Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Then we found a way to get it done right but based on my Dad's job, we moved a lot, which made me have adventures not just in culture shocks but in hair-raising experiences. I remembered when I was ten years old, a woman braided my long locs so hard I couldn't sleep during the weekend. I was more than willing when my mom decided to cut the whole thing off. That began my scissors-happy adventure with my hair any time I got in a bind.
But I didn't cut the hair only as rebellion but when most folks don't know how to handle your "unique" head of hair, you lose faith. I can go on about various adventures. I remember one of five years ago when my hair stylist wasn't available but told one of his colleagues to take care of me when I showed up for the appointment. I knew something was wrong when the guy kept going inside to find yet another product to tame my hair. Then I looked in the mirror and this brother kept putting more oil on the already greasy-laden hair but with no gloss. My oily face was showing signs of not my internal oil glands but the one coming from a can.
I was so mad when I left the "chic" salon, I didn't give the guy the regular generous tip I leave for my stylist. So we've gone five years and I still have ups and downs with the way I want my hair to look. I thought to myself over that weekend - why not natural? What! I put relaxer in my hair in the first place because of all the stuff I've gone through; thinking it will be a better manageability.
After debating with myself, I finally had the gots to take the leap. I went to a "hair cuttery" salon and asked for a black stylist. When the stylist came, I took off my hat and told her what I wanted done by cutting my hair way short and taking off the hair color experimentation I did in April. It was an emotional experience as the layers of hair kept falling off. Afterwards, I looked like a different girl in the mirror - one ten years younger and the lady smiled and said "to new adventures." "Thanks" I replied.
But I've had to do some crash training on maintaining this new (natural) head of hair. I spoke with a friend of mine over the weekend about my new look and I was so happy when she sent this link called "urbancurlz" via e-mail. Paul McCartney was right - "I get by with a little help from my friends." I've devoured the website for 15 minutes and I will be a frequent visitor as I face the new adventures with my hair.
Tags: Black women's hair
Monday, October 27, 2008
Many might have known of the country earlier this year through the country's contested elections from the regime of Robert Mugabe (the dictator). But what I find appauling is the disease taking the lives of people is not getting the same attention. According to some doctors in the area, cholera has already taken 120 lives and the number keeps growing. Zimbabwe authorities claim they've treated 500 people.
But to this writer, I say you cannot just focus on the cure when major steps in prevention by fixing the collapsing sewage system would save more lives. This is a domino effect since the water shortages will lead to starvation and later, death.
I hope with this little spotlight, more officials will take heed and lend a helping hand to the country of Zimbabwe.
Tags: Cholera in Zimbabwe
I’m getting restless with this election and maybe because it also falls around my birthday and I would like to spend my time on what to do in the next phase of my life than listen to another “I approve this message” and other clichéd election terms. So I reflect on the longest election season I’ve ever been a part of, I would like to say things about it I will not miss:
CNN’s John King’s psychedelic election map: I thought I was the only person paying attention to John King’s fascination with his electronic toy called the map but I busted laughing last Thursday when I saw SNL spoofing what I’ve been thinking for months – Enough with the hypnotizing red, blue, pink, grey colored map!
Shouting Pundits: In all my years (though light years) of observing politics, I have never seen such passion or feistiness from pundits that resulted in shouting matches. OMG! I felt like telling some of these pundits “we are not deaf but your shouting matches made us wish we were.” Honorable mentions with the eardrums splitting are most folks at Fox News i.e. Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity.
Buzz-Killing Words: Oh there are so many but let me oblige you with those words: battleground states (Florida, Nevada, etc), Bradley effect, hockey moms, soccer moms, Wal-Mart moms, working-class, and middle-class.
Elisabeth Hasselbeck of The View: Now I think it is necessary to have a “conservative” voice on the view but my God, Hasselbeck has ignited some unnecessary sparks in her defense for the Republican party and her dislike for the Democratic party. It is okay to criticize your party every now and then but not so with Hasselbeck; she will find the good for a Republican but not so much for a Democrat.
Keith Olbermann and his “special comments:” I’m an equal opportunity girl and just like I had a problem with the conservative Hasselbeck; I have a problem with the liberal Olbermann. Now I like Olberman and I get he’s trying to channel the late great Edward Murrow by his “good night, good luck” sign off but come on, you’ve got to be balanced. Olbermann has made it mission to go against Fox News, or as he calls the network “Fox Noise,” or “Fix News.” And his viewers know his on-going feud with “Billo” (Bill O’Reilly) but this viewer would like a day when I don’t have to hear Fix News or Billo, or another “special comment.” The news will be just fine – well, I can only hope.
Race in the race: Yeah you read that right. It’s the issue of race in the race to the white house. I feel in almost two years of watching this election I’ve had to listen to questions like “is he black enough?” “Will race affect this race?” and the like. Just last weekend I said to myself if I find another “race roundtable” discussions, I’m gonna scream.
What I found funny is that most of these questions were coming from white pundits. Seriously, how could four white people gather around an oak table on some of these political shows (i.e. Meet The Press) and they are talking about race? Where is a person of color? I understand you can’t get the go-to black pundit (Donna Brazille) all the time but there are others. I wish Tim Russett was still alive. If those race discussions were going to be brought up, there will be PBS Gwen Ifill or NPR Michelle Norris to balance the table. I’m just saying.
Pandering from the candidates: Have there been another election season that had this much pandering? Examples: Hillary Clinton taking shots of whiskey showing is “one of the boys,” Obama going bowling (note to Barack: stick with basketball), or McCain with his incessant “Joe the plumber” to show he relates to the middle-class (in what world?)
