Separating From My Dog Is Painful

One of the hardest decisions of my life, but I will have to find a home for my four-year old Cairn terrier dog. My life is moving into a different direction, one that I delayed for two years to care for my dog; but my dog is in a healthier place than when we began living together, so I decided that I can begin living the other life I always wanted, a life of traveling a lot, a spontaneous life where my locations will depend on my mood at any given moment.

I need to live this life to cater to my emotional and physical well-being, and to suit my desires as a writer, reader, and producer of knowledge. Since this decision is a tough one, I know I will continue to flip flop about what I really want, and I welcome that experience. I do not view mood and decision flip-flopping as modes of weakness but as experiences fused and riddled with compassion and conscience in negotiation with desires for self advancement. At the end of the day, however, I have to find a home for my dog if I intend to thrive and survive.

I don’t intend to sell her at all. That act would seem filthy to me. I don’t judge others who sell the thing they love, but I just couldn’t do it. And I don’t intend to give her to a total stranger. I’d have to know how the person lives, the condition of their home, and closely discern their personality. I would also like to be able to see her at least thrice a year, and would like to be the first option to dog-sit her if need be.

Yes, I have preferences for the ideal person though exceptions will apply. I like the idea of finding her a home with an economically and emotionally stable person, not someone too young who moves from house to house, and job to job. And I don’t like the idea of her being around kids. Love them and their sweet excitement, but they tend to be rough with small animals when parents aren’t looking. She is very delicate, though she can be tough and rough, and sensitive. She is like my personality in many ways: tough, soft, likeable, loving, and independent.

A woman would be ideal or a matured gay man. Why? From what I have observed, women tend to be more sensitive when it comes to caring for life; and gay men in the city areas show great appreciation for small size animals. I am not excluding straight men but I don’t know enough about straight men’s behavioral patterns with small dogs to consider them ideal.

I hate to have to insert the following explanation, but I suspect some persons will wonder why gender and sexuality matters in influencing my ideal. My own understanding of what is love, how to love, and who showed me (and the things and bodies) I loved the most compassion are shaped by gender-and-sexuality’s forcefulness in my histories. I’m not hoping to open a debate about what populations are best with animals, but it would have been dishonest to not note my preferences.

If I had someone to watch my dog while I was away, I wouldn’t be writing this. Friends have indeed offered to watch her, but I have to feel their promises in my heart. Additionally, most of my close friends do not show the excitement for animals that would make me comfortable leaving them with my dog. As well, I don’t like the idea of asking people to do me repeated favors. And obviously, dog sitters are too expensive for a doctoral student’s budget.

I feel horrible writing this post, and I am wondering why—especially since my dog is lying next to my feet. I guess I feel like I am deciding her fate without her knowledge and permission. Yesterday, I looked at her curved body lying next to my feet and I read it as her being a dog, her being comfortable. Today I look at it as I write this note and I read it as her being depressed, her sensing an impending separation, her anxious about the future. What I dread most is that my dog could end up with a family that shows her less love than I had.

This is what many women go through when they must leave their children to survive, I now understand a bit. A bit, because there is indeed a difference when the life speaks back to you and say, “Mom, where are you going?” “Mom, are you coming back?” “Mom, why do I have to live with Grandma?”

But what is even more saddening is when Mom does the ultimately–gives the child up for adoption, and consequently lives with guilt rather than with the satisfaction of knowing that her accessing adoption was her best act of love.  Thus Mom’s guilt cultivates imaginary voices of the child in her head: “Why did my real Mom give me away?” “What does Mom look like?” “Did Mom love me?”

