Monday, June 30, 2008

Letter to Bubba!

Dear President Clinton:

Thank you for FINALLY talking to Sen. Barack Obama. I mean in this technology advanced days, phone tags happen for three weeks between both of you. There have been speculations you were ticked off about the loss of your wife's campaign, that's understandable since you haven't loss any campaign run since 1980 - that's about three decades. Wow! That's an accomplishment within itself. So I could only imagine the disappoinment, no, despair of your wife's loss for another stay at the White House. It must be really sad your "two for the price of one" prophecy in your first run as President didn't come to pass.

But that's life; you can't always get what you want. It seems another person might be getting that chance but rumors have circulated you will not support him, or enthusiastically support him because of his campaigns painting you as a racist, thereby tainting your legacy. That is such bull. Nobody will ever deem you a racist, we know you will try anything to win but you Sir, are no racist.

We in the black community will always have a special place in our hearts for you. Until that "fairytale" comment in South Carolina, most of us were actually supporting your wife. Even afterwards, we understand you have to help your wife win. That is the RIGHT thing to do.

But the downside is that she was your wife and you were the former President of the United States. That's why there were so many raw emotions from you that left many of us confounded. But in hindsight, we understand. This is one of the reasons, a surgeon never operates on his family - too much history, he'll get on everybody's nerves working on the person and he might hurt the family member in the process. Hmm, that actually happened in this Presidential race.

But I digress. What I really want to say is that you are needed in this historic campaign. Obama said so himself. He saw what happened to Al Gore in 2000 when he refused your help to campaign - he thought folks were still worried about "Monica-gate." You are a brilliant politician. There's a reason you're the only Democrat to win two-terms as President in 40 years. And don't you think, the man saw as "the first black President" philosophically has to help and campaign as hard for the "first black President" practically?

You releasing a tepid 27-word statement last week when the likes of your oratory skills haven't been seen in a generation just didn't look good. Your legacy hasn't been tainted just because we saw a different side of you during the Primaries but it sure will if you choose to do nothing in getting Obama the win.

Letter to Michael Beasley

"With the number 2 pick, The Miami Heat selects Michael Beasley." And with those words from the NBA's Commissioner's lips, the whole America Airlines Arena (AAA) and all of South Florida reverberated with joy about the pick. I've had a few days to watch his introduction on the local news and spar off some comments about the selection with one of my basketball buddies family members and here's my thoughts to Michael Beasley:

Welcome to Miami Heat! Welcome to Miami and sunny South Florida! It's nice huh! Long way from Kansas - hope you make this locale a home away from home. Not since a certain "flash" of draft five years ago, have I seen this much buzz about a player. After the despair of a season we just had, there's a sign of life that South Florida is about to turn a corner for the better and perhaps the best as it once was two years ago.

Let me tell you something Michael you may not have heard about South Florida fans: WE LOVE WINNING! This is not a cliche. You may think all sports fans love to win but it goes to another level here. You win, we fill up the stands every night, you start to lose (continually), this is not Kansas, there are many attractions in town to take our minds off our team's demise.

Speaking of attractions, you've heard of South Beach right? Stay away from there! Oh, you did the usual PR move how your head is in the right place, you're here to play some ball not for the night life, blah blah blah. Oh how innocent are you! All 19 years old of you about to be given more money than you've ever dreamed of and South Beach would not tempt you. Awww - how dumb of you! This is a place that brings even grown men to their knees.

Do you know how many mug shots Miami has been responsible for with athletes? NFL, NHL, MLB and your league, NBA - too many to count. But let's concentrate on your league shall we: Gilbert Arenas, Robert Hite (since then gone to the D-league), James Posey, and recently, last week, Rasual Butler to name a few. They are all older than you.

So it's better to know the devices of the enemy than be so over confident. I'm not saying you shouldn't have a life (ok , I would love for you not to have too much of a night life) but be VERY CAUTIOUS. You're going to see all kinds of women (and those who just became women) that would blow your mind in scantily-clad outfits that is just this short of being illegal, it's a culture shock to many and you are not exempt with your dreamy eyes from Kansas. You will be wise to take heed.

Let me give you a tip about being careful, find a mentor. You've got a hometown boy in Udonis Haslem on your team, he's managed to keep his head above water. But that's the thing about people who have lived here for a period of time, they are not suscepible to South Beach's wiles, some of us don't know what the fuss is about until you get folks out of town who can't control themselves. But I digress. Get a mentor!

Like I said before, we like to win! Your PR has been talking about you coming from a tradition of winning (very good), so CONTINUE SUCH TRADITION! Because right now, the championship season looked like eons ago to us even though it was just two years ago. Spend your butt at the gym, have a great attitude with your teammates. That's another thing, you hardly hear of Miami Heat's teammates at odds with each other. We are not the Lakers, we don't care for such drama. Unless it's against one of our biggest rivalries, i.e. Knicks or the Pistons. With all that being said, happy to have you and welcome to Miami!

Tags: NBA Draft, Michael Beasley, Rasual Butler, South Beach, Miami Heat

Friday, June 27, 2008

Obama and Clinton in Unity

Awww, isn't that special? Two former rivals all color-coordinating, the winner kissing his closest contender on the cheek and chatting on the plane. Am I being punk'd? Ok, I loved the script - well played.

Both parties had to do this. I thought Clinton was more herself than ever before. Sure she had to prepare her speech; the "hearts," "united" words were directed to her base (women). And Obama was extremely gracious to her and acknowledged the hard-fought campaign they had; that in my opinion, toughened him up as a candidate.

Obama has a long way to go with some women but I thought his speech was a beautiful introduction to who he is as a father to two young girls, his fight for them to take for granted women will make just the same amount as the guys for the exact same work, and how his contender handled bias (about her gender) with grace.

So does this little place called "unity" bring the momentum the Democrats need to win the white house for the fourth time in 40 years? Not so fast, but I think it's a good start.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Hip-Hop Vs. America - Vol II

So while channel-surfing last night I caught a revised programming version of Hip-hop vs. America by BET. Again, I felt it (just like the first one), was all talk no action from a network that have gone so far from its early mission of uplift of its core audience - blacks.

Here's my first beef: Why is it black folks have to shout over each other to make a point? We are not deaf people! The shouting must have taken a good ten minutes off the one hour program not to talk of the incessant commercials. So that left maybe a 30 minute time for real talk. Culprits of this noise: Rapper David Banner, Princeton Professor Mellisa Harris-Lacewell and the Rev. Eugene River - the last two were going after each other. I almost felt like they should get a room.

Second beef: Nobody wants to take responsibility for their actions. The rappers (i.e David Banner) says black people won't support thought-provoking lyrics instead of gangsta lyrics. To which Lola Ogunnaike (I wish the dread-locked hair host could pronounce the last name right but he did a pretty good job) said she has been in many interview meetings where producers have insisted the number of b-words, H-words (Ebonic form of "whore") and N-words were not enough. So my question is why are they doing this the second time since no correlating action will be derived?

Third beef: Stage craft! How in the world would you have six people on the stage and only three people get to talk? There sat San Francisco's DA (and strong Obama supporter) Kamala Harris with only a couple of minutes (if that much) talk time while two folks kept bickering. Then two people are left with nothing to be said.

