Uncategorized

Juana the Mad: A woman ahead of her time

Venerable Vixens

In 1509 the Queen of Spain found herself imprisoned within a room in a castle by her own father. Forty-six years later she died alone and abandon. The unmemorable death of Juana of Castile was the result of a family full of greed, power, hate, love and mental illnesses.  Very few people know much about Juana of Castile. Though her tale is one of interest, love and betrayal, it appears history, like her own family, has forgotten her chilling life.

The mad beauty whose only crime was wanting a dedicated husband.

The Perfect Princess

Juana of Castile was the third child of the infamous rulers Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain. Born on November 6, 1479, Juana was immediately betrothed to Philip of Flanders, the Duke of Burgundy, as a political move. Juana’s ambitious parents planned to marry her off in order to build more allies in Europe and strengthen their…

View original post 796 more words

Standard
Uncategorized

My Dear White & Black Folks who believe that the Poor Blacks are the Scum of the Universe

unnamed

While confined in my lower-middle class existence, I cannot help but think about the words I see daily on the Internet about Black people who receive unemployment compensation, food stamps and other government benefits, people whose lives have been touched by the mean specter of poverty. Although I have a decent job, paying a living wage, I am still broke as hell, trying to find ways to earn more money, so I normally would not have time to think about your condescending self-serving words but I had to speak to you people about this. The current discourse on the lives of poor Blacks in this country has been taken over by well-dressed, well-fed career White politicians and Black folks one generation themselves off welfare and one foot in the unemployment line and I thought you needed some enlightenment.

First of all, no one wants to be poor. I know that you believe that little Black children spend their time discussing ways to be indigent and homeless by the time they are eighteen but the children I know have big plans for their future. My now fifteen-year-old daughter’s plans for the future change on a daily basis: One day she wants to be a fashion designer, the next a mad scientist who is going to take over the world. The one thing she has made clear is that she does not see motherhood in her future because in her words, “Being a mother takes too much work.”

I know that you like to believe that the children of poor Blacks are a drain on society but you are so wrong. I was a teenage mother at the age of sixteen and had two children by the age of twenty-one. According to statistics on teen mothers, by now my daughter should have had a slew of kids by different men and my son should have dropped out of high school and be currently imprisoned for numerous drug offenses. Not! My daughter graduated from college last year with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and my son is college studying Communications. My children watched me work for various corporations who paid me very little money and proudly watched when I walked across the stage at the age of thirty-five to receive a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology with honors.

But I realize that you people probably do not know too many Black people personally so when you chose to discuss them amongst your constituents, you like to use tired, worn-out stereotypes about them. According to you, Blacks have no work ethic and like taking baths in the piles of food stamps they receive on a monthly basis. Blacks have been in this country since 1619 and still have not made any progress although White people have given them everything! What is wrong with these trifling Black people?

media

And the Black folks who espouse this same rhetoric really need to be ashamed of themselves. Do you really believe that taking on the customs of your oppressor against your own people is really going to benefit you at all? Do you really believe that downing poor Black people is going to get you a seat at that fabled table of white supremacy along with a steak and lobster dinner? Nope because you are  traitor and all you are going to get is crumbs because that is what these people look at you as: a filthy crumb. No matter how white your neighborhood is, how well you speak, how well you “blend” in, you are still considered a Negro and you cannot run from blackness.

It is very easy for you and your kind to sprout these words, snugly enveloped in your cloak of White privilege and Black Self-Hatred but what you do not realize is that although Blacks were freed from chains of slavery, they were never made equal, financially or mentally. Throughout the years, American society had every opportunity to make amends to African-Americans by giving them same economic advantages as Whites, but it never happened because that would mean Blacks would be on the same economic playing field as Whites and that is a no-no.

It is funny how you people like to blame the media for everything wrong in your world but the media in all actuality is your best friend. The media, owned by the ruling class, has played a major role in distorting views about social economics by pretending the ruling class does not exist and poor Blacks are the dregs of society. The media with its ‘magic’ can make the historical legacy of slavery and subsequent Jim Crow laws vanish by pretending it is their fault that they are poor. By doing this, upper and middle-classed Americans learn to fear and loathe poor Blacks and refuse to make the connection between systematic racism and high poverty levels amongst African-Americans.

The dominant culture has succeeded in making African Americans subhuman to other groups, who passively accept these bigoted views. In your speeches, in the media, and on the Internet, the message that you and others have given is to degenerate Black people at all costs and to keep poor working-class Whites in a constant tizzy about the advantages given to them.

