My Role Model…Your Role Model?!?

If you breath air, have access to the internet (even if it’s at your local library), watch TV, read blogs, newspapers and are socially conscious in general, you are bound to have a ‘role model‘. Yes, role models are the nouveau thing now. If you don’t have a role model, you don’t belong to this ‘role model’ starved generation!

Dictionary.com defines a ‘role model’ as = (noun) a person whose behavior, example, or success is or can be emulated by others, especially by younger people.

While the definition is crystal clear what a role model is, there is a major disconnect/misunderstanding with today’s generation/youth as to who a role model is. Growing up, my role models were my parents and a few people in authority who rose to their position despite opposition. These were individual who were doing well for themselves and had impacted society for generations to come. Society had not yet infringed upon the ‘role model franchise’ while I was growing up!

In today’s society, a cat, dog, pedophile could be labeled as a ‘role model’. What baffles me is where we missed the mark. It would seem an injustice in today’s society if one does not have a ‘role model’.

What happened to us as a people that made us desperate to align ourselves with every and anyone as ‘role models’? 

If I were to list who I believe are role models for me, my list would consist of the following people:

  • Madam C.J. Walker – the inventor/creator of beauty products for black women!
  • Sojourner Truth – a  women’s rights activist and abolitionist!
  • Oprah – major contender in providing a platform for women of color to have a voice in mainstream America, among other accomplishments!
  • Antonin Holy – Chemist/creator of Truvada (drug to prevent infection of HIV/AIDS)!
  • Martin Luther King, Jr.Political Activist partly responsible for the equality of races and segregation abolishment!
  • Abraham Lincoln, Booker T. Washington, Jim Crow – Anti-segregation/equal rights activists’!
  • Bill Gates – a revolutionary software designer!
  • Tim Berners-Lee – the inventor of the internet!

Each of the people I have listed,  have created a legacy/platform for generations to come that have either secured the freedom of people, given people a voice, provided women with tools to beautify themselves with, and most importantly those things they created, fought for, are still currently in practice (relevant) in today’s society.

My understanding of a role model is one who fights for the rights of humanity, creates a voice/platform for humanity to express themselves, creates a tool all of humanity can benefit from.

My list, is of course much longer that the one listed, but the sole purpose is to provide an example of who I consider a role model and why.

I cannot and will never understand how an individual who has written a song that could be forgotten in a few years, classified a fashionista, appears on a reality TV show or the like be a role model to and for our young generation.

How has what they’ve created impacted society? How will it impact society 100 years from now? Does what they do or have done even have an impact?

Too many parents are failing in their roles are guardians and it has affected our youth in particular. I’m on social networks a lot due to researching content for KolorBlind Magazine, and I am in awe at the amount of tweets that read:

“You’re my role mode. I want to be like you when I grow up.”

“You’re my everything. I would die if you re-tweeted me.”

“I’m about to lose my mind. I can’t believe I’m chatting with you. I love you. You’re my role model.”

While there’s absolutely nothing wrong in admiring a person’s strength, courage, drive and persistence, I believe a lot of our youth do not understand the difference between admiration for a cause, admiration for longevity in a particular craft and the definition of a role model.

After professing their love for certain individuals, I’m always amused when said individual has a run-in with the law, or a major scandal is exposed and the so-called ‘role model wannabes’ feel betrayed. They are usually extremely taken with the event of things. I begin to question within me why they are so upset and disappointed. After all, this is your role model….the person you want to grow up to be!

I’m sure you are picturing several people in your minds who fit the ‘role-model’ description and who society has elevated on a golden pedestal to only fall flat on their face when they reveal their true selves.

Where did the obsession with role models come from? Why do people feel the need to idolize regular people? 

I for one understand the importance of being motivated by people and circumstances. It has helped create a lot of things that would ordinarily not exist. It has helped propel people into moving forward. But we must stop with the ‘false elevation’ of certain individuals. 70% of the people who have been tagged ‘role models’ are not role models!

They have not created anything useful to humanity. Whatever it is they are currently doing most likely will have no effect 20 years from now not to talk of the next 100 years. They are not revolutionaries! They are not inventors! They are not political activists! They are merely people who have excelled in a particular craft and are somewhat good in their profession.

This is a ‘disease’ that has infiltrated our society and is affecting our youth. When someone says a rapper is their role model (I have nothing against rappers or against anyone’s craft), are you implying that your lifelong dream is to not finish school so you can rap? Has education suddenly lost its impact and meaning?

Without education, President Barack Obama would not be in the White House or hold a major public officiating role in government. Our youth grow up idolizing people whom if they ever considered running for public office, wouldn’t make it past their street.

How can we rectify this? I am not against those who work tirelessly in their craft, I admire their persistence and talent. I will not however idolize them. I can only admire and respect their craft.

This is an open-ended article, please feel free to share your thoughts.

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BEWARE! Bossip.com MAY plagiarize your article!

Dear fellow Blogger/Magazine Publisher,

Yesterday, I wrote a blog post about how Bossip.com plagiarized my list article. Well, after I was unsuccessful contacting them via the email address posted on their website, I sought to publish a blog post and share on Twitter. I also included a few of their advertisers and partners in the tweet.

A few minutes later, Bossip.com responded and stated:

They quickly added a tiny link that currently states: “VIA: KolorBlind”. When I requested they provide a link such as:

“To view the full gallery of Longest Interracial Marriages, click here…”

I was told: “we are not advertising for you!”

Who asked them to advertise for me? All I wanted was proper credit. If you are a blogger or magazine publisher, don’t repost/publish or use data if you are not willing to adequately reference the source; or as is in this case if you are not going to reference the source AT ALL.

I’m upset at the way they handled the situation, because my intent was never to fight or argue with them. If I had not caught the link of the list article, they would have NEVER credited KolorBlind Mag.

This is just a warning and an account of my experience with Bossip.com. Beware, they might plagiarize your article next.

Thanks for reading,

KolorBlind Magazine

How Bossip.com Plagiarized My Article Without Crediting Me!

 

Dear fellow Blogger/Magazine Publisher,

KolorBlind Magazine is a new blog/online magazine devoted to the equality & acceptance of all races/ethnicities; the promotion of the Interracial (KolorBlind) life through culture, fashion, language and food. As part of our mission, we highlight celebrities who are in relationships of an interracial/interethnic relationship; showcase different cultures through food, fashion and language; discuss and provide guidance on multiracial parenting and provide advice to people who interested in entering an interracial relationship but don’t know how to go about it.

Yesterday (September 19, 2012) as I was linking one of my articles (see below) to related content on the internet, I came across the following links:

Part 1: http://bossip.com/647400/the-swirl-a-gallery-of-the-longest-celebrity-interracial-and-interethnic-marriages-of-all-time-part-1-43081/#5vPR7k5TpbSzyleT.99

Part 2: http://bossip.com/648235/the-swirl-a-gallery-of-the-longest-celebrity-interracial-and-interethnic-marriages-of-all-time-part-2-43081/

When I clicked on both links, I realized Bossip.com had plagiarized an List Article I published on August 6, 2012 without crediting the source (kolorblindmag.com):

http://kolorblindmag.com/2012/08/06/longest-kolorblind-marriages-true-love-never-dies/

I am truly upset at their attempt to pass off a list article I published as one of their own. What are the odds that a website dedicated to posts/articles such as Peep The Newest Fake Booty Rapper: Wankaego Cake Shoots And Freestyles [Video], would publish a list identical to mine?

The writer of Bossip.com’s version of my list article lacked originality:

  • They used the concept of “Ebony& Ivory” – a song written and composed by Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder that I referenced and linked to in my article.
  • As if that was not enough plagiarism, they showcased the same celebrities that were showcased in my list article. There are thousands, if not millions, of celebrities in an interracial/interethnic relationship, why didn’t Bossip.com research to find out who those were? Why did they resort to using the same  celebrities?
  • Bossip.com is a well established blog and KolorBlindmag.com is a new and emerging blog so when a reader conducts a search on content related to celebrities whose relationship has not wavered in an interracial relationship, their “plagiarized” content will display ahead of mine in search results. THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE!

I have reached out to Bossip.com and they are yet to respond back to the allegations, however, I would like the public to be aware of the situation.

