Thursday, May 31, 2012

Too Good To Lose

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

-finer things

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Dime of the week

Victoria Rowell
She'll always be Drucilla Winters to me.

Can a Man Recover From False Rape Allegations?

Last week, a former high school athlete was exonerated on rape charges after his accuser admitted she had lied about the sexual assault.

In 2003, Wanetta Gibson, then a high school sophomore, accused Brian Banks, a star athlete, of rape. On the advice of his counsel, Banks, then 16, pleaded “no contest” to forcible rape, and served 6 years in jail for the alleged crime. After Banks was released from prison, Gibson, who successfully sued her school district for a $1.5 million settlement in conjunction with the rape charges, “friended” Banks on Facebook and later met with him to confess she had lied about being raped. She offered to help Banks clear his name, although she did not agree to repeat the confession to authorities because she feared having to return the settlement money.

Banks plans to file a claim against the state requesting money for the years he spent in prison, according to the Los Angeles Times. His lawyers say he is entitled to $100 a day for every day he spent behind bars under state law. Banks does not have plans to file a claim against Gibson for making false accusations.
"I know it’s best for me to try and move forward in a positive manner for the betterment of me,” Banks said on the Today show. “It hurts no one but myself to hang on to the type of negative energy.”
 Police said there is no official investigation into Gibson’s conduct, but officers are “reviewing the matter” and “will be in consultation with the district attorney’s office following the review.”
I’m not a legal scholar, and I am unclear if Banks will ever see a dime from the state for his wrongful incarceration, especially since he pleaded “no contest” to the charges instead of “not guilty.” And while I appreciate his taking the high road in respect to his accuser, I do think if ever there was a time to get dirty-filthy-grimey on anyone, this is it. Clearly Banks is a better man than most. You accuse me of a crime I didn’t commit and I serve time?! Please believe I’m taking you and your mama for everything, including the kitchen sink.
Rape is a tough enough crime to prosecute, and the climate that is created by false accusations – statistically, false rape allegations account for just 2 to 8 percent of all reported rapes – make it just that much harder for women with valid charges to speak up.
Wanetta Gibson was just a child when she made the false accusations that impacted Banks' life, but she held on to her lie well into adulthood. She clearly felt guilty about what she’d caused to occur, but even when she confessed, she wouldn’t go the extra step to clear Banks' name publicly and put herself in jeopardy even after she’d robbed a man of six years of freedom. There’s no way around it – she deserves to pay, financially or with her freedom, for her own crimes.

When a coworker told me about this news story last week, I was near tears, I was so upset. There are no words. This makes me sick to my stomach.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

You let go, and I'll let go too

it could all be so simple
but you'd rather make it hard;
loving you is like a battle
and we both end up with  scars....

Friday, May 25, 2012

For the love of you

Colin Powell delivers quite a smack down to Hannity

This week, former Secretary of State Colin Powell paid a visit to Sean Hannity on Fox News. Hannity seemed to be frustrated that Powell is not being a “good Republican” by seeking out truth rather than playing by simple party rules. Still, Powell laid out his position and clearly specified that he is taking his time to evaluate both parties before making a decision in the next election.
I really like Colin Powell.  In fact, I’m willing to bet that you probably like him too.  The reason that we are likely in agreement on our appreciation for Powell is because the man has sharply positioned himself as a potential friend to everyone, but as the water boy for no one.
Powell has been masterful at leveraging his political power by refusing to give too much loyalty to any candidate too quickly, until he’s sure the candidate is going to represent his interests.  His actions remind me of Rule 20 of the “48 Laws of Power”: “Never commit to anyone.”
While I don’t agree that one should spend his/her life being non-committal, there is a certain degree of power that you can maintain by holding back and taking your time. In Financial Theory (which I studied in graduate school), this is referred to as managing the “moral hazard” problem by engaging in ex-ante optimal contracting.
Translation:  Before you commit, you hold all the cards.  That’s when you should carefully negotiate your terms so that you don’t get screwed when you hand power over to the other party.   The logic applies whether you are considering a new job, buying a car, or deciding to have sex with someone.
Powell is playing the political game like a true general who has probably memorized every word of Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War.”  He knows that his endorsement has a tremendous amount of leverage and that both President Obama and Mitt Romney are licking their chops to get their hands on it.
Powell maintains his position as a loyal Republican, while irritating other Republicans by not walking the party line.  In fact, Powell reclaims the definition of what it means to be a Republican by speaking to issues such as Affirmative Action, the environment, and all the other things Republicans aren’t supposed to talk about.
By speaking with common sense and refusing to play for anyone’s political football team, Colin Powell has given himself arguably the most powerful individual endorsement in the United States.
All of us can take a note from General Powell, who supported President Obama in 2008, but makes it clear that he will only support a candidate who cares about the same things he does. He celebrated the victory of the first Black president, but he wasn’t popping bottles of purple Kool-Aid and proclaiming Obama to be the second-coming of Martin Luther King Jr.
That’s why Obama is willing to do almost anything to get his support.  If we were just as poised as General Powell, Obama would be begging for our support as well. Instead, the Obama Administration works overtime to appease gays, women, immigrants, and other groups with the full understanding that the Black community has given their dire loyalty with little-to-no expectations.
This is not the Colin Powell approach to political thought.
The title of Powell’s latest book is “It Worked for Me.”  This title might be a cue for the rest of us, for it’s time to elevate our game.

