Monday, September 27, 2010


It has now become apparent, that in our black and brown communities, among our young people—death is life. Now you even have some teens planning what they want to be buried in. How many more of our children have to be senselessly gunned down before we understand that until we mobilize a united and sustainable force to fight this plague of death on our children, it will keep going on unabated until another generation is lost?


A Seton Hall University student who attended an off-campus house party Friday night, was shot and killed. Four others were also shot but they are expected to survive. Jessica Moore (Pictured Above) a 19-year-old honors student majoring in psychology, was shot, and died later at a hospital. An eyewitness described the Friday night party, which lasted into early Saturday, as a "typical fraternity party" with at least 100 people at the privately owned row house.

Students said the shooter was kicked out of the party when he refused to pay the cover charge. The eyewitness said she heard a fight erupt before the man was thrown out. Seconds later, she said, he returned with a handgun and started shooting as chaos erupted. East Orange police were following several leads but had not identified a suspect, spokesman Andrew Di Elmo said.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

For Young Males, IMAGE is EVERYTHING

When I was growing up in Crown Heights, Brooklyn back in the 60's, image was the most important thing to the cats I hung out with. You had to project a sense of cool, yet also a sense of an "I take no crap" attitude. That's why the guys we looked up to weren't the, what we thought then, lame mailmen, or teachers or bus drivers, but the hustlers, pimps and drug dealers.

These were the guys who commanded respect. They did it by the way they walked, the way they dressed, the money they flashed and the honeys they always had around them. But they also expounded a sense of danger; of "mess with me at your own risk". In a word, it was the image they projected. In our country, and I guess the entire world for that matter, it's all about the vision of how you picture yourself to everyone else. Perception has become reality.

Today, the art of image and branding yourself is, basically the same as it's been for the last century. The cool, "bad boys" are still the ones the young males look up to and want to emulate, and the ones that most of the women are hypnotically attracted to by the sheer power of their bravado and aura. The tragedy is that most of the time the "bad boys" are caught up in bad behavior and this becomes acceptable to the legion of fans who follow and admire them.

When Tony Montana strutted his gangsterish path of drug dealing, torture and murder up on the movie screen in the '80's, young kids were mesmerized and idolized every move he made. That flick came out almost 30 years ago, but "Scarface" tee shirts are still worn out on the streets today. Tony Montana stood for everything vile, amoral and negative in American life, but he turned into a warped, distorted "god" to a nation of young males. That's because he maintained the image of dangerous cool throughout the two hour movie. And his brand is as powerful in 2010 as it was in 1983.

This brings me to the movie I saw with a friend a few days ago called 'The Expendables' (Pictured Above). I have basically outgrown the violent, action movie that I enjoyed when I was younger and wanted to see another film, but my friend was insistent on seeing old school studs, Sly Stallone, Bruce Willis, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren...etc, all together in the same flick. It even has a cameo by "The Governator".

All I can tell you is that this movie, to me, takes violence to a new level. The weapons they used were state-of-the-art and I found out there are at least 50 different ways you can butcher a person with a knife. Heads were literally blown off and bodies cut in half. And the sad part is: most of the audience didn't even blink.

A while later, I went online and saw this:

(CNN) -- Boston police have arrested three suspects who they say stabbed a Domino's pizza delivery man and drove off in his car.

Two teenangers and a 20-year-old are charged with homicide in what investigators described as a brutal crime.

Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley said 58-year-old Richel Nova's death "was chilling in its callousness and violence."

Perception is now reality.