Sunday, February 28, 2010

Black History Month Heroes - Mr. Mertle in "The Sandlot"

Baseball. That quintessentially American game that once enraptured the entire nation when it was known as "America's pastime" is now but a shadow of its former self.

Like the washed up prize fighter in Raging Bull, baseball is a sport that has out-lived its usefulness and limps along on the glories of yesteryear and the memories of past great players in the bygone era of Pre-Obama America.

Don Henley sang a 1980s classic Boys of Summer, where he promises that "his love will still be strong, after the boys of summer have gone". SBPDL believes this song is of little relevance anymore, for the boys of summer are long gone as baseball fades into the realm of obscurity and of minor societal significance.

Ratings have been slumping for years and the deep disconnect fans have with the current crop of players competing on the diamond fail to rouse the same sentiments of loyalty that baseball players once commanded:

Baseball’s national networks felt the effects of a baseball season with only one significant pennant race and a dearth of compelling story lines, as Fox and ESPN saw their ratings decline.

Fox saw its Saturday afternoon numbers drop 10 percent to a 1.8 rating/2.74 million viewers. Fox ended its regular season Oct. 2 with a 1.2/1.7 million average for a Saturday afternoon schedule that had just one game with postseason implications. That’s 48 percent off 2008’s numbers, when the last weekend of the regular season featured three games that had playoff implications for Fox, drawing a 2.3 rating.

Baseball, we were told through the Black muse in Field of Dreams, is the one constant throughout American history... baseball has marked the time. The game had the ability to transcend generational gaps between family members, as grandfather-father-and son could attend a contest and quietly understand that the event unfolding before their eyes was a reflection of simpler times and the ultimate manifestation of innocence and youthful ambition.

Baseball is no longer these things, as the old stadiums where moments were immortalized are being torn down in much the same way Pre-Obama America is continually denigrated in the hopes that the current product being peddled won't be unfairly compared to the product it replaced (from an article written 12 years ago in The Weekly Standard):
This neglect by the media is nothing more than a reflection of popular taste. Fifty years ago, the three top sports in America were baseball, boxing, and horse racing. Horse racing has been displaced by legalized gambling and casinos. Boxing has descended to the point where the average person can't name the heavyweight champ. And baseball is living on its memories. In fact, the NBC Game of the Week for many years used to begin with the slogan, "The Tradition is Here, the Memories are Waiting." The game had not yet begun and it was already slotted for memory. Adrift in the age of TV, overtaken by football and basketball, baseball lives in, and off, nostalgia.
Remembrance of days past occurs when one steps on the baseball diamond, especially the fields of youth where dreams of heroic feats once filled young minds. Hitting the home run on a 3-2 pitch in the ninth inning to become the hero by winning the World Series was a fantasy for young men more universal then the desire date the most super of super models.

Striking out on those dreams occurs for most, but those dreams linger hauntingly in the stillness of every spring morning when young men gather to toss the ball around and take batting practice, with dreams of future glory filling their heads.

Rarely is it that we understand the importance of certain moments that will have lasting impact and one day be considered the most significant seconds, minutes, hours of our lives. They pass into memory with a joy reserved for lovers, but our recalled with melancholy fondness much later.

That was the glory of baseball, a sport which has seen better days and aspires for a return of proper importance.

One movie showcases the glory that is baseball and the games immutable bond of dreams and friendship with young men and it's appropriately named The Sandlot:

The film is told through the perspective of Scott Smalls, who is reminiscing on his first summer in Los Angeles. In 1962, Smalls moves with his mother and stepfather to a new neighborhood, and struggles to make new friends. One afternoon, he decides to follow a group of neighborhood boys, and watches them play an improvised game of baseball at a small field, which they call the “sandlot.” Smalls is reluctant to join their game because he fears he will be ridiculed on account of his inexperience.

Nevertheless, he chooses to play with them, but fails to catch a simple fly ball and properly throw the ball back to his infielders. All the other players, except for Benny Rodriguez, begin to jeer Smalls for committing defensive miscues, prompting him to leave the sandlot in embarrassment.

Benny, who is the best player in the neighborhood, shields Smalls from the insults of his peers, and invites him to rejoin their game. He proceeds to give Smalls advice and helps him earn the respect of the other players. In time, Smalls is accepted and becomes an integral part of the team.

As Smalls continues to play with the team, he begins to learn many of the customs of the sandlot, while experiencing many misadventures with his new friends. He learns that players avoid hitting home runs over the sandlot’s fences, as the property beyond them is guarded by a ferocious dog, called “the beast.”

One day, Benny hits a ball so hard, that he ruptures its leather, causing the balls entrails to come out. The group cannot afford to buy another baseball, and is forced to retire for the afternoon. However, Smalls runs to his step-father’s trophy room, and steals a baseball autographed by Babe Ruth, in hopes of preserving the game. The team is impressed with Smalls’ gesture, and allows him to have the first at bat with the ball. He proceeds to hit the ball out of the sandlot, but is shortly enveloped by fear once he realizes that he has lost his stepfather’s ball. The situation is further worsened when Smalls realizes that the ball was autographed by Babe Ruth, and is almost irreplaceable.

Smalls and his friends begin engineering elaborate plans to recover the ball from the beast. After five failed rescue attempts, Smalls prepares to accept his fate. Around the same time, Benny has an enlightening dream, where he is visited by Babe Ruth, who encourages him to run into the sandlot, and use his speed to recover the ball and escape.

Ruth leaves Benny with the words, “Heroes get remembered, but legends never die.” Benny rallies his friends the following morning at the sandlot, and prepares to recover Smalls’ baseball. Using his PF Flyers, he steals the ball from the Beast, and successfully manages to elude the dog as it chases him through town. At the end of the race, the Beast is injured after a fence collapses on it.

Smalls feels responsible for the ordeal, and helps the Beast (whose real name is revealed to be "Hercules") escape the rubble. Benny and Smalls then decide to tell the dog’s owner, Mr. Mertle (James Earl Jones), about the ordeal. They eventually learn that Mertle was a professional baseball player in 1927 and was a friend of Babe Ruth. Mertle, whose career was shortened after he was blinded by a stray pitch, agrees to give Smalls a ball signed by Murderers' Row – several of the best Yankee hitters in the late 1920s. In exchange, the boys are to visit Mertle once a week to talk about baseball. Smalls proceeds to give his stepfather the ball that Mertle gave him.
"Your killing me Smalls"... these words, spoken Hamilton "Ham"Porter as expresses incredulity over Scott Smalls lack of baseball acumen (he though Babe Ruth was a girl) showcase the bond baseball once had with young American males in Pre-Obama America.

Remember, in 1962 - when the film is set - the United States was 90 percent white and 9 percent Black, a far cry from the racial breakdown of the population now.

