Re: Caster Semenya – So When A Black Woman Beats You Fair & Square You Accuse Her Of Being A Man?

In the WTH! Files:

Ok, so that Austin Powers clip always makes me laugh but the “Bitter Bettys” and haters who’ve been bested by South African champion Caster Semenya are not amusing – at all. So will every black female athlete who outperforms her competitors be accused of using performance-enhancing drugs or being a man to disqualify her? Ms. Caster is undergoing gender testing to “prove” she is a she! Not to be vulgar here but is this akin to the “finger test” some doctors performed on young women to “prove” their virginity as well?

The International Amateur Athletic Federation asked the South African athletic federation to conduct the gender test after Semenya burst onto the scene by posting a world-leading time of 1:56.72 in the 800 at the African junior championships in Bambous, Mauritius, on July 31. Her previous best was 2:00.58.

The test, which takes weeks to complete, requires a physical medical evaluation, and includes reports from a gynecologist, endocrinologist, psychologist, an internal medicine specialist and an expert on gender. Gender testing used to be mandatory for female athletes at the Olympics, but the screenings were dropped in 1999. One reason for the change was not all women have standard female chromosomes. In addition, there are cases of people who have ambiguous genitalia or other congenital conditions.

The most common cause of sexual ambiguity is congenital adrenal hyperplasia, an endocrine disorder where the adrenal glands produce abnormally high levels of hormones. “We condemn the motives of those who have made it their business to question her gender due to her physique and running style. Such comments can only serve to portray women as being weak,” the ANC said in a statement.

South African athletics federation president Leonard Chuene insisted Semenya is facing intense scrutiny because she is African.

“It would not be like that if it were some young girl from Europe,” Chuene told the AP by telephone. “If it was a white child, she would be sitting somewhere with a psychologist, but this is an African child.”

The Congress of South African Trade Unions said it “rejects with contempt the attempts by those who tried to undermine her success by raising bogus and groundless queries about her gender.” Huffington Post

Some people take their jealousy and envy to a whole other level I tell ya! There is a putrid intersection of racialized gender bias here. Questioning someone’s gender identity and biology all in the name of a win or loss of a sporting event is contemptible. I know these competitions are big money but where are the advocacy organizations like the Human Rights Campaign or NOW on this! Forget about the NAACP as they only care about defending black male criminals. I have NO idea what Ms. Semenya’s orientation is but it seems this witch-hunt should be a concern as it could inadvertently ensnare LGBTs. How far is this going to go?

This is a powerful humiliation tactic used against a woman who doesn’t conform to expectations of failure. Since when does not being mediocre warrant such outrage? This is some serious gender and racial discrimination going on! What about an athlete who was born intersex? Are they not allowed to compete under their preferred gender (if they’ve chosen one)? Or what if their parents chose one for them at birth? Is some sports official going to override that and invalidate the entire span of that athlete’s career? How is she to protect herself if those officials wanted to deny her gender identity by using her own body against her?

There’s also an excellent article at The Nation with discusses the intersectionality of racism and gender bias in The Idiocy of Sex Testing.
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SisterHood, the Blog Radio Podcast Discussion With Ananda Leeke Posted

Thanks to Ananda for having this open forum where our initial conversation was about marketing tactics for women of color but we broke it down to the most basic of personal interactions. It was a great conversation. We discussed reciprocity, mining the gutter for shiny objects, our lack of holding ourselves accountable, pathologies, stereotypes and how to empower ourselves. Enjoy.

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Mind Your Internet Ps & Qs – Or Else! Security & Decorum Is A Must.

Anonymity is no longer guaranteed after a woman who feared for her safety successfully sued Google to release the identity of a person who’d posted derogatory comments referencing her online. Yea!

Asked why she fought so hard to find out who was tormenting her, Liskula Cohen said: “Why would anybody let it go? If somebody attacks somebody on the street, you’re not going to let it go. I couldn’t find one reason to ignore it.” Good Morning America interview

Unfortunately some of us DO let it go because we think we’re safe from assault behind our keyboards. We even let insults go. Other people who display mean-spirited or anti-social behavior feel as if they have free reign to say whatever they wish because it’s not IRL (in real life) but they should NOT be given the benefit of the doubt or cover simply because we may not see them face to face.

