Lists, Pop Culture, Race & Politics, Theory & Essay

A Dream Deferred Is Cool And All But…

There are all kinds of dreams deferred in this picture.

There are all kinds of dreams deferred in this picture.

Let’s just go ahead and set the ninjanet on fire. I think Langston Hughes’ poem “A Dream Deferred” is a terrible poem. Like seriously. I’ve read this joint out loud to myself numerous times. I did an interpretive dance to it once. I read it with a British accent while wearing some leopard print boxer briefs that said “Mufasa”  on the front.

Nada. It didn’t get any better.

In fact, during inauguration weekend, while hanging out with Liz and a gang of her friends, I not only said the poem was terrible, I said that 2 CHAAAAAAINNNNNNZ “Birthday Song” was a better “poem” than “A Dream Deferred.”

Here’s the actual poem by the way:

What happens to a dream deferred?Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.Or does it explode?Officially, that was a step too far. You remember the scene at the end of Barbershop where folks start talking about Dr. Martin Luther Tha King and the old guys get mad? Yeah….say something bad about something that some educated ninja did 70+ years ago and you’re liable to start a race riot.

Ignorance aside – though I’m not joking – while I think the poem itself is seriously wacksauce, the concept of “a dream deferred” is beyond amazing. For the vast many of us, we are the sum totals of many dreams deferred. Michael Jordan kept that in perspective for me during his birthday weekend which I’m just now realizing isn’t a national holiday despite the insane media coverage of him turning the big 5-0. MJ? Very few of his dreams seem deferred. He is a person who managed to make the absolute most of his dreams and then realize them. Many of us are limited by various factors that perhaps cause us to think that our dreams are out of reach.

Or perhaps some of us came up in circumstances that maybe didn’t prohibit our dreams but placed John Coffey sized obstacles in our way at every twist and turn. The point is, I have spent a lot of time just thinking about the words “a dream deferred” and how abstract but poignant they are. So while the poem may be non-sense (to me), I do believe that the very idea is one of the deepest ideals that many of us can internalize. Kind of like how the idea of “The Sum of All Fears” was a much better title than the movie.

So here are a few other things that I think are better in concept and theory than they are in actuality:

Oprah – her heyday is longgone. But somehow, sitting on Oprah’s couch still somehow counts for something even though it really doesn’t.

HBCU’s outside of the ones folks actually respect – Young, sad and blue. But it’s true. The idea of HBCUs is probably centered around the Morehouse/Spelman/Howards of the lot, yet the vast majority aren’t quit…cutting the mustard.

Range Rovers – Every since Jay ethered the now defunct 4.0, the Range has been a hip-hop staple. Yet, just get you a Tahoe and save some dough.

Washington, DC – it’s like a Black resthaven until you realize its small as hell and you will have done everything possible within a year of living here. It seems like what you envision within the lights of Manhattan for ninjas. Then you realize we’ve got a big wang in the middle of our city. And it’s white. Just a confusing city. Viva DC. It’s my hometown now. So I can say this. I pay property taxes.

Kat Williams (conversely, Steve Harvey is worse in theory than he actually is) – Katt isn’t funny. Yet somehow he became, ya know, before he lost his everloving mind, some sort of Black comedian bar. And he sucks. But the idea of him was a fun one. Real ni**a talkin.

“You Don’t Live On My Street” (though I have to admit my bias here because well, I have heard this poem so many times from Spelman women who clearly didn’t live on any street mentioned in the poem. Tweedledee) – see “A Dream Deferred”

Love Jones (though we can argue that what this is and what it represents are one and the same) – just saying but the legacy of Love Jones has completely trumped the actual movie.

Stringer Bell – Idris, while he may look like he does, is nowhere near as cool as the reason we know his name. Stringer, the coolest and closest to some ideal many Black men would love to live was one of the most evil and f*cked up characters on the show.

Well, that’s enough from me for now. What else is better in theory or concept than in actuality? And by the way, please direct all hate mail about my “A Dream Deferred” comment to this email address.

-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST aka DON’T DEFER MY DREAMS BRO aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL HE A 3

Filed Under:
Damon Young

Panama Jackson is pretty fly for a light guy. He used to ship his frito to Tito in the District, but shipping prices increased so he moved there to save money. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. Most importantly, he believes the children are our future.

