Sunday, October 07, 2012

Yes, Mitt Romney Lost the Debate

Why Romney Lost the Debate with Women: It's Not a Prizefight

Romney's combative dogfight stance may impress men or those who have held power so long they assume it belongs to them. But women, or anyone who has been in an underclass or faced racism, read this behavior as arrogant and overly aggressive -- the language and habit of dominance.

-Brenda Peterson
Huffington Post

I rarely read or link to Huffington Post, but the article above is so solid, I have to pass it along.It could have been called, "Why Romney Lost the Debate with Women, and Anybody of Any Race, Color or Creed with a Brain."

Because I also felt that Romney was a blithering idiot. I felt like all he did was spout memorized talking points that were vaguely on topic but always meandered off into nothingness. Nothing Romney said was of substance. He wasn’t masterful, he was rude. He wasn’t knowledgeable, he was uninformed. He also reversed himself on so many positions that he has taken over the past months, let alone the last year it was pathetic to watch. Romney lost the debate in the eyes of all thinking people

President Obama was thoughtful, answered the questions asked and he seemed sincere. What I almost felt was that the President wanted to tell Romney: if you want this effing job you can have it, but I can tell you, not only is not all it’s cracked up to be, but you’re going to suck at it worse than anyone, even W.

President Obama knows what’s at stake. Like John Kerry a few years ago, he knows the choice is obvious, but he knows that America doesn’t always make the obvious choice. And I think he felt just a little…weighed down by being the one who is actually holding the office of President. To me, his head down wasn’t a symbol of defeat but one I see my people do a lot when they’re just sick of explaining shit they’ve already explained and now they have to do it again. And they’re still gonna have to do it some more. It’s a weariness of bearing the truth that is palpable.

The Barack of the most recent debate was not the Barack of 2007. Now he knows what he knows and it is what it is, and he’s fighting not just for the office but for the soul of this country.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Mitt Romney does not understand the difference between "We" and "I"


Mitt Romney must be shaking in his boots at the thought of having to debate Barack Obama. I would be and I'm a pretty smart cookie. I took on Cornell West and Tavis Smiley on CSPAN the other day and left both of them in silence with their jaws dropped open. I still don't know if I'd like to take on Barack Obama, even though I would love to give him a piece of my mind as well.

Poor Willard Romney. I suppose he really though he had the upper hand for a change. He jumped all over Barack Obama's comments about where change really has to come from.

Barack Obama:
I think that I’ve learned some lessons over the last four years, and the most important lesson I’ve learned is that you can’t change Washington from the inside. You can only change it from the outside. That’s how I got elected. And that’s how the big accomplishments like health care got done.

And Mitt's response to this:
"His slogan was 'Yes We Can,'" said Romney. "His slogan now is 'No I Can't.' He went from the president of change to the president who can't get change.

Barack Obama never said, "Yes I Can". As we all know, the slogan is, "Yes We Can".

Republicans have made no effort to be a part of that "We". If the Republicans cared about America as much as they hate President Obama, then "Yes We Can" would be a reality, not an unrealized dream caused by conservative obstruction.

Neither Candidate Obama nor President Obama ever claimed he could do it alone. Unlike Mitt Romney who really believes that he can be elected President by sharing as little of his agenda as possible unless it's an agenda of oppression.  To Mitt Romney, women, minorities, school teachers and anyone else who dares to be in a union - these people are the enemy.

But these people are the "We". The only thing Mitt Romney understands is "I".

This goes beyond mere semantics. As we learned from Romney's 47% statements, Romney not only doesn't care about the poor, he doesn't care about people who have to work for a living. He doesn't not understand that part of the "We," he only understands "I" and people who are exactly like him. Rich and believing that more money makes them somehow better and more knowledgeable about how to run this country.

All it really does it make them richer. Not better, not smarter and certainly not more capable.

Or caring.

This country should not take a chance that Mitt Romney can learn the difference between "We" and "I" between now and November. If he hasn't learned how to care for others more than himself by now, then he never will and anyone who can't care for all of us does not deserve to be our President.


***

Related Articles: Why NONE of the Republican Candidates Should Be President

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Arsenic Levels in Rice Cause Alarm

I saw this interview today on CBS "This Morning" and the doctor being interviewed made an impression on me I won't soon forget. Mainly because I dont't think he was being hyperbolic or trying to scare people. His seriousness and concern were penetrating enough that I won't be buying rice for a while unless I can verify where it came from.

I'm posting this because a lot of my friends and readers have babies. The doctor being interviewed doubles down on immediately stopping giving rice cereal to babies until a complete study can be done on the arsenic levels in rice and the effect on children.

 Please read. Stay healthy.


Monday, September 17, 2012

One Story of Many Teachers to Whom I Owe So Much

By my senior year, much to my unexpressed chagrin, English was the only advanced class I had left on my schedule and I was on the verge of not graduating at all.

I'd given up advanced mathematics after barely scraping a C in sophomore year Geometry and also in junior year Algebra II. In senior year, I took a general education mathematics class that met my math requirement for the year and left it at that. I had passed but hated Biology so much that I switched to Botany and just barely escaped flunking that class miserably, not being able to so much as identify a tree or single leaf to this day. I gave up on science altogether and thankfully I didn't need anymore credits in that subject. My junior year American history grade was so abysmal and threatened my graduation status so badly that the senior counselor got involved and I was reduced to taking it in night school in order to graduate on time. My mother was one determined soul and I would get my diploma or she would die trying and she enlisted every family member she could to give me a ride to the evening History class when she couldn't and she made sure I did the work.

Our AP English class was divided into three parts: literature, vocabulary and grammar. Because my mother was an English teacher, who not only insisted that I speak properly but also understand the technical differences between what was correct and what was not, I had a college level grasp of grammar before I left junior high and I was able to coast through the grammar portions with ease.

I did the vocabulary lessons because they gave us the great majority of easy homework points and I also enjoyed learning new words, although, due to my avid reading since the time I was in elementary school it wasn't until senior year that I truly encountered words I didn't already know and actually had to look up and study.

Despite my love of reading, I didn't enjoy the literature portions of class. I despised being commanded what to read and I felt that I was never expected to form my own opinions about anything. I was to give the "correct" answer and regurgitate whatever the teacher felt was most important about whatever we happened to be reading.

I felt, mistakenly, that I had moved beyond high school reading because I was reading and enjoying what I thought were much better books. Readers Digest Condensed novels as well as the actual magazine and anything else I could get my hands on in the school library. With the brashness of youth, I figured that because no one else my age was reading these august publications, I must be a step above my peers. These consisted of the majority of my reading education from 7-12th grade and, combined with what I managed to imbibe from high school, actually wasn't a bad education overall. I was also taking Spanish and had made it to Senior Year Spanish when many had not. We had a class of five students that final year, culled from the dozens who had started out with us in junior high and increasingly gave up through higher levels, as I had done in Math and Science.

I coasted through much of my last two years of high school and although my English teacher probably could have booted me off the advanced track as quickly as my other teachers had done, miraculously she didn't. Though we weren't close and I didn't speak to her much, I think she knew, in the way of teachers, that it would have irreparably wounded my pride and completely eliminated what meager sense of scholarship I still possessed to have been ousted from the class altogether.

So with what I am sure is the grudging gratitude that only teenagers can muster, I accepted my place in her senior year class. At the beginning of the year, she gave a pointed speech explaining that our class participation would be counted for more of our grade than in previous years.

I responded to this, not as you would expect by being grateful for being kept in the class, as well the chance to express myself. No, with typical teenage stubbornness, I responded with an uncharacteristic quietness that bordered on silence and would, ungrateful scholar, barely speak and only give the shortest of answers, if and only if she called upon me; I never volunteered a single comment.

I also eschewed most of the classwork and I marked her class period by writing in my class and personal journal, doing the vocabulary homework she assigned and reading my beloved Reader's Digest condensed books behind my reader or under my desk if we were supposed to be reading anything she assigned.

I justified this aggravating behavior by telling myself that at least I wasn't causing trouble in her class; as if by behaving better than I had any other year and barely doing anything she asked, I were granting a favor of the highest order.

