Serendipity SOUL | Sunday Open Thread

Happy sunday, Everyone. Enjoy the great Gospel, SOULFUL music of

Ms. Yolanda Adams

Lady Diana Ross

Whitney Houston & Cece Winans -“Bridge Over Troubled Water”

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24 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Sunday Open Thread

  1. Warning: Please have kleenex ready

    Jack Hoffman scores a 69 yard touchdown in the 2013 Nebraska Spring Game.


  2. rikyrah says:

    Why GLAAD got it wrong to honor Clinton instead of Obama
    by Michael Arceneaux | April 5, 2013 at 9:34 AM

    Bill Clinton may be charming, well spoken, and a budget surplus producing ex-president, but what is it about him that keeps him knee-deep in unwarranted kudos among minority groups?

    Thankfully, political thinkers like Melissa Harris-Perry have done their part to dispel the notion that Slick Willie was “the first black president” and someone whose political policies justify the fanfare Clinton has enjoyed in the black community. Now it’s time to clue in some new folks who would like to do the same thing as it pertains to Clinton’s legacy on gay rights.

    GLAAD has announced that former President Clinton will be the recipient of the first Advocate for Change Award.

    In a statement, GLAAD’s Wilzon Cruz said of Clinton, “President Clinton’s support of the LGBT community and recognition that DOMA, the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, is unconstitutional and should be struck down shows that the political landscape continues to change in favor of LGBT equality.” Cruz added, “Leaders and allies like President Clinton are critical to moving our march for equality forward.”

    I wish you could hear my laughter.

    In defense of Bill Clinton

    To be fair to Clinton, he did note the error of his ways in passing the Defense of Marriage Act, writing in the Washington Post, “As the president who signed the act into law, I have come to believe that DOMA is contrary to those principles and, in fact, incompatible with our Constitution.”

    Clinton stressed that when signing the bill into law back in 1996 that it was “a very different time.” I imagine he would make the same argument for the equally reductive “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

    Ditto for Newsweek and political consultant Bob Shrum writing in his book, No Excuses: Concessions of a Serial Campaigner, that Clinton was pushing John Kerry to back local gay marriage bans in red states to eat away at President George W. Bush’s supporters in the 2004 presidential election.

    And as Richard Socarides wrote over at the New Yorker: “Still, how was it that Bill Clinton, the first president to champion gay rights, put his name on one of the most discriminatory anti-gay statutes in American history?”

    But does he deserve it?

    Eh, probably because the times aren’t really that different. Clinton is just as shrewd then as he is now. Clinton’s co-sign of anti-gay legislation was his guarantee to reelection and his repudiation of both policies guarantees he maintains his soaring popularity.

    And of course, makes sure former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in the clear once she decides she’s officially ready to get the presidential coronation that was supposed to happen for her back in 2008.

    That’s fine, though. Clinton is a master politician and his shift does in fact prove that the political and cultural landscape is increasingly favorable to marriage equality. But while both aspects are true, neither makes Clinton exactly the poster child for audacity or for change agents.

    Perhaps Bill Clinton could’ve still been invited to the event, but why not let the more progressive and productive president who created change be awarded for it?

    Obama’s record speaks for itself

    In 2009, President Obama signed an executive order granting gay partners of federal workers some limited benefits. A year later, he called for the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in his State of the Union address. Obama also passed and signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law, which extends the coverage of Federal hate crimes law to include attacks based on the victim’s actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. The Obama administration also created the first ever national study of discrimination in housing against members of the LGTB community.

    Obama’s health care bill has also made sure that starting in 2014, insurance companies can no longer turn away individuals if they are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered. Moreover, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) now requires all hospitals receiving Medicare or Medicaid funds to allow visitation rights for LGBT patients.

    Was Obama sluggish on revealing that he’s “evolved” on marriage equality and reached a position he reportedly initially held way back in 1996? Surely.

    Maybe Obama is playing politics, too, but in the end, he’s been more progressive on gay rights than any president before him.

    I get that GLAAD enjoys bestowing rewards on those who make an effort to right their instances of homophobia, but Clinton’s actions as president led to serious setbacks for gays to be treated as equals. A “my bad, y’all” is admirable, but not necessarily honorable.

