I’m fed up

I thought about writing out my thoughts on all the killings and shootings of our people instead of a long thread of tweets. However, I’m not doing that for two reasons.

One) it’s like the second I talk about one person’s murder by cops, another occurs in hours if not days and it’s exhausting emotionally, physically to wake up to the same news, same situation, same cycle of victim blaming of the newly murdered and sympathy for the killer in blue.

Two) When I share my thoughts, my pain without fail someone takes it as some academic lesson, some object lesson on racism instead of hearing out their friends pain about another black life taken. They share it as a lesson to other white friends who don’t get it. My pain is not a soundbite, it’s not a handy lesson to pass around to show how woke you are.

It also happens without fail someone will whitesplain back what I’ve said or try to play devil’s advocate when I speak from my heart. That usually happens more on twitter than here but it’s irritating and hurtful that people who follow me would rather turn someone’s very real hurt into an academic circle jerk on whether the things I’ve said are valid because they don’t see it in their lives.

I’ve got filters upon filters on Facebook, and a private, locked twitter. That’s where I’ll be having a lot of these conversations or venting going forward because my pain over more black murders isn’t there for people who don’t get it and thank me for sharing on breath, yet continue to be clueless and hurtful in the next.

About “Save the Pearls”

So… I’ve had some time to ruminate on this ‘book‘… “Save the Pearls”. I put book in air quotes because this doesn’t deserve to be called a book. It’s a self serving, poor me, white people are OMG oppressed in this far flung, post apocalyptic, fictitious world so this is totally ok, AMIRITE?! oppression fantasy brought to you.

Here’s the “About” blurb. I apologize in advance for any rage you may experience, but I didn’t write this. Bold commentary mine.

Would you betray your loved ones—and maybe your entire race—to avoid a horrible death?

In a post-apocalyptic world where resistance to an overheated environment defines class and beauty, Eden Newman’s white skin brands her as a member of the lowest class, a weak and ugly Pearl. The clock is ticking: if Eden doesn’t mate before her eighteenth birthday, she’ll be left outside to die. (Humanity is fucked then if people who don’t mate by 18 are left to die, shortest dystopian epic ever)

If only a dark-skinned Coal from the ruling class would pick up her mate option, she’d be safe. But no matter how much Eden darkens her skin and hair, she’s still a Pearl, still ugly-cursed with a tragically low mate-rate of 15%.

Just maybe one Coal sees the real Eden and will save her-she has begun secretly dating her handsome co-worker Jamal. But when Eden unwittingly compromises her father’s secret biological experiment, she is thrown into the eye of a storm-and the remaining patch of rainforest, a strange and dangerous land.

Eden must fight to save her father, who may be humanity’s last hope, while standing up to a powerful beast-man she believes is her enemy, despite her overwhelming attraction to him. To survive, Eden must change-but only if she can redefine her ideas of beauty-and of true love.

Acclaimed writer VICTORIA FOYT <—- acclaimed by WHO? blends equal parts suspense and philosophy, adventure and romance, in this captivating dystopian novel set in a terrifying future, which is all too easy to imagine. <—- only if you are a white person who is terrified of becoming a minority and what it could mean if *gasp* there are more of them than us.

The first installment in the Save the Pearls series of fantasy romance novels, Revealing Eden recently won the 2012 Eric Hoffer Award in the Young Adult Category, the Best YA Fantasy Award from Books & Authors, and was runner up in the 2012 Los Angeles Book Festival!

NO, JUST FUCKING NO. Save yourself the trouble and embarrassment of attempting to make a “statement” when all you’ve done is show how very, very little you know of how the world works. This attempt at showing some alternate reality, where white people are oppressed, devalued and dying out because they have a low mate rate because they can’t survive a super heated environment due to their lack of melatonin is perverse.

It’s a sad attempt at showcasing their own little world view (emphasis on little, since their writing and attempts and stemming the tide of their own fail on FB shows how narrow minded the author is) and trying to make some kind of … argument for something…

The author has posted a response on the Facebook page, here and many people have responded. It looks like the author is deleting comments that disagree with her post, her book and this whole concept. Here’s what I had to say:

Intent means nothing. Look at the vocabulary used in the book. Coals for dark skinned people, supposedly those that are “Coals”a re more worthy and valuable. Do you understand that coal does not have value except as fuel, something to be used and tossed away? Yet the poor, oppressed white people in this book are still called “Pearls”. Pearls, a semi-precious item in today’s world, something of intrinsic value, that is coveted, and treasured by others. 

The snippets I’ve seen are poorly written, the cover is offensive and you jumping up and down saying I’m not a racist is full of fail. Try harder, do some research into what words mean as well as caste systems, and try again once you have some research, some facts and can do better than this…whatever this is.

In choosing to KEEP TALKING instead of listening to the numerous POC (and non-POC) voices telling her how racist, fucked up, vilifying and fetishizing this thing is, the author is trying the usual tactic of repeating ad nauseum, but I’m not a racist! I’m not a racist! And this goes back to Jay Smooth’s point of how to tell the difference in someone doing/saying something racist, but that doesn’t mean they are a racist.

I’d liked to have given the writer of this fictitious world the benefit of the doubt, but when her responses basically boil down to OMG YOU ALL I AM NOT RACIST, STOP PICKING ON ME. I AM CRYING ALL MY WHITE WOMAN TEARS, WHY CAN’T YOU JUST TRY TO UNDERSTAND WHAT I’M DOING HERE!!!

I can’t do that because of her oh so special comment here:

Conceivably, if the book had not reached the African-American community of readers, if such a category still exists, perhaps there might be some backlash. The first young African American reader who responded to me loved the book. But then, she’s the kind of free spirit who would eschew limiting herself to a single category.”

That gave any inclination I had to be civil in this post went right the fuck out my living room window.

“IF SUCH A CATEGORY STILL EXISTS?” You know what Victoria Hoyt, FUCK YOU. I’ve been reading since before you were thought of you privileged dumb ass. Who the fuck do you think you are to make such a statement? Clearly reading, writing, and comprehension are skills you lack based on the this thing you are attempting to pass off as a serious look at “reverse-racism”, what-if scenarios.

Here’s something for you to read, print, and tack it next to your monitor because you need a lesson in how not to continue to fuck up regarding race issues:

I didn’t mean to and other such nonsense from allies:

http://racismschool.tumblr.com/post/22807040831/i-didnt-mean-to-and-other-such-non-sense-ally

Also, the Invisible Knapsack from Peggy McIntosh is required reading for you (and anyone else dumb enough to think your book is anything but an epic case for race fail).

I’d say just fucking Google it but it’s clear that using research tools and methods and actually trying to sound like an intelligent human being is beyond you, so have a freebie.

Ahem, back to what I was saying… oh yes how this attempt at post apocalytpic dystopia (read white oppression, mandingo fantasy gone wild) is a piece of tripe.

In going back to the site (shudder) to get more reference material I found this “video-log” of the main protaganist. SHE IS IN BLACKFACE, FUCKING BLACKFACE YOU HEAR ME. (video is here, watch at your own risk, I am not responsible for any damage caused after viewing it)

Just… really? Mate rate? Is that what people have been reduced to you in your fantasy world? Mate or die? If that’s the best you can come up with as a plot device, I would skip this tripe anyway but the whole thing about “Coals” and “Pearls” just cements the fact you are naive, privileged and have no clue about real world race issues.

Let me tell you something… words have meaning, they have value. Tossing about words like Coals, savage, beastly in reference to the antagonist who discovers her father’s experiments and tosses her out in the rain forest does not endear me, you want-to-be wordsmith. It shows that you still buy into the savage, hyper-sexualized, black man trope. It shows me that you couldn’t be bothered to try and find some way to describe the superior, darker people in this book without finding a way to still reduce them to nothing by your choice of words.

The fact that whites are described as “Pearls”, something precious, to be coveted and desired, “saved” shows your oppression fantasy quite clearly for the world to see, and it’s ugly. You should cover it up. I also want to know in what world (oops, yours apparently) that the girl used in the YouTube video would be considered ugly? She looks like someone dabbed her in brown shoe polish and she needs a bath but she is not ugly. I suppose there are people who tell her, you’re not bad looking for a Pearl in your book? (my guess is not really).

Someone with some sense, and a red pen should have stopped you when you pitched this idea to begin with. Someone with sense and editorial knowledge should have sat you down and explained how racism actually works in the real world, how the caste system works in the real world before letting you attempt whatever the hell you have let loose on the world.

Congratulations, you have created something I hold in greater derision that 50 Shades of Grey. You have also shown that you need some very harsh life lessons in order to see that racism is more than you conceive of in your attempt to show people the wrongs of racism. You failed Hoyt, seriously, epic-ally failed in Eden.

Also, other people have taken this concept and done it WELL. [Noughts and CrossesBlonde Roots] You should read their books, take notes and once you come out from the cave of Tropes, caricatures and fallacy that your characters reside in, perhaps learn to listen and try again, or not. I’m sure none of us would mind if you stopped attempting to teach people about concepts you don’t even understand yourself.

Dear Dan Savage, just stop talking about Bisexuals, it’s clear you know NOTHING about us.

