Archive | Things That Make You Go Hmm??? RSS feed for this section

What The?: Solange ROCs Jay-Z

12 May

ImageAs this has been my longest hiatus to date, let me first begin this post with a heartfelt, two-count apology:

1.  Firstly of course, for not being able to condense all my life’s activities into the same 24 hours that God has afforded Oprah, Malala Yousafzai and Kim Kardashian.

2. For climbing out of dormancy to bring you all this bit of breaking tomfoolery.  My husband told me that if I was going to publish this post, I should at least admit that while I do strive to advance myself spiritually, socially and through modes of learning and higher education, the God’s honest truth is that while not completely absorbed by foolishness and absurdity, I do on occasion let the clutches of ratchetness envelop my soul…a tiny little bit (for which I intend to begin my penance shortly).

Now, in the ever-so-clever words of Mobb Deep, “there’s a war going on outside, no man is safe from…” 

Unfortunately, while Prodigy and Havoc were undoubtedly pontificating about their daily struggles on the mean streets of Queensbridge in the mid 90’s, they obviously didn’t realize that in just two short decades, that war would pale in comparison to the one that people regularly fight through the medium of social media and the internet; a war in which NO ONE is spared. Apparently, this has been made all the more evident by TMZ’s recently released “surveillance” video shot (and sold by some dummy who will obviously no longer be gainfully employed) of music royalty, The Carters and Solange Knowles while on an elevator at the Standard Hotel after last week’s Met Gala in New York.  Now, I won’t pretend to know what set off Solange’s mollywop trigger (however, any person with even a rudimentary understanding of addition coupled with a little cause and effect could most likely surmise accurately on the matter…I’m just saying), but as shown in the video, your girl attempts to put in WORK on her brother in-law, while still glammed out in her coral Philip Lim cocktail dress and never askew wig!! Screen Shot 2014-05-12 at 6.21.36 PM

But for me, what was even more bizarre was the fact that although styled, tucked and taped to perfection in her peakaboo Givenchy gown, King Bey made no real effort to intervene or mediate the fracas between her sister nor her husband.  Jay was bobbing and weaving, Solange was throwing up her set, her purse and a karate kick and Beyonce stood silently, lest she crease the organza of her gown.  Seriously, it was almost as if her Ambien-Xanax cocktail chose just that moment to kick in.

I’d be lying however if I didn’t say I was impressed with Jay-Z’s restraint.  If not for his wisdom (or the constraints of arthritic knees, who knows?), the publicity surrounding this melee could have taken a much uglier turn.

So, what say ye?  Should Beyonce have attempted to settle things between her sibling and her spouse?  And, what in the world could have possibly occurred to make Solange behave in such a frenzied manner?  But most importantly, will the Carters add Solange to the line-up now and rename their tour “Family Affair”???  I imagine we will ALL be staying tuned for this one!

Police Deliver Devastating News Via Facebook

20 Feb

From the “What In The Ham Sandwich” Files…

Occasionally you can find me thoroughly entertained by a host of my blogging, social media and even journalism friends (all of whom, hold these posts as real and paying professions) who will from time to time, strongly debate with one another over the merits and pitfalls of utilizing social media as a source for uncovering, reporting and relaying significant news.  And of course, these conversations usually end with dismissive attitudes, elitist posturing and we all inevitably agreeing to disagree.

I do believe however that we were all pretty much on the same page after I emailed this recent story around and we kissed our collective teeth in disgust as the article revealed that a Georgia woman learned of her son’s death through a Facebook message from the local police department.

After searching for almost a month for her son Rickie, Anna Lamb-Creasey received confirmation via Facebook from the Clayton County Police Department that her son had been struck by a vehicle and killed on January 24, 2013.  In an array of news broadcast interviews, Lamb-Creasey told reporters that she did not know that messages from Facebook users who were not on her “friends list” could show up in an “other” labeled inbox.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I consider myself a pretty knowledgeable Facebook user, and I think even I would have found that type of cloak-and-dagger communique enough to either hit delete or report it as spam.  To think that it could have been a message about the status of my child is outrageous and simply maddening!  What’s worse is that Lamb-Creasey said that she was even more confused about the message, because the Misty Hancock Facebook profile picture was actually a photo of  Atlanta rapper, T.I. and his daughter at a birthday party (WHAT?!?!?! *Lil’ Jon voice*).

