Category Archives: Straight No Chaser

I Remember Supporting Hillary Clinton for President…in 1992

Hillary Rodham Clinton, circa 1992
Hillary Rodham Clinton, circa 1992

*I remember when I first crossed paths with Hillary Clinton.

She was Hillary Rodham Clinton at the time, and was campaigning for her husband in 1992. One of their campaign stops was the University of Michigan, where I was studying and raising a family.

I’d anticipated going to see Bill for weeks, but the night of the event, a chilly October drizzle descended on Ann Arbor, and I started to talk myself out of going.

“You have to go, Mike,” my then wife implored. “If you don’t, and he gets elected, you’ll always regret it.”

I know good advice when I hear it.  I’ve always been a political / news junkie, so I bundled up and hopped on the bus for the University of Michigan’s main campus, leaving my wife at home with our five-year-old daughter, Janet.

As I approached U-M’s Rackham Graduate School, I joined thousands who’d gathered to hear Bill Clinton speak. We had to wait through the well-meaning speeches of dozens of university officials and local “celebrities” who I didn’t envy. I mean, who would want to be on a platform with the dynamic governor from Arkansas who could charm anyone — in or out of a blue dress? 

As it turned out, one person was up to the challenge:  Bill Clinton was introduced by his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton. Continue reading

White Folks Support of ‘Black Lives Matter’ Have Been Told it’s ‘Not Enough’

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*Will it EVER be “enough?”

I’ve been beating up on myself all day. Not unlike many of us, I am my own worst critic. No matter how hard I work, it never seems to be hard enough. No matter how much money I bring in, some bills will still go unpaid. No matter what I do, in the eyes of some, it will never be enough. 

Sometimes, for a single moment at least, I wonder why bother?

But then I realize: I bother because in the whole scheme of things, when “enough” is actually accomplished, it will probably be time for me to exit this place.

And I don’t plan to do that anytime soon.

Which is why I decided to pen this article, which will show much more than tell. I’ve heard some complaints that white folks are not doing enough to change the narrative on Black injustice. And I am not here to say whether this complaint is legitimate or not. But I would like to ask those people, what would ENOUGH look like? Continue reading

Has Pro-Colorism Dating Site, Smoochr, Pissed ‘You’ Off…Yet?

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*Imma be upfront witchu’ right now. I marvel at some of the sh*t my publisher throws my way and expects me to write about. Like this article on a dating site that has Black folk choosing who they’d like to share their journey with based solely on colorism. I’d of NEVER even looked at this twice because of my own disdain for the whole “light skin, dark skin” bull. What can I say? I just don’t come from that place. But then again, I have always had this way about me that looks at the positive side of everything. And though I will be the first to say not EVERYTHING has a positive side (afterall, I’m still trying to find Donald Trump’s…and yes, I am aware I have identified him as a “thing”) I can lift a positive from why my publisher thought I should write on this colorism site thing: Because, after working with me for close to 15 years, he thinks I can write thoughtful commentary on everything. Anything. As in bar-none. That is the only thing I can think of at this point.

So let’s get started, shall we?

In my opinion, Smoochr was designed for people shallow enough to think that a potential partner can be found (and kept) based on their complexion, grade of hair, and hell, I don’t know, the size of their lips?

Wait! I was just kidding, but even since writing that line I’ve discovered, yes, that is one of the profile questions.

In all honesty, many black folk are mad as hell that such a site exists. And what can you say about a site whose OWNER or FOUNDER won’t even come forth? Hell, we wouldn’t even know about Smoochr if it were not for tech developer Elen Awalom, whose own disdain for the site motivated her to create the hastag  #ShutDownSmoochr recently.

So now, here we are. And thanks to an article in The Root, we get to see the profile questions without even having to sign up. We also get to see how others’ feel about the site. Continue reading

Fired Disney Employee Says ‘Everybody’s Having Sex’ Backstage

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*Uh oh. Nothing hurts worse than being fired. And all bets are off when folks feel they have been let go unjustly. Oftentimes they want revenge and will get what we call …wait for it…diarrhea of the mouth. This may be what happened to a former Disney World employee. We don’t know why it was that Disney decided to let her go, and quite frankly, we don’t really care. But we like the fact that she is willing to talk about what its like to work there…for real. Now look, its no secret that Walt Disney didn’t give one damn about Black folk, that’s why any characters he created depicting us was straight up stereotype and racist.

