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Saturday Share from Cyndi’s Google Reader

September 18, 2010 Leave a comment

 

Cathleen Falsani: Anam Cara: Praying for Our Kids and Their ‘Soul Friends’ via Religion on HuffingtonPost.com by Cathleen Falsani on 9/13/10

An Anam Cara is someone with whom you share your deepest loves, fears, dreams, doubts, joys and sorrows. That soul friend will know him and love him for exactly who he is. He or she is a friend who will uplift him, reflect God’s love for him, and draw him toward his Creator, not away or astray. 

I prayed that, in the words of William Shakespeare, my son would take his soul friends into his heart and “grapple them to [his] soul with hoops of steel.” 

Cathleen Falsani is journalist, blogger and author of several nonfiction books, including the memoir Sin Boldly: A Field Guide for Grace, and the forthcoming The Thread: Faith, Friendship and Facebook. 

 Sounds From Mexico’s Bicentennial via NPR Programs: Tell Me More on 9/16/10 

Alfonso Andre, drummer for the Mexican band Jaugares, talks about the band’s remake of the song La Martiniana for a new album that commemorates the Mexican Bicentennial. Andre also talks about his conflicted feelings about celebrating Mexico’s history. 

What is the purpose of (sex) education via Adolescent Sexuality by Dr. Karen Rayne on 9/15/10 

A good sex education might delay sexual activity.  In fact, a good sex education will ideally delay sexual activity.  But that’s not the main purpose of good sex education.  The main purpose of sex education is to support lifelong healthy sexuality.  We must take the long view here.  Sex education should not be designed to keep a student from having sex in high school – that is far too short sighted. 

Sex education must be designed to address individuals across their lifespans – to give them tools, skills, knowledge, and strength to understand their bodies, to be both introspective and appropriately communicative about their own desires, respectful about other people’s desires, and both safer and reverent about the entire process. 

White Feminists and Me: a Fable of Solidarity via Womanist Musings by Renee on 9/14/10 

I’m a 23 year old Sinhalese woman in Minnesota by way of Dubai by way of Sri Lanka. I am a Womanist, and part of my womanism is figuring out how to be in solidarity with my transnational sisters worldwide. I’m a daughter, a sister, a partner and a writer. I’m a brown girl who knows Shakespeare by heart and devours anything Toni Morrison. I believe in radical, revolutionary 

A Bleak Picture For Young Black Male Students via NPR Programs: Talk of the Nation on 9/13/10 

A report from the Massachusetts-based Schott Foundation paints a bleak picture of how young black men fare in school: fewer than half graduate from high school. And in some states, like New York, the graduation rate is as low as one in four. The foundation’s John Jackson and David Sciarra of the Education Law Center discuss what’s needed to improve educational attainment among African American children. 

Middle Schools Are Disciplining Kids by Throwing Them Away via Colorlines by Michelle Chen on 9/14/10 

Middle Schools Are Disciplining Kids by Throwing Them Away

Talk all you want about improving our nation’s schools, but the fact is, students can’t close the “achievement gap” when they’re not allowed into the classroom. Yet school suspension rates are climbing and potentially stifling educational opportunity for disadvantaged middle-schoolers, according to a study by the Southern Poverty Law Center

 

Activists have long warned of the school-to-prison pipeline–sort of the opposite of the honors track, steering poor kids of color into troubled adolescence and eventually the criminal justice system. The SPLC explains, “Disciplinary tactics that respond to typical adolescent behavior by removing students from school do not better prepare students for adulthood. Instead, they increase their risk of educational failure and dropout.” 

Conflating “Ethnic” and “Curvy” via Sociological Images by gwen on 9/15/10 

We’ve noted the fetishization of Black women’s butts before, and the conflation of non-White and curvy (also here). Yes, some non-White women have large butts and cleavage. So do lots of White women. And lots of women in all groups don’t have either, or have just one or the other, or have them but don’t still somehow manage to be very thin and toned overall. But having this body type is, in this case and many others, so identified as “ethnic” that White women who have boobs and hips become examples of “ethnic” beauty, not simply a version of female beauty. Notice that Scarlett Johansson’s body isn’t described as having “European curves” or, I don’t know, “British-American curves” or whatever her ethnic background might be in the way that Jennifer Lopez’s curves are perceived as an ethnic marker. It’s a great example of selective perception: women of all racial/ethnic backgrounds share body shapes, but certain physical features, such as hips, are seen as a group characteristic only for some women. 

