Saturday, June 6, 2009

Parents Teach Child That Hitler Was A Good Man

There are various ways in which a parent can damage a child permanently,  however teaching a child racism is rarely to never acknowledged for the child abuse that it is.  This post is a continuation on the case of a Winnipeg mother who had her child removed by CFS after sending her to school with a swastika on her arm.

According to the CBC, a tape was played of the testimony of the eight year girl at the center of the controversy.  

The girl showed the detective both her arms, which were covered in white supremacist markings from above her elbows down to her wrists. She told police the swastika, to her, was a sun wheel that represented peace and love, but she knew others saw it as a symbol of hate.

She said she also knew that the H.H. drawn on her arm meant "Heil Hitler."

When the detective asked what her parents thought of Hitler, she said they think he's a good man "for killing lots of people that didn’t belong there." (emphasis mine)

It is one thing for her parents to hold those views but to pass them on to a child is reprehensible.  What this says is that if someone is different from you in any way that it is perfectly justifiable to kill them.  Millions died in the holocaust and it is one of the worlds most tragic events.  To celebrate this takes some form of sickness.  This certainly goes beyond any denial of white privilege; this is the active teaching of hate and violence.

The detectives asked her about what her parents thought about ethnic minorities. She said her parents thought "they should be killed or go back to their country."

Asked if she believed the same, the girl said: "Not kill, but they should go back to their country."

She also told police that "some people from Pakistan carry AIDS and they could kill you. Pakistan people have AIDS." (emphasis mine)

This child’s head is so riddled with nonsense, that she does not realize that unless you are directly of Indigenous descent, every person living in Canada is not in their “original home”.  Whiteness does not have a right to land simply because it colonized it through the near destruction of a people. 

Not only are her parents teaching her to hate people of color, they are also teaching her a fear based ignorance.  The idea that people of Pakistani descent are more likely to have AIDS is ridiculous.   In this case it is about more than the scientific facts regarding the percentage of the population that is infected.  Behind the mendacious meme regarding infection is  the idea that people of color are dirty and foul.   This is a message that has long been part of the social discourse of white supremacy to justify its undeserved right to lead.

Though she has been able to separate herself to some degree from her parents beliefs, it is clear that a complete demarcation is yet beyond her.  Even if she were to stay at this level of indoctrination, clearly these kinds of beliefs are damaging in a multi-racial society such as Canada.  How much more perverted will her thought process become is she remains in the custody of her parents? For her to hold such nonsense beliefs about race means that one has deny scientific and social facts.  This is not simply a case of teaching a child a religion or a political stance, this is outright hatred and ignorance.

When children are born into this world we have a communal responsibility to ensure that they are protected and receive a proper education both in the home and the school system.  Her parents have clearly abdicated their duties and therefore we as a society must step in to ensure that these children are not harmed any further.  It is not  far step from teaching a child that Hitler was a hero, to encouraging said child to take violent actions against people of color. 



Drop It Like It’s Hot

Hello everyone.  Sorry that the posting has been light this week but as some of you are aware, I got my scooter this week and the outdoors have been calling me.  I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to go where I want with no worries about pain or exhaustion.  I have already put quite a few miles on it and I imagine before the summer is over, Betty Lou (yes I named her) and I will be all over town.  If you happen to spend a day in the Falls and see a very happy black woman with dreadlocks and a red scooter get out of the way….cause I was  born to be wild baby.

This is your weekly reminder, please do not be afraid to send in links or guest/cross posts.  Please remember to include a short three line bio about your self for guest posts.  Womanist Musings is an open space and if there is an issue I have been lax about covering or something comes up that makes you just want to bang your head against a desk shoot me an e-mail.

Below you will find the usual links to some great posts that I found this week.  Please show these awesome bloggers some love and when you are done, don’t forget to Drop it like it’s hot and leave your link behind in the comment section.

Don’t Look for Me at Pride This Year

rethinking walking: taking up space

Susan Boyle is not having a “Meltdown”

What cheeses me off - “parking permit abuses”

Gloria Steinem, Where Are You Now?

Dear Mainstream Fashion: Leave Plus Size Fashion Alone

Ageism In Blogdonia, part 230856

I do not believe that standing up for the rights for a sister not to be attacked, is an attack

Who Was Dr. George Tiller

All women are prostitutes

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Friday, June 5, 2009

For The National Review Sotomayor Is The Wise Latina Buddhist

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Okay, this latest image sent my WTF meter right off.  Seriously, how much longer are white men going to display their ignorance and hatred to promote their undeserved privilege?  It started with Sotomayor the piñata because apparently the fact that she is Puerto Rican and not Mexican is irrelevant. Now we have Sotomayor the Buddhist.  When it comes to creating WOC as “other” any social construction will do, as our cultures and religions clearly have no individualized identity.

Sotomayor is Catholic and Puerto Rican, how hard is it to recognize these two basic facts?  Not only is this image offensive to WOC, it is offensive to all Buddhists because their religion is being reduced once again to the “all knowing Asian” stereotype that whiteness loves to lean on.  You will note that even though people around the globe practice Buddhism, this caricature has slanted eyes so that the viewer is sure to recognize that the artist (and I use that term loosely) is reifying  that mysticism and or enlightenment are the preserve of those “brainy yellow people.”  Buddhists certainly don’t move through the world, holding down jobs and interacting with others; no they are far to busy contemplating the nothingness of being in mountain ranges with hard to pronounce names. 

With this latest graphic the assaults on Sotomayor have truly reached the level of idiotic, sexist and racist.  In appealing to the irrational fear of white men that they are being supplanted, these artists have succeeded in creating a monolithic “other”.  It does not matter what ones achievements, education, or political position is if your body represents that of an “other”.  It panics these men of privilege that a Latina woman of humble beginnings could possibly have a different perspective or a line of thought that is more comprehensive due to a different life experience. 

The very normalization of whiteness is what allows these kinds of images to exist.  These cartoons scream DIFFERNT, DIFFERENT, DIFFERENT…without acknowledging that the issue is not really difference but the value that has been applied to difference.  As Sotomayor goes through the confirmation process we will probably see more attacks of this nature.  Though whiteness is under no great attack from invading Puerto Rican women seeking to rule, the idea that  one could possibly sit on what has been commonly a throne to white men is threatening because it suggests that white men do not have a monopoly on intelligence.


A Review: Feminism and Pop Culture

image Andie Zeisler is an author and cofounder of Bitch Magazine. In her latest work she seeks to explore the ways in which feminism and pop culture have acted upon each other. Many view pop culture as meaningless because it is aimed at the masses however; Zeisler reminds us that studying that which we take as ordinary entertainment is important because it is a reflection of our normalized discourse.

