i am

My photo
harlem, usa
same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. mjt975@msn.com.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Obama/McCain: The Final Debate

hofstra university in new york was the scene for the final debate wednesday october 15, 2008 between democratic presidential nominee illinois senator barack obama & republican presidential nominee arizona senator john mccain. veteran cbs correspondent bob schaffer served as the lone moderator. after brief introductions the two men politely shaked hands, exchanged cordial greetings & sat down at a large table facing schaffer, who, at the outset, asked the energetic audience to remain silent throughout the 90-minute debate.

schaffer stressed the debate would focus largely on domestic policy although other pressing issues would be explored. schaffer asked each candidate to focus on the question at hand - being mindful of the two-minute time allotted for responding to each question - while encouraging them to rebut and/or ask questions of each other. each question would be given nine minutes to discuss yet it's improbable to expect candidates in a heated, highly-contested & historical battle to adhere to rules, no matter who's in charge. anita baker kept it real: rules are meant to be broken.

despite various media pundits, bloggers & the like, i neither think about nor care who (supposedly) wins or who loses a debate. what concerns me are the participants' morals, values & principles: hue-man qualities like compassion, humility, integrity, kindness & love. i'm concerned about who can inspire, lead & unify a country in the midst of economic crisis, military unrest & spiritual heartache. the personalities of the two candidates are strikingly opposite, which showed in the debate. obama was calm, earnest & respectful. mccain was anxious, frustrated & manipulative. when i listen to mccain speak two words immediately come to mind: anger management.

i never expect to learn anything new about a candidate in a debate. i expect them to affirm their platforms, rally their parties & seek new voters by any means necessary. what can/will they say about themselves or their views or each other that hasn't been espoused already? much of the debate was centered around refuting each other's mis-guided, mis-informed or mis-quoted statements. thank god for the baseball playoffs. but i digress. at one point mccain admonished obama for not repudiating georgia senator john lewis, who, in mccain's eyes, likened him to 1963 george wallace - "...i say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever."

mccain said he was hurt by lewis' implications of racial polarization & obama's steadfast refusal to offer a personal condemnation & public apology. obama countered by acknowledging the recent rallies of republican vp nominee alaska governor sarah palin where her supporters rant, in reference to obama "terrorist," or "kill him." mccain said he's made an honest effort to quell their venom yet smiled when honoring his voters, "the most loyal, hard-working, patriotic americans i've ever known." wtf? palin's rallies are reminiscent of a kkk lynching. she smiles through the hate while cindy mccain stands to the side in her thousand-dollar designer outfits. folks in the audience are paralyzed by apathy, credit card debt, depression, home foreclosures, illiteracy, little or no health insurance, rising gas prices, substance use issues & unemployment...yet cindy mccain is perched in prada? i don't think so.

there were moments when both candidates agreed on certain issues like energy independence, reducing american addiction to foreign oil & offering tax breaks to folks who need it. nonetheless, with less than three weeks before election day, i doubt if this final debate did little if anything to sway folks' honest opinions. i believe white folks walk into the booth with an american flag & when the curtain is closed they pull out a confederate flag. i can't prove this with an exit poll yet how did bush win (read: steal) the last two elections? how did he get 10 percent of the black vote in 2004? where do those negroes live & do their parents know?

the latest figures show obama with leads of up to 8 percent across the country yet my cynicism, as well as my understanding of white supremacy, tells me both the undecided & unregistered voters will make a huge impact in the final count. i'm afraid some of the hilary vote will go to mccain by default, especially since he's exploiting the fears of women with the inexperienced & unknown pailn as his running mate, yet we all know a large number of americans are dishonest about their feelings on race. whenever i listen to palin speak three words immediately come to mind: roseanne rosanna danna.

i can only hope folks will vote with an open mind & an open heart. if mccain/palin wins this election i don't know what i'll do. i don't have money to flee america in disgust. but i'll think about it. on the other hand, if obama wins, i'm afraid some indifferent redneck from anywhere usa will put a gun to his head. i don't have the spirit to hurt someone white i don't know in retaliation. but i'll think about it. i wish my 97 year-old great-grandmother eugenia jefferson were here to help me calm my worries. she had a unique way of making me feel safe in her presence. i don't feel safe about this election. not with our his-tory. i think obama will win yet al gore & john kerry had the very same thoughts...

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Hopes for Cubs/White Sox Subway Series Crashes Early

perhaps it was too good to be true. perhaps history was the better team this year. perhaps next year the same opportunity will present itself yet neither the chicago cubs nor the chicago white sox will do what the new york mets & new york yankees did for their rival fans in 2002. despite all the hype, there will be no subway series in chicago this year: a series which was supposed to generate $120 million for the city.

the western division champion los angeles dodgers surrendered just six runs in three games to the national league's leader in runs scored. led by new manager joe torre & former red sox all-star outfielder manny ramirez - acquired in a stunning mid-season trade - the dodgers will play the eastern division champion philadelphia phillies for a world series berth. philadelphia defeated the wild card milwaukee brewers in four games.

the eastern division champion tampa bay rays, fueled by solid pitching, timely defense & clutch hitting, defeated the white sox in four games. the 2005 world series champion sox had to win three straight games against three different teams, all on the road, to get into the playoffs. after losing the first two games on the road to the exciting & young tampa bay team, the white sox were faced with a similar challenge of having to three consecutive games, a daunting task they were unable to achieve. the wild card & defending champion boston red sox defeated the 100-win anaheim angels in four games & will play tampa bay for the al crown.

it was painful for me to watch the cubs lose in the playoffs. again. why did i think because its been 100 years since the cubs last won the world series they'd historically prevail? most baseball experts lauded the cubs as the team to beat; a virtual shoe-in for the world series. of course folks said the same things about hilary clinton & she's still prolly saying to herself wtf? tho i'm pissed at alfonso soriano for not performing well i'm angrier at manager lou pinella for giving him a leadoff spot when he's primarily a home-run or strikeout artist. my two-cents? the leadoff hitter should be someone who has the patience to take a walk, talent to bunt for a hit and/or the willingness to utilize the entire baseball field when the team needs a hit. soriano is the wrong man for the right job.

i also expected more because the cubs' pitching staff was exemplary this year. in fact, starters ryan dempster & carlos zambrano (who threw a no-hitter this summer), along with reliever kerry wood were all-stars for the first time this year. rookie catcher giovanni soto, anotha first-time all-star, was among five starters (mark derosa, derek lee, aramis ramirez & soriano) who hit 20 or more homers. newly acquired outfielder jim edmonds & pitcher ted lilly played well & gave them much-needed veteran leadership. still, they were unable to move forward in the playoffs.

cubs fans are among the most loyal in america. whenever the cubs play road games their caps, hoodies, jerseys & t-shirts are prominently displayed in the stands. sometimes crowds cheer louder for the cubs than the home team. just as the dallas cowboys were crowned america's (football) team in the 90's, the cubs have become america's team of the 21st century. shame we might have to wait anotha century before they actually win a championship worthy of america's praise. perhaps in 2009 we'll see a subway series between the cubs & white sox. tomorrow i'm going to subway to get a foot long veggie delight. at $5 a pop, you can't beat that with a bat.