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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Well Let's Lighten Up The Mood Shall We?......More Politics Next Entry....Now, The Return of Barry Allen!

Well at least something happened to raise my spirits after the recent turn of events with the Obama campaign. It appears that DC's The Flash (a.k.a. Barry Allen) will be returning to the land of the living after dying in the groundbreaking Crisis on Infinite Earths comic series 23 years ago. Ironically, it was the Flash character that spurred my love for comic book collecting as a youth. Of course, over the years Batman took the number one spot in my personal list of favorite heroes. But this Silver-Age Flash (who is not considered the original-Jay Garrick takes the "original" mantle) did possess similar characteristics to that of the Dark Knight-a supreme scientific and analytical mind. One could say that as a police scientist (his alter ego) he was CSI before there was a CSI (New York, Miami, etc). All that I can say is....welcome back Barry-and if he can be resurrected then so can another Barry (Senator Obama's nickname in college).

Here's more from the AP:

The Flash outruns death! 23 years later, running again

NEW YORK (AP) — He's so fast, he can even outrun death: Barry Allen, aka The Flash, is speeding back to life 23 years after being killed off.

Allen was the second man — though not the last — to don the trademark red costume decorated with a lightning bolt as DC Comics' "Fastest Man Alive."

His death in 1985 became legendary among comic book fans. He was vaporized preserving the universe.

Now he joins the tradition of super-heroes like Captain America and Superman who have died only to be resurrected later on.

Yet, unlike his revived peers who were dead just a few issues, Allen was gone so long that his rebirth comes as a surprise.

Grant Morrison, who along with Geoff Johns is responsible for resurrecting The Flash in the last panel of "DC Universe #0," said comic book characters don't have to stay dead.

"We can do anything with them, and we can make them come back and make them defy death," Morrison said.

Allen's incarnation of The Flash was first introduced in 1956 and helped lead to a revitalization of super-heroes in comic books during a time when westerns and war themes dominated.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Discussing the Obvious on Afronerd Radio, Thurs. 9pm eastern-Wright Controversy (again), Bell Verdict & more

I'm chomping at the bit folks! Be sure to check us out this Thursday evening at 9pm eastern (afronerdradio.com) as we once again go into the Blackcave and use our Blackcomputer to decipher the mess that is Jeremiah Wright. In addition, the Sean Bell verdict/aftermath will be discussed with a smattering of Reverend Sharpton shenanigans. So join in with your questions and comments at 646-915-9620 or via email/IM-afronerdradio@yahoo. And as always Be there and Be square.

Afronerd Radio's Week in Review

Sergio's Take on the Obama-Wright Connection.....And I'm Inclined to Agree!

I want you guys to take a look at the latest entry by our regular contributor, Sergio on his blog, Bloodsport. I am so disgusted at this latest Wright controversy (as is another colleague/blogger, Undercover Blackman) that I really have nothing else to say. It's excruciating to discuss the obvious.

Time To Say Bye-Bye

Monday, April 28, 2008

There May Be Hope For Stevie and Andrea Bocelli after all! Gene Therapy Might Cure Blindness!

This just in, courtesy of the Seattle Times:

Gene therapy may aid blind

Dr. Albert Maguire, his wife, Dr. Jean Bennett, and other researchers are working on gene therapy to improve sight in virtually blind patients.

For the first time, researchers have used gene therapy to improve vision in patients who were virtually blind, offering new hope to hundreds of thousands with inherited forms of vision impairment.

The research, some of which involves Seattle biotech Targeted Genetics, marks a major milestone for gene therapy, a discipline many scientists find promising but that so far has failed to produce a marketable product in the U.S.

It also casts a positive light on the Seattle company, a gene-therapy research firm that was shaken last July by the death of an Illinois woman enrolled in its lead drug candidate's clinical trial. Federal investigators eventually determined gene therapy was not the culprit and allowed the trial to resume.

Although the six patients studied have an extremely rare form of blindness called Leber's congenital amaurosis, researchers believe the approach ultimately could be used for a broader spectrum of disorders, including retinitis pigmentosa and macular degeneration.

For more of the above article, click here.

And then of course, Andrea can groove too.

Excuse the expletives.........but if you didn't know minstrely reigns supreme on Youtube...NOW you Know!

I honestly don't have the energy to pontificate on the obvious today. Minstrelsy and prostitution are running neck and neck as it pertains to employment antiquity.

Here's another one....Jim Henson would be proud:

And then there's always the classics. The more I bear witness to what the cooning industry continues to produce the more I think about the immortal words of Mr. Prince Rogers Nelson-Mommy, why does everybody have a bomb? I think I know why.

Oh Man......Obama's Albatross is Back-Rev. Jeremiah Wright at NAACP Gala!

Well, in the immortal words of Poltergeist’s Heather O’Rourke (referencing Rev. Wright)-“he’s ba-aaack!” I sincerely hope that I am wrong but this latest episode of the Wright controversy might have effectively KO’d Senator Obama’s bid for the Democratic nomination. Try as I might to take a break from a political discourse on this blog, I get pulled back in. For your pleasure, check out the above snippet from Wright’s NAACP speech held yesterday in Detroit. And then, purchase another Jeremiah’s excellent polemical treatise, Holy Lockdown: Does the Church Limit Black Progress?, written by Jeremiah Camara. After viewing Wright's latest appearance, one must answer Camara’s book title in the affirmative. Better yet, let’s spread the pain around a bit and vet everyone’s spiritual advisor. Let’s take a look at the Clintons' minister. Let’s also not forget McCain’s religious albatross, Rev. Hagee. We’ll see how this plays out but I suspect that this might be the Obama campaign’s death knell. Feel free to click on the link below to see the aforementioned speech in its entirety:

Rev. Wright's speech

Ahem...and didn't I say a few weeks ago that the Black Church as an institution is really what is being scrutinized? Let the Church say amen....what do you guys think?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Thank God for the Internet(s)! Venture Bros. Season 3 Preview & Oh Yeah-The Comic Shoppe Mon. at 7pm eastern!

And I would be remiss, while counting down to the Afronerd Radio broadcast in failing to mention that tomorrow we also have the Comic Shoppe show....scheduled for 7pm eastern. The gang's all here-Dburt, Max & Daryll and we will discuss-costume or no costume for graphic novels heroes/heroines, more on last week's NY Comic-con and of course our favorite comic picks from last week. You guys know the drill-feel free to call in with your questions or comments at-646-200-0104 or via email/IM-thecomicshoppe@yahoo. Excelsior, brethren!

