Thursday, September 30, 2010

Republicans Say & Do The Darnedest Things: Meg Whitman, "Illegals", & Reparations

So last night I had a nice conversation with one of my black republican buddies; and like always, he taught me a lot. Last night I learned that the national high school drop out crisis is due in large part to the presence of "illegal immigrant" kids in the public school system.

Illegal immigrant scapegoating? Now there's a novel idea.

Now my buddy lives in California, and though I don't agree one bit with what he said. I suppose I have to give him the benefit of the doubt even if he didn't have any empirical evidence to support his claim. I mean after all, he lives in a state where there's gazillionaire running for governor who sees immigration as a problem.

You see gubernatorial candidate and former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, ran a "tough on immigration" meme throughout her primary campaign. And in a recent debate with Democratic candidate Jerry Brown, she has vowed to get tougher on immigration, and crackdown on employers of illegal immigrants.

Not a bad idea when they're the reason kids are dropping out of schools, right?

Oh, So Now I'm A "Bougie Bitch" Because I Hate Being Sexually Harassed By Black Men?

By Tracy Renee Jones

If you haven’t been to my post about sexual harassment, you might wanna check it out, read through the long winded arguments, and leave a comment. Really, the debate is still raging like a clergyman’s congregation. I was pleased to see the enthusiasm in the comments section. So much, verve these people have!

Due to the nature of the words I used in my post, some individuals accused me of classism. Apparently, my description of ‘a dirty day laborer’ was improper. Instead, I should have used ‘exceptionally soiled private contractor with hourly, easily negotiable rates’ as I then went on to describe my disgust at his looking at me while he played with his dick!

Truth be told, my issue with this man wasn’t his race, rather, I don’t dig men groping themselves in public, for one. And for two, I have a thing about a man’s hygiene and I probably wouldn’t consider a person that is not steadily employed with a timely paycheck though if I met him cleaned up at a social event and he was not playing with his pinga…who knows what might happen.

Rather than use the term ‘Nigger’ as I did in my initial post I presume I should have used the tried and true once size fits all (inter?) nationally accepted term of ‘African-American’, but in doing so, would I have left out the ‘Haitian-American’ men, the ‘Caribbean-American’ men, the ‘African’ men, and all others that look like Niggers but aren’t but who I meant to create a visual of by using this word.

If you cursed me, chased me, insulted or groped me and I left you out please let me know because I would hate to offend ‘you people’. I know how sensitive you all are about your heritage.

How does one group get to describe what is proper and improper for a group of people? In a country where we have freedom of speech, why should YOUR choice of words matter to me more than my own?

The only words that matter to me are the ones coming out of my mouth. I don’t require others to share my views, agree with my use of words to express those views or even believe I should have a view.


Because in order for me to feel good at night about my freedom to express myself how I see fit, I must also consider anyone else who would like to enjoy the freedom to express their views even if those views are the polar opposite of my own.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Jamal Parris, One Of Eddie Long's Accusers Speak; And I Understand And Believe Him

So I heard that just before Bishop Eddie Long spoke to his congregation last Sunday, a lady in his churched yelled, "You don't have to tell them nothing!" Well, as to be expected, he didn't say much as he presented his non-denial denial much to the adulation of the many minions church members in attendance.

So while Eddie Long stood there with his "five stones" in his hand, and arrogantly labeled himself as "David" prepped and ready for battle with the "Goliath" media machine. I wondered just what was on the mind of his accusers. Well, thanks to Atlanta's Fox 5, we now know how at least one of the four men feel:

Illegal Immigration is making YOUR kids FAT!!!

by Joanna (JuJuBe)

Well, you all will be happy to know that the supposed "obesity epidemic" among teenagers has NOTHING TO DO with the fact that there are fast food restaurants on just about every corner of every city in the country. It is TOTALLY UNRELATED to the ever increasing number of processed, high fat, low nutrition products available on supermarket shelves. Parents, it is NOT YOUR FAULT that your kid is getting fat, because it is has NOTHING TO DO WITH the chicken nuggets and pizza you are feeding him three meals a day Nope... the truth is... it is all the fault of..... THOSE DAMNED ILLEGALS!!!

Yes, it is true!! Those pesky Mexicans are making American kids fat!!! According the the Center for Immigration Studies, the REAL REASON kids in the US are getting fatter is because of ILLEGALS who are coming in and... gasp... mowing our lawns!! Because the truth is, mowing lawns was what was keeping American kids fit in past generations. Not running around with their friends outside! Not playing sports! Not moving, jumping and playing in real life instead of in a video game! Nope, it was MOWING LAWNS that did the trick!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

This is Life in America After the Projected GOP Midterm Takeover (Be Afraid, Be very Afraid!)

I really haven't been in the mood to talk politics for a little while now; and I'm not sure if you've noticed that. But I hear that, with six weeks out, the president is fired up and asking for help; and, I got an email today with an invitation to sit down with House Majority Whip Jim Cyburn next Thursday.

It would appear that the good Congressman from South Carolina is performing an outreach to black bloggers. Which is a great thing considering just how active we were during the primaries, and presidential campaign in 2008. I'm not attending the event in person. However, I do intend to participate via a conference call..

So anyway, even though I'm not really feeling politics right now, I can't ignore the one story that truly made my day. I'm not sure if I was gonna have a bad day or not. But thanks to John Boehner, I had a great laugh for my first read earlier this morning, and I'm pretty sure that it set the tone for the rest of my day.

See, my man John Boehner was hanging out on everybody's favorite network with Chris Wallace on 'Fox News Sunday'. And in the discussion, he had the nerve to suggest that now wasn't the time to focus on solutions to the vast problems that plagues the nation.

No seriously; that's what he said. Yep, we got problems, but, err, umm, now isn't the time to talk about solutions? Yeah I know, not hardly the line to run before an election, but hey, it's the GOP. Those guys have been bankrupt on ideas for quite some time.

That is, excluding the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004, of course; an act that provided huge tax breaks to corporate entities, who in return took jobs overseas. Uh-huh, they created jobs alright...

Monday, September 27, 2010

Repression is not Morality: The Consequences of Sexual Suppression

By Eddie Blue-Eyes

¡Hola! Everybody...

Unless you’re living outside the USA, you have by now been treated to countless stories of Eddie Long’s “alleged” sexual predatory behavior. He is a major religious figure, known for his staunch, homophobic views and conservative, “family values” stance. the accusations leveled against him have rocked Christianity and the Black Church in particular, with many expressing shock, denial, and anger at his actions. This post is not about Eddie Long specifically. It is, however, an attempt to understand the roots of sexual repression, it’s consequences, and why it’s always bound to fail.

