Bruno Mars and cultural appropriation, part 2: the bake

bruno mars cultural appropriation

The fried-rice-and-chicken-wing-theory of Blackness gets too much shine at times. We’ll dig deeper into that point later.

I want to continue my thoughts from earlier today about Bruno Mars and cultural appropriation by asking a silly question: what is Blackness?

Also, what credentialed person or process gets to determine someone else’s Blackness?

No, this isn’t a Rachel Dolezal-type of question. We all know she’s not a Black woman. Hell, she even knows it.

I’m referring to the people who are quick to be arbiters of Blackness and have severed connections to African history and its diasporic fruits along the way.

I’ll start with a video, and then share a personal story.

Here’s Bruno Mars playing the timbales with his father, Pedrito Hernandez, on congas. Mars’ brother Eric plays drums.

Every bit of that — from the polyrhythmic patterns to the call-and-response — has African roots.

And like I mentioned in my previous piece, Bruno Mars is completely aware of that.

So, you have a Hawaiian-born Puerto Rican Filipino — where much of the Borinquen part of his heritage was permanently shaped by centuries-long exposure to West Africa, knowingly playing rhythms of the Motherland, but someone gets to throw a random judgement call on social media about his connection to Blackness or Black music?

That’s about as silly as removing Joe Bataan, Mongo Santamaria and Candido — all artists who’ve proudly played Afro-Latin forms and even merged them with R&B and Jazz — from the African diaspora and branding them as non-Black appropriators.

By the way, Bataan, Candido and Santamaria have publicly acknowledged the African roots of their culture, music and race.

The discussion of African roots brings me to the story I promised.

I was speaking to a cashier I had previously met several times, who asked me one day what I was up to.

I told her that I’m making cow foot soup at a friend’s request, and will need to buy the ingredients.

She then said “How come you don’t cook Black food?”

“What do you call black food?” was my curious response.

She mentioned fried chicken wings and fried rice from a neighborhood Chinese food joint.

Some of you would’ve walked away at that point, but I gently explained the Afro-Carribean roots of the dish I was cooking. Not sure she became fully convinced.

My point is that we have an alarming number of Black folks who are quick to wield the “Not Black” brand stamp whenever they encounter anything outside of their personal experiences.

I still remember the time when a Black, Harvard-educated lawyer with a White Mom and Kenyan Dad was paired with the insinuation that he’s not “Black enough.” We all know the rest of that story.

But this entire debate is meaningless since arguing about Mars’ blackness doesn’t change how the Black infant mortality rate is twice that of Whites, or Black net worth — with partial thanks to predatory lending and redlining — is criminally low.

Instead of debating skin shades, accents, dress codes and school pedigrees among us, we should invest time helping children understand history and the Black race’s place within it. Providing these children with tools for personal empowerment would also help tremendously.

When I last checked, delegating Black history education to school systems hasn’t worked out well, and many so-called educated adults don’t know much beyond Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and President Barack Obama.

A real education in Black history and empowerment sure beats investing 26 minutes on this

song currently stuck in my head: “crate diggin’” – fantastikclick and sport g

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Bruno Mars and cultural appropriation, part 1: the shake

bruno mars cultural appropriation

To the folks who continue to drone that performer Bruno Mars is guilty of cultural appropriationleave him Alone.

Yeah, I always thought Bruno Mars played Cruise Ship Funk — the safe stuff that’s deodorized to a sucralose state of Middle-American acceptamce where listens invoke Peoria-grandma-approved happy faces, trying hard to keep a beat.

The alternative — frowns, gas masks, church claps, floor smashes on the downbeat — and soul-digging contemplation — isn’t what many of you, except for people who read me on a regular, would be down with at 9 pm in the middle of a Royal Caribbean dance floor.

We all have our own versions of happy music.

But that’s not the point of this piece — (laughing) leave Bruno Mars alone!

Nope, I’m not in his fan club and I don’t own any of his releases. (Laughing) I’ve had enough of 1980s New Jack Swing tunes to hear 2018 throwback nods … although I’ll give props to Mars for this jawn.

And why would I settle for present-day cleansed Electro Boogie Funk joints with an 80s lean, when more organic modern tunes exist?

But still — leave Bruno Mars alone.

