Skip to main content

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 that meant “more angry.” I know my first inclination when I heard that Representative Lewis, who had literally taken blows in Selma to march for the freedoms I enjoy, had been called the N-word and spat on, was to take up arms. I wanted to show those protesters that I wasn’t part of the non-violent Dr. King civil rights generation, but the “by any means necessary” pre-Hajj Malcolm X generation. And that I wasn’t alone.

And that’s exactly what they would have wanted – that Lewis, Cleaver, and even President Obama – lose focus. That they give power to that most offensive word at the expense of representative democracy and social justice.

So I took my cue from the President. And when the House vote hit 216 Sunday night, I quietly rejoiced and realized that had the President and Representatives Lewis and Cleaver given those racial epithets the power that those who used them thought they had, we might not be talking about a health care victory today, but what could have been had we chilled and remained focused.

I guess that is the first rule of Sensei Obama’s Chill Dojo: Chill and remain focused.



Popular posts from this blog

When You Leave The Ghetto, Don't Bring It With You

NBA player Gilbert Arenas brings a gun to an NBA locker room. NBA player Ron Artest lets his pit bulls run wild and free in Loomis, California while playing for the Sacramento Kings. NFL player Michael Vick did time for fighting dogs. And NFL player Plaxico Burress is doing time for shooting his damn self.

What do all these men have in common? BMNB would say an inability to make a profound paradigm shift. I’m less eloquent than BMNB is, so I’ll say it differently: The inability to leave the ghetto behind.

Yes, call me saditty, bourgie, elitist, stuck-up, whatever. I don’t care. Until you’ve had a tweaker ruin your Thanksgiving turkey, you don’t even know (more on that later), and I’m not trying to hear you.

Living in Western Placer County, my husband and I continue to hear stories from folks like us who had to flee “those who can’t leave the ghetto behind.” You know these people, and they come in all races. In our case, we had returned to Sacramento in 2004 and 2005, respective…

Hillary Clinton Can Stop Trump -- If She Releases Her Electors

Hillary Clinton isn't going to be President of the United States.  At least not yet.  And not in 2017.

But she can possibly stop Donald Trump from being President by releasing her pledged electors  in the Electoral College to vote for a compromise Republican candidate.

This is part of the strategy of the Hamilton Electors, members of the Electoral College who see that Donald Trump is not qualified to be President.  They argue that the Electoral College's role is not to rubber-stamp the popular vote -- which, in this case, would belong to Clinton -- but to serve as a check on the popular vote to make sure that no one who is unfit assumes the office of President.

According to the Hamilton Electors, named for Founding Father Alexander Hamilton (Yes, he of the very popular musical for which I can't get tickets) Hamilton stated that the Electoral College's test for fitness to be the President was as follows (and I'm quoting):

Election of a Qualified Person: As Hamilton s…

Malia's Hair is Off Limits! So is Sasha's!

I read a snippet of a New York Times article in which there was criticism of the hairstyle Malia Obama wore to Italy. Twists, to be precise. Said twists were criticized as not befitting someone representing the United States abroad.

Hold up. Slow your roll, America. You don't get a say in this. Neither Malia nor Sasha "chose" to represent the United States in any way, shape, or form. And their hair, and how they wear it, is off limits. Back the eff off.

I was hotter than a hornet reading this. The whole black woman's hair thing? That's personal with me. We black women have more than enough issues and neuroses about our hair and how we wear it. It is not open to debate within wider circles, especially when there's a child involved. The choices we have, other than wearing our hair in its natural state in twists, dreads, braids, cornrows or afros, are painful -- chemical relaxers, also called "creamy crack," and searing hot straightening combs. If Malia …