Over the winter I started watching the TV show Vikings. Vikings ran on the History Channel from 2013 to 2020 for six seasons. The show is loosely based on the history of the Vikings of northern Europe. I would recommend the show if you like historical dramas. However the show is super violent. The Vikings didn’t really do anything other than invade foreign lands, initiate hand to hand combat and have sex.
The principle character of the show is an ambitious farmer turned Viking king Ragnar Lothbrok and his family. The show spans generations and the show does a good job of developing the characters and their storylines. The make up artists did a great job of maturing and aging the actors.
Michael Hirst is the writer of the show and he said that Vikings is loosely based on history. So I’ve learned some new things but they are general ideas and not necessarily historic facts. Vikings is purely a drama and not educational material. But if you don’t know much about the Vikings this show may inspire you to learn more about them and their influence.
If you don’t mind violent battle scenes and torture you may enjoy Vikings. Some of the seasons are long so the series is kind of a big commitment but it’s a great story with a lot of intricate details and great actors.
The United States has a punitive attitude towards Black people. The United States seeks to condemn Black people for any infraction real or perceived. Americans, specifically White ones, love to believe they are authority figures that need to monitor, judge and teach Black people how to act and punish them if they don’t behave according to the satisfaction of Whites.
This week a story about a kindergartner and his teacher were in the news. The five year old boy pooped at school and stopped up the toilet. I think we’ve all been there. His teacher told him to clean the poop and toilet paper with his bare hands. That’s right. This wicked woman didn’t call the custodian. She didn’t talk to the boy about how much toilet paper should be used when cleaning his bottom. This White woman that is trained in child development decided to punish a five year old through humiliation for putting too much toilet paper in the stool.
The student was a five year old boy. His teacher that is employed to help students learn life skills and expand his horizons turned a teachable moment into an opportunity to demean and dehumanize the Black boy left in her care. Her culture has taught her that Black people, even five year olds should not be shown any grace and should be punished for any misstep. This teacher should have child endangerment charges brought against her and she should be sued in civil court by the little boy. America needs to be taught that there are other ways to interact with Black people than with an authoritative and punitive attitude.
A line has been crossed in hip hop. The rapper Meek Mill has offended audiences. If you haven’t heard you might be wondering what could possibly offend hip hop fans. Rap lovers have been listening to lyrics depicting violence and disrespecting Black women for decades. Rappers have made music glorifying idolatry and every sin known to man. Hip hop artists are known for being brash and irreverent. That’s their brand.
Well, Meek Mill said something Vanessa Bryant didn’t like. Basketball widow Vanessa Bryant reacted to a line in a Meek Mill song that made reference to Kobe Bryant’s helicopter crash that took his life. And that ladies and gentlemen is the line you don’t cross with hip hop fans.
They don’t mind music that has degraded their culture and has poisoned the minds of young people globally for three generations now (myself included) but don’t you dare say anything to upset the princess of Black America, Vanessa Bryant.
That’s right. Instead of worrying about your own children and the influence that hip hop has on them, instead of worrying about the influence that hip hop has had on you, let’s worry about the woman that inherited $600 million and won’t give her in laws a dime and no longer wants to support her own mother. Let’s worry about the woman that is so notoriously mean that it was written about in the LA Times. Let’s worry about her.
Meek Mill’s song was definitely crass, insensitive and tasteless. But that’s what rappers do. That’s what’s made them billions. Why is Vanessa Bryant the one person on the planet that needs to be treated with kid gloves? I’m not defending Meek Mill. I don’t give a darn about him. But I don’t give a darn about Vanessa Bryant either.
My concern is how ridiculous Black people look rallying around this woman who doesn’t really acknowledge them. She doesn’t even acknowledge her Black in laws. Black people look very stupid putting this woman on a pedestal. I don’t know of anything that she or her husband ever did for Black people, LA or Kobe’s hometown of Philadelphia.
This is why Black people have a hard time being taken seriously or getting respect. Black people are happy to be subservient to Whiteness. It’s very sad to see. Had Kobe Bryant been married to a Black woman Black Americans never would have rallied around her in such a way. I promise you they would have had criticisms of her just like they criticize Kobe’s parents.
The only women Black Americans choose to protect and put on a pedestal are women with significant European ancestry. And that’s a huge factor or why Black people struggle so bad.
Anyway. I don’t care about either of these characters. I think Meek Mill has apologized. I guess that settles it for Vanessa. So in the eyes of Black America I guess it’s settled. Their princess has been satisfied. I hope a grain of this chivalry and grace will be applied to Black women by Black Americans one day.
Visualize freedom. What does that look like to you? Freedom would allow men to walk down a street without suspicion or harassment from agents of the state. Freedom would allow a middle aged woman to be in the nude in her own apartment without armed government employees bursting through the door.
Freedom wouldn’t mistake eccentric behavior for criminal behavior and inject citizen’s with sedatives. Freedom would not tolerate armed bureaucrats breaking into a couple’s apartment and killing in the middle of the night. A free country would not allow municipal representatives to spray a nine year old girl in the face with mace.
None of this would happen or be tolerated in a free country. Yet it has been tolerated in America since the end of the Civil War. The United States of America is NOT a free country. The freedom of Black citizens is what is typically compromised by law enforcement and that is why it is allowed to happen at the officers’ discretion. However, no one is really free when police officers are given the power and grace that police officers have.
I am African American and I have never been manhandled or falsely arrested by a police officer. Most of my interactions with the police have been relatively polite. But all it takes is crossing paths with the wrong officer. If I’m pulled over by an officer I’m at their mercy and I’m expected to submit to whatever treatment they decide to dole out. They can easily create a tense situation and escalate the scene and give themselves and excuse to put me under arrest or kill me. An agent of the state such not be given such a wide margin.
Despite the wide margins police officers are given to work they aren’t very efficient in preventing or solving crime. City streets are still dangerous, people are missing and we have a drug war that’s been going on for forty years. Yet jaywalkers end up getting arrested and people end up getting killed when they are pulled over for a bad tail light.
There is absolutely no benefit in giving police officers so much space, grace and praise. They aren’t doing anything with it accept terrorizing Black citizens and feeding their egos. Police departments in America diminish our freedom.
The police officers are one part of a dysfunctional system. But they are the part that apprehends, intimidates, beats, tortures and kills. They are the foot soldiers and flunkies of the racist American justice system. American can not call itself a free country under the circumstances of the last one hundred fifty six years. America isn’t displaying bravery either.