Black


This Cleveland bus incident, where the bus driver uppercuts a woman has been played and replayed in all of it’s entertainment value glory. What has been lost in all of this is the discussion. I have been hit while driving. I mean slapped, punched, steering wheel grabbed and I felt that she was really trying to kill me…us. So I know how Chris Brown felt and how this bus driver may have felt. Without passing judgement on the bus rider for spitting and hitting or on the bus driver for his rising dragon punch, what is the real issue…

Why did it take getting hit for this woman to realize that she can’t hit?

Why after 22 years of taking similar punishment from passengers did the bus driver react in this manner?

The Full Story

This is not uncommon nor an isolated incident, why? Because our society allows women to get away with hitting. Women carry the banner of “the weaker sex”, when nothing could be further from the truth. We already know who hits more…women, yet every woman is sugar, spice and everything nice and every man is a potential villain. What that approach has done is cultivate a culture of violence and victimization. Now all of a sudden he’s head butting her, choking her, hitting her…all of a sudden and she hasn’t done anything, she isn’t violent at all and she isn’t teaching these very same methods to the children, no not at all. We have become a society inequity, a society of  one law and two different rules, two different standards, which is probably why our foreign policy is one of a bully who speaks of victimization.

When the authorities respond to a domestic violence dispute and, in general, do nothing to the hitter, but remove the hitee what does that do to a child seeing it? How does that ultimately shape their view of society, their view of relationships?

You look at this cartoon and think he had it coming?
He must have said something.
That isn’t you, but deep now you know it is.
You have a problem and so does America.

What has this dual standard done to children, who have internalized these types of behaviors? It has made them adults who are violent, made them adults who hit, Adults who fear no repercussions. It has made the ledger unbalanced and therefore unequal. It has made males feel at times caged and constantly under pressure from society and in their relationship. It has breed a culture for men, that says being hit is normal. A culture that says if you are a male you should expect to get hit.

Are men violent? Men are not violent, which is contrary to what those with an agenda, and many a female blogger might say. However, males can be made to be violent. Here is an all too common example: A young man beats his girl for slapping him and we all get down on him trash him and cuddle her and everybody else that he’s ever been with. Now,here is the what you didn’t see. That young man grew up with a mother that hit. She hit his father and she all the other dudes after the father left. She hit his brother. She hit him. She allowed female cousins to hit him. As he got older he was a relationships where he was hit. The authorities who grabbed him hit him. For his part, this young adolescent, he has to take the hits because she is the weaker sex and speaking out makes him weak, speaking out makes him a punk. Expressing his emotions is something that just isn’t done, because it scares people, which is why the authorities were called in the first place, so he learned that lesson.

One day this young man’s woman decides that he didn’t answer a question correctly, or she isn’t getting enough attention, or whatever the case may be and she decides to test him by hitting him and he goes off on her. We all know the story “I just touched him and he went off.” Guess what your ‘touch’ was hit number 3,476 and that was the one that set him off. That was the one that he could take. That was his societal rebel yell. What society sees is the what came after. We see the elephant rampage. We witness the killer whale attack. We don’t see the role we played in the action. What would have happened if didn’t condone hitting in our society?  You can not give one group carte blanche to assault and hit with virtual impunity, while the companion group has to absorb all of it.

Why has society allowed women to be violent? Perhaps it has to do with men not wanting to look at our mothers as being anything but nurturers or since women represent the best of us, men don’t want to show the rest of the world that the word best’ may have been misused.  Most women who hit, do so because they can.

It’s not okay, it’s not. I tell my daughters just like I tell my son, “no one should hit”, but more importantly than telling them…I show them.

Mothers stop hitting.

Girlfriends stop hitting.

Everyone stop hitting… Hugs go a lot further.

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It has to be a spirit that makes you beat your children for no good damn reason.

A spirit that makes you tell them to keep their legs closed,

while you keep yours open.

A sick ass spirit that makes you tell your children that they ain’t going to be nothing.

A spirit that makes you call them,

nigga,

a coon,

a monkey

and a ho.

A spirit that makes you yell be a man at your son,

when you ain’t being one.

It’s probably the same spirit that makes you mad when a white person

says the exact same things you’ve been saying.

Instead of giving a child love,

they get hugged by these spirits.

In these possessed houses all they talk about is the white woman this,

the white man that and there aren’t any white people in the house.

You never hear them saying the name of Martin Luther King Jr., Marshawn Evans,

Langston Hughes, Spike Lee, Phyllis Wheatley,

Bell Hooks, Percy Ellis Sutton,

Dr. Cornel West or  Muhammad Ali.