  3. rikyrah says:

    – -Jeff Gauvi@JeffersonObama
    The virulent anti-Obama views from the far right and far left on Twitter this week has been sickening.

  4. rikyrah says:

    And if we want to say something different about our economy, I think it begins with this workforce”

    By Kay April 7th, 2013

    I saw some comments about immigration reform and labor on one of the threads. I read quite a bit on labor issues, because honestly they’re the only people who talk about work and the economy in a way that makes sense to me. I’m just done with the Tom Friedman’s of this world. I think pundits get more than enough time to talk, or, to relay the interests of the 250 people they talk to.

    This is a conversation with a newer labor leader. You may or may not agree with what she says, but I think sometimes there is this perception that the politics around unions involve trying to convince older white unionists to support Democratic politicians or liberal issues. I think pundits promote this misconception, with the whole “lunch bucket” theme they like where “labor” is frozen in time, but I may have also inadvertently promoted it because that’s what we do where I live (convince older white unionists to support Democratic politicians or liberal issues). We do that here because this is an area with a large manufacturing presence and a population that is probably 98% white.

    It’s bigger than that. It’s much more ambitious and inclusive and it’s changing:

    The past decade has seen a surge of organizing by domestic workers in the United States. These workers, who care for children, senior citizens and disabled people in their homes, are explicitly excluded from many of the basic protections of federal labor law, including union organizing rights. Their job is characterized by low wages, long hours and meager benefits, and it’s among the fastest-growing in the US economy. Last Friday, The Nation sat down with Ai-jen Poo, a founder of New York’s Domestic Workers United, who now directs the National Domestic Workers Alliance.

    What is happening is that work is becoming more unstable, insecure, dangerous and vulnerable. When I first started organizing domestic workers, people kind of perceived it as this very exotic shadow workforce at the margins of the economy. But when you look around these days, the conditions that define domestic work are not so different from the conditions that define every American worker’s realities. As more and more people become temporary, part-time or contracted, nobody knows who their real boss is, no one has collective bargaining, no one even knows what bargaining is, and no one works in a workplace where bargaining is actually feasible. We’re essentially all becoming domestic workers.
    When we really go up against [restaurant giant] Darden or Walmart, what we have is simply insufficient. I think it will take a combination of these models getting to sufficient sophistication and scale, and a very broad-based movement of people who are invested in the future of work, and can connect to it on a deeply personal and emotional level, and want to take action.

    This is the immigration piece:

    But as far as I can tell, all of the unions seem to be communicating and working together on this, and even working with us on it, so so far, it’s OK. I think everything’s going to change once there’s a bill. That’s when it’s going to get really interesting.
    Immigration reform, it’s just a huge opportunity to potentially win legal status for millions of workers, including care workers and domestic workers. So we’ve been really all in, trying to push to make sure that happens, and to make sure that the path to citizenship is as inclusive as possible. Our main strategy has been actually to contextualize the domestic worker piece in the context of a women’s agenda for immigration reform.

    And I hadn’t heard this before:

    [Meanwhile,] we’re trying to knit together the interests of immigrants and the aged and people with disabilities, so that those interests don’t get pitted against each other.
    Similarly, last year we reached about half a million moderate-to-conservative seniors in five swing states and talked to them about Medicaid and Medicare, but mostly wanted to talk to them about what it would look like to be in alliance with a rising electorate of color. And we’re framing what we’re doing as building the “caring majority alliance,” which actually knits together the interests of a rising electorate of color with the interests of a rising older white electorate. With the age wave, and the boomer generation, and people living longer, we are potentially going to be very racially and generationally polarized in this country. So we’re trying to say that white seniors and younger people of color actually have a shared destiny, and very clear material self-interest in working together.

