If the Only Victims Are Male & The Only Oppressors White, Where Does That Leave Black Women?

I know this post is sure to kick up the Black Male Protection Reflex in many people. So my advice is to take a Valium and go sit in the corner. The reason why all of this accountability talk is so threatening is because no one has been held accountable. Generations are simply repeating what their elders did – or worse going backwards. Although there were significant social gains reaped in the ’60’s it has all but been completely squandered

Of course there’s another component to this argument that is also rarely discussed. We are of course referring to HETERO black males in these narratives. The same DBR behaviors exhibited by some men and used against black women will also be expressed toward others based on their orientation or gender identity. Also the women clinging to their church totems, who may be never-married single mothers and are in misery sometimes focus too much on what some “phantom” gay person is doing because it provides a (temporary) release for them. Many of these blacks who are opposed to gay marriage for “religious” reasons don’t even get married themselves! Not with a 30% marriage rate amongst blacks, an 80% OOW birth rate, a 70% unmarried status for black women and an HIV rate that’s the number #1 killer of black women 25-34. 

Every week since the aftermath of my conversation with DBR Middle Class educated black males who reveled in bashing Serena Williams and bristled at my critiques I realize more and more men belong on the other side of that line. How are we supposed to distinguish who’s safe and who’s wearing a mask in disguise? Is it based on musical tastes or income to debt ratio or religious practice? Surprisingly it doesn’t take much to get them to reveal themselves but clearly they feel they can move without impunity. We can use that to our advantage on one hand but what of those that still consider themselves “decent”? No one ever admits to engaging in damaged beyond recognition behaviors! Others silently support them because they still get to benefit from it indirectly. Those who push a limited view of blackness (i.e. anti-intellectualism or gross materialism) also continue to be a disservice. We can’t let ourselves get tripped up in the process.

When we discuss divesting and leaving this mentality behind what will it be replaced with? We need to be thinking about that. Of course leaving the unsafe physical areas and modifying certain situations immediately is key here. We see there is no mass push at defending black girls and women. Any mention of this is met with complete silence. The latest reinforcement of this indoctrination is in the typical reaction from many blacks in defending the actions of Henry Louis Gates against the police. Even the President supported him. 

Although I agree there’s a history of aggression and misuse of law enforcement, I don’t think Gates was without some responsibility for adding fuel to the fire. Now that the person who initially called the police has been revealed to have not been a neighbor at all and to have grossly exaggerated (ok she lied) about the “suspicious activity” the rush to throw this on the altar of great white oppression kicked into high alert. 

The problem I have is the lack of racial or ethnic pride on the part of Gates to excuse this instigator completely and only focus on the white male officer’s actions. So he defers to a white woman, Lucia Whalen discussing how he understood her concern and he’s send her flowers while complaining about ill treatment for being a “black male in America” by the white cop. He also ignored the black cop on the scene because that didn’t fit into his narrative of “victim”. I somehow doubt he would have been so concilliatory had Lucia been  a black woman.  

The “black community” indoctrination of dysfunction is so insidious, so pervasive I want to wash my hands of many people completely just to keep some order. Perhaps this is because I’m still working on my life outside the Matrix (of Abnormal Values) but I can’t help but feel a little out of sorts from time to time. Actually I’m not exactly thrilled carrying around this knowledge. Membership has its responsibilities. Realizing you’re one of the sane in an insane asylum of confusion and distorted thinking makes me want to go live on an island by myself. This is where finding a small group of like-minded individuals is absolutely necessary. It’s a lifeline that we’ll need. 

In the meantime black girls are still being attacked and are defenseless against the onslaught of criminal activity and apathy. Thanks to the glorification of that lifestyle blacks don’t have a leg to stand on when it comes to complaining about police malfeasance but they don’t get that. I’ve been reading a lot of other blogs whose readership is either predominantly white or law enforcement oriented and it’s been a real eye-opener. The general consensus is that President Obama should not have criticized the police and that Gates exaggerated his unpleasant encounter. Oh – and these white people do not care to hear any complaining about racism because there’s a black man in the White House. 