The Comic Shoppe's Week in Review

Oh and as an added treat, check out the Venture Bros. season 3 preview (above) and the accompanying panel segment below. I had to make a hard choice during the convention as to whether check out the Hulk movie preview or Venture, so suffice it to say that the internet is a necessary tool...Enjoy!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Conservatives of Color Speak!

I just happened to peruse the halls of Youtube and came across this great clip of some notable Black Conservatives waxing on....well, Conservatism. Tell me what you guys think about their comments. Of course, I'm biased but I'd like to hear from some progressive voices as well.

Reminder Time-John Mcwhorter on Afronerd Radio, Sunday at 8pm eastern

Just giving our readers a final reminder notice-don't forget to check out our interview with author/educator, Dr. John McWhorter, scheduled for tomorrow, 8pm eastern at afronerdradio.com. We will pick his brain concerning conservatism for folks of color, Senator Obama, racial discourse in America and his latest book, All about the Beat: Why Hip-Hop Can't Save Black America. So join us and ask a question or two of our esteemed guest at-646-915-9620 or send a message via IM/email-afronerdradio@yahoo. And don't forget-be there and be square!

Dr. John McWhorter visits Afronerd Radio

Friday, April 25, 2008

Time to Get Off the Carousel, Brothers! Not Guilty Verdict in Sean Bell Case!

Well if you haven't heard by now, the police officers that were on trial for the fatal shooting of Sean Bell (in addition to injuring Bell's compatriots) were acquitted of all charges today. For the record, my condolences go out to the Bell family for the untimely death of their son. Because of my oft-mentioned stance on some of the police brutality cases that adversely affect people of color, I have been mischaracterized as someone that doesn't believe in police malfeasance. Of course there are cases where there is clear racial animus involved, but we must also admit that issues of discernment and credibility should be applied in order to determine what ultimately transpires in these matters. So I was in support of the officers in this tragic incident. And as the title of this entry suggests, some in the African American and Latin communities must start to get off the "carousel" of stereotypical and cyclical behavior. In simpler terms, young men of color in said communities must begin to re-evaluate the belief that we are absolute victims who insist on disregarding how one's character plays a role when these case are adjudicated.

Again, this does not mean that someone deserves to get shot but when an individual employs "gun talk" in public (within earshot of criminals and/or police) one could expect trouble or misinterpretation at the very least. And low and behold, when the smoke clears (literally) no gun is found-but a life is ruined nonetheless. But what occurs when non-compliance and street bravado are put into the mix? One suggestion-in addition to the expensive dubs that some young men like to put on their vehicles, perhaps this device should be considered. Although I would like to think that I would not get caught in a similar circumstance to that of Mr. Bell, you can bet that I will be purchasing personal video surveillance for my new vehicle. Check out the specifics on this verdict, courtesy of Newsday:

Disappointment in Jamaica after Sean Bell verdict

On Liverpool Street, as the noontime hour approached and word of the officers' acquittals spread on Friday, anger was directed toward the Police Department.

"This was a travesty. This tells black males that our lives are devalued," said Antoine Johnson, 43, of Jamaica. "It tells NYPD that you have a license to kill black males."

Johnson, who said he had known Sean Bell and also was acquainted with shooting victims Joseph Guzman and Trent Benefield, called Justice Arthur Cooperman's decision "racist."

He described the message sent to the black community in these words: "If you are white, you are right. If you are black, stay back."

"The court is not going to help us," Johnson said.

Supreme Court Justice Arthur Cooperman found that the state's case was riddled with problems and that the prosecutors had failed to defeat the cops' claim that they fired in self-defense on Liverpool Street the night of Nov. 25, 2006. The 50-shot barrage killed Bell and wounded two of his friends.

"The prosecution has not proven beyond a reasonable doubt that each defendant was not justified" in using deadly force, Cooperman said.

After the verdict, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said "there are no winners in a trial like this."

"An innocent man lost his life, a bride lost her groom, two daughters lost their father, and a mother and a father lost their son," the mayor said. "No verdict could ever end the grief that those who knew and loved Sean Bell suffer."

Throughout the morning, more and more people stopped at a small, makeshift memorial on Liverpool Street, between 94th and 95th avenues and near the Long Island Rail Road's Jamaica station. That is where the early-morning shooting occurred after Bell and his two friends left the nearby Kalua Cabaret, the strip club where the bridegroom Bell's bachelor party was held.

Howard Brown, 40, of Jamaica, on Friday stopped his car on Liverpool Street to drop some money into a water jug, donations to the Bell family.

"There wasn't no justice with that verdict to me," Brown said. "There should have been some kind of justice for real."

Another man got out of his car, walked to the memorial and left a baseball signed with the words, "To Sean Bell Rest in Peace."

The man, who said he works for the NYPD as a school safety officer and declined to give his name, said he identifies strongly with Sean Bell.

The man said he is 26, newly married and the father of two young children. Bell, 23, had two daughters with his fiance and was a standout on his high school baseball team.

"I probably played against him," he said of Bell. "I wanted to leave the baseball there because I know that's something that he loved."

But enough of my proselytizing, what do you guys think? Was this a fair verdict? Can there be police procedural problems and procedural issues with the conduct of some of our young men of color? And lastly, should a person's criminal history (in the case of the victims-drug and gun pasts) be considered for issues of discernment? What does the class think?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Don't You Dare Touch Me.......Congolese Sorcerers Are Stealing Your Jymbrowskis!

I really thought that I have heard it all before and I have also known Black folk (from the Americas to Africa) to have superstitious ways but this next story takes the cake (and takes something else as well....)-

Courtesy of Reuters.com:

Lynchings in Congo as penis theft panic hits capital

KINSHASA, April 22 (Reuters Life!) - Police in Congo have arrested 13 suspected sorcerers accused of using black magic to steal or shrink men's penises after a wave of panic and attempted lynchings triggered by the alleged witchcraft.

Reports of so-called penis snatching are not uncommon in West Africa, where belief in traditional religions and witchcraft remains widespread, and where ritual killings to obtain blood or body parts still occur.

Rumours of penis theft began circulating last week in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo's sprawling capital of some 8 million inhabitants. They quickly dominated radio call-in shows, with listeners advised to beware of fellow passengers in communal taxis wearing gold rings.

