Monday, June 26, 2006

Just Because It Comes In Your Size, Doesn't Mean You Should Buy It.

After spending Sunday at the amusement park, and getting home at 11:00 p.m. -- with a full day of work ahead Monday -- I decided this week's entry will be a little more lighthearted than some of my recent entries.

Like I said, I spent Sunday at the amusement park, riding rides, eating good -- and unhealthy -- food, hanging with my friends, and of course, people watching. And of course there were a lot of people wearing things they had no business wearing, which was magnified due to the fact that the amusement part has an adjoining water park. And although I didn't see too many black folk in the wrong on Sunday, black folk (and other folk) have been known for wearing clothes that don't necessarily complement their body types.

There are certain things I don't want to see when I go out. Among them are cellulite on the backs of thighs; guts peeking out from underneath shirts, as if they are in search of freedom; and breasts resting upon stomachs. Yuck, yuck and yuck!

Don't get me wrong, I'm not faulting people for not having perfect bodies -- because I know mine ain't all that. All I'm saying is KNOW YOUR LIMITATIONS!!!!! Just because it comes in your size doesn't mean you should buy it, let alone wear it. And just because you may be comfortable enough with your body to rock that mini with the low-cut midriff -- despite the fact that you are 5'2" and 200 lbs -- doesn't mean you should subject the rest of us to the resulting mess. Hell, I may be comfortable walking around butt naked, but that doesn't mean I would do it. God forbid I subject anyone to THAT mess!


Monday, June 19, 2006

Happy Juneteenth?

Today, June 19, 2006, is a Texas holiday called Juneteenth. For you non-Texans who may not be familiar with this holiday, I'll elaborate. The Emancipation Proclamation, which ended slavery in this country, became effective on January 1, 1863. However, due to the lack of union soldiers in Texas, life in the lone star state remained unchanged, with slavery continuing beyond that date. It was not until June 19, 1865 that union soldiers finally showed up in Galveston and Texas slaves learned that they had been freed some two and one-half years earlier. Juneteenth was officially established as a Texas-state holiday in 1979.

Juneteenth elicits celebrations and festivals all across the state of Texas. Church and community groups -- sometimes dressed like slaves -- put on performances, and have cookouts and barbecues to commemorate the late emancipation of Texas slaves. All-in-all, Juneteenth is a big deal in Texas.

I have never felt strongly about Juneteenth one way or the other, but I wonder, should we really be CELEBRATING the fact that black folks in Texas were forced to be slaves for two and one-half years longer than black folks in the rest of the country? If anything, shouldn't the descendants of those freed by Juneteenth be seeking reparations for the two and one-half years of free labor their ancestors performed?

Don't get me wrong -- I recognize and appreciate the resilience that it took (and is taking) to bounce back from realizing that you were enslaved during a period when you didn't have to be; however, I think black folks with roots in Texas should be doing more than just pulling out the grill and slapping some meat on it.


Sunday, June 11, 2006

Save the Verbal Assault for Your Lyrics, and Stop Dissin' Oprah!!!

I am sure you have all heard by now that some hip hop artists have openly "dissed" Oprah for not inviting rappers to appear as guests on her show. Ice Cube, Ludacris, 50 Cent, and Killer Mike (WHO?) have all publicly made comments -- some more harsh than others -- criticizing Oprah for her lack of support to the hip hop community.

50 was quoted saying he thinks she caters to older white women. According to 50, "Oprah's audience is my audience's parents. So, I could care less about Oprah or her show." Cube said, "[s]he's had damn rapists, child molesters and lying authors on her show," and then complained that Oprah invited Cedric the Entertainer and Eve to her show to promote Barber Shop, but didn't invite him. Ludacris complained that he was treated "unfairly" by Oprah when he appeared with the cast of "Crash" on her show. "She edited out a lot of my comments while keeping her own in," said the man with hoes in every area code. Killer Mike (again, WHO?) called the queen of daytime television a "dumb broad."

There is so much to which I can respond, so where do I start? Well first, the name of the show is "The Oprah Winfrey Show." With that said, when Cube, Luda, or 50 (I won't even address Killer Mike because no one even knows who he is) has their own show, they can invite whomever they want to invite. Until then, get over it. Oprah is not here to ensure the popularity and success of the hip hop community, or of any of the individually-named rappers who have spoken publicly against her. It's ironic that all of these rappers, from Cube to 50, have gained vast amounts of wealth by promoting lyrics that are derogatory to black women, and then now want the most powerful black woman to bow down and show respect for what they do. Such hypocrisy.

In a statement to Ed Lover on a New York radio station, Oprah dispelled the rumors that she doesn't like hip hop, informing Ed that she has some 50 on her iPod. I too am a fan of hip hop, but seriously, these guys need to grow up, show some maturity, and realize that Oprah doesn't owe them any handouts.

--Notta (a fan of Oprah who is not an older white woman)

Sunday, June 04, 2006

What's the Big Deal About Gay Marriage?

So gay people want to get married. What is the big deal? Amid the ongoing problems this country has faced since Katrina, and the death and destruction of our military overseas, President Bush is pushing a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. However, surprisingly or not, many black folks -- specifically, the black church -- support Bush in his efforts.

According to a 2004 Washington Post article, "opposition to same-sex marriage in the black church may influence black voting in the presidential election. A survey by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies showed that 18 percent of black Americans say they support President Bush, who has said he would support a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage."

I have had this debate with many people, including some in my own family, and I am always disappointed to hear them constantly refer to the Bible as their source for condemning gay relationships. First, the Bible does not say anything about same-sex marriage. Someone please correct if I am wrong. Second, people -- black and white -- love to refer to the story of Sodom and Gomorrah as the pinnacle anti-gay passage in the Bible. But why do black folks think it is okay to give the Bible such a strict, plain meaning interpretation? If the courts gave the U.S. Constitution the same strict, plain meaning interpretation, black folks would still be only three-fifths of human beings and enslaved, as the drafters of the Constitution intended. However, the courts have recognized -- very slowly -- that the Constitution has evolved over time, and it has a different interpretation now than it did back then. Likewise, I think Christians need to realize that the Bible is a living and breathing document that must evolve over time. I cannot understand why people are so against gay relationships and marriage. I cannot see how those relationships in any way affect the lives of heterosexuals. I am sure many people with disagree with me, and I urge you to post your comments. Intelligent disagreement is better than no discussion at all. But answer me this: how does the marriage of two same-sex people jeopardize the state of marriage between heterosexual people?

Focusing on gay marriage rather than the deaths of our soldiers and the people left homeless by Katrina? At least we have our priorities straight.