I too reference data from other sources however, I do not publish them in an attempt to claim them. I publish them with either a link back to the original content or a simple “credit by”, “courtesy of”, etc.

Thanks for reading,

KolorBlind Magazine

Sharlely ‘Lily’ Kerssenberg-Becker joins Cash & Rocket (RED) Tour 2012

The Cash & Rocket (RED) Tour Photo

CASH & ROCKET – WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU JUMPED IN YOUR CAR, PUT THE ROOF DOWN, AND HEADED ON TO THE OPEN ROAD FOR THE ROADTRIP OF A LIFETIME?

For 4 days, 70 women traveled across Europe, raising money to help (RED) deliver an AIDS FREE generation by 2015. The Tour has ended but the mission is far from over. Everyone can help by joining in – sponsor the whole team or pick a favorite driver. Sharlely ‘Lily’ Kerssenberg, Boris Becker‘s wife was among the 70 women who traveled across Europe.

Driving 35 red cars, these 70 women participated in the inaugural Cash and Rocket (RED) Tour – from the excitement of central London, to the beauty of Place Vendome in Paris, through the cobbled piazzas of Milan ending on the coast of Monte Carlo. Each stop held an exciting event including a reveal of the latest (BUGABOO)RED design collaboration at the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme to a stop in Geneva for lunch and a polo match followed by a dinner event upon arrival at the Park Hyatt Milan and culminating with an auction in Monte Carlo.

The European road trip raised both awareness and funds to help fight AIDS. And it could not come at a more important time.  We are currently at a critical milestone in the fight against AIDS: by 2015 we can virtually eliminate the transmission of HIV from mums to their babies.

Every day 1,000 babies are born with HIV. By 2015, that number can be near zero. It’s an incredible possibility – one that could help see the beginning of the end of AIDS. And when you set that against the backdrop of the AIDS pandemic – 30 million deaths in 30 years – the opportunity to turn the tide on this disease is a possibility we can seize. As of September 9, Cash & Rocket has raised $127, 404.00.  Check out Cash & Rocket’s website for more information on how to help/donate.

Check out a video clip on the event below:

Pictured: Sharlely ‘Lily’ Kerssenberg – Becker and Jo Wood for RED Launch of The Cash and Rocket (Red) Tour Photocall at Berkeley Square Gardens.

Pictured: Jo Wood, Jodie Kidd, Lily (Kerssenberg) BeckerLaunch of The Cash and Rocket (Red) Tour Photocall at Berkeley Square Gardens.

Jo Wood, Jodie Kidd, Lily Becker, Deborah Dugan, Dr Patricia Asamoah, Julie BrangstrupLaunch of The Cash and Rocket (Red) Tour Photocall at Berkeley Square Gardens.

Jo WoodLaunch of The Cash and Rocket (Red) Tour Photocall at Berkeley Square Gardens.

Jo Wood, Lilly (Kerssenberg) Becker, Deborah Dugan, Dr Patricia Asamoah, Julie Brangstrup

Jo Wood, Lilly (Kerssenberg) Becker, Deborah Dugan, Dr Patricia Asamoah, Julie BrangstrupLaunch of The Cash and Rocket (Red) Tour Photocall at Berkeley Square Gardens.

Jo Wood, Lilly (Kerssenberg) Becker, Deborah Dugan, Dr Patricia Asamoah, Julie BrangstrupLaunch of The Cash and Rocket (Red) Tour Photocall at Berkeley Square Gardens.

Launch of The Cash and Rocket (Red) Tour Photocall at Berkeley Square Gardens.

 

Credit: Crowdrise/Zimbio

Racism in America still exists!

For any American following the Presidential Election and for those outside of the United States who have keen interest in watching how democratic our election process is, I’m sure it’s of no surprise to them to witness the often passive notes of ‘racism’.

The Presidential Election has gone from attacks of inexperience to confrontation on whether the current President Barack Obama is eligible to rule the Nation and possibly the world. Remarks about his place of birth have brought out a different side of the GOP who are bent on suppressing all things minority and women.

It would seem that in the perfect GOP world, only men who possess a certain blood trait or ancestry would count, and all others would act as servants. Perhaps the ultimate goal is to re-enact a servant/master rule and force women and minorities into oppression.

Either way we look at it, it’s clear that racism in America exist’ in full force in a country so diverse in race, ethnicity, culture and religion.

What to Make of Mitt Romney‘s Birther Joke?

Mitt Romney made a ‘birther’ joke:

“Now I love being home, in this place where Ann and I were raised, where both of us were born,” Romney told a campaign rally in Michigan. “Ann was born at Henry Ford Hospital I was born at Harper Hospital. No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate they know that this is the place we were born and raised.” The crowd at first laughed, then cheered. Here’s the video:

Romney is not himself a birther. He was engaging in ironic post-birtherism—showing solidarity with birthers by making a humorous remark that can be plausibly denied as a joke later. This is a necessary device for a Republican politician who wants to rile up the base without seeming like a lunatic, because the belief that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States is still held by nearly half of self-identified Republicans even after the very public release of the president’s birth certificate. Birtherism remains the most frank and widespread evidence of racial animus among some of the president’s critics. As Ta-Nehisi Coates writes in The Atlantic this month, the birthers, strapped in their waxen wings, aim for nothing less than the sun: “If Obama is not truly American, then America has still never had a black president.”

The Romney campaign, for its part, has denied that their candidate intentionally offered a nod to birtherism. Romney campaign adviser Kevin Madden told Buzzfeed that Romney “was only referencing that Michigan, where he is campaigning today, is the state where he himself was born and raised.” So in case the audience didn’t understand that Romney was born in Michigan when he said he was born there and named the hospital he was born in, Romney just thought he’d tell them that no one’s asked to see his birth certificate.

Romney’s claim about never having been asked for his birth certificate is almost certainly false. Romney holds a US passport, and for a first time applicant naming the hospital where you were born will not suffice. It’s far-fetched to imagine Romney did not intend to reference birtherism, especially given his embrace of political allies (such as Donald Trump) who have expressed sympathy for it.

I suspect many Republicans who continue to subscribe to the birther lunacy do so because it bothers liberals and because it’s an act of symbolic defiance of a president they dislike. The problem with birtherism, however, is that the underlying assumptions driving it have always been broader than the president. Birtherism is more than just a conspiracy theory about the president’s birth. Its underlying principle is a rejection of American racial pluralism. The refusal to believe—in the face of all evidence to the contrary—that Obama is an American reads to many as saying black people don’t really count as American unless they talk like Herman Cain or Allen West.

That’s the problem with Romney’s “joke,” too. It falls into a long list of remarks that suggest an emotional myopia based on an extremely sheltered life experience. It comes across as gloating about the fact that, as a rich white man born into a wealthy and powerful family, Romney has rarely been subject to the kind of racist or sexist assumptions that clog the daily lives of millions of Americans. Romney might as well joke that he’s never been mistaken for a waiter in a restaurant or a clerk in a retail store, or that he’s never been selected for extra screening at an airport or randomly told to empty his pockets by the NYPD. The reason Romney doesn’t have to show the country his papers isn’t because everyone knows he was born in Michigan. It’s because whiteness remains unquestionably “American” for some people in a way blackness does not. That should not be a point of pride for Romney; it should be a matter of anger and disappointment.

 

Credit: Adam Serwer

I HATE all foreigners!

I hate all foreigners. I hate them all. I hate the way they look, smell and talk. I can’t stand them when they move to America.

Why can’t they stay in their own country? Who needs another immigrant. America has a large enough population. They talk funny, live really weird lifestyles (or is it called culture?).

The worst part is they cook really smelly food. Have you ever been near an Indian? I’m not talking about Native Americans…I’m talking about the ones from India. Why do they smell so much? Don’t they shower?

I can’t stand having to pronounce weird names like Dharmendra, Babatunde, Aditya, Yung Lei, Sarafina and other strange names. 

It’s not only Indians I can’t stand, it’s also the Chinese and all those other Asian people (they’re too many to count), AfricansMiddle Easterns and some other strange Europeans.

I just like America with Americans. I don’t need it polluted. 

