Thursday, August 26, 2004

Fair Game

Aww man..who is THAT on that picture with D??

I dunno.

Is that his wife???

Naww..that’s not his wife..

Well I wonder who she is then??

Hmm…whoever she is…she’s nice and easy on the eyes.

See..this the kind of sh’t that makes me wonder about this n’ga D. He always pulls some kind of weird off the wall never know WHO he’s talking to..hell, I don’t even know MY name or YOUR name..

I think we’re just supposed to be some random dudes looking at and trying to figure out what’s going on. I read somewhere before how this is supposed to be called the Socratic method or something.

That’s a lil bit deeper than I normally go homeboy..but look here!..I got some good news to tell you anyway!!


I got a RAISE this week n’ga!!

FO-REAL?? That’s good man! You making that BIG dollars now huh??

Naw..not too big, I went from making $450 a week to $460.

Aww dude that’s f’ked up.


Weren’t you crushing with all the overtime you were making during inventory season last year?

You already know!! Know I’m going to make even more than that!!

No..not necessarily.

What do you mean??

The Fair Pay Act went into affect this past Monday, August 23rd.

What’s that mean??

Now your employer legally doesn’t HAVE to pay you overtime for everything past 40 hours per week.

Whatchu tawkin bout n’ga???

This new act..that’s what it does..companies who have employees with a salary between $23,660 (=$455/wk) and $100,000 per year are not REQUIRED by Federal Law to give them overtime rate compensation.

Why the hell would that make THAT a law??

All those big companies are getting slammed with billions of dollars of lawsuits by employees and ex-employees claiming compensation for unpaid overtime wages. By making this a law, they feel this will reduce a lot of those lawsuits.

Once again, it helps the big business and it hurts the poor man.

Not necessarily, because everybody who’s below $23,660.year are required overtime pay for over 40 hours a week. And those above $100,000 don’t get it at all.

Is that all the rule states?? has 8 main points:

No. 1: Almost all employees who make less than $455 a week ($23,660 a year) are eligible for overtime. The old rule set overtime for anyone who made less than $250 a week. The new rule applies whether the employee is blue collar or white collar, or whether they supervise people of not. The exception for this rule is teachers, doctors and lawyers. They do not get overtime, no matter what they are paid.

No. 2: Any employee who earns more than $100,000 a year is ineligible for mandated overtime, period.

No. 3: Any employee who earns between $23,660 and $100,000 a year, and who is in most executive, professional, or administrative positions, is not eligible for overtime. This does not, however, apply to salespeople. They are still eligible.

No. 4: Managers are not entitled to overtime if they oversee two or more people and have the authority to hire, fire, or recommend that someone be hired or fired.

No. 5: Administrative employees who have decision-making power and run some sort of operation are not eligible.

No. 6: Employees whose job requires imagination,
invention, originality, or artistic or creative endeavors are not eligible for overtime.

No.7: Employees whose main duties are computer-related and involve the implementation, analysis, development, or application of computer systems or designs are also not eligible for overtime.

No. 8: Sales staff that regularly work outside of the employer's place of business are,not eligible either.

Some 18 states, including California and Illinois, have separate overtime laws that trump federal law, the federal rules that took effect Monday will not affect workers in those states.

Mane..when I get back to work tomorrow, I’m go bust my boss dead in the face for f'king over me like that!!

Whoaa..don’t do that’ll catch a case and be on paper. Just gone and work on your game. That way you won’t have to always worry about another man handing out scraps for you to eat.

Yeah..but you know he ain’t right for doing us like that. Making us think we got raises when we really just got paycuts.

Hey..the game is made for those who’re on top of theirs. Work on your game mane..then you won’t have to worry about what the next man is doing.


If this is your first time rolling through? Wazzup..I’m glad you’re here kinfolk, welcome to the family! Whenever you get on the internet, make sure you holla at your boy D.E. Washington at What you see right now is what I’m pushing, so I hope you enjoy yourself while you’re here. I’ve got Recipes, Christian Theology, Humor, Bible School Lessons, Current Events and Hood lingo..I even do special requests! So get in where you fit in. I wish I could explain my ‘weirdness’. All I can tell you is that you’ve probably never read too many Southside of Houston (who’s parents are from Arkansas!) Christian writers with an engineering degree from Stanford University that like to listen to DJ Screw and play golf. That’s D.E. Washington. Those who have SIGNED UP FOR THE NEWSLETTER really know what’s up…why don’t you?

Friday, August 20, 2004

Scott Family Reunion 2004

I was thinking about the Scott family reunion that I attended this summer in Pontiac, Michigan, and I realized that if I told ya’ll about all my kinfolk on just my mother’s side alone (the Scott's), I’d fill an entire library full of stories. Some happy, some sad, and some that will remind you of just how powerful God really is. Sam and Artelia’s marriage of over 70 years produced 12 children (6 boys, 6 girls); 35 grandchildren, 47 great grandchildren, and 9 great-great grandchildren. Now those grand children numbers may be disputed in some circles, namely because some of my uncles may have some children that they haven’t the family. C’mon now, don’t start tripping, let’s be REAL. We’ve gotten into a steady groove of having reunions every 2 years and it’s been a wonderful thing. Because when you have a family of such size, it stands to reason that they will scatter as the winds blow. The seeds of Sam and Artelia Scott spread across the country, from New York to California, from Michigan to Texas, there will be Scott’s around when Jesus comes back!