Fourth beef: Let Women Speak! Hel-lo, this program was sub-titled "where did the love go?" It was about the misogyny in the rap lyrics and videos where women were often used as props rather than intelligent individuals. So why did the rappers keep interrupting any woman who wanted to make a point. A black British author had to keep asking "can I finish my sentence?" There I saw the rappers may deny all they want but their actions speak louder than words on their notion that women should be seen not heard.

That's it for now . . . hopefully, I'll see another installment of this "quality" programming and give my take.

Tags: BET, Hip-hop, Women

Tavis Signs Off

Twelve years has come and gone so fast and that tells me how long I’ve been listening to the Tom Joyner Morning Show. The crew provided humor with substance and made my commute to and at work easier. The substance for some part came from Tavis Smiley with his Tuesday and Thursday commentary each week. No matter what you thought of Tavis, he always made you think.

I thought some of his unbiased commentary brought him ire from the blacks he loved when he took Barack Obama to task early this year. I still have an inkling such ire had a minute part to do with his decision to leave TJMS regardless of his public statement. But the day is here and marks his last day with the TJMS crew.

I would like to say to Tavis, thanks for the memories. Thanks for raising our level of conversations. Thanks for making Washington and other state level of government accountable to her people especially to Black America. Thanks for saying to them “when you make Black America better, you make all America better.” But also thanks, for not making Black America resort to playing the victim when their actions caused their plight.

Tags: Tavis Smiley, Tom Joyner Morning Show

Nader: Obama trying to "talk white"

Party pooper alert! Party pooper alert! Ralph Nader is in the house stinking up the whole joint. OMG! How does an irrelevant Presidential candidate get the much-needed attention he craves? By perpetuating a stereotype about the most popular candidate in the race. So score for Nader since the Media insatiable appetite literally ate it up by giving him major airtime for the crappy statement.

In the process, Nader manages to bring up a cultural angst of educated people of color feelings of betrayal of race by just speaking proper English. Or he tried to bring up the subject of poverty in the ghettos and predatory lending schemes but does Nader think poverty only affect the ghettos? Checked out the trailer parks lately?

I’m glad Obama didn’t make such fuss about Nader’s remarks; like my aforementioned statement and Obama’s reiteration, Nader just wants some attention.

Tags: Ralph Nader, Talking White

Dr. Carson Gets Medal of Freedom

It’s about time! Dr. Benjamin Carson gets the Medal of Freedom award. For me, this is such a great achievement for a man whose groundbreaking books, "Gifted Hands" and "Think Big" were decrying our society’s glory of success was relegated to athletes and entertainers. So the man who started out as an average D student with a knack for getting in trouble, raised by an illiterate mother who stressed education ended up being a world renowned surgeon and gets a Freedom award from his country.

I’m glad I started a new category (Kudos) on my blog featuring great achievements with this remarkable man who in his own way made a contribution in my life through his books. Thanks Dr. Carson for letting me know education matters and a desire for knowledge doesn’t make me less cool but smart.

Tags: Benjamin Carson, Medal of Freedom

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Shaq Takes Shot At Kobe

I guess the feud is alive and well regardless of what both parties said. The two parties here are Shaq and Kobe. I chose not to say anything about Shaq since his last ill-advised and classless rant he made against his former Miami Heat teammates last March and anyone who knows me, knows I don’t care for Kobe as a person. Why my change of heart to blog about these two knuckleheads? I’m a basketball fan and no matter how I try to avoid it, these two will come up in a conversation sooner or later.

So the conversation on all sports media is about Shaq’s latest “freestyle” rap against Kobe for not winning the championship among other things. First, let me admit, the video was hilarious! It was great to burst out in laughter at the end of the day while watching the video on TV. For a split second, I missed Shaq’s weekly or bi-weekly antics on the local news.

Second, let me get back to my serious side and ask what was Shaq thinking? Seriously! In this age of camera phones and YouTube not to talk of Shaq’s gigantic celebrity status, Shaq must have known that a “freestyle” he did in a New York City nightclub against a nemesis of his will be media gold in an hour or latest, the next morning. And who was Shaq fooling saying the rap was all in fun? Really Shaq? Not only has this rap cost you your Deputy Sheriff badge for its profanity but also, it might (no, it will) get you some fines from David Stern (I’ve always felt his last name was apt as a Commissioner).

Third, Shaq is too old for this “stuff.” (Fill in the blanks of what I really want to write) He’s 36 years old and when you become a man, you should put away childish things. Psst Shaq, people were already rooting for you when Kobe didn’t win the championship last week; they felt you still got one more ring apart from him. You should have left it at that and grin on the inside. Stepping in front of the mic to diss Kobe after your public reconciliation was childish (though I still give it up to you for being funny).

Finally, in your rap you said Kobe caused your divorce. Ok Shaq, TIMEOUT! Yes Kobe was wrong (and a punk) for throwing you under the bus after his alleged rape charge but let’s be honest his accusation wasn’t without merit. Besides, you were still with your soon to be ex-wife five years afterwards; so why now would you say he caused your divorce? Hmm, can you look at yourself in the mirror and say your philandering ways on South Beach had nothing to do with the demise of your marriage?

Tags: Shaq, Kobe, Shaq's Rap

Don Imus - Par Dieux?

Here we go again! The cowboy hat wearing curmudgeon found a way to make news after laying low for over a year. Of course I’m talking about Don Imus, who made news yesterday on his comments regarding Dallas Cowboys player Adam “Pacman” Jones. I chose not to write anything about this news until I heard from both sides. Also, I’m NO Al Sharpton; I like to hear more than a snippet of a perceived prejudice before crying “INJUSTICE!”

Now 24 hours after my first listen to another Imus controversy, I’m ready to state my case: First of all, I can’t believe I have to try to make a case for either Don Imus or Pacman; both are NOT martyrs. The former has a stereotypical racist bent way before the “nappy headed ho” comment last year and the latter; for lack of a better word is an idiot. I would not want to be a defense lawyer for either of these two because their reputations precede them.

Second, Imus is either incredibly smart to try to get some buzz for his new radio show by making a hot-button comment on race or incredibly stupid to revisit the same subject that nearly wrapped up his almost 40-year career last year. I think he’s a little bit of both.

Third, if Imus’ producer is talking about an NFL player being arrested six times, why does Imus need to ask, “what color is he?” Why did Imus need to know the color of his skin? Is he retarded or just forgot the percentage of blacks in the NFL; hel-lo this is not the 1950s and 1960s NFL, about 70 percent of NFL players are black. Why would he want to even touch that subject with a ten-foot pole?

Fourth, why would Imus wait 24 hours before coming back on what he meant by the statement “there you go, now we know” after the producer told him the color of the NFL player? Even if they had to go on a commercial break, the producer needed to remind him to clarify his “there you go” comment after they got back from the break. And he hired black people on his show after the whole Rutgers fiasco? Explain that to me; that no black person on his crew checked him about that comment before he faced another Al Sharpton’s camera.

Finally, with all the aforementioned scenarios, I find it difficult to say Imus is completely innocent but I choose to give him the benefit of the doubt only because he tried to explain himself today that he was trying to show the disparity in arrests among blacks and others (cool save, but there’s still a bit of smoke here).

Obviously, he had no clue about Pacman Jones – the guy deserved ALL his arrests. At a certain time up till last year, he was a nuisance off the field that rivaled his talent on the field. For only that reason, Imus' ignorance of the subject, I choose to dismiss this case (regardless of past precedents) for insufficient evidence.

Tags: Don Imus, Adam Jones, Pacman Jones, NFL, Race

Monday, June 23, 2008

GYM Etiquette

One of the reasons of having a blog is getting things off my chest and one thing that is nagging me for a couple of days is manners (or lack thereof) at the gym. So as a public service I'm begging folks especially guys to learn some etiquette in a place that is supposed to be a sanctuary of sorts to work out my issues.

See, I didn't say anything about my body - that's the end result of time spent in the gym but most times I'm running things out in my mind for the day I'm about to have or at the end of the day forthe I've had so far. And some rare occasion, the gym is an escape for the type of day or week I've had. So is too much to ask folks not to give me a neck and eye rolling moment for what I just saw, smelt or felt?

So what prompted this blog posting? My workout at the gym this weekend. Let me list a few of the gym sins (of don'ts) I experienced in less than two hours this past Saturday:

Don't Be A Grisly Adams - Repeat after me guys: I WILL TAME MY HAIR FOLLICLES OR STAY COMPLETELY COVERED. OMG! How in the world in the hot South Florida can a guy wear tank top and some thigh shorts and be a Caveman or the aforementioned Grisly Adams. Please don't be an eyesore.

Here I was working out on the crosstrainer and trying to pass the goal of one hour on this equipment by reading a magazine when Grisly Adams walked by in front of me. Of course my concentration was broken. My eyes followed this guy hairy back all exposed in the flimsy body-builder type tank top and the major hair all exposed from his thighs with his shorts and I started imagining how sweat could get trapped in such in follicles. EEEWWW!

Don't Show Me What You're Packing - Ok Guys, New Rules: Unless you're Lance Armstrong, DON'T WEAR BIKER SHORTS. Seriously! And the thing with these biker shorts wearing guys in the gym, they don't really work out - they parade back and forth in the gym like a peacock. I don't care what you're working with, leave me be and in the process respect me (and the other gym rats) and wear board shorts like most guys.

Don't Undress Me With Your Eyes - Unless you're drop dead gorgeous with major sex appeal, don't gawk at me. Revise that last sentence, if you were drop dead gorgeous guy with major sex appeal, you won't need to gawk - just glance. That's the thing with guys (most of them), they have NO clue about the act of the look. You gotta slap them upside the head to get them into the present when a fine woman walks into a room.

Let me help you guys: There is a fine line between gawking and glancing. And ladies are experts on the act of glancing. When an attractive guy walks in the room, trust me, we (ladies) have noticed him in a few seconds without directing our gaze to his direction. Let's say the guy is on the east of the room, and we are on the west in a circle talking, we can tell you what shoes he's wearing, which can tell us a lot of things about him. Also, we've noticed some unique features like his ass-ets while still going on with the conversation with our present company.

So guys, find a lady to help you with the act of the look because it could be difference in being seen as a pervert or a subject of interest.

Tag: Gym Etiquette

Friday, June 20, 2008

Recap For The Week

TGIF! So here's where I catch up on the week's news and my musings of how I see the situation . . . let's go for the rundown.

Newsweek FINALLY apologizes for an over 20-year article. According to Newsweek in 1986, an over 40-year old woman is more likely to get killed by a terrorist than to get married. So I got wind of this story two years ago during its 20 year anniversary. I could only imagine the uproar which it deservedly got. Well this week, Newsweek apologizes since they obviously found out that something must be true of that adage: life begins at 40. Why can't marriage? If you so choose to wait till that time. My view on this newstory: too little too late. And I'm not sure about you, an apology after 20 years just doesn't seem as contrite.

Cindy McCain is driving me nuts: I have no idea how candidates for Presidents make less news than their wives but such was the case this week. The buzz over Michelle Obama's "View" and the killjoy of McCain who can't let an almost five months ago story. Why does she have to keep bringing the "pride" of her country every chance she gets as a dig towards Michelle?

Speaking of Cindy McCain, no one seems to be mentioning her twice faux-pas with recipes - Hey Cindy! Stop plagiarizing recipes.

Obama's workers snub two Muslim women: Bummer! Speed bump on the road to Barack! Here's the deal Barack: I know you've been denouncing of not being muslim but your campaign is based on unity among all people. So why don't you relay that message to your whole staff and volunteers. So what folks see your picture with two muslim women? You're supposed to be President of the whole United States. And let somebody say something about the picture - their prejudism will show not yours.

Obama rejects public financing: Another bummer! But I get it! This is what is called situational ethics. Hey, even though he flip-flopped from the time he signed the bill for public financing but that was way before he knew he will the Democratic Nominee. Not to talk of the money-making machine he has become. So what is $85 million when he can get about $200 million from the general public contribution? No brainer! But he should brace himself for the hit he'll take this week!

UPDATE: This week's winner was Michelle Obama!!! So Michelle, your husband might be having some bumps on the road in his political career but not to worry you're having the BEST WEEK EVER!

Your appearance on The View was received with rave reviews and "the dress" from White House Black Market - I love your pun on the designer label to wear (wink wink), is sold out both online and offline. WHBM has slashed the $148 dress to $99 and getting more requests for purchase. I only know another woman who wields such power - the Big O. Michelle, take a bow, you're officially a style icon.

Tags: Cindy McCain, Newsweek

Pregnancy Pact

What’s going on with our girls? What’s going on that these girls have to be so desperate for love and affection to think only a baby’s unconditional love will do? Why would a bunch of teenagers want babies so bad that the end justifies the means? The means here is a total disregard for safety for their lives to the point of one of the girls could sleep with a homeless man to justify the end – the baby.

In case you’ve been oblivious to the news cycle the past 12 hours, the breaking news was a pregnancy pact by a group of Massachusetts high school teenagers. Time Magazine broke the story and the Mainstream Media has been reporting the news since last night.

Here was my first reaction to the “breaking news”: Not surprised! This was because early this year news report showed teenage pregnancy spiked for the first time in 15 years. My second reaction was I’ve seen this story before. I’ve seen this kind of tendencies among friends when the alpha girl in the group gets pregnant, for some reason, the others in the niche want the same attention and start getting pregnant.

This is where I wonder what kind of self worth or purpose today’s girls have for their lives. And another thing, where are the fathers? Listening to the TV report on the pregnancy pact showed one gloomy fact; there is no father in the house. Seriously! Notice I didn’t say mothers? A girl’s affirmation comes from her father or a father-like figure in her life. The nurture typically comes from the mother.

Yes a mother can try to wear the two hats but it doesn’t replace the fact there is a SIGNIFICANT function of the father. Chris Rock said it best when talking about those who want to be single mothers without having the fathers present in the child’s life: “Just because you can raise a baby by yourself doesn’t mean is a f***ing good idea!”

Tags: Pregnancy pact, Gloucester High

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Reintroduction of Michelle Obama

So just in case you didn't catch the much talked about guest host appearance of Michelle Obama on The View yesterday. Here's a five-part series of the show - thanks YouTube:

Tag: Michelle Obama, The View

No Excuses!

I view exercise as A NECESSARY EVIL!!! One of the reasons I hate (ok, strongly dislike) folks who preach their love for working out. Oh give me a break! I've been working out for years not because I enjoy it but I like the way I feel afterwards. And the way my clothes feel on my body is not a bad incentive. There are things I enjoy physically that has nothing to do with exercise, i.e. dancing (get your mind out of the gutter).

But it remains a struggle for me to get up every morning, put on my workout gears and be psyched to work out. For example, I woke up yesterday at 5am and I debated within myself after about an hour if I should pull myself to go to the gym. I finally left my house around 6:40am to make the less than 10 minutes trip. But guess what? The 80 minutes I spent in the gym did a lot of good that I could bypass my morning cup of coffee yesterday.

The questioning started again this morning when I hit my snooze button so many times. But I didn't make it out the door for the workout but ran out for an early appointment. I know I'm supposed to put myself on the top of the list but gosh has anyone tried the stairmaster? Not the one you stay in one place and just pedal like a bicycle but the one that literally looks like you're taking a bunch of steps in the air - like a stairway to heaven but feels like a downward spiral to the gates of pearls' opposite place.

So imagine many hours later, browsing the days news to find a certain woman to make me feel good about my workout whining - a mother of one year old sextuplets who just completed a marathon! WTH! I hold my head down in shame.

Seriously, how do you complain about exercise when you have no kids but a mother of six, Jenny Masche, could run 26 miles - a feat I don't feel the need to train for? Only for Masche to say the race was "exhilirating." Are you kidding me?

I guess Masche showed me to "just do it" - another cliche but what can I say, it fits. That doesn't mean I'll get a shot of adrenaline tomorrow morning and all other mornings or evenings to work out. But her story, at least paints a mental picture of not whining or maybe doing the task inspite of how I feel.

Tag: Jenny Masche

They Are The Champs

Ok this is coming a day late since I didn't post anything yesterday. Sometimes I feel the need to "unplug" or participate in what's known in blogosphere as "Wordless Wednesday." So better late than never and congratulations to the NBA Champs, The Boston Celtics.

A tip of the hat to one of NBA's classiest guys, Kevin Garnett for finally winning the coveted and well-deserved championship. For vindication to Paul Pierce, who was in the pits (figuratively speaking) last year to being the Finals MVP.

Also, to some former Miami Heat-ers, P.J. Brown for finally getting the ring, the same for Eddie House, and James Posey for getting the second ring in two years - you sure deserve it for the mad defense you play.

Who else? Oh to the Coach Doc Rivers, for getting a belated Father's day present even though he was close to being fired last year. I could only imagine the gift is bitter sweet for him since he lost his own father early in the season.

Did I miss anything? The Lakers? OH PLEASE!!!

Tags: NBA Finals, Celtics Championship

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


I caught one of my favorite shows, The Daily Show, last night and this video explains everything I've been saying for weeks:

Love you Jon!

Tags: Barack Obama, The Daily Show, Election 2008

Monday, June 16, 2008

Where Are You From? Exactly.

A few (maybe a lot) of things have ticked me off over the years but none as folks asking me ridiculous questions and making assumptions about my heritage. You see I have the fortune of having African parents. I use the term "fortune" loosely; I would not change my parents for anything - they have provided me a gift of seeing different parts of the world and to be clear of who I choose to be; that experience is one I will forever cherish.

But on the other hand, sometimes I've wondered how would it have looked like if I've just been what some folks consider a normal black person who's ancestry cannot be traced for a hundred generations. That way I wouldn't be subjected to the ridiculous questions, the assumption of being so different a la exotic. Gosh! I feel for Barack Obama - the brother had to prove his birth certificate recently. Being raised in a multi-cultural family have left me with various questions, made me aware of folks stereotypical assumptions, and sharpened my wit in the process.

I would share a few of those generalized albeit ignorant statements I've heard over my short life: "Is your name Asian?" Or the name becomes Spanish with folks assuming the "j" sound in my first name is silent. "You've spent time in Africa but you speak English so well?" And don't get me started when folks spoke very slowly when I was a teenager and young adult thinking I wasn't fluent in English after I was introduced.

Forget English, I thought I've heard everything until in a former workplace about a couple of years ago, a White lady started speaking French when the receptionist introduced her to me when I came into the lobby. So now my name is no longer perceived as Asian, Spanish, but French. How did I respond? I smiled and told her I haven't taken French since the nineth grade so the language is quite rusty; English would be just fine. The look on her face was priceless and the receptionist had to hold the laughter and her thoughts till the said White lady left the lobby.

"You must be lucky to be in America. (I got that a few months ago also in the workplace - Hel-lo I was born in America, you dope)." Okay I didn't call the guy a "dope," it would have gone against my home training, but I was thinking about it. That particular statement came after the person asked what kind of name was my name.

The most ignorant of them all is still a statement from my college campus over eight years ago while I waited in the shuttle bus to go to another campus: "You're light-skinded (looking at me up and down), I thought everybody from Africa is like Amistad." Ok, that one left me tongue-tied for some seconds and dumbfounded before I told this black woman bus driver, "there are White Africans" just to give her the same shock she just gave me.

Perhaps that experience might be the reason I don't wear shorts and sleeveless tops except during the dog days of summer in the already hot and humid Florida because people really get to see how "light-skinded" I am, which normally starts a conversation. Even a couple of my relatives noted yesterday that they hardly see me in dresses. I told them I do wear dresses. Then the daughter (it was a mother and daughter hassle) said, "okay you do, but only in the fall when you can wear knee-high boots with the dress." That got everyone in the room laughing - gosh, you gotta love family.

But I digress, what is it about folks to want to single you out for looking "different" or having a "unique" name? I can handle it well from people of a different hue; but I've found it surprising that for the most part, those folks have studied a little bit about other cultures.

For example, a few years ago, a Latino colleague of mine and I went to check out an Ethiopian restaurant that was getting a lot of press. But guess what? You could spot only a handful of folks who are black in the restaurant and the restaurant was in a pretty black part of town. So when I hear dumb comments from people who look like me; I'm almost tempted to fly off the handle.

It got me thinking why black folks don't want to know about other cultures especially from the one they came from. And people wonder why there is such division with African/Caribbean/Haitian Americans with Black Americans. Yes I used "Black Americans" since in a year like 2008, some blogs and notable Media outlets still beg the question "do you see yourself as Black or African American?" Who freaking cares? I've read some pretty interesting stuff with that particular question and it really makes me shake my head that there is a long way to go not just with relationships among different races but among ourselves.

Tags: Barack Obama,Race, African American, Africa

Africa Progress Panel

One of my goals for this blog is not just to highlight what's going on in America but for what's going on around the world. And one of such places in the world that hold a special place in my heart is Africa.

Many in the media are quick to report the negative things such as unrest in Kenya but what about the positive news? Those kinds I'm sorry to say, are far to come by unless you're a person who takes time to read other news reports rather than what the Mainstream Media feeds us, repeatedly.

So today, it was with great delight to hear former U.N. Secretary Kofi Annan talk about a quite new initiative with other global leaders called the Africa Progress Panel. It was to show the opportunities available in the continent and to make her a viable player in global affairs. Another leader joining Annan on this initiative is former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

I will be featuring stories like this in the future and in the meantime take a listen on this link with the Secretary and tell me what you think.

Tags: Kofi Annan, Africa Progress Panel

Saturday, June 14, 2008

RIP Tim Russert

This is one tough post to write. In the short time I opened this blog, a reader can see I'm tough on the Media. It might be because I think some (if not many) are dumbing down the profession that holds so much accountability to its audience. But I hold a few of its members in high regard and one of those few was Tim Russert.

I can't believe he's gone. Like millions of people around the country and the world, I'm still in a state of shock that I'm not going to see Tim Russert on Meet The Press this Sunday. Not just for Sunday, the rest of the election season. This was a man who made politics fun and accessible to the everyday man. You didn't need to have an ivy-league education to understand Russert. Who can forget how he reduced the complexity of the 2000 November election to three simple words on a dry erase board: Florida, Florida, Florida!

Here I am young enough to be Russert's daughter but I never felt a generation gap in understanding him even though I pale in comparison to his intellect. I think that was the charm he brought to his viewers; a blue-collar kind of guy talking to the dignitaries of the land. And boy did he talk to them, more like grilled the truth out of them.

For my generation, his grilling but fair tactics was parodied on Saturday Night Live by the brilliant Darrell Hammond and he got the humor. He even did a fake-serious interview with fake Presidential candidate Stephen Colbert. Now that was a pundit who was in touch.

He showed how in touch he was with his best-selling book "Big Russ & Me." A story about life lessons from a father and son relationship. That book solidified his legacy of not just being one of the premiere journalists of his generation but a devoted father and son (not to talk of husband). He made many rekindle their relationships with their own fathers.

This is the second journalist I felt was taken too soon; the first was Peter Jennings. It showed how fickle life really is and to cherish every moment we're blessed with the gift. So in honor of Tim Russert's memory not just for the legacy he left for the excellence in journalism but to Dads everywhere.

On the eve of Father's Day, I would like to say Thanks Dad and MOD (My Other Dads) - I couldn't have been the fearless daughter without your guidance and my heartfelt condolence and prayers to the Russert family.

Tags: Tim Russert, Meet the Press, SNL, Big Russ

Friday, June 13, 2008

Kobe NOT Jordan

Last night was the last time I drink any Kool-Aid those sports reporters give about Kobe Bean Bryant being the second coming of Michael Jordan. Jordan would not have blown a 24-point lead in the NBA FINALS!

Let me tell Kobe and all his fans out there with a pun from Sen. Lloyd Bentsen’s words to Dan Quayle. Kobe: I’ve watched Michael Jordan played since I was a kid; I saw his awe-inspiring moves and Kobe, YOU’RE NO MICHAEL JORDAN.

Here I was perched in front of my TV, and I but called game 4 for the Lakers because of their lightening speed against the Celtics even into halftime. I thought the Lakers must have been fired up about another Finals history in the Miami Heat (can’t help it – I’m a fan) just two years ago. After a near 0-3 deficit, the Heat got some boost from the incomparable Dwyane Wade to win game 3, then game 4 was all she wrote.

The Miami Heat was beating the Dallas Mavericks so bad to a 25 point lead even into the fourth quarter to the point of anger shown from the Mavericks Jerry Stackhouse’s flagrant foul against Shaquille O’Neal. Some commentators then felt Stackhouse had to do it because the Heat wouldn’t let up the embarrassment. But I say nay, during the Playoffs especially for the Finals, you go for the KILL. As the great Pat Riley said, if you exhale for one minute in the playoffs while leading, you might find yourself down 10 points.

Before the halftime, I knew something was wrong with the Lakers with all the celebration on the sidelines by the teammates as if they’ve won the championship. It proved a bit distracting and the Celtics took advantage of it but the Lakers made another run again and I felt the game was almost over.

But boy was I wrong, I came back in the fourth quarter and the scores were tied between both teams, then afterwards Celtics was leading by four points late into the game. Are you freaking kidding me! I didn’t see the end of the game (I turned the channel about 42 seconds left) till this morning and when I saw Celtics’ Paul Pierce pounding his chest, without seeing the scores I knew Celtics won.

What went wrong? A lot! First, what happened to the Lakers Lamar Odom’s hot hand? Any basketball aficionado knows when a guy is hot; PLEASE keep passing him the ball. Odom went seven of seven into halftime – what do you spell that? P-E-R-F-E-C-T. Not to talk of the eight rebounds and three assists. So how in the world, do you make him disappear in the remaining two quarters taking only four shots? Explain that!

Second, how in the world did a guy like Sasha Vujacic take more shots (four in the fourth quarter) than the star player (Kobe Bryant who took three shots)? Hel-lo, I don’t care if Sasha calls himself the Machine; he still comes off the bench for a reason.

Third, NEVER underestimate your opponent. The Lakers did just that last night. The Celtics had the best record in the league for a reason. Besides, check out a few people on the Celtics team: James Posey (who I almost cried for leaving the Heat) was an instrumental part of the NBA Finals just two seasons ago. Hel-lo, check out the team he was on; they WON.

Paul Pierce, who led what I thought the biggest comeback (until last night) of a playoff game six years ago; he kinda know what he’s doing from coming from behind don’t you think? Eddie House (another former Heat-er), when healthy, one of the deadliest shooters in the league. P.J. Brown (one more former Heat guy, who was part of the “Road Warriors” Season). Time will not permit to talk of Sam Cassell and Kevin Garnett.

Finally, whatever happened to one critical skill called “DEFENSE?” Obviously there was none being played for you to blow a 24-point lead. If the shots are not falling; you do everything you can to guard, take a charge, and block something; anything. Too bad the other team (Celtics) was the only one playing with such skill.

Tags: Kobe Bryant, NBA Finals, Lakers

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Lay Off Obama's Wife

I’m beginning to think Fox News network has a distinct agenda of trying to always stay in the week’s news. How do you explain a network trying to put a caller of a person of color in his place a la John Gibson? Or calling the dap a terrorist fist jab? And the latest, referring to Michelle Obama as “Obama’s baby mama” and Obama’s “bitter half?” I’m tempted to use a Senator’s words; Fox News, have you no decency?

It seems this network doesn’t have a semblance of such trait, all in the name of its supported party. Oh, there has been buzz for the past week Michelle was going to be a target for the Republicans but who would have thunk it, a major news network will take the bait. And Gosh, do you really like controversy that much to bring Michelle Malkin (the instigator of the Dunkin Donuts scarf-gate) to continue her hubris? I’ve given her attention once, I’m going to do what I do best to folks like her; ignore her.

But what is it about Michelle Obama that makes you and your cohorts want to attack? You don’t know what a strong educated black woman looks like? So you fall into the traps of what ignorant folks do; attack what seems different. That game has been played in junior and high school since the beginning of time. Too bad, you’re still stuck in such mindset instead of graduating by now.

So your network released a statement today calling it a “poor judgment” on the producer’s part. But we’ve seen this kind of method before from various on-air personalities in the past month saying degrading things about a said candidate or a person of color, then apologizing. When do you start being decent as the norm? Try it sometime, you may generate better ratings.

Tags: Michelle Obama, Michelle Malkin, Fox News

What Can I Eat?

I'm a pretty health conscious individual save for my sweet tooth. Seriously, Coldstone Cremery is a gift from God. One of the reasons I reverence the gift by only paying homage to the chain once every quarter. A step back from indulging every month.

But back to the subject of health, I'm supposed to eat my fruits and veggies. So why are American farmers making it difficult for me? In case you are living under a rock, you've probably heard of the salmonella outbreak in tomatoes. The news came to me after I went to the grocery store a week ago, then blended the two cases of tomatoes I bought from Whole Foods to make some stew.

I'm fine, thanks for asking. As I heard, as long as you didn't eat the tomatoes raw everything should be alright. But I will say this, I have been extremely diligent in taking my vitamins every morning (something I usually forgot to do); so there is a silver lining in scaring me straight to pay attention to my health.

But guess what? As I mentioned, I bought the tomatoes at Whole Foods. The chain just recalled all tomatoes from its stores after I spent my money. Anybody knows how pricey Whole Foods can be all in the name of "organic?" There's truth to the saying: "Whole Foods, Whole Paycheck." That's why I'm a smart shopper - buy fruits, veggies, and meat at Whole Foods, shop elsewhere for everything else.

And did I mention I live in Florida; the number one tomato producer in the country? I found that tidbit trivia out yesterday afternoon while working out. I thought we were only leaders in oranges. According to the CNN reports, Florida may lose up to $500 million for this outbreak but not to worry, 17 counties in Florida have been found safe. Gee thanks! Which county exactly? I don't know but I feel so much better now (not).

Now it's tomatoes, some months back it was onions, and don't get me started on the spinach last year. I gave up spinach for many months and to think the amount of iron I couldn't load up since I'm not big on red meat. Only to find out this morning, lemons might also be affected with E-coli. This is just GREAT! I have a couple of lemons in my refrigerator as I type these words; part of my last grocery shopping expedition.

So for all you who love your beverages - both alcoholic and non-alcoholic; it might be time to start saying "hold the lemons!" But hey, according to the report, vodka on the rocks might kill off the e-coli germs. I just love the descriptive term "might" as opposed to "will." It's like a half loaded gun, I don't know which bullet "might" kill you but I will just keep shooting to see.

Tags: Tomatoes, lemons, salmonella, e-coli

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Media is Driving Me Nuts

Remember my Friday's post on the "dap"? Well, it has REALLY taken off with Fox News (One of the things I don't get) calling it a terrorist (or jihad) jab. Are you freaking kidding me! One silver lining in all the hoopla over the dap is MSNBC giving a tutorial of the dap; though coming from Pat Buchanan makes my skin crawl. But here's the video:

And I couldn't agree with Dan Abrams of MSNBC more when he said most of them in the news business are DORKS!!! Say that one more time Dan! To thy own self be true. Enjoy . . . or put your face in your hands like I did for the horror:

Tags: Media, Dap, Fist bump

Things I Don't Get - Relationship Edition

Taking a break from politics, I’m going to revisit my most popular segment from a previous blog I owned about my musings but with a new spin. These are things I don’t get in relationships:

I don’t get when a guy starts a sentence with: “You know I love you. . .” Let me use this as a PSA: Girl, brace yourself because the next sentences after "you know I love you" will not be good. Why don’t guys just go into the bad news first and stop wasting time.

My question to the guy who starts a sentence with the phrase “you know I love you,” will be: what did you do? If you love me, I will know without you saying it. But make no mistake, I like hearing it but not in that way when nine times out of ten, I know what follows such refrain wouldn’t be a gift I was eyeing. Guys, maybe you’re still shaking your heads about why the phrase give girls a pause but let me ask you what goes through your mind when your girl says: “We need to talk.” I rest my case.

I don’t get when there is any form of abuse in a relationship – physical, emotional, or mental. That goes for both sides. Yes, the majority of abuse is from the guy inflicting a type of abuse on a girl – one in four women in the U.S are subjected to some form of domestic violence.

But the reversal of such also happens but often unreported. In that sense, I’m an equal opportunity kind of girl. A few years ago, a lady friend of a friend spent a night in jail for attacking her husband. My friend was shocked when I said she needed to spend the night in jail for what she did. My friend felt her husband shouldn’t have called the police. I was totally against such theory and it brought about a great discussion. I’m not sure if she entirely bought my side of the story but it was a start to see fair is fair regardless of the gender.

I don’t get when anyone stays in an abusive relationship. An accustomed lifestyle is not worth the emotional trauma or your life.

I don’t get the “stand by your man” concept. Seriously, Tammy Wynette will live in infamy for that song. If you’ve live long enough, at least for the last 20 years and have a television, you’ve seen the parade of women standing by their public figures and philandering husbands. Oh the list is so long of these men but let’s give it a shot: Democratic Presidential hopeful Gary Hart, TV Evangelist Jim Bakker, former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevy, former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, and soon to be former Mayor of Detroit, Kwame Kilpatrick. I’ve often asked myself the question: what if the roles were reversed, would the man stand by his woman? I doubt it; she’ll literally be a scarlet woman.

I don’t get the obsessive use of texting and all forms of digital device in place of live communication either by phone or face-to-face. I’m all for the next great gadget but when I’m in a relationship with you, those gadgets are supplementary NOT the main communication device(s). For example, when you’re stuck in a boring meeting or know I will be stuck in one; sending a text is cute and sweet. But when you really want to take the relationship to the next level, you better UNPLUG. And if you don’t, start counting the days when I unplug all forms of communications from you.

I don’t get when a guy over 15 has no clue on how to break up. It’s called etiquette. Someone needs to give a book (scratch that when it comes to some guys) or a speech what not to do when you are about to break up. I mentioned last month of being a fan of Sex and The City, and fans of the show will remember a memorable episode of Jack Burger breaking up with Carrie on a post-it note. Guys, don’t ever do that! Don’t break-up with her over an e-mail; how about if she forwards such emails to cybersphere for folks to see what a jerk you were. And please don’t do it over text a la Britney with Kevin Federline (and they were married). It is just tacky.

Tag: Relationships

Digital Generation Divide Between Candidates

Proof that Sens. Barack Obama and John McCaine are not only a generation or two apart literally but in the digital age too: Check out the following videos; the first is with Sen. Obama giving an inspirational and gratitude speech to his staff and volunteers:

And that of John McCain trying to reach Sen. Hillary Clinton's core audience to "take a chance on him" on his blog:

Seriously, Sen. McCain, ABBA - a video of over three decades by a Swedish group. As a kid, I was raised on Sesame Street and the disparity on these two videos remind me of one of Sesame Street's rhymes: One of these things don't belong together - take your pick on who I really think don't belong.

Tags: Barack Obama, John McCain

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Clinton Endorses Obama

Now that’s how you give a speech. From now on, that’s how you give a speech. I guess the adage is true: better late than never. Such was the case with Sen. Hillary Clinton’s speech Saturday afternoon. I thought to myself, why didn’t she give such speech last Tuesday night? That way I wouldn’t have criticized her the day after.