Sue Sines, I'm sure, was a master chess player. When she, in her turn, deigned to notice me at all it was with a polite and biting sarcasm that perfectly mirrored my aggravating behavior. I look back on those days and wonder that she didn't strangle me in an age when teachers could actually discipline students without repercussion.

Every now and again, she would reiterate her speech that without class participation marks, no one could be expected to pass her class. No one, she repeated, looking pointedly at me with the rest of the class softly tittering and looking just as pointedly away from me.

I didn't show by one whit that I cared, but she knew I did. I don't know how but she knew that I did not want to fail her class. The thought of failing that one class consumed more of my waking hours than I cared to admit. I felt she was a witch, a mind-reader. I know now that she was merely an experienced teacher determined to do her best by every student who came her way.

There came a day, towards the end of the school-year, when we were to read aloud in class from our reading books, something we rarely did anymore as seniors in high school. I had my book because she had long ago shrewdly decided to deduct points for anyone not bringing their book to class and since I barely did anything, I couldn't afford to lose a single point. On that day, Ms. Sines gave me the briefest of looks as she turned to the blackboard that I interpreted correctly. I could read something else that day if I dared, but I would pay dearly. So I deliberately shoved the Reader's Digest Condensed I was hiding behind the reader into my bag and turned to that day's literature selection.

The first part was nearly all in Spanish. I was the only one in class who had finished Spanish after sophomore year.

She stayed at the blackboard and sat at her desk longer than usual, giving me time to think. Finally, she asked who would like to read first.

I raised my hand with all the others.

She ignored all the other raised hands and called on me to read.

And I did.

She complimented me on my pronunciation of the Spanish phrases.

That was the extent of my class participation that year. I stopped reading other books during her class time.

She gave me a D which allowed me to graduate.

I owe her so much and I never once said thank you. It brings me to tears to think of her and that crazy, stubbornly silent rebellion all these years later.

I would hate to think of anyone saying that she didn't do her job because I didn't do mine. I earned the grade she gave me. Ms. Sines and so many other teachers taught me so much more than a letter on a transcript will ever show.

I hope the teachers in Chicago continue to fight the good fight.

Friday, September 14, 2012

If I Ruled the World - Building a Platform

If I ruled the world or ran for office, these are the things I believe in. It's mainly about restoring rights to the people that should never have been taken away.

This list may be updated as I think of more things for my platform. If you have any suggestions, post a reply or send me a message via the DebLite Contact Thingy in the sidebar.

Equal Rights for All
Parenting
Employment
End corporate person-hood (corporations are not people)
End unlimited corporate contributions to campaigns
End "at-will" employment
End pre-employment drug testing
End pre-employment credit checks
Make union busting illegal

Justice System
  • Stop the system of pay to play
  • End the system where citizens are threatened and punished for requesting a trial
  • End prisoners having to pay for their jail stays
  • End cruel and unusual punishment (particularly Joe Arpaio's tent jail)
  • End the death penalty
  • All accused/imprisoned have a right to
    • representation
    • counseling
    • education
    • rehabilitation
    • re-enter society without stigma or additional punishment
      • employment/ housing discrimination
      • disenfrachisement
Police
  • Community policing as national policy
  • End stop and frisk policies
  • End racial profiling
  • Give poor communities the same protection as rich communities if not more

Drugs
  • Legalize marijuana and possibly other drugs
  • Punishment should be for crimes committed due to drug use not drugs themselves
  • Mandatory counseling and treatment for those who commit crimes due to drug use
  • End drug testing in schools



Friday, September 07, 2012

How and When Did You First Learn the Difference Between Black and White?

I was every day of six years old before I knew the difference between black and white. Before that my world was divided into men and women, children and adults, family and everybody else. People at church and people at school. People I knew and people I didn't. People I loved, because on some deep intrinsic level we were of the Race that Knows Joseph and people I liked but weren't apart of that circle. People I knew but didn't quite know their names, but who knew mine - these were mostly always adults and these people drove me crazy and I think I always slightly distrusted them because they always expected me to know them and I didn't. I'd just have to pretend. But merely because of their strange familiarity, they were loved and liked in their turn.

There were people I liked and didn't like. People who liked and didn't like me. But all the same, they were a part of my world, never separated by skin color.

But when my Uncle Joseph came to visit that changed all due to a chance, slightly embarrassed comment from my mother.

My Uncle Joseph was coming to visit! Boy was I excited! I'd gone to stay with Grandmama and Grandaddy in Memphis, Tennessee and I was familiar with their idiosyncrasies that left my mother shaking her head and years later saying, "I know, I was crazy to send you to them but they loved having you there and I couldn't explain it to you. You just had to live there." And she was right. It made all the difference. Only by living with them could I possibly know how she could simultaneously love them to pieces and still want to move all the way to Ohio just to get away from them.

I'd also met Uncle Solomon there, who had been married a couple of times and, one summer, brought yet another wife home who had two daughters and was carrying a third child. Solomon would be my savior while I was in Memphis- a flighty, undependable, handsome, crazy, savior- rescuing me from Grandmama's attempts to take child rearing back to the 1800's - summers she filled with sewing, piano lessons and failed attempts to teach me to do dishes and dust he turned into movies spotted with his visits from his girlfriends children, rides in his car and once to an amusement park. He always brought fun and laughter in the house as well as his trademark phrase: "Mama, you got a dollar?" His timing was uncanny. He never failed to ask that question  jsut when she was teaching me to count change from coins she had saved in a jar. The amount was rarely under a dollar-five and even if he hadn't been in the house for days, the sound of the change jar called him home without fail, ending my lesson. He rescued me from the boredom in between Grandmama's failed attempts at teaching basic housekeeping, womanly graces and counting change; of watching TV all day, grazing from enormous, delicious bowls of grapes and eating pickle loaf sandwiches loaded with cheese and sandwich spread that I only ever at in Memphis and came to believe, with a gullibility specific to childhood, were delicacies specific to that location.

I'd never met him, but I knew vaguely about Uncle Joseph. I'd seen his room, still lovingly kept pretty much as he'd left it, as all three children's rooms were at 1040 South Wellington. I'd talked to him on the phone but he'd never come to Cincinnati and he'd never been to Memphis when I was there although he was a school teacher and could have come summers. I'd seen his pictures and so I knew he was brown skinned where the rest of us were light skinned, making him a favorite of our Harvey kin who were deep brown. Even knowing this did not make me more aware of color the way I came to understand it later. I could, understand the appeal, of loving people who looked exactly like you because, even at five, I knew that my mother loved me because I looked so much like her but yet, I also looked like my Dad whom she loved dearly.

I sat waiting on the balcony of our apartment. Uncle Joseph was due to arrive that day and I could see every single car that pulled up and every single person who walked across the bridge from the parking lot to the building. She had explained to me that he was her brother, which somehow, made him my Uncle, and so I knew I was looking for a man because brothers were boys and he was all grown up.

So every man that walked in and out of the building generated the same question from me.

"Mama, is that Uncle Joseph?"

And each man smiled and shook his head and mama patiently said, "No, Deborah, that's not Uncle Joseph."

One man, with very light skin and brown hair and a beard walked into the building and I inevitably asked again, "Mama, is that Uncle Joseph?

And she looked up, and looked at the man, who only smiled a little tight smile and walked on, and she said, "No Deborah." And only after the briefest of pauses, but while the bearded man was still in earshot, she said with a measure of wry amusement and patient instruction - a tone that said she didn't want to tell me but she felt that maybe I should know by now - that maybe she shouldn't have to tell me - was I so clueless that I hadn't figured it out already? How had I gotten to the ripe old age of seven and not been told? Not been called nigger? Not been shown that it was not them, but me who was different?

But the world is what is and I should know- had she really not told me this already? Maybe she shouldn't say it, but then again, life's lessons come as they do and today was as good a day as any for this one lesson to be learned. Besides, Uncle Joseph was coming and it really wouldn't do to have a seven year old child not know - after all they'd grown up in a house only a few blocks from the Lorraine hotel and had bullet holes in the house that Grandaddy wouldn't have patched so they would never forget, as if they ever would, those horrible nights of lying on the floor during the riots so as not to be shot through the walls of their own home.

Maybe that's what Dr. King meant. That someday children wouldn't even know there was a difference.  But that day wasn't today.

 "Your Uncle's not a white man."

And then I knew that some people were White and some people were Black. And that no matter how light skinned we were, we were Black. Somehow I'd always known I was Black. I just hadn't known that they were White.

And somewhere it made a difference important enough that my mother had to make sure I knew enough not to confuse a white man as my Uncle.

So I sat and waited for Uncle Joseph in silence, waiting for a brown-skinned man who looked like the little boy I'd seen in the picture at Grandmama's but all grown up to arrive. And I realized that on some level I'd known those other men weren't Uncle Joseph, even the bearded white man.

When he finally came, I knew when it was Uncle Joseph without asking. I felt that familiar pull in my spirit that said he was home. He was family.

I hadn't seen Uncle Joseph for years. He came to visit this summer and I walked right past him in the bus station, but then I felt that pull again and turned around and there he was - with my Grandmother's fierce expression a mask on his own face and again, felt that same familiar pull - the love of ties that bind.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Todd Akin - The Irrational Elephant in the Room


The recent 24/hour news cycle overkill finally comes to be useful covering reaction to Todd Akin's idiotic comments on why abortion isn't even necessary.  His full quote below defines everything I find reprehensible regarding conservatives in general and the Republican Party in particular.

Just in case you've been buried under a rock or haven't had time to read the full quote yet, here it is (video here at Crooks & Liars)

 "It seems to me, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, that's really rare. If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let's assume that maybe that didn't work or something. You know, I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child."  - U.S. Representative Todd Akin (R-MO)

This issue is deeper than the fact this his view on rape is offensive; it is deeper than the fact that his information about the female body is factually wrong.

It's that, until recently, this man was seen as a right-thinking, responsible and knowledgeable person. Largely, I suspect, by the mere fact that he is a relatively wealthy white male. How much credit Americans assign to others with only those credentials is still woefully real. That this man became a United States Representative and could go on to become a U.S. Senator without middle-school level knowledge of human sexuality - a matter that he has the power to make policy on- is terrifying.

White privilege and male privilege have the power of life and death over women in this country. Yes, in the United States of America - not some country where women walk veiled head to foot in extreme heat. Right here in the good old U.S. of A. men make policy and believe all kinds of crazy things that mean women at best will be ostracized and demonized for their decisions and daring to believe they have autonomy over their own lives; at worst, women die..

I talked to a friend of mine, who is black and male, and this issue came up. Despite having heard in the past few days that Akin was wrong, he admitted that not only had he heard the myth that a woman has a hormone or chemical that will allow her body to reject a pregnancy resulting from rape, he still kind of believed it was possible, it just couldn't be proved.

It's not true.

But I have heard that before.

But it's not true, I insisted. There is no such hormone or chemical. It does not exist.

Ok, I'm wrong.

He only conceded after I insisted. He only backed down after I refused to.

I'm still not sure he believes me. He is one of the smartest, kindest men I know.And yet he could believe something like this. He reminds me of the white people I work with daily who believe the most outrageous things about black people - it somehow escaped my notice that men believe the most idiotic and stupid things about women.

How this myth has shaped American views on abortion is downright scary. It is related to every double and triple standard we hold women accountable for. If she "doesn't" she's a prude. If she uses birth control she's a "slut". If she has an abortion she's an irredeemable whore.. If doesn't drown she's a witch, if she dies, she's innocent.

If she got pregnant, she must have enjoyed it, otherwise she wouldn't have gotten pregnant.And if she enjoyed it, then she doesn't deserve to choose whether to be pregnant or not. Every woman who gets pregnant should be forced to scrutiny as to how she got pregnant and how the pregnancy ends.

Akin finally exposed the elephant in the room - that much of Republican policy is based on myths, lies and old-fashioned beliefs that have no place in the modern world. It is not enough for Republicans to deny science and statistics and facts. They must replace them with lies - false science, wives tales or really any rumor will do.

It's not just this bit about abortion. (Read: 12 Republican Myths that are Killing Us) Republican myths and Republican money set policy on so many issues - from Global Warming to Healthcare; Wildfires to Lyme Disease; There are entire website to debunking Republican lies and yet they never quite lose an audience who wants to believe them.

Republican myths and lies put us all at risk, women in particular.

It is vile and disgusting to look in the face of the American people - to look in the world's face- and lie. Whether they are lies you truly believe in through determined ignorance or lies you tell because your party must win at all costs.

They are still lies. We elect these people to not only represent us, but to represent the truth. To find out the best ways to help us all.

And what we get are lies and damned lies. People who are willing to line their pockets with lies and our tax money.

To be, and vote, Republican is to be delusional.

It is to ignore the elephant in the room.



Thursday, August 02, 2012

Something Worth Fighting For

Come out and show your support for the Anna Louise Inn. Click here to get the latest updates on the fight to save the Anna Louise Inn.

From the Cincinnati Union Bethel Website:
"The president and CEO of the National Fair Housing Alliance has issued a statement regarding the Anna Louise Inn:


The Anna Louise Inn provides valuable and much needed services to women in need of affordable, safe housing. The National Fair Housing Alliance is watching with concern the efforts of the Inn to stay in its downtown Cincinnati, Ohio, location in the face of neighbor opposition. The National Fair Housing Alliance is a consortium of private, non-profit fair housing organizations, state and local civil rights agencies, and individuals from throughout the United States dedicated to ending housing discrimination.


The National Fair Housing Alliance, HOME of Cincinnati, and its members nationwide work hard to eliminate the illegal discrimination that still exists today. It is a basic tenet of the federal Fair Housing Act that neighbors cannot prevent someone from living in a neighborhood because of discriminatory prejudice and stereotypes. The fair housing laws do not simply apply to landlords and real estate agents; they also apply to neighbors who try to drive someone out of their home through harassment, intimidation, or coercion.


In addition, the City of Cincinnati has a duty to under the federal Fair Housing Act to affirmatively further fair housing, which involves assessing barriers to housing choice and taking actions to counteract any barriers. Nationally, downtowns are being redeveloped as more people realize the benefits of living an urban life style; but such redevelopment efforts should not be accomplished to the detriment of integrated, mixed-income neighborhoods. Cincinnati has an obligation to analyze potential barriers in this case and to take action to work to ensure inclusion in its urban redevelopment efforts.


The National Fair Housing Alliance urges Western & Southern to cease its opposition to the Anna Louise Inn and become a welcoming good neighbor who values neighborhood diversity."

Thursday, July 05, 2012

...And you can sleep when day is done



There is a time for love and laughter
The days will pass like summer storms
The winter wind will follow after
But there is love and love is warm

There is a time for us to wander
When time is young and so are we
The woods are greener over yonder
The path is new the world is free

There is a time when leaves are fallin'
The woods are gray the paths are old
The snow will come when geese are callin'
You need a fire against the cold

So do your roaming in the springtime
And you'll find your love in the summer sun
The frost will come and bring the harvest
And you can sleep when day is done

 - The Dillards

I'll miss you Mr. Griffith. A fine actor and a fine man.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Jerry Sandusky, FARK, Family Guy, SVU and the American Culture of Rape as Comedy and Entertainment

Jerry Sandusky was found guilty on so many charges of rape, he will be spending the rest of his life in prison.

Good.

I first read the news of Sandusky's conviction on a website I frequent called Fark. I've written about them before because it's a pretty racist place sometimes and, in what I can only suppose was a bid to prove they could sink lower than being blatantly racist, for a while, Fark went through a phase where rape joke headlines were all the rage. Of course, the rape jokes were never directed at men, it was only women who were always the punch line.

I mean occasionally, in a thread about male criminals going to jail, you'd get a reference to some guy being sent to PMITA Federal Prison, but that's about as far as it got.

Fark is known for tasteless headlines. My favorite sick one was when NASA was having trouble getting the space shuttle home and delayed it's re-entry for a day. The headline was "Space Shuttle Explosion moved to Tuesday." Ouch.

So, the headline announcing that Jerry Sandusky had been found guilty on nearly everything he was charged with was actually pretty mild for Fark: Sandusky goes from Penn State to State Pen.

Since readers submit the headlines and the ones that hit Fark's main page "go green" it stands to reason that many readers submitted headlines that actually referenced and made jokes about the rape, not just the rapist.

