Bratz vs. Barbie.

Damn. I’m sorry to hear about this.

Listen, I’m not going to try to pretend that both toy lines didn’t need an excessive amount of work. I’m not going to try to tell you that both toy lines didn’t put entirely too much emphasis on the appearance of women and girls instead of focusing on their accomplishments. However, at least the Bratz line taught us that all kinds of girls are important instead of telling us that everything must revolve around the all-important blonde, white girl. In the Bratz line, Sasha, Yasmin, and Jade aren’t Cloe’s sidekicks. They don’t have to wear purple, blue, and green while Cloe gets to drape herself in the company-trademarked pink. Sasha doesn’t come in a box marked Cloe’s Friend, Sasha in the way that Barbie’s ethnic accessories do. The characters in the Bratz line are equals.

Were equals. Mattel, Inc. has stamped out a line that girls were obviously responding to. They’ve robbed the girls that they’ve treated as second place for decades of a toy that made them feel special. I am so royally pissed about that.

I’ll remember that anger when I have a little girl and she eventually asks me for a Barbie doll. I damn sure don’t want a repeat performance of what I went through with my mother.

To hell with Mattel, Inc. Seriously.

And in an alternate reality…

“I’m so distraught over how the Irish could treat us like this! How could they deny us our civil rights?”

“Uh, I’m pretty sure that guy who snuffed his cigarette out on your hand while you sat at that Whites Only lunch counter was Italian.”

“Remember the No Irish Need Apply signs? How could they betray us like this?”

“And those guys who were throwing rocks at us while we were marching? Uh, I think there were some Germans and Scots along with the Irish in that group.”

“But the Irish! I’m so devastated!”

“Listen, Irish people only make up a small part of—”

“They are so racist! They need to fix their community! I tell you what, I’ll be damned if I vote for Kennedy next year!”

“Look, we had to cut six people down from trees just last month! This shit is serious! I don’t think singling out the Irish is going to—”

“They’ve ruined everything for us! Someone has to tell them!”

“Yeah, you do that. Be sure and let me know how that works out for you.”

Yeah, I’m through. And that 70 percent number? It’s been totally debunked by new numbers flooding in. But by all means, continue with the race baiting. I’m officially done with this.

You know what’s sad? What’s sad is the fact that I can be done with this. I have the luxury of being done with this. I can simply put Dan Savage in a box along with Coulter and Cavuto and ignore everything any of them ever say about black people. Who cares about them and all of the shrill, hysterical people desperate for black scapegoats? They aren’t a part of my community. Bump it.

I can say that because I’m straight. But for my cousins? Dan Savage is a part of their community. The crazed loons screaming nigger at anti-Prop 8 rallies are a part of their community. They can’t pull themselves away. To pull themselves away would be to deny a large part of who they are—to remain fragmented. Because a large part of the community that they would be left with, my community, refuses to appreciate that part of them.

Or perhaps they wouldn’t feel fragmented? Lord knows, I feel a hell of a lot better not having to listen to any white woman lecture me on sexism in the black community and how it has to be engaged right now as if there is some special demonic form of black sexism that is so much worse than what is found in the mainstream. On the flipside, I still have to deal with sexism in my community.

Bah. I guess all I can do is keep trying to make my community better.

Eight is enough.

On one hand, I’m appalled that 70 percent of African Americans in California (according to exit polls) voted to ban marriages between gays and lesbians! That is absolutely ridiculous—not to mention hypocritical. What is wrong with these people? Are there problems with short-term memory, perhaps? On the other hand, I am getting so very tired of rich, white people blaming black people for their own misfortunes. We’re responsible for the economic crisis, the mortgage crisis, and now we’re responsible for stripping gays and lesbians of their rights too? And we’re only 12 percent of the population—even less in California? Sigh. Fine. Just throw it on top of the pile.

However, I look back at the other hand. 70 percent? Really? Someone needs to explain this. I don’t want to explain it. When I explain it? I sound very much like a church basher. I don’t want to sound like that. Those churches are what sustained my family members when the world was against them. Those churches gave my family members the power to cope and the power to fight for their own freedom. And though I don’t attend those churches as an adult, I wouldn’t be here without them. And I’ll be damned if I let someone try to destroy them.

Sigh. I’m straight. What do I know? I only have half of the picture. Perhaps the best way to heal this rift would be for straight black individuals and white gay individuals to simply shut up for a while and actually listen to black gays and lesbians. How are they hurting? How can we make them feel welcome? How can we make them feel more like what they are, which is a part of the family, and what they should be, which is a vocal and respected part of the family?

By voting Obama into office, I feel like I’ve dragged a rickety and unbearably heavy cart of supplies up a steep and icy mountain. And now I’m at the top. And I’m looking at these supplies. And I don’t have the foggiest notion of what to do with them. I shouldn’t have even bothered with this post. I should have simply sent you here. And here. And here. Go read the words of several ladies who are awesome and awesomely informed.


