For Colored Girls who Considered Homicide When Patricarchy was Enough

These days and times are trife for Black women. You will rarely hear
me speak from the stance of victim-hood
, as i try my hardest to keep
agency on mines.

My rationale is that as long as you are reactionary, someone else
will always be setting your agenda and you will not gain any sustainable
traction.

However the skin issues, sexual access issues have been on
my bird lately.
The sexual access issues arose at the Spinna
Party on Saturday. I was standing with Filthy near the bar
debating how
long it is going to take Spinna to play Shook Ones or Who Got
the Props.
There were two clusters of white women there. In each group
there was one women wearing a veil.
They were toasted.
Light-weight Girls Gone Wild toasted.

For the past six or seven years, New York City clubs have been making
extra cake by throwing bachelor/ette parties earlier in the
evening from 8-11pm with the regular party running from 11-3am.
However there tends to be carry over, which is what I think happened
Saturday. My homie K-boogie confirmed this later that night as she
went to a bachelor party at the same spot last week.

So, I am standing there, minding my own business and a woman walks
by me to order a drink. She apparently was a bachelor/ette party
attendee, stripper or
both. Either way she was lit, blond, and hootered out.

The first time she passed me she complemented my earrings.
(My earing game is mean.)

Second time she rubbed passed.

The third time, I was leaning over talking to Filth, so his ear
was toward me, and she kissed me near my other ear. I was Frozen like a Robot.

Then she turned to me and said something inaudible.

Filthy caught on and was like awwwww sh*t. Here we go.
What went through my mind both how patriarchal that shit is and
how the club
is a space for people to try and do what they think
about doing in the streets. I was reminded of a post that I came
across when I wrote the Mobb Deep and Patriarchy piece I wrote a month ago.
The piece is titled Dance Floor Studies Feminism and Booty Base.
The comment by Benjamin Mako Hill caught my attention
because he articulated the notion of sexual access and the role that the
club plays. He writes,

Booty bass is not just playing around with the idea of the dance floor being highly sexualized. In practice, it?s about serving the sex market and all about glamorizing and making palatable, laughable, and perhaps even justifiable everything that happens in that market.

Sometimes it?s not just about making fun of, toying with, or hinting at sexual domination in a safe context like the dancefloor but about creating, quite literally, a soundtrack for the real thing.

Back to what was running in my head. That good old fight or flight.
I didn’t want no war with her. The Oakland in me says put my elbow in her throat.
The Martin in me know that this will solve nothing. That I will be charged with
assault and battery. It just gets real tiring to be constantly defending your body
and your space against strangers, against both men and women, who presume
that they have access to your body.
I don’t know where she as been and I
am paranoid. Herpes is the package that keeps on giving, don’t touch me.
1 in 4 people in New York city has it. Don’t touch me.

I asked him why did she do that? He responded simply , “Patriarchy”.
She probably thinks that its cute and she enjoy’s being the aggressor.

I responded saying, “if that was a dude, I wouldn’t have though
twice about turning his skin purple or shoving him off of me, and
letting it do what it do”. The woman played off her femininity and
the likelihood that she would get away with it, because she was
a woman and not a man. Alcohol played a role as well.

Then I thought, why should I give her a pass? Its the behavior,
not the gender that matters.

She is just as bad as the Black men on the street that treat
me like property.

Bringing bell hooks to the Spinna party is not what the streets
wanted.

Which brings me to the skin issues. Last night I listened to Phonte’s
podcast
and he has a segment called the Light Bright
list. What he meant was “Light Bright and Damn Near White” as my
momma would say. The Light Bright list is a list of light skinned Black women
that he finds attractive. In the podcast he went down the line naming the
greatest light skinned Black women ever, Lena Horn, Jennifer Beals, etc.

I am yellowish-red, and more copper in the summer time. As you will see
in the video above that skin color shit is no joke for Black people. Especially
the children. The whole time I am listening to Phonte, I am thinking about
the little black girl, at 4:30sec, who said that the black doll is the ugly doll,
then when asked which doll does she look like, she hesitates, and
reluctantly choose the black one.

That shit was heart breaking.

While I haven’t recovered from the “black doll is ugly” and the “light bright
list” the Michelle Obama ain’t feminine shit came to my attention. Recently,
feminist were in arms over Hillary being portrayed as a “ball buster”,
“masculine” and un-lady like.

It wasn’t clear to me how this related to Michelle, so I asked Filthy
why. He responded saying that, Hillary was being called masculine,
and the feminists came to her defense.

So the question is where is the defense of Michelle Obama
when the same criticism are being lodged at her?

I immediately thought of Phonte’s list and the video with the inference
being drawn from that dark equals ugly, and presumably
unfeminine.