Just as we are shaped by discourse, feminism in its own way has had an effect on how women are represented in the various forms of media. From Rosie the Riviter, to the “You’ve come along way baby” Virginia Slims advertisement, to the Spice Girls, the images of women have been in a constant state of flux. Though these messages are aimed at exploiting the empowerment that feminism has sought to instil in women, it is often co-opted for the sake of consumer profit. As Zeisler examines the co-option she makes particularly salient reference to the fact that even the Riot Grrrls message of antiestablishment, was quickly converted from its original meaning. Feminism as viewed through the lens of pop culture is often a tool of patriarchy to reify the very same norms that feminists are seeking to bring to an end.

When women like Queen Latifah seek to present a woman centric model such as her groundbreaking song U.N.I.T.Y., it paled in comparison to the success that male artists of the same genre received. Bitches and Ho’s sell, not women speaking to other women about the ways in which we create safe spaces of our own to subvert patriarchy and therefore as Zeisler points out, how we make the message relevant while still producing a profit must be a concern of all feminists. The medium cannot be allowed to be the message if feminist goals are to be realized.

Even though feminism seeks to improve the lives of all women, with the rise of the third wave many have finally come to the understanding that the monolithic woman is problematic as it often renders women of color invisible. Zeisler goes to great effort to ensure that the experiences of Black women are woven into her analysis of pop culture. At a time when many Black women are rejecting the feminist label, this can only be seen as a positive step. However, including Black women in analysis cannot and should not give one license to ignore the experiences of other women of color. There is little to no mention of Indigenous, Asian or Latina women throughout the book. This in part could be because the mainstream media does not focus on equal representation, however the very fact that they are absent should be a point that is explored in a book on feminism and pop culture, if we are to believe that feminism recognizes and supports all women,

Other issues not mentioned are class and age. Clearly the forms of pop culture like zines, rap, and the pop music are aimed at the young. The very invisibility of older women in comparison to senior men and young women, suggests that as women age we become even less relevant socially. The erasure of age is extremely problematic given the explosion of debate between the second and third wave during the last election.

Finally, though pop culture is considered a medium of the masses, we are not all able to participate evenly. The bifurcation between the working poor and the middle class in a capitalist society means that by following the chain of hierarchy to which we have become accustomed translates into those that are most able to exude power being over represented. Though we live with the mendacious myth of meritocracy and a largely middle class population, more are working poor and underclass than we realize.

As Ziesler says at the beginning of her exploration, this is meant to be a 101 examination of pop culture. It is part of the Seal Studies collection and therefore the missing aforementioned key elements are problematic, as they serve to reify the very discourse of exclusion that she seeks to examine. While this is hardly a challenging read, it is well documented and filled with small tidbits of information that causes one to think about the ways in which our consumption patterns affect how we understand and construct gender. As an entry level examination of pop culture she covers a lot of ground and I look forward to perusing her next work now that she has laid a foundation of critique.


Officer Johannes Mehserle Will Stand Trial For Murdering Oscar Grant

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After 7 days of testimony, Judge C. Don Clay decided that former BART officer Johannes Mehserle will stand trial for the murder of Oscar Grant

According to SF Gate:

"There's no doubt in my mind," Clay said at the close of the former officer's preliminary hearing in Oakland, "that Mr. Mehserle intended to shoot Oscar Grant with a gun and not a Taser."

While I am excited about the decision to move forward with a murder trial, it is laced with a great trepidation as socially the lives of Black men are often considered expendable.  Even if we are to believe Mehserle’s defence that he claimed to be reaching for a taser rather than his service resolver, why was this necessary when Grant was not resisting and was already in handcuffs?  Though the prosecutor did not bring race into the equation at the hearing its omission is quite telling.

Regardless of what police department you look at in North America, you will quickly discover that people of color have a history of such violent attacks by so-called officers of the law.  Whether male or female, a war was long ago declared and people of color are being harassed and in some cases murdered in cold blood.

Grants case is unique because there were many witnesses to his murder and it was captured on film, much to the disappointment of officers who gathered up as many cell phones as they could in an attempt to cover up the actions of Mershel.  Before Oscars body had even turned cold, the blue wall was quickly attempting to descend to take care of one of its own.  Clearly, these officers believed that Mershel’s freedom outweighed the justice system that they had sworn to serve. 

It remains to be seen if there will be justice for Oscar Grant.  I cannot help but think in moments like these about the POC who were not lucky enough to have their assaults caught on film or watched by a multitude of witnesses.   How many lie in cells today nursing wounds from these so-called defenders of justice simply because of the color of their skin?  It is the nameless and faceless masses awaiting justice that we must worry for today.   Each time a new death murder occurs the Black community rallies to demand justice and yet there have been no systemic changes.  These murders are not the result of a single cop “gone bad,” they are the result of a system that long ago determined that Blackness is not deserving of the right to life, freedom and liberty.

H/T Feministing



Hey Fatty Cover Up

image Now that June is here the warm weather is finally hitting the great white north, otherwise known as Canada.  That’s right, we’re trading in our igloos and snowshoes for (gasp )shorts and tank tops.  After wearing layers of clothing for months having the freedom of movement is liberating.  Feeling the warmth of the sun touch ones skin can be exhilarating, as thoughts turn to picnics, BBQ’s, swimming, and lazy afternoons.  Spring and summer are about play and rejuvenation, unless of course you happen to be F-A-T.

The really offensive F word these days is F-A-T because we have set unrealistic body standards.  We invest in the predatory diet industry or subject ourselves to surgeries in the desperate hope that somehow we can achieve a physical shape that will be visibly pleasing.  F-A-T shaming is big business and it is supported daily in our discourse.

Today as I watched a young girl walk by in a pair of shorts and a t-shirt, the commentary regarding her size was fatphobic to say the least.

“Oh that is just disgusting”, said one person followed by “who wants to see that”?  Though his commentary was cruel, it is far to common.  Socially we exist with the idea that anyone who does not meet the idealized body standards should attempt to make themselves as invisible as possible, to avoid causing image disgust in a casual passerby.  If this requires a fat person to wear clothing that is not appropriate for the season then so be it.  Heaven forbid a roll or an ounce of cellulite be visible in a world that imagines that it is populated by Ken and Barbie dolls. Wake up skinny people, Barbie could not stand upright if she were human and neither of the two of them are anatomically correct; is this really what we want to be emulating?

What does one gain from fat shaming the casual passerby?  Why is it that we find disgust so easily in another human being?  Few will think twice as they loudly proclaim another unfit to socialize with simply because of their size.  Fatness is seen as obscene and therefore regardless of how it may effect the listener, loudly proclaiming someone repulsive, or pointing at them as though they are some sort of side show freak is deemed acceptable. 