  • http://www.twitter.com/mcnairian5 McNairian

    after watching Catfish, I’ll say Internet dating…sounds good on paper.

    • msdebbs

      + infiniti

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      I don’t know…you have to be some kind of special to get Catfished like those folks do.

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1?feature=mhee Perverted Alchemist

      Internet dating- where lying is acceptable as long as no one sees you in person, LAWL!!!

    • http://www.styleillusions.com WIP

      Internet “dating” is a strange beast it seems.

    • Wild Cougar

      I really don’t see how anybody with common sense gets catfished. I think these people don’t really want a relationship with a real person. They want a relationship with a fantasy. I mean, why wouldn’t you try to meet asap? That busy excuse is tired. Busy doesn’t ever mean busy. Busy means you are an option.

      • http://missrosen.wordpress.com esa

        ~ They want a relationship with a fantasy.

        you are so right. i did this once. as long as it was a dream, it was heavenly. when it became real, it was a nitemare.

      • Rewind

        Internet dating for some people requires you drop all logic to embrace a fantasy. Until people finally work the nerve to turn things into reality and then realize none of what they embraced has true merit to it. But that’s due more to people’s social problems and self esteem than anything else.

    • misstlb

      So True!! its crazy how people put so much energy into lying!!

  • http://lizburr.com Liz

    SMH you just couldn’t let the convo die, could you? lolol.

    • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com Tristan

      Hi Liz.

      • http://lizburr.com Liz

        hi.

      • http://opinionatedmale.com Medium Meech

        Alright, let’s move it along here. This is a comment section not an e-mixer.

        • IcePrincess3

          Aaaaww, look at meech, all jealous cuz someone said wuzup to his boo thang ;-)

        • http://lizburr.com liz

          miss you <3

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      now why would i do a fool thing like that?

  • Kema

    Marriage
    Being single

    • kid video

      Isn’t being divorced the best of both worlds?

      #thingsthatmakeyougohmmm

      • Sweet GA Brown

        You may be onto something. Divorced is the new status quo.

      • Kema

        Nah… Once you are divorced you go back into the single lane pretty much.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      LOL. Both are better in theory than they are in practice??

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1?feature=mhee Perverted Alchemist

      Wrong day for this…very wrong day…

    • Wild Cougar

      Marriage is better in theory. People call it a challenge or hard, but nobody is telling the truth. People hear horror stories and figure they must have married the”wrong” person. People won’t let that Disney fantasy die. The truth is you will fall out of love. It’s gonna happen. You cannot maintain that feeling. It’s biologically impossible. When you fall out of love, you have a roommate that bores and annoys you. If it’s a good marriage. The chores of keeping house and raising children are a total pain in the azz. Sex becomes boring. That’s if you do it at all. It’s gonna turn into a job.

      • The Guy Formerly Know As Hmmmm

        “You cannot maintain that feeling. It’s biologically impossible. When you fall out of love, you have a roommate that bores and annoys you. If it’s a good marriage. The chores of keeping house and raising children are a total pain in the azz. Sex becomes boring. That’s if you do it at all. It’s gonna turn into a job.”

        I often say that marriage is supposed to be boring. Now if folks realized this, from jump, fewer would feel disappointed.

        • T.Q. Fuego

          +1 @ “Hmmmm”

      • http://www.twitter.com/Bmorebmw Tentpole

        WC, everything you said is true from an analytical perspective. It is the emotional compontent that is key to a marriage surviving. It’s true that you can fall out of love, but you can also fall in love again. A marriage is doomed when both parties fall out of love at the same time.

      • MicTheMessenger

        Thanks for the encouragement, WC

      • Rewind

        ” People will not let the Disney fantasy die”.

        And that’s all that needs to be said.

      • Dignan

        I dunno. Are we speaking with the assumption that there is a difference between loving someone and being in love?

        Because, yes, you fall out of love. That’s inevitable. But you can love that other person for the rest of your life, and that’s what makes a marriage work, even if it’s not the Disney ideal.

    • A Woman’s Eyes

      omggg lmaooooo

    • YeahSo

      Irony in the truth of this is both enlightening and yet perplexing… finger snaps my sister.

