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Sunday, December 2, 2007

If "Imus" Disagree

It appears as if Don Imus is back on the scene. Yes this is the man that called the African-American women on the Rutgers basketball team -"Nappy headed Ho's". The very same guy who all the furor was about. He has managed to get himself another radio show. He has a multi million dollar contract with WABC. After the public outcry, he eventually lost his job and multi-million dollar contract. He did a tour of contrition interviews and took a back seat for a spell. But alas, with America being the land of the free and all, someone is always rooting for the underdog and, drum roll please "he's back!"

So aren't black folk offended? I don't think many are asking the question. It's been done with such speed and secrecy that there was barely time to react. A quick story on CNN two days before his scheduled show and "bang" he's in. What I think black American folks should be offended at is not the fact that Imus is back; that was inevitable. It is the fact that some corporations believe that black America's dissenting voices and complaints and the indignities bestowed on us are so immaterial in the American landscape, that they are willing to blatantly and unabashedly rub our noses in the dirt and minimize our stature. We are evidently so second class that we do not even deserve a year off by Mr. Imus. In words that will echo for generations, Phil Boyce, WABC-AM program director said "Obviously we are doing this because we think we can make more money," There's an opportunity to charge more for our advertising rates. I am not ashamed of saying it is about the money. We are running a business."(taken from article announcing Imus' return).

So there you have it; public opinion caused the firing, but money resurrected Imus. What's worse, is that Boyce is probably right. I can guarantee you that Imus' morning show is probably already sold out of commercial spots. That's the American way. The same way someone actually sat down with O.J Simpson and wrote that dumb book, "If I did it"; or you actually have paparazzi following Kevin Federline (Britney Spears ex-husband), is the same way that someone could ignore common sense and bring back Imus. Believe me when I say, I have nothing against second chances, heck I've had some of those. But then again, "I did not have intercourse with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky." Does that ring a bell? If my memory serves me correct, we're not even a year removed from Imus' insult are we? "Man these guys move quick!" That is what America is all about, the movement of money. Even at the cost of cultural, social or moral injustice.

That he is back makes it just blatantly insulting and socially ignorant. At least give the wounds time to heal. Give the guy time to write a book titled, "If I hadn't done it". He's so buck ugly, he could have even had plastic surgery while he waited for us to forget a bit. There was even time for etiquette lessons on where and when it's appropriate to refer to women as Ho's. "That is never, Imus!" But as it stands, we are being told that they believe Imus has learned his lesson. Mr. Boyce says, "He'll obviously be wiser, smarter and a bit more careful. He's learned from this. I'm not concerned that he'll have a repeat." I can assure you that he has learned nothing and hasn't changed anything. He will just be a little bit more careful about what he says. He has always been controversial and many white folks like him just the way he was (is). He says exactly what some white Americans would like to say and are too afraid to do in public. So privately, Imus is the voice of some of white America, many of whom will be tuning into his show to welcome him back.

You see, demographic ignorance is our primary curse. As a united bunch of buffoons we call each other nigger and other such ignorant terms in the name of art, humor or anger and yet we scream blue murder when some blue collar white guy does so on the radio. This is why Imus is back, because we have trivialized the impact of these words in our social structure and embraced these derogatory terms as verse leading to cultural immunization. Our children use many of these terms like you would use "dude". So for my 'peeps' (slang for people) we might as well all take this one on the chin and realize just how powerless we are in this country. Unless we truly make ourselves heard in a lasting and resounding sort of way and maintain an altered sense of morality and cultural awareness. Jena, Louisiana happened in the year 2008, imagine that?

So welcome back Don Imus, and I dare you to utter the word "Ho" again!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Love Talk

Perchance on this walk I will forget to stop
To watch closely the path of its nuance, and examine its contours. To perceive the meadows behind, hills and dense forests, the streams, rivers and gapping waterfalls that have conceded themselves. For the walk has not ceased, it is eternal.
It has been joined in many forms,
By a wife, a God, a Child, but always the path meanders. Curves and rises, barriers to be cleared. Time has supplicated itself in the story, an interminable justification.
Filled with mirth and gait, complete languish and sometimes anguish it is not for those that cannot linger.
The agreement is that the walk is foretold, and the path destined. We cannot begin to justify nor nullify our participation, for the sacrament tests only your vow to its measure and truth.
Are you committed? It is oblivious to the weight of the boulders or the effort of the laborer. For many before have labored, triumphed, or failed.
It must be a determined walk, interspaced with magnificent dashes and feats of speed, gaining ground, elevation and scenery. For when it is all said and done, It is measured only by the fruit deposited on the path and not by the number of seeds.

