Sunday, June 8, 2008

What other people are saying

What Hillary said

Hillary Clinton gave a phenomenal concession/endorsement speech on Saturday. Sen. Clinton's presidential run was important and historic. She deserves recognition for that.

You know, a lot of stuff went down during this campaign that made my blood boil. But I'm going to let it rest now. For those of us who believe in a progressive agenda, we have a common enemy to battle. But, for the record, as much as I hated the way Clinton ran for president, I still believe she is one smart, tough cookie.

Reading this post-mortem of the Clinton campaign in The New York Times made me feel uncommonly sympathic to the Senator. It seems to confirm my belief that what could have been a winning campaign was doomed by Mark Penn and a crew of 1990s-era operatives who refused to adapt to the politics of the new millenium.

What Thembi said

The blog What Would Thembi Do? is where I get my vintage black pop culture fix. I tell you, I don't know where the sister comes up with stuff like the historical examination of the marketing of malt liquor products: from a 50s-era ad that seems to position the drink as the choice of WASPy suburbanites everywhere, to a really strange ad starring Redd Foxx driving a souped-up car through the moutains for a malt liquor date with a white guy in a suit and a bunch of ski bunnies, to Colt 45 commercials featuring the smooth purr of black sophisticate Billy Dee, to a commercial that I swear I had never seen before starring Ice Cube.

While you are over at Thembi's place, check out the video of the epic croon-off at the Motown 25th anniversary extravaganza. It was Temptations vs. the Four Tops, The Cadillacs vs. the Manhattans: old-school heaven!

Thembi is not just about the vintage gems. In fact, she has posted a set of new laws for young, black women, including this gem that I love:

2. Go Where No Blackgirl Has Gone Before. The obvious interpretation of the title of my blog is that I think that I’m some Jesus figure. Not so. Actually, the very weekend before I started blogging, loyal commenter Aaliyah was at an almost all-white party filled with beefy frat boys and was asked to do a kegstand. At her side were two other friends of mine, one of which said to her "What would Thembi do?" The obvious answer – go where no black girl has gone before and do the freaking keg stand! It really IS ok to be you, whether it’s as trivial as going snowboarding or as major as pursing a PhD in Greek Mythology. Do the most random or ridiculous things you feel like doing even if you’re not technically supposed to do them, and do them at all times. The same goes for rock concerts, tattoo conventions, playing the accordion, or whatever! Being a blackgirl comes with a unique set of baggage - on the one
hand, we’re accustomed to being a minority in almost any situation a million times over. On the other hand, we feel like there are certain places and activities that aren't "ok" for us. Forget all of that, risk ostracization, and trailblaze for us all. We can’t keep saying "But blackgirls don’t _______" or else we’ll never do anything at all. Be YOU, regardless of whatever skin tone, sorority, thickness, neighborhood, or whatever you may be a part of. None of it is as fresh as plain old blackgirl you.
Oooh, and this one is priceless, too:

4. Know Your Own Hair. Black women have more hair options than almost anyone else, and we exercise them to the fullest. But even those of use who switch from weave to ponytail and from blonde to red would never dare to wear our natural hair in public. I can spend the whole day running errands and not see one blackgirl without a perm, and the same goes for watching television or opening a magazine. What is up with that? Granted, I went natural the easy way with the Philly soul thing being at my heart and a head of naps that never really took a perm quite right, but what pains me is when another blackgirl says to me "I love your hair! How long did it take to grow? I could never get my hair to be that texture. How did you do it?" The reality of it is, most of us don’t even know what is growing out of our own heads, and its very sad. Not one other group of people on this planet can say the same. It’s fine if you settle on a perm or some braids or even a Jheri curl after exploring your options, just get to the point where you can say that you know what your natural hair even looks and feels like before you aspire to be Beyonce by default.

What Bill said

Bill Moyers is an excellent journalist and a patriot. Bill O'Reilly on the other hand...Moyers always seems so mild-mannered and soft-spoken, especially in comparison to the loud-mouthed, attack-dog style of today's "news" talking heads (I'm looking at you, Chris Matthews and Bill-O). But this clip proves what too many people don't seem to know, you don't have to shout to own and dismiss somebody when you are armed with a powerful intellect. Watch Moyers (verbally) beat an O'Reilly producer--in the vernacular--like he stole something.


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