Thursday, December 25, 2008
Although it is easy to forget, this is really a spiritual and religious holiday -- and I'm not talking about worshiping at the altar of consumerism, although we genuflect at that altar en masse every year about this time.
But this year it is different: we are in the middle of an economic crises such as we have not seen since, many say, the Great Depression. People -- especially Afrikan descendants (African Americans) -- are losing homes, jobs, and life savings; are hanging on, having survived gas prices of almost $5.00 per gallon, ARM loans that doubled the price of mortgages and foreclosed homes like falling Dominos; and long-established companies folding as quickly as a bad poker hand.
People are running scared and feeling grateful for just holding on. . .
Just in time to go out and amass MORE debt in the name of Christmas.
You'd think we'd be dropping to our knees and giving thanks in prayer for surviving, economically, in a year that many have not. You'd think that, for Christians, the focus would be on the "Christ" in "Christmas" rather than on that other “C” -- Consumerism -- that we've been seduced to believing is ". . .the reason for the season."
It is at times like these when our faith (however we believe) needs to be front and center.
Or maybe -- through our need to "feed the beast" of materialism and consumerism even in the midst of so much economic pain -- we are truly showing who and what we are worshipping.
And it has nothing to do with Christ, so let’s stop faking it.
Holding in prayer you and all those you hold dear! Walk in faith, let Spirit surround you. . .and whatever you believe or are celebrating this Season, let it be deeper than consumerism and materialism.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
But I do have a question. . .what is it that we are really celebrating about his victory?
IF – as so many political pundits have shared with their insistence on casting Barack Obama’s candidacy as “proof” of a “post-racial” world, what we are really celebrating is that which John McCain noted in his concession speech:
“America today is a world away from the cruel and frightful bigotry of that time. There is no better evidence of this than the election of an African-American to the presidency of the United States. Let there be no reason now. . .Let there be no reason now for any American to fail to cherish their citizenship in this, the greatest nation on Earth”
And if this is what we are really celebrating, what we are supporting is the notion that Barack Obama’s presidential victory means that racism / white supremacy is no longer in operation, is dead and buried, and can no longer be “used as an excuse” (as if that is what the majority of Afrikan descendants are doing when noting examples and impacts of racism/white supremacy on their lives).
With this victory narrative is the demand that we now “turn the page” because – as the media and other white amerikkkans (and some Afrikan descendants) are saying - with Barack Obama as president, the last institutional barriers of racism/white supremacy are now torn and we can -- at long last -- put “race” behind us.
In fact, that is one of the overriding themes of post-election coverage, and I’M SURE that that theme is one we’ll be hearing from white amerikkka in the days, months, and years to come, though the facts –- even and including the way Barack Obama had to claim “cultural invisibility” to successfully campaign and increase white amerikkka’s comfort level with him as a Black man -– do not support this rose-colored-glasses view.
But this is how the celebration story is shaping up and I’m sure that this will be the overriding narrative as the country moves forward, including the “Jeremiah Wright-ing” (so to speak) of those whose lives make it impossible to engage in the acts of self-hatred that denying the social/political/economic realities of racism in amerikkka would be.
So. . .having said this, I am prayerfully grateful for this historical moment. Am I “celebrating”?
Not quite. We have not “arrived” anywhere yet, and despite victory, the acknowledged concessions that Barack and Michelle Obama had to make in order to “adjust” to the racist/white supremacist climate of this country –- still -- just reinforced how far we have to go on this issue (“post-racial”? still wishful thinking. . .). (In that same vein, the way that white amerikkka insists upon simplifying and dismissing this as an issue just shows how much they want to “turn the page” without thought, reflection, or analysis.)
But yet. . .
I am hopeful that maybe this country will now have an administration that is open to “staying the course” and advancing the work of Justice.
I am open and prayerful that we will NOT choose to “turn the page” as if generations of my family and yours did not matter. This country still owes a great debt of acknowledgement and restitution of great and continuing wrongs to those of us whose physical, spiritual, mental, emotional, and economic well-being have been lost on the altar of the white worship in which this country has spent the bulk of its existence engaged.