But when you have the opportunity to see Big Mama hold her great-great-granddaughter in her lap? You need to seize those moments, because they’re precious. And that child on her lap who will have no memory of that event, will be able to show that same photo to HER great-great-granddaughter, if the Lord says the same..ya feel me? My memory of the Scott's always begins at the house that all of the kids lived in at some time or another in El Dorado Arkansas. It was in this house on Liberty street, that Big Daddy built with his own hands. The thing about family, is that they know you. They know who your mama is and who your daddy is and what they’re all about, so you can’t front with family. So as you look at that picture of the notorious Scott 12, kinda like the 12 disciples huh? Ain’t that spooky? J , from left to right on the bottom (girls first!) is my Aunt Louis, Aunt Jean, Aunt Mable, Aunt Jeanette, Aunt Faye (my mother) and Aunt Cynthia from left to right at the top you have my Uncle Scotty, Uncle J.E., Uncle Otis., Uncle Tyree, Uncle Dwight and Uncle Lloyd. 3 of the boys have followed the path of Big Daddy and became ministers. Uncle Scotty and Aunt Mable have already moved on up to that upper room along with Big Daddy, along with several of the grand‘s. We have family members who have been murdered as well as family members in jail for murder, family who have died from incurable diseases, tragic accidents, HIV, cancer, the Scott family has had more than it‘s share of tragedies and hardships, including most recently our cousin T.J. who was killed this past spring. But above all else, prayer is a large part of the Scott family. Because every one of those 12 kids that you see in that picture are real testimonies to the power of prayer.

Big Daddy was that man on fire ya’ll, there was a lot of energy around this man. Whenever I heard him preach, he always had a way of telling a story, that was a living testimony and witness as to the power of God. I’m talking about healings and miracles that God made happen out on those lonely Southern roads. My cousin remembers this one time they went to Memphis where Big Daddy had to preach a funeral. When Big Daddy first got up to the podium, and mind you, he doesn’t know ANYONE in this congregation, he barely knows the man he’s saying words over, but when he got up to the pulpit, the entire congregation was crying, moaning and sobbing. It was a sad aura..but the first thing Big Daddy said was, ‘Look..we didn’t come here to cry. We came here to celebrate a homecoming’ and from that point on, Big Daddy started telling jokes and wonderful stories of the mighty power of God in real life action, that by the time he got through, the whole church was laughing out loud and smiling halleluiah. That’s that fire ya’ll. And he didn’t just talk it, Big Daddy walked to day grinding. Uneducated, black and poor in the Jim Crow South, but guess what? He got on his hustle for the Lord and by the sweat of his brow, and now I’m able to tell ya’ll wonderful stories about the Scott Family Reunion in Pontiac Michigan 2004.

I'm very proud to tell everyone that we had a WONDERFUL time in Pontiac Michigan this year. Since the Scott’s are scattered all over, we rotate sites for the reunion every year. This gives everybody a chance to assume the responsibility of hosting it and it evens out the travel burden on those families that have to come from far away. Just the Houston crew alone rolled out 17 deep, but you know, that’s just how the SOUTHSIDE represents. You see, we have this inner clique in the family, where every year we have the Scott Olympics, pitting the North side (boooo!) of the family against the Southside (STILL holdin’!!) This is roughly determined by the Mason Dixon line, but since most of the family doesn’t even know where that is, people just get on whatever side their mama is on. We went out to a very nice park, put some meat on the pit, played volleyball, ran races, played dominoes, checkers, cards and the side that tallied the most points won. The Northisde won last year in Kansas City, but this year the Southside went up to Michigan and spanked the North like they were some bald headed step-children that Big Daddy didn’t tell us about. What? It’s just jokes..the Scott’s know how to handle it.

It’s always good to catch up with family, see all the new additions, who’s going to college, who got a new job, who’s getting married, who’s getting divorced, who tried to killl their husband, who just got outta jail…you know, the regular kinda family stuff. We always make sure to go to church together and worship together. We can almost fill half a church with Scott’s alone and being able to see your uncles preach and your aunts speak and your cousins sing and play the drums all worshipping together as a united family? It’s a beautiful thing..especially when there’s Mother Superior sitting on that front aisle enjoying church service just like everybody else.

After church we wall went over to a banquet hall and had a nice reception/dinner/awards ceremony where we honored all the graduates (college, high school or otherwise), and we also had a real nice candle memoriam for all the kinfolk who have moved on to the other level. Later on that night, all of the grown folks who still liked to get out went to a real nice jazz club in downtown Detroit. Not only did we bring in the party crew, but our Aunt Cynthia got up on the microphone and did a jamming rendition of Summertime with the band. Just being able to kick it and catch up with your kinfolk you haven’t seen in awhile is a refreshing experience, and I’m greatly looking forward to seeing EVERYBODY again.

