Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Termination of Black Culture

The Termination of Black Culture:
Is Black Music Month Worth Celebrating

Paul Scott

I recently saw the new blockbuster movie, Terminator Salvation; the latest installment of the Terminator series that started back in the 80's. The Terminator movies are about what happens when a machine called Skynet ,which was originally created to serve mankind ,one day decides to turn on its masters and create a bunch of cyborgs to exterminate humans.

This being Black Music Month, it reminded me of the state of black culture in 2009. In this case, the mega entertainment corporations are ,collectively, Skynet; dead set on blasting black culture to oblivion.

Black Music Month, was started in 1979 by President Jimmy Carter as a way to honor black musical contributions to America but as I listen to the radio and watch BET , I have to ask myself. "What is there to celebrate? The fact that my teenage daughter and her homies think that the highest form of black cultural expression is being able to do the "stanky leg?"

Contrary to popular belief, African people have a rich cultural heritage dating back thousands of years. So powerful was the culture of Africa that one of the first things that the slave traders did was to take away the drums of the captive Africans.

Scholars have suggested that "black" music is the only truly American music. For if it was not for the influence of black entertainers there would have never been an Elvis, Madonna, Kenny G or a Britney Spears. America would have just been stuck with Barry Manilow records in continuous rotation.

Perhaps placing the custodianship of black music in the hands of mega-corporations started off as a good idea. Maybe the early artists saw it as a way to project their gifts to the world or a way to make more money. But as they say , the road to the hot place is paved with good intentions.

At some point the monsters that we created back-stabbed us and turned the culture that was our lifeblood into a weapon of mass destruction.

With the current war raging between the recording industry and the radio monopolies over HR 848, it seems that the machines are even fighting amongst themselves. As in the previous Terminator movies, the radio and music executives appear to be human but under their faux exoskeletons beat the hearts of cold calculating machines doing the bidding of Skynet.

While there has been a lot of discussion over efforts to "save black radio" from the Performance Rights Act legislation that some radio execs have said will be the death knell for black radio, the bigger issue that is, skillfully, being left out of the discussion is how do we save black culture for future generations?

There is an old African proverb that says when two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers. If the grassroots activists are left out of this discussion , unfortunately, it will be our children who will continue to get trampled.

So what do we do?

Writer Harold Cruse once proposed a "cultural revolution" which would lead to some sort of cultural socialism, whereby, the people would control black culture and its means of dissemination.

Dr. Claude Anderson in his book "Black Labor, White Wealth" takes a more capitalistic approach by saying that "the wealth and power of the music industry offer the most compelling reasons for blacks to recapture control of this cultural resource."

It must be understood that we are not suggesting just having black faces in high places but a system that is used to supply the needs of the black community both economically and socially.

The primary question facing us this Black Music Month is does anyone still care about the fate of black culture?

Seems that those to whom we would look to be on the front line of a recognisance mission to reclaim black culture have either been blasted by money green laser beams or are being held hostage by promises of record deals or airtime courtesy of Skynet.

However, a few of us are still part of the resistance. We have not lost faith in the regenerative power of black culture that has the ability to awaken the African genius that lies dormant in the minds of this Hip Hop generation.

The war will not be fought by some big black empowerment organization but by small bands of rebels in outposts across the country who demand to be heard. It is now time for the few of us who are willing to fight to reclaim black culture to come forward.

To borrow from the John Connor character in the movie.

"If you are hearing this message, then you are the Resistance."

Paul Scott writes for No Warning Shots
He can be reached at (919) 451-8283

Do Black Men Make You Nervous?

NWSF Bullet: Do Black Men Make You Nervous?

Just caught a clip on Fox News of these dudes with their panties all in a bunch over the charges being dropped against the Philadelphia chapter of the New Black Panther Party for alleged voter intimidation during the last election.

Of course, Fox, with their over-the-top antics tried to link the Obama administration by saying that they allowed the New Black Panther Party endorsement to be posted on the Obama website, last election. What the haters conveniently left out is that "anyone" , even The Our Gang He-Man Woman Haters Club could have posted an endorsement on the site.

But why confuse the ultra intelligent, non biased Fox viewers with facts.

According to news reports, two members of the New Black Panther Party were accused of standing at a Philly polling place in black military gear and one dude had a night stick.

To hear the Right wing media tell it , 100 black gangsta thugs with bullet proof vests, AK 47's and missile launchers stormed the polling place and then went on a drunken 40oz malt liquor binge across the city, raping and pillaging innocent town folks.

I am quite sure if there were any laws being broken, Philly's Finest would have been all on them like stink on a skunk.

