While Obama Gives Lip-Service To Our Reproductive Rights We Must Communicate More Effectively With Our Elected Officials

The following note I’m enclosing at the bottom of this post was a response to the Feminist Advisory Board for Obama regarding a letter that was sent to the President asking for a public statement denouncing the murder of Dr. Tiller. A form letter response was sent with a generic “thank you” but it was non-committal. Like race relations (the denial of racism, anger over accountability) control over a woman’s reproductive rights is constantly being challenged. Usually it’s by the same people – except for some fools who work against their own interests. This is part of a larger movement from those armed and racist who want to want to see women chained to the house and blacks sent back to Africa. After his huge mistake defending black woman betrayer/hater Skippy Gates don’t expect President Obama to say anything that will further incite the angry white men with guns. In fact he has flipped from his earlier decision to lift the ban on abortion funding by letting the fundamentalists (which includes Democrats) dictate the terms of our healthcare coverage.
From CBS News – – President Obama on Tuesday said he would “rather not wade into” the issue of whether or not health care reform should include federal funding for abortions. 

The president told CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric that he is “not trying to micro-manage what benefits are covered.” 
My reply – If you’re in charge you tell your subordinates what is on – and off the table for negotiation. You don’t leave it up to the whims of others.

“I’m pro-choice, but I think we also have the tradition in this town, historically, of not financing abortions as part of government-funded health care,” he said, adding: “My main focus is making sure that people have options of high quality care at the lowest possible price.”  
If you are in support of something you should be all-in. There are no ifs, ands or buts. In trying to get this health care plan -which is now being called a health insurance plan passed, if it’s nearly gutted and ineffective it’s DOA for all of us non-politicians who don’t have their plan. Or their cheap rates.
Coming on the heels of the most recent vote by the House Energy and Commerce Committee to pass an amendment excluding abortion services from the “essential” health benefits package as defined by the government it would seem Obama is NOT IN SUPPORT OF ABORTIONS for any woman who can’t pay for one. So low-income workers, immigrants, youth and the usual marginalized population are going to be (*&$ out of luck unless some private funding will cover these costs. What’s next on the chopping block….birth control pills?  

We have so many forces in opposition to any progress we must strategize how we approach tackling them. Our goals must be firm. We’re going to have to FIGHT people because they are not giving an inch. Obama doesn’t have our backs any more than his backside is being covered. He will cave unless we make it a disadvantage for him to do so. Here is one suggestion on how to approach politicians that I think may prove useful:

“Don’t read too much into the response you got to your letter. Most congressional offices have standard replies as well. The best way to get a more personal response is to put more than one issue into a letter that you write. Still, more than likely some staff member is writing that letter due to the number of letters members of congress get and I assume that the Presidency is the same way.

I have to say having interned in a congressional and a senate office has deterred me from writing letters and even signing many petitions non-anonymously to it because I know how these offices process the information and I ALMOST completely agree with their methods – they get so much mail and petitions that its hard to deal more personally with what they receive. But, I do wish that more members would read at least some constituent letters and maybe even choose to respond to a few – from my knowledge I know of some members who respond to Tweets and FaceBook messages but unsure about older forms of communication. I have heard that the President does read like 3 letters a day to keep himself grounded (his words). So I don’t know if we should give up on letters completely.

Honestly, I have not found an effective method of reaching out to my representatives. The best I have observed is trying to get a meeting with that member or a staff person and doing so constantly. This is hard though because if you get on their “bad side” they do not take your issues seriously. So I’m still trying to figure this out myself. Also with the President its not like you can get a meeting with the POTUS with out donating money to his party and winning that random drawing to have “Lunch with Obama.”

To close, didn’t expect to say all this, maybe we as a group can organize to meet with our representatives in person during recess sessions – especially summer recess – in the future over an issue. Also, many members participate in local events at this time and it is the best way to try to connect with them (but I am also from a small state that if you are somewhat involved in any industry the member covers you have met and interacted with them. So they are generally more responsive). Anyway, I do think that especially in the age with all of this technology, that nothing beats face to face.

