America


Late on a dark New Orleans, a jogging Peter Gold saw a hoodie wearing man dragging a woman down the street. Gold intervened as the man tried to get the woman into a SUV near the intersection of Magazine and St. Mary streets.  The man let go of the woman, held his gun to Gold, looked him in the face and said ‘I’m going to kill you‘, then he shot Gold point blank in the stomach.

 

Gold lay on the sidewalk and pleaded for his life. The hoodied man put the gun to Gold’s head, pulled back the slide on the black semi-automatic gun and pulled the trigger. “I saw the man squeezing the trigger repeatedly. He said the gun was jamming.” Gold recalled. When the gun didn’t fire the man took the woman’s purse and drove away.

Gold recovered from his injuries in what everyone has called an “incredible miracle.” Gold graduated from Tulane medical school and continues with a residency in orthopedic surgery at a hospital in New York City.  “I’m just very lucky and fortunate to be able to come out of that alive,” Gold said. “I think about that day every single day of my life.”

Every single day Gold thinks about how he almost died, “I wonder what happened in somebody’s life that they were able to create such violence with such ease without even thinking about it.” Gold has a started a nonprofit foundation called MyStrongCity to provide education, mentoring and to raise money for community-based organizations that empower undeserved youth.

The gunman, who was captured later, attacked three other people immediately after leaving Gold.

Gold says that he was “lucky”, but could the gun jamming be attributed to something other than luck? Would he have started this foundation that has helped thousands of people, if this horrible incident had not occurred? Could this happening be something other than fortune smiling on him?

Could this have been  THEM?

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Safe

If we are safe why are we still at war?

Why do we still have all these alerts?

Like you gon’ win that way.

What if they refuse to change their thinking?

What are we gonna do when the devices we are looking for is the person?

Shit I’m A Veteran.

Most of the people who say shit like “we are safe”, ain’t never had to stand on a wall,

hold a hill,

advance on a beach,

or protect the public.

War is stressful.

Do you for one minute really believe that a country that survives by conquest,

a nation whose national language is Fire Bomb,

that our troops can be held at bay by some pirates,

that our sophisticated military could be engaged by some militants in caves for over 12 years?

Please…

MG Hardie

I Have Traveled the World

I have seen the sea change from morning to night. I have seen the most amazing creatures. My craft has been chauffeured by dolphins.

I have witnessed Shearwater birds swim 60 feet underwater and then take off and fly through the sky. I have seen creatures in the waves that defy explaining. I have won battles by just showing up. I have played Smiles in the Philippines and silently viewed

the Coral Triangle.

I have played games in the vastness of the undulating nothing. Took leave in Kuwait and

saw Octopi with fins in miles upon miles of quiet, solitude. Experienced the ruggedness of

the Azores,

the cold of Ellesmere,

the isolation of Tristan da Cunha.

Places were birds seem to soar for weeks and volcanoes taller than Everest rise from the ocean bed, but still far from the suns power.

Their eruptions shake the planet, heat the water and cause the winds of the Earth to circulate. I have inhaled salt air, marveled at shoals of fish. I have traveled and through drills, tours, and practices I have paid enough attention to know that the ocean and the sky

are but inverted and that I don’t walk but I am one of the many creatures that swim through air. Oh, I’ve been places, and there are two things I have learned. One is that I have no answers and Two I am most at home right here on this couch.

MG Hardie

The number one topic in the black community has always been discrimination. With the release of the movie “Red Tails” the debate was sparked once again, but this time by George Lucas. Does Hollywood discriminate against black actors and actresses, short answer yes, but is it more complicated than a simple yes.

If you believe George Lucas, one can agree that there maybe a huge economic reason why black actors aren’t hired and black films aren’t being made. However, if you look at Tyler Perry, you could also agree that producing a movie for $5 million, and earning $50 million is a huge profit margin for a black film. So is Lucas’ reason valid, or just a cover for our social colorism.

We aren’t talking about humorous time wasting, escapism movies like the Soul Plane’s, BAPS and Metor Man movies of the black universe, because there are many great black movies and many successful black actors and actresses in Hollywood and many of them have starring roles.

There is a noticeable absence of starring roles for blacks in big budget cinema. There are underlying reasons one you are trying to get and awards but you keep having parts in films with ensemble casts (that’s not going to work), and some of these black actors can’t act. Yes I said it and it’s not hate or shade. Some of these actors have had sitcoms on the air for years, and they still can’t act. This is where the rest of the problem lies.