I wonder why the New Black Panthers thought it was necessary to provide security at the polling place anyway?

Oh yeah, it might have had something to do with those yahoos that were threatening Obama at those Mccain/Palin campaign rallies.

One of the talking heads went on to moan about how "dangerous" the group is. Funny, I've never heard of the New Black Panther Party ever doing as much as shooting a spit ball through a straw at anyone.

But I guess one man's standing on a street corner is another man''s "intimidation."

And here in lies the rub....

Let's face it. Black men intimidate some white people even on their best days. I can be dressed to kill (excuse the pun) in a new suit and a shiny pair of Stacy Adams and I will still hear the electric car lock concerto as a walk through the parking lot at the grocery store.

Then again, I do live in a city where any black man not wearing a pink Polo shirt and polka dot golf shorts is considered a Blood or Crip.

Also, there is the little constitutional matter of Freedom of Speech and the Right of Assembly.

Maybe in their infinite wisdom, members of the Justice Department didn't want to take a joy ride down that slippery slope.

Oh well, next time I go vote remind me to show up in my underwear waving a white flag singing "Everything is Beautiful" so there will be no misunderstanding.

Paul Scott writes for No Warning Shots He can be reached at (919)451-8283 or

Saturday, May 30, 2009

NWSF Bullet: The Controversy Over Malt Liquor "Energy Drinks"

The old dudes in the neighborhood used to have a saying when someone was trying to insult their intelligence with misinformation...

"Don't pee (um...urinate) on my shoes and tell me it's raining!"

The makers of Four Loko Malt Liquor Energy Drinks(I'm sorry they are PC now, Four Loko Caffeinated Malt Beverage) are trying to justify their pushing of their product to convenience stores and their cute little internet (mis) infomercials.

Classic case of a "straw man" argument (arguing a position but evading the main point.)

I wonder how they would respond to this study done by Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center a few years back ?

"See,what had happened was.....our product is not an energy's an alcoholic energy if you accidentally mix your Starbucks with a Colt 45...."

But ,yeah, I hear you, homie when you make the argument that there are other alcoholic energy drinks on the market, why are ya'll pickin' on poor little me?

Let's use dialectical reasoning for a moment that will defeat their argument...

"OK, Skeeter, granted that there are other caffeinated liquor energy drinks, why should the average connoisseur of malt pick your product instead of your competition's?"

"Well, it's because we have 11% alco....we sell cool caps...we get a lot of hits from kids on youtu....we market to a younger Hip Hop demo...DARNIT!!!!!"

It must be noted that folks are concerned about "malt liquor energy drinks" (with less alcohol) in cities across the country.

Public pressure, also, forced Miller/Coors (makers of the popular "Sparks") to take the caffeine out of the drink months ago.

But I guess that the makers of Four Loko think that the folks in Durham are like ghetto versions of Mikey from that old school Life cereal commercial who the neighborhood kids used as a guinea pig.

"I'm not gonna try it, you try it.."

"I'm not gonna try it..."

"Give to Mikey!"

"Hey Mikey!...Mikey?....Wake up Mikey!"

"Somebody call 911 !!!"

Unfortunately, the folks at Phusion Projects are banking on the fact that their target market, the boyz in tha 'hood, college binge drinkers and sports minded weekend alcoholics won't question their marketing techniques nor be overly concerned about possible health risks.

Although some people might be cool with Four Loko and will find a way to even justify the sell of Arsenic Apple Cider, some of us Durham folks ain't drinkin' the Kool Aid!

In 1998, Paul Scott led a succesful campaign against Phat Boy Malt Liquor. For information about the IMANI (Inspiring Men to Act Against Negative Influences) lecture on alcohol marketing to young people, contact (919) 451-8283 or

Monday, May 25, 2009

Blame it on the Alcohol

Blame it on the Alcohol:
The Low Down on Four Loko

Paul Scott

It was Memorial Day and, as you know, it gets hot on the streets of the "Dirty South." So, I headed to the local hood store to pick up a Welch's Grape Soda.

Being a tad bit parched a regular 12oz just wasn't gonna get it. Then like a mirage in the middle of the Sahara, I saw a cooler full of beautiful fruity looking cans in generous 23.5 oz servings. So, I quickly stuck my hand in the cooler and pulled out an ice cold tall one.

It looked kinda refreshing. But then I noticed the poster on the cooler with "now available legally" written across a hot Latino lady's cleavage.

Kinda strange marketing scheme for soda pop. I wondered what the "illegal" version tasted like.

