Saturday, November 8, 2008

Drop It Like It's Hot

Yes it's blog whoring Saturday.  Leave your links behind in the comment section. I want to know what you have been reading or writing.

Posts I came across and liked:

Here Today, mad tomorrow

More Than A Traumatic Birth (trigger warning)

No one understood why I took my wife's last name

Dick Pound Is Not A Racist

A Butler Well Served By This Election

Are we still at the oppression olympics


Prop 8 and Black Blame: Are We Done Yet?

Black Friendly When We Need You

You know between the MRA infestation and the blame it on the blacks thing in reference to Prop 8, I have done some  thinking.  What these two incidents have done is confirm something that I have actually believed for quite some time;  blacks are used for the sake of convenience.

When other so-called justice programs needs us, they remind us of the ways in which we are marginalized and attempt to point out that their exclusion is the same.  You know what I'm talking about, the "it's just like Rosa Parks line."  This often makes me want to ask, really are you sure?  It seems that white people have a history of knowing what blacks go thorough on a daily basis when it is convenient for them to admit the ways in which they discriminate against POC.  When they want something from us, like a vote on a bill, organizing help, or even a gopher to make coffee they suddenly are so understanding of what blacks are dealing with.

The rest of the time we get told about how equal the world is;  yes the wonderful post racial world that we have been informed that we are all living in.  With the election of Obama we have even been flatly told that we have no excuses left for being at the bottom of the race and class hierarchy.   White people have been decent enough to put aside their racial hatred and therefore blacks should just buck up and deal with the high level of incarceration, bad schools, inequity in employment, etc and etc.,  It's socially unacceptable to say nigger today, as that is the mark of a bigot; however the other ways in which blacks are disenfranchised are socially deemed  a figment of our collective imaginations.

It seems it does not matter what the social movement  is, as long as it is represented by white people, POC are ignored until needed.  If you look at the advertising campaigns, or organizing patterns  for gay rights, fat phobia, animal rights, and  feminism, all have  a tendency to ignore POC.   Our specific interests within the movements are ignored in order to present a white image to the world.  Somehow the idea that whites are facing discrimination is supposed to make the world stand up and take notice, yet the idea that blacks may be dealing with multiple areas of stigmatizations at the same time is unimportant. 

Los Angeles resident A. Ronald says he and his boyfriend, who are both black, were carrying NO ON PROP 8 signs and still subjected to racial abuse.

Three older men accosted my friend and shouted, “Black people did this, I hope you people are happy!” A young lesbian couple with mohawks and Obama buttons joined the shouting and said there were “very disappointed with black people” and “how could we” after the Obama victory. This was stupid for them to single us out because we were carrying those blue NO ON PROP 8 signs! I pointed that out and the one of the older men said it didn’t matter because “most black people hated gays” and he was “wrong” to think we had compassion. That was the most insulting thing I had ever heard. I guess he never thought we were gay.

We are not to expected to get upset when feminists, or the GLBT community displays racism because of course white women and white homosexuals are uniquely oppressed.  It is their needs that the world should pay attention to because white people weren't born to suffer.  It's no accident that the Rosa Parks line always comes out of the mouth of a white person.  What could possibly be worse in the world than being treated like a nigger? What the hell good is white privilege if you are treated like a person of colour and that is the message these so-called liberal social justice movements send to the world.

Geoffrey, a student at UCLA, joined the massive protest outside the Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Westwood. Geoffrey was called the n-word at least twice.

It was like being at a klan rally except the klansmen were wearing Abercrombie polos and Birkenstocks. YOU NIGGER, one man shouted at men. If your people want to call me a FAGGOT, I will call you a nigger. Someone else said same thing to me on the next block near the temple…me and my friend were walking, he is also gay but Korean, and a young WeHo clone said after last night the niggers better not come to West Hollywood if they knew what was BEST for them.

As I am watching the backlash from the GLBT community regarding PROP 8, I am filled with so much anger and sadness.  Where is the angst for the white voters who supported PROP 8?  The GLBT community spent no time in black churches, community centres or neighbourhoods and yet they expected to be supported.  You cannot call upon us for convenience sake, and then shove us back into the closet (yes intentional choice of words) when we are no longer needed.

A gay black man or woman irregardless of race is still gay and  some white members have turned this into a hostile movement for them.  Where is the sense of community in this?  What these organizers fail to realize is that they have precious little connection with POC to begin with, and if they begin with the racist taunts they will alienate the few supporters that they already have.  This is a time when they need to be reaching out to POC to make a bridge that they never attempted to build in the first place, and yet descending into racial politics is the route that has been chosen. This is a myopic policy that will only serve to push gay rights even further back.

Social justice movements need coalitions across lines to be successful in any way.  When we look back at the civil rights movement of the 60's what is notable is that whites and blacks protested together. The Jewish community was a huge part of getting blacks the rights we so desperately needed and deserved. 

The lesson to take from this is that by creating a broader base it creates the issues as a human issue rather than an issue  a small minority of the population. Showing humanity will cause others to react in kind, and until the GLBT community realizes that it takes an army of concerned citizens, and not a single flag bearer to make change, they will continue to have marriage ceremonies that have no legal basis.

