Category: Black Women Empowerment



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I just got a brand spanking new royalty check from Amazon, which I’ve donated to Africare for Ebola relief. I’m challenging all my fellow interracial romance authors to donate as well. Come on ladies, do it for the sisters.

And for those of you who aren’t authors, make a donation to Africare through Gina’s link between now and midnight on October 3rd 2014 and get a FREE copy of any book from my backlist. Simply email me the receipt and tell me which one my books you want and in what format. Now come on, you can’t beat that one with a stick.

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As the primary caregivers during this epidemic women are more likely to be exposed to this disease. Gina McCauley of What About Our Daughters has started a fundraiser with Africare to purchase protective gear for those women. Imma need all y’all to do me a solid and help out our sisters in this time of crisis. Please give what you can, and thanks ever so much.

According to their site, a $25 donation will buy 200 exam gloves, $50 can purchase 5 isolation gowns, $100 purchases a complete set of personal protective equipment including a body suit, goggles, gloves and shoe/boot covers, $250 purchases 10 pairs of rubber boots and $500 purchases 5 cases of face masks and 10 boxes of sterile syringes and needles.

This is a post on Gina’s page directly from Africare explains in detail what an “unrestricted” donation means.

We completely understand that an unrestricted donation can feel, at times, like a bit of a risk for an individual. Currently, all unrestricted money raised is being directed to Ebola. What does that mean? It might mean direct cash contributions to families who have lost loved ones, and thus lost income which sustained an entire family. It might mean paying for gas for our staff in Liberia to deliver personal protective gear to healthcare workers in more remote locations. It might include equiping microphones and sound systems to trucks to blast messages to communities about ebola, educating them on methods of contraction and prevention. It might include working with local organizations to trace individuals who have come in contact with disease. As What About Our Daughters notes, unrestricted money allows our Liberian staff in Liberia to direct the funds to where the need is the greatest. We are audited every year, and 92 cents to every dollar, including unrestricted money, is allocated to projects. Please do check out our ebola page — http://www.africare.org/ebola, but also, our president’s message on how money is allocated http://bit.ly/1aaqpNC The rate has decreased slightly due to the cost of doing business, however, the premise is the same. Please feel free to contact us on twitter with any other questions! @africare

If you want your money to go only to Ebola specific items, please use this link and indicate you heard about it from Gina’s page where indicated.

http://www.africare.org/how-you-can-help/africare-ebola-outbreak-relief/

*Nov 06 - 00:05*

And I want to know why my life and horrific death is not worthy of media coverage. Being ex-military this story is particularly poignant to me. Five years ago four Marines raped and slaughtered a couple in San Diego, California, a major news market. What should make this story particularly newsworthy is that the couple killed was their senior officer and his wife. And given the brouhaha over the recent Cheerios commercial the fact that they were an interracial couple should have provided an even more interesting angle. There is much hue and cry about military rapes these days which should also have given the story legs. They were a young attractive couple. He a native of Poland who chose to serve this country in the Corps. She was actually writing thank you notes to the attendees at the wedding. This story is just brimming over with pathos. The type of stuff news organizations generally love. In fact this story had so many triggers that it should’ve been on a continuous loop on both Nancy Grace and Dateline. Yet, it was not and there are only two reasons: The victim was a black woman and the perpetrators were black men.

Instead there was absolute radio silence. The only place I’ve read about this case is on BWE blogs. It was an obvious hate crime whereby this couple was killed viciously and with malice aforethought for no other crime than being an interracial couple. I can understand why the prosecutor chose not to designate it so, but the news media failing to cover the story is chilling. Our deaths are not worthy of mentioning if the perpetrator is black and that’s got to change NOW. The media is complicit in their indifference and I want to know why.

Gina McCaulley of What About Our Daughters has declared Quiana Jenkins-Pietrezak Week on her blog whereby we will hold the news media accountable for this blackout. Do me a solid and follow up on her blog. The first step is to identify members of the media who routinely cover these type cases. We’ll be listing those  on Wednesday, then we will politely ask those reporters why they dropped the ball.

I’m hearing too many tragic tales about young women these days and it’s making my heart and soul just weep. The basic story is a young woman goes out with friends, has a little too much to drink and winds up hurt, or missing or dead. The latest one is a young woman in New Orleans by the name of Terrilyn Monette. Apparently she had too much to drink at a bar one night and went out to sleep it off in her car. Unfortunately, she’s never been heard from again. I’m sorry, but this story is just saturated in WTF!? She was drinking with FRIENDS and they let her go off ALONE at 4:00 a.m. to sleep it off  in a car. Are you kidding me? Are these friends are extras from Game of Thrones? As someone who has had far too much experience with all night bar crawls and being far more intoxicated than I should’ve been I can firmly say that the only reason I’m here typing this lesson today is because of my girlfriends. If Monette was so drunk the bartender had to cut her off, she was far too wasted to make ANY decisions about her safety. You don’t let your drunk friend go wandering off ANYWHERE by herself!  And if your friends would do such a thing, get some new friends! Don’t get me wrong. No one should be drinking to the point that they can’t get home under their own power. And we also know that it is a common occurrence. If you know you like to imbibe, have a plan in place to ensure your safety.