Now I'm curious as to what I was about to put in my body so I started reading the label.

"Wow! This soda is an energy drink too?"

It had the usual stuff that energy drinks are made of. Guarana, Taurine, Caffeine....

11% alcohol !!!

I had just picked up one of the latest malt liquors sold in Durham NC and hoods across America, Four Loko...

Maybe, its just me but I have always had a problem with the way that the liquor industry markets their products to the young, hip crowd.

You can usually find booze in the hood that you can't find anywhere else on the planet. (And lots of it)

Sure, you can pick up a cold Bud anywhere but to find a malt liquor with magical, medicinal properties..

Oh, that's hood action, homie.

It really ticks me off when these companies use Hip Hop music to pimp their products. Unlike their predecessors, Ole English and ST. Ides, Four Loco has a high tech website and a couple of funky online jams to help you get yo' drink on. They are also using trendy social networks like youtube, Myspace and Facebook to push their product.

Did I mention they have their own clothing line, as well, so you can look fly while you're earlin' in the toilet.

They also want you to send them pictures of you and the homies gettin' your swag on with a can of Four Loko and to wax all philosophical and stuff about the buzz you get from consuming caffeine and alcohol

"And here's a picture of me in the hospital after stumblin' down a flight of steps at Krazie D's party, last week."

Good times, good times.

In most places, folks would be outraged that this is being sold in their neighborhoods. Surely, a malt liquor energy drink in a Grape Crush looking can should raise some sort of red flags among the AA, PTA, or FDA.

Shouldn't MADD and the other anti-teenage drinking folks be mad at this company?

Passing a malt liquor off as an energy drink is an accident waiting to happen. Don't say I didn't warn ya.

I can see Lil Jimmy now chuggin' down a Four Loko on his way to practice.

So, the next time that your loco actin' track star comes stumblin' over the finish line in record time mumblin' Skiny B lyrics...

As singer/comedian Jamie Fox would say, don't blame me..."Blame it on the alcohol."

Paul Scott writes for No Warning Shots He can be reached at (919) 451-8283

In 1998, Paul Scott led a succesful campaign against Phat Boy Malt Liquor. For information about the IMANI (Inspiring Men to Act Against Negative Influences) lecture on alcohol marketing to young people, contact (919) 451-8283 or

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Will Obama Sell Assata Out?

****Last Thursday reports came out of New Jersey that the politicians are stepping up their efforts to have Assata Shakur extradited.
Therefore, I am reposting the piece I wrote last month.****

The New Assault on Assata Shakur:
Will Obama Sell Assata Out?

Paul Scott

Most Americans are not familiar with Assata Shakur. After all, she's not exactly the type of black super hero that they parade around during Black History Month. This is the type ignorance that some legislators in New Jersey hope will allow them to extradite Shakur back to the US under the cover of our darkness.

Assata Shakur (JoAnne Chisamard) was involved in a 1973 shootout on the New Jersey Turnpike that resulted in the deaths of fellow Black Liberation Army member Zayd Shakur and NJ State Trooper Werner Foerster. Shakur was sentenced to life in prison in 1977 but was broken out of prison by her comrades in 1979. She has been living under political asylum in Cuba since 1984.

She still remains on the FBI's Most Wanted List with a million dollar reward for any snitch willing to give her up to the FEDS.

However, with President Barack Obama seeking to open political channels with Cuba and ease US restrictions, politicians in New Jersey have been turning up the heat on the Prez to make the Cuban government give up Shakur if they want to be in Uncle Sam's good graces.

While the current headlines of "NJ to Press for Return of Cop Killer" would lead you to believe that Shakur is some heartless street thugstress that went around shootin' up police stations just for kicks, the truth about the government repression by which groups like the Black Panther Party and its underground military arm, the Black Liberation Army sufferered has never really been told.

We cannot allow the media to even begin discussing Assata Shakur without putting her struggle in the context of COINTELPRO. The Counter Intelligence Program was an effort by J. Edgar Hoover's Federal Bureau of Investigation and its associated agencies to destroy groups that dared stand against US oppression.

It was under COINTELPRO that black leadership suffered under "dirty tricks" that ranged from political assassinations (Fred Hampton) to smear campaigns which are too many to even begin to name here. Even the good Rev. Martin Luther King JR was not immune to Hoover's "dirty tricks."Could you really expect Assata Shakur to get a fair trail under such repressive policies?

