Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Merry Christmas!! Christ the Savior is Born!!

Hello all I am going to take a break from blogging and spend some time with the family.
I hope that each of you have a wonderful Christmas and may God grant you all of the peace and blessings your heart desires.

Monday, December 22, 2008

I was on News and Notes today.


Check me out on today’s Bloggers roundtable. I am not thrilled about this segment but here it is.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Guest blogger Ronald Wadley weighs in on the Rick Warren controversy.

On Thursday, President-Elect Barack Obama took the time note that he had extended an invitation to Rick Warren to conduct the Inaugural invocation. Rick Warren is the pastor of a Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California (fourth largest church in this country) as well as the author of the Purpose Driven Life series of books. However, Pastor Warren is also pro-life and a supporter of Proposition 8, the amendment to remove the rights of marriage equality in California.

Invocation is the act of invoking or calling upon a deity, spirit, etc, for aid, protection, inspiration and supplication. As the news spread across the country many of us in the LGBT community were upset at the choice of such and vocal opponent of marriage equality. The fact that President-elect Obama would select someone that is virtually the polar opposite to his views is interesting. However, I should not be totally surprised because during his campaign for the Office of the President he did not do the most orthodox things. He chose to go against the grain from time to time. What is startling to those of us in the LGBT community who after 8 years of right wing conservative policies and practices we looked at Obama as someone that would at least listen and possibly understand our plight. What did his advisors say when Pastor Warren’s name was pulled from the proverbial hat? Were there any same gender loving men and/or women in the room? As I listened to President-Elect Obama state his reasoning for choosing Pastor Warren I was not all that convinced as a same gender loving Black man that has advocated for equal rights for my fellow brothers and sisters. We needed this “wakeup call” so we can remain vigilant in our pursuit for equality on all levels. Now is not the time to become drunk with anticipation and take our eyes off the road. I understand that thought of bringing people together that do to agree in an effort to be more inclusive; however, I am not sure the world stage should be the platform at which that choice should be made. When I first heard about this selection I was indifferent to a large degree but after much contemplation I had to realize that I was letting our President-Elect off the hook. I had to reconcile that I truly felt that this decision was not one of his best. I realized that I was not doing my part as an advocate. It is unfair to him and to the LGBT community to stay silent just because this is the person in which so much of our hope is built. The inauguration of President-Elect Obama will be viewed by people from every continent and most countries on this earth. What message are we sending to the world by having Pastor Warren deliver the invocation?

Symbolic gestures are great; however, symbolism can also be misunderstood as hidden agenda. There are those that will think that we are making too much of this choice, however, would these same people be asking that question if the invocator was a person that vehemently opposed affirmative action or women’s rights?

Ronald Wadley is a Same Gender Loving Advocate who lives in Chicago and in full disclosure he is my BCF (Best Cousin Forever)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Interracial Dating the debate continues.

Check out these two posts. One from Jimi Izreal and the other from Boston Globe columnist Joseph Williams. I will blog about this later but both are very interesting.

The Interracial Dating Pool
by Jimi Izreal

Single life is overrated. Like this dude, I’m back in the swim after years of marriage, and let me just say: there’s an awful lot of pee in the dating pool. My attention is focused on trying to be the best dad I can, and when that piece of my life levels out to a New Normal, then I guess I’ll be back on the block again. Like I say on my Facebook joint, I’m not taking applications right now, but trust that I do ok with the ladies. Unlike Dude, I’m not worried about the political implications of dating a white woman, because there aren’t as many eligible black women out there as Essence magazine would have you believe. I’ve gone through period of my life where I was sincerely concerned about what coupling with a Debbie would say about my blackness. And that’s the great thing about maturity: you learn what’s really important, and what’s really important to me is being happy. If a woman from another background makes me happy, I don’t care what Al Sharpton thinks. I’m not dating by committee. If who you are involved with tarnishes your blackness, then you were probably weren’t that black to begin with. Now, I have children and people always talk about the message you send kids when you choose a mate of another race. In my experience, children take their cues from parent: if you are uncomfortable with your choice, chances are good they will be too. And if the person you are dating is an idiot, then their color hardly matters. My last relationship was with a white woman, and it was one of the most fulfilling, truly passionate partnerships of my life. Color was not an issue with us, but we were careful not to operate as if it wasn’t an issue in the world. I think that’s key—if you are black man with a white woman, you can’t pretend like color doesn’t matter, because you have to live in a world where it does.The thing is, I have a pretty hefty stack of applications on my desk that need to be vetted, from women of many colors, and I’m not inclined to discriminate by race. I laugh at black women who suggest that they can’t find a man because all the “good” black men are with white women. What I want to know is, where are all the good black women? Who are they all with--Nipsey Russell? You need more than race in common to be a good match...right?

