Thursday, January 29, 2009

Murder by Fear

Just read the article for yourself. Ridiculous.

Yes He Did!! Whew!!

Today, President Barack Obama signed his first bill into law, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act which correct the decision the Supreme Court made last year that in order to sue for pay discrimination, a worker had to filed within 180 days of the first unequal check. Yeah, our Supreme Court made that decision 5-4. No, not conservative to liberal; but completely ignorant and cold to the understanding and common sensible. So, yeah, I'm really hyped about this new development. Oh, and by the way, this Act is an act, as it were, of affirmative action.

In other news, it turns out Pres Obama might be attending a dinner to honor confederate general Robert E Lee. Besides the fact that I could've sworn the South lost, a White House spokesperson is saying they weren't aware of the confederate tie to some Alfalfa Club Dinner. Now that they know, Obama had better not go.

Here's video of Pres Obama signing the Ledbetter Act.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Girlfriend, You Must Be Crazy!

All right. So I promised this post a while ago. But then, I felt the pressure of knowing someone was waiting for this post. Good to know I'm being read; I just felt a little pressure. Also, I found out at least two of Lauren's children had reached their limit. Poor babies. Then, I tried to find this song I love that's in my head. Not only can I not find it, it may not even be an actual song. Cause I do have a habit of merging two songs into one in my head.

But anyway, as promised, my open letter of sorts to the white LGBT community, re "You Got Privilege, Too."

I need to kinda set the stage. First of all, this isn't a letter to gays and lesbians of color. If you wanna complain about what happens in your communities, have at it. Uh, yeah, I'm making the distinction.

Secondly, I empathize with a lot of the issues. Now, understand, I do regard homosexuality as a sin. But I don't think me or anyone who so happens to be straight is better than anyone who's not. I feel gays and lesbians deserve all the "inalienable" rights everyone else enjoys. That includes marriage - but it is this whole argue over marriage that instigates my disregard for white gays and lesbians.

Thirdly, since time began, marriage has been understood as a relationship between a man and a woman. Even the Greek philosophers who were known to carry on amongst each other didn't classify their relationship as marriage. But, be that as it may - you wanna get married, hey, why not? The way I see it, the tax credits and shared insurance is something that falls under "inalienable" rights.

Now, my rant.

So you lost proposition 8? Oh, I hear you pain, but you can quit with the "gay is the new black" whining. From what I understand, part of the reason so many in the black community voted against gay marriage is that you didn't do any outreach. Couldn't find your way into the black community, huh? Thought that just because we vote Democrat and weren't considered part of the Evangelical movement that we don't have religious sentiments? Or, maybe you just made the assumption that black people would side with you automatically because of our own harsh history? But, whatever you were thinking, it seems like you weren't.

Cause, let me make it clear to you, with all the discrimination you face, I don't imagine that when you look for a new house, you get tracked to the "less discriminate" neighborhoods. I mean, from what I've heard, wherever you move becomes the place to be! And I know you face job discrimination. How about earning less just because you're gay? Or being pulled over for driving in the wrong neighborhood at the wrong time of night? Or being stopped because you fit the description of a suspect who two feet taller and ten shades gay-er? Or being stopped just because the cops need to pad their records, and they think that just because you're gay, you probably do drugs. How they would know is beyond me.

Now, do you face senseless discrimination? Yeah. But my guess is that it's not coming from the black community. My guess is that your boss, your realtor, the waitress at your neighborhood Applebee's are all white. I bet you've been beaten up once people discovered you're gay. I also bet your attackers where white.

Which is why I'll allow gays and lesbians of color to complain about communities of color. They're the ones who deal with homophobia within those communities; not you. In fact, when it comes to communities of color, exactly what do you have to deal with. And not as an individual. I'm sure there're some white gays who live and/or work in communities of color. I mean as a group. Besides voting mostly for the same party, what dealings do you have with communities of color?

In fact, come on. You can't really expect a lot of support from the black community when you haven't done the work in the black community that you've done in the white community. It's kinda funny, you're ignorance of the black community. Rush Limbaugh complained about your protests in front of white mega-churches and wondered why you weren't protesting in front of black mega-churches. And I imagine that's because you don't know there are black mega-churches, wouldn't know where to find one, and wouldn't know whether or not the members of that church supported gay rights.

So really, I think you're just pissed because you can't believe that there're black people who think they're better than you. Huh? And some of the truth that I've come to learn is that most black people don't see themselves as better than others, unless you're talking about the relationship between the genders. But mostly, we don't. We see people as people. And don't get me wrong. There is genuine homophobia within the black community to the extent that a lot of folks don't want gay kids. But when it comes to matters of the law, the vote against gay marriage is purely religious. And what needs to be done is to separate legal components of marriage from whatever religious components people might see. Or, you could take John Meachem's tack and make it clear that you want to be in a stable, loving, supportive relationship, too.

