Keeping Up with the Jonzee still at the right spot.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

In Need of More

I took a few days off from blogging. I had to. Between obsessing over new posts in my reader and trying to think of something talk about to distract me from my obsessing over the outcome of this ding dang never ending primary, my brain needed a much needed holiday. It was nice to be away. A few days in the Town of Disney--without all the actual Disney stuff (Okay, so I was a little disappointed...after all last week, I was doing the "going to Disney" chair dance, and didn't even go.)

The weather was beautiful. Hung out with one of my closest girlfriends and her new man (home girl is a junior cougar--he's a youngin', but a good one.) And I found out that my tail is old--cause I screamed like I have never screamed on all the roller coasters at Universal. Now I see how my Pops got to a certain age and bowed out on all that fun.

But, I need more. Four days was not enough. I need like a week. A week of doing nothing. After last year's 10 day vacation in Jamaica, I can see why the S.O is so emphatic about wanting to take a "do nothing" vacation like that every year.

So, tell me. Where are your favorite "do nothing" vacation spots, cause I'm still in need of a vacay.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Kelly Goes to Court...Finally

You know, its been more than six years. All the politcal manuvering to keep it off the court docket has run out. In my opinion...thank GOD.

And what this trial and all the ridiculous posturing about whether the child was "fast-tailed" or "knew what she was getting into", breaks my heart. I am really disturbed by my own community's wanton dismisal of the importance of the virtue of young women's sexuality not only in this instance but in so many others.

I call it the normalization of inappropriate sexual behavior. For example, a 14 year old girl has a sexual relationship with a 20 year old man, and you can best believe there will be a lot of folks talking about how the girl is fast...not that the man is disgusting and vile and a sexual predator.

I don't know how many sisters I have met that have been subjected to inappropriate male behavior in childhood. By cousins, brothers, fathers--and have been told to suck it up and move on. And when theygrow up to be sexually promiscuous, and feeling like it is their fault.

In my own personal life, I have noticed that men and boys get the benefit of the doubt. They get coddled and nutured. And young black woman get raised to "do for self. Ain't nobody gonna want to take care of you." I have seen mother's be so hard on their girl children and come up with every reason in the book to keep supporting a grown ass son who should no better.

Black girls get raised, in many instances. Black boys get loved. Ain't that the truth.

When, as a community, are we going to defend the virtue of our girl children instead of making excuses for men who act inappropriately???

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Hate to Tell You, but I am not Voting for Barack just because he is Black

*crossposted at Dailykos*

No, that's right folks. This black woman and many more just like me are not voting for Barack, based mostly on his color.

Yeah, that's right. Many are actually voting for him because he is the best candidate running for the job.

No. Really.

Contrary to the blanket statements made by folks around these parts these days that black people are voting for Barack mostly because he is black. A great number of us might actually be voting for him because he's a visionary, capable leader as demonstrated by his campaign managment, his grassroots movement, and his recognition and belief that "big government" rarely means "efficient" or fair any more than the Republican vision of small government and has to be reorganized in a way that is both fair and efficient. Perhaps we are as aggravated about the old-school politics and partisan free-for-all inside the Beltway as everyone else.

At first, I took this whole issue in stride. Identity politics, after all, is alive and well. People will always identify with other folks based on common cultural characteristics. And even in this "racial transcendent" moment that Barack is trying to live in--the purponderance of identity politics is clearly not going to die in the mind of pundits, or online forums or blogs for that matter, or folks who do not see this election as an opportuntity to change course in a significant and promising new direction.

But, I have had just about enough of this dismissal of African American voters as monolithic group who are voting for Barack more on identity than on anything else. It steps on our legacy as loyal Democrats and on the possibility that black people are making an educated and informed decision about folks running for president.

I have had my share of foolishness and it would be easy to pin these comments on Senator Clinton supporters since the relationship between Obama supporters and Clinton supporters is so cantankerous around here these days. But Obama-holics that is not the case.

For example, about 2 months ago, I was standing in the grocery store and a woman heard me talking about my plans to head to Pennsylvania and canvass, and the reasons I thought he was the superior candidate. The woman decided to join the conversation and told me that I should admit that the only reason I was supporting him was because he was "apart of the black race." Instead of losing it, I assumed she had been brainwashed by Faux News. I calmly dismissed her argument, and told her to have a nice day in the nicest nasty tone I could muster.

A week ago, a fellow Kos reader and ardent Obama supporter told me that "black people always look out for other black people, so of course they would vote for the black candidate. And why shouldn't they?"

Two days ago, another Obama supporter, called me an idiot because I mentioned that black folks have been loyally Democrat and pointed to general election data and primary data at the senate and congress level. In addition, I also stated that prior to January 31 many African Americans were firmly for Hillary and that in July 2007, as much as 72% of African Americans were for Hillary. And lastly, that the same reasons other folks were moving to the Barack side of life. His problem was with my assertion seems to be that I think black people might be making an educated voting decision on something more than color.

Yesterday, a self-labeled "old-white guy" made the argument that he spoke to a black politcal blogger and from that conversation had determined that the biggest reason black people were voting for Barack en masse was because of his color--especially since that political blogger had admitted as much.

I've got a couple more, but I think you get the picture.

Yet, I can come up with at a least a few instances where "the blacks" did not support some appointment to an office or cabinent or a the candidacy of a fellow "black". Clarence Thomas is black. Last time I checked, lots of us were not fans. And still aren't.

Michael Steele ran for senate in Maryland and black voters helped send him home.

I firmly believe we have every right to be proud of the fact that Barack might be the first man of color in the White House. However, while his color is a significant history-making moment, particularly if he gets elected, his run for office is just as significant, if not more, for so many of the reasons that are discussed ad nauseum in this forum everyday and that I have already mentioned.