So for all you Scott’s out there? I love ya real. Whether it’s by blood or by marriage, in-laws and outlaws, I love you all the same. I hope you all remember to pray for me as I pray for you, don’t forget about Uncle J.E., cuz ya’ll know he needs some SERIOUS prayer and I look forward to seeing ALL (where you at Coach Kev? Pookie? Sammie? What's up??) of you in St. Louis in 2006. Like Big Mama says, ‘Let us live together and love one another.’..All hail.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Dirt Off Ya Shoulder

One of my close friends made a comment to me the other day about that really amused me greatly..

Hey alright?

Yeah..I’m cool..why do you ask?

I dunno seems like you’re hearing voices in the background.

Uhhh…doesn’t everybody?

Yeah..but you’re not supposed to tell anybody about stuff like that. They’re going to think you’re crazy.

Crazy or just like them?


I you ever feel contradictory voices in your mind? One part of you is saying, ‘Gone and do that sh’t’ and the other part is saying, ‘Holeup cuz!’?

Yeah..but how do you know which one to listen to?

You have to sit back and evaluate, which one is of the flesh and which one is of the spirit.

What if you have more than two?

That means you’re obviously crazy as hell.


(laughing) That’s funny to me too. Huh? You didn’t laugh at that one? That’s Hmph..weird. Anyhoo..I realize that the politically correct thing to do, would be to remain silent/ambiguous about my Christian faith. You know, don’t ‘wear it on your sleeve.’ When you’re around other folks that you know are Christian, then you can speak up, otherwise, hide. Don’t let them know what you believe, that way, they won’t be able to get closer to you so that they can hurt you. Keep it on the DL and all that. I tried that route for awhile, but I can't stay locked up in the closet, I gotta get out and be D!!!

These past few months of blogging on servinemup have been kinda wild. Even though I receive a LOT of positive feedback on the things I write, I still can not ignore the ‘constructive criticisms’ that I receive. It seems the biggest problem is from Christians who feel that I use too much profanity. These comments make me look deeper within my self and my heart and I try to step back and look at the big picture to make sure I am headed along the right path. In doing that, I had to really sit back and think of WHO my target audience is. A lot of people mistakenly think I just write for Christians..kinda like writing a speech for church, but that’s actually not the case. Although I make sure to bring up key points of Christian theology, my core audience is not Christian ‘church folks’. It just so happens that this group of ‘church folks’ happen to be the most vocal, in their support of, as well as in their suggestions for improvement. But although I’m a part of this Christian community, this is not my target audience. Because the way I look at it, all those good church folks, who read their Bibles and go to church religiously, they already know what’s up. But those folks out there that never go to church or seek to strengthen their relationship with God and they’re just drifting through the world of the flesh , those are the readers I’m trying to knock upside the head…

Say mane!


You checked out your boy D on yet??

Nawww…what’s that n’ga tawkin’ bout???

You need to check him out mane..,he’s getting down for that real and representin for the hood. He even had a picture of Big Black on there.

Fo real??? I gotta check that n’ga out…I already know that n’ga be CLOWNIN wit it!!

Heh heh! What? See, you’re getting mad about some n-words and that’s not even ME talking, that’s some dudes on the street talking about So when I’m attracting an audience of young black folks, and I’m putting something that first of all, is holding their attention long enough for them to READ and second of all, it’s letting them fools know that God is REAL… that’s what I call winning. And everybody that knows D. Washington, knows that I play to win. You can blame my father for that one, he trained me from day one to be a real player. My mom and my grandma laid down that law of going to church and serving for the Lord. So here we are now and I’m a grown man who’s just coming into my spiritual maturity and I’ve been laying it out on the world wide web for all to see.

Wearing your faith on your sleeve and proclaiming it for the world to see can be a harrowing experience. But whenever I felt low, or afraid about how the world would receive D.E. Washington –convicted Christian, that’s when I looked up to the hills from which cometh my help. Once you truly believe, you are no longer afraid of what the world may do to you.

Nobody (but my mama) will buy my books?

My website was voted the most likely to start sending out 'special' Kool-Aid?

My works have been banned by all the gay Christian churches?

Writing books that spread the Word of Jesus Christ the Risen Saviour won’t ever make me enough money to live on??

There’s too many curse words so now the proper and presteen churches are banning their support of D.E. Washington??

There’s millions of things that will pull and tug at your soul, making you feel contorted and stretched out like saltwater taffy. But here I am, over 13 months of blogging and I’m still doing what I do. Those who have never felt the Spirit move within them probably think I’m crazy. But then again, those who have felt the Spirit and KNOW what’s up probably think I’m crazy too, so it’s all good.

I apologize to all those who have been patiently checking in and waiting for a new post on servinemup this past week. I’ve been out of town on business in Milwaukee and in my free time, I was spending it with some of my blood kinfolk that I hadn’t seen in almost 25 years, so has been suffering. Down here in Houston, public school started this week and those who have kids know that it’s time to get back on that hump, getting kids off to school, getting them picked up, getting homework done, dinner, projects, practices, rehearsals, the beat goes on ya’ll.

