31 October 2010

i was looking for the manual for my tivo  in my bottom dresser drawer and I came across a Diabetic cook book that she gave me that I had put away. It has over 2,000 recipes. Inside there was an inscription;  "I'm going to make every single recipe in this book for you."   
Then her father took ill, and it was over before she made one.

29 October 2010

listening to ...Christopher Cross

 When my freshman college roommate wasn't playing the Rolling Stones or Led Zeppelin or The Doobie Brothers on my turntable, he was playing this song, ad nauseum. I've intentionally not heard this song since 1986.  Today I heard it on the radio, and it instantly took me back, to the beginning of my life as an adult, moving away from my  family in Wisconsin and going to college in Tennessee...(back when I had no bills, and getting drunk on the weekends partying it up in Knoxville --those were the days).

Don't forget to vote!

Flashback Friday-The Emotions & Natalie Cole, and Peabo Bryson

the unknown expiration date

Somewhere someone went to bed last night, planning their future. They looked up at the moon, thinking about calls to loved ones they forgot or were too busy to return.  "It's too late to call them. I'll do it tomorrow," they said. But for some, today didn't arrive.
"To define is to limit."
                              — Oscar Wilde

28 October 2010


the hard part about starting over is that you have to edit yourself again, to be someone that others would want to date. you stand on tip toes trying to be the person that the one you connect with wants you to be, but eventually the ball of your feet begins to hurt and you need to stand on your  own feet and be who you are, at the same time, hoping she doesn't run fast in the opposite direction.  but what you don't realize is that she has been standing on her tip toes as well.

& Again, after I pray Thee Lord, my soul to keep....

@alieux9000  Help me to see the good plan You have for me so that I can thrive the way You intended. In Jesus’ name, Amen

on my twitter

Eric Benet- sometimes i cry

I wonder who this might be about?

Via Twitter

@alieux9000  Help me to see the good plan You have for me so that I can thrive the way You intended. In Jesus’ name, Amen

less than 5 seconds ago via web

27 October 2010

Now, what can't you do?

I know it's not  Black History Month , but I just found this and had to post it.

And I had to repost it, as a note to myself:

Prince- Clorine Bacon Skin

This is my cardio song. I play it everyday. It's a 15 minute jam session with Prince and Morris Day. 4 x in a row, I don't even notice that an hour has passed, which is great because I HATE the treadmill or the elliptical machine! 

On today, October 27

 in 1960 Dr Martin Luther King Jr. was released on bond from the Georgia State Prison in Reidsville. Political observers said the Kennedy call increased the number of Blacks voters who insured his election.

26 October 2010

The best reason to love someone is for no reason at all.

observed on the train this morning

I didn't have to use my mp3 player to pass the time on the train this morning;
Drunk man: You can't have a dog running loose on the train!
Woman: He's not running loose. He's sitting right here on the floor next to me.
Drunk man: Yyyyou can't have a dddog on here, wwwoman! Get offff the train!
Woman:This is a service animal.
Drunk man: You ain't bbblind.
Woman: I'm legally blind.
Drunk man: You're looking right at me. Right at my eyes. You ain't blind.
Woman: I am legally blind. My dog and I have a right to be on this train.
Another male passenger: Leave the woman alone.
Drunk man: Who the hell are you talking to? I'll kick your a**!
Another female passenger: Whether she's blind or not, she's not bothering anyone. Leave the woman alone.
Another male passenger, pushing the emergency call button: Hello, there's a drunk man on the train being argmentative with a woman here.

At the next stop, a transit security officer appears while the drunk man is still arguing about the woman with the dog, and he gets kicked off the train.

