Jrnl Entry No. 3.26.2001

I wish I was white so that I could share in the joys of their world and answer all these dumb ass questions that this Columbian chick, who is the accounts payable clerk, keeps asking me. She is so different thinking than African Americans; well not African Americans, but of different thinking than me, who happens to be African American. Like, “So …., what do you think of the controversy in New York over the Black Artist picture “Yo Mamma’s Last Supper?”, this picture of a naked black woman representing Jesus standing in front of the table at the Last Supper before the 12 disciples. I told her that I didn’t care because for one, I’m not religious and for two I just don’t care about bullshit like that. It’s just a picture, GOD DAMN!

I told her one day that I was going to see it before a meeting that I had with some friends. The next day she asked did I see it and I said “no I didn’t have time.” She said “Good!” I asked her why did she say that. She said that she thought the picture was a bunch of bullshit not art; this coming from her mouth and she claims that she wants to be an artist. Art is free expression of whatever the hell is on your mind. If an artist wanted to paint a picture of Jesus witt his dick in some woman’s ass, while God is fuckin her in her pussy, with Kane and Able’s dicks in both her hands, and Job’s dick comin in her mouth to get back at his wife for all the negativity she spread trying to shatter his faith in God; then so be it. I don’t give a fuck. That picture will probably never be displayed anywhere not even in the privacy of the artist’s own home without some religious fucks trying to burn it down, and these words will probably never be published for the public to read, but so be it.

I did make it that weekend to see the picture and it was no big deal to me. It was a beautiful picture. I wrote in the comment book that the controversy stemmed from the Ebonics title “Yo Momma’s Last Supper.” It stemmed from a woman representing Jesus, and a black woman at that. If the title had been different and it had been a white woman in the picture and white men, there probably wouldn’t have been any controversy.

The next question she asked me was, “So …., what do you think of the Kids in California shooting up the school and killing two of the other kids?” I said, “you don’t want to know what I think!” I was laughing to give it a cool overtone so she wouldn’t try to dig deeper and really make me go there and possibly get myself fired or have no one speaking to me at all in the office. We all don’t speak much anyway but it would be really ugly up in here if I said what I thought about that shooting. I think what Malcolm X thought about the shooting of JFK. “IT’S JUSTICE!” “Chickens Comin’ Home To Roost!” Because when kids in gangs all over America, especially in LA California were doing drive-bys killing each other in worse ways and bigger numbers than the Columbine Shooting and the San Diego Shooting, no one was screaming about gun control and such and such. And no one was saying a damn thing about keep the kids off the streets or nothing to solve the problem of gang violence. They talked about it on CNN sure, but no laws were put into effect about guns and selling guns to kids or gang control laws. But now that little white kids are taking daddy’s gun to school and shooting up the other little suburban white kids for picking on him, now we want to talk about gun control. Now we want to put laws into effect to take action when Johnny says he is gonna kill up the school, but he’s only joking. No such laws were put into effect when gang violence broke out and murder took place, and they knew another murder would take place as retaliation. So what do I think? I don’t give a fuck. Nobody gave a fuck about us when we were and still are killing each other with guns by the hundreds or thousands each year so I don’t give a fuck if a white kid goes to school and kills 2, 3, or 10 other white kids. That’s what all them mutha fuckas get for trying to have those little perfect like communities.

I grew up in public school. I got picked on and even got into a couple of fights that I didn’t start, but I think it’s the best thing for a kid because it represents the adversities of real life in the real world. Look at me, I turned out alright: college graduate, staff accountant for a small private corporation in Brooklyn, a good father, and would be husband if I had a wife, and a product of PUBLIC SCHOOL. If you go around to the little suburbs around my city, they’ll tell you that the school I graduated from, Warren G Harding is the worst school, was and still is and they’d never send their kids there. It wasn’t that bad. I should know because I went there.

