The Couch Sports Podcast Ep. 12

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16 comments

  1. Another great show! I agree – we, as black men, often do have to cut off folks we know are up to no good. There is typically an echelon of people who are trapped in a lifestyle of thugging and drugging – and if you stay around them, you will get into trouble. My dad would always tell me to never let one of my homies into my car if they have drugs on them, because when we get pulled over (yes, when, not if!) we would all go down, not just the dude possessing it. I agree that black folks should be organizing and coming together before we try to involve other folks – for the same reason Malcolm X did not want any white people in his organizations (we can critique this, too, because Malcolm was betrayed by black people who were working for the FBI – so it is possible that race is not all that important).

    I think we have to differentiate, though, between structure and culture. Structure refers to the political, economic, and social institutions at the level of systems (i.e. racism, sexism, capitalist exploitation). Culture refers to the practices and norms at the level of individuals (i.e. family organization, social media habits, etc.). Structure over-determines culture in the final analysis. Culture is secondary and derivative of structure. Culture is a reflex of structure.

    We live in a post-Civil Rights era that coincides with the era of neoliberalism. Everyone now thinks that we should be focusing less on structural issues (human rights, civil rights, distribution of wealth) and focusing more on cultural issues (whose baby daddy is in jail, who raps about what in their music). Focusing on culture is a deflection that makes white people feel safe. Focusing on culture is a deflection that makes capitalists feel safe. Focusing on culture is a deflection that makes men feel safe – because instead of focusing on white supremacy, poverty, and sexism, we talk about “black on black crime”, “illicit spending habits”, and “promiscuous women who wear short skirts”. These are ways of blaming the victim and shifting conversation away from real issues. In doing so, structures of hierarchy remain in tact.

    Black people have always negotiated the terms of their domination, and have always had a wide range of defense mechanisms. When white folks went into Africa, some black folks sold their brothers and sisters into slavery; some accepted it and went insane; some fought back and died; some killed their babies to protect them; some jumped overboard. When we focus on culture, we blame the effect and not the cause. When we focus on culture, we blame the reaction and not the action that brought into the existence.

    What is the qualitative difference between a young black kid trying to be the HNIC and a young white kid trying to own a business? People like to critique rappers for their explicit content, but I say they are saying the exact same thing that politicians are saying. The only difference is at the level of legitimacy. Kanye West says he is going to “grab the gat and ride with the homies” , President Obama says “the armed forces are patrolling a foreign land”. Lil Wayne says “I’m stacking dough every day of the week”, and Secretary Clinton says “we just received a generous donation from the Saxton Corporation.” They are saying the exact same things. We might as well add a rap instrumental every time we hear a presidential speech. The only difference is rappers are seen as illegitimate because they are black, and they are forced into the illegitimate economy. The kid who wants to be the HNIC has the same exact drive and frame of mind as the kid who wants to run the Fortune 500 company: they both want to accumulate money, they both want to exploit, they want flashy toys, and they want women. The only difference is, the black kid doesnt have the means or the connections to make his dream happen, whereas the white kid does – so the black kid is forced to actualize his dream on the streets in an illegal fashion. But they are exactly the same.

    To speak to Tareau’s point about Donald Trump’s “grab them” statement and how women speak similarly: we cannot make a productive comparison between men and women. We live in a world where men oppress women. We live in a world where men are superior to women. The late great Dr. Frances Cress Welsing said racism is “prejudice + power”. The same goes for sexism. A woman can make any statement she wants about a man, but at the end of the day, she does not have the political, economic, and social POWER to exercise it. When you, as a man, make a statement objectifying a woman, you make it from a position of power that a woman does not occupy.

    Women are trafficked as sex slaves by men; and women are raped by men; women are underpaid by men; and women are killed by men – so when a man makes a statement objectifying a woman, it hints towards this larger structure of sexism that has oppressed women …for ages.