Can you imagine the kind of Black Girl Fatigue this shit produces?

The skin issues, the sexual access issues are enough to make a
Black Girl Consider Homicide when Patriarchy is Enough.

Violence and the 2008 Presidential Race


There are two stories that I have arisen in the past two days
that have me thinking about violence in the
presidential election.
The first is the story related to the
above image of Michelle Obama. It
was allegedly created by an
Obama supporter who is apparently completely
ignorant of
the legacy slavery, lynching for African Americans.

Professor Kim
wrote an informative piece on it. This quote sums
up my perspective on the the image,

Two final layers. This image flips and merges two of the most emblematic images in our tragic racial history: the black (usually) male victim suffering unjustly at the hands of white racists, and the fragile woman (historically white) being violated by brutish (black, and often imaginary) men. In a provocative 2001 book, Playing the Race Card: Melodramas of Black and White From Uncle Tom to OJ Simpson, UC Berkely professor Linda Williams argued that racial melodrama sets the terms of our debates over equality. What we may be witnessing in part, is just how poorly those terms fit our current situation.

Last thing. As I pondered the image, I thought about Sen. Obama’s recent call for an end to the attacks on his wife. Bowling Green Daily News columnist Kathleen Parker derided his comments, along with his recent gaffe when he called a woman reporter “sweetie.” But look at that image again, and think of another historical echo. During and after slavery and Jim Crow, black women were routinely sexually violated by white men — and their husbands, fathers and other family members were powerless to defend them.

On another note, there is something about the notion of “defending them”
that strikes me as being uber patriarchal. I think I would reframe it as
“no way of seeking justice” instead.


I was also reminded of violence when I heard Hillary Clinton’s
statement that she is she is staying in the race because her
husband didn’t win California until June, and that Bobby Kennedy was
assassinated in June. On its face, it seems to be a careless comment,
but then again, Bobby was a young senator who was assassinated.
Obama is a young senator as well.
Given this countries history of violence, what does the fact that she
said
this intentionally or unintentionally say about her?
Was she tired? Is the statement in exusable even if she is tired?
I immediately thought, If she is insensitive enough to say this, if she is lacking
in judgment to the extent that these words could come out of her mouth,
we are left to infer, what else is she capable of saying and doing?

Don’t get me wrong, last year,in March of 2007 I mentioned how
Obama may be great, but the prospect of him being murdered makes
his viability questionable. I now realize that this reactionary thinking
that has no place in what he is trying to accomplish for if fear was the
determining factor, MLK would have been just another Cadillac driving,
Negro preacher tauting prosperity gospel.

Hillary has apologized, but has the damage been done?
How does one view her apology?

Benny McIntyre ain’t Voting for No Black Man.


Class mobility is mind boggling. I remember being in high
school
and Jua’s momma told us that once we graduated
from college “that where we come from is going to be irrelevant to
people
“. I understood this to mean that people would look at our clothing
and the way that we spoke and come to their own conclusions
about which
box to place us in.

Implicit in her moms statement was that school would sanitize us.
On one hand, we would have access to opportunities that our
parents didn’t, on the other hand our backgrounds would become
murkey, and perhaps non existent and that it would be up to us
to reconcile that.

This is a lot to ask a teenager to navigate but young people do it
everyday.

This conversation came to mind while reading about Hillary’s new
working class identity. Jodi Kantor writes in The Times,

Whatever the results of the primaries on Tuesday in Indiana and North Carolina, Mrs. Clinton has accomplished the seemingly impossible in those states. Somehow, a woman who has not regularly filled her own gasoline tank in well over a decade, who with her husband made $109 million in the last eight years and who vacations with Oscar de la Renta, has transformed herself into a working-class hero.

In promoting herself as a champion of ordinary Americans in a troubled economy, Mrs. Clinton has also tried to cast her rival, Senator Barack Obama, as an out-of-touch elitist. She has made her case at all the right stops (an auto-racing hall of fame) and used all the right props (lately delivering speeches from pickup beds).

It’s amazing. Her husband is single handedly responsible for ensuring
the acceleration of wealth distribution outsourcing.
Read about it here, here and here.

If a $28 an hour job is moved to Mexico, and now pays $3, who is
pocketing the difference? Why do we continue to buy from companies that
move our jobs to other countries, pocket the difference and then
TURN AROUND and STILL attempt to sell us their goods.

This behavior makes the d-boys look like girl scouts.

Never thought I would say that in public.

Paul Rockwell lays out the evidence of Hillary’s dual
positions on outsourcing,

Siddharth Srivastava reported in Asia Times, March 1st, 2005: “Hillary Clinton made it apparent where she stood on outsourcing during her India visit…Hillary has been at the forefront in defending free trade and outsourcing. She faced considerable flak for defending Indian software giant Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) for opening a center in Buffalo, New York.” (TCS provided hundreds of special visas for foreign employees to work in New York for substandard, non-union wages.) She praised Clinton’s “strict adherence to the principles of free trade and outsourcing that affect India directly.”