So thanks once again for being patient with D. Thanks to all those soldiers out there for having my back. Thanks to all those haters out there who want me to fail..nyah nyahhhh!! The battle is already won fool, the tomb is empty!! See..that’s my problem, always wanting to clown with it. God wants us to be of an humble mind and spirit, I’m still working on that one, cuz sometimes it just feels so good to git...that....dirt off ya shoulder.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Book Review: On the Down Low

When I first wrote, ‘You Can’t Keep It On the DL Forever’ and ‘Oprah on the DL’, the feedback that I received spiked a bit higher than normal. After I posted the articles, a lot of the responses from the women was very supportive and encouraging. Along with the ones who had already known about this ‘DL lifestyle’ before, where the people who had NO IDEA that such a thing was going on. On the other hand, there’s a couple of folks who were completely turned off and agitated by the DL articles and the whole DL issue for that matter..

Man..the last thing black men need is ANOTHER reason for folks to look down on us in derision, fear and anger.

Those who feel offended or perturbed by the mere MENTION of the Down Low lifestyle are a puzzle to me. Because I’m a heterosexual black man and by becoming more educated about the lifestyle, I feel better equipped with my life as well as the guidance, advice and friendship that I can offer to all the females in my close circle who may have to deal with this issue. When I wrote those first articles, I had yet to actually read the book. But since then, I’ve had the opportunity to meet J.L. King personally as well as read the book. This was a big step for me personally, because I am what my wife often refers to as a ‘recovering homophobe’. I have my own levels of uneasiness and uncomfortableness with homosexual men. It’s not that I think they’re contagious or anything, it’s just that I’m wary of them taking my words or actions the wrong way. So instead I have the tendency to stay reserved and deliberate when I’m around them, because I don’t want any misunderstandings, ya feel me?
The friends and family members that I have that are gay are a different thing, because I know they KNOW me, so there isn’t any fear of a misunderstanding or them trying to recruit me into their world. Most heterosexual men that are approached by or ‘hit on’ by a homosexual man get offended and pissed off and ready to fight. This is because most heterosexual men see homosexuality as a perversion against the natural order. Since I have friends and family members who I’ve known to have had these homosexual tendencies and mannerisms since childhood, I know that this is a fleshly lust that some men are just naturally born with. Just like how some heterosexual men are born with a natural lust for many different women.

So now we’re faced with a group of men, who like to engage in homosexual activity ‘on the cool’ and still reap all the benefits of being a ‘straight’ man and thus we have the Down Low community. Of course, on first glance, my first problem with the book was the title: On the Down Low, A Journey Into the Lives of "Straight" Black Men Who Sleep With Men.

Holeupcuz!?? In MY world, ‘straight’ black men don’t sleep with men! After reading the book, I now understand that the point JL was making, is that although these men sleep with other men, they don’t consider themselves gay. That one still kinda baffles me, but I guess the mind is a powerful thing. We can convince ourselves to believe whatever we want to believe if we try hard enough. Some folks call this denial, but the thing is, truth and time go hand in hand. And as time marches on, the truth is always there, maybe to be exposed today, maybe 10 years from now, but the truth never fades away, it’s always there. All things done in darkness will eventually come to light, just let time keep doing it’s thang. Apart from the hyper-sensitive homophobic black men who complain about the broadcast of the whole DL issue, are those heterosexual men who commit acts of infidelity with women.

Man..don’t be giving my gal reason to start checking up on me! She might be looking for some punk sh’t and run up on one of my freaks! All those ‘can’t make up their mind’ punks are making it harder on all us true PLAYERS out here!

I tell all those ’Players’, that the whole Down Low issue and the rising HIV epidemic in the black community isn’t really about homosexuality or bisexuality, this is really an issue of fidelity. People may jump up and start talking about ‘safe’ sex, which is definitely a necessary education, but having ‘safe’ sex does not put you under the shield of God. God honors ‘saved’ sex, that which is from the union of a married man and woman. And now, with so many folks stepping outside their marriage and indulging in illicit sexual acts with people they’re not married to, then that brings the health and well being of a faithful spouse under the target range for STD’s. Some people look in uppity derision on homosexuals, but yet they ignore/overlook this same fornication when it’s a heterosexual act. That’s when the finger pointing starts and the walls built by hypocrisy go up.

There is a church located on the Southside of Houston called The Shrine of the Black Madonna. It was at the Shrine‘s cultural center, that I went to hear J.L. King give his lecture/discussion/signing session for the book and the issues which it addresses. Now first of all, when there’s going to be a book signing by the man who wrote, On the Down Low, what kinda people do you think would come?

Overwhelmingly the population throughout the small auditorium was black women. It makes sense, since they are the demographic which is suffering the most from this secret lifestyle. Of the handful of men in the room, there was a questioning aura every time one of the guys looked at each other. Because unless you worked at the Shrine, most folks were trying to figure out if you came because you WERE a man on the Down Low or what?? I realized that if I wasn't out on my hustle trying to get my writing thang down, I wouldn't have came either.