All they watch is black and racist movies until that is all they know.

How are you going to teach a child how to love,

when you don’t know how to.

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Momma Cried and Wouldn’t Stop Crying

There is a Santa Claus because momma cried and wouldn’t stop crying. When we couldn’t pay our bills and we got put out that, Christmas momma cried momma and wouldn’t stop crying. It wasn’t even our house it was Grandma’s and I tried. I tried to be to be good, but I was just a kid full of questions and momma cried and wouldn’t stop crying. That winter was the first time I wondered about my skin color because Grandma made us watch Roots.

It wasn’t so bad because my cousins were there, but it still didn’t feel like home. My brother and sister didn’t know why daddy left and momma cried and wouldn’t stop crying. Momma tucked me in with smile, but I heard her leave that night. When I ran down the stairs in the morning I saw my name on some gifts. I ripped them open. I can remember having G.I. Joe in my hand; it was just when the Classic Collection came out. And I asked momma how did Santa Clause find me? And momma cried and wouldn’t stop crying…

MG Hardie

They tried to silence us in the fields
we could no longer beat our drums.
They wanted to strangle us into silence
by gagging us with hate.
But the voices of the drums are not lost
They are the pulse of our history
The beat passionately in out hearts
They speak to us through
The Blues of Billie
The Horn of Miles
The Pen of Alex
The Tenacity of Malcolm
The Dream of Martin
The Hope of Obama
The Future of Me.
I hear the echoes of strength
I feel the vibrations of survival
No…
We will not be silenced
We will not be defeated
We will continue to search for our voice.

And I will beat my drum… will you?

New Orleans’ former defensive coordinator, Gregg Williams has been suspended indefinitely, for running a program that paid New Orlean Saint football players bonuses for inflicting injuries on opposing players that forced them to leave games. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has disciplined the New Orleans Saints management and coaches  for violations of the NFL’s long-standing “bounty” rule, also suspended is Linebacker Scott Fujita for the three games. Defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove for first eight games. Defensive End Will Smith for four games and Linebacker Jonathan Vilma for the entire 2012 season, effective immediately.

The coaches, management and player have all been suspended, however, one has escaped punishment by the NFL… ESPN. Why wasn’t ESPN sanctioned? How does a defensive player in the NFL get a Sport Center highlight? By taking someone out, by hitting someone hard. Those highlights mean notoriety, which means more money. A defensive player in an offensive minded league is compelled by ESPN to take out a player, to be violent with not only the opponent, but themselves as well. This is the real bounty gate.

This is the real bounty-gate, they don’t want to talk about. It’s the hits that keeps the money rolling in, after all Sport Center and the NFL do not reward soft tackles. Aren’t we fans, commentators, commissioners being hypocritical here. Don’t we want the violence. Don’t we need the blood and guts. Don’t we want the highlights. Aren’t we as a society pushing more and more still developing 7 and 8 year old ‘s into full contact football. Is it wrong to target players, I was always told hit them fast and hit them hard. These “bounty” hits did not happened outside of football, which is why no excessive penalties were called by referees at the time, so apparently the hits were normal and legal football hits. Herman Edwards said “knocking players out is apart of football so long as you don’t receive money for it”, well don’t players get a contract or an extension based on their performance, which includes knocking opposing players out? So the NFL contract itself is a bounty.  The hits weren’t above the shoulders either, so what is really going on here.

Is offering your Defensive Back a high end meal for forcing fumbles a bounty. Is a Quarterback Back giving the Offensive Line Movado watches for crushing the opponent’s Defensive Line a bounty. Isn’t the NFL marketing highlight films by calling them “bone-crushing”, “hits” or “blows”.  Regardless of how Goodell tries to spin it “Bounties” are all too common in the NFL and have been. What makes 2012 so different? Probably the 1801 ex-NFL player lawsuits on untimely deaths, suicides, brain damage, concussions and touch football rules for player safety, that’s just a guess.When two men running at thirty miles an hour collide intentionally with one another there will be negative consequences, helmet and pads or not.  Americans love the NFL, we love our weekly violence, as evidenced by all the eight year-olds in full contact football game, and we have overlooked the social consequences of celebrating a violent sport, the NFL is #1 in American households by far.

Bounty-gate extend past the coaches, player and media, it extends to all of us.

On 9-7-2012 : An appeals panel Friday overturned the NFL’s suspensions of four players in the bounty case involving the New Orleans Saints.

