Sunday, January 20, 2008

Balack Obama by Bavu Blakes
JUST ADDED! Photos from What To Say 'Bout MLK EVENT!

(MY FIRST GUEST POST! From time to time my man Bavu Blakes will be contributing to AustinSurreal. Needless to say I am quite excited about this as Bavu is one of my great friends, favorite MC's, and a good, good mind. Here he shares his thoughts on Barack Obama (and yes the title of the post is spelled correctly) and the upcoming presidential election. Also below you will find the weekly fleaux's from last week and this week. I didn't post last week's cuz I was waiting for him to finish this column. Enjeaux!)

Balack Obama by Bavu Blakes

Barack Obama is a Black presidential candidate who won the Iowa caucus, and folks are excited. Oprah's excited. Common's so excited that he dropped a "we gon' vote for Obama" during a freestyle at a New Year's Eve church service in Chicago!

So if Obama wins, what happens? Well, obviously he gets the job as American President. Who does the President work for? Do you believe the President works for the people? Do you believe the President works for his own beliefs?

I believe Presidents, and CEO's for that matter, work for the shareholders. And I don't know who our country's shareholders are. But I don't believe our national President necessarily works for us, the people, or even for the government itself.

So when people ask me who I'm supporting for the presidency, it raises many thoughts from the back of my mind. I don't believe that I can actually support them or that I, as a citizen, will ever employ them. I think I'll just be voting in good faith, but not to any actual, known effect. And it'll be my first time voting. I don't believe I can really support in any way (besides prayer) because I don't believe the President works for me and needs my support. I believe the candidates' support obviously comes from whoever finances their campaigns. Then, eventually, one of the candidates manages to get the job as President.

A friend of mine, who has a nationality, asked me today if having a Black President would affect me in any way. My reply was that it would look cool to me. I then asked him if Chevron-Texaco having a CEO of his nationality would affect him. He said "not really, but I think our President effects the way people perceive our country... their actions, their statements, etc." and I agreed.

My friend also pointed out that people are generally going to refer to Obama as America 's potential Black or African American President. And I think Presidential skin color, like gender, means very little compared to how important it is made out to be.

I think Black and African American are more non-descript terms than nationalities, like Italian or Indian. The term African American is most commonly used as a vague "racial" qualifier that covers a vast cultural, social, historical and political spectrum. African American is often an ineffectively descriptive blanket term, like hip hop. Africa is obviously a giant continent -- the 2nd largest on Earth -- with more countries than America has states. So the terms "Black" and "African American" mainly refer to skin color and continent of origin. Thus, Blacks and African Americans have as much variety in their skin color -- and often unknown nationality -- as most other "races" and nationalities combined.

On top of all that, is Obama not "Black" and "White"?

What people are generally not going to talk about is, "what is a President, and who does he work for?", which must be more important than race, color, ethnicity and national or continental descent.

In effect, Black Obama is being used as a distraction from any real issues regarding the Presidency and Presidential race. The same can be said for Hilary Clinton. Because there's a woman and a Black guy involved, everyone can stay on the surface and simply root for who or what they like about what they see. Based on what I know and don't know about the Presidential election process, and the job itself... Obama winning the election is as meaningful as a Black coach winning the Super Bowl. It may change the perception of profession football, but it certainly doesn't change the game.

In our discussion today, my friend said that according to my logic, "Bush is not neccesarily the one to blame (for America's problems)". I agreed, because the shareholders of the country are probably more responsible (for America's problems) than their current Presidential employee.

I don't intend for my message here to be negative or cynical, but I understand how it might ruin the fun of rooting for a presidential candidate. Like Jay-Z to Def Jam, any CEO or President is only so responsible for the state of affairs in a given company or country. So Presidents are mainly aesthetic figureheads, yet they are not unimportant.

When attempting to pick the best candidate, I have to ask myself: Am I qualified to judge who the best candidate for the job is if I don't know who the employers are?

My friend: i'm not asking you to judge the qualifications based on actuality, but rather image
Me: oh well i'd go w/ the black guy!
My friend: haha
Me: not certain i'll vote for him though.





Never have I ever given one man so many !!!!!!!!!!'s

Also check out Mr. Blakes on ME Television.


Aw man, I'm having a rough time. Went to bed about three hours ago. How to start... How to start. Looking for the perfect line. Wait, how about...


My first Austin event in some time, was really, really, really extremely off the chain. Word to Grimy Styles - my favorite band, PPT, Zeale 32 and Gerald G - some of my favorite rappers, DJ John the Expert Witnes and his "Friendly" attorney, and everyone who came out and made this night just one of the most magical I've had in a while. Suffice it to say, once again.


Today we celebrate the life and the legacy of one of the most, if not the most, important civil rights activists in modern times, and what better way to do such a thang than to bring a whole lot of different peoples together through music. This my friends, is what I try to do. Always, in life.


If this photo doesn't evoke the good Dr's dream, I don't know what does. Bavlu Blakes, Flynn D, Gerald G and Rapid Ric.

Kam and Martin from Grimy Styles

Gerald G KILLED IT! Went first and just got people all riled up.

y crew

I'm sayin'

Pikahsso - a true Texas Gem

Zeale 32 went second and continued on where Gerald G left off reminding people that yes it still is actually o.k. to rap about things in a creative way.

I mean, seriously.

Boy kills it.

So glad to see Kam in the place. My lil potna in the game in Houston made the trek for the event. THIS is my people!

Richard Henry in the PLACE!

Rappin' Ryan Donowho. You might know this contemplative boy from up in them movies.

PPT (Tahiti and Pikahsso seen here) has one of the most energetic live shows in the world. The Cool Kids have a publicist, PPT writes timeless songs and puts more into their show than any rappers I've seen in years. Seriously, these dudes performed for 40 minutes and had the crowd straight RAPT! Hanging on their every word and command. How many rappers have you seen that can keep a crowd's attention for 40 minutes? These aren't some dudes who are all over the radio, they were new to 85% of the people in the crowd. I just sat there stoned in the back, like damn y'all, you GOT this crowd.

Picnic and Pikahsso

Know'm sayin'?

Then when Grimy hit the stage, the packed house turned into a writhing sea of um, unity, yes, unity.

And when they broke open the mics, shit got CRAZY!

As evidenced by all these here photos.

Sorry Flynn. My man Pretty Todd got me a new zoom lens for my camera, and since I am merely a picture taker, not an actual photographer, I didn't realize what a strong zoom it was. In fact, I didn't get a lot of crowd shots of my people cuz the place was so packed and I had to stand at least ten feet away to get 2 people in the photo. Soooo I'ma have to get past this learning curve. But word to Pretty Todd he is stepping my game up expeditiously!

Flynn D did rock the mic with Gerald and Kam and Zeale and a whole host of folks. KILLER!

And I mean, alas and alak, it's 9:14 a.m. and I'm about to be late for work. I feel like a heathen.

But, this is America after all. This cog must go enter his machine. Thanks to everyone who came out. I saw some faces in the place that really surprised me. Also WORD TO THE DECK!


Kam said...

I'm still recovering...

Crew54 said...

Read Bavu's blog and shared my thoughts with him...Last night was off the hook, one of the better times I've had in the Flamingo. great

Pikahsso allen Poe said...

man I had a good time thanks for bringing us down look forward to coming back Austin is dope...VERB


AaronQ said...

"Obama winning the election is as meaningful as a Black coach winning the Super Bowl. It may change the perception of profession football, but it certainly doesn't change the game."

I'm a forrrilll Obama supporter but I had to laugh at that and agree with it to some extent. I just think he is finally the intelligent, honest, natural born leader that can bring about this depserately needed "change" that is the hot topic right now. A change in ideas, a change in America's image overseas, a change from conventional Democrats. This brotha despite his "lack of experience" can surround himself with the right people and reach out to folks of all different ideologies, religions, ages, genders, races, and alla that to unite people to make the changes we need. DAMN... I really didn't mean to write that much, haha.

And black folks need to realize that bringin in Hillary won't bring back the Bill days, haha.

But shiiiit... looks like it went down. I hate not bein in Austin for the good shit. But I'll be back to atx in time for SXSW. I'm anticipating it'll be a good welcome back for me.

Pushermania said...

Lets hope if Hillary wins she doesn't bring back the Bill days cuz more people were incarcerated for drugs under his regime than almost any and dude wasn't as clean as we would like to think. Fuck em all is what I say. Except The ol' KUCH!

AaronQ said...

Oh yea, definitely! But people just have this idea that things were so much better during his presidency. People also forget that the Rwandan genocide was on Bill's watch too. If that kind of failure to get involved in African genocide is what we have to expect with this other Clinton... fuck that. Things in the Sudan will never get better if it's back to the Bill days.

Haha maaaayne I wish the ol' Kuch had a chance... these people ain't ready!

Thomas said...

Looks like it popped off at Flamingo! Congrats on a great kickoff in Austin. I was out of town but will definitely catch the next.

Unknown said...

I agree with Bavu, the presidental election seems to be more about budget and image than views on important issues.

There's one part that didn't really make sense:

"Thus, Blacks and African Americans have as much variety in their skin color -- and often unknown nationality -- as most other "races" and nationalities combined. "

combined? i get the point and it sounds effective but come on, i'm sure a chinese person would disagree? even people in smaller countries can tell if you're from the northern or the southern part. There's a great deal variety in any race or nationality.

BAVU said...

dear frank:

1. do chinese people have as much variety in their skin color as african americans?

2. is it fair to assume that african americans are descendents from far more nations than chinese people who are, by definition, from only one country?

hopefully those two questions help you understand my point for the sentence you quoted.

thanks for reading/commenting and god bless,