Unlike truly-guilty cultural appropriators who want to make you think their Soul inspiration was some sort of immaculate blossoming from within, Mars always gave props to the creative force that inspired him: Black music.

In his own words to Latina magazine in 2017:

When you say ‘black music,’ understand that you are talking about rock, jazz, R&B, reggae, funk, doo-wop, hip-hop, and Motown. Black people created it all. Being Puerto Rican, even salsa music stems back to the Motherland [Africa]. So, in my world, black music means everything. It’s what gives America its swag.

It’s not appropriation if he respects the source.

Mars discussed the music of his childhood during the same interview:

I’m a child raised in the ‘90s. Pop music was heavily rooted in R&B from Whitney, Diddy, Dr. Dre, Boyz II Men, Aaliyah, TLC, Babyface, New Edition, Michael, and so much more. As kids this is what was playing on MTV and the radio. This is what we were dancing to at school functions and BBQs. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for these artists who inspired me. They have brought me so much joy and created the soundtrack to my life filled with memories that I’ll never forget. Most importantly, they were the superstars that set the bar for me and showed me what it takes to sing a song that can get the whole world dancing, or give a performance that people will talk about forever. Watching them made me feel like I had to be as great as they were in order to even stand a chance in this music business. You gotta sing as if Jodeci is performing after you and dance as if Bobby Brown is coming up next.

While I don’t buy his music, I give Mars and his team props for their skill in selling his internalized vision of Black Music to Peoria. But that’s not appropriation.

Meanwhile, I can list plenty of performers who are so caught up in their appropriation game that they wouldn’t even be caught on a TMZ camera while eating chocolate bars.

Digital pal and guitarist Adrian Romero offered a beautiful example of how the cultural appropriation brand becomes confusing to its zealously dogmatic users when he shouted out bassist Charles Mingus’ solo piano album. Give it a listen and tell me you don’t hear Ravel in it. Mingus made no secret of how White Classical composers influenced him.

In fact, fellow Jazz artists Bill Evans (the piano-playing one, if you’re wondering), Herbie Hancock, Duke Ellington, Brad Mehldau, Keith Jarrett and many others cite Classical music as an influence on how they conceptualize and play Jazz — a music genre that was created by Black folks.

Carlos Santana, a Mexican-born American known for his innovative compositional and guitar-playing skills, was so moved by African Diasporic music (“The rhythms of Africa help us on a molecular level.”) that you hear forms like Jazz, Blues and Salsa in nearly all his songs — and a predominantly African-American band called the Black Rock Coalition Orchestra has been known to channel Santana’s style in live performances.

Who is guilty of appropriating when late Jazz Drummer Steve Reid teamed up with Techno music producer Kieran Hebden? This is a layered trick question, but my answer is “no one.

Who would you call the appropriating party when living saxophone legend Anthony Braxton collaborated with experimental Rock band Wolf Eyes to create Black Vomit?

What about the Rolling Stones being influenced by old, Black Blues masters like Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf?

What do you call the more recent collaboration between Jazz trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith and Indie Rock band Deerhoof?

All of the creatives I mentioned have a documented high level of respect for the source that inspired them.

Respect is not appropriation.

Even if it can sometimes sound like Cruise Ship Funk.

But don’t you think this Bruno Mars hoo-ha either focuses on the wrong side of the what-is-blackness debate, or is a poorly spent stretch of time altogether?

More thoughts to come …

song currently stuck in my head: “bad habit (full-length version)” – atfc presents onephatdiva

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Remembering Mabel Williams

robert f. williams mabel williams naacp

So that’s when the police came up and they jumped out of the car. And they were saying they were going to take him to jail. And I said, “Do you have a warrant?” And they said — they backed up and they saw me with the shotgun. And, so, I said, “If you don’t have a warrant, you’re not taking him anywhere.”

NAACP member Mabel Williams recalling a 1961 incident where Monroe, NC police officers attempted to arrest her husband Robert for driving with a broken headlight.

I’m having coincidental Women’s History Month thoughts about what bothers me more — the way mainstream accounts of women in the the so-called Civil Rights Movement seem to focus only on the near-mandatory hagiographies of Coretta Scott King and Rosa Parks while ignoring the leadership and bravery of other African-American liberty seekers like the late Mabel Williams, or how mentions of Williams seem to always stop at “Oh, she’s the wife of Robert F. Williams.”

And since I’ve been in the Williamses’ orbit lately, let’s dig deeper …

I pulled the Mabel Williams quote you see at the top of this piece from the brilliant oral history she provided to the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, through a conversation she had with David Cecelski. Reading her account of life as Black prey in 1950s Monroe, North Carolina gives you a deeper sense of why the town couldn’t become any more of a haven for White terrorist activities toward African descendants.

The local branch of the Ku Klux Klan respectively used Monroe’s city hall lawn and police station back then as a public petition site to run Robert Williams out of town and a source for new white-hood recruits.

Segregation ran so deep — literally — that admitting and treating Black patients, including babies and pregnant mothers, were restricted to a filthy hospital basement.

Local NAACP membership was reduced to a metaphysical argument since the Black professional class — the NAACP’s typical source of core strength — was scared away from joining the group out of fear of being either branded as communists, isolated from economic opportunities (i.e., jobs) or targeted for physical violence.

Black women were sexually assaulted by White predators while justice offered no respectable pursuit whatsoever.

Black Monroe children were brutally beaten by White adult mobs.

So if you asked why would Mabel Williams roll up to the front of her house with a shotgun in a town whose White supremacy was lacquered in place by government officials, law enforcement, White terrorist organizations and town citizens who had no problems with supporting domestic terrorism …

By the way, the cops avoided a gunfight and didn’t arrest Mabel’s husband that day. The busted headlight came from an earlier incident where KKK sympathizers tried to ram Robert Williams’ car off the road — an incident that was passively observed by Monroe police officers. Mabel Williams was likely correct in her fear that drove her to draw the shotgun: an arrest would have meant a lynching that evening. Literally.

Before her marriage, Mabel Williams was a student/athlete who excelled in both areas, and was supported by a community with a sufficient sense of Blackness that enabled her to endure life in Monroe.

And she became much more than a spouse and long gun handler.

She — in collaboration with Robert — co-founded a Black Progressive newsletter called The Crusader as a way to counter the dominating White supremacist messaging of the time. She was one of the journal’s writers and gathered news clippings from around the world to select for inclusion.

Mabel helped to coordinate the local NAACP’s unofficial intelligence-gathering apparatus, given that a number of the organization’s members were domestic workers for Monroe’s rich and powerful White families. She shared an instance with Cecelski:

I remember one particular incident where Robert was going on trial for something the maid for the judge said that the judge came in that morning at breakfast and said, “Oh honey — ” to his wife. “Oh honey, I’m going to be a big man today.” And she said, “Why? What’s going to happen?” He said, “I’m going to send that nigger Robert Williams to prison.”

Mabel helped Robert write the book Negroes with Guns and launch the brilliantly-titled Radio Free Dixie — a show broadcasted from Cuba that featured Jazz and political conversation — while living as exiles.

One of the most important things Mabel did subsequent to her return to the United States was to counter the false narratives about herself, Robert and the Civil Rights Movement by documenting her account of the struggle in Monroe.

For example, she demystified how the National Rifle Association initially supported Robert and other Black Monroe gun club members with a local charter:

… when Robert sent off for the charter he had himself as an author. He had Dr. Perry as a doctor. He had some of the — oh, he had one of our officers McDowell, as a businessman. He had, I think, the women he put down housewives. And he put construction, contractor for the construction workers. And we got our first charter like that.

In other words, Williams never indicated that he was affiliated with the NAACP, and it doesn’t appear that the NRA knew who Robert Williams was at the time.

mabel williams naacp

Mabel had her own ideas about how she and her husband received a charter to power their armed struggle against the Klan:

I’m sure when we joined and the years after then, had they known we were a black group, they would have revoked our charter.

Mabel’s words also made clear that neither she, Robert nor their Monroe crew were random gun nuts:

But the ironic part that I want people to know is that although we had an association with guns, we knew how to use guns. We trained other people how to use guns, our children included. We never had the occasion to have to shoot anybody. And that if, you know. That’s remarkable because a lot of people, when they think about having guns, they think about killing folks. And Robert always—. He was the ultimate teacher, always. He always taught the other people and us that a gun is a weapon that can do terrible damage to people. And the only reason you would ever pick up a gun is for self-defense and not for anything aggressive or not to scare off anybody, and not to play with anybody. But it was serious business when you really had to pick up a gun.

Mabel Williams remained woke and active in later years.

In addition to continuing her social activism and finishing Robert’s memoirs, Mabel was engaged in community economic development projects like the restoration of Idlewild, Michigan — a Black Shangri-La that materialized in the 1920s, and became the hottest resort town for Black families and celebrities alike during the 1940s and ’50s.

The statutory death of Jim Crow resulted in the disintegration of Idlewild in the first place, but I won’t go there today …

Mabel transitioned in 2014. May she continue to Rest in Love.

Read her entire UNC-Chapel Hill interview here.

song currently stuck in my head: “it runs through me” – tom misch feat. de la soul

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That day the NRA pulled the (Black) race card — and everyone lost it



Okay — it’s time to deal with the National Rifle Association’s Dana Loesch and her days-ago quote that still has people arguing.



Many in legacy media love mass shootings. You guys love it.


She then creatively teased the race card …


Now I’m not saying that you love the tragedy. But I am saying that you love the ratings. Crying white mothers are ratings gold to you and many in the legacy media …


… before slamming it down on the podium and making all sides of the debate table lose it, albeit for very different reasons:


And notice I said ‘crying white mothers’ because there are thousands of grieving black mothers in Chicago every weekend, and you don’t see town halls for them, do you … … Where’s the CNN town hall for Chicago? Where’s the CNN town hall for sanctuary cities?


The Black mothers in Chicago.


I have to admit — that was a ninja-type move. But we’ve seen this trick before. I’ll get to that in a moment.


Plenty of Black folks I know who never jocked the NRA responded with “Dang, [Loesch] is right!” as they recall recurring examples of the mainstream media overlooking problems in the Black community — until those problems hit White America.


Through Loesch’s eyes, that kind of response is the positive step for the NRA.


I also know plenty of Liberal White people who responded to Loesch’s statement like sore losers at a game of Spades and were ready to flip over the table. And that probably happened in a few households.


Some of you on the Fragmented Left will have all kinds of descriptors for the NRA: “KKK reincarnated,” “President Trump’s political action committee,” “domestic terrorists” and others.


But if you ask the NRA why they’re shouting out the Black mothers of Chicago, their simple answer would be: “We’re a civil rights organization and defenders of the Second Amendment.”


Even if you thought the NRA is down with civil rights, your theory was smashed through the earth on July 16, 2016 when the organization couldn’t seem to speak up after Philando Castile appears to be executed by St. Anthony, Minnesota cop Jeronimo Yanez:



The NRA is more like an interest group for the gun industry — and the gun industry simply wants to sell guns.


Therefore, the NRA helps the gun industry sell guns.


Caterpillar caps and Country music are important to the NRA because the industry’s most lucrative market for guns at the moment has people in it who like Caterpillar caps and Country Music.


If America turned Black overnight and became the most lucrative market, the gun industry would sell roscoes with the red, black and green grip, and the NRA would sell matching jackets alongside Al Green CDs. Migos for the younger set.


I’ll take you back to a piece written by Northwestern University professor Martha Biondi, where she recalled a 2012 event hosted by the NRA in the South Side of Chicago. The event brought up images of Black Nationalism to gather pro-gun legislative support among African Americans. They featured a screening of the Robert F. Williams’ documentary Negroes with Guns(!) and positioned the film’s subject as an American hero.


The organization many of you would say is Conservative; drafted the 1920’s Uniform Firearms Act that left it up to the states to grant gun permits (ha, you know how the rest of that story went for Black people); supported the 1968 Gun Control Act after the Black Panthers found a place for guns in their daily meetups with Bay Area cops; but boldly supported a 1960s-70s Black Nationalist to support the organization’s “guns everywhere” agenda?


The NRA has also praised Otis McDonald, an African descendant who fought Chicago’s gun laws — and won.


The mystery is over. Dana Loesch’s race card was really a business card. The NRA will continue its outreach to people of color and younger people.


And if bringing up Chicago mothers helps to sell more guns, well …


song currently stuck in my head: “friendly galaxy” – sun ra

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NAACP’s “Feared but forgotten” Robert F. Williams  — a Negro with a gun

Robert. F. Williams FBI

I want to rap about the latest National Rifle Association’s disingenuous stroke of rhetorical jiu-jitsu brilliance, as exhibited by their spokesperson Dana Loesch, but I think it’s a good idea to share a prerequisite piece about the late Monroe, North Carolina NAACP branch president, Robert F. Williams.

Besides, today is Williams’ birthday.

I’m not surprised if some of you never heard of him. I sometimes wonder if the NAACP struck Williams’ name from their halls and archives. (Lsughing) Okay, not completely

Felicia R. Lee wrote a 2006 piece in the New York Times where the headline called Williams “Outspoken and Feared but Largely Forgotten.”

Williams — whose childhood and young adult phases of his life were shaped by the Great Migration, a refugee operation to evade the domestic White terrorism of the southern United States; subsequent immersion in northern violence through the infamous Labor Riots; segregation in the US Marine Corps as a World War II draftee — moved to Monroe, North Carolina and became branch President of the NAACP in a town where the number of Ku Klux Klan members nearly outnumbered residents.

Williams concluded that the Black citizens of Monroe needed to find equal justice and protection through the barrel of a gun after witnessing repeated white-on-black assaults. He formed a group of defenders called the Black Guard and provided its members small arms and martial arts training.

He respectively became the most hated and popular Monroe citizen after meeting Klansmen motorcades through Black communities with a crew of armed defenders on sidewalks ready to regulate at the first sign of violence, and launching a globally-recognized campaign to free a couple of boys aged 8 and 10 whose “crime” was being kissed by a White girl..

Williams also elevated his star appeal in Monroe by repelling an attack by the Klan.

robert f. williams negroes with guns civil rights

But he arguably began to elevate his status to “Most Dangerous Man in America after this response to the acquittal of a White man, despite witnesses, in the attempted rape of a Black woman:

If the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution cannot be enforced in this social jungle called Dixie, it is time that Negroes must defend themselves, even if it is necessary to resort to violence … there is no need to take the White attackers to the courts because they will be freed, and that the federal government is not coming to the aid of people who are oppressed and it is time for negro men to stand up and be men — and if it is necessary for us to die then we will die, and if it is necessary for us to kill, then we will kill.

From an NAACP branch president … !

Naturally, the NAACP home office wanted to suspend Williams for 6 months.

In his book Negroes with Guns, Williams described a 1961 incident that erupted after his organization’s peaceful attempt to integrate a local swimming pool was met by gunfire:

Somebody in the crowd fired a pistol and the people again started to scream hysterically, “Kill the niggers! Kill the niggers! Pour gasoline on the niggers!” The mob started to throw stones on top of my car. So I opened the door of the car and I put one foot on the ground and stood up in the door holding an Italian carbine.

Williams then discussed the behavior of the police officers that day, who followed Williams and his social justice activists much of the time and yet did nothing to protect them from the lynch mob:

One ran straight to me, grabbed me on the shoulder, and said “Surrender your weapon! Surrender your weapon!”

SRSLY, y’all.

I struck him in the face and knocked him back away from the car and put my carbine in his face, and I told him we were not going to surrender to a mob. I told him that we didn’t intend to be lynched.

The other officers weren’t much help:

The other policeman who
had run around the side of the car started to draw his revolver out of the holster. He was hoping to shoot me in the back.

There goes that.

They didn’t know that we had more than one gun. One of the students (who was seventeen years old) put a .45 in the policeman’s face and told him that if he pulled out his pistol he would kill him. The policeman started putting his gun back into the holster and backing away from the car, and he fell into the ditch.

The response to Williams’ clear visual message reflected an elucidation of the worst fears any hateful and deadly mob:

There was a very old man, an old white man out in the crowd, and he started screaming and crying like a baby, and he kept crying, and he said, “God damn, God damn, what is this God damn country coming to that the niggers have got guns, the niggers are armed and the police can’t even arrest them!” He kept crying and somebody led him away through the crowd.

Williams also made the FBI’s Most wanted list, thanks to imaginative kidnapping charges. Williams fled the country to Cuba, along with his wife and two children.

The NRA is quick to mention that they helped Williams establish a rifle club in Monroe. Does that surprise you?

More tomorrow …

song currently stuck in my head: “be free” – moonchild

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A Proclamation for Nikolas Cruz Day and His Terroristic White Privilege

Nikolas Cruz going to explode social media


He’s going to explode

Could never be uttered by concerned callers to the FBI about my underprivileged Black azz without a small brigade of suits, flanked by HRT, rolling up to my front door


I, with privileges unchanged, can’t publish a YouTube video of my hypothetical chants about how much I want to kill someone — as if I’m performing a ritual to be washed in the blood of Christ, without being immediately tracked and taken down by law enforcement officers


After I’m arrested for all that chanting, the media will invariably wonder if I’m down with A***h


Every mass shooting — or threat of one — in America seems to follow the same epistemological pattern of inquiries like:

Is the shooter from Pakistan?

From Iran?





A***h involved?


Move on


Police officers could never visit any African descendant’s home 23 times — or was it 39 — because of domestic and emotional disturbance episodes without any occupant in the home being shot, locked up, beat down or tazed


bought tons of ammo,”

“has used a gun against people before”

“has put the gun to others’ heads in the past”

Could never become words spoken by my Mother or hypothetical legal guardian to a 911 dispatcher on one of those 23-or-39-too-ridiculous-to-be-hypothetical-for-a-Black-family-to-experience police visits


My Father could never say it’s the right of of his son — who suffers from a clinical cocktail of depression, ADHD and autism — to own a gun, and he then expresses zero regrets for that decision after I shoot school kids, without facing universal condemnation for his apparent don’t-give-a-f***ness outlook in life.


Speaking of can’t give a f*** — the extent to which all of you signed away your freedoms to a persuasive and desperate multi-billion-dollar bid to feed an omniauditory, ommatidial framework that can’t seem to notice a White terrorist make shoot-’em-up chants on social media under his birth name


My Dad, a hypothetical former military intelligence analyst, would have his entire career placed under media review if he admitted to seeing no signs that I was going to open fire on students


Every politico’s lobbed hope

Every passing prayer after a mass slaughter

Never seem to have a destination but some of you still go out of your way to seize them as if they’re meant for you or will keep the remaining children in America safe

Whereas, we’ve been trained to never ask the right questions — only pursue the right design, which isn’t your own, by the way

And whereas most of you aren’t going to remember this piece or the current tragedy a few weeks from now anyway …

I declare Wednesday, February 14, 2018, the subsequent days heretofore and every day hereafter, Nikolas Cruz Day.

His White privilege will be equally remembered and forgotten …

song currently stuck in my head: “lamentations” – moses sumney

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Alt-right still mad that Black Panther movie isn’t all-White

black panther movie racism

File under #Trifling.

HuffPost reports that the alt-right — in the form of a group named Down with Disney — plans to destroy Marvel Black superhero movie Black Panther’s Rotten Tomatoes critics score, possibly through the bots used by the same group to attack The Last Jedi film.

While we’re only talking about a movie based on a fictional character and an afro-centric band of actors — produced in an entertainment capital known for its damn-near-all-White flicks — it appears that a disappointing segment of White Americans isn’t taking the news of Black Panther’s February 16 release very well.

black panther movie white backlash

Meanwhile, much of Black America views the movie as a time for celebration, if not progress. Please, no response is needed about the latter — I get it.

The spirit admonishes me to rap in responsibly indefinite terms, but we’ve seen this backdrop before — and its following scene.

I’m surprised but thankful that Black Panther’s only facing bots.

Remain on point while you celebrate on the 16th …

song currently stuck in my head: “the inflated tear” – rahsaan roland kirk

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Trump’s mental state, Bernie Sanders and the souls of Black folks

donald trump mental health stability

Here’s a statistic from last week’s Quinnipiac poll (pdf here) about President Donald Trump’s mental stability that didn’t make the mainstream media landing pages: 70 percent of surveyed African American voters have a favorable opinion of 2016 presidential candidate and current U.S. Senator, Bernie Sanders.

The poll also showed a flash hypothetical read for 2020: 68 percent of Black folks would vote for Sanders in a presidential race.