First, let me point out that individuals who score highly on psychological metrics measuring homophobia, often demonstrate an attraction to homosexual acts. A university study seems to confirm the belief that most homophobic men have repressed homosexual desires.

The study showed that the men who scored highest on a homophobic measure, were most sexually aroused by gay porn. when confronted with the evidence, the test subjects vehemently denied being sexually attracted to gay porn. (An alternative, but much less likely, explanation is that the homophobic men's erections were caused by anxiety during the experiment.) I believe that any attempt to repress Eros (which is part of natural make-up) relegates it to the dark recesses of our collective psyche where it becomes warped and controls our behaviors.

Eddie Long’s behavior is not the work of the “devil,” but the consequence of sexual repression.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fuck Boys: Will We Ever Talk About Sexually Abused Males In The Black Community?

By Tracy Renee Jones

I love to learn about people. I will sit and ask you intimate questions and will answer your intimate question just as easily. I often ask the guys I am friends with about their first sexual experience. I found it interesting that nearly every guy told me that his first sexual experience was at a very early age.

The cirsumstances are not those of self sexual exploration. Instead, sex was often directed by someone older, be it a older female babysitter, or family member (both male and female).

One of the most disturbing things I ever heard was an ex who told me that at 8 years old his baby sitter fondled him until he was erect and then instructed him to have sex with her. He said he felt 'funny' and jumped up in just as he was ejaculating. He said seeing and feeling it made him scared. He thought the baby sitter caused him to injure himself; he thought something was wrong.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Greatest Story Never Told: Black Clergy Sexual Abuse

"How long you think I can fool these Negroes?"
by Eco.Soul.Intellectual

What does James H. Bell, Tyrone Forbes, Edwin House, Bruce Curtis Leon Dupree, Clarence Garrison and Willie L. Jefferson all have in common? They are pastors that have been arrested for sexual abuses against their parishioners. And in some of the cases, several have been convicted.

It is a fact that sexual abuse goes under-reported in communities of color. Now let's take that fact and apply it when it comes to outing a pastor, deacon, bishop, or other clergymen and women who serve as high power figures in black communities. Not only is it complicated, but in some instances it can be dangerous.

The recent Eddie Long church scandal has magnified an oft-overlooked flaw in the black community. We exempt our "leaders", and more readily, our religious leaders from moral or ethical scrutiny. And when this happens, we participate in our own oppression.

With the past 10 years of sexual abuse cover-ups, lawsuits and scandals becoming a mainstay in the Catholic church and among white clergymen, there is a notion among some black church members that their black pastors are absolved from this sin. It is as if their pastors' erections are somehow different, more divine, thus are stuck in the right orifices.

And in some instances, the victim at the church becomes the predator or the enemy in the eyes of church members---resulting in a collective exile, or one that is self-imposed due to the rejection from people they thought loved them as children of Christ.

Confessions of a "Cutter"


by Joanna (JuJuBe)

I was a freshman in high school when I discovered "cutting". I was being constantly bullied and harassed by classmates. At home, I was reluctant to share what I was going through, because, while my mother was my best friend and the best parent I could ever imagine, she struggled with her own (undiagnosed) depression and was recognizably fragile emotionally. I knew if I started to cry about what was happening at school, my mother would break down with me, and I would end up feeling worse for upsetting her. So, my only respite was the 42 minutes per week I spent with the social worker at school. And the food I constantly gorged on.

Until I discovered "cutting". Unlike the image most people have, no one taught me how to "cut". None of my friends practiced self mutilation. I never saw any images on television. The internet did not exist back then, so I was not influenced by any website. I just knew I was in pain. And one day, I just discovered that using a pocket knife to slash my forearms made me feel temporary euphoria. It pleased me to "punish myself" and watch the blood bead up from the cuts I had made. It gave me a temporary "high" sensation. So, I did it. Over and over again. I usually kept my arms covered, so people didn't realize I what I was doing. It was my tried and true coping method.

I got depressed. I cut myself. People made fun of me. I cut myself. The only person who knew was my social worker, and she could not tell anyone, because technically, I was not endangering my life.

Rape Poem

Some of the recent posts submitted by our fierce women authors here at Madness and Reality reminded me of the following…

* * *

-=[ Missoula Rape Poem ]=-

by Marge Piercy

There is no difference between being raped
and being pushed down a flight of cement steps
except that the wounds also bleed inside.

There is no difference between being raped
and being run over by a truck
except that afterwards men ask you if you
enjoyed it.

There is no difference between being raped
and losing a hand in a mowing machine
except the doctors don't want to get involved,
the police wear a knowing smirk,
and in small towns you become a veteran whore.

There is no difference between being raped
and being bitten by a rattlesnake
except that people ask if your skirt was short
and why you were out anyway.

There is no difference between being raped
and going head first through a windshield
except that afterwards you are not afraid of cars
but of half the human race.

Fear of rape is a cold wind blowing all of the time
on a woman's hunched back
Never to stroll alone a sand road
through pine woods;
Never to climb a trail across a bald
without that aluminum in the mouth
when I see a man climbing towards me.

Never to open the door to a knock
without that razor just grazing the throat.
The fear of the dark side of the hedges,
the back seat of the car,
the empty house rattling keys like a snake's warning.
The fear of the smiling man
in whose pocket is a knife.
The fear of the serious man
in whose fist is locked hatred.

* * *



Friday, September 24, 2010

The Friday Sex Blog [My Semen Can Cure Your Depression]

-=[ My Semen can Cure Your Depression ]=-
Or: Why Swallowers are Happier

[Editor's Note: Normally, I ignore most of what evolutionary psychology has to say because they are utter pan-adaptationists. Some have even used this proclivity to “rationalize” rape and other seriously fucked up behaviors. However, I couldn’t let this one go... you have my dear friend (genius-cum-hot cougar) Nina, to blame for this shit! For those interested, I had another piece published over at Subversify (click here). I think some here would find it interesting...]

Most of my female readers are probably familiar with the McClintock Effect, also known as the “dormitory effect.” It’s the discovery of the phenomenon wherein the menstrual cycles of women living in close quarters tend to synchronize. This phenomenon has been observed in women living together. It has been found in roommates, close friends, and most strongly between mothers and daughters. It has also been noted in mice, hamsters, and rats. It as suggested that ovulation (process of releasing egg from ovary) is socially regulated and this leads to what is called menstrual synchronicity. In other words, women who live together will have their periods at the same time (there's even a FB page dedicated to this effect)..

It’s a remarkable finding. And this is where my post today starts. The story is connected to a whole chain of events, all of which I will not attempt to duplicate here. If you’re interested in a much more in-depth look at the research I cite in this post, take a look at this article (click here ), or if you’re able, download the cited paper (click here).

