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When I was growing up, there was sort of an unwritten law to keep your dirty laundry inside your own house.

When I became a DJ, I started breaking some of the rules and talking about things I wouldn’t normally reveal, but even then I did have my boundaries.  But these days it’s hard to tell where the line is.

I blame the National Enquirer, reality shows, TMZ and YouTube for people wanting to read about and watch mess 24-7.  I know you might not believe it, but I try hard to steer clear of public fights, gossip and rumors.  But I also know we’re running a business and in the words of the Mighty, Mighty O’Jays,  “You got to give the people what they want!”

So I try to find a happy medium.  When we book our show, I try to provide a nice mix of Party, Purpose and …mess.  For example, the whole battle between Omarosa and Michael Clarke Duncan’s family has been played out in the media for the last several months.  The story is, after he passed away in September,  his family claimed Omarosa  took control over his estate, even though they were not married.  After having his sister, Judy Duncan, as guest a couple of weeks ago, I nixed the plan to have Omarosa tell her side the following morning. It just felt to me like nothing else could be added, that having Omarosa defending herself and inevitably saying something negative about his family would just keeping mess going.

When I come up with topics for the blog I have the same concerns. I mean, I want to write things that are informative and hopefully motivating, but it seems like the more controversial they are, the bigger response I get. So help me out.

Send me some topics you’d like me to blog about and I’ll decide whether my people want Mess or Inspiration—or a little or both.

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17 thoughts on “Mess-piration? Keep Reading

  1. Cat Daddy on said:

    Why nothing about the current sad state of Morris Brown College, an institution built by uneducated slaves but destroyed by highly educated administrative fools?

  2. 55th st silverbacks on said:

    tom i am sending you this from a place that i believe is close to your heart, chicagos inner city. i grew up listening to you. there are no seperate issues in our community. the plight of our kids is in directly connected to the public school system. WE have been conditioned not taught and that has an adverse affect on our youth. if there is a subject to discuss or a topic that leads to ALL OF OUR MESS WE CAN START WITH A CANDID LOOK AT WHAT IS HAPPENING IN CHICAGO. gentrifaction of our neiborhoods should be a great thing but it seem more like eradication to make way for those who are not current residents and eliminating schools is part of this process. it has nothing to do with the children.

  3. Tom I appreciate the inspiration and not the mess! An by inspiration it does not automatically mean spiritual as some people have the impression (although we need much more spiritual inspiration to combat the complete MESS this world has become), but the positiveness of the good people are doing is more important than the ignorance that you can see on every channel of the television and on every webpage.

  4. 06050412 on said:

    I learned in my journalism studies, “knowledge is power”. Tom you’re a journalist AND you have a gift of inspiration/encouragement. I have seen how you’ve grown over the years. God just keeps using you in a mighty way. You’ve empowered masses of people. We can’t take that lightly. I truly appreciate you for what you are doing. I think that in order for you to speak to the masses, as you have in the past, keep watching what’s going on. Let us know about it. Engage us in conversation. Trust in God and he’ll give you what he wants shared with the rest of us. Just keep us informed…Tom and thanks.

  5. This will be controversial, but with a purpose. You can write about the growing Non believer (Atheist/freethinker/etc) community within the African American community, and have a conversation about why blacks who don’t believe are afraid to come out of the closet.

    You can also talk about why the black community collectively spend millions and millions of dollars each year ON the black church while many of their communities(urban communities) are blighted. In just about every impoverished African American community there are more churches within a mile than there are places that employ or are own by blacks and this is probably the same in most major cities. You can talk about how is it blacks can fund millions of dollars to pay for church buildings and absolutely zero dollars on businesses/schools/etc.

    Compare how much money is donated to fund churches and how much is donated to fund HBCU’S or college scholarships in general in any given community.

    You can discuss how the most religious community is the community that suffers with more race on race violence than any other in America(see Chicago).

    These conversations may rile up the people, but that is what its suppose to do, provoke and challenge.

