Saturday, July 19, 2008

Cross Dressing In China

I find it interesting that you cannot express yourself politically in China  but there is an opening in terms gender expression.  While they cannot participate in gay pride parades there seems to be some genuine progress.  I do find it troubling that homosexuality is something that is seen as the preserve of the young.  Forcing people to lead heterosexual lives, marrying and reproducing is still very limiting and wrong.  While I am excited to learn that attitudes towards gender and homosexuality are changing there seems to be a lot of work that still needs to be done.  Having to pay exploitation money to keep a gay club open signals that part of the reason for this loosening of the moral code, is the invention of yet another sub group to exploit for gain.

I am not sure whether this is the fault of this video, or a direct relation of the social acceptance of homosexuality in China, but I cannot help but notice that lesbians are once again invisible.  We know that they must exist, but it is telling that their stories are not explored.  Just as with any other civil rights struggle some voices end up becoming the denominate voices, while others are sidelined and just as relegated by the out group, as they are be in  group.  We cannot assume that just because someone is a gay male, that they are necessarily pro-woman.  Sexual orientation does not necessarily breed an ally. They (read: gay/trans males) are equally subject to ideas about what constitutes a man, and what constitutes a woman. So while I celebrate this little video as a sign that change is occurring, I must ask where are the lesbians? It is not okay for one group to achieve social acceptance while another is invisible and forced to live in the shadows.

Male Rape

Yesterday I read the account of a rape victim.  He wrote very eloquently about being raped by a woman.  I have not been able to stop thinking about him since I read his story.  You see as a woman when I think about rape I think about it as something that men do to women.  I have written post after post detailing the horrible violence that men commit against women.  It is something that pains me more than  I can possible express in words.

When I read what happened to James Landrith one of the things that really made me pause is the realization of the way that I have gendered the victim in my mind.  Before reading his account yesterday, I never once thought to write about male victims of sexual violence.  In my mind they (read: males) were the evil enemy, and not the ally for which I should weep tears of compassion, and solidarity with.  I have experienced true shame since realizing this truth about myself.   I am 100% against rape, and yet I created a group of victims as invisible, and thus marginalized, and ignored their experiences.  Thank you for sharing James, you have opened my eyes in many ways. 

One of the greatest fallacies with my reasoning was the thought that because a man had to get an erection to penetrate a woman, he must of have enjoyed it on some level.  I am so ashamed to admit to this as I have often fought against this same sort of stereotype when it comes to womens physiological reactions towards rape.  Getting an erection, or ejaculating during a rape is not an indication of pleasure, it is an  involuntary physiological reaction. To those that think as I once did the following statistics will be eye opening.

    • About 3% of American men – a total of 2.78 million men – have experienced a rape at some point in their lifetime (Tjaden & Thoennes, 2006).
    • In 2003, one in every ten rape victims was male. While there are no reliable annual surveys of sexual assaults on children, the Justice Department has estimated that one of six victims are under age 12 (National Crime Victimization Study, 2003).
    • 71% of male victims were first raped before their 18th birthday; 16.6% were 18-24 years old, and 12.3% were 25 or older (Tjaden & Thoennes, 2006).
    • Males are the least likely to report a sexual assault, though it is estimated that they make up 10% of all victims (RAINN, 2006).
    • 22% of male inmates have been raped at least once during their incarceration; roughly 420,000 prisoners each year (Human Rights Watch, 2001).

In feminist circles much time is dedicated to issues that stop women from reporting rapes.  The Curvature is an excellent example of a blog that daily posts about rape, and its effects.  When I think of the hardships that women face getting rape to be treated seriously by the authorities, I cannot help but wonder how much harder is it for men, who have very few support networks in place? How much harder is it for men, if they can be publicly ridiculed when they share their accounts? 

Men who are raped by other men fear being labelled homosexual even though rape is a crime about power and not about sex.  "People will tend to fault the male victim instead of the rapist. Stephen Donaldson, president of Stop Prisoner Rape (a national education and advocacy group), says that the suppression of knowledge of male rape is so powerful and pervasive that criminals such as burglars and robbers sometimes rape their male victims as a sideline solely to prevent them from going to the police." It makes one wonder how many are suffering in shame and silence, afraid to talk about their experiences?  This is something we need to start addressing and creating support networks for. No matter the gender, rape is a violation of the worst kind.  Rape crisis counsellors estimate that while only one in 50 raped women report the crime to the police, the rates of under-reporting among men are even higher (Brochman, 1991).

We think of men as always strong and therefore there is this understanding that they should be able to protect themselves in all situations.  Women hold take back the night rallies, but do we stop to think that darkness may be just as dangerous to men?  A predator, is a predator and if they seek to assault an individual, gender may not play a role on who is victimized.  Men are taught to hold in their emotions and not express their pain.  How many suffer because they feel it is the "manly" thing to do.  How many ignore their pain because we have taught them as children that males don't cry when they are hurt, they simply move on to the next task? 

The research that I have done is very preliminary but it has been enough to open my eyes.  As an advocate to stop sexual violence  I will no longer perceive victims the same way.  I will have to begin to think of the gendered language I use to talk about rape because making an entire group of victims invisible by privileging the female experience is wrong.  If we can accept that rape has little to do with sex, then we should also accept the idea that it may have little to do with gender as well.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Road
Atlanta, Georgia 30333
Phone: (404) 639-3311
Public inquiries: (404) 639-3534
Toll-free: (800) 232-4636
TTY: (888) 232-6348

American Social Health Association
P.O. Box 13827
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
Main Phone: (919) 361-8400
STI Resource Center
Hotline: (800) 227-8922

Portland Men's Resource Center
12 Southeast 14th
Portland, OR 97214
Phone: (503) 235 – 3433

Men Stopping Rape
P.O. Box 2361
Madison, WI 53701
Phone: (608) 257 – 4444

Centers for Disease Control
National Prevention Information Network
Distributes a variety of educational materials to the public. Provides expert referrals.
P.O. Box 6003
Rockville, MD 20849
Toll-free: (800) 458 - 5231

National Sexual Violence Resource Center
123 North Enola Drive
Enola, PA 17025
Toll-free: 877-739-3895
Phone: 717-909-0710
Fax: 717-909-0714
TTY: 717-909-0715

National Center for Victims of Crime
2000 M Street NW, Suite 480
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: (202) 467-8700
Our helpline is staffed Monday through Friday 8:30am to 8:30pm EST:
Toll-free Helpline: 1-800-FYI-CALL (1-800-394-2255)
Fax: (202) 467-8701
TTY/TDD: 1-800-211-799 
Email: [email protected]

National Crime Victims Research & Treatment Center
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Medical University of South Carolina
165 Cannon Street, P.O. Box 250852
Charleston, SC 29425
Clinic phone: (843) 792-8209
Administrative phone: (843) 792 – 2945