25 October 2010

What if you gave someone a gift, and they neglected to thank you for it - would you be likely to give them another? Life is the same way. In order to attract more of the blessings that life has to offer, you must truly appreciate what you already have.  --Ralph Marston

Sometimes when I'm praying to God, I forget to give thanks first, before launching into asking Him for what I need.  When I was  a child,  I asked my mother  to listen to my prayer. My mom is a religious, praying woman and she told us about the power of prayer.I was concerned because my prayers weren't being answered and I thought that maybe I wasn't praying right.  She told me to give thanks first, then to pray for others, and then for myself.  I've been doing that ever since. I do slip up sometimes, when I'm frantic about something. I'll even pray the same prayer over and over, asking God to please 'gimme this or gimme that', and then I catch myself and I stop and give thanks. I want Him to know that I appreciate what He's done for me, as He's done alot.  He already knows what I need anyway.

24 October 2010

it's been said that the squeaky wheel always gets the grease, but in some instances, you need throw that wheel away and get a new one.

song in my head...James Ingram

President Obama- It gets better

around every corner

"The riches of life, the love and joy and exhilaration of life can be found only with an upward look. This is an exciting world. It's cram-packed with opportunity. Great moments wait around every corner." -Richard M. DeVos

yeah, uhhuh

tell me something good

i had a really great performance review  the other day. turns out that i am well liked and appreciated by the people that count, like my boss, her boss, and my sales staff, and not one single complaint or concern! 3 years in a row! and my raise is retroactive to october 1, so my next pay check will be nice (i'm going to get my mom a gas card- she is always in need of gas money, transporting her day care kids to and from home and the doctor's office)

my sister's house was destroyed by fire a week ago, click here  which is something bad, but she was fully covered insurance-wise, and everyone survived (their puppy did not though) without any injuries  and she's able to rebuild and have an even better house than she did before. All their material possessions are gone, but when we die, we can't take them with us anyway. i'm thankful to God that my sister's stepson got home in time and shook my nephew awake and they escaped the house in time.

before i turn the corner and bump into Her

What i don't want to do -
more than anything-
is to repeat my mistakes-
because that would mean i haven't learnt-

and i can't waste you on a mistake.


“The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You trade in your sense for an act. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask. There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first. You can take away a man’s political freedom and you won’t hurt him- unless you take away his freedom to feel. That can destroy him. That kind of freedom can’t be granted. Nobody can win it for you.” — Jim Morrison 

When we are very young, we are taught, by example, that the only way to survive is to put on a mask. 

 So, we do because we want to stay whole.--Alexgeorge

23 October 2010

         "When you judge someone it says nothing about who they are, but it says everything about who YOU are."   

from Alee's Perspective,    @  http://www.aleesperspective.com/

I saw this quote on a fellow blogger's site, and I had to borrow it. Hope she doesn't mind! It speaks to my heart, and it's almost a response to a previous blog entry I made called (fill in the blank) 

22 October 2010

“If I were asked to give what I consider the single most useful bit of advice for all humanity it would be this: Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life and when it comes, hold you head high, look it squarely in eye and say, 'I will be bigger than you. You cannot defeat me.'”
--Ann Landers

(fill in the blanks)

Why is it that, if the people (those that are not your friends) you work with don't know any of your personal business, they take that to mean that you have something to hide, and they will assume things about you? Could it just be that you choose to keep your personal life and your work life seperate?  

"I know nothing about you. You must be (fill in the blank)."

I mentioned the ASSumption to my son and my ex-girlfriend last night and they laughed. I didn't laugh. And I didn't protest it because I was speechless and I decided that I didn't care what they thought of me outside of the work place. I only care about how they feel about me as an employee and a team player.

Flash back Friday-Jodeci, Bobby Brown, Whitney Houston

21 October 2010

Making Ignorance Chic

 Click here

Listening to ...Muhsinah & Georgia Anne Muldrow &

this is a poem i have yet to write.

when the words come to me, it still won't be as beautiful as this picture.
i love seeing pictures like this.
is it because there was no male father figure when i was growing up and i fantasized having a family like this, or is it because images like this are so rare outside of a church that seeing it makes me smile,
or both?
i remember when i was a child, any black man i saw that didn't have a ring on his finger, i would tell them about my mother. i wanted a dad badly.  my sister would be upset because in her mind, her father was always around...
for Her.



"Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm." Psalm 105:15

 This verse came to mind recently, and I wrote it here for someone in particular. If they ever came across my blog and this particular entry, I want them to know that I am a child of God, and in knowing that, I have favor with Him, so try to harm me if you want, but God's revenge will be more harmful than anything I could imagine.
But if they did read this, they would have no idea it was about them.
From experience, by focusing on God and leaving it all to Him, I have seen people who have caused me harm, to come to me, seeking assistance, food shelter & clothing, and even having the nerve to ask me for a personal reference.
"When you want your car to go forward, you put it in D. When you want it to go in reverse, you put it in R. Don't you want to move forward?"      

20 October 2010

"After they drove the car into the ditch, they made it as difficult as possible for us to pull it back,  and now as we're slowly but surely pulling the car out, keeping in mind that it's badly dented and may need a tune up--now they're tapping on our shoulders, wanting the keys back. No! You can’t drive! We don’t want to have to go back into the ditch. We just got the car out!"   --President Barack H. Obama, tonight, at the Oregon Convention Center.
“You would have thought at a time of historic crisis that Republican leaders would have been more willing to help us find a way out of this mess,” Obama added. “Particularly since they created the mess."

Locked in an extremely tight battle for Oregon's governor seat, Democratic candidate John Kitzhaber received a boost, not to mention a strong endorsement, from President Barack Obama on Wednesday night.
Speaking at a rally of 10,000 supporters at the Oregon Convention Center, Obama cemented his backing of Kitzhaber, saying of the race between Kitzhaber and Republican Chris Dudley, "This shouldn't be a difficult choice."
Obama praised Kitzhaber's commitment to health care, noting that Oregon added programs during Kitzhaber's previous tenure as governor from 1995 to 2003 that have helped insure thousands of patients.
"John knows Oregon needs his experience, his wisdom, his compassion," Obama said. "We know we've got a lot of work to do. The private sector has created jobs for nine months in a row, but there's still a lot of people hurting out there. That's what keeps me up at night, it keeps John up at night. We've got to change the policies that hurt us in the first place." Obama also used his 32-minute speech to espouse electric cars "made right here in America." He also implored local governments to maintain education funding, noting that many districts are experiencing 20 percent cuts..
Obama expressed admiration for Oregon U.S. senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, who joined the president and Kitzhaber along with Oregon Congressmen Earl Blumenauer and David Wu. He noted that Blumenauer offered early support for Obama.

--courtesy bizjournals.com      and I was there also!

song in my head this morning

19 October 2010

and tomorrow,and tomorrow;Creeps in this petty pace from day to day;To the last syllable of recorded timeand all our yesterdays have lighted fools,the way to dusty death.Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow;A poor player
that struts and frets his hour upon the stageAnd then is heard no more;It is a taletold by an idiot, full of sound and fury,Signifying nothing.

---Life's Brief Candle, William Shakespeare 

Been asking myself a lot lately: what do I want?

This poem is striking, to me, because it's not so much about the mammoth topic of the meaningless-ness of life, but about decisions we make, which we do make on a daily basis. How will I ever know if one is better than the other? Even after I've chosen one, I might never know if I made the right choice. But it would be really terrible to discover that you've made the wrong choice. For me, currently, it's whether I should go to cooking school and become a certified gourmet chef or baker,  or take scriptwriting classes in order to write and sell screenplays. Both of these are where my passion lies

there's a crack in the pavement

I take the train to work. It's twice as long as driving, but it's free to those that work at my company and so I save on gas. I finally get the chance to read books I'm always buying but don't have the time to read.
Most of the time the train is so packed that it's not even standing room only. Sometimes I'm lucky to find a seat, and eventually the person I'm seated next to gets off at their stop, leaving the seat next to me free for people to sit down. To be nice and courteous to whoever might want to sit down, I keep my gym bag on my lap, but no one ever does.

The purpose of this entry is to tell you that I found a way to have the seat next to me free my entire trip, on my way to work and on the way home, five days a week.