I already didn’t like Dan Savage… but goddamn now I’m just bursting with anger. How the fuck, just how the everliving fuck does he even fix his mouth to spout the shit about bisexuals that he continues to let out into the ether?

Via AngryBlackTumblr: Bisexuals You Need to Come Out to Your Friends and Spouses—Now

Dear Dan Savage,

You know his claim as to why Bi’s NEED to come out? So we can basically stop whining about being invisible and do something and claim our spot in the community. You know what, fuck and you Savage.

No one should be forced to be out, in case you haven’t noticed not everyone can safely be out no matter their orientation. A lot of people can’t be out because they will lose their homes, their jobs, their kids, be threatened with bodily harm, and the list goes on. I should not have to declare myself at the LGBTQIA community border for your comfort. I don’t have to declare my orientation so you can pigeon hole me, continually treat me as a red-headed step child in the family because I supposedly can run back to hetero privilege whenever I get too scared.

You don’t speak for me Savage. You don’t get to draw lines in the sand and declare that my bisexuality is valid only because of my age. You don’t get to deny those teen boys (notice girls aren’t even on his radar as valid) their orientation because you claimed being bi as a teen. You are not them, they are not you and you are not the fucking mouthpiece of the entire LGBTQIA movement.

You preach that it gets better for some, but you are employing the same divisive tactics that anti-gay leaning folks use on the community. Just stop talking about things you don’t know, you don’t understand and for fucks sake stop posturing yourself as the be-all-end-all pundit of queer issues. Stick to what you know, which isn’t much.

No love,

Me
ETA: Just a few links I found while Googling Dan Savage + Bisexuality. Almost all links point to some bi-phobic shit he’s said in the past and never apologized for. Come at me again with how he’s not bi-phobic and I’m going to laugh at you.

Black is… black ain’t…

Black is beautiful, just so we are motherfucking CLEAR. Black ain’t “less desirable than other races”,

“inherently less attractive than other races”

tumblr_llb9rsnCiZ1qzo0zoo1_500

So… we are in the throes of yet ANOTHER online storm about black folks. Black women’s looks, black women’s bodies, black fathers and the old ass trope of omfg black folks are on the internet too!?! How about that has been dragged out and beaten again for what its worth. (A hint – Not much). I tried to be eloquent and wordsmithy, but you know what? Fuck it, I’m sick of being polite about people telling me how I should feel about how I look.

So many people have waxed eloquently on this topic that I’ll give you links and such… but for what my 0.02 is worth; I’m so fucking sick of being told that I’m not beautiful or attractive or worthy of love and affection because I’m “strong” or career focused or “the strength of the family.”. I’m really fucking sick of the idea that everyone gets a say in how I feel about myself as a black woman. I’m tired of everyone getting to hold up the brown paper bag to check my blackness, and worthiness of having a say in racial debates because I’m fair skinned and obviously “not really black.”

I’m tired of pseudo scientists speculating on the attractiveness of myself and the bounty of black women everywhere. Who the fuck decided that this guys opinion was worth anything to begin with? I don’t even know what an evolutionary psychologist is, do you? Someone explain what that means and then you’d better have a really, really good reason as to why some “evolutionary psychologist” gets a say on black bodies and beauty. I’ll be here, so when you get a clue, come holler at me. Until then, all these faux pop psychologists and arm chair thinkers can shut the fuck up about our bodies, our beauty and everything else in-between.

I leave you with some great articles and a repost of a lovely image snagged from the Angry Black Tumblr.

You Keep Saying Black Women are Ugly Worthless Whores and We Refuse to Believe you by Karnythia

Racialicious: Repeat Offender: Satoshi Kanazawa’s Other Greatest Misses

Angry Black Tumblr: The Article is now gone, but more thoughts

Angry Black Woman: Initial post on this article; noting original title was “Why are Black Women Ugly?”

ABW: Screencap of the article in question, after the title was changed.

A Guide: How Not To Say Stupid Stuff About Egypt

Keep in mind this author is not making wide brush strokes over all Americans, nor are they assuming we’re all idiots, racists, and never have gone further than our own back yards. They raise the points below after reading the stupid shit posted on the internet by people who think they KNOW THINGS.

If you feel the urge to come at me for re-posting this, bring a good argument because frankly I don’t have the energy or desire to fight with someone over a re-post. Don’t like the article? Then comment to the original poster.

A Guide: How Not To Say Stupid Stuff About Egypt

The past few days I have heard so many stupid things from friends, blogs, pundits, correspondents, politicians, experts, writers that I want to pull my hair.  So, I will not beat around the bush, I will be really blunt and give you a handy list to keep you from offending Egyptians, Arabs and the world when you discuss, blog or talk about Egypt.  Honestly, I would think most Progressives would know these things, but let’s get to it.

Continue reading “A Guide: How Not To Say Stupid Stuff About Egypt”

Violence…and loathing

After reading some of the articles outlining the actions, words and implied threat in the words bandied about since Barack Hussein Obama was elected as the 44th President of the United States, and culminating in the shooting deaths of six people, and critical injury to Congresswoman Giffords the fear I have about President Obama living through his term has returned one-thousand fold. Reading the following timeline from the Coalition to Stop GunViolence (h/t to ErikTheDane for the link) I’m terrified, not just for our POTUS but for any elected official that does not fall under the ideology of those who feel as if their country is being “taken from them” and their liberties being snatched from under them.

The people who bandy about careless words, reload, be armed, second amendment solutions ad nauseum and the media that does not hold their tongues, instead blast their hateful, careless rhetoric over the air, the internet and radio waves. That is partially what has fueled over two years worth of incidents, hate speech, and violent fantasizing by the far right. Read the article, see the time-line of the breakdown of civility, honest discourse and understand where this sense of loathing, disenfranchisement and breakdown of common sense, and ability to disagree without going to the extreme.

As you are an adult, I leave it to you to draw your conclusions from this time-line’s noted incidents, to the climate of simmering hatred and vitriol we are drowning in, and it seems that no one is willing to clean the pool of the detritus of hate and lack of logic. I just wish the people peddling hate would use this tragedy as a much needed wake up call and try, honestly try to put the brakes on the out of control freight train they’ve piloted for the last few years.

Continue reading “Violence…and loathing”

Repost-The Wrath of Fools: An open letter to the far right

The Wrath of Fools: An Open Letter to the Far Right

Monday 10 January 2011

by: William Rivers Pitt, t r u t h o u t | Op-Ed

The Wrath of Fools: An Open Letter to the Far Right
(Image: Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t)

To: Palin-lovers, Fox “News,” the “mainstream” media, and the Far Right, et al.

From: William Rivers Pitt

Date: Monday 10 January 2011

Re: The blood on your hands

 

 

 

Dear “Patriots,”

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords isn’t much older than I am. She served in the Arizona State House of Representatives, and the Arizona State Senate, before being elected to three successive terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. She once described herself as a “former Republican,” and is today considered a “Blue Dog” Democrat, meaning she holds a number of conservative political positions. This is not terribly surprising, given the generally conservative political bent of the state she has served for the last ten years. She was married four years ago to a space shuttle commander who had served as a Naval aviator, and who flew 39 combat missions in Desert Storm, before volunteering for astronaut training.

Last Wednesday, she was sworn in to her third term as the Representative for Arizona’s 8th congressional district. One of her first acts in the newly-minted 112th Congress was to read aloud from the House floor, in response to the Republican Party’s recitation of the Constitution, the following lines: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

She returned to Arizona not long after to assist in the implementation of that most vital of Constitutional principles, calling together a meeting of her constituents in a peaceable assembly so the citizens she represents could petition the government for a redress of grievances. Among the gathered crowd were a number of her staffers, a judge, and a nine-year-old girl named Christina-Taylor Green who was born on September 11, 2001.

And then all Hell broke loose.

A man named Jared Lee Loughner waded into the group and fired a bullet into Rep. Giffords’ skull at point-blank range, before turning his weapon on others in the crowd. Christina-Taylor Greene, who would have celebrated her tenth birthday on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, was shot in the chest and killed. The woman who brought her to the event was also shot. Gabriel Zimmerman, who served as Rep. Giffords’ director of community outreach, was also killed. He was 30 years old, and was recently engaged to be married. U.S. District Judge John Roll, who had served on the bench for twenty years, was also killed. Dorwin Stoddard, a church volunteer, died after putting his body between his wife and the hail of bullets. His wife was also shot. Two of Rep. Giffords’ constituents, Dorothy Morris and Phyllis Scheck, were also killed. All in all, 31 shots were fired before several brave souls tackled Loughner, disarmed him, and wrestled him to the ground.

At the time of this writing, Rep. Giffords is lying in a hospital bed in critical condition. The God you Bible-spewing frauds love to flog the rest of us with must have been in that supermarket crowd with her on Saturday, with His hand on her shoulder, because it is nothing short of a full-fledged miracle she survived at all. Doctors are actually cautiously optimistic that she will survive, though the degree to which she will ultimately recover is still sorely in doubt. She can respond to simple commands, according to her doctors, and is marginally able to communicate. If she survives her wound, it is wretchedly certain her life will never, ever be the same.