My inability to live the life I dream has increasingly been stifling me. I like the idea of getting up, heading to Manhattan; and while in Manhattan, if I suddenly feel to board a train to Atlanta because I feel a sudden spell to write something for hours while on a train, I want to be able to do it. The winter, too, is sucking my energy away, disrupting my ability to read, write, think, and exercise. The days when the sun is not shining bright and the cold wraps my body and brain are the days when I have to force myself to rise and remain energized about life and my dreams. These days have been many for a long time. But somehow I have remained energized all these years. Now, I feel this fuel that kept me energized is running out. To refill, I need to access new ways of living. I have no doubt about that. Yet somehow I feel like my head is not clear, for already, I feel like I can’t go through with my decision. But have I made a decision? I think I need advice on this. No doubt, I need a lot of advice.

 

Posted in Life Talk

Controversy Empire TV Series

Regarding the old controversy about the TV series Empire, it’s my position that some people place too many demands on filmmakers that address black lives. This very reason explains why some filmmakers do not want to take on issues that deal with the black community. People want to produce art; nobody wants to produce art that pits them into war.

I won’t even argue with people about this, because it takes skill to be able to decode the multiple readings of this show. Some of Empire’s critics are too stuck on reading only the drugs part of it without realizing that the film balances its weaknesses as it allows the black community to see black bodies navigating the political and economic structures as power brokers, victimizers, and victims.

We also cannot ignore the opportunity it gives viewers to acknowledge erotic queerness such as the sadomasochistic relationship between Naomi Campbell and the singer (I forget his name) where he calls her Mama in the bedroom. This particular scene raises an opportunity for viewers to ask–how do artists deviate from the norms, not only with their art but with their bodies and desires? Is there a relationship between erotic deviation and the production of art and the stability of culture?

The movie also forces us to wrestle with the question: how is wealth formed? how do entrepreneurs keep their wealth? What is the role of manipulation? What is the effect of using eroticness and sex in order to seal deals and survival?

Posted in Race Matters, Reviews

Know Your Negative Friends

You certainly must know your negative friends: know the potentials of the ones who will slay you behind your back the moment you have a disagreement with them, and those ones who like to divide a group of friends so they can be the main contact person in the friendship, and those ones who think they have a starry crown when it comes to keeping a long-lasting malice, and those ones who do nothing for your well-being except offer frequent phone calls in which they talk only about themselves but they think they are so super important as a friend, and those ones who have nothing to say when you talk about your career and health goals but they can’t stop talking when the subject turns to the girl and boy next door, and those ones who always express that they cannot trust any friend or family when truth is that they can’t trust their own selves because they betrayed their own self so many times, and those ones who do not support your healthy sacrifices but instead tempt you to destroy your dedication with a slice of pie, an alcohol or soda drink here and there, a drug to take away your worries, and words that make you feel like a gym-and-diet addict who cannot just relax like everybody else, and those who want to stay close only because they see you as being only a block away each time their pussy, dick, and ass hunger for a jolly time, and those ones who cannot understand your passionate aversion to drama so they say you are acting as if you are always peaceful and smarter than every body else, and those ones who expect you to treat them as close friends but you know that the closest they will ever get to you is to sit with you in a coffee shop, and those ones who keep telling you about the great accomplishments others with big names are making in their field but never once acknowledge that you are in the same field doing big things too even though you don’t have a big name, and those ones who find your company uninteresting when they find a partner, some peace, and sex, when, otherwise they see you as their adviser, their therapist, their person to call when an urgent decision is needed, and those ones who stop answering their phones the moment you begin to answer their calls more frequently, because history tells you that they will begin to answer your calls the moment you stop answer theirs with frequency, and those ones who don’t want to understand why you must step away from their company sometimes to see only yourself and listen only to your heartbeat—yes, know your negative friends because you must always be ready to love some of them some more, pause the relationship with some, and cut off some more.

Posted in Life Talk

Stop Taking Advantage of Your Academic Friends

People, stop taking for granted your academic friends who teach, do academic research, or write for a living!

(1) No, they won’t read your college and work assignments for free!

(2) No, they won’t read your emails for free!

(3) No, they won’t read your poetry or manuscript for free.

(4) No, they won’t write for your low-ranking blog, which you started yesterday, (not even for money), because that platform won’t benefit their career advancement!

