Let’s Stop Talking About Rape

Rape has become a popular topic over the last two years as we near election day. On November 6th, we will be making a plethora of decisions, from women’s reproductive rights on down to whether or not we get to have a big oil pipeline drilling party. Democrats and Republicans continue to spar over various subjects even though conservatives tend to agree on many of them, taking issue with the messenger rather than the message. At least, they have agreed in the past when bipartisanship was evident and not seemingly unattainable today. One area where they delightfully differ pertains to abortion and a woman’s right to make that painful decision without government interference.

So why on Earth are we discussing rape and with such careless abandon? Well, Democrats are making its women’s rights case by over-emphasizing a worst-case scenario when it comes to anti-abortion legislation while Republicans stick a foot in their mouth time and time again in support of it. Democrats say that if you reverse Roe v Wade, you send women back to the shadows, where seedy men in dirty white coats, armed with hangers and plungers, wait to suck the life (literally) out of us. If abortion were made a crime, even in cases of rape or incest, a woman would be helplessly dependent on birth control or abstinence to avoid becoming a mother or having more children. Republicans, catering to their Christian base, argue that upon being conceived, a fetus is a life. Many conservatives support the Personhood Amendment, a proposal that counters Roe v Wade and is sponsored by Paul Ryan, which stipulates that a fertilized egg is a human being with rights under the law and thus its termination would be deemed murder. Yes, women could actually be interrogated or go to jail for having an abortion.

Rape is the scary word used to provoke women to action when faced with the thought of being forced to carry your rapist’s baby to term — and such a thought is truly troubling. Even more disturbing are the thoughts opined by the likings of Todd Akin, Steve King, Joe Walsh and our latest rape consultant, Richard Mourdock. Let’s not also forget Rep. Roger Rivard and his ‘some girls rape easy’ comment. Cemented in time are the following:

Todd Akin– “First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.

Richard Murdock– “I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God. And, I think, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”

Perhaps it is a strategic, I use that word loosely, attempt by conservatives to quieten women’s concerns about the possible criminalization of abortion by inserting religious hyperbole and other medical theories that are not rooted in fact. After all, if God gives you a gift through a rapist, it’s not so bad. Right?

Ignoring the fact that rape is a real fear and the politicizing of it– nauseating to bear, both parties are skimming over the main issue. Women, even those who have been fortunate enough to avoid being raped, should have access to legal abortions if they so choose. No woman, single, married or un-raped should be forced to carry to term a baby they do not want. There are numerous reasons one may find themselves at the precipice of such a decision and it does not come easy. An unborn child may be diagnosed with severe mental and physical disorders. There are single and married mothers whose birth-control fails them and do not want more children. There are teens who are but children themselves, unable to give a baby the proper care it needs. Some women are simply careless or living unstable lives. Some are in situations where the father is disinterested, absent or abusive and do not want to bring a child into a potentially toxic environment. Here’s a novel concept: some women do not view themselves as a walking, talking womb and would be content to never give birth. Becoming a mother is an economic decision as well. Children cost money and women, as household heads, have to take this into consideration when choosing to start or expand their families. This is an intimate, deeply personal issue that is not best left to arbitration between government officials.

If the United States outlaws abortion, even in cases of rape and incest, women certainly have cause to worry. Our elected officials have no right to assert their moral authority upon others. Instead of fixating upon pre-marital sex, rape and ignorant, insensitive old men who know nothing about a woman’s body, we need to study the whole picture. Women may be biologically best-suited to have babies but not all women desire to become mothers. Abortion is currently prohibited when it is determined that the child can survive outside the mother’s womb. Leave it to a woman to decide within the allotted time-frame what is best for her.

It is so easy for a man to be pro-life.

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Why Obama May Lose

President Obama has accomplished a great deal during his four years in office. He passed the Lily Ledbetter Act so that women can fight back against pay discrimination. He pushed for health care reform which he was able to sign into law. He called for an end to the war in Iraq and set a definitive timeline for when we can pull our troops from Afghanistan. He has pushed for the DREAM act to protect law-abiding immigrants, many who were brought here as children, from being sent away to a foreign country they do not know. He helped cut waste, culled and cut programs that were not needed. He lifted the ban on stem cell research. He pushed for investments in clean energy. His stimulus package pulled us back from the brink of some sort of hell we will now never know. I was rather curious about eco-mageddon but it was a good move. Many homeowners kept their homes and the market is improving as buyers look to make new purchases. He got Bin Laden. He has risked his political career in championing the cause of the LGBT crowd, much to the chagrin of his ultra-religious and intolerant constituents. A biracial man raised by a loving white family, he has given his all, an idealist in a grey world where change is as terrifying to some as a leap from 22 miles above ground, near space.

