You’re So Lame Award of Shame – White Men Howling At the Moon

I swear if I had a dollar for every white man supporting a supremacist agenda that has cried foul, racism, had a pity party and engaged in other mealy-mouth BS over the SCOTUS nominee I’d have quite a few extra in my pocket this week! So let’s clarify that President Obama’s choice of Judge Sonia Sotomayor is a big deal and SUPER SCARY to some people apparently. Somehow having a brain and a vagina is going to do some people in. Yeah I said it! Vagina, vagina, vagina. The fact is they’d prefer a woman who was afraid of hers or wanted to repress its capabilities, but that’s a whole other slippery slope. A divorced woman with no children – oh my! What does that mean????
From Rush “Never Met A Racist/Sexist Cause He Doesn’t Support” to G. Gordon Liddy quite a few of the Usual Suspects have been up to no good as per their marching orders from the great White Power Oz. Isn’t it time we pull the curtain back and throw some water on this sucker? Liddy….shouldn’t this man have been executed for treason after he called for the murder of American citizens because he didn’t agree with their politics? Somehow graduating at the top of your class from an Ivy League makes you an Affirmative Action “lesser than”. I suppose being a legacy admission with a C average means you’re freaking brilliant and have done all the work COMPLETELY ON YOUR OWN MERITS, huh? Not! 
Anyway, I would have preferred Obama nominate another equally if not more qualified African-American female lawyer like Kimberle Crenshaw. In case you are not familiar with her work she coined the term “intersectionality”. Read this excerpt from her Wiki page:
Crenshaw has published works on civil rights, black feminist legal theory, and race, racism, and the law. She often commentates on various aspects of law and racial politics and her scholarly interests center around race and the law. She is the founding coordinator of the intellectual movement called the Critical Race Theory Workshop. She is currently a Professor of law at UCLA and Columbia Law School and teaches Civil Rights and other courses in critical race studies and constitutional law. In 1991 and 1994, she was elected Professor of the Year. At the University of Wisconsin Law School, where she received her LL.M., Professor Crenshaw was a William H. Hastie Fellow. Later on, she clerked for Justice Shirley Abrahamson of the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Crenshaw has published numerous works including Critical Race Theory, Words that Wound: Critical Race Theory, and Assaultive Speech and the First Amendment. She was also the coeditor of Critical Race Theory: Key Documents That Shaped the Movement and her works have appeared in the Harvard Law Review, the National Black Law Journal, the Stanford Law Review, and the Southern California Law Review. She has lectured nationally and internationally on race matters, addressing audiences throughout Europe, Africa, and South America as well as facilitating workshops for civil rights activists in Brazil and constitutional court judges in South Africa.

Her work on race and gender was influential in the drafting of the equality clause in the South African Constitution. In 2001, she wrote the background paper on Race and Gender Discrimination for the United Nations World Conference on Racism and helped to facilitate the addition of gender in the WCAR Conference Declaration. Crenshaw has also served as a member of the National Science Foundation’s Committee to Research Violence Against Women and has assisted the legal team representing Anita Hill. She is also a founding member of the Women’s Media Initiative and is a regular commentator on NPR’s The Tavis Smiley Show.

Crenshaw is also co-founder, with Prof. Luke Harris, of the African American Policy Forum (AAPF). AAPF was founded in 1996. According to AAPF’s mission statement: The Policy Forum is dedicated to advancing and expanding racial justice, gender equality, and the indivisibility of all human rights, both in the U.S. and internationally.
So Sotomayor has made some rulings that don’t sit well with certain “progressives”. She may not be the prefect candidate but she’s a heck of a lot better than John Roberts “I Don’t Think AIDS Is An Epidemic”…and Alito! That was Robert’s stance in the 80’s when he was advising Ronald Reagan at the beginning of the outbreak. It prompted the President to distance himself and ignore the future millions of people who’d die because the Republicans couched everything in “you’re a dirty sinner” language instead of seeing it as a public health (and national security) threat. In case you’re thinking Roberts has mellowed some guess again. He’s the Chief Justice on top of it. 

I’m hoping President Obama gets to appoint at least two more Justices who will use common sense and leave their narrow religious/sexist/racist views out of the court. Yeah I know I’m asking for A LOT. But all of the things some of these men are accusing Judge Sotomayor of are the very same things they do on a regular basis. They know it – and so do we! So lay off. 
And for crying out loud – pronounce her name correctly!!