According to the late Civil Rights attorney, William Kuntsler in his book "My Life as a Radical Lawyer," a law enforcement agent told him that during Shakur's trial " a member of the New Jersey State Assembly had gone to the hotel where the jury was sequestered and talked to them about the necessity to convict." In the book Kuntsler hints that even he underestimated the lengths that NJ law enforcement would go to get a conviction of Shakur.Today, those same types of people are at it again.

On April 17th, NJ Senator Sean Kean sent a letter to President Obama asking him to "delay normalizing relations with Cuba unless they agree to extradite convicted cop killer JoAnne Chesimard." Also, NJ Attorney General Anne Milgram has been quoted as saying "Obama's move to ease sanctions against Cuba is an opportunity to bring back Joanne Chesimard."

Now, do I think that Obama would sacrifice Assata Shakur on the alter of "Democracy" for political expediency ?

You're darn right !

To appease middle class white America President Obama will throw Shakur under the same Greyhound that he threw Rev. Jeremiah Wright.That is, if we don't raise our voices.

There are organizations that have been fighting to keep the plight of Assata Shakur in our faces for years.

Black bloggers must start an immediate, emergency mass education campaign to tell the true story of Assata Shakur and COINTELPRO to combat the efforts of the miseducation of the mainstream media.We must make sure that our local and national "urban" radio stations inform their listeners about this issue. (Tom Joyner, Michael Baisden, Russ Parr)

We must arm ourselves with information about Assata Shakur and COINTELPRO through websites, DVD's and books such as "Show Down" by the late Del Jones and "Racial Matters" and "Black America:The FBI Files" by Kenneth O'Reilly.

Finally, we must appeal to the Hip Hop artists who have the ears of the people to raise the issue if only for the reason of reppin' for "Tupac's kin folk." (If that will motivate them to take action.)

If we do not raise this issue, loudly, Assata Shakur will be back in a US prison or worst before she knows what hit her.We owe this much to a sister who, as the rapper Common said in "A Song for Assata," "Went through all this.... so we can be free..."

Paul Scott writes for No Warning Shots He can be reached at (919) 451-8283

Monday, May 18, 2009

TRUTH Minista on in Jena,LA

I am scheduled to be on Tony Brown's Show, "Eye's Open" in Jena, LA at 7:40 EST 5/19. He is the radio host that did a lot of work during the Jena 6 Case. We will be discussing the fate of black radio.

To listen go to :

Listen to "On the Real" Discussion of the Disappearance of Black Radio

This program aired 5/17 on Chuck D's (Public Enemy) "On the Real" show on Air America. The discussion was about the current controversy over the condition of black radio.

To listen click on:

Sunday, May 17, 2009

TRUTH Minista on Air America 5/17

I'm scheduled to be on Chuck D's (Public Enemy) Air America Show with Bob Davis (Soul Patrol) at 11:15PM EST tonight (5/17) to discuss "Should We Save Black Radio?"

Radio Plays Race Card Music

Radio Plays Race Card Music

Paul Scott

By now you've heard last weeks propaganda campaign by Radio One's owner, Cathy Hughes and others warning that black life on the planet Earth will cease to exist if HR 848 (The Performance Bill) becomes law. The bill will require radio stations to pay a "tax" on the music that they play in order to pay the musicians that recorded the songs. This will, according to them, cause black radio to become extinct.

I don't know about ya'll but it bugs the heck out of me when folks use the general welfare of black folks as a marketing tool.

The comments of Hughes and the rest of the anti-Performance Rights Act crusaders are text book examples of hyped up , hyperbole meant to scare black folks who don't know any better.

Let's keep it really real. Black radio has not been "black" since the late 80's. As the popularity of Hip Hop began to grow and the artists began to cross over to the pop charts, black radio to began to attract white listeners and dropped the "black" moniker and became "urban." To identify too closely with black folks would have the potential to alienate their hip white listeners.

It must also be noted that today, the same music that is in heavy rotation on urban radio is also played on white radio stations. If you take away the occasional Molly Cyrus song, the play lists are almost identical.

So what is the actual working definition of "black radio" in 2009?

For most black folks (who are the targets of the Save Black Radio Campaign) a black radio station is a station that plays "black" music which includes cool white dudes like Robin Thick and Justin Timberlake. Most folks don't feel the need to research who really controls what, so to the lay radio listener, a white owned radio station that plays Hip Hop is the same as a black radio station.

Also, if black listeners did do a little research they would uncover how many white radio executives, programmers and radio consultants are actually involved in what "black" music goes over the airwaves. So the line between black radio and white radio gets real blurry, real quick. Is it really black radio or white radio in blackface? For instance, until she retired in 2006, Mary Sneed, a 50 something year old white woman was the chief operating officer at the now super black Radio One.

