I love you Boston — and the Mass area. This is true for many cities that showed solidarity in protest. With more mass organizing meetings to come — today was beautiful. Really. There is hope and love. We marched in solidarity with family, comrades, women, whites, people of color, and students. We marched with lesbians, transgender, gay, queer, straight, and children who were being taught love and acceptance. We cheered for women’s rights and their reproductive rights. We marched against white supremacy, pay inequality, rape, and mass incarcerations. We marched because the state nor religion can tell a woman about her reproductive system. We marched because Black Lives Matter. We marched because love trumps hate. 125,000 marched and protested because we do not respect the least popularly elected president in history. We marched because no means no. Sexual assault is what weak men do.
An interesting article headlining Miley Cyrus and Beyonce reads: If Miley Cyrus and Beyoncé want to be feminist, they need to quit the celebrity machine. Author Gaylene Gould got it right and in doing so, ignited a conversation between myself and professor Hunter. Our December 18th discussion went something like this:
Hunter: In reflecting on recent discussions on beyonce’s declaration about her feminism, i’m trying to discern the difference between identification with an ideology and activism that leads to social transformation.
Carson: I like this reflection my friend and colleague is wrestling with. Dr. Hunter has given me something to ponder. Though I am black and educated in the spirit of the bourgeoisie, I believe that my activism will always be proletarian, as I noted regarding W.E.B Du Bois. If that means passively protesting a commencement speaker or organizing a walkout during an assembly — both of which I have done, they serve as a model to my students that I am serious about both action and teaching. I can live with that. Folks confuse leadership sometimes. Too many stationary books on what leadership looks like. It is a commercialized industry.
Hunter: knock it off ed. I’m just joe PhD. lol. I’m not trying to set the bar too high for anyone, but the history of black feminism, on all levels, is filled with known and unknown black women who put in work.
Carson: But the fact that you are creating and encouraging this discussion is what validates you and your point. People confuse talk with inactivity. It is the talk that promulgates action. And here, you are speaking towards our cultural ignorance and inconsistencies. Yes, what about the many sisters who are not commercialized but act? I want the bar high.
Hunter: Ella Baker talked. Angela Davis talked and continues to speak. Toni Morrison talks and writes, but in many ways Oprah’s philanthropy speaks to me of a feminist agenda. As you know, I think caring means learning about the conditions of structural violence so that we have good, thoughtful, and articulate hearts that are able to describe the marginalizing structures of power and then in winsome terms attract those with similar moral intuitions or commitments. As you know, discourse is critical to meaningful social transformation. For that reason, as an educator, I’m interested in the intellectual and moral (spiritual) formation of my students AND colleagues.
Carson: Unfortunately, folks either forget or do not want to revisit the narrative once scripted for such dialogue about race and gender. Angela Davis’ dealings with the Panthers and the Communist Party of America denotes her own class and racial alienation. Toni Morrison’s deepest narratives points to matters deemed too taboo to discuss in the mainstream. Intra-class and black racism works against our own sense of being consciously aware — as Marxism has taught us. A history of shade (i.e., high yellow) and incest that demonized blacks folks for centuries continues to hunt us. Both Davis and Morrison have spoken to these matters. Yet, it is Oprah who reminds us through her philanthropy in a different fashion that class and racial consciousness still exist. I think to her support of Obama or the movie Great Debaters that showcased the rise of a young Farmer who became an activist in addressing matters of inequality. Or, her book club. I do not think folks see the thread or theme with her book selections as they relate to your point on ideology and activism. Unlike Davis, who used her action and education to denounce class and racial injustices, Oprah managed to transcend both among the most unsuspecting audience: white homemakers. Unfortunately, I am not convinced she nor Davis nor Baker nor Morrison can compete with the false personification of modern celebs like Beyonce. Young sisters want to shake the booty. And that is okay. As long as the shaking stays in the club and the real work continues through a well articulated message. This has always been my message to the black sisters in my courses.
Hunter: The great debates, zora, morrison, edwidge danticat for morrison, etc and so on. the difference is Morrison’s work began with a self-reflective writing exercise that looked at hegemonic power and internalized oppression and the human condition. Instead of seeking celebrity, she wrote a book that she wanted to read. That personal work translated into social transformation, created other opportunities for black writers, as well as celebrity. These consequences were the unintended consequence of tending to her soul and asking important questions out loud. we can go on and on on this one.
Carson: Agreed!!! Darn did I really forget about sister Hurston? Yes. My mind is now racing out of control. Thanks for giving me so much to think about. I needed this today.
Two years ago this week, I went into shock only to discover that I had a brain tumor. This tumor which was a cyst, kept fluids from draining from my brain, causing a great deal of bleeding. After spending time in ICU and under going seven hours of brain surgery, I was back in great health. The cyst did not contain cancer. This of course was far more serious than when I tore my knee up as a poor college student without health insurance. I am still making payments on that. The difference of course is that I can now afford health insurance, whereas before I could not nor could my parents; I think about the millions that cannot still. I am sad when I hear that Americans do not favor what is clearly a revolutionary decision.
I am proud of each Congressman that voted for this. You put the good of the many ahead of the good of the few. Thus, I am sad to say that you will most likely get voted out of office by those that have health insurance. My parents, who are uninsured, thank you. I thank you. Millions of Americans thank you.
Nancy Pelosi stated it well tonight when she said “health care is a right, not a privilege.”