Things Obama has done. Click!

So why it is possible President Obama may lose his bid for re-election? It’s simple: racism. Socialist is the new ‘n’ word. Fear and disenchantment is rampant, unfounded and left unchecked as many conservatives struggle with the existence of a non-white commander-in-chief. If Obama were a white man from Montana with the winning smile, a boatload of charisma and the same record to run on, he would be dominating in the polls. He would be heralded as an American hero, fearless and stoic in the face of opposition. At the time of this writing, the President is in a virtual tie with Mitt Romney, a man whose questionable past leaves many Democrats aghast at the thought of him winning and at just how close he is to doing just that.

We have seen and heard many things these past four years. Pictures surfaced all over the internet of Michelle Obama’s features, contorted to resemble those of an orangutan. Bumper sticks that read ‘Don’t re-nig in 2012’. That’s a good one. Then there’s that pesky birther movement that has not lost its fervor even without a shred of proof disputing President Obama’s birthplace. The rise of the tea party brought forth some of the ugliest behavior many have had the displeasure of bearing witness to as they wobble forward belching demands, threatening to ‘shut America down’ if they don’t get their way. The level of vitriol and disrespect forwarded President Obama’s way is unprecedented– even Bill Clinton seemed in awe when speaking about it at this year’s DNC. Tagg Romney, exerting his executive white privilege, goes on a radio station to openly state his wish to take a swing at the president after last week’s debate. The Republican campaign trail is littered with sentences that contain keywords like ‘Kenyan’ ‘foreign’ ‘socialist’ or ‘Muslim’, by design issued to stoke unrest against a sitting President.

Don’t try to make sense of it all. It is, what it is. It is ugly, it is depressing but we have to face the truth. America was not ready. The fear of a black President is real– ignorance has misguided the minds and actions of the population for centuries. We fear what we do not understand and are easily duped when falsehoods are uttered as gospel while massaging inherent, bigoted viewpoints. President Obama has beaten the stereotypes that suffocate black Americans and that alone is a bitter pill to swallow for many conservatives. So they do their very absolute best to cast him in the worst possible light.

Liberals have somewhat failed to hold up our end of the bargain in this fight. We have whinged.. We have wavered at the slightest sign of trouble and allowed our frustration to take root. The obstacle course that is Congress has willfully impeded Obama along the way and our modest show of support pales next to the enthusiasm of ’08. We want the troops out of Afghanistan and peace in the middle-east. We want gay rights. Some of us don’t want gay marriage. We want mass reform. We want more regulations. We want manna from the skies. However loved he is, we simply want it all, we want it now and are unforgiving at times.

All across the globe, away from home, Obama’s approval rating soars and rightfully so. Public view of the US has risen favorably since he took the oath of office. I imagine foreigners may find his kind brown face comforting, a symbol of real change and equality in a world gripped by a white authority. Yet…he might lose. He may lose to the guy who had his databases wiped; documents shredded upon leaving Massachusetts. He may lose to the man who flip-flops like a goldfish out of water when it comes to his political ideology. He is the man that makes Rachel Maddow want to scream. He is the presidential-candidate that refuses to release more of his tax returns because as his lovely wife stated, they might be used as ammunition. And that would be unfair, correct? Why should Americans know exactly how our potential President earned his wealth and at whose expense? None of that matters for Romney’s base except for one thing: he’s not black.

Binders Full of Women: Debate II 2012

Last night’s debate was held using the town hall format, a place where President Obama tends to shine. And shine he did. There were a few mucky moments where the two candidates seemed to bicker but the President maintained a more civil tone and answered most questions with succinct flair, sticking to many of the talking points that surround his campaign. It may have come across as a bit redundant to political junkies that have followed each candidate as they make rounds around the country issuing stump speeches. There’s just no getting around their platform and the questions asked zeroed in on both the former governor and President’s goals.