A couple of researchers developed an interest in the psychological properties of semen as a result in their exploration of menstrual synchrony. Gordon Gallup and Rebecca Burch, evolutionary psychologists from the State University of New York, had stumbled onto data showing that, unlike heterosexually active women residing together, sexually involved lesbians failed to show evidence of the “McClintock effect.” Since olfactory signals (called pheromones) are known to mediate menstrual synchrony, the authors found this peculiar.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Bishop Eddie Long: The 800 Pound Dick in the Black Church

by Eco.Soul.Intellectual

Finally, the unchecked, cultish, pimp-like dominion that pastors have had on black churches since MLK was known for plugging a deaconess-a-day is finally being exposed.

It has been the big black open secret that overshadows pulpits since abolition. It is the horrible truth. Nobody dares talk about it. Er'bdy turns a blinds eye to it.

And at this point, no holy oil, scripture verses or a slick $7,000 tailored suit can hide a known fact that has been an ugly thread in the history of black churches for a minute. And in my opinion, a huge contributor the diminishing of black church's political power politically, economic communalism and spiritual leadership.

It seems these days that the last incentive for a crook to go legit is to open up a damn church. Sheeit, pimps gotta eat too. That whole profit

Oh, and that goes for black mosques---the Nation of Islam and Orthodox mosques that toss sisters up like shot glassed; And I will not leave out Hebrew Israelites who "discipline" women by putting them in homes with other women who have violated policy; the Nuwabian nation with Malachi York who was known to sleep with a man's bride the night before the wedding; Or the Santeros, and Orisha community in which the priests run through the women like loose bowels.

Let's put it all on the table tonight! Sexual exploitation and black religion goes hand in hand. But let's get back to Christian churches since they hold the bulk of black folk in the States, shall we?

A Few Good Black Men: Can A Sister Talk To A Brother?

By Tracy Renee Jones

It seems like Black male egos are bruised and in need of some soothing. When I wrote my piece last week about the sexual harassment that I’ve experienced throughout my life at the hands of Black men it wasn’t a blanket condemnation of all men that look like me. Of course I know a few good Black men; and when I say a few, I mean a dam few….at least up until recently.

Initially I thought it quite typical for the few good Black men to cry foul; apparently they’re tired of having to maneuver through a world made more hostile and less civilized due to the behavior of the ones that behave like barbarians. I’ve been having this discussion with a (Good Black) male friend of mine for a few weeks prior to me writing my piece. I can understand the frustration he and other men who go about their lives trying to be the "GOOD" man that’s needed feel.

It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that just like there are women who do what they can to remain open hearted, to behave lovingly toward others, and who seek to emulate the strength and beauty that Black women are there are also Black men who though not perfect, try dam hard to be that father, that brother and that “Good” man to that Black woman.

Who Knew Walking Down The Street Could Be This Hazardous For A Black Woman?

See the lady in the picture above? Yeah, that's not make up; her face is actually black and blue. Uh-huh, and yes, those are scars on her shoulder. Lemme ask you something: if this woman was your mother, or sister, and she received those bruises at the hands of another man like she did, how would that make you feel?

Yeah I know, you'd probably be ready to either call the coroner, the "ambalamps", or the police for the man who did this, right? OK, so what if I told you that what you see in the picture above, was the direct result of the actions of a police officer? Would that make you any less, or more angry?

Sure you would want to know just exactly what she did to deserve such a beatdown, right? I mean after all, the cops are not into beating the shit out of people for no reason, right? I mean surely her "crime" and punishment at the hands of a police officer was just, right? Oh, and what was her crime you ask?


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A DREAM Act Deferred

I'm kinda disappointed that the blockage of Don't Ask, Don't Tell is getting more attention than the blockage of the DREAM Act which was also an amendment included in the Defense Authorization Act. Personally, I see them both as equally important, and in dire need of progressive attention.

But like always, Republicans acted as expected in the face of the upcoming 2010 midterm elections. I suppose nothing spells FREEDOM more than a vote to oppose any debate on either issue. Way to go GOP!!!

At first I was somewhat bothered by military service being one of the requirements for a path to citizenship for the approximately 2 million people who stands to benefit from the passage of the DREAM Act. But then I realized that the pursuit of a higher education was also an optional requirement.

So here's the question: if an "illegal immigrant" who was brought here as child wanted to serve the country in the military, why not allow them a path to citizenship in return? Is military service not recognized as the highest form of patriotic practice?

Barack Obama's "Illegal Alien" Aunt Speaks Out: "The System Took Advantage Of Me"

As if right on cue, with all the recent rhetoric about Barack Obama and his "Kenyan anti-Colonialist" daddy who is somehow running the country from the grave, Obama's "illegal immigrant" aunt Zeituni Onyango has crawled out from under a rock. And in no uncertain terms, she's managed to piss a few people off.

In a recent interview with a Boston's WBZ-TV's Johnathan Elias, she has managed to fire up our right-wing anti-immigration friends and neighbors. By asserting that, "the system took advantage of her," and that the United States has "the obligation to make me a citizen," she has certainly drawn much needed scrutiny of the broken system of immigration.

And you know what? The way the following interview is presented, it's understandable as to why some may be upset, and are of the opinion that her Kenyan-born nephew and illegitimate president, just might have had a hand in her being granted Asylum, and thus being allowed to lawfully remain in the country.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fox's Hidden Racism: Glenn Beck's "Coons In Africa"

OK look, racism can be a sneaky lil fella at times. And even for me, an experienced professional racism chaser, racism can be hard to detect. So, I'll leave this one up to you. Watch the following clip and tell me if I'm just buggin when I think Beck and by extension Fox is up to some ole slick shit with this segment:

James Jones: Confronting Bully on School Bus; Good or Bad Move?

by Joanna (JuJuBe)

James Jones is the father of a daughter with cerebral palsy. She had just started middle school, and reported to her father that she was being tormented on the bus by other students. They had hit her, pinched her, taunted her, and thrown condoms at her. So, her father decided that he was not going to allow the bullies to get away with torturing his daughter.

He boarded her school bus one morning, telling his daughter to show him which children were the perpetrators. He then cursed at the students on the bus, and threatened them with bodily harm if the bullying continued. Police were called, Mr. Jones was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and disturbing a school function. Originally, charges of assault and false imprisonment were considered, but not pursued. He has since been released on bond, but his daughter was reportedly hospitalized and was on suicide watch due to the bullying, which continued EVEN AFTER the confrontation.

And, in an interview, the boy who was bullying her was smirking. He claimed to have been traumatized by the incident, but he had a grin on his face. And his mother did not hold him the SLIGHTEST BIT responsible. He is a 13 year old boy. He is old enough to know this is NOT how you treat another human being. But, apparently, he never learned that. As in so many cases, the parent had NO PROBLEM with the fact that her child was a bully. She excused his actions and instead portrayed him as an innocent victim.

