A double sack by the Skins

I watched a preseason football game this week between Washington and Tampa Bay. Nothing to brag about, since nothing that happens in the preseason actually matters.

But this was an impressive quarterback sack during the matchup (click on the photo):


If I’m the Bucs, I cut a lineman and a quarterback to get my roster down to 53. If I’m the Skins, I make sure I don’t cut Rob Jackson.

Toronto cop busted Blue Jays

The Toronto police department has a cop who’s a disgruntled Blue Jays fan. Here’s an arrest report after a spectator ran on the field during a game back in May:


I looked at the MLB standings. The Jays are currently in last place in the American League East with a 62-74 record, 18 games back. But at least they aren’t as bad as the Houston Astros.


Did you know dribbling is allowed in football?

OK, this is going to sound bizarre.

I just got a digital antenna, which allows me to watch broadcast television.

(Yeah, I know it’s no big deal. But I haven’t had cable television since 2003, and I never got an antenna for television until this week. So all that stuff people were saying the past decade about the thing they saw the previous night on the tube. … I had no idea what they were talking about.)

Anyway, I’m cruising the channels, and I land on an ad in which former Baltimore Ravens lineman Tony Siragusa is selling adult diapers:

And I’m thinking, why is he doing this?

So I go online, and the Intertubes tell me that it’s for guys who leak as a result of prostate cancer surgery. But I’m wondering if the number of men with that problem is that high? High enough to justify an ad campaign that has to get into the millions of dollars.

Then I saw this:


And suddenly, everything makes sense.

So the lesson I get out of it?

I should have never gotten a digital antenna. There are some things I was better off not knowing.

‘Meet the Press’ and the pervasive racism of 1963

So, “Meet the Press” rebroadcast the interview with Martin Luther King Jr. and Roy Wilkins that aired three days before the March on Washington in 1963. Take a look:

Here’s what I got out of it.

The questions for the most part were the fear mongering you’d expect from Fox News. References to “militant Negroes” (with an emphasis on the Southern pronounciation of “nig”), allegations of being communist dupes, a tie in to Puerto Rican terrorism and constant badgering that essentially came down to “how you gonna keep those crazy black people from actin’ up an goin’ wild.”

The questioners are contemptible. The racism in the questioning is off the charts. And the outright dismissal of any effort toward racial equality is an abomination.

People who participated in the March on Washington were gathering to exercise their rights to equality under the Constitution. But these vermin of the establishment press were doing all they could to scare white America and justify the continued oppression of an entire race.

How King and Wilkins managed to get through this interview without saying, “What the hell is your malfunction, dude?”, is beyond me. They exhibit an amazing show of restraint. But then you look at how much the freedom movement went through (people were arrested, assaulted and murdered by state sanctioned bigotry), and it’s obvious the only thing they could do was practice restraint in the face of uncontrolled violence.

And these questioners (all white, all male) never emphasized that the true danger of that time came from those who were against civil rights.

It really is a wonder why NBC ran this at all.


The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom: Aug. 28, 1963

Today is the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, the historic gathering that marked the peak of the civil rights movement.

Here’s a first-hand account of what that day was like (from AZ Central)


By Bob S. Martin

The thing about making history is that you rarely know you are a part of it.

In 1963, a couple of friends and I began planning a trip to the nation’s capital to participate in the “March on Washington.” I was 21.

I wanted to go, in part, because it was going to be the largest group of Black people I would ever see or meet in my life (a good time, young ladies and new friends). In the 1950s and ’60s, believe it or not, Black people may have been as disconnected from one another as they were to White people. For many, the “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom” was also a unity march.

I also wanted to make the trip because of the high regard my family (especially my grandfather, a retired railroad porter) had for A. Philip Randolph, who at the time was the most visible civil-rights leader I knew. Randolph, a leader in the civil-rights and labor movements, was a key organizer of the march.

I lived in the Bronx at the time of the march and worked for Lord & Taylor’s Department Store in Manhattan. My bosses and co-workers were worried about my trip to Washington and talked endlessly about concerns for my safety. Some even asked that I consider not going, which I found bewildering. Why? I was going to be with “my people.”

Getting connected

When the time came for the trip, my two buddies and I loaded up my new VW bug for the longest drive I had ever taken with the hope of having a good time — and maybe more.

