[Stiggers] To Whom It May Concern | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

[Stiggers] To Whom It May Concern

Dear F.E.M.A.: This is Brotha Hustle applying for a job with your organization. I figure if Mr. Brown can get a job with ya, so can I. Please check out my resume!

Brotha Hustle, Aunt Tee-Tees Place, 1717 Around-the-Corner St., Way-Cross, Ga., 34777, 707-777-9311.

Objective: To obtain gainful employment in the field of emergency management with the possibility of earning extra money by providing food, water, shoes, clothes, Juicy Juice on ice (for the kids) and other necessities to flood and hurricane victims.

Work Experience/Qualifications: 2000 to present: Self-employed (Hustler). Vendor on various street corners.

2004 to present: Clubb Chicken Wing Security. Temporary/part-time security guard during Sunday Nite Bingo.

2003 to 2004: Cootie Creek County Sanitation Department. Refurbished, recycled and re-sold hundreds of unneeded items, such as discarded clock radios, busted video cassette players, used phone cards and old perfume, ties, hats, shirts, etc.

2002 to 2003: Cootie Creek County Middle School Night Custodian. Cleaned toilet stalls, mopped floors, wiped windows, picked up trash.

2001 to 2002: After I lost my good factory job with benefits, I sold government cheese, butter and powdered milk - at reasonable prices - to people who really needed these food items.

Education: Cootie Creek County Community College's GED Program. Certificate of Ghetto Science Vocational Education and Critical Thinking and S.O.H.K. (School of Hard Knocks).

References Available Upon Request.

Previous Comments

ID
70792
Comment

Iíve read your columns since joining the JFP site months ago, and frankly, even with what I believe to be a great sense (others would say sick even) of humor, I just donít get ìitî. Moreover am often left offended.

Author
K RHODES
Date
2005-09-21T16:29:57-06:00
ID
70793
Comment

This is the funniest ever, ever. Ever.

Author
emilyb
Date
2005-09-21T18:16:52-06:00
ID
70794
Comment

this is a good one.

Author
c a webb
Date
2005-09-21T19:08:44-06:00
ID
70795
Comment

Ooooooo Weeeeee! I think I've finally struck a cord...I probably did at an earlier time....Every time I write a column, I wonder who is gonna kick me out of Jackson.....Ive been waiting for this.....Good Gawd!

Author
Stiggers
Date
2005-09-22T00:08:13-06:00
ID
70796
Comment

Yo Ken, despite some criticism, which you should expect when you boldly step out there like you have, you're still funny. Good job of mixing humor with life events and human conditions. I can't say I have seen any real disrespect or hatred of poor or black people in your articles. However, you're walking the fine line.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2005-09-22T11:12:34-06:00
ID
70797
Comment

You (meaning the author) consistently disparage and stereotype an entire group of people and your purported satirical act is no excuse!

Author
K RHODES
Date
2005-09-22T14:38:22-06:00
ID
70798
Comment

Ken Stiggers, are you stereotyping or disparaging a whole group or race of people? I love humor that fails to do either even if directed at a specific group. Whether you're causing any hurt, harm or legitimate anger seems to be a good question?

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2005-09-22T14:49:34-06:00
ID
70799
Comment

I am not saying (if you interpret this as humor) that it should be void of stereotypes and disparages, but I do take issue with the group the author consistently targets!

Author
K RHODES
Date
2005-09-22T15:03:17-06:00
ID
70800
Comment

I think these are issues for Ken to address ... however, I will say that I find nothing in his column that disparages a group of people, or I wouldn't run it. I find it much higher satire than thatómeaning that it satirizes the plight of people who are doing the best they can against nearly immeasurable odds thanks to idiots running the country. I find Ken's column incredibly loving. But I will say that it proves to the world that it would be downright ridiculous to call the JFP "politically correct." Not that I run it for that reason. I run it because I believe it says things that need to be said in a way that makes people listen even if it makes them uncomfortable.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-09-22T15:12:46-06:00
ID
70801
Comment

Additionally, Ken, what might be so funny to some of us can be quite insulting and hurtful to others. As an outlandish example that is far more extreme than anything I've heard you say or write, during my earlier career in corporate America, a speaker from the midwest thought it was alright to tell a joke using the "n____ in a woodpile" scenario. While the race of the speaker shouldn't matter, this situation involved a rich white agent speaking to a crowd that was a 90% white and 10% black. I really don't know how ANYBODY could be dumb or drunk enough to think you can pull off this alleged joke without casualties, including yourself. Anyway, lots of people laughed at the so-called joke, including the highest ranking black person employed by State Farm. A black female of low job status weren't amused at all, and she wrote a letter to Ed Rust, President of State Farm. People say you can't reach the president of a big corporation. Believe it or not, Ed, got the letter, and crap soon rolled down hill like a mighty stream. That agent was asked to resign, be fired, or to come back to Houston and singularly apologize to every black employee there. Which he did to everyone's shock and amazement. As you know, I like much of your work; however, you might want to do as the Rapper Mystical suggested before going to jail for videotaped rape, and "watch yourself". Keep on, keeping on! Good luck!