Preachers in politics: Now I get preachers are citizens too and they have freedom of speech. But there is something called separation of church and state. This election season has brought about preachers who almost derailed a candidate’s presidential campaign. In Obama’s corner: Rev. Wright, Father Pfleger, and Rev. Jesse Jackson. In McCain’s corner: Arnold Conrad, John Hagee and Rod Parsley.
So the aforementioned are just some things I will not miss as this election season comes to a close. But it was a fun ride and I must say by channeling one of an old times variety show signoff: I’m so glad we had this time together.
Tags: SNL, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Keith Olbermann, John King
Saturday, October 25, 2008
But when you have only an hour of free time to cast this significant vote, it becomes a problem. So for four days I've been checking out the early voting locations close to me and as usual it's long lines across the building. This afternoon, after meeting with some friends for breakfast, I decided to take a trip to the closest early voting site. OMG! I couldn't find a place to park, NONE! There were cars on the grass, across the streets, over three buildings parking lots and across other people homes. To get through the fleet of cars was an experience.
So I decided to go further to another public building, about a 20 minutes drive and I thought it was better. Well it was, I found a place to park but when I walked further, I saw the lines. There's no way I'll be done voting in an hour.
It's amazing this was a subject of discussion at breakfast this morning. Florida 2000 recount is still VERY fresh in our minds and we're hoping we don't experience the same thing with all the trickery at the polls. Voters have been delayed more than usual in the past week for faulty equipment (which was fixed). And I have a problem with using the third different kind of voting system in eight years.
But I believe in the democracy we have in voting and living in this great country we call America, I hope there is a better and more efficient way of keeping our democratic system relevant.
Tags: Early Voting,Florida Voting System
Tags: Jennifer Hudson, Darnell Donerson, Jason Hudson
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
So imagine my surprise this election season when Sen. Barack Obama referred to as elite because he drinks lattes or tries to eat healthy. Seriously, a guy raised by a single mother who at one time depended on food stamps go on to Harvard and became the school's law review first Black President. When he was criticized about a car he drove being a gas-guzzler, he changed it to a more efficient-mileage one. And did I mention he has but one house.
Now compare him to Sen. John McCain, who is called "NOT elite." He came from a family with a good pedigree, married a heiress, who wore a $300K thousand outfit to the RNC convention (but told folks not to criticize her wealth) has seven (or more) houses and 13 cars but the black guy is the one who's "elite?" Is there something I'm missing here?
What brought this post up you might ask? Sarah Palin! Palin and the $150K she and her family were endowed for wardrobe choices in the past seven weeks. Who's elite now? Can I just say, Michelle Obama wore $148 black and white dress on the View that became a fashion sensation, a GAP dress on the campaign trails that got a shoutout from Vogue and for her speech at the DNC convention, the dress was about $700 NOT $300K (Three hundred thousand Dollars) as Cindy McCain.
It's nice to look good but as a fashionista myself, I can tell you it is OUTRAGEOUS to spend $150K for fashion in this economic downturn especially when you call yourself just your "average hockey mom." You gotta be kidding me! Part of the $150K was used for hair and makeup consultations. Seriously, what's the big deal with putting your hair in a "beehive" or letting it down that cost almost $5K?
This is wrong, this is wrong, this is wrong! Just like I had a problem with Sen. John Edwards with his two haircuts costing $400 each while he preached he was just a son of a steelworker, who loved eating at Wendys, and wanted to see poverty abolished, this action from the RNC camp doesn't live up to the narrative.
Tags: RNC Shells $150K for Sarah Palin, Sarah Palin fashion, Elitism
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
I never thought just a little after four years of a guy coming into my consciousness, I will be voting for him for President. But like millions of Americans, I welcomed a certain unknown Senator from Illinois to my living room when he made that iconic "key-note" address in 2004. Since then, I've made it a point to buy whatever magazine he's graced (these days in a tough economy, that decision is getting hard to live up to though I recently bought the "Men's Health" issue).
And earlier this year some of my family members wondered about me (thinking I was leaning another way) especially when I made a radio address that "ISSUES" matter to me. And a candidate wasn't going to get my vote only because of his race and another won't get it just because of her gender. Also, I took Obama to task during the Primaries debates and made some constructive criticism that made some commenters on this blog and others wonder who's side I'm on. I've always been on the side of fairness and truth.
But I made such criticism because I believed in the message he gave that night at the DNC in 2004. If I don't care for someone, what good is it for me to say anything? (Heard any peep from me about our current President?)
That being said, I believe Barack has the best solution for what ails our country. Like Colin Powell, I've seen generations of folks get excited about politics again. Just over a week ago at a debate watch party, I sat between a teenager and a guy old enough to be my uncle. Read that one more time, "a teenager" (who happens to be black) in the front row watching a Presidential debate.
Also, I believe on the issue of the economy, Obama has shown a steady hand in a troubling time. He has advisors I respect (i.e. Warren Buffett) in his corner. Over a year ago, "the Oracle" (Buffett) went before congress to tell the government something NEEDED to be done about the tax structure of our country. Buffett made his point that his executive secretary who made just over $60,000 was paying more in tax in percentage than what he paid. Can you believe that? At the time, the second (now the) richest man in the country had a problem with paying less taxes in percentage in relation to his secretary.
Now the McCain camp calls that "socialism." I'm not a "trickle-down" person as the former administration refers to how wealth is distributed. I'm an American who deserves a fair shake just like the folks with many zeroes attached to their net worth. I believe under an Obama-Biden administration, I could hope for such fairness. That's why I will be "Baracking The Vote."
Sunday, October 19, 2008
The bombshell was dropped this morning. Former Secretary of State (a Republican) endorses Barack Obama. The Mainstream Media (MSM), or as John McCain would call MSM - the Elite Media wasted no time to declare the "breaking news."
