Desperate Times Require Desperate Measures

So I’m writing this while watching Transformers. That script has some questionable lines and moments and a decidedly male perspective, but I always crack up at the scene where Sam’s mother asks him is he’s having his “happy time”?! The nasal resonance in her voice made it all the more a ‘nails on a chalkboard’ experience. I am a grown woman over 25 and even I groaned at that. Eww. Good casting though. Sexual exploration is not something I ever discussed with my parents, though children would greatly benefit from getting information, not being shamed and having guidance.

By now Obama’s acceptance speech has been analyzed and replaced by news of McCain choosing a female VP who’s in bed with the ‘Vast Right Wing Conspiracy Players’ aka known as the sometime friends of the Clintons. Sorry I had to throw that in there because if we’ve seen anything this election it is candidates pulling out all the stops, leaving no stone unturned, doing and saying practically anything to get elected. Yes acquiring power and being in the proximity of power is the new Black.

We had Hill & Bill making new BFFs with the same people who called their own child names and tried to destroy them (Limbaugh, Sciaffe, etc). They also at some point knowingly decided to let their disregard be made known for the most loyal base of the Party: Black people and by extension Black women since we are 6 out of 10 of these voters. Remember the June assassination reference? Had she really supported issues that affect women of color and poorer women instead of trotting out wealthy and privileged white women who let it be known how out of touch they were, not to mention the ridiculous argument of sexism being worse than racism WHILE IGNORING HOW MANY WHITE WOMEN BENEFIT FROM AFFIRMATIVE ACTION over BLACKS, she would very likely have been the nominee.

In my own work history I’ve not experienced a symbiosis with some of the white women I’ve had to work with and for. Instead I’ve had to duck for cover and watch for flying objects…not in all cases but I remember being very surprised and disappointed and unprepared for such open hostility just for being myself. And I am not special by any means. I do have a very distinct sense of what I consider right and wrong and will not hesitate to let that be known (cue the Angry Black Woman music now please)!

I liked both Clinton speeches, particularly Hillary’s but I do not think for one nanosecond should Obama not win this election she won’t run in 2012. I will NEVER forget that they tried to destroy the first viable Black candidate who ran for President of these divided states by using every racist strategy available. Nor will I be able to ignore the fact that she helped fuel conflicts between white women and Black men and women in our political ambitions for her own personal gain. Some of that divisiveness is still in the air ready to take root and be exploited – if we let it. We must never forget that it is the purpose of those controlling the purse strings to keep us reaching for it and tying to knock each other out instead of working together. Bill will never get his ‘Black’ cred back and it was a ridiculous concept to have been allowed into the collective unchecked. Right now he’s a human being again. Maybe. But always the politician.

Obama’s speech got a lot of praise but one thing I noted was that he did not personally invoke the name of Martin Luther King, Jr. Also people do not know how much an influence Ella Baker was and how her work led to this moment just as much – if not more than the male Civil Rights Industrial Complex leaders who marginalized her. If you don’t know who Ella Baker was you need to find out. How sad that he continues to have to navigate such perilous race-related waters because so many people in this country are idiots. I could say it in a more nuanced way for sure but screw that. This country is like that famous ship that hit the iceberg and we’re sinking fast. There’s only so many life boats and a lot of them will NOT be on it – to their surprise. Let’s plug in those holes people for our own good.

Even Obama made some choices people would question from his FISA vote (of course most of the other Dems voted the same way so that should be taken with a grain of salt so to speak), to his silence when Michelle was first attacked by the media and misquoted (that’s why we have Michelle Obama Watch), to his selection of Joe Biden (whom some people still think has prejudices and should have been eliminated). I’m not even gonna get into Rev. White. And for the record he and Michelle are not elitists. They both grew up poor and got scholarships to attend college and only recently got out of debt. Isn’t that what being Middle-Class used to be? Besides didn’t McCain claim assets worth anything less than $5M meant you were poor? So I am really poor!

