Is this the Political Year of the Black Man?

So Friday the Republican Party made a huge gesture in saying 'hey we can have a black leader too', by electing Michael Steele as the chairman for their party. Now I say this partly in jest because I would never want to detract from the many accomplishments of Michael Steele... he has truly been a man of many firsts.

DC native and former brother-in-law to Mike Tyson, has broken the color barrier many times within the Republican Party. In 1995, Steele was the first African American to be chosen as the state's Republican Man of the Year. In 2000, he was the first African American ever to be elected chairman of any state Republican Party.Two years later he was elected as the Lieutenant Governor of the state of Maryland, the first time an African American had been elected to a statewide position in the state. In 2004, Barack Obama was thrust before a national audience when he gave a speech at the Democratic Convention. Michael Steele gave the Republican counterpoint to this in a keynote address at the Republican Convention, also Steele's first major national exposure.

Michael Steele has been on an upwardly progression through his party, so maybe it is just convenient that he was chosen to lead his party around the same time the country chose Obama to lead the nation and the Democratic party.

So either this is the political year for the black man... or well you know...

Yes We Can...

It has been a week since Barack Hussein Obama took the Presidential Oath of Office less than two miles from my house.

It took me awhile to digest the magnitude of what happened on January 20th, and much like the morning of November 5th, I awoke this morning to the street symphony of Southwest Washington with a smile on my face. The first snow fell on Washington over the night. As I heard the Metro buses, taxis and school kids bustling and sloshing through the snow en route to wherever... I wondered what the Obama's were thinking as they woke up in the White House this morning. Has reality set in for the First Family? Do they realize when they look out their bedroom windows over the South Portico that they aren't guests but residents of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

The media has hyped that Martin Luther King, Jr's dream has been fulfilled... I have even heard Oprah say it on her show last Monday. I totally disagree. Yes Obama has triumphantly broken a glass ceiling but the average black man does not receive the same benefits of life afforded to the average white man. And until that day comes King's dream will still be an aspiration. We have come a long way and I am so proud to live in the US at this time in our history, when a black man can be elected to serve the country and live in a house that was built by slaves, simply because people believe in his ability regardless of his race.

So as I laid in bed this morning watching DC's return to normalcy, I called my grandfather for the first time since the inauguration. While we chatted briefly about family issues... his attention quickly drifted back to where was I a week ago. I could feel the smile through the phone as abruptly he ended the conversation remarking he never imagined he would see it happen... but he had to go and finish cooking breakfast for my grandmother. I guess the normalcy of life is returning everywhere... and we as a country will continue to work towards that dream.

No Words...

Just a day of ignorant shit.

No Words

A message from kwest on Vimeo

This queen wears me out...

Today We Said Goodbye to 1225 R Street

As I walked into the sanctuary, memories and emotions began to cloud my thoughts. I found a seat next to a woman I had seen many times before further back from where I would normally seat, but the early crowd made it apparent I wasn't the only one who had come to say goodbye.

I guess she had noticed the complexion on my face and how I was looking around because she reached over and touched my hand and said, "Barack is not the only change that has come to Washington." Through our conversation, I learned the now 72 year old widow had joined Metropolitan over 40 years ago when her and her husband relocated to Washington to teach at Howard. She had raised 4 children who were all baptized at Metropolitan. Two were married here. And she funeralized her husband who passed from prostate cancer here as well.

My history with Metropolitan didn't stretch decades. But the Met was the first of about 10 churches I visited when first moving to DC in 2000. Out of all the churches it was the only one that felt like home. I will never forget the Miracle in May service that year. During that one service the congregation raised $750,000 towards the vision of the new church building. I remember vividly in 2001 when me and my bestfriend joined the church together. I remember in 2003 when 1225 was actually sold to Unity Fellowship. I remembered missing the Met when I moved to Atlanta and the excitement of returning when circumstances moved me back. I remembered the sermon, Beecher Hicks preached on faith, after FLJ passed.

But today was the day we came to say goodbye to 1225 R Street. The tone of the today's message was definitely in direct correlation to the tone of we are living in today. The volatile economic environment has affected everyone and everything... including the financing of the construction of the new Metropolitan. The message was to "let go, let God" and to have faith because He hasn't failed us yet.

