This video is AWESOME!!!
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I certainly tip! I also have some friends who don’t or they tip poorly, so I tend to avoid going to full service restaurants with them. I’m just saying…
The New York City Million Hoodie March in support of Trayvon Martin was held today & still going on as I type this post. If you’re not familiar with Trayvon Martin, he was a 17 year old who was murdered by a rogue crazed and racial profiling community watch member named George Zimmerman.
Zimmerman claims that he shot Martin in self defense but the evidence so far says otherwise. When police came to the scene, they found Martin armed only with a bag of Skittles and an Arizona Iced Tea. Where does self defense make sense?
Several weeks later:
- Zimmerman has not been charged
- The 911 tape has been released and it is a heartbreaker
- The Dept of Justice and FBI are now involved
- A Grand Jury is being sorted out
- Several marches and rallies are planned around the country
- Floridian officials are calling for the Sanford, FL police chief to step down
- Black men and boys are simply not safe from racial profiling
To support Trayvon Martin, I wore my hoodie. Yes, it was hot but a young man was murdered so my little discomfort meant nothing in the grand scheme of things.
This story just really makes me upset. Will things ever change?
This morning, I had the opportunity to witness Michele Norris of NPR’s “All Things Considered” give a keynote presentation at the University of Michigan’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium.
I do not know Michele, did not know what she looked like until about 6 years ago but I have loved her for the last 12+ years. It is that voice… The magic of radio. Her interesting since of humor. How she processes and conveys information to her audience. I love it all.
When I learned that she was taking a break from “All Things Considered” during this election cycle, I was bummed…. Like really. So when I saw that she was going to be in my area, I KNEW that I would be there….
As usual, I was running late & got to the address just as it was starting.
When Michele hit the stage, I actually closed my eyes for a while. It was like some kind of large live NPR episode. Kinda nerdy of me but you know how I do.
Her talk centered around activism, leadership & history. She told several family stories about her father and grandmother that were penetrating. She shared with us how her grandmother used to dress as Aunt Jemima and travel throughout the Midwest doing pancake demonstrations. She told us how in 1946 her father was attacked and shot by the police before being jailed in Birmingham after coming back from war. And much more!
The jarring thing about the stories is that she did not learn of much of her family history until her father and grandmother had passed. She linked this to “ The Grace of Silence.”
Why be silent? Can silence breed a form of activism? Does this change the dynamic of family secrets? Forbidden information???
Additionally, throughout her talk, she dropped tons of historic knowledge tied to the civil rights era & before. She mentioned Isaac Woodard, Timothy Hood, The Boswell Amendment, Smith v. Allwright, Martin Luther King Jr.’s last meal of catfish & hush puppies…
After the presentation, the audience was presented with “race cards” where we were encouraged to discuss race in six words or less. I was pretty excited about having some race cards that I could play at will.
Michele’s presentation overall was a great way to kickoff my day. I mean, it was a very good day. Spent time with friends, had a good dinner & got a new graphic design project.
This MLK Day, I stayed winning.
I saw this video & I died laughing!!! First at Rice’s must have and they way that she was so animated. Second at how the host/interviewer got all fake “sister-girl” on her. Who does that with a former White House official.
As for Robertson… Nothing he says is shocking. Nothing…
A few years ago when I learned about the Martin Luther King Jr. monument that was to be constructed in our nation’s capital, I got excited.
When I learned that the artist assigned to produce the sculpture of perhaps the most notable Negro in American history was a Negro himself, I got even more excited.
Not too long after hearing this news, I learned that the project leaders decided to go with another designer for the MLK monument. Not really a big deal because things often change on large initiatives, right?
The project leaders flipped the script and decided to bring on Chinese stoneworker, Lei Yixin. Making the changes even more controversial was decision to use Chinese granite for the memorial.
- Why not an American sculptor?
- Why not with American materials?
- Just why?
Yes, I was one of those people opposed to the statue after those changes. I wasn’t angry but I was very turned off.
Fast-forward to this summer when the MLK monument opened… I decided that I would not visit.
Fast-forward to this past weekend when I actually visited the monument… I broke down in a moment of DC tourist weakness.
The monument is HUGE. On grand scale. Attractive. And obviously missing the “Made in China” markings.
Even after being impressed by the size & style, I’m like meh… Then you add the fact that the monument is directly across from the Jefferson Memorial. Jefferson was not only a slave owner but a rapist of his female slaves. OK, let me calm down. I’m starting to get a racial tension headache up in here.
