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10/05/14 Black Culture , Black News , featured , ybw #

High School Dropout Who Fails at Everything Selected as Clippers CEO

High School Dropout Who Fails at Everything Selected as Clippers CEO

Dick Parsons

Dick Parsons is a curious fellow. He fails at everything he tries and yet, those in power keep blessing him with opportunities. As The Daily Banter noted in an in depth 2012 piece, shareholders at Citigroup filed a lawsuit against the outgoing chairman for his corporate raiding. Parsons’ history is littered with these types of corporate failures and embarrassments, and yet, CNN reports that Parsons is set to lead the L.A. Clippers.

Parsons has a habit of leading companies right into the ground, then scampering away with golden parachutes for  top executives. While at Citigroup, the Too-Big-to-Fail bank that got the largest bailout from the government, Parsons hooked up top executives with enormous payouts.

“He arranged a pay package for CEO Vikram Pandit amounting to $53 million despite the fact that Citi’s stock plummeted 44% last year, and has woefully underperformed other bank stocks even by their low standards,” wrote Mark Ames of the Banter.

And before Citigroup, there was Parsons’ failure at AOL Time Warner:

Parsons headed AOL Time Warner, where he helped pull off what is widely considered the single worst business deal in corporate American history: a fraud-rife merger that wiped out $200 billion in shareholder value, ruined employees, retirees and investors, sparked numerous criminal investigations and dozens of lawsuits, and yet somehow managed to enrich a tiny handful of executives—including Dick Parsons—to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.

And even prior to that, Parsons was chairman of Dime Savings, a firm guilty of mortgage fraud. In the 1980’s, the company falsified documents to allow unqualified borrowers to get loans.

The question then becomes, how can a man with so little by way of achievements still elicit so many lucrative job offers?

Parsons doesn’t even have a stellar academic record. He is a high school dropout who got his GED and enrolled at the University of Hawaii, then flunked out of college. Almost miraculously, Parsons’ life changed after he met Nelson Rockefeller. Parsons’ father had been a groundskeeper for the family and Parsons’ life began to blossom under the wealthy family’s influence. According to the Banter, Parsons admitted that the Rockefellers began hooking him up.

Somehow, the black slacker kid who dropped out of high school and flunked out of college got into Albany Law school and became the school’s valedictorian. Parsons also took the New York state bar exam and scored the highest in the state, surpassing even those of notoriously competitive Ivy League high achievers.

Somehow a lackluster student became brilliant, with some assistance from the Rockefellers, and now that same man, who has proven to be a failure as an executive, is headed to the Clippers. Isn’t it time to pump the breaks and ask why a man so unqualified is again being selected to lead? And what hand are the Rockefellers playing in Parsons’ corporate pillaging?

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08/05/14 Black Culture , Black News , featured , Opinion , ybw #

Black People Are Only Hurting Themselves By Opposing Homos*xuality

Black People Are Only Hurting Themselves By Opposing Homos*xuality
Black people proudly holding up their sammiches.

Black people proudly holding up their sammiches.

by Yvette Carnell

I couldn’t agree more with Forrest Palmer’s assessment of how opposition to homos*xuality in the black community greatly diminishes our ability to do good:

After going back to that thread I referenced earlier to see where a few cats have been going H.A.M. (Hard as a motherfucker) in defense of repressing homos*xuals and homos*xuality, I have come to one conclusion after these 41 years of residing in the most ultra-religious, ultra-conservative, ultra-homophobic, ultra-macho culture here in Amerikkka and across the globe, the black/African community:

 

If black folks worried even 1/1,000,000,000th about anything else of importance as we worry about homos*xuality, then we wouldn’t be incarcerated at genoc¡dal levels, cloistered in some of the most reprehensible places known to man, forced to live in environmentally destroyed communities, taken advantage of everyday economically across the globe, giving up all the arable land in Africa for fiat money, dying due to malnutrition, famine and thirst and all the other vagaries of life we face with nary a f•cking peep from most of us, especially the men who are more concerned about their f•cking bench press and whipping somebody’s ass in the greatest case of disconnect known to man since we are the most dominated people on the f•cking planet…Talk about fiddling while f•cking Rome burned…

It’s what my friend Darryl calls ‘work avoidance.’ I’m sure passing anti gay laws gave Uganda something to take attention away from everything falling apart around them. That’s the job of the anti-gay movement, to get religious folks riled up about something they can’t and shouldn’t even want to change. When you fight against the LGBT movement, it’s just you, chasing your own tail. As the Flinstones character said, “Hello, dumb dumb.” Living in a country where people view buying fried chicken sandwiches (a-la-Chick-fil-A) as activism makes me feel as if I was dropped off on the wrong planet. I don’t belong here.

