Friday, August 8, 2008

Add another brother to the snap list


DETROIT, Michigan (CNN) -- New state felony charges were filed Friday against Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, even as a judge, ruling in a previous case, said the mayor could leave jail under restrictions that include GPS tracking. State officials charged Kilpatrick with two felony counts of assaulting police officers, stemming from a July 24 incident.

The mayor already is facing charges of perjury, obstruction of justice and misconduct of office in connection with his testimony in a whistle-blower trial last year.Kilpatrick has remained defiant, and rejected calls for his resignation from critics, including the president of the Detroit City Council.
However, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, acting under a little-used state law allowing the governor to remove city officials under certain circumstances, has set a September 3 hearing that could result in his removal, Granholm spokeswoman Liz Boyd said Friday.

Kilpatrick appeared before Wayne County Circuit Court Magistrate Renee McDufee for arraignment on the new charges Friday. He did not speak in court, and McDufee entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf.

The next court date will be August 14 or 15, McDufee said, depending on attorneys' schedules.
In the July 24 incident, an altercation took place as two police officers attempted to serve a subpoena on a friend of
Kilpatrick's and a potential witness in the perjury case, Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox said Friday. Cox alleged an "irate and angry" Kilpatrick grabbed one of the officers, shoved him into the other and screamed at both of the officers, using abusive language and "race-baiting statements."

"In almost 20 years as a prosecutor, and now as attorney general, I cannot recall one case where someone has assaulted a police officer who was attempting to serve a subpoena," Cox said.
If convicted, Kilpatrick would face up to two years in prison, and as a convicted felon would no longer be able to serve as Detroit's mayor.

Asked about the new charges, Kilpatrick attorney James Thomas, who was leaving the Circuit Court hearing where Kilpatrick's bond was discussed, said, "We're going to fight there the same way as we fought it here -- the law and common sense."

Kilpatrick, who had been free on $75,000 bond on the previous charges, was ordered jailed Thursday by a District Court judge after the judge learned Kilpatrick had traveled to Canada on
Detroit business without notifying the court in advance as the judge had required.

Kilpatrick's lawyers filed an immediate appeal to Circuit Judge Thomas Jackson, who heard arguments on the bail revocation Friday. Jackson said he agreed with "almost everything" done Thursday by Judge Ronald Giles, but said he did not agree with the complete revocation of bail without conditions.
In reinstating Kilpatrick's bond, Judge Thomas Jackson set the amount at $50,000 cash, meaning Kilpatrick cannot pay the usual 10 percent to be released. The mayor is not allowed to travel outside the three-county Detroit metropolitan area, Jackson said, and will be subject to GPS tracking.

Before McDufee, Thomas argued that additional bond should not be imposed in the new case, as Jackson's bond was sufficient. "We will comply with the bond conditions," he said.

But McDufee imposed an additional $25,000 bond in the case, although a 10 percent payment is allowed on that amount. She said she was adopting the conditions imposed by Jackson -- no travel and GPS tracking -- along with a new one: Kilpatrick is to have no contact with witnesses involved in the July 24 incident. Earlier, Jackson made it clear that he did not condone Kilpatrick's behavior, calling it "defiant" and "arrogant."

"A judge who makes some basic rules from the beginning expects those rules to be followed," he said.
Kilpatrick has been embroiled in a public scandal since January, when the Detroit Free Press reported he had exchanged romantic text messages with his former chief of staff, Christine Beatty, indicating the two were involved in an affair. In testimony in a whistle-blower trial last summer, the pair, under oath, had denied any romantic attachment.

Thursday, Kilpatrick and Beatty waived their preliminary hearing and were bound over to stand trial in Circuit Court. Beatty resigned her post after the text messages were made public. If convicted on those charges, both would face a maximum of 15 years in prison.

Monday, August 4, 2008


Anthony Hopkins Froze His Wife

Mobile, AL - On Monday night, Anthony Hopkins, 37, preached forgiveness at a church revival in Jackson . Seven of his eight children sat on the front row, and Hopkins looked his kids over and asked them to forgive him for his sins, “past, present, and future.” Right after church, Hopkins was arrested for incest, rape and sodomy against his daughter and for the murder of his wife, Arletha, who was found frozen in the family home while Hopkins was preaching his sermon. She’d been there for as long as three years. The family home at 258 Rylands Lane was a quiet one, mostly. There was music, but everyone knew that was because Anthony Hopkins was an evangelist. What they didn’t know is that Hopkins was routinely raping at least his oldest daughter. They also didn’t know that Anthony Hopkins’ wife and the mother of his children was dead in a large freezer. That’s how you teach the kids to behave in the Hopkins house.Hopkins’ oldest daughter wasn’t at Monday night’s revival. She wasn’t there because instead, she went to the Child Advocacy Center and told them that her father had been raping her for years. She also told them where her mother’s body could be found - in a freezer in a utility shed behind the house.While Hopkins was preaching his sermon on forgiveness, while his other children, teenagers down to age four, were dutifully singing and playing instruments, police were being led to Arletha Hopkins’ frozen corpse. It was just where the oldest girl said it would be, wrapped in a sheet, frozen solid.Arletha Hopkins was never reported missing, and no family of hers has yet been located. All eight Hopkins children were homeschooled, and Anthony Hopkins worked as an itinerant evangelist, spreading the word of God between sessions in his daughter’s bed. Pastors at the churches where Hopkins preached were told that Arletha Hopkins had died giving birth to the couple’s youngest son, now four. I guess they weren’t told she was in the freezer.The oldest daughter says that her father murdered her mother, and police believe her. After all, no death report or 911 call was ever made. It seems that Arletha Hopkins died with nobody but her children to mourn her. Police say it will be several days for the body to thaw enough even for positive identification.Hopkins was arrested and taken to Mobile County Metro Jail, where he is charged with rape, sodomy, and first degree murder. He is being held without bond, and the investigation at the Rylands Lane home is continuing. All eight of the Hopkins children are now in the custody of the Department of Human Resources.

Monday, July 14, 2008

What the Fu#@!

So the people at The New Yorker published this week's copy of the magazine. The cover, shown here, is an illustration of Barack Obama dressed as a Muslim and his wife looking like a terrorist. There's an American flag burning in the background below a picture of Osama bin Laden.

They called it satire and said 'Their readers are sophisticated enough to get the joke'.

Are they for real? I have no problem with satire. My whole life is based on satire. The problem is, there had to have been AT LEAST 50 people who saw this cover before it went to the printer. And not a single of them had the, guts, desire or foresight to see that this cover would offend people who were not their readers. I'm sure some of their readers were offended as well. This right here...this cover and this arrogance is exactly WHY BLACK MEN SNAP.

Are you mad? Here's the e-mail address of the guy who drew the picture. E-mail him and tell him to have a nice day. His name is Barry Blitt.

Here's the Publishing Director. Give him a holla too. His name is Drew Schutte.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The Barber who changed my mind

By Brian Egeston

I’d heard about a scam going around barbershops. It’s not really a scam,
but more of way to siphon more money out of clients. The $5 haircut that I got as a boy had suddenly become the $20 heist.

Here’s what I’d heard. Barbers cut a head and would then use the razor to edge up a client without asking.

Black Da Champ

When the cut was over, the barber would stick out his hand and say, “That’ll be $20.” The razor edge upped the price of the cut. Knowing this, and me being the frugal kat that I am, I always told barbers I was good without the razor edge.

But recently, I was in Master Touch on Lawrenceville Highway in Tucker, Ga. I walked in and was very unassuming. It had been almost two weeks since my last cut, so I was looking pretty rough. Shirt hanging out, old black pants. I was not very impressive looking at all.

There was a barber in the shop tightening up his beard. Another barber was in the corner playing chess feeding a little girl a bottle. I think it was his daughter.

I jumped in the chair, barber didn’t say too much in the way of conversation. He seemed to be concentrating on my oversized cranium. He danced back and forth, side to side, trying to get a look at the hairline on my forehead. I didn’t tell him it was crooked, I wanted to see if he would catch it, or if he would jack it up. He caught it.

But half way through the cut, I could see that the dude knew what he was doing. He started feeling his craft. “Hey Slim,” the barber said to his colleague playing chess. “I’m cold on this clipper game dog. I’m so cold.”

He was pretty good, I’ll admit. Almost done, he said to me, “You might want to whistle when you go in the house, so yo’ lady will know it’s you.”

And then he switched it up on me. Before I could say anything, he whipped out the razor and was lining me up. I almost stopped him, but he was too quick on the draw, so I let him finish.

And when he was done…I was the newest fan of a razor edge. My man did his thing in a big way. Even Slim sitting in the corner, working his way to a checkmate, was slightly impressed. “Let me see your next one,” Slim said. “You might have gotten lucky on that one.”

I had to give it up to him. My money and his props. When I got home, my wife noticed a difference and my sister said it looked like a Steve Harvey line.

But this is not about a good haicrcut and a big price tag. It’s about the fact the barbershops are places of change. You go in one way and come out another. It may be a haircut, shave or a frame of mind. What I loved about the cut, is that the barber didn’t have any preconceived notions about me. Didn’t judge what I was or what I did. He simply gave me, what I think, was the best haircut he could.

And now, Black Da Champ has changed me into believing that the razor edge is sho’ nuff the way to go.

Ask your barber how he or she can help you change your ways. In the mean time, check out those boys over at Maser Touch. 4004 Lawrencville, Hwy Tucker, GA 30084.
Shop 770-938-9933
Black Da Champ 678-754-6362

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Pulling The Trigger On Political Discussions

Pulling The Trigger

by Brian Egeston

We have a saying here at Barbershop Digest. Once we’re ready to do something, after we’ve pondered and repondered the repercussions, then it’s time to “pull the trigger.”

When we pull the trigger, things usually happen in a big way and we typically get big results. Well, we pulled the trigger on the first issue of Barbershop Digest and there was some initial recoil from the firepower. It seems some people have taken issue with the fact that we put presidential hopeful Barack Obama on the cover with the provocative caption “Please don’t kill this man.” An old Black lady called to cuss me out over the caption. It’s not that I have a problem with old Black ladies cussing me out. I’ve had that all my life.

The issue I have is that people pretend as though this subject is not in the minds of many. Look, this is the Barbershop Digest. We talk about what’s being talked about in the shop. And in the 50 barbershops I’ve visited in the past month, they’re talking about Obama staying alive.

More to that point is the realization that the article is not about Obama being assassinated. It’s about Black folks killing his chances at winning the presidency. It’s my contention, that the people who won’t read the article because of the title, may be the ones we’re talking about in the article who may not vote or who may not be registered to vote.

I hate to think that the old theory is true: If you want to hide something from a Black person, put it in a newspaper. We put Obama’s platform inside the pages of Barbershop Digest and some folks didn’t read it. Unfortunate.

I began to think that I was over the top with the front-page caption. But then I went into the sanctuary and began asking around. The sanctuary being the Black barbershops. And brothers are genuinely afraid that someone will try something stupid if Obama is elected president.

I consulted with media consultant, Lance Robertson who's a Georgia resident and managing director of Robertson Media Group. He’s seen the good, bad and ugly during his more than 25 years involvement in American politics through organizations such as the Young Democrats.

“The young bright African-American minds have embraced [Obama],” said Robertson. “I think the older African-American minds have yet to embrace him, because for some reason they think he hasn’t paid his dues.” Look to his left and look to his right,” says Robertson. “He is as Black as they get when you compare him to the people he’s running against. Obama’s campaign has been able to connect with the forward thinking masses,” Robertson explained.

Lance Robertston

Then Robertson and I got into the nitty gritty. I asked if an assassination attempt is a serious concern or has America moved on from that?
“It’s a serious concern,” Robertson said. “If you look back at the history of who killed JFK, those powers that be are stilled around…There’s no way the powers that be will let [Obama] win, if they don’t feel comfortable with him in office.”

Robertson is not the only one who shares this concern. While out visiting barbershops, there was almost a moment of silence when we walked in with the magazine. Whatever was being talked about turned quickly to Barack Obama and how we could keep him alive.

And last, I’ve had several comments from readers who say they are voting for the first time and people who want to finally register to vote. That’s what’s going on the shop, that’s what folks are talking about.

Let us hear what you’ve got to say.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A Tale of Two Barbers

A Tale of Two Barbers

Part of my job as Editor of Barbershop Digest is going around to different shops and getting haircuts from as many barbers as possible. It’s the sacrifice I make for you the reader. The sacrifice comes when I sit in a new chair and I have no idea what kind of skills a barber has. My follicles are at the mercy of unchartered clippers. My order is always the same: Take half off the top, shadow fade, don’t start the blend to high because I’ve got a real pointed head. That’s it.

A good barber, I think, can be judged by his blend.

If I get a bad haircut, I won’t tell you who the barber is or where the shop is. But when I get a good cut, I’ll always put the barber and the shop on blast.

So I’m in a shop, it’s a weekday evening. The shop is slow and I get in the chair quick. I get a cut and a conversation about the barbershop culture. The guy finishes and the next thing I know, he’s taking me to the sink to wash my hair! I’ve been getting cuts for 37 years and never, ever in my life has a barber washed my hair after a cut. I’m thinking: “I know my dandruff ain’t that damn bad.” Then I realize I made the mistake of telling the cat I write about barbershops and I suppose the post-fade wash is his attempt at special treatment. Well, that post-fade rinse is why I’m mentioning the shop or the barber.

Two weeks later, I’m on ML King. It’s early Saturday and the morning air is brisk. I see a cat walking down the street, I turn my head so he won’t ask me for money. Suddenly an old beat up Chevy sedan pulls up behind my old Chevy truck. I figure it’s somebody trying to get in the chair before me. The guy that was walking down the street, hops in the passenger seat of the beat up Chevy behind me. I figure they’re about to conduct some business. Perhaps they’re in the game, but damn it’s Saturday morning. Ain’t it early for transactions.

The shopkeeper finally arrives, rolls up the metal door protecting the plate glass window in the shop. The guys in the car behind me jumps out and enters the shop. Turns out, these two cats are barbers and they were both showing up for work early. Unassuming guys. Jean’s sagging, a few weeks removed from their last haircuts and the five-o’clock shadow was moving towards a 72-hour shadow.

When I visit a new shop, I always have a seat in the waiting area. I never ask a barber how many he’s got in front of me. I sit and wait to see how long it will be before someone asks if I need a haircut. It helps me determine how hungry the barbers are and what kind of culture and customer service exists in a shop.

On this day, I was the first customer in this shop, so it wasn’t log before they sat me in the chair and started on me. Made my request and the guy who was driving the beat up Chevy went to work on my fade.

People judge each other. It’s the fault of humans. I looked at that cat and thought he had a complex occupation. Instead, I learned, that he was a talented barber who can give helluva blend and he’s a singer, though I haven’t heard his stuff.
But this cat gave me one of the top 10 cuts I’ve ever had. And that’s why I’m proud to blast on this blog about Uppercuts on M.L. King where Rasheed aka Mention tightened me up.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Here We Come

Two months to go and Barbershop Digest starts the movement.