Tag Archives: current-events

Nope…Still Undecided


I’m afraid that had I been an Iowa caucus participant, I would have been in camp “Undecided.” I would have contributed to one of several coin tosses the Democrats executed last night. I’d apologize, but sorry, not sorry.

I’m neither a Democrat or a Republican. I spoke of this before, but I grew up in a split household, my mother was a Republican, while my father was a Democrat. I spent hours at the dinner table or seated in the living room listening to my parents debate candidates and issues. My father stood firm that Dems were for the working man and Republicans were rich elitists. My mother claimed Dems were greedy and looking for handouts and the Republicans were the best to effect change, after all they were the party of Lincoln.

Skip ahead 35 years and neither party is what it used to be and I don’t identify with either one. I have at least one friend who enthusiastically supports every candidate in the race, including Trump, poor misguided pup that he is (my friend not the Hamster). But I have yet to see anything in any candidate that makes me think, “Yes, that’s my person. This is the person I want to be the leader of the free world.”

I am a firm believer in the adage, “don’t vote, don’t bitch,” so I will vote for someone, even if it means settling for the lesser of twelve evils. Wouldn’t be the first time, I’ve only enthusiastically voted for a presidential candidate three times: Obama the first time around, Clinton the first time around and Dukakis in my first election. Everything else has been a blend of “lesser of two evils” or “well maybe with some more time…”

It would be nice to be excited again. I’m almost envious of my friends who are firmly behind a candidate. I’m just not there yet.  And I’m not sure I ever will be. We shall see.

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29 Days of Me! :-)


It’s the first of February, 2016. This means three things:

  1. It’s Black History Month
  2. There are 29 days in the month thanks to the Leap year
  3. It’s My Birthday Month!

Numbers one and two are important, but I’m making this all about me! My birthday is literally smack dab in the middle of the month (it’s the 14th), so I’ve decided I’m going to have fun with the run up to it and the downward slide after it. I mean why not? I’ve been on the planet for almost 47 years, that’s something worth celebrating!

However, this isn’t going to be a month of drinking, debauchery and/or mayhem (though some of that may occur, heh!); I’ve got serious plans for the month on both the professional and personal levels. I could spell them out here, but that wouldn’t be much fun, but I will share two with you now…

Blog What I’m Thinking When I Think It – 2016

I get the question, “Kim why don’t you blog more?” quite often. I really don’t find myself that interesting and therefore don’t always think people would care about what I was thinking, but apparently some do (?).  So, to make what could be a long, drawn out explanation short, I’m going to blog about whatever pops into my head. I have the blogging app installed on my phone and tablet, so I’ll almost always have the tool I need in reach. I promise I will keep it to actual thoughts about actual issues (you really don’t need to read me ponder what to fix for dinner). My quicker, quirkier thoughts might make it onto Twitter, just to keep things interesting. This could mean several blog posts each day, or several blogs posts and tweets a day, but I pledge to blog at least once a day.

The book signing and the new book will happen this month

I am having my book signing this month. I am also going to finish the first draft of the second book this month. I’m sure that will be a topic of conversation here as well as on the WordsFromtheRents blog.

I have other things planned, and other things have been planned for me, so I think I’m in for a really fun month. So, let’s get it started, shall we? Have some cake!

 

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Random Thoughts on Race (No Hidden Meaning Here)


A few minutes ago an article came through my Facebook newsfeed. “Rachel Dolezal’s Unintended Gift to America.” The blurb under the title: “Troubled as she is, she has opened up a candid, long-delayed conversation about the meaning of racial identity.”

On the surface, this seems like a wonderful thing. Except for the fact that I have lost count of the number of titles and subtitles I’ve read that said practically this same thing. Whenever the latest race issue rears its ugly head, as the story starts to die and people are about to move on to the next shiny news story, someone trots out the “We’ve started a conversation,” or “We’ve begun a dialogue” mantra. And again, that’s well and good.

Question…

When are we going to FINISH the conversation? Cuz, I gotta tell ya, I’m tired of talking about the same things over and over.

Race is a man-made construct. It was created to divide people. And if we human beings aren’t good at anything else, we’re damn good at pointing out differences.  We don’t just separate our whites from our colors,  we separate our whites into different shades and our darks into different hues. I could go into reasons both biblical and historical to explain why this happened, but that’s not what this post is about.

Here’s what it’s about, and another question…

Why does it matter?

In 2015, this is what we are:

Race A blames Race B for what Race B did generations ago.