And one why guy wanted to know why one of the more tasteless and possibly "funnier" headlines hadn't made the cut. This was my reply:



doglover: bsharitt: This was the best headline?
Since when does Fark pull punches when it comes to jokes in poor taste?
TuteTibiImperes 2012-06-22 11:05:11 PMYep. It's just about the only one not about raping children in a shower. There's quite a few of those, and they're not gonna look too pretty on the main page.
Hermione_Granger      
  2012-06-23 04:05:29
Hey, I think I can field this one.

A few years back some of the female FARKers started complaining about the rape jokes on this site. Unlike jokes about black people, Drew actually seemed to give a damn and the ha ha woman got rapety rape jokes and headlines seemed to suddenly disappear. It was also around the time that Family Guy was coming under fire for their hideous rape jokes, particularly "Peter and the Bulll" and people were quickly drawing a co-relation to an uncaring, heartless FARK.

It also seems that several female FARKers had been victims of rape or child molestation, myself included, and it was pretty farked up to have to come to a place that was supposed to be fun and be reminded of that fact.

And now that I think about it, and fark me for being so damned slow - considering the Catholic Church Scandal, Prostestant Preachers Against teh Ghey, Hands-on School Teachers (male & female), Republicans in the Closet with Congressional Pages and whoever else they can get their hands on, the tragedy that was Bill Zellers, and now this latest Jerry Sandusky scandal, I'm thinking a lot of male FARKers have spent a lot of time either forcefully getting choked by a dick shoved down their throat or forcibly raped, possibly while others heard and did nothing to save them.

And if you find that description overdone, well the reality is no great shakes either: that a lot of us, female and male, have been sexually assaulted and making fun of it - well just isn't farking funny.

There's a difference between tasteless and heartless - and for once it seems, this site finally Drew a line in the sand.

I, for one, am mildly grateful.
I have never been a Family Guy fan. I refused to watch it, or any other show put out by Seth McFarlane. However, back when Ye Olde Matey and I were still together, he would watch it before we went to bed. I would spend that half hour surfing the Internet, but since were in the same room, I couldn't help but hear the show. Some of the jokes would make me chuckle and I could always be drawn in by the musical numbers.

So one day, Ye Olde Matey asked me to watch the show with him. After all, it did make me laugh sometimes, he was sure I would enjoy it. So the next night, I agreed to watch it with him.


That next night was the episode with Peter and the Bull. Ye Olde Matey was as sickened as I was watching it. He knew I would never watch the show again but, to my surprise, he stopped watching it too.


FARK seems to have learned their lesson and the rape jokes ended. I have no idea about Family Guy because I have never watched another episode. If I am on a channel when it comes on, I change it or turn off the television.


But then I turn right around and watch Law and Order SVU. And not that SVU ever seems plays rape for laughs, but they have a tradition of one liners about the crime of the night, started back in the Jerry Orbach days, that would seem to belie that fact. Even I have to admit that this show takes the worst of any all sex crimes and displays them for our salacious entertainment. And long after the other Law and Order brands have faded, SVU remains.


Are we being made aware or are we just interested in the gory details for curiosity's sake? These shows have been proven to make us more paranoid and that we're all only one minute away from a hostage standoff or murder crime scene. While crime rates are actually dropping, the continuous rotation of  Law and Order and  CSI in their various forms, Criminal Minds, The Mentalist, Cold Case, Flash Point, NCIS, Monk, Psych, COPS and other reality crime shows - all of this makes us feel as though there's a murder happening every minute. These shows scream at us that we are in constant danger and we believe them.

And while these shows used to be late-night prime-time fare, they are now in heavy syndication and played at all times of day so we an be assured that children watch these shows. What messages are they getting about sex and violence?

Just recently, a several white teens felt it was no big deal bullying an elderly white woman employed as a monitor on a school bus.

Where did they learn that it would be "fun" to bully and deride a grown woman?

I really don't think we have to look very far.








Thursday, June 14, 2012

Republican Governors: Economy really is "fine". Just give us credit, not President Obama

I just saw an exchange on CBS This Morning that really set my teeth on edge. I remember now why nobody ever watches them but I've made an effort to tune into them now and again ever sense this post.

Much has been made over President Obama's supposed "gaffe" in saying that the private sector economy was "fine". Republicans everywhere shook their heads in mock pity & sad disbelief. See how "out of touch" Obama is? He thinks the economy is just fine. Oh how could the President think things are just fine? It's the moment we've been waiting for. You see, Obama thinks things are "just fine".

Mitt Romney, ever eager to please, jumped on the bandwagon with a brand new campaign ad. He's been running around the country, even my home city yesterday, parroting the latest of what he thinks everyone wants to hear in his nonstop attempt to bolster the Republican efforts to never give President Obama credit for anything.

Republicans gave up trying to outright embarrass President Obama just after the 2012 campaign began in earnest. Oh, you may get the occasional Republican to say something off-color and off message but they are quickly shushed these days. Republicans are dense as hell, but they've almost finally caught onto the fact that blatant and dogwhistle racism makes them look bad, not the President. Especially as he never really responded except for that first year where he kind of got sick of it and in his cool as Calvin Coolidge way responded with the most frustration I've ever seen from this president: "They talk about me like a dog." And then he got over it and went back to being President.

Nope, Republicans know they can never quite make President Obama look bad. Obama is no Randy Pants Clinton or Just Plain Dumb George Bush, Jr..Obama is too smooth and disciplined to ever really be caught off his game.

So as it turns out, "gloom and doom" Romney focusing on how awful the economy is, isn't making Obama look bad. It's making all of the American governors look bad, particularly the Republican ones.

Like I said, Republicans are dense as hell, but even the die-hard Obama haters figured out - well if the economy is so bad, then President Obama must not just be doing a bad job, but the governor of my state must be a doing a lousy job too. And if your governor is a Republican, as most of them are these days....well that might just put them out of a job, right?

So, the pretty anchor, ever so conciliatory to helping Republicans get their message out, asked: So, what should Mitt Romney be saying? What she couldn't say but was obvious: Well how does Mitt Romney explain a better economy without giving President Obama the credit? I mean if the economy is better, how do we blame President Obama for it being bad?

The Republican shill barely held back a wink and smile as he replied.  Mitt Romney should not be spreading gloom and doom. or touting the low employment rate in each state. He should also give credit where credit is due: To the Republican governors and their policies.

Unsaid was, whatever you do, don't say President Obama got the economy going again. Whatever you do, don't give him credit for turning the country around and doing his job. Whatever you do, make sure Republicans get the credit even though they have been the "Party of No" and  obstruction and that their one goal was to "make sure Obama was a one-term President". They never had any intention of doing anything to help the country.

And so, the pretty anchor wondered, how will Mitt Romney ever get the message.

And again, Republican shill guy, barely held back a wink and a smile as he replied that he was sure Romney just had.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Bob Strait, Nancy Strait, Trayvon Martin - May they all get the justice they deserve and Rest in Peace

In the days after the murder of Trayvon Martin, people waited to see if President Obama would make a comment.

And when he did, he said what was true of anyone who has seen a picture of Trayvon Martin; the boy looked a lot like him and, had Barack Obama had a son, well, that son might have looked something like Trayvon Martin.

Leave it to a bunch of racists to take this bittersweet and thoughtful comment and turn it into a case for their bigotry and hatred.

Tyrone Woodfork is a young black man who killed two white retirees. He beat them to death in a senseless crime so hideous that had it been a mere few decades ago, he wouldn't be alive to tell the tale, he'd have been lynched by now.

But since white folks can't lynch Tyrone Woodford, they're going to go after the President instead.

There's a story going around racist, conservative sites, that "Blacks Can Murder Whites, and It Won't Make the National News." They even go on to call Tyrone Woodfork "Obama's son". Hell there's even a YouTube video with the title "Obama's Son" and they don't mean Trayvon Martin either.

Two people died in a murder so heinous that I can only hope they lock up whoever who did it an throw away the key. And yet this conservative white trash has no problem using the murder of two innocent people to further their racist aims and score political points against President Obama.

But since this will have to be spelled out for some of you, let me explain why the murder of Trayvon Martin and the murder of Bob and Nancy strait are nowhere near the same.