On 12-11,2012: Paul Tagliabue lifts all player suspensions, but not the suspensions for coaches.

 

MG Hardie

Should Olympics athletes be paid? You betcha

Once upon a time, Olympic athletes had to sign pledges affirmed that they were amateurs, because communist athletes were not definable, they weren’t amateurs, yet they weren’t exactly “pros” like Michael Jordan. What the Russians were doing a was labeled as unfair. So in 1986, the IOC (International Olympic Committee) changed the Olympic Charter (most likely to allow “all the world’s great male and female athletes to participate.” America has had a long tradition of patriotism and participating in the Olympics as a badge of honor. Unfortunately, the Olympics hasn’t been about patriotism for a long time. America has a few other long traditions of capitalism and of being self-righteous.

Recently former medalist Dwayne Wade and Ray Allen have suggested that athletes be compensated for Olympic participation.  In 1992 a Michael Jordan led Olympic “Dream Team” nearly boycotted the Olympics due to corporate loyalties. Wade and Allen are not the first to come out in favor of athletes being paid for Olympic participation, but this new controversy against them reeks of racism. You see the help is the one asking to be paid, while the plantations owner is saying you’ve been paid enough, while others are saying you have millions… Perhaps we are not asking the right questions…

Is Jerry Colanagleo running USA Basketball out of the goodness of his heart?

Is Mike Krzyzewski coaching out of sheer patriotism?

Are Nike and Addias donating the uniforms and footwear?

And if they didn’t are they seen as being less patriotic?

Games of the XXX Olympiad, take place in London, England from 27 July to 12 August 2012, will be a multi-billion dollar industry; so much for volunteerism, individual effort, just hurry up raise the national flags and add up those USA totals. This is not a matter of whether or not other countries are paying their players. When black players have a valid opinion on anything that isn’t sports related, it’s always a problem for the masses.  Track and Field athletes get paid to train year around for that one shining moment to represent 300 million plus people, not to mention the gold medal prize money because medalists do receive money.

None of the past US Olympians that have spoken out have asked for million, perhaps they are making a case for future amateur Olympic hopefuls. Because they should be paid, including the bob sledder and figure skaters. 190 plus participant nations support their Olympic athletes 100% financially, the U.S. government gives zero money to its athletes. All the host cities in the world, except those in the USA, have supported their host Winter and Summer Olympics with billions of dollars, the Olympics is run entirely from corporate money, the corporations have control. Hasn’t professional and corporate involvement in the Olympic’s dampened it’s spirit? If these citizens are so patriotic then, aside from asking the right questions, give these Olympians jobs, cars for their service or better still their company allow the use of their symbols and products in return only for favorable publicity and public good will. They should be paid just like the college athlete, whose coaches earn 5 million per year, should be paid.

By using pros isn’t the U.S. admitting that we are on equal footing with the rest of the world. That we can’t have our amateurs compete against the under developed countries of the world and have a change of winning. Sportscasters, bloggers and fans have hit these players on how much money they make, for what they do, “all they do is put a ball in a hole”, “they are crybabies”,”now they want to get paid when they should volunteer” is what is most commonly heard. A Professional Athlete by definition is: a person who is paid to undertake a specialized set of tasks and completes them for a fee.

Perhaps our overriding American bullying nature has caused us to forget the definition of things, but that’s not the truth. The truth is that White Supremacy subconsciously causes the populace to rail against blacks that stand their ground, not wait for whites to lead the way or say ‘I disagree’. Where is the spirit of the games that had America pushing its youth to compete against the youth of other countries? Where is the old adage that anyone could have a chance at glory? Regardless of who’s paying, money has never bought inner drive or passion. Speaking out when our society has lost it’s way, may not seem as patriotic as say urinating on Afghans, or torturing “enemy combatants”, but that is what citizens are supposed to do, that is what makes a good republic. So stop whining about purity and patriotism and use amateur hopefuls or pay the professionals.

by MG Hardie

In 1972, Magnovox brought coins eating time wasters into American homes with The Odyssey.  In 1975, Atari released Pong, followed in 1980 by Atari’s “Asteroids”. Today video games have developed into a 70 Billion dollar industry. The industry has moved from Pong to Pac-man to Super Mario; from initials and high scores to gamer tags and trophies; from 8-bit to 64-bit to 128-bit buses; from single-player to Multiplayer to co-op; from online gaming to remote play, the video game console is now the center of the home entertainment experience. In five decades the video game industry has grown by leaps and bounds. There have been advancements in all areas except one. ..Race.

