Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Happy Life Affirmation Day My Phee Phee!!! (May 8)

Happy Life Affirmation Day My Phee Phee!!!
“Now that you're here with me
I want to keep you free
To do the things that you want to do
The joy in life is loving you
But now the day has come
To let you know where I'm coming from, yeah

The best of my years will go to you
It's the only thing that I can do
But these things don't come overnight
Lovin' you baby, and I think I'm right
Let me say before I forget
Lovin' you baby, it's where it's at, yeah”~Al Green, “Look What You Done For Me”

“Mona Lisa, Mona Lisa, men have named you
You're so like the lady with the mystic smile
Is it only 'cause you're lonely they have blamed you?
For that Mona Lisa strangeness in your smile?

Do you smile to tempt a lover, Mona Lisa?
Or is this your way to hide a broken heart?
Many dreams have been brought to your doorstep
They just lie there and they die there
Are you warm, are you real, Mona Lisa?
Or just a cold and lonely lovely work of art?

Do you smile to tempt a lover, Mona Lisa?
Or is this your way to hide a broken heart?
Many dreams have been brought to your doorstep
They just lie there and they die there
Are you warm, are you real, Mona Lisa?
Or just a cold and lonely lovely work of art?

Mona Lisa, Mona Lisa” ~The Song “Mona Lisa”

Hey Queen Isis aka ‘The Pheenom’ aka ‘Jedi Master Ebonee Fiyah’:

As you are reading this you already know I haven’t forgotten about your Life Affirmation Day…You are unforgettable…I am hoping that life is treating you well and that you are getting the peace of mind and happiness that has eluded you for so long…I wanted to wish you well on this day made special by your debut into this matrix…You are simply beautiful and beyond category…I hope those blessed enough to encounter you will truly enjoy and appreciate you as the gift that you are…

I just wanted to thank you once again for providing the lil’ sunlight and lil’ water that I needed to grow in this pivotal point in my life…Although I was already on the path you helped in your way to speed up the maturation process…For that I will always be grateful and humble for your help…With that said I hope that my relationship with you has been beneficial to you in ways both short and long term, known as well as unknown…I truly enjoyed our time together even when we argued or debated which actually meant a lot to me in very fluffy or sentimental terms…I hope one day you will realize that my intentions have been more honorable than spiteful…I was opened to the full experience of you, the good, the bad, and the ugly and I have no regrets for it has made me a better person…As they say no pain no gain…

I hope that you will really be good to you and give yourself the love and attention that you deserve…I hope you won’t settle in your endeavors or relationships and that you demand the same respect, exceptionalism and greatness from yourself as you do others…I hope you value your time enough that you do not waste it with people who do not see or cherish you as the rare beautiful gem that you are and that you see the value in being patient with those things, goals or people of which or whom may seem impossible, elusive or difficult but in the end will provide you with the greatest rewards and source of happiness…I also want you to understand the importance of not just looking for the right person but becoming the right person that the right person or people are looking for…

I want you to be free from your doubts, fears and worries to actualize and live your fullest potential…I want you to truly forgive yourself by forgiving the people who betrayed, disappointed and/or abandoned you when you needed them the most…I want you to be truly receptive to those good vibrations and positive energy that will help you to unlock the beauty that resides within…I want you to use your experiences (the good, the bad and the ugly) to create the wisdom and new knowledge that will provide you with the resources and the will power to achieve all that you desire…The Universe loves you Phee but love yourself more so that you can channel your spirit of discernment and gifts to do the greatest good for you and your loved ones…

As far as me is concerned well I am working out, eating better, losing weight, sleeping better and gaining clarity…I plan on ending this year in a big positive way…Right now I am contemplating the implementation of such a feat…I am making the most of my present but I am anticipating a future full of possibilities and wonderful adventures…I am in the spring cleaning phase of my sojourn…I will keep you posted…
  Phee's Brew
I am also including with this letter an original work of art entitled “Phee’s Brew” which is also a tribute to Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew cover art…Hold on to this work of art for it may bring you the 6 figures or more that you desire (Smile)…I promised to always do right by you and I like to honor those promises that mean the most to me…In actuality this is a better investment than me cutting your grass for this truly represents something that I am great at and is one of the reasons why I am here in this place and space…

