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Monthly Archives: May 2012

I Wish A N*gga Would (Tell Me Black Studies Isn’t Good Enough)

We do it for the culture…

“What we do, how well we do it… does it even matter?”

From the very moment I heard that question presented to Cuba Gooding Jr.’s character in the Red Tails movie preview released so many months ago, it resonated with me. Clearly, perseverance through struggle and critical perception and assessment of that “perseverance” are nothing new for African-Americans. To echo the sentiment of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the concept of “second-class citizenship,” of being good but not quite good enough in America, isn’t new for Blacks, either. African-Americans continue to work hard and apply themselves to being the best they possibly can be in spite of the circumstances.

But that “good but not quite good enough” specter is ever looming over Black Americans in the form of “privilege” – the concept that minimizes and plays upon the downplay of one group to more highly elevate another. It is this idea of privilege that serves as the immediate counterargument to the “post-racial America” that many people legitimately – if a little foolishly – believe was instituted once Barack Hussein Obama was elected president back in November 2008. Most recently, we find privilege emerging in the field of academia.

It was only by way of a chance “retweet” on twitter, that I stumbled onto Tressie McMillan Cottom’s guest article for racialicious, “The Inferiority of Blackness as a Subject.” In 1,420 words, McMillan Cottom calls out esteemed academic journal The Chronicle for Higher Education and, more specifically, a blog entry from Naomi Schaefer-Riley in The Chronicle entitled “The Most Persuasive Case for Eliminating Black Studies? Just Read the Dissertations.” In much the same way that Schaefer-Riley’s blog critiqued and dismissed the dissertations she saw cited by Black doctoral studies, so does McMillan Cottom respectfully respond to and dismiss Schaefer Riley’s assertions, primarily because Schaefer-Riley critiques the dissertations based upon their titles and not the subject matter that makes up each dissertation. As McMillan Cottom so eloquently states, these Black doctoral students are “deliberately assaulted… for not being invisible.”

It’s intriguing that Naomi Schaefer Riley would contribute the newest chapter to the argument surrounding Black studies and its “place” in the academic arena, in the process driving the point home as to what REALLY lies at the center of this argument – privilege. Tressie McMillan Cottom touches upon this when she writes that Schaefer Riley is all but condescending to “three young scholars who have the audacity to treat the black subject as a human subject worthy of interrogation.” As a lowly undergraduate student myself, perhaps I am unqualified to speak upon this matter. But I do have many friends, colleagues, and associates who are Black students in doctoral programs, many of whom have embarked upon dissertations that touch upon or directly engage issues that affect African-Americans. And I am certain they, too, would treat Schaefer Riley’s criticism as, to put it plainly, “hating.”

I’m not talking about “hate” as in rooted in racism; but rather, “hate” as a completely subjective assessment of something with no sound basis other than dismissing something just to say it’s worthy of dismissal. McMillan Cottom sees this, as well, effectively highlighting that Schaefer Riley “does not even afford [the three doctoral students] the respect of critiquing their actual scholarship. That is beneath her. She attacks the very veracity of their right to choose what scholarship they will do.”

But let’s delve a little deeper here. Why DOESN’T Schaefer Riley “critique their actual scholarship?” The answer is simple – because Naomi Schaefer Riley doesn’t believe Black studies is scholarship worthy of critique. It would be easy to play “what if” and to imagine if the tone and approach of Schaefer Riley’s blog might be different had these three Black students been putting forth dissertations for their, say, Executive Doctorates in Higher Education. It is easy to assume that, perhaps then, Schaefer Riley would have given these students a fair assessment of their work and, additionally, an appropriate acknowledgment of their progress and pioneering achievement thus far (which was what the original article that stemmed this debate, was about in the first place).

Rather than wonder about what could have been, it is important to remain focused on and challenge the actual facts. The actual facts are that doctoral programs are not easy to get into, and by far, all but a challenge to remain and excel in; that, since doctoral programs operate by a process of acceptance to a prestigious program and adoption of a rigorous academic commitment and platform, that one must be amongst the best or working towards becoming the best to be a doctoral student; and that, while in the process of being a doctoral student, one can expect to be critiqued and vetted, it is not an unfair expectation to assume that you are still worthy of respect and dignity as a student throughout the entire process.

Apparently, none of these facts apply when it comes to the field of Black studies. It may be true that doctoral students in Black studies will still have the same “Ph.D.” initials listed after their name upon graduation. And it is likely true that students in doctoral programs for Black studies devote just as much time, blood, sweat, and tears as their peers in other areas of the academic arena, to assembling adequate research worthy of a dissertation that can be effectively defended. But privilege demands that Black studies be regarded at a lower level than all other academic fields, simply because issues that affect African-Americans can’t possibly affect people from other backgrounds, nor can non-Blacks possibly relate to those same issues. Privilege demands that those in positions of power can tell students in Black studies that their work is “left-wing victimization claptrap” and that “This may matter to you, but it doesn’t matter to me, therefore it doesn’t matter at all.”