(View original at http://thesocietypages.org/socimages

‘Values Voter Summit’ Will Likely Be Missing Jewish Voters: Conservative Conference Coincides With Yom Kippur via Religion on HuffingtonPost.com by Amanda Terkel on 9/15/10 

Yet it’s unlikely observant Jews will be able to attend the event, since it’s being held on Yom Kippur — the holiest Jewish holiday — which begins at sundown on Friday, Sept. 17 and ends at sundown on Saturday, Sept. 18 — right when the majority of the action at the conference is happening (including the Israel panel). In 2009, the Values Voter Summit took place during Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year. “Does the FRC think Jews don’t have values?” wondered Salon’s Washington Correspondent Mike Madden last year. “Or was this just the only fall weekend they could get into the Omni Shoreham hotel?” 

Anti-Defamation League spokesman Todd Gutnick said his organization didn’t see much of a problem with the conflict in timing. “Since these are all Christian groups involved, Jews wouldn’t be attending anyway,” he told the Huffington Post. Some conservative groups, however, are trying to make inroads with the Jewish community, recognizing that although some on the right consistently accuse progressives of being anti-Israel or even “anti-Jew”, Jews still overwhelmingly vote Democratic. On Monday, FreedomWorks, which helps organize many of the Tea Party gatherings around the country, told reporters that it was launching “a new initiative to reach out to racial, ethnic and religious minorities” — beginning with Jews, to coincide with the High Holidays. 

The Huffington Post contacted FRC Action for comment but did not receive a response. 

This Week in Blackness: White People and Black People Are So Different via Womanist Musings by Renee on 9/17/10 

Elon James has come up with a new This Week in Blackness, and of course I absolutely had to share it with you.  This week, Elon talked about the fact that Blacks and Whites experience the same event differently because of racism.   Whiteness has been taught to ignore this because it has been normalized therefore; it is quite easy to believe in a universal perspective.  There is a large difference 

Angela Himsel: Excuse Me, Are You…? via Religion on HuffingtonPost.com by Angela Himsel on 9/17/10 

On Yom Kippur, when I stand in synagogue for hours and recite the prayers, striking my fist against my chest to atone for my sins, and as I become more and more tired with the lack of food, water and more importantly, caffeine, it’s then that I feel a kind of certainty that God sees and loves each one of us in all of our totality, even the parts that we hide from one another and from ourselves. Wherever we are, whoever we’re with, God recognizes us and never needs to ask, on Yom Kippur or any other day, “Excuse me, are you Angela?” 

Off and Running Toward My Own Identity [Racialigious] via Racialicious – the intersection of race and pop culture on 9/7/10 

by Guest Contributor Collier Meyerson, originally published at Be’Chol Lashon 

Collier, thinking At 13 years old, in the planning stages of my Bat Mitzvah, my Hebrew School teacher called a meeting at his home to discuss details. He opened his door to see me, my father who is an Ashkenazi Jew and my black mother. Upon seeing my family, without asking, he regrettably informed us that the synagogue, would not allow me to perform the right of passage in their temple because my mother wasn’t a Jew. My wily mother, coyly and smarmily responded “oh, but her mother is Jewish.” 

Yes, it turns out my biological mother is a white Ashkenazi Jew. 

And with these words, my Hebrew school teacher, as though I was caught in the Woody Allen version of my own life as a film, threw his hands into the air and exclaimed “it’s Bashert [it’s destiny] then! You’ll have your Bat Mitzvah in the Temple!” In that moment I felt a definitive rage. I wanted desperately to be a part of the Upper West Side’s most exclusive and popular clique, Judaism, but felt what would prove to be an indelible stake in this idea of blackness, something pitted against Jewishness. And so there it was, in the home of my Hebrew School teacher that the two were separated, like oil and water. 

I was Black and Jewish but I couldn’t be both, I couldn’t be a Black Jew. 

