Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Influencing the Masses



Sometimes I wonder, how did the Europeans in the time of the Renaissance period effect so much and such great changes?

Was Ghandhi influential to the masses? Was he effective?

How did Toussaint L'Overture get so many slaves to effect a revolt?

How does person "x" become popular? What creates popularity. All these people effected the masses before mass media was around. Interesting.

(this post is under construction, but please input anyway!)

Inspired!

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I hope to blog more about situations in the BC, but instead of just analysing things, I really want to come up with possible solutions. I don't expect it to be followed, but for the sake of my own intellectual playfulness, I want to muse on that.

I think that way, it will make things easier to blog. This was inspired by the BWV Podcast with Cynthia Mckinney!

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One Possible Solution:

Very often the BC suffers things that -if you really look carefully- other groups are suffering from too. I think it behooves us to run our own research, surveys, and studies even at an amature level if needs be, to gather our own first hand data. And to form a separate branch of coalition to team up with the most prominent other group that's struggling with the same thing. Note: I said a separate coalition. There should always be the "mother group" that is strictly for the benefit of BW & their children.


My question to my own possible solution: Does this method work for all problems, or is it best used on certain issues such as legal, media, etc???

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Life in Israel (2)

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Homeless and speechless. That was me pretty much. The seminary I had supposedly enrolled in was saying I was not enrolled. I had a list of names people gave me as contact, but that was for meals and visits; I wasn't sure if I could actually ask them for shelter.

I felt anger and a raging need to get revenge on the Rosh Yeshiva. I called the Rosh Yeshiva back and gave him a piece of my mind. Much to my surprise, he wasn't a kitty cat and gave back as much as he was getting. It turned into a shouting match and ended with a hang up.

After that, I had adrenaline pumping throughout my body. Survival mode was kicking in. I felt a bit lucky to be American and black. I figured I could move in and out of whatever circle I would need to whether it was Muslim, Christian, or Jewish. This might be useful at least until I got to the airport to change my ticket and head back to my already rented out apartment in Chicago. As I sat on my suitcase figuring all this out, a van swung by to drop off a bunch of seminary girls. As they waved good bye to the driver, they saw me. We checked each other out. I was dressed as a typical religious Jew. The nice shoes, tights, long skirt, collared shirt. Some of the girls were also dressed like that. Some not. One in particular wasn't. She had a t-shirt, jeans and gym shoes. And she lit up a cigarette and came to talk to me.

O boy.

"Hi" She began, "Are you okay? Do you need help?"

Her voice had such concern, I was taken aback. The look didn't match the character.

I explained my situation and the girls all tried to help. They flagged back the driver of the van, who turn out to be this well to do American Jewess. They told me about a youth hostel I could go to and even offered to take me there.

It was pretty nice of them! The jean girl hoisted my suitcase into the van and off we went into the night. At last, a nice experience! We all crunched up into the van.

We got to the Old City. The place where the Holy Temple once stood. It was breath taking! The whole Old City was made of white Jerusalem stone -the floor, the walls, everything. Nobody knew exactly where the youth hostel was, so they flagged a soldier and asked if he could take me to it. He agreed.

I thanked everyone and went with the soldier. He was a young guy, in his twenties about. He seemed very nonchalant despite his big massive gun perched over his shoulders. I walked along side him dragging my suitcase.

He offered me some ice cream but I declined. I was too busy noticing a young Arab boy shooting darts with his looks at the soldier. Such a look of hate!!

Living in Chicago, near Devon Ave. there was a healthy diversity of people there. Pakistani lived along side of Indians who lived along side of Jews. The only racist crimes that I heard of was usually from white supremist groups. I had heard in the news about Palestinians vs Israelis, but my only interest was in Torah. I didn't want to get involved in politics. However, walking along side this young soldier and witnessing with my own eyes the venom coming from the Palestinian child, I realized how serious things really were. My heart pounded faster; my lungs just couldn't get enough air.

By the time we got to the hostel, I wanted to claw at the door to get in.

That is how I spent the first week in Israel. While in the Old City, I did notice something very interesting. Many of the Israeli soldiers were young folks. They joked around and were so sweet. I also saw elderly Palestinians with their head wear and stick walking down the street or Arab men playing a game of dominoes (?). Jewish children running to school. And at various times I would either hear the Church bells marking the hour, the Muslim loudspeaker calling their devotees to prayer, or the Jewish mother calling after her child ("Moishyyyyyy").

Everyone lived so closely together! It was like all the smells of all their food was blending. I wished so much for peace. And I was so anger by those who perpetuated strife from both sides. Too many emotions were rendered from me in so short a period. But, it was quite a stay, to be in the Old City. Like having an apartment right next to heaven. I was slightly saddened when the seminary got my papers together and allowed me entrance. Saying good bye to the Old City was hard.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Life in Israel (1)

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I just finished braiding my hair in rows. Its about three /four inches and takes me about an hour to do. As the kids are running amok in the house, I'm glad to finish braiding my hair so I can clean up after them.

But of course, I come here instead. LOL!

I'm just reflecting on living in Israel after an email I got. What's life like for an African American Jewess in Israel?

I'm pretty sure what detached me from Christianity. Sexual abuse. Try as I might, I am having a really hard time finding spiritual effects of child molestation from any books. But I know inside of me what it can do. It can rip apart the very foundational learning that one has while a child. Those things you learn since two or three years old, those things that are ingrained in your bones; all that gets uprooted. Like a totally new creation, I could choose what I want from my life and how I wanted to be.

I don't think many people who didn't go through such great traumas can uproot something that a generation, unbeknownst to the individual, decided to ingrain in them. But ONLY for that, I am grateful and appreciate the silver lining in the cloud. Sometimes I amaze my own self that I can find the single good within bad.

At any rate, what brought me to Judaism is more complex. I was looking for God, for truth, for life. I did consider a convent, but there was the belief that was a problem. Suffice it to say, this is my plate.

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Well, making the decision to move to Israel was not an easy one. For one thing I had a fear of airplanes. Really it was a fear of trusting man so much that I'll sit on his however many gallons of fuel and fire and allow him to take me anywhere! Also, I did not know much about the Israeli culture. I understood Jewish American culture but Middle east?! Plus I hardly new anyone there.

Nevertheless, I wanted to move away. I didn't want to always be the "new girl who just learned about x" I wanted to be in a place where I was established as my own person. That I could pick up a prayer book and know what to do with it, rather than have the "caring" individual feel they ought to show me where the congregation is holding. I wanted a new fresh start as an established Jewess.

So there I was, landed in Israel. I didn't even know what to expect. Perhaps bombings and everyone running for safety. Perhaps those anchor men who continuously report the 'worst news they could find about Israel waiting to interview me as I got off the plane. I don't know. But it was pretty okay. No fanfare. I took a van /service bus that would take me from Tel Aviv airport to Jerusalem, to the seminary I planned to stay at.

So far so good. It was interesting to note, nobody treated me strangely because I was African American. In America, I was always faced with the identity question "you think you white?" from the black community and "Are you Jewish?" "Did you convert?" from a few in the Jewish community and on and on and on went the forever request to prove one's identity. Here, I usually get, "are you religious or not?" I thought that was a nice step forward.

I got to the school and set my suitcases down by the office. "Hi. I'm Miriam .... I registered here."

"I'm sorry ma'am. We have no record of your papers."