I just thought you should know a few things about the people you helped into their graves and hospital beds this weekend.

Yes, you.

You false patriots who bring assault rifles to political rallies, you hack politicians and media personalities who lied through your stinking teeth about “death panels” and “Obama is coming for your guns” and “He isn’t a citizen” and “He’s a secret Muslim” and “Sharia Law is coming to America,” you who spread this bastard gospel and you who swallowed it whole, I am talking to you, because this was your doing just as surely as it was the doing of the deranged damned soul who pulled the trigger. The poison you injected into our culture is deeply culpable for this carnage.

You who worship Jesus at the top of your lungs (in defiance of Christ’s own teachings on the matter of worship, by the way) helped put several churchgoers into their graves and into the hospital. You who shriek about the sanctity of marriage helped cut down a man who was about to be married. You who crow with ceaseless abandon about military service and the nobility of our fighting forces helped to critically wound the wife of a Naval aviator who fought for you in a war. You who hold September 11 as your sword and shield helped put a little girl born on that day into the ground.

You helped. Yes, damn you, you helped.

The “mainstream” media is already working overtime playing up the “Disturbed loner” angle with all their might. There is no doubt, from the available evidence, of Mr. Loughner’s transformation into a disturbed individual. But here’s the funny part: all the crazy crap he spewed, about the gold standard (a favorite of Glenn Beck, the master of Fox “News” fearmongering…so he can sell his gold scam to suckers) and government mind control and everything else before going on his rampage, is straight out of the Right-Wing Insanity Handbook. His personal YouTube ramblings were a mishmash of right-wing anti-government nonsense…the kind that attracts sick minds like Loughner, the kind that only reinforces their paranoia, the kind that finally pushes them over the brink and into the frenzy of violence that took place on Saturday. The kind that the likes of you have been happily spreading by the day.

He did not act alone. You were right there with him. You helped.

I’m talking to you, “mainstream” media people, who created this atmosphere of desperate rage and total paranoia out of whole cloth because of your unstoppable adoration for spectacle, and ratings, and because the companies that own your sorry asses agree with the deranged cretins you helped make so famous and powerful. It was sickeningly amusing on Sunday to watch Wolf Blitzer bluster and bluff on CNN about how the media owns no responsibility for this disaster. It was like watching a ten-year-old try to explain how a lamp got broken while he was running through the living room, but no, it wasn’t him. It was, in reality, a pathetic display…but that is what you generally get whenever Wolf is on your screen.

“Mainstream” news personalities like David Gergen and John King bent over backwards warning people not to blame Sarah Palin and her ilk for this calamity. It was a sick man who did this, they said. Bollocks to that. I hate to break this to the “mainstream” media know-betters, but words matter. When people like Palin spray the airwaves with calls to violence and incantations of imminent doom, people like Loughner are listening, and prepared to act. The “mainstream” media lets it fly without any questions or rebuttal, because it’s good for ratings, and here we are. Words matter. Play Russian Roulette long enough, and someone inevitably winds up dead.

Remember the run-up to the Iraq invasion, and the subsequent occupation? “WMD everywhere, al Qaeda connections to 9/11, plastic sheeting and duct tape because we’re all gonna die!” was the central theme of the majority of your broadcast schedule for years…until it was all proven to be a lie. You helped the liars, you were the liars, but you knew that. You also got your spectacle, and the corporations that own you got paid a king’s ransom, so everyone was happy, except the dead.

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Tell me this is any different, I dare you. For the spectacle, the ratings and the pleasure of your owners, you ran names like “Sarah Palin” across the sky in lights, even after she should have faded into well-deserved obscurity, and helped this blister of right-wing rage fester until it finally burst. This was your show, and in perhaps the most wretched irony of all, I would bet all my worldly possessions that your ratings are through the roof right now. You got what you wanted. I hope you are pleased.

And yes, I’m talking to you, Sarah Palin, you unutterably disgusting fraud. You pulled it off your ridiculous website, but it’s out there: you put cross-hairs – literally, cross-hairs – on Rep. Giffords, you blithered about “reloading” instead of “retreating,” and you made this country more stupid and violent with every breath you took. Well, congratulations, you failure, you quitter, you inciter of mobs. You put the cross-hairs on her, and someone finally pulled the trigger. Run from it all you like, Lady MacBeth, but this blood will never be washed from your hands.

I’m talking to you, Sharron Angle, you walking punch-line, who talked about “Second Amendment remedies” being necessary if you didn’t get your way on health care reform during your failed Senate campaign.

I’m talking to you, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity, and Bill O’Reilly, and Michael Savage, and Ann Coulter, and Laura Ingraham, and to every other right-wing tripe-spewing blowhard blogger and Fox News broadcaster. I hope you are proud of yourselves, because this is the day you get to reap what you have been relentlessly sowing since you were forced to encompass the unmitigated outrage of a Black man winning the office of President of the United States.

That’s right, I said it. Anyone who thinks good old-fashioned American bigotry and racism are not the core motivation for a vast majority of these so-called “revolutionaries” should get their heads examined. You’ve heard of the “elephant in the middle of the room?” Well, this is the burning cross in the middle of the room, and no amount of spin will douse those flames.

I’m talking to you, Koch Brothers. Your money to create and spread this disease was well-spent; you now have one less Democrat in the House to worry about, at least for the foreseeable future. Congratulations, you un-American sacks of filth.

And I’m talking to each and every one of you who listened to these traitors and believed the nonsense they spewed at you for no other reason than to pick your pockets for campaign/organization contributions. I’m talking to you who wore your silly fatigues and carried your badly-spelled fact-deprived signs to protests with pistols on your hips and rifles on your shoulders. You who threw bricks through the windows of politicians you disagreed with. You who shot out the windows of Rep. Giffords’ office not even a year ago.

You worked very hard to create exactly this atmosphere in America, and now it has come to be. We have entered the age of the Wrath of Fools, and we now must again exist in an America where the word “assassination” has become all too relevant.

You helped this happen. You.

You know it. I know it. Have the guts to admit it, even if only to yourselves.

I know many Republicans and conservatives, and consider them to be dear friends. The single most influential person in my life (aside from my mother) was a rock-ribbed conservative Republican, and there is no person I respected more than him. I do not count these people, and those like them, among those whom I address here. They are as sickened and repulsed by you as I am.

This is not the end of the story, but is just the beginning. The good people of the United States of America, the true patriots, have finally seen you with your media-painted masks ripped off. They have seen what comes to pass when hate, venom, ignorance and violence goes unchecked and unanswered. You have been exposed, and the fact that it took such an unimaginably horrific act for that exposure to take place only increases the fierceness with which you will be answered. You will be repudiated, not with violence, but with the scorn and rejection you so richly deserve. Spin it as you will, scramble all you like. You are found out, and you have nowhere to hide.

Oh, P.S., if anyone reading this is operating under the delusion that the overheated right-wing rhetoric that went a long way towards almost getting Rep. Giffords killed, and had a strong hand in putting six people in the ground, is some sort of new Obama-era phenomenon, well…

“I tell people don’t kill all the liberals. Leave enough so we can have two on every campus – living fossils – so we will never forget what these people stood for.”

– Rush Limbaugh, Denver Post, 12-29-95

“Get rid of the guy. Impeach him, censure him, assassinate him.”

– Rep. James Hansen (R-UT), talking about President Clinton

“We’re going to keep building the party until we’re hunting Democrats with dogs.”

– Senator Phil Gramm (R-TX), Mother Jones, 08-95

“My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times building.”

– Ann Coulter, New York Observer, 08-26-02

“We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed, too. Otherwise, they will turn out to be outright traitors.”

– Ann Coulter, at the Conservative Political Action Conference, 02-26-02

“Chelsea is a Clinton. She bears the taint; and though not prosecutable in law, in custom and nature the taint cannot be ignored. All the great despotisms of the past – I’m not arguing for despotism as a principle, but they sure knew how to deal with potential trouble – recognized that the families of objectionable citizens were a continuing threat. In Stalin’s penal code it was a crime to be the wife or child of an ‘enemy of the people.’ The Nazis used the same principle, which they called Sippenhaft, ‘clan liability.’ In Imperial China, enemies of the state were punished ‘to the ninth degree’: that is, everyone in the offender’s own generation would be killed and everyone related via four generations up, to the great-great-grandparents, and four generations down, to the great-great-grandchildren, would also be killed.”

– John Derbyshire, National Review, 02-15-01

“Two things made this country great: White men & Christianity. The degree these two have diminished is in direct proportion to the corruption and fall of the nation. Every problem that has arisen (sic) can be directly traced back to our departure from God’s Law and the disenfranchisement of White men.”

– State Rep. Don Davis (R-NC), emailed to every member of the North Carolina House and Senate, reported by the Fayetteville Observer, 08-22-01

I could go on, and on, and on, and on, but you get the gist.

