"Holy Muff-diving" Batman, Batwoman's gay too!

(originally published May 31, 2006)

Maybe it's just me but I always thought Batman and Robin were a gay couple. I mean c'mon, Bruce Wayne is a filthy rich white man who keeps a penniless young man named Robin as his ward. They live in this humongous mansion taken care of by a male butler named Alfred. Toogether they don tight latex suits and fight crime all night every night and you never see either one of them with women. Seems like business as usual in boystown to me.

Now comes word that Batwoman has been resurrected (she was killed off in 1979) as a rich dyke who loves the ladies. But she has typical lesbian issues. She apparently still hasn't come out to her parents yet. But I'm sure her brother knows, if she has one. Boy that's a bummer. Imagine running thru the mansion changing all the photos and artwork after finding out mommy and daddy are coming over for a chat. Still with a big house it is easier to stash the girlfriend and to hide the fact that the two of 'em are sleeping in the same bed.

It's all part of an effort by DC Comics to diversify the comic book universe which has been lilly white and straight for almost all of it's existence. Oh, there have been black superheroes with names like Black Panther or Storm of X-men fame. But they were marginalized just like in real life sometimes. Except for Storm, she's kicking ass on the big screen in X-men III in case you haven't seen it yet. Please go, it's worth the price of the ticket. In addition to Batwoman, DC Comics is also adding Latinos to the line up.

According to a story in the New York Daily News, some comic book geeks who inhabit the internet are grumbling about Batwoman's change in sexuality, as if they could get with her when she was straight. I think being a lesbian makes her a more interesting wet dream. Don't straight guys love dreaming about women together anyway? Now they have the possibility of seeing their fantasy in color.

Now if we can just get Wonder Woman to kick open that closet door. Man what a power couple that would be.

Casting my vote for WW...


Honorable War, An Oxymoron if there ever was one

Details of what happened at Haditha are just beginning to break. The incident happened last November 2005 in Iraq. According to reports, one of our marines died in a bomb attack. In an effort to root out who set off the bomb, the dead marine's brothers in arms went on a killing spree, during which at least 24 civilians were killed, including several women and children and a 77-year-old man, none of them armed.

The incident has been reported upon a couple of times since it happened. There was even a quickly opened probe and just as quickly closed military investigation. But now, the pictures are showing up and other soldiers privy to the alleged cover up, are stepping forward to talk. Congressman, officials at the Pentagon, and the talking heads on television are expressing surprise and outrage over the fact that innocent people may have died and that America's reputation hangs in the balance due to the alleged actions of a few over stressed young people. My question is why? Why is anyone surprised at this latest incident?

It's not the first time soldiers have snapped, think back to Vietnam and the My Lai massacre. There have been others, not as well documented, perhaps. But atrocities in war happen. War itself is an atrocity. Do we Americans think that only the other guy butchers and kills civilians?

Do we Americans think our soldiers are so well trained and well mannered and so honorable that they would never stoop to commit such horrible acts? If that were the case then why do so many Vets come back physically but not mentally able to deal with what they encountered.

Face it people. Our front line in this illegal police action on terrorism is being manned for the most part by the army reserve. Most of whom signed up to get an education and maybe twice a month play war games, not to go war for real, leaving their homes and families to rid Iraq of its dictator and bring Democracy to the Middle East. They were basically sent in under equipped and ill prepared for what they are being forced to face. Is it any wonder that some of them, yes even marines, may have lost it?
They are fighting for their lives first and foremost. Survival is what counts. These young kids wake up everyday wondering if this will be their last sunrise. And we expect them to be honorable in all situations? Honor is for old men and generals who never have to fight the wars they start.

The Pentagon is now investigating, The White House is now looking into the matter. Congress has found its voice and is calling for justice. Many soldiers will probably be court martialed for their actions. They will be made scape goats and this latest chapter on this immoral war will be closed. What should actually happen, won't, meaning Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and every other congressional SOB who green lighted this illegal war should be impeached and sent to that maximum security hell hole out west to live out their days watching videos of what they allowed to happen on their watch.

This was never an honorable situation, just more evidence that the American people are allowing themselves to be led by dishonorable men.


In My Bed!? Damn!