Powell was bombarded by the MSM as he left NBC studios this morning after taping "Meet The Press" and he was well prepared for the questions on why he made the decision. He called Obama a transformational figure (a term used to describe Ronald Reagan in the past) who has inspired people over racial, ethic and generational lines. I couldn't agree more.
Tags: Colin Powell, Colin Powell Endorses Barack Obama
Friday, October 17, 2008
There were moments of reflection, rolling-of-the-eyes and afterwards, that of understanding. This writer (Devin Friedman) decided to pose this question on "Craigslist" which got some hilarious actions and rightfully so, most folks thought he was pulling a stunt. But for me, I read this article because I remembered a discussion I had with someone who's like brother-in-law (he married into the family to a cousin of mine) during the last 4th of July weekend. I'll call him "J."
J has friends of various ethnicities (as do I) and he was trying to set me up with at least one of them. I don't know what it is about newlyweds who think everybody have to get married right away. But I digress. The pictures of some of his guy friends led to a discussion about race. J told me one of the things he despises is when some white guys are relating to each other in a normal way, only to get to him at work (or social functions) then try to appeal to his black side by being how can I say this, "urban."
Friedman's article reminded me of that conversation as he debated within himself and his wife on how to relate to "black people" or to be politically correct, African-American folks. They even thought of what to wear to a party while his wife said she never saw a black woman dressing like a "Tomboy." Gosh, these folks were really out-of-the-loop. Black women have different styles; what makes white women think we are a monolithic group?
But in the end, he found out that black people are just normal after all and it's not like a "9/11 Commission." We're not going to interrogate you to death or you need a 100-page book to understand us. It ain't that serious. But just for pointers (because I know I have readers of all backgrounds), here is how you can start your own "Operation Black Friend:"
- Be Yourself: If you've never greeted your white counterparts with "what's cracking," "What up" among other lingos, don't try that with a black person; he/she will see right through it. A simple "hello" or "hi" will be just fine. The same goes with hugs. Don't start now with being cool. If you don't get how black guys give each other hugs, a simple handshake will do. But if you're the "blue-eyed soul brother" (think Jon B., Robin Thicke and for old schoolers, Michael McDonald), you should know how to just "relate."
- Hair Matters: As the writer found out, don't be asking us if you could touch our hair when we don't know you like that. The last sentence was a bit urban. So here it is in Queen English speak: You have to be a FRIEND already (and give it about six months to a year) to feel our hair. We know we have different texture of hair than white folks but don't look at the hair when we have a different hairstyle than the ones you're used to seeing us as if it was some alien object. Just compliment it and say "nice hairdo" and move on.
- Easy on Race Conversations: Don't think every time you get with us, you have to get in a conversation about race. It is even draining for us. We don't talk about the "trials and tribulations of the black men" all the time. Black people like pop-culture just like white folks. We like Jon Stewart, Steven Colbert and for ladies (and some black men who won't admit to it), we love "Sex And The City." Just be well-informed BUT it won't hurt if you've caught up on some "In Livin Color."
- Drop the Stereotypes: When you meet a black person, let the person be an individual starting from a clean slate. Don't EVER assume because that "assume" theory is true; you make ASS-U-ME. Not all black people eat chicken (well, that's open to debate), some are vegetarians or as Tyler Perry said once, some of us do eat "salmon." We don't all look alike and we don't dress alike. We don't all like hip-hop. I had a black college roommate once who thought R&B music was boring and only listened to Heavy-metal rock (but I teased her a few years she spent at an Iowa college took away her black card). Trust us, some of us like Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, etc. The aforementioned singers Jon B., Thicke, McDonald don't count as WHITE MUSIC. So is Hall & Oates or the Average White Band. Honorable mention: Justin Timberlake (we still have mixed feelings about him after the whole Janet "wardrobe malfunction" thing).
So those are a few pointers I can think of right now but they should help with expanding your horizon on your mission of "operation black friend."
So Kudos to Halle for the well-deserved honor; what can I say she's hot (and I'm comfortable with myself to give such props to another woman). Also, I commend her for her graciousness in sharing the award with all women who at different times in their lives individually feel like the "sexiest woman live."
Tags: Esquire Magazine, Halle Berry, Sexiest Woman Alive
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Be that as it may, I’d like to give full disclosure here that I was on the road when tonight’s debate started. So I missed the first 14 minutes via television and I’m grateful for NPR for carrying the debate live so I could listen while driving.
Here’s my take on the debate: I thought John McCain came out swinging (which was no surprise) and he landed a few hard knocks but he got tired like a boxer who wastes his punches in the early rounds, his strength waned in the last 45 minutes of the debate and Obama was still left standing since he maintained his composure.
Now enough with the boxing terminologies and into the meat: I want to know who the heck is Joe DePlummer (I hope that’s his last name but that’s what it sounded like)? Or was it Joe, the plumber? OMG! Whoever Joe is, his ears must be ringing! I almost got to the point of saying to my TV: “Enough about Joe, What About Mo? (My stake in this debate)”
And what about the line of the night from John McCain – “I am not President Bush!” Well he isn’t technically but if a guy like him says (it’s on tape) I’m in support of President Bush and I’ve voted with him over 90 percent of the time” means you’re kind of similar. Also, for John McCain to say, “education is a civil rights issue” during the debate made my brain go hmmm, that phrase sounds familiar; I wonder who made that statement? Oh, oh, oh, I know; that’s straight up from W’s mouth!
Then there was the William Ayers issue. Enough already! I heard about this guy during the Primaries now I have to be subjected to it for over 10 minutes of the debate. What does an action a guy did 40 years ago, long before my parents even met have anything to do with the state of the economy, energy or health care? But McCain wanted to milk the Ayers issue as much as he could. I could dissect this Ayers issue between both candidates but I’m already drained.