 This summarizes my experience with racists’ and ignorant Americans that I have come in contact with over the years. I’ve also been in contact with people who were very ignorant and their ignorance can sometimes be construed as racism, even though they’re not racists’. I hate all foreigners!

Why?

I am extremely touched and saddened by the recent shootings that have occurred in our great country America. When I heard about the Aurora Colorado shooting, I couldn’t grasp it. It seemed like a dream. Why would anyone want to shoot innocent people, worst off in a movie theater? I thought surely after the shooter had been apprehended and Americans all over the country poured out their hearts, we were done with tragedy (as least the preventable ones). Little did I know we were in for another unpleasant surprise.

What is America?

Let me explain a bit about America to some of you who might not really understand the meaning of America or for those of you who have forgotten. America is a land that belongs to ALL. It has been invaded by TOO MANY to belong to any one group/nationality.

American symbolizes:

  • Freedom
  • a country where dreams are made
  • a country that includes every imaginable culture
  • a country that accommodates every imaginable religion
  • a place where you can be accepted for just being you

Hate?

When the Aurora shooting occurred, we all said he was mentally deranged but we never associated the cause to be racism. We all concluded it was a hate crime.

Racism is an umbrella term for prejudice, hate and the intolerance of mankind as a whole. Anytime, anyone exudes any of these characters, s/he is a racist. Racism goes beyond hatred for a particular race and/or ethnic group, a racist hates for no justifiable reason; s/he hates because s/he doesn’t like the way someone looks, talks or behaves (culture).

When an individual doesn’t value the live of a fellow human being, he is being racist against that individual’s existence on earth! 

Scenarios:

  1. When you hate something or someone, you don’t go out of your way to kill it. I hate raw meat and fish. I wouldn’t be caught dead eating Sushi or Sashimi.
  2. I can’t stand smokers. Smoke makes me cough and makes my eyes tear.

Questions:

  1. Would I go on a killing spree to eliminate people who eat Sushi or Sashimi? May God forbid such an act.
  2. Would I go on a killing spree because my neighbor smokes? May God forbid.

My reasons are very simple: I may not like a particular food, person, religion, culture, but what right do I have to take a life I did not create? I have no right from stopping others from enjoying the things they choose. 

What a lot of Americans don’t realize is, that other countries look up to them. They try to emulate the ways of AMERICA which include the freedom to express and the acceptance of others. I come from a country that struggled with both idealogies for years and has only been able to make a change in the last 10 years. I grew up experiencing some of the worst kind of racism, to include:

  • being called “Neggerin” on a daily basis
  • Austrians did not want to sit next to me on mass transportation
  • after I graduated College, I couldn’t find employment, because as I was told, “I was black”
  • being teased in class because I was not blond with blue eyes
  • and so many other incidences I don’t want to recall

It was not until I moved to the United States, that I was acknowledged as a human being and not a black woman. So when I see or hear of prejudice against fellow human beings, I take it personally because I know what it feels like. I didn’t fit in where I was born and raised (Vienna, Austria), but I fit in immediately when I moved to the United States.

It is a country that has every racial, ethnic, cultural and religious representation possible. A country that is free and passes that freedom to everyone who lives in it. 

You may not know this, but in certain parts of Europe, when a non-native is walking down the street, they are subject to search by the Police. This is something I have never witnessed here in the United States. Granted, there are a few exceptions in the cases of young black men (but we are working on that).

To know that such freedom exist’ and hear accounts of shootings and mass killing is sickening. Why, is all I can ask? Where does this hatred stem from? Who raised such hatred? Who feed (watched it grow) it?

Religion/Culture/Race/Ethnicities?

Back to the news this afternoon:

Seven people were killed and at least three people wounded in shootings at a Sikh temple outside of Milwaukee Sunday morning.

Greenfield Police Chief Brad Wentlandt said multiple 911 calls were received this morning about a gunman or gunmen at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek. He said the first police officer responding to the calls engaged an active shooter at the temple. The officer was shot multiple times, but returned fire, and the suspect, Wentlandt said, was “put down.”

Wentlandt said emergency medical personnel have identified seven people dead – four inside the temple and three outside, including the suspect. Read full story by clicking here…

If my instincts serve me well and I have experience to back this up, then this attack was as a result of a religion that one American among millions did not understand. Are we expected to have full knowledge about every culture, religion and language that exist’ in America? No, but we ought to have full knowledge and tolerance to accept them.

I am a Christian by faith and growing up we were taught to spread the gospel of Christ. My personal belief is that there is not one single human being alive (post Christ), that has not heard of the gospel of Christ. Whether it be by books they’ve read, movies they’ve watched, people they’ve come across or religious teachings as a whole.

If you don’t believe me, ask someone of another faith what they know about Jesus and be prepared to be surprised. With this knowledge at hand, I do not feel the impulse to push or force my religion upon another person. People are drawn to the positive things they see in our lives, so if you are of a particular religion and are looking to recruit more members, your life is your gospel.

The people that were attacked today, are of the Sikhism faith – a monotheistic faith that was founded in South Asia more than 500 years ago by Guru Nanak Dev and continued to progress with ten successive Sikh gurus (the last teaching being the holy scripture Gurū Granth Sāhib Ji). Sikhism has roughly 23 million followers worldwide.

Five basic characteristics of Sikhism:

  1. Belief: Sikhism is a monotheistic religion, and the basic Sikh belief is represented in the phrase Ik Onkar meaning “One God.”
  2. History: Sikhism was founded in the Punjab region in India in the 15th century by Guru Nanak Dev. Sikhism broke from Hinduism due, in part, to its rejection of the caste system.
  3. Scripture: The primary source of Scripture for Sikhs is the Guru Granth Sahib, regarded as the living Guru, after the final Guru in human form, Guru Gobind Singh, passed away.
  4. Place of worship: A Sikh place of worship is known as the gurdwara. The wordgurdwara means “doorway to God.” Men and women normally sit apart in the gurdwara. Traditionally there is no official clergy within the Sikh tradition. Over time however, priests have become more commonplace. Many gurdwaras employ priests to conduct services, while many others are run entirely by members of the local congregation.
  5. The Five Ks: The Five Ks are the articles of faith that Sikhs wear as ordered by the 10th Guru, Guru Gobind Singh. Most Sikhs wear one or more of the articles but only Sikhs who have taken amrit, a ritual analogous to baptism, wear all. They include:
  • Kesh, or unshorn long hair, which is protected by a dastaar, or turban. The dastaar is worn by men and some women to cover their long hair. But most women keep their hair long and uncovered, except for when entering a gurdwara.
  • kangha is a small wooden comb meant to keep the hair combed twice a day.
  • kara is an iron bangle to be worn on the hand used most.
  • kachera is a specific undergarment for men and women.
  • kirpan is a short dagger.

There are roughly 500,000 Sikhs in the U.S., according to estimates. The majority worldwide live in India.

If you’ve read the 5 characteristics of Sikhism then you’re reminded of other religions such as:

  • Christianity: 2.1 billion
  • Islam: 1.5 billion
  • Secular/Nonreligious/Agnostic/Atheist: 1.1 billion
  • Hinduism: 900 million
  • Chinese traditional religion: 394 million
  • Buddhism: 376 million
  • primal-indigenous: 300 million
  • African Traditional & Diasporic: 100 million
  • Sikhism: 23 million
  • Juche: 19 million
  • Spiritism: 15 million
  • Judaism: 14 million
  • Baha’i: 7 million
  • Jainism: 4.2 million
  • Shinto: 4 million
  • Cao Dai: 4 million
  • Zoroastrianism: 2.6 million
  • Tenrikyo: 2 million
  • Neo-Paganism: 1 million
  • Unitarian-Universalism: 800 thousand
  • Rastafarianism: 600 thousand
  • Scientology: 500 thousand

This is because in all of these religions, the common denominators are ONE GOD, HOLINESS, PURITY.

If you agree with the common denominators, the we can all safely say that every human alive is looking to be at one with God in holiness and purity.  So who are we to take the life of another human simply because they don’t agree with our religion? We are not God and neither can we fight for him. At the last day of reckoning, it will be each person for themselves being judged by God. He (God) does not need our help judging the people he created.