And I know you all are savvy enough to know not to take your liquor from anyone’s hand but the bartender’s, and never leave your drink on the table. One young lady I know almost died after someone slipped her a roofie. Her core body temperature went up to over 108 degrees. Were it not for fast medical intervention she would be deader than hell today. If your friend seems overly intoxicated after only a drink or two, get her to the hospital IMMEDIATELY. Some of these drugs out there today will not only incapacitate you, they can kill you. Remember, people are mixing this stuff up at home and in other unsupervised labs all over the world. Predators will slip it to you and then wait until you’re alone to drag you off somewhere. Yep, just like a lion isolating a wounded zebra. There is safety in numbers ladies. Don’t let some sicko get his hands on your friend that way.

I said much the same thing when Natalee Holloway disappeared. Her girlfriends let her leave a bar with three dudes she didn’t know. Seriously? I have actually almost come to blows with a guy who was trying to take my girl out of club when she’d had too much to drink. He said I was cockblocking. Ya think!? If my friend was sober and wanted to do something like that, I would have tried to talk her out of it, but that would be her business. But drunk? No way was that going to happen. In Holloway’s case they had chaperones there with them. Possibly the threat of calling one would have been enough to keep her from doing such a foolhardy thing. If your friend is drunk, insist on driving them home. If you too are drunk call a taxi. If a taxi is too expensive a friend or relative will do. If you can’t get her keys away, as a last resort call the cops. Yes, you can get a DUI even if you’re just sleeping behind the wheel of the car. Again, just the threat should be enough to deter someone, if not, follow through. Yes, the cost of a taxi will put a dent in your wallet, but better that than a MISSING poster.

Bottom line ladies, while you’re out having fun be careful out there. There are predators and only a fool goes swimming in a pool full of sharks wearing chum drawers. Make sure you have a GOOD wingman, and make sure YOU’RE a good wingman as well.

Colorism?

One of my friends posted this picture on Facebook. The headline speaks for itself, and when I look at this young woman I can’t help but think of Lil Kim, who went from being a pretty black girl to looking like a villain from a Batman movie. There are a million blogs covering this issue, but I don’t comment on other blogs these days, plus when I ask this auestion I get accused of being insensitive, even so, I haven’t seen anyone answer my question, What in the hell happened? I graduated high school in 1982 and yes, I had my romantic catastrophes, but never did it occur to me that my skin color was an issue. I’ve had many angst-plagued relationship discussions with friends of all hues and don’t recall one discussion about this. And lest you think I grew up in some progressive bubble, please recall I’m from North Alabama. Was I just totally blind and missed this, or did someone do a Vulcan mind meld on a helluva lot of colorecd folk? I’d especially like to hear from those of you who are closer to ny age. I’m starting to feel like I’ve awakened in Bizarro World.

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Men Aren’t Stupid. And Nine Other Free Lessons That Will Change Your Life!

Believe it or not, Ebony.com has a story on their site about convicted child molester Genarlow Wilson under the title “From Notorious to Glorious.” They also do quite a bit of obfuscation in that they claim that he was acquitted. No such thing ever happened. He was released early, but the Appellate Court refused to reverse his conviction. He was then, and still is today a convicted and CONFESSED child molester. Mr. Wilson is seen, on videotape, with a five other young men, running a train on a 15 year old. Further, he is seen, on videotape, having sex with an incapacitated, if not unconscious, 17 year old. But, actually, I’m not going to spend much time talking about Mr. Wilson today. Frankly this is much bigger than him, and despite his PR machine’s best efforts I am determined to let him fade into the ether much as he deserves.

I want to talk about the victims here. The victims that apparently Ebony.com never bothered to consider. In their celebration of Mr. Wilson’s “gloriousness” none of them took the time to wonder why he was acquitted of raping the older girl. Apparently, they’ve forgotten our history in this country whereas raping a black woman (girl) was not illegal and was done by both white and black men with impunity. This oversight is particularly shocking when you consider that much of the staff at Ebony.com is female. I find it troubling, but not unusual that the black community was once again so caught up in the alleged injustice to a black man that they totally overlooked the abhorrent miscarriage of justice the 17 year old girl in this case endured. Keeping in mind that just because he was acquitted doesn’t mean he’s not guilty. That this oversight was continued by a venerable magazine like Ebony literally turns my stomach. I often wonder about that girl, now woman. Where is she today? Did she see this article? How did she feel about the “glorification” of the man who is shown on tape using her unconscious form like a rag doll?

