Thursday, June 25, 2020

I Don't See The Big Deal With 'Gone With The Wind'

Maybe it's just me, but movies aren't supposed to be real, right?  Some are based on true stories, but a movie is still entertainment when it's all said and done.  So, why does a movie need a disclaimer before it's aired on HBO Max?

'Gone With The Wind' is one of those movies that critics have raved about for decades.  I've never seen the movie nor do I care to do so.  It's just not my thing.  However, I have read about how black people were depicted in the movie as "willing slaves" or "incompetent".  Because of this, we end up with this movie that's been around since before my dad was born coming with a warning label as if we're incompetent as well.

Now, because I've not seen the movie then maybe I don't understand the extremes of which the slaves may have been depicted.  However, I don't think that you throw a disclaimer on it because of it.  Does that mean that we'll have disclaimers for music videos that show women being degraded by men?  Do we have a four minute speech at the beginning of "Old Yeller" because of what people may perceive as animal cruelty?

Look, slavery happened.  And it infuriates me to know that people were treated like that.  My people.  But, TV is make-believe.  The reason why 'GWTW' hasn't bothered me in my 48 years on this planet is because I haven't watched it.  And that's what I would advise people to do if they feel outraged about how blacks were depicted in this film.  Just don't watch.  Don't even sweat the "gone with the wind plantation" mentality.

Who cares if some white people watch it and get their jollies from seeing black people mistreated?  They were racists anyway if they got enjoyment out of that, so why make a big deal out of people who probably aren't going to change?

I don't want to see lengthy disclaimers in front of my movies due to racial insensitivty, excessive violence, gratuitous booty shots, or whatever.  No apologies in front of "A Time To Kill" or "Mississippi Burning" or whatever unflattering movies that may be out there.  And there are thousands of them.

Most people generally know what they are getting when they sit down to watch a movie.  And if they don't know and happen to get a few minutes into it to discover that there's something about it that they don't like then they can change the channel.

Maybe there's a discussion that can be had about whatever was unpleasing about the movie, but please don't force movies to do this regularly.  Let these movies serve as talking points for productive discussions about racism.  Although I appreciate the effort, but disclaimers still won't change the systemic racism in this country in my opinion or even come close.  That's an entirely different discussion.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

No More Wall Street Bailouts!

"Every time I come in the kitchen, you in the kitchen." - Mr. Jones from the movie Friday.

That's what it seems like every time this country gets into a financial bind.  Every time the citizens get hungry, big corporations are already in the kitchen with their heads in the refrigerator.

The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic led to multi-trillion dollar bailouts of businesses and citizens in this country.  I get the citizens needing a hand, but huge corporations?  Again?

Why is it that these billion dollar corporations (that boasts huge profits annually) always seem to run out of money?  

That's a rhetorical question.  We all know it's because of campaign contributions.  Politicians wouldn't dare turn their backs on their buddies when there's a penny to be made.  Get them re-elected and you'll never be broke.

We've heard the phrase "too big to fail" being thrown around left and right, but is that really true?  Can you be too big of a company to fold?  And if that's the case, then what's the incentive for these companies to do anything competent when they know that Uncle Sam is going to bail them out each time they make a mistake?

I've seen a few local businesses in my hometown closed down.  Not because they had poor service or offered an inferior product.  But because the bailouts didn't do enough (if anything) for them.  They don't have the billion dollar profits to fall back on and friends in the White House to throw a few dollar their way.  

Times only get hard for those in the lower tax brackets.  And it's those in the lower tax brackets whose funds are paying to sustain these corporations.  It still won't prevent layoffs and it still won't prevent them from fleecing you for profits sometime in the future.

I'm going to need these incompetent CEOs who can't stretch billion dollar annual profits over the course of a few months to stay out of this country's kitchen.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

White People: Do Your Part

I don't know if my white friends understand the seriousness of this or not. Every black person has a story like this, including myself. Not all have peaceful endings. 

I don't want people to think that this stuff is new just because social media allows people to plaster it all over the web these days. Since I was a teen, I've experienced many incidents about if I "belonged" somewhere. 