Race and Romance
As a proud black man, what does it say about me if I date a white woman?
By Joseph Williams
December 14, 2008

Text size – +
When I recently became single again after a long marriage, thinking about reentering the dating world reminded me of a movie cliche, the one where explorers find a Japanese soldier who'd been holed up in a desert-island cave since World War II -- and he's stunned to learn the fight is over.

In 1995, on the summer day my bachelorhood ended, neither online dating nor Sex and the City existed. "Friends with benefits" meant a couple of buddies with a truck who'd help you move. Yet what's most made me feel as though I've stumbled from a cave, blinking in the sunlight, is the discovery that interracial dating has lost its stigma. And as a proud, conscious African-American man now free to choose a new partner, I'm encountering a lot of conflicting complex feelings that I kept inside me all those years in the dark. Call it the racial politics of dating.
Having grown up in the burbs and attended nearly all-white schools in Tennessee and Virginia, I've been with white females more than once in my modest dating history. Those relationships, however, didn't usually last long, haunted by the ghosts of the nation's bitter racial past. After all, my parents graduated from a segregated high school; in 1967, when I was 5, there were 16 states that still had anti-miscegenation laws, before the Supreme Court ruled them unconstitutional.
There's no doubt, however, that times have changed drastically. Our next president unabashedly describes himself as the product of a union between a white woman from Kansas and a black man from Kenya. Flirtations between the white character played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus and the black one Blair Underwood portrays on the hit sitcom The New Adventures of Old Christine blossomed into a romance, with on-screen kissing and allusions to sex. Judging by the interracial couples I see strolling around Washington, D.C., where I now live, many people believe what I do: If someone makes you happy, race should be irrelevant. As a young man I did just that, dating across the race line before marrying a black woman and starting a family. Yet now divorced, I struggle to practice what I preach.
A few months ago, I attended a speed-dating event, where I noticed I was the only black person in the room. I ignored the discomfort, kept an open mind, and flirted with gusto, making a couple of matches. Afterward, in an online survey, I asked the organizers why there weren't black women there. Their innocuous response stung: We've got plenty of women at our events geared toward African-Americans, but we've had to cancel several because we didn't have enough African-American men. The response seemed to confirm an uncomfortable stereotype, something I'd heard from nearly every lonely African-American woman I know. It's harder than ever to find the love they want, the lament goes, because black men with options -- men like me -- would rather date white women.
Race and romance have preoccupied me since then. Questions linger: Is an attraction to a white woman a form of racial self-hatred? If I flirt with her, does it mean I've rejected my African-American sisters?
For now, I've decided I shouldn't deny myself a partner just to be on the "right" side. Romance, I've concluded, is less about race and more about having something in common with the object of your affection.
I've dated a white woman, the single mother of a biracial teenager, who loves hip-hop music and dancing. I'm smitten with an African-American woman who is a passionate member of the Washington National Opera and shares my love of rock music. At bars and at parties, white women have slipped me their phone numbers and black women have gunned down my clumsy advances. On the subway, I find myself checking out women of all races.
But, honestly, I may never eliminate the not-so-subtle pangs of guilt that surface when I date outside my race. The echoes of history are impossible for me to ignore.
Joseph Williams is the deputy chief of the Globe's Washington bureau. Send comments to coupling@globe.com.
© Copyright 2008 Globe Newspaper Company.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Did SNL go to Far?


This is a clip of Saturday Night Live's impression of New York Governor Patterson. There has been much criticism of this skit by the National Federation of the Blind and the Governor himself. Take a look at the skit and let me know what you think.

December 15, 2008 09:14 AM EST
Compare 09:14 AM EST07:57 AM EST07:40 AM EST07:17 AM EST and 09:14 AM EST07:57 AM EST07:40 AM EST07:17 AM EST versions
ALBANY, N.Y. — A "Saturday Night Live" skit portraying New York's blind governor as a bumbling leader didn't get a laugh from Gov. David Paterson.
Paterson's office said the skit ridiculed people with physical disabilities and implied that disabled people are incapable of having jobs with serious responsibilities.
"The governor is sure that 'Saturday Night Live,' with all of its talent, can find a way to be funny without being offensive," Paterson spokesman Errol Cockfield said in a statement Sunday. "Knowing the governor, he might even have some suggestions himself."
The skit that aired Saturday featured SNL cast member Fred Armisen as Paterson, who must appoint someone to replace Sen. Hillary Clinton. Armisen said he has three criteria for filling the job: economic experience, upstate influence and someone who is disabled and unprepared for the job _ like himself. He held up a chart illustrating the state's job losses upside down.
National Federation of the Blind spokesman Chris Danielsen said the portrayal suggesting Paterson as befuddled and disoriented because of his blindness is "absolutely wrong."
No one from NBC, which produces SNL, could be reached for comment early Monday morning

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

As a native daughter of Illinois , this is an embarrassment.