"What do you mean no record?! I sent them. I don't have another place to go, I came all the way from America!"

"I'm sorry ma'am. I can not let you in without the proper papers."


Try as I might, she wasn't budging. She allowed me to call the Principle (called Rosh Yeshiva) for special admittance, but even he was not budging.

I was essentially homeless in a new strange land with a new strange language!!!

Welcome to Israel...

Sean Bell & Holy Boldness

Hi all.

By now, I am sure everyone learned about what happened at the Sean Bell case. May he rest in peace.

Two interesting thoughts that I wanted to share with you. One a story; another a teaching.

Story:

God decided to make man. He called four of his ministering angels together. Truth! "here I am, O Lord". Peace! "Always at your service!" declared Peace. Kindness! "Yes, O Holy One!" Charity. "Here!" stood Charity.

"Well, well well. I have decided to create Man. What do you think of that?" Questioned God.

Kindess and Charity were all for it! "Do it!" they cried, "He will do much kindness and acts of charity!"

Peace and Truth were against it!

Truth snorted, "He will be full of lies!"

Peace declared, "he will be full of strife! Don't even bother."

In response to it all, God took Truth and threw him down into the earth. Then proceeded to create Man.

What does this story come to tell us? First of all, they were all correct. Man does much kindness and acts of charity. Furthermore, he can be full of lies! And full of strife!

But why did God have to fling Truth down? Why not Peace also?

According to Breslov teachings, the "strife" that Peace was complaining about is from the lack of Truthfulness that Man had. Each man thinks their own conclusion is correct. But that does not bring about peace. It only causes that each one fights for what they believe and no peace comes out of it. Just forever strife. If, however, man could be made to understand that what they believe and hold so dear could be perhaps their personal truth and not The Ultimate Truth, thus not kill over it, but rather attempt to see things from another's point of view to the effect of finding a compromise --peace would reign!

Thus there was no use to send peace down. Only Truth had to be given, so to speak, to man.

But still we haven't got it yet.

The NYPD has its personal truth. They know that they like to play with their guns -maybe like in the western movies they grew up on??? They also know that a black man's life is worthless to them. They put those truths together and we get the Sean Bell incident.

What they HOPE will happen is that the BC will shake their heads, do a protest, shake their heads again and that's that. Peace!

This would work IF the BC's truth is: they are hopeless and helpless. There is no way to fight "the system".

Another teaching I learned was this:

The arrogant can never come to godliness. However, those lacking in holy boldness will also not achieve it!

What is holy boldness? And why is it that anyone folks want to portray as goodly has to be small, weak-ish, scrawny, lowly, and lamb-y? Can there be no fierceness in goodness? Was Abraham "small" when he chose to go and fight to retrieve his nephew Lot? Was Moses being 'scrawny' when he stood before the super power of his time, Egypt, and requested the freedom of his people? Was Devorah lamby when she chose to go out to battle with Barak against Cicero? Was Gideon (aka the "burnt barley" in the enemy's dream) lowly when he gathered his men to fight? (Don't get me wrong, one OUGHT to be lamb-like and meek when standing before God -which is always. But when dealing with the injustice of man, one should "set their face like flint!" I should heed my own advice, eh?)

Sometimes fierceness is needed. A bit of holy boldness to say NO! this is NOT JUST! And to make no Peace out of (false) truths.

I pray that we can gather ourselves and group up and strategize well enough to counter the personal truth of the NYPD. By not allowing that peace should reign from this. By showing that this brings conflict and not peace, they will have to realize that what they have is not the Ultimate Truth, but one of those lies that Truth was weary about.

Ultimate Truth is that LIFE MATTERS. To gun down a 23 year old, unarmed man -no matter what his color -is WRONG WRONG WRONG!!!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Blowing the Trumpet!

Whenever I find interesting blogs, I like to point it out and tell everyone about it.

Well, that time has come again. BLACK WOMEN, BLOW THE TRUMPET! is a deep deeeep blog! Extremely insightful, thought provoking, and a good read for BW.

Please check it out. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Eating All Your Food???

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A funny thing happened to me the other day. I always wondered about the concept of "eat all your food". Such a concept was never promoted in my house growing up. However, I heard about it so many times by others and by the media.

Well, a few days ago, as I was throwing out all my cookies and other leavened substance in preparation for Passover, it just occurred to me: perhaps there's a spirit there that hoped I'd make a blessing over it and eat it (to elevate it).

Let me explain. Judaism has a belief somewhat like that of Native American in that we believe that everything has life. A rock. A plant. Everything. When we make a blessing and eat a food, it's elevated. If we don't make a blessing and just eat the food, that lifesource just lost its chance for being elevated into a somewhat higher realm than its in now.

Anyway, so there I was staring down at my garbage can at all the food I just threw out. Only then did I finally have that "eat all your food!" moment.

The Incredible Orange

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Aside from all the math that I had to use in order to understand alot of the concepts that I've learned over the years, the one very simple tool that I was taught to use the most was the concept of the orange.



An orange has three parts.

The peel. This is the outer part. Hard. Not to be eaten. Can be seen as the orange's "container", but in relation to the fruit can be seen as evil.

The middle part. This part is that white part between the peel and the edible part. That can be eaten or discarded. In other words, it depends what you do with it; in a sense in and of itself it's neutral.

The meat! The fleshy part that is actually eaten.

Quite often, in life, we mistake the peel for the actual meat! Or in search for the meat, we are misled into accepting the peel.

In life, almost everything can fall into the concept of The Orange. For example:
* People (The Peel =wicked, untrue friends who hoover around and attach to you to draw from your God-given goodness. Middle = your attempt at pleasing them. Meat = your goodness)

* Action (The Peel = hurting someone. The Middle = not sure. The Meat = helping someone)

* Emotion (The Peel = mocking, scoffing. The Middle = being light headed. The Meat = Joy)

* Spiritual (The Peel = A demn. The Middle = An Angel (one that just fulfills an order). The Meat = An Angel (one that is created from a good deed that was done))

A Chance to Make a Difference!

WAOD and Black Women Vote! both are showcasing a 1-800 number to call to say how you feel about Proctor & Gamble advertising on BET.

Number: 1-800-331-3774.




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Hair Cuts, The BC, Malcolm X, and Success

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Just as the title indicates, this may be a hodge podge of a post. I am trying to figure out what to do with my son's big fro! All my black friends chide me about putting one of my girl's hair in braids. "You can just do a pony tail with her type of hair." True. But what can I do? My mother raised me. This is what I know to do with hair. lol.

Now, my son who has (according to Andre Walker) type 3A hair. Loose spirals all over his head. Our tradition is to not cut a boy's hair until they turn three years old. Then a whole ceremony is done and everyone comes and clips off a loc of his hair until the barber steps in and makes it a proper boy's hair style.

Why do we do this? Because we are supposed to raise each child "according to his ways". And his ways can be spotted through the hair.

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I am so grateful to all my bloggers, commentors, and live friends whom I have deep conversations with. I learn so much and it reshapes my thinking. Recently, I have been reading about Malcolm X and what kind of a person he was.

He sounded quite militant and very smart. He sounded like he was truly trying to find the truth and betterment for the black community. Okay, I was getting one (violent) picture of him, until at the influence of a commentor at C-1s blog (West Indian Chic), began to look up what happened to him after his trip to Mecca.