Bookmark and Share
TwitThis

Ruminations On Love and Life

Jolly Saturday to Everyone (these photos are from an Oakland neighborhood that grows scary life-size giant plants):

  

 
 
This is a live post, meaning I haven’t pre-written it and scheduled it to appear later. My brain is fried today so I’m just posting photos and various things from the past week or so. (Actually since I started this post a few hours ago and it took a year to download/compress and get Blogger to accept 10 minutes of a sound recording I’m totally awake now). I’ve been exploring different neighborhoods, being more social and making stealth (concert) recordings. Some of you online friends have been chronicling this lovely journey since I started this blog last July. Others have recently joined the conversations. Thanks to all of you for taking the time out of your busy day to spend a few minutes with me and my thoughts via Blogger and on Twitter. What a wonderful community of kick-butt individuals you are! Maybe some of you observers will feel less like a turtle and come out of your shell? I hope it’s been an interesting and thought-provoking mind meld. I hope that I’ve challenged, motivated and inspired you as I’ve tried to do for myself. I’ve loved the feedback I’ve received and welcome more.
I had a personal goal of a new post every day that I’ve actually kept since November! Now I want to apply that level of concentration and discipline to other areas of my life. I’m still not ready to cut back my posting schedule but I prefer quality to quantity so this may be changing soon. I’m the “Little Blogger That Could” you know and still have some things to learn. Thank you for taking this journey with me. When I write about inequalities it’s so that we recognize how similar we all are in our own way and how we can contribute to replenishing society – or taking from it. I focus on social justice, empowerment, changing our mindsets and being honest because if we don’t how will we continue to grow as human beings? 
I also enjoy popular culture, music, art, etc. Anything that uplifts our spirits – even some things considered risque. It has become rather obvious how we need to take back control of how images are being disseminated, particularly those of Black women. Clearly being one means I have a vested interested in how we are shown (though that isn’t the case with every BW sadly). We laugh, cry, smile, bleed and live just like everyone else but somehow we are being presented as inauthentically as possible. We are NOT the gum on the shoe of the world. Even if you don’t personally have anything to do with that, you can certainly help thwart those that are. Of course I also want others to live in peace as well, but we all have our individual paths to take and purposes to fulfill. I believe this is one of mine.
We should also be able to live our lives freely without fear of recrimination. No one should go hungry. Greed must not be allowed to rule the day. Even as we take more responsibility and learn to make better choices we still need each other on some level. Everyone has to pull their own weight, but that doesn’t mean it’s ok to kick the person on the ladder below you when climbing it. Fairness doesn’t always balance out but I don’t see why goodness can’t prevail when it really counts. As frustrated as I get with things I can’t control it’s because I’d like to see the bar raised with more opportunities for people. Or at least a minimal skill set that we know how to navigate for us and future generations. We may not all have the same privileges but that should not be a virtual death sentence for a quality life. Accountability goes in many directions.
So with that I bid you a fair day/evening and here’s hoping it’s a good one.
   
Amel Larrieux bootleg. I had to cover the lens and just get a sound recording but isn’t it great! She even made her voice sound like a horn to accompany the other instrumentalists. I could only get this one still as she exited the stage and she turned so quickly all you can see is her back. Next time! There was a little reverb added to compliment her vocals but not one touch of Auto-tune was required. The other photos are of Ben Harper and a photo of the inside of the Fillmore before show-time. *Just added a little bootleg Ben (see above) and it’s jumpy because they were already telling people no cameras the second we walked in – and yet there was a “professional” photog there hogging all the space 🙁
 

Ruminations On Love and Life

Jolly Saturday to Everyone (these photos are from an Oakland neighborhood that grows scary life-size giant plants):

  

 
 
