Thursday, October 13, 2016

QUIZ: When is it ok to be (insert ethnicity) in America?

When is it ok to be (insert ethnicity) in America?

That can be a personal question.


What is your personal ethnicity?

Is your personal ethnicity documented  in the annals of American history under Chattel Slavery?

Because every other ethnicity that has helped to settle this nation has participated in the enslavement of Black people since the 16oos. That saying "400 years" is from this starting date. When the newest European settlers decided, along with the Catholic church that Black people were beneath human status and could therefore be put into slavery. It was that simple. And since then, the monopolizing of American wealth has been growing exponentially. 18th century European immigrants were tempted to take the trip to the new America with the chance of becoming rich. And with a free land, slaves included type of deal...the immigration of Europeans increased steadily. Another interesting fact from this era that a lot of people don't know about;  the first 150 years of Chattel Slavery was restricted to Black males only. African males were hand picked liked kennel animals from the stocks of wall street's fresh and finest imports. Yes, that Wall Street. That's where it all started. The "stock" market was actual stock. Human stock. Black men. The strongest and most obedient. Ready to be sold to the highest and wealthiest bidding land owners around. Then in late 1700s, The European nations outlawed slave trade. So it was illegal to ship Black people from Africa and Portugal to  NewAmerica. That's when the wealthy slave owners decided to bring in female Africans. And this is how sick and twisted they were. Their reasoning was to breed their very own slaves to avoid the shipping tariffs. Right? How sick is that? Because at that point, about 9 other European nations were shipping slaves. And while THAT was going on, the Native American Indians were owning and trading slaves, allowing the White slave owners to use their native trading routes. Many of which are still roads and highways today.

 That lasted until the Civil War. And the Emancipation Proclamation; the "abolishing" of slavery.
Which immediately turned into Jim Crow sharecropping and the exclusionary criminal clause in the 14th amendment. Freed slaves were let loose with nothing but the clothes they were wearing. So many of them continued working the cotton fields on credit. Which they never got back. Meanwhile them good old boys figured out that the exclusionary criminal clause meant they could still imprison Black people and enslave them. And they did that until...until today. But back in the post civil war era days, Black people could be arrested for anything from loitering to reading. There are still Black people in US prisons serving life for smoking a joint.

 The 1964 Civil Rights Act was a start. It allowed Black people to file lawsuit for their civil rights. They weren't just gonna make it easy. The Native Americans actually did form a group with their own constitutional rights and sued for reparations. And won. They receive an annual reparation allowance from the Federal Government. As far as I know. But Black people in the 70s just wanted to be accepted socially and continue to work for white owned businesses. That's all there were. And still are. Another fact is that 98% of all economic wealth in America is owned by White CEOs. We all know this. It just never dawns on people that this has never changed. Since 1860 when slavery was still legal, Black Americans owned one half of 1% of the nations economic wealth.
In's the same stats. 2016 minus 1860 equals (insert number your self) years.

Since the 70s, Nixon, Reagan and Clinton have incarcerated a staggering amount of Black men. The US prison population alone is a nightmarish human traffic and drug ring. The "war on drugs" combined with the "3 strikes law" targeted a very large percentage of Black males. Families torn apart in the same fashion that they were in the Chattel Slavery times. Single Black mothers raising children in poverty, while the status quo ridicules them for using food stamps.

By the 21st Century, that Wall Street Stock Market I mentioned earlier has become a bubbling cauldron of racist wealth. A casino for the Luxury Pimps of the current epoch. The battle purse of our fearless politicians. Politicians: The clerks who serve the upper regime. You know...the ones who concocted untaxable churches idea and continue the unjustified murder for power & profit scam; aka war. Well they are responsible for everyone's paycheck. Which means everybody has been spending this slave money for centuries.

So...if you are still concerned about which ethnicity is ok in America...

I'd say anyone who understand the history of this country and the type of attitude you represent.
Especially if you realize how important it is for Black people in particular to redeem part ownership of this country's labor and wealth. No one has seen the potential of Black people in America yet. That's the hidden gem, here. Black people have been systematically oppressed since day one. Still shut out from the business owner world. The funny thing is that we know what happened to sports as soon as Black people were allowed to participate. Or take a look at the architectural sophistication of Egypt.

So we all know what happens the minute Black people start participating on an equal scale.
For instance:
If Black people owned climate saving utility companies and could afford to run them with a taxable revenue...the world hustle would be on!
The possibilities are endless.

Your friendly cyberhood

Uncle Samurai

Monday, August 25, 2014

English Beat Live in Philly!

(This was in 2010 when I played guitar for The English Beat. I played with them for 6 months)
During the start of our tour, we were invited to Philadelphia for the 10! Show. Before a live studio audience we performed 3 tunes.