I mention these things because McCain chose Gov. Sarah Palin to be his running mate. While one blog writer lovingly refers to her as Alaskan Barbie, it hasn’t gone unnoticed that she was picked by the ultra-conservative boys club fringe of the Republican Party. It’s game, set, match! Yes we know she was chosen for her conservative views on abortion, gun-loving ways and perky smile just as much for a rather crass and obvious ploy at the PUMAs and other women who might have passed on McCain. She is no Hillary Clinton, okay! The mistake would be to attack her or dismiss the appeal she would have to certain voters. And can we send some smoke signals or call Nancy Grace to find out what basement Bridget McCain has been locked in? It speaks volumes that the McCains, with their history of mutual infidelity, financial shadiness and familial denial would be ashamed or just try to present a false image of whiteness by not being seen publicly with their adopted daughter who isn’t.

At least Bush has some Black people around him and Latinos in his family, though that of course does nothing to improve the lives of the masses. McCain has already sold his soul to the devil so to speak so those religious perpetrators can hop on board the Straight Talk express and drive it right to the White House. Or so they think. They’re giving it their best shot. So everybody needs to hug it out and fast!!! Just focus on the old white-haired guy and keep moving cuz there’s nothing to see there! Already there’s talk of how she has not been vetted and a potential scandal may blow up. So be it. We need to focus and remember every vote counts. We also need to make sure every vote gets counted!!

And then there’s the Independent and Green Party candidates. I’ve heard a lot of unflattering things said about Cynthia McKinney and since it’s usually by a male it always rubs me the wrong way. I am always suspicious of men who like to dismiss women who are intelligent and don’t fit their idea of what a woman’s place is supposed to be or holds a different opinion that they personally oppose. Even more so because she is a Black woman. Just as an example I never hear men describe George Bush in the same way with the same tone and look at what he’d done to this country. I like a lot of the consumer protections we now enjoy as minimum standards thanks to Ralph Nader and think he would be best utilized in a different position. Many say a vote for either candidate is a vote for McCain, much like those who voted for Ross Perot inadvertently helped Clinton win back in 1992.

So here we have the traveling circus of politicians. It’s Barnum & Bailey, Universoul Circus and Sesame Street Live all in one. Just far more is at stake. We voters are always the bridesmaid but this year we get to be the bride. Everybody wants us!!!!!! Isn’t it nice to be the popular kid for once?

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Big Shout-Outs to everyone who hosted, offered assistance, shared a funny moment, had a kind word, offered a smile or a hug in Denver. It was an experience to remember and one I will be sure to cherish. I hope I wasn’t a pain!

Memories

No this ain’t Cats, but as a musical theatre junkie and show tune connoisseur can I just say “Mr. Mistofelees” is a fun song? By the time I left Denver I felt as if I were Fantine from Les Miz singing “I Dreamed A Dream” and wanting to storm the barricades. Supershuttle should change its name to NoShow. Despite my advance booking and pre-payment it turns out they had vans galore if you were staying in a hotel or walking down the street near one. They’d take anybody. Except the people who’d made reservations. Added to that a pending holiday, offices being closed and senior management gone, the people left couldn’t rub their brains together to form a singular thought or take a simple course of action. So hanging up on customers and transferring to voice mail and lying about being the senior person on staff was the rule of the day.

Bad corporate policy that leaves all the responsibility with no authority for junior staffers sets them up for failure. On the other hand when you don’t schedule a van pick-up until 35 minutes after the reserved time of arrival AND don’t allow that driver to take me to the airport directly then I will have NO sympathy for your idiocy. I’d like to know what the corporate office will have to say after I’ve called local Denver television stations for their consumer watch/call for action segments, the Denver’s Mayor’s office, the Better Business Bureau, the Colorado Attorney General’s office and unleashed my primal yell out into the blogosphere. You see they’re supposed to guarantee pick-up or pay for the costs of hotels/airfare in case of a missed flight.

And of course I could not secure a taxi in time because they have one company that dominates and the other 2-3 have spotty service at best. Should I have been ‘penalized’ for staying at a local residence instead of a hotel? I’d already had the Invesco no-shuttle bus chaos experience. SOMEBODY did not plan for all the transportation needs during this very special week. Denver stock has plummeted tremendously in my eyes as this is the lasting impression I am left with. This is further example of how we as individuals without regulation, money, influence, connections or power will get the shaft by companies and gov’t each and every time. Why does Supershuttle have a virtual monopoly on the door-to-door van service in Denver? Who awarded them that contract? That’s what I intend to find out because once it’s up for renewal…it should be terminated. Oh yeah and I want my MONEY back!