National Gay & Lesbian Task Force
1325 Massacusetts Avenue, NW
Suite 600
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: (202) 393-5177
Fax: (202) 393-2241

Your state Attorney General, county/city prosecutor, or county/city law enforcement:

Friday, July 18, 2008

Link Love Friday


imageSmall announcement before we hit link love.  Starting next weekend Womanist Musings will begin conferring two new weekly awards. One will be the DICK award to the  MRA asshole of the week, and the second will be the Stepford Wife award to the collduer of the week  Please feel free to make your nominations for those that you feel have committed the greatest idiocy in the form of outright misogyny. Either respond in this thread or drop me an e-mail.  We all need to be aware of what the enemy is up to if we are to combat them. Consider this an open thread.. Shamelessly self promote or speak about what is on your mind.  I will get it started by throwing out some posts that caught my attention this week


Repeat After Me Not All Trans Women Are Prostitutes: Trans Griot

I get so sick of hearing the 'Black transwomen are hookers' shade. Every time one of my transsisters gets killed, in just about every story I read, the assumption is made that they are either hookers or if they had a prior arrest for it, it's played up in the story.

Identity and Living Into Truth: Don't Do That

But even if we refuse to own the blackness, or the whatever-ness, chances are high that sooner or later it will out. Some of us will bleach our skin, and straighten our hair and go under the knife so that our hips and thighs and noses and lips are not so offensively full. We will learn to modulate the tone of our voices and cultivate a manner of speaking that will make you wonder when you talk to us on the phone … so that we can get the job interview, but we know that when we show up the jig is up.

Admitting It: When A Woman Is A Rapist: James Landrith

She sternly warned me to "be quiet" and "not be forceful" and made it clear that she would accuse me of raping her if I tried to stop it. I was stunned to say the least and not sure how to respond. I could easily have thrown her off me and into next week, but I was not willing to risk harming her child or her to protect myself.  Further, I took her threat very, very seriously. She said it so easily that I doubt I was her first.

What If Whiteness Doesn't Do A Body Good?: Professor What If

What if we woke up to the fact that white is not right, that brown bread is healthier, that teeth naturally yellow, that white t-shirts are boring, that, for god/dess sake, a white anus is darn right unnatural and unnecessary? Whiteness doesn’t do a body good-what it does is confer white skin privilege-a privilege that allows those with white skin to walk through the world with many advantages through no actions of their own. But these privileges are not good in the entire scheme of things for white skinned people either because what they perpetuate is a racist, colorist world that harms everyone-white people included.

Talking To Men About Sexism: Jack Valentine

Essentialism is the view that specific entities necessarily have specific characteristics. We can detect essentialist notions informing a person’s reasoning when they say things like, “black people are loud,” “women are weak,” or “gay people are too sexual.” Essentialism is the root of all prejudice, and it is problematic because it offers gross oversimplifications based on insufficient evidence while totally ignoring systemic factors.

Nigger Who Has Permission

Yesterday on the view the ladies decided to discuss the word nigger.  Though I am huge fan of Whoopie, she completely lost me when she decided to defend the continued use of the word nigger by blacks.  This word reclamation project has got to stop. It is not appropriate for us to use it, and then say to whites that they cannot.  I am particularly bothered by the assertion that this word can be used as a term of endearment. A term of endearment is honey, sweetie, or baby, not a word that signifies that a group of people are not human, or somehow less than based on the colour of skin. If the genesis of a word is hate regardless of who or circumstance the meaning will not change.

The continual usage of the word by blacks keeps it alive.  Each time it is used, it is a reminder of the terrible inequalities that exist in this society. It is assaultive speech.period..When I hear a black person saying nigger, I hurt for them because to me it is an indication that they have internalized racism to some degree.  They have actively chosen to employ the master tools, and as we are all aware, this is not the path to freedom and equality.  To take ownership of that word is to admit to some degree the possibility exists that we are all potential niggers. 

I find it disheartening that it was Elizabeth who had the courage to say that the continual usage of this word is wrong.  She showed great courage in confronting Whoopie and Star on their hypocritical approach to this issue.  How is it that a white woman is the one to have to tell blacks about the perils of racism, when everyday we are forced to confront it?  What does it say about our level of racial comfort?  We have a high drop out rate, many of live in poverty and black children have internalized blackness as, and less than, yet we insist on owning labels that reinforce  this as a positive.  If we as a people are going to demand respect from others, we need to practice it ourselves.  We need to start to associate blackness with positive metaphors.  Blackness needs to mean good, beautiful and strong. When we hold on to labels from the past we are only breathing life into an ugly, self-defeating trajectory.

If You Are Black And Gay You Better Not Give The Finger

Let's be honest the police have historically not been friends to either blacks, or LGBT people. If you happen to be a member of both groups, you possess even more reasons to have issue with law enforcement.  While sitting on a public bus, a young woman gave the finger to an officer who proceeded to pull the bus over and assault her while he was taking her into custody. How is it possible that an act of civil disobedience like flipping the finger, earns an individual the penalty of having their face smashed into concrete, and their nose bloodied? 

Daily the police assault POC, and the LGBT community. They attack because we are vulnerable, and society has invested them with power.  How many have needlessly lost their lives due to police brutality only have to have that same officer either transferred to a different unit, or placed temporarily on desk duty? How many times must they be caught on tape savaging our communities before we can get some justice? If the people who are supposed to be upholding the law, daily violate the law, then we have no law.  What we have is a masquerade of justice wherein certain bodies matter, and others are only considered to the extent that can be exploited, and marginalized. Whether it is driving while black, transcending traditional gender roles, or daring to love freely, the police are engaged in maintaining hierarchies in our society that relegate many to a second class citizenship status.  They do no exist to protect the average citizen, they exist to protect the  possessions, rights, and freedoms of the ruling elite.  Take a moment and remember their violent repression in Seattle.  Who are they really sworn to protect?

After 911 the image of law enforcement was reborn, cleansed by a day of heroics. Despite those officers who gave their lives, the reality of the corruption behind the blue wall is an ever present danger to POC and LGBT people.  We cannot forget that when they see us, they see a criminal. We must remember that when they interact with us, they see disposable bodies. A gun and a badge do not give you the right to terrorize innocent citizenry. Our bodies matter, and they always have.

Fat People Need An Intervention

Last Sunday while flipping through the channels I came across the show  Intervention on A&E.  Every time I have seen this program it has been about people battling their addiction to drugs or alcohol. This past week the show was extended to cover those that the medical establishment has labelled  morbidly obese.  I sat there dumb founded as they portrayed Josh, as this poor pathetic man without critically engaging about the fact that societies attitude towards fat plays a great role in his self esteem.

Fatness is projected as some illness that needs to be cured.  Yes a fat person may have a stroke, or a heart attack tomorrow but you know what, the same can happen to a skinny person. You don't know when your number is up. It could be in five minutes or years from now. If fatness was not stigmatized to the degree that it is people would experience a greater satisfaction with their lives.   Fatness is either ridiculed, treated as a disease, or made invisible in our society.  When one must face such an onslaught of negativity daily is it any wonder that desperation, and depression ensue.