I know in my own communication I try to be careful in how I conduct myself. I don’t say anything online that I’m not willing to do in person. Employers and recruiters now scour social media sites or conduct searches of people and use that info in their hiring practices. I’ve warned my younger relatives to watch what they post lest it bite them in the butt later! Even when I’d like to throttle some people online I know our exchanges could be likely held in perpetuity due to some of the more draconian property rights some of these social media sites employ. We learned that emails weren’t secure during the Bill Clinton impeachment attempt because he’d refused to send any over concerns about lack of privacy.

Internet security is always a concern for corporations and government entities. They have entire departments dedicated to placing firewalls that deter hackers and thieves. Child predators have moved online in force and law enforcement struggles to keep up. Paramilitary groups recruit new members by reaching out to others online. As consumers we certainly want to know our personal information is well protected. Somehow when we engage with others on blogs there’s a bit of disconnect. There are far too many incidences where men have invaded our spaces and tried to disrupt our discussions. Some bloggers have allowed these Internet Ike Turners to take over their spaces in an attempt to “get along”. There’s a big difference between having a conversation where readers have an ideological difference and having someone manipulate and try to silence you.

Some have even gone so far as to threaten women online, make videos that they post to YouTube, send comments without a verifiable address, use dummy email accounts and other means of subterfuge. We can counteract that by taking a minimum of security measures such as moderating our comment threads, monitoring IP and geographical info and tracking email accounts. We also need to file police reports.

Some women engage in the harassment as well, as highlighted in the Cohen case. We need to take these exchanges seriously. Asia McGowan was threatened online before her tormentor escalated it to actual violence and murdered her. What was especially galling is how the police didn’t take the threat seriously. Ms. Cohen didn’t wait for law enforcement to catch up with technology or dismiss her concerns. Now we will be able to get access to vital information that could save our lives. We should all send her a message of thanks.
h/t Lorraine
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Oh No – That Steve Harvey Book Is Being Made Into A Movie!

Here’s further proof of the LACK of a normative black culture that we can rely on. Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man will be coming to a screen near you. Oh happy joy!

“As a producer you’re always looking for your next big hit that can be culturally relevant while still having a commercial appeal that will lend itself to a cinematic approach. I travel a lot, and everywhere I went I would see women reading this book and telling me how they loaned it to their girlfriends, so I knew I had to get a copy. The early buzz (pre-Oprah audience) among African-American women who first embraced it confirmed what I’d hoped. It was hilarious, funny and poignant and really well done.” Producer Will Packer interview.

Oh really? As if the insult of Essence magazine telling black women to look for a black man in a strip club wasn’t enough. Yes, the irony that I’m using their dot com site is not lost on me. Now we have the “sage” advice of a thrice-married man who cheated on wife #2 with #3 being turned into a feature film. I “blame” Gayle King. She was the one who told Oprah to read the foolishness that landed Harvey on the show. Admittedly he was funny during the interview – but that’s because he’s a comedian! He’s supposed to make people laugh.

The problem lies with the many women who are willing to take relationship advice from a man simply due to his gender or race without questioning motives – or common sense. As if the advice being given has more validity than that of another woman. Amongst the group of black women who are still stuck on seeking black men as partners exclusively there tends to be a lot of distrust amongst them because they’re competing against each other (for crumbs). They act as if there’s a shortage of men. The only shortage lies in using phenotype and shared history of oppression as the sole determining factor of compatibility and not having (m)any standards for evaluating caliber.

You’re being bamboozled by others with an agenda. Which in Harvey’s case is to sell books and lend himself an air of credibility amongst (unsuspecting) women. He’s trying to project a packaged, do good, Christian type image in the public eye as charged in his last divorce. Meanwhile he’s trying to evict his 2nd wife from their marital home and sue her for full custody of their minor child to avoid paying child support. Even worse he is ALSO being sued by author Sharon P. Carson for (allegedly) plagiarizing her title and book content which if you read is a poorly conceived hijacking of Ms. Carson’s message of empowerment (ghost-written by Denene Millner). That link contains an extensive interview worth reviewing.