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28/04/14 Black Culture , Black News , Opinion , ybw #

Writer Calls Black People Cowards, Is He Right?

Writer Calls Black People Cowards, Is He Right?
Photo credit: Gawker

Photo credit: Gawker

by Yvette Carnell

I tend to avoid statements like  “all black people are..” or  “only black people …” since I’m not into pathologizing black behavior. People are people, and although there are many influencers of human behavior–such as culture and policies–pigment is not one of them.

Having said that, an article up at Gawker about the psuedo-protest by L.A. Clippers over racist comments made owner Don Sterling did make some points which deserve more attention. Much of the article focused on the decision of players to pretend that wearing their warm ups inside out was a significant protest, but then the writer goes further:

It’s almost as if people have forgotten that struggle includes struggling. You might have to lose your job. You might have to lose your life. That’s what it takes for change to happen. There’s no easy way to do this. If you’re scared to stand up for yourself, for whatever reason, all I ask is that you stop pretending. Stop with the Facebook posts. Stop with the meaningless conversations. Just stop. Be honest. About how you behave. About your part in all this madness. About what you are. A coward. Just a coward. No need to put on an act for the rest of us. We can all see right through each other.
And I don’t think the writer is essentializing black behavior as much as he’s questioning what we can and cannot afford to allow at this juncture in history:

I don’t really think black people are cowards. I think humans are cowards. Most of us. I think that regardless of where one’s phenotype places them within the imaginary concept of race, that the majority of us are content to live on our knees rather than die on our feet.The problem is, we, us, black people, can’t afford to be like everyone else anymore. Not if we want to survive. I don’t know how we got here, but everywhere you look we’re at the bottom of the global totem pole.

Not to say that this essay isn’t without its flaws, but I agree with this. I was having this conversation last night. In David Remnick’s recent New Yorker essay about Pres. Obama, he questioned why investors and other Wall Street types had turned on Obama, considering their earnings were way up. I found it laugh out loud funny that Remnick couldn’t answer his own question. Wall Street big wig types ruthlessly wield power every day and know enough to know that Obama doesn’t have any. And it’s not just Obama. Nobody’s afraid of us … and it’s not because we’re marginalized. It’s because when it comes down to it, we’re unwilling to put it all on the line. We’ll allow you to abuse us, then we’ll pray for you, dust ourselves off, and move on. Cowards.

Your thoughts?
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22/04/14 Black Culture , Black News , ybw #

Questlove Admits the Obvious: Hip-Hop Failed Black America

Questlove Admits the Obvious: Hip-Hop Failed Black America

questlove

Mainstream hip-hop has become a sort of amalgamation of soft-core p0rnography and vi0lent fantasy. Although moguls who’ve capitalized off the exploitation, like Russell Simmons, have continued to support the genre as a form of poetic story-telling, much of what passes for hip-hop nowadays is little more than nursery rhyme lyrics atop laptop generated beats. According to Questlove of The Roots, hip hop doesn’t just have its share of problems. It has failed the black community.

In an essay for Vulture, Questlove points out that hip-hop, once known for espousing counter-cultural views, has become just another cog in the American wheel:

Once hip-hop culture is ubiquitous, it is also invisible. Once it’s everywhere, it is nowhere. What once offered resistance to mainstream culture (it was part of the larger tapestry, spooky-action style, but it pulled at the fabric) is now an integral part of the sullen dominant. Not to mention the obvious backlash conspiracy paranoia: Once all of black music is associated with hip-hop, then Those Who Wish to Squelch need only squelch one genre to effectively silence an entire cultural movement.

Questlove observed that although hip-hip once held within the charge to tell an authentic story, those days are gone:

The music originally evolved to paint portraits of real people and handle real problems at close range — social contract, anyone? — but these days, hip-hop mainly rearranges symbolic freight on the black starliner. Containers on the container ship are taken from here to there — and never mind the fact that they may be empty containers.

What do you think? Is there anything salvageable in hip-hop?

