10 October, 2007

Students and Teachers shot in Cleveland High School


Today, here in Cleveland, Ohio, a suspended student entered a high school and shot 2 students, 2 teachers and then killed himself.

The school is Success Tech, located in downtown Cleveland. The students and families are in shock. I am in shock. The student/suspect was a 14 year old male, who is being described by other students as an outcast who had difficulty making friends. He was suspended from school yesterday and came in today, possibly carrying 2 weapons, and shot at other students and teachers. One of the teachers is possibly in more serious condition. One of the students is being released from the hospital.

The news interviewed the young man who was first shot at by the suspect. The young man missed being shot and ran down the stairs to warn others.

These children were not cutting school. They were at school. Where we are sure they will be safe and that they are learning. It has been a long while since I have sat and cried watching the news. I felt hopeless. I am so saddened. It is hard enough to get our children to school and excited about school. Last year this city was listed as the poorest city in the country. This means that our children have a very hard way to go in this world. What happens when they do not even feel safe at school?

The sad part is that more and more this is the way that kids think to handle their problems. It isn't just a poor problem.

17 May, 2007

Yolanda King

Yolanda King, actress and speaker, dies at age 51
Associated Press
May 16, 2007

Yolanda King, daughter of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., greets children as she signs books after her presentation in January 2005 at WSU's Beasley Performing Arts Coliseum. Hundreds of people turned out to hear King's message of diversity. (Joe Barrentine The Spokesman-Review)

ATLANTA — Yolanda King, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s eldest child who
pursued her father’s dream of racial harmony through drama and motivational
speaking, collapsed and died after making a speech. She was 51.

died late Tuesday in Santa Monica, Calif., said Steve Klein, a spokesman for the
King Center. The family did not know the cause of death, but relatives think it
might have been a heart problem, he said.

“She was an actress, author,
producer, advocate for peace and nonviolence, who was known and loved for her
motivational and inspirational contributions to society,” the King family said
in a statement.

Former Mayor Andrew Young, a lieutenant of her father’s
who has remained close to the family, said Yolanda King had just spoken at an
event for the American Heart Association. She was helping the association raise
awareness, especially among blacks, about stroke.

Young said she was
going to her brother Dexter’s home when she collapsed in the doorway and “they
were not able to revive her.”


13 May, 2007

Pope Benedict XVI as Political Puppeteer

JSYK* As a non-practicing Catholic, I want to first state that my opinion hereafter has nothing to do with resentment for mistreatment by nuns in grade school or any such nonsense. (*Just so you know)

It is my theory that Pope Bene is trying to divide the Catholic Church. He is drawing hard lines and making no apologies for it. I don't agree with the Church's position, but I do know where that line is drawn. This is why I am non-practicing. I cannot imagine that there will not be a break in the Church because of this hard line.

I am concerned however when Pope Bene uses his papacy to influence American Politics. As if we did not have enough trouble with the drug companies, NRA, and our own home grown 'religious right', now the Pope is talking about ex-communication for politicians whose views are at odds with the church's teachings on abortion. Maybe the separation of church and state thing eludes him. This is a frightening predicament.

It puts me in the mind of the Salem witch hunts. No, there was no sarcasm there. I could just imagine Catholic politicians having to face their local Diocese after every vote. Talk about influence.

Again, I understand the theory, but to put it into practice is dangerous. There are people everywhere who compromise their personal values in order to do their jobs. It would be wrong of me to judge other peoples lives based on my values and belief systems. It is wrong to set 'Catholic-ly correct policy' for everyone whether Catholic or not. If a politician decides that it is OK for his constituents to have abortions that is not the church's business. If that politician decides his mistress should have an abortion, then that is another matter altogether.

I don't want Pope Bene influencing my politics. So now what, are we going to have to know every one's religion before we can vote for them? Are there some people who will have a problem having to disclose such information?

13 April, 2007

Moral Compass

Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are not the moral compass of the African-American community. They get media attention because people are sure to tune in to listen to them.



Is George Bush the moral compass of white america? Or is it Don Imus? Does Osama express how all Muslims feel?