Another significant moment was the issue of abortion. Now let me say something about this issue. I’ve been following Presidential elections since my mid-teens (Bill Clinton’s first run) and this issue came up and I’ve almost doubled my years and this issue remains a bone of contention among candidates. As I grew older, I’ve made my decision that I don’t agree with act of abortion.
However, I’m one of those people who can’t be easily swayed just because a candidate is against abortion but is unethical on other issues that are vital. What am I saying? You cannot be against abortion but vote against funding for children’s healthcare (SCHIP anyone)? So until our government could be balanced in all areas (you don’t torture, you don’t let a certain group of people live in poverty and hunger to force mothers to do atrocious things to their children) then Roe V. Wade should stay!
Then there was that issue about the qualifications of each of the Vice-Presidential candidates to be President. Obama seemed very comfortable (as he should) about describing Joe Biden but McCain had to resort to clichés like “reformer,” “shake things up” to describe Sarah Palin. To this viewer (and I’m sure many viewers), the Palin qualifications to be President (a scary thought) just didn’t sell.
I could go on about various issues but let’s talk about the tone and body languages. As usual, Obama was just too cool for school. Even when McCain attacked him, he had this disarming smile (it seems he took a page from Biden) while McCain on the other hand, seemed agitated. There was the sighing, eye rolling, I had to ask myself does McCain know much about history? Check out Nixon V. Kennedy or Gore V. Bush; the former lost the debates and election (though Gore’s was stolen). Hel-lo McCain, over 60 percent of what you’re saying, is not coming out of your mouth.
So what’s my verdict? On the debate, I would say a draw but on the tone, I give it to Obama.
Tags: Final Presidential Debate, Hofstra University, Joe the Plumber
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
What is it about this election season and all the Pastor Problems? Let me count them: Rev. Wright, Father Pfleger, John Hagee, Rod Parsley, etc. Now we have Conrad joining the list with his "unique" opening prayer at a John McCain's campaign event last Saturday for His God not to allow other gods' prayers to come to pass for Barack Obama to win.
First of all, that is some ignorant mess because Hindu is not a god but a religion. Second, he's assuming that millions around the world cannot be Christians but most are talking to Allah or Buddha. Third, he's part of the so-called Christians who think because a person has a unique name (present company included), he cannot be a Christian; hence saying Obama cannot be someone who could do God's will.
Conrad is wrong on a number of levels as a Christian and a Minister of the Gospel. And it is not a great commentary that he's being the latter for over three decades. It is NOT his place to pray for one leader inspite of another; your Bible tells you to pray for ALL leaders of the land that we may lead a peaceable and quiet life.
Also, God is not in the game of fleecing. If God wanted John McCain to be President, then He could just make McCain President and forget about voting and Conrad won't need to bargain with God. Speaking of voting, according to Conrad's prayer, any Christian voting for Obama must not be doing God's will since according to him, McCain has the vision to lead the country.
One more thing: Conrad should remember that as a Minister of the Gospel, it is not his place to curse what God has blessed. If both candidates profess to be Christians, it is NOT Conrad's place as a Minister to question (or deny) the salvation of one and hold the other as right. That is left to His God to judge.
Tag: Arnold Conrad, Prayer at McCain Event
The latest from Jackson is a speech in France saying Barack Obama would not put Israel's interest first if he becomes president when making Mid-East policies. This guy (Jesse) has really become a thorn in Obama's side. How else do you explain his gaffes over the past year from Obama acting white, to emasculating him for talking down to black people (actually, Obama was only giving a speech about responsibility) and now this?
Could someone remind Jesse how Obama has been trying to gain the confidence of many Jewish voters (who voted for Hillary) after the Primaries? He even went to Israel and New York Mayor, Michael Bloomberg had to come to his defense among his Jewish constituents. Hel-lo, I live in an area with a significant amount of Jewish voters who might I say vote regularly and are normally swing voters. Now I wake up this morning browsing through the day's headlines only to get a nagging headache from the Reverend. Not again!
Seriously Jesse, YOU'RE NOT HELPING!!! How do you explain this comment: "Zionists who have controlled American policy for decades" remain strong, they'll lose a great deal of their clout when Barack Obama enters the White House." What part of America will always remain a friend to Israel don't you understand? And who made you the future Press Secretary for Obama saying what he'll do (or not do) when he gets into the white house?
Oh and Jesse didn't stop there. There's more: "Barack is determined to repair our relations with the world of Islam and Muslims," Jackson says. "Thanks to his background and ecumenical approach, he knows how Muslims feel while remaining committed to his own faith." Can somebody tell me how Jackson is not perpetuating the rumors about Obama being a muslim with aforementioned comments?
I'm begging for some new rules when it comes to Jesse Jackson: Since Jackson has never seen a mic he doesn't like, don't put ANY mic in front of him, attached to him until after the election because if he REALLY was an Obama supporter (and not an adviser), he wouldn't be this much of a distraction.
Tags: Jesse Jackson, Israel relations, World Policy Forum, Michael Bloomberg
Monday, October 13, 2008
I have a unique name and as previously mentioned, I've been thinking about writing about the stereotypes even before the name-calling in the political scene. Two Saturdays ago, I went to get my car serviced and while waiting in the lobby a couple of the car maintenance attendants (one white, another black) struck up a conversation with me - I seem to have that effect on people :-)
Anyway, the topics range from politics and race relations, which in today's world seem not to be mutually exclusive. The white guy told me (by first saying "no disrespect") if he hasn't seen me but just my first name on the computer, he would have assumed I was "Middle-Eastern." I smiled and told him I'm not surprised by his assumption since I've been "randomly" selected at the airports for extra security precautions when I travel out of the country in a post 9-11 world.
