Monday, December 29, 2008

Be It Resolved 2009

Since I try my best to live and walk in integrity, I usually avoid making New Years resolutions. However, as I approach the big 50, I figured there are few things that I should at least make a concerted effort to improve upon. So the following is my top 10 be it resolved listed for 2009. The is tongue and cheek. I have no problems laughing at myself, so feel free to laugh too.

1. Smile more. I'm beginning to see more wrinkles.
2. Be more patient. I've been working on this one for a long time. But this just might be the year.
3. Exercise all of my muscles more. You get my drift. LOL.
4. Radically change my eating habits and drastically reduce my alcohol consumption. (Not that I'm a
a candidate for AA).
5. Commit to writing something positive on one of my blogs at least twice per week.
6. Publish my collection of poetry this year. Okay, I've put it out there.
7. Expand my social calendar.
8. Laugh and dance more.
9. Be more benevolent.
10. Practice (not perfect) unconditional love and forgiveness.

Now there is a huge likelihood that I will break at least half of these resolutions within the first few hours of 2009, but hey, at least I have them on my radar. On a more serious note, I wish the rest of the world what I desire for myself: above all good health, love, joy, peace and prosperity.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

YES WE CAN2: National Pull Up Your Pants, Pull Down Your Blouse Campaign

I must admit that in the beginning I doubted that we could elect a little known, mixed raced dude from Illinois president of the United States. However, the American people were desperate and believed that Obama could bring about change. So the mantra, "Yes We Can" became "Yes We Did".

With the belief in the power of the human spirit to transcend the boundaries of race, class and political ideology to change the face of America politics, I call on all who believe in change to launch a new campaign I believe we can also win. For now I'm calling it the Pull up Your Pants, Pull Down Your Blouse Campaign. The campaign is aimed at modifying the behavior of primarily young males and females who probably due to no fault of their own, have no sense of ancestral memory or sense of appropriateness.
The young men look as if they are wearing a soiled diaper and the girls look as if they want to be the Pillsbury dough girl.

I believe the male pants sagging trend has single handily contributed to the increase in male incarceration and the rise and prosperity of the prison industrial complex. It's hard as hell to run from the Po Po if you can't run because your pants are around your ankles and you are afraid they will fall off. Young women seem to be screaming for male or female attention by showing off their midriffs
, even when the midriff is a pregnant stomach. Sorry ladies, this does not reflect the beauty of motherhood.

This campaign like the Obama presidential campaign will call for inter-generational, multi-racial, multi- class participation. It will require parents, educators and everyday community folk to sport bumper stickers with the slogan BYPU/BYBD and to lovingly admonish those seen sporting the look. You get the picture. Because of my faith in the power of strategic marketing and Obama mania, I think we have the opportunity to end this long over due fashion trend.

For those of you are more economically minded, there is something in it for you as well. Thin
k about the number of belts that will be sold and the number of young men and women who will be able to contribute to the U. S. economy because they now can actually apply for a job and seal a business deal with a firm handshake without the worry of showing all of their goodies or lack there of. Young women can center their focus on the beauty of their minds and what's above their waist instead of below. It will allow those who they desire to attract to view them on a much deeper level than mere physicality.

Even some in the hip-hop community feel enough is
enough. Rapper Da' Priest has written rap song on the issue. He calls on young black males in particular to stand up and pull their pants up. Checkout the YouTube video: Pull Your Pants Up!

The origins of this fashion faux pas is said to have began in the prison system due to inmates not being able to have belts for safety reasons. Others have also said that it suggest a male inmate is sexually available or a man on the outs is open to homosexual activity. Given the widespread homo-phobia in the hip-hop community I find this unlikely or indeed a bitter irony. Regardless of the origins, it's past time to put this trend to rest. The most successful icons in the hip-hop community get it. They realized that in order to roll in the world of commerce you must dress the part. Can we all say Jay-Z, Common, P Diddy and Russell Simmons.

Of course I expect a backlash from many who feel telling people how to dress is a violation of their right to freedom of expression. But hey, two years ago and even now, people had a hundred reasons why a black man couldn't or shouldn't be president. THE YES WE CAN (2) campaign will be the icing on the cake for black people in particular and the community at large.

Beginning the week after president elect Obama's inauguration, I will be forming my "virtual" campaign management team. If you are interested in getting on board, please contact me on this blog.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Who Speaks for the Truly Disadvantaged

After returning from the manic state of euphoria over the election of the first African American president, I was struck with a difficult reality. Who speaks for the truly disadvantaged of America? We know about corporate bailouts, tax cuts for the middle class and tax breaks for the wealthy. But where are the breaks for the truly marginalized segments of American society. Where is the poor people's agenda? Early in the presidential race, John Edwards put forth his agenda for the working poor, but of course his voice was silenced due to his $400 haircuts and his possible contribution to single motherhood.

The category of the truly disadvantaged is occupied by poor whites and people of color. These individuals lack access not only to financial resources but to jobs and education. The Workforce Reinvestment Act promised to lift millions of poor people out of poverty, but has been unable to deliver in the face of a nation engaged in two wars and declining job opportunities across class lines.

The Obama/Biden poverty agenda promises to expand job and educational opportunities; increase capital investments to under-served communities; raise the minimum age; help youth connect to jobs; expand earned income credits and make college tuition affordable. However, in the face of a declining global economy, corporate bailouts for Wall Street and increasing decline of the middle class, will the president and his administration really have time for marginalized black, brown and poor people who don't have an address on Wall Street or Main Street.

What can we do to insure that a poor people's agenda remains on the radar president issues radar?