Bah Humbug. I almost totally forgot that Christmas is this Friday, have no idea when Hanukkah started, and couldn’t name the principles of Kwanzaa if Maulana Karenga threatened to falsely imprison me. Still, I’ve found enough holiday spirit to give gifts to folks both naughty and nice. I think they’ll be somewhat useful to the receivers. It’s the thought that counts, right?
Like most people who do not live in the same city with their biological family I look forward to the Christmas’ holiday with sheer delight and seethed dread. Yes, I use the five letter word dread because it seems as if all the unfinished family’s drama from the previous year is dysfunctionally packed away in the basement only to be reopened the morning of the following Christmas’ day. SURPRISE . . . mom is getting another divorce . . . SURPRISE . . . aunt is asking are you gay because you won’t to fix your uncle’s plate because he got two hands . . . SURPRISE . . . your fifteen year old male cousin is having a baby . . . SURPRISE . . . your older brother is taking grandmother to court because he wants to control her will . . . SURPRISE. All of these surprises make you want to grumble in your best Scrooge’s impersonation—bah hum bug. In a nutshell, my family makes Tyler Perry’s familial antics look pretty pedestrian and normal which is why I’ve developed some bullet points on how to survive the holidays with the family using Tiger Wood’s related news stories as well as other news worthy stories. To begin:
- Don’t model Tiger Woods’ infidelity. Holiday Translation: Don’t buy the same cheap gift from Target and give it to each family member expecting them not to find out you gave everyone the same gift.
- Don’t make stupid statements like Al Sharpton. Holiday Translation: Don’t tell the stupid person above that he should have only given the cheap Target gifts to black women in the family unless you want Christmas dinner in the dog house.
- Don’t repeat the word “high tech lynching” without understanding the history of lynching. Holiday Translation: When eating dinner at the table with your family, just keep your mouth shut about all controversial and intelligent topics unless it’s about the weather and cheese. We all know how one stupid comment can cause some family members to hold a grudge for the next ten year.
Lies changed my outlook on important figures in history and seemed to always paint America as the hero/peace maker, when many times the leaders of this country were the main perpetrators and oppressors.
Some students in some neighborhoods don’t have history books to lie to them, or any books for that matter. I want to stretch the idea of students being lied to in school, and explore the idea of inequality in the school system. The more people I talk to in college, the more I realize the gap of information that was taught to me in high school. This takes me back to all the different discrepancies that I fought for throughout my secondary educational life.
I never felt empowered. I was born in Los Angeles, then as a young child I moved to the south side of Chicago. Seven years later, I moved to a suburban area of Atlanta. Five years later I found myself in the urban poverty-stricken city of East Cleveland, Ohio. Living in so many different places taught me to see both sides of life. What I saw in Metro Atlanta and what I saw in East Cleveland/Chicago was not fair or equal. The most challenging undertaking of my life was the day I decided to stop being a bystander, and began to fight against the injustices that I saw in my neighborhood.
In a 1991 Senate confirmation hearing Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas said:
“This is not an opportunity to talk about difficult matters privately or in a closed environment. This is a circus. It’s a national disgrace. And from my standpoint, as a black American, it is a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves, to do for themselves, to have different ideas, and it is a message that unless you kowtow to an old order, this is what will happen to you. You will be lynched, destroyed, caricatured by a committee of the U.S. Senate rather than hung from a tree.”
Thomas was alluding to the allegations that he had sexually harassed Anita Hill, an attorney who had worked for him at the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission. We can debate the merits of his claim all day. No matter what side you were on during that time or now, it is clear that this controversy did two things: heightened public awareness of sexual harassment in the workplace, and sparked a media frenzy on sex scandals that has gotten worse overtime. However, that is not what this post is about. What I want to address for the first and last time is the 2009 “high-tech lynching” of Eldrick Tont Woods, better known as Tiger.
Parent of beaten Fenger student to speak at church
The Associated Press State, December 13, 2009
Harry Potter and the Engaged Readers
Lauren Edelson, The New York Times, December 13, 2009
City sets up meeting to mediate school ethnic tensions
Joseph A. Slobodzian, The Philadelphia Inquirer, December 13, 2009
On race issues, Harry Reid wallows in the mud
Ruben Navarrette Jr., San Jose Mercury News, December 13, 2009
Study Sees an Obama Effect as Lifting Black Test-Takers
Paul Tough, The New York Times, December 13, 2009
Gangs aren’t growing, but ‘thug’ mentality is
James E. Causey, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, December 13, 2009
Disney’s latest breaks barriers, to viewers’ delight
Stephanie Green, The Washington Times, December 13, 2009
Police seek help in finding missing Lower Burrell teen
Pittsburgh Tribune Review, December 11, 2009
Young Achiever: Raven Clifton
Rick Wills, Pittsburgh Tribune Review, December 10, 2009
The failures of hate-crime laws
Vincent Carroll, The Denver Post, December 9, 2009
Students fight youth violence
Carmen Greco Jr., Chicago Tribune, December 9, 2009
US Should Increase Spending to Help Young People
States News Service, December 7, 2009
I had a bit of a family emergency last week that resulted in me spending several hours in New York Presbyterian Hospital instead of checking out that tree in Rockefeller Center, seeing Shrek before it leaves Broadway next month, and visiting my favorite sneaker boutiques. (To the folks who commented on last week’s blog, my apologies. Life happens and I didn’t have much time to engage.) As a result, I kind of have no idea what’s going on in the world. I do know, however, that Victor and Nikki got back together (AGAIN!) after his heart transplant. Thanks, Grandma Charlotte.
“How my dick ta’te?” –Tiger Woods (GQ, 1997)
There is an old Lil’ Rascals joke. Darla, Spanky, and Buckwheat are learning new words. The assignment asks them to use each word in a sentence. Darla and Spanky, two of the white characters get the words love and respect. Buckwheat, the sole black character gets the word dictate and in his sentence he asks, “How my dick ta’te?” In 1997, while interviewing with GQ magazine, a then 21 year old Tiger Woods told this joke to a group of women. This month, GQ re-released the interview in response to the current allegations of infidelity against Tiger Woods. They. Saw. This. Coming.
Today the Princess and the Frog opens across the nation. Of course, I’m going to go see the movie, however like most cynics I wrote a blog about the movie before it premiered approximately two months ago to be exact. So, if my argument is proven wrong by actually seeing the film, I will write another blog saying I was wrong. However, I do not think this will be the case. Also, I hope bloggers, writers, teachers, critics, etc. are equally critical of this movie as they were of the movie, Precious.
The original title of the blog was, Mobs, Cracker Barrel, and Hunters . . . Oh, My.
Is a half-truth a whole lie? When looking back over my 6 years elementary school, 3 years of middle school, and 4 years of high school, I realized that not once did my classes teach me about any gay or lesbian figure in history. As a matter of a fact, if it is public education’s job to teach about the realities of the world, they definitely failed on letting me know that there were gay people who existed in history that did great things. I’m not sure if I can call this homophobia, a better defining term for it is homo-nonexistence. You can’t be afraid of something that doesn’t exist. This is what I am labeling the great injustice of my childhood. This non-existence of gay people in my history books [while growing up] is another reason to why I was so insecure about my sexuality in middle school and much of high school. I remember being in 8th grade and thinking “what was wrong with me” or that I was the only gay person alive. I thought I was going to hell for the desires that I kept concealed in the innermost crevices of my mind.