(5) No, they won’t make appearances on your video blog or radio show that has only 100 subscribers and consistently low viewers on each show.

(6) No, they won’t serve on some bullshit board of a not-for-profit business you started this morning, one similar to the one you started two months ago, and that one you started a year earlier, and the others you started in the last five years, which all closed after they were opened.

(7) Yes, while you may be able to get writings and knowledge for free all over the Internet, these writing-and-knowledge producers still need you to understand that teaching/academic research/writing is their profession.

(8) So yes, consider the productions and labor of their profession as you consider that of friends who are filmmakers, fashion designers, musicians, doctors, lawyers, and stockbrokers.

(9) Oh, yes, yes, your friends are sick and tired of your constant disregard for their profession.

Posted in Life Talk

State of the Union Show

Amazing State of the Union show by Obama; impressive rhetorical strategy that began with his accomplishments, then he laid out his proposals, then he softly (skillfully) revealed Republican hypocrisy, and finally he appealed to our emotions as human beings. Obama’s latter technique of appealing to the nation’s emotions ensured that the last thing viewers will remember is not necessarily that his proposals are not new or that most of his proposals will never see the light of day in a Republican-controlled congress, but that Obama knows how to string words together to make us all feel hopeful, make us feel like we can move mountains, and make us feel like he deeply wants everyone to work together for the good of America and the world. After watching the speech, it is hard not to love Obama more. He is my favorite president. And who doesn’t love a great show and the star of the show? Yet I wonder—what do we love?

Do we love the brilliance of Obama’s performance? Do we love his proposals though we know they will go nowhere? Do we love the theater he gave us—the Spanish couple, the freed Cuban prisoner; and the statistics that spoke about growth in numerous sectors, such as economy and education, though the present reality of a significant number of Americans isn’t aligned to that evidence of growth? Do we love the references to China’s economic dominance and keeping jobs at home as he has done in all previous State of the Union shows?

Do we love the equal pay proposal for women, overtime-pay equality, rejection of the lobbyist culture, references to closing Guantanamo Bay, drone warfare necessity and global warming urgency? Do we love the greatness of his speech, or do we love the truth that most of Obama’s regurgitated vision will never become law? And perhaps some of us love that Obama shows a determination to fight though he is in his weakest position in terms of his ability to influence legislation in the Republican congress. If this latter observation is true, are we in love with drama, the politics of battle? Or are we in love with realistic policies that will really improve our lives?

I always wonder why people get so excited after watching a performance in which sentences and proposals are merely scrambled and repackaged year after year. It’s sad observing even informed people demonstrate a lack of consciousness of their own role as political pawns. Throw a toy bone to the dog! The dog will chew for a good while until it realizes the bone isn’t filling its belly. The dog will even go back to chewing the bone day after day.

I’m not mad at Obama at all. He is doing what politicians are supposed to do. And he needs to do that; so I celebrate him for that. But I worry about us—that we forget Obama is performing a show. We forget we are the audience, and that Obama took the stage after many rehearsals under the tutelage of some of the most brilliant rhetoricians that studied the art of the stage of persuasion and performance. I worry because many comments aren’t addressing the brilliance of the show; many comments are instead acting as though Obama’s proposals are realistic and change in really on the way.

Posted in Politics Education

I Love This Friendship

I’m in San Diego with my friend whom I haven’t seen for many years. He reminds me of the days I had just come to America. I had no food. I showed up at his house to eat sometimes. Winter approached. I had only one pair of shoes. I went inside his closet to find shoes and clothes. We had fun times too. We visited the clubs and danced. Battles as well? Yes; loud arguments in each other’s face. He is a forthright character. Me too. So we fought loud and passionately. But I can recall no moment of bitterness, no episode of vengeance, no betrayal, no disloyalty.

Life has been good to me so that I always remembered these histories. But I had forgotten the depth of the pain and pleasures experienced in those past. Through him, I remember and feel again inside those memories. This remembrance forces me to acknowledge I have done well with time.