Clueless white folks and brainwashed black folks, I feel sorry for you and wonder what you would do if Blacks did not exist in this country. Race and class was socially constructed for the advancement of Whites and the making up of a social class of poverty-stricken African-Americans who could be blamed for everything wrong in society. Take away the pretensions, the feelings of superiority that comes with having the “right” skin color and people like you in this society would be lost. No more scapegoats to blame and you would have to face up to the fact that you have no plans for making the economic system in America more equal. But it is easier to blame Blacks who, unlike your ancestors, had no choice when they were brought to this country as chattel and broodmares to make the lives of the ruling class easier.

Sincerely,

Kathy M. Henry

 

Standard
Uncategorized

Respectability Politics and Misogynoir in Education

Cold Brewed Coffee and Curricula

57d966351300002a0039bef2

My social media timelines have been on fire with the news of Patrice Brown, also know as “#TeacherBae”. Patrice Brown is a paraprofessional in Atlanta whose photos went viral and caused a debate on whether or not her attire is appropriate for her field.

But, in actuality, the true statement should read: “Her body does not fall in line with Euro-centric body standards, therefore it is automatically sexual and wrong.”

Once again, we have stooped to spewing sexism and misogynoir in order to demonize a Black woman for her existence.

Many supporters, including myself, were worried that #TeacherBae would lose her job. We waited patiently for the school system to respond to the social media bonfire.

Yesterday, Atlanta Public Schools released this statement:

“The Atlanta Public Schools shared their employee dress code with 11Alive. It list sexamples of appropriate and inappropriate attire but leaves the determination of violations…

View original post 850 more words

Standard
Uncategorized

Shit White Feminists Need To Stop Doing

The Belle Jar

I’m a white feminist, and let me tell you something: white feminism* is pretty bullshit. It’s exclusive, oppressive, and serves to further marginalize the people who are most impacted by misogyny. Unfortunately, white feminism is also the western status quo of feminism, meaning that white feminists have the biggest platforms, have increased access to resources and media, and are generally considered to be The Voice of Feminism. In theory, someone truly interested in equality would use these assets to amplify the voices of women of colour. In practice, white supremacy is a real thing and white feminists often seem to forget that their white privilege makes it easy as hell to trample over women of colour as they work to dismantle the patriarchy.

So, in honour of International Women’s Day, here is a non-exhaustive list of Shit White Feminists Need to Stop Doing:

1. Believing Their Experiences of Marginalization Are…

View original post 1,084 more words

Standard
Uncategorized

MOTD: The Hotep-Ankh-Wearing-Sexist

We Maraud For Ears

Black Man this Morning from 125th stop: “Sister, you know that you are a queen?”

Me: “Um, thanks. Have a good day sir.”

Black man: “That’s the problem with you sisters!!! You don’t uplift the black man back! You should have acknowledged my presence as a king!”

Me: “The problem is that YOU think I am obligated to acknowledge you, simply because you’re a black man. And by the way, women ruled in Egypt as pharaohs. So I am a king too.”

Black man: “That’s why you will never be fit for a king! Y’all think you’re a man!”

Me: “If you’re a king then I would never want one. Stop harassing me and get your ego boost elsewhere.”

This is what happens when we talk about only racism and never patriarchy in our community. We get men who still stand by sexist notions that black women are obligated to…

View original post 12 more words

Standard
Uncategorized

Elliot Rodger And Men Who Hate Women

The Belle Jar

TW for violence against women, misogynistic language, violent language

Last night, a 22 year old man named Elliot Rodger killed six people and injured seven more in what most news outlets are describing as a “shooting rampage.” Rodger died later that night from a gunshot wound to his head, though it’s still unclear as to whether or not it was self-inflicted or from responding deputies shooting back after he opened fire on them.

Almost everything I’ve read about him has referred to him as a “madman” or “mentally ill.”

No. We have no evidence yet that he suffered from any kind of mental illness or was under any sort of treatment. Immediately claiming that with no proof to back that fact up leads to the further stigmatization of the mentally ill, and contributes to the (incorrect) assumption that mental illness equals violence, and vice versa.

We don’t know whether Elliot Rodger was…

View original post 1,068 more words

Standard
Uncategorized

Black Women and the Savior Complex

Danielle Belton

lossy-page1-405px-BLACK_MEN_AT_THE_ENTRANCE_TO_A_POOL_HALL_WHERE_THEY_HANG_AROUND_DAILY,_LOCATED_ON_ROOSEVELT_ROAD_IN_THE_HEART_OF_THE..._-_NARA_-_556153.tif Source: Wiki Commons

I can rebuild him. I can make him stronger.” — whispers the soft heart of some black woman somewhere.

