Thursday, April 14, 2011


I know there is at least one resident is hoping that it does…


I lost a day. Went somewhere I wasn’t supposed to be and where I was supposed to be, I did not go. Nothing critical but still… another driver threw something from a moving car as I ran down Leavenworth Street. I think it is the same person with bad aim. One day around the same time, a soda bottle came my way and the second item hurled my way was an egg. Should have taken down the license plate but the egg startled me and the car continued on its way. The two incidents happened at approximately the same time so I have to adjust when I go on my runs.

As nice as the people seem to be in Omaha, there is an undercurrent of ‘something’ as well, beyond my customary cautious awareness that is going on here. The phrase, ‘watch your back’ takes on a greater meaning when you know that ‘IT’ is out there and you have no idea of where it may come from.


Waking up most mornings makes me thing of what the Reagan campaign commercial, ‘Morning In America’ hoped to evoke in people. I over look a park and the branches catch the sun in a way that makes them seem alive. And despite the jerk that is targeting me with projectiles, the people are pretty friendly and nice. No, I still don’t ‘engage’ anyone without having a reason, but I do speak when spoken to. The conversations have been affirming of the notion that this is a friendly town, full of good Americans… but, they don’t know what the government is doing to the soil!!

Another slightly unnerving observation that I have made since I have been in Omaha, is about the collective identity's news source. Whenever there is a public TV, at a fast food restaurant, at the gym, wherever, when it comes to viewing the news, the preference if for Fox News, rarely have I seen CNN out in any of the bazaars of Omaha. This would also include resale shops, retail stores or wherever a television is on for people causally view. Someone even put it on Fox when I was paying my cable bill. Ick. I don’t that there is a lack of sophistication here in town (I think the cultural aspects of the town is prolly underrated and there is a GBLT community that isn’t hiding in any shadows), just that not everyone is liberal. Oh, there are some pro-Obama stickers and I have yet to see any denigrating the President in anyway or too many professing to be strident conservatives or Tea Bags. So there is that going for the place. And the college atmosphere (I’ve walked through UN-O a couple of times and been past Creighton) is ‘breathable’. Will prolly find out more of what they are like this summer and I expect that there is a decent fair scene here, too.


I have spoken about my upbringing and how it has influenced me as a person, both politically and personally. The way that I deal with women that I characterize as ‘approaches’, not in objectification of women but to define and identify the traits in my behavior that needed to be adjusted, so that I would potentially be a better partner for a relationship. My Mother did the primary rearing but I don’t think that she informed me about respecting women, directly. Like a lot of topics in the black community, there were no real discussion about gender roles and how men and women treated each other in relationships in my household or any that I associated with. This was not because there were only broken homes in my environment, as there were several intact marriages and families on my block and in the neighborhood. The points of contact that I had with these families were ‘normal’ but when it came to ‘the talk’ regarding how to behave in a relationship, it was pretty much fend for oneself, other than whatever permutation of ‘just say no’ or ‘keep your legs closed’ an adult who may have addressed the subject used.

There is speculation that LaShanda Armstrong, a single mother of four, was distraught, no doubt due to the pressures her responsibilities and ambitions to do better for her children (she was a college student and working as well). The surviving child, her 10-year old son, hinted that there was infidelity involving the father of three of her children, Jean Pierre. Her Facebook (which I am weaning myself away from… it has served its purpose in my life) update from the night before the tragedy talked about her regrets for what ultimately would be her taking of her and her children lives.

I am not going to soapbox anything as I feel that I have contributed as much to the conditions that may have stressed LaShanda to the point of no return. But by not having an honest discussion within the community about how men and women relate with each other, the elements that may have contributed to this incident will continue to permeate relationships between black men and black women. As long as the community avoids the kind of discussion that deconstructs what is taking place in the relationships that it is represented by, this kind of self-annihilation, which is a symptom of what is going on in a broader sense, will continue as long as current conditions persist.

In time I will get to finishing up my thoughts on relationships.  This kind of took precedent and relates to why there is a need for less analytics and scholarship in lieu of real world advice and conversation about relationships.


Mizrepresent said...

Hope you are well and thank you for occassionaly dropping by my spot. My feelings on the young mother who drove herself and her kids into the river are not without sadness and regret. Where is the help, hope for these young people? I really don't know what to say besides that...except hope all is well with you.

LceeL said...

Man, they're throwing stuff at you? Be careful. As little as two years ago, the Feds busted some dudes dealing guns and drugs - with links to local white supremacist groups. They're out there. Please be careful.

That corgi :) said...

I echo what LceeL said, do be careful out there; I can't imagine anyone throwing anything at you Mark. It makes absolutely no sense why people would resort to things like this. I had to laugh though about your comment that all stations seemed to be focused on Fox there; here it is the opposite with CNN being the "main squeeze" at the gym, etc.

Do watch out and do be careful!


Toon said...

When I see an open public TV broadcasting Faux News, I walk right up and change it to CNN. Not once has anyone said a word.

Be careful out there. That undercurrent of "something" is not to be ignored.

I hate the midwest!

Jonthy, Alice the uppity white cat's babysitter said...

It's sad that there are people who target other people. Why can't the view of the park out your window reflect human optimism instead of mask human hate. It's not just Omaha I'm afraid. There are those who hate in every town and state. Take care friend.

JOHN O'LEARY said...

I'm impressed you can be philosophical in the face of projectiles! Whew. I haven't dealt with that kind of crap since I had an Afro in 1970.

Hey, my blog post on Dylan was a spoof. That recording was a fake. Needed a little comic relief...

Sarcastic Bastard said...

Our local Kroger grocery store always has FOX News on. I always have to make a griping comment to the poor kids working at Starbuck's who have to watch that shit all day.

Love you, buddy. Watch out for the eggs and bottles. People are idiots.


Have Myelin? said...

Again, so much to say in a little white box but I'll try to be pithy.

Fox News, CNN News. When peeps say something about those cable news channels (I watch both BTW) I say "Which shows are you referring to?" Because saying "I hate Fox News or I hate CNN" doesn't make sense. That's like saying "I hate NBC" or "I hate ABC". Each news network is made up of individual shows. I like some shows and I don't like some from each network.
Same as ABC, NBC and CBS although they sure have a lot of crap on all three lol.

This little white box gets full fast.


You hurt my brain sometimes. HA!

♥ CG ♥ said...

Ignorance is rampant, be careful out there.

You're right, we need to have many conversations from the state of relationships to the effect of stress on our mental health.

mrs. miss alaineus said...

mark i can't find your latest entry i keep getting redirected here. how are things going? saw peeps riding the other day and thought of you. be well.


Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Stay safe friend, but glad you are out getting some road work in.

Hope you can find a place that has something real versus faux on :o)

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm not liberal, but I like to get my news from all different sources. I wouldn't trust news from any one source only, regardless of the source.

Throwing things at you? Uhm, not to be a major pessimist, but damn. Please be careful. I don't trust all that "most people just want to get along" talk. As Matthew Shepard & James Byrd Jr's families if they think people are really just looking to play nice with each other in the main. ~Mary