Monday, September 20, 2010

If You Think "She Was Asking For It," You Might Be A Potential Rapist

I've had a penis now for, oh, a little over 40yrs now. And I've come to realize that having one of those things grants you certain privileges that for the most part aren't recognized by fellow penis possessors.

For example, having a penis leaves one oblivious to many of the things women - or, people with vaginas - are subjected to at the hands of men. For all intents and purposes of this post, let's discuss this, shall we?

Recently, the newest contributor of our blog team, Tracy Renee Jones, dropped an awesome piece that highlighted the abuse women deal with daily in the form of unwanted sexual advances from men.

It's an awesome piece, and if you missed it, you really should check it out [read]. Ironically, her post was written on the week that there was much discussion on the female sports reporter being sexually harassed in the New York Jets locker room.

Now if you haven't heard, about a week or so ago, Mexican sports reporter Inez Sainz was at the center of much discussion after it was brought to the attention of the NFL and the New York Jets front office, that several players and staff acted inappropriately towards her while she attempted to do her job of interviewing rising star Mexican quarterback, Mark Sanchez [read here].

Well, not to really belabor a point or anything, but when it was all said and done, and the story broke with pics of what she was wearing, many in the court of public opinion were quick to suggest that whatever treatment she received, was a product of her unprofessional-ism. To make a long story short, many people were of the opinion that she was "asking for it," by being dressed as a whore in a men's locker room. Look, I like a fat ass like the next guy, but being in the presence of one doesn't give me license to act like a Neanderthal.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Yep, Let's Privatize the U.S. Postal Service & Send those Nigerian Taxi Drivers Back

I give Republicans hell on this blog for their racist, or racially insensitive antics on the regular - seriously, check my archives. But today, I just wanna take a quick second to give a serious twenty-one gun Negro salute to former Senator Al D'Amato (R-NY). Often, when a high profile conservative talking head says something racially offensive, there's almost always a deafening silence from party leadership.

It's very rare that anyone in leadership within the Republican party ever steps up to challenge some of the racist tripe espoused as conservative talking points. But on last Thursday's edition of Fox's "Money Rocks", my conservative hero of the day - Al D'Amato - broke protocol as he all but slapped fellow conservative and GOP strategist, Jack Burkman, with his penis on live television.

TWIB: Black People And White People Are Different

I gotta give it to Elon James White, he's been somewhat consistent as he brings the pain; that is, well, if you overlook the fact that he makes us fiend like the 4am crackhead begging for that $5 hit. Anyway, check out his latest installment as he breaks it down on just how different black and white people actually are in America. Also, do checkout the article at Salon that accompanies this video to truly understand what this is all about [link]. No seriously, you really need to read the article; if you don't, I'll know from your silly comments.

Check out more at This Week In Blackness.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Glenn McConnell On South Carolina GOP Slave Pics: "Receive it in the spirit it was presented that evening." (Or, "Shut Tha Eff Up Negro!")

Well, what do you expect? I mean those pictures were completely harmless, right? I mean there's no way in hell he should apologize for being pictured as a Confederate general happily embracing slaves, right?

Now if he was holding a Quran... well maybe then I would say an apology is in order. Until then, I say be who you are, pal. Besides, it's time that blacks in America got over this racial stuff anyway.
McConnell says a picture circulating on the Internet of him dressed in a Civil War-era military uniform alongside two African-Americans outfitted in period costumes was an innocent moment among friends — nothing more. [...]

“It was a friendly photograph,” McConnell said Wednesday. “It’s a great statement as to how far this state has come.”

“Receive it in the spirit it was presented that evening,” McConnell urged, adding there were no apologies to be made for the effort. (source)
Shit, don't even pay any attention to those ungrateful niggers bloggers who are bitching about your happy times pics. I mean, it's not like those folks are asking those two Negroes pictured with you for an apology.

The Friday Sex Blog: What Sexual Revolution?

Photo: the lovely Alexandria
As the ostrich when pursued hides his head, but forgets his body; so the fears of a coward expose him to danger.
-- Akhnaton (c.1375– c.1353 BC) Egyptian pharaoh of the 18th dynasty

We live in a culture that appears to be enthusiastic about sex. According to pollsters most people enjoy having sex and lovemaking and do it regularly. Countless women’s magazines blare the word “sex” on covers, barking out “sex quizzes” for everything under the sun. Novels, television shows, and movies purportedly explore the nuances of erotic life. The largest money-maker on the internet is -- you guessed it -- pornography. Otherwise bored housewives saturate the internet with revealing photos of themselves (whether real or fake is irrelevant). Explicit sex entertainment (especially in the Deep South) is a billion-dollar industry. It would appear to the lax observer, that sex-positive attitudes are prevalent in our society.

But appearances, as they often are, can be deceiving. The very rationale for my Friday sex blogs is my contention that most people in our culture are highly ignorant of, and ambivalent toward, sex. In opposition to our natural erotic nature exists irrational fears about our own sexuality. Social scientists have begun to call this irrational fear of sex, erotophobia, and I have touched on this subject in previous blogs. I see this as a largely unrecognized condition and its impact on our lives and culture goes largely unnoticed.

Take the time to examine any aspect of human sexuality in our culture and you will be confronted with sexual fear. Consider the widespread discomfort many people experience even talking about sex. Though the media assaults us daily on the sexual exploits of celebrities, most of us have enormous difficulty talking openly and frankly about the subject. It seems we suffer from what some researchers call a “sexual language barrier.” I would add that most people feel more comfortable swapping spit (and other bodily fluids) than sharing words about the event.

Children are the first casualty of erotophobia. They pick up quickly on the adult discomfort with sexual language. As one prominent sex researcher, John Money puts it: “… no child can grow up without becoming acquainted with the taboo on talking about sex. No matter how open the conversation may be at home, or among peers, every child discovers sooner or later that certain everyday sexual words are absolutely forbidden in school, at church, on television and elsewhere.”

Most parents feel uncomfortable giving their children even basic sex education. Many children come of age without knowing the correct names for human genital organs, for example. We’re so ambivalent about sex that, in a society that supposedly values intelligence and self-awareness, almost every female will reach adulthood without knowing the name of her erotic pleasure center, the clitoris.

In a similar vein, most teen-aged boys masturbate regularly yet hear not a word from their parents about this crucially important sexual behavior. Most parents I have known would rather commit hara kiri than openly discussing masturbatory pleasure with their children.