Since I discovered my gayness at the tender age of 5, waking up in bed with a man would be surprising. If that man happens to be the Reverend Fred Phelps, then it becomes grounds for suicide...maybe a bath, then suicide or maybe a shower, a cleansing walk through fire then suicide.

For those of you who don't know the allegedly righteous reverend, Phelps is the guy who leads the Westboro Church of Topeka, Kansas and conducts protests at the funerals of soldiers who have died during the Iraq military action. Phelps believes that the good men and women who died for this country are being punished because they fought to defend a homeland that condones homosexuality.

Phelps thinks everyone who doesn't believe as he does is going to hell and that includes most of us Americans. So he and his family, since that's what makes up his congregation, travels the country protesting at funerals. He's been doing it for a lot of years at gay funerals, but nobody took notice until he crossed the line with the American military. If you want to read exactly what it is that Phelps is saying go to http://www.godhatesamerica.com/ , where you will find that he not only attacks America, but Coretta Scott King, Reggie White, and The Pope in language so vile that I won't repeat it here.

Earlier this week Congress passed a bill banning Phelps protests at cemeteries. The "Respect for America's Fallen Heroes Act" has been sent to White House and Dubya has already indicated that he will sign it into law. The measure, like much of what Congress does, seems good until you fully examine it. The law only pertains to 122 national cemeteries. It doesn't say a thing about all of the other cemeteries in this country. Nor does it keep him from protesting at funerals. He just has to stay 300 feet away.

Phelps has free reign almost everywhere else as long as he stays off federal turf. And there is another thing that bothers me. As reprehensible as I find this man to be, I am troubled that Congress has seen fit to try to stifle him. Despite his ranting and viciously biased ravings, he is an American, protected by the constitution, specifically the First Amendment. He has a god-given right to say whatever the hell he wants.

This is America.

It is what these young military people fight and die for. Yes, his acts are a slap in the face and blatant disrespect of our military, but illegal, or unconstitutional, I don't think so. What is Congress going to do, pass a law to stifle every other group who voices discontent or disrespect? What about using the hate crimes law? Phelps violates those every time he opens his mouth. Fine him. Turn the IRS loose on him. Take away his privileged status as a Church. But let him keep talking. That's his right. And mine. And yours.


Why are We Mad at Bill Cosby

Can someone please tell me why we're mad at Bill Cosby. Did he lie? Did he stutter? Is he traveling the country using his bully pulpit to libel and slander Black people? Should we revoke his Black membership card for talking outside the group and spilling community secrets? Or are we just mad because he is telling the truth and "we" don't want to hear it?

Bill Cosby is traversing the nation, talking about the plight of the Black community in general. The lawlessness, the dropout rate, the illiteracy, and the overwhelming problem of babies giving birth to babies. No one is quibbling about what he is saying, just that he is saying it. Cosby is apparently fueled by the anger that a lot of us are feeling right now. Those old enough to remember a vibrant civil rights movement that won many of the rights and privileges that these young knuckleheads (Cosby's word) of today take for granted.

My niece graduated from high school this past week. She is an honors student, National Honor Society, in fact and headed to college on a full ride scholarship. I am so proud of this kid. While watching her make her first steps into adulthood, I looked over her graduating class. I didn't make a scientific head count, but it was obvious that for every male in that predominately Black school, there were three females. That night was a joyous celebration of achievement and promise by both the students and their families and friends who showed up to bear witness.

It was a scene that brought tears to my eyes for two reasons. One, my happiness for my niece and two, that not enough of our young people are finishing school, especially young men. For me, it was bittersweet. And don't think it's been easy for my niece. She comes from a fatherless home, raised by a mom with three other kids vying for attention. Even for us, who are solidly grounded in middle class, there is always struggle before achievement. But we are taught from birth to "not let them see you sweat." Our community seems to have given up. Those who can have moved on and out away from the problems isolating and insulating themselves in the suburbs.

Another comedian, Chris Rock, I believe, does a comedy routine talking about the difference between "niggas and black people." He says he doesn't mind living next to Black people, but he won't live next to niggas. We laugh as we get into our late model Lexus and drive 50 miles back to the burbs. But the truth is most of us don't want to live next to niggas either. We just don't want to openly admit it. We turn a blind eye unless somebody like Bill Cosby brings it up and begins painting everybody with a broad brush. Then folks want to get mad. Well, we should get mad, but not at Cosby.