Outsourcing is inherent to global free trade, the attempt of corporate goliaths to move resources, jobs, money, capital in search of profits anywhere in the world without accountability.

Clinton’s globalization speech in India would hardly be noteworthy today, except that, in her current campaign for the nomination, she is saying exactly the opposite of what she said in India. She was a globalizer in India. Now she’s a protectionist in Pennsylvania, and voters have a right to ask: Which is the real Hillary Clinton?

Not only are Hillary’s working class roots showing, but some
of her supporters are actually speaking honestly about
their unwillingness to vote for Obama, if he is nominated.
In an article in the Christian Science Monitor a voter came RIGHT OUT
and said that if Hillary wasn’t the nominee that he wasn’t going
to vote at all. Talk about party solidarity. Alexandra Marks writes,

Benny McIntyre represents Hillary Rodham Clinton’s strength and Barack Obama’s challenge here in the Tar Heel State.

Sporting a Democratic donkey on his baseball cap and wearing wraparound sunglasses, this white, retired factory worker came to the train depot in Salisbury, N.C., this week to show support for Senator Clinton. As for Senator Obama, Mr. McIntyre says he’s got “nothing against him, he’s a good man.” But if Obama is the Democratic nominee, come November McIntyre may just stay home “for the first time in 40 years” ? even if that means four more years of GOP rule.

“That’s just the way I feel, I guess,” he says.

McIntyre represents a pivotal Southern constituency for Democrats: the white working class.

My question is, if he has nothing against, Obama, then why
not vote for him?
What is implicit in that quote is that Obama
is a good man, but McIntyre
ain’t voting for a Black man.

As the election gets tighter are folks going to become more
honest about their politics?

Thank You Hillary, for Having a Spine

The personal is political.

When I was a teenager, I introduced Marian Wright Edelman at
a conference. She is an Advocate with a capital A, and i
t was an honor.

Imagine my surprise when I learned that Edelman gave

Hillary her first job out of college and Hillary turned around
and fiddled while Bill signed the welfare “reform” bill that
has singled handedly insured the poverty of an entire
generation of children. Peter Goodman writes in The Times,

Marian Wright Edelman, the founder of Children?s Defense Fund, an activist group that had given Mrs. Clinton her first job, blasted the Clintons as betraying the poor, opening a rift that Mrs. Clinton called ?sad and painful.? Mrs. Edelman?s husband, Peter, quit his administration post.

Pete Edelman, Marians husband, resigned as Bill’s assistant
secretary of Health and Human services in protest against
Clinton’s Welfare reform.

?If there is no national controversy about welfare reform, we paid an awfully high price,? said Peter Edelman, a law professor at Georgetown University who has known Mrs. Clinton since her college days, and who quit his post as assistant secretary of social services at the Department of Health and Human Services in protest after Mr. Clinton signed the measure.

?They don?t acknowledge the number of people who were hurt,? Mr. Edelman said. ?It?s just not in their lens. It was predictably bad public policy.?

This single handedly is one of the most horrible aspects
of his presidential career.

How can a person call themselves progressive when
they stood
on the backs of poor children?

I will ask again.

How can a person call themselves progressive when
they stood
on the backs of poor children?

In many ways, Mrs. Clinton has sought to moderate her liberal image since leaving the White House. But on welfare, she has faced the opposite problem: accusations from some liberals that she sold out their principles for a politically calculated centrism.

In the interview, conducted last month, Mrs. Clinton said she had followed through on her promise to address what she viewed as shortcomings in the welfare law after being elected to the Senate in 2000. She said she had pressed for legislation that would have increased financing for child care for poor mothers by up to $11 billion, seeking to expand food stamps, and allowing welfare recipients to draw cash aid while attending school.

Those provisions were blocked by the Republican leadership.

The question was, did she want to be an advocate,
or did she want to
be president?

Many welfare advocates dispute Mrs. Clinton?s characterization. Since entering the Senate, they say, she has shown a predilection for compromise at the expense of the poor.

When the overhaul bill came up for reauthorization, Sandra Chapin, a former welfare recipient affiliated with a coalition called Welfare Made a Difference, lobbied Congress to allow more women to attend college while they received aid. Mrs. Clinton ?wouldn?t have anything to do with it,? Ms. Chapin said.

Ms. Chapin, now program director of the Consumer Federation of California, posted an e-mail message to a discussion board in February accusing Mrs. Clinton of having ?had a hand in devaluing motherwork in this country, and no doubt sending thousands of children and their families deeper into poverty.?

