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Showing posts from March, 2010

Sensei Obama's Chill Dojo

At first, I was angry at the protesters who spat on Representative John Lewis and hurled racial epithets (not “epitaphs” as one reporter called them) at Lewis and Representative Emanuel Cleaver II. Seething, mind you. Then I was angry at Lewis and Cleaver for not commenting on the incidents. Then I was angry at President Obama for not calling the protesters on their racism.

And then I chilled.

Consider me a new student in President, or rather, Sensei Obama’s Chill Dojo.

I realized that, like President Obama and Representatives Lewis and Cleaver, I could not allow the N word to have the power over me that those who used it on Lewis and Cleaver wanted it to have. I, like President Obama, needed to focus not on the extraneous and the offensive, but the goal itself – enacting health care legislation.

I know my husband, Black Man Not Blogging (BMNB), has heard criticisms of President Obama at his barber shop to the effect that the President needs to be “more black” – and, in this case, I think…

Congress: Grow A Pair and Reform Health Care

I don't know how much more bluntly to put it: We need health care reform.

I know I get tired of this country always regressing to the mean for industrialized nations in terms of quality of life issues like health care, child care and the like -- for goodness' sake, Cuba has better access to health care AND a higher literacy rate than the U.S. For all the money that this economic engine of a nation generates, you'd think we'd do better than tiny Scandinavian countries in taking care of our own. But we don't.

Like Dennis Kucinich, I, too, was disappointed that the current health care bill doesn't do more. I wanted single payer, was willing to settle for a public option, but at this point, I'm not willing to let the perfect get in the way of the good, especially in a nation that ties access to health care to employment during a time of high unemployment. At this point in history, I'll take what I can get.

I know that many people think that the unemployed…

Splitting the U.S. of A: An Exercise in Stupidity

My sister, the Writing Diva, received this email from one of her right wingnut friends. It disturbed her deeply. I figured I’d take a shot at responding to it, as it was reportedly authored by a law student. Since I used to get paid to intellectually smack down cocky and uninformed law students, I thought this might be fun:


Of course you will.

American liberals, leftists, social progressives, socialists, Marxists and Obama supporters, et al:We have stuck together since the late 1950's, but the whole of this latest election process has made me realize that I want a divorce.... I know we tolerated each other for many years for the sake of future generations, but sadly, this relationship has run its course. Our two ideological sides of America cannot and will not ever agree on what is right so let's just end it on friendly…

Avatired of Racial (and other) Cliches

For starters, BMNB wants his money back. All $28 of it, not including what he spent on popcorn and soda (another $12.50).

You see, we went to see "Avatar" to see what the big deal was about. At the end, BMNB just shook his head and said, "I want my money back." I responded, "Hell, I want my time back. I can't get back the time I just wasted on this movie."

If you're just counting the visual effects, Avatar is a major accomplishment indeed, although I don't think the 3D glasses we paid for were necessary to fully appreciate it.

But if you went in hopes of an intelligent, compelling plot, you will have left, as BMNB and I did, feeling like you got jerked around. I was insulted.

Every tired-ass racial and film cliche you could think of was in there -- cowboys versus Indians, noble savages at one with the land versus the evil corporate raiders, the objective, frozen scientist who becomes an advocate for the subjects she's studying, the gung-h…

Beyond Madea and Mary Jones: My Hope

I can't begin to say how happy I was for Mo'Nique's Best Supporting Actress Oscar win, for the glowing tribute Oprah gave to Gabby Sidibe and the bright future she has, for Sandra Bullock winning for a role that had more depth than she's been able to show in a long, long time. I cheered for Katherine Bigelow and at the same time felt some sorrow that the first woman to win an Oscar for directing wasn't Barbra Streisand, who wasn't even nominated for "Yentl."

Once my euphoria died down, it hit me: Maybe Sandra and Katherine will be presented with a host of challenging projects and wonderful opportunities, but Gabby and Mo'Nique probably won't.

Although we don't have a plethora of black female Oscar winners -- Hattie McDaniel, Halle Berry, Whoopi Goldberg, Jennifer Hudson, and now Mo'Nique -- it seems that Hollywood just doesn't seem to know quite what to do with black female Oscar winners, or even black female Oscar nominees -- Ruby D…

What Now?

I don’t know if this message was meant for me or whether it was just included in the signature block of the person who sent me the email, but nonetheless it read:

“Think BIG! There are unseen forces ready to support your dreams.”

It couldn’t have come at a better time.

I don’t know what the career analog of being transgendered is, but whatever it is, I’m it. My job and my profession don’t really match who I am inside – a creative, witty, profane, arrogant, neurotic, fun woman of letters. For years I’ve tried to make myself fit into the legal profession, to keep myself attached to at the periphery, to tell myself that it’s not that I don’t like the practice of law, it’s just that I haven’t found the right practice area for me. That if I had gotten a position with the NAACP LDF or some similarly intriguing cutting-edge legal organization always fighting the good fight, I’d somehow fit into this profession.

That’s like Elton John thinking, “If only I could find the right woman, I’d be st…