Kinda blows the whole black empowerment argument out of the water, huh ?

See, Hughes and the rest of them are seeking support from "radio groupies" who believe everything that they hear on the radio or see on TV without asking questions. But the problem that the radio folks will encounter is that radio groupies are notoriously fickle. Sure, they may have your back today but just let your white competition start giving away free tickets to the next Lil Wayne concert and watch your comrades defect to your enemy's side.

In their infinite wisdom ,the execs at the radio stations are also trying to garner support from the community activists and church folks by saying that talk radio and gospel stations will be the first to go if HR 848 passes. That would be all well and good except the bible thumpin' church folks oppose 99% of what the secular money makers are playing for their babies and the community activists are ticked off that their local issues can't make it to the syndicated air waves. While they may feel bad for black folks who may lose their jobs, as one person wrote, "how many local radio people lost their jobs when their morning radio spot became syndicated?"

Also, there is the falsehood that urban radio contributes to the overall economy of the black community. I dare you to listen to any urban radio station and count the number of struggling local black businesses you hear advertising on black radio. I guess the only people who can afford the rates are the major white companies that know the value of the black dollar; liquor companies, fast food enterprises, etc.

So, the misinformation that is being spewed just doesn't gel with the facts.

Even though urban radio is trying to get props for helping to elect this country's first black president, I don' think the fact that the whining of well off black radio executives over having to pay more taxes sounds very, very similar to the rantings of Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and the rest of those right wing conservatives who took part in those tax day tea parties, last month is being missed by many black folks.

Although, black radio people are reppin' for Obama and the Democrats, now, you better check their voter registration cards. (I'm just sayn')

The question that black folks are asking on the street is why is this a race issue to be viewed in the same way as police shootings of unarmed black men and educational inequalities?

Because the radio execs see most black folks as prostitutes who can easily be pimped.

However, anyone who has taken time to even glance through Dr Claude Anderson's "Black Labor, White Wealth" or Harold Cruse's "Rebellion or Revolution" can easily see through the charade. But the record execs and their advertisers are relying on the idea that black folks only read Hip Hop magazines, urban novels and the sports pages.

To say that black folks have been through a lot in this country is a gross understatement. So, it is understandable that we are a little sensative when it comes to matters of race. However, this has made us vulnerable to every shyster who tries to paint something as "racism" which is, in essence, just a matter of corporate greed and capitalist economics. So anything that effects their own personal pocket books becomes a grand conspiracy to destroy all black folks.

The real conspiracy is not the demise of black radio but the overall dumbing down and corporate exploitation of the black community. This is the real stage and black radio execs are the actors playing the part.

To borrow from Jay Z , there are 99 problems facing black folks but this ain't one.

Paul Scott writes for No Warning Shots He can be reached at (919) 451-8283

Friday, May 15, 2009

NWSF Bullet: Tom Joyner Snitchin' on the Record Industry

When I heard the Tom Joyner Morning Show, today I thought about the scene from New Jack City when drug dealer Nino Brown, facing a possible trip to the electric chair, started fingering everybody in the courtroom.

This morning, Joyner had Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee on to discuss her support of HR 848 (Performance Bill) , which will force radio stations to pay more money so that musicians will be compensated for their music.

Well, it didn't take too long for Joyner to start squealin' on the record industry.

(In the 'hood they call it snitchin')

"It's not us. It's the record companies!"

Bingo, Tom! But black radio has been an accessory to the crime.

In drug dealer terminology you might not be the king pin who brings the drugs over from South America but urban radio is the main distributor. So both of you are guilty of putting poison in the black community.

But if you are willing to rollover on the record label king pins the court of black public opinion may be willing to show you some leniency.

Of course it's the record labels that have jerked black artists for generations. Hey, I saw the movie Cadillac Records.

We have often pointed out the role that the record labels play in the promotion of negative music to our youth but urban radio has escaped criticism.

The reason why is because the people to whom most black folks look to be their mouthpieces depend on black oriented radio to get their messages out.

As on point as Rev. Al Sharpton is on many issues facing black folks can he really, objectively, critique black radio and keep his room in the Cathy Hughes Radio One mansion?

I don't think so.

I found it strange that during the Hip Hop witch hunts in the aftermath of the Don Imus scandal a few years back when folks were pointing at rap music as the cause of America's problems, black radio was strangely left out of the conversation.

But if black radio wants to take on EMI, Universal and the rest of the big boys; more power to 'em.

Personally, I hope they beat the stuffin' out of each other.

I can't wait to see the boxing match between the radio execs and the record industry.