  • BGirl81

    That last one is cracking me up! A few years ago I coined “The Stringer Bell Principle”, which describes a very rare instance when someone is so physically perfect/their game is so strong that it completely cancels out their awful-ness as a human being. This was so named because, to the best of my knowledge, no one has ever managed to accomplish this other than Stringer Bell. Remember when Donette was weeping over him in the last episode? Remember when she was weeping over D’Angelo? Oh…wait. This, my children, is The Stringer Bell Principle.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      see also…Michael Jordan?

      • BGirl81

        Ooooh, you got me on that one haha! I must admit, my theory also falls apart if you watch one of Idris’ singing performances.

  • Malik

    Spike Lee’s film career is better in theory than actuality. Spike Lee’s filmography is full of more “Bamboozled” type movies than “Do the Right Thing” type movies as far as actually executing an idea.

    • http://www.iamyourpeople.com I Am Your People

      Bamboozled wasn’t bad. Now, She Hate Me and Girl 6? Bye

      • Malik

        I mean Spike Lee has more movies that are well intentioned than actual great movies. I get what he attempts to do he just fails so often to make it a quality movie. Bamboozled being the greatest exactly of failed execution on an idea. Could say the same thing about Summer of Sam, Miracle at St. Anna, Jungle Fever, School Daze, and Red Hook Summer.

        • kid video

          I always wanted Spike to have a production company that rivaled Tyler Perry’s machine of putting out well received films/tv projects on a consistant basis…but Spike tends to delves into topics that cant be wrapped up in a neat package, where as Tyler ends his projects with a singing church choir…Spike gives ppl to much to chew on.

          • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com Val

            Actually Spike produces a lot of stuff other than films he directs, like the film “Pariah”, which was great and quite a few documentaries.

            • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com Val

              Please free my comment. Thanks so much. :-)

            • kid video

              Yeah…Spike works on more varied projects…he just doesnt have that solid TP fanbase.

              Blk folks arent going in droves to catch Pariah on the big screen.

            • MicTheMessenger

              *touches and agrees*

              Spike’s documentary game is pretty nice. When the Levees Broke & BAD 25 were good.

              He also directed Mke Tyson’s one-man show. I wonder how it turned out…

          • Wild Cougar

            Jungle fever was one of my favorite movies. Not because of the main story, but the back story with Samuel L Jackson and Halle. It was very well done and the scenes stay with me.

      • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com Val

        She Hate Me is one of the worst films in the history of cinema when you consider the wasted talent associated with that film.

        • Tx10inch

          totally agree w/this.

        • kid video

          I actually enjoyed KW’s acting in this one…im lying…i just like her scenes where she’s nude/doin it.

        • http://www.twitter.com/Bmorebmw Tentpole

          ….and where is Kerry Washington now. You may not like She Hate Me, but you saw it and so did many others and the cast thanks you for your support in launching their carees.

          • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com Val

            I don’t think She Hate Me launched Kerry’s career. She was well known before that.

            • http://www.twitter.com/Bmorebmw Tentpole

              Nope!!! she was working, but it was the publicity from She Hate Me that got her better roles.

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

          I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, I think “She Hate Me” was supposed to be his swan song so he threw every idea he ever had into one movie. And the only things I truly enjoyed were Dania Ramirez and Kerry Washington’s lesbian love.

          • Sigma_Since 93

            + Forever

        • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1?feature=mhee Perverted Alchemist

          The talent wasn’t the problem, it was the storyline- or a lack thereof…

          Whose bright idea was it to tell Spike “Sure, you can inject your political beliefs into a story about reckless sex”.

          • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

            it wasn’t the storyline. it was the fact that there were too damn many storylines

            • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1?feature=mhee Perverted Alchemist

              LULZ!

        • Rewind

          That movie was awesome. There are so many drugs that movie amplifies when taken properly.

      • YeahSo

        But dat Girl 6 soundtrack doh??? Sheiiiit

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      I couldn’t agree more. Though I do think “Bamboozled” was a good movie, even on the execution side.

      • T.Q. Fuego

        +1 I liked Bamboozled. I don’t think the execution was bad at all

  • Think2Inspire

    Going to college and getting a job in the feild you studied while the economy is doing the Harlem Shake. >_>

    • AfroPetite

      ALL. OF. THIS.

      I’m convinced anyone born subsequent to 1985 is just destined for a life of being overqualified for whatever career they end up having -___-

    • http://www.twitter.com/IluminatiNYC Todd

      Do we mean the REAL Harlem Shake or this BS on YouTube being passed out like it’s the real thing. The economy doing the original Harlem Shake is a blast. The new school one…not so much.