True players know how to rise above their hangups and just take care of the business at hand. Whatever feelings of uneasiness I had, were quickly brushed to the background, because I was very eager to see how a fresh new author, hot on the scene, handles himself in front of a live audience. J.L. gave a very nice overview of his life, his journey, the book as well as some things to look out for on the horizon. He then opened the floor up for questions. Some women vented anger at him and any other man who would put their woman through such a nightmare. Others voiced their support for him having the courage to stand up and educate our community to a lifestyle which had previously been spoken of only in hushed tones. When the time came for questions from the audience, I submitted one question:
Do you think homosexual marriages should be made legal?

His blunt and simple answer was ‘No. I don’t’.

After the lecture and Q&A, he signed books and I stood in line and got my book signed along with everyone else. J.L. was very warm and kind spirited, he spoke directly to everyone, took pictures and he was very cooperative and interested in his audience. We briefly discussed my writing endeavors, publishing company,, etc. I even left him with my website URL and email so that he could check out my style. Since then we’ve emailed back and forth a couple of times and he had a copy of this review before anyone else.

I say this, because some of the parts that I’m going to bring up from the book are what I consider constructive criticisms. I think J.L. did a good thing by bringing this issue to the forefront, but there’s a couple of theological points in his book which are directly against the teachings of the Bible. So in that regard, I’ve got to put my boy J.L. ‘on blast’. This is an excerpt from the ‘Oh God’ Chapter, pg 75 in the book.
"The book Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsh has provided me with 100 percent peace of mind about my life. In this publication, God tells the author that He gives all of us free will to live our lives. He, God, doesn’t intervene or make decisions for us. Because God has given us free will, He will not punish us for the decisions we make. That’s comforting."

That’s not comforting, that’s absolutely wrong! I posted Free Will yesterday to get folks to start thinking about it. God DOES give man free will to do as we choose. But this does not mean God is encouraging, inviting or ignoring us when we sin against His Word.

"I question whether having sex with men and women is a sin. I think that abusing people who give you their bodies, minds and souls by not being honest and true is a sin. I am thankful that I now know that. Yes, I was living in sin when I was lying and putting others at risk of death and destruction. Now that I give my sex partners a choice-free will- I feel I am no longer living in sin."

This ain’t right. So for all ya’ll out there (J.L. included) thinking you can get your fornication on and not think God won’t hold it against you because you’re not ‘hurting anyone’?? You’ve got it twisted mane.

19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21envy murders, drunkenness, revelries and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in the time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. - Galatians 5:19-20

Of course, to some extent, we ALL have yielded to at least one of these fleshly lusts and a common tactic to deflect any ‘blame’ for any sinner is to point out Romans 2:1 like J.L. did in his chapter on the Black Church on page 80:

"What most churches won’t do is take the Book of Romans a few more lines down to chapter 2, verse 1: "You therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself"

In other words,

‘You can’t TELL me what I’m doing wrong, only God can judge me mane!!"

Actually, the latter part is very true. God is the Eternal Judge of us ALL. But the problem comes in when people try to spread this, ‘Pay your dues and do’s as you please..ERRBODY (who don’t hurt others) is going to Heaven!’ that’s what you call a false teaching. And people who don’t KNOW their Bible and who aren’t rooted in the Word can easily fall prey to this ‘okey doke’ move. I’m not casting stones at brother J.L. or anyone on the DL lifestyle or whatever. I’m just so afraid for our world, when we get to the point where there is no discernment for what’s right versus what’s wrong. That book that J.L. King used Conversations with God is NOT God’s Word, that’s just a book that Neal Donald Walsh wrote. Those who are searching for God’s essence, need to look in the Bible. In that passage from Galatians, the original Greek term for fornication is porneia. From which we get our English word pornography. This word covers all illicit sexual activity, including adultery, premarital sex, homosexuality, bestiality, incest, prostitution, etc. So the homosexual (or Down Low) community is correct in pointing that man is not the judge of man, but brother King is oh so wrong to lead people to believe that God will not punish us for committing sins that don’t ‘hurt’ anybody.

8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. - I John 1:8-10

We’ve ALL sinned and come short of the glory and for Christians to deny that they are sinners, is denying the very reason WHY Jesus got up on the cross. The key is having a truly REPENTANT heart and striving to leave the fleshly lusts (which wrestle with us EVERY DAY, even the saved folks!) behind and move on toward the glory of the Lord. Those who harden their hearts against God’s Word are going to have to give an account of themselves to God one day and He’s not going to want to hear ANYTHING about what other folks were doing, He’s only talking about YOU. I encourage everyone to read the book and educate themselves on the lifestyle and the ‘signs’ that can let you know if your mate is a participant in the Down Low lifestyle. I pray that you all educate the people in your lives who you know don’t normally read on this subject. Just don’t forget, God didn’t instruct us to use condoms and practice ‘safe’ sex , His instruction is for faithfulness and monogamy with our marital spouses, which is known as ‘saved‘ sex. There is a difference between the two, but some folks just don’t want to see it.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Say Mane...Ya'll go 'Head

In case you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m a black guy. To be more specific, I’m one of those hard heads that grew up on the Southside of Houston Texas. Even though some folks may try to paint the Southside as all ghetto and thugged out, those of us who grew up here know that that is not a true characterization of all the inhabitants. Sure, we have low income federal housing facilities, Section 8 tenants and the like, but just because someone is poor or on the low side of the income scale does not mean that they’re thugs or stuck in a ghetto mentality. As a matter of fact, I would even say the majority of the natives of the Southside are hard working tax-paying folks trying to make their way in this world. They’re not selling drugs or pimpin hoz to make a living, they’re putting in an honest days work and diligently trying to survive in George Bush’s 2004 America.

