IGNANT Friday, Vol. 4, 1st Edition

IGNANT Friday has returned! This is the weekly roundup of the most ignant things I’ve seen or heard of, and since this is the first Friday of the first full week of the new year, I thought it might be good to round up some end of the year ignance and spotlight some beginning of the year ignance starting with…

Donald J. Trump is running for president and it’s not a hoax. When asked how he’s going to “make America great again,” he says he’ll hire good people to get the job done. When asked how he’s going to tackle the “immigration problem,” he says we’ll build a wall that borders Mexico (not Canada, though) even though Hispanics love him and that we’ll ban all Muslims from coming into a country that has freedom of religion. His supporters often chime that he’s outspoken and that this country needs more outspoken leadership (while insinuating that President Obama’s comments about guns, race, or anything else are out of place or distractions). Meanwhile, we’re headed towards Trump being on the Republican ticket. Because he will hire good people to do his job (sound business strategy) and forgot that people have to confirm nearly any choices he makes about the good people (politics as usual), a Trump presidency will leave this country up shit creek without a canoe, a paddle, or life jackets. President Trump = wading in shit creek.

I’m not done with the IGNANT shit on the Republican ticket though – the good Dr. Ben Carson, Black people’s favorite retired neurosurgeon, is losing support after being recognized as the voice of Eor from Winnie the Pooh. Seriously, he’s losing support because he’s not credible as a Presidential candidate. He never was a serious candidate, seeing as he has zero political experience or leadership, zero business experience or leadership, and his biggest claim to fame after being a retired Black neurosurgeon is that he’s a right wing Black man who confirms what white people would like to think about Blacks. To this point, many times I’ve criticized Ben for his lackluster and offensive politics, I’ve had a guy pop up and say that I don’t like Uncle Ben because he’s Black and that I’m a sellout because I don’t like his political rhetoric. Put my face next to the definition of a sellout if that’s the case, because I don’t like his political position and think he’s largely misguided. I was told I didn’t like Ben Carson because I don’t respect his rags-to-riches story and that he’s the American Dream. I can’t take away from his credentials or life experience and don’t intend to – I also don’t think he’s fit to be President of the United States because being rags-to-riches and being a former neurosurgeon doesn’t qualify him to run the country, nor do his views or his politics. He’s anti-affirmative action, which brings me to the next IGNANT piece of business…

Antonin Scalia’s par for the course commentary on Black students’ abilities to achieve were dreadfully inaccurate and served as grist for the mill for the same man who said, “If we want to stop discriminating on the basis of race then we have to stop discriminating on the basis of race,” though if I’ve paraphrased him someone please correct him so that he doesn’t keep saying these things. This is a problem with having lifetime positions like Supreme Court membership – nobody can be held accountable or removed unless he sexually assaults a child (and we have DNA, indisputable video evidence and a sworn confession) or some other heinous act, but he’s allowed to spout falsities without research that end up damning a constituency of this country as unable to learn quickly, like the backhanded slap that accompanied Brown v. Board leaving Black schools with a scarlet letter. I had a conversation once with a kid that summed up the bullshit behind the scenes of a “meritocracy” when he was mad that his Black friend got a scholarship to a great private college and he had to go to the local state school.

“I’ve got better grades than him, I’ve got better test scores than him.”

College admission processes do include more than tests and GPAs, maybe his recommendations spoke glowingly about him and he brings more to the table as a student than you do.

“I just think it should all be on merit.”

Then the other 5,000 white freshmen beat you a lot more than the 500 Black freshmen if it’s all on merit, and you didn’t have that spot taken from you – it wasn’t yours to begin with. Ultimately, the confusion had here is that Black people are supposed to go to HBCUs and if they try to attend a PWI, they’re taking a spot away from a white person who was already prequalified for the spot like the credit card offers we get in the mail. Just like the credit card might be prequalified, you still have to apply and someone might actually have a better application than you, even if you’re prequalified! More to the point, this plays on the problems many Blacks face on their PWI campuses such as….

