Thursday, April 28, 2011

Royalty is not Cultured

Culture is the character of a people’s identity, the good and the bad. Culture at its root –at its alpha- is unblemished…but over time it can be seasoned with moral corruption, irresponsibility and superciliousness. In most cases the true essence of a people’s culture is beyond reproach. That’s if it is not tainted with brutal imperialism and outlandish liberalism.

Culture is solidified…permanently footprint-ed in the universe leaving humans with brilliance, integrity, sophistication, and unfortunately with inflated egos and even horrible memories of human hatred i.e. Pacific Islanders were slaughtered by Christian missionaries. Therefore, culture should never drift, die or create a new identity. Culture will remain…with and without its orchestrators when this temporary existence that we refer to as Life implodes.

Early this week an associate and I were discussing The Royal Wedding. He let me know with high intensity that I was being shallow when I stated,

“I am not interested in The Royal Wedding. I can care less about British royalty. And, no, I do not plan to watch any footage pertaining to the wedding – and I definitely will not be up at 4AM viewing the ceremony. I don’t identify with that is NOT culture; I meant to type: that way of life.”

Should have kept that to myself considering this associate of mine got offended. I was stunned by his immediate defense of an event that will be a brief moment in history’s evolvement. He was bent out of shape like someone who is British would be…possibly. He was stuck in that moment of the conversation while I was onto talk about the ongoing saga in Ivory Coast. He later abruptly ended the call with “I can’t hear you. You are breaking up.” – but before he got off the phone he asked,

“Muata, what is THAT you’re listening to?”

He made such an ass of himself when he let his mind form that question. I with PRIDE provided some education:

“That? That is music…PAUSE… It is Afro Zouk. Its origins are based in Guadeloupe, Haiti, Martinique, St. Lucia, and Dominica.”

Surprisingly, he was clueless. I found that to be perplexing considering he coins himself as ‘cultured’. But yet, he blasted me on my lack of interest in British culture and nonchalant attitude toward The Royal Wedding. Never acknowledging that the United States’ primary and secondary school educational system requires its citizens to study and memorize British historical timelines and British monarchs. So…I am well aware of Britain’s influence. And, I am also well aware of Britain’s role in the Transatlantic Slave Trade…

In my lifetime, I have been regrettably amazed by the unrelenting interest African Americans have in meaningless Western holidays (most recently the celebration of a man dying then coming back to life), the embarrassing level of ignorance regarding African, Caribbean, and African American history (Eugenia Charles was one of the first women to lead a country), and the blatant denial of any culture that’s connected to Afrocentric heritage (some black parents will not allow their children to watch Roots).
African Americans will celebrate Cinco de Mayo – but refuse to acknowledge the Ghanaian Independence Day. We will drink green beer in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day – but refuse to sample Zambezi (beer from Zimbabwe). We will with pride pledge a blind allegiance to the United States, but refuse to identify with the Negro National Anthem. We will claim Olive Garden’s Italian food is our favorite, but refuse to sample Kuku Wa Kupaka (Tanzanian Chicken in Coconut Sauce). We will freely call each nigger, but refuse to greet each other with Hotep (a positive salutation). We will spend countless hours viewing with anticipation the media hype of The Royal Wedding, but refuse to spend a little time researching African Royalty and the significance of it.

So, I will not watch any form of Prince William and Miss Catherine Middleton’s nuptials. Nothing against them. They are a beautiful looking couple. I, on the other hand, in rebellious protest, have plans to rise at 4AM Friday morning - and honor myself and my culture by working out like John Ekiru Kelai, Kenyan marathon runner and meditating on the music of Peter Tosh,

You should join me in rebellion and in allegiance to where culture in many ways –despite the forced and permitted rape -is still on a grassroots level authentic, wholesome, humble, spiritual, and in NO need of fanfare:
Enjoy the sounds of Oliver N’Goma (Afro Zouk artist). It was his music that was playing in the background when my ‘cultured’ associate was reminding me that he and several other black people of American decent; and Caucasians are bought, sold, and are significantly void of culture.

