Grover Norquist, The 5 Conservative Supreme Court Justices, The Koch Brothers, Sheldon Adelson, and everyone over at Faux News that have campaigned tirelessly to get Citizens United on the books as a law are really loving what’s being done by Mitt Romney right now. It was recently reported that Mitt will more than likely be the first presidential candidate to out raise a sitting president in a presidential campaign since the beginning of this great republic.
With billionaire after billionaire helping to raise funds for Mitt, Barack is looking at some hard times down the stretch, when Romney might be able to outspend him in key battleground states and pull out a few miracles courtesy of his magic underwear.
I still think that Barack is going to beat him handily as long as Eric Holder and his team put an end to the voter suppression being done by the GOP. But a Barack victory, as beautiful as it may be, comes with some ugly consequences.
There are two scenarios that will play out during this election cycle and both are good for the GOP and the Citizens United ruling. It’s a win/win for Conservatives no matter what happens in November.
Scenario 1 – If Mitt Romney raises more money than Barack Obama and gets elected citizens United will never come close to being overturned because the Supreme Court Justices that retire during the next 4 years will be replaced by more conservatives and there is no way that they will overturn the ruling. There needs to be a left leaning court to get the decision reversed and the only way that will happen is if Barack wins again. So if Mitt wins, Citizens United wins.
After reading a post on FB this morning about Black Churches collecting $3 billion in tithes every Sunday I decided to do a little research. I already knew that Black Churches collect a lot of money on Sunday’s but $3 billion seemed a bit outlandish. After a quick search I found that those numbers were way too high but came across more realistic numbers that are still high but far less than the $3 billion that I had read about earlier.
In one report I read that the Black Church has taken in upwards of $420 billion in revenue since 1980. 32 years $420 billion, that’s approximately $13.125 billion dollars a year which comes out to which comes down to $252.4 million dollars per week. Are you F’ing kidding me?
$252 million dollars per week is an astronomical figure. In 2011 the Black Church collected over $14 billion in tithes which is $875 million higher than average. So in these tough economic times we still find enough money to prop up these churches with almost a billion more in offerings.
Am I the only one that sees a problem with this? Am I the only one that thinks that this issue needs to addressed by the Black community as a whole? I doubt it so if you are reading this and think like I do, please pass this on.
Based on last year’s numbers of roughly $14 billion in collections, that breaks down to $269.2 million dollars per Sunday being pumped into the Black Church economy.
Where does it all go? Do churches need that type of money to operate?
If half of that money was being put back into the economic development of the African American communities that it came from, we’d be seeing nothing short of a new age renaissance. But unfortunately it’s being used for other purposes like:
BLK (Before Lil Kim) women in hip hop were uplifting the Black female with their lyrics. Most of the female emcees BLK were women of distinction and were a part of the Black power hip hop movements of the 80’s. You had women like Mc Lyte, Queen Latifah, Ms Melody, Salt and Pepa, Yo Yo, Monie Luv, etc. If you’re old enough to remember these women, if not google them, you will quickly realize that most of them were not sexy, half naked femcee’s but were for the most part, save one or two of them, overweight and wearing full garb. Salt and Pepa were the only ones out of this group of women who wore tight outfits but that was during the spandex era, which by the way is upon us again. These women wrote lyrics about being respectful women.
ALK (After Lil Kim) you will see that the vast majority of female emcees that were allowed to grace the stage as nationally respected women emcees had to fit the Lil Kim mold.
Hip hop had been usurped by the half naked gold digging hussy, as mom’s used to call them. Lil Kim ushered in an entirely new brand of hip hop for women. She was a firebrand, she knew exactly what she wanted and it was money, sex, and partying. Her lyrics were brazen and unapologetic for who she was. No endearing moments of motherhood, no uplifting lyrics of the Black Queen, she was by her own words, the Queen Bee-itch. But what she did have was the attitude of the independent woman who doesn’t know what being independent really is. She is the direct product of the use what you got to get what you want mind state that some black women teach their daughters. She was trying to escape her own reality by either getting a man with money or doing whatever it took to make money, as she willfully rapped about in her lyrics. For the most part she would write her own lyrics and Biggie would make sure that the words flowed properly to the beats and add his input to make sure she sounded good on her albums.
Dead Prez had a line in “It’s Bigger Than Hip Hop” that went – “Uh, one thing ’bout music when it hit you feel no pain/White folks say it controls yo’ brain/I know better than that, that’s game”. When this lyric was spit by M1 of Dead Prez, all who listened to it repeated the same phrase, or something similar either out loud or in their minds; yep, they’re trying to make rap music the blame for the problems in our neighborhood, it’s not the music.
Because hindsight is 20/20 can we say that now? I say not!
If we, Black men continue to say that hip hop lyrics and music does not play any role in the way we act on any level, then you my friends, are in denial. And when you read this and still say that it doesn’t play a significant part in the way our communities have been shaped over the past 3 decades, then not only are you in denial but you’re a blooming idiot and more than likely a part of the problem that plagues us. Any rational person who wants to be, or is, a part of the solution should be able to correlate hip hop and the landscape of the United Mind-States of African America, with the violence and misogyny that is prevalent within our communities today.
To make it easy for you I’ll sight a few instances that can show a direct cause and effect type of outcome.
In 1991 Ice Cube said “I told all my friends, don’t drink 8 Ball cause St Ides is givin ends” in his song “Steady Mobbin”. Shortly thereafter St Ides became the #1 selling beer in the Black community, this gave rise to commercials by just about all the top rappers of that era. From Ice Cube, to 2pac, Dr Dre, Snoop Dog, The Geto Boys, Mc Eiht, The Wutang Clan, Biggie Smalls, Cypress Hill, EPMD, Redman and even Eric B and Rakim got in on the money grab. St Ides was paying rappers to endorse their malt liquor and it worked to the tune of millions and millions of dollars in sales. This was the very first time that I had noticed the power of hip hop. I never correlated the fact that the reason that I was drinking Old English 800 was because NWA rapped about it constantly, or that we went out and bought Brass Monkey because the Beastie Boys wrote a song about it. But when Cube said that line in his song and then did subsequent commercials, I saw firsthand how hip hop lyrics influenced our buying habits, so why wouldn’t they affect other things as well.
The very next year Redman came out with a song called “How To Roll a Blunt” in which he rhymed about how to use a cigar as rolling paper for weed instead of using joint paper. Before this song people smoked joints instead of blunts, although blunts had started hitting the streets before the song came out but it solidified its place in black communities after Redman wrote about it. Blunt cigar makers have made 100’s of millions to billions in revenue off the sale of Blunt cigars since that song was made 20 years ago.
So one night I was headed to sleep and I asked The Most High what I needed to do to heal myself and live a longer better life and a word came to me. The word that came to me was Priyaha. I had never seen nor heard this word in my life. So as we do in the internet age, I googled it and I got 2 hits. One was Bhrahmana Priyaha “he is lord of all pious souls who dedicate their life to God” on gurusfeet.com. The other was from Chapter 12 of the Bhagavad Gita and it goes as follows:
1. Dear Lord, Who is better versed in Yoga – the ones who worship You in constant devotion with your form or the ones who worship You as the formless?
Sri Bhagavaan (Sri Krishna)
2. Those who fix their minds on me and worship me (with form) ever with supreme faith, I consider them as perfect in Yoga.(Yoga meaning– Union with God)
3. But those who worship me as the formless, as the unchanging, the imperishable and the Omnipresent ONE…