After bragging so much about how much celebrating I planned to do, all I want to do today is what I’ve been doing all morning—sitting on my couch, watching the news, and crying quiet tears of joy. Casting my vote for this man is the most important thing I’ve done in my life. I could die today and be content in the fact that I have actively helped to make this world a better place.

I love this election.

I really do! The last leg of the race is not the time to rest on your laurels, people! Donate! Talk to undecided voters! Volunteer to drive people to voting booths. Vote early if you have the opportunity! Move it!


Ashley Todd

And her pants? Why, yes. They are on fire—as are others.

In all seriousness, I will not feel better about this until Ashley Todd (1) makes a public apology, (2) reimburses the city of Pittsburgh for the money spent on each police officer who worked on her case, and (3) does twenty-four hours of community service for each innocent black man questioned during the course of this investigation.

Three more weeks? No. A lifetime.

Here’s the problem with people trying to equate the violent acts and words of McCain supporters to those of Obama supporters. You can pull that sign that keeps getting firebombed from your front lawn. You can decide not to discuss politics in public. You can peel that bumper sticker off of your car. You’ll be safe. Silenced, but safe.

I can’t peel off my skin. The guy down the block can’t stop being Arab. Children in mosques aren’t being sprayed with chemical irritants because McCain supporters who watched the Obsession DVD can’t bear the thought of those children voting for Obama. I didn’t get the stink eye a couple of weeks ago from a guy loudly ranting about Obama not wearing a flag pin because of my own Obama pin. I wasn’t wearing one. I was just being my regular ol’ black self—which apparently is more than enough to hurl abuse in my direction. And it is more than enough for McCain supporters to call a cameraman a racial slur and tell him, “Sit down, boy.”

I can’t stand Sarah Palin. Yet I’m not staring down some random innocent white lady in Walmart while I scream about rape kits. I’m not going to an Obama rally in order to call a white cameraman a slur and shove him to the ground. I’m not storming into St. Peter’s to spray mace in children’s faces. I’m not attacking people because I’ve decided that how they were born is somehow anti-American and a cause for disgust. My irritation with McCain and Palin is due to their behavior and not the circumstances of their births.

Stump speeches have fanned the flames of racism. False accusations have fostered ethnic intolerance and religious bigotry. And regular Americans—and we are regular Americans—no matter what our skin color, religion, or middle names may be, are being hurt because of it.

Straight-pride parade to be held in NYC.

“Although reggae is known for its militancy and its resistance to injustice, the reggae community has remained calm throughout the attack on the music by Peter Tatchell and other Gay activists groups. Rather than going on the offense, the reggae community will instead unite in solidarity a day prior to labor day in New York City.”

You can’t make this stuff up. Finally, someone is going to provide a place where straight people can express their love without repercussions! Now all we need is a White Entertainment Television because there just aren’t enough positive depictions of white people on TV. Can we please have a moratorium on the you just don’t understand our culture excuse? It doesn’t work when Mexican citizens try to excuse blatantly racist caricatures in comics. It doesn’t work when African American men try to excuse misogynistic images in hip-hop. You don’t get to hide your homophobia behind Caribbean cultures—especially when they are too beautiful to be tied to hatred. The work you produce? It’s hurting people. It’s reinforcing hate and disgust. Don’t think it doesn’t have a negative impact because it does.

It’s never just an image when a black child thinks he’s ugly because of it. It’s never just a lyric when a gay man thinks he’s perverse because of it. It’s never just a video when a black woman thinks she’s worthless because of it. You’re chopping away at the self-worth of others. And it’s wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

Tighten up.

“The tight clothes–what, the boys is gay now? Boys walking around thinking they girls, girls walking around thinking they boys…No wonder all the girls are dating girls—because the boys are gay!”

Elijah Bilal

Booooooooo! Okay, I’m just going to put my unpopular opinions right on the table. A person can behave in a feminine manner. A person can behave in a masculine manner. However, the only way a person can “act gay” is if that person is participating in a sexual act with another person of the same sex. I’m going to need these guys to go and stand over there with Ralph Nader. I’m a straight woman and I’m more stereotypically masculine than some popular rappers I can name. Femininity can be celebrated by a person of any sex or sexual orientation—and so can masculinity. And I don’t see what’s so feminine about wearing clothes that fit. And since when are baggy clothes masculine? Childish? Sometimes. But masculine? Meh.

That said, I would love to see rappers who celebrate masculinity in a healthy manner get radio play and television exposure. I’m tired of the media beating me over the head with artists who are supposed to be grown men having childish tantrums over the airwaves, bragging about their jewelry and custom-made purses, or dressing like tweens.

“If you are homosexual, you are not gangsta. There’s nothing gangster about being homosexual.”

Blanco the Don

Huh? I weep for our children.

One nation under a groove.

Barack and Michelle Obama

This is a great picture! One, Barack and Michelle look so cute. I swear, ‘Chelle could call me at two o’clock in the morning and ask me to roll on a bitch and I would calmly pull out my sneakers and Vaseline. I am a Michelle Obama stan, people. Two, someone got that fine Asian Secret Service agent on camera! Whoo! I saw him on television after Obama’s speech and nearly fell out!

