I like India Arie. Her Acoustic Soul album was the second album that I gave to my daughter. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill was the first. India came into my consciousness as a black woman singing about going against the grain of the images that were being disseminated in the Jay-Z and Dr. Dre videos of that time. She wore her hair naturally, she did not show her booty, and she rode a bicycle. Everything that she did was rebellious even if she wasn’t necessarily trying to be. Now she’s gone viral for calling out Joe Rogan and Spotify on her Instagram and I’m kind of upset.
Just to be clear, I’m not mad at Miss Arie. She stated her position very well. She doesn’t like Joe, or any other white person for that matter, using the N word at all, and Joe has used it several times. She thinks Spotify is exploitative because they do not pay their artists very well. I get it. I’m cool with that. What I am mad at is the way she’s being covered by CNN, MSNBC, NBC, and ABC as if they care about her brand. It’s almost as if she’s a regular news consultant. Since when do they care about early 2000’s R&B singers? Did they touch bases with Sunshine Anderson and Tank on this particular issue? I mean come on now.
Joe Rogan has used his platform to stand up against legacy news media lying to people in excess for going on three years now. Has anyone ever asked how every major news outlet has taken the exact same stance on Covid and the vaccine, even though it’s been the most divisive issue in modern history? None of it is genuine. It isn’t open ended and it’s extremely far from being objective. In essence corporate media is trash. The whole country has been looking for something else. And Joe Rogan, whether you like him or not, is that something else. It’s like when Puff Daddy and Mase ran hip-hop in the Shiny suit era then DMX came into the game like “Let’s take it back to the streets mutha f***a!” That’s what Joe Rogan is, but in a much more white way. He wanted to take it back to the Dick Cavett days when people actually had dialogue and debates about controversial topics and he did just that, bless his heart. The only issue is that he became too successful at it. His narrative began to bump heads with the corporate narrative, especially that of CNN and so they sought to get rid of him. CNN has lost almost half of its viewership in the same time that Rogan’s has doubled. Do the math. They want him out of there–period. And who do liberal pundits always lean on when they want someone canceled? Black people.
Once a person is accused of being racist in the way that Rogan is now being accused they become radioactive. People no longer question the issues. Critical thinking is suspended. Everyone becomes reactionary and moves based on emotion. No one comes to publicly defend a racist unless they too want to be labeled racists, so the individual is left to fight alone and more often than not after several painful apologies, they lose. But alas, this fight is not about whether Joe Rogan is racist, it’s about free speech versus corporate domination. It’s about the loss of sheep in the fold of corporate media outlets which equates to the loss of money. It’s about Joe Rogan being the embodiment of a different kind of information not to be confused with MISinformation. And this is about the old guard putting him back in his place. This isn’t about blackness, this isn’t about racism, this isn’t about Neil Young, this isn’t about India Arie. We need to look through all of the distractions to focus on what’s really at stake and finally start having real conversations again.
Imagine a woman walking into a Doctor’s Office for the second time in three months. The first time she went into his office she received a dosage of a shot that prevents pregnancy. Two months later she returns to the same office to tell her doctor that she is pregnant. She is upset and bewildered by her condition. Her doctor is very stoic and matter of fact.
“I don’t understand. I thought that the shot would prevent me from getting pregnant,” the woman says.
“Ma’am you are sadly mistaken. As I told you before, the shot only works if you have sex with sterile men.”
“But doctor, my partner isn’t sterile. I thought this shot would stop me from getting pregnant–period.”
“No. I never said that it would do that. Studies have proven that the shot is 95% effective when given to women with sterile partners and I assure you that there is nothing wrong with the science. The truth is that Fertile men tend to overpower the female reproductive organs and make the shot ineffective.”
The woman sits across from her doctor baffled and frustrated. He goes on to tell her that she should not be upset with him. She should be upset with THE FERTILE. All abandoned children are the offspring of Fertile men. All killers, and rapists are as well. All the single women led households were abandoned by Fertil men. Responsible men get vasectomies, he told her. He had been sterile for years now because sterility in men is the only thing that will save society. He then encourages her to only cavort with THE STERILE after her child is born.
The woman receives this information begrudgingly at first, but then she transfers her rage. It’s THE FERTILE that had gotten her pregnant. Why hadn’t she paid closer attention before letting one of them touch her? She leaves the doctor’s office ready to rid her life of all fertiles and she forgets that she was even mad at the doctor in the first place.
Now considering the woman’s predicament and doctor’s position is there anything wrong with how the situation was resolved? Was she taken advantage of by her doctor and the medical establishment? Is it her fault that she got pregnant or was she misled into believing something that isn’t true? Considering the power dynamic between the two of them once again, what do you think were the odds of the doctor admitting that he made any kind of mistake? And finally, what would you do if you were the woman? Would you continue to trust the medical establishment? Would you fight in a war against THE FERTILE? Or would you take the time to arrive at your own truth?
A few weeks ago I rode my bike down to Lake Merritt to experience a black business utopia. A few days later I discovered while watching the news that the whole thing would be drastically scaled back. The news spoke of neighbors complaining and the proper business permits not being held by vendors, and it all felt very typical of my city. In the early to mid 1990’s we had an annual event called “Festival at the Lake” in which hundreds of black vendors would come together to celebrate righteous blackness at Lake Merritt which is undoubtedly the crown jewel of our city. Then one year young people rioted. If I’m not mistaken they broke out the window to a Foot Locker and a few other storefronts. I don’t know why. I do know that Oakland was consistently one of the most homicidal cities in the country at this time. This to my knowledge, though I was just a young boy at the time, didn’t seem to concern the power structure in the way that one would think that it should. However, when corporate businesses were attacked on Lakeshore Avenue the footage was shown on every local news station for several days and within a few years there was no more festival at the lake.
In the early 2000’s we had something called Carijama at Mosswood Park. It lasted for only a few years until it met a similar fate. Young people once again were getting rowdy. Neighbors once again complained. The news once again played its part to see to it that the festival was shut down. I remember thinking as a very young adult who looked forward to the memorial day festival as an indicator that the summer was officially here, that my city seemed to be very proud of failing black people. Instead of ironing out the edges and considering ways to make celebrations safe, Oakland would much rather shut down all things black. This brings me back to the black business utopia that I experienced a few weeks ago.
I met a black man who was selling organic honey that he along with his son and nephew had procured as beekeepers. He, like myself, is an allergy sufferer and he began making honey because it is a natural remedy for allergies. I saw a black woman selling tacos. I bought a refrigerator magnet from a sister who does custom made engraving. I bought sage from another sister. I bought an Oakanda shirt (the fictional homeland of Black Panther and Oakland combined) from a brother with a kind disposition and an entrepreneurial spirit. And everything felt so dope. It was just so righteous and so black that I knew that it wouldn’t last– at least not in Oakland. In a place like Atlanta for example they would institutionalize this vending. Maybe they would make vendors pay a fee and regulate the products more, but their first inclination would not be to scale it down to nothing. But alas, this is not Georgia this is California. A place where integration has come to mean every nationality can profit off of black people except black people. A place where residents replace actual black people with black lives matter signs. A place where the children of black southern migrants flee as soon as they graduate high school because, ironically enough, the American South is less racist. Can you imagine that? California with all of her liberal ideology is actually more hostile to black business owners than Georgia, Tennessee, or Texas. And Oakland is proving this to be true once again. Last weekend when I went to Lake Merritt there were less than a third of the businesses that were there the previous weekend. The Fire Department was there regulating parking and interrogating vendors and it was far less vibrant. It was clear that the utopia was dying. Or to be more concise–it was being killed. It was very disheartening to know that my city would rather create laws to keep black people in their respective corners of the city than to let us make legal money in the city that so many of us shed blood for. I rode my bike back to the Eastside in a somber mood with no merchandise, knowing that my beloved city had let my people down once again.
Everyone in American society either has been diagnosed with anxiety or knows several people who have. My question is: are we dealing with it the right way? Check out the video and let me know what you think. And please like, comment, share and SUBSCRIBE TO THE TRIBE.
I had a conversation with 8 of my Tribesman about the Donald Trump twitter ban and the events that led up to it and let’s just say things got a little spicy. Check out the video and please like, subscribe, comment, and share if you feel so inclined.
I recently sat down with over a dozen African-Americans to discuss the rollout of the Covid 19 Pfizer vaccine and what to means for the black community. Should you take it or shouldn’t you? Well check out the video and hopefully it can help you to make a more informed decision.