23 thoughts on “Friday Open Thread

  1. rikyrah

    Might as well try and get that ‘ Mandigo’ issue out of the way..LOL

    What’s on my mind?

    Going through my Tivo, and I still cry at the Oprah special about her school.

    Going through this month’s Vanity Fair, and I wonder if they were in shock to be putting so many Black folk in it this month.

    I was in The Twilight Zone watching Hardball, and having Pat Buchanan, of all people, saying Scooter had to go to jail.

    The New Republic has a very interesting article on Chuck Hagel.

    The entire Middle East, not just Iraq, just seems on the verge of collapse.

    That’s all for now.

  2. Denise

    My thoughts are on the bizarre lawsuit brought by a local administrative law judge, a black man, against a Korean dry cleaner. The brother is seeking $54M in damages over a pair of lost, and later recovered, trousers.

    The case is getting national attention. In fact, the media coverage has generated another story on its own: http://newsbusters.org/node/13407

    It’s pretty obvious that (a) the money damages are excessive, (b) there’s something else driving the suit, and (c) the suit likely will – and should – be thrown out.

    But that’s not what’s troubling me about this case.
    I am troubled by media attempts to caste this case as a spiteful black person seeking to destroy the sacrifices of a hard working Korean immigrant family.

    [For the record, I don’t have an issue against Koreans, Africans, Latinos, etc. But I do have an issue with immigrants who exploit anti-black sentiments in this country to position themselves socially and economically. That’s NOT cool.]

    Anyhoo, there are other explanations for this rather extreme response to a lost pair of trousers. Sure, the brother might be crazy as a loon, but one customer, a black centenerian, testified that these shop keepers were disrespectful to black customers.

    This point is getting glossed over amid sympathetic images of a young white lawyer defending the American dream on behalf of a timid, tearful shop keepers.

    In spite of this type of sympathetic coverage, I’m not convinced that this case is about an envious black man abusing the legal system to drive an immigrant family out of business.

    Therefore, this story ranks as my “Talk to the Hand Story of the Week” LOL

    Enjoy folks… I’m headed to VEEEEEEEEGAS

  3. marcus

    Based on some recent posts regarding family, I would like to once again speak to the importance of Fathers in the family. I was watching a news program where this came up and it is a HUGE issue. Some of the takeaways:

    – 40% of American children are without a father in the home.
    – It is the leading cause of declining child well-being in our society. It is also the engine driving our most urgent social problems, from crime to adolescent pregnancy to child sexual abuse to domestic violence against women.
    – Divorce, children born out of wedlock, children growing up in poverty, youth violence, the weakening of parental authority. All of these are influenced by the Flight of males from children’s lives.
    I often wonder why the importance of fathers has been uder siege, especially by the Feminist movement, which views men as expendable or even part of the problem…what? “Are Men Necessary” – Maureen Dowd…ring a bell?
    In addition, it has proven detrimental to the family to substitute the Government for Fathers…as disciplinarians, providers, etc.

  4. I immediately found something wrong with it when I saw the video. I think that “actress” is a ringer for Monica lewinsky.

    Why didn’t they pick thompson or Edwards? Why the Black male candidate? because he’s a joke?

    This is Harold Ford, the second coming.

    Michelle ain’t gone say nothing about it.

  5. NMP

    Marcus,

    I’m as pro-Black and down for my people as they come, but I’m NOT one of those Black folks more concerned with White folks perceptions of us “airing our dirty laundry” than addressing the ills in our community. We have too much as stake to worry about their impressions. They don’t define us nor will they save us. As a single mother of a 14-year-old Black male, I’m well positioned to say that one of the biggest mistakes of the Black community is that we’ve bought into that White feminist psycho-babble that a woman can do as good a job of raising children than both a mother and a father. I think our ancestors would be sickened that we have perpetuated the demise of the Black family that slavery started. As you so rightly point out, the absence of fathers, economically and emotionally, is the leading cause of declining child well-being in our community. It is the single most reliable determinant of poverty in this country.

    As a college educated professional, I have been able to afford my son the material luxuries, if you will, of his White friends in our largely White and affluent community (ranked by Forbes as the most educated city in the country). He’s thriving well academically in one of the best school districts in the country (his school is consistently ranked in the top 10 nationally), but he’s starting to struggle emotionally. Of course much of it is typical teenage angst and rebellion, but more than that I see inner-confusion growing. He’s quickly approaching manhood without a real sense or day-to-day example of what that truly means. He has loving uncles (my brothers) and mentors, but they aren’t substitutes for a father to guide him into manhood. Instead, like most Black boys, he’s been thrust into it. There are times I fuss at him to act like a young man, and I see this clueless look on his face as if to say, “What does that mean?” I can teach him right from wrong, how to properly conjugate his verbs, introduce him to the teachings of DuBois or the works of Bearden, but I can NOT do teach him how to be a man. The same goes for little Black girls.