But I'm not Middle-Eastern (not that there's anything wrong with that). And the black guy (of Caribbean descent) doesn't get away scotfree either by making a generalization about the women from where my parents are from - I called him out of course. I'm the anti-thesis of whatever his presumptions are.
This is one of the things I love about living in South Florida - it is not straight up black or white and yes I have friends of various ethnicities to a point that my mother asked me years ago with a voice of concern "don't you have any African friends?" That gave me a pause at first while I thought about the question. My answer: "I didn't know that's a criteria for picking friends." All she said was "ha M-" As a way of saying my unusual way of seeing the world since my birth in the U.S with respect to (but inspite of) my parent's culture. The good thing was that subject was NEVER broached again. So I must have made an impression. But I digress.
One of the great things of living in South Florida is that it is a microcasm of America or how America will look in 2050. You got the New York/New Jersey folks all around, the Jewish Folks, the Haitians (Little Haiti), Latinos to a great extent (most in the Little Havana area), Caribbeans (if I'm not Middle-Eastern by my name, a lot think I'm Caribbean by my face) and a whole hodge-podge of Africans, Asians and Europeans and can't forget about the Snow-birds (people in cold climates who migrate here during those frigid temparatures).
As MSNBC's Chuck Todd and Chris Matthews said recently about Florida: You got the New York/New Jersey folks and most people up north in South Florida, the Mid-West folks in Central Florida and the South in Northern Florida as a way of saying of how they can't predict what will happen this election season in Florida. Gotta love it!
But most times, the downside of living here (South Florida) is when you have an ambiguous feature like mine you get to be asked "where are you from?" on almost a weekly basis to see if you identify with a respective person's culture (I don't 99 and half percent of the time). Forget that, they just start speaking to you in Creole, French, Patua (the Jamaicans) or Spanish from the gitgo. All I do is give a blank look (though I do understand some French but its very rusty).
I may even have a hat on (a penchant of mine during the weekends) and someone would stop me in a store to figure out what box to put me in. Then there's that name - my name. As previously mentioned of that Saturday afternoon at the car maintenance place to late Friday (past weekend) night at a networking event. So after the program was over Friday night, it was time for mingling.
One woman old enough to be my mom has been staring at me for a while talking to a couple individuals. When I turned to her and said hello with a business card in hand. This woman (black) first words were: "what kind of name is that?" Did I mention this was supposed to be a place for professionals? Do people understand etiquette? When I told her the origin, she said "well you look Jamaican!" as she kept staring at my face as if I was a piece of specimen. I counted to 10 in my head while maintaning a smile suggesting sorry to disappoint her.
I wish people would not make such a fuss about people's names especially those who look like me - black folks. The same people who would name their kids Alize, Corvossier, Lexus and other names synonymous with alcohol, cars (and other materialistic things) have a problem with my name. GIVE ME A FREAKING BREAK!!!
But my (or really, other people's) problem with my name pales in comparison with what Barack Obama is going through in the nationational spotlight. Take for example this video (I saw when I got into my house Friday night) of a woman scared that Obama is an Arab (He is NOT by the way):
Boy was I having a great time with folks and their presumptions! This was after a week of name-calling from McCain's camp to see this calling Obama an Arab. Why do folks from his camp call the name "Hussein" as if it is so SCARY!!! Now I give McCain credit for stopping the foolishness but this was after a week of incessant intolerance from his camp and an outcry from even the conservative base of his campaign threading a dangerous ground.
That was a given name to Barack by his father who shared the same name. And should I remind folks that Hussein is quite popular around the world as names for decent human beings regardless if many knew of one late dictator(Saddam Hussein) who shared the same name. Having a unique name doesn't make you risky or less American; why don't you judge a person by the content of his character first and not some preconceived notions of a name? Seriously!!!
Tags: Mike Scott, Lee County, Arab, Hussein, Intolerance, What's in a name
So I would like to thank "Sojouner's Place" for the honor. I would also like to thank Skittles' place for starting the honor.
Since I've been so out of the loop off the blogging world in the past month, I haven't been keeping track of my usual blogs but I'm trying to get back in the speed of things slowly but surely. Hence, I will pass this honor to Raw Dawg Buffalo for his unique flow and Electronic Village for being a source of info especially to black bloggers.
Who is James T. Harris you ask? Well, he's no where popular as Oprah but over the past week, he's got some unwarranted publicity because he's a brother who's in support for McCain as seen here:
Now I will admit when I first saw the video last week with a black man (Harris) telling a white guy (John McCain) to "stick it to him (Barack Obama)," it gave me a pause. But afterwards, I brushed it off as "to each his own."
So it was a shock to me last night watching CNN with Don Lemon that Harris has been getting hate mail and death threats for supporting his candidate of choice in spite of race. Oh come on! What is really going on with this election? My question is can't folks support their candidate without antagonizing others for their choice?
Granted, I feel Harris is relishing this moment in the spotlight as a conservative radio host most people haven't heard of BUT he doesn't deserve to be called an "Uncle Tom," "traitor to his race," etc. He like many others should support his candidate based on whatever views he uphold.
Another question to those folks attacking him is haven't blacks voted for white candidates for presidents for a long time; why should it stop with a few of them who want to continue the tradition? Isn't it about the issues after all? Are whites voting for Obama betraying their race for not supporting McCain? Why should it be any different for Harris?
I know, I know, some folks feel it's a once in a lifetime opportunity since Obama marks the first African-American party nominee for President and Harris should join the bandwagon. But what if Harris' issues and views constrain him not to vote for a man based on just the color of his skin?
Tags: James T. Harris, Hate Mail, Don Lemon
Friday, October 10, 2008
In my opinion, nobody (even the great Morgan Freeman, who could sound like God) could have made King Mufasa sound so dominant like Jones. "Simba, I am your father . . . You have forgotten who you are." "We are all part of the great circle of life." Can you tell I love me some Lion King? The movie is even better on stage - it comes alive and you're right in the middle of it than seeing from a screen. I highly recommend seeing the play on Broadway or the Cast traveling around the country's playhouses.