    Okay I’ll stop there because I just realized how long this was. Always good and thought provoking stuff my dudes

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    • You may be the closet thing to Lupe Fiasco I’ll ever meet. I don’t really mind the long responses, it;s like going to class. To get right into it, I have a love/hate relationship with humans in general, so my faith in humanity has been somewhat restored since we started getting to know people on WordPress. I believe we all know the system is beyond flawed, and we can all see the game, some more than others. That’s why you have some who take advantage of others who aren’t “advanced.” I feel like rappers could change the game, by writing something to move the people they influence. They have more power than the president as far as getting people moving. Everybody who ever does dirt, workouts, drives, chills on the block, you name it—hip hop or rap is blaring. Especially those on the streets. My theory is what if they decided to make music to get the people to organize and motivate like Public Enemy used too. Just a pipe dream really, but a dream none the less. As far as women, I feel you. But it goes both ways. Because they have power too. Power to put you in jail with a phone call, without you doing anything, power to take half your check or more, power to organize and make their voices heard. Women and the LGBT community have more political clout than black people as a whole right now. That’s just my opinion. You may think I’m wrong. But it’s just what I see. Which is why a lot of times I stick to sports, and concentrate on my families well being because all I see is fighting and social uproar over something new everyday. More distractions, while more wars are starting and more power from the people are being slowly taken away with more technological trinkets. Feels like I’m ranting now. Brotha Walker thank you for listening and caring enough to comment

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      • Thank you for the great response and for the connection to Lupe, lol. Great lyricist and thinker!

        You are absolutely correct: women and the LGBT community have more power than the black community. Black people are always put on the back-burner. This is part of what Tareau was saying about Black Lives Matter, as well – everybody is able to join in around “black” issues and then make advances on our backs. At the end of the day, we are still trapped at the bottom.

        I feel you about rappers having the ability to move people. Once upon a time rap was empowering. When I listen to Public Enemy I think: wow, this was some socially conscious stuff. Our current artists are nowhere close to this. Do you think this is intentional? Do you think something happened at the top level of these corporations once rap/hip hop became more mainstream: the bosses peeped that hip hop had revolutionary potential, so they only began to sign artists that promoted filth in their music? Record labels are owned by the same 6 corporations that control the rest of our media – so I wonder if during the War on Drugs, they decided to use rap to degrade blacks instead of uplift us? (I have been meaning to research this ..).

        I suppose all we can do is maintain our lot and uplift our own family. The world is full of craziness, I feel you. Thanks as always for the engagement my man

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      • Your welcome bro, and you do remind me of Lupe. He’s dope. I think what’s going on in the music industry… hell the entertainment industry, is and was intentional. It stemmed from greed. White folk had centuries of practice at exploiting us. Music is no different than what goes on in the film industry, you have to act a certain way to get money and notoriety. Cold part is, since 1989, nobody was getting signed if the weren’t cussing, waving guns, and/or degrading black women. And it’s still going strong today, even tho you no longer need a record company, and going gold or platinum is harder than hell now—because of internet. In other words the work is done. People are conditioned that this is what hip-hop/rap is, and in order to get noticed, you have to have that sound. That’s why I say it starts within. Rappers have to recognize this, but I kind of understand they may not. Everyone is conditioned for this new normal—that’s really abnormal. Damn it’s messed up to think about? You go to college bro? Or you self taught? Tareau and I are thinking about having guest from WordPress on the show in the very near future, let me know if you’re interested. Could be an epic show(s).

        Liked by 1 person

      • You’re absolutely right fam.

        I just graduated with a Masters degree in Sociology in May. I plan to go for my PhD. Alot of this stuff is learned on my own because these colleges don’t want to really teach us. I just joined a socialist organization so I’ve been getting some education through there too. How about you?

        Would love to be on the show! Definitely interested. We can exchange info and such at a later date, whenever it fits into your schedule. Honored! Thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Wow a masters is awesome bro. Go get that PhD! I love to see black people getting that higher education. You plan to do a certain line of work? I’m guessing you went to an East Coast college? I’m self taught, but I planned on enrolling this spring. I really want to learn the in and outs of business. I’m really big about self sustainability and entrepreneurship. Working for yourself, growing you own food, and not being at the mercy of another person, while controlling your time and money. I’m already on that road, just need to reach the destination. Anyhow, since I left California me and Tareau do the show thru Skype now. So whenever you’re ready we can just add you on the call, I let you guys know when I’m going to press record, and have a conversation like we always do. We can do this next week or whenever you’re free or comfortable. We’ll figure out times and dates. We usually record about 1 or 2pm eastern because of his job.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks bro! Being in school, in most cases, changes your worldview for the better. Glad you plan on doing this!

