Wonderful piece written by novelist, screenwriter and Spelman College’s Cosby Chair in the Humanities Tananarive Due. Together with her husband Steven Barnes, they recently shot their short film DANGER WORD and are raising funds for the post-production costs, please visit www.dangerword.com to learn more & donate as little $1 to help them see this short film to fruition. DANGER WORD is based on a scene from their joint novel DEVIL’S WAKE. Here Tananarive discusses the legacy of one of speculative fiction’s greatest writers, the late Octavia Estelle Butler. Enjoy!
Category Archives: Featured Guest blogs
And still sci-fi’s Octavia E. Butler rises: A graphic adaptation. A literary society. Is a ‘Kindred’ movie next?
The problem, in my view, with the LGBT movement is not that they have a particular view they are advocating for, but the manner in which they pursue it. Regardless of whether I agree with their ends, which I don’t, I could at least respect them if they didn’t have to demonize the church or anyone else that doesn’t agree with them. There is something to be said for being gracious when you’re fighting for a cause, and the LGBT movement scores a big goose egg in that department. The odd thing is that they make a moral argument to justify their ends, while rejecting any contrary moral arguments. We see this clearly in that they constantly denigrate Christian values, while saying that their values are superior. But how can they do this? They say their values are “progressive” values that have evolved over time culturally, but what exactly are progressive values? On what are they based? Christian values are based on thousands of years of history and observation of natural law, and were validated by the resurrection of Christ. Now many may argue that they don’t believe Christ resurrected, but they cannot argue the historical accuracy of Christianity, and they cannot deny that Christian values, when properly applied, promote love, patience, hope, perseverance, and tolerance of others with whom they disagree. So while the Christian has a set of timeless principles to work from, the LGBT movement has no objective basis on which to moralize. So why should anyone listen to them? Demonizing those who disagree with you and seeking government to force people to accept your point of view is hardly a sustainable moral ethic.
I know the rejoinder from someone in the LGBT community will be that Christians are filled with hate and discriminate against gays. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Christians are called to love and accept all human beings, and simply see the gay lifestyle as being one of many different sinful lifestyles. But Christians don’t seek to ban gays from living their chosen lifestyles, and don’t see their sin as any worse than premarital sex amongst heterosexual couples or adultery. These are all forms of sexual sin and I don’t see any Christians clamoring for laws that prevent consenting adults from entering into whatever relationships they wish to enter, even if they are wrong (which they obviously are in the case of adultery). They say that Christians are against “gay rights.” But Christians are not against “gay rights.” This is because “gay rights” are not any different from the rights of any other human being. We all have the same rights in this country by virtue of being human. So I don’t see anything special about being gay. If you’re gay, then you’re a human, and it doesn’t make you any different than anyone else. The LGBT movement would have us believe gays are somehow different and special, but I don’t see how they can rationally justify that. Being gay has no affect on one’s ability to get a job, love who they want, or live the life of their choosing. There simply is no broad or systematic discrimination today against gays any more than there is against blacks.
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As you all probably already know the murder trial of George Zimmerman has begun. There has been quite a bit of discussion of the prosecution’s star witness, Rachel Jeantel regarding her demeanor, courtroom etiquette, honesty and diction. One of my Facebook friends shared this with me and I concur with her assessment that it’s a worthy read. It is from the Global Grind website and written by staff writer Rachel Samara:
The 19-year-old Miami native is an easy target for obvious, yet shallow reasons. But let’s not forget why she’s actually on the stand in George Zimmerman’s second degree murder trial. Rachel was the last person to speak to a living, breathing Trayvon Martin. The guilt, shame and sorrow she must feel is something most of us will never be able to comprehend. You could hear it in her voice, see it in her jittery body language. She is feeling the wrath of this highly publicized case.
Rachel was thrown head first into this murder story, unwillingly. And although she had repeatedly said she did not want to be a witness, did not even want to believe she was the last person Trayvon spoke to, Rachel took the stand for all the right reasons. She was asked to by the family of her deceased friend and feeling part of the burden for his death, she wanted to help.
Rachel was raw, emotional, aggressive and hostile, and she was unapologetically herself.
And if the 5 white jurors (excluding the 1 Latina) are like most white people I know, they are unfortunately not going to like Rachel. They won’t understand her, especially not her defensive nature, and this will unfortunately work against her. Even though it shouldn’t.
I can imagine George Zimmerman’s defense is just hoping some of those 5 white jurors have some prejudices (as most people do), or hell, are even racist, because if they are, their tactic to make Rachel out to be less intelligent, rather than less credible than she actually is, might actually work.
Less intelligent and more confused.
Less intelligent because of the “language barrier” and more confused because of the lawyers’ failure to understand who Rachel is, where she comes from, what kind of life she lives.
It seems the middle-aged white men on both sides of this case are totally unaware of what Rachel’s life is like – a 19-year-old high school student of Haitian descent who knows nothing more than the few block radius she has grown up in. The cultural differences here are exponential.
But if the lawyers, and especially the jurors, were really listening, they would see that although she comes off aggressive, Rachel was consistent. Yes, the defense proved she had lied in the past, but she didn’t deny it. On the contrary. She was very honest about it, and even led us to sympathize with her reasoning for it – she did not want to see Trayvon’s body, she did not want to face Trayvon’s mother and she wanted to wipe her hands of the situation because of the emotion and trauma. She was the last person Trayvon spoke to and she wanted everyone to understand what that means. This is in no way easy for her.
