Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Why We Fight - Racial Ignorance

I read THIS article from another blog that I follow... and immediately caught an attitude. Let me just say this: I am a proud member of a mixed race family. I have white brothers and a sister who have been adopted into a (now) very large Black family, with Black parents and Black siblings. It was not a social experiment. We didn't adopt them to see how things would turn out and we didn't flee from adopting Black babies in favor of adopting these three white children.

This simple ass article, well, really not even an article, did not even reflect the real story in the New York Times, which can be found here. They took the most simplistic, close minded view of the situation that there was: why is a Black family adopting a white baby? They said that Mr. and Mrs. Ware "sought" to adopt a white baby... and that is not true. They sought to adopt as quickly as possible (after suffering three miscarriages) and the baby that was offered for adoption happened to be white. If the "author" of this article read the NYT piece, he or she would know that. If the "author" was not trying so hard to ignite some racist fueled anger and just used, you know, facts, then I would not have to spend the time correcting ignorance. That aside, I have some questions of my own: did they ask the same when Sandra Bullock adopted her Black son? What about when Katherine Heigl and her husband adopted a Korean baby, or when the adopters wet dream, Angelina, went all over the world adopting her clan? Was it a social experiment then? Or is it just a social experiment when a Black family adopts a child that doesn't look like them?

With all the children waiting to be adopted in the United States, does it matter who goes where? Do we all have to match everyone in our families? If I was waiting for a family, should I only get to go with a family who looks like me? After checking out the rest of their site, I do see why the Council of Conservative Citizens want everyone to stick with their own. These are the same crop of people that are undoubtedly building bomb shelters and waiting for the race wars to start. SMH. Yet another group of people with tired images/thoughts of minorities ruining a country built on the backs of those very same minorities. To the members and donors of CoCC, please do not procreate. I do not have the time and inclination to fight all of your nonsensical ideas with my brilliance (and modesty). We have enough ridiculously dumb people roaming the Earth, we do not need your contribution.

Monday, February 27, 2012

I Don't Know You, So Hands Off My Uterus!!

The political debates have been all aflutter with talk of women's reproductive rights. The only thing is, I have seen almost no women involved in the debates. If you have been watching the news, you have undoubtedly seen what I am writing about. The demise of the fan base of the Susan G. Komen foundation for withdrawing funding from Planned Parenthood; the attempt by some Congressmen and women to de-fund Planned Parenthood all together; the asinine comments from Rick Santorum regarding his dislike for pre-natal screenings. The list goes on. Here is my take:

If you do not actually have a uterus, you don't get to tell me what to do with mine. Period. I don't care who you are; if your anatomy is different from mine, please shut the hell up. If you have never had cramps, sensitive boobs, a menstrual cycle or watched the Miracle of Life and wished you were a guy for the entire film, just so you would NEVER have to go through childbirth- you don't get a say in what I do with my uterus; what testing I get done pre or post natal; whether or not I populate the entire north side of Chicago. Nope, so shut your damn mouth. Chances are that you will NOT be the reason that I get knocked up, so what is it to you what I do with my body? Just because you are rich, male and (slightly) educated does not mean that little ol' me, not rich (momentarily), female and more than slightly educated has to follow your plan for women everywhere. That is so not going to happen.

For the women that have so much to say about us heathens non conservatives... yo, bitter Betty: keep your eyes on your own panties. I don't tell you what you should do about what goes on in your pants, so how about we just keep this relationship reciprocal? Do I say anything to you when you declare that you and your (obviously gay) husband want to bump uglies in the missionary position with all the lights off, while each of you are thinking about someone else? Nope. Do I rub it in your face when you preach to the whole world that abstinence is the only thing that we should teach our children as one of your children gets knocked up? Well, yes.. because that is too good to pass up. But hey, if you want to have a child and a grandchild the same age and you are able to financially take care of both, then I say, have at it. But what I need you to do is worry about the people under your own roof. Worry about those genitals... and stop your fascination with mine.

