hope somebody puts this on obama's desk...

drew westen's "all the president's values".

an excerpt:
But even when [George W. Bush] was lying through his teeth, lying through somebody else's teeth (like Colin Powell's at the United Nations), or bombing the wrong country, you knew where he stood. He had beliefs. He had principles. He had values.

Mind you, I didn't agree with any of those beliefs, principles, or values. But once Bush took off the "compassionate conservative" Halloween costume he wore for the 2000 election, he generally told us what he believed in and pursued it as vigorously as he asserted it.

For example, Bush thought gay people like his vice president's daughter were a threat to civilization (okay, maybe he had a point about Liz Cheney), so he tried to sell a Constitutional amendment to make them the official lepers of the United States (since both he and Jeb still needed Hispanics, and we already had a national flower).

He believed abortion was murder and that premarital sex was a sin (once he was no longer premarital, of course), so he used the big stick of both U.S. aid abroad and the federal government at home to prevent everyone he could from getting an abortion, a condom, or accurate information about birth control.

He thought everyone should be able to carry an AK-47 into church, so he opened an office of faith-based initiatives and let the ban on assault weapons sunset.

And he believed that monopolies constitute a free market and that profits are good no matter how you get them, so he gave taxpayer subsidies to oil companies while gas was at $4.00 a gallon and handed the national car keys to Wall Street traders along with a fifth of Jack Daniels and a race track.

Okay, so he wasn't among, say, our top 43 presidents.

But I wouldn't mind hearing about values from our current president. And more importantly, I wouldn't mind seeing him act on them, whatever they are.

i know obama's in a nearly impossible position, and i think i understand what he's spent most of this first year trying to do, i.e., seeing how far he can get while stepping on as few toes as possible.

but precisely because he's in that impossible position, he's also going to have to take some risks.

the situation was pretty much fked when he got there.
there would have been challenges facing any president after dubya's mess.

but we need more. lots more.  and he's gonna have to get stepping on those toes so we can see what he's made of and act accordingly.

my heart still believes, and i've been saying since january 09 that we should give him at least a year before complaining too loudly.

well, that year's almost here.  and i'm not impressed.  yet.

step up, mr. president.  shut the haters down. 


sara kruzan and the culture of incarceration

forced into prostitution at 13.
killed her pimp at 16.

so, essentially, she's serving life without parole for the "well thought out" murder of an abusive, manipulative creep.

at what point do we holistically begin to look at what is happening to girl-children and women like sara and offer them true justice?

no morals? no scruples? i wonder how much her being a young woman of color had to do with that nice, high handed statement by the judge.

more information on sara's case and how you can help ban these sentences for juveniles in california can be found here and here.


ethical sluttiness for the revolutionary sista

yesterday, i started reading the ethical slut.

so far, i like it. a lot.

however, it also illuminates the fact that there are so few tomes dealing with real-life, full, deep eroticism for women of color.

rarely are we asked about our needs.  it's even rarer to have those needs validated once they fall outside a set of very rigid parameters.  already you see that getting to the point of actually exploring those needs can be, at best, problematic.

...and we all know being "black enough" can be tough, especially when you're a black woman.  in that case, you've gotta be black enough and woman enough.

clearly, i love my people and i love our history. we birthed humanity--what could be greater than that? although i haven't technically traced my bloodlines, i recognize my connection to mama africa and encourage others to do the same. i am aware of and interested in black struggles for peace, equality and freedom across the diaspora.

i am also a sexual being.

a single, post-30, not-rushing-to-get-married-or-have-babies-type of sexual being. 

as such, i admit to having some anxiety around having my afrocentric/pan-africanist card revoked if/when sex enters the conversation.

why?  because i love for the sake of pleasure, companionship, and spiritual-physical-mental enrichment, not procreation and/or the "ultimate goal" of securing a monogamous, life-long relationship.* 

allow me to explain: most of the prominent voices in afrocentrism are male. these men talk about literal and figurative returns to africa with great aplomb, and many have learned the appropriate rhetoric and theory inside out.  still, they seem to neglect the fact that consciously-minded black women would love to see the kingman's guide to comprehensively loving the black woman or sacred man.** 

recently a wonderful sista sent me the prologue to the river where the blood is born.  those few pages reminded me that there is a deep, rich, sensual story within the hips of african women; one of pure feminine power independent of the men in their lives--when they choose to have them (note: the badu backlash).

it is a story i know, but can only hear in whispers.  so much of the story has been obscured, eradicated, twisted, or left untold.    

all that to say, as far as i'm concerned, ain't nobody's business if your fist is in the air in the morning and your stilettos are in the air at night.

loving yourself for who you are--in whatever configuration--is loving your people.