No one election, no one Afrikan descendant in the presidency will “make up for”, sweep aside, or “turn the page” on that; not unless we are willing to abandon and dismiss the sacrifices of those who have come before; those upon whose shoulders we stand.
IF what we are really celebrating stays here -– the election of Barack Obama –- with no plan of action to continue to work for justice; IF we just view his election to the White House AS the justice we seek; then we have lost our minds and the opportunity his election has provided.
Martin Luther King, Jr. stated not that long ago “the moral arc of the universe bends at the elbow of justice.”
Let’s hope that this is the beginning of that bend and let’s be mindful of what is really important:
· the opportunity to work with a new administration that will, hopefully, be committed to justice;
· the opportunity we have to “stay the course” in seeking justice; and
· the privilege to see justice through, for Our Ancestors, for Our Children, for The World.
Friday, October 3, 2008
FIRST, talk about “shock and awe”!! Who would have thought that of all the candidates available to the Republican Party, Sarah Palin from Alaska would have been chosen, and defended (repeatedly!), as being “the best” that the Party had to offer?
THEN there were the disastrous (is there really any other word?) appearances and interviews with Katie Couric, among others.
AFTER WHICH WE HAD the debate with Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden. . .
AND NOW WE ARE LIVING WITH the excited buzz about Gov. Palin because. . .BECAUSE SHE DIDN’T PUT HER FOOT IN HER MOUTH DURING THE DEBATE!!!
Yes, Sarah Palin can talk, read, and follow her debate programming (and that is not a dig) all at the same time (even though the answers she gave could apply to just about whatever question was asked of her) and the “shock and awe” and excitement that this little fact is generating - especially among Republicans – says so much about both their assessment of her and the cynicism with which she was chosen.
Other than “energy conservation”; the fact that she “can see Russia from [her] house”; and the fact that – most cynically and importantly - she is a young, white woman, Sarah Palin – I’ll just say it – has brought less to the table, in terms of experience, than a well-traveled, uninvited houseguest.
Many are comparing her background and experiences as COMPARABLE (!!!!!) and SUPERIOR (!!!!) to Barack Obama’s.
Doesn’t that just take you back to the “good old days” when one of the most relevant generational truisms of being Black in Amerikkka was that you “. . . have to be twice as good to get half as much”?
Isn’t it sad that – with the favorable comparison of Sarah Palin’s professional experiences to Barack Obama’s professional experiences, we see so baldly how that truism still applies, even as we talk about a “post-racial” Amerikkka?
How do you think Amerikkka would receive Barack Obama had he a string of disastrous interviews and appearances on national TV, where he exhibited so little grasp of the issues?
How do you think Amerikkka would receive Barack and Michelle Obama had they a teenage, pregnant, unwed daughter (can’t you just see the headlines and racial stereotypes leaping of the page and the blogosphere?)?
How is it that his professional attainments and expertise are even being compared to hers - as if there was a valid comparison in terms of educational attainment and professional experiences – and that people are debating whether he is “qualified” while bashing those who ask that same question of her?
And why is it that he – a PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE – is even being compared to her – a VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE – anyway, as if she were running for president. (Or is this Amerikkka unconsciously elevating Joe Biden to the position of leadership to stoke their comfort level with the Democratic ticket? Hmmmmm. . .)
And on an even more telling subject: how is it that many white people - and white women in particular - have favorable views of Sarah Palin but STILL QUESTION BARACK OBAMA’S READINESS TO LEAD?
Do you truly believe that if a person of color – or heck, even a white man, in this instance - had Gov. Palin’s resume, s/he would have been chosen to represent the Republican ticket as vice president?
I think we need to update that old truism. Because we see very clearly in this case that even being objectively “twice as good” isn’t necessarily good enough.
Well, Friends and Dissenters (you know you're all welcome here), I’M BACK!!!!
