Rebuttal to Gay Activism Article

I was reading the article “True Intention of Gay Activists” by Gwen Richardson after getting an email alert of new postings at the Black News website. There are so many things wrong with it I don’t know where to begin. First of all the entire tone of the article seems to stem from a visceral negative emotional response that it takes away from any credible argument she may posit. In other words with statements such as below, she’s so obviously judgmental I can’t take her seriously.

Homosexuals have suffered no intergenerational discrimination, have never been denied the right to vote or own property, and can disguise their sexual preference for a lifetime, if necessary.

It seems in her world there is no distinction amongst LGBT, just gay and these “people” can pretend to be straight for their (read that as other’s) convenience. Well I don’t know what myopic world she occupies but that is simply not true.  Even if it was, don’t you think we already have enough problems with men trying to live a lie to the detriment of not only themselves but the women they may be involved with? I say men, because Richardson offers no balance that women or non-whites may also be homosexual. I’d dare say she is lashing out at white men but she never clearly states that so there’s little point of agreement for her theories. Furthermore she says this:

Yet, the claims of gay lobbyists that their rights are somehow linked to the freedom struggle of African Americans have slowly taken root in many sectors. But, after years of close observation, I have now uncovered the true intentions of gay activists: To silence, demote or excommunicate any individual who dares to disagree with the unbridled promotion of homosexuality and gay marriage.

Now I have personally stated my support for legalizing gay marriage for it offers many financial benefits and sets up a family structure. That may not be the one many of us are used to, but that doesn’t necessarily make it any less valid. I also saw first-hand the outrage of certain white LGBTs who showed just how stuck on their privilege they are when they attacked Blacks specifically when Prop 8 failed. I even predicted it was going to fail because the campaign didn’t reach out to people of color effectively. When the face of the gay movement is a white male then it does come across as just another means of pimping the oppression banner for individual power. 
If Richardson had been more subtle in her argument she could’ve had me. Instead she is adopting language and a tone that smacks a little close to those of white supremacists – and certain Republicans – against Blacks, “illegal aliens” and women’s reproductive rights. The article further spirals downward into many falsehoods and disjointed connections between childhood molestation and the “advertising and acceptance of homosexuality” that will make more people gay. It makes her just another rhetoric-filled loudmouth with an anger problem. We all know how hard it is to dispel that “Angry Black Woman” meme!
Instead she should be looking at other causes and influences but she blames it all on teh gay. So her article is just one big vent-fest. She comes across as incredibly arrogant and intolerant. I’m certain she’d use the Bible as her excuse for being homophobic. There’s a difference between following a religious tradition and using your beliefs to attack others whose lifestyle choices differ from your own. Especially when we know how many “church-going folk” are some of the biggest hypocrites out there. She’s probably one of those Black women who’s completely Black-male identified as well. The dysfunctional kind that is and would question a woman what she “did” if she was hit…or sexually assaulted. There are so many of us who are angry and confused and we don’t know how to deconstruct the bigger issues so we focus on what looks to be the source of that problem. 
My suggestion to Ms. Richardson is that she focus a little less on what white gay men are doing and look at the state of the lower-class Black community. Addressing the pathologies of many who make choices against their self-interests would be of greater benefit to the masses than complaining about some who are setting an agenda for their advancement. In fact, despite the selfish nature as it may come across to many it is something we should be taking notes on and adopting for our own “groups”. Lest we be left behind.
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John Stewart Skewers Specter, Steele & Sanchez

I had to post this video from the Daily Show because it was so funny. As you may have heard Arlen Specter decided to switch political affiliation because staying in power in so much more attractive than being voted out! Watch Stewart’s response to Michael Steele for the biggest laugh of this skit.

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When It’s Hump Day And You Don’t Feel Like Writing Anything

Well that just about sums it up. I have numerous bits and pieces of posts coming down the pipeline but I don’t feel they’re quite publish-ready. Funny enough I have an idea for a book with a female lead about her loves and life. It’s not a mere romance story or the dreaded chic-lit fiction. It’s about someone with a journey to undertake and all the stops along the way. I’m not sure if I can fit everything I want to say with this character in one book or if it’s in fact a series. I’ve written nearly 400 pages now so this is the farthest I’ve gone to date. 
I’ve always enjoyed writing short stories, poetry but have stacks of unfinished manuscripts. I also write songs. I even took a screenwriting class which I received a low grade because you’re not supposed to put in camera directions in a script as a writer. So I guess that makes me a potential writer-director then, huh?! About three months after starting this blog I had set a personal goal for myself to write something every day. Which I did today with an early morning post so I’m set, right? Well I like providing quality content. I also want to be disciplined and get all the ideas sharing residence in my head onto the page. 
Since this isn’t a gossip blog providing content takes a little time. Last year I was very focused on the election (and I guess we all were). So political commentary ruled. This isn’t a political blog per se. It’s a little bit of everything, but mostly about social justice. Well…I’m not 100% certain of that either. I think this blog is a reflection of what moves me and what I’m learning about as I become familiar with the works of others far more involved in activism than I. People who get it and are here to ring the alarm so to speak. 
I’m also here to challenge certain long-standing traditions within the Black “community” that many of us fondly remember but doesn’t exist anymore. There’s nothing like shaking up the comfort zones to get a reaction out of people. On the other hand I’m not getting paid to do this so why would I put that level of effort into it? Well I’m here to check myself and any long-held but useless patterns of thinking and behavior so the quality of my life improves. If anyone else learns something they can use all the better. 
I wonder how I’ll keep up this pace when I have future commitments kick in. Obtaining a full life where my efforts are reciprocated is my goal and I look forward to the challenge. Blogging has been a great learning experience. Our thoughts rule our lives. If we can’t have a vision for something and release ourselves to follow through on it we will not improve. So this is the time to plant some seeds, pull out the weeds and grow! What are your plans?

