Now this makes Soulja Boy sound like KRS ONE!!! Warning explicit language lol
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
As a result of several recent events along with situations I have seen (first or secondhand) over the years, I have come to the conclusion that being an objectively successful black man is a health risk in America. Before I begin my reflection, I want to CLEARLY state that I do recognize the fact that many victims have drawn unnecessary attention to themselves by “flossing” (i.e. wearing gawdy jewelry, “poppin’ bottles”) etc. and also, many victims have not put themselves in the best of situations (i.e. walking alone, being in an unfamiliar area, etc.). That being said, I still believe that most of the violent incidents I have seen or heard about are undeserved, and oftentimes unprovoked.
I have been in many different circles in my life (i.e. entertainment, law, business, sports, etc.) and I am yet to find a black man who hasn’t been either in or around a number of violent situations in his life. Every black man I know has been in AT LEAST ONE of the following situations: being shot, shot at, or in a place where someone was shooting, being “jumped”, robbed, mugged, or in a violent fight. This truth doesn’t spare the “professionals”. In other words, black professional men are not immune from these situations. I cannot say the same for the white or asian people I know. Sad
***Let me also say at this juncture that I do recognize that the issues that black men in America face are substantially different than the issues that any other race faces. As a result, this piece should not and cannot be read in a vacuum, and I will not only focus on the “what” but also the “why”.
The “what” is the scariest thing you’ve ever heard of in your life (not really, but almost). The “what” is Sean Taylor, Javon Walker, Frank Walker, Jam Master Jay, Big L, Tupac, Biggie, Eddie Curry, Patrick Dennehy, Stephon Marbury, Derrick Ward, Talonted, MEKKA DON…shall I keep going? TRUST ME, I could. The aforementioned group of individuals have either been shot at, shot, killed, robbed, or jumped, at least once. I will also add in Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. All of those people come from different walks of life and represent different ideologies, but none have been immune. Not only have we (I am in the group) not been immune, but these incidents have occurred in a myriad of ways from home invasions to nightclub incidents. Additionally, these incidents have occurred in different cities, from New York to LA to Columbus, Ohio!
***Before I get to the “why”, I want to state at this point that I realize there are more dimensions to these issues than I will state here. I also recognize that this topic could actually be written about at book length…but this is a blog entry, so I will not go into excruciating detail. SORRY for all the caveats and disclaimers – that’s the lawyer in me.
Racism, institutional racism, classism, poverty, drugs, money, economics, family, oppression, anger, jealousy, envy, clout, “respect”, “juice”, fear. I could probably keep going here too, but these are the main reasons for my articulated health risk. Each one of these reasons could be discussed at great length individually, but this piece isn’t really about the “why” as much as it is about the “what”.
Again, I recognize that many victims have drawn unnecessary attention to themselves and that many have also not put themselves in the best of situations. However, this does not excuse the ridiculous. Successful black men have to hide. If they don’t want to hide, they have to hire bodyguards (who also get shot!). My cousin Eli and I always talk about keeping our “head on a swivel”. In other words, we are always looking around to see who and what is going on around us – we never want to be “caught slippin’”. In addition to all the other issues that black men face in this world, many of us walk around in fear. When I say “fear”, I don’t mean being a “pussy” (please don’t take offense sensitive people), but rather a fear of the unknown (and the known) – almost a paranoia. And just for reference purposes, I PERSONALLY have been jumped, in places (plural) where people were shooting, and in violent fights. Also, SEVERAL of my close friends have either been shot, shot at, jumped, or mugged. I say this to explain how personal of an issue this is for me – not just what I read in the news.
If you drive a nice “whip”, got a big contract, or wear a nice chain, you better hide. They are looking for you. They already know who you are or they will find out. And if they find you, you’re lucky if they don’t kill you…and unfortunately, many haven’t been so lucky.