The usual video game controversies are sex and violence, but many of us have been gaming since we were two, yet when you scour the 70 billion dollar industry; minorities only  litter the landscape as bit players or cover athletes, Michael Jordan, Bo Jackson, Mike Tyson, Kobe Bryant, Shaq and Tiger Woods. You find one dimensional black characters based off of comic books or movies like Spawn, Blade or Riddick in The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay, but you won’t find them as the central character in a video game, unless they are a pimp, gangster or built on a celebrity persona such as Michael Jackson. The most popular main black character is Carl “CJ” Johnson, the ultra-violent gang founder from Grand Theft: Auto San Andreas.

A study by the Kaiser Family Foundation revealed that black youths between 8 and 18 years old played video and computer games roughly 90 minutes a day (30 minutes more than white youths).”For a long time, we’ve talked in the game industry about gender diversity as the one problem on the radar, but the racial split is worse,” said Ian Bogost, a Georgia Tech game design professor. Most video games, right or wrong, are being designed from the unconscious biases, reflections and opinions of their creators. 80 percent of video game programmers are white; this may have something to do with the absence of color in video games.

Most characters of color are either covered up or they aren’t playable, leaving one to wonder if there is racial bias, even in cyber-space. Over time America has become more and more diverse, but not our primary game characters. Is it necessary for gamers to identify with the characters they are using? Does it matter if all the heroes are male Caucasians when minorities (male and female) are not only purchasing expensive gaming consoles, but also shelling out $60 on each video game. America has made social advancements in every way of life except gaming.

In 2012 enter Starhawk, a third-person shooter, aerial-vehiclar combat, real-time strategy video game and the first of its kind. A Playstation 3 exclusive and a collaborative effort from Lightbox Interactive and Sony’s Santa Monica Studios. Starhawk is an inspired game, it is not recycled and it’s the right kind of freshness a stagnant industry needs. Starhawk introduces a new system called “Build &’ Battle”, which changes the landscape and possibilities each time you play. With the flick of a button, Build and Battle, give the player options to build structures such as, bunkers, defenses, and armories which crash down from space,  in the midst of battle. Build & Battle gives the game a dynamic real-time strategy feel while remaining a third-person shooter.

The hero of the game is Emmett Graves, a man who was running a rift mine on the Frontier alongside Logan, his brother. All was well until the mine was attacked by an Outcast war party. Emmett’s rig exploded and both Emmett and his brother became partially exposed to rift energy. Colonies of humans called Rifters have been exploring the “Frontier” of planets, but now they find their way of life threatened at every turn by the Outcast, a psychotic species of humans who have mutated due to over-exposure to rift Energy. Caught in the middle is Emmett Graves, ostracized by the humans because of his partial exposure to Rift Energy, leaving him partially mutated. He becomes a hired gun to protect the Rifters, while his infected brother becomes the leader of the Outcast. Will Emmett be able to retain his humanity… This game gives you a real sense that he is fighting for his family, the rifters and for his very survival.

The game is visually stunning, fluid, fast paced and a mash up of the sci-fi and western genres. The game features flying vehicles called Hawks that transform into Mechs, tanks, 4×4 razorback, 32-players, huge maps, weapons, customization, jetpack, 2-player split screen, skill mods, “Build & Battle”, power ups, Jetbikes, multiplayer, co-op, HD, a limited edition package and yes a Black protagonist. “The rift energy looks really good on darker skin, and we really liked the tale—the brothers’ tale, I thought, felt better with having the character be a black guy. It was just really more about design stuff. It wasn’t about, “Yay, let’s be the first to make a black protagonist.” It was just, you know, the design evolved and he ended up being a black guy. And it was like cool, let’s roll with it.” Dylan Jobe Lightbox Interactive President

Experts will say gamers generally ignore the character they are playing, but there are already questions surrounding Graves’ race, and how the game will play with the buying public. “I’m curious how fans will react when they’re placed in the shoes of a minority. Will Graves speak to them? Will they even have the maturity to contemplate this instead of just spewing forth the typical vitriol of an Internet gaming message board?”- IGN (Starhawk: The Reveal of a Bold New Frontier)

Video games have been in American homes for 50 years and indeed times have changed, yet criticism about a black primary character is already being spewed by those unsure of their aversion to the game and those shocked at how great the game is. Unavoidably there will be those so disappointed in the skin color of Starhawk’s main character that they will fill message boards and social network postings with racial vitriol. There will also be many more smiling, albeit silently, that they can finally play a hero that l looks like them;  a character, a face to connect with. This is a positive step for gaming and could lead to more primary minorities in video games, but more importantly it could open the door for more minority game developers. Starhawk begins recruiting May 8th 2012  with Emmett Graves as the hero the video game world needs, but doesn’t want.