By being black.  I have a friend at work that has experienced the same phenomena. He's black too.

This morning, a man was on crutches, standing  next to the empty seat on the train. He got on the train 2 stops after me.  I told him the seat  next to me was free.  He said:
"That's alright. I have a few stops."
I said, "Ok."

He stood until the train reached his stop--
The stop before mine.  
i often find myself pondering off captivated and then questioning if what sparkles before me is a reflection. i glance around- there is nothing for it to reflect off of. continuing i realize what i see is a breaking thru from the concealed, and what i perceive to hold is the reflection.
                  --Shakara Aziz

Listening to...Faith Evans

18 October 2010

In my in-box, just now from a coworker

"A Holy man was having a conversation with the Lord one day and said, 'Lord, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like.'

The Lord led the holy man to two doors.

He opened one of the doors and the holy man looked in.

In the middle of the room was a large round table..

I n the middle of the table was a large pot of stew,

which smelled delicious and made the holy man's mouth water.

The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly.

They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles that were strapped to their arms and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful.

But because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths.

The holy man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering.

The Lord said, 'You have seen Hell. They went to the next room and opened the door. It was exactly the same as the first one.

There was the large round table with the large pot of stew which made the holy man's mouth water.

The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking.

The holy man said, 'I don't understand.

'It is simple,' said the Lord. 'It requires but one skill...

You see, they have learned to feed each other.

The greedy think only of themselves.'

When Jesus died on the cross, he was thinking of you.

I will always share my spoon with you."

remember this?


This verse helped me out this morning. I was about to go off on someone, but I found this verse, and I'm going to recite it to myself over and over today.

15 October 2010

Listening to ...Mavis Staples/ The Staples Singers

hit it right

How many times have this happened?

Note to self

just a thought

a love like this

Note to self

I don't want to have everything I ask for because it might not be what I'm supposed to have. I only want to have what God wants me to have. It would be better for me in the end. 

When I was a kid I wanted my very own black and white tv for my bedroom. My mom said no, and I was upset. What I didn't know was that she was saving up for a color tv that she bought me for my birthday.
I once wrote a poem per request of a friend who was getting married. She loved the poem and she asked me to recite it as part of her wedding program. Upon hearing it, her mother in-law began to suspect that perhaps she and I had had a past that her son should know about.  She felt that the poem was written by someone who knew her daughter in-law ‘biblically’ (her words). She was wrong. I just knew my friend, and I knew about her search for love and all the losers she had come across and how happy we both were that she had found a man that God had designed just for her. ..

Friday Flashback--BabyFace & AzYet

this is the plan

well, it's hard not to have a good day today when today is friday.

14 October 2010

About Esperanza Spaulding

Click here
I love action movies about car chases and explosions and gunfire and psychic phenomena and revenge fantasies and alternate universes, but my favorite movies are about love and the melodrama that surrounds it. In any other movie genre I like originality. I like not knowing how it's going to end. I like being at the edge of my seat, but with movies about love, I like predictability. I like the idea of someone finding their love, losing them  due to some misunderstanding (or family issue, racism, etc) and eventually getting back with them, and the two of them living happily after. Yes, I’m a hopeless romantic. I believe in love, even though I haven't been successful here in Portland.
My favorite is perhaps Brown Sugar, Claudine, and Love & Basketball, and Something New. Even Diary of a Mad Black Woman.
What is your favorite genre and what is your favorite movie of that genre?

On today, October 14

in 1964, at the age of thirty-five, Martin Luther King, Jr., was the youngest man to have received the Nobel Peace Prize. When notified of his selection, he announced that he would turn over the prize money of $54,123 to the furtherance of the civil rights movement.



 "someone will walk into your life to make you realize why it never worked out with anyone else..."   My friend Keenan told me this this morning.
I hope he knows what he's talking about.


i forgot

"Been such a long time,
I forgot that I was fine...

"i want somebody to walk up behind me and kiss me on my neck and breath on my neck"

Y'all ready for Colored Girls?

