Friday, December 31, 2010
The number one priority is to assess the financial circumstances under which Jamie will be able to get the greatly needed kidney transplant from the donor who will be her Sister, Gladys. Where is the money coming from, who will pay ? Her kidneys failed IN prison, she got sick IN prison.
The second priority is to assess and examine the strategies necessary to make their release fully permanent. Indefinite suspension is not FREEDOM. This action is not about JUSTICE. We promised Jamie and Gladys JUSTICE.
We need to question the terms and condition and status of their release. The State of Mississippi has released them without pardon and without a commutation which very much remands them still to the custody of the Department of Corrections, but not under the normal probationary regulations. We have to ask why. This is bottom line an impediment and barrier to block them from talking to media, the community or to redress the great injustice done to them and the burden it has placed on their lives and their family.
We have to ask, on this matter was this a way of ensuring that the Sisters cannot charge the state with violation of both their judicial, civil or human rights or challenge the initial sentence of 2x life sentences; or challenge the conduct of the court or prosecutors in the matter ? Did Barbour view this release as a way of removing political baggage off of his desk in his quest for the Republican nomination for President , espeically in the light of his recent idiot racist remarks reported widely ? Why was there no immediate release ? Why did Barbour intentionally underscore guilt in his statement, where guilt is at the core of the question of the courts' decision ? Why did the Pardons Board recommend no commutation or pardon ? They could have and the Governor could have chosen his option of indefinite suspension.
Suspension means just that, suspend, hold up. At any point, these Sisters can be returned to prison. If they speak to the media, hire an attorney, file complaints about their incarceration or the inadequacy of Jamie's medical treatment while incarcerated; or if they speak at all about the conditions under which they were found guilty, sentenced or incarcerated. Have any of us ever heard of one instance when the government imposes an organ donation as a term of anything ? In the situation of a suspension of sentence, I guess they can just about do anything. This action is nothing less than house arrest, with organ donation thrown in and no financial capacity for the surgery.
Still I wept in happiness for Jamie and Gladys and their family. As a Mother, I wept for Evelyn Rasco. Rest now for a while. We have work to do.
this case brought to light the history of the government and large corporations exploiting the bodies of people of color, especially that of prisoners. what cases have ever required a prisoner to give up a part of their body? what right does Haley Barbour think he has to make someone give up an ORGAN!! the books Killing the Black Body and Medical Apartheid speak about the ways the government has disrespected our rights to our own bodies since the beginning of colonialism. i cannot fathom how this case has even been thriving for 16 years. this needs to be a call to action. especially for those that believe race relations are all unicorns and sunshine since Obama was elected.
i'm ready for a riot. anyone know of one, just let me know the time and the place.
also, here's Governor Haley Barbour's address so you can send him hate mail:
Governor Haley Barbour
P.O. Box 139
comment. think. criticize. riot.
Friday, December 24, 2010
you cant convince me that people of color have been targeted in their infant mortality rate & with cancer...that is reaching
especially in the article talking about black hair products and increased risk of cancer apposed to whites.I studied cosmetology.I know what is in a relaxer.there is no natural and safe option to change the hair chemestry to restructure curl pattern in the way of a relaxer. the pH level is in the range of depilatories and drano.people should never use them anyway.hair oils are available non-aerosol & all natural.most hair & skin products can be made naturally.BPA and other toxins are found in MOST plastics...not just hair product containers.just like the food we eat we should always know what we are exposing ourselves to.
lack of education is a choice.we have public schools.there are many FREE outlets to find education.we are not limited to private schooling here.
incarceration rate is an individual choice...no ones circumstances MAKES someone commit a crime.they make that choice.
I have not been living in a bubble.i do believe there are racist people in our country, but i will NOT believe there is a social and economic conspiracy against people of color.
also many cultures are represented in my family,
hispanic,black and native american.My best friend who calls me sister is black and she has never made me feel like that there is some grudge between our races.I'm sure she is aware of racism in the world but it has NEVER kept her from doing anything or getting what she wanted out of life.I have never hear her one time say to me that her skin color has been a barrier to her progress.
And i can tell you've experienced racism in the south toward me by black people.. completely unwarranted...because for some reason southern black people still think that all white people are automatically racist...i am not an didnt deserve it.some people have this chip on their shoulder and its made out of some paranoia that is fed to them.
I'll have you know I love our military.our military has nothing to have shame over..we arent like the nazis exterminating a the jews.we fight wars when we feel it's necessary & we take it abroad to keep the fight of our soil.we search out the threat and stop it,we dont wait for it to come at us...just like this war.9/11 targeted american citizens of many races...not just white people.and our military is full of people of color.our enlistment is voluntary so they make the same choice to be a solidier and serve in our wars.and all the destruction that was brought to other countries we hire contractors to rebuild it,we didnt just leave it.we have started schools & job training there as well.we've tried to bring democratic votes.we've been there training thier own people with military and police training to better equip them in achieving THEIR goals for their country.
and how is it that our president is african american if white people seem to be always taking the advantage of power?he is the MOST powerful man in the united states..
[but hey maybe his white mother really isnt dead and is actually behind the scenes pushing her white people agenda into his politics?...maybe you can find a way to expose that conspiracy.]
And if this country isnt good enough for you...and you're here by "circumstance"...how bout you move to africa or the middle east and try and voice your concerns there?...i'm pretty sure you wont have the opportunies of expression like you have the rights to here.
These things you have said are really offensive to me & it shocks me to hear from someone i thought i once knew.By your last paragraph especially i can see now you are a racist & we cannot be friends anymore.I'm sorry to say.
comment. think. criticize.
comment. think. criticize. check out Thus Spoke Zarathustra-a personal inspirational book. and The Antichrist would be a great stocking stuffer for your Christian pals....
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Monday, December 6, 2010
recently, i had a discussion on Tumblr about how people celebrate (do re-enactments) of the Civil War and/or other historical events from the Antebellum south and what exactly these events are saying. a fellow Tumblr remarked that she and/or her ex participated in Civil War re-enactments and that it was really just a chance to get dressed up for history buffs. and i've just read about how the 50th anniversary of the secession is coming up either now or soon and all the parties and whatnot that will be planned in celebration.
"Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery...Utter subjugation awaits us in the Union, if we should consent longer to remain in it. It is not a matter of choice, but of necessity. We must either submit to degradation, and to the loss of property worth four billions of money [the estimated total market value of slaves], or we must secede the Union framed by our fathers, to secure this as well as every other species of property."
Thursday, December 2, 2010
recently, the anniversary arose of the time Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus, which became a catalyst for the civil rights movement and many subsequent movements. her individual contribution should be celebrated and appreciated for as long as our memories permit. however, i would like to talk about another case that was very similar to Rosa Parks but did not warrant the national outcry and media attention as Rosa's case.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Friday, November 26, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Friday, November 5, 2010
so i was in the language section of the library last week when i saw this book entitled Black Talk: Words and Phrases from the Hood to the Amen Corner by Geneva Smitherman. sounded interesting. so i checked it out. it's basically a dictionary of terms used mainly by African Americans, or at times, people of color living in urban settings. in addition to words and some interesting etymologies, it also contains an introduction that speaks the issue of "talking black" in professional settings, the history of it, and the somewhat recent contriversy in the school system with teachers actually wanting to teach "Ebonics". heres some words in the book (some of which i find hilarious):
B- 1)a form of address for a male or female, though more common for males; probably a shortened for of "Blood". "yo B, wassup?" sometimes the initial of the person's first name is substituted for "B." 2)euphemism for bitch.
Bidness- any personal affair, event, experience, or activity one is involved in. "i got some bidness to take care of" might refer to anything from paying a utility bill to confronting somebody about a deal that's gone awry. bidness is the AAE [African American English] pronunciation of "business".
Call Myself/Yourself/Herself/etc. -to consider yourself to be doing something; to intend to do a thing without actually acheiving your objective. "girls, what you call yourself doing?" that is, what do you think you're doing?; and "i call myself having this dinner ready on time," that is, i had every intention of accomplishing that goal, but i didn't.
check yosef- monitor your words, actions, or behavior. "Yourself" pronounced yosef in AAE.
cock sucker- a man who is weak, passive, emasculated. derived from the notion that a man who performs oral sex is a weakling; the myth is that African American men don't go down on women.
cracker- a white person; a derogatory term. possibly derived from the sound of the master's whip during enslavement; by extension, any white person.
down south- any place south of the Mason-Dixon Line, once consdiered the most racist part of the United States. However, Malcolm X coined the expression "up south", to signify on the mythical notion, held by blacks for over a hundred years after emancipation, that the US north was free of segregation and racism.
European Negro- an African American who thinks like and identifies with European Americans, and who rejects black casues and the black community. also Afro-Saxon (older term).
God don't like ugly- a popular saying from the Oral Tradition, meaning that some negative action, behavior, or attitude is displeasing to the Creator, and you will be punished.
HNIC- Head Nigger in Charge; a black person put in charge by whites, usually not in charge of anything meaningful; generally functions to keep other blacks in line. also BNIC (Boss Nigger in Charge).
honky- a negative term for a white person. probably derived and borrowed from the name-calling and expression of resentment by settled European Americans against central and Eastern European immigrants, who were negatively referred to as "hunkies" (from 'Hungarians'). blacks, in competition with these immigrants in the first half of the twentieth century, generalized the term to all whites.
hoochie- a sexually promiscuous female.
kitchen- the hair at the nape of the neck, inclined to be the most curly (kinky) and thus the hardest part of straightened hair to keep from "going back".
some of the words in the book i have never heard until i moved to New York, and some i have never heard ever (bumping titties??), and some i have attempted to remove from my vocabulary. it's also very telling how many words in this book reference drugs and sex (almost every other word is code for crack, heroine, or oral sex). i like how she included possible origins of some words like "Cracker", supposedly coming from the sound of a whip.....interesting.
in any colonized society, the colonized subjects all have to deal with assimilation, even in ways we may not even dream. it seems that language, even today as yet another barometer for genuine assimilation-those who speak properly (that is, as European as possible) are seen as more intelligent, more professional, and possibly even wealthier. and in some circles, language can be an indicator of where one stands-someone speaking too "white" can be seen as a sell-out or someone out of touch with their roots. Chican@s who speak English and Spanish can give much insight to how language can/has effected the colonized subject. although English and Spanish are both the languages of the colonizers, Spanish has come be viewed as the language of the uneducated/poor.
oftentimes, i think we assume that these slang languaages are the dialects of the poor and uneducated, but really, it is the normal meandering of language. all countries and all societies have and/or have had proper and slang dialects. the American English is actually a slang version of the English from England. as is the English of South Africa, Australia, India, and Jamaica. one dialect is not any more intelligent than the other. i think it's important to remember that language is simply a tool for communication. and if one cannot comunicate with their own people, what is the purpose?
comment. think. speak unapologetically.
"My main point here is that if you are the child of God and God is a part of you, the in your imagination God suppose to look like you. And when you accept a picture of the deity assigned to you by another people, you become the spiritual prisoners of that other people. " -John Henrik Clarkei like learning about scholars whose works have been characteristic of many other scholars, but have yet to reach me for whatever reason. i've read a few times about John Henrik Clarke....a quote here or there, but i just recently saw a youtube video of him speaking about how Islam and Christianity have been instruments in the enslavement of African peoples (which is probably the most fascinating topic to me, period). theres actually a good number of videos on youtube of him speaking on various topics. coming from Union Springs, Alabama (very close to my hometown, Enterprise), a son of sharcroppers (which i've come to understand as slavery under a different name), a writer, historian, professor, a Pan-Africanist, and basically the pioneer of African Studies in the United States. his books are up on my reading list. here's one of his videos:
Friday, October 22, 2010
after going through female genital mutilation and being married off at 13, Waris, a Somalian, was discovered in London by a model agent. after becoming famous, she shared her story and has started her own foundation whose sole purpose is to fight against Female Genital Mutilation. she has also written an autobiography entitled Desert Flower that i've been trying to get for the longest. i think someone stole it from the library.....i think this movie premiered at some type of film festival, so i may need to find it on the internet or wait for it to come out on DVD. this story interested me because it reminded me of Ayaan Hirsi Ali's autobiography Infidel. i think i read that about 2 years ago, and it was such an eye opening piece of work for me. i don't get emotional very often, but i cried a number of times throughout that book. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a native Somalian as well, underwent Female Genital Mutilation too. her grandmother held her down, while a man from their neighborhood (whose main occupation was to genitally mutilate females) cut off her clitoris with a rusty pair of scissors. he then stitched up her labia around her clitoris, which then was to be broken or cut open by her husband on their wedding night (although she escaped while on the trip to marry him). all while being administered no anesthesia, somewhere between the ages of 11 and 14. Ayaan recalls fainting when she urinated for some time after that episode. she is such an inspiration for me. not only has she gone on to educate herself, she's spoken out (at the risk of her life) against FGM as well as religiosity through her autobiographies and a film with the late Theo Van Gogh (a death threat for her was stabbed into his chest by religious extremists) and she's also served in Dutch Parliament.
i think this was the first time i'd read a personal account about Female Genital Mutilation, and i've since read a number of accounts (another to note, a book entitled Burned Alive by Souad). but every account is as horrific as the first. its difficult to even fathom someone doing that to one of the most sensitive areas of the body, but it happens all the time. The World health Organization has some facts about this "practice". and ReligiousTolerance.org has some background information/theories about the supposed reasoning behind FGM.
as a westerner, it is difficult to critique practices from areas of the world i have never been because even though i have read facts, personal accounts, and statistics on a certain topic, i have a western bias whether i want to or not. i will have an aversion to some things simply because it is not commonplace for me. however, i think the only way someone can be corrected or changed, in their opinions, is to put those opinions on the table. if your arguments aren't heard, then you're likely to stay stagnant-stagnant in you mental state, in your politics, in your personal life, in growth altogether. to me, progression IS life. if i am not progressing , then there is no point.
that being said, i acknowledge that i may be wrong in condemning this practice, however, i think its a deplorable practice that should be banned by any means necessary. some individuals choose to call it "female circumcision", but its nowhere near that of male circumcision. its MUTILATION in every sense of the word. males undergo mutilation as well, it is simply more common for males, especially in the United States to undergo it soon after birth. but males have the foreskin of their penises cut off, while females have their clitoris cut off, and then have their labia stitched up around the clitoris. men do not have issues with urination after FGM, like females, and males do not have a menses or have to go through childbirth, so its almost pointless to even attempt to compare the two.
aside from the immense pain that is experienced through FGM, females also have issues urinating, usually get infections or diseases, have hemoragging and genital ulcers soon after, with an increased chance of STD's such as HIV. after the labia is ripped or broken open by husbands, genital tears are likely to occur. and thats not including the complications that result from childbirth. this practice forces women to have Cesarean sections, and the death rate for children born from mothers that have undergone FGM is significantly less that that of other children born to women that have not undergone FGM, not to mention the heightened risk of death for girls themselves. and all of this is even more horrific considering that prepubescent girls undergo this. if adult women chose to go through this, i probably wouldn't feel as disgusted by this, but there are young girls that are held down against their will, mutilated without anesthesia, usually cut with some crude knife, scissors, pieces of glass or sharp metal.
i think its also necessary to note that, from what i've read, the societies that expect women to be mutilated, the reason is because men want a virgin when they are married, and considering the vagina is stitched shut under the labia, this is one way of ensuring chastity. but does this mean that these men have some type of fetish with chastity? arguably. but what society doesn't? a simple examination of terms like "slut", "hoe", and "tramp", can show you that women in our society are judged a good deal based on their levels of chastity. women that have a large number of sexual partners are considered the lowest of the low, while men that do it have their dicks gold plated and worshiped.
it should also be noted that i don't necessarily link this to any religion in particular. although i have many issues with religion, and believe that it impacts society negatively more often than not, there really is not any particular Surah (verse) in the Quran that promotes or mandates FGM. however, i do think that Islam and Christianity do a part in limiting the ideals of females and holding the chastity of females higher than anything else. think about the most praised female in the bible. Mary. she did what besides have a child-while supposedly maintaining her chastity? NOTHING. she did absolutely nothing. she was a virgin and a mother, and she's held as the ideal in the bible. i think once something becomes habit in a society, its difficult to deviate from that, regardless of how unreasonable it may be.
so whats the point of this post? i think its always good to get a different prespective on something, and hear about different practices from different parts of the world. it also forces you to think about your thoughts on morality as a whole.
is it wrong to condemn other cultures? to what extent? if you say "no", then does this include things like child sex slavery? or even genocide? if you say "yes", then where do you draw the line between an uninformed opinion and a valid argument? do i need to experience FGM in order to critique it?
watch the movie. help me find the movie. read their books. comment. think. criticize.