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Monday, June 22, 2015

The 1st Thread For 6/22/15: Denial of White Terrorism And How Charleston Isn't an Attack on Christians

Denial of reality can be an alarming, misguided practice that a person can willingly partake on oneself. It is a conspicuous moment revealing how individuals are fully insecure with accepting the truths that they don’t want to embrace, tormenting themselves into a place of a dangerously false universe. Denial is a toxic behavior, and it has long been prevalent in America’s constant struggle with its racist characteristics, long before it became a union and in the current aftermath of its formation two centuries after. The tragic assassination of nine black people at the hands of a 21-year-old white terrorist has sparked another episode of racist denial, not only from conservative Caucasian Americans but even some notable white figures outside the right-wing spectrum.

Shifting the focus off racism as the main reason for Dylann Roof’s devilish acts, some quickly attributed the shooting deaths to being simply an attack on Christianity.  Leading in that chorus of denial unsurprisingly was the folks apart of the Rupert Murdoch empire. Fox & Friends added to their endless list of inane segments by hosting a conservative black pastor who insinuated the mass murdering as a “rising hostility against Christians across this country because of our Biblical views.” (In addition, that same Pastor, E.W. Jackson, shepherded the unhinged idea of churches arming themselves in the wake of the attack.) That prompted the usually deranged co-host Steve Doocy to be in disbelief at the crime being labeled as racially driven. “It was released earlier, extraordinarily, as a hate crime,” Doocy said.  

Continuing in that same peculiar trail of thinking was Presidential hopeful and proverbial war monger Lindsey Graham. Appearing on ABC’s The View, the South Carolina Republican Senator was obviously disturbed at the latest tragic events that took place in his state. But he quickly described Roof with the same characteristics usually bestowed to only white mass murderers and not Muslims, Hispanics or black troubled individuals: He was disturbed, he was a loner wolf and he wasn’t a terrorist. He continued on by saying Roof’s actions was not indicative of South Carolina as a whole, a stunning irony considering its white supremacist history and still glaring obsession with keeping its confederate flag as its symbol. When asked by new co-host Raven Simeone if the tragedy was hate crime motivated or mentally disturbed, Graham could only muster “both” and that Roof was “just whacked out.” It was a startling contrast from how Graham never hesitates when seeing any Muslim involved in any crime, calling “terrorism” at the blink of his jihad eye whenever he sees or hear an Islamic name. 

Probably the grossest denial of white racism to describe Roof’s brutality, however, came from rising conservative pundit and Miami Herald columnist AJ Delgado. To the amazement of most following her on Twitter, Delgado immediately questioned whether Roof was Caucasian after seeing the images from the surveillance video showing his entrance into the church. “Sorry, am I the only one who isn’t seeing a “white male? I know media wants to run a racial angle here but this guy doesn’t look white?” she brazenly wrote. Delgado followed it up with another tweet so ridiculous that it made one question how she has been worthy to be on an intelligent show such as “All in with Chris Hayes?” “None of this story adds up,” she wrote. “Even if a ‘white supremacist,’ their targets/hatred isn’t usually church-going African-Americans.”  The Ku Klux Khan probably could not find a better candidate for a press secretary position than Delgado presented herself as with her elementary school view on white racism. 

These three views from Doocy, Graham and Delgado came despite the news already surfacing for hours of the AME Church surviving person indicating the chilling words that Roof told his victims before their sad deaths. “I have to do it,” Roof allegedly said, as reported by a cousin of a fortunate survivor relying a message from another present during the tragedy. “You rape our women and you’re taking over our country. And you have to go.” That report preceded a bevy of information after Roof was identified that shows him embracing apartheid nations South Africa and Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), along with “The Confederate States of America.” Later, one of Roof’s friends since the ninth grade stated that Roof had a history of telling racist jokes and recently talked about how segregation needed to return because of his belief that “blacks are dominating now.”  If all of those details still could not convince you to label it a “hate crime” (and Roof as a terrorist), then you probably would struggle to believe that grass is green, that the sky is blue, and that two plus two equals four. 