We should get mad because of the violence that chokes our neighborhoods. We should get mad because not enough young men finish high school preferring to answer the siren call of the streets. We should get mad at the overwhelming number of young men, and increasingly young women, who are ending up in jail. We should get mad at the stupefying rate that young black women are getting pregnant. We should get mad at the unchecked AIDS epidemic within our community. We should be mad at ourselves but not Cosby, he is only the latest messenger.

The war is here folks, when are we going stop killing the messenger and wake up and fight?.


Speaking in Tongues other than English

All this talk about making English the national language got me to thinking about my upbringing and how I was taught to speak by my parents and grandparents as well as the other grown ups around me. I'm not an immigrant. I'm an original native born American and anyone who knows history, knows that only two ethnic groups can make that claim; Native Americans and, since 1619, the descendants of slaves. My people were slaves. Since they were ripped from their homeland, I don't have any other country to claim other than the United States of America where we've been here in a direct line, since 1790.

Since I was born five years after the end of World War II, there was Jim Crow, but no Brown vs The Board of Education. The Ku Klux Klan was ascendant. Integration was a new concept. Separate but equal was the law of the land.

Growing up you were expected to know your place, be as respectful and as invisible as you possibly could be around Whites. That meant being clean, quiet and well spoken at all times when in public. Failure to do this, especially if you were male, meant at the minimum, a public tongue lashing from the offended white person, jail or sometimes even death. Blending in was a survival tactic taught from birth. And that brings me back to language.

You were expected to speak "proper English." What the kids today call "talk white." When I was a child that was simply survival, the best way to get thru school and to get a job. It's second nature to me now,

But how we talked at home and around the neighborhood with our neighbors is and was different. Sometimes it's called "slang." Sometimes it's given the official name of "Ebonics." Under any name it is and has been derided by both Blacks and Whites as not a good way to talk. When the City Schools of Oakland tried to teach Ebonics, school officials were castigated and roundly chastised by everyone, nationwide. They were accused of bringing down the race and making fun of Blacks. I guess if the slaves forced to come to this country could have somehow preserved their languages intact, despite the bombardment of white European/Christian culture, maybe Ebonics would have been taken more seriously.

But when you think about, Slang, Hip Hop and yes the bigger catchword Ebonics are languages. Just like French, Spanish, German, Italian, Polish, Czech, Hebrew. It's the language of America's Black neighborhoods. So why do we get laughed at when we choose to speak our first language but Hispanics and other immigrants get rewarded with multi lingual signs, English as a second language courses, and a myriad of defenders of all walks of life standing up for their right to speak what they know?

I don't think there needs to be an official law recognizing English as the official language. It's really just another attempt by the ruling class to keep things "pure" if you will, and to preserve the comfort level of the paler masses. Blacks and Native Americans have always been bi lingual and will continue to be until there is a complete blending of the races in this country. The very language itself has changed and will continue to change to reflect America's ever-changing population.

Ya feel me on this?


Natalie Maines for President

I think Natalie Maines should run for president. Three years after trashing Dubya, she stands by her words. For those of you who don't follow Country and Western music, Natalie is one of the Dixie Chicks and a couple of years ago she told a London audience, "we're ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas."

Well country music fans and other red coated, pseudo Christian conservatives were outraged. C&W radio stopped playing Dixie Chick music and all conservative talk show hosts from Rush Limbaugh to that Savage guy (what's his name?), demanded they be tarred and feathered. Programmers at said country stations think that Natalie should apologize. And apologize she did, and I quote; "I apologized for disrespecting the office of the President. But I don't feel that way anymore. I don't feel he is owed any respect whatsoever."   Go girl. Furthermore her band mates are standing right beside her and I'm proud of all of them.

I think everyone who agrees with Ms. Maines should run out and buy the latest Dixie Chick CD to offset the ongoing boycott of their music. The latest CD is called appropriately enough, "Taking the Long Way." The first release is entitled "Not Ready to Make Nice."
I'm not either, ready to make nice.....Texas...you've got a village missing an idiot, please, please call him home.......


