I’m not sure if what to make of this portrait. My daughter (i.e., Ariel) created it. I figure the woman is from another place and time. She was in love but lost her way to beauty. Men became angry when she did not see upon them as a possible suitor. The eternal drum in her village holds her corpse. Her name was Wanda…
Men worship to be loved by a woman of darker skin. They would touch their lips on burning coal to please them…across the Pacific they travel miles just to smell her robe…or the flowers that draped her hut in a village long since gone. She was known to make men soil their pants with excitement. I wonder when they saw her what did they feel: Love? Saddened? Euphoria? How could one woman drain wealthy men without touching them? Who knows? Maybe its just a fantasy these lost souls were seeking, nevertheless, Jacob was different.
Jacob was a handsome mix of Latino, Native-American, and Jewish descent. He grew up in communities that never refuse their children. A freshman at Harvard when cohorts introduced the Pacific Goddess named Wanda. The story has it no man can see her and not fall into a quiet trance. She was this beautiful, as like a singular rose among many unwanted bushes, her complexion blinded men. Her body a mosaic of curves, breasts, and long hair which ran to her lower back. Jacob was enamored as a stone watching her move, he wanted the woman who wanted no man.
I am sure the story ends as usual, Jacob loses his way kills her and himself in a bit of rage. How tragic, beauty ruins as much as hate…but what happened you ask? Don’t know? I was only willing to read so much. As the story goes read the entire story and become like you know…Jacob. Never seen or heard from again. The village holds secrets especially Wanda’s private affairs.
Robert a. Williams
After painstakingly giving in, I watched a recorded event my wife thought would be interesting. It was with one of my favorite rap artists DMX and an entertainer named Iyanta. I never heard of Iyanta and was not interested in the interview or interviewer. However, after observing some of its content, I can categorically state, she is ill-equipped to diagnosis clinical depression or addiction. For this reason, the interview was a sham. The producers and Iyanta exploited an obvious ill individual for commercial gains. Sadly, in the Black community, some will cheer this exploitative slice of ‘weird TV’. Our community accepts most anything as authentic if we become emotional, feel pity, or want to pray. However, the interview on DMX by Iyanta was trash TV. Mental illness and addiction is no entertaining matter. I’m not sure if “X” suffers from either, nonetheless, Iyanta, lacks a professional background to diagnosis it. She did more harm than good, and only for ratings.
Mental illness and addiction has rampaged communities across America. However, in the Black community the epidemic has gone viral long ago. I suffered for over 18 years with depression and addiction. I know the terror and thoughts of suicide. It was the hardest battle in my life faced mostly alone. Beyond my wife, children, and Rod Davis, no one could bring sunlight into the darkness. Again, I cannot say what DMX suffers from, but the symptoms he displayed while exploited were hurricane-warning signals. This interview should never have occurred. His taking advantage of was an attempt to keep a struggling entertainment mogul afloat (Oprah Winfrey). Sadly, the effort also sends the message that mental illness and addiction needs only a pep talk, and reconciliation with a love one. This production was an act of betrayal. DMX’s representative should charge Iyanta, with an intelligence malpractice suit if they cared about his health and awareness.
In the Black community mental illness and depression remains under the most ineffective institution in Black culture: The Black Church and its representatives. It is common for Black women to beg depressed and dysfunctional men to seek help from unqualified clergypersons. Yes, send them to people who lack any trace of formal education in mental diseases. This is a horrible mistake to send depressed individuals to a church representative untrained in the field. On the contrary, the Black church can help by suggesting individuals to seek professional help. In so much, Iyanta, Kirk Franklin and any other entertainers must shut their damn mouth on the issue. These half-baked tricksters must scurry back to their dwellings or obtain an academic education in the field. Either way, please let my people go.
The worse statement from Iyanta was when she said to DMX, “Don’t you know you’re a vessel of God”. I nearly lost it; what does mythical propaganda have to do with a possible mental illness and addiction diagnosis? This freak show exhibition eventually turned my stomach and I turned away from it. Sadly, numerous Black men and women may suffer from undiagnosed mental disease and addiction. Thousands are attempting to cope with the horrors of comorbidity; some make it, and many do not. We do know however, 95% of all suicides the person was suffering from depression at the time. With this knowledge, we no longer can think Black preachers or some half-baked interviewer should attempt to diagnosis mental illness. Look at the statistics below and ask yourself who was helped in that interview.
Suicide Rates for African Americans, 1999-2010
• As with all racial groups, African American females were more likely than males to attempt suicide and African American males were more likely to die by suicide.
• From 1993 to 2002, the rate of suicide for African Americans (all ages) showed a small but steady decline. Since 2002, the rate has remained fairly flat, varying only between 4.9 and 5.2 per 100,000 annually.