Most Disrespectfully Yours,
William Rivers Pitt

Words have power and meaning

Like the rest of the country, I’ve been watching the coverage of the shooting of Congresswoman Giffords at a local Safeway in Arizona. Like others I’ve watched pundits, the local blogger and everyone in between postulate on what motivated the shooter(s)*. I’m horrified at the loss of life, of a nine year old girl who was on the scene because of her interest in the political system, and a judge who stopped by in support of his colleague. I’m also moved by the words, thoughts and analysis of so many people online, who have stopped for a moment and put some thought into what they are saying and bringing some sense to the table in this maelstrom of chaos brought on by this senseless act of violence. I’m no wordsmith, but I do want to throw my digital two-bits in on the subject of words and the power they carry. My words here are not meant as an indictment, sanction or anything of the sort but they are meant to be taken, read, re-read and hopefully they will put some food for thought on the stove today.

First, we (as in anyone who has uttered an unthinking word about someone of an opposing viewpoint, be it political or otherwise) must stop the hate speech. We must stop being so careless with our words, only to be forced to swallow them after tragedy occurs. It’s far too easy to say “Well I didn’t meant THAT!” THAT being whatever act has been done by one or more members of the society; especially if they are in any way encouraged or easily swayed by rhetoric, and the lull of a final solution to what they perceive as a problem in their worldview. Second, It’s far too easy to use words laced with violent intent, and ASSUME that every single person that your words reach will be able to discern between the verbiage you toss about and your actual INTENT. I would hope that the people tossing about such hateful words so carelessly regardless of where they stand in terms of religion, politics, anything would remember the basic lesson of speaking. Do not assume anything about your audience, speak to them as if you are bringing new information to the table and they are learning from you.

Third, call out those that continue the pattern of hateful and violent speech against anyone they are not in sync with. Keep events such as the shooting in Arizona in the back of your mind, the Kennedy Assassinations, the murder of Dr. King and everyone who has taken a bullet because they dared to have a differing opinion than what another portion of society holds. Remember the lives lost over the years because someone felt that they held the key to solving the worlds problems in their hand via violence. Especially if their motivation does wind up being traced back to words said in the media freely and with no regard as to how they are going to be perceived, taken and used by those that may not be able to tell the difference between the reality we inhabit and the reality they inhabit. We must also think about those that have mental illness, those that just may not be well in any sense of the word and how a message such sent by a politician urging people to remove a Congresswoman, dressing in fatigues and inviting them to shoot M16’s? What about a message sent by using a map with bullseyes on it to target your opposition?

(Image posted for reference, and the fact that Palin should not be allowed to scrub this from her sites in the chance that people will forget. The memory of the internet is long)

There is so much power in what we say, the way in which we say it and in this day and age the method of delivery can get your message out there for good or ill in seconds. I repeat, we all need to take what has happened as a lesson in meaning what you say, and saying what you mean. Be clear in your speech, right in your intent and for the good of all of us, consider the places your words will reach, the ears they will fall upon and the minds they will touch. I say this to you politicians, friends, teachers, educators, loved ones, celebrities, sports figures. All of us are responsible for the words, the intent and messages we put out in the world every moment of every day. No one should be afraid to do their job because they could be shot down.

None of us should be afraid to disagree with someone out of fear of retribution by another, or by the person we’ve disagreed with. We really need to wrangle our words, think about their perception once they are out in the ether of the internet, others minds, hearts … this event is already changing how public servants will think about their jobs, how they serve and I’m sure many will rethink public office if merely dissenting with the opinions of others can earn you a death sentence.

Many others have covered this topic with more clarity and more eloquence than I can. I leave you with their words and I urge you to share their words, and think very hard about your own the next time you engage in conversation, especially one in which you plan to disagree with someone about the topic at hand.

Keith Olbermann’s Special Comment on the attempted assassination of Congresswoman Giffords

Cabell Hankinson Gathman:Discussion of an assassination: ableism & the failure of sociological understanding

Letters from Titan: Words Matter

Views Across the Pond: Lessons learnt – The Shooting of Gabrielle Giffords

Join the Coffee Party Movement: On the shooting in Tucson today

Huffington Post: GOP Senator, Rhetoric must be toned down

Maddowblog: This is a democracy, we can’t govern if we don’t respect each other

A moment of utter anger over yet more jokes at Antoine Dodson’s expense

I’ve always been angry about the way the Antoine Dodson case and interview has been turned into an internet meme, a joke and worse people are profiting off Mr. Dodson. After seeing yet another person post that damned auto-tuned version of the “rape song” I’d had enough. I’m ugh… I don’t even have words that aren’t a froth of utter rage for people treating this man’s interview with reporters as something funny, overshadowing the fact that he fought off his sisters attacker from their home and making him some internet joke.  So much so, you don’t even see her NAME anywhere, just people making fun of a man saving his sister. So here’s a bunch of links…

Antoine Dodson – Turning Rape into a joke (Salon.com)

Antoine Dodson – Internet star or Homophobic joke? (Kenyon Farrow)

Why is Antoine Dodson funny? Two Candid Perspectives (The Social Path)

What’s so Funny about Antoine Dodson? (Change.org)

Antoine Dodson – Famous for all the wrong reasons (CelebriFi)

Yeah, not amused, never was amused and never will be amused. Let this internet meme rest and let that man get back to having a life free of being a living, breathing internet joke.

 

A brief thinky post on the Wiscon situation and disinviting EMoon as GOH

This will be brief and entirely ineloquent because I am sick and cannot brain well. In short, disinviting E Moon as GOH is NOT FUCKING SILENCING HER! Reposting her own words for the world to see is NOT BULLYING HER! All these people whinging about how evil the mean brown people are, how they wheedled the comcon into disinviting her to be GOH need to just shut the fuck up, as in NOW.

I’m tired of people crying about Moon being silenced, and persecuted and all that other bullshit. She shat on the living room carpet, threw a blanket over it and continued to act as if there was nothing there. Her continued silence, refusal to discuss the issue and then the concom taking a while to make up their minds while staying conspicuously quiet is the issue.

I’m sick of people throwing tantrums in the Wiscon LJ comm about how meen this was, and rude, etc etc to disinvite Moon and stamping their feet and saying they aren’t coming now because the Con obviously isn’t for them.

GOOD, I don’t want my con experience ruined by whiny ass people who think its all about them and can’t see why Moon’s screed was so damn problematic. Also, if you can’t realize how much her words hurt our Muslim sisters and brothers, then I suggest you revisit Civics class, Privilege and Classism as well as Racism 101.

Many, many other people have said their piece on why the whole issue and how it was handled is problematic. See the [community profile] wiscon, [personal profile] karnythia, [personal profile] yuki_onna, [personal profile] nojojojo and K. Tempest Bradford sums up my feelings perfectly with You People are out of your Goddamned Minds

More on Moonfail… and how Wiscon has disappointed me

So there’s plenty more going around the web on the lack of response from Wiscon’s concom, especially after the governing body SF3 has suggested that E Moon’s (link goes to the post that kicked this off) GOH invitation be rescinded. There are others who have spoken far more eloquently than I ever could, those that were deeply involved in the whole thing that have stepped away from being on concomm or the programming comm and have said NO to Wiscon because its failing to meet its own expectations by not rescinding her invitation, and by expecting Muslim attendees to be walking teachers to correct her failure to see them as human beings, and in her own words as good citizens. That’s utter bollocks, and imposing an unfair burden on Muslims that would be attending the Con.

The other issue I’m having is seeing how this is affecting so many people, and how little it seems to matter to those who can make the decision to disinvite her. Is the pain of even one member of the community insufficient to move the concom to a decision? Do they need to see people canceling their memberships, their rooms and more declarations of how done people are with Wiscon to be moved to action?  Is it going to come down to money lost versus doing the right thing to get some kind of action to occur?It shouldnt be a matter of just dollar but of sense, and of what the Con supposedly stands for and not forgetting that in the face of controversy.

I’ve only gone to Wiscon once, and I greatly enjoyed it last year. I got to meet many wonderful people who I’ve remained connected to since Wiscon 34. I was afraid to even attend this year post race-fail, and frankly after seeing all of the hemming and hawing on making a decision about Moon’s GOH invitation and the idea that Muslim attendees should be walking teachable moments instead of making Moon see where she screwed up and making her accountable for her words; which are on the internet for the world to see and repeating them is not maligning her, it’s called quoting people I’m angry that I even gave Wiscon this one year of my time, money and experience. I’m disappointed more than angry about all of this.

I hope that Wiscon makes a decision, and soon about rescinding Moon’s GOH status before anyone who cares just gives up and goes away. I know I’m getting to that point and I’ve only gone once but was excited about returning to Madison next May, already booked a room and was planning on how to get there even if I don’t have a job by next spring. But instead I’m going to join the folks sitting, waiting and wondering what is going to finally happen.

Lastly and most definitely not least, I hope that people have not forgotten about Nisi Shawl, the GOH for Wiscon 35. I feel like she has been overshadowed, overrun by the utter fail of Moon’s idiocy and hate speech and forgotten in this. I hope to be there to support and celebrate Nisi as she should be celebrated for all she’s done. It was wonderful meeting her last year and I want to keep her in people’s minds as they make up their mind about attending/not attending/giving up on Wiscon altogether.

In short, I hope there’s some action sooner than later and I can resume plans to attend in good conscience.