Even some non-conservative outlets couldn’t muster up the courage to say the obvious. The prominent liberal blog Emptywheel featured a post railing against the idea of labeling the Charleston massacre a hate crime, calling it “bogus” and “hyperbole.” Salon staff writer Mary Williams, despite the appropriate title, wasted an opportunity to slap down the absurd “Christianity was attacked” argument from the Fox & Friends segment, letting it go unchallenged by writing a non sequitur about immigration instead. CNN morning show anchor Chris Cuomo followed a similar script of disbelief that Delgado fell under, literally writing that Roof “possibly” was not white. Like Delgado, Cuomo proceeded to delete one of the worst tweets of 2015. Unlike Delgado’s cowardly decision to delete her full account, Cuomo however has kept his up for the time being. 

Although nowhere near as egregious as Doocy, Graham and especially Delgado’s statements, that lack of clinical confirmation that this was pure racism from notable figures, even on the white left, shows how much progress we still have still left to do as a country to be fully accountable for the crimes against black people. And as a black person born and raised in this country, I frankly believe we will never reach that point of having racial common sense. If we haven’t gotten it after slavery, segregation and other suffering, then what makes you think we truly will?      

Denial is a scary thing, a failure for a person to reconcile with the fact that a painful truth must be accepted. But it becomes a massive threat to a society as a whole when the denial is deeply systematic, analogous to American racism. It does no one good, and only creates more American nightmares, where black victims are again held hostage, or given worse, by the deadly shackles of white supremacy. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

The Flashback Fridays #2 For 6/12/15: Pretty Ricky - Grind With Me (2005)

Another song with "Slow Down" that was a major hit at the start of summer 2005 was another perfectly timed debut single in R&B. It was from Pretty Ricky, and like Bobby V, never could match the success from their first song (and let's not even go there on how bad Pleasure P's solo career has gone).

The second Flashback Friday choice of the day, it's Pretty Ricky with "Grind With Me."
(And those at Warner Music Group screwed up again. This came out in late May 2005, not anytime in 2006. Big Music labels really are so horrible).

More to come at The Whole Delivery, stay tuned. 

The Flashback Fridays #1 For 6/12/15: Bobby Valentino - Slow Down (2005)

10 years ago at this time, Bobby Valentino was new and very relevant. Now, not so much. But you can't deny the smoothness that was and still is his debut song/single, "Slow Down." Definitely near graduation/prom music here, it's today's first of several Flashback Fridays from 2005.

More to come from The Whole Delivery. Stay tuned. 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The 1st Thread/Music Wakeup Call For 6/11/15: Jidenna ft Roman GianArthur - Classic Man (2015)

Of the edges of D'Angelo and Kendrick Lamar's pro-black efforts, Janelle Monae artist Jidenna has done the perfect song and video for his debut single "Classic Man." It was firmly a representation of black old school excellence in a new era. It's broken through so good that LeBron's "Beat by Dre" commercial plays it.

Today's "Music Wakeup Call," Jidenna with "Classic Man."

More to come at TWD today.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

The Super Sports Saturday of June 6 Thread For 6/6/15: Barcelona Are Treblerric Once Again (Postgame Versions)

Final Words: 

From Luis Enrique being on the hot seat to being a manager of one of the greatest sides in the history of the game, Barcelona have proven how amazing their club is once again and will go to the Club World Cup to make official their status as the best football side on Earth.

It has been another memorable year covering the Champions League. Here is the team of the season below, where the likes of Carlos Tevez, Thomas Muller, Jordi Alba, Thiago Silva and Dani Alves just miss out. Until next season, when it starts back up in late July and August, peace to this great competition.