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Adam Lambert & Danny Gokey May End Up The Final Two on American Idol

I am officially an Adam Lambert stan and will plunk down $$$ to see him perform live. Sure this week’s performance of Feeling Good was a little showy but between the white suit and the “I’m A Star” descent down the stairs it was perfect. 
As the judges said this is a competition. I’ve been dismissive of Danny Gokey as I usually find him okay, not spectacular. Now I just did some research and found out the man lost his wife a few weeks before his Idol audition. Awww. I’m still mad Anoop is gone because this week’s Rat Pack theme would’ve been a perfect showcase for his voice. Allison was good but tonight Danny’s amazing rendition of Come Rain Or Come Shine showed he wants to win – so I have to give him kudos for a great performance. 
I can’t wait to find out who’s going home tonight. Fox has declined the request to air the President’s address – not sure that was a smart move on their part but we know what the agenda of Rupert Murdoch has been.
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Danny, Matt Or Kris: Who Goes Home This Week on American Idol?

And then there were five. Though I’m still mad that Anoop was sent packing last week I’ll have to live with it. I tried to call and could NOT GET THROUGH! Now that I’m totally sucked into this Season of American Idol I can’t wait for it to be over, lol. I hate you Adam Lambert…no not really. All I’m saying is he’s like a shiny object that your eyes keep following. I’m so over the competition portion of the evening and just want to get to the CROWN, okay? We will have our King…er Queen…er King soon.
Anyhoo, onto this week. Matt was saved by the judges which I was happy about until it meant Anoop got the axe. So now I’m mad at Matt for still being around. As I discussed in my post from last week, he would be leaning toward appropriation but his heritage cancels that out. Sorta. Kris is a Jason Mraz do-over without the pizzazz. Danny is the Taylor Hicks of the competition. Sure Taylor won but his album FLOPPED and where is he NOW? They are sooo boring to me even though they can sing. Plus if you recall Simon didn’t really like Hicks. You could tell because Simon does NOT have a poker face. 
That leaves Allison who is a great singer and not at all polished as a performer – yet. When she is, it will be a sight to behold. So again that leaves Adam as the lead competitor, the most prepared for a career TODAY and the only one who really knows himself. He can sing anything and works well with others. Like I also said: he’d better win this sucker or else…..
Supposedly it’s up to America to vote for the winner. We’ll see.

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Compensation Inequity + UnMarried Status + Kids = Poverty