After his trip, he professed he was shocked to see Arabs -Muslims with blond hair and blue eyes. But yet, these people treated him so nicely! Like royalty in fact. Providing him with a car, chauffeur, treating him warmly. He even shared plates with the likes of these people. It was an eye opener for him. See here.

From then on he was a changed man. It was no longer about fighting the "White devils" It was no longer about the Yokub myth. It was about fighting greed. (yep, that same monster who's in the Congo and Sudan. Same monster we need to fight eventually some day). He even tried to unit poor white working class and the BC to fight together before his tragic end.

The same realization and change happened in MLK as he then tried to organize laborers unions for a better economic end.

With people getting killed off, when will the message be told loud enough, and when will it be known and take hold in folks' heart?

There's no time to think! People are instead trying their best to succeed. And I can't blame them! Some will take on video vixen jobs for its money, Others are willing to appear on talk shows and air out dirty laundry for a sum. Eveyrone tries to amass wealth, or have quick money making hip hop ideas, etc. No time to deal with these greed for money issues. Especially when greed for money is marketed as "success".

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I read the story of Yitro (Jethro) and Moses. Moses was overwhelmed after giving the commandments to the people. Many had questions. Many needed him to judge their cases. It was ongoing every day new cases, new questions.

Until Yitro stepped in and gave Moses some advice. He said Moses ought to divide the leadership into leaders of ten, leaders of a hundred, leaders of thousands. And each group should have a panel of different types of people.

From Exodus, Chapter 18: Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating unjust gain; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.

Now how did Yitro and Moses decide who were able men, men of truth, etc?

by their hair!

According to one explanation (and there are many) One can tell much about a person by their hair (not to mention the face, lines, hands). Now, I don't find in the sages any distinction made about a person's skin color, but about the hair color I found this according to a source:

Dark, curly haired = people who despise money
Blond hair = men of truth
Red hair, etc, etc etc.

This led me to wonder. All these African Americans with dark, curly hair (despite the perms and weaves, etc) -are they forcing themselves to buy into the American idea of success =lots of money? Can success be defined differently according to our hearts and ways?

(Please note: Someone who despises money; it does not mean that they will refuse work, or refuse higher education, not be interested in money, or anything like that. What that could mean is someone who wants money for its end result -so they can buy that car, get all the CDs they want, -as opposed to saving it and amassing it, but living like a miser or even becoming greedy for money -want more and yet more still. Or they may just have an artistic idea that they want to give to the world. Ideally, money is a tool to take care of one's wife and children and to provide the necessities for a man to live on the righteous, godly path.)

Now, I have yet to test this idea. So I'm putting this out. Do y'all know of dark, curly haired misers? A greedy dark, curly haired individual who doesn't appear influenced by outside cultures? Are they exceptional, or are there plenty enough to make it the norm?

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At any rate, I can already see what kind of hair my son has. But alas, I wait. Tradition. Until then I'll put it in a bun in the back of his head. Now, how to fit a yarmulke /kippa onto the whole business.....?

Monday, April 21, 2008

Funniest Statements I've heard/ learned from Blogs

TOP FIVE FUNNIEST STATEMENTS (TO ME) THAT I FIRST HEARD ON BLOGS:

1. Throw person x under a bus Credits to Gina at WAOD.
2. The "O" man. Credits to the Field Negro.
3. "inkognegro" Oy vey! Credits to a commentor's handle (could be a blogger)
4. F*** nuttery (lol) Credits to Roslyn
5. Some stuff w/cuss words. All credits to Raw Dawg Buffalo. I remember when ppl saying cuss words were so bland. Wow. Now its almost an art, lol.

Did I mention I enjoy laughing?

Friday, April 18, 2008

Passover is Here!



This will probably be my last post until after Passover. Today Hubby is taking the kids, as most people will be out in the park burning their last piece of leavened substance.

Then comes the Sabbath/Shabbat then comes Passover. We are doing it a bit differently this year. This year, we are using our coffee table, to have a low table and we'll sit on a rug with pillows. The tradition is to recline to the left when drinking -a symbol that we are no longer slaves. This way, those who wish to recline can even lean on their elbow (as oppose to reclining in mid-air as I've seen some people do) or on their pillows. We have lots of pillows. Also, if the kids want to, they can fall asleep on the rug as the story of the exodus from Egypt is recounted.

I'll miss you guys. I am sure alot of what's been going on in blog world will be playing in my mind.

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Some interesting blogs I've been reading in the black blogosphere:

For a synopsis of what's going on with China. The Political Season has it.

Afr. Amer. Political Pundit takes a stab at the recent Obama Ambush /conference. Goodness, this election is certainly bring alot of things to the open.

Can you deal with visiting Gorree Island? Grata at Black/African/Woman discusses.

Capital K's house sure makes me want to seriously consider home-schooling.

And one last thing: I just want to praise Siditty for her blog. I simply ENJOY her honesty. When we discuss how upset we are about how some wm or white society as a whole can be, and when we discuss how much we love our husbands, truth radiates. I love it!

This is such a long good bye LOL.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Complacency vs Militancy? Is It Time for Hekhshers?

I am searching for my place in all this. I know now that militancy is not my thing. Also, its too dreary to dwell on how bad someone or a group of people are (for me, anyway). Plus there is always room for error, so I rather judge favorably. But at the same time I don't want to be complacent and let the world go nuts with rampant greed messing people's lives.

Where is the middle ground? How can I live positively and strongly in the positive?

Are the choices only the "field Negro" or the "house Negro"? I don't think so. I think these ideas are nice, but I must -even without an already invented word for it- force my mind to find a different route. What about just being firm, knowledgeable, and assertive?? Firm =knowing what I want; what is good for me. Knowledgeable =understanding where my money is going, what I am ingesting, what could potentially happen. Assertive =insistance on the previous two. Is there a word for that?
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I like the idea of hekhshers. In Judaism, we eat kosher food. To insure that a certain food is kosher, we check the little label for a sign that a rabbi (mashgiakh) had supervised, inspected or did whatever was necessary to make it kosher.

Its those teeny tiny labels you'll find on products such as a "K" in a circle, a "U" in a circle (sometimes with a capital D on the side). With a hekhsher, I know if a product has dairy in it, if it has meat in it, if it has leavening in it, (in Israel, if it was tithed), what company is doing the inspection.

Well, I'm musing and wondering. With all these boycotts BW are wont to do against all the products that are problematic, I wonder if a more pro-active approach would be easier. A hekhsher! A label! Something stating that product x was made w/o the exploitation of [insert your current cause]. It could even be just listed on a webpage not necessarily on the product. Maybe such a thing already exist.

I'm assuming here that there are products that are still made w/o exploitation. Am I wrong? lol. See?! That's the problem with activism for me. Then I begin to see everything with slanted eyes. Everything becomes distrustful. *sigh*

Just musing for fun.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Views Around the Blogosphere

Concerning (but not limited to) Congo and Sudan:

More information on the use of rape in War time, please see Grata's blog.

And a warning not to get too sidetracked by the horrendous details from Congo /Sudan, please see Katie 's blog.

Too Intense!

*whew!* the past few posts have been pretty intense and severe, for my standards. Its hard getting into the nitty gritty of a problem.

But I do want to put out a disclaimer. I was writing about the bad sides of people and how I believe it comes into play in various situations. But before anyone tries to use this blog as validation for hate, here is my disclaimer.

