Saturday, May 14, 2011

Drop It Like It's Hot

As everyone is aware by now, Blogger has had some issues.  All of the posts I wrote on Thursday, have disappeared from the blog and I am not at all pleased. They claim that all is good now, so I am going to take a chance and post this week's drop it like it's hot.  Everyone knows the routine, show the bloggers some love and when you are done, don't forget to drop it like it's hot and leave your link in the comment section.

Patriot Games: Mendenhall's Poor Choice to Act American
Review: Feminism for Real
No More Bikini Blues
Doula Discourse: Ondaadiziike: Birth and the Need for Doulas in Native American Communities
The Negronia Meme
NEWSFLASH! Fat People Get Pregnant, Need Clothes 
Sex, lies and slutwalking
Vision Musings: Contemplations of a Two Spirit
The Microagressions Project: An Interview with Vivian Lu and David Zhou
Woman Shame
boycott disney's aladdin, the worst terrorist of them all
What Poor White South Africans Can Teach us About the White Conservative Soul in the Age of Obama
Amazon Pulls Yaoi From The Kindle
creeping shariah, creeping jihad, creepy muslims
Are you PC?
Sharpton, Cornel West and What Real Accountability Would Look Like
On the Trail of the "Paper Tiger"

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Mormons at My Door

Mormon Temple/Tabernacle/religous place/temple salt lake city utah ut usa exteriorphoto © 2007 Tim (Timothy) Pearce | more info (via: Wylio)

Spring means many things: flowers, the end of winner, the beginning of life etc., There is however, a phenomenon that few talk about - missions.  Spring in the city of Niagara Falls means missions because we have a temple in the city.  Each year young Mormons leave Utah and travel around the world in an attempt to spread the Mormon faith.  You could be sitting on your porch having a perfectly good time, when suddenly your peace is shattered by the sound of someone wanting to offer you the book of Mormon.

I think that people are entitled to their religious beliefs, but it becomes a problem when they decide to go out and actually seek converts.  When it comes to the Mormon faith, it is multiplied because of their extremely active homophobia, as well as racism.   One year I told them that my partner only had one spouse and that we're therefor not the kind of couple they were seeking.  Of course, they were upset and tried to convince me otherwise, but I told them about Bountiful B.C. I know that there is a difference between FLDS and LDS, but I was hoping to offend them enough so that they would start skipping my home.  It was wishful thinking, because the next year hordes of them were back pestering me.

Black folks need to study the history of our enslaved Mongolian ancestors

I am a writer, black woman, bibliophile, music lover, nappy head, geek, eccentric, Midwesterner, wife, stepmother, sister, aunt and daughter. I am a liberal progressive. I believe in equality...of gender...of race...of sexuality...and I believe in working PROACTIVELY toward same. I am anti-oppression. I believe in justice for ALL. (Knowing that, you may label me as you wish.) I am a genealogist and I believe there is strength and knowledge to be found in the lives of our ancestors. Good living, good food, good music, good books, good people and good conversation turn me on. You can find me at What Tami Said

What? You heard me.

America's claim to the values of liberty and justice will forever be in question, as long as we whitewash the injustices that are a part of the country's past. A people that are truly devoted to these values would look unflinchingly at ugly parts of our history to ensure that those things never happen again. But too often we don't do that. We choose patriotism and flag waving over truth.

Talking to a friend who recently visited Mount Vernon, I was reminded of how the historical site genuflects to the idea of George Washington as a noble freedom fighter, while nearly ignoring the human beings he kept in bondage on the very land now dedicated to the first president's deification. I am not suggesting that Washington should be castigated using modern values, but that the contradiction in the supposed values and actions of our founding fathers, and the hypocrisy of American citizens, should be acknowledged and analyzed.

Rihanna Explains Why Her Hair Is Nappy

Wow, just yesterday I wrote a post about the fact that Black hair is still very much political, despite the fact that so many White people have shown up on the blog to inform me otherwise.  No matter what your class designation is, as long as you have Black hair, there is always going to be someone who has something to say about it, even though it is none of their business.