So Kudos to "The Voice." The honor is well-deserved.
But I still have some stuff to get off my chest:
AIG Executives Go To A SPA after $85 Billion Bailout: How in the world do you explain this? It's downright stupidity. Hel-lo AIG! Have you heard about this thing called "timing?" Timing is everything. You guys were close to bankruptcy. You don't take $440K to frolick at a spa when most Americans (who are already mad you got this money) are struggling.
So here I was watching the news a couple of days ago and this AIG executive admitted it was a stupid thing to do. Oh REALLY! SERIOUSLY!!! What were you guys in your forties, fifties, and older thinking?
Government offers AIG another $37 Billion: In the words of DMX - Y'all gone make me lose my mind up in here! The White House Press Secretary Dana Perino said the spa-gate was despicable. But it didn't stop the Fed to give these jokers another $37 Billion. Why? Can somebody explain this to me? Instead of punishing these folks, you reward them for bad behavior.
Dumb Jocks Say Magic Faked AIDS: There's a reason I used the term "dumb" for the radio hosts who said basketball icon, Magic Johnson faked his AIDS. What else could one call guys who made such comments. There are things going on in this world of ours that I find just mind-boggling.
How could anyone say Magic faked AIDS for sympathy? Sure, and he chose to retire from a sport early because of the disease when he still had a good two to three years inside of him. He chose to publicly admit to a shameful disease at that time and put his family into unnecessary spotlight because of the said sympathy? Give me a break. This is a guy when he announced he had AIDS, folks got skimmish around him; they wouldn't even shake his hands because they thought the disease will transfer. Thank goodness we've got enlightened since then; well, save for two dumb jocks.
Tags: AIG, AIG Executives Go To Spa, $37 Billion to AIG, Magic Johnson, Faked AIDS
Thursday, October 9, 2008
I've been a fan of DWTS since its inception. I'm one of those peculiar people who watched competitive ballroom dancing for years on public television before it became mainstream with the widely popular show. And I've been a fan of Burke since she joined in the show's second season.
Yes she was not like most of the other dancers in body shape but she was equally as talented (if not more). So it was nice to see a curvaceous yet compact woman on the dance floor. Let's face it, no matter what she does she can never have long and lean looks of the Russian (a la Karina) or Polish (a la Edyta) dancers. But she shouldn't have to want those figures.
Anybody ever saw old pictures of Josephine Baker? I don't think if she was living in the 80s to now in her heyday, people will will be readily accepting of her body. Did her body type negate the fact she was a great dancer.
So for folks especially the insatiable appetite of the media to attack ladies, i.e Tyra Banks, Jennifer Love Hewitt, etc. who are below the average American woman size (between 12 and 14) just because they chose to give themselves a break and put on a few pounds. Case in point: Cheryl Burke. This lady got a first time well-deserved vacation over the summer. So she wasn't practicing dance steps for six hours a day and she put on FIVE POUNDS and for that she's been crucified? GIVE ME A FREAKING BREAK!
Burke, just like Banks or Hewitt shouldn't have to publicly acknowledge why they put on weight. It's none of anyone's business! But it got so bad that this morning Burke had to confront the issue on GMA? People should get a life! But before getting a life, I wonder if the media considers what they are doing to young girls to fit unattenable weight. Look, if you were made a circle, I don't care what you do, you CAN'T fit a square hole. That's just it! Burke has the kind of body where if she put a little weight on will make her curvier, but does that mean she is not healthy?
Seeing Burke's issues today reminded me of another dancer, Paula Abdul. Abdul, as a girl just because she didn't have the look of the other dancers in her ballet class was forced into a lifestyle of bulimia for many years. Even her success years later as a Laker girl, choreographer (notably at first to Janet Jackson)and pop star didn't quench her demons until much later (in the 90s).
Thank goodness other women such as Tyra, Jennifer, and now Cheryl are choosing to fight back. But I wonder if such attitudes would translate to other women, especially girls.
Tags: Cheryl Burke, Tyra Banks, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Body Image
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Granted, during the Primaries, I was uncommitted almost until I went into my voting booth. Not because I didn't know who mattered to me but I was torn between two candidates. And I wanted to vote as intelligently as I could regardless of all the noise boistering between the two candidates.
But for a general election? Come on! How could you be undecided? Is it the need for attention from the media? How many times have you seen the interviews with undecided voters? Why, Why, oh why? Look at the issues at stake: The Economy, Iraq War, Climate Change, Health Care, Education and did I mention the economy? Can't the undecided voters find a candidate who has a better solution on most of the issues? I'm just saying . . .
Tags: Undecided Voters
Yesterday, I did something different from how I’ve watched debates over the years; went to a debate watch party hosted by national syndicated radio host Michael Baisden at the Gulfstream. The party was incredible, a chance to network with some folks in South Florida and for me, it was something different to do than staying in the comforts of my living room.
Now on to the debate in a town hall setting moderated by NBC’s Tom Brokaw: The questions in this setting were generated by many over the Internet and some undecided voters (more on them later).
The first question came from Allan who asked a question about the economy (surprised?) Sen. Barack Obama was the first candidate to start off with the answers and I was impressed he kept it precise and was up to date with the day’s news about AIG executives frolicking at a posh spa after the government gave them $85 billion bailout. PLEASE punish those executives!!! That’s my tax dollars!
Next up, Sen. John McCain for a follow-up: He started with energy but then he went on this merry-go-round that left writing in my notes: “How? How do you know how to fix the economy Mr. Fundamentals of our economy are strong?” I couldn’t get my answer so I looked forward to the next question.