I will always have a special place for you in my mind, heart and spirit…The welcome mat will always be out and the door wide open for you to walk back into my life…The choice is yours but the pleasure will be all mine…

Sometimes I ponder what would have happened if I decided to taste the cookies rather than draw them that day…But I have no regrets because skipping dessert allowed me to enjoy the meal…You are my Sleeping Beauty and I am your Prince Charming in frog form…But you are also my Isis and I am your Osiris…Thank you for resurrecting me and keeping the faith…I look forward to earning my empirical crown but most importantly your eternal love and respect…

Happy Life Affirmation Day & We Love You Madly!!!
Pheetastically yours,

Ron aka The Pheeologist

Tha Artivist

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Tha Artstorian: Educating Malcolm

Educating Malcolm
by r2c2h2 tha artivist aka tha artstorian
The autobiography of Malcolm X serves as a great testament to the man who once said that “people don't realize how a man's whole life can be changed by one book” (Haley & X, 2008). The book chronicles the extraordinary odyssey of Malcolm X, one of the most inspiring and polarizing figures in American history. Malcolm X was a man always in transition, always becoming but never being; always reinventing his character to fit the zeitgeist or tenor of the times to maximize his environmental situation but never letting said environment define or limit himself nor his objectives. Always updating his persona and strategy to keep from becoming outdated or obsolete but never distancing himself too much to become irrelevant or out of touch, Malcolm as icon, demagogue, charlatan or iconoclast (whatever your preference) represents many things to many people. Whether he was Malcolm Little, Detroit Red, Malcolm X or El-Hajj Malik Shabbazz, he was anything but boring, complacent or predictable. Malcolm in all of his transformations or manifestations understood the value unpredictability, wisdom and knowledge played in him maximizing his resources and roles. Malcolm once said that he learned early in life “that if you want something, you had better make some noise” (Haley & X, 2008). Whether he was running and hustling in the streets of his beloved Harlem like a predator looking for an easy dinner or speaking on the street corners of his same beloved Harlem like an apocalyptic street prophet with a passionate, urgent and colorful rhythmic rhetorical fervor urging Black folks to not be afraid of who they are and what they can achieve if they sought true unity and purpose among themselves or addressing and debating sometimes cynical  ivy league and privileged audiences in the hallowed halls of Harvard or Oxford with such silver tongued eloquence and sharp wit that even those who disagreed with his world view were nevertheless charmed by the sincerity of his beliefs, Cheshire cat grin and engaging intellect, Malcolm never lost fact that “education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today” (Brainy Quote, 2012). Malcolm believed “that if you give people a thorough understanding of what confronts them and the basic causes that produce it, they'll create their own program, and when the people create a program, you get action” (Haley & X, 2008).
Reading Is Fundamental
I suppose that it was inevitable that my word-base broadened. I could now for the first time pick up a book and read and now begin to understand what the book was saying. Anyone who has read a great deal can imagine the new world that opened. Let me tell you something: from then until I left that prison, in every free moment I had, if I was not reading in the library, I was reading in my bunk. You couldn’t have gotten me out of my books with a wedge...Months passed without my even thinking about being imprisoned. In fact, up to then, I never had been so truly free in my life. (Haley & X, 2008)
Before he was a school dropout, Malcolm was a stellar student who had ambitions of becoming a lawyer. However, his dream was deferred and then destroyed when a white teacher told him that Blacks couldn’t be lawyers and that he should be a carpenter instead. It wasn’t until Malcolm serve extensive time in prison that he had the time to rediscover his love of learning and began to read books. According to Knowles, as a person matures, his or her self-concept moves from that of dependent personality toward one of a self-directing human being and the most potent motivations are internal rather than external (Merriam, Caffarella, & Baumgartner, 2007). Self-motivation is key in any endeavor involving potential individual human achievement, especially those individuals operating in adverse conditions. In fact, once he is motivated no one can change more completely than the man who has been at the bottom (Haley & X, 2008). Malcolm soon became a prolific reader, a bibliophile with a voracious appetite for knowledge. Malcolm stated “right there in prison that reading had changed forever the course of my life…As I see it today, the ability to read awoke inside me some long dormant craving to be mentally alive” (Haley & X, 2008). Knowles contends that an adult is more problem centered than subject centered in learning. It could be reasoned that Malcolm’s self-education in prison laid the foundation for what was to become his life’s work. Malcolm’s homemade education gave him “a little bit more sensitivity to the deafness, dumbness and blindness that was afflicting the black race in America” (Haley & X, 2008).
Race & True Islam