Introducing… The We Got Your Back Project

So… Joy E. came up with a nifty idea. A project where LGBTQIA youth, straight allies, adults and others could share their stories to encourage and strengthen youth who may be getting bullied, harassed and otherwise mistreated for being who they are. This project will make sure that lgbtqia of color, bisexual and transgendered folks will not be left out of the work of telling their stories and having their voices heard.

Yes, I know some of you are thinking… but there’s already a similar project out there! Well, yes there is but whereisjoy and I wanted to be sure everyone’s voice is heard, that everyone is able to share their story in the hopes it would give strength to others who are dealing with coming out, being out and bullied as well just for being who they are.

This idea is just a wee idea, barely out of the box and we need your help to make sure it thrives. What we need help with is:

Contributors; anyone who falls within the LGTBTQI & A spectrum, allies, anyone who has been touched by the injustice of having their voices silenced or drowned out by the masses.

A couple people to be editors; to help with reviewing content, posting and maintaining the site (which is now a WordPress site). Please note that the site is pretty bare at the moment, and we are adding content, submission guidelines and such over the next couple of weeks.

As the project grows, we hope to have someone who is media savvy, who can talk to the local LGBTQIA media, and deal with the issues that will arise from creating a project similar to one that already exists. Please note that we are not doing this to be in direct competition with the It Gets Better Project, but rather to supplement and give everyone a voice who may not feel as if they will be heard otherwise.

For now, please spread the word about this project, what we hope to do and most importantly the soft launch date of mid-October 2010. In the interim, please leave questions here, if you want your question discussed off site want to have a longer chat, email us at: wegotyourbackproject@gmail.com

So there’s the great idea, let’s make sure it not only learns to crawl but learns to soar.

Wiscon 2011 and how the emoon situation is making me rethink attending

So, it’s not news about the whole emoon Islamaphobia post that is now shut down by the author. It isn’t news that many fantastic people have written their piece about her idiocy Link Roundup @ karnythia’s LJ and some great posts on this by Asim are here, here, here and response to the Wiscon concom not rescinding her GOH invite is here and now comes the decision by Wiscon to keep her as a GOH. That discussion and the fallout over her remarks is now overshadowing the fabulous Nisi Shawl as 2011 GOH, and it pisses me off that this RaceFail redux 2010 edition is ruining the con for so many before people have even booked tickets to attend.

The whole situation reeks of hatred, vitriol, over the top uber patriotism that we were all treated to immediately following 9/11. I can understand the position that the Wiscon concom must be in, to have to deal with yet another race fail type thing and not just by a panelist or attendee, but having to deal with such remarks by one of the incoming GOH’s has to be hell to deal with. I concede that it’s not an easy discussion… but, and there’s always a but… allowing her to remain GOH, and trying to frame it as a teaching moment does two things in my head (and this came up in conversation with [personal profile] karnythia this evening.

1. It puts the onus for teachable moments on the attendees, to task them with making others understand when they are at the con of their own reasons. I don’t go to cons to be on the hot seat for explaining and teaching others, if I wanted that I’d be on panels (not like panels are all about teachable moments, but you get what I mean I hope!) and I don’t want to spend my time that could be spent at panels, socializing and having a good time at con turn into being a walking ask me board, or the token (fill in the blank) that you can ask questions you may not ask others.

2. The fact that she deleted all the comments and shut down any chance of discourse on that post tells me quite clearly that there is NO INTEREST in dialog or learning from what has happened due to her post, her words that are now out there on the internet for eternity. I don’t see why allowing her to remain GOH is supposed to be some great opportunity for dialog when it’s clear that there is no interest in her part and anyone attempting to dialog will likely be labeled as one of those mean people who just won’t let it go, or just won’t see what she really meant, and stop being so mean to her! [that’s my assumption, since most online interactions about race, and privilege usually go in that direction]

It also makes me feel as if the con does not care about the people that were hurt and offended by her words. The people she painted in such broad strokes as barely civilized and should be grateful for being allowed on the hallowed ground of the USA. I think because she is a professional writer, I think more care should be taken with what you say, online, in text and have the realization that once your post it out there, it’s out there. Considering all the discourse I’ve seen on this issue alone, people have long memories and they won’t forget her words just because the con is next May.

I know I won’t forget this whole chain of fuckery, hate, racism and Islamaphobia that is rearing it’s head, and making me rethink Wiscon. It makes me wonder if the concom holds to the values they espouse and if anything will make them take notice of how this has damaged how some people may think about Wiscon, how it may influence people to skip the con altogether instead of giving any money to an organization that would have her as a GOH, well nothing outside of money. If people start canceling their registrations or skip it all together, would that send a message that is loud and clear or would it be chalked up to those oversensitive people who undoubtedly refuse to dialog, even after all this programming was created to address the issue…

I could go on, but that’s veering off into rant territory and I think this post is barely cohesive as it is because I’m pretty rageful at the disregard for any people who would attend Wiscon, and for those that don’t feel safe now and are already planning other things in place of attending Wiscon.

I’m still on the fence about attending, but I’ll have to climb down one side or the other soon.

More on that damn Feministe post and the comment trail where I apparently Other another POC by the use of OP

This is a totally random thing, but in going into WP and cleaning up spam and seeing older comments, I tracked back to that idiotic post on child free space on Feministe. A place where I commented, via a blog comment here, a pingback there got really nasty against me after I commented. I did not swear at the person who wrote the blog or OP nor did I get really bent out of shape, in my opinion.

How, someone tell me my one comment becomes an example of how not to comment on this person’s blog by rules that seem extreme to me (and by extreme I mean they want a point by point analysis of where you think someone is wrong, and what you plan to do about it in detail) and by saying OP instead of her name, which I couldn’t recall at the time of my comment I’m now othering the author of that “article”?!

On the one hand, I know these are people I don’t know, will probably never meet and shouldn’t give two shits about in the long run. On the other, it bothers me greatly that I’m being accused of othering another Person Of Color by mere virtue of not recalling her name at the time I left my comment there. FWIW, I didn’t even know that this woman was a person of color when her post really pissed me off, but it wouldn’t have made a damn bit of difference in how I responded to her.

I dunno, maybe I’m feeling hair trigger today but I’m trying really hard to stay my hand and not respond to the negative comments there because in the long run these people aren’t worth my energy or time but damn that really bothers me that I’m “othering” another POC by the mere fact I couldn’t recall her name when I left my comment.

So, I’m not entitled to ANY child free spaces? I call bullshit

So on Feministe, a blogger starts off her post with the line “you do not have a right to child free spaces.” That made me nearly click away, but I went on to read the full article in which the OP waxes lovingly on how awesome her kid is, and just how she’s “smarter, cuter and more honest than you”. Give me a fucking break, would you?  Yeah, we get it your kid is full of awesome and win, and as her MOM you should think that. I however am not obliged to agree with your assessment of your kid, especially when you act as if the world must fall over in awe of your special tyke and allow you to do what you please because your a mom.

The whole “article” goes even further in invalidating any point the OP could have made by her tale of woe because a friend did not want her child along as they sat up, watched the sun rise as they knocked a couple drinks back. The part that really angered me was that she didn’t see the big deal, since she was already out at a bar with her toddler anyway. Yes, you read that correctly, SHE WAS AT A BAR with her toddler. She goes on to talk about who mothers and children are oppressed in US culture and even goes so far as to compare the oppression of children to slavery in the comment thread.

I’ve got nothing for contempt for those that want to play the oppression olympics game online. The next time someone is lynched for having a baby, or for breastfeeding or daring to be pregnant in public, let me know and I might give you a pass, a one time only use pass but still. Mothers and children are marginalized, but not oppressed. No one is keeping them from doing what they want to do, and no one is keeping them out of public spaces, there are no mother and child only drinking fountains, etc.

My main issue is the sense of entitlement the OP espouses in her piece. I’m sorry but I am entitled to some areas that are traditionally child free. Say a bar, and let’s be clear when I say bar I am talking about the must be of drinking age, usually doesn’t cater to families kind of place. Not the local restaurant with bar included because that would be fucking stupid to exclude the possibility of children being in such establishments. The OP makes it seem like she’s going to take her kid where she pleases, when she pleases everyone else be damned. That’s just not on.

It was pointed out in some comments just how not on it is to subject folks to your child in a venue that is traditionally child free. Such as bars, late night movies (why they allow folks at late showings with small children I still don’t understand, but that’s another story) or other places where it probably isn’t safe or just not the right environment for your precious wee one to be in.

Over at the Angry Black Woman, karnythia makes it very clear that the OP is off the mark and is not being a considerate parent. I’m not a parent, but I do know a few awesome folks with kidlets and they are awesome because they are considerate parents who parent and understand what a life changing event being a parent actually is. They don’t think the world owes them anything or that they are special because they have reproduced. They want some child free spaces themselves so they can have those moments of adult time, adult conversation and times that don’t consist solely of mom, mom, mom mom, mommy! all day long.