Happy Anniversary Vuyiswa—May the God of Our Father’s Bless Us For Another Ten Years

Thank you for loving me, even against myself.

Soneka K. Kamuhuza 1/8/2004

My Valentine

‘Twas images of princes and gallantry that flooded the
innocent mind back then. And “happily ever after” was
the phrase that curtained many a sweet dream.

Yet the Almighty, in his infinite wisdom, saw fit to
converge our distant paths in a most unlikely prologue.
As such, I recognize that you are God’s choice for me.

And because every good and perfect thing comes from Him,
then I can only believe that you are God’s perfect man for me.
And, yes, you are good.

And if a man is to leave and cleave and turn away from
his childhood ways, then surely you have forsaken much
to be joined with me.

If “nobility of behavior and spirit” is the definition, then
you are gallantry defined. And you have stood to call
yourself a child of the King, so you must be my prince!

Finally, if love is long-suffering and love bears all things,
believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things…
then what a love is this.

This story is not all written yet and God holds the epilogue
and the “ever after”. I wait with bated breath for all the
things we are yet to become.

By Vuyi,
for Soneka
Valentine’s Day 2007

Friday, June 8, 2007

The Path

See the footsteps etched in front of you?
They are worth following
Each step deliberately taken, weighted to bear forward
He that walked before you meant them as a guide,
To make your march purposeful and your path straight
There is no choice but to walk the path
For we all must reach the destination

So this path is not by choice
Your gait can be different
With no obligation to follow the steps stride for stride
Your urgency can increase or decrease
Where the steps appear hurried
Choose to hasten yours
Where they appear paused
Mark yours with rest
But walk, do not stop

Feel free to set your own steps
Or place your feet in places once trodden
For you have the assurance of direction
Which those before confirmed
Pause to smell the flowers
Or rest against a tree
But keep walking
For destiny is calling you

Engage your fellow travelers in dialogue
Help up those weary
Crack a few jokes
Bring smiles to tired faces
Help to carry someone’s load
Whisper sweet commitment
Fill your walk with admirable deeds
Kiss a child; hug a brother
But keep walking

Stay clear of unsure footing
Test areas unsure
But remember that to pioneer
Does not mean ignoring good advice
Seek the counsel of elders you encounter
For they have walked farther
Yet walk as if you are leading the way
With vigor and purpose

Copyright - Soneka K. Kamuhuza

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Pass The Dutchie

Yesterday, two of my students were arrested in the parking lot of my school. Now if this is not dramatic enough, it's what they were arrested for that blows my mind...."Smoking marijuana". Okay so for some of you pot-heads you're saying, "That's why it needs to be legalized!" Well listen to what happened to these dolts. Well it appears that after class they chose to light up while standing and talking in the parking lot.

Because they assumed that the mall only has rent-a-cops, they felt obliged to light their wares and apparently dare someone to accost them. Little did they know that the mall also uses off-duty Baltimore County policemen to work security. Needless to say, they ended up being busted. Four police cars, and wait for this one........"They both had outstanding warrants". Dig that!

So this is what I want everyone to do; If you know that you have legal trouble and the police are looking for you; go to a public place and light one up for me. The likelihood that you may get caught is slim. Though if you do get caught, don't blame me or the fact that the school sucks.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Are you worth more than Barbaro?

Most people in America know the story of Barbaro. "An American thoroughbred that decisively won the 2006 Kentucky Derby but shattered his leg two weeks later, in the 2006 Preakness Stakes, ending his racing career and eventually leading to his death" (Wikipedia).

If my memory serves me correct, many a horse -with a far less critical injury- has met his demise from a bullet. What is interesting/dumbfounding or just plain insulting is the amount of money that went into trying to keep this horse alive. I wonder if many humans would get the same privilege. In a world with; people starving, critical health crisis', daily murders, cultural and social decadence. Can we really sleep comfortably as this horse has six to seven surgeries that probably cost the same as the GNP of a small country? I can't!

The profit from breeding this horse, far outweighed the monetary sacrifice of keeping him alive. We're supposed to live with that? I am not a moral barometer, but do find myself doubting societies myopia. At which point does it stop being okay to just plain do nonsensical things? I guess we're just showing what the roots of capitalism truly are. Where one can make a buck; do not spare any expense. Whereas, where people may be dying; run a feasibility study first to assess the impact of your investment. That's the American way?

Barbaro was on his way to make history, but he's a horse. Just a horse. Okay, he was a fast horse, I'll give him that. Better still a very fast horse. Now, he's just a dead horse, who had a few million dropped on his two legs. This is quite disgruntling, especially when I can't get my insurance company to cover my daughter's allergy medicine.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Russell Simmons is a Sellout

I apologize for calling Russell Simmons a sellout. After all, he has openly called for the banning of the words bitch, ho and nigger (pronounced niggah) in rap music. Remember this is the rap mogul guy. Yes, he of the Def Jam background. Yes, yes the one who made his fortune selling the stuff in the first place. He’s calling for a ban.

