Letterman Extortion Focus Ignores His Sexual Misconduct

I know this is apparently the biggest news story of the year, but is it really such the crime against humanity as it’s been implied? David Letterman was allegedly approached by the ex-boyfriend of one of his staffers who demanded $2M to keep silent about his past sexual relationship with her. So Letterman “revealed” that he’s had sex with numerous women who work for him and that gets swept under the rug. Can you say Fall Guy?
Considering the fact Letterman had briefly mentioned how he almost got “fired” during the Madonna interview a few days ago I think it’s very interesting indeed how male privilege and white protectionism kicks in during certain times. Letterman was referring to the Palin incident when he thought he could drag her daughters into his criticism of her and got the smackdown of his life. It has still had a profound effect on him since he obviously thought he could publicly degrade white womanhood but found out otherwise.

What I now find very interesting is how used he is to degrading them in his personal life. Or should I say professional life. No wonder he was surprised. Look what he’s been allowed to get away with for the better part of nearly three decades? He has a history of “dating” the women who work for him. What male boss is allowed to troll for dates and girlfriends from his pool of employees without violating some laws?

His current wife is a former staffer in fact. I think there’s something in the CBS water because isn’t the head of the network married to one of his staffers as well? (Les Moonves and Julie Chen). The fact that Letterman owns his show yet is so intimately involved with staff under employment contracts with the network – owned by Viacom speaks volumes about what guidelines are supposed to be in place to protect women as opposed to what actually goes on.

Whether these women enter into relationships “willingly” isn’t the point. Remember when Bill O’Reilly was busted for sexing one of his female producers, had abusive conversations caught on tape and Fox had to make a multi-million dollar payout? It also seems to me there must be some serious employment discrimination going on whereby certain women are hired to begin with. There’s the question of diversity – or really the lack of – when the women chosen have similar backgrounds. It’s one thing for a savvy woman to position herself to have access to a powerful man. It’s something else entirely when part of the unspoken job description involves giving sexual favors and attention to one.
Bookmark and Share

Internet Ike Turners & Obfuscation Tactics To Stop Black Women Empowerment

This is not a popularity contest.

This is not for kicks and giggles.

This is not what I do to pass the time.

There are lives at stake.

This blog discusses issues surrounding social justice – and the hypocrisy of those who are only interested in the ones that pertain to them.

I cover politics, pop culture and other subjects as they pertain to all of the above. Or whatever else I want to write.

My specific focus lately is on improving the lives of black women and girls but I also cover transphobia.

I invite you to walk this journey with me as it’s a challenging one for all of us.

Now that you’ve have been duly reminded (or informed) of what I do here I hope that you will take my efforts with the seriousness it deserves. You’re not going to find many blogs hosted by black women that is equally affirming of the issues I support. In certain cases my position will be opposite of what some may expect – which is why one should not assume. If you follow me online across various forums you will find that I’m fairly consistent in my interactions, tone and purpose. Why anyone would express surprise at this baffles me. Don’t you know who I am?

I have never noticed how great the distance is in our ideology and the level of indoctrination and dysfunction on the state of black women, particularly African American women in this country until this week. (As well as the black community). I’m not Mother Theresa and I’m not here to ride the rescue wave. Nor do I see myself as some sort of guru, savior or dragon-slayer. I am a woman (not to be confused with your typical all-knowing black Superwoman) who realized that things were not exactly how they should be and I couldn’t put my finger on what was off. Now that I’ve gotten out of the Matrix I see plenty, but every time I think I’ve got it figured out a new level of dysfunction awaits. This has occurred across the board for many people in the US as the moral stock has plummeted but since I’m part of less empowered group within an even less empowered group my interests lay in elevating my station in life and freeing myself of certain mindsets that do not benefit me.

I had three very distinct and abnormal encounters with black men (all strangers) this weekend. One wanted to be overly familiar and when I told him he was violating my boundaries he wanted to deny my right to set them. He felt like his standards of what was appropriate for me was just a-ok. My little opinion be damned. And he has a Rev. title! The other two are writers who took issue with my posts from the past few days – not a big surprise. I see the toxic behavior up close and personal and I not only have to filter out my interactions with these DBR (damaged beyond repair) Negroes online (because I engage in social media and discuss social justice/racism/sexism/black woman hatred but I have to withstand the scrutiny and difference of opinion of other black women still in “defend the black man/save alla our people” mode as well.

