This is what I think about the Paula Deen controversy

…and lucky for me someone else wrote it, and well. Read it here.

*For the record, I watch Food Network Star, and this writer nailed it. Many good cooks have been eliminated for not being lovable.

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This has been a crazy past couple of weeks if you like having rights

In short:

  • A Texas case challenging whether affirmative action was constitutional according to the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment was reviewed by the Supreme Court. It was sent back to the state appeals court, but the Justices’ decisions did indicate that instances where race is considered as a part of someone’s college admission would be placed under more scrutiny. Mind you, the 22 year old white woman who brought the suit is an alum of Louisiana State University and she has a job as a financial analyst at Xerox. Exactly what did she lose? Here’s the Court’s full decision.
  • Congress is debating the DREAM Act, which would grant amnesty to undocumented students who were brought to the U.S. as children. A recent House Committee vote indicated that the majority might be in favor of criminalizing undocumented immigrants, so for now deportation continues. Read the latest on the DREAM Act here.
  • George Zimmerman went to trial for killing Trayvon Martin. His attorneys are trying to claim that Martin was a troubled teen, which makes chasing him down and killing him justifiable. Whatever decision comes out of this trial could challenge the parameters of Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law. The latest antics in this trial include a knock knock joke.
  • Texas Senator Wendy Davis staged a good ole fashioned filibuster against the Texas senate’s anti-abortion rights act. Abortion is still legal in all 50 states, however states are allowed to determine when life begins, so to speak. Texas is trying to join the ranks of states like North Dakota who say that once a woman is more than six weeks pregnant she can no longer have an abortion. Many states have a 20-22 week law. See the map of abortion laws by state here.
  • The Supreme Court of the United States overturned a provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that banned states from requiring limited types of IDs for a person to be able to vote. Now states are racing to the senate floor to disenfranchise as many people as possible. Many of these states are Republican states with large Latino populations which tend to vote democratic (the leader of this is once again Texas). The Texas attorney general led the charge on saying that gun licenses, driver’s licenses, and birth certificates are the only valid proofs of ID for voters. Social Security Cards and Student IDs are no longer acceptable. Read more here (if you can stand to).

At least the gays might be able to get married…again…

My thoughts on the film “Dark Girls”

For the record, I’ve seen this documentary and attended a luncheon with one of the filmmakers– D. Channsin Berry–who directed/produced the film with Bill Duke. They’re planning to make a follow-up film called The Yellow Brick Road about light-skinned black women. The film was on OWN last night and the social media world was all a-buzz. I didn’t re-watch the film last night, but below are the thoughts I had after immediately watching the film back in February. Some time has passed. I feel the same:

  • Black people, people of color period, don’t tell their children that they are beautiful enough. My parents always praised me and invested in making sure I had high self esteem, but even they didn’t say it enough, and I have good parents. Imagine the little girls with bad ones.
  • Black men…I’m just ready to flat line on this one. Black men are so brainwashed about women and beauty and the only truth that came out of that whole section of the film is that no one knows how to fix black men’s perceptions of beauty
  • White men are not the answer to black women’s singleness issue. An article came out just a couple of weeks ago that they don’t want us either. No lie. It was on the Root.
  • Another truth that came out of that documentary is that it starts from within. We as black women cannot depend on the media or men or white people to lift us up. It’ll never happen if we do.
  • We also need to get out of this black is beautiful concept being a trend and turn it into a recognized truth amongst ourselves. We had it in the 60s and 70s, then the early 90s. Now we have the “natural hair movement.” As black people we are movement-ed out. It’s time to just be black and proud.
  • I think one of the most honest and poignant parts of the film was the lighter skinned mother saying that she could never fully understand her daughter’s plight. That is so real. It is so easy when you’re lighter not to see it, not out of being intentionally ignorant, but literally not seeing it.
  • I hate that men made this film.
  • This movie really isn’t that great, but the subject matter is provocative, but that’s just the critic in me talking
  • Everyone who ever #TeamLightSkin or #TeamDarkSkin or starts a sentence with “Dark skin girls always…” or “Light skin girls be like…” is a part of the problem. Get your oppression and foolishness off Twitter
  • I can not tell you how many times in my life I’ve been told that ‘I’m cool for a light skinned girl because most light skinned girls are stuck up’…as if that was supposed to be a compliment
  • We need to vow never to tell another child ever again to stay out of the sun or they’ll get dark…black people are fat and dying. They need to go out in the sun and run.
  • It’s hard to talk about colorism without talking about hair. My beautician in ATL always says, “There is no such thing as good hair or bad hair, it’s all just hair and it can all be styled and managed easily with the right products and education.”
  • Where is the anti-skin bleaching campaign? Where is the petition to the FDA? Where is the battle cry?
  •  I am so over this light skinned vs dark skinned debate. It is so tired, and it’s a shame that it’s still relevant. I mean Spike Lee had a whole musical number about this in School Daze in the 80s, and it was a tired subject then. We are all black, we are all beautiful, and we are all unique. We need to say these words to ourselves each day. It takes 28 days to form a habit. We need to form this one.
  • We as a people more than anything need to stop questioning each other’s blackness. Everyone has a different relationship with their race and that is theirs to have. Just because someone is darker or wears their hair a certain way or speaks a certain way does not make them any less or any more black. This type of internal strife only imposes limits on us, and we don’t need any more limits. Black people hit the limit quota a long time ago.