Every race, ethnic group, culture and religion should have the freedom to express themselves they way they want, as long as it does not conflict with the interest’ of another. That freedom should never be comprised by racism, hate, prejudice or ignorance.

America is a free country and extends that freedom to its people. Let’s wake up and realize that the world is a melting pot.

Let’s fulfill the mandate of God which is the same in every religion:

Love, honor thy God and love thy neighbor!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading I HATE all foreigners and this article is an eye-opener into some of the things we as people do to one another out of ignorance and hatred. At the end of the day, we are all foreigners and strange to some extent because our ancestors move from one place (country, town, city, continent) to another brought their ways (culture, religion, language) with them.

 

GOP: Rape and pregnancy is great!

Every woman GOP or Democrat is shocked and nauseous at the remarks and comments made by U.S. Representative Todd Akin. It gives an insight into how GOP views women and minorities all alike. We are nothing to them and they are not afraid of showing and speaking about it.

If you thought voting GOP was the ultimatum, I hope you’re starting to get a clearer picture of who you’re voting in office. A political party against the rights women have fought for with their lives for so many years and against all things minority. Without minorities, the America we know today, would not exist.

I urge everyone who has legal right to vote to think carefully before voting anyone into office. If we are careless with our votes, we will continue to vote the likes of Todd Akin into office. I can only imagine the sad world we will all then be living in…GOP: Rape and pregnancy is great!

“You CANNOT get pregnant from ‘legitimate rape’…

If there is something everyone can agree on, it would seem that the idea that rape can result in unwanted pregnancy would be right up there at the top of the list. Not so in Missouri, where the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate on Sunday advanced the theory that the female reproductive system shuts down when a woman is being raped, thus preventing conception.

Rep. Todd Akin, a tea party candidate who is challenging incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill in the closely watched race, was asked in a local television interview about whether he supports access to abortion in the case of rape.

“If abortion could be considered in case of, say, a tubal pregnancy [which threatens the mother’s life], what about in the case of rape?” asked KTVI host Charles Jaco, in a clip that was disseminated by Talking Points Memo. “Should it be legal or not?”

“It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare,” Akin said, referring to conception following a rape. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something, I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child.”

According to a 1996 study by the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, an estimated 32,101 pregnancies result from rape each year. The journal put the national rape-related pregnancy rate at 5% among victims age 12 to 45.

The answer by Akin — who sits on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology — led to instant condemnation from his opponent and women’s advocates.

McCaskill tweeted, “As a woman & former prosecutor who handled 100s of rape cases, I’m stunned by Rep Akin’s comments about victims this AM.” Read full story here…

Obama to Todd Akin: ‘Rape is Rape’…

Obama Todd AkinIn a surprise news conference Monday, President Barack Obama addressed the controversy surrounding a remark by Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) that women who suffer “legitimate rape” rarely get pregnant.

“The views expressed were offensive,” said Obama. “Rape is rape. And the idea that we should be parsing and qualifying and slicing what types of rape we are talking about doesn’t make sense to the American people and certainly doesn’t make sense to me. So what I think these comments do underscore is why we shouldn’t have a bunch of politicians, a majority of whom are men, making health care decisions on behalf of women.”

The comments are the most high profile in a series of rebukes from both Democrats and Republicans. Earlier in the day, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney also condemned Akin, who is running to unseat Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.). Read full interview here…

Check out a clip of the President responding:

Dear Todd Akin,

In response to an outrageous comment made by U.S. representative Todd Akin, Eve Ensler wrote the following letter. Ensler is a Tony award winning playwright, performer and activist.

Dear Todd Akin,

I am writing to you tonight about rape. It is 2 AM and I am unable to sleep here in the Democratic Republic of Congo. I am in Bukavu at the City of Joy to serve and support and work with hundreds, thousands of women who have been raped and violated and tortured from this ceaseless war for minerals fought on their bodies.

I am in Congo but I could be writing this from anywhere in the United States, South Africa, Britain, Egypt, India, Philippines, most college campuses in America. I could be writing from any city or town or village where over half a billion women on the planet are raped in their lifetime.

Mr. Akin, your words have kept me awake. Read rest of letter here…

Rep. Steve King: “I’ve never heard of a girl getting pregnant from statutory rape or incest’…

Rep. Steve King: I’ve Never Heard Of A Girl Getting Pregnant From Statutory Rape Or IncestRep. Steve King, one of the most staunchly conservative members of the House, was one of the few Republicans who did not strongly condemn Rep. Todd Akin Monday for his remarks regarding pregnancy and rape. King also signaled why — he might agree with parts of Akin’s assertion.

King told an Iowa reporter he’s never heard of a child getting pregnant from statutory rape or incest.

“Well I just haven’t heard of that being a circumstance that’s been brought to me in any personal way,” King told KMEG-TV Monday, “and I’d be open to discussion about that subject matter.”

A Democratic source flagged King’s praise of Akin in the KMEG interview to TPM. But potentially more controversial for King is his suggestion that pregnancies from statutory rape or incest don’t exist or happen rarely. A 1996 review by the Guttmacher Institute found “at least half of all babies born to minor women are fathered by adult men.” Read full story here…

Check out this video made by the Raging Grannies:

Rep. Paul Ryan: “Rape is Rape”…

Paul Ryan Todd AkinRep. Paul Ryan addressed his stance on abortion Wednesday for the first time since Rep. Todd Akin’s controversial comments about “legitimate rape,” seeking to distance himself from the embattled congressman with whom he co-sponsored a bill to redefine rape with respect to abortions.

The Republican vice presidential nominee told local CBS affiliate KDKA he is “proud” of his anti-abortion record when asked if abortion should be available to women in instances of rape.

“I’m proud of my pro-life record,” Ryan said. “And I stand by my pro-life record in Congress.”

“But Mitt Romney is the top of the ticket and Mitt Romney will be president and he will set the policy of the Romney administration,” Ryan continued.

Dear Rep. Akin…I got raped and pregnant…

Response: Shauna Prewitt, who was raped during her final year of college at the age of 21, penned an open letetr to Rep. Todd AkinDear Rep. Akin,

My name is Shauna Prewitt. You do not know me, but you should. I am one of the approximately 25,000 women who every year become pregnant as a result of rape, and I would like to help you better “empathize” with my story.

During my final year of college, I experienced an event that was so absolute in its effects that, since it occurred, it has figured as the point of reference from which all understandings and meanings of my life now stem: I was raped.

I do not know if, in your terms, it was “legitimate rape.” Yes, I cried hysterically. Yes, I fought until my body ached. And, yes, I changed afterward in ways I could not ever imagine.

Before my rape, I lived normally. A variation of a story you might hear about any other 21-year-old college student. I was young, vibrant, confident and excited about a future that had never felt more within my grasp. In a single, life-altering moment, all of that was stripped away. Physically (and I would say tauntingly), I looked the same after my rape, but inside I felt trapped and incapable of attaining or doing anything because I now was degraded, fearful, weak and powerless. Every moment during and after my rape was an agony. Not even 22 years old and my life, as it seemed, was over. Did I respond legitimately enough for you?

In the aftermath of my rape, my method of coping — no, my method of surviving — was to resolutely pretend that my rape had never occurred. I treated it as a fictitious nightmare. I convinced myself that if I just lived as I had “before,” I would be as I had “before.” Different plans were in store for me. A month after my rape, I learned I was pregnant from my attack. From this realization, I felt many things. Scared, shocked, even betrayed by my body.

But, most poignantly given your recent horrifying comments, I felt raped. My pregnancy legitimatized my rape. It had happened; this was real. Read more here…

5 Ways you can help support Rape Victims…

Rep. Todd Akin’s polarizing view of abortion has ignited heated debates across the nation, his own party and the activism spectrum. But some say it’s presented an opportune chance to raise awareness and exact policy change.

The GOP Senate nominee caused a firestorm on Sunday when he offered his opinion on abortion in the case of rape. He said that pregnancy in such situations is “really rare” and that “if it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” Victims and advocates came forward to decry his comments, agreeing that they were callous and unfounded.

But some, despite their malcontent, view this moment as a critical opportunity to call on leaders and the survivor community to band together to improve advocacy organizations and the way rape victims are treated.

