Thursday, September 10, 2015

Mental Health Is the Excuse Du Jour

I remember when there was no excuse for drunkenness.
I remember when there was no excuse for morbid obesity.
I remember when there was no excuse for infidelity.

Now, alcoholism is a disease.  Overeating is a disease.  And sexual addiction has been known to disrupt a person’s normal way of life.

I’m no psychologist, so I’m not here to disprove that one not being able to control one’s excessive use of alcohol, food or sex might not be linked to some kind of psychological disorder.  But on the other hand, and let’s face it, the sheer enjoyment of alcohol, food and sex can simply lead us to never getting enough.  Which comes first?  The chicken or the egg.  I don’t know.

What I do know is that if one is prone to excessive behavior, one must find help before, and not after the lack of control sets in.  For instance, if every time I go on my computer to work, and I end up playing Candy Crush for hours, hours that could be used to clean and cook, chores that I don’t look forward to, then it behooves me to not touch that Candy Crush button if I don’t have the time to spare.

The only time no one excuses a drunkard for his actions is if he kills someone in his drunken state.  People will say, “He got drunk and then knowingly got behind the wheel of a car.”  As someone who has never been drunk, I don’t know what it feels like; but if I were to imagine, I’d say that if someone was that drunk and drove, then he possibly could not have been in his right frame of mind to decipher if he was capable to drive in the first place.  I mean, doesn’t drunkenness distort our rationality?

So much sympathy is now given to the morbidly obese, that people who are proud of their fit bodies are accused of fat-shaming others, if they happen to share photos of themselves.

I’m not sure why only the rich and famous get away with having a sexual addiction, while the average Joe is just a womanizer.  But moving right along.

So now that people are able to drink as much alcohol as they want, eat as much food as they want, have as much sex as they want, and those are deemed as medical conditions, the next step seems to be for them to senselessly kill others and are declared as being mentally unstable.

Nowadays, when someone commits the most heinous of acts, no one wants to label him as evil – instead, he has mental health issues.  I am aware that there are various levels on the mental health spectrum; however, if someone sits down and plans an act of violence so terrible, it’s only fair that he gets booted out of the mental health circle and gets dumped into the EVIL brigade.

Vester Lee Flanagan, aka Bryce Williams, on live TV killed two of his former coworkers, a reporter and a cameraman.  As he sprayed bullets, he accidentally shot the innocent bystander who was being interviewed by the reporter.  As he fled police, he eventually turned the gun on himself and later died.  Apparently he had a manifesto which I guess spoke to the discrimination that he endured on the job from his victims.  I did not read nor will I read said manifesto.  And by the way, writing a lengthy suicide note doesn’t constitute a manifesto or get you into the mental health circle – YOU ARE STILL EVIL!!!

From what I picked up, Vester/Bryce did not have a good experience on the job and was fired two years ago, and not on good terms either.  Let’s just say he was discriminated against based on his race and/or sexual preference, is it still okay to hold a grudge for two years against at least two people and let it fester so much that his only alternative was to end their lives in such a violent and public way?

Every time people cannot explain why a monstrous act was committed, they chalk it up to mental health issues.  They are just giving people with genuine mental health problems a bad name.  And because he cried bigotry, doesn’t get him any sympathy from me.  Then I hear people saying that we don’t know the full story, that there’s more to it.  Look, I’ve been prejudiced against because of my race and ethnicity, and after I was no longer at that job, any revenge I had for anyone did not last for more than a week or two J.  But in my defense, it wasn’t anything as wicked as killing anyone.  Well, not so blatant that it doesn’t look like an accident. J J

When police officer, Darren Wilson shot and killed 18 year old Michael Brown, he had numerous supporters.  Sympathizers raised money for his legal defense and presumably for his livelihood, since he no longer had a job.  It bothered me because at the end of the day, he senselessly took someone else’s life.  I don’t care what Alison Parker and Adam Ward did to Vester.  I don’t care what he thinks they did to him.  I don’t care how hurt he felt.  Nothing they did or could have ever done deserved being executed while innocently doing their jobs.  Therefore, I cannot in good conscience give this murderer a pass just because we have similar pigmentation.

Several weeks ago, a Boston police chief reported his own son, who was found with an arsenal and the desire to kill for ISIS.  I waited for it, and I was eventually rewarded with news that he had a history of mental illness.  Did he?  I don’t know.  But how else can that chief or the rest of the country explain how this white, privileged young man is now a jihadist?

The mental health crisis that this nation faces is extremely serious.  There are college kids committing suicide at a vast rate.  There are heads of households killing their entire families and then themselves.  These are trying times, but perspectively speaking, not because people with a ‘normal’ state of mind cannot comprehend the evil mind, doesn’t make every murderer crazy.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Can We Just Stop With the Politically Correct Bullshit, Already?

This is old news, but I started this post almost two months ago and am only now completing it.  Before you get on my case, just remember that sometimes hairdressers have the most jacked up hair, plumbers have the worst plumbing, mechanics drive jalopies, and carpenters live in shacks.  I work for myself, so sometimes I get complacent.  I still have household chores, kids to deal with and honestly, sometimes I just want to lie on the couch and watch TV.  If you don’t like it, feel free to get me a writing gig. J

I’m not a big fan of Ariana Grande, but dammit I’ll fight for her.  She sings like Mariah Carey.  You know the way; refusing to open their mouths, and someone like me who already has enough trouble trying to figure out songs’ lyrics, just can’t deal with someone who is eating her words.  Give me Whitney Houston.  Actually, don’t anymore; but that girl would open her mouth and sing.  Okay, I’ll take Bruno Mars.  Boyfriend will enunciate those words for folks like me.  And by the way, Miss Jackson, you need to open your mouth too.

But you’re gonna tell me that Ariana Grande, a 22 year old former Disney teeny bopper who said something that was on her mind in a country as free as the United States of America has to apologize, while elected members of Congress plotted to sabotage the US economy because Obama was elected, yet were never charged for treason.  Police actually stopped killing innocent people to investigate Ariana’s comments about hating Americans and America.  She was referring to the fact that she bought a donut, and it was so huge that it disgusted her and caused her to think about the obesity problem in this country.  Is she lying?  Okay, licking those donuts because they were unhealthy was nasty AND childish, but she’s a child, maturity-wise.

Of course she regrets saying it that way.  Well, rather, she regrets being overheard.  But, who has never said anything out loud that they ended up regretting, because they’ve hurt another human being or because they ended up looking ridiculous? 