After twenty days had passed, Lamb-Creasey’s daughter found the unopened Facebook message received by her mother and opened it. The brief correspondence was from a person named Misty Hancock with a message requesting that Lamb-Creasey contact Lt. Schindler.  She called the number referenced in her mother’s Facebook message, and it was only then that was she told of Rickie’s death.

Understandable, Lamb-Creasey and her family are upset at how they found out about her son’s death, and why no constructive effort was made to reach her sooner, and personally.  A spokesman for the Clayton County Police Department said of the Misty Hancock Facebook account that it had formerly been used in an undercover capacity and was not intended to be revealed to the public.  Because of that apparent breach, the department now plans to investigate exactly why it was used to contact Lamb-Creasey.  The spokesperson also asserted that several attempts by officers were made to reach Lamb-Creasey, but they simply could not contact her.

Wait…what?  You mean, between all the Task Forces, Undercover Agents, Detectives, Beat Cops, Meter Maids and DMV records at their disposal, the Clayton County PD couldn’t find this woman to let her know that her child had been killed!?  I will say that I have a certain reverence for police officers and those who put themselves in harm’s way to preserve the safety of me and mine, but that is not this.  That can’t be this!  I will also say that I know that budget cuts and constraints all over the country have led to departmental cutbacks and creativity in how some officers are able to perform their jobs, so I won’t even lob a “desk jockey on point-and-click patrol while eating donuts” insult at the CCPD.

What is worth saying however is that Anna Lamb-Creasey and her family deserved better than a fake-me-out Facebook message that thank God her daughter bothered to read (again, thinking it was a solicitation, I can’t say that I would have even entertained it)!  I cannot even begin to imagine the stress of living with uncertainty for almost a month, only for it to be compounded by discovering that that uncertainty was now a reality…delivered through the host site of Farmville.

#DoBetter

More Than a Slap On The Wrist

18 Feb

Listen…

When I first heard this story last Friday and since having read up on the most recent developments, Digital Underground has been playing in my head.  Loudly.  On repeat!

Now, I do get it about being flustered at having to share space on a long flight, with a crying child within the confines of a constricting passenger aircraft.  I mean, I’m not proud of it, but I’ve prayed for God to mute a baby a time or too myself, but to go so far as to become so unhinged that spewing a racist tirade and striking a child was the best resulting idea for resolving the matter?  Utterly unacceptable.

To me however, the problem wasn’t so much with Joe Rickey Hundley having these views; as disgusting as they are.  The problem was him feeling justified in articulating his views in an incredibly public and violent matter, and against a defenseless minor no less.  Sure, he and his defense attorney have been siting his distraught sensibilities that day due to him traveling to visit an ailing relative, and his alcohol intake (used to quell those sensibilities) which adversely effected his otherwise “glowing persona”, but the truth remains, in this “post-racial” (loose air quotes used here) American in which we live, he called a 19-month old baby a n*gger and tried to slap the child into submission.  Again, utterly unacceptable.

The story however, does have a silver lining.  Whether yielding to the court of public opinion, or displaying zero-tolerance for offensive and donkey behavior or simply in an effort to distance themselves from a drunkard and troubled individual, Hundley’s bosses effectively pumped the brakes on his employment this past Sunday.  In a released statement, President and CEO of AGC Aerospace and Defense Al Hasse characterized Joe Rickey Hundley’s behavior as disturbing, contradictory to the company’s values and revealed that the unit executive was no longer an employee of the company:

“We have taken this matter very seriously and worked diligently to examine it since learning of the matter on Friday afternoon.  As of Sunday, the executive is no longer employed with the company.  [His behavior is] embarrassing and does not in any way reflect the patriotic character of the men and women of diverse backgrounds who work tirelessly in our business.”

Presently, Hundley has been charged with simple assault, which if convicted, could lead to a maximum term of one year in prison, so he certainly isn’t “off the hook.”  It truly speaks volumes however; that since he likes slapping so much, that he wasn’t just slapped criminally, but also in his wallet!