Firstly, I would like to recall a previous post about inner and outer. Briefly, there are two ways of looking at the Heb. Bible, the inner (which corresponds to feminine, understanding, modesty, moon, etc) and the outer (corresponding to masculine, wisdom, sun, etc). You can read more on this Here.

Just as in the case of women, its very hard to find much in the Heb. Bible about them. However, one can find hints and extrapolate things. But on the surface it seems women are cursed, doomed, dumb. I mean, didn't they just ruin it all for all mankind?

Working on the premise that God is truly loving and if there is something that shows otherwise, its my own misunderstanding of His ways, His words or some guy did some doctoring up (lol).

Working on that premise, it seems odd to me that a group, the Edomites can be so bad without redeemable values!

Please remember that in the previous posts, the focus was on those who allowed their greed to take over. However, once God-fear is in place, ego is in check, humanity is important, they and anyone else have good and wonderful values to share to the world.

Certain wrongs are regarded pretty severely. Some even claim that there is no salvation after that. But hearing these harsh words or thinking these thoughts of possibly no redemption BUT repenting anyway is exactly the repentance that is needed for such a wrong.

At times I suspect that this is the case for Edom as well. Reading all these supposed horrid, prophetic words as written in Ovadia /Obadiah and thinking "can I be that bad?!" but ending their greed, egotistic (or whatever wrong that is leading them down a bad path) ways, and helping humanity instead is precisely the remedy for that way of thinking.

Finished with that topic. I think I'm going to reserve these topics for the activitsts blog comments. I really want this blog to be a place of relaxation and rejuvenation. I don't want that we forget the problems that we are facing. This is not closure. As the PSA goes out, I will also do my part both on blogosphere and in my personal life. However, to read these intense struggles you can turn to the BWV channel, the WAOD channel, or many others like it.

Monday, April 14, 2008

My Thoughts on Solutions

From what I see, it seems like a two prong battle.

Unfortunately, because the way I see things is slightly different from "world views" I may not use the usual wording, the same jargon, thus my message may not come through properly. But I am hoping that by arguing out, discussing, rephrasing what I said, some light can be shed somewhere -for the good. Or perhaps y'all can correct me!

Anyway, I see two frontiers that needs to be dealt with.

(1) FORTIFICATION
(2) RETALIATION

FORTIFICATION. As the greedy folks get richer, as usual, they get more lazy. Not stupider, just lazier. I suspect that now, instead of doing the hard work of dehumanizing peoples, nations; instead of propogating their false message of negative imagery, and sometimes instead of actually crusading around and killing, they have resorted to capitalizing on our OWN evil inclination.

They use our own people to do their dirty work! They use the people of the nation, the natives to do their dirty work.

I once argued with my husband about these greedy folks (for the sake of understanding, I'll call them white supremists), and I asked my husband, "if these people found coltane or gold in, say, Plony Land -I really don't think they'd go in there and heinously and savagely rape the women of PLonia nor would they encourage the Plonian men to do so as they take over all the resources there."

He replied, "But I don't think the Plonian men would have it in them to do such a thing!"

Now, before you get up in arms, this is NOT to say that the black Africans are so savage that they'd rape their own women, whereas the Plonians are so civilized that they would never do such a thing. Some people are so calculating, so "orderly" and thinking themselves so "civilized", that they don't want to "appear" as savage as they can be and will cover things up!

The Plonians may possibly do something else. Or even a different NON-AFRICAN group can do the same thing. But what I'm trying to say is that every group may have various ways of responding to their greed. Equally horrendous, but according to their way. Their nature. Their inclination. Most resort to plundering, rape, mutilation, etc.

What I am trying to say is this: The Plonians who fall for this greed would do their own hurt and painful thing to their own country -according to their evil inclination.

Every group, or even every person has their own good and their own bad. One person may have a want for food constantly. They'll want to eat and eat and eat and may need help, diet, etc to fight it. Where as another person will have a tendency find fault, and criticize and nag to no end. One person will feel the urge to steal, whereas another person will have the inclination to kill. Some may feel very low worth, and do nothing, others may lust for acceptance and do anything!

Basically, we all have our bad parts and our good parts within us. Our inclinations. Our nature.

One positive aspect of these white supremists is that they love the intellect. They will analyse, survey, study, research every person, thing, and place! And I don't doubt that they know what I am saying now.

For this reason, I feel before we can truly fight them and win, we must fortify ourselves. Look into ourselves truthfully and see what are our good traits? What are our bad traits? And we need to work on ourselves to improve.

But don't wait until there IS improvement! Just being aware of ourselves is fortification already. In this way, when the white supremists approach, we know what tools, what buttons they will attempt to press within us, to motivate us to follow rank, to think as they think, to fall victim to them (God forbid).

RETALIATION. This has been written about in many blogs. Boycotting their companies, their products seems to be the going plan. Making them see that their greed is getting them nowhere.

I think with these people, its CRUCIAL for all of us to have the spine of an IRON ROD!

Yes, it will be hard to battle cable, it will be hard to let go of perhaps a beloved cellphone (change my number? what?!) These things are so comfortable. Such nice "sedatives."

If you choose this route: there are a list of companies that are involved in the Congo and Sudan atrocities at ABW's blog.

Another way to retaliate. And I am just thinking out loud, is to perhaps to pressure the world? United Nations? to make the resources of the land belonging to the people of the land. This is just an idea, please comment on this!

Alternatively, we can show our money power by promoting rival companies. I think Shecodes from Black Women Vote! came up with that one.

Writing to your Congressmen.

Any more ideas?

This is our world. We should take care of it.

Congo & Sudan: What Can Be Done?

(I am thinking out loud here...)

I once asked the Field Negro, why he called himself that. He gave me a whole lecture. It was a lecture about the Field Negro and the House Negro. I am sure y'all know the difference (but just in case, here's where I read /heard it: Malcolm X's speech)

Basically, he was advocating non-complacency in things. Fight! Do not rest and be victimized because the "dentist" gave us a sedative.

Then I went over to Anxious Black Women's blog the hear the sad news that Black Fem. Power has shut down her blog. She had to shut it down because a particular white feminist was plagarizing her work. That was upsetting. Upsetting on so many levels.

(1) She herself listed many of the levels, which you can read at ABW's blog.
(2) but also, because many would be weary to a message -even if its the same message- from a white feminist as opposed to another woman of color. From the former, due suspicion may be aroused; whereas from the latter one may be more inclined to believe that they 'understand' how things are for many in the non-white zone. To take a message away from the true mouth piece really distorts the message to a degree.

I suspect that on many many levels, we are fighting the same thing. Over run greed by the same white supremists /racists /however the world calls them. And, if nothing is done about it, the scale of the battle --that we WILL EVENTUALLY have to fight will be bigger.

African Americans are being bombarded by the greedy media who seem only interested in capitalizing on the profitable negative imagery of BF, A woman of color's blog work is being plagarized -and who knows how many others are being plagarized.

The situation in Congo and in Sudan is hopefully the final straw that will get us up and moving.

Jews have the shocking commandment to "Kill the Amalekite". Amalekites were a descendant of Edom. They were ruthless and attacked the small, the frail, etc. Not for land, money, etc. but just because.

It can be shocking to see what drastic measures were needed to take care of that problem.

Nowadays, there are no true Amalekites. AND I AM NOT ADVOCATING KILLING HERE!!! But just noting that sometimes, seriously drastic measures may be needed -definitely not complacency- when dealing with a wrong that seems to have no right.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

White Supremacy and Greed

I don't mean to be a troublemaker. But sometimes I feel like I have to speak out. So, I did. Come what may. (Please God, only good.)

