkins name drops Roland Martin, mentioning that he’s been on a regular on CNN for a while yet has no show.

Um … yeah. I noticed that too.

Here’s Watkins’ rant in full where he declares DL America’s latest “nappy headed ho” in reference to statements DL made during the infamous Don Imus/Rutgers Women’s Basketball team scandal. (Fast-forward to 1:52 minutes in to skip Watkins rambling about his recent trips around the country.)

Officially, as a lover of the First Amendment and a believer in our often messed up free market economy, I am all for Grier and Hughley getting the same opportunities to humiliate themselves and other black people on television just as countless individuals have done before. Their shows might get better. It might pave the way to Aisha Tyler eventually having her own show, but I’m probably not going to make the point to pencil in Hughley and Chocolate News as must-see-TV unless something revolutionary happens in the writing of the shows. These shows were not made for me.

Which takes me to Watkins’ other concern about DL — that this show, much like CNN’s “Black In America” and DL’s statements about Don Imus, aren’t for or about black people — that this is humor insulting black Americans to delight a non-black audience. Is Watkins right? Whereas I, the women at What About Our Daughters and Watkins saw something of concern, David Zurawik, a critic with The Baltimore Sun, thought the premiere showed promise.

(I)t looks like CNN could have a winner in its new comedy show, D.L. Hughley Breaks the News. And more important, Saturday night television and its audience could be enriched by Hughley’s engaging and non-conventional take on American life — if the cable channel gives the production time to mature and find its voice.

Is this a case of black Snobs like myself and Watkins being too hard on a pair of successful black comedians or is this yet another case of great for the performer, bad for all of blackness played out in front of a live studio audience yet again?

Written by blacksnob

November 3, 2008 at 3:00 pm

Fear and Self-Loathing In Black America

with 31 comments

Protesters against US Democratic presidential candidate Illinois Senator Barack Obama hold placards while disrupting a, “Women’s Rally For The Change We Need” in Coral Gables, Florida. (AFP/Emmanuel Dunand)

My mama always says that all black people need therapy and in some respects she’s right.

She’s right in respect of the massive inferiority complex black Americans deal with from the day they are born, bombarded with images to reinforce the “black bad, white good” paradigm. From intellect to beauty to passion to charm to grace to femininity to strength to power we are portrayed as the losers, the lessers, the lamented, unable to shake the “beasts of burden” status we were branded with when we got off the boat in shackles. The status that has clung to us like a funeral pall, darkening our view of everything — even each other — often bubbling and burning to self-hatred.

That self-hatred is buried so deep that even if your parents try to fight it by educating you about your history, by telling you that you are loved and beautiful, by telling you that opportunities are limitless if you make the effort and reach high, even if they tell you that we are not the losers, the lessers or the lamented, that we are the triumphant, the survivors, the strivers, the heroes of our own lives, there is still a seed of doubt, planted years ago when as a child you wished for a smaller nose, lighter skin, blue eyes, straighter hair and thinner lips.

Where you said you wanted to be a little less black when you really didn’t want to be black at all.

That kernel of doubt that made you pine for what you could never have and never be and if not fought against diligently this seed could grow into an all consuming kudzu of hate, suffocating you from the light, obscuring your view, leaving you with a mental illness where you look at the world, the racism, the negativity from the media and even other black people as a cancer.

Some channel this self-hatred into an abandonment of blackness. For others it becomes a paralyzing identification of permanent victimhood. They only know how to operate against racist phantoms, real and imagined, but are frozen when dealing with internal issues, reluctant to “put a brother down” even if they’re in the wrong.

For the worst it becomes an all consuming fire destroying out what they think is love. Incineration out of what they believe is the salvation of the race — masochistically massacring the sinful, damaged black body with a Baptism by matches and kerosene.

This is the story of a man who believes in the theory that we must be torn down to be built up.

On Friday last week Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama gave a speech at rally in Coral Gables, Fla. and he was interrupted by 20 black men shouting “Barack go home,” carrying signs reading that “Blacks Against Obama,” “Jessie [sic] Jackson hates Obama for Federal Child Support Act,” and “Obama is endorsed by KKK.”

These men were part of a group, Blacks Against Obama, lead by “Mike the Black Man” aka Maurice Woodside, Maurice Symonette, and Mikael Israel, schooled by former “cult” leader Yahweh ben Yahweh, nee Hulon Mitchell Jr.

Yahweh founded the Nation of Yahweh in 1979. The group “emphasized that God and all the prophets of the Holy Bible were black and blacks would gain the knowledge of their true history through him. He also emphasized whites and particularly Jews as infidels and oppressors.”

To become part of the inner circle of the group members had to kill a white person and bring Yahweh a body part (an ear or nose or finger) as proof. Several white vagrants were murdered. In 1992, Several members of Yahweh’s church were prosecuted for murder and Yahweh himself was prosecuted under RICO charges and served 11 years of an 18 year sentence, then died in 2007 of prostate cancer.

Mike the Black Man was charged in this case, but acquitted.

Unperturbed by what happened with the Nation of Yahweh, Michael lives on with the new goal of ushering black people from “Demon-crats” and launching into anti-abortion tirades, arguing that that the DNC is a pawn of the Ku Klux Klan.

“(John) McCain’s the closest thing to God, so I’m going to go ahead an encourage my people to vote for that guy,” Michael told reporters after the protest at the rally, according to a reporter from the Miami New Times.

The reporter, Gus Garcia-Roberts, provided some background on Michael.

In our 2002 story on the tempestuous and racially-charged history of the little village of El Portal, we ran into Michael, who at that time had commandeered an illegal but popular radio show and was lambasting the town’s Democratic black mayor, Daisy Black, as a “devil” and encouraging that she be “set on fire”.

It all stemmed, it seemed, from Michael’s obsessive and Old Testament-fueled quest to convert blacks to Republicanism. He would refer to democrats as “Demon-crats” and “slave masters”, and, yes, accuse them all of being in bed with the KKK.

Blacks Against Obama appeared to oppose the candidate for his Democratic Party membership and his Liberal stances on reproductive rights, including being for the right of women to have an abortion. Michael flung out the unfounded statistic that 35 percent of all abortions are of black males.

Image from

As the protesters ranted and the Obama supporters in the crowd railed back I cringed. As some long-time readers my know, I don’t always agree with black Republicans but I do agree that alternative views are needed and should be studied and applied in our community. But I winced for every rational black conservative who may be anti-abortion but are loathe to have this self-destructive malcontent braying in front of TV cameras, ripping nonsensical rants for FOX News.

He was a sideshow, a freak who delighted the white gawkers thinking they were getting some inside view into the secret life of black Americans.

I couldn’t see anyone wanted to be associated with that, to be included with that vitriol, burned by that oxygen devouring funeral pyre.

On Michael’s Web site, Michael Defeats Satan, he gives Obama the mark of the beast, listing reasons why he is the devil and shouldn’t be supported, including his support for gay marriage (Obama supports gay rights, but is actually against gay marriage, preferring civil unions.) and abortion rights. (He was also touched by the “devil” that is Oprah Winfrey, another target of his damnation.)

On his site, he writes: “Please visit for information on Oprah and Obamas destruction of the black race and the rest of the world.”

Michael also goes into screeds over women, accusing 33 percent of black woman of being worshipers of the “Devil Lilith” and expressing outrage over women being given the right to vote, saying women outnumber men 40-to-1.

This sounds all the more insane given that as of 2002 women make up a 51 percent majority in the United States. The ratio is a bit larger for blacks with black women making up 55 percent of the black population.

He also has numerous videos and radio commentaries about the issues he rails against.

This is where the hatred leads to lunacy. Any rational argument dissipates in haze of judgment and fevered revelations. How can you take him seriously? How can you take his 20 man protest seriously?

The truth is, no one did.

The print media only did some cursory coverage and cable news was more interested in playing the drama of the event rather than explaining it. Blacks Against Obama was just another blip the cycle, a star in the dope show. Look at the picaninny carnival booing Obama. Gaze at the YouTubed spectacle drowned out by Obama’s devoted supporters, black and white. There was nothing deeper to divulge here, yet I wanted to know who and why. I wanted to know if there was something tangible, such as an earlier protest from a group wanting Obama to address more “black” issues. But instead I discovered what Gil Scott-Heron sang years ago.

Home is where the hatred is.

The hatred lives inside of us. It lives in Pastor James David Manning who went on a rant this month about perceived “attacks” on Republican vice presidential candidate Gov. Sarah Palin’s pregnant daughter Bristol. Rather than simply call for family members to be off limits, Manning went into a vile diatribe about Obama’s white mother being “trash” because Manning’s “Mama” taught him that any white woman who was willing to go off with a black man in the 1950s and 60s was trash, the worst of the worst.

The whole rant is offensive on multiple levels, dripping with hatred for Obama, Obama’s Kenyan father, gays, the perceived sexual aberrations of black men and white women and media commentators with a heavy focus on the most prurient side of human sexuality. He was obsessed to a near J. Edgar Hoover level of perversion, projecting his own lustful heart onto others he hated.

While most of us won’t fester and run like a blister, the roots of self-hatred are there. There is the voice in our heads telling us we are everything “they” think we are. So with the devotion of a true believer we adopt behavior and mannerisms meant to tear each other down in an effort to rebuild someone else in your place.

But when rebuilding out of hate, Lord only knows what monsters could be unleashed, what perversions of blackness could become portents of misfortune and pain.

*Thanks to reader Deidre for the tip and links!