You’re Welcome.

The Mighty Dollar: Public Figure, Private Life and Questionable Child Rearing Allegations

11 Jun

Most nights when I climb into bed at the end of the day, I ask God for three things:

  • The addition of 4 more hours to a 24-hour day
  • Forgiveness for the gleeful mental images of pure ruin and nastiness I’ve envisioned for the people who’ve crossed me throughout my day
  • The strength and wisdom to raise my kids in a way that does not jack them up into adulthood.

Now while I’m not very optimistic about the first request and I struggle with the second, I am pretty sure that I have been bestowed with an almost heavenly serenity and awareness when it comes to The Pack Kids because…well, they are still with us, ladies and gentlemen.

I say all that to say that raising children is HARD.  It is not for the faint of heart or for those looking for the latest melanin-enriched rosy cheeked, curly-haired accessory of the week (shots fired, I know).  It requires determination, resilience, patience, discipline (on both parts) and some basic common sense.  There are no “instructions or owner’s manual”, but the basic understanding that for your efforts, there will be occasions when you will be loved and adored and other times (sometimes more frequently) when you will be loathed and have mustaches and horns drawn on your Mother’s Day portraits (that’s just me? Oh…oh, okay then).  Still, as a parent who only wants the best for your child, you have to take the bad with the good and be unafraid of being the proverbial bad guy every now and again because you know that your resistance to negotiate with your kids’ terroristic demands or to acquiesce to their will is for their own good.

Having now stepped down from my soap box, I cannot imagine embodying these ideals for child rearing while being a celebrity.  I mean, as a public figure, people are already critiquing your every move and misstep; to couple that with a public assessment of the way that you interact with your children (God forbid if you believe in spankings and get caught not “sparing the rod” in public) and just like that, you and your family are media fodder and you have regular appointments with Child Protective Services for the next 6 months.

I can’t speak for him personally, but I imagine that is sort of what Dr. Creflo Dollar is going through right about now, especially given his religious celebrity status here in the U.S.   As reported by the NY Daily News:

Megachurch pastor Creflo Dollar took to the pulpit in front of a packed house on Sunday to deny punching and choking his 15-year-old daughter, calling the accusations “an exaggeration and sensationalism.”

Dollar was arrested on Friday after the teen told police that he roughed her up and beat her with a shoe during an argument over whether she was allowed to go to a party, police said.

The Atlanta-based preacher’s other daughter, Alexandria, 19, backed her sister’s story, and cops noted the teen had red marks on her neck, signs of an apparent dust-up.

Dollar was charged with battery and cruelty to children.

He struck down the charges during a sermon at his World Changers Church International, his suburban Atlanta-based church that boasts 30,000 members and a host of satellite ministries across the U.S., according to The Associated Press.

“I will say this emphatically: I should have never been arrested,” he said, after receiving an exuberant welcome from the faithful at his 8,500-seat sanctuary, known as the World Dome.

“I want you all to hear personally from me that all is well in the Dollar household.”

 The 50-year-old televangelist denied choking his daughter, saying the scratches on the girl’s neck were caused by the skin condition eczema, which she’s had for 10 years.

“The truth is, she was not choked, she was not punched,” he said. “Anything else is exaggeration and sensationalism.”

After the incident, Dollar told police that the fight started when he told the teen she couldn’t go to a party on Saturday night because her grades were poor.

On Sunday, he told the church, “The truth is that a family conversation with our youngest daughter got emotional. And emotions got involved and things escalated from there.”

“I would never approach one of my children to intentionally inflict bodily harm. I love her with all my heart,” he said.

The father of five has built a multimillion dollar religious empire since starting the church in an elementary school in his hometown of College Park, Ga., in 1986.

He runs a weekly radio broadcast and has published more than 30 books preaching the “prosperity theology” message, which says God rewards the faithful with vast wealth.

His ministry has drawn criticism from detractors who have raised questions about his lavish lifestyle, including multimillion dollar homes in Atlanta and Manhattan, a private jet, two Rolls Royces other deluxe creature comforts.