The blacklash against #ConcernedStudent1950 and the Mizzou football team protest exemplifies the IGNANT shit Black people have to deal with on a regular basis when shouting down and confronting racism, both in its visceral and institutional forms. Protest won’t be perfect, neither will policies – but the goal of protesting is to ultimately be in a position to improve policies (legal or social) for people here and generations to come. There were plenty of Blacks who hated angering white people or disrupting the social order for fear of white vengeance once anti-Jim Crow and anti-discrimination actions were made, but they smile now happy that they don’t live in Sundown towns and that they can actually purchase property. Those same folks who are pissed will be happy when they can actually call out injustice without fear of backlash as opposed to training themselves to be mute for self-preservation. That said, plenty of Black students go to school fearful because they have to deal with people actually grading their work as though they’re slow, being talked to and treated negatively because they’re Black, and being dismissed when they see these things happen as though they’re crazy and making things up. Black students at PWIs forge the weapons needed to combat racism because they’re right there in the thick of the fight. Black students at HBCUs have psychological armor developed to deal with the status quo of racism and inequality. Both are needed. It’s IGNANT to suggest that Black students shouldn’t go to white schools because they’re not wanted because those same Black students might not feel comfortable in the normally conservative environments of HBCUs. You go where you feel comfortable being able to be educated, other things being equal. You don’t deserve to be mistreated either way….

Which reminds me that part of the backlash against Black student groups uniting with tangible demands to improve their campuses and eliminate some of the alienation and racist targeting that occurs was to see white students banding together to make white student unions that also produced a list of demands for their campus, largely calling on the demands Black students make (to lessen racism on campus and make campus more tolerable for everyone) to be ignored and to double down on the status quo because Black Lives Matter makes them nervous. They should be nervous – they’re the motherfuckers being referenced by everyone who says Black Lives Matter, and that population is being put on notice. Still, some of these demands read like a child’s hostage note that he gives to his parents so that they’ll do something to keep Bob from tearing the head off of his G.I. Joe action figure. These are educated people – so just remember, education isn’t the possession of knowledge, it’s the possession of some degree that purportedly means you learned some shit – so college/university is basically a racket with rising costs just so you can have a piece of paper that lets you spout off whatever you’d like to say without doing research (our lovely First Amendment).

Speaking of constitutional freedoms, there are grown men who took over a federal facility while armed (with a guy manning a watchtower) and have camped out because family and friends have been imprisoned for using federal lands they didn’t own. The governer of Oregon has said they should leave, but the largely (if not all) white “milita” hasn’t been approached by law enforcement and their media coverage has been vastly different and much less prejudicial compared to WEAPONLESS peaceful protesting. Apparently because they haven’t harmed anyone or anything, it’s better to “de-escalate” the situation. Tell that to the folks in Ferguson and Tamir Rice’s play gun. “Oh wait, but the QuikTrip-” means that de-escalation was probably the best way to go about it before the QT got torched rather than military escalation. Black folks without weapons recently were shuttled out of a city building in Minnesota when they were protesting the death of another young Black person. I’d say know your history but again, education is a racket, so the vast majority of people are woefully ignorant about how Black people have been treated by law enforcement and government – case in point, let me tell you a story. A friend’s mom works in rural middle America and was working one day in the office, relating to a co-worker how things might be tight for a moment financially. Her white co-worker asked her, “Well, don’t you get a check?” My friend’s mom looked puzzled, saying that she receives a paycheck from the same employer they both work for. Her co-worker looked puzzled back at her, asking her, “The government check that Black people get, what happened to that?” My friend’s mom quickly explained that, no, Black people don’t get a government check. She may have been confusing welfare with reparations but no Black people have received reparations for harms committed by the country and welfare doesn’t constitute reparations since the vast majority of recipients are white and it’s designed to help people who don’t have enough resources even though they’re working hard. But the story gets better! The co-worker called in another co-worker to inform her of the change in information – Black people don’t get a check! If you honestly thought Black people received reparations of some sort, you might be curious as to how Blacks haven’t bridged any wealth or income gap. But since that’s NOT TRUE, go ahead and entertain other reasons for why the gaps haven’t been closed. Also, constitutional rights aren’t absolute, particularly the First and Second Amendments – if you can’t yell fire in a crowded theater without there being a fire and you can’t own a bazooka, then what’s wrong with background checking your kid before selling a gun to him? All of these people who are claiming their rights are being trampled on and can’t answer how (including white student unions mentioned above) are beyond IGNANT.

Speaking of educated people and purportedly learning some shit, the governor of Maine recently said that the heroin dealers with names like, “D-Money and Shifty,” they come up to Maine and deliver their heroin and half of them apparently impregnate young white girls, leaving a mess on everyone’s hands once D-Money and Co. have left town. Maine is 95% white, so he’s not terribly inaccurate about who’s being impregnated by heroin dealers. He’s since backtracked to make sure that it’s clear he meant “Maine women,” not white women, and that he doesn’t know if these are Black names or otherwise. I do know this – even the suggestion that Black drug dealers are impregnating white women is enough to rile people up and it plays on the same racist rhetoric and fear mongering that has been quite effective since Nixon’s Southern Strategy. What’s even more IGNANT than the damn governor coming out and naming some fake drug dealer names when discussing a heroin epidemic in his state (and apparently a mixed baby crisis)?