So the majority of blacks are shooting themselves in the foot by not addressing these internal pathologies and consequences. The symbolic payoff comes attached with many strings. Sadly I don’t think the correct analysis is coming. What is somewhat surprising to me is the intelligentsia and elite classes seem to be just as clueless. Aren’t they supposed to be “better, harder, faster, stronger” and know more than the rest of us “peons”? When I was willing to discuss DBR behavior in black men I got a lot of grief. When I sought to bring it full circle by addressing the choices some black women are making I got grief. I can’t win for trying. If people have their heads stuck in the sand, what type of generational, mental, financial or quality of life growth can reasonably be expected?

The misogyny and homophobia prevalent in the black community has me on pause. It’s not that other groups don’t have similar issues but they also have safeguards in place to ensure their growth and/or continued domination. Blacks collectively have nothing in place but discussing the evils of white racism as it pertains to black males. If people are not fighting discrimination across the board then blacks will not progress any more than where things stand now. To suggest moving away from the knee-jerk responses followed by no strategic choices is looked at as a form of heresy. It’s met with complete resistance. If it’s not those engaged in DBR behavior, then it’s those who are in denial it exists, that it’s as wide-spread as it is or those focused on protecting the guilty. They are no use to me – or you once you leave. If you ever do…..
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Don’t Let Anyone Stop You From Getting Out of DBR-Ville!

Did you hear President Obama weigh in on the arrest of Henry Louis Gates last night? You know it had to be a big deal to get Obama to actually say something about race.

“But I think it’s fair to say, No. 1, any of us would be pretty angry; No. 2, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home; and, No. 3 … that there’s a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately.”

The incident, Obama said, shows “how race remains a factor in this society.”

President Obama talking about the arrest of one of his friends might prompt you to sing “Shiny Happy People” or “Don’t Worry Be Happy” and be lulled into a sense of complacency. This is just the quiet moment before all hell literally breaks loose.

Mayor E. Denise Simmons (who is African-American) said on CNN’s “American Morning.” “The situation is certainly unfortunate. This can’t happen again in Cambridge.” She called Dr. Gates to apologize.

The officer, Sgt. James Crowley, told CNN affiliate WCVB earlier Wednesday: “There are not many certainties in life, but it is for certain that Sgt. Crowley will not be apologizing,” he said. (He speaks of himself in the 3rd person and is unrepentant. In other words white ppl don’t care abt charges of racism fm blacks anymore)

Crowley wrote in the Cambridge police report that Gates refused to step outside to speak with him and when Crowley told Gates that he was investigating a possible break-in, Gates opened the front door and exclaimed, “Why, because I’m a black man in America?”

The report said Gates initially refused to show the officer identification, but eventually produced a Harvard identification card, prompting Crowley to radio for Harvard University Police. (Gates disputes this)

“While I was led to believe that Gates was lawfully in the residence, I was quite surprised and confused with the behavior he exhibited toward me,” Crowley said, according to the report. 

Gates said that although the ordeal had upset him, “I would do the same thing exactly again.” 

So we have police officers trained to kill who can doctor police reports being challenged by a middle-aged AAbm who needs a cane to walk. He wants to grandstand with them when had he chose to be humble the situation would have likely not occurred at all. He could’ve filed a complaint later and spoken to the Mayor personally. Instead he could have been wound up dead. We know police are overusing tasers to subdue people upon arrest. Anything could have happened but Dr. Gates wants to use this moment to try to assert his “authority”.

See when we discuss the mentality of destruction that’s prevalent in the dead “black community” model – this is just par for the course. There’s still this prevalence for assigning the white oppressor as the Big Bad and the “black man” as the number one target. It completely shuts out black women and is sexist. Black women, specifically AA bw are getting it from all sides. 

To even mention this brings out the charges of “hating black men” when they know this isn’t true but it benefits them to continue their victim dance instead of doing anything to help. They can use the “I’m oppressed” excuse to justify all of their discrimination against black women and try to blame us..for everything. Because they can’t retaliate against white men directly. I also just had a thought that this also fuels a lot of these insecure, inadequate “victims” into chasing after white women with such vigor. They’re trying to stick it them through the women. Literally.

Also the second series of Black In America aired last night. Now I didn’t watch it so I’m only going by what I read. They showed very well-off people who tended to be on the paler skin-shade spectrum OR it was poverty stragglers. They didn’t talk about the OOW birth rates, the educated but single black woman (who only dates BM) or present a dour message. Everything was supposed to be fine according to them. Now that we’ve got a black President. 

If you don’t continue devising your escape from the Matrix plans you will be left to perish. Don’t fall for the okey doke. While some people are patting themselves on the back or digging in their heels we still have black girls in peril that NO ONE IS SPEAKING FOR.