What I do (or don't do, for that matter) is absolutely none of your business. I have made it 34 years without needing your input on my life, in general; I have no children, but even if I did-- I get to choose IF I have kids and how many. Not you, not your religion, not your pastor/reverend/minister/pope, and not our President. And for the love of God, definitely not the lackeys in Congress. Those people cannot pass legislation for their own states to keep their constituents in their homes, with jobs with food on the table for the family members they already have. They can't seem to get anything done except argue over whether or not the President is a citizen and who is at fault for the economic disaster that is our economy. I would argue that Congress and politicians in general have so many other things to worry about besides whether or not I get genetic testing done to see if my child is developing properly, a sonogram to hear my child's heartbeat for the first time or exactly who will pay for that. They should not be concerned with whether or not I get birth control from planned parenthood, or go there for a pap smear because I don't have insurance. Since most (fiscal) conservatives believe that social programs should be done away with, why would they care if someone aborted a baby they couldn't afford? Conservatives don't want to pay for that child. Let them tell it, they want to do away with welfare programs all together, so who is going to pay for these children that EVERYONE should have because the pro-lifers say so? If there was no WIC, how would those babies eat? If abortion wasn't legal, where would all these babies go? Surely not into the already crowded foster care system. With celebrities routinely running to other other countries to adopt babies when hundreds of thousands of poor American children wait to be adopted every year, sure no one is going to say "carry that child and then place it up for adoption." Not in good conscience. Not for EVERY unplanned pregnancy in America. I mean really, this is the real world, not your homogeneous utopia.

How about this: Congress, you stick to doing nothing. You guys do it well and you are getting paid handsomely to do so. Keep your mouth closed about shit that does not affect you, namely, what a grown woman does with her body. The country has enough problems to keep you occupied, I promise. Concentrate on getting re-elected... for some of you, that will be a hassle, trust me. Presidential hopefuls: I mean, I guess that I understand that you have to appeal to your voting base, but how many of the people voting for you don't have mothers, sisters, wives, daughters who will be negatively affected by what you are proposing? What would you do if people actually listened to the dangerous propositions that you are advocating? What will you do then? You have Rick Santorum saying that he doesn't believe in pre-natal care (he later when to change it to "genetic testing" in pre-natal care... his advisers just let him say whatever), he also said that he doesn't believe in abortion at all... in any case. He actually said in the case of rape, there should be no abortion option and that women should "make the best out of a bad situation."Yeah, that jackass will never speak for me. His extreme views alone, are enough to put women's rights back to the dark ages. How about he keep his hands off my uterus? I don't know you. You don't know my struggle... keep your hands off my reproductive organs. We have done well thus far.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Soulful Saturday - Christina Aguilera

Poor Christina. She is so super talented. I mean out of the mouseketeers that came out in the 90s (think Britney, Justin, Ryan Gosling, etc.) she has more talent in one strand of that awful weave, wig, pieces (whatever she is trying to pull off these days) than the rest of them do in their whole bodies... and that is saying a lot, since I am totally infatuated with both Ryan and Justin. But why, poor Christina, do you insist on being/looking/acting such a mess?

I am totally going to need her to get it together-- PLEASE wear pants when you leave the house (stockings are not pants substitutes); please find a new stylist that will tame that crazy rat nest on your head, darling!! I mean, I absolutely adore you, but girlfriend, there could be something living in that tall, frizzed out craziness. Really. And for the love of all that is holy... none of us are 19 anymore. There are outfits that I ROCKED when I was 19... that I will NEVER rock again. My body has changed. So has yours. Love the body that you have. Dress THAT body... not the body you had when you were 19. In short: um, I'm going to need you to have a "Waiting To Exhale" moment and burn about half of your wardrobe. All the super tight, ill fitting, ill advised things need to be taken to the closest garbage dumpster, doused in kerosene and set ablaze. Trust me. I love you! :) I've been around since the beginning and still loved you through the "Dirrty" stage with that two tone, slightly dread locked look... and chaps. Yeah. Let's not forget the dark hair from the "Stripped" album; that was...interesting. I am totally sure that I can love you through this mess, I am just going to need you to take action ASAP.

So before she sat in between Cee-Lo and Blake on the Voice, Christina made some wonderful music. Most people don't like her runs during live performances, but I expect them and like them. That is her thing and I am definitely a fan. The ability to sing seems to be an option in some singing careers, but not hers. She definitely has the skill, as seen below! Keep on singing those songs, girl... and find a stylist.

I Turn To You


The Voice Within


Ain't No Other Man

Bonus: Walk Away

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Definition of Rihanna

In my (few) years on Earth, I have learned that there are many ways that a woman can be defined by others. There are nice definitions... I don't generally use those often. There are not so nice names and descriptors that we call women (most of which I use on a daily basis). I have no problem calling women bitches- if the name fits the person, hell, I call deserving guys bitches, when necessary. I never shy away from the most disturbingly descriptive words for people, but tonight the only word I could come up with to describe Rihanna is... disappointment.

I have been watching the blogs ever since the Grammys. Here is what I've learned: Chris Brown has shown that he is still as big a douchebag as he was when he beat her ass three years ago with his childish ways and outlandish temper and Rihanna has singlehandedly put victims of domestic violence back a million years. Ok, a million years may be an overstatement, but clearly she is doing past victims a complete disservice while gallivanting around town with the boy who whipped her ass like a freaking stranger on the street. After the Grammys there were massive amounts of texts/tweets/posts from what I can only hope were young and/or naive girls who declared "Chris Brown can beat me any day..." Really? Wow. Who, exactly do we blame for that kind of sentiment? Rhianna? The media? Chris Brown? Parents? What do we all have to do to let daughters, sisters, nieces, aunts and mothers know that getting hit is not ok? Who is supposed to deliver that message? I say we blame them all. Parents of those girls wanting to be beat? Y'all missed some fundamental shit in your household. Get thy asses back to the drawing board!! Media needs to give them no press and help hit those two dummies and their record companies in their wallets (no record sales or publicity). Rhianna needs to get on someone's couch and figure out what the fuck is going on in her mind that allows her to stomach the sight of the person that did THIS to her face. Chris Brown? He needs to receive the fucking beating of his life. No, that would not be counterproductive-- let me tell you why. When little kids are growing up, they learn by example. That is why they mimic you when talking and follow your every move with their eyes. So when little kids start to hit, what do you do? You tell them no. For some kids, that makes them stop. For some little ornery bastards, you need to pop their little thighs and tell them no before they get that they really shouldn't hit other people. For them, 'no' simply does not work. For Chris, no simply didn't work. He has come out and said that he watched his mom get her ass beat and he knows better. So... since he knows better, but his ornery ass didn't do better, it seems to me that someone should dole out the same treatment that he gave Rihanna.. Makes sense to me.

I am so tired of the "he paid his debt and you should all forgive and forget" answer. Hell no is the answer to that stupid bullshit. I am not big on forgetting or forgiving, if I am perfectly honest. I believe that if a person lies to you once, they will do it again. If someone cheats on you once, they will do it again... and cover it up better the next time. Absolutely, I believe that if someone hits you once, they will do it again. Blame it on the overgrown bitter portion of my brain, common sense or on the fact that I am a Scorpio. Blame it on whatever you need to, but forgiveness is not easy to come by over here. And I will definitely not extend that courtesy to an overgrown man-child or a pop "princess." She wants to be around someone who beat her in the face, bit her and put her in the hospital, so that he can do it again? Shame. He wants fame, but wants everyone to stay out of his "personal" business? I really need him to understand that what he did was NOT personal. It was an animalistic attack on a human being and no amount of picking up trash on the side of the freeway will pay for that. YOU CAN'T PAY FOR THAT. They want to reconcile? I hope their genitals fall off. I'm serious. I have said it once before and I will say it again. There is NO sex that is great enough, mind blowing enough, payment enough for mistreatment-- of any kind. There is not. Clearly, the boy is not intelligent (have you heard those interviews?) He can barely sing. He can dance, but so can the little 5 years old in my former neighborhood. So besides being able to say that you fucked Chris Brown, what is the appeal? He has money? So does she. He has tattoos? So does she. He is able to keep his impulses under control? Oh wait... that's right- he can't. Fuck him and his supporters. Y'all backward ass hoes. What if he hit your sister...daughter...MOTHER?! Is that shit ok? You are ok with someone fucking your momma up and putting her in the hospital? You would be ready to forgive and forget then, right? No big deal that she would walk back into that situation, right? No hard feelings. Oh, ok. If you have no problem with that-- delete me as a friend because you are a waste of oxygen. No where is what he did ok. No way. No way I should actually have to type this out for people to understand that you should keep your fucking hands to yourself. No way I should have to fucking explain why a hospital visit is not a sign of love and walking away from an abuser is not weakness. No way I should have to tell people that you can hardly get more wrong than beating someone so severely that a hospital stay is necessary and a couple hours of community service is not payment in full for that crime. No way should I actually have to type the REAL reason that Chris Brown won a Grammy is because our backward ass society BOUGHT this domestic violence predator's album and record execs saw another opportunity to make money off the back of some wanna be thug douchebag, regardless of the problems that come with him. No way I should have to tell the American public that you get what you pay for. No way, right?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Greatest Love Of All