Purported victims, 14 of whom were also detained by police, claimed that sorcerers simply touched them to make their genitals shrink or disappear, in what some residents said was an attempt to extort cash with the promise of a cure.

"You just have to be accused of that, and people come after you. We've had a number of attempted lynchings. ... You see them covered in marks after being beaten," Kinshasa's police chief, Jean-Dieudonne Oleko, told Reuters on Tuesday.

Police arrested the accused sorcerers and their victims in an effort to avoid the sort of bloodshed seen in Ghana a decade ago, when 12 suspected penis snatchers were beaten to death by angry mobs. The 27 men have since been released.

"I'm tempted to say it's one huge joke," Oleko said.

"But when you try to tell the victims that their penises are still there, they tell you that it's become tiny or that they've become impotent. To that I tell them, 'How do you know if you haven't gone home and tried it'," he said.

Some Kinshasa residents accuse a separatist sect from nearby Bas-Congo province of being behind the witchcraft in revenge for a recent government crackdown on its members.

"It's real. Just yesterday here, there was a man who was a victim. We saw. What was left was tiny," said 29-year-old Alain Kalala, who sells phone credits near a Kinshasa police station. (For full Reuters Africa coverage and to have your say on the top issues, visit: http://africa.reuters.com/ ) (Editing by Nick Tattersall and Mary Gabriel).

We Need This More Than a Hog Needs His Slop! Check Out This Auto That Runs on Air

With gas prices approaching $4 a gallon, this new vehicle is needed like.....yesterday!

Check out this potential escape from OPEC, courtesy of Forbes.com:

Driving on Air

Guy Negre

Guy Negre's car can zoom about on compressed air, but can it be more than a novelty?
Concept cars, especially green ones, periodically capture the public's imagination. A while ago General Motors (nyse: GM - news - people ) was making a big deal out of hydrogen fuel cells, while spending as little time as possible discussing how the gas would be shipped and stored. Electric cars like the coming Tesla sound intriguing as long as you don't think too long or hard about the weight, durability and cost of batteries.

Now we have Frenchman Guy Negre and his Aircar, whose fuel is compressed air. What could be less polluting than air? But there are some little drawbacks. The main one is that air doesn't store much energy, so air-powered cars can't be roomy or go very far.

Negre's Motor Development International has test Aircars zipping around the French Riviera near the company's offices outside of Nice. They come in bright colors, can go 70mph and have a range of 125 miles on flat roads. The motor uses a whoosh of air to push its two pistons up and down. Exhaust from the engine consists of harmless atmospheric air, cold enough to serve as air-conditioning on a hot day. But don't try to tow a trailer with one of these things. The engine can't top 75 horsepower.

India's Tata Motors (nyse: TTM - news - people ) paid MDI $28 million a year ago for the right to build and sell Tata-branded Aircars in India. MDI is shipping a prototype to Tata this summer. Tata will either reproduce that car or, more likely, install the MDI technology in one of its existing cars, such as its recently unveiled Nano. A U.S. company called Zero Pollution Motors has purchased a license from MDI to build an Aircar factory in the States.

The absence of combustion allows MDI to use a lean aluminum engine casing. MDI's engine weighs 80 pounds, a third the weight of the powerhouse in a Toyota (nyse: TM - news - people ) Corolla. The fuel is air compressed to 4,350 pounds per square inch, or 300 times the pressure of the air you breathe. Negre insists that despite the enormous pressure, the tank, in a collision, would split down its sides, harmlessly expelling the air in a giant phoomp.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I Couldn't Have Said It Any Better......SoulBounce Tells Us Why The Music is Dying!

I want to give a shout out to Nova Slim of the Soul Bounce blog for perfectly encapsulating (and enumerating) why our current musical culture is degrading, specifically Black music. I also provided a clip (above) of a truly necessary documentary from a few years ago, entitled Before the Music Dies. This film successfully bolsters Slim's argument that corporate greed and apathy are ruining the potential for creative and different music from being exposed-at the listener's expense. Here are a few (out of the 25 listed) reasons (again, according to Soul Bounce) why urban music is at death's door:

Courtesy of Soul Bounce:

8. Thugs: Not only do we have "Studio Thugs" that use de Palma films to inform their image (see above) but there's the "Corporate Thug" (robs an artist of his publishing and signs him to a hellified contract he could never fulfill) and the questionable "R&B Thug", which happened somewhere between R. Kelly and Jodeci and continues to this day. Along the way, labels got the bright idea that the way to a woman's heart was by selling drugs and beating up people. Sexy! This trend has also given rise to something else we'll never understand: "R&B Beef", in which two singers talk trash about each other to the media. Unfortunately, this doesn't result in a "sing-off" but pretty much makes everyone involved look kind of retarded.

9. Crime: Between violating probation, not paying child support, being pulled over and caught with an ounce of weed or cocaine, assaulting nail technicians, shooting people, tossing concertgoers off the stage, committing perjury, tax evasion, and urinating on minors, we have to wonder if being a good artist means being a bad citizen.

10. Ringtones: "Real Music Ringtones" were created as a way to distinguish your ringing cellular from someone else's while also bringing you closer to your favorite artist. Unfortunately, the labels realized this was the only way to generate revenue and started making music for the sole purpose of selling ringtones. Now, we have stripped-down keyboard beats and grunts and "yaahhs" instead of lyrics. Is that my cellphone ringing or yours? We'll never know, because we both downloaded Soulja Boy.

11. Lack of Music Programs in Schools: Programs like Garage Band have not only made producers lazy, but undercut the importance of immersing young would-be musicians in music history as well as basic composition. Unless a popular musician was trained in the church, they probably lucked into a contract without knowing how to write, play an instrument, or worse, sing a note.

12. BET (and by extension its corporate owner) is on a mission to not only destroy urban music, but poison the perception of Black people in the process. If we were to use this network as a guide (and people unfortunately do), we would believe that "drug dealer > rapper > pimp" is a logical career path, alcoholic beverages can be used as bodysplash, women of exotic or indeterminate race are the standard of beauty, darker-skinned women are only valuable if they have a big ass and a tiny waist, a person's worth can only be determined by what they drive and what they wear, you ain't sh*t if you're over 30, and a week's worth of debauchery and decadence can be undone with a Sunday marathon of religious programming. It's funny because it's true.

Click on the link below for the rest of Nova Slim's insightful piece:

25 Things That Killed (and are Still Killing) Urban Music

And let's take a look at just one more YouTube clip from Before the Music:

Monday, April 21, 2008

Why Hasn't the MSM Picked up on this breakthrough? Why Hasn't this Woman been interviewed? Potential Sickle Cell Anemia Cure!