The next question that she asked me was, “So …., did you see the Oscars last night?” I didn’t even answer even though I was gonna tell her that, “the Oscar Awards do not respect black actors.” But the gay guy jumped in and they started talking about Julia Roberts winning the award for best actress for Erin Brockovich. Best Picture I think was Gladiator, which was a very good movie. But Hurricane was also a very good movie that didn’t get a look at the Oscars. American Beauty with Kevin Spacey won all the awards one year. Now Kevin Spacey is a very good actor but that movie, even though I haven’t seen it yet, it is a stupid movie. If that movie got Oscars, The Best Man should have gotten Oscars, The Brothers should get Oscars, Samuel L. Jackson should have gotten an Oscar for Shaft or one of the various movies he played in, and maybe not Shaft. Wesley Snipes should have gotten an Oscar for New Jack City if the movie Traffic got Oscars. But plain and simple, the Oscars do not respect black film. If they have some type of hidden agenda like you must be an actor who has appeared in so many movies over a period of so many years before being considered for an Oscar, or the director has to have directed for so many years, I wish they’d let us brothas and sistas know so we will understand why neither Denzel Washington nor Spike Lee got an Oscar for Malcolm X the movie, which Denzel played the part excellently, and Spike also directed it excellently. It got nominated for all its excellence, but no Oscar.

I think blacks should ban the Oscars since they make it obvious that our stories and actors are ban from their selection process. Sure they give us one every ten or so years, and one or two of our movies get nominated every five years or so. But the movies that do win, when compared to black films of the same caliber, it is a mystery why we don’t get recognized. I’m not saying the movies that do get recognized are garbage because they are not. Erin Brokovich was a very good movie as well as Gladiator, as well as the special effects in The Matrix. But Malcolm X, The Best Man, Menace II Society, Hurricane, Men of Honor, etc were good movies as well for which, not a single Oscar, was won for none of them. This is why I tell people that I don’t go see movies if they are not about the black experience, with a black main character or story line. I saw Gladiator at the $1.50 show. I saw Erin Brokovich on video after having sex with a white girl.

America doesn’t support our film and television shows so we shouldn’t support theirs neither. How come every time a black show comes on NBC or ABC or CBS, it gets cancelled within six months to a year? It is because Americans aren’t watching the shows giving them ratings; therefore, they get shipped to UPN or WB where they are satisfied with the ratings of mostly blacks watching the show.

My cousin had the nerve to ask me do I watch Will and Grace? I layed my speech on him. Shit, ask Will and Grace do they watch The Steve Harvey Show or The Hughley’s, etc.? I don’t even watch T.V. and the statement up above is one reason. The other reason is that I love the black experience and the way of life as it relates to me. Will and Grace do not relate to me. Alley McBeal does not relate to me. But Jerry Seinfield, even though I didn’t watch the show as it appeared in regular episodes, I watched and still do watch the reruns; it related to everybody, a great show for anyone. It was about nothing, like being at a stop-light picking your nose while the girl that you’re dating and trying to have sex with pulls up beside you. And because she sees you committing this act which she thinks is disgusting, you now have no chance with her. Everyone can relate to that situation even if it’s not the same set of circumstances.

Now black shows may not relate to white people, and that is cool. So I say support your own and what relates to you. NBC should understand this when they put a black show on the air, that every show is not gonna have the effect of The Cosby Show. The Cosby Show didn’t represent even half of black American lives at the time it was showing and it still doesn’t represent half of our lives as I am writing this. It had high ratings because blacks watched it for the simple fact that it was about the only black show on television at the time. And white people watched it because it was a good majority of their lives being represented on the screen. They related to it. We show their shows love and their movies, but we get no love back in return, so I say fuck em, let’s stop. I’ve stopped. Now just imagine if everyone thought like me to not go see Hannibal the first week out or period, in the theatres, to just wait for the video, and if we supported our movies the first weekend out and weekends after that, and we stopped watching their T.V. shows and just watched our own like most of them do. Maybe we could even up the stakes a little in ratings of television shows and No. 1 movies at the theatres. Imagine if we would have stopped watching MTV waiting and searching for Michael Jackson and Thriller to come on which was about the only black artist they showed a video for back in the 80s. We would be a force to be dealt with. But if we keep on supporting and watching them and waiting for them to show us some love, nothing will change and we will never get any love. I guess it’s like the saying, “if you are looking for a woman, stop searching, and she will find you, and ya’ll will live happily ever after.

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