I hope and pray that Tyler Perry gives Ntoshake Shange's  Obie Award-winning play "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf" the justice it so righteously deserves. I would like to think that Loretta Devine, Kimberly Elise and Phylisia Rashad wouldn't attach themselves to a movie unless it was of quality. 

13 October 2010


Listening to...Georgia Anne Muldrow & Mos Def


 "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail."  --Luke 22 :31-32

The most beautiful thing we can experience

is the mysterious. 

Taking a moment to reflect on this... the mystery of life, of friends and loves. The mystery of what inspired an artist to create a celebrated work of art. The mystery of a beautiful day and of what tomorrow will bring.

Found in a fortune cookie

       Many a false step was made by standing still.

                                    I'm giving my friend Nam Nguyen credit for it because it was in his fortune cookie, and I saw it on his Facebook, and asked if I could post it.   This speaks to me because I procrastinate alot, and I am trying to stop it.

12 October 2010

I’ve done it before and I can do it again


Be loved
Make friends
Be happy
Come up with short story ideas that no one has ever dreamed of
Walk away from something (or someone) good that was wrong (or bad) for me
Worry for nothing

Question of the day

Is it possible to be happy and not know it?


in thirty words

diplomatic, good, complicated, polite, curious, shy, good-natured, exotic, odd, sensual, flawed, introspective, witty, open,spontaneous, creative, loving, patient, disciplined, neurotic, kind, intimidating, generous, selfish, unselfish, true, Christian, right-brained, dreamer, loved

11 October 2010

Something some people don't understand

"American culture is more than just a narrow medley of European culture with non-Western accents."
                               --Malcolm X

 My sentiments exactly. On a daily basis, this quote becomes relevant to me; it's on my mind when social choices (rock and country music bars or concerts, brew fests,  and german restaurants) are made by others, assuming that I might want to participate all the time. When I add my two cents ( r & b, hip hop, jazz clubs, soul food or ethiopian restaurants, etc) every now and then, the response is always met with silence  followed by a unanimous resistence, and if  I don't want to participate with their ideas, I'm being anti-social .
My Goddaughter Arianna
Madison Wisconsin in the spring, summer & fall
Sleeping in my own bed
My mom being happy
My God Daughter excited when I'm in town
Being able to watch my nephew in a football game the week I'm in Wisconsin
Arianna's cool parents
Friends that are excited to see me
The pictures my God Daughter draws for me

Madison Wisconsin in the winter
Saying goodbye to family and friends to go back home
Portland Oregon in the winter and spring 
A typical week doesn't go by as fast as a vacation week
The bills I didn't pay in full to make sure my mom had a great birthday
"Why do I have to go up to the front of the plane? Did I win something?"

The drunk female passenger (seated next to me) said to the Head Stewardess before she was kicked off the plane while we were boarding on the Milwaukee to Denver portion of my flight back to Portland on saturday.
Is any one among you suffering? Let him pray. Is any cheerful? Let him sing praise.
--James 5:13

i understand prayer as much as i understand love, which is nothing. i feel that to learn what and how one loves i have to go and learn so much of life- for everything it seems is an expression of love from one source or another. and prayer is an earmark of my journey. some of my earliest memories are of my sister and myself, talking about and to God as children.

when i was in high school and began to rediscover the existence that all of life i perceive and even that which is beyond is One- i recall my return to prayer being an allowance of hope. that if God does exist, than my prayer is this...and may it reach your ears.
shortly after i remember being at Thursday night bible study at the Rose Of Sharon COGIC, in Racine Wisconsin, where the leader said- everyone must share their prayer request because everyone needs prayer. i recall praying with someone who was battling darkened depths and asking for God to rescue him from that pit. i can trace the rollercoaster of my faith journey by how much I’m willing to surrender in prayer.
but what is the purpose of prayer? i really struggled to grasp why if it was so important there was no formal structure and no clear outline. why my prayers could be unlimited and i had the promise that God heard all of it. why praying to Him is a service, when to me it’s a listing of all my requests and my petitions to win over the Omnipotent Creator to my way.
and anyone who's taken part in Evangelical Christianity for at least a bit of time has learned that the purpose of prayer is to change our hearts, not His. but i can’t just elect to work on my heart when it’s convenient or when it fits into my schedule. prayer is still really fuzzy in my mind and really complex. but what's sunk in as of late is this: prayer is like the classroom for working on my soul and my spirit. we hash things out there, and that it’s really beneficial for me to try to be silent and still at least for a handful of moments a day. prayer is where we turn to elevate our souls to our spiritual level. prayer is where i'm to turn to in every emotion and every circumstance-- and thru this lens i will begin to see the greater reality in all of living.