NinyaBella decided to ask RiRi why her hair is always so nappy, after viewing recently released  cover art for Rihanna's next single Man Down.  I don't know for sure that NinyaBella is White from looking at her picture, but she sure has passing privilege and long silky locks. Umm huh.

First, Rihanna's hair is anything BUT natural, so I don't get where this woman gets off deciding to call it nappy.  I also have a problem with anyone but Black people referring to our hair as nappy.  The term nappy, has been used by Whites to point out that not only is our hair different, but that it is of an inferior quality to straight hair.  When Blacks use it, it is in the spirit of reclamation and loving our natural selves.  Natural hair continues to be attacked, and seen as something that Blacks should attempt to rid themselves of.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Black Hair is Still an Issue

Hair Braiding Lourdie August 10, 20105photo © 2010 Steven Depolo | more info (via: Wylio)

Even though regular readers are no longer commenting on posts that are buried in the archives, I still get drive by trolls, or ignorant racist determined to tell me how wrong I am.  I place many of the comments into spam and never publish them.  On a post I wrote last year entitled, "Is the Whip my Hair Cover Racist?", I have been getting the same sort of ignorant commentary for awhile. The following two comments best illustrate the points I want to discuss.

I think you're all being ridiculous and inadvertently racist yourselves. For one whilst willow smith's song is amazing, it's just a catchy pop song with no deep meaning about racial freedom or expression about hair - it's just trying to make money. Two it was co-written by a man so it's hardly a female expression. Why shouldn't a white girl be allowed to sing the same song as a black girl? And she's hardly trying to culturally appropriate the song, she obviously think it's something worth covering and is so applauding it. Furthermore, why are you even noticing that one is black and one is white? People like you are keeping racial divides alive. 
Let me get this straight:
-You are complaining that economic success leads to less racial awareness and as such racism.
- And, you are complaining that a white girl dared to cover the song. Moreover, you brand her racist because she is oblivious that hair used to be a racially discriminatory trait.

Yeah, it really is bad that the young generation of our time has moved forward and stopped being aware of old discriminatory traits. It is really sad that if society progresses, for example through economic success, racisms declines.

Madam, with all due respect, I think your article is racist! Not Ms. Smith and neither the white girl daring to cover a song! It is time that you move forward. 
What we see above are two repetitive tropes that continue to rear their ugly head in the comment section of that piece, and many others to be honest.  It is not racist to critically discuss racism. Ignorance that one is being racist, does not negate the effect of racism.  People of colour don't have the option of pretending to be colourblind, because we are impacted by racism everyday, much in the same way that disabled people don't have the option of buying into the lie that the world is generally speaking kind to those of us who negotiate a disability.

In Honour of Bob Marley

marley2-900photo © 2010 per  Corell | more info (via: Wylio)

Thirty years ago today, Bob Marley ended his earthly journey on his way home to his native Jamaica after a battle with cancer.  Few musicians have left the kind of legacy that he has.  His music continues to resonate with people across the globe because it's message is universal.   His music was a constant call for African descended people to express self love and to seek out justice. A man this brilliant cannot be eulogized with words because his message took the form of music, and so I will simply share with you a few of my favorite Bob Marley songs.

Black in Latin America: Mexico & Peru: The Black Grandma in the Closet

This week Dr. Gates focused on Peru and Mexico. Here is a link to the PBS page where you will be able to watch the episode when they put it up.

In Mexico and Peru, Gates explores the almost unknown history of the significant numbers of black people -- the two countries together received far more slaves than did the United States -- brought to these countries as early as the 16th and 17th centuries, and the worlds of culture that their descendants have created in Vera Cruz on the Gulf of Mexico, the Costa Chica region on the Pacific, and in and around Lima, Peru. 

This episode was absolutely fascinating to me.  To be perfectly honest it never occurred to me that there were Black Mexicans, which is probably a ridiculous assumption on my part because of slavery. What I found fascinating was the suggestion that a Black identity is closeted. I was astonished to learn that there are some Blacks who don't even know that they are at least part Black.  This to me shows a real form of self hatred and denial.  It seems that only those that cannot hide their Blackness will ever acknowledge it.