Transformative learning occurs when there is a transformation in one of our beliefs or attitudes (a meaning scheme), or a transformation of our entire perspective (habit of mind) (Merriam, Caffarella, & Baumgartner, 2007).  Malcolm’s 1964 pilgrimage to Mecca is a perfect illustration of transformative learning.  Meizrow further states that transformative learning is “the process by which we transform our taken-for-granted frames of reference (meaning schemes, habits of mind, mindsets) to make them more inclusive, discriminating, open, emotionally capable of change, and reflections so that they may generate beliefs and opinions that will prove more true or justified to guide action (Merriam, Caffarella, & Baumgartner, 2007).  Malcolm who was a follower and national spokesperson of the Nation of Islam for a little more than a decade, often promoted the concept that the majority of whites were devils who could never be trusted nor respected as decent human beings due to the systemic oppression that they imposed upon people of color in America and around the world. However, when he separated from the Nation of Islam under questionable circumstances in early 1964, Malcolm found himself not only free from any organizational responsibilities and obligations but also free to pursue to form his own philosophy and organization as well as explore the possibilities of working with groups and individuals who he once was critical and apprehensive of due to their strategy and objectives but now can find common ground with in terms of trying to unify the diverse African Diaspora. The Mecca pilgrimage was definitely the beginning of this enlightenment phase in his sojourn. Malcolm after spending most of his life trying to survive Jim Crow and American apartheid expressed his utter shock and amazement in what he saw at Mecca in terms of racial harmony through the following statement:
I saw all races, all colors, blue eyed blonds to black skinned Africans in true brotherhood! In unity! Living as one! Worshiping as one! No segregationists, no liberals; they would not have known how to interpret the meaning of those words. (Haley & X, 2008)
Malcolm further reiterates his amazement when he describes that even in sleeping arrangements among his fellow pilgrims that discrimination as it relates to race and class was also non-existent:
I remember one night at Muzdalifa with nothing but the sky overhead I lay awake amid sleeping Muslim brothers and I learned that pilgrims from every land--every color, and class, and rank; high officials and the beggar alike--all snored in the same language. (Haley & X, 2008)
When Malcolm discarded or outgrown the old NOI ideology and started to embrace “true Islam” (in his case Sunni Islam) he started to see how religion can be used as a tool bring all races closer together instead of keeping them a part or divided.   Malcolm stated that true Islam taught him “that it takes all of the religious, political, economic, psychological, and racial ingredients, or characteristics, to make the Human Family and the Human Society complete” (Haley & X, 2008).  This epiphany also made him realize that all whites were not devils or the enemy and could be useful allies in eliminating the race problem and helping to create true justice and reconciliation for the human family.  True Islam for Malcolm helped him to see that one should be judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin. He also felt that true Islam could be instrumental in helping to eliminate white supremacy and institutional racism in America and that its benefits should be embraced by his fellow white Americans:
America needs to understand Islam, because this is the one religion that erases from its society the race problem. Throughout my travels in the Muslim world, I have met, talked to, and even eaten with people who in America would have been considered white, but the white attitude was removed from their minds by the religion of Islam. I have never before seen sincere and true brotherhood practiced by all together, irrespective of their color. (Haley & X, 2008)
Once Malcolm saw ‘the light’ he knew he could not go back to being the same Malcolm as before. Light creates understanding, understanding creates love, love creates patience, and patience creates unity (Haley & X, 2008).
Conclusion: Why Am I As I Am?
Why am I as I am? To understand that of any person, his whole life, from
Birth must be reviewed. All of our experiences fuse into our personality. Everything that ever happened to us is an ingredient. (Haley & X, 2008)
In conclusion, Malcolm X was a realist - he had a way of looking at the world that was honed by years on the streets and in prison (50 Cent & Greene, 2009). Malcolm knew well that in order to solve any problem you must first find the root cause of it and diagnose it. However, he also soberly knew that America “goes in for the surface glossing over, the escape ruse, surfaces, instead of truly dealing with its deep-rooted problems” (50 Cent & Greene, 2009). With that said and against all odds he took it upon himself to be the change that he wanted to see in the world by first transforming himself. What made Malcolm so successful and effective as a leader was his willingness to change when he was confronted with or exposed to new information and his sincere humility when he admitted he may have made mistakes in reading or understanding certain situations. Malcolm’s legacy is truly about facing facts and accepting “the reality of life as new experience and new knowledge unfolds it” (Haley & X, 2008). In the end, through his example Malcolm teaches us why it is always important to keep “an open mind, which is necessary to the flexibility that must go hand in hand with every form of intelligent search for truth” (Haley & X, 2008).