punching a hole in the big lie

"We didn't land on Plymouth Rock. Plymouth Rock landed on us."
--Malcolm X

In 1492, there was an Italian explorer who sailed across the Atlantic Ocean in 1492, hoping to find a route to India (in order to trade for spices). He made a total of four trips to the Caribbean and South America during the years 1492-1504. 
The First Trip:
He sailed for King Ferdinand II and Queen Isabella of Spain. On his first trip, he led an expedition with three ships, the Niña , the Pinta, and the Santa Maria , and about 90 crew members. They set sail on Aug. 3, 1492 from Palos, Spain, and on October 11, 1492, spotted the Caribbean islands off southeastern North America. They landed on an island they called Guanahani, but he later renamed it San Salvador. They were met by the local Taino Indians, many of whom were captured by his men and later sold into slavery. He thought he had made it to India, and called this area the Indies, and called its inhabitants Indians.

While exploring the islands in the area and looking for gold to loot, his men traveled to the islands of Hispaniola (now divided into Haiti and the Dominican Republic), Cuba, and many other smaller islands. On the return trip, the Santa Maria was wrecked and the captain of the Pinta sailed off on his own to try to beat him back. He returned to Spain in the Nina, arriving on March 15, 1493. He, who never abandoned the belief that he had reached Asia, led three more expeditions to the Caribbean. But intrigue and his own administrative failings brought disappointment and political obscurity to his final years.
The Second Trip:
On a second, larger expedition (Sept. 25, 1493-June 11, 1496), sailed with 17 ships and 1,200 to 1,500 men to find gold and capture Indians as slaves in the Indies. He established a base in Hispaniola and sailed around Hispaniola and along the length of southern Cuba. He spotted and named the island of Dominica on November 3, 1493.

The Third Trip:
On a third expedition (May 30, 1498-October 1500), he sailed farther south, to Trinidad and Venezuela (including the mouth of the Orinoco River). He was the first European since the Viking to set foot on the mainland of America. 

The Fourth Trip:
On his fourth and last expedition (May 9, 1502-Nov. 7, 1504), he sailed to Mexico, Honduras and Panama (in Central America) and Santiago (Jamaica). He is buried in eastern Hispaniola (now called the Dominican Republic). 

