From the personal experience files: "Extreme color arousal" almost got some poor lady and her kids killed today.
So I was at lunch in Center City, Philadelphia-- sans suit as I was in a training seminar. (That's important) I am on the corner of 12th & Market waiting for the light to change, when I spot a late model station wagon making a right turn towards 12th Street from Market.
Now those of you from Philly know that you can't make a right on 12th from Market because it is a ONE WAY street going South. I noticed two adorable little rugrats perched (one in baby car seat) in the back, while mommy was alone in the front and looking quite clueless as she drove towards certain death.
Anywhoo,I stepped forward (trying to seem as non threatening as possible with my biggest black republican smile) and tapped on her passenger side window. I wanted to alert mommy to the fact that she was about to turn the wrong way on a very busy street.
So what do you think mommy did? You guessed it. She looked up and saw the bald headed black man tapping on her window and shot out the wrong way down 12th Street.(That look.) Fortunately for her, the brakes on her car were in proper working order and the light on 12th street was showing red. Mommy soon attracted a crowd of like minded individuals who acted as traffic cops while she maneuvered her way back to Market Street. (Who said Philadelphians are mean?)
Folks, the moral of my little experience is this: Do not let "extreme color arousal" (thanks for that word, Francis) cloud your judgement and get you killed.
Speaking of color arousal, they are teaching "n-word" classes at Arizona State University.
"Neal Lester has never been called a ni**er. But his Italian wife was once called a "ni**er-lover."
"We were just friends at the time, but people assume when they see a black man and a white woman that there must be some type of intimacy," Lester told theGrio. "There's a lot of history there."
It's those type of experiences and misunderstandings that helped inspire Lester, dean of humanities and former chair of the English Department at Arizona State University, to create a course called "The N-word, an Anatomy Lesson."
Every fall, students can learn about the n-word, in all its complexities and connotations.
Click here to view a Grio slideshow: The top 10 n-word controversies of the decade
Lester designed the single-credit, first-year course for students to explore the n-word in a cultural context. Course materials include popular music tracks, magazines, newspaper clippings, television commercials, political campaigns, children's' play toys and other elements of pop and mainstream culture.
A literary scholar, Lester first made the class available in 2008 and again in 2010. It is open to all students.
While there have been recent attempts to get rid of the n-word, including a symbolic public burial four years ago by the NAACP with then-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, Lester says that words cannot be buried. There have even been efforts to remove the n-word from the dictionary..." [Source]
I just wonder if Mr. Lester's wife took the class.
Speaking of class. Our very classy First Lady was out shopping at Target recently and was trying to be all incognito while doing it.
"Yesterday, AP photographer Charles Dharapak snapped pictures of the first lady shopping (sort of) incognito at a Virginia Target, holding a couple of bags and pushing a cart.
In the images, she's wearing a floral-print button-down over a yellow v-neck. It seems a Nike baseball cap and a pair of sunglasses did the trick when it came to staying anonymous -- CBS News reports that during her 30-40 minutes of shopping, the cashier was the only one to recognize her." [Source]
Oh lawd, I can hear the wingnuts now: "Why not Wal-Mart Mrs. Obama?" Or, "Why not K-Mart? Is it because the Target logo and the O for Obama are similar? Is it because Target's colors are red and your husband is a Socialist? Is there some subtle political message in your little jaunt Mrs. Obama?"
Don't laugh folks, the wingnuts really are upset:
"In a September 29 blog post, Michelle Malkin attacked Michelle Obama for shopping at an Alexandria, VA, Target store, writing that Obama went "about as 'incognito' as Lady Gaga's outfit at her younger sister's graduation." Malkin went on to call the first lady "the glamour queen" and further stated that Obama's Target visit was "to counter the negative diva buzz" and that it "looks like she left the bling at home." From the post:
The East and West Wings of the White House are guilty of more cheesy stage-managing than the Emmy, Oscar, and Tony Awards shows combined.Do they sell breaks in Target? Doesn't matter, because poor Michelle couldn't buy a break even if she wanted to. Michelle, it's all your husband's fault.
Last week, the glamour queen wore more than $40,000 worth of diamonds while partying with hubby at several high-priced fundraisers in New York. Her bling made international headlines and photos.
To counter the negative diva buzz as most Americans face hard economic times, Mrs Obama somehow managed to turn up at an Alexandria Va. Target (with her "shopping assistant" in tow)." [Source]
Finally, for those of you who still believe in the death penalty, please consider the following:
"The execution of Troy Davis in Georgia last week despite tremendous doubt about his guilt has brought the issue of capital punishment into the national spotlight. As a country that supports use of the death penalty, America is in poor company with “the world’s great dictatorships and autocracies [such as] Iran, Zimbabwe, China, North Korea, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Egypt, Ethiopia, Cuba, [and] Belarus” according to The Atlantic — while we are supposed to be the land of the free.
Far above and beyond the politically nasty associations with capital punishment is of course the moral concern over accidentally putting innocent people to death. It is likely that the average American believes this is a rare occurrence worth the social value of the death penalty as a deterrent from violent crime. Unfortunately innocent people are often placed on death row. In a study of executions in 34 states between 1973 and 1995, Columbia University professor James Liebman found that: “An astonishing 82 percent of death row inmates did not deserve to receive the death penalty. One in twenty death row inmates is later found not guilty.”
Most death row inmates do not have the resources or time necessary to determine their innocence before it is too late. Hopefully, Troy Davis’ case and others like his will show U.S. citizens how the death penalty destroys innocent lives. Over 1,000 people have been executed since 1976. We may never know how many went to death in error. Here are just a few who we know for sure were likely innocent — but this was discovered too late." [Source]