Showing posts with label American Media. Show all posts
Showing posts with label American Media. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Dealing with the Politics of Life

We are awash in political happenstance each day. So much so that I think we often forget that there are people there with real emotions and real justified fears. One of the growing number of progressive groups I'm a part of asked a very valid question regarding the other side of this national debate wondering how to move forward in our new today so we can actually have a bearable tomorrow. It was a valid question that started with an article about identity politics. Before I post what I said in response to this counter news story I want you to really see this as it is or at least as I see it.

I find the words 'identity politics' a misnomer.  The truth is we all have an identity that we closely relate to and define. The implication of this article is that only 'othered' populations garnered attention and by negating the 'norm' or read White Male Christian Straight it alienated those populations. My issue in general I realized while reading this piece and I wont actually link it because the news source is baited at best, is that within the dichotomy of inclusion for some populations it assumes the need to exclude all others. Its a very basic 'us vs them' mentality that is literally pulling this country apart. 

While making a point to stop being so aware of those other populations is a blatant call to disregard the true fabric of this country and its people. The GOP didn't win by a landslide as the rhetoric here implies. They won by small traceable margins that can be correlated back to very specific points including upheaval of the Voting Rights Act which allowed several states where GOP candidates won by less than 100,000 votes to deny sometimes upward of 300,000 voters to be counted. Stop! Reread that sentence slowly and let the weight of it hit you:

They won by small traceable margins that can be correlated back to very specific points including upheaval of the Voting Rights Act which allowed several states where GOP candidates won by less than 100,000 votes to deny sometimes upward of 300,000 voters to be counted.

Yes the gutting of the Voting Rights Act allowed unconstitutional restrictions on voting to be put into place to sometimes prevent almost 3 times as many people from voting as the margin of victory for some candidates actually was. 

What we need to focus on now is information control because the calls to 'get over it' we won are hiding what they now know to be the last gasping breath of a dying rhetoric. They pulled every trap door, they used every ACME emblazoned scheme and still only barely inched out a win. Now what they need to do is convince us of a false narrative which is that there are more of them then there are of us. So they try and overwhelm us be centralizing and controlling tiny communities on the web. They seek us out on our 'liberal left biased media' you know like The New York Times and Reuters to tell us how inaccurate our perspectives are. Its classic gas-lighting. Especially when you realize that all media has always leaned conservative in America. The only reason it is not anymore is because Americans aren't leaning conservative anymore.

There is nothing about what just happened that truly reflects our reality of who this country is really occupied by. Despite the hype, this isn't a problem of not relating to needed populations as its the fallout of a legal sand trap to hamper what they knew was going to be a problem going forward in politics. Those populations and that identity is not a fluke or a whim its America. 

With that being said we can't do this without them. We need the other side of America. They went low, the lowest this country has seen in a long time.  And now more than ever we need to go high. Trust me this is difficult to write because just a day or so ago I was a biting seething mess of F&#% you to the world. But the truth is we don't actually have space time or the liberty to be petty. We have to be inclusive. This was my response as to how to pull those people back who are concerned with the concept of 'identity politics' :

"This is long and something I think about and alter constantly but this is where I'm at today. That one is difficult because I'm not sure identity politics is the problem. I think inclusion is. The truth is a lot of the concerns of the working class that voted Trump are the same as those that are classified as identity political instances. The issue is that no one really treats it that way. We call them idiots for voting against their own interests, while true it really is in the competitive way that it's done sometimes. The best way in my opinion to do it is to remind those lost voters that the only people who do understand their issues are the 'othered' populations in America.  
We need to include them as an 'othered' population. So many of us have been 'othered' for so long it's odd when people talk about it. So when someone does it feels like change. Where Democrats fell deaf this time, where Obama didn't was he didn't have to remind people he was an 'othered' population member. All he had to do was speak the lingo at the right places at the right times.  
Hillary was draped in too much rich white female and it irked them because no matter what she said they seemed to think she looked down on them. A few well publicized comments later they have proof. Emails she's so above the law.  
Trump pretended he was with them and said you can trust me because 'wink wink' I'm white like you and I know you really aren't like these 'othered' populations, no you're special.  
There will always be a decent amount of that side that are just hateful towards anyone that isn't in their group. That's a fact of life. However there are many that just want a group to belong to and that one in many ways was comfortable and felt accepting.  
The national dialogue has changed. They grew up with expectations that 'othered' populations didn't really have and I'm actually very empathetic to that. Had my mother not prepared me for the reality of being a black woman in America I can't imagine how confused I would've spent my life.  
But I try to see it from their perspective, they are seeing people that look like them as not gaining ground and are surrounded by imagery of 'othered' prosperity after a lifetime of expecting different. They don't really always attribute that to hard work. They attribute it to the system being rigged against them. What needs to happen is Dems say yes it is let me introduce you to the people that have been figuring out how to game it back for years. Here they are with open arms.  
There's been tons of butt hurt on both sides. I've been an instigator myself. It's hard for me to swallow that the safety and humanity of people I love seems to mean so little. They are worried about finance and some people are literally worried about survival. The cost is so different but if we can make it about all of our lives and deaths maybe we can find each other. So I'm not sure how to get it there besides doing the work one on one."