Even though I was totally for the move, I think it took today for me to realize why some members were against it. For me it was definitely a sad service but within my heart I am sure to survive another 144 years, Metropolitan must continue to grow and this move is just apart of that growth.

No Words...

... well other than Beyonce must be destroyed.

Mr. President and his Lady

Regal glamour has finally returned to Washington.

Bush's Top Moments

I personally think President George W. Bush missed his calling. I mean face it this man is pure comedy. And very physical comedy at that. I mean seriously look at him in this Commander in Chief role he has played for the past 8 years... PURE COMEDY. From the many facial expressions to the things that just come out of his mouth... you have to admit Prez Bush is simply funny

CNN compiled some of W's most interesting moments:

1. "Misunderestimate" Stated in the immediate aftermath of the disputed 2000 election. One of the first and perhaps most iconic Bushisms (November 6, 2000).

2. "Mission Accomplished" Never actually stated by the president, but it appeared on the banner behind him when he stood on the USS Abraham and declared Iraq's major war operations over (May 1, 2003).

3. "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job." Said to soon-to-be-discharged FEMA director Michael Brown in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina; it came to symbolize the entire debacle (September 2, 2005).

4. "I'm the decider." Said in response to his decision to keep Donald Rumsfeld on as the secretary of defense, it came to symbolize the "imperial" aspects of the Bush presidency. (April 18, 2006).

5. "I use The Google." Said in reference to the popular search engine (October 24, 2006).

6. Iraq Shoe Throwing Incident In the Arab world, throwing a shoe is a symbol of immense disrespect. Some have suggested this to be the visual equivalent of a spoken Bushism -- inappropriate, surprising, embarrassing, yet compelling to repeat (December 14, 2008).

7. "I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully." Came to symbolize the president's environmental policy (September 29, 2000).

8. "You work three jobs? ? Uniquely American, isn't it? I mean, that is fantastic that you're doing that." Critics used this to symbolize Bush's detachment to the plight of the working class. Said to a divorced mother of three in Omaha, Nebraska (February 4, 2005).

9. "Rarely is the questioned asked: Is our children learning?" Uttered before the first primaries in 2000 (January 11, 2000).

10. "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." Cited by his critics as revealing his true thoughts (August 5, 2004).

11. "It was not always certain that the U.S. and America would have a close relationship." Used while speaking of the Anglo-American relationship (June 29, 2006).

12. "See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda." Explaining his communications strategy (May 24, 2005).

13. "I think I may need a bathroom break. Is this possible?" Scribbled on a note to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during a U.N. Security Council meeting in 2005.

14. "When the final history is written on Iraq, it will look like just a comma." Said in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, this apparent belittling of the bloodshed in Iraq provoked outrage around the world (September 24, 2006).

15. "Stay the course." Stated on numerous occasions during the course of the Iraq War. Bush's change of course with the troop surge actually made a dramatic difference in the conflict. Bush may have invented a few words, but he's not the first U.S. president to do so.

Maybe NBC should consider signing Bush to a few episodes of SNL... maybe then it would actually get decent ratings again.

Obama Weekend 2009...

Even as I type this I am tired... I am so tired I just may have to take Wednesday, January 21st off as well. From private parties to working the invite only Congressional Black Caucus Inaugural party to the Russell Simmons party... I can tell you know I will either be sick with a crazy cold or just dead tired by Wednesday.

They just announced the free concert on Sunday at the Lincoln Memorial will feature performances by Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Bono, Garth Brooks, Sheryl Crow, Renee Fleming, Josh Groban, Herbie Hancock, Heather Headley, John Legend, Jennifer Nettles, John Mellencamp, Usher, Shakira, Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor,, and Stevie Wonder with Jamie Foxx, Martin Luther King III, Queen Latifah and Denzel Washington reading historical passages. So of course I will walk over to see that as well.

Of course I will be celeb watching in the bar of the Four Seasons and maybe for dinner if I can get into Cafe Milano or my new spot Coco Sala.

With well over 200 balls and parties taking place over the weekend... DC will definitely be the party capital of the East Coast next weekend. I am just glad I have my Ciroc to go Cup and taxi number on speed dial.