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2005-09-22T15:30:32-06:00
ID
70802
Comment

If a white guy did this article in the Northside Sun, then yeah, it'd be offensive. But the race of the author does matter when it comes to ethnic humor. I find Carlos Mencia hilarious, but if a white person walked up and made some of the jokes he's made (or used some of the language he's used) to describe Latin Americans in general and Mexicans in particular, I would raise unholy hell. Ken's columns have always struck me as clever and affectionate, though about two-thirds of the humor goes right over my head. I think there are some jokes that white people, as a general rule, just won't get. And I think that Ken should resist the urge to apologize to anyone, because it's clear that this is a brand of humor that speaks to black readers, and only seems to offend white readers "on behalf" of black readers--white readers in blackface, as it were. The same whites who get offended if rappers use the "n" word, even though the context and the race of the speaker clearly remove any racist implications from the word. All writing is contextual, folks, and the identity of both the author and the audience matters tremendously. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2005-09-22T16:03:44-06:00
ID
70803
Comment

I'm sorry. I'm of a completely different opinion. I think humor like this both brings attention to a subject, makes you think, and PROMOTES healing. Its beautiful, AND hilarious, Ken. Two things I definitely can get behind...and in front of (if you need my high heels to clear a path) Keep writing it until someone's head explodes.

Author
Lori G
Date
2005-09-22T16:07:59-06:00
ID
70804
Comment

One question that white people might ask themselves: Why don't they get Ken's humor? Could there possibly be something missing in their frame of reference (or daily travels) that means that they don't understand, say, a reference to a combination beauty-shop-liquor-store in the "ghetto"? To me, an important component of running Ken's column is to remind people that there is a reality, a tough one, that they are clueless about. It's up to the reader to decide whether to change that fact and to try to understand the larger world they live in, rather than to hide out in their corner and fear the unknown. I, too, believe Ken's humor and message are brilliant. And it has no need to make everyone comfortable. Real life isn't comfortable. I am thrilled to give Ken a forum. And everytime he refers to Lynne Cheney's "poignant standard English introduction," I know I am in the company of a genuis, and I am humbled. I'm assuming that everyone, regardless of race, understands the Cheney reference that he uses frequently? And I ask that with no condescension intended if you don't.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-09-22T16:17:22-06:00
ID
70805
Comment

BTW, if I didn't say it already, I believe Ken is outdoing himself with this column about Brownie's FEMA job and his last one about Cootie Brown, Esq., taking the case of blacks caught "looting." There's a lot of material right now, and Ken is living up to it.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-09-22T16:18:50-06:00
ID
70806
Comment

I read Ken's column every time it comes out, and I'd miss it if it were gone. And I did love the "poignant standard English introduction" bit, and yes, that WAS pure genius. I also liked the Cootie Brown column. And I thought the line about the combination liquor store/beauty shop was hilarious. This one I just didn't get--I got the references, but it just didn't click for me, and that's okay. I can appreciate its subversiveness without actually getting my humor button pushed, sort of like I can with George Carlin. And I'm really not sure the two-thirds of Ken's humor I don't get is purely because I'm white, either, because I also don't get about two-thirds of George Carlin's humor. None of that prevents me from recognizing George Carlin as a comedic genius. Folks in Mississippi tend to underattribute to race, but let's not overattribute, either--sheer personality difference can explain an awful lot. I think Ken should be Ken, and the last thing I want to do is pressure him into producing the humor column equivalent to Velveeta, processed to the point where it's supposed to please everybody. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2005-09-22T16:33:10-06:00
ID
70807
Comment