A lot of people ask me, ‘How did somebody from the Southside, end up with an engineering degree from Stanford?’ Some of these are folks who have never been around a black guy from the hood with a good education. Instead, their hood experience has been with those uneducated ‘thugs & wanna-be thugs’ so when they talk to me, I trip them out (surprise them). This isn’t just white folks either, there’s a lot of upper-middle class black folks who are so far removed from what’s actually going on in the hood that their only glimpse is through what the media portrays. Rappers, singers, actors, movies, sitcoms, videos, all these images are what they’re internalizing as what’s going on in the hood. Some of the depictions of scantily clad women chasing after dudes in tight whips (real nice vehicle), and everybody carrying their 9mm ready to bust a cap in a hater (shoot someone who is out to do you harm) is true to some extent. But this is by no means indicative of the entire community; it’s only a small slice of reality.

Looking back on my trek, from my days of running around and hooping (playing basketball) on the streets of Sugarvalley, or rolling through 3rd Ward, South Park or Cloverland to find a game, there is a definite discrepancy which separated me from a lot of my Southside peers. It’s actually kinda a sad thing, because a lot of my friends that I grew up playing with everyday, are now locked up in some sort of correctional facility or out on parole. They’ve got their name on paper, that X (or two) on their back that says they’ve committed a felonious act.

A lot of my homies from the hood have a very common theme of failing to apply themselves in academic environments. Unlike a lot of them, my parents didn’t give me and my sister a choice. We had to go to school, pay attention and ‘get that lesson’! If they ever found out that I was acting up in class, or not completing my work? I was punished. One of my mother’s favorite sayings was,

“Even a monkey can sit down and be quiet in class.”

This is where discipline comes in, and this discipline is the core of what our children in the hood are in dire deficiency of today. Of course, this discipline starts in the home, with the way that the parents TRAIN their children, but it doesn’t stop there. Because once kids are properly trained, then they’re able to take this lesson and apply it in the real world when they’re faced with the various pressures of their peers, podnas and homies. The main thing that kept me from being one of those folks ‘on paper’, was the fact that I always had the foundation and courage to think independently of the group and make my own decisions. To put this another way, I was never afraid to stand up as a solitary figure and declare to the group, “Say mane…ya’ll go ‘head”. Because when you grow up on the Southside, it’s only a matter of time before that peer pressure starts knocking on your door. You want to be accepted, you want to be cool, you don’t want people to get you twisted and think you’re scared, so this pressure will sometimes lead you to environments and situations where you have to make a conscious decision NOT to go along with everyone else.

Gone and jump in D..we bout to ride over to Wesley Square.

Uhh..who’s car is this??

Don’t wurry bout all that n’ga..just gone and jump in.

Uhh..naww..ya’ll go ‘head mane..I’ll catch up with ya’ll later.

From stealing soda and candy from the neighborhood store, to riding around in stolen cars, there’s a lot of situations that may seem fun and harmless, but will eventually come back to bite you dead in the az. It is times like these, where an individual has to be secure and strong enough to break away from what the pack is doing and instead set out on that solitary trail. Even if it means ridicule and taunts of derision..

Aww n’ga..YOU SCAID! Just like a lil ol gal!! Gone and take yo hoe az back home to yo mama, you ain’t ready to hang out like REAL n’gaz anyway!

Aiight then..whateva.

See..that kinda stuff NEVER faded (bothered) me, because I never identified myself by what others thought of me. I had learned at an early age that my path was different than most Southsiders. Unlike most of my podnas in the hood, I never went to the neighborhood schools. Instead, I was bused across town to schools with Magnet Programs. They were still public schools in the Houston Independent School District system, but they all had curriculums for the ‘gifted and talented’ students. I had to wake up before light, so that we could eat our breakfast and catch the bus that would take us across town. This also meant that by the time I was getting off that yellow bus, and making that walk home, most of my podnas was already outside playing when they saw me walking by toting a biggo backpack full of books.

Ya’ll look at that n’ga D!! He got all them d’mn books that he gotta bring home and read everyday! AAAHHHHH-HAAAAAAAA!!! D’mn n’ga, you JUST now getting home??

Going through those years of being an ‘outsider’, that didn’t go to the same school and ride the same bus with all of the neighborhood kids, galvanized me on my own island. As embarrassing as it may have been sometimes to be called out, I always knew that there was a whole world of information, commerce and society out there that most of the guys ranking (verbal derision) on me knew nothing about. Sometimes they laughed at me because I ‘talked funny’. Going to a predominately white elementary school afforded me the opportunity to grow comfortable with the vernacular of white America. Of course the vocabulary is roughly the same as the hood, but the flow and diction is more precise and distinct. After a few years of being in both environments, white at school, black in the hood, I became bi-lingual so to speak. I could talk sh’t with the best of them on the court, and I could hold my own conversating with white folks too. I wasn’t afraid in either environment and I became adept of knowing when to ‘flip the switch’ and talk that Southside lingo, ‘What it do fool?’ or flip back to mainstream, ‘Well hello their guy!, how are things going with you?’ Same meaning, different vernaculars..ya feel me?