There is talk over at Black Women Vote! blog about the source of the problem in the Democratic Republic of Congo is basically white supremacy. While I understand where they are coming from, I thought I'd explore this avenue in the comforts of my own blog.

Firstly, I just want to scream that its blatant GREED!!!! That's the problem there.

Ok. Calm down. Relax. Now the issue of white supremacy.

From all that I've read and all that I've learned, it seems that there are various groups of people in the world. The sages of the Torah and Talmud didn't really divide people into a color system, but more into a peoplehood. Edomites, Ishmaelites, Midianite, Hittite, etc.

As a people, unless they relinquish it, they each have their bountiful spiritual inheritance. Good things. However, if they become ego-maniacs, non God fearing, greedy, or don't keep other character traits in check (jealousy, modesty, etc) then the lust of that particular group comes out.

The negative traits of the Edomites -which constitute Europe and America- when left uncheck, when the fear of God is out of the picture, is that they tend to lust after killing.

A look at one such person who absolutely was not God fearing and ruthless at his worse:

""They refer to me as an uneducated barbarian. Yes, we are barbarians. We want to be barbarians, it is an honored title to us. We shall rejuvenate the world. This world is near its end.""

Those were the words of Adolf Hitler, may his name be erased.

When left without morals, the lust of the Edomite is to kill. Three actions are equated or tantamount to killing:

(1) humiliating a person (or people)
(2) taking away someone's income (Example: not allowing them to work, even though they qualify, discriminating and firing unjustly )
(3) actually killing the body

Now, lets assume the worse! All of Edom -All of Europe and America- went haywire and succumbed to their most vile desires. To an African American looking in from the eyes of their own history, they would call this white supremacy.

But is it about color?

I tried to look up other Edomite escapades to see how did they handle black and non-black 'victims'.

The Jews: The most atrocious and much spoken pain occurred in the holocaust. The Jewish people were humiliated: Forced to bear the yellow star. There was also rape. Income taken away. they were refused jobs, even fired simply for being Jewish. And eventually, many many were killed.

African Americans: Now at first I debated should these =also Americans= be lumped together with Edom? I think those who have acquired the mindset, the same way of thinking, yes. but I think initially, that African Americans are a skattered group from various west African nations. So, essentially, I don't think they would fit the Edomite description.

Anyway, how were they dealt with in the USA: Historically, they were enslaved and thought of as less-than humans. Many, many were killed. There was a lot of rape as well.

India: The British wanted very much (greed?) the spices from India. It wasn't enough to buy it from India, they wanted it all. So in the War of Plassey (1757) they took over. The citizens were heavily taxed. They also made ridiculous rules that if a king died w/o a son, Britain gets the land! Many of their native practices became forbidden (in their own land!). And many were killed if they protested.

Towards the end, toward their defeat, the British, then boldly divided the land into Pakistan and India and promptly left. The aftermath caused much raping and mutilation of women by both sides. Here for more details.


*whew!* the list goes on and on.

This brings me to the situation in Africa. In both the Democratic Republic of Congo and in Sudan, it is very clear that the Edomites are swooping in with their corporate greed to take over ALL resources. Its their trademark.

However, I suspect something else is at play. These terrible rapes and mutilations and murders are not the 'marker' of an Edomite. MANY OTHER PEOPLES HAVE DONE THIS. This is NOT to say that it is exlcusively an African thing! Just pointing out that it may not be an Edomite thing -also, not to say that greedy Europeans are just mild mannered criminals going about life. ABW said it best -they tend to engage in CIVILIZED BRUTALITY. i.e. appearing to be proper to the eyes of others. Even if these men, through their own low self esteem, bought into the way of thinking of the Edomites; even if they maybe acquired the spiritual inheritance of Edom, this behavior is NOT a marker of Edom. Somehow, I suspect, the Edomites have learned a new 'cleaner' pattern of take over-arouse the greed of the native man and his own nature - the lust of whatever his people possess- will do their dirty work. I guess its a much 'cleaner' way of going about satisfying their greed?

It seems to be working so far.


Message: I am NOT trying to say that this type of raping is EXCLUSIVELY an African affair. Surely many others peoples have done the same. As a matter of fact, after Britain left india after they created the border of Pakistan and India, each faction raped the other's women, cut of their breasts and sent it back to the other party!

There are other such incidences for sure. My point was only to point out that it didn't seem like something the Edomites would do- and this is not to say that they are mild mannered criminals who won't go beyond a certain point. This is why some compare them to pigs -they appear "kosher" but with closer examination one realizes its not. (The incident of Joan of Arc seems an exception, but again I could be wrong and will do more research on the matter.)

Its never pleasant to talk about faults, especially other nation's or people's. I have no pleasure looking into folks' faults, trying to analyse them, etc. This was mostly a response to someone saying the whole affair was simply white supremacy. But I think it is European's greed but they are using the native men who are also led by greed to do this.

Message: I'm NOT trying to say that racism doesn't exist. I am sure that it does! Right now I am only trying to reconcile what I learned about Edomites and white supremacy. Obviously I'm not there yet. But hopefully your comments will get me there!

Message: people, please get a grip. Put the white folks aside. Deal with your own uplifting and building. Be weary of the Edomites, but work on yourselves constantly.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Open Letter

We sincerely hope that this post can be the last Open Letter that criticizes the involvement of the NAACP and Al Sharpton in the Dunbar Village case.

Although we are not satisfied with the official conduct of the NAACP in the past few weeks, we acknowledge that the finite goals that we originally set for this campaign have been completed.

We will continue to offer our support to the victims of this crime, and would like to thank the prosecutor in this case for exercising a high degree of discretion.



Synopsis

New readers: this post is the conclusion of a protest in which thousands of African Americans from various walks of life condemned the recent actions of both the NAACP and the National Action Network in a criminal case known as the Dunbar Village Atrocity. Read details of the crime here.


Statement


We are satisfied that the NAACP will cease to use it�s power of advocacy to demand that the suspects in the Dunbar Village Atrocity case be given the opportunity to be released on bail.

We are satisfied that a long overdue show of official support for the Dunbar Village victims has been made, or is under way.

We are somewhat satisfied with the apology that was given for the public declaration that the Dunbar Village Atrocity and the Boca Raton rape case are comparable; however, it is not lost on us that the apology was done privately, and not delivered by the National office with the same level of conviction in which the original statement was made.

We condemn the NAACP�s failed attempt to obfuscate the truth concerning their participation in the press conference dated 03/11/2008.

The absurdity of their attempt to deny such easily verifiable facts caused real damage to the credibility of their establishment. Our community needs to be able to trust the integrity and veracity of any organization that purports to advocate for it, therefore, we challenge the NAACP to be honest enough to admit their mistakes in the future, even the big ones.


Conclusion

We have done our very best to be people of integrity concerning this matter, by thoroughly researching the facts before mounting this campaign.

Our wish is to be to be able to work together with justice organizations to right the wrongs inflicted on people of color, by not only enforcing standards of prosecution, but also by raising the standard of ethical conduct of all people involved.

While our demands have been met in this case, we are not convinced that either agency has taken the appropriate steps to ensure that tragic decisions like the press conference in support of the torture suspects will not be made again in the future.