Shaming is so strong that some women will give up eating in public, swimming, bike riding, or daring to have any kind of active life.  Commentary is often hidden under the guise of promoting a “healthy lifestyle,” while ignoring the fact that just because someone is slim does not make them healthy.  If a F-A-T person is outside living life and having fun, how does shaming them into retreat promote health and well being?  In the end, the “healthy lifestyle” discourse more often than not comes down to affirming our hierarchy of bodies.

It is far too easy to shame someone, forgetting that we all have our own so-called imperfections to deal with.   I am not going to beg you to show decency, I am going to demand it.  Remember what your mother told you as a child;  if you don’t have anything nice to say, shut the hell up.   Life is hard enough without have to negotiate the ignorance of another to have a good time.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Disability Is Felt By Children

Destruction and I have been close from the moment he was born.  There is a special connection between us that really feels like more than the mother and son bond.  There are times when I look at him that I am so overcome with love that I simply cannot speak.

Last night he once again woke with a recurring dream of my death.  Since I was first diagnosed with three chronic illnesses, the person that has suffered the most other than my self ,is my little guy.  He has tried in his own way to take care of me and there are times I catch him staring at me with a clear look of concern.  He image remembers all to well the crazy things we used to do.  Every Friday we would do a chicken dance to celebrate making it through the week.  We have always loved music and so we would crank the music and have an impromptu dance party. 

He cried for hours last night as he told me about how he had dreamed of my death.  Nothing that I said comforted him as I covered him with kisses and hugs and spoke of my love for him.  As we lay in the darkness and he pleaded with me not to leave him, my heart broke and I struggled to hold back my own tears.

My life has changed in so many ways since becoming sick.  I am no longer able to hold a job or do the everyday activities that I once did.  Gone are the days in image which I would spend hours in the kitchen making elaborate meals for my family.  A new recipe used to be a great find and I loved to explore.  Today throwing food into a crockpot is about the most that I can handle.  It will sometimes take hours to assemble even that, as I might have to grate cheese and then sit down for half an hour to recover and then go back and chop onions and take more recovery time.  Gone are the days when we would bake cookies together while we sang silly songs and talked of nonsense. 

There are days I feel like a burden to my family.  I have always tried to speak to my children about our shared responsibility and finding that I can do so little to help around the house as my unhusband struggles to do it all with the help of the children hurts me.  Our life is not what I had imagined it would be at this point. 

image This year as his school prepares to go to the Toronto Zoo for the end of the year trip, I am once again unable to volunteer.  I have no way to transport my new scooter to the zoo and they only rent wheelchairs which don’t work for me.  I want to interact and play a large role in his life and yet due to my physical limitations there is so much I am forced to miss.  Once again his father is going to attend and represent the both of us while I stay home with our youngest child Mayhem.

I often wonder whether or not this would have been easier for him to handle had he been born to a mother that had a physical disability to begin with.  Did those precious few years of my ability cause him to feel a loss even more or would he have always felt as though my life is in peril? 

When days like this happen it forces me to realize that as much as I feel like this is a personal loss and the pain and suffering belongs to me alone, those that love me and are the closest to me suffer right along side me.   As I held him last night and he cried in my arms, I did realize that even though I cannot do the things for him that I once took for granted, my presence in his life limited or not is worth something.   Perhaps it is not the things that you cannot do that are important but what you can do that is.


A Statue Of Ronald Reagan Does Not Make Us All Happy

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Though the GOP has had to reach back to Regan to find a representative that the populace can find as a reasonable model of their ideology, even in his time as president he was despised by many because of his homophobia, racism and war on the poor.  The Great communicator made sure his constant refrains were filled with white and straight privilege.  Click the above image to see the unveiling of his commemorative statue,

Speaking to us like a doddering old grandfather full of paternalistic concern, he waged war on the most marginalized sections of society.   When one announces an intention to run for the highest office in Mississippi and declares themselves to be a supporter of states rights (code for the promotion of white male elite privilege), it is clear that old Ronny certainly knew how to wrap his snake oil in a way that would be considered non offensive.  The right wing were quick to latch on to him as they recognized his ability to "close the deal” better than a used vacuum cleaner salesman.

image The man that has become a great cult hero campaigned against the civil rights movement, the peace movement, the student rights movement and the Great Society.  His war on drugs became a war on people of color as he built the prison industrial complex to never before seen levels.  Even as people of color struggled under the what at the time was considered the worst depression since the Great Depression, Regan infused his war on poverty with his commentary regarding welfare queens driving welfare Cadillacs.  Instead of society holding big business accountable for their crimes and worker exploitation, the most marginalized – the black woman was found guilty of living off of the government purse. 

He is directly responsible for the low level of union density in the United States.  When he had the air traffic controllers arrested, he effectively broke the back of unionism forcing all those remaining to practice business unionism and  as a result bargain away many of the gains that had resulted from decades of image organizing.  Those who were poor in his two terms in office learned that Reagonenomics simply meant enriching the bourgeoisie elite on the backs of the poor and the working class.  His massive military spending meant that infrastructure, education, homelessness and health care went ignored.  He may have spent the Soviet Union into oblivion but the legacy of debt left by his policies has yet to be repaid.

When we celebrate Ronald Reagan we are reifying the cult of rich white male hegemony.  The above is merely a snippet of why Reagan is a problematic figure and yet his statue now stands in the capitol as though he is a man to be celebrated.  America is full of conflicting standards; its founding fathers wrote a constitution and a declaration of Independence declaring equality amongst men while African Americans laboured in chains and its women were without voting and property rights.  In the name of conquest the Indigenous Peoples were nearly erased from existence.  Amongst its own people the American government has been slow to grant rights and freedoms and instead has sought to promote the fitness of white male headship.  Reagan was not some sort of saviour or kind hearted leader, he simply followed in the footsteps of those before him.

It is an offense to all marginalized and exploited bodies that he should be celebrated in this way.  Though revisionist history has always been a part of maintaining the false social beliefs that proliferate society, at some point we need to begin to look at these former great men for who they were.  Regan ruled in the decade of greed and profit and almost every action that he undertook ensured the status quo.  If you were rich, white and male this was the time of your life, if however you belonged to the invisible mass of workers on whose shoulders these men stood, hardship was a way of life.


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Rob and Arnie Of Omaha Pick On A Trans Child.

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What can be more mature than two grown men who cannot deal with gender issues picking on a sweet little child.   Rob, Arnie & Dawn can be hear in Sacramento, California on KRXQ 98.5 FM and Reno, Nevada on KDOT 104.5 FM.

ROB WILLIAMS [11:12]: This is a weird person who is demanding attention. And when it’s a child, all it takes is a hug, maybe some tough love or anything in between. When your little boy said, ‘Mommy, I want to walk around in a dress.’ You tell them no cause that’s not what boys do. But that’s not what we’re doing in this culture.