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21/04/14 Black Culture , Black News , featured

Pharrell Isn’t the First Black Person to Say Silly Sh¡t to Make White People Love Them

Pharrell Isn’t the First Black Person to Say Silly Sh¡t to Make White People Love Them

pharrell-oprah

by Forrest Palmer

I was flipping through the stations the other day and saw Pharrell crying with Oprah, but didn’t stop to watch the entire interview or what was left of it…I have my human limitations…This is just more proof that nothing good can EVER come from being interviewed by Oprah…

It is also further proof concerning what I said about what I or anyone else must become to move up the corporate ladder…and this isn’t a new phenomenon …this is no different than a Booker T. Washington and his Atlanta Compromise being entryway into becoming the first Negro to sleep in the White House or Dr. Ralph Bunche becoming a U.N. official and helping to assassinate Patrice Lumumba. Or  Colin Powell becoming Joint Chief of Staff and listing every conservative white male leader from the 1960s to the 1980s as being his idols and also calling the Buffalo Soldiers, the group of Negro soldiers who went off into the Great Plains to k?ll natives for a pat on the head from the white establishment, the wind beneath his wings. If a system based upon white supremacy is going to let a Negro be successful in any way, they best align themselves with the continuance of white supremacy.

Now, this Negro Pharrell is just a songwriter. The only resource he has is the ability to write a song with a catchy phrase that mainstream world likes to listen to, and this ability has provided him a certain wealth and standard of living which enables him to be “worthy” of being interviewed by Oprah, but his wealth is totally dependent on POPULARITY…Bill Gates? As long as they are churning out Windows operating systems on pcs, he isn’t going anywhere…the Rockefellers? As long as we have the current banking system, this family will be secure in the future, just off name recognition alone. Even the Hiltons, for all the current idiocy of the daughters, have wealth concentrated in their hands because they own choice real estate and provide a service to the wealthy. All these people make money because they own actual, tangible property or some type of ‘means of production’ (to steal a phrase from Marx) which sustains them whether they are popular or not.

Pharrell isn’t RCA, CBS or Warner Bros. Any recording company he has is just the incorporation of his name and a couple of artists he might find along the way of his career. All it will take for Pharrell to come back to Earth is a sudden case of writer’s block or some new up and coming songwriter who speaks to the youth better than him that supplants him.

But in order to stay in that ‘deluxe apartment in the sky’ for however long he is ALLOWED to be there, Pharrell and anyone else MUST say these things. A couple of years ago, the hot Negro saying this kind of stuff was will.i.am from ‘the Black Eyed Peas’. Once a Negro of some popularity has a little cache with the white mainstream, almost always through entertainment (athletics, singing, dance or acting), they stick a microphone in front of him and I don’t give a f?ck in what kind of downtrodden existence this mfer may have come from, they ALWAYS say silly sh?t like this to make white people love them and take the onus off the individual, systemic and institutional racism which has served them well for hundreds of years now…bullsh?t like this allows the average white person to say “N?ggers need to get their sh?t together and stop blaming white people for their problems, like Pharrell is saying…and I can’t be racist for feeling the same way because Pharrell said it…also, I like Pharrell so how I can like him and still be racist?…anyone who says that I am racist is a ‘reverse racist’ (the new term du jour for white people nowadays)”…

And if you took any Negro entertainer of some prominence and put them in that seat, the same f?cking words would be coming out of their mouths…or do you think Oprah has been going strong with white, middle class women for 30 years because of her ‘winning personality’. This is the same f?cking woman who said that she couldn’t understand the anger of the Black Panther Party back in the 1960s. Once again, something the white masses LOVE to hear…and in that same vein, no matter how much ‘Happy’ is a nice song, Pharrell isn’t getting the CHANCE to write an Oscar nominated song like that for a mainstream (white) FRANCHISE movie without saying stuff like this…

What did Will Smith and Jamie Foxx say after Barry got elected in 2008? Those mfers said we don’t have ANYMORE excuses….like black folks have just been making up sh?t to point to as far as our oppression and it has all only resided in our minds…F?ck them and f?ck Pharrell.


Well, maybe Pharrell is thinking about going into politics…With inane rhetoric like this I am sure he will have no problem getting into the White House like Barry, since he made the blueprint for all other Negroes that follow him…no easier path to getting into the good graces of white people, liberal or conservative, than throwing black people under the bus…Worked for Booker T. Washington a hundred years ago and ‘successful’ Negroes are doing it today…Just showing that the more things change, the more they stay the same…

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