Thursday, April 29, 2010

Are Blacks Genetically Dumber?

I don't know where to begin with this. For those who haven't heard about the controversy with the 3L law student at Harvard, click here: Harvard Law School 3L Racist Email. When I first read about this story, I was not the least bit surprise or blown away by the fact that a white female law student at Harvard would believe this to be true. I was somewhat amazed by her rationale: "Irish people tend to have red hair" "African Americans people tend to have dark skin" (really?!?! Most African Americans I know aren't hardly "dark" skinned). Her logic leads to the postulate that "African Americans tend to be not as intelligent as Caucasians".  WORD?

I don't have the time to debate her "logic" and it's pointless. She has to be at least 25 years that the opinions that she has formed are pretty much set in stone. It's hard to teach an old dog new tricks. And by old dog, I mean racist bitch. But that's neither her nor there.

My problem with this line of thought is that Africa is the birth place to civilization and black people were robbed of their heritage. A heritage that had a written language, mathematics, art, and architecture. Africans/Blacks knew about irrigation and farming and were hard workers. That's why our people were stolen (sometimes sold) by slave owners. America wouldn't be shit without Africans. And if you take a good look around to ancient civilizations, you will see that it's the "minorities" that had the greater understand of the world and how it worked. Not the Greeks, Romans, whoever in Europe who came to Africa and Asia and STOLE all this information and passed it off as their own. Look at the architecture in Africa, Asia, and South America. The most perfect buildings in the world are the Great Pyramids. And I don't mean they are just architecturally beautifully, but their position and size give praise to Astrology/Astronomy and Mathematics. Black people built the pyramids with NOTHING yet these smart White people can't replicate them with all the technology they have "invented" over the years. Yet black people are "genetically dumber."

Our people did that.

I don't care what anyone people, you aren't dumb. A bit misguided, a bit broken down, A LOT destroyed from years of oppression. But far from stupid. Black people are the most innovative and one of the most strongest group of people to even continue in this struggle we call life after our community, our traditions, and our livelihood has been ruined. I don't like to think that one group is "better" than another group. People will always fall along the spectrum...there are some smart ones, some dumb ones, and some in the middle. But to think a whole group of people is beneath you is disgusting. And this one day will be a feature lawyer. Let's just hope she's not in Criminal Law.

Well, there is some hope for us genetically dumber black people. And that's Katie Washington. The first black Valedictorian of Notre Dame. 

But then again, maybe she's mixed and some of that smart white knowledge rubbed off on her.

NOTE: this is another thrown together blog. It's probably real incoherent but I don't care. I am in the midst of helping my boss with a progress report so please "excuse me if I go to fast."

Edit: So the culprit of this email has been identified. Her name is Stephanie Grace (*hangs head in shame. Not a Stephanie*) and she apparently has a degree in Sociology!  Ironically we were just talking about this at my job the other day, how some people (key word: SOME) feel the need to help the "poor black people" because we have lost our way. Read about her here: Meet Stephanie Grace

Friday, April 23, 2010

Haiku'ing: Do Better Movement

You talk, I listen
Your words inspire me to think more,
Be More, and Do Better

The Do Better movement is still in effect. Every day, all day. I've been quite busy with life. I know you don't feel abandoned tho, I make it my mission to post something at least once a week. Life is quite interesting right now...and things I thought I knew, I found out I didn't know at all. (Quite cryptic...don't you think...). I am quite impressed with all of my friends and associates. I see this wonderful shift going on. People are becoming more aware of themselves, their surroundings, and others. I am in love with everyone right now. It could just be that we are getting older and wiser. Or maybe I have finally picked the RIGHT people to associate with? Perhaps. Or maybe it's the cosmos and the Mayan Calendar coming to a close in a little over two years. They say it's the end of an age. Maybe the next "age" will be a more humbling one of understanding and communication.
No matter the case...everyone I have included in my life is here for a reason.