But as I listened to a few pundits, I understood the reasoning behind waiting a few days to rally her supporters. But some of the said supporters, i.e. Rep. Charles Rangel of New York and Hillary Rosen, one of her senior advisors called her out for now bowing out gracefully the last day of the Primaries.

However, I have to say Clinton redeemed herself by the Saturday speech. Even a cynic like me had tears in her eyes before its end. I could almost imagine how difficult it must be to be that close to being President; a dream she must have had for a long time to make history only to step aside for another kind of history to be made.

So in that sense, I empathize with her. But much more, I admire her courage in the face of defeat. I commend her for not showing a semblance of self-pity but looking forward to a greater feat that could be accomplished, electing Sen. Barack Obama as next President of the United States.

Tags: Hillary Clinton

Friday, June 6, 2008

Musings For The Week

Since there are a number of things happening in our world, I thought I should share how I see them through some quick hitters:

It’s Called A “Dap” White People: Proof some folks in Mainstream Media (MSM) need to get a lesson in black affection. I present to you exhibit A: Chris Matthews of Hardball trying to explain yesterday to his viewers a certain PDA (Public Display of Affection) with the "curious fist bump" of Sen. Barack and Michelle Obama. Exhibit B: All over blogosphere and the MSM getting a refresher course on the “dap.” Seriously, don’t these folks hang around any black people?

John McCain’s Sorry Speech on the Democratic Historic Nomination: Did anyone catch that speech? OMG! Even the networks had to cut out of it to watch Sen. Barack Obama and his wife walk to their victory. It was horrible! Who told McCain to speak in a place he had a fraction of one hundredth to Obama’s crowd of twenty thousand?

And for Goodness sake, who worked on the stagecraft? This is my second time of noticing such poor judgment in his stagecraft – a green (eye-sore) backdrop. Also, don’t steal your opponent’s campaign slogan by changing two words – “A Leader you can believe in.” That’s a spun from Obama’s “Change you can believe in.” How about something original Senator? You’ve been chilling for about three months.

John McCain asks Obama to a town meeting: Please don’t do it Barack. At least let McCain wait a while. He wants to tap into the record-breaking crowds you draw and get the free publicity. Let him work for his own crowds and tell him you’ll see him at the debates.

The Vanity-Unfair Article about Bill Clinton: One question: Why? The writer of the said article said his wife, Dee Dee Myers, Press Secretary under the former President was independent of his decision on the said subject. That can be understood; after all, he’s a journalist. But having several unnamed sources in his article doesn’t do his profession justice. I know Bubba has got on a lot of folks nerves during the Primaries but there is a line that needs to be drawn for decency. An article about his many affairs – seriously, did VF need some filler for its pages?

Shocking Hit & Run in Connecticut: This is outrageous! Not just for the driver not stopping but for the by-standers not doing anything for over a minute. Where is the love?

Tags: Bill Clinton, Vanity Fair

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Revisiting the Mythical Rivalry?

Cue the movie trailers deep voice: Over twenty years ago, a battle of the rivals was fought on a court where legends were defined. Now the battle continues on two storied rivals . . . Cut! You’ve seen the ton of commercials about today’s NBA Finals and many sports reporters are saying it will live up to the hype. But for this fan, it wont.

Yes I’m looking forward to the NBA Finals for the sheer reason to not be subjected to another Spurs brand of basketball. But I’m not drinking the Kool-aid that this championship series with the Celtics and the Lakers would live up to the glory of 20 years ago.

That was around the time I fell in love with the game of basketball while watching the Lakers’ charismatic Magic Johnson and the Celtics’ blue collar Larry Bird literally go at it on the court. Though they had a deep respect for each other, you felt they were enemies because of their famed competitive streak.

I could just imagine how those two must have left the sports writers of their day scratching their heads of who to call the series for. Is it Bird, with great support cast of Danny Ainge, Dennis Johnson or Robert Parrish? Or give the edge to Johnson with the magnificent Kareem Abdul Jabbar and James Worthy.

The 2008 NBA Finals doesn’t have such passionate rivalry. That is what I miss about this great sport. Where is the real rivalry of Bill Russell’s Celtics against Wilt Chamberlain’s Lakers, the aforementioned Bird and Magic, the Bad Boys Pistons against Michael Jordan’s Bulls, and the nineties Miami Heat against the New York Knicks? There is something missing.

Now some folks want to spin this upcoming series about Phil Jackson breaking the record against the late Red Auerbach. How does that last sentence sound, having a perceived rivalry with a dead guy? Give me a break. Also, I laugh when the TV talking heads want to drudge up a four-year-old story of a bad blood between Celtics Ray Allen and Lakers Kobe Bryant. Seriously, Ray Allen, a guy who had one break-out game in the first three rounds of playoffs having a rivalry against Kobe Bryant, arguably the best closer in the game today.

I don’t want to be a spoils sport about this year’s NBA Finals. I love the game even though I can’t help but look with nostalgia that just two years ago, my favorite team, the Miami Heat was taking this glorious stage. I’m glad these two storied franchises have risen up from the ashes in a year to being the best teams in the land. Their achievement should be applauded and it enhances the NBA product.

So I look forward to the games not for any hype about a rivalry between the Celtics and the Lakers but for seeing something new; they are not the Spurs.

Tag: NBA Finals

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Barack The Vote

“Today I dream a bigger dream. Today I have a greater hope . . .” Those were the words that started out my journal entry for the night of June 3, 2008. A night I will never forget. A night I saw the son of an African father from Kenya and a white mother from Kansas become the first African-American Presidential nomination.

As a person who identifies with Sen. Barack Obama’s story and share a unique name that I’ve lost count how many times someone asked me my name’s origin. Here is proof that a unique name doesn’t divide us; that we accomplish more when we embrace our differences. That you are no different an American named John Smith to someone named Barack Obama.

So thank you Barack Obama for writing a new American story. Thank you for making my generation who knew theoretically we could accomplish anything regardless of race, ethnicity, or background to seeing practically, how it’s done.

Tag: Barack Obama

Clinton Not Conceding

What was that last night? Here I was waiting to hear a great speech from the most formidable opponent I’ve ever seen and I was left dumbfounded. What was Sen. Hillary Clinton thinking? I wasn’t sure if she was still stuck in the first stage of her grieving process, the state of denial. But I thought with the delegate numbers, she should have been on the last stage of acceptance by now.

There I was listening to what was supposed to be a great speech with congratulating her opponent Sen. Barack Obama for the strong campaign he ran (note to Sen. Clinton: He won), getting the popular vote (not exactly), and energizing a diverse base through her campaign (most women over 65). Then there were some grand moments in the speech about climate change, health care and the Iraq war. “Great Senator, we’re waiting for the touch,” I thought to myself. “ . . .And I will be making no decision tonight” she said. Are you kidding me!

The look I gave my TV set must have been a Kodak moment. Senator, how do you blow a defining moment like that? Gosh! You don’t cheapen a critical time your party needs unity to asking for petitions (and money) on your website.

The great Paul Newman once said, “show me a good loser and I will show you a loser.” But in some instances, I respectfully disagree with Mr. Newman. Sometimes, the most gracious loser could be the utmost winner in character. I was looking for such character in Sen. Clinton and I was left wanting.