We urge the NAACP and the National Action Network to interpret this protest as a golden opportunity for critical self reflection, as a new line of dialogue, and as a chance to move into better alignment with the will of the very people that they exist to serve.


The Dunbar Village Victim Assistance Fund

Individuals who would like to donate money to the victims can go to any Wachovia Bank and donate to the St. Ann�s Victim�s Assistance Fund. Donations will go directly to the mother and her son.

St. Ann�s Catholic Church will also accept donations. Checks can be made payable to the "Dunbar Village Victim Assistance Fund - St. Ann�s".

Donations can be mailed to: St. Ann�s Catholic Church, 310 N. Olive Avenue, West Palm Beach, FL 33401



For more information about this Dunbar Village Campaign, you can visit any of the following blogs:

http://www.dunbarvillage.blogspot.com/
http://adifferentstory.wordpress.com/
http://anonymissblog.blogspot.com/
http://auntjemimasrevenge.blogspot.com/
http://blackfirewhitefire.blogspot.com/
http://blackwomenvote.blogspot.com/
http://charactercorner.blogspot.com/
http://electronicvillage.blogspot.com/
http://episcopalienne.blogspot.com/
http://essentialpresence.blogspot.com/
http://focusedpurpose.blogspot.com/
http://h-essays.blogspot.com/
http://lareinacobre.blogspot.com/
http://mynewblog-ravenelvenlady.blogspot.com/
http://politicalseason.blogspot.com/
http://privyconcepts.blogspot.com/
http://thesowingcircle.blogspot.com/
http://tributetoblackwomen.com/news
http://web.mac.com/roslynholcomb/iWeb/Site/Blog/Blog.html
http://whataboutourdaughters.com/
http://whattamisaid.blogspot.com/
http://www.blacksapience.blogspot.com/
http://yanmommasaid.blogspot.com/
http://www.somethingwithin.com/blog

Quotable Quotes

"The jawbone of an ass is just as dangerous a weapon today as in Sampson's time."

Richard Nixon

The Problem with Being Objective

I once had a discussion with someone, it was one of those touchy subjects of race. I stated my points, and tried to be objective about it. I even spoke in the third person.

The person seem to take note that I spoke in the third person. Why not include myself? Somehow that was implied that I'm not 'with it'.

Another time, I had a discussion with someone, but in an attempt to be objective, I was able to argue both my point.... and her point as well!!

What's the value in being objective? Is it better to be subjective. But then you can't see the bigger picture when subjective. Then again, everyone has their personal truths and what's the point of arguing that?

I guess perhaps is only worth discussing /arguing something if the end result of a planned action can result in bad. Then an attempt to save someone should be done. Any philosophic advice here would be appreciated.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

More on the Dem Rep of Congo

For more insights, please read here. Its a shocker.

(hint: sometimes the same people who are appearing to "help" the victims, are grabbing vital resources from the country. (Corporate) Rape on top of (bodily)rape.)

Hat tip: Commentor Katie at Black Women Vote!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It seems big. How can loving people fight big greedy corporations? How can small people fight whole nations? How can we even have any hope to make a change? And then ...what then? Will we have a whole nation waiting to be fed? Waiting for us -any group who tries to help- to continue helping them?

==One who truly helps is someone who gives a guy a hook and a fishing rod and teaches them HOW to fish -rather than giving him fish.==

So how can this be done? It sounds like a real David and Goliath situation.

Blood Test Gripe



One of the worse things for me about getting a blood test, is when the test taker puts the needle in my arm, then proceeds to twist it around "looking" for my vein!!! I mean, my insides is not just one big pool of blood, she could be tearing something in there, no??!!

SMH. Just had to vent.

Random Thoughts

The Circle of Life

(For an interesting perspective on the "circle of life" please visit Rabbi Lazer Brody's site Lazer Beams)

The big talk around many BW blogs is about the Democratic Republic of Congo. Specifically the rape crisis there.

Now I personally have not seen the HBO Documentary, but I do know that rape is quickly becoming a rampant global problem -no doubt, Congo and Sudan has reached crisis mode- Its something that needs to be addressed head on and stopped. Its only a matter of time before it circles around and spreads elsewhere, God forbid.

If anyone has any ideas, suggestions, thoughts please visit Black Women Vote! and help or you can leave a comment here and i'll forward it over.

There is a special concept equating life to a circle. When Joshua (Yehoshua) wanted to bring down Jericho, he went around it seven times-- here circle is effecting life. It is said that when Miriam led the women in dancing after they'd been freed from Egypt, they made a circle and danced. When a Jewish bride is wed, she must go around the groom in circles -as in, to become a wall for him.

What is it about circle and life? And what does that say about a square?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

One interesting way of looking at time:

Generally, time is marked as a line with little marks at various spots denoting when a special or certain event occurred.

It took me a while to figure out that by Judaism, time is seen more as a spiral. If you take that spiral and look at say April 10, you'll find its aligned with all the April 10ths that ever happened in the history of time. In other words, each day, hour, minute has its aura. When that time comes around again, you have a renewed chance do to whatever.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Whatever happened to virtues? How can Al Sharpton have no shame for what just occurred. How he backpedalled shamelessly -no apologies. And how can Kwami Kilpatrick (sp?) still show his face?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Miriam and Her Comment on Moses

Numbers Chapter 12

1 And Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married; for he had married a Cushite woman. 2 And they said: 'Hath the LORD indeed spoken only with Moses? hath He not spoken also with us?' And the LORD heard it.-- 3 Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men that were upon the face of the earth.-- {S} 4 And the LORD spoke suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam: 'Come out ye three unto the tent of meeting.' And they three came out. 5 And the LORD came down in a pillar of cloud, and stood at the door of the Tent, and called Aaron and Miriam; and they both came forth. 6 And He said: 'Hear now My words: if there be a prophet among you, I the LORD do make Myself known unto him in a vision, I do speak with him in a dream. 7 My servant Moses is not so; he is trusted in all My house; 8 with him do I speak mouth to mouth, even manifestly, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD doth he behold; wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against My servant, against Moses?' 9 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them; and He departed. 10 And when the cloud was removed from over the Tent, behold, Miriam was leprous, as white as snow; and Aaron looked upon Miriam; and, behold, she was leprous.


~~~~~~~~~~

The way this is interpreted in Judaism is: Miriam and Aaron were speaking disparagingly about Moses because afterall he DID marry. Meaning, "why is he married and is not being attentive to his wife. He always off meditating and gives no time to her. Not good (for Tzipporah). What? Is he sooooo holy?! Well, we also get memos from God, and we don't separate from our families. Is somebody trying to be overyly holy???"

And God heard this and was angered. (Whenever one person badmouths another it brings anger). Angered all the more so because Moses just didn't respond to that accusation, for he was meek. So He called them all out on it.

The Holy One explained that all the other prophets gets His message but via darkened lense, or fuzzy dreams, or somehow not in a way that is a sharp and clear like Moses. Moses WAS different. So just don't mess with him! And with that, the Blessed One inflicted tzaraat on Miriam -a patch of her skin turned white. (This part is probably what upsets people and so maybe they vengefully, turn the story around into "black" being the bad color???)

(I always wondered why God didn't inflict Aaron. But it could be because he was the High Priest -it wouldn't look so good for his job).

Well, that was a decent punishment. If someone can't stop bad mouthing, they are put away from people until they can learn to appreciate society. Plus, the Jewish people couldn't move forward until 7 days when Miriam got 'better'. People were probably asking, "Well, why aren't we moving yet?" "Oh, because Miriam did what?!"

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Have You Hugged a Special Person Today?

I could be wrong...but I think there may be a nephew waiting, or perhaps a niece... An aunt, a mother, a father... a spouse... some giggly children just waiting for today's hug! Are you too busy? Naw, I don't think so. Go ahead, spread some compassion, some kindness!



Okay, how about just a shout out to a friend by telephone? (don't these guys act like Na nachim? Na Nachim are these Jewish guys with white kippahs who go around dancing and jumping on street corners.)



Here are some Na Nachim:



Funny thing about them, there always trying to get others to dance too!

Quick Israeli story:

I was on a bus heading back to my dorm. There was a bum in the back of the bus just making noise and singing his head off. I could see from the rear view mirror, the bus driver was keeping an eye on him. Others kept glancing back as well. At this time, I was new in Israel. I knew people could get very emotional and loud and wasn't sure what to expect. I waited hesitantly for the "big brawl" to get him out of the bus.

Finally one man got up. He marched over to the back of the bus. I watched wide eyed. He got to the bum and said, "Do you know such -and such a song?"

The bum replied, "yes." and sang the requested song. Afterwards, others began to put in their request to the bum.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Deliciously Healthy!



Hey all,

I am so psyched and so inspired to eat more healthily. Me and my doubt plagued self and family decided to give it a go. (Please note! we are not SUPER DUPER HEALTHY EATERS)

Anyway, yesterday we had:

Sprouted wheat bread (quite meaty!)

with garden salad consisting of chopped red peppers, cucumbers, lettuce, cabbage, and slices of carrots. Did you know red peppers has more vitamin C than orange? Yep, according to wikipedia it has about 50% more than oranges.

And spicey tuna salad.

Hmmmmm, was that healthy? Did we hit the gong? LOL. Well it sure tasted good anyway!

Unmistakable Dances

What is it about tantalizing thoughts that dance at the edge of my mind. A piece of memory I try to recall but it always skips away even farther, to the farthest reaches of my mind. I chase it. It dances and dances until somehow, I find the mental unexplainable hands to finally grab the memory or thought. Its a bit exhilarating and a little victorious.

The opposite of that, to me, are the nightmarish feelings that wash over me when I realized, but only as an aftermath, that I've just dealt with a toxic person. I run over the deposits of thoughts left in me over and over and wonder.. why do I feel guilt, how was that so hurtful, what stress washed over me, why must that person find fault in only what I said and everyone else stand correct -especially if its a man?

Then, like a wave it hits me. I have just dealt with toxicity. Depending on the level, the results can include all the above listed emotions, or a few -toxic -lite.

Quotable Quotes

"A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on."


Winston Churchill

Sunday, April 6, 2008

This Past Sabbath /Shabbat

As usual, it was wonderful! After I've lit my many candles, I enjoy just soaking up the atmosphere of the home. I wish I could convey in words what makes it so wonderful. Some background: Its a time when we don't do certain "work" such as sewing, grinding, etc (basically, anything that looks like the building of the Holy Temple even in small scale. Like sewing curtain for it, nailing wood, etc).

Its also a time of family. For some families, this is the only time in the week that everyone actually sit together at the table and eat. Its made more fun when there are guests... even funner when the guests are young hungry men (lol).... even more funner when those young hungry men are the type that loves to sing (zemirot)!!!

Well, we had one guest this Shabbat and he loved to sing. That was nice. I just wanted to highlight some fun parts of the day...

Jews read parts of the first five books of Moses bit by bit so that by the end of the year, we have read the whole thing. Right now we are at Leviticus (Parashat Tazria) the part that talks about Tzaraat (a skin disease in which parts the skin turns white if someone speaks evil speech, bad mouth, slander, etc about another- like remember Miriam in the Moses story?).

After helping the kids do their morning prayers, we then sit together and read the Parashah /portion of the week. I try to find parts that they can understand -they're only three and under.

Ok, that was fine. But they wanted more. So I backtracked and read the Parashah before (Shemini) that talks about what animals are kosher to eat and what aren't.

Me: Cows are kosher, and ducks are kosher...

child1: Cows?! That's an animal! We can't eat animals!

Me: But we do eat animals. Cow is beef and a chicken is chicken.

Child2: Cows belong in the zoo!!

Child1: Animals belong in the forest!!!

**mutiny**

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
We had a wonderful guest. Yep, a young hungry guy -my favorite type of guest. lol. And he loved to sing and sang away. Hubby joined in and made the Friday night meal a dream!

He also gave some interesting dvrei Torah /words of Torah. He said, according to Rebbe Nachman, there are three parts of the intellect. chochma, bina, and daat. (I'll best briefly describe it as: chochma = unbound knowledge; bina = structure, or pipelines in which to channel all that unbound knowledge; daat = knowledge as we know on this earth. Example chochma =say, all infinite numbers. Bina = say, figuring out a variabled one. Daat = algebra)

Anyway, the outermost part of those intellects is the imagination. The thoughts and ideas that we have come out in its "relaxed" form, via our imagination.

As everything is related, he also related this to the human body. the Bone correspond to the innermost part of the intellect, the chochma; the sinews and flesh -bina and daat. And the imagination corresponds to the skin!

This is why Tefilin (phylacteries?) must be written on ritually clean animal skin. To maintain purity. To encourage purity of both the imagination as the animal skin is pure.

But this made me think of something else.

THE BLACK QUESTION

In addition to forever asking the Jewish question, there is always a part of me that asks the "black" question. What does that mean for those dealing with racism due to skin color?

From Rebbe Nachman's teachings, faith is in the realm of imagination. When there is no true knowledge, we fall back on faith. Thus, the importance of purifying the images in our minds brings us to true faith.

This means that if we can filter out falsehood, immoral images (such as filthy talk shows, raunchy music and videos, etc), negative messages of hurt -basically, purify the skin /imagination, our faith would increase.

In other words, when we see another person's skin, we think all we're seeing is skin, but really our souls are recalling all the images we subconsciously associate with it. If the images that we're seeing spiritually come from a pure place (thoughts of compassion, love, charity, family, etc) then we react accordingly; but when we see -through our spiritual eyes- that a person's images that are reflected on his skin are coming from an impure place (lewd thoughts, theft, greed, lust) we instinctively react accordingly as well.