Brainy Quote. (2012). Malcolm X. Last page update unknown. Last retrieved 2/12/2012 from
50 Cent & Greene, Robert. (2009). The 50th Law. New York, NY: HarperCollins.
Haley, Alex & X, Malcolm. (2008). The Autobiography of Malcolm X. Bridgewater, NJ: Paw
Prints/Baker & Taylor.
Merriam, S. B., Caffarella, R. S., & Baumgartner, L. M. (2007). Learning in Adulthood: A
Comprehensive Guide (3rd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

More Malcolm X On W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News:

W.E. A.L.L. B.E. Needs Your Support...Give To Grow The Movement!

Or You Can Mail Us A Money Order:

Attn: Ronald Herd II
The W.E. A.L.L. B.E. Group Inc.
P.O. Box 752062
Memphis,TN 38175

The Reason Why I Left BlogTalk Radio (BTR)

Tha Artivist Says: Over the last several months fans and supporters have been calling, texting and e-mailing me to find out what has happened to the popular "Tha Artivist Presents...W.E. A.L.L. B.E. Radio" program...I had decided back in January 2012 to sever ties with our broadcasting/podcasting platform partner Blog Talk Radio (BTR)...The decision was both business and personal...I decided that in the 21st Century I as a person of color wanted full control and respect over the product that I produced: Eliminate the middle man to become a better man and to truly control my destiny by controlling the economics of my culture...I believe in creating a leadership style and organization that sets the example and standard for others to follow and even surpass...With that said I have taken a short hiatus or vacation to create a strategy to implement such a vision as well as to get other elements/aspects of my life back into a healthy balance...I truly embrace my role  as a prophet/pioneer of the things to come and I look forward to helping make the transition or shift into a new matrix or paradigm an enjoyable and welcoming one...However, you can still listen to past episodes of our pioneering program at the following link: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/weallbe...The best is yet to come from W.E. A.L.L. B.E. Media...Be on the lookout and enjoy the journey...One heart!

Their Response:
BlogTalkRadio Survey Follow Up
John Sweet johnsweet@blogtalkradio.com

to me
HI Ron, I received your survey results and would like to help, please let me know a good time to reach you and the best number,

Thanks and I look forward to talking with you!


John C Sweet
Assistant Director of Operations, BlogTalkRadio


 My Response:

A gentleman will not insult me, and no man not a gentleman can insult me.
~Frederick Douglass

That message from John Sweet was 12/27/2011…As of 5/5/2012 I have yet to hear from John Sweet concerning my departure from the BTR premium host status as promised. As a matter of fact that has been the problem with BTR service: the promises of follow up never being followed through…

After 5 years and 230 shows I decided to call it quits as an active dues paying host of BTR…I think, especially in my case, that BTR takes many of its longtime hosts for granted…Before BTR became Hollywood it was Neighborhood: it was the everyday folks that created the content that built the platform that created the buzz that generated the interest from the powers that be…Lesson: Never underestimate the power of the people and never take the people for granted…

