Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Oh No She Didn't

I am an adjunct faculty member at a local college and in my class this morning we were looking at the linguistic struggle of presenting God using gender neutral pronouns. It was an interesting discussion because it allowed the students to express themselves on a topic people either love or hate.

The discussion was rich but I was continually trying to keep these grad students focused on examining the text before sharing their interpretation. Anyway in the midst of the conversation one of my African American students stated she thought that an analogy the writer of our article used about the evolution of Negro-Black-African American was interesting. Perhaps but what happened next floored me.

A white student a woman in her late 40's to early 50's said, "I know how dramatic that change was, because I grew up in the south and we regularly referred to black people as niggers."

Oh no she didn't.

Yes she did.

One of the sisters started to buck up out of her chair and I had to act fast to avoid a race riot.

"Hey hold on--hold on."

"[Foolish Bitch-not her real name but her an apt description] you just showed us that words have power and interpretation is subjective and always steeped in context. You also used willfully and blatantly used language of oppression and violence in my class a direct violation of the syallbus. Do it again and you will show your colleagues how to struggle in a required course."

Make sure you go back and read my syallabus, "violent, threatening, derogatory or profane language is not allowed. If you are wondering if something meets this standard you probably should not use it, unless you clear it with me."

[This was added when I had a class of cussing motherf**kers who got on my last d**n nerve.]

After the class Foolish Bitch came up to me and said, I thought you were a little harsh I did not mean any harm.

"I am having a difficult time believing that Foolish Bitch. What's next are you going to call the lesbians in the class by a derogatory name cause your daddy used to do it? Are you going to call the Asians by the names you heard your great grandma use and you used to use before you got some sense? Don't try that with me. Today we shall chalk this up to your ignorance, but get smart quick. However consider yourself warned. Do not let it happen again."

Well Foolish Bitch, I think you need to develop a great sensitivity to the feelings of others if you plan to continue in ministry. You may be a great ministry gift, but take note of Pat Robertson and others who make stupid gaffes and learn from them.

The sister who bucked came to me also and said, I cannot believe that bitch used that word. She betta be careful, I might be a minister but I ain't all the way saved yet.

Well my sister, I said, don't give Foolish Bitch any satisfaction, she will be cool but at least now you know where she stands.

That's why I can't get a PhD this s**t would get on my nerves every day.

This evening the Department Chair called and asked me if I threatened to flunk a student before the class because if I did I might be in trouble.

[These hoes ain't payin enuf money for me to be in trouble.]

I invited him to view the tape I always tape our early sessions to compare them to later discussions to show growth.

When the Department Chair heard her said Nigger she said no she didn't say that.

Yes she did. Then she heard my comment and said I was too soft on Foolish Bitch.

Monday, September 26, 2005

White Folks Have Drama Too Part One

This morning while I was in the midst of a deep sleep. The phone rang. I saw that it was the local hospital. Damn I thought what time is it? It was just 4:55. S**t couldn't these folk have waited an hour to die.

I jumped up hit the shower for a minute, threw on some clothes and headed for the hospital. One family was in the ER. Their relative was dead, but the doctor had not told them yet.

I walk into what they call the grieving room, Aw hell, Aw naw says the daughter, I know what's up, where in the grief room and here comes a preacher.

[Stupid me, always quick to point out that I am not a preacher,]
No ma'am I am the chaplain.

"I need MY pastor call him now."

"Not a problem, who is your pastor?"

"Don't you know my pastor?"

I am wondering does trauma make you insane? "No ma'am I do not know who your pastor may be."

"Shit--His f**king name is Creighton."

"Is that his last name? Creighton."

"No damnit, that is his first name."

"Do you have a number I can reach him at."

"Shit he supposed to be the pastor, he ought to be at the church."

I thought to myself, heifer it's 5:00 in the morning, but instead I ask and the name of the church?"

"G*d-damn it, You supposed to know this kind of s**t do they pay you for this?"

"Obivously you're not ready for me so I will come back when you get the information you need."

"Oh don't be offended, said one of the other folk, she talks like that to everybody." (Bitch you're your relative is sitting on the gurney turning ashen white while y'all waste my time, but what do I care, after the heifer was half-right I do get paid for this.)

"It is not a problem."

"Calvary MotherF**king Southern Baptist Church" Have you heard of it?

On Lancaster River Rd?

My God he knows something. (I repressed the obligatory pimp slap she deserved since, in a minute, her ass, would want to slobbering on my lab coat, but it ain't happenin)

As I was preparing to call the minister, the doctor came back down to the ER and said are you ready.

Damn I hate being there when families get the news.


We walk in looking like the bearers of bad news.