Only through recognizing the common humanity of others can we ever hope to live in a true and just society, and until we can recognize the human rights of the person standing next to us we have no hope of achieving any kind of peaceful  and loving social cohesion.

H/T Pam's Houseblend

What If Richard Pryor Had Been The First Black President ?

Well I watched this and thought to myself that though this was made so long ago it so completely relevant to the racial politics that are still in existence today. Consider this a comedic reminder of the Dr.Kings promised land that we still have not reached.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Michelle and The Dress

image Originally I had no intention about blogging this because I considered it a non issue.  It seems however some people cannot stop discussing Michelle Obama's dress on election day.  It was with complete disgust that I watched a segment on CNN admonishing Michelle for her  dress, and reminding her that she is dressing for a nation.  Now even the clothing that black women choose are aggressive. For heavens sake.

Michelle Obama is an ivy league educated lawyer. She is  an accomplished woman.  and people are focusing on her dress.  This is social disciplining at work.  No one had anything to say about Baracks, suit, tie, or even if the man wears boxers or briefs.  His wife somehow is dressing for the world.

Perhaps people would have been happier if she went on a 150 thousand dollar shopping spree at Neiman Marcus, thus proving to the world that she can consume like any other westerner.  After all, if you are going to be a part of the elite class in society, to not purchase items that indicate status is a real sin.  Those third world workers need to be making her clothes for everyone to accept that Michelle has made it to the big time.

I am tired of Michelle routinely being reduced and attacked by the media.  She is not some sort of accessory to Barack,  or a black barbie you can play dress up with, she is a woman in her own right. 

If Michelle chose to go to salvation army and purchase a closet full of clothing from there it should not matter.  What should matter is the content of her character.  When it comes to men we focus on power and their ability to attain it and negotiate it; but with women it is all about how pretty they can dress up, as though we are not thinking individuals.  Michelle deserves better than that and so does every single woman.

The next time you read or watch commentary on what Michelle is wearing stop and think about how this reflects on all women.  Ask yourself why the dress is so important.  Are we valued for our appearance and our ability to consume, or our accomplishments?  If you like I determine that appearance seems most important then as women  we must engage in battle to assure that we are not reduced in this way.  The fashion plate woman serves patriarchy in that it ensures that we are not taken seriously. 

If appearance is a focal point then the valid issues we raise will be soundly ignored to debate whether or not we are pretty enough.  Women have much to contribute to society, and our ability to evolve is severely limited because we silence one half of humanity.  Not every good idea has a penis attached to it.

If You're Black You Might Be A Homophobe

As most are now aware Prop 8 in California did not pass.  It was deeply heartbreaking to see  California come out to support such clear bigotry in denial image of love.  As many of you already know same sex marriage has been legal in Canada for a few years now, and it has caused no disruption in our society.  It is my belief that by affirming the right of all to marry, it has helped to make us more inclusive and accepting of others.

When I went to various GLBTQI blogs to express my sympathy at the passing of PROP 8, I was horrified to discover that it was being blamed on blacks.  Once again the divide and conquer tactics of the ruling elite have prevailed to divide marginalized bodies from each other.

The blame game has begun, and clearly it is all the fault of the blacks. Over at the Bilerico the comment section screams white privilege.

I am angry. Whom do I blame? Oh there are several groups. Our Dear new President elect for paying lip service to get this defeated, Mormons, James F'n Dobson and his minions of evangelicals, Kinghts of Columbus and lastly African Americans. Oh I know that last one is not p.c, but you know what, I don't is the truth. Deal with it. Polls show they voted 70% against us while voting for Obama....shame, shame shame on you.

I thought I was seeing a bright shining star of hope, and yet now there seems not to even exist the glimmer from a moonless pond at midnight. I am getting old, been ill, and this fight no longer seems to be winnable in my lifetime (whatever that may be). Yes, it is depressing, mostly because half of me seems to want to believe the idea that the methodology for an Obama win is the reason for our demise on Florida Amendment 2, Arizona Proposition 102, and California Proposition 8. The other half is repulsed by the almost racist interpretation that must engender.

as for making all those black folk, both gay or straight, who voted against prop 8 being invisible? i dont think so. its the 70% of the black folk who voted FOR prop 8 that have marginalized an entire segment of the population. the queer population. THEY made US "invisible"

Those are only the commentary of three people.  Perhaps you are still reluctant to believe the racism that is rearing its ever so ugly head.  Here is another shining example of blame the blacks.  If you can stand to read it, Dan Savage over at SLOG and his commenters have no problems shaking their fist and pronouncing the entire black community guilty of passing PROP 8.

image It certainly would not make sense to focus attention on the Mormon Church who actively campaigned and raised funds to get this bigoted legislation passed. In case you are not aware, blacks are not large members of the Mormon Church

By saying it is all the fault of the blacks, it creates members of the gay community that are black as invisible, as well as ignores the efforts that blacks made to get this proposition defeated.  It further ignores the fact that a significant number of white people voted for the passage of this bill as well.  Blacks by themselves did not single handedly cause this bill to pass.

