Thursday, April 21, 2016

FEEL THE SURGE!!! THE JROMELLE MORNING SHOW LIVE!!!

FEEL THE SURGE!!! THE JROMELLE MORNING SHOW LIVE!!! featuring Eric D.Graham (Pocket Full of Ghetto Poems: The Making of a Hip-Hop Classic

Thursday, April 14, 2016

POCKET FULL OF GHETTO POEMS: SURGE RADIO 100.5 FM

ARE WE ON THE AIR: THIS SATURDAY, APRIL 16, at 11:00 am, Eric Graham will be making a guest appearance on Surge Radio 100.5 FM in order to discuss his latest CD Pocket Full of Ghetto Poems: The Making of a Hip-Hop Classic as well as addressing other topics on The J. Romelle Morning Show, which is a youth-oriented talk program, that features interviews with individuals working to make a positive difference for young people in the community.

So, don't forget to tune in this weekend at 11:00 am!!!!

-More than Music-Streaming live on surgeradio.org
Download the surge Radio app for Android and iPhone devices


BOBBEE BEE: PRISON INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX


by Chris Hedges  

Neo-slavery is an integral part of the prison industrial complex.”

If, as Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote, “the degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons” then we are a nation of barbarians. Our vast network of federal and state prisons, with some 2.3 million inmates, rivals the gulags of totalitarian states. Once you disappear behind prison walls you become prey. Rape. Torture. Beatings. Prolonged isolation. Sensory deprivation. Racial profiling. Chain gangs. Forced labor. Rancid food. Children imprisoned as adults. Prisoners forced to take medications to induce lethargy. Inadequate heating and ventilation. Poor health care. Draconian sentences for nonviolent crimes. Endemic violence.
Bonnie Kerness and Ojore Lutalo, both of whom I met in Newark, N.J., a few days ago at the office of American Friends Service Committee Prison Watch, have fought longer and harder than perhaps any others in the country against the expanding abuse of prisoners, especially the use of solitary confinement.

Lutalo, once a member of the Black Liberation Army, an offshoot of the Black Panthers, first wrote Kerness in 1986 while he was a prisoner at Trenton State Prison, now called New Jersey State Prison. He described to her the bleak and degrading world of solitary confinement, the world of the prisoners like him held in the so-called management control unit, which he called “a prison within a prison.”

 Before being released in 2009, Lutalo was in the management control unit for 22 of the 28 years he served for the second of two convictions – the first for a bank robbery and the second for a gun battle with a drug dealer. He kept his sanity, he told me, by following a strict regime of exercising in his tiny cell, writing, meditating and tearing up newspapers to make collages that portrayed his prison conditions.
 
“The guards in riot gear would suddenly wake you up at 1 a.m., force you to strip and make you grab all your things and move you to another cell just to harass you,” he said when we spoke in Newark.

 “They had attack dogs with them that were trained to go for your genitals. You spent 24 hours alone one day in your cell and 22 the next. If you do not have a strong sense of purpose you don’t survive psychologically. Isolation is designed to defeat prisoners mentally, and I saw a lot of prisoners defeated.” 


Lutalo’s letter was Kerness’ first indication that the U.S. prison system was creating something new – special detention facilities that under international law are a form of torture. He wrote to her: “How does one go about articulating desperation to another who is not desperate? How does one go about articulating the psychological stress of knowing that people are waiting for me to self-destruct?”
 
The techniques of sensory deprivation and prolonged isolation were pioneered by the Central Intelligence Agency to break prisoners during the Cold War. Alfred McCoy, the author of “A Question of Torture: CIA Interrogation, From the Cold War to the War on Terror,” wrote in his book that “interrogators had found that mere physical pain, no matter how extreme, often produced heightened resistance.”

So the intelligence agency turned to the more effective mechanisms of “sensory disorientation” and “self-inflicted pain,” McCoy noted. [One example of causing self-inflicted pain is to force a prisoner to stand without moving or to hold some other stressful bodily position for a long period.] The combination, government psychologists argued, would cause victims to feel responsible for their own suffering and accelerate psychological disintegration. 