Other Tolerable Black Characters:  

Adam/Skate – Streets of Rage Trilogy, Balrog/Dee Jay– Street Fighter Series, Mr. Sandman – The Punch-Out!! Series,  Eddy Gordo – Tekken 3, Captain David Anderson – Mass Effect, Barret Wallace – Final Fantasy VII, Sergeant Major Avery J. Johnson –  Halo,  Augusts Cole a.k.a. Cole Train – Gears of War Trilogy, Sergeant Foley – Modern Warfare 2, Zack – Dead or Alive Series, Coach – Left 4 Dead 2, Louis – Left 4 Dead, Romeo – Halo 3: ODST. Doc Louis – Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! & Punch-Out!!, Fortune – Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Jacob – Mass Effect 2, Jax – Mortal Kombat Series, Alyx Vance – Half-Life 2, Dean Shephard Marc Ecko’s Getting Up and Jade from  Beyond Good & Evil the first and only original IP involving a black woman (although the developers say Jade is Racially Ambiguous). Not to slant Prototype 2 but the main character didn’t start off as black.

Part 1

Far to often we have waited until it was too late to give thanks to the people who moved and inspired us. We give awards and accolades long after they were deserved. Some of these artist made us feel, think and others showed us that it is okay to human and that we are not alone. If nothing else perhaps some of these artist will be rediscover by some and seen in a new way by others. We grew up watching R & B borrow from soul and jazz elements, to co-opting hip hop grooves, to mixtures of pop and now even techno musings. I have created this list not based solely on sales, or emotions, what this means is that having a hit or two wont get you on this list, while dropping a classic album might. These artist had guts, creativity, range and most importantly impact and without them R & B would not be the same. A lot of women have contributed to R & B, but here are my top 15.

1. Aretha Franklin (Queen of Soul)

She epitomized gospel-charged soul and has 18 Grammys,  20 No. 1 singles, 45 “Top 40” hits, to back that up. She also has the most million-selling singles of any female artist with 14. Between 1967 and 1982 she had 10 #1 R&B albums – more than any other female artist. The term “Diva” was coined just to describe her talents. Ms. Franklin is the epitome of a trailblazer with her vocal style and ability and is one of the few living legends who can still perform at a high level to this day. Franklin was the first female artist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. “Respect”,”Never Loved A Man the Way I Love You”,  “Think”, “Chain of Fools”, “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” and “Giving Him Something He Can Feel”

2. Whitney Houston (Whitney)

at 170 Million albums sold Whitney is the most awarded female singer ever. She has number 1 albums and soundtracks that have powered her film roles. Whitney is one od the few singers who could sing anything and it would be a hit. Case in point the “Star Spangled Banner” , which she performed at Superbowl XXV , was released as a single and was in the top 20. In the early 90’s Whitney skillfully rode Michael Jackson’s wake and knocked the doors opened for other female artist such as Janet Jackson and Anita Baker “Because of what Whitney did, there was an opening for me… For radio stations, black women singers aren’t taboo anymore.’ says Baker. Whitney tackled big adult contemporary ballads, effervescent, stylish dance-pop, and slick urban contemporary soul with with dexterity and grace.  She was commondly referred to as a phenomon because when she sang a song…it was sung and no one could do it better. “Greatest Love of All”,  “I’m Every Woman”, “Greatest Love of All”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”, “I Will Always Love You” and “I’m Your Baby Tonight”


3. Etta James

James has four Grammys and seventeen Blues Music Awards. She was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, the Blues Hall of Fame in 2001, and the Grammy Hall of Fame in both 1999 and 2008. In the 1950s and 1960s, she had her biggest success as a blues and R&B singer. She is best known for her son “At last”.  In modern times Ms. James is often overlooked, but she can flat out sang and her music has lived on for decades. “Something’s Got a Hold on Me,” “Stop the Wedding,” and “Would It Make Any Difference to You”

4. Patti Labelle

A one woman powerhouse of vocal & musical ability, Ms. Labelle is one of a kind. Blessed with power, range and passion her voice is as powerful as it is graceful.  Her unwavering appeal has spanned more than five decades. She has hits such as “On My Own,” “Somebody Loves You Baby” and “New Attitude.” There is no one quite like entertainment legend Patti LaBelle. “On My Own“, “If Only You Knew“, “Have a Little Faith in Me”, “If You Asked Me To“, “Stir It Up” and “New Attitude“.

