Archive for March, 2012

A Hunger Game for Racism

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on March 28, 2012 by Raqiyah Mays


The disease of racism strikes one the biggest films in the world, Hunger Games. And again, like Trayvon, kids are being attacked. Two of the film’s stars have become the victims of racist tweets by idiots angry that black actors were cast in major roles. One person tweeted, “Why does Rue have to be black, not gonna lie kinda ruined the movie.” While another wrote, “I was pumped about the Hunger Games. Until I learned a black girl was playing Rue.”

Disgusting and disturbing, especially considering most of the movie’s fans are teens. The whole thing, in light of Florida’s drama and the rise in hate groups nationwide, has me wondering if racism will ever end or if the sickness is unstoppable like the common cold.

I remember a random, recent debate with a brother. He had excellent “non-regional” diction, and a pink tie to match his pinstriped Easter shirt. Walking out of the Apple store, with a smiling white woman, he happened to hear me talking about the Trayvon Martin case.

“Racism will never end,” he said, defiantly. “I know, I’ve lived in Texas.”

“Well, I disagree,” I replied, straight-faced. “It begins and ends with the babies. Teach the kids tolerance, and racism ends at the root.”

“Yeah, well I been to Texas and they’re racist and they teach the kids racism.”

“Honey,” the woman said, grabbing his arm. “Don’t walk away from the girl while she’s talking to you. Why are you getting mad? Listen to her point.”

But he still left the scene of my honesty crime, storming down the block like an angry black man, mumbling to himself. This brother effectively played an emotional role that evokes most black folks traumatized by America’s history of bigotry. And I get it, completely understanding the tendency to be black and quick to assume someone has denied or treated you in a way because of skin color. Sometimes it’s warranted. Others I attribute to (PTSS) Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome – trickling down the unhealed underground railroad of slavery.

So I’ll be seeing Hunger Games this weekend. Although I haven’t read the book – which is different from how I secretly devoured the predominantly white castings of the Harry Potter novels and Twilight movies. But the Hunger Games’ story of fighting the power, timely plotted with current racial controversy, makes me sprint to see a film that brings together two things I love in a story: Violence and a unique, underdog, activism backbone.

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The Truth About Whitney

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on March 26, 2012 by Raqiyah Mays

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I don’t know why I’m mad about Cocaine being found in Whitney’s system.  We all knew she had issues with drugs. And we knew they’d torn apart her vocal chords. We saw her on “Being Bobby Brown” eyes red and chinky from weed mixed with white lines. But still, we held Whitney to a higher plane. She was out of this world, beyond the Mariah Careys & Celine Deions.  She had sass, soul, & style, while wiping profuse sweat dripping from her upper lip.

But this is why we point fingers at the thugs in her life. First it was Bobby Brown, hood boy from Boston, who dragged her down into the clutches of habitual drug use. And now it’s Ray J, knucklehead from Compton, who folks say was Whitney’s “Runnerboy” picking up coke she needed when her plane landed in LA.

 The truth? You attract what you are. Long before Whitney met Bobby. Back when Ray J was born, Ms. Houston was a church going street girl from Brick City, Newark NJ. It was the 80s, where big hair, raw sex, powdered drugs, and rock & roll ruled. She’d blown up as a model turned R&B siren, and was the hot chick, hiding hood roots with makeup and etiquette class.  And when she met Bobby, at the height of his New Edition and solo career fame, they flocked together, sharing common colored feathers. Years later, when the divorce was done, Ray J came. He loved older women. He had that down to earth West Coast confident swag. He was like a young Bobby Brown — mediocre singer, fuck you attitude, exuding a natural attraction to Whitney’s inner hood child that never died.

So we can blame the men in her life – the Browns, the Norwoods, whoever. But in the end, Whitney’s life was the path she chose. And her death was the grave she dug.