Here is one.


Doug Stanhope: At This Point in History, The Laughter Is More IMportant Than Most Things

I'm not trying to be famous or rich. I play music. That should be enough of a clue. I play for the enjoyment.  So when people try to nit pick my opinion on social medias, as if I am not contributing to the common corporation wealth, I have to remind them what I do. I play guitar and write songs. That's it. That should be the expectation. It doesn't take that much money to write songs. Selling them, that's a whole different story. Which is why my whole music catalogue from the last 4 years is up on Soundcloud available for free. Free. (Not my band. The Musashi Trio. That involves two other people. That is actually on itunes. I'm sure you've heard it. You probably downloaded it twice already.)
 But my own music is available for free on the many Soundcloud pages I have made. It's free to make a soundcloud music page. Ya only get 2 hrs though. If you pay you get more. I don't pay cuz I don't make that kind of money right now. So I have, like 4 or 5 different soundcloud pages. All ya need is a new email for each soundcloud.  Most of my tunes are based on lookin out for the little guy. The underdog. And in the story of America, we know that the "minorities" are the underdogs in this I have a lot of song material rooting for the underdogs. It takes hours out of my day to do this songwriting thing. Then I gotta play them over and over until the words are memorized. Kinda like a mid semester quiz. I have arranged my life so that I have the time to do this. I appreciate the time I have to do this. Wait...hold on while I fish another cigarette butt out of the tray...seems I got ahead of my own smoking habit this evening/morning. It's strange that when I get caught up in a social media thread and I start talking about the other side, I seem to smoke a few more cigarettes. Because the other side doesn't like the story of the underdog in this country. The other side is what makes life such a struggle for the underdog in this country. So I like to include them from time to time...because everyone should be included...

In a country of corporate indigenous people killing venture capitalists, where suburbs get filled with tiny little boxes on the hillside, housing these corporate pawns. In a country where we STILL call them Indians, as ( Louis CK has pointed out) and they are not from india, directly. I mean they may have DNA traced back across the Berring straight into Asia, but even that seems to be too much to think about for people with 4 WHOLE years of college crammed into their cel phone receptors, or whatever ya call their brains these days. In a country where black people are still getting treated like waste on the street, because we the people can't fathom the history of this country and can't possibly imagine why 500 years of hating and enslaving Black people (OR ANY PEOPLE) just doesn't simply go away with a signature. In a country where cursive signatures on contracts somehow seems to magically convince us that SURE you folks can live on this land now. As if by magic, the land belongs to you now. In a country full of rich waddling fat folks who watch porn while texting in the drive thru, inside of their luxury sedans, while waiting on oxy scripts to arrive at their private pharmacy because they ate waaaay past the PSI reading of their own knees. In a country that teaches children to grow and be successful so that you, too, may one day have a coke and hooker party in a private jet, because THAT's where the wifey won't find you. In a country that baptizes babies and sends them to war to fight for the corporate indigenous people killers who want you to kill more indigenous people IN THEIR OWN LAND because GOD says it's the right way to make money. In a country where women go to court for getting raped. In a country that wants you to say this is MY country, be proud of what we've done now go make that money for corporate america. In a country where sorority chicks are reared to be attracted to your money and together you and her get married and then later you can grease a lobbyist with the lube ya shoulda used on her in that video you posted on youporn. In a country that watches Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown dying over and over on the news, Buuuuuuut...lets some white lady outta jail  after repeated counts of espionage on a plane. Why? Because the jail is just too darn crowded with black folks already. That's why. Did I mention Ebola? In this country? Best to be not African. Americans survive though, according to the American who was just saved. It was on the TV...right after the Ferguson story. Great production, that particular newscast. Paints a good picture don't it?  In a country with a media that glorifies it's own white people's meth addiction by making Walter White the poster father figure for drug lords, while simultaneously waging war against them damn Mexicans across the border. In a country that erases pictures of"dictators" off of other peoples money, so that we the people may spread the wealth of our own money with the pics of our ex slave owners on it.