On Aug. 28, 1963, I could hear the speeches but could not see who was talking, and so, I made my way through and around the crowds until I was situated below the podium just as the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. started to speak. I couldn’t see him, and I had no idea who he was. I loved the sound of his voice, his certainty and cadence.

“The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community,” King said, “must not lead us to distrust of all White people, for many of our White brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.”

It was an inclusive message that reminded me of a seesaw that takes two to make work.

I heard what King said, but I didn’t know what it would mean, nor did I realize that the whole country was listening. I had no idea what significance it would have to the future of our nation. I got my first clues when I returned home and discovered I had attained celebrity status just by being one of the 200,000-plus people who was there.

The March on Washington, the first time I had been so far from the Bronx, changed my worldview. I grew up in a predominantly West Indian/Caribbean community, part of what is called “Fort Apache.” I knew of the terrible injustices in the South, but I didn’t relate what was happening there to my experience. I did not see myself as a freedom fighter. It was always about my taking care of my own business vs. worrying about others.

After the march, I began to understand that what was happening in the South was also happening to me, albeit covertly, and that our communities and cultures were not shielded. What I began to explore and understand was that “no one wins, unless we all win.” People like Gandhi, Buddha and James Baldwin made their way into my consciousness. The South stopped just being some other place.

Moving forward

It has been 50 years since the march. There has been change, but in many ways, it only looks as if things have changed. There are still many communities that are hostile toward Blacks; many more communities have a posture of tolerance that is used to mask fear of others.

Today, people quote the “I Have a Dream” speech like an anthem that we are obliged to remember even if we don’t understand its meaning. Its poetic ending tends to overshadow its universal message. If we read the speech carefully, it addresses not only the injustices experienced by “Negroes,” but by all people across the planet. That there is no middle ground on the way to equality. There is no equality light.

I think “we the people” should use King’s speech as a lens to view the current events of the day and to “take it on.” There is still a long way to go with some hurdles in between.

I’ve learned — and truly believe — that what separates us from one another as human beings is a manufactured fear of dreaming big. The March on Washington was a big dream that helped make other dreams possible. Today, there is an African-American president — that was thought to be an impossibility 50 years ago — and although this realized dream is seasoned with bitterness and fear, there is a new belief that “change has come.”

Race, religion, gender and ethnicity still cloud vision in this country and throughout the world. To move forward, it will take a new generation of young people with even bigger dreams who are not triggered or trapped by an intimate knowledge of past injustices, who are committed to not looking backward, while acknowledging and being thankful for the distinct gifts that we are for each other.

Here’s to another 50 years.

Bob S. Martin of Scottsdale is an artist who moved to Arizona in 2001.

So, what exactly did he see?


When Richard Pryor was president

Let’s see. There’s an obscure references to Chicago (Jet and Ebony magazines were based in Chicago) and a reporter is from Hawaii. And they snuck in a reference to the black president being a Muslim.

It’s like Richard Pryor saw the future.


Birther derangement syndrome

It only appears to be activated by the color black (from the Texas Tribune):

When Democrat Barack Obama was running for president in 2008, Republican voter Christina Katok of Walden said she believed he was ineligible for the job.

She reasoned that he was born in Kenya and therefore wasn’t a “natural born” American — one of a handful of constitutional requirements for the job. (Obama’s birth certificate shows that he was born in Hawaii, but some critics do not accept that as fact.)

Fast forward six years and another freshman U.S. senator, Canadian-born Tea Party firebrand Ted Cruz of Texas, is being mentioned as a potential 2016 presidential candidate. But Katok, who would vote for Cruz in a heartbeat, doesn’t have any concerns about his eligibility.

“As far as I’m concerned, Canada is not really foreign soil,” she said. Katok said she was more disturbed by Obama’s “strong ties to Kenya,” the African country where his father was born. She also said she didn’t like the fact that Obama did not release his long-form birth certificate during the 2008 race.

Maybe it’s some kind of medical condition. These are seemingly normal functioning people who just have an issue when seeing black and white. That’s why they have a problem with a mixed race guy who was born in the United States and whose father was born in Kenya, but have no problem with a white guy born in Canada whose father was born in Cuba and fought on the side of Fidel Castro during the Cuban revolution.

This Sacramento Bee cartoon pretty much captures birther logic:


The folks you meet in pickup basketball

How many of these guys have you seen in a pickup basketball game?

A better question: How many of these guys have you been in a pickup basketball game?

I’ve been a few. (via BlacktopXchange.com)