For a lot of us the lives of those we hold dear are literally at stake. Do the work. . Our republic is worth it. Our people are worth it.  ALL of our people are worth it.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Missing Love Stories

When I write it is often a plea or has a correlation to desires I possess in my day to day life. I write the world I'd like to see as opposed to the one I live in. Very simple method displacement. I take the reality that bothers me and I replace it with a viable beautiful one.  So of course my genre is romance. I find the world in my sight to be painfully devoid of true romance, honest passion and selfless love.  So I write about it. I pair up people and give them hell and let them figure out where they stand, what they want, and what they need.

Love Alchemy
A couple of years ago I decided I wanted to change the world. So I began mapping my Sci-Fi series which will be called loosely and subject to change Genesis 2020.  I'm giving humanity a spiritual reboot of sorts. This series features a changing of the guards as mortals will attain immortality in some instances, some will be the earth mothers and fathers of a new generation of humans, and many will be there to see to it all.

One of the books that I began features a couple that I feel like expresses the most conflicting dynamic in American culture. The male is a white, southern, high powered movie producer.  The woman a mixed race poor artist. I met Colan and Fiona in a dreamscape. They were hiding in a place that I seldom find myself in yet have made the most wonderful discoveries there. I call it my space of truth. They contacted me and wanted to tell me their story. It’s a good one, and they knew that someone like me would understand.

When you live life as an American, especially a dark female American from a poor southern family there are many aspects of life from your childhood that you were never included in or invited to. Somewhere along the way you have to either conform to low expectations or refuse the whole damn thing.  I chose the latter. To this day I cannot place my finger on how or why because I've never really seen much that was different than what is portrayed on television, in movies, or magazines like everyone else. I chalk it up to my mother's unending faith in me to be who I needed to be and not settle for who others wanted me to be.

Classic Romance Novel Cover
I say this because media is what it is. In my recollection the 80s where overrun by respectability politics and racial caricatures. But that was for everyone, white, black, red, yellow, male, female, teenagers, and children. Everyone had a prescribed formula. It wasn't till the late 90s early 2000s that characters became deeply complex people. All accept for women and minorities. So not even close to everyone. As a dark woman I've always taken those images with a grain of salt as I much preferred getting lost in a book as opposed to an unrealistic impersonation of who I was supposed to be. The irony is that you tell yourself it’s not that bad. You actually try to accept some of it as truth because the alternative is too much to bear, which is the evidence of others denying you and those like you the very basic staples of humanity.

One night I was shown how bad it was. I was dreaming with Colan.  He showed me a place that he would like for American film and cinema to get to now that he's head over heels for our lovely Fiona. You'll get to read the fit Fiona put him in for the first book of the 9 set series called Life Goes On sometime next year. It wasn't just a breaking in spiritual realization as much as it was an epiphany of a lifetime of strategic and collaborative brain washing.  As an artist Fiona forced Colan to see the things she could see and to replace the images he often associated with grace, beauty, love and valor with an image hardly ever associated with it in mainstream media. His open eyes became mine.

See how gorgeous we all are:
For years I thought the portrayals of dark skinned people both men and women where as fair as possible and this instance destroyed that thought. I told myself it would be nearly impossible to reproduce the vivid imagery of that understanding in the written word. How can I show what I saw? The scene was resplendent. A scene of love and courage, the beauty of it pouring from the two souls. The scene was shot close, mostly faces of the man and the woman. They were exchanged plateaus of love and affection. She glowed in the scene.  Her lovely brown skin showing all the colors hidden there within. No brown is just brown, it’s a sea of shades of yellow, red, bronze, beige, slightly bruised peaches and chocolate milk. Papaya and carrots, beets and butternut squash.  His skin reflecting a myriad of colors as well. They stared into each other's eyes intently with purpose and grace. Love pouring true. She was going to leave, trying to leave because it’s what she thought he needed. The heroine, constantly by his side and pulling him though his darkness. He's grateful, complete and fulfilled from the journey. Through shared pain and shared grace they had found that point, that moment of divine grace within each other.