Case in point: An 8 year old is gang-raped by four boys between the ages of 9-14, some of whom live in her apartment complex. As if that wasn’t bad enough, CPS had to remove her because of her parent’s attitude towards her. 

In other words they’re blaming her for getting raped and want to punish her some more. Just like the so many other black girls and women are blamed for the things that happen to them as a result of the DBRs wrecking havoc on their lives. 

Now if anyone is still confused about whether there’s an all-out assault on black girls and women snap out of it. Let the President weigh in on that!! 

P.S. I just checked my sidebar and The Field Negro is standing up for us (as he is one of the few black male bloggers that do by the way). He asks if the good Dr. Gates spoke up for Chanequa Campbell. He discusses the sexism, the skin shade racism and classism. Something we black female bloggers have been discussing and being derided for of course.

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Regina Benjamin Detractors Dissect Her Body Not Her Qualifications

Once again we see public discourse of a black woman’s body. This time it’s not Serena Williams being chided for being overweight and lazy but the Surgeon General nominee. Apparently when you are a black woman none of your accomplishments matter only your proportions. I lay this squarely at the feet of black men who have tried to alleviate their own failings, feelings of insecurity and disdain by publicly trashing other black women – and the ones who let them.  
As I’ve stated in an earlier post President Obama needs to address the needs of everyone who voted for him in a timely fashion. Some people are satisfied with symbols, i.e. a black face in a high place. If Attorney General Eric Holder was serious about his speech on race relations and backs it up with the full arm of the Department of Justice that would be a great start at dismantling that. Typically these high place people actually cause more harm than good.  He was far more candid publicly about his displeasure with the historical treatment of blacks – which may be at odds with the President’s personal agenda of being the “everyman”. We shall see. 
Continuing that constituency appeal Obama nominated Dr. Regina Benjamin to the post of Surgeon General last week. Now it’s not a cabinet-level position but it does carry some weight. I was reluctant to get “happy” about this nomination simply because she happens to be black. Clarence Thomas is black and he’s been absolutely HORRIBLE when it comes to preserving the hard-fought rights of our ancestors. I, like any good citizen would review the qualifications of the candidate and take it from there. So far I haven’t heard anyone question Dr. Benjamin’s credentials. She was named  a MacArthur Foundation Fellow last year which is a very prestigious award recognizing creativity and genius in its recipients. She was also the first African-American woman to serve on the American Medical Association (AMA) board of trustees as well as running a state medical society. She has an MD and an MBA. She’s MORE than qualified. Of course black women usually ARE.
Instead she has been reduced to a body part. Like the nonsense with SCOTUS nominee Sonya Sotomayor’s comment over being a “wise Latina” the lengths some people will go to diminish a woman’s accomplishments never fails to amaze me. This isn’t strictly a racial issue – not this time. It’s pure and unbridled sexism against a non-white woman. I’d like to see NOW and other mainly white-oriented feminist organizations come out swinging against this. 
Dr. Benjamin does have a curvy figure but she’s not auditioning for America’s Next Top Model. In fact I recall Tyra Banks publicly railing against some unflattering photos of herself surfacing and telling everyone to kiss her butt! Whether Dr. Benjamin is carrying a few extra pounds is a red herring. Her detractors are looking for an excuse to diminish her stature publicly. I think she’s not used to being photographed and will have to learn to navigate the extra publicity and heightened scrutiny but that she will be just fine. Even the President has had to deal with ridiculous expectations when some others criticized his choice in jeans. 
This reminds me of how Dr. Jocelyn Elders was thrown under the bus for suggesting that minors explore their own bodies instead of experimenting with each other to keep the OOW birth rate and STI rates down. Perhaps people don’t want to hear that, but from a strictly practical standpoint what she said made sense. If young girls learn how their bodies operate they’d be less likely to attach that knowledge based on another person. In other words, they’d be might be more likely to turn a boy down for sex and seek out someone interested in a relationship. One is a more empowering decision.
It is ridiculous for Dr. Benjamin to have to adhere to a set of standards that don’t apply to men. 

