The Snake Year of 2013 is going to be slithered into retirement. But before we pop the champagne bottles and get drunk for 2014, aka the Year of the Horse, let me say that the year of 2013 was not one of those years in which the year wasn’t going to be messed with.  In a sense of normalcy. But right now, let’s review the good, the bad and the downright ugly:

The Goods:

  • President Barack Obama got sworn in as President yet again, this time on MLK Day. The second time that in a while that a Democratic president got the chair twice since Bill Clinton. And plus, Sunny Obama was introduced as another first dog.
  • Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight. Do they have a reason to be joyful after being captured for 10 years in Cleveland? Yes.
  • The Affordable Care Act. – You’re Covered.
  • Canada’s own, Rob Ford. Really?
  • During the Thanksgiving Holiday, Marissa Alexander was SENT HOME! Under House Arrest and monitoring.  And a new trial will be awaiting for her in 2014.
  • 2013 was  a year that the 50th Anniversaries of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, and a solemn remembrance of JFK were remembered and celebrated.
  • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority turned 100 years old, plus Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority celebrated 105 years.
  • Not a fan of the Baltimore Ravens, but they did beat the Niners in the “blackout” Superbowl.
  • Boston overcame some adversity after the marathon bombing, but the Red Sox still won the World Series.
  • Miami Heat repeated as NBA World Champions.
  • For the Wisconsin Badgers, A new coach – Gary Andersen, and a new tradition of pregame speeches shown before the games were implemented. Plus also the Touchdown Dance of Melvin Gordon and James White.
  • Mayweather is still the man.
  • MSNBC’s Karen Finney got a new show called Disrupt.
  • John Cena vs The Rock part II – yeah you watched it. Plus also, The Undertaker is still unbeaten at Wrestlemania like what, 21 Times?!!!!
  • The day after Wrestlemania 29, the fans and their chants.
  • The Green Bay Packers BEATING THE COWBOYS in Texas for the first time since……..1989.  Plus also, Eddie Lacy has been a stud thus far in the Running Back department. Take notes, NFL! In speaking of the Packers, during week 9 of the regular season, Aaron Rodgers suffered a collarbone injury and was sidelined for about a month. However, when December 29th came (27 days after his 30th birthday) he came back and won a winner take all game against a team that put him out: The Chicago Bears. Plus also, Donald Driver retires after 14 years in the green and yellow. And his retirement announcement was a first for public at Lambeau Field in Black History Month.
  • The Catholics got a new pope – Pope Francis I and plus, he’s a Sagittarius. He also quoted about Gay Catholics and their role in doing God’s Work: “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”
  • The Milwaukee Bucks got a new Coach of Larry Drew. Plus the new coach has a family in the Milwaukee area.
  • For the technological side of things, AT&T got a new Go Phone – Samsung Galaxy Express. 4GLTE in all.
  • Speaking of Technology, remember back in the day when Knight Rider and Power Rangers had their characters talking into watches? Now it’s a reality, thanks to Samsung.  And on top of that, prepare to see Google Glass on your faces to surf the net.
  • Speaking of Wrestlemania: Diddy and Living Colour performed. And marked the first time that a well known black hip hop, and black rock artists performed under one roof.
  • At the theaters: The Hangover Part III, White House Down, The Internship, Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas, The Butler, Black Nativity – speaking of Black Nativity, it does have a Milwaukee Connection by the name of Jacob Lattimore.
  • Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey hooked up. Her network, his shows. Monster collaboration. Admit it: The Haves and the Have Nots was a HOT Show!
  • Kerry Washington rocked the house this year: Scandal, Peeples and SNL.
  • Jay Z and Beyonce brought new reasons to Music Album previews online. Putting out albums surprisingly on Smartphone Apps, and Itunes way before the stores. Talk about freaking geniuses.
  • What was trending? #blacktwitter and it was not racist.
  • The Essence Festival and MSNBC teamed up. And NAACP President Ben Jealous steps down as of December 31st.
  • True Blood! Enough said.
  • BREAKING NEWS:  GMA’s Robin Roberts became a member of the LGBT Community. Let her have her platform. As well as Darren Young of the WWE, Raven-Symone, Queen Latifah, and even Jason Collins. Plus DOMA is dead.  
  • Instagram got the videos working on Smartphones.
  • The Arsenio Hall Show returns after 19 years. With an upgraded Dawg Pound, Posse 2.0, and mixing the old school with the new. I have to say: never seen her perform, but dang Tiffany Haddish!  – Black Unicorns in all. I mean that in a good way.
  • Gabrielle Union’s show on BET “Being Mary Jane” was on point.
  • Kevin Hart’s movie – Let Me Explain was hot hit. Hey Hollywood, still fear black actors?
  • The March on Washington turned 50 years old. With commemorations from those who were there the first time, and those who be willing to carry on the spirit of the  march.
  • The Royals got a new baby.
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren proposed an idea to eliminate the use of Credit Checking for those who are looking for work, school, etc.
  • Henry Louis Gates gave us a new form of history – The African-Americans: Many rivers to cross. A series that EVERYONE should have paid attention to in regarding 500 years of African-American history.
  • The Real Husbands of Hollywood. So funny, so funny. Mitches.
  • Conan O’ Brien/Kevin Hart/Ice Cube – That Lyft skit was so hilarious! Facebook and Twitter continued to dominate.
  • For the Milwaukee and Wisconsin side of things: A streetcar project is in the ongoing works. Amazon would be added to Kenosha. In the Milwaukee Black Market Area – Tom Joyner, Rickey Smiley, and Al Sharpton’s shows have all have been replugged into Milwaukee Black Radio. The Milwaukee Courier and The Madison Times collaborated with a new connection in reaching out to our collective black communities. Milwaukee Native, George Tillman, Jr. came back to be honored for his work in film via the Milwaukee Film Festival. Plus also, the Milwaukee Public Schools sold the former Malcolm X Academy in conjunction to make that a future school, housing, and community center in the Bronzeville District.
  • Milwaukee’s WNOV became the lone wolf of Black Radio. Plus it was “upgraded” with extra hours and formats.
  • Harley-Davidson turned 110 years old, and Milwaukee was rumbling with lots of thunder and a sea of bikes. Plus also Director F. Gary Gray made an appearance at an IronElite exhibit.
  • South Beach Tow. Watched it. Bernice don’t play!
  • For Me: 2013 also marked the year that I made an “American Discovery” of meeting new Family members in Indianapolis. This was a breakthrough of the ages!  – my breakthrough award of the year. Got promoted to an Alumni Treasurer of my old high school, visited the 30 Americans exhibit at the Milwaukee Art Museum, plus my church made an transitional change to community in the Milwaukee County Parks.
  • Throwback Thursday, Flashback Friday, Man Crush Monday, Women Crush Wednesday – oh,  don’t stop the music.
  • Dream Defenders made an impact in Florida.
  • A new network made its debut: Al-Jazeera America, and the haters went wild.  Dumb Americans.
  • I get Selfies. I’ve been doing selfies, before Selfies became selfies! Yeah I said it. And no, Selfies are not selfish.