Hoping that you had a wonderful summer and anxious to know your thoughts on Sarah Palin and the elections.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Well, WOW! The open letter below was written by Tim Wise, a noted white "anti-racist activist."
Now, I know we all have the attention span of about a minute on a good day (smile) but this piece -- long though it is! -- will leave you well-informed and with the general election coming up, "well-informed" is what we all need to be to understand what is happening, because you know that folk will be trying to tell you "don't believe your lying eyes."
All I have to say is THE BROTHA SPEAKS THE TRUTH about white women who are threatening to withhold their votes from Barack Obama -- or give their votes to John McCain -- in "protest" to Hillary Clinton's Democratic primary loss.
Now, I'm REALLY interested in hearing what "certain white women" have to say, so please take a read and then refer this blog to your favorite (or not so favorite) white women.
Sounds to me like "certain white women" have got some 'SPLAININ' to do!
Your Whiteness is Showing: An Open Letter to Certain White Women Who are Threatening to Withhold Support From Barack Obama in November
By Tim Wise
June 5, 2008
This is an open letter to those white women who, despite their proclamations of progressivism, and supposedly because of their commitment to feminism, are threatening to withhold support from Barack Obama in November. You know who you are.
I know that it's probably a bad time for this. Your disappointment at the electoral defeat of Senator Hillary Clinton is fresh, the sting is new, and the anger that animates many of you--who rightly point out that the media was often sexist in its treatment of the Senator--is raw, pure and justified.
That said, and despite the awkward timing, I need to ask you a few questions, and I hope you will take them in the spirit of solidarity with which they are genuinely intended. But before the questions, a statement if you don't mind, or indeed, even if (as I suspect), you will mind it quite a bit.
First, for those of you threatening to actually vote for John McCain and to oppose Senator Obama, or to stay home in November and thereby increase the likelihood of McCain winning and Obama losing (despite the fact that the latter's policy platform is virtually identical to Clinton's while the former's clearly is not), all the while claiming to be standing up for women...
For those threatening to vote for John McCain or to stay home and increase the odds of his winning (despite the fact that he once called his wife the c-word in public and is a staunch opponent of reproductive freedom and gender equity initiatives, such as comparable worth legislation), all the while claiming to be standing up for women...
For those threatening to vote for John McCain or to stay home and help ensure Barack Obama's defeat, as a way to protest what you call Obama's sexism (examples of which you seem to have difficulty coming up with), all the while claiming to be standing up for women...
Your whiteness is showing.
When I say your whiteness is showing this is what I mean: You claim that your opposition to Obama is an act of gender solidarity, in that women (and their male allies) need to stand up for women in the face of the sexist mistreatment of Clinton by the press. On this latter point--the one about the importance of standing up to the media for its often venal misogyny--you couldn't be more correct. As the father of two young girls who will have to contend with the poison of patriarchy all their lives, or at least until such time as that system of oppression is eradicated, I will be the first to join the boycott of, or demonstration on, whatever media outlet you choose to make that point. But on the first part of the above equation--the part where you insist voting against Obama is about gender solidarity--you are, for lack of a better way to put it, completely full of crap. And what's worse is that at some level I suspect you know it. Voting against Senator Obama is not about gender solidarity. It is an act of white racial bonding, and it is grotesque.
If it were gender solidarity you sought, you would by definition join with your black and brown sisters come November, and do what you know good and well they are going to do, in overwhelming numbers, which is vote for Barack Obama. But no. You are threatening to vote not like other women--you know, the ones who aren't white like you and most of your friends--but rather, like white men! Needless to say it is high irony, bordering on the outright farcical, to believe that electorally bonding with white men, so as to elect McCain, is a rational strategy for promoting feminism and challenging patriarchy. You are not thinking and acting as women, but as white people. So here's the first question: What the hell is that about?
And you wonder why women of color have, for so long, thought (by and large) that white so-called feminists were phony as hell? Sister please...