      • Kema

        The new Harlem shake is interesting. There are some funny videos on YouTube.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      Man…I’m trying to figure out where this bogus ass “harlem shake” crap started and why?

      • Marshal

        It was a song before it became a dance, and these 2520s did what ALL 2520 males do- get Ridiculous and Youtube, the precursor to Twitter, gave them huge ratings and vieweships and that’s how the “Harlem Shake” went viral. Notice that only the Root talked about the Real Harlem Shake Dance, used by Diddy, Mase and virtually all of Black Folk in the 90s-early 2000s

        • Dignan

          All of these Harlem Shake videos are just showing what we already knew.

          My people can’t dance. We just can’t. The self-aware among us know better than to try to dance in public.

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1?feature=mhee Perverted Alchemist

      You haven’t seen anything yet…

    • http://twitter.com/inomallday Shamira

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ct08t6N5qkc&feature=youtu.be

      The only Harlem Shake Video worth watching.

    • Rewind

      How the fawk did a fad dance from 2002 become popular again 11 years later?

      • Third Of August

        Same reason the Gumby fade from 1988 is popular 25 years later. Lol

  • T.Q. Fuego

    Road head.

    Who likes to cloud such euphoria with concentration? You end up havin to spend more energy focusing on stayin alive than u do on the fun. Hard to get my Wesley Pipes dialogue goin when I have to look out for oncoming traffic and slow down for turns.

    • IcePrincess3

      Bwahahahaaa so true.

    • camilleblue

      yeah….hit a good bump in the road and you may be in some serious trouble…at least that’s what I heard can happen…. ;)

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      And yet so many women are so excited to do it. Further proof that women stay testing us to see if we care. lol. Cuz if we care, we won’t end up dead.

    • MicTheMessenger

      Hell yeah!!!

  • That Ugly Kid

    Being Honest 100% of the time – Nobody likes being lied to. Yet nobody likes to be told that yes, those pants do make you look fat…or no, you didn’t give her that Big O last night. She faked it, bruh. She’s going for the Oscar this year…

    Reparations For Slavery – This wouldn’t be a big an issue if this were taken care of right after the Civil War, like it was supposed to. But the difficulty of mapping actual descendants of slaves, the cost of implementing this act and the effect it will have on the economy, etc, means that RFS may not be the best move right now.

    Blow-Up Dolls – Committing sexual acts on a human-sized, lifeless doll just scream Necrophilia to me. I know she’s not real, but still…

    The Dream wearing whatever the f*ck he was wearing at the Grammys – Google it.

    The first 3 rows at the movie theatre – Seriously. Why are those there? Those seats are atrocious.

    Free Clinics giving out free condoms – Sounds dope, right? One word: Lifestyles.

    • nillalatte

      “The Dream wearing whatever the f*ck he was wearing at the Grammys”

      Don’t have to Google it. Saw it ‘live.’ Leave that man’s swap meet hat alone! LOL

    • http://www.iamyourpeople.com I Am Your People

      Blow Up dolls – Ray J frowns upon your opinion

      Reparations – I’m 1/2 West Indian, and my mom is part white and Native American. So, my share is…? Yeah, confusing

      • That Ugly Kid

        Comparing Kim K’s extremely lazy sexual performance to that of a Blow-Up Doll is an insult to the blow-up doll. Ray J could’ve made a more exciting sextape with it, than the Kardashian.

        • msdebbs

          Yeasssssss her performance on that tape was such a yawn. I just don’t get the infatuation people have with this chick cause she is a boring f*ck

          • kid video

            I just don’t get the infatuation people have with this chick

            Thats the thing…ppl are infatuated by the “idea” of Kim…being infamous has been her success.
            If she actually had talent, she would not be famous…just a D list actress with a few cameos on The Game.

            • http://www.twitter.com/Bmorebmw Tentpole

              It’s all about the body. Her body looks good on her and the fantasy of smashing that is a dream yet to be deferred.

              • Sweet GA Brown

                nice one

              • T.Q. Fuego

                @ TP-Exactly! Don’t make it more complicated than it is ppl

              • That Ugly Kid

                But someone who is good looking, but sucks in bed, is a nightmare best avoided.

    • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com Val

      Reparations wouldn’t be difficult. It’s fairly easy to trace one’s ancestry back to an enslaved relative. And if you can do that then you would qualify.