As much as I have enjoyed the BTR platform over the years I just can’t see myself paying for poor customer service for one more year…John Sweet is notorious for leaving me hanging…When I have a tech issue or concern he would always say he will call me back to resolve the issue but he never does and true to form he did not let me down…Hate to sound like a scorned lover but I am passionate about communication and although I benefited due to my association with BTR I need the relationship to be reciprocal and not one-sided with me giving it all that I got while BTR takes me and my efforts for granted…The key to any successful business is really customer service: giving the customer what she or he wants while at the same time showing same customer true value by treating them with the utmost respect and importance…This of course in many instances lead to brand loyalty and great word of mouth which in turn leads to not only repeat business but new business…BTR cannot last long with mistreating loyal customers because bad business practices cannot generate new and continued business and support…There are other options to podcasting meaning that BTR isn’t the only game in town and when the people have options they will respond accordingly…I really do feel that those who have been with BTR close to the beginning (5 years) shouldn’t have had to pay for premium services because those of us that consistently produced content at the start created the foundation for BTR’s current success…

I am also troubled by BTR handling of actual archive listen numbers as well as royalty pay…I remember last year seeing my listening numbers both live and archive as well as my royalties taking a weird dive after a spike which left me befuddled and concerned…I reached out to John Sweet for an explanation and as usual never got one or a follow-up…

Also I have had exceptional folks on my show, but ever since Phillip Recchia left, I have been out of luck in getting many of them featured or promoted by BTR…I understand that BTR is a business and that businesses should first and foremost be about making money but I also believe that businesses have a responsibility to the community that patronize it to make a difference...With that said the media should not only entertain but also educate, exposing  people to new ideas, people and ways at looking at their world and own potential…I know BTR has limited featuring capacity but it should strive for balance, the operative word is strive…

In conclusion, I must truly say that my overall 5 year broadcasting experience has been a positive one…I have been able to break stories and make a difference as well as many lifelong friends because of the BTR platform…However, I refuse to be treated or disrespected as a paying customer like this for another year…I spent 5 years adding value to the BTR Brand now it is time to add greater value to my own brand and platform…Alan Levy thanks for creating the BTR platform (out of a tragedy a true triumph was born) and setting the example,but I must now leave the plantation and be free to make my own way.

No hard feelings, but something you all needed to read and hear.

Ron Herd II aka Bro. Ron aka r2c2h2 tha artivist
Founder Of W.E. A.L.L. B.E. Media

Dollar Tree Doesn't Care About Black People...Boycott Dollar Tree!!!

***For Immediate Release***

Dollar Tree Doesn't Care About Black People...Boycott Dollar Tree!!!

 I sent this letter of complaint to Dollar Tree Corporate offices 3 weeks ago and of this writing still have yet to hear an official reply from Dollar Tree representatives...I have done further research on Dollar Tree and I found that Dollar Tree promotes a culture of racial discrimination among its employees and customers alike...My incident and other incidents related with this brand shows that Dollar Tree does not respect nor acknowledges the full humanity of Black people...Although we are the largest consumer demographic in the North America market we still as a collective and as individuals deal with the disrespect and inhumanity inherent from a system still operating on the residue and fumes of white supremacy...

Hate Crime Victim Taneka Talley

The fact that it took public outrage, protest and political pressure to get Dollar Tree to do the right thing to pay the surviving young son of  Dollar Tree employee and hate crime victim Taneka Talley her full employee compensation benefits shows that Dollar Tree is indifferent to the suffering and plight of Black folks who have contributed heftily to their multibillion dollar annual earnings...(On March 29,2006, 26 year old Taneka Talley was killed at random at a Dollar Tree store in Fairfield, CA, by a White man,Tommy Joe Thompson, who vowed to killed the first Black person he encountered that day...At first, Dollar Tree denied paying her son her full employee compensation benefits because their insurance company The Hartford Group, which benefited generously from the institutional sins of slavery, refused to pay out because they said that the killer and Ms. Talley had "a personal connection" based on the nature of the crime which forfeited them honoring the claim...Read more:

Eventually, on October 14, 2009, former California Gov. Schwarzenegger signed the Taneka Talley Bill (AB 1093)  into law. This law makes it illegal to deny claims on the basis of a perpetrator’s motives when an employee is injured and/or killed on the job.