As I watched this segment it was clear to me that he had many unresolved issues due to physical abuse from his father as a child but what he "needed help" with was his weight.  It seems to me that no matter what "addiction", he may have been suffering with, until that issue was dealt with, any treatment would be unsuccessful. If we are going to engage with weight we need to do so critically. We need examine the ways in which we use weight as an excuse to other, minimize, and exploit. It did not occur to A&E to delve into the culpability of the diet industry, even though Josh spoke about the various diets that he had attempted.  Yo-Yo dieting will increase weight, and the diet industry is dependent upon people trying these fad diets and failing.  It did not occur to A&E to critique the media that produces movies like the Nutty Professor that create fat people as objects to be ridiculed.  It did not occur to A&E to look at the medical industry that has pitched biatric surgery as a "cure" to fatness, while they line their pockets, reaping profits on peoples insecurities.

I object to them promoting an intervention for fat people without putting the whole issue into context.  It simply looks like Josh is this individual that has no self control, and has no life because of his weight.  Even though the video showed that he was talented entertainer, and a successful entrepreneur, that was skillfully minimized in an attempt to portray his weight as the only significant factor in his life.  No matter what oppression one must negotiate in life, it simply is not the only signifier of identity.  If we are going to deal with issues in this society, we need to examine them critically,  we need to understand who benefits from the perpetuation of certain ideas.  It may be one individual carrying the weight, but obesity is a cultural phenomenon.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Every Hour One Russian Woman Dies At The Hand Of A Male Family Member

image  The following is a cross post from Jezebel. So far, our coverage of Russian women on this site has been limited to the fuchsia excesses of teen billionairess and burgeoning fashionista Kira Plastinina. Well, an NPR report that aired this morning shows a sobering reality of Russian womanhood that's so far from Plastinina and her rancid materialism as to be rendered absurd. Gregory Feifer reports from Moscow that 14,000 women die each year in Russia at the hands of their male partners. What's more: wife beating is not considered a crime, and 50% of women in a recent survey say they have been physically abused by their spouses. "The real number of victims is impossible to count as [domestic violence] is seen as a private matter, not to be aired in public," Feifer said. In fact, Feifer notes that there is an old proverb that many Russian women seem to have internalized: "If he beats you, he loves you."

See Jezebel for the rest of this story.

Obama The Slave

 image Sally at Jump Off The Bridge sent me this story.  Apparently Doron Braunshtein, is making a tidy little profit selling shirts with slogans like, Jews Against Obama, Who Killed Obama? and Obama = Hitler.  Braunshtein is quoted as saying, “For a lot of people, when they see Obama, they see a slave. People think America is not ready for a black president. “I can’t stand Obama,”  He claims that it's not because  Barack is black. “That’s the only thing I like about him. He opens the door for other minorities.”

Ok ass wipe, you cannot be pro the advancement of minorities and endorse a statement like Obama Is My Slave.  I am not sure if you realize exactly how racist this statement is. It  not only devaluates Obama as person, but reduces all POC to commodities.  Slavery continues to have a lasting effect on blacks, and is the basis of our continued occupation of the bottom rung of the racial hierarchy.

An Israeli trading on the holocaust to turn a profit is particularly disgusting. Equating Obama with Hitler, a man that is responsible for the death of 6 million Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals and political dissidents diminishes the human travesty of  genocide.  This is not an event that should be reduced for the sake of propaganda, and profit. Shame on you sir. I am further troubled that his reason for hating Obama, is because he believes the man to be a Muslim. As a Jew, he should have retained enough cultural knowledge to realize that when we hate groups of people based on the idea that they are less than, it leads  to places like Auschwitz.  "Never Again" symbolizes more than an end to genocide, it also symbolizes the end racism, and bigotry.

That this man could wear this shirt, proudly smiling is more proof of exactly the kind of post-racial world in which we reside.  Daily people make statements that are highly offensive, and then claim not to be racist, or try and qualify it with some ridiculous justification.  I am sick of calling this shit out. You are not fooling anyone; you false ally, you wolf in sheeps clothing. There is nothing post about racism, and for POC that must negotiate stigmatized identities daily, it is an ever present danger to our souls.

The Patriarchal Family

For the purposes of this blog entry I will define family as a heterosexual couple inhabiting the same abode with one or more children. This definition in no way invalidates the different forms of families that are in existence today. The family is important to study because it is the first site of socialization. It is where we first learn about patriarchal authoritarian power. Just as power relations in the public sector are male run similarly the family is male run. The hierarchal nature of marriage necessarily means that his needs, desires and whims are first to be catered to resulting in a high level of satisfaction with the relationship. (Bernard 1982) The subservience of the female partner equates to a higher quality of life for men, better mental health and professional opportunities. (Steil 1997)

This is evidenced from the very beginning of the family. Consider the wedding ceremony. Even though today the woman no longer promises to obey the symbolism that is part of a wedding ceremony is necessarily linked to male dominance and female submission. The man gives a woman an engagement ring, which historically represents his ability to support a family. Today we know that most nuclear families are dependent on dual incomes and yet this practice still exists. The woman wears a white wedding dress to symbolize her purity. The genesis of female virginity stems from the desire to ascertain the paternity of any children she may produce. The father or male head of the family gives the bride away, thus transferring ownership of the bride from the father to the husband. Finally she (the bride) relinquishes her identity and takes the last name of her new husband. Some would argue that the aforementioned aspects of the wedding ceremony are meaningless. If they are meaningless then why do continue to perform them? The answer is that it institutionalizes male power. As a society we have normalized female submission.

The maintenance of power structure within the family comes at a cost to women. According to Stats Can (2003c:17) 21% of women devote more that 30 hours per week compared to 8% for men on unpaid labour; 16% of women devoted 30 hours or more on childcare in a week compared with 15% of men; and 20% of women compared with 15% of men reported taking care of a senior generally for less than 10 hours per week. It is clear that there is an unequal division of labour. Not only do individual men profit but society as whole profits from the nature of women’s work. As western economies continue to privatize the burdens of women will continue to increase. It is quite evident that a reduction in services will increase the “double day” that women already perform. Women must juggle to try and balance labour between the private and public sphere. Yet the economy is dependent on the free labour of women (Waring) Consider that women’s work in the maintenance of the family is not counted in the GDP and or GNP of any nation and yet if it were not “freely” performed the cost would have to be covered by the ruling capitalist class. Discounting the value of this labour helps to insure that women are not able to assume positions of power. The work that counts is the work that produces a product that may be sold on the market for a profit. According to Levi Strauss “exchange itself is not constitutive of the subordination of women; women are not subordinate because of the fact of exchange, but because of the modes of exchange instituted, and the values attached to these modes.