I also feel it is necessary to discuss part of the reason that some blacks did vote  yes on 8.  The Christian church and the black community have a long history. It is no accident that our leaders have always come from the church, or have had a strong involvement in the Christian church. 

The issue is not that blacks are homophobic it is that they have such a large image participation in the Christian church; which does not have  a huge history of tolerance towards the gay community.  Consider that Bernice King, the daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King has no problem expressing her homphobia and yet she is an ordained minister.  One would presume that a woman who no doubt would have been influenced by Dr.Kings bid for freedom, would be able to see the link between gay rights and civil rights. For blacks, the block occurs because of   religion and not because of race.

I am not sure if a white person can understand exactly how powerful the church is in the black community.  Most of the organizing that has been done to improve the welfare of blacks has come from the church.  It is more than a religion; for many it is a place of community.

This backlash against blacks ignores the roll of the church in the decision making process and that is a fatal mistake.  If you want a community to understand your position you need to speak to them on a cultural level that they will understand, and point to common grievances, not choose to make the divide even larger by finger pointing and cruel admonitions.

There are many fundamental Christians that are white that express the same kind of intolerance towards gay marriage that the black community did in their overwhelming support of PROP 8.  Blacks voted yes because of religion and that needs to be clearly understood. 

Finally I feel that it is necessary to say that I feel terrible that PROP 8 passed; however that does not excuse the quick descent into racism.  The "isms" work image together to reinforce each other.  When we reify one to create a group as "other", we reinforce the same mechanisms that work to limit us and our life chances. I will still wear my rainbow flag with pride, but now with a new found awareness that for some, my colour stands as a symbol of hatred.

The Root Just Had To Mess With Obama


So I stopped by The Root to read  Rebecca Walker's blog,  and this is foolishness I am greeted with on the front page. Do I really have to say that this isn't funny, or even a little bit cool.  When you have people that are organizing on facebook for an impeachment, setting fires, and hanging nooses it is certainly supportive to portray Obama, THE FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT like this on a black blog?

After Barack worked so hard to send a message of inclusiveness, while putting up with continual racist attacks, JIM FESTANTE posts images of Obama that include almost all of the racial stereotypes that have been associated with black males.  Presented this way it looks like he is another jive nigger on the make, instead of the leader of the free fucking world.

BLACK PEOPLE STOP SABOTAGING US. God damn, seriously. Can you not be satisfied with the blacks that play sambo for pay without adding that image to a man like Obama?  The world is looking to Obama to present a new image and you in your wisdom decide, nah fuck that lets shuck and jive for a laugh,  When The Root goes wrong the smell is more stank than bad milk in a July heat wave.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

South Park Takes On Election Night

Thought you might enjoy a few idiot clips.  Gotta step away from the serious stuff every once and a while.

Apparently they didn't even bother to do a McCain version, talk about true believers. 

MRA Apology

Let me start off by saying that the post MRA Infestation and Glenn Sacks Worshipers was a response to my disgust with the commentary on a post I wrote entitled, MRA Glenn Sacks Applies Pressure to Domestic Violence Shelter.   I wrote the infestation post in great anger and it caused me to use language that was unacceptable.

As much as I find your hate and your positions vile, I had no right to dehumanize another human being by calling you cockroaches, and for this I apologize.

As a person who truly believes in the goodness and worth of each human being walking the planet, I failed to live up to my convictions by using such inflammatory language to prove a point.  As I believe in owning my mistakes publicly, I am issuing this  refutation of the "othering" that I engaged in. 

I will never agree that your movement is anything other than an attempt to maintain white male, heterosexist, abelist, racist privilege, but a reduction in our common humanity was not necessary to make that point. 

Thanks to Ampersand over at Alas a Blog, who really gave me cause to think on a post written regarding Mormons, I have been able to see the ways in which I made a critical error.  

Once again let me state for the record that I find your positions vile but reducing your humanity was wrong. 

Bill Bennett and White Privilege

image When I wrote a post entitled Anti-Racist credentials regarding people using an Obama victory to declare racism dead, I did not expect to be proven correct so soon.  Bill Bennett a former Secretary of Education displayed his privilege with pride on election night.

Anderson Cooper: I mean, if he does become president, and it still is an if, does anyone know what this means in terms of change of race relations in the United States, or perception of?

Bennett: Well, I'll tell you one thing it means, as a former Secretary of Education: You don't take any excuses anymore from anybody who says, 'The deck is stacked, I can't do anything, there's so much in-built this and that.' There are always problems in a big society. But we have just -- if this turns out to be the case, President Obama -- we have just achieved an incredible milestone. For which the rest of the world needs to have more respect for the United States than it sometimes does.