Too often the hood glorifies instant gratification and drug dealers, gangstas, rappers and athletes. These are the images that the kids see everyday and these are the images that they strive to become. My father recently gave me this wonderful article about Barrack Obama entitled, ‘Black Democrats had ears for this line from Obama’ . It was written by the chairman of Harvard University’s African- and African-American Studies, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. For those who don’t know the DYNAMIC brother, Barack Obama (pictured, rhymes with Yo’ Mama), he gave a very inspiring and emotionally charged speech as the keynote addressor for this years Democratic Convention. Being a TRUE ‘African-American’ (his dad was Kenyan, his mother is from Kansas and he was born in Hawaii). Obama has embraced the African-American community as his own and his political activism for the poor and underprivileged in the Southside of Chicago has vaulted him to the opportunity of being only the 3rd black U.S. senator since Reconstruction.

When you read through the article, you will see the stark reality of what we’re facing:

"According to the 2000 Census, there were more than 31,000 black physicians and surgeons, 33,000 black lawyers and 5,000 black dentist. Guess how many black athletes are playing professional basketball, football and baseball combined? About 1,400. In fact, there are more board certified black cardiologist than there are black professional basketball players."

Amazing isn’t it? But yet, our community and media continues to exalt and glorify the entertainment industry and the professional athletes for our kids, when the most reliable and proven way OUT of poverty and oppression for black folks, is through academic achievement and scholarship. This means not only going to school to LOOK fly, but going there to actually LEARN something. Applying yourself. Studying, being involved in different activities so that you have a better exposure to the real world, not just what’s going on in the hood.

No matter what all the ‘cool’ and ‘fly’ people are into. Whether it’s chasing skirts, drinking 40’s, smoking blunts, poppin pills or pulling stunts, the tried and true method of hitting licks that lasts for generations is through education. No matter our level of education, we all are susceptible to the pleasures of life that ‘seems to satisfy us all’, but if you don’t get that WORK done first? You’re gonna be stuck. Like Obama says, "Making it requires diligent effort and deferred gratification." Everything isn't about that QUICK dollar! Success was never meant to be served quickly, you can do it baby, just take your time and do it RIGHT.

I have an uncle who pastors a church in Port Arthur, Texas and he preached a sermon on ‘Perfect Planning’. I think this is a VITAL aspect for our kids (and adults) today, because most of us fail to plan. The Bible verse that he used was Phillipians 4:13, which is a very popular verse for Christians:

I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me.

He used this verse to highlight the fact that our dreams need Development, Dedication and Discipline. This isn’t to say that a person SHOULDN’T be an entertainer or a professional athlete, but whatever it is you want to do, you should make a plan. Because when you get an education, it will stick with you even if your knee blows out, or if some record company executives are ripping you off, that knowledge is still there. Don’t let others dissuade you from striving academically, because in the end, YOU are responsible for YOU.

Peer groups are very impressionable on our youth and even a lot of adults succumb to the pressures of what the ‘Jones’ are doing. Trying to keep up with the ‘in’ crowd, gotta be fresh, my ride gotta be tight…I’m so fly. Looking good is a good thing, but if you don’t have the KNOWLEDGE to back it up? You’re going to have a void in your life. Focus on that REAL and leave the bullsh’t to the side mane. True friends won’t let you down, true friends won’t lead you down and true friends won’t leave you down. No matter how tight you are with your crew, your click, your homies or your podnas, sometimes you just gotta let them know, "Say mane…ya’ll go ‘head”.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Don't Curse

I’m sorry Bro. D, I just don’t get it.

You don’t get what?

I don’t ‘get’, how you can claim to believe in Jesus, but yet some of the language you use, is so secular and disrespectful.

I guess you don’t feel me huh?

No..I don’t.

Did you READ the last post?

Yeah, that’s why I called you. You had so man f-words and ‘hoe this’ and b-that’..I almost thought I was in a den of heathens. I mean, I’m not trying to tell you how to live your life or anything Bro. D..but if you’re going to be open with your Christian faith, you’re required to be more responsible with your words and actions. Just think of all those people who don’t believe, but yet they’re looking at you as a representative of Christ. Once you’re in the faith, you’re an ambassador for Jesus. You have to make sure you present yourself in a distinguished manner.

(shaking my head) I just don’t think you understand where I’m coming from.

Oh..I can FEEL you alright. You want to be one of those hypocritical Christians who point out all the things that you see to be ‘bad’ and ‘sinful’ like guys On the DL, but yet still do all the ‘bad’ things that you WANT to do.

I guess a lot of that has to do with what you consider to be bad.

