Thursday, July 26, 2007

Straight Outta Touch

As any of my five readers know (Tim, next time I see you,I owe you a Red Stripe on me. Hooray beer!), I have been critical of Mansfield Frazier's writing (see my post from April of this year called "Imus and Gangsta Rap") on CoolCleveland in his Straight Outta Mansfield column. While I appreciate the fact that CoolCleveland has a black writer, he is very critical (though some of it is deserved) of youth -- especially black youth.

This week's column is no different. Mr. Frazier makes some strong points about the complacency of councilpeople in areas that started to brown over the last 30-40 years. Instead of creating structures that promoted racial harmony such as Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights, they let the people in the neighborhoods (mostly white) see them as a threat simply because of their skin color. I partially blame realtors (I think that any realtor that said sell because "they" are moving in should be punished...and not in a nice way.)

The youth that Councilman Polensek railed against (which is quite unbecoming of a representative of the City of Cleveland) was acting up not just because his mom didn't raise him right. I don't know her or him so I can't really say. But, I can say this. Many kids, black and white are getting the short shrift from the city. Where is the rec center that was promised to the Collinwood neighborhood years ago? Where are the after school activities? When kids have nothing constructive to do, some become destructive. While personal responsibility should govern every young person's actions, they are more likely to make constructive choices when there are more constructive options are available.

This kid is an example of what neglect of neighborhoods has done to Cleveland. It's not just about black kids, white kids, Latino kids, Asian kids or Native American kids. It's about the green that these kids grew up without because if any of these kids had parents with green, they wouldn't be in this environment. The massive selling off of Cleveland's jobs, the expense of retooling and the inability for the educated to find jobs have created a downward spiral for all of us.

The mom of the kid threatened to sic Al Sharpton or George Forbes on Councilman Polensek? What are they going to do? Please, don't get me started on black "leadership"...if Councilman Polensek did make the race of a kid an issue, then black Collinwoodians should remember this when he comes calling for re-election and proceed to use their vote to get him out. As far as if he would do the same to a white ne'er do well, only Councilman Polensek can answer that one.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Me and Cleveland...

I posted a comment on REALNEO and I said something that really encapsulates my feelings about Cleveland:

I grew up during arguably Cleveland's worst historical period. I am the product of black and white suburban flight. I am the product of Cleveland Public schools (post-Remedial order and pre-city takeover). I am the product of dedicated honors program teachers with short resources and good parents who didn't have either the resources or desire to move. I am the product of forced busing and tax abatements for Gateway, the BP Building, The Galleria, Tower City and other projects that took (and still takes) money from the schools. I am part of the first class of students subjected to the Ohio Proficiency Test which has become a tool to narrow the education of young Ohioans everywhere. I have taken all that Cleveland has thrown at me and I still exist. Cleveland owes a lot of people. Cleveland owes the next few generations more than it gave mine. People of my generation are used to thinking of Cleveland as less than a prosperous place because it hasn't been such during out lifetimes...and people wonder why I hate Reagan and Voinovich so much. Though there's much contempt and frustration, Cleveland was home when it wasn't en vogue to be I can say whatever I want about it.

How do you feel about your hometown?

Monday, July 23, 2007


I just came to a realization...I don't have to rewrite War and Peace everytime I blog. I just have to write something of meaning, not short, not long, just meaningful.

I think that's why so many bloggers experience burnout. The key? Write something little every day and, should I need to write something bigger, I think it may come out easier.

This is how people such as Jack can post for years straight. I ran into Jack again at the July Cleveland Blogger Meetup and he mentioned that he has been blogging for a couple of years every day. I realized, I hardly ever write. I always want to write these long pieces completely encapsulating my point of view. I don't have to do that. I put too much pressure on myself.

This is why slow and steady wins the race...

Friday, July 20, 2007

getting in the president's ass...

When I said that someone should get in Dubya's ass, this is NOT what I meant.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

burying "nigger"

The NAACP decided to engage in their first relevant act of the new millenium (truly, what have they done?) and it's...burying the word "nigger"? Come on! It's nice to see that black America has all of its' problems solved to the point where this is the primary concern. Our schools are educating kids exactly as they should be. Our colleges are priced reasonably enough for all kids to attend. Everyone has reasonable child care and health care...

...oh, wait, we don't have these things?

Then, why are we wasting time with this?

I see the NAACP's publicity stunt (it wouldn't be a publicity stunt if it had relevance) as another bourgeois way to "pile-on" to hip-hop. Hip-hop has needed to be more responsible for what is said on the mic way before Michael "Kramer" Richards and Dumb Anus (excuse me, Don Imus) every uttered the words they showed their asses in the national limelight. But, why do they get to shirk responsibility and deflect it upon us. Imus essentially said "Oh, the rappers do it, so it must be ok." What happened to responsibility for the words that are used that folks have been preaching to hip-hop since its' existance? Responsibility is a bedfellow of the first amendment not something you can remove at your convenience like a comforter on a warm night. The public has left Imus alone since he decided to blame his malfeasance on hip-hop...and bourgeois and misguided black folk have jumped on hip-hop's case....again.

If only institutional racism or educational reform could elicit such a response from the black elite (I refuse to call them black leaders...who are they leading?)...