I hear you, Tom. A few years ago, I got to watch Dr. Henry Lee, a famous chinese, forensic scientist, and Dr. Michael Baden, also, a foremost forensic scientist (Pathologist), do a presentation for a bunch of lawyers and other forensic scientists on their fields of expertise. Dr. Lee was not only brillant but funny as hell too because he constantly told jokes peculiar to or about Asians or Orientals. Dr. Baden, althought just as important and giving to the presntation, was uncomfortable nearly the whole presentation because he didn't know whether to laugh, apologize, or walk off the stage. Dr. Lee was funny but not disrespectful or hateful to the people he joked about. Even the Asians and/or Orientals were laughing at the jokes. Dr. Baden eventually told us he was sorry he couldn't be funny too but he understood his limitations in that instance. As far as I know, no one was offended and everybody loved the presentations of both. Ken will continue to do well as long as he remembers there is a line he can't cross. I've always sensed Ken loved and identified with the people he wrote about.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2005-09-22T16:38:21-06:00
ID
70808
Comment

Good points, Tom. One thing I appreciate about Ken is that I know I'm missing wonderful references to songs and speeches when I read his column. I know that it is smarter than I am, and I always aspire to "read up," as I advise my writing students to doóthat is, always try to read something that challenges me while not hectoring me to death with huge words or Tom Robbins-esque references. I also write that way. I know people don't get every reference I use, but I take great pleasure in knowing that, say, when I subtly pay homage to an old Negro spiritual or a writing of a spiritual leader, that the readers who catch it will truly appreciate it. But the key, I think, is that writing can be enjoyed on various levelsóby those who get all the references and those who don't. I believe that is the case with Ken'sóalthough I know some columns are less out of reach to more people than others are. But that's OK with me. I don't believe in putting out a paper where everything is dumbed down to 8th, or 4th, grade level as some other papers around are. I believe in challenging people to think. For instance, it is perfectly fine for our readers to look at a word now and then. I look up words when I read! Then I know more words. To hell with this dumbing-down-into-Velvetta thing, as you deliciously put itóMississippians deserve to be challenged just like everyone else. Screw the bigotry of low expectations of us. I will say that it could be fun to do a Reader's Guide to Stiggers' columns at some point so we could all see what we missed. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-09-22T16:40:44-06:00
ID
70809
Comment

... look UP a word ...

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-09-22T16:42:18-06:00
ID
70810
Comment

Finally, let me say I admire people who dare to go where no one else has gone before, especially on those journeys that need to be made. This is why I love Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, Cornell West, Eric Michael Dyson, Ken Stiggers, and countless others who dared to be different. It, now, seems Eric is on a mission to enfeeble, unnerve, and change the meaning of the N word, a noble cause that no one I know will earnestly take on. To pull off this monumental and incomprehensible task, he has been seen using the word among some of our brightest and most openmided citizens of all races. I wish the brother well and will be seen dancing at his victory party or committment proceeding.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2005-09-22T17:27:12-06:00
ID
70811
Comment

Ray, was it Dyson who said on Tavis' show that if George W. Bush was black, he'd be running a pawn shop in Texas? Or, West? I remember it being one of the funniest, and tragically true, lines I had ever heard on radio.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-09-22T17:29:07-06:00
ID
70812
Comment

He'd be running a pawn shop that was going broke, as usual. He'd be too busy giving all the guns away to the white people, and charging all the blacks two-fifty to stare at the books and stereos thru the window. (PLEASE, GET OFFENDED) By the way, Tom, my comment was NOT to you. It was to whoever was getting offended. ;) I just wanted to make that clear since it came out posted right under yours (I swear that WAS NOT there when I was writing mine:-). This column would be like me doing a column making fun of the fact that I was a sorority girl. That's how I look at it. (well, in the 'light' way. It'd be like Stigger "lite". Or Diet Stiggers....that just meaning race issues run a lot deeper and are more hurtful to the general population than "white sorority girl" issues...because swaps are just SO horrifying compared to lynchings) And, just so's ya'll know, I *DO* make fun of MYSELF for being a sorority girl. But, it was the nineties...that and my bangs were the THINGS to do. (Besides half the school baseball team). ;) SEE, LOOK PEOPLE, that was FUNNY. He's making fun of a stereotype. He's showing YOU how stupid YOU are (at the heart of it). The very fact that you get OFFENDED at your OWN stupidity is what makes the damn thing so funny. (at least that's what I was getting out of it...and since it IS an "opinion piece" and that's what I get paid for around here...I'll keep laying them out there. ;) Are you offended? Maybe there are some black people present who would get offended on my behalf?

Author
Lori G
Date
2005-09-22T20:13:32-06:00
ID
70813
Comment

Would someone just tell me if what I wrote was funny, or if I'm under the influence of substances?

