This blog will be about whatever suits my fancy. Chances are, it will concentrate on media misrepresentations of the American "Black community", Black politics, politics in general, and whatever else I want to mentally masturbate about.
Family has to come first, because in the end, they are the people who should have your back.
It's been a rough 5 weeks but things are going to get back to normal as much as they can when a member of your family passes.The point of the "Black men get yourself checked out" has been the death of a family member which may have been prevented if regular checkups were done. The death of Mrs D.S. family member, however, was unexpected and, frankly, the work of evil.
But with the grace of God, both families will prevail and continue to live life.
I haven't been paying close attention to the news of the day but that will start to change now that things are going to "get back to normal." But what I have been paying attention to, I have a lot of thoughts about. That should come out in the next few days.
I don't get too personal on this blog, but I'll make an exception here. Mind stream follows...
A few weeks ago I posted that Black men need to get checked out.
A close cousin wasn't feeling well. After deciding which hospital was the best one to go to and when was the best time, he checked himself into a hospital thinking he was sick from a
change in diet. When he checked himself in, his blood pressure was SKY
high and the doctors worked to bring that down, which they did.
However, he suffered some kidney damage from the VERY strong medicine
they gave him.
He had blood in his urine and it turned out he had polyps on his
colon. They removed the colon polyps and saw spots on his liver and
they had to remove part of his kidney.
"Man, you know us Black men! We don't go to the doctor or get checked out!" That's why he told me when I first talked to him in the hospital. He said that in response to a doctor who said to him, "You're not in as good of shape as you thought you were."
It was said he had colon cancer and they gave him 6 months to live.
He died today (Friday), 4 weeks later, at home with his sister,
mother, ex-wife, my daughter, and nurse around him, praying for him.
I had stayed the night because I got a call he wouldn't make it. I had
to be there. This morning, I left to go home and wash up and then head
back. After I got out of the shower, the call came saying he passed.
Grand total for services and burial?
$9 - 10K when we are finished. A few of the family members are rallying around to pay funeral
My daughter works part-time in the hospital where he checked himself
into. She's a transporter. She wheels people around. When he checked
himself in, she was the one who took him to his room.
"Daddy. I don't understand. He came in feeling so-so, and now..."
His last day in the hospital, before he was released, he said, "If I
knew I was this sick, I would have gotten checked out a long time
Once at home, he was staying in his nephew's room and said he wanted his recliner chair from
We got it.
Yesterday (Thursday) he left his room and got in the chair. Today (Friday) he died in the chair.
I think he left the room to die because he didn't want to die in his
I got checked out 2 weeks ago. I'm scheduling a colonostopy for the
end of the week or the following week.
My cousins, who I track for health issues because we look so much
alike and have shared mannerisms, have told me for years things to
look out for, and I seem to be on their track.
High cholesterol? Check but I'm working on it.
I'm "in store" for high blood pressure even though I'm fine right now.
Someone PLEASE tell me how we get people who are just going to have sex without benefit of marriage or outside of marriage, to do what is necessary to "protect" themselves?!?!?!
ESPECIALLY BLACK PEOPLE as is, YET AGAIN, demonstrated with the HIV/AIDS rate, this time in Washington, D.C.
The first 3 paragraphs:
At least 3 percent of District residents have HIV or AIDS, a total that
far surpasses the 1 percent threshold that constitutes a "generalized
and severe" epidemic, according to a report scheduled to be released by
health officials tomorrow.
That translates into 2,984 residents per every 100,000 over the age of
12 -- or 15,120 -- according to the 2008 epidemiology report by the
District's HIV/AIDS office.
"Our rates are higher than West Africa," said Shannon L. Hader,
director of the District's HIV/AIDS Administration, who once led the
Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's work in Zimbabwe.
"They're on par with Uganda and some parts of Kenya."
OK, so that's the "hyperbole" to get people's attention to keep reading. So, now comes the "pc" component:
The District's report found a 22 percent increase in HIV and AIDS cases
from the 12,428 reported at the end of 2006, touching every race and
sex across population and neighborhoods, with an epidemic level in all
but one of the eight wards.
But, then a little further down, comes the REAL DEAL:
More than 4 percent of blacks in the city are known to have HIV, along
with almost 2 percent of Latinos and 1.4 percent of whites. More than
three-quarters -- 76 percent -- of the HIV infected are black, 70
percent are men and 70 percent are age 40 and older.
Heterosexual sex was the principal mode of transmission for blacks with
the disease, 33 percent. Men having sex with men was the chief mode of
transmission for white residents, 78 percent; and Latinos, 49 percent.
Black women represent more than a quarter of HIV cases in the District,
and most, about 58 percent, were infected through heterosexual sex.
About a quarter of black women were infected through drug use.
People know what's out there. The question is, WHY continue doing what will kill you?
LOS ANGELES - Court records show Russell Simmons has agreed to pay $40,000 a month in child support.
Los Angeles Superior Court judge Marjorie Steinberg signed off on an
agreement Thursday giving Kimora Lee Simmons sole custody of the
couple's two daughters, 9-year-old Ming and 6-year-old Aoki. The
couple's divorce was finalized in January. Kimora Lee Simmons filed for
divorce in March 2008, citing irreconcilable differences.
Cruel and unusual punishment or just good, old-fashioned discipline?
Dennis Baltimore Jr. was caught vandalizing school property at Long Beach's Wilson Classical High School.
He was sentenced by his dad to walk the streets of Long Beach and
Signal Hill on Tuesday for five hours in two locations wearing a sign
saying, "I am a juvenile delinquent who should be punished. I have
wasted your tax money with dumb acts of vandalism in the public
When Dennis Baltimore Sr.'s phone rang Monday, he didn't know the
call from his son's school would cost $875, the price of the vandalism.
"In a time of this uncertain economy, I'm sure the public is not
going to like it," he said. "So one way I am going to discipline him is
to have him walking around with a sign stating his crime."
I was going to write a long post along the lines of this:
I may not have the 4 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath, 2 car garage, 3000 sq. ft. home, but I do have a 3 bedroom, 3 1/2 bath, 1700 sq. ft. town home with "easy" mortgage payments, so for the roof over my head, I am thankful.
However, the things in my life that are important, the things in my life that I am most thankful for, "got in the way" and I didn't get the chance to generate that post. And I really don't care.
Thanks to the military people serving our country, thanks to the families holding it down for the military people who are serving our country, and thanks to God for placing me in this time.
This has been a great week of love and life on full display.
First, there was Michelle Obama giving the speech at the DNC. You could tell she loves her husband! Or, as I said, (yelled?) to my wife after the speech, "She LOVES herself some Barack!" (Since then I've been teasing Mrs. D.S. by asking, WWMOD (What would Michelle Obama Do) when I want my wife to baby do something for me and she won't do it.
No matter what happens, Barack Obama is a winner. He has a woman who loves him and is there to support him. It cannot be understated that such support makes your life a lot easier.
The mid-Atlantic and mid-east region of the Mocha Moms had a family day on Thursday at Sesame Place. It was a good family day outing. While that was one day, we spent a few days in Philly just visiting in-laws and spending time with family.
A woman approached my wife and said, "I just have to ask. What IS Mocha Moms." After my wife explained, the woman, white, said it is a joy to see such a group because she is now a strong advocate for women staying at home to raise their children.
She had a business and didn't consider staying at home until something James Dobson of Focus on the Family said that stuck in her heart. Since then, she said, her husband has been blessed to have his income drastically increase.
Master P made it plain that he was overlooking the career of his son Romeo, but that he was his father first and if need be, he would stop Romeo's career because his son's development was most important.
Snoop Dogg supported the football league his son was playing in. After getting upset about something, Snoop created another football league and was/is active in it.
In a few interviews I saw or heard, Busta Rhymes has stated he is concerned about providing for his son and that dictated some of the career moves that he made.
50 Cent claims he has his son with him a lot and even brought him a bullet proof vest. What. Ever.
The idea is for these people to create PSAs encouraging "men" to be a part of their children's lives.
A lot of what is going wrong in some Black communities is the result of poor or no home training. But it has always been my contention that most parents, including single parents, if they knew better, would do better. You will always have your exceptions, but most would do better if they knew better. One question to ask is, "Why don't they know better?" But I think a more important question to ask is, "How do we get them to learn to DO better?"
Some people are saying since the parents aren't doing their job, it's up to the schools to "socialize" -- home train -- the children. But I maintain that if you are in an area were socialization is a problem, then socialization in the school is a problem, which means I tend to think that you can't teach socialization in the school because the atmosphere doesn't allow it. (Of course, if you suspend and/or expel the problem students, then the atmosphere would be more hospitable).
So, the answer has to be non-government groups that can teach parents to be better parents and/or socialize the children who aren't being socialized properly.
If we leave it up to non-government groups, then the issue is getting the parents to attend programs that will attempt to teach them to be better parents. Or the problem is getting the children into the socialization programs.
Of course, if someone reports the parents or the children get into trouble, the court system can then "order" the parents or children to attend the parenting and socialization programs.
Personally, I think the government putting its nose in parenting of children has not helped the situation at all. Children know that if their parents whup them, they can call "child protective services" and get the parents in trouble.
On a personal level, family, friends, and I have reached out one on one to people we know who have not been parenting properly to suggest ways they could be better. But we can't be there 24/7/365.
I've been busy but I need to comment on these. I'll clean this up later, but except in one case, these kids are REALLY out of control! Actually, it's the PARENTS who have failed to properly raise and control their children!
I'm going to provide personal commentary later, but this is just over the top!
[ UPDATES to include article quoting and my own comments ]
In all, 20 Chicago
public school students have been fatally shot so far this school year
-- seven in March alone -- compared with 24 the year before, said
spokesman Mike Vaughn. Including those who died in non-gun violence, 22
students have been killed this year, and 30 last school year. School
officials could not provide precise figures, but said that killings had
increased markedly over past years.
On Tuesday, hundreds of
Chicago public school students from four high schools gathered downtown
to protest the violence and to call for more gun-control measures, with
the school district sanctioning their absences and supplying buses, the
Associated Pressreported. Twenty empty school desks, each representing a fallen
student, were set up in front of the James R. Thompson Center, which
houses state offices.
A well-known anti-violence crusader on the
South Side, the Rev. Michael Pfleger, had also planned a community
rally Tuesday, and said St. Sabina Catholic Church will offer rewards
for information about the killings.
In response to the increased
violence, Chicago police have been increasing their presence at schools
and have begun monitoring live pictures from 4,500 school security
This is a nice stand for the students to take, but gun control isn't the problem. The problem is their peers aren't controlling themselves and their peers aren't controlling themselves because their parents haven't taught them how to control themselves nor do their parents have control of them, their kids.
An Amber Alert has been issued for two teenage brothers apparently kidnapped after six gunmen invaded their Catonsville home yesterday, a Baltimore County police spokesman said.
Shortly before 3 a.m., six armed men wearing masks got out of a gray
Chevrolet Suburban in front of a house in the 600 block of Plymouth
Road and forced their way into the two-story house occupied by two
females and eight males, most of whom did not live there.
Once inside, the men awakened the occupants, binding their hands behind
their backs with tape and gagging them, said Cpl. Mike Hill, the
The armed intruders remained in the house for eight hours, until about
11 a.m., when they left with the brothers, Stephon Blackwell, 17, and
Sterling Blackwell, 16, in a black 2004 BMW 645 convertible that
belongs to one of the occupants.
You know there is more here. They were living dirty. In fact, "their home" is a group home and police "retrieved" a lot of money, at least, from the home.
The guns came from his uncle's house. One tumbled from the boy's pocket
and onto the classroom floor. The other, police said, was found in his
locker after a teacher took the child to the principal's office.
The boy is 7 years old and in first grade at Randallstown Elementary School.
He was suspended and faces possible expulsion. But police said he will
not be charged with any crime, because there is no reason to believe he
intended to use the weapons - even though both were loaded, with
bullets in the chamber, ready to fire.
"It's a toy to him," said Cpl. Michael Hill, a Baltimore County police
spokesman. "This is a first-grader, a 7-year-old. He doesn't know the
repercussions of this or anything."
So, you mean to tell me that the parents never checked the boy's bag? After I spent time at someone else's house, my bag was checked. Then, there is the morning when you are going to school. No one checked the boy's bag then? And how can an uncle lose two guns and not know it? This doesn't add up, but if what is being reported is all there is, then, again, the adults didn't do their job.
He. Is. SEVEN. Years. Old!
Oh, this next one... But please read below the fold for a teenager who did the right thing.
So there is a mini-firestorm happening on an email list that I'm on. It happens to be about voting Democratic vs. voting Republican.