Baseball, a game rarely played by Black people now despite the prodigious efforts by Major League Baseball (MLB) to get inner city youth active in a game they care little for, can trace its decline in importance to the erosion of the white majority.

Black people were once denied the opportunity to play in the MLB, a great travesty of injustice that they are shockingly on a path to replicate as Black players in baseball are close to being a mere 7 percent of all players.

It wasn't until 1947 that Black people broke the color barrier, a feat performed by Jackie Robinson and one so important that Black History Month is routinely awash in reproducing this moment for a genuine lack of any other milestones or inventions worthy of celebrating.

Guilt is a powerful weapon and Black History Month instills an untold amount of guilt into the minds of impressionable white children who find the lack of significant Black contributions to world and American history puzzling, but with the knowledge of historic white oppression continually beat into them from Crusading White Pedagogues they become programmed and equipped to understand unpleasant realities through the eyes of future Disingenuous White Liberals.

The Sandlot refuses to wallow in the muck of white guilt and dares to tarnish the legacy of Jackie Robinson - a moment so powerful that his N0. 42 jersey has been retired by every MLB team - by casting James Earl Jones as the owner of Beast and the wise, erudite recluse who once played professional baseball.

However, if he played in 1927 then he would have been the first Black person to play professional baseball. Although stricken with blindness due to an errant baseball, the character of Mr. Mertle was a heroic Black baseball figure that predated Jackie Robinson by nearly a score.

His very presence in this beloved children's film has potentially damaged the obvious myth of Jackie Robinson, and thus, the No. 42 jersey is of no need for further retirement and should be eligible to adorn the back of one player from every team this 2010 season.

Stuff Black People Don't Like invites Mr. Mertle to the batters box of fictional Black History Month, for his inclusion in the film The Sandlot has the ability to confuse young people watching that have constantly been told about the inherent evil of whiteness.

Shockingly Mertle is a Black man and he played professional baseball in the roaring 20s. He is the true hero. More interestingly, the film took an actual photo of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Jimmie Foxx and airbrushed in Mr. Mertle's face on Foxx's (go to 3:29 of the first video to see this for your own eyes!!!)!!!

However, baseball is a game incapable of escaping the glorious memories of yesterday and will always be haunted by what it once represent. Resurrection of Pre-Obama America is impossible and it is becoming increasingly obvious that baseball was wedded to that particular institution.

So goes America, so goes baseball. An immutable bond exists between the two and both find themselves behind the count in the ninth inning, with two outs.

#344. The Earthquake in Chile

Disingenuous White Liberals (DWLs) salivate over the opportunity to help those less fortunate than themselves, especially if those people are Black.

When the 7.0 earthquake devastated an already devastated nation in Haiti, DWLs jumped at the opportunity to showcase the horrendous state of this poor, 99 percent Black nation and gave a multitude of reasons why every effort to lift up a nation already propped up through massive foreign aid and charity must be helped once again:
Eight days after the devastating earthquake struck near Haiti's capital, donations for relief efforts are still pouring in -- in excess of $305 million..

Charities, companies, individuals and celebrities across the U.S. have been rallying together in the aftermath of the 7.0-magnitude quake last Tuesday, and their efforts are paying off.

As of Wednesday afternoon, over $305 million in donations had been raised, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, a newspaper covering nonprofit organizations. The estimate is based on a survey of 29 charities contributing the largest amounts of money to Haiti.
Haiti, a Black republic run by the (Black) people, for the (Black) people and of the (Black) people, was in such a melancholy state prior to the seismic activity that leveled the shanty town of Port-au-Prince that showing pictures before the earthquake and after would leave people scratching their heads as to which depicted the devastation from the geological event.

We've said it before: Haiti shows the sad reality of human existence (while simultaneously showing the altruistic spirit that white people are famous for bestowing on the Black world) and it also paints an unsettling picture for Black people in America.

Looking around majority run Black cities and counties (Jefferson County in Alabama and Clayton County in Georgia), one can see signs of a slipping to Haiti-like conditions - see Detroit - and this worries Black people.

Riots, nothing new to Haiti, were prevalent before the earthquake and ubiquitous after, despite the onrushing of aid to the Black Republic:
At a makeshift tent city in a schoolyard in Port-au-Prince’s Delmas neighbourhood, now home to between 5,000 and 7,000 homeless people, violence broke out over food.

“Too many people need to eat — it’s not organized,” said Guerline Stjour, standing on the sidelines with other women.
“People are desperate,” said Birgit Zeitler. “We asked for security. It didn’t come.”

The six Nepalese UN blue helmets sent to help the German group watched on the sidelines, helpless to stop the riots and unable to communicate with the large group.

Haiti’s national police officers waved their guns in the air to no avail.
Then a convoy of large trucks arrived in the school’s parking lot and the crowd rushed forward. The trucks carried medication and the people walked away with looks of desperation.
A refusal to have rioting in Chile, swiftly defused with a proficient military incursion. Why didn't that happen in New Orleans after Katrina, when even police resorted to looting?

We are the World, the theme song for white people who fancy themselves as cool, hip and crusaders in the cause of leveling the biological inequities that exist among disparate population groups, won’t be used as a selling point for guilt-trips to send money to Chile.

That nation in South America is not privy to the largesse accumulated through the efforts of celebrities through telethons and endless commercials for one reason: a lack of a pathetically inept Black population to feel paternalistic toward.

Chile was hit with a horrifying 8.8 earthquake on the Richter scale on Saturday (the equivalent of nearly 32 billion tons of TNT for Seismic Energy Yield, as opposed to the paltry 32 millions felt in Port-au-Prince) that left just under 1000 dead:
Buildings caught fire, bridges collapsed and debris blocked streets across swathes of central Chile, but the initial death toll was relatively low from a quake packing many times more power than the one that devastated Haiti last month.

A 15-storey building collapsed in Concepcion, the closest major city to the epicenter, and overturned cars lay scattered below a fallen overpass in the capital Santiago. Telephone and power lines went down, making it difficult to assess the full extent of the damage and loss of life.
The rioting that Haiti has had to deal with since the earthquake (and well, since Haiti was founded) has not been quelled in the same manner that riots are stymied in Chile:
Chile's president sent the army to help police attack looting on Sunday and appealed for international help in the wake of an earthquake that shattered cities and killed at least 708 people…

Police said more than 100 people died in Concepcion, the largest city near the epicenter with more than 200,000 people. The university was among the buildings that caught fire around the city as gas and power lines snapped. Many streets were littered with rubble from edifices and inmates escaped from a nearby prison.

Police used water cannon and tear gas to scatter people who forced open the doors of the Lider supermarket in Concepcion, hauling away everything from diapers to dehydrated milk to a kitchen stove.
Black people look at the images from Chile and cringe. Some in the media have tried to discuss the glaring differences in the earthquakes between the undeniably poor Haiti and prosperous Chile:
The earthquake in Chile was far stronger than the one that struck Haiti last month — yet the death toll in this Caribbean nation is magnitudes higher.