    The reason so many young girls succumb to the easy prey of men, even with strong mothers as examples, is that they don’t have fathers in their lives to give them the sense of self-worth to say “NO, I’m too good for that.” Too many of our young girls are looking for father figures rather than men as good as their fathers. I have two very close friends, both college educated professionals. One is a traditional beauty so to speak and the other is not so beautiful by conventional (European) standards. The “traditional beauty” was raised by her mother and the other by two parents who are still married after 40 years. It’s an understatement to say latter is a daddy’s girl. On the surface, one would easily think that the “traditional beauty” has the most self-esteem because she’s admired so much for her looks. To the contrary, the daddy’s girl is the most confident woman I’ve ever known; she walks like she’s holding up a tiara. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not arrogance, just a level of confidence that comes from being told by her daddy that she deserve nothing but the best in life including a man that will love and value her as much as her daddy.

    I don’t want my niece or any young woman to view me as a role model. As I tell anyone who compliments me on being a good mother, I’m just making the best of bad beginning. I encourage young girls to do it the right way: marriage then children. OUR kids deserve that!

  6. NMP

    On a lighter note, I’m so sick of the amateurs running Obama’s campaign. If the past mistakes like the Myspace fiasco weren’t bad enough, now they have managed to put a “non-attributable” memo intended for the media about the Clintons’ Indian investments into the hands of the Clinton campaign. There’s nothing unusual or unethical about issuing such memos—it’s done all the time—but normally you make sure that it gets into the right hands and without your finger prints.

    It may have been audacious to launch a campaign against the most effective political machines of the last two decades, but it’s down right absurd that he’s put his campaign into the hands of twenty and early thirty something amateurs. I know he’s boxed himself into running a “new politics’ type of campaign, but he needs some Howard Wolfson, old school, lay waste to your rivals types on his team.

    Have a great weekend, everyone! Denise, I’m jealous…you’re going to Vegas and I’m going to New Bedford, MA for a graduation. No, it ain’t nothing like Boston.

  7. Marcus…to quote the feminine wisdom I’ve heard on this topic: “some of these men are better off gone”, i.e, them sticking around would have an overall detrimental effect. It seems that reproduction should be one of those things much more carefully licensed and regulated.

  8. rikyrah

    I immediately found something wrong with it when I saw the video. I think that “actress” is a ringer for Monica lewinsky.

    Why didn’t they pick thompson or Edwards? Why the Black male candidate? because he’s a joke?

    This is Harold Ford, the second coming.

    Michelle ain’t gone say nothing about it.

    I just don’t see this as Harold Ford, the second coming, specifically BECAUSE of Michelle.

    And, just exactly what should she say about it?

    Should they comment about it at all?

    This is June. WOuldn’t that set up precedent for them to comment on anything that pops up on Youtube?

    I dunno.

  9. rikyrah

    Enjoy folks… I’m headed to VEEEEEEEEGAS

    Denise,

    I admit. I’m jealous..LOL

    Don’t come back broke..LOL

  10. rikyrah

    Marcus,

    Like NMP, you won’t hear me downgrade the importance of fathers to the community.

    I’m well positioned to say that one of the biggest mistakes of the Black community is that we’ve bought into that White feminist psycho-babble that a woman can do as good a job of raising children than both a mother and a father. I think our ancestors would be sickened that we have perpetuated the demise of the Black family that slavery started.

    When I wrote that Black women invented feminism, I believe that. But, like with so much else that we used to honor, we threw away what had worked FOR US throughout all time. It was nothing for an educated Black woman-back in the day – to not be married to a Black man with the same education level. But, that didn’t prevent her from having a successful marriage, knowing that the man brought something to the marriage beyond a piece of paper from a school. We, as Black women, bought wholesale into White feminism, and we threw away the lessons of our mothers, grandmothers and aunts. We took someone else’s definition of what it was to be an independent woman, and transposed it onto our community, with disastrous results.

  11. “Why didn’t they pick thompson or Edwards?”

    I was thinking along the lines of a “Giuliani Girl” since his playa credentials are second to none. Maybe Lil Kim can do the video.😉

  12. I agree that the undertones of this video could sound a lot like the theme the Republicans used against Ford in 2006. To me it’s just funny, but I can imagine how white people could have some color-aroused feelings like envy, jealousy, fear (of not getting theirs) and therefor anger and hate aroused by this video. I feel for people who are so fragile.

    But a lot of young white people couldn’t care less about the bi-chromatic nature of this video. And they’re going to see it over again and sing the catchy theme song, “B to the A to the R to the A . . .”

  13. The video was everything that’s wrong with our society today. Almost every topic is pared down to it’s lowest level and sexualized. It is entertaining but has no real substance. I agree that Obama’s wife might be p.o’d.