5. Chaka Khan

in the 1970s she was the frontwoman of the band Rufus, however, her solo body of work stands on its own. As a singer she is the most diverse with her range and vocal skill. When it wasn’t fashionable for singers to record their own background vocals, Khan made her own fashion statement and arranged her own. Chaka Khan is clearly in a class by herself. Her vocal style, identifiable in a flash, is a major force of nature in music, a sound like no other.  “I’m Every Woman”, “This Is My Night”, “Got To Be There”, “What Cha’ Gonna Do For Me”, and “I Feel For You”

Billie Holiday, Dionne Warwick, Minne Ripperton, Gladys Knight, Natalie Cole and many others.

Part 2 

M

The Penn State scandal has not only rocked Pennsylvania, it has shaken America to its very core. There will be those of us who will say that this was an isolated incident, but deep down inside we know that’s not true. There will be those of us who think the Penn State university officials, and law enforcement, didn’t drag their feet on these young male rape charges because of race, but deep down inside we know that’s not true. There will be those of us that will say we are doing everything possible to protect our children, but we know this is also not true.

The truth is that we as a society have failed our children. Not just in this case, but in general and the sooner we can admit that, the sooner we can pull out of America’s obvious moral recession. When the Penn State case first broke and I read that the alleged claims of wrong doings by Jerry Sandusky stemmed from the mid-90’s, yet he was not arrested, I knew that most likely the entire sickening scandal was only allowed to continue due to race (I haven’t sugar-coated this on Facebook, nor my tweets which many well-known bloggers have conveniently saw fit to pilfer) Sandusky was tampering with 10-12 year old boys, adopting them, even sharing them with other sick people, mostly in plain view for 15 or more years and no one took any real action…this would not have went on as long as it did had the victims looked like Justin Bieber, had dark skin or if the victims had a fathers. People with this sickness generally don’t care about race, but Sandusky allegedly had a preference, not that it matters much to the victims. This trail of sex-abuse was far reaching and wide spread there were many people who could have stepped in, but didn’t, many of them made conscious decisions to do nothing.

If race was a consideration to those who could have intervened but didn’t, then America has a huge problem, because most serial rapist and multiple molesters are white and educated, there is no coincident. As of this season Joe Paterno is the winningest coach in college football history. Over the years he has gained millions of fans, personally I thought he should have been out of the game a decade ago. Penn State had horrible football seasons, yet JoePa (as he is known) held held on, mostly because of his contempt for little known Eddie Robinson (Grambling State), who previously held football’s winningest college record. Eddie Robinson, regardless of  having the record, is viewed as an inferior coach, because he’s black.

And here on the happy valley campus of Penn State university 6,000 student rioted to save Joe Paterno’s coaching job, apparently being college educated doesn’t mean much these days. Even in the face of the Freeh Report stating that Paterno was an integral part of the the Sandusky cover-up. The freeh Report states that Joe Paterno and others made conscious decisions to assist in he cover-up of Sandusky’s behavior since 1998, because the fear of bad publicity. When Sandusky is a long-time friend of Paterno’s and in the early 200o’s sexual abuse scandals were daily being levied against the Catholic Church. When grad student told Paterno of what he witnessed Sandusky doing to a young boy in the shower, those church scandals weighed heavily on Joe Paterno and the university’s actions and the inaction by the many others thereafter. Also at the time Joe Paterno was pursuing this storied record he would allow nothing to deter him.

Paterno claims to have told the V.P., both of whom first thought to preserve not only their image and reputation, but also the image and reputation of a mega-million dollar sports giant, Penn State Football. Penn State officials state that Sandusky was told not to bring his youth camp onto university campus. But Sandusky took his act on the road and he remained a Penn State coach, by doing basically nothing his program for at-risk youth continued to flourish. Paterno, the university Vice President, the university President and others made the decision to allow more children to suffer, somewhere else besides campus. Idol worshipers can not fathom how Joe Paterno, a man who exhibited so much courage on the field demonstrated so much cowardice off of it. Eleven victims have come forward and Sandusky, The Athletic Director and Vice President of the university have been charged. Joe Paterno offered to step down at the end of the season, but the Penn State Board of Director terminated him and the University President immediately.