I have taken a small break from writing. I have been dealing with a few things in real life-- playing problem solver for myself in the crazy winter of Chicago. I sat by when a few monumental things happened, writing in my personal journal, but abstaining from posting my thoughts here for you all to read while I was on my self imposed hiatus. But, the hiatus is over because there are a few statements I need to make that would serve no one if left to my private journal.

Facebook and Twitter are great tools for connecting and social media. There are days that go by when I wonder what I would do without them. Then there are days like yesterday- when social media allows people to express the thoughts that would be better left unsaid. I think I put up on both Twitter and Facebook that "I might be bitter, but some of y'all are heartless..." and I meant it. The comments that came across my iPhone when Whitney Houston died were just so... pathetic and attention seeking. Here's the deal: we all have a m.o. (modus operandi), right? My m.o. (the way I operate) is to point out the every day things that go on around me, throw in my two cents and move on to the next opportunity to comment. It just so happens that a lot of the things that bother me, bother others, so they agree with my assessments. There are, however, limitations to my critiques. I routinely choose not to comment on some aspects of people's lives because of some of my friends are going through the same thing, or because whatever it is they are going through does not need to be worsened by some snide comment that I come up with. With the revelation of Whitney Houston's passing yesterday, some people forgot to exercise their filters. So, here is the Hot, Black and Bitter reminder that you should not share everything you THINK in voice, text or video.

In 2010, it was estimated that 25 million Americans suffered with substance abuse. 25 million directly affected; upwards of 40 million were indirectly affected (think family members and loved ones). Nearly 55 million people in this country suffer from at least one addiction. Fifty- five million. Just to be able to provide some perspective, the city of Chicago (not the metro area, just the city) houses about 2.7 million people and is considered the third most populous city in the country (behind NYC- 8.1 million and LA- 3.8 million). If you add up the populations of all three cities it only equals 14.6 million-- a very large number, that would almost have to be quadrupled to account for all those suffering from addiction in the United States. I point this out to say, with a number that large, we all know someone who is suffering with some sort of addiction. We have all been close to a situation where bad choices were made, people were hurt, responsibilities were skipped, relationships fell by the wayside.

To make this personal- I have seen addiction in a person that I love. The transformation was swift and heartbreaking. I believe that if given the chance, he would not have put himself or his loved ones through this all encompassing, bumpy ride. I would venture to say that NO ONE wants to have something/someone that they just can NOT say no to. Something that controls their time management, their happiness, their money, their... life. No one wakes up and thinks "you know, I would really love to alienate the people that have always loved and supported me, so let me overindulge in this activity/drug/alcohol/sex/obsession." Since there is a high probability that we all know someone, dated someone, loved someone with at least one addiction, the comments that I read last night about Whitney Houston's stunning death seriously blew my mind.

