Volume 43: That Good Ol' RACE CARD

 “What I’m hearing which is sort of scary is that they all want to stay in Texas. Everybody is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway so this is (chuckle) –this is working very well for them.”  -Former First Lady Barbara Bush, on the hurricane evacuees at the Astrodome in Houston, September 5th 2005

            There are few things that annoy the Educated Negro more than those who display ignorance during interviews to demean a race of people, or publicly display their abilities to be out of touch with the realities that plague the less fortunate. But today, I had something else on my mind. No one ever touches on the issue of those who play… the Race Card. For those unfamiliar with that term, Race Card is a metaphorical reference to a Trump Card, which is used to gain advantages in card games. The race card is the act of bringing race or racism into a debate-oftentimes being used to negate the real issue at hand.

            Many people say the biggest example of The Race Card came in the form of the O.J Simpson trial. Critics say that O.J’s defense team played the race card to help him avoid conviction for murder. They brought up Mark Furman’s racist past and informed the jury that he was once caught on police surveillance using the word “nigger.” His past accusations of tampering with murder evidence in prior cases also came into play. In the end, O.J was found Not Guilty- but his public displays of stupidity that resulted in the following years left many to wonder if he in fact was guilty and saved by the Race Card. In any case, it really didn’t matter because OJ- being the typical former celebrity turned Public Coon, wound up in prison anyway serving a nine-year sentence for an armed confrontation with sports memorabilia dealers in 2007. OJ was forcefully taking back items that originally belonged to him, and the same goons that were hired to assist him with his dirty work, made deals with prosecutors in exchange for testimonies against O.J’s Dumb ass.

            If O.J Simpson’s defense used the race card to acquit him of murder charges, then former NBA player, Jayson Williams has a Platinum Race Card and has no problem using it. This 6’10 moron played basketball for St. John’s University and was selected in the 1st round of the NBA draft. He played for the Phoenix Suns, Philadelphia 76ers and the New Jersey Nets. He’s also known for killing his limousine driver in 2002. Costas Christofi was hired to drive Jayson Williams and his NBA charity team from a basketball event to his mansion. Williams, setting black people back 25 years, was playing with a shotgun while giving a tour of his 30,000 square-foot Mansion- when the shotgun went off and killed the limo driver. Somehow a jury was deadlocked on reckless manslaughter charges, and the family settled a wrongful death civil lawsuit for $2.75 million.
            Jayson Williams currently faces a retrial on the manslaughter charges, but was also slapped upside the head with four counts of trying to cover up the shooting. Just when you figure he can’t shame black folk further, he makes News Headlines…again, giving white folks plenty to laugh at. The New York Police Department had to stun him with a taser in a New York Hotel in April 2009, after they reported that he had become suicidal and violent. Just like the night he killed his driver, Williams was once again visibly intoxicated, with pills found in his possession. He was again arrested, but the modern day minstrel show didn’t stop there.

            Williams was arrested a month later in Raleigh, North Carolina for punching a man in the face in a bar. He was charged with assault, with the charges being later dropped by the victim. Now…all these random acts of niggerosity were bound to make him look guilty with his murder retrial date approaching, and Jayson Williams needed something big. He needed something that would help the jury sympathize with him and keep his dumb ass from going to prison. His defense team wanted to review the records surrounding a former Hunterdon County Investigator who they said described Williams with a racial slur in a meeting sometime before the 2004 trial. Ahhh…that trusty Race Card. Today, after 7 years of police work, Williams remains free on bail after slapping white people in the face with his Platinum Race Card and has yet to be sentenced on the four cover-up convictions. If only there were convictions given for being an idiot.

