Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Second Amendment My A$$!!!!

Alright ya'll, I know it's been a minute, but there's so much going on right now, that I just had to say SOMETHING.

First, let me express my sincere condolences to the families of the victims, those who are injured, and to the Va. Tech family as a whole, words cannot express the devastation and complete helplessness that you all must be feeling.

Second, please excuse my language in the title of this post, but I'm really frustrated with the NRA'ers and their cronies always talking about "guns don't kill people, people kill people." As true as this may be, the fact is that if guns were not readily available for people to use, mass executions like this wouldn't go down.

Its no coincidence that out of the 26 industrialized nations in the World, the U.S. has the most liberal gun laws, and consequently, we have a problem with gun violence that eclipses that of the other 25 industrialized nations COMBINED. Yes, COMBINED, folks. Check out this statistic, the overall firearm-related death rate among U.S. children under age 15 is nearly 12 times higher than that among children in the 25 other industrialized nations COMBINED. (Centers for Disease Control Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Rates of Homicide, Suicide, and Firearm-Related Death Among Children--26 Industrialized Countries, February 7, 1997, Vol. 46, No.5. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00046149.htm.)

Does anyone besides me see this as a problem? Moreover, addressing the black community directly, we have a problem that is even bigger than the gun violence problems facing White America. African Americans make up 13% of the U.S. population, but in 2001, we suffered almost 25% of all firearm deaths – and 52% of all firearm homicides. (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) Injury Mortality Reports, 2000 – 2001. http://webappa.cdc.gov/sasweb/ncipc/mortrate10_sy.html.) Folks, we have a problem in our community. Long gone are the days when we could duke it out in the yard, maybe using a trash can upside the head as our major means of force. No, today, with the rampant availability of guns, we are killing ourselves in record numbers.

So yes, although it takes a person to pull a trigger, perhaps we'd be better off if there were no trigger to pull in the first place.


Sunday, December 17, 2006

Why Do Men Cheat?

I was talking to a friend the other day about why men cheat. (Before anyone starts, yes, I realize that women cheat too, but the focus of this piece is on men.) As a man defending the behavior of his own kind, my friend was quick to cite to some deep-rooted psychological reasons why men cheat. He equated a cheating man to an overweight person who can't control their eating. (YES, he seriously said this!)

I, on the other hand, think men cheat because they are flat out GREEDY!!! A man could have everything: a good job, a beautiful wife who loves and adores him, and a couple of great kids; yet, he still feels the need to step out on his wife. To me, the only answer to this quandary is greed. Men need to feel like they are in control at all times. Cheating on their wives give them that control.

Furthermore, it seems like men are just going crazy with this whole cheating-thing now. I've seen a guy hitting on other women while at his wife's work function. How triflin' is that? Come on now, if you're gonna cheat, at least have enough respect for your wife to not do it in front of her co-workers. I just don't understand that. DISCRETION is the key word. Don't make your wife look like an a$$ in front of her people.

Maybe I'm wrong and men really do cheat because of their own psychological problems. Hmmm, on second thought, I'm not wrong. Greed drives adulterous behavior -- bottom line. Either way, cheating is just plain wrong. I have seen too many people hurt by cheating men, and I have been approached too many times by men trying to cheat with me. What's the point of getting married if you're just going to cheat? Why risk losing your family? Just to get a little piece on the side?? That's just ignorant.


Monday, November 20, 2006

Kramer the Racist

I was going to post some comments about Mr. O.J. and his "If I Did It" book this week. What a joke! Anyway, considering his book got scrapped by the publisher, that issue is now moot. SO, instead, I was sitting in the nail salon watching the news, and saw a clip of Kramer* from Seinfeld fame ranting while on stage at the Laugh Factory in L.A. (*Because I don't know this man's real name -- because he's never been on anything except Seinfeld -- he will hereinafter be referred to as Kramer.) If you haven't seen this video, YOU HAVE TO SEE IT. Go to www.tmz.com and scroll down the page until you reach "Kramer's Racist Tirade." However, I'd like to briefly share with you some of his...let's call them sentiments.

Apparently in response to two black hecklers, he screams at the men stating, "Fifty years ago we'd have you upside down with a f***ing fork up your ass."

WOW, for real? It's like that? He continued, "You can talk, you can talk, you're brave now motherf**ker. Throw his ass out. He's a nigger! He's a nigger! He's a nigger! A nigger, look, there's a nigger!" In response to the crowd's obvious confusion, he says, "They're going to arrest me for calling a black man a nigger."