No where do I see consistent examples of anyone sticking up for black women – except on the black women empowerment blogs.

Not only have I grown as a person from reading the works of unindoctrinated women but I realize there are few truly safe places where we can go online without being bombarded, harassed, questioned or condemned for some “fault”. I feel the need to mention that sticking up for us as a collective doesn’t mean condoning everything we do as individuals either. There is a high standard of accountability as well as expectation of respect and living an amazing life. That door swings both ways.

One theme has emerged from our conversations is the never-ending accusation of being angry or expecting too much and a request to cut black men some slack. No why on earth would I cut a GROWN man slack? If he hasn’t figured out how to behave in public, be a person of substance or engage other people online in a public forum why should I be the one to make concessions? That is insane to me. So is the accusation that we must harbor hate or vitriol for black men because we have high standards. Some of us are married to black men and were raised by wonderful men who provided and protected us. Now with the current 70% never married rate for black women and the 80% out of wedlock birth rate and a host of other issues I am not seeing this as the standard anymore. Fatherless men do not know how to provide and protect naturally. If someone isn’t looking out for your best interests why expend time and energy looking out for theirs at your expense?

I am not tied to the “black community”. I’ve already discussed why I believe there is no black community left. Though I would really like President Obama to be able to wave a magic wand and elevate the underclass, working class and middle class I know that’s not going to happen. For many reasons. We have no engaging culture to speak of. That’s why Perry getting his hooks into For Colored Girls is so infuriating. No one is going to convince me the average hip-hop song, music video, the emergence of street “literature” that glorifies criminality, the constant promotion of reality shows where blacks are the lowest of the low (don’t make me list them) is a worthy expression of culture and fairly represents blacks. We have diminishing political clout and will be usurped by the next “minority” ethnic group to emerge after the next Census comes out.

The only thing holding back the latest backlash of white racism from expanding to an all-out race war is the few old guard Civil Rights-era politicians and some of the more liberal-leaning whites. Guilt will be gone with the death of the Boomer generation. We’re post-racial. Also other non-whites groups didn’t collectively oppress blacks so it’s every group for themselves from now on. One of the reasons why I’m so frustrated with the inaction of the President has to do with the unreliability of the black constituency. Too many of us accept mediocrity, excuses and limitations as just another day. If I’m sounding preachy I’ll remind you I am very opinionated and you are free of course to prove me wrong about this!

It’s funny (not) because the only consistent problem I have on these public forums is when I encounter some black men exercising their right to be misogynistic. They just don’t like being challenged on any front. Their egos are too fragile. I am not an angry person but I will respond in kind to being denigrated. I’ve already stated I think this Negro Derangement Syndrome affects the majority of black men. If you disagree with that and your father, husband, brother, cousin or neighbor has been fully inoculated bully for you. Certainly you don’t think because you have relationships with people that they are without faults? That because your man loves you that he can’t display sexist behavior to another woman? That those who fight for racism are without prejudices of their own? I don’t claim to be perfect by any means. My blog is my space and I guard it fiercely. You don’t call someone crazy after arguing semantics when the core issue is your anger over being criticized. That’s an obfuscation. It’s typical troll behavior to deflect an argument on some other non-related issue to try to obscure the attack. Then when confronted to claim ignorance of the behavior and accuse the person you were attacking of being angry/mean/uncooperative.

I do not require agreement on all issues but a likemindedness on the important ones like the status of black women is vital I see. It’s not the only topic I wish to discuss however. I have one blogger I follow who does address the inequalities amongst LGBTs related to all areas of transphobia. There was a time I said to her: Hey can you lighten up? I completely understand why she does not. She’s one of the few voices to consistentlyspeak on it. Her words may be difficult to read at times but her truth shines through. She’s usually 99.99% correct to boot. She’s not full of rage or anger though she’s just very focused. So am I. Perhaps other people have numerous buffer zones, support systems and financial resources available to them. What about those who do not? What about those who cannot speak for themselves? This isn’t about me personally. I’m not being abused (except for my writing), I’m not living a life of quiet desperation. I have plenty of freedom. I could in fact not discuss any of this but I think having knowledge of things leads to further responsibilities. Not past the point of putting oneself in harm’s way or doing too much, but in telling our stories. I am reminded this is NOTHING compared to what Alice Walker, Ntozake Shange and other black women empowerment writers went through. So I must be striking a nerve! Good.

I have times when I feel stressed to the max. It’s a sign I need to disengage. Last week outside events were more upsetting than my offline life. The Dunbar Village trial. The Maia Campbell tape surfacing and all that entailed. The Chris Brown denial and continued acceptance of criminality amongst some of us. Tyler Perry hijacking a very important story part of the canon of the AA female life experience. The ongoing opposition to the President (my criticism is not opposition to his leadership). These things do have an effect. But supposedly life for the black female collective is just hunky dory. Except when you do a side by side comparison to other groups of women then you see how far down the totem pole our standards are. But pretending is better than admitting that for many.

As to my interactions, I had one writer go through my followers list on Twitter to contact certain women to get background information on me after I wrote my post criticizing his attack on black women. I had another writer who coincidently also writes for the Root tried to argue with me that Majora Carter wasn’t a pioneer of environmental efforts because women from another generation came before her. I never said she was the FIRST and ONLY. I don’t know her and have not placed her on a pedestal – but I can easily spot the tactics of a DBR male who was wildly declaring she didn’t deserve one. I was critiquing Van Jones and in the end I believe this is what this male was criticizing me for.

Why on earth should I listen to anyone who approaches me in a disrespectful manner? I was very clear in how I worded my post. In case you’re still wondering where the insult originated from it surfaced in 1) presuming to tell me something as if I don’t know how to Google (research) people and subjects 2) chastising me in another forum. Had he really been interested in having a legit conversation he could have signed in like everybody does and written a comment. But he sought to lecture me instead.

I’m not going to allow anyone to dictate the content of my blog while dissing me. Are we really going to lob an argument about journalistic standards when those at the top of their field are repeatedly busted for plagiarizing the work of the mere “blogger”? Having a byline means you managed to get someone to hire you. I’m doing this for free. I write new content every day. Who’s showing more dedication? I have had people give me information that may have necessitated an update which I have been happy to do. But I think it takes a particular type of asinine person to nitpick over semantics and ignore the entire blog post. Internet Ike Turners are men and women who troll blogs and online forums to obfuscate, castigate and derail conversations. They also like to spread confusion.

Everyone is welcome in this forum but it’s not a free for all. Read at your leisure. Comment at will – following my posting rules of course. If my opinion is that different from your own you’re not likely to change my mind. If you find such little value in what I say why get upset? Just move on. Life is short ya know. I won’t take it personally. We all have different paths to walk in life. I am very opinionated and confident in my point of view. I’m certainly willing to learn something BUT if you haven’t spent time at my blog forum, I haven’t verified who you are and we haven’t built mutual trust do NOT expect me to give you the benefit of the doubt or a wide berth.

If you attempt to define what I’ve written and tell me something completely opposite of what it says I urge you to re-read and take a breath before contacting me. Often when we react strongly to concepts we may place added meaning where there is none. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you’re going to remake me in your image of what you think I should be. So. Not. Happening.

**P.S. If you’re accessing this post through Twitter and wish to engage a longer conversation please sign in HERE at this forum and leave a comment.

Bookmark and Share

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.