Daniel Holtzclaw. God won’t have mercy on your soul.

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Four Month Hiatus

Where has Mr. Philosopher gone for so long?  I’ve fallen short of my blogging promises and I must apologize for that.  It’s been an extremely inactive year, and that’s largely because my priorities shifted from writing and it wasn’t until I wrote this just now that I realized it.  The faithful blog readers remember my decision to leave graduate school for a year, and now I’ve returned in pursuit of my PhD (yup, it’ll be Dr. Philosopher before long).  I’ll blog later on about why I chose to return (sometimes, you just have business to finish) but I wanted to describe more about what I’d been doing in the year off.

I’m a Marxist, but it must only be in theory because I was an ad salesman.  How’d I get roped into sales, might you ask?  It’s a long story but the finish is that the company is a black business directory (St. Louis Black Pages – if you’re looking to reach the Black community in STL and gain more exposure for your business, hit them up!) and I was sold on the idea of helping other Black businesses gain more exposure and help the company gain more exposure since it seemed like the right kind of business.  I knew I wanted to do something that had nothing to do with what I’d been doing before, which was youth development and academic work.  Nothing against either field, but when I finished my MA and knew that I wanted a break, it really meant taking a break from what I’d known.  While extremely out of character for me, but I couldn’t fight my intuition – it was time to try something new.

The job had its highs and lows, like most jobs do, but it certainly gave me a crash course on real life and dealing with people because the bottom line was my job was to get people comfortable enough to recognize that our product can work for them so much so that they’re willing to sign over their hard earned cash to us.  Sales is like playing defensive back and graduate school is like playing slow pitch softball in terms of the speed of the game, the action/reaction ability you need to be successful, and how important it is to be an athlete on the field.  If a sale didn’t happen, that’s thousands of dollars I’ve missed out on – missing a deadline on a paper hasn’t cost anybody anything but 2 hours more.

That said, part of that break was taking an unfortunate break from writing.  From being in front of the computer, actually.  As the year progressed, I found myself away from my laptop, seeing as I’d spent most of the work day in front of a computer or a client or on the road.  Handwriting my work was always an option, but even right now I can’t remember where my notebooks are (they’ve actually got a lot of important notes from the past 5-6 years, I’d better find them this weekend or I’m definitely up a creek without a damn boat) and for some reason, the desire to write waned.  It wasn’t laborious to write, so much as the flame was down a little bit.  Plenty of topics came to mind but there wasn’t a big surge of excitement, or even readiness to write like the one I have at present.  Looking back, the flame being a bit down wasn’t the sole reason, because this still feels pretty shaky for my writing.  My mind was extremely cluttered.  So many clients and meetings and schedules and events and it was hard to just clear my head and think.  The job became a thick, rolling fog in my brain and my fog lights just sucked.

Well, the good news is the fog is gone and the philosophy is back.  Actually, Mr. Philosopher is back.  That means IGNANT Fridays, Pissed Off Pontifications, and the debut of a new weekly segment – “Why You Shouldn’t Do That,” where, you guessed it, I’ll tell you why you shouldn’t do a certain action.  If you’ve got anything you want me to tell you why you shouldn’t do it, inbox me (mrphilosopher3@gmail.com) or Tweet me (check my tweets to the right) and it’ll get brought up in the first edition, which will be this upcoming Wednesday!  Be a part of history, because I’ve never tried to tell anybody why they shouldn’t do things like post YouTube videos of themselves falling over, watch SportsCenter on repeat in the morning, go to a Prince tribute show under the influence, or be Black and run for President.

Graduation Revisited

This blog started in April of 2009, so this has gone for two years now.  Progress has been slow as molasses as of late due to a long final semester.  One of my earlier posts was about my graduation from Morehouse and what that event signified.  Two years later, I’ve graduated again and this one comes with a different significance.  With Morehouse, it was time to go.  With this degree, I’ve been ready to go.  It’s hard to explain just how happy I currently am to be finished and to have an open future.  For the record, I was offered to continue into the PhD program in philosophy and I chose to defer that offer for a year.  Why would I do that, you might ask.