For anyone who thinks racism is dead, this serves as your wake up call! The interesting thing will be to evaluate how this plays out in the media. Mel Gibson was almost crucified in the media (in true "Passion" form) for making derogatory remarks about jewish people (and also for calling the female cop "Sugar Tits," which, by the way, is now one of my all-time favorite comments). Anyway, I digress. I am almost willing to bet money that the media will talk about Kramer's racist remarks for all of two seconds, and then quickly move on.

And yes, although the Laugh Factory has now banned Kramer from performing there, DON'T GET IT TWISTED, it didn't do so until TMZ posted the video on its website. The Laugh Factory actually allowed Kramer to perform the very next night after his racial tirade.

Isn't it funny how these white folks get all up in arms about derogatory jewish comments, but just expect us to get over it when white folks call us Niggers and tell us how back in the day we'd be hanging upside down with forks up our asses? Puh-leeze!!!!



Sunday, November 12, 2006

We'll Miss You Gerald!

Gerald Levert is dead, gone, taken away from us. Can ya'll believe it? I still can't. He was supposed to be my husband one day! :) He was only 40-years-old, and died of a heart attack. It's really a shame that his body gave up on him at such a young age.

Black folks, when are we going to realize that we need to start taking better care of our bodies??? We can't eat everything fried! We can't eat fat-infested soul food everyday! According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular diseases are the leading causes of death for black folks, both men and women.

It's time we do something about this. We have to change the way that we live, by changing our diet and engaging in physical activity. (I am guilty of not doing the latter, so I have to change too!) We also have to instill these values in our kids. I hate seeing overweight kids. It really bothers me because I know that for the most part, their weight can be controlled by diet and excercise, but instead, they're allowed to sit on their butts and play video games all day.

Come on black folks, when 40-year-old men are dying from heart attacks, we need to start making some changes in our lives! If not for you, do it so your kids will learn healthy habits, and also so they can see you grow old. With so many diseases and illnesses out there that we can't control, we need to be more aware of lifestyles to ensure that we prevent the preventable diseases such as heart disease.


P.S. -- I would be remiss if I didn't also recognize the passing of our consummate newsman, Ed Bradley. We'll miss you too Ed!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Don't Fall for the Banana in the Tailpipe!!!

Alright black folks, Tuesday is the BIG day! Tuesday is the day that Democrats can take back control of Congress, and clean up this mess that Republicans have caused. Republicans are working overtime to ensure this doesn't happen. One way they do this is by trying to confuse us by pitting black Republican candidates against white Democratic candidates, and then use the fact that their candidate is black to appeal to black voters.

Case in point: Michael Steele v. Ben Cardin, Maryland's contentious Senate race. Although Steele, the African-American ex-Lt. Governor of Maryland, is considered a moderate conservative, many of his views still contradict the welfare of African-Americans. However, when targeting black voters, Republicans do not address these issues; rather, they focus on their candidate's "blackness" to try to sway black voters. I remember living in Maryland the first time that Steele ran for Lt. Governor with Gov. Ehrlich, the radio ads on WPGC, WHUR, and the other black radio stations were more than insulting. They went something like this (in my best homegirl voice):

-- "Girl, did you know we could have the first black Lt. Governor in Maryland?"
-- "Yeah, girl. And like my momma said, 'What have the Democrats done for us lately?'"

I remember cringing everytime that ad came on the radio, and wondering, "Do they really think we're stupid enough to fall for this mess?" Well, apparently we were stupid enough, because Ehrlich and Steele won. Steele went on to become an ineffectual Lt. Governor for Maryland; spending 3 years studying the death penalty with no results, taking undeserved credit for the improvements in Maryland's teacher pensions, proposing big ticket programs with no ideas on how to pay for them, and knocking special-interest politics while his campaign reaps the benefits of having GOP lobbyists in his corner.

With Maryland being traditionally a Democratic state, of course Steele has to try to distance himself from the Bush administration, of course he has to seem like he is only moderately conservative. That's how politics are played. Do what you have to do to sound appealing to voters during election season, and then do what you do once you're in office.