It's Friday. I am in a good mood.

p.s. for those who follow me on twitter, this was NOT the blog I was intending to do. I am really careful about my words these days as to not offend anyone. On the old blog, I didn't care who saw what and who felt any kind of way. But as I learn to respect others more, I can't be the old "Steff". So while that blog is written, it will say "saved" until the timing is better.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Confederate History Month: Because taking L's is cool

I don't know why anything amazes me anymore. It's 2010, we live in the why I am shocked when Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell declared April as "Confederate History Month"?!? I went to Robert E Lee Elementary school and Patrick Henry Elementary. This is the same state that celebrates "Jackson-Lee-King Day" (oh yes, Stonewall Jackson, Robert E Lee, and MLK share ONE holiday).

Honestly I don't get it. I grew up in Richmond (the capital of the Confederacy) and there is a little class called "Virginia History" which focused heavily on Virginia's role in the Civil War (or maybe my teacher was bugging?!?!). Either way, I don't understand the need to glorify treason and racism as if it's something to be proud of. I guess during this month they will freely hang the confederate flag along side the American flag (oh the irony) and we can "Pledge Allegiance" to these ideals the commonwealth have deemed worthy of praise. Of course, the Governor conveniently left out slavery because the civil war was not fought over slavery, rather it was about "states rights" which included the right to own slaves and make it's own rules. However, he digressed and decided that slavery was important since:

"(I)t is important for all Virginians to understand that the institution of slavery led to this (Civil) war and was an evil and inhumane practice that deprived people of their God-given inalienable rights and all Virginians are thankful for its permanent eradication from our borders"

Hold up what? the Confederate's side of the Civil Was WAS fought because of slavery and now you want to celebrate that?! And if Virginians should be "thankful" for the eradication of slavery, then what is the purpose of "Confederate" History? How is confederate history different than United States history? I guess we should focus on the supporters of slavery, state's rights, and what the confederate flag really means. Isn't that VA history anyway?

I am pretty sure there is not a "Nazi History" month in Germany where they "celebrate" the traditions of the past. Where everyone hangs swastikas from their door and give shout outs to Hitler and talk about how he and the nazi soldiers fought for Germany's rights. They probably would talk about how the good ole days were before Yankee America came through and laid the smack down.  Actually...there are people who do this...they are called Skinheads, Neo-Nazis...Racists.

But I am sure the Governor doesn't mean it that way. But as one commenter said on another blog "Make a choice; be a proud American or a proud Confederate. You cannot possibly be both."

Monday, April 5, 2010

Generally Speaking #3 "Do We Go Too Far?"

Date: 3-31-10
Time: 2:00 am
Mood: refreshed


“When (or can) Freedom of expression goes too far"
OR "when keeping it real goes wrong"

Do we take freedom of expression too far?
I mean can we take our freedom to express too far?
 Does that sound like a crazy question to ask?

I know when speaking of freedom it's kind of odd to suggest that we may take it too far.
That’s almost like asking "are we too free?"
I mean are we?
Do you ever feel like some people take FREEDOM for granted?

Do we sometimes take our freedom to express ourselves for granted? Or do we take others freedoms for granted?

Myself as an artist has a high respect for creative freedom which is one of the reasons I am an independent artist.

But do we as artist take our right to express ourselves freely too far?
I guess we would have to ask how far is too far?

First let’s look at this quote from the Bill of Right:
"First Amendment: addresses the rights of freedom of religion (prohibiting Congress from establishing a religion and protecting the right to free exercise of religion), freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and freedom of petition."

I know there are artist as well as many people who are not artists who express their dissatisfaction with a boss, their record label, a law or regulation and even the government and the people in power.

There have been many songs by hip hop artists and other various song writers expressing a bevy of controversial topics.

P.E. said Fight The Power, NWA said F*** The Police, Ice T had a song called Cop Killer which he performed with a rock group. I released an album titled Amerikkkas Nightmare 2/Children Of War where I gave my opinion on many controversial issues. Luke and The 2 Live Crew were also very controversial artist.

