Sunday, July 11, 2010

My latest posts on Change.org

Brown bodies = suburban sexy times
Self-described "dissident feminist" Camille Paglia thinks that the American middle class is anxious, uptight and undersexed.

In a recent New York Times op-ed, Paglia declares that the popularity of medical libido boosters is proof of America's "sexual malaise." (Because, apparently, consumers are never encouraged to become hooked on drugs they don't really need.)

Except Paglia isn't talking about all of America here. She's talking about the middle class — specifically, the white middle class.

So whom can Joe and Jane Suburbia look to for an example of how to bring sexy back? Brown people. With our pulsing, rhythmic music, Far Eastern sexual mysticism and big, round asses, you just know we're doin' it all the time. Yeah. Seriously. Read more...

Harris Neck, loss and reparations
As I type this post, I am looking out over my land. Well, "land" makes my modest suburban acre — including house and yard — sound more grand than it actually is. Nevertheless, this little plot we own is an important part of my family's lifestyle and the centerpiece of our wealth (such as it is).

There is value in land — power that goes beyond just money. So it should come as no surprise that American history is littered with stories about people of color being denied access to land by theft, violence or governmental maneuvering.

In fact, some families are still fighting to regain valuable land lost generations ago.

Just ask the Harris Neck Land Trust, which represents a group of African-American families (and some white families, as well) who are battling to return to what is now a wildlife preserve in Georgia. According to a recent New York Times article, Harris Neck was deeded by a plantation owner to a former slave in 1865. Black families settled there and built a community that was "too independent for the comfort of McIntosh County’s whites." Generations later during World War II, when federal officials were looking for a place to site an Air Force base, they selected Harris Neck, and families living there were summarily pushed out — with the promise, some residents remember, that they'd be able to return after the war.

That didn't happen. Blacks were left and given a mere $26.90 per acre for what they lost; whites received $37.31. After the war concluded, a wildlife refuge was eventually established. Read more...

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