11.30.2010

Contemplating "X-Men and the Civil Rights Movement"

"Halle Berry is unworthy of Moi."
Do you know I still have to explain to people how X-Men is an allegory to the Civil Rights movement?

It amazes me how everyone from Stan Lee to Rebecca Romijn have explained in detail how X-Men was primarily based on the struggle blacks endured to attain equal rights.

Stan Lee has repeatedly explicated how Magneto was based on Malcolm X and that Charles Xavier was based on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Do you know that when I point this out to white folks, they STILL argue with me even after I point them to interviews and other evidence where Stan Lee and other creators specifically state that the Civil Rights movement was the primary inspiration for X-Men?

For years I thought the Civil Rights references to X-Men was too on the nose: Raven is my slave name, the chickens are coming home to roost, Magneto stating to handle matters “by any means necessary,” Xavier’s dream of a peaceful co-existence between mutants and humans.

But apparently peeps still don’t know their history. Not only that but too often they flip their shit when the obvious is pointed out to them. They act is if giving credit to black people = the combination of defying the laws of physics, punching a kitten and pissing on the Bible all in one fell swoop.


11.28.2010

White North America, Get Over It

(Thanks, Abagond!)

So Canada-based MacLean's released an us-versus-them article in which Chinese Canadians (referred to strictly as Asians in the article, by the way, regardless of citizenship status or birthplace) are being branded the enemy for filling the top universities.  While reading Abagond's blog, I noticed he made some excellent points which clearly (and unsurprisingly) went over the heads of some his commenters.

Anywho...some things Abagond had to say:
...according to Maclean’s these are “Asian” values:

The value of education has been drilled into Asian students by their parents … there’s a long tradition in Chinese culture, for example, going back to Confucius, of social mobility based on merit.

So wait, whites do not drill this stuff into their children’s heads? And if they are not teaching them to succeed on merit, what in the world are they teaching them?

11.27.2010

WTF? of the Day: The Scotts Sisters (Updated)

(Thanks, Indigenist Opinion)

From Monica Moorehead:

Anyone who still believes that the U.S. is the most democratic and just country in the world has only to examine the shocking case of the Scott sisters to be disabused of that erroneous notion. While this case is becoming more and more well-known by word of mouth, mainly on the Internet, the 16-year-old case has never received the national and international media attention that it so richly deserves. The facts of the case will explain the reason why.

Who are the Scott sisters?

Gladys Scott
Jamie and Gladys Scott are African-American sisters who lived in the small town of Forest, Miss., when they were arrested on Dec. 24, 1993, on a charge of armed robbery of two Black men. The amount involved in the robbery was $11 and nobody was injured. In October 1994, both sisters were found guilty and received double-life sentences. They are not eligible for parole until they spend at least 20 years in prison.

Their sentence is very reminiscent of the life sentence, without the possibility of parole, given to the martyred Black Panther and Soledad Brothers prisoner, George Jackson, in the early 1960s. Jackson was convicted of stealing $70.

11.23.2010

Middle Child Press FINALLY Releases Its First Book (Updated)

For immediate release

Independent Publisher Releases Debut Anthology

November 23, 2010

U.S.A - After many long weeks of writing, promoting, editing, spending, and painting, Middle Child Press is proud to present its very first eBook, The Sultry Court Anthology, Vol. 1, available from the Middle Child Press eBookstore.

Penned by the ladies of MCP's Sultry Court, the book is filled with sensuous, pretty, dirty things to tempt and lure readers away from everday life...if only for a moment.

Enter the forbidden halls of the Court, where abstinence is strictly verboten.

~ * ~

11.22.2010

Women...This Applies to You Too

"You wanna what's also great about this movie?  There's no love story.  There's no bitch fucking up this movie, yelling at the dudes, complicatin' shit...."

~ the infamous lil sis, talking about The Boondock Saints
I have criticized actors of color who take shitty roles which demean their being of color (Lawd knows some of what I said didn't sit too well with some folks).  But now I need to say something to actresses who take shitty roles which basically relegate them to just being "the woman" - ladies, cut that shit out.  There are more respectable ways to make a damn paycheck.  Many of us function sanely pulling a 9-5, and if that's what you need to do to pay your bills, then goddamn it...get yourself an alarm clock and work that 9-5.

