Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I am feeling very caved in right now

Prayer in Time of Chastening

A Psalm of David. To bring to remembrance.1Lord, do not rebuke me in Your wrath,Nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure!2For Your arrows pierce me deeply,And Your hand presses me down.3There is no soundness in my fleshBecause of Your anger,Nor any health in my bonesBecause of my sin....8I am feeble and severely broken;I groan because of the turmoil of my heart.9Lord, all my desire is before You;And my sighing is not hidden from You....
17
For I am ready to fall,
And my sorrow is continually before me.18For I will declare my iniquity;I will be in anguish over my sin.19But my enemies are vigorous, and they are strong;And those who hate me wrongfully have multiplied.20Those also who render evil for good,They are my adversaries, because I follow what is good.21Do not forsake me, O Lord;O my God, be not far from me!22Make haste to help me,O Lord, my salvation!


Monday, July 23, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises Review

My Reservations Before Seeing the Movie:

  1.    Anne Hathaway as Catwoman
  2.    All the whitewashing


    Honestly, I've enjoyed every other Christopher Nolan movie I've seen, so other than these two complaints, I was completely along for the ride


    ***SPOILERS AHEAD***


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Black Girl Light World XIV:The Personal and the Political

I've received counsel to bring BGLW back home, make it more personal and deal with my own issues with racism and colorism, before trying to pull the twig out my brothers' eyes, and I think it's good advice as that's how I started the BGLW series in the first place; talking about how colorism and other forms of internalized racism had affected my ability to be loving and Christ-like and hindered true apostolic community. I never want to get so knowledgeable that I can't remember what the goal of all this is about.

I have to say that my overwhelming feeling as a child about being Black was 1) Pride in the positive sense. Black people had accomplished so much and come so far, it was obvious (to me) that we are such a strong, beautiful, unique people; didn't everyone want to be Black? And 2) confusion about why were called black. since my skin and eyes were brown and even my hair wasn't truly blue-black as much as it was the darkest possible brown. What was up with that? I did notice that there weren't many Black people at the church we went to and that, for the most part, the only other Black people I knew were my extended family. But I didn't know what to make of that, other than a vague sense that everyone Black must in some way be my family and everyone else was... everyone else. My two younger sisters and I went from pre-K at a mostly white Christian school to being homeschooled and we lived out in the country for quite awhile, so we didn't watch a lot of the same TV that other kids were watching other than PBS and there weren't a lot of Black people in my life other than those on Sesame Street, Reading Rainbow, the Cosby Show, Roots, and Star Trek. In a lot of ways I am thankful for that.  My parents, especially my mom, took great pains to keep away a lot of the negative stereotypical representations of Black people from my early eyes. Unfortunately the representations that made it through were very... culture neutral/barren, though in reality "culture neutral" basically means White culture. So let it suffice to say that I wasn't familiar with Black American culture for the most part.

I think my first exposure to any kind of negative feelings or stereotypes about being Black happened when my dad began co-pastoring a church that was (and is still) a part of the RCCG denomination/movement and was mostly Nigerian. The resounding phrase of my childhood is probably, "Mst! You people! You Americans!" This also happened at about the age that I actually started to pay attention to the news and noticing that Black people were often featured and not positively. Not too many years after that my sisters and I went to public school for the first time while my mother was on the wait list for a heart transplant. I was about 8 when we moved to RCCG and 11 when I went to public school.

Now that I'm older I know that many of the Nigerian parents were looking at African American culture--at popular representations of African American culture, anyway--and not liking what they were seeing and what they feared that their children would be immersed in. Not to mention that both the parents and the kids of my church were experiencing all kinds of discrimination on all sides from White people and from African Americans. But I wasn't connected to African American culture outside of my immediate/
immediate-extended family or even a lot of American culture outside my family's tightly filtered lens. I didn't know very much about the perceptions of/assumptions about African people, all I knew was that my family wasn't completely welcome for awhile (though my mom did a lot to warming peoples hearts) and that there seemed to be this antagonism for who I was as an African American, as well as a lot of adults trying to make me conform to a culture I had literally no connection to or way of understanding and a lot of... condescension when I didn't or couldn't because I didn't know or understand the rules. I was very angry a lot of the time.  There was so much back-to-back change, and then My mom was sick, there were other intra-family issues separate from the cultural ones that hadn't been dealt with. I was very frustrated.

 So a lot of my "White-Identifying to prove I wasn't 'one of those Negroes'" wasn't actually directed at White people or White culture though that was eventual, and of course the way to prove I wasn't one of "those Negroes" was to act as White as possible.

(to be continued...)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Black Girl, Light World XIII: Racism 101 for Christians

I do believe that there is something missing and that is renewing the mind. No that that is not included in being committed to truth, but I believe that renewing the mind has to be taken almost as a separate step, because otherwise people's blinders are still up, their glasses are still on. They look for truth and are committed to it, but can't actually see it because the haven't changed the way they think in the first place.

I say this as someone has experienced the worst kind of racism in the church. Not the "I hate your guts and will not associate with you people" kind of racism though, believe me, that's bad too, but the "I'm your friend yet I constantly belittle you mistreat and disrespect you in ways I don't even realize because I'm just doing what I've always done what's always been done" And again I'm not talking about hatred or indifference. I'm talking about well-meaning people who love the Lord and are trying to live for Him yet cannot see what is right in front of them. Because, when it came to racism, unlike other sins, they didn't think it necessary to completely renew their minds completely reshape their thinking, completely police their environment for such influences, unlike the way people do or say they do with lust or gossip or idolatry,etc.

That's when people say things like "Christian first that just happens to be _whatever you are_" my... feelers go up. Race matters because we are taught by the world ways to interact with each other on the basis of race and if we as believers don't take that upbringing as seriously as we do being raised in a household where anger was always present or where lying and manipulation were acceptable, isn't it just as likely that Believers will continue to interact the way they learned to interact with each other in the world?
Which means we have to actively acknowledge race/ethnicity/culture, and not just treat it as something that we "just so happen to be" but as something that informs our intraChurch relationships and address it accordingly. We have to acknowledge the lessons the world teaches and actively label them as lies. We have to individually take captive those thoughts and refute them and teach other believers these same things.

What It Means to Be Healthy

 "...weight loss and health are not synonymous. For health, I recommend Health at Every Size, which basically says the same thing as the LEARN plan (eat healthy foods, get exercise), but adds “Love your body at the size you are.” There is overwhelming evidence that exercise, regardless of weight lost, is incredibly healthy and the research of Dr. Steven Blair, Professor at University of South Caroline Department of Exercise Science, has researched this issue for decades and has found that a thin sedentary person is twice as likely to die as a fat person who exercises. He even explained to me in this interview how over half the obese subjects he has studied were healthy, which they measure by cardiorespiratory fitness.
In short (too late), you don’t need to lose weight to be healthy, you just need to eat healthy and exercise and ignore your scale. If you can do that, then you will be much healthier than the people who try weight loss over and over and over again and damage their body’s homeostatic process, as well as cause metabolic damage."

for the rest of this blog post go to fierce fatties on tumblr

Real Quick: The definition of insanity.* � Two Whole Cakes


Real Quick: The definition of insanity.* � Two Whole Cakes


"So what we have here is a comprehensive study instructing us that anorexia is as common in boys as girls, that children are developing eating disorders at 12, and that eating disorders are extremely dangerous to kids’ health both medically and emotionally. Also, while anorexia rates have remained stable, the instances of binge eating disorder and bulimia have doubled since the 1990s. In a complete coincidence, the fearful cultural rhetoric regarding an alleged obesity epidemic has also doubled—at least—since the 1990s. But this is totally unconnected, I’m sure."
^to continue reading go to the above url^
sourcedumal - November 13, 2011 9:23 PM - Text
Things I wonder about White Feminists
soydulcedeleche:
karnythia:
In a conversation on Twitter right now, talking about the manic pixie aka helpless infantile awkward white woman trope.  Aside from the scary levels of easy prey behavior that the trope supports, I’m also contemplating how much of being “capable” is hard wired into the strong black woman framework. I cannot imagine a life where I wasn’t expected to learn how to take care of myself & the people around me too. Working, going to school, being able to cook, clean house, do hair, pay bills, & basic car repairs (change the oil, put air in the tires, change a tire, etc.) have all been on that list of basic life skill requirements for adulthood for as long as I can remember. And I get that life skills are good & necessary things, but man it would be nice to have a shorter list of expectations sometimes.
We’re not even allowed to focus on our own emotional needs without being accused of being selfish/spoiled, much less expect other people to take care of us. After all, we’re supposed to be the caretakers, all the time, every time. And I get why white feminists object to positive sexism like chivalry or whatever, but I can’t help but wonder if they’d be so quick to toss it aside if they knew how it felt to live outside that bubble. I’m really curious, because between fandom hate of black women who try to take care of themselves (Mercedes, Martha, Tara), & these TV shows that exalt white feminine fragility I am feeling some kind of way. I mean really, can they imagine a world where no one expects them to need any emotional or social support? Where their only roles are supportive friend/mammy/sex toy and that’s what is always presented as normal in the media. Do they ever think about what feminism might mean to black women?
thats some more of that white lady privilege. they get to be like “i never felt i had to be skilled at anything” , “oh dont treat me like a baby”,  “you guise, i totes cant even care for myself”.
im always like, bitch, if im not 10 times better than your ass i dont even get to be in the background! nobody treats me like anything but a fucking mule. and i sure as fuck cant afford to be non-functional coz aint nobody coming to save me and i had to be independent from a real young age, i didnt have a choice.
so yeah. im always like, yall will have to cry me a damn river w that shit. i wish.
Oh yeah, Fragile White Woman Privilege straight up. Being delicate? Dainty? Cutesy? Awkward? FEMININE? All the shit white women keep as a monopoly for themselves. I’ve only been called the aformentioned words ONCE in my 22 years of life by a man who wasn’t a family member. ONCE. 22 years. But I can be sexy, a hot mama, a “damn gurl, you look FIONE!” I’m always SEXUALIZED but not EVER SIMPLY FEMININE.
And if that makes me a ‘bad feminist’ for wanting to be protected, to be treated like these things, then feel free to take my feminist card, because I sure as hell would rather be alive and protected than dead brandishing that label


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Black Girl, Light World XII: On Racism, Friendship, and What Heck Is Going On Up In This Piece, America?

I don't understand how people can think that racism is not a national problem. I don't understand how people can look at the various things that have happened just since the beginning of this year and not think, "Wow there really must be a problem here," and begin to educate themselves so they will know that *what has made it to national news is just the tip of the iceberg*. Racism, hate crimes, etc. happens all day every day.
ALL DAY.
EVERY DAY.
The only thing that makes Trayvon Martin's case an isolated incident is that we actually got to hear about it. Otherwise his story is a dime a dozen, sad to say, and I'm not trivializing it please believe me.


The reason Black friends are beginning to look at their White friends sideways is because their White friends are oftentimes in lala land when it comes to racism. And I don't think I can be friends with someone who doesn't take a threat to my physical, mental, and spiritual well-being (and that of all people who look like me) seriously and doesn't listen when I try to explain why this is for real or at least try to educate themselvew on racism from outside sources, of which there are plenty and free for the taking in the form of books, blogs, classes, discusions, etc.. Especially calling themselves Christians. I can love you pray for you ask that God bless you with all His goodness and even sacrifice for you. But please don't think I don't know what the deal is when those friends make stereotypical or ignorant comments or treat me and other friends who look like me differently than the friends who look like them. It's a good thing God is teaching me to do what I do for Him and not for men, let's just leave it at that.

And for those who didn't get this the first time (racist Hunger Games fans I'm shouting out to you, and I wrote this parenthetical comment because I knew you wouldn't get my reference from the text alone since you've proven reading comp. isn't your strong point) I am not talking to all White people. I am talking to the White people who don't "take a threat to my physical, mental, and spiritual well-being (and that of all people who look like me) seriously and [don't] listen when I try to explain why this is for real or at least try to educate themselvew on racism from outside sources."
Does that make any sense?

Racial Reconciliation in the Church has been heavy on my heart and I will definitely write my current thoughts on that at a later date.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

"Things I wonder about White Feminists"


Things I wonder about White Feminists

In a conversation on Twitter right now, talking about the manic pixie aka helpless infantile awkward white woman trope.  Aside from the scary levels of easy prey behavior that the trope supports, I’m also contemplating how much of being “capable” is hard wired into the strong black woman framework. I cannot imagine a life where I wasn’t expected to learn how to take care of myself & the people around me too. Working, going to school, being able to cook, clean house, do hair, pay bills, & basic car repairs (change the oil, put air in the tires, change a tire, etc.) have all been on that list of basic life skill requirements for adulthood for as long as I can remember. And I get that life skills are good & necessary things, but man it would be nice to have a shorter list of expectations sometimes.
We’re not even allowed to focus on our own emotional needs without being accused of being selfish/spoiled, much less expect other people to take care of us. After all, we’re supposed to be the caretakers, all the time, every time. And I get why white feminists object to positive sexism like chivalry or whatever, but I can’t help but wonder if they’d be so quick to toss it aside if they knew how it felt to live outside that bubble. I’m really curious, because between fandom hate of black women who try to take care of themselves (Mercedes, Martha, Tara), & these TV shows that exalt white feminine fragility I am feeling some kind of way. I mean really, can they imagine a world where no one expects them to need any emotional or social support? Where their only roles are supportive friend/mammy/sex toy and that’s what is always presented as normal in the media. Do they ever think about what feminism might mean to black women?
Someone I know said, in earnest, that she was a real live manic pixie dream girl which is part of why she was awesome. I was slackjawed in disbelief. The idea that you would see being incapable at life as awesome is astounding. There was also some weird glossing over mental illness going on that I can’t fully tease out
Anyway. Something that comes up all the time for me in therapy is the question of what I want. I’m almost always focused on helping others, taking care of my shit, taking care of other people’s shit, etc.
I was asked “Why do you always have to run and fix it? What if you took 2 minutes to think about how you feel and what you want to do about the problem” and I just stared blankly. That’s never really been an option.
I run myself into the ground all the damn time. It’s just. That’s what you do. Asking for help feels like I’m being the most selfish horrible person, even though I would totally help a friend who was in my situation
I am behind women being able to care of themselves and not need a man to swoop in and fix shit. But damn it, sometimes I want someone to just come and fix my shit for me. Not all of it, just you know. Something.
I’ve been working on being OK with the idea of “self-care.” I had a hellacious abusive ex-GF who used “self-care” as an excuse for a lot of shitty ass behavior. I picked up so much slack for her I can’t even. It kind of blew my mind when she was outraged people wouldn’t obey her every “self-care” whim. It also blew my mind how often people just catered to her. It still shocks me how demanding she was in her helplessness.
Expectations for myself are always high. It feels like from everyone.
I think unless you are extremely empathic, white women can’t fathom the other side of the situation. That feeling is one that takes years and years and years of doing for yourself and being expected to do for others to build up. I can relate to what you are saying so much stoutoralist because I run myself down a lot too. Gotta take care of so much. For me, I know a lot of it comes from my father passing away and me having to step up in ways young people necessarily shouldn’t have to, but sometimes HAVE to (if that makes sense). And the idea of not doing that when it always happens, is different. Even when you feel like shit or need to take time for yourself. I am getting better at taking time for myself, but not necessarily the kind of self-care that is always the best for my body.
As for the chivalry, I find it annoying hearing a lot of white women complain about it, though I know what they are saying. And it’s for the reasons karnythia is pointing out or hinting too, that many get it sooo much and are expected to be incapable of much of anything that they want to assert independence. However me, I wish for that shit a lot. I’m tired of having doors slammed in my face when I walk literally, I’m tired of seeing dudes get out of seats for white and Asian women (which comes with it’s own reasons that aren’t positive either) only to look at me like bitch, you know you can stand on this bus that will jerk around your small ass body. I’m tired of being expected to move out the way for white folks and all that bullshit. Some fucking chivalry would be nice. Someone saying you need a hand, wouldn’t be bad. Someone who stands up for me because they see I’m tired of always having to stand up for myself, wouldn’t be so bad. So yea, that’s where I’m at right now with this. Good topic, ty.
"the bolded is where i am in life."
-the bad dominica

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Black Girl, Light World XI: The Help

Writers do it all the time. 


Create characters with different lives than their own. Different experiences. Different statuses in life. in fact, characters that are simply an avatar for the author tend to be frowned upon in literature and tend to be difficult write without sounding like any of the thousands of horribly written self-insertion Twilight/Naruto fanfics that can be found online. 


So why am I rolling my eyes and fighting down bile at the same time while trying to read The Help by Kathryn Stockett? The book isn't uninteresting or poorly written, as I'm sure hundreds of book clubs across the country have found. The character I suspect of being a self-insert isn't the main one.


Maybe it's the assumption. I don't know Kathryn Stockett, but she is now joining the league of white writers who have assumed that they know what the experience of Black people and can accurately portray it in fiction. It doesn't help that I think the woman is either a liar or self-delusional. If she really expects me to believe that she didn't base the main character, Aibilene Clark, on Ablene Cooper she doubts my intelligence. Either that, or she counted on the fact that most people wouldn't care how unrealistic her explanation for the similarities between her character and the real life help, and she was right in that respect. It also doesn't help that the entire book is written in dialect. And it also doesn't help that the dialogue just doesn't ring completely true.
And to top it all off  the book is is just more of the same: "Look at this horrible racism in the sixties, wasn't that so bad? And those poor black people! I'm so glad everything has changed and that race doesn't matter like it used to and all that racism is over and we're all different now!"


Of course it shouldn't surprise me is that everyone is willing to support the book because it's "such a good fun read".


The problem being that if she really understood the struggle that African Americans have gone to and are going to in this country to reclaim their own lives from the influence of White Supremacy maybe she would have done as one reader suggested and provided a a channel through which the voices of African Americans could be heard rather than usurping their voices as her own.
'I was afraid I would fail to describe a relationship that was so intensely influential in my life, so loving, so grossly stereotyped in American history and literature.... What I am sure about is this: I don't presume to think that I know what it really felt like to be a black woman in Mississippi, especially in the 1960s. ... But trying to understand is vital to our humanity.' 
What I don't understand is why Stockett felt she needed to profit from her own journey to understanding, especially when it's clear that--on the whole--she still doesn't understand.

Here is a rather good summation of why I find this book distasteful in the extreme:   
from The Loop 21 by Jamilah Lemieux
You want a tale of good white folks helping ‘de blacks? Where’s the John Brown film? Or the book aboutGeneral Oliver Otis Howard and other whites who worked to help start Historically Black Colleges and Universities? Where’s the story of those whites who risked their own freedom to support the Black Arts/Black Power Movements? You want heartwarming tales of cross-racial friendships? How about the many black and white people from similar socio-economic backgrounds who attend school, work and worship together each day? Why can’t we see blacks and white working alongside one another? Why must there so often be either a white savior and/or a “magical Negro?”

It’s pretty simple: because these narratives allow white folks to feel good and satiates their guilt, while failing to challenge their racialized worldview. 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Robin is Necessary to the Batman Franchise...

if you want the franchise to be about Batman.

Why is it that the Batman movies always become so focused on the villains, no matter who's directing the franchise? People find evil more fascinating than good, the villian/anti-hero more intriguing than the hero, at least in our culture people see good as static, unchanging, you know, "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." However I believe that one series, Naruto, has shown that to not *necessarily* be true, The key to keeping the good guy interesting is to keep him growing and changing just as much as his villainous characters. The Batman problem is that once you move beyond the early years of Batman's career there's something of a... plateau in his character. While he does face new enemies and new situations, once Batman/Bruce Wayne has figured out how he wants to be Batman he's in a rut until something comes to shake him up. The most obvious way to shake up Batman's life is to introduce a love interest, preferably one that has dubious morals and this has been done excellently with characters such as Catwoman, Andrea Beaumont, and Talia al Ghul (whom I greatly dislike). However, Batman has mastered the art of love 'em and leave 'em though actually he's been left as well. The thing is that romantic dalliances are easy to get rid of. It hurts but it's not hard to do, especially when one's subconscious is working against one, as in Batman's case.

The one life-shaking commitment that Batman hasn't been able to get rid of are his relationships with his sons, and I believe that an objective read through of the comics and the cartoons will show that Dick Grayson is the person who remade Batman into Bruce Wayne. Before bring Dick into his home, Brice could disappear into the cowl and there's nothing that anyone, even Alfred could really do about it. Bruce's reasoning seems to be that with both romantic assignations and for parental relationships, the people involved are adults, they got into relationships knowing who he is and what he's after so whatever pain they feel at his choices, while regrettable, is their choice to experience. They walked in and they can walk right out. The same cannot be said for the young boy that Bruce first gave shelter to, and the love an responsibility that he feels for Dick turns his internal world upside down. Truly there's nothing that any writer has been able to add to the Batman mythos that's been as effective at throwing the Dark Knight off of his plateau and it pains me that a certain director is so set against including Robin because it's "unrealistic" as if a man dressing up as a bat and revolutionizing crime and law enforcement in a metropolitan area because his parents were killed in front of him at nine years old is realistic.

That is not to say that I don't appreciate Mr. Nolan's vision; his Batman movies has completely revitalized the franchise and I love that he takes the story seriously, treats it like what it is-a story-and make the best story possible. If anyone can shake Batman up without Robin it is Mr. Nolan, but--call me a doubter-- I just don't think that's possible. And I do believe that that's why he is focusing on the beginning of Batman's career before he reaches that plateau that requires a Robin, when the shaping of who Batman is is still in flux.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

TDKR Trailer Analysis

From the snippet of Bruce's conversation with Selina Kyle it seems that the focus of Bane's and Catwoman's activities are going to be revolutionary in nature, dealing specifically with the huge global wealth disparity, which was so unexpected. I don't think the character of Catwoman has ever been placed in such a political framework; most of the stories I've read/watched have shown Selina to be a woman out for herself. Not that her actions didn't have political implications, but the driving force behind her actions wasn't political or revolutionary and she was never a character to work in concert with others, whether they be heroes or villains. I don't know how much to take from the trailer or if I'm seeing more than is there, but it seems that Selina Talia and Bane are apart of the same organization, one that is planning to reek havoc on Gotham city.

Truth is I've never liked Talia.
Well, let me rephrase; as a hardcore CatBat shipper I've never liked the way certain writers have tried to position Talia al Ghul as Batman's one true love, particularly when the one most constant love interest of Batman's since he was created has been Catwoman. I know that in some comics Selina and Talia have been a strange kind of girlfriends thus seeing them together in the trailer was a nice twist, but I've always had the hate-that-bitch-that always tryin'-to-make-the-moves-on-my-bestfriend's-man kind of feelings for Talia so I have my reservations but am generally looking forward to the movie.

Casting:
My feelings are divided I love Tom Hardy, I feel okay about Marion Cotillard, just like I loved Liam Neeson. But I hate Hate HATE that all these white actors are playing characters of color. Ra's al Ghul is Middle Eastern as is Talia al Ghul. But in Begins, Nolan changed it so that the character we thought was Ra's al Ghul (played by Ken Watanabe) dies and Henri Ducard is the real Ra's al Ghul. Which basically means he whitewashed the character. Of course Marion Cotillard is perfect for the part of Ra's daughter since she's French and Nolan made Ra's French in the first movie, but let's be real it's just more whitewashing. Then comes Bane, who is half-Latino half British. Of course Tom Hardy *is* British but where's the Latino? If even Bane's voice actors have always been of mixed/Latino heritage why couldn't Nolan have done the same?

Monday, January 2, 2012

fuckyeahdickgrayson:
304am:
2nd print! I hope it prints out alright. Featuring all the Robin there ever was. How people get 10 + prints done, I’ll never know.
“And a Batman needs a Robin no matter what he thinks he wants.”
*sniffle*