In one of the responses, I wrote:
I don't care if politicians feel my pain. I just want them out of my damn pocket and out of my way.
Later, I wrote the following (with edits) response to the question of how voting for the GOP would fulfill that desire:
Right now, if the tax cuts stay in place, my taxes will be lower because of DS 2.0 and the Mrs. Other than that, they are a waste. But the Democrats are talking about re-vamping income taxes, which means I'm screwed.
I'm going though that now in Maryland, which is controlled by Dems. They have increased the sales tax. The Dem governor, Martin O'Malley, is talking about taking measures to force a decrease in green house emissions by 90%, without even knowing what is possible. He has even said as much. As a result, a lot of people, including some Democrats, are saying the measures he is talking about WILL drastically increase the cost of living for all people left in Maryland. O'Malley is in a pissing contest with an energy provider in Maryland and there are now lawsuits flying left and right. O'Malley's moves and comments are blamed for about a 15% drop of the company's stock value.
Please join my friend, Yvette (over at Six Impossible Things…) and I as we celebrate Black History Month with a blogathon. You read it right: We’ll be blogging all things–well, many things– Black for 32 consecutive days, Feb. 1 - March 3.
Why 32 days? As many black folks
have wryly observed–some with tongues planted in cheeks, some
without–”they” picked the shortest month of the year to celebrate our
contributions. In truth, “they” didn’t pick February at all:
Black History Month was established in 1976 by Afro-Americans for the Study of Afro-American Life and History. The month-long celebration was an expansion of Negro History Week, which was established in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson,
director of what was then known as the Association for the Study of
Negro Life and History. Woodson selected the week in February that
embraced the birthdays of both Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. –from wikipedia.com
Still, Yvette and I thought, why not throw in a few extra days? Black folks’ contributions to
history and world history certainly aren’t suffering from a surfeit of p.r.
So, we invite interested bloggers to climb on the 32 Days of Black History bandwagon. We’ve
got a range of topics and formats lined up–from social commentary, book
reviews, arts and culture, and our personal family histories and
reflections, to memes and trivia (”Are You Smarter Than a Black Fifth
Grader?”). Also, throughout the month, we’ll have some
guest bloggers take over our spots and bring us their BHM-related
musings and analyses.
On a given day, Yvette and I will be posting on roughly the same topic, but other 32 Days… We’re just looking for camaraderie. For all participating bloggers, we’ll cross-promote our collective efforts.bloggers aren’t obligated to follow our game plan.
Deesha and Yvette asked me to write a piece for a day and I did. But dang if I didn't do my part to publicize this....
You see, I'm a software weenie not an author who should know that pub is really important and...
OK, that ain't a good enough reason. My bad. Again, blame my head not my heart....
D.S. 2.0 is 2 1/2. We already have a college investment account set up and being funded and we have an educational account set up and being funded. I'm in the process of finding a bigger home to move my family to and the process includes looking at the educational system of the areas that I think are desirable. This is despite the fact the plan is to send D.S. 2.0 to private school or to home school him. My thought process is if, for some reason, we are forced to put him into public school, the public school system will be decent enough that we won't have to spend a lot of money to supplement the public school education just to reach a level of education that we, his parents, find acceptable. It's for this reason that I scratched out Prince Georges County, Maryland, even though I know the areas were up scale Black families, who are more likely to have similar values to ours, live. I don't need an all Black neighborhood, but it would be nice to see more Black families, like mine, on a daily basis.
I didn't have to read Lacy's book to know this. Though my days of
heavy lifting as a parent are drawing to a well-earned conclusion (my
daughter is a third-year college student and almost emancipated), I
have always been fascinated by discussions of how black parents raise
their children. Personal experience and pained conversation with other
parents assures me that this issue occupies an enormous volume of
middle-class black parents' waking hours.
When my wife
and I moved to Atlanta with an infant daughter more than 20 years ago,
we made a conscious and deliberate decision to live around other
middle-class black people in Dekalb County. We did the same a few years
later when we moved to Washington, D.C., choosing to relocate in the
same Prince George's County community that Lacy studied. (A note of
disclosure: Lacy and I are friends and I assisted her in locating
neighbors in our subdivision for her research.)
and I thought it would be best – and easier – to raise a healthy and
happy black daughter, if she was constantly exposed to other
middle-class black families.