Our schools teach our children how to paint, make music, play sports, and learn about their bodies in countless non-erotic ways, but neglect erotic education. The focus of sex education in our culture, interestingly enough, is on avoiding disease and pregnancy. The issue of teaching creative ways to experience pleasure is off the table -- completely unknown. The consequence of all this is that most people reach adulthood profoundly ignorant about sex, especially its pleasure potential. Consider masturbation, a sexual act that risks no sexual disease or unwanted pregnancy. Tens of millions of people in our culture are uncomfortable with it. The most comprehensive survey of U.S. sexual behavior reports that half of the people who masturbate feel guilty about it. The researchers believe this percentage underestimates the actual number of people who feel negative about masturbation because those who are highly uncomfortable with it stop masturbating (or, more likely, lie on surveys about masturbation).

Our behavior with our sexual partners also reflects a sexual ambivalence. The average sexual encounter is quick and often routine. Sexual surveys indicate that though there are unlimited opportunities for sex, “… couples level off at about 1 hour a week, 4 hours a month, or the equivalent of about six 8-hour days a year.” This is certainly not a picture of much sexual action.

In fact, most of us have a narrow set of sexual practices -- what I call the “lick-em, stick-em, and cum” school of sexual gratification -- a short sequence of erotic acts that varies little from day to day, partner to partner. We seem to fear any form of sexual experimentation or originality. Conversely, we seek out the new in movies, books, travel, fashion, and gadgets but our sexual expression remains bland and repetitive.

You might be thinking that all this doesn’t pertain to you, my reader. I hear it all the time, “Not me, Eddie.”


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Carl Paladino: New York Republican Governor Hopeful & Bestiality Porn Lover

by Joanna (JuJuBe)

Ok, so my first introduction to Carl Paladino was when I read about his wonderful idea of transforming New York prisons into poor houses training centers for welfare recipients. He is an ultra conservative millionaire businessman. He is a Tea Party backed candidate. He is now the official Republican candidate for governor of NY. He is quite an interesting choice for a party that claims to have a lock on morality and virtues.

Not surprisingly, given the recent Republican party shenanigans, their new candidate for governor has been proven to be a racist. His email history was included messages he had forwarded of a blatantly bigoted nature. One showed a group of Black men in front of an approaching plane and read "Run ni%@a, run". Another portrayed Michelle and Barack Obama dressed as a pimp and a ho. Yet another showed an African tribal dance, and was labeled "Obama Inauguration Rehearsal".

Other emails were sexist and just down right perverted. One contained a video labeled "Miss France 2008 Fu#@ing", while others featured nude women. And the kicker? He sent out a video of a horse having sex with a woman. Ah, yes, family values. The moral high ground. The Republicans sure have a lock on those, as evidenced as their choice of candidates. (Oh, and did I mention the party that tried to impeach Clinton for getting a blow job just nominated a candidate for governor who has a child from an extramarital affair?)

As for the issues
? Carl Paladino has stated that the "Ground Zero mosque" is a "symbol of conquest" and says he will use laws of eminent domain to prevent the Islamic Center from being built. He has stated that global warming is a "farce". He has vowed to completely shut down the state government if the budget is late.

Now, luckily, NY tends to be a heavily Democratic state, so Paladino has virtually no chance of actually becoming the governor. But how scary is it that people would actually cast a vote at all for a man like this??

"For Colored Girls" Trailer Looks Good; Complaining Begins...

By Seattle Slim

Let me preface by saying that I haven't yet read the "choreopoem" that is "For Colored Girls Who've Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf" yet, but I will. That won't stop me from going to see the movie.

Yes, I'm going to see the movie. I don't care if Tyler Perry's name is attached or not. It looks like it has depth, tons of emotion and I can appreciate the fact that these sisters are giving me some kind of dimension.

It's nice to see a movie featuring an all-star cast of black women, who obviously come from a variety of different backgrounds. It's not every day that you see something like this, and after JUST now seeing the first Sex and the City movie on bootleg, I am all the way behind this.

Of course, there are people who won't go see it because it's a Tyler Perry project. Whatever. I can't see penalizing these actresses and what could be awesome performances because of issues with Tyler Perry. These actresses deserve a chance. There are people, however, who are complaining about the content and how it's "depressing." Well, from what I gathered, the play/choreopoem wasn't all rainbows and unicorn shit, either, so how can the movie be any brighter?

Domestic violence, abortion, suicide, and all the other issues addressed in the book are not pretty. What do these people want? A scene in which one character talks about how her abortion was "totes" traumatizing while shopping for Manolo Blahniks?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Street Meet: Black Women, Black Men, & Everyday Sexual Harassment

By Tracy Renee Jones

I am 11 years old wearing a Catholic School uniform. I make a run for the candy store a few blocks away from the school. The men say things to me but I don't know what some of the words mean. Their stares make me uncomfortable.

I am 15 years old wearing shell toe Adidas and a gold name plate. Backpack on one shoulder, one sock slouched as I make my way to my Catholic high school.

I am 23 years old wearing steel toe boots and dingy, baggy clothes on my way to work the docks at UPS.

I am 30 years old wearing a suit, early in the morning, while making my way to work which I now called a ‘career’.

I am 36 years old wearing the shapeless clothes one does when they get older, my hair is in a ponytail and I’m walking with my adult daughter.

“Good Morn’en”, says the toothless alcoholic who lives on the curb as I make my way to the bus during my morning commute.

“Hey Pretty Lady”, says the dirty day laborer as he rubs his dick, “You got a hus-ban?” I look down my nose at him, making my disgust clear. I refuse to break my gaze until I see the look of humiliation cross his face.

“Dam, you got a fat ass, Ma!” says the under age drug dealer as I escort my 11 year old daughter from martial arts class. His friends break out in a roar of laughter. I feel my daughter grip my hand tighter; she pulls me along in an attempt to get me away from the perceived danger. I bite my tongue because I don’t want to show out in front of my child, I’m supposed to be an adult and ‘respectable’ acting in public.

“Fuck you then! What? You think you’re better than me?!” says the random Nigger on the corner in some urban hood that could be in any urban town anywhere in America.

“Yeah, I do” is my usual response. I look him straight in the eyes and punctuate my retort with all the confidence my body language can muster. I enjoy the look of pain I’ve caused him to feel; I enjoy being able to turn the humiliation meant for me, back on to him.

“You ain’t all dat anyway..don’t nobody want you”, says the random Nigger on the corner in some urban hood that could be in any town anywhere in America.

Charlie Rangel: Don't Leave Me Swinging in the Wind [Hilarious Video]

You might not like him, but I love New York, and I think it's dope that he kicked ass and won his primary. So what he's facing ethics charges, he beat five challengers like they were silly; yep, Harlem loves Charlie dammit.