Check out Ms. Carson’s website and watch this video if you still don’t want to believe. Now titles are not subject to copyright laws but the purity of the message by the author certainly shines through when compared to the watered-down one by the comedian. In my opinion. He of course knows nothing about this book with the same title and theme that was published five years before his.
This is why it is so important to ignore the perceived images of celebrities or at least do some basic investigating behind these PR snow jobs. How many times do we as black women (and women in general) allow (black) men to take our concepts and sell them back to us as something “new”? In light of the history of Skippy Gates’ support for the obscenity and denigration of 2 Live Crew and these legal actions against Harvey black women especially need to have a “come to Jesus” moment. So many of us are unprotected and easily exploited for the profit and rise in prominence of others who will use us: our bodies, our talent, our lack of boundaries for their own personal gain.

Like Tavis Smiley’s “grin for the camera” fest – the State of the Black Union it’s a lot of empty rhetoric. I’m still waiting for serious analysis of the underlying issues fueling many of our choices and that oft-touted “accountability” that seems to elude many. Now that Good Morning America has hired Harvey to represent them do you think parent company DISNEY is going to freely allow for unbiased reporting on the lack of value this man is for ALL women? This is why what we do by using blogging as a platform for getting a message out is so important.

Don’t forget about my SXSW panel, “Black Female Bloggers and the Future of Media“. Please vote! See the sidebar for details.

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Doing My Part At Liberating Black Women – Including Myself!

This is a multi-tiered initiative.

First I must take care of myself – then others.

To that end I have a few projects in the works. I am a creative (writing being one of my endeavors) but have not earned my living at it. I am seeking new avenues for myself, approaching meeting my goals differently and assessing the current economic/political landscape. What a reality check! I also want to ensure that as many of us get out of the “Matrix” as possible and have full, active lives.

In order for me to continue with these endeavors I must ask for some assistance from readers, commenters, naysyers, lurkers, etc. You now who you are. I am requesting donations to help fund my writing/activism as well as assist me with a pending move/career change. Think of yourself as an early-adopter in the next Microsoft where your return will greatly outweigh your investment. I’d prefer to not leave Northern California as I LOVE IT but the reality of the market has forced me to reevaluate that. I’m open to all viable options and am listening to the voice from On High.

In case the widget doesn’t work I’ve added a link here and to my sidebar.

I know I usually don’t discuss any of my personal religious beliefs for a reason but I have found that we can ask God questions and get a definitive reply. For example there was a man I was very interested and one night out of the blue I was told to ask him about his relationship status. He was married! I had no idea. I was given a clear answer to my questions about his character as I had prayed about it. No I didn’t “like” what I found out but it was best to cut my losses early on than waste my time with an inadequate person. I dodged a bullet there!!

I asked a question about my efforts at realizing my goals and this was the answer I got amongst other steps I will need to take. I feel a little awkward about such a public display but I have to follow through with this. We can have abundant, fulfilling futures but they usually require we step outside of some of our comfort zones. As I create multiple revenue streams in the future I need to take care of some immediate needs today. I’ve set up a Chip In account on my sidebar to accept donations. I will be happy to reciprocate in kind to other’s endeavors as I’m able.

I appreciate all that I’ve learned from other bloggers and readers who’ve offered so many words of wisdom. I am continually challenged and think I’ve finally come into my own. Now it’s time for the next step and it needs to be taken boldly. I have an e-book of blog posts in the works (donations of $50 and up will get a copy), a fiction novel based on my Cinderella post and an SEO marketing consultancy. I am also continuing my education in the media arts. I must still increase my social circle, work on getting into better physical condition and limiting/eliminating toxic influencers. All of the things we discuss here and at other blogs for the free agency of women.

Two more quick things:
SXSW InteractiveSXSW Interactive features five days of compelling presentations from the brightest minds in emerging technology, scores of exciting networking events hosted by industry leaders and an unbeatable line up of special programs showcasing the best new websites, video games and startup ideas the community has to offer.

1. I have submitted a panel for SXSW 2010!! Logo/Info borrowed courtesy of SXSW. Voting started on Monday and I need your support. The title is Black Female Bloggers and the Future of Media under my name (Faith Dow). If you click on the link and it doesn’t open it’s because the interest is so high for panels their server keeps crashing. You just click a thumbs-up button after a brief registration. It’s quick trust me.