Because I was ready to get the hell out of there.

There are plenty of reasons why, but ultimately I saw too much dumb shit and for the first time, I stopped caring in general with my education.  I could care less about the profession and plenty of the bullshit hurdles that come with what is what I feared – the same people talking to each other about the same things.  I enjoy the discipline of philosophy for both its theoretical exercises and its practical effects.  The higher you go, it appears there’s a greater emphasis on the former, and while I appreciate its value in some regards, if it doesn’t “do” anything, it’s just a theoretical exercise.

Graduation meant a close of a lifelong chapter.  My yearly schedule has always been based off of the school calendar, and when August rolls around, I’m usually in back to school mode.  This will be the first year that doesn’t happen (barring me teaching), and that’s a good thing.  It’s time for a change.  Quite frankly, it’s a change I’ve earned.  In a year, if I want to come back and finish then I can.  If I don’t want to finish, I can keep doing whatever I’m doing or go do something else.  There’s a freedom that I can’t recall experiencing right now that is gratifying.

Also amazing, as I think about it, is that my progress from just having gotten my B.A. to now having gotten my M.A. can be tracked on this very blog.  The changes in my writing, my tone, my focus, even my approach are evident to me, and that’s a nice unintended consequence of this blog.

Finally, like I said above, progress here has been slow.  Not any more.  Did you think I didn’t have anything to say about Osama’s death, my recent experiences watching Fox News, IGNANT Fridays, and the long awaited return of the Chronicles of the Black Pack?  Or how about what Mardi Gras and Wrestlemania have in common?  I’m even going to post about my theories on teaching and what makes a good teacher just that, a good one.  More shorter posts, more fun again, and hopefully more comments are in the future.

– Master Philosopher

IGNANT Friday, Vol. 7

Greetings from October!  It’s been a little while since we’ve done IGNANT Fridays, but there’s been a recent accumulation of IGNANT news that simply must be disseminated to the masses.  Let’s get to it.

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On Tuesdays on a certain Memphis radio station, they have a weekly event called “Paternity Test Tuesdays.”  In the morning on Tuesdays, people will get their paternity test results broadcast over the radio.  It’s like radio Maury.  In Memphis.  Both by themselves are IGNANT but combine the two?

HYPER IGNANT.

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Well…she’s a 90-year-old white woman.  I can’t lie, every time I see a white person who looks clearly over the age of 80, I think, “Yeah, you’ve called somebody a nigger before.”  I know, I shouldn’t think it – but I do.  And it’s because of people like this wonderful old lady.  Kudos to you, madam – you’ve proven that IGNANT people come in all ages.

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Click here to see one of the most IGNANT tattoos ever created.  They blurred the man’s eyes to maintain his anonymity, but you’ll recognize this guy anywhere.

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That’s all for IGNANT Friday this week.

IGNANT Friday, Vol. 6

Back to give you a weekly dose of worldly IGNANCE, it’s IGNANT Friday!  We’ve got two prank phone calls and somebody threatening to burn a holy document!

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First of all, Roy Wood Jr. is one of the funniest prank callers I’ve ever heard.  I’ve shouted him out on here before and even got to watch him do his stand-up act live.  Real cool guy and this prank call I found on YouTube is him at his IGNANT finest.  When he started saying, “I feel like slappin’ somebody today,” I fell out of my chair laughing!

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Also on YouTube, a woman got prank called about her son’s sexual orientation.  Apparently being straight really scares some parents.  This is a hilarious prank call for all of the wrong reasons, and bless the woman’s heart, she’s damn IGNANT.

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As a bonus, because I’ve just posted two hilarious videos, why don’t I post one of the funniest things I’ve seen recently.  As my friend put it, it’s “truly shoving the black experience into their face.”  Beware of watermelons.

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Finally, on a more serious (but still highly ignant) note, there’s a pastor in Gainesville who’s planned to burn copies of the Koran as a threat to radical Islamic believers on the anniversary of 9/11.  I plan to do a piece about the ridiculous hypocrisy that America’s been perpetrating against those of the Islamic faith, and this planned event speaks volumes to just how insane things have gotten.  Flip the scenario so that instead of it being an older white man planning to burn copies of the Koran, it’s an older Middle Eastern man planning to burn copies of the Bible as a threat to American globalization.  There would be riots everywhere and uprisings and anger abounds.  More importantly, what kind of message is being sent to the vast majority of Muslims around the world who aren’t radical terrorists?  All things considered, couldn’t Middle Eastern Muslims burn the Bible in a yearly anniversary of the Crusades – you know, religiously sanctioned military missions designed to terrorize those who were not Christian?