Your threats are not about standing up for women. They are only about standing up for the feelings of white women, and more to the point, the aspirations of one white woman. So don't kid yourself. If you wanted to make a statement about the importance of supporting a woman, you wouldn't need to vote for John McCain, or stay home, thereby producing the same likely result--a defeat for Obama. You could always have said you were going to go out and vote for Cynthia McKinney. After all, she is a woman, running with the Green Party, and she's progressive, and she's a feminist. But that isn't your threat is it? No. You're not threatening to vote for the woman, or even the feminist woman. Rather, you are threatening to vote for the white man, and to reject not only the black man who you feel stole Clinton's birthright, but even the black woman in the race. And I wonder why? Could it be...?
See, I told you your whiteness was showing.
And now for a third question, and this is the biggie, so please take your time with it: How is it that you have managed to hold your nose all these years, just like a lot of us on the left, and vote for Democrats who we knew were horribly inadequate--Kerry, Gore, Clinton, Dukakis, right on down the uninspiring line--and yet, apparently can't bring yourself to vote for Barack Obama? A man who, for all of his shortcomings (and there are several, as with all candidates put up by either of the two major corporate parties) is surely more progressive than any of those just mentioned. And how are we to understand that refusal--this sudden line in the proverbial sand--other than as a racist slap at a black man? You will vote for white men year after year after year--and are threatening to vote for another one just to make a point--but can't bring yourself to vote for a black man, whose political views come much closer to your own, in all likelihood, than do the views of any of the white men you've supported before. How, other than as an act of racism, or perhaps as evidence of political insanity, is one to interpret such a thing?
See, black folks would have sucked it up, like they've had to do forever, and voted for Clinton had it come down to that. Indeed, they were on board the Hillary train early on, convinced that Obama had no chance to win and hoping for change, any change, from the reactionary agenda that has been so prevalent for so long in this culture. They would have supported the white woman--hell, for many black folks, before Obama showed his mettle they were downright excited to do so--but you won't support the black man. And yet you have the audacity to insist that it is you who are the most loyal constituency of the Democratic Party, and the one before whom Party leaders should bow down, and whose feet must be kissed?
Your whiteness is showing.
Look, I couldn't care less about the Party personally. I left the Democrats twenty years ago when they told me that my activism in the Central America solidarity and South African anti-apartheid movements made me a security risk, and that I wouldn't be able to get clearance to be in some parade with Governor Dukakis. Yeah, seriously. But for you to act as though you are the indispensible voters, the most important, the ones whose views should be pandered to, whose every whim should be the basis for Party policy, is not only absurd, it is also racist in that it, a) ignores and treats as irrelevant the much more loyal constituency of black folks, without whom no Democrat would have won anything in the past twenty years (and indeed the racial gap favoring the Democrats among blacks is about six times larger than the gender gap favoring them among white women, relative to white men); and b) demonstrates the mentality of entitlement and superiority that has been long ingrained in us as white folks--so that we believe we have the right to dictate the terms of political engagement, and to determine the outcome, and to get our way, simply because for so long we have done just that.
But that day is done, whether you like it or not, and you are now left with two, and only two choices, so consider them carefully: the first is to stand now in solidarity with your black brothers and sisters and welcome the new day, and help to push it in a truly progressive and feminist and antiracist direction, while the second is to team up with white men to try and block the new day from dawning. Feel free to choose the latter. But if you do, please don't insult your own intelligence, or ours, by insisting that you've done so as a radical political act.
Monday, May 12, 2008
Barack Obama is an appealing candidate. A viable candidate. A candidate that a larger-than-normal percentage of white Amerikkka is willing to rally around and Afrikan descendants (African Americans) are in love with.
And he is “groundbreaking” -– not in the sense of a Jesse Jackson way back in the day, who really had an agenda that acknowledged the role of racism-white supremacy in Amerikkka and strategy for changing that -– but “groundbreaking” in the sense that he might actually win this thing.
But is Barack Obama a candidate that will initiate and advocate for “change” that will break the yoke of de facto racism-white supremacy? That will assist in righting historical wrongs? That will change the historical, foundational, systemic systems that contribute to the oppression of Afrikan descendants in Amerikkka?