The Rihality of Superstar Love

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on March 22, 2012 by Raqiyah Mays

 

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Poor Rihanna. If the rumors are true, she’s back with Chris Brown walking the stereotypical path of an abused woman. The one whose man beats her into oblivion. The one who gets fed up and leaves. The one who fights back, runs to the cops and vows to never see him again. And then falls for phone calls, texts, and apologetic gifts, while praying therapy has kicked in.

What people tend to forget is that although this freaky rock star seems impervious to real life — she does have moments like the 99%. She has bad hair days, PMS pimples, and occasional farts. And she actually does possess the modest person’s ability to become a statistic. Like being that one out of every three females who are abused at some point in their life. Like being the one that says an abused woman will leave her violent man seven times before saying, “Goodbye,” for good.

By being back with that little Brown boy who beat her blue, Rihanna is realer than ever —  lost in love,  fallen off the cliff where optimism overcomes common sense and doubt.

The American Bar Association (ABA)  reports that over 40 percent of first-time abusers attack again. Perhaps Chris Brown is in that 60 percent.

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Pimpin Ain’t Easy for Rev. Sharpton

Posted in Uncategorized on March 21, 2012 by Raqiyah Mays


I really do love Reverand Al Sharpton. He’s invited me as a guest to high profile events – National Action Network summits, private birthday parties, and asked me to host his morning radio talk show. I’ve even partied with his daughter Dominique and been quick to shout him out in the street with, “What’s up, Rev!” When it comes to this man, I’ve always admired the way he’s usually the first to step up, stand tall, and call the proper people out when there’s an injustice – racially, religious wise, or over-all humanely.

But this photo made me crack up. LOLOL! Taken in 1989 by veteran photographer Ernie Paniciolli, I couldn’t resist posting it. Rev needs to do a Kim Kardashian and buy up all the unflattering photos floating in paparazzi closets. Because he has no business looking like a chicken-loving pimp – past or present.

The Power of the Facebook Relationship Status by Raqiyah Mays

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on March 5, 2012 by Raqiyah Mays

Image   I should probably apologize for making play-dough of anyone’s emotions. But the Facebook relationship status change evokes a mush of moody matter.  And last week, I molded that into social, experimental fun that had me laughing out loud.

Over five days, I went from being “single” to ‘in a relationship,” to being “in a domestic partnership,” then “in an open relationship,” and even made a graduation to being “in a civil union.” This last one lost me a few followers. But whatever, I’ve had 1000 friend requests for many months and no time or help to direct them to my “Like” page.  So I need the space that comes from being under 5000. 

“Congratulations!!!” One person wrote, over my change from being “single” to “in a relationship.” “I’m so happy for you!”  While another added, “I thought you were married?”

Being in a “domestic partnership” brought out the cynics. I could hear folks snorting through the FB screen, sharing laws about shacking up, and thoughts like, “Well, I hope you’re happy.”

The men were quick to comment on my “open relationship.” Silly horny boys FB’d publically and privately, enticed by the possibility of me being a bi-sexual swinger like, “Um…What are you doing later?” Smh. 

And then, when I became seemingly gay for a few days in a “civil union,” not only did some prejudice folks drop me as a friend, but I got straight confused replies like, “What the hell?!” LOL

Anyone who truly knows me is fully aware that I care very little about what people say or think of me.  I’ve pretty much always done (and said) whatever I want. But the reality is that last week’s “Young & the Restless” relationship changes are a mixture of truths combined into one. Because I am a single woman, who happens to be in a fairly content relationship with myself; and frustrated by a domestic partnership with a fussy, 15-year-old dog that can no longer seem to hold her bladder. And at the moment, I’m choosing mature men, who can emotionally handle the rules that come with being in an open dating relationship with me.  And the civil union? Well, I do work with a civil rights organization. And that union is all about racial equality, religious tolerance, and gay rights. It’s very powerful, super fabulous, and has the strength to move the masses, just like a Facebook relationship status change.