    Edit! I forgot this part:

    One state to watch — because it often sets the precedent for the rest of the country — is California, where the labor chant “Si, se puede” (Yes, we can) seems to be coming true for unions. While national union membership is at a record low of 11 percent (versus 20 percent in 1983), union membership is, in fact, growing in California. While the nation shed about 400,000 union members in 2012, California signed up about 110,000 new union members, according to BLS data.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Black Exodus: Part Two

    By Mike Mallowe on October 6, 2011 4:30 PM|
    By Mike Mallowe

    There is never a moment, Shoshanna Edwards-Alexander said about her experiences as a black woman in the suburbs of Philadelphia – good times, for the most part — when she is “unaware of my own presence.” The examples can range from poignant to amusing.
    “I’m usually the only one,” she goes on. “If I want to get my hair done; when I take my kids to school, running out for groceries. You get beautiful suburbs, but you don’t get diversity. And, I never feel that way on campus, or in the city. It’s different when it’s the place you go home to.”
    She is one of the few women color in the place where she lives, but she expects to be joined by others.

    “I know more people moving out this way now, African-American families, trying to get used to it, wanting the best place they can find to raise their kids; wanting to fit in,” she explained. “They’re making it work…”

    Her husband likes to walk. Everywhere. When they lived in West Philadelphia, he walked. When they lived in a house i Overbrook Park, he walked. That’s who he is. He’s a walker.

    “But, when he’s out late at night, walking everywhere; I remind him, ‘Look, Vino; there’s still a lot of little old ladies in this neighborhood who never met us; they don’t know that we live here, that we own this house. They aren’t expecting to run into you walking around after dark.”
    When she says that, she looks a little exasperated. Yet, that’s still the reality of race in America. People of color have long been expected to live in certain placers and white people in other places. The fact that statistical and sociological reality has now upset these preconceptions changes very little on the who’s-that-walking-in-my-neighborhood level.

    Edwards-Alexander and her family live in Havertown, in Delaware County. She is the director of Multicultural Life at Saint Joseph’s University. She is also funny and down-to-earth and just as grounded in big city authenticity as you might expect a former social worker from the Bronx to be. Before settling on Havertown, they also looked at houses on Lincoln Drive in Philadelphia, and in other suburbs like Ardmore, Glen Mills and Yeadon. In Philadelphia, they lived in different places in West Philly and Overbrook.

    Now, they have a pretty single-family home, great backyard, nice neighbors, a neat driveway with off-street parking, a solid, slyly under-rated public school system, and a family of rambunctious foxes who decided to take up squatting rights in and near that backyard shortly after they moved in a few years ago. In other words, they are enjoying the hard-earned fruits of suburbia’s serene upward mobility.

  6. rikyrah says:

    At the elite colleges – dim white kids
    By Peter Schmidt | September 28, 2007

    AUTUMN AND a new academic year are upon us, which means that selective colleges are engaged in the annual ritual of singing the praises of their new freshman classes.

    Surf the websites of such institutions and you will find press releases boasting that they have increased their black and Hispanic enrollments, admitted bumper crops of National Merit scholars or became the destination of choice for hordes of high school valedictorians. Many are bragging about the large share of applicants they rejected, as a way of conveying to the world just how popular and selective they are.

    What they almost never say is that many of the applicants who were rejected were far more qualified than those accepted. Moreover, contrary to popular belief, it was not the black and Hispanic beneficiaries of affirmative action, but the rich white kids with cash and connections who elbowed most of the worthier applicants aside.

    Researchers with access to closely guarded college admissions data have found that, on the whole, about 15 percent of freshmen enrolled at America’s highly selective colleges are white teens who failed to meet their institutions’ minimum admissions standards.

    Five years ago, two researchers working for the Educational Testing Service, Anthony Carnevale and Stephen Rose, took the academic profiles of students admitted into 146 colleges in the top two tiers of Barron’s college guide and matched them up against the institutions’ advertised requirements in terms of high school grade point average, SAT or ACT scores, letters of recommendation, and records of involvement in extracurricular activities. White students who failed to make the grade on all counts were nearly twice as prevalent on such campuses as black and Hispanic students who received an admissions break based on their ethnicity or race.

    Who are these mediocre white students getting into institutions such as Harvard, Wellesley, Notre Dame, Duke, and the University of Virginia? A sizable number are recruited athletes who, research has shown, will perform worse on average than other students with similar academic profiles, mainly as a result of the demands their coaches will place on them.

    A larger share, however, are students who gained admission through their ties to people the institution wanted to keep happy, with alumni, donors, faculty members, administrators, and politicians topping the list.