Diversity, but at what cost?

Marc Cherry (Desperate Housewives) and the Lifetime network have teamed up to give us another serving of salacious Sunday night scandal in a new show called Devious Maids. The show stars some very recognizable Latinas of primetime, including Ana Ortiz (Ugly Betty) and Roselyn Sanchez (Without A Trace).

When I first heard about this show I was shocked. A show about sneaky, sexy, Latina maids is a stereotype circus. It perpetuates the image of Latinas as crabs in a barrel always clawing from the bottom and having no real power. This has the potential to be the Madea of the Mexican-American world, where people subscribe to the stereotypes, because five Latinas playing maids on television are better than none. A black man in mammy drag is better than no black people at all…right? (sigh) What is most dangerous about this show, just like Tyler Perry’s shows, is that it is written by a Latina, so it gives non-Latinos permission to think that everything they see is an accurate depiction of Latin women. (deeper sigh)

But, I must say, the cast features actresses that I love, especially Ana Ortiz, who played America Ferrera’s sassy sister Hilda on ABC’s Ugly Betty. And I was a huge fan of Desperate Housewives, so I hope Marc Cherry doesn’t let me down. I hope these scantily clad maids have some substance. Before I write it off completely, I will wait until I watch the premier on Sunday, June 23rd at 1opm on Lifetime (after The Real Housewives of New Jersey and Food Network Star, of course).

Read this interview with the show’s creator, Tanya Saracho.

 

UPDATE: So I watched the pilot episode of Devious Maids on Lifetime last Sunday. It’s essentially a primetime telenovela. The only issue is that in telenovelas Latina maids work for wealthy Latino families, and in this show Latina maids work for white families. However, for the sake of accuracy, if you’re setting a telenovela in Los Angeles that’s the way it is. I don’t think this show is really doing anything to set Latinos back, so to speak, but I do think that they could have come up with a better title for the show. I mean the maids are the least devious of the crazy people on this show. I’ll watch it again.

Shifting the power of the purse

So I’m late on writing about this, but I think all of the discussion about women being the breadwinners in 40% of American homes is generating a much needed dialogue about gender roles and education in our country. The feminists are saying “duh,” and the conservatives are saying that this is the death of the American family. I grew up in a home where my mother was the breadwinner, and I must say I don’t think of my father as less of a father.

This number has been largely attributed to the increase in single parent homes. However, I have not seen a single article that attributes this to another obvious factor, which is that most college students are women. She who has the degree is making the money. Isn’t this what our country is about? Or is it only okay when HE is getting the education and money, and therefore has the power? I think now that statistics have confirmed what many of us gals suspected, we’re going to see a major shift in women’s political power, and therefore policy decisions.

Read the full article.

Confessions Of A Recovering Perfectionist

As a perfectionist in treatment, reading this was like a therapy session. Shaking the perfectionist habit is difficult, but necessary. I had to hit bottom to make the tough decision to be vulnerable.  This is for those of us who are still in repair.

“Yes, it can be scary sharing your passion with the world (whatever the medium). But what’s even scarier is not sharing your passion with the world because you felt it didn’t meet your own ridiculously high standards.” –Dawn Gluskin 

Read full article