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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Check out the latest from NPR's Bloggers Roundtable..

I was fortunate enough to interview Jay Smooth of WBAI's Underground Railroad (and his video blog, Illdoctrine.com) a few weeks ago and he made another appearance on yesterday's News & Notes' Bloggers Roundtable broadcast. I will keep you guys abreast of my next appearance on the Roundtable slated for February 7th. I almost wish I was on this episode as they discussed the embattled Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's latest text message/email scandal as well as Senator Obama's South Carolina primary win. Click on the link below to hear for yourselves:
Bloggers' Roundtable: Kilpatrick's Text Scandal

Monday, January 28, 2008

Better Late than Never..........5 year old put in handcuffs.....and I agree with it!

One of the most frustrating things to talk to friends and colleagues (especially when said friends are parents) about is how to discipline children in the 21st century. Oftentimes I encounter a knee-jerk reaction from some adults who hear a story (on its surface) of a child being put in handcuffs or forcibly restrained due to aberrant behavior. And the reaction (usually disdain for yours truly) gets worse when I usually agree with the school and/or authorities' response. In this case, a Queens child was restrained for misbehaving and the usual suspects are upset. No one seems to wonder how criminal or disruptive behavior originates when the child is fifteen. Furthermore, it is rarely discussed that as time moves on crimes are becoming more heinous as the perpetrators get younger. Hearing stories of 9 year old rapists and murderers are not that unusual in the new millennium. I would never say that the young child in question's behavior rose (or is that lowered) to the aforementioned standards but one can assume that the most ruthless gangbanger got his or her start somewhere. Check out an excerpt from The New York Daily News, pertaining to young Master Rivera:

5-year-old boy handcuffed in school, taken to hospital for misbehaving


Friday, January 25th 2008, 4:00 AM
Kindergartner Dennis Rivera, 5, tells how he was handcuffed to chair at Queens school last week as mom, Jasmina Vasquez, listens. Koester for News

Kindergartner Dennis Rivera, 5, tells how he was handcuffed to chair at Queens school last week as mom, Jasmina Vasquez, listens.

A 5-year-old boy was handcuffed and hauled off to a psych ward for misbehaving in kindergarten - but the tot's parents say NYPD school safety agents are the ones who need their heads examined.

"He's 5 years old. He was scared to death," Dennis Rivera's mother, Jasmina Vasquez, told the Daily News. "You cannot imagine what it's done to him."

Dennis - who suffers from speech problems, asthma and attention deficit disorder - never went back to class at Public School 81 in Queens after the traumatic incident.

His mom and a school source said Dennis threw a tantrum inside the Ridgewood school at 11 a.m. on Jan. 17.

Dennis was taken to the principal's office, where he apparently knocked items off a desk.

Rather than calling the boy's parents, a school safety agent cuffed the boy's small hands behind his back using metal restraints, the school source said.

The agent and school officials then called an ambulance to take the tot to Elmhurst Hospital Center for a mental evaluation.

Vasquez was stunned when a guidance counselor called her at work to say her son was being taken to the psych ward.

And if our readers picked up certain cues from the article, you know why this happened and what the end result will be-litigation. I did not see any mentioning of a father or male role model. I noticed that the mother and son possessed different surnames. I noticed denial. It's the same song played on a broken Ipod. What say you folks? Am I looking at this wrong? I'm sure you all have opinions-let's here them. For more of the Daily News article, click here.

If You Haven't Figured it Out Yet......BET reps for the Anti-Christ....Just My Opinion

Now why did I just know that the execs at BET were going to find a way not to allow Aaron McGruder to have his say about their minstrel network? For those who are unfamiliar with the latest controversy surrounding The Boondocks (hat tip to my co-host Daryll of The Comic Shoppe for hipping me to this), it appears that the episode entitled The Hunger Strike will not be airing after all. I thought that it would be a pretty daring, if not a peculiar feat to broadcast an episode that aggressively lampooned BET while the President of BET Entertainment (Reginald Hudlin) still maintained executive production credit on the series. I honestly believe that the trap door has already been put into place as it relates to BET. Whether it's due to Black blogosphere or Reverend Coates' Enough is Enough campaign, there will be a reckoning for Sambo central-it just can't come soon enough. Here's more on this banned episode controversy, courtesy of HipHopDX.com:

Over the past couple of weeks there has been rumors hovering about a certain Boondocks episode waiting to be aired. A clip leaked to youtube that previewed the episode which takes a critical and humorous look at BET and its programming. The snippet heightened curiosity of when the episode would eventually air. After the rumored original air date (January 7th) had passed, there would be even more speculation as to what happened to the episode. The clips on youtube were also taken down with no explanation.

Message boards ran wild with talk that BET put a halt to the episode ever airing but there was absolutely no confirmation from either sources at BET or Boondocks. It’s no secret that the Boondocks has attracted controversy (ie: last year’s controversial “Return of the King” episode) but to hear that an episode may possibly never air has raised more than a few eyebrows.

Today, an anonymous source close to the situation issued a statement exclusively to HipHopDX.com explaining that not one, but two episodes have been banned from airing. Here's his statement as to what has transpired in recent weeks…

“It now appears official that TWO episodes of The Boondocks second season -- clips of which surfaced on and then were pulled from Youtube -- will not air. At all. Ever.

Fans who were waiting for the show to reach the levels of controversy that last year's Peabody Award-winning "The Return of Martin Luther King" episode achieved will have to cross their fingers and hope that Sony execs don’t also pull the episodes from the second season DVD, which is slated for late spring.

The two episodes were originally scheduled to air on November 16 and December 17, respectively. No official reasons were given for the banning of the episodes from either Sony or Adult Swim as of yet.

Rumor has it the higher ups at BET have been pressuring Sony behind the scenes for months to yank the episodes, including threatening legal action. Now I’m pretty biased as a BET hater, but it’s sad the people in charge over there are more worried about being teased by a cartoon than producing good television. Not surprising, but still sad.

