Posts Tagged ‘Terrence Howard’
Sometimes life is the best answer to any question of “why.” This would be one of them. Within the space of a week, the supposed “debate” (and Mo’Kelly uses that word quite loosely), renewed as to why we as African-Americans have no reason keeping “Nigga” in our lexicon.
Dr. Maya Angelou and rapper Common
During a call-in interview with 106th & Park on Monday, Dr. Angelou clarified her stance.
I don’t think the word ‘disappointment’ quite makes it. I was surprised,” says Angelou about Common’s language on the track. “I know that Common is brilliant — he may, in fact, be close enough to be called a genius, I’m not sure. I know we’re all in process, and young artists are in process. Next week, he might not use the n-word”
Rihanna and the Magazine Article
Now juxtapose these events with the recent story regarding Rihanna being dubbed as a “Nigga Bitch” in a Dutch magazine.
So much for taking the power from word eh? No matter what, all it takes is ONE utterance of the word and we are back to where we started.
Part of the reason a Dutch magazine would be so bold/comfortable to characterize Rihanna as a “Nigga Bitch” is inextricably linked to our willingness to refer to Black people as “Niggas” and Black women more specifically as “Bitches.”
Sometimes life is the best answer to any question of “why.” This would be one of them. Sometimes, there doesn’t need to be some long and drawn out editorial. Sometimes, life will do the job all by itself.
Or… how about this?
Terrence Howard says his estranged wife Michelle Ghent hates Black people and alleges she would often call him names like, “monkey” and “n****r”. How and why she ultimately managed to marry Terrence Howard is anybody’s guess, but nevertheless it still speaks the vitriolic nature of the word and its incendiary certainty.
Mo’Kelly will just let life do all the talking this time around.
The Mo’Kelly Report is a syndicated politics and entertainment journal. Visit http://mrmokelly.com for the latest from Mr. Mo’Kelly. Contact him at email@example.com.
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UPDATE 7.30.09: NEW Discussion Piece – Freedom of Speech in the BGLOs, but with Omega Psi Phi in the center of the discussion. Click HERE
Let Mo’Kelly say right off the top…this is NOT going to be a popular piece. But Mo’Kelly never writes according to what might be “popular” only what needs to be said. Let the hate-mail flow, but this needs to be said.
By now you’ve heard the news that historically Black fraternity Phi Beta Sigma has had a slew of high-profile honorary members inducted into the fraternity.
President Bill Clinton, Rev. Al Sharpton, Stevie Wonder, Martin Lawrence and other notables have been ushered into the ranks of the Phi Beta Sigma brotherhood. All obvious jokes aside, the continuing discussion surrounding the complex and arguably controversial nature of honorary/celebrity “members” is part in parcel of the larger debate about the contemporary relevance of historically Black Greek-Letter Organizations (BGLOs).
There is a common blood line which runs through all of the “Divine Nine” BGLOs. All of their respective roots, traceable back to a time and place in which African-Americans could neither attend the same schools nor join the same collegiate organizations as Whites. Their “need” and relevance were inarguable at the turn of the 20th century and their direct impact on American history is unparalleled. Most of the civil rights leaders and Black historical figures we know and celebrate today are/were members of these organizations.
In many ways, America “is,” because BGLOs “are.”
BGLO members are/were our teachers, our pastors, our soldiers, our mothers, our caregivers our doctors, lawyers et. al. You likely can not meet anyone who hasn’t been positively influenced by a member of a BGLO. It’s just not possible.
Yet somehow, some way, somewhere…the world of BGLOs was turned upside down on its way to the 21st century. There used to be a time in which the organizations developed future leaders and way-makers, their future success and achievements serving as a perpetual advertisement of their importance and influence. In 2009, it is standard operating procedure for many of the organizations to simply seek out the already successful, already famous and of course considerably wealthy in the hopes of pinning their respective letters on them.
In lay vernacular, it’s become ass backwards.
There used to be a time in which the bond of brotherhood and sisterhood would have bound all members together, irrespective of era. The rivalries between the organizations were intense but invariably respectful. Yet ever since 1990 when most of the organizations first abolished officially sanctioned pledge programs, the strength of brotherhood and sisterhood largely devolved into “pledged vs. intake,” “real/made vs. paper,” “undergrad vs. graduate (initiated)” The inter-organization rivalries were then supplanted by the intra-organizational elitism. If there was one seminal moment in which we can point to the organizations having begun losing their collective way…it was in 1989 with the death of Morehouse student and Sphinxman (Alpha Phi Alpha pledge) Joel Harris. The National Pan-Hellenic Council (the collective governing body for the BGLOs) abolished pledging across the board in response in 1990.
