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13 January 2016

Ta-Nehisi Coates' Brilliant Essay on The Bill Cosby Debacle!

Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote an article in The Atlantic regarding Cosby and His Enablers that is by far in my humble opinion the best assessment of the excruciating downfall of this once iconic celebrity of color . In line with Mr. Coates' style; it was thought provoking and well developed.  He pulled no punches especially when he addressed those who defended Bill Cosby when the evidence was painfully clear that ALL these women weren't lying.  He exposed the misogyny of many men and women who've for many reasons refuse to believe that women can be raped without some collusion on their part. Over the years the onus on the latter required that she have overwhelming proof that it wasn't her fault, if indeed the event did occur.  We understand the history in this country regarding black men and the raping of white women.  However, this isn't the case for many of them.  Discernment is the key...here.

After reading the comments of the men featured in his article and other articles on the subject, one would understand why women refused to come forth in many of these cases.  Thirty or forty years ago, no one would have believed them.  In 2016, the dynamics of rape culture persists although, there are more exceptions and people exposing the daunting underbelly of this society and worldwide.  It's unfortunate that a male comic was far more convincing than many women  who knew of and at times attempted to expose Bill's duplicitous and hypocritical persona.

An excerpt from the article speaks to the "tribal' need for preserving the legacy of "our heroes" at the expense of the welfare and safety of those who've been most vulnerable and victimized:

 Only tribalism and power can explain the theory put forth by Cosby’s defenders—that some 40 women have joined together in a wide-ranging conspiracy to bring a powerful black man down. Why this plot would target an aging entertainer well past his prime and not, say, the first black president is left unasked. We, too, are capable of fictions because, as it turns out, oppression confers no wisdom and is rarely self-improving. There is no virtue in being kicked in the face. The virtue is all in what you do after.  



01 January 2016

God Speed Natalie Cole: February 6, 1950 ~ December 31, 2015

"Unforgettable"

The USA Today article by Kristin McGraft in celebration of Ms. Cole rendered a wonderful tribute to this dynamic woman of song who transitioned New Year's Eve. There is also a video on the site of her singing a duet version of "Unforgettable"  with her father, Nat King Cole per the marvels of modern technology. A brief biography revealed that Ms. Cole had been giving concerts until recently when her health began to fail and she required intensive treatment. 

I've always been a fan of Natalie Cole and Whitney Houston. Several years before I retired, their playlists would alternately get me through the long commutes.  I understand that they were friends and when Ms. Houston was going through her trials, Natalie continued to support her for she knew the hellish existence of addiction. She maintained sobriety as far as we know, however, ravages of the disease compromised her health and she required a kidney transplant {2009} as well as treatment for Hepatitis C.  Ms. Cole continued to be vibrant and to honor her craft and love for entertaining which showed great courage and resolve.  An excerpt from the article was a testimony not only to her survival but ability to live and live well despite the challenges.  As follows, "I think that I am a walking testimony that you can have scars," she told CBS Sunday Morning in 2006. "You can go through turbulent times and still have victory in your life."

One of my favorite videos of these accomplished women remind me of their resolve when they sung "Bridge Over Troubled Water". This is how I choose to remember them.  They've both crossed that bridge now and I pray that they are at peace.



26 December 2015

Welcoming 2016 With All the Worldly Similarities of Previous Ones!



We will embark on another year in 6 days with an endearing optimism that entails noteworthy objectives. An end or diminishment of war, hunger, global warming, disease, racism, crime, xenophobia and the harassment/slaughter by the state of unarmed and innocent people of color.  There are those of us who continue to strive to bring out the best in folks for the survival of the planet and humankind.  They don't get the press as often as those who exhibit those traits that overshadow the best that we can be.  The hope and gratitude that are inherent in wishing others a wonderful, healthy and bountiful New Year  continues to reign and I'm more than thankful for this amazing phenomenon!   

18 December 2015

The "Merry Christmas" Debate Obscures Peace & Goodwill Message

I recently read on social media a number of comments regarding the inappropriateness of "Season's Greetings" and "Happy Holidays" on the symbolic birthday of Jesus Christ.  Merry Christmas was deemed the most appropriate for believers and those who choose to celebrate the holiday.  

This issue was basically addressed in the featured {12/16/14} post on my sidebar, however, I must reiterate that in the spirit of what we've been told in the New Testament, Jesus' message while on this earth was  of love and acceptance.   He did not shame anyone away from his message and had a tolerance for those struggling with it.  We are not only celebrating his birth but the coming of the New Year; Happy Holidays and Season's Greetings  fits the bill as well for it represents inclusion and respect for those who want to participate in the joy the season brings.  There are so many wonderful events and acts of humanity that we come to celebrate and participate in during this time. I see no disrespect from those who choose to express any one of the following:      

Image Credit: Sheila Landry Designs

"PEACE ON EARTH AND GOODWILL TO HUMANKIND"

23 November 2015

Giving Thanks Despite Overwhelming Turmoil and Quality of Life Issues!


