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.

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