Do people not realize that calling the cops on black people for no legit reason these days should be a form of criminal negligence?  If you think that someone doesn't belong then call a building manager, not the police!  Find out the truth instead of trying to intimidate someone.  White people who threaten to call the cops on black people should know that the end-result will be the severe mistreatment, and in some cases, death, of that black person.  

Until white people actually speak to their peers about correcting it then I'm afraid that it's never going to cease. Racism isn't a conversation for black people to have.  It's a conversation for white people.  White people started racism, so they have to end it.  Minorities can stomp, march, and hold signs all they want, but until white people bring this conversation into their churches and homes, it's never going to end.

I grew up in a predominantly-white school system and I had quite a few white friends. Not all white people are prejudice.  But, understand that it only takes a few dummies to make everyone look bad. Weed these people out already! Being silient is just allowing you to get unfairly lumped in with the rest these idiots. 

I won't hold my breath and wait on this to be shared, but know that an uncomfortable discussion is what it's going to take to reduce the number of prejudice people in the world like this guy.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Police Only Protect And Serve Each Other

So, yet another video surfaces of police using excessive force during an arrest.  The suspect later died after being taken into custody. 

During the video, the man pleaded for mercy and indicated that he couldn't breathe quite a few times.  He kept trying to adjust his head to find relief, but the number of cops on him wouldn't allow him comfort.  Not to mention the one cop who applied pressure from a knee to the back of the man's neck.  He was clearly increasing the pressure the more the man appeared to be adjusting to get some air.

Despite the man being in custody and no longer a threat, this cop still felt the need to "punish" him by keeping the knee in the back of the man's neck which ultimately may have led to the trauma that killed the man.  The onlookers pleaded with the cop to ease up. They begged the police to just put the guy in the squad car.  They told them to check the man's pulse when he became unresponsive.

The cops did none of that.  An ambulance was called, but the man appears to have died before they arrived.

Look,  I understand that police are humans and get frustrated, too.  They get tired of people who may run and / or resist.  But some cops don't realize how what they do comes off as severe bullying to the general public.  Especially minorities.  Once the suspect is subdued, the fight is over.  You don't have the right to continue to punish someone who is in handcuffs and not in a position to be a threat to anyone.

I have met some really good cops in my life.  Cops who wouldn't dare think of intentionally harming someone.  But until THEY start to speak out against this, we'll continue to see videos like these.  When was the last time you saw a cop testify against another cop for police brutality?  Wait.  When's the first time you've ever seen that?

This "loyalty to the uniform" stuff needs to end if they ever want to truly gain a reputation for "protecting and serving" the people.  Because right now, the police only "protect and serve" each other.

Monday, May 18, 2020

How To Listen To The Talk 2 Q Radio Show

Click here.  It's just that simple. :)

The Talk 2 Q Radio Show is a show for adults to get together and rant about whatever the trending topic may be. Relationships, race relations, politics, sports, and more! If you have something to get off your chest, then join the chat room and / or call in and let your opinions be known!

Unlike most shows where you simply listen to the host, I allow you a chance to do the talking. You have the opportunity to express an opinion or rant on a subject. I want to hear what you have to say which is why I named the show "Talk 2 Q" and not "Listen 2 Q."

The Call-in Number: (516) 595-8306. There is also the aforementioned chat room where you can interact with other listeners and ask questions to the host and / or guests.

Okay, enough of that. Let's talk about what I'm really about. Where do I start? I'm old school. That's an understatement to any of you who have followed me for a while, but it's a true statement. Being blessed with a two-parent household as a child, I was raised with many traditional values from the Hospitality State of Mississippi.

Examples: taking my hat/cap off before entering someone's home, holding a door for a lady to enter first, a firm handshake, making eye contact when speaking with people, and being accountable for my actions to name a few.

As crazy as it sounds, those things are becoming a lost art. Too many boys out there lack the man training that is necessary to continue the dwindling cycle of main components of manhood. Pride, responsibility, and accountability have been replaced with entitlement, dependency, and deflection. 