It makes as much sense as thinking that all black people thought OJ was innocent?


This is why we are stuck in this tug of war still. This is how you know how far we still have to go.


11 April, 2007

I must discuss Imus

Can you imagine being on a team and working hard all season and making it to the finals? All the work, sacrifice, and sweat. All the dedication to your studies and your team. All the pride at seeing women from different backgrounds, with differing dreams come together and work hard to achieve what most people will never achieve.

And then to have some has-been, shock-jock, who makes his living by being foul and offensive demean and dismiss every bit of that phenomenal achievement by dismissing you all as 'nappy-headed hoes'.

I am sure there are many who would quickly say that this is being blown out of proportion; that people are too sensitive these days. Many people think that race relations is no longer an issue in 2007. Well, here is yet another reality check. Surely, we really have not progressed at all. The tension is there, just barely beneath the surface--on a good day.

To some, the uproar shows how far race relations have come, said John Bunzel, senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution and an expert in civil rights and race relations.

"The outrage is a sign that people ... understand that language can hurt and, as each generation passes along to another, this kind of prejudice diminishes," he said.

Bunzel cited as evidence of improved race relations the uproar which followed comedian Michael Richards use of racial slurs and the support for Sen. Obama in his bid for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.

Michael Dawson, a political science professor at The University of Chicago, disputed that view of race relations. His findings show most blacks think racial equality will not be achieved in the United States during their lifetimes, while most whites think it has been achieved or will be soon.

If this weren't such a sad state of affairs it might be funny. Don't get me wrong. I do not see racism everywhere I turn. It is not how I am wired. However I feel about people, race is not apart of it. However, I am not blind, and it is impossible for me to move through this world wrapped in beautiful skin that requires no tan without knowing, in my bones, when I am facing ugliness such as Don Imus'.

What is the big deal?

Who does not understand the power of words? Long after a physical wound has healed, the pain and echo of vicious words remain.

When I look at the young lady, who I believe is the Captain of the Rutgers' team, I see a beautiful, intelligent, articulate young woman who is only limited by her own fears. I see ebony skin, full lip. I see beauty. Not some homogenized version of beauty that is nearly absent of any racial identity. I see an African-American Woman; I recognize beauty in her. I would not paint her as a whore (hoe, ho). I do not see nappy hair as being a bad thing, but her hair is relaxed (straightened of it's natural curl). (As an aside, I wear dreadlocks. I am nappy headed. My hair is now better than 3/4 of the way down my back--the longest at the small of my back. I think my locks are gorgeous and sexy. Clearly, not every one's idea of beauty, but I walk in a ray of God's light that I believe is just for me.)

This is not just a 'black' issue. It is a feminist issue as well. Why is it OK to call these young ladies 'hoes/hos'? What gives anyone the right to demean them on the basis of their looks? On the basis of their sex. Did anyone call Kobe Bryant a nappy headed ho? Magic Johnson? But something about a black woman achieving, succeeding pulls venom out of people, and immediately she is painted with the brush of a whore. Condoleeza Rice is a great example. This brilliant woman has achieved tremendous and unparalleled success. Why paint her as G.W.'s concubine? To demean and disrespect. To erode her success and her self-respect.

I hope that eventually the Rutgers' team can chalk this up as a lesson learned, and march on with their heads held high. This is not for them to carry. This is for the likes of Don Imus to carry and clean up within themselves. Too many people think that it is OK for them to say exactly what is on their minds. Too bad they fed on ignorance and intolerance.

28 February, 2007

It has only just begun

This morning, after a long night at work, I started my car and while waiting for it to warm up (you have to do that in these inhumane climates), I noticed this bumper sticker on the truck in front of me.

No,don't blink. Your eyes are not deceiving you, it says Coulter '08.

Instant headache.

This is the earliest candidates have ever begun campaigning. It's already tiresome with Hilary and Barack both claiming that they will run clean races, while their 'people' are sling everything but the kitchen sink.

Could you imagine the stink Ann Coulter would add to this already festering mess?

Oh, goodness, in the words of ABB, it smells like bullshit!

I don't know what I was expecting. It's politics as usual.