I wonder what MLK would think of his monument being constructed by people living under a communist regime that oppresses, jails and tortures citizens while restricting internet access… Wait, some of that happens in the US also.
Am I tripping?
BTW, the photo above was taken with my iPhone 4, which was “assembled in China.” I’m just saying.
So I’m at Bagger Dave’s for lunch & this server walks up to me and gives me a hug. I’m like why are you hugging me. She’s like I heard you were sick and I missed you. I’m like I don’t know you.
Then she looks at me & calls me Yoda with a puzzled look. Yoda right? ??I said, I’m not Yoda, I’m Tafari bitch!
She apologized & slowly walked away.
Now I’m standing here post random hug like WTF?
I guess we all look alike right?
After I was done with I was done with my meal, I asked my server who Yoda was. He chuckled then explained that Yoda is a regular customer and that he goes by the name of MC Yoda.
When he said that I died. Another white person has assumed that I was a rapper… Then he told me that he was also some big Dungeons & Dragons player. Wow! I thought people stopped doing that in the 80s?.?.?
Then he went on to say that Yoda & I looked nothing a like & that the only thing that we possible had in common was similar hair.
After that, I paid the bill & dipped out.
So, now I’m in my car & I decided to Google this MC Yoda. The 1st thing to pop up were YouTube videos. And yeah, MC Yoda & I look NOTHING alike. Judge for yourself.
I posted this incident as it went down on FB & my friends died. I died to because it was really funny. But the question is, do white people generally not see the differences between Negroes. Are we some amalgamated group where you can only differentiate sex and possible age?
I’m also thinking that maybe I should try rapping as a career just to see what happens. Maybe I can pick up where PM Dawn left off.
Voodoo, Hoodoo, Black Magic, Obeah or Ms. Celie’s Curse. Don’t make me throw this on you.
I got potions, lotions, loaded thoughts, bones, bits and pieces & a few herbs.
I can be a witch doctor, a conjure man or a mofo you really just don’t want to deal with.
My great grandmother told me a secret.
We called her Ymoja. They called her Gal.
She was Black. Real Black! Black hands, black eyes, black tongue, black everything!
This secret is at least 110 years old & it protects my African soul.
It is both bad and good, just depends on the view.
When I watched her die, I was 9.
I saw this secret lift off of her body like a thin wisp smoke.
It was: Strange. Scary. Confusing. Comforting.
I think about her often. I think about the secret more.
If I make it, no when I make it to the phase of my life, I will share this secret with my oldest great grandchild knowing that I will slip into an unknown future.
Voodoo, Hoodoo, Black Magic, Obeah or Ms. Celie’s Curse. Don’t make me throw this on you.
I talked with my township clerk; Karen Lovejoy Roe moments ago & she informed me that she is the person that is supposed to resolve my complaint of voter intimidation not the county or state. To date she has fired John Barr; the poll worker who thinks that everyone with locked hair is a gangsta’ rapper and she has learned that he has a recent run-ins with the po-po involving guess what? Inappropriate behavior!
Karyn also stated that John Barr has some mental issues/possible TBI (HELLOOOOO). Still, there is no excuse! His ass should have not been working at the poll.
She then asked if I was satisfied with her actions. I told her yes but I would like to see some type of diversity training in place for polling place workers before the next election.
She is going to talk to the county official that handles the poll worker training to see what can be done to get something in place as she agreed that this was a good idea. She also identified other issues that need to be addressed because of the growing mixed population in my area.
Before we got off the phone, she asked if I completed my poll worker application. My answer: Ummmmmm, no! That is too much work for $9.50, plus I’m too fancy for that.
I hate that this incident occurred but I am strangely thankful that it happened to me; someone who is willing to fight until there are results!
Anyway, I’m satisfied & looking forward to the follow up…
Drama over but as a Karate expert, I still say fuck the NAACP!
Lastly, the other night, I was a guest on the African American Pundit’s “African American Pundit’s Political Slugfest” show. I discussed this incident and other things surrounding color aroused racism. Check out the show here. It’s entertaining, funny & informative. Plus, you may be surprised to hear what I’m expecting from the NAACP.
Thank you all for hanging in there with me over the last two weeks as all of the drama was popping off. It has certainly been an experience!
Meet John Barr; Ypsilanti Township, Mich racist.
I met John this past Tuesday (Nov 2) when I went to my polling location to vote.
Over the last few months, I had been debating how I would vote for Mich governor. I was or torn between voting for a republican whom I felt was competent and a needed change for the state or voting for the democratic option who reminded me of Rod Blagojevich that makes my skin crawl.
Tuesday: Day One
The day of the vote I kinda just said fuck it all. I can’t vote for any of these fools. Why does it always seem like we have to choose between two evils? With that said, I decided not to vote.
Yeah, I said I decided not to vote.
OK, so now, I’m leaving work headed home and I get near my polling place and did an about face and decided to vote.
I guess karma was on my side because the location was not super busy and I got a parking space right at the door.
As I’m getting out my car, I was approached by a man passing out literature for candidates that he was supporting. Then he took it a step further and said let’s get Virg Bernero (the democrat) in the governor’s office. I explained that there was no way that I was going to vote for him.
After I made my statement, his tone changed and he started acting like he was my real daddy or something breaking down how republicans are not for us, the greater good of Negro people, how he would be better for business blah blah blah!
Then he went on to tell me that he owns a liquor store and funeral home. I was like really? Then I asked if he laid to rest any of his alcoholic customers from his store. I was just being an asshole…
Minutes later, I’m in line to vote.
I hand over my ID and the person looks me up then she hands me my voter application to get my ballot.
I then move to the ballot line, which is where John Barr and I 1st made contact.
I approach John with my ID and voter application in hand and greeted him with a hello. He extends his hands to take my information and reciprocates my greeting.
As he was looking me up, he asked “how is your gangsta’ rap group going?” Taken aback, I said excuse me. He then repeated the question looking me dead in my eyes. I then asked John what made him think that I was in a gangsta’ rap group. He exclaimed “everyone with hair like that is a gangsta rapper!”
At this point, I shouted back “are you racially profiling me as I attempt to vote? Are you serious? Do you really mean to intimidate me at the voting poll in the year 2010?”
All I got back from my line of questioning was a dumb ass blank stare that only an imbecile could give.
I then demanded to see someone in charge!!!
Moments later, a very sweet woman approached me and I explained what happened. All the while she was in utter shock. At the end of my rant, she asked me to not leave so that she could process me personally as she dismissed John.
As she handed me a ballot, she requested that I not leave so that she could get me in touch with the township clerk.
So I now have my ballot and I’m in the booth PISSED off.
As I stated before, I was going to vote for the republican gubernatorial candidate but then I started having civil rights flashbacks and said fuck that, I can’t go that way.
After the ballot was completed, I handed it back to the sweet lady (she had be to in her 70s). She thanked me for my patience and told me that the township clerk; Karen Lovejoy Roe was waiting to see me at her nearby office.
As I was leaving, I spotted John pacing back and forth. I wanted to cuss him out but I kept it moving.
Now I’m at the clerk’s office and Karen walks right up to me, introduces herself and apologizes profusely as we walked to her office.
As we talked her office, I gave my accounting of events and she listened in disbelief. After I was done, she informed me that she spoke with John and he was like yeah, I said it. Then it went a step further by him telling her that I obviously wasn’t in management because people in management don’t look like me.
Really bitch? Are you serious?
I’m just done at this point….. I stayed composed although pissed off and was like so now what.
Karen informed me that she needed to call the state elections board to see what her next move should be and that she would be in touch to keep me posted.
She then explained that this has never happened before and assured me that John would never work for her again.
So as we wrap, she makes a pitch to recruit me as a poll worker and gives me two applications. She then stated that she always needs qualified poll workers who are computer savvy.
I took the applications but in the front, back and middle of my mind, I’m like are you serious. I was just assaulted/insulted and you’re trying to recruit me. Ummmm, no boo.
Wednesday – Next Day:
I get to my day job and tell a co-worker what jumped off and she was like you need to contact the NAACP with the quickness. Before she mentioned the antiquated group I was wondered what else I needed to do.
So now it’s 930am and I call my local office and I got no answer. I then call another nearby office and got no answer. I then call then the Detroit office and got no answer.
I kept called all three offices for the next 4 hours and got NO ANSWER, just a raggedy voicemail.
On my last try at the Detroit office, I finally got someone and explained my issue. The young man requested that I hold the line………. After holding briefly, I was transferred to a voicemail box. Great another roadblock. This time I decide to leave a message.
Thursday – Two Days Later:
I get a status update from Karen telling me that she is still waiting to hear back from the state about the issue and that she would get back with me ASAP. I appreciated her call.