But even better than his victory which pretty much guarantees his re-election, is the following video:

I really love the fact that not even the auto-tune couldn't prevent him from sounding like a Jewish Elmer Fudd after a carton of cigarettes and a 48 hour meth binge. Not that I would know anything about that, but...

Wasn't that video awesome?

¡Ask a Nuyorican!

¡Hola! Gringos! It’s National HisPanic Month (or something like that) and as the resident Nuyorican, I’ll be posting almost exclusively on things Latino/a over at my blog.
* * *
Being a Primer on How to be a Nuyorican via Cuss Words, Sex, and Everything Else

So, I was reading ¡Ask A Mexican! by Gustavo Arellano and I found it hilarious. I was thinking that since the messakins have such a reference source, then the second largest Latino/a demographic, people of Puerto Rican descent, should be similarly honored. After all, in the northeast and in places like Chicago, Puerto Ricans are most likely the majority of Latino/as you will run into. Shit, we even have a tight-knit clan in Hawaii, part of the unintended result of Operation Bootstrap. But I’m getting a little ahead of myself here and I don’t want to give anyone a headache.

Notice the word in my title, Nuyorican? Well, a Nuyorican is a person of Puerto Rican descent or birth who was born or raised in New York City. Lots of Dominicans and Cubans ad assorted other Latino/as try to pass themselves off a Nuyoricans, but you can tell us apart right away: we’re the first ones to speak up.

Now, if you’re from the South or the West Coast, you might not even know what a Puerto Rican is or that Puerto Rico is a colony of the good old U.S. of A. Yup, that’s right. Puerto Rico, a small island in the Caribbean, is one of the oldest colonies on the planet (a distinction we share with our Irish brothers and sisters!).

As a result of the Jones Act, we are citizens of the USA. Not that we asked for it. In fact, we had nothing to do with it, since our little islita was part of the spoils of the Spanish-American War. But in any case, we are US citizens, so all you black and white Americanos who are too stupid to know your own country’s geography and who are about to ask me for my green card -- I got yer fuckin’ green card...

::right here::

I once had to set an educator Down South straight while attempting to register my younger brother in school, dumb fuckin’ hick. A teacher should know America, right?

Now that we got that out of the way... we can move on to the juicier stuff! Let’s start with language. This is by no means an exhaustive list and I hope to continue adding to it, but it will have to suffice for now...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

So this is What Republicans Do on Friday Nights! Damn I Love the Post-Racialness!!

Ahhh yes, those were fun times indeed. Seeing the smiling faces of slaves in warm embrace with their Confederate protectors sure makes you rethink the whole "slavery-was-bad" thing, doesn't it?

Only thing this photo is obviously not from the good ole days. As a matter of fact, the above photo was taken last weekend! At a party; and no, it's not even Halloween just yet!

Yes, the above picture was taken at a Republican shindig in South Carolina; Charleston South Carolina to be more specific. It was an event sponsored by The National Federation of Republican Women (NFRW).

And of course the entire world needs to know just how "cool" they are, they posted this and other pics on Facebook. Just great; because of this "certain people" are gonna wanna pull out those black lawn jockeys.

Dubbed 'The Southern Experience', the event was held last Friday at the Country Club of Charleston. And from the looks of it, the only black folks at the country club were, well, happily dressed as slaves?

Slave-Catcher Of The Week: Anita MonCrief, ACORN, & "Operation Darkie Shield"

So, by now if you live in the real world, and not that alternate reality bizarro world which is home to wing-nuts, you're fully aware of the Andrew Breibart's ACORN smearing, that has long since been debunked à la the infamous Shirley Sherrod "I'm in the NAACP and I'm racist," FOX News promoted bullshit-ass video.

Now the one thing about the ACORN video, was that it painted black women in a negative light. According to Breibart's video, the sisters were experts in the pursuit hoe-shit; and were actually pimp/hoe consultants who sold foodstamp cards and dope, and used the "community activist" tag as an obvious front.

Fast-forward to today, and ACORN has closed its doors, and in steps Anita MonCrief, an ex-ACORN employee now turned Conservative activist. Which there's nothing wrong with her being a political activist; except that she's pimping her "I used to work with ACORN" card.

Surely anyone who once worked for ACORN can establish some credibility as a wannabe self-avowed whistle-blower, by being an expert on all the tricks of those race-baiting white liberals and the crime loving black folks who they employ, right?

This from Talking Points Memo:
Anita MonCrief, a self-described whistleblower who previously worked for the community organizing group ACORN, told tea party activists in D.C. on Friday to get involved in their local elections to prevent progressive organizations from stealing the races through voter fraud.

Tea Party groups, as TPM has reported, have raised the issue of voter fraud ahead of the midterm elections, but most voting experts say such claims of voter fraud are inflated and can lead to policies which suppress the turnout of legitimate voters.

So where should tea partiers be monitoring for action from what conservatives swear are election-stealing liberal groups? A pamphlet handed out at the meeting produced by American Majority has some ideas. Among the locations to watch: bus stops, utility bill pay centers, day labor sites and welfare offices on the 1st and 15th of the month.[...]

[...] MonCrief, who is African-American, was speaking before an entirely white, mostly middle-aged group of a little over two dozen people at Liberty XPO & Symposium in D.C. She said that it is progressive groups who are making race an issue, and that voter fraud has nothing to do with skin color.

"ACORN is run by liberal whites who want street cred," MonCrief said. "They just put the black people out there on TV and it's usually, you'll find, the most toothless one they could [find]." She said it operates in areas with a large black or Latino population, but their diversity is just a ploy.

"Let me think of a P.C. way to say this," MonCrief said. "Okay I called it 'Operation Darkie Shield'," she revealed, after being encouraged by the audience.

Officials at ACORN said in 2008 that MonCrief wasn't credible because she was fired for running up $3,000 in personal expenses on a ACORN credit card.[...]

[...] She said that the outlook for conservatives looked good for November, that the activists "can't rest on our laurels" because of groups like Organizing for America and those funded by George Soros. MonCrief recommended that those in attendance pick up a book by John Fund of The Wall Street Journal, and warned that Democrats would be trying to pass a Universal Voter Registration act which would put illegal immigrants with drivers licenses on the voting rolls and lead to double voting.
I hear you Anita, those white liberals are envious of Eminem, and yes they want street cred. Something that you obviously know a lot about despite of being a Tea Party kneecap-licking sister. Yep, you're gangsta, Anita. Gansta enough to steal from ACORN and turn around and get yours after they fired you.
Yep, get that money girl; get rich or stay jigging!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

2,740 People Died on 9/11, & For What?