Edgar Bronfman vs Cathy Hughes?

Yeah, that's worth the price of admission.

Paul Scott writes for No Warning shots

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mis-Education of Black Children

The Mis-education of Black Children

Paul Scott

In 1933, the great educator and founder of Negro History Week (now Black History Month), Dr. Carter G. Woodson wrote, "If you control a man's thinking, you do not have to worry about his actions. Although, "The Mis-education of the Negro" was written 75 years ago, the issues raised then are just as relevent today not only for African American youth but also for those who strive to teach them.

Every year, we are confronted with the age old question of why black youth are not achieving at the same rate as other racial groups. The reason that we continually raise the same questions is that very few have the courage to give the correct answer. While many would write the under achievement of African American children off as some sort of genetic deficiency, the truth is that the reasons are economic, social and political.

First, the depth of the destruction of African culture over a 400 year period via the TransAtlantic slave Trade is rarely discussed in the context of its impact on future generations. Although this is well researched in Walter Rodney's book "How Europe Under Developed Africa, how many people have heard of this outstanding work?

Also, it cannot be overstated that 140 years ago, teaching black people to read was a crime punishable by death. Why this fact is not highlighted as a probable cause for the current educational dilemma of black children has more to do with historical amnesia than historical accuracy.

While segregated schools may have had their good points ,as far as the attention given to the needs of black children, the schools were separate and unequal, lacking the resources to give black children an equal education.

Even as late as early as 20 years ago, members of my generation walked out of college graduation ceremonies to face the heartbreaking reality that we would earn considerably less than our white counterparts. This did not exactly serve as motivation for future generations to strive for academic excellence. Also, while grandma's sage advice that we had to be "twice as good as white folks" was well intentioned, this was an unfair burden to place on the shoulders of young African Americans.

This is why the Hip Hop generation has developed such slang terms such as "Street Knowledge" and "Thug Motivation" in order to compensate for the economic/educational disparity that they cannot understand nor properly articulate.

The media have never shown much interest in making the so called black "Hip Hop Generation" more culturally and politically conscious. Despite the large population of African Americans in the Triangle area, there are hardly any talk shows that supply African centered information to the community. However, there is no shortage of outlets that glamorize anti intellectualism. Even in the world of print media, since young black Americans are not the target audience, there is little effort to hire columnists to speak to their issues

As many Americans are using "change" as a buzz word this political season, we must understand that not only must there be change in politics but education and economics, as well.
We must come up with new and innovative ways to close the information/education gap.

The black community must produce a list of books that all black children should read and present that information to the Board of Education, as well as the community, at large. This list must include the works of Dr. Carter G. Woodson, Dr. Amos Wilson and a host of others. Secondly, we must realize that "cleaning up Hip Hop" means more than just deleting dirty words but using the music to educate as much as entertain. Contrary to popular belief, there are Hip Hop artists that struggle to use their art to educate the masses.

Lastly, we must pressure the local media to develop outlets that will discuss the black experience in its totality, not just crime rates and other negative statistics.

Although the entire community will benefit from a truly enlightened populace, the burden of the responsibility to counter mis-education lies within the black community, itself.

As Bob Marley once sang, "Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds."

Paul Scott writes for No Warning Shots He can be reached at (919) 451-8283

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Live or Let Die: Should We Save Black Radio?

Live or Let Die:
Should We Save Black Radio?

Paul Scott

"I can't explain why Hip Hop died or the fact that it did and no one cried."

Big Swagg (local artist)

Funerals are funny things, sometimes. Never mind that the dearly departed cheated on his wife, borrowed a small fortune of unpaid loans from friends and habitually kicked his neighbor's dog, according to the pastor during the eulogy, the man was a saint.

I thought about that scenario when I heard folks mourning over the impending doom of black radio.

Radio One's owner Cathy Hughes was on the Tom Joyner Show this morning begging for a black community bailout of black radio because of a proposed bill by Rep. John Conyers that would make radio stations have to shell out some major dollars to stay on the air. The best part is when she mentioned that Conyers turned on his boom box during a meeting with radio execs, drowning out their whining.

She considered it an an insult. I call it karma.

For years, members of the African American community have begged "urban" radio stations to be more responsive to the needs of the community, especially highly impressionable black youth. Unfortunately, our cries have largely fallen on deaf ears. Seems that profit before people has been the order of the day.

The politicians are selling the proposed legislation, HR Bill 848, (the Performance Tax) as a way to put more money in the pockets of musicians who were forced to work at Mickey Dee's after their short careers were over but the radio folks are saying that it is a conspiracy to not only silence black voices but to prevent us from ever hearing good black music ever again.