In the early hours after anyone dies, speculation runs ramped over what happened, who did it and what will happen now. People look closely at the days prior trying to make their minds understand the loss they are suffering... and the dissenters make their appearance. Those that comment about drug use, drug abuse, loose morals, sexual proclivities and the like. People begin to take joy in the fact that the newly departed's life was somewhere lower than their current station in life. People like that. They get off on it. They shout louder and louder on social media so that others can see how "great" they are; what a great example they are; how we should all strive to be like them. It is pathetic. Yesterday, the music world lost a legend. I am sorry if people refuse to see that. In the wake of her death (the cause of which has yet to be determined) let me posit that maybe we should use this time to think about who we know who would benefit from our help, instead of our judgment. Maybe we should use this as a starting point for grasping the fact that the things we complain about DAILY are relatively small in comparison to fighting an addiction. Maybe, just maybe, this tragedy will awake someone to the fact that they have a problem or cause another to begin a non-profit that will help those struggling with addiction.

To those who find it necessary to slam dead people, I have a couple thoughts. 1- get a life. If you have to degrade those who can no longer defend themselves, clearly your intelligence (and power of persuasion) is questionable. 2- find a heart in your empty chest, I mean, really it is possible that Whitney Houston had thick enough skin to disregard her haters, but can the same be said about her daughter? Her mother? Her extended family? Could you give them a little grieving time? Finally, 3- when I was in college a wise friend once told me that guys with the smallest dicks acted like the biggest dicks... If you are acting like such a huge dick, what is small in your life? We all have problems that we don't want others to see. Shouting about someone else's problems will never make yours go away. Show some compassion, because when your time comes, it is what you will wish people will show to your family.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Soulful Saturday - Erykah Badu

The vocals from this lady are nothing short of amazing on EVERY track that she has ever released. She sings about love, loss, children, hustling... life, in general. She has a love for hip hop AND soul and the way she makes them mesh has not been done by anyone-- not anyone that I have heard (not even Lauryn Hill... sorry for those fans). She runs a charity organization, stirs up controversy (see: Window Seat); her kids have the strangest names ever (Seven, Puma and Mars) and I absolutely adore her. I need more of her and soon.

Bag Lady

Next Lifetime

Love of My Life

Call Tyrone

Window Seat
(Yes, I want you to listen to music in the midst of stripping...)

Bonus-- Stay

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Mitt Romney and the (very) Poor

If you have NOT been paying attention to the politics of America... where have you been?! Election years bring out the best (read: worst) in people. Now, I am not here to tell you who you should vote for- I have always been and will always be a person who thinks that the right to vote and express your own opinions is one of the most righteous of the fundamental rights of this country. With that said: if you don't vote, vote the party line just because, vote without being educated on those running or vote for a moron, then I will exercise my righteous, fundamental right to talk about you-- in a completely unforgiving way. I make no bones about it. I write what I don't like about the candidates- all of them and this last week has given me much to write about.

So the Republicans. Hmmm, they are a naughty bunch, aren't they? In the running there is a man who is certainly certifiably insane, a man who is a known liar and cheat, a man with very extreme points of view (like extreme to the point where he maybe should sit next to the insane one in an asylum) and a rich good old boy who needs approval from the working class. Who is that, you ask? Mitt Romney. This week old Mitt has been caught in a wording snafu, and I am going to LOVE watching him try to get out of it. He is, after all, the front runner for the GOP nomination. Here is Mitt and his comment on poor people. Oh wait, the VERY poor...

By very poor does he mean those on federal/state aid? Federal/state aid... like unemployment? If unemployment is broken, how does he intend on fixing that and here is the most important question: WHO does Mitt Romney see as the VERY poor? I mean, let's be real, the man is worth $200 MILLION dollars. Wait, huh? Yeah, who does he consider to be very poor? Me? With a full time job? You? Those with no job? Those with a part time job? Those worth less than $50 million? $5 million? $1 million? Is it possible that all of us, go to work every day, trying to pay our bills, people still fall into the category of "very poor" by Mitt Romney standards? Because I am not sure he completely understands that the "heart of America" those that he purports to look after and care about... ummm, yeah, some of us can't find jobs. Some of us have no idea how we are going to make ends meet and pay back student loans. Some of us could absolutely be considered very poor, despite our best efforts. MOST of us are not on the same scale as Mitt in the wealth department. Does that mean we fall into the category of people he is not concerned with? Politics. Such a dirty game... having to beg for the votes of the people you are not concerned with.

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