The question was whom would the candidates appoint as Treasury Secretary in their administration. McCain made a lame attempt at a joke by telling Brokaw “not you!” That fell flat on me and the audience. I was wondering what Brokaw might have felt what did he ever do to McCain (because there were more exchanges to come). McCain mentioned Meg Whitman, the first woman CEO of E-Bay (hmm Carly Fiorina, former CEO of HP must have been banned from his campaign). As he went on about Whitman growing from 12 people to thousands, I thought to myself what a wrong example since E-bay just announced it was cutting over a thousand jobs in the U.S last week (does McCain keep track of business news?)
Now on to Obama about potential Treasury Secretary: He talked about “the Oracle of Omaha” (aka Warren Buffet). Excellent choice! As a former business student and current professional, I will read anything the Oracle proposes. Also, Buffet is an Obama supporter and he’s been talking about raising taxes on the filthy rich for years. So score goes to Obama (again) for having the Oracle on his side.
Oliver Clark, a young black guy in the audience asked the next question of how the bailout package will actually help Americans. McCain corrected Oliver that it wasn’t a “bailout” but a “rescue” package. That correction gave me a pause and I wondered if McCain knew he sounded condescending and I don’t care what term he called it; the package was both a bailout (for the foolishness of Wall Street) and a rescue (to Main Street). He must have sensed what he did because he rambled his way through the question.
But Obama answered the questions by giving examples of the vicious cycle that will happen if the bailout was not passed. Score number three for Obama.
For time sake, I won’t go line by line of all questions but more poignant moments from the debate and the watch party. I think McCain is off his rocker (pun intended) about the issue on the economy because why would he say this statement: “It depends on what we do . . .” But nothing on what we EXACTLY do, then he tried to twist his “fundamentals” gaffe to being the American people. Can I just tell McCain about some new rules: New Rules Sen. McCain! Since you’ve put your foot in your mouth about fundamentals, why don’t you decide NOT to use the word fundamentals in any sentence because we will think about your gaffe about the economy?
A light moment at the party: Michael Baisden asked why does McCain keep checking his notes for the debate. Baisden called the notes “cheat notes.”
Another light moment: When McCain attacked Obama on the question about climate change and green jobs but couldn’t remember what Obama said on the issue that drew his ire. In McCain’s words: “ . . . or something like that” which drew laughs from the audience.
Then McCain referred to Obama as “that one!” Hey about some etiquette PLEASE! That’s a man you’re talking to McCain. Seriously!!!
All in all, I would say I have a whole new respect for Barack after this debate. He kept his cool even when McCain referred to him as “that one” but he knew how to throw the measured punches as on attendee said to me, he show a bit of the “Chicago street smarts” of politics in this debate. So unlike the last debate when I gave my verdict as a draw, last night’s town hall debate was definitely a WIN for the new kid on the block – Sen. Barack Obama.
Tags: Michael Baisden, Town Hall Presidential Debate
Monday, October 6, 2008
I expect he might FINALLY look Barack Obama in the eye. But I expect for McCain to throw everything and the kitchen sink at him. Why? Well, seeing his position in the national polls have switched to over seven points in the past two weeks after his "fundamentals of the economy are strong" stupid comment on the day this country experiences the highest (777) points drop on Wall Street.
Not only is McCain slipping in the national polls but in key battleground states, which will affect the Electoral College come election night. Case in Point: Michigan. Most experts say when America suffers a cold financially, Michigan suffers pneumonia. So the polls have dramatically shifted in Michigan for Obama, which makes McCain battle for other key states an uphill battle.
I expect McCain to keep making Obama seem very risky. Did you count how many times in the last debate he said Obama just "didn't understand." So more naivete comments and maybe a siding with terrorists comment (in Obama's quest for diplomacy) while keep referring to the viewers as "my friends."
Other honorable mentions from McCain:
- Change Washington
What about Barack Obama at the debate? I expect more precise comments and less professorial stance on the economy. Seriously Barack, the folks at their kitchen table don't need to know the ins and outs of how Wall Street works (leave that to CNBC folks) but how much you care and want to get them out of their mess.
Also, I expect Obama to keep referring to McCain as "McSame" in relations to Bush policies. If you haven't heard McCain's 90 percent voting record with Bush enough, brace yourself for more.
Then I expect just like McCain questions Obama's inexperience for Obama to question John McCain's judgment over and over again to test McCain's temparament (don't you think it will be great TV when McCain's legendary temparament comes unhinged?)
Other honorable mentions from Obama:
- Ch-Ch-Changes (Get ready for the word "change" to make you turn blue)
- Middle Class
- Kitchen Table
- Joe Biden from Scranton (to pander to the working class)
- A few names of ordinary citizens we don't know dealing with hard times.
That's a snapshot! See you at the debate.
Joe Biden, understandably has cancelled some scheduled events including one to South Florida (this is such a battleground state, I can't believe how many politicians and celebrities endorsing them here) tomorrow.
So I wish Joe and Jill Biden and the rest of their family my heartfelt condolence.
Tags: Joe Biden, Jill Biden, Condolences
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Let's start with Helio on the alleged tax evasion and fraud charges: What was Helio thinking? I just can't believe folks who evade the IRS on their taxes especially when they are public figures.
Helio was only known in the race car circuits and as previously mentioned, some South Floridians but DWTS (a top five show) took his fame to another level. Think about it. He had about 20 to 25 million watching him shake his groove thing on each episode, doesn't he think some IRS agents might like DWTS too.
Helio's crisis reminds me of another reality star with tax problems; Richard Hatch, the first "Survivor" winner. Seriously, what's up with these celebrities? This is the IRS we're talking about; you can run but you can't hide. It is still a proven theory: Render unto God what is God's, and unto Ceaser's what is Ceaser's. Simple as that.