There’s nothing to consider, the Bible is very descript about the ways in which a Christian Believer is supposed to carry themselves, in deportment and in speech:

"...For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. The good man out of his good treasure brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of his evil treasure brings forth what is evil ... For by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned."~ Matthew 12:34-35,37

You even had the nerve to refer to Jesus as the ‘#1 STUNNA’!!?? That is profaning that holy and righteous name by which the Christian has been called (James 2:7)—that “name which is above every name” (Phil. 2:9). Just as a tree is known by its fruit, a person is known by the “fruit of his lips.” All Christians should strive to rid ourselves of any defilement of the flesh by getting to the real core of the matter. As Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 10:4,5, “for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and WE ARE TAKING EVERY THOUGHT CAPTIVE TO THE OBEDIENCE OF CHRIST. Let us not forget the pure and holy words of Jesus. In Matthew 12:36, He lovingly warns, “And I say to you, that every careless word that men shall speak, they shall render account for it in the day of judgment.” So you see, Bro. D, as much as you claim to be keeping it real? You have a higher level of responsibility than just that average brother out there…you just can’t be using all that filthy language.

I understand that. I guess I’m so throwed, I don’t consider the language I use to be filthy. Sometimes I ‘get into character’ and I really try to recreate real life people. Rappers, basketball players, truck drivers, there is a fraternity of MEN, who deal with each other and talk a lot more direct language. And there’s also a lot of women who have profanity laced tongues. My point is to make these people feel comfortable with the environment, such that they stick around and check out the spot. But as they sit and read, they are exposed to the good news. If I came at them with all that ‘Thou, thus, holy-holy’, they’d be turned off QUICKLY.

Well..I understand your viewpoint, but you can’t expect any mature Christian to support an endeavor such as this. There’s enough sex, violence and profanity in the media. The LAST thing a good Christian would want to do is read some website or book full of this same sort of filth, let alone BUY one.

Well bruh…I guess this is just a point where we’re going to have to agree to disagree. Because as much as I realize that some people may have problems with the graphic nature of some of my writing, I believe in my heart that there is an audience out there who sees through the secular edifice and recognizes the strength of my foundation. I know how to express myself without using curse words, I don’t use the name of God or Jesus in vain, I think I keep the whole thing PG-13 (sometimes R) for the most part.

All I know is that you wouldn’t say all that f-this, b-that in church.

True..but this is not church, this is a website. There are those who come here, even some Christians, who have expressed their displeasure at how I get down. But like I said, as much as I enjoy the feedback, I can not let that deter me. I write in my own world. There are no kids or children, only grown folks in this world. And most of these grown folks rarely (if ever) step foot in a church and even fewer pick up their Bible and study it. So yeah…I know there’s a lot of Christian support, but in some ways there’s just as much Christian – non-support. To them, I apologize, and I ask that they pray for me as I pray for them.

Sounds like you’re just doing what you want to do to me..those who believe, OBEY.

I guess that’s the problem, I feel like I AM obeying. We’re living in a time when graphic images of sex and violence are prevalent throughout the media. Radio, TV, movies, books, magazines, we’re living in very hedonistic times.

Exactly!! So if you RECOGNIZE this, why are you CONTRIBUTING to it??

Look dude, isn’t church. This is more like a billboard or magazine that people stop by to read. I hit folks who normally don’t even you gotta understand, some water, some plant, but God giveth the increase (I Cor 3:7). Of all the ways you may decry my curse words, I KNOW that there have been those who have read things I have written, and it made them go pick up their Bible and try to read and study it for themselves. Which is what I always aim to do.

Well, just understand, that by taking the genre of approach that you are, that there’s a LOT of Christian folks who won’t allow your material through their doors. So in that regard, you’re going to have some folks who HATE Christians that will stifle or ignore your efforts, and then you’ll have some Christians who will stifle and ignore your efforts. You’re getting it from both sides bruh, so the best thing for you to do is pick a side and BE ON IT.

I have picked a side. Keep in mind that I’ve got family members, church members, and friends logging in and check out servinemup. I mean, even my parents read my website regularly and as much respect as I have for them, I couldn’t write a line that I would feel ashamed to show them.

Well then, you need to write like it..and not just when you feel like it.

Well, I see your point. It has been brought to my attention SEVERAL times from those who read All I can tell you is to continue to pray for D, God is not through with me yet.


Whew! I’m telling ya’ll, being a Christian ain’t an easy thing to do. No matter how tight you think your game is, there’s ALWAYS room to grow. 'You Gotta Feel D!' generated a LOT of feedback from readers. The wild part is the wide range of comments that varied from 'We FEEL YA D!! Keep doing what you do!' all the way to the other end of the spectrum 'I am no longer a servinemup supporter, you curse too much.' Just like the general population, the Christian faith has various levels of reality. Some folks can feel it, and some folks can't. Through it all, I strive to never lose focus as to what the Christian faith is all about..growing closer and closer to that cross. And once you reach the cross, the journey is not over, because once you get to the foot of the cross, that wood changes from being an altar, into a ladder. And we are bid to climb that ladder, all the way to glory. Being saved is not a static position, but rather a perpetual motion. We move from ‘glory to glory’. So we are not ‘saved’ but rather we are ‘being saved’. Ya feel me?

But for those of you who CAN feel it, and wanna roll with D? (smiling) You probably need to stop cursing so damn much!!