Blog for Fair Pay 2009
For all the women whose lives are the exception to this, count yourselves fortunate! This is for the woman who finds herself in a bind because her alimony or child support hasn’t come through or is non-existent, who may not have a six-figure income and who may be relying on some sort of assistance from a county agency or not have a job. Today is blogging for Equal Pay and this has been an ongoing fight for women to be properly compensated. Women of Color are paid 1/3 less for doing similar work as a white male.
Here are some points of intersectionality:
  • sick leave
  • paid time off
  • commute time (whether you have a vehicle or are relying on public transportation)
  • women being paid less for similar work or steered into certain professions
  • child-care costing so much
  • health coverage
  • unemployment compensation 
  • racism
  • sexism
  • disability
  • gender status or expression
All of the provisions being set aside for the un(der)emplyed are very important right now. Quite a few states that have male Republican Governors are refusing stimulus funds and leaving the most vulnerable residents twisting in the wind. There’s a nice warm spot in Hell awaiting for ya for it too! The United Nations Development Fund for Women seeks to address gender inequalities and give women tools of empowerment they can use.
We cannot ignore the vast increase of out of wedlock births. More mouths to feed means less resources. Some women choose motherhood without seeking a permanent partner. Aside from the need for children to have positive influence of both genders, there are many different types of families. Black women are going to be adversely affected by their choices more than other groups of women. It’s a racist world and far too many of our self-appointed leaders have squandered all political gains made post-Civil Rights for their own interests.
The opportunities afforded by being in a particular class status would do much to alleviate day to day concerns. If we all had more money than we needed and adequate resources our lives would be much easier obviously. Not to say people can’t survive obstacles but that certainly doesn’t make it a life ripe for coasting with ease either. Why struggle when you don’t have to? 
Patriarchy is a tricky thing. Some of us choose not to marry and procreate. Whether it’s an empowered choice from fully exercising all options or an excuse we give to make ourselves feel better is open for debate. To pretend that marriage isn’t desirable though is being facetious. LGBTs wouldn’t be fighting so hard for it if it had little value. It’s something straights take for granted totally. Why people have so much disdain for marriage today is not an example of progress I’d celebrate. Bad marriages are not the goal here. 
We can now talk about things much more openly and evaluate people better. Unless you’re a person of means or famous or lucky you are not the exception and dreaming about eating caviar on melba toast everyday won’t change that. With the economy doing so poorly, this conversation can be one of semantics, pipe dreams and shoulda/woulda/coulda or it can be one that accurately reflects the lives of those who are underserved, overworked and in situations that we would not want if we could wave a magic wand to change them.
The differences along race, social class and ethnicity can be further broken down by residency status. When I lived in the UK I had a work permit but I didn’t get the hourly rate my skill set would have afforded me because I had a time limit on how long I was allowed to stay in the country. Still my compensation wasn’t that bad and I found a position in three days. After I was hired my employer had decided to pay me an additional 1 pound per hour. I didn’t ask why either. Considering I took a position mid-November and received full pay when the office was closed for two weeks between Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year’s I was more than satisfied.
I had scheduled it so that I wouldn’t go over a certain dollar amount before the end of the tax year. Now I was able to extend my permit to Ireland for an additional four months. As easy as my UK experience had been, Ireland was problematic. Getting temporary employment, the rate of pay and housing were all far more challenging than they’d been in the UK. They still owe me more than 300 Euros because they overtaxed me and the government takes the money out immediately and you have to apply to get it back. It’s a beautiful country but when employers refuse to hire you even with a legal permit they need to reevaluate their work schemes.
I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to come here to live. With the exception of a few I’m sure it’s anything but a breeze. The US offers a green card lottery though where your name could be conceivably picked out of a hat. The devastation of other world economies drives many to seek shelter here illegally though which will lead to a consistent sharecropper population. Since the US government doesn’t enforce its laws regarding illegal immigration and the corruption that surrounds it there is a criminal network hard to dismantle now. On top of that the corporations that employ such a workforce is also in violation of other laws and safety practices. It’s no coincidence the outbreaks of food poisoning and poor food processing has occurred and will continue. On the other hand if US citizens could apply for open lotteries to live and work in the UK – or Canada – I’m sure many of us would consider relocating if we had the opportunity.

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Deploying A Little Negro Spirit: Gotta Have Soul

Ok, I wasn’t trying to make this post a full-on charge of cultural appropriation. Though the question begs to be asked: When non-Black artists use Black gospel choirs in popular music does it convey levity to their songs? Or as Dave Chapelle would say, “When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong.” Is it blatant swiping of “Black cred” or something else? I also think we should consider the borrowing of “spirituality” by employing a choir.

I want to specify that’s it’s African-Americans who are descendants of slaves that created this music. That’s why listening to other Black artists of different ethnicities and cultures and who hail from other countries aren’t quite able to capture that sound unless they’re trying to imitate it. Why isn’t it considered “cool” and “different” i.e. as VALID when Blacks of different ethnicities collaborate on projects? We’re not all coming from the same place or perspective even if our skin shade is similar.

Continue reading “Deploying A Little Negro Spirit: Gotta Have Soul”

Prince Speaks On Being Bullied & Getting Support

This is a preview of the must-see interview with Prince that airs Monday & Tuesday on the Tavis Smiley Show. Yeah we have issues with Mr. Smiley and his penchant for lashing out at Black female journalists who critique his State of the Black Union, but it is what it is. Prince as always rocks the high-heels!! When he shares this story I can’t help but think about the rash of young kids who are suicidal because of the abuse they suffer for a myriad of reasons. I wish they had an outlet to escape to for relief. Check your local listing for air times. 

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President Ahmadinejad Throws Down the Gauntlet

Well the media and political maneuvers continue! Iran’s President has indicated his nation wants a better relationship with the United States….and Israel. If the Palestinians are treated with justice and can make their own decisions. This has suddenly gotten very interesting. We’ll see how sincere this gesture is and whether “conditions” will be met. All their hands are dirty. He’s focusing on race but he needs to throw in gender prejudices as well. Note to George: the American people are clueless. Just like you and your fellow corporate hack/wanna-be journalists who don’t do your homework and play gotcha games. Come back when you’re all ready to come clean about EVERYTHING the US gov’t has done covertly the past 30 years. Let’s not forget what the Brits did before that. As I stated in my post about North Korea, Iran has the right to bear arms just like every other “ally” of the US. So I’m not holding my breath anything will actually change but this makes great copy.

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