First of all, hate is a strong word for people of a certain age, but for those young‘uns, hate is just an everyday word in their vernacular.  Your best friend just roasted you, what do you say?  I hate you.  Your teacher ‘gave’ you a D that you actually earned, what do you tell our buddies.  I hate her.  So let’s just skip the BS, and keep it real about what Ariana means.  She doesn’t like the fact that she is living in a country where people just nonchalantly go into an eatery and devour donuts and/or any food filled with content unfit for their bodies.  What she means is that she is not proud of the fact that there are so many obese people in her beloved country who refuse to do anything except to see how quickly they can elevate from obese to morbidly obese.  And at 50 pounds soaking wet, Ariana is anything but a threat to national security.

So the profanity bothers you too?  Oh dear, profanity bothers you, yet you defend Donald Trump when he says such sick things about Mexicans.  Your theory that he is just “protecting our borders” doesn’t hold water.  Instead of bringing Donald Trump to task with his blatant xenophobia, you straight-faced say crap like “he didn’t say all immigrants, he said illegal immigrants”.  As if your grandparents or Donald’s current and former wives came here with their green cards in their pockets. 

People are quite fine with “celebrities” coming here and living here without their ‘papers’ but not the average Mexican. 

Take Sofia Vergara.  She left Colombia for Miami when her older brother was murdered during a botched kidnap.  I don’t know, but it sounds like she was living in the States without proper documentation for a while.

When Steven Spielberg noticed Catherine Zeta-Jones in the Titanic miniseries, he recommended her to the director of The Mask of Zorro where she starred alongside Anthony Hopkins and Antonio Banderas, all immigrants.  Hey, maybe they came here to work and when their working visas expired, they returned to Wales and Spain.

I’m pretty sure in the early 1930’s when Albert Einstein visited the US, he had every intention of returning to a tumultuous Germany.  I mean, it’s not like Hitler was having a problem with outspoken Jews or anything like that.

Do you know what else irritates me about people trying to be so politically correct?  When they try to fix something now that they were quite fine with so many years ago.  TV Land cancelled The Dukes of Hazzard reruns in 2015, a show that ended in 1985 because of the recent dust up regarding the Confederate flag.  There is a car in the show with the flag on the roof that NEVER bothered anyone for over 30 years; now it’s not politically correct.  Look, history is history.  If there were to be a 2015 show with that flag brazenly pronounced, that would be a problem, but at this point, it is what it is.  Maybe they just don’t want us to remember the times when they were being politically incorrect when they already knew better.

Recently, some members of Congress wanted to strip Bill Cosby of his 2002 Presidential Medal of Freedom that W. bestowed upon him.  If they are going to take that from Bill because they now realize that he’s an alleged rapist, then they’ll have to take away W.’s presidency because they now realize that he is a complete nincompoop.

Do we always use the right words at the right time?  Hell no!  I know Ariana wishes that she could take back what she did and said, but maybe in that moment she felt like her back was against the wall.  Nah, she’s a kid; she felt like it was a good idea at the time.  But for Pete’s sake, she’s a 22 year old pop princess.  How much maturity do we really expect from her?  Plus, our very mature First Lady of the United States has a campaign focusing on moving, getting fit and eating right, yet she’s not being taken seriously by many folks either.  After Pennsylvania schools’ attempt to get kids to eat healthier, Sarah Palin brought cookies to them since she thought Pennsylvania was a nanny state.  I’m assuming she actually came to Pennsylvania to stir up trouble, but for all I know, she just saw Pennsylvania from her house and threw them over her fence.

But perspectively speaking, if Michele Obama’s technique is spurned, what’s wrong with giving Ariana’s a fair shot.

Home Is Where the Bed Is!

I recently returned from a three week vacation from the land of my birth.  It was definitely one of the funnest vacations ever.  [I know it’s not a real word, but I first heard it from the kids, and honestly, it comes in handy when something is beyond fun.]  Most of it was because I was there for a family reunion, and of all the things I love the most, FAMILY is way up there.  Then I got to spend time with former classmates and other girlfriends.  The great thing about having attended an all-girls school is that when we get together, we can let our guards down without any recourse.  Well, nothing much usually stops me from holding back; but being in the company of all women just makes crude jokes even funnier.  I’m just saying.

However, I had to endure questions like these throughout my visit:
Do you miss Antigua?
Do you like where you live?
Would you ever return for good?
The easy or politically correct answers are YES, SURE, YEAH; but it’s me, so the truth is, it’s not that simple.

I miss the beach a lot since I’m a total beach bum; but if I were actually living in Antigua, unless I were a millionaire, there is no way I could afford to be at the beach all day, every day.  I miss Brownie’s bun and cheese, but after three weeks and five pounds, (which are taking twice as long to get rid of) again, there is no way I’d be able to sustain that kind of diet.  It was a blast catching up with family and friends, but alas, were I living in Antigua, it just would not be feasible to hang out with them that often, with kids’ schedules, neglected husbands and just the daily grind. 

Then there are the things that I do NOT miss about Antigua:  the terrible roads, the crazy drivers (yup, we almost got run off the road thrice, twice by the police), and the lack of reliable infrastructure.  No offense my fellow Antiguans, but when I turn my computer on and click on the Internet, I really expect to be connected the same day!  Hyperbole at its worst is just going to make me enemies, but seriously, I’ve never seen Internet soooooo slooooowwwww.

I also do not miss the monolithic points of views, and it doesn’t mean that I’m indoctrinated because I have been living in North America.  It just means that I see things from a different perspective.  Okay fine, you are still in the dark ages, and I’m not; but I still love you! J  And naturally, I’m not talking about everyone that I spoke to, but the homophobia that still exists in Antigua, and the Caribbean at large, is beginning to appear violent adjacent.

Do I like where I live?  I LOVE where I live, and I’m so grateful that I do.  But I’m pretty easy to please, so I’ve always loved my home.  For the first 20 years of my life, I lived in Antigua, and I totally enjoyed it.  For the next 15, I lived in various parts of New York, and trust me, the South Bronx is not as scary as it is depicted in the media.  For the past 10 years, living in the Poconos is like living in Antigua back in the ‘70s, in terms of the scenery and at the same time living in a progressive city, in terms of the conveniences….what’s not to love?

But telling an Antiguan that you enjoy living abroad is a set up for an Antiguan cuss out.  “So, what you saying is that you prefer America than where you were born?”  No, I’m just saying that I’ve made a life there now, and it’s comfortable, so I’m just taking life one day at a time.  “So, you’re too good for Antigua now?”  No, not at all.  “So you never thought about returning?”  Well, it’s not like we can just give up a job and a place to stay and come home on a prayer hope.