Doctor is it serious? (Damn straight it's deadly)

I regret to inform you that Wiley died this morning.

What he's dead? How could he be dead? Did you try everything, did you shock his heart, can you still try. (Hell to the naw, the dude has been cold for about 90 minutes.)

I want to see him, but that's alright did you call Pastor Creighton?

I know he can raise my father from that gurney.

The doctor looks at me, and I look at him and say, would you like to see him?

As we are talking, Pastor Creighton comes into the room where is the deceased, he aint dead until God says so. Let's all pray.

Thursday, September 22, 2005


"Hey Harold" says one of my acquaintances. He is not my friend, I don't really think I even like the man. He's more of a client than a friend.

"Hey back at ya man." I reply, fake smile firmly in place. "How are you." (No I ain't got no money)

"Cool. Man I have been meaning to talk to you for a while now."

"Really? About?"

"Me." (Of course, it would be about him. Everything is about him)

"What about you--this time." I am already getting tired of this conversation.

"Well, I have found the love of my life." (Somebody needs to tell this guy that just because a woman goes to bed with you, it does not mean that she loves you, or even cares for you. In the 21st century late 30 and 40 something women are better pimps and playas than the fellas.)

"Bully for you." (A whole week of unadulterated bliss for all those who know you.)

"She ain't like all those other bitches (an interesting description for the love of your life.)I been dealin with, she's smart, got a good job, nice car and her own house." (Then why the heck is she dealin with you? What besides a penis, do you bring to the party?)

"Congratulations, man I am really happy for you." My fake smile is really glowing today.

"Yeah, I want to keep this one. So I think I am going to rehab."

"Again?" (It just slipped out, I swear.) "I mean why are you going to rehab, this time?"

"Dang, you did not have to be that cold, I need to work on my recovery issues. I have not been going to meetings, etc. etc." (He has been rehearsing this conversation for a while.)

"Well before you go on a 21 day vacation, why don't you start with the meetings. After all man let's face it, you know all there is to know about recovery."

"See. You are just like my family, nobody wants to encourage me anymore."

"Sorry man, but what about new girl, how does she feel about this?"

"She does not know."

The fake smile vanishes. "How does she not know? Doesn't she wonder why a 45 year old man lives with his mother and his sister and never goes to work?"

"She just thinks I am a victim of discrimination against black men. She is the kind of sister that understands how hard it is for us. Man, I tell you she is a dream."

(Or a fool, I think almost out loud.)"Well how will you explain a 21 day vacation?"

"I don't know, this is about me anyway, it is not about her."


"What do you mean?" he asks, raising his voice.

" It's always about you, in fact you are the most self centered person I have ever met in my life."

"See, Harold, that's why don't nobody like you. You say mean things and you are not supportive. Brothers need to stick together. There is a conspiracy to get us and we are falling for the trap."

Since I was not feeling up to a verbal altercation, I punked out. "Man I'm sorry. I was a little harsh. I guess I don't want you to mess up your good thing."

"It's all right. Hey, man can you loan me $10.00, see I got to go downtown...."

Suddenly, it hits me, this was the purpose of this whole ridiculous conversation. This Negro thinks I don't know him or I am stupid. I am mad but I am rejuvenated. "Why so you go on yet another farewell to crack tour?"


"Negro man please. You want to go on a crack binge, so you convince yourself, that you're going to rehab in a few days so why not go out in style. You have done this before, several times. You better be careful or your ass is going to end up in hobo park."

Agitated that "the human ATM" is closed, "F**k this, I'm sick of niggas trying to run my motherf**kin' life. All y'all a**holes can kiss my ass. You think you bettern than me, that's bulls**t."

I am slightly disappointed that our conversation was not uplifting. "Hey man, I will be praying for you. I hope you are able to stick with it, this time."

"F**k you and your God. Don't pray for me, I don't believe in religion. Let me get the f**k on, I got things to do."

"Later. man" I say extending my hand.

"Go to hell." He says walking away. "Bitch ass punks always get on my nerves."

The Urban Campground

Driving along with my god children on a sunny summer day, Nicholas asks "Uncle Harry can we go camping?"

Uncle Harry does not camp under any circumstances.

I am sure your mommy and daddy will take you. (Who did these kids think I am Uncle Buck, the only reason I have them today is because I lost a stupid bet to their dad.)

Well Marsha, the youngest says can we have a picnic like those people.

What people.

The people in the park.

And it hit me. I have driven past this park for years and never looked at the people in the park. At the office this is called "Hobo Park" because it is full of people who are homeless and unemployed and when they are not in Hobo Park they are on the corners of our city, hustling for change, bus fare, lunch etc.

