Saturday, June 07, 2008

Is He Black Enough?

I now want to address this topic that dominated much of public discourse in the early stages of Barack Obama's historic rise to becoming this nation's first Black president. I think this is worth addressing because it speaks as much to the definition(s) of Blackness in the United States as it does to Barack Obama's right and privilege to carry the banner of hope for the Afro-American constituency in this country. Now, Barack Obama is the son of an White American mother(I am not sure of her ethnicity-Polish? Irish?) and an African father, which means that he personally is not affiliated with the five hundred year legacy of enslaved Africans who toiled in order to build these United States, literally, from the ground up. However, he is apart of the larger African diaspora and his legacy is just as valid here in this country as is those of us whose ancestors were slaves. Let us not even leave out the fact that he is married to an Afro-American woman and is the father of two young Black girls who are very much apart of the legacy of American slavery.

To get even further to the root of this matter, I feel that the issue of biracial presence in the United States must be addressed. This issue,I am inclined to believe, even more so than his African father, leaves this question on the lips of Afro-Americans. I want to address this issue, and write this blogpost, because I have had this discussion with a few people in a few different instances outside of and preceding the presence of Barack Obama. I feel that the Afro-American community does not take a complex enough look at biracial presence--and this is one of the reasons why they have so coldly embraced biracial people. This post, hopefully, will work towards correcting that.

When I was at Purdue there was a girl that lived in my complex whose name I cannot remember, but we got along very well and talked quite often, especially while waiting for the bus to take us to campus. She was biracial, and looked very Jewish, but when I asked, she very readily confirmed and said she was surprised that could tell. One cold winter night, after having together made a mad dash to walmart for something that we needed ( which was right up the street and we thought we would fare better walking together rather than walking along in that slush, cold, and ice), I went back up to her apartment for some nice cocoa and we somehow settled into a discussion of race, biraciality, and her own experiences. She told me of how she had been constantly rejected by Afro-Americans and some of the horrible things she had been called, and also confided in me that it hurt her that many did not define her as a Black person.

After listening to her story, I told her not to worry and to really pay no attention to what some Blacks had been saying to her. I followed this by telling her that the Afro-American community--by its very definition--was an absolutely mixed bag and could not make any claims to a true or pure Blackness. I suggested to her-- how is it that she might have a white mother and a black father and not be black, but if you count no more than two or three generations sometimes in most Black communities and you have white ancestors as well--yet they are Black? I pointed to my own paternal grandfather who I was truly the whitest Black man I have ever seen( it would anger my father if you ever called his father a white man) and my maternal great-great grandmother(who was a quadroon and whose own mother was a white woman).

If the presence of nonBlack or White ancestry or parentage left one not really Black--just imagine how many Black people in this country came from people that weren't really Black? Consider all of the Octoroons and Quadroons and Mulattoes who after the Civil War--when the racial lines were brutally and strictly drawn and mulattoes were forced to make a choice--and chose to become Black(because the White people weren't taking them unless they could pass and get away with it), which led them to find dark-skinned mates so that there children would more easily fit into the Afro-American community. Let us not even leave out the Black Indians and Blacks mixed with Chinese....Consider how many so-called real Black people are the products of these unions.... As in Brazil and other Countries with a colonial past--the ancestral lines lighten and darken as you go up and down the totem pole depending on social and economic positioning.

All of this is suffice to say that claims to true or real Blackness and the efforts to exclude people from the Afro-American community on the basis of biracial existence should absolutely be rethought and done away with. The Afro-American community was founded on inclusion. When the first mulatto babies begot from the master--by either rape or concubinage or whatever the situation may have been-were cradled in the Black hands that birthed them...the Afro-American community has always included and counted biracial people in its ranks.

And so to answer the question, Is Barack Obama Black Enough?-- The answer is absolutely!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Lesbian Couple Discriminated Against in Seattle

Read here about the incident that has sparked a planed kiss-in at Seattle Mariners games.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Labelle- What Can I Do For You?

Hillary and McCain

I very much feel that Hillary is in cahoots with John McCain. I think she would rather him in the White house than Obama. We have to stop her.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The Best One Yet

Bill and Hillary Clinton are like the Ike and Tina Turner of politics.

There Will Be No Obama-Clinton Ticket

Hillary can go to hell and take her ego with her.

Mel Ferrer, Dead at 90

Mel Ferrer, the beautiful man that was married to Audrey Hepburn, is dead at 90.

YES WE CAN!!!!!!! YES WE CAN!!!!!!!!!!!

I Never Loved A Man ( The Way That I Love You)

You're no good, heartbreaker
You're a liar and you're a cheat
I don't know why I let you do these things to me
My friends keep telling me
You're no good
But they don't know that I'd leave you if I could
I guess I'm uptight but I'm stuck like glue
Cause I never
I never
I never
No no
Loved a man the way that I, I love you
Some time ago I thought you should run out of fools
But I was so wrong you've got one you'll never lose
The way you treat me is a shame
How could you hurt me so bad?
Baby you know that I'm the best thing that you ever had
Kiss me once again
Don't you never say that we're through
[ I NEVER LOVED A MAN (THE WAY I LOVE YOU) lyrics found on ]
Cause I never
I never
I never
No no
Loved a man the way that I love you...
I can't sleep at night and I can't eat a bite
I guess I'll never be free Since I've got your hooks in me
I never loved a man the way that I love you
You're no good, heartbreaker
You're a liar and you're a cheat
I don't know why I let you do these things to me
My friends keep telling me you're no good
But they don't know that I'd leave you if I could...
Kiss me once again
Don't you never say that we're through
Cause I never
I never
I never
No no
Loved a man the way that I love you...
The man put puts me in tears....