Romney was his usual self, angry and on defense, prepped against possible statements regarding the many missteps that have hammered his campaign all year. His message was on jobs and tax cuts, even though he has yet to explain exactly how he would pay for his 5 trillion dollar tax cut without unloading the burden upon the poor to middle-class. I would like to know of each program he intends to cut and which tax loopholes would be closed. Mitt also re-emphasized how his plans will create 12 million jobs over the next four years but later in the debate chants, ‘government doesn’t create jobs, government doesn’t create jobs’.

If you can ignore Romney’s lies and anti-math tax plan, he almost held his own until the tedious topic of Libya came up. He fumbled like a quarterback with a slime-covered football, attacking the President on his handling of the incident.

He continues sputtering and stuttering on the point until the President expertly interjected in order to move things along. Priceless.

The highlight of the night came when Romney was asked the following question from an undecided voter, Katherine Fenton of NY, which President Obama was given the opportunity of answering first:

Question: In what new ways do you intend to rectify the inequalities in the workplace, specifically regarding females making only 72 percent of what their male counterparts earn?

The President spoke of education and the Lily Ledbetter Act but it was Romney’s answer that shook the internet hemisphere:

They said, well, these are the people that have the qualifications. And I said, well, gosh, can’t we — can’t we find some — some women that are also qualified?

And — and so we — we took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet. I went to a number of women’s groups and said, can you help us find folks? And I brought us whole binders full of — of women. I was proud of the fact that after I staffed my cabinet and my senior staff that the University of New York in Albany did a survey of all 50 states and concluded that mine had more women in senior leadership positions than any other state in America.

Not only was he lying, as fact-checkers conclude, it was an absolutely ridiculous thing to say. And hilarious! Binders filled with women? Get him those binders! Where are these allegedly smart women?! Surely they exist! I wonder how long it took Mr. Romney to come up with that. It will surely go down as one of the best and funniest gaffes of all time.

Post-debate polls declared President Obama the winner and I agree. It was a good night and liberals ought to feel enthusiastic and hopeful as we head into the final stretch.

Playing the Field

I love football. Love it. It is the greatest sport in the world. I am sure the Greeks would disagree but to each their own! NFL football is spectacular and presents an awesome show of power on each play: the passing ability of daring quarterbacks with his offensive linemen, the strength and fortitude of the rushing running back, the determination of your defensive line and the ever speedy receivers bring it all together. Every player has an assigned role and duty: to disrupt the enemy and achieve victory! It’s like war where sweat, instead of blood, is spilled upon the green. Well, sometimes there’s blood. No matter rain, sleet or snow the game is on and neither side quits until the fat lady sings.

Not to be mistaken as the casual spectator, I get a bit emotional while viewing this particular sport. Every aspect of it appeals to me. The inspiring display of teamwork along with the coaches and the passionate support of their team. The peals of overjoyed fans seems to reach through the television screen and takes hold of me as does their sorrow when a team, defeated, begin a pitiful trek back to the locker room. Good old football, where every inch, every yard gained counts for something. Did you miss the incredible play executed by the 49ers last season when a very teary TE Vernon Davis exits the field to the welcoming arms of his teammates? I sobbed with him that day.

That is what it’s all about.

Unsurprisingly, I happen to be a Bears fan, a welcome affliction for many Chicagoans. A big name team with a small-town personality, they are explosive at times, defensively and offensively. They can be quite the opposite other times but that’s my team, win or lose. Every yard gained grants me a bit of solace, a slice of joy amidst all the pain and drudgery of the day-to-day. Perhaps it is why sports fans become so involved during football season. The first game I ever watched was in ’85, when the Bears won the Superbowl with McMahon at the helm. I was young and did not understand fully the magnitude of their victory or why my aunt Vanessa hopped around the living room with infectious glee, tears in her eyes. I was hooked on the sport from then on. I had to be clever and followed games when I could– my mother was anti-TV. If only the world were like the NFL clubs, where black, white and brown come together, play together and accomplish great things.