    Applicants who stood no chance of gaining admission without connections are only the most blatant beneficiaries of such admissions preferences. Except perhaps at the very summit of the applicant pile – that lofty place occupied by young people too brilliant for anyone in their right mind to turn down – colleges routinely favor those who have connections over those who don’t. While some applicants gain admission by legitimately beating out their peers, many others get into exclusive colleges the same way people get into trendy night clubs, by knowing the management or flashing cash at the person manning the velvet rope.

    Leaders at many selective colleges say they have no choice but to instruct their admissions offices to reward those who financially support their institutions, because keeping donors happy is the only way they can keep the place afloat. They also say that the money they take in through such admissions preferences helps them provide financial aid to students in need.

    But many of the colleges granting such preferences are already well-financed, with huge endowments. And, in many cases, little of the money they take in goes toward serving the less-advantaged.

    A few years ago, The Chronicle of Higher Education looked at colleges with more than $500 million in their endowments and found that most served disproportionately few students from families with incomes low enough to qualify for federal Pell Grants. A separate study of flagship state universities conducted by the Education Trust found that those universities’ enrollments of Pell Grant recipients had been shrinking, even as the number of students qualifying for such grants had gone up.

    Just 40 percent of the financial aid money being distributed by public colleges is going to students with documented financial need. Most such money is being used to offer merit-based scholarships or tuition discounts to potential recruits who can enhance a college’s reputation, or appear likely to cover the rest of their tuition tab and to donate down the road.

    Given such trends, is it any wonder that young people from the wealthiest fourth of society are about 25 times as likely as those from the bottom fourth to enroll in a selective college, or that, over the past two decades, the middle class has been steadily getting squeezed out of such institutions by those with more money?

  7. rikyrah says:

    found these at POU about Zerlina Maxwell’s foolishness towards POTUS and Kamala Harris:

    would love to see the video if anyone can find it.



    Did anyone watch Washington Watch? Apparently Zerlina Maxwell went on their to tout the white feminist line and the other two black women on the panel had to check her. Hopefully the video is up soon so I can see it. Roland had to give her the side eye as well. And here’s why dear Zerlina: you can find black folks that will be mad about policy, not like appointment picks, and be in a tizzy over the phantom “black agenda”…but you try to F with Barack Obama’s integrity towards his family. You try to question his morals and values with regards to Michelle and try to pretend like he leering at other women and you have fucked up royally with black folks. Hell, Tavis found out the hard way you don’t disrespect Michelle and that was simply over not inviting her to speak at his silly conference. So if you gonna try and pretend like he is Lil Wayne, you will piss off 99.9% of black people…PERIOD…including lil wayne. You will be over in the Jesse Petersen, Allan West group – I dont care how progressive and liberal you claim to be – you do not try and create bullshit drama on President Obama like this…not this…anything BUT this. Zerlina better pull up and pull up fast.

    • rikyrah says:


      This non controversy bothered my mother a lot. She said it reminded her of when white women lied on black men. I wish you could have heard her voice when she was talking to me. She was quite upset.



      That’s exactly what it was. And that’s why I said this is about white women feeling scorned by a black man. That is ALL that this is about. His compliment to Kamala Harris was just another reminder that he admires black beauty, and it was just too much to take. So it comes from same spirit of their foremothers, the one’s who’d lie to their daddies and brothers so they could handle that black boy who rebuffed them. They’re doing the same thing today. Instead of lynching, they are trying to sully his reputation. It comes from the same place. It’s what they do because it’s what they’ve always done.

      • rikyrah says:


        Well said, I’m surprised that she didn’t know better; not trying to be hyperbolic, but this reaction she is getting is not arbitrary or for shits and giggles…for hundreds of years, black men and black male children were tortured and murdered based on false accusations that they are natural rapists and sexual aggressives while the law looked the other way, and black people have had to fight a long battle to put even a semi-halt to it. I’m definitely not accusing her of trying to lynch, but this is why there is little tolerance for false suggestions of black male sexual aggression in particular and I would think that she’d understand why the reaction is so visceral. Anyone trafficking in any language remotely even touching this had better have all of their ducks in a row (when dealing with a family man who has never had any suggestion of a loose zipper problem, as opposed to Rick Ross or other coons who make money from playing to that stereotype). She needs to have a seat, immediately. She was simply wrong.