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Speaking of getting the shaft by gov’t….

Friday was the 3rd anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. I fear it must be deja vu all over again for the Gulf Coast residents. Let us send them prayers and good thoughts for their safety. Just don’t rely on FEMA because they continue to give away funds to other agencies and deny claims of legit victims.

Open Letter to the DNC

It is now approximately 1226am. I attempted to leave Invesco 15 minutes before the end of Obama’s speech due to concerns about being able to get out. Why? Well my trip going to Invesco was soooo fun. There were supposed to be free shuttle buses at specified pick-up points due to security for those with the Community Credentials (average folk). So I went to one of those pick-up points and guess what – no shuttle bus. I spoke to some people in the crowd and we flagged down a taxi to drop us off as close to the entrance of Invesco as possible. We were re-rerouted to a location far far away, over a back alley, down a dirt mound, around the huge parking lot to one check point that combined with the other location so two groups of people had to enter one person at a time. Did I mention the people who decided to jump down the side of a hill and try to skip ahead? Or the people who said they were Press so they could push past us? Or an elderly woman walking with a cane and her granddaughter where no one offered to assist her with a go-cart? That said checkpoint that snaked around one side of Invesco to the other then required an entrance that took you back over half the same route just on the other side of the fence they’d erected?

Ok, ok. I was trying to remind myself to be grateful. I wanted to go to Denver to attend the Convention after all. I really wanted to see Obama in person as he gave his nomination acceptance speech and those tickets were oh so coveted! Thanks CH by the way for the hook-up! It’s just that it was the hottest time of day and despite all the water I had before arriving and the bottle I had with me that altitude difference made me feel as if someone’s hand was pressing against my chest and I was getting dizzy. I still had about 1/2 mile to go to get to the checkpoint and I was ready to give up. I had to call for assistance.

So I finally get inside and it took about 2 hours. So I made sure to drink more water and eat even though I wasn’t hungry. I was in a general admission area towards the top tier. Man they don’t call it Mile High stadium for nothing. I knew that once I found a seat I was not budging until the end. Looking down gave me a sensation of experiencing vertigo. But hey I was THERE! FINALLY! And as soon as the sun went down I knew I could relax a bit more. Except for the people acting like 5 year olds with their musical chairs antics I was really trying to focus on the entertainment and speeches.

Jennifer Hudson delivered with her rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner”. Of course Will.I.Am would make an appearance – his song helped fuel a movement. Sheryl Crow was perfunctary and off-key a lot. Stevie Wonder should’ve played longer and you guys should have bounced a few of the bland speeches. I did like the support of military officers though I don’t want the US promoting more colonialization and occupying countries. And by the way…where was President Carter?

So Obama comes on and and I can barely hear him. The side of the stadium half of us are sitting in has poor sound quality. Didn’t anybody check this? The speakers were turned away from us. So I was getting increasingly aggravated because I knew I was gonna have to watch it on the teevee. Which kinda defeated a portion of my time, purpose and expense for coming to Denver in the first place. Oh well. I tried.

So I thought I should leave before 75,000 + people all fight their way out. I missed the last 15 minutes, but there’s parties to attend, people to meet and it’s a celebration, baby! I exit but see no buses except for a section at another gate to my far left. So I hop to it and I specifically ask about getting back to downtown Denver. I am promptly told those buses are for delegates. I ask where the buses are for the non-delegates. Gate 10. Which by the way is on the opposite side of the entire building. Ok. I ask an actual employee who tries to be so helpful and he says their hands were tied by the Secret Service. If it had been a event like a Broncos game he could’ve had me outta there in less than 5 minutes. I ask a police officer who knows nothing. I walk and walk and walk some more but by this time there’s a massive crowd of people. I make it Gate 9 and see Gate 10 is just around the corner…but it’s blocked off and we have to exit one area that fits maybe 5 people at a time. We have to go around an indirect route. But I see Walter Moseley stride past me. Ah I see buses.