It is under these conditions that women must try and raise their children. The rate of reproduction in the industrialized west is declining. Women are no longer bearing 2.1 children. As services that were previously provided by the state or extended families in a communal setting are increasingly “downloaded” to nuclear families women are choosing to reduce their burdens by having less children. The cost or raising a child from infancy to adulthood is prohibitive and yet no national daycare plan exists in Canada. The 100 dollars of taxable income offered by the state does not even cover the cost of one week of daycare. When women “opt” to stay home rather than seeing their income devoured by the cost of daycare they are penalized in the employment sphere. They experience a loss of marketability and are often unable to re-enter equivalent to the level at which they were when they left. Leaving the public sphere to attend to the needs of the family further affects their retirement benefits and leaves them wholly dependent on male financial support. These are sacrifices by enlarged assumed by women. Though there are instances of stay at home dads, by enlarged this role falls to women. Housework is tedious and when women are forced into the position of being a stay at home mother and or caregiver there is never a separation from work and pleasure. From the moment they arise in the morning all of their energies will be devoted to the work that they perform. There is an unspoken need to justify this work as labour in relation to the mans as it does not produce a visible profit. The male breadwinner model ensures that he will have more power in the relationship, as he that earns necessarily assumes the privilege of deciding how they families income is spent.Thus while there are certain intrinsic rewards to the modern nuclear family it is clear that it is fettered with female oppression. Equality that has been proclaimed is not lived.

Admit You Like Us Passive

 image I have done a lot of thinking since the disgraceful cartoon in the New Yorker.   Since its release, there has been a comparative link between Angela Davis and Michelle Obama. It is inferred by so-called left leaning liberals that such an association would be a negative thing for Michelle.  Ms. Davis theorizes that "radical simply means grasping things at the root", and it has become apparent over the years that even the most liberal of whites like "their" blacks to relieve them of their collective guilt, from the ways in which they continue to benefit from racism.

Why is Angela Davis a problematic  body?  She is a feminist, LGBT activist, and had association with SNCC, and the Black Panther Party.  She is the author of several books, and today is a university professor.  Most importantly Angela dares to speak truth to power. It is her continual confrontation with those that seek to reduce others that makes an alignment with her politics problematic. If you do not unequivocally support the system then you are considered radical and therefore a dangerous liability. In her thesis, Michelle unlike her husband dared to echo the theory of elitist pandering in the name of equality. 

"I have found that at Princeton no matter how liberal and open-minded some of my White professors and classmates try to be toward me, I sometimes feel like a visitor on campus; as if I really don’t belong. Regardless of the circumstances under which [sic] I interact with Whites at Princeton, it often seems as if, to them, I will always be Black first and a student second."

Her thesis can be read in 4 different sections Part1, Part2, Part3, Part4.  Now Michelle is being carefully handled in the hopes of constructing an image of the first lady that is more palatable to white voters, even as her husband lectures the population about black responsibility.  Baracks message is not new. It has been echoed over generations by black appeasement specialists who seek not to uplift, but to gain entry into whiteness. 

To seek whiteness is only a rejection of the blackness that is understood as uncivilized and barbaric.  It is the association rather than the colour that is viewed as a stain upon the body.  Were blackness the ideal or the normalized good, whites would seek it in a desire to affirm their worth.  When men like Bill Cosby give their speeches, it is based in a desire to separate themselves from what they view as social elements within the community that are intent upon rejecting the idea that white as a normalization standard is good and fitting for everyone. 

What is interesting to note is that this desire to separate, also perpetuates perceived differences as it reinforces that there is a way of acting black, and a way of acting white.  Difference in behaviour has more to do with geography and class, than it does with race.  Whites and blacks of similar poor economic standing  who reside in similar geographic locations articulate in the same manner and possess many of the same patterns of behaviour; one group we call niggers and the other we call white trash.

The black Afrostocracy seeks similarly to the white bourgeoisie to be able to enjoy the privileges of its elite status without the pangs of guilt, thus we find them singularly engaged upon a message that is equally intolerant as white liberals.  I refer to it as  interracial partnership politicking for the advancement, and maintenance  of the bourgeoisie.  White liberals have a particular love of the Afrostocracy because it allows them to perpetuate the myth that they have transcended racism.  They can point to these few rare elites as friends, and often use them as defence tools when attacked, or called out for their racism.  It is convenient to have at least one good black friend in your back pocket.  They collect them like pets, regularly rewarding those that perform appropriately  with a bone.  Lets look at some of the Afrostocracy engaged in the love affair.

Condoleeza, Bill Cosby, Michael Jackson (pre-child molestation charges) Ayan Ali, Pearl Bailey, Tiger Woods, Oprah (pre-endorsing Barack) Whitney Houston(pre-Bobby Brown), Will Smith, Walter Patton, O.J (pre-Trial), Mandela, Martin Luther King, Samuel Jackson, Denzel Washington etc. and etc....What these celebrities have in common is that they either don't engage in conversations about race, or they when they do it, it is done in an apologetic turn the other cheek fashion.  White liberals love them because when these people talk about colour, it allows them to continue on in their fallacy that they are free of ideas that marginalize people of colour.

Now you know there cannot be a love list without a hate list: Malcolm X, Danny Glover, Louis Farakhan, Oma Rosa, Spike Lee, Terrence Howard, P. Diddy, Grace Jones, Cynthia McKinney, Jocelyn Elders, Jesse Jackson, Alice Walker, Toni Morrisson, William Sisters, etc and etc...These POC engage in racial conversations wherein they dare to speak truth to power.  If they feel anger they express it, and furthermore they make certain that leading white liberal elites are aware of their duplicity when it comes to race relations.

These are the "angry" black people that white liberals run from as though they possess the bubonic plague.  We cannot continue on in this one sided conversation wherein the lie is perpetuated that we live in a post racial world.  It is harmful, and prevents us from making strides to effect change.   It is time to force the conversation that white liberals and the black Afrostocracy have been reluctant to participate in.  You are either a committed anti-racist, or you are not..


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Whose Children Count

image  Unless you have been living on an isolated Island without Internet, or cable television you are aware that Angelina Jolie recently gave birth to twins via c-section.  Paparazzi were all over the hospital attempting to get pictures of the newborns.  Angelena and Brad are splashed over the cover of various magazines.  While I celebrate the birth of any child, I am really starting to get irritated by the amount of attention that this is getting.

Angelina is the mother of 6 through adoption, and natural birth.  Very few have bothered to comment on her quickly growing family.   Let's imagine for one moment that Angelina and Brad are not successful actors.  Let's imagine for a minute that both are working minimum wage jobs.  How does this change our view of their fertility?  What would happen if we were to remove "Brad" altogether from the situation and make Angelina a single mother living on welfare and government subsidies?