So, a black man is president and suddenly, mysteriously white privilege has disappeared. Oh Yeah, I've always wanted to live in a world where store security didn't follow me around waiting for me to steal.  Perhaps when I take some classes to upgrade my education, this time around the so-called liberal white professors will not feel the need to speak about my culture as though they know more about it than I do.  I can finally put to rest the anger I had when people asked me if I was my sons nanny because when he was born he was really light skinned. WOW I am feeling warm and fuzzy.

What Bennett would like is for Barack to rule as a figure head much the same as the Queen England.  In his mind Barack can occupy the white house, give the occasional speech; but he should not attempt to change any of the systemic inequalities because hey, black people have it good.

Why should society continue to progress when white people have it so good already?  They already control all of the major expressions of power in western society, and since that can hardly be improved upon without returning blacks to slavery, all is right with the world.

For Bennett, Obama proves that meritocracy is possible, when in reality nothing could be further from the truth. Whiteness has always allowed a few exceptional Negroes to prevail so that they can point to that person as evidence of fairness, in a system that is clearly biased.  For every Oprah, or Obama how many blacks are living in ghettos struggling with an education system that daily fails them? How many are working twice as hard as whites to achieve a minimum standard of living?

Masa Bennett has it all figured out though.  The problem is not racism, it is the way that ignorant blacks act. If we could just learn to control our savage ways we could all be the next Obama.  With all of the time spent watching the ignorant shucking and jiving of the black people whites love to promote, why have we not all internalized the message that a smile and a healthy shuffle, is the best way to advance in this world? We shouldn't display anger because good domesticated animals accept their lot in life.  A dog that knows he is mans best friend doesn't bite the hand that feeds it.

I am so glad that Bennett can feel that his racism has been redeemed by the election of Barack Obama.  Black babies all over the US can breathe easy because now that Bennett has decided that we are all equal, he can abandon his plans to have all black babies aborted. 

According to Media Matters Bennett said, "you wanted to reduce crime ... if that were your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down." Bennett conceded that aborting all African-American babies "would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do," then added again, "but the crime rate would go down."

On the night when the first African American man was elected president this was the man that CNN saw fit to invite to share commentary.  There is nothing like a watching a man who engages in racism declare it dead.  Dear Bill Benett I think your whiteness is showing just a touch.  I wonder if in celebration of this historic victory he washed his own white sheets to prove how liberated his kind of thinking really is.  Oh the joy of living in a brand new era were we  have transcended racism.

Thanks Mattbastard for help with the links.

Jesse Jackson and Crocodile Tears?


No one questions Jesse Jacksons commitment to civil rights. He marched alongside Dr.King and has dedicated his entire life to improving the lives of blacks.   Until recently he was held with the highest of regard by many in the black community. 

I believe it is fair to say that he tarnished his beautiful legacy by his commentary on Barack Obama.  Who could forget the open mike incident where he announced that Barack was, "talking down to black people" and expressed a desire to "cut his nuts off".  This commentary was so offensive that even his own son had to publicly disassociate himself from his father.

One would believe that after publicly embarrassing yourself like that, Jesse would want to maintain a low profile until at least after the election, but of course that was not the case. 

Jackson first made his Anti-Semitism known by declaring New York City "Hymietown" in 1984.  Proving that time, in this case twenty-four years, does not necessarily change a man, The New York Post reported that  Jackson announced at a World Policy Forum "Zionists who have controlled American policy for decades" remain strong, they'll lose a great deal of their clout when Barack Obama enters the White House.  There are indeed  issues with American foreign policy as it relates to Israel; but calling it  a Zionist nation when you have a history of Anti-Semitic slurs, could hardly be referred to as helping Obama get elected.

Well this brings me to the question I wrote this post to ask.  Across the blogosphere people are discussing Jackson's response to the election of Barack Obama.  Many have said that Jackson is a man that purposefully tried to sabotage Baracks election out of jealousy, and a desperate bid to retain his relevancy.  They posit that Jackson's tear streamed face was nothing more than an emotional play.

There are also those that believe that as a man that has seen some of the worst of racism in America, Jacksons tears were an expression of joy and happiness.

So my question to you today readers is, given what we know about Jackson's behaviour, was his response a  heartfelt expression of emotion?  I am very curious to read your answers as the "unhubby" and I are in disagreement on this issue. Play referee for us.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Nader Questions Whether Obama Will Be An Uncle Tom

Quite honestly Nader had a point when he stated that Barack has not aimed his message at the working/under class. His message has been completely directed towards the middle class.  It is a legitimate critique to point out that once elected Obama will be beholden to those that helped him gain power.

Where Nader went wrong was in his usage of the phrase uncle tom.  To use such racialized language on the night that the first African American became president was to engage the racial divide in a way that was demeaning to blacks. It seems that even as blacks where celebrating a historic victory there were those that sought to remind us our place. 

H/T Dog-Whistle Racism.

Yes We Can, And Yes We Did

So what would today be without the obligatory Barrack Obama post? Well here is my version which I wrote for Global Comment.

Like many people across the globe I sat on the edge of my seat and watched the election results roll in. Though I have always felt that Obama is a centrist who will govern along that line, with the occasional lean left, I really wanted to see him win the White House.