In this country. My country. Our country. This giant tree full of cunts, I guess. Here, in America, where hypocrisy falls like a gentle mid summer rain. Where hope and compassion are constantly being washed over by the gentrification of poor Americans by yuppie pawns, who still claim that they are just ordinary people trying to get by. Yeah we understand that part. Your intention was to be ordinary. It's the part when you take a check by the corporate world that causes the effect of gentrification that YOU don't seem to understand. Maybe they don't mention that part in the college courses you still owe money on. But I will. And every time I do, I have to hear the feed back from not only the rich, but some of the middle class folks who wanna be corporate rich, too. And how it's ME that doesn't include rich people in the fairness of it all. And that I should just buy in and join them and try to understand that there is no other way to be a person.
That's about the time I flip on Pandora and click on the Doug Stanhope page. Or youtube.  Because Doug Stanhope is at least being humorous about all this. He actually takes the time out of his day to make all this horror and tragedy funny, somehow. At leat to me it is. Unlike some of you yuppies(NOT ALL OF YOU), who just wanna look for the next thing to complain about while you push buttons on your phones in the fast lane with your baby in the backseat unaware of the danger you are causing. Doug Stanhope along with Louis Ck, Joe Rogan, Dave Chapelle, Richard Pryor, Robin Williams, George Carlin, Tom Segura and many other great comedians would instinctively rip me a part just for mentioning their names in a stupid blog post. But YOU'RE gonna laugh, see? And that's what's important. The laughter. At this point in history, the laughter is more important than most things.

your friendly cyberhood
Uncle Samurai

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Being Married To Technology pt 1

 It was back in the 20th century that we all started an exciting relationship with technology. Technology was alluring, mysterious and attractive back in those days. It wasn't an all day/night experience like it is now. We weren't texting in the bathroom. Technology wasn't hands on all the time. There were those in between moments of nothing that we spent in transit or just waiting. Remember? Just sitting there sometimes with thoughts in our heads. Thinking. With our brains. About stuff. And people. Or maybe the future. And sometimes, not all the time, we would catch our selves imagining what the next experience with technology was going to be like. Back in the 70's technology had names like "the radio", "TV", " The telephone", "calculator",  "pay phone", "phonograph and cassette player/recorder ", "camera (2 week wait for film development ) ",  "Instant camera", "movie camera" and if you had a projector you could watch movies at home. 
 Technology courted us and made us slowly earn it's respect. It made us yearn for more time with it. We would get up, walk across the room and turn the record over. We would manually turn it on and watch TV all night if we could. But back then our relationship with TV was still new. It was like being on a great first date and wanting to spend more time, but TV would say, " No dear. I would like to take things a little slower and get to know you better in time. Besides I like when you miss me. So I'm going to bid you good night. But I will see you first thing in the morning if you like. " Then the flag would appear across the screen as if it was waving goodnight. The national anthem would play and then a sonic tone would sound. And we would get up and turn the TV off with a sigh and go to sleep. With our thoughts. Thinking about stuff. About people. The future...

By the 80's we were pretty much going steady with technology. Some of us had headphones for our mobile cassette players. The phone became untethered from the wall. We could walk out of the room on a wireless phone. Or keep it under the sheets and talk quietly all night with our lovers and best friends. Remember that? Video game arcades were already a place to congregate and some of us even had video games we could play at home. And then Cable was added to the TV so it stayed on all night. VCRs, too. We would marvel at the Sharper Image magazines for hours, what with all its gizmos and 007 gadgetry. Pagers would allow us to connect 24 hours of the day. Cell phones started to appear awkwardly in peoples luxury cars. Folks were learning COBAL programming on IBMs and Apple personal computers. We were, in fact,  totally going steady with technology and very happy about it.
Good times.

 And by the 90's we were engaged to technology. It was an exciting time. It was a normal part of our lives. We had back packs and fanny packs filled with technology. Our cars had cd and tape collections that kept in rotation. We made mixed tapes. The appearance of technology started to get sleeker and cooler. Designer gadgets gave us the feeling of being prepared for the 21st century. Cellular phones were becoming common. The landline phones were mostly touch tone and wireless. VCRs were collecting movies we could keep. MTV was still playing music. We were still hand writing letters, but technology was becoming a  brand new part of our culture. It was changing us. And we were totally stoked about changing ourselves in our pursuit of a better experience with  technology. That's what happens naturally in any relationship. And like most relationships, technology wanted to know where this was all going. Because I guess it wanted a real commitment. Which we fully did.  And during the 90's an explosion happened in the Silicon Valley that is still rippling at full speed today. The dot com boom. The internet. The next step. The MARRIAGE. The ability to connect our already installed personal computers was something that couldn't happen fast enough. And when it finally did, the whole world changed and shifted. And since then we the people of the world have been synchronizing everything to computers. Cel phones seem to be the surrogate offspring of the internet marriage. The added feature of our engorged commitment to our beloved technology. And technology really didn't make us change, either. There are some stories of how people must learn to change for the duration of a relationship. Some people have even sacrificed their own ways and livelihood for the benefit of another. Or a family. Some people simply can't. But when it comes to our current modern relationship with technology, we do it voluntarily and automatically. There is no chain attached to the ball in this marriage. We will follow technology down the lightest or darkest path if we have to. Climate change or not. We won't live with out technology. 
We are committed...