On Sunday, he suggested that the media attention following his arrest was part of a plan to undercut his message, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported.

“The devil knows that in order to discredit the message, you have to first of all discredit the messenger,” Dollar told his congregation.

To be clear, this post is in no way a means by which to discredit or detract from Creflo Dollar.  With the exception of his gangster lean in Jermaine Dupri’s Welcome to Atlanta video, I have nothing against the man.  I do not know what went on in his home to lead up to these allegations, so you won’t hear me judging him or his family.  Further, I find the online comments that I’ve read following the various articles about Dollar both supporting his alleged actions as well as condemning them to be irresponsible and premature, especially since it is not yet clear what actually transpired at his home last Friday.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t care what a person’s socioeconomic and/or celebrity status is, if punching or choking a child registers as acceptable behavior in their mind, then they deserve to be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.  The problem however, is proving this depravity in thinking and behavior.

For me personally, My Honey and I had to deal with an incident years ago where a parent of a teammate of my son basically accused my husband of abuse because said parent saw my kid get popped in the mouth for spitting on another child (the parent told other parents that he was concerned that my son was being abused).  Of course, when the rumor mill had finally made its way full-circle, it turned out that the “accuser” had not actually seen any of the exchange between My Honey and son, only my son crying inconsolably and his father threatening to give him something to cry about if he did not hush, but by then the damage was already done (and while My Honey relished the notion that these group of parents believed that he whooped his kids, I took issue with the whole Angry Black Man label that they tried to affix on him…but I digress).

If nothing else, from this story, it is apparent that wealth and status do not a stable familial relationship necessarily make.  This matter should also serve as a reminder to us as parents (and those of us who one day plan to be parents) of the serious commitment and mental fortitude that needs to be exercised in not only raising children, but ensuring that their core values and expectations in life are realistic and reflective of our own.

Yeah…’Cuz Sorry is for Suckas!

27 Feb

So, in the latest episode of “I Can Do Better Than Obama,” starring the home-schooling, ovary inspecting Republican flavor of the week, presidential candidate Rick Santorum basically called out the POTUS for what he interpreted as being weak when The President apologized to the people of Afghanistan after it was revealed that American soldiers inadvertently burned materials belonging to prisoners at Bagram Air Base, including Qurans.

On NBC’s Meet The Press, Santorum clarified his remarks:

 “I don’t think the president should have apologized for something that was clearly inadvertent, [He should have said] this was inadvertent, this was a mistake. There was no deliberate act. There was no [intention of] disrespect – this is something that occurred that shouldn’t have occurred, but it was an accident.”

So, instead of simply stating “we apologize for accidentally burning your holy books,” Rick Santorum believes that the president should have articulated that sentiment 1) without actually using the words, “sorry” or “apologize” and instead replaced the short and sweet phrase or two with a varying amalgamation of the above 31 words.

Okay…wait.  So, admit to making a mistake, clarify that it was accidental, but by no means; NO WAY, NO HOW apologize for it. Right, because that makes sense.  Mr. Santorum went on to say that it was actually the Afghans that should be doing the apologizing.

 “The response… needs to be apologized for, by Karzai and the Afghan people, of attacking and killing our men and women in uniform, and overreacting to this mistake. That is the real crime, not what our soldiers did.”

 Okay, let try to put Rick’s theory into practice here…

You know what? I did mistakenly back into my neighbor’s car last week, but it wasn’t on purpose.  It was inadvertent – a misjudgment in night-time periphery.  It shouldn’t have occurred, but it was of course, just an accident.

I imagine that explanation will more than satisfy his claims adjuster.

But seriously though, someone cut off Santorum’s poppy supply please!  Westerners have played Occupy Afghanistan for the past several decades, have figuratively and literally pissed on their culture (and their dead) and now have burned their Qurans.  Mistake or not, how exactly did Santorum expect the Afghan people to respond? I’m pretty sure that we all believe in our heart of hearts that the matter of the burned Qurans was a horrible blunder on the part of the United States, but certainly one that was not deliberate.  I think however, at the very least, an apology for such an egregious error coming from the leader of the free world was not only a diplomatic gesture, but it was an opportunity to show that it isn’t global policing, ultimatums and sheer capitalism alone that makes our nation one of the greatest countries in the world, but the ability to display true contrition and humility, even in the face of an unintentional act that does.