Long story short, I think the OP of that piece is an idiot, needs to realize that life changed when you became a parent and it’s just not ok to declare that everyone else must just bow down to your whims and be excited because you want your child attached at the hip, no matter then venue, no matter the event and well we just have to deal with it. Here’s a news flash, we don’t have to deal with it and a majority of people won’t because the world is not yours just because you are now a parent. Stop and step back away from the blinders of how awesome my kid is, look, look, look! and realize no one cares about that but you.
ETA: My comment on that piece was either eaten by the moderation line or dismissed out of hand because I didn’t slaver all over the OP telling her how wonderful she is. So I’m posting it here for posterity and to see if it ever makes it out of the mod queue)

(Since my comment apparently was either eaten by the moderation line or dismissed out of hand, I’m attempting to get it out there again. I would hope that a comment that isn’t full of swear words is actually let through even if it disagrees with the OP’s article)
I’ve read through most of the comments, and some are totally missing the point and some are on point. What I can’t understand is this lauding of the OP for standing up for the poor, oppressed children when she admits to taking her toddler to a bar, because she will take her child where she pleases?

When I go to adult only spaces, such as a BAR I don’t expect a toddler there. I think it’s a sign of privilege and entitlement that you would not consider that the child may not enjoy such a place, nor the fact that you could be putting the bar owner at a huge risk of a lawsuit or loss of their liquor license because you’ll take your child where ever you go.

Since I was not raised on a deserted island, I accept that children are part of our society, but what I will not accept is a sense of entitlement and poor parenting in places that I frequent. There’s a marked difference in kids enjoying themselves, screaming in delight and having fun and kids screaming their head off, running in the aisles and acting as if they have no sense while their parents do nothing about it.

If you are amongst those parents that actually, parent good on you. However I find it very arrogant to assume that I should have to bow down to the altar of motherhood wherever I go, because kids are people too darn it! Well, they are people, but they are not mini-adults.

Your assumption that kids are not welcome in the US is interesting but a false assumption. I don’t know where you are currently residing, but I’ve found the US to be incredibly child-friendly to the point where I’ve been grilled, ridiculed and told I’d get over my aversion and fears of being a parent, even after telling someone point blank that i have no desire for motherhood. It’s a fallacy to me to to point out that the US is so child hostile, when women here seem to be deemed useless and bizarre if they don’t want any kids.

I find this article to be full of privilege, ethnocentrism and a dash of condescension for added flavor. Next time you might not want to lead off with a tale of traipsing your toddler in to the bar before you try to make your point about kids and rights. I might actually take you seriously.

Time to think about what you ask folks about their hair…

Via the Nappturality forums, a thread on What is the Funniest or Stupidest question you’ve been asked about your locs?

Some are funny, but most are sad and shows the ignorance people still have over black women, natural hair and locs. For the record, this post is NOT an invitation for me to teach anyone a damn thing, nor is it an invitation to try and school me on anything.

My hair is MY hair and you are not welcome to discuss it as if its some separate thing from me. I am not my hair, but my hair is part and parcel of me, my identity and my journey to accepting my natural hair as it is as a thing of beauty.

If you can have some adult level discourse,feel free. If not, then you will be mocked, and shown the door cause I frankly ain’t got time for it.

Fat shaming and concern trolling in Why are black women so big?

So there is an article out there called Why are Black women so Big!? The author of this little gem wrote a piss poor piece, basically saying all black women are fat asses that simply eat too much. She does not take into account the various factors of weight gain, and the struggle to lose the weight. Initially the picture that accompanied the article was Eddie Murphy in a fat black woman suit, in Norbit.

I called this out, in the following comment:

You know, the fact that you used a picture of a man in a black woman fat suit as some caricature and lame attempt at sensationalism immediately invalidated any point you thought you were making. The next time you decide to fat shame and concern troll, actually find a picture of a fat black woman to make your point.

Oh, that’s right you really didn’t have one to begin with so you used lazy writing to get people’s attention to a shoddily written “article” and then began the bashing. Next time, try some actual writing instead of trotting out the same old tropes used to shame women into being, or damn near killing themselves trying to become the “ideal”.

I go back to the article later and the photo has been changed to a photo of Jill Scott in Why did I get Married?  The fact that the author of this “article” changed the picture without so much as an acknowledgment of her invalid attempt at caricaturization of fat black women into a cartoon villain, something to be feared possibly and definitely made fun of I could have at least given the article a once over without the side-eye. Instead, anything this person could have said fell on deaf ears, her feeble attempt at a point lost in the winds of lazy writing and sensationalism. I looked over the comments, now totaling over 350 and I was appalled that the author was resorting to attacking people in comments, further destroying any shred of credibility she could have had.

I found the following response to many of the comments by the editor of this online publication, the FreshXpress. Editor Sean Walton Jr. puts forth the following statement:

I posted this on Twitter earlier:

“No disrespect was intended… it was one writer’s opinion and attempt to start a conversation on a subject that does warrant attention. We’re a community built upon a foundation of open dialogue and debate. The thoughts expressed represent thought in the community. While we dont take a stance on too many topics as a website, our writers do. Through the dialogue sparked, we hope to promote understanding. So no disrespect was intended, and hopefully the resulting conversation was productive and people grow from the discourse. We’re not into too much censorship. You can censor the message, but that doesn’t stop people from thinking the way they do. We’d rather tackle the topic head on, and see what comes from it.”

That being said the author had an opinion she wanted to share with her community, and get your thoughts on it as well. While her opinion was not well received, she articulated her view and why she felt that way. Was it “well-written and thought out”, etc.? That is for you to decide (as many of you already have). What is “well-written”? An article written at a level where only graduate school educated folks can read? Or an article written where everyone can understand her message, read through it, and provide feedback? Point being its all relative.

The bottom line is that our thoughts in the black community are diverse, as are our approaches to expressing those thoughts. You may not like the author’s approach to tackling this subject, nor her words used, nor her message. But that doesn’t stop her from feeling the way she does, and clearly there are many others who feel the way that she does. To NOT post this article, which was not blatantly offensive on the surface, would be to censor true thoughts and feelings in our community. But to post it… thats tackling the issue head on, bringing the debate to your face, in all its uncomfortable glory, and allowing you to “school” the author (and commenters) on your perspective, and hopefully everyone can grow from the entire process. If nothing else, you at least understand how other people feel. Because the reality is that clearly some people do feel this way.

To say we’re “better than this post” is appreciated, and duly noted as we continue to grow as a publication. At the same time, it alludes to us being “better” than the author’s opinion, and thats just not the case. For all we know, her opinion could be the majority in her community, amongst her friends, or even in our community as a whole. The fact remains that only an elite few actually speak out and voice how they feel. So the 100+ commenters on this blog who disagreed with it… for all we know there were 500 people who agreed. And maybe 300 of them had their opinions changed by the resulting conversation. Or maybe they didn’t. We don’t know. But what we do know is that while this post may have been very uncomfortable it forced us to address issues that wouldn’t have been previously addressed and discussed on this level, whether it be the problem of obesity in the black community, the lack of empathy we hold on issues affecting each other, or just the general attitudes we bring to each other.

Avoid it if you want to. But the author and people who feel like the author aren’t going anywhere unless we confront these beliefs and discuss them head on. Or, you can refrain from it. Either way, if we’re not an open forum and community (both as an online community and black community in general) we’re not doing each other any favors.

I left the following in response to his comment above. I think I’m done with this conversation, as it’s gaining me nothing and just aggravating the hell out of me after a long day of work. As Karnythia often warns, don’t read the comments! You’ll just get angry.

You know, if the article had been written higher than a 5th grade reading level, and if the author had not used a caricature of “the fat black woman” by using a picture of Eddie Murphy in a fat suit, I could have possibly taken her article seriously. If the author had not responded to comments in such a base and ghetto way, insulting women, calling them hippos etc then perhaps her article could have been taken seriously.

Any author postulating that ALL FAT BLACK WOMEN ARE THAT WAY BECAUSE THEY OVEREAT apparently  failed to pay attention in the community, to the fact that many folks are obese because good food costs money and often in our communities we can access the liquor store, Walgreens and fast food before we can access grocery stores, and are able to learn healthy eating habits.

There are many factors as to why women are obese. It’s lazy writing to point fingers, shame women and drop every single fat black woman into the bucket of you’re a lazy cow that over eats. This publication does not service the community by promoting articles like this that read more like a slam letter because the author had a bad day, is mad at someone or they just didn’t feel like doing the research required to cover this topic.

It pains me to see anyone get paid to write such drivel, and for the publication to instead of copping to its mistake, defend the authors lackadaisical writing and tell people that this issue won’t go away. Trust me, as one of the women the author oh so eloquently calls a “hippo”, I know I’m fat and I also know what I can do to change that, and it’s not as simple as putting down the chicken leg and going for a walk. That sounds like the privileged knucklehead I had the misfortune of taking a class with last year who kept spouting such idiocy, but they were barely 20 and hadn’t really been out in the world so I could forgive them more easily than I could forgive the author of this “article”.

In closing, I think its pretty telling that the author changed the photo associated with this “article” but does not even acknowledge that she’s done so. Good luck to this publication, as it seems you’re going to need it with such quality authors on your staff.

This country was not ready for a black president

…and thus I will say what has been brewing in the back of my head for months. The vitriol against President Obama shows that this country was not ready for a black president. Yeah, I said it. The fact that these whackjobs are coming out of the woodwork with no fear of reprimand for threatening the President, or in th…is case hoping for his assassination shows this to be true. Had a white democrat won, I really doubt we’d be seeing such an ugly side of the US’s denizens.