I can’t help but recall that not too long ago he spoke up about not rushing to quell the storm created by the Don Imus fiasco, inferring that we had to be careful about compromising poetic license. That’s right, there is some poetic factor in calling someone a bitch or saying “f@#$ the police” in music. I guess those of us that believe that “All mimsy were the borogroves” is true poetry have ourselves confused.

It’s quite evident that after hijacking our identity, Russell (he has been one of the more important rap figures since 1984) and his cronies have banded together to hold our culture and identity hostage and are now requesting a ransom (buy our records) for us to get it back. Just watch the lines of cars drive by you pumping some rap song or other on a summer day. Oh by the way, don’t be surprised if it’s some suburban white kid in their mom’s min-van. This is the big market for rappers, white America. You see everyone wants to be a gangster (pronounced gangstah). It’s the cultural in thing that has been spawned by hip hop. That’s the ransom being paid right there.

But in order to make this kidnapping legitimate, rappers have to live what they sell. The better you curse in a rhyme, the more likely you are to land a record contract. It helps tremendously if in your background, you’ve dealt drugs, been shot and have several babies with various women (baby mama’s). Now that’s street credibility. Don’t forget the ultimate badge of honor, not telling the police who shot your sister (That would make you a snitch). That one gets you serious street credibility (pronounced “cred” in short). You have to come from the ‘hood’ formerly known as the ghetto. I believe that someone wizened up and realized that the dictionary definition of ghetto didn’t quite fit in the rap songs. The dictionary defines it as a place where a minority people are forcibly housed or isolated within a residential area. Fancy that.

But back to this Kobe beef guy. Oh, I’m sorry you don’t get the reference. Let me explain. Russell is like a guy that has been eating Kobe beef (the best grade beef in the world – from Japan). After getting his fill for years, he suddenly decides to go vegetarian and now wants every one not to eat beef. Hypocrite! This is the same guy who couldn’t quite articulate himself when he was asked what he was doing to combat this degenerate lyrical barrage and attitude towards women on “Hip-Hop, Beyond Beats and Rhymes”. He stammered his was through, “I can only do what I can,” I remember him saying. At least Jadakiss gets some ‘cred’ for not being a hypocrite. He simply answered, “I’m trying to feed my family.” Said like a true ignorant man, but at least said honestly.

We must be careful because this foolishness reaches so far beyond the music that it has become a way of life. It’s become a way of interacting with each other establishing and re-affirming our identity. Kids want to act tough because they watch idiots in videos show no fear of dying. They don’t want to cooperate with the police because it’s being portrayed as not being cool in a video by some idot black rapper millionaire called Cameron. In the meantime Baltimore has 270 murders and counting because folks won’t snitch. How about if we change the term to “cooperate with the police in a capital murder case”; that’s a bit more eloquent.

Girls these days are attracted to wearing close to nothing and shaking their buttocks at men who throw cash at them in videos. In the meantime it has become a badge of honor to have a police record for boys. “He’s a gangstah,” I hear girls coo. Even Beyonce and them want a roughneck or soldier as they call it. So one needs tattoos, a foul mouth, a police record, and the ability to walk away from a crime in order to truly be considered as a mate these days. All this mentality has been spawned by a revolution Mr. Simmons helped to create. Maybe he didn’t anticipate it would become so depraved, so raw. It would be hard for anyone to imagine it would go this far. But when rapper’s beefs lead to death, and songs are used to talk about sleeping with each others wives, when rappers hang with criminals with evil motives, it’s likely the next song out will be about how I’m going to beat or kill you b@#$%.

Mr. Simmons, you’re like a father that doesn’t believe in spanking trying to control his totally delinquent kid in a grocery store, but feels that shouting, “Son stop!” will make the little tyrant stop. This is what you have given birth to Mr. Simmons, a m@#$%% f@#$%^& f^&*()-up b@#$% a#$ culture that you can’t control. How do you like that you b@#$%! How’s that for poetic license?

Soneka K Kamuhuza© 2007

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Why I am here!

I am new to this but because I write a lot, I have been encouraged to share my thoughts with anyone that will read. I was tempted to say listen. Then again I realize that the general musings of all of us in this forum are bound to interest either like types, or those that are striving for some form of mental stimulation. I am not inclined to any particular genre or topic.

