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Showing posts from December, 2011

My Garage Is a Metaphor for Me

As 2011 comes to a close, I'm happy and sad at the same time. Most of all, I'm filled with hope and optimism. Yes, hope and optimism, even in these trying times.

I'm happy about some of the political developments I've seen, political awakenings among the have-nots -- the Arab Spring, the Occupy Movement. I'm sad for the brilliant people we lost -- Professor Derrick Bell, Teena Marie, Heavy D, Amy Winehouse, Vesta. And I'm optimistic and filled with hope simply because of my garage.

My garage is a metaphor for me.

I started the process of cleaning out my garage back in August, and I didn't finish in time for winter as I had planned. In the process of going through over 30-plus years' worth of stuff, I came across old awards, grades, evaluations of me as a student and as a teacher, term papers, and columns I wrote when I was president of a minority bar association. One of my writing professors from a summer program I was in stated that I was a hard-working p…

Air Ignorance: Negroes, Please.

Air Ignorance: The mass hysteria or obsession that breaks out among broke or middle-class black folks whenever Nike releases a new pair of Michael Jordan athletic shoes.

I don't get it. I don't get the mass hysteria and obsession that breaks out among black folks, especially broke or middle-class black folks, whenever Nike releases a new pair of Michael Jordan athletic shoes, or re-releases said shoes, for that matter. (Here's a tip: If you had to catch a bus or walk to the mall to buy a pair of Air Jordans, you're broke. Save your money and buy a car instead.) I watched news footage from Houston on YouTube about a breakout of Air Ignorance at a mall featuring my people discussing the long wait in the cold to purchase the re-released Air Jordans, with one brother even kissing his newly purchased shoes. Supposedly a purchaser was robbed of his or her new Air Jordans at a bus stop.

Am I the only black person in America who is tired of being represented in the media by othe…

Dear Santa, Can We Cut A Deal?

Dear Santa,

I'm a lawyer. That means I basically grew up thinking just about anything was negotiable. I think this "naughty or nice" thing should be negotiable because, for one, your terms are vague, and two, whether my wishes are fulfilled shouldn't be an "either-or" proposition. Santa, behavior is way more complicated than that. We lawyers see shades of gray where other folks see only black or white, and we are highly compensated, unless we work for the State of California, for seeing those shades of gray. They're called "legal argument."

So Santa, think we can cut a deal on this whole "naughty or nice" thing?

First, some things need to be taken off the "naughty" table. Santa, what happens between two consenting married people in the privacy of their bedroom or other places with smooth surfaces shouldn't make the "naughty" list. BMNB didn't date me on and off for twenty years and then marry me just because …

The Devil Don't Celebrate Christmas

They could not have been more than twenty words, but those words, recirculated in a family email, caused hurt and anger to a member of my family.

After reading the words and writing my own indirect apology (I wasn't part of the email chain), I had to get up from my keyboard and remind myself that this is still Christmas and I still have a ton of work to do to get my house ready for the large family Christmas dinner BMNB and I will host. That I was to be an instrument of peace and joy this Christmas, to the best of my ability.

Those words also reminded me of a sermon at my husband's church that boiled down to this: Guard your peace. I don't know what it is about the holidays, but somehow evil people feel the need to let loose with whatever comes into their minds, no matter how evil and hurtful it is, as did the author of the email in question. And it reminded me of this:

The devil don't celebrate Christmas, and evil don't take no holidays.

In the midst of all our celebr…

My Family's Revolution: Credit, Budgets, Sou-Sou's, and Gentle Nudges

CAVEAT: The information provided below is not intended to provide legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. Please consult your attorney for legal advice.

Dear Gentle Readers,

I promised you a seat at the table of my family's revolution to become financially savvy, prosperous, and free. We held our second meeting of "Something to Think About: A Series of Family Talks," and, over Mexican food (Beef Enchiladas, Chili Chicken, Vegetarian Tamale Pie, Vegetarian Black Bean Soup) and white Sangria (Maso Canali pinot grigio, brandy, orange juice, sugar, triple sec, vanilla, citrus slices), we laughed and learned during our discussion of the first two modules of the Financial Literary section of the talks, which addressed credit and budgeting. I shared my bad credit stories (What do Oprah and I have in common? We both had our credit cards snatched and cut up by a cashier on orders of the issuer.), and we talked about changing our attitude towards credit -- it's a…

Why Big Daddy (Herman) Cain Should Lose: The Clinton Principle

If you believe the parade of sexual harassment claimants and one alleged mistress, GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain is a mack of epic proportions, a Big Daddy Cain. And clearly the only chocolate sister he has any love for is his wife, although if these claimants and alleged mistress are telling the truth, I would not want to be loved that way.

Even if these ladies are telling the truth, and I'm not saying they aren't, they aren't the reason why Herman Cain should lose the nomination.

I'd be the first to admit that Bill Clinton, unfaithful as he was, was far and away the smartest president we've had in a long time. Unless you were on welfare, life was pretty good under Clinton.

Bill Clinton is precisely why Herman Cain should lose. I would call this the Clinton Principle: As long as you do your job well, no one should care who you screw. But you better damn well do an exceedingly good job.

Herman Cain, in contrast, is incapable of doing the job of POTUS. Why? He&…