If an actor has been in many films and T.V shows over the years and still can’t act, something is wrong. It’s not like these “actors” don’t have the time, or the money. Many less talented actors have rabid fans, lets be honest, most of them got their shot because of their body, dancing, singing/rapping or their cuteness, which is fine when your ten years old, but not when you’re in your 20’s in Hollywood trying to win an award.

No one calls out these actors for bad performances, because many believe there are too few blacks working in Hollywood to begin with, so the criticism is held back because of a lack of on-screen representation. Well that may well be the case, but a horrible performance is horrible no matter how you color it.

If you’ve had years of practice and you aren’t studying your craft you can’t complain about the lack of black roles. I am talking about the LisaRaye Mccoy’s and Stacey Dash’s of the black acting world and the other high profile types, LL Cool J, Ice Tea, Brandy, Bokeem Woodbine, Allen Payne, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Halle Berry, Marcus T. Paulk, T.I., Elijah Kelley, etc.

They expect black people to go to see a movie, just because there are black people in it. You would think that there are only a handful of black actors and actresses, there are many. The good ones have a greater discerning about the quality of roles they will accept. Then there are “the other actors” most of these actors aren’t being asked to pull off a “Glory”, “Ray”, “Men in Black”, “Hotel Rwanda” or “Malcolm X” role, not that every role needs to be, and they have trouble with that. A good actor can take the smallest of role, and make it stand out, otherwise you are a glorified extra.

And then the cry goes out “We aren’t getting the kind of roles we want,” “Why aren’t we getting Oscar nominations.” Here is where Tyler Perry is smart, he surrounds himself with better talent, the same thing Will Smith discovered early on. If you are waiting for someone to write a role and hopefully cast you in it, keep hoping.

You can’t go see Tyler Perry films in droves, making him the number one Black actor draw, and them complain about how Blacks aren’t getting nominated for the Oscars. The Oscars are white, and everyone else has a limited opportunity to make an impression so make the most of it. You want thinks to change be the change.

Discrimination/racism plays a part in why blacks don’t get some roles, but not studying the craft is why we get shut out of the other role, and the Oscars. To acknowledge that white privilege exist is also to acknowledge that America is not a meritocracy. Your protest and “boycott” will add a few minorities to the movie mix but once again the stigma of interracial relationships rises, after all, it isn’t just white people that cannot handle depictions of blackness.

If the casting is not done based on ability, does it really count? Do we really want movie roles based on affirmative action? If the only thing a moviegoer can say about a film is “She looked hot”, “the effects were awesome”,”Support this film because it’s black”, or “Such in such has really grown up”, the coding is that the movie wasn’t very good.

This is not to say that horrible white actors such as, Orlando Bloom, Natalie Portman, Megan Fox, Jennifer Aniston, Brad Pitt, Scarlett Johansson,  Keanu Reeves, Kim Kardashian, etc… aren’t given starring opportunities in Hollywood because they are. they get roles their talent clearly shows they don’t deserve, but most of them are smart enough to surround themselves, in films, with better acting talent.

This lack of talent can not be solved by more financing and better distribution of black films, or by the hiring of black directors, black writers or black grifters. The future Washington’s, Woodard’s, Earl Jone’s, Bassett’s,  Freeman’s, Fishburne’s, Davis’, Pounders’, Glover’s, Williams, and Pointer’s are already here in Tarji P. Henson, Larenz Tate, Mekhi Phifer, Don Cheadle, Idris Elba, Jurnee Smolett, Michael B Jordan, Anthony Mackie, Gabriel Union, Sanaa Latham, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Ryan CooglerKeke Palmer, Columbus Short and others.

These are the actors and directors we should be following and posting about. These are the black people who have shown their pedigree on film, they have not settled for mediocrity and are working on the craft. Hollywood has always took a stand against the fickle whims of an ill-informed society, in most cases Hollywood goes along with social prejudices, so if Hollywood is showing a racial regressive side, then America is as well.

Hollywood and America must realize that Blacks don’t have to be covered up or standing with a white person for validation on film of off it. Blacks don’t have to always be shown as an alien or comic relief. Blacks already struggle against invisibility and I implore producers to give more lead roles based on ability and not skin color. I call on casting agents to view talent more than popularity. I call on audiences to support good films and good directors. I call on Hollywood to write colorless scripts and stop marketing movies based on race. I call on these things because we will all be better off for it.

MG Hardie