It is easy to diminish the hard work, the scholastic potential, and the diligence that Black graduate students must adopt to succeed in academia on some scholarly journal’s webpage. But I wonder if Naomi Schaefer Riley would be as quick to tell Black doctoral students in person, what she really meant: that being a Black Ph. D student is good, but not good enough.

Somewhere in California, Dr. Nathan Hare, the founder of Black studies, is no doubt sitting in his rocking chair thinking, “I wish a nigga would.”

 

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Gravity Night on #ThreadRadio: The State of Black Television

Hey thREADERS,

Here’s our latest and greatest radio show! Warnecessary and Meagapixel are back with their latest installment of “The State of Black Entertainment” series.

We’ll be back next Monday night for another rousing episode of Thread Radio. Thanks for listening!

Listen to
internet radio with ThreadRadio on Blog Talk Radio
 
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Posted by on May 7, 2012 in Television, Thread Radio

 

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The Best 25 Cheating Songs from the Cheaters Themselves (Top 10)

We’ve finally made it to the Top 10! Here are the first and second installments of “The 25 Best Cheating Songs from the Cheaters Themselves” playlist if you missed them. How did we get here? Let’s do a quick rundown of the first 15:

25. “She Don’t Have to Know” by John Legend
24. “Maybe I Deserve” by Tank
23. “Second Chance” by .38 Special
22. “The Other Woman” by Ray Parker, Jr.
21. “Human” by Human League
20. “Unfaithful” by Rihanna
19. “Infidelity” by Trey Songz
18. “You Know I’m No Good” by Amy Winehouse
17. “Never Keeping Secrets” by Babyface
16. “Ooo Baby Baby” by The Miracles
15. “Confessions Part II” by Usher
14. “Heart Turns to Stone” by Foreigner
13. “Creep” by TLC
12. “Picture” by Kid Rock featuring Sheryl Crow
11. “Thin Line Between Love and Hate” by The Persuaders

Leave your judgment at the door and step on into my Top 10 cheater songs. With no further ado…

10. “O.P.P.” by Naughty by Nature – Yeah, you know me. I had to put this song on the list and put it high. It just might be the hardest-hitting, realest, and most lighthearted song of all 25. Hell, I’ll go ahead and call this one the anthem. First of all, this isn’t a gender-specific song. Men cheat. Women cheat. The only difference is what you choose to let the last “P” in the acronym stand for.

Favorite Line: “That wasn’t the thing; it must’ve been the way she hit the ceiling / ‘Cause after that, she kept on coming back and catching feelings / I said, ‘Let’s go. My girl is  coming, so you gotta leave.’ / She said, ‘Oh, no, I love you, Treach.’ I said, ‘Now child, please.’”

9. “Listen to the Clock on the Wall” by The O’Jays – I didn’t know The O’Jays had this kind of song in them. I must have been too busy chasing money, taking the stairway to heaven, crying with my woman, looking for my euthanized dog, Brandy, and waiting for the love train. Somewhere in the midst of all of that, I discovered this dark song. Two married people step out to see each other regularly and imagine a day they won’t be rushed by ticking clocks and oblivious spouses.

Favorite Line: “Girl, you better hurry / Your husband might get worried / And my wife, she doesn’t see / The change in me”

8. “I’m Gonna Miss You in the Morning” by Quincy Jones featuring Luther Vandross & Patti Austin – Before Luther Vandross was known by one name and before Quincy Jones was known by one letter, there was this romantic ode to unfaithfulness. Patti Austin lends her angelic voice to this and mixes with Luther to create one sinful, soulful serenade. Once again, time is of the essence and spoken-for lovers find themselves stealing away…if only for a short while.

Favorite Line: “I’m gonna miss you in the morning / So, baby, love me tonight”

7. “Bad Habits” by Maxwell – One of the most confusing songs lyrically that a lot of people still don’t understand. Based on the steamy video and cryptic lyrics, I’m able to surmise that this is another regretful ballad inspired by cheating. Comparing the other woman to a bad habit is something we have yet to hear from anyone else. Maxwell has a way of making bad things sound so…alluring.