Buses for the press. Buses for people at specific hotels that are West, North, South and East of Denver. I ask several workers milling around. Where’s our buses? The area adjacent to gate 10 has about 5,000 people trying to get out at the same time. The police have the main road that takes you back to the light rail – albiet it’s about a mile’s walk away – blocked. There’s an empty parking lot that fits, like 5-6 people because there’s a guy standing there blocking large groups from being able to pass. We are like cows in a field and literally not moving. Some people are pushing their way in the opposite direction from where we’re going telling us it’s a dead end and we won’t be able to get out. I see two Secret Service agents- they’re all dressed as ‘Security’ and ask him for help. He tells me he doesn’t know and he doesn’t live here. Well, gee neither do I and thanks! Yup I yelled at him. I think he was the 10th person I’d spoken to by this time. I decide to take matters into my own hands and call 911. I was hoping a police officer outside of this zoo might be able to offer some assistance.

I mean the city advertised these shuttles and how they were supposed to be available since they blocked access in any other way humanly possible to the regular folk. I was told to be patient and they wouldn’t just leave people without transportation. Ha! People decided to take matters into their hands by pushing out a section of fencing. It was dangerous though because it wasn’t that well-lit, there was a 4 ft cement block anchoring it and it led to an underpass. Again I saw elderly people trying to get out and NO ONE WAS HELPING THEM. Nobody knew anything, nobody had any answers, you are shit outta luck sucker for coming here. Be prepared to walk for miles back to civilization. Do you think I would’ve come if I’d known in advance I’d be walking the length of Invesco nearly 10 times? Sure it’s a great form of exercise…but that doesn’t make it convenient or fun! Sooooo after all of this someone says the buses are in Lot J – which is on the opposite side of Gate 10. Sigh. A few of us flag a police officer in a golf cart we swing around the side of the building and wind up back at Gate 4.

Gate 4. The same place I’d started at 1.5 hours ago. I can’t believe it. I am also concerned because some idiot said I didn’t have the credentials to use the shuttles when I started on this crack-pot adventure. Soooo I see a blogger I’d met at the Big Tent and feel somewhat assured we will not have problems getting on a bus. As it turns out these were the only buses that took you back. That magical gate 10 pick-up did not exist apparently. So there’s a few numbered routes per some other attendees and we need Route 1 or 2. So I get in a line and we wait. And wait. And wait. And wait. There are people in wheelchairs and mobility vehicles. The buses I see are not wheelchair accessible. And we wait and wait. There’s several lines all over the parking lot with no order to them. We see a half-empty bus leave. We see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 buses just drive past us. Where’s the staff? We outnumber them 40 to 1. One person tells us a specific bus will be ours. It drives by us and goes down the lot to another group and a police officer tells us his group of people have been waiting a long time and are getting on ahead of us. Say what? Did I mention the other line of people to our left had tried to run in front of the bus so they could get on it and one guy dares to say we’d been standing in line for only 10 minutes. I had to tell him to shut up…but not so nicely.

Sorry but I was thirsty, cranky and by this time very cold. A kind woman let me get in line ahead of her so I could get on that bus. Did I mention the number of people between 45-60 were standing for more than an hour? And the disabled people? I mean this is a 3-ring circus. Without the cotton candy and fun. When we FINALLY got going and left Invesco we all cheered. So many people were shaking their heads and commenting how inept and redundant the organization is and how the experience was like slamming Obama’s moment onto the cement. I see it as severe incompetance. I was sooo disappointed and I still had to get a taxi after getting off this shuttle. It only dropped people in the vicinity of the main hotels. So my question is this: were you trying to ruin our evening for us? Do think it is reasonable that it took me nearly 4 hours to get back to my destination? Where were the people in CHARGE? I suspect they high-tailed it outta there to go party. Well that’s no way to run yours. It makes your candidate look bad to boot. So I have to wonder……

Denver Musings

I would be remiss in not mentioning the number of protests and the various groups of people expressing their dissatisfaction with the policies of the US gov’t. One of the great premises of this country is the right to express oneself freely. Then there are those that are just a few pennies short of a dollar. I was having a discussion with another blogger/activist about race relations and immigration and some other topics. One thing I appreciated was his acknowledgement that he could not presume to understand my life as a Black woman but we could find commonalities in our desires for a quality life.