As the night went on, with more and more states called in his favour, I dared to hope. Then it happened… The words I never thought that I would hear, “CNN calls the election for president elect Barack Obama.” Though I did not expect it, the tears streamed down my face and I knew a sense of joy that I was completely unprepared for.

I am not an American and yet when the announcement came, I found that I had more emotionally invested in the election than I realized.

In my mind I saw a vision of the middle passage. I saw my ancestors chained together, surviving on menstrual blood and feces. I heard the cruel cry of the whip as it sailed through air, permanently scaring the bodies of my ancestors. I heard the weeping of my foremothers as they watched powerlessly as their children were sold away from them. On this night I saw the culmination of all of that suffering for millions of Americans and beyond, for all of us.

The true history of the moment overwhelmed me and I was humbled by the patience, the will to survive, and the grace of my people.    Finish Reading here.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

When White People Go Crazy

Before I get into this post let me state unequivocally that I have complete sympathy for the those that are dealing with mental health issue; however two incidents in the news have caused it to be necessary to point out the ways in which mental illness can effectively be used to hide the racist agenda behind criminal activity.

Ashley Todd, claimed to have been attacked by a unidentified black maleimage assailant.  Her choice of a black male was not accidental.  When she finally admitted to falsifying the whole ordeal, Todd apparently revealed that she was dealing with mental health issues.  Of course no "rational" person could have conceived of such a ridiculous bid for public attention.  While her actions did not cause physical harm to any individual other than herself, it was damaging to blacks.  It reaffirmed in the social psyche that  in the case of criminal activity, a black person is always the first suspect.  I will always wonder if a black female had decided to carve the an M for McCain into her cheek, would it have gained the same media attention? Would she later  able to claim mental deficiency for a light sentence?  As we know sentencing in the judicial system already favours whites over blacks and somehow I doubt she would have been given the same free pass.

image In the case of Nekedia Cato, a 25 year old black woman who was run over by Thomas Cosby, the defence of mental incapacity means that she will not see justice.  Apparently even though being divorced 25 years ago, the fact that his wife left him for a black man left Cosby with so much rage he decided, "all Black people should die" Those were the words that he screamed as he aimed his car at the defenceless Nekedia, who was riding a bike at the time. 

So here we have the case of a black woman that will have to deal with an injury for the rest of her life, and yet her name does not have the same household recognition as Ashley Todd.  Imagine if a black man had mowed down an innocent white woman, screaming whitey must die. The calls for blood, and retribution would be resounding.  When a white man nearly kills a black woman of course he is mentally ill, no need to consider the social implications of white male brutality against black women; the poor man is sick. 

According to "His attorney, Michael Lambert, hasimage said he is perplexed by the hate crime because Cosby is not a racist".  Cosby screamed,"These Black people need to die. Help me kill them. I saw her on the bike and went to take her out. Yes I believe he is being railroaded how could such commentary ever be construed as racist?  What is the world coming to when a white man cannot safely issue death threats against black people?

In both cases whites were able to negotiate mental illness in their best interest, and it was the black community that paid the price.  What we can conclude from this, is that crimes committed against blacks by whites are considered non issues. The burden of proof on behalf of the alleged defendants seems remarkably low; leading one to conclude once again that only certain bodies matter.

How many Nekedia's are out there, wounded at the hands of a white male awaiting justice?  Seeing her lying their prone I cannot help but think of how much blood has been drawn from black women at the hands of white males.  I cannot help but think of the numerous black women that have gone to early graves because our lives have been deemed meaningless by society. There seems to always be some reason why black women cannot get justice. Whether she is an accomplished woman like Anita Hill, or an everyday woman like Nekedia, the fact that our bodies are constructed as always available for violation allows this kind of behaviour to go unpunished. 

To those that deny white privilege is in existence and site Obama as proof of change these two incidents alone shine light on that fallacy. Whiteness is still entitled, whiteness still equals the default good ,and whiteness is never culpable. In the words of Sam Cooke a change is gonna come, but that day is not today.

H/T Electronic Village.

Nigger Isn't Always Meant As A Racial Epithet:Tourettes Syndrome Needs Understanding

I was sent a link from Bossip by a regular reader. I have long since lost any hope of finding anything worthwhile on this site.  Obviously the young woman in question suffers from Tourettes Syndrome.

According to the Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada, Tourettes is, a neurological or "neurochemical" disorder characterized by tics -- involuntary, rapid, sudden movements or vocalizations that occur repeatedly in the same way.
The cause has not been established, although current research presents considerable evidence that the disorder stems from the abnormal metabolism of at least one brain chemical (neurotransmitter) called dopamine. Very likely other neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, are also involved.

Clearly it is upsetting to hear racial epithets in use, however in this case, this poor young girl cannot control it.  The lack of malicious intent should be enough to garner sympathy, but once again the readers of BOSSIP must show their ignorance to the world.

go beside that burb hos head a cupol of times will brake that habit.

Tourettes or not, my (white) momma would have backhanded my ass if I ever talked like that.

