’08 Mortgage/Credit Crisis… “too many loans to blacks”

Just a heads up.  Republicans have decided to argue that Democrats created the recent credit crisis by forcing banks to give too many loans to Blacks and other minorities.  See for yourself (here).

NOTE:  I’m no longer posting here. I’ve CLOSED this blog. Please find me at my new, and better, home:  www.kdizo.wordpress.com


a 5 yr old black boy and race…

I picked up my shorty from some artsy/fartsy event this past Saturday afternoon.  He hops in the car – in the car seat – buckles himself in and…

[Car starts.  We rollin’. Ipod beats kick in thru car stereo.  Afro-Peruvian mix.  Volume hushed.]

Me:  You had a good time homie?

Son:  “Yeah!!! It was funnn!!!”

Me:  What did y’all do?

Son: “I dunno. A lot.”

Me: Okay.  Well did you…

Son: “Oh yeah, someone came to sing.”

Me:  Word up.  That’s Cool.

Son: “Dad, do you know who it was?”

***I worked in the music/concert biz for years.  My son thinks I know any and everyone that sings***

Me:  Well, I need a little more info homie.  Was it a man or a woman?

Son: “A dude.”

Me: Do you remember dude’s name?

Son: “Nope.”

Me:  What kind of music did he play?

Son:  “I dunno.  He had a guitar.”

Me:  Was he White or Black?

Son: “Uhmmm, kinda light-peach I think.”

Me: [In a faint whisper] Wowww…

…to be clear: saggy-pants infographic

Courtesy of the Flint, MI Police Department.   This is hilarious, and sad.  Read my take on the issue (here)

Hells naw I ain’t goin to see that new Tyler Perry flick!!!

I am no Tyler Perry fan.  His movies, his storylines, his choice of actors, his plots (or lack there of), his cross-dressing, his flat-underdeveloped characters, his over-simplification of black male/female relationships, his rather uninspired and pedestrian cinematography…  All this shit is wack.  It does nothing for me.

That said, I don’t have a problem with Mr. Perry per say.  I’m not going to demonize him.  That wouldn’t be fair, or constructive.  On the low, there is a place for this brand of entertainment and I actually believe that he is doing the best that he can do – with what he knows.  And therein lies the crux of the problem.  The above criticisms, are not so much an indictment of Tyler Perry as much as they are an indictment of where we are (are not) culturally/socially as a people.

I believe with all my heart, that if we: 1) where more culturally stimulated and demanding; 2) created better product/content, 3) had real access to or control of the media, the Tyler Perry films (and most of commercial hip-hop and R & B) would not over-occupy as much of our cultural space as they do today.

Tyler P. is a man of his time.  The same is true of his audience.  We are at a cultural low point – a modern day nadir period. Most of our cultural products ooze that dark reality.  Look, I know that more than a few of you might think I’m being hard on ol’ boy.  You want me to acknowledge and give credit to Mr. Perry because his films ain’t “negative” – because his characters are more “positive”.  Hey, given the cultural garbage that we consume on a daily basis, I can understand and even relate to that sentiment.  However, I don’t think that it is effective/fruitful to combat “negative” images/stereotypes with “positive” images/stereotypes.  In the end, they are both stereotypes.  And stereotypes aren’t real. Neither approach captures the complexity of our lives – of our history.  Positive characters can be just as staid, flat, and one-dimensional as negative characters.  So, for me creating/portraying more “positive” images of black folk gets us nowhere.  What we need are films, plays, shows, music etc., that portray us a being more HUMAN.  Wonderfully human.

So again, I ain’t goin’ to see “A Family That Preys”.  Nothing against Tyler Perry.  I simply think we can do better.

Humbly Submitted;

Kdizi kdizo

White Privilege…Sarah Palin…


For those who still can’t grasp the concept of white privilege, or who are constantly looking for some easy-to-understand examples of it, perhaps this list will help.

White privilege is when you can get pregnant at seventeen like Bristol Palin and everyone is quick to insist that your life and that of your family is a personal matter, and that no one has a right to judge you or your parents, because “every family has challenges,” even as black and Latino families with similar “challenges” are regularly typified as irresponsible, pathological and arbiters of social decay.

White privilege is when you can call yourself a “fuckin’ redneck,” like Bristol Palin’s boyfriend does, and talk about how if anyone messes with you, you’ll “kick their fuckin’ ass,” and talk about how you like to “shoot shit” for fun, and still be viewed as a responsible, all-American boy (and a great son-in-law to be) rather than a thug.

White privilege is when you can attend four different colleges in six years like Sarah Palin did (one of which you basically failed out of, then returned to after making up some coursework at a community college), and no one questions your intelligence or commitment to achievement, whereas a person of color who did this would be viewed as unfit for college, and probably someone who only got in in the first place because of affirmative action.

White privilege is when you can claim that being mayor of a town smaller than most medium-sized colleges, and then Governor of a state with about the same number of people as the lower fifth of the island of Manhattan, makes you ready to potentially be president, and people don’t all piss on themselves with laughter, while being a black U.S. Senator, two-term state Senator, and constitutional law scholar, means you’re “untested.”

White privilege is being able to say that you support the words “under God” in the pledge of allegiance because “if it was good enough for the founding fathers, it’s good enough for me,” and not be immediately disqualified from holding office–since, after all, the pledge was written in the late 1800s and the “under God” part wasn’t added until the 1950s–while believing that reading accused criminals and terrorists their rights (because, ya know, the Constitution, which you used to teach at a prestigious law school requires it), is a dangerous and silly idea only supported by mushy liberals.

White privilege is being able to be a gun enthusiast and not make people immediately scared of you. White privilege is being able to have a husband who was a member of an extremist political party that wants your state to secede from the Union, and whose motto was “Alaska first,” and no one questions your patriotism or that of your family, while if you’re black and your spouse merely fails to come to a 9/11 memorial so she can be home with her kids on the first day of school, people immediately think she’s being disrespectful.

White privilege is being able to make fun of community organizers and the work they do–like, among other things, fight for the right of women to vote, or for civil rights, or the 8-hour workday, or an end to child labor–and people think you’re being pithy and tough, but if you merely question the experience of a small town mayor and 18-month governor with no foreign policy expertise beyond a class she took in college–you’re somehow being mean, or even sexist.

White privilege is being able to convince white women who don’t even agree with you on any substantive issue to vote for you and your running mate anyway, because all of a sudden your presence on the ticket has inspired confidence in these same white women, and made them give your party a “second look.”

White privilege is being able to fire people who didn’t support your political campaigns and not be accused of abusing your power or being a typical politician who engages in favoritism, while being black and merely knowing some folks from the old-line political machines in Chicago means you must be corrupt.

White privilege is being able to attend churches over the years whose pastors say that people who voted for John Kerry or merely criticize George W. Bush are going to hell, and that the U.S. is an explicitly Christian nation and the job of Christians is to bring Christian theological principles into government, and who bring in speakers who say the conflict in the Middle East is God’s punishment on Jews for rejecting Jesus, and everyone can still think you’re just a good church-going Christian, but if you’re black and friends with a black pastor who has noted (as have Colin Powell and the U.S. Department of Defense) that terrorist attacks are often the result of U.S. foreign policy and who talks about the history of racism and its effect on black people, you’re an extremist who probably hates America.

White privilege is not knowing what the Bush Doctrine is when asked by a reporter, and then people get angry at the reporter for asking you such a “trick question,” while being black and merely refusing to give one-word answers to the queries of Bill O’Reilly means you’re dodging the question, or trying to seem overly intellectual and nuanced.

White privilege is being able to claim your experience as a POW has anything at all to do with your fitness for president, while being black and experiencing racism is, as Sarah Palin has referred to it, a “light” burden.

And finally, white privilege is the only thing that could possibly allow someone to become president when he has voted with George W. Bush 90 percent of the time, even as unemployment is skyrocketing, people are losing their homes, inflation is rising, and the U.S. is increasingly isolated from world opinion, just because white voters aren’t sure about that whole “change” thing. Ya know, it’s just too vague and ill-defined, unlike, say, four more years of the same, which is very concrete and certain.

White privilege is, in short, the problem.

About the Author

Tim Wise is the author of White Like Me (Soft Skull, 2005, revised 2008), and of Speaking Treason Fluently, publishing this month, also by Soft Skull.

White folk…Obama Waffles…Stereotypes

I ain’t even gonna say anything.  See OBAMA WAFFLES…



Dig Chicago: the school boycott (an act of love)

This post isn’t about Rev. Meeks or the CPS Boycott.  If you want an in depth analysis of Meeks and the boycott, just google them, I’m sure you’ll come up with way more info than you need.  I’m writing to call attention to the students, parents, and families – low income and working class Black students, parents, and families – that participated whole-heartedly in the boycott.  I want to shine the spotlight on them because they did so much more than just ride a bus to the suburban New Trier High School.  They volunteered their time, energy, and resources to call attention to the myriad issues plaguing urban mis-education.  They printed and stuffed and folded.  The canvassed door to door and at numerous “EL” stations.  They compiled and emailed and phoned.  They donated and fund-raised.  They sang and prayed.  They educated themselves on the issue.  They educated others on the issue.  They mobilized and organized.  They took action.  All this from the same group of people that “experts” and politicians have implicated time and time again as the “real” problem in urban education.  All this from the same group of Black folk mis-labeled as NOT caring about school – NOT appreciating the value of education – parents/families that are NOT actively involved in their child’s education.  And I myself would like to personally commend these brave and caring souls.  This may sound a little dramatic, but what they did this week was an act of love (something else that “experts” and the media would have the world believe we are NOT capable of).  Love of little Black boys and Black girls.  Love of family.  Love of self.  And I hope to never again have to hear/read some crap about working class and low income Black folk being fingered as the “real” problem with urban education.