On my Radio in 2013: FYI – NO JUSTIN BIEBER, NO WHACK RAPPERS, AND NO MILEY CYRUS!!!!

  • Teena Marie – Rare Breed
  • Jody Watley – Nightlife
  • Janelle Monae – Q.U.E.E.N.
  • 2 Chainz – Feds Watching
  • Drake – Started from the bottom now we’re here
  • Adina Howard – Switch
  • Booker T (as in Booker T & M.G.’s) Sound The Alarm
  • Ciara – Sophomore
  • Robin Thicke – Blurred Lines
  • Brand New Heavies (I still listen to them) – So You Remember, Lights, Addicted, Turn the Music Up, Forward,Lifestyle
  • Daft Punk (along with Pharrell and  Nile Rodgers) – Get Lucky
  • Eminem – Survival and Bezerk
  • Jay Z – Holy Grail, Picasso Baby
  • Justin Timberlake – Suit and Tie, Take Back The Night
  • LL Cool J – Whaddup
  • Trombone Shorty – Fire And Brimstone, Shortyville
  • Wale – Love Hate Thing
  • R. Kelly – I know Black Panties is blowing up Female readers, but the song Shut Up has the radio buzzing.
  • Kendrick Lamar – Control; plus also he gets my breakout the real deal award of the year.
  • Chris Brown (for this one reason and reason only) Fine China
  • Tamar Braxton – Love and War
  • Not a fan of Gospel Music, but if you are: Tamela Mann- Take Me To The King. And many of you church goers probably do praise dances to that song.
  • Beyonce – Drunk ln Love