So you can imagine how much tact has to be sought with my responses.  In my mind I’m thinking, I’ll return to or retire in Antigua when I’m guaranteed that motorists respect each other, when clear lines are drawn on the roads so that motorists know for sure where their lane ends and mine starts, when motorist just don’t park and exit their cars at the most convenient spot for them, which in turn ends up being almost impossible for me to squeeze through; when motorists see that they are the ones with the obstruction and still don’t speed to pass before me as if I’m not the one with the clear lane; when motorists realize that even though I’m not the one with the right of way, if they all keep going, eventually, no one will be able to move.  And that’s just driving. 

Yeah, I’ll return when I have used the bathroom, put soap on my hands, turn the faucet on, and water actually comes out.  (Yes, I know that Antigua has a really, really bad drought problem; but how long will that excuse last?)  Or when I am getting ready to go out, and I am midway in ironing my outfit, the power comes off.  (Yes, I know that Antigua is a developing country, and these things take time; but how long will that excuse last?)

With 365 beaches, with Antigua being the most progressive Leeward Island, and one of the most in the Caribbean overall, all I’m saying is that we cannot keep complaining about the same problems year after year, decade after decade.  Something has got to be done!  Tourism is our main industry; and the competitive field is WIDE.

But as I look at my fellow Antiguans who have remained and with whom I’d be on par with, I don’t see people who are living in a country with a plethora of inconveniences.  I see people who are on average happy with their lives.  I see people who are succeeding in their fields.  I see people who are living very well.  Just like how we've adjusted to a country where at any given moment, an unarmed Black man child woman civilian can be shot numerous times by a police officer who will later be cleared of any wrongdoing, just like how we’ve adjusted to a country where a corn silk haired billionaire who is as dumb as a rock is leading the polls in the Republican party for president of the most powerful country in the world, I know that were I still living in Antigua, there’d be no place that I’d rather be.

But what I missed most was my bed.  And it wasn’t because I didn’t sleep well.  I slept very well – just not for long.  I was comfortable, and I was relaxed, but after a while, I just missed my crib, you know.  I missed home!  And home is where I get my mail, not where my navel string was buried.  Because at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter where you make your home, perspectively speaking, it is the only place where your heart is.

Saturday, July 4, 2015


In light of everything that’s happening in the world today, I’d be remiss if I didn’t have a perspective to share.  Most people already know my take on religion, sexuality, politics and equality for all of mankind, so I won’t bore you.  I’ll just say this:  We are complex human beings.  We have different perspectives on a plethora of beliefs.  There could be four close friends sitting together, and when they hear the news that the Supreme Court had upheld the Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare for the SECOND time, they are all ecstatic.  After all, with over 16.5 million people enrolled, reverting to having no insurance at all would not have been a viable option for them.

When Hillary Clinton was the only Democrat who threw her hat in the ring, many people were looking forward to having the first female president of the United States.  Next thing, Senator Bernie Sanders (I), from Vermont joined her along with Lincoln Chafee and Martin O'Malley.  Chafee is a bit on the queer side; O’Malley is a bit on the plain side.  They’ll drop out soon.  But Bernie is the ultimate underdog.  An independent socialist who actually believes in free college and is opposed to wars in general, did a sneak attack on the former Secretary of State.  Three of the friends can relate to Bernie’s ideologies, but there is one who is just intent on us having our first female president.  Next thing you know, everyone else is looking at her with the side eye.  How could she back any Clinton, with how much baggage they travel with?

After agreeing to disagree, the topic of a certain bigot running for the Republican Party surfaced.  I’m sure everyone can agree that no one in their right mind will take Donald Trump seriously.  Not so fast!  There is always one person who can see that although the Donald is an idiot, they like the fact that he speaks his mind; that he touches on issues that concern most people; and that he is a shrewd businessman who can turn this economy around.  Unfortunately, there is always someone who will be blind to someone’s true nature.  I won’t go into details about the fact that it’s easy for him to speak his mind because there isn’t much there, or that most of his concerns are based on prejudice and bigotry, or that he is not that great of a businessman having filed for bankruptcy so many times, or that Obama has already made great strides in turning around the broken economy left by Baby Bush.  To each his own.

As if enough crap is not happening, racists are burning down Black churches and killing Black people praying in Black churches as if it’s 1799.  I’m sure all four can agree that there is a miscarriage of justice occurring when the media claim that some of these fires are accidental or that there is not enough evidence to prove arson or that anyone has yet to be charged.

Well, burning churches will not be tolerated by anyone, but when the Supreme Court decided 5-4 that same-sex couples had the right to marry nationally, all hell broke loose.  Suddenly, your best friend who sided with you that Donald Trump is the BIGGEST ASS alive could not find it in her heart to agree that Adam and Steve should be granted the same rights as a man and a woman.  The same people who condone adultery in their own marriage, just could not find it in their hearts to condone someone else’s same-sex marriage.  The same people who had no problems violating some of the Ten Commandments started pointing out the sinfulness of gay sex, even though it is not even in the top ten, where commandments are concerned.  And now close friends are beginning to wonder how they could have been so blind.  They cannot comprehend that someone could lack such morals.  They cannot believe that their best friend is willing to fight for the right for men (because people don’t fret too much about lesbian sex) to lie together.  Are they not aware that it’s in the Bible?  And it doesn’t matter that they are going to use scriptures from said Bible to prove that the Bible is true – it’s in there, and that is all you need to know.  They are not concerned that Abraham was married to his half-sister who gave him her maid to bear a child because she was barren, and after she was “blessed” with a child of her own, drove the maid and Abraham’s first born out of the household.  Come to think of it, no one ever remembers Ishmael; it’s all about Isaac, who is technically the second child; but that is neither here nor there.  They are not concerned that Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines.  That is not important.  What’s important is that same-sex marriage defies “traditional marriage”.

I could argue my opinions, but I’ve decided that it’s not worth it and not because I don’t want to be that snarky friend who years from now gives someone the ‘I told you so’ look.  I’m certainly not too modest for that.  I’m not going to respond with ‘let’s agree to disagree’ because quite frankly, it’s okay to disagree and to disagree with passion.  We are complex individuals, and it’s okay to possess varying ideologies; but perspectively speaking, the only reason why I’m keeping my opinions to myself (smile if you see the irony) is because with everything that’s going on in the world today, only one thing can help us all – LOVE!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Y’all Gonna Make Me Start Celebrating Father’s Day

Many of you know how I feel about certain “holidays”, specifically Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Valentine’s Day.  I have some issues with Christmas and Thanksgiving too, but honestly, any excuse to eat a lot of food is enough for me to set aside my principles.  Plus, those are the two main days that I get to spend time with members of my extended family.

I don’t really remember ever celebrating or even acknowledging Mother’s Day before that fateful one when my mother was laid to rest.  I assume we must have had Mother’s Day celebrations prior to that.  Maybe, maybe not.  That could explain why she was buried on Mother’s Day, and no one noticed.  Or maybe I just don’t recall.