  8. rikyrah says:

    What Roger Ebert Said About Black Films

    The late film critic made thoughtful — and sometimes harsh — comments about some of our cult favorites.
    By: Lauren Williams | Posted: April 5, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    When Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert died on April 4 after a battle with cancer, a cross-cultural, countrywide coalition of fans expressed grief over the loss of the 70-year-old Pulitzer Prize winner. You didn’t have to be a Chicagoan to have heard of his work, which had a national audience. And you certainly didn’t have to be a journalist or a film buff to appreciate his writing (check out his July 2012 personal essay about his wife, Chaz).

    Much has been made of his unique ability to destroy what he deemed a subpar film with a few choice, biting words. But he also showed a remarkable capacity for thoughtfulness and insight, and nowhere is this more evident than in some of his reviews of black films. We dug into his archives to pull his reviews of the films that made the Final Four in our March Movie Madness bracket challenge to see what he had to say about the movies that would become — as evidenced by your votes — some of our most beloved big-screen classics. You might be surprised.

    Roger Ebert on Malcolm X (1992):

    Spike Lee’s “Malcolm X” is one of the great screen biographies, celebrating the whole sweep of an American life that began in sorrow and bottomed out on the streets and in prison before its hero reinvented himself …

    Walking into “Malcolm X,” I expected an angrier film than Spike Lee has made. This film is not an assault but an explanation, and it is not exclusionary; it deliberately addresses all races in its audience. White people, going into the film, may expect to meet a Malcolm X who will attack them, but they will find a Malcolm X whose experiences and motives make him understandable and finally heroic.

    Reasonable viewers are likely to conclude that, having gone through similar experiences, they might also have arrived at the same place.

    Roger Ebert on Glory (1989):

    Watching “Glory,” I had one recurring problem. I didn’t understand why it had to be told so often from the point of view of the 54th’s white commanding officer. Why did we see the black troops through his eyes — instead of seeing him through theirs? To put it another way, why does the top billing in this movie go to a white actor? I ask, not to be perverse, but because I consider this primarily a story about a black experience and do not know why it has to be seen largely through white eyes…

    “Glory” is a strong and valuable film no matter whose eyes it is seen through. But there is still, I suspect, another and quite different film to be made from this same material.

    Roger Ebert on Love Jones (1997):

    As the characters move from coffee bars to record stores to restaurants to the Sanctuary, we realize how painfully limited the media vision of urban black life is. Why do the movies give us so many homeboys and gangstas and druggies and so few photographers, poets and teachers? …

    Many love stories contrive to get their characters together at the end. This one contrives, not to keep them apart, but to bring them to a bittersweet awareness that is above simple love. Some audience members would probably prefer a romantic embrace in the sunset, as the music swells. But “love jones” is too smart for that.

  9. rikyrah says:

    The Left’s Math Problem with Social Security and Chained CPI

    Sunday, April 07, 2013 | Posted by Spandan C at 6:00 AM


    Yes, yes, this will be another post on Chained CPI. But a little more dry. This is about the math. Previously, we have discussed why Chained CPI isn’t actually a cut in benefits, what different it makes in the calculations of the cost of living adjustments, and why in the context of broader reforms and progressive social investments, it’s worth doing. But what we haven’t talked about in very explicit terms is what the minor reductions in COLA will end up adding up to. The scaremongerers are very interested in exploiting this. They are very interested in scaring people with numbers about how much they will lose.

    Take the AARP’s “How much you will lose calculator,” for example. Did you know that if you are a retiree with an average $15,190 in benefit today, over the next 30 years you will lose $20,000 in benefits? Wow. Talk about catfood, right? Somebody stop that conniving bastard Obama! I mean, right?

    Giving context to scary numbers: Actually, there’s a lot of funny math going on here. First, the 30-year math completely ignores that President Obama is proposing to boost benefits for the oldest beneficiaries, at age 85. But let’s play along. $20,000 out of how much? The context is to define this “cut” they are talking about with respect to currently scheduled benefits. We can use total benefits in nominal dollars under current methods of COLA. So let’s work out those numbers. Let’s use AARP’s own calculations.