In trying to have that quality life what are we willing to do to have it? What are willing to allow if it means other people get the short end of the stick? The consensus may be that the Republicans are evil, but even having a Democratic President will only get us so far. The Party doesn’t seriously address the corporate crimes, deregulation or the bloated military budget that is bankrupting this country.

Didn’t the Dems used to represent the working class? There is no working class left – well they’re what’s left of the middle class right? Working a minimum wage job and having next to non-existent health care doesn’t make you part of the elite by any means. Yet our consumerism is at all time high. Unless you give the appearance of having ‘it’ society deems you a loser. Remember when people made coffee at home? I can barely remember what it was like to not live in a neighborhood with no chain coffee shop.

I was having dinner Tuesday evening and met a couple who were Hillary supporters and local Denver residents. I asked them why they weren’t at the convention center listening in person. I don’t remember how we even got on the topic to be honest. They said something to the effect of wanting a quiet evening away from everything and that they were voting for John McCain anyway. They mentioned how Obama should have defended Hillary and Father Pflegger as the reasons for not supporting him. Oh and the wife didn’t like Michelle Obama! I was thinking how odd that they were using Republican talking points while claiming to be Democrats. I asked them if they were going to hold a candidate 100% responsible for everything an acolyte or surrogate said then Hillary should be held to the same standard.

It was odd for me to be in a defensive position trying to present a nuanced argument for Obama without being argumentative with them. They were a Latino couple who spoke heavily accented-English. I wanted to ask them how long they’d lived here, but didn’t. The husband mentioned that he had a Black sister and how we were all in this together, yet everything they did contradicted that. I mentioned the Gloria Steinhem/Geraldine Ferraro talking points about how sexism trumped racism and asked them how that applied to people in their community or other people who wanted to immigrate to the US given the recent ICE raids and abuses of female immigrants. I also mentioned the lack of support these same women gave Shirley Chisholm when she ran. You could hear crickets from them…but I was also wondering if they had any idea what I was talking about and if there was a language barrier.

There were a group of Black women sitting two table over from us and they gave me a mini cheer at our exchange. I thought perhaps I had been speaking too loudly but they said they had picked up on a few words and had decided to listen in. So I moved over to speak to them. The Latino couple introduced themselves and we sorta wrapped up the talk. I knew they wouldn’t change their minds – but one of the women said I gave them food for thought and you never know how that will effect them. These women would be contemporaries of my mother and they said they were impressed that I would come to Denver solo and be so actively involved. They were from Michigan and had planned for the trip months ago. I couldn’t resist teasing them about their hip-hop Mayor and the infamous speech Mama Kilpatrick gave about “y’alls boy”.

I had also met another couple who’d brought their son with them to Denver to get him involved in the political process and of course to hear Obama’s nomination speech. They very kindly gave me a VIP ticket to a private concert where Boys to men and Stephanie Mills performed. I’ve never seen Ms. Mills live and she did NOT disappoint. It was a flawless show and she looked and sounded amazing. And yes she closed the show with ‘Home’!

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I am off to meet the very generous Obama delegate who got me a ticket to Invesco. I decided to come to Denver on a whim and have had these amazing interactions with many great people. We may not all agree on tactics but I think we want a better life for those that come after us. I hope this year is the start of a real revolution where the average citizen (and unemployed artists) can come into their own, get involved and make the world a little kinder by example.

Paz

The Dems Unite Around Their Candidate

Barack Obama makes a surprise appearance at the Convention after Joe Biden’s speech! Today was a momentous occasion and Thursday’s nomination speech will culminate the end of one effort and the beginning of his future Presidency [yes I am full of hope].