I did find it interesting that many Black Mexicans said that they didn't have a problem with Memin Pinguin, who I find to me extremely racist. One man suggested that the complaints of African Americans were not welcomed on this issue and further suggested that if they wanted to help Blacks that they should be helping to fight for jobs and education.  I understand the need for these things but to me cultural symbols of racism are extremely important to eradicate. I will however acknowledge that if help is something North American Blacks truly wish to offer then we need to listen to the Afro Mexican people and prioritize their needs.

Is all racism equal?

I am a 36 year old disabled woman who has been variously labeled "fat", "crazy", and "a hippie weirdo." I now try to embrace labels that others use in an attempt to "shame" me into being someone more "acceptable". I am passionate about issues of race/racism, criminal (in)justice, fat acceptance, and mental health advocacy. I blog at My Name Is JuJuBe and I am on the team at The Intersection of Madness and Reality
Late last night, I got into an online debate about whether or not their are “degrees” of racism. I am of the opinion that yes, there are differences in the severity of racism between individuals. The person I was debating said that no, you are either racist or you are not. But, I feel like it is more complicated than that, depending on what definition of racism you use. He said there is only one definition of racism, and that all racism is equal. I tried to explain what I meant, but I think my efforts kind of fell short. So, I was thinking about this all night, and decided to write about it a bit more in this forum.

Now, while the CORRECT definition of racism is “prejudice + power” there are MANY OTHER definitions of racism that people subscribe to. Some believe that racism requires hatred, or a sense that one race is superior to another. Others believe that racism only comes with action, that prejudicial thoughts do not rise to the level of racism unless they are put into motion. Still others feel that racism is simply a thought pattern that impacts behavior consciously and unconsciously.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Charlaine Harris: Dead Reckoning

I mentioned last week that the next Sookie Stackhouse novel has been released.  Even though I know that Charlaine Harris is a truly troubled woman, after reading the Aurora Teagarden and Shakespeare series, I still could not wait to read this book.  Of course I have to share my thoughts with you because Harris inspires snark like no other writer I have ever read.
Spoilers ahead, you have been warned.

Oh Oh, Bigots Steamed Because Sheriff Woody Endorsed 'It Gets Better Campaign'

Woodyphoto © 2008 Brian Clark | more info (via: Wylio)

Google Chrome recently aired an "It Gets Better" ad during Glee. Once again, the usual suspects focused on the fact that Woody from the Toy Story franchise appeared in the commercial to help promote tolerance. Oh, why oh why, won't someone think of the poor impressionable kiddez.
While it’s not surprising for Alan Chambers of Exodus International, a ministry that helps people who are impacted by homosexuality, to see Fortune 500 companies as well as celebrities endorsing homosexuality, he was surprised and disappointed that they would use a children’s character for the project.

“Children all over the world, including my two children are fans of ‘Toy Story’ and to see a character like that endorsing something that at this point children have no need to know about, it’s disappointing,” he told The Christian Post.

Chambers, who overcame homosexuality and is now a father of two, suspects that if the commercial airs while he and his children are watching a show and “if they happen to see that and ask questions and if they get the full understanding of what the commercial is actually about, we will have to have the conversation. It’s not something I plan to talk to my kids, 5 and 6, about.” (source)
First, let me start by saying that Chambers simply hates who he is.  I don't believe in the whole ex gay phenomenon and it is people like him that need these advertisements.  What I really want to focus on is his fear of talking to his children about being gay.  I firmly believe that he is abdicating his responsibility as a parent by avoiding the conversation.  It does not have to be a big deal; its adults that make it such an issue.  A comment as simple as sometimes there are two husbands or two wives, instead of a husband and a wife, is often enough to get kids thinking about the fact that not all couples are hetero couples, without any in depth details.

What Would You Do For A Million Dollars?

Yes, all of that pain and they didn't even win. LOL

Toys Childhood and the Fear of Pink

This is a guest post from Sparky, of Spark in Darkness.  Many of you are  familiar with him from Livejournal, as well as from his insightful and often hilarious commentary here. Each Tuesday, Womanist Musings will be featuring a post from Sparky. 
I am thinking back to my childhood and the toys I played with and the clothes I wore.

