Category: news/events


Well, it’s President’s Day. This “holiday,” like Columbus Day, means nothing to me other than a day off from work. I can get behind honoring the sacrifices of veterans and Martin Luther King, Jr., but Presidents? Not so much. Plus I grew up associating President’s Day with George Washington and Abraham Lincoln and they were way, WAY, before my time. I do appreciate the day off though.

This President’s Day I’m deciding to focus on the current President instead of the Presidents of yesteryear.

Barack Obama has been the President of the United States of America for just over a year. I had, and to a degree still have, high hopes for what he will accomplish during his term. Well, as high as they can be considering that even a good politician is still a politician. I take everything that a politician says with a grain of salt. For some, it’s a whole shaker full. For the most part, Obama seems to be pretty much on the up & up. The Presidency is a challenging position to say the least, one for which I certainly wouldn’t volunteer. So, good luck, Mr. President. I wish you all the best. Happy President’s Day!

Be who you want to be today.

…TMR…

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The latest issue of Playboy magazine includes an interview with John Mayer that has caused a lot of controversy among some African-Americans. In the interview he responded to interview questions about dating Black women and having a “hood pass.” In his responses he utilized terminology that was deemed offensive, including the n-word and a reference to white supremacy. Out of context, the immediate response is He said what??? Who does he think he is?” But what about within context?

Musically, I can take or leave Mayer. I have only one of his cds on my iPod, and generally don’t think about him much. I certainly don’t care about who he’s dating or any of the other tabloid nonsense. I became more interested in him after following him on Twitter. His tweets tend to be funny, unusual and, yes, sometimes a little off color. I like it when people aren’t afraid to say things that may not be PC or that people may not “get.” Apparently this tendency to say whatever comes to mind has now gotten Mayer in some trouble.

When asked about being given a “hood pass” (a term which in itself can be offensive IMO,) he said that if he really had a “hood pass” he could call it a “n***** pass.” Now we ALL know that use of that word by white folks is inflammatory to say the least. Should he have said it? Probably not. Did I get his point? Yes. Was I mad? No. Am I Black? Yes. I happen to believe that saying the word “n*****” is different than calling someone a “n*****.” The word itself doesn’t offend me, but if you call me (or anyone else) one, we have a problem. Of course I realize that it’s like two sides of the same coin, but that’s just how I feel about it. He also said that he doesn’t date Black women in a statement that compared his man parts to a white supremacist. Do I care? No. Am I offended? No.

To give you a little background, I see racism and racist undertones in most things, because, well, let’s face it, it exists in most things when it comes to how things are done in this country. That being said, I was surprised by the reactions by other Black folks to Mayer’s statements. Especially women. I completely understand the anger at his use of the n-word. Even though I get the point he was making, I can think of very few, if any, circumstances in which use of this word by a White person is acceptable. Michael Richards learned that the hard way. Do I think John Mayer is a racist? No. Of course his statement was racially charged and provocative, but in reading it, I did not get a sense of a racist undertone. Same thing with the statement about not dating Black women. I read an article (or was it a blog post? I forget) in which a woman said something to the effect of “millions of Black women’s legs are now closed to John Mayer.” Um, were they all open to him in the first place? If so, why? Now, of course, he didn’t have to and probably should not have referenced white supremacy and David Duke when discussing his preference in selecting females with whom to have sex. His response was over the top and not clearly thought out. But what is there to be mad about unless you were trying to have sex with him? Guess what – I don’t care if someone that I don’t want doesn’t want me. So, if any Black woman reading this cares that John Mayer is not sexually attracted to you, please enlighten me as to why.

John Mayer made some bad judgment calls in this interview, for sure. He has apologized for using the n-word (and btw, I’m not printing it because I know that some people find it offensive no matter the context and I’m not here to offend anyone) but I’m not sure if he has apologized for the other comments. Either way, it’s whatever. I’d much rather people say what they really think/feel than to censor themselves for public acceptance. I don’t believe in apologies brought on by backlash from the public. If you are truly sorry, then by all means apologize, but please apologize because, for whatever reason, you no longer believe in what you said/did, not just because people are upset. Perfect example: the Kanye West/Taylor Swift debacle. I hated that he launched Apologalooza after the VMAs because we all know that he genuinely meant what he said. So why are you sorry? Because people were in an uproar over it? Ok, he didn’t have to jump up on stage with her, but it’s just an awards show, man. They aren’t saving lives. (I think there were racial motivations behind the Kanye backlash as well. Yeah, he’s a bit arrogant, etc. but he always has been. He wasn’t even talking about himself. People went way over the top with Kanye hate after that event. If it had been Justin Bieber or a Jonas brother, people would have just laughed.) Mayer is known for talking out the side of his neck. His words don’t bother me, nor do his thoughts. Now if we get into racist actions, again we have an issue. John Mayer is not a politician, he’s just a musician. Meaning 1) I have no expectation of political correctness and 2) he has no impact on my life – he doesn’t shape laws, he can’t deny me housing or a job, etc. Since his apology, Mayer’s been quiet on Twitter which is too bad because his tweets were primarily witty or at least good for a giggle. By the way, if I’m completely off base and John Mayer IS a racist, at least now the cat’s out of the bag.

Be who you want to be today.

…TMR…

Obama Spider-ManTypically there will only be one Star of the Month post, but I would be remiss if I did not give a special shout out to President-Elect Barack Obama this month because so much of what is going on right now revolves around him, his family and his impending presidency. 

I wrote about President-Elect Obama previously in my post Yes We Can?, so I won’t say the same things in this post.  I just want to give credit where credit is due and Obama is indeed every bit the star.  Not everyone gets a special issue comic book!  But let us not forget that Obama is also just a regular joe.  Yes, he is Clark Kent AND Superman! Or rather Peter Parker AND Spider-Man!

I read earlier that President-Elect Obama has to get rid of his Blackberry and he’s dreading losing his electronic lifeline.  That’s a regular joe issue and I can relate!  It took me a little while to get used to my Blackberry after previously owning a couple of Palm Treos, but now I can’t imagine not having it.  Barack Obama, the man, deals with all types of regular joe issues – trying to quit smoking, being a husband and father, staying healthy & fit, the list goes on.  That’s part of what makes Obama such a great politician: he moves seamlessly between Congress and constituency.  You can look up to him but you can also imagine hanging out with him. And you  never see him sweat.  He is a strong, intelligent, accomplished – a REAL Superhero.

I’m looking forward to seeing how things change politically, socially, fiscally, locally, etc. with the entrée of Barack Obama and his fabulous First Lady, Michelle, onto the landscape.   Welcome to DC!!!

Yes We Can?

obamaI am not a political person.  I don’t watch the news (unless you count the Daily Show and The Colbert Report.)  I rarely read newspapers or  news-related  websites.  I have enough going on in my life without being constantly innundated with negative information.  But this year I often tuned in to CNN, MSNBC and Fox News and checked CNN.com and MSNBC.com.  Why? I can tell you in two words  – Barack Obama

Barack Obama’s candidacy for the President of the United States FINALLY got me interested in politics.  I’ve always voted for President, but I tend to have little confidence in politicians in general.  It’s always been kind of “the lesser of two evils” thing for me.  But this time was different.  This time there was a candidate for the Democratic nomination, then the Presidency, who was saying something that I actually wanted to listen to.  Obama’s campaign even inspired me to read his book, “Dreams from My Father,” which had sat on my book shelf for over a year.

Barack Obama ran on a platform of change, and not just change, but positive change.  Change designed to benefit the majority of Americans.  This intrigued me.  So when I saw Obama on TV, I paid attention.  When I heard his name mentioned, I paid attention.  I talked about the candidates’ campaigns with friends.  Obama hadn’t even won yet and I had already been changed! 

As the months went on and Obama’s battle against  Hilary Rodham Clinton went on…and on..and on..I began to lose interest.  I just wanted it to be over already!  But then he finally won the Democratic nomination and I had a renewed inspiration.  On November 4, 2008, Barack Hussein Obama II became the President-Elect of the United States of America.  I am STILL in shock.  Up until the very last minute I had my doubts that it could really happen. 

So now it’s time for Phase II.  What happens next?  Will Obama stand by his promise of change?  Will the American citizens support him as he works to repair some of the damage that has been done to this country over the past eight years?  I truly hope so.  There’s a part of me that will always believe that politicians say whatever they have to say to get what they want.  I think it’s just the nature of the beast, even if you are an inherently good person.  So we’ll see.  Maybe Obama will change my mind about that too.  After all, he got me to watch Fox News….