      • AfroPetite

        Wouldn’t certain white descendants of slaves be entitled to said reparations as well? How black does one need to be to get their 40 acres? Questions that keep me up at night :-(

        • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com Val

          What White people are descendants of enslaved African Americans?

          • AfroPetite

            I have a White friend who can trace her lineage back to a particular slave. One of her great great grands was light enough to pass and had children with her white great great grandpa and that trend continued. Granted, it’s a stretch but we know how people can get when money is involved.

            Does the one drop rule not apply?

            • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com Val

              “Does the one drop rule not apply?”

              Not in reverse.

          • Kema

            Yea there was a lot of passing during that time.

            • mena

              I’ve read some of the stories and it’s heartbreaking. Brown kids were born to almost white parents and the parents sent them away or had the nanny pretend like the kid was theirs. Talk about having a complex.

          • Dignan

            “What White people are descendants of enslaved African Americans?”

            There’s a Thomas Jefferson joke to be made here, but I can’t quite put it together properly.

      • That Ugly Kid

        But then there’s that little issue of how much of all of it will cost. Because not only are, probably, all the traditionally Black (i.e African-Americans that show strong African features like kinky hair, tanned skin, etc) getting paid/compensated, but as AfroPetite mentioned, all those who are of mixed breed and even those who don’t look Black at all could be getting paid. After all, technically speaking, all it takes is to have one slave ancestor (including those made into such via rape) to qualify for reparations under the notion of compensating the “descendants of Black slaves”.

        As it stands now, in this economy, this country can’t afford to be giving away that kind of money at the moment. And giving away land will be even trickier.

        • Sweet GA Brown

          My fam actually has land in Alabama that was “inherited(divided among the white and half white children)” by the great^3-4 grand parent. Thats all the reparations that I have seen and its definitely a couple acres short of 40 with no mule.

        • H.H.H.

          “But then there’s that little issue of how much of all of it will cost. ”

          Various estimates have been given if such payments were to be made. Harper’s Magazine has created an estimate that the total of reparations due is over 100 trillion dollars, based on 222,505,049 hours of forced labor between 1619 and 1865, with a compounded interest of 6%.[8] Should all or part of this amount be paid to the descendants of slaves in the United States, the current U.S. government would only pay a fraction of that cost, over 40 trillion dollars, since it has been in existence only since 1789. (www.nlpc.org/pdfs/Final_NLPC_Reparations.pdf)

          in comparison, the world GDP, as of 2011, was/is around 70 trillion dollars.

      • http://www.twitter.com/Bmorebmw Tentpole

        The stature of limitations has passed on reparations. The issue that keeps getting overlooked is compensating all the Black landowners who had their land taken from because somebody could.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        I’m with him…the idea of reparations is better than the reality of reparations.

    • kid video

      The Dream seems like that lame kid in school wit a lil bit of talent…but his lameness still has the upper hand.

      Dude is worst that 5 Ray J’s and 2 Lil Wayne’s on the lame scale.

      • http://www.twitter.com/IluminatiNYC Todd

        5 Ray J’s?! That’s a bit harsh. The Dream is lame, but he’s a damn good songwriter. The only thing Ray J ever did was help Kim Kardashian blow up. LOL

        • kid video

          Yeah…that was his “One Wish”.

          • Sweet GA Brown

            *dead

          • YeahSo

            ba-dom-pish

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

          don’t be sleepin on Ray J’s ability to maintain some sort of relevancy.

        • Marshal

          He gave the world the phrase Smashed the Homey as well, and exposed Reality Love Shows too. You see VH1 stopped it all after him

          • SunnyRee

            let’s not forget those quotables he gave us during his beef with the F-a-bo-lous. Hilarious!!

            • Third Of August

              Lol….Don’t you disrespect the Money Team….they got 7…6…..13…..4. Rolls Royces outside right now!

    • http://www.twitter.com/IluminatiNYC Todd

      ROTFLMAO on Free Clinic condoms. Be glad they sprung for Lifestyles. I’ve seen worse. Much worse. To the point where it would have been simple to just hit the broad raw and take your chances.

      In term of reparations, that always scares me. Since I’m half-West Indian, would I qualify? After all, the British Government paid for my dad’s ancestors cash on barrel and set them free. Also, would I get a full share? A half share? Would White people start checking for that one great-grandfather that everyone swore was passing? This would not end well.

