Juneteenth, June 19th, is one of my favorite occasions. I look forward to it every year. I keep thinking, maybe next year, Google or Yahoo! will have a special design for their logo to spotlight Juneteenth… One day…

For anyone oblivious to the occasion, it marks the most recognized end to slavery. The story goes thus:

The Emancipation Proclamation (Lincoln) was a law abolishing slavery and freeing ALL slaves in ALL of the United States. It was issued on September 22, 1862, and was supposed to be effective as of January 1, 1863. However, that news (and enforcement) didn’t quite make it to the poor slaves in Galveston, Texas (and other Eastern Texan localities) until June 19, 1865. Yeah… a whole flippin’ 2 and a half years after the law was active. (Those law-breaking, self-righteous, Eastern Texan slave-holders really burn me up!!!) On that day, as the story goes, Union General Granger and troops arrived in Galveston not only to enforce the emancipation of the slaves (I bet they didn’t get 2.5 years of back pay… I know!!… efforts should be dedicated to getting their back pay to their ancestors!! I think there’s a word for that…..) but to also take over possession of Texas. Juneteenth started being celebrated in Galveston the VERY NEXT YEAR. Strawberry pop anyone…….?

It’s interesting that recently the Senate apologized for the first time to United State’s African-American descendants for the atrocities of slavery. (They really need to apologize to Africa for the atrocities of the American Slave trade… what? You think pilfering millions of Africa’s strongest men and women didn’t adversely effect their lives for centuries?) Among the apologizers where Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa and Sen. Brownback of Kansas.

Oh well, it just a twisted ritual of America. The apology means little to me (it does little except assuage some people’s guilt, and give others ammunition to rationalize deplorable points of view), but I know it means something to some people, and for that, I smile at it.

!!!!!!!!!!HAPPY JUNETEENTH 2009!!!!!!!!!
RBG UP!
UHURU
HOTEP!!!
PEACE

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I really feel for mothers and fathers like Madeline Primoff, Darlene Ong [1], or even mai Mom and Dad who have felt the need to put an underage child out the car to walk home for misbehavior. I feel for mothers like Primoff who have been JAILED for such action.

First and foremost, DONT MAKE EMPTY THREATS. Do what you say you are going to do, or don’t say it. This is the only way threats like “Don’t make me pull this car over” are ever actually going to be effective. If you’ve set a history with other things that you do what you say.

This issue has come to light in the news recently because Primoff and her mother were in the car when they put out her 10 and 12 year old daughters for ‘acting out’. The mother was trying to teach the girls that if they behave badly, then they will have to suffer in a way that they wont like. Primoff (or her lawyer rather) said that she and her mother dropped the girls off on the street, drove around the block, and when they came back to retrieve them, the older girl was there, but the 10 year old was missing! Apparently, a passerby took the 10 yr old for ice cream and then dropped her off with a police officer. (Thank you passerby for not being a crazy person. I hope Primoff is thanking God for that.) Primoff called to report her daughter missing and when she arrived at the precinct to pick her up, Primoff was arrested and jailed overnight for abandoning the child.

Ok, wow this is ‘Get your ass out the car’ gone WRONG, terribly, terribly wrong. Could I ever image making my child walk home for bad behavior? HELL YEAH! Would I ever make mai child think that I was going to leave them somewhere they didn’t know and where they couldn’t get home from… NO! Inducing abandonment issues shouldn’t be the goal Mom. ABC News didn’t make it clear as to if the girls were dropped off at a place they knew and could possibly get home from.

Factors have to be taken in to consideration to effectively enact ‘Get your ass out the car’. (This tactic was supported by the ‘expert’ on ABC News though she said you should drive alongside the child as they walked.) If you think there’s a possibility you would enact this sort of disciplinary action on your child, why wouldn’t you have a premeditated game plan?

Factor Q: Number of offending children? There is strength in numbers. I’d be more likely to drop off 4 children than 2.

Factor X: Will the children stay with each other if I drop them off? ‘Get your ass out the car and you better not come home without your baby sister or this will seem like a walk in the park!” Obviously Primoff didn’t think that one thru. I can’t believe her 12 year old let the 10 year old go off on her own. I know families, where even if you are fighting, the parents have set up a system whereas the older siblings know they are responsible for the younger ones. I mean lets keep in mind, 12 is babysitting age!

Factor Y: What’s the weather like? What time of day is it? Are the children dressed appropriately?

Factor Z: Do the kids know the area? Do you as a parent know the area? How long will it take them to get home or to their destination? In mai childhood neighborhood I could ride mai bike to the park that was 15min away. I could’ve walked from there if I was interested in exercising. So dropping a 12 yr old there in daylight to walk home could be totally appropriate behavior. Also, I grew up in a rural country community, I wouldn’t drop a kid off on Skid Row in LA even if it was a short 45min walk to mai front door.

I think making children walk home can be a useful tool if it’s not used in the heat of the moment. That’s where this situation went wrong. If Primoff would have thought out the situation she probably wouldn’t be in such hot water. I dont disagree with the practice totally, but I do think the way Primoff went about it was irresponsible. I mean, a passerby picked her child up! Thank God the ice cream wasn’t drugged and she was delivered to an officer… but it could have just as easily gone another way. ‘Get your ass out the car and walk home’ can only be enacted when the risks have been calculated and its used as a teaching and discipline method not as an unthought about whim the parent goes on. Each situation is different, so assess your situation before you enact this, but there IS a place for it. If they piss you off 25 miles from home, wait till you are 4 miles from home, and make em walk if the factors line up. ‘That’s right Billy, you’re ass was made for walkin’, so that just what your bad ass is gonna do. I love you, see you when you get home’

1. ABC News

Yikes, touchy subject right? This issue is on the minds of millions. But this is essentially the response that Miss America first runner-up California’s Carrie Prejean gave last night on the Miss America Pageant contest. Infamous online celebrity gossiper, and totally gay dude Perez Hilton asked Prejean the tough question. (I felt sorry for the girl when she got it. I mean Miss Arizona had to answer a question about how she got her childhood nickname- lame.) Hilton was obviously not excited by her answer. Though it was neck in neck all night between the top two, Miss North Carolina’s Kristen Dalton (gorgeous blue gown btw) won the title. So did that question cause the title for California? And would that be ‘just’?

Its funny that Prejean is from California because I tend to think of Cali as a liberal, (somewhat hedonistic), live and let live, anything goes sort of atmosphere, though of course you get all types everywhere… (I mean I don’t think fiery Miss Utah was Mormon but I don’t know…)

There is never going to be a time where everyone in the country supports marriage equality. There’s never going to be a time where we all agree on everything. Keeping that in mind, should Perez Hilton ‘hold that against’ Prejean? Can a Miss America who doesn’t support marriage equality accurately represent this increasingly diverse nation?

I too was brought up with a religious background that doesn’t support gay lifestyle. That shouldn’t be a big surprise, I dont think most people are. However, I was also brought up not to pass judgement on people. You can still like people and recognize that people are good people without agreeing with everything they do, basically. I also happen to be pretty liberal. And I think that politics and laws are not currently governed by religious morals (beautiful wicked world)…. so therefore, its not just (by law/politics/etc) to have unequal marriage rights, en mon avis…

I say all that to say, thought I dont agree with Prejean ‘per se’ it had to be pretty difficult for her to answer Hilton as she did. And there’s a lot to be said for standing your ground. I’m proud of that in her, and I’d like to be proud of Miss America.

Spoil Pets, Not People

January 15, 2009

Pet owners are fed up with the unwarranted criticism of pampering their pets. Why do so many individuals want to hate on good, hardworking, and honest pet owners? The answer is simple. They’re suffering from “my pet received more love from my parents” syndrome. Individuals who suffer from this debilitating disease unfairly treat many pets.

This brings me to my argument. Do I, or do I not have a pampered pet? I have the most wonderful pet in the world. Sure, I think he is very intelligent. As a matter of fact, more intelligent than those who hate on him because he may be just a little more intelligent than they are. At least that’s what I think. Heathcliff, that’s the name of my cat, knows he has to earn his privileged status in our household. Did I just say privileged? He must be loyal, frugal (that means not eating all his food at one setting) and last but not least, be a fierce protector of the house. Cats can do that you know.

Heathcliff is rewarded for accomplishing my expectations by getting his favorite prize, a two or three night stay at Pet Suites. This establishment is one of two luxury pet hotels in the United States. I make sure that Heathcliff has the suite next to the fish tank to keep him amused during his stay. Sometimes, he is treated to a ride around the block in the car. Heathcliff gets very excited when I put a few french fries on top of his tuna once a week. I also make sure that he has his gourmet pet food , Science Diet during his stay. I am teaching Heathcliff to be a “green” conscious feline. I do this by giving him bottled water from environmental friendly plastic bottles. How does a cat know this? It’s the only water he will drink! Sometimes, I dress him in his finest hand made clothes or scarves and let him wear his fancy collar studded with rhinestone bling on special occasions. The best reward that Heathcliff has shown partiality to is his rabbit fur lined bed. The last thing that I do for Heathcliff is to arrange play dates with some of my friends who have cats so he can stay cultured. For a long time, Heathcliff had his own MySpace web page, but he decided to give that up. He just did not want to be that accessible! He’s so posh that he needs his space.

This brings me back to that infamous question at the beginning of this essay. Do I have a pampered pet? Why do so many individuals want to hate on good, hardworking, and honest pet owners? Sure he eats special food and drinks special water and goes to a prestigious pet hotel, sleeps on a rabbit fur lined bed, and eats french fries. Let me know, and you be the judge.