 I've written  previous posts on the grace shown during Thanksgiving and the varied perspectives on the meaning of  this holiday. For the month of November, a 'Be Thankful' banner theme was chosen in response to my previous posts on what's wrong with the world and those of us who inhabit it. 

Briefly, it's those actions that cause havoc and sully our viewpoints about others which tend to overshadow the good humankind is capable of and practices.  Whenever one is made aware of those events on a macro or anecdotal level, expressions of  appreciation are in order and must be celebrated if only as a means of balancing them.  Therefore as the title suggests, giving thanks and gratefulness elevates us to a higher level. It raises the bar of what we can become and certainly what we've achieved.   Bountiful blessings to all.

15 October 2015

The Consistency of Dr. Elizabeth Warren's Advocacy for the People!

In 2011, I posted an article on Elizabeth Warren's advocacy for comprehensive insurance for all. She supported programs to assist the struggling middle class, working poor and those in need of programs that provide viable rather than punitive assistance.  She was a professor at the time and hadn't entered the halls of a do-nothing congress. The essence of that article is as follows.
Dr. Warren is another town crier who knows what she's talking about with a researched and clearly articulated advocacy to assist millions of Americans who've been adversely affected by the current healthcare system.   She speaks truth to power with an urgency for our future welfare as well which is a rarity these days.  I've provided a link to one of her interviews and a lecture for your convenience and knowledge base.  We must understand what is going on before we can ask the pertinent questions as we push forward for fair and reasonable solutions to the  imbalances of this country's healthcare maze. 

March 23, 2010 when the President signed the ACA; she remained a supporter of that move although there were many in opposition.  When she took the oath, 2013 for the Senate of the United States,  Elizabeth Warren continued to push bills to try and balance the power between the oligarchy and the rest of us.  

Again, in 2015 she doesn't disappoint and this is in reference to her forceful statement about the "Black Lives Matter"movement.


 
Netroots Nation Keynote Address 2015

There is a realization that she can't solve the problem alone but she's speaking out forcefully.  I'm sure she has and will continue to suffer the consequences of her stands. One characteristic I've observed over the past 5 years is that she doesn't back down from controversy. She is steadfast  when it comes to the unjust oppression of marginalized groups. Jamelle Bouie's article in the Slate addresses this issue. I agree with him that her speeches on "Black Lives Matter" are impressive, however, we've just begun.  The groups who are in the forefront of this solution focused movement, I'm sure, welcome the support of those in powerful government positions.

12 October 2015

Intrigued By More Exposure of Black Folks Who Celebrate Indian Heritage

Today, I read an article on 'The Root' website by Yesha Callahan, "Social Media Celebrates Indigenous People's Day...Not That Other Holiday.' It was the catalyst for further research and viewing other articles.
 
Twitter Feed

The Root, Twitter and Facebook had this image of a young girl with a sign recognizing 'Indigenous People's Day' and what was more intriguing is the end reads "Native Strong and African-American Strong.'  What's the big deal about that...some would say.  Briefly, in our community there's been this rather amusing issue among many blacks claiming to have some Native American ancestry. It was always viewed as again... we want to be anything other than {totally} black and there's been jokes about it for decades.  Henry Louis Gates' research on our African-American identities addresses that issue and states that there are very few of us who can make that claim.  He also addressed that we have a very complicated history with Native Americans which entailed wars, slavery and tribes who helped escaping slaves.  The Buffalo Soldiers killed many Indians while supporting the very system that enslaved them and treated them as second class citizens.  There were some tribes who enslaved black folks.  In fact, with some exceptions there is this perception that Indians aren't receptive to African-Americans today.

There were lawsuits filed by mixed ancestry black folks who aren't recognized by some Native American tribes and again it's that knock at the door that remains locked.  I must say that there is a unity movement afoot that also encompasses what we witnessed on October 10, 2015.   Thousands of blacks, people of color, Indians and other marginalized groups participated in the "Justice or Else" gathering on the capitol mall.  Many of us who were aware of the complicated notion of Columbus Day, with its myths and revisionism are clamoring for more exposure of this truth.  Social media has expanded it to the point that we are viewing articles and events that exceeds previous efforts.

Years ago, on the Phil Donahue Show there was a Harvard educated Native American Chief in full dress and a African American leader {name escapes me} discussing the state of minorities in this country.  I can't remember the exact quote but the essence of the statement by the former is that...America put them on the reservation and blacks on the plantation and went about building this nation.  They were talking coalition then but nothing came of it. I'm sure 'tribalism' and which group suffered the most dialogues had something to do with it.


We must recognized that the crumbs thrown to oppressed people keep us fighting among ourselves instead of galvanizing to empower our groups to become truly first class citizens with 'inalienable' rights. We must correct how this country has reneged on treaties and find solutions for those of us who were here long before Columbus lost his way.


There is more to write but I did say..... BRIEFLY!

IN CELEBRATION OF  INDIGENOUS PEOPLE'S DAY!