It is now the 21st century. Our human nature, which has been relative to our environment for thousands of years, has taken a sudden twist and turn. Think about thousands of years of being on this planet as a species. Where nature provides it all. How we migrated across the planet slowly over time. The endurance of a species usually depends on its ability to adapt to its habitat. Next time you are out in public society, try to not get on your phone for five minutes and take a look around. You will notice a couple of things. One, everyone else is on their phone. Two, the connection to our environment has been replaced, subsequently altering the culture of humanity into a money quest. For thousands of years we have lived in harmony with the environment. And for the last 200 years the industrial machinery expansion has been there chaperoning us into a new era. A digital epoch. Where we convince our selves that we are in control of the natural order with a push of a button. These are the times of high adventure. And believe me, most of us our high on technology. Some of us don't even know that we are. They may have never dialed a nine on a rotary or had to walk a freeway to an emergency phone. So they don't know how high we actually are. Because they don't have a reference like some of us do. Because some of the people in this world remember the old traditions with cognitive clarity. And some of us see the process of natural order and realize a few things that cannot be replaced with technology. There are still some basic things that mankind cannot own completely: Land, water, music and love. These things will always be here to replenish what we think is missing. They will help us to find a balance with this amazing technology. Because it is not going away. We cannot simply divorce technology and go our separate ways. It aint that kind of a marriage. But what we can do is try not to let it kill us all at once. That, really is the answer so far. If we can do that, we're fine. Because we are the type of species, like most species, that like to stretch this whole existence thing out as far as it will reach. Moderation needs to also be in moderation. If we can figure out how to take technology by the hand and walk into the future, we will probably live happily ever after as a species...for a long time. 

So let's do that.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Google Bus Song : Another Perspective On The Class war

The Google bus song was written right here in Oakland, California. Inspired by the news headlines that revealed the class war in San Francisco, early this year. If you don't know, The Google bus is a private shuttle for silicon valley employees, including Apple, Yahoo and the notorious Google company. The argument started when the public started noticing the Google bus picking up their employees at public bus stops in San Francisco. It immediately drew a line between "the haves" and " the have nots." And people started speaking out. It kinda reminds me of the Dr. Suess story, "The Star- Bellied - Sneetches." Remember that one?

The song writers, aka CACHEBOX wrapped the issue in hip hop satire and put out a youtube video on Baylando records. I know them both. Kuda from Harlem, New York and Kool Kyle from here in the bay area. The song is genius all by itself. Especially because it was released during the Google bus protests that were happening in the streets of San Francisco. What I like about the song is that it opens up a dialogue between the two sides. The "common public" and the "employees of Google." The poor versus the rich. The song lyrics really point out the difference between the two. 
Here is an excerpt from the SFgate blog:
“The Google Bus Song” includes lyrics like “Got on that Google bus, avoid the traffic rush/High-speed Wi-Fi, lots of legroom, and the seats are plush” and “Haters need to go home and practice code.”
The facts are real and the publicity this video has received includes the PBS NewsHour, NBC, ABC, SFWEEKLY and a few more.

And while all of this was going on...
My friend Kuda was trying to find a place to live. Not just him. His wife and two year old daughter, too. (Oh My GOD, his daughter is soooo cute!) It was a bizarre mix of feelings trying to be happy for the success of the video while at the same time trying to help keep him and his family from being homeless. We discovered how incredibly difficult it is trying to find affordable housing for a family in the bay area.  I was under the impression that it "takes a village." But what I found out was that nobody really gives a shit;  sans a hand full of people. Everyone else is dealing with the same struggle and class war. The landlord dice roll is vicious at the level of "affordable" housing. And within a month of the song's release and success, Kuda was priced out of the bay area. I watched him and his family leave a couple days ago. Meanwhile I am getting emails from friends telling me they saw the video on this news station, or that one. All excited that they know him. But unable to really help him out ya know. Strange. One friend A J Curtis, a DJ on U.C. Berkeley's radio station KALX, (former KUSF DJ before they were bought out) was interested in the story and brought us both onto his show. And we had a very interesting talk about the whole class war going on in the bay area. He may be looking for housing, too. So yeah, it's real. This gentrification process is being flamed by the success of silicon valley employees. They make good money, which jacks up the price of rent and then poor folks are forced out into the street. And it seems that the tech craze has got everyone preoccupied. You know, eyes glued to phone screen. Like ALL the time. We are losing our peripheral vision here.  And subsequently, we are going to lose more artists. Because artists have always lived at the "affordable" housing level. Unless they are super stars. There is no middle class anymore.

So keep in mind the attitude we are developing as people of the bay area.

It may be different than what you think it is...

your friendly cyberhood

Uncle Samurai