10/16/09

Random Thoughts about Germany

Ok so my random thoughts about Germany.

Germans can be quite rude. The words "excuse me", "pardon", or even "I'm Sorry" are exempt from their vocab. When walking they plow through you especially when you're walking in the train station. They aren't too considerate for others.

Let's see what else can I rant/comment about?

The German McDonald's is exquisite. It taste completely different from American McDonalds. The fries are so tasty. I love eating them with mayo. Their chicken nuggets are to die for. Now I know I'm being the typical American but its soooo addicting.

Please keep in mind that I do like to eat German foods. But its rare to eat it on base (we have American foods/fast food courts)-- The Burger King on post is okay. It sometimes taste different but their fries are on point. not as good as MCD tho. When I go off post I do make a point to try German food. I'm not opposed to it. The bratwurst is quite delightful. German Beer is good too.


-Curry Wurst & Pomme Frittes so delicious I would kill for it!

The area I live in has like 300 breweries. So I plan to discover them. :)

I think the US should invest in trains -- Europe is onto something with having trains every where.

Um, I can't think of anything else. But I'ma force myself to recount my trips to Oktoberfest & Paris in a new post by Sunday. Its just sooo hard lol even when I'm bored I don't feel like writing. But I will do it!

10/13/09

The Almost Disaster of Oktoberfest

I originally planned to go too Oktoberfest (in Munich) in the second week it was in session, but Al Quad-ea decided to threaten Germany & Oktoberfest with bombs galore. So my internship forbade us to go. Talk about the worst thing in the world. We had bought our tickets a few weeks in advance to celebrate Linda's birthday. Her family even had a room reserved for her. Let me tell you I was super pumped.

But we didn't go. Needless to say, Al Quadea did not bomb Germany... in the time that I've been here.

Ok so basically, me, Christine, & Spencer went the the third week (final week) of Oktoberfest and it was fun. Not as crowded like I originally thought but it was fun. Christine was meeting her friend (whose in the Airforce) at Oktoberfest so we had a beer tent to go too. We met up with her friend and his friends. And had a lot of FUN. The house beer wasn't to die for but it did the job. I actually was somewhat sober for the event because I never quite finished my 2 beers... not cuz I'm a wimp but throughout the day I lost sight of my beer and I was NOT trying to be in a Germany version of Hangover .... (PAUSE: Hangover is a movie that recently came out..def go see it!)



I would also like to pause for a minute, and talk about my love of accessories. Don't worry this will contribute to the story. I love my accessories. Especially my earrings that I try to buy one of kind. Like it becomes very intense and dramatic if I ever loose my earrings. I typically have backs in them, but sometimes they fall out. Sadly.

So what does this have to do with my story? I had on a pair of earrings that I loved. Like they were wonderful I got them for 1.99$ from Love21 and I loved them. I checked frantically throughout the day to make sure I still had them in my ear because my dumb self forgot to put backs in them.

So as our evening is coming to a close in Oktoberfest. We had been there for about 4 good hours I reckon. We say our goodbyes and we all walk out of the beer tent. All in good camaraderie. Than it happens. I randomly touch my earlobe.

My earring is gone.

I stop & freak out.

10/11/09

Guest Blogger: Part III- When a Black Leader Needs To Retire

Guest Blogger Antoine Marshall was inspired from a conversation he had on the posting of a friend (shoutout to Bradley), regarding the BET employee's comments about BET which can be found here. Antoine Marshall is currently a first year law student at Wake Forest. http://www.linkedin.com/pub/antoine-marshall/1a/267/148
The three examples above are merely an example of the timeline of what seems to be every black leader.
  1. Accomplish great things
  2. Get older
  3. Believe in the hype that has been placed upon you
  4. Get addicted to the power and influence
  5. Declare yourself the self-appointed leader of all things within the black community
  6. Abandoning ideas from young leaders, insult young leaders.
Maybe this is the criteria for black leaders, or maybe the leaders viewed as the greatest are so because they are assassinated before they reach phase II or III of black leaders (King, X, Newton). While interesting to ponder upon that's not quite the purpose of this note.
I was asked a question in a conference once that I now pose to you. Name a black leader under the age of 40 who is not a musician or athlete... Don't worry I'll wait. It's not an easy question, and I have trouble doing it without doing an online search. Which brings me to the purpose of this note what we are going to do about it?

Everyone I have tagged in this note I believe is an intelligent, young African-American with the capability of becoming a leader on a local, regional, or national stage (not to say anything about the people I didn't tag, and of course I underline "capability" because it's on you to realize that potential).

Problem is, like Hales (Our BET employee), we are also the type normally shot down by the relics of movements past, who have the belief that because we haven't achieved the level of success they have in our many less years, our ideas are somehow less valuable or effective.

Despite the oncoming post-racial America (that we exceedingly are proven we don't live in) that Barack Obama is supposed to usher in. There will always be a black community, just like there will always be a Jewish, Hispanic, Muslim, Asian, etc. community. And the black leaders of today need to be just as inspired and talented as leaders past.

I had a friend who had a lunch with John Lewis (One of the big 6 from the Civil Rights Movement, and current US Representative from Georgia) and asked him what can we do as young African-Americans today to continue the fight for civil rights, and his answer mirrored many of the strategies used in the 40s-60s: march, rally, boycott, etc.

As we saw with the Jena 6 and SC Confederate Flag those methods don't work anymore and now it's on our generation to update our strategies to be more relevant and effective in today's faster society (not to say anything disparaging about John Lewis, one of our better US Congressmen).