Bookmark and Share

Weak-Willed Men & What the Death of Steve McNair Teaches Us

Athlete Steve McNair was found murdered this weekend with a young woman who was not his wife. Someone asked why it mattered that the woman who died with him was white. Of course it matters but not for the reason some of you may think. This isn’t going to be a bash-the-white-skinned-woman rant. Or chiding the black man for chasing the white flesh, lol! This is something that happens every day after all and has for hundreds of years since Frederick Douglass was a freed slave to now.  That is nothing new.
The fact is McNair was in some stage of an adulterous relationship with this woman when he was married. He hadn’t bothered to try to conceal it from his wife either. When it was publicized he had been murdered there was an immediate response where people talked about his career achievements and the celebrity worship of an athlete was in full effect. I didn’t see a lot of responses that addressed the blatant disrespect shown to the surviving spouse. Well he didn’t die in an accident, he died as a result of the choices he made about whom he associated with. I see this is a huge character – lack of – issue.
Sure there are two sides to every story, blah blah blah. He was cheating on his wife with a 20 y.o. waitress and by doing so had intentionally abandoned his family. So the sympathy should be reserved for Mechelle McNair and their four children who will certainly hear some horrible things in school and have to live with not only the loss of a husband and father but the public spectacle as more salacious details are revealed. This is also a lesson in how compromising standards in relationships won’t slow its demise.
So this is where (other) white people (and other groups as well) come in. Here you have a well-known black male athlete who’s running around town with a young woman and gets himself killed. We also have no idea that she actually murdered him. The truth of what really happened may never be made public – and perhaps that’s best. Sure you have your Sanfords, your Clintons and whoever else gets busted but whites (males) are still the majority population and dictating most of the terms under which we live in this society. Racists and regular people alike take notice the massive dysfunction going on in what’s left of the black community. That’s why it matters. It’s not about what they think, it’s about the dismissal of the offenses to the wife and children by other blacks.
Some black people seem to be missing the larger issues and are focusing on the wrong things. As someone mentioned in another forum, it’s a shame when so many black men can be described by a Britney Spears song: Toxic, Circus and Womanizer. Haven’t we seen enough of that on display this past week? The dysfunctional behavior is RARELY correctly addressed. It’s barely even acknowledged let alone being brought to the forefront to be resolved. It’s why so many were confused about whether the BET Awards were a sad display of depravity. Umm hello – yes!! It’s why those of us who should’ve known better (like me) should NEVER have watched it.
McNair nearly won a Super Bowl and had made a successful NFL career for himself. He had a family and presumably some money. Let’s just say it all went to his head a little. Somehow I think if you’re going to cheat at least find someone that has some stature or something equally important to lose so that it remains discreet. What does it say about his self-esteem and outlook that picking up a young woman with no significant career achievements was such a thrill for him? That it was her youth, naivete and/or white skin that was the draw? 

Where was that steely resolve he used to build his career and generate wealth when it came to fulfilling his role as the head of his family through his actions and honoring his commitments to them? This seems to be a key missing component with a lot of black men today and it needs to be addressed BY OTHER MEN, not women. You know, the “good men” and “community pillars”. You know who you are as I’ll get several messages from women claiming you. Your silence is deafening!

This is why black women really need to pay attention. You can love and devote your entire existence to a significant other, but find they never really valued you for who and what you are at your core. The main goal for a hetero woman who wishes to reproduce should be finding and keeping a man of substance so her life is less likely to be one of hardships – and scandals. The man must have more going for himself than “simply” being famous or achieving career success, money or accolades. It’s best to not be solely looking at the phenotype of a man or insisting he has to be a black and no one else will do. We do not belong to black men and we can’t “save” the black community. We do not belong to anyone but ourselves!!!
We all deserve to  be with someone who values us and our relationship. This isn’t to say that people don’t make mistakes, but you’d think after all McNair supposedly achieved in life this was who he was interested in, not another woman of equal stature or achievement. He was that weak and insecure. That woman may have ended up being the last woman he’d cheated with but she probably wasn’t the first. Now she’s lost her life as well – all for a fantasy.
I’m not here to pass judgment but to make an observation of the things that go on with regards to blacks. That means covering our sorrows as well as triumphs. That means speaking directly to the ones bearing the brunt of the grunt work with none of the glory: black women. Some asked if this would be an incentive for men to curtail their infidelity – of course not! Someone’s always thinking they’re the “exception”.
What was the last profile piece of achievement you’ve heard of:  Serena Williams winning Wimbledon. Again I submit not one personal scandal from either tennis champ, just a lot of jealousy and animosity from competitors to commentators. Black women had better take heed to the real deal: the black men and black community has (collectively) long been gone and trying to hold onto the concept is like grabbing onto sand. The harder you grab and try to hold on the faster it slips through your fingers. Stop wandering the desert and step onto fertile land. Let it go and live your best life possible. A life that is determined by you being fully functioning, independent and free.