That fucking retard bitch. Her ugly ass mother taught her that. I got the cure real quick and it would be these hands administering her a can of whoop ass!!

hat stank hoe needs 2 come 2 my hood with that mess!


If this chick REALLLLY had Tourette’s, her “tics” would not only include sticking up her middle finger and profane words. Bottom line, all this lil fass ass girl needs is a good OLD FASHIONED ass whoopin. And her mama too, hell. That’s all.

I won't torment you by adding anymore commentary, I trust you get the level understanding in the comment thread.   Notice that for these people the way to combat "perceived" racism is to immediately descend into sexism.  They threaten violence against the young woman and immediately slut shame her.  How do these things intersect in their minds?  The way to fight racism (which is clearly non existent here) is not to counter with another ism.

What people continually fail to recognize is that isms work in tandem to create people as "other". If you are living as a marginalized body and engage in ableism, ageism, sexism  etc., you are supporting the very same line of thought that perpetuates inequality.  Perpetuating marginalization despite being marginalized means that to some degree you do not believe in the common humanity of all.

I am also highly disturbed  that violence is suggested as a solution.  The majority of these readers are POC, who as we know have been historically subject to violence.  What good has this ever done for society?  As a POC I find this behaviour shameful.  When POC are killed we cry out in righteous indignation and to wish that on another person who suffers the same sort of social stigmas is inexcusable.  No matter what they did to this young woman she could no more make her Tourettes disappear, than anyone could change the colour of their skin. 

I most definitely concur that the word nigger needs to go.  I see no excuse for anyone not stricken with this syndrome to use this word.  There are simply times when we all need to recognize that there are extenuating circumstances and offer the same kind of human empathy and compassion that we would like given to us,.

Finally to the author of  Bossip, commentary like the following, is exactly why you are shame upon the black blogosphere.."We know the cure to that sh*t and it’s found inside of a brick. It’s a very delicate procedure in which you crack it over her head and voila. Racism in check." It hardly comes as a surprise that your comment section commonly looks like a congregation of ignorance when this is the message you choose to present them. It is not acceptable to promote any "ism", no matter who it comes from.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Anti-Racist Credentials

I have bitten my ABW (angry black woman) tongue as long as I can.  I am thrilled to see that many people are out supporting Obama. Let's just face facts, he is the lesser of two evils, but he is not the messiah from on high.  That said,  I feel that I must once again point this out, voting for Obama does not mean that I should take you at your word that you're a devoted anti-racist.  Yes it is nice that you can put aside your white privilege to consider being lead by a black man for four years, but this does not mean that you will not daily profit from the systemic racist imbalance in the system.

I am tired of hearing white people go on about the positive racial vision that Obama has given them, without thinking of the substantive changes that need to be made. Lets be really clear, after Obama gets elected blacks will still be over represented in the prison population, education will still be segregated by class and colour, and black women will still be facing higher rates of violence. 

Some white people are so myopic when it comes to anti-racism that they cannot see that this issue involves more than black and white.  Not only will the black and white divide not be solved, the issues that  other bodies bodies of colour live with that have not even been addressed by this campaign, will still be in existence. Does anyone remember either Obama or Mccain addressing the issues of Indigenous Peoples?  How about the issues of Asian Americans?  Other than denying that he is himself a Muslim how much time has been spent decrying islamofascism for what it is? 

So white people I am begging you, please stop using voting for Obama as some sort of anti-racist credential that you can pull out of your back pocket.  White privilege is something that is not going to be dismantled with a single vote; furthermore continually reminding us that you voted for, or intend to vote for Obama is nothing more than cookie seeking.

If you want to impress me, or any POC for that matter, you will make a concerted effort to try and negotiate your privilege in such a way that you are not daily benefiting from it.  You will do your best to remember that though you daily benefit from the legacy of  slavery, you also owe an unpaid debt to Indigenous Peoples, Pacific Islanders, Asians,  in fact every single body of colour that lives within the borders of the red, white and blue.

You will then need to turn outward and examine the ways in which your current lifestyle continues to impoverish bodies of colour globally.  Yes believe it or not white hegemony is a global phenomenon.  Of course this is not news to the poor living in Calcutta or the starving in Haiti.  They know all to well about the policies instituted by white run western governments that have destroyed their economies, and threatened their ecosystems.

The overvaluation of whiteness is not going to be solved by electing the chosen one on Nov 4.  I know that it will be tempting to pat each other on the back and sing a verse of Kumbaya or hey even a little Michael Row The Boat Ashore, but I promise you that people of colour take a far more realistic approach to this issue than this.  We remember the joy of emancipation which was quickly followed by Jim Crow rules. We remember the promise of the New Deal which offered more jobs, programs, and incentives, for white people, and yes we remember the great society.  How did all of these promises turn out?  They have ended with more blacks in prison than ever before, bad educations, poor living conditions, violence, drugs etc and etc. So as you take the time to celebrate being progressive enough to vote for a black man, and you look around wondering why blacks are still looking at you with distrust; it is because you have broken nearly every single social contract that you have proposed which would honour our common humanity.

So break your glasses into the fireplace in celebration but please don't expect me to be overly joyful.  Trust is earned, not given and you have a long way to achieve the trust of people of colour.  In closing I would suggest if you really want that brotherhood how about you extend an olive branch for a change instead of asking blacks to turn the other cheek.  One can only turn the other cheek so many times before cringing in anticipation of a slap becomes normalized.

Dear MRA Infestation and Glenn Sacks Worshippers

Yes I meant to use the word infestation because that essentially is what you are. When you enter a feminist blog your commentary reminds of cockroaches, swarming everywhere disgusting everyone with your presence.  Your commentary is akin to finding a mouse turd in the bottom of a bowl from which you have been eating.  Your what about the mehnz wail is more annoying than a three year old hopped up on sugar, screaming their lungs out because they don't want to take the nap that they so desperately need.The constant na na na na I can't hear you with fingers steadfastly plugging your ears is ridiculous. 

I knew daring to use the name Glenn Sacks in a title of a blog post would bring a few of you basement dwellers out, but your determination to pound your chest and shake your fist at reason is truly astounding.  I know that you have become attached to the penis between your legs, but to allow it do all the thinking for you is ridiculous.  I am not sure if you are  aware, but it is meant for urination and sexual activity, not as a second brain. 

I am tired of your false statistics, and cavemen like behaviour.  As much as you would love to return to a time when you could burn women at the stake to steal our property and silence us, feminism is here to stay.  The most ironic part about this is that feminism is a response to the violence, raping, murdering, exploitation and marginalization that men have been engaged in since the beginning of time. That's right asshole, the very reason feminism exists is because of your virulent hatred of women. 

Right about now you are probably calling me a misandrist. OOOOHHH yeah man hater is really going to hold a lot of weight with me when I have to think twice about walking through a parking lot at night because some sicko might think he has the right to rape me because I have a VAGINA.  Misandrist might upset me if I didn't have to worry week to week how to survive because women make 77 cents to every dollar that men make, which translates into poverty throughout our entire lifetime.  For senior women, women with disabilities, and women of colour the gap is even wider. 

Right, what  was I thinking bringing up statistics in this conversation. Unless it is some invented, or somehow manipulated social statistic that magically proves that men are more disenfranchised than women it doesn't count as truth. I honestly wonder how many of you believe that Oswald killed Kennedy with a single bullet as well? Hey do you make yearly trips to the southern shore of Groom Lake to convene with the other conspiracy theorists? Honestly the idea that men are somehow threatened, or living a life devoid of privilege is about as ridiculous as the idea that Holocaust did not happen, or that no airplane flew into the pentagon on 911.

I would call you all crazy, but I don't believe it is fair to the intellectually challenged to conflate your idiocy with their disability.  What I see most in your anger and self righteous indignation is fear.  That's right fear.  The idea that men and women can exist equally side by side threatens you.  I understand a world where your penis is not more valuable than an arm or a leg is earth shattering, but if you were actually people of value such a thought would not be threatening to begin with.



When Cooking Becomes A Career

Like most women I was raised to believe that the kitchen is primarily a woman's domain.  My mother is an excellent cook, and to this day spends much of her time cooking elaborate meals.  The kitchen is where she is most at home. Following in her tradition, I also spend a good deal of time in my kitchen cooking for my family. I am well aware that the pride that I take watching them enjoy a meal that I have prepared for them has much to do with the genderized way in which I was raised.

As we daily sit together and share our evening meal,  I have not been blind to the ways in which this little ritual reinforces gender performativity.  The unhusband is extremely appreciative of every meal that I cook but that does not change the fact that I am fulfilling the nurturing role traditionally performed by women, and that our male children see this.  They have already professed a preference for meals made by mom. 

I know that this same scene is played out over and over again in households globally.  Cooking for the family is something that we have socially decided is woman's work.  There are some progressive men who do spend time in a kitchen; however as with most domestic labour it is a task that largely falls to women. 

When I came across an article in The Times Of India regarding the lack of female chefs I had to pause.  According to ITC Maurya, Delhi. Food writer Rashmi Uday Singhm, women are not chefs because, "It’s a physically demanding profession and calls for long hours. One has to be mostly on one’s toes, dealing with male counterparts."  So when a woman is at home cooking and cleaning for her family that is not to much of a burden, but suddenly when it comes to performing the same labour for money we are to fragile.  Do the pots and pans get heavier in an industrial kitchen? 

Executive chef Ananda Solomon, Taj President, Mumbai, feels that once saddled with the responsibility of children and domestic pressures, women are often discouraged from taking up the career of a chef. Some even change gears midway.

Yes, women are discouraged because patriarchy prefers that we perform the same labour for free.  This is a very key point.  Patriarchy has no issue with women cooking, they simply want it done under a condition that allows them to maintain control.  There are very few global constants but this fact is a certainty; labour is genderized differently from place to place but when a man performs it, its value is suddenly increased.  The increase is due to the gender hierarchy that is a global phenomenon. 

Men have a vested interest in the impoverishment of women because it keeps us dependent upon them for subsistence.  The feminization of poverty exists specifically to promote and support male hegemony.  The household labour of cooking, verses the commercial labour that a chef performs is a perfect example of the ways in which the patriarchal, capitalist system works to maintain  hierarchy. 

Cooking does not become more difficult because it is performed in an industrial kitchen, it becomes more difficult because men have decided to make a profit out of nurturing labour.  The next time you hear the old adage that the best cooks are men, be sure to respond that this is only true when money is involved.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sarah Palin Got Punked

For her sake I really hope that this is fake but the "supposed" voice of Palin sounds an awful lot like her.  I have to admit that I was amused by this one and these two are known for just such pranks.  If it is real, the moment he said Prime Minister of Quebec she should have clued right in duh....

Update: Thanks to reader MattBastard it has been affirmed to be a real call. What an idiot.

The Family Guy: My Secret Shame


 Time for another edition of my secret shame.  Yes, I admit to watching The Family Guy.  I have even posted on the horrors of this show, and yet at least once a week I find myself tuning in.  As I sit there and watch the parade of homophobia, sexism, racism, abelism, (damn it every single ism) I always say this is just terrible, yet I am still watching. I have yet to figure out what is drawing me to this nonsense. 

I openly admit that almost everything about the Family Guy is plain wrong. It does not send out a positive message and reflects some of the worst aspects of our society.  I really have no excuse because I plain and simple know better.

Ok tag you're it. What are you watching that you know damn well you should not be.

Some Mother Didn't Do Her Job

You know I am so tired of mothers being maligned. I see it on almost daily basis. Very few times do we stop and ask where was the father or consider the social conditions that children are raised in. 

When I entered the echo chamber of assent, and read the following, which is in reference to the recent tragedy experienced by the Hudson family. I was naturally upset.

William Balfour’s father apparently is serving 30 years on murder charges and William’s brother is serving drug dealing charges. So CLEARLY Michelle you are in no position to judge the criminal proclivities of the men you procreate with and give birth to. So be quiet. Your son, even if he is innocent was clearly trifling and maybe if you had been a better parent you wouldn’t have chosen a murder as your mate and produced two criminals.

Here is the deal, we don't know whether this man is guilty or innocent.  Even though he was raised primarily by his mother, she was not the sole influence on him.  We have a little thing called the agents of socialization, that are often not factored in when we speak about criminality.

It is so easy to say that some manchild went wrong because his mother didn't do her damn job, yet none of us lives in isolation.  The media continually presents black masculinity as thug like criminals.  The education system routinely redirects young black children into non academic streams.  The disparity in the education system is also evident to anyone with eyes.  Compare the schools in any ghetto to any suburban area, clearly class and race reflect not only who gets taught what, but what equipment they are given to learn with.

If every where you look you are presented with an image of negativity and then told that your value as a person is dependent on your ability to consume and or display items connected with wealth, is it any wonder that criminality is so high?

What about the prison industrial complex that is built upon housing and exploiting young black men.? What sense does it make to incarcerate a generation of young men for drug crimes when treatment would not only be cheaper, but have a longer lasting result?  It makes sense only if you are aware of the communities that are dependent upon prisons  to support their local economies.

Of course I am way off base. The queen of the echo chamber believes:

Recidivism rates are so high because we have normalized jail culture. Its not shameful or embarrassing, but a right of passage.

Yeah the justice system is so fair...why don't these trifling young black men learn?  It's very simple really, prison is not about reform it is about punishment. When these men leave they might as well have a scarlet letter tattooed to their forehead that says criminal.  Each one of them emerges with the name Jean Valjean.  Oui ils ont  les miserables.

With all of the ways in which we know that racism and classism work together to maintain hierarchy in this society, it is ridiculous to blame the mother.  This is not to say that all mothers care about their children, but every single child that does not fulfill their end of the social contract is not necessarily a reflection on their parents. 

In this particular case  there are many facts that still have not been released to the public and a rush to judgement based on inflammatory media reports does not serve the common good.

What we need to be doing as women is supporting mothers.  Motherhood is a difficult task to undertake even under the best of circumstances.  I have a very supporting partner in the "unhusband" and yet the boys as beautiful as they are give me grey hair. I cannot imagine the Herculean task it is to raise children as a single mother with a limited income.  I tell you my heroes are the single mothers of this world. Who knows more about sacrifice, hard work and love than these women?  Before I jump on some bandwagon and convict one of not doing her damn job, I want some concrete evidence of that fact.

As for Ms.Echo Chamber, this post is in existence because freedom of expression is clearly something you do not support, so I have taken your advice and had my say on my own blog. I will say this, part of blogging is hearing voices that you don't necessarily agree with.  It happens here at Womanist Musings on a daily basis; however I believe in freedom of expression and never allow my personal views to block someone from having the right to express themselves. If one is to quick to hit the ban button you loose the opportunity to engage in real and honest conversations which is what blogging should be about, not just didactic preaching from on high.