But we’re not here to talk about that. Really. What we can at least get a kick out of right here, right now, is a former employee who happens to be white, telling us what its REALLY like to work at what he described as the “Happiest Place on Earth.”

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She starts out saying: “Working at Disney World may seen like a dream job to visitors, but behind the scenes, we are placed in shackles and forced to follow a very large and very strict rule book. Don’t get me wrong, there were a lot of great times, but here are 20 SECRETS everybody needs to know about working at Disney World…”

Woo….

I think it was number 16 where she shared how EVERYBODY’S HAVING SEX.

She says,

“When you have women beautiful enough to be princesses and men attractive enough to be heros, it’s no surprise that all the Cast Members backstage are DOING IT. I literally walked in on Ariel doing it with Aladdin. (Thankfully, not in costume, as that would have ruined my childhood.)” Continue reading

Watch: Viral Video Shows Little White Girl Cussin’ Up a Storm

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*“Let me kill this baby … You are a bad motherf*cker. That’s why you always have to get in jail,” can you believe that these are the words coming from the mouth of a six-year-old who’s elder is videotaping her? It all began when the woman behind the camera asked the little girl to “show us how you play with your doll.”

That’s when the tirade began.

I’m sure Black folk all over the world are jumping for joy that its not one of ours. Continue reading

WTF…13-Year-Old Shoots Elderly Couple in Beauty Supply Store? (Video)

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*Now this should just piss you off.

According to a report by the St. Louis Dispatch, two teen girls were suspected of shoplifting at a beauty supply store in Missouri. The business is owned by a Korean family, and when the girls were confronted, one was taken in after a previous juvenile warrant was discovered, but the other — a 13-year-old — was let go with a formal warning and the approval of the store owners.

But “Miss Thang” apparently didn’t appreciate this, and decided to return to the store hours later, WITH A GUN, and proceeded to SHOOT the couple.

You know how we do: Right is right and wrong is wrong! Family members marched her a** right up to the police station and had her turn herself in! Continue reading

Study Says Black Folk More ‘Easily Offended’ By What People Say

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*Now THIS should spark some interesting dialogue. A recent PEW Research Center study shows Black folks overall think people should be more careful with the language they use, so to not offend people. 59%) of the general population (all races) say ‘too many people are easily offended these days over the language that others use,’  according to Hannah Fingerhut on behalf of PEW.

“Fewer (39%) think ‘people need to be more careful about the language they use to avoid offending people with different backgrounds.’

But in the race breakdown, Fingerhut writes…

“Among blacks, 67% say people should be more careful with language to avoid offending people of different backgrounds, while just 30% say too many people are easily offended by language these days.

Just so you know. I’m with the 30%. Continue reading

Show the White People in Your Life what Institutionalized Racism ‘Looks Like’

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*Some of my friends and family must get so frustrated with me. I think I naturally tend to see the good in people — whether that’s deserving or not. Oh I’m no pollyanna, trust. I have my moods just like you. But I have a tendency to go there first. And if I can be completely “transparent” for a moment, I believe they truly recognize this in me when it comes to talks about race.

I know racism is rampant. Even now I am working on an article detailing my own upbringing in the racist south, and how, in spite of it, as one of my idols, Dr. Maya Angelou, once wrote: and still I rise. Yet, and I don’t know if this comes from my background in education, or the fact that I have lived in such diverse communities and have even done a bit of international travel, I recognize a nag within me that says, maybe they just don’t know what it looks like.

Oh I know ‘they’ should…and oftentimes do. Hey, my honest feeling is that I should be wealthy, but dammit, I’m still far from it!

And therein lies the aforementioned frustration that I sometimes feel fester inside the people in my life. Continue reading