Sensory disorientation combines extreme sensory overload with extreme sensory deprivation.  

Prolonged isolation is followed by intense interrogation.
 Extreme heat is followed by extreme cold.
Glaring light is followed by total darkness. Loud and sustained noise is followed by silence.

 “The fusion of these two techniques, sensory disorientation and self-inflicted pain, creates a synergy of physical and psychological trauma whose sum is a hammer-blow to the existential platforms of personal identity,” McCoy wrote.

After hearing from Lutalo, Kerness became a fierce advocate for him and other prisoners held in isolation units. She published through her office a survivor’s manual for those held in isolation as well as a booklet titled “Torture in United States Prisons.” And she began to collect the stories of prisoners held in isolation.

 “My food trays have been sprayed with mace or cleaning agents, … human feces and urine put into them by guards who deliver trays to my breakfast, lunch, and dinner… ,” a prisoner in isolation in the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility at Carlisle, Indiana, was quoted as saying in “Torture in United States Prisons.”
 "I ave witnessed sane men of character become self-mutilators, suffer paranoia, panic attacks, hostile fantasies about revenge.


One prisoner would swallow packs of AA batteries, and stick a pencil in his penis. They would cut on themselves to gain contact with staff nurses or just to draw attention to themselves. These men made slinging human feces ‘body waste’ daily like it was a recognized sport. Some would eat it or rub it all over themselves as if it was body lotion. ... Prisoncrats use a form of restraint, a bed crafted to strap men in four point Velcro straps.

Both hands to the wrist and both feet to the ankles and secured. Prisoners have been kept like this for 3-6 hours at a time.

 
Most times they would remove all their clothes. The Special Confinement Unit used [water hoses] on these men also. ... When prisons become overcrowded, prisoncrats will do forced double bunking.

 Over-crowding issues present an assortment of problems many of which results in violence. ... Prisoncrats will purposely house a ‘sex offender’ in a cell with prisoners with sole intentions of having him beaten up or even killed.”

In 1913 Eastern State Penitentiary, in Philadelphia, discontinued its isolation cages.
 
Prisoners within the U.S. prison system would not be held in isolation again in large numbers until the turmoil of the 1960s and the rise of the anti-war and civil rights movements along with the emergence of radical groups such as the Black Panthers.  

Trenton State Prison established a management control unit, or isolation unit, in 1975 for political prisoners, mostly black radicals such as Lutalo whom the state wanted to segregate from the wider prison population.

Those held in the isolation unit were rarely there because they had violated prison rules; they were there because of their revolutionary beliefs – beliefs the prison authorities feared might resonate with other prisoners.

In 1983 the federal prison in Marion, Illinois, instituted a permanent lockdown, creating, in essence, a prisonwide “control unit.”  


By 1994 the Federal Bureau of Prisons, using the Marion model, built its maximum-security prison in Florence, Colo. 

The use of prolonged isolation and sensory deprivation exploded. “Special housing units” were formed for the mentally ill. 
 
“Security threat group management units” were formed for those accused of gang activity. “Communications management units” were formed to isolate Muslims labeled as terrorists. Voluntary and involuntary protective custody units were formed. Administrative segregation punishment units were formed to isolate prisoners said to be psychologically troubled. All were established in open violation of the United Nations Convention Against Torture, the U.N.’s International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

Kerness calls it “the war at home.” And she says it is only the latest variation of the long assault on the poor, especially people of color.

 “There are no former Jim Crow systems,” Kerness said. “The transition from slavery to Black Codes to convict leasing to the Jim Crow laws to the wars on poverty, veterans, youth and political activism in the 1960s has been a seamless evolution of political and social incapacitation of poor people of color. The sophisticated fascism of the practices of stop and frisk, charging people in inner cities with ‘wandering,’ driving and walking while black, ZIP code racism—these and many other de facto practices all serve to keep our prisons full.
 