    • 55th st silverbacks on said:

      ms finney you are on the correct path. i explain i am a man of god not religion. and what that means is i am able to connect with the youth i speak with. i am from the chicago inner city and those who pass judgement without understanding the history that has breed the madness that is life as we now know it. YOU ARE AN INSPIRATION , and our conversations should stir up this kinda mess.

    • Stacey Mack on said:

      Although I am a church goer I agree with Ms. Finney that we need to talk about and be about the business of funding growth in our communities.

  6. Debbie on said:

    We need to talk about our Mental Health, raising our children, absent parents, our education, our living conditions, and how we perceive ourselves. We need to start at the basics with our people.

  7. Shar on said:

    Keep the conversation focused on education. Your HBCU focus is great and can be expanded. Also, your policitcal education is on point. I would keep the focus on education and inspiration. Not sure if you are simply asking for blog topics, but I would do a weekly or monthly focus on one specific issue related to education and follow up.

    For instance, Arne Duncan was on your show and spoke about the Paren Plus loans. I personally know of someone who was denied, appealed and was granted a loan. Some follow up success stories, unsuccessful situations, etc.

    In the political arena, folks still don’t realize how powerful their vote is. Present some fast facts, or nuggets about the power of the vote and how it directly impacts each person.

  8. Ernest on said:

    People listening to and following mess goes to the heart of humanity, which is why we have religion and spirituality. We humans no matter hard bad it is, have to see the train wreck. There are and will be those that will not look, but most will. The tabloids and TMZ and the like didn’t come up and create the need to gossip, the thirst has always been there, but technology has made it easier to get more people into it. Really, it would have gotten as big as it is now without the internet and social media, but we have hit these heights faster than we realize. When Lincoln was assassinated, the telegraphic made it possible for so many to find out in record time. It was pretty much a horse race of how fast the word can get out to the masses, and it kicked in full speed with the telegraph came into play. A scant couple of centuries later, here we are.

  9. Adrienne Darling on said:

    I’ve listened to you faithfully for 20 plus years and know you are not a mess giver. Stay true to self and your show will remain in the hearts of millions of fans everywhere. I just want Jay to murder the hits more. Peace and just keep you real.

  10. Mjean on said:

    I would like you to address the need for our people to attend to their mental health. We can accept that we need to go to the medical doctor and to the dentist, to the barber/hairdresser and the manicurist but just mention mental health therapy and you’ll see the eyes glaze over. Try it sometimes! Tom they will listen to you.

  11. Candie on said:

    Focus on those doing great things for their people and communities around them…..I don’t want to hear the drama with “stars” ….what have they done for their communities??? I for one am not looking at reality TV drama……I even hate calling it that. All it is “porn” for those of us that have unsatisfied lives. Why would any healthy person want to sit and watch the worst of our society??

  12. Adrienne Darling on said:

    Tom, I Completely enjoy your show and always loved how you kept away from the mess until reality shows filtrated the airwaves. You are inspirational. Meaning HBCUs, Real Fathers Real Men, Thursday Moms etc. We have Jay Anthony Brown for the comedic aspect of whatever with Sybil helping him behave and that leads me into the mess of Huggie Lowdown. That shuggady is not funny 98% of the time. Tom I’ve listened to you for

  13. Vivian on said:

    Inspiration can come from anyone or anything within a soul when connected to Infinite Source and you are inspiring in all you do. I applaud you thunderously by deciding not to further the “mess”. Keep on keeping on inspiring us all. Thanks Tom for all you do.

  14. Ivan Cohen on said:

    For inspiration wouldn’t your readers be better off going to the Bible or an inspirational message from their pastor? Don’t take this the wrong way, Tom but through the years you’ve billed yourself as the “fly jock” not the “fly minister”. Isn’t it a bit late in your career on the radio to getting “butterflies in the stomach” regarding whether you are providing inspiration or mess-piration? Maybe the “mess” aspect should be left to someone else just focus on the Party and Purpose.

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