“Racism is not an excuse to not do the best you can.” –Arthur Ashe

            Today, we have many people who use the race card, as if it negates the dumb shit that they do. Every day, I read about some bank in Philadelphia being robbed at gunpoint-virtually all of them being robbed by our people. Each man that gets caught gives prosecutors and judges the same song and dance about how hard life is for the black man and how their kid needed money, or needed food and they had to do what they had to do- each one reaching for that good ol’ Race Card. The Race Card doesn’t change the fact that many people prove to be the very same negative stereotypes that we can’t stand. Question… What kind of moron still robs banks in 2009?!? Seems every day in The Philadelphia Daily News, I see some new idiot in a Phillies baseball cap and a pair of sunglasses captured by bank surveillance cameras. Do you really think that no one knows who you are? And even if you evade escape for a while…you’ve stolen…what? Two…three thousand dollars?!? That won’t go very far with a moron. After the daily purchase of their drug of choice, things for the kid, past-due daycare fees and back rent, one will barely have enough to cover dinner at Sizzler and a box of condoms.

            Upon their inevitable capture, it’s always amazing to hear people pull the race card and blame their environment. Now some who read this say, “No, Ron…people from the hood have it rough and oftentimes make mistakes.”
…As if Ronald Gray was raised in the suburbs…

            Yes, I will agree with that statement. Residents of the hood do have it rough. But there’s a difference between those who make silly mistakes in perilous times and those who are simply taking the easy way out. My family hails from Jamaica. Those who’ve seen movies such as Belly or Shottas, get a minor glimpse of how bad things can be in Third World Countries where there’s real poverty. It’s almost laughable when some stick-up kid is expressing to a judge that he had to “do what he had to do” because his baby needed money, diapers or food. I have family that just a few years ago got electricity in their homes for the first time. I have cousins that have never had new clothes purchased for them. They don’t know what it’s like to have a Birthday Party thrown for them. Americans rent out clubs to show off for Birthdays that no one really cares about- then come home late on the rent and figure they gotta do what they gotta do for their kid, by robbing other poor people?
            The other day I walked by a City Blue clothing store. I haven’t been in City Blue in years! I no longer see the need, because I’ve long put away the Timberland Boots and sneakers in exchange for shoes. I’m often seen in ties, but don’t get it twisted. I’m not Mr. Wall Street. I’ve just grown up, my style of dress has evolved, and I’m attempting to inspire many others to do the same. Something just compelled me to look over at the glass windows, where a female store worker was doing some merchandising. My eyes widened as I noticed a stroller in the window, accessorizing a male and female mannequin dressed in the latest fall fashions. But that wasn’t just any stroller. It was a Rocawear stroller, retailing for $150…marked as a Sale item. Now, in these tough economic times…who finds it necessary to buy a Rocawear stroller? Sadly, far too many black folk do. Yet, oftentimes many will complain about the economy and blame a racist society for their inability to get ahead.           

            With 2010 approaching fast, it’s time for our people to put away their race cards and own our shortcomings. The biggest problem with the race card is that s many people abuse it; then the day comes when some real racists shit happens that requires everyone’s attention…and no one’s listening. There are Jena 6-type situations that happen all the time, but instead people try and get Americans to sympathize for Michael Vick’s dumb ass. We have a President that needs a nation’s support, patience and trust…but instead we have families of convicted felons complaining that Lil’ Pookie couldn’t find a good job when he came home from prison, so he had to go back to the streets. Well…to the supporters of morons I say this: Lil’ Pookie shoulda took his ass to Wendy’s and got a job making Spicy Chicken sandwiches. It’s safer and much more warm that standing on the corner with $20 worth of crack rock in his pocket! We gotta stop blaming other people for the dumb shit…and make things happen. You guys agree?

You can be up to your boobies in white satin, with gardenias in your hair and no sugar cane for miles, but you can still be working on a plantation.
-- Billie Holiday

…These Are The Random Thoughts Of Ronald Gray…
You simply get chills every time you see these poor individuals...many of these people, almost all of them that we see are so poor and they are so black, and this is going to raise lots of questions for people who are watching this story unfold." –CNN's Wolf Blitzer, on New Orleans' hurricane evacuees, Sept. 1, 2005


Volume 42: What Kind Of Man Are You Dating?