11.20.2010

So I'm Supposed to be an Author

...and I still am.  I haven't been writing much about that aspect of my life this past year, and it's not been because of writer's block.  I've been having trouble with style, technique, and deciding what type of writer I want to be.  Mind you, when someone talks about "what kind of writer" they want to be, they're not referring to which genre they want to specialize in (though I do have one in mind).

See, I gambled this year; this fall I started a creative writing certification.  I took Twisted Nonfiction (reading, not writing), a poetry workshop, and a modern grammar course which has given me invaluable advanced knowledge about language.  I never thought I'd become so inspired by studying word classes, material processes, mental processes, etc., and learning about the history of English, or the varying philosophies about language.  Not to mention...I've enjoyed it so much I'm taking the professor's linguistics course next semester.

The grammar class heavily inspired me in my poetry class.  I learned a grammatical term, "desiderative", which led to my writing this:

11.19.2010

You Cannot Say My Name

Obviously, "Ankhesen Mié"* is not my real name.

My real name, of course, is no easier for Westerners - especially Americans - to pronounce.  My real name is purely Limbum (except for one of my middle names; it's Arabic), and Limbum is but one dialect amongst over two hundred in the Cameroons, spoken by less than 200,000 people worldwide.  So when non-speakers (and this includes some Africans as well) cannot pronounce my name, I'm neither surprised nor offended.  I don't think people who mispronounce my name are "bad" people.  Nor do I find them ignorant.

What annoys Moi is when white Americans get mad because I tell them they can't pronounce my name correctly.  They don't like to hear that they and I "hear" my name differently.  They don't believe in the fact that there's a tonal component to my language which is absent from English.  And they really don't want to hear how tiresome it gets when people routinely mispronounce my name.  They simply insist that I shorten my name to assimilate (you know...some bullshit they learned in Cultural Diversity 101) , that I should be prouder of my heritage, and just go by my first name.

11.17.2010

Contemplating "Victoria's Law"

"...The White Chamber exists anywhere and everywhere. It appears in break rooms, bathrooms, automobiles, behind closed doors, even in the great outdoors. It is always just out of earshot of unintended listeners. It’s a private space that you, as a white person, are invited to be inside of at any given moment in the day. It is in the White Chamber that you will find out the beliefs your white family members, white close friends, white acquaintances, white coworkers, and even white total strangers think you share with them based purely on your skintone. These beliefs are not socially acceptable to utter in public. But inside the White Chamber, they’re facts. It’s both implicitly and explicitly understood that you feel exactly the same way that other people inside the White Chamber feel. Your skin color is the secret indicator of that....

"White people, you’ve been here. And when you are here – 99.9% of the time it’s with another white person. You’ve been in the White Chamber with your uncles, aunts, neighbors, childhood friends – even your own parents. You know you have been, you’ve just compartmentalized these experiences to make life with these people bearable. You love these people. Being racist is bad, and you don’t want them to be bad people. You know they’re not. Your uncle helps people, even black people, hang their Christmas lights. Your aunt goes to church EVERY Sunday. Your neighbor has mixed children. Your childhood friends were friends with the same black people you were. Your parents raised you. They raised you to be who you are right now, so – they MUST be good people. You’ve made similar comments before in the past, and you know you can’t possibly be a bad person or “racist” because of it. These are the things we’re protecting inside of our minds. These are the things we want to believe are true...."

~ Victoria, The White Chamber

Underappreciated Musician of Color #22: David Choi

(Just needed a little something to cheer us up for a minute....)

David Choi is a young Korean-American singer-songwriter who ranks as the 6th Most Subscribed Musician on Youtube.  Mind you, David's journey to popularity ain't been no fairy tale (just skip to the part where he talks about working for a studio he calls "Sadder"), but it's well-earned, nonetheless.

Here's the thing though.  With these singer-songwriter types, I usually tend to be very picky.  After watching his performance with Auburn, I'm not buying it when David professes to be "a shy kid".  There's a deepness in his voice which says he's anything but.  Because while David's genre isn't exactly for Moi, his voice is sexy as hell.  It's got a low, husky texture to it.  You know...kinda like a sexy murmur.  It tends to go well with his nature, which appears to be extremely sweet and charming.