It is my sincere hopes that this note brings about serious discussion about the state of black leadership, the transition of power over to the younger generation, and how we can cement ourselves and ideas within our communities on a local, regional, and national level, among all who are tagged or happen to stumble upon this note.

If not immediately I hope to at least grease the wheels for discussions in the near future. I understand this note is long, but how can we hope to achieve the status of leaders if we shy away from long/difficult endeavors.

With the high rates of incarceration, drug use, drop outs, births out of wedlock, single parent homes and other socio-economical attacks on our community if only one person is able to stomach and decipher my philosophical babblings on what I believe is a void in leadership among African-Americans, or recalls this note after they have reached the pinnacle of success to avoid the pitfalls that have plagued our other black leaders, then I feel the time and effort put into this note is more than worth it.

Guest Blogger: Part II- When a Black Leader Needs To Retire

Guest Blogger Antoine Marshall was inspired from a conversation he had on the posting of a friend (shoutout to Bradley), regarding the BET employee's comments about BET which can be found here. Antoine Marshall is currently a first year law student at Wake Forest. http://www.linkedin.com/pub/antoine-marshall/1a/267/148
  1. W.E.B. DuBois

    The first black to receive a PhD from Harvard, architect of the NAACP and the principal known as the talented tenth, was very much a leader through the early 20th century. He fought for the education, civil reform, and economic reform of blacks making significant advancement throughout those areas.

    His later life he was marred by his praise of Stalin, fights with the NAACP, controversies that resulted in losing his US citizenship, criticism of younger black writers/musicians and developing a nasty habit of changing his mind on major issues; sometimes fighting just as passionately for the issues he fought against a few months prior.
  2. Thurgood Marshall
    The man voted by Time Magazine as Mr. Civil Rights in the 50s and 60s (beating King, X, and many others more associated with the civil rights movement now) arguably singlehandedly did more for abolishing Jim Crow laws and discrimination than any other leader.

    His ability to follow Charles Hamilton Houston's plan of legally breaking down separate but equal doctrines earned him the privileged of being our first black Supreme Court Justice. But as the young hotshot lawyer grew older he took steps to get in front of the movement ensuring that he received the glory from major case wins.

    This included separating the Legal Defense Fund from the NAACP in a battle of egos to ensure that he had the power to remain in front of the movement and didn't have to divulge power and glory to the NAACP. As a Supreme Court Justice he was called on to step down during the late stages of the Carter administration to ensure that the people would be granted a successor with the same ideological leanings as him (with the even more gracious offer to have him in on the meetings to choose his successor, with several well qualified black nominees being considered).

    Despite his failing health and questions about his mental capacity diminishing, Marshall's ego had him stubbornly refuse, blasting the well-qualified potential black nominees who viewed him as a hero, saying he'd stay in office until death. Remarkably he lasted another 8 years on the bench (which given his health conditions and demand of the job a testament to his willpower) but retiring in '91 and I personally hold him responsible for being stuck with Clarence Thomas the man then President H.W. Bush nominated to replace him.
  3. Jesse Jackson nuff said...

    Ok so that was wrong, but the man who worked closely with Dr. King, ran for President in 1984 and 1988 (if you didn't know he was 2nd in the Democratic Primaries voting in 1988. He was the 1988 Hillary Clinton) and helped electrify the Democratic base in 1992. Has become for the lack of a better annoying. His Rainbow/PUSH Coalition routinely fleeces worthy causes, for the purpose of filling his pocket, and who can forget this.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4aLGkFpsdHo

    By now even his most adamant supporters know he's being a media whore
    .
Stay Tuned for Part III of When a Black Leader Needs To Retire

10/10/09

Guest Blogger: Part I- When a Black Leader Needs to Retire

Guest Blogger Antoine Marshall was inspired from a conversation he had on the posting of a friend (shoutout to Bradley), regarding the BET employee's comments about BET which can be found here.  Antoine Marshall is currently a first year law student at Wake Forest. http://www.linkedin.com/pub/antoine-marshall/1a/267/148
There is one section in particular that brought out the larger conversation that follows.

I came in with a plan to provide balance and to deliver good music to the masses and help make BET relevant again -- at least in the dot-com world. Those attempts were shut down by out-of-touch executives who run a dot-com but could barely turn on a computer.

The short explanation of this is that a bright young intelligent employee of BET proposed quality ideas to BET, but BET with an absolute deterrence to anything remotely successful shot down these quality ideas.
We could leave off there and chalk it up to BET executives living up to the failure that is BET, but I think it brings up a more pressing issue of significant importance within the black community and that is the idea of black leaders stepping down.

One thing is inevitable, we all lose it at some point. Either through physical or mental deterioration, or the result of a changing of times, there is a point in our life when we are on the decline, unable to do the thing that we're best at, or at least unable to do so on the same level. Jordan's high flying dunks were replaced by the fadeaway jumpshot, Ali's foot speed and piston like jabs were replaced by the rope-a-dope, Ray Charles' fast paced fusion of gospel and Rock & Roll was replaced by slower ballads. But what about our black community leaders?
Unlike Jordan, Charles, and Ali community leaders can't just choose to retire. In the black community they remain public images throughout their lives, many of them living relics of a past fight or struggle. The problem is, is that they don't wish to relinquish that image, wanting to be forever viewed as the champion of abolition, civil rights, or whatever worthy cause they had so much success with, often times to the detriment of their causes.

Don't believe me? I bring up three examples

Stay Tuned for Part II of When a Black Leader Needs To Retire
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