And see, that is “the rub” for me.
Because if that is not a great part of his agenda, for the benefit of not only Afrikan descendants but for all who live here who actually believe in what has been –- up to this point -– the myths of this country (and yes, I’m talking about the “privileged beliefs” we hold and upon which this country is based: “all men are created equal”; “freedom and justice for all”; “merit”; “an equal playing field”; you know, all those things that we say make us different from other countries and all those things that have never been true in this society), then what does it matter if he is elected????!!!
If he is a president that will continue to uphold and uplift and protect those systems and structures that have always worked in the best interests of white people to the detriment of People of Color, and specifically Afrikan descendants, then does it REALLY matter that his will be a Black face –- excuse me, a “bi-racial” face, as many white people (repeatedly) take great pains to point out –- in the White House?
Are his supporters -- Afrikan descendant and white -- REALLY counting on him to advocate for the change of structural and foundational systems and dynamics in this country that have given racism-white supremacy an assist?
Or do they believe that by virtue of his election, racial oppression will just –- poof!!! –- magically disappear?
Do his white supporters believe that their vote for and his election to the highest office in the land will be “proof” that Amerikkka is “post-racial” and therefore they can officially lay down the burden of “white guilt” over racism-white supremacy and ignore -– in good conscience –- the numerous examples of and the continuing impact and legacy of racism-white supremacy still prevalent in this society?
Are his Afrikan descendant supporters casting their votes because they are just so thrilled to have “someone who looks like us” in the White House that they are willing to sell themselves (by giving him their votes) even though they understand that a commitment to Obama is a commitment to keep laboring under the systemic “devil we know” –- even though the chief representative now looks like us?
OR do they really believe that –- once securely in office –- Obama will drop the “we are all one Amerikkka” rhetoric and really begin to honestly address the existing racial and racial/class issues in this country?
Here is what’s bugging me: because he has to run a “we are the world” campaign to win, the question of a vote for Obama becomes: do you believe:
- that his agenda will honestly address issues of racism-white supremacy without sugar-coating them, minimizing them, or being so afraid of being accused of “divisiveness” that he will not really address them at all
- that the white people who say they are for Obama will continue to stick with him if and when he breaks his “social contract” with white Amerikkka by beginning to honestly talk about racial issues
- that the Obama we now see is a “strategic Obama” running a smart campaign OR “the real Obama” -– in which case, we will be stuck with the systemic “devil we know”
So, I guess the REAL question is -– as Clint Eastwood used to say –- “do you feel lucky?”
And I believe that in Amerikkka, the answer to the gamble that is Barack Obama depends on what side of the philosophical “color line” you fall.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
“Racism is how this country was founded and how this country was run. . .We believe in white supremacy and black inferiority and believe it more than we believe in God.” Rev. Jeremiah Wright, former pastor, Chicago Trinity United Church of Christ
“ All of the statements that have been the subject of controversy are the ones that I vehemently condemn. They in no way reflect my attitudes and directly contradict my profound love for this country.” Barack Obama, speaking about Rev. Wright
I've said before that white amerikkka supports Barack Obama because he was not a part of the Civil Rights Movement; does not mention the racial history of this country but instead focuses upon the myths and privileged beliefs upon which this country was founded and remains invested; is not seen as "angry"; and is believed to be invested in upholding and perpetuating the interests of white amerikkka.
MUCH –- and I mean MUCH (!!!) –- has been made during this entire campaign by white media and white amerikkka about Barack Obama’s (in their views) “transcending race”; about his having a white mother; about his being a “post-Civil Rights” candidate; AND about his not being connected to the experience of enslavement and resulting “Amerikkkan Apartheid” that has kept so many other Black people –- in the words of white news pundits and others -- “angry.” These characteristics were trumpeted just as much as his call for “change.”
Time and time again it was emphasized that Barack Obama did not talk about racism or race or amerikkka’s racial history –- or, in another media variation, that he did not talk about these subjects in a way that made white people “feel bad.”