Libya’s Freedom, Qaddafi’s Fate.

20 Oct

BBC’s News Hour.  NPR.  The Tom Joyner Morning Show.  CNN. The Russ Parr Morning Show.

On the way to work this morning, I was inundated with bandwagon breaking news out of Libya declaring that the former Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Qaddafi was captured and injured by National Transitional Council fighters in his hometown of Sirte.  Libyan reporters also disclosed that Qaddafi was found hiding in a hole (déjà vu?).  Hearing some Libyans who were interviewed in both Sirte and the nation’s capital of Tripoli expressing their sobbing elation and relief in broken English as well as in their native tongue was not only moving but gave me a prolonged case of gooseflesh.

But for all of the excitement and celebrations surrounding the end of tyranny in Libya, the reports of Colonel Qaddafi’s capture have only been coming from Libyan news and state television, and unfortunately, independent reports have yet to be confirmed.  But that has not stopped the international wires from broadcasting news that not only was Qaddafi captured, but was mortally wounded and purportedly dead.

U.S. officials and senior Obama Administration reps have been hesitant to confirm or deny any of this information however, and have instead been working frantically to substantiate Qaddafi’s capture and/or death, a White House administrator stated this morning.

Still, with Libyans declaring October 20th as their new “Day of Independence”, I am sure that this is a story that will be developing swiftly and in more specific detail throughout the day.

Lions and Tigers and Bears…Ohio!?

19 Oct

Imagine waking up to reports that your children’s schools have been closed for the day and your employer has urged that you stay home, and there isn’t even a single snowflake in sight or any inclement weather on the horizon.  Imagine still, that these precautions have been taken due not to a community woosah day, but because exotic wild animals are on the loose in your neighborhood!

Well, for the folks in rural Zanesville, Ohio this wasn’t a hypothetical situation at all, as many rose with the sun to news that wild animals had broken free from their cages last night on a Muskingum County wild animal preserve where, once authorities arrived on the scene, found the zoo owner Terry Thompson dead.  Further investigating found that the animals’ cages had been opened, and the preserves external fences were unsecure; a detail that had many morning show reports this a.m. speculating on what actually happened and what caused Thompson’s death at the site.

Of the 48 Lions, leopards, cheetahs, black bears, grizzly bears, mountain lions and wolves (to name a few) that had escaped the privately owned zoo about 55 miles east of Columbus, close to 25 had been shot and killed Tuesday evening.  CNN interviewed legendary animal expert and the Columbus Zoo’s director emeritus Jack Hanna, who was asked to assist authorities in hunting and retrieving the animals, and he expressed remorse that so many animals had to be put down, but reiterated that in a scenario when escaped animals absconded into populated areas, human life had to be the priority.

But for as movie-ready as this unbelievable scenario has seemed, many neighbors who live near the preserve have not been surprised by the escape.  In 2006, it was reported that a lion had gotten loose from the small zoo, and over the years, many neighbors have called authorities complaining of hearing roaring and other deafening animal noises throughout the night.  Still, more than just the nuisance of living so close to such a bizarre place, neighbors said they have always been cautious and worried because although Thompson lived on the premises, he stayed in legal trouble regularly, due to his animal permits and the creatures getting out of their manufactured habitats all of the time.

Now, I will be the first to admit to being an avid fan zoos, Animal Planet and most things beastly (from afar of course), but the idea of having my very own Wizard of Oz scenario unfold right in my back yard would have me in complete and utter Cowardly Lion mode!

I mean, it’s clear that privately owning such a multitude of wild animals the way that Thompson did is legal in Ohio and many other states across the country, but when owners have been cited numerous times and proper precautions fail to be taken in caring for these animals (whose natural habitats are NOT somebody’s modified farm), perhaps the regulations surrounding the private ownership of such dangerous beasts should be revised and reinforced before the unthinkable were to happen; oh, wait…

%d bloggers like this: