Sunday, November 23, 2014

Marion Barry






Fellow readers, It is with sadness I report the passing of the 4 term DC mayor and current Ward 8 city council member Marion S. Barry, Jr. Now many of you who did not live the glory days of Marion Barry, before the crack arrest and before he was even elected to the DC government may not know that he was a civil rights activist. A grass roots man who worked in the community. Barry was not a native Washingtonian, hailing from Mississippi, but he was the face of the District for decades and an institution in DC politics. His many accomplishments that help found this city's many agencies and his care and dedication for seniors and low-incomes residents are a part of what made people vote him back into office again and again. He was an architect of DC home-rule, a law which allows DC a city government. Now though I personally believe he should have retired years ago to enjoy his senior years in life and allow someone younger to attempt to fill his massive shoes, I'm sure all that Barry knew was helping people and public service. Barry died doing what he loved, public service.


I had the pleasure of first meeting him when I was probably 10 or 11 years old on a Sunday afternoon. My mother, sister and I had left church and stopped to get dinner at a place on MLK Ave called the Imani Cafe. Barry was also having dinner there and I remember him coming over and shaking my hand and giving my little sister a kiss on the forehead. I met him again years later when I started working for the DC government. My grandmother, who passed a year ago this month and I would have intense debates about Barry when he forgot to pay a slew of parking tickets, taxes or the infamous phone conversations released with that younger woman. Of course, I lost those debates lol. I came to learn to not speak badly of him in her presence to say the least. He had his personal short comings - we all do. Living in the public eye makes you susceptible to more scrutiny than the average person. When someone who we look up to does so well and falls, we hurt so we take it out on them. Barry failed to many and never regained some trust, but he  didn't fall from glory. The photo posted is from this past June's Washington Post's article about Barry with my grandfather pictured on the left sitting down beside Barry. Barry's death is truly the end of an era.

Monday, September 8, 2014

A Facebook Discussion On Homosexuality and Morehouse



This discussion was with a young black male conservative living in Atlanta, GA.

KK: Does it upset you that people are referring to Morehouse as an all girl school? That is crazy

Me: No, I've heard the "Whorehouse" reference but never an all girl school. It doesn't bother me because the schools legacy speaks for itself. All schools are facing the challenges of adapting to the changes of the times.

KK: But when people say that they mean it as a put down. Times don't change that much.
It's a negative reference but being an all male school it is a big target. Specifically the handling of our gay brothers and even sisters at Spelman.

KK: Yea, I heard several alum express their dissatisfaction with all the gay stuff over there. They say it's making Morehouse look very bad when they had a legacy of strong men like King, Moss, and Mays etc...

Me: Morehouse and other prominent black institutions have been known to sweep it under the rug or some students live by the don't ask don't tell policy. After the unfortunate incident back in 2003 when a student was beat with a baseball bat that had to change. It is a good debate that is happening though. Can men who identify as gay not be strong and contribute to the legacy of Morehouse?

KK: My father in law just shakes his head when he sees what going on over there now. Dr. Franklin tried to clean that mess up and told the young that they need to carry themselves like men. Stop wearing heels and carrying purses like women. It's so ridicules.

Me: Dr. King worked along side with Bayard Rustin, an openly black gay man who helped with the March on Washington. I think Dr. King would be ashamed if his Alma mater didn't address this issue openly.
There are some extremes and as a private college the dress code policy I suppose has worked.
But off campus if a student decides to dress as such that's their right.

KK: You can still love people but hate the sin.

Me: That's open to Biblical interpretation of if it's a sin. But yes love is key, beyond tolerance.

KK:I'm sure Dr. King and Dr. Mays are rolling over in their graves at the state of that once great institution.

Me: I respectfully disagree that they would be upset over the state of the college based on sexual experience and acceptance.

KK: I hear everyday from brothers who just shake their heads in dismay and just say "Damn"!

Me: Morehouse has always been the leading school of intellectual conversation and thought. This issue is no different. We can't just cast out others who are different.

KK: The educated fool
Me: It's foolish to not be open to accepting people where they are. On a different level, if Morehouse was to someone implement a no homosexual policy can you imagine the funding the college would lose? It's a tough place for President Wilson to be in.

KK: I remember my parents telling me about that incident in 2003 that if any young man ever looked or touched me in the shower, I had their permission to find the largest 2 by 4 or bat to knock the hell out of him. And if I got in trouble they would be there to back me up 100%. Then all that stuff would stop. We've tried to be silent for far too long. Now, people are starting to push back and I am glad to see it.

Me: I think any person would be upset, no matter their sexual orientation because that's an invasion of privacy. There's also an appropriate way to handle things, especially if you're a college student at a prominent school. Whatever we did there negative or positive easily gets worldwide attention. I don't think the push for acceptance at Morehouse will stop. The entire country is moving in that direction and it would be unwise if Morehouse didn't.

KK:Actually, most states still have a constitutional ban and if we get a republican president next time around they will be able to fill the courts with conservative judges. I'm glad Georgia already has a gay marriage ban. Thank God

KK: It looks like the democrats will lose control of the Senate this Nov in the midterms.

Me: Those constitutional bans are being overturned every month it seems. I honestly don't care what someone wants to do with their life as it doesn't affect mine...it's another example of the government peeking into the bedroom.

KK: That's the problem. People should care. There are still places in this country where traditional values are upheld and GA is one of those states. Republicans control every statewide office and have enacted legislation to protect us.

KK: Whats fashionable in NY and California doesn't mean the rest of the US likes it. We aren't going to be controlled by Hollywood elites.

Me: That's what makes America so great and unique. The Bible belt states will probably keep their traditional conservative values. Fifty years ago we as blacks were not fully accepted as equals yet over time, we have overcome a lot...but as Ferguson showed us there is more to overcome on the civil rights front.

KK:Its unfortunate that the gays try to link their plight with being black. It's not the same and a lot of blacks folks get tired of them trying to say it is.

Me: Some civil rights leaders have said they are very similar battles.

KK: They are getting paid.

KK: No one takes Al Sharpton, Julian Bond, and Jesse Jackson seriously anymore. They are race hustlers and poverty pimps

Me: I won't argue that. The thing that's so unique about this generation is that it leads itself. This is a more accepting generation despite race or background.

KK:But honestly they 
can do whatever they won't just as long as the definition of marriage stays one man and one woman. I'm happy that is still is.

KK:Good discussion.

Me: Definitely!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Michael "Mike Mike" Brown

I am outraged as I write this blog post. As many of you may know, or are learning of this morning about a young black male who was killed (murdered) yesterday by a cop in Ferguson, Missouri, which is just outside of St. Louis. He was shot 8 to 10 times while unarmed with his hands up. He allegedly stole candy from a local convenience store. Furthermore, Mike's body was left in the street for 4 hours before they removed him. The officer, a white cop, has been put on administrative paid leave pending investigations. Of course, the neighborhood marched outraged and the police responded with heavy force, including K-9 dogs.


Now after I read this last night I was really livid. I just couldn't enjoy my Saturday night knowing what had happened just a few states over to the west. I know we love to jump to the race card when this happens, but we must first learn all the facts, including learning the details of what led to the EXCESSIVE shooting of this young man who was about to attend college tomorrow. Black or white, there is no justification for shooting an unarmed human being that many times. Unfortunately, this has happened all too often by officers who have used excessive force on white and black men, but disproportionately black men have been killed.

The police response to those assembled who had the right, morally and constitutionally, to be outraged brought the images to my mind of the Civil Rights marches of the 60's. The only thing missing were the water hoses. Sure the job of a police officer can be rough, the motto "protect and serve" is a creed they live by and are to uphold. But the EXCESSIVE militaristic and barbaric ways of this department is troublesome.

Sadly Mike Brown will not be attending his first day of college tomorrow. Sadly a family lost a son, a nephew and a grandson to a meaningless death. However, we must make a meaningless death a meaningful one by exercising our rights to protest police brutality and beginning to value black life. We need to crush the stereotypes and begin to see that every life is valuable, no matter what race you are, in addition the war on young African-American males, which seems never ending. Let us all take a moment of silence, for those who have died at the hands of police brutality, and may their souls rest in peace.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

DC Chocolate Temptation Pride - May 22-26, 2014


Hey folks! I hope everyone is doing well. I hope that you will be joining me here in DC next weekend for DC Black Pride. The city will be turned out as IgniteDMV and K5Entertainment brings you 12 events (plus more maybe)! I will try to make most of them lol but I would love to meet some of my  blog readers who will be in the District. Better yet, I have 5 passes at $115 that will get you into every event.  ($120 if you do it online with the processing fee).

Chocolate Temptation will bring to DC the Grammy nominated Tamar Braxton! She's one of many artists signed for the weekend with events going on from Thursday through Monday. The first ever Six Flags gay day, strippers, porn stars, day parties and men from all over the world will be in the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia) to turn up and celebrate our black pride. I hope to see you there. For more information regarding the all access pass email me keithjonesjr@gmail.com. For more about Chocolate Temptation pride go to www.ignitedmv.com Follow them on Instagram and Twitter IgniteDMV and K5Entertainment. Of course you can follow me on IG: mayorjonesjr and Twitter: KeithJonesJr.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

2014 DC Primary Election Mayoral Race: My Take On It


I attended my first election watch party at the Hyatt on Capitol Hill for Mayor Vince Gray. Too bad I saw how things are when a candidate loses but the experience was certainly one I wont forget. The biggest problem of the night was the DC Board of Election and Ethics not accurately reporting the numbers correctly. Allegedly the machine that  that counts the electronic ballots was having issues. As it stands now Muriel Bowser won with a 10% lead over Gray.

My takes from this election:
Unfortunately for Mayor Gray the shadow campaign really overshadowed all the great work he has done for the last 3 1/2 years in the city. Although he has not been indicted or proven guilty by a court of law, the court of public opinion proved him guilty.

Many believe Muriel is not ready for office which is one of the reasons why I didn't support her. I didn't see any real plans regarding the future of this city that made me wanted to change my vote from the current mayor. Also understand I have no dogs in this fight. I came into DC government during the Fenty administration. I find it ironic that voters wanted Fenty out so bad and now they don't know what they want, based off the close results. Outside of the 2010 shadow election shadow, Gray was clearly the best candidate. The city is doing very well. Of course, there are issues such as homelessness and affordable housing that needs to be addressed but overall compared to other major cities DC is sitting pretty nice. My next choice would have been Jack Evans. He probably knows this city better than anyone since he has been on the city council since 1991.

I also believe that since there were so many candidates running the votes split so many ways, which looks bad when there is a low turnout election like the one it was (currently at 21%). Tommy Wells came in 3rd place which was a complete surprise to me. He did very well in Wards west of the river. Muriel Bowser did well in Wards 1,2,3,4 and 6. Gray dominated in Wards 5,7,8. Anyone who knows DC this came down to possibly race and class. This city is still suffering with a sense of the haves and the have nots. I don't think Muriel can bridge that gap...at least not until I see some sort of plan.

The general election will probably come down to David Catania, a white gay man, running against Muriel Bowser. I expect low voter turnout and foreshadowing our first white mayor. According to a poll DC is one of the gayest cities in America and if he runs his campaign the right way he will get those white gay voters (and their money). In order for Muriel to win, she will need to look more polished on the issues facing our city. Simply talking about a shadow campaign and how you "passed" the biggest ethics reform bill wont win her the mayor's office. She also does not support the current schools Chancellor who has done very well. DC schools were given a shout-out in President Obama's State of the Union address. Catania has some baggage however, as the controversial United Medical Center falls under his council committee. Those votes East of the river, if the voters even decide to vote, will go to Bowser. The next 9 months shall sure  be interesting.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Opinion: "Throw That Boy Pussy" Video


Yesterday, I had the chance to engage in a little debate regarding the video "Throw That Boy Pussy by Fly Young Red. Watch here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4iBBfEHNaE. Perusing Twitter, I found that many people, both gay and straight have an opinion about the video. In my debate yesterday, the gay black male I was debating with said he identified more with the rapper. He's someone who doesn't do the gay clubs a lot, not too familiar with the gay lingo but just likes guys. Additionally he said it was a big change from seeing RuPaul being the image sold to the world about black gay males. Of course he was only referring to the rapper. What about the lyrics and the dancers in the video?

The lyrics are quite amusing but I personally don't care for the term "boy pussy". It insinuates that the male is the receiver or bottom and it purports the male as effeminate. Now this may or may not be true but it generalizes that all black males that are bottoms have a "pussy". My biggest issue is selling this term to mainstream culture. I am for the creativity of the video, as I believe people need to see other aspects of the black gay culture other than what is shown on TV. However, in our creativity we must be reminded to not demean ourselves and limit ourselves to the masculine, feminine roles and creating more bias and stereotypes.

The dancers in the videos were great. I believe many people around the world got their first look of a black male "twerking". Many comments I read saw this as disgusting and the religious folks threw the entire Bible at the video on the comment boards. We live in a society that is more open and more accepting than anytime in our history. People tend to forget that homosexuality and race are social constructs. May we continue to break down these walls to reflect images of us, no matter our sexual preference, role or skin color.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Oh Happy Days - 2014

Well Happy New Year folks! I had to write a blog entry since I noticed my inactive blog gets over 20 hits a day and has over 50,000 views...lol. All has been moving along here in the District of Columbia. I think since the last time I wrote I participated in the AIDS Walk Washington, which went very well. We, The Real Gays of DC (RGODC) met our fundraising goal individually and as a group of over $200 so I thank everyone who donated to a great cause and I look forward to doing it again this year.

Also since the last time I wrote I lost my grandmother after a year long battle with gallbladder cancer that had spread to other organs. She was 73.. The year 2013 was a very emotional year but I learned so much from her and from the whole experience and came out stronger in 2014.

Speaking of 2014, it has been a big year so far in my social and professional life. No love life to speak of though, lol. I blame the area and/or maybe as I have grown older my tolerance for "BS" has grown. I have found a lot of guys/people here to be very pretentious. I'm not a fan of the "What do you do, What do you drive?" crowd DC seems to attract. Or maybe as a native, I'm not impressed with the quality, although I have met some very interesting people. It seems as superficial as some say Atlanta is ( my other favorite city next to New York) that the "southern charm" works on me. Lol. Who knows?

My current thoughts are from an essay I just read titled Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde, a black lesbian feminist. I have begun a journey to understand feminist and lesbians and their perspective other than the obvious.I was first struck by how Audre Lorde defines erotic as a power, then clears up stereotypical or false beliefs that the erotic is a bad thing. She disconnects erotic with pornography. As a male, I always seek “passionate pornography,” however; such a term cannot exist according to Lorde as it is not erotic. Pornography represents the suppression of true feeling. Erotic involves, “The sensual-those physical, emotional and psychic expressions of what is deepest and strongest and richest within us." What also caught my attention was that Lorde writes that in refusing to be aware of what we are feeling, however comfortable, it seems is to deny the experience but I would add that refusing to be aware of what we are feeling, however uncomfortable to also denying the experience. Many times I believe there is a “bond” a connection, conceivably erotic based on her definition of erotic, yet we are not comfortable in that moment, therefore denying the erotic. I believe that to be true of many who lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered.

Your thoughts and comments are always welcomed!

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