And thus far in his campaign, that “social contract” with white amerikkka –- that he would not speak honestly about racism; that he would ignore this country’s history of racial oppression and move forward; that he would not act as other Afrikan Descendant candidates have in the past (hello, Jesse) and present (hello, Cynthia McKinney) –- was a viable one.
Senator Obama spoke and represented in a way that kept white amerikkka comfortable. And he was rewarded by his acceptance as a “mainstream” candidate instead of being marginalized as the “Black candidate” as was Jesse Jackson, even though Jesse Jackson was an active advocate for his vision of a “rainbow coalition” as the backbone for his presidential run.
And white amerikkka (and its Black allies) began to break out the confetti and champagne as it congratulated itself on having officially “moved past the issue of race.”
In February, however, that “social contract” began to tear with Michelle Obama’s remarks alluding to the sorry history of racial oppression in this country. White media went wild, with even John McCain’s wife weighing in on the subject.
Then came Minister Louis Farrakhan’s assessment of Senator Obama and all heck broke loose with white amerikkka in a fright at the “hate.”
Now Senator Obama is being called upon to “denounce” and “reject” the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, his pastor, mentor, and friend for the past 17 years, just for speaking some hard hitting historical truths about racial oppression in amerikkka.
And not once in all the discussion has it been mentioned that much of what he’s reported to have said has its basis in historical truths.
And just because most in this country would prefer NOT to remember, that doesn’t make it less true.
But what is really at issue here is not “truth.”
What is really at issue here is white amerikkka’s comfort level.
And it seems as if historical truths –- and those who speak them -- will once again have to be sacrificed on the altar of white amerikkka’s comfort.
Everyone is invested in pointing to Obama’s current success as a sign of how “far we’ve come” in terms of “race relations.”
But the racial litmus test that white folk were trying to make of the Obama campaign has only now really,truly, just begun because those close to Senator Obama attempted to acknowledge the history of Afrikan Descendants in this country instead of denying it to make white amerikkka feel comfortable.
Has amerikkka grown enough to acknowledge and talk about its history and legacy of white supremacy in this without being censured and reviled as "divisive" or "unpatriotic"?
Will Barack Obama’s presidential campaign be derailed if he has the character to refuse to “denounce and renounce” those who air amerikkka’s dirty racial history of oppression front and center?
Will the country finally have the character to be able to have a mature, honest conversation about its ugly racial history and still stand behind and elect an Afrikan Descendant candidate who will not hide from that reality?
As long as this campaign has been on-going (and it seems like it has been going on forever), we are just beginning to really begin the test of seeing where amerikkka is on the issue of racism-white supremacy.
Barack Obama’s running did not do that.
But how he and white amerikkka respond to Michelle Obama’s and Reverend Wright’s comments will.
Friday, January 25, 2008
But I must say, Ms. Tyra, that after watching many a show where you claim to shed light on one of the most relevant, tragic, culturally entrenched and on-going transgressions of the country –- racism-white supremacy –- I have come to believe that you need to –- and I say this respectfully -– catwalk yourself across amerikkka in search of education and true historical perspective on this issue.
In gushing –- oops, I mean “interviewing” –- presidential candidate John Edwards, you posed one of the most ridiculous and inaccurate questions I’ve heard a white candidate asked: “What is it like to be THE MINORITY in the presidential campaign? I mean, with a Black and a woman, you are the minority. What’s that like?”
Tyra, Tyra, Tyra. . .
I hate to say this, but with that one statement, you just added “fuel to the fire” for all those for whom the term “supermodel” is synonymous with “superstupid.”
With that one statement, you just “outed” yourself as being so totally ignorant of --or maybe it would be more truthful to say that you are more than willing to defiantly ignore, for the sake of the comfort level of your white audience:
• HISTORY AND INSTITUTIONAL WHITE PRIVILEGE. Tyra, how could one EVER –- especially knowing the history of this country –- equate a white male (or even a white female) in this presidential race as having “minority” status?