Most churched black people regard homosexuality as a sin. Sorry, it's plainly there in the Bible. Now, there're lots of things that people attribute to the Bible that aren't actually there, but the description of homosexuality as sin is there. And yes. Slavery is, too. But American slavery would've been against the Mosaic Law as well as the teachings of Paul. And if you don't believe the Bible or all of it, tough. The people you need to convince do, and there's actually a lot there you can use. Cause at the end of the day, most black folks are able to recognize the humanity in everybody. I don't imagine it would've comparatively been that difficult to get black support had you tried - instead of doing things like protesting a concert that included Donnie McCurklin thinking it was somehow anti-gay politically when it wasn't.

But. You just never prepared for the idea that "those" people would vote against you. After all you've done for us . . . which reminds me, what have you done for us? I've heard that argument before, but never really gotten an answer. I know Rustin Baynard was gay, and I'm sure there were countless more in the movement, but I know you ain't placing your claim to black support on the actions of probably mostly all black gays and lesbians, are you? In fact, there was apparently so little support from the white gay community for civil rights that I can't even google it!

So, the way I see it, you're just really confounded that it appears to you that black people think they're better than you. And you're just all to willing to looking down on us from your self-righteous perch instead of doing the hard work of education in the black community that you've done in the white community. Because you're just all to accustomed to the privilege your whiteness affords you whatever hardships your sexuality causes you.

And when it comes to the debate concerning civil unions vs marriage, please stop the whole argument that separate is inherently unequal. That's what the lily white Supreme Court said. Not what the black community intended. It's not like our students just have to be around white students to learn. It's that states and local communities were spending thousands of dollars on white students for every few dollars that spent on black students. What we wanted was actual equality, whether or not that meant sitting next to you. It just so happens that when you actually give every student the same education, integration is cheaper than segregation. So, it's not that separate is inherently unequal; it's that the separation blacks faced was unequal. And most voters, white and black, are more willing to support civil unions than they are gay marriage.

So, when you get to the bottom of it, all your righteous indignation at the audacity (That's not a reference to President Obama. The word "audacity" is part of the black lexicon.) of black folks not to support your cause comes down to an argument over semantics. And you think all you moaning and condemnation is going to change black people's minds when we know very well your indignation comes from your privilege? Ha! You must be crazy. Girlfriend.

Which reminds me of something else. Since it's so obvious you think you're better or at the very least are used to white privilege, quit using our words!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Oh My Lord!

Some people are apparently pissy because in his inaugural speech, Pres. Barack Obama mentioned "non believers." People, get over it. We live in a nation the protects religious freedom, including the freedom to not be religious, and has protected this freedom since it's founding. The idea of religious freedom wasn't that people are free to choose whatever form of Christianity they wish; it's that people are free to choose or not choose whatever belief-system they wish. This whole idea that the USA has been and must always be "Christian" is nonsense. Many of the founders weren't believers themselves. Get over it.

Now that that's clear, there's another issue I have with the news. Melinda Hennenberger points out, ". . . some of the stiff criticism about Obama’s religious inclusiveness is coming from African-American Christians who maintain that no, all faiths were actually not created equal." It leaves me wondering what her point was. Is she surprised that some blacks aren't "hopeful" about Obama? Why? Not every single black voter actually voted for Obama. Granted, well over 90% did, but 90% ain't everybody.

Or is it this false notion among whites that black people should be the most tolerant of all, considering our past. Well guess what! There are those among us who don't "tolerate" any and everything. And here's the racism in this myth among white people that black people are the most tolerant of any people: it denies black people the same humanity as everybody else to the extent that black people can never be wrong. Listen, that's an old trick played against African Americans since someone realized that dark-skinned servants couldn't just mix in with the crowd and run away. The idea has been that in order for whites to give blacks social equality, all blacks have to be absolutely perfect. The few blacks who aren't ruin everything for everyone else. Right? Can't let any black person move in the neighborhood because some don't keep up their property value. Can't let any black person vote because some don't know how to read.

I mean for the past few centuries, any excuse to deny black people equality has been used. The recent excuse is that since some black people deny equality to others, the entire black community most be held at fault and denied equality. Which, of course, is odd because white folks in general just pick and choose who is worthy of equal rights and who isn't all the time. But, we already know that some white people are bigots, so it's no big deal. Except that it is. To err is human, and to deny some people other human rights because they err is, well, inhumane.

Kinda like the big to do over black people being the force behind the passage of California's proposition 8. The whole interest is that black people would deny other's equality. But the whole point is that, "See? Darkies just can't get it together. That's why we don't have to treat them equal." Right? Because in the end, the fact is that black people weren't the driving force behind the passage of prop 8. But pointing out some perceive wrong by the black community is just all too profitable. And sadly, easy.

Keep in an out for my diatribe about the LGBTQ community racism. It should be coming very soon.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What a Day!!

Update: If you caught Rev. Eugene Rivers on Hardball with Chris Matthews, before you jump on the "black folks need to get it together" bus, let me assure you he don't know what the . . . eh hmm . . . he doesn't know what he's talking about.