Author
Lori G
Date
2005-09-22T20:15:39-06:00
ID
70814
Comment

I think it was funny. Of course, Stiggers cracks me up, week in and week out, and I don't think his column is offensive. Edgy, yes. "Diet Stiggers": chortle. And I think you did a fine job of creating an analogyóand offended sallies everywhere at the same time. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-09-22T20:25:36-06:00
ID
70815
Comment

Oh Lordy. I offended them when I told them to stick it up their ass after they tried to call me to some "standards" board for having beer in my car. "Scuse me. But I went to college to get away from my mama...I sure don't need some size 2 biotch with a bad dye job and daddy's beamer to tell me when I can, or cannot, have a Bud Light. I AM a Delta Girl.

Author
Lori G
Date
2005-09-22T20:35:20-06:00
ID
70816
Comment

I think it's funny because I am SO qualified for that job. But that's another story for another day. Ali was a sorority girl! HAHAHAHAHA! It's just the irony of it all. We are encouraged to work harder and do better and those "best qualified" for the job will get it, and then... Well. I don' t think I need to say more. That could have been any of us in that resume.

Author
emilyb
Date
2005-09-22T20:36:39-06:00
ID
70817
Comment

Sorry, Ken got me into character ;)

Author
Lori G
Date
2005-09-22T20:36:43-06:00
ID
70818
Comment

I swear Ali, if you drink that beer in the BOTTLE or CAN and are photographed while SMOKING I am TELLING on YOU.

Author
emilyb
Date
2005-09-22T20:38:24-06:00
ID
70819
Comment

But, I can do ALL THAT, if I'm sitting cross legged under a roof ;) Takes one to know one.....

Author
Lori G
Date
2005-09-22T20:42:13-06:00
ID
70820
Comment

I read the comments about my column earlier today. I considered not writing any more satire for the JFP. Then, I recalled the time I did a radio program called the "I'm not Black World Report." About 5-10 people called the radio station with unfavorable responses. Folk were very mean and vicious. I was called an Uncle Tom, racist, sellout and everything under the sun. I was about to quit and never do satire on the radio again. Then I recieved one call from a truck driver, i believe. He said that what I did on the radio was the most interesting program he has ever heard. And more positive comments from black and white listenerd followed regarding my wild radio show. They all said : Keep doing what you're doing. My attempt each week is to educate anyone willing to be educated. I use a techniquie that I call Stream of consciousness. One stream can be entertaining, another stream educational, another stream opinionated. And i speak as a voice for those individual who are seen as a threat. Rather than explaining what I do. My good sista, sis Donna, who graciously gave me this forum about 2 and a half years ago, made some very good points that accurately explain what I do as a SATIRIST: One question that white people might ask themselves: Why don't they get Ken's humor? Could there possibly be something missing in their frame of reference (or daily travels) that means that they don't understand, say, a reference to a combination beauty-shop-liquor-store in the "ghetto"? To me, an important component of running Ken's column is to remind people that there is a reality, a tough one, that they are clueless about. It's up to the reader to decide whether to change that fact and to try to understand the larger world they live in, rather than to hide out in their corner and fear the unknown. I think these are issues for Ken to address ... however, I will say that I find nothing in his column that disparages a group of people, or I wouldn't run it. I find it much higher satire than that?meaning that it satirizes the plight of people who are doing the best they can against nearly immeasurable odds thanks to idiots running the country. You know, Langston Hughes was also bitterly critisized by black folk regarding his weekly column in the Chicago Defender (A black newspaper published in the 1940's) about a character named Jess B. Semple. Hughes used this controversial column to spark productive and healing dialogue in the black community. I try to do the same as Hughes. My motive is to generate productive and healing dialogue for all. So, if you read my column thoroughly, you will see that the characters from the "Ghetto" are intelligent and poignant. Most white and black folk might percieve Bonqweesha Jones as low down, lazy black woman on welfare. When I write for Bonqweesha, she is intelligent and articulate. She is an ambitious person who wants to be a journalist, She is an entrepreneur who wants to educate and elevate her sisters and members of her community to be who they are and be successful. When i describe the ghetto science team...I've concluded that all great, intelligent and smart minds are not exclusively from priviledged communities.... I --like a Pen Faulkner Award winning writer by the name of John Edgar Wideman (Google him if you wish)-- grew up in the same predominately black neighborhood (considered as the GHETTO) in the Homewood-Brushton section of Pittsburgh, Pa. Musicians and singers such as George Benson, Phyllis Hyman and playwrights such as August Wilson also come from Pittsburgh Ghettos. There is a method to my madness...lol. I grew up with a dude named Pookie Potter. I write on subjucts based on what I've experienced as a black man in both black and white societies. I use these sometimes comical character to voice opinions, entertain and educate my white, black and other brothers and sisters. And If anyone wants to critisize about stereotypes, write CBS regarding The Beverly Hillbillies, Hee -Haw, Green Acres and Petticoat Junction, Good Times,All in the Family, etc. Call Nick at Night about repeat cablecasts about Sanford and Son, Chico and the Man. Tell Jeff Foxworthy to stop telling Red Neck jokes and performing blue collar humor. Talk to the Wayans brothers about their portrayals of gays, muslims and jamaicans on In Living Color. Write John Stewart about his Daily Show. In essence, I use HORATIAN SATIRE to encourage myself and others to endure and heal in an oppressive and shallow society. I thank you all for you comments and your honesty I'm sorry if I offend anyone with what iI write. Thank you Donna,Ali and Emily for "gettin' my back." Thank you Tom and Ray for your responses also. I was about to give up again, but I'm not. Peace, Love and Universal Understanding

