Monday, January 12, 2009

An Ode to my Sisters...

This is going to be long, but quite interesting.... I hope you all read this and appreciate it!

So I was watching "The View" this morning, like I do every available morning, and they had on conservative queen Ann Coulter to talk about her new book. Well I knew it wouldn't start off right b/c the ladies had a fine, tactful segment about a quote that Coulter made that basically said that famous bi-racial celebrities/figures have abandoned their White mothers and identify with their Black fathers, who literally abandoned them. Ok... WHAT? She claims that Halle Berry's Oscar acceptance speech and Barack Obama's autobiography are insensitive disses to their mothers... No. Berry praised forgotten Black Hollywood legends in her congratulatory moment, and Obama writes about the dreams of his father in his first book. I just first want to address this... I am not bi-racial, so I can't fully speak on that aspect of it, but I think I can put it in other words to show a bit of similarities. I am the daughter of two working-class, Black parents, who worked very hard for us to live in middle-class neighborhoods during my life. After the first semester of 6th grade, my family moved to Plano, an affluent and at that time, a predominately White suburb of Dallas. The years of formation in my life were surrounded by White people, but I knew that I was a Black American and indulged in my own ethnic culture as well. I never had an issue with it, but to members of my own ethnic group, I was seen as "acting White." Whatever! I was a product of my environment, and I think Obama, Berry, and Alicia Keys, who was also mentioned on the show, are as well. But I think that they have an even more difficult task then the very assimilated minorities in this country. I always knew I was Black and that was that. I was and am proud of it, and wouldn't change it for anything. However, bi-racial Americans unfortunately don't have the opportunity to claim pride in both ethnic heritages, because society only views them as Black Americans or Mexican Americans or Asian Americans, etc., depending on their ethnicity. This isn't new. So I don't understand why Ann Coulter needed to go so far into saying that they are dissing their White mothers who took care of them, because society pretty much made them identify with their Blackness. I thought that was the most ludicrous mess ever. I thought the ladies handled themselves very well, and I applaud them for being so classy and tactful. Coulter should learn a lesson.

Another person was mentioned on the show, and I wanted to do this a long time ago, but never came around to it... Talk about Sarah Palin. Once again, I am a hardcore Progressive, but I am also objective. In my opinion, overall the media doesn't have a leftist slant, but I think the coverage of Sarah Palin was sexist at times, and it was the so-called left-leaning channels and Democratic commentators who did make the sexist comments a good portion of the time. Yes, I will admit that! My respect and admiration for President-elect Obama nor my own political persuasion can't stop me from seeing that. I am a feminist, and I think my position as a woman trumps my racial status, and possibly even class, so yes I recognize that. But what also needs to be said is that Sarah Palin jumped into the national political scene, and she wasn't ready for it. Sorry! She wasn't and she needs to blame herself for that. But in her defense, there is something that is very like-able about her. I call it her "folksy" character, but that wasn't going to make her a qualified VP, or President for crying out loud if John McCain were to become ill. *And on that note as well, I was very tired of people saying how old McCain was. I am guilty of it myself a few times, but people were almost basking in the idea of him passing away in office if he were elected. It was quite disgusting.* But back to the task at hand, so much of her criticism came from the fact that so many saw her as a hypocrite. She became the poster child for not economic conservatism, which it seems like she knew little about, but rather social conservatism; family values, overzealous religious actions and beliefs, which in many times leads to intolerance for the LGBT community, science, and non-Christians, and a lack of gun control. But what she couldn't nor shouldn't hide is the fact that her teenage daughter was unwed and pregnant. Why does it matter? Well, she represents the portion of the population that blames the liberal politicians and activists for destroying the sanctity of family and marriage, but if one embodies these so called liberal issues themselves and truly believes what one says, well Mrs. Palin is a hypocrite. And yes I know that not all conservatives/Republicans believe that, but I am addressing to the hardcore/extreme right-wing followers. That's why people attacked her so viciously. Was it called for? Not really, but she was going to be the second in line to inherit this diverse, great nation, and she seemed very narrow-minded and uninformed at times. In regards to her daughter, personal attacks on Bristol and her baby should have been left out of it. That wasn't called for at all.

The main focus of this was supposed to be about the nonsense Coulter was shouting about when it came to single motherhood. But first, I would like to again applaud the ladies on "The View" for challenging a very rude and desperate to sell her book Ann Coulter. More specifically, I think Elizabeth deserves a bit of credit, because she is seen as the one who never speaks out against her fellow Conservatives, but she asked the million dollar question: Why not say something about the fathers who abandon their families? Yes, why not ask that question instead of attacking women who do their best to raise their children alone? In a perfect world, a child would have two parents, biological or adopted, gay or straight, but that's not reality. We have to face the fact that just won't happen all the time. So instead of being insensitive and intentionally controversial like Coulter or throw Bible verses (I mean that with no disrespect, I've seen it happen too many times) or teacc abstinence-only education in public schools, let's promote responsible sex/reproductive education in high schools and communication with their parents, so teens are wiser about their sexual activity and the repercussions of it. I don't even feel like beating this dead horse anymore. It's just very upsetting that people think like that.

But I titled this blog "An ode to my sisters," because I was inspired to write this for them. I have three amazing sisters, and my two oldest sisters are single mothers. They didn't follow the same path as I did, but they are intelligent, beautiful women in their own right, and when I hear total nonsense like this being spouted out about single mothers, I take offense to it. I try not to preach, but I think that a lot of us need to think about what we say before we say it. I'm done.