Friday, June 20, 2008

What Other Folks Are Saying

What Deesha Said

In "Spare the Rod, Get Your Black Card Taken," Anti-Racist Parent columnist Deesha Philyaw takes a stand for black parents who choose not to spank their children.
A black comedian riffs on the subject of parenthood on BET’s late-night laughfest, "ComicView:"

“You wanna know the difference between black parents and white parents?” he begins. “In public, white kids…embarrass they parents. Black parents…”

The 99% black audience chuckles with anticipation.

“… embarrass they kids.”

While the audience erupts with knowing laughter, the comedian demonstrates the
stereotypical white child screaming, “Mother, I hate you!” at the permissive white mother; versus the loud, no-nonsense way the stereotypical black mother corrals her kids with threats (”Girl, I’ll knock you into next week”) and a ready backhand (or shoe).

The comedian offered this as a universal truth:

Black parents don’t play. Black parents don’t believe in “time out.” Black parents spank their kids.

Except some of us don’t.

That’s it. That’s my dirty little secret. I’m a black mother who doesn’t spank her kids. Read more...

What Jennifer Said

Over at Mixed Race America, In the post "I Do," Jennifer eloquently explains why California's decision to overturn the ban against same-sex marriages should be celebrated not just as a victory for gay rights, but as the triumph of basic human rights.

Have you ever noticed that people hate being told that they can't do something? Little kids know this all too well; they hear "no" from adults (particularly their parents). And I think that as we grow up, we often retain the knee jerk reaction of hearing "no" because it feels as if someone is infantalizing us or controlling us.And if you add on irrational prejudices as the rationale for why we are told no, well I think very few of us would be able to keep our tempers. And yet, the truth is, so many people for such a long time in our nation's history have been told "No."

*Women were once told they couldn't vote.
*African Americans were once told where they had to sit using public transportation.
*American Indians were once told where they could live.
*People of different races were once told they could not marry.

If you have never known what it's like to be told "no" as an adult--just stop and think for a minute what it would be like to have something that seems so fundamental to everyone else--like the right to vote, the right to public transportation, the right to live where you choose, the right to marry--and imagine if someone said, "Sorry--everyone else can do these things, but based on this one part of who you are, we're barring you."

Which is why I'm calling attention, again, to how great and yet how ordinary California's recent decision to overturn the gay marriage ban is--how great and ordinary the recent weddings that are taking place all over California truly are. Read more...


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