Archive for May, 2010

Don’t boycott BP! Boycott yourself!

May 28, 2010

Post asserts that it is foolish for us to boycott BP. We need to boycott our addicition to oil. Are we going to just substitute our BP dollars for Exxon or Chevron or Citgo? Please! We need to now more than ever focus on developing alternative energy. Both our current president and our last one have said we are addicted to oil. After this tragedy passes, we will develop a short memory as we always do and go back to gas guzzling and other dependent practices. We have the ability and the technology to change this. NOW is the time to develop the will. It be inconvenient. But the truth often is…

Arab Americans! Why are you celebrating Ms. USA?

May 19, 2010

Post asserts that the winning of Ms. USA by Lebanese American won’t do much to change perceptions of Arabs in America. Looking at Black America, many non-blacks started listening to rap music. That gave them a  very warped sense of who we are and many started using the n-word and thought it was OK because of what mainly White executives produced. Are Arabs trying to convince America that you can pole dance too? The problem America has is not with Arab women, it’s with Arab men. Is this going to change screening at the airport or other racial profiling? If we want to have a true appreciation of the Arab experience in America, let’s learn about their contributions to medicine, science, math, politics, etc. If we don’t do this, we will just shift the image of Arabs from terrorists to something superficial and both images will hurt them in the long run. Trust me. We’ve been there as a Black people.

Not surprised black kids hate themselves

May 19, 2010

Whether it’s watching movies like “Precious” where all the dark-skinned characters are evil and all the savior characters are lighter-skinned, or having to explain to my daughter at 2 years old that she’s not inferior to white people because all of the main stream images from cartoons to pull-ups all have white princess on them, I am not surprised that many black kids hate themselves.  having a black President and a new black princess movie isn’t going to change 400 years of negative imagery, though it helps. Some of the kids, as you saw in the video, hate themselves because they think WE as adults hate them. They don’t know how to describe it. They just feel or perceive it. Oftentimes, unfortunately, perception is reality.

A manly perspective on Oprah’s “Live Your Best Life Weekend”

May 10, 2010

So I signed up to attend Oprah’s “Live Your Best Life Weekend” back in March. My desire to be in the great presence of not only Oprah & Gayle, but Suze Orman, Donna Brazile, Dr. Oz and others was just too much to resist! It was so hard to resist that I forgot to ask myself until the week of the event: “Are men even allowed at this thing?” As I got closer to the date, I called the Oprah team to ask this question and got no response. I decided the day of the event that I’m just going to drive the 4 hours and hope I don’t get turned away! It was truly ridiculous for me to think that.

It was foolish of me to think there would be a problem because of course there wasn’t. The volunteers treated me like family but there was still one problem: I was only one of about 20 men out of 6,000 people! As Oprah came out I wondered if she was going to make us feel uncomfortable. She looked around and said: “I see some men in here. I don’t know how you got in here.” We all burst out in laughter and then she said how happy she was that we came and that we’ll get some cool points with our significant other. With that said, all nervousness disappeared and I was given permission to enjoy the weekend and just be free.

I returned back to Washington, DC with my life’s purpose solidified. At the end of the day, dreams know no gender. We all laugh in the same language. We all cry in the same language. We all have hopes, fears, aspirations, concerns. We all hunger our hope and nightmare our dreams unnecessarily. I found myself at times being amazed that someone who came from her background (some of it horrific) could create this. Then I had my own “Aha” moment. As the crowd was being wooed by Donna Brazile and others, I said in my head “I want to help as many other people as possible feel this good.” Whether I would make any money doing it did not enter my head. That’s how I knew my life’s purpose was solidified for it was Farrah Gray who said that when you find what you would do for free in a world that didn’t need money, you have found your career.

Oprah said that the key to happiness is helping as many other people get happy as possible. This past weekend was a reminder that, as Willie Jolley says, we can all turn our trials into our testimonies, our obstacles into our opportunities, our problems into our possibilities, and that we can take our mess and turn it into our message. I thank Oprah and O Magazine for creating the space that allowed us to see that we all can live our best life, if we just choose to.


May 10, 2010

Southern cries

Northern lies

Western worries

Eastern ties

Sudanly I feel a change on the horizon

2 million souls perished in pursuit of what?

People starved, lands razed in pursuit of what?

Resource riches, political ditches

War criminals, political wins subliminal

With no fear, Bashir hungers hope,

Nightmares dreams

Elections a shame

But as history’s pupils we know there will be change

When our voices are raised and heroism praised

Every dictator knows we will limit their days

Genocide, gendercide, infanticide, tribeacide

To anyone who isn’t on the President’s side

But without violence we will commit presidentcide

Side-by-side with the Sudanese we will stride

Until the day where every Sudanese can hold their heads with pride

Shouting “Not on our watch!” and “Not on our dime!”

We will march, not stride towards destruction’s demise

Until all of Sudan is free to rebuild and to rise

We’ve said “never again” so this will be the last time

No more innocents lost, legal lies, and war crimes

For fear is falling down, allowing our faith and our hope to rise!

Stand for me, stand for my country

May 10, 2010

I carry hope in one hand, horror in the other

The promise of tomorrow on my right side

The horrific reminder of my rape in the other

I will never forget what they did to my brother

How they bludgeoned my father,

Made my cousin eat her mother

I often wonder if the world will ever know

If I die today where does my sister’s hope go?

I thought my hand would be used to write wonderful poetry

But now I must carry this extension of me

This outward reminder of what happened to me

When they come back for me tomorrow, who will protect me?

When I can no longer walk, who will STAND for me?

Who will stand for my sisters and cousins in Panzi?

My veins now extend outside of my body

But I hope I won’t die in vain—a nobody

Hope is hard to carry when you only have one hand

If the present is a gift,

Who hates me enough to gift me this?

I may never know but I think you do

If I die tonight, will you let my story, my Congo die too?