In a system where 60 percent of those who are imprisoned are people of color, where students of color face harsher punishments in school than their white peers, where 58 percent of African [American] youth … are sent to adult prisons, where women of color are 69 percent more likely to be imprisoned and where offenders of color receive longer sentences, the concept of colorblindness doesn’t exist.

The racism around me is palpable.”

“The 1960s, when the last of the Jim Crow laws were reversed, this whole new set of practices accepted by law enforcement was designed to continue to feed the money-generating prison system, which has neo-slavery at its core,” she said.  

“Until we deeply recognize that the system’s bottom line is social control and creating a business from bodies of color and the poor, nothing can change.”

She noted that more than half of those in the prison system have never physically harmed another person but that “just about all of these people have been harmed themselves.” And not only does the criminal justice sweep up the poor and people of color, but slavery within the prison system is permitted by the 13th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which reads: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States. …”
 
This, Kerness said, “is at the core how the labor of slaves was transformed into what people in prison call neo-slavery.” Neo-slavery is an integral part of the prison industrial complex, in which hundreds of thousands of the nation’s prisoners, primarily people of color, are forced to work at involuntary labor for a dollar or less an hour. “If you call the New Jersey Bureau of Tourism you are most likely talking to a prisoner at the Edna Mahan Correctional Institution for Women who is earning 23 cents an hour who has no ability to negotiate working hours or working conditions,” she said. 

The bodies of poor, unemployed youths are worth little on the streets but become valuable commodities once they are behind bars.


“People have said to me that the criminal justice system doesn’t work,” Kerness said. “I’ve come to believe exactly the opposite – that it works perfectly, just as slavery did, as a matter of economic and political policy.

How is it that a 15-year-old in Newark who the country labels worthless to the economy, who has no hope of getting a job or affording college, can suddenly generate 20,000 to 30,000 dollars a year once trapped in the criminal justice system?

The expansion of prisons, parole, probation, the court and police systems has resulted in an enormous bureaucracy which has been a boon to everyone from architects to food vendors – all with one thing in common, a paycheck earned by keeping human beings in cages. The criminalization of poverty is a lucrative business, and we have replaced the social safety net with a dragnet.” 

Prisons are at once hugely expensive – the country has spent some $300 billion on them since 1980 – and, as Kerness pointed out, hugely profitable. Prisons function in the same way the military-industrial complex functions.

The money is public and the profits are private.

“Privatization in the prison industrial complex includes companies, which run prisons for profit while at the same time gleaning profits from forced labor,” she said. “In the state of New Jersey, food and medical services are provided by corporations, which have a profit motive.

One recent explosion of private industry is the partnering of Corrections Corporation of America with the federal government to detain close to 1 million undocumented people.

Using public monies to enrich private citizens is the history of capitalism at its most exploitive.”
Those released from prison are woefully unprepared for re-entry. 
They carry with them the years of trauma they endured.
They often suffer from the endemic health problems that come with long incarceration, including hepatitis C, tuberculosis and HIV. 
They often do not have access to medications upon release to treat their physical and mental illnesses. Finding work is difficult. They feel alienated and are often estranged from friends and family. 
More than 60 percent end up back in prison. 

“How do you teach someone to rid themselves of degradation?” Kerness asked. “How long does it take to teach people to feel safe, a sense of empowerment in a world where they often come home emotionally and physically damaged and unemployable?  

There are many reasons that ex-prisoners do not make it – paramount among them is that they are not supposed to succeed.”

Kerness has long been a crusader.  

In 1961 at the age of 19 she left New York to work for a decade in Tennessee in the civil rights struggle, including a year at Tennessee’s Highlander Research and Education Center, where Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. trained. 

By the 1970s she was involved in housing campaigns for the poor in New Jersey. She kept running into families that included incarcerated members. This led her to found Prison Watch.