“I have been getting increasingly frustrated as I read about legislators and influential decision makers in our country who try to minimize the experience of victims, and reframe rape as some mishap that should be downplayed,” Alexis Marbach, of the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault, wrote in a blog post Monday. “But as frustrated as I am, I also see this as a tremendous opportunity to provide education to elected officials and serve as a resource to them as they work to generate policies that influence rape crisis center and sexual assault survivors.”

To get involved in the movement to strengthen the voice, and the impact of rape advocacy groups, consider getting involved in the organizations below:

  1. RAINN – Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network is the largest U.S. charity that fights sexual violence. RAINN’s legislative efforts include testifying before Congress about the backlog of unanalyzed DNA casework and educating the media and lawmakers about the issue. The Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit operates an online instant-messaging-like hotline, as well as a national sexual assault hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE. There are numerous ways to volunteer and support RAINN, which designates 88 percent of donations for programs and services that help victims heal, educate the public and improve public policy. Learn how to get involved here.
  2. Men Can Stop Rape – Galvanizing men to fight violence against women, Men Can Stop Rape provides youth mentorship, campaigns that empower bystanders and college campus initiatives. The Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit offers also hosts online “Masculinity Conversations,” breaking down stereotypes, exploring gender norms and discussing what it means to be masculine. Men Can Stop Rape offers ways to support its efforts through donations and volunteer opportunities ranging from fundraising to campaigning to help with tasks such as web development. Learn how to get involved here.
  3. SAFER – Students Activate For Ending Rape empowers college students to fight sexual violence on campus by providing resource centers and trainings. SAFER’s Activist Mentoring Program provides one-on-one mentorship in which a trained student activist provides insight on efforts such as affecting policy reform. The New York-based nonprofit provides an online library of resources, which includes introductory information on activism and policy analysis. The organization fully relies on volunteers for outreach, web design, event planning and more. Learn how to get involved here.
  4. NSVRC – The National Sexual Violence Resource Center educates and supports programs that provide services to individual victims by distributing statistical, preventative, and general information regarding sexual violence. Each April, the Pennsylvania-based organization hosts a national sexual assault awareness month (SAAM) during which it holds the Visionary Voice awards — a program that recognizes those who commit themselves to ending sexual violence. Learn how to get involved here.
  5. PAVE – A grassroots nonprofit committed to breaking the silence surrounding sexual and domestic violence, Promoting Awareness Victim Empowerment (PAVE) focuses on individual projects that tackle specific aspects of the issue. Most recently, the Binding Project aimed to promote solidarity by giving victims, loved ones and supporters the chance to create bracelets dotted with words of empowerment to form an installation piece that will be exhibited in Chicago and New York City. Learn how to get involved here – via HuffPost

Circumcision – the case of the missing foreskin…

The History of Circumcision

According to the Book of Genesis in the Bible/Torah, G­od made a covenant with Abraham (a Jewish patriarch) in which Abraham and his descendents would be given great lands, riches and success, but with one catch: Abraham, his descendants and any slaves purchased or born in his household must be circumcised by the eighth day of life. Not doing so would mean that the uncircumcised male would be separate from his people and live without the favor of God. The Jews have held up their end of the deal. Rates of circumcision remain high in Jewish men: about 98 percent of American Jews are circumcised.

In addition to his son Isaac, who would grow up to lead the Jewish people, Abraham also fathered a child with a slave woman in his household. This child, Ishmael, was circumcised according to God’s demands but later cast out at the insistence of Abraham’s son Isaac. Considered the forefather of the modern-day Arab people, Ishmael passed down the custom of circumcision to his ancestors, including the prophet Muhammad.

When Muhammad’s teachings were collected into the Quran, there was no directive regarding circumcision. Nonetheless, most Muslims do circumcise their sons for the simple reason that Muhammad was circumcised. Some Muslims circumcise their infant sons (traditionally by the seventh day of life), while other Muslim young men are circumcised around adolescence. Today, almost two out of every three circumcised men on the planet are Muslim.

Most Christian sects don’t endorse circumcision, leaving the choice up to the family. Other religions, such as Buddhism or Hinduism, don’t have a stance on circumcision. Hindus, in fact, may not practice it simply because many people view it as an Islamic practice.

The history of circumcision has such a strong identification with Judaism that it’s easy to think the practice got its start in the Torah, but it’s believed that Jews were exposed to the custom by the ancient Egyptians, who practiced it for thousands of years before the birth of Christ. Regardless of whether the Jews taught the Egyptians or the Egyptians taught the Jews, people all over the world who had no contact with either group were practicing circumcision.

Both the Mayans and the Aztecs circumcised their male children and the practice has occurred for time immemorial by the native peoples of Australia, parts of Africa, Asia and the Americas.

Ancient historian Herodotus mentioned in his writings that circumcision was practiced by Colchians, an ancient people who lived in what is now modern-day Georgia.

Circumcision for medical purposes seems to have — in modern times at least — come into vogue in the 19th century as doctors began treating adult phimosis, although there are indications that the procedure might have been performed much earlier to prevent or treat venereal diseases.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, doctors began performing circumcisions more often, and now with anesthesia. (This isn’t to say that all previous operations through history have been performed with an entirely sober and fully cognizant adult patient.) As with various patent medicines and medical beliefs of the time, circumcision was seen by some as a cure for a range of ailments, from impotence to homosexuality.

My experience

As we seen, circumcision is a big deal in a lot of religions and cultures. As a matter of fact, you’re considered “unclean” if you’re not circumcised. Children who are circumcised as infants, grow up not even knowing the difference between circumcised and uncircumcised. Although the nerves packed into the foreskin provide additional stimulation during sexual activities. Its lubricating function also assists in sexual intercourse.

Additionally, the frenulum (which is removed in some circumcisions) provides stimulation. Since the glans is kept moist and soft by the foreskin, it too is more sensitive to touch. Though they serve a protective purpose, foreskins can cause problems. Since the foreskin keeps the glans lubricated, it must also be kept very clean to prevent bacteria buildup. When regular hygiene is not maintained, a white cheesy discharge called smegma may accumulate beneath the foreskin. Continued poor hygiene can lead to infections and urinary tract infections. Uncircumcised men are more prone to STDs and cancer of the penis.

I’ve dated both the ‘circumcised’ and the ‘uncircumcised’  and all I can say is – the penis in its erect state looks the same. Do I have a preference? My answer is yes – but this only due to health reasons. The good thing is that neither being circumcised or uncircumcised affects sexual performance.

Circumcision is better performed on male children when they’re infants. It was not even an option I had to think about when I was pregnant with my son. I already knew I wanted him circumcised and the hospital I birthed him in had a large selection of qualified doctors. New York Columbia Presbyterian is is one the most comprehensive university hospitals in the world, with leading specialists in every field of medicine so it was so an easy decision for me.

The doctor who performed my son’s circumcision was Arab and did an excellent job. I have found Arab and/or Jew physicians to be the best. This is not to say non-Arabs/Jews won’t do a good job. Since they’re infants, they don’t remember the pain and also don’t know that they’ve had such ‘work’ done.

If you do ever consider circumcision, make arrangements with a qualified doctor/hospital. You won’t regret it.   The question now remains how do you go about getting your partner or teenage son to undergo surgery? Most men won’t talk about their desire to be circumcised and they also won’t feel comfortable enough discussing it with you. Whatever their decisions are, support is important.

Benefits of circumcision:

  • A lot of men, and their partners, prefer the appearance of their penis after circumcision, It is odor-free, it feels cleaner, and they enjoy better sex. Awareness of a good body image is a very important factor in building self confidence.
  • The adult procedure takes 20-30 minutes under local anesthetic. Any embarrassment will quickly pass. Afterwards there can be some pain, as with any cut, but it can be managed with pain killers. The stitches will dissolve, but if any are left after 2 weeks, your physician should and will remove them. Sure, it will be swollen at first, but intercourse can resume after 4 weeks and careful masturbation earlier.
  • Some older men develop cancer of the penis – about 1 in 1000 – fairly rare, but tragic if you partner or your son are in that small statistic.
  • Infant circumcision gives almost 100% protection, and young adult circumcision also gives a large degree of protection.
  • Cancer of the cervix in women is due to the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). It thrives under and on the foreskin from where it can be transmitted during intercourse. Surely that alone makes it worth doing right?
  • Urinary tract infections sometimes occur in babies and can be quite serious. Circumcision in infancy makes it 10 times less likely.

Circumcision practices around the world

  • Customs vary in Africa across regions, countries and tribes. Some communities circumcise at birth, while others arrange a large ceremony and treat it as a coming-of-age event. Some parts of Africa aren’t frequented by trained circumcisers, so often a villager will perform the procedure, which increases the rate of infection. When a trained circumciser does travel through remote areas of Africa, it’s not uncommon for a family to produce boys of many different ages to be circumcised.
  • The rate of circumcision is high in the Middle East and Central Asia. Countries throughout Asia that don’t have large Muslim populations don’t tend to practice circumcision, except in South Korea and the Philippines. In South Korea, circumcision wasn’t practiced until the latter half of the 20th century; some believe it’s a direct result of the Koreans’ proximity to American service members who were stationed throughout the country, many of whom were circumcised.
  • From about 1980 to 1999, 65 percent of infants born in the United States were circumcised; in 2005, that percentage had dropped to 56, where it has generally held steady since. Rates of circumcision vary across the regions of the United States: Three out of four Midwestern babies are circumcised, while only slightly more than half of all Southern babies are cut. Only about 21 percent of infants are circumcised in the West.
  • Hispanics are less likely than non-Hispanics to circumcise male children. The greater concentration of Hispanics in the West over the last 30 years is believed to be responsible for the regional decline in circumcision.
  • Falling rates of circumcision in the United States may also be related to the back-and-forth of private insurers and especially Medicaid over whether or not the procedure is covered. Insurance companies have an interest in seeing circumcision fall out of fashion. Though the cost is included in total billing for hospital births, circumcisions cost around $200. That doesn’t seem like too much money, until you consider that of the 2.1 million males born in the United States in 2005, 1.2 million of them were circumcised

If you’re pregnant, consider having your newborn son circumcised. It’s a lot easier when they’re babies than when they’re adults. For more information on circumcision, consult your physician.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading Circumcision – the case of the missing foreskin…

Statistic Source: WHO

When other races say the “N” word…

In defining the word ‘Nigger/Nigga’ I looked up both definitions from Wikipedia and the Urban Dictionary and this is what I found:

The Urban Dictionary: Nigga is a word which evolved from the derogative term “nigger”. Tupac best defined the distinction between the two:

NIGGER- a black man with a slavery chain around his neck.

NIGGA- a black man with a gold chain on his neck.

Wikipedia: Nigga is a term used in Black English Vernacular that began as an eye dialect form of the word nigger (a word originated as a term used in a neutral context to refer to black people, as a variation of the Spanish/Portuguese noun negro, a descendant of the Latin adjective niger, meaning the color “black”).

There has been a lot of controversy over the use of the word over the years with each country/culture defining it slightly different. For instance in certain European countries the word ‘nigger’ or a variation of it still refers to a man/woman of African descent (basically a black man or woman).

The United States is a country/continent with the largest population of slave descendants. Yes, the use of slave descendants sounds harsh but it is a reality. Before you go off, I need you to read the article in full to better understand my use of certain verbs/nouns and terminology.

Being from Africa, the term slavery has a completely different meaning to me as it would an African American whose ancestors were forced into slavery.

You have to understand that even though a form of slavery still exists in Africa, we really don’t have the same views on the subject as our African American brothers and sisters.

An African views slavery as a rich man/woman who bought under-privileged people to work for them. This could also be a fellow African who happens to be more influential. Now ask an African American about slavery and they will give you a 20 page thesis on the suppression of the black race and the effects it has had on African descendants and how it has shaped society’s views on all people of color.

However, it amazes me that the same people who have fought for freedom and are still fighting for unity among all races are the ones who freely throw around the word ‘Nigger’, although the Urban dictionary gives its consent to using the word ‘Nigga’ since the legendary rapper Tupac Shakur (RIP) defined the distinction between the two.

In my personal opinion both terms are degrading and still ooze slavery and deprivation. I also don’t agree with Tupac Shakur’s definitions because it still depicts a form of bondage. What I fail to understand is how a group of people who have fought with their lives for freedom can go back to a form of enslavement in the way they live and/or portray themselves.

Considering our current era is all about being chic, modern, cool, sophisticated and trendsetting, why can’t we find a terminology that would incorporate all that this generation represents and use that term in place of ‘Nigger’/’nigga’.

I grew up with people calling me ‘Neggerin’ on a daily basis for 20 years. The worst part of it, was that it wasn’t a forbidden or derogatory term in Austria. It was a term people could use without suffering any consequences. I guess if the current African-American generation grew up the way I did, they would certainly think twice about glorifying slavery.

A few weeks ago, actress Gwyneth Paltrow was at a concert supporting her friends Jay-Z and Kanye West  and during the performance of their hit single “Niggas in Paris“, she tweeted:

“Niggas in Paris indeed…”

This caused an uproar among African Americans and it made headlines on almost every blog and news outlet. You would have thought she committed murder. I was surprised people were so angry at her for using the word ‘Nigga’. Why you ask?

Because it obviously isn’t a derogatory term in the United States. If it were men and women whose grandparents/great-grandparents were born into slavery and never experienced happiness, joy or freedom wouldn’t be throwing the word around loosely like it were some form of praise or a representation of freedom!

And to think that two of the most influential rap artist’ titled their rap song “niggas in Paris” expecting the world to censor themselves depending on race. When Gwyneth tweeted her thoughts, a few African American artist’ in the entertainment industry stood up to defend her and stated that she was only referring to the rap title but it still didn’t sit well with with the masses.

However the term is viewed individually, I believe that organizations like the NAACP could start a movement to ban the use of the word completely. To continue to use it to describe a certain character trait that’s considered urban and cosmopolitan, and expect other ethnicities or races to abstain from the word is foolishness and unrealistic.

I am yet to witness anything like it in the world where a certain terminology is only applicable based on the level of melanin in your body. Just the other day The Grio reported a story with the following headline:

“Man finds ‘Hello Ni**er!’ message on TV in Motel 6 room”

According to Cincinnati’s Channel 9 WCPO, an Ohio man checked into a Sharonville Motel 6, only to be greeted with an unexpected and disturbing dose of racism. Dayton native, Joseph Ross turned on his room’s television only to see the words “Hello Ni**er!” appear on the center of the screen.

“I turned the TV on, laid back on the bed… I saw something on the screen and I was like ‘Ah, that ain’t there.’ So then I focused my eyes, and I couldn’t believe what was on there,” Ross commented.

Ross initially called Motel 6′s corporate offices, who said that they would get back to him within 30 days. He then contacted the Dayton chapter of the NAACP. The chapter’s president, Derrick Forward, who can also collaborate the message, did not think it was a coincidence that this racist message appeared around the time of the predominantly black Macy’s Music Festival.

Christopher Smitherman, President of the Cincinnati NAACP recently posted to their website, “This behavior is despicable and un-American.”

Motel 6 release this statement in response to the incident:

At Motel 6, we are proud of the great diversity of the guests that we serve, and we are completely appalled by the offensive slur that appeared on our guest’s television screen Friday. We are investigating to determine how this mishap occurred, and after inspecting other rooms this appears to be an isolated incident.

_________________________________________________________________________

Huffington Post even published an article written by a Caucasian man married to an African American woman on the subject. Read it below:

The ‘N’ and Me:

I’m a 50 year-old White Anglo Saxon Protestant, but that’s where the similarity ends, because by marriage I’ve been a member of a large black family for more than half my life. And I’m not talking about black people who have a place in Sag Harbor and season tickets to the Opera. I’m talking about a huge raucous family from Oklahoma and Texas, some of whom use the word nigger when addressing me.

I love, and am loved, by my in-laws who, when exasperated or skeptical, or amused, have called me, to be precise, “niggah”. It always pleases me, and no, I have never reciprocated, but like a growing number of people who have a deep personal stake in undermining racism, I don’t simply hate the N word.

The first time my wife called me her nigger I felt a particular thrill. It was the kind of moment when the blood rushes to certain places, even as your mind recoils from its’ lustful thoughts. It was like she’d said, “If you want me to kill somebody for you, I will.” She said it real soft, with a hand on her hip. Half her mouth was smiling, the other half wasn’t. That was twenty-five years ago. We’d known each other for a few months and were wildly smitten.

“You my niggah,” she said.

I remember the sensation like it was yesterday. My wife is not what one would describe as ‘ghetto.’ She can ‘go there’ to be sure, but in her heart, her demeanor, and her upbringing, my wife is an elegant and refined black woman. She was raised by parents who abhorred the N-word, and did not allow it spoken in their home.

Nevertheless, it remains an everyday greeting, admonition and punchline among the politically aware, college educated children and children’s children. The word has legs. It wasn’t stamped out by the civil rights movement, it was redefined and, somewhat, taken over, by a generation of black Americans that inherited it. But it remains uniquely inflammatory, because, as an increasingly desegregated culture, we still don’t seem to be able to talk intelligently about it. The word has the power to make us stupid. The best we can do is talk about what it has meant, instead of what it means now. And we’re not even very good at that.

Case in point: Whoopi Goldberg and Elizabeth Hasselback demonstrated the peril a few years ago, and pointlessness, of debating whether this word should be spoken anymore by anyone, of any color.

I submit that it’s not a matter of ‘should’ because the meaning of pivotal, incendiary language always evolves more quickly than the arguments for or against. Words cannot be wiped out. They can only be replaced due to obsolescence or transformation.

Neither is likely to happen to the word ‘nigger’ anytime soon. My brother in-law, a man who has raised five successful, educated, and socially aware black children, is a particularly eloquent user of the N-word, and when he says:

“That niggah’s crazy!” it’s almost always, well, appropriate.

I am not defending the self-demeaning, nihilistic, ‘niggerization’ that is so called Gangsta, or Thug Life culture. That would be like defending the symptoms of a disease. I don’t like that shit, and I cringe when I hear my son follow along, word for word, with those dumb-ass, ignorant lyrics. To which he replies, “Dad, it’s gangsta rap. Of course it’s ignorant!” and he goes right on rapping. And damned if I’m not bobbing my head along with him by the time we park the car.

Like him, I’ve learned not to take it too seriously, but I remain deeply disappointed that so many hip hop “artists” appear comfortable being buffoons, who may as well have been created by racist overlords to make black people look bad. But the word nigger isn’t the problem; the problem is the lack of other words. Ignorance contributes to the problem. Amy brother in-law would say,

“If them niggah’s didn’t have the words nigger and fuck, they’d be a bunch of goddamn mutes!”

Wouldn’t that be a relief. “But what about The Black Community?” cry the hand wringing white liberals, and impatient white conservatives, and uneasy white moderates. “Why do they keep saying that terrible word that we’re not allowed to say!?”

The so-called ‘Black Community’ is neither completely comfortable, nor unanimously horrified, by the continued presence of the word nigger in the American vernacular, because the ‘Black Community’ is as varied, divided, and dynamic as any other community. We keep trying to define each other in these unhelpful, monolithic terms. It’s a symptom of intellectual laziness. Hey, maybe we should make improving public education a higher priority. Just a thought.

In our household, when talking to our black children, we try to point out that awareness of context and nuance does not remove the singular status from the word nigger. It is still unique in it’s power to wound and incite. When used as a bludgeon by non-black people or repeated as nauseum by black people, it reverts to the vile obscenity it’s been since slavery. No one we admonish, should forget or downplay, its hateful origins.

But the truth also is that in our household, nigger is just another dirty word. We are not a family that can neatly divide the people with permission to say it, from those who aren’t allowed. As I occasionally point out to my children, It’s kind of hard for me, twenty six years into being part of a black community, to differentiate nigger from fuck, suck, shit, bitch, ho, motherfucker, cunt, and all the other trash language that we hear on the street, and on radio, TV and the internet twenty four hours a goddamn day.

The liberalizing of the airwaves is not, in my opinion (in case you missed my note of weary exasperation) what I’d call progress. For me  and a growing number of white men and women in mixed families, ‘nigger’, when used without self-awareness and context, is just one more piece of the ever growing cultural crassness that sloshes around like floodwater these days.

To fixate on whether or not it’s okay to say it, as the ladies on The View were doing the other day, is to miss this larger point. At such a crucial moment in our history, when a black man who literally embodies the idea that we are all ultimately one race, could become the next president, our ability to put things into context, observe subtleties, and notice our common humanity with as much awareness as we notice the things that divide us, has never been more important.

We need to shake off the last eight spirit-crushing years of willful ignorance, brazen hypocrisy, and cynical politicization, and stop wasting our breath with facile pronouncements about what we’re allowed to say. Ignorance and intolerance are the root of obscenity. Not the other way around. The word nigger isn’t going away anytime soon. Let’s figure out what that’s about, instead of arguing about whether it’s too awful to say aloud.

In order to do this, we need to understand ourselves better. As a white man in a black family, I can say with some authority, the word ‘nigger’ has a lot of different meanings, and context is crucial to understanding why it persists in our language.

Talking heads from Elizabeth Hasselback to Jesse Jackson can bloviate all they want about how nobody should be allowed to say it, but they both know they are grossly oversimplifying, precisely in order to keep the argument on the Jerry Springer level. That, after all, is how they make their living. People who have achieved brand status on TV don’t get paid to really listen, because what if, God forbid, they blurt out something like:

“Wow, I never thought of it that way before.”

Rather, they get paid to present market-tested attitudes that audiences and sponsors can comfortably endorse or dismiss, without having to think too hard: Righteous Indignation, Holier-than-thou Dismay, or the ever reliable, Snarky Cynicism. But the cost of all this willful bullshit is very high. We lose any sense of context. Every issue becomes a shouting match. Self-righteousness and moral outrage overwhelm any chance for thoughtful discussion.

Yes, Reverend Jackson said the N-word the other day, but why? Was he being ironic? Was he kidding? Did we get a glimpse of an old lion’s understandable bitterness that this upstart, Obama, has passed him on the way to a new paradigm?

Now, that conversation — had anyone on TV dared to have it — might have put the dreaded N-word into fascinating context. But all we got was,

“Civil rights leader says the N-word! How could he, of all people? Oh the hypocrisy!”

Oh, put a sock in it! Of course Jesse Jackson is guilty of hypocrisy, but not just because he got careless in front of a hot microphone.

Who among us hasn’t muttered an uncouth aside before warmly greeting someone we don’t like? Rather, it’s because, as gifted and courageous as he has been, he no longer bothers to differentiate speaking truth to power from opportunistic grandstanding. Like I said, the man’s got to make a living.

And once again the N-word proved it’s usefulness as a hot topic for another exercise in insight avoidance, and keeps it’s role as the only word in our language that is perceived as a villain by some, and strangely irreplaceable, by others. What a word.

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It’s interesting to note that the Caucasian man who wrote the article above described himself as being a part of the Black family. I’m almost inclined to believe he thinks he’s a light skin black man.

What do you think? His viewpoints, although he raised some very valid ones, could almost be labeled ‘opinions of a black man‘. This man seems to be of the opinion that as long as it’s used in the right circles, it’s alright.

I personally don’t care what social circle I’m in, if you are unable to express yourself without the use of the word ‘nigger/nigga’, you must have underlying issues that need to be addressed and treated immediately!

What are your thoughts on this topic: when other races say the “N” word?

The battle of the races: BM/WM vs. BW/WM

In what seemed like the battle of the races: BM/WM vs. BW/WM on Twitter yesterday when In Flex We Trust’ blogger Ice and Luceeria stirred up quite a discussion. The topic was why black men preferred white women and the response was why black women prefer white men.

Although I am not in total agreement with them both, I felt I’d still share their views on why interracial relationships occur between the black and white.

A lot of what’s cited as the reason either race prefers the other borderlines on stereotypes and a narcissistic trait, so for those of you who are not too familiar with the American way, this DOES NOT apply to every black man/woman or every white man/woman.

Read the top 10 reasons for yourself and judge and let me know what your thoughts are.

10 reasons why black men prefer white women 10 reason why black women prefer white men
1. White women are just more FUN to be with. There isn’t an easier way to explain it, but If you just want a fun relationship void of nagging, complaining and the like…date a white girlfriend. 1. White men have their life in order. Take a look at Robin Thicke, Chris Noth, Robert DeNiro, Justin Chambers, David Bowie just to name a few. What do all these powerful, rich and famous men have in common? They’re all married to BLACK WOMEN!
2. Have you ever had oral sex with a white woman or has she ever gone down on you? If you’ve experienced it before, then you know what I’m talking about. 2. White men are excellent lovers. Have you ever had oral sex with a Suburban man with full lips and an appetite? White men definitely know how to pleasure a woman.
3. White women love taking care of their men. Cooking…not a problem. Cleaning…not a problem. Is there anything else you want…it’s not a problem with them. 3. White men love to take care of their girlfriends. Do you need your car washed, oil changed or perhaps your gutters cleaned or a new chandelier installed? ‘Joe’ has that all covered.
4. White women don’t give their boyfriends as many headaches as women of other races. There’s very little nagging and complaining. They don’t go through your phone and neither do they want to know who everyone on your contact list is. 4. White men are mature and respect their girlfriends. I don’t constantly have to yell at ‘Rob’ for coming home late because Rob is responsible enough to know when to be home. I don’t have to nag ‘Rob’ to be responsible because he knows what his responsibilities are. I don’t have to go through ‘Rob’s’ phone or email because I suspect foul play. I also don’t have to worry about ‘Rob’ calling me 5453 times in a row because I didn’t respond quickly enough to his initial text message. ‘Rob’ doesn’t accuse me of sleeping with every man I say hello to. ‘Rob’ doesn’t make unexpected visits past my house to see whose car is parked in the driveway.
5. White women have no problem spoiling their men with gifts. They actually love to buy gifts for their men. It’s an ego booster for them. Take a look at Kim Kardashian for example; have you seen the gift she bought for Kanye West for his birthday? Need I say more? 5. White men are a lot more generous. I once dated a white man and within 4 days, I got a bouquet of exotic flowers, an edible arrangement and a $200 date. A black man will buy you lingerie for Christmas and get upset when you’re not excited at his gift. I’m not saying material gifts are the foundation towards a successful relationship, but black men are stingy with their money. It’s almost near impossible to get a black man to give or loan you $200 dollars.
6. White women are not looking to be in a rap video. She’s also not interested in her boyfriend buying everything in the bar or lighting up the club with sparklers. She just prefers to dance and enjoy her drink(s). 6. White men aren’t trying to become music A&R on Twitter. Some of my black brothers spend COUNTLESS hours on Twitter, dissecting mixtapes, albums and blogs but have never tweeted about a day at work. You’re not producers or hitmakers! The majority of white men I know have goals. Try starting up a conversation with a white man, and before too long you’ll know of his goals and aspirations. If you don’t believe me, spend some time on Twitter during business hours you’ll understand what I’m talking about.
7. White women don’t mind experimenting in the bedroom. Women of other races are a lot more restrictive. You can basically try out different things with a white woman in the bedroom and she’ll smile through it all. 7. White men appreciate and respect my requests in the bedroom. I believe that making love should be more than just the act. It’s a bonding experience designed for pleasure and growth. But should a black woman suggest a specific position to a black man, he begins to accuse of unfaithfulness and questions himself on whether he’s in a relationship with a ‘slut’. If you ask a white man to stick a finger in your back?
8. It’s easier to introduce your white girlfriend to your friends and family. For example: “Hi everyone, this is Amber” is a lot easier than saying “hi everyone, meet Shaniqua”. 8. White men are more family oriented. My grandmother doesn’t have to worry that ‘Tom’ will steal her sterling silver gravy boat at Thanksgiving dinner. He also always remembers to bring a bottle of wine for Aunty Tamika.
9. White women don’t talk back or argue with their boyfriends or husbands. If you add a little aggression to your tone, she’ll do whatever you say. This is not the case with women of other race, who would rather argue or fight. ALWAYS! 9. White men listen. I don’t have to tell ‘Tom’ more than once what I would like him to do for me. I’m STILL waiting on Dayquan to remove his hair brush and du rag from my car.
10. White women don’t mind getting their hair wet, especially in the summer time. Who wants to be at the pool or by the beach with a woman who’s afraid of getting her weave wet? White women just jump in the pool without worrying about their hair. 10. White men LOVE my hair. Whether my hair is weaved, pressed or naturally twisted. I’ve ALWAYS received compliments from Caucasian men. They touch it (with permission), play with it and I’ve even had one help me twist it before. In additions, they understand that while black women don’t often get their hair wet, we don’t smell like a wet dog when we do.

Do the above lists seem familiar? If yes, it’s because I posted an article about two weeks ago similar to this. Read it here…

KolorBlind’s most searched term – ‘sex’!

I’m a new Blogger in a world of approximately 200 million bloggers* who blog about everything under the moon. What sets me and a few hundred (well not quite that many) apart is that I blog about a topic that isn’t popular and hasn’t really gained worldwide attention yet. I blog about interethnic/interrace relationships, marriage, parenting and the equality of all races.

The WordPress platform (and I would recommend this if you ever consider blogging in the future) is very robust and offers a lot of free blogging features. One of the many features that rank high on my list is the Statistics view which allows me to see which of my blog articles have been read how many times per day and by which countries. WordPress even goes further by letting me know who referred them. If the referral was from a search engine; it shows me a list of search terms that lead the read to my website.

This is starting to sound like a review of WordPress and the features it offers bloggers isn’t it? Well, to not digress much the reason I bring this up is that over the past few weeks since I’ve been blogging I’ve been observing what search terms people enter into their search engines. I was surprised at KolorBlind’s most searched term.  The top four (4) searches are in this specific order (I have modified the search terms a bit for easier reading):

  1. Sex in interracial relationships
  2. Acceptance within interracial relationships
  3. Celebrity couples in interracial relationship
  4. Biracial/multiracial children and their looks

Are you noticing a trend here? Day after day, week after week, these four search terms bring people to my website. This leads me to believe that there is not enough information out there to satisfy people’s curiosity. A lot of men and women are still afraid of interracial/interethnic relationships because they believe they will not be sexually satisfied. Either that, or the horniest people are the ones who browse the web the most. I’ve written articles before to address the myths in existence but I don’t think my articles have made it to the people who need to read them.

If after you read this article and it has provided you with more information on interracial/interethnic relationships, please share the article by using any one of the sharing buttons below. You can share this and other articles to your twitter, facebook, tumblr, wordpress, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn, Pinterest, google+ and Reddit account(s).

I think I may have to start an interracial/interethnic matchmaking service to help people with their love life or the lack thereof.

I need you to pay attention to the next few words you read:

There are big and small penises in every race and ethnicity. There is no truth to the fact that certain races or ethnicities possess bigger penises than others.

  • Do not judge a man by his race and/or ethnicity
  • Do not judge a man by his physique
  • Do not judge a man by his shoe size

Until you’ve been with a man, there is no way you can judge if he will satisfy you or not. In addition to that, it takes two to tango. It really does. Because of the differences in culture and exposure one partner may know more than the other. Unless one of you has a serious sexual dysfunction, you can be taught the art of love making.

Ignoring a man or woman of a different race/ethnicity simply because you have heard certain cliques about their race, ethnic groups or country will only make you lose out on love. Open your mind and options and be willing to give love a chance.

I cannot and will not detail any sexual positions or things to try out during love making. You will need to visit some other sites for that. I can however, educate you on your chances of finding love in another race and/or ethnicity. I repeat do not believe the hype. You can only become an expert in something you consistently devote your time to. Have you ever heard of the saying: “with practice comes perfection?” Don’t lose out on an opportunity to find love.

There is a book I would like to recommend you buy and read. It’s a book written by a fellow KolorBlind woman who details her account of dating men of different races and/or ethnicities and her results. The book titled “A Black Girl’s Guide To Dating White Men” by Niki McElroy. Don’t let the title fool you, this book is not only about white men.

Did you answer our poll? Good luck and check back here soon.

*As of early 2011, there were 156 million bloggers! An astonishing number if you consider blogging has only been around for less than 10 years.

 

Image Credits: Google: blogspot/ineedhits