    AARP assumes that chained CPI will result in approximately 0.29% smaller COLA against current schedule. Taking only the difference into account makes the math easy, because you can hold a constant dollar value. Again, let’s use AARP’s numbers. In their calculator, they say the average social security benefit is $15,190 – no need to adjust this as we are using current dollar. Use that as a constant dollar value, and over 30 years, there is a total benefit of: $455,700. What AARP is saying is that under Chained CPI, this beneficiary would lose $20,000. That is a loss of approximately 4.4% of cumulative benefits. The same calculations show an approximately 1.5% loss against scheduled benefits over 10 years, and a 3% reduction in cumulative 20 years’ benefits.

  10. rikyrah says:

    The slippery slope argument
    We hear this one (mostly in back rooms) in politics all the time. It is usually used by ideologues who are defending a position and assume that any small change in the status quo is an attempt towards undermining it. Ultimately, the slippery slope argument is a conservative (in the truest sense of the word) strategy. It suggests that in order to defend a position, the current state of affairs must be maintained regardless of changing circumstances. Any adaptation is a threat.

    You can bet your bottom dollar that gun rights activists are engaging in this kind of argument right now. In their minds, ANY attempt to restrict the right to own guns is a slippery slope towards the demise of the second amendment.

    But liberals have used it too. Most often it has been one of the reasons that any attempt to limit a woman’s right to chose is a slippery slope towards ending Roe v Wade.

    I would suggest that – while not always stated up front – its the slippery slope argument that is behind much of the lefts reaction to the President’s proposal to implement chained CPI. I say that because a 0.3% reduction in the cost of living increase for affected programs is NOT the end of Social Security as we know it. And yet you’d think that is what President Obama is proposing from the reaction we’ve seen so far.

    In addition, we have yet to see the specifics of how his proposal will mitigate the effect of this change on the most vulnerable. But we do know the principles under which it will be designed.

    There are two major changes necessary. First, add a bump in benefits to the very old, who are more likely to have high healthcare bills and to have exhausted their savings that supplemented their Social Security income. Second, exempt Supplemental Security Income, which serves the poorest, disabled and blind but still often leaves people below the poverty line.
    Given that, its discouraging that we’re hearing things like this from politicians we’re supposed to trust.

  11. Ametia says:

    Pastor Rick Warren says his son committed suicide
    Apr. 7 7:01 AM EDT

    LAKE FOREST, Calif. (AP) — Popular evangelical Pastor Rick Warren asked members of his Southern California church for prayers as he and his family coped with the apparent suicide of his 27-year-old son.

    The church said on Saturday that Matthew Warren took his own life at his Mission Viejo home.

    Matthew Warren struggled with mental illness, deep depression and suicidal thoughts throughout his life, Saddleback Valley Community Church said in a statement, after his body was found Friday night.

    “Despite the best health care available, this was an illness that was never fully controlled and the emotional pain resulted in his decision to take his life,” the church said.

    Allison O’Neal, a supervising deputy coroner for Orange County, declined to release the cause and manner of death pending an autopsy of the young man.

    Rick Warren, the author of the multimillion-selling book “The Purpose Driven Life,” said in an email to church staff that he and his wife had enjoyed a fun Friday evening with their son. But their son then returned home to take his life in “a momentary wave of despair.”

  12. rikyrah says:

    Ivy League Reject Lashes Out In Open Letter, Some Call It Borderline Racist, Homophobic

    Staff Blogger

    Getting rejected from college can bring out the worst in anyone, but in some cases perhaps the worst was already on the surface. Suzy Lee Weiss’ frustration was hardly different from anyone else’s when it comes to getting into a good school, however Weiss’ public reaction potentially exposes her as racist, entitled and a poor sport.

    Discounting what could be perceived as the racist and self-indulgent undertones of her piece, Weiss is nothing short of a smart girl. She earned a 4.5 GPA and a 2120 on her SATs. On top of that her resume even includes work experience with the U.S. Senate, but still Weiss did not get accepted to the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, Yale or even Vanderbilt. This Pittsburg teen’s open letter to all of the colleges that rejected her gives insight into some of the darker and more offensive sides of her personality.