The letters that pour into her office are disturbing. Female prisoners routinely complain of being sexually abused by guards. One prisoner wrote to her office: “That was not part of my sentence to perform oral sex with officers.”  

Other prisoners write on behalf of the mentally ill who have been left to deteriorate in the prison system. One California prisoner told of a mentally ill man spreading feces over himself and the guards then dumping him into a scalding bath that took skin off 30 percent of his body. 


Kerness said the letters she receives from prisoners collectively present a litany of “inhumane conditions including cold, filth, callous medical care, extended isolation often lasting years, use of devices of torture, harassment, brutality and racism.”  

Prisoners send her drawings of “four- and five-point restraints, restraint hoods, restraint belts, restraint beds, stun grenades, stun guns, stun belts, spit hoods, tethers, and waist and leg chains.” But the worst torment, prisoners tell her, is the psychological pain caused by “no touch torture” that included “humiliation, sleep deprivation, sensory disorientation, extreme light or dark, extreme cold or heat” and “extended solitary confinement.”

These techniques, she said, are consciously designed to carry out “a systematic attack on all human stimuli.”

The use of sensory deprivation was applied by the government to imprisoned radicals in the 1960s including members of the Black Panthers, the Black Liberation Army, the Puerto Rican independence movement and the American Indian Movement, along with environmentalists, anti-imperialists and civil rights activists.
 
It is now used extensively against Islamic militants, jailhouse lawyers and political prisoners. Many of those political prisoners were part of radical black underground movements in the 1960s that advocated violence.

A few, such as Leonard Peltier and Mumia Abu Jamal, are well known, but most have little public visibility—among them Sundiata Acoli, Mutulu Shakur, Imam Jamil Al-Amin (known as H. Rap Brown when in the 1960s he was the chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee), Jalil Bottom, Sekou Odinga, Abdul Majid, Tom Manning and Bill Dunne.
 
Those within the system who attempt to resist the abuse and mistreatment are dealt with severely. Prisoners in the overcrowded Southern Ohio Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison in Lucasville, Ohio, staged a revolt in 1993 after years of routine beatings, degrading rituals of public humiliation and the alleged murders of prisoners by guards.

 

The some 450 prisoners, who were able to unite antagonistic prison factions including the Aryan Brotherhood and the black Gangster Disciples, held out for 11 days.  

It was one of the longest prison rebellions in U.S. history. Nine prisoners and a guard were killed by the prisoners during the revolt.  


The state responded with characteristic fury. It singled out some 40 prisoners and eventually shipped them to Ohio State Penitentiary (OSP), a supermax facility outside Youngstown that was constructed in 1998.  

There prisoners are held in solitary confinement 23 hours a day in 7-by-11-foot cells.  

Prisoners at OSP almost never see the sun or have human contact. Those charged with participating in the uprising have, in some cases, been held in these punitive conditions at OSP or other facilities since the 1993 revolt. Five prisoners – Bomani Shakur, Siddique Abdullah Hasan, Jason Robb, George Skatzes and Namir Abdul Mateen – involved in the uprising were charged with murder. 

They are being held in isolation on death row. 

Kerness says the for-profit prison companies have created an entrepreneurial class like that of the Southern slaveholders, one “dependent on the poor, and on bodies of color as a source for income,” and she describes federal and state departments of corrections as “a state of mind.”  

This state of mind, she said in the interview, “led to Abu Ghraib, Bagram and Guantanamo and what is going on in U.S. prisons right this moment.” 

As long as profit remains an incentive to incarcerate human beings and our corporate state abounds in surplus, redundant labor, there is little chance that the prison system will be reformed. It is making our corporate overlords wealthy.  

Our prisons serve the engine of corporate capitalism, transferring state money to private corporations.  


These corporations will continue to stymie rational prison reform because the system, however inhumane and unjust, feeds corporate bank accounts. At its bottom the problem is not race – although race plays a huge part in incarceration rates – nor is it finally poverty; it is the predatory nature of corporate capitalism itself.  