Beyond field activity, there lies a grim reality that is both endearing yet saddening to consider. Black athletes, many who are renown and beloved by millions, often come from poor and broken homes set within crime-ridden neighborhoods. Reared by God-fearing mothers, these young men didn’t have a father to play catch with. They hone their skills on the very streets that would end them yet they persevere. In fact, I would offer that there is some correlation between a distinct lack of incentive on part of state officials and their elite puppeteers to curb crime, as poverty, fear and a lack of options tend to steer at-risk youth towards sports to escape their circumstances. Upon entering high school these young men meet with motivated teachers and coaches that recognize their ability and potential for further growth. The football programs at these under-performing schools are poorly managed, due to inadequate funding. Also, black men are not properly introduced to training tailored to prepare one for the role of quarterback. In college, they are ferried into the more physical and dangerous positions unless they demonstrate exceptional leadership ability and are able to communicate effectively the coach’s play-calls to the offense. This is the most important position on a football team and it is hard not to notice the overabundance of white quarterbacks in the NFL. It is why it comes with great delight to some– and a bit of derision from people such as Rush Limbaugh– when a black quarterback beats the myth that he cannot comprehend an intricate playbook and lead his team. The rookie Redskins QB Robert Griffin III might have something to say about that.

High school players are recruited and exploited by universities that make millions off poor kids who can barely afford a meal. Yes, they are offered a partial or full athletic scholarship but most of them do not go pro and can lose them for some minor infractions.

More than a century of treating student athletes like indentured servants is finally catching up with the NCAA. How can anyone expect college players to be satisfied with just getting a scholarship and free room and board at a major university that rakes in tens of millions of dollars annually from conference television deals, bowl games, and the NCAA basketball tournament? It’s downright ludicrous.

via NCAA football is modern-day slavery – Page 1 – News – Miami – Miami New Times.

The situation does not improve upon reaching the NFL, faced with the greedy and bloated giant that is the National Football League. The players are like slabs of meat, put out to pasture and if they become bent or broken, cast aside. Their pay is paltry in comparison to what the league owners receive. The money aside, for many of these men, their team is their family, their coach– the only father they have ever known and football, the friend that kept him out of trouble all his life. Under the yoke of their masters, it becomes a double-edged sword. They certainly realize that money is the driving motivator behind the sport and to stay competitive and relevant, may chuck aside sentiments for their share of the pie, which ironically comes across as arrogant or greedy to those observing the spectacle. Adrian Peterson, not known for keeping his mouth closed, openly shared his frustrations with the NFL during the labor lockout with the statements:

. . . If they have nothing to hide, just give us the information. Why not? Obviously, there’s a lot to hide — these guys are professionals, and they’re maximizing what they do. But they know that if all this information comes out, the information the players want, it’ll be right out there for everyone to see. It’s a rip-off — not just for the players, but for the people who work at the concession stands and at the stadiums. It’s modern-day slavery, you know?”

Well, I know. I’m not sure ‘they’ know, however. Ever see a weigh-in? They’re almost…eerie. It does remind one of the meat block at a slave auction.

No matter their background, players are being exploited by the NFL and black players disproportionately so. No matter what walk of life, we’re all getting our clock cleaned by the powers that be. It suffices as an accurate analogy when you consider conservatives and liberals pitted against one another while rich elitists lie and manipulate laws to their advantage. We are all pawns to be had and sacrificed in the interests of shareholders and CEOs.

I love football. When they play, you can almost forget about the greed and rampant corruption. You can almost forget about the weigh-ins where prospectors observe tall muscular athletes, appraising them as if at the slave block. I know many of those players ignore it. They still want it. They have and continue to fight the good fight, seeking a place in history alongside a Superbowl win. I’ll keep watching and supporting their dreams even if those dreams have been compromised at the whim of greedy old men.

Food-Stamp Companies

Newt Gingrich openly called President Obama the ‘Food-Stamp President’ earlier this year when discussing the economic crisis and middle-class crush. Throughout all the blowhard meandering, his intent was to cast the Obama base as dependent and idle, a sentiment oft-shared by many far right conservatives. The GOP often uses such (bigoted) code-language to discredit the values and wants of a vast majority of Democrats that do not wish to return to business as usual on Capitol Hill. Why, we liberals couldn’t possibly be interested in equal pay for women, gay rights, a full military withdrawal from the middle east, bank regulation and education. No, we just like Obama because he gives us free stuff. Oh and he’s just really cool.

In June, Leslie Marshall– a nationally syndicated talk-show radio host and Fox *gasp* News contributor– reported that more Americans signed up for food stamps under Bush.