Let's be honest. For many of us, black radio died a long time ago. We aren't producing any more Marvin Gayes and Stevie Wonders. What passes today as classic Soul music is Jamie Fox's "Blame it on the Alcohol." It's not that the black community is not full of talented, would be musicians singing and rapping on street corners in every hood but black radio is too busy playing Soulja Boy every five minutes to give aspiring artists a fighting chance.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the strong legacy of black radio stations, as the companies were instrumental in not only giving us the latest hits but giving the community critical, need to know info during the 60's and 70's. Ms. Hughes should be especially honored for her innovative approach to black talk radio with WOL in Washington DC.

But this ain't the early 80's and the days of radio hosts like Petey Green have long been replaced by the Lil Waynes of the world.

I find it very disappointing that while the Right wing media moguls are up in arms over the FCC's new diversity committee that could possibly break their vice grip on the air waves, black folks are concerned about whether or not they can get their hourly Beyonce fix.

As my grim faced college professor once told me when I ecstatically told him that I had scored an internship at the local station that would allow me to gangsta-rize the airwaves back in the late 80's.

"What our people need is information."

In all fairness. There are a few black radio talk shows in major cities and the syndicated guys do devote ten minutes or so every day with serious dialogue but these efforts are quickly negated by mind dulling music and slap stick comedy.

I must admit that when I heard Ms. Hughes' impassioned call to arms, this morning I was caught up in the moment as she, convincingly, warned that the end of black radio would totally devastate the African American community . I was just getting ready to grab my protest sign and bullhorn before reality set in.

If Fox News' top dog, Rupert Murdoch decided to start a new network of stations to target the urban consumer, would our children know the difference? Or would they even care as long as they could still hear T-Payne?

I didn't see too many of our people boycotting BET when it was bought up by Viacom. As long as they played the same gangsta videos and kept Comic View, life went on.

See, the execs are expecting the black community to exhibit a degree of cultural consciousness that has not been cultivated by black radio. You can't just push a button and expect the people who you have dumbed down for the last decade to automatically become Afro-centric scholars.

Just doesn't work that way.

What the radio folks have never realized is that we are all in this together and an enlightened community benefits all its members. If black radio had been fulfilling its duty of raising the consciouness of the African American community no one would have dared to even suggest a bill that would cut off their flow of information or good music.

So, do we fight against HR 848?

I say yes, especially since, as activists such as Davey D have pointed out, this could eventually effect the noncommercial stations that play progressive music. Also, the few black talk radio programs that we have are essential to our collective growth and development.

However, black radio must make a commitment to truly be the voice of the people. We must make Cathy Hughes and the rest of them sign a contract with black America that they will put the needs of the community first and foremost. They must immediately change their play lists and give artists with a positive message, both national and local a chance to be heard. They must also make sure that at least one hour a day is devoted to the dissemination of information. Also, they must set up community advisory boards that meet monthly to make sure that they stay down with the 'hood.

If this happens many of us will stand shoulder to shoulder with them as they fight the power.

If not, as the disgruntled airline pilot said as he saw his old 747 plummet to the ground.

Crash and Burn!

Paul Scott writes for No warning Shots He can be reached at (919) 451-8283

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Black Militants Take Over Conservative Station

Black Militants Take Over Conservative Station

Paul Scott

(NWSF News) Today a band of black militants calling themselves The Frighten Conservatives Crew (FCC for short) took over local Fox affiliate, WWYT in Des Moines, Iowa. The local authorities were tipped off by a listener who became suspicious when The Sean Hannity Show was interrupted by Public Enemy's "Fight the Power."

OK, I made that up.

But with the current Right Wing paranoia over the Federal Communication Committee's Diversity Committee and the rise of the dreaded Fairness Doctrine, this scenario is the Right's worst nightmare.

The FCC has set up a special group to put some color in talk radio and television much to the chagrin of those who want to keep the airwaves as white as Wonder Bread.

Come on guys. What's wrong with a little bit of soul during your morning commute ?

While there are hundreds of white talk show hosts and other media personalities across the country, there only a relative handful of African American opinion makers and yet fewer who comment from an Afrocentric perspective.

In every market you will find at least one white conservative talk show host. The trend really kicked off in the mid 90's as a reaction to Bill Clinton's Democratic Administration when Rush Limbaugh, G Gordon Liddy and others became overnight celebrities. Not to mention the increased popularity of Right Wing journalists that espoused the values of and spoke apologetically for white conservative Americans.