        I’ll try to find one of yall on Skype for next week so we can chop it up. Afternoon time works good for me! Looking forward to it. Thanks again man!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Its just like: if a people are robbed their body, labor, land, name, family, history, knowledge of self, culture, religion and god for 400 years – how do THEY become blameworthy? And then, after 400 years of that, they are still being robbed, murdered, starved, and thrown in cages.

    Black people have suffered and are still suffering a physical and metaphysical holocaust, you feel me? In the midst of all this, of course, we turn on each other and act in ways that are not “productive” (from the perspective of our master) – but this just goes to show how much we have internalized the ideology of an anti-black world. If you study Freud, he talks about “identifying with the aggressor”. People who identify with their aggressor begin to defend the person who violates them and begin to violate themselves (think of domestic abuse victims).

    Have you ever heard of the Clarke doll study? Young black children – around the age of 5 years old – when confronted with a white doll and black doll, say that the black doll is ugly. By the time we are in kindergarten, we have already been taught to hate ourselves. The modern world was founded on anti-blackness; so. in our attempt to be “American”, we have to be anti-black, as well. It is a prerequisite. Thing is: the whole world uses the fact that black people are ALSO anti-black as the ultimate scapegoat so they can say “we are not racist, only black people are talking about niggas and killing each other”. This is like a rapist blaming the rape victim for the assault simply because she talks about it.

    This is the danger I register in your discussion of linking racism solely, or predominantly, to critiques of Black Lives Matter/black people: it sends the message that racism is ONLY a black thing – as if everyone else has transcended race and black folks in the hood are holding everyone else back with their complaints. It lets everyone else off the hook, and points the finger squarely at black folks. This is what white folks want to hear. Charles Barkley is getting a show about race on TNT – because he does not critique white folks and always points to black people.

    The goal should not be to integrate into a American society and get well-paying jobs. It was never, and will never be for us. The goal should be to dismantle this society and create a new one. So in a sense, blaming black people at all is reformist. There is no point in blaming black people for not integrating into a society that needs to be burned. And please remember: the Panthers never bothered to point fingers at black folks – they always knew who their enemy was: whites/capitalists. Malcolm X always knew that black folks fall victims because we are oppressed by WHITE folks. He offered Islam as a way for black people to clean their acts up, so we can build a new separate nation from white folks.

    Just some thoughts. I am only laying down this in-depth criticism because I like you both and think you are both intelligent brothas. So I submit these ideas in the spirit of peace, always – as this is the only way to grow. Passively liking your podcast and keeping it moving does nothing for either of us. Much love!

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    • I get it. I was taught white people where the devil since I was a kid, but I’m weary of everyone, truthfully. I get slavery, I understand everything black people went thru in this country, and I don’t discount any of it. Same with Jim Crow, black wall street, all the way up to the war on drugs. My problem is right now. I’ve never once discounted people who want help, and truly want a better life. My problem is with those who could care less. I grew up in the hood, around the craziest “goons’ in the field, I know destructive from those who try. I know the difference because I was once apart of it. I have sort of a sixth sense, which is my ability to read people, so those who are on the fence get support, while those who are just out fuckin’ up, and that’s their everyday life—I have no love for. No matter the color. So I’m not blaming black people, I’m blaming NIGGAS, because I know the difference. Black people are hard working people, survivors, and are steadily on the move to seek better. Niggas are the total opposite. Most of my family are drug abusers and felons, same with the people I aligned myself with growing up. I choose now to only align myself with those who are headed somewhere, people with goals. I said all that to say, I see every one else getting further, and further ahead, and I’m black so I speak on black folk. I don’t much care about what every other race truly think. I want to see better. For black people as a whole. I know my history, but the fight in 2016 and beyond is economical. Entrepreneurship. More unity. I get what you’re saying, I do. But what I say doesn’t reflect what I see in the news, because I try not to watch it. I’m talking 34 years of observation. From inside and outside the circle.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I dig what you’re saying. In my family, my folks make a distinction between black people and niggas too. The black people are seen as those who get up and go to work; the niggas are those who do nothing but walk around with their jeans sagging, collecting welfare all day.