A special hat tip to Shay of the Booker Rising blog for bringing this to my attention. It appears Ms. Pamela Newton, young woman pictured above, is the first adult of record that has actually been cured of the oftentimes fatal disease, sickle cell anemia. The quick question that comes to mind is.....why has the mainstream media picked up on this amazing story? I have personal friends and acquaintances that have been tortured by this disorder and it boggles the imagination how such a breakthrough can take place and Ms. Newton is not splashed before the major media outlets. And of course, there is no longer a BET news division to highlight this information (Thank God for JC Watts' upcoming Black News venture) but it seems that a BET health blog that focuses on some of the ailments of celebrities makes the cut. Take a look at the latest information on this possible cure, courtesy of Courant.com:

Fifteen months ago, the pain from Pamela Newton's sickle cell disease was excruciating. She spent more time in the hospital than in her apartment. She was on 15 pain pills a day, all heavy narcotics. She was bleeding regularly and needed daily transfusions of platelets.

She had just months to live.

Today, doctors at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore say that Newton is one of the few adults in the world to be cured of sickle cell disease — and the first using an experimental bone marrow transplant that could cure thousands like her who have been told they will never get better.

Word of a breakthrough gives hope to the roughly 80,000 Americans — and millions around the world — who suffer from this debilitating and usually fatal disease, which is predominant among blacks and Hispanics.

"It could very much open things up," said Dr. John F. Tisdale, a senior investigator at the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. "Everyone's cautiously optimistic."

What makes the Hopkins procedure different is that it allows patients to receive bone marrow from a donor who is not an exact match, overcoming a longtime obstacle to healing large numbers of people.

Sickle cell is an inherited blood disorder that affects red blood cells. Normally round, the cells become "C" shaped, like sickles, and pile up on one another, keeping them from properly supplying oxygen to the body. The patients, prone to infection and serious pain, typically live only into their 40s.

Until now, few have been cured and there has been little progress in developing new treatments. Only one drug has been approved for treatment of sickle cell. Painkillers and antibiotics help patients live longer, but nothing has addressed the core problem of the genetic defect.

Newton's hematologist, Dr. Robert Brodsky, and his colleagues say they hope to change that. They are trying to enroll 25 patients in a clinical trial.

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

Curing Sickle Cell Disease

Sunday, April 20, 2008

What's Wrong with Some Black Folk? or The Foxy Brown Story!

This next story has been lingering in the deep crevices of my brain for the last couple of days since news of rapper, Foxy Brown's release from prison (aka Inga Marchand) spewed forth into the public sphere. The reason why I entitled this post, "What's Wrong with Some Black Folk," is by in large due to the fanfare Marchand received upon her release as if she were a head of state or at the very least a political prisoner. From my understanding, Brown was greeted by thralls of fans, Brooklyn councilman, Charles Barron (I have written about Barron in prior posts) and a number of luxury SUVs, again as if going to jail was a badge of honor and not due to consistent unconscionable behavior. I liken this pomp and circumstance routine to the Mike Tyson prison release scandal from a decade ago when some Harlemites wanted to throw a parade in his honor after serving time for allegedly raping someone. And if we are to keep it tribal, the victim was a young woman of color. But you do not have to take my word for the Brown story; here are the specifics, courtesy of HipHopGalaxy.com:

Foxy Brown Released From Prison

Foxy Brown is a free woman following her release from the Rose Singer Center for women at Rikers Island on Friday (April 18) where she served an eight-month sentence for violating her probation.

"The first place I want to go is church. I’ve got to get on my knees," said Brown upon her release.

Brown was greeted by a collection of fans, media and well-wishers upon her release, who she thanked for their support before jumping into a white Rolls Royce Phantom.

"This is a big day for me," Brown told reporters. "To have everybody here that I love, my whole family, the whole Brooklyn, the officers that took care of me at Rikers. Eight months to the day, I remember going in in August and I said when I come out, I’m coming out even better. And I’m back baby, it’s a wrap."

Foxy, real name Inga Marchand, was sentenced to a year in jail in September 2007 for violating the terms of her parole when she was accused of hitting a woman with a cell phone. She was on probation for the August 2004 attack on two manicurists at a Manhattan nail salon. In March 2007 Brown was warned she would face a year in prison if she got into any further trouble. Five months later she was sentenced for assaulting neighbour Arleen Raymond with a cell phone.

During her stay at Rikers Islands, Brown was placed in solitary confinement for 76 days after an altercation in the prison, for refusing to take random drug tests and for reportedly being verbally abusive to prison staff. She also applied for early release to get treatment for her hearing condition, however, the request was denied by the judge.

"I did almost a year in prison, a year in prison, just because my name is Foxy Brown," she said.

Foxy Brown’s "Brooklyn’s Don Diva," which features production from Kanye West and Swizz Beatz, is due to be released on May 13 through Black Rose Entertainment/Koch Records. She is also in talks for a reality TV show on VH1 documenting how she adjusts to life after incarceration and the promotion of the new album.

The rapper is back in court on May 5 over the Blackberry assault.

As I have mentioned and/or written about countless times in Afronerd-we are at war, folks. We are at war with the low expectations of a subcultural belief system that clearly does not admonish bad behavior. I, too, would have purchased a "free Foxy shirt," except I could get a better deal for bathroom tissue at my local Costco. When will this madness cease? What say you on this topic?

Tidbits from NY Comic-con & Last Week's Graphic Novel Reads on The Comic Shoppe, Mon. 7pm eatsern!

As alluded to in the previous post, check out tomorrow's Comic Shoppe broadcast as we (Daryll, Max & Dburt) discuss this weekend's major event, the NY Comic Con. Guess what we learned about upcoming projects such as The Spirit, The Incredible Hulk, The Dark Knight and Iron Man. We will also cover our favorite graphic novel reads from last week. So don't be shy-give us a call if you too attended the convention or if you just want to talk about your favorite comic. You know the drill-the call in number is-646-200-0104 or send an email or IM via thecomicshoppe@yahoo. Excelsior!