Of course, something needed to be done to address the spiraling costs of lawsuits and the financial havoc they wrought. To some, the complete eradication of sanctioned pledging was an overreaction and knee-jerk response. Unfortunately though, it signaled a separation and segregation arguably little different than the Jim Crow segregation which the most prominent members of the civil rights era fought against. It’s doubtful that there was any more compelling example of the BGLOs earning the “elitist” criticism. The same classism they collectively fought against; had in effect become the norm and status quo. “Separate but equal” moved out of the deep south and into the Black supposed aristocracy.
In lay vernacular, it became ass backwards.
In the 21st century, honorary members have become both the norm and for many the notoriously ridiculous for BGLOs. If you are a famous singer, actor, politician or just a regular business person with ungodly amounts of money…it is quite likely that your name has been submitted for induction into one or more of the Divine Nine. Gone were the days of the individual first seeking this fraternity or that sorority. Gone were the days of the fledgling youth hitching his/her wagon to the star of the sorority or fraternity, hoping one day to become one of the “greats” listed in the annals of its history. The 21st century is the age in which the organizations have “sold out,” trading in their legacies to ride the coattails of the rich and famous.
The organizations want big names, big checks and instant status upgrades, calling into question where our collective priorities lie.
Yes, “our” collective priorities.…even my fraternity, Omega Psi Phi.
This isn’t a critique of any particular organization, but the recent high-profile inductions by Phi Beta Sigma fraternity offer the
perfect entry point into the discussion of the direction of the nine members of the National Pan-Hellenic Council. All of our organizations are intertwined, and the future of one invariably affects all, as history has shown us.
The college sophomore with a 2.5 GPA with his heart set on Phi Beta Sigma and dreams of changing the world dancing in his head may not be selected for induction into the fraternity, but the actor Terrence Howard who attended the Pratt Institute (an art school), zero notable contributions to society and a questionable disposition towards women is freely given membership? Martin Lawrence who has never seen the inside of a college classroom as a student is the
educational example Phi Beta Sigma fraternity wants young African-American men to emulate? Alpha Kappa Alpha is somehow elevated by inducting Alicia Keys who dropped out of Columbia to pursue to her music career?
That’s ass backwards and it sends a troubling message, one that’s loud and clear. Young people hear very well and recognize hypocrisy in all of its forms.
Beyond the manner in which members are chosen, selected or “pledged;” there has been a sliding scale in terms of the leadership. It is illogical to think a person, the likes of vulgar comedienne Sheryl Underwood would have ever
become the face and voice of Zeta Phi Beta sorority twenty or more years ago. It would have been simply unacceptable and surely the organization wouldn’t have sent out a press release “celebrating” her election. Zeta would have had the good sense and home training to be too embarrassed to do so. “Finer womanhood” and “Sheryl Underwood” simply could not and would not co-exist in the public space in previous generations.
If the 80s were the age of the hazing lawsuit, then the first decade of the 21st century will undoubtedly be remembered as the age of embezzlement. Although Zeta Phi Beta and Alpha Kappa Alpha sororities have most recently publicly battled its own leadership with lawsuits alleging all types of financial malfeasance and mismanagement, the same types of issues are bubbling under with most if not all of the other seven.
All…yes, all. YOUR BLGO too. Mine, yours, errrbody’s.
The argument can be made that as we collectively move further and further away from the principles of brotherhood and sisterhood and closer to big business, these are the inevitabilities. The deficiencies in our brotherhood and sisterhood quotients have borne themselves out from the top down.
On the undergraduate level you hear more and more how it becomes harder for the lay person to distinguish the fraternities from the gangs, for often times the behavior is just that, indistinguishable. Having nothing to do with our “hand signs,” the stepshow altercations between organizations have increasingly become the rule, not the exception. Maybe the caliber of membership has decreased relative to the sheer numbers of African-Americans in college, which have also dropped. Maybe the talent pool is just too shallow or maybe…just maybe, our organizations have become too shallow in and of themselves. I will say without a doubt that there is a measurable and despicable criminal element within my very own Omega Psi Phi; an element in direct contradiction
to everything my founders Oscar James Cooper, Frank Coleman, Edgar Amos Love and Dr. Ernest Everett Just championed.
Yup, I said it and I meant it.
It’s not the popular thing to say, but it needed to be said.
To be clear, there are many chapters of many BGLOs which are doing wonderful work in the community and around the country. To allege otherwise would be simply untrue. At the same time, there seems to be a growing trend of community inactivity. This may be a function of the multi-cultural evolution of this country and the changing landscape of universities.
The all/majority Black Greek-letter organization doesn’t necessarily hold the same appeal to a college freshman in 2009 that it did in 1989 or even 1969. Kids can “step” in high school (which aggravates Mo’Kelly to no end). They don’t need to go to college and definitely don’t need to join an organization to reach the dangling carrot of stepping anymore. Membership used to have its privileges, now people can get the privileges without the “inconvenience” of membership. For instance…
Not only that, the big business of college athletics has also short-circuited the recruitment of members on the undergraduate level as many prized college athletes are forbidden from joining BGLOs.
It’s not lost on Mo’Kelly the need for our organizations to evolve as business entities. But the foundations in which we all are built have noticeable cracks. The solution is though NOT found in President Bill or Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, First Lady Michelle Obama or whoever is the next unaffiliated star comedian or actress. The solution is simply going back to the original intentions of our respective founders and highlighting educational and community service achievement, not fame and celebrity.
What does it say when in the latest round of Phi Beta Sigma honorary inductees, only the White man above has a degree from an accredited 4-year college or university? Just ‘what’ does it say is being ‘honored’ with these ‘honorary’ inductions?
It says, it won’t be long before all of us are irrelevant and then extinct.
Recently, venerable actor Terrence Howard came out in uh…support I guess you could say of Chris Brown and his domestic violence “difficulties.”
In fact, there was even video…
What one should think of it is up to you as the viewer. Mo’Kelly is indifferent about him showing public support for Brown. Brown is not a leper. It smacked of poor judgment by Howard and left him open for deeper scrutiny given his own questionable past…but it’s not unbelievable in theory to have something nice to say about Brown.
But this was just not the time. It was better to have left it alone altogether.
Sure enough, folks in response went digging into Howard’s past and found he has a “similar” history, given his arrest on a domestic violence incident in 2001 with his now ex-wife.
Police report HERE
Entertainers just refuse to think before they act. There are just certain subjects in which “no comment” is the only comment to have when you are still beholden to the public. And of course Howard “retracted/further explained/recanted” shortly thereafter. But the collateral damage was done.
One day they’ll learn. It just won’t be anytime soon…
The lesson is, it doesn’t matter if you’re a “good guy” 23 hours of the day if you beat your woman during the 24th. The behavior is the issue, not whether Brown is generally “a good guy.”
For all the community service and good works I seek to continually do with my church, it doesn’t mean much the FIRST time Mo’Kelly commits a felony. That’s just the way it is. Recognize it and learn from it.
Some folks just don’t get it. And that’s why they keep making the same mistakes…
The Mo’Kelly Report is an entertainment journal with a political slant; published weekly at www.eurweb.com. It is meant to inform, infuse and incite meaningful discourse…as well as entertain. The Mo’Kelly Report is syndicated by Blogburst. For more Mo’Kelly, http://www.MrMoKelly.com. Mo’Kelly can be reached at Mo@MrMoKelly.com and he welcomes all commentary.
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Mo’Kelly is largely a fan of “original” television programs. The original Law & Order. The original CSI, the original Flavor of Love. Their spin-offs usually are enjoyable in their own right but often fail to evoke the same level of appreciation from Mo’Kelly.
Take CSI: Miami for example. It’s a horrible show. It just is. Don’t care what the ratings say, don’t care what network PR people say. It’s a horrible show.
But it’s HILARIOUS! HEE-LARRY-US!
The melodramatic, over-the-top, cliche delivery of lead actor David Caruso is simply too hilarious for words. It’s SO bad…it becomes funny after awhile. And after so many seasons, it seems the writers (and Caruso) are INTENTIONALLY trying to be melodramatic and over-the-top.
Mo’Kelly’s not alone in his opinion. A signature of the show CSI: Miami is that Caruso comes across the random dead person for that particular episode, utters a horrible one-liner while cocking his head to the side and putting on his sunglasses…even if he’s indoors.
This youtube compilation video of Caruso’s one-liners below PERFECTLY captures the essence of the horrid nature of this show. And its horrid nature is why Mo’Kelly just can’t stop watching it…ashamed to say. It’s like a train wreck…no matter how grisly the carnage is…just can’t turn away.
(Please visit www.mokellyreport.blogspot.com for this and other media. Not available in the email blast or feedreader versions)
The running joke of David Caruso has become so rampant, that it’s become fodder for late night comedy. Check out Jim Carrey’s spot-on rendition of Caruso. (Note, you HAVE to watch the one-liner compilation video above to fully appreciate Carrey’s bit in the video below.)
Have a great weekend everyone. Mo’Kelly’s hosting a fight party (Antonio Margarito V. Miguel Cotto) but will be back here on Sunday evening with commentary on the ‘other’ battle, Terrence Howard V. Bill Cosby.
It’s getting ready to get hot up in here…you can best be sure.
The Mo’Kelly Report is an entertainment journal with a political slant; published weekly at www.eurweb.com. It is meant to inform, infuse and incite meaningful discourse…as well as entertain. The Mo’Kelly Report is syndicated by Newstex and Blogburst. For more Mo’Kelly, http://www.MrMoKelly.com.
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Morris W. O’Kelly can be reached at Mo@MrMoKelly.com and he welcomes all commentary.