At no time did the scene reposition to show her breasts. The language used was vernacular English, no so called 'black' speak.  The man and woman were on equal footing. The lighting just so to give the ethereal nature of the connection. No body shots at all, this was an intellectual meeting of the minds and a stunning interaction of the soul. It was saying nothing but everything in Lost in Translation, it was the unveiling of the art room in 50 First Dates, it was "Thanks for the Adventure" in Up.  It was every instance of pure beautiful perfect love I've ever seen that made me cry and yearn for a love like that which now I saw, never had previously contained a single dark face.

Black Love
When I woke the image of it blazed brightly in my mind. Complete, perfect and beautiful and I knew in that moment that I had never seen it.  It wasn't part of my lexicon as a lover of romance. There was not a single movie I could recall where the scene had been built so painstakingly and so beautifully. Never for someone who was dark. Our love is always relegated to giving in and giving up like Jason's Lyric, or Love Jones. Sent to the seediest place, over sexualized, over stimulated and then tainted with tragedy.  Calm acceptance in the face of insurmountable odds like Monster's Ball. Happy endings need not apply because they are happy enough.  But not only that, those moments of true blissful acceptance and love are lost, never viewed or portrayed as something you would die for. Our moments of triumph always involve being given the opportunity to excel, still not quite human, but good enough in some matters of social change and of course feats of athletic excellence. But a love story. A true story of love between people of color that involves nothing more than a heartfelt desire to create the most perfect moment even if all others are lost is beyond us. Not seen, built and not given. Those stories of true love are found as standalone testimonies of dark women learning to accept and love themselves, implying that the rest of the world is not capable. We are too foreign, too unrecognizable as lovable beings to hope for anything more.

Romantic Movies
The loss I felt at that realization was one of the most profound moments in my life. As a woman who is encased and dependent on love, it never struck me that the reason why it always seemed like such an unsolvable mysterious fairytale was more than just inexperience. It’s an internalized attitude of love not being an available commodity for those like me. Love was contingent to acceptance, something that is usually not a part of the American experience for anyone regardless of background, yet even more so for those of the other variety. So the outliners of love became obvious points of acceptance. Perhaps love can overcome the racial issues in a relationship, the cultural calamities, even the religious bias. But love, for the sake of love was not a possibility. As a person of color you must be exemplary and perhaps someone will forgive your background enough to develop a passing acceptance and affection for you and this includes other people of color.

How it Can Feel
The stunning truth of what I had been shown all my life crippled me for hours. I cried as if everything beautiful and precious in this world had been stolen from me.  I cried as if all faith and hope was lost. I cried for the crime committed to so many like me. I cried for my femininity which suffers blows of lack of love constantly as I blame my figure, my not so perfect face, my hair length for lack of love. I cried for my darkness that rendered me unlovable for more of the population than I would like to know. Mostly I cried for my humanity because of all the things lost with the realization that love was not something portrayed as something I was fully capable of that was the one that denied me all I've ever wanted in life.

Love, the ability to feel it, give it and receive it is an inalienable human concept. Personhood of other animals is usually determined by the ability to attain complex thought and love. You will find that they are not mutually exclusive as we equate complex thought without emotion as an inanimate function. Emotions, and not just any emotions, but love specifically is the high bar for being human. Being willing to risk all for love, to survive for love, to overcome for love. In many ways none is more human than romantic love. The inexplicable pull and tug to a complete stranger for no comprehensible reason shows the extraordinary capacity of humanity and life. To be denied that, in any form is tantamount to death. Stolen then are the chances to redeem the glory of all life holds that is sublime and precious.

Who Love is For
When people are cut out of stunning and moving instances it not only cripples the people who are not being portrayed. It equally cripples the people who are, who are being told that love comes in shades of beige, blonde, maybe redhead or brunette. That love has a certain figure and form. Being told that love exists within confined spaces determined by socioeconomic and religious guidelines. Those being told that what they may feel for someone who is not of this character mold must not be real because its outside of the lines where love lives.

I came to the understanding years ago as my marriage fell apart and birthed my path as an author that I was, still am, and will always be a love based creature. As love left my life I had to create new ways to pull it back in. I cannot live without love. I craft for joy and I create for passion. I reach out for love, always reaching out for love. I will always write of love and the beauty it brings to this place. I'll write of the lives it has changed.  I'll write of the healing it has done. And I will write it with faces that we never get to see experiencing these amazing events with hope in my heart that those days will end one day and love will be truly available and visible for all.

Love Alchemy from

Classic Romance Novel Cover from

Up! from

Who Love is For from

How It Can Feel from