Some additional facts
He “discovered” a place that was already inhabited by Native Americans, those he named Indians (thinking he had landed in India), the idea of which is ludicrous.
Consider what it was that he allegedly discovered: a vast set of lands. Estimates of the pre-Columbian population of these lands vary widely, but numbers proposed in recent years by authorities on New World demographics such as Henry Dobyns suggest some 145 million people lived in the hemisphere in 1492, with some 18 million of those north of Mexico. These estimates are cited by David Stannard in his book American Holocaust as well as by others. Stannard goes on to show that this 145 million figure is roughly equal to the estimated 1492 populations of Europe, Russia, and Africa put together. Clearly, the lands visited by him could not be said to be empty by any stretch of the imagination.
But if they were not empty, could these lands be "discovered"? The American Heritage Dictionary defines "discover" as "To be the first to find, learn of, or observe." How can anyone discover a place which tens of millions already know about? To assert that this can be done is to say that those inhabitants are not human. And in fact this is exactly the attitude many Europeans and early Euroamerican displayed toward indigenous Americans. We know, of course, that this is not true, but to perpetuate the idea of a Columbian discovery is to continue to assign a non-human status to those 145 million people and their descendants.
His name was Christopher Colombus.
Whatever the mystery and controversy may surround the story of Columbus, there can be no doubt about the results of his voyage for both the indigenous inhabitants of the Americas and for the peoples of Africa, and these constitute the most pressing arguments for ending Columbus Day. Most of us are familiar with these results in a general sort of way: we all know that Indian populations were decimated and the remnant peoples pushed westward, and we all know that large numbers of Africans were brought to the Americas involuntarily and enslaved. But few of us are aware of the personal involvement of Columbus in each case.
Columbus was personally and intimately involved in wanton violence against the Native people of the islands of the Caribbean, where he landed. He encouraged his men to rape Native women as young as nine or ten; he punished minor offenses against his domination by cutting off the Natives' noses and ears. Resistance only inspired him to full warfare on the island people, using, among other things, hunting dogs to literally tear the Indians apart. Later Columbus set up a tribute system to get the gold he had been unable to find, forcing the people to bring him gold regularly. Those who failed to do so had their hands cut off. Columbus' men hunted the people for sport and used the bodies for dog food. Soon forced labor was added to the list as well, in a system which led to malnutrition and disease. The Native people of Haiti, where Columbus established a colony in 1493, were almost completely exterminated within one generation, due directly or indirectly to Columbus' actions.
Meanwhile Columbus set in motion the machinery which would lead to so much suffering for African peoples. Unconcerned about the depopulation he had caused on Haiti, he merely imported vast numbers of Native people from other islands to do his work for him, depopulating those islands in turn. He also sent large shipments of these people to Europe as slaves, thus beginning the pattern of transatlantic slave trade. Others followed his example, shipping Natives from various parts of north America both to Europe and to the Caribbean. But so many of these people died that the Spanish turned to Africa as their new source for slaves, reversing the direction of human traffic across the Atlantic. The first Africa-to-Caribbean slave trade was carried out by none other than Columbus' son, in 1505--only twelve years from the founding of Columbus' colony.
The legacy of Columbus' actions has been profound and long-lived. The pattern of genocide against the indigenous peoples of the Americas has been repeated over and over, and continues today in perhaps a more subtle form. The habit of white dominance over African-americans which became so integrated into American society during the centuries of slavery remains a central characteristic of our culture. Yet what is important here is not so much to blame Columbus, but to understand what we are doing when we celebrate such a man. The message being sent to Native Americans and to African-Americans by Columbus Day is not merely one of irrelevance, but one of active, overt hostility. Celebrating the father of genocide and slavery in the Americas tells the groups who were victims of those crimes that we as a nation think those things were good, and that as a nation we neither respect nor value the peoples so victimized.

The Americas will celebrate him and banks and schools will be closed today to commemorate him and his ‘discovery’. 

I am not suggesting that we abandon any of the features that make America the great country it is, or that we cease to celebrate the principles that we value so much. I am asking instead that we take those very principles on which our country and our patriotic pride are based, and apply them. As Americans, we must cease to endorse this holiday which embodies not our highest values, but their very opposites.

--works cited from:
American Heritage Dictionary. 1991. Second College ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. S.v. "discover."
Loewen, James W. 1995. Lies my teacher told me: everything your American History textbook got wrong. New York: New Press. 

Sinovcic, Vincent. 1990. Columbus: debunking of a legend. New York: Rivercross Publishing. 

Stannard, David E. 1992. American Holocaust: Columbus and the conquest of the New World. New York: Oxford University Press. 

A public debate I took part in, in college. My team won.

10 October 2010

Basement Elevation

"The most notable winners usually encounter heart breaking obstacles before they triumphed: They won because they refused to become discouraged by their defeats."--author unknown

objective achieved

 "Damn, does your halo ever get heavy?"
A relative (who forgets birthdays and mothers days) said to me this week.
I am far from perfect. But I'm loyal to people who are loyal to me, and I remember the days and events that are important to them. 
It's not hard to do.