Leaving aside the numbers for a moment, just in terms of the white skin privilege supported by history, cultural norms, and institutional power, how could you EVER make that statement?
Did you mean that:
• JUST BECAUSE FOR ONCE IN THE HISTORY OF THIS COUNTRY there is a white woman and an Afrikan Descendant man who are polling equally strong or stronger numbers;
• JUST BECAUSE FOR ONCE IN THE HISTORY OF THIS COUNTRY someone other than a white man might have a statistically relevant shot at the Oval Office;
• JUST BECAUSE FOR ONCE IN 400 YEARS a white man in ONE political party might actually have to WORK at “earning” the votes of Afrikan Descendant people with more than just empty, watered down promises. . .
. . . that this white man is actually DISADVANTAGED because he cannot automatically rely AS MUCH on HIS unearned white -- and white male -- privilege?
Tyra, say it ain’t so!!
With that one statement, you -– yes, YOU, Tyra! -- “outed” yourself as being so totally willing to ignore historical truth and basic logic to protect your white viewers from the fact that:
• MATHMATICALLY, THERE IS NO WAY THAT: ONE white man is a “minority” in a race where there are TWO ADDITIONAL white men participating in the same party, in addition to ONE Afrikan Descendant man and ONE white woman.
Tyra, even with the “new” math, in a race of THREE men competing for the top spot on the Democratic ticket –- TWO of them WHITE men -- AND FOUR of those FIVE Democratic candidates being WHITE (the three white men and Hilary, a white woman) –- it looks like the white candidates and the white men who are candidates are clearly in the majority.
So tell me once again, Tyra, by what logic have you anointed John Edwards the “minority” candidate?
A “Mammy” mindset is not an attractive look, Tyra, even on a (former) supermodel.
And I don’t mean to dis –- even though by your comment, you dissed Afrikan Descendants and all those generations who lived (and continue to live) in a white supremacist system -- but Tyra, I truly believe you know better than that.
And not that you asked, but here is one piece of unsolicited advice that I hope will help in keeping you from making such unfortunate and inaccurate statements in the future: in your "down" time, please spend more of it immersing yourself in learning about the true history of this country, because you have proven that, in the many ways in which it counts the most, your education and understanding are truly -- and sadly -- lacking.
And ignorance is not an attractive look even when you dress it up in high fashion.
Monday, January 21, 2008
In a casket.
I sat and watched his face for what seemed like a long time, waiting for him to wake up, trying not to hear the stifled sobs around me.
I saw his peers, young people with faces bright with promise and shadowed by grief.
I saw Elders there, too, with faces of resignation and I could almost hear them thinking “Oh My God, yet another one, why did we lose another one, what did he ever do? How is it that our wealth – our future – is being stolen, lost in the bloodbaths that are daily occurrences in Baltimore? How did it come to this?”
I stared at him, knowing that there was a young woman somewhere who is now a widow, even before she had the opportunity to meet the young man who would have grown into her husband, father to her children. Generations were killed by that gunman’s bullet. Generations – children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren – passed into never being when that young man took his last breath.
Killed standing at the bus stop, just trying to get home.
And it would seem shocking if the storyline were not so familiar.
And I can see the headlines once – IF – the killer is caught, the rush to excuse actions by invoking the tired tales of a childhood gone wrong. I can hear the spin on Black talk radio about giving the killer another chance because, after all, what good would it do to put away another young Black man, would it bring the victim back? Because “. . .two wrongs won’t make a right”, especially in a criminal INjustice system that is so weighted AGAINST Afrikan descendants.
We so guard our communities from the whiff of white supremacy that sometimes we even knowingly and willingly hide killers in our own midst.
Guess we feel that it’s alright if the only people they are killing are their own: us Black folk.
And we pay for that mindset by offering up our young Black people as sacrificial lambs to the Black killing machines among us, down-payments on the price owed for keeping them out of “the system.” Handing over our wealth – our Elders, our children, our futures, our communities – to those who do not value them and willfully and gleefully destroy their own: US.