ARNIE STATES [13:27]: If my son, God forbid, if my son put on a pair of high heels, I would probably hit him with one of my shoes. I would throw a shoe at him. Because you know what? Boys don’t wear high heels. And in my house, they definitely don’t wear high heels.

ROB WILLIAMS [17:45]: Dawn, they are freaks. They are abnormal. Not because they’re girls trapped in boys bodies but because they have a mental disorder that needs to be somehow gotten out of them. That’s where therapy could help them.

ROB WILLIAMS [18:15]: Or because they were molested. You know a lot of times these transgenders were molested. And you need to work with them on that. The point is you don’t allow the behaviour. You cure the cause!

ARNIE STATES [21:30]: You got a boy saying, ‘I wanna wear dresses.’ I’m going to look at him and go, ‘You know what? You’re a little idiot! You little dumbass! Look, you are a boy! Boys don’t wear dresses.’

ARNIE STATES [29:22]: You know, my favourite part about hearing these stories about the kids in high school, who the entire high school caters around, lets the boy wear the dress. I look forward to when they go out into society and society beats them down. And they end up in therapy.

Here we have another example of hate speech masquerading as free speech.  These men are so determined to maintain the gender binary that they see no problem advocating violence against a child.  How exactly is throwing a show at a child who expresses a desire to live in a gender other than that which they were born “solve” the issue?  Maybe just maybe, the real problem is society’s intolerance with those that are gender variant.

Arnie goes as far as to state that he enjoys hearing stories in which trans people are subjected to violence. You have to be a real sick shit to enjoy someone being abused and it is my suggestion that he heads to therapy.  Of course people will claim that this all good fun, however language like this is exactly what is used to justify the murder of women like Angie Zapta. 

The commentary of these two men is nothing more than cisgender privilege on crack. How someone chooses to express their gender identity is only a threat if you seek to preserve undeserved privilege. 

You know what to do with the following:

John Geary
Vice President & General Manager
KRXQ-FM
(916) 339-4209
jgeary@entercom.com

Arnie States
On Air Personality
KRXQ-FM
(916) 334-7777
rad@robarnieanddawn.com

Rob Williams
On Air Personality
KRXQ-FM
(916) 334-7777
rwilliams@entercom.com

H/T Monica @TransGriot


Sotomayor The Piñata

 

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This racist/sexist cartoon appeared in The Oklahoman.  There she is hanging like a piñata with Obama in a sombrero because of course there are no other markers of Latino culture that they could turn to.  I’m actually surprised that they didn’t draw the name Maria on her forehead, or place a jalapeño pepper in her mouth .

If the racism where not enough the incitement of violence is certainly the coup de grace.  In a country in which women suffer violence at the hands of men on a daily basis to have them line up to take their “best shot” at her is not innocent political commentary. 

According to the Oklahoma Women’s Network Blog:

Oklahoma ranks as the 3rd worst state in the nation for women. Much of what holds Oklahoma women and girls back is linked to our state’s culture of violence and disrespect for women. Oklahoma ranks #4 in women murdered by men, #1 in child abuse and our domestic violence shelters are full of women escaping violence.

Violence against women is not a matter that we can take lightly when daily women are murdered in cold blood.  When we consider that Sotomayor has largely been constructed as an angry Latina who does not know her place by white males on the right, this image serves as a warning to all women to stay in their place.   It suggests that when a woman attempts to step outside of roles that have been traditionally assigned to  them by patriarchy that men have the right to resort to violence. 

How often have we heard men tell us how good we have it in North America in comparison to women in other countries.  This claim can only be made by ignoring the violence that women here live with it.  The fact that violence against women has simply become so normalized that it can be reduced to a joke reveals that the liberation and freedom in which we are told that we live is non-existent.

If you are as disgusted with this imagery as I am make sure to let The Oklahoman know.   If it is so easy to reduce a woman as remarkable as  Sotomayor to cannon fodder what chance do any of us have against those that are determined to ensure that women continue to live in fear?

MAIL:
Your Views
The Oklahoman
P.O. Box 25125
Oklahoma City, OK 73125

E-MAIL:
Yourviews@oklahoman.com

Guidelines for Your Views

What we require
1. Letters of 250 words or less.
2. A full name and complete postal address, including zip code, must accompany your letter. (This is needed for verification. Your address won’t be published.)
3. “Name withheld” letters are not accepted. Nor are letters signed only with initials or a first initial and last name.
4. E-mailed letters cannot be sent as attachments.
5. Authors are limited to one letter every 28-42 days, depending on volume.
6. When referring to a news story or previous letter published in Your Views, cite the headline or letter writer’s name and the date of publication.

H/T Middle Raged Punk


Never Been Kissed Equals Respect?

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21 year old Rachel Welch decided to save her first kiss for her wedding day at the age of 14. 

That will keep me out of trouble and I just wanted that to be a special gift for the man I was to be married to.”

She is engaged to Todd Ritter who could not be more pleased with the innocence of his future wife, though he has kissed other girls himself.

I’ve finally found someone who really respected herself and so that made me respect her even more”, said Todd.

Watching this video I did not doubt for one moment why this was a story of interest.  Welch is an attractive young white woman, the typical representative of the purity myth.  I don’t ever recall seeing a young woman of color celebrated for making the same decision and this is not because we are all rampant sluts, sleeping with anyone that has a penis.  The bodies of women of color are deemed highly sexualized by whiteness whereas white women are constructed as the epitome of female purity and goodness.

While I respect the decision of a woman to remain a virgin; if the impetus behind said decision is giving a “gift” to a man, it is problematic to say the least.  Men are encouraged to explore their sexuality whereas a woman who performs similar behaviour is quickly devalued and labelled a slut.

Sex is a basic human instinct and to moralize it in this way is ultimately limiting.  The idea that Welch respects herself because she has not allowed anyone to kiss her is ridiculous.  This kind of thinking limits female sexuality unless it is proscribed by patriarchy.  Though she is seen as someone who is ultimately in control, in actuality she is little more than a marionette dancing to the beat of male desires. 

Respecting ones body should mean things like make decisions that are in our best interests and not necessarily be reduced to what we do with our vaginas.  You will note that there are no stories about men saving themselves because they want to present a “gift” for a future bride.  Female bodies are deemed for consumption of masculinity and therefore the idea that one should save themselves for marriage is aimed at women.  The incestuous purity balls far outnumber any ceremonies in which boys/men pledge innocence. This is not about respect or love, this is about control…period.

These kind of stories are meant to uphold the image of white female purity and in so doing entrap young women into making decisions based in a patriarchal standard.  Sex should be about sharing an experience with a partner not giving yourself to him, like a present under the Christmas tree.