James Gayle

Artwork by James Gayle

I came across this picture tonight, and I had to post it. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Tomithy Bloom-Possibilities

Regarding the boy who touched President Obama’s hair

The  New York Times published the adorable back story about the photo—which has been hanging in the West Wing of the White House for more than three years—on Thursday, and it's quickly become the most-emailed article on the Times' website.

In May 2009, the child, Jacob Philadelphia, was visiting the White House with his father, a former Marine who was leaving his 2-year stint working for the National Security Council as part of the White House staff. The father asked to take a family photo with the president. Jacob said he had a question for Obama, who was then in his fifth month in office.
The Times recounts the rest:
"I want to know if my hair is just like yours," he told Mr. Obama, so quietly that the president asked him to speak again.
Jacob did, and Mr. Obama replied, "Why don't you touch it and see for yourself?" He lowered his head, level with Jacob, who hesitated.
"Touch it, dude!" Mr. Obama said.
As Jacob patted the presidential crown, ... [White House photographer Pete] Souza snapped.
"So, what do you think?" Mr. Obama asked.
"Yes, it does feel the same," Jacob said.
As the paper noted, President Obama has largely avoided discussing race during his first term. But the photo "is tangible evidence" that the president "remains a potent symbol for blacks, with a deep reservoir of support."
"As a photographer, you know when you have a unique moment," Souza told the paper. "But I didn't realize the extent to which this one would take on a life of its own. That one became an instant favorite of the staff. I think people are struck by the fact that the president of the United States was willing to bend down and let a little boy feel his head."
David Axelrod, Mr. Obama’s longtime adviser, has a copy framed in his Chicago office. He said of Jacob, “Really, what he was saying is, ‘Gee, you’re just like me.’ And it doesn’t take a big leap to think that child could be thinking, ‘Maybe I could be here someday.’ This can be such a cynical business, and then there are moments like that that just remind you that it’s worth it.”
A copy of the photo hangs in the Philadelphia family’s living room with several others taken that day. Mr. Philadelphia, now in Afghanistan for the State Department, said: “It’s important for black children to see a black man as president. You can believe that any position is possible to achieve if you see a black person in it.”
Jacob, now 8, said he indeed does want to be president. “Or a test pilot.”

--courtesy The New York Times

I can't help but to see it from the perspective of the boy. I  happen to love this pic. It makes me smile.

Ready or Not, US Is Getting Browner

Clarence Page notes in his Chicago Tribune column that, as the country's demographics change, blacks could teach whites a little something about minority status.
White babies are no longer a majority of new births, according to theU.S. Census Bureau. America is quietly "browning," it is said, like dinner rolls in a warm oven. Yet such change does not come about without resistance from those who prefer to remain unbaked.
White supremacist groups have been having a "meltdown," says Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups. In an ABC News report, he called the demographic trend "the single most important driver in the growth of hate groups and extremist groups over the last few years."…
Obviously the landscape is changing for us black folks too. As we gain some measure of power in the melting pot, our victim rhetoric must change too.
In fact, if anyone should be concerned about helping white Americans adjust to becoming a minority, it is African-Americans. We have lots of experience.

You can read Clarence page's entire piece here

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Hello world

The title of this blog came to me in a dream, and the interesting thing about the dream was that it was Halle Berry who told me about the title. She had written the word Afrodesia on a piece of paper.  I woke up yesterday, obsessing over the word, thinking, should I use it for a poem  on my poetry blog (click here ) or an entry for another blog (click here) . Everyone who knows me knows much I love her. I figure  there's an unknown reason why it was she who mentioned the word; to get my attention. It worked.
I've no idea what the theme of this blog will be.... Perhaps you can help me. 
I do know that from time to time your eyes will be blessed with pictures of beautiful black women on this blog.
What else should grace the pages of this blog?