Category Archives: community

Should African Americans be More Supportive of Occupy Wall Street?

I’d like to know what my readers think about this.  Should Black People be drawn to this movement?  Should we consider Black unemployment rates and how many Blacks were affected by the housing crisis (Ponzi Scheme/Gambling in my opinion.) as motivation?  Here are a few recent takes on it.

More African Americans Encouraged to Join Occupy Movement – Washington Informer

Occupy protesters eye diversity as movement grows – Boston Globe

Occupy Wall Street Is About AfricanAmericans, Too – News One

What do you think?

Bonus Question: Is it just me or does the lack of Tea Party involvement or even a thumbs-up or two in the direction of the protesters make it seem even more as if they are the Party of the Rich and of Tax Loopholes?  Oh my bad “Job Creators”.   LOL!  Don’t you love it when people try to reclaim and rename what is and has always been.  No no, not slave owners…”Antebellum Job Creators”.  Sad.

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Gentrification: White where there was no White in Chocolate City.

Swirl or Twist.  That’s what most ice cream, frozen custard, or frozen yogurt places call it when your vanilla and chocolate frozen goodness is twirled together in harmony.  Yummy.

That isn’t Gentrification.  It displaces people and cultures.  Fault should not be laid on the persons staking their claim in areas previous devoid of Caucasian population.  Really, it’s just politics and finance.

I wrote about this a few years back and now TBD (ABC 7/Newschannel8) has quoted me.  I’m flattered.

“I rarely see an African American face enjoying the coffee culture,” Hello, Negro wrote shortly after the shop’s opening. “Maybe the long term residents aren’t into Rishi Tea. Maybe the crackheads hanging out in the LeDroit Park Playground across the street are too amazed at the sight of this former-corner store turned soho style coffee establishment to inquire about the fine pastries. The juxtapositioning is striking. The locals call it LeDroit, they call it ‘Bloomingdale.’”

Honestly, gentrification in Washington, DC as I’ve seen in the last 11 years has been very entertaining to watch.  From avid runners out at the crack of dawn avoiding crack heads (3 months ago, I saw this white guy jogging down Michigan Ave NE barefoot.  No lie.  Crazy.) to white women walking home from the metro late at night in neighborhoods I wouldn’t roller skate through, there is a lot to observe.  I think of it as my own little reality tv show featuring short pieces on gentrification.  We’ll at least there are grocery stores, improved metro stations, and improved housing (that most can’t afford) where there were none.

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Filed under african american, black, change, community, culture, d.c., interracial, news, opinion, politics, race, washington dc, white folks

Black Women Opening Up to the Idea of Dating White Men

When I first arrived in DC, I would say that it was extremely rare to see an interracial couple composed of a Black Woman and a White Man.  An Oddity of sorts.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I’m all for it.  Other than a few visions of Master/Slave forced relations that pop into my head at the initial thought, I think it’s a win win.

In the last 2 years, on the streets of DC, I’ve noticed a huge rise in the number of Black Women and White Men I see coupled up.  I’m talking young, old, professional, yuppies, bohos, BMW drivers, and pickup truck enthusiasts.  Blacks and whites of all different strata.  I know Essence did an article on this topic maybe a year ago, so maybe people took that as a permission slip.  I’m just wondering, Hello Negro family, if you’re seeing what I’m seeing and what you think about it? Does this form of interracial dating carry the stigma that Black Man/White Woman dating does for some in the African American community?

Honestly, I’m real tried to hearing the “I can’t find a man” swan song from African-American professional women who have never tried online dating or interracial dating (two things I usually recommend when I hear people bitching about their singleness).  Time to get down with the swirl, Ladies.

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Filed under african american, black women, community, culture, d.c., love, opinion, relationships, washington dc, white folks

Racism is…

I was just reading that Anti–racism activist and author, Paul Kivel describes the institutionalization of racism as “ the uneven and unfair distribution of power, privilege, land and material goods favoring white people.”

Great definition.

Interesting…

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No Wedding, No Womb: Sistas, Let’s Lead the Cause

I know black women who won’t swim because they might get their perm or weave wet.

I know black women who won’t let you borrow their keys or give you a place to stay for a week or two.

I know black women who would give you their last dime

I know black women who are so convincing, they could talk a leopard out of its spots.

I know black women who manage each dime of their paycheck like they are working for the Obama Administration and correcting the BS of the American banking system.