(SEAN TAYLOR FUNERAL)
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Monday, June 2, 2008
Jonathan Vilma has been generating national media headlines for his skills on the football field for years. He was a standout linebacker at the University of Miami where he, was a 2 time First Team all BIG EAST selection, two time Butkus Award Finalist(best college linebacker), and picked up a National Championship on the way.His He was drafted as the 12th overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft by the New York Jets, and went on to win the AP NFL DEFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR that season. In his second season he led the entire NFL in tackles and was selected to his first pro bowl. However, his athletic talent isn't all that defines Jonathan.
Jonathan was recognized as much for his talent in the classroom while at The U, he was selected to the Academic All Big East Team three times, named The University of Miami's scholar athlete of the year in 2002, and completed his degree in Finance. Vilma has leveraged his education and business savvy to find success beyond the football field. Jonathan can be seen as an endorser for such products as Rocawear, Campbell's Soup, Under Armour, and Ice Rocks. He is also actively involved in his financial matters; aggressively seeking business opportunities that he can pursue during the offseason.
I WILL NOT LOSE COMMERCIAL
Jonathan makes sure to take time out of his schedule for many community activities. Jonathan has been recognized for his consistent work with The United Way. Jonathan recently started Financial51 a non-profit organization whose goal is to provide financial education to the public and provide key knowledge to allow its members to build a solid financial foundation.
UNITED WAY COMMERCIAL
Jon is a true definition of a "Legal" Hustler. Jonathan is a good friend of mine and we caught up with him for an interview while he was recovering from a season ending injury, and getting ready for a change of scenery. Jonathan was traded to the New Orleans Saints in the offseason.
Q: What's up Vilma?
A: Everything's good , just rehabbing and getting ready to get back on the field next season.
Q: Are you excited about the change of scenery in New Orleans?
A: Yes I am very excited! I am fortunate to be joining a team with a lot of talent on both sides of the ball, and even more excited about returning to the 4-3 defensive system where I had the most success in my first two season in New York. There's also a nice energy surrounding the sports teams here in New Orleans with both the Saints and Hornets providing the city a lot of pride.
Q: Glad to hear! Going to make sure and come down there for a couple games this season. So Jonathan, where are you from?
A:I'm from Miami, Florida and a proud alumnus of THE University of Miami (At this point I was going to rib Jonathan about Ohio State's victory over THE U in 2002, but I didn't want the interview to end abruptly. He's a proud Hurricane, and it seems to be a sore spot:)
Q: What advice would you give to a young person who wants to pursue the same career?
A: Do what you love and don't let anybody stop you from doing it.
Q: What other business interests do you have?
A: I like business and real estate. My major was finance. I have my own website which I use to allow my fans to stay in tune with everything that's going on with me. I also recently started Financial 51. I am always looking to leverage my brand into as many business opportunities that make sense as possible.
Q: What exactly is Financial 51?
Financial 51 Organization's mission is to provide financial education to the public and provide key knowledge to allow its members to build a solid financial foundation. Our organization will assist in providing the requisite information to its members to give them the power to make sound financial decisions. Our organization will design and develop programs in furtherance of educating its members.
Q: Wow! that is a great idea, and leads nicely into the next question.What are your financial goals?
A: My financial goals are to save and build enough wealth to make sure my children are straight and don't have any worries. As an NFL athlete you never know how long your career is going to last and you also have to make sure you are able to maintain your financial well being after football is over. Most people retire at 65, football players careers are over before the age of 40. I hope to be as successful as possible on the football field but also hope to continue that success once my playing days are over as an entrepreneur.
JON'S INVESTING GAME PLAN
Q: Name two people who you admire or have influenced you
A: My Mom and Dad I admire for different reasons, but they have both influenced me
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?
A: SLEEP!!! I also enjoy traveling.
Q: Is there anything that you would like to promote or mention
A: Check out www.jonvilma.com, enter if you dare! also check out financial51.org
Shout out to my man Mekka Don, The "Legal" Hustler, thanks for the interview.
We appreciate your support of The "Legal" Hustler on YOUTUBE. As I said at the end of the finale there are many young, successful minorities who are not promoted enough in mainstream media. We will be highlighting a male and female legal hustler of the month each month beginning today... Without further ado here are Dana Sellers and Jonathan Vilma, The Male and Female Legale Hustlers for June