2013-10-16

The Problem With Tommy Sotomayor, Tariq Nasheed, and the Cult of Black Female Degradation

This is nothing new, at least in the last decade or two we have had the black community theorize and explain the current condition of the black community.  The focus is always on relationships and how black men and women communicate with each other, usually focusing on the shortcomings of black women.   Black women are vilified, insulted, stereotyped, and shamed.  Not by white men, not by white women; but by black men, and even sometimes other black women. Check out YouTube.com.  You will see it en masse just by simply entering a search for 'black women'.   There are a few who currently stick out in this universe.  You have Tommy Sotomayor, who not only has a strong disdain for black women, but fiercely believes in the color hierarchy; even though he himself, is dark skinned.  We also have Tariq Nasheed, who teaches men how to  be "Macks" and feels it is a badge of honor to put a woman out of your house and car.  

I'm focusing on these men because of their following of black men who love and embrace their message, and because frankly, they are the ones most talked about. 

They both oppose feminism and say it is the biggest problem that black women face and the downfall of the black community. 

The biggest problems I see with this whole cult of black women degradation are that they are not steeped in reality. 

Feminism is not the downfall of the black community. It never ever was.  The biggest issue of the black community is inequality, and the feminist struggle for black women has always been different than from white women.  We never had to fight to work outside the home, like most poor people, black women and black men both worked outside the home just to make ends meet.  We were never seen as "weaker" or "fairer" we were treated as masculine, we were never treated as gentle and meek.   Not to mention the base definition of feminism is essentially to treat women as equals to men.  It was never the idea to surpass men or dominate men, but for some reason the idea of feminism is seen as domination.  I do not know if this is due to how the Civil Rights Movement, the Feminist Movement, and the ability of black women to be seen as less threatening to non blacks helped black women achieve in areas of education and work in comparison to black men, but we wanted to be equals, not just to black men, but white women and white men, and not that black women are anywhere close to that place, but we've moved ahead, and it has changed the gender norms in our society.

With all that being said, the gender norms of society have never really applied to black people in America.  Black women did domestic work, but we didn't just do it in our own homes.  We did it as a way to make money.   We did it as a way to survive. We did it because we had to do it.   We did it to help support our families along with black men, who did jobs that they were forced to do. We did what we were limited to, and for us to assume gender norms that applied to the white community does nothing for us.  We have to make our own "norms".   I'm thinking with the amount of women in professional jobs and the work force, this is the case in many instances for ALL people. The feminist movement has made both men and women of all genders adapt.  

The message of these men and others like them are confusing.  They want traditional male roles, but they want their women to reap the benefits of feminism all while adhering to "traditional" gender roles.   You don't want gold diggers, your woman needs to work and have her own things, yet when she gets off of work, you want her to cook your dinner, clean your home, and assume what you say is law.

If you feel feminism is about domination of black men, what are traditional gender roles to the domination of women?  You feel black women protect white men and put them on pedestals, but you've bought into European beauty standards that never applied to black women in the first place.  You want black women to be weave free, but have "good hair", and if a black women with "nappy" hair does go natural, you're the first to make jokes and tell her to straighten it.

You can't have it both ways, something has to give.

2013-09-28

Racism vs. Preference




Note to black ladies:  Don't cry, but you can't have the guy in the picture.  His name is Romeo Rose.  Yeah, I don't think his mom named him that.   He has a website, Sleepless In Austin.   He's looking for a woman. He's even willing to pay a finder's fee.  He has some requirements.  Too many requirements.  I'm not going to focus on ALL the requirements, just a couple. 

Let's focus on these comments:


I will not date a Black girl.

I don’t care if she looks like Halle Berry, I will not ever date a Black girl. 


However, I will date any other race, Hispanic, Mexican, Spanish, Russian, Italian, French, European, White, whatever, anything except Black.

Yeah. I've heard this before from "non racist" white people.  Like all of my life.  Welcome to Texas, and yes this mother fucker is from Texas. 

The people who usually say this are also tired of the word "racist" being thrown around.   They have no idea why saying things of this nature is racist.  So I of course will share why saying stupid, idiotic things like this are racist. 

You tend to have preferences.  Everyone has preferences.   I have a preference for pale, tall nerdy guys with dark hair.   I tend to not be attracted to short guys.   That being said, have I dated guys who weren't pale, tall, and nerdy.  Why yes I have!!!! I've even been on dates with guys shorter than me.  ::gasp::  I should note all this happened a long time ago.  Like you know before 1999, when I met my husband who is pale, tall, nerdy, with dark hair.  However this guy has essentially said this, he doesn't care what the black woman looks like, he will not date her simply because she is black, even if she looks like Halle Berry, who happens to be half white.   Even if you fit ALL of his criteria, if he sees the blackness, you're out, because you know blackness is a thing, and it's a BAD thing.  He can even be attracted to you, but that black thing CANNOT be overlooked.

He has also fallen into the "everything but black camp".  I should correct that "everything but black and Asian".  He's willing to lower his standards to hispanics, but he can't go beyond that, as it would be too primal for him to fathom. You know hispanics are assimilated in his mind for them to be ok enough to consider.  Congrats Hispanic women everywhere, you've got a shot with this looker.  

Mr. Romeo participated in a Reddit AMA, and he goes extra crispy crazy referring to black people as gorillas and compares having sex to a black person as bestiality.  Also he will not date a white woman who has dated a black guy and believes that whites and blacks should not mix sexually and make babies. He's not racist though......in his mind......in his warped, deluded mind.  

Sad thing is I know people like this, and in their minds they aren't racist either.  