GOD BLESS BARACK OBAMA!!! I feel like Lee Remick in The Competition- YES!!!!!!!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Another Big Death

Legendary Blues and R&B King, Bo Diddley, is dead at 79.

High On The Hog Julia Fields

Take my share of Soul Food-I do not wish
To taste of pig Of either gut or Grunt from bowel Or jowel
I want caviar Shrimp scouffle' Sherry Champagne and not because
These are the Whites domain but just because I'm entitles-
For I've been V.d.'d enough T.b.'d enough and Hoe-cake fed
Knock-knee'd enough Spindly leg-bloodhound tree'd enough
To eat High on the Hog

I've been Hired last Fired first enough I've sugar-watered my Thirst enough-
Been lynched enough Slaved enough Cried enough Died enough
Been deprived-Have survived enough
To eat High on the Hog

Keep the black-eyed peas and the grits
The high blood-pressured chops and gravy sops
I want aperitifs supreme Baked Alaska-something suave, cool
For I've been considered faithful fool from 40 acres and a mule…
I've been Slighted enough Sever-righted enough And up tighted enough
And I want High on the Hog

For dragging the cotton sack On bended knees In burning sun
In homage to the Great- King cotton
For priming the money-green tobacco and earning pocket-change
For washing in iron pots For warming by coal and soot For eating the leavings from Others' tables
I've lived my wretched life Between domestic rats And foreign wars
Carted to my final rest In second-hand cars
But I've been leeched enough Dixie-peached enough Color bleached enough
And I want High on the Hog!

Oh I've heard the Mau Mau Screaming Romanticizing Pain
I hear them think They go against the Grain
But I've lived in shacks Long enough Had strong black beaten Backs long enough And I've been Urban-planned Been monyilanned Enough
And I want High on the Hog...

The DisOwning of Meg

I happened to read Louisa May Alcott's Little Women when I was in the third grade. I remember when Meg married her poor man instead of marrying Lawrence, I went back and I erased her name off of every page in the book. I was so mad that I was absolutely adamant that Aunt March should disown the whole lot of the March family and commit them all to the poor house. Haha

The Way to Look at This Election

Hillary Clinton, with the entire Clinton Machine behind her, is coming up second against a newcomer speaking the word and truth, Barack Obama. She has eight years of built political prowess and real political power behind her--and she is still second. Now thats the deal.
Stop looking for something out there
And begin seeing within.
Open your arms if you want an embrace.
Break the earthen idols and release the radiance.

—Rumi, from 'Empty the Glass of your Desire'
Stop looking for something out there
And begin seeing within.
Open your arms if you want an embrace.
Break the earthen idols and release the radiance.

—Rumi, from 'Empty the Glass of your Desire'

Sunday, June 01, 2008

The Death Of an Icon

Yves Sain Laurent, giant of the fashion industry, died today.

Voting Rights Act Threatened--The Old White Curmudgeon Supremacy Still Lives Rest Assured.

Judges Uphold Voting Rights Act
Challenge to Law Called Key Test Case
By Del Quentin Wilber
Washington Post
May 31, 2008

A federal court yesterday rejected the first legal
challenge to a key provision of the Voting Rights Act,
in a case that legal scholars view as an important test
of one of the country's seminal pieces of civil rights

The ruling came in a lawsuit brought by a municipal
utility board in Texas, which argued that part of the
law is costly and unconstitutional. Congress
reauthorized the law in 2006.

The utility board is likely to appeal directly to the
Supreme Court, offering opponents a chance to test the
Voting Rights Act before a court that has grown more
conservative in recent years.

"This has been about getting it to the Supreme Court,"
said Richard Hasen, a professor at Loyola University Law
School in Los Angeles who specializes in election law.
"Conservative opponents of the law have put a lot of
eggs in this basket. This was set up as a test case."

Under the Voting Rights Act, any challenge to the law
must be heard first by a three-judge panel of federal
judges in Washington. The decision then can be appealed
to the Supreme Court, bypassing appellate courts.

In a unanimous, 121-page opinion, two U.S. District
Court judges and an appellate court judge found that the
utility board is not entitled to an exemption from rigid
requirements of the Voting Rights Act. It also ruled
that Congress had acted appropriately in reauthorizing
the law because of the "continuing problem of racial
discrimination in voting."

Civil rights advocates hailed the decision, saying it
reaffirmed the importance of a law widely credited with
bringing down barriers to voting in states with a legacy
of racial discrimination.

"This is one of the most important civil rights cases
decided this year," John Payton, president of the NAACP
Legal Defense and Educational Fund, said in a statement.

Greg Coleman, the attorney who represented the Northwest
Austin Municipal Utility District No. One, said he is
"looking very carefully at the possibility" of appealing
the decision.

"The idea that people in Austin, Texas, are somehow more
prejudiced than people in most of the country is just a
false idea," he said.

Under the Voting Rights Act, certain parts of the
country -- mostly in the South -- are subject to rigid
requirements in how they handle voting. The utility
board sought to move its polling places from a garage to
a school, Coleman said. To do that, it had to seek
permission from the Justice Department.

Coleman argued that obtaining such approval is costly
and time-consuming, and discourages local governments
from making changes that might benefit the community.

He also argued in court papers that portions of the law
are unconstitutional because times have changed, and
that Congress did not "specifically identify evidence of
continued discrimination" in states or municipalities
still covered by the act.

But the judges sided with the Justice Department, which
argued in court papers that the reauthorization of the
act "was a valid exercise" of congressional authority
under the Constitution.