        I think the distinction is useful for black people, but it is almost non-existent for the white world. White folks do not dice black people up into small groups. We are all niggas to them. Barack Obama is the president and he has caught so much anti-blackness its wild. Do you remember that story of Henry Louis Gates? ..the black professor who was arrested on the door step of his own home because they thought he was robbing it? And just a few weeks ago, an airline would not allow a black woman to give CPR because they didn’t believe she was a doctor. If you are black, you are a nigga (I would spell it with an ‘ER’ but I am afraid the moderator would censor it!)

        This is the reason why I think we have to align ourselves with our brothers and sisters who seem to not be trying. I see it less as a problem of them not trying – I see it more as a problem of: maybe they were dealt a bad hand. Do they know how to try? Do they know how to dream? If a child is born into poverty and incarceration and utter brainwashing where gangs are cool, not trying is the norm. In their mind, they think they ARE trying! So they are exhibiting the effort, just in the wrong direction. Sure, some of their actions appear, and truly are, irrational and unproductive. But are these cries for help? Are these actions a symptom of a disease (white supremacy/capitalism) as opposed to a disease in and of itself (babies having babies, stop snitchin culture, etc). Are these coping mechanisms? (people who are in jail, after a while, begin to go insane and begin to mutilate themselves – are niggas mutilating themselves because they are in jail, so should we blame the jail instead of the mutilation?). Do you think we should try to reach them and teach them nonetheless?

        Minister Farrakhan got the Bloods and Crips to get together and settle some of their beefs – in part, by telling them how they were being used as tools by the white man to kill each other. We have been robbed of a knowledge of self. Black people, in many areas, are like robots who are programmed for self-destruction. We have to change the programming and download a new worldview, you know?

        Have you ever read the letter the KKK sent out to all gang bangers? Its an actual letter. It is rich, bro. If not, please read it: http://globalgrind.com/1846876/black-america-weve-made-kkk-very-proud-blog/

        I mean – I know its hard dealing with niggas. My pops prides himself on buying a house pretty far away from them. But I see it as: if they do not feel they can come to their own, talk to their own, and learn from their own people, will matters only get worse? We have to be compassionate – we have to give all black folks the benefit of the doubt, because we know good and well no one else will.

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      • There’s a moderator? Every race sees us the same. I always say we’re judged as a whole. It used to upset the hell out of me, until I learned I have to stop trippin’ on things I can’t control—which in itself is a battle. I remember what happened with Henry Louis Gates, and the doctor incident happened out here. The latter is the kind of story that really catches my frustration. I feel you on reaching out to those who seem to not be trying. It’s the ultimate catch 22 for me. I say this because, growing up, I didn’t see doctors or lawyers on the corner. I seen the opposite. But I thought that was just life, or that was what being black was, until I was grown. Took years for an awakening. You are who you hang around. Although in my teenage years, I began the process of keeping one foot in, and one foot out, due to losing friends to gun violence and jail. Watching family members disappear. Everyone has to have a personal awaking, but it can be sparked by a book, a person or event. Mine happened with the Malcolm X autobiography. Changed my life man. I think you have to reach out to whom you’re comfortable with reaching out too. Because we’re all different and have different levels of social comfort, but no one should have to suffer in silence. Especially those locked up in solitary confinement.That KKK letters sounds like a game changer and a must read. I’m sure you’ve impacted plenty of lives with your knowledge. Keep up the good work bro. it’s refreshing man.I think how you truly feel about black folk and niggas depends on your life experience. Your pops is probably a great guy who had one too many bad experiences with niggas. I get it, I been on both sides of the fence, so I tend to not want to be around them neither, but since moving to Detroit, I just want to be around people moving toward positivity. Plus it’s about 76% black here. And all I see is potential. Not everyone here does but I see it.

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  3. I just can’t with Dave and Tareau! LOL!!!!

    Madea done dropped a movie!
    The latest episode of “Empire”…
    There goes the BLM protest!
    Y’all a trip!
    But you’re telling the truth and it’s so sad.

    Tareau: “The internet is a old white lady who is easily offended!”
    Dave: Detroit: 38 degrees? “To hell with this shit, I’m going back in the house!”

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