Rachel is the prosecution’s key witness, but I am going to call her the misunderstood witness. She holds vital information that both the defense and prosecution need, but these middle-aged white men questioning her do not get it. Sadly both the prosecution and the defense [but more so the defense] have an extreme disconnect from her reality, like I said. The constant text messaging between her and Trayvon is normal for two high school kids who may like each other, the nonchalant use of racial slurs like “cracka” and “n*gga” are slang (as Rachel put it) and that doesn’t mean it comes from a racist place.
Trayvon was just 17, his life consisted of text messaging, high school, PS3, girls and not much else. He had a lot of growing up to do, a lot of experiences to take in, so much more to learn, but sadly, he will never get a chance to do any of those things.
Rachel on the other hand will get to, but with her immaturity displayed on the stand for the whole world to see, she quickly became a joke. Maybe we were picturing Trayvon’s alleged girlfriend to be a bit different, but nevertheless, Rachel still is the last person, aside from George Zimmerman, that Trayvon had any contact with while he was alive on this earth. Rachel’s mumbling, hostility and that reference to the show First 48, among other things, threw us for a loophole, but let’s remember, she is just a teen. This is what she knows. This is far from a Lifetime movie, this is her life. In the flesh, but still on our TVs.
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I’m not going to preface this wonderfully written piece with my thoughts as I normally would. I’ll allow Mr. Okeem’s editorial from Hip Hop Republican to speak for itself:
The leftist assessment of the black conservative is that such a person is angered and frustrated at being born black, which leads to the adoption of conservative views in order to compensate for this perceived “congenital deficiency.” While this is a preposterous accusation to make against all black conservatives, it is intellectually dishonest to pretend as though this characterization of the black right came into existence wholly out of left field. Indubitably, there are some black conservatives whose proclamations and behaviors lend credence to the stereotypical leftist view of black conservatives.
Black conservatives are not intellectually monolithic, and we certainly do not read from the same script of talking points. Essentially, black conservatives can be divided into two groups: solution-oriented black conservatives and fame-oriented black conservatives. Solution-oriented black conservatives prefer to use their platforms to intellectually engage with people and offer serious ways to move black people forward. Inevitably, this encompasses astutely criticizing both the left and the right when criticism is required.
By contrast, fame-oriented black conservatives feign interest in issues regarding black progress, when, in reality, popularity among white conservatives and profit are their fundamental goals. Fame-oriented black conservatives never see an opportunity to bash black people and black liberal leadership that they do not take, but they conveniently manage to turn a blind eye to every shortcoming and malfeasance of white conservatives. Fame-oriented black conservatives are the right-wing versions of the Al Sharptons and Jesse Jacksons. They are people who care more about their bank accounts than bettering the lives of black people.
There is a civil war occurring between the intellectual, solution-driven black conservatives and the fame-oriented, pseudo-intellectuals on the black right. The winners of this war will determine the political future of black America. If the black conservative continues to be identified as a self-hating person who is simply a puppet for white conservatives, black people will never associate with the Republican Party or American conservatism. However, if this war is won by black conservative intellectuals who are truly about black elevation—and not the elevation of their personal bank account balances—black conservatism has a chance of truly permeating the inner cities and changing the voting behaviors of black people.
The most identifiable feature of fame-oriented black conservatives is their absurdist addiction to the inconsequential issue of whether or not blacks choose to identify as African American or just American. They call this the “unhyphenated American” movement. While this issue is unimportant to regular people, it is deeply important to pseudo-intellectual, fame-oriented black conservatives, because it is the key issue that they use to ingratiate themselves with white conservatives.
When “Rev.” Jesse Lee Peterson—a darling of the white right and “unhyphenated American”—argued that blacks being carried on slave ships is equivalent to traveling on coach airplanes, before earnestly thanking white people for slavery and removing his forefathers from Africa, he was not making an argument to reach out to other blacks. Rather, Peterson was talking to a certain white conservative audience that enjoys such rhetoric—particularly coming from a black man. It is no wonder why Sean Hannity comfortably sits on the board of Peterson’s organization dedicated to the supposed “advancement of black men.”
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Unlikely activist: Early civil rights protester stands out for conservative views – Winston-Salem Journal: Local News
From journalist Jennifer Young of the Winston-Salem Journal:
The time was the late 1940s, the place Greensboro. A mother had sent her two young sons to the neighborhood grocery. A gang of local toughs waited just outside the store. One came at the older brother from the front, one from the back and the third went for the money in the boy’s pocket.
The younger brother, who was only 6, stood back while his sibling managed to fight off the young would-be robbers. The little fellow took it all in, though, and came away with some very important life lessons: Be prepared to defend yourself. Show no fear.
Those were lessons that Clarence Henderson carried with him years later, on Feb. 2, 1960, when he walked through the door of 132 S. Elm St. in Greensboro and sat down to his place in his town’s –- and his nation’s – history.
And they’re lessons he remembers today as he proclaims a philosophy that sometimes raises eyebrows, even among those who consider him a hero for what he did 53 years ago.
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