Oh we can't go for a picnic in the park today, we have to go to the library for the puppeet show. (The first time in my life I was glad to go to a puppet show.)

OOOOOOO said Nicholas, that man is peeing in the park.

Quit being so nosy and mind your own business, help Uncle Harold find a parking space.

We finally parked and I took the children to the puppet show, and there was a craft workshop following the puppet show so I walked around the library and I encountered a man who decided that I needed to engage in conversation.

What up man, he said.

Nothing I said.

So what are you doing here, just hanging out?

No, my god children are making projects to take home to their parents.

Oh I see... So what's on your mind.

Nothing really, sir, can I help you in some way?

Yeah give me a million dollars and a house on the lake.

We laughed, No I just wanted to talk to somebody he said.

I was feeling kind of uncomfortable but I made myself listen.

I listened as the man told a variety of tales, some of them very tall about why he was out of a home and out of a job and out of a marriage.

I don't want to ask you for money he said,

But, I said.

He chuckled, you could take me to the restaurant

No I don't have time. Here's six dollars, all the money I have.

Thanks man, he said, thanks for listening and thanks for respecting my humanity.

No problem, here come the children, I need to get ready.

Peace man.


And I watched as he left the library and he walked into hobo park one more time.

Monday, September 19, 2005

I Love Being Black...

But, why do we read countless, redundant resolutions and letters of condolences at funerals. I know churches have to send these mindless soulless letters not for the family but for those church members who attend the funeral. And why does the usher board, the missionary workers and the senior chancel choir, fromt he same church all have to offer a resolution? And at every funeral, why does the once cracked out cousin, now saved, sanctified, and filled with the holy ghost, always have to testify about how the Lord saved her from the rocks, and set her upon the rock. (Insert organ flourish) And if one more preacher says I've been where you sit, I might start shouting and dancing just because I can.

Thanks I feel better now.

How come I was at the funeral over 2 hours and the eulogy had not even started yet.

I Need Some Serious Help

This post makes me feel really shallow. I know with all the things going on politically and culturally I should have a stronger topic but I think I'm overdosed on Katrina (don't stop praying and giving), the price of gasoline, the war in Iraq etc, etc.

I have just come back from a long conference and as I was headed home it hit me like a brick, I have not viewed one episode of Law and Order in any of its manifestations in a whole week.

I went the whole week without the original, the special victims unit, or criminal intent. How could this happen. Well once I settled in at home I tried to satisfy my hunger for Law and Order but things kept getting in the way.

I am grouchy, I have a headache and I just can't function. Give me my Law and Order.

I like the original Law and Order the best, although I have hated the cast members over the years. I could not stand Richard "I only have one look" Brooks, for a while Chris Noth got on my nerves. I thought Angie Harmon was too beautiful to be an Assistant DA and S. Epatha Merkerson--she's a homegirl--Go Detroit! is so good she makes it look too easy. (Congrats on the Emmy!) And although I don't like his politics, Fred Dalton Thompson is great as the DA.

SVU makes me feel creepy but I think the story lines are gripping. But I always feel weird after hearing about new perversions, some which would have never crossed my mind. Tamara Tunie is so cool and beautiful as the ME. I am in love with her voice. I just found out she does a soap, but I don't like soaps.

Criminal Intent is a little harder to get my hands around but now that its moving to nightly on USA I might get hooked, the lead character is wacky and unlike the other Law and Order's the show spins around him. We will see.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

No Tears for Rehinquist

Okay, I know we're supposed to be saddened by someone's death. But the chief justice might have been Sandy Day O Connor's hero, he was not mine. Here is another perspective of our late Chief Justice.

Telling the Truth About Chief Justice Rehnquist
by Allan Dershowitz


My mother always told me that when a person dies, one should not say anything bad about him. My mother was wrong. History requires truth, not puffery or silence, especially about powerful governmental figures. And obituaries are a first draft of history.
So here’s the truth about Chief Justice Rehnquist you won’t hear on Fox News or from politicians. Chief Justice William Rehnquist set back liberty, equality, and human rights perhaps more than any American judge of this generation. His rise to power speaks volumes about the current state of American values.

Let’s begin at the beginning. Rehnquist bragged about being first in his class at Stanford Law School. Today Stanford is a great law school with a diverse student body, but in the late 1940s and early 1950s, it discriminated against Jews and other minorities, both in the admission of students and in the selection of faculty. Justice Stephen Breyer recalled an earlier period of Stanford’s history: “When my father was at Stanford, he could not join any of the social organizations because he was Jewish, and those organizations, at that time, did not accept Jews.” Rehnquist not only benefited in his class ranking from this discrimination; he was also part of that bigotry. When he was nominated to be an associate justice in 1971, I learned from several sources who had known him as a student that he had outraged Jewish classmates by goose-stepping and heil-Hitlering with brown-shirted friends in front of a dormitory that housed the school’s few Jewish students. He also was infamous for telling racist and anti-Semitic jokes.