No, numbers don't lie. But the qualitative data behind them is just as important. Maybe, we should start looking a little closer at both.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Calling Governor Wallace...George Wallace to the Podium Please

In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.

Now take out George Wallace and insert Bill Clinton and think about his role in his wife, the esteemed Senator's campaign. Can you see him standing in the doorway of the University of Alabama?

Uncanny, ain't it?

Now, wait. Before you Clinton supporters start hurling things at me because you think I am saying that Mr. Bill is a good ole' boy segregationist...WHICH I AM NOT.

Read this.

And what about Governor Wallace's rise to politcal power and his later redemption?

Uh, huh. Now put the chair down.

It is quite clear to me that President and Senator Clinton are both astute students of history. As well as in the advance class for taking advantage of opportunities.

The slowing escalating sound of "working class white folk won't vote for a black man." has always been hinted at--but now its late in the game. Why not go old school?

Am I saying the Clinton's are racist. No--but there is a certain opportunism that is very much like the opportunism Governor Wallace used in his own rise to political power.

Old school worked for Bush. Harp on the peoples fears. Use the wedge issues to divide and conquer. And watch the bullets fly.

And here we are 8 years later.

But the fear mongering on war and terrorism has been overplayed. So why not reach way down deep and appeal to the basest nature of folks who still believe black folks are to blame for job loss, growing poverty, and the largest proportion of incarcerated individuals in the world.

It worked for Governor Wallace--even if it was more for political gain than anything else. And no one has topped how he did it.

Except for possibly now--in snippets.

I'm just saying.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

I'll Always Love My Mama

...she's my baby girl...You only get one, yeah.

I started this strange tradition when I first went away to undergrad. I was admittedly homesick though I couldn't wait to leave Cleveland and go back to NY. So, at first, it was just to get me through those times when it was really rough. And later, so that I would actually remember to call home sometimes But, whenever this song came on, I would drop what I was doing and pick up the phone.

A lot of the times, the conversations were painful. Honestly, I thought myself too cool to have anything to share with Mom. There were often a lot of "'s the weather?" moments and she asked a lot of questions to try to get me to share. I admit, I acted like a petulant child--feigning annoyance and trying to rush off the phone.

Admittedly, I still do it sometimes to this day and undergrad was quite a bit ago.

Maybe, its because sometimes I mistake her caring and concern for being nosey. And I should know better. Reality is I miss her just as much as she missed me--and I try to play tough for no good reason. For the record, I miss her terribly quite often. Sometimes I wish I lived closer- I've lived more than 300 miles away all of my adult life. Sometimes, I wish she would come visit me or that I could go home more frequently.

Lately, I've been missing the million questions with the same answers that we have discussed over and over, her Forgetful Jones-ness, and her convenient ability to feign like she can't hear but seems to know exactly what you said when you are talking under your breath.

Call it Ma's idiocicracies, I guess. Or just call it Ma.

But most of all, I miss feeling the love that radiates from her heart when you are in a room with her. Through out my life it has shone through her sacrifices for me and my brother. My mom has given so much of her time, her personal aspirations, her advice, and even her cash (the secret $20, $40, $50 she slips in your pocket on the way out the door because she knows you need it even if you won't ask) because of the love she feels for her children. My mom wants to see her children succeed beyond her wildest dreams and is not afraid to tell you how proud she is or that you are jacking up your potential--both said out of unending and forever enduring love.

Ma sacrificed her own career to be home with my brother and I after school. She worked third shift for several years (and still can't sleep at a regular hour to this day) so that we could go to soccer, and basketball, and tap and jazz--you name it. She lost a lot of sleep--going over homework, making sure I wasn't sitting on the phone with boys all night long, and making sure we had a hot meal.

She along with my Pop showed us the importance of family. Dream, she said, but be practical. My mantra to this day.

These days the phone is how all of this is communicated-- sometimes through torturous silences and painful discussions because she uncannily knows when I am feeling discouraged, sad, or feel like I am failing. And sometimes, the best times, when we chat away like two old girlfriends hanging out on the porch sipping lemonade.

I don't know what I'd do if she wasn't who she is, didn't love the way she does, or didn't have the Ma-dar to know when something is wrong.

You only get one , for sure.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

No...I cannot hold my nose

And I briefly thought I could do it, should she be the nominee. After this here?

No...not never.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Drinko De Mayo

I'm 30, son. Not 21. May 5th reminded me of that. Loud and clear.

See, I was going to go home and lay on the couch since the Monday's after a Big T are always blah. But my buddy Wise, cajoled me into coming out to celebrate.

Shoot! Since, I'm all about any holiday that encourages drinking, (I get very much in touch with my Irish ancestor (yeah--ancestor as in 1) on Patty's Day) and I really did not need to go home and mope, I figured, "why not poor a little tequila out for my Mexican bred'ren?".

Oh, because I am 30, son. Not 21. And I can't do it like I used to.

But what had happened was, the neighborhood joint (my new bar close enough to home to stumble home if necessary) had the bomb special. $2.50 Cervezas, $2 Jose, and $5 Patron. Um, rack 'em. And Wise's partner in crime was on a mission. And the regulars where such a blast. Talking and drinking were moving along at a steady pace.

Perhaps I should have taken Wise's que, who is 31 by the way(on front street, my dear :), and recoginized her age and her limits. Because she is indeed 31 and not 21. Not me. 1 shot of Jose, 2 shots of Patron, 2 cervezas, a margarita, and this deadly drink called the CK special--and that was all she wrote.

Drinking was done early and I still had a banging headache when I woke up--even with 9 hours of sleep.

...Maybe next time, I just won't mix drinks.