Saturday, January 3, 2009

Jemele Tells Us The Good, The Bad, And Ugly About Her Father

Jemele Hill is one of the few prominent black female sports writers in our country, and she presently writes for In her most recent article Hill writes about her father Jerel Brickerson who will be retiring soon due to a severe back condition.

The Ugly is that Jemele was robbed of time with her father due to his heroin addiction, and honestly explains that she was angry for a long time, but accepted his flaws, and moved on to developing a relationship with him.

The Bad is that Jerel Brickerson was a decent hockey player as young teenager in Detroit, but urban decay took it's toll and robbed him of opportunities that are provided to youngsters who live in more affluent areas. Brickerson subsequently fell victim to the lure of the streets, a lure that left him unfit to be a father to daughter.

The Good is that Jerel Brickerson has been clean and sober for 23 years, which means that he began turning his life around at age 40. He managed to obtain a master's degree and give back by counseling other addicts.

Jerel Brickerson retires from his job as a bartender at Joe Louis Arena's Olympia Club after 20 years, having reclaimed his life, and overcoming drug addiction. He's obviously made his daughter very proud for allowing her to reclaim a relationship with dad.

Coulter Criticizes Michelle Obama's Style

Conservative talk maven Ann Coulter has a new book out next week titled "Guilty: Liberal 'Victims' and their Assault on America." The New York Daily News reports that Coulter essentially calls the incoming first lady a fake Jackie Kennedy Onassis and labels her a media saint with the following quote:

"Her obvious imitation of Jackie O's style - the flipped-under hair, the sleeveless A-line dresses, the short strands of fake pearls - would have been laughable if done by anyone other than a media-designated saint."

Most conservative talk show hosts have been pretty mild during the presidential transition. I'm sure that's all going to change in just over two weeks.

Andre Young Jr. Died Of Heroin Overdose

Andre Young Jr., son of legendary hip-hop producer died n August of a overdose of heroine and morphine according to the Los Angeles Coroner's office. Young Jr. was only 20 years old and was found by his mother after spending an evening out with friends.

Continued prayers go out to the family.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Black Killings: A Spiritual Sickness?

Jarvis DeBerry has written a very poignant and "on the mark" article in titled "Killings A Sign of Spiritual Illness." In the article DeBerry quotes the late Ralph Wiley who wrote the following in his 1991 essay "Who Black People Don't Like."

"Murder is the acid test of dislike. Black people pass with flying colors. Black people will kill each other rather quickly, and over the most simple things. The things are so inconsequential to a life that you know black people aren't really killing themselves over these things. They're killing themselves because they don't like each other."

DeBerry's article specifically targets the increased murder rate among black male teenagers, and the general lack of respect for the life of a black male teenager. We've known for years, that the life of a black male is substantially devalued in our community. While we tend to put pressure on police forces around the country to control crime, the real issue is that black males are killing themselves, and ultimately that's not a decision that the police can control. Individual responsibility would solve a lot of problems of the teenage black male.

Will Voting Record Cost Bing Chance To Be Detroit Mayor?

Former N.B.A. basketball star turned Detroit businessman Dave Bing is running for a chance to be the next mayor of Detroit. His past voting record is now coming under scrutiny from the other candidates according to the Detroit Free Press. Election records show that contrary to the other mayoral candidates that Bing has primarily voted only in the November elections.

I'm not sure if Bing is qualified to be the mayor of Detroit, but should his voting record be held against him if he can indeed change the fortunes of a city in need of strong leadership. A successful businessman in the city, Bing has proven track record of being successful in most of his endeavors.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Houston Area Shooting Prompts Cries Of Racism

A false stolen vehicle report almost led to tragedy in the Houston area early Wednesday morning. The is reporting that 23 year-old Robert Tolan was the victim of racial profiling when he was shot by police early Wednesday morning. Tolan is the son of former Major League Baseball Player Bobby Tolan. Police stopped the younger Tolan and his cousin as they were exiting a 2004 Nissan Xterra and ordered them to the ground outside of his parents home. When Tolan's parents attempted to intervene, a police officer shoved Tolan's mother against a wall, Robert Tolan raised up in an apparent attempt to assist his mother when the police officer fired three shots with one of the shots hitting the 23 year-old. Tolan's injuries are not life threatening.

The officer involved in the shooting, Sgt. Jeff Cotton, has been placed on administrative leave, pending the results of an investigation. Neither Tolan or his cousin had a weapon on them, and since the police were acting on false information, the two young men were stopped without any true cause. I'm not sure the area police department can talk their way out of this one.

Charles Trying To Get Sexy With DUI Arrest

Charles Barkley, former N.B.A. star and present TNT commentator was looking awfully sweaty in his mug shot following his arrest for suspicion of DUI. The New York Daily News reports that Barkley was seen partying with Michael Strahan and actor Jaleeel White prior to his arrest, and he admitted that he was driving to pick up a woman for a sex act prior to his arrest.

Barkley is paid millions for his honest opinions of subjects ranging from sports to racial issues. I can't wait to hear his take on his recent arrest.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Crumbling Of Kwame Kilpatrick!

Former Detroit Mayor made a major spectacle of himself this year with the quickness of his fall from grace. Kilpatrick's public face has always been a display of arrogance, but behind the scenes as the text message scandal was bringing the downfall of his political career, Kilpatrick was very disjointed and receiving advice from people who were beholden to him for their jobs.

The Detroit Free Press reports on the happenings behind the scenes as Kilpatrick's options for keeping his job were evaporating. The article reports that Kilpatrick's sister Ayanna was very angry at her brother, and that Kilpatrick's options were sealed when he attacked a police officer for trying to serve a subpoena to a friend. A very interesting story on the behind the scenes political maneuvering involving a mayor who was in crisis mode, and that at the end of the day everybody involved with Kilpatrick was simply looking out for their best interests.

"Blago" Stays Arrogant

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich continued his arrogance by naming former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris to fill Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat. The arrogance of it all is that the Senate Democrats in Illinois are refusing to seat Burris making the appointment a waste of time. Blagojevich is intentionally bringing race into the issue knowing that there are no blacks in the Senate with the absence of Obama. It looks like people fall for anything just to get a little publicity.

60 Less Murders!

Despite a growing budget crisis, the City of Brotherly Love saw a 15% decline in murders this year according to the Philadelphia Daily News, which in raw numbers is 60 less murders. The numbers were short of the goal of a 25% decline in murders, but progress is progress. One somber note is that the city lost 5 police officers to murder over a 14 month span, and 4 in an alarming 5 month span.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Google "Martin Luther King" and the site shows up third in the ranking. The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that the site was created by someone named Don Black and is being used to disparage the name of the civil rights icon. The King family has attempted to have the site shut down, but the attempts have been futile. Ignorance is still alive and well.

Mychal Bell, One of The "Jena Six" Shoots Himself In The Chest

Last year many black people traveled to Jena, Louisiana to protest the treatment of black teens as part of the "Jena Six". Mychal Bell was one of the 6 teens who was brought up on charges. Bell, who now lives with foster parents in Monroe, Louisiana was arrested last week for stealing and charged with shoplifting, resisting arrest and simple assault, police said. Police said Bell tried to steal several shirts and a pair of jeans from a department store and fled when a security guard and off-duty police officer tried to detain him. After they found him hiding under a car, Bell "swung his arms wildly" and one of his elbows struck the security guard with a glancing blow, according to a police report. He was freed on $1,300 bond. Subsequently, Bell somehow managed to shoot himself in the chest on Monday, which resulted in injuries that are not life threatening.

I want to see the Rev. Al Sharpton jump on this bandwagon to try to justify Bell's actions. Black people from all over the country jumped on the "Jena Six" injustice bandwagon, and now we see that perhaps Mychal Bell is just a troubled young man. Bell's improper reaction to a problem or action is what caused the Jena problem. Perhaps Sharpton will try to get Bell the help that he needs with the hope that he'll become a productive citizen. Thanks to the Houston Chron for the article.

The Roc-A-Fella Breakup!

Damon Dash and Jay-Z were childhood friends who built a hip-hop empire. Jay-Z evolved into a rap legend, while Dash parlayed his fame towards becoming a multi-millionaire. Like most empires, the Roc-A-Fella empire appears to have crumbled under the pressure of egos. The New York Post's Page Six reports that former BET producer and Roc employee Choke No Joke is releasing a documentary next year - titled "I Am Choke, No Joke" - about the infamous crumbling of the hip-hop empire founded by former fast friends Jay and Dash. In a interview, Joke says: " 'Dame' was a camera freak. He loved people to tape him, 'cause he started thinking he was a star . . . Ever since the 'Big Pimpin' ' video, he started gettin' a little light and it started to get to his head."

Joke claims that Dash's signing of Ol' Dirty Bastard and his proposal of Cam'ron as a vice president of the label (which Jay-Z rejected) were among the disputes that drove a wedge between the two. "Jay wasn't feeling none of that [bleep]," Joke said. .

Jay-Z and Dash's fortunes have gone in separate ways since the break up. Uncontrolled egos' always seem to break up a good thing.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Is Obama "The Magic Negro"?

David Ehrenstein, who is black writes for the Los Angeles Times, and has written an interesting piece titled Obama the "Magic Negro". This is another article questioning the authenticity of the president-elect's blackness when compared to a Rev. Al Sharpton or Snoop Dogg. It's amazing that after 2 years of campaigning, Obama's historic rise to the cusp of the presidency can't be seen as simply a qualified candidate who ran an unparalleled campaign to win the presidency. Our blackness isn't and never will be monolithic, and can this madness of questioning Obama's "blackness" just stop.

16 Year-Old Could Face Murder Charges In Detroit Cop Slaying

Officer Mason Samborski, 28, stopped 16 year-old Jonathan Belton on a traffic stop and found that Belton was unlicensed and had no insurance. While proceeding to take Belton to a supervised adult, the two wrestled and Samborski was killed after being shot in the head. Belton turned himself into police yesterday and is now facing murder charges, while Samborski leaves behind a wife and child. Thanks to the Detroit Free Press for the story, as the city of Detroit essentially lost two lives in what appears to be a senseless murder over the weekend.

Killadelphia Ending The Year With A Bang!

The Philadelphia Daily News chronicles the continued violence in the City of Brotherly Love. Over the holiday weekend, 6 more people were killed and 3 people injured including an 18 year- old man who's been left paralyzed. Way to end the year with a bang!