Black people have problems. That’s a bit of an understatement, but while some better off than we used to me, so many of us are worse since the Civil Rights actions of the 1960s. So it’s only natural that we want to help each other out. That we want to give back. That we want to be there for each other. And when it comes to black women, that is specifically about black men — any black man really — who we have determined is in need of saving and fiercely protecting.

View original post 1,193 more words

Standard
Uncategorized

Why Having a Bachelor’s Degree Does Not Mean Squat

Ten years ago in August I made a decision that would change my life: the decision to attend college. At the time, I was a struggling single mother who after working a series of low-wage jobs, decided to apply for Chicago State University to get a taste of American Dream and become a member of the fabled middle-class. However, the road to economic prosperity has been a rough one for me and six years after graduating from college with honors, I am broke as hell and worse off financially than I was ten years ago with thousands of dollars in student loan debt to boot.

I actually fought the welfare system to get my degree. For most of the four years I spent in college, I battled with my case worker and her supervisor for the right to improve my human capital.  She actually had the audacity to inform me that because I had previous work experience, they would not allow me, a grown ass woman to attend a four-year college. The most I could do was a two-year program, majoring in medical assisting or obtaining some more secretarial skills.

I paid her no heed and continued my education, eventually writing a letter to the Springfield office of the Department of Human Services here in Illinois to complain of her unprofessionalism and lack of empathy and won that battle.  No one in shoe leather would ever be able to tell me what to do so I continued to strive and thrive, always believing once I had that diploma, my days with poverty would be over. How was I to know that in less than two years after graduating from college, the economy would collapse and having a Bachelor’s degree with a high grade point average would not mean shit in the new economic realities of living in America?

I probably sound a tad bit bitter but at this point, I do not care. I am not going to lie: I am quite pissed off.  Other than a low-wage job (where I was worked like a dog) I had earlier this year which I was forced to quit due folks being hostile, I have not had a full-time job in five years. Five fucking years and the clock is ticking for me due to my age. Every day I sit out of the workforce, the harder it will be for me to find a job because of the stigma that is currently swirling in our society: unemployed folks are a bunch of deadbeat, lazy, trifling individuals looking for a handout.

I am mainly pissed because American society told women like me, single mothers that if we got off welfare, went to school, got degrees, worked at companies that treated us like crap (but didn’t complain!) and lived a clean existence despite of our so-called “mistakes” (our children), we would be admitted to the American dream.  Not! For me and millions of other women in my position, the American Dream has become an illusion that is fading on a daily basis and I have come to the conclusion that finding employment in the traditional 9 to 5 with benefits might not be an option for me anymore. I have also come to the conclusion that although American society does not have an actual caste system, climbing out of poverty is one of the hardest jobs in the world, Horatio Alger stories be damned. But I refuse to give up. I just need to rant and rave a little bit and hell, I am human.

Standard
Uncategorized

Why Do Americans Hate Poor People So Bad?

It is not an easy thing being poor in America because poor folks are considered trash who did not work hard enough.  An entire segment of the U.S. population has been written off by society as lazy, trifling good for nothing cretins who deserve to die a slow painful death.  There are some folks who barely have a pot to piss themselves have allowed themselves to be brainwashed by out of touch politicians and the media who really believe that poor people have it easy because they depend on government benefits to survive. In their little pea brains, the poor are happily living in the lap of luxury, riding slick in their expensive cars, laughing at all shmucks on their way to work.

This misconception about the poor is one of the biggest fairy tales in American history. What is so fucking glamorous about being poor enough to receive welfare benefits?  The U.S. poverty threshold for a family of three is $19,090 which is not shit considering that some families spend 50% of their income on housing.  Half of that amount is $9,545.  That leaves a whopping $9,545 left over during the course of the year to purchase food, clothing and other bare necessities.

I used the poverty threshold for a family of three because that is the makeup of my family and I am currently poor. Yes, I am one the 47% that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney wrote off as being parasites.  When I saw the video and heard his remarks, I wanted to give him a swift kick in the ass for being so damn clueless. But he cannot help himself. He is a wealthy man enveloped in his cloak of Rich White Male Privilege and do not have deal with the harsh realities of eviction notices, subpar schooling and inadequate representation from your local Congressmen.

