Sunday, February 22, 2009

Mama On: What's Done In The Dark

“What’s done in the dark will always come out into the light.”

Though my mother said this often, I know that it is not original Mamaknology, but I’m going to use it, anyway. Today, after seeing the "cartoon" published by the New York Post (following the signing of President Obama's economic stimulus bill) I simply speak as myself.

Here's what I think...

This "cartoon" (have you seen it? Look before you speak...) is not a joke or misplaced humor. It is, in fact, a calculated invitation to assassination and I sincerely do not understand why Homeland Security has not moved on this bold terroristic action. And by the way, is anybody else wondering who, "they," are? I know that I am, and how far are these gun-wielding terrorists willing to go, under the legal guise of constitutional policy and precident, to stop, "them"?

I also have to wonder, if monkeys, apes, people of color, and our current president are not points of ridicule, why did the Post (and other publications) fail to so "honor" George W.? He's got big ears, a longish face, a moderately simian bend to his posture, and goodness knows he was never the sharpest knife in the drawer.

And hey, remember that we live in a country where you cannot go to the airport and say, "I have a gun," without consequences... even though you can ride around on MARTA (public transportation) all day with it. This drawing has stepped beyond the realm of free speech and freedom of expression into the arena previously inhabited by the likes of Timothy McVey and the deliverers of jets into buildings. This "cartoon" delivers a quick and dirty visually demonstrated threat. There should be consequences and dire repercussions for the Post and its related staff, including removal of the people responsible for the "cartoon".

As the African-American daughter of a retired veteran of American wars, a beneficiary of Brown v. The Board of Education, and a citizen of these United States, I am ashamed of the Post and this poor representation of both human and American integrity, intellect, sensitivity, historical place, and justice. Morally, this is more than a lack of thought and inspiration. It is the public display and demonstration of a deep and abiding institutionalized hatred and depravity.

Shame on you, Mr. Murdoch. Shame on you, Mr. Carlucci. Shame on you, Mr. Delonas. Shame on you, Mr. Allen. I see what you’ve done and it is ugly. You didn’t even have the courage to bring your racist bigotry out under its own umbrella. You had the nerve to try to dress it up as art, free speech, personal opinion, and then slide it into the world. Well, I see you and it for what you are, and shame on you. Know that you have all individually and collectively reduced, demeaned and shamed us all, because actions do indeed speak louder than words and culturally insensitive art work.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Mama On: Appearance

"Always keep your hair done."

Yes, my mother said it and yours probably did, too. Yes, it's good advice. But who knew it could be a lifesaver?

The Mamaknologist in me fully understands that it is the right and purpose of every Mamaknologist to keep herself intact and looking good. We dress ourselves and present ourselves with care, while moving forward with decorum and grace. That means shopping, manicures, and exfoliation. And sometimes, it also includes a hair weave.

Now, the world is not kind in challenging women of color about their hair -- even as they are in the midst of living their lives. And yet, today we are all marveling at Kansas City Mamaknologist-In-The-Making, Briana Bonds, who has her tight and obviously well-maintained weave to thank for saving her life.

Giving new meaning to, "stopping a bullet," and winding up with a slight headache, the 20-year old woman has broken up with her boyfriend and survived -- thanks to the tightness of her tracks and her knowledge that she deserves to be treated well in her life. Her spurned 28-year old former lover was unhappy with her obviously wise choice to move on, and "He fired four or five shots at me, you don't shot at someone you say you love."

Thank God she recognized this.

My mother used to say, "if you hit me (or, by implication, shoot at me), then you don't love me. And if you don't love me, what in the world am I doing with you?" Okay, I took the long way around to get to this one, but think about it: any woman, Mamaknologist or not, who has value for herself is going to realize that a gun-toting man is probably going to use that gun at some point. And, if he's not in control of his temper and emotions, he's going to use it in the wrong place and at the wrong time. Possibly on you.

I'm pretty sure Ms. Bonds is glad that she realized that this boyfriend was the wrong one... even as she took the Mamaknologist advice and hooked up her hair, thus inadvertantly managing to avoid becoming a victim of domestic violence.

Oh: she drove away, but came back in time to see the boyfriend picked up and taken away by the police. He has been charged with domestic assault and armed criminal action. We can all hope that she will take that as seriously as she takes her weave.

Read the article: Hairweave Stops Bullet

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Mama On: Aging

"Mother Nature is an Indian Giver."

Okay, to begin, I am fairly certain that this quote is not politically correct. But my mother, Knower of all things Mamalogical, was pretty much on target. Think about it: you're born and you are pretty much a blank slate. Given time, you grow into a lovely young person with opinions, a tight body, and the time to use it. When you reach middle age and know what to do with what you've got and how to work with it, Mother Nature starts trying to take it back! As someone (I think it was Mae West) once said, "getting old is not for wimps."

So, what's a Mamaknologist to do?

My mother would tell you to enjoy the process. She would tell you to get the most you could out of your life before Mother Nature began trying to take her gifts back. She would tell you to start with making every day, especially every birthday count. She would say that there is nothing wrong with reinvention. She would say that you should leave your mistakes behind when you climb into bed every night, because every day that you wake up is one more chance to get life right. She would say that God don't like ugly, and neither should you -- don't let stupid and ugly bind your ankles and trip you up.

She would say to be the best that you can be. She would say that looking good and feeling good are yours by right, not privilege -- unless you let someone take them from you. She would say that you should never stop learning; that once you've learned something, it can never be taken from you. She would say that everything good to you is not good for you -- and that goes for everything from cake and alcohol, to sex and men. She would say that you should extend the same courtesies to yourself that you extend to others, because if you're not good to yourself, you will never be good for anyone else.

Today would have been my mother's 81st birthday, and she would tell you that your birthday is your own personal holiday. She would tell you to celebrate your aging with grace and to mark your life with beauty. And when you get to the end, she would tell you to know God and to be glad that Jesus believed in crosses.

Yes, my mother was The Knower Of Many Things, and not at all shy about sharing them.

Happy Birthday, Mom.