Author
Stiggers
Date
2005-09-23T02:12:07-06:00
ID
70821
Comment

Ken, Good post. It really bugs me that this thread almost turned you off from writing satire for the JFP. I really enjoy your column as satire--just not on a ha-ha funny level. It's more of a "Hmmm." level. I'm seriously sorry that I admitted that I sometimes don't get your humor in a thread where you were already under fire; I didn't mean it as a criticism of you, but rather as a humble statement of my own limitations. I have a really unusual sense of humor. I can recognize the quality of what you write, and laugh at a lot of it. But here again: I hated A Fish Called Wanda. I don't laugh at George Carlin most of the time. I never really got Richard Pryor, either. Or Andy Kaufman. Or Lenny Bruce. Now, I enjoy listening to those guys (except Kaufman, who gets on my nerves), but I don't generally laugh at their jokes. I find them provocative, but not ha-ha funny. About two-thirds of your stuff hits me in that sort of way. (And none of it really offends me, which is more than I can say for Carlin.) And it really isn't a cultural thing for me, I don't think, now that I've had a chance to reflect on it a little more. Despite the frighteningly long list of comedians I've provided whose jokes I don't get, I do adore Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock, and Boondocks is hands-down my favorite comic strip right now. What I don't get about your humor, I've decided, is the same thing I don't get about Carlin, Pryor, and Bruce: There is a very serious strain of subversive humor that goes right over my head with a resounding whoosh, and I can recognize it when I see it, and I can tell when it's done well versus when it's done badly, but I can't usually fully experience it as humor. I usually experience it as something else. That may change over time. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2005-09-23T03:28:38-06:00
ID
70822
Comment

Stiggers, don't you dare thinking about quitting! Your column is one of the freshest things that the JFP publishes, probably the freshest. A standard for a smart publication cannot be whether everyone "gets it"óalthough there's nothing wrong with people asking you to explain something. I will tell you, though, I truly do not believe that any writing is worth doing that makes people comfortable every moment. One of the JFP's bragging points is that we have spawned several Web sites set up by extremists simply to discredit usóthree so far and counting. One was a direct "parody" (although, honestly, the guy didn't understand the legal definition of "parody"). It was actually an ugly, lie-filled attempt to discredit the JFP, filled with ugly drawings and personal attacks of our staff members. It reached its height when the the guy doing it waged a personal attack on a little girl who modeled for our paper and her family, and her father had to call ask half of North Jackson to tell him to take it down (including a link from her to a photo of genital warts). These sites, as well as a now-defunct local paper, published lie after lie after the JFP and people here, including myself. They publish anonymous personal attacks and very little of substance. The only times the sites are/were active was when they were attacking what we do. They don't understand the difference between opinion and libel. They don't care who they hurt, and whether or not their attacks are fact-based. But here's the irony: These kind of vicious attacks help the Jackson Free Press. No, they don't make us feel better as people, and they are hate-filled. But they show other people the lengths people will go to try to block or discredit independent media willing to report the truth, no matter where those chips fall. And it builds support for us locally. I simply cannot tell you how many people have e-mailed, called or walked or to me and told me that those sites have taught them what the people doing them are "really like." And they have done nothing if not strengthen my resolve to do more of what we're doing because it is important enough that mean people want to stop us from doing it. By that, I don't mean to imply that people who think you "go too far" are mean necessarily. That's not the point. The point is that, in the worlds of pricking consciousness (or pricks, as it were), we have to take our knocks. It's part of the job. Keep on keepin' on, Dude. I love you to pieces.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-09-23T08:27:31-06:00
ID
70823
Comment

And Ken, let me say that I like your column 100 times more now that I know it actually pisses some people off. That means you're transforming somebody's consciousness--doing a little prophecy, as it were. To paraphrase Billy Joel: If I don't change channels, they must be changing me. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2005-09-23T12:20:57-06:00
ID
70824
Comment

Tom Head ñ îKen's columns have always struck me as clever and affectionate, though about two-thirds of the humor goes right over my head. I think there are some jokes that white people, as a general rule, just won't get. And I think that Ken should resist the urge to apologize to anyone, because it's clear that this is a brand of humor that speaks to black readers, and only seems to offend white readers "on behalf" of black readers--white readers in blackface, as it were. The same whites who get offended if rappers use the "n" word, even though the context and the race of the speaker clearly remove any racist implications from the word.î Well, Tom, I am offended on behalf of me, and coincidently I happen to be black. Further, this brand of ìhumorî speaks to me as about as much as it does you. I ëam more than familiar with the ìlingoî and the ìghettoî innuendoes. I grew up with or to this day know ìPookieî and ìBonekeishaî (sp) of which the author, albeit in the past, has depicted as stereotypical ìhustlersî and ebonics spewing ìbaby mamasî. One of my concerns is something that you (i.e. Tom) have admitted, and that was as with yourself, not everyone knows how to interpret some of the ìjokesî, therefore I must ask why then are some of you still laughing. Specifically, within ìpopularî culture the term ìghettoî has become synonymous with all things negative. I observe individuals quite often saying someoneís behavior is ìghettoî. I am not saying the ìghettoî is a wonderful place to live, but it certainly isnít the ìalpha omegaî for all things negative. I am offended because, for every ìPookieî that hustles in the hood, there is a ìPookieî that made it out and is giving back. And for every loud mouth, ebonics spewing, baby mama named ìBonekeishaî, there is a ìBonekeishaî, despite still living in the ìhoodî, she is no onesí baby mama, she has pride, and she knows how to formulate a sentence correctly. And please donít think my paramount concern is with what only white people must think. As a black person, a product and a regular visitor of the ìghettoî, I find myself offended because as noted previously, not everyone (i.e. white, black, or brown) knows how to interpret this particular satirical ìhumorî, which again I must then ask, why are some people still laughing. I donít desire an apology from the columnist, nor would I wish to see his column removed. I have simply stated my feelings, and now I digress.

Author
K RHODES
Date
2005-09-23T12:52:11-06:00
ID
70825
Comment

Okay, K, fair enough. I've mischaracterized you horribly, and I apologize for that. But I think you're also mischaracterizing Ken, who would probably be the first to say that: ...for every ìPookieî that hustles in the hood, there is a ìPookieî that made it out and is giving back. And for every loud mouth, ebonics spewing, baby mama named ìBonekeishaî, there is a ìBonekeishaî, despite still living in the ìhoodî, she is no onesí baby mama, she has pride, and she knows how to formulate a sentence correctly. K, let's say I wrote a column like this: Dear Sir or Madam: Please allow me to introduce myself. I am Jonathan C. Buffington (you may call me "Spuds"); I understand that you are acquainted with my great-uncle, Michael Brown. Enclosed please find the attached resume. If you would like to reach me, I may be contacted by way of the Eastover Brie Club, 554 Beckwith Avenue. Objective: To obtain gainful employment in the field of emergency management. Work Experience/Qualifications: 1998: Apprentice cheese slicer, North Jackson Angry Men's Club. 1998-2000: Internal Vice-President for Project Management, Enron Corporation. 2000-present: President and CEO, Jonathan C. Buffington Consulting, Inc. Education: Jackson Preparatory Academy, Jackson, MS; Halfshire College of Yacht Science, Montpelier, Vermont; B.A., Liberal Arts, Whiteskill College, Cambridge, Massachusetts. References Available Upon Request. Skip the fact that it isn't actually funny; half of being smart is knowing what you're dumb at, and if I can't get this kind of joke, it stands to reason that I can't write this kind of joke. But the bigger point is: Is this offensive? If you had my little white face on the column, would it be seen as a sign of racial self-hatred? Or just a sign that I was playfully jabbing at certain people who share my ethnic background? Sure, some people might misconstrue Ken's columns. But anything edgy can be misconstrued; that's what makes it edgy. I can appreciate the value of what Ken's trying to do here without actually laughing at all of his jokes. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2005-09-23T13:25:34-06:00
ID
70826
Comment

I, too, respect your feelings, K, and will leave them to you and Stiggers to discuss you you both care to. But, I do want to address this statement of yours: I am offended because, for every ìPookieî that hustles in the hood, there is a ìPookieî that made it out and is giving back. And for every loud mouth, ebonics spewing, baby mama named ìBonekeishaî, there is a ìBonekeishaî, despite still living in the ìhoodî, she is no onesí baby mama, she has pride, and she knows how to formulate a sentence correctly.not true. In fact, I think the fact that he is making fun of these stereotypes proves exactly what you want him to. But perhaps I read it differently than you, which is OK. BTW, I get most of Ken's jokes/points, although I miss some of his specific references. I'm sure the same is true for people who read my Editor's note. That fact does not mean that one does not get toóor should be excoriated forólaughing at the jokes one does get. Let me put it this way: I find nothing about this column that is disrespectful toward the black community; in fact, I believe that turning the stereotypes on their ear has the exact opposite effect. However, I respect if you feel differently about it. I just don't agree.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-09-23T14:16:06-06:00
ID
70827
Comment

Your version is funny, too, Tom. ;-) "Apprentice cheese slicer, North Jackson Angry Men's Club," indeed. ;-D BTW, I feel a little like we're having a "Barber Shop" discussion, and that's OK. At least we're talking rather than pretending that race relations in America are all hunky-dory.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-09-23T14:18:43-06:00
ID
70828
Comment

Tom Head ñ î K, let's say I wrote a column like this: Dear Sir or Madam: Please allow me to introduce myself. I am Jonathan C. Buffington (you may call me "Spuds"); I understand that you are acquainted with my great-uncle, Michael Brown. Enclosed please find the attached resume. If you would like to reach me, I may be contacted by way of the Eastover Brie Club, 554 Beckwith Avenue. Objective: To obtain gainful employment in the field of emergency management. Work Experience/Qualifications: 1998: Apprentice cheese slicer, North Jackson Angry Men's Club. 1998-2000: Internal Vice-President for Project Management, Enron Corporation. 2000-present: President and CEO, Jonathan C. Buffington Consulting, Inc. Education: Jackson Preparatory Academy, Jackson, MS; Halfshire College of Yacht Science, Montpelier, Vermont; B.A., Liberal Arts, Whiteskill College, Cambridge, Massachusetts. References Available Upon Request. Skip the fact that it isn't actually funny; half of being smart is knowing what you're dumb at, and if I can't get this kind of joke, it stands to reason that I can't write this kind of joke. But the bigger point is: Is this offensive? If you had my little white face on the column, would it be seen as a sign of racial self-hatred? Or just a sign that I was playfully jabbing at certain people who share my ethnic background? Sure, some people might misconstrue Ken's columns. But anything edgy can be misconstrued; that's what makes it edgy. I can appreciate the value of what Ken's trying to do here without actually laughing at all of his jokes.î Tom, while your mock column doesnít push the envelope quite as far as Mr. Stiggers, your point is still noted. Perhaps I should reread more Mr. Stiggers columns, because currently I cannot discern the contrast of the stereotypes and the generalizations, from the thought provoking black culture mindedness contained within it all that everyone else seems to grasp from Mr. Stiggers columns. I would also ask Mr. Stiggers, and correct me if Ií am wrong, why are his satires consistently about black culture, being that I cant recall reading from him a satire about any other culture in the brief months that Iíve been a JFP member.

Author
K RHODES
Date
2005-09-23T15:50:05-06:00
ID
70829
Comment

Again, he can answer for himself, but I suspect Ken would say that he is writing about a culture with which he is intimately familiar. And I can't quite see Ken writing the Buffington/N-JAM satire ... and that isn't an insult. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-09-23T15:53:40-06:00
ID
70830
Comment

Ladd, this is not an attempt to make Mr. Stiggers in to a ìbad guyî. I will admit this discussion is growing a bit long in the tooth, but if I were to attend a comedy club and one of the actsí entire set consisted of stereotypes and generalizations of only one group (albeit if the comedienne or comedian were of the same group) , I would protest as well

Author
K RHODES
Date
2005-09-23T16:12:25-06:00
ID
70831
Comment

Well, I disagree with you that Ken is satirizing one group: Do you truly believe that poor blacks come across worse in his column than rich white Republicans!?!

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-09-23T16:13:51-06:00
ID
70832
Comment

Maybe itís a matter of culture and interpretation, but yes, Ladd I do believe as much.