The Comic Shoppe's NY-Comic Con coverage

No Afronerd Radio this Sunday but stay alert for Next Sunday-Interview w/Dr. John Mcwhorter

Well unfortunately, I had to cancel today's Afronerd Radio show and for good reason-this is NY-Comic Con weekend! Nuf said! But the Afronerd Radio cancellation will definitely enhance tomorrow's Comic Shoppe broadcast as we discuss some highlights (and dare we say spoilers) released from the convention. I also want our readers/listeners to make a mental note to reconvene with us next Sunday, April 27th (8pm eastern) as we converse with esteemed author, linguist and Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow, Dr. John McWhorter. We will be discussing his upcoming book, All about the Beat: Why Hip-Hop Can't Save Black America as well as his thoughts regarding the current political landscape, notions of Black Authenticity, African-American culture, conservatism for people of color and so forth. I will remind our readers as the week progresses. And while I'm on the subject of upcoming interviews:

That's right.....the inimitable Mr. Larry Elder joins Afronerd Radio next month, May 25th to discuss his book, Stupid Black Men. So mark your calendars!

Friday, April 18, 2008

I'm not Sure if I'm Happy About this....BET is greenlighting the Black Panther Comic/Cartoon Series for 09'

Those who are most familiar with this blog probably know that I have a real problem with BET and its current President of Entertainment, Reginald Hudlin. Last year, we had an online discussion of sorts that ultimately led to my banning from his site, Hudlinentertainment.com. Mind you, I was respectful but getting honesty about BET's truncated imagery, lack of alternative/progressive artistry and non-existent news division is akin to getting a tooth pulled. So I will have to take a wait and see approach regarding the Hudlin produced, Black Panther animated project. Here's more, courtesy of Variety:

BET cages 'Black Panther'
Marvel Comic hero heads to TV

Marvel Comics has signed a deal to turn one of its superheroes, the Black Panther, into a primetime animated series for BET, starting early next year.
BET made the announcement at its upfront presentation in New York as the highlight of a batch of new series being readied for the 2008-09 season, under the supervision of Reginald Hudlin, president of entertainment for BET.

In addition to “The Black Panther,” BET singled out “Brutha,” a docu-reality series featuring producer Jermaine Dupri and focusing on five brothers in a singing group “who learn just what it takes to navigate the treacherous terrain of the music industry.”

BET has also given a go to its first court show, “Judge Karen,” and a dating show called “The Boot, narrated by MC Lyte, each half-hour of which starts with six young singles and narrows the field down to the final twosome.

“Brutha,” “Karen” and “Boot” will premiere in the fourth quarter. The network’s longrunning music-countdown show “106 & Park” has engineered a spinoff called “106 & Gospel,” a 90-minute weekly show that will feature the top 20 gospel videos. The air date of “106 & Gospel’ is early next year.

The two most popular reality shows in cable TV among black households, “College Hill” and “Keyshia Cole: The Way It Is,” will each return to BET’s schedule in 2009.

Other returning shows include the biographical reality series “American Gangster,” the soap opera “Baldwin Hills,” the boardroom-reality show “Interns” and the gospel-music show “Sunday Best.”

And the “BET Awards,” perennially the highest-rated show each year on the network, will be back for another year.

At the upfront, Scott Mills, president and chief operating officer of BET Networks, talked about the beginning of the network’s “international expansion with our recent launch of BET in the United Kingdom.” Mills also singled out BET’s “intergrated marketing” across a number of platforms and its “new digital efforts” including BET.com, its mobile initiatives and its video on demand.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Give Akon a Break.......He's Just the Tip of the Iceberg

One can expect to have their fair share of detractors when he/she chooses to speak up about the fraudulent and minstrel aspects of today's commercial hip hop, but telling the truth rarely brings home the glory. I would probably refrain from such criticism if stories like the Akon expose' didn't come to my attention. Check out the latest on the Senegalese singer, courtesy of HipHopdx.com:

Akon Accused Of Being A Fraud

Akon has sold over 4 million albums by combining his radio-friendly sound with a somewhat controversial persona outside of the recording booth. With album titles such as Trouble, Konvicted and the hit single "Locked Up," Akon has made no secret of what he calls his "troubled past." Akon's past is now being called into question by TheSmokingGun.com. The website is currently running a report entitled "Akon's Con Job," which uses various legal documents to draw the conclusion that the platinum selling artist has a fabricated past.

The Smoking Gun's report centers on Akon's account that he spent three years in prison for attempting to steal a BMW in 1998. Akon recounted the story to Rolling Stone and various other media outlets in 2006.
"I was driving a BMW 325, on my way to the chop shop," Akon told Rolling Stone. "That's the slowest car in the whole fleet, the BMW 325. I'd been in high-speed pursuit before and always got away, but this time I didn't because the car was too slow."
The Smoking Gun, alleges that public records show Akon, whose birth name is Aliaune Thiam, spent five months in prison for the aforementioned car theft. A subsequent conviction for weapons possession is listed in 1998, but the penalty for this offense was a $1,000 fine and three months probation. The allegations come in addition to public backlash that resulted in 2007 after videos surfaced of Akon performing a sexually explicit dance with a 14-year-old girl and throwing a 15-year-old boy off of a concert stage. Akon and his representatives have yet to comment on The Smoking Gun's report.

And then there's always authentic minstrelsy to enjoy. When will this stop? Last time I checked we have a Black man running for POTUS and yet simultaneously the cooning industry continues to rise just like the price for a barrel of oil ($115 and counting). WOW!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Aren't Americans Bitter? Next on Afronerd Radio-Obama's Comments, Alicia Keys, Tavis Leaves Joyner & More Bob Johnson Nonsense

Well I don't know about you guys but to swiftboat a candidate on a fairly truthful statement astounds me. And as I have stated countless times before, you can't exclusively pin this on the conservatives this time. Sure, Hannity, Rush and O'Reilly are having their fun with 24 hour (seriously....it's around the clock "bitter/Rev. Wright" talk on Fox) but the Clintons are making the most out of this story as well. But never let it be said that a brother doesn't know how to play the dozens. But then again, perhaps Obama is a bit too high brow for the rubes in PA-his reference to a misplaced syntax might have confused these folks in to believing that there was a tax on sin. Ahem, you never know. So let's flesh this out-drop by this Thursday at 9pm eastern to discuss not only the bitter truth but also more Bob Johnson shenanigans, Alicia Keys' gangsta conspiracies and Tavis Smiley's leaving the Tom Joyner show! The call-in number is 646-915-9620 or send an IM/email via-afronerdradio@yahoo.

OK I Love The Iron Man clips...but Enough Already.......this next clip might have a point!