These are the things that fuel the passion for my radio show. I want to bring morals and values back to mainstream America one show at a time. Because although there are plenty of outlets for people to express themselves freely, there isn't one quite like T2Q.

Direct. Real. Uncensored. 

Why? Because "some things need to be said."

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Treat Mothers With The Respect They're Due

I have to admit that Mother's Day hasn't been quite the same for me since my mom passed away in 2012.

I'm blessed to still have my grandmother who is 97 years old and also I still get gifts from my late wife's mom. But, the day still seems incomplete without my mother.

My mom's name was Mary. She was 69 years old when she passed in June 2012 from cancer. She was diagnosed around 2009 and it slowly ate away at her.

My mom spent the last month of her life in the hospital. One of the toughest moments of my life was when I was feeding her one evening because she was unable to feed herself. I thought about how she fed me as a baby and now here it was I was doing the same for her. It took everything within me to not cry in front of her and I'll never forget that moment. The amount of appreciation for every she did for me in my life swelled up inside of me and almost exploded in a wave of emotions at that very instant.

But, I managed to keep it together. In that moment, all I could think about were the many instances that she made sacrifices for me. Helping me with homework. Taking me to practice when my dad had to work. Being a taxi for me and my friend, Shawn, or my cousin, Jerome, to go to the mall arcade to play video games. So many times, she put off what she wanted to do to make sure that my brother and I were happy.

I'm so glad that she had an opportunity to retire and actually enjoy her life before she got sick. She loved to go fishing and she loved to visit casinos. And she did that very often for about five to seven years before she got too weak to go. The morning she died, I remember the emptiness I felt. When the coroners took her from the hospital room, I felt as if I should go with them to accompany her. I didn't want her to be alone although she'd passed away.  Because she had always been there for me.

I guess that the message that I want to pass on to all of the guys out there is don't take your mom for granted. If she was good to you then do twice as much as you can for her when you get in a situation to do so. And for you guys who are husbands or have children with a woman, you're not exempt from this either.

Husbands, treat your wife right. Spend equal time with your children and allow your wife some alone time. It's not a woman's job to take care of kids. That responsibility belongs to both parents. Do your share. Period.

And for guys who have kids by a woman and you don't have custody of them and don't live with her, please pick up your kids as often as you can. Don't think that just because you get them every other weekend (after she's had them for 12 days straight) that you're doing something special.  Just because you and her are no longer together doesn't mean that their mother is no longer important to you. She's raising your kids! You need her to be at her best which means you need to relieve her whenever possible. Allow her time to go out or have a spa day or do whatever it is she wants to do. Her peace of mind will allow her to be the best parent she can be.  Your kids deserve that.

I'm ranting, but I'm saying all of this to say: treat mothers with the respect they're due. And I'm not belittling the roles of dads because they are equally as important. We all have a special bond with each active parent. And mothers have a special place in our hearts because we all shared a heartbeat with them at some point of their pregnancy with us. Do right by them and let them feel the love every day of the year and not just on Mother's Day.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Being A Gentleman Is Lame

There's no shame in being nice to a woman. Chivalry is cool. But make no mistake about it, women don't care for old school gentlemen these days. If you overdo it with a woman and try to overly-impress her to win her affection then you're probably wasting your time.

Women in 2020 don't really want to be treated like a lady. That was cool in the 60's, but not so much now.  Women in 2020 are independent. They don't want another person to have to think for. Especially someone who is grown.

A woman wants a man who can be in charge. Not necessarily of her, but of himself and the situations he finds himself in. If something breaks, can he get it fixed? If the household suffers financially, can he pick up the slack? If she has a bad day, can he push the right buttons to make her forget about it?

Being a man isn't about being "nice". It's about being emotionally stronger than your woman and being her rock. She doesn't need to be treated her like she's fragile. She needs to be treated like she's important.

Friday, March 13, 2020

No Sports? Now What?