PETA Enters The Abortion Debate

The people of Wichita, Kansas are still in mourning after the murder of Dr. Tiller.    This man was harassed assaulted and finally murdered for helping women to exercise their reproductive rights.  PETA in its infinite wisdom has decided that once again this is a perfect opportunity to display its ignorant, callous nature by exploiting this incident.

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image PETA has never failed to find away to be offensive in the false belief that shocking people will gain sympathy for their actions

Lindsay Rajt, campaign manager for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, said the billboards were prompted by the recent shooting death of abortion doctor George Tiller, who was killed Sunday at his church.

"The discussion of the value of life is front and center right now in the public conversation," Rajt said.

"We think we would be irresponsible if we don't talk about how we're all guilty of extreme cruelty to animals every time we sit down to a meal that includes meat."

PETA remains clueless. I certainly do not believe in animal cruelty but to equate that to the cold blooded murder of a man that tried to do good in this world is disgusting,.  How does exploiting the death of a man legitimize their concerns? Call me a speciesist but where is their concern for this mans loved ones? 

PETA has a history of being obtuse in their advertisement campaigns.  They continually reproduce harmful constructions reducing those that are the most socially vulnerable for gain.  It is not edgy or avant garde to protest in this way; it simply reveals a stunning disregard for life, which is counter to their so-called mandate.

PETA operates under the impression that any kind of media attention is good.  Instead of making people sympathetic to their cause actions like this raise disgust. I have yet to see a PETA campaign that did not inspire me to eat a T-Bone steak.   You cannot raise awareness through devaluation.

once again PETA: FAIL,  FAIL,  FAIL

H/T Feministe Via Shakesville.



You’re Gay

Last night little Destruction came home from the park and announced that some bullies called him gay.  My mind instantly went to the two little boys who recently committed suicide after receiving  taunts like this.

I turned my head and asked, “What is a gay man?”

He is someone who loves other men like you and daddy love each other,” answered Destruction

“And”, I said.

“They are just like everyone else”, he responded.

“Therefore”, I stated “if they are just like everyone else, calling you gay is not really an insult now is it?  Calling someone gay as an insult is just someone who is  to dumb to come up with a real insult.”

He stopped and thought over what I stated and said, “you know what, you’re right mom.”

image Score one for momma.  I have always taken the time to show him when I can images of gays and lesbians and point out that their love is the same as the love he sees shared between his father and I.  I think that because we have made an issue from a very early age of pointing out that difference does not mean less than, this line of thought was very easy for my little Destruction to understand.

While it is very important that we demand that our schools enforce a zero tolerance policy for homophobia and transphobia, we also need to teach real and practical lessons in our home.  Despite the fact that fundies like to speak about gays taking over, or removing rights from heterosexuals,  the truth is that being bi-sexual, gay, or lesbian, still means that one exists with a stigmatized identity.

I don’t know what my child's sexuality will be but regardless I want him to grow with a fundamental respect for all human beings and that begins by affirming life in all of its manifestations.  Just as children don’t perceive people of different races as inherently less than, they don’t see a GLBT identity as deviant.  We actively teach them through the agents of socialization, that heterosexuality is the norm and the most desired sexuality.

Teaching my child about equality and respect for human beings is part of my activism and it is part of how I show my love  for them.  A mind that is filled with image hate does not reason, it simply repeats ignorant rhetoric.  We cannot count on our schools to teach our children because the teachers and administration are all steeped in the same heterosexist, transphobic culture as the obvious bigots. Unless one is committed to fighting underserved privilege on a daily basis,  one will necessarily pass along the message of intolerance. 

Working to end  privilege is a lifetime journey and much of what we take for granted as normal has been specifically constructed to ensure the maintenance of a hierarchy of bodies.  Since most will face some area of stigmatization, teaching children to respect and maintain hierarchy as a normal social order means that at some point we are affirming that they are less than. The power structure that we teach them to embrace will at some point work to deny their rights, or justify violence or hate speech against them.

I choose to teach my child that there is power in  love and community.  I choose to teach my child that ALL PEOPLE MATTER.  As I go through this journey, I am cognizant that even as an ally there is much that I still must learn but even the acknowledgement of ignorance is powerful in a world that is committed to being purposefully obtuse.  Ignorance is a temporary state of being if one chooses to learn whereas blind hatred turns the heart to a bitter pill.  Choose life, choose love and talk to your children everyday because to avoid such critical lessons is to turn your child over to the forces of intolerance and hatred.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Bruno Teabags Eminem

Sacha Baron Cohen, in the character of Bruno thought it would be hilarious to teabag Eminem.  One can surmise that this was done specifically to point out the rampant homophobia in which Eminem knowingly engages in, in his rap lyrics however how does a straight man “playing gay” really prove this point. As Liss at shakesville aptly points out, for the character of Bruno to be understood as gay he must depend upon all of the social constructions that have been applied to a gay male identity thereby reaffirming difference between heterosexuality and homosexuality.

Liss states, “The rationale also goes back to the ostensible raison d'être for the Bruno character, which is exploiting people's homophobia and holding it out for ridicule—a dubious proposition given that Baron-Cohen is not himself gay, thus allowing homophobes the opportunity to laugh unironically at the gay stereotype being played by a straight man.

Publicly assaulting Eminem in this way does not challenge the gay/straight binary or present any opposition to homophobia. 

What is shocking about this video is that Cohen is using Eminem’s known homophobia to justify sexually assaulting him.  Let’s imagine that Eminem was a woman can you imagine this same crowd laughing because a man stuck his genitalia in her face?  I think at the very least there would be expressions of shock if not outright anger and yet when it happens to Eminem, it is a laughing matter. 

As he sat there with an  incredulous look on his face he asked,“are you fucking serious?” the horror on his face was palatable.  Bruno crossed the line by placing his genitalia in Eminem's face.  Sexual assault can never be reduced to some sort of comedic routine or as punishment for behaviour.  You see this meme routinely played out in scenarios wherein prison rape is suggested as an appropriate punishment for violating social laws.  These use sexual assault in an “ironic way”, only serves to support the idea that violating another is acceptable. 

Eminem did not learn “a lesson” by being publicly humiliated; if anything Cohen’s actions only served to further his homophobia.  It publicly cemented in the minds of those that have irrational fears of gay men that they are justified in fearing attack.  This “comedic routine” was an epic failure and those sitting in the audience laughing really need to stop and pause and consider why they felt the humiliation and assault of another human being served as fodder for entertainment.



Fox News Provides The Vehicle To Tillers Death

Dr. George Tiller was shot to death while attending church in Wichita, Kansas, on Sunday.  Though I have commented on other blogs, I have not made a statement here.  First, I would like to offer my sympathies to his family.  I cannot imagine the pain of losing a loved one to an act of violence.