    Weiss says, “What could I have done differently over the past years? For starters, had I known two years ago what I know now, I would have gladly worn a headdress to school. Show me to any closet, and I would’ve happily come out of it.” While many are criticizing the teen, others are in support of what she has written, claiming that it is an accurate portrayal of the difficulties surrounding college admissions.

    In an interview with the Today show Weiss claims that her letter was satirical. Since releasing it, she has been offered jobs and internships. The one inarguable and true thing that Weiss has claimed is that nowadays people are being graded on things that are out of their control instead of on what they do have control over. Well White America, welcome to our side of the street!

    The letter is below:

  13. rikyrah says:

    Janet Jackson: Quitting Entertainment, Converting to Islam
    This news will probably be challenging for Janet Jackson fans to stomach, but the legendary icon has decided to put her entertaining days behind her. According to entertainment columnist Rob Shuter, the famed performing artist has grown tired of the entertainment industry and is moving to another country to convert to Islam.

    This information comes slightly more than a month after news broke that she and billionaire retail businessman Wissam Al Mana of Qatar are married. ”The rumors regarding an extravagant wedding are simply not true,” the couple told ETOnline, which broke the official wedding news. “Last year we were married in a quiet, private, and beautiful ceremony.” The couple adds, “Our wedding gifts to one another were contributions to our respective favourite children’s charities.”

    “We would appreciate that our privacy is respected and that we are allowed this time for celebration and joy,” the two said in their statement, signing off, “With love, Wissam and Janet”

  14. rikyrah says:

    Nomalanga: Obama Did Not Need To Apologize to “Best-Looking Attorney General”

    April 6, 2013 | Filed under: News | Posted by: Staff


    dBy Nomalanga Mhlauli-Moses

    President Obama is reported to have issued an apology to California Attorney General, Kamala Harris, after there was an uproar because of what he said about her during a speech at a Democratic National Committee fundraising lunch, earlier this week.

    Obama said:

    “She’s brilliant and she’s dedicated, she’s tough… She also happens to be, by far, the best-looking attorney
    general … It’s true! C’mon.”

    First of all, let’s take note that before he spoke about her looks, he spoke about other qualities that he admires about her, such as her brilliance and dedication.

    Second of all, when did it start being “offensive” to offer a woman a compliment that included an appreciation of her perceived good looks?

    I “get” that women have fought long and hard to be respected and appreciated as being capable of thinking, voting, and even being in leadership positions in business, among other things. I also understand that women have been subjected to s*xual harassment in the workplace-where a man might say “nice blouse”, while the stupid grin on his face shows that he really means “nice b0-0bs”. That being said, we can not run all the way to the other end of the spectrum where we start to behave as if men and women are exactly the same.

    We have all, at some point, heard the loose generalization that men are visually stimulated, so, in my opinion, President Obama had the right to add his appreciation for the Attorney General’s good looks to the list of qualities he appreciates about her. Had he only talked about her looks and nothing else, then I would understand why there was an uproar over his comments, but he said other things about her as well.

    So, please, let’s all calm down. President Obama did not set the women’s movement back by saying something about the AG’s looks anymore than he set it forward by calling her “brilliant” and “dedicated”.

    And, by the way, theses are not the words of an Obama fanatic who jumps to the President’s defense every time someone dares to challenge something he has said or done. Actually, I tend to remain willfully neutral when it comes to discussions about any particular president or political party. No, I am actually a person who is concerned that if we, as women, do not pick our battles, we will actually be the ones who set back the efforts that have been made (and are still being made) to move women forward in their quest for equality and freedom from oppression, based on their gender.

    The issue of what President Obama said to the AG, in my opinion, is just an annoying, but apparently effective, distraction from much more important and significant issues relating to women and their rights and freedoms.

    Yes, women need to be respected and given equal opportunities in the workplace and in general, but I draw the line at the point that women are supposed to forget that they are women and men are supposed to forget they are men. I still enjoy having the door held for me by a “gentleman” as I exit, or my seat pulled out as we sit down, even to a business meeting or lunch. And yes, when a male colleague or friend remarks that I look particularly radiant on that day, I politely smile and say “thank you”; I don’t get angry and accuse him of objectifying me and setting the women’s movement back.

  15. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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