P.S. So of course now I remember a way that may be more effective – Doing a policy memo as to why a member or in this case, the President, should support an issue. In the case of congress, their staffers need to do this to their member to co-sponsor a piece of legislation. The letter is short and basically builds a case as to why they should support a bill based on both the merits of the bill and how the bill will benefit/affect the people in their state. I would try this angle – you still may get a form letter back but you may get a staffer that may care enough to either forward this on to the member or tweek it a bit and try to convince their member to co-sponsor that piece of legislation – especially since a lot of the leg work is done for them. Final statement I promise – getting to know staff members in key offices is help ful and probably the best method – it works for the lobbyists.” — from DNMP Politico

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Will Obama’s Beer Put An End To The White Backlash?

Is this campaign deja vu or what? Would you have a beer with this person? Gag me with a spoon! So President Obama shows just how vulnerable he is by caving to angry white men. He’s just chanting, “2012, 2012, 2012 then I can tell all of them to _____”. I have a new found respect for Shrub now because he was a “cowboy”, “frat boy” and many other (not so great) things but he was never an apologist

“I have always believed that what brings us together is stronger than what pulls us apart,” the nation’s first black president said after the highly anticipated meeting ended. “I am confident that has happened here tonight, and I am hopeful that all of us are able to draw this positive lesson from this episode.” What kind of mealy-mouth BS is that? In other words, white people there’s nothing to see keep it moving.

“We agreed to move forward,” Crowley said later when asked if anything was solved. “I think what you had today was two gentlemen agreeing to disagree on a particular issue. I don’t think that we spent too much time dwelling on the past. We spent a lot of time discussing the future.” In other words, I told you I wasn’t apologizing…white power!    – – Yahoo News

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have a beer with Harvard
Skippy Gates was the LAST person that needed standing up for. It’s going to be a long, hot summer Mr. President. Let’s hope that health insurance plan is an effective, quality one and it passes. I hear Hillary has been trashing you. I’m not surprised. When you surround youself with scorpions…they sting. I’d have more sympathy but my home state has been fed to the dogs. So far DiFi, Pelosi, Boxer, Lee, Waters nor Bass – all powerful women – have been able to put Humpty back together again. Ah-nold and the Republicans took a hammer to rival John Henry’s and whacked the state almost beyond repair. There’s the saying: As Goes California So Goes the Nation.

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Black Men Trying to Escape Their Blackness Only Get But So Far

Whatever we run away from goes with us. If we are ashamed of ourselves we can’t hide that by mating or marrying someone of another race and not pass that onto future offspring.

When we speak of black male abandonment of black women and children – typically African-American men – we must also not forget the more recent prevalence for them doing this to non-black women as well. If you look at any number of bi-racial celebrities (who still identify with their black heritage) many of them were raised alone by their white/Asian/etc mother including our current President. 

Now this may cause a lot of discomfort to discuss but is it better to alleviate the jab to the ego or to heal the damaged psyche of people? Besides, what other group of men in the past 40 years have actively devalued the status of the women in their group of origin while pursuing women from other groups almost exclusively? I might also add that pursuit has mostly not been one on equal footing, not involved alliances between families or involved any strategic relationships but a grabbing for candy while blindfolded after a pinata has been breached. 

My first boyfriend was one such product. I remember being happy that I could find a black-identified male who also appreciated my love of new wave music and other “non-black” interests (according to some who wanted a very limited view of blackness) but he had a lot of unresolved anger about a) being left behind by his father b) his mother not really understanding the racial ramifications of the relationship that produced him. Even though she had remarried and his stepfather was “Dad” to him he was subsequently surrounded in a household of white people and he didn’t know who he was. I think his mother thought “love” would be enough but he needed more. Some of it had to do with any child, particularly a male who needed to be socialized around another (black) male. I think a lot of it had to do with his being raised to be “colorblind” when he clearly needed preparation for the real world. It was a disservice to him that left him sullen and confused at times and there was nothing I could do for him. 

The interesting thing that has emerged with the arrest of Skip Gates is analyzing his pride in having only 44% African DNA. He discussed this on the African-Americans Lives geneaology series that airs annually on PBS. The other is his decision to marry a white woman. He quite happily lived an “integrated” life where he surrounded himself in whiteness. This was the goal for many of the black men that pushed the agenda of integration instead of equality during Civil Rights. They wanted to be “free” to do whatever they wanted. They wanted to be able to freely mate with white women without the more blatant repercussions (getting lynched or your entire town burned down in retaliation). 

They were not seeking equality nor did they think to deploy domination tactics that would have lifted the collective. The lack of values – which included the disintegration of the black family – has led us to where we are now. It was African-American women who did much of the behind-the-scenes-work and put themselves in harm’s way to get Civil Rights on the table. Yet when it came time for media accolades who was hogging the spotlight? Black men. Some women stepped aside in the hopes that the men would “do right” by them. Many were simply pushed aside. These women wanted what they thought was a better life for the children so they swallowed that bitter pill. We know it was never reciprocated by everything that followed. They had the opportunity to support Shirley Chisholm when she ran for President and they did not. She was of course also betrayed by Steinem and the other white female leaders of the so-called feminist movement. 

For black women it’s a two-fer: sexism one end and racism on the other, but I digress. I will be discussing the role we played in Civil Rights (carrying it on our backs) this week. I should also mention that due to corrosion of the black family: 30% marriage rate amongst blacks, 80% OOW birth rate, 70% unmarried rate for black women some of the African-American women that also mate out have adopted the same self-loathing qualities I’ve discussed above. Yet the initial collective push in this direction was a decidedly male one and remains so.

I found it very telling that Gates was so dismissive of holding Lucia Whalen (who is white) at all responsible for this mess. For her to say she saw two black men with backpacks breaking into a house to the police could have resulted in Gates’ or his driver’s death. We know how cops shoot first and ask questions later when dealing with black men. Oh wait, there’s the rub. Gates’ thought he’d successfully “transcended” his blackness and was living inn a post-racial world. He could appreciate certain cultural touchstones but he didn’t live the life of a working class or even middle class “black”. He could just be “Skip” and dabble when it was convenient. 
Excerpted from an Interview with Brian Lamb for his book Colored People: h/t from reader Pioneer Valley Woman for the link

GATES: My mother hated white people.

LAMB: All her life?

GATES: Probably. I didn’t know until — in 1959 we were watching Mike Wallace’s documentary called “The Hate that Hate Produced.” It was about the Nation of Islam and I couldn’t believe — I mean, Malcolm X was talking about the white man was the devil and standing up in white people’s faces and telling them off. It was great. I mean, it’s what black people did behind closed doors, but they would never do it in — I mean, they were too vulnerable to do it, say, where they worked, at the paper mill or downtown, as we would call it. And here was a guy who had the nerve to do that, and I think if I had been a character in a cartoon, my eyes would have gone Doing! — like this. I couldn’t believe it. As I sat cowering in a corner of our living room, I glanced over at Mama and her face was radiant. I mean, this smile — beatific smile started to transform her face. And she said quite quietly, “Amen.” And then she said, “All right now,” and she sat up and she said, “Yes.”

And she loved Malcolm X and she loved what the Muslims were doing. And I couldn’t believe it. It was like — as I write, it was like watching the Wicked Witch of the West emerge out of the transforming features of Dorothy. This person I had thought of as this pioneer of the civil rights movement really had a hard time with white people. And the more I got to know her — and, you know, these weren’t easy anecdotes for her to repeat, but the older I got, she became more willing to share painful experiences of white racism — the way that she was treated when she was a girl and a servant in the house of wealthy white people just a block down the hill from where we lived. My brother and I eventually went back and bought that house for her, and that’s how we found out that she had been so horribly treated by these people. She never trusted white people. She didn’t like white people. She didn’t want to live with white people.

But she wanted us to go to integrated schools. She wanted us to live in an integrated economy. She wanted us even to live in integrated neighborhoods. She wanted us to be able to get the best that American society offered. She wanted us to be articulate, to speak white English, as we would call it, as well as black vernacular English. You know, she wanted us to know how to dress, how to talk, how to act, how to behave. She wanted us to go to private schools, to the Ivy League. I mean, she wanted us to be as successful as it was humanly possible to be in American society. But she always wanted us to remember, first and last, that we were black and that you could never trust white people. And so when I brought my fiancee home, who happened to be a white American, I thought World War III was about to break out between me and my mother, not to mention between my mother and my fiancee. 


Further down he continues… “Oh, I live in academic environments, and so it’s removed from the world. I mean, what do we do? We go downtown Boston, downtown New York, downtown San Francisco, European countries. We function at a level where certain forms of racism don’t impact upon you so immediately or so obviously.”
It was why he was so quick to be offended and reacted so negatively. If he’d been acting from a position of racial pride in himself he would’ve never confronted a white police officer the way he did. He could have just sought legal remedy after the fact or filed a complaint. Doesn’t he know the Mayor of Cambridge? If you’re going to confront white male patriarchy you had better have some consequences and punishment ready to mete out for any violations, otherwise you will be crushed by the blowback.

Which brings me to the President. He decided to be what the Field Negro blogger referred to as “Black Barry” but now will return to the non-threatening Negro/cross-over politician that got him elected. If you don’t think either of these men are compromised imagine how Malcolm X would have acted. He was unabashedly proud to be African-American. He believed in preserving the black family. Perhaps he would have had a network of other black men who would have gone to the police station to remind them their mission was to protect and serve. Perhaps they would’ve reminded them of the vast financial contributions they’d made to the Police Athletic League and how no more money would be forthcoming until this injury was addressed. Black women wouldn’t have been used to directly confront any racist cops or expend political currency being outraged about this. Not without reciprocity. 

An uncompromising man who lived in a predominantly white neighborhood would have ruled it or at the very least would have been one of its prominent residents. Not from novelty but from letting people know (non-verbally) that he belonged there. Perhaps that would have precipitated a visit with the Mayor and the Police Chief of that area to have an introduction or whatever was appropriate. He wouldn’t have tried to “blend into obscurity” the way I believe Gates has. It was also why he was making a public spectacle of himself while being arrested. He wanted sympathy from his neighbors. It just makes him look weak to play victim when discrimination impacts his life while ignoring it across the board for others.

Trying to be the “Only One” when you are a black person in an all-white setting requires certain precautions. You have to know who you are and where you are. You can’t approach this as a refugee escaping from blackness. Other people notice the flaw and though you may walk amongst them you are not one of them. They may be looking for the first opportunity to remind you of that unless you have a powerful incentive in place that would discourage that.

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You’re So Lame Award Of Shame President Obama Bow & Scrape Edition

I can’t say I thought I’d be writing a post where I’d give President Obama the Dunce Cap but so be it. I put in my time, money and effort towards getting him elected AND I voted so I have earned the right to be critical.

First of all he decided to be publicly critical of the Cambridge Police while defending his friend Skip Gates. Bill Cosby of all people stated it wasn’t a wise move on Obama’s part to the derision of many blacks. Well…when facing a rising backlash from law enforcement and a lot of whites (I read a few “conservative” blogs and trust me they were PISSED) he danced the jig yesterday. So it looks like the Cos was right all along. What exactly does I didn’t calibrate my words mean? SMH. That was a biyatch move Mr. President. Seriously.

As reader Khadijah pointed out so eloquently in the comment section of my Friday post, blacks only have but so much currency to spend during this administration. Much of it was wasted on this incident instead of something that would positively impact the collective. We are a minority population whose votes are usually taken for granted – thanks to the squandering of our clout gained during the Civil Rights era. So many people consider Obama a sacred cow they can’t fathom the concept of doing any critical thinking where he’s concerned. So obviously flexing their voting muscles is out of the question. I caught a lot of venom on a popular black political blog yesterday from those staunch defenders who insist Obama is doing a head fake by pretending to apologize. They’re the ones who have the wool pulled over their eyes.

Check –
“President Obama said that the actions of the CPD were stupid and linked the event to a history of racial profiling in America,” said Dennis O’Connor, president of the Cambridge Police Superior Officers Association.

“The facts of this case suggest the President used the right adjective, but directed it toward the wrong party.”

“The supervisors and the patrol officers of the Cambridge Police Department deeply resent the implication and reject any suggestion that in this case or any other case, they have allowed a person’s race to direct their activities,” O’Connor said.

Check Mate –
“Because this has been ratcheting up and I helped contribute to ratcheting it up, I want to make clear that in my choice of words I unfortunately gave an impression that I was maligning the Cambridge Police Department or Sgt. Crowley specifically and I could have calibrated those words differently.”

Now tell me when did Shrub EVER apologize for ANYTHING?

Oh yeah, he’s invited Sgt. Crowley (“I’m-not-a-racist” but-really-he-is) to the White House for a beer – and he called him. Now that’s a awfully big gesture for a “non-apology” as so many would like to claim. If you will also recall Crowley made it clear that HE WOULD NOT APOLOGIZE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. So why is Obama “calibrating his words”? Stalemate?

Like many destructive things going on in the non-existent “black community” this Idol worship regarding Obama has got to stop! Just like the lack of accountability for many of the pathologies that have gone unchecked. Obama has people to answer to and many of them don’t want him in office period. They want to see him fail, publicly in a very spectacular way. I get that – but I don’t care right now. There’s far too much at stake. We need single-payer health care. We need jobs and career prospects. We need affordable homes and an attainable education.

I care more about the quality and trajectory of my own life – and relying on a politician to get that done is a big FAIL. Wielding power is a challenge and a responsibility. Obama is NOT beholden to black voters. He knows this – it’s too bad many of “us” don’t. Symbolic gestures amount to a hill of beans. He is not going to allow a build-up of any more white resentment than what’s already there. I know that hurts to hear for those operating under a delusion but it’s a fact. The sooner blacks accept reality and stop thinking in terms of what-ifs and what-they-wish-would-be the sooner we can take steps to get some long-lasting changes in place. That’s not going to happen though.

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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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You’re So Lame Award of Shame: Cornel West Meet Uncle Ruckus

I can’t keep giving them out to angry and violent white men, but that does give me an idea for an “Angry White Man Award of the Week”. That will just get boring though. So….Dr. West gets the honors this week. Though he should be sharing it with Smiley and Dyson – which I’ll get into below. This is for his penchant for wanting to spend time in the Crack House vs. the White House as per his statement via TWIB

“That’s not my calling. Yeah, brother, you find me in a crack house before you find me in the White House. I’ll go into the crack house before I ever go that far inside.

Really?
Seriously.

Is this what an Ivy-League education produces….and reproduces? Like when does he actually travel without a car service and what does he know about standing on the corner in the ‘hood? He’d rather immerse himself in a dangerous environment with people caught in the demonic throws of drug addiction instead of speaking to the President about possibly doing something that would eliminate the need for a crack house to exist?

Idiot!

This is why I was gently admonished by a reader for lamenting about why some Black female bloggers can’t come to a consensus. Unless it’s for some external cause like fighting the great white oppression many of us have absolutely nothing in common and we shouldn’t expect to. 

So he, Michael Eric Dyson and Tavis Smiley, whom I’ll dub the “Triumvirate of Ego & Stupidity” keep harping on the President for the sake of being argumentative – not for any serious policy discussion. Just. Walk. Away. It’s more pseudo-intelligentsia childish temper tantrums. I have yet to see any of these men spearhead one major campaign where they support or defend Black women on any issues of importance. They are the flip side of Reverend Co. (you know Sharpton, Jackson, et al) who have never met a Black male criminal they won’t defend or rubber chicken dinner with money left under the plate they won’t attend. Perhaps I’m being extra hard on Jackson, Sr. 

No…don’t think so!

Dr. Melissa Harris Lacewell took them to task for this last week in her piece, Don’t Hold Obama Accountable to a Race Agenda” where she says:
On May 24, TV One aired the latest installment of Smiley’s accountability campaign: a two-hour documentary titled “Stand.” Recycling Spike Lee’s Million Man March film, “Get On the Bus,” Smiley assembled a group of prominent black male public figures for a bus ride through the South.

Ostensibly, this bus trip would provide Smiley, professors Cornel West and Michael Eric Dyson, Dick Gregory and others an opportunity to reflect on the meaningful upheavals in American society and politics in the summer of 2008. “Stand” was an enormous disappointment.

Its low production value, wandering narrative, flat history and self-important egoism did little to reveal the shortcomings of the Obama phenomenon. Instead, the piece exposed and embodied the contemporary crisis of the black public intellectual in the age of Obama.

The film and its participants (two of them my senior colleagues at Princeton University) appropriated the legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. to implicitly claim that they, not Obama, are the authentic representatives of the political interests of African-Americans. They used King’s images and speeches, gathered on the balcony where King was assassinated, and explicitly asserted their desire to play King to Obama’s LBJ, and Frederick Douglass to Obama’s Lincoln.

Really?

Seriously.
Shudder.

We’ve got a serious domestic terrorism problem brewing where a few angry white men are going to Set It Off and this is all these “esteemed” men can talk about? Perhaps that’s the point. If they keep saying these childish and foolish things we’ll keep talking about them. Not Obama. Which is just they way they’d like it. For that – they get the SLAP!!!!
By the way I’ve got one major policy issue that’s open for discussion right now: DOMA!
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Greetings From DC

Hey All,

Sorry for not posting this weekend but this isn’t the time to be lugging a 5lb laptop everywhere! I am sucking on throat lozenges as we speak. A lot of talking and a 50 degree change in weather makes this girl’s throat beg for mercy!! Anyway, I will be posting pictures and such soon I promise!! I have already met so many cool people that I actually forgot to record some of our conversations. I’m still getting my bearings but DC is VERY COOL! Well. it’s actually FREEZING right now but you know the people here are very warm :). The DC Metro reminds me of Atlanta’s. I’m going to research if it’s the same architects/builders.

I hope everyone gets to watch the We Are One concert. It was pretty darn good!!! Let’s not forget today is the annual celebration of the life and times of Martin Luther King, Jr. Today is a day for service. I plan on helping myself – to some hospitality and spirits!!!

Smooches—

Queen Latifah Intro: Performance by Josh Groban and Heather Headley

Renee Fleming Performance

Jamie Foxx Doing a Funny & Accurate Barack Imitation – oh yeah and Steve Carell is there too! Plus Bettye Lavette & Jon Bon Jovi

P.S. Here’s the Flickr stream for Inaug#09

Oh and in case we need a reminder:
THIS IS THE LAST DAY OF THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION!!!!!!! TRULY A DAY FOR CELEBRATING!!!!!

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Do You Think We Need A Secretary of the Creative Arts?

I’m not sure how the position would be titled or implemented specifically, but I really like the idea of having a Cabinet-level position focusing on music and the arts. There are so many creative individuals: musical scientists, the next great poet or someone who can use technology in ways we can’t envision. Not everyone is meant to focus on the technical aspects of things. Since the Feds implemented massive cuts to public schools in 1977 effectively ending things like piano lessons or photography classes, this country has never really recovered. Teaching kids music assists them in learning math and science so this isn’t a frivolous thing. There’s a petition you can sign that’s been attributed to a quote by Quincy Jones. Now this is only a start. If people are serious they will need a well-executed plan and some structure. Artsake blog has discussed this as well as Parabasis. 
I know I’d like to see more access to classes, a steady supply of well….supplies, keeping up with technology and a little innovation. Guidance with filling out the massive amounts of paperwork required to receive funding is always helpful. I’d love it if everyone could submit a simple application that doesn’t require hosts of recommendations or a large body of work to get a little stipend of some sort. Every little bit helps you know. Of course now that the economy is in the toilet it may be less likely, but this is the precise time when it’s more needed than ever.
I think it should be a person who’s had exposure to people from working class backgrounds and not just the elite with a non-traditional point of view. This is something worth exploring for sure. In the meantime check out this video of an artist who’s using their iPhone to create a song from scratch. Just when I think it’s safe to rail against consumerism and the constant release of computers, video games, cell phones and other gadgets I realize there is some use for these items. My G4 is considered obsolete and it’s not even 3 years old yet. I’d gladly upgrade now that I’ve seen how much faster the processor for the latest models are by comparison.
Be sure to leave a comment and rate the video when you get a chance because this musician is trying to retain funding to teach music and production classes to youth without charging them.

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