May I first say that Hillary Clinton truly inspired yesterday with a warm and succinct message of encouragement and support. She invoked Harriet Tubman – and didn’t come across as patronizing. Goooooaaaalllll! And today her ending the roll call and casting her vote for Obama was magical. I am so glad we have it on tape!

I have spent the entire day with bloggers and activists and traditional media types at the Big Tent. I thought 2-3 hours tops would be sufficient but I have had a ball here today. I’ve met so many thoughtful, concerned citizens and people like you and me who want to see this country recapture some of its former glory.

I just wish we had Bill on tape casting his vote for Obama as well, lol! He did it in his own way though with his redemption speech. He is so comfortable with crowds of people hanging on his every word. He knows how to make a point and give a great soundbite. It was impressive, though I’d actually give the A+ to Hills this time. Bill needed to preserve his legacy….and move on from any real or perceived animosity. Bill is at his best when he is charming and gracious. I’m glad to see he remembered that.

Joe Biden will be an effective Vice President as long as he remembers his purpose. So many of us may not agree on tactics but we want to end up in the same place.

It’s only a little after 9pm Mountain Time but I feel as if I’ve been awake 24 hours. This altitude adjustment is no joke! I had a raging headache and was fighting lethargy the entire day but now feel as if I could fly to the moon! I need to conserve all my energy for Thursday. And have I mentioned how AWESOME Denver is? It is a beautiful city full of friendly people, good public transportation and lots of people of color doing well. Perhaps San Francisco has lost some of its charm?

Well I’m off to make a party pit-stop because being friendly and social makes life more interesting. I want to attend the last Democratic Women’s caucus of the Convention and then I will be primed for the historic Obama nomination speech that we’ll be certain to talk about for generations to come!

Today I am very proud to be an American!!!!

Know Your Choices

There’s so many events going on this week that picking some and discarding the rest will be necessary. I wanted to look into some of the non-corporate events that encourage us to exercise our participation in government.

To that end I attended one where Cynthia McKinney, Green Party Presidential candidate spoke. Her Vice Presidential candidate Rosa Clemente spoke as well as Colorado Green Party members. Independent Speaker of the House candidate Cindy Sheehan spoke as well.

Whatever issues others may have with these candidates I heard heartfelt thoughts on how vital each and every one of us is to real change in government and ending suffering for people in this country and around the world. Two vital talking points emerged: one is the lack of engagement equal representation by non-whites in ALL the political parties and two is what I refer to as the people behind the curtain: the amount of money invested in the two major political parties by corporations.

I was watching a Democracy Now! segment from this morning featuring former Senator Jean Carnahan and her daughter, Secretary of State Robin Carnahan where the reporter brought that up. Millions of dollars have been poured into this convention by corporations and they’ve been allowed to do so because of loopholes. There are events closed to the media by these corporations such as AT&T that lobbyists attend. Pepsi paid $68 million to get their name on the building where the convention is being held. Both Carnahans concurred but said Obama’s candidacy is changing that. They also encouraged women specifically to be more active in the political process and run for office.

Back to last night’s event here’s a quick recap. I do know it was being recorded and I believe it will be posted online. I highly encourage watching it in its entirety.

Cynthia McKinney:

She takes Black and Brown people unity very seriously. As well as Asian and Indigenous. She discussed how the corporate press disseminates lies and our government will disrupt the lives of people to subvert progress they try to make. She specifically mentioned Bobby Kennedy, Harry Belafonte and Serena Seabring. Senator Frank Church (1924-1984) is one of her heros. She discussed why she’s running for President and how federal election matching funds are within reach. There are 8 states in play that people can support. She wants to reduce the influence of corporations on our political process and wants to build the Green Party – obviously.

Rosa Clemente:

The actions of COINTELPRO are still occurring under a different name but the agenda is still the same. The government is specifically targeting young people. Hip-Hop is immediately blamed for a lot of ills in this society and it’s a fallacy. She stressed the importance of the youth vote and the need to believe in this country. The modern equivalent of disenfranchised people (before 2000) in this country are the Puerto Ricans. They can’t vote in the Presidential election, but have to pay taxes and were the first to die in the wars this country fights. She discussed how the art of war is practiced and perfected here by the police on its citizens of color. Although she supports the troops and getting them out of Iraq, moving away from the militarism mindset is even more important. She got into a very intense example of where our traditions come from and how family influences us by comparing Tupac being the result of Assata Shakur and how she thinks the government was involved in his murder. She said a real movement encompasses everyone from Harvard to Harlem to the food stamp office.