Favorite Line: “You’re my bad habit, baby, you’re my / You’re takin’ my soul down to the letter ‘O’ / Can’t escape the way you got me locked out, baby / I gotta break from you, break from you, break from you”

6. “As We Lay” by Shirley Murdoch/Kelly Price – I went back and forth trying to decide which version of this song I like best, but it was really difficult to decide. Today, I give Kelly Price’s slower cover the nod over Shirley Murdoch’s original. Although Kelly and the man she refers to in this song both belong to someone else, the man’s wife takes precedence. Kelly seems to care more about not hurting the man’s wife more than she cares about hurting her own man. Oh, what a tangled web we weave…

Favorite Line: “We should have counted up the cost / But instead we got lost / In the second, in the minute, in the hour”

5. “Secret Lovers” by Atlantic Starr – The recurring theme of this playlist aside from cheating is time. This classic doesn’t stray from that worn path. Here, we have a man and a woman singing to each other about their hot affair that is reignited nightly in secrecy. Unfortunately for them, time constraints always leave them wanting more. Well done and perfectly formulaic.

Favorite Line: “In the middle of making love, we notice the time / We both get nervous ‘cause it’s way after nine / Even though we hate it, we know that it’s time that we go / We gotta be careful so that no one will know”

4. “Your Love” by The Outfield – This is my surprise pick. Imagine this setting, if you will. If you’re over the age of 23, you’ve probably been to a bar or wedding where they play this song and everyone sings the chorus at the top of their lungs. You point to the object of your affection or the closest pulchritudinous person and sing, “I just wanna use your love…TONIGHT! I don’t wanna lose your love…TONIGHT!” Newsflash: This isn’t a warm and fuzzy song. This song is about infidelity. The first line tells us that the singer’s woman, Josie, is away on vacation. He then invites an ex (“you know I’d do anything for you”) to…keep him company and stay the night in his current girlfriend’s stead. Of course, he asks her to keep this transgression a secret as she leaves.

Favorite Line: “I ain’t got many friends left to talk to / Nowhere to run when I’m in trouble / You know I’d do anything for you / Stay the night, but keep it under cover / I just wanna use your love tonight / I don’t wanna lose your love tonight”

3. “Me and Mrs. Jones” by Billy Paul – I have a confession to make. This song almost didn’t make the cut. One line in this song gave it its rightful spot on this list, and that is, “Because she’s got her own obligations / And so, and so, do I.” By the “Mrs.” in the title and the majority of the lyrics, you would think that Billy is just the other man and therefore, not a cheater. However, he sings about how much it hurts and how wrong it is, so I’m led to believe that he, too, has a woman back home. It doesn’t seem to hurt unbearably bad because the forbidden lovebirds have a date set for the same time and same place the next day.

Favorite Line: “Well, it’s time for us to be leaving / It hurts so much, it hurts so much inside / Now she’ll go her way and I’ll go mine”

2. “If Loving You Is Wrong (I Don’t Want to Be Right)” by Luther Ingram – Pick your poison. Millie JacksonBobby “Blue” Bland? Percy Sledge? David Ruffin? Isaac Hayes? Rod Stewart? LeAnn Rimes? All of them covered this song, but Luther Ingram struck gold first on this musical staple of adultery. This is one brazen and unremorseful song. Ingram, in this case, has a wife and two kids, but calls his woman on the side “the best thing he’s ever had.” At least he doesn’t make any excuses for his feelings and behavior like some of the other people on this playlist.

Favorite Line: “Your friends tell you there’s no future / In loving a married man / If I can’t see you when I want to / I’ll see you when I can”

1. “Part-Time Lover” by Stevie Wonder – The most deceptive, slickest, craftiest, and most lyrically complete song on this list comes from none other than Stevie Wonder. Much like my sentiments toward The O’Jays, I didn’t know Stevie had this kind of song hiding behind his shades. Shame on me for thinking this superstitious, I’ll-be-loving-you-always, happy-birthday-singing, signed, sealed, and delivered crooner couldn’t create this kind of masterpiece. I’m sorry, Stevie. I truly am. This song serves as the cheater’s handbook to not getting caught. 1. When your part-time lover gets back home from a night with you, have her call, let the phone ring once, and hang up. 2. Blink the lights so your part-time lover knows that you’re not with your girlfriend, and tonight is her night. 3. If you’re with friends and you and your part-time lover happen to cross paths, she is to pass you by and not speak. 4. If there’s an emergency, tell your part-time lover to have a male call and ask for you. This is all so scandalous…and impressive. Just know that “two can play the game.”

Favorite Line: “If she isn’t with me, I’ll blink the lights / To let you know tonight’s the night / For me and you, my part-time lover”

To repeat, I do not condone nor do I advocate cheating. However, tell me there haven’t been some great songs as a result of cheaters recounting their transgressions. We’ve seen contrition, confusion, regret, happiness, bitterness, and everything in between as a result of this topic. Let me know your thoughts or if there is a song that didn’t make my list.

-23

 
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Posted by on May 4, 2012 in Countdown, Music, Relationships, Sex

 

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Thirteen Thursday Thoughts

“Mama always said, dying was a part of life. I sure wish it wasn’t.”