And until we slay the beast of corporate capitalism, until we wrest power back from corporations, until we build social institutions and a system of governance designed not to profit the few but foster the common good, our prison industry and the horror it perpetuates will only expand. 

Chris Hedges writes a regular column for Truthdig.com. Hedges graduated from Harvard Divinity School and was for nearly two decades a foreign correspondent for The New York Times.

© 2013 TruthDig.com

Monday, March 21, 2016

BOBBEEE BEE: 11 Little Known Facts Everyone Should Know About the Black Power Movement

Stokely Carmichael Coined the Phrase

stokely-carmichael_051111
He later changed his name to Kwame Ture and is credited with introducing the “Black Power” slogan to the 1960s movement when he raised it as a chant at a 1966 march in Mississippi. The phrase electrified the crowd. It seemed to answer the frustration with the slow pace of change — when there was any change at all — and speak to the need to go beyond protests tailored toward appealing to the conscience of “white America

RastaAfricaWhtZmEmbracing Africa

Probably the most noteworthy impact of the Black Power Movement was its influence on Black culture. For the first time since Marcus Garvey in the 1930s and ’40s, Black people in the United States were encouraged to acknowledge their African heritage. Garvey was an adamant proponent of Black people embracing their heritage. The Civil Rights Movement largely spoke to America’s troubles and how to overcome them. The Black Power Movement took the lead from Garvey. Colleges established Black studies programs and Black studies departments that centered their curriculums on The Motherland. Blacks who had grown up believing that they were descended from a backward people now found out that African culture was as rich and diverse as any other, and they were encouraged to take pride in that heritage.



‘Black’ over ‘Negro’
The movement’s leaders said Black people had been trying to aspire to white ideals of what they should be. The Black Power Movement was the time for Blacks to set their own agenda, putting their needs and aspirations first. An early step, in fact, was the replacement of the word “Negro”— a word associated with the years of slavery and oppression — with “Black.”

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Black-Power-Gossip
Different From Civil Rights Movement

Carmichael emphasized that the Black Power Movement was similar to the Civil Rights Movement, but different. “For too many years, Black Americans marched and had their heads broken and got shot. … After years of this, we are at almost the same point — because we demonstrated from a position of weakness. We cannot be expected any longer to march and have our heads broken in order to say to whites: come on, you’re nice guys. For you are not nice guys. We have found you out … This is what [Blacks] seek: control … [Black Power] means the creation of power bases from which Black people can work to change statewide or nationwide patterns of oppression through pressure from strength — instead of weakness.”

angela-davis-speaking-during-the-black-power-movementWomen Played Prominent Roles
Women, dedicated to the goals, often looked beyond obstacles and performed many of the basic tasks necessary for the operation of the movement. They wrote articles for the Black Panther newspaper, tutored children in the liberation schools, offered legal advice to prisoners, organized rallies, distributed fliers and pamphlets and spoke to their local communities about solutions to economic and social problems. And, of course, women like Angela Davis (above) and Elaine Brown took leadership roles and plotted strategy.

thechildrenoflight-seale-newton
The Fear Factor


Many whites, and a number of Blacks, saw the movement as a Black separatist organization bent on segregating Blacks and whites and undoing the important work of the Civil Rights Movement. The solutions that some Black Power leaders advocated seemed only to create new problems. For example, they suggested that Blacks receive paramilitary training and carry guns to protect themselves. Though these individuals insisted this device was solely a means of self-defense and not a call to violence, it was still unnerving for many to think of armed civilians walking the streets.
6a00d8341c5ced53ef01a73dfe19f2970dRichard Nixon Claimed to Be a Sympathizer
President Richard Nixon (above with iconic singer James Brown) used words to indicate he sympathized with the Black Power Movement. He said in a 1968 speech that “what most of the militants are asking is not separation, but to be included in — not as supplicants, but as owners, as entrepreneurs — to have a share of the wealth and a piece of the action.” Federal government programs, Nixon said, should “be oriented toward more Black ownership, for from this can flow the rest — Black pride, Black jobs, Black opportunity and, yes, Black Power.” Of course, Nixon’s actions never matched his words.