Conservative Blogger calls for Obama’s Assassination

What this idiot apparently didn’t know is that:
Forell may think he’s protected by the First Amendment when it comes to his tweets, but the law begs to differ, specifically 18 USC Sec. 871:

Whoever knowingly and willfully deposits for conveyance in the mail or for a delivery from any post office or by any letter carrier any letter, paper, writing, print, missive, or document containing any threat to take the life of, to kidnap, or to inflict bodily harm upon the President of the United States, the President-elect, the Vice President or other officer next in the order of succession to the office of President of the United States, or the Vice President-elect, or knowingly and willfully otherwise makes any such threat against the President, President-elect, Vice President or other officer next in the order of succession to the office of President, or Vice President-elect, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

Sam Gustin at DailyFinance is reporting that the Secret Service is now investigating Forell’s tweets, with Secret Service spokesperson Max Milien stating: “We are aware of the actual posting and are actively investigating.”

This saddens me, but does not surprise me in the least. People thought I was being overly dramatic when I talked of hoping that Obama survives his first term. Now, maybe with whackjobs like this advocating that the POTUS is killed off, people will listen to me.

I’d like to return this helping of misogyny I got with my superbowl ads please.

So I watched the Superbowl as usual. I grew up in a household of my mother and grandmother both of whom love/d football. To this day I’d better not call my mother while a game is on or I will get hung up on. Why might that be relevant? Because we are all women, and we are not the ball crushing, pink fluffy slipper wearing, emasculating shrews that a majority of the Superbowl ads would lead you to believe all women are. I’m a sports nut, and again not some woman who lives for the chance to de-wang her man and make him carry her purse.

If you didn’t know any better, you’d swear the NFL was aiming high for misogynist of the year with their litany of ads that make it seem like all women want to do is make their men miserable and take away their beer, cars and sports for fun and because of course, all women just are bitches like that. Fuck you Dodge and whatever that tv on the go product is, I’ll keep my man hatin’ dollars over here thanks.

I’m so fucking pissed off at the utter idiocy in those ads. Yet, they refused an ad for a gay dating service and they allowed those freaks at Focus on the Family to air their anti-abortion ad? WTF? Really NFL? Are you stuck in the last century?

The most awesome yuki_onna writes up this issue much better than I did above and with less swearing and omg what the fuck is wrong with you at her LJ post on the same topic. Go read her sensible post, mine is still full of what the fucking fuck over here.

Which of these two things are alike?

I read the Huffington Post. Most of the time its on point, humorous and gives me a chuckle. That was not the case when this article: Two Black Role Models done in by Hubris went up.

The author is not a woman of color, nor does she seem to understand that her article is patently offensive and racist. A summary for those that don’t click. She posits that these two black men were brought low by their hubris. Woods for his extramarital dalliances and Obama for failing to deliver on his campaign promises in his 8 months in office so far. Um, what? I didn’t appoint her my savior and decider of who gets to speak for me as a black person to the world at large.

When readers call her on the idiocy of linking these two men based on skin color alone, she gets quite defensive in the comments to her own piece. I notice that she trips over herself basically calling herself out and back pedaling on what she did and didn’t actually say in the piece. Critical thinking fail here people.

Here’s my comment in case anyone is interested:


photo

“That you even think their race had anything to do with their failure means you can’t read.” If that’s the case, what was the point of your article in tenuously linking two famous black men? What hubris can you point to on the part of the president? You really need to step back, untangle the straps of your invisible back pack and realize the issue people are taking with your “article”. Let me clarify for you.

You, as a white woman are attempting to tell us people of color that we ought to be ashamed of these two fallen role models of our “people”. No one assigns my role models. No one famous person of color should be held up as the monolithic example of what POC should aspire to, and none of us should be told by journalists of any race, creed or color that the “failures” of famouse POC are doubly problematic and just such a disappointment for the race.

This is condescending, patronizing and yes, it is a racist action. You can commit racist actions and not even realize it. Reading your commentary back to posters here, it seems as if you are treating people’s responses to this poorly written attempt at connecting two famous black men as personal attacks.

Your closing line is very telling on yourself, you should read it and let it sink in because its exactly what you are doing by jumping up and down screaming but I’m not racist! online.

New Bacardi ads show what real ugly looks like, and it’s not the women in the ads

*Note:Links auto play obnoxious music*

Can someone translate this page or get an email address to send a note to them? They are the dipshits behind the Bacardi Get an Ugly Girlfriend ad campaign. I found this via ShapelyProse…

I got no words for this… I’m hoping it’s a poor attempt at satire, or something not sanctioned by Bacardi since the site isn’t even in English but damn am I seeing red over it. Here’s an excerpt from Kate Harding’s post..

“This is how the patriarchy and the beauty ideal collude: we are supposed to see these women and be so stunned that they aren’t thin, white, blonde, able-bodied, and perfectly symmetrical that we can only call them ugly. We’re supposed to look at these pictures and say “At least I’m prettier than her.” We’re supposed to view our female friends as accessories in our true life goal, which is to look hot for men. There are hot women, and there are ugly women, and if you’re not the hottest woman in the room, you’re automatically the ugliest.

The appalling part of these ads is not the women; it’s the blatant misogyny. Once you take off your Patriarchy Blinders (patent pending), the charge of “ugly” doesn’t even begin to make sense. If you saw these picutres without any text surrounding them, what would you think of these women? Even with the pernicious text framing them as objects of derision, this ad doesn’t work on me: these women are straight-up pretty. Pretty, stylish, and flirty even. I guess they have some of that self-esteem that’s been going around lately.”

My $2.00 worth on White Privilege

After discussions, upon discussions where sometimes I feel like the person I’m talking with genuinely “gets it” and many other times where people just can’t/won’t/refuse to understand their privilege, I’ve decided to spell it out for people and hope they actually read, comprehend and think about what’s coming in this post.

What’s about to be said here is based on MY experiences, what I’ve read by other people who have done research on the topic and who have shared their insights with me over the years. This is fueled by hearing one time too many.. but I’m POOR  I can’t be privileged! I don’t treat people like that, stop accusing me of being racist! etc….

Continue reading “My $2.00 worth on White Privilege”

Proof positive that people have too much time on their hands

First up at bat.. PETA protests the famous Flying Fish market. They are claiming this is animal abuse, and is like “throwing dead kittens”. Does anyone there realize two important things? 1. The fish are already DEAD and 2. They are being purchased and will eventually be eaten by customers of the market.  The third important thing is that this cements the notion that PETA and its followers are nuts.

Who in their right mind actually protests the handling of already dead fish that are on their way to someone’s dinner plate? Who has this kind of time and why on earth do you care that much about fish that are being sold as food? Get real PETA, find something useful to protest like puppy mills, dog fighting, but not the “mistreatment” of already dead fish.

Next up is the L4D2 boycott by gamers, who claim it’s too soon and that Valve hasn’t come up with promised additional content for the first L4D (Left 4 Dead) and that 12 months is too soon to follow up with a sequel. Um… that makes no sense really. L4D2 isn’t even scheduled to come out until Q4 of 09, so there’s plenty of time for Valve to release additional content for the first L4D.  I’m pretty happy we’re getting a sequel in less than 24 months when gamers often have to wait over 2 years for a sequel to a game, suffer through months of hype and often are disappointed by the final release because it doesn’t live up to the constant hype of [Game title] Sequel #X.

I honestly want to know what gamers think they are going to accomplish by doing this? Unless they get huge numbers of people who sign up for this protest, and here’s the important part actually stick with their stance of NOT BUYING the game when it’s released, their protest won’t do anything to Valve. In a market where games are released world wide and on multiple platforms, a protest of thousands means nothing against the millions of people who are likely to pick up the game anyway.

I swear reading stories like this, and ones about a woman who sued because she didn’t know Crunchberries weren’t real fruit, the guy who shot and killed his grandson for cutting into his watermelon too soon and men putting out Craigslist ads to have their wife raped as part of revenge or the guy who raped his unconscious girlfriend while streaming it live to the internet;  I give up any hope for the human race. These stories and the continual parade of stupid, horrifying and astounding acts of hatred make me want to pack up a towel, find the nearest space shuttle and head out to the next hospitable planet because this one is doomed.

Karnythia speaks up about the Great SF Race Fail of 09′

So folks have had enough of the SF communities epic fail at depicting CoC (characters of color). There has been massive wank, fail and omgwtf is wrong with you fuckers all over the internets. Well LJ’er Karnythia has spoken up about Race Fail 09′. She has encouraged folks to link away so I’m doing that.

For clarity, here’s  a link to the timeline of race fail 09, posted by Karnythia from Rydra_Wong‘s link spam.

Don’t be e-bullies kids… it’s not nice mmmkay? It will also get you kicked in the e-nads thusly.

This is what I had to say to karnythia’s post:

On a serious note, I had never heard of the fuckwads that are primary to this fiasco before this week. Now that I have heard of them? I’ll be even more selective in who gets my hard earned cash for reading material.