Junior Seau

This Junior Seau (1) situation is truly sad. It didn’t really hit me until I read players’ tweets and watched interviews on TV. Marcellus Wiley (2) was in tears talking about the type of human being Seau was. The details are still sketchy, but it appears that Seau was battling depression and committed suicide at his home. Junior Seau was never my favorite player, but I had a lot of respect for him. At a time when the NFL (3) is being sued by former players, coaches are being suspended for an entire season, players are being suspended for multiple games, and investigations are ongoing for alleged cheating; the timing of this apparent suicide probably couldn’t be worse. I know I wondered if Seau’s death was somehow related to a brain injury or some other form of trauma he sustained as a player. I pray for his family and friends. I also pray for the Chargers organization. Since 1995, eight former Chargers have passed away. All of them were under the age of 45. David Griggs died in a car crash; Rodney Culver died in a plane crash; Doug Miller was struck by lightning; Curtis Whitley died from a drug overdose; Chris Mims had an enlarged heart and died from complications with that; Shawn Lee and Lew Bush each had a heart attack and passed. *sigh* Rest in peace, Junior.

Scattershooting

So…there’s a church…in Tulsa, Oklahoma…at a bar…called the Drunk Monkey Tavern (4). After my initial shock, I got to thinking, and it’s not a bad idea. A local church streams its service to the bar every Sunday. The bar doesn’t serve alcohol during the service, which is nice. As a Christian, I find this to be progressive. You’re not always going to reach people at a typical church with pews, preachers, and judgmental parishioners. I respect the effort to be fishers of men.

Lil Boosie (5) is about to have his day in court. He has been charged with first-degree murder for plotting to have someone killed. I’ve seen a surge in #FreeBoosie hashtags on my timeline on Twitter. Each time I’m tempted to unfollow these people. There are causes to take up, there are people to rally around, and there is Lil Boosie. Sorry, the justice system can keep him. He hasn’t been proven guilty yet, but he was stupid enough to talk about the murder in his music. See: “187” 

Speaking of music and controversy, I watched VH1’s documentary, which highlighted the LA Riots (6) and hip-hop’s role in them. Watch “Uprising: Hip-Hop & The LA Riots” here. I was really impressed with it. When the LA Riots were going on, I was at an age where I didn’t completely understand what all was going on. I didn’t have my head buried in the sand, but it was before my time. The documentary did a great job of explaining everything from the Rodney King beating, the subsequent acquittal of the policemen who beat him, the Korean lady’s exhoneration after killing Latasha Harlins (7), and the racial turmoil in Los Angeles during that time. All the while, there was music. The music that told the world what was really going on before it gained national notoriety. VH1 went a step further and compiled a tracklist of the songs that defined the LA Riots.

Thirteen people have now been charged in the hazing death of Robert Champion (8), the former FAMU drum major who was killed in November. This whole situation sucks. I had and still have so much respect for FAMU’s band, the Marching 100 (9) and I hate that this is how many people will remember it. Currently, the band is indefinitely suspended. No matter what happens, no one will win here. A young man has lost his life, parents have lost a child, several students are facing felonies, and the school itself is tainted by this. This will get ugly.

Sports

The Brooklyn Nets (10) unveiled their new colors and logo that Jay-Z (11) helped design. I’m not impressed. First of all, it’s extremely plain. The black & white color combination is even worse. The Spurs already wear those colors. Ugh…I was expecting better.

These are pathetic.

Entertainment

There’s a push for “The Bachelor” (12) to feature its first African American. Lamar Hurd is a former professional basketball player from Oregon, who is in the running to be the next Bachelor. Here’s an interview with him from CNN and here’s his YouTube video.

“The 25 Best Cheating Songs from the Cheater Themselves” Honorable Mention (13)

I’m dropping the top 10 (25-18; 17-11) of this list tomorrow morning, but I figured I’d tease the thREADERS with the songs that missed the cut. These are great songs, but three of the four couldn’t make it to the list simply because they are not from the perspective of the cheater. They’re still great songs, so I’m showing them some love.

1. “It Wasn’t Me” by Shaggy – This song met the criteria, but it couldn’t quite crack the top 25. Perhaps Shaggy’s denial is what kept this song off the list. His girlfriend had all the evidence necessary to prove that her man was cheating, but he spends the entire song denying it.

2. “Follow Me” by Uncle Kracker – I really like this song, but like the next two songs, it doesn’t meet the criteria for this playlist. He’s the other guy who is convincing the woman to leave her husband. It’s so lovey-dovey sounding that you forget that it’s a song about secret lovers.

3. “Down Low” by R. Kelly –  This song was literally sitting comfortably in my Top 10 until I realized that R. Kelly wasn’t a cheater. There is no mention of a girlfriend, wife, or anything. However, there is a paramour. What a tragic tale this becomes when you watch the video.

4. “My Little Secret” by Xscape – Before Kandi was a “Housewife” and selling sex toys and before Tiny found T.I. and fell victim to plastic surgery, there was this jewel of deception. Instead of the quartet representing the woman who steps out on her man, it represents the side chick homegirl messing with a man who has a girlfriend. What’s more intriguing is that she likes being in the same room as the couple. Messy, messy, messy…

-23

 

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Welcome to the Real World, 5 Things Graduates Should Know

Now is that time of year where undergraduates after years and years of study reach one of their goals of earning a Bachelor’s degree. It’s a beautiful time filled with promise, dread, and uncertainty.

1. Experience is vital if you’re going directly into the work world especially if you’re a liberal arts major. After years of study where you imagined it automatically paying off with a salary gig upon completion this can be a bit of a shock. Luckily whether you’ve had a job or not you’ve got experience. Those parties you threw was event planning, social media marketing, and community building voila.

2. You will never ever find yourself in such an easy position to meet someone of the opposite sex. Unless you’re going to grad school you won’t be studying, eating, sitting, and partying next to a ton of single men or women again. Once you go to work you’re limited to co-workers, folks you meet going out, and whoever you run into on the street. It’s not the same.

3. No one cares about your ideas. No seriously. You’ve been told your ideas are awesome. College encourages critical thinking and challenging authority. In reality authority hates being challenged. Don’t get me wrong speak your mind it’s the only way to get ahead but cover your butt while you’re doing it and quit being so proud of yourself about it.

4. Everything costs money. At school you could go to the gym, get a t-shirt, and some pizza all for the freezy. You have no idea how awesome that is until you’re pulling out your wallet whenever you turn around. Heck even your dates are free, “hey you want to study/kick it” is an absolutely beautiful date concept that has just left your hands as you crossed that stage.

5. Go to Grad School, no seriously. If you don’t have a job right now start studying for the GRE and save yourself while you can.

 
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Posted by on May 3, 2012 in Education, Social Life

 

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The Best 25 Cheating Songs from the Cheaters Themselves (17-11)

Here’s a recap of the first installment of “The 25 Best Cheating Songs from the Cheaters Themselves”:

25. “She Don’t Have to Know” – John Legend
24. “Maybe I Deserve” – Tank
23. “Second Chance” – .38 Special
22. “The Other Woman” – Ray Parker, Jr.
21. “Human” – The Human League
20. “Unfaithful” – Rihanna
19. “Infidelity” – Trey Songz
18. “You Know I’m No Good” – Amy Winehouse

17. “Never Keeping Secrets” by Babyface – This is the most ambiguous song on the playlist, but it’s a classic. Babyface never actually says that he cheated, but all of the signs are there. Why else would he be begging to get back with his ex and swearing that he’ll never lie or keep secrets? Reading between the lines, he got caught cheating and made this song to convince her that he was a changed man. Bunch of promises…good luck.

Favorite Line: “Momentary insanity must be the reason why I did you that way, babe / So now I’m telling everybody that I know I was a fool / To take a chance of ever losing you / And I can’t take losing you”

16. “Ooo Baby Baby” by The Miracles – If we’re talking bad lyrics, some of the gems from this song just might take the cake. I expect more from Smokey Robinson, but this song came out during the Motown era and probably got watered down to cater to a larger audience. The worst line? I’m thinking, “Mistakes, I know I’ve made a few / But I’m only human / You’ve made mistakes, too.” There’s that pesky “I’m only human” excuse again. Oh! And he backhandedly justifies his wrongs by saying that his girl has done wrong, too. Not the best way to go about improving things, Mr. Robinson. With all that said, this is still a timeless song.

Favorite Line: “I did you wrong / My heart went out to play / But in the game, I lost you / What a price to pay”

15. “Confessions Part II” by Usher – Not only does Mr. Raymond have to tell his girlfriend about his cheating ways, but he also has to tell her that he’s having a lovechild. We’re eleven songs into this countdown, and this is the first mention of a consequence of this kind. Usher just upped the ante on this playlist.

Favorite Line: “Third thing was me wishing that I never did what I did / How I ain’t ready for no kid and bye bye to our relationship”

14. “Heart Turns to Stone” by Foreigner – The birth of a woman scorned. Hell hath no fury…The singer had a great woman who stood behind him, stood by him, and supported him, but he cheated on her. In turn, her heart…well, you know the rest.

Favorite Line: “All the hurt inside, the wounded pride / Oh, what she went through for you / You cheated and lied as her love slowly died / And her heart just broke in two”

13. “Creep” by TLC – Yet another vindictive song for the playlist. The crazysexycool ladies tell the story of a woman who loves her man, but she knows that he is cheating and lying about it. What’s a girl to do? Put on silky pajamas and get hers on the side, too. She doesn’t dare tell anyone about it, though. Except us. Shh…

Favorite Line: “I’ll keep giving loving / ‘Til the day he pushes me away, never go astray / If he knew the things I did, he couldn’t handle it / And I choose to keep him protected”

12. “Picture” by Kid Rock & Sheryl Crow – Ah, yes…a painful, drug-referencing duet. Up until this point, I can say that this is the song that illustrates the most torment. Kid and Sheryl are both cheating on each other, which is nothing new to this playlist, but something is different with this song. Maybe it’s the fact that both singers admit to hurting each other. Powerful track.

Favorite Line: “Since you’ve been gone, my world’s been dark and grey / You reminded me of brighter days / I hoped you were comin’ home to stay / I was headed to church / I was off to drink you away”

11. “Thin Line Between Love and Hate by The Persuaders – If you looked at my favorite line from this song first, you’d think that the guy was the one being cheated on. Wrong! His sweet woman got fed up with his infidelity and put him in the hospital. *cue Lynn Whitfield trying to kill Martin Lawrence*

Favorite Line: “I didn’t think my woman could do something like this to me / I didn’t think she had the nerve, so here I am / I guess actions speak louder than words”

The top and final 10 songs of “The 25 Best Cheating Songs from the Cheaters Themselves” will be coming at you soon…very soon.

-23

 
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Posted by on May 2, 2012 in Countdown, Music, Relationships, Sex

 

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How Race Interacts with Justice

How Race Interacts with Justice

Salon has an excellent interview with American law scholar Kenneth Mack on the way race and the law intersect and define each other. Here’s a quote on civil rights lawyers and their personal experience in the black community at the time.

“What did you learn about the relationship between race and the law by writing it?

By looking at the civil rights struggle through the lives of black civil rights lawyers we learn about the contested nature of racial identity, even in an era where segregation was supposed to make race into something fixed, not fluid.”

I think this speaks to how we think of race as an unchanging dynamic today even though it’s been in fluctuation since the concept was created. Also it works to disabuse people of the notion that there was an overwhelming consensus in the Civil Rights Era as it’s been properly defined when our heroes of yesteryear had many of the intra-community pressures and differences that people still hold today. The interview is great and I’d recommend folks to go read the whole thing.

The color-blind scales of justice?

x-posted @ theybc

– C.S.

 

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The 25 Best Cheating Songs from the Cheaters Themselves (25-18)

If you’re a regular here, you might have seen a few playlists that I’ve done in the past. Here are a few in case you missed them: Father Playlist, Grown & Sexy Playlist. I decided to make this one my most well-researched one yet. They couldn’t just be any songs, though. There are a million songs dealing with this subject. These songs had to be from the vantage point of the actual cheaters involved in the cheating. That also means that songs about being cheated on (i.e. Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats”) did not make the cut.

Disclaimer: I do not in any way condone cheating. At the same time, this list is not intended to insight judgment. Songs inspired by strong emotion tend to be some of the best, so I felt that I would discover and rediscover a myriad of incredible songs. Obviously, I couldn’t put every good cheater song on here, but I certainly got a lot of them. Anyway, let’s get to it…

25. “She Don’t Have to Know” by John Legend – I could have used any number of his songs (“Number 1”, “Again”, “Another Again”, etc. However, I decided to go with this one because it captures that feeling of knowing you’re wrong, but lying to keep from getting caught.

Favorite Line: “Girl, I know you’re doing the same thing, too / But I won’t tell your man the things we do”

24. “Maybe I Deserve” by Tank – Tank put an interesting spin on this song by going around the fact that he cheated. He never actually admits it until towards the end of the song. Instead, he creates an imaginary tale of his girl doing what he did to her in real life. Impressive.

Favorite Line: “Maybe I deserve for you to say, ‘Yes, I cheated on you.’ / And I won’t care ‘cause after all I put you through”

23. “Second Chance” by .38 Special – I can’t help but laugh at some of these lyrics. It’s amazing how many feelings the same kind of act spawns. This song provides some of the weaker excuses for cheating, but it’s a good song, nonetheless.

Favorite Line: “I never loved her / I never needed her / She was willing and that’s all there is to say / Don’t forsake me; please don’t leave me now”

22. “The Other Woman” by Ray Parker, Jr. – “Who ya gonna call?” Well, if you’re Ray Parker, Jr., you’re obviously going to call the other woman. He messed up by falling in love with her, though. If you’re looking for a song filled with begging, pleading, and remorse, this ain’t the one for you.

Favorite Line: “Oh, this affair is unique / All my life I never met such a freak / She keeps going strong for so long / When I get home, it’s all gone”

21. “Human” by Human League – Now that I’ve established that some of these lyrics are weak, allow me to present Exhibit B. I get a kick out of some of the justification I read when I look at some of these lyrics. What’s the excuse for cheating in this song? “I’m only human.” Well, now that you said that…

Favorite Line: “I wouldn’t ever try to hurt you / I just needed someone to hold me / To fill the void while you were gone / To fill this space of emptiness”

20. “Unfaithful” by Rihanna – “Once a good girl goes bad, she’s gone forever.” RiRi wasn’t lying when she resurrected a Jay-Z lyric. Here, she is cheating on her lover, and he knows that she’s cheating on him. The worst part is that she’s happy with the other guy. Fortunately, she doesn’t want to cheat on him anymore. Out with the old, in with the new, I suppose.

Favorite Line: “I say, ‘I won’t be long. Just hangin’ with the girls.’ / A lie I didn’t have to  tell / Because we both know where I’m about to go / And we know it very well”

19. “Infidelity” by Trey Songz – This song is for the good lovesick girlfriends everywhere. Trey’s girlfriend loves him no matter what he does. He decides to do the admirable thing, which is to break up with her. “[She] can’t be mad at that…” Brutal. Poor girl…

Favorite Line: “With all my infidelity / You loved me so incredibly / Inside I’ll fall apart / If you ever love someone instead of me”

18. “You Know I’m No Good” by Amy Winehouse – Unhappily married and stuck together is how I’d describe this song in short. Amy goes back to an ex-boyfriend and does everything she can to make her seemingly dumb good husband divorce her. At least he knew what he was getting into.

Favorite Line: “Upstairs in bed with my ex-boy / He’s in a place, but I can’t get joy / Thinking on you in the final throes / This is when my buzzer goes”

Look out for songs 17-11 on the “25 Best Cheating Songs from the Cheaters Themselves” playlist tomorrow.

-23

 
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Posted by on May 1, 2012 in Countdown, Music, Relationships, Sex

 

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Joe Walsh, Barack Obama, and Affirmative Action

Joe Walsh, Barack Obama, and Affirmative Action

Here is the argument against “affirmative action” in perfect form. Opponents of affirmative action argue that the accomplishments of African Americans are questioned if there is the possibility of affirmative action is present. Even in cases that see institutions simply acknowledge race as a factor among many, without quotas or a point system, people cry foul as if they just can’t trust a black achievement unless they’re double-sure that no one ever looked upon them more favorably. Here we see this dynamic even when an African-American succeeds on a national platform where the application process is determined by the votes of millions of Americans. Even in this most transparent of hiring processes the achievement is tainted merely by the presence of melanin in the skin of the victor. In Rep. Walsh’s mind the possibility that President Obama earned his title in the same manner that 43 presidents before him did is untrue. President Obama got a “leg up” from the American electorate as a whole because he was a black person. What would a black person have to do in Rep. Joe Walsh‘s world in order to be “legitimate” success? If Barack Obama winning a national election where he was scrutinized by the media and voters and won the approval of (much) more than half isn’t an earned success then what possibly could be?

x-posted @ theybc

 

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How Far Is Too Far? LDRs and How To Make Them Work

I have reached that point in my life where a lot of friends are getting married. I have to be honest – this has been as difficult for me to get through as it has been exciting. No, it is not because I’m lonely and jealous and become a spiteful being every time I hear great news. In fact, it is the opposite. It is because I have been with an amazing man for two years, but we are in a long distance relationship (an LDR as I have affectionately labeled it). We met each other at a conference in San Diego when we were both in graduate school. Of course, we were in two different states for school, but that did not stop us from seeing what could be. What could be turned into what we have, and that is a great relationship. He has since transferred schools and I began law school, and we are closer now than we were before, but several states and four hours separate us on a daily basis. The past two years have been a lesson in patience, and I have come to realize that blessings are given to us in forms that we can handle.

What does this mean? So many people are terrified of long distance relationships, and I am an extremely vocal advocate of them. I am going to share some lessons from the past two years about what I believe has made my relationship successful. I do so in hopes of sparking a conversation about the fears of LDRs and hearing stories from others about what has made their LDRs work or fail.

1. Get some more minutes

Communication is key to every successful relationship in my opinion, but I think it is especially true in LDRs. When my relationship first started I can’t even tell you how flabbergasted I was at the hundreds of dollars on my phone bill! Luckily for me, my boyfriend had an extra line he wasn’t using so he got a phone for it (a free one of course), mailed it to me, and then we were able to talk for free for all the minutes we wanted. I realize this is not a normal course of events, so if you’re going to try out an LDR I strongly suggest upping your cell phone minutes for at least the first 6 months. Where most new daters would go out for dinner, people trying to establish a good foundation for an LDR talk to each other. Yes, I realize that this is the digital age and there are other ways to communicate (skype, Face Time, Google Talk, you name it) but I will comment on this later, and why I think that these are more useful tools down the road.