• Suicide was the third leading cause of death among African American youth (ages 10-
19), after homicides and accidents. The suicide rate for this age group was 2.65 per 100,000 (n=196).
• Males accounted for the vast majority of African American elderly (65 and older) suicides.
In 2008, I was amazed that a Chicagoan was running for President of the United States. I am a Chicagoan and I would figure to catch wind of something that big. But, as quick as the temperature can go from 80 degrees to 10 below, a new fellow had arrive, Barack Obama. He was a politician, and lest not forget, a Black fellow. His target was the presidency. Before I go on; I have never supported politics local or national. I have no faith in the system; it is par to my feelings on religion, and educational equity for African-Americans children. I grew up as a teenager under the nation’s most corrupt political system possibly in history: Mayor Richard J. Daly’s ‘Democratic Machine’. Chicago is synonymous with corruption unlike any other major city, well maybe Philly. Subsequently, I was shocked that a politician from the Windy City had a squeaky-clean background to run for the top office.
Barack Obama’s background was lean at best on social political issues facing African-American Chicagoan. Gang violence? Never heard from him? Massive unemployment? Never heard from him. Mass Incarceration? Invisible. In fact, I can truly say, the now President Barack Obama lived clandestinely in Chicago. But, as the circus began to swell around his run in 2008, African-Americans raced to back him. However, before that time research possibly would show nearly 85% were not familiar with him. On the contrary, I did not attribute his skin color to vote for him or not vote. But, a city bloated with decades of racial inequities and violence Obama remained above the fray, he was a stranger. In the city of ‘Big Shoulders’ he remained in the children’s section in helping the neediest, disenfranchised, and unemployed. More importantly, he was silence on the violence that choked the life out of countless African-American and Latino children. I cannot recall one speech on the topic, in print or on local airwaves, not one. Consequently, his announcement puzzled me, but led me to a prophetical assumption quickly. “Barack was all show and no grit”. This was no Martin Luther King, in fact, far from it.
President Obama refusal to address social ills provides evidence to my 2008 proclamation. His presidency maintains its silence on these issues. Yet, beloved by many African-Americans as a person of ______________? I lacked a word for the previous sentence. I assume, which is always dangerous, African-Americans and the President only share skin color as a commonality. Which leaves me wondering, what do they see in him as a President or as a man of color? Many brothers and sisters intoxicated with the fascination of skin pigmentation cast their vote around racial pride. Finally, the tags of lazy, shiftless, and unintelligent rinsed from our spirit, we could be a mighty people again. We were hoodwinked with hallucinations and make-believe. Let us deal with reality, if this man was not Black, African-Americans would not have read the local papers. Obama was a complete mystery before his skin color galvanized Black folks, star-glazed whites, and Latinos to join his political movement for ‘Change’. I ask myself, now as I did then, why are African-Americans voting for an empty suit?
Barack Obama is the first African-American President with no ties to the Black community. I conclude that his skin color and marketing campaign was the two biggest values to his election. The man from nowhere had nothing else, not a political record, a social movement agenda, nothing. Subsequently, he provided the uneducated masses sound bites, erroneous rhythm, and lest not forget, “Hope”. Yet, hope is not a process to end poverty, hope runs away from education inequalities, mass unemployment and incarceration, nor does it increase jobs for Black folks or Americans. Hope is a term you sell to religious zealots, dreamers, and lottery ticket buyers.
What is Obama? He is an aristocrat sitting atop a global hegemonic empire bent on world domination. He personally directs, alone with his cronies, an unfettered capitalist state devouring Americans and foreigners alike. His divine smile and trifling musical abilities charms the uneducated and socially disable. The racial circus that surround this President who holds foreigners in indefinite captivity in Guantanamo Bay is outrageous. What right does the United States have to hold prisoners without due process or their day in court? In the past, this sort of behavior was associated with Nazi Germany or Stalin’s assault on political foes. This treatment of the detainees at Gitmo is against the humanity of a civilized nation. From his drone attacks aboard that kills hundreds if not thousands, to the increases in domestic surveillance, he has run amok. I must say, he is very different from the 2nd Bush however…he’s worse.
I predicted years ago Obama was nothing but sound bites and wealth driven as all politicians must become. Sadly, African-Americans with its uncontrollable appetite for reality television and fantasy remain mesmerize with his spectacle. Absolutely nothing comes out of the White House toward African-Americans to improve their existence in America. Obama like most politicians set his sights on the financial gains that political service provides in our society. He fed out blank hope and stuffed his cronies with bloated defense contracts and bank bailouts. Obama is a corporate ventriloquist soothing us with a hope of a brighter future while maintaining the old social order. He is comfortable while our present state burns with dismal unemployment, intense gentrification in Chicago, and cancerous urban schools closings. Sadly, however, African-Americans cannot recognized they backed the wrong pony. Hey, but at least we could say Barack’s our cousin.