Wednesday, February 27, 2008

It's Not About You Today Sweety....Tuesday Works Better

Its things like half-off drinks for ladies, free admission for women until 11pm, or if you wear tight jeans you get in for free that irks me. Whenever I go to the club its “Ladies Night” or something to the extent of women being catered to that night. Women make the club an enjoyable place for males, so from a business standpoint I understand. I mean if I wanted to see guys then I would’ve called my friends over for a game of NBA 2K8 on XBOX 360 on a Saturday night. It’s not the fact that women get in for free or they get their drinks half off on one night. It’s EVERY NIGHT for the most part. When is it about me?

Guys get shafted on everything. When you are a child, you are taught that Mothers Day is the second most important day next to your birthday. I can live with Mother’s Day being a big day of appreciation for the ones that brought us into this world, BUT WHAT ABOUT DADDY? True, your mother carried you for nine months and that’s an awesome deed considering she used to be skinny before she had you, but WHAT ABOUT DADDY? I guess daddy didn’t supply his set of chromosomes to make you! I guess daddy doesn’t work two jobs to support a household! I guess daddy’s not important because his name is Shawn not Sharon. Father’s Day is one of the most underappreciated holidays in America. It sucks in comparison to all the other days for women. The sales at department stores for Father's Day even suck. Target and Macys roll out the red carpet for Mother's Day.
Valentines Day is one of these women-holidays that men get shafted on. Some women will tell me that Valentines Day is just for women and men get properly recognized on “Sweetest Day”. First of all, I didn’t even know what “Sweetest Day” was until I was an adult. Secondly why do guys have to get such a feminine name for their day of appreciation? In my opinion, it’s like calling a man Delicious. It’s not going to happen!!!! Valentines Day is sooooo one-sided. Women might buy you something but really they want you to cater to their every want and need. That’s cool, I’m not a mean guy, but WHEN IS IT ABOUT ME?

It’s never about the man. When you get into an argument with your lady/girlfriend/wife/mother/aunt/grandmother you will find out quickly that it’s not about you. It’s about how you hurt THEIR feelings. It’s about how YOU don’t care. It’s about THEM. Forget the fact that you hurt my feelings. Forget the fact that you’re the inconsiderate one. It’s not about men ever. It almost scares me to get married because I know my sense of self will be completely diminished once I get married. IT REALLY won’t be about me.

I’m starting a revolution. Any guy who feels the same way that I feel please tell a female in your life (don’t tell your mother, aunt or grandmother) in a very calm, cool and collected voice. “It’s not about you today!!!”

Friday, February 22, 2008

MOCA on the way

Advising the Men of Color Alliance (MOCA) on a campus (Emory and Henry College) that has less than 50 people of color (forget about men) has been exciting and nerve racking. Being untenured (my final review is in a couple of years) made me naturally concerned about how I might be perceived advising a group of young and mostly black men. As we are well aware, the initial perception of such a group will likely be seen as negative. But when it's right it's right. To be there in that room and here young men of color express their views for the first time about what it means to be racially different is something I would never genuinely see in the classroom. To hear them talk about what it means for them to be men was such a learning experience that I had not anticipated. And last week, for them to honestly converse with their sisters of color on campus and try to rebuild the bridges between them was an opportunity I would not trade for anything. There will be so much more to come. This group i think will have the vision to make great change on campus. But of course that can be problematic as well. Radical change is often seen as dangerous. This is something that we need to be concerned about. Either way, one cannot say we didn't try. After all if you aren't trying, then what are you doing?

Peace and Love

Dr. Aris Winger

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Dog The Bounty Hunter: He Should NEVER come Back

By Dr. Boyce Watkins

I just listened to the recorded phone conversation between Duane Chapman (aka Dog The Bounty Hunter) and his son Tucker. The conversation was about “that black girl”, also named Monique. Apparently, Dog was worried about losing everything he has worked for because some “f*cking n*gger” might overhear him using the word “n*gger”.

Dog The Bounty Hunter explained to his son that the reason he could not work for him is because they sometimes use the n-word around the house, and that he didn’t want America to take it the wrong way.

So Dog, how are we supposed to take it?