The Onion is not only funny but ever prescient. I'm still going to see this flick...even if most of it has been shown in commercials!

Some Parents Argue Over Which College Their Kids Should Go To..........Others?

I really have no words.....

This just in, courtesy of The Denver Channel:

Parents Fight Over Which Gang Toddler Should Join
Police: Mother A Crip, Father A Westside Baller

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. -- A couple fighting about which gang their 4-year-old toddler should join caused a public disturbance that resulted in the father's arrest, Commerce City police said Thursday.

On Saturday, Joseph Manzanares stormed into the Hollywood Video store where his girlfriend worked, threatened to kill her and knocked over several video displays and even a computer, Commerce City police Sgt. Joe Sandoval said.

After he ran out of the store, police were called and the 19-year-old was arrested at his home.

His girlfriend told police that they had been arguing about the upbringing of their son and which gang he should belong to. The teen mother, who is black, is a member of the Crips. Manzanares is Hispanic and belongs to the Westside Ballers gang, the woman said.

"They have different ideas on how the baby should be raised. Basically, she said they cannot agree on which gang the baby would 'claim,'" Sandoval said.

Manzanares was charged with disorderly conduct, harassment, and domestic violence. He was transported to the Adams County Detention Facility.

On Tuesday, he pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and was sentenced to a year of probation. The misdemeanor harassment charge was dropped.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

I Love Ya Ms. Keys but You May Want to Curtail Your Time at The Barbershop! Alicia Keys & the Great Gangsta Conspiracy!

I don't want to spend too much time on this but I would like to say my piece on this latest bit of celebrity drivel. First, what is the deal with the media's obsession with people of color who self-identify themselves as Black (Keys, Obama, Halle) and whose parentage is biracial? America's societal structure has been pretty clear as to how much African blood is deemed tolerable....none. So when Keys made some rather off the wall comments centered on conspiratorial thinking, I noticed several newspapers that often preface her lineage first. I find this interesting if you juxtapose Obama's Rev. Wright troubles under the same premise. I suspect that many Whites find it odd that Obama or Keyes would align themselves with dubious Black cultural idioms or beliefs. Newsflash! Like other Black folks they have no choice but to live Black lives. Regardless of the circumstances of one's parentage, a phenotypical Black person is still subject to the trials and tribulations of life as a minority. As a conservative, I do believe that one must overcome these circumstances but racial realities are just that.....reality. Now regarding Alicia's comments-they amount to what one may often hear in a Black barbershop. Take it from one who knows, being the son of a barber. Let's take a closer look at the comments in question, courtesy of the Dallas News:

In a potentially controversial chat with Blender mag, Alicia Keys, 27, says, “Gangsta rap was a ploy to convince black people to kill each other. Gangsta rap didn’t exist.”

Ms. Keys, sporting a gold AK-47 pendant around her neck, says she has been reading books by some of the members of the Black Panthers.

She says the feud between East Coast and West Coast rappers, which led to the murders of Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G., was fueled “by the government and the media, to stop another great black leader from existing.”

The singer is not available for comment, her rep says.

This is what happens when pop culture exalts entertainers (such as Tupac or Biggie in this case) to the likes of Dr. King or Malcolm X. I have even witnessed inner city businesses that have had pictures of MLK side by side with portraits of the aforementioned rap heroes. And trust me, if you ever bear witness to such photos, it also explains just how far Black consciousness has fallen. What do you guys think? Let's hear your thoughts and I may pick this topic up again during this Thursday's Afronerd Radio broadcast.

It's Showtime! Check Out Comic Shoppe Radio-Monday at 7pm eastern!

Time to talk graphic novels, movies and sci-fi! Yep, stop by the Comic Shoppe this Monday at 7pm to get your fill of all things pulp with the usual cast of characters-Dburt, Max and Daryll. We have yet another full range of topics and ideas: our impressions for next week's NY-comic con, last week's graphic novel (including independent books) reads, discussion on one of my favorite adult swim shows, The Venture Brothers (check below as an example) and a sneak peak at The Spirit movie and there's always more! Feel free to join in our lively discussion at-646-200-0104 or via email/IM-thecomicshoppe@yahoo.com! Oh and Afronerd Radio returns this Thursday at 9pm. Excelsior!

Online Videos by Veoh.com

I Never Forgot this bit......A reminder of Chris Rock's Comedic Genius

I remember this Chris Rock skit from a few years back and I always thought that it was a dead on assessment of what occurs when things can go awry for notables of color-and the fallout that is generated among the remaining Black populace. Perhaps this is why on occasion, one should disavow notions of tribalism. As much as I detest tit for tat arguments, Whites are allowed to be tribal under the guise of what has been deemed as mainstream, but Black folk as brothers and sisters do not have such an option. Senator Obama can't choose another man of color as a running mate because.....well, it would be too much color. Conversely, McCain has that option. Even Senator Clinton couldn't choose another woman for her running mate for similar reasons. Anyway, enough with my political and social protestations.....enjoy the clip and I look forward to your observations.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

WTF! It's 2008! Does Every Man of Color have to be Compared to the Next? Obama & Tiger Comparisons at McCain Rally!

One could easily chalk up this latest controversy (which appears to be happening in every 24 hour news cycle) as typical of an alleged conservative conspiracy except that the Dems have upped the ante for racially divisive antics in this historical election year. Regardless of this blog’s conservative bent, I will not excuse any behavior that appears to be crass or racist and this next story should not be taken lightly. In a nutshell, during a rally for Senator McCain the person who introduced him to the crowd made a passing reference to golfer Tiger Woods (in place of Senator Obama) in a clear connection to race. The comment was clearly positioned as a negative-here goes yet another person of color encroaching in a traditionally White arena and excelling. These situations must be nullified by shaming the perpetrators as being primitive; making it known that such behavior will not be tolerated. The drawback of tribalism, which so many racial and ethnic groups are trapped in due to their own volition and outsider racism, negates any notions of individuality (Black overachievers are interchangeable) impeding true political discourse. Here's more on this issue, courtesy of The Hotline:

April 08, 2008
What's With The Tiger Woods Comparisons?
Army Staff Sergeant David Bellavia introduced John McCain at Vets for Freedom Rally today with this unfortunate line, linking Barack Obama with golfer Tiger Woods. But not in a good way:

"Fortunately, I have the privilege, the distinct privilege today, of introducing a true American hero who defies political norms in Washington," Bellavia said. "Sen. John McCain has spent a lifetime in service to our nation. His example of unwavering courage is a model for every American. Rest assured that men like Senator McCain will be the goal and the men that my two young boys will emulate and admire. You can have your Tiger Woods, we've got Senator McCain."

Bellavia is certainly not the first GOPer to connect the two men. In a piece about the Rev. Jeremiah Wright controversy, Politico reported last month that Republican media consultant Alex Castellanos, creator of Jesse Helms' notorious "Hands" ad, said Obama is no Woods. In other words, with the revelations about Wright's most fiery of sermons, Obama looked less conciliatory, less jovial, less like a bridge builder.

“All the sudden you’ve got two dots, and two dots make a line,” said Castellanos. “You start getting some sense of who he is, and it’s not the Obama you thought. He’s not the Tiger Woods of politics.”

Unfortunately for the Obama team, who might've been able to make some hay of McCain's intro, Teamsters prez James Hoffa mentioned Woods today on a call with reporters. When asked if PA voters -- translation PA's white working class voters -- were concerned about Obama's race, he said: "With regard to his race, he's African American. I know he's of mixed race, but, you know, he's like a Tiger Woods. He's just a great person that's really excited a lot of people. We're not detecting a lot of discussion about his religion or his race here."

Certainly the Hoffa mention was positive, while Bellavia's was, uh, not. Indeed Obama's camp -- if they want to risk highlighting the race issue anew -- could ask for McCain to denounce the staff sergeant's remarks.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Sometimes You Have to leave the street stuff.......Well....in the street-Ruminating on the Bell Case

For the sake of brevity, I will try not to rehash my feelings about the tragic Sean Bell case as I addressed my general feelings about this incident a few weeks after the initial occurrence. And not surprisingly, I remain steadfast in my position regarding the conduct of both parties' as the prosecution recently rested their case in this situation. But I did want to comment on something that really bothers me about this case that tangentially relates to other aspects of a Black male’s existence-appearance. Take a look at the above photo of one of the defendants in the Bell matter, Officer Gescard Isnora and then take a look at one of the alleged victims, Mr. Trent Benefield (below). I’m not one for conspiratorial thinking but is there a problem with legal advisors telling their clients the importance (and the “game” of) looking as professional as possible to convey credibility? The accused, simply put, could pass for a wall-streeter whereas the victim looks like he is ready for the club.

And even delving into the issue further, the victim also has a 50 million dollar civil suit pending and again I ask where are the non-PC advisers that will tell him it may be wise to discard the street attire in order to bolster his case? Although I’m more familiar with civil litigation due to my employment, it is safe to say that appearance is crucial during the discovery process (and beyond) when dealing with our nation’s legal system. I have reviewed countless deposition reports and one's look and demeanor are always analyzed unbeknownst to the plaintiff (or defendant). Even one's intelligence (or lack thereof) is noted-trust me, this is not conjecture. The symbolic scales of justice not only signify or measure the strengths of a case’s support and opposition but also weigh credibility. And one should look credible. As I have stated many times in this blog, being polite or politically correct is literally killing people of color. Perhaps I’m making too much of this phenomenon. What do our readers think? Does appearance matter?

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Expect a Full Plate at the Comic Shoppe-Dinner (ahem..the broadcast) starts at 7pm eastern-Mon.

Entire Shows

Dark Victory-Part 1

Dark Victory-Part 2

Stay tuned for a fully packed Comic Shoppe radio broadcast tomorrow as we go over quite a few topics in the world of comicdom. First up, check out Warner Brothers' Legion of Superheroes animated two part show entitled, Dark Victory. I was not a big fan of this series, now closing it's second season-but, this particular event/special was actually quite entertaining and we will pick it apart on Monday's broadcast. We will also utilize our analytical scalpels to discuss Friday's Battlestar Galactica season opener, He That Believeth in Me. And did anyone catch even more astounding clips of the Iron Man movie slated for a May 2nd release? Annnnnnd....there's two Cloverfield alternative ending clips that have leaked on to the internet. So join us Monday at 7pm eastern as Max, Daryll and yours truly attempt to confab on the aforementioned and our favorite graphic novel reads from last week. The call-in number is-646-200-0104 and you can also reach us via email/IM-thecomicshoppe@yahoo. Be there & Be square-true believers!

The Comic Shoppe's Week in Review

Friday, April 04, 2008

Send Out The Clowns PLEASE!!!! Snoop Dog's Remarks Against Obama-

For the umpteenth time, I like hip hop. I just do not care for the pedantic, ignorant and minstrel type that has dominated America's airwaves in the last 10 to 15 years. And I have also grown wearisome of rappers who have a soapbox to spew utter pabulum and idiocy-case in point, Calvin Broadus aka Snoop Dog. Another hat tip to resident commenter/blogger Sergio, for notifying me of this tripe:

From Media Takeout:

April 04, 2008. MediaTakeOut.com has learned that rapper Snoop Dogg has launched a scathing attack on presidential candidate Barack Obama. Snoop, reportedly a Hillary Clinton supporter, told the British newspaper The Guardian the following:

The KKK gave Obama money. They was one of his biggest supporters ... Why wouldn't they be? The media won't tell you that. They don't want you to know that. They just want you to know that this [N WORD] befriended this other [N WORD] who be threatening your values. But we all know all presidents lie to get into f*cking office. That's they job." .

But Snoop doesn't stop there with his crazy talk. He added the following:

In America's eyes, that muthaf*cker's gonna be president 'cos (John) MCCain can't f*ck with him. Hillary (Clinton) can't f*ck with him. He's winning over white people, white ladies.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Al Jazeera English Speaks with Afronerd......Dr. King's Legacy

I just wanted to share with our readers a brief question and answer session that I was fortunate enough to participate in, courtesy of Sarah Brown, Senior Journalist with Al Jazeera English. The Al Jazeera site (again, emphasizing the English part-home of Sir David Frost) is doing a special Black blogosphere report inquiring about our thoughts on Dr. Martin Luther King (as tomorrow is the 40th anniversary of his death), his legacy and Senator Obama's candidacy. Check out our exchange:

1) Forty years on from Martin Luther King Jnr's death, how do you see his legacy today? How close, or how far, are Americans to fulfilling his dream?

One would readily admit that Dr. King's legacy permeates through just about every facet of our current societal structure. We have seen sweeping and demonstrative changes in media, entertainment, government, politics and of course in public accommodations. These changes have been so circumspect and commonplace that I suspect many have taken them for granted. These societal transformations would also go beyond the Black/White paradigm that King experienced prior to his death-i.e. Women being the predominant beneficiaries of affirmative action, and the advent of gay rights and multiculturalism. However despite America's transition over the past 3 to 4 decades, we are still pretty far from fulfilling Dr. King's dream as can be exhibited in African-American stats post War on Poverty programs and Kerner Commission findings.

2) How do you think MLK would view the candidacy of Barack Obama, and Obama himself? How do you yourself view Obama and the other candidates regarding race relations?


In a nutshell, I would suspect that MLK would view Senator Obama's candidacy as truly an amazing accomplishment, if not the stuff of science-fiction. Again, we are talking about a time when someone of Adam Clayton Powell, Jr's status being something that engendered a great deal of pride amongst African-Americans-and rightfully so. Again, during King's time just striving to see a Black person attain a certain degree of personal autonomy, freedom of movement and the right to public access was a feat unto itself, much less (seriously) running for the presidency. King would more than likely see a kindred spirit in Obama and obviously view him and his candidacy as the natural progression of the Civil Rights movement. Personally, I see Obama as a beacon of hope for people of color who would otherwise believe:
a) Whites would never vote for a Black person (for the presidency-but perhaps for a lesser office) and ;
b) that breaking the glass ceiling is an impossibility-Obama, in essence debunks such a notion.

Unfortunately due to recent events (the Rev. Wright controversy and the trials of the campaign in general) , Obama has been put into a racial corner but he has also risen to the occasion admirably. The other candidates on both sides of the party aisle (excluding Gov. Huckabee), in my estimation have done a poor job in addressing racial concerns. But then this criticism would apply to leaders of various racial and cultural strata.

3) What do your own experiences tell you about US race relations in the past 40 years? How far does America have to go to attain the ideals espoused by MLK?

Anecdotally, I would have to say that at least on a superficial level, race relations have improved greatly within the last 4 plus decades. It is undeniable. Also within the last 40 years, marriage between people of different races/cultures was made legal and thankfully interracial liaisons are appropriately seen as commonplace. However, we still see flashes of racial violence and intolerance hearkening of an era past. We have also seen the reemergence of minstrel (or neo-minstrel) and pandering images that pay favor to negative Black perceptions for the entertainment of both Black and White audiences. America still has a great deal of distance to cover if we are to live up to Dr. King's ideals-but an Obama (or Hillary Clinton) victory would be a great indicator of substantive change.

4) What lies in the future for US race relations? If elected, would an Obama presidency alter race perceptions in the US, and perhaps world perceptions of US racism?

Well, with apologies for slavery coming from states like Florida and New Jersey and recent PEW polls that reveal that many people of color are not blaming racism as the sole fault for some of our (people of color) internal dysfunctions, the future appears hopeful. I do think that Obama's presidency would play a role in changing racial perceptions but it definitely cannot be seen as some sort of panacea. We would still have to see a cultural shift amongst many people in order for these aforementioned perceptions to dissipate. But a man of color as POTUS on the world stage would undoubtedly demonstrate a sea change for how the world sees us (or U.S.) and how we would see ourselves. Even as a Black conservative blogger (and many would see that as an oxymoron) I would like to see such a feat. In the immortal words of Spongebob Squarepants, I'm ready....I'm ready.

Well I enjoyed the Q & A, and stay tuned as there may be more from Al Jazeera English and the Afrospear in the near future.

And click on the link below for the Al Jazeera news special (in its entirety) regarding the blogosphere's take on Dr. King's legacy:

Bloggers weigh King's legacy

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Bravo Judge Arrington, Bravo! He has More to say... and Don't forget Afronerd Radio Thurs at 9pm eastern!

Well it's safe to assume that I will be talking about Judge Arrington's bravery on Afronerd Radio tomorrow. Hat tip to Sergio of the BloodSport blog for informing me of this video, however it is unfortunate that the Judge did a little bit of the capitulation shuffle once news of his actions reached public consciousness. I must also give kudos to our resident commenter, "Al from Bayshore" (L.I.) for using the "critical mass" description that I too have often used. And critical mass is exactly what this situation entails. As time moves on, and folks of color grow weary of being connected to other African-Americans that could care less about honor, solidarity and respect for life, we will continue to witness outbursts of indignation by those who have just had enough. The PC police will be confronted for being enablers in addition to those within the dysfunctional sect. But let's mix it up tomorrow by analyzing Arrington's stance, Condi Rice's comments, my NPR appearance and my thoughts on Koreans sporting Afros (ya heard correctly). Stop by on Thursday at 9pm eastern-feel free to call-in with your comments and questions at 646-915-9620 or via email/Im-afronerdradio@yahoo.


But I will admit that I thought Victoria Principal in 1974's Earthquake was quite sexy sporting her fro'. Perhaps Ms. Principal (who is of part Japanese extraction) should get credit for starting the trend.

And of course for a replay of the Bloggers Roundtable broadcast in question, click below:

Bloggers' Roundtable: What's in a Name? Part II

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Everyone is entitled to their Cosby moment-ATL Judge Kicks Out Whites To Talk to Blacks!

Unfortunately due to time constraints I cannot editorialize on this next story but I certainly will attempt to do so in the ensuing hours. But it's safe to say that as the title aptly states, everyone is entitled to their Cliff Huxtable moment! More in a few hours.

This just in, courtesy of WSBTV.com:

Judge Orders Whites Out Of Atlanta Court

ATLANTA -- Judge Marvin Arrington insists he's not a racist; despite ordering white lawyers out of his courtroom on Thursday.

The Fulton County Superior Court judge said he was just fed up seeing a parade of young black defendants in his courtroom.

"I came out and saw the defendants, about 99.9 percent Afro-Americans, and some point time I excused some of the lawyers, most of them white, and said to the young people in here 'What in the world are you doing with your lives,'" he told WSB-TV Channel 2 reporter JaQuitta Williams.

Arrington said he thought his message might have more power if it was delivered to a blacks-only audience.

"I didn't think about racism or reverse racism, I practiced law for 30 years and 75 percent of my partners were white," he explained.

The judge said the majority of people who appear before him accused of crimes such as murder, rape and robbery are black and he wanted to do something about it, one on one.

"I didn't want them to think I was talking down to them; trying to embarrass them or insult them; be derogatory towards them and I was just saying 'Please get yourself together,'" he said.

Arrington added that he may make a similar speech next week, but this time he'll allow everyone to hear it.