Monthly Archives: April 2007

zaadz qar: what’s your favorite poem? why?

it’s a simple little poem, found on my zaadz profile page. i love it because it represents one of my great dilemmas in life, my need to have my cake and eat it too, so to speak. here it is:

One can’t
have it

both ways
and both

ways is
the only

way I
want it.

– A.R. Ammons

this post is my response to zaadz’s questions and reflections for april 17, 2007.

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is obama integral?

(for those of you wondering, here is what ‘integral’ means…)

i just read this book review at zoosphere.com for the audacity of hope by barack obama. the author of the review proposes that obama may very well be the first truly integral candidate for the u.s. presidency, ever. (the only other example of integral leadership in the world is said to be that of british prime minister tony blair, according to ken wilber in his online article, ‘the war in iraq.’) the jury is still out, as far as i’m concerned, but i like to pretend that i have an open mind, so i think i will actually read obama’s book for myself, and see what i think about that. if he is truly capable of embracing multiple perspectives (not just that of the liberal wing of the democratic party), he might be seriously worth looking at as a candidate to support.

the plot thickens…?

well, hell, in a funky sort of way, this article about the firing of don imus makes sense. according to the russian news organization pravda, imus was fired because he threatened to reveal secrets about 9/11. the incident with the rutgers women’s basketball team was just the excuse the government needed to get rid of him, according to the article. this may be just some grand conspiracy theory that someone loonier than myself has cooked up, but knowing how i believe the government works, i wouldn’t put anything, including this, past them.

it’s official

i am officially sick of this whole don imus thing. i suppose it is good that it is starting a dialogue about what’s appropriate to say and what’s not. at the same time, i can’t help but believe that this has actually set race relations back a few steps, and not because of what imus said. i am sorry that the girls he was referring to were affected so badly, but in my opinion, this whole thing has been blown way out of proportion. however, the thing that scares me most is that now that imus is officially unemployed, jackson and sharpton have said that this is just the beginning. what do they mean by that? i agree that something needs to be done in the music industry as far as the music performed mostly by black men that continues to denigrate black women (in an industry run by white men where most of the music is actually purchased by young white males), but at the same time this could put limits on artistic expression. and then there’s the whole matter of why it’s okay for a black person to say ‘nigger’ but not a white person? (in my opinion, it’s not okay for anyone.) still, i wonder if this now means that jackson and sharpton, who i guess consider themselves the arbiters of what can and can’t be said by whom (their own personal misstatements notwithstanding), intend to look at the source of the problem in black culture and by proxy the music industry, or if they intend to harrass those who continue to say what’s on their minds (right or wrong) without worry of being politically correct, such as rush limbaugh or michael savage. (man, that last sentence was a long one…)

i’m sick of it, and i’m scared that this latest incident of celebrity stupidity is going to be something more serious that it needs to be, that it’s going to lead down a slippery slope of speech monitored by the government and the unofficial thought-police, and will continue to make us distrustful of people of other races. i think imus and his ‘nappy-headed ho’ comment triggered in a new era of political correctness that is about to get ridiculous, which is a hell of a lot of mileage out of a sorry and deplorable joke.

i promise, this is my last blog on the subject (unless something else comes up)

goodness, this column by kansas city star sports columnist jason whitlock says it all as to my feelings about this whole imus debacle. he hits the nail right on the motherflippin’ head.

over the last couple of days this whole imus thing has been on my mind, moreso than any recent news story (yes, even the whole anna nicole soap opera). the things that bother me about it include: why is it still in the news? why the hell are sponsors pulling their ads? why are these women, and black folks in general, taking this relatively unknown shock jock’s words so seriously? it’s not like this is the first off-color thing he’s ever said. this is how he and msnbc make their money. and to me, this whole racism accusation is disingenuous on the part of the media and everyone protesting: no one is mentioning that as a part of the conversation he was actually complementary of the tennessee basketball team, which is also primarily black. he was comparing the two teams and basically saying that the rutgers team had, for all intents and purposes, ugly women on it. it was still a horrible and mean way to say that, and ugly that he was even making the comparison, but it was still a joke in his eyes. this is simply a bad choice of words on his part that this time got noticed. again, please read the above link to whitlock’s column on who the real enemy is here…

another thing bugging me about all this is how we, as a society, are so immersed in what should be a trivial, unfortuante incident. our society is slowly but surely disintegrating before our eyes and we don’t notice because we are too busy protesting this bad joke, or watching american idol, or planning our next shopping trip. to me, this imus episode is symptomatic of everything currently wrong with america: media issues, race issues, meaningless trivia, our sports obsession, sexual immorality, religion (involvements by the revs. sharpton and jackson), you name it, this one’s got it. and maybe that’s why this story isn’t going away, either till imus succumbs and resigns his position, or till the next person says the next stupid thing.

update: msnbc is a pussy network (except they give pussies a bad name). it’d be different if they fired imus immediately after the remarks were made, but they are only doing this so far away from the incident because of pressure from various groups who literally only see things in black and white.

in support of nappy-headed hos everywhere

okay, i have to link to dave’s blog entry responding to my entry below. i can’t believe he did it (the title). too bad he didn’t bet me money; he would have won a few cents.

i do have to agree with his observation of the rutgers’ team response. they said that imus’ comments ‘stole their joy’, and dave is right in saying that if it got stolen, it’s because they let him steal it. yes, imus’ words were ugly and uncalled for. however, these women, with all of their accomplishments, should be secure in the knowledge that they are not those things. these are highly intelligent women who have great things ahead of them in life. it speaks volumes for their character and abilities in that they were playing for the national championship of women’s collegiate basketball. i really hope they are not going to let some stringy-haired cracker making a stupid off-the-cuff remark bring them down. (the ‘stringy-haired cracker’ part is a joke, okay?)

nappy headed and proud of it

i guess if you’re a white male in america, you know you’ve stepped in it if you are sitting at a mic opposite the rev. al sharpton. today was don imus’ turn.

mr. imus has apologized profusely and had the balls to be on sharpton’s show, and yet rev. sharpton will not be satisfied with anything short of imus’ firing. i do not understand the point in imus losing his job over this. i say this because in the past sharpton has (rightly) focused on the negativity and violence entwined in rap music, attempting to call the music industry to task. yet, i don’t recall him ever asking any *black* rapper to appear on his show, then tell that person they need to just quit doing their livelihood, which is what he is demanding the *white* imus do. obviously, there is a double standard here, as there usually is when the revs. al sharpton and jesse jackson are involved. (no one demanded that jackson just stop speaking after the infamous hymie town incident.)

i’m not defending what imus said, because it was insensitive. i think his apology and the upcoming suspensions are punishment enough. (actually, just appearing on sharpton’s radio show is punishment enough.)

a huge part of this controversy is the usage of the word ‘nappy’, which is another word for kinky hair, and is assumed to be some sort of insult. however, as a woman who has had dreadlocks for more than seven years, i have this so-called nappy hair and i am proud of it. i am less offended by his use of this adjective than his calling the women hos, which is not exclusively a black thing. however, the hair thing is what people seem to be focusing on. in my opinion, this is one of the things wrong in the black community today, especially among women, the thought that the kinky (wavy, curly, nappy) hair that god gave us to work with is less desirable than the straight eurocentric standard. sadly, it *is* an insult to most blacks to be told you have nappy hair, which is why at the first sign of a crimp in the hair, it’s off to the beauty shop to put all sort of carcinogenic crap on the head, no matter what cost financially and eventually physically.

call me nappy headed all you want, i’m proud of it. a healthy head full of kinky hair, properly taken care of, is more beautiful than most of the fake-ass weaves and/or overly processed hair hanging down someone’s back will ever be. besides, we choose what we are and aren’t offended by. as i said earlier, the offense should focus more on the women being called hos, but maybe this says something about the people offended by the ‘nappy’ portion of the statement.

check out these books on love and nappiness:
dreads by francesco mastalia
going natural – how to fall in love with nappy hair by mireille liong-a-kong
happy to be nappy by bell hooks
nappy hair by carolivia herron
i love my hair! by natasha anastasia tarpley