I’m a fan of the show and I've seen the episodes and they are undoubtedly the most cutting, brilliant and funny episodes of the season. In the first one: "The Hunger Strike" – Huey teams up with an Al Sharpton-like character (played by Cee-Lo Green from Gnarls Barkley) and goes on a hunger strike to protest BET. In what has since become a bizarre example of life imitating art, BET execs ‘Deborah Leevil’ and ‘Weggie Rudlin’ (imagine Black female Dr. Evil and Reginald Hudlin as Number 2) go through extraordinary lengths to thwart young Huey’s crusade. In the second one, titled "The Uncle Ruckus Reality Show”, BET gives Uncle Ruckus his own show, and what follows is one of the most fucked up and hilarious things I’ve seen on TV in years.

Is this controversy good for the Boondocks? Probably. For McGruder, controversy has never been a bad thing. But it’s doubtful any of this can be good for BET, which seems to be under perpetual fire from community activists and critics alike for its garbage programming. Now with this and BET founder Bob Johnson’s cheap shots at Obama, Huey Freeman may not be the only one hungering for a BET boycott.”

Calls and emails to Aaron McGruder’s office have yet to be returned. An exclusive clip has also been leaked to HipHopDX.

Join us Today at 6pm eastern as we Interview Dion Floyd of Immortal Kiss-at The Comic Shoppe

Unfortunately we did not have a Sunday Afronerd Radio broadcast but we will have a show today at 6pm, courtesy of The Comic Shoppe. Join Daryll, Max and I as we interview Mr. Floyd regarding his graphic novel, Immortal Kiss as well as additional books coming up in the horizon. We will also discuss our top comic reads from the previous week as well as the passing of The Dark Knight's Heath Ledger. Feel free to drop by with your thoughts and opinions at: 646-200-0104 or reach us via email/IM-thecomicshoppe@yahoo. Be Square, Be there and make yours Marvel (or DC, Image, Independent....).

Dion Floyd visits The Comic Shoppe

And hey, check out the latest episode from the guys of The Stack, courtesy of Pulp Secret:

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Afronerd Radio's Week in Review-Discussing Heath Ledger's death, Obama vs Billary, Reflecting on Dr. King

After taking a quick break, Afronerd Radio's Week in Review returns with a vengeance! We have a number of interesting and tragic stories to hammer out, so let's get to it. The untimely death of Heath Ledger (many in the comic community were anxious to see his portrayal of the Joker), Obama vs Hillary in South Carolina and reflections on MLK Day will be fleshed out on Thursday's broadcast. So join us by calling in live at-646-915-9620. You can also reach us via email/IM (afronerdradio@yahoo). And remember it's 9pm eastern.

Afronerd Radio's Week in Review broadcast

I Just Have to get this Gentleman on Our Show-Introducing Marc Rudov!

Am I hallucinating or is this guy making absolute sense? I just got wind of this gentleman from Sirius' Howard 100. More from yours truly in a few hours.

And here's another recent appearance by Mr. Rudov on the O'Reilly factor:

For the record, both parties in the gender wars bear complicity but again, more in a few.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

More Notoriety Given To Black Bloggers according to the Washington Post

Perhaps the greatest reason for the Black blogging explosion is due in part to the feelings held by many people of color that their socio-political perspectives have always been marginalized by mainstream media outlets. I can't count just how many times I have exclaimed in print (and on live broadcasts) my disdain for the monolithic perception that many people (irrespective of race or nationality) have of African-Americans. Fighting the sports/entertainment/criminal "box" has literally become the core mantra for Afronerd and Afronerd Radio. Having said all of that, today's Washington Post had an interesting piece on the Black blogosphere and how this blogging community relates to this year's election campaign. A number of blogging colleagues (some whom I have appeared with on NPR) were showcased in this article and all that I can ask is.....where has the media (both "Black" and "White" media) been? After what bloggers were able to accomplish with Jena 6 (whether I agree with the case's importance is inconsequential), it appears odd that we have not been utilized or embraced (yet) by conventional media. Let's take a gander at a snippet from the Post article in question:

Five days before polls open in South Carolina, where half of the Democratic primary voters are expected to be black, blogs such as African American Political Pundit, Jack and Jill Politics, The Field Negro, and Black Prof, to name just a few, are, like many South Carolina African Americans, sharply questioning Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign strategy against Barack Obama -- especially in the wake of last night's debate slugfest in South Carolina -- as well as John Edwards's claims of electability.

After last night's debate, in which Obama and Clinton traded their most aggressive and personal barbs to date, Christopher Bracey of BlackProf wrote: "Looks like Barack won this round in convincing fashion, with Edwards and Clinton tied for runner up. Funny how the press wants to concede S.C. to Barack now. I don't think this was the case a week ago."

Added the blogger who calls himself L.N. Rock, a Silver Spring-based IT professional and founder of the African American Political Pundit blog: "Let us not forget John Edwards, and his under the radar seemingly racial and sexist comment....when he said, 'The ONLY thing I would say -- and I think it has nothing to do with race and gender. Let me be really clear about that. It's amazing now that being the white male...is different...is being able to go everywhere in America and campaign and to compete -- and...I think I can go everywhere and compete head-to-head with John McCain."

Viewed from the Afrosphere, the now open political warfare between Obama and the Clintons takes on a heightened intensity. First came Hillary Clinton's comments about Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and President Lyndon B. Johnson, followed by President Clinton's use of the phrase "fairy tale" to criticize Obama's position on the Iraq war. Then BET founder Bob Johnson, a longtime Clinton supporter, seemingly alluded to Obama's past drug use. All this was compounded by Obama's comments about President Reagan -- and how the Clintons reacted to it.

So what do our readers think about this issue? Do you see a place for the Black blogosphere in the mainstream? Will Black conventional media jump on this phenomenon? A dollar (adjusted for inflation) for your thoughts. And for more of the Washington Post article, see below:

On African American Blogs, Sharp Words for Candidates

Two Important Video Submissions from One of Our readers.....

A special shout out to our resident supporter/commenter, Mike Murray for creating these two videos. I'm not in wholesale agreement with them but a fusion of both precepts, definitely makes a lot of sense. Despite the structural and societal forces that many in the liberal/progressive establishment tout as being the cause for Black folks' malaise, one can argue that we did better when the impediments were far greater. But check out these two videos because they are extremely prescient and poignant. Thanks again Mike-great use of Funkadelic's Maggot Brain!

Message to the Black Man:

And now for his European counterpart, Message to the White Man:

And in the immortal words of James Brown-"Hit me....three times!" Check out an oldy but goody from Mr. Murray. This video is in the same vein as the Jeff Foxworthy comedic routine, You might be a redneck but this time it's You might be a Punk Ass Negro:

Punk Ass Negroes (PAN) Part 1

Damn......the Joker Dies....Again-actor Heath Ledger Dies

What the hell? This just in from Yahoo News:

NEW YORK - Heath Ledger was found dead Tuesday at a downtown Manhattan apartment, naked in bed with sleeping pills nearby, police said. The Australian-born actor was 28. It wasn't immediately clear if Ledger had committed suicide.

He had an appointment for a massage at a residence in the tony neighborhood of SoHo, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said. A housekeeper who went to let him know the massage therapist had arrived found him dead at 3:26 p.m.

A large crowd of paparazzi and gawkers gathered outside the building on an upscale block. Ledger's body was still inside, and several police officers guarded the door.

The medical examiner's office planned an autopsy Wednesday, spokeswoman Ellen Borakove said.

While not a marquee movie star, Ledger was a respected, award-winning actor who chose his roles carefully rather than cashing in on his heartthrob looks. He was nominated for an Oscar for his performance as a gay cowboy in "Brokeback Mountain," where he met Michelle Williams, who played his wife in the film. The two had a daughter, Matilda, and lived together in Brooklyn until they split up last year.

Ledger most recently appeared in "I'm Not There," in which he played one of the many incarnations of Bob Dylan ƒƒ‚‚ as did Cate Blanchett, whose performance in that film earned an Oscar nomination Tuesday for best supporting actress.

Ledger had finished filming his role as the Joker this year in "The Dark Knight," a sequel to 2005's "Batman Begins."

He's had starring roles in "A Knight's Tale" and "The Patriot," and played the suicidal son of Billy Bob Thornton in "Monster's Ball." He also played a heroin addict in the 2006 Australian film "Candy."

Before settling down with Williams, Ledger had relationships with actresses Heather Graham and Naomi Watts. He met Watts while working on "The Lords of Dogtown," a fictionalized version of a cult classic skateboarding documentary, in 2004.

For more on this story, click below:

Heath Ledger found dead in NYC at age 28

The diffference between "Shaquana" Jenkins and Mary Jenkins-More on the Class Divide for Voting for Obama

Again, as this blog purports a conservative bent, I'm used to questions of alleged Black authenticity but how much can a progressive such as Senator Obama take with more talk of not only a generational shift among voting Black folk but now a class shift. If there was any further evidence that people of color comprise a monolith was a fallacy, the latest piece from the Wall Street Journal should cement the deal. Here's an excerpt:

ELGIN, S.C. -- Briana Parker, a 17-year-old African-American, drives her Honda every Wednesday from her suburban home here to the local Barack Obama headquarters to work the phone banks. Already accepted at six colleges, the high-school senior finds Mr. Obama an inspiration. "He reminds me that I can go and do things that others said I couldn't do," says Ms. Parker, who plans to double major at college and become a physical therapist.
[Barack Obama]

Seventeen miles and a world away, Malcolm Davis, 25, waits outside his parole office in Columbia, S.C. Like 13% of all black men -- 1.4 million in total -- he can't vote because he lives in a state that disenfranchises people convicted of certain felonies. He scoffs at Mr. Obama's message of hope and change. "He didn't grow up the way I grew up -- Mom smoking crack, Daddy smoking crack. It doesn't matter what I think. Just because a black man is running for president doesn't mean it's going to change things."

Even as Mr. Obama is promising to bring America together, his candidacy is casting new light on the mounting class divide in the black community -- and the debate among blacks about how to get ahead. The expanding black middle class -- accounting for about 40% of the black population -- see in Mr. Obama a validation of the choices they have made: attending largely white colleges, working in predominantly white companies and government offices, climbing up the ladder of American success.

For African-Americans living in the inner city -- where most children are being raised by single mothers, male unemployment in some cities tops 50% and 40% of young black men are either in jail, awaiting trial or on probation -- the view of Mr. Obama is much more skeptical. Black teenagers mock Mr. Obama as a "Halfrican" and a "50-percenter" for his biracial background; his mother is white, his Kenyan-born father was black. A recent special on Mr. Obama on Black Entertainment Television, the most popular station among inner-city blacks, was titled, "Obama: What's in It for Us?"

The irony is....it may be Whites that have faith that a Black man can be president moreso than people of color. And I repeat, I may vote conservative locally, but I'm not sure about standing on the opposite side of history on the national scene. Also I must respond to the young man highlighted in the above article. I don't know how much convincing would be required if he can't see that a Black man being a serious presidential candidate does constitute as substantive progress. It's still early in the campaign season the last time I checked. Here's the article in its entirety:

Obama's Bid Turns Focus
On Class Split Among Blacks

And Now Back to the Classics....I Mean Comics......

During my self-imposed exile from blogging, I was able to check out my share of comic/fantasy film fare-both fan and studio created. Check out these treats below: including a fan film with a Wonder Woman of Asian descent. I can dig it!

Next up, an online venture directed by Tim Russ, who many may remember portrayed Tuvok, the Vulcan of color from the Star Trek: Voyager series. Here's a clip from part one of the series entitled, Of Gods and Men:

And for the die hard Trekkie (or is that Trekker), pay close attention to the film in its entirety as you will recognize a whole roster of actors in this effort from other Star Trek iterations.

Of course there is always the latest from my faves at Pulp Secret:

And lastly, check out this fan film jewel that drips of gooey goofiness from fanboys with a lot time and imagination on their hands, Batman meets Star Trek:

Monday, January 21, 2008

Newsflash......Black folks ruled Egypt and Europeans ruled Europe...funny how that works.....

I just so happened to peruse yesterday's New York Daily News and they highlighted some recent historical data that many in African-American academia (as well as the general Black community) have been touting for years-Black pharaohs ruled Egypt. To be more specific, very few Black academics have actually separated Egypt from the rest of the Dark Continent but everyone else outside the sphere of multiculturalism has tried to place Egypt under the auspices of Euro-centrism. Well thanks to the latest issue of National Geographic magazine, the historical accuracy of Black pharaohs (dark complected Africans south of the Sudan, more specifically) ruling Egypt for more than a century has been put back into the center of the great educational debate henceforth. Take a look at the NY Daily News article, in question:

Egypt's black pharaohs ignored

by Christina Boyle

Sunday, January 20th 2008, 4:00 AM

Egypt was ruled by black pharaohs for nearly 100 years, but their role as leaders of the ancient civilization has been largely kept in the dark because of racism, according to this month's National Geographic magazine.

Scholars and historians have repeatedly failed to acknowledge the impact made by the group of kings who traveled from deep in Africa and conquered Egypt in 728 B.C., National Geographic says.

The Nubian kings, who came from an area of Africa that is mostly present-day Sudan, became the country's 25th dynasty and reunited Egypt, which had been torn apart by warlords.

The magazine claims the true impact of these rulers has never been widely accepted because European powers colonized the region in the 19th century and the role of the "darker skinned" conquerors was seen as irrelevant.

"For decades, historians flip-flopped: Either the black pharaohs were actually 'white,' or they were bumblers, their civilization a derivative off-shoot of true Egyptian culture," writes Robert Draper in National Geographic.

"The neglect of Nubian history reflected the bigoted world view of the times."

The story of the Nubians proves that African civilization was thriving in the ancient world, and intermingling and intermarriage with Egyptians was also reasonably common, the article says.

Some studies also have found that Egyptian pharaoh King Tutankhamun's grandmother, the 18th-dynasty Queen Tye, may have had Nubian heritage.

And for the National Geographic article, click here.

Catching My Breath, Taking a Break and Back on Message! OH & Happy MLK Day by the way!

Happy Dr. Martin Luther King Day to our readers, radio listeners, supporters and even our detractors! Please accept my apologies for being incognegro but I needed to take a break for the week to reflect, rejuvenate my creative juices and to rest. Having said all of that, I would be remiss if I didn't mention a few words as it relates to one of my heroes, Dr. King. As I was channel surfing this evening between Kyle XY, The Sarah Connor Chronicles and The Hillary/Obama SC slugfest, one must be ever cognizant that our current political landscape is the very embodiment of Reverend King's dream. How proud would he have been to bear witness to man of African descent, a female and up until recently, a Latin-American vie for the presidency-with a legitimate shot at accomplishing the goal? I also think as the above Boondocks episode so eloquently demonstrates, that Dr. King would be gravely disappointed with some of the neo-minstrel and prurient strains present in popular African-American imagery. So suffice it to say, in the forty years since his tragic death-there is still a lot of work to do. Let's pay homage by not only remembering his message but also being his message. It's time to stand up and discard the tired excuses-it's history time folks!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Damn I love the internet.......Sammy & James...Who Would've Have Thunk it?

Seems like Michelle Obama has won over Mr. Crouch...

It's pretty well established that I am a supporter of Stanley Crouch for his unabashed social witticisms, conservative leanings and he can whip up a mean Jazz critique to boot. But I thought he made a misstep last year when he (like many Black societal critics) got into the Blacker than thou game regarding Senator Obama. Perhaps his column in yesterday's New York Daily News signifies a return to the fold. Again, I would be remiss if I didn't wax poetic on Obama's need to bring his politics to the center-progressive politics be damned. And that's the point-let's stick to discussing his politics. Here's Mr. Crouch doing what he does best, a snippet courtesy of the News:

Mrs. Obama has my vote

Monday, January 14th 2008, 4:00 AM

When introduced to a figure like Michelle Obama, Americans can see very quickly that the forces of U.S. life are so complex, so contradictory and so prepared to hurl a curveball from the pitcher's mound of improbability that clich�s are the normal response. They arrive at such speed because the pundits of America are expected to have an assessment far too fast.

The upshot is that while using reductive reasoning and waxing every story about the Obama campaign with greasy obviousness, our media voices tend to narrow the significance of this new moment in American politics to race.


Because anyone can see that Obama is not a white man and does not represent what we have come to think of as white in its most provincial terms.

The inability to see Barack Obama clearly makes it nearly impossible to see Michelle Obama at all, even though she may have had as much to do with her husband's victory in Iowa as anything else and might have reversed the numbers in New Hampshire had the women of that state enough time to see, listen and think about what she was saying.

In short, she might have been able to move even the most recalcitrant women from Hillary Clinton's base to Sweet Home Obama.

Had she done it, the pundits would probably still have missed it. The reason, it seems to me, is that they don't see the importance of this woman beyond race. All that is written or said about her role in the upcoming battle for South Carolina is how much she might be able to do with black women voters.

For an extended encore, click

Ok Something for Our Spirits.....Miri Ben-ari, "The Hip Hop Violinist gets MLK award!

Check out Jazz great, George Duke in this collabo-real musicianship has to be exposed people. A great video, excellent subject matter and a talented violinist-what more could you ask for?

This just in from United Press International:

JERUSALEM, Jan. 14 (UPI) -- Israeli musician Miri Ben-Ari, dubbed "the hip-hop violinist," is to be honored with the first Martin Luther King, Jr. Israeli Award in Jerusalem.

The prize will be presented to the Grammy Award-winning performer at a ceremony

presided over by Israeli President Shimon Peres, Mirimode Productions LLC announced Monday.

Ben-Ari is being recognized for her outreach to the African-American community, particularly through her song and video "Symphony of Brotherhood."

The Fellowship of Israel and Black America ceremony is slated to take place Tuesday in Jerusalem. Other award recipients are Peres, the Rev. Kenneth James Flowers and the U.S. Ambassador Richard Jones.

FIBA is working to mobilize 2.8 million Black American Christians to support the State of Israel and to establish in Jerusalem The Martin Luther King Center and Memorial, a research and training facility designed to connect the Ethiopian community in Israel to the African-American community.

"Being a third generation to Holocaust survivors, I have always believed in the fight against racism," Ben-Ari said in a statement.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Newsflash.......People of Color Have a Problem with Being Experimented On.....Low Black Turnout for Clinical Trials

I would be the first to say that conspiratorial thinking amongst many African-Americans can sometimes impede our progress. Protestations such as: "Obama shouldn't run for office for fear of assassination" or "The levees in Nawlins were tampered with to purposely exterminate undesirables of color" or "there is an illumanti that really makes the world go round" are often heard at countless social gatherings in Black/Brown communities. I would never say that certain conspiracies are not without some merit worthy of further exploration, but one can not base his/her life on these matters as unfettered paranoia will surely reign supreme. The infamous Tuskegee Syphilis experiment in which Black men were intentionally injected with the deadly virus under government sanction (unbeknownst to the subjects) for decades without a cure. The dilemma now for the 21st century is that in order to ameliorate certain ailments that disproportionately afflict communities of color, clinical trials must be considered. Recent studies are indicating that Black folk still harbor nightmares of Tuskegee and are underrepresented as it pertains to aforementioned trials. Here's an excerpt on this phenomenon, courtesy of The Science Daily:

In a new report, experts in the design and conduct of medical research found that black men and women were only 60 percent as likely as whites to participate in a mock study to test a pill for heart disease. Results came from a random survey of 717 outpatients at 13 clinics in Maryland, 36 percent of whom were black and the rest white.

The survey is believed to be the first analysis showing that an overestimation of risk of harm explains why blacks' participation in clinical trials has for decades lagged that of whites. The results come at a time of increased recognition of racial differences in disease rates and treatments. Researchers point out that some kidney diseases, stroke, lung cancer and diabetes all progress more quickly in blacks and kill more blacks than people of other racial backgrounds.

"There is enormous irony that without African-American subject participation in clinical trials, we are not going to have tested the best therapies we need to treat African Americans," says study senior researcher, Hopkins internist and epidemiologist Neil R. Powe, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A. "So long as the legacy of Tuskegee persists, African Americans will be left out of important findings about the latest treatments for diseases, especially those that take a greater toll on African Americans and consequently may not have ready or equal access to the latest medicines."

The infamous Tuskegee study, named after the Alabama town where its participants lived, enrolled several hundred sharecroppers, mostly poor, illiterate blacks, into a study they believed would help treat their syphilis infections. Instead, health care workers denied them available drugs to cure the disease in a secret plan to study the "natural course" of unchecked syphilis. The health care workers were predominantly white.

The government-sponsored experiment ran for 40 years until a leak to the press exposed the deception and the study was shut down in 1972. The resulting public outcry and federal clampdown led to the establishment of federally regulated committees at all American academic centers, so-called institutional review boards, to oversee how clinical studies are designed and to ensure informed consent of all patients.

So what do our readers think about this issue? We can' trust the man and yet we can't trust the brother man either-just ask Philly and Camden residents. Perhaps investigation, education and discernment are in order-I'm just sayin.' But hey you might not trust the Afronerd either. For more from the Science Daily article, click below:

Trust Between Doctors And Patients Is Culprit In Efforts To Cross Racial Divide In Medical Research

And for more about Black folk and conspiracies, check this out.

Ok this is just CREEPY...............Whoa! The Cat with Hands?

And the next one is just a shout out to fans of his Royal Badness. But in the words of Elmer Fudd-be vewy quiet...SHHH!

Looks like corporatizing struck Bedrock, just like it bastardized Hip Hop. Take a gander at an unaired Flintstones commercial:

Don't Forget the Comic Shoppe broadcast, today at 6pm eastern

If you guys enjoyed yesterday's Afronerd Radio show and our interview with WBAI's Jay Smooth, you're sure to dig our Comic Shoppe broadcast, scheduled for 6pm (eastern) this evening. Join Daryll, Max and yours truly as we discuss the goings-on in the world of comics, pulp fiction and fantasy film. It looks like the guys from The Stack are on the same track as we too will analyze the current Spiderman "Brand New Day" storyline, The Sarah Connor Chronicles and some fantastic reads from last week. Check us out and feel free to contribute to the conversation with your thoughts. We are broadcasting live-the contact number is: (646) 200-0104 and we can be reached via email/IM-thecomicshoppe@yahoo. Be there and square, true believers!

The Comic Shoppe

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Further Evidence That Some People Just Do Not Have Your Interests At Heart-Introducing Bob Johnson

Thanks go out to resident commenter Sergio and an additional hat tip to Bossip. We have seen a number of the civil rights vanguard speak out of term regarding Senator Obama, now you can also add former CEO (and present Chairman) of the minstrel channel (BET) to the growing roster of haters. Check out this latest faux pas, courtesy of Bossip:

Hoes Sit Down

Here is what BET founder and Clinton supporter, Robert Johnson, said about Barack Obama today at a Black church in South Carolina:

“As an African American, I’m frankly insulted that the Obama campaign would imply that we are so stupid that we would think Bill and Hillary Clinton, who have been deeply and emotionally involved in black issues when Barack Obama was doing something in the neighborhood that I won’t say what he was doing but he said it in his book,” Johnson said while campaigning with Clinton in Columbia South Carolina.

Although he later tried to clean up what he said, he is obviously referring to Obama’s admitted drug use. How many other negroes support is for sale?

Again, this is coming from the man that doesn't want to attest for the imagery that BET engenders and currently promotes. And remember that BET Uncut ran while BET was still under his helm before the Viacom purchase. What do you think about this latest issue? What are your thoughts?

Friday, January 11, 2008

Come Ye, Come Ye-We Discuss Hip Hop with Jay Smooth this Sunday on Afronerd radio, 8pm eastern

Folks, you do not want to miss this Sunday's episode of Afronerd Radio when we interview Jay Smooth of the Illdoctrine.com video blog and WBAI's (NY) Underground Railroad radio show. Although I was familiar with Jay, I wanted to speak with him ever since I heard his recent Bloggers Roundtable segment on NPR's News and Notes. I also invited Krisna Best of The Democracy and Hip Hop Project blog to stop by and contribute his thoughts during this broadcast as well. You guys should get a kick out of Best's appearance as we have had disputes with DHHP's views on hip hop in the past. So you know what to do-call us "live" at 646-915-9620 (8pm eastern) or via IM/email (afronerdradio@yahoo). Be there, be square and...let's discuss hip hop.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Reminder-Afronerd Radio broadcast-Thursday at 9pm/eastern

Just reminding our listeners/readers that we have a special broadcast this Thursday 9pm eastern in which we will have a modified Week in Review program. We will also be interviewing Mr. Theron Wilson regarding his impassioned Youtube video and his efforts to heed the call of Dr. Cosby's message of personal responsibility and empowerment. The call-in number is 646-915-9620 and email/IM is afronerdradio@yahoo. Be there and don't forget to be square!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Just a Couple of things to take note.....

Check out the latest from the Stack, courtesy of Pulp Secret:

Also check out the latest Bloggers Roundtable, courtesy of NPR. Topics ranged from Cathy Hughes' Radio-One deciding to end it's content production deal with XM satellite and Obama's Iowa win:

Bloggers Roundtable: Obama's Iowa Victory

I especially liked Jay Smooth's appearance on Bloggers. I'm not sure about his politics, which I'm sure will become more evident as time goes on but I'm really impressed with his video blogging site, humor and quick editing style. Here's brother Jay (hey I get tribal ever so often) at his best:

And further, check us out on Thursday's Afronerd Radio broadcast (9pm eastern) as we will have a modified Week in Review show. The show will entail an interview with a gentlemen that had a compelling Youtube clip that I previewed a few days ago-Mr. Theron Wilson. We will be discussing the stories of the day, his belief in Dr. Cosby's message, Obama's present standing, African-American imagery, the fallacy of a "Black" or "White" standard and how we can get back to Black excellence. You know what to do-give us a call "live" at 646-915-9620 or contact us via IM/email-afronerdradio@yahoo. I promise you that this will be an important if not eventful program. Stop by with your thoughts so we can rock and roll people-the time are a changin.'

And lastly, don't forget to check out BET's interview with Senator Obama tomorrow at 10pm eastern. If I were Obama, I would have reconsidered appearing on the minstrel station, pretty much for the same reasons that The Boondocks' Hunger Strike episode points out. But I guess he had to prove some backward and nebulous authenticity standard.....again.

OK..this is just cool........In 10 years prepare for cars to drive themselves-I guess Diddy Doesn't have to pay a driver in the future

This just in from TheAge.com:

Driverless cars 'on market in 10 years'

January 8, 2008 - 10:17AM

Cars that drive themselves - even parking at their destination - could be ready for sale within a decade, General Motors executives say.

GM, parts suppliers, university engineers and other automakers all are working on vehicles that could revolutionise short- and long-distance travel. And Tuesday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas GM Chief Executive Rick Wagoner will devote part of his speech to the driverless vehicles.

"This is not science fiction," Larry Burns, GM's vice president for research and development, said in a recent interview.

The most significant obstacles facing the vehicles could be human rather than technical: government regulation, liability laws, privacy concerns and people's passion for the automobile and the control it gives them.

Much of the technology already exists for vehicles to take the wheel: radar-based cruise control, motion sensors, lane-change warning devices, electronic stability control and satellite-based digital mapping. And automated vehicles could dramatically improve life on the road, reducing crashes and congestion.

If people are interested.

"Now the question is what does society want to do with it?" Burns said. "You're looking at these issues of congestion, safety, energy and emissions. Technically there should be no reason why we can't transfer to a totally different world."

GM plans to use an inexpensive computer chip and an antenna to link vehicles equipped with driverless technologies. The first use likely would be on highways; people would have the option to choose a driverless mode while they still would control the vehicle on local streets, Burns said.

He said the company plans to test driverless car technology by 2015 and have cars on the road around 2018.

For the article in its entirety, click below:

Driverless cars 'on market in 10 years'

I'm not sure about NH tomorrow but Hillary showing emotion is not a good look!

Well folks I'm not sure what to make of this last bit of news-Hillary may have a human heart. Or is this feigned emotion? To be considered one of the few women in history to actually have a fighting chance at the presidential nomination and then to cry because of the pressure doesn't bode well a day before the NH primaries. Doesn't this outburst undoubtedly play into the hands of the chauvinists that already believe the emotional woman stereotype? Are we to expect similar behavior if the terrorists loop a biological weapon in our direction like a Michael Vick overhead pass? Perhaps I'm interpreting this incorrectly as prospective voters have critiqued Senator Clinton as being manipulative, shrill and insincere. What say you, readers? Are we to accept Clinton's latest act of contrition as legitimate or is Obama's projected 50-30 NH lead getting the best of her? You decide. Check out this quick excerpt, courtesy of the International Herald Tribune:

Clinton's campaign was shaken by her third-place showing Thursday in Iowa, where John Edwards came in second. In an interview with NBC on Monday she waved off, with a smile, the suggestion that of any sense of "panic" had pervaded her campaign. "Panic" was the one-word headline in a New York Post story about her.

Still, in perhaps her most public display of emotion of the campaign, Clinton's eyes welled with tears later in the day and her voice cracked as she talked about holding up under the rigors of the race.

Clinton did not cry or look like she was crying, but she was on the verge of it after a woman asked her, at a roundtable discussion at a coffee shop in Portsmouth, how she managed to get out of bed and soldier on.

"How do you do it?" asked the woman, Marianne Pernold.

"It's not easy, it's not easy," Clinton replied slowly. "I couldn't do it if I did not passionately believe it was the right thing to do. It's very personal to me."

Clinton's voice then softened to a near-hush and she spoke more haltingly. "I have so many ideas for this country, I just don't want to see us fall backwards," she said, her eyes visibly wet, as a row of news photographers snapped away. "It's about our country, it's about our kids' futures."

It was not quite an Edmund Muskie moment - the crying episode by the Democratic candidate in 1972, at a time his wife was being called a heavy drinker, that essentially ended his campaign. Nor was it clear whether Americans view tears from a woman seeking the presidency differently from those of a man. The image might even help humanize her - something critics have said she needed to do.

For the remainder of the Tribune article, click below:

Obama and McCain ride momentum; Clinton feels the pressure

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Just An Observation-All the Candidates want "change" but whose Idea was it in the 1st place? Hint -His friends called him Barry

I readily admit that W.E.B. Dubois' double consciousness paradigm really encapsulates my feelings not only about this blog but also as it relates to Obama's fight for the presidency. Is it imperative for yours truly to be tribal and place a vote for the brother or is it beneficial to remain steadfast in choosing someone that is closest in line with my conservative leanings? I guess when Election Day arrives I will be in a better position to answer that question-especially if Senator Obama is still in the game. Something that I did notice during the debate that made me uncomfortable was the constant reliance on the term, "change." Now that everyone was shocked that a majority White state would place their votes for Mr. Obama, the Republicans and the Dems have made change the operative word-a word that realistically has been the centerpiece of Obama's campaign. It speaks of desperation and hopping on the bandwagon at the last minute. Another interesting thing that I noticed during the Republican debates was a question posed to the candidates asking what would be their fundamental ideological differences with Senator Obama if he were matched up against them-not Hillary. In the immortal words (or word) of Star Trek's Mr. Spock-"fascinating." But all in all, you just have to love Team Change (Obama and Edwards) playing the dozens with Senator Clinton. Now next up, you have my team giving their best shots to Governor Romney. Never let it be said that politics isn't dirty business.....and it's only January folks:

But the most disturbing part about these exchanges is the low viewership numbers on Youtube. I guess more folks are interested in 2 girls and 1 cup-The terrorists are truly winning.

And for more on my thoughts on Obama, I made another appearance on last night's Elle Word, courtesy of Blog Talk. My call is approx. 15 minutes into the broadcast:

Barack Obama's Quest For The Presidency: Afronerd call in

No Sunday Radio Show but here is something to chew on in the meantime- A Preview of The Boondocks' "Hunger Strike" episode

Due to time constraints, tonight's Afronerd Radio program will be cancelled but I would like you guys to check this Youtube clip in the interim. To my knowledge, there was some kind of falling out between Aaron McGruder and Reginald Hudlin over the direction of The Boondocks and the above preview may explain the reason for the rift. I guess Mr. Hudlin has thick skin, as a caricature of him is hilariously lampooned in this episode-while he still maintains executive production credit for a project that he is no longer directly connected to. Although I have my problems with The Boondocks regarding its execution of critiquing some of the Black neo-minstrel idioms, I can applaud the effort. And anyone who has visited this blog previously is well aware of my disdain for BET's absolute refusal to expand its imagery (i.e. tone down the prurient videos, revise a decent news division, play progressive hip hop artists, Black rock acts, etc) but perhaps the best example of my disappointment in the network was how I was treated by Mr. Hudlin himself. And it goes even deeper.
Check out the latest episode of The Boondocks this Monday at 11pm eastern. What do you think about what this episode says about BET?

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Uh OH-Maybe Chris Rock was On to Something.......Obama Wins Iowa!

Well the pollsters called it correctly, Senator Obama won the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire and South Carolina are the next hurdles. Perhaps Hillary doesn't have Black folk in her back pocket after all. Mike Huckabee of course, won the respective Republican ticket in Iowa as well. But remember folks, there is a long road to travel and more states to conquer, so let's not do the Harlem shake just not quite yet. Here's more from Reuters pertaining to the Iowa race:

DES MOINES, Iowa (Reuters) - Barack Obama took a big step on Thursday toward becoming the first black U.S. president when his campaign for change caught fire in Iowa and swept him past Hillary Clinton in the opening Democratic nominating contest.

On the Republican side, underdog Mike Huckabee capped a stunning political rise to beat Republican rival Mitt Romney, despite being dramatically outspent by the wealthy former Massachusetts governor and venture capitalist.

Obama, an Illinois senator, captured the first Democratic prize on the road to the White House with a comeback triumph over New York Sen. Clinton and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, who were in a tight battle for second.

"We are choosing hope over fear, we are choosing unity over division and sending a powerful message that change is coming to America," Obama told thousands of cheering supporters.

Both Obama and Huckabee, a former Arkansas governor and ordained Baptist minister, once trailed better-known rivals Clinton and Romney in their race to be on the November election ballot, but rode a wave of grass-roots enthusiasm to victories by touting an outsider's message of change in Washington.

"Tonight what we have seen is a new day in American politics," Huckabee, with actor and supporter Chuck Norris nearby, told cheering backers in Des Moines. "Tonight we proved that American politics is still in the hands of people like you."

The 2008 campaign is the most open presidential race in more than 50 years, with no sitting president or vice president seeking their party's nomination, and the Iowa contest was the most hotly contested in the state's history.

Turnout among Democrats topped 220,000, smashing the previous record of 124,000 in 2004 -- testament to the high enthusiasm among Democrats heading into November's election.

For more of the Reuters article in its entirety, click on the link below:

Obama and Huckabee win first 2008 vote

And perhaps Hillary should have taken head to this Iowa Debate focus group:

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Excuuuuuuuse Me......If I like Clarence Thomas....More News at 11

Due to time constraints, I can't flesh this out but in the interim, take a gander at a 60 minutes excerpt from a few months ago. I really believe this man was misunderstood and yet if only the current Black progressive leadership were dissected in the same manner as Justice Thomas. More to come.

