Friday, October 16, 2009

Oh dear, Africans have started spoofing African Americans, this can't be good.

MTV cribs, African style.

Nigerian version of Single ladies.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Now here is a Black Man talking sense. There is hope....

LZ Granderson says the black community should focus on its problems rather than the beliefs of Rush Limbaugh.

CNN) -- Things ain't what they used to be.

That sentiment harkens back to a simpler day in which innocence was not met with sarcasm, a man's word was his bond and yadda yadda yadda. What a bunch of crap.

I would like to know which time period in this country's history that phrase is referring to -- during the witch hunts? Trail of Tears? Television's "Happy Days" would lead you to believe life in the '50s and '60s was all about high school dances and hot fudge sundaes, but many of us know that was hardly the case.

No, if we take an honest look at this country's 233 years, what we will find are moments of brilliance and triumphs, moral bankruptcy and hypocrisy and a great deal of denial and revision by everyone. It is because of our tendency to rewrite unpleasant aspects of our history that we struggle to make the kind of significant social progress we need to truly realize the American Dream.

In other words, ignoring the ugly of the past can stifle the beauty of today.

Typically when blacks talk of the past and about how "things ain't what they used to be," it often is a reference to the civil rights movement and the time in which my community rallied together for a common cause -- equality. We saw remnants of that synergy this week as Al Sharpton, the NAACP and several black NFLers openly opposed Rush Limbaugh's inclusion on a team trying to purchase the St. Louis Rams.

And it is true, we were more willing to be our brother's keepers 40 years ago. But if we're being honest, not all of our brothers and sisters were worth trying to keep back then.

Not every black person was willing to sacrifice self-interest for the better of the whole. Quite a few of us sold out and were more than willing to be puppets or manipulate racial tension to keep crumbs of power or money.

We still had black-on-black crime, gambling, theft, prostitution, murder.

We still had some version of Kwame Kilpatrick to contend with and it's important that we talk about that. It's important that we understand that even during the more triumphant times in our history, there were still plenty of blacks who were agitators profiting from the status quo and that the community had to overcome their self-destructive behavior in addition to systematic racism and violence.

I know, I know, we don't like airing our dirty laundry. But by not talking about the uncomfortable parts of the civil rights movement, we have forgotten that the self-inflicted wounds we face today are nothing new and can be overcome.

We were not a nobler people during the civil rights movement. We just had more vocal citizens willing to make sacrifices. But we seem to have romanticized the civil rights movement so much that we have convinced ourselves we were a perfect people then.

We keep following voices that remind us of that era because we have convinced ourselves we still need a black leader to follow. We keep talking about how "things ain't what they used to be" and we haven't taken a close enough look at our history to understand things ain't never been that way.

For example, we chastise today's black athletes for not being Muhammad Ali or Jim Brown, as if every athlete of color from the 1950s and '60s was on the social justice front line, which we know is not true. Still, that doesn't stop us from romanticizing, and those blinders are one of the main reasons why today we do disempowering things like respond to violence in our community based on the race of the perpetrator, not the crime itself.

Limbaugh tried to become a minority owner of a professional football team and some of us behaved as if he was one of the young men caught on video beating Derrion Albert to death in the streets of Chicago.

I'm not a Limbaugh fan but I'm not upset over him being involved in purchasing a team either. I would simply give his squad the same amount of support I give his other projects -- none. There are just more pressing things to focus on.

If the NAACP or NFLPA speaks with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on societal or image matters, I would rather they talk about new ways to improve the public education system in cities where NFL teams are located than give an opinion on who buys a team.

Limbaugh may be a racist, but he is not the reason there are more black men in prison than in college. We are.

Our issues did not germinate in a vacuum, but I believe the best way to get out of our socioeconomical malaise is to spend less time looking at what white people like Limbaugh are supposedly doing to us and more time looking at what we're definitely doing to ourselves. More time charting a new course based on personal responsibility, not victimhood and the retelling of stories, because let me tell you, some of those stories have been touched up so many times it's hard to know what's true anyway.

After all, somewhere along the path someone deleted the significant role gay people played in organizing the famed Montgomery bus boycott in 1955 and the 1963 march on Washington.

Somewhere along the path someone Photoshopped out all of the adultery committed by some of the movement's religious leaders.

Somewhere someone shredded the mug shots of those who were arrested for real crimes, not protests.

Making those, and other uncomfortable topics, talking points in the overall discussion does not negate the good that was done. But it does remind us that life isn't black and white.

It reminds us that sometimes you have to peel back a few layers to fully understand what you're looking at.

It reminds us that to err is human, and not wanting to deal with err... well that may be the most common human trait of all.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

British pop, always the best.

A brief look at British pop videos does show truly how differently the Black Woman is treated over there. And this was in the 90s BTW. I doubt things have changed much.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Is this the beginning of the backclash against Asians?

Anne Le, murdered at work place

New Haven Police say we may never know the motive for the murder of Anne Le the Yale graduate student by her Co-worker. Really? If you know anything about race relations in America, this is an easy one. In this news story(Yale Murder) anonymous workmates of the Late Anne Le paint a picture of her being too controlling. The alleged Murderer was a Lab Technician that used to clean the cages of her rats and she was very picky about how he did it. He had relatives doing the same thing on campus and she was a graduate student meaning she was of a higher standing.

Let us not forget that the Lab tech is White and she is Asian. I know we are not supposed to speculate but hey this is a blog and we do pretty much that all the time for the fun of it.

My first instinct about this case before I learnt of her controlling ways was that the victim may have made the technician to feel inferior and this had built resentment towards her which ended tragically. I have heard of someone who strangled a coworker that used the N word on him and another Black worker that punched a customer who said the same thing.

The alleged killer in this case doesn't seem like a highly skilled murderer given the way he just dumped the body in the building and continued to hang around. Something must have clearly driven him insane.

Why is this racial? I work with majority Asians and most of my class mates are Asians. So I have some real experiences with them.

See, whites can sing praises of Asians as the Model Minority blah blah blah. But whites are never going to accept them as Superior to them anytime soon. Asians need to get this. Japanese Americans seem to understand this very well. They know they are one crazy leader away from an intermittent camp. You will often find Japanese Americans keeping an extremely low profile.
Like I said I work with mostly Asians and I have 2 special talents God gave me. One is to bring the worst out of people, and the other is getting people to open up. I interract with all people at work and hear things from all sides. One consistent pattern I have noticed is the resentment of Asians. They have been stereotyped as sneaky, scheming and controlling. I happen to know many who are not and my boss is a good one, atleast to me.

Humanity's history shows that if one particular ethnicity thrives predominantly then hatred for them builds and many times to tragic heights. I happen to live in an Asian part of Town too and its thriving but you can hear the resentment towards them. Alot of the time its unsolicited.

As for my class mates I could easily form a stereotype about Asian women but I know better. Almost every semester I meet one with a condescending attitude. Their attitude seems to be "we asians are ordained to study the sciences, what are you doing here". I have put many in their place not only verbally but by my grades. The latter is usually very shocking to them and they instantly start respecting me for that atleast.

Why is the Yale case possibly a racial issue? Well if Anne Le is like any of the Asian women I have encountered in my classes and the work place, it is highly likely that her attitude got her killed by one guy who had no control over his anger or who was subconsciously racist and felt dehumanized by an Asian. It is racist because if Anne had been a White woman and showed the guy the same or worse attitude, he would have possibly quit or slashed her tyres, he wouldn't have felt so dehumanized as he felt by an Asian woman.

An alternative scenario to what happened is that Anne Le may have had the split personality I have observed in some Asian women.
I had this Coworker who acted Angelic with men around and was a total bitch too me to the point of saying racially insensitive things. If Anne Le had two personalities, its likely that she took the submissive one home and let the rest hang out at the work place. And that is clearly not fair to those on the recieving end. Such a person looks down right evil and if they meet a mentally unstable person they can be easily harmed. If this is the case, her pending marriage to a White male may have given her false confidence to think that she had arrived and could treat any other white male any how she felt like.

Asians gaining power or anyone else for that matter, need to learn from the mistakes of whites. Very few people are going to allow you to dehumanize them easily.

