Thursday, September 30, 2010

5 Reasons to Date a Black Man

I was a little conflicted about writing this, because people often assume that when you proclaim your love for one thing, you are simultaneously stating your hate or dislike for another. But, the article written by Lashaun Williams forced it out of me. She wrote an article entitled. "8 Reasons to Date A White Man." I don't disagree with the premise; I am open to more than just my own ethnicity/racial background. But the "reasons" she listed are an explicit summation of gross, hyperbolic, and racist generalizations about a rather large demographic.

Here's a brief overview of why Ms. Lashaun Williams believes Black Women should date White Men (direct quotes!):

  • 1. Gay White men are more forthcoming about their homosexuality. (Translation: More Black men hide their sexuality than White men.)
  • 2. Black men have backwards expectations when it comes to romantic relationships, and are looking for someone to take care of them. White men come from "stronger family structures."
  • 3. In White culture, education is valued and expected, while Black men continue to drop out.
  • 4. White men at least attempt marriage before making babies; "White men don't have children sprinkled around the world like Black men."
  • 5. "White men have a firmer grasp on what really defines manhood.They are smart enough not to act out rap music."
  • 6. Black men are always trying to shine, spend more money than they have. White men make better decisions when it comes to managing money.
  • 7. White men have no problem turning a ho into a housewife. They have the ability to look beyond our past.
  • 8. White men don't take everything as a challenge to their masculinity. As a result of their insecurities and low self-esteem, Black men are intimidated by the strength of an educated and ambitious Black woman.

Whew. Is your blood pressure up? Mine is! But despite what Mrs. Williams thinks, I was raised to fight ignorance with eloquence and a touch of wit.

So here we are...
5 Reasons A Sister Should Date A Black Man.
(Or at least not be opposed to the idea)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Please Stand on the Right (And other Public Transit Etiquette)

As the capital of the United States and home to over 60 museums, dozens of monuments, and 954,327 skinny jeans, Washington DC is a tourist town. And I'm fine with that. I like discovering cool things in the city too. However, tourists are a huge proponent of my Angry Woman Syndrome that usually comes into effect when I ride Metro. Here are a few guidelines for tourists and DC residents who just don't know any better.

1) STAND ON THE RIGHT. And walk on the left. (During rush hour, please jog on the left). I know... the view of DC from inside the metro is spell-binding (blatant sarcasm), and you just want to leisurely take it all in, but... the rest of us have a job! We scheduled just enough time to stop for fruit and a bagel, grab an Express newspaper, and slide into a seat headed towards Metro Center. So for you to stand directly in front of me on the escalator, and take a photograph of my train as it flies past (THANKS, I JUST MISSED MY RIDE TO WORK), drives me wild. I can't deal. Do all your dawdling, amateur photography, and mock awe on the right side of the escalator.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Freedom of Speech for All (Except the Gays!)

What is Don't Ask, Don't Tell?The full name is "Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Harrass, Don't Pursue." It is commonly referred to as "DADT" and is a policy barring openly gay, lesbian, and bisexual people from serving in the military. You can be a closeted homosexual, but you can't "demonstrate(s) a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts." Yes, we are still talking about the United States. I promise!

Don't Ask: The military will not ask you if you're straight or gay. This is the only part of the law that makes sense. Someone's sexuality is no one's business but their own and their partner's.
Don't Tell: You most certainly will not tell them. You will not chat with your bunkmates about your partner, although they are more than welcome to chat about their husbands/wives/boyfriends/girlfriends/lovers. You will not even mention intent to engage in homosexual acts.
Don't Harass
: This part of the law was enacted after Barry Winchell was killed because his fellow service members thought he was gay, and after Winchell sufficiently beat the brakes out of one of them for harassing him, Calvin Glover attacked and killed Winchell in his sleep with a baseball bat. Some people may say, "Seee! This is what happens when people in the military are gay!" Nooooo, this is what happens when the ridiculous DADT law creates a Salem Witch Trials type atmosphere for people seeking to find out who's gay and who's not. For the record, Barry Winchell never said he was gay, it was just a rumor, and he was infuriated by the accusations. But who wouldn't be? If the accusation had been made to the appropriate person, Winchell would have been discharged. #epicdontaskdonttellfail
Don't Pursue: This part establishes what is minimally required for an investigation to be initiated. The Army and other branches even provide a training guide on how to report homosexuals and what qualifies as credible information. In other words, they say, "Hey just because someone has a light pink polo
doesn't mean they're gay, but... if a lady says, "Me and my girlfriend are in a flag football league," then report her!