I know black women who are the coldest, most put together people on the planet.

I’ve seen black women overcome obstacles, handle their business, love like no other, help their communities, and carry the load.  We can be opinionated, steadfast, loving, passionate, pushy and exacting.  Even our errors are correct, as Nikki Giovanni might say.   We are some of the strongest people on the planet and we often have to make some serious decisions.  One of the toughest decisions can be who we share our bed with, our womb with. However, I know a LOT of women who have made a conscious decision to wait until they are married to conceive.

This is why I believe that the goal of the NO Wedding, NO Womb campaign is something that Black Women can really embrace.  NWNW calls for WOMEN [and men] to put the needs of children first, and advocates that couples abstain from having children until they are emotionally, physically and financially able to care for them.

Is this about bashing single mothers?  NO.  Frankly I know a lot of single mothers who would happily embrace the concept that people should think long and hard about having a child out-of-wedlock.  There are burdens and joys to being a single mom.  I believe that most would not call it all roses.

Black women, we control access to our wombs.  We carry the genes of slave foremothers who did not have choice when it came to reproduction, but have passed on their strength to us.  WE can make a difference in our communities by embracing the message that African-Americans should consider waiting until marriage to have children.

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Grand Isle and the Oil Spill: Karma is a Bitch

They say that what you do unto others will be done unto you.  Now, trust me…I have compassion for the people currently effected by the oil spill.  People are losing their livelihoods and some have lost their lives.  However, I just have to say that I just see an irony in this mess.  A very, very sad irony.  Jefferson Parish officials refused to help people suffering during Katrina and now, parts of the parish are in need.

“And despite constant warnings from Jefferson Parish officials about oil approaching Grand Isle late last week, the boats needed to stop it weren’t around when they were needed. As a result, oil washed up on beaches and authorities in Jefferson “commandeered” shrimp boats from BP in order to get booms out to the passes near the island.” source

One of the most compelling during the Katrina disaster came from two white paramedics from San Francisco who were among those trapped in the city after the hurricane.  They were turned away on a bridge by Jefferson Parish police:

“”The police commander came across the street to address our group. He told us he had a solution: we should walk to the Pontchartrain Expressway and cross the greater New Orleans Bridge to the south side of the Mississippi, where the police had buses lined up to take us out of the city…We organized ourselves, and the 200 of us set off for the bridge with great excitement and hope. As we marched past the convention center, many locals saw our determined and optimistic group, and asked where we were headed. We told them about the great news. Families immediately grabbed their few belongings, and quickly, our numbers doubled and then doubled again. Babies in strollers now joined us, as did people using crutches, elderly clasping walkers and other people in wheelchairs. We marched the two to three miles to the freeway and up the steep incline to the bridge…

As we approached the bridge, armed sheriffs formed a line across the foot of the bridge. Before we were close enough to speak, they began firing their weapons over our heads. This sent the crowd fleeing in various directions. As the crowd scattered and dissipated, a few of us inched forward and managed to engage some of the sheriffs in conversation. We told them of our conversation with the police commander and the commander’s assurances. The sheriffs informed us that there were no buses waiting. The commander had lied to us to get us to move. We questioned why we couldn’t cross the bridge anyway, especially as there was little traffic on the six-lane highway. They responded that the West Bank was not going to become New Orleans, and there would be no Superdomes in their city…All day long, we saw other families, individuals and groups make the same trip up the incline in an attempt to cross the bridge, only to be turned away—some chased away with gunfire, others simply told no, others verbally berated and humiliated. Thousands of New Orleaners were prevented and prohibited from self-evacuating the city on foot. (Bradshaw and Slonsky 2005)”

When questioned about these incidents later, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff confirmed that his office closed the bridge, explaining that his Parish did not have the resources to care for thousands of needy people.” source

Other Accounts:
Evacuees Were Turned Away at Gretna, La. : NPR

Jefferson Parish Sheriff
asks to be taken off of lawsuit | – NOLA.com

I wonder what the citizens of Jefferson Parish thought about the events on that bridge back then?  I wonder what they think about the responsiblity of all of us to care for the needy now?