I’m also not sure if I don’t celebrate those “holidays” because I’m an orphan.  And I’m aware that I had a tumultuous relationship with my father during my formative years, but as an adult, he sure was one cool dude.  But it can’t be anything to do with the relationship with my father because my husband is an excellent father, was raised by a wonderful father, and we still don’t celebrate Father’s Day. 

I just feel like every day is Father’s Day; every day is Mother’s Day; and every day is Valentine’s Day.  After all, we are parents every day, and we love each other every day.  But that’s just my perspective, hence the name of the blog.

But for those people who celebrate Father’s Day, for those people who acknowledge Father’s Day, for those FATHERS who feel special on that day, the least the rest of us can do is to give them that respect.

On Father’s Day, Facebook was bombarded with memes and posts about Happy Father’s Day to the mothers who are fathers and mothers.  Because they decide to share everything about themselves, the only person that I know who is a father and a mother is Bruce Caitlyn Jenner.  Too politically incorrect?  Then what else would you call someone who is woman above and man below?  But this is so not about Bruce Caitlyn.  Then there were narratives about deadbeat dads, about sperm donors, about the fact that anyone can be a father but not everyone can be a dad.

I know a whole lot of fathers - in my inner circle, friends, acquaintances, and out of all of them, I’d say 95% are good fathers.  Of all the fathers that I know, only a handful need to step up their game; the majority of them are on point.  They are loving.  They are supportive – financially and otherwise.  They are mentors.  They are hands-on.

I’m not a father.  I don’t celebrate Father’s Day.  However, I was really ticked off this past Sunday from the utmost disrespect that many fathers had to endure about the negativity that many people feel about a few fathers.  For the fathers that I personally know who could work on their game, it’s mainly extenuating circumstances that cause them not to do better.  That’s not to say that I’m making excuses, but at least it’s not like they just sit down and say, “Today, and for the rest of my life, I’m going to be the worst father that I can be.”

Another irritating point is that these fathers just recently had to go through their Facebook and see people bragging about their four year old Pre-K graduation, who is blessed to be leaving Pre-K at four.  They had to see the long essays about how proud people are of their five year old graduates who successfully got promoted to the First Grade.  They had to endure how happy folks are about their 12 year olds who are going to Middle School next year.  They had to see pictures of 15 year olds from their Junior High School proms.  Did these fathers bitch about the fact that these kids were at the age to reach these milestones?  No!  They shared your joy.  Yet, you are the first to combat with that’s what they are supposed to do if anyone says that some fathers go above and beyond the call of duty.

Many mothers out there make mistakes on a daily basis, yet every Mother’s Day, there are more ‘queens’ than at a royal convention.  Mother’s Day already gets a big hoopla compared to Father’s Day, so perspectively speaking, what does it take away from single mothers for fathers to be celebrated on Father’s Day?

Friday, June 19, 2015

Happy Juneteenth

I cannot believe that this is the 150th anniversary of Juneteenth, and it is also the first that I’m knowing what it is.  I started seeing Juneteenth a few days ago, but silly me, I thought it was some kind of hip hop music festival due to the arena in which it was mentioned, and due to its silly name.  But I noticed that it kept coming up in light of certain situations that were occurring in this here US of A.  You know, like police beating up kids at pools, non-White people pretending to be Black, and now the massacre at a historic Charleston, SC church.  Now I usually like to be in the know, so because there wasn’t much narrative about this Juneteenth, I kept ignoring it.  Eventually, I realized that it was becoming way too popular for me to avoid, so I researched it.

Not only is Juneteenth 150 years old, like I just mentioned, but it was on June 19, 1865 that Major Gen. Gordon Granger led Union soldiers to Galveston, TX carrying news that the war had ended and that all slaves were free.  Armed forces had to literally bring the news in person because Texas refused to follow President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation from two and a half years prior.  You know, I can just imagine the arrogance of those slave owners – “Well, if Abe (cause you know they were not going to give him the respect of calling him President Lincoln) thinks that these niggers are free, then he has to come here himself and tell us.  He will have to pry them out of our cold dead hands!”

I’ve lived in this country for around 25 years, and I have never heard about Juneteenth before this year!  Never heard anything about it from any civil rights leader.  Not from the media.  Not from any educator.  Not from the kids’ schools.  Nowhere.  And, yeah it’s up to me to learn about my own history; but it’s the same media that remind me when St. Patrick’s Day is looming, when Columbus Day is around the corner, how many marches are taking place on Memorial Day.  And by the way, Memorial Day and Independence Day were all about barbeques until September 11, 2001!

But Juneteenth is an actual holiday.  It became an official holiday in Texas in 1980, and about 45 states currently acknowledge it, either as a state holiday or a ceremonial holiday, including New York and Pennsylvania where I’ve lived, and I still never heard about it.  Yet the media would like to tell me stuff that I couldn’t care less about.  Like the other day Kelly Clarkson’s weight made news.  I’m gonna make this real quick and painless.  In a nutshell, Fox News anchor Chris Wallace visited The Mike Gallgher Show, and this was what happened.  They were talking about Little Caesar’s bacon-wrapped crust pizza when Gallagher asked, “Have you seen Kelly Clarkson?  You know the singer, Kelly Clarkson?  Holy cow, did she blow up.”  Being the ultimate professional, Chris Wallace was not going to fall for that bait and said, “Really?  Do we want to talk about some of your friends?  Kelly Clarkson’s got a lovely voice.”  But, alas it’s radio, and he just fell right into that trap and continued, “She could stay off the deep dish pizza for a little while.”

Well, of course he got into trouble.  Was he far from the truth?  Hell no!  Girlfriend has gained at least 100 pounds since she debuted on American Idol.  Of course the public said he fat shamed her.  I’m assuming he dropped an insincere public apology.  I have no time to locate it; it probably sounds like all other insincere public apologies.  She even went on Ellen, claiming that she didn’t care what people say.  LIAR!!!  Remember when Mo’Nique used to curse ‘skinny bitches’ and act like she was okay with her weight?  Remember when Star Jones used to pretend that being morbidly obese was not an issue, and if you didn’t mention the elephant in the room (no pun intended) she wouldn’t either.  Didn’t they both eventually lose the weight and felt more ‘healthy’?  We all care what people say to some degree.  Kelly Clarkson even threw her infant under the bus, insinuating that she just had a baby and what do people expect.  Like I said, Girlfriend gained about 100 pounds.  That baby did not weigh more than ten pounds. 