11.16.2010

What the Motherfuck of the Day: RIP Derrick Jones

Uh...can we do something about the Oakland police already?
Community members and the family of a 37-year-old black man named Derrick Jones are gathering in Oakland near his barber shop on Bancroft and Seminary this afternoon to protest his shooting death at the hands of Oakland police officers on Monday.

The shooting happened three days after a Los Angeles judge gave ex-BART cop Johannes Mehserle the minimum sentence of two years in prison for killing Oscar Grant.

According to police, they responded to a call that Jones was beating and choking his ex-girlfriend at the barber shop he’d owned for eight years. When they approached, Jones took off. Police shot Jones several times in his chest after they said they saw Jones reach repeatedly for his waistband. Officers said they saw a “metallic object” at his waist, and then killed him. Jones was unarmed.
The rest, of course, is blah blah bullshit defensiveness blah.

Oh, and psssssst  about Oscar Grant's murderer: "It is possible that Johannes Mehserle could be eligible for parole after serving half of his sentence and then his time in prison could be down to just more than 7 months."

Bienvenus à l'Amérique, mes chéris.

Whaaaaat...the....FUCK? of the Day

(Thanks, Witchsistah)

What the fuck is this? What the fuck is this? Could someone please tell me what the fuck this is?
A few hours before the recent Rally to Restore Sanity, the general manager of a Hampton Inn in Washington, D.C. kicked me out of his hotel, forcing me to stand on the street to wait for my colleague in 39-degree weather.

The incident began when I arrived early for a breakfast meeting with a program officer from one of the major foundations that supports the nonprofit I run. We were in town for the Online News Association’s annual convention and wanted to catch up.

11.15.2010

WTF? of the Day: "Not Prejudiced...Just Pissed"

 
Now you want the signature you fucking nigger thief. You want me to lock you up for life you asshole? Give me my shit back. … And I’m not prejudice, but right now I’m getting really pissed off. Because you’re acting like a nigger, now give me the cards back.
Oh...hell...NO.

Underappreciated Actress of Color #41: Reshma Shetty

Reshma Shetty was the reason I decided to continue watching Royal Pains...until I realized they were trying to hint a romance between her and the unworthy brother of what's-his-name.

Reshma is a 33-year-old actress.  Her family is Bunt Indian (in case you're wondering).  She was originally a pre-med student, but she ended up graduating with a degree in opera performance.  This diva knows her way around Appalachia; she was raised in London, yes, but also Virginia, and she's studied music at schools in Kentucky and Ohio.

Her films Hated and Not for Nothing are in post-production.  I really hope her career takes off beyond her TV show; she's very classy, charming, and extremely pretty.  And she's obviously meant for the stage, not to mention, she's open-minded about roles.

11.14.2010

Emigration: Eritrea

Demonym: Eritrean
Government: Unitary Presidential Republic
Neighbors: Sudan, Ethiopia, Djibouti, and the Red Sea
Population: 5.224 million
Currency: Nakfa (ERN)
Official Languages: English, Tigrinya, Arabic
Economy: Agriculture

Scientists believe the first anatomically modern humans expanded out of Eritrea. So if you want to move to a location so pertinent to our entire species, in such close proximity to the Red Sea no less, then Eritrea is the country for you.

11.13.2010

Underappreciated Jamaican Sistas: Bow Down

This right here?  This diva right here?  This thick, full-lipped, IDGAF-looking goddess is Stacious: chanteuse, MC, and self-professed "Gangstress".  I came across Stacious on YouTube while watching some other ish, and I'm pissed I wasn't aware of these ladies sooner.  Look at that confidence.  Look at the swag, that bite, and that fierce body - thick women, holla if you hear me.

I need you to play very close attention to her video I just linked.  This video was posted two years ago, and Nikki Minaj can just bite that.

11.12.2010

WP...Stop Obsessing over Supposed Non-Racist White Politicians (Updated)

Let me begin this by saying I hate American politics.  It really is a soap opera for [mostly] ugly people.  I'm sick of seeing all these wealthy yet borderline illiterate, inarticulate "popular kids" engage in their clique wars while the economy crumbles down around them, taking healthcare, education, foreign relations, and other crucial institutions with it.  I don't care who called who what, or where, or why, or how.  Like Grayson once said, I don't give a shit about any of these people's feelings.  They're politicians.  Being insulted horribly is in their goddamn job description (has been for literally thousands of years), and for the money some of them have, they're really in no position to bitch.

Now we have a black president, and white people seem eager to line up and talk about how much they hate Obama, how it has nothing to do with race, how their political darlings du jour aren't racist either for trying to undermine Obama, and how it's soooooooo mean to call their politicians racist.

And for some reason...they feel the need to tell all this to me.

1) I'm not your fucking sounding board

How may times do black people have to tell white folks not to randomly walk up to us and basically lecture us about your thoughts on race in America?  You've probably read a bunch of nostalgic memories of warm-hearted maids and mammies whom your ancestors constantly unburdened themselves to.  You probably imagine those black women looked just like Moi.

Um...fuck you.

11.10.2010

Those Historical & Sociological Convos We Don't Want to Have....

(Thanks Indigenist Opinion!)

Bad News First
Only 12 percent of black fourth-grade boys are proficient in reading, compared with 38 percent of white boys, and only 12 percent of black eighth-grade boys are proficient in math, compared with 44 percent of white boys.

Poverty alone does not seem to explain the differences: poor white boys do just as well as African-American boys who do not live in poverty, measured by whether they qualify for subsidized school lunches.

The data was distilled from highly respected national math and reading tests, known as the National Assessment for Ed
ucational Progress, which are given to students in fourth and eighth grades, most recently in 2009. The report, “A Call for Change,” is to be released Tuesday by the Council of the Great City Schools, an advocacy group for urban public schools.

Just Say No *Updated*

Attention Actors of Color: As we enter a new decade in this fine 21st Century ours, do your kinfolk a tiny favor and say no to shitty roles.

Now...I know you need a paycheck.  I know you've got bills.  I know you want to work out your childhood traumas with some fame therapy.  And while I feel you and understand you, I still have to tell you: boo-fucking-hoo.  Get over your damn selves, you shiftless attention whores.

You can't have your cake and eat it too.  You can't say you want to represent your skinfolk, and then turn around and take roles your skinfolk don't want to see you in.  And if you can't get decent roles, then maybe showbiz in America ain't for you.  Maybe you should go to school, settle down, get a damn day job and learn to survive like the rest of us.  Fuck...some of you already have a decent amount of money.  Retirement at this point wouldn't kill you.

11.07.2010

I am Oscar Grant

From Gilbert Mercier:
On Friday, former police officer, Johannes Mehserle, who killed unarmed passenger Oscar Grant on New Years day 2009 was sentenced by Judge Perry in Los Angeles. The police brutality occurred in Oakland, but the trial was moved to Los Angeles to avoid a repeat of the protests following the killing of Oscar Grant. Judge Perry sentenced Mehserle to just two years, ruling it was “involuntary manslaughter”. The LA judge is also taking off 146 days for time served, and another 146 days for “good behavior”. That is almost one year taking off the already minimal sentencing of two years. Without the leniency of judge Perry, Mehserle could have faced 14 years in jail.

...The case of the shooting of Oscar Grant is not isolated at all, and police brutality has been apart of African-Americans and Latinos daily life for a very long time. A documentary filmmaker, and Pacifica radio host, JR Valrey is arguing that we are facing an epidemic of police brutality to the extent that Valrey qualifies it as “police terrorism”. In his film, “Operation Small Axe”, Valrey focus on the shooting and killing of Oscar Grant and the protests following the tragic incident.

WTF? of the Day: Old Navy Commercial

*raises eyebrow*

Exactly what are the folks at Old Navy trying to say?

video

11.05.2010

Black Women, Let's Be Honest

Honesty is the first step

Try not to crucify me on this one, ladies, but this is something that's troubling me.  It's about black women and [some of] our weight issues.  Don't get me wrong; I think thick is beautiful.  I'm thick and have no desire whatsoever to be skinny.  I like my jeans in the double digits, thank you...and I don't mean 00.

The first thing I like most about thick women is that we look healthy; we often have good skin, we're not starving ourselves so we're not screwing up our moods, and we tend to have nice-sized assets - naturally.  The second thing I like most thick women is that "thick" looks good on any woman - no matter which part of the world she comes from (in case you're wondering what the pictures are for).

The problem is, some of us have forgotten what "thick" looks like.  Some of us tend to get to be a bit bigger than thick sometimes.  We say we're black women, and proud of "looking as a woman should".  Then we get mad when other folks disagree.  We keep insisting we're "thick" even though we passed thick about two cheesecakes, four pizzas, and a full rack of ribs back.

