I did another Barbershop session. I'm a little rusty in getting my soundbite game on, but I did make a point or two. Interestingly enough, we were all in broad agreement.
My ongoing harangue against the Philadelphia Cheif of Police continues. This 10,000 man posse continues to be a big dumb and potentially dangerous idea. I am reminded of an old comedy bit by Robin Harris about the security guard at the shopping mall with a flashlight and a pair of house shoes. What's he going to do when a real gangbanger shows up. Shine a light? Like the gangbanger is Sir Nose and he's got the Bop Gun? These volunteers, if they show up, get a 90 minute sermon, an armband and a hat.
I tell you what's going to happen. Somebody with an armband and a hat is going to get shot or worse yet, shoot somebody. Then he's in front of the judge saying, but your honor, I got this armband. It takes a lot of training in law to be a law enforcement officer. These volunteers at best will get lessons on verbal judo, but they won't get anything as simple as a police radio so they can call. My nickel says the Philly 911 system couldn't handle an extra 10,000 phone calls.
But the worst idea is still bad. Today it's a cop shortage. Oh we'll get 10 thouand black men to handle it for free? What if the City of Philadelphia suddenly has a cotton shortage?
The only good thing that can possibly come out of this is that all of the men that show up will have the experience of walking the beat with a cop in their own neighborhoods. Three hours spent with a cop talking about crime in your own community is three hours of pure righteousness and I can only hope that makes a world of difference. But the problem still remains. Don't get 10 thousand volunteers, train, and equip 500 more police officers. Policework isn't easy and you can't get it cheap. The world will see very soon, as soon as a questionable shooting goes down. That's when the programs founders will get sued for every dime and that will be the end of these wasteful public experiments.
Experiments on the black community. Damn. I thought we learned our lesson in Tuskeegee.
America doesn't want Cosby as their dad, because he says mean things and that hurts America's self-esteem. But you and I both know that America needs a kick in the ass. Don't we get enough fake love from MTV?
Today's big point I took from a poster named Angie over at Booker Rising. She said something that I welcome hearing, which is that the black middle class needs to take center stage in American life again, and kick all that ghetto dysfunction to the curb. People might disagree with whether or not Cosby is saying the right thing to the black underclass, but what he is saying to the black middle class is loud and clear. We did the right thing, and maybe, just maybe we ought to puff our chests a little bit. Cosby emboldens the black middle class, and maybe that silent majority is about to get loud.
Sure Alvin Poussaint sounds just like the kind of fuddy duddy you'd expect to be named Alvin. They played the clip that was only 20 seconds long and I swear I was nodding off that quick. But he did say the words 'self-destruction' and it reminded me of that old rap video and song. Remember 'Yo Yo'? Yes you do. But we don't need another fake gangsta rapper to talk to our kids, we need boring college professors, and PWA, Parents With Attitude. As you can guess, we have plenty of attitude here in the Old School, and we're not afraid to say so. Neither is Cosby, so be careful who you hate on.
Warren Ballentine suggests that all blackfolks freeze spending on November 2nd. Don't spend money and the world will notice. And so then what happens on November 3rd? Everybody will spend all of the money they didn't spend on the previous day and that won't make a difference either. This is one of those self-serving symbolic things like Global Orgasm Day. that only temporarily affects the habits of people in earshot and gives the originators a pat on the back. If Ballentine was smart he'd get Whoopi Goldberg and Chris Rock to host a variety show and call it Black Aid. But you know I'd be dissing that too, unless I had a percentage of the gate.
Vote for me and I'll set you free. Maybe I will get famous enough to make such bold and dynamic suggestions, but I'd be happy if you just subscribed to my RSS feed. It only takes a moment of your time and it would mean a great deal to me.
The last boycott that worked was when black voters completely dissed Michael Steele in last fall's election. I felt that one all the way over here on the West Coast and we're still talking about it. There's a clue.
In Other News
All of this gives me a bit of satisfaction. We need people to recognize that Black America is America and all that special boycott and social experiment stuff doesn't work on us. Why? Because those of us who are obsessed with race know exactly how things work for whitefolks. There doesn't need to be two sets of lessons.
I also shook hands with one of the black doctors on the cover of that new book. I can't remember the names of any of the brothers or the name of the book - I was in a rush to get into the studio. But I suspect you'll hear about them sooner or later - they're all taller than me and clean up pretty nicely. No doubt they will be in demand on TV. They were glad to hear that Hudson Booksellers features them prominently, maybe I'll even pick up a copy.
Additionally, I finally met Farai Chedeya face to face. I've known her online for damned near 20 years. Wow. She's in LA. We will definitely hang out.