Standing by your man

Watching Secretary of State Condolezza Rice spin her web of plausibility around this current White House makes me wonder, how she sleeps at night. How does she face herself in the mirror after spending her day alibiing this Administration. An administration that is arguably the worst since Richard Nixon pushing Ronald Reagan into third place on the best of the worst list. 

Everyday brings another lie to light and still she sits there, or stands there with a plausible, reasoned justification for the lawlessness that is passing for governance in this country. Of all the White House staff, she stands alone as seemingly incorruptible by the surrounding corruption, honest in the sea of lies that never end.

Her job is to sell this country's policies to the rest of world. Surely she must see the untenable position she has taken. Or is she getting a pass because she is a woman and a black one at that, doing the best she can by standing by her man.

Colin Powell got out. Condolezza should have followed him. She should have gone back to academia or to the NFL, since that's where she truly wants to be, if you believe the reports or words from her own lips.

Today she offered yet another alteration of the reasons why America invaded Iraq. Tomorrow it will be something else. Doesn't matter. When Dubya wants to lend absolute credibility to his talks he drags out Condolezza or his wife Laura to make it seem more truthful. They stand by him while he cowers behind their skirts.


Immigration: A Conversation between the Ruling Class and its Gardeners

If every Black American stood up and decided to take the day off from work or school in order to participate in a protest against the racial politics of this country, would anyone notice? Would corporate America or small business pat us on the back and say "go for it" your job will be here when you get back tomorrow? Would any Congressman, including Black ones, allow themselves to be arrested in support of eradicating the problems that plague Black America on a daily basis?

I think not.

The question of immigration reform is a conversation between the ruling class in America and one of it's favored subclasses. The ruling class in America comes from immigrant stock. Today's conversation is merely about helping one's own. Black people and Native Americans do not have a featured part in this scenario.

Black and Native Americans are the only people who did not immigrate to this country and have long been viewed differently by the ruling class. We have yet to outlive our perceived identity of being loud, vulgar, oversexed, shiftless and lazy. It seems we don't help our own preferring to abandon our people to the mercy of the federal government handout programs.

There is an old saying in the Black community, if you want to hurt a white man...hit him in his wallet...or make him a poor man. Immigrants, both legal and illegal work in the jobs that won't necessarily hurt "the man" financially, but will inconvenience him tremendously. Immigrants do yard work, clean house, take care of the kids, provide the 12 to 14 hour a day labor necessary to keep the ruling class supplied with fruit and vegetables or wash dishes in their upscale casinos and restaurants. Immigrants do all the jobs that are and always have been denied to Blacks since the end of slavery.

The perpetual myth that Blacks won't take that kind of work is ludicrous. When slavery ended, the ruling class, not wanting to rub elbows with it's former property, and forced to pay for labor it previously had for free encouraged Blacks to leave the south, sometimes by shotgun. By laboring for nearly nothing, immigrants provide a constant, nearly free labor pool that fuels corporate America. And as a reward, immigrants are viewed as hardworking, religious, family oriented and willing to sacrifice in order to help their own people.

Most importantly, immigrants tend to vote conservatively and en mass, a privilege fought for and now seemingly abandoned by Blacks.

Here in the 21st century Blacks can't really hurt "the man" in his pocketbook. He long ago abandoned his house and business in the city. He long ago pulled his kids out of the public school system taking his money with him. He's even given up his strangle hold on city governments opting instead to control county governments.

Showing up in his neighborhoods, even when you can afford the house makes him run even further. The first perception being that Blacks are up to no good and that if Blacks do own the house then it will soon be turned into a crack den.
Nearly 50% of Black men are unemployed, considered unemployable and therefore not counted, or are incarcerated.

The school dropout rates of young Blacks, both male and female approaches 60% in some school districts. Blacks are disappearing from college campuses due in part to the attacks to overturn affirmative action programs. Black on Black violence is simply another form of genocide perpetrated by us on us. Unplanned pregnancies feed more bodies into the ongoing cycle of family killing poverty that originated with the federal welfare system, so many years ago.

Black women are 14 times more likely to contract and die from AIDS than white women according to the latest study. Nobody votes. You can find Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton at the immigration protests jumping at photo ops.

The Black ministers are hiding out in their glass cathedrals preaching the doctrine of wealth building. Would anyone noticed if we took the day off to protest?

I think not.