Category Archives: Politics

(Black First) Ladies First

I’ve been reflecting, this week, on black first ladies.  FLOTUS Michelle Obama seems like an anomaly but black first ladies are commonplace in black communities.  While Obama is the first black lady of the White House there have always been black first ladies of black churches.  The wives of preachers, these big hat wearing, first pew sitting, handkerchief holding, Bible toting holy women of God are heralded for their relationship to powerful men.  The prefix attached to their name is “Lady” or “First Lady,” instead of Mrs., and many a single woman believer vies for the coveted role of being …Read more »

Reproductive Injustice and the ‘War on Women’ or, An Ode to the Intersections

These days, it’s hard to read something in regards to feminist activism without hearing the phrase “war on women.” Despite important and sharp critiques regarding the limitations of the phrase, it continues to hold cache as a means to characterize the depth and fortitude of the conservative legislative attack on women’s reproductive rights. This attack, as characterized by many organizations that fight for access to reproductive rights, includes a full out state-based legislative strategy to restrict access to abortion via attacks on Medicaid coverage, earlier bans, mandatory ultrasounds, forced waiting periods, “fetal pain” bills, impossible physician and hospital requirements, mandatory parental …Read more »

this is how we do it: the crunk feminist summer mixtape series

Josephine Baker famously fled the U.S. for the reprieve from racism post World War I France provided. She called France her home for the rest of her life but continued to perform stateside. She also protested. She addressed the masses at the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and juxtaposed the measure of dignity she enjoyed abroad with the degradation she was subject to as a black woman in the United States. Segregation enraged her. “And when I get mad,” she explained, “you know that I open my big mouth. And then look out, ‘cause when Josephine opens …Read more »

A Theory of Violence: In Honor of Kasandra, CeCe, Victoria, Savita and Anonymous

**trigger warning** A few weeks ago, a young Indian woman went to the movies. On her way home she took a bus on which she was raped and brutally assaulted by six men. We don’t know the name of this 23-year-old student.  We do know that  she was tortured so badly that she lost her intestines and needed numerous operations. Six people – including the bus driver – have been arrested. On Friday, December 28 she died. I don’t know her name. I don’t have an adequate response, but I feel I should say something. Because I was born in …Read more »

After the Love Has Gone: Some Thoughts on Radical Community After the Election

If you’re like me you’re probably geeked that the election is finally over.  I mean, now I can turn all of my attention back to Parks and Recreation, Scandal, and the Real Housewives of Atlanta. Finally! But, seriously. I’m glad the election and the election coverage is over. Sure, I love a giddy Rachel Maddow gushing on MSNBC. Sure, I like the idea of chastened, sullen, defensive conservatives whining and licking their wounds, embarrassing themselves by saying increasingly stupid, pitiful, and asinine things, while all the while revealing to anyone with good sense that their ideology and policies are out …Read more »

Beat to Quarters*: An argument to register

Guest Post by Pat Hussain The 2012 elections will culminate with President Obama being reelected or replaced as President.  Some people have decided to vote in this election; others not to vote.  Whatever your decision I urge everyone who is eligible to register to vote by the October 9th deadline. Every citizenship right we have has come after a protracted struggle: Pressure created by direct action and mass movement organizing provided the momentum for a successful vote in the halls of Congress, state legislatures, or polling places across the country. Not registering to vote feels like speaking passionately on the …Read more »

Shade, Smirks, & Zingers

I’m too through. I should have watched some old episodes of Parks & Recreation rather than trying to watch this hot mess of a debate. To quote my fellow CF, watching this debate was like watching Jim Lehrer try to herd cats. Bless his heart; he needs to go have several seats and throw in the towel on being a moderator. Also, maybe it was a mistake to watch the debate with my mama. She basically yelled at Gov. Mittens for 90 minutes. In any event, what follows are my thoughts jotted down during and right after the debate. My …Read more »

Throwback Thursday: In the Meantime–Some Thoughts on Voting

I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be a progressive in a political world that mostly recognizes the binary of Republican and Democrat. Now that the Democratic National Convention is in full swing–especially after rousing speeches by First Lady Michelle Obama and former president Bill Clinton–the questions concerning the role of those of us on the far left in mainstream politics seem more pressing than ever. So, for this Throwback Thursday, I wanted to revisit a post I wrote in 2010 about voting.  What is your take on those with radical politics voting in our decidedly imperfect …Read more »

The Wait of the Nation II: Parent Companies, the “Bain” of our Existence!

On May 24th I posted the blog “The Wait of the Nation” in response to the four-part HBO documentary “The Weight of the Nation,” and I specifically focused on part three “Children in Crisis.”  My major concern is both the blaming of individual parents as the primary problem and the marketing of obesity clinics as a primary solution.  For the record, I do not believe parents have no role in children’s health and that health care clinics are not important,  however, I am extremely bothered by the trend of conflating weight-loss, previously considered part of the beauty and cosmetics industry, …Read more »

Interrupted Attachments: On Rights, Equality and Blackness

Remaining attached to certain ideals even when – and sometimes, most especially after – privileges that accrue to such concepts have been pointed out and problematized, should force us to ask some serious questions about the relation of citizenship and subjectivity, the relation of citizenship as subjectivity, to ongoing processes of exclusion and violence. The questions would be something like: Who am I? Who do I want to be? Attachments to certain concepts rehearse, reiterate and revise – through an uninterrogated longing and desire to be an individual, a self-determined thing that seeks the power of the state for validation …Read more »

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