“Men are like a fine wine. They start out like grapes, and it’s our job to stomp all over them and keep them in the dark, until they mature into something you’d like to have dinner with.”  -Kathleen Mifsud

         After one of my most recent random thoughts, one of my avid readers told me that I once again “went hard on the ladies.” Apparently there are those who feel as though I’m biased and write things from the man’s perspective. Well…maybe that’s because I’m a Man. I date women and in my thirty years on this earth, I’ve dated the sistas. Now, while I’ll admit that it takes a special kind of person to put up with a sista, I will also admit that it takes a special kind of woman to put up with us men-specifically us brothas.
I wouldn’t have it any other way; I love my sistas and write my random thoughts based on my experiences and my observations. I’m not a spokesman for the fellas and I’m in no way, shape or form a woman basher. I write real shit. I write the truth. The best and worst thing about writing the truth is this: The truth will set you free, but first…It’s gonna piss you off.
         The things that I say are no more damaging to the rep of sistas that the things that are said about men in Essence, Jet, Ebony and Cosmo. It’s always Why Do Men Cheat? Are they all really Dead or in Jail? Wassup with the Brothas on the Down Low? Why is a Good Brotha So Hard To Find?
I simply write things from the male perspective-the man’s version of Sex and The City. But today…this one is dedicated to the ladies. In volume 20, I once touched on the types of women that I come across in Philadelphia-and the advantages and disadvantages to dating them
A demand started for me to reverse things a bit…
Ladies, allow me to systematically break down the fellas that perhaps many of you meet on a continual basis. Men who many would like to see disappear at the end of 2009:

MR GIGALO- he’s the egotistical pretty boy that looks and dresses like a million bucks, who’s actually broke as a Canal St. Rolex. He has unmatched swagger and looks, but often has the I.Q of a Circus Chimp.
a.    You will always have someone who looks great accompanying you to your events.
b.    He’s always on point with the latest styles and trends- he knows his fashion.
c.    He has a superficial beauty and a demeanor that can make any ex jealous
a.    He’s broke as MC Hammer in the late 90’s and oftentimes dumb as toast-conversations are limited to fashion, sex and facts about him self.
b.    In the event of some drama, you’re on your own.
c.    You think all eyes are on you, but they’re really on him-he’ll fill you with a false sense of confidence and happiness.

MR.  SIDE JAWN- In Philly, we call them “side jawns.” They’re the people you have relations with outside of your real relationship-but you wouldn’t want your main companion to know anything about.
a.    He’s great in bed. The word “freak” is an understatement.
b.    He has no fears of sexual exploration. He’ll do all the nasty, filthy stuff that the person you’re in a relationship with won’t.
c.    Discretion is key. He lives across town. He doesn’t know your man or his friends. It’s virtually impossible to get caught-and he doesn’t care.
a.    He eventually catches feelings and is no longer content with his role as the side jawn. He wants to be the main guy now.
b.    You start to catch feelings for the side jawn and become torn on which person you want. You eventually become dickmatized and drop your main guy for the side jawn, and are soon reminded why he was only the side jawn. Your ex becomes the one that got away.

           MR. OVERACHIEVER- is the man who achieves success over and         above the standard or expected level, especially at an early age. He has his        shit together
a.    If you’re into money…he’s got it. If you like nice things…you’re into him.
b.    He’s the deadly combination of intellect and charm. The initial approach and conversation is unlike anything you’ve heard.

c.    His mission is to please you- you learn new things from him and are exposed to new places and cultures.
a.    He constantly wants to remind you of how fortunate you are to have him in your life-his arrogance is stifling.
b.    You will always be 2nd to his success. You feel like an accessory to his status, rather than a companion.
c.    The chances of him cheating of you are increased by his success-the random chicken-head & gold digger become your nemesis.

MR. METROSEXUAL-is the usually urban heterosexual male given to enhancing his personal appearance by fastidious grooming, beauty treatments, and fashionable clothing.
a.    He’s a pretty-boy and fine as they come-Has a high disposable income.
b.    He has a chiseled physique and is always neat in appearance
c.    He’s well cultured, loves to buy you nice things and has all the right moves-his dancing elicits dirty thoughts, and he smells great.
a.    His concern for appearance displays attributes stereotypically related to homosexual men-he knows things about female fashion that a straight man shouldn’t.
b.    Your ex took one look at him and called him a “fag.” Everyone asks you if he’s gay.

c.    Every now and then, he picks out an outfit that really makes you question his sexuality. He appears at ease around openly gay men and watches shows like Will and Grace and Everybody Loves Raymond.