Race B doesn’t like Race A because Race B thinks it’s superior because of how some of Race A behaves.

Interestingly enough, Race A and Race B will come together in hatred of Race C, again because of how some of Race C behaves.

Pick a continent. Any continent. It applies.

But, here’s a concept; instead of hating an entire race of people because of the acts of a few, why not just hate the acts of a few? You don’t chuck the whole set of china because of one broken plate. You don’t dump the car because of one broken taillight and you don’t throw away the whole bag of cookies because some of them are broken. You fix what you can, discard what can’t be fixed and you enjoy what’s left. We can do that with dinnerware, autos and cookies but not with people?

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting we all hold hands and sing kumbaya, but I am saying that we’re all human beings. We are all born the same, we all need the same things to survive. We all bleed red. We all have whites of our eyes and black pupils that can go from pin heads to nail heads. Some of us are dark, some of us are light, some of us are black and some of us are almost transparent, but our hearts beat the same, our brains form thoughts in the same manner and deep down we all know that hate based on a man-made construct is stupid.

Don’t believe me? Watch young children play. They could care less what color the other kids are. As long as there is room on the merry-go-round and space in the sandbox, kids will play together. Happily. Forever.

I know it’s going to take an invasion from Race #42 for the races on this planet to start acting like they have some sense. And I know that for the most part this blog post is preaching to the choir. But if we’re going to have the continuous loop of “race issue occurs/social media all atwitter/furor dying down/insert comment about dialogue here,” I at least want my blog post to stand as a reminder that we still have a conversation to finish.

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An Open Letter to Karen Fitzgibbons, Fourth Grade Teacher of the Year — from One of “The Blacks”


Dear Ms. Fitzgibbons…and others like you,

Well aren’t you a special snowflake. You’ve got your degree and you’re helping to mold young minds. Too bad your own mind is twisted, dark and full of unkind thoughts. I haven’t read what it is you teach fourth graders, but I can only assume (with a shudder) that it makes a lasting impression. Just as I’m sure your recent Facebook post made an impression on your bosses, your neighbors and the parents of your students.

I’m glad you apologized to “the appropriate people,” which I would guess is a short list consisting of the principal of your school, maybe a couple of coworkers who might be people of color (aka…the good blacks), and the school district that could turn your summer vacation into a permanent one.

Honestly, I do hope you lose your job, but not for the reasons you might think.

But before I delve into that, let’s look at the statement that got you into hot water to begin with. I pulled it from the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.

“I’m going to just go ahead and say it … the blacks are the ones causing the problems and this ‘racial tension.’ I guess that’s what happens when you flunk out of school and have no education. I’m sure their parents are just as guilty for not knowing what their kids were doing; or knew it and didn’t care. I’m almost to the point of wanting them all segregated on one side of town so they can hurt each other and leave the innocent people alone. Maybe the 50s and 60s were really on to something. Now, let the bashing of my true and honest opinion begin….GO! #imnotracist #imsickofthemcausingtrouble #itwasatagedcommunity,”

Where to being. Where. To. Begin…

I’m just going to pull this apart sentence by sentence.

I’m going to just go ahead and say it … the blacks are the ones causing the problems and this ‘racial tension.’

So “the blacks” are the actual problem. Not intolerant non blacks, or overworked hyped up police officers or other teens who most likely took a private invitation to a party and made it public. It’s just “the blacks.” Good to know.

I guess that’s what happens when you flunk out of school and have no education.

Wait…so only “the blacks” flunk out of school and have no education? So, all “the whites” have degrees and are making $100,000 a year? Huh…I’m sitting in Tim Hortons right now and every worker here is white. Who knew you made $100k at Timmys?

I’m sure their parents are just as guilty for not knowing what their kids were doing; or knew it and didn’t care.

Just as guilty for the problems, the ‘racial tension,’ the flunk out rate, or the lack of education? And who should I blame for your inability to string together a coherent thought? Please tell me you teach fourth grade gym.*

I’m almost to the point of wanting them all segregated on one side of town so they can hurt each other and leave the innocent people alone.

Almost? What’s your tipping point? Seriously, I’m curious. Which side of town do you want to give them? Are you going to move if it’s decided they get your side of town?

Maybe the 50s and 60s were really on to something.

Again, please tell me you teach gym. It was during the 50s and 60s that schools were desegregated. So you want to go back and do it again?

Now, let the bashing of my true and honest opinion begin….GO!

Well, since you asked so nicely…

#imnotracist #imsickofthemcausingtrouble #itwasatagedcommunity,”

Um…#yesyouare #imsickofpeoplelikeyou #learntospellgated

You then go on to tell us that your rant wasn’t aimed at any particular group of people.

So, “the blacks,” “them,” and “they” refer to….?

You know, I could forgive you your rant and chalk it up to frustration. I could forgive you your rant because as you said at the beginning of your post, you’re angry. I could forgive you your rant for any number of reasons, if it weren’t for one thing:

You deleted it.

You didn’t even have the guts to stand by your words. You’re not just ignorant or racist or bigoted for writing that post, you’re a hypocrite and a coward for taking it down. As much as I don ‘t want racist, bigoted and ignorant teachers educating the next generation, I don’t need people who don’t have the fortitude to stand by what they believe teaching them either. So please, do us all a favor, put down the red ink pen (still hoping it’s a whistle), hand in your grade book and find another profession.

*This is in no way slamming gym teachers. My point is that since she misspelled a hashtag, has a hard time forming a coherent thought and doesn’t seem to know U.S. History, the idea of her teaching English, reading or the Social Sciences scares me.

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Debate Number 1…


is now behind us. And what did we learn?

1. Obama hasn’t had to defend his stance in a long time.

2. Romney doesn’t seem to understand the rules of debate.

3. Jim Lehrer never had control of the debate as moderator.

4, Town Hall formats without a town hall are just stupid.

5. Romney loves Big Bird, but has no problem firing him.

6. Romney has a plan. He’ll tell you what it is later.

7. Obama lost this debate. Yeah, I said it. Obama didn’t show up. He didn’t really have to.

8. Romney won this debate. Of course he had to.

Overall, I can’t say I’ve come out of this debate with any more information than I had going in. I’m still waiting for all the fact-checkers to chime in — they’re got their work cut out for them.

If there’s a “smoking gun” revealed, I’ll discuss that tomorrow, or whenever it’s revealed.

In other news, I had three of my favorite clients contact me with work today, which was cool. I started a new piece of chainmaille jewelry, which is cool, too.

And today, I did actually feed the dogs. 😉

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Be Less Racist – Eat Less Chicken


I’ve been pretty busy with work, so I haven’t had time to blog, but some of the events that have unfolded over the last few days have prompted me to jump back up on my soapbox for a few minutes. I’m going to make a couple of statements, then expound on them. Ready?

Okay…here we go.

Statement #1: Chik-Fil-A can support whatever it wants.

Like it or not, they are free not to support same-sex marriage. They are free to be a religious-based organization. They can choose to only recognize traditional marriage standards. You can boycott them. You can march in front of their restaurants and call them homophobic, evil or whatever you want. But it’s not going to make a difference. Beliefs that deeply rooted are not going to change because of a few picket signs or angry letters to the editor. I would bet the farm that Cathy et al would close the franchise down before they would change their stance. So, don’t waste your energy. Express your disdain by driving past the restaurant and eating someplace else.

Or you could send everyone you know to a Chik-Fil-A, then have them donate a dollar to a local Gay rights advocacy group as penance.  And don’t forget to let the restaurant know you did so.

Statement #2: Racism is alive and well.

Many of my friends seem to be shocked by this revelation. It makes me smile that some of my friends are so pure of thought that these things don’t occur to them, and it makes my heart sad when I have to point this fact out to them. I wish I could have the same idyllic attitude, but alas, it seems my reason for being is to be a litmus test and sounder of the alarm for others. I’m okay with that. But please, when I tell you that outside of your immediate scope, there are people who still hate on the basis of skin color, I’m not trying to be mean. I’m your reality check. No more, no less.

But the debates from the last few days have made me question things, and so, I am going to throw the big question out there: Fifty years ago, would we have been friends? Would you have supported my right to sit where I want on a bus or in a restaurant, or would you have complained that I had an “agenda” as I was fighting for my equal rights as a black person? Or go back further in time — would you have objected to my agenda to have equal rights as a woman?

No?

Maybe?

How are those fights any different from the one being fought now?

Now, before you tell me, “but it’s not the same thing, you’re comparing apples to oranges,” let me stop you. You’re right, they are two completely different issues.

But they are still both fruit. Fruit born from the same seed of ignorance and intolerance.  Just as the fair and equal-minded had to shout down the detractors to equal right for women and blacks then, the same thing is happening now.

Speaking of detractors, let’s talk a moment about Obama haters.

No, I don’t mean those who oppose President Obama’s policies, I mean those who hate the man.

Dislike his policies all you want. Call him out on what you perceive as a lack of experience and inability to run the country. I got no beef with that.

But those of you who hate him because you hate the idea of a black man being in the Oval Office, I’m onto you, and I will call you out whenever I encounter you. I’ve got a big booming voice, and I’m not afraid to use it.

Because if I let you hate him and remain silent about it, it is only a matter of time before you start hating me. Because I’m black. Because I’m a woman. Because I fit some other stereotype you hold dear to your heart.

So, now, friends,  maybe you understand my frustration with some of the things that have been said over the last few days. For some of you, it’s just idle chatter with no immediate implications. But for me, it is so much bigger than that. I cannot allow anyone  to roll back time and force me to fight for my rights all over again. Not gonna happen. Not while I’m still breathing.

 

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An Open Letter To Everyone Who Wanted Me To Write An Open Letter About Trayvon Martin


(and were ticked off/disappointed/confused by my apathy statement earlier.)

You wanted a rant — here ya go. First a caveat: The words “you” and “yours” are collective. I’m talking to everyone. If it doesn’t apply to you, then you’ve got no reason to be offended. If it does, well…

So, earlier today, I posted that I was…oh let me just pull the quote:

You know, over the last few days, I’ve seen some pretty stupid news items come through my Facebook feed. A 17 year-old boy armed with iced tea and Skittles being shot dead by a nutcase with a cop complex. A lame bumper sticker. Anything from Fox News. Several good candidates for YMBOC.

Now, I remember a time, not so long ago, when any one of these would have elicited a full-blown rant from me.  At one time, I could have written thousands of words on any of the above-mentioned topics.

And yet…

Yeah, I got nothin’.

It’s official folks: I am completely apathetic.

Some of you seemed to take offense to that statement, even though I went on to say:

Now, don’t confuse my apathy for lack of caring or concern. I do care, and I am concerned. However, railing about it just isn’t in me right now. It’s as if I’m in observation mode — just taking it all in, making notes as things unfold.

And observe I have. But I don’t think I’m seeing the same things you are.

Some of you seem to think I should be more outraged than everyone else about this because I’m black.

What the hell does that have to do with anything?Is there some special dispensation code I should be using to show the proper amount of outrage over an unarmed kid being shot to death by a racist prick?

Is it not enough for me to be outraged because I’m a mother?

How about the fact that I’m a human being?

But because I’m black, I’m supposed to automatically be especially outraged over this tragic event.

Bite me.

I Am outraged. It sickens me that in 2012, people are still killing people based on stereotypes, hate, skin color and ignorance. I’m sick and tired of always worrying that when my kids walk out that door, there’s a chance they might not come back.

But you know what I’m really sick of? As aggravating, frustrating, pathetic and sad as the Trayvon Martin situation is, it’s not the first. Today, it’s Trayvon Martin. Yesterday it was Troy Davis. Before that, it was Sean Bell. Before that, Emmett Till.

Don’t know who these people are?

Google is your friend.

And the real bitch of it is…

There will be another one tomorrow, and next week, and next month and next year.

Because you see, so long as people still see black males as “thugs in hoodies” and refer to them as “f****in coons,” it’s going to keep happening. Again and again and again.

And damn if I know how to stop it.

So, you’ll excuse me if once in a while I defer the need to express outrage to others who are just as capable of railing, ranting and raving as I am. Sometimes I just need to back off and be a part of the choir.

 

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An Open Letter To Rush Limbaugh


Dear Mr. Limbaugh:

So, you were forced to make an apology to Ms. Fluke and other women you insulted when you called her a “slut” and a “prostitute”. However, I have to take umbrage with several statements in your apology. In an attempt to be fair and balanced, I have included your entire apology in this post. I pulled it from the Huffington Post, I hope that doesn’t rankle you too much:

“For over 20 years, I have illustrated the absurd with absurdity, three hours a day, five days a week. In this instance, I chose the wrong words in my analogy of the situation. I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke.

I think it is absolutely absurd that during these very serious political times, we are discussing personal sexual recreational activities before members of Congress. I personally do not agree that American citizens should pay for these social activities. What happened to personal responsibility and accountability? Where do we draw the line? If this is accepted as the norm, what will follow? Will we be debating if taxpayers should pay for new sneakers for all students that are interested in running to keep fit? In my monologue, I posited that it is not our business whatsoever to know what is going on in anyone’s bedroom nor do I think it is a topic that should reach a Presidential level.

My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices.”

Now, I could argue that your whole apology was weak, at best. And I could point out that the coercion is almost palpable. But, instead, I’m going to focus on three specific statements you made. And thank you for the expediency of making all three statements consecutively. This is the passage I’d like to discuss:

I think it is absolutely absurd that during these very serious political times, we are discussing personal sexual recreational activities before members of Congress. I personally do not agree that American citizens should pay for these social activities. What happened to personal responsibility and accountability?

Let’s break the statement down to individual sentences so each statement can receive the response it so richly deserves, shall we?

(And since you started your “apology” with the idea that you have “illustrated the absurd with absurdity,” I’m going to borrow from that phrase for just a moment.)

Absurdity Illustration #1: I think it is absolutely absurd that during these very serious political times, we are discussing personal sexual recreational activities before members of Congress.

Here’s a stat for ya, Rush: Men think about sex almost twice as much as women. Notice I didn’t trot out the “men think about sex once every seven seconds” urban legend. That’s a, well, absurd statement, and I don’t need to be incendiary or outrageous to make a point. (You should try that sometime.)  Don’t believe me? Check here, here and here. Also, men see sex more as a recreational activity than women (that point is also supported in the previously provided links). Republican congressMEN created a committee to discuss contraception, and refused to let women participate.

Believe it or not, I agree with you, Rush. It is absurd that a group of men decided to get together and discuss recreational sex. That should have stayed on the golf course, in the locker room, and around the poker table — you know, those other places men work to keep female-free. Here’s an interesting tidbit: when women get together to, oh I don’t know, make a quilt, discuss the latest book club selection or swap recipes, female contraception only comes up if someone’s having an issue “down there.” Otherwise, it’s generally not topic worthy.  Birth control is not recreation for us — for many of us it’s a necessary evil. Period. (Pun intended)

Absurdity Illustration #2: I personally do not agree that American citizens should pay for these social activities.

Did I miss a memo? When did this become something that the American citizens collectively would be required to pay for? I thought the point of the hearings was to discuss if private insurance should be required to cover oral contraceptives. How did that become free birth control lines at the free clinic? I believe that if I’m paying for insurance, then I should be able to get any medication I need to live a healthy and comfortable life. I get highly insulted when I’m paying for a service but I cannot receive all the parts of the service I want because someone determined I didn’t need it. Someone who has NO IDEA what I really need or want. That’s insulting. What if your insurance company told you that you’ve had enough sex in your life, and therefore they will no longer cover your Viagra? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Absurdity Illustration #3: What happened to personal responsibility and accountability?

Oh, Rush, Rush, Rush (when was the last time a woman said THAT to you?)…I’ve been pondering this same question for years. I ponder it when I hear statements such as:

  • It’s the woman’s responsibility to take care of birth control.
  • Women who use birth control are awesome. I hate having sex with a condom — it ruins it for me.
  • (When the birth control fails): Not my problem — you should have known you were fertile!
  • (When no birth control is used and pregnancy results) See statement #1 followed by “What do you expect me to do about it?”

You dare to pose the question about responsibility and accountability, while other men place that responsibility and accountability squarely on women’s shoulders. And when a woman does take on the accountability, and a pregnancy results, you point the finger and denounce her.

That’s bad enough.

But then, when the woman takes on the responsibility, but simply asks that her insurance, which she is paying for, offer contraception coverage as part of the planfor which the woman is paying premiums, you have the audacity to insult her and tell her she has no right to make the request.

You’re out of your freakin’ mind.

I doubt you’ll read this, and that’s okay. I didn’t really write it for you to read, since that might mean having some sort of contract with you, and like the flu, I try to avoid things that make me feverish, clammy and feel like I want to faint. I really wrote this for my readers who actually respect your opinion, and for my other readers who think you are a moron. So, let me finish off this post with a brief summary:

Men can get Viagra through insurance. It’s used primarily to treat Erectile Dysfunction. Most men use it for recreational sex. And yes, sex with your spouse that is not a deliberate attempt to procreate IS recreational sex.

Women use oral contraceptives to treat a myriad of gynecological ailments, including infrequent cycles, PCOS, endometriosis, PMDS and acne. They also use it for recreational sex. But insurance doesn’t want to cover oral contraception because women might use it for recreational sex.

If you can’t see the flaw in that logic, then it’s a good thing this is the end of my post, because I have nothing more to say to you.

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