Preparing My Kids To Be Able To Run Through Walls via Racialicious – the intersection of race and pop culture on 9/7/10 

by Guest Contributor Paula, originally published at Heart, Mind, and Seoul 

I think about the walls that threatened to thwart my growth when I was younger and how completely ill-prepared I was to handle them. If I’m being completely honest with myself, I realize that perhaps I’ve been far too generous in assessing how well equipped I was to deal with the very real walls of racism, prejudice and discrimination throughout my life. I have no doubt that my parents love and concern imparted upon me the knowledge that they were always there for me – and yes, that is huge in it’s own right – but as an Asian girl/adolescent/young adult, I recognize now just how unprepared I was in terms of not having the right language or effective strategies to be my own best advocate in my racially isolated world. 

 

Bloggers Unite – International Literacy Day: Reducing Illiteracy in the Prison Population Benefits ALL of Us! via THE INTERSECTION | MADNESS & REALITY by Joanna on 9/8/10 

PhotobucketAn estimated 20 percent of the adult population in the US is functionally illiterate. That figure SKYROCKETS to over 60 percent when you examine the literacy rates of the inmate population in jails and prisons across the country. And even more appalling is the fact that over 85 percent of juvenile offenders have literacy issues.

Considering that illiteracy commonly leads to lengthy and repeated bouts of unemployment (over 75 percent of unemployed adults have some problems with reading and writing) the low rate of literacy among the inmate population is a recipe for explosive recidivism rates. After all, if an ex-prisoner is unable to find or keep a job due to literacy issues, where else can he turn but back to the behaviors that landed him in jail in the first place?

Although a lot of people take the “lock them up and throw away the key” attitude toward prisoners, and would rather REDUCE the services available to prisoners, there is PROOF that literacy programs in prison CAN and DO help reduce the rates of recidivism, and can lead to an overall reduction in incarceration rates. 

 Us (Moms) vs. Them (Teens) via I am the Glue by Laura on 9/11/10 

This will be an 18 year round/fight.
Keep it clean…your language…your room…etc.
At the end of the match, the winner will be decided by who is left standing, or not in jail, or rehab.
I am taking bets now.
I got some insider information…shhh…this is on the down low.
Us moms are the best bet because we have been there and done that.
Got a teenager to show for it. 

What I Did On My Summer Vacation…or Why Water Communion Makes Me Uncomfortable via East Of Midnight by Kim on 9/14/10 

Can anybody explain Water Communion to me in a way that doesn’t make it seem like it’s a glorified Show-and-Tell and another example of how classist UUism can be?  

Michael Zimmerman, Ph.D.: Overturning the Texas School Board Madness? It’s Possible via Religion on HuffingtonPost.com by Michael Zimmerman, Ph.D. on 9/14/10 

Voters in Texas’s 5th District have the opportunity to put an end to the embarrassing and anti-intellectual actions that have diminished education across the state, and that’s an opportunity that will likely impact text book choices around the rest of the United States. I, for one, hope that they opt to do just that by replacing Ken Mercer’s madness with Rebecca Bell-Metereau’s thoughtfulness. 

Charges That a Civil Rights Hero Was an FBI Spy Shouldn’t Shock Us via Colorlines by Barbara Ransby on 9/17/10 

Charges That a Civil Rights Hero Was an FBI Spy Shouldn't Shock Us These stories remind us not only that our government has routinely violated the basic civil liberties of so many black activists over several generations, but it reminds us of the complexities and limitations of presumed racial loyalty. The Black Press was given access to movement events and meetings in the 1960s that white reporters were not. Why? It was assumed that a level of racial solidarity and loyalty existed. Maybe that was true. But maybe it wasn’t. We continue to project false expectations onto politicians and self-appointed race leaders because of phenotype rather than politics, ideas and other more tangible markers of “loyalty” to oppressed people. Everyone who looks like “us” is not a friend, and everyone who looks different is not automatically the enemy. This is a simple lesson that some of us still have to learn. 

Promise of a better life leads to the nightmare of sexual slavery – CNN via articles.cnn.com on 9/18/10

Many people associate prostitution with women walking the streets in shady areas and being picked up by johns. But Claudia says the prostitution ring for which she was forced to work had a long list of clients who knew the price they had to pay, who to call and where to go. It’s a well-organized and lucrative underground industry. Luis CdeBaca monitors human trafficking at the U.S. State Department. He says there are no reliable figures on the scale of the problem, but forced prostitution from Mexico and Central America is a big part of it.

Attitude of Gratitude

November 15, 2009 2 comments

So my good friend Becky, a fellow blogger, mom of three multiracial kids, a boy followed by two girls… she is often within a page or two of wherever I am on parenting, politics, spirituality, and life in general. She recently designated Sunday as a Day of Gratitude, and extended an invitation for others to join her in blogging their grats.

I really want to join her in this. I know that what we focus our energy on grows. But even though I know that, I’m struggling to keep my focus on my blessings and joys.

I’m in a situation that I’m not ready to talk about other than to say that it is just not good.  And it’s spilling over into every area of my life. I literally feel smothered… like I am drowning in it. I’m always exhausted, but I don’t sleep well… I wake up with an aching jaw in the middle of the night because I’ve been clenching it in my sleep. I’m impatient with the kids, I’m distracted at work, and most likely just bitchy and unpleasant to be around in general.

So maybe I should just start with something really small and work my way up.

I’m glad that not-summer has finally arrived in Arizona. And I’m only a little bitter that it took until mid November to arrive.

Gratitude Sunday « Golden Acorn Homeschool.

Random File: 18-35

January 21, 2009 2 comments

 Wednesday, January 21, 2009 at 9:56pm

So I guess 18-35 could mean different things to different people.

I mean, it could be the sentence I get slapped with for the felony I am sure to commit if that punk Milo calls my nine-year-old daughter one more time.

Read more…

a whole ‘nother blog…

June 11, 2008 Leave a comment

Have I ever mentioned how I love Southern Boys? So I’ve been “single” all of two hours and I meet Mr. Tennessee.

 

Now, I was at Reggae Night the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. At the club formerly known as Mingles, my old stomping grounds, and where, once upon a time, I let Ro catch me. Also where you can probably find 75% of the African community on any given Sunday night and even more if it’s a three day weekend… half of whom know Ro and a good portion of which are related to my daughters in some kinda convoluted way. So even if I’d been ready to meet someone new, Reggae Night at Mingles is the LAST time and place I’d go to do it. But as usually happens when you’re out not thinking about boys… one manages to attract their attention.

 

I noticed him noticing me, and I intentionally did not make eye contact. When I danced, I danced alone or with other girls. When I walked to and from the dance floor, I kept my eyes down so as not to risk looking anyone in the eye. But later on in the evening I kinda got caught in the edges of a bar fight and afterwards he came over to see if I was ok. When he asked if we could talk, I explained I had been separated less than a week. He asked, “Was that your choice or his fault?” and I was a goner. Anyway, I spent the next two weeks exchanging text messages all day with Mr. Tennessee like a high schooler and then spending two or three (and sometimes six) hours on the phone with him at night. I think the heavy infatuation may be wearing off, so I’m not sure entirely where things are going to wind up. He’s been sick this week and kinda withdrawn. On one hand, the sane and rational part of me knows he’s really sick because I took him to the ER last night… the bad thing is, I’m not sure if my head is in a place where I can deal with the give and take of a relationship without internalizing every bad mood and driving myself crazy with… is it me? something I did? blah blah blah blah blah. I already have one moody man in my life that I’m kinda stuck with. Which really sucks, because I do really like this guy.

 

But in other funny news, by Thursday of that week someone who works in the warehouse here at the hangar had called my desk to compliment me, feel me out on my marital status, and invite me out for drinks. Now, I don’t fish off the company pier, but that was one of the nicest phone calls I’ve gotten at work in a long, long time.

 
You must not know ’bout me
You must not know ’bout me
I could have another you in a minute
Matter fact, he’ll be here in a minute (baby)

You must not know ’bout me
You must not know ’bout me
I can have another you by tomorrow
So don’t you ever for a second get to thinkin’
You’re irreplaceable (irreplaceable)?

bopping your baloney

April 3, 2007 Leave a comment

Geez, I’m getting a helluva eduation on new slang terms this week.

Now, I’ve been anticipating the early stages of puberty, with Tyler’s age and recent interest in girls.

So I noticed that just about every night this week Tyler has been volunteering to go to bed early.  He usually doesn’t get up after going to bed… but two or three nights last week he got up for a snack or drink… and was awake for an hour or two after volunteering to go to bed.