For more Taneka Talley news please access the following link:

What We Need To Do...

With that said I am asking conscious people of color as well as decent life and justice loving folks everywhere to channel the spirit and courageousness of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the brave students who sat-in at the Woolworth lunch counters and MLK's last speech (often called the Mountain Top speech where he talked about protesting or boycotting those businesses that will take Black folks dollars but won't hire and treat Black folks with the respect that we deserve) to boycott the entire Dollar Tree chain and brand...

Feel free to also contact Dollar Tree's corporate offices and tell them how you feel too...Power concedes nothing without a demand...Here's the link:

I refuse to support any business or organization that does not respect me as a man and as a human being...This time it was me the next time it may be you so let's get together to stop this madness for all time...One heart.

My original letter:

Racist Incident At Dollar Tree Store #3871

Dollar Tree Inc.:

The incident I am describing below took place at the following store location:
Centennial Commons - Store #3871
7686 Polo Grounds Blvd.
Memphis, TN 38125

“A gentleman will not insult me, and no man not a gentleman can insult me.”

“Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them.”

“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” ~Frederick Douglass

On Friday evening April 13, 2011, I was treated like a sub-human 2nd class citizen and degenerate by your store manager “J.” (that was the name I was given by one of the employees)…I was talking to one of his employees, Stephan (this was the name of the employee given to me by one of the employees), whose brother was also talking to him while he was performing his duties which were placing items neatly in the aisle as well as collecting items that were out of place and putting them in his collection basket. This employee has always been the utmost respectful in regards to the customer, always with a ready smile and a kind word or gesture that could make anyone feel welcome and quick to smile. Stephan was asking me and his brother about some advice on a personal matter…Even a lady customer who heard us cheering him up and saw the sincere gestures of Stephan offer some useful advice which he definitely took to heart…Mind you Stephan was still faithfully performing his duties moving us along as he went down the aisle…

No one around was disturbed by our conversation except for J. the manager…After he decided that he had enough of us, J. goes to us and tells Stephan and us in his own arrogant way that he doesn’t like our conversation and that he wants us to break it up and for Stephan to get back to work. My words cannot fully express or captured the tone and mean spiritedness of what he actually did and the very offensive way in which he said it…However, everybody who heard his loud outburst stopped what they were doing and looked just as shocked and perplexed as we were about the whole scenario…I looked at the manager as he walked away and remained silent to gain some clarity on what had just transpired. I then spoke loudly but respectfully and asked him if he realized that he is talking to customers this way and he replied that he didn’t care if we were customers. Stephan feeling truly bad about what happened began to apologize on behalf of his manager, but I told him his apology wasn’t needed because his boss is an asshole and you should never apologize for another person being an asshole…There was a way that J. the manager could have handled this situation which would have been respectful and agreeable to all parties involved but he chose to use his assumed position of power to bully and to try to emasculate his employee and patrons of the store…I also put down what I was going to buy, quickly left and vowed to boycott Dollar Tree…I have been shopping at that particular store ever since it opened in 2009 and have spent a lot of dollars there…I will not spend one red cent there again…I have already told family members and friends about the incident and they are also following my lead…

J. the manager is a racist, he has no respect or appreciation for Black people let alone those who are in his employ and does not see Black people as equals to him…What he told three young Black males directly he was actually telling other Black folks indirectly: you may shop and spend lots of money here but you will never be respected as a customer or as a person by me…What makes it more detrimental and searing is that you have this small-minded racist person representing your brand at the local level which truly reflects poorly on the Dollar Tree brand overall.

I want this situation quickly remedied and I look forward to hearing back from Dollar Tree Inc. If I don’t get a reply and a satisfactory solution I will look at other options at my disposal. Thanks in advance for your consideration.

Ronald Herd II
Phone: 901-299-4355
E-mail: r2c2h2@gmail.com

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 752062
Memphis, TN 38175