DON'T LET THIS HAPPEN AGAIN, in Maryland or elsewhere (Pennsylvanians -- the same goes for you with this whole Lynn Swann mess)!! We are too smart to fall the banana in the tailpipe! These candidates want you to vote for them, not because you agree with them on the issues, but because their skin is the same color as yours. DO NOT FALL FOR THIS! These people are out of touch with what is important to black folks (perhaps growing up in San Mateo, CA, Swann was never in touch with what's important to black folks). Their tax cuts hurt social programs that benefit us. Their international policy kills our children in Iraq. Their reticence about or support of the death penalty, in a justice system that often fails black Americans, results in the inequal application of the death penalty against us.

Please get out and vote on Tuesday; however, vote for a candidate because you agree with his/her policy, not because they are black.


Sunday, October 22, 2006

Failing Our Children: Get Off Your A## and Stop Being Lazy

I was at parent-teacher night at my daughter's middle school last week, and for the most part, the ignorance was kept at a minimum. However, as I was waiting to speak with my daughter's math teacher, I overheard the conversation he was having with the parents of one of her classmates. Apparently, the boy has an F in math, and had an F in the first reporting period also. I couldn't hear exactly what the mother was saying, but I could tell she was getting indignant with the teacher, and I could tell he was extremely frustrated; while the father sat there quietly, looking disinterested. I felt like smacking the "ish" out of both of them for being so damn ignorant.

Before questions about whether the white teacher was being fair to the black child arise, let me say that this teacher provides the parents with every opportunity to stay informed about their child's progress. Progress reports are sent home weekly; homework assignments are emailed to parents daily (or, if email is not an option, parents can call into the Homework Hotline to get homework assignments); and the teacher is readily available to provide extra one-on-one help to students before and after school.

Why is it that black folks think its okay to just send their kids to school, and do nothing to ensure that their children are performing at their best level? Teachers are there to provide our children with the information they need to be successful. Parents are there to act as advocates for our children to ensure their success. If we don't advocate for our kids, no one else will. We have to ensure that our kids are not only doing their homework, but doing it correctly. That means we have to take the time to check their homework. On any given weeknight, I spend at least 2 hours checking and helping my daughter with her homework.

I understand the difficulty associated with doing this in the many single-parent households in our community, being one of those single parents myself; however, we set our kids up for failure when we don't take an interest in how they are performing at school. This is where the importance of family, or some other support system comes into play. When I was having to work or go to school at night, I was fortunate to have family and friends who helped raise my child, including helping her with her homework.

It was just plain ignorant for that woman to be giving the math teacher a hard time for her son's failing grades. It was even more ignorant for the boy's father to be sittin' there looking like he couldn't care less how his child was doing. Unfortunately for this child, neither one of his parents appears to be engaged in his success, relying solely upon teachers to educate their child. These types of reticent attitudes need to change in order for our kids to avail themselves of the many opportunities presented to them.

By the way, this poor child also has an F in his science class, which I overheard as I was waiting to speak with the science teacher. His parents ought to be ashamed of themselves.


Sunday, October 08, 2006

Black Women/White Men

Let me start off by saying that I am sick of the hypocrisy that is exhibited by black men. I recently read an article by a black man in which he admonishes black women who refer to the increasing numbers of black women dating white men as "revolutionary." The article itself is not hypocritical because the writer is consistent -- admonishing both black men and black women who date white people, but it raises some issues that I have with the subject.

The hypocrisy surfaces when black men criticize black women for dating white men, when the black men have either dated white women before (or are married to them), or when they don't consistently offer that same criticism to their brothas who date/are married to white women. I have heard it from black men on a number of occasions, including from black men who are married to white women -- they don't like it when they see a sista with a white guy.

My first response to that is -- WHAT??? My second response is: if so many black men weren't married to/dating white women, maybe there would be more options for sistas to date black men. The writer of the referenced article claims that the numbers of black men married to/dating white women is relatively low (he clearly has never visited Indianapolis, where it appears to be an epidemic); however, even those low numbers have an effect on the ability of sistas to date/marry a black man.

Here are some staggering statistics: generally, there are about 8 black men for every 10 black women, largely due to high rates of infant mortality and homicides. However, when you factor in drug addiction, incarceration and unemployment, the number of eligible (marriageable) black men is reduced to about 5 men for every 10 black eligible women. Yes, 5 black men for every 10 black women!!!

So as my friend would say, MISS ME with your hypocritical attitudes. Although dating white men is not my thing, I don't knock sistas for choosing to date white men rather than sit around and wait for a black man to become eligible.