Some of these artists spawned a small crusade of neighborhood politicians, clergyman, religious figures and others in attempt to censor and or even ban these hip hop artist.

This sparked a huge first amendment battle in court one of the first of its kind. This may have been one of the incidents that catapulted these artists into stardom as the plan to censor them only exposed them to the public even more making them even more famous or more infamous.
There have been many ways artist have expressed themselves. Some have always been odd to many of us maybe increasing the allure. I guess that’s what a Lady Gaga has in mind with her bizarre outfits or perhaps what some these rappers are thinking as they get more and more extreme tattoos.

You've had people in protest who burn the American flag.  

We've even seen Erykah Badu strip bucket naked in her video Window Seat of her album titled "New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh) ".

She actually may face charges of indecent exposure. I for one hope not.

But if it was on the flip side and some crazy guy stripped bucket naked in the street, he would surely go to jail. Ha-ha

But it’s been done before in rock n roll music. Some crazy rocker wilding out on stage or a fan for that matter. Like Ozzie biting the head off a dove or the fan of say a Rage against the Machine.

There have been controversial paintings and photographs as well.
But can we go too far? Do we sometimes go too far?
Some say yes
But how far is too far? Who is to say? How do we rate that?

Well in my opinion that’s one hell of an argument that may be debated for decades. But with all the creative ways people choose to express themselves on all levels better believe the powers that be are constructing new ways to restrict those expressions.

No matter how vulgar or how "different" someone's style is should that give us a right to revoke their first amendment? Maybe I'm going too far or maybe we do go too far...sometimes.

Like the 22 year old rapper who shot a guy then made a song about shooting the guy. Obviously his words were used against him in a court of law and he went to jail for the crime.

They say art imitates life.

That art is just an expressive extension or distortion of life.
How it is or how one would like to see it.

Our likes and dislikes
Our cries and our desires
Our fears and our fury.

We express what we believe or what we feel or what we know....if we find the courage to do so.
I don't know if we go too far
Who am I to judge?


Thursday, April 1, 2010

"Ass so phat that you can see it from the front..."(c) Mos Def

You already know what it is. (and this is a somewhat collaborative blog because this one will lead into the next one...)
And this is by no means any DISRESPECT. I love Sister Erykah. She is a breath of fresh air, deep, intriguing and real. She is also at the center of a lot of controversy. I am sure many of you have seen the video for "Window Seat" (and if will be posted a link at the end). Many were confused, and many applauded. As she began to strip down I was curious as too how much I'd get to see. I was girl crushing ALL over her, hoping to see a peak and totally disregarded the song and the overall message. I forgot the news airing clip at the beginning and was totally oblivious to the fact that she was walking down Elm Street to the mark where JFK was assassinated.

Then it happens:

At this point, I am no longer interested in the song (which is one of my favorites off the cd) but I am like "Snap is she gonna get naked..." and I am literally nose to screen with the computer like a pervert who just got out of jail. I am so ashamed.

Moments later I, along with countless others, are discussing the stripping scene...not the whole message behind the video. I mean I got it and that was cool and all but she was UNDRESSING...forget everything else.

Revisiting the video and seeing her tweet ( I realize that I was too focused on the wrong thing. I didn't even notice the words "Groupthink" at the end...and then the movement begins. Everyone discussing and talking about it. And of course, I was caught up in the mentality that made me focus on her body and not her words.
If asked to name my three top songs by her I'd say "On & On", "Next Lifetime", and "Penitentiary Philosophy". Then I'd name three more that are just as good. Then I'd name three more. So I am not caught up on her looks and her body...but that's what got me.

Now people are wondering if she went to far...who knows?!?! The message was lost on many, but I'll let the Brother Steele discuss that in his next feature...But for now, visit her site and enjoy:  (click the Ankh and the video will start)