Underappreciated Musician of Color #21: K'Naan

...
I'm from the most risky zone, oh
No place is more shifty global
More pistols, Russian revolvers
We shootin' all that is normal

But it ain't just because we want to
We ain't got nowhere we can run to
Somebody please press the undo
They only teach us the things that guns do

They don't teach us the ABC's
We play on the hard concrete
All we got is life on the streets
All we got is life on the streets

11.04.2010

At the Bar with Shiree McCarver

I first got to know author Shiree McCarver when her Blasian novels gained the attention of readers at the Narrative.  With 13 books to her name, Ms. McCarver is an accomplished storyteller with an  admirable tendency to think outside the box and do what isn't being done...industry be damned.  It was a delight to complete this interview with her on November 6th, 2010.


Hey there, Shiree! For those just joining us, could you share a few things about yourself?

Hello. Thank you for wanting to interview me. I appreciate the interest. Hmm, about me? Well, I'm forty-six, divorced with no children. I didn't always want to be a writer. During most of my youth I had dreams of being a vocalist or back-up singer for someone famous.

I've always had a love for reading being and only child books were my best friends, my escape from a not so perfect childhood. I was seventeen when I became tired of women in the books never looking like me. I decided then to become a writer and write my own books. I was in my thirties before I actually took writing serious. I have always wanted to be an interracial writer, even though I couldn't find an agent to take me on. I gave up on finding an agent instead of changing what I wanted to write to please them. Also I suffer from the illness my character Mary has in All I Want for Christmas. It is my best selling book to date and I thought being honest by putting my faults and fears on paper for the world to see, people would be repulsed by it. I'm happy to know I was wrong about people.

Story of the Red

There was a time when trees were plentiful*
and the grasses grew tall, spreading wide.
And rivers?  Many rivers,
many, many streams and rivers
rushing through and bringing life with the tide.

They say we angered the gods then**,
and that they cast us out to wander
up the Hapi***, down the Hapi
through Abyssinia and beyond
we trekked, leaving our kingdoms
to the sands.

We do not regret the exodus;
we are children of the tides.
That life is a circle is the natural order of things,
and none but the gods may call the rain.

11.02.2010

Violet Dusk

Maasai model
I have wandered too far,
trekking for many sunburnt hours
into the dust
into the West
and now even the sun is going home.

My husband calls to me,
his voice a cool and supple breeze
dancing in from the East.
With his words come
the laughter of children,
the crackling of hearths,
and my honey-throated grandmother,
singing an evening song.

Emigration: Gabon

Demonym: Gabonese
Government: Republic
Neighbors: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equitorial Guinea, the Cameroons, and the Atlantic Ocean.
Population: 1.475 million
Currency: Central Africa CFA franc (XAF)
Official Language: French
Economy: Oil (mainly), Timber, Manganese

Gabon was not supposed to be part of the Emigration Series (Eritrea was actually up next).  Gabon's only official language is French.  However...in light of recent events, I recommend you get yourself a tutor and a plane ticket. After all, the Gabonese drive on the right side of the road...so at least that's taken care of.

Myth and Realities of American Sex, a Guest Post

About the writer: Witchsistah is a commenter and writer of legend, both here and beyond the realm of Moi.  She previously contributed on the post "They Don't Care" and as expected, it gathered several comments almost instantly.  The following is taken from an email conversation, and is reprinted with her permission.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Myth and Realities of American Sex: What Women Must Contend With

I'm with RVCBard on the porn-fed imagination of the American male.

What does the average American male learn about women and sex from porn?

That women are always ready for sex. If we're not already horny, we can become aroused quite easily no matter WHAT the circumstances are. And all it takes is for the man to indicate he wants sex. Since women merely exist to service men sexually, she'd better comply anytime he wants.

11.01.2010

Gabon Deports Several Whites for Racism

(Thanks, Witchsistah!)

And yes...you really did just read that.  From the article:
Authorities in Gabon recently expelled several European nationals for racism. Those expelled are mainly expatriates who worked in the oil sector. According to the local media, Blacks in the Central African country continue to fall victim to racism at the hands of some Whites.

Many Europeans working in the Gabonese oil industry at Port-Gentil, the country’s economic capital, were expelled between late September and early October for racism, l’Union, a local newspaper, announced on Thursday.