Afronerd Radio's New Year Resolution Show.....or better yet the Affirmation Show-Thurs, 9pm eastern

Well today is the day folks-election time, courtesy of the good people from Iowa! And we plan to talk about that among other topics on Thursday's Week in Review broadcast at 9pm eastern. Join us live with your opinions and/or disagreements at 646-915-9620 or via email/IM-afronerdradio@yahoo. I'm not a complete supporter of the term resolution but perhaps an "affirmation" should be a more appropriate word and this show will cover some affrimations that I would like to see for the African-American community this year. Examples of these proclamations would be: diminution of the cottage minstrel industry, less victimization excuses, more personal accountability, etc. We may also cover proposals for the state of New Jersey to apologize for its role in the institution of slavery and who is Dr. Boyce Watkins and why his protestations about the Black condition are dated and harmful. Check out Dr. Watkins doing what he does best (excuse development) below:

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Mr. Crouch Weighs in on the Great Debaters........

I pretty much gave my "thumbs up" review of the Great Debaters during the two previous broadcasts of Afronerd Radio, but I really must give kudos to Stanley Crouch for his nail-in-the-coffin analysis of the film in his column yesterday. Again, the film does a stand up job at debunking any notions that the pursuit of education and excellence are antithetical to Blackness. Here's a dead on excerpt from Mr. Crouch's op-ed piece, courtesy of The New York Daily News:

Things have gotten so bad that black authenticity is regularly defined as rude, criminal, contemptuous of education and disrespectful. Any other vision of black American culture is dismissed as "white" or suffering from an overdose of "white middle-class values."

That is the worst misunderstanding of all: White people are expected to have the right information; black people are expected to have nothing more than a lot of foul-mouthed sass and some kind of rhythm. It seems we have stumbled into a valley of stupidity where those at the bottom are told that embracing so-called middle-class values dilutes their "authenticity."

Let's straighten this out. There is no such thing as "white middle-class values." There are only middle-class values - and they can be had by any ethnic group, any religion and anyone else who believes those values fit them. Belief in education, hard work, stable families, hygiene and scientifically proven solutions to our common problems (rather than superstition) should never be color-coded.

Now we have First Sunday coming out in a few weeks-the Enough is Enough campaign has a lot of work ahead of them. Click below for the article in its entirety:

An inspiration, beyond debate

And while we're on the topics of African American excellence, education and perhaps diction, let's take a look at Garrard McClendon (the Ax or Ask scribe) discussing Senator Obama's alleged inauthentic Blackness:

If things work out, we may be able to interview Mr. McClendon in the near future to have him share his thoughts on AAVE (African-American Vernacular English), education and Black authenticity.

And Let the Minstrelsy begin.........First Sunday is the First of I hope a limited amount of Blackface Comedies for 08'

Once again, I must thank the Invisible Woman from Invisible Cinema for gracing our internet radio airwaves a few days ago by visiting our show on Black Cinema. Unfortunately, I forgot to ask her about O'Shea Jackson's (Ice Cube for the uninitiated) latest minstrel-fest, First Sunday. Interesting that his friend, John Singleton actually has a degree in filmmaking and yet arguably, Cube is the more successful of the two. Of course, Stepin Fetchit (aka Lincoln Perry) became quite wealthy in his heyday by doling out Black stereotypes. Will there ever be a day when the public, especially people of color grow tired of these one dimensional (and unfunny) portrayals?

Happy New Year Folks and Let's Make 08' the Year of the Non-Victim

Well we are getting close to the end of a decade and we haven't seen any mass produced flying autos (yet) but we are seeing folks with blue skin a la The Smurfs or for the sci-fi buffs that visit Afronerd, the Andorians. Case in point, check out the video above as it pertains to Paul Karason, the blue-skinned man (and folks it's not makeup) in question who was compelled to leave Oregon because of racism. His story is a pretty interesting one, but the bottom line is that his condition appears to be self-inflicted/self-imposed due to the consistent ingestion of colloidal silver. Take a look at this excerpt from FoxNews.com:

Paul Karason puts a whole new spin on "feeling blue.” For more than a decade, the 57-year-old has been living with a blue face.

Fourteen years ago, Karason developed a bad case of dermatitis, which results in swollen, reddened and itchy skin. He started self-medicating, using a treatment called colloidal silver, which is made by extracting silver from metal.

Click here to hear the blue man tell his story (VIDEO)

Often touted by manufacturers as a cure-all, colloidal silver usually is found in a liquid form. Looking for relief, Karason drank the concoction and rubbed it on his skin — something the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not recommend.

His skin slowly turned blue.

"The change was so gradual that I didn't perceive it and other people around me likewise," said Karason. "It wasn't until a friend I hadn't seen in several months came by my parent's place to see me and he asked me 'what did you do?.'"

The FDA does not consider colloidal silver safe or effective to treat any disease or condition. In fact, taking it could have serious side effects, such as:

— Argyria — which is an irreversible blue-gray discoloration of your skin, nails and gums

— Seizures and other neurological problems

— Kidney damage

— Indigestion

— Headaches

— Fatigue

— Skin irritation

Karason, who recently moved from Oregon to Madera, Calif., said it hasn't been easy living with blue skin.

"I do tend to avoid public places as much as I can," he said.

Karason made the move in hopes of fitting in a little better.

"I hope that they just accept me," he said, "And I think that will happen here. Where I was, I rather doubt it would have. This is different kind of community here."

Karason's girlfriend, Jackie Northrup, said she doesn't even notice his skin color any more.

"The only time now I really think about it or notice it is if we're out in public and people start staring," she said.

So far, Karason hasn't sought any medical attention for his condition. When he was asked if he's still drinking the colloidal silver, he said yes, but much less.

I will delve more into what I think needs to be done this year to combat the victimization paradigm that many people of color (blue-skinned folks, notwithstanding) rely on to explain their present condition in the next few entries. Meanwhile, let's take a look at the latest episode of The Stack, courtesy of the guys from Pulp Secret: