Yo Gotti: "The streets are like a brand now"
Clinton Portis Slams Reality TV, Talks Redskins Legacy & NFL Lawsuit
A pro athlete meets an attractive woman on South Beach while vacationing and soon enough a tumultuous romance ensues.
During the fall-out of salacious and juicy press the woman capitalizes on the newfound fame by appearing on one of the those "I Dated a Baller" shows.
Or at least that is the reality currently defined by shows like "BasketBall Wives" and "Love & Hip Hop", both sautéed in a potpourri of gossip and brawls, leaving us viewers hungry for what in all respects should be just mere entertainment.
But what happens when a culture of young women find this route to fortune, traversed by exploitation and degradation more appealing than that of medical or law school?
Vibe magazine even put Evelyn Lozada and her raucous raising bunch on the magazines cover.
"There's more to life than reality TV," argues former Redskins running back Clinton Portis.
It's sending the wrong message to young women who may believe sleeping with a pro athlete puts you in the fast track to stardom, he says.
Portis, one of the most engaging guests to appear on my NiteCap series was emphatic in decrying the current state of TV viewing.
The reality television brain drain hasn't been limited to ex-baller wives, even ministers have gotten in on the ratings with hugely popular "Preacher of LA".
"I won't even watch that. I refuse to watch that show," says Portis.
So just what does he think should be the primetime TV lineup?
"Put back inspirational shows on TV. I remember watching "The Flinstones". "The Jetsons". "Pinky and the Brain", says Portis. "Give back "The Andy Griffith Show". Give back inspiration to people and figure out a way to get the family back in front of the TV."
Redskins Santana Moss Talks RGIII & Rise of Black Quarterbacks
Sean Paul Talks Caribbean Reparations, Dancehall Evolution & 2 Chainz
For most, the islands nestled amid the waters separating North from South America offer respite from the concrete jungle.
These enchanted lands with their pristine beaches, echoing sultry rhythms fed by exotic dishes and served by accommodating locals form the backdrop for any tale in paradise.
But paradise for whom?
It's a question myself, one of the admittedly less accommodating locals, has often brewed over.
With many of the island nations facing record poverty rates and crime equally as high, a contingent of Caribbean leaders are demanding reparations for these casualties of past oppression.
Many moons ago before my time
France, Britain and Spain just to name a few, made sport of colonizing these islands for material gain.
That wide-eyed explorer Christopher Columbus, as if the indigenous Taino tribe he met living on my place of birth was of no consequence, decided to name the Virgin Islands after Saint Ursula and her 11,000 virgin maidens.
What he and his band left behind was far from virgin.
Reggae, arguably the world's most popularized revolution sound, was inspired by defiance to cultural and political oppression.
Listen to the non-tourist guide Bob Marley , like "Crazy Ballhead" and "I Shot the Sheriff" and rock to the rhythm of rebellion.
Sean Paul, one of the genre's most prolific stars spoke candidly to me about the Caribbean's resilience to colonial rule.
"No matter what they throw at us I'm gonna survive...no matter how much they push me in a box, push me in a corner, I'm gonna break out," says Sean Paul. "If you pressure people and put them under scrutiny and push them in a corner, they're either gonna stay in that corner or break out."
On the issue of reparations the international reggae superstar is direct.
"I do agree that a lot has been taken from us. I do agree that when certain countries used to rule is and now has left our society, in the Caribbean we've been on a struggle for a long time...maybe we should get something back," says Paul.
Take a detour from your tourist guide and venture to St. Thomas' Savan district, Trinidad's Laventille ward and then Trenchtown, Jamaica.
You won't find paradise there.
So in response to the question posed earlier, shouldn't those born in paradise be given first rights to it?
I'm sure Columbus who named my birthplace in honor of one of the Roman Catholic faith's most heralded saints would agree.
After all, it's the Christian thing to do.