See, there is a rumbling drama-llama about boys with pink toe-nails or dressing up as girls or not playing with suitably manly toys. No, really. People are panicking because there's a small child wearing pink nail polish and other small children wearing the wrong societally designated colour for their gender. And that just follows endless similar drama llamas about kids wearing the "wrong gendered" clothing, playing with the "wrong" toys etc etc. From The View to Dr. Phil, to the usual hate groups - the terrible effect of children not being put into strict colour-coded gender uniforms is a Big Deal apparently.

Yeah, my eyes are rolling so much they're getting friction burns. Even aside from the centuries in time where men regularly wore make up (how did heterosexuality survive!?) the idea that being gay is caused by toe-nail polish or playing with those nauseatingly saccharine ponies would be laughable if the haters didn't take it so seriously.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Native Americans

I found the following video over at Anishinaabekwe.  I was originally going to just link to it on Saturday's Drop it Like it's Hot, but after more thought, I really believe that it needs to be highlighted.

Why I Don't Worry About Sexism Aimed At Hillary Clinton

Yesterday, Jezebel put up a piece about Hillary Clinton and Audrey Thomason, being photoshopped out of the now famous Bin Laden Situation Room photo by the Ultra Orthodox Hasidic newspaper Der Tzitung.

Morning Gloria, the author of the piece in question had this to say:
The religious paper never publishes pictures of women, as they could be considered "sexually suggestive." Apparently the presence of a woman, any woman, being all womanly and sexy all over the United States' counterterrorism efforts was too much for the editors of Der Tzitung to handle.
She later went on to quote Jewish Week's Rabbi Jason Miller. Reading his thoughts, I could not help but wonder why a Jewish woman could not have been found to comment on this erasure?  This naturally caused me to consider why this story has become a bit of an issue in the feminist blogosphere. Okay, I know that Hillary Clinton plays an important role in the American government, but she is not the first woman to do so.

Really Camille Paglia? Transphobia Much?

'Rio': A Carnival on Race

 the Redeemer 08photo © 2008 Team at Studios | more info (via: Wylio)
So yesterday, the family and I decided to watch the movie RioRio is the story of a blue macaw from Minnesota, who travels to Rio with his owner, when it is discovered that he is the last male of his kind.  It becomes apparent that though Blue belongs in the jungle, his contact with humans (read: domestication), has made him uncomfortable with his own kind and he cannot fly.

Though the story itself was extremely cute and voiced by several actors of colour, the characters themselves sent a very different message.  The actors include Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, George Lopez, Rodrigo Santoro, Will i Am, Jamie Foxx, Bernardo de Paula, Wanda Sykes, Gracinha Leporace and it was directed by Carlos Saldanha.  It seems that there were people of colour heavily involved in this movie, and yet most of the characters on screen were White. The issue here is that POC largely played animals, thus making it difficult to separate them from the White characters.  As an adult, I was readily able to recognize their voices, but the same task would be extremely difficult to a child. The only highly visible multi-racial bodies were the villains.  People of colour  do appear sporadically in the background of the film, but nowhere near matching the actual percentage of the population that they make up in Brazil, thus giving the impression that Brazil is a largely White country.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sunday Shame: There Are Limits on Sharing

We need a ruling oh internet, yes yes we do. This is Important because having extra people who agree with you helps you win arguments.

(Well, not really, but I'm perfectly happy to resort to it if necessary).

Beloved loves to share. He is the sharing sort. And by "sharing" I mean "won't keep his grubby hands out of my stuff" of course. What? Perfectly understandable, you cry? After all am I not a person of discerning taste, stunning good judgement and impeccable class? Of course he would want my stuff! (Renee, Danny, Tami - Hush).

And yes, you would be right so I, due to my fabulously generous spirit and incredible kindness, hardly raise even a token objection when Beloved rifles through my wardrobes - even though he is slightly bigger than me and tends to stretch and ruin everything *ahem*