And still no response from the NAACP
Friday – Three Days Later:
No follow up from Karen Lovejoy Roe at all. I’m disappointed. It has been 3 days…
Still no response from the NAACP and I again made repeated calls that all went unanswered.
At this point, I’m disappointed that I have not heard back from Karen but I’m pissed the fuck off over not hearing from the NAACP.
To deal with my pissed offness, I call the state bureau of elections my damn self. Wound up talking to some guy who told me that I could send in a complaint letter or send an email detailing my experience. He then stated that if I wanted a response back that I needed to indicate that in my correspondence.
Really? I have to tell you that I want a response back? No, really? Shouldn’t you just fucking respond?
I hung up the phone frustrated and turned off.
Lastly, I posted this on the NAACP’s Facebook Page:
“I’ve been upset over the fact that I was racially profiled and intimidated at my polling location this past Tuesday by a poll worker. My frustration has been compounded after I called three local Detroit area NAACP offices whom all failed to return my call after leaving a message. Additionally, I have not been able to reach anyone in an office as the phones ring continually. This cannot be how you conduct business in 2010…”
I feel like I have no advocate, no attention etc. Just not cool!
Next election, I’m voting absentee.
For the record:
- Yeah, John did smile from me when I took the photo.
- I called the ACLU & Urban League & they were not into my issue.
I’m just saying; Fashion & diversity do not go hand in hand. Let’s not fool ourselves.
This is larger than Black models being in low representation. You see very few to other racial groups represented in magazines or on covers.
My other observation at Fashion Week was the very diverse crowd of press and show attendees. You had people from across the globe; men, women, Black/Brown, White, Yellow, gay, straight, little people, gender benders, mutha fuckas, other??? etc. Then you get into some shows and there was a total lack of diversity. Totally!
I guess I’m saying that this is not a black & white issue, it’s an overall lack of diversity & if there is going to be a conversation, it should center around that & not one group.
In fall 2007, WWD and The New York Times published pieces about the absence of black models on the fashion runways. We did our own tally of black models in fashion magazines, and came up with some shocking statistics.
At the time, we were counting black models in fashion editorials — not ads, not beauty spreads — but fashion shoots in the coveted feature well.
Here’s how many black models we found in the October 2007 issues:
Marie Claire: 1, starring solo in a 6-page fashion editorial
W: 1, appearing on 1 page of a 20-page fashion editorial
Harper’s Bazaar: 0
Have things changed, three years later? Yes and no. When looking at the September issues — September being the most important issue of the year for fashion-oriented magazines — we found that a few publications actually used black models in multi-page spreads in the feature well. Others? Not one black model got her own shoot.
New York Magazine/Fashion – Aug 30, 2010
Black Models Make Weak Showing in September Fashion Magazines
By: Amy Odell
Halle Berry is on the cover of September’s Vogue, and poses for a solo spread inside the magazine, but she’s not a model, she’s an actress. Black models appeared with greater frequency in this year’s September issues than they did in magazines a couple of years ago. But according to Jezebel, which tallied the number of black models appearing in this year’s major American September editorial features, most still aren’t landing solo editorials. Vogue cast black models for multi-model editorials, but none for her own spread. Meanwhile Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, Lucky, and Marie Claire cast no black models for September editorials.
This past weekend, I visited New York’s Museum of Modern Art & fell in love in the photography gallery. I always fall in love in their portrait gallery so this is really no new news!
What made me fall during my most recent visit was Carrie Mae Weems’ “From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried” presentation.
The presentation consisted of several familiar photos of Negros from US slavery & Africa’s past colored & overlaid with very powerful poetic words.
I stared intensely at these photos & all I could say was WOW, WOW, WOW!
The display seems almost out of place and by this, I mean that I could stand in a room all alone.
When I got home, I, of course I Googled her name & did her resume & was intrigued a) by her procurement of the photos from the Getty & b) her creative process in assembling one cohesive piece.
“I was trying to look at the history of photography and the way in which African Americans had been particularly depicted and inscribed through and in American photography. I used images that were preexisting, and my intervention was to re-inscribe them by making them all consistent, in terms of size and scale and format and adding the use of color so that, for instance, I used the color red to annunciate the image. I wanted to use oval or circular mats because I wanted to have that sense of looking through the photographic lens, which is a round surface…”
I was also quite amazed to learn that the photo presented above sold at Christie’s (auction house) for a cool $25,200. Wow!
You can see the entire display of “From Here I Saw What Happened And Cried” here.
I love discovering Black photo heroes!