I’m a woman and she represents a person who shattered the marble ceiling. It is nothing short of inspirational. But as much as I want to see a woman be President of the United States in my lifetime, a black man who could accomplish the same feat for the first time captured my hope. Last night could have been a time she showed herself a real profile in courage. It is disheartening she failed to seize the moment, in seeing you don’t have to win everything to be one.

Tags: Hillary Clinton

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Fareed Zakaria Gets Some Smooches

Fareed Zakaria finally gets his own show – about time! I’ve long been an admirer of Newsweek International correspondent Fareed Zakaria. Jon Stewart teased him recently about the number of times (11) he’s been on "The Daily Show." For me, he’s the international Anderson Cooper. Also, I think Esquire Magazine agrees with me (my ego talking) by naming him “one of the 21 most important people in the 21st century.

He brings the world’s view to the filtered-down journalism many Americans are used to. Seriously, when did journalists become shouting talking heads? Also, I feel many Americans are so insular to the points of being clueless of what’s happening in other parts of the world. Of course Americans get moved when a tragedy happens such as the Tsunami, or the recent China Earthquakes which is commendable. But what about when it appears everything is the norm; why can’t we learn about cultures?

But I don’t put all the blame on Americans; hey we have a President who’s made our image tarnished around the world. You ask me how? How about speaking to the United Nations when you want to go for a war? How about not implying some people of a certain religion are “evil doers of the world?” Don’t get me started on the profiling of Arabic names on the war against terror.

Why am I highlighting this on my blog? If you read my profile I said I was a black female with a unique background. Well the unique background comes from the fact that I am an American by birth but I didn’t live in the country all my life. So, I do see things differently from the prism of my diverse environments. Last year, a relative had to remind me, “you don’t have an American view, you have a world view” during a discussion about my frustration with folks questioning Sen. Barack Obama’s blackness. Well I think I have both the American and the world view. And I wished many of my American counterparts would have the same.

My wish was granted with Zakaria’s new show on CNN, Fareed Zakaria GPS. I caught the show last Sunday afternoon and it was excellent. I can still see Zakaria’s nerves from doing his first premiered show on a major network like CNN but he appeared calm as the show went on. He interviewed scholars, reporters (Christian Amanpour), and Diplomats of different countries about how the U.S. election season is being observed around the world.

Then he interviewed former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair on his new platform on religion. Blair is doing a commendable work in bringing people of different faiths around the world to communicate – an interfaith platform.

Wow, don’t we need that in this day and time especially in America. I really hope this show will have some great (or regular) ratings because it has definitely found a fan in me.

Tags: Fareed Zakaria

About Saturday's DNC Rules and By-laws

Newsflash: I’m a Floridian! I’ve been a resident of the sunshine state for over a decade. So of course I was riveted by the spectacle the DNC rules and by-laws turned to because for the second time in less than a decade, I felt my votes didn’t count. That is a lot for my young brain to comprehend.

For the first time in my voting life, I seriously considered changing parties because I was tired of what the spineless Democrats were doing (or not doing). In 2006, many Americans sent a clear message to Washington they wanted change and the Democrats gained both the House and Senate. And in that November election, as one of those Americans, I voted all-Democrats in my ballot for the first time.

However, I’m dumbfounded by the day to what my choice party has become. I’m yet to see the change I voted for in 2006. The war is still going on and funded to the max. According to Senate Majority leader, Harold Reid on a recent “Daily Show” said $5,000 a second is being spent on the Iraq war. Give it up for the majority Democrats!

Then you’ve got this election season and my state along with Michigan is at the center of the national spotlight. For Floridians, it was a painful reminder of the “hanging chads.” I still remember that debacle of 2000 as if it was yesterday. I remember Florida being the butt of the late night talk shows jokes, even a few of my family from other parts of the country were asking “what’s wrong with you people down there?” I can understand their line of questioning; I would admit Florida is one complicated state.

It’s neither a blue state nor a red state. Florida is what some pundits call a “purple state.” For the most part, South Floridians tend to lean left and North Floridians tend to lean right. And the other parts are just a combination of the two parties. As some national pundits found out last January, the folks from South Florida tend to talk as if they are from the northern parts of the country and the folks in North Florida tend to talk like the south; think Mississippi. Are you confused yet?

Then in South Florida, there is a hodgepodge of distinct communities like the Jewish community, little Havana, little Haiti, a vibrant Caribbean and international melting pot. Some of these demographics have been moving towards the central part of the state but there is no doubt, the core of such diverse communities still remains in South Florida. So you could only imagine how that plays out in state politics not to talk of a National one – actually, it did in 2000.

And here we are again up till last Saturday with Florida Democrats demanding their votes be counted. This shouldn’t have happened. First of all, the Primaries were moved up under a Republican legislature and a Republican Governor. Second, the Democrats could have followed the real rules by just punishing the state for half its delegates like the Republicans did. Seriously, can you believe the Republicans actually did something the clean way? They should be commended. Third, they shouldn’t have gone further by not campaigning in the state. Who thought of such plan?

Finally, in the spirit of democracy (wow, what a unique word in relation to the Democratic party), they should have listened to major Democrats such as Sen. Bill Nelson who petitioned since last summer to reconsider their flimsy decision of shutting Florida out.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Obama Quits Church

Sen. Obama quits his church over the weekend. I knew this decision had to be made but why do I feel such sadness that Sen. Obama was put in this place. I know what it means to do some soul searching after many years of being in a church then leave the said church. It is not a decision done with glee because after all, the local church becomes a part of your extended family. Heck, you may even have your biological family in the same church and because they are your family, they understand your decision but that doesn’t mean there wouldn’t be some grief towards the separation.

But then I wasn’t running for the President of the United States and my church wasn’t under constant media scrutiny for any Preacher’s words to be a mirror of my views. That is the craziest thing I’ve seen in this election season. All these pundits on TV, who may or may not have attended a church much less a black church have the nerve to talk about the right thing to do as a parishioner.

On any given Sunday, hundreds and sometimes thousands gather at a local church. Sometimes those parishioners take what the Preacher said that morning with a grain of salt; take what’s good, leave what’s perceived bad. Then the parishioners have various interpretations of what the sermon(s) was all about. Some of these pundits should listen to some debates at Sunday dinner about what the Pastor said, and you would find many agreeing or disagreeing with the sermon of that day. But that wouldn’t stop them from going to Church the next Sunday.

So for folks who wondered why Sen. Obama could stay in a church like Trinity for 20 plus years. First, let me remind you that such interloped sermons played repeatedly on YouTube would not be what he listened to every week. Actually, those kinds of sermons are seldom preached and when they are, it is to address an issue.

I remember once when a former Pastor was so angry about the political situation in favor of another race in my state and for about five minutes he called out the so-called politicians who only appear in Church to get the “black vote” but would not vote their conscience when it came to what was morally right. I remembered I (as well many of the congregation) was stunned that the Pastor went “there.” At that time, I’ve been in the church for about two years and nothing of such political tone was preached.

Suppose I wanted to run for an office (not gonna happen but hypothetically) and the media got hold of such sermon, and I was a candidate of hope but such sermon showed despair and outrage for the authorities behavior. What do you think is going to happen? I may try to explain all I want but some folks would put such stigma on me for that message even if I don’t hold such views.

Tags: Barack Obama