In short...
You are more than welcome to be gay and serve. Just keep it a secret. You are more than welcome to defend my heterosexual right to the freedom of speech, but you may not practice it yourself, when discussing your love life. (This sounds familiar huh? Like when Blacks were fighting for freedom for others in previous World Wars, but had no freedom here in the States, and were liable to be lynched if they looked at a white woman for too long.)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Why DC is Cooler Than Your Town

As the child of two parents in the Army, I've lived in several states and overseas. I went to high school in the booming metropolis of Boiling Springs, a suburb of Spartanburg, South Carolina. (Sidenote - we were just in the news!) I went to college in DC, spent over a year in Los Angeles, a summer in Chicago, a summer in Philadelphia, and visited a lot of major cities in the U.S. (Minneapolis is extremely underrated by the way.)

I think it's safe for me to say that I know a little bit about places in DC and outside of DC. I've come to the conclusion that aside from Los Angeles, Washington, DC might be the coolest place ever. And the only reason LA trumps DC is because LA is not susceptible to things like Snowpocalypse and Nike boots.

Why does DC rock? So glad you asked.

1) The diversity of the nightlife here. On any given night, yes, including Monday - Marvin Mondays!, you can find live music, spoken word, an open club, several bars, 24 hour diners, great food, and a stimulating conversation. The South has great sweet tea, but so does Eatonville on U Street and Horace and Dickies in NE.

2) It is the cheapest place to go on a great date. And when I say cheap, I mean FREE. Especially in the summer. Between Screen on the Green, (free movies on the National Mall, Jazz in the Gardens, countless exhibits in the many Smithsonian museums (there is not one Smithsonian, tourists, the Smithsonian is an Empire of Museums), cute coffeehouses and cafes in every other corner, the monuments, and parks galore just begging you to lay out a blanket and whisper David Banner and Ying Yang Twin tracks into a lady's ear, DC is the winner for free things to do.

3) It's a college town. And who doesn't love a college town? They bring a certain vitality to any city and ensure that there are always drink specials, impressionable men and women with the desire to change the world, and a free "intern" to make copies at your office. Just kidding.... (I love you Sarah! Just leave them on my desk, I'm at lunch.) The colleges include American, Catholic, Georgetown, George Washington (with an Ivy League price tag for reasons I don't understand), Howard, Gallaudet, and the University of the District of Columbia. There's also a few others just outside the District like the University of Maryland and George Mason.

4) Barry and 'Chelle's live here. Excuse me, the President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle live here. I can call them Barry and 'Chelles 'cause we're neighbors.

5) Driving is a luxury you don't need. Public transit here is great! Even though the trains aren't 24 hours, many of the buses are 24 hours, and plus... I'm glad they shut down the train system to clean it. It's pretty safe - even the cursed Red Line- and it goes almost anywhere you need to go. Everyone rides the trains from engineers to lawyers to students.

6) It's a big small city. Similarly to LA, DC is made up of a lot of smaller neighborhoods. Eastern Market, the U Street Corridor, Dupont Circle, H St Corridor, Chinatown, Capitol Hill, the Waterfront, Columbia Heights, Adams Morgan, Georgetown, etc..... The difference is you could walk from one neighborhood to another without catching a charley horse. DC is pretty small, geographically speaking, which makes it convenient when meeting up with friends. (Try telling someone in Pasadena to meet you in Santa Monica... they'll look you at like you're crazy).

6b) Everyone knows everybody. Or, everyone knows someone who knows someone. I doubt that there are more than 3 degrees of separation between most folks in DC, outside of the hermits and members of the Secret Service who aren't allowed to make friends. This is goo, if you like to network but bad if you're promiscuous. You will get caught.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I'm Liberal Because Jesus Said So

A few weeks ago, a person dear to me suggested that I write about being a liberal and being a Christian. I thought it was a great idea, but I didn't know where to start, and because it's something important to me, (my faith and my political beliefs), I wanted to do it right. So I waited for the right moment.

Interestingly enough, the inspiration came over the past couple days. Before I share my story, I'd like to say something extremely important:

No political party, entity, or leaning has the exclusive rights to a specific religion. More specifically, the "Religious Right" or supposed "Moral Majority" does not even come close to representing all Christians. In many ways, I believe it operates in direct contradiction to what the Bible calls us to do. More on that later, right now... back to my anecdote: