I’m straight, but i’m no hater. I want to give a congratulations shout out to all of the gay and lesbian folks in Washington, DC who can now get married. The Washington Post reports that couples lined up beginning at 6 a.m. at the D.C. district courthouse, vying to be among the first same-sex couples to apply for marriage licenses. Good for them. Whether it’s mixed race couples, couples from different sides of the tracks, or people who get married and everyone knows they shouldn’t…we all deserve to choose who we walk down the isle with.
When we start picking and chosing who gets what rights and who deserves what freedoms, we get onto a slippery slope. There was a time when African Americans were not free to live where they wanted to live, marry who they loved, or just go have a burger at the local diner just because of the social norms and stereotypes that helped shape American law. Discrimination was the law. Treating one group as lesser than another was the law. I’m so glad to say that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation when it comes to marriage is no longer the law here in the District.
PS: You better make sure that marriage comes with same-sex divorce too. I’m just saying. LOL
Photo: Michael K. Cole & Jamil Smith Cole. The two jumped over the broom Atlanta Georgia in 2009.
Filed under african american, black, civil rights, community, culture, d.c., gay, government, news, opinion, relationships, society, washington, washington dc
I read the Washington Post Express a lot in the mornings. It’s got just the right mix of pithy entertainment and actual journalism. Well, today I was in for a real Post-Racial treat.
I don’t know who you are, Roxana Hadadi, but I’ve got to tell you that I think your article to day on Mike Epps was terrible and had some serious problems. Here’s what I didn’t like:
- You mention a story where 2 movie reviewers at a screening for “Resident Evil: Extinction” think that Omar Epps is the movie instead of Mike. That played into the “All black people look alike” myth. You note that they are cousins. That’s no excuse. They look Nothing alike. Nothing. Omar doesn’t even do comedy.You even say, “…Epps is inevitably the guy you immediately laugh at– even though you may first mistake him for his more dramatic relative”. Huh? I’m sorry, no one is mixing those two brothers up.
- The title of this article “Familiar Stranger” made me think of “stranger danger”. So is this black man scary, like a stranger?
- You say that he takes stereotypes about the “funny brother” and “drop-kicks them back in your face, making them absurdly believable wile also hysterically humorous”. Basically your saying that he does the stereotype so well that it’s hysterical. How can you flip something but then end up being the embodiment of it?
- You move on to Epps’s role in “The Hangover”: “Oh, and those comments on roofies — “Just the other day, me and my boy was wondering why they even call them roofies. … Why not floories, right? Cuz when you take them, you’re more likely to end up on the floor than the roof” – may be horribly inappropriate, but they’re also guiltily funny. They’re not as divisive or controversial as the kind of stuff fellow comedians-turned-actors Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle have said, but in a way, Epps — who performs Saturday at DAR Constitution Hall — has a goofy, universal appeal that rivals Rock’s and Chappelle’s natural charisma.”
First of all, are you saying that it’s not controversial to make fun of roofies? It’s the damn date rape drug! Then you call two very intellectual Black comedians “divisive”. I really, really would love to hear your explanation for the use of that word. What do you find divisive about Rock and Chappelle. Perhaps their jokes about race and race relations? Divisive is a whole lot of things in this “Post-Racial” world, huh? Question: Would you call Richard Pryor divisive as well? You say Epps has a universal appeal, but I think Rock and Chappelle are even more universal in their appeal. Of course all of this is just my opinion. Roxanna, you are entitled to yours as well, I just think you’re off.Also you mention Epps’s joke about getting money from white friends and never having to pay it back. Isn’t that a divisive joke?
I dont’ understand where you were going with this article, Roxana. It seems a bit, well…divisive.
Filed under african american, black, black man, culture, d.c., funny, hollywood, opinion, race, stereotype, washington, washington dc
None of the black people I know have ever been given their handcuffs as a “You got arrested” souvenir. Apparently Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. received more than a beer at the White House after his traumatic arrest…on his front porch. He’s donated the handcuffs used on him to the Smithsonian Institution’s black history museum. This makes me wonder…what other items will be on display with these handcuffs?
- One of the night sticks used on Rodney King
- Handcuffs used on famous African Americans (MLK, Tupac, Diana Ross, etc)
- A replica of a Montgomery, Alabama jail cell from the Civil Rights era
- That horrible neck brace will the bells on it that you sometimes see in illustrations found in books on slavery.