MR. GENTLEMAN- Lana Turner once said, “A gentleman is simply a patient wolf.” I tell sistas that 90% of their male friends aren’t plutonic-they’re comprised of ex boyfriends-reduced to friends after the breakup, unattractive hopefuls that were thrown in the friend zone, and the guy you’re attracted to-who is in a relationship-but remains “a friend” until the right opportunity (or drunken scenario) surfaces. Every now and then, sistas comes across the Gentleman.
a.    Well groomed and kind; the gentleman displays chivalry and treats you like a lady.
b.    He doesn’t get caught staring at your breasts, ass or other women. He asks what makes you smile and not your favorite sexual position.
c.    He always takes you to the right places. He treats you like The One and not just The Next One.
a.    If you decide that he’s a nice guy, but not really your type, he’s likely to give you 1,000 reasons why you’re making the biggest mistake of your life. Shows extreme desperation to find The One and marry her.
b.    He likely has been hurt numerous times from sistas who never had a gentleman before and can be harnessing recent heartache and attachment issues.
c.    He tells you he’s not like other guys…but as soon as you have sex…he becomes JUST like all the others guys and drops the gentleman façade.

MR. GHETTO- although the word “ghetto” is Italian, and comes from the Island near Venice where Jews were made to live in the 16th century, today’s ghetto individual is one who is not cultured, rarely educated, small minded and a magnet for drama. The ghetto man is the most common find in sistas from Philadelphia and has ruined the lives of many women.
a.    He can fight. He is the ultimate protector.
b.    There’s never a dull moment. Get ready for fun.
c.    Perhaps the sex is good. (I’ll be damned if I know what sistas see in ghetto men)
d.    No one is better at making something outta nothing. Dating him is low maintenance and he’s easy to impress.
a.    He oftentimes will not have a job, can’t seem to keep a job, or is a drug dealer; even if he seeks employment, usually has a dumb ass profiling name that makes a supervisor toss his resume in the trash without hesitation.
b.    You may awaken from a good night’s sleep to receive a phone call about his death, his arrest, or threats from a Baby Mama.
c.    He has no idea how to act in public and will embarrass you tremendously if you ever even entertain the notion of taking him somewhere nice.
d.    Your friends and family can’t stand him-they call him a thug.
e.    No drive-he either wants to be a rapper or make beats and promote parties.
f.     His diction annoys the shit out of you. His constant use of words like irregardless… conversate and more better set black people back 50 years.

MR. STALKERTo follow or observe a person persistently, especially out of obsession or derangement, is sad. What’s even worse is virtually every sista has encountered one of these. And every man out there has a male friend who’s guilty of stalking.
a.    Initially comes off as a very nice guy. Has no problem giving you undivided attention and making time to see you.
b.    Is usually a great listener, wants to know everything there is to know about you.
c.    Displays excellent chivalry, is very protective of you
d.    Will be very creative; flowers sent to the job, letters, poems, etc.
a.    He sends dozens of roses and candy to your job…even though you never told him where you work.
b.    After an argument will pop up at your place and stand outside your window, hollering your name in the rain until police arrive.
c.    His ex’s will tell you about his stalking tendencies after you’ve already dated him.
d.    Never seems to get the hint; Will block numbers, call from friend’s cells, dress up as the pizza delivery boy, anything to see or talk to you one last time.
e.    Has a high probability of one day killing you and wearing your face around the house like Leatherface in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

MR. OFF THE MARKET-Bill Maher once said, “A Man is only as loyal as his options.” Married brothas are no exception.
a.    Mr. Off The Market is mature, well cultured and says the right things. He speaks well and is accomplished in every facet of life.

b.    He understands woman. He acknowledges their needs vs. their wants and makes you laugh.
c.    He believes in discretion and doesn’t smother you. He believes in giving you your own space and stress titles.
a.    He believes in discretion and doesn’t smother you because he’s Off The Market.
b.    No matter what he says or what he promises you, he will never leaves you for his wife/girlfriend.
c.    The allure of a man you can’t have is intoxicating-you will fall for him and fall hard.

