Saturday Open Thread

I hope you’re enjoying this weekend with family and friends.

Published on Apr 4, 2014

This week, the President wrapped up a six day trip to Europe and Saudi Arabia, spoke on the success of the first open enrollment period of the Affordable Care Act, traveled to Michigan to highlight the importance of raising the federal minimum wage, and honored both the World Series Champion Boston Red Sox, and the 2014 US Olympic and Paralympic teams. That’s March 28th to April 3rd or, “The Rosies.”

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63 Responses to Saturday Open Thread

  1. rikyrah says:

    Confessions of a Black Brooklyn Gentrifier

    My Thing Is: Here I am, excited that they opened a new brunch spot, all the while grappling with feeling that I’m part of the problem in my own neighborhood.

    When the train tracks clink, I know that in about two minutes my train will come roaring into view—unless it’s the R train. The R comes when it wants to. To date, I have taken every train the MTA has to offer, many of its buses and even New Jersey Transit. One might guess that I love to travel. That would be an incorrect notion. I love the unseen. At times this has made me an outsider. However, I mean no harm.

    New York is my home now, specifically Brooklyn. Without a doubt, the decision was rooted in my desire for upward mobility. After trying several neighborhoods, I found Bed-Stuy, a popular community in Brooklyn, at the end of 2011. Setting up my apartment was difficult. For the first time, I ordered furniture, only to discover that it would be delivered to my stoop, not my apartment door. (If you live on the fourth floor of a walk-up, you just have to figure it out.)

    The question I answered most, after I moved in, was, “Is it safe?” From the moment I turned onto my block for the first time, I could see the telltale signs of “change.” Not the Obama kind of change, but the Bloomberg kind, which told me I would be OK living by myself. It was the perfect combination of bohemia and grit. I moved into my apartment on a weekday (while most people are at work), but it did not slip by anyone that there was “another one” in the neighborhood.

    My cousin, who grew up in Hollis, Queens, calls my look “the new downtown Brooklyn.” It is a backhanded compliment. My blown-out Afro frames my lightly made-up features and sets the tone for an outfit that screams eclectic foreigner. (Badu references are shouted at me often.) While my blackness allows for a level of comfort on my block that may not be afforded my white counterparts, I also recognize that my newly acquired city-brunch habit may distance me from the community I have grown to admire and seek to serve. Who I am clashes with the bulletproof bodega Plexiglas, where members of the community stop in for their daily lotto tickets and snacks.

    I’m self-conscious about being seen as one of “those educated Blacks,” most easily identified by somehow using “ratchet” and “prosciutto” in the same sentence. Claiming to be a part of Black culture, but not owning up to all of it in public. Playing the black respectability game with a custom game piece. Walking past the Marcy projects with a full bag of Trader Joe’s groceries. The truth is, though from the outside I look like I belong, the local community, like my cousin, knows that I am just visiting.

    With my wine-and-cheese-pairing interests, conceivably, I am part of the problem. It is a tough pill to swallow because coming from the South, I, too, am just trying to get up out of a situation. Most days I focus on this, and I make sure I’m on top of local news. Voting has become something of a sacrament to me. I volunteered with a program that mentors young children in temporary housing, and I always keep my eyes open for neighborhood Black businesses to support.

    I recently engaged in a debate over an article titled “Stop Moving to My City.” I pointed out to my friend that the author was mad at the wrong people. Not only was the author’s plea laughable, but she also genuinely felt that transplants were solely to blame. Every New Yorker has a right to feel upset, but it’s not about small-town people with ambition, it’s about big business. If members of the local community were protesting a new Bed-Stuy development deal, I would join them with a sign. Too often, though, people don’t complain until after the condos are built.

  2. Folks may laugh but I just finished cooking crispy fried chicken, cabbage, mashed potatoes and sweet cornbread. mmmmm…honey! :)

  3. rikyrah says:

    Joy Reid ✔ @JoyAnnReid

    You needn’t go far to witness the zeal of the self-appointed online goon squad defending rich folks who wouldn’t wipe their noses on them.
    1:45 PM – 5 Apr 2014

    • Liza says:

      Yeah, I’ll never understand that. Reminds me of all those poor white folks who voted for Romney and he wouldn’t spit on them if they were on fire.

      • Liza, I’m there with you. I’ll never understand people voting against their own interest and hurt themselves just to keep another down. I can’t wrap my brain around it.

  4. rikyrah says:

    Mails Very Special Letters To Thousands Of Former Students

    One retired high school teacher in Canada has a surprise for his former students that is 20 years in the making.

    In 1994, Bruce Farrer’s ninth grade English class at Bert Fox Community High School in Saskatchewan, got a special assignment, reported the National Post. Farrer asked his students to write a 10-page letter to their future selves, which he then promised to mail to them 20 years later.

    Farrer kept his promise to those students, as well as the thousands of others he taught during his more than 40-year career.

    “I was trying to think of some assignment that would be special, and it just sort of came up that, well, I’ll try this assignment,” Farrer said on CBC Morning Edition.

    Although Farrer retired in 2002, he took several boxes of the letters from his former students with him, and began the long and difficult process of tracking them down and mailing the letters.

    One former student, Scott Fulton, became a teacher himself and even taught for a while at the high school he went to as a teenager, according to CBC News. He got his letter last week.

    “I was just feeling honored and grateful,” Fulton told the outlet about receiving the handwritten letter. “Amazed and inspired at the work of Mr. Farrer.”

  5. Ametia says:

    First the elf-proclaimed, hiding behind the (R) mysogynist Boomer Esiason tells another man’s wife to have a C-section, then he apologizes by saying he would never tell a woman what to do with her own body.

    2 days later, after he and Carton get a beatdown on Twitter

    NO VIDEO OF THE APOLOGY, just audio

    Boomer Esiason Apologizes For Comments On Murphy’s Paternity Leave
    April 4, 2014 10:40 AM

    “I want to say again on this radio show that in no way, shape or form was I advocating anything for anybody to do. I was not telling women what to do with their bodies. I would never do that. That’s their decision, that’s their life and they know their bodies better than I do. And the other thing, too, that I really felt bad about is that Daniel Murphy and Tori Murphy were dragged into a conversation, and their whole life was exposed. And it shouldn’t have been.


  6. Ametia says:

    Who’s the animal
    April 5, 2014 — silentlyheardonce

    The horror

    There are over seven billion people on this earth. Through science we are living longer. Over a hundred years ago most of our food was raised on farms or hunted. Fruits and vegetables were grown on these same farms. Or the farmers traded with each other. The animals were treated with compassion. Fed and allowed graze or roam around the farm. They were killed before being skinned and butchered for meat.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Names of Jurors in George Zimmerman Trial Released
    By: Lynette Holloway
    Posted: April 5 2014 9:08 AM

    A judge has ordered the release of the names of the six members of the jury that acquitted George Zimmerman in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

    After previously ordering that the jurors’ identities be kept confidential, Circuit Court Judge Debra Nelson granted access to the names in a March 21 ruling, the Sentinel reports. The case involving Zimmerman, who is white, and Martin, who was black, polarized public opinion.

    Zimmerman’s lawyers in June asked the judge to keep the names secret until six months after the verdict, which came on July 13, 2013. The judge set no time limit then but noted in her new order that the names had been withheld more than eight months.

  8. rikyrah says:


    GOP senator spars with Obama on jobs
    By Tim Devaney

    President Obama may have campaigned on job creation, but his administration has produced “no measurable end results” and done little to reverse the trend of unemployment around the country, Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) said Saturday in the weekly Republican address.

    “As we all know, the most important issue facing our nation today is job creation,” Scott said. “Unfortunately, it’s been that way for the last six years. But instead of tackling the causes of unemployment and underemployment, too many politicians are focused only on the effects and on making political points.”

    The South Carolina lawmaker called for an overhaul of the Obama administration’s 35 job training programs that are designed to teach people the skills they need to find well-paying jobs, because he said they are ineffective and very expensive to maintain.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Good Afternoon, Everyone.

    Back from the swim, and a few errands. Got to get out to do some more errands soon.

    Sunshine and 40 :)

  10. Ametia says:

    Rikyrah, how many laps did you swim this fine Saturday, hmm?

  11. Ametia says:

    Student Nene Sy interviews the First Lady about empowering women & girls for the @WomenInWorld Summit #WITW14

  12. Ametia says:

    Saturday, April 5, 2014
    How the Organizer-in-Chief got Obamacare done

    As we are celebrating the initial success of the Obamacare exchanges, I thought it might be interesting to go back and look at how the greatest expansion of healthcare in half a century got done.

  13. Yahtc says:

    Happy Birthday, Ms. Maya Angelou! Thank you for your beautiful poetry and writings that you have shared!

    • Yahtc says:

      Angelou’s simple message: “Be a rainbow”

      Friday, April 4, 2014


      The takeaway was this: Be a rainbow in somebody’s cloud.

      “In Genesis, we are told that the rain persisted so unrelentingly that people thought it would never cease,” Angelou said when the room had quieted from the excitement of her musical entrance. “So in an attempt to put the people at ease, God put a rainbow in the sky.

      “However, we know that suns and moons and stars and all sorts of illuminations are always in the firmament. However, clouds can lower and lower. The viewer can’t see the light.

      “But if the rainbow is put not just in the sky, but in the clouds themselves, that means that in the worst of times, there’s the possibility of seeing light.”

      Angelou talked about growing up poor, black and female in Arkansas before desegregation. She talked about being raped by her mother’s boyfriend when she was 7. She talked about her teenage pregnancy.

      She also talked about her rainbows: her poems, her children, her mother’s nurturing encouragement, the rush from reciting one of her poems before an entire nation at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration, her portrait that will be installed Friday at The Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery.

      “All of that,” she said, “because I had rainbows in my life.”

      Find the rainbows, she said. Be the rainbow.

      “Look at you today,” Angelou said, scanning the crowd from behind a pair of animal print sunglasses, “influencing somebody whose name you may never know, whose face you may never see, whose complexion may not jive with your complexion — indeed, who may not call God the same name you call God, if he calls God at all. But here you are, trying to help someone, trying to be a rainbow in somebody’s sky.”

  14. Ametia says:


    Paul Ryan And His Family To Benefit From The $45 Billion In Subsidies For Big Oil In His Budget

    Paul Ryan’s budget, which means austerity for most Americans, turns out to mean prosperity for Ryan and his family.

    That budget, which the GOP-led House adopted as its blueprint, slashes funding for everyone from seniors to the disabled to students while preserving $45 billion in tax breaks and subsidies for Big Oil over the next 10 years, as has been widely reported.

    But what we have only just learned from Ryan’s financial disclosure forms for Congress (here) that were made public this week is “he and his wife, Janna, own stakes in four family companies that lease land in Texas and Oklahoma to the very energy companies that benefit from the tax subsidies in Ryan’s budget plan,” as The Daily Beast reported today.

  15. Martin Luther king assassination

  16. Look at this, Chicas!

  17. Yahtc says:

    Menuhin Hart discovered the hateful message, “U Shood Move” spray-painted on his pickup truck. This is the second time a racially-charged message has appeared on his vehicle after moving to predominantly white Riverdale.

  18. Yahtc says:

    We’re sick and tired of being locked out

  19. Yahtc says:

    Sounds of African diaspora heat up April fests

  20. Yahtc says:

    2014 Peabody Winners Reflect the Lives and Work of People of Color

  21. Yahtc says:

    Wishing all of you a Good Morning and great weekend!

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