Look, probably the only thing about the events of September 11th, 2001, that I believe, is the fact that people died on that day. There's no way that anyone can convince me that the 2,740 people who died that day are all off in Tahiti on a beach chillin' with Tupac and Elvis.

But I suppose that I, like millions of other skeptics, still question just exactly what the hell happened on that fateful day now forever etched in our collective minds worldwide.

When members of the 9/11 commission admits to not thoroughly inspecting NSA files on Al-Queda; and only reviewed in a cursory fashion only in the last days of its investigation.

With that said, can we truly conclude we know the truth. Further, why then should we accept what we know per their investigation of the events? Philip Shenon of The Daily Beast writes:
"Throughout its investigation, staffers complained, the commission's leaders were fixated on what could be found in the terrorism files of the CIA and the FBI, the two big targets for criticism in the panel's final report, and largely ignored the NSA, the government's chief eavesdropping agency.

When the commission did get into the NSA archives during a frantic, down-to-the-wire weekend search in June 2004, it found explosive material suggesting links between the 9/11 plotters and the government of Iran and the Iranian-backed Hezbollah militants of Lebanon. The Iran material was forced into the commission's final report with limited context and without any chance for followup by the commission; the panel was about to shut down." (source)
Well, checkout the following videos by The Real News Network which features Peter Dale Scott. Scott is a former Professor of English at the University of California, and is a renowned researcher and author.

His most recent books are: Drugs, Oil, and War (2005), The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America (2007), The War Conspiracy: JFK, 9/11 and the Deep Politics of War (2008) and Mosaic Orpheus (poetry, 2009). So yeah, checkout the following and lemme know what you think, OK?

9/11: Questions Remain Unanswered:

Truth: When it All Falls Down

by Eco.Soul.Intellectual

I write this in hopes that the vampiric blood-lust and vigilante spirit that many carried after 9/11 has either eased or been directed to the teabaggers.

Everyone in the US knows where they were on 9/11. It is a searing image in time we will not forget. Unfortunately, the truth remains mysteriously hidden in the depths of the proverbial rabbit hole.

I really think that some folk crave for stupid shit. I am sure that, that pastor down in Florida is counting all the millions he made from stupid supporters with a smile on his face. And I believe that the Imam has become quite thirsty as well. Another day's work right?

But when the truth falls, crazy ish like this arises. Similar to the falling of the towers, billows of cloudiness took over mainstream American thought.

Today there is a Ground Zero that has only progressed to about Ground 1.2. The construction operates at a snail's pace. Recently, there was a public fallout over funding of the building efforts. According to the greedy, slimy developer Larry Silverstein, the money ran out thus the project was brought to a halt.

Of course after back door hand shakes with sleazy Port Authority officials and multiple pay offs, Silverstein predicts that now the construction will be finished in 5 or 6 years...of course after billions of dollars later.

Speaking of missing truths, we have never been told what really happened on 9/11. The smoking mirrors and botched cover ups along with a plethora of war movies to inundate us with the idea that "killing shit is cool" have dulled a lot of us and put more of our young, working-class children in the military.

I have read and heard many theories on the so-called terrorist attack at the World Trade Center. And I know that chunks and bits of it are floating around in the peasoup of goverment excuses, lies, and conspiratorial lectures. But throughout all, lives were lost then, and many are still dying from the residuals of the clean ups.

Just to offer my little experience, I have a small story and a big story.

Years ago I was on a business trip and I met a woman who was in government and decided to research the guffaws of intelligence on that day. She told me that she learned some things regarding 9/11 that were very, very disturbing. Inquisitive that I am, I asked her what. She turned red and declined to tell. For the rest of the trip she was mum.

That small little gesture sent chills up my spine because I had just read up on a woman who is still being raked through the coals for what she says and continues to postulate.

Cynthia McKinney was the first elected official to publicly question the government's foreknowledge on 9/11 in a speech that was broadcast on a Pacifica radio station out in Northern Cali.

Since then, her life has been an upheaval. I saw some things first hand that made me step back and realize that this martyrdom shit was not as sexy as it seems.

Anyway a documentary of some of McKinney's woes came out in a movie called, American Blackout. I write this for her, because the work she is putting in and her sacrifices are serious. And when bullshit falls, I am sure, folks like her will rise.

Anywho, on an ending note, I have to tell my black folk that I am sorry, but the vacation from being the most profiled was over like 5 years ago. We have once again been placed back on the list with the most wanted, most targeted and most watched.

The profiling is back to black.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Screwed by the Law

By Tracy Renee Jones

I like to travel and on my travels I enjoy sampling the local fare.... I eat..... I drink and I fall into bed with sexy strangers. Now while out partying there's always the chance that one might unknowingly break the law. Having large breasts will usually do the trick if you happen to have some of those on hand.

If that doesn't work just simply being an out of towner may garner some sympathy from the 'law' but it’s always good to familiarize yourself with such things before hand. So it's my pleasure to bring you a few rules of engagement that I thought we should all keep in mind lest you find yourself becoming familiar in the Biblical (unless it’s illegal) way with Big Bubba!!

You Said a Mouthful

Oral sex of any kind is illegal in Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Virginia and Washington D.C!!

And you wondered why Monica Lewinsky got into all that trouble! She's an AMERICAN HERO; she had our best interest in mind when she chose to put herself at risk by falling to her knees and providing then Commander in Chief Bill Clinton with a PRESIDENTIAL. Sometimes you gotta think about the welfare of others and do what chu gotta do; Monica understood this and I thank her for it and you should too.

Screw That!

It's illegal to purchase sex toys in Alabama

Word on the street is that you have to make ‘a run’ out of town to ‘cop the goods’! I can’t get over the fact that a harmless butt plug or vibrator would have Sue Anne and Mary Sue Jane riding dirty much like a pack of ghetto thugs who move work from state to state. And another the state troopers plant nipple rings in the trunk as a set up? I’m just curious! Does the smell of anal beads tip off the cops during a routine spot check? I want answers!

Is that a pistol in your pocket or are you randy for me, Baby ! *licks lips*

Be careful with that tool, Big Daddy, an erection that shows through a man's clothing is illegal in the state of Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington D.C. and Wisconsin.

The country’s originator of black man overt sexual swagger and the home of jewel clutching!! I don’t know how NYPD is allowed to walk around in public; those guys are the biggest pricks ever and I can spot one a mile away..maybe I should contact an attorney. I've been violated.

Suicide: An Individual AND a Family Crisis (Bloggers Unite: World Suicide Prevention Day)

By Joanna (JuJuBe)

Two years ago, GA took a bottle of heparin (a blood thinner) from the veterinary program at her job. She kept it stored in her home, and took it with her when she moved to a new location. She also took the needles needed to inject the medication. She told no one that she had procured this item. She had a plan in mind for it.