Never in my adult life has there ever been a period of time that I couldn't turn on TV and find some sports to watch.  I will pretty much watch any sport just because I love the spirit of athletic competition.  But here comes this funky COVID-19 ruining things for me and millions of others around the world.  It's way too early for an April Fool's Day joke.

The coronavirus has turned into a pandemic and sporting events are being either suspended indefinitely or canceled.  And I totally understand the seriousness of it all.  This virus is spreading like the flu and is causing mass hysteria around the world.  It sucks that it took something of this magnitude to get people to do the things they should have been doing since being old enough to attend kindergarten: wash their hands regularly and cover their mouth when they sneeze/cough.  

Without sports I'll find more time to blog, clear my DVR and read some more.  And of course, I'll tune into the reality show known as "world news" to see how our elected "leaders" are handling this crisis.  I truly hate politics when it comes to emergencies.  The people are usually secondary to political agendas.  Politicians aren't beneath using a crisis to further their agenda.  Here are some examples:

  • Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, apparently tried to pass a coronavirus relief bill that came with an abortion-funding loophole chaser.  This is not the time to take advantage of the situation to get a bill passed.  Shame, Nancy!  
  • President Trump banned travel to the U.S. except for in the UK and Ireland.  Not because they're coronavirus-free, but I'm guessing because he has golf resorts in those two countries.  The UK and Ireland have more cases of coronavirus then some of the other countries in the travel ban.  Greed.
  • There's talk about offering corporate welfare to the airlines because people aren't traveling right now.  These companies fleece the general public around each holiday by jacking up already-high prices and now they need a handout?  Ridiculous.
  • Bottled water and other essentials are slowly creeping up in price during a time of need.  Anything for an extra buck, right?
Corporations are still taking advantage of U.S. citizens despite the seriousness of the crisis.  Yet we still vote the same people into office each term who allow these companies to do so.  They should drug test all voters.  

As for the coronavirus that has taken over our lives as we know it, all we can do is wait and see what happens with all of this.  Are we closer to the movie "28 Days Later"?  Lord, I hope not.  

Saturday, January 11, 2020

White People Need To Stop Being Racists

This logo is as accurate as it is iconic.  PE#1.
Now that I have your attention, let me give some background on myself to explain why that I think that statement is 100% true: I grew up in a predominantly white school system.  I had a lot of white friends in my childhood, so I saw the good in white people.  I was oblivious to a lot of the atrocities in the U.S. because of the type of education that I received and the environment in which I was raised.

Then I went to an HBCU (Google it if you don't know the acronym) and I met other people who looked like me who had totally different experiences growing up.  By the way, this is generally how one learns about the world.  Being exposed to all walks of life is what expands our way of thinking.  But, back to the topic at hand...

I spent a lot of my youth and some of my adult life explaining to minorities how "the conversation" about racism should be approached with white people.  I found myself speaking from a place that protected the good white people that I knew.  It took growing older in society to realize that they didn't need me to defend them.  Their privilege alone gave them the protection that they needed.

The point I'm trying to make is that black people have no responsibility in stopping racism.  White people do.  And it's always been that way despite how others have tried to spin it over and over again.  It's not a woman's responsibility to have "a discussion" with an abusive husband.  He just needs to recognize that he's wrong and stop abusing her.  See how simple that is?  Problem solved.

We don't need a table of "black leaders" to sit down and discuss why we shouldn't be unlawfully shot by police, denied opportunities for leadership positions from being a CEO of a Fortune 500 company to being an NFL head coach, or refused loans and/or housing based solely on the fact that we are enriched with melanin.  Black people have complained for decades on the things that prevent us from truly being equals in this country, so there's nothing new to talk about.  All white people have to do is stop doing it.  It's just that simple.  Nothing else is required.

And for all white people who have done things to help promote the end of racism, I thank and applaud you.  We wouldn't have made it this far without some of you.  But, you're going to have to do more.  Because in order for you not to be unfairly grouped in with racists, you have to convince the racists to cut it out.  So, it looks like you have the responsibility of helping this madness end.  Not black people.

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