Here’s a photo of C. Everett Coop, former SG. He doesn’t look all that slim to me. He’s always had a gut from what I recall and he served for years without incident. Dr. Benjamin wants to be the great health care equalizer as she has done at her clinic in private practice. I think this is part of a derailment plan by the insurers as well. We cannot take our eyes off the prize in getting them in line. 
I’m not surprised by the silence at this latest added insult but I am really sick of it! Blacks get all worked up over the arrest of a Harvard professor but it’s crickets when a black woman is attacked. Yet again. This is why it’s over for the “black community”. I’ve intentionally not posted a photo of Dr. Benjamin because it’s a ridiculous conversation.

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Reflections on Henry Louis Gates’ Arrest: When Criminals Are Exalted The Innocent Will Also Be Guilty

So the arrest of Skip Gates has been dissected from most of its angles. Charges of racism have been levied. The immediate knee-jerk defense of any behavior by the police has been used by others. I have a slightly different take on things. We could ask why the neighbor made an assumption of criminal activity. They are sure to be embarrassed now that their name has been made public. We can investigate whether the arresting officer – who is white – violated Dr. Gates’ rights in some way. We can discuss the history of race relations in the United States and how he got the short end of the stick. We could also ask why he allowed himself to be so outraged – or how he was justified given that poor history. 
It seems many were expecting the officer to notice that Dr. Gates was the “right” kind of Negro and not a “thug” so the class difference should have been his shield. Well….it’s not! Just like the obvious racism displayed against the Creative Steps participants blacks have to stop deluding themselves that the deteriorating behavior of the collective will be ignored. In order words, “certain” blacks are not going to get a pass. People think we’re experiencing a time warp of sorts and on one hand we are. We’re experiencing a backlash of sorts for the choice of a millions of whites to set aside their racism and misgivings to elect a black man for President.
Obama is beholden to their interests and will address them accordingly as they are the majority population. The blacks, specifically black women that represent his largest voting group seem willing to “wait” for him to “do right” by them. The same way those that actually put their lives and limbs on the line to get Civil Rights passed were expecting to be taken care of for their efforts. It didn’t happen. Things are in fact much worse for the entire collective.
African-Americans are for the most part worse off than we were 40 years ago. I don’t think the same racism lens is being viewed today than then. Why not? We weren’t making role models and celebrities out of AA male (and some AA females) criminals. You know the rap music artists, sports figures and such. When you have these men bragging about how many times they’d been shot or “slangin’ rock” or have rap sheets that represent crimes committed not music and it’s not only tolerated BUT celebrated it is over for the “decent” folks left. 
There was a time education was touted and people knew how to behave in public. There was a time when an R&B singer who’d made a sex tape of acts between him and a minor would have resulted in some public retaliation “behavior modification” incident. There was a time when the college attendance/graduation numbers for AA men were much higher. There was a time when a man aspired to be a husband and no job was beneath him in providing for a family. 
The depraved has become the norm and warped the minds of so many. Far too many excuses are being made about racism, mediocrity, bad childhoods, hard times, etc. etc.  Let’s face it, life does suck for a lot of people. Yet other groups of people in this country and around the world are not elevating the gutter to the throne. 
Also people are still viewing this from the “white people as oppressors” meme. We have the power to change this. We can have standards, accountability and consequences for those that violate us but NOT when we allow others to drag the entire collective in the gutter. You can’t turn a blind eye to things and be surprised when there’s blowback.
So when we look at situations like what occurred yesterday had this been a few decades ago Dr. Gates probably would not have gotten too familiar with the officers. Now had he suffered any bodily harm it would be a different story. Some say it’s the indignity of being questioned that got to him. Perhaps it did. How is what he experienced any different than what so many of us have to endure on a daily basis? African-American women have to set aside their ego and outrage in so many ways and it’s not from any confrontation with white law enforcement officers. If we can do it then so can he. 
Keeping our heads on straight is very important right now. Being disciplined racially and focused is a non-negotiable right now. In much the same way blacks they could “overcome” just by showing up to the Integration Party it requires much more than that. People who think they are above having to account for themselves are going to be in for a rude awakening. I think it’s a great thing because the more it happens some people will stop thinking of themselves as better or special. Then maybe they’ll start thinking about how those “other blacks” behave and the message of tolerance and acceptance being bandied about. Perhaps their outrage will be such that they start discussing the need for policing those behaviors amongst other blacks so as to avoid the presence of the real police. Just a thought. Sometimes self-interest is the only thing that motivates.
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Teaching Our Children Responsibility

Watching the Cosby Show is a little slice of heaven. If certain African-Americans or whites thought families like the Huxtables didn’t exist in the ’80’s when it originally aired I wonder what they’d think about it now. A show with an intact family of working professionals and happy well-adjusted kids seems foreign to many of us living in the age of Lil Wayne’s BET performance and exposing his daughter to his depravity. 
Thankfully families did exist like the Huxtables and still do today. Increasingly however, they are becoming rare. Thank goodness for DVDs and cable re-runs! For those who didn’t have families that resembled their tv counterparts you have something to aspire to. You also have a measuring stick and good evaluation tool. Again, we’re talking about the tv representation of the family not of those portraying them. 
So this episode has Cliff guiding Theo on the financial responsibilities of adulthood. It’s just one of many lessons he taught Theo on his journey to manhood like every good father does with his son. He didn’t even touch on the expense of having children because it was already assumed he’d be married first. I wonder how many young adults would rethink think their choices if they had the economic lesson presented from this episode? This is about establishing standards. If you recall Theo wasn’t focused on his studies and needed a firm hand in his youth. Had he not had that guidance you can imagine he would’ve settled for a life of mediocrity or even turned to crime. Some of our kids’ futures are balanced on the width of a dime. Theo thinks being a “regular” person is okay instead of trying harder. Doing better. Pushing past his comfort zone. Being inconvenienced. He had tons of excuses ready as well. 
How often do we hear ourselves or others say “if only it wasn’t so hard” or “circumstances were out of my control” or how somebody else was supposed to do something or else we would’ve done x, y or z. We have to catch ourselves when we do. We don’t want to be “regular” where we’re grading our life on a curve based on the failings of others. We want to be normative. Exceptional even – but at least in keeping with the general pace and direction of a majority of society.

In another case of serendipity I am reading blogger Taylor-Sara’s essay on Why We Must Have HIGH Standards. I’m having a little laugh with myself that I set aside the essay I was working on to do some more research and wrote this one – and then saw Sara’s. She writes:

The truth is, today, many people have no standards for their lives. Too many black women have high standards for their own lives (education, career) but low standards for the men in their lives (the any man will do type mentality). Ladies the truth is, anything you don’t have standards for will fail in your life! You must have standards for everything you expect to be productive and constructive in your life. This includes but is not limited to: your children, your fiances, your career, education and your HUSBAND. I’m a firm believer in using obstacles to your benefit. This is how many of our ancestors were able to keep pushing, instead of laying down to die.

Doing that kind of work requires diligence and discipline. The economic turmoil isn’t helping matters but it’s the intention behind our actions that will guide our steps once we’ve decided to move.  Our choices DO affect our lives.
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Note to Readers, Lurkers & Nurturing Future Alliances

It’s been an especially hectic two weeks at Acts of Faith blog. I know I have readers who are not black or live in “black communities” or have to deal with any of the issues that have been discussed. I bet it’s been an eye-opener! I also am welcoming a lot of new readers who may have found me because I’ve been blog-rolled or due to extra interest from my guest blogging gig. 
I felt a fire had been lit under me and I had to speak out on these issues. It was with the best intentions. Often that means correctly and with utmost accuracy telling the unvarnished truth. We cannot grow without being willing to dig deep. We’ve covered some rather controversial and difficult subjects. I think we will all be better for it.
One of the nicest messages I’ve received in feedback is how many don’t agree with me but find my arguments compelling nonetheless. I appreciate that. We are all coming from different perspectives and will not see eye to eye on everything. I’m not looking for a rah-rah chorus but to be engaged and challenged by others as well. One thing I will not do is claim I alone (or mostly) have all of the “answers” or have a condescending attitude. I’d never be so presumptuous, but I will be very firm about my thoughts on these matters.
I will analyze behaviors, choices and actions of the collective even as I look at my own. I don’t need to have grown up in a completely different background to be able to properly think about how damaging or limiting some of those choices are. In fact I think there are times when only someone who’s lived through a similar experience can adequately assess a situation. Ultimately, it isn’t where we’ve come from but where we’re going and how willing we are to get there. 
I also should state emphatically that I don’t hate black men. It’s quite the opposite. What I abhor is the behavior of an increasing majority and the total silence of those that have seen it and done nothing. Recognizing and removing those that devalue or obstruct you is key to living a full life. Some people are so loathe to hold others accountable there are times we have to be extra diligent to try to regain some equilibrium and protect ourselves.
There are men and women who engage in these destructive patterns (enabling or perpetrating) who don’t want to analyze them or change. They do identify with each other and protect each other when they value a similar racial categorization over normative human behavior. That doesn’t apply to everyone, but it pretty much covers a lot of black people. We are not enslaved anymore and don’t have to circle the wagons from outside attack. Not when people on the inside are causing each other mortal wounds.  
So while I reserve the right to revisit these topics I need to have clear boundaries and resist the urge to wallow in them. I am spent. I don’t look at this as some sort of scientific study on Lifestyles of the Pending Underclass. Not when I’m thinking of real-life flesh and blood people. Not when I know that I’ll have to make some hard-line decisions about navigating limited contact with said people. Not physically (already done) but emotionally. Saying that you have to leave and actually moving on and leaving others behind isn’t as simple as waving a magic wand. I don’t want to end up like Lot’s wife. I’m here to inform, not fight every slight or injustice 24/7. The point of discussing these matters is so we move on from them.
We had no say in the families we are born into. We have complete autonomy in choosing who we allow in our lives as adults. Choosing well will help add to the quality of our lives and sustain us in times of trouble. Choosing poorly will bring us nothing but trouble. Being a drag to be around will drive away a lot of great people as well. So will being a people-pleaser or a doormat. 
It’s time to advance. We have to move at our own pace anyway. Some are still evaluating what we’ve been discussing. That’s okay cuz so am I!! I hope many of you will continue to be part of this journey as I write about a wide variety of things I am passionate about. Which long term readers of this blog are already aware of. This week I want to discuss ways in which we build communities and how the best ones function. You’ll still need a seat belt – not to worry.
So what is on your mind? What stories do you find compelling these days? Are there subjects you’d like some attention focused on? Don’t be shy!

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Obama’s Warning to the Civil Rights Industrial Complex Will Go Largely Ignored

When the “First Black President” spoke to the oldest Civil Rights organization many saw this as a culmination of a “dream” and the struggle of millions of our formerly enslaved ancestors who “overcame”. Cue the orchestra for this tender moment… 

Pause.

Ok I’m over it. Utter hogwash! 

Sorry but this isn’t going to be a feel-good post about the merging of ideals within the “black community”. Excuse me while I hurl. Obama is a fence-sitter on many significant issues regarding LGBT rights depending on which way his political career may go. He’s a conflicted participant trying to hold another huge entity of dead ideals (that would be the CRIC TM WAOD) responsible for having an enforceable code of ethics. Well welcome to 2009 because we’re not in 1959, 1969 and we’re certainly not in 1999.  

First of all the “black community” is gasping its last few breaths for the collective of blacks who consider themselves part of something when joined strictly by race and a history of oppression by whites. They ignore seeking justice across the board, equality for black women and do not support LGBT rights as an whole. Just like the NAACP. Of course they’re forgetting one thing: black people are also LGBT, living in black residential neighborhoods and often are doubly oppressed. Black female LGBTs including trans women have it the worst of course. They’re raising children alone, face job discrimination as well as the extra threat of physical violence.

This is why I always discuss LGBT issues on this blog. Few blacks do because it’s “controversial” or they have to face the mighty Wall of Hypocrisy from other blacks who want to use religion as the “Shield of Ironic Condemnation” that is only reserved for those sinners. Meanwhile the behavior of the masses reflects no discipline or standards. Don’t you dare talk about their choices! Hence the 80% OOW birth rate, the lack of marriage and the perpetual joblessness amongst other things.

Khadija, blog host of Muslim Bushido broke it down on her post, The End of the Road for African-Americans, Part I about how the infrastructure in the “black community” doesn’t support ONE THING. There is no independent economy, no group accountability and no social/political governance. So tell me what exactly is the NAACP good for? It’s symbolism pure and simple. They’re not the only do-nothing organization but they’re the most readily thought-of. I don’t see them as a benign stallworth of an era that has since passed. I think their purpose is to serve as an obstruction for any real progress. There’s far too much money passing hands and zero transparency. Like BET, they are not a FRIEND TO BLACK PEOPLE!

They have a history of putting white people in charge or black men who give lots of speeches, pontificate on occasion and leave in a cloud of controversy over sexual misconduct. So far their current President Ben Jealous seems to be scandal-free (so far) but I’m not certain what he actually does. His prior work with Amnesty Int’l and career in social justice suggests he may have in fact been able to make some significant changes but with Julian Bond pulling the strings and a 64-member board of redirectionists holding the the purse I’m not expecting much. He may be infinitely qualified but he is a (token) symbol of of superficiality by a dead organization. They wanted their own bi-racial man who claims black heritage with a beautiful lawyer wife. Done and done. How juvenile can they be? 

I can’t think of one initiative in recent memory these CRIC organizations have actually done to build an infrastructure that would support a community. That’s for those still holding onto the idea there is one or one can be rebuilt. What have they done to lower the unemployment rate for blacks? They don’t teach domination tactics. They can’t get black men to accept responsibility for their children or to graduate college for goodness sake! They have got the “hand held out” beggar pose down to a tee. I wonder what the operating budget would be like if the white patronage went elsewhere? What investments do they have? I know that other blacks give money and time as well, largely African-American women doing the “save all of our people” dance – SOLO – as usual. If only they would pause, turn of the music and walk away the NAACP and others would have a whiplash-inducing about-face and suddenly find an agenda of relevance. We don’t hold them accountable so they will remain ineffective.

Now there’s word that the NAACP wants to stop focusing solely on black men feeling the butt end of white oppression and include other “people of color”. We already know they don’t do major campaigns that are for the benefit of black women. Well if those other POCs want to give money and time the way AA women do more power to them. It would give these women free time to find something else to do. If it’s just lip service forget it! Including other groups who if the shoe was on the other foot are not seeking alliances with AAs is just further proof of their insanity. They already do as little as possible. Next they’re going to open the bank for business and tell a select few to just come on in and take other people’s money. 

In fact in The End of the Road for African-Americans Part 2, Khadija discusses material from the 2006 Harvest Institute Report, where Bob Law states:

Rather than demonstrate that leadership by leading their own people to the necessary levels of self-sufficiency and competitiveness, these leaders have abandoned the critical issues facing Black people and have begun to chase an ambiguous romanticized notion of alliances with other groups without any demonstration or even an explanation as to how these alliances will actually empower Black people.  ** I had to come back to add this portion. Sometimes when ppl are in agreement it isn’t about cheering them on to gain favor but it’s synchronicity.

When the black community collapses under the bloat of its uselessness I sincerely hope these organizations: NAACP, Urban League, National Urban Network, blah blah blah are the first ones to go. Color of Change is right up there following the same failed model. Quite frankly the CRIC deserves a swift demise. As well as the Black Church. They have been a HUGE disservice to the very people they claim to be helping. Like that wanna-be organization Raising Him Alone which is another Trojan Horse of the deathstyles of the supa fly (that would be us, er other blacks) I have zero sympathy for the confused and unfocused non-leadership. 

I’d love to see some of these other orgs like National Council of  Negro Women step up to the plate. Perusing their websites and objectives they are so woefully behind the times I don’t even know where to begin. I see lots of ideas but I don’t see a radical attempt at dismantling the sources. I’m certain many will disagree with me and if you want to take up that cause of getting the CRIC to “act right” feel free to do so. We see how successful that’s been with regards to black men. I say it’s time for all people of consciousness (compassion and common sense) to just LEAVE. Let them fix their internal squabbles, power plays and apathy on their own. Then they can prove their loyalty and relevancy. Of course that isn’t going to happen and we’ll be better off just focusing on our own needs, forming alliances with those prepared and able to be fully functioning partners. 

To all the naysayers: PROVE ME WRONG! Haha. I’d love to see you try.


*******
P.S. I read Raymond Leon Roker’s piece in Huffington Post, NAACP vs. Gay Marriage. The timing was excellent as I was working on my response to Obama’s speech. Thanks for the inspiration. It’s also nice to see a black man defend LGBT rights and be so (fair) idealistic. Reading the comments it’s the usual yada yada yada (nonsense). What do you think? 

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Mandela Would Be Proud: McKinney Returns to Gaza

This time Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney successfully got through the illegal blockade and delivered medicine and other goods to the residents of Gaza!!! Crow if you will but she is certainly one determined African-American woman on a mission of peace. In honor of one criminal, rabble-rouser and terrorist per labeling by the US government, Nelson Mandela set forth a tradition of resistance. He actually practiced what he preached and spend nearly one third of his entire life behind bars. Somehow I just don’t see many of the black male infotainment hustlers and pontificators being willing to give up their manicures and creature comforts to do hard labor. 
I’m not sure what I would’ve done after I’d be kidnapped by a foreign government while trying to aid a separate one, jailed, left to twist in the wind by my gov’t and suddenly released. I don’t think I would’ve turned right back around a mere week later to attempt the very thing that got me kidnapped and charged to begin with. I admire her fortitude. 
Whatever your political viewpoints are regarding this there are two indisputable facts: Hamas is the legally elected gov’t and there’s $4B in gas reserves off the coast of Gaza. Think about that for a minute. Or two…..
The San Francisco Bayview has her article in its entirety. I am including an excerpt here:
Gaza is beautiful. Gaza is full of life, despite Israel’s Operation Cast Lead. And now I have seen, Gaza has been bombed to smithereens. No wonder the Israelis didn’t want photos taken!
I think I’ve mastered my video camera enough to share some images with you. I’ll post them on these sites when I return: 
http://www.livestream.com/dignity 
http://dignity.ning.com/ 
http://www.twitter.com/dignityaction 
http://www.myspace.com/dignityaction 
http://www.myspace.com/runcynthiarun  
http://www.twitter.com/cynthiamckinney 
http://www.facebook.com/CynthiaMcKinney
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It’s My Blog-A-Versary Wanna Party!?

Actually it was on Friday but I thought two posts was enough for one day! I can’t believe I’ve made it thus far and I have so many of you lovely readers, lurkers, passersby and participants to thank. Thank you for the encouragement and the challenges. I have learned a lot about myself through this process. I’ve let go of certain attitudes and gained an entirely different perspective. I would appreciate a little more feedback from time to time so don’t be shy.
Thanks to my male readers especially because we can’t live in the world without relating to (and possibly mating with) you. Thanks to the black women empowerment bloggers who’ve provided much food for thought. I still like to think of myself as a social justice blogger primarily – if I have to choose a label – because that encompasses a wide spectrum of causes to engage in. Then again it’s nice to find a few like-minded individuals joined for a common one. 
I of course am very concerned about the welfare of black children and black women, specifically African-American because of how so many have their entire lives under siege. You can’t be effective if you are being bombarded by life-altering events and life-threatening choices. My first priority must be to myself and I’m still working through the process of completely freeing my mind and making the best decisions. That will also mean distancing myself from people I have biological ties to who are of no benefit or are in fact working against my goals. We have to choose life or we will perish. I will walk away without animus but a clear focus on situations that are most beneficial.
I want to thank all the angels who’ve protected me and the people whose hearts were moved to offer wisdom, an encouraging  word, a meal or other random acts of kindness as I’ve taken this journey. That’s why I want to keep the focus on a much larger scale than simply thinking about “black issues”. As more of us enter the global stage we will need to know how to navigate what might be unfamiliar terrain. We need to know how other people live, how their groups thrive and to make strategic alliances regarding empowerment. It was the way certain other groups helped elevate themselves by offering assistance to “black causes”. It’s something we can learn from.
I’m still delivering fresh posts and hope to come up with topics that will keep your interest. We need bloggers to continue telling us their stories while they focus our attention on things the corporate media ignores. I have a goal to write new content every day for as long as I could be compelling. To that end I am working on a redesign and will most likely move to WordPress. Writing is what I enjoy and I want to continue doing so. So when I add a donation logo please feel free to do so. Now might be the time to start perusing my archives! 
I started this blog while attending NetRoots Nation and I remember I was feeling frustrated at the inadequate representation of people of color. I did get to meet my Mayor though. He’s still pretty and still not quite who I wanted to lead San Francisco. Now he’s running for Governor of CA. That’s ambition for ya! Speaking of, I am working on an e-book of blog posts and am accepting suggestions for some of your favorites. I was told I haven’t been corrupted yet and I plan on staying that way. I still love coffee, disco, red wine and have a crush on Keanu Reeves so I guess it’s all good. I want to open up the dialog a bit to discuss interpersonal relationships and dating even. We’ll see how that goes. 
I’ve set aside some of my more popular posts from my archives. It’s a nice way to bring yourself up to speed or revisit some of the thoughts swirling in my head.
There’s more but Blogger is playing hide and seek today and doesn’t want to load in a timely fashion (hence why I want to switch platforms). 
Enjoy!

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