I had to laugh…or perhaps I should have cried. Sure, there are lots of Americans who partake of what the government has to offer. Sure we, especially the right, can blame President Barack Obama. But there are a few realities I want to point out:

1. More people signed up for food stamps under President George W. Bush than President Obama.

via America Is Less Dependent Under Barack Obama – Leslie Marshall (usnews.com).

A touch misleading perhaps, since Bush had eight whole years to rack up the debt and help crash our economy with the war on Iraq. Personally I would be surprised if her data were entirely accurate, with the understanding that recessions tend to create desperate aggregate need. The country was hemorrhaging jobs when @BarackObama took office– people from all backgrounds applied for some assistance. Causality, my friends.

I am really not here to talk about Newts but of companies that reduce overhead costs by hiring part-time workers and contribute to the problematic surge in applied-for government assistance. Over the last decade the involuntary part-time workforce has exploded. Involuntary because these workers prefer full-time employment. So why is this, you might ask? Well its cheaper for starters. Not as cheap as sending your job overseas where CEOs can get the most bang for a buck but cheap. Part-time workers are generally paid less than their full-time counterparts and do not always receive medical, vacation or sick time packages. And they can forget about workers compensation and retirement benefits. These employees then must rely upon government programs such as SNAP (food stamps), TANF and Medicaid at the expense of John and Jane Taxpayer.

So here I am, stuck within the part-time trap. Even with my accumulated skills and experience, I was hired in May to work as a Merchandise Associate at a popular, multimillion dollar retail store for 8.60 hourly. The orientation session consisted of a few pamphlets read and videos played on a dilapidated VCR. I stifled a giggle or two when a segment began with a very stern woman launching into a passionate lecture on the evils of unions and when to alert a supervisor if contacted by their representatives. Organized labor is bad. Bad! Bored and lazily nursing a water bottle, my eyes roamed the tiny break room as I planned future lunch breaks and escapes from the sales floor. I noticed a poster on a bulletin board announcing the national 800 number for SNAP assistance. In 30 minutes I had learned all I needed to know about this company:

1. If any associate attempts to support a unionized effort within any of their stores, your ass is grass.

2. We are not going to hire you full-time so that you can actually take care of yourself and pay your bills.

3. Apply for food stamps because we ain’t feeding ya.

Sounds like Walmart.

I quit after a few short months. Not that I didn’t need the money. I didn’t need the headache. I found it more advantageous to spend the time I would have toiled within their slave-shop of a store to look for a better job, however difficult. I have been working at part-time jobs for about 5 years now and it has been the same thing time and time again. My educated guess would be that many part-time workers are ticked off, as I am. We are not sitting around waiting for a handout. We are being forced to take jobs with companies that are doing well in spite of the economy but won’t offer living wages, utilize scare tactics and encourage their employees to apply for government assistance to supplement their needs. Food-stamp companies. It is wrong and it is disgusting.

Rosen Was Right

Back in April this year, Hilary Rosen made a few possibly disparaging comments regarding Ann Romney, quipping that “she has never worked a day in her life”. Her words were met with a firestorm from all sides– the GOP with panic-struck Dems needlessly leaping to Mrs. Romney’s defense. Needless because Rosen was absolutely correct and unfortunately a very important topic was passed over while the political machine engineered ways to spin this positively in favor of Republicans who sought to acquire and champion the female agenda. Can I get an eye-roll, please?

Ann Romney was a stay-at-home mother who raised five very handsome sons to plague us all with. Ha! I’m kidding, but come now- five little Mitt’s? God help us. Add in the fact that it is quite likely she had assistance from nannies, maids and so on. It is tiring just tidying up my apartment so to find myself able to relate to Ann’s struggles, I try to visualize myself caring for a mansion with five screaming children running about. Yeah, she had help. A millionaire husband didn’t hurt things either.

I don’t begrudge the Romney family their millions. Whether by hard work or devilish scheming, they are rich and that’s fine. So long as he keeps those tax returns hidden, we won’t know either way. What I can’t understand is why Mitt Romney felt the need to insert his wife in such a way, to present her as some sort of economic strategist who understands the issues many women, many MOTHERS, face. It was a bold move and a foolish one, using his wife as a bridge to lure women voters. He got called out for it. Simple as that.