This is a live post, meaning I haven’t pre-written it and scheduled it to appear later. My brain is fried today so I’m just posting photos and various things from the past week or so. (Actually since I started this post a few hours ago and it took a year to download/compress and get Blogger to accept 10 minutes of a sound recording I’m totally awake now). I’ve been exploring different neighborhoods, being more social and making stealth (concert) recordings. Some of you online friends have been chronicling this lovely journey since I started this blog last July. Others have recently joined the conversations. Thanks to all of you for taking the time out of your busy day to spend a few minutes with me and my thoughts via Blogger and on Twitter. What a wonderful community of kick-butt individuals you are! Maybe some of you observers will feel less like a turtle and come out of your shell? I hope it’s been an interesting and thought-provoking mind meld. I hope that I’ve challenged, motivated and inspired you as I’ve tried to do for myself. I’ve loved the feedback I’ve received and welcome more.
I had a personal goal of a new post every day that I’ve actually kept since November! Now I want to apply that level of concentration and discipline to other areas of my life. I’m still not ready to cut back my posting schedule but I prefer quality to quantity so this may be changing soon. I’m the “Little Blogger That Could” you know and still have some things to learn. Thank you for taking this journey with me. When I write about inequalities it’s so that we recognize how similar we all are in our own way and how we can contribute to replenishing society – or taking from it. I focus on social justice, empowerment, changing our mindsets and being honest because if we don’t how will we continue to grow as human beings? 
I also enjoy popular culture, music, art, etc. Anything that uplifts our spirits – even some things considered risque. It has become rather obvious how we need to take back control of how images are being disseminated, particularly those of Black women. Clearly being one means I have a vested interested in how we are shown (though that isn’t the case with every BW sadly). We laugh, cry, smile, bleed and live just like everyone else but somehow we are being presented as inauthentically as possible. We are NOT the gum on the shoe of the world. Even if you don’t personally have anything to do with that, you can certainly help thwart those that are. Of course I also want others to live in peace as well, but we all have our individual paths to take and purposes to fulfill. I believe this is one of mine.
We should also be able to live our lives freely without fear of recrimination. No one should go hungry. Greed must not be allowed to rule the day. Even as we take more responsibility and learn to make better choices we still need each other on some level. Everyone has to pull their own weight, but that doesn’t mean it’s ok to kick the person on the ladder below you when climbing it. Fairness doesn’t always balance out but I don’t see why goodness can’t prevail when it really counts. As frustrated as I get with things I can’t control it’s because I’d like to see the bar raised with more opportunities for people. Or at least a minimal skill set that we know how to navigate for us and future generations. We may not all have the same privileges but that should not be a virtual death sentence for a quality life. Accountability goes in many directions.
So with that I bid you a fair day/evening and here’s hoping it’s a good one.
   
Amel Larrieux bootleg. I had to cover the lens and just get a sound recording but isn’t it great! She even made her voice sound like a horn to accompany the other instrumentalists. I could only get this one still as she exited the stage and she turned so quickly all you can see is her back. Next time! There was a little reverb added to compliment her vocals but not one touch of Auto-tune was required. The other photos are of Ben Harper and a photo of the inside of the Fillmore before show-time. *Just added a little bootleg Ben (see above) and it’s jumpy because they were already telling people no cameras the second we walked in – and yet there was a “professional” photog there hogging all the space 🙁
 

Old School Friday – What Do You Do When You Listen to Everything?

So this week’s meme is “Outside My Box“, but I dabble in all genres of music so this isn’t going to work for me. See not all of us limit ourselves. I have my preferences of course but I do try to listen to everything (except degrading songs of course). So now I’ve got to find some obscure pan pipe music from the Andes or something – nah I won’t do that to ya’ll. I’ll just put up something I think some of you might not listen to or be that familiar with: like the two artists I just saw this week (I still have to download footage by the way). I had a slew of messages on Twitter not on the blog if you want to check my archives for those conversations. Which was also why I wasn’t able to schedule my posts for future feed parsing. This is live baby! So consider these selections a precursor to a future concert series of blog posts……


Bookmark and Share
TwitThis

Deploying A Little Negro Spirit: The Responsibility of the (Sometimes) Buying Public

So this was supposed to be the end of my series of cultural abandonment and appropriation but I think it bears continuing even as I expand the way it has been framed thus far.

I’ve had some very good conversations in real life and online from a variety of people (notably a majority of Black women) who are tired of seeing our sisters being dragged through the mud. We want to hold others accountable for spreading the virus but it starts with us. It begins with looking in the mirror at what we support and why we choose it.

Continue reading “Deploying A Little Negro Spirit: The Responsibility of the (Sometimes) Buying Public”

Prop 8 Fight Rages On: What About Trans Women and Men?

Now while the fight for marriage equality for LGBTs doesn’t directly affect me in my daily life it certainly bothers my sensibilities. One of the major arguments about the passage of Prop 8 in California is how it discriminates against a marginalized group. Who has determined the criteria for marginalization? There has also been this somewhat successful meme-stealing by linking Civil Rights for African-Americans to Marriage Rights for gays. As an African-American woman I cannot express my continued outrage over this!! Not to mention the fact it posits those LGBTs being discriminated against must only be white. I have intentionally used “gay”, because it’s a dirty little secret amongst the LGBT “community” that it is in fact as fractured as what we commonly refer to as the “Black community”.
There is a well-documented history and current bias that gays and lesbians engage in by attacking members of the trans community. I honestly had no idea it was as prevalent and entrenched as it is. Why would I – it’s not as if they’re going to ADVERTISE it!! I’ve been reading Voz Latina blog hosted by a transwoman who has been educating me on the history of violence and oppression by gay and lesbian activists against trans men and women. *She asked that I remove her name from this post for security reasons. Even in attempting to dismantle the biases of people within the LGBT community, transwomen are under additional scrutiny and potential for harm. This is why when we speak of all the “isms” we must make sure to get ALL sides of the story and tell the WHOLE truth. Otherwise we’re nothing short of an echo chamber that feeds our ego and point of view. 
So we should be asking who does it benefit stepping over transpeople when you are trying to get your “homo” agenda pushed ahead? Who’s the “real” victim? There have been cases where transwomen have had to sue companies for the right to use the women’s restroom. The latest is a Denny’s restaurant case but there was an rather embarrassing kerfuffle at the Beverly Hills Hilton last year with a music producer who was ejected based on her masculine appearance. Since she showed her driver’s license and identified herself as female that should have been the end of it, but she was humiliated for being “different”. Yes even in LaLaLand! 
Now admittedly I’ve had to do double-takes from time to time with whom I’ve shared a public space with but I’ve also had to get a group of women to commandeer stalls designated for men when there weren’t enough available for us to use – which is practically all the time. I don’t think I’d deserve to be presumed guilty of some uncommitted offense just because I was a cis-gendered woman. 
So I’ve written a few posts about the unsolved assaults and murder of transwomen like Duanna Johnson as well as the ongoing fight for gender parity and racism. It’s all the same thing that manifests itself differently. I suppose we’ll never have utopia but I can’t abide with hearing about how “wrong” it is for two LGBTs who want to be themselves and be together from a pseudo-religious person who’s following “God”. Especially when I know and THEY KNOW they were doing everything under the sun before Sunday service or sit in harsher judgment of people than the Almighty ever would. We have come far but we have a long way to go. So let’s continue the good fight and check ourselves along the way to have a little slice of heaven in THIS life.

Bookmark and Share

Poor, Single, Overworked or Other: Are We Our Own Worst Enemies?

Have you ever been on a “diet” and found yourself eating junk food you’d never bought before? Do you claim to be broke but can’t put down the credit card? Do you decry racism that personally touches you but say nothing about the sexism you personally engage in? Is it normal for you to say people are jerks and wonder why you have so few friends? Are you dissatisfied with your dating pool but you won’t go outside your “acceptable” zone to meet a variety of people? Are you a cis-gendered person who won’t acknowledge your homophobia or an LGBT who won’t accept a transwoman and wonder why someone else is still oppressing you?
There may be institutionalized forms of oppression that have been in place for a long time but what are we doing to dismantle them? Or find a workable solution around them? If we want gender parity but ignore our own privilege how is it any surprise that there will be divided loyalties? If there is never going to be a level playing field why is the term equality being used at all? Isn’t that a lie to keep perpetrating the concept when it will never happen? Who gets to benefit for keeping people in a permanent fly-over formation that never allows them to land?
I was reading this article in the Washington Post titled: Poor? Pay Up that posits being poor costs people so much more in basic expenses that they’ll never be able to break the cycle. I like to label articles such as these, “You’re already screwed so don’t even try” diatribes which actually reinforce negative attitudes and weak choices. This article is being written under the guise of the sympathetic “liberal” slant that only reinforces helplessness amongst people who may already be downtrodden and depressed. It does nothing to get them (us) to change their way of thinking, which would change their actions, which would alleviate some of the problems they’re facing. 

“The rich have direct deposit for their paychecks. The poor have check-cashing and payday loan joints, which cost time and money. Payday advance companies say they are providing an essential service to people who most need them. Their critics say they are preying on people who are the most “economically vulnerable.”

Statements like these only reinforce a false argument. Most states now offer second-chance banking where you can in fact have a free checking out and set up online bill payments. At the very least you can stop going to the rip-off joints. So there’s really no excuse. There’s another segment of this indoctrination manual where a man complains about paying a $15 fee because he lost his drivers license. So instead of paying to replace it he pays the check-cashing fee instead? What does that have to do with being financially-challenged?
The article mentions that stats for those that live below the poverty line yet only focuses on those that live in “urban” read: Black residential areas. You know..the hood. People in rural areas have the same problems but their general makeup is different and why would the corporate media want to attach the face of poverty to someone white?! The only time dysfunction is ever shown as normative it supports their purpose by attaching it to Blackness.
It also feeds into the opposite reaction and charge of people not pulling themselves up by their “bootstraps”. It’s a little hard to do that when the boot is on your neck. Other times people don’t have a boot..or shoelaces even. It’s a nice way to reassure those suffering from “white angst” that they are still large and in charge afterall that guy in the White House is an anomaly compared to the rest of “those” people. 

Bookmark and Share

You’re So Lame Award of Shame – Bill Maher

When musician M.I.A. announced on Twitter that she was appearing on Real Time with Bill Maher I was looking forward to the interview. I had been pleasantly surprised by the quality of the interview with Tavis Smiley which occurred in February shortly before she gave birth to her first child. I felt confident that Maher’s skill would result in an equally engaging segment.
Boy was I wrong! M.I.A. has a lot of patience because I would’ve had to clamp my arm from reaching out and smacking Maher over his misogynist tirade, talking about her baby weight and making light of the very serious ramifications over the Sri Lanka Civil War. You know Bill Maher is a smart guy but he’s blatantly antagonistic in indulging his misogyny. 
She has some important details to discuss and has made it the base of her music which should be lauded. Considering all of the foolishness in rap music where people dance to the beat of destruction, it’s nice to hear an artist who discusses something of such importance and makes it compelling to a mass audience. So I guess she realizes the advantage to enduring a few minutes of his nonsense to get a larger message out, but he deserves to be sent to the corner for trying to diminish that.

Bookmark and Share

Motherhood: 1 – Wife: 0

I call this Palin-itis. Whereby the female gets pregnant, keeps the child but decides there’s no dad required. Per this article in the Orlando Sentinel, a Babytalk Magazine poll shows:
76 percent of the married mothers liked the idea of not fighting with a partner over the best way to raise a child. Other pros to being single were not having the chore of keeping up a healthy marriage (69 percent), and not dealing with in-laws (30 percent).
And single moms agree.
Almost two-thirds of the unmarried moms felt that it would be harder to be a parent if there was a man in the house. Of the single ladies, 55 percent said that they feel relieved to not have to worry about working on a marriage too, and 38 percent said they feel more free to follow their own dreams.
Now I’m not a wife and I’m not a mother, but I think I still have some marbles left in my head! What in the HELL-O is wrong with these women? This isn’t Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston people. Levi is the fall-guy for the ex-VP candidate’s stance on abstinence and he went on the Tyra Show to discuss how a) Momma knew her daughter and boyfriend were sexing each other b) Now that the baby is here they’re limiting how often he can see his own child because they broke up and are otherwise dissatisfied with him and his family. 
It would seem some truly selfish and clueless women actually think it’s better to raise a child alone. Now it’s one thing if the father is unfit but…shouldn’t there have been some requirements considered in the first place? Like being able to provide and protect? Like discussing what type of life and lifestyle you’ll be living? Like giving some consideration to the person you’ll be tied to FOREVER when there’s a kid involved? Somebody explain this to me so I can understand. Since this article doesn’t talk about adoption these are the biological children of these women. Why not take a child that’s been abandoned or can’t be cared for properly? If it’s simply about being a MOTHER why does it have to have one’s DNA? Why would a woman want to intentionally push a man away? 
Something isn’t adding up here. I have to stand by my statement about some women being selfish and willfully ignorant. Before someone accuses me of blaming the female in this scenario alone I say youth can be a time of great foolishness but there comes a point where wisdom must prevail. If we want women to be in control of all reproductive choices then they must also know how to discern those choices wisely.  That doesn’t always guarantee an agreement but nor should it invite constant chaos.
Of course there are numerous situations where a girl or young woman was taken advantage of, or assaulted or otherwise put in harms way. We also make mistakes. This isn’t one of those scenarios. Besides, there are plenty of options available for those who are capable of procreating not to. One of them should be having common sense. Sadly it is often lacking. In both the sperm and egg donor. We see the results of how fatherless children or those born to weak men behave and the negative impact it has on society. So let’s not add to its burdens intentionally.
Bookmark and Share
TwitThis

Donna Edwards On Support & Accountability

See this is why I just love what (D-MD) Donna Edwards has done while in office. She is a true progressive and always make SENSE!!! It’s as if she wants us to take back the world “liberal” and make it clean again. This is why I mention those in the Republican Party who either aid or abet because that leadership single-handedly put a hex on anyone who tries to be reasonable and work with others to come to workable solutions. The Democrats don’t help by either being Republicans in disguise or just rolling over with no backbone. At the end of the day we’re all just people. We want to be loved and to care for our loved ones. The best societies encourage thriving intact families. When there’s an imbalance of suffering, greed and other wrongs it throws everything off kilter. Eventually it will plunge that society into ruin. We are still so on the verge of catastrophic failure that I don’t people really get it. So I’m glad Rep. Edwards has reminded us that we have to monitor ourselves and others for good to prevail. 


Donna, can you come and BAIL OUT California!!! Pretty please…..

Bookmark and Share