Do you know HOW MANY families would be positively
impacted by allowing
parents to receive Public Assistance
while they are enrolled in school?

We don’t know if we want mothers to go to school or go
to work. The bottom line is that the need support
if they are going to do either.

Have you ever thought about how with public
assistance mommas
its, “your lazy, go to work, you
aren’t supporting your family”. However, with middle class
and affluent mommas its, “stay home, your kid is failing in
school because you work too much outside the home”.

How about support for all families?

How about this factoid?
The number of poor single mothers, who are neither
receiving public assistance or
are currently working
had surged to 30% by 2005.

In the years that followed, the number of those on welfare rolls plummeted by more than 60 percent. A study last year by the Congressional Budget Office found that from 1991 to 2005, poor families with children saw their inflation-adjusted incomes climb by 35 percent, as employment climbed.

In recent years, however, low-skilled women have struggled. The percentage of poor single mothers neither working nor drawing cash assistance surged from under 20 percent before the welfare overhaul to more than 30 percent in 2005, according to the Congressional Research Service. During the same period, the number of children in poverty rose to 12.8 million from 11.6 million, according to census data.

From 11.6 million to 12.8 million, thank you Hillary, for having a spine.

At least Lady Bird Johnson lobbied for the creation of head start.

Saying Sexism is Worse than Racism is Like Saying Chattel Slavery is Worse than the Holocaust


I will never forget being in undergrad when we were
reading Beloved.

Someone began drawing a parallel
between Chattel Slavery and the Holocaust.

Our professor responded cautioning us against making
that comparison saying
that the risk in comparing my
unjust pain
to your unjust pain only serves to undermine
what
both groups of people suffered.

She went on to emphasize that ultimately, this line of
thinking isn’t productive. I have been thinking of this
incident every sense I saw droves of white women and
Black women with Hillary ’08 t-shirts on Election day.
I thought, it’s one thing to vote for her
its another to be running around with the T-shirt on.

I soon rethought that standpoint.

I am a news junkie, so I have been following the media’s
coverage of how the public is viewing this election.

I don’t think as a woman that I should be expected to vote for
Hillary, or that as a Black person, I should be expected
to vote for Obama.

That entire line of thinking is racist because white
people
are never questioned on whether they are
going to vote for one candidate or the other because
they are WHITE like said candidate.

Maureen O’Dowd wrote recently asked the question, who is
the bigger boogie man, Racism or Sexism. Personally, I
collapse the two, which makes for easy and interesting
conversations.

Elaine Sirkis, 77, an Obama supporter, confided that
she just isn?t sure she?s ready for a woman president
.
Betty Conway, 83, a Hillary supporter, confided that
she just isn?t sure she?s ready for a black president
.

As Conway walked away, Sirkis smiled sheepishly. ?I?m sorry,? she told Berman sweetly about her friend. ?She?s a bigot.?

We?re not just in the most vertiginous election of our lives. We?re in another national seminar on gender and race that is teaching us about who we are as we figure out what we want America to be.

It?s not yet clear which prejudice will infect the presidential contest more ? misogyny or racism.

Nowhere in this article is that fact that the ism’s tend
to travel in package, intertwined and codependent.

My issues with Hillary largely stem from the fact that
she made a Faustian deal in tolerating her husbands philandering
in exchange for a chance at the white house.
I understand that all politicians make deals, and this was hers.
I also understand that we all have our demons, yours truly
included,
so I hesitate to point a finger at her, without turning
a mirror on myself. That being said, it was truly out of pocket to hear
this horrible joke repeated in O’Dowds column about her.

The joke goes: ?Obama is just creaming Hillary. You know, all these primaries, you know. And Hillary says it?s not fair, because they?re being held in February, and February is Black History Month. And unfortunately for Hillary, there?s no White Bitch Month.?

The joke undermines what Obama has achieved, Black history
and how it has historically been marginalized in this country
and IT is is downright hostile and verbally violent
towards Hillary.


It reminded me of an incident a month ago, where a white
person made a comment to me about
“those butch looking women” that she see’s in the hallway.

I responded, poker faced and changed the subject
as it was neither the time or place to say something.

I did make a mental note to view the person as someone
who wouldn’t be beyond calling me that black b-tch when
I wasn’t around.

My rationale is that if you talk about one group
then it is likely that you will talk about another.

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How do you deal with people when they casually
say outta pocket shit about brown folks?

Haitians? Lesbians? Country Folks? Black men? Hillary? Obama?

Model minorities in general?

Why do people like to have “who has it worse” discussions?

Its as if the election has unleashed folks willingness
to say sh-t that they would normally leave in the
privacy of
their homes.

So much for “Post Racial America”.

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