It is quite common to hear people say that if a woman gets pregnant while on the system that her benefits should not increase irregardless of the fact that the child will also suffer.  Women are punished for being poor and for getting pregnant, yet we do everything in our power to ensure that this situation does not change.  Insurance plans don't cover abortion or contraception, so how many options are we really leaving open? 

As a society we pay a lot of lip service to respecting motherhood, but in truth unless you are of a certain colour or class, it is more likely that you will be punished, or somehow stigmatized for "choosing" to give birth.  The pro life movement has dedicated itself to ending abortion but offer no good solutions to help women who decide to keep their babies.  There is no social conversation about socialized daycare to make it easier for single mothers to work and raise their children.  We "support" a woman staying home to raise her children but if she has to be on social assistance to do it,  she is labelled a "welfare queen," and is told to be grateful, as it is the social myth that these women are living in luxury. 

Age is even a factor in our discrimination. If it is a young woman that happens to be pregnant, even without hearing her story we are quick to judge her. The reactions to the so-called pregnancy pact made it clear that we don't support the choice to become pregnant. These girls were continually referred to as stupid. Imagine that they became pregnant in a woman friendly world, where each child was welcomed as the blessing that it is. Imagine that this occurred in a world that had daycare centres in all schools so that girls who became pregnant could continue their education. Imagine a world where all new mothers had access to free prenatal care and parenting classes.  The problem is not that these young women got pregnant, the problem is that these women got pregnant in a world that does not value women, and reproduction unless you fit into a very narrow category.

Our social obsession with the pregnancy of celebrities is a confirmation of which bodies matter in this society.  We care more about these privileged babies than the children that everyday go to school without breakfast.  As the homeless rate continues to rise with the mortgage crises, and the failing economy, this false alignment with the rich and powerful is a symbol of the anomie that we are facing.  We need to begin to care whether or not the child next door has enough to eat, or warm clothing to get through the winter.  We need to care not only because it is the human thing to do, but because children are our future, and they collectively represent our greatest potential.

To continue to expect women to suffer quietly the daily humiliations of poverty and motherhood is cruel.  When poverty is combined with racial stigmatizations it can lead to even more tragic results.  There is a connection between the fact that most black single mothers live in poverty, and the high rate of young black men in prison.  There is a connection between the poverty of black families, and the high drop out rates.  As we move increasingly towards a technological society those that already live on the margins will be further pressed into more desperate measures to survive. We do not live in a meritocracy or those that currently occupy the bottom sphere of the race and class hierarchy would not be where they are.  No one works harder than a single mother.  The problem is as a society, we do not understand that what these women do is labour.  No group of people work harder than the working class, who in many cases have two, or even three minimum wage jobs, and yet we tell them to work harder, or blame them for their poverty, rather than the system that impoverishes.  The lie that people are not trying hard enough is circulated by the ruling one percent so that we will be blind to the ways in which the system not only creates poverty, but ensures that certain bodies are destined for a lifetime of poverty. So when I here people like Obama, or Bill Cosby talk about personal responsibility I want to ask them, have you no shame sir? Where is your responsibility?  It is far easier to sit in judgement and lecture people on the fallacy of their ways, than to offer concrete solutions that will make a difference.

Angelinas tribe of children matter socially, but only because of the status of their mother and father.  I would like to live in a world where  children regardless of race, class, or ability are celebrated.  When we begin to validate the humanity of the least amongst us, we show our potential as a species.  Congratulations Brad and Angelina, but I would also like offer my congratulations to the uncelebrated children that were born in ghettos, or in villages, and slums globally.  Though certain factions are greedily plotting ways to exploit you young ones, it is my hope that you will rise up, and offer some sense of decency, to this clearly unbalanced and troubled world.

Pedophile In My Neighbourhood

I get the Niagara Falls Review delivered daily not because it is an excellent newspaper, but because I like to keep abreast of local events.  Most of the news I read is online as the stories in the review are usually a few days old.  This morning over my habitual green tea I came across a story that not only had me enraged, it terrified me. It seems a convicted pedophile, Robert Lee Sowell has moved into my neighbourhood while he is awaiting sentencing.

Sowell is convicted of molesting three boys, and one for more than two years.  He is not due to face sentencing until December 8, in a St.Catherines court. There are currently seven children residing in the building in which he is staying.  There are also two schools, and two parks within a 30 minute walking distance.  The closest park is less than 5 minutes away. 

It seems that the crown attorney was under the impression that no children were living in the building at which he currently resides when she agreed to his placement there.  Even if that was the case, which it is not, residents have a right to be informed that there is a pedophile living in our neighbourhood.  We only found out from reading a report in the newspaper.  This is a neighbourhood that is full of children.  Our parks are often crowded, and filled with the sounds of laughter on beautiful summer days.

Now that this man is free, the park that used to be filled with smiling faces is empty, and children are either inside, or have been driven to parks that are further away to avoid the danger of this man.  Sowell is not a man that is awaiting trial, he is a man that has admitted to child abuse, how is it fair that he is free and our children our trapped in their homes in fear?  One child was reported in the Review to be scared to walk his dog because Sowell was sitting on the front steps of the apartment building.

Police cautioned residents not to take actions into our own hands. They encourage people to continue to monitor his behaviour. For me this is difficult to do because unfortunately the newspaper did not print a picture of this man, and so I have no idea what he looks like.  It seems to me that no one would be in this predicament if Sowell was in jail where he belongs.  He is a threat to every single child in this neighbourhood. 

Pedophilia is an urge that these monsters cannot control.  When a child is sexually assaulted it stays with them for life.  We are needlessly risking the safety of our children. I know that it sounds like I am advocating not in my backyard, but I am advocating not in any backyard.  Until this man is placed in jail where he belongs, the freedom that my son "Destruction" knew is gone. I will not risk anything happening to him.  Even though I reviewed good touch/bad touch with him and not talking to strangers, I no longer feel safe allowing him to go to the local convenience store to blow his allowance, or  play tag or basketball for hours like he used to.  Until this man is away his freedom will extend no further than my front yard.  My child is everything  to me,  and though this is a cruelty I do not wish to impose, his safety comes first.  If only the  criminal justice system chose to value the safety of children over a convicted criminal.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Hugging Daddy Is No Substitute For A Good Fuck

The sex police are at it again. I came across this article at feministing. According to Janice Turner, the creator of Power of Purity classes at New Birth Ministries, "Girls give in to sex not because they want sex - it's like a hug. If they can get that from their fathers, they won't need it from a boyfriend." I know that the woman has had sex because she has a daughter, but she clearly must never have had an orgasm.  People have sex because it feels good. Here is another little thing that she forgot in her message about female chastity, women also have sex with each other, and you know what, that also feels good. It's not all about the penis.

Turner is part of the purity movement that is trying to restrict female sexuality. Girls get all dressed up in white, (love the imagery) Daddy dearest gives them a ring, and they pledge not to engage in sex until marriage. Aww how fucking sweet. No sex until Daddy has turned you over to another man. Nice.  I'm thinking that this would make a great Duracell commercial...cause if you stick with this, you are going to need an endless amount of batteries for the vibrator you are going to have to purchase.

The best part of this whole strategy is that "Purity will never break their hearts." If perhaps the girl is feeling a certain sense of malaise because she has already lowered herself and lost her pride, the vow can still be taken. Yes sinners, repent and it shall all be washed away. To be honest the whole incestuous leaning of the purity movement is down right creepy. The purity ceremony mirrors that of a wedding ceremony, with the saying of vows and exchanging of rings.  It is all about male control over female bodies, and puts the onus on saying no on young women. Though Turner asserts that, "Sex is only a small part of relationships," I feel that the opposite in fact is true.  If it were not such an issue, there would not be a purity and abstinence movement dedicated to disciplining it and controlling it.

Wrapped in religious doctrine about pride and self esteem is the message that good girls don't. Good girls don't really like it. Good girls only say yes when they have permission to say yes. This denies the positive effect that sex can have on the well being of an individual, and it denies that women do indeed enjoy sex. It further promotes heteronormativity. There are a host of reasons to run screaming from this movement.  Don't be fooled because they have colluders like Turner pushing the message.  The decision to engage  in sex should not be based on guilt or shame, it should be based on whether or not it is an equal respectful relationship that involves reciprocity. The surest way to teach young women to respect themselves is to validate their decisions, not shame them into obedience.

White Pride And Motherhood

A Winnipeg mother had her two daughters removed from her custody after she drew a swastika on the arm of her child, and sent her to school. The children have been placed with relatives and she has two hours a week supervised visitation.  According to CBC she wears a necklace with a swastika and has "white pride" flags in her home, yet she expects us to believe that she is not a neo-Nazi or a white supremacist.

That's right don't believe your eyes. When people place signs on their front lawn that advertise for the liberal, PC or NDP they really aren't pushing a political it's decorative.  When you wear the swastika you are trying to assert its original meaning and any connection with Hitler or the Nazi party should be overlooked right?  This despite the fact that according to the CBC you are quoted as saying, "A black person has a right to say black power or black pride and yet they're turning around on us and saying we're racists and bigots and neo-Nazis because we say white pride. It's hypocrisy at its finest." There isn't enough quality pot in the entire province of British Columbia to make that statement believable.

I think that this woman believes that we are a society of kool aid sippers. Look lady, when you say things like white pride and white power it is no leap to assume that you are a raving racist pig.  I understand that you want your genetically white children back so that you can pass on the hatred and ignorance to another generation but teaching children to hate is child abuse.  Children come into this world a completely blank slate, and it is adults who teach them about difference and value. A child has no natural inclination to preference one race over another, they simply want to be fed and loved.  We are an inter-racial family and when our children look at us they see mommy and daddy. 

I personally am amused that she can blame blacks for her racism.  Of course it is all our fault that we are marginalized and exploited.  If blacks didn't love being on the bottom of the social hierarchy so much and actually tried harder, ya know things might different. You poor disenfranchised white woman with no social privileges whatsoever, however do you survive? The suffering you must go through, trying to protect yourself, and your children from the savage black hordes. The only reason the assertion of black power or black pride exists is to mediate the damage done by white racism. I am even surprised she didn't throw in the usual, blacks have BET can you imagine what would happen if whites had a white entertainment network?  Yeah, imagine such a world where every where you look white was present as good, rationale and pure.  Imagine a world where all races were equal.

No Gays Here


image Carole van der Berg and Helen Ross were happily planning their wedding when they were informed that the hall that they had chosen had decided to cancel their contract. It seems the owners  are Jehovah Witness and are strictly against Gay marriage. 

According to DispatchOnline, Hormann the owner said, "I like them very much and I have nothing against them but we do not condone same- sex marriages. They are making a big thing out of nothing"

A big deal out of failing to be overjoyed at being discriminated against...A big deal for not accepting bigotry.  I am sick of those who are intolerant claiming that the targets of their discrimination are "too sensitive" when we react in anger.  To not be validated as a human being to be treated as less than is a big deal.

Let's be honest how many times have we seen Jehovah Witnesses turn to the courts to assert their right to religious freedom.  We as a society are expected to tolerate their point of view and yet they cannot find it within themselves to be tolerant of a word hypocrisy. If you want justice and the tolerance of others you need to extend that same courtesy.  If you claim to be asserting a religious position it should be based on more than a verse in Leviticus. How about remembering things like let he is who is without sin cast the first stone, or all are sinners in the eyes of God? You have no right to sit in judgement of others based in religion.  It is a disgrace and completely counter to the theology you claim to represent. Actions like this are exactly what gives Christianity a bad name.

Monday, July 14, 2008

McLaughlin calls Barack An Oreo


Referencing Jackson's comments, McLaughlin said Obama "fits the stereotype blacks once labelled as an Oreo — a black on the outside, a white on the inside."

"Does it frost Jackson, Jesse Jackson, that…an Oreo should be the beneficiary of the long civil rights struggle which Jesse Jackson spent his lifetime fighting for?" McLaughlin asked his panelists.

The term "Oreo" is often viewed as a derogatory term toward some African-Americans who appear not to exhibit certain stereotypes of their race.

As if Sunday wasn't rough enough on the Obamas, now he has to deal with character assault.  Using Jesse Jackson as a buffer to explain questioning Baracks authenticity as a black man, is deceptive and scurrilous.  The issue between Obama and Jackson has more to with power, than it has to do with race.  Challenging Obamas "blackness" is racist.  It asserts that there is only one way to be black. Just as Nader questioned Baracks authenticity due to language, Mclaughlins label of oreo is demeaning.

These critiques are dependent on an association with blackness to ignorance, backwardness, and low achievement.  The fact that McLaughlin a white man could make such an assertion about Barack, a black man creates whiteness as intelligent, good, and advanced.  Even  though he frames this labelling in the form of a question, positioning himself in this way privileges whiteness. 

In this political discussion regarding racism, white privilege is something that is not discussed. Barack talks about blacks having the responsibility to overcome and his detractors use racist imagery to attack him, and his wife, nowhere do we talk about the way this election constructs whiteness. Whites are presented as the saviours, tripping over themselves to prove their anti-racist ideas; a form of neo Kipling ideology, or they are hard at work ensuring that systems of oppression continue to benefit them.

The conversation needs to switch from blackness as object to whiteness in a subjective sense. A discursive examination of race cannot truly exist as long as we continue to discuss it as though white privilege does not exist.  Many different silence tactics are being deployed to continually take the conversation off track.

Nell commenting At Shakesville Comments: We haven't reached the point where sexism is condemned as much as racism. So for those of you who want us to just shush about making that point, step off.

Of course we cannot talk about racism in a meaningful way because we haven't dealt with sexism yet. Playing the oppression Olympics asserts that sexism is infinitely more important than racism, so what is the point of talking about systems of oppression and marginalization in any other context.