As I get older, I bond with people more easily because I learned the skills of spending time with others. I learned how to mask my vulnerabilities amongst strangers. I learned how to make others happy in my presence and how to socialize with peacefulness even while conflict flirts in the air. I learned how to reveal enough of myself to others to court their friendships and to deny them any possible relationship with me. I learned how to separate different kinds of friendships, associations, business relationships, intimate relationships, family relationships, and to assess the strengths and weaknesses of persons close to me, so that at all times I serve my relationships in a meaningful way and ensure they serve me productively.

It, however, becomes more challenging to develop deeper bonds with persons who do not know my history. Most of the persons I meet and smile with daily are persons I don’t want to see or hear from when I close the doors of my house. Indeed, I can hang with them and eat several meals with them, but it takes more time for me to trust them. Time has given me the skills to more professionally understand relationships, but this skill has become the very tool that makes me cautious about developing deeper bonds too quickly with persons.

When I was younger, if I didn’t trust someone, I would still allow them deep into my life. Now, I pull away from some persons if the relationship is getting deep too quickly. This strategy has worked well for me, so I will not change it. I like moving slowly when it comes to developing bonds with persons. In the same way, I move slowly when it comes to disabling deep bonds I have built over the years.

That is, I don’t let my friends go easily when we have issues or fights. I know family members fight; so why should I be alarmed when friends fight as well? I sometimes reach a point, nonetheless, when I will struggle no more to keep an old bond. Usually I make this decision if I realize the old bond seriously thinks she/he can do without my friendship when we are confronted by crisis. And I don’t tolerate betrayals or disloyalty or certain insults. Still, usually, the decision to struggle no more for a deep friendship is something that emerges very slowly.

To return to my friend, the history we share is a history most of my new friends do not know. Thus, at my lowest points, it’s important to have someone around who can recall those memories to recenter and uplift me. This very reason reminds me of the need to preserve healthy friendships as long as I can.

Being in San Diego is therapeutic. Not because I’m going to sightseeing places; just being around a close friend, another body, who houses my history is a form of healing. And I house his history as well. So what is happening now is that our histories are massaging each other, massaging away the aches and pains of time, sweetly tickling our nerves as we reminisce, healing our bodies, revising the translation of our memories, giving body to our deepest desires for excellence, and fashioning a prosperous new year for both of us.

Posted in Life Talk

Stop Terrorizing Your Children. In Memory of Leelah Alcorn

Regarding the suicide death of Trans teen Leelah Alcorn, I hope parents learn from this. Stop trying to force gender identity on your children. Just let your children be who they want to be. Often you see the signs of who your children are very early but you don’t want to accept it. Then they tell you, and you still refuse to listen to them, because you think listening to your preacher is more important. You think you can change your children. So you force them to dress a certain way, to speak a certain way, to play with certain toys, avoid certain games, and attend weekly meetings you think will change them.

In a post before her death, Leelah Alcorn wrote the following:

SORRY

And now for my sorry notes to some people I knew…

Amanda: You are going to have such a wonderful life. You are the most talented and pretty little girl I’ve ever met and I love you so much, Amanda. Please don’t be sad. I’m going to miss you so very much. I love you.

Tiffany: We haven’t talked much recently since we’re both so busy but I’m so happy you’re my sister. You are so courageous and determined to achieve what you want, you can accomplish anything. I love you.

Justin: We’ve been jerks to each other a lot recently but I really do love you. You get on my nerves almost all the time but no matter what a part of me will always love you. Sorry for picking on you so much when we were kids.

Rylan: I’m so sorry I’m never there for you. I love you so much.

Abby: Thank you for dealing with my pathetic problems, all I did was make your life harder and I’m sorry.

Mom and Dad: Fuck you. You can’t just control other people like that. That’s messed up.