P. S. - if there's one thing ifa has taught me, it is that my destiny is not yours.  that is, our unique destinies flow into the community's destiny, and all is in divine order. to me, that speaks to the understanding that there is no need to control another or decry his/her choices--you don't know what god/dess has blessed them with, and it's not your affair. when you're working towards your highest good, you're not worried about it anyway; you have too much work to do.

if we are to live with good character--which is truly supreme--then we must be honest with ourselves and those we come in contact with.  part of that honesty, i would think, entails taking the time to understand how our circumstances are the same, and how they have changed.

* for most of my life, i have been a serial monogamist, but one with fantasies of polyandry and a recognition that some of my fondest experiences of loving have been tied to some degree of polyamory.

** ...that does NOT involve questionable power dynamics, domestic violence and other misogynistic tactics.  of course, i'm playing with the titles of shahrazad ali's the black man's guide to understanding black women and queen afua's sacred woman. to her credit, queen afua's husband does have a brief section in her book.  either way, some of you beautiful, goddess-appreciating, non-christian/hebrew/muslim brothas need to represent! 


coming to a cinema near you...

apparently, tyler perry has gotten his hands on for colored girls who have considered suicide/ when the rainbow is enuf. 

confused? here's an idea of how it all went down and some possible casting choices.

others have taken the words out of my mouth...

my best friend gayle

fallon wilson


post bourgie


a bunch of poems, tyler? ok...


call it what it is.

no matter where you stand on health care reform or even obama, the level of disrespect i saw last night during his speech was nothing short of appalling.

as much as i despise(d) the bush administration, i have enough home training to know that if i were in the halls of congress listening to the man speak, i'd have to sit on my hands and hold my tongue, period.

and i'm just a lowly layperson.

i am glad to see that joe wilson's opponent is raking in the cash this morning.

this got personal some time ago, but last night was the icing on the cake.

just like the gay marriage debate isn't about marriage, the venom over healthcare isn't about healthcare. 

wtf? a black man gets to call the shots?  where'd MY america go?? how dare he be more accepted by those insignificant foreign countries than good ol' george??  how is he more articulate, more intelligent, with the audacity to tell my kids to stay in school?  there are little black children living in the white house, for god's sake...can't you see something's wrong here??

in a word: racism.

what else can it be when the truth is spoken--albeit a truth i and many others have deep problems with--and they still demean, disrespect and disavow?

on a more personal level, i can see why folks with the means to leave during the jim crow era left.  who wants to live/breathe/eat/contribute to a place that is so obviously unconcerned about your health, well-being...that is so utterly repulsed by your very existence?

i'm not going to force you to love me, see my beauty, or acknowledge the depth and breadth of my people's history.  i will, however, continue to educate my people where and how i can.

i am tired of begging for respect and favors. it's obvious it doesn't matter what we say about our own oppression. we've just been overly sensitive for the last 100 years or so.  but my people should definitely know the faces of oppression and how it can be overcome.  i'll talk to them about that. 

whitefolks: until i see some of you with some real influence speaking this truth to your folks, i'm done talking to you.  don't imitate me unless you understand the roots.  don't ingratiate yourselves with me and my people unless you're willing to stand with us when they put the nooses around our necks and the bullets in our backs.*

i'm a fan of the devil i know, so thanks for showing your true colors once again, america.

i get it.

*i know/know of people who ARE doing this work, and i'm grateful to them for it. it's important and necessary.  however, i know it is not work that i would be able to do without suffering debilitating burnout. i also uplift people of color like damali ayo who work to help folks understand the effects of racism on PoC.


for the love of new orleans...

healing time

for all those who know her, love her, live(d) there, fell under her spell...

may she rise again, better than ever.



(in thought-bursts)

this weekend
it'd be so cool to go up to philly and hang out
get a pedi
take myself out for pancakes with a good book.
grab a couple more good books.
see a movie or two

but i'm worried about having enough for groceries and incidentals.  and the familiar needs shots.  that'll need to be taken care of before i shuttle him off to my folks for a few days...

so i'll likely wind up mostly at home. 
i suppose it's all right. i need to clean anyway. 

it's my first long, totally single weekend in a long time
(not that he was around for many long weekends anyway)
and i have nothing to do.

no prospects on the horizon, although i'm starting to wish there were.

being single AND broke is endlessly frustrating. 
i can't even spoil myself ? what part of the game is that?

something's gotta give...


weaning from myspace / "new" blog

'cause i'm crazy, i've opened up yet another blog.

it's not truly new since i've been posting this stuff on myspace for the last few years.  but having everything on blogspot makes a whole slew of things much easier. 

i'm transferring pieces and deleting content from myspace as i go, so if you want to read more poetry/estoteric type stuff, check this out.