The Black Rebel

Friday, April 1, 2011

Connecting Discipline to Jamie Hood

Everyone has their opinion on how one should discipline children. It does not matter the age of the child an opinion is always in the forefront. Unfortunately and I guess fortunately, random people are more than willing to offer up a suggestion on methods of disciplining children. With frustration I have to admit that the unfortunate is when people issue the recommendations at the most inopportune times. Like at the grocery store while your two and half year old is reaching for and grabbing everything in sight.

“You need to beat him.”

Really? Did she say that to me? What…? I must be hearing things. No…I heard a woman from my mother’s generation correctly. Evidently, I was not addressing the curiosity of my two year old adequately.

Perhaps the fortunate element of the randomness of people’s opinion is a sign of the African Village Concept at work: Help one teach one. Without success and coupled with minor rudeness, that was the woman in the grocery store effort. The seasoned ‘villager’ was doing her part at one of my favorite places to sample various fruits, breads, cheese, and wines - without buying anything - Whole Foods. The perfect setting for village life outside of an African or Caribbean open market.

Parenting is an art, and I have concluded that many parents including myself were/are certainly not artist. We are duplications of our non-artistic parents. Obviously, parents of my mother’s generation may have unintentionally neglected to master parenting. Or, maybe they did and we, The Know it All Generation, failed to retain the morals and values our moms and pops instilled. Surprisingly, we -Generation X - continue to boastfully say, “My momma did it this way. It worked for me.” Usually, the ‘it’ is synonymous with a BEATING. Back in the 70’s and 80’s BEATINGS were extremely popular – and acceptable to initiate by strangers e.g. principals, teachers, and the drunk neighbor.

While watching a dynamic display of amateur athletic prowess and a good ole fashion ass whipping last Friday night the local television news station decided to split my tube television screen. One small box was a March Madness Sweet 16 match-up. A terrific display of well coached discipline! And, the other slightly larger box was live footage of a DMX-looking man with a Ladies Love Me six pack; accompanied by non-distraught and well-disciplined for the moment hostages walking out what looked to be a housing authority apartment with their hands in the air. 

The man every police officer in northern Georgia was looking for finally surrendered. Jamie Hood decided to do what was best before he was hunted down successfully. That hope for preferable success - in my and certainly in the minds of the cops was Hebrew bible retaliation, a life for a life. Consequently, it would not have bothered me in the slightest if Hood was shot and killed by a SWAT sharpshooter. I probably would have applauded the deputized overseers for using Hood’s center mass as target practice!

Later that night after watching ten disciplined and profitable black men try to put a ball in a hoop, I watched the Jamie Hood surrender footage again and again, then I asked myself: ‘I wonder if Jamie’s toothless mother BEAT him when he was a rambunctious two year old?’ The comment issued to me in Whole Foods came back to me too: “You need to beat him.” Then it hit me like a ton of bricks…AGAIN!

Beatings, whippings, whatever we call them these days are not a deterrent. Beatings utilized as discipline will not prevent a creation like Jamie Hood. I am willing to wager my unemployment direct deposit that Jamie’s mother whipped his behind when he was a child. I am confident in that because MOST black people I know acknowledge that they BEAT their children. It is like a badge of honor. Ask a random black person if they beat their children – and watch the zeal in their eyes. I have seen this prideful intensity - as if their justification for BEATING their children is to prevent negative behavior. As if BEATINGS have been a successful remedy for the prevalent black male sociopathic behavior.

I can assure with an accurate zealous demeanor:

BEATING black boys with the hopes of keeping them from turning out like Jamie Hood is not working. Prisons are full of black men who got BEATINGS.

“I beat my children so they won’t end up in prison.” How I have with repugnance heard that recycled manure!

It is obvious to me that those who beat their children –and I don’t care if you are white, black, or brown- may not have the right approach when it comes to discipline. I have singled out black people in this written expression because it is also apparent to me that black people who beat their children may want to reevaluate their slave-learned brutality disguised as discipline.

The Black Rebel will not BEAT his inquisitive two and half year old. He plans to utilize the ridiculed by most black people European approach: Time outs - and institute a useful tactic that anyone can learn from African folklore: Corrective communication seasoned with cultural empowerment. By the way, black people always pose as experts on

 – but yet black people lead the way in committing violent crimes against each other…

The Black Rebel