But here’s the irony: Ellen is 25 years older than Kelly and half the size, (or a third – she’s really big) but that’s not the problem because according to Kelly, “we are who we are”.  But as I watched her sitting on the chair in that matronly dress with her breasts resting on her gut, which in turn was resting on her lap, with her legs too big to be crossed that they were left slightly ajar, and with Ellen sympathetically telling her, “as long as you are happy and healthy” I thought to myself, “Who the hell are they kidding?”  And I just know that years down the road, if she ever loses that weight, she will finally admit that she knew she wasn’t healthy, that she knew she didn’t believe what she was saying.  But I’m digressing……..

One of the problems with the race relations in this country is that White people (and you know I hate to generalize, but for argument’s sake, I will just for today) are obsessed with places.  In their world, people cannot comingle.  Everybody has to stay in his place.  Someone has to come in at first place; ergo somebody has to take last place.  The concept of equality does not resonate in their minds.  There has to be strict guidelines as to who can go where, who can say what, who can do what.

Check it out.  This country has been obsessed with contests for decades.  And within the last decade, the contests have gotten more and more ridiculous.  It’s not enough to be the smartest on Jeopardy!; contestants have to be degraded on shows like American Idol, and all the Housewives of All the Cities.  I don’t watch them; but you know the ones I’m talking about.  I’m surprised that shows like The Price Is Right and Wheel of Fortune still exist.  They are family friendly and do not aim to denigrate. But the problem with these contest shows is that they are too subjective.  I’m not saying that the judges cannot be unanimous; but who’s to say that Contestant A is a better performer than Contestant B?

Then there are magazines like People with the Sexiest Man Alive and 50 Most Beautiful issues.  How you are going to judge the sexiest man in the world and don’t look outside of Hollywood is amazing!  So the 50 most beautiful people in the world today did nothing to change, yet next year, they’ve been downgraded because the movie that they had out last year is no longer hip.  And Americans still fall for this stupid shit!

The Miss America and Miss USA pageants are hardly ever judged fairly, yet they return every single year.  Even in sports, we have to deal with nonsense because even when the contest is NOT subjective, and there’s a clear-cut winner, there still has to be bullshit narrative.  American Pharoah did what many racehorses couldn’t achieve and what Secretariat did in 1973.  When Secretariat won the Triple Crown, there had been a 25 year drought.  Charismatic in 1999, War Emblem in 2002, Funny Cide in 2003, and Smarty Jones in 2004 all won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, only to fall short in the Belmont StakesMore recently, I'll Have Another in 2012 and California Chrome in 2014 met the same feat.  So when American Pharoah finally ended a 37 year drought for Triple Crown winners, you’d think that this amazing thoroughbred, his jockey, his trainer, his owners and everyone involved would get their time to shine.  But no!  First thing people said was, American Pharoah is a great horse, but he’s no Secretariat.  If Secretariat and American Pharoah were to run against each other, Secretariat would be x furlongs ahead of American Pharoah.  First off, Secretariat was born in 1970, American Pharoah was born in 2012.  Who’s to say what would have happened if they actually raced against each other in any single race?  THERE IS NO WAY TO EVER KNOW!

It’s like comparing LeBron James to Michael Jordan.  Jordan retired for the third and last time in 2003.  About five months later, James entered the league.  Not only is the game played differently, but they play differently and different positions.  Stat-wise, Jordan leads in some areas, James in others.  Maybe we can wait until James has retired for good, then make some kind of comparison; but no, people started comparing Rookie LeBron to Retired Jordan.

Speaking of basketball, the NBA (National Basketball Association) has a championship game every year.  There is one team from Canada, but somehow, when the time comes for the championship games, these two teams are vying to see who will be the WORLD CHAMPIONS.  And nobody cares if it’s an Olympic year and America doesn’t bring home the gold with the best of the best.  It’s quite fine for just one NBA team to be the best in the world, just because America says so.  But clearly America doesn’t care because it does the same for hockey, baseball and football.  And speaking of football, don’t even get me started.  This country not only changed the name of real football to soccer, but it went ahead and stole the name for a different sport where the athletes pretty much don’t use their feet.

So you see what kind of people we are dealing with, right.  For years I’ve wondered, “Why don’t they like us?”  (us meaning Black people)  How come we realize that (and again I know many Black people who are prejudiced against White people for no reason at all, well except the obvious old reason) we are all the same inside, and pigment doesn’t make anybody better than anybody else?  How come we judge people by their actions and not by the color of their skin?

Jealousy is one reason why someone hates another for no reason at all.  But what can they be jealous of?  We were the ones who were enslaved.  We were the ones who were ruled.  We are the ones who have zero power.  We are the ones who struggle in poverty.  What could they be jealous of?  Could it be that no matter what they do to us, we just pray (again I’m generalizing here, because you all should know by now that that train has left my station) endlessly whenever they torment us.  We are the ones who forgive them blindly no matter what they do to us.

The hatred that they have for us go so deep that they literally don’t want us around.  We can't go to church.  We can't go to the pool.  We can't go to our own bachelor party.  We can't go to the 7-11 for a late night snack.  We can't go home if we are a Harvard professor or an African immigrant.  We can't go to sleep if we are a 7 year old girl.  We can't go back to South Africa where some of the earliest fossils were found because they’ve taken that country for themselves. We can't go to Mars because they worked us for years without pay, so we don't have old money.  And even after they’ve killed us, they still desecrate our burial sites.

Being baffled I said to myself, “If they didn't want us here, why did they bring us from Africa in the first place?"  Seriously, where in the world do they expect us to go?  The only solution I can come up with for this deep-seated hate is that they do not want to live with the constant reminder of the evil business of slavery.  And to make matters worse, we took the high road and have forgiven them for the ultimate sin.  Getting rid of us is clearly not the solution. We have long forgiven you and moved on, so prospectively speaking, White people, in order for you to also move on, you need to forgive yourselves.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Baby Got Black!

In the 1986 movie Soul Man, C. Thomas Howell’s character applied to and was accepted to Harvard Law School, but when his rich dad decided not to pay his tuition, he applied for and received a scholarship – for African-Americans Only.  Changing his appearance to look Black, he met and fell in love with a real African-American (well technically, mixed race because there was no way someone who was predominantly Black was going to be cast for that role – that’s what women like Rae Dawn Chong are for).  When he found out that she was the original candidate for the scholarship and had to work as a waitress to support herself and her son, he eventually came clean and repaid the funds he fraudulently received.

Call me naïve, but that was one of my favorite movies.  At 17, I was not offended by the concept of the movie.  Today, I still would not be offended because movies are supposed to make us think, are supposed to entertain us, are supposed to imitate life.  And the idea of someone pretending to be Black instead of the other way around for personal gain is more funny than offensive in my humble opinion. 

Therefore when I heard of Rachel Dolezal, I couldn’t help but see the humor in it all.  She is the 37 year old head of the NAACP Spokane, WA chapter, and according to her parents, she is WHITE!  Biracial? No!  Mixed race? No!  Traces of Black? No! 

So I just read a little bit more about Rachel, and here’s what I found.  She was always interested in Black culture.  She married a Black man.  She has four Black adopted siblings.  She received a scholarship from Howard University.  She teaches African American Studies at Eastern Washington University.  She is a huge advocate for the Black community, being a spokeswoman on race-influenced police violence, being appointed chairwoman of a police oversight committee to keep an eye on fairness in police work, and having appeared with Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby after the Freddie Gray incident murder.

Montana, where Rachel was born around 1978 had less than 0.25% Black people.  Mississippi was about 36% Black in 2000, but in Jackson where Rachel went to college, it was about 70% Black; if you are in love with Black culture, that’s not a bad place to start.  She went to Howard University for her masters, which we know is predominantly Black.  Girlfriend finally hit the mother lode.  Spokane, WA where Rachel currently lives is about 3% Black, so it’s kind of understandable why she could pass for Black amongst her peers.  I don’t know why, but the lady considers herself Black.  Who am I to tell her otherwise?

However, if someone in this country, heck in this world was going to change who they were, why they wouldn’t choose to be a WHITE MAN is beyond me.  When it comes to privilege and having life the easiest, nothing beats a White man.  Yeah, it’s not politically correct to say that.  It’s not politically correct to state the obvious.  Well, it’s not correct to sit here and lie either.  So pick your poison!!!

So for a White girl who grew up in Montana, to choose to identify as Black in this day and age is quite interesting to me.  One thing I give her props for is to wear braided hair extensions on a regular basis.  Those things pull your hair out, are not easy to keep clean, can be very uncomfortable and painful, although easy to maintain.  And I’m not going to lie, she ROCKED those braids!

It doesn’t bother me that she tanned herself to look darker; many people of color bleach their skins to appear lighter.  It doesn’t bother me that she changed her hair to be kinkier/curlier; many people of color wear straight weaves.  It doesn’t bother me that her job is to champion human rights and the civil rights of Black people, even though she is White.  Well, her parents actually admitted that she has some Native American in her.

This is what bothers me mostly, that the NAACP still exists.  Now, I don’t want to put anyone out of a job because I know what it feels like to have a steady salary one day and the next day you’re trying to figure out how quickly you can update your résumé.  And I understand that although it’s not a service that I need, there are others who might.  According to their website, the mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination. 

Even the name of the organization is redundant.  Black people are not called colored anymore…well, not in public.  At least, they don’t refer to themselves as colored, so that’s an advancement.  The NAACP was founded in 1909, and it’s been 106 years, and although there has been vast improvement, racial discrimination still exists in the political, educational, social and economic arenas of this country.

Just like how dozens of women who were outed for simultaneously dating a famous golfer do not seek help from NOW (National Organization for Women) and go instead to Gloria Allred for guidance and counsel, whenever a Black unarmed person gets shot by the police, no one calls the NAACP.  The person who sets up the marches and the protests is the one and only Al Sharpton.

I’m not saying that the NAACP doesn’t do anything; I’m just saying that I haven’t seen them do much.  And in light of the fact that so much injustice still takes place in America, I want to know how they use the $30 annual membership fee or the $750 lifetime membership fee paid over a 10 year span that they receive from the nearly 400,000 members.  Oh, they’ll get you if you are young too with membership starting from $10 a year to a $400 lifetime membership.  Yes, I know that they give scholarships, but $2,000 can only go so far.  And yes, I know every little bit helps, but let’s not pretend that they are paying anyone's way through college.

Rachel lied about being African-American.  Rachel lied about the identity of her father.  And really and truly, it doesn’t matter to me or clearly to the NAACP about the ethnicity of its leaders.  Benjamin Jealous wasn’t all that colored, and he served as President and CEO from 2008 to 2013.  He had lots of drops of Black blood in him, but back in the Jim Crow era, he could have passed for White ….. if he wanted to.

Not only should the NAACP or any organization like that go away, but the idea of classifying people in terms of color should also go away.  If one can still abide with an organization like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 2015, then Rachel Dolezal can abide by the one-drop rule and say that she’s Native American.  And I for one am tired of our blackness being the first thing people mention about us, as if it’s not obvious.

Case in point, citing  Barack Hussein Obama II (born August 4, 1961) is the 44th and current President of the United States, and the first African American to hold the office. 

However, this is how JFK was portrayed on the same site: John Fitzgerald Kennedy (May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963), commonly known as Jack Kennedy or by his initials JFK, was an American politician who served as the 35th President of the United States from January 1961 until his assassination in November 1963. Notable events that occurred during his presidency included the Bay of Pigs Invasion, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Nuclear Test Ban TreatyPolice Week, the establishment of the Peace Corps, the Space Race—by initiating Project Apollo (which later culminated in the moon landings), the building of the Berlin Wall, the African-American Civil Rights Movement, and the increased U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.

After military service as commander of Motor Torpedo Boats PT-109 and PT-59 during World War II in the South Pacific, Kennedy represented Massachusetts's 11th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1947 to 1953 as a Democrat. Thereafter, he served in the U.S. Senate from that state from 1953 until 1960. Kennedy defeated Vice President and Republican candidate Richard Nixon in the 1960 U.S. Presidential Election. At age 43, he was the youngest man to have been elected to the office,[2][a] the second-youngest president (after Theodore Roosevelt, who was 42 when he became president after the assassination of William McKinley). Kennedy was the first person born in the 20th century to serve as president.[3] To date, Kennedy has been the only Roman Catholic president and the only president to have won a Pulitzer Prize.[4]

Not only was his religion mentioned in the end of the second paragraph as opposed to Obama’s race being mentioned in the first sentence, but it’s written almost as an afterthought.

So since the NAACP claims to protect the equal rights of all people, it really shouldn’t matter if Rachel was Black or White.  However, deep down, we know that if she had applied for that job without implying that she’s Black, she would have never gotten that job.  I guess she thought it would be better to ask for forgiveness than permission, which I’m sure she’ll be doing shortly.

A common definition of ethnicity is “socially defined category of people who identify with each other based on common ancestral, social, cultural or national experience”.  If Rachel’s parents think that she is Swiss, German, Czech with some Native American, who is to say she doesn’t have some African too?  Maybe she doesn’t; maybe she does.  Who cares?  But the woman, for whatever reason clearly identifies with the Black race.  However, at the end of the day, she is working for an organization that is as superfluous as this scandal, and perspectively speaking, that is the real scandal.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

But, Shouldn’t It Be Kaitlyn Jenner?

I usually have an opinion about pretty much everything, but this time I don’t.  I’m not saying that I don’t have anything to say; I’m just not leaning either way.  And the major reason is I JUST DON’T GIVE A FLYING FIG!!!