I don’t really feel the need to apologize to anyone else… odds are you didn’t give a shit about me and if you do, you did something that made me feel like shit and you don’t deserve an apology.

Also, anyone who says something like “I wish I got to know him better” or “I wish I treated him better” gets a punch in the nose.

What a sad note! And from other news stories, we know the parents had been a terror in Leelah’s life.  When will parents learn? When? Is the “when” some time in the near future?

Parents, you need to understand that your controlling methods had not worked for millions of other people who embraced their queer identities, so why do you think it will force your child to conform to your notions of identity? How about changing your own self? How about getting educated about non-conforming identities—the LGBTQ community?

Hearing about LGBTQ people on the TV or in social media doesn’t mean you are educated about the community. When you suspect you have a member of the LGBTQ community in your household, start the process of extensively educating yourself. Believe me, your child will love you more.

But, by the way, where does love factor in your efforts? Have you seriously evaluated the goal of love in your struggle with or against your child’s identity? Is your goal to make your child love you more? Is your goal to make society love your child more? Is your goal to make your God love your child more? Who is defining the role of love in the relationships—you or your child? So, whom is love healing?

If you try to change your children by giving them your brand of religion with the goal of curing them, your children will resent you for many years. Your efforts will destroy both you and your children. How many more suicides do we need to hear about for this point to become clearer?

And after children have graduated your household, they will have to use years to lift a mule off their back, that mule you had put on them. They could have used the time to focus on other things, but you have impeded their growth with your baggage, which you call parental guidance and spiritual intervention. When is parental demonic intervention inseparable from godly spiritual intervention? Because of you, your children have spent a huge part of their life committed to destroying the psychological destruction you did them. How about making a New Year’s resolution to stop terrorizing your children?!

Posted in Atheist, Gay Voices

Is Talk About Race Overwhelming? Ben Okri

I got an email from a supervisor this morning. (I will say supervisor because I don’t want to reveal too much of the specifics I’m addressing, but this person has some professional authority over me.) It has to do with something in which I fulfilled my part of the requirements within agreed upon time frames. The supervisor assigned me more work that will significantly affect my break from school.

It was so overwhelming for me, I had to close the email and return to bed where I closed my eyes and tried to fall asleep. I couldn’t fall asleep. Frustration grew. I felt a headache coming. I began to cough. I knew it was stress. I had to acknowledge it. Find some way to speak to it so it could disappear or go no further!

I returned to the computer. I began browsing Facebook posts to find something, anything to lighten my morning. Most of what I saw in my news feed had to do with discrimination and race. I began wondering why Facebook only put those posts at the top of my news feed.

Of course, I want to hear what is going on about race and discrimination, but I want to hear stuff from my other friends as well. Hearing about race and discrimination every day sometimes feel overwhelming, especially when I consider that the power structures aren’t committed to change.

Luckily, I saw a post with two people debating about Israel and Palestine. It made me laugh. They were passionate, sassy toward each other, but polite; and I learned much from them. Their long debated lightened my morning.

I got up and got some coffee.

Coffee opened my brain wider. Questions arose: If I wanted an escape from race, why did a debate about Palestine and Israel relieve me? Isn’t that about race too? What have the media done to me that my thoughts were willing to process NYPD drama, NYC mayor, and I Can’t Breathe as race issues, but not the subject of Israel and Palestine? Of course I knew the subject of Israel and Palestine is about race, but why hadn’t my brain immediately remind me of that? What is the role performed by the media, and even by black writings like Ben Okri’s “A Mental Tyranny is Keeping Black Writers From Greatness” in making me feel tired of hearing about “black issues”?

Okri suggests that black people need to write about other things aside from “slavery, colonialism, poverty, civil wars, imprisonment, [and] female circumcision.” According to Okri, such subjects give black literature “weight, but dooms it with monotony. Who wants to constantly read a literature of suffering, of heaviness?”

Okri goes further than blaming black writers, he hopes that black writers will borrow from the traditions of Shakespeare, who wrote of the pleasures of Early Modern England while being able to exclude the horrors. Okri also references Homer who “tells of the fall of Troy through one man’s sulk” and Sophocles who “tells of a king’s culpability, not the horrors of Greek history.”

Isn’t it clear that Okri has great hopes for black writers? Isn’t it obvious that Okri only wants black writers to develop more skill in writing about histories that have to exclude the brutal, authentic, aspects of the past?

If the traditions of black writings had done what Okri prescribes, Okri knows that evidence of “mental tyranny” would have been absent from black literature traditions, because black writers would have been better poised to deliver the “greatness” Okri imagines.

But what pity! If Okri had only gone a bit further and tell us who, how, and what systems would authenticate that “greatness,” then perhaps more of us would be more convinced about the credibility that laced Okri’s essay.

***

Notice what has happened: My brain is no longer focused on the dilemma that forced me to Facebook! So Facebook did help! Yeah! When I realized this, I smiled. I am now in a better mental place to solve the supervisor issue. I solved it by simply saying the following to myself: The ways of the supervisor are the ways of the corporate world. To develop myself as a professional, I just have to accept that such will happen very often. And I will find ways to solve such situations when they occur. The supervisor isn’t the problem. I’m not the problem. There is no problem. There is only something to be solved. There will arise a problem, if I use stress as the tool to evaluate what needs to be solve. I will attend to the supervisor’s request in my own time; that is, within a time frame that seems reasonable on the professional clock.

Posted in Life Talk, Politics Education, Race Matters

Purging My Body of Tensions: Exercising

I went to the gym this morning: did the spinning class and some free weight exercises that hit all my body parts. The spinning class was the bomb. I felt a load has been lifted from behind my neck. I did the sauna too. There, I massaged my neck, my thighs, my belly, my back, and my feet. I had to rub away the tensions that had gathered all semester. I knew the tensions were still there all week. I did stretches in my house and the gym to eject them, but I knew they weren’t fully expelled. My body needed something more: extra time, something new, a new routine; my body needed deliverance.

For the the tensions had spread in my sleep. I dreamt of monsters on Mars a few nights ago. And last night, I dreamt I was eating out of garbage cans on Jupiter. That’s what tensions do. They terrorize the subconscious part of the mind the familiar and the alien. They crawl in the thoughts at every opening, such as when you desire things that seem unattainable, and when persons disappoint you, and in moments as you reflect on regretful legacies of history.

If they can’t defeat you when you are awake, tensions take residence in dreams where they spread wide like thorny fields. They wake you more frequently than normal. They force you to turn your pillows. They remind you to get up and look at the clock. And when you return to sleep, they continue the torturing right where they had paused. Dreams that should have been dead the moment the eyes opened resurrected like duppies when the body lay and the eyes closed. In the mornings, tensions also wake with some of us, force us to accept ourselves saying to ourselves, “I not a morning person.”

How can one who is well-rested, light, and rising with peace be unable to discern the promise in every morning and greet those mornings with smiles that rise from the heart? Could it be that an inability to do so is really a disability made possible because perpetual tensions have long occupied the teeny spaces designed to court our joys?

To find fewer openings in which tensions abide, I take advantage of the power of exercise. I sure love education and academia. But if I am not always present with thoughts that remember the need to care my body, the work zones of academia and education will destroy me. Any form of consistent labor can destroy us if we don’t pay attention and balance work on the job and work on our bodies.

The sauna and the massage make my skin now feels like velvet. My moods are hyper and light. I want to always remember to take care of my body. I want to always remember to slow down and show myself the attention I deserve. I want to always remember to not ever permit work zones to paralyze my moods and body.

I have seen too many companies, desires, and ambitions use people for years and then spit them out. All many of these people have to show are complaints, frustration, a nice apartment they don’t own, families and friends who feel neglected, a body that looks ruined, and an abundance of defeated moods. So I dream of a body that is clean, clutter-free possession, and healthy presence—this is what I hope I’ll always have to show myself for the future.