But who speaks for Black folks?

While there are a few nationally syndicated talk shows courtesy of Radio One’s Syndication One and a few other companies, it is safe to say that Bill O’Reilly reaches more homes than all the black commentators combined.

What is especially disturbing is the disappearance of local black talk programing. During the 70's, it wasn’t uncommon to have Bro. Righteous Raymond on WBLK giving the 411 on all the issues facing Black America. Even mainstream television stations in urban areas aired the obligatory Saturday night "Soul Sister Sheena’s Soul Sensation."

It must be noted , however, that this was not the result of benevolence on the part of white corporations but a necessary evil in an America that was not even a decade removed from the urban rebellions of the Black Power Era. White America needed someone to interpret the meaning of the sounds the African war drums still reverberating through the hoods. They just figured it was better to have black folks express their rage over the airwaves where it could be monitored and regulated by advertising dollars instead of having Black folks hold clandestine meeting in the back of barbershops orchestrating ways to "get whitey." But as the white paranoia of some great bloody uprising subsided, so did their need for black programming.

During the 90's, the post LA Rebellion multi cultural movement gave rise to a "universalism" that made all racial issues colorless. Also, one cannot forget the impact of FCC deregulation that allowed corporations to monopolize media markets and allowed public affairs programing to be almost totally eradicated.

Perhaps the main cause of the demise of black public affairs programming was the fear of the infinite possibilities of black talk by those in power (ie rich white folks) to the change social and political landscape of America.

This is best exemplified by the Right's hatred of Hip Hop. Contrary to popular belief, the first attacks on Hip Hop were not leveled against the "gangsta rappers" but the overtly political rap of Public Enemy and Sister Souljah and during that period, full time gangsta's and part time revolutionaries Tupac Shakur, Ice T and Ice Cube. If given a choice most Right Wingers would choose the nonpolitical rap of 50 Cent instead of the problack politics of Dead Prez, anyday.

What has scared the pants off of white America is the potential for black talk to galvanize the masses of black people toward social action whether deliberate or accidental as was the case when the Magnificent Montague catch phrase "Burn Baby Burn," unintentionally, became the battle cry of the 1965 Watts Rebellion.
It is past time that we begin to see more black faces on Fox News and heard more black voices on talk radio.

It must be emphasized here that we don't just want "any" black person on the air but one who speaks from an authentically "black" perspective.
So, don't try to pull a fast one and hire a Ward Connerly wanna be just to fill a quota.

Dogonit! We want the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Power Hour everyday, at noon !

A new day is coming Conservatives. So be afraid, be very afraid.

So, the next time that you are riding merrily along and hear Malcolm X's "Ballot or the Bullet" speech instead of Mike Savage's Savage Nation realize that the revolution is at your front gate.

Paul Scott writes for No Warning Shots He can be reached at (919) 451-8283

Thursday, May 7, 2009

TRUTH Minista on Block Report Radio

I'm scheduled to be on with JR and the rest of the California Bay Area crew on Block Report Radio aka The Side Show Friday at midnight Pacific Time (that's 3AM Saturday morning on the East Coast) to discuss the Rock&Rape of Black Women article.

The show is broadcasted on KPFA 94.1. in Cali Online

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Beer and Watermelon

According to the News and Observer today, N.C. Alcoholic Beverage Commission Chairman Doug Fox quit yesterday after he was busted for, allegedly, sending that infamous picture of watermelons in front of the White House to his homies , last November.

Most folks know that I have no love for the NC ABC in the first place. I always thought that they were a little too cozy when dealing with an alcohol industry that imports barrels of high powered malt liquor into the black community, everyday.

I remember back in the 90's trying to get the ABC and other agencies to even look at the amount of poison being pumped into "urban" areas was like pulling teeth from a mountain lion.

So, I'm not surprised that the head honcho of the agency would find the watermelon photo humorous.

It just makes you wonder, what other jokes are being kicked around high level government offices that we never hear about.

"Hey Jim Bob, you hear the one about the little darkie who drank so many 40oz's and ate so much fried chicken and watermelon that his stomach exploded...."

Paul Scott writes for No Warning Shots He can be reached at

Sunday, May 3, 2009

May is NWSF Syndication Campaign Month

No Warning Shots was launched almost two years ago. Now it's time to take it to the next level. It' s time to bum rush the industry !

May is NWSF Syndication Campaign Month. If you like the columns that have been appearing here, contact your local newspaper editor and radio program director and let them know that you want No Warning Shots Fired Syndication in your city, today.

For more information they can contact or (919) 451-8283