I will agree with some of the memes, comments and statements, but I just don’t care that much to give it that much oxygen. 

Therefore I agreed with the meme with Kris Jenner pondering why he didn’t spell Caitlyn with a K.  Totally agree!  Then I realized why.  Someone speculated that Bruce is doing all of this to garner as much attention as the women in his family.  At first I thought, who cuts off his little friend just for attention?  But two things:  A) he still has his little friend (I’ll get into that in a minute) and 2) nobody is talking about Kim’s constant nakedness, so maybe.  And spelling his name with a K will just make him another plain old Kardashian.

Caitlyn introduced herself on the cover of Vanity Magazine wearing a silky, white basque and matching underwear.  Not only do I not own a basque, I also had no idea that was what it was called.  He She appeared in a Porsche commercial wearing a sexy red dress accenting his her breasts.  I’m not saying that Bruce wasn’t trying to find himself herself; I’m not saying if being Caitlyn makes Bruce happy, then by all means do your thing, boy girl.  I’m just saying that nobody was giving Bruce any commercial.  Nobody was paying any attention to Bruce.  Bruce was not on anybody’s radar.  I know these celebrities like to re-invent themselves, but that’s taking it to a whole nother level.

Now ESPN has awarded him her with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.  In the 1970s, Jenner became a national hero after winning a gold medal in decathlon during the 1975 Pan American Games and the 1976 Olympic Games.  He has set world records.  He has accomplished other feats like being named Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year, being inducted in the Olympic Hall of Fame and the US National Track and Field Hall of Fame and was the recipient of many awards.  So yes, I applaud him for all that.  By the way, he was a legit he then right?  So it’s politically correct to refer to him as him if I’m referencing the 70s, right?  (This is so frigging complicated.)  But for ESPN to give him the Arthur Ashe Courage Award just because this time last year he was wearing a brief (or was he) and now he’s wearing a panty is RIDICULOUS!

Some people might disagree and say it takes a lot of courage for him to expose himself to the world like that.  Well, nobody asked him to pose is a basque (I like that word) on the cover of an international magazine.  There are so many transgenders, and I know America likes to have a famous face for every cause, but if Bruce had become Caitlyn for himself, I would be the first one to give him his props.  That would send the message that he’s doing it for himself, for his own happiness and to be a shining example to everyone to live his or her truth.  But the man wanted to get a reality show out of this.  However, that was cancelled before it even started.  The man had interviews – I obviously didn’t watch them so I can’t tell you what he said or didn’t say.

And for those of you who say it’s not our business, you are just as ridiculous as Bruce Caitlyn, whatever his her name is.  Again, if he she was just living his her life and minding his her own business, then it wouldn’t be our business.  But from the time you appear on the cover of a magazine in women’s underwear and your breasts are now bigger than mine, heck I’m gonna talk.  Then I find out that you have breasts, but you kept your penis, you’re telling me that I’m not going to be curious about what the hell you are.

And look, I’m not one for labels, but if Caitlyn was a man, but now has breasts bigger than two ex-wives combined who also had implants, kept his little friend, BUT will be dating women, what on earth is he she?

All I know is that a lot of stuff is going on in the world, even in this country.  Beau Biden died from brain cancer.  A sitting vice-president’s son died at the young age of 46, and all everyone wants to talk about is Caitlyn Jenner.  In his own rights, Beau Biden was a former Attorney General from Delaware and a force in the Democratic Party. 

Dennis Hastert, another conservative Republican whose sole purpose in the late 90s was to impeach President Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky scandal, we are now finding out was a pedophile while he was a wrestling coach and has paid off millions in hush money.  I’m not gonna lie – I’ve always told my kids that they can play any sport they want EXCEPT wrestling.  That sport has always seemed very gay to me….not that there’s anything wrong with that!!! 

There’s still no water in California.  Tornadoes are ripping Colorado.

Serena Williams will be the first woman to win the Australian and the French Open in the same year since Jennifer Capriati did it in 2001; and if she remains unstoppable, she will be the first woman to win all four grand slams in the same year since Monica Seles did it in 1992.

So it’s not as if there is nothing happening in politics, sports, or the weather.  Important things are happening.

Okay, I lied.  Or I misspoke.  I still don’t give a rat’s ass, but boy do I have an opinion!  Seeing Bruce Caitlyn on the cover of Vanity scared the crap out of me.  Since I’m confessing here, it actually grossed me out.  The image of an old man wearing too much makeup to look like a middle aged woman, the sight of a former athlete whose muscular arms and thighs are also interwoven with the sag from old age, the bad wig and baggy panties are images that perspectively speaking, I will never be able to unsee for the rest of my life.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Real Charlie Charlie Challenge

As a little girl, whenever we ran from worms or dogs or anything that my mother deemed harmless, she would say, “What you all are supposed to be afraid of, you’re not afraid of.”  I used to think, of course we are afraid of what we consider scary.  As I got a little bit older, I realized that she was referring to boys; and she most likely was talking to my older sisters because when she died, I was 11 and had the body of a nine year old……boy.

For the past 45 years, nobody was skillful enough to convince me that ghosts existed.  Not saying that hearing the stories didn’t scare the crap out of me; and if we had to go home alone in the dark, it wasn’t fun trying to see who was pulling up the rear.  And over the course of my life, I’ve always known somebody who knew somebody who was a friend of somebody who got possessed by demons and had to eventually leave Antigua for the United States.  And for some reason those same people also knew of a young girl whose jealous neighbors went to an obeah man/woman who worked obeah on her and she too had to leave.  But for some reason, I never personally knew these people; and no one I knew personally ever knew them personally.

If you are not familiar with the Charlie Charlie Challenge, here it is in a nutshell:  you balance a pencil on another pencil, draw two lines to form four quadrants, write the words YES and NO twice so that they are diagonal to the identical word.  You summon this Mexican demon name Charlie…..go figure.  And if it lands on YES, something something.  If it lands on NO, you cannot leave.  Oh yeah, if it lands on YES, it follows you home.  I personally lost interest halfway.  Apart from Charlie not being a common Mexican name, I have a few questions.

Does it matter what kind of pencils are used?  Like do they have to be brand new?  Have an eraser?  Be perfectly sharpened?  Do they specifically have to be No. 2, because I know for exams that is a requirement?  Some pencils are of very bad quality and every time they get sharpened, they get smaller and smaller.  Can these short pencils work? 

Since Charlie is Mexican, do I have to call him Charlie Charlie by the way, or one Charlie will do when I’m talking about him, BUT not summoning him....digressing...if this game is played in some African, Asian or European country, is it implied that Charlie is multilingual?  I mean no is no in both English and Spanish, and even if most Mexicans don’t know English, they at least know yes.  But what happens when kids who speak Swahili play this game?

And my last issue is this, if it was that easy to summon a demon: two pencils, YES facing YES, NO facing NO on a piece of paper, why the hell did people waste so much money hiring obeah men and women?  If any child can summon a demon all the way from Mexico at that, why are celebrities selling their souls to the Devil for fame and fortune?  If any idiot can summon a demon, why did those people have to leave Antigua for good when they were possessed?  Couldn’t their enemies simply follow them and work obeah on them again once they crossed oceans?

When I first heard about the Charlie Charlie Challenge, I thought it had something to do with Charlie Edbo, and I thought to myself, “Okay, as much as you think these people are fanatical about their religion, it is not worth dying over to piss them off.”  Trying to see if an Islamic extremist group will issue a fatwa on you if you write something negative about Mohammed is a challenge.  Summoning a Mexican demon named Charlie that no one has actually ever seen is a joke.

Look, I’m not trying to convince you not to believe any more than I expect you to convince me to believe; however I just feel that praying for protection from Charlie might be bit futile.  What might be more effective is telling your young daughters about charlie if she comes into contact with one and was never given “the speech” because perspectively speaking, without the right information and necessary tools, summoning that charlie can cause her in nine months to deal with a demon for 18 years to life.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Where’s the Bleach?

You people are waaaayyyyy toooo sensitive!

Who people?

Black people.

Yes, Black people are very sensitive and sometimes paranoid.  When Apple came out with new emojis, Clorox tweeted, ‘New emojis are alright but where’s the bleach.’  Well, Black people took that as a racially charged offense; stopped everything and called or rather tweeted Clorox out for being racist.  I mean nobody had time to find TBT pictures.  Stuff was going down!  To avoid further backlash, Clorox eventually removed that tweet and followed it with a more remorseful one: ‘Wish we could bleach away our last tweet. Didn't mean to offend - it was meant to be about all the      emojis that could use a clean up.’ 

Clorox is not stupid.  Over there, they know how much Black people are crazy about clean clothes.  Meanwhile, I’m over here thinking, “Is that it?  People are offended by emojis!”  And I know for sure that there is no way that I would have been hurt by bleachgate.  Here’s why.  As a business major, I learned that the number one goal of EVERY company is to make a profit.  Looking at the photo of the Clorox bottle made from emojis, I know that Clorox was just thinking about Clorox and not about the new dark faced emojis.  Just like how Black people think that everything is about racism, Clorox thinks that everything is about Clorox.  Do you know how much more money Clorox would make if it had an emoji? 

Secondly, as an old schooler, I don’t think I’d have time to update or locate aon my cell phone.  If I have to go to the toilet, I don’t think that I’d be so busy that I can’t write the actual word.  Plus, we just are in the habit of giving way too much information.  If I have to go, BRB will suffice.  Who needs to know if I’m going to take a dump, eat dinner, have a quickie or take a nap?  I’m assuming that’s what an emoji like that would be used for.  I’m not technologically smart enough, so please correct me if I’m wrong.

But this is America; and this is 2015, dammit.  There are plenty of things that are actually racially insensitive.  There are plenty of things that are actually prejudiced against us, and Clorox trying to increase its bottom line is not one of them. 

For instance, outside my neighborhood, there is a miniature golf course called the Golf Plantation.  Can you imagine how people would cringe if that was called Auschwitz Golf Camp?  And please don’t tell me that that is quite a leap because just the other day, Coca-Cola got in trouble with the Jews.  As Fanta celebrated its 75th anniversary, it greeted us with a little history of how it originated.  As people realized that Fanta was invented because Coca-Cola’s German operation could not get the ingredients for coke to the bottling plants during World War II because of trade embargos with Nazi Germany, all hell broke loose. 

Of course Coca-Cola pulled the ad.  What, Jews don’t drink Fanta?  And if they learn the history after the fact, will Fanta taste differently?  What would happen if Black people decided that they would never wear cotton?  Or what if we decided to stop using sugar?   (Actually that might not be a bad thing with diabetes and all.)  Or what if we decided never to step on a boat, go on a bed or a ship because the first propeller was invented by Benjamin Montgomery, the corded bed was invented by Henry Boyd, and Benjamin Bradley invented the steam engine?  All these men were slave inventors whose creations alleviated the lives of others. 

Every Easter, millions of Black people go to church to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Easter usually, but not every year, coincides with Passover which is when the Jews celebrate their exodus from Egypt.  So it makes me wonder, why Black people don’t celebrate the anniversary of their freedom every January 1 to commemorate the proclamation signed by President Lincoln on January 1, 1863.  Oh, could it be because the proclamation was just an executive order and not a law passed by Congress?  I know it couldn’t be because over 600,000 people died during the Civil War.  I mean, for Black people to celebrate that proclamation would not seem insensitive in light of the demise of hundreds of thousands of people, right.  If that were the case, then there would be no need for us to debate the insensitivity of the Confederate flag still proudly flying on people’s trucks, in front of their houses and outside some federal buildings.

Although the swastika is over 3,000 years old, because of its use by Nazi Germany, it is now prohibited in many countries, if it is used as a symbol of hate; but its sight alone is just simply frowned upon.  And although its presence sends a lot of people into a tizzy, people like me have to endure driving by the Golf Plantation.

As a Black person, I can see why we have become so sensitive and paranoid.  With the police pulling people over just for being Black, driving a car that is too nice, driving in a neighborhood that is too polished; with police killing close to a thousand people each year just for being Black; with owners of basketball teams saying that they don’t want Black people attending the games; with frat boys singing that they don’t want Black people in their fraternities, I guess anyone can see why Black people can be a tad bit touchy.

I mean, long before our cause was being championed by Martin Luther King, Jr. and others, women’s suffrage was a done deal.  After child labor laws were passed, people became cautious about taking advantage of youths working for them.  Although there will always be bigots, Italians, Irish, Jewish and Asian people don’t get near as much flak as they did many years ago.  But for some reason, when it comes to Black people, it’s like bigots have reverted to the Jim Crow era.

So it is understandable why Black people have to fight for every little thing, like Black woman forever stating that the color ‘nude’ does not apply to us.  And after many decades, I found out why Band-Aids are the color that they are – they were not made with Black people in mind.  As if we don’t get cuts too!

But these latter fights are easily fixable.  Either we don’t buy Band-Aids or ‘nude’ clothing and makeup or we make our own.  And there are generic emojis that one can use if one is not comfortable using a White faced one; but perspectively speaking, wasting time and energy about not seeing ourselves represented in emojis is time and energy we are not spending in seeing ourselves represented in leadership roles within law enforcement, legislative branches, corporations and civil service where we can actually make a difference.