There is a tendency in the black community to dismiss men running trains on girls in a benign fashion. In fact, I suspect that many of the black men who’ve taken to twitter to dismiss these girls as “hos” were once train conductors themselves.

That was certainlytrue in the small Alabama town where I grew up too. Young men there habitually ran trains on girls from “low-class” families. Even one who was intellectually limited and still in leg braces from a childhood bout with polio. We were warned to “be careful,” but no one ever did anything about it. It was just how it was…until suddenly it wasn’t anymore. One Halloween night a group of guys snatched a twelve year old out trick or treating. The fact that they did this openly, in front of people that could identify them is telling. Only this girl wasn’t from a “trashy” family. The police were called and they went to prison. Would that girl have had to endure that trauma had our parents spoken up when this was going on?

And that’s why I look at you Ebony.com. Why are you complicit in this crime? You put a out a story claiming, despite the facts to the contrary that he “was never a child molester,” when in fact he was. Unless of course you don’t consider running a train on fifteen-year-old molestation. Never once do you question why he was acquitted of raping the seventeen-year-old given that the evidence was so clear.

Rape convictions are notoriously hard to win, which is why it’s so difficult to get a prosecutor to even pursue one. It’s bad enough that black women have to endure the fact that to many the rape of a black woman is still a non-crime. Now we have black women “glorifying” a convicted and confessed molester. What type effect do you think this is having on victims? Will prosecutors use it as an excuse not to pursue these cases? Will rapists use it as vindication of their crime, or even as a path to a full ride to Morehouse? After all, it worked for Wilson. Of course they will. You, like our parents over thirty years ago are complicit. You have blood on your hands Ebony.com, and like that girl from so long ago, I’ll never forget this. But unlike then, I’m no longer a child. I will not stand by while you throw black women and girls under a bus with impunity. At the bare minimum I will shine light on your perfidy. Again. And Again. I will never go away.

So another black male quasi-celebrity has taken it upon himself to spew some spiteful vitriol at black women. Yeah, I know, and water is wet. I won’t post the cartoon, though I will post a link over to What About Our Daughters where Gina has a post about it. Yeah Kevin Hart has joined the legions of black male celebrities who seek to gain credibility by denigrating black women. Let’s make him the last one, shall we? First, I’m not posting his cartoon because I’m sick of black women supporting this shit and being complicit in their own oppression. Stop giving shade to this crap. To that end I’m calling for black women to engage in a campaign of collective shunning. It seems that every site for black women have this compulsive need to collect these vomitous mouthings like Birkins at a two for one sale. If you see it linked somewhere, and you will, post something totally unrelated. Talk about your great mani pedi, or massage, I don’t care what it is just as long as it doesn’t pertain to men and relationships. Ask your friends to do the same. We employed this technique to great effect on Mindkandy’s site. Black male trolls would descend upon us en masse determined to “enlighten” us as to why they hated us and no other man would have us. Well the black women would engage these fools and chaos would ensue. Finally one day we decided to fill their posts with totally unrelated verbiage. They’d come flying back delighted to find twenty to thirty responses, only to discover to their horror a thread filled with comparisons of various brands of feminine hygiene products. It drove them crazy, but they left us alone. Then I want you to contact the blog/website owner and let them know how you feel about them promoting hate speech.

Now, it’s come to my attention that this piece of shit gentleman has a movie coming out based on that awful book that Steve Harvey stole wrote. I know no one who frequents this blog would be caught dead seeing such tripe so a boycott would be pointless. However, it’s come to my attention that the piece of shit gentleman is also a pitchman for Ford. (Yes, it’s not your imagination, I am rubbing my hands together with glee as I type this.) I’ve linked Ford’s consumer affairs email below. I want each of you to email them and tell them that you will never consider a Ford product as long as they have this misogynist asshat working for them. Then link the cartoon. Tell them you heard about it at What About Our Daughters an advocacy site for black women and girls. Remember, this is the only place you should distribute this cartoon, to Ford. Ask them why they’re paying someone who disseminates hate speech against black women. Collective shunning involves both not responding to what they say publicly, while steadily grinding away to make them disappear privately. It’s like synchronized swimming; beautiful and tranquil on the surface while underneath it’s a different story.

As women we control most of the money and all of the oh my goodness in this country. It’s past time we act like it.

Ford Public Affairs

Truth Telling

Black women have a longstanding tradition whereas we say something really awful about someone, then justify doing so by saying, “I was just telling her the truth.” White southern women do something similar, only their amelioration is done with an insincere “bless her heart.” By calling it truth telling we wrap these daggers we throw in self-righteousness. After all, what could possibly be wrong with telling the truth? Essentially, they let us throw a rock and hide our hand. In other words, it is  the exact opposite of honesty. Because here’s the thing, I guarantee that nobody needs to be told anything negative about themselves. They. Already. Know. We live in a culture where we are trained nearly from birth to find fault with ourselves. After all, fixing yourself is big business, and America is all about business. Don’t believe me? Then try this experiment with your friends. Ask them to make a list of positive attributes about themselves and a second list of negative attributes. I guarantee the negative list will be significantly longer.

See when it’s all said and done, so-called truth telling is not for the benefit of the tellee. How could it be? You’re essentially taking coals to Newcastle. No, truth telling is about the teller. It’s a put down. How do I know this is true? Simple. How many times have you heard someone claim they’ve just “told the truth” about something positive? I’m nearly fifty years old and I’ve never heard it. Are you telling me that all these so-called “honest” people never have anything positive to say in all their truth telling? Of course they don’t.

As black women we live in a culture that is constantly throwing brickbats our way. We’ve heard all the slams time and again, we certainly don’t need to direct them at each other. We are so rarely treated with kindness and tenderness that it’s hard to find any for one another, but it’s past time that we try. The next time you feel the urge to do some “truth telling” dig deep and decide what your motives are. Are you really trying to benefit the other person? If you are, reconsider. Would it not be better to offer that person loving kindness and support? How about doing some positive truth telling? Certainly it would have a greater effect. The receiver will probably be so shocked she might choose to change the behavior you find so troubling in the first place. Because that’s how we enact change–through love. And, if nothing else, you won’t be contributing to the pile on that so many of us deal with every day. As black women we hear so much harshness and downright hate directed toward us that many of us have grown immune to it. We don’t even hear it anymore, and actually that’s a good thing. But love and support? That’s like the warm sun on a chilly morning. A welcome surprise. Try telling other black women that you love them. Talk to and about them with love, compassion and consideration. I make a point of complimenting all the black women I see, most respond with surprise, and then a warm smile. It’s my hope that they will do the same with other black women they encounter, but even if they don’t, at the very least I’ve added a bit of kindness to another woman’s day. Try it and see if it doesn’t feel better and is far more effective than so-called truth telling.

Do You Get Excited?

All this talk about Beharie and Fassbender leads me to another question. As I noted, the interracial-sphere was all a-twitter over the news that they’re dating. Which begs the question, why? Maybe I’m just a cantankerous old coot, and I know I’m seriously jaded when it comes to celebrities, but I don’t care one way or another who is sthupping whom. Do you think it’s the validation issue? One blogger mentioned “normalization of IRs” and that sent my blood pressure into the stratosphere. My marriage IS normal. There’s nothing special or unique about it and it doesn’t need “normalization.”

I think sometimes that the interracial-sphere serves to do the exact opposite of it’s stated goals, which is presumably to encourage black women to mate/date out. It seems to me that all this obsessive navel gazing has actually led to the otherization of interracial relationships. We’ve developed a separate lingo, most of which annoy the pig crap out of me: swirling, rainbows, playing in the snow. I resent this effort to make my marriage sound like some novelty you find in a head shop. And this veritable alphabet soup of acronyms is frankly, just stupid. DBRPABINXSBBQ! I guess because I’m a professional wordsmith/communicator I take issue with anything that makes language more obscure. This constant litany and rhapsodizing every time a famous white male looks at a black woman looks both desperate and pathetic. Seriously? Are we that thirsty? Do we really need untold numbers of bloggers reporting on the bedroom activities of countless celebrities like NORAD tracking missiles? Am I the only one who finds this more than a bit disturbing?

Essentially we’ve taken what is after all a pretty basic activity; a man and a woman getting together and turned it into an industry. And that’s pretty scary. I’ve been saying this for a while now, but apparently no one is listening. Spend less time reading blogs and more time socializing. Get some figure flattering clothes, put on some red lipstick and go get yourself a man, or two or three if you’re inclined. Men are not that complicated, if you look good, smell good and are even remotely friendly they’re going to approach you. Their egos are much too large to do otherwise. If you want some dick you’re going to have to go get it, and trust me, you’re not going to get laid reading a bunch of blogs written by people whose motives, and even sanity are questionable.

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