Archive for November, 2006

Ghetto Radio

ghetto radio 

Ghetto radio stations in New York City have been ‘Airing It Out” for listeners who tune into Hot numbers like 97. Some of that Black humor is hysterical– even to white folks like me who just so happen to listen to it too. ‘Airing It Out’ is Radio Black America’s answer to what “American Top Forty” was to Eighties radio listeners. It’s a community-type humor that only Blacks could truly appreciate; like teenagers once did for radio stars like the Eurithmics and Duran Duran.

Angry callers can dial Hot 97 and be given the opportunity to ‘read’ anybody who has rubbed them the wrong way– “Airing It Out”.

One of Bradley and my favorite ‘Airing It Out’ broadcast is the tale of a ghetto girl who airs out her boyfriend’s ‘baby’s momma’.

The radio drama is the equivalent of that great Mars Invasion broadcast was to our ancestors.

Two Black chicks read each other on the radio for a few minutes– calling each other ‘bitch’ and ‘hoe’.

The baby’s momma said something really mean to her competition about the man they share.

The girl on the side said, “Then why is your baby wit me?”

“What ‘da hell you talkin’ ‘bout?”

“Here, I’ll put her on.”


“That ain’t my little girl.”

“Yes it is. Here I’ll put her on again.”

“Samella– is that you baby. Who you wit?”


“Who da hell is ‘Peaches’? Put that bitch back on, baby!”

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The police are all over Bed-Stuy ever since that blow-out at the stip joint involving a Black man about to tie the knot.

There is a police camper parked right around the corner. The mobile unit serves as base for the squads of police officers who are now patrolling the streets in my corner of the ghetto. I see them inside that camper on their police radios– eating doughnuts and acting tough.

I have lived here in the hood for a half a decade and never once saw a police officer on the street outside. Now they are everywhere– peeking in my windows and stuff– all thanks to that mobile unit at the corner of Bedford and Lafayette.

Is it illegal to be nude in one’s own apartment with the curtains partially pulled?

Perhaps they are fearful that the Black community will finally stop acting like a bunch of pussies and riot over those 50 plus shots. Maybe that’s why they are trying to look inside our homes, all nosey and stuff.

Maybe it’s just my sexy ass they are trying to steal glances of.

Those hot boys in blue should relax a little!

I’ve lived alongside the Black community for years– they are too mature to riot.

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The Demon


I had a feeling something was wrong that day. Something had come over me– a dark veil of hopelessness shattered my day. Out of the blue, an intense feeling of sadness consumed me.

I sensed there was something wrong at home. It was a gut feeling, an intuition, a calling.

I dialed the house.


He answered the phone, but started yelling.

“What Lenox? What the fuck do you want? What are you doing in my house?”

I concluded he was fighting with the landlord, Lenox who notoriously walked in and out of Shawn’s place as if he too lived there. Lenox always had something to ‘fix’, according to Shawn– it was an excuse to invite himself in and enter the apartment to nose around and get into his tenants’ personal business.

I heard Shawn scream at him– “Get out, Lenox. Get the hell out!”

He never came back to the phone. He attempted to, but nothing he was saying was making any sense.

I quickly straightened up the papers on my desk and told the girls in the office I had to leave a few minutes early.

“Is everything okay?” Asked Janet, my co-worker. I was shaking. She must have known something bad was happening.

“I don’t know. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

When I unlocked the door, a powerful burning urine smell filled the apartment. There were no lights on and I walked into the bedroom.

He was asleep on the bed.

“Shawn. Shawn wake- up.”

“What! What! What! No Lenox, no! Oh help me, Momma. I can’t see the light!”

A chill rushed through my body when I looked into his eyes. They were black like midnight and he looked petrified as if something were eating at his once calm and balanced demeanor.

“Shawn, it’s me. It’s Charles.”

He calmed down for a moment.

“I’m going to get you some help.”