MR. HOLY ROLLER- this is the brotha who was raised in the church. Every woman wants a man with a spiritual foundation, who loves the Lord and can be a man of peace, as well as a protector and head of the household. Don’t they?
a.    He’s faithful and dedicated to his woman-the only thing more important is God.
b.    He is the ideal father figure; he puts family first and never fails to provide.
c.    He is not afraid to show his emotions and love with everything he’s got. The family absolutely adores you.
a.    His kindness will often earn him a lifetime membership to the friend zone.
b.    He’s dying to find a wife, so things move far too fast-ruining the potential for a love connection.
c.    The Holy Roller can often be exposed as a hypocrite! During service, he’s catching the Holy Ghost…after service he’s womanizing.

MR. BIG SPENDER-This is the man who seems to have it all. He’s the constant big spender of the bunch and the man who’s never scared to share the wealth. Sistas want a man with money and here he is.
a.    He’s got money to blow. You will be in the nicest restaurants, receive the best gifts and be really spoiled for the first time.
b.    He’s generous and doesn’t mind being your personal ATM.
c.    Your girlfriends will be jealous as hell.
a.    No one really knows where all this money comes from and what he does for it. Is Mr. Big Spender a corporate exec? Or drug kingpin?
b.    You’ve accepted his gifts and have spent his money. Now he has a sense of entitlement and no longer understands the word “no.”
c.    Whenever there’s an issue…he simply throws money at it. You grow frustrated with it. He pisses you off, and then shows up with some expensive gift. After a while, it lacks the same effect.

MR. NICE GUY- Women always want a kindhearted man with a pleasant disposition, but what happens when they date a man who they view as “too nice?”
a.    He’s genuinely nice; there are no ulterior motives. This guy is the real deal-a kind, caring brother who wants to show you a great time.
b.    His chivalry is consistent and his charm is unmatched.
c.    He listens intently and is non-threatening.
a.    Mr. Nice Guy is oftentimes physically not your type. He doesn’t give off any type of sexual vibe. He’s the kind of guy that you invite over for hot cocoa and a chick flick.
b.    He appears too nice-sistas are turned off by a man with no backbone who’s easy to take advantage of.

c.    Mr. Nice Guy doesn’t have the greatest reputation in bed. Chances are he may not get the libido going like the previous assholes from the past.

MR. ASSHOLE- I was once told that God made women beautiful and foolish; beautiful that man might love her; and foolish that she might love him. The Asshole represents the type of man that a woman should never love, but everyone falls for…his sole mission is to be a dick to any and everyone around.
a.    Mr. Asshole is often physically attractive with the body of a Spartan Warrior. He represents your ideal man.

b.    He is very confident in himself-borderline arrogant. His narcissism makes women love him all the more.
c.    He is very upfront about what he wants- often painfully honest.
a.    He’s an asshole!
b.    A woman scorned can never outdo him when it comes to spiteful behavior. Women may be able to fake orgasms, but men can fake whole relationships. Do not get tricked into a one up contest.
c.    It’s never healthy to date the Asshole. Naïve Women will try to change him, but he will still be an asshole. It’s a no win situation.