I listened to Dog The Bounty Hunter’s words with an open mind. I honestly felt bad for the guy, who was just sold out by his own son. It was clear that Dog was feeling the pressure of someone under a constant spotlight, since the bigger you get, the more haters you have. He made reference to people threatening to record him and take his words to national magazines to embarrass him.

Too bad for Dog The Bounty Hunter, it turned out his threat was right under his nose, as his son Tucker sold him up the river by recording the very conversation in which he expressed his concern about those trying to get him. Man, that sucks. I actually feel bad for the guy. There is also an almost comical irony to it all.

I am not sure where Dog The Bounty Hunter is going or where he belongs. But from the tone of his conversation, it’s clear that he doesn’t hold black people in very high regard. He seemed to have a problem with his son dating Monique, and I got a strong indication from his tone that it was her blackness and not much else, that kept her from having an opportunity to become part of the family. That’s the problem Dog…you rejected her because she was black. You made that clear in the conversation.

Before we all stand on our soap boxes and condemn Dog, we have to realize something. Dog, in some ways, is nothing more than a Sean Hannity with long hair. He says, in his own “Dog the Bounty Hunter” way, what a lot of America is thinking or says behind closed doors. He reflects sentiments that are quite common, as there are plenty of white folks, teachers-doctors-lawyers-professors-scientists-judges in America who would not want their child dating a black person. What is most ridiculously amazing to me is that these people will then turn around and claim not to be racist.

Sorry to tell you this, but if you feel that African-Americans are not good enough to date your children, then you are a pure cut, USDA-approved, Grade-A, good old fashioned, straight off the assembly line racist. White supremacy is very subtle, and many of us are victimized by it. You can’t claim to believe in equality while maintaining beliefs that are so blatantly laced with white supremacy.

As for Dog The Bounty Hunter, I hope he pays a high price for his mistake. He has the right to say what he wants at home, but he doesn’t need a show to say it. Besides that, I am not sure if his network has any black hosts anyway, perhaps it’s time they find one.

More Stories on Dog The Bounty Hunter

Story: Dog The Bounty Hunter Off the Air After Being Caught Using Racial Slur Against His Son's Girlfriend

See Video on Dog The Bounty Hunter Below:

Dr. Watkins responds to emails from Dog The Bounty Hunter Fans Below:

Sunday, February 17, 2008

I Speak English...What About You

Math has always been one of the hardest subjects for me to grasp. I've never been an x=3 type of guy. English has always been one of my stronger points. I figured if I wanted to run my mouth all the time then I might as well do it a high level. I'm frustrated at the companies, schools and other people who hire "people who don’t speak English" well. Our country is built on immigration (Whites, Blacks, Mexicans...etc), so I have no beef with people who have a different background or dialect. My beef lies in the fact that I have to talk to people who don’t speak English well on a “CUSTOMER SERVICE” line for a company that’s in “America”.

Customer service is a key component of any company. It sustains and builds relationships with the buying public. Why would you jeopardize your company by putting someone in a customer service position that doesn’t speak English well? It angers me to no end to see and hear people in customer service positions that don’t speak English well. I find myself asking “what did YOU say” and “can you repeat that” more than my original intent, which is CUSTOMER SERVICE. I understand companies try to save LOTS of money by hiring overseas help, but why let consumers like me be frustrated by hiring this type of help. It’s nothing against these people that are hired because I’m sure my St.Louis “right thurrrr” accent throws a lot of loops in the game. I pay too much money to go to school to have to translate what a teacher says. I want to learn more about math in my MATH class but it feels like I’m in Spanish 302.

I hate to pick on the human race like this because computer automated systems are worst. How many times do you call the 1-800 number and you end up talking to Mr/Mrs Computer 5000 that has 5 responses to your million wants/needs? I get tired of pressing one and star to go back to the home screen. I get so mad when I have to repeat myself because the machine can’t differentiate between representative and help. Companies are just lazy nowadays. I’m scared of what life will be like when I’m 60. I might be able to walk into McDonalds and they will know my order because of my past history. What if I change my mind and decide to have a McFish instead of McFlurry.

In conclusion I would like to say that I’m not discriminating against people who don’t speak English. There are jobs for you, but customer service is not the correct position.

In the words of Sean Diddy Combs to an aspiring artist

“If I put you up there on stage like that, people would be laughing their ass off….don’t get mad because you can’t dance.”

*Diddy’s a millionaire who understands Customer Service*

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Tavis Smiley's Response to Obama's Camp

Someone sent this over to YourBlackWorld in response to the reactions of readers to our previous posts about the rift between Smiley and Obama. We thank them for this submission.

Senator Barack Obama and the State of the Black Union 2008
Tom Joyner Morning Show
Thursday, February 14, 2008

By now many, if not most of you, have either read or heard about the letter faxed to me by Senator
Barack Obama yesterday to officially inform me that he would not be attending the State of the
Black Union symposium next Saturday, February 23, in New Orleans, live on C-SPAN. The letter
was apparently made public on the Internet by the Obama campaign.
This morning a few thoughts now about the letter, about Senator Obama and for that matter, about
Michelle Obama.
First, I want to thank Senator Obama for his letter, although I regret his decision. I said on Tuesday
and I reiterate today, that I believe that this is a critical miscalculation and a missed opportunity.
Having said that, I also feel that should Senator McCain or Governor Huckabee, like Mr. Obama,
end up denying our invitation to appear at this annual Black think tank, it would also be for them as
well, in the long run, a critical miscalculation and a missed opportunity.
Particularly for Senator John McCain, who appears to now be the presumptive Republican nominee
and who decided, as you recall, not to appear last year before Black America in Baltimore.
Indeed, I personally expressed that sentiment to Senator McCain earlier this week. Don’t think that
in the general election, should he be the nominee, that he ain’t going to get reminded frequently that
he kept passing on opportunities to speak to Black and Brown audiences. That’s pretty much
Political Science 101. That’s going to happen, trust me.
Two. For the record, with regard to this letter and the statements made therein, my office was never
contacted by the Obama campaign offering Michelle Obama as a proxy speaker. It never happened.
No letter. No fax. No e-mail. No phone call. No document whatsoever from the Obama camp to
my office, ever, regarding Michelle Obama. She was never offered, it was never discussed.
Three. While I have great admiration and affection for Michelle Obama, had she been offered to us
I would have respectfully declined. Just as we would have declined had Hillary Clinton offered Bill
Clinton; had John McCain offered Cindy McCain; had Mike Huckabee suggested Janet Huckabee.

By any measure, by any measure, Michelle Obama’s personal story is empowering and inspiring. I
am moved by her personal story, as I have been, since I first met her. From the South side of
Chicago to Princeton, to Harvard Law, it is a quintessential American story of overcoming.
That said, last year at Howard, live on PBS, we spoke to candidates only. And that’s what we intend
to do next Saturday, February 23, in New Orleans, live on C-SPAN, speak to candidates only, with
all due respect.
And speaking of Howard, point number four. When we invited Senator Obama last year to
Howard, with all of the other announced Democratic candidates at the time, so many people, so
many people, said publicly, that Tavis is stacking the deck in Obama’s favor. Black college. Black
book. Black audience. Black journalists. Black moderator. “Smiley is stacking the deck for
Obama,” they said.
The Washington Post Editorial Board said that to me to my face. “Aren’t you stacking the deck for
Mr. Obama?” Now, eight months later, another simple invitation, along with all the other
remaining viable candidates, and now he’s being boxed in by me?
Respectfully, that dog just won’t hunt. Because by that logic, at this point in the campaign, any
gathering of Black thought-leaders, opinion-makers and influencers who invite Senator Obama to
appear on stage at a nationally televised event, that invitation --- in and of itself, given that logic ---
would be tantamount to “boxing him in.”
This was simply an invitation, nothing more. There has not been, there is not now, nor will there
be, any effort on my part to snap on the Obama campaign, or the McCain campaign or the
Huckabee campaign, if they choose not to attend. It was just an invitation to him and every other
candidate. Accept or reject. An invitation, nothing more, nothing less.
I’ve lost count now of how many debates the Democrats have had to address other issues that, in
fact, do matter to us. But I can tell you exactly how many times they’ve gathered to specifically
address our issues. There is no comparison.
Point number five. Senator Obama is on a mission. As he suggested in his letter, his mission is to
become the next President of the United States. And I ain’t mad at him. As I’ve said before, and I’ll
say it again, I revel in his historic run for the White House. As a Black man, I celebrate his past
accomplishments. I celebrate his future aspirations.
Respectfully, I knew Barack Obama long before most of us learned to pronounce his name
correctly. So long ago, in fact, that years ago Barack Obama was working with the kids in my
Foundation, speaking to them about leadership development way back when.
I have no personal animus toward Barack Obama.
To quote that great philosopher, George Wallace, “I love him and there ain’t nothing he can do
about it!” That said, I love Black people, too. And I have a vocation. I have a calling. I have a
purpose. And since this ain’t just about me, you have a purpose too. You have a calling, you have a
vocation as well.

And I would hope, this morning, that at the center of our collective calling, is an unconditional love
for Black people. His job right now is to get elected. Our job is to do our part to ensure that
whoever gets elected will be held accountable to the issues that matter most to Black people.
And in that regard, all that I have ever tried to do, with the media platforms, including this one, that
I have been blessed to have access to, is to attempt to speak a love language, to ask critical
questions, to engage in sober assessment and to counsel wise enthusiasm.
If Barack Obama is your candidate, I ain’t mad at you! If Hillary Clinton is your candidate, I ain’t
mad at you! I am not personally in the endorsement business. My small part is to engage in
Socratic questioning. As a Black person, a member of the media, I’ve said many times on this
program, my job is to ask questions, raise issues, address topics, and profile people that otherwise
wouldn’t get that kind of air play.
Now, as the old folk used to say, “I done spoke my piece.”
Senator Clinton has decided to join us. Senator Obama has decided not to. Senator McCain and
Governor Huckabee, we shall see.
But once again, it has never, ever been about them. It has always been about us. We cannot
confuse candidates with the cause. The cause of suffering Black people who are catching hell every
So, I personally; I can only speak for Tavis, I personally have no intention, no interest in discussing
this matter beyond this commentary no matter what’s said about me. Except to promote the
Symposium, which I’ve done every year for almost 10 years now.
I’m told by the folk in the Lt. Governor’s office in Louisiana that it looks like we will have the
largest gathering of volunteers for a single day next Friday on our Day of Service, since Katrina hit
back in 2005. That’s what matters. Loving and serving everyday Black people.
Our conversation next Saturday promises to be spirited, soulful and inspiring.
Finally this morning, as I always, more than wins. Love wins. Love wins.
Happy Valentine’s Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Tavis Smiley's Haterology on Barack Obama

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By Dr. Boyce Watkins

I couldn't help but notice that while many of us have been carried away by the Barack Obama train, some have refused to buy a ticket. I understand completely, because I am the last person to buy anyone's hype. Healthy skepticism is a good thing, and we should all keep it in our pocket.

But haterology is a serious science and diagnosing it can be an art.

My latest patient is Mr. Tavis Smiley. I like Tavis as a person and respect him a great deal. Tavis Smiley has branded himself as one of the top black leaders in America and is right up there with Marc Lamont Hill as one of my most respected colleagues.

While my respect for Brother Smiley runs deep, I know he is also human. In our humanity, one must be realistic when considering the fact that Tavis understands that his business is a business. There is a marketing philosophy that must be implemented, some degree of competition and ultimately, some lines that must be drawn in the sand. After all, there is more than one Tavis Smiley out there, and his work with The Tom Joyner Morning Show (among others) has allowed him to separate himself from the pack. Brother Smiley's success, prominence and power were planned, it didn't just happen by accident.

Barack Obama, by announcing his candidacy for the White House DURING Tavis Smiley's State of the Black Union was, to some, a serious line being drawn. I am sure Brother Smiley felt that anyone who is anyone in the black community must be part of his conference. Barack Obama didn't feel that way, and seemed to be less than willing to pledge allegiance to existing Black Leadership.