The murder of Dr. Tiller was the first one of its kind in ten years.   It reminds us that the abortion debate is not closed and  that there are people who will stop at nothing to ensure that women loose the right to choose.  Many blog posts have been written about his murder from the point of view of reproductive rights and so I would like to focus on speech and the ability to incite violence.

imageWhether he will admit it or not, O’Reilly has blood on his hands as surely as if he had pulled the trigger.  Salon has an article detailing his obsession with Tiller

Tiller, O'Reilly likes to say, "destroys fetuses for just about any reason right up until the birth date for $5,000." He's guilty of "Nazi stuff," said O'Reilly on June 8, 2005; a moral equivalent to NAMBLA and al-Qaida, he suggested on March 15, 2006. "This is the kind of stuff happened in Mao's China, Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Soviet Union," said O'Reilly on Nov. 9, 2006.

This is where it gets most troubling. O'Reilly's language describing Tiller, and accusing the state and its elites of complicity in his actions, could become extremely vivid. On June 12, 2007, he said, "Yes, I think we all know what this is. And if the state of Kansas doesn't stop this man, then anybody who prevents that from happening has blood on their hands as the governor does right now, Governor Sebelius."

 

As I commented over at Daisy Dead Heads, I have repeatedly spoken about why certain speech is dangerous only to be told that I am supporting censorship. People need to come to the realization that speech is not free; there is a very real cost and it is almost always paid by the most vulnerable members of society. When we allow the incitement of hatred or veiled threats of violence, it is only a matter of time until someone is murdered in cold blood. The O'Reillys of this world have much blood on their hands and it is only their refusal to own their various privileges that allows this to go unacknowledged.

Upon further thought, not only does good ole' Bill have responsibility but so does Fox News, because they continue to provide him with a platform to preach his virulent ideas. What he does is not journalism, it is demagoguery. Bill believes his hateful rhetoric, however FOX news enables it to spread throughout the society for profit.  It is clear that from looking at their roster of talent, O’Reilly, Hannity, Beck et al serve but one purpose – the incitement of bigotry for the purposes of profit.  There is nothing fair and balanced about bullying people into believing that only those committed to supporting the hegemony of rich, elite white males are worthy of respect and life.

As much as I despise Bill, one cannot help but be cognizant that he would still be a weatherman had FOX not given him an opportunity to enter the living rooms of millions to promote his vile stream of thoughts.  The executives that authorize Bills show, the producers, and advertisers all have some of Dr. Tillers blood on their hands today.  It will stain every dollar that they earn and yet they continue to be oblivious of their guilt, claiming that the left wing is exploiting Dr. Tillers death to gain political points.  A man lies dead today and it is pro life groups and their media pundits that have hastened his untimely end.

Speech is how we organize our social discourse and when we add this to the power that a man like Bill O’Reilly exists with, it has the ability to cause real damage or as in the case of Dr. Tiller death. It is simply impossible to deny that there is a link and therefore the right to be offensive does not lead to a free society.  Using veiled language to encourage those already existing in fringe groups to ferment in their hatred is the same as loading the weapon that shot Dr. Tiller.  As much as the right wing pro birth movement would like to pass this off as the act of a lone individual, each person that consumed shows like O’Reilly and or directly or indirectly supported his speech, participated in ending a life.  For people who believe in life, they certainly have actively worked to ensure that Dr. Tillers ended far too soon.


Monday, June 1, 2009

Brandon Marshall Of The Broncos Stop Beating On Women

Is this simply a case of celebrity allowing a man to get away with being violent towards his spouse?  OJ Simpson beat Nicole for years before her murder and yet nothing was ever really done about it.  He was the “juice” and in a world in which violence against women is very normalized her safety became secondary.

Domestic violence is something we are loathe to discuss in the black community because we know that black men are already understood as violent culturally.  While the idea that there is a black criminal waiting in the bushes to assault women is surely based in a desire to maintain white hegemony, this should not cause us to ignore the genuine cases of violence against Black women.

From Tina Turner to Rihanna, the blame for black male violence is usually placed upon the woman. In one of his e-mails to his alleged victim, Marshall asserts that it is her raised voice that triggered his abusive behaviour.  When Baby Wipes AKA Terrence Howard punched his ex-wife, he blamed it on her disrespecting him.   No matter what language someone uses, that is never an excuse to become violent.  Harsh language can be understood justification  because despite the gains of feminism, women’s bodies are still deemed the property of men. 

Women are constructed as irrational and subject to our hormones and yet an act of violent rage like stabbing your partner in the legs, will be deemed a momentary aberration and not as a statement of the ways in which men are violent with women.  We place blame on the victim for returning to an abusive spouse without acknowledging that the abuser has no right to become violent regardless of the situation. 

A woman that is beaten by her spouse is the victim in the relationship and regardless of the racism that black men face, to ask us to be silent is a betrayal of our worth and our value.  Not every black man assaults women but those that do need to be held accountable.  Hiding it like a dirty secret only allows these acts of violence to escalate.  As much as I feel solidarity with black men for our shared battle against racism,  my love and admiration for fellow women of color demands that I speak to this issue.  Any man that beats a woman for any reason, is a criminal and a coward.


Book Review: Kinky Gazpacho by Lori Tharps

This is a guest post by Holly Ord of Menstrual Poetry.

image Lori Tharps grew up in the white suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, went to private school, attended a prestigious college, and continuously never felt a sense of belonging among her own people and a part of her own culture.  While her life may not be too unlike the lives led by thousands of other American people, her accomplishments and her journey through life makes for an intriguing and captivating memoir.

Tharps' memoir starts off when she is in the third grade, listening to her teacher tell the class about an International Day bazaar where the students would be participating by sharing their cultures in the form of food, games, decorations, and dress reflecting their native countries.  Being the only black girl in her class and one of only a handful in her entire private school, the prospect of International Day weighed on her mind and brought her to the conclusion that on that day, her classmates would realize that she was different than they were; that she was less than them  Deciding not to attend school in costume that day because she did not want to attend school dressed as a slave, she went throughout the day in a panic, hoping that no one would ask her why she was not dressed in a costume reflecting her heritage.  Throughout the following school years of Tharps' life, similar thoughts and memories arise very much like her third grade International Day bazaar.  She was raised in a privileged household and attended private school and for a fraction of one particular school year when she was nudged into the public school system, Tharps was received as a snob who was trying to "act white" by the other black girls she had wanted to fit in with, was ostracized by other black young women during her college years, and that was just the beginning of the racial dilemmas she would encounter throughout her life.