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Filed under community, history, injustice, katrina, news, opinion, racism, society

NAACP: Don’t Just Criticize, Become a Member and Effect Change from Within

I just have to give my 2 cents on the Wells Fargo, NAACP, and Boyce Watkins drama.  I’ve listened to all the points given.  I think there are a lot of valid points on both sides.  However, the thing that stands out to me is that the NAACP as an organization is not the same organization that I read about in the history books.  It’s not the NAACP of the time of W.E.B Dubois or in the 60s with King.  This is a different time.  A time that calls for different tactics and is full of different concerns.  The very fact that such an institution is now being challenged from within the black community is interesting.  The NAACP is a holy grail organization historically.  What this whole conflict has make me consider is the future of the organization and how African Americans can best influence it.

The best way for people to influence and ensure its future…JOIN.  For just $30 you can join and actually help this historic organization.  Money talks. If you really care, pay your dues and get involved with the actual governance of the organization.  Sure, you can affect it from outside, but if you really cherish what the NAACP has meant to the African American community, wouldn’t you want to see it refashioned for future survival?  If you have answers and know what direction the organization should do in, why not share them?

Sponsorship means money.  Perhaps if there was an infusion of new member revenue, the amount of sponsorship revenue needed for the conference would have been reduced.  Perhaps they could afford to be more choosy when selecting sponsors in that case.

Just my 2 cents.

Background: Recently the NAACP came under fire by bloggers for having Wells Fargo as a leading sponsor for its annual convention this July. Dr. Boyce Watkins wrote an op-ed for theGrio questioning why the NAACP would partner with Wells Fargo — a company accused of predatory lending practices — so recently after the civil rights organization dropped its lawsuit with the bank. Click here for the response to Dr. Watkins’ inquiry from NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous.

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ABC News: Why Can’t a Successful Black Woman Find a Man?

I’m wishing Steve Harvey, Sherri Shepard, Jacque Reid, Hill Harper, and Jimi Izrael Good Luck as they try to answer this age old question:  Why Can’t a Successful Black Woman Find a Man?  I’m sure the panel will try their hardest, but the answer is as elusive as some have found the search for their man to be.  I’ll surely live blog this one, so look out for that.  All my Georgia ladies and gents, the event is happening in your neck of the woods so let me know if you get a ticket so I can hear the unedited scoop.

STEVE HARVEY AND “NIGHTLINE’S” VICKI MABREY TO CO-MODERATE LIVE DEBATE AT THE PORTER SANFORD PERFORMING ARTS CENTER IN DECATUR, GA

FRIDAY, APRIL 9th AT 7:00PM ET

In the United States, black college educated women outnumber black college educated men 2 to 1. Considering all the other factors that could lend to this disproportion, it’s not surprising people wonder why many successful black women cannot find a man.  ABC News “Nightline” asks this question and relevant others–Are black women’s expectations too high? Who’s to blame, Black women or black men? – in the next “Nightline Face Off” in Decatur, Georgia on Friday, April 9.

In this “Face-Off,” the 7th in the program’s series, Sherri Shepherd, Emmy award-winning co-host of ABC’s “The View” and Jacque Reid, star of VH1’s “Let’s Talk About Pep” will debate Hill Harper, CSI star and author of The Conversation, and Jimi Izrael, author of The Denzel Principle. Steve Harvey, radio talk show host and bestselling author of Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man and “Nightline’s” Vicki Mabrey will co-moderate the debate.  Shepherd and Reid will participate as single, successful African American females who have difficulty finding an equal match while Harper and Izrael argue that single women should look beyond stereotypes when choosing a black man. Continue reading

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Obama is NOT the Anti-Christ, He’s Black and That’s the Problem

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  Political correctness, be damned!  All of the racists and bigots out there need to just take it back to 1960 and call the President the N-Word!  I’m tired of the re-directing.  Stop coming up with random titles and false charges to apply to this man.  You are mad because the President of the United States is a Black man. Period. You are afraid.  You are outraged that a Black person has that much power.  You are a closeted racist and you know who you are.  You are so bold and you are so sure you’re right, why do you hide your true feelings?

LiveScience.com – Americans have some extreme views of President Obama, with a new survey revealing 40 percent of adults believe he is a socialist, and about a quarter of survey participants thinking the president is a racist, anti-American and even doing things Hitler did.

The whammy: 14 percent of Americans say President Barack Obama may be the Antichrist. When split by political party, 24 percent of Republicans and 6 percent of Democrats viewed the nation’s leader in this way.

The results come from a Harris Poll involving 2,320 adults who were surveyed online between March 1 and March 8 by Harris Interactive, a market research firm. Respondents were selected from among those who agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The results were then weighted to reflect the composition of the U.S. adult population. [Infographic Compares Views]

Here’s the percentage breakdown of respondents’ views of President Obama:

  • 38 percent say he wants to take away Americans’ right to own guns.
  • 32 percent say he is a Muslim.
  • 29 percent think he wants to turn over the sovereignty of the United States to a one world government.
  • 29 percent think he has done many things that are unconstitutional.
  • 27 percent say he resents America’s heritage.
  • 27 percent say he does what Wall Street and the bankers tell him to do.
  • 25 percent say he was not born in the United States and so is not eligible to be president.
  • 25 percent say he is a domestic enemy that the U.S. Constitutions speaks of.
  • 23 percent say he is a racist.
  • 23 percent say he is anti-American.
  • 23 percent say he wants to use an economic collapse or terrorist attack as an excuse to take dictatorial powers.
  • 20 percent say he is doing many of the things that Hitler did.

When broken out by political party, results showed some stark differences. For instance, the majority of Republicans believed the president is a Muslim and a socialist, while around 40 percent believe he is a racist, someone who resents American heritage and “wants terrorists to win.”

Hitler?  Really?  Where is this sentiment coming from? Why do people hold these false, extreme beliefs? Because in politically correct, “post-racial”  America you can’t just say, “I don’t like the President because he’s a nigger and I don’t like/trust/serve/deal with niggers!”.  Say it.  Start saying it pundits!   Start saying Fox News!  Start saying it Tea Party members!  Join those who are very open with their racist views and don’t hide behind politics.  Be honest and stop this ridiculous posturing. You  go around calling the President and Congress liars and crooks but you yourself hide your real intentions. Trust me, your fellow Americans would prefer to know who they are REALLY dealing with and hearing from.

I would much rather know that you’re a bigot than have you smile in my face or be dishonest about it.  Go ahead, call a spade a spade.

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Christians Only: Is the Black Community Tolerant of Other Religions?

Don’t tell Grandma you’re an atheist.  You’ll make her pressure go up.

I would like to think that Black people are tolerant, but when it comes to homosexuality and religion I have to say that many Black folk can be very prejudiced.  Today I’m dealing with issue 2: religion.

If you say you’re a Hindu or following Buddha, you might as well say that you joined the Klan in some circles.  If you say that you don’t believe in a God or divine being at all and you prescribe to Athism…cancel Christmas (no pun).  I know people who have had to hide their faith from their families.  I know people who’ve followed time-honored faiths like Islam or dabbled in Metaphysics and have been told they are in a “cult”.  I also know people who follow traditional African religions like Yoruba and have been told they “worship the devil”.

For many Blacks there is one way…C-H-R-I-S-T.  There is no other option.  Period.

Don’t try to argue with them.  It’s a losing battle.  No point you can come up with is stronger than, “I believe in Jesus and the Bible, and that’s all I have to say.”  You can’t even bring up the fact that Christianity is the religion of our oppressors or note that the early church approved slavery of Africans and indigenous peoples.

In 1452, Pope Nicholas V issued the papal bull Dum Diversas, granting Afonso V of Portugal the right to reduce any “Saracens, pagans and any other unbelievers” to hereditary slavery. This approval of slavery was reaffirmed and extended in his Romanus Pontifex bull of 1455. These papal bulls came to serve as a justification for the subsequent era of slave trade and European colonialism.

They were giving the “savages” religion so I guess they felt it was a fair trade.  We all know it was about greed and conquest not spreading the good news. These justifications were the seeds of slavery which spawned the institutional racism that now exists around the world and of course here in the US.  Having faced discrimination here in America, you would think Black people would understand how tolerance is needed.

Let me say, I’m not anti-Christian.  I’m not pro any particular religion either.  What I am for is respect.  We can’t condemn foreign states, fringe movements, military, or other powers when they force their people to believe and worship in a particular way, if we don’t practice racial tolerance here in America.  Respect should not have limits and boundaries.  No geographic, racial, or religious boundaries.  Religion is a choice that in America we are blessed to have.

I am so glad that many of my Black, Christian brothers and sisters have found peace in their salvation and are believers.  What I find most troubling is that when those who are called “Christian” are unable to walk in love and compassion when dealing with unbelievers. However, there are many who are able to take on the “mind of Christ” and not discriminate, but engage in ways that honor the principles of their faith.

What do you think about Religious tolerance in the Black community?

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