 

 

 

Posted in Life Talk

Why Aren’t We Asking More Questions of Bill Cosby’s Accusers

Two more women have come forward accusing Bill Cosby of sexual assault, so I have a few concerns. What are the criteria the media use to publish these rape allegations? Can any woman who was around in the 1970s just say Bill Cosby raped her and it is automatically accepted and published as a news story? Women get raped every day across America. Their stories are never told. But here we have women coming forward every day about Bill Cosby, and all they have is their word, and all Bill Cosby has is his word, and all these women have is that they speak with the tongues of a large number of women, and all Bill Cosby has is that he speaks alone, and all these women have is their innocence, and all Cosby has is his innocence—but the media keep on publishing their stories without questions.

So yes, observers, who look at the numbers of women as evidence for us to pause and seriously evaluate whether Bill Cosby is guilty, have a point. But I cannot convict someone without evidence. I cannot be the court of law when the media has not even grilled these women about their stories. They get platforms to speak. We listen. We condemn Bill Cosby. But nobody interrogates the women because interrogation of rape victims is tabooed.

This whole issue troubles me. Because it seems it is merely the weapons of the majority against the minority: many women’s word against one man’s word. As a man, I am worried that any woman can say I raped her and I will automatically be convicted in a court of public opinion.

Now over 30 women have said Bill Cosby raped them. Not one of them got pregnant. And I’m wondering how a black man was able to commit such evil in the 1970s when black folks were getting chewed up all across America—a black man of the 1970s raped so many women, the majority of whom are white, and not one of these white women had the power of credibility over this black man! Not one of these women had some form of connection that would have given their story light and credibility.

Why was the 1970s so much different from the 1700s and the 1800s when all a white woman needed to have said was that a black man sexually assaulted her and the black man was automatically punished with death? What was so different in the 1970s? Did women acquire more rights or less rights when compared to the 1800s? If we are going to talk about rape and women invisibility in the 1970s, we also have to talk about race in the 1970s, given Cosby’s race.

Indeed social media commentaries have already racialized the issue. Even Bill Cosby has racialized the issue with his misguided assertion that he only expects the black media to uphold the standards of journalistic excellence. Furthermore, no one can look at the overwhelming whiteness of Cosby’s accusers and not think race. But is it racism that led these women to come forward? I don’t think so. But I do believe the way in which race and gender perform in the 1970s should be a factor in the questions we use to evaluate Cosby’s and the women’s credibility.

I wish to emphasize that I’m not denying that these women were in fact raped. I’m only asking the questions the media hasn’t asked or answered. And I particularly feel compelled to ask them because it seems tabooed to defend Bill Cosby and more progressive to chew him up and call him a sexual predator. Furthermore, I am sick and tired of seeing people imprisoned because public opinion is stacked against them.

I’ve read people attacking people left, right, and center for asking critical questions. And the most compelling argument most people make in defense of the women is that the women couldn’t have spoken up then. That defense is a good one. But it is not enough to make a judgment that has destroyed a man’s reputation.

Additionally, how do you know that all thirty women couldn’t have spoken up then? Are you considering the thirty women as having the same speaking potentials then, the same economic backgrounds, the same mental health conditions, the same community and family support systems? Are you lumping them under a singular rubric called women? If you consider the experience of the thirty women to be the same, then that in no way empowers women as you hope it will do. Instead, it considers all women as having the same potentials, capabilities, responses, and developmental timelines in which they recognized their need to speak to power and fear.

What about evidence? What about innocence until proven guilty? Isn’t that the very issue—evidence of innocence and evidence of guilt—that has pit America into two camps at the moment: pro-black-life matters & pro-police are innocent in what they are doing? How have we been taking a position on these two camps? Are we using the evidence—or are we using gut feelings? Why shouldn’t we look at the rape allegations against Bill Cosby in the same way?

Posted in Politics Education, Race Matters

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