Tavis Smiley's State of The Black Union conference, along with his work on The Tom Joyner Morning Show and his Covenant with Black America have done a great deal for the black community. However, they have done far more for Tavis Smiley's book sales and power within the community. I can't hate on that. After all, I am a Finance Professor, so I fully understand how capitalism works. Also, my work in media allows me to understand that you're nobody until you convince somebody that you're somebody. It's not what you know, it's.....well, you get the point.

Simultaneously, Tavis Smiley must work through the demons within him that have always christened himself as the next Barack Obama. Shit, I'm sure Tavis Smiley thought he would be Barack Obama before Barack Obama thought he would be Barack Obama. So, it must be incredibly confusing for Smiley to watch Obama go from "just some guy" to the next JFK. Tavis Smiley, Al Sharpton and others have, quite honestly, been humbled. Brothers like Tavis Smiley and Al Sharpton don't like being humbled.

Smiley's tone of "putting people on blast" for not attending his conference is somewhat problematic and reminds me of an area of Finance called Agency Theory. Agency Theory always questions the incentives of the manager or protector and allows you to wonder if the leader is doing what is best for his constituency or himself. Tavis Smiley's decision to "put people on blast" begs larger, more relevant questions: Are you being careful to balance your personal agenda with the broader needs of the community? You, Brother Smiley, sacrifice a great deal for black people, but are you willing to also sacrifice your personal power? If Barack Obama were serving your interests a bit more, would you have a different disposition?

In layman's terms, this sacrifice is like asking a man to allow another man to sleep with his girlfriend if he clearly knows that the other man would make her happier. Only true love would make a man say "yes" to such a request. Similarly, only true love for the black community can lead Tavis Smiley, or anyone else, to give up their own black power to open the gates for someone who might be a bit more effective. I am not sure if Obama is that guy, but alot of people think he is.

I am not assuming that Tavis Smiley's intentions are not honorable. But I am certainly assuming that he himself struggles with this issue, as we all do at some point. Again, it's about being human. Would a bad mother give up her child to a good one? Would a star athlete sit on the bench if it will help the team win?

The same questions can be asked of many other power brokers in the black community, all of whom have been somewhat undermined by Obama's sudden rise to prominence. Obama owes no one, he has a new team and he refuses to be beholden to the Civil Rights Movement. He is like Al Capone coming to Chicago to run the liquor business "the right way". Such boldness makes the haters come out of the wood work. That's a fact.

Obama is benefiting from a landslide of black support, built on social credit being extended on campaign promises. The Black Community is like the loving, committed spouse, willing to ignore immediate needs so their partner can conquer the world. But at the end of the day, something must be delivered.

Smiley understands this and that is why I believe he works hard for black people. At the same time, Tavis must remember the wise words of Spiderman's Uncle: With great power comes great responsibility.

Translation: Tavis - please make sure your attacks on Obama are about the community and not about you. Most of us can't quite tell the difference.

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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

If OJ has a Set of Gloves Then Why Doesn"t McDonalds???

It's 5 in the morning in beautiful East St.Louis, Illinois

1. Lisa, a stripper, takes her night's worth of salary home and counts it.

2. Most of the dollar bills have been saturated with vaginal juice, alcohol, sweat and possibly various forms of communicable diseases.

3. Lisa is hungry after a 10 hour shift, so she decides to fulfill her hunger at McDonalds. She takes 3.50 of her $500 worth of work and buys an Egg McMuffin Value Meal.

4. Ernest, the McDonalds morning crew manager, takes these storied bills and places them in his register.

5. Ernest proceeds to make the Egg McMuffin Value Meal with NO GLOVES ON.

6. Lisa devours the Egg McMuffin Value Meal that was prepared with NO GLOVES ON.

7. Daunte (me) orders 2 Sausage, Egg and Cheese Value Meals.

8. Ernest, the McDonalds morning crew manager, takes my money and places them in his register and gives me back 3 dollar bills. (The same 3 bills Lisa gave him)

9. Ernest prepares my 2 Sausage, Egg and Cheese Value Meals with NO GLOVES ON.

10. I quickly scarf my meal that was prepared with NO GLOVES ON.

11. Daunte’s sick

The End

This story sounds very far-fetched and possibly outlandish, yet at least 2 or 3 of those gross things occur at McDonalds every time you go.

Every time I go to McDonalds I see one or more of the following:

-workers preparing food with NO GLOVES ON

-managers taking money from customers and then preparing my food with NO GLOVES ON

-workers using the bathroom and not washing their hands

When I was around 6 0r 7, I distinctly remember food service being cleaner; workers used gloves, there was a distinct system of duties that didn't allow people to handle money and prepare food. Where has all of that gone? I'm sorry but hand sanitizer isn’t good enough for me, people need to wash their hands with HOT water and used gloves. I don’t mean to just point out McDonalds because Popeye’s, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Papa Johns and many other fast food places don’t use gloves. I'm glad restaurants don’t have a visible kitchen because I'm sure there are worse.

I know McDonalds has the best fries but just be mindful that you might be eating a Big Mac with cheese, influenza, yeast infection and ketchup. Just a thought.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

If Obama Was Dark-Skinned

As the primaries and debates become more and more intense I realize how I'm so out of touch with politics. I've never followed politics and honestly I don’t really have an interest in it. I'm voting for God, he's ran my life without a problem. I'm listening to the conversations amongst my peers and it seems that most of them are voting for Obama. He "Appears" to be the best candidate for some people. I wonder how much of that interest in Obama is "biased". Some of my African American counterparts will lie to me and say "Oh I like his stance on blah blah" but in reality you just want him to win because he's Black. Some people that I ask will come out and be honest and say "I want him to win because he's Black". I appreciate that honesty, but it’s still the wrong reason to vote for somebody. Part of my African-American-ness wants Obama to win. It would be a monumental day in history to see the White House turned Black, but I cant be blinded by the fact he's black.

I'm sure that brother (Obama) is qualified. I'm sure he would do a bang-up job as president. While I'm very confident in the brother's skills, I'm also quite afraid for him and his African American supporters. He will be a Black president but he won’t be "Black people's president" I'm not saying he will go in the office and turn colors and forget about Black people, but I have a strong belief that every action he makes in that position will have to appear un-biased. Rightfully so, yet a lot of people think he's the savior for Black people. Our country hasn’t made a true effort to put Blacks on the same schedule as Whites, I don’t think one man can turn all that around in 4 years. I feel for Obama if he gets elected because he will be the most watched, dissected, hated and loved president of all time. Our country is barely ready to see Black senators, a Black president is a MAJOR stride in our racist society.

I had a very deep conversation with my roommate and a fellow friend about politics. One of the issues that kept being brought up was the idea of perception in politics. Perception plays a role in our everyday lives. We give a lot of instant credibility based on perception. If the person looks competent then we believe they are. How many times have you thought somebody was a certain way based on first impression? This instant extra credit that we give people is sometimes validated but oftentimes its not. In relation to these elections, I have a theory. I could be totally wrong but I think that I'm totally right. I don’t think Obama would have this much support from the White community if he was dark skinned. I'll repeat for the people who thought I was joking by saying that, "I don’t think Obama would have this much support from the White community if he was dark skinned" Honestly speaking, I think some Black people would have that same issue as well. Our country is very image driven. Lets be honest, Obama could never have dreads. Obama looks like the ideal African American candidate at this time in our society. Some people will say that Jesse and Al Sharpton(both past candidates) were a tad bit darker. Obama is almost fair skinned like Lena Horne. I believe darker skin adds a new element of instant credibility than lighter skin. We can go back to slavery and see that. I would have been outside in the fields regardless of my intellectual capacity. Obama would be in the house. We know that brother is real smart and he deserves every accolade that he gets, but I believe that if he was dark-skinned White and Black people alike would be more skeptical of voting for him. If you look at corporate America, music videos, television and other places you'll find that most of the people you "HEAR and SEE" are lighter skinned Black people. I know there are a lot of dark skinned successful people but the public wants to see that lighter skin. Its something about that lighter skin that makes people feel comfortable. I believe our society can accept a dark skin brother/sister excelling in sports but in the realms of education and corporate America we want to see lighter skin. It’s a lot of self hatred and racism out there believe me. Don’t get this article confused I think Obama is the man, but his bi-racial-ness has definitely helped him.