A decade later, we wanted
to do the same when we moved to northeast Ohio, but were shocked to
discover that Greater Cleveland lacks an upwardly mobile, predominately
black middle-class community. So we settled in a largely white suburb
with highly regarded schools. It turned out all right, I suppose, but
still I wish I'd had another, predominately black and middle-class
Yes, I understand. For me, right now, finding a suitable home is paramount, education for D.S. 2.0 is involved in the decision, and then developing multiple income streams for myself so that I can leave sizable legacy wealth for Miss D.S. and D.S. 2.0
With Pat Robinson supporting Rudy Guliani, is there any further proof that the love of money is evil? Think about this. Pat Robinson is supporting a man who cheated on his wife, supports "the homosexual agenda," made New York City a "sanctuary city," and is a gun grabber. His support CAN'T be about morals because Rudy has none. Some would say it is about "protecting against terrorism" but Rudy was around when the first World Trade Center bombing happened and what did he do to try to prevent a second attempt? It HAS to be about money, meaning business.
There is absolutely NO reason for David Nicholson to feel guilty. He did what, as a parent, he is REQUIRED to do. He put his family FIRST before his lofty ideals.
As a parent who sent his daughter to Lutheran and then Catholic school from K - 8, and then a public magnet school, I whole heartily support charter schools, vouchers, and "school choice." As a parent whose son will be entering school in about 3 years, I whole heartily support the idea that parents should make what they think is the best choices for their children, be it sending them to charter schools, private schools, or home schooling. We have to do what is right for our children. I won't sacrifice my son, either!
When a high school friend told me several years ago that he and his wife were leaving Washington's Mount Pleasant neighborhood for Montgomery County, I snickered and murmured something about white flight. Progressives who traveled regularly to Cuba and Brazil, they wanted better schools for their children. I saw their decision as one more example of liberal hypocrisy.
I was childless then, but I have a 6-year-old now. And I know better. So to all the friends -- most but not all of them white -- whom I've chastised over the years for abandoning the District once their children reached school age:
I'm sorry. You were right. I was wrong.
After nearly 20 years in the city's Takoma neighborhood, the last six in a century-old house that my wife and I thought we'd grow old in, we have forsaken the city for the suburbs.
Any one of these academic and social issues would have been problematic; together, they were reasons to start looking elsewhere. So in early September -- after putting our house on the market at the start of the mortgage loan crunch, after closing on one house in the morning and the other in the afternoon and then moving the next day -- our son started at his new school in Vienna. Fairfax County schools have consistently been rated excellent, and I was encouraged by the simple things that parents here take for granted, but that too often turn out to be impossible in Washington.
When I e-mailed a Fairfax principal one evening in May, I didn't expect a response before the morning. Ten minutes later, he replied with an invitation to visit his school. I said that I wanted to talk to a teacher or two. One called the next day. I couldn't return her call immediately. A day later, she left a message asking me to phone her at home that weekend.
When I called my high school friend to tell him that I was writing this, he was surprised to hear that we'd moved. "I'd always sort of admired you," he said, "for your commitment to the city." I felt as guilty as I'd probably made him feel years ago.
Like I wrote above, there is no need to feel guilty. What will be interesting, to me, will be the comments made by opinion types to the article.
Let's say you are a single Black woman who wants kids so you decide to adopt. You have the financial resources to take care of the child or children so funding is not an issue. In fact, you go to a private adoption service to adopt children; Black children.
You get the children and are now a happy family. Now, add to that scenario that the children are from Africa.
More later but this really has me fuming.
[ Update ]
I am referring to this article in The Washington Post. Why would Ms. Neale need to go to Africa to get children when there are plenty in the U.S. waiting to be adopted? From experience, I know that some adoptions aren't easy to get done, but what about OUR children?
Why is it few seem to mention changing actions by mentoring and the need for more mentors?
You can't keep spouting this stuff and not say anything about HOW people CHANGE negative behaviors.
I was asked to lay out "a plan," so here it is:
Find people who did a good job in raising their children and use them for advice.
Raise your kids properly.
If you have someone in your family who "needs help," help out.
Know your children's friends and don't be afraid to "raise them" as
well. They will have more impact on your children than you really care
Join a church group, local group, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Urban League, 100 Black Men,
Concerned Black Men, or some such group and mentor. If that isn't your
thing, go to a local school and offer your services.