I would love to do a longer blog on this entire Blagojevich mess but I have a limited amount of time today. As a native Chicagoan I will say this entire scandal is an embarrassment to a city that seemed to be shedding all of the stereotypes that previously plagued it. I will say this quickly Politicians ALL POLITICIANS from the top to the bottom need to get their house in order. The American people already have a negative attitude about politicians and politics, so it does not help when incidents like this come to light. Stop being greedy, do your job and help people THAT IS ALL YOU HAVE TO DO. Remember we voted you in and we can vote you out.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

In elections....take nothing for granted

Mr. Jefferson was favored in this race but voters said otherwise. It is important to note that in this season of economic downturn that folks are engaged like never before. This is not time for foolishness but it is time for work.

(CNN) -- Nine-term Democratic Rep. William Jefferson, who has been battling scandals and a federal indictment for the past three years, lost his bid for re-election on Saturday.

Louisiana Democratic Rep. William Jefferson has been embroiled in a bribery scandal.

Republican challenger Anh "Joseph" Cao, an attorney and community organizer, defeated Jefferson in the 2nd Congressional district race. He will become the first Vietnamese-American elected to Congress.
With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Cao had almost 50 percent of the vote to Jefferson's 47 percent.
The 2nd Congressional district, in and around New Orleans, is mostly African-American and heavily Democratic, and Jefferson appeared to be favored to win re-election going into the election.
"The people of the second district were able to transcend party, transcend race," Cao said after claiming victory Saturday night.
Voters also chose Republican John Fleming over Democrat Paul Carmouche in Louisiana's 4th District by a slim 356-vote margin.
Fleming will replace retiring 10-term Republican Rep. Jim McCrery, a top-ranking Republican on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.
Elections in the districts were delayed after Hurricane Gustav hit Louisiana in September, setting up what should be the last two federal contests of 2008 on Saturday. Both races had two other contenders who drew a small percentage of votes.
Jefferson has pleaded not guilty to 16 criminal counts of racketeering, bribery, money laundering and obstruction of justice. He denies any wrongdoing.
In 2005, Jefferson's private homes in Washington and New Orleans were raided, and FBI agents say they found $90,000 in cash stashed in one of his freezers.
Don't Miss
Live election results: District 2
Live election results: District 4
Officials say the money was part of a payment in marked bills from an FBI informant in a transaction captured on videotape. Jefferson also is accused of soliciting and receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes for himself and his family in exchange for promoting their products and services to countries in Africa.
In the 4th District, in the northwest corner of Louisiana and including Shreveport, McCrery announced in December 2007 that he would not seek re-election, opening up a GOP seat and setting off a campaign that attracted national attention and money.
The race pitted Webster Parish coroner Fleming against Caddo Parish prosecutor Carmouche in what political observers considered to be a toss-up.
The Louisiana secretary of state's office had predicted light voter turnout Saturday.
"The election is in December near the holidays, it was delayed from when it was supposed to be, and our prediction was that those factors would keep turnout low," said Jacques Berry, spokesman for the secretary of state.
President-elect Barack Obama recorded a radio ad on behalf of Carmouche but stayed quiet on Jefferson's re-election bid. A Jefferson spokesman said the congressman had not asked Obama for such help.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Article on Slaves who built the White House.

Great CNN article about slaves who built the White House. This article means so much right now and although I do not expect a black agenda from the new President but it would be nice if a memorial was dedifated for slaves who built the White House and the Capital.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- In January, President-elect Barack Obama and his family will make history, becoming the first African-American first family to move into the White House -- a house with a history of slavery. In fact, the legacy of American presidents owning slaves goes all the way back to George Washington.
A wood engraving of handcuffed and shackled slaves passing the U.S. Capitol, depicts a scene circa 1819.