I will share how I feel, when I feel. Many that know me may stop by and comment. Others may stop by only because a particular posting may interest you. In the scope of life we may be merely ships that pass in the night. However, we are on the same ocean and that deserves mention.

So I welcome myself to the world of blogging!

Dog Law

Dog Law

The Maryland House is currently debating a law that would make it illegal to keep dogs outside; whether tethered for too long on chains or chained without food and water. They are also looking at not leaving dogs out in the cold or overnight. Wow! Imagine that, an actual law about mistreating your dog by leaving it outside –chained- so it won’t attack anyone.. Because you see, in Zambia –where I’m from- dogs are left outside in all kinds of weather. In fact they belong outside. Their sole responsibility is to protect the owner of the home by providing ample warning of intruders by barking or vicious attacks – at which the owner will be woken up by some form of yelling. This position in the domicile gives them a special status as protectors of the domiciles treasures. Maybe it’s this LAW thing that I’m not getting.

Dogs are cared for by feeding them the leftovers of the family meal. Nothing goes down the disposal or into the trash. They are given a special place as everything the owner eats; the dog gets to eat too. Albeit after; the owner has had their fill. It is a symbiotic relationship, one in which each party benefits. The well fed dog provides an alarm system for food. These dogs know the danger of venturing too far into the domicile, these forays can be met with swift kicks, launched shoes, shouts of “futsek”, and mad scrambling to escape follow. There is no confusion between the master and his dog about who sleeps where and which spot is his on the bed. A recent viewing of a “Wife Swap” episode showed a man relegated to sleeping in another room because his wife and the family dog had commandeered his bed. In, Zambia; this would be a divorced wife and a dead dog.

I hear all the animal rights people screaming right now, “Thank God we’re not in Zambia or any of those other third world nations.” But alas, I say, we from the so called Third World also scream the same thing about Westerners. We have sat on our verandah’s and watched as the dog made meticulous work of dislodging something from his rectum and then watched as you allow the same dog to kiss you or lick you on the mouth. We have watched dogs that regurgitate and then eat their vomit be allowed to lick the new born baby. What more the behavior of French people and their dogs as they seem to think that bringing a flea attraction into a restaurant promotes appetite. Let alone that slow lick of the privates after the appetizer.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m a dog lover. Love them dearly. However, I am also quite cognizant of their natural order in the animal kingdom. They are one of the few animals that have been domesticated –did you know that no new animals have been domesticated in 4,000 years? That means that we have had a long history of using dogs in some form or the other, even as food. I would never eat dog, but if it came down to my survival or Lassie? It would be dog filet for dinner. I grew up much attached to two dogs at various stages of my youth. The first was the mother of the dog that would be synonymous with me. Her son became my best-friend. Where I was, there he was too. He loved me like a hero. He would smile at me when I tickled his belly and was my constant companion as I walked the streets. However, he slept outside like all the other dogs. I washed him outside, not in the family bathroom or the kitchen sink. He didn’t eat “Kibbles n’ bits”. He ate what we ate and would wait eagerly for the morsels he would receive after we had finished our meal. As I collected the scraps and mixed them up into what I deemed an unpalatable looking mixture, he would sop this up as if I had fed a hungry soldier filet mignon.

I understand that in a country where you have sadists chain a dog tightly around the collar and sit at a window to watch it choke or rub its skin raw, the law might be necessary. I also know that because of the seasonal changes temperatures can dip drastically and dogs left outside could die. This doesn’t make the law any less absurd when weighed against the laws that haven’t been written. Why not make it illegal to walk past a homeless person who is outside in the cold without offering them help? Why not pass a law that states that every person above a certain income level must build a shelter in their backyard that specifically will house underprivileged humans in bad weather. That certain income classes must go to the store and buy groceries for homeless families and poor people at least once a month. Failure to do so would result in a fine or jail time. Now that would be something wouldn’t it? Why not make it a felony not to show up with blankets at shelters when the temperature falls below freezing? Imagine the gnashing of teeth.

Of course absurd laws deserve equally absurd hypothesis and conjectures, but as you can see, I’m enjoying this. Peace and goodwill to man aside we really must check the pulse of our nation and how it views its citizens. Are we better than dogs? When Barbaro the horse gets millions of dollars worth of medical help –just because he could possibly sire a future derby winner- and there are millions who cannot afford healthcare. I am left but to ponder where we are as a nation. When politicians who should be debating crime, healthcare, poverty and education take time to discuss the comfort levels of dogs above all else, I am left to wonder. The law means well, but it is absurd. It is another veiled form of legislature gone crazy. Put it right beside the one they will soon try to pass that makes a dog a family member and not property. After all, if the property argument was used in the legal cases to free slaves; why not dogs?