One night last May, she injected herself with the heparin. She then tied a noose out of an electrical cord and fastened it to her shower door. She proceeded to use a straight razor to slit her wrists vertically up to her elbow. The blade was dull, so she had to make several cuts. She bled so much that the blood soaked through a 6 inch couch cushion. She then went to her bed and waited to die.

The noose in her bathroom was there in case she did not bleed out and needed to resort to another method to end her life. However, she was so weak from blood loss that she was unable to walk to the bathroom. In fact, during the night, when she had to urinate, she had to crawl across her apartment to reach the toilet. Miraculously, she survived until morning.

In the morning, she called a coworker to let them know she would not be coming into work. When the coworker asked her what was wrong, GA began to cry. She confessed to her coworker that she had cut herself, but said that she did not need or want to go to the hospital. Her coworker insisted on checking on her anyway, and when she went to her apartment, found her weak and unable to walk without assistance. The apartment was covered with blood. GA was taken to the hospital. She was lucky to be alive.

The Friday Sex Blog [Religious Sex]

“… Her truth,
her altar,

forms at the
juncture of firm thighs
where a hallowed moistness --
a sticky-sweet dew --
exists solely to quench
my lustful thirst.
It’s where the stuttering
of my lips
offers prayers
from an unknown religion
to forgotten Gods.”
-- Edward-Yemíl Rosario
All rights reserved © 2008

According to The Big Three (Christianity, Judaism, Islam) the erotic impulse -- the world of Eros, the body, and human sexuality -- falls under the domain of Satan. From this perspective, the physical is cast as sinful, bestial. Human sexuality, according to this view, is an obstacle from the lofty hallowed pursuit of God and everything that is good and ethical. From the moment we are born, we are told that the more we open to the erotic impulse, the more we listen and open to the needs of the body, the more we embrace and enjoy our sexual natures, the further we stray from moral rectitude and emotional well-being.

I write this Friday sex blog mostly because I argue that the opposite is true. I submit that the erotic impulse, honored and liberated from the shackles of guilt and organized forces of suppression, is a powerful spiritual path leading to a profound psycho-spiritual awareness. The sex blog is a call for us to stop trivializing the erotic/ sexual world as we so often do, as if sex involved nothing more than sensory stimulation, ego gratification, and the pursuit of an orgasm.

Some of my assumptions are radical. That there is more to sex than the giddy pursuit of carnal pleasure may be hard to accept in the aftermath of the sexual explosion of the 60s and 70s. It was an era when reliable birth control, combined with an awakening feminism, consciousness-raising, and the movements for gay, lesbian, and bisexual liberation released us from some of our legacy of sexual oppression and fear. However, it is my submission that that it is precisely our failure to recognize the depth of the erotic impulse that is at the root of our current dissatisfaction with our sexual nature.

Once we began to shake loose the shackles of sexual repression, we were as the proverbial children in the candy store. In the time of so-called free love, we seemed to want nothing more than to consume as many erotic experiences as we could. We were, after all, sexually starved beings emerging from thousands of years wandering lost in a wasteland into a world of lush jungles bursting with exotic fruit. I was there, and it was an exciting time in the cultural history of Western sexuality, and an important first step in freeing ourselves from the repressive world on the 50s -- the huge, white-picket-fence, clean and tidy, sexual suburbia of post-war America.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Bloggers Unite - International Literacy Day: Reducing Illiteracy in the Prison Population Benefits ALL of Us!

by Joanna(JuJuBe)

An estimated 20 percent of the adult population in the US is functionally illiterate. That figure SKYROCKETS to over 60 percent when you examine the literacy rates of the inmate population in jails and prisons across the country. And even more appalling is the fact that over 85 percent of juvenile offenders have literacy issues.

Considering that illiteracy commonly leads to lengthy and repeated bouts of unemployment (over 75 percent of unemployed adults have some problems with reading and writing) the low rate of literacy among the inmate population is a recipe for explosive recidivism rates. After all, if an ex-prisoner is unable to find or keep a job due to literacy issues, where else can he turn but back to the behaviors that landed him in jail in the first place?

Although a lot of people take the "lock them up and throw away the key" attitude toward prisoners, and would rather REDUCE the services available to prisoners, there is PROOF that literacy programs in prison CAN and DO help reduce the rates of recidivism, and can lead to an overall reduction in incarceration rates.
A comprehensive study by the Washington State Institute for Public Policy, the research arm of the Washington Legislature, found that general education programs reduced the recidivism rate by 7 percent and vocational programs by 9 percent, among the best records of in-prison programs.

The academic and vocational programs cost the state about $1,000 a year per inmate but, the study concluded, vocational education produced a net benefit to the state of $13,738 per participant, and the educational programs $10,669 per inmate, in the form of lower crime rates, fewer victims and less criminal justice spending.

The US spends $40 billion annually on incarceration and less than 2 percent of that goes towards educating prisoners. Prisons need to find innovative ways to implement literacy programs using the resources they are given.

Inmates at the New Jersey State Prison took matters into their own hands and created the L.I.F.E. (Learning is For Everyone) program, which was documented in the film "How do you Spell Murder?" In this innovative program, inmates are the managers and are supported by volunteers from the community. Each inmate volunteer is certified by Literacy Volunteers of America and learns the skills necessary to teach adult literacy. They are paired up with a student inmate who is in need of literacy education services.

Many of the students in the L.I.F.E. program share similar stories. Undiagnosed learning disabilities. Frustration and humiliation in public schools. Held back time and time again, or, alternately, promoted without being prepared for the next level. Almost all are high school drop outs. Most were barely able to comprehend the legal documents involved in procedures against them that led to their incarceration. In fact, in one case, the murder conviction of a student was reversed when it was discovered that he had an undiagnosed learning disability and was unable to comprehend the confession he had signed.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Religious Group: Anti-bullying efforts "promote homosexuality in kids"

Remember Carl Joseph Hoover-Walker, right? Kid who committed suicide after his school ignored complaints from his mother about being bullied constantly for being effeminate? Oh yeah, remember that now Well, speaking against the Safe Schools Improvement Act, this is what Focus On The Family says:

So what do you think about the debate? Share your thoughts, will you? I say this is yet another example of just how the religious-right misses the mark when it comes protecting the rights of citizens. These same "religious folk" protested the passage of an extension to the federal hate crimes bill; an extension that covered crimes committed against members of the LGBT community.

According to them, such a bill erodes their right to free speech because it prevents them from preaching against homosexuality from the pulpit. I suppose the solution to the bullying of openly gay kids would be an exorcism of the gay demons that run rampant. Only an idiot would support this view, and I hope you're not one of them. Yeah, let's not protect the kids; instead lettuce all pray.



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