What would happen if black males all over the nation requested that they be given their former chains and handcuffs so that they could be donated to the Smithsonian as a testament to the record incarceration rates of black men in America. Surely, 50 years…100 years from our children would marvel at the shear size of the collection of metal bonds. Would they be amazed and say, “There’s no way that so many people of one race could have been accused of/guilty of that much crime!”. Or perhaps they will just shake their heads and say, “Nothing has changed.”.
Filed under african american, black, black history, black man, black men, civil rights, crime, d.c., history, injustice, news, race, washington dc
Negro dialect? Really Senator Harry Reid? Just because you mean well doesn’t mean your comments were not racially insensitive. If you’re dark-skinned with a negro dialect…guess you’ll never be elected. Bright=right, huh?
Democrats continue to close ranks behind Sen. Reid after the book “Game Change” revealed that he made comments suggesting that Barack Obama could become the first African-American president because he was “light-skinned” and because he did not speak with a “Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.” Reid has apologized, but the right is milking this situation for all it’s worth and calling for him to step down.
In this situation I feel that what is said has been said and there is no good excuse. There is a lot wrong with Reid’s remarks. Blacks shouldn’t give him a pass, and Democrats shouldn’t either. He shouldn’t the spokesperson for the Dems, anymore than Trent Lott should be the spokesperson for Republicans. If he going to see any real repercussions? Perhaps when he’s up for re-election.
We should hold politicians to a higher standard and sometimes you don’t get a second chance after you put your foot in your mouth. Joe Biden is the exception to that rule, the Dems can’t afford to have more than one loud mouth who doesn’t think before he speaks. That’s what the Republicans and Fox news are for.
The NY Times makes some great points:
Supporters of Mr. Reid said the Reid and Lott situations were also different because of what they say is Mr. Reid’s unimpeachable record on civil rights. They mentioned Mr. Reid’s support from black leaders across the country as well as his efforts to integrate the Las Vegas strip and Nevada’s gambling industry. Mr. Lott’s record was more mixed, and included, among things, his previous opposition to making the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday a federal holiday and his vote against the Voting Right Act as a member of Congress.
“They are not in the least bit comparable,” said Lani Guinier, the Harvard Law School professor whose nomination as assistant attorney general for civil rights in 1993 was pummeled by conservative groups and eventually withdrawn by President Bill Clinton.
Mr. Lott’s remarks, Ms. Guinier said, seemed to be expressing nostalgia for the segregationist platform of Mr. Thurmond’s 1948 presidential campaign, while Mr. Reid comments seemed to be addressing “an unfortunate truth about the present.” That truth, she said, is that Mr. Obama would have had a more difficult time getting elected if his skin were darker and if he spoke in a dialect more identifiable as “black.”
Filed under african american, black men, government, negro, news, obama, opinion, politics, race, racism, washington dc
Ok, so when you don’t feel happy and comfortable in your home, apartment or otherwise, it can take a toll on how you feel all day and your overall disposition. I just moved in to an apartment real close to Fort Totten Metro Station and I’m going through hell. I want to get out of the lease and I’ve been there less than 2 weeks. The word is LOUD! Crazy loud. I think my apartment building was made out of tissue paper.
I went through a lil taste of hell trying to get a mortgage on a NE condo (Sept to Nov). The deal fell through when the appraisal came up $13,000 too short. The reason for the shortfall was clear…the appraiser was looking at unequal comps. In the end…deal fell through. It was a painful experience. I was hoping to move into a new apartment and relax. I lived in this building before so I thought things would be ok. The issue is that I used to live on the top floor in a corner unit. Now I’m in a high traffic area of the building and the clientele on my level is very interesting.
I’m trying to work things out and there is a termination clause in the lease. It requires 60 day notice and one months rent though. If I moved and had to comply with that…I’ll be out approx 2000-2300 dollars (depending on when I move). If I have to be out that much money because they don’t have the decency to have a 30 day satisfaction clause (I know, I should have checked before I moved in), I’m going to have to use all my social media skills to make my disdain known. I know the law…no defamation. However, I have the right to air my complaint and I will record the noise and let the public weigh in. Shoot! I think it would be a great experiment and a lot of people have the same complaints about where they live.
They know my complaints. I should find out by tomorrow whether they will let me out in 30 days and if I will have to pay a fee. I’ll keep ya posted.
It’s interesting enough being a Black woman in city “formerly know as” Chocolate City. If you live here you know it’s being rapidly gentrified. No surprise there. However, there is one place in the city that has never been fully “chocolatized”. That is the National Mall. You can thank the tourists for that. It’s funny, I’ve talked to African Americans who were born here who have never ventured down except for school trips back in the day.
Unless Barack Obama is being elected, there is a Civil Rights march reenactment, or so other event that is highly attractive to black folk, the Mall is very vanilla. Don’t get me wrong…I love white folks too. I’m happy about the visitors to the Mall from out of town spend here in the District and what not…blah blah. I just find it funny that when I go to the Smithsonian museums, stroll the mall, or visit the monuments…I see a handful of black people (many of them working security in the buildings). However I can walk 10 min in any direction (except the direction of Georgetown and George Washington U) and the city is Chocolate and balanced again. It’s like going to Virginia. lol
Anyway, I had a “Black moment” at the Lincoln Memorial yesterday. I walked there from Union Station…don’t ask me why, just wanted to walk. I saw about 6 other black people during my walk (no lie). There were hundreds of people out there, mind you (I saw like 6 softball games, lots of people exercising, and tons of tourist groups). I get to the top of the stairs at Lincoln Memorial and watch for 10 min to see how many people notice the “I HAVE A DREAM” engraving noting Martin Luther King’s name and the date of the march. It notes the place on the stairs where he gave his historic speech. Guess how many people noticed it. 2 children.
Now, to their credit it’s not as pronounced as it should be, in my opinion. Hey, I think Obama should do something about that.
I remember when I first visited the Memorial that spot on the steps was something I looked for. The image of King standing on those steps looking out at thousands gathered in the name of civil rights is burned into my psyche as an African American. I wasn’t looking for that engraving, didn’t even know it was there. I just wanted to stand in the place and look out over the reflecting pool and think about that day. Why? Cause I’m black, and moments like that mean a lot to me.
Maybe that’s why not many people noticed the black history upon which they stood yesterday. Maybe I shouldn’t expect them to care, but I do. I find that I’m having more and more of these moments in this so-called “post-racial” America.
Filed under african american, black women, civil rights, culture, d.c., gentrification, obama, opinion, race, society, washington dc, white folks
I’ve seen that phrase on a T-shirt and there’s even a song about it, but those words have been ringing in my head since even before I noticed these things. I was excited on election night when Obama officially won (did cartwheels in the street to prove it), but admittedly, it didn’t fully sink in that we had just elected the first Black President (unless you count Lincoln and we’re not discussing that in this particular post…lol). Those words are the reason that I was willing to make an almost three hour trip, that normally takes 20 minutes, to the mall to witness the swearing in of our 44th President. Yes, he is the President of the United States of America which includes people of all races, religions, and preferences. However, I need to have my moment as a black person to scream so loud that the ancestors hear and feel me, “My President is Black“!!!! (pause for a cartwheel in my office) Leading up to the Inauguration, I could feel something in my soul rising. I look in the eyes of my black male relatives and friends and I now notice a real pride and ease that I’d never seen previously. I watch them mark his every move , scrutinize every word, and even admire his cool stroll and see themselves and know that they’re alright, more than that even. I listen at myself and female family and friends marvel at Michelle for being the bad woman that she is without apology . Us single girls joke that we’re just a Michelle waiting to meet our Barack. To quote 107 year old Mrs. Ann Nixon Cooper, I feel more like a real person. It’s a validation that I tried not to need, but obviously can’t deny. Before the eyes of the world is a story of struggle, ambitions, black love, family, and hope with a happy beginning and expectations for a great ending. I can tell my children (or at least my niece) of a real story of possibility where the characters look like them. That’s a hard concept to sell to people who don’t have that issue. All these feelings overflowed during yesterday’s ceremony. Rick Warren, Dianne Feinstein, and President Obama himself all spoke of the significance of his presidency in light of America’s racist past. I enjoyed Aretha taking My Country Tis of Thee to church, but in my heart I wanted to sing the black national anthem, Lift Every Voice and Sing, at the top of my lungs and wouldn’t have even frowned on a praise break…lol. Rev. Joseph Lowery gave me a little of what I needed and while concluding his benediction let out a little ‘My President is Black’ pride of his own at the end of his speech. I understand Rev… I think there may be quite a few similar expressions of irrepressible pride as time goes on. All those that feel me scream, “My President is Black!!!!” (I hear you Jay-Z!)