The reasons are simple.

Chile is wealthier and infinitely better prepared, with strict building codes, robust emergency response and a long history of handling seismic catastrophes. No living Haitian had experienced a quake at home when the Jan. 12 disaster crumbled their poorly constructed buildings.
And Chile was relatively lucky this time.

Saturday's quake was centered offshore an estimated 21 miles (34 kilometers) underground in a relatively unpopulated area while Haiti's tectonic mayhem struck closer to the surface — about 8 miles (13 kilometers) — and right on the edge of Port-au-Prince, factors that increased its destructiveness.

"Earthquakes don't kill — they don't create damage — if there's nothing to damage," said Eric Calais, a Purdue University geophysicist studying the Haiti quake.

The U.S. Geological Survey says eight Haitian cities and towns — including this capital of 3 million — suffered "violent" to "extreme" shaking in last month's 7-magnitude quake, which Haiti's government estimates killed some 220,000 people. Chile's death toll was in the hundreds.
Mr. Calais can be pardoned for his rather misinformed statement. No one can know how many people died in Haiti, but the number can be ascertained in Chile for one reason – they are a nation that is capable of taking care of itself.

And Black people know another apparent reason is true too – the Black person in Chile is as rare a sight as the Black person at a Tea Party or a Republican function in America. Out of 16 million people, Chile has so few Black people that they constitute a statistical anomaly and aren’t even registered as an ethnicity by the CIA Fact Book:

Studies on the ethnic structure of Chile are non-conclusive and might vary significantly from one study to the next.

UNAM professor of Latin American studies, Francisco Lizcano, believes Chile has an estimated 52.7% of European descent, with mestizos estimated at 44%.

A study conducted by the University of Chile found that within the Chilean population 30% are white, the mestizos component of predominantly white ancestry is estimated at 65%. Other study of the University of Chile and other found a white majority that would exceed 60% to 90% of the Chilean population.

According to the Census 2002, 4.6% of the Chilean population considered themselves indigenous, although most show varying degrees of mixed ancestry
Chile has no Black people. Haiti has an overabundance of Black people that make the island nation look like District 9, compared to the nation of Chile that looks like Avatar in comparison.
Haiti has 9 million Black people.

Of those 9 million, 99 percent live in such a state of poverty that their Black ancestors, who slaughtered the white people in the 1790s and early 1800s, might reconsider their actions if they could see the surreal, truculent life their actions helped pave the way for.

Stuff Black People Don’t Like includes the earthquake in Chile, for the power of that quake was of such a higher magnitude than the one that destroyed the already destroyed Port-au-Prince that the only obvious answer for why that could be is due to the population dynamics that helped create each nation.

Chile has white people and no Black people. Haiti has 9 million Black people and realizes on the generosity of white people to function at even a 3rd world level.

These are facts of the highest discontentment to Black people (look at the history of Haiti vs. Chile for more information on this melancholy realization).

We are the World? Chileans have no use for “being” the world nor helping every nation become Haiti. Black people wonder when Atlas will shrug in Black Run America (BRA), for he never had to in Chile.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Black History Month Heroes - Dr. Ed 'Braz' Brazzelton in "The Core"

The month of February is nearly over and having Black History Month condensed into such a short amount of time is a criminal offense that should be punished with the swift justice of Black Run America's (BRA) judicial system (thankfully, Black farmers have just received $1.25 billion for their collective discrimination during Pre-Obama America).

365 days exist in the year and spending a trivial 28 (29 some years) days learning about Black people and Black history is hardly enough time to educate oneself on the contributions of a people who were brought to America originally in chains.

With those chains of bondage broken, Black people were free to become whatever they wanted. However, laws were created that established "separate, but equal" facilities throughout the land. Eventually, Black people (with the help of Disingenuous White Liberals) rallied for equal rights before the law, which they eventually garnered.

However, this was not enough and thus the idea of BRA was created. The majority population must be subservient to Black people in each of the 50 states that comprise the United States of America. College admissions, job applications, the lack of minorities on television became issues that demanded extra-rights for the previously unequal before the law Black people. The unequal distribution of LSAT, SAT, ACT, MCAT (even Wonderlic) scores between the races is but a lasting remnant of discrimination that must be uprooted. All blame for the poor performance of Black students in BRA can be easily placed upon white people and the historic stain of racism.

The notion of the racial gap in learning is an apparition that can be removed with the skillful teachings of Crusading White Pedagogues. Anytime the discussion of crime turns to the strange coincidence of a high preponderance of Black criminals compared to their proportion of the general population, that conversation can be quelled immediately for the high crime of using outlawed Hate Facts in a debate rigged by agents of BRA, who blame these insignificant facts on white racism.

The culpability for any Black failure in America is always white racism. Always. Even in Black Run America.

Black History Month and the gatekeepers of this important month long festival that celebrates Blackness in its every form are at a crossroads. If the Out of Africa Theory of human evolution is true, why are so few of the advances in technology from the imaginative minds of Black people?

Black inventors have a Hall of Fame
, but the names that have been pulled together would barely be enough to field a pick-up game in basketball. Black inventors of inventions that are of important use to 21st Americans are so difficult to find, a top resource for teachers is reduced to making some inventions up!

Black Run America
(BRA) needs heroes. Athletes can only take the notion of Black supremacy so far, but actors have the ability of manipulating peoples minds through the positive mainstreaming of certain characteristics that are noticeably absent from history. Mainly, the ability to imagine new devices that will reduce once difficult tasks to the mundane - inventions.

Thus, the need for fictional Black History Month! Stuff Black People Don't Like has worked hard all month to locate positive images of Black people from film and television that have absolutely nothing to do with reality and no influences to base the character upon.

In Delroy Lindo's character from the 2003 film The Core, we have found a Black fictional scientist so unique in his uniqueness that he stands out as the ultimate fictional Black History Month character.

Don't remember The Core? Well, don't fell bad. The film was a bomb on par with The Princess and The Frog, grossing $31 million in the US despite its $60 million budget and status as one of the big summer disaster films.

Lindo, an accomplished actor, is not be blamed for his decision to be cast in a film so embarrassingly bad that it is rarely aired on television. What was the film about?:
Several worldwide events, such as pigeons losing their ability to navigate in Trafalgar Square, and the computers on the Space Shuttle Endeavour sending it far off course and forcing the pilots to land in the Los Angeles River basin, cause leading geology experts Drs. Josh Keyes (Aaron Eckhart), Serge Leveque (Tchéky Karyo), and Conrad Zimsky (Stanley Tucci) to surmise that rotation of Earth's molten core is slowing down, leading eventually to the collapse of the electromagnetic field which will expose the surface to the Sun's lethal radiation. The three develop a top-secret plan with the United States government to bore into the Earth's core and plant a series of nuclear charges at precise points to restart the core's motion and restore the field. They design a multi-compartment, snake-like vessel called the Virgil with the help of Ed "Braz" Brazzelton (Delroy Lindo), who has developed both a means of quickly boring through rock using an array of powerful lasers, and a material called "unobtainium" for its hull that can withstand the high pressures within the core.
Brazzelton created Virgil, which bore to the core of the earth, and was an advanced practitioner of weaponizing lasers. The scarcity of Black inventors throughout history notwithstanding, the character of Brazzelton stretches the bounds of credulity to new dimensions (the plot of the film is explained here).

The oddity of a Black scientist in The Core was picked up by two actual Black owners of PhD's in advanced sciences who hoped the positive image as portrayed by Lindo would encourage Black people to pursue degrees in the hard sciences:
In 2001, Moore and Penn co-founded the nonprofit “Brothers Building Diversity in the Sciences,” aimed at increasing the number of underrepresented minorities obtaining PhDs or MD-PhDs in the biomedical sciences.

And on Tuesday, March 25, Moore and Penn’s foundation will get a boost from Hollywood - at a special movie premier of the science fiction thriller “The Core,” starring black actor Delroy Lindo. In the movie, Lindo plays a geophysicist and inventor who becomes a member of a team of gifted scientists bent on saving the world from total destruction. The special premier, the brainchild of Lindo and hosted by Paramount, is intended to raise money for the Building Diversity nonprofit, as well as for The African American Male Achievers Network and The Algebra Project.

The need to increase the numbers of underrepresented minorities in engineering, math and the sciences is great. In the biological sciences, for instance, blacks and Latinos represent less than 6 percent of PhD scientists. Moore and Penn, who received their PhDs at UCSF and who say they have tutored and mentored hundreds of minorities during their academic careers, are now applying what they learned along the way.

“There is a completely different culture in science - one that I had to learn how to integrate, while keeping my identity and personality. I want to teach students this culture before they get to graduate school in order to make an already hard transition easier,” says Moore.

“Brothers Building Diversity in the Sciences,” which will be launched next year, will include the mentoring effort that Moore and Penn currently carry out with high school and college students - particularly those at junior colleges, “where many minorities are,” says Moore.
Though the group has since changed its name, Brother Building Diversity in the Sciences (now Building Diversity in the Sciences), primary mission is still intact; to wage a war against the whiteness of the hard sciences:
Over the years, minorities have made tremendous strides in the workplace. But you still don't find many in fields that require science or engineering degrees. ABC7 Salutes two men who are trying to change that, one student at a time.

Oakland's Jason Randolph is studying for a degree in biology, but it is his own genetics that make him feel out of place at school.

Jason Randolph, student: "I kind of feel like I am basically just kind of another name, a name on the list and I fulfill the quota."

Less than three percent of African Americans and even fewer Latinos, earned doctorates in science and engineering fields in 2004.

Michael Penn, M.D., Ph.D.: "Minority students are significantly under-repesented in science and medicine."

Michael Penn knows. He and friend Fred Moore are among the few who've earned advanced degrees.

Fred Moore, Ph.D.: "No one gets ahead in life by themselves."

The two UC San Francisco graduates felt they had a responsibility to help minorities succeed. In 2001 they created the non-profit Brothers Building Diversity in the Sciences.

Fred Moore: "The organization basically is to help under-represented minority students, college students get interested, get excited and get that passion for science."

They team up students with minority mentors working in the sciences.

Fred Moore: "The non-profit creates this very nurturing environment where students get two or three mentors for each student that can help assist them with whatever their strenghts and weaknesses are, bring those out and help to nurture them."

The failures of Black people in the hard sciences has led to some California schools to re-consider the goals of public education, by handcuffing overachieving white students in the sciences by doing away with the classes altogether:

The racial madness that has left-wing America in its thrall finds its apogee in the Berkeley, California public schools. Berkeley High School is now poised to eliminate science laboratory classes because "science labs were largely classes for white students." Eric Klein writes in the East Bay Express: "The proposal to put the science-lab cuts on the table was approved recently by Berkeley High's School Governance Council, a body of teachers, parents, and students who oversee a plan to change the structure of the high school to address Berkeley's dismal racial achievement gap, where white students are doing far better than the state average while black and Latino students are doing worse."
Black scientists are so rare and the achievement gap between the races is so grand that the only potential leveler of this problem is the removal of classes that equip some students to acquire greater knowledge than others in the field of hard sciences. If reality can't produce a Dr. Ed Brazzelton, than film can. If reality can produce white scientists of Dr. Ed Brazzelton's intellect, than we must do away with the classes that prepare those students from achieving that type of scientific advancements in our technology.

The Core is a science fiction movie. Dr. Ed Brazzelton is a science fiction character and he is also a fictional Black History Month hero at Stuff Black People Don't Like.

When whites become a minority in the United States, will Black failure still be blamed on the inherent white racism that permeates throughout the land?

The Core has been named one of the worst movies of all time and coincidentally, one of the movies with the worst usage of physics ever made (Rotten Tomatoes gives it an aggregate rating of 42 percent out of 100). We hope the inclusion of a Black geophysicist had nothing to do with this.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Black History Month Heroes- Luther Stickell in "Mission: Impossible"

Black History Month has the ignoble task of locating Black people from Pre-Obama America to celebrate during February’s glorious proceedings. We use that word in its literal meaning, for “combing the desert” of history for Black people worthy of reverence hardly seems a dignified task for a proud people.

The falsification of history to bend it in manners befitting Black people creates a situation where the obvious shortcomings of this brave race of people are overtly apparent. The paucity of historically relevant Black people is never more apparent than during the celebration of Black History Month.

The same old tired and worn out Black figures are dusted off, polished and presented to a credulous general public as personages of historical significance. Straight-faced Crusading White Pedagogues lecture their pupils on important contributions of the most trivial variety, which are joyously absorbed and the veracity never questioned.

Yet Black students are aware that they are sadly relegated to only one month of the year for discussion of their historical figures and correctly question this crude practice of summarizing the contributions of Black people into a mere 28 days (29 days).

Thus the need for fictional Black History Month, to fill the inauspicious void of historically significant Black people with characters from popular culture, brought to life with the aid of talented thespians.

Some might call this mission, impossible. We simply call it another entry in Stuff Black People Don’t Like and our look at Black History Month.

Tom Cruise is one of the most recognizable stars on the planet and his larger than life persona has translated into billions of dollars of box office revenue. Among his signature roles includes Ethan Hunt of the Mission: Impossible trilogy (soon to get a fourth film).

The daring exploits Hunt have helped save the world countless times over and the agent of Impossible Mission Force (IMF) is a true hero. Yet, his clandestine activities would scarcely transpire if it weren’t for the computer hacking abilities of Luther Stickell:

Luther Stickell is a supporting fictional character from the Mission: Impossible film series. The character first appeared in Mission: Impossible (1996) and holds the distinction of being the only character besides Ethan Hunt to appear in all three films as well as two video games.

In the films, Luther is an expert computer hacker who works for the fictional "IMF" (Impossible Missions Force) division of the CIA alongside Ethan Hunt.

He has been portrayed in all three movies by Ving Rhames. The character has also appeared in the Mission: Impossible video game adaptation for both the Nintendo 64 and PlayStation as well as 2003's "Mission: Impossible - Operation Surma", wherein Ving Rhames reprised his character by lending his voice.

Luther is chosen to help Hunt crack into the CIA’s list of undercover operatives, in a move that would make Valarie Plame blush:

Luther's first appearance occurred in Mission: Impossible (1996). IMF Agent Ethan Hunt (portrayed by Tom Cruise had been "disavowed" by the CIA following a botched mission in Prague: a "mole-hunt" for an agent who planned to steal the CIA's Non-official cover (NOC) list, which left his teammates dead (including his leader and mentor, Jim Phelps), himself framed for their murders, and the CIA hot on his trail, thinking that he was the "mole".

As a result, Hunt and Claire enlisted the help of two other "disavowed" IMF agents: Luther Stickell and Franz Krieger (portrayed by Jean Reno). While Claire had chosen Krieger herself, Hunt had personally chosen Stickell as "Cyber-Ops" for his reputation as a well-known hacker/phreaker and as "the only man alive who hacked NATO Ghostcom". Reluctant at first, Luther was baited into the hack when Ethan played to Stickell's ego, selling the job proposal as "The Mount Everest of hacks".

Yes, Stickell is so thoroughly talented that he was capable of hacking NATO, a feat already accomplished in the 1980s film Wargames.

Curiously, a list of the Top 5 Computer Hackers of all-time shockingly looks like the competitors of the Winter Olympics. They are all white.

The Mission: Impossible franchise has generated a worldwide box office gross of $1.4 billion dollars, and is a mainstay of cable television. Millions upon millions of viewers see the image of Luther Stickell, a Black hacker, and are unmoved by this curious sight.

Hackers appear to be cut from the same nerdy cloth, an un-diverse bunch of technology enthusiasts who take great pleasure in their art form and have yet to be integrated.

Ving Rhames is an incredibly talented and gifted actor, but even his role as Luther Stickell borderlines on the incredulous.

Not to be outdone, he was cast as the iconic Kojak in a remake of the popular 70s show: Rhames is a commanding screen presence, a dynamic figure capable of carrying his own series.

Ving Rhames is not Kojak, as much as the producers of the new USA revival would like audiences to accept him in Telly Savalas' iconic role. Except for Kojak's trademark lollipop, which is overdone, Rhames might as well be Cannon or Mannix.

USA is a component of the new Universal-NBC conglomerate that inherited the Universal Studio titles, so it's going to make use of them. Get ready for Gary Coleman as Columbo. The thinking is, it's easier to bring back a familiar brand than try to launch a new one.

Rhames is talented and charismatic enough to do the same with an original character. Indeed, the New York detective he plays has less in common with Theo Kojak than he does with Vic Mackey of The Shield -- another breakout basic-cable hit without benefit of a throwback title.

Rhames makes light of the situation with a specious comparison. "Telly's Greek. I'm African-American. If we take that away, we're really the same." This is akin to, "I'm 5-foot-4. Shaquille O'Neal is 7-foot-3. If we take that away, we're really the same."

The demise of the dramatic series that cast a Black lead
is well-documented and sadly, Kojak lasted a mere season on air (it had abysmal ratings).

One organization that discusses the African Diaspora in computer sciences stated that “because of entrenched racism, more Black people have died from lightening strikes than have become professors of computer science”:

Question: I've talked to university computer profs who say that African-Americans just aren't showing up in computer science and tech fields (women only make up about a quarter of their enrollments, too). Could you discuss this issue of the African-Americans?

Answer: People lie but numbers do not lie. According to the Computing Research Association, only one out of 14 blacks that received the Ph.D. degree in 1994 was hired by academia. The same organization reported that only 3 out of 1215 (0.25 percent) full professors of computer science in the entire North America were black. Most likely, these 3 black professors are hired in predominately black universities. These statistics prove that predominately white faculty gives preference in hiring white candidates. Blacks that attempt to become professors of computer science face a concrete wall. The black computer science professor is an endangered species.

The Computing Research Association wrote that the average computer science professor at its 150 member schools earn a six-figure salary for teaching six hours a week and working nine months a year. By an unspoken gentlemen's agreement, white male decision makers have agreed that such plum jobs should be reserved for white males and subjective criteria are used to disqualify qualified African-Americans.

An analogy is a white male that walked three downhill miles gets a gold medal while a black male that ran six uphill miles is denied a bronze medal.

American universities are not equal opportunity or merit-based employers. The fact that only one in 405 computer science professors is black proves that academic racism is pervasive and deeply entrenched. Because of deeply entrenched racial discrimination, more black people have died from lightning than have become professors of computer science."

Market forces negate discrimination. The best and most talented get jobs, or that organization which actively promotes discrimination will be impeded by the clutches of racism and racial favoritism. Why let other companies employ talented Black computer scientists, if they are the best available employee?

The problem facing Black people isn’t racism in the hiring of computer scientist, but the complete dearth of Black people capable of being promoted to these positions (outside of the casting of Black actors in movie).

Luther Stickell is one such character that bucks this trend. Lightening never strikes twice in the same place, but for this Black hacker, it keeps striking.

Stuff Black People Don’t Like welcomes Luther Stickell into the fictional Black History Month celebration, for a Black hacker is a rare sight indeed and it is nearly an impossible mission to locate one in real life.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Black History Month Heroes - Nick Fury in "Iron Man"

"Why read comics book?" is a question tossed at those who read them frequently. For one reason: comics have been on the cutting edge of popular culture for the last 20 years.

If it happens in comic book (or graphic novel) chances are, you'll see a movie, television series, video game or even a theme park following in its footsteps.

Thus, the reason Walt Disney shelled out a heroic sum of $4 billion to acquire Marvel Comics:
The Walt Disney Company has agreed to acquire Marvel Entertainment in a stock and cash transaction, the companies announced this morning. Under the terms of the agreement and based on last week’s closing price of Disney, Marvel shareholders would receive a total of $30 per share in cash plus approximately 0.745 Disney shares for each Marvel share they own.

Based on the closing price of Disney stock on Friday, August 28, the total transaction value is $50 per Marvel share or approximately $4 billion.

Under the deal, which has been approved by the boards of both companies, Disney will acquire ownership of Marvel including its portfolio of over 5,000 Marvel characters. That portfolio includes many familiar names like Iron Man, Spider-Man, X-Men, Captain America, Fantastic Four and Thor.

Says Disney CEO Robert A. Iger in a statement: “We believe that adding Marvel to Disney’s unique portfolio of brands provides significant opportunities for long-term growth and value creation.”

Comics are a huge business, and the characters drawn and created largely by gentlemen of Jewish ancestry have kept Hollywood afloat for the past 15 years, at a time when creativity and originality seem to be in short supply:
It's been 10 years since the film version of The X-Men hit theaters, kicking off a decade in movies that was heavily influenced by comic books and the geeks who love them.

And as Hollywood begins a new decade, the growing relationship between comics and movies shows no signs of slowing. Unlike the disaster films of the '70s or the high school films of the '80s, comic book movies appear to be more popular now than ever before, despite dominating the Hollywood landscape for over a decade.

"Comic book movies are here to stay," said Jeff Katz, the movie producer and comic book publisher who worked on films like X-Men Origins: Wolverine. "I would say, even though they technically fall into a lot of different genres, they’re actually like a genre unto themselves. And it's one of the most desirable genres in Hollywood."
Iron Man, the Fantastic Four, Daredevil, Spider-man, The Punisher, Batman, Superman, Flash, Green Latern, the X-Men, Sin City, 300, Watchmen, Hulk and countless others have brought in billions upon billions in box office receipts (see here for Box Office Mojo's list of most profitable comic book movies), with Thor, Captain America and a forthcoming Avengers film prepared to only add to the growing largess made from comic book movies. Not to mention DVD sales...

Share holders of Disney stock take notice, as your gains and dividends will be derived from the exploits of radioactive enhanced superheroes.

However, Black History Month has to take a somber approach to comic books and the cultural force they represent as Black characters are routinely missing from the superhero teams and tales of adventurous crime fighters are performed in a state of near solid whiteness:

While Savage Dragon is an overly muscular green humanoid, Spider-Man is a real, live human being. And, like Superman and Batman and Captain America and Flash and Wonder Woman, the Web Crawler has a common trait among comic strip superheroes:

He's white...

The first black superhero was Marvel's Black Panther, who showed up in a 1966 Fantastic Four story and has gained some popularity. Another Marvel character, Blade, earned big-market attention when Wesley Snipes personified him in a film version of the comic. Some characters have vacillated between races — both Spawn and Catwoman were black in certain iterations, white in others. And characters like Storm, Luke Cage, Static, and Bishop have enjoyed a certain level of celebrity, but not the kind that has netted others their own big-budget Hollywood films.

But with Obama establishing a new role model for blacks in America, traditional depictions of blacks in popular culture could get a makeover, said culture critic David Horowitz.

"I think having a black president will have a positive impact on black images in the popular culture and will move that culture away from some of its politically correct absurdities," he said.

Naturally, white people (individuals of the Jewish ancestry primarily) created the comic book characters we know, love and cherish. Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Bob Kane and many other Jewish gentlemen created comic book characters in the 1950s and 1960s that reflected the overwhelmingly white population of the time (America had a 90 percent population of white people in 1964).

Black people have had ample time to create story lines, draw and distribute comic book characters of Black ancestry for quite sometime, yet oddly, this has not transpired ( is a great website to learn about Black characters in comics).

Spawn, who in his life was a Black man, is a popular character created by the incredibly white Todd McFarlane. That character was the first Black superhero to garner his own film (an under-rated one at that), followed soon by a Black Marvel Comics character, Blade.

Yet, the majority of comic book movies are painfully devoid of Black characters, largely due to the lack of Black characters drawn by the Jewish writers of comics in the 1950s and 1960s. Attempts were made to rectify this major oversight, but the white characters were so popular that any attempt to "color" a superhero was met with a lot of negative publicity.

Billy Dee Williams was set to play Harvey Dent/ Two-Face in the original Tim Burton interpretation of Batman, but was replaced with the white actor Tommy Lee Jones (Two Face is a white guy in the comics).

The lack of Black characters in comics was changed forever with the unveiling of the Barack Obama comic that garnered massive sales (primarily driven by the Black community, who saw the image of Mein Obama gracing the Spider-Man comic a sign of the changing times).

Yet, superhero movies continue to be shockingly all-white affairs. Hardly a Black face is seen in Superman Returns, the Fantastic Four, the Spider-Man trilogy, Iron Man, the two Hulk films and rare is the Black actor in the insanely popular Christopher Nolan Batman films.

Barack Obama-less comics
aren't as popular in the Black community, yet the movies based on the white characters are beloved by Black people even they contain oh so precious few Token Black's in the scripts.

Fictional Black History Month has changed all of this, as Samuel L. Jackson has magically morphed the traditionally white Nick Fury character into the ultimate manifestation of coolness - himself:
General Nicholas Joseph "Nick" Fury is a fictional character published by Marvel Comics. A reinterpretation of the character Nick Fury, one of the most notable differences between the two is that the mainstream Nick Fury is a Caucasian colonel with greying brown hair, while this Nick Fury is a bald African American general, specifically tailored after actor Samuel L. Jackson with his permission.
Jackson appeared as Fury in a post-credits scene in the 2008 film Iron Man. Fury has a substantial presence in all the Ultimates comics, appearing first in Ultimate Marvel Team-Up and Ultimate X-Men and later reappearing regularly in Ultimate Spider-Man and finally securing a regular, recurring role as the General of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the leader of The Ultimates, a re-imagining of the Avengers..

The similarity is even noted within the comic itself, in a scene in which the Ultimates discuss who they think should play each of them in a hypothetical movie about the team. Fury's answer for himself is "Mr. Samuel L. Jackson, of course, no discussion." Such is the popularity of the Jackson-inspired version of the character that Jackson was contracted to portray Fury in
Iron Man despite the film being an adaptation of the mainstream Marvel Universe version of the character, rather than choose a Caucasian actor to play the matching classic version of Fury.
Reinventing traditional white characters and putting popular character actors in their place is the only way that people will accept Black people in these roles. Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury in Iron Man and Iron Man 2 (and the subsequent sequels/team-ups it is spawning) is the perfect inclusion into the fictional Black History Month we are celebrating at Stuff Black People Don't Like.

Lacking any popular Black characters in comics, the only solution to this monochromatic problem is to "color" secondary characters and supplant their banal whiteness with cool Blackness. When you need a cool Black character, the obvious choice is Samuel L. Jackson.

Another famously white comic book character got the Nick Fury treatment, as Kingpin in the 2004 film Daredevil was played by Michael Clarke Duncan. Kingpin is a villain that possess an incredibly corpulent frame, yet a curious lack of melanin. In the comics, he's a huge white dude.

In the movie, he's played by Duncan, a huge Black dude (a great interview with Duncan where he is asked about playing a white character):

UGO: So what is it like playing a character that has been white for forty years?

MCD: That was my biggest concern. When Mark Steven Johnson sat me down, I thought he wanted me to be a thug or something, the usual. I said, "OK, I don't mind being the Daredevil." He said, "No, I want you to be the Kingpin." I said, "Oh, wait a minute. That guy is white. He has always been white, in the comic book he is white, and I know he is white. He's cool, but he is white." He said, "People at FOX have already confirmed that you are the best actor for the job." It's a little pressure, because people have these comic books and they keep them and they want it to be what they see in the comic book. They don't want you changing it all the way around and changing colors, and so I was really worried about that. Mark said, "Just go in there and do the best job that you can," and so once he told me that, I just went in there and tried to do my best.

Fictional Black History Month has to include Nick Fury, for Black people have so precious few comic book characters that they can relate to, that it is absolutely vital that traditionally white characters be remade in heroic Black actors images. Thus, Sam Jackson in a white role to add some semblance of diversity to the overwhelmingly white comic book movies.

In 1989, people weren't prepared for a traditionally white character to be replaced by a cool Black actor (Williams as Two-Face), but Samuel L. Jackson and Michael Clarke Duncan have used the powerful, leveling force of fictional Black History Month to change minds and attitudes.

If only Will Smith could be Captain America, then we'd truly realize the importance of understanding Black Run America (BRA). The dearth of Black comic book characters can only be remedied by 'coloring' popular white characters and replacing them with popular Black actors.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

#298. Being Out-Stepped

Black people are routinely pegged as the preeminent dancers on the planet, for their incredible rhythmical skills are constantly on display through film, television and well, this.

Movies such as Save the Last Dance illustrate this point, as a naive white girl finds the dancing ability of Black people to the push she needs to excel at ballet.

Dancing though, as historically known in the Western tradition, is of little to no use to Black people and they find acceptable dancing constricting and unacceptable to their cultural norms. Black people excel in originality when it comes to dancing and have created a form of dancing that's authentically Black - stepping:

Stepping or step-dancing is a form of percussive dance in which the participant's entire body is used as an instrument to produce complex rhythms and sounds through a mixture of footsteps, spoken word, and hand claps. Though stepping may be performed by an individual, it is generally performed by groups of three or more, often in arrangements that resemble military formations.

Stepping may also draw from elements of gymnastics, tap dance, march, or African and Caribbean dance, or include semi-dangerous stunts as a part of individual routines. Some forms of stepping include the use of props, such as canes, rhythm sticks and/or fire and blindfolds.

The tradition of African American stepping is rooted within the competitive schoolyard song and dance rituals practiced by historically African American fraternities and sororities, beginning in the mid-1900s.
If you have attended a major university that has even 10 Black people enrolled there, then chances are you have been regaled with a "step-show" before. Black people, especially Black fraternities, partake in stepping as a ritualistic exercise that has roots in Africa.

The uniformity displayed by step-team members in the choreographed clapping, stepping and dancing routine is a sight to behold and chanting that takes the form of ululations is but an added bonus in any stepping display.

But the cross-over appeal of stepping is an unavoidable reality that must know be discussed, for films such as Stomp the Yard and the MTV show America's Best Dance Crew have broadcast a formerly all-Black activity to the entire country, which have had the destabilizing effect of integrating the team dance activity.

Remember: anything that is all-white must be integrated, yet anything that is all-Black must be preserved in an all-out effort to maintain the street cred of that activity. Daring to integrate an all-Black activity is an exercise in futility, yet daring to integrate is an endeavor that is greeted with congratulatory and laudatory language.

Stepping is a Black thing, an opportunity to "keep it real" and is an authentically Black exercise in dancing that no white person would dare emulate until now:

Stepping, which is deeply rooted in the tradition of historically Black Fraternities, has moved into the mainstream. At the Sprite Step Off, a traditionally white sorority with all white members, Zeta Tau Alpha won the $100,000 prize. Bossip was in the audience and they agreed that Zeta Tau Alpha “brought it.”

This can be considered of another example of how Black culture becomes mainstream and becomes appropriated by Caucasian people and becomes a greater part of American culture as a whole.

This upset victory by white girls daring to integrate an all-Black activity has sent shock waves through the stepping community everywhere:

On Saturday, I accompanied AG Entertainment’s Alex Gidewon to the Sprite Step Off Challenge at the Civic Center. The best part of the evening for me was the car ride there and back. We pulled up to the Civic Center in a CL65 AMG with a turbocharged V12 engine that reached top speeds in 6 seconds. The car took my breath away. All I can say is I want one!

Anyway, step show host Ryan Cameron (WVEE) said “Steppin’ is for erybody.” Well, it’s not for me. I was bored out of my skull for the 50+ minutes that we were there. Back in my college days, steppin’ was an entirely different art form than what you see today. Now it’s more lights, cameras and action than fancy footwork mixed with military precision.

So is it any wonder that an all white girl crew from Arkansas took 1st place in the majority black competition? The women from Zeta Tau Alpha’s Epsilon chapter electrified the crowd with a dazzling step routine that clocked in at just under 9 minutes. They won cash scholarships and other prizes. MTV2 will air the step show at 3 pm on February 28 and March 7.

Stepping, an authentically Black activity that once was reserved for only Black people to practice discipline in rhythmic movement, while simultaneously clapping their hands in unison, has now been infiltrated to a point where a team of white girls from Arkansas could usurp the Sprite Step-Off Challenge 2010 title and supplant all Black teams beneath perfectly choreographed routine.

This loss is being taken hard by Black people and stepping-purists everywhere, as step-hardliners view this as a direct assault against their authentically African tradition.

Stuff Black People Don't Like includes being out-stepped, for there is absolutely nothing sacred anymore if a bunch of white girls from Arkansas can out-step Black people and claim the Sprite Step-Off Challenge.

Stepping has been integrated, which makes its no longer indigenous to the Black community and no longer an activity that can be deemed exclusively and authentically Black. Stepping has been polluted with the stain of whiteness and can no longer be deemed a "keeping it real" activity, although it did offer an interesting, intimate look at Black culture when it was an 100 percent Black enterprise.

Black History Month Heroes - Dr. Julius Hibbert in "The Simpsons"

For more than 20 years the exploits of that yellow family from Springfield - Homer, Lisa, Marge, Bart and Maggie - have brought joy to the hundreds of millions of people across the globe. The Simpsons, a cartoon comedic masterpiece that has been on the cutting edge of pop culture for more than a score, is a beloved look at the trials and tribulations of a working-class family.

Homer Simpson and his brood are so well known and recognizable that people in the United States have a greater knowledge of this fictitious family than they do the Constitution that governs their nation:
CHICAGO - Americans apparently know more about “The Simpsons” than they do about the First Amendment.

Only one in four Americans can name more than one of the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment.

But more than half can name at least two members of the cartoon family, according to a survey...

The study by the new McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum found that 22 percent of Americans could name all five Simpson family members, compared with just one in 1,000 people who could name all five First Amendment freedoms.

Civic lessons are of trivial significance when compared to the importance of being on an intimate, first name basis with The Simpsons. Remember, they invite you into their home seven days a week (through the power of syndication) and new episodes air every Sunday night, so it is important to be more cognizant of The Simpsons than say the basic rights delineated in the Bill of Rights.

Fictional Black History Month has covered a number of the great Black people that have existed through the medium of cinema and help give us positive images of Black people to love, cherish and respect, where they aren't necessarily found in real-life.

The Simpsons has more than 400 episodes to its credit, countless video games and DVD releases, a feature movie and product tie-ins that would make even George Lucas blush.

The ratings for The Simpsons continue to remain steady and new fans of the show are found daily thanks to the constant reruns found on any number of stations throughout cable, and the influence of the show can be found in words that have entered the vernacular, such as "Doh":

The Simpsons' influence may continue to grow. TV consultant Ted Farone says the show is strong enough to run for a long time to come. He compares it to The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle, a 1960s cartoon that served as a satire on the Cold War. That show is still discussed 40 years later. "The Simpsons is one of the all-time great shows," he says.

Of course, whether high school students will be studying the episode "Much Apu About Nothing" in 400 years remains to be seen.

The question remains: What does The Simpsons have to do with fictional Black History Month? One name comes to mind, accompanied with calming chuckle, as Dr. Julius Hibbert has been the family practitioner for most of the shows glorious run:
Dr. Hibbert is the Simpsons' (usually) kind-hearted family doctor, a near-genius (with an IQ of 155), a Mensa member, a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and a member of the Thayer firm at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. Hibbert is noticeably less dysfunctional than just about everyone else on the show, though he does have a bizarre tendency to chuckle at inappropriate moments. It is mentioned in Make Room for Lisa, that "Before I learned to chuckle mindlessly, I was headed to an early grave."

Dr. Hibbert is married; he and his wife Bernice have at least three children, two boys and a girl. When his entire family is seen together, they appear to be a spoof of The Cosby Show. Bernice is known to be something of a heavy drinker; this has been joked about on at least one occasion (in "Homer vs. the Eighteenth Amendment," she faints, along with other imbibers of renown, upon reading the news that Prohibition has been introduced in Springfield)...When Fox moved The Simpsons to prime time on Thursdays against NBC's top-rated The Cosby Show, the writing staff decided to make Hibbert a parody of Bill Cosby's character Dr. Cliff Huxtable. Hibbert is usually shown wearing sweaters, a reference to Huxtable.
Dr. Hibbert is a Black doctor of unquestionable intelligence, charisma and skill, who has remained an integral part of The Simpsons universe for almost the entire shows run. He has saved numerous lives and provided outstanding service to the citizens of Springfield. He truly is a fictional Black History Month, for even though provides an exemplary role-model to the citizens of Springfield and the viewers of The Simpsons, in the real-world he is put a statistical anomaly:
African-Americans have long been underrepresented among health care professionals. As of 2005, blacks made up slightly more than 8 percent of first-year medical students in the United States – roughly half of their share of the U.S. population (15.4 percent in 2007), and just 1 percent more than their share of first-year medical students in 1975.

This study, the first to examine the educational pipeline for black health care professionals, is based upon the National Longitudinal Study class of 1972, a comprehensive longitudinal survey of more than 13,000 Americans who graduated from high school in 1972, including about 1,450 African-Americans.

The cohort was tracked into their 30s, long enough to collect data on college attendance and graduation, post-collegiate schooling and career choices, Howell said. The representation of blacks in the 1972 cohort declined from 11 percent at the point of high school graduation, to 9 percent at college entry, to 7.2 percent at college graduation, and to 4.1 percent at the stage of entry to the health professions (which, for this study, included physicians, therapists, dentists, registered nurses, pharmacists, psychologists, optometrists, dietitians and veterinarians, among others.)
These statistics used in this study don't reflect the actual level of Black doctors practicing, for that number is less than four percent of all medical doctors are Black:
Despite the long-term contributions of Howard Universityand Meharry Medical School and, more recently,Morehouse School of Medicine and Charles Drew University, African Americans comprise only 3.5% of physicians7 and fewer than 1.5% of professor-level faculty positions at US medical school faculty (including professor-level faculty at minority-serving institutions).
Every effort has been put in place to get more Black people into medical school and have them become real-life Dr. Hibbert's. Yet, these efforts have failed, as a backward drift is occurring among Black enrollment at medical schools across the land:

In a concerted effort to increase minority inclusion in the early 1970's, entering minority students rose to almost 1,500 in 1974, or 10 percent of the entering class in the nation's medical schools. A goal of 12 percent set for 1976 was not met, and the figure has stayed around 10 percent.

The percentage of minority students in this country is increasing, while the pool of medical students remains relatively low. The 64,986 medical students admitted to medical schools in the 1990-91 academic year was the lowest total enrollment of the last 10 years. Meanwhile, the representation of minorities appears increasingly bleak.

The most striking racial trend for new medical students has been the decline of black men entering the profession, with 23 percent fewer black men enrolled in medical schools in 1990 than there were in 1971.

Those statistics are of course from 1990, when The Simpsons tidal wave over popular culture was just forming. How are the numbers today? Why don't we consult California?:

A new study on physicians in California shows a glaring gap between the number of doctors of color compared with the state's ethnically diverse population, especially among African Americans and Latinos.

At the same time, the state has a disproportionate number of Asian and white doctors, according to the UCSF study, which focuses on doctor ethnicity and language fluency.

It found that out of nearly 62,000 practicing doctors in California, only 5 percent are Latino even though Latinos comprise a third of the state's total population. Only 3 percent of doctors in California are black, compared with 7 percent of the state's overall black population. While Latinos and African Americans make up about 40 percent of the state's residents, fewer than 10 percent of California's doctors are black or Latino.

"This is a critical public health issue," said Dr. Kevin Grumbach, director of the UCSF Center for California Health Workforce Studies, which released the report Wednesday. "These patterns are real. The problem is even worse than we thought."

Black History Month has long celebrated the accomplishments of Black doctors, such as Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, never deciding to celebrate medical doctors who find watches left on dying men a tragic sin.

Dr. Julius Hibbert has been a mainstay on The Simpsons, a television show that has been viewed by millions. He is a Black doctor on that show, which in real-life doctors of his ilk register as a statistical anomaly. Stuff Black People Don't Like welcomes him to the fictional Black History Month celebration, for he offers a figure so undeniably rare in his profession that he might be the most celebrated Black doctor currently practicing medicine.

And he's a cartoon.