Twelve American presidents owned slaves and eight of them, starting with Washington, owned slaves while they lived in the White House. Almost from the very start, slaves were a common sight in the executive mansion. A list of construction workers building the White House in 1795 includes five slaves - named Tom, Peter, Ben, Harry and Daniel -- all put to work as carpenters. Other slaves worked as masons in the government quarries, cutting the stone for early government buildings, including the White House and U.S. Capitol. According to records kept by the White House Historical Association, slaves often worked seven days a week -- even in the hot and humid Washington summers.
In 1800, John Adams was the first president to live in the White House, moving in before it was finished. Adams was a staunch opponent of slavery, and kept no slaves. Future presidents, however, didn't follow his lead. Thomas Jefferson, who succeeded Adams, wrote that slavery was an "assemblage of horrors" and yet he brought his slaves with him. Early presidents were expected to pay their household expenses themselves, and many who came from the so-called "slave states" simply brought their slaves with them.
Martin Van Buren, William Henry Harrison, Andrew Johnson and Ulysses S. Grant all owned slaves but not during their time in office. James Madison, Jefferson's successor, held slaves all of his life including while he was in office. During the war of 1812 Madison's slaves helped remove material from the White House shortly before the British burned the building.
In 1865 one of Madison's former slaves, Paul Jennings, wrote the first White House memoir: "A Colored Man's Reminiscences of Life in the White House." In the book, Jennings called Madison "one of the best men that ever lived" and said Madison "never would strike a slave, although he had over one hundred; neither would he allow an overseer to do it."
There were other presidents who treated their slaves less kindly.
James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, John Tyler, James K. Polk and Zachary Taylor all owned slaves while they were in office. The last of these, President Taylor, said owning slaves was a Constitutional right and he said slave-owners like himself would "appeal to the sword if necessary" to keep them. The Civil War, of course, put that opinion to the test.
Now, the Obamas are moving into the White House.
"The apple cart has been turned over here when you have the Obamas -- the first African-American couple -- now actually management and you are having in some cases white Americans serving them," says presidential historian Doug Brinkley.
Michelle Obama learned this year that one of her great-great grandfathers was a slave who worked on a rice plantation in South Carolina. She says finding that part of her past uncovered both shame and pride and what she calls the tangled history of this country.
For many, the historic election on November 4 marked a new beginning.
Though Michelle Obama's ancestors had to come through the ordeal of slavery, "Her children are sleeping in the room of presidents," said Brinkley. "It's a very great and hopeful sign."

Monday, December 1, 2008

An Open Letter to Chrstine Beatty.

This is on my blog today and I wanted to share with each of you. I would appreciate your thots.

Ms. Beatty you do not know me but I have followed the saga that has besieged your life this year. Let me first say that this is not a judgment letter or a hateful one. As a person who will spend a lifetime asking the Lord for forgiveness I am in no position to do either. When I saw you cry in court today I felt tears well up in my eyes and thought about all you have lost: your husband, your job and a potential career in law. I am sure that is only the tip of the iceburg of what you have really lost and I am sure words cannot measure what you have gone thru this year.

The truth is your story is not new, many women are in prison or facing prison today for protecting a man or lying for one and unfortunately many of these women are women of color. So not only are they guilty of the crime but they like you are guilty of loving someone who was not good for them. What is so amazing to me is how hard women love and what we risk to get love from a man. We take beatings, emotional abuse, believe lies, and sometimes make our children second all in the name of love. Yes we know what he did wrong in the last relationship but of course” she” did not treat him right, or did not understand him So in our mind we think we can do things better and those bad habits he had will go away because we know how to make him happy. And of course when that does not happen we don’t think the problem is with him we think the problem is with us so we do what we have to do to stop the abuse, the cheating and any other behavioral issue that he has. We say if I cook this, treat him to this, do this change that then he will love me enough to change and perhaps even love me enough to leave his wife, stop hitting me cheating on me etc...

I guess Ms. Beatty I know your story because I have lived it, so have some of my friends have lived it , and some are still living it. The question is how do we grow from these situations and not meet the same man in as Oprah says “in a different pair of pants” with the same issues. What we must do is live authentically and be true to our hearts and our sixth sense. The Bible says in Proberbs “Protect your heart for it is the well spring of life.” We must admit our mistakes and forgive ourselves not just for our sake but for other as well. As I have told other people when we behave badly in relationships we are not just hurting ourselves but we are teaching our children how to behave in relationships, thereby creating dysfunctional relationships that will last for generations.

It is my prayer Ms. Beatty that you are able to repair your life and that you are able to use this setback as an opportunity for a comeback. Whenever I become judgmental of others I always think of people who God used in the Bible: David, his adultery led to his mistress becoming pregnant which led David to have her husband killed. Yet the Bible records that David was a man after the Lords own heart. When Paul was Saul he killed Christians for a living , yet God chose him to preach the Gospel and Paul when on to write a great portion of the New Testament and preach to many. If God can use these men he can use you and he can use all of us. We can let our bad choices be lessons to our sons and daughters and hopefully raise a better generation.

Good luck my sista and I look forward to hearing about your success after this cloud has passed and believe me it will pass.

Ms. Beatty in court today: