Other writing deadlines prevent me from blogging much over the next couple of days, so I thought I’d give this
morning afternoon over to dashing off a few comments (cough, cough) to a few headliners that have thinking women standing on rooftops screaming at the top of their lungs. Mind you, I decided a month ago to take a hiatus from commenting on political headlines once my candidate pulled out the race. I took a bath, cleaned off the slime, and went out on my back porch and found some different dirt to play in as I planted my flowers. But dirt is dirt, I suppose. And here are a few of my thoughts
Jesse Jackson Said What??
may be is a foolish old man, but he is not stupid. Evidently, bad attention, to Jackson, is better than no attention at all. I don’t believe for a moment that Jackson’s crudely worded metaphorical joke there on Fox News about wanting to cut off Obama’s sexual member was an off guarded statement. Only a fool comes into a Fox News studio with his guard down. Only a fool thinks there’s still such a thing as an “off the record” comment when sitting before a camera these days.
And by the way, as much as I deplore Jackson’s comments I equally deplore the characterization made by young turks that Jackson is representative of a whole generation of old guard “haters”, icons from the Civil Rights generation who resent that Obama owes nothing to them and has managed to bypass needing their blessing to get to where he is, a generation that oughta go somewhere and sit their/our a#$% down (says more than a few) and let the young folks take it from here. I will have to get back down into the slime to fully respond to this one the way it deserves. Like whether they mean to say that it’s better to owe the Chicago Daly machinery for your rise to power than it is to owe the Civil Right’s old guard. Like since when do CR icons like Joseph Lowery and Joyce Ladner not count as some of Obama’s staunchest supporters. Of course, the old wise woman in me recognizes this talk for what it is: youthful posturing. “Don’t trust anybody over 30” was the mantra of the Berkeley movement back in the 60s. It’s the sort of youthful posturing that got me plenty backhand slaps in the mouth from my great aunt, the great aunt I told when I was 15 years old that she at 60 was too old to drive and too old to know what’s really happening. “New broom sweeps clean, but an old broom knows the corners” was the response I got. She’s right.
Madam President Cynthia McKinney?
As a fire breathing black woman I probably should have commented before now on The Green Party selecting former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney as the party’s Presidential nominee and the fact that McKinney turned around and picked journalist and activist Rosa Clemente as her running mate. I have lots of respect for McKinney and have long been an admirer of her experience, accomplishments, and voting record. While I do believe in taking moral stances, I don’t believe in casting symbolic votes. Gas is too high, and so is the price of rice, to waste my money on a long shot no matter how much I may admire her courage to be in the race.
I don’t know which I’m more pissed at. The media or Michelle Obama’s acolytes. Satire is one thing, but The National Review cover portrait of Michelle Obama strung up on a tree wearing a red, strapless dress surrounded by klansmen and the more recent New Yorker cover of her as a gun toting, big Afro (yea!) wearing throwback from a previous militant era (and, oh yeah, of Barack Obama dressed as a Muslim) are downright repugnant and offensive. These cartoonic depictions of Michelle Obama pander to the most ignorant of white fears and the basest of this culture’s stereotypes of black women as lusty and wild and requiring taming. Satire is what some call it. And perhaps that’s the proper name for it. It certainly didn’t begin with the Obamas. There’s been lots of satirical cartoons of public figures before that while their edginess may have caused a raise eyebrow, rarely made me see red. Why not? Because I felt no connection to the public figure on the chopping block. But I do recall plenty of tasteless, misogynistic, satirical characterizations of Hillary Clinton in the media that went uncommented upon by those who are now up in arms about how Michelle Obama is being satiricized.
Which brings me to the second thing that pisses me off. Those who stayed quiet about the misogynism hurled at Clinton during her campaign, and who took secret delight in some of it on the grounds that they believed she somehow deserved what she got, oughta zip it. Sit down. What friggin’ right have you to complain now? You have no moral ground on which to decry how the media treats Michelle Obama. Listen, I have no beef with Michelle Obama. It’s her acolytes who piss me off. The media got the message, even if you didn’t. Women who aren’t offended by misogynism when it’s another woman being pummeled have no moral ground to protest when the rocks get turned in their direction. Men in the media, both black, white, and brown, saw women’s silence about Clinton’s treatment in the primaries and took it as their cue to do the same to Michelle Obama in the general election.
James Baldwin was correct. When writing to Angela Davis in 1971 while she sat in prison awaiting the government’s trial against her, explaining why both bourgeoisie and common black folks had to step up and speak out against the government’s characterization of Davis as a subversive militant, he said: “If we know, then we must fight for your life as though it were our own…. For if they take you in the morning, they will be coming for us that night.” Knock. Knock. Michelle.
The Secret Life of Bees is coming out soon as a movie!
For those of you have written asking whether I’m looking forward to the movie The Secret Life of Bees. I’m not. Don’t get me wrong: I love every one of Sue Monk Kidd’s books. But I hated, and I mean hated, the book The Secret Life of Bees. And no amount of headlining the movie with beloved black female celebrities will redeem the movie for me if it sticks close to the black woman-white woman stereotype/story line of the book which drove me to speak in crude tongues. (Forgive me Lord.)
That’s all for now. Now where was I? Oh yeah, back to those deadlines.