  14. At first I was amused.

    But as a sista who thought about this video, all I can think of is the veiled insult that was sent to Michelle Obama, the message basically saying, “I can take your man, there’s nothing you can do about it, because as a white woman, I have that privilage.”

    If they did a similar video about John Edwards, I wouldn’t have to make such a comment, but because we’re so polarized in this country, and since it’s woefully obvious Obama, triangulating twit or not, is such a dang threat, someone had to knock this brother and his woman back into their places, and let them know, by scaring up the “white devils” who vote, that Harold Ford, Sr., always talked about, Senator and Mrs. Obama’s place is not the WHITE HOUSE.

    Yeah, we are in the 21st Century. But thanks to those with subliminal Jim Crowism, they are doing their best to keep us stuck in the time prior to Plessy V. Ferguson.

    The Harold Ford video had more effect because he’s a single man, and it was well-known he preferred milk than bubbling brown sugar, plus it was in Tennessee, of all places. He allowed himself to be set up big time for Corker to go after him and play the race card to scare enough whites, or piss off enough African-Americans to either cast their vote for Corker, or stay the hell home on Voting Day.

    It’s a high insult because Obama’s married, with daughters, and what the hell are they supposed to think; that Daddy’s a playa, now?

    I think we might need to raise as much hell as we did with that CBC/Fox Noise mess.

    Either that, or Michelle Obama needs to go southside Chicago on that skank in the video. You should have heard how Alex Witt of MSNBC was talking about how “adorable” this chick was in interviewing her.

    Your “Liberal MSM” at work, yet again.

  15. Rick

    But as a sista who thought about this video, all I can think of is the veiled insult that was sent to Michelle Obama, the message basically saying, “I can take your man, there’s nothing you can do about it, because as a white woman, I have that privilage.” — PJ

    Thanks for sharing your perspective, Political Junkie..

    As a black man, I also saw this as a veiled attack aimed at certain aspects of Obama’s character: as a faithful husband and father — something Bill Clinton was not. If there is any group who knows about how the image a young girl chasing around an older man (in the Oval Office or otherwise) might raise questions about the older man’s judgement/character…then it is Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Given the deviousness, I agree this has their fingerprints all over it; I would not put it past them to have scripted, financed and orchestrated this video, including picking out the musical score. And, they certainly have the motive.

    If I were Obama, I would have very tersely, yet strongly, defended my character — as well as my family — by calling this what it was: “An Excercise of Creative Tastelessness”

    Rick

  16. rikyrah

    At first I was amused.

    But as a sista who thought about this video, all I can think of is the veiled insult that was sent to Michelle Obama, the message basically saying, “I can take your man, there’s nothing you can do about it, because as a white woman, I have that privilage.”

    I never was amused by it. It was a hit piece, plain and simple.

    But, I just think that they have to roll with it, because to put too much importance on it, just doesn’t seem smart to me.

    If I thought this were the only one coming, it would be one thing. But, I don’t. It’s going to be the first of many so called ‘ads’ targeting Obama, and they will all have to do with racial bogeyman. It’s up to us to point it out, and point out the foolishness.

    While I appreciate what you’d like Michelle to do, TPJ, let’s be honest, if she went ‘ South Side’ on this trollop, then THAT would become the story, totally obscuring the fact that she’d be responding to the Ad.

  17. rikyrah

    As a black man, I also saw this as a veiled attack aimed at certain aspects of Obama’s character: as a faithful husband and father — something Bill Clinton was not. If there is any group who knows about how the image a young girl chasing around an older man (in the Oval Office or otherwise) might raise questions about the older man’s judgement/character…then it is Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Given the deviousness, I agree this has their fingerprints all over it; I would not put it past them to have scripted, financed and orchestrated this video, including picking out the musical score. And, they certainly have the motive.

    Ah, those tin foil hats again.

    But I’ve already said…I believe it, so you can definitely sit by me with this theory, Rick.🙂

  18. True that, Rikyrah.

    But it doesn’t stop me from wishing it,😉

    I swear, I think the Borg Queen’s camp is behind this, because she had to defend Big Bill’s cheating ass during the 1992 primaries.

  19. SB — have you seen this yet?

    Cheney Power Grab: Says White House Rules Don’t Apply to Him

    Vice President Dick Cheney has asserted his office is not a part of the executive branch of the U.S. government, and therefore not bound by a presidential order governing the protection of classified information by government agencies, according to a new letter from Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., to Cheney.

    Bill Leonard, head of the government’s Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO), told Waxman’s staff that Cheney’s office has refused to provide his staff with details regarding classified documents or submit to a routine inspection as required by presidential order, according to Waxman.

    In pointed letters released today by Waxman, ISOO’s Leonard twice questioned Cheney’s office on its assertion it was exempt from the rules. He received no reply, but the vice president later tried to get rid of Leonard’s office entirely, according to Waxman.

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