2. Set expectations early

I do NOT mean expectations about where you want the relationship to go. Like most relationships, LDR or otherwise, these conversations right off the bat can be scary for both parties involved. What I mean is set your communication expectations early. We talked about how often we wanted to actually speak to one another (which was everyday for us, but may not be for you) and we discussed what qualified as speaking to each other. We said that we wanted to hear each others voices at least once a day even if that was to say, “I’m too tired to talk to you right now, I’m going to sleep, and I’ll call you tomorrow.” That has worked for us. Admittedly, some people are not phone people. If this is the case, find a compromise that works for you on how often you want to actually call each other, text each other, or just generally keep in touch.
3. Be at a similar place in life

I don’t care how attracted you are to the person, if one of you is working and one of you is going to school, or if one of you is still in party mode and the other is in “I would like to have friends over for wine and cheese” mode, problems are likely to arise. As I mentioned earlier, my boyfriend and I are both in school. I’m in law school, he’s a PhD student. Our busy schedules help out on the days when we can’t speak to each other much. What’s great about both being students is that one of us is not tied up until 6:30 pm and expecting to come home to a phone conversation with the other. Being a student is a 24 hour endeavor. We have work to do all the time, and because both of us are in this position it makes us better able to understand why we can’t talk to each other at a certain time or for very long.

4. Visitation

I purposely said “visitation” as if it were a prison. Why? Because it takes a lot of time and energy to see each other in person on a consistent basis. So much so that when the time comes to visit your partner you may find yourself annoyed, frustrated, or even upset that circumstances in your life have changed and leaving where you are at is not the best idea. But, I promise you, it is a good idea. It is a good idea not only for the other person but you as well. What is the point of being in an LDR if dread taking time out to see the person you’re with? Seeing them will rejuvenate you and keep you striving towards completion of whatever is going on at home. Keep in mind, though, that LDRs require different face-to-face interaction than non-LDRs. In a non-LDR, face time is common. That means you can spend a bunch of time being next to each other while doing other things. He has work to do at home, she has an event to plan, he has to clean the house, she has to scrapbook, whatever the case might be. In an LDR, face time is fairly uncommon. You spend more time apart than you do together, which makes the time together all the more important. My boyfriend and I do our best to complete everything we possibly can before seeing each other so that our time together is just that, time together. (But see #3 above, we are both students and sometimes this doesn’t work). We have been pretty successful at this and it shows both of us that we respect each others’ time and effort that we put into seeing each other.

Tip: Though it seems obvious, use the cheapest transportation possible within reason. We use the Bolt Bus to see each other since we live on the east coast. It’s much cheaper than the train and doesn’t take much more time, if any, to get there; and it’s also better than renting a car and driving. It also allows us to see each other more often because we’re saving money each time we take a trip, and we get a free one-way trip after the purchase of 8 one-way tickets. I strongly encourage looking for ways other than airlines to see each other if you live close enough.

5. When visitation isn’t possible

We have now reached the portion where I talk about other methods of communication.  That’s right! You have to communicate more.  Sometimes visiting just isn’t possible.  One way to get through this is by using Facetime, Skype, video chat through Google, or any other program that allows you to see the other person’s face.  But, we all know this already.  It makes perfect sense.  When you miss someone, you want to see them, but when you can’t it’s best to use a proxy.  Okay, fine.  What I really wanted to stress with this point is why I think this is better later in the relationship.  I didn’t have the luxury of a camera on my computer when I started dating (I use that word lightly, as LDRs don’t lend themselves well to the typical “courting” that dating provides – See #6 below) my boyfriend.  I had a Dell Inspiron (remember those?) that I had since I was a freshman in college and those bad boys didn’t come with cameras! It forced us to talk and not get wrapped up in the appearance of the other person.  It forced us to become attracted to the other person’s brain, goals, ambitions, and history.  This does not mean that we weren’t physically attracted to each other , it just means that by the time we got to see each other again, we had already set a strong foundation for the things we loved about the other person and none of those things were related to physicality. While Facetime, Skype, and others are great tools, they can also distract and detract from establishing the basics.

6. Be open

Last but not least you have to be open to making it work.  Yes, this is obvious.  But do not force yourself into something when you are not willing to put in the work. LDRs are A LOT of work, and they are a different type of work than a non-LDR relationship.  People often start out without being in an LDR, someone gets a job offer and moves away, and the relationship ends.  In some circumstances, someone makes a sacrifice and the two end up back together. But we all know these are special cases.  That said, most of us cannot maintain an LDR forever.  This means both people must remain optimistic about the future and be open to where the two of you may end up in the name of being together.  It may not be where you want to be at first, but the love for each other should override the negatives.

Now that you’ve heard what I have to say, share your thoughts and skepticism below.  I’d love to hear your take on why LDRs do and don’t work.

-TP4

 
7 Comments

Posted by on May 1, 2012 in Love, Relationships

 
 
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