Rosen was not insulting homemakers. She was merely pointing out that Ann, a kept housewife, could not understand the struggles of single or married mothers that have to work outside the home. Perhaps for Ann the fairy tale came true and she married her rich prince but it isn’t the reality for the majority of mothers in the United States. If I had a rich husband, I’d breed like rabbits and stay at home as well. It would be a joy, not a JOB, to take care of my own children. That’s another thing that irks me– that taking care of your home and children is somehow deserving of pay. I believe the current salary estimate is at 70k annually. Oh brother. It is mainly a defensive argument used by stay-at-home mothers who feel threatened by working-class mothers who smugly cast themselves as do-it-all superwomen. Many women believe that raising their children gives them purpose and is deserving of adulation and then there are those of us that want more. Women are powerful and do not have to be mere incubators and child care providers all their lives. They can and ARE doing it all and not always by choice. Working one or two jobs, picking the kids up from the sitter before heading home to a grumpy husband (if she even has one) to make dinner and help with homework. I don’t think Ann gets it.

Yes, taking care of children is hard work and should be taken seriously but to be lauded for it? It’s like congratulating someone for never having been to jail. You’re not supposed to go to jail. You’re supposed to raise the kids you create.

I wonder what Ann thinks about single mothers. I am sure her views aren’t far off from those of other GOP nuts. From transcripts uncovered by those at Mother Jones, Rick Santorum stated:

What we have is moms raising children in single-parent households simply breeding more criminals… We will never solve the crime problem unless we solve the welfare problem. They are deeply intertwined.

Lets try to ignore that he was singling out black mothers, pressing the falsehood that all of us are welfare queens. So we live in a society that bolsters rich, married, stay-at-home mothers while demonizing poor single moms. Well I am a single mom and I have to work. If I opted to stay at home and look after my children so that they don’t become monstrous criminals as Rick the Dick Santorum suggests, I would be called a moocher. One of those 47% Mitt callously spoke of. I will concede that its decidedly more difficult to raise children without the help of the father– no shit. I have to do it all. I’m no Bristol Palin, with rich parents to help me sweep up my mistakes while my baby-daddy (let’s call him Levi for fun) refuses to marry me, take care of his kid and goes about happily impregnating other women. Oh, I guess that sort of thing DOES happen to rich white republicans. Thank god for the Palin family.

This mommy-debate has become stale and still it persists. So to Ann Romney: Get over yourself. You had five kids. Big whoop. You did what you were supposed to. You didn’t do the world a favor by raising your children. You had help. You have money. Many women don’t have the options you do and are doing the best they can with the hand they’re dealt.

Game Faces

I play this really nifty game called League of Legends. Its time-killing entertainment that requires a bit of cleverness and quick-witted playing style– where teams of five are pitted against one another in a battle to claim and destroy the enemy base. Fun fun. One of my favorite champions is Ashe, a bow wielding archer in all her animated glory. The graphics are quite lovely and its free to play, though you may opt to use real cash to purchase an assortment of champions.

I have only one major gripe about this game: the lack of diversity in the champion designs. Most of these champions are as white as snow, not a single champion of darker hue. Except Evelynn, who is blue and from planet Kolob for all I know. There are a few Asian champs but they’re few and far in between. I wonder why that is? Sure, it shouldn’t be a big deal but when I consider my own childhood and the barrage of white dolls received that made me feel diminished and irrelevant, it is.

Young black kids play this game. Young people of all ethnicity.  I play this game. I have seen firsthand how ugly it becomes during battles, where racist taunts are hurled to and fro like candy, for even the slightest of infractions that have little to do with one’s melanin content. I’ve heard players (Summoners, as they’re referenced in LoL) state that black people don’t and don’t know how to play the game. I suppose we don’t like golf, or swimming or bungee jumping and all other things ‘true’ Americans enjoy. The exclusion of ethnic champions from the roster only attributes to the false perception that black people, and other people of color, are predictable and disinterested sheep, a sideshow and not to be included or taken seriously. An ‘other’.

Ignorance runs rampant through the gamer world. Only through broad inclusion can we change or erase such close-minded views and yes, even something as silly as a game can promote prejudice. If a game or program can foster prejudice, it can certainly do just the opposite. We have to expose people to ‘other’ people, so much that our differences began to mean very little at all. Diversity is one of the keys to accessing equality.

So back to whiny-mode. Can we have just one black champion? Someone cool, with a sword and a cape and a bad ass daemon that follows them around snacking on enemies? Black guys can be heroes too, I’m just saying. 😦 The hero isn’t always the white guy, even if most movies and games support and enforce that way of thinking.

If I were a conspiracy theorist, I’d say it were by design. Oh wait…

I am weary of stereotypes that root blacks in a special category. So persists the idea that other groups or whites in general, cannot relate to us. Well– they can. We’re quirky and nerdy and we like skydiving, technology and putting carrots up our friend’s noses while they’re asleep. We cry at movies, play RPGs, watch Braveheart several times a year and are patriotic Americans, not mindless drones in search of a leader. We giggle and say ‘like’ a LOT. We like golf and hockey and NASCAR. If anyone thinks otherwise, they’re not looking hard enough. As for minorities that shy away from certain things, it does happen and is often a result of their limited options in life. Environment. Culture. Fear and insecurity. For hundreds of years, blacks weren’t even allowed to participate in many things. The mind can become a prison when fear of reprisal and rejection supersedes curiosity and a sense of adventure. That same fear has oft reduced me to a quivering jellyfish when I attempt to do new things, things no one expects a BLACK girl would be into– and this girl is into a lot of neat things. Like really, a black girl that is a hardcore gamer, loves sci-fi and lists The Lord of the Rings as her favorite movie series of all time? Unheard of. 😛

Presidential Debate 2012

Where shall I begin?

I apologize in advance for this rant but what the fuck? Mr. President? Really now? Perhaps this is a trick, designed to throw the enemy off the trail before expertly leaping from the bushes with renewed vigor. Or just wishful thinking for my part.

I am disappointed.

Mitt Romney left himself wide open for various attacks. His view on Obamacare with regards to Romneycare, comments about the 47%, women’s and LGBT rights, government level regulation, corporate ‘welfare’ (I did like that one), the 716 billion medicare LIE– that Mr. Romney has not fully disclosed his plans except but to say how he’ll simply do everything’s better– all these things were there, ready to be pounced upon with ravenous glee. Mitt Romney postures with smug certainty as if his mere whiteness will fix everything and calm the masses that fear the re-election of our black and white President. Where was the cross-examination? I expected it and yes, words cannot describe my dismay.

The President appeared calm, if not a tad bored. I detected a measure of irritation in him when Mitt mentioned small businesses and other distortions but these false claims went unanswered by Obama. And the mediator didn’t help things much with his sputtering interruptions and mismanagement of time. What I heard tonight were reiterations of policy points I have studied for the last four years. I believe in our President and he has done much for us and against great odds and opposition. Mitt attacked him shamelessly, taking zero responsibility for how our crisis began or how the Republican party has stonewalled on a number of bills and issues the last 4 years. Mitt’s plans, the little he’s shared, mimic many of George Bush Sr/Jr’s ideas. In other words…nothing new there. 12 million new jobs Mitt? Really? Do tell, because inquiring minds want to know. Why wasn’t he forced to explain himself?

What the fuck?

Mitt Romney is a bold-faced liar and has no plan to help the American people. The only thing he clearly states is how he wants to erase everything President Obama has accomplished and take us back to the Republican way of doing things which are to: erase social safety nets, kill Big Bird, send gays back into hiding, send our young to war, drill for more oil, roll back regulation, pussyfoot around environmental assurances and regulations, tell women when or how she should have sex and make babies, include banks in the student loan process and keep up current loopholes that allow rich people to exploit the very country that helped make them just that, rich. Cayman Islands, Mitt? Anyone? (crickets)

Where is the Secretary of Explainin’ Shit? I need him to make sense of all this.

Mitt and Ann Romney: The Veruca Salt Couple

Throatchop Politics

Full Disclosure here: “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” is my favorite movie of all time – so much so that I can recite the entire script backwards and forwards. Lacing my every day conversations with quotes from the classic movie, or abruptly belting out the “Oompa Loompa” song in the most public of settings has provoked more than a few people to question my sanity over the years. Because of my affinity for the film, last week when Ann Romney complained to an Iowa radio station about how hard this election season has been for her – I immediately thought about the “Veruca Salt” character – the ridiculously petulant girl who wants everything given to her. Immediately.

Sure, Ann Romney’s “Stop it. This is hard” comment was irritating, especially when you imagine all of the things that Michelle Obama has had…

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