Destra commenting at Feministing: I too am heartened to see that most posters here can see the intent. But that's because (according to several posters and commentators at Racialicious and Feministe) we must all be privileged white, liberal, rich people with no sense of equality and justice and are therefore ineligible to comment on issues of race. Jesus, I'm so sick of that "privileged white" mantra- not everyone white has got it better than everyone else, and not everyone of color has it worse than everyone else, and to keep saying it is utter perpetuation of the standards that force people into those narrow categories in the first place.

Believe it or not, every white person lives with unearned racial privilege, it may be mitigated by things like class, age, or gender, but the privilege still exists. The denial of white privilege and indeed a white identity, or culture, normalizes whiteness and further validates their ideas as the reasoned logical approach.

It is in this way that the conversation becomes stunted and tuned to white invisibility, thus creating blacks as overly sensitive, and psychotically obsessed with finding racism where it does not exist.  Men like McLaughlin and Barry Blitt use insider ally status to assert their privilege, without ever feeling the necessity to own it, and the ways in which it may taint their point of view. In this post racist world, asserting a kinship endows the individual with the ability to appear to cross boundaries, while at the same time upholding the current power system to their advantage.  Thus an offer of friendship often comes with demeaning characterizations that are often followed with quips like I'm not racist my best friend as a kid was black, or no offence to you after making a clearly racist comment. My personal favourite is, I don't see colour, everyone is the same. Of course a white person can afford not to see race because everywhere they turn whiteness as good, and indeed normal, is continually reinforced by the agents of socialization. Though social construction of race effects both whites and blacks, it only really impacts negatively on blacks.  The dichotomy of white equalling good, and black equalling bad, blinds us to the ways in which each is dependent  upon the other for definition. If we truly did not see race at all, the dichotomy would not exist.

I don't believe that we will  be able to shift the conversation in any meaningful way. Whites have too much invested in maintaining systems of oppression, to truly begin to work on their privilege.  Blacks must begin to force the issue if there is to be any hope of real dialog. No ruler wants to relinquish power and that is why each struggle for justice and equality has a revolutionary tone.  We must move beyond blackness as deficient and understand how whiteness creates this dysfunction.  A one sided conversation benefits only those that seek to maintain the social imbalance.

Erykah Badu Close Your Legs

Erykah Badu announced that she is pregnant with her third child. Normally the news of an impending baby is met with joy, but in the case of Ms.Badu it has led to discipline from many in the so-called black community.  Erykah is unmarried, and each one of her children has a different father.

People are quick to jump on Erykah and call her a whore, and a slut yet there is no mention of men like P Diddy with his multiple children, by multiple women. It seems that when a man reproduces at will it is not problematic, but for black women to be understood as a role model they must present a virginal image to the public;  indeed this is not only true in terms of WOC but refers to all women.  It actually calls to mind Valentis latest book, "He's Stud, She's A Slut". This is one of the most damaging social constructions for women, as ultimately it assigns power over the female body to men.

Currently access to abortion and birth control are being challenged. Pro- lifers engage in ridiculous hyperbole about how many children have been lost to contraception, and healthcare plans cover Viagara and not the Pill.  Discursively fertility remains an issue that is constantly being disciplined and controlled. When women are able to control their reproduction they are better able to compete for jobs, thus assuring economic security. When women are able to provide for the subsistence needs of themselves and their children, dependency on men reduces, and so in an attempt to maintain male hegemony, women who reproduce without permission are referred to as sluts, and whores. 

Ms.Badu from the outside would seem like  a candidate that the moral police would love. Rather than having an abortion, she is having children. Their discontent with Ms.Badu is that she "fails" to confine the paternity of her children.  The very point of restricting birth control and abortion is to enforce the patriarchal family.  When a woman has children without male guardianship she is necessarily flouting convention, pregnancy and child baring is meant to enslave a woman. Erykah is a successful artist and a mother, she is a living example that female headship of a family is not necessarily incompatible with happiness and security.  To encourage other women not to invoke the same right to self determination she is a branded a whore, and is accused of not being a good mother.  By this standard the only good mother is the virgin Mary, one cannot be a sexual being and be responsible for raising children unless you happen to possess testicles.  This conversation was not begun with Erykah and it will not end with her. Until as a society we can agree that women should have autonomy over their bodies and reproduction, taunts of slut and whore will continue to crop up.  We as women must continue to fight patriarchal oppression and claim our bodies as our own.  The following  VIA BrownSister is Erykahs response to her online attack. 



ive never been so disgusted in all of my life .
there is no other place i used to enjoy more .
i post no where else .
you guys have taken an all time low , tho.


i am a great mother and care giver to my 2 children and to this world .
my children are 2 of the kindest and happiest people i have met.
I home schooled them and taught them the ways of good to the best of my ability.
i am their doctor and their nurse .
and even sometimes their mother and their father.

i am an excellent mother and resent all of the negative comments and insults on my character.

every relationship i have been in was because i loved the person DEARLY and was dedicated to us “exclusively” FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS.

the fathers of my children are my brothers and friends .
we have a great deal of respect for one another and always will.
we took our own “vows” and CONTINUE TO UPHOLD THEM.


WHATS THE DIFFERENCE ? the government’s involvement i guess.
(this CAN happen … we need much training , however.)


(not to mention breeding deceit and anger and resentment )


how about this:





live how you want . follow which ever pattern YOU like .
and they will not ever be slaves to this society’s failing idea of morality.

BIRTH CONTROL lol … could have 10 babies instead of 2 .





your opinions lack experience and are not only careless but also very uninformed and immature.

nothing is sacred here . and i see why.

if i loose you as a fan because i want to continue to have children then

i have defended myself here ON THIS SITE and hurled a few insults .. but only in response to your insults of
my music , my clothes , my lyrics , my hair , my being a woman , my spirit, my choices of partners….
these have all been on trial here . and i continued to support the energy of this place .

this is to all the okay players / REAL HUMAN BEINGS hiding behind screen names in order to insult one another and who ever else you will.

i had to say something
i am so sad for parents who try , today guys
enough is enuf.

dont judge to quickly , OKAY PLAYER?

i know you are having fun , but what if it were you and your children?
my son is 10 .
my daughter, 4 .



and if this post is not clear
kiss my placenta."

Tell it my sister...nobody owns you but you!

It's Not Called Racism Anymore, It's Called Irony

image I came across this image at ERRPort-77.  More commentary can be found at the America Blog. Every time I think that I cannot possibly be more offended, about the racism that has been used to attack the Obamas, something new comes along.

In homage to the obviously "terrorist fist bump" the New Yorker has decided to prey upon the ignorance of others and perpetuate stereotypes that are not only harmful to the Obamas, but to all POC.  According to the Huffington Post, Barry Blitt the artist who drew this depiction responded to criticism by saying, "I think the idea that the Obamas are branded as unpatriotic [let alone as terrorists] in certain sectors is preposterous. It seemed to me that depicting the concept would show it as the fear-mongering ridiculousness that it is."