Hmmmm.

Thursday night, the second time he got up for some water, I snapped at him and told him to take his little butt back to bed… I’m not sure what it was he was doing in there (though I had some strong suspicions), but it sure wasn’t sleeping.

So I bit the bullet and got online and started doing some research on puberty and… masturbation. Read more…

My *new* most embarassing moment… EVER.

December 22, 2004 Leave a comment

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving I experienced what I may think may go down on record as being the most utterly humiliating moment of my life. Background: Toya, my best friends niece, has two kids that go to MLK and one that goes to the daycare Daija goes to. Apparently, a woman dropping off her grandson fell out of her car and had a heart attack in the parking lot that morning, and Toya was there dropping off her kids at the time. I picked up Daija first Wednesday night and Toya asked me if I knew anything about it because she was really worried about the family. I know a lot of people at the school so I told her I’d see what I could find out, and headed over tothe school to get Tyler & Halle. Now, by the time I get to the school, usually the only people there are the custodial staff since the office closes at 4PM. So I see one of the custodians and asked him about it. We talked a little about getting ready for the holiday and a little about how unfortunate that family situation was, etc. The kids saw me pull up and came over and just as they were walking up, he commented ‘I never see your husband.’ I was kinda taken by surprise, and replied ‘No, you probably wouldn’t.’ He asked, ‘Why is that?’ and I just looked at him, and he said ‘Oh, you’re not married’ and something about my ring, which I didn’t really think looked like a wedding band but I guess these days it’s hard to tell. But I digress… I of course there is this huge pregnant pause; I didn’t know what to say in response to that. And in this huge, pregnant pause, my daughter, the one I should have chloroformed at birth, opened her sweet, angelic mouth and said with a giggle, ‘you two look like you’re in love.’ And I felt my face turn purple and after a moment of stunned silence he asked, ‘what did she say?’ and I announced it was time for us to go and just started walking. Halle had already turned her attention to arguing with her brother and in this cacophony of noise, he tried to ask me if we could talk sometime and I just nodded like the village idiot. And a week or so later he did ask for my number. He’s a nice guy but he’s in his early twenties. (sigh) He told me right before my birthday he was dying to spend some time with me. I told him that what didn’t kill him would make him stronger. He’s sweet, but I just don’t see anything coming of it. I feel kinda bad now because I don’t know how to tell him I’m just not interested. If he was five years older, I would probably go out with him, but the difference between 31 with three kids, a dog and a mortgage and 23 with no responsibilities to anyone other than yourself is just too much of a stretch.

Friday…

March 3, 2000 Leave a comment

I think I forgot to mention I had some ~GREAT~ news on Monday! Tyler’s dad called and said he absolutely can’t wait until summer and that he’ll be calling me with an itinerary for a visit in about a month. I think he’s been getting a little pressure from his parents (specifically mom) not to take time off work yet. I am very happy, and have already approached Roro with him having his first weekend visit with Halle when Joel comes… I’ll send my sister to her mother (for the weekend, and maybe longer) and I’ll be heading somewhere… don’t know where but maybe to visit Kath! Hopefully Joel will be willing to housesit (ok, the house doesn’t really need watching but RaMie would probably appreciate being walked).

More on Roro… I talked with him in more detail about the fact he had the wrong back surgery… well, after I told him I didn’t htink that surgery would help him, he got a 2nd opinion, and the 2nd surgeon said it was not the best surgery… so what did genius do? He let the first surgeon do it anyway! So I doubt we have grounds for a mal-practice lawsuit (LOL), but maybe we can award the first “Idiot of the Millenium” trophy… he went back to work on Wednesday and is working light duty, day shift, M-F… and he gave me some $$ last night, always happy when that happens :o)… it’s not the full amount he usually gives me but after two months of getting nothing, every little bit is a lot!

Tyler has a new friend… named Jackson {where does he come up with these names? he named his doll Gus}… Jackson makes a mess in Tyler’s room… but he does help clean up. Jackson is a dog… but a friendly dog. Jackson is “bigger than me”… and my sitter and I were talking to Tyler about jackson and she asked him where jackson was and he said… “in here {rubbing his tummy}… I’m going to the office for the doctor to take him out…”

Calgon? Please? Valium, anyone have some spare valium?

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