From a young age, Tharps became infatuated with Spain; knowing that Spain was her destiny and that she would someday live there.  While in college, she traveled to Morocco with the American Field Service, but later studied abroad in Spain, where she came face to face with the culture she never knew Spain to have.  She notices that a great deal of products, such as something as simple as a chocolate bar, has racist connotations, but when she brings them to the attention of Spanish natives, they are quick to declare that Spain is not a racist place.  But after falling in love with a Spaniard, getting married, and having children, she spends a great deal of time traveling to Spain and her memoir becomes a detective story on how Spain had been involved in slavery.  Throughout her life in Spain, Lori Tharps had searched for where the kinky mixed with the gazpacho.

I absolutely loved this memoir; it was a simple and lightweight read that packed a punch of reality that is undeniable.  I devoured her memoir in utter anticipation of what her next move in life would be and was overjoyed over her boldness and determination to uncover a black past in a country where most of its citizen were unaware of the world that had come before and still revolved around them.  The only flaw with the book is that it leaves you wanting to know and experience more of her life and general thoughts.  Kinky Gazpacho will bring you on a journey that is so much more than merely a life led by a woman who dares to open her mouth and question her surroundings.


Classified Ad Calls For The Assassination Of Obama

image Barack Obama  has been president for less than 6 months.  He has not lied the country into an illegal war, approved the torture of so-called “enemy combatants”, allowed the economy to tank, or earned the disrespect of global leaders.  He did not use the Supreme Court to steal his election; he became president the old fashioned way, one vote at a time. 

Since making sure that Bush got on the plane back to Texas, Obama has been hard at work to rebuild the nation that 8 years of conservative management has made almost unrecognizable.  He is not a super man and therefore he will make mistakes but if we are to be honest, he is certainly better than his predecessor who will go down as one of the worst presidents in HISTORY.  Is it any wonder that his library will be at Southern Methodist University?

Despite the glaring hypocrisy and out right lies of the Bush administration, it is the color of Obamas skin that is somehow deemed threatening.  Being Black and president was enough to spur someone to purchase an ad in The Warren Times Observer on Thursday  calling for his assassination.

"May Obama follow in the steps of Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley and Kennedy!"

Somehow the person who accepted the ad did not see the connection between the four assassinated presidents and a potential threat to Obama’s life.  Gee if only Bush had not trimmed so much from education, this employee might have known their history. The newspaper has issued ad apology and turned over all of the necessary information to the police and the secret service. 

Very early on in the campaign the Obama family received secret service protection because of the high rates of threats that he has experienced.  When he got out of the car to walk on inauguration day many held their breathe for fear that their worst nightmares might be realized. 

image Since he has settled into office there has been a rise in a white supremacist hate groups.  So called conservative commentators have laced their rhetoric with obvious racism thus inflaming an already racially divided population.  Obama has tried to construct himself as the uniter but in fact his presidency has revealed to many for the first time just how divided people of color are from Whites.  

The secret service cannot take threats against him lightly.  Malcolm X, JFK, MLK and RFK prove that change or forward thinking politics are not readily acceptable in the United States.  Despite the long years since these men passed into history through  violence, the social discourse has remained virtually static.  Any black man that is “overly successful”, who refuses to imbibe the bitter wine of internalized racism (See uncle Clarence Thomas) is deemed a threat to white hegemony.  Whiteness awaits in fear the mass uprising of Blacks now that we supposedly have our neo-Moses and yet our opinion of him is far from this simplistic.

At the state of the Black union, Tavis Smiley repeatedly called for African Americans to hold Barack Obama accountable. Dyson is not alone in expressing frustration with the lack of attention to issues that are specifically African American.  Though he was one of the first prominent Black leader to publicly support him, Dyson realizes that for Obama to remain electable he must give the the appearance of moderation in terms of race issues.

Whiteness fears a loss of power and POC are still waiting for a seat at the table.  Though Obama won his historic election by attempting to be race neutral, the only way to solve the divide is to discuss the issue head on.  The United States is not post racial and despite the liberal quoting of the words of MLK, it is far from his dream. 



Sunday, May 31, 2009

Boo Ya It’s Period Time

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Well once again I am a dangerous menstruating woman.  Set the threat alert to Dethcon 5.  Who knows what I am capable of now that my hormones are raging and I have lost the ability to think rationally.  This is the meme that has been thrown at women for centuries in maintenance of patriarchy.  Despite all of the gains of feminism the inherent irrationality of womanhood is still a normalized part of our social discourse.

G. Gordon Liddy: “Let’s hope that the key conferences aren’t when she’s menstruating or something or just before she’s going to menstruate. That would really be bad....”

When men become subject to their biology they have the freedom to explore sexually, be assertive, and independent whereas; a woman is always submissive, nurturing, illogical and filthy.   On one hand (straight) men want to have sex with us, have us exist as live in housekeepers and breeders, and on the other these are the same attributes that somehow make us unfit in their eyes.  If we were to present this sort of twisted logic, it would be met with vicious eye rolling and a dismissive there there dear.

Have men like Liddy completely forgotten that they bleed as well?  Our monthly bleeding may happen due to different circumstances but it is all part of the human process.  To decide that our blood is filthy, or renders us inept,  not only diminishes us but themselves.  Without a woman’s womb no male would exist and therefore their behaviour and language demeans the very vessel that gave them life.

Today my clean and healthy vagina is bleeding.  It is not a dirty or filthy experience; it is simply part of my life process.   Liddy has yet to be the equal of a menstruating woman and if his mind is so small that he seeks to uplift himself by diminishing others, clearly he needs to have a chat with his inner child and set things straight.

What Not to Wear: Blossom Faces the 360 Mirror

I have a new post up at Global Comment

image Mayim Bialik is the former child star of the 80’s show “Blossom.” Mayim was often the most sensible and mature character portrayed on that sitcom. At the time that “Blossom” was on the air, Bialik stood out in that she was not what society deems to be classically beautiful and was not overly fixated on her appearance or boys.

When “Blossom” ended, Bialik did not become another child star disaster. She pursued an undergraduate degree in neuroscience, Hebrew and Jewish Studies at UCLA. When we consider the fact that so many child stars like Corey Haim and Todd Bridges end up with either serious addiction problems or legal issues, the fact that Mayim was able to avoid the traditional traps paints a picture of a woman who is true to herself and does not base her self-esteem on the opinions of others.

Today she is the mother of two and has a PhD in neuroscience, and yet when Clinton Kelly from TLC’s What Not To Wear had to sum her up, she was reduced to “all quirk and no cute.” In the eyes of Stacey London and Clinton Kelley, she had totally “let herself go” because her priorities have been education and raising her family. In a world in which appearance is deemed most important for women, Mayim’s achievements are devalued.

Though What Not to Wear has had male participants, I have yet to see a male neuroscientist or professional told that his fashion choices would negatively impact his career. Fathers are never told to be conscious of their appearance when they wear an old pair of jeans or a t-shirt that has seen better days to play at the park with their kids, and yet a mother whose shoes do not match her purse has apparently stopped caring about herself. Nothing sexist about the disparity in the commentary at all, is there?