MR. UNDERACHIEVER aka Mr. Loser-It was Laura Swenson who once said, “Men are like a deck of cards. You’ll find the occasional king, but most are jacks.” A loser is defined at a person or thing that loses, is destined to be taken advantage of, or fail- or is bad in quality. Educated sistas will often tell you that there is an abundance of them in their respective cities. So why do the Underachievers still continue to get opportunities with the sistas?
a.    Losers will often display instant attraction, instant commitment and instant promises of things that you both will do in the future-he appears very serious about you.
b.    He seems too good to be true-he convinces you that he’s the best thing that is happening to you
c.    You will meet his friends and family rather quickly and feel very important through those acts
d.    He is confident in his pursuit of you-most noticeable in his initial approach and conversation.
a.    He’s an underachiever! He does not have lofty goals and expectations and once you realize this, he will attempt to neutralize it by killing your self-confidence and goals.
b.    The loser will usually have a frightening temper and is likely to go upside your head because of his shallow emotions and connections with others.
c.    He will attempt to cut your support system off-a true loser controls his mate by cutting off their supportive friends and family. They’ll instill things in your head about them and become your only friend. It makes it that much harder to leave them.
d.    The loser can be deadly because of his tendencies of Breakup Panic, which is pleading and crying, promising to change, even the offering of marriage-when you threaten to end the relationship. Then comes the showering of calls every 3 minutes. Calls to friends, family, even work! Losers create so much mental and social pressure that the stupid victim agrees to go back…usually just to end the harassment.
e.    The loser has no money and doesn’t seem affected by it. At a restaurant, when the check is dropped off in front of him, he’ll promptly slide it right back over in your direction. He’s a loser…and damn proud of it.
f.     Women need a reason to have sex…Mr. Loser just needs a place.

MR. GROW THE FUCK UP- Ladies, have you ever dated the 29 year old man who can’t seem to get off the Playstation long enough for a romantic evening on the town? You become turned off by his assortment of comic books and Japan Anime DVD’s? Maybe you should tell him to grow the fuck up!
a.    He has a great sense of humor. His ability to joke around and child-like innocence initially appeal to you
b.    This man is very close with his Mother and his inner circle of friends. You see firsthand that he has lots of love to give
c.    He has very little past relationship drama
a.    He’s a man, but still acts very much like a child. He works very little, if at all.
b.    He’s a Mama’s Boy and tells his details of the relationship-as a result you notice her penchant for meddling.
c.    His idea of a date is to challenge you in an Xbox game of his choice while ordering pizza.

MR. DAMAGED GOODS- if you date long enough, you’ll come across a great man who is damaged goods. It is the stage after a relationship when a person has been impaired, corrupted or deviled and has some emotional wear and tear that is often beyond repair. I write often about these kinds of women in my blogs, however have failed to acknowledge that men often show the same symptoms after a bad breakup.
a.    A true gentleman. He treats you the way you deserve to be treated.
b.    He is unselfish and knows all of the things that you need.
c.    He is family oriented and has a great heart.
d.    He is an effective communicator and a great listener

a.    He can often be apprehensive about titles and transitioning from dating to a new relationship because of his past hurt
b.    He may emerge from his previous bad breakup as a player, and will have multiple women in rotation
c.    This man can generally be afraid to love wit everything he has like he did before and you may end up with only a fraction of his heart.
d.    He may just decide to selfishly treat every woman he meets like shit until he feels better. Oftentimes they never find satisfaction, so he will eventually transition into Mr. Loser.

MR. RIGHT-Every woman needs one man in her life who is strong and responsible. Given this security, she can proceed to do what she really wants to do-fall in love with men who are weak and irresponsible. –Richard J. Needham
a.    He is the answer to your prayers; he is everything you’ve wanted; the perfect combination of looks, brains, wit, style and humility.
b.    He is God-fearing and consistent and being consistent
c.    Many women want him, but he’s only got eyes for you
d.    He supports you and your goals, helps you work towards them, but can provide like no other and hold it down
e.    He not only makes you feel like the luckiest woman on earth, yet believes he is equally as luck to have found such an alluring soul mate.
a. Sadly, many women are programmed and brainwashed to believe that there are no Good Men out there in the world. Often, good men are described as men with movie star looks and an NBA athlete’s salary. College degrees, money, beautiful homes and many other accolades have nothing to do with the heart and a man’s ability to love someone. Once people (men and women) stop falling in love with the fantasy of what a Mr. or Mrs. Right is and focus on what’s important, I have faith that most of us can and will find true love. Until then, many will continue to waste years chasing the aforementioned fools above. Are there any that I missed?

“There's a difference between beauty and charm.  A beautiful woman is one I notice.  A charming woman is one who notices me.”  ~John Erskine

…These Are The Random Thoughts Of Ronald Gray…