Black Art Became in Vogue


The Black Arts Movement, seen by some as connected to the Black Power Movement, flourished in the 1960s and 1970s. Young Black poets, authors and visual artists found their voices and shared those voices with others. Unlike earlier Black arts movements, such as the Harlem Renaissance, the new movement primarily sought out a Black audience, buoyed by the aggressive nature of the times.
imgres
TommieSmithAP276The Movement Was Felt Internationally

Radicals around the world were shaped and influenced by the Black Power Movement in how they expressed their own grievances and developed their own political strategies.
Olympic medalists John Carlos and Tommie Smith (above) helped push the movement across the globe with their display on the medal stand in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.
The most important influence of all was that appealing to the current system to act according to its stated principles of justice and equality wasn’t enough — that a more militant form of struggle was needed to fundamentally transform society.
Jesse_Jackson_participating_in_a_rally,_January_15,_1975Impact on Elected Officials


According to the late historian Manning Marable, there were just 100 Black elected officials around the U.S. in 1964. By 1969, that number was 1,000, and by 1975, it was 3,000.
Almost all of these African-American officeholders were liberal Democrats, including former grassroots activists.



FBI’s Deadly End of the Movement


SPOCK HAMPTONIn August 1967, the FBI initiated a covert action program called COINTELPRO to disrupt and “neutralize” organizations the bureau characterized as “Black Nationalist Hate Groups.” Among the FBI’s goals, outlined in a memo, was to “prevent the rise of a messiah who could unify and electrify the militant nationalist movement … Martin Luther King, Stokely Carmichael and Elijah Muhammad all aspire to this position”; prevent militant Black nationalist groups and leaders from gaining respectability by discrediting them; prevent the long-range growth of militant Black nationalist organizations, especially among youths. Ultimately, the FBI, with help from other law enforcement, killed movement leaders and members in ambushes and shootouts. Most infamously, Fred Hampton (above) was shot to death while he slept during a 1969 raid in Chicago

BOBBEE BEE: Meditation Techniques to Help You Visualize Letting Go

Friday, March 18, 2016

BOBBEE BEE: The Psychology of Police Officers & The Rationalization of Misconduct

The Psychology of Police Officers & The Rationalization of Misconduct
1.Denial of Victim

Alleging that because there is no legitimate victim, there is no misconduct.
2. Victim of Circumstance
Behaving improperly because the officer had no other choice, either because of peer pressure or unethical supervision. ...
 

3.Denial of Injury 

  Because nobody was hurt by the officer’s action, no misconduct actually occurred.
 

4.Advantageous Comparisons

 Minimizing or excusing one’s own wrongdoing by comparing it to the more egregious behavior of others.
 

5. Higher Cause 

Breaking the rules because of some higher calling—that is, removing a known felon from the streets.
 

6. Blame the Victim 

The victim invited any suffering or misconduct by breaking the law in the first place.
 

7. Dehumanization 

Using euphemistic language to dehumanize people, thereby making them easier to victimize.
 

8. Diffusion of Responsibility 

Relying on the diffusion of responsibility among the involved parties to excuse misconduct.
-THE HATEFUL EIGHT-Pocket Full of Ghetto Poems: The Making of a Hip-Hop Classic by eric d.graham

Monday, January 18, 2016

MORALISTIC MONDAY: BOBBEE BEE & BILL COSBY

by Davey D

Bill Cosby is not some poor, down and out bump on the log type of cat who is incapable of handling whatever attacks he is facing… He has money and resources and if he is falsely being accused then he can fight this and those who did the accusing should be punished severely-period.. With that being said, Cosby still gets a big middle finger and his behavior is to be condemned… His ‘moral’ presentation and lifestyle he was insistent we as Black folks subscribe to did not add up to his own grave short comings.. and its on those points alone people will judge him, catch feelings and push him away as they see fit.. Bill Cosby and Dr Heathcliff Huxtable were seen as one and the same in the minds of many Bill Cosby and Dr Heathcliff Huxtable were seen as one and the same in the minds of many Stories of casting couches, quaaludes for sex, rampant cheating on his wife etc stand in sharp contrast to the Bill Cosby who many of us have come to know.