      • http://www.twitter.com/Bmorebmw Tentpole

        Repatations should be paid by the Africian countries that let my ancestors be taken in the first place. Even today they still sweep it under the mat. The majority of those nations are sovereign nations now and are able to demand it.

        • Charcoal Burnt Brother Lover

          No thank you.

          No reparations should be paid to ANY African country. I’d rather that money be used to feed the homeless in America, SERIOUSLY.

    • NomadaNare

      Disagree with the reparations topic. How about instead of ‘reparations’ or giving money away, no black child that can demonstrate need has to pay for his education? So, if you can show that you have had at least one slave in both of your family lines and you’re poor, you get college, grad school, and/or private school for free. Problem solved and the amount paid out would be a fraction of the cost of Iraq and Afghanistan. It can be done, but no one wants to do it.

      • T.Q. Fuego

        Word! I like this one. But how bout we do “not rich” instead of “poor” #I’mjustsayin

      • MicTheMessenger

        and the church said AMEN

      • That Ugly Kid

        I think you’re drastically underestimating the cost of paying for all that, for each underprivileged Black youth, and it’s effect on the economic infrastructure. Then there’s also, again, the issue of those who do not look Black (or aren’t considered such) but do have at least one slave ancestor from each side of the family. Do they not get their reparations because of the way they look/are preceived today? And if so, that costs even more.

        They’re gonna have to get this money from somewhere, so some of our government programs will be crippled or shut down entirely. You know that money’s NOT gonna come from military related funding, like Defense funding. America are #1 the world in Defense Spending. So much so, that we spend more on Defense than the next 26 countries behind us, 25 of whom, are our allies.

        So where is this money going to come from?

        • Eps

          +3858492920312

        • YeahSo

          I’m not opposed to raising taxes on rich white folks.

        • RuthlessWonder

          I was thinking we could just start using all the seized DEA drug money, the CIAs various slush funds, most of the black ops related found cash, and ensure The Dutch, English, French, Spanish, Germans, and Italians pay their part. Also from the various “We took this money from the bad guys, and we’re gonna keep it” funds.

  • Charcoal Burnt Brother Lover

    President Obama’s sudden inclination to start addressing black related issues [Chicago murder rates, black fathers]. It’s politics not humanity. Not to say he doesn’t care, but the timing is just off. He is all about legacy creation at this point.

    My pippoz love one another.

    • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com Val

      Yeah, that tired, ‘you Black people are triflin’ speech is way old. But when he gives it he’s not really speaking to us. He’s letting White people know that he’s not going to do a damn thing for us Black folk.

      Hiya, AM!

      *Waves*

      • kid video

        he’s not really speaking to us…

        + 10,000

        • Rogman

          What does speaking to black people entail?

          Seriously lay it out for me

          • http://www.twitter.com/Bmorebmw Tentpole

            What Bill Cosby tried to do. It’s the best example you will ever get.

            • MicTheMessenger

              A rant?

          • mena

            Speaking to black people is simply code for not talking about problems within our community in front of white people. Cosby and Obama are just fine in the way they deliver their talks.

            • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1?feature=mhee Perverted Alchemist

              Cosby and Obama? Yes.
              If it was someone who’s politics leaned to the right? Not so much…

              • mena

                Sometime it’s the messenger and not the message.

                But the whole black people can’t speak about our issues and we have to do it in hushed tones isn’t going to help anyone.

                • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1?feature=mhee Perverted Alchemist

                  And Black folks need to understand that the more you avoid problems, eventually it’s going to come to li8ght at some point in time. The best thing to do is to deal with it at the moment- not wait until someone else does it.

          • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com Val

            You missed my point. Presidents often stand in front of Black audiences but speak to Whites. For instance, when Mitt Romney spoke at the NAACP convention he was speaking to Whites.

            Obama does the same all the time. His message is that even though he’s a Black President, he’s not going to do anything special for Black people.

            So when he speaks in front of us, he doesn’t say what he’s going to do for us, like he does with other demographics, he tells us what we should be doing.

            • MicTheMessenger

              Yeah presidient Obama is “our president”, but should we really expect specialized treatment just because he’s black? The man has to run a country. I mean it would be cool if he swung through the southside of Chicago and said, “HEY n!ggas! Stop shootin each other in the got damn face”, but alot of poeple aren’t listening anyway.

              Maybe he should delegate?
              And anybody PLEASE, except Rahm Emmanuel.

              • mena

                Emmanuel would start cussing people out the moment he hit the stage. The man does not mince his words.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      Is that why Melissa Harris-Perry keeps talking about the Black family right now cuz of Obama talking about fatherhood and stuff again? Y’all ain’t forget he threw Black men under the bus some years ago right. I wrote a post about it here actually. I’m just too lazy to find it.

      • mena

        I remember his speech but I don’t remember it being a “thrown under the bus moment”.

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

          Perhaps a soft roll under the back tires is a better descriptor.

          • mena

            Hold the phone. This is the one that i was thinking about. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/16/us/politics/15cnd-obama.html?_r=0

            Was this the one you were thinking of? If that’s the case, when can he address black issues if not in front of a black church in the south side of Chicago? I don’t see this as him throwing black men under the bus.

            • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

              I’ll go back and find my post to see why I felt that way. I’m not even sure if that’s the speech since, hell, I barely remember it as is. I’ll return later with that.

            • Yonnie

              I think that we as a people need to decide what the fcuk we want from Obama, lol. We want him to act like the president of Black people but when he speaks directly to Black people about Black issues, we get mad. Talking about “he’s not really talking to us.” Do ya’ll want Obama to hold some kind of secret Black meeting where no one else can hear what he’s saying?

              • Charcoal Burnt Brother Lover

                President Obama is certainly NOT the President of Black America, but the United States of America.

                It’s just that his SUDDEN interest, or rather his recent outspoken attitude towards black issues is quite startling and a little too late-perhaps.

                God bless my African broda.

                • Yonnie

                  Hilarious. Obama spoke to a Black church on Father’s day in 2008 and people were up in arms about him speaking about the high percentage of absentee fathers in Black households. 2008! So there’s nothing “sudden” about his interest or any change in his attitude. If anything, him being in his 2nd term allows him the freedom to be more outspoken without alienating Black people (who think he’s talking down to them when he’s simply stating the facts) and alienating white people (who are wondering why the president is doing all of this “race talk.”).

                  I didn’t watch MHP this weekend, but I wish I had. What did she tweet?

                  • mena

                    Yes. This is what i am not understanding when people say he just started talking about violence and absentee fatherhood. No, dude was talking about it before he even got to the white house. People just weren’t paying attention. He talked about blacks and education in his address to the DNC back in 2004. He’s been on this for almost 10 years.

                    • Charcoal Burnt Brother Lover

                      Nobody mentioned, pre presidency. I’m talking about during his tenure. He hasn’t been AS vocal, as some folks think he could have been. Personally, whenever a politician makes a move, I question their sincerity. Everything is STRATEGIC. oh well!

                    • Marshal

                      The man was a Community Organizer long before he became a Senator, so IDK where everybody is getting this “Obama doesn’t care” nonsense from.

              • Marshal

                I’m with you on that. MHP was off base by having a whole portion of her Sunday to try and clarify what she menat by het tweet. Say what you will but the Crisis that is the Black Family has many aspects, two are the fact that Many Fathers AREN’T Being Active and Around, and I’m Sorry, but Most Familes with Problems- especially when it comes to Young Black Boys/Men- are ran by SIngle Mothers.

                Everybody has to take accountability of these negatives, not just place All blame on 1 Side or 1 Gender and Deflect the spotlight on the other things and other side

                • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

                  I didn’t even see the tweet. I just moseyed on to her show and saw her talking about it. And has some panel talk about it. I didn’t quite know what the hubbub was about.

                • Malik

                  Except Black men’s place in discussing homes with single mothers is talking about the Black men who abandoned the families rather than telling Black women how horrible and wretched they are for being single mothers.

              • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

                I do agree with this. But its normal. We want our Black leaders to be all things to all people, but mostly us.

                • MicTheMessenger

                  Yeah, we ask ALOT.

                  But do we honestly wanna DO alot?

                  How we ask for the hook-up on EVERYTHING, including the solutions to our own problems?

                  • Yonnie

                    Right. As far as I’m concerned, there is VERY little the gov’t can do for us: a fair shake at jobs, education, and in the so-called justice system. Other than that, it is in our hands: repairing our families, putting the focus on education, entrepreneurship, supporting Black businesses, etc. None of this has anything to do with the federal government (historically maybe, but not today).