Everybody, from the White House on down, has said that this isn’t a smart move by this pastor, Terry Jones.  He’s made headlines with a 50 person congregation, so kudos to him.  But this doesn’t add up to me.  It’ll end up with more troops needlessly killed.  He’s said that insulting all Muslims is the lesser of two evils than to let radical Islam run amok in the U.S.A.

He’s also been found out to not know a damn thing about Islam, and let’s just follow out his “lesser of two evils” argument.  Instead of finding a way to address a small subset of a large (note: Islam is the second-largest religion in the world) population, he’s chosen to piss off the entire population?  Does that even make sense?  It’s like throwing gas on a fire.  What’s worse is that every demonstration that takes place in response to this threat can be a feather in his cap, showing that there are, in his mind, more radical Islam people now than ever before and his threat pushed them into the light.  Blah, blah, blah.  Turns out a Texas evangelist bought Terry Jones a plane ticket to New York City that got him in NYC around 10pm EST.  After all of that talk, he ended up canceling the event.  This is about as bad as someone talking a lot of shit right before a fight…then not showing up at all.  IGNANT!

IGNANT Friday, Vol. 5

Welcome to the 5th volume of IGNANT Fridays!  Quite a few IGNANT stories to share, so let’s dive right in!

First off, a musical selection that is beyond ignorant.  It’s so ignorant it crosses into IGNANCE only insofar as you find this so disturbing that you have to laugh.  You be the judge on this one, folks.

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Next up, a buddy of mine in law school told me that his roommate bought a GPS…and doesn’t own a car.  When my buddy asked his roommate, “What are you going to do with a GPS and no car?”, the roommate responded, “I’m going to use it to walk to school!”  I’m putting it in the IGNANT category, but I applaud the man for being persistent in his endeavors to own a GPS.

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My friend has recently moved her children from North Carolina to Memphis.  Her kids were in an honors program of sorts and she wanted to keep them in that program here in Memphis.  In order to do this, the scores from the school in North Carolina have to be transferred to the Memphis City Schools – not a hard task, right?  When you’ve got nationwide IGNANT people, yes, yes it is a difficult task.  Her kids weren’t accepted into the program in Memphis because the scores Memphis City Schools had from the school in North Carolina weren’t the right kinds of scores.  When my friend started calling around, she figured out what happened – MCS called the school and asked for test scores.  So the NC school just started giving out recent test scores for her children, like “A,” “95,” “B+,” “88.”  Instead of asking for the honors test scores, MCS didn’t specify and just took these scores down!  And instead of asking what kind of scores MCS was looking for, the NC school just gave test scores!  And we wonder why the kids today are so damn ignant

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Finally, I heard a story about a man who had shrooms FedEx’d to his house.  The police found out about it and came knocking on his door.  They asked him about the shrooms and he let them in while admitting he did FedEx them.  He then proceeded to show the cops around his place, showing the assortment of drugs he possessed!  This included cocaine, marijuana, and of course, the shrooms.  And yes, the cops arrested him.  MIGHTY IGNANT!

That’s all for this volume.  Remember, tweet me, email me (mrphilosopher3@gmail.com), Facebook me – give me more IGNANT stories!

IGNANT Fridays – Vol. 4

Greetings from the other side of July, also known as August.  And my, my – August started off with nationwide IGNANCE. As I’m sure many of you all have seen, a young man named Antoine Dodson was awakened by the sounds of an attempted rape of his sister in the next room.  He went to fight the man off and succeeded.  They didn’t catch him, but Antoine sounded extremely certain that they will catch the rapist…and gave quite a few other soundbites.

I have no words for this news other than ignant.  I guess the newspeople wanted the most visceral of reactions on tape.

But have you all ever seen an IGNANT freakout?  Where somebody loses it for a horribly ignant reason?  My aunt sent me an email the other day that had this video in it…

Now is that as bad or worse than when the kid flipped out because his World of Warcraft account got deleted?  After re-watching just a minute of the World of Warcraft kid, I think the noodles-lover freakout falls just a bit short of the WoW fan.

That’s all from IGNANT Friday this week.  Remember, if you see ignance – let me know about it!  Tweet me, email me (mrphilosopher3@gmail.com), comment here, or Facebook me – but I want to tell more of these ignant stories!