Monday, October 28, 2013

Be Careful Calling Yourself "Hov"

Ingenious to cryptically call yourself God and have billions of followers respect you as the same.  I'm talking about rap great Jay Z aka Hov, or Hova.  For those who don't know Hov (Hova) is derived from the God name of Jehova.  When I first heard this back in 2002 I was like damm, dude is smooth who would of thought!?!?! However, Mr. Hov's actions of late do not seem very godly like!

Jay Z like other countless hip hop moguls have partnered with a high end store, in this case Barneys.  When was the last time someone from your hood said I bought this from Barneys, just saying.......Granted his partnership is to benefit the Shawn Carter foundation for the socio economic under privilege.  According to Hov he's not making a dime off this venture.  Yet its been highly publicized, his new line is debuting on November 20th.  When I first heard of this partnership I was like OK here we go, you'll tote that you're still all that, you're hood, blah, blah and if you don't believe me just listen to his music.  But if you're still in touch then you should know we don't shop at Barneys or any of the exclusive high end retail.  Hell even Oprah gets profiled in these stores.

But despite what he says he has a right to partner with whoever and if it's for the benefit of the under privilege what better way to do this than with an expensive ass store such as Barneys.  And let's be fair Jay Z is not the first to bullshit his love for the hood and put out apparel, gadgets, etc. that your average hood person couldn't afford except for the drug dealer.  (Read my article about my open letter to Steve Harvey regarding Sean Combs, written a few years back  However this is where it gets murky; Barneys recently discriminated against two young African Americans, they did so by having two undercover "toy cops" stop them outside the store and bring them back in for interrogation.  The toy cops and most likely Barneys as a whole were not convinced that these two individuals could have legally purchased a $300 belt and a $2500 bag.  Barneys proceeded to check their debit cards and hold them to verify no fraud was committed.  In all due respect does it seem crazy to anybody that an establishment now stops paying customers?!?!  Stores usually don't do this, but if you're black there's a strong possibility you're suspect.  The question to Jay Z then begs, how are you going to continue a partnership with a business that discriminates the very same people your foundation is trying to help?

Before I began writing this article and opening up a can of worms, I decided to research the foundation.  The Shawn Carter foundation is headed by Jay Z's mother and provides scholarships in the range of $1500 - $2500, a drop in the bucket for Jay.  When looking at the site most of the recipients are of African American descent which is no surprise since whenever the underprivileged is mentioned its usually us.  What came next was Jay Z's comment which again wasn't a surprise to me but thank the real God it's hopefully an eye opener for others, especially our somewhat blinded youth.  Jay Z stated he won't make a snap judgment, he too has been profiled and empathizes with those who have, but as of now he will continue business with Barneys; raised eyebrows here.  You have been profiled you know what it feels like but yet you'll do business with them.  This is like saying yeah the KKK hung my family, I get it but I'll work with them to benefit my business.  OK maybe Barneys is not the KKK but you get the point.  When does anyone of color (celebrity status) stand up and say Fuck that!  I mean he could of lived up to his "Hov" status  and issue a statement to Barneys requiring them to  change their practices.  I would of accepted him saying he would continue the partnership with the contingency that Barneys up their diversity training, review discriminatory practices, etc.  But he said none of that.  What Hov proved to many of us is he's not God, he is man and like many his morals are compromised by greed. 

I hope his actions opens up the door to our communities that we must make these profiled people accountable.  No longer can they say it's not my job, on the contrary it is your job.  Whether you like it or not you've become a messenger who bridges the gap between cultures.  When you show you don't give a fuck why should we give a fuck about you!  For the most part I strongly believe the 40 and older are hipped to his shit already, it's the young and impressionable I'm concerned about who follow him as a true God.  Listen young people always know if someone or some establishment doesn't like you due to the color of your skin then you have no business ever spending your money there.  Learn this don't give your green to those who don't respect your black and this also goes to Mr. Jay Z aka Hov, make him accountable youngoens, his time has come!

On a side note: Nas would have NEVER done that shit!

Peace out,

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Don't Play............

One of the hardest things to do in life is to forcibly compromise your true self.  I'm not talking about letting someone pass you in a lane or skip you on a line; rather I'm referring to changing who you are, you're true innate self.  From first hand account I can tell you its hard, but at times its necessary especially from a work professional standpoint. 

Typically I'm a fun person, I love and I mean love to "cut up".  I try to have a good time where ever I go whether its church, a social gathering and even work.  But recently things changed for me at work.  While I enjoy having fun with my co-workers and my bosses, yes there's more than one, a recent experience made me feel otherwise.  As in the Brady Bunch song, "here's the story".

One of the directors who I frequently have conversations including "joking" around, nothing to serious and never disrespectful recently interrupted a conversation between me and a co-worker.  She did so by quickly stating "oh here I go being rude interrupting y'alls (yes she said y'alls I live the in South, lord help me) and then turned to me and said "ok smarty I know you have something clever to say" and laughed.  She was right I had something to say since I thought this was an invitation to speak.  So I said, "of course you're interrupting we expect nothing more" lol.  Her response while she too was laughing was "hey, don't forget I have a "D" in front of my name.  BTW - the D is for Director.  First of all with my smart mouth I wanted to say is "D" for Dick because you're sure acting like one.  Instead, I chuckled with her and said "I hear ya" and walked away.  She never knew what hit and trust she thinks things are still the same, but I know different.

See her "D" comment although said in "joking" way was a subtle attempt at letting me know you can joke with me but I'll always win because of who I am.  For me conversational banter is a two-way exchange but yet for this individual she's OK with it as long as she can throw her title as a shut down move.  Personally I think it's a punk move that defies the whole "we'll really a team" concept.  You can't call yourself a team and behave in a hierarchical mode when it suits you.  That's not being a Director that's being a spoiled "mean girl" brat!  However, for me it was a revelation to shut it down.  Going forward I have to put things into perspective and treat work as "work", which means my arrival is to work, put on my headphones and only speak when needed professionally.  It's a stark contrast to who I am and I truly hate it.  But when I balance the evils of this change, the consequence of the hood in me to break on my boss far outweighs me keeping quiet.  The good part is me keeping quiet will give me a great insightful perspective of my surroundings which means more Blacktina articles, bear with me :)

Peace out,