Saturday, May 24, 2008

Getting to know you...

Michael Eric Dyson, author, radio host and college professor gave a church address last Sunday.

He said that since Black People were forced over here to the good 'ole US of A, White People have constantly forced us to stay behind them, which is true. He said that since we have always been in the so called "back seat" here in America, we have been forced to learn about how White People are.
Again True.
We study White People. We know their habits, their dislikes, their choice of foods, their favorite pastimes, we even know how White People worship their God.

We have to know them in order to survive here. We had to learn their language, their customs, their holidays, we have voted for them in every election this country has ever had. We were forced to take their names, we have married into their families. Some of us have lost our own identities and sense of worth because of the way we have been forced to assimilate into their culture.

But on the flip side White People have not learned about us. I guess they have felt over the years that they did not need to. They don't know about our traditions, they don't know our foods, they don't know how we worship, they don't know our music, they don't know about what goes on in our neighborhoods. Sometimes they don't even know our language.

They just don't know.

They think they know about us from watching CNN, FOX NEWS, MSNBC, BET, ESPN and reading their local newspapers. But they just don't know.

They don't understand when someone like Jermiah Wright says something about the country that has treated us worse than Harry Potter's aunt and uncle treated him. (I am a huge fan of those books. Don't knock em until you read em!)

They don't understand when someone like Michelle Obama says something like "This is the first time in my adult life that I am proud of my country." They don't know us, therefore they don't understand.

They don't understand why the Black community got so outraged about the JENA 6. They don't know us, therefore they don't understand.

They don't understand Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson. They did not understand Malcom X. They think they understand Martin Luther King, but they don't.

They think that we should be grateful to them for everything that we have accomplished in this country. Granted, there are a few White People that fought side by side with their fellow Black Americans, and there are some that will fight with us today if they have too, but as a whole they don't know about us.

That is the problem with America.

That is the problem with our "LEADERS".

Anything that you don't understand, you don't like. If you don't like it, you don't try to get to know it. If you don't try to get to know it, you listen to other people's views instead of trying to learn for your self.

Everything that White People think they know about us has come from second and third hand sources.

This does not apply to all White Americans however, like I said some have been out in the fields with us.

But as a whole, White Folks just do not know about us.

And that is a damn shame.
Thanks to (A Blackman's view) for the transcript.

The Black/White dialogue is on folks.
And, Dr. Dyson is correct, this don't know, don't need to know attitude does not apply to all white Americans. There are some white people who welcome and embrace this dialogue. There are some who are willing to do the introspective work on themselves and make the effort to know first hand about their fellow Americans. My good friend Alexandra is working through this. She admits that she was raised in a racist atmosphere and that she was effected greatly by it. I admire her for being honest with such a painful reality. Monica, Alex and I talked for hours about everything from house and field niggers, to would Obama be where he is if he were dark skinned. Honest, no holds barred talk. More questions were raised and the three of us know we can always talk openly.

Instead of her usual video Friday post, Alex writes about her past and this part of her journey.
Alexandra's definition of history:
"History is more than dates and facts and places set up in a text book and read by High Schoolers dozing off and dreaming of Prom Night. History is a series of spiritual and emotional happenings. They are combined and shuffled and like a deck of cards thrown on the ground, and with that, they make up each and every one of us. We are a culmination of a myriad of time and space. Each thing affecting the other thing. And it’s how we react and how we don’t that tells us eventually what kind of person we will become. Adding in what’s happened by no fault of our own, we get the full picture."

The Pat Buchanans, Rev Hagees etc. who believe they know us black folks, or the people whose self esteem is based on an assumed superiority over others, will not take part in this national or private dialogue of healing. These people will never respect anyone else's journey. That's what it's about. Respecting each other's history. Finding that middle ground Alex is talking about so Americans don't have to relate and react to each other through wounds and fear.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Go 'head Hillary!

Hillary Clinton loses in Oregon but wins Kentucky primary by a 30 point margin and vows to continue her quest for the presidency
"until we have a nominee whoever she may be.

You gotta love her.