When Bob and Nancy strait were killed their murder was locked up.Immediately.

"Police have arrested 20-year-old Tyrone Dale David Woodfork in connection with the case"



It took black people all over this country speaking out and marching to even have George Zimmerman's "stand your ground claims" investigated, let alone for him to be arrested. Days, weeks, months after he killed Trayvon Martin, people were asking, "Why Hasn't Zimmerman been arrested."

Trayvon Martin was killed in February of 2012. He was not arrested until two months later in April of 2012. Most major news networks questioned whether it was even necessary and speculated that Zimmerman, despite multiple witnesses, a 911 recording and Trayvon Martin's dead body, was more than likely innocent of murder and must have acted in self-defense.

I don't think you'll find a single member of the media who will attempt to defend Tyrone Woodford's indefensible crime.

Even now, George Zimmerman, only sits in jail on a technicality. The judge is upset that the George Zimmerman and his wife didn't disclose a pay pal account that everybody and their grandmother who's ever been on the Internet has known about for months; since the day the website soliciting donations first went up and Zimmerman's  started contributing to Zimmerman's "defense fund".

White people are actually donating money to Zimmerman's defense in klling a young black child.

I think you'd be hard put to find a single black person outside of Tyrone Woodford's family, donating a dime to his defense.


Bob and Nancy Strait did not deserve what happened to them. They deserved to live out their retirement in peace. And evil crossed their path. But that evil has been locked away in jail and will never, please God, ever be free. They do not deserve to have their corpses further dragged out for public display in the fight to defend white racism.

Trayvon Martin did not deserve what happened to him. He deserved to grow up and live and love and change and maybe even live to ripe old retirement age. He did not deserve to have his memory disparaged and the follies of typical American youth trotted out on display as some sort of twisted proof of "thuggery". Evil crossed his path.

But George Zimmerman more than likely will go free.

No two cases could be more different. Contrary to what is being said, the murder of the Straits did make every national news site that I can see and the link on this page goes to an international news site. That their deaths have not become the cause that Trayvon's murder did is because their killer was immediately jailed.That's why George Zimmerman made national news. Because he killed someone and was not arrested. That he was white speaks volumes as to why.

Black or white, it is not justice for someone not to be punished for murder.

Bob Strait, Nancy Strait, Trayvon Martin - May they all get the justice they deserve and Rest in Peace.




Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Obi Wan - You are my final hope.

So, Scott Walker won last night.

At this point my only hope is that there's an alternate universe out there in galaxy far, far away. I am sick of white hatred.

White people's hatred, ignorance and bigotry elected  Scott Walker, John Kasich,  and Rick Scott to the governorships of Wisconsin, Ohio and Florida respectively.

White people's hatred is keeping them there.

And now people are finding that it's not so easy to dig out evil once it takes root. Because make no mistake: what Scott Walker, John Kasich and Rick Scott - and yes Mitt Romney - want for this country is nothing short of evil.

It is always evil to make people beg, scramble and fight for basic rights and human dignity. And that is what they wish. To make sure that any right you have is easily negotiable and granted only at the benevolence of "your betters": rich people, corporations and anyone who happens to stumble into a public office.

And we will be kept in line by the police - all pretense of civil liberties exactly that.

There is no necessary evil. We are either a free society are we are not.

America has never truly been free.

It's going to be a long time before we are.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Cheater: David Justin - Rainbow Warriors Group Cheats College Students

It's one thing for people to treat me badly. I do not tolerate people treating the people I love badly.

I especially despise rude people, liars and cheaters.

David Justin is all three.

My daughter goes to Ball State University and decided to move off campus for her junior year. She later changed her mind and contacted the landlord.

The landlord, David Justin, told her that all she needed to do was find someone to take her place and he would refund her deposit of $315.

She found someone else to rent the apartment and the replacement paid, to the landlord, the deposit in full.

My daughter later received a check for $200 from the landlord saying he took out the rest for "expenses and gas money."

Needless to say I am ANGRY!

I could, and maybe I should let my daughter chalk it up to a $115 dollar lesson learned. And I would - but she has gone out of her way to be an adult about this. She has refused my help and only when she got the check minus the extra money and with a lot of nagging on my part did she agree to let me do this my way.

I'm going to give him every opportunity to return the money for one week before I drag him into small claims court and put up flyers all over Muncie, Indiana including every property of his I can find, explaining why no one should rent from this lying, cheating scumbag.

If you feel like it, give him a call and ask him why he feels it's ok to cheat a young college student out of her hard-earned money.

David Justin
Rainbow Warriors INV Group LLC
1327 Laurel Oak Dr.
Avon, IN 436123

Home: 317-272-0327
Cell: 317 - 640 - 1627


For the web spiders:
David Justin/ Rainbow Warriors INV Group LLC on Manta
David Justin/ Rainbow Warriors INV Group LLC on Bizapedia
David Justin/ Rainbow Warriors INV Group LLC on PeekYou

Rainbow Warrior's Investment Group LLC Avon Indiana

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Team White Jay

Yeah,I know.

Months of barely posting or not at all. Then it's like I woke up and thought it was still Black History Month.

I feel you.

But white people are just interesting to me right now- in a tear your hair out in frustration because even the nicest white people seem to do the same racist crap as people who are obvious bigots. And then it hurts even more because- although there's always that element of surprise, no matter how prepared I think I am to confront racism and bigotry when it's put in my face- when white people that I think are cool do or say racist things, it's disappointing and frightening.It's hard enough to carve out safe spaces among white people and then here's one more person I now know I can't trust.

There are four websites I read practically every day, no matter what.

Crooks and Liars
Racialicious
Free Range Kids
FARK

Racialicious hipped me to a web series called Awkard Black Girl, which, I honestly, they've written about several times but I didn't actually watch until I read their latest account of internet racists piling on this series.

It seems that the "Awkard Black Girl" series won a coveted web award called the Shorty Awards. Quicker than you can say Jim Crow, white people were jumping on the racist bandwagon accusing the awards of practicing "affirmative action", proclaiming a series they  had never watched "unworthy" of an award and more racist bullshit that you'll just have to read for yourself.

Before I even got through the article, I went and watched the series and it's hillarious in "is this girl spying on my life, why the hell didn't I think of this, completely laugh out loud funny" kind of way.

So here's the thing that's pissing me off about white people today:

White folks can make themselves believe anything EXCEPT the fact that most black folks are hard-working, law-abiding Americans.

I live in a world where white people often assume that I'm an ignorant, unintelligent, thief and probably a welfare recepient, dependent on their largesse and that if I have a job at all, I got it through Affirmative Action.

Conservaitve white people despise Affirmative Action, thinking it unfair, oddly in a world where white people wouldn't hire blacks for any but the most menial tasks unless and still wouldn't unless they were forced to do otherwise.

And even in this day and age, there are far too many black people who can honestly say that they are "the only one" in their office of maybe one of two, which is the case where I work.

And so, the fact that I went to school, earned a degree, searched high and low for a job until I found one and I'm good as hell at it - all of that is secondary to one fact for most white folks: I'm black, therefore I'm not really qualified, they just made a special exception for me, or the company is trying to boost their EOE profile.

And when you think about most of the complaints that white people have about President Obama, they mostly have to do with him being "unqualified" or being the "Affirmative Action President". Despite the fact that the man was a Constitutional Professor, many complaints complaint from conservative whites claim he knows nothing about the Constitution.

White people complain that black people don't value education or job or independence (which to them means not accepting welfare even if it means being hungry and homeless).

But then when we do send our kids to school, they do everything to keep them or discriminate against them when they're there.

When we do go on to college, we're accused of not having got there on our own merits but must be on some sort of  "Special Scholarship" or that a college must have lowered it's standards to let us in.

And when we do graduate from college and enter the workforce, it's harder for us to find employment, harder for us to keep it (we are the last hired and the first fired) and to add insult to injury - white people will always assume that whatever job we have, we didn't truly earn - someone just had to fill a quota.

So it goes: Akward Black Girl couldn't be good because it's good. It had to be chosen only because of white pity or some misguided attempt to "even the playing field".

White people: you can't have it both ways. If black people go out and do all the things you swear up and down they need to do to assimilate into this country, then why the hell are you still pissed when we are successful?



Thursday, May 03, 2012

Do white people resent the people who make them stop behaving in racist ways?

Follow up from the other day when my coworker pissed me off with some casual bigotry and then tried to make me explain why I was offended.

I walked into the bindery on Monday and it was such a busy day and I was so glad that my coworker was back from vacation, I really didn't notice anything.

But on Tuesday, when I walked through the bindery to go to lunch - maybe it was because the machines weren't making their usual racket - maybe they were off in a meeting somewhere - I dunno, but only one guy was in the bindery and the radio was off.

The radio was off.

And I knew. In a monumental moment of being unable to keep his mouth shut, my co-worker had told the bindery people that I thought they listened to racist radio.

*sigh*

So on Wednesday, when I walked out for lunch, I tried to check it out as surreptitiously as possibly, and sure enough, on Wednesday, the radio had been changed from 700WLW to Oldies 103.5.

Interesting.

But one guy noticed me checking out the radio.

He looked at me and I looked him.Without a word being said I knew that word had gotten around.

Now some of you, particularly white people will say, SEE! Happy ending. Win-win. They found a radio station they like and doesn't offend you. Great! Someone told them that you were offended and they moved quickly to correct it. If that doesn't prove they care about your feelings then what does?

It's not so much my feelings I'm worried about.

Some changes, people shouldn't be forced to make. In this case, it's true, no one forced them to change. I never said anything to a boss - and I can't prove my co-worker talked to any of them at all. They could have ignored the whole thing. The fact that they didn't ignore it either shows they care or just don't want to be accused of being bigots. Either way, I don't have to listen to that racist crap anymore and that's a good thing right?

Not so fast.

The battle won't be truly won until white people start making these choices of their own volition -without having to be reminded that there are other points of view and a long history behind them. That certain types of poison, really are poison and shouldn't be ingested.

Just because they change the dial in the bindery - will they in their cars? Their homes?

Their hearts?

I walked through that bindery every day for months - and God only know how long my only other black co-worker has been there - and even if we never worked there at all -  it never once occured to a single white person  there that maybe what they were listening to was not only not acceptable for the workplace but anywhere.

So, it's not about me, it's about them.

And changing the dial is a good start.

But it's only one step the need to take.

I doubt any of them will ever take the next. I have a feeling that many of them will simpy feel they did this to appease me - and at worst, they will resent me for it.

 That's a change I can live without.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Some thoughts on suicide bombers

Never judge a man until you have walked two moons in his moccasins.

And so, I try to imagine.What would it take for me to be a suicide bomber? How fucked up would life have to be for me to A) strap on a bomb and B) actually detonate it.

The thought is horrific and terrifying and just completely unimaginable for me. Although in my lifetime I have had boments when I was suicidal. Being molested as a pre-teen combined with being harassed and taunted by the racist white kids at school sent my grades into a nose dive and drove me to a suicide attempt.

Later, in my 30's, when we lost a baby, I wanted to die as well. The idea of the tiny little heartbeat stopping and mine continuing was nearly too much to bear. I think it was one loss too many for Ye Ex Matey after the deaths, seemingly one after the other of his grandmother, grandfather and mother. It was the beginning of the end for us.

So... grief, loss, unearable pain- physical and emotional; I can see these things making someone want to end their own life. I didn't because I knew that what I was feeling would not continue - that the feeling of wanting to end your own life goes away as the pain ebbs.

But what makes someone not only want to take their own life and the lives of others as they die? While Republicans in general and conservatives in particular make me angrier, in their willful ignorance, than many would believe possibe - and the idea of a Republican President  in this political climate is repulsive- it's certainly not worth ending my life over.

Yet and still, we are, even at this moment, sending men and women overseas, knowing that may be sending them to their death. They may never return.

They strap up so I don't have to?

What a horrendous thought.

And probably true.

No sooner than President Obama finished his speech in Afghanisan, more people decided the best way to protest was to strap on a bomb and set it off.


The pain, the loss.

The unimaginable pain.

What a barabaric little planet we are.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

The Bible For Dummies as Written by That Deborah Girl

I came across an article on Fark.com today where a man tried to sacrifice his son. In response to his misguided attempt to follow God, I though I'd write a short synopsis of the bible, after which it should be clear that we don't need to do shit like this anymore.


Old Testament

God, two people and a snake are walking around a Garden....

Noah gets drunk a lot- still has time to build a boat and save mankind

Sex can be a dangerous thing and comes into question. Sometimes God will let you have sex with your wife's handmaiden and not really get mad (He's not really consistent on the sex thing)- the result is a millenia of world conflict and people still blowing themselves up over the result of handmaiden sex thousands of years later.

It's ok to beat your children, woman and slaves if you can get them.

It's ok to drive a tent peg through a man's head if you're fighting on God's team and you're named Deborah (yay!) They will tell the story then write a song about it. Women are totally badass in the Bible. They're just not allowed to do shit anywhere else.

God tests people a lot. God will let Satan kill off your women, children and slaves just to prove a point. He will let you alone if you love Him more than your women, children and slaves. If God tells you to sacrifice your kid - he doesn't really mean it. He's just testing your faith but HE DOESN'T REALLY MEAN IT SO STOP ALREADY. But if God says you're gonna have a baby, then for heavens sake believe him - you could save the suicide bomber clean up team a lot of trouble later.

Sex is bad. Very bad. People who are so evil as to want to have sex with angels and not virgins DO NOT deserve sex. Bad people. Sodom and Gomorrah get wiped off the map.

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility: so many of the greats on God's team get caught up on a technicalities or get their heads turned by pretty women: Moses, Sampson, David, Abram/Abraham, Jonah, Job, Judas. Remember: If God tells you to kill your kid, DON'T DO IT. THIS IS ONLY A TEST OF THE EMERGENCY BIBLICAL BROADCAST SYSTEM.THIS IS ONLY A TEST. Otherwise, if God gives you a job to do, just go do it. If you don't and you find yourself in a pool of whale vomit, it's your own damned fault.


Sex is good again.. If you're black and king and taking sexy back, then you can write a whole book about all the ways you got off and have it put in the Bible itself.

Proverbs is like the Dear Abby of the bible. My favorite verse is: Withdraw thy foot from they neighbor's house lest he weary of thee and hate thee. So very practical.

A bunch of prophets predict that Jesus is coming.



New Testament

Remember all those prophets predicting Jesus is gonna show up? Well, in the second half, He does. The second half, which isn't really half because it's way shorter, is all about Jesus, people learning not to have sex so much and other new rules for living together and winds up with a dandy little glimpse of a supernatural apocalypse.

Jesus is the coolest, nicest most perfect guy ever. All the other kids in the pumped up kicks don't like cool, nice perfect guys unless they're George Clooney. Jesus was way ahead of his time and gets Crucified which is a fucked up, horrific way to die.

Jesus dies but three days later He gets back up. This proves that not only is He God but that eventually He is gonna totally kick Satan's ass for good. Eventually. In the meantime, He spends most of his time walking around, chilling with people and after around 40 days He flies off up to heaven saying one day He'll back. Kinda like Frosty the Snowman - we don't know when, we don't know where - but eventually He will show up. And when He comes back He will have the Sword of Godric Gryffindor with Him. There will be a sorting. Lake of fire for some, Kings Cross Station for the others.

Sex is officially bad again. In a landmark biblical decision, sex outside marriage is just plain sin and sex in marriage is only preferrable to hell-fire but really we'd all be better off if we just didn't notice our naughty bits at all.

God wipes out nearly everything He said in the first half of the book. No more sacrifices because Jesus on the Cross was the "Last Sacrifice" (the guy who tried to sacrifice his kid - he really shoulda read that part). All those other rules still count but there are two new rules that trump all the other rules.

Love God more than anything
Love everyone else as much as you love yourself

The moral of the story: What the world needs now is love sweet love, it's the only thing there's just too little of.

Monday, April 30, 2012

More Bullshit I have no patience for

This morning, as I often do, I was listening to C-SPAN. And a caller wanted to know why Sadaam Hussein got his day in court and Osama bin Laden was granted summary execution.

And I couldn't get a call in to answer that idiot but if I had, this is what I would have said:

I am the bleedingest of bleeding heart liberals but I tell you what - I would have put a bullet in Osama bin Laden's head myself given half the opportunity and I would have gone to United Dairy Farmers for butter pecan ice cream afterwards like nothing ever happened and wouldn't have blinked an eye.

We need to quit letting rich ass people use Americans as pawns in their personal battles. Sadaam Hussein got killed because Bush Sr. and Jr. wouldn't let the attempt on Bush Sr.'s life go unanswered. Actually, I can get behind that. Love him or hate him, Bush Sr. was a president of this country and if someone made an attempt on his life, fine, put em six deep.

And then there was that nasty little business of Sadaam trying to get the OPEC dollars traded in Euros instead of US dollars and if you think the economy is bad now, if that had gone down, we would have gone from "last superpower" to "largest fifth world country" faster than they could drag Sadaam out of a hole for the CNN cameras.

And lastly there was that episode of Sadaam being an evil ass dictator so yeah, to hell with it, hang his ass, I don't care.

But if Saddam deserved killing then bin Laden definitely had it coming. That evil sob has more You Tube videos than Kim Kardashian, going on and on bragging about how he attacked us and how he was planning more.

George Bush "just didn't spend that much time thinking about bin Laden" because he, bin Laden, was a Bush family friend and business partner. Well great. But did that stop Professor Xavier from kicking Magneto's butt every now and again? Did that stop Dumbledore form defeating Grindenwald or giving his life in an effort to stop Voldemort?

Hell no. Because in the world I live in, even my imaginary friends will kick a friend's ass when they get out of line. And in this real world, flying airplanes into buildings  and killing over 2000 people is pretty far out of line. Day in court my ass.

If Osama bin Laden is fish food right now, I don't give a damn and neither should anyone else who calls themselves an American. Now would be the time to cue the car flags and crying eagles and some country singer belting out "Have You Forgotten."

If conservative whites can hate the President being black so much that they can convince themselves that Osama bin Laden being taken out on Barack Obama's watch isn't a big deal, then honey, we need to ship the whole lot of conservatives off to North Korea some damned way and let them see how they like the freedom to say stupid shit against the leaders over there and see how they like it when they end up in a penal camp for the duration of their lives.

That we tolerate conservative bullshit is a measure of how far Americans, particularly liberals, will uphold Freedom of Speech. But sometimes, the pushback just doesn't go far enough. I'm sick of white racism, I'm sick of conservative bullshit, and I'm definitively sick of Republicans disrespecting the President of the United States.

White people, get your shit together. Stop worrying about the President being "black" and start worrying about how we're going to stop the evil that is conservative thought.

The country you save may just be your own.

*drops the mic, walks offstage*

Saturday, April 28, 2012

I Know That All White People Aren't Racist - Far Too Many Just Think They Aren't Though

Follow up from yesterday.


It never ceases to amaze me that when I say "white people do so and so" that someone, particuarly white people but not always, admonishes me not to generalize.

But what I know and that they don't is that I can count on both hands and have fingers left over the number of white people that my "generalizations" don't apply to. Even so, that makes them technically right. It's not all white people who act like this. But as I told my friend yesterday, there are too many Rush's and not enough Jennifer's. Too many Hannity's, not enough Tom's. Too many Coulter's, not enough Lirie's or Jason's or Mickey's or Nina's or Sue's or .....funny how out of all the truly non-racist white people I know, two of them are named Jennifer and two of them are named Tom and one of the Tom's is dead. Oh and Mickey is dead too. Damn.


Just as I knew he would, my co-worker was not be able to resist asking me "why" I was upset as if he really needed to ask. But it's not enough for him, or any of the white people I've ever dealt with in situations like this to know that they've done something that offends, cuts, slights, hurts, offends.

No. It's not enough to say, "I see that I hurt you and I'm sorry."

No. They must drag me through the indignity of explaining exactly what they did and why it hurt and how it hurt. Then they must inevitably tell my what they did was justified. And then and only then, if I'm lucky, will I get an apology. Usually insincere, sometimes not, but usually some backhanded sort of thing like, "I'm sorry if you were offended," as though my being offended is the issue, not their ignorance and evil.

So the first time he asked me I just laughed and walked away. He was just so determined to make me do the work for him and that I refused to do.

"Is something the matter? What's wrong".

Mind you, the fact that I was upset was obvious. The fact that he turned down the radio meant he already KNEW what was wrong, but yet, he had to play the game. He had to make me explain it.

I laughed ruefully and walked away shaking my head. I simply do not have the time or patience for bullshit like this.

Besides, I knew he would ask again. Because it is never enough for white people to just simply fix the mistake and never do it again. No. They must ask. I must prove my hurt and expose it and justify.

I must do the work for them. Usually for no gain.

And he did ask again. "What's the matter? You're not acting the same as usual? Is it something to do with me?"

Really?

My response: "I really don't want to discuss this. I've had a long week and I'd rather just let it lie."

His response: "That's not fair."

Fair? Did he really just use the word "fair"? Is he fucking serious?

"I have work to do." And I turned back to my work and he walked away.

But later as I was leaving, he tried one last time. He really just couldn't leave this the hell alone. Now at this point, I know what you're thinking. This guy is doing everything he can and taking every opportunity to make this up to me. To discuss this openly and honestly.

And I'm telling you. No he's not.

What he's doing is asking for my approval. He wants me to give him the official black person seal of approval that he's "Not A Racist". It's not enough to prove that I was offened. It's not enough that I have to explain it to him. But he needs me to say, "It's ok. You're still a good guy."

Which is a level of trust and exhonoration I'm just not willing to give. He can get it elsewhere. He can figure it out for himself. But I not going to be, simply refuse to be the "One Black Person Who Said He's Not a Racist."

And so he stops me on my way out the door and he's insistent on my telling him "what's wrong?"

So I sigh a sigh that's the the tired sigh of black people explaining shit like this through millenia and let him have it.

"OK. Since you really want to make me go through this, since you really can't just let it go, I'll tell you: It's bad enough that they listen to this racist ass bullshit in another part of the building all day long. But I don't have to work there. I do have to work here and I don't appreciate it, I do find it offensive and what's worse, I find it offensive that I should even have to explain this to you."

"I just listen to it for the politics."

"You don't have to explain yourself to me. And I shouldn't have to explain myself to you. I shouldn't have to explain any of this. I shouldn't have to tell you this. You knew I was upset and you knew why, but that wasn't good enough. You figured you could just turn the volume down. Well turning the volume down on racist bullshit isn't good enough."

"I didn't mean to offend you. I like you and I would never do anything that I thought would hurt you. I apologize."

"Good. Let's consider it dropped." And I left.

I have to admit, the apology was a good start and he did it well when he finally got around to it. No whining, no explanation, no more trying to justify, just an apology.

OK.

But the making me explain it when he already knew what was wrong was childish.

If you've stepped on my foot, I don't have to tell you that you did. Just say you're sorry and move on.

And when you step on someone's heart and soul with racism, as you inevitably will, just say you're sorry and move on.

Good lord I'm tired of shit like this.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Some days, white folks make me tired.

I've given this some thought...say for the last five minutes or so.

See, there's this guy I work with. And we've maintained a decent working relationship in the short amount of time I've been here.

But today, he's playing Rush Limbaugh at top volume in an area we both have to work in.

And honestly....I can't think why such a nice guy is listening to such a racist blowhard.


And since he can see I'm honestly upset, he turns the radio down, so it's a whisper only he can hear if I'm not in the room and it's only audible when I have to walk through.

And then I remember. White people think that turning down the volume on racism is enough.

As long as she can't hear it....

They don't mind poisoning their own minds and hearts though.

If I asked, him, I'm sure he'd say, "I have the right to listen to it."

And he does although he doesn't have the right to subject me to it. And I could complain.

But I'm going to handle this my way.

And eventually he's gonna be dumb enough to apologize - or ask me why I'm offended - or he may even go so far as to tell me why I shouldn't be offended.

But what he won't do...not of his own volition...

...is change the fucking station.

Some days, white folks make me tired.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Cincinnati Needs the Anna Louise Inn to Stay Exactly Where It Is

I don't know why I thought the fight was over. I thought the issue had been resolved and that the Anna Louise Inn had already won the right to stay. That a judge had stopped Western Southern Life from taking them over and tearing them down.

