Okay, Okay... I've been gone for a minute, but now I'm back in the jump off... and I'm P-I-S-S-E-D! The highlight of my weekend was having dinner and drinks with two remarkable women with whom I will become long term friends... I know it. It was great to sit down and actually have an intellectual conversation punctuated by intense debate, wonderful humor, and just good clean FUN. We had decided to visit a black-owned Martini bar in DC and it was awesome!!! Now onto the not so good news...
T h e E s s e n c e o f B e i n g P i s s e d!
This morning I read two stories with great interest: ESSENCE magazine's story on Dunbar Village (ironically not accessible on its website, although SEVERAL articles about the Jena 6 and Genarlow Wilson are... A MESS!!!) and an article in the AJC today, discussing a meeting of self-appointed, black "leaders" regarding yet, another useless march on Washington, DC. Yes, these stories were completely riveting. I will try to scan the Essence story and upload its url as a .pdf.
So, let me give Essence kudos on being the first, major, national publication to take on the discussion of how America, both black and white devalues black womanhood. I found Francie Latour's report to be a thoughtful and insightful look at how we automatically deem black perpetrators as victims when they commit crimes...especially against black women. Where the hell was Essence magazine 4 or 5 months ago? Why did it take so long? Some of you who read this will respond that Essence is a lifestyle magazine for black women; therefore Essence has no obligation to report on topics like these. My response is that Essence, when it decided to publish stories related to the aforementioned causes, Essence obligated itself to publish the gruesome stories of Megan Williams and the Dunbar Village Rape Victim (for more info on Dunbar Village, please visit here).
Just the mere fact that these were two black women, who had been maliciously and brutally raped and tortured, should have made them relevant enough to be covered by Essence magazine--the voice of black women. Parity is certainly not one of Essence magazine's strengths. When I searched their website, I found 4 stories dedicated to the Jena 6, 3 to Genarlow Wilson, and 1 shared story related to the inherent dysfunction of our juvenile justice system. Now, after several bloggers have made it their mission to keep these stories in the front of our minds (although they don't have the benefit mainstream media coverage), Essence magazine has found it necessary to publish a story? Should we be celebrating because a magazine that touts its chief demographic are black women decided to do a story about black women? Groundbreaking concept; I bet that Peabody award is just itching to go to Essence. I could concoct a conspiracy theory that since Essence magazine, while being owned by Time-Warner is the BET of print media and doesn't really give a damn about black people, but that would be reaching...even for me. Enough with my soapboxing. The story is actually quite good and should be read.
Let's have another MARCH!!!
Wanna do something to feel relevant? Let's have another MARCH!!! You know how effective public gatherings can be, especially given the current political climate. Marches during the late 90's to the present have been the single, most successful tool to influence public perception and public policy since they were done during the Civil Rights Era. Federal Agencies have been rocked from their very foundations and laws have been changed by passive-aggressive. showbiz activism. NOT! So in today's AJC (although the article was published yesterday on the web), the usual suspects (or useless suspects) have announced plans to gather in Washington, DC to request Federal intervention to curb the increase in hate crimes. They will talk about noose hangings and how unfair the criminal justice system is to well, criminals. This is a worthwhile (worthless cause) and needs to be supported by black people and the white liberals who like to save us alike! Come one, come all to the march of Millennium!
Read the AJC story and then write me to curse me out for not thinking the way that you do. In the meantime, I'll be firing off a letter to Susan Taylor.