He continued to cry because he could not see the light. There was nothing I could do. Wherever he was, whatever delusion was clouding his mind and soul– I saw it too– that absolute darkness.

I reached him at the nick- of- time–

“Come back to me! You are not done here yet,” I shouted with the authority of a priest.

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Perry Street


Tom kept himself busy in his Eighties. Many may assume gay men in their golden years without children and grandchildren live a lonely existence. Not Tom Barbour! When I met the man who played the part of Arthur’s father in the blockbuster “Arthur on the Rocks”, I decided that life did not have to end for an old queen at 40.

My cousin Stephen introduced me to him. Tom needed a new part-time personal secretary when Stephen moved to Puerto Rico with his Rican lover, Jose.

The old man was pissed at Stephen for moving out after living in Tom’s big brownstone for almost twenty years.

“I’m not leaving for good Tom. I’m only subletting the place. This is Charles. He will help you with your filing and other office tasks.”

“Well I have to interview him first– So… The two of you grew up together in Pennsylvania?”


“Were you kissing cousins,” Tom asked, laughing like a dirty old queen.

“As a matter of fact we were,” I said as Stephen’s face turned red. “We’re not cousins by blood, so it was not incest.”

We all laughed.

“So explain it to me. How are you cousins?”

“My mother married Stephen’s father’s brother in a second marriage.”

“So that’s why your name is Taylor and not Smith?”

“Yes sir.”

“Well…I have lots to do here. You’re hired,” he said in a flirtatious way.


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“I want to thank you for writing this so well. I feel a lot better now that I came here to file this complaint,” I said to the legal adviser who works at the New York City Division for Human Rights. She took her time and studied all of my notes before drafting the formal complaint to be filed for all of eternity. My grievance has a number, my voice will be heard, and the document will be sealed forever at the County
Clerk’s Office in the City of
New York.

 “You do realize they may retaliate against you, Mr. Taylor?” 

“I realize that. But it’s worth it,” I said with a crazy smile across my face. “I see here they have fifteen complains outstanding. You will not be the only one who has filed charges against them.” 

“Fifteen? Why does that not surprise me?” “Jewish Board is a government funded agency. They could lose their funding.” 

“That’s not my intention. I want those letters out of my personnel file.” She smiled and typed some more and pulled out her Notary seal and we “published” my grievance in the Executive Office of the State of
New York.

I didn’t feel uncomfortable at all sitting face to face with a total stranger in a high-rise building on Wall Street, after having to share all the details of my Schizophrenia diagnosis. She must have been a little scared, but she didn’t seem that way. She treated me as if I were 100% sane.  “I have a disability too, Mr. Taylor. I have Narcolepsy. Do you know what that is?” 

“No I don’t.” “It’s a sleep disorder.” 

“Oh—well they have Ambian and all kinds of other drugs out there for that sort of thing now,” I said while grabbing my copies of the important paperwork. “No—it’s not a problem falling asleep. It’s the exact opposite. I fall into a deep sleep in the middle of the day—out of the blue.” 

“Wow! That’s scary,” I said, realizing that Schizophrenia and Narcolepsy are very similar. It’s nice to run into a stranger who cares. I liked how she didn’t have to shake hands. We nodded and smiled at one another as I exited out the back door—that was enough and something only those with sleep disorders would understand.

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The Bitch Slap


on the Complaint of


Pursuant to Executive
Law, Article 15

Case No. 10114918Federal Charge No. 10GA700686

I, Charles George Taylor, residing at (          Brooklyn, NY 11205), charge the above named respondent, whose address is 120 West 57th Street, New York, NY 10019 with an unlawful discriminatory practice relating to employment in violation of Article 15 of the Executive Law of the State of New York (Human Rights Law) because of disability.Date most recent or continuing discrimination took place is 11/17/06.The particulars are:

1. I have a medical condition (Schizophrenia) which is considered a disability under the meaning of the New York State Human Rights Law. Because of this, I have been subject to unlawful discriminatory actions.