I had a chance to catch up on this epic fail of all fails via [info]ryda_wong‘s linkspam, [info]delux_vivens, and other folks and all I got is who the fuck do these people think they are? E-Bullying, making not so vague threats as if you really have the power to do something to up and coming authors? Intentionally “outing” bloggers in some perverse tug of war and power trip? You fail fuckwads, and all you’ve done for me is make me more eager to support ventures like [info]verb_noire, not pay for your shitty writing and keep my money for those who will act as if I’m a person, not the exotic other that you just can’t understand… that you can’t personify as regular fucking people and not these mythical things that you now refuse to deal with.

No loss to us, in case you hadn’t noticed dumbasses. From the bits I’ve read from the principal players? No one will weep if you never write a fucking word again. So take your crappy ass toys and leave, we’ll be over here making progress against your epic fail.

Edited at 2009-03-05 10:23 am (local)

A note to those who want to claim.. but I didn’t know it was racist!

racism-101-for-cartoonists

For the edification of the few dumbasses who still want to claim.. but I didn’t know (insert phrase/imagery/well known historical fact) had a racist connotation! Really!!!! Here’s some facts for you:

1. Watermelons + black folks = RACIST IMAGERY Saying you had no idea? Makes you out to be a dumbass racist, or at the very least a total dumbass who doesn’t know any history.

2. Monkeys + black folks = RACIST IMAGERY For example.. the now infamous Delonas cartoon in that rag the NY Post

3. Calling a grown man or woman boy, gal, or anything other than their names… racist you fuckwads. Example: McCain calling Obama “That One” during the 2nd debate

4. Wearing blackface… NOT OK, NOT OK, NOT FUCKING OK. It wasn’t ok when it was an accepted form of “entertainment” and it sure as fuck isn’t OK now. Just don’t do it (I’m looking at you JAPAN)

5. Tossing around images of Nooses, bonus points for throwing in the words lynch, lynching, lynchmob. In case you need an example.. the photoshopped piece that went around suggesting a “solution” to the Obama problem.

6. Lots of verbiage that should just stop being used. Nigger obviously, porchmonkey and its variants… coon, coon dog, and the phrase knowing your place. Doing it for a laugh or trying to say well black say it why can’t I will get you a bitchslap for your troubles.

Anything I’m missing?

The first and last bit on that NYPost cartoon that’s causing an uproar

Yes… I heard about the NY Post editorial cartoon. Not posting at length since I’ve said what I’ve got to say all over the internets yesterday. I also don’t want to even conceive of what kind of arguments could be had over it here. Instead I give you what I sent the Post:

To whom it may concern at the NY Post:

I’m sure I’m not the first or last person who will write in outrage over the Sean Delonas depicting a chimpanzee being shot. All I can say without devolving into filth, flarn and filth is that you and your papers higher ups should have known better than to let that garbage sit out for the world to see. You can defend it to the end, and claim it was in reference to the chimpanzee attack in Conneticut all you like, but when the words in the panel talk about signing the stimulus bill, which has NOTHING to do with the animal attack? You’ve failed to be able to use that as an excuse. I’m sure there are Post readers who are defending this trash, but honestly can you not do a simple equation to see where this outrage is coming from? Blacks have been compared to monkey’s in the past, our President is black and he just signed a stimulus package. Hmm, can you see what I see now defenders of this garbage? I’m not going to waste my time trying to persuade you folks at the Post, but I do hope you realize that you have failed to be edgy, relevant or even amusing with this pitiful attempt at political satire. Try again, and try using someone with a higher intelligence quotient than a chimp. It might be funny.

[Initials]

Chicago, IL

That’s all I got to say about it here. I’m not giving it any more press either by linking. Want to see it? Google is your friend.

Race & Politics herein, read and comment at your own peril

Warning – hateful image at the head of this & linked post, in case it would bother anyone

A thoughtful post on a hateful image done by a McCain supporter by karnythia

Well written post again by Karnythia. Once again articulating what is bothering me about the rage and undercurrent of kill him and race baiting being done by the extremists in the McCain bullpen. The fact that this blogger is claiming he didn’t know he was using racist, hateful, death threat imagery is utter bullshit.

It’s only 3 weeks till election day and as several people have said, I’m done worn out. I don’t know if my nerves or patience can keep me calm until the last vote is counted.

Keith Olbermann breaks this down for the folks:

End of online civility?

Reading the commentary on columns in the Chicago Tribune makes me feel like my iq drops with each word read, each sentence consumed. Then I feel like I must be a genius compared to those nut jobs who take the time to post such fucking idiocy to the web.

I’m debating a post on the McCain spoof cover by Vanity fair and comparing it to the Obama New Yorker cover. However, I know full well what the consequences may be and frankly I don’t feel like dealing with anyone’s bullshit over my opinion on the matter.

I ask you online folks who have happened upon this page…do you ever just lose hope for humanity after reading the news or comments on news stories? I pick on the Trib again, since they have a couple locations where people can spew their electronic bile far and wide, with no repercussions.

This election has brought out the true ugliness of Americans and I fear it will only get worse. Not so much a political post, but it makes me wonder if the power of the internet has robbed us of our civility, our ability to think critically about the issues at hand? Does that ever thinning shield of anonymity make us type before thinking? Do people even care about the effect of their words, their reactions to things?

Whether it be to feed an internet troll, or put out their views without having to own up to having them in a face to face context; there is a definite lack of thought put into the words that go onscreen lately. After all, an internet identity means little, and can be created in seconds. I think this trend, this lack of civility online is part of this nations decline towards idiocy and poor treatment of others.

More later… but I’m wondering if this lack of online civility is a harbinger of worse things to come…

Westboro nutters have gone beyond the pale

Snagged from Brian. In respectful proximity… Westboro nutjobs actually have the bloody gall to ask Heath Ledgers family where they are hiding their sons body so they can protest his funeral. These bastards are so fucking sick… I wish they’d all just fucking die already.

Continue reading “Westboro nutters have gone beyond the pale”

Bill O’Reilly discovers Black folks are humans too! Holy shit, call the media

I’ve always hated Bill O’Reilly but this takes the fucking cake. Thanks to Thorswitch on LJ for her post.

Bill O’Reilly is surprised no one one was carrying on or hollering Motherfucker, I want more Iced Tea? To paraphrase Chris Rock… in his Colin Powell skit… “what the fuck kind of people were you expecting to find there, you dumb motherfucker.” Fill text of article below. Article is here

O’Reilly surprised “there was no difference” between Harlem restaurant and other New York restaurants

Summary: Discussing his recent dinner with Rev. Al Sharpton at the Harlem restaurant Sylvia’s, Bill O’Reilly reported that he “couldn’t get over the fact that there was no difference between Sylvia’s restaurant and any other restaurant in New York City. I mean, it was exactly the same, even though it’s run by blacks, primarily black patronship.” O’Reilly added: “There wasn’t one person in Sylvia’s who was screaming, ‘M-Fer, I want more iced tea.’ ”

During the September 19 edition of his nationally syndicated radio program, discussing his recent trip to have dinner with Rev. Al Sharpton at Sylvia’s, a famous restaurant in Harlem, Bill O’Reilly reported that he “had a great time, and all the people up there are tremendously respectful,” adding: “I couldn’t get over the fact that there was no difference between Sylvia’s restaurant and any other restaurant in New York City. I mean, it was exactly the same, even though it’s run by blacks, primarily black patronship.” Later, during a discussion with National Public Radio senior correspondent and Fox News contributor Juan Williams about the effect of rap on culture, O’Reilly asserted: “There wasn’t one person in Sylvia’s who was screaming, ‘M-Fer, I want more iced tea.’ You know, I mean, everybody was — it was like going into an Italian restaurant in an all-white suburb in the sense of people were sitting there, and they were ordering and having fun. And there wasn’t any kind of craziness at all.” O’Reilly also stated: “I think black Americans are starting to think more and more for themselves. They’re getting away from the Sharptons and the [Rev. Jesse] Jacksons and the people trying to lead them into a race-based culture. They’re just trying to figure it out. ‘Look, I can make it. If I work hard and get educated, I can make it.”

Continue reading “Bill O’Reilly discovers Black folks are humans too! Holy shit, call the media”

On the casual use of the word rape when playing MMO’s

I play City of Heroes and City of Villains, an online massively multiplayer game or MMO. Recenty while doing some PuG [Pick up Group] missions the word rape was tossed around quite casually as an equivalent of really kicking some ass in the game. Now as a female player, it really bothered me and for the most part the team members were ok when I voiced a complaint about the casual tossing around of the word.

I was surprised that this kept happening all weekend while I played. I don’t know if this is a common occurence in online gaming now, but have people just lost all sense of propriety when interacting in an online environment or are more idiots just getting into online gaming?

I don’t want to come off as some over sensitive, whiney woman who can’t take the heat of the online gaming kitchen but since when was it ok to just casually toss about the word rape, fag, or use that’s so gay as replacements for beaten, destroyed, or that’s stupid.

I guess a part of me wants to believe its just the stupidity of teenagers or idiot frat boys that are usually playing online games, but if this trend continues I may just have to play solo all the time.