Even I feel like an American. For the first time in a long time, maybe since the 3rd grade, I actually feel like I'm a part of this country.

This made me laugh! Amen, Rev. Lowry, Amen!

This? This was just beautiful! W, you ain't got to go home . . .

And this because I think it's funny!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Republican Stupidity and also, Bono and Israel

They make inane arguments, such as the one Ken Blackwell makes about the stimulus creating jobs being a bad thing for two reasons: it would create more Democratic voters in Virginia and use taxpayer money to provide jobs without putting it back in the economy.

First of all, the point is jobs not votes. And if Republicans don't like the fact that most government workers vote Democratic, they should articulate a vision that doesn't require those thick, nerb-bird glasses. Second of all, these people with these government jobs . . . don't they eat and live and drive? And don't they pay taxes on the money they make?

-I checked out the article after hearing Keith Olbermann mention Blackwell in his "3 Worst People in the World" segment. I can't believe such sheer stupidity passes as critical thought for anybody.

Oh! BTW - Did you catch Bono's shout-out to Palestine! Yeah! Israel, if you do right by Palestine, you won't have to worry about rockets coming into Israel. Now, the train has left the station when it comes to actually giving them their land back; though, if that's possible, I'm for it. But you could treat them like, oh I don't know, human beings!

MLK and O-B-A-M-A . . . and other stuff.

Update/Explanation: First, let me say that I can't fault anyone celebrating the end of BushCo. And I'm glad that there is such a diverse crowd celebrating Obama's inauguration. It looks odd cause I'm not quite used to it. It's nice. Plus, it doesn't come across as some racial coup d'etat. I guess, what I was trying to get at is the cheap grace America has tried to obtain for its racial history. As an activist for justice and equality, what African Americans are looking for isn't just black faces in a system that ultimately remains racist; what we and many others are looking for is radical change where everyone has equal opportunity and justice rules the day.

Oh my goodness! America has just been loving itself the past few days, huh? Granted, my memory doesn't extend all that far; but, I have never seen such commotion!

Sorry about my absence the past, what? three weeks give or take? CFIDS is no joke. Especially when you have several appointments and places to be.

Now. Don't get me wrong. I'm excited about Obama's inauguration as anybody else. I made phone calls for his campaign. He's signed my copy of The Audacity of Hope. I watched him announce his bid for the candidacy for president two years ago. I'm a fan.

But all this big to do? He's only flesh and blood, people. Only flesh and blood. He can't do anymore than Congress allows, and the Republicans appear to be preparing for needless and pointless battles. They're already making a big deal out of the move to go digital. What's next? Blocking the move from 8-tracks to mp3s?

And all these happy white people? What's that all about? Now. Again. Don't get me wrong. I'm as happy as anyone to see the first president of African descent. But the man had to run not just as a "don't box me in as black" candidate; he had to run the unblack-campaign. I mean, he chided African American fathers; do you remember any other group being chastised by any other candidate? Did anyone chastise white voters for their racism, even when they admitted to it? Did anyone chastise Latino voters about not learning English? Er, um, no. Just us.

So what are all these white people happy for? It's almost as though they think electing the first black president absolves from all the sins of the past. Er, um, no. It's not like the choices were equal and they decided to give the black guy a chance. No. Barack Obama was the best choice from the moment he announced. Then, they berated him as too presumptuous. He was too popular. All he had were his speeches. And let's not forget, with probably 99.9% of the black vote and a hefty proportion of Latino and Asian votes, he still only won by 6% in the popular vote. He didn't even get half of white people. So . . . Excuse me for being cynical, but all the smiles from white Americans?

But. These white folks are white folks who voted for Obama. So, sure, live it up! But lets not get ahead of ourselves.

Don't get me wrong. I do believe that we as Americans rise and fall together. But I strongly disagree with Michael Strahan's promise to see himself "as more American" and less African American. Sorry. I like being African American. I revel in it. And, no, not the "gotta get whitey!" aspect; but the rich cultural and historical aspect. Denying my African heritage would be like denying my own existence. Literally.

I have to say, though. Seeing such a diverse crowd celebrating an incoming president. Wow! I guess, I have to thank W for doing such a horrific job! As Chris Rock pointed out, W screwed up so bad, he mad it hard for a white man to run for president! That's not easy.

Now. The war in Afghanistan. Initially, I thought it was understandable. I wasn't a big fan, but I got it. Now . . . Well, let's just say having family over there really changes things. It brings it home, no pun intended. Lauren and Jamie are hurting over their girls, who, by the way, are fine. Aside from testing the limits of acceptable behavior in the absence of their usual disciplinarians, I'm not sure if they're aware that Lauren and Jamie are gone. But Lauren and Jamie are homesick for their children. And, in sum, that's just one reason to avoid war. You know? It should be our very last option in reality, not just rhetoric.

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