For those who really want to know about the Lifestyles of the Poor and Downtrodden, here it is: When you are poor in America, you are powerless, defenseless and no one gives a shit about you. Poor people cannot contribute to political campaigns or send lobbyists to Washington D.C. to fight for their rights.  The children of poor people are considered fodder for expensive wars when they decided to join the military to gain better economic opportunities for themselves and their families.

Being poor in America means your child has to attend a neighborhood overcrowded elementary school where she is learning how to be a great test taker but little else because she came home from school asking who is Jesse Jackson. Being poor in America means living in neighborhoods riddled with gun violence and thugs and walking down the street can mean death or being maimed for life and not having the means to move because you only make $8.50 per hour part-time.   Being poor in America means needing food stamps and a medical card to survive because if you did not have access to these programs, your children would starve and would not be able to go the doctor.

Being poor in America sucks big time, especially in a materialistic society such as the one we currently live in which a person is judged not for his character but by the amount of money he makes, the car he drives and the neighborhood he lives in.  I am not shocked by the remarks of the wealthy about poor people but I am surprised by the remarks of those who consider themselves to be middle-class. I guess they do not understand that they are literally one pay check, one hospitalization and one bankruptcy away from being poor themselves.  But it is easier to pick on powerless poor folks who get food stamps than take on the plutocracy that is currently running our country.

Standard
Uncategorized

Race Woman No More

viola-davis

At one time, not too long ago, I used to be a Race Woman. What is a Race Woman? A Race Woman is a black woman who fights relentlessly for the empowerment and improvement of the Black community even to her own detriment.  When I went to college, I majored in sociology and minored in history, two academics that are not profitable but released the Race Woman within. I also took some Women’s Studies courses which introduced me to feminist theory and intersectionality – the ways in which oppressive institutions (racism, sexism, homophobia, classism, etc.) are interconnected and cannot be examined separately from one another.

Feminism fascinated me greatly because I was taught from childhood that a black woman is supposed to suppress her feminist leanings in order to support the Black man because when he comes up, the Black community comes up. If a Black woman is too strong and assertive to some of her people, she is categorized as an “Angry Bitch” who does not know her place. She is not supposed to articulate her thoughts in anyway because her thoughts are not considered important.

Feminism is the dirtiest word in the Black community and is looked upon as that counter-revolutionary, man-hating, lesbian, white bitches’ bullshit. The main argument against feminism in the Black community is that white women did not include black women in the liberation movement and various groups such as NOW have ignored the issues of marginalized, poor women of color and although that argument has some merit, I as a Black woman can no longer turn a blind eye to the massive amount of misogynist thought patterns that exist in the Black community.

Yes, I used to be a Race Woman until I finally opened my eyes and looked around my community. Young thugs on every corner and the grown ass men in the community are too scared or too busy having sex with their mothers and sisters to lift a finger. Young black girls walking around with the eyes of a battered soul, so beaten down by life that they are happy to accept the scraps of affection given to them by anyone, male or female.

I am particularly enraged by the treatment of our young sisters because they are the gateway to the future.  Women are the bearers of life and if the garden is not attended to properly, it gets weeds. Young black girls in our current society are considered expendable. Black men call them hood rats  while screwing and impregnating them on a regular basis and Black women look at them as a threat because of their young pussies. Black women are quick to defend R. Kelly and Creflo Dollar., and countless of other nothing ass niggas but will not say a word in defense of the thousands of young Black girls who are molested, beaten, mistreated and killed on a daily basis.  They lay up with men they know are beating and sniffing around their daughters, sisters and nieces but turn a blind eye because of their own pathetic need to have a warm body to cuddle up with.

At the beginning of this month, a young Black girl named Jessica Tetter was savagely murdered by her mother’s boyfriend. Her body was found in a dumpster, thrown away like yesterday’s trash with semen found in her vagina and anus. She was sixteen years old and she will never have an opportunity go on prom, graduate from high school and college or become a mommy because of a trifling ass man and her mother’s abject stupidity and desperation. As long as racism is considered the main problem in the Black community instead of sexism, more little Black girls will die. As long as Black women continue to accept their subordinate status in the Black community, Black people will continue their descent into the gutter.  Any community that is too foolish to listen to the voices of the women is doomed for failure. I learned the hard way that being a Race Woman has a high price and I cannot afford to do so any longer. No longer will I defend the actions of men who do not give a rat’s ass about women who look like me or my daughters.

Standard