In order to cut through the noise and rhetoric, here is some perspective:
6,000 coaches in the U.S. have been found guilty of sexual offenses, far more have been alleged in some improper touching. I wont fool you by using cliches terms like “these men are monsters”, because as unbelievable as it sounds 60% of the perpetrators of sex abuse, child abuse and or neglect are women. 12% of your trusted psychologists have had sexual contact with their clients. You hardly think about sending your children to school, where 15% of all students have experienced some kind of sexual misconduct by a teacher between kindergarten and 12th grade. Deep down inside we know that incidence of the sexual abuse of a minor is higher among the Protestant clergy than it is among the Catholic clergy, yet we focus on Catholics because they so publicly like to tell people what to do. We also know that these incidents happen far more with public school teachers than among ministers and priests, but the media chooses to focus on the church, because of agenda. Parents do not get off the hook either, stop sleeping with trifling, no job having, good for nothing males who will leave you with two kids and bad genes, thus making your children easy prey for America’s dark underbelly.

Note: Sandusky lives by an elementary school and has been released on $1,000 bond.

This kind of abuse extends across socio-economic levels, but for the children of poor women; her family, friends and acquaintances are the largest group of perpetrators (28%), relatives such as uncles and cousins (18%), stepfathers (12%), fe/male siblings (10%), biological fathers/mothers (10%), boyfriends of the child’s mother (9%), grandfathers and stepgrandfathers (7%), and strangers (4%). These numbers mean that 86% of the perpetrators were known to the family, but were someone other than the child’s father. What we are seeing involving Penn State and other highly publicized incidents is the 4%, so what do you think is happening right under your nose, without media attention? Americans don’t really want the truth, we only want to be pitched it.

Sandusky and people like him are not monsters, they are reflections of our own unchecked immorality and humanity. America has a sickness of absolving idols from wrongs. This happens because the system we created coupled with our worship of idols, even the low level ones, is unjust and often immoral. Sandusky was an idol in Pennsylvania, Joe Paterno was an idol nationwide, clearly idol worship comes with blinders. There are many university’s that have idolized stories football programs, there is no telling what those “leaders” have been getting away with or covering up. 35 miles from Penn State at a small High School, Sandusky was allowed by school administrators to pull certain kids out of class and leave school with them. The woman who are married to these ‘monsters’ failed a moral obligation as well. Do you think this wife didn’t see the sleepovers, the pool horseplay or hear the screams? Where were the wives of these “monsters” when the children needed them. The truth is that the wives are the victims 1st line of defense. the Free Report states “Our most saddening and sobering finding is the total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s child victims by the most senior leaders at Penn State. The most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized.”

When it comes to our children any and all dangers to children are things we, as parents, are supposed to see. We didn’t see them because we have sold our children to the idols of stage and screen. We have auctioned them off to the gladiators and heroes. We have mortgaged our very future for electronic images and input prompts. We have allowed bad decisions and selfishness to rule our households and We have allowed agendas and pride to cloud and ultimately change our humanity. Where were we, when these children needed help?

“Sex abuse is a problem in all of societies institutions and not just the church.”- The Pope

We have fostered a culture of unwed mother and cultivated a culture of  fatherless half-raised children. We proudly harvest children from this subculture of marginal invisible folk, a culture than can be easily manipulated, abused and pimped for profit on fields and courts. We as a society have chosen to sexualize our children, we have allowed advertisers access to our youngest and most fragile minds. We have allowed our children’s idols to be half dressed, shirtless crooners and sirens. We have warped our children’s thinking and at the same time convinced ourselves that sports and material possessions are more important than our larger social issues. We had allowed the mindscapes of children to be violated for the sake of sustaining industries we never needed. Where are the laws that prevent this? Where are the Democrats and Republicans on the matter? When will the senators and lawmakers stand up for our children instead of the corporations that line their pockets? When are we going to “Occupy” our own homes? Where is the outrage over the obvious corporate mind control that is occurring every day, every minute on every channel?  Where are the regulations to prevent radio stations from playing sexualized music? ….Where?

“The Penn State sex-abuse scandal should lead to soul-searching by all Americans, not just Penn State.”- President Barack Obama

Football is still king to Penn State, they wont shut down the program and right now people are devising ways to profit from this horrible situation. They will sell parents devices to protect children, services to investigate people, chips to implant, money will be made from books and lectures, even political careers will be made from this sex-abuse scandal. Yes, our society will pay and pay dearly, there will be profits made from all the ways that We as Parents and as a Society don’t want to look ourselves in the mirror. When the only thing we really need to pay is Attention.

On January 22, 2012 Joe Paterno died. He always feared that when football was over, his life would be too. He fought hard for his coaching career because he was literally fighting for his life, unfortunately he didn’t fight hard for these under privileged youths that were abused by his friend. On June 22, 2012 Jerry Sandusky was convicted on 45 of 48 counts. According to 2001 Penn State’s internal e-mails, Joe Paterno talked the athletic director and others out of turning over Sandusky to authorities.

On July 20, 2012 Penn State board of governors took down Joe Paterno’s statue from in front of the stadium

On July 21, 2012 the NCAA fined Penn State 60 Million, banned from bowl games for 4 years, reduced scholarships from 24 to 15 (40 in total), vacate all wins from 1998 to 2011, 5 years probation as well as other provisions. Monies would establish a victims fund. This was done to bring the culture of college football back in balance with social values and morals.

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This list is not based only on albums sales, nor pure vocal power, this list takes into account the artist impact. Each of these artist created music that represents how we look at life, how we deal with and cultivate relationships, and some of went so far as to show how we view the world. R & B is no longer the soulful rhythm genre of music it once was. It has now been co-opted by hip hop and pop. I am sure that many people will have issue with some of the people on my list. If you’re favorite artist doesn’t have enough material for a greatest hits albums, they’re probably not on this list.

1. Stevie Wonder  is pure musical genius! Mr. Stevie Wonder is a gifted musician who has one of the smoothest, melodic, and recognizable voices to every be heard on radio, hands down. Since the age of 13 Mr. Wonder and produced hit after hit and here it is four decades, 30 top ten hits and 22 Grammys later and his music still makes us smile. He was never one to sing easy song, he sung songs with difficult choruses, abrupt stops and unpredictable changes. His accomplishments and impact on the music world is unrivaled.

2.Michael Jackson  as a 10 year-old he blew most competition young and old out the water! M.J. wasn’t just a  talent, he was a true student of music. To Michael Jackson music is art and he used his versatility to navigate musical genres effortlessly. His songs went the extra mile, with sound and vocal effects to create a deeper ambiance. Through his voice you could hear the anxiety, sadness or stress of a song, it was Jackson’s musical experimentations that led to the creation of modern-day pop-music. Michael’s voice is as distinctive, his smooth harmonic sounds are timeless. He has been often imitated (Donnell Jones, Usher, Beyonce, Ne-Yo, Chris Brown and countless others), but never duplicated!  You can also credit him with the needless explosion of choreography in videos and stage performance.

3. Prince was musically and thematically ahead of his time. Compiling ten platinum albums and thirty Top 40 singles during his career. He infused dark funk, pop, gospel soul with R & B passion. It was Prince and Michael Jackson who and sustained Music Television and music video.  He is also the uncredited father of the “text message”. Prince is an ambitious, creative, inspired musician. His off-kilter, feminine voiced songs are not duplicate. From ballads, to love songs, to dance melodies Prince did it all.

4. R. Kelly  is an incredibly gifted versatile singer. Robert Kelly can bring you from high and passionate, to a playful sing-song flow with the greatest of ease. Kells, or the Pied-Piper of R & B manages to reinvent himself with each album. He has sung songs about topics that are relevant to the everyday man from finances, to love problems, to having faith in oneself. Billboard has acknowleded R. Kelly as #1 R & B artist of the last 25 years, go figure. His collaborations are legendary and the next time you are “Stepping”, or doing the “Slide” at a club or wedding reception remember that R. Kelly made it possible.

5. Ray Charles: His records were always filled with an expressed assortment of slurs, glides, moans, shrieks, wails, shouts, and hollers that were all beautifully controlled, disciplined and inspired by his musicianship. For over 40 years Ray Charles filled us with thought and empowerment. He composed, arranged and produced his music long before there was a corporate vehicle to do so. Whether he was tackling country music, putting in Latin-esque blues motif or call and responses with the back-up singer, Ray Charles was a musical explorer who pushed boundaries and the boundaries of race, a pioneer.  He had one of the most distinctive and powerful voices the industry has ever known and it’s a shame that more people don’t know his work.

Also in order and deserving to be mentioned for the great music and contributions to the R & B genre are James Brown, Luther Vandross, Lionel Richie, Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye, Teddy Pentergrass, Al Jereau, Usher,  Ron Isley, Smokey Robinson,  Keith Sweat, Al Green,  Freddie Jackson, Baby Face,  Barry White, Jackie Wilson, Peabo Bryson, Frankie Beverly, Brian McNight, Maxwell, Howard Hewett, Jackie Wilson, Jeffrey Osbourne, James Ingram, Avant, Lou Rawls, Brian Mcknight, Musiq and Joe.

What’s  Your Top 5?

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