Does this excuse seem familiar to you? It should, it  is quite similar to the excuse given by the DailyKos for its portrayal of Michelle Obama being lynched. Depicting racial imagery to "fight" racism is not acceptable.   This is not the work of an ally.  I have looked at the other depictions drawn by this artist in search of the same kind of "irony," and surprisingly enough, none that I viewed relied on racism to illustrate a point. Blacks seem to keep winning the lottery on events like this. Who needs 40 acres and a mule when we are all so equal now?

Who does Blitt think that he will convince with this little cartoon?  Those that already believe that Barack Huesein Obama is a terrorist are not going to be swayed by seeing him dressed up in Middle Eastern style clothing ...Nope, they are going to say ah ha told ya, the New Yorker even agrees with me. It does not matter what commentary goes around the image, it is the image that will resonate in the mind of others.   Look he's different, he's not white, he can't be a real American, and to make sure that is what people take away from this image the flag is burning in the fireplace.   Blacks are American enough to be over represented in the military, but certainly not American enough to hold any real power in society.

The depiction of Barack alone would be enough to draw my ire, but just to make sure an opportunity is not missed to completely reduce blacks, Michelle is included in this tasteless cartoon. From head to toe her depiction is that of an angry, irrational black woman. Notice the gravity defying afro synonymous with rebellion in the eyes of many. The afro symbolizes black pride but used in this context it is meant to be an indication of a black counter culture revolution, and therefore anti white.  A person that critiques white privilege of course views all whites as racist.  What would an angry black woman be without a gun, because ya know all black women are mad at the world. WOC are on a mission of destruction guided by hate. That the anger might possibly be justified is deemed ridiculous, after all she is a member of an elite class. Gotta keep your eyes on those uppity Negroes.

Daily POC must listen to the platitudes of whites that tell us that they don't see colour, or difference.  This is supposed to imply that difference is manufactured, and not nearly as prevalent as POC proclaim it to be.  We are enjoying the benefits of living in a post-racial society, while almost everywhere we look blacks continue to be marginalized, and 'othered'.  I for one am not fooled. The white sheets may have been donated to charity but those that now wear the dark suits are equally as dangerous to our progression as a people. Just because someone is not screaming white power, and nigger does not mean that their actions do not have a negative racial overtone.  Mr.Blitt, blacks need your kind of help, like we need an injection of deadly influenza.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Abagond, You Will Never Learn

Awhile ago I wrote a post entitled, Hey You Fatty. It was a take down of  a blogger who goes by the name Abagond. In the post I had incorrectly named his blog as Qviloa, a mistake I won't make a second time. I do believe it was a kindness considering the woman hating, fat phobic swill that he was throwing.  He wrote a post in response.  Now of course his defence was more of the same unintelligible crap. At any rate that is not the point of today's discussion. 

I decided to read through the commentary thread, and it was there that I found something common to most people who cannot admit that they are sexist, or that they exist with some sort of privilege. It seems our less than wise sage is also drum roll please....Homophobic.

When asked by a reader: "I’d be interested in where you stand on gay marriage. Also, if your son came home and told you he was marrying another man, would you be OK with that, seeing as how you think that beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder."

Abagond: I am against gay marriage and would be profoundly saddened if my son became part of such.

Of course you would be sad because he would not be interested in playing your sexually demeaning games with women. 

Abagond:"That is because I think homosexuality is a sin but being black is not...

Is  he aware that there is gay black man exist? 

Abagond: I never said that gays are less than human or that they should be discriminated against. We are all sinners. But even if they are “born that way”, and probably some are, that still does not make it right. If I followed my own natural feelings, I would cheat on my wife. Does that make it right? Of course not

Would you follow my natural feelings and mute yourself? I suppose that would be too much to ask for. There is so much wrong in what you profess, and yet you claim the right to sit in judgement of others.

Abagond: ..Homosexuality is a sin. St Paul says so in the book of Romans. With all due respect, I think he knows about this better than either of us. Going by whatever American society says is right is a terrible moral guide. I have not taken any survey, but I think most black people know that."

Right, because the bible is the most neutral source to turn to. Can you point to a book with more acts of violence, and misogyny, I doubt it?  It interests me how you can point to the bible as the source of your hatred and yet conveniently ignore things like judge not lest ye be judged, and do unto others as you would have done unto you, or how about  let he who is without sin cast the first stone?

I don't believe that I need to provide more than his own words to prove his homophobia.  The point I think that it is important to fixate on, is how isms interlock in his mind.  This is not a phenomena that is unique to him. Someone like him is only capable of seeing oppression in the way that it effects him, and this is only possible because despite his position as a marginalized body he exists with forms of privilege in this world. By not being able to stand up for another group that is equally marginalized, what he is in fact doing is reaffirming the same power that constructs him as less than, the very same dynamics are at play.  Oppression, is oppression, is oppression, you are either for it, or against it. There is no such thing as a good or acceptable form of oppression, and to perpetuate it through thought, deed, or action while decrying it when it happens  to you, is to use the master tools, as Audre Lorde would say.

All of the "isms" are interconnected and  in fact they form the cycles of power in our society thus creating the demarcation of difference.  It does not weaken your position to admit that others share a similar plight with injustice. Seeing the pain that is inflicted in marginalization should give rise to allies,and new partnerships, not to further 'othering'.  If he could understand that homophobia is just as much a civil rights issue as racism, sexism, abelism, or classism, etc what he could potentially do is increase the number of people with which he had access to, to build a foundation for a cohesive attack on privilege. When you say I don't like those "type of people", or that "those people" are less than, not only do you limit them but you limit yourself. I know that even if Abagond should decide to read this post, it will probably fall on deaf ears, but for those of you reading who are active in the struggle for justice, remember that if you cannot empathize with others, you should not expect the same courtesy in return.

Daughters Of Legacy


To the world, they are activists, leaders, icons. But these women know them as "Dad." The daughters of MLK, Ali, Malcolm X, Johnnie Cochran and Sidney Poitier... in their first conversation, together.

Sat. & Sun., 6 & 11 p.m. ET.


When I first heard about this special I was very excited.  The idea of these women coming together to share their experiences with the world is something I never really thought would happen... and in a sense it did not.  The advertising gives the impression that they are all in the same room discussing relevant issues, but they were split into two distinct groups.

I don't know quite what I expected when I sat down to watch this, but the end result is that I was decidedly underwhelmed.  There was no great truth telling, or even a close feeling of kinship.  I was further irritated that this is a story about women, and the reporter was a man.  Are our stories only valuable when they are mediated by a man?  Even though I am disappointed with how this turned out, I will watch tonight's episode.  It is my hope that they will move beyond the surface level, and reveal some deeper insights into their lives.