When we see these images within our own selves (pure or impure) this will also cause a reaction. We may either love ourselves more, because we seem to embody so much virtue and that will consequently increase our own faith in ourselves and in God. Or, if the images are negative, we may feel a tinge of guilt, cover it up with anger, feel frustrated or discouraged and lose more faith in ourselves and in God.

When I see the sad state that many African Americans are in...one hating the other. Speaking so hurtfully to and about each other.. video vixens abound, and with no end in site (yet.heheh)... statistical studies that seem bent on creating more negative images to us, it just makes me really wonder.

Is that what makes us hate each other? What makes others look down on us? When we see each of us, with that same skin, i.e. with those same poisonous images,
associations, and correlations put into our heads, could that be why so many black on black crimes exist? So much disrespect?

If there is a chance that this is correct, I pray, beseech, plead with anyone I can reach to please close off these things from your lives. Remove this filth. Maybe, just maybe, life we be much more clearer, fresher, sharper and more loving.

Open Letter: The Silence of Our Friends- Response the the NAACP Interview Regarding Their Dunbar Village Press Conference

Synopsis:
  • On April 3, 2008, Adora Obi Nweze, President of the Florida State Conference of the NAACP and Richard McIntire, NAACP national spoksperson apologized privately for the press conference called by the West Palm Beach Branch of the NAACP and Al Sharpton during a podcast, The Black Women's Roundtable, but publicly claimed they were misrepresented and their views distorted.
  • NAACP employed a “Muddying the Waters” strategy bringing up unrelated issues when the only criticism levied against the NAACP was its decision to hold a press conference to find injustice without showing that that there has been any injustice.
  • NAACP national spokesman, Richard McIntire, repeatedly stated that the suspects have a right to bail.
  • The Florida State Conference President said that the West Palm Beach chapter was wrong and has been counseled.
  • NAACP said it does not have a stance on Dunbar Village-yet they have spoken on the case, they are just on the wrong side of the fight.

A Response
Thursday evening the Black Women's Roundtable, in conjunction with What About Our Daughters?, interviewed NAACP Florida State Conference President Adora Obi Nweze and NAACP National Director of Communication, Richard McIntire.

During the podcast, just as it has before the email campaign, the NAACP displayed its profound disrespect for the intelligence of Black people everywhere.

Though we are content with the NAACP's decision to discontinue advocating for the Dunbar Village rapists, we are not content with their attempt to contradict themselves and obfuscate the facts regarding the e-mail campaign.

MUDDYING THE WATER STRATEGY

The email campaign launched against the NAACP has been a very tactical one. Contrary to their assertions, the NAACP has not been criticized for the sum total of their mission, but rather their defense of the indefensible.

During the interview, the NAACP mentioned school suspension disparities and hurricane relief efforts as an attempt to shift attention from the sole issue that raised ire in right-thinking Black
Americans with a grasp of the concepts of right and wrong.

Though there may be differences in opinion on the most pressing issues, the only criticism levied against the NAACP was its egregious decisions to find injustice where no one can show there has been thus far.

HOW CAN THEY NOT HAVE A STANCE?

The NAACP has made the decision to not take a public and definitive stand on not only Dunbar Village but what the tragedy epitomizes. To refresh all of our memories the NAACP stands for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The word that undoubtedly stands out in that name is 'advancement'. When the mothers and daughters of an entire community are prey for domestic terrorists, when rape is utilized as a tool of revenge and hate for a community's women how is that NOT an issue that hinders the advancement of our
people? Lets be clear, the NAACP has decided to speak out on Dunbar Village, they were simply on the wrong side of the fight.

NO INDIVIDUAL CASES

The NAACP is an organization rife with contradictions. Obviously, if there are two contradictory statements, then one of them simply is not true. Mr. McIntire stated the NAACP does not concern itself with individual cases, however Jena 6, Michael Vick, and Genarlow Wilson
implies the opposite.

The NAACP felt compelled to inject its name and time into these cases often times by doing nothing more than making a statement. Why do these cases deserve a public statement but support of the Dunbar Village victims (before missteps and chiding) did not deserve public
support?

RIGHT TO BE FREE

Several times Mr. McIntire stated the suspects have a right to bail. Bail can be denied thus it is not automatic. In the state of Florida, men have been denied bail for child pornography. With the DNA evidence and statements by at least two of the defendants expressing guilt, the
community (the people) are best served by the detention of the suspects. Innocent until proven guilty does not inherently mean bond is given. The NAACP stated they wanted to ensure the process moved forward. However, they did not (and presumably can not) express how
the process had been stalled nor who was preventing due process.

PUBLIC DEFENSE AND PRIVATE APOLOGY

During the pod cast the NAACP leaders attempted to apologize privately for something that was done in public. The West Palm Beach NAACP branch is not some rogue element of the NAACP. There is an established environment within the organization that gave a sense of comfort that
allowed the local branch to speak for the rape suspects.

The NAACP leaders subtly and gently put the onus on the local branch but they are an agent for the national NAACP and they spoke on their behalf. Initially, the National NAACP stated in a widely-circulated press release that its position was misrepresented in the email campaign. Not only does this show the dichotomy of how they have handled the situation (publicly defending and privately admonishing), it also highlights their strategy to publicly attack the bloggers who
rightly decried their actions.

The NAACP

During the interview they stated the NAACP performs numerous acts, supposedly ones that support victims and not criminals, that simply don't receive the attention. The NAACP is complicit in this one-sided media and public attention. They didn't hold the press conference at
their local branch, they created an image sure to send a statement, because every move is a calculated one meant to send a message. They stood with the families of the suspects before the State Attorney's office. When they want attention, they know how to get it.

In this case the NAACP walked blindly and did not analyze the situation for what it was, a heinous crime. They saw Black males in the justice system and went on autopilot. When will the NAACP not speak on behalf of a Black criminal? How does continuously and exclusively advocating for the criminal faction of a community advance the community?

WE REMAIN VIGILANT

The NAACP needs to do publicly what it did privately last night -- state they were wrong and apologize. Particularly since they stated bloggers were wrong. They can't have it both ways - we were not both wrong.

BEYOND THE RELICS

In the end, it is unfortunate that as we celebrate the life, work and legacy of a great American, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., we must see yet another step toward decline for an organization meant to advance Black Americans. King believed that "in the end, we will remember not
the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." It leaves a lasting impression when Black organizations are reticent to speak and act on behalf of true voiceless and vulnerable victims, and instead speak loudly for those focused on the destruction of our community.

For more information about this Dunbar Village Campaign, you can visit any of the following blogs:

http://www.dunbarvillage.blogspot.com/
http://adifferentstory.wordpress.com/
http://anonymissblog.blogspot.com/
http://auntjemimasrevenge.blogspot.com/
http://blackfirewhitefire.blogspot.com/
http://blackwomenvote.blogspot.com/
http://charactercorner.blogspot.com/
http://electronicvillage.blogspot.com/
http://episcopalienne.blogspot.com/
http://essentialpresence.blogspot.com/
http://focusedpurpose.blogspot.com/
http://h-essays.blogspot.com/
http://lareinacobre.blogspot.com/
http://mynewblog-ravenelvenlady.blogspot.com/
http://politicalseason.blogspot.com/
http://privyconcepts.blogspot.com/
http://thesowingcircle.blogspot.com/
http://tributetoblackwomen.com/news
http://web.mac.com/roslynholcomb/iWeb/Site/Blog/Blog.html
http://whataboutourdaughters.com/
http://whattamisaid.blogspot.com/
http://www.blacksapience.blogspot.com/
http://yanmommasaid.blogspot.com/
http://www.somethingwithin.com/blog

Friday, April 4, 2008

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Searching for Blogs on Nutrition

Hi all,

I'm on the search for interesting interactive blogs about nutrition, healthy eating, etc. If anyone knows of any, please let me know.

Thanks.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Not Much to say...

Hi everyone,

Too pooped for my shirt
I'm pooped. Too tired to write, too tired to think. Spring cleaning -correction: cleaning for Passover,I should say-- is not easy when there's a deadline and little kids who don't care.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Does Every culture have one?

Americans have Laural and Hardy

Haitians have Booky and Mali

~~~~~~~~~~
Pets. I've often thought about having a pet. I just don't want to take care of it. lol

As it stands now, all my kids have pet rocks.

Except for one, who has a pet asphalt.