But of course I was wrong. When rich people or powerful corporations want what they want, they never ask for anything they don't have the power to take.

Western Southern Life simply decided that the Anna Louise Inn "is not in the best interest of the city." I just don't understand why a lawsuit like this has merit. Why is that rich, white conservatives always get to decide what's "best" for everyone else? It's the most maddening, angering, completely pisses me off phenomena I've never come to understand in all my years of living. Can Western Southern Life really explain why the Anna Louise is less necessary than the Taft Museum or Residence Inn or their garish spinning sign that I have never liked. Why can't we get rid of that nuisance?

When I was 20, I lived at the Anna Louise Inn. I worked as a bread girl at the revolving restaurant across the bridge in Covington. My job was to warm bread, put it in a basket and take it from table to table, offering bread and butter to the people who dined there.

A bread girl doesn't make much. Even with my dad paying half my rent, it was the only place I could afford to live. and so I lived at the Anna Louise Inn.

At this point in my life, I was a college drop out. None of the young men I had dated up to that point were anywhere near husband material and even if they were, I didn't want to get married. I had no purpose, no direction and, to what must have been my parent's great frustration, no plan for what I was going to do with my life.

For lack of anything else better to do, I decided to go into the Army. Until my leave date, I worked as a bread girl and lived at the Anna Louise Inn.

It was exactly where I needed to be. I had my own room, I made a few friends, I was able to eat and live. My parents knew where I was and were grateful that I was doing something constructive, even if it was nowhere near what they had planned for me. But they had no idea what to do with me and this was safe and affordable.

Until I lived at the Anna Louise, I'd never been to Sawyer Point, Serpentine Wall or Lytle Park before. On sunny weekends and my days off, I explored and walked them often. At first I ventured out tentatively, feeling my way, enjoying the feeling of "getting lost" and finding my way back, even though Anna Louise was never completely out of view from those vantage points, that old fashioned roof was a distincive beacon back.

But it was a new thing for me to just walk and be alone. No parents, no boyfriend, no college roommates. Just me.

Walking, thinking, growing.

I'd pass the statue of Abraham Lincoln, always a welcome site after a night of being on my feet, and a long walk back across the bridge and across Downtown up Fourth Street, when I couldn't get a ride and the buses had long stopped running.

Still, even in the chill fall days, the late night walk was not unpleasant. Mr. Lincoln would offer a silent and solemn welcome home. And I'd wonder if someone like me was who he thought of when he signed that piece of paper. If he'd known that I'd have the freedom to just be. Whatever I'd become. I wondered if he'd even cared. He looked tired. Like his feet hurt sometimes. Just like me. Maybe he'd have signed anything just to end the damned war. I would have.

I'd never thought about such things before.

I'd walk the steps of Serpentine Wall. Watch the barges on the River. Just walk. And then have a place to return to at a time when I was too old and too rebellious to live at home. The Anna Louise Inn gave me a home and kept from being a homeless runaway. With the help of my parents, I was able to be a working citizen.

But these things are not in the best interest of the city. Frightened, cofused, naive or simply young and poor women deserve whatever they get in this large world. Western Southern Life - ironic that they have the word "Life" in their name when what they really deal in is death, which really explains a lot - has no notion of what the Anna Louse Inn means to those who need it.

People like me.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Overflow Thoughts

Republicans and Birth Control
Here are the questions we need to ask all of the current Republican candidates who are running for the office of President:

Did you have sex before you were married?
If not, did you marry the first, and we presume only, woman you've ever had sex with?

If the answer to either one of these questions is no (yeah, right, Newt) then the debate over birth control and abortion is over and they all need to stfu and move on to something else.

All the Other Kids
Rush Limbaugh calls a woman, Sandra Fluke (rhymes with Look) a "slut" and a "prostitute" for daring to voice her opinions on birth control. This is only the latest in a long career of vile slander spouted by Limbaugh, including racist comments directed at the President.

Do we really have the right to protest in this country? Encampent after encampment of "Occupy Wall Street" protestors were simply bulldozed off the map. While the President praised the protestors in public, he quietly gave his sanction to the Department of Homeland Security to coordinate breaking up the protests between local mayors and law enforcement.

Bill O'Reilly and Glenn Beck label Dr. George Tiller, "Tiller Tiller Baby Killer" for providing late-term abortions. Despite the fact that he provided late term abortions to women carrying fetus with birth defects so severe that they would not be viable outside the womb, they claim he provides abortions "even up to the day before birth for any reason." They disclose where Dr. Tiller worked an lived on television. They later place the blame on a pro-choice Democrat, Kathleen Seibelus when Dr. Tiller, while serving as an usher at his church, is shot and killed

Fox News calls some kids "little bastards" for daring to speak out about bullying.

Two people have committed suicide
after being on the show "Hell's Kitchen," but the show continues with steady viewership and Gordon Ramsey continues his tirades week after week.

My home state of Ohio is host to the latest school shooting that leaves three kids dead, one kid paralyzed and another with permanent injuries. The only question anyone seemed to wants to ask was, "Will the shooter be tried as an adult?"

The culture of bullying is in full effect and we only have to look to our media to see how and why.

It's no wonder then that one of the most popular songs of the day is a chipper sounding tune that tells a scary story called Pumped up Kicks by a group called "Foster the People".

All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You better run, better run, outrun my gun
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You'd better run, better run, faster than my bullet

My Life and the Economy
After 3 years of hellish job related problems, some of which have been documented on this blog, Ye Old Matey and I both have decent jobs again. By decent I mean steady income, health benefits, paid vacation time and a job that seems as permanent as a job can be in this day and age.

President Obama seems to have the right idea - people can't protest (or have much to protest about) if they have to go to work every day. I finished my journey to my Associates Degree this past November, graduating from Cincinnati State. That same month I completed my year-long internship and after a few months of part-time work, I was recently hired at a full-time job with a printing company.

Unfortunately for us, the economy, among other things, has taken it's toll on our relationship and Ye Olde Matey and I are building our own boats and headed for separate ports. We both have new jobs that have allowed us to pay off our shared debt and support ourselves in our individual lives as we go our separate ways. It's a fairly amiable and weird end to 15 years of sailing together. I guess from now own he'll be referred to here as Ye Ex-Matey. I wish him smooth sailing.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Why I love Downton Abbey - Jumping on the Bandwagon

I had bronchitis in January, and I went through a bout of insomnia born of sleeping at odd times during the day. Every time I was up at 2am, there was this lovely show about these British people from another time and I was completely enthralled. I'm glad it comes on at 9pm on Sundays because I was able to stop setting my alarm at 2am just to watch.




I love it because the costumes, accents and sets are rich and lovely.
The other actors hold their own and the cast is stellar but I love Maggie Smith. Well before my world became immersed in all things Potter-related, our household loved Maggie Smith. She is older now and has wrinkles and showing her age - and it doesn't matter. She is simply beautiful. Glowingly, achingly, brilliantly beautiful. She is such a refined actress that every word she utters steals the scene. Every move she makes, every turn of her had, flip her wrist weilding her walking stick. She is incredible. It's worth watching the show just to watch her. She gives the younger acresses a run for their money just sitting in a chair. It's incredible to behold.

I love it because it's so heavenly dramatic.

It starts off with the sinking of the Titanic, delves quickly into war time and just as quickly jerks us back out of it. World War I "tis but a handbreath, but a tale" in this series.

Everyone is falling in love all over the place but always keeping the traditional British "stiff upper lip" while trying to hold it all in.

The Lords and Ladies constantly cross lines with the servants in the most unrealistic ways.

The outcome of the drama is nearly always predictable and yet watching it unfold is satisfying.

But most of all: I love watching these deliriously rich white people try to hold onto a way of life that we know went the way of the buttonhook and the phonograph. This world, quite frankly, is so classist that there is no room for racism. Oh, it's there, but you just can't see it because people of color simply do not exist in this world.

Yet, I still like Downton Abbey and I will continue to watch it, despite the fact that I can't help but feel it's like those dreadful 50's, 60's nostalgia shows about "a kinder, gentler time" that never really existed.

Downton Abbey is, and only ever was, real on TV.

And that's the way it should be, Thank God.