The Bad Stuff:

  • Racism still happened. Even though those who say we live in a “post-racial society” and possess no real racism. Get out of the gutters!
  • Rush Limbaugh had some supporters missed. No surprise. And some gained on his side.
  • The Michael Baisden Show ended at 7 years on the radio. His show was the real deal unlike some of the “conservatives” who don’t tell the truth. Plus his show was a favorite among African-Americans.
  • Beyonce had a lyric in a sample song that featured “Bow Down B*tches”. Ummm…….. that remains a bombshell of a question.
  • Speaking of Jay Z, dude got mad because Harry Belafonte called him and Beyonce out. – For Social Responsibility. A boy, really?!!!!! Good rapper, but……needs to respect the elders! And what was Queen Bey’s thing with the sampling recording from the 1986 Challenger Explosion?
  • Darius Simmons in Milwaukee was shot by John Spooner – who by the way is serving life in jail, which was gathered news after George Zimmerman was found not guilty in Florida.
  • Boston Massacre Bombing. And the city was on lockdown for a week.
  • A report of Aaron Rodgers as gay. I don’t believe in the B.S. Neither the writers who started the rumor. Dumb Americans.
  • Here in Milwaukee, one of black Milwaukee’s well known radio stations without warning, 1290 WMCS ended in Black History Month 2013. Leaving a void in Black Radio in the city. And many never heard of it. Wow, really Wisconsin?!!! Unceremoniously it was sold to a Pennsylvania  Company and having this assumption that Milwaukee needed Elvis. Now turned Martini Radio. And since then, I have NOT listened to the new WMCS.
  • Kim Kardashian/Kanye West – Oh, let me go in on Kanye: Dude was tripping. And the Confederate flag thing was tired. Can the spirit of Donda West come down from heaven and strike fear in this boy?!!!! How can a guy like Kanye go from Jesus Walks to New Slaves of Yeezus?!!!!!
  • Suge Knight/TMZ – About the N word category, Um, No……
  • Real Housewives of Atlanta Star Porsha Stewart thought that the Underground Railroad actually had a train. DUMB!!!!! And she’s Hosea Williams Great Grand Daughter?!!!
  • A Milwaukee Brewers player admits PED’s: Ryan Braun.
  • Ex-Milwaukee Bucks player Brandon Jennings predicted the Bucks would beat the Miami Heat in 4 games in the NBA Playoffs. WRONG!
  • 102. The amount of Homicides in Milwaukee in 2013.
  • Milwaukee’s Bronzeville were not happy about a Dollar Tree in the area. It was supposed to be a local food market.
  • I never watched not one episode of Duck Dynasty. Even after the unappreciative comments.
  • Megyn Kelly and her racist angle about Santa Claus. Oh really?!!!! Anyone can be a Santa Claus in every family. Duh!!!
  • CNN had to let go Roland Martin and Soledad O’Brien.  But they found successes elsewhere. Roland got hooked up with NewsOne Now and Soledad has gone Starfish Media in helping AlJaeezra America.
  • Martin Bashir was let go from MSNBC. But about him commenting about Sarah Palin from him was the truth anyway.
  • Jason Newton, Portia Young, Shelley Walcott were all let go from the Milwaukee News Market and found new ventures. But there is a question: What is up with Milwaukee’s problem trying to retain well thoughtful BLACK News Anchors, besides Mike Anderson, Kim Murphy, and Beverly Taylor? Plus there was a forum about African Americans in Milwaukee News and Media,  but it was never reported. TV wise.
  • Best Funeral Ever. – Um, no. Don’t let that show back on TV!!!!!
  • MZ Transporation announced in 2013 that it will be overseeing the Milwaukee County Transit System. Plus it’s a Black Owned Company.
  • Milwaukee lost another form of communication: Labor Free Press Union newspaper and also The Onion.
  • So far, for the total job count in Wisconsin: 104,372. And no it’s not at 250,000 under Scott Walker.
  • Scott Walker’s book Unintimitated. Not a very good seller. Could that be a bad omen of not running for President?

The Flat OUT Ugly:

  • AGAIN! Black Girls Rock is not racist. Note to those who wanna know and having this #WhiteGirlsRock backlash. (Uneducated Twitter folks)
  • Government Shutdown. Really? Look out Republicans, 2014 maybe a bad year for the seats you hold.
  • The Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act of the 60’s. But paved way for Marriage Equality in it’s place? Nothing against Marriage Equality, but really SCOTUS?!!!!
  • A shooting at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.
  • The first snowfall prior to Christmas 2013 had 30 accidents. Including it made news.
  • Call out: Employers need to stop hating of what they really want in employers. As in labeling folks being overqualified, etc. Obviously, they better really observe what’s really going on. That was on going in 2013. – Greater Milwaukee Area, better take notes! No more of this mess of being out of sync. They know darn well that the MAJORITY of the city citizens need WORK!  Nevermind the competition nor what is on the resume! Employers need to stop the pettiness of those who don’t have a decent credit rating. This past Christmas season approximately 2 Million Families were on Unemployment Benefits and the stores were worried about their retail stock?!!!!!!
  • Call out AGAIN: Facebook users who pick and delete need to stop being so picky. If you unfriended someone based on what was said or displayed, then why did you friend him/her in the first place? Duh! People don’t think. The same with Instagram, Google Plus, Twitter, and many others.
  • The name Emmett Till was resurrected this year not only for the misuse rap lyric of Lil’ Wayne, but also in the wake and death of Trayvon Martin.
  • A black male teen was accused of shoplifting a $300.00 belt in which he paid for in a store called Barney’s in NY. Oh really? And the store better smarten up it’s profiling options! And Jay Z’s response was?………..
  • Ani DiFranco said what?!!! That Solidarity is for White Women?!!!
  • A church was under fire for having a display replacing the baby Jesus with a bloody Travyon Martin model in a hoodie. SHAMEFUL! And on top of that, that church is under the United Methodist Banner. And to me, as a member, I am appalled and ashamed that here is again, Trayvon Martin is being used as a sign of stupidity. The United Methodist Church better come down HARD AS HELL on this church for this debauchery act!!!!!!!!
  • Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke had to be a hater in 2013. First, he made a commercial of the wolf at the door in defending your home, and telling WNOV to tone it down with host Sherwin Hughes at the controls. The Sheriff is a high ranking official. Of course he’s a hater and will get called out! Duh!!! And, he rides a horse!!!!! (in my Sherwin Hughes/David Clarke imitation voice)
  • Justin Beiber retiring at 19?!!! Really? Enter the shoulder shrugging in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 …………. Comment? Plus also he had to be stupid about Black History Month.
  • SNL got caught with a confession: no black women in the last couple of years, has ever been apart of the starting cast. They better learn and smarten up!
  • BLACKFACES.   NO!!!! That was flatout ugly and stupid. And those that don’t know the history better learn today!
  • George Zimmerman was found Not Guilty in shooting Trayvon Martin – ugly. And the profiling of young African-American males still lingers. Are you listening America? – And that was worth of losing your Social Media folks? Really?!!!!
  • Country Singer Darius Rucker gets called out by a racist tweet for his craft in country music. Um, do folks know that black people STARTED Country Music?!!!! – Dumb Americans.
  • As a member of the United Methodist Church and I must MUST ask this question: Why the hate against pastors like Frank Schaefer who was defrocked in the UMC? DEFROCKED?!!!!! And also, why are those old heads in the UMC don’t like the idea of E-Offering and E-Communion? Aren’t we supposed to “Rethink Church?”
  • Justine Sacco – Her AIDS Tweet was ridiculous. Seriously.
  • The Cheerios Commercial with the interracial couple received a barnstorm full of hate. Um, really Americans?!!!
  • The twitter fan folks in the NBA had to hate a 11 year boy, Sebastien De La Cruz,  for signing the National Anthem. Really? And everyone thought that this Mexican boy in a mariachi was about to shake things up. Clearly, he’s American born.
  • CALL OUT: Harlem Shake/Twerking – If those don’t know the history, they are lost! Plus for the Harlem Shake, Melissa Harris-Perry schooled those who “thought” they knew. And twerking, it started with the Mapouka in Africa. (black folks) Learn it, Americans.
  • Lil’ Wayne makes a video called “God Bless Amerika”, and in a scene he “stomps” on a American setting an uproar among the so-called America audience on the USA Today Website. Even wanting to hang him. REALLY?!!! STUPID!
  • Dr. Ben Carlson  on the ACA Act being tied to slavery- Um no…..
  • Christina Jenkins, remember her? She got a 10,000 check after her receipt was found with the N*gger word on it while working at Red Lobster.
  • Kiera Wilmot, Remember her? She was the 16 year old high school student that got expelled from her school for a science experiment. But she will be getting a Scholarship from NASA after Graduation.
  • Scott Walker writes to the Washington Post about what can Wisconsin can Teach Washington. Uh, what a load of B.S.
  • Nick Cannon got schooled by Joe Madison (aka The Black Eagle) in his response of commentary from Ted Nugent.  And Nugent doesn’t like black folks as much on his racist angle.

Scratching my head all this time 2013:

  • Black People – why are we are STILL saying “ratchet?”
  • This is nothing new, what will it take to get more MEN back in church?
  • Black People, why was a black WOMAN in a noose in a Halloween picture smiling that was passed around on Facebook?
  • What was up with the Bus Fights?
  • Why are Employers are researching folks who have bad credit, and not allowing them to get hired? And checking out their Social Media pages to see what kind of person they are? LEAVE THEM ALONE!
  • Why are Milwaukee County Residents at times of angles are Sensitive to Black Radio and still listen?
  • Why were Black Clubs in Milwaukee getting shut down by the likes of Alderman Bob Bauman, and those who had to jump on his bandwagon of hate against black establishments?
  • Hyper Sensitive people who criticize folks being on Smartphones, Ipads, Iphones and others: I have a question/suggestion – CAN YOU PLEASE GET YOUR LIFE?!!!! Ain’t nobody talking about you! Can you do that please?
  • It’s tired, but can Alderman Bob Donovan and the so-called antagonists of Milwaukee PLEASE shut up about the Milwaukee Streetcar? And the city can use the streetcar to move up IN THE 21st CENTURY?
  • Why was State Senator Ted Cruz had to bust out with Dr. Seuss’ book Green Eggs and Ham for about 21 hours all because of the Shutdown?!!!!
  • Was the Knockout Game really that over hyped like Punch Buggy Red? Wow Really? (If you don’t know what punch buggy red is, ask anyone who is Gen X.)
  • Wal-Martians!!!! What about that?
  • Caucasian folks, I like some of you, but can some of you please stop with the whole get over it phrases of slavery and racism? The more it’s talked about, the more it’s a lesson. And more of “you” need to listen to get out of denial.
  • When President Obama had his foot on the desk, shook hands with Raul Castro, and doing a “selfie” what was the haps? Really Americans?!!!!!
  • When the NY Times visited the spots in Milwaukee, why was Harley-Davidson NOT MENTIONED? And about their Benghazi reporting? Really?!!!
  • Was Windows 8.1 really THAT confusing or what?
  • When Nelson Mandela passed, not many folks knew about him. But the Paul Walker fans? Really? Not knocking the hustle of what was left behind.
  • Not knocking the fashion tip, but the punk look? Really?!! Just asking.
  • I asked this last and will do this year: Why do certain folks, fear folks who are real? And don’t even talk to them or come together? Like Sex Therapy Adviser Experts, Civil Rights, Race, LGBT, the Church, etc. Um, hello?
  • Can anyone explain this phrase of Cray? and also, Amazeballs?
  • If approved, will the Milwaukee Bucks new arena attract more to the population?
  • Why did the critics had to get an attitude when Oprah Winfrey had to tell the BBC about racism in America? Um…….it was the truth.
  • Preachers of L.A. had it’s share of the spotlight, so why are folks hating that Pastors have big houses and fancy cars? Oh, let’s not forget what Bishop T. D. Jakes said. But wait, the Bishop got caught with Tyler Perry(with all due respect)  had his hand on his head………….. and ask why? And why did Jesus had haters?
  • When Billy Ray Cyrus was giving his reaction about Miley’s  “twerking”, he wished for world peace. Ok, but really. Why not the real question of her behavior?!
  • Really Black Christians?!!!! Erica Campbell’s dress was not “holy enough” in a photo shoot? Define that please.
  • Will Mary Burke win Wisconsin in 2014 IF SHE CAN get the black support against Scott Walker?
  • Does Newaukee and Historic Milwaukee actually know black folks besides a few minorities and a LGBT representative?
  • When Rachel Jeantel was describing “Cracker A** Cracker” why did those in America got shocked? I’ve heard this before, hey reference Chris Rock! Plus also, Tom Joyner jumped in to help out in her education endeavors to an HBCU College of her choice. Anyone hating that?

Those that we lost: This year of 2013 was year that more legends and those that never got a chance to shine, were clocked out. As my mother would say, The saints are getting out of here!

  • Nelson Mandela
  • James Gandolfini
  • Roger Ebert
  • Annette Funicello
  • Richie Havens
  • Chris Kelly aka Mac Daddy (1/2 of Kris Kross)
  • Jean Stapleton (Edith from All in the Family)
  • Bobby “Blue” Bland
  • Jim Kelly
  • Cory Monteith
  • Lou Myers
  • Richie Havens
  • George Duke
  • Lee Thompson Young
  • Lord Infamous of Three Six Mafia
  • Leroy Bonner – Sugarfoot from the Ohio Players
  • Paul Walker

Here in Milwaukee, those have gone to glory:

  • Lauri Wynn – Civil Rights activist, educator
  • James G. White – Milwaukee County Supervisor
  • Ella Washington – Member of the Milwaukee Heritage Chorale
  • Al Culbreath – First black model in Milwaukee

And to those that I know:

Many of  you “West coast” reader folks remember Laura Weiss-Lampert. Probably through her work, and religious affiliation. Personally, I’ve known her since high school in Milwaukee back in the 90’s. She was a 1993 graduate of Milwaukee John Marshall High School and a positive member of the Marshall Band. Laura passed away on May 30th this year after a long battle of Metastatic Cancer. But a year ago, she left a commentary going through her illness she was facing at the time. A life long lesson to learn indeed. 

In Milwaukee, an adopted relative of mine passed at 15 years old, Amari Vann. She passed away back in the summer.  I want my younger readers of my blog to pay attention, even if you had to stumble on this blog with or without your parents permission. It concerns the issue of suicide. Many of you probably had relatives or family members, or maybe classmates/friends who probably had passed away of killing themselves for a strange reason. Maybe they were bullied, couldn’t measure up, or maybe something got in their way and caused them to blink and took their lives away. If anyone of you have a problem or a concern about what is going on concerning you, and might trigger something to do a suicide act, TELL SOMEONE! Tell your parents, grandparents, relatives, teachers, ministers or anyone that you know that knows you! This is my “blogger plea” for you. And it needs no app, nor social media program to do it. 

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  1. […] My Take: The “Snake Year” as it was slithering in 2013. […]

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