2. On or about September 2002, I was hired by the Respondent as an Office Manager. I worked at Respondent’s office located at 666 Park Avenue, New York, New York. My time, attendance and work performance were satisfactory to the best of my knowledge.

3. On or about June 2005, I disclosed information about my disability to the Respondent. I shared this information with two of my supervisors, Joan Adams, Program Director and Susan Bear, the Divisional Director. In or about September 2006, I also shared this information with Kathleen McGlade, Corporate Compliance Officer. In June 2005, the Respondent mandated me to take on more job responsibilities. I was uncomfortable with this because of the impending stress that I would experience as a result of the increased job activities and the effect the stress on my disability and related “triggers” to my disability. Nonetheless, I was expected to perform accordingly. I informed Ms. Bear and Mrs. Adams that I did not think it a good idea for me to take on any more work. Ms. Bear and Ms. Adams informed me that I would be compensated for the extra work and that I would have to do the work anyway.

4. These extra duties proved to be overwhelming as I suspected and I asked to be relieved of the extra responsibilities as reasonable accommodation of my disability. The request was refused.

5. On November 17, 2006 I was given notice of reprimand for refusing to accept the new job duties and I was threatened with suspension without pay, if I did not sign the notice of reprimand. I believe that I was reprimanded for having a disability. The program director, Joan Adams also told me to keep (my) “personal problems to myself”.

6. I believe that I have been discriminated against because I have a disability.

Based on the foregoing, I charge respondent with unlawful discriminatory practice relating to employment because of disability, in violation of the New York State Human Rights Law (Executive Law, Article 15), Section 296.I also charge the above-named respondent with violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (covers disability relating to employment). I hereby authorize SDHR to accept this verified complaint on behalf of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) subject to the statutory limitations contained in the aforementioned law(s).

I  have not commenced any other civil action, nor do I have an action pending before any administrative agency, under any state or local law, based upon this same unlawful discriminatory practice.


A song for 


The haters at

at my job


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Fighting Back

Patricia L. Gatling, Commissioner

New York City Commission On Human Rights

20 Exchange Place

New York, NY 10006

(Formal Grievance Letter being filed today in person…)

Dear Commissioner Gatling:

I disclosed ‘personal information’ relating to a 2002 diagnosis of ‘Schizophrenia/ Psychotic Disorder” to my employer several months ago.

The information relating to my disabling illness was first revealed in private meetings with two supervisors, Joan Adams and Susan Bear, in addition to the company’s corporate compliance office- Kathleen McGlade.

I disclosed my serious mental-illness as well as my fear of remission in an effort to reduce work-related stress. Under the treatment of psychologist, Diane Schneider, Ph.D., I identified several ‘triggers’ that were causing me severe panic attacks and anxiety. This information was shared with my immediate supervisor, Joan Adams, when she first asked me to accept a pay bonus and take on the additional responsibility of serving as the contact person and liaison for the agency’s Board of Directors. I was asked to attend meetings and ‘take minutes’ (write down everything that was discussed). Other new responsibilities including scheduling the Board meetings, setting up the food, reserving conference rooms and confirming meetings with attendees were required from me as well. My previous responsibilities as office manager remained.

The ‘promotion’ proved to be overwhelming and I again requested to be relieved of the responsibility and offered to give back my pay increase.

My employer, the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services, suspended me for refusing to accept the new job duties.

I have been disciplined by my employer for sharing information relating to a crippling disability and the horrific consequences of full-blown psychosis.

I have been told verbally and in writing to “keep my personal problems to myself” and my employer continues to threaten and harass, without proper cause or authority.

I have been ordered to sign untruthful warning letters– with the threat of “suspension without pay”.

Let’s shut them down and take away their license to treat those under their care, with severe mental illness.

Posted 3/1/07–

 What comes around goes around:


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