(Laughing) Must be all that derivative socialist talk about breaking up the too-big-to-fail banks, reducing the country’s income inequality problem, dismantling the ever-expanding private prison industry, providing an alternative to financially-oppressive college education schemes and creating a healthcare program most Americans could actually afford — almost all of which speaks to African descendants’ spiritually-embedded sense of their motherland’s ancient communalism practices.

Or, BLAME THE RUSSIANS since some segments of The Resistance have a hard time believing in the possibility of Darkies reaching an independent conclusion about the way neither major political party has done a good job of taking care of the real economy for the past three decades.

When looking at the entire surveyed population, Sanders’ favorable/unfavorable measure was 48-38 percent. Democrats: 76-11 percent; White voters: 43-45 percent.

White voters don’t seem willing to #feeltheburn in the next presidential election: only 33 percent of those surveyed are inclined to vote for him.

These polling numbers underscore the strange relationship between African Americans and the Democratic Party: repulsed by Republicans, Black voters have been repeatedly handed a better-than-nothing deal by the blue party — a partnership of neglect and biennial woos studded with fear-soaked premonitions about allowing the other party take over Washington.

I’ve never posted a deeper meditation of Sanders on this blog but I should. While far from being a perfect candidate, his (un)popularity among certain voting segments is symptomatic of the Democratic Party’s continuing crisis of salvation. Some of you have been following my posts long enough to know that salvation has been a recurring theme of mine for over a year.

I think the media covered how Black voters have the strongest opinion of all concerning Trump’s mental stability — 71 percent don’t think he’s wrapped too tight, versus 43 percent among Whites — so I’ll only ask: isn’t the race divide over that survey question alone worth a hearty beer discussion … ?

Hillary Clinton is curiously absent from the survey — especially since Oprah Winfrey, Kirsten Gillibrand and Joe Biden were mentioned and gauged as potential Trump matchups.

Then again, we shouldn’t be surprised by that …

[Kambui’s note: this piece was written a while ago, but a couple of distractions delayed it from being published. Two words — “last week’s” — were used to update the post’s timing … ]

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Sunday Smack: what about Harriet Tubman’s pussyhat?

Harriet Tubman statue harlem pussy hat pink

Is this pink pussyhat on top of Harlem’s Harriet Tubman statue a symptom of the famed New York City neighborhood’s gentrification from black and brown to white?

Or is it a visual turn of phrase for how this year’s Women’s March on the first anniversary of President Donald Trump’s tenure in office — and more generally, the (White) feminist movement in America — gaslight the history and current struggle for Black women’s rights?

By the way, the pussyhat incident really happened …

song currently stuck in my head: “don’t cost you nothing (12-inch disco mix)” – ashford and simpson

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Jeff Sessions’ weed hustle

Jeff sessions marijuana

Even my non-weed-smoking perspective was left foggy by US Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to rescind the Cole memo, enabling states to restore a high priority to law enforcement actions against marijuana sales and use.

And then it only took a few seconds to dehaze his strategy. I spent way more time gathering artifacts to support this piece than actually writing it.

The US government’s study of Behavioral Health Trends in the United States [pdf] has a chart that tells me half of I need to infer from Sessions’ weed intrigue: it’s the most popular “illicit” drug in America. Chart is below.

illegal drug use breakdown

The other half came from reading the government’s more detailed 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, [huge pdf] where it became clear that the “past-month” drug use category with the greatest Black-and-White racial gap is marijuana — respectively 11.1 and 9 percent of the US population 12 years and older.

You see the game by now, right?

Relatively speaking, there’s no law-and-order opportunity in the Trixon style (my post for this reference mysteriously disappeared, but I found this video tonight) for meth, opioids, hallucinogens, stimulants, tranquilizers and sedatives since the race gap then swings in the opposite direction.

Okay, crack also has a notable gap — 0.5 vs. 1 percent, but no official is even remotely thinking about legalizing a drug like that.

Assuming Prison, Inc. is still on the lookout for raw material inventory acquisitions — i.e., people to fill prison cells — the marijuana channel is the most lucrative bet.

And in true neo-Confederate style, Sessions will allow the states to figure out how to enforce the federal government’s renewed directive to pursue weed possession as a crime.

The rest of this story is predictable …

song currently stuck in my head: “the hebrews 425 a.d.” – gail laughton

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