As a law clerk, Rehnquist wrote a memorandum for Justice Jackson while the court was considering several school desegregation cases, including Brown v. Board of Education. Rehnquist’s memo, entitled “A Random Thought on the Segregation Cases,” defended the separate-but-equal doctrine embodied in the 1896 Supreme Court case of Plessy v. Ferguson. Rehnquist concluded the Plessy “was right and should be reaffirmed.” When questioned about the memos by the Senate Judiciary Committee in both 1971 and 1986, Rehnquist blamed his defense of segregation on the dead Justice, stating – under oath – that his memo was meant to reflect the views of Justice Jackson. But Justice Jackson voted in Brown, along with a unanimous Court, to strike down school segregation. According to historian Mark Tushnet, Justice Jackson’s longtime legal secretary called Rehnquist’s Senate testimony an attempt to “smear[] the reputation of a great justice.” Rehnquist later admitted to defending Plessy in arguments with fellow law clerks. He did not acknowledge that he committed perjury in front of the Judiciary Committee to get his job.

The young Rehnquist began his legal career as a Republican functionary by obstructing African-American and Hispanic voting at Phoenix polling locations (“Operation Eagle Eye”). As Richard Cohen of The Washington Post wrote, “[H]e helped challenge the voting qualifications of Arizona blacks and Hispanics. He was entitled to do so. But even if he did not personally harass potential voters, as witnesses allege, he clearly was a brass-knuckle partisan, someone who would deny the ballot to fellow citizens for trivial political reasons -- and who made his selection on the basis of race or ethnicity.” In a word, he started out his political career as a Republican thug.

Rehnquist later bought a home in Vermont with a restrictive covenant that barred sale of the property to ''any member of the Hebrew race.”

Rehnquist’s judicial philosophy was result-oriented, activist, and authoritarian. He sometimes moderated his views for prudential or pragmatic reasons, but his vote could almost always be predicted based on who the parties were, not what the legal issues happened to be. He generally opposed the rights of gays, women, blacks, aliens, and religious minorities. He was a friend of corporations, polluters, right wing Republicans, religious fundamentalists, homophobes, and other bigots.

Rehnquist served on the Supreme Court for thirty-three years and as chief justice for nineteen. Yet no opinion comes to mind which will be remembered as brilliant, innovative, or memorable. He will be remembered not for the quality of his opinions but rather for the outcomes decided by his votes, especially Bush v. Gore, in which he accepted an Equal Protection claim that was totally inconsistent with his prior views on that clause. He will also be remembered as a Chief Justice who fought for the independence and authority of the judiciary. This is his only positive contribution to an otherwise regressive career.

Within moments of Rehnquist’s death, Fox News called and asked for my comments, presumably aware that I was a longtime critic of the late Chief Justice. After making several of these points to Alan Colmes (who was supposed to be interviewing me), Sean Hannity intruded, and when he didn’t like my answers, he cut me off and terminated the interview. Only after I was off the air and could not respond did the attack against me begin, which is typical of Hannity’s bullying ambush style. He is afraid to attack when there’s someone there to respond. Since the interview, I’ve received dozens of e-mail hate messages, some of which are overtly anti-Semitic. One writer called me “a jew prick that takes it in the a** from ruth ginzburg [sic].” Another said I am “an ignorant socialist left-wing political hack …. You’re like a little Heinrich Himmler! (even the resemblance is uncanny!).” Yet another informed me that I “personally make us all lament the defeat of the Nazis!” A more restrained viewer found me to be “a disgrace to the Law, to Harvard, and to humanity.”

All this, for refusing to put a deceptive gloss on a man who made his career undermining the rights and liberties of American citizens.

My mother would want me to remain silent, but I think my father would have wanted me to tell the truth. My father was right.

Alan Dershowitz is a professor of law at Harvard. His latest book is The Case for Peace: How the Arab-Israeli Conflict Can Be Resolved (Wiley, 2005).

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Beat that Bitch with a Bush

Okay maybe it's just the fact that my allergies are acting up and I am sick of not being able to breathe and I want my nose to stop running.

But Barbara Bush can kiss my black ass. Not really because wrinkle face bet not come near me. Look at what the white haired heifer (literally) said:

"What I'm hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them."

Is this the compassionate conservatism that the Bush family likes to proclaim they practice. Sure its okay to live in a stadium it's prolly better than what they lived in at home.

This is going to be a long drama and its just beginning.

Meanwhile Beat that Bush Bitch with a stick.