2. WAM! 2010 is accepting proposals. Women, Action & the Media is a conference for activists, journalists and all interested parties of gender justice in media. We know who’s getting the stub! It’s not a coincidence that their theme is:

I had already submitted my panel idea to SXSW before WAM! released their area of focus. While I work on this proposal I wanted to give everyone a head’s up that you too can submit one and I think many of you readers should.

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Lateisha Green Post-Conviction Update & Essence Interview

I have some good news to share for those interested in justice across the board. The now-convicted murderer Dwight DeLee has been sentenced 25-years to life for killing Lateisha Green. Ms. Green was a lovely trangender woman who was brutally murdered by DeLee for no reason other than her gender identity which I’ve discussed in this post.

While this won’t bring her back at least her family can take some comfort (I hope) knowing consequences have been meted out. As someone who has experienced the murder of a beloved innocent sibling by a DBR (damaged beyond recognition) black male I wish that one chapter would be closed. If there can be no justice in this life I trust there will be some in the afterlife. See the great post that blog host Monica wrote up at Transgriot.

One other interesting development is how MESSence, er Essence magazine interviewed Lateisha’s mother Roxanne Green and published it on their web portal. I think they are desperately trying to combat the negative publicity and ridicule they justifiably received after a) telling black women they were low value, desperate and should take whatever they can get by b) dating black men (not suggesting they seek out a man of caliber of any race/ethnicity) WHO FREQUENTS STRIP CLUBS. I for one was very glad my subscription had lapsed and I missed that month of debasement for I most certainly would have cancelled it after being so insulted.

Anyhoo, not to detract from this one incident of decency I still cannot in good conscience recommend any black woman who values herself to ever read MESSence again but this is one interview. You can decide for yourself about that. This is good exposure to an audience of “conservative black church-going black community” loving women though. I wonder how well they’ll respond to this seeing how the strip club recommendation went over many heads.
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The Waning Political Clout of Blacks in America Will Be A Disaster For the Unprepared

The majority of the pre and post Civil Rights beneficiaries who currently hold office are in their 60’s-70’s. They’ve been so ham-fisted about holding onto that itty bitty political clout there has been no training of successors. Think of Stephanie Tubbs-Jones dying suddenly as an example of the lack of preparation. These men and women have had their share of foibles but as they’ve served their terms they have focused on “black issues” and not been ashamed of it. As much as I cannot stomach the carelessness of Rev Inc. (Hot Comb Sharpton and Baby Daddy Jackson) there are times they’ve hit the ball in the corner pocket.

As we see all the “white guilt” about the history of this country is considered paid in full with the election of Barack Obama. I really don’t think either he or many of the blacks that voted for him have seriously given this enough thought. As I stated in my post yesterday, he’s so slow to react to direct attack that he’s constantly being blind-sided. In the case of the voters some act as if they know the president personally and are not only defending him blindly but they are not prepared for the current backlash or any fallout still to come.

The president is not only facing outright opposition with a corporate media assist but members of his own party have no loyalty. It’s nearly seven months into his (first or only?) term and I don’t understand how anyone could fail to see the underlying problems. I blame the Democrats for this one. Too many aren’t really supportive and have not lifted a finger to ensure party unity. I also predicted it would be them, not the Republicans who would implode this administration from the inside out. It’s not as if I want to be right about these things either.

This is a matter of the future quality of life for many blacks who aren’t part of the elite classes or aren’t wealthy/celebrities. Those that live in large cities with robust populations of other blacks who are relying on government jobs or holding onto seemingly stable positions like nursing or postal jobs need to figure out a back-up plan pronto! These positions and the lifestyle attained from holding onto them is in jeopardy. Did anyone think they’d see the day when a post office closed? I know I hadn’t. It’s not as if these losses aren’t impacting other communities but they have more intact families, less out of wedlock children as a whole and more men who are post-secondary educated and fulfilling their roles as providers and protectors. So whatever negatively impacts whites will be catastrophic to blacks. The unemployment rate for example is double for blacks and that only includes new claims not the chronically unemployed.