Cindy Sheehan spoke as well. She shares many of the same policy platforms with the Greens. She discussed how she supports the Nader/Gonzalez ticket but had to endorse the McKinney/Clemente ticket. She talked about why she wants to work with people whose backgrounds are different from her own. We have to accept people where they are.

All three women share a desire to turn the country ‘right side up again’.

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I can’t help but think of Shirley Chisholm and the road she paved for women in this country. How other women had the opportunity to support her candidacy but couldn’t see past the color of he skin or said they wanted to focus on a candidate who could “win”. I think about Dolores Huerta’s founding of the United Farm Workers with Cesar Chavez. Women of color who have paved the way. Women who have been dismissed or marginalized or worse – forgotten, but who’s contributions led entire movements that changed the course of this country.

The Closer Did It Again

Michelle Obama gave the keynote address on the 1st night of the Convention. I’m sure there’ll be plenty of analysis all over the blogosphere and with the teevee pundits. I thought it was a very safe speech. But I found it interesting. She clearly loves her family and supports her husband’s political aspirations. Michelle had me until she did the politician chicken dance by mentioning Hillary Clinton, her non-existent 18 million voters (who couldn’t manage to send her a buck and change each to retire her campaign debt) and then Joe Biden.

Compared to the real passion I saw from the other women I was a little disappointed, but I know it’s all about staying on point and getting a unified message out. So mission accomplished. Just in case some need to be reminded: she LOVES this country. Black women are and have always been the backbone of this nation. People need to recognize.

I will say that Michelle comes across very poised, self-possessed, intelligent and confident without being pretentious or arrogant. That will be a source of strength for many and intimidation and fear in others. Her daughters are precious. Malia is already a stunner and will only be more of one as she matures. Sasha was too cute saying hello to her daddy. It may be symbolic to see them and commonplace in real life, but the Obama family looks and feels right.

*Michelle was specifically mentioned by the candidates listed above as being a woman with a message and how terrible it was when the media distorted her voice. She should be allowed to speak freely and from the heart.

Just A Quickie

Phew I made it. My flight was cancelled 5 minutes before departure and then miraculously reinstated. Then we were turned away from 2 gates at landing. I’m just glad I was able to get to Denver in one piece! The altitude change is no joke or exaggeration by the way. It doesn’t help that I only had a bowl of soup and 2 hours of sleep. I feel slightly buzzed. A Rocky Mountain high indeed! I missed a few events as I’m still settling in. My Blackberry has had to be reset by the T-Mobile network 3 times in the past 24 hours. I may need my SIM card ‘zapped’. I have met some cool people just coming in from the airport and gave a mini interview. The flight attendant told me under the circumstances I looked no worse for the wear.

I’ve heard feedback that the Big Tent is da bomb. I’m watching the live feed on C-Span in the comfort of someone’s living room. I ordered some food from a local restaurant that delivered. Coconut shrimp and miso soup. And lots of fresh ginger so I don’t get sick. It was crisp and still hot when I got it. Yummmmmmm.

I’m off to see Cynthia McKinney speak at Mercury Cafe and then Michelle Obama gives her speech. I think I may need to call it a early evening, but you never know. I’m hoping for a big second wind.

I was jamming along to the great cover band doing Earth Wind & Fire, Alicia Keys and Aretha Franklin songs.I wish I was up there singing!

I’ll post with more detail l8tr!!!

I Am Headed to Denver

Hey All,

I am wrapping up final preparations for my trip to the Democratic National Convention. I can’t wait to meet my fellow bloggers, delegates, protesters and average citizens. Also I’ve never been to Denver. Well actually, when I first moved to CA my friend and I drove out from NY and took the Northern route and passed through Colorado. I remember wanting to stop and stay a few days because it was so purty and green. Even in June there was snow on the mountain tops.

Will there be a JLo sighting? Can I shake hands with Barbara Lee? Will I see lots of celebrities? Do I need a raincoat? Will the police have on riot gear and throw tear gas at passersby? Can I rough it in the woods to see Rage Against the Machine? Will bottled water be $8 like it is in Miami during the Winter Music Conference? Will I come back enlightened and invigorated or surly and feeling alienated?

I have to thank a certain person that I met at another political event who originally suggested I go and made an offer for tickets to events, etc. I never heard from her again but instead of being pissed off at flaky people I decided to see it as a sign that I should try to make it happen. No blogger credentials, no place to stay, really no money since I’m interviewing for jobs right now but…..a little focus, a little prayer and my risk-taking nature and here I be.

See participating in message boards and comment sections at other blogs paid off. Shout-outs to JJP, The Field and Fieldhands group and a certain Obama delegate. I think it was meant to be. This is a once-in-a-lifetime scenario I believe. I am very grateful and humbled to be able to participate. Even breathing the air will be different. Thanks to those ridiculous baggage fees I am going to try to pack the smallest bag ever and let me tell you I am a notorious over-packer.

I will try to live-blog as many events as I can, send Twitter updates and post a few recaps but I want to experience the sights, sounds, smells and tastes unfettered. I have a few wishes like meeting Donna Brazile and Susan Rice and perhaps getting an interview? One can hope, right? I look forward to all the unexpected pleasantries.

xoxo

P.S. What do you think of the Roland Martin interview of Michelle Obama?

Here’s a Big Tent Widget

Run and Tell That

From the musical Hairspray.

Lyrics:

Hey
I can’t see
Why people look at me
And only see the color of my face

And then there’s those
That try to help, god knows
But have to always put me in my place

But I won’t ask you to be color blind
‘Cause if you pick the fruit
Then girl, you’re sure to find…

The blacker the berry
The sweeter the juice
I could say it ain’t so
But darlin’, what’s the use?

The darker the chocolate
The richer the taste
And that’s where it’s at…
…now run and tell that!!

ENSEMBLE
Run and tell that!

SEAWEED
Run and tell that!

ENSEMBLE
Run and tell that!

SEAWEED (& ENSEMBLE)
I can’t see
Why people disagree
Each time I tell them what I know is true

And if you come
And see the world i’m from
I bet your heart is gonna feel it too

Yeah. I could lie
But baby. Let’s be bold
Vanilla can be nice
But if the truth be told…

The blacker the berry
The sweeter the juice
I could say it ain’t so
But darlin’, what’s the use

The darker the chocolate
The richer the taste
That’s where it’s at

Now run and tell that!!

ENSEMBLE
Run and tell that!

SEAWEED
Come on girl, This is my sister Li’l Inez!

LI’L INEZ
Oh I know Tracy Turnblad! Good For you girl you got on the show!

TRACY
Well you better be next

Li’L INEZ
You got that right.

SEAWEED
Oh you know she is you better show em’ girl!

LI’L INEZ
I’m tired of coverin’ up all my pride

SEAWEED & ENSEMBLE
So give me five on the black-hand side

LI’L INEZ
I’ve got a new way of movin’
And i got my own voice

SEAWEED & ENSEMBLE
So how can i help
But to shout and rejoice

LI’L INEZ
The people ’round here
Can barely pay their rent
They’re “try’n to make dollar
Out ‘a fifteen cent”
But we got a spirit
Money just cant buy

LI’L INEZ & ENSEMBLE
It’s deep as a river
And soars to the sky!!

SEAWEED & ENSEMBLE
I cant see
The reason it cant be
The kinda world where we all get our chance

The time is now
And we can show them how
To turn the music up and let’s all dance

‘Cause all things are equal
When it comes to love
Well, that ain’t quite true
‘Cause when push comes to shove…

The blacker the berry
The sweeter the juice
I could say it ain’t so

But darlin’, what’s the use
The darker the chocolate
The richer the taste
That’s where it’s at

SEAWEED
…Now run and tell that!!

ENSEMBLE
Run and tell that!

SEAWEED
Run and tell that!!