Full Time: Juventus 1-3 Barcelona (Barcelona become 8th European treble winners)
A video posted by Drew Jones (@twdbk) on

More to come, including the team of this season's Champions League

GK: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus) - The 37-year-old marvel may still not have a European trophy to his name, but he still is one of the best in the world and showed it all competition. Even today, despite not being able to parry Messi's hard shot for Suarez's winning tap in, Juve's legendary shot stopper was still so marvelous indeed. Unlike Iker Casillas, no question who is the main for the Turin giants

RB: Danilo (Porto) - Despite the longer campaigns for Dani Alves and Stephan Lichtsteiner, the future Real Madrid man showed why he is a growing star, leading the Portuguese giants to a fine quarterfinal showing and making Bayern Munich sweat.

CB: Gerard Pique (Barcelona) - After a few seasons into the wilderness and wondering if his career had peaked too early, the stoic but skillful centerback return to his place as arguably the world's best centerback. Pique was more physical and stronger this season, while adding his unique talents to show all his critics that the 28-year-old's question ability is here to stay for more years to come.

CB: Javier Mascherano (Barcelona) -
Arguably helping Pique return to his form has been the amazing evolution of the Argentine hard tackler and ball winner from a quality holding midfielder into a top centerback. His positioning and timing has helped give Luis Enrique confidence and Barcelona fans' assurance that they haven't seen from their centerbacks since the latter days of Carles Puyol.

LB: Patrice Evra (Juventus) - When the energetic Frenchmen left Manchester United for Serie A, most thought that his best days of playing consistently at the elite level were gone. How those analysts were proven wrong, as the 34-year-old rolled back the years with a terrific season of fine positional defending and venturing forward at the right time as he has always been able to do.

M: Ivan Rakitic - What a debut campaign at a massive club for the Croatian, who cemented himself as one of the world's best midfielders as the perfect replacement for the legendary Xavi. Few humans on the planet could do what Rakitic did this season, with the mental and physical pressure to perform in new, highly charged surroundings on him. He handled it so beautifully.

M: Arturo Vidal - The Chilean proved how he is such a force in the midfield, especially when fellow box to box dynamo Paul Pogba was out. Quality going forward and always willing to do the defensive work when he comes back,  the former Bayern Leverkusen man proved for another campaign why he has to be in everyone's world class list.

M: Lionel Messi - He was only placed in the midfield to get all the deserving attacking talent on the field. Even without scoring in the final, he was still the best player on the field of many fine performers. Nothing more needs to be said.

M: Cristiano Ronaldo - You couldn't have just one all time leading goal scorer on this team and leave out the other, even if the other goes trophyless this season. Despite not playing well against Juventus and again not being a superstar in big games, the Portuguese talisman is still a legend and undoubtedly second only to Messi.

F: Neymar - All the Brazilian wonderkid did was become the first player to score in a quarterfinal, semifinal and final of the Champions League. He has lived up to the hype, and will only get better from here on out.

F: Luis Suarez - From "The Bite Seen Around The World" to the "Winning Goal Heard Round the World."  Suarez may not have made anyone forget his carnivore actions, but he's reminded everyone how outstanding a player he truly is once more.

Halftime Version-The Goal 
 Key Matchups of the Game

-Battle of the fullbacks:  Evra and Litchsteiner have slowly come on towards the end of the half.

-Pirlo protecting his centerbacks: Can the greatest play maker do the defensive duties today. SO far in the first half, he did not on the first goal, as he allowed Rakitic to come in the box with no problem.

-Can Busquets harass Pogba: Still the case, but Pogba has definitely had his moments. 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

The NBA Finals Shootaround Pregame Thread For 6/4/15: A Look Back at Their Real First Meeting

If Kevin Love was in this series and both teams were full strength, the Cleveland Cavaliers would win this series in five games. These two teams' second matchup this season in Cleveland showed that, as the Cavs outshot the Warriors and dominated them when it came to the second chances and length.

More to come with the NBA Finals and TWD, in a bit.

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