2013-09-06

I'm Already Messing Up



Dear Rabbit,

I've had you for over three years now. You're awesome.  You're sweet. You're really smart.  You're also the most beautiful thing in all of my world.  I love you bunches, and my job is to be your mom, but sometimes as a mom I fail you, and I'm sorry.   I'm supposed to protect you and defend you, but sometimes I don't.   I have come to the realization if there is conflict in the room, I always assume you're at fault.  I shouldn't do that.  Yes, you've taken toys, yes, you've probably said or done things you shouldn't have, but I should have the common sense and foresight not  to assume.  You can talk now, and you talk a lot, so I need to just realize I can ask you, listen to you, and listen to your side. You are worthy enough to listen to.  I will not believe that you should only be seen and not heard.  You're voice is important and deserves my ear.

I've been taught all my life to expect the worst.  Just because I was taught that doesn't mean you should be.   You deserve to know that there is a good and bad side to just about everything in the world.   You are going to be living in a world in which people will make assumptions about you, so why as your mother should I pile on?   You're going to be viewed as a black woman in America.  People are going to assume a lot about your based upon your appearance.  People are going to say things to you that aren't fair.  There is going to be a lot of generalizations, and that's not fair either.    So as your mom, I'm going to try harder.

I'm going to make sure I don't fear you are to blame for all "conflicts" at play dates. I'm going to make sure that you love your hair, your skin, and just you in general.  I'm going to make sure I stick up for you when grown ups make mistakes. 

I'm sorry Rabbit, you aren't always the center of all trouble, and I shouldn't assume you are.  You are not inherently bad, you are a three year old, and like all people you are multifaceted.  You are you are growing, learning, and changing by leaps and bounds every single day.   You deserve better, and I'm going to give it to you.  


Love,

Mom

2013-07-17

If Trayvon Was White

If Trayvon Martin identified as white and George Zimmerman was black, this case would be seen so differently by so many.   If Trayvon was white, he would have been heralded as brave, taking a stand to fight off the armed man who was following him.  He would have been a symbol for taking a stance for what is right.  The media would have mentioned his lack of criminal history, they would have considered him a normal, everyday teen, a little mischievous, but a great kid with a promising future. We would have mourned his lack of opportunity to live out his future. The police would have done a thorough investigation, so that his parents would have had their questions and concerns answered, so even if it turned out it was an accident, they could lay their heads down at night knowing that there was no fault to their son's death.  

If Zimmerman was black, he would have been the thug. His criminal history would have been mentioned several times.  His views on other races mentioned repeatedly.  His list of calls to 911, seen as wasting tax payers resources and time noted, over and over again.  He would have been seen as a menace to society, a person who should have never ever had a gun.   He would have been seen a murderer and been sentenced to prison time. 

Alas, this is America, this is not how these people were portrayed.  Trayvon Martin was noted as thug. Trayvon Martin was the aggressor, even though George Zimmerman was following him with a gun. George Zimmerman was treated as a hero and a champion of gun rights. George Zimmerman is a free man and Trayvon Martin is dead. Trayvon's crime was walking while black.  His crime was noticing an armed man following him and being alarmed.  His crime was questioning the authority of someone lighter than him.   In America, being a vigilante if you're white or identify as such, is seen as a great thing, if you are black and do the same thing, you're a troublemaker intent on killing someone.   Zimmerman is seen as the hero for getting rid of a thug....with no proof of Martin being a thug.  Martin is accused of attacking Zimmerman, the armed man following behind him as he came home from a convenience store. We praise vigilantism when a white person does it, and gasp at the concept a young, unarmed black man thinks he can too.  

As people celebrate the death and murder of a seventeen year old boy, many of us are angry.  We're angry at the death of this boy, we're angry the a dead child was put on trial, we're angry about racism, but for a lot of us, we're angry because we're going to have to have the same talks our parents had with us about racism.  About the unwritten rules that don't apply to other kids.  We have to be extra careful to look like we're not stealing.  We have to have quick answers to questions about our existence to white people of no authority, no matter what.  There are severe consequences to our insignificant actions.  We have to tell our kids that their lives are no value to most white Americans.   That is what I'm angry about, that I have to balance making sure my child is worthy with the concept that other people don't deem her as worthy as themselves because her skin is a darker hue.  It doesn't make sense, and she won't get it, until it happens to her. Unfortunately, it's going to happen to her. 

2013-06-20

It's Buttery Racism Y'all!!!!!! Paula Deen Messing Up


Oh Paula.  We wanted to believe in your buttery goodness, but alas, the butter made everything too salty.   Now we have the deposition, and it isn't looking good.   Paula and her brother were sued by a former manager who worked in their restaurant.  She accused them of being racist, and Paula's brother sexually harassing her.   She claimed that Paula wanted black servers at a wedding party, so they could be like slaves, told racist jokes, and used the n-word.   Her brother apparently wanted the employees at the restaurant to watch porn with him.

This is just a hot mess y'all!!! But are we surprised an old white southern woman is racist?   Nah.    I'm not surprised.  I'm not angry, but I am disappointed, because as this story surfaced, it was dismissed as fake.  It's like the accusation and barometer of racism has a burden of proof, and often times the person who is experiencing the racism has to be responsible for proving the acts of racism happened.

Now mind you this story first broke out on the National Enquirer.  We know this isn't a news organization well known for it's high standards, but once we started seeing this same story on multiple news sites, we should have thought that maybe the story was legitimate, but no, it was quickly dismissed as botched journalism or something done a satire site.   As one person online put it, "I get tired of folks always crying racism!".  I get tired of it too, but you know why I get tired of people crying about racism?  Because I'm tired of racism.   People in most cases wouldn't cry about racism, if racism didn't exist.

Why is it in our country, the burden of proof lies on the oppressed,be it women, minorities, etc?  Why are we good at trying to shame people into shutting up when injustices happen?   

2013-06-17

Finding Utopia



My husband and I have discussed over the last few years that we needed to move.  We've been in the same house for ten years. It's a great starter home, and it's ok, but we want to move to a different area.  We also feel living in republican land is probably not the best for a liberal, atheist, interracial couple with a biracial child.   We also have other issues. Like we need probably a little more space because my husband does work from home, and I'd like an actual game room for my daughter to put her toys instead of our house looking like a toys r us during Christmas every day. I'd also like a rear entry garage, as I think it just makes a house look better.   Now we have a budget, so we can't build our multi million dollar home where ever we'd like, but we have a decent budget and hope to get the house we really would want, and not something to settle for.  

Schools I find is one of the most important factors, but I find, my definition of a good school is different from most. I want and I NEED diversity for my daughter. I know all too well the experiences of being one of the only or few black kids in a school, and for the most part it was ok, but there were other factors, such as crazy teachers, students who ask dumb questions and say dumb things, and the feeling of isolation you get when you, yourself are already awkward and lonely to feel further isolated because there is one thing that people are always bringing up and aware of, your "otherness". I also find the wealth of the student body tends to be important to others.  It's not to me, as I've attended schools full of wealthy kids, and they are just as fucked up, as the poor kids.  They suffer from abuse, they have drug issues, they are psycho, just like the poor kids, they just have parents with more resources, time, and knowledge to correct the behavior.   I'm not saying putting my kid in a "poor school" is my ideal, but the average income of an area, is not going to make me think it's better just because the kid's parents make good money.  That to me doesn't make a better school, or one that has "poor kids" bad.  My husband went to Dallas schools and he's just fine.  Not saying put your kid in DISD, but your kid's success is not solely dependent on what the kid's parents have.  I also find, I live in Texas, we rank last in high school diplomas.  We spend less on our students than most other states.  We're also in the middle when it comes to the quality of education we get compared to other states.   What the essentially means is this, even if I put my kids in the best schools in Texas, more than likely their education isn't going to be all that great anyway.  Yeah that stings, but it's the truth.   It's one of the reasons why we're contemplating leaving the state.   There are a myriad of others, Rick Perry, religious nut jobs, gun toting crazies, rampant poverty and wage gaps, and tea party psychos. I'm just saying, we got some issues, and I'm sure most other states do too, but I want a state with different issues.  Maybe they are still debating medical marijuana, I'm ok with that.  

Religion. I'm not religious, and where I'm from it's not uncommon for someone to ask you what church you go to.  Our governor just signed some stupid ass "Merry Christmas" bill, which was a waste of time and money and to appease to the religious nutjobs. I'm not really all that cool with knowing we still have laws barring atheists from running for public office.   I need a place that is accepting of ALL religions, not just Christianity, and accepting of those who aren't religious at all, like my family.  

I need a place with political diversity.  The republican echo chamber is why I blame politics for being as insane as they are now.   I do not know how many times I've met republicans who put their kids in public schools, who take out government loans to pay for their college, proclaim "I just want to be taken care of by the government", even though I'm not being taken care of by the government.  It seems over the years the republican party has gone far right, and the moderates republicans are no longer moderate.  I need to be around republicans with some damn common sense.  I also need to be around some nice liberals and Democrats, and not all the think they are moderate Ayn Rand reading libertarians who live in some weird utopia of equality that doesn't exist.

It needs to be somewhat affordable, so California is out.   Well not all of California, just like any major metropolitan area.   We want to be able to live in our house, not be prisoners in it.  We want to go on vacations, do activities during the weekend, and you know, live life in the house we have.  

I'd like to have a house close to the park, just so my kid would have a nice place to play.

I'd like to avoid an HOA, because working for a company that managed HOA's I saw a lot of horror stories I'd rather avoid, not all HOA's are bad, but I don't think an HOA should be able to take your house and sell it because you don't pay your yearly dues.  That's just scary to me.  

A decent job market for when I go back to work would be nice, as well as ready access to higher education.  I think towns with colleges and universities tend to appeal to me because they do tend to have some diversity, as well as some culture, not guaranteed, but a nice idea, none the less.  

All in all, I have no idea with this utopia is, but if anyone knows, please let me know, and we'll consider it, as long is it is in the continental United States or Canada. 

2013-06-15

Why Cheerios Make People Mad


By now, a lot of people have seen this commercial.  Apparently, a lot of people are upset by this commercial. Why would they be upset about a commercial about cereal?   Because the family is multi-racial.   In 2013, people are upset about multiracial families?   But why? BECAUSE AMERICA ISN'T POST RACIAL.  

Multicultural families are nothing new.  It's been legal in all states to be inter-racially married since 1967.  Biracial kids were not created in 1967, and America has always had the evil miscegenation.  We've had laws dating back as far as the 17th century preventing miscegenation, when America was just a cluster of colonies.  So why are people still mad about it?    I'm guessing it's a few things.  

Black people are portrayed in television in a variety of ways, one of those ways is biracial.   Watch the Cosby Show, Family Matters, My Wife and Kids.  You'll see a trend, there are characters on this show who are portrayed as black, but really aren't, or if they are  black, they're light skinned.   This is done to "mainstream" "black shows".    It's done to make people more comfortable, similar to when house Negroes were typically mixed race or light skinned and were chosen because they were more "visually appealing" to their white masters than their darker counterparts who worked in the field, while getting darker working in the hot sun.  I don't think they used sun screen a lot. Of course, it could be because they were related to their white masters.  Regardless of why, lighter skinned people were particularly used to represent black people to appeal to white people.   It would also explain why I would run into white people who think I'm the darkest thing in the world.  Like Yaphet Khotto black.  So now we're actually explaining where all these light skinned black people came from, it makes people uncomfortable.

There is mass white hysteria about losing their "country" and becoming a "minority", and this commercial confirms it.   The media is at fault with this one.   I've seen more than a few news stories about whites becoming the minority.  It feeds into the complex of white, and then everything else being less and "other". Us blacks, asians, hispanics, etc. are being lumped into one big group in an Us (meaning blacks, hispanics, asians, etc.) vs. White (which just means white people).  White people are worthy of being singled out, while minorities aren't, we're just some faceless enemy to be concerned about, and we know those "others" aren't individual and are all working together in some plot to win a race war against white people.  White people still are the majority of Americans.  This has not changed for a long time.  However, they are shrinking from being a huge majority, and this makes people uncomfortable, too.  We also live in a world where there are people who seem truly upset at the concept of multiculturalism.

So it's 2013, and post racial America is still racist.  Surprised?  I'm not. 

Raising a Little Angry Black Woman

It's already starting.  My "black girl raised among white people" PTSD is surfacing with my daughter.   Now let me start with this, my daughter is three.  She is a normal three year old.  She loves to play, will give hugs and kisses freely, and sometimes can be the sweetest thing in all the world. She knows to say "please" and "thank you", she knows to say "sorry" when she sees she has upset someone, and she recognizes when people are upset, and will offer up a hug when she sees others in pain.  Other times she can NOT be the sweetest thing in the world. She's not good at sharing, sometimes she plays too rough, and she has some epic temper tantrums over the smallest of things.  She's human, and even though I think she's perfect, I know she's not, and she is going to have some growing pains, and it's going to my job as a parent to make sure she learns the golden rule, "Do unto others as they would do unto you."  I want my child to know empathy, I want her to share her toys, and I want her to be nice to everyone.  However, I do not want her to slink into being a scapegoat, and I don't want her normal three year old behavior to be interpreted as being overly aggressive or seen as a negative because of the color of her skin.   I also want to defend and protect her from such nonsense, as a black girl who grew up around white people can attest,  black girls who show confidence, tend to be viewed negatively, and are discouraged from doing what white kids have been allowed to do, and are praised for.

Growing up I was a good student, I made really good grades, I was a pretty outgoing student in kindergarten, but I was also sent to the principal's office more than a few times because I talked in class.  I also went to a 99% white Christian private school in Beaumont, TX, and there could be quite a few explanations as to why I was one of the best kids in math, and could read at a much higher grade level than kindergarten.  Thanks Hooked On Phonics!!!!!!! By high school though, I was still a good student, but in school I was very quiet, I didn't answer questions unless called upon, and I overall was just very anti student participation.   I didn't trust teachers, even though I had a mother for one, and nothing major happened it was just the little things.  It was the going to the principal's office for talking to much, it was getting the teacher in third grade who lost my in class quizzes which I made ALL one hundreds on, and giving me a zero.  It was the year I was put in remedial math because I had a seventy nine mid six week average.  The next year I was put back in the "normal classes", and by high school I had taken college level math, and tested out of most of the basic maths in college; because I HATE math with a red hot passion. I have no need for it outside of the basic stuff, except when I worked statistical data, which I like.  I like statistics, that makes me weird, and I embrace it.  I so digress, as per usual ::sigh::   Needless to say by high school my mantra was just not to talk period, as it never did any good, and the school and teachers were going to do what they wanted to do, no matter what I accomplished, and what I did.   It doesn't mean I didn't have some great teachers, I did, I had wonderful teachers who didn't see me as loud and disruptive for answering questions, but the handful that did I remember fondly, and I am a bit angrier I let them become the reason I didn't enjoy school more.

In the present I'm starting to see it rear it's ugly head.  It's going to get uglier as time progresses, even for my little biracial daughter.   I know it's post racial America, and everyone is all good, but it's 2013, and we still have people angry about a Cheerios commercial where there is an interracial couple, and a biracial child, actually being portrayed as a biracial child (that in and of itself is another post).   My child has been accused of biting, when I know she doesn't bite.  She never learned, because she was once bitten by a kid, and the few times she tried to do it, all she knew to do was put her lips against your skin.  She tried to bite me this way once, I had no idea what she was doing until the third or fourth time, and then even that sad, pathetic attempt at a bite was punished and corrected.   She was about a year and a half year old.   Sometimes she doesn't want to share with her friends, and that is expected, she's three, but sometimes it's her friends who don't want to share with her, and as my PTSD rises, my reaction is to just let the other kid have it, upsetting my own kid, which is my mistake, I should stand up for my kid, I shouldn't allow her to think I would never ever protect her, and that is something I need to work on, and it seems whenever another kid is excluded, it's due to my kid, who is always said to say other's can't play, but I've never seen it, and my PTSD then kicks in, and I wonder exactly what has really happened, as my kid has been excluded as well, but I just never bring it up, again my PTSD shining through, and that is me failing my kid.

I totally understand she is three years old, I understand she is going to have conflicts with other kids, and I know that more than likely they can and will work it out on their own, but I always worry, I don't want my kid being targeted, and I mostly don't want her to feel that she has the right to do what all the other kids do, without being labeled as a nuisance or troublemaker.     

2013-06-06

Michelle Obama The Angry Black Woman vs. Ellen Sturtz



So Tuesday night, Michelle Obama was giving a speech during a fundraiser and was interrupted by a heckler.   The heckler was Ellen Sturtz.  The issue Sturtz was concerned about was getting the President to sign an Executive Order on gay rights. Michelle Obama, responded by simply giving Sturtz an offer.  She could keep talking and discussing gay rights and Executive Orders, and Michelle would not speak anymore; or Sturtz could be quiet, and The First Lady would finish what she was saying.   She didn't curse Sturtz out.  Mrs. Obama did not call her names, she simply gave her a choice, as even she says, she wasn't good at that kind of thing.

Now I'm pro gay rights. I'm very pro freedom of speech and I defend and I applaud Ms. Sturtz for her stance and choice to protest.  However, I am a bit disturbed by Ms. Sturtz response to Ms. Obama's reaction to her protest:

"She came right down in my face," Sturtz told the Washington Post. "I was taken aback."

Ms. Sturtz seems to be surprised the FLOTUS responded to her. Wasn't that the intent of heckling?  She approached you, and explained how she felt about the situation, and that is "getting in your face" and you were the one "taken aback", and not the FLOTUS as she was giving a speech on children while you interrupted her to discuss another issue all together?

I'm "taken aback" in how the media has portrayed this situation.  That Ms. Obama was aggressive in her response.  You know, essentially being the "angry black woman".  We all know she shouldn't have said or done anything, after all, she's just the First Lady of the United States. What is the appropriate way to handle a heckler?  What could have Michelle Obama done differently?  I'm also curious as to why Ms. Sturtz wanted the FLOTUS to demand the POTUS sign an Executive Order.  Was it simply for the awareness?   Most likely, but let's be honest, Michelle isn't in Barack's office telling him what to do on a daily basis.   Not to mention Barack Obama is the first president who has openly supported gay rights and marriage equality, so why demand that he is to sign the Executive Order, in a long uphill battle that is likely to come? Ms. Sturtz seems to think her and Michelle were on equal footing.  They weren't.  Ms. Sturtz disrespected Mrs. Obama, and now she wants to cry foul because Ms. Obama didn't just sit there and take it.  Now Ms. Obama is the scary woman who "got in her face", instead of the First Lady of the United States who took a stand in how to respond to a heckler.  Michelle Obama was the one interrupted, she was the one disrespected, but it seems Ms. Sturtz has now become "the victim".

I shouldn't be surprised at the response of the media or Ellen Sturtz.  As a black woman, it's the quintessential stereotype.  You're angry and full of attitude, because that is just how us black women are.   I know I've talk to several other black woman who have been in similar situations.   No matter how the approach was in a situation where there is a difference of opinion, or if you are given a position of power, you will be the rude, aggressive black woman who's intent it is to make everyone's lives hell.

The problem is, that isn't always the case, and I think in many instances when the "angry black woman" stereotype surfaces, it is really code for "you need to sit down, shut up, and just take it like you used to".  Well the problem is no one has to sit and take it anymore.  We're still needed to be passive for some people, and they fail to realize being passive has never really benefited anyone trying to gain equality or gain respect.  I'm not saying black women are ball busters, we're just now on equal footing, and that makes some people uncomfortable, so even when we do the same things, they are perceived differently when someone else does it; and there is really nothing we can do to change the perception because it's a stereotype based upon outdated assumptions of woman and blacks in this country.  It's 2013, not 1913 we're equals, and just because we are equals, doesn't mean we need to apologize for people's outdated expectations.  So Michelle Obama can continue to handle business like she's always done, and it's the media and people like Ms. Sturtz who need to quit being "taken aback" anytime a black woman exercises her freedom to not want to be disrespected.


2013-06-04

Things Not To Say Or Do To Someone Who Has Experienced A Loss Of A Child/Stillbirth/Miscarriage

As many folks who used to read this blog know, I had a stillbirth back in 2009.  It was one of the most painful experiences of my life.   I have a condition called incompetent cervix, it basically means if I have a kid, my cervix cannot support the weight of a fetus when it gets to be, in my experience about a pound, I go into labor and ultimately lose the fetus.   Over the years I've had a kid, and I've joined a couple of groups dealing with loss via incompetent cervix, and I've made many nice virtual friends.

A lot of times, it seems like you are in a weird, crappy club, the subject sucks, but the people are really nice, and they understand you.  They understand your thought process, they understand we all react differently to the same experiences.  That being said, there are a few things "outsiders" say and do that irk me, and maybe if I list out these issues, I might educate a few people.

1.  People mourn differently for different circumstances.  I've had a miscarriage at eight weeks, and a still birth at twenty weeks.  The process is different.  I mourned my miscarriage, but I mourned more for my stillbirth. I had an attachment to the fetus I had at twenty weeks. I knew the sex of the baby, and the chances of survival had increased, so I was more comfortable with the idea of a baby.   I delivered a child.  I have pictures of that child.  I have a birth and death certificate for that child.   I have her footprints. It was for all intents and purposes a child to me.  It was way different for me than a miscarriage, so please don't treat it as such.  If I were to give birth to a child that had a chance at life, I'm sure my mourning would be more intense, and unbearable, and I'm not going to compare my miscarriage or stillbirth to your loss of your child that you got to nurture, love, and see for however long they lived.   It's not the same.

2. God does not need another angel. If God did, he could have selected a whole bunch of old people ready to die, my kid was not an angel, and you know my views on religion.   This idea is just insane to me, he'd rather take away a potential life than to take something that is tried and proven, like an old person? I don't know, again my atheism my be rubbed the wrong way when I see this stuff.

3.  Just because I have another kid that survived, does not mean I'll get over my other kid.   I love my daughter, she is wonderful, she is great, and I'm thankful for the fact she's here, but it doesn't mean I can't miss and love the child I didn't have.   She is not an alternate to my first child, and she isn't a make up kid or consolation prize.  I would love to have both my kids, not just the one that is here now.

4.  The child I lost was not a genetic mistake. No really, there was nothing genetically wrong with my child. Even if there was something wrong with her genetically, it wouldn't hurt any less to not have her.   Yes I know many times miscarriages and stillbirths and the like do result in genetic abnormalities, but in the case of incompetent cervix, this isn't the case, and it's my cervix, not my child who was flawed.

5.  If you want to know the details of my loss, be kind enough to really want to know and not cringe as I explain to you, yes I gave actual birth to "it".   You want to know, great, I'm happy to share, not everyone is, but I'll share, but don't cringe in pain as if it was a horrible thing to deliver a child. It wasn't.  What's horrible is the lost potential of that child.  The lost experiences I'll never have for that child.

6. My child was not an "it".   She was a baby, and I'll continue to treat her as such, because she was mine.

7.  My loss is not a political discussion on abortion. My experience is not a parable or proof that a fetus is a baby.   It is my experience of loss, and for some other people, it might not be the same thing to them.  There might be circumstances in their life in which this type of experience is not a great loss, and I'm not going to judge someone for that.  My experience is mine alone, that others have their experiences and can mourn or not mourn anyway they like.

8.  Sometimes there is nothing you can say that will make things better.  It's not possible, there are no words that can perfectly convey what a person is going through, even if you are truly and really sorry.  It's not your fault, and it's not your job to fix a person's mourning.   Even though there are no words to make things better, know that if you are there trying to comfort someone in their time of need, they know that and appreciate it, they just might not be able to express those sentiments at that time, and it isn't a slight against you if you're met with silence or a glaring look.   It's the pain they are dealing with,and that pain runs very deep in my experience.

9. If the person who is mourning is acting weird, or you don't understand their motives or emotions, don't be offended or criticize them. As long as their behavior isn't harming them or others, it should be ok.   When I became pregnant three months after my loss, I probably wasn't the most logical person.  People didn't understand why I didn't share my pregnancy until six months in.  They didn't understand why I didn't want a baby shower or gifts.  The reason was, and again I wasn't logical, was I didn't want to get attached to the child I was carrying.  I knew there would be some attachment, but my fears and experiences with pregnancy kept me from wanting to celebrate my child until the child arrived safely in my arms.  I didn't want to be disappointed again, and no I didn't share that with everyone at the time, but it's because I didn't think people would understand, and they probably still don't, and that's ok.

10. You never ever get over loss.  I still to this day cry and mourn my child.  I'm ok with that.   I'm still living life, taking care of my family that is still here, and I still love the child I lost.  I'm not going to get over it.  Yeah  I handle my mourning a bit better now than I did when the pain was still raw and new, but it's still there, and I don't think it will ever go away, yes, even with having a living child.  It isn't an all consuming mourning, and if you're someone who has recently dealt with loss, I'm not going to lie to you and say "It gets better".  It doesn't get better, it just gets more bearable to deal with.   You don't cry everyday.  It won't be on your mind ALL of the time, but it will always be there. It will hit you at the weirdest of times, and you'll feel sad, and you might even cry, but then those moments go away, and you go on with life.

I'm sure there are other things I could add to the list, but these are the big ones in my experience.  I posted this as a result of a friend who is going through a very difficult time dealing with her loss.  She is angry, she is mad, and unfortunately in the internet age, people are seeing her grief, and many people aren't reacting in the most productive way to her pain and suffering.   It does take understanding and it does take patience, just let the person manage the best way they know how.

2013-04-27

See These Folks? They are the folks I strive to protect my daughter from.


See these men smiling at your screen. They look so friendly.  They look like they want to spread the good word. They are the upstanding members of their community.  After all, they're the head of their church, Appleby Baptist Church in Nacogdoches, TX   They spread all kinds of things.   They spread hate and misogyny. I read this article, and I know most will dismiss it as some left leaning dribble attacking all things right in this country, mostly white people, god, and the Bible.  I make no delusion that these people are already probably people I wouldn't agree with, even if they weren't racist and misogynistic   I'm an atheist.  I made the mistake of going to their site, and yes these men are racist, support racist views, and have a congregation full of racists.   They have "articles" on their site explaining their stances on certain things.   

Their article,  "Interracial Marriages in Light of the Scripture", is everything that ever made me question the church.   At it's best, this "article" is ignorant; at worst, it's downright hateful.  


I thought a whore was a person who exchanged sex for money.  Maybe, I was wrong.  Having sex does not make one a whore.  Whores are people who pass up collection plates, in exchange for their salvation, and the people who are instructing them to do so are pimps.   So if we want to talk whores....we need to look at the church.   OK maybe I'm harsh, and the church isn't a bunch of whores, but there certainly are people there with venal traits.  

You're also an adulterer if you divorce and have the audacity to remarry.  My grandmother was an adulterer.  How dare she get married, leave her abusive husband, and find love in a man who helped raise her sons, and then became my grandfather.  There are a whole bunch of Christian adulterers in this world as well.   

We also know that there are three distinct races because God wanted it that way.


So all three races came from one person.  How did that happen without race mixing?   Also if all black people are cursed and their punishment was servitude, how can they repent?  Why are black people being punished for something someone did six thousand years ago?  These same people would be the first to bitch and moan about black people talking about slavery and segregation, and how they are not responsible of the sins of their parents and grandparents over forty years ago.  Their logic is, I must be punished for something that happened SIX THOUSAND years ago, but I can't be mad about some ignorant shit that happened FORTY years ago?  Yeah.  That's a logic fail folks, and for the record, the world is older than six thousand years old, and people did not ride on the backs of dinosaurs.   Seriously.   Their science is flawed, to be Jewish is a religion, not a race.   Race from a scientific standpoint does not exist.  



Did you know my marriage is based upon lust and is a tool of Satan?  Rock on!!!!! I feel all devil worship like. Lust is color blind, and god knows after 14 years together, the relationship is purely based upon sex and has no other redeeming qualities.   I can't wait until we're 70 and the lust is still going strong.  Saggy boobs and balls, are straight up HAWT.   