Jaylon has been commenting on this blog now for almost a year; he is a regular that offers some thoughtful suggestions to various blog posts. I love it when people decided to e-mail me great stuff to publish — this one came out of the blue. Jaylon’s piece discusses the fact that women simply make less than their male counter part. It might have something to do with the number of women electing to stay at home after giving birth. Seeing how complex today’s economy is, I am still amazed that women can do this. Because I come from a family with very little economic earning power, both of my parents had to work all types of shifts just to make ends meet. My biggest fear is that many of the young ladies I teach will go off to college in hopes of getting an MRS. degree. Ladies, keep fighting.~EC~
Yesterday, the Chronicle of Higher Education highlighted a report by the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation. The report indicated that, on average, women earn lower salaries than men immediately after graduation and thereafter. This gap in salaries existed even though women’s college GPAs were on average higher than those of men. The report’s findings were true for women, even when they made the same occupational choices as men. The Chronicle detailed the following from the report:
“One year after graduation, women earn 80 percent of what their male counterparts earn, the report says. Ten years after graduation, the disparity is even greater, with women earning 69 percent of what men earn. But women are also more likely than men to complete some form of graduate education within the first 10 years out of college.
The research also shows that women who attended highly selective colleges earn less than men from either highly or moderately selective colleges, and about the same as men from minimally selective colleges.”
In some prior entries, I have mentioned the rainbow nature of some of the Democratic party candidates – Obama, Richardson, and Clinton. We should not leave out the Republicans. For the last several years, we have heard of a draft Condoleeza Rice for president movement. I have visited one of the sites, Americans for Dr. Rice http://www.4condi.com/. It stresses her foreign policy experience as compared to Democratic candidates like Hillary. Rice has apparently pooh-poohed the idea of running in the past. How many of us think that the Republicans will encourage Condie to get into the mix? Will I see Condie shaking hands in Iowa country kitchens? Will she be brought in to support the shaky race/gender credentials of the various Republican candidates? Will the Republicans come up with anyone other than the standard Bush type? Does it really matter? To be honest, as long as there is a war in Iraq, there will not be a Republican in the White House.
Can she win the office? It will be a tough call. Republicans and conservatives (yes these two terms can be separated…I just typed it) have painted her as an evil liberal who would like to destroy the conservative home and the traditional role of women. Hello! We have moved beyond the 1950s and the Leave it to Beaver image. By the way, Leave it to Beaver was not the norm seeing that a number of women who did not have to enter the work force opted to do so. If people would stop listening to bad hype about HRC and look at her record, they would see that she is more moderate than her false public image. Moreover, much of the HRC bashing comes from those who fear the dynamic role shift of women since the 1960s. We must not forget that while in college, she was a Goldwater conservative. According to her, the Civil Rights movement pushed her towards the left.
Here is how New Yorkers feel:
- Gov. George Pataki: 19 percent “great” or “good;” 37 percent “so so,” 41 percent “bad;”
- Sen. Hillary Clinton: 67 percent “great” or “good;” 17 percent “so so,” 13 percent “bad;”
- Mayor Rudolph Giuliani: 41 percent “great” or “good;” 24 percent “so so,” 33 percent “bad.”
This is how
most some Americans outside of New York feel:
So, what are church members hearing? This is from a church memo:
While all the things we know about Hillary are dangerous, the most scary things are the things we do not know. A woman of her demeanor, if it were possible for her to be elected President, would take on a degree of haughtiness that would border on insanity. She would be emboldened by the kind of staff she would surround herself with, and they would certainly further her ego. It would be “Queen Hillary” in her mind, and the very grandeur that would be seen by Americans would make her impossible to defeat. Think of the conduct and attitude that Bill Clinton got by with and double it for Hillary Clinton.Please believe me when I say this woman is dangerous. Every great nation, institution, church denomination, or business must follow discemment in the placing of individuals in places of leadership. Most of the decision is made on the persona that hides behind the face. As
America approaches the future, we must leam to be discerning in electing our leaders. God has a prophetic place for our nation. Our great culture of the past has been wounded to the edge of extinction. It must be resurrected. We need a spiritual awakening that goes far beyond the church face we wear on Sunday morning. Our leaders we elect actually represent what is happening spiritually in the hearts of the voting majority .Let’s prepare on our faces before God for the next election. If we do, and I believe many will, Senator Hillary Clinton does not have the possibility of winning.
Who is the Most Powerful Woman in the World?
Forbes Magazine recently published its list of the most powerful women in the world. Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel tops this list replacing Condoleezza Rice, who dropped a spot to number two. The rest of Forbes’ list is solid with the exception of Katie Couric at number 54 and MTV’s chief executive Judy McGrath at 52. I wish MTV would play a music video from time to time. I am willing to place Couric in the eighties or nineties on my list. McGrath does not make it.
Here are a few other notables on the list.
Oprah Winfrey # 14 – I am thinking # 10 on my list.
Hillary Clinton # 18 – What? She is a powerful U.S. Senator. I say # 6 – 8 on my list.
Melinda Gates # 16 – Again, this is too low. I say # 6 – 8 on my list.
Laura Bush # 43 – How can she and Couric be so close in ranking. I say # 30 – 35 based on her position and title. She is not a power player.
China’s VP WU Yi # 3 – I say # 2 just behind # 1 Rice.
England’s Queen Elizabeth II # 46 – I agree with her spot.