Real World: Boring

I know see why I stopped watching this show years ago... Real World: Brooklyn kicked off last night and was as white washed as ever and boring as ever. They increased the cast from 7 to 8 and yet only two minorities made it to the house in Brooklyn. While JD is definitely needed latin eye candy for MTV, even his killer smile couldn't save this yawnfest. And the addition of a trans-whatever (i never get the term right so why try now) didn't help either.

Oh by the way thanks Tyra and Isis now transies are in the in thing for reality tv.

Maybe when I am absolutely bored on a Saturday and there is nothing on HGTV... I will tune in to the marathon just to see what fiery latin fever JD serves up.
And I am pissed I stayed up till 1130 to see this first episode... seeing I was bored and over it by 1145.

2 days ago Change moved to Washington... 2 weeks from today I will be standing on the National Mall watching Barack Hussein Obama take the oath of office as the 44th President of the United States of America.

And on that day I will ignore all the ignorant racial and political comments... On that day I will not think of all the expectations I have on the next 8 years... on that day I am going to bare the cold weather and whatever else Mother Nature will bring that day... on that day I will stride through the traffic, gridlock and the inability of the District of Columbia to handle the masses of people that will be here... all with a smile on my face and joy in my heart to be privileged enough to be able to walk a few blocks from my apartment and witness what my grandfather calls the 1964 March on Washington of my lifetime. To be able to tell my children and grandchildren of that day and to tell them I was there.

I am excited... very much so. In just 2 weeks history will be made again and I will be there.

The List: What's In and What's Out for 2009

Each January 1, 2009, the Washington Post puts out a list of What is In and What is Out for the new year. While some of the references are truely local or politico... I think the list translates well.

Some of my favorites...

OUT - Voting like Oprah
IN - Eating like Oprah

OUT - Stuff white people like
IN - Stuff the First Lady like

OUT - Shoplifting
IN - Counterfitting

OUT - "It's all good"
IN - "It is what it is"

For the entire list.... The List: What's In and What's Out for 2009

Lessons Learned in 2008

It seems as though I have had a reoccurring theme in my life the past few years. In Lessons Learned in 2007, I posted a quote from one of my favorite movies, Love and Basketball:

"It's a trip, you know? When you're a kid, you-you see the life you want, and it never crosses your mind that it's not gonna turn out that way." - Monica

This year has definitely been a year, I will never forget. And as always I try to learn a few lessons:

Relationships are not black and white... My 5 year relationship with FLJ has come in many reincarnations from acquaintances to friend to confident to partner and back again. But after he passed in June it took me awhile to realize that it was the perfect relationship for me. When we were on we were on strong and it was great. And when we are off, we were great friends. And while it may not be a typical relationship it is definitely what what worked for us.

Friends are the family you choose... Me and my bestfriend celebrated 10 years of friendship this year. Regardless of where we were in the country or what was going on in our lives... he has been a constant over the past ten years. He is definitely the brother I always wanted but more importantly the friend I always needed.

Let it Go... Last October I was really done wrong professionally. And for over half a year I held an awful grudge towards that person. Invitations to events and gifts were mistakenly misplaced. But then after listening to a message from Craig Oliver the pastor of Elizabeth Baptist Church in Atlanta... I realized that things are never that serious. Learn your lesson from the situation and move on. So I recently sent a note to that colleague letting them know that all things considered I am now in a much better place and exactly where I wanted to be. When I sealed the note card it felt good and like a weight had been lifted. When I received the thank you email in return it felt even better.

Learn to budget bitch... this is a recession. FLJ was many things to me but one thing he had been for years was my financial planner. My 401k, IRA, savings and my shopping were all managed and critiqued by him. After loosing him... I didn't have that person to stop my excessive spending and lack of savings nor did I have my back up financial source. So needless to say I have been learning to budget my money and prioritize my financial goals. I am still working on managing the 401k thing but that will be my resolution for the first quarter to have that in order.

Hopefully we all know that just because it is a new year doesn't mean all the issues of 2008 or before disappear... there is no new slate. But hopefully we have learned somethings that will make 2009 easier to deal with.