God is a divider not a uniter.   God in their eyes is like Hitler.   Also in this same article as they discuss why race mixing is wrong, these folks mention that God gives permission to marry a "captive", so really you can marry a slave, and since slaves are in these folks mind, black, it's perfectly fine.   Again, logic fail.   Their own Bible is full of contradictions.  

Also to note about thouroughbreads and dog breeds. Most dog breeds were created by man using selective breeding.  God didn't make Doberman Pinschers.  Karl Friedrich Louis Doberman did.  



At least they admit God is a divider.   God seems like an asshole in Genesis and Deuteronomy.   I wonder how many of these folks are at the local fish fry on the weekends eating shrimp and crawfish?   I bet you they all don't follow the Bible as closely as they think, and these people here like to use to the King James Version. That Bible was made in the 1600s and named after a man who did witch hunts and apparently liked both men and women.  

If you find this stuff not so racist and need further help to prove their racism, we have "Baptist Preachers and Nigger Jokes."  I'm not making this up.


We don't all run around using the n word, but that's not really the point. I also like the loving Christian way in which he says "I am not going to avoid the Scriptures in order to have a NEGRO IN OUR CONGREGATION"

God forbid negroes come to your church, like they really want to.  

These people and their church are absolutely lovely.  Their views on women have warmed my heart as well. As a woman you can't preach, and you better dress modestly, so don't accessorize, God doesn't like it.   



I joke about these people, and I find them ignorant, but I also find them scary.  These people vote.  These people really believe this nonsense.  These are the types that are pushing creationism in school, these are the people trying to feign concern about my child being biracial, but really it's just their hatred of the fact that my husband and I don't subscribe to their hypocritical nonsense.   These are the people are who are going to make life hard for my daughter, so these people are the ones I'm not going to tolerate.  In the past, I tolerated them because I didn't know any better, when folks like these approached me, and they did, they did do one thing that probably scares them, they made me think, they made me question the Bible  and question religion, and for that I'm thankful, but I know not everyone does that, and that is what makes me sad about all of this nonsense.  

If you want to read more about what these people have to offer in logic and flat out wrong science, here is a link to their articles.  

2013-04-08

Oh Suzy, I'm So Sorry You Suffer Because of Diversity


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The internet is abuzz about little Suzy Lee Weiss and her oped piece in the Wall Street Journal.  To sum it up poor Suzy is upset that she didn't get into the colleges of her choice, and it's all because of that ugly diversity.    I'm sorry that diversity offends Suzy.  I'm sorry that a spoiled over privileged white child didn't get what she wanted, and as a result of her oppression was able to broadcast her frustration in a satire released on a national platform.

I'm sorry you look at diversity and fail to ignore legacy. Maybe your parents should have been rich so that they could buy your entrance to Yale or Harvard.  Maybe they should have went to these schools themselves and donated a whole bunch of money.   It's not my fault they didn't do that.  I'm so sorry that snazzy prep school you went to had a piss poor guidance counselor who informed you to "just be yourself".  As someone who is "diverse", being a black female, I was never told that.  Instead I was told that as a black person and a woman  had two strikes against me, and I had to study harder and longer, just to get the scraps of your entitled upbringing.  My parents didn't buy my way into college either.  I instead just studied hard, and worked full time, and went to a ::gasp:: STATE SCHOOL.  I know it's so hard to struggle to be a white woman in America, not only do you get access to using white privilege, you also get protection under the law with Title VII.  Poor Suzy.   I'm so sorry your uncomplicated life now has a speed bump.

So Suzy, your article was just satire.  It was satire insensitive to anything other than your selfish, entitled life. It was rude, it was immature, and again the fact it was published in the Wall Street Journal tells me exactly how hard life will be for you, as it's obvious, even with your little oppressed self, your family had connections to someone who could give you a national platform to piss and moan about how hard life is.  It tells me that your socioeconomic level and sheltered life has inhibited your ability to show empathy for a poor kid who didn't get all the opportunities you had, and probably won't ever get into community college, no matter how smart they are.

You can suck it, Suzy Lee.



2013-04-04

Beating The Hell Out Of Your Children Does Not Make You A Good Parent




This week, I came across this video. The scenario is that this man is “disciplining” his daughters because they were caught making a “twerking”. He is beating them with a cable wire.  He is causing welts and open wounds.   It should be considered abuse, but instead it’s being celebrated.  A slave mentality is way too prevalent in our culture, in particular black culture.

I see people celebrating this man as a good father.   People comparing this beating to the spankings and/or whoopings of their past.   They are looking at him as a hero, as a person helping us “fix” the black community and the black youth.   The only obvious next step for these children is prostitution, and this beating will prevent them from running the streets.  


I call bullshit.  This man is physically and verbally abusing his kids.  He is calling them motherfuckers.  Who calls their kid a motherfucker? He is swinging uncontrolled, and he is spanking out of anger and frustration.   We all know that even if you do spank, you are supposed to do it when you aren't mad and have calmed down.  

Let me preface this by letting you all know I was spanked.  I was spanked with belts, with switches, and at times with electrical cords.  I was all pro corporal punishment. Every year when the school sent the form to my parents asking permission for me to get spanked in school, my parents dutifully checked “yes” and signed.   Do I think I was abused? No.  Was I actually abused?  That’s questionable.  Am I mad at my parents?  No, they did what they knew, and I know that they didn’t feel they were abusing me and wouldn’t purposely harm me.   Is this what I plan to do my child?  No.  As Maya Angelou said, “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”  I discipline my child in other ways.  I don’t have to scream or yell.  Sitting her in a chair and saying sit still for three minutes makes her feel as if she is  being tortured.   She’s three, it works, and she learns.  I’ll continue to do it until it stops working, and then I’ll go to something else.   To be honest, I can only remember about one or two things that caused me to get spanked, the rest is I guess only going to come out in the form of repressed memories in my future therapy visit.  