You know the thing that irritates me?

After all the apologizing and handwringing is done, we still don’t have a voice. Not really. Men of color are still sought out for their thoughts and opinions concerning race. White women are still looked to for thoughts and opinions concerning gender issues. And those of us sitting in the border zones can only hope that they do a good job speaking for us. Because our stories and our needs and our fears and our dreams are only really listened to through the filter of someone who is not us.

And all I can think to do is shout loud enough in the hopes that someone more press or camera friendly (male or white) will take my words and carry them to a place that matters; a place where they can truly be heard and have an impact. I have allies willing to do that for me. However, that is not the norm. Many of us sit here in silence—or even worse, watch as our words are robbed of their meaning or twisted against us so someone can cash a check.

Heads in the sand.

No homosexual people living in Iran? I can understand how Ahmadinejad would believe that. Iranians who are homosexual are (1) murder victims, (2) closeted, or (3) no longer living in Iran.

Still, I find it strange that Americans are being so haughty and snide about this as if we’re beyond such ridiculousness as the bigotry and denial of Ahmadinejad. From where I stand, our house is looking a bit glassy.

The nine.

“Can you imagine them doing this to black people?”

Oh God, I wish I could stop hearing those nine words. No matter what slight is being discussed, whether superficial or serious, the person discussing it never seems to be satisfied until he or she can utter that phrase. I must be living in some alternate reality, because everyone else seems to be living in a place where black people are treated with the utmost dignity and respect while every other group from redheads to Christians are horribly discriminated against.

If you have to utter those nine words, then your best bet would be to let someone else make your argument for you. Because if you looked past your own plight for five seconds, maybe you’d see that black people are also being treated that way. Perhaps you do not observe it simply because you are too caught up in your own problems and privilege to notice.

First off, the phrase makes an individual look spiteful—as if he or she were somehow jealous or resentful due to how well another minority group has been treated. Second of all, the phrase makes an individual look foolish, because any person with access to a newspaper, magazine, or television remote can clearly see that the dignity or welfare of black individuals certainly is not a concern to the larger social group—unless black people have fought diligently to make it a concern with their words, souls, and blood. Please stop making us your debate crutches. If our issues aren’t part of the conversation, why bring us up?


Each time a news reporter mentions the fact that the Virginia Tech shooter was Asian (which feels as if it happens every five seconds), I get a bit more wary. I really hope that people do not use that information as a reason to support their xenophobia. Any mentally ill person of any ethnic background who had violent tendencies and access to weapons could have committed a similar crime.

Perhaps I’m fretting over nothing, but I have this anxious feeling that grief is going to turn into anger, which will then be pointed in the wrong direction.

Additional random stuff.

I’ve seen way too much Prison Break. How do I know this? Because I immediately wondered if Lay was actually dead after reading about his unfortunately timed demise. And I also had to wonder if he died of natural causes. It’s way too easy to fake a death and even easier to cover up a murder.

Not that I would know anything about that.

Speaking of murder, I just have to mention how disgusted I am by the vicious and hateful actions perpetuated by the Avenues street gang. Hell, it’s bad enough that we’re beaten and terrorized for the supposedly horrific crime of daring to walk through suburban neighborhoods while being black. Now African Americans have to worry about being attacked because of their race while walking through crime-ridden hellholes too? Feh. Let them try that ethnic cleansing garbage in prison and see how far it gets them.

Anyway, onto more pleasant things. Like comics! What have I been reading lately? Well, I just finished Castle Waiting. What a charming book! And I have to restate my absolute love for Daredevil. Sadly, it’s the only Marvel book I’m still reading. Hopefully it doesn’t tie into any of that Civil War nonsense later on down the road. I’m also digging American Virgin. Man, can we talk about how awesome Becky Cloonan is? Her art is just so damn grimy. I love it. Oh, and I polished off a Top Ten graphic novel this week too. Hooray for Alan Moore! I’d love to hang out in his brain for a day. Last but not least, I finally got my hands on Livewires. I’m surprised I didn’t pick this up sooner given my irrational adoration for everything that Adam Warren puts out.

As for what I’m watching? Well, I have to admit that I don’t have sophisticated tastes when it comes to television viewing. I adore the Venture Bros. And I have a great deal of love for Samurai Champloo as well. And yes, I do admit that I watch bits and pieces of One Life To Live. Yes, I know it’s a soap opera! Basically, I fast forward through anything that doesn’t involve Renee Goldsberry or David Fumero, so I only watch about five minutes a day.

I’ve stopped watching wrestling because it has been so mind-numbingly bad lately. Not even the sheer awesome that is Finlay could bring me back. Besides, wrestlers are being slapped with fines and suspensions left and right for drug violations. First RVD and Sabu and now Orton? What’s the point in watching when half of the stories have to be dropped due to a missing participant? Bah.

Oh, I picked up the Samurai Jack Season 3 DVD. Awesome. Why the hell is Cartoon Network taking so long getting these DVDs out?

In other news, Five Below is the best store in the history of the universe. Don’t have one in your area? You are so deprived.