Author
K RHODES
Date
2005-09-23T16:17:43-06:00
ID
70833
Comment

Is there a link here on the site to an archive of Mr. Stiggerís columns, I would very much like to read and reread some of them

Author
K RHODES
Date
2005-09-23T16:23:13-06:00
ID
70834
Comment

It's certainly a matter of something, K, if you think that a depiction of people working multiple jobs and trying to hold their lives together in the the world that G.W. makes go round makes them look worse than the people who want them to live that wayóor, perhaps worse, have no idea that they do. And, again, the frequent Lynne Cheney refrain may be the most poignant indictment of one of the most powerful Republicans in the country that I've ever seen. Again, I say none of this respectfully, but one thing I will ask you not to do is to play the race card against me eitherówhich I suspect is the "culture" reference. If not, I apologize for assuming that. Meantime, I will bow out of this discussion. I've probably spread enough love on my friend Mr. Stiggers to last for a while. I'll let him continue this discussion with you, should he wish to. As for finding his past columns, either search through the Columns archive, or Google his name at the top of front page of the six with jacksonfreepress.com clicked.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-09-23T16:25:16-06:00
ID
70835
Comment

... none of this DISrespectfully ... ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-09-23T16:25:39-06:00
ID
70836
Comment

Ladd you are right in your assumption. I believe there are many cultural divides within races that remain unless revealed and explained. Now perhaps it was presumptuous on my behalf to assume that this cultural divide remains with you individually. As for the race card, I denounce the term, and will not reduce my race or any race to the status of a card being dealt.

Author
K RHODES
Date
2005-09-23T16:49:00-06:00
ID
70837
Comment

I'm not talking about semantics, K. Call it what you want, but assumptions based on one's race are assumptions based on one's race. Of course, that is what this column is about ultimately, so that's cool. I believe there are many cultural divides within races that remain unless revealed and explained. Agreed. And I think that's exactly what Ken is trying to facilitate. Now, I'm really out on this one. ;-) (drink) (Where has Kate's drinking games gone of late? I miss her calling me out for exiting and the returning five minutes later. )

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-09-23T16:58:37-06:00
ID
70838
Comment

Sorry I was out of town most of the day and couldn't comment. Again, Ken, I love your work, and viewed it all in the name of love. I'm very familiar with all the people you named. I hope August lives well for the rest of his life and is remembered for his gifts. Writers are supposed to evoke emotions. When you can no longer do that, that's when you should give up. Keep on writing. People initially thought Richard Pryor was crazy and should be silenced. As people continued to listen they realized a comic and intellectual genius was trying to break out. However, I know you know, some people won't get it, and some will criticize you for doing it. You need criticism and praise to be all you can be. Both, criticism and praise made you the good writer you are. Honest critics help you see your errors and shortcomings whether they intend to or not. Examine, re-examine and keep on writing. Your gifts should die only when you do.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2005-09-23T17:25:19-06:00
ID
70839
Comment

Both, criticism and praise made you the good writer you are. Honest critics help you see your errors and shortcomings whether they intend to or not. Amen, Ray. I really like it when you're here. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-09-23T17:57:10-06:00
ID
70840
Comment

The response to this column is unbelievable....305 views? 48 comments? I may have to frame this issue. Thanks again, donna. Folk are probably passing this one on to other folk.

Author
Stiggers
Date
2005-09-23T22:23:19-06:00
ID
70841
Comment

Donna, I didn't hear the comment about George Bush that either Cornell West or Eric Michael Dyson likely said on Tavis' show. West is older, wiser and more respectful than Dyson. Dyson is West's brillance wrapped up in a daring hip-hop personality. Dyson certainly would say this. West will think it but probably won't say it.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2005-09-26T08:04:28-06:00
ID
70842
Comment

My thanks to those who read the columns I write--whether you understand them or not. I appreciate the feedback... Again, I thank the editor and staff of the JFP for giving me a forum. Also, thanks to those individuals who acknowledge me on the street or at various venues to give me their honest opinions. Donna mentioned a Reader's Guide to Stiggers Columns and his Satire. Well, I just finished reading an essay I wrote about 4 years ago titled "The Satire of Black Folks: A Look at Black Comedy. I think this essay is a start in understanding what i write. Also, this essay was featured in an African-American literary magazine called Black Magnolias, published by C.Liegh McInnis,poet, author, literary critic,writer and professor of English and Literature at Jackson State University.. Mr. McInnis wrote the liner notes for my self published book Notes of Nebber 2B Scene: Silliness That Makes Sense and my DVD titled ? Is Mo'tel Williams. His summaries of my work are sooooo on point. E-mail me at [email][email protected][/email] if you are interestrd in a copy of the essay or to inquire about my other works. Peace, Love and Universal Understanding

Author
Stiggers
Date
2005-09-26T19:32:07-06:00

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