Now for all of those celebrating that this is what the black community needs to save our youth, I ask you this:  If you saw a man beating the hell out of his wife with a cable in the street, would you find this acceptable?  If he was doing it to another man, would this be ok?   I’m pretty much figuring your answer is no.   Here are the facts, the black community should have been straightened out a long time ago.   Per this article, studies indicate 89% of African Americans use some type of physical punishment as discipline.   It isn’t all the 11% causing the problems that plague our community.  Black people have been using corporal punishment forever, a spanking is not why your kid finishes college.  It isn’t why your kid gets good grades.  Parenting does not begin and end with spankings.   If you feel the only way to discipline your child is to spank them, then things gotta change, and a parenting class is in order.   

For those concerned about a positive black male being taken away from his children, what exactly is positive about an abuser?  He abused them, all he taught them was a man can beat the hell out of them when they do something they don't like   Domestic violence isn't positive.  No man in the home is better than a man who is going to beat the hell out of them and call them motherfucker.  

We need to look at why we think violence is the only way to “fix” our kids.  Let’s face it, if your kid is doing a twerk video, the discipline should have occurred before that even happened. That means there was a disconnect between you and your kid to begin with. If they are sneaking out, again that is a failure to communicate with your child effectively.   If your child is in the principal's office, there were already issues.  

Violence was how a slave master “corrected” his slave, why do you want the same for your kids?   I want better than what I had for my kids.  Just because I was spanked, doesn't mean that it’s what is best for my kid.  Heck, it might not be what’s best for most kids.  Studies indicate that corporal punishment does not fix or make children compliant.  There is no proof that corporal punishment is an effective means of long term behavior modification in children.  

I don’t want to be my child’s friend, but I also don’t want them to fear me either.  I want to be respected, and respect is earned, even for us parents.   

2013-03-17

So the verdict from the Steubenville trial has come in.   The two kids are found guilty.   Was justice served?  No.  Am I happy these boys are going to jail?  No.   Why should I be happy that these young men are going to jail?    They are victims too.   Yeah I said it.  This is why is say it:

We live in a rape culture.  We live in the age of social media. Those boys, no matter how depraved their actions were, thought they didn't do anything wrong.  They didn't "penetrate" her, they put a finger in.  They took off her clothes.  She was drunk.   In their minds this is ok, because in society's mind, the first thing they think is "Why was she out late at night, getting so drunk?".  How else could they act if that is the prevailing mindset?  

Until we teach our children, both boys and girls, that rape is not the fault of the victim, this type of thing will continue ALL over the world, every single day.   I know people are still thinking that it's absurd that Zerlina Maxwell feels that instead of telling women how to dress or act in public, we should focus on teaching boys not to rape.  If they don't understand that rape isn't always some man in the dark alley jumping out and forcing himself on an unsuspecting woman, how do they know?   We put everything else in "shades of grey", why not rape?    

I also found it insane the amount of people granted "immunity".  They witnessed this violation of this girl and did nothing.  Nothing at all.  Why are they not going to jail?  Who served all these underage kids alcohol? Why are they not being charged with a crime?   There were several factors here that play into the mentality of why these boys thought what they did was ok, and we aren't all looking at those, we are instead celebrating that two lives are now ruined, as there names have been released and they will forever be known as "rapists".  That brings me to my next point, social media.

These kids didn't actually film the assault. There is no actual tape, only someone saying they recorded it with their phone and deleted it.  They bragged about it and posted their "brags" online.  They also took pictures of her naked and posted those up. Lots of kids (not just the accused) made some awful tweets.  People talked about it while it was happening and did nothing. Reading the story in and of itself is horrible, but now we have documentation of it, and now we have facebook and the internet to play judge, jury, and executioner.  Could these boys have a "fair" trial if everyone and their mother is seeing the evidence and not hearing all the facts?   I've been on facebook all morning and I have seen not one, but several people indicate that these boys recorded the actual assault and this rape was an open and shut case.    They didn't, they did however discuss it, sent texts about it, and put up a video about their exploits online.   This was stupid.   However, the influence of social media has replaced the mantra of "innocent until proven guilty", what if the defense was able to prove their idea, that the victim posed for the pictures, but yet there is now major outside influence that believes differently.  Does they judge even have a choice in how he rules for fear of retribution?  Will anonymous hack the judge's files and expose them to the public?  Will we ever go back to the mantra of "innocent before proven guilty" or does media get to dictate all of our fates in a courtroom?

Another thing I want to discuss is our prison culture.  I've seen more than one person say they hoped these boys get raped in jail.   How does that alleviate the current rape culture we have now? How does it fix it?   How does keeping them in prison until they die make for great justice, when in fact that are a victim of our rape culture as well?   If putting them behind bars and ruining their lives by not only releasing their names to the public, but not granting them forgiveness, is why we have the recidivism rate we have now.   They are now labeled sex offenders. This will influence where they live and their ability to work for the rest of their lives.  A simple google search of their names during a routine background check will ruin them. Something they did at 16 or 17 will affect their lives at 44.  How can I be happy about that?   

For some reason, it's been assumed that if you have any type of empathy for the wasted futures of these two boys, you have no empathy for the victim. I have more empathy for the victim than I ever could for these two boys, but I understand that their families are suffering too, it makes sense their family is crying and is sad that their child is going to jail and to think they wouldn't cry to me is amazing.  That these kids just got hit with reality, and it's ugly, and it's that their futures are gone.