There’s also a new political order underfoot: Latinos and Asians. Whites still have the numbers and dominate public office but I expect next year’s Census to reveal Latinos as the largest “minority” population in this country. The Immigration Policy Center has released a report that shows Latino voters have increased 28.4% with Asians coming in second at 21.3%. Blacks are last at 15.1%. Now there are still more actual black voters but this number is going to decrease for a few reasons. Certain segments of the population are dying out, others will be barred from participation due to felony convictions and with the birth rates for educated black women at an all-time low – with only 30% being married. That’s just less future voters to go around. Districts will be redrawn to represent the newest constituent configuration as well. It has already been estimated the Congressional Black Caucus may lose at least three (3) seats.

Also, the underclass populations are on the rise and the anti-social/violent behavior goes unchecked. The Obama administration is now discouraging many from home ownership under the HUD program by building more low-income rentals. I have no words. Actually I have two: Dunbar Village. This is the site of a crumbling, non-secure housing complex where 10 males broke into the home of a single mother and gang-raped her. It was a particularly heinous crime for the viciousness of the attack as well as the apathy of other residents who made no effort to assist or even call the police. Only four are in custody. Some of them tried to broker plea deals by giving information about murders they may have had information about. Six of the suspects have been free for the two years since this incident because people will not come forward with information. There are far worse problems than white racism when black people adopt a mindset that crime is tolerable and the protection of males based on race is more important than seeking justice.

Now of course any subsidized housing being built could have a percentage of vouchers set aside for mid-income applicants but if you know anything about this gov’t organization you can see the abandonment as a mandate for entire populations. Applying for HUD housing is an already arduous task where it tends to be found in developing neighborhoods or those on the decline. You’re not likely to find HUD housing in wealthier or more established neighborhoods because those residents want a minimum caliber and income level that is much higher. So let’s get real here. Neighborhoods and groups of people are being written off. This is why it’s so important for individual black women to expand their social circles and find a mate of caliber who is able and willing to care for them regardless of race.

Further if the Obama presidency tanks you can bet the door will be firmly shut to future aspirants who wish to rise the same way. He did not ascend politically with the expressed “blessing” of certain established black politicians. This was seen as an asset last year but now that he’s in office and his isolation emerges perhaps that wasn’t so good in the long run. Not unless he extends an olive branch to them – for some have actually been in office as long as he’s been alive (scary I know).

I don’t have all teh answers. I’m just here posing questions. Blacks really need to be preparing right now for their political cover regardless of what happens with this president but even more so because he’s in office and there’s a LOT of disgruntled people out there. You’ve got people being “allowed” to bring weapons to events he attends. Too many are relying solely on this one man holding this office. We need to be involved in local politics and staying on top of what’s going on in our individual states.

I don’t recall Louisiana publicly announcing they would raze public housing that was undamaged from the Katrina-related flooding. It prevented even more of those displaced from returning. Some blacks are still assuming they’ll have fair warning for any plans that could negatively impact them because there’s a black guy in charge. New Orleans had a rather sizable underclass population that is mostly gone now. Some think the lack of gov’t response served as a experiment in population control. Whatever happened this current administration could have taken a more active role in assisting in the city’s recovery but it has not. I think that represents the extent of any future involvement as well and people should take heed of it.

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Will Obama’s Lack Of Fortitude Seal His Lame Duck 1-Term Presidency?

I’ve just read your Op-Ed in the New York Times. Barack, Barack, Barack. I had so much hope for serious change. The demographic of the NYT tends to not include those without internet access, lower incomes and less education – the ones who really need the health care plan passed. So who were you trying to reach? Honestly you were the best to emerge from the Democratic candidate pool last year, but November 4th seems like a million years ago. I’ve personally waited for you to fully utilize the power you tapped into but unlike many others I don’t think you need to be given more time. You act like an insecure person unsure that they belong but you WON the election. That piece makes you look like a beggar at your own ball. It’s time to act Presidential. It’s time to crack some skulls and whip people into shape. You’ve taken this whole Knights of the Enemy Roundtable thing too far.

One year ago at the Netroots Nation conference in Austin, Texas the mood of the crowd was one of excitement and elation over the possibility of a Barack Obama presidency. (I concur I was there and the mood was full of promise.)

A year later, with that possibility achieved, a sense of cynicism has begun to creep in. On Saturday morning, one of the president’s closest advisers, Valerie Jarrett addressed the Netroots Nation conference in Pittsburgh. And while attendees were largely supportive throughout the question and answer session, the reception was warm at best. The defining moment, in fact, came when Jarrett was hissed and heckled.
You’ve always been slow to react, slow to respond in kind to attacks and have so far gotten lucky breaks that didn’t derail your entire initiative. It has not gone unnoticed that you opened your mouth to defend Skippy Gates of all people but have been silent on every single attack against your wife. I don’t like that! Yeah…we get it you’re a lover not a fighter. You want everyone to just get along. You think you can appease enemies with trinkets and shiny objects or worse – giving away the store!

So now that this health care plan is teetering on the verge of annihilation by politicians who are DEMOCRATS (in name only) and will be so gutted as to be useless what are your back up plans for this country? This is just a taste of what the rest of your term will be like. Scraping by the skin of your teeth is not displaying leadership. Forget your back up plans – what will the most vulnerable of voters do after being fed to a pack of wolves? By the way I’m still waiting for the US to leave Iraq and Afghanistan. That was a campaign promise, remember?

Those loan modifications haven’t been allocated either. Oh and a few more banks have failed. I’ve also found it quite odd that companies who had to be bailed out with TARP funds are posting billion dollar profits less than one year later. What company bounces back that fast?! I smell a conspiracy to help somebody get elected. Yup I’m putting on the tin-foil hat for this one. Just call me Fox(y) Mulder. Lest anyone forget while many of us are unemployed and without medical coverage billions are still being spent abroad and the military budget has not decreased. That was supposed to be cut. Which was one of the reasons why I voted for you. I’m also wondering how the un/under employed are supposed to PAY for this health care plan when they have no money?

Democracy Now! Interview with Ralph Nader (who is flawed but has gone around politicians to get corporations to make concessions that have saved lives.)
The big mistake that the Obama administration made was they did not have continual public congressional hearings documenting the greed, the fraud, the $250 billion in billing fraud and abuse alone that the GAO years ago has documented. They didn’t document the $350 billion of waste, the overhead of Aetna and UnitedHealthcare and other health insurance companies with their massive executive salaries and bureaucracies. They did not document the deaths, the injuries, the sickness that hundreds of thousands of Americans go through every year because they can’t afford healthcare. And by not doing that, by playing this behind-the-scenes game with these executives from the big health-industrial complex, they were vulnerable to the split in their own party in the House, with the Blue Dog Democrats emboldened by an apparently wavering and indecisive President Obama, and they made sure that they were placed on the defensive. Well, the significance is that Obama is being undermined by his own party in Congress, because the Blue Dogs are getting far more money from these corporations and campaign contributions than the so-called liberals in the Democratic Party.

But, you see, I say “undermined”—I’m not quite sure that Obama is objecting to this. He has set the whole atmosphere of catering to these giant corporations. He has made every mistake that the Clintons made in 1993, ’94 with their health insurance plan, except that he’s leaving Michelle Obama out of it. He’s made every mistake.
So far you’ve been a huge disappointment. The excitement generated from your seemingly quick ascendancy was too hard to resist. You’re slow-footed and haven’t taken control of your party. You’ve made a public declaration of extending an olive branch and been slapped with it. I’ve watched the corporate media spew every lie and right wing/racist philosophy since day three. When John Roberts “accidentally” messed up your Swearing-In didn’t you know it was on?! Yet you refuse to prepare and you don’t fight. Bush was a cowboy and Cheney was Darth Vader. They took no prisoners! Yet you want “bi-partisianship”. You can’t negotiate with terrorists! They want your head on a platter literally and figuratively. All of those “enemies” are undermining all that you do.

Per another
New York Times Op-Ed – this one by Paul Krugman:
President Obama is now facing the same kind of opposition that President Bill Clinton had to deal with: an enraged right that denies the legitimacy of his presidency, that eagerly seizes on every wild rumor manufactured by the right-wing media complex. So much, then, for Mr. Obama’s dream of moving beyond divisive politics. The truth is that the factors that made politics so ugly in the Clinton years — the paranoia of a significant minority of Americans and the cynical willingness of leading Republicans to cater to that paranoia — are as strong as ever.

In fact, the situation may be even worse than it was in the 1990s because the collapse of the Bush administration has left the G.O.P. with no real leaders other than Rush Limbaugh. So far, at least, the Obama administration’s response to the outpouring of hate on the right has had a deer-in-the-headlights quality. It’s as if officials still can’t wrap their minds around the fact that things like this can happen to people who aren’t named Clinton, as if they keep expecting the nonsense to just go away.

Or perhaps I’ve read this wrong. You didn’t surround yourself with people who can turn on you because you were foolish or believed your own hype but because you’ve already surrendered. You’re just a figurehead for other people’s plans and are far more crafty about it than any of us imagined. You never had any intention of doing anything remotely close to your platform (like many politicians) but you tapped into a zeitgeist where people actually believed you. You brilliantly laid a trap so the Clintons would let their inner racism out and after a hard-fought primary “won” the nomination. You make half-hearted gestures and will tell us, “Oh well I tried”. If so the plan is working brilliantly. So many people are focused on race and fighting each other much like how Bush used Osama bin Laden to rile people up and distract them that nobody sees the big picture.

Of course so many black voters (and a few “progressives”) are still looking to you to “rescue” them from having to be focused, disciplined and fight politically but you’ve got their votes locked as long as you keep dangling the perception of making an effort. You’re a (great black hope) Trojan Horse to many. I shudder to think who’s hiding inside the statue ready to break out in the middle of the night. Most are not seriously questioning you on anything and to bring it up is met with mass denial. The white fright is bringing out the knee-jerk reaction of history of African-American struggle in this country and many are going in circles.

I’d like to know what these plans are and who the people behind the curtain (Oz) really are? The Blue Dogs? The ones Rahm Emanuel – your very own Chief of Staff and chief AIPAC supporter brought into power? It’s also worth noting Rep. Mike Ross, the leader of the Blue Dogs owes his seat to Bill Clinton. What’s really going on here? Perhaps you are simply foolish enough to think you could work something out with compromised policies being better than Republican ones. Like that secret WH deal with Big Pharma. Except there are 60 Democrats and the party controls the House and the Senate. So Republicans are not needed and if you ruled with an iron fist and laid down the parameters to the Democrats you’d actually get something done.

At least go down fighting for the little people and against the insurers and the drug companies! I seriously have to wonder though with all of the white men you’ve surrounded yourself with from similar backgrounds how you’re actually able to determine what’s best for those of us who don’t fit that demographic. You’ve flipped-flopped on LGBT issues as well. As some of us have noted you are half-white and half-African and know nothing directly of the survival history of African-Americans in this country. You also are NOT liberal or all that progressive. As evidenced by your wavering support of funding ALL reproductive services including abortions. Limited choices are not real choices. All the symbolism in the world isn’t going to put food on my table. I have to do my part, but so do you Mr. President. I think you’ve passed out checks that we can’t cash.

For those that still want to try to save the Public Option (after Single Payer was gutted) contact the White House TODAY! If things turn around it will because WE pushed back not because the President fought for this.
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Why Black Women Make Great Relationship Choices

More stories on interracial dating. This news report is a few years old and covers some of the same stats many of us are already familiar with but I’ll keep putting up signs of encouragement in the hopes the message gets out to the fence-sitters and undecideds. Besides, it’s good to see real-life couples. The proof is in the pudding. I know someone who was still only interested in limiting herself to dating black men (but not dating at all). She now says she’s open to dating a man of any race. Of course caliber, quality and fitting individual needs are vital as always. As Evia says: MATE OUT or DIE OUT!!

I also found this very thoughtful perspective from a man (who happens to be white) on why black women are great relationship choices. Interesting and encouraging!

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Should Rape Be Classified As A HATE Crime?

This is something I’ve been working on for a while and I haven’t formed all of my thoughts surrounding what an appropriate punishment for rape should be. So I’m just putting this out there. I will also say I have not experienced sexual assault directly but my life has been impacted by the effects it has had on other women in my life.

There are so many scenarios such as incest and molestation from a relative, then there’s this seeming explosion of white female teachers violating their male students that seems to not be taken seriously. There’s acquaintance rape and spousal rape. The flagrant abuses by Catholic priests and others with religious authority has now made headlines. Young women trying to enact boundaries in social settings in high school or college where a male will cross the line. Then there’s the use of rape as a tactic during wars, coups and other military actions. We also cannot forget such tactics are also used against female service members and not by enemy combatants. There are numerous situations. Most assault survivors know their violators.

I’m not sure about all the legal ramifications involved with this, but the statute of limitations on prosecuting sexual assault should be extended at the very least. It varies from state to state but rape and incest have had a 5-year limit. Murder is still prosecutable decades later – why not various forms of rape? It is an act of violence and hatred so why shouldn’t the perpetrator be held accountable? Perhaps it was reading this story of the gang rape of an 8 year old that set me on edge.
Reading these stories about crimes is difficult. As my guest-blogging time at What About Our Daughters closes out I realize what a tough gig it was. I’ll be evaluating what I’ve learned and how it’s changed me as a person and a blogger for quite some time. I do know that I much prefer to evaluate our inner workings as humans and race/ethnic identities than discussing specific criminal acts against women. Being exposed to the aftermath of depravity is sickening but it is necessary for us to know what’s going on so we can respond to it.

Now there are situations where people have been falsely accused and convicted of crimes they didn’t commit from circumstantial evidence. It is so difficult to get a false conviction overturned. We’ve also heard of cases where prisoners have been executed for capital crimes and DNA evidence proved their innocence. It’s a tight rope. On the other hand there are those who are never brought to justice because as many as 60% of the survivors don’t come forward to report their assaults. Also states are not processing rape kits and site lack of funding as an excuse. It’s a lack of priority if you ask me. With the current stats of 1 in 6 women projected as potential assault victims (and 1 in 33 for men) this should be a priority. I bet if 1 in 6 men would be assaulted law enforcement would step in and legislation would attempt to address it. In cases where DNA evidence exists should there be term limits for prosecution? Also how has the legal precedent of 1st degree rape, 2nd, etc. been established and should they be reevaluated as well?

This article at Oregon Live gives much food for thought

In Oregon, only murder has no statute of limitation, meaning there is no time limit for prosecuting the crime. Rape has a six-year limit, although two years ago state lawmakers extended it to 25 years for prosecution of first-degree sex crimes in which DNA evidence has been collected.

But proponents of this session’s bill said the 25-year statute of limitations is not enough to safeguard victims and bring those responsible to justice.

“All it does is reward a rapist who’s clever enough to evade capture,” said Christine Herrman, director of the Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Task Force.

House Bill 3263 would eliminate the statute of limitations for four sex offenses: first-degree rape, first-degree sodomy, first-degree sexual penetration and first-degree sex abuse.

Don Rees, a Multnomah County senior prosecuting attorney, said the bill is limited to the most violent sex crimes involving physical force and the most vulnerable victims.

Representatives of the American Civil Liberties Union and the Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association were careful to express support for Gillmore’s victims but said they respectfully opposed the bill.

Andrea Meyer of the ACLU and Gail Meyer of the defense attorneys association said they were concerned that a defendant wouldn’t get a fair trial because witnesses die and memories fade. They also expressed concern about the potential for mishandling or contamination of DNA evidence over such a lengthy time.

“You are robbing the defendant of the ability to re-create the event fairly,” Gail Meyer said. She added that the statute of limitations was particularly important to be maintained for sex crimes because “innocent, law-abiding people engage in sex” and could be wrongly implicated, which is not so for other crimes.

But the committee didn’t seem swayed by the opponents’ concerns, and the bill has bipartisan support on the committee. Rep. Judy Stiegler, D-Bend, committee vice-chair, said she was “offended” by their logic, emphasizing that the bill deals with the most egregious of sex crimes, in which physical force or children are involved. Rep. Brent Barton, D-Clackamas, called the opponents’ arguments “logically flawed,” describing the bill as narrow in scope. Rep. Jefferson Smith, D-Portland, pointed out that it doesn’t change a prosecutor’s burden of proving a case at trial.

Nationally, 14 states have adopted similar legislation, eliminating the statute of limitations in rape cases in which a DNA profile has been obtained. Thirteen other states have eliminated the statute of limitations on the most serious sex offenses, regardless of whether DNA evidence is collected.

“It certainly a trend that’s been going on for the last five years, with the mass use of DNA to solve crimes,” said Kristina Korobov, director of the National Center for the Prosecution of Violence Against Women. “Certainly the impact of sex assault on a victim and their family can be as devastating as homicide.”

I know there are no easy answers and this is a volatile issue for many reasons. We have to ask the tough questions and explore the options though.

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