Edward Kennedy

It was sad to hear that Sen. Ted Kennedy has cancer.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said: "Ted Kennedy's courage and resolve are unmatched, and they have made him one of the greatest legislators in Senate history. Our thoughts are with him and Vicki and we are praying for a quick and full recovery."

Sen. Barack Obama said: "... it's our job now to support him in the way that he has supported us for so many years."

I am sending up prayers for hope and strength to the Kennedy family.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Dustin posted this performance of George Michael and Mary J. Blige really workin' my favorite love song, Stevie Wonder's As.
This is the first time I've heard anyone other than Stevie do this song.

I think As is the most complete, profound, intense, lyrical expression of love ever written. Listen to the words. How amazing it is to feel this strongly about someone.

Until the rainbow burns the stars out in the sky--Loving you
Until the ocean covers every mountain high--Loving you
Until the dolphin flies and parrots live at sea--Loving you
Until we dream of life and life becomes a dream--Be loving you
Until the day is night and night becomes the day--Loving you
Until the trees and seas up, up and fly away--Loving you
Until the day that 8x8x8x8 is 4--Loving you
Until the day that is the day that are no more--Loving you
Until the day the earth starts turning right to left--Be loving you
Until the earth just for the sun denies itself--Loving you
Until dear Mother Nature says her work is through--Loving you
Until the day that you are me and I am you--
Now ain't that loving you

Lordy yes, that's a lot of love.

Fun stuff

Dustin's site is full of fun gems. She found this site that switches adult heads with baby heads. This is my favorite pic. This is all so weird looking. - Dad?

Also, go over to Dustin's and scroll down for the floating staircase and the faux windows. I love that miminalist staircase but I wouldn't last very long without tumbling down that sucker.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Prom Night Formal, Where?

Senior prom is a weird time of meticulous preparation and high expectations that it rarely lives up to. For Houston Texas teen, Marche Taylor, this is an understatement.

Madison High's prom took place at the Sugar Land Marriot. But Marche only got as far as the lobby because when she tried to enter the ballroom an official stopped her.
She was told her custom made dress violated a school dress code.

"She shook her head, she was like you are not getting into this prom," said Taylor. "We were arguing back and forth because I wanted to know why I can't get into my prom."

“I actually like the dress. Everybody else likes my dress,” Taylor said.

Even after offering to provide more cover, Taylor was still denied access to her final and most important high school dance.

Madison High School Principal Aubrey Todd said the dress was inappropriate and violated the rules. There were specific midriff rules that actually allow one inch of skin to show.

“It was revealing in such nature it was not appropriate for the prom,” Todd said.

At that point, Taylor said she was furious and demanded her money back.

Things got so bad, the next thing she knew, someone had called the police. Officers showed up, handcuffed her and escorted her out.

“They didn’t give me any options but to go to jail or go home,” she said.
And she still loves her prom dress, even though in the end it will cost her dearly.
Taylor was not charged and was eventually released.

OK folks. This is what I want to know. How did this young woman get to this point? She had her dress custom made. Who would do that? She brought it home. Are there any thinking adults anywhere near her? She had a date and I noticed he was in formal attire. Aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, friends, neighbors, the limo driver...anybody, ANYBODY??? There was no one to guide this kid as to what "formal" wear was? Kids do their own thing at proms, that's great. But, I just think this speaks to something deeper.

My prom dress was the exact same gold color as Marche's. It was a beautiful floor length gown with a short bustled tail. I fell in love with it the moment I saw it. The price was quite a bit more than our budget, but my auntie took one look at my face and bought it for me. Elegant and classy with shoes and purse dyed to match, my hair up and the whole nine was a far cry from my usual wranglers and polo shirt. Our prom was held at Chicago's Palmer House and the after set was at some place in the loop, can't remember where. My date and I and three other couples, stayed out til dawn so of course the limo time was up and all our dads were sleeping. There were plenty of cabs downtown but we decided to take the subway home. (No, we weren't drunk.) So there we all were on the subway in our formal finery and drooping coifs, carrying our matching shoes, laughing like loons. What a night!

Senior Prom is certainly a right of passage across that scary bridge to adulthood. For most kids it's a myriad of first experences; the first formal dress, first tux, first limo, first formal function. It's often a chance to be daring and have sex and drink and stay out all night. It's often a last safe platform of bravery and defiance before graduating to the outside world, to bring your same sex partner or come dressed as the gender you are inside with hope for support and acceptance. Prom night has often been the place of coming of age protests both big and small.

But, back to Marche and her dress. I don't know. Marche insists all her "friends" liked her dress. (Why do I get the feeling she's like the kid egged on by buddies who all promise to make a face on the school picture and then he is the only one that does?) Girl, that dress is bad! It'll be fine, forget the stupid appropriate dress rules. They can't tell you what to wear!
Uh huh. Well, the friends did attempt to cover her enough to get in and perhaps the officials should have let that be enough of a lesson.

Prom was simply a right of passage.
That was then, I must admit I'm not sure what it is now. But I think it's still formal and not include being handcuffed by the police.
I don't understand this teen girl's idea of formal or why she put such a heavy emphasis on sexy. There are all the usual suspects; hip hop, videos, role models, today's culture, ecetera.

I am just sorry her prom memories will be so unhappy.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Rush for the Ladies

Yesterday, while flipping around my car radio for primary result reactions, I couldn't believe my ears as I cruised pass Rush Limbaugh's show. Yes, I know he is what he is. But I still couldn't believe his blatant ignorance and racism. It's even harder to know that some folks listen to this stuff regularly and even fall for his crapola. I'm just venting.
Limbaugh has this thing called Operation Chaos. The aim is to manipulate voters and the entire primary process and create as much chaos with the Democrats as possible. We know he outright encouraged GOP folk to vote for Hillary, but now he is targeting women, particularly Democratic women and feminists with his feigned concern and insincere rants about how Hillary is being wronged by men. Of course he throws in some racism to remind them that the chief culprit is a Black man.

"There is an unspoken of constituency today -- and I saw pictures last night at the victory speech Hillary gave before Indiana was final. I saw pictures of women who looked devastated. They were saddened, and believe me -- we have chronicled this on this program -- women, feminists, old-line feminists who got behind Hillary from the get-go, they feel betrayed. They don't understand why liberal men have forsaken Hillary for a rookie, untested (black) guy. And I would like to address you loyal Democrat women for just a second, as the commander-in-chief of US Operation Chaos and as me: general all-round good guy and harmless, lovable little fuzzball, Rush Limbaugh; because today many of you loyal Democrat women are stunned. You watch the male-dominated Drive-By Media gang up on the girl: Senator Clinton."

Note: when Rush says the word black it is whispered.
(I intended a picture of Limbaugh here, but when I googled racist sexist clown, both Rush and Shirley Q. Liquor came up. So I decided no pic.)

Well, he goes on to call Obama a variety of names, talk about how Hillary stood by her man, raised a family, brought home the bacon and cleaned up behind Bill. That's all true, so that ought to get them!

"How is it, ladies, the only man who has stood tall -- the only man in this country who has stood tall for Hillary's right to fight the good fight to the bitter end -- is me? Does this not give you pause?"

Barf! And finaly..

"They're going to tell you that you put people off with your Nurse Ratched attitudes. They're going to say that you do nothing but scare men into losing their testicles and putting them in your testicle lockbox. You know this is true! You know this is what the liberal men are going to secretly further as a notion of you and your candidate, Hillary Clinton."
I know Democrat liberal men like I know every inch of my glorious naked body, and sadly right now, these liberal men -- in the media, in your party -- are planning and scheming on how to screw Hillary Clinton out of her nomination and, by extension, to screw you, which they have been doing since you formed your movement."

I'm sorry if that made you lose your lunch. Shake it off. Yuck.
It's true women have to and Hillary had to watch out for gender bias during this process. That's real.
But, Limbaugh is a user who couldn't care less and doesn't mean a single word he said.
What a crummy waste of the airways and a lousy way to dialogue with your fellow Americans.