Why do we give them that allegiance while they take the best from among us? And why do we save our outrage for white people, then, who are “only” doing the same thing?
As I kept waiting for that young man to open his eyes, to give us back the promise of his future, the following refrain kept playing again and again over the speakers: "Lord, make me more than I am. Make me over again.”
If only the killer had another chance to make another choice. If only that innocent young man had not been robbed of his chance to live.
If only we as a community had the guts to stop shielding killers who rob us of our joy, our promise, our youth-wealth, just because they are Black. In shielding them we have made a bargain with the Devil which robs of us our Futures as A People.
Lord, truly make us more than we are.
And help us to stop colluding in our own genocide and to make the investment in keeping our young Wealth alive and safe.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
So I am asking you. . .are there areas of your life -- areas in YOU -- that you want to change and grow this year? Well, My Friends and Family, consider the concepts of committing to EVOLUTIONS instead of RESOLUTIONS.
A friend of mine, Khepra the Evolutionary, wrote the following and it makes perfect sense to me.
Read it and let me know what you think. . .
Consider New Year's EVOLUTIONS and not New Year's Resolutions
A question a friend of mine asked me about my "resolutions" for the upcoming "New Year" inspired me to write and share this.
Consider committing to what New Year's Evolutions will assist you in getting closer to the person you need to be and/or destined to be in 2008 B.C.E. and beyond. Don't try to use "resolutions" to resolve the challenges/problems that you may have had in 2007 or years prior by making New Year's Resolutions.
Commit to creating personal evolutions that will have permanency for as long as you live on this planet.
Stop considering yourself a problem child that has issues that need to be resolved before you can begin being the best person you can be today.
Commit to being the person that embodies and demonstrates the activities needed for you to be who you need to be and/or are meant to be.
Instead of making a New Year's Resolution to lose weight (been there, done that) commit to a New Year's Evolution of evolving to being that person that embodies and demonstrates the activity of getting physical exercise as often as possible. Or commit to evolving to being the person that embodies and demonstrates the activity of eating healthier.
That way your Evolution to who you are becoming can begin with immediacy and have sustained permanence.
For example, you can go to the mall and park way in the back away from the entrance of the store(s)/mall. Or when taking public transportation, get off one stop further than the nearest stop to your house or wherever you are going.
Or exit at the furthest exit on the subway. Or even taking the dreaded stairs instead of the escalator(smile).
Whatever you choose, you can immediately begin your New Year's Evolution right where you are with just a slight alteration to what you are already doing instead of promises to yourself and grand plans written out to figure out how and when to begin (been there too).
Don't just talk about it.!!!!
Don't just write about it!!!!
Be about it!!!
When embodying and demonstrating these activities, you are immediately producing tangible evidence of your New Year's Evolution that you can actually chart/record and reflect on throughout the year, not to mention throughout your life. This evolution can continue as long as you live to whatever limit you choose if you decide to choose a limit at all.
Of course you can begin your personal evolution anytime you want.
Using the philosophy of Evolution through Fusion, you can take the annually reoccurring celestial cycle of the star Sirius's (A.K.A Spdt, the Dog Star etc.) heliacal rising reaching its peak point at approximately midnight December 31. Fuse that with a strong deliberate willful intent in committing to your personal evolution and you have the ability to harness Astronomical momentum going into 2008 B.C.E. for Evolutionary results.
Who do you commit to being in 2008 B.C.E. and beyond?????
What will be your New Year's Evolution??????
Sovereignty for Success
Khepra the Evolutionary
And there you have it (Thanks, Khepra!).
Who will you commit to EVOLVING into in 2008? What will your projectory of growth be?
Too many times we focus our attention on all that needs to change around us while ignoring our own growth. I'm suggesting that in 2008 we take the time to focus some of that passion on our own Evolution.
We will be all the better for it. And so will our families, our communities, and our world.
Let me know about your Evolution(s) for 2008! I want to hear from you. . .
Meanwhile, affirming Peace to you and yours and looking forward to Evolving Together. . .