Let us not forget that Asians have their low glass ceiling in the corporate world. So you are only meant to go so far. Don't get too carried away and think you can treat anyone the way the powers that be are known to treat people. And even they know better.

Asians are on the path to world dominance and no one can stop them. So I expect many such stories to happen. In my conversations with them its a strong source of pride, how they manage their pride and new power is key to how the rest of society especially in America responds to them. Another strong source of pride for them is the rate of white men marrying their women, I have had many an Asian man brag about it, I know, strange but it makes sense since the offspring often look Asian anyway.

So if we can adequately capture Anne Le's personality and relationships at work, the mystery of why she was killed will be solved.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Russia's "Barack Obama"

Mr Crima wants to leave melons behind in favour of politics

You have to admire this guy's guts. In Russia over 50% of Africans have expereienced a racist physiccal attack yet he, A water melon seller (of all things) is running for political office!

Story by Amanda Walker, Russia correspondent

An African-born watermelon seller is aiming to become the first black man to hold public office in Russia, despite the country's deep-seated racism.

Predictably, Joaquim Crima is being dubbed the Russian Barack Obama. He has also adopted a Russian first name and patronymic, Vassily Ivanovich.

I arrived at his stall and he insisted on going home to change into his suit before we hit the local election campaign trail.

He emerged from the makeshift-looking home he shares with his Armenian wife looking immaculate. Briefcase in hand, he's ready for action.

"The destiny of this region concerns me deeply. Our life here is miserable. And my dream is to change it," he said.

Selling watermelons isn't what Mr Crima believes is his true calling. This aspiring politician has got his sights set far higher.

Reaction on the campaign trail has been widely positive but he still plays it safe by being constantly flanked by his burly minder.

He is greeted with a smile from behind each door he knocks on.

Even when we've finished filming each encounter he stays behind to continue and conclude the conversation.

It is clear he has made an impact here and is well liked and respected.

Most people in the southern Russian district of Srednyaya Akhtuba lack running water, heating and basic sanitation.

The destiny of this region concerns me deeply. Our life here is miserable. And my dream is to change it.

Mr Crima says he can tackle that - if people let go of prejudice.

Despite growing local support it seems the authorities are less than keen on his campaign.

"Some men came to me and offered me money if I get out of the race," he said.

"They said I had no chance in this election. But I told them - why are you offering me money if you are so sure I will lose? I want the people to decide."

In a community where life is hard he said he had been inspired by Mr Obama's message of change.

To those who call him naïve, he has a simple and familiar message.

"Yes we can!" he said with a wry smile that suggested he isn't going to give up anytime soon.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

This White Washing needs to STOP!

When you think we are over the lightening of Beyonce in those L'oreal ads and all other forms of White washing, you get a major publisher give us a new one.
This poor Australian Author writes a book about a New York Black girl and what does the publisher do with the cover, they put a white girl. Can't we even pretend abit anymore?

Controversial cover

New Concession.

Here is the story.

A New Look for ‘Liar’
By Karen Springen -- Publishers Weekly,

Proof of the power of the web: Bloomsbury Children’s Books has told Publishers Weekly exclusively that it will change the controversial cover of Justine Larbalestier’s Liar, which is coming out this October. Bloggers, commentors and the author herself had criticized the publisher’s choice of a white girl with long, straight tresses for a novel about an African-American girl with “nappy” hair.

Typical pre-switch comments: “I think many publishers still live in the last century.” “Clearly Bloomsbury’s staff is in need of an intensive course on diversity.” “Buy the book, [and] return the cover to the publisher requesting a ‘corrected’ version.” Phew.

This week Bloomsbury officials have switched course. “We regret that our original creative direction for Liar—which was intended to symbolically reflect the narrator’s complex psychological makeup—has been interpreted by some as a calculated decision to mask the character’s ethnicity,” Bloomsbury officials said in a statement to PW. “In response to this concern, and in support of the author’s vision for the novel, Bloomsbury has decided to re-jacket the hardcover edition with a new look in time for its publication in October. It is our hope that the important discussions about race and its representation in teen literature continue. As the publisher of Liar, we also hope that nothing further distracts from the quality of the author’s nuanced and accomplished story, and that a new cover will allow this novel’s many advocates to celebrate its U.S. publication without reservation.”

Larbalestier praised the company’s decision. “I thought the best I could hope for was a new paperback cover for Liar. That it is being re-jacketed for the hardcover is the best news I’ve had in ages,” she told PW via email. “Bloomsbury is keeping me closely involved in the process of creating the new cover. While nothing is final yet—there’s been a photo shoot and comps and they’re looking at the Australian jacket as well—I’m confident what we wind up with will accurately reflect what the book is about.”

The author noted that the problem is longstanding and “industry-wide.” “Whitewashing of covers, ghettoizing of books by people of color, and low expectations (reflected in the lack of marketing push behind the majority of those books) are not new things,” she said.

But the extensive discussion of it is. “I'm seeing signs that publishers are talking about these issues, and I’m more hopeful for change than I have been in a long time,” said Larbalestier. “However, we consumers have to play our part too. If you’ve never bought a book with someone who isn’t white on the cover go do so now. Start buying and reading books by people of color.” A few of her recommendations: Coe Booth’s Kendra and M. Sindy Felin’s Touching Snow.

Bloomsbury publishing director Melanie Cecka, who edited Liar, made the decision with the full support of the company, said Deb Shapiro, Bloomsbury’s publicity director. “As a group, we stepped back from reading all the comments in the blogosphere and said, ‘What is in the best interest of this book?’ We’re very proud to be publishing this book.” Cecka declined to comment about the decision and process until the cover is finalized.

Bloomsbury is not the first publisher to change a jacket because of public pressure. In 1980, 17 years after he first published his Best Word Book Ever, Richard Scarry re-drew the cover to respond to claims of sexism. “He became a target for social critics who were aware that children are influenced by the images they see,” said children’s book historian and critic Leonard S. Marcus, author of Golden Legacy: How Golden Books Won Children’s Hearts, Changed Publishing Forever, and Became an American Icon Along the Way. As a result, Scarry put a male bunny in the kitchen with the female bunny. “It didn’t change just for stylistic reasons,” Marcus said.

Publishers have changed interior art, too, to silence critics. In the 1960s, Whitney Young, president of the National Urban League, singled out Golden Books for leaving black children out of illustrations for A Day at the Zoo, said Marcus. Golden Books added African-American kids to the drawings.

Cover art is “a marketing decision,” Marcus stated. “It’s a selling tool.” With it, publishers try to appeal to the largest number of prospective readers. Paul O. Zelinsky, illustrator of the 1984 Newbery winner Dear Mr. Henshaw, told Marcus that someone from the marketing department had told him to move the pencil the boy holds from his left to his right hand, in the thinking that most readers are righties. (Zelinsky switched the pencil position.)

While Cecka and her team have not yet chosen the new jacket for Liar, possibilities include using text only (like the Australian version of the book) or a photo of an African-American girl. Bloomsbury officials declined to give a dollar amount for the cost to re-jacket the books in the 100,000-copy announced first printing. At the time of the decision, all the jackets had been printed, but the books had not been wrapped. Costs for covers vary widely, and are dependent upon many factors, but a publisher printing 25,000 jackets might expect to pay close to $7,000 without design or illustrator costs.

Prominent bloggers supported Larbalestier’s criticism of the original jacket. In a post on the Web site Boing Boing called “Race and book covers: why is there a white girl on the cover of this book about a black girl?” co-editor Cory Doctorow wrote, “Justine’s right about this one.”

In the end, her publisher agreed.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Congratulations to Roslyn

Congratulations to Roselyn Holcomb upon the completion of her latest Romance Novel.

I will admit that I last read romance novels in my early teens and had never figured out why I went off them so fast. I just realized why. I could never identify with the female characters in those novels. And now I am just discoverng this genre where the central female character is a Black woman and I am over the moon and to top it off, its wrtten by one of our own Black female Co-Warriors Roslyn Holcomb.
Roslyn something about this story says Hollywood. However a word of caution, if it ever comes to that please fight for the female lead to remain Black.
I have never waited so anxiously for a book to arrive from Amazon.
Here is the official website Pussycat Death Squad

To all you stupid racist haters, take a break on this one. Come back later, your company is quite entertaining.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Is this the new Farrakhan?

I am not to familiar with the doctrine of the Nation of Islam. I have often bought into the extremist image potrayed by the media. But like all things one has to aquire some deconstructive abilities to figure out the Media's messages.
This particular interview of Farrakhan shows a more sensible person than is often shown. Has he always been this way or like Malcom X has he had a fundamental change in his thinking?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The book every Black Woman should read.

Why Black men love White Women

This book should be required reading for every Black Woman. Without a doubt the Black Woman in America is endangered. We can debate this fact till the cows come home but it does not change the reality that Black Womanhood in America is under attack from each and every direction. So is Black manhood, I will not deny that. The big difference is, society as it is is more sensitive to the injustice directed at the Black male. It will make News Headlines and people will go out march and riot in defense of the Black Man's humanity. Compare that to the response any Black woman in a precarious situation gets and it is obvious that the scale is not balanced. By listening to the Black voices out there, the BM has it the worst and BW are not very supportive. This is one of the many excuses given by many Black men who choose to date and marry non Black women.

I always wondered at the phenomenon of BM wanting anything but BW. Where I am from, no one else will do other than a native. So it was kind of a cultural shock to find men that go out of their way to disparage their own women. This is not to say that African men don't marry White Women. They do albeit in small numbers. But what they don't do is to go out their way and abuse the womanhood of their own women.

African men (where I am from) tend to quickly see their mothers and daughters in most women, even in their daily language they refer to women in the maternal sense. Unlike here they don't use the term 'sister'. They will use mama or auntie especially if the woman is older than them even by afew years. A woman with authority will be addressed as the boss she is and they will quickly and easily accept her authority.

My own dad, who was quite a big man in his day, refers to me as his sister and mother. Which is quite strange given that I am his daughter. His peers always tease him about being pushed around by the women (his daughters) in his life yet they take the same pushing around from theirs. Its known locally that if you want to get to a man bring his daughter into the picture. Its all over for him

Most men see their female peers as siblings and will treat them accordingly. Of course they have male chauvinism like any other men but what I see in Black America is very abnormal and destructive.
We still have a system of Patriarchy and women still fight for more rights. But, its a fair fight. They are not fighting against dehumanization by their own like Black American women have to. African women do not have their men ganging up with the White Supremest system to further dehumanize them. At least not for now.

This type of abuse is strictly an American Black Male's thing. And in this book I think we get an understanding of why that is the case. But should history and oppression be an excuse to further oppress or let your women be abused while you pursue that which you have been deceived into believing is better ?

And many Black men will say that men who do this are the minority. But Most black men do pursue the lighter is better ideal. So if Black men are practising colorism, where does that leave the Black Woman of a less favored hue? Alot has been said about it more eloquently than I can. Most of it is covered in this book. If you are a BW. Please please read it, ignore the Cheesy title.

Friday, June 5, 2009

This story is too common among Africans.

What goes through the head of a woman who in a desperate need to please her husband, steals another woman's baby and fakes it as her own? Luckily this baby got back with his parents, some never do and they never know.

Atek and her baby Oloya at their home at Kanyagoga in Gulu

By Frederick Womakuyu
and Chris Ocowun

BABY Daniel Oloya has been re-united with his parents, Lily Atek and her husband John Otim, nearly a year after being stolen from their home in Kanyogoga parish, Gulu municipality.

The baby’s return follows an order by the Gulu magistrate court on May 13, that the child be returned after DNA tests established that Atek and Otim were the parents.

The court also issued an arrest warrant for Jane Abur, a teacher who was found with the child, whom he claimed was hers.

The baby was snatched from the house where the mother had left him to sleep in August 2008, at the age of three months.

Four months later, a whistle blower disclosed that in another part of Gulu town, a woman, who had not given birth, had a baby who was kept indoors most of the time.

While the Police investigated the matter, the baby was kept at St. Jude orphanage. Atek was able to identify her baby by birth marks on the breast and buttocks. She, however, had to wait for months for the Police investigations, which included a delayed DNA test.

Saturday Vision reported on April 25 that she had been kept waiting because Uganda had run out of DNA testing reagents.

After being returned to his mother, the baby refused to suckle because it had got used to cow milk.

Northern Uganda Regional Police Commander (RPC), PK Arinaitwe, said they had confirmed that Abur did not give birth. “We are charging her with child stealing. She was arrested and released on Police bond. However, she has since gone into hiding,” the office said.

Recently, James Toolit, the husband to Abur, made a statement to the Police disowning the baby. He accused his wife of faking a pregnancy and pretending to have delivered while he was in prison.

He became suspicious on his return from prison when he saw Abur not breastfeeding the baby she claimed to have delivered.

“The first question I asked my wife was where the delivery took place. She said she gave birth from Lacor Hospital. I asked her mother if she attended to her during delivery, but she denied. Abur again told my sister she delivered from Gulu Maternity Home and later that she delivered on her way to Gulu Independent Hospital. Too many contradictions,” Toolit said.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What is wrong with American Idol voters ?

Firstly, I don't have a TV so I never know what is hot in TV land or not. But I heard about the brouhaha over this year's upset on American Idol. I wasn't so moved about it until I saw a small clip of Adam Lambert's performance with KISS and I was immediately intrigued.

Speculation is rife on why he lost and most people think that Conservative and Middle America were not comfortable with his supposed homosexuality.

I am middle of the road person on the issue of homosexuality, but should someone's sexuality ever be reason to deny the acknowledgement of their talent ?
This guy has to be the most talented Idol contestant ever and to think that people wouldn't vote for him because he appears gay is insane. Come on America, give credit where credit is due.

This makes me feel like joining those Prop 8 opponents and getting real active. This is seriously stupid. My heart broke for this guy.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Soldier in Pink Boxers

Regardless of your politics this picture is sure to move you. The image moved me quite deeply and I am yet to fully figure out why. I think it has to do with the fact that the soldier in the boxers looks very childlike even in his posture. There is an innocence to him. He looks like he might as well be at a sleep over playing games with his buddies. Only that this is real and it takes one determined enemy to take life out of him.
Many of us do indeed forget the role American troops play in our lives.

If you live or have lived in America you owe a lot of gratitude to those that are fighting America's wars. Pictures like this are a good reminder.

In this May 11, 2009 file photo, soldiers from the U.S. Army First Battalion, 26th Infantry take defensive positions at firebase Restrepo after receiving fire from Taliban positions in the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan's Kunar Province. Spc. Zachery Boyd of Fort Worth, Texas, far left was wearing "I love NY" boxer shorts after rushing from his sleeping quarters to join his fellow platoon members. From far right is Spc. Cecil Montgomery of Many, La. and Jordan Custer of Spokan, Wash, center. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says American soldiers have more than their military might and training on their side in the war in Afghanistan. Some have pink underwear. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder, FILE)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

What's with White Kenyans?

Ok, I don't know if these kids are white Kenyans but from the Tusker T shirt, I am guessing they are or some British Kids that have got African accents down. They call themselves two white wogs. This stuff seems funny for now but God forbid if this stuff catches traction. These could be the next Borat.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Has Zuma vindicated himself?

I believe that a better future for Africa is heavily dependent on its women. Amazingly many African leaders know this and some take drastic steps to make it so that women get the education they need.

In Uganda for example the is a woman's Parliamentary seat for every district. There is a Ministry dedicated to women. You will find women in all areas of public life. And all this has happened without as much a significant struggle by the women's movement. Its become the norm for girls to beat boys in national exams. This year was the exception, the boys beat the girls and there was alot of concern that women were losing the ground they had gained thus far. The only affirmative action program they have is gender based. To enter a University girls are given extra 1.5 points to enhance their chances to entrance. The argument is that girls carry alot of domsestic burdens as they grow up and are at a disadvantage while boys have alot more freedom as children. This proposal was initally met with insignificant protest but its been in place for over 20 years. The results of which are seen in the women professionals who are nation builders of today. So there is no interest whatsoever in undoing affirmative action.

There are schools springing up at a terrific rate in the East African region, most of these are being run by women. If these women that have had little support from their governments and elsewhere can spearhead development, what are they capable of if they are given equal opportunities as the men?

In Rwanda's post genocide era, women dominate public service, partly due to the lack of enough male professionals and also a culture that upholds women as key to development.
Africa with its grim realities can only be saved by its women. We have seen what Africa's men are capable of, and its not pretty. Thankfully they seem to realize that there is no future without the empowerment of women. The latest to join this type of thinking is S.Africa's new president, that I am not a fan of, Jacob Zuma.
He has made 42% of his cabinet women. To me that is promising. Could this idiot actually save South Africa?

Friday, May 8, 2009

Is this the black JK Rowling?

'I didn't know I was writing a novel' -Helen Oyeyemi

I was as usual listening to Women's hour on the BBC and Helen Oyeyemi got on and was being interviewed. It did not occur to me until the end of the interview that this woman was black let alone Nigerian. From the little I have read, her genre is not too far from JK Rowlings even in its potential as the next Harry Potter Series. We will wait and see, But so far she seems to be hitting the right notes with critics. I am not to much of a fiction or fantasy reader but its good to see Nigeria maintain their title as Africa's literary giants.

By Anita Sethi

Helen Oyeyemi wrote her first book in seven weeks while studying for her A-levels. By the time she got her results, she had signed a two-book, £400,000 deal. Anita Sethi meets her
oundaries are forever melting away in the unstable world of The Icarus Girl, 20-year-old Helen Oyeyemi's debut novel. Rooms widen and contract, floors cave in, walls "tilt sickeningly" as the protagonist, eight-year-old Jessamy, gets carried away by uncontrollable flights of fancy.

Now a second-year undergraduate reading social and political sciences at Corpus Christ College, Cambridge, Oyeyemi wrote the novel in seven giddy months while studying for her A-levels in a south London comprehensive. She sent the first 20 pages to agent Robin Wade who phoned her the next day, and in a tale fast becoming urban myth, Oyeyemi signed a two-book deal with Bloomsbury for a reported £400,000 (the figure is exaggerated, insists the publisher) on the day of her A-level results.

"It was a crazy, crazy time," she says over a steak sandwich and coffee in a Soho restaurant. "I was just barrelling along writing it and I wasn't really aware that I was writing a first novel. I didn't really understand what was happening. I still don't.

"It was so much fun, though. It's great when the story comes to you so easily and strongly." Her parents still haven't read the book. "I really hope they won't. I'd just be really weirded out." What do they think of her rapid success? "I don't really talk about it with them."

The story of the precocious, mentally unstable daughter of a Nigerian mother and English father, The Icarus Girl is a moving study of alienation. While holidaying in Nigeria, Jess befriends TillyTilly, a ghost (or just an imaginary friend?) who follows her to England. At first a blessing to the intensely lonely Jess, TillyTilly becomes increasingly destructive. It emerges that Jess had a twin who died at birth; in Yoruba culture, twins inhabit three worlds, the bush (a "wilderness of the mind"), the normal world and the spirit world. "The bush is a world that doesn't have the same rules and the same structure as our world," explains Oyeyemi, "and TillyTilly comes right from that world. As a kid I was scared of everything you could be scared of - ghosts, aliens, the IRA. I didn't differentiate between these different fears and the threat of TillyTilly is that she can't really be categorised."

Jess is so disturbed that her own name sounds "strange, wobbly, misinformed" to her, as she struggles to categorise not only TillyTilly but her own self. Jess's behaviour is in turn feared by her mother. Growing up in Nigerian culture, says Oyeyemi, can be "really, really oppressive. It's like something almost tugging on your coat-tails saying, 'Hey, remember you're Nigerian,' and I think that's what TillyTilly is to Jess. But you know if Jess just left it a bit, she would realise that it's OK to be Nigerian and English at the same time."

Born in Nigeria in 1984, Oyeyemi emigrated to London with her family when she was four. As a child in Lewisham, she remembers never quite finding herself represented in the books she was reading. "You can read a lot of books and the main characters are white people - especially in the classics - and after a while you forget that you're not white, almost, because it's this big pervasive culture. And then you find books like Yoruba Girl Dancing [by Simi Bedford] and you think: it's just as interesting to be Nigerian in England as it is to be white in England."

Oyeyemi is self-assured and very witty, but she says it has been a struggle to gain such confidence, "I was a real mess at school. I got a bit of a reputation for being the weird girl, the girl who'd go silent randomly and just kind of write down replies to people's questions in a book." During secondary school, she slid into depression. "I'm not entirely sure why it hit me ... just feeling really, really uncomfortable in my own skin and not wanting to communicate and just shutting down. Which is what Jess is doing at eight."

She touches obliquely on the response of her family: "In Nigeria, the problems are so much more immediate and more real, like you're not getting any electricity or any water, you actually have to struggle, and stuff. [So they think]: it's fine over here, what's your problem? And so there was just this kind of blank silence thing between us about it."

She took an overdose at 15. While off school recovering, she spent the month "reading and reading and reading, so that was kinda useful". Reluctant to take medication, she also found visits to her psychologist unhelpful: "There wasn't really very much to say, because I find it very difficult to say what's going on most of the time." It was a family holiday to Nigeria that finally set her on the road to recovery.

At Cambridge, she says, she has found a group of close friends, but adds: "One of the reasons why I might be finding it difficult to gel with my year is because I do get a bit surly and a bit inward. I think that's why, in a way, since I have no life skills, writing is a really cool thing for me to do, because I can be by myself and I don't have to kind of verbalise things. I'm terrible at verbalising things; that's exactly what it is." The core theme of The Icarus Girl is loneliness, she says. But "I've always felt happy in my own company. It's only when I get around other people that things get sticky.

"I think, basically, what I'm good for is reading - a lot.". And writing? "I think I'll always be more of a reader than a writer, definitely. There are sooo many books in the world I haven't read, sometimes I feel as if they're all piled on top of my head weighing me down and saying, hurry up." She adores magic realism. "I love taking things out of context and playing with them and chopping up rules."

She was imagining things, she says, even before she was reading things, and speaks of the sanctuary and terror of imagination. Growing up, her sister, to whom she is very close, and Chimmy - an imaginary friend - were her "chief psychics". "I can't remember when [Chimmy] first bowled on to the scene. He died when I was eight, he got run over," she says matter-of-factly. "Chimmy really straightened me out because I was such a naughty kid."

On the other hand, "I had, sort of, this weird twilight-zone made out of a pastiche of things I'd seen on TV and any horrors that I could imagine ... every now and then a new fear gets added to my repertoire." At the moment it's white-noise phenomenon [messages from dead people supposedly embedded in recordings of empty rooms]. "I don't ever want to hear a ghost, I think I'd actually just die."

Despite her impressive success so far, Oyeyemi doesn't see writing as a full-time career, thinking it would be weird not to do a "proper job". As for being categorised, as a young, non-white woman, with writers such as Zadie Smith and Monica Ali, she says this is "inevitable but lazy". She tells of how, at books parties, people ask her if she is Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the Nigerian author of Purple Hibiscus.

Next month Oyeyemi will have two plays published by Methuen as Juniper's Whitening; she is also working on her second novel, about Cuban mythology. It's quite a leap from The Icarus Girl, she says. "I think I'm done with loneliness. Jess's world is about this narrow," she says, enclosing a millimetre of air between her fingers, "it's a really oppressive atmosphere, but with the second novel I'm just like ... phew ... breathing - and it feels good."

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Is Kenya the next Zimbabwe ?

Thomas Cholmondeley

Kenya has its fair share of White settlers. I have always wondered how stability prevailed in Kenya under those circumstances given the history of how the land was taken. Kenya's post election violence was rooted in issues of land created by the British. Now this British Aristocrat managed to kill a local poacher for tress passing on his land. Previously he had shot someone else. He has now been convicted for manslaughter.
In my own country, I personally would shoot a poacher on my land and many would understand and I would most likely get off scott free.

However this guy forgot his history and skin color. Being a descendant of those that grabbed African land is enough to have the locals hate you no matter how many good deeds you do for the community. Africans like their white people in Churches, convents and schools, not owning their land, well at least where I am from. But I get the feeling Kenyans are the same way. Now to go a head and start shooting them and actually killing them for 'tress passing' on 'your' land is asking for trouble. And this guy definitely dug himself into a huge hole. At this point only Obama can save him. But a possible consideration would be to forfeit the land. It can never be yours again after this.

Here is a BBC story on the case.

A white Kenyan aristocrat has been cleared of murder but found guilty of the manslaughter of a black poacher on his family's estate in 2006.

A judge ruled Thomas Cholmondeley did not show "malice aforethought" in the shooting of Robert Njoya in May 2006.

The case, involving the descendant of one of Kenya's first British settlers, has attracted huge media attention.

In 2005 Cholmondeley admitted shooting a Maasai ranger, but the case was dropped owing to insufficient evidence.

That decision provoked outrage and mass protests among the Maasai community.


The courtroom in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, was packed with lawyers, reporters, cameramen, and family and friends of Thomas Cholmondeley, the BBC's Adam Mynott in court said.

Profile of a Kenyan aristocrat
Shock and relief in Nairobi court
There were gasps of surprise as High Court Justice Muga Apondi gave his ruling after reading out a 320-page verdict on the case, although the defendant himself remained impassive.

"I find as a fact that it was the accused who had shot the deceased resulting in his death," the judge said.

"In view of the above analysis I hereby find which I do, that the accused did not have any malice aforethought to kill the deceased."

The Eton-educated 40-year-old, who has spent the last three years in jail, is due to be sentenced next week. He faces a maximum term of life imprisonment.

"I'm amazed - dumbstruck actually," said Cholmondeley's defence lawyer. "We will appeal. There is no doubt about that."

Surprise outcome

The incident took place in a remote corner of Cholmondeley's sprawling family farm in the Rift Valley region, acquired by his great-grandfather, the third Baron Delamere.

Cholmondeley told police at the time that Mr Njoya was with three companions and a pack of dogs, and he suspected them of hunting a gazelle.

He said he had shot at the dogs, killing two of them. Mr Njoya was hit by a bullet and died on the way to hospital.

Cholmondeley's defence had argued that the fatal shot may have been fired from a weapon carried by his friend, but this was rejected as an "afterthought" by the judge.

The judge's verdict is contrary to the non-binding not guilty verdict found by a panel of lay assessors - who do a similar job to juries in Kenya - in March.

The outcome will surprise some who followed the case closely, our correspondent says.

But it will please those Kenyans who believe Thomas Cholmondeley should have been prosecuted over the shooting of Maasai ranger Samson Ole Sisina in 2005.

Cholmondeley, a divorced father of two, had admitted the earlier shooting, but said he acted in self-defence mistaking the warden for an armed robber.

The latest trial has stirred up lingering animosity against some in the white farming community, who are accused of living on large areas of land, illegally grabbed early last century, our correspondent says.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Australian councillor, Hajnal Ban, has legs broken to become taller. WTH!

And all along I have been giving Black women a hard time for wearing Weaves. How insecure do you have to be to get your legs broken son you can grow taller?

Hajnal Ban, who said she didn't want to be remembered as the 'girl who got her legs lengthened'

An Australian politician has gone to extraordinary lengths to be taken seriously by her peers: she has had her legs broken and stretched to become 3in (8cm) taller.

“A lot of young females have insecurities about their weight or their nose; mine was my height,” said Hajnal Ban, 31, a councillor with Logan City council in Queensland.

After nine months of excruciating pain, the councillor became a “normal” 5ft 4in.

Ms Ban was taunted at school and feared that her height would damage her credibility as she entered the legal profession and later went into local politics.

So she went to the Ilizarov orthopaedic clinic in Kurgan, Russia, and paid surgeons A$40,000 (£19,000) to break both her legs in four places and stretch them slowly for 1mm every day for nine months. Eventually she grew from 154cm (just under 5ft 1in) to 162cm.

“From the time I flew to Russia to the time I was able to wear high heels again was about a year in total, but at least nine months of that was excruciatingly painful,” she said. “You see sports people going in who need that extra height, and models . . . it’s a well-kept secret.”

Ms Ban, who was born in Israel and is of Hungarian origin, has lived in Australia since she was a child. She ran unsuccessfully for the conservative National Party during the federal election in 2007 and has been a local councillor for three years.

She had the surgery when she was a 23-year-old barrister but Australian media only latched on to her medical history this week. Ms Ban told The Times that she did not want to be remembered as “the girl who got her legs lengthened”.

“I want people to take me seriously and to be known for the work I do as a politician in my local community,” she said.

Ms Ban said that despite the success of her surgery she would not recommend it for anyone else because it was “not everyone’s cup of tea”.

“I have absolutely no regrets. It was a decision I made in consultation with my family. I was prepared, I did my research and I’m very lucky because the results are good,” she said.

“But as much as it worked for me . . . it is not something I would necessarily promote or endorse. I would never recommend anyone for leg lengthening or liposuction or any other surgery. People have to take it up individually.”

Ms Ban said that she would not rule out further cosmetic enhancements. “I haven’t made a decision on whether I will in the future or not. I know I’ll get wrinkles and put on weight, and I’ll even shrink as I get older, so we’ll see what happens,” she said. “But I’m not fixated on self-image.”

Monday, April 27, 2009

Chinese Slavery in West Africa?

What is with West African and the slavery business? Seriously. This pimp just got caught running a brothel using Chinese girls. His business specifically targets the expat community. So if you can't go to Asia we will bring the women to you? WOW
Luckily there are good people out there like investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw who blew the whistle on the guy.

Credit: Anas Aremeyaw Anas
Source: New Crusading Guide

The boss of Peach Blossom Palace is spotted In Ghana’s most expensive casino,
wearing Gucci shades, a golden brown Emperio Amani tuxedo and a custom-made Rolex wrist watch.

Scores of raunchy mini-skirted Chinese girls fill up his glass with exotic French champagne. He spins his cozy swivel chair in sensuous delirium as the ladies’ dainty fingers caress his neck, back and shoulders to orthopedic effect. “Ha,ha ha” he lets out another loud peal of frenzied laughter.

There is no doubt that this impressive figure is a successful man. His appearance likewise leaves little doubt that his prosperity comes from brisk business.

What is not immediately evident is the fact that he rakes in millions that flow not from his own pores, but from the bloody chores of hapless, naive lasses he has made whores on the shores of West Africa.

He presides over an evil empire, which traffics his Chinese compatriots, engaging them in sex slavery, not only here in Ghana, but also in Nigeria and Togo.

The non-African expatriate community is the clientele. Peach Blossom Palace is the wholesale outlet from where the “goods” are marketed and sold. Poor, innocent and vulnerable Chinese girls, some as young as 19, are the human commodity on sale paraded in front of the clients like pieces of meat in a butcher shop window. They are lured here with promises of honest, well-paid jobs, only to have their passports and return tickets confiscated.

The travel documents may be recovered, but only after one had paid off the cost - invariably inflated of the trip to Accra. They are beaten and threatened with a high debt to be repaid only through the sale of their bodies.

They are thrown into debt bondage and forced to sell their innocence and human dignity for their master’s gain in nightclubs and casinos. “I was told that I was going to be waitressing in a Chinese restaurant, but it however turned into nightmare.

There was no way of turning back and I resorted to this dehumanizing business” said one of the girls. Any of this trafficker’s victims, who attempt anything akin to disobedience, not to talk of rebellion, is firmly, swiftly and brutally repressed.

Six months of backbreaking investigation yielded the above discovery on the nefarious activities of King James, the man at the centre of the sex trafficking ring.

Posing as a bartender in the hotels where this sordid business is carried out, “The New Crusading Guide” reporter managed to capture every aspect of this trade with a hidden camera. He also pretended to befriend a lady who lived in the brothel and from whom, over a period of four months, he obtained valuable, first-hand accounts of the activities of King James and his colleagues. All of the above described is captured on video. It was upon the presentation of this evidence that the Police CID planned and carried out a raid on the Peach Blossom Palace in Labadi, Accra.

The United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime, Supplemental Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (2000) serves as the international legal standard. It outlines the definition of human trafficking in Article 3 (a): “Trafficking in persons” shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.”

Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world, with total annual revenue for trafficking in persons estimated to be between $5 billion and $9 billion. The Council of Europe states that “people trafficking has reached epidemic proportions over the past decade, with a global annual market of about $42.5 billion.”

Enslavement Prevention Alliance - West Africa, an NGO that has provided the victims with postrescue care, stated that: “The ruthless criminals behind the sexual exploitation of these vulnerable women should feel the full hand of the Ghanaian law. This would not only serve to provide the victims with justice, it would also serve as a deterrent to all those who wish to perpetrate similar crimes in Ghana. Swift prosecution of this case will send a clear message that the business of sexual slavery is not welcome here.”

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saved from being a Black Man, James Manning

Its amazing how some critical messages come from the least likely sources.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Is Mandela Senile?

I have long concluded that South Africa is God's case. And to confirm that sentiment one just has to look at the next President Jacon Zuma and the overwhelming support he is getting to be President.
This guy is controversy personified. There are very serious corruption allegations against him and by sheer politicking the charges were dropped only a few weeks ago with the questionable explanation of the case being over politicized.

Corruption charges aside, this guy has a questionable character. I can't help but see similarities with Idi Amin. Only that we have been there so we may never see how far his personality may take him if he were left unchecked like Idi Amin was.

His personal anthem involves lyrics in ode to his machine gun. He is tied to some extremist youth groups who sing his praises and vow to die and kill for him. (God help those African foreigners in South Africa). He has publicly distanced himself from these groups but Zuma is not unlike other crazy African politicians, in fact I would bet that he is one of the crazier ones.

The one that takes the cake is the rape allegations against him. The story goes that he had sex with an HIV positive woman who later claimed he had raped her. In his own defense, he didn't rape her and according to him, women ask for it when they wear revealing clothes. And that is not the worst part, he was not concerned about having contracted HIV because he immediately showered after having sex with her. FOR REAL! Now even Idi Amin didn't go that far.
Oh and I almost forgot Mr. Zuma's multiple wives. Some of whom maybe forgotten to him. Another striking resemblance with Idi Amin. His daughter speaks of him as a wonderful father who is in touch with his children and has a personal and close relationship with each one. Another striking resemblance with Idi Amin. Amin's over 40 children remember him very fondly and do defend his name. To his death Amin was still supporting most of them (the ones he knew of atleast).

As if it isn't bad enough that the South African people are voting for this idiot to be their President, Nelson Mandela finally came out and backed the guy. Looks like that little halo over his head has gone out or he is senile.

I for one never got fully sold onto Mandela's heroism. For sure he fought for South African freedom, but his heroism has been blown out of proportion and eclipsed other equal apartheid heroes. This sentiment is very common in Africa. He is not as revered as he is in the West. He is the symbol of the struggle but by no means a living Saint the West makes him out to be.
For supporting this fool, Mandela has truly brought himself back to earth if not below it.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Susan Boyle and what bugs me in Western Society

Everyone has heard of Susan Boyle. If you haven't a clip follows about her stunning performance on Britain's got Talent despite her 'disadvantage' in the looks department.

Emphasis on physical beauty is my biggest pet peeve about Western society. I have often been labelled online as ugly for my stand against Western draconian and oppressive beauty standards. I will now call the Western Beauty industry, the Fascist industry. There are too many similarities in its operational methods with the Nazi. Only certain looks are accepted while others are pushed to extinction. Those that are favored are then under a strict code to fit the ideal that is unrealistic. And let us not get the lab experiments, chemicalization and physical alterations that go with all that.

Back to Susan Boyle. When I first saw her, I didn't think she was unattractive. I saw a woman that simply wanted to sing and could be gifted. I was horrified by the initial reactions by the audience and the media coverage. One would think, without seeing her, that she looked like a Gargoyle. To me she looked like your average middle aged woman. Not extremely attractive but not ugly enough to be so ridiculed and written off.

Africans do appreciate beauty but it is understood as a gift of nature that has severe setbacks especially for the beautiful woman. Once I remember a newspaper made a survey of men about their desire for beautiful women. Overwhelmingly most men agreed that they can't marry and overly attractive woman. There is a belief that they can't be good home makers and they are too involved with their beauty to care for someone else. Beautiful women, most men in my society believe, are for wealthy men to fight over but not for your average guy. However, its agreed that they are good to sleep with.

In otherwards beautiful women are just trophies but since most men in my culture value leaving behind a solid family legacy, a beautiful woman won't do it for them.
In fact there tends to be a sadism towards beautiful women among men in my culture. You will always know which men the beautiful woman has slept with. I have a few extremely beautiful girlfriends whose love lives are truly sad and sometimes tragic. The idea of beauty is therefore seen differently from that of the West.
(I am talking from experience and not as an an expert on the subject that needs some serious study).

Anyway I hope those little girls laughing at Susan Boyle will get to her age and look horrifying.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Is this Britain's Steppin Fetchin?

I love British Comedy. That is my entertainment. I believe the British are the best in Non fiction programming and Comedy while the Americans are strong in Fiction. Its painful to watch British Dramas unless of course they are period pieces. So, I catch up with this stuff, thanks to the Internet. Blacks of West Indian origin have made great inroads into the British Media while the Africans have barely got in.

Now there is one promising one, who according to the British may be entertaining but to Americans may be highly offensive. The first Black woman in the Western Hemisphere to have her own comedy sketch show, Nigerian born, Jocelyn Jee Esien. Some of her pieces make me wonder if she isn't the modern day female version of Steppin Fetchin.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Is this racism against whites from Brazil's President ?

Brazil's President Lula sparked controversy prior to the G20 Summit by calling the credit crunch the fault of white blond blue eyed people. What is surprising to me is that the story hasn't gotten so much attention. His sentiments are disturbing on so many levels. Firstly he singled out a race to blame. Then secondly, Brazil is hardly the beacon of racial harmony. Thirdly he reduced the crash of a system built by whites then taken on by everyone else to the race of those that invented it.

Why am I disturbed by this guy's comments? Being black aren't I supposed to be cheering him on being that I am under discriminatory pressure from the same system built by the same whites ? His comments are very disturbing and I am not exactly sure why. But it sort of sounds like a call to arms of the non white world to fight the blond blue eyed "evil ones? Let's say this so called world of color takes over economic power, what is the place for blacks? If Brazil is to go by, a black person is much better of sitting on their hands.

Here is a report from UK's Mirror.

Gordon Brown was forced to listen as Brazil's President Lula declared the credit crunch was the fault of white, blue-eyed people yesterday.

The rant at a press conference risked upstaging the PM's diplomatic moves before the G20 summit next month.

Mr Brown aims to smooth the way for an agreement on tackling the global downturn.

But populist Lula, who like his countryman Pele is known by a single name, warned talks at the gathering would be "spicy".

And he took the opportunity to lay into rich nations.

The president, white and bearded, said: "I am not acquainted with any black bankers. This is a crisis that was caused by people, white with blue eyes. Before the crisis they looked like they knew everything about economics.

"Now they have demonstrated they don't know anything about economics."

Lula said people who caused the slump - financiers who saw themselves as "gods of wisdom" - were not the ones paying the price.

He continued: "The part of humanity that is responsible should pay for the crisis." Mr Brown looked ill at ease as the president went on. Cabinet minister Douglas Alexander, who was in the audience, rolled his eyes.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

UPDATE; Shopping while black

WOW! Some encouraging news. A while back I posted my bad 'shopping while black' experience at Staples.
I sent them the following letter and they replied!

Customer Service.

On February 28th 2009, I went to the Staples on Santa Monica and Vermont in L.A. I got chased down the Isle because I had a backpack on. My intent was to purchase the TI-89 Calculator ($160)and leave.
While taking my backpack to the counter, I noticed 2 other customers walking around comfortably with theirs. I asked the store clerks about the need for me to put my bag at the counter while others were moving around with theirs. Their response was that they tell those who they happen to see to leave their back packs behind. This in light of the fact that one of the other back pack customers was right at the counter seeking help. He happened to be Latino (and so was the other lady). I happen to be black. Out of the three of us they saw me!

To me, this was a clear case of racial profiling and I mentioned this to them which they obviously denied.
I was very disappointed with this treatment. I am sure this is not company policy but you guys could go to great lengths to train your employees to stop harassing and profiling black shoppers.
I can honestly tell you that many of us are wary of going into stores like yours because of the treatment we anticipate to get. We share our stories and word gets around real fast. I think it should be in the interest of your business that this behavior is checked.

Their response.


Thank you for contacting Staples regarding the lack of quality service you received in our store.

I have contacted the store's senior management regarding your concerns of overall poor customer
service. Rest assured, senior management will speak with the associates involved to ensure the
service our customers receive is great from start to finish.

We always enjoy hearing from our customers, especially when they offer us the opportunity to correct
a situation and regain customer satisfaction. We hope that you will remain a valued Staples




Sunday, March 22, 2009

The two Black men in America who get it.

Chris Mathews interviews Bill Cosby and Alvin Poussaint. At some point, this interview was almost too painful to watch when Chris Mathews asks the two about the differences between foreign blacks blacks and American blacks. Possaint's response was quite revealing, one can get a sense of bitterness from him towards those blacks that are gaining from the Black struggle. Bill Cosby true to form advocates for the Black child and personal responsibiliy. Is Bill Cosby the only black male in America that has some sense?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Truly Changing times

The UK has just appointed the first black man to a FTSE 100 company, Prudential Insurance. What is amazing is this guy fled war torn Ivory Coast and made it to this position. Seriously, with stories like this, blacks are quickly running out of excuses. We need to reevaluate the strategies currently used in the "struggle". Especially Black male victimhood. There is a time to mourn and a time to move on. I mentioned before that I have no more tolerance for Black men's cry of racism especiall given the fact that they seem to have little consideration for Black women and children that are in the same struggle. Why should I feel you plight when you can't feel mine?
As I see it, racism is going no where. Obama's Presidency has shown us that. Just deal with it as an American reality and find ways of getting around it. Any black man crying racism now sounds to me as a whiner, whether his experience is real or not. Acts of racism that are worth fighting are those that pose an immediate danger to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
And by pursuit of happiness, I am not concerned about social integration that many a Black man seems to be more concerned about. The Attorney General stepped in the crap on this one. Why exactly some are more concerned about social integration than basic necessities like equal education, employment and housing is beyond me. Someone on another blog said that the Civil Rights movements biggest achievement was that Black men can now freely go with White Women. Now that is debateable, however, with the struggle so screwed should black women be as concerned about this struggle that seems to give us nothing more than crumbs?

Anyway, here is a story about Tidjane Thiam the first UK CEO of a FTSE 100 Company.

Washington Post

LONDON -- Tidjane Thiam, who 10 years ago was forced to flee a military coup in Ivory Coast, is set to make U.K. corporate history when he takes over the top spot at insurer Prudential PLC, becoming the first black chief executive of an FTSE 100 company.

Also Thursday, the insurer reported a net loss for 2008 but said its operating profit using European embedded value accounting standards rose 17% and that its capital position remained strong.

Bloomberg News
Tidjane Thiam
The announcements triggered a 13% rally in Prudential shares in London.

Mr. Thiam, who in 1998 was named one of the "100 Global Leaders of Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum, joined Prudential last March from Aviva PLC, where he was the CEO of Aviva Europe. He has received several other international awards and is considered a rising star in the financial sector.

Currently the chief financial officer, he will take over from current CEO Mark Tucker in October.

Mr. Thiam's appointment comes amid intense competition in a U.K. market already in recession, a continuing dislocation in investment markets globally and slowing contributions from Prudential's key Asian operations.

Heard on the Street
Prudential's CEO Departs on a HighA £1.78 billion ($2.54 billion) loss on investments, stemming mainly from its U.S. operations, pushed Prudential into a £396 million net loss for 2008, the insurer said. In 2007, Prudential had generated a net profit of £947 million.

The result reflects the same fate suffered by other major insurers like Aviva, Standard Life PLC and Friends Provident PLC, which in recent days posted net losses as poor investment markets savaged any gain from their core insurance operations.

However, Prudential's announcement of a £2.96 billion operating profit using European embedded value accounting standards cheered investors. Operating profit doesn't include any short-term investment losses.

Prudential said it had a capital surplus of £1.7 billion, up from £1.4 billion at the end of September. It also recommended a 5% increase in its 2008 dividend to 18.9 pence a share.

In a briefing, Mr. Tucker said Prudential has quit the auction process to acquire the Asian operations of American International Group Inc., but is still looking for other acquisitions. "We did not submit a bid in the process. Our view was that we could not get to the value criteria that we had in place," he said.

Mr. Tucker said slowing exports and weaker economic growth in Asian markets pose challenges to Prudential's business there in the short term but added that the company remains positive over the medium term. He also warned that "2009 will be a challenging year and we will continue to focus on balancing growth with cash and capital generation."

Mark Tucker
Mr. Thiam, a French national, began his career with McKinsey & Co., where he worked from 1986 to 1994 in Paris and London, serving insurance companies and banks.

Between 1994 and 1998, Mr. Thiam returned to the Ivory Coast to be chief executive of the National Bureau for Technical Studies and Development, reporting directly to the president and prime minister. He was then appointed as minister of planning and development but left the country after the December 1999 military coup. Upon his return, he was elected as a partner of McKinsey, where he worked until joining Aviva in 2002.

Mr. Tucker said that Mr. Thiam "has exceptional talent and ability and will do a wonderful job." He didn't elaborate on why he decided to leave Prudential. He added that he is considering what he will do next when he steps down after 25 years at the company and more than four years as CEO.

Mr. Thiam said he feels "privileged" to succeed Mr. Tucker.

—Simon Kennedy contributed to this article.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Black male doing something for Black women?

Steve Harvey's book 'Act like a lady, Think like a man' is a number one best seller. I guess one has to see the upside of a black male writing a relationship guide for women.
However, yes however, I found the source of his inspiration to write the book a little off. He says he was inspired by his daughter's boy friend saying of their relationship that they were "just kicking it". What I found disturbing was that it took Steve's father in law to ask the grand daughter's boy friend the tough questions. It wasn't Steve Harvey! To me that is acting ball-less! From my basic understanding of white American culture, the standard is, Fathers are extremely protective of their daughters. They won't have some boy friend at such a young age just hanging around with out seriously checking out their character. In my own culture, you don't take a boy friend home unless he is the one. Parents only want to see the man you are going to marry. No try outs. And even then, you don't introduce him yourself, its the job of your paternal aunt. Not that I am using these to cultures as standards, but to me it seems like a natural instinct that if your daughter brings a man home, as a father you want to seriously investigate him. For Steve Harvey, it was the Father in Law! In otherwords, the Father in Law was looking out for his own daughter's interests. Is this a generational thing? Are the black men of the older generation more manly than the current ones? And as time goes on they will eventually truly become useless? I mean look at the men surrounding Rihanna, how more useless can they get?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I love America except when I go shopping

First off let me say, I love this country, its ideals and promises. And yes it is the land of opportunity. This is the the front line for human progress. There is no other in the world. And it will continue to be so for a long time to come as long as its citizens work together to make it so.

However some things still elude this great nation because it is not necessarily free for everyone. Recently I heard of a disturbing story of some Sudanese refugee children, we are talking here the Darfur kind, who felt deeply unhappy in America. I put it down to a cultural shock in their case. But their biggest complaint was that they could not recognize each other from the children they knew before they came to America. They felt the consumerist culture had changed their once close friends and felt incredibly lonely in the New land. Well that is understandable.

On my part, I feel I can live almost anywhere. I am quite travelled and have an ability to settle in real quick and get comfortable wherever I have been. I thought I would settle easily in America and on an individual level, I have. I get on well with individuals of all stripes on a one on one basis. But alas my optimism to settle in is constantly tested by, you guessed it, systematic racism. People do racist things and even never realize that they interact with me in the way they do simply because of my skin color. My experiences are wide and varied.
From the extreme like being made to work in 100 degree temperatures because I was 'stronger' than my Latino colleagues to being asked to sing for my boss. (And NO! I didn't do the monkey dance either).
Anyways, I was just thinking about the vast opportunities this country has for one to pick. And I have done my share of picking. But if when someone like myself becomes successful or financially sound, how are you supposed to go spend what you have earned happily if walking into a store feels like walking into a Maximum security prison to visit an inmate? You know what I mean, all eyes and cameras on you plus a guard stalking you in the isles.
Here is an nth letter I am writing yet to another store where I felt treated poorly simply because of the color of my skin.

And with this post I will serialize my Shopping while black experiences. I am almost guaranteed of an encounter every time I enter a store that is not familiar. As for the Asian stores, I stopped a long time ago.
Some have told me that my natural hair sends the wrong signals. It doesn't help either that I keep it short so from behind I look like a Black man. This look has made cops slow down their cars to take a close look at me. A few have suggested I do something to my hair and that even a weave would make people more positive! So it looks like to live "happily" here I have to change my physical appearance. Really?

Here is my latest complaint. Will wait and see if I get a reply. BTW, the clerks were 3 Latinos and an East Indian.

Customer Service.

On February 28th 2009, I went to the Staples on Santa Monica and Vermont in L.A. I got chased down the Isle because I had a backpack on. My intent was to purchase the TI-89 Calculator ($160)and leave.
While taking my backpack to the counter, I noticed 2 other customers walking around comfortably with theirs. I asked the store clerks about the need for me to put my bag at the counter while others were moving around with theirs. Their response was that they tell those who they happen to see to leave their back packs behind. This in light of the fact that one of the other back pack customers was right at the counter seeking help. He happened to be Latino (and so was the other lady). I happen to be black. Out of the three of us they saw me!

To me, this was a clear case of racial profiling and I mentioned this to them which they obviously denied.
I was very disappointed with this treatment. I am sure this is not company policy but you guys could go to great lengths to train your employees to stop harassing and profiling black shoppers.
I can honestly tell you that many of us are wary of going into stores like yours because of the treatment we anticipate to get. We share our stories and word gets around real fast. I think it should be in the interest of your business that this behavior is checked.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Seriously? Woman arrested for driving in Mecca

Ok. We all know about the Sharia Laws and how seemingly oppresive they appear. But Women not driving? Should Black women be more appreciative of what we've got? Or are we still in a bad place and stories like this distract from our own challenges. On a side note, apparently Oprah is huge in the Arab world. I bet you they will soon be banning her program.

Saudi Arabia woman driver arrest BBC

A woman has been arrested in Mecca in Saudi Arabia for driving a car.

Police gave chase after she was spotted at the wheel of a 4x4 car, the English daily Arab News reported. She was arrested after hitting another car.

Women are prohibited from driving on all public roads in Saudi Arabia, a ban that has triggered several high-profile protests by women's rights activists.

The woman's name and nationality have not been announced. Only Muslims are permitted in the holy city of Mecca.

Police arrested the woman, in her 20s, early on Wednesday morning after the car she was driving crashed into another, said Maj Abdul Muhsin al-Mayman, spokesman for Mecca police.

He did not identify the name or nationality of the woman but said she was caught driving a Lexus.

"The woman tried to escape when she saw a police car and in the process hit another car, which was slightly damaged," he said.

The spokesman said the woman driver was handed over to the Prosecution and Investigation Commission for investigation.

Friday, February 27, 2009

WOW; Skin Lightening in Britain's Asian Community

This BBC radio documentary will blow your mind.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Africanized bees? I thought all bees were the same.

This world never ceases to amaze. There is this latest story of Africanized bees that have been discovered in Utah. And the bees have been delt with as aggressively as black offenders are handled.

Being African ofcourse I wanted to know more about these Africanized bees. So I did a search and did I get educated. I didn't realize that African bees had a different temperement from European ones. I thought all bees were the same. As a child, we were once locked out of our house because of bees gone nuts. So I always wondered about people out here working with bees albeit protected, I didn't know it was because the bees out here had less attitude.
Anyway I went to Wiki and the info on African bees sounds like a list of Black stereotypes. This stuff is quite funny.

The Africanized bee in the western hemisphere descended from 26 Tanzanian queen bees (A. m. scutellata) accidentally released by a replacement bee-keeper in 1957 near Rio Claro, São Paulo State in the southeast of Brazil from hives operated by biologist Warwick E. Kerr, who had interbred honey bees from Europe and southern Africa. Hives containing these particular queens were noted to be especially defensive. Kerr was attempting to breed a strain of bees that would be better adapted to tropical conditions (i.e., more productive) than the European bees used in North America and southern South America. The hives from which the bees were released had special excluder grates which were in place to prevent the larger queen bees from getting out but to allow the drones free access to mate with the queen. Unfortunately, following the accidental release, the African queens eventually mated with local drones, and their descendants have since spread throughout the Americas.

The Africanized hybrid bees have become the preferred type of bee for beekeeping in Central America and in tropical areas of South America because of improved productivity. However, in most areas the Africanized hybrid is initially feared because it tends to retain certain behavioral traits from its African ancestors that make it less desirable for domestic beekeeping. Specifically (as compared with the European bee types), the Africanized bee:

-Tends to swarm more frequently.
-Is more likely to migrate as part of a seasonal response to lowered food supply.
-Is more likely to "abscond"—the entire colony leaves the hive and relocates—in response to repeated intrusions by the beekeeper.
-Has greater defensiveness when in a resting swarm.
-Lives more often in ground cavities than the European types.
-Guards the hive aggressively, with a larger alarm zone around the hive.
-Has a higher proportion of "guard" bees within the hive.
-Deploys in greater numbers for defense and pursues perceived threats over much longer distances from the hive.
-Cannot survive extended periods of forage deprivation, preventing introduction into areas with harsh winters or extremely dry late summers.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Did Carol Thatcher call Serena Williams a golliwog?

When you think enough people have been caught in a racist moment, another one pops up. This time its Carol Thatcher the daughter of former British Premier Margaret Thatcher. While watching the Australian open she refered to a black player as a golliwog. What is interesting about this story is, the insulted player is not being named. So that leaves us guessing. I am betting she was referring to Serena WIlliams who won the title for the third time.

Carol Thatcher faces BBC ban over 'golliwog' remarkComments (361) Leigh Holmwood,
Carol Thatcher faces being banned from the BBC after she referred to a tennis player as a "golliwog".

Thatcher, the daughter of former prime minister Lady Thatcher, made the remark in a private conversation in the green room of The One Show after the broadcast of the BBC1 programme on Thursday night.

Sources have said that Thatcher will not be used again on the show, where she is a roving reporter, until she formally apologises to those who were offended by the remark.

According to insiders, Thatcher – who won ITV1 reality series I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! in 2005 – was chatting with The One Show host Adrian Chiles and guest Jo Brand about the Australian Open when she described an unnamed player as a "golliwog".

Show insiders said Chiles was "outraged" by the comment and he and Brand challenged Thatcher about it.

The pair also complained to show executives – as did production staff who later heard about the incident – and it is understood that Thatcher was approached the following day by the show's executive producer.

Thatcher's spokeswoman had not responded to a request for comment before publication, but was quoted in The Times today as saying the word was an "off-the-cuff remark made in jest" and that she had apologised to the show's producer.

Sources said Thatcher had also written to the show's executive producer to apologise and that the BBC was currently considering its decision.

However, insiders said this may not be enough.

"Her apology seems to be that it was just a joke, but the BBC feels it is not acceptable under any circumstances to call someone a golliwog," the source said.

"Unless you don't think that is an acceptable joke, how can you be sorry? Until she apologises to the people who were offended her future is in question. There are people working on the show who don't feel they can work with her. Adrian was outraged by what he heard."

A BBC spokesman said there were "no confirmed plans to work with Carol on The One Show at the present time".

He added: "The BBC considers any language of a racist nature wholly unacceptable. We have raised the issue with the individual concerned and are discussing it as a matter of urgency."