            • CNotes

              “I don’t see this as him throwing black men under the bus”

              Agreed. What he did was challenge men to be responsible.

              • MicTheMessenger

                What he did was challenge men to be responsible.

                ^^^^THIS^^^^ is something i don’t believe we do enough of.

                • The Guy Formerly Know As Hmmmm

                  yeah we do. most of us are responsible.

                  • CNotes

                    “most of us are responsible”

                    Most of us are responsible for what, exactly? Having this discussion with men…about men?

                    • The Guy Formerly Know As Hmmmm

                      black men being responsible is not the end-all in the conversation around violence in our community. as it relates to the culture of gun violence most black men in our communities are responsible. most black men are not participating.

                  • CNotes

                    “yeah we do. most of us are responsible”

                    Ok….then how do you explain the overwhelming percentage of absent fathers?

                    • Marshal

                      You make it seem like it’
                      s All Men Leaving and Not Some Women Kicking Out or Leaving Themselves

                    • The Guy Formerly Know As Hmmmm

                      depends on what you are referring to as absent. are you talking about in the traditional hetero-normative sense? if so i hear. but i also know this is not the only way men remain involved with their children in our community.

                    • CNotes

                      “You make it seem like it’s All Men Leaving and Not Some Women Kicking Out or Leaving Themselves”

                      How did you come up with that from my question??? o_O. My point is… the speech was to give men something to think about with regards to being the leaders of our family structure. And truth be told, men can stand to make better decisions when it comes to creating and being responsible for families. I appreciate the fact Obama started that conversation without playing the blame game. That is a great sign of leadership; and it is an excellent way to encourage men to be great leaders.

                • CNotes

                  I completely agree. And, to take it a step further, this conversation about male responsibility SHOULD be coming from men.

                  • Marshal

                    That I agree with

                  • mena

                    Yes.

      • SweetSass

        Really?

        Are you saying we don’t have a fatherless baby problem in the black community?

        I can name more personal friends of mine who hate their father or don’t know their father than ones who have a good relationship with them. That right there… is the issue.

        It’s not ‘throwing anyone under the bus’ when it’s a real and concrete issue that is glaringly obvious to all but the most blind.

        I hate forums like these because you get everyone on the Exalting the Black Male bandwagon… but when you actually ask them how they feel about THEIR dad… many will fess up he was a rolling azz stone who ain’t sh*t. There is a disconnect there.

    • The Guy Formerly Know As Hmmmm

      I agree. This just feels like good ‘ol political posturing and not sincere at all. Obama talking about the issue of gun violence in the black community without talking about its relationship to All-American Gun Culture is like The United States talking about the danger of terrorism and WMDs in today’s world without acknowledging our own reliance on nukes, and terrorism to become the worlds greatest example of military strength.

      • T.Q. Fuego

        Ding ding ding we have a winner. When Obama only tells one side of ANY story he gets the same side eye from me as any other politician. They love finding a bad guy or bogie man to blame and black American and Middle Eastern men are easy targets.

      • Yonnie

        Maybe. But we all live in and are surrounded by the All-American Gun Culture. Everybody is not killing themselves at the rate that we (or young Black men) are.

  • nillalatte

    What happens to a dream deferred?

    I deferred dreams/aspirations when I got married. I deferred them again when I left the ex in order to raise my children. You never give up on your dreams when they get deferred. They are always there. Talking with my guy one night about what I would after my kids were grown when he suggested I would be lonely. Shyyyyyttt. Why lonely I asked? I have unrealized dreams/aspirations to achieve. Those that were deferred. But, everything comes in it’s due time.

    Side Note: my guy is really starting to freak me out a bit, talking about me being his girlfriend and coming to live with me. Yikes! What? Last time a man talked to me like this I ended up married! I think I will start polishing my running shoes! :D

    • nillalatte

      What else is better in theory or concept than in actuality?

      Oh, my, missed this question. Shall we start with the Constitution of the United States where it says ‘all men are created equal.’ Or shall we go on to the amendment that we are provided ‘equal protection under the law.’ How about ‘and justice for all.’

      Oh, good lord, this list could get rather lengthy!

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      Commitment issues, thy name is nillalette.

      • nillalatte

        Shhhh… don’t tell!

        • Sagey Bear

          We already know

          • nillalatte

            I see you Sagey. :D