It was Cosby who pretty much created the environment that had him and his character Dr Cliff Huxtable be seen as one and the same for many. It’s what he sold us. It’s what he benefitted from. Lisa Bonet in the movie 'Angel Heart' Lisa Bonet in the movie ‘Angel Heart’
When he got honorary degrees and was deemed ‘America’s Dad‘, he was bestowed those honors because he was seen as his TV character. Again, he purposefully allowed Bill and Dr Cliff Huxtable to be one and the same…
Anyone trying to skirt around that is either dishonest, disillusioned or has selective memory… I have not forgotten that Bill Cosby was the one who publicly put the moral smash down on his own cast members like Lisa Bonet who in her own private life did not live up to the high moral standards her character was supposed to represent… When Lisa Bonet the actress, did the movie ‘Angel Heart’ where she had an onscreen sex scene with actor Mickey Rourke, that was all she wrote as far as Bill Cosby was concerned.. There was no separating Lisa Bonet from Denise Huxtable in his mind. It was really a wrap after she got pregnant by singer Lenny Kravitz. Now in all fairness, it was pointed out that Cosby didn’t completely abandon Bonet. He did eventually bring back her character and put her on a spin off show, but the debate about her private morality decisions was already cemented in the minds of many. At the time when she did the movie Cosby anger and disappointment was well known and it was widely debated if he was being too hard or if Bonet was being ungrateful and making bad life choices.

Malcolm Jamal Warner aka Theo Malcolm Jamal Warner aka Theo Over the years I interviewed Theo (Malcolm Jamal Warner) on a number of occasions and each time he talked about the high expectations Cosby had for him and the cast. They were expected to toe the line and uphold the image. This is the playing field Cosby laid out. It’s the playing field he insisted all act upon. Many seem to have forgotten how Bill used to go after comedians like Eddie Murphy and others for cursing and not being a ‘good image’ for Black folks? He stayed on their cases and was often referenced sometimes humorously.


There are landmark stories of Bill Cosby, not Cliff Huxtable demanding comedians like Eddie Murphy tone it down, stop cursing and be more respectable. This moral landscape is the same one Bill himself was detached from in the most glaring ways.

Bill Cosby’s moral missteps both public and private would be akin to someone like Minister Farrakhan coming to the Million Man March talking about the importance of uplifting Black women, keeping the Black family together and insisting our daughters keep to the straight and narrow only to discover he left his wife to have an affair with singer Miley Cyrus or Khloe Kardashian.

Would his action be legal? Sure.


Could we argue he has a right to make his own adult decisions? Sure…Ethically the shyt would be foul as hell and most of us would write dude off. Heck many of us were mad as hell to the point of non forgiveness when it was discovered that some of our favorite rappers may have had ghost writers. We would write off our ministers and pastors if we saw they were morally flawed in such an egregious way. Many would feel a trust was violated.

This is how many feel with Cosby. Him and his character Dr Huxtable were an important counter narrative to the constant maligning and negativity being heaped on Black folks at the height of the crack era. Hence he took on a special meaning for many. He was the person along with his TV family were the ones we could point to as shining examples of non contaminated, crack free Black family The fact that he publicly insisted on that line of morality be walked by all, led many of us trusting him to be man of his word even more. It wasn’t about what was legal or not legal or what the court of law said. For many it was about lack of integrity and violation of trust. It wads about representing and saying one thing while doing another…

Again, much of Cosby’s brand is built on the Dr Huxable. People’s upset at its core is seeing that dude did not keep it 100… It’s compounded by the fact that he made millions smashing down on Black folks who came up short in the least transgressive type of ways… In other words, Bill Cosby got at you because you liked certain types of rap music. He got at you because you had a ‘funny (African) sounding name. He got at you because you didn’t speak out to moral short comings in the community (Poundcake speech)

 All the while this mofo is making a grand sham of his marriage with hordes of women and in some instances offering career advice and guidance to women in exchange for intimacy and that’s pretty much by his own admission. The fact that many of them were Hollywood white women cut even deeper when Cosby was positioned as the epitome of what it meant to be a Black Family Now that all this drama is unfolding, there are some making the claim that all of a sudden we are supposed to separate Bill Cosby from Dr Cliff Huxtable? Get the F– Outta Here with that Bullsh–…

Your word and integrity means something, especially when you’re the main one demanding excellence from us on the moral tip… Cosby’s actions are even more compounded by the fact he may have actually raped or sexually assaulted one of those 30-50 women pointing fingers at him… If he even did this with one, that should be enough for all of us. He gets no passes, He gets no love, He gets nothing… If he wants to redeem himself, so be it, Go redeem yourself.. For many of us it won’t be enough. As a matter of fact, I’m sure most of us reading this will understand if Cosby had in any way transgressed with any of our loved ones, whether he did it once, twice, because he was drunk, high or had a momentarily lapse, you wouldn’t be trying to hear excuses about Hollywood is out to get him,there were folks who are lying on him or some of what he was accused of happened along time ago. That’s madness..


He’d be getting smashed on, no questions asked if your loved one was a victim. Our anger would be no different then the anger when a man named Will Lynch went and beat up a Catholic Priest a few years back who he accused of molesting him when he was 7 years old… They tried to explain the incident took place back in the days and that the church was trying to improve, blah, blah, blah.. Dude literally tried to kill that priest and got off because as the judge noted.. It was wrong but he understood what would drive someone to that point of anger…

So Good luck Bill Cosby in beating back those who you say are falsely accusing you. He is blessed to have the means to fight a system known for unfairly railroading innocent people. He is blessed to be able to combat a racist system that has long framed folks.. But F— You Bill for not practicing what you preached. F— U Bill for insisting and demanding of others to the point of ridicule, moral outrage and even financial punishment a moral compass and set of behaviors you routinely trampled on and held in deep distain.. my two cents

Friday, November 20, 2015

POCKET FULL OF GHETTO POEMS: THE ALBUM REVIEW

backup2POCKET FULL OF GHETTO POEMS: THE ALBUM REVIEW by Vincent Morris Woody

Pocket Full of Ghetto Poems is a testament to Southern hip hop, avoiding the gangsta and drill music clich├ęs so often found in current music. It is a throwback to an earlier time when hip hop had substance, without being lame or preaching to the choir.

Graham is the author of this authentic and often haunting material that puts you in the mind of OutKast meets Public Enemy. Only the old heads can feel me on this one.

The beats are just hard enough for the streets, while at the same time being laid back enough for the whip. The kind of album that makes you think, while nourishing your soul, and entertaining simultaneously. Graham takes you on a journey that extends beyond the South into the metaphysical without separating you from the now.

Social issues are tackled and subject matter is presented that is missing from today's spit, such as on the track Illuminati, which not only makes me nostalgic for the purity of 90's hip hop, but releases a hook that makes me want to get a Mob Deep album.

There are infectious songs that have been released online such as Dope Boy Fresh, which has a track with a state of emergency feel to it, as Graham rides the beat with passion. You have Too Many Emcee's, which puts me in the mind of an old school KRS One, Mad Lion collaboration, updated for today's audience.

What do you get when you mix a teacher, a philosopher, an emcee, and a revolutionary?

A Pocket Full of Ghetto Poems.

In order to get your copy of Pocket Full of Ghetto Poems: The Making of a Hip-Hop Classic send checks or money order of $10 or more to Eric D.Graham PO Box 172 Magnolia, NC 28453