As Mayim roamed from fitting room to fitting room, her biggest concern was that she was not going to “feel like herself,” whereas Clinton felt that it was far more imperative for her “to find something figure friendly”. If clothing is supposed to be a reflection of who we are and functional for the lives that we lead, why were Mayim’s concerns so easily cast aside? Oops! Silly me, “real women” are meant to spend their lives attempting to be pretty as a peach and any diversion is an abdication of duty. If her appearance is not about pleasing herself, clearly it is to satisfy the male gaze

Finish Reading Here

Pearl Clutcher Rewind

Pearl Clutcher is a term I use to describe white women that refuse to own their privilege.  Last November I dedicated a post to them and it seems from the complaints regarding this terminology some could really benefit from reading it again.  If this post isn’t about you there is no need to make it about you, however if it makes you uncomfortable I suggest you stop and think about why.

image I have written repeatedly about colluders and the various reasons why they disgust me.  There is however another group of women which I hold in equal contempt; and they would be the Pearl Clutchers.  You know who you are. The oh noez not me crowd.  You are the kind of woman that professes to be all about equality, until a WOC has the nerve to point her finger at you and say the word privilege.

I really do wonder why it is so hard for you to STFU and just listen.  Instead we get the temper tantrum, foot stomping and all around dismissive bad behaviour, that feminism has historically employed as a weapon to silence WOC. 

This is when we start to hear the famous, "IMO its not racism".  You know what, who the fuck asked and you, and how the fuck do you know? Seriously pearl clutchers, how the fuck do you know what is and isn't racism?

You've never been followed through a store, asked if you were your childs nanny, shown cheaper merchandise, had someone look you in the eye and call you a nigger, jigaboo, babys mama, or mocked during a lecture because you dared to question a professors authority on your cultural heritage.  Do you have your womanhood questioned constantly?  Do magazines create special editions to show that your kind of women can be considered beautiful to?

Here is a newsflash: The oppressor does not get to tell the oppressed what is and isn't oppression. I know that the victor traditionally writes history, but just for shits and giggles, how about you pretend that the subaltern can speak.  I don't want to hear about the ways that you identify with me, because you cannot.  I don't want to hear your comparisons of my life to yours, because they are not the same.  My struggle will never be the same as yours, and your attempts to diminish it by trying to find a reference point in your life, only makes the degree of privilege with which you function even more obvious.

Okay take a moment to grab your pearls and breathe.  Are you working up a venom yet, because I can almost hear the shrill about my angry tone?

image The ironic part about this is, that this post isn't even angry.  I simply cannot be bothered to sugar coat my words to allow you to feel comfortable.  The entire world caters to you pearl clutchers ,and I for one need a break from the bullshit. Don't upset the fragile white woman, the mother of the great race.  God forbid there should be a tarnished spot on your pedestal.  Here let me spit shine that shit for ya. 

I know that dragging that pedestal around with you everywhere you go,  must make you tired.  Deep down some part of you must want to cast it into the sea. but it has become like a child's lovey; a symbol of comfort even as it weighs you down and stunts your potential.

image I am not going to enable you.  Children eventually give up their pacifiers and you pearl clutchers can do the same with your pedestals and pearls.  WOC live without a safety net because society has not seen fit to afford us with one.  We must meet our daily struggles head on with no shield, and only our strength of will to protect us.  This lack of social coddling has allowed us to develop a unique voice, and it is one that you could learn much from should you ever decide to step off your pedestals and cast your pearls away.

I am not going to beg to be your teacher, or your guide because I don't want to play mystical negro, to your unenlightened white princess.  I am however going to suggest you pull the fingers out of your ears and truly listen.  Bite back the taunt of reverse racism that you have been dying to scream, and hear for the first time that your lilly white, over privileged ass, ain't worth a dollar more than mine.

Now that we have that straight, don't turn me into your new black bff to prove your conversion.  I am not your symbol of enlightenment.  Take responsibility for your journey and do your own work.  While I'm at it...don't ask me for one of those sisterly hugs in your time of need either; black women are tired of comforting upset white people like we don't have enough headaches of our own. You will not be getting a honey child from me. 

Well if you have lasted this far into the post with clicking off in a rage, you are probably on the road to a little thing I call redemption.  It is not an easy thing, but at the end of it all perhaps we can look each other in the eye with some degree of trust, rather than the hidden hostility we daily exchange. Now clean yourself up, square your shoulders and dive into the muck head first.  Decolonizing your mind is dirty work, so don't expect to be all pretty when you are done, but at least at the end of the road you can declare yourself a thinking woman of courage and agency.


On The Air

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Monica of TransGriot, Allison McCarthy and I sat down and had a little chat about race and feministing.  We had a special surprise call in from Latoya of Racialicious.  Latoya presented some great commentary regarding where do we go from here if we are speaking truth to power and they still refuse to listen. If you missed the show you can still listen to it on blogtalk radio by clicking the above image or following this link.  Monica and I will be back in two weeks with more great conversation.

Thanks for listening,

Monica and Renee

Dear Canada Customs

Please stop letting this fool into our country

imageOn Friday George Bush and Clinton were in Toronto to give a speech and I want to know who keeps allowing his criminal lying ass into Canada.  Then to allow him to leave with a three hundred thousand dollar profit is a stain upon our country. Didn’t anyone at the border own a good steel toe shoe?

Thankfully some right thinking Canadians did resist.

imageThis is the second time that you have allowed him in since leaving office.  When he was president we had no choice but to allow him to cross the border but now there is absolutely no excuse.  I am sorry to say but I am holding you responsible Canada Customs and in fact you to CIS.  The next time I have to read that he has fouled our precious home and native land, I am afraid I am going to have to revoke your right to  Hockey Night in Canada, Real Maple Syrup, Poutine, Canadian bacon and (yes I will go there) the privilege of drinking Tim Hortons coffee.  Is it really worth losing all of that to let that weasel in the country?

“Welcome to the Bill and George show,” he began. “I want thank everyone for giving me something to do.” He too claimed his wife now bosses him around, and that he has for the first time been forced to scoop the poop – “picking up what I had dodged for eight years” – of his black Scottish terrier Barney. “He looks like a moving monopoly piece,” Mr. Bush quipped.

If his wife is indeed bossing him around, it is because she knows he has to ease into thinking after allowing Cheney to do most of the heavy lifting for the last 8 years.  Can you even believe this nonsense?  He caused the world untold grief, is responsible for the death of thousands of Americans, Iraqis, and Afghanis and he is complaining that the only thing that he is being held accountable for is dog shit…Dear God someone hand me a God damn shoe, the bigger the better, we don’t want him dodging anything anymore.