Now onto the knucklehead O.J. I'm just speechless. How could someone who got away with double murder thirteen years ago get involved in foolishness that might make him spend the rest of his life in jail? Idiot!
Tags: Helio Castroneves, O.J. Simpson Guilty Verdict
Friday, October 3, 2008
I've wanted to share this info but the dedicated readers of this blog know the reason for a bit of a pull back from blogging (I must say I really missed it these past weeks . . .). But after hearing R&B singer Joe (who's over 34, but the best example) on the Tom Joyner Morning Show last week who was a so-called supporter of Obama and believed Obama "got this thing" but had NO CLUE on how the voting process worked (this guy thought you could send your vote on the Internet) or where he could register to vote. OMG!
So let me talk to my peers and those a few or some years older. I don't care how many "Barack the vote," "Obama is my Homie," or "Hope" T-shirts you might wear, you have got to vote. You have no right to complain if you don't join the process.
Please, please, and pretty please, if you're not registered, this is the last weekend to do so (Deadline: October 6th). The best way to get registered is calling the line: 866-MYVote-1 or just go to any public building and get a voter's registration form and walk it to your Dept. of Board Elections (at this late date, it might be your best bet). And if you are registered, please go to the polls on November 4th or take advantage of early voting. After all, it is your civic duty.
I’m sick of some pundits declaring the victory for Palin when they were the very ones who set the bar so low for her in light of the trainwreck TV that came in the form of interviews between her and Charlie Gibson and later (more twilight zone) with Katie Couric.
I believed she was going to do well – as well as she could. She was sequestered to cram everything she could about foreign policy, economy, Iraq, etc, and talk to any former or present student, cramming can get you by.
But let me start with the debate: What was up with Palin asking Biden if she could call him “Joe” during the introduction? I thought to myself “no.” I felt like Joe should have been like Luda in one of his raps and say, “stand back, you don’t know me like that.” Palin didn’t know Biden but from her TV and meeting someone for the first time (at a debate no less) is not the time to drop formalities especially when you’re not his colleague. I’m no Emily Post, but a little etiquette lesson won’t hurt.
About etiquette for debates: Seriously, what was up with the winks? There’s something in Scripture not to trust someone with a wink. Also, could she could she at least act presidential and stop with the “betcha,” “doggone,” “darn right,” “Joe Six pack,” “there you go again” (straight out of Reagan’s books, thus inauthentic). I will say this: Palin just added more material for Saturday Night Life for spoofs.
Anyway, on to the actual debate: I had some texting (more than usual) moments with a relative about my impression at odd times of the sparring between the candidates and let me you in on them verbadom:
AAW: Palin needs 2 answer d question on deregulation.
(No response yet, so I text another observation)
AAW: What does energy have to do with mortgage? (That was my frustration after Palin kept on bringing up energy for any question).
Relative: That’s her game and people are going 2 talk it 2. When she can’t answer a question, she goes 2 energy.
AAW: She is not answering d questions. And why is Gwen (Iffil, the moderator) tipping d hand by asking Joe d tough questions first? (I noticed this because Palin will piggy back on something Joe said and the names of some foreign country members she clearly didn’t know).
Relative: I’m hip 2 her game. Don’t know what Gwen’s problem is. (Full disclosure here: We love Gwen Iffil and we were talking about our admiration for her before the debate and it didn’t stop afterwards).
AAW: Could she (Palin) pronounce “nuclear” right? And she just repeats nuclear without saying anything of substance. (This relates to the question on Iran and nukes).
(Got a quick call because the relative didn’t catch that – how she pronounces “nuclear” like Dubya as “nuculear.” Then the relative had to hang up to concentrate on the debate).
AAW: I hate this debate. (I text this statement a couple of minutes later after my frustration with circling around the issues).
Relative: Can’t wait 4 debate 2 be over 2 hear the people (pundits) speak. Lord, I hope they won’t disappoint me. PALIN IS SCARY! She is definitely having problems. (This was after an hour into the debate).
Relative: Better speak for people in WASilla Ist. (I guess the relative was talking about her folksy manner).
Relative: My cable just shut down. (Of all the ill-opportune times) Waiting 4 it 2 come back on.
AAW: If she says oil and gas one more time, I’m gonna scream! Alaska only produces 3.5 percent of oil.
Relative: Tell me when it’s over. Problem with svc provider (Gosh Comcast!).
Well the aforementioned was the exchange and you notice one person’s name not in on the text? Joe Biden! He was amazing! And I thought he was so restraint not to go on the attack as his normal “happy warrior” style. But he did say John McCain was no “maverick” on issues that concern the middle class. Also, Biden called McCain’s health care plan, which will give you $5K credit in place of most folks $12K plan and tax them afterwards the “ultimate bridge to nowhere.” (Now that’s the Biden I know).
One more thing: I thought the poignant moment of the debate was when Palin kept on talking about herself as a mother especially as one of a special needs child. Then giving shoutouts to single moms that Joe Biden has had enough. Biden said he might not be a mother but he definitely understood what it meant to be a single parent of kids alone (I think most Americans knew what he meant after the tragedy that befell his family) and one (the son on his way to Iraq) you didn’t know was going to make it. He got choked up while still trying to remain composed by saying he understands the working class families. Take it from me Biden, as a viewer who was also raised by single father at one time in her life, I understand.
So what is my verdict about last night? Like most polling results, I give the edge by a huge mile to Biden. Even Palin kept saying to Biden after the relief of the debate been over these words: “Thank you, thank you very much.” Yeah Palin thank him for being so deferential to you because you knew if you weren’t so new on the national scene and/or your gender, Biden the attack dog would have chewed you out.
Tags: VP Debate, Joe Biden, Sarah Palin