Sunday, October 27, 2013

Why Black Face Still Bothers Some

Julianne Hough as "Crazy Eyes."
Julianne Hough started a ripple in the social media waters when she appeared in "tanned face" at a Halloween party.  In her attempt to portray a character from "Orange is the New Black," she decided to go the "extra mile."  The character, "Crazy Eyes," is known for her eyes and her hair.  However, Julianne thought it was important (for reasons unknown) to also capture her skin color.

Big mistake.

You can't do things like that, even in 2013.  As long as there are people still on this planet who lived prior to Civil Rights being granted to black people, then there will not be a shortage of pissed off minorities.  Although I view her outfit as being stupid more than I do racist, my father (born in 1941) would be furious.  He grew up during a time when he wasn't even respected as an equal.

I think the idea to do this is stupid because she had to know people would flip out over this.  And if she didn't know, then that just shows her ignorance when it comes to the real world.  I'm guessing that she doesn't have that proverbial "black friend" who could have told her this would be a bad idea and a media nightmare.

Now, although her tanned look is mild at best, there is a reason why black face still bothers some.  It's still a sign of disrespect to a lot of people in this country.  When black people dress up for Halloween, how many of us have you ever seen put on "white face" to be Batman or Indiana Jones.  When is the last time you saw a black person use eye makeup to be Jackie Chan or Bruce Lee?  Odds are you probably haven't.

And it's not just a black / white thing either.  It's sometimes a black / black thing.  Most blacks also get upset when people who aren't white change their appearance to look white.  See Sammy Sosa and Michael Jackson.

We're a long way off from this not being a big deal.  With insensitive idiots like the below (portraying Trayvon Martin) still displaying foolishness, people who think this isn't a big deal can maybe understand where some of the rage originates.

Do you think that it's time to "get over" black face or is it still a problem in America?

(VIDEO) Hitler Gets Pissed at Jay Z

Well, Jay Z is back in the news again. He's not dissing senior citizens on wax this go around. This time, he's apparently not doing anything. I guess that's par for the course for modern day rappers and athletes...

Okay, here's the scoop: two young black kids were racially profiled in a high-end fashion store. A young man was arrested/questioned for purchasing a $350 belt with what was called "a stolen credit card." After a couple of hours in jail, he was released when it was determined that the card was actually his.

A young lady purchased a $2,500 purse from Barney's and received a similar line of questioning about how she could afford the bag.  Why she used her tax rebate money to buy a purse that expensive is beyond me.  Maybe she and the young man are both rich.  It's moot anyway.  The point is that they were both making legitimate purchases, but were accused of being shady people.

How does Jay Z tie into all of this? Well, he has a contract with Barney's to launch some new holiday clothing next month. Critics are calling upon him to cut ties with Barney's to take a stand against "shopping while black" incidents. However, Jay Z did release a statement on his website that basically denounces discrimination without condemning Barney's.

It appears that Jay Z will choose his pockets over his people and that will be unfortunate for Jay Z if Barney's is guilty of profiling.  Tons of people will be pissed at Jay Z saying he's too cowardly to speak out.  Including Hitler in the video below.  He was really pissed!

Now, I lost respect for Jay Z long ago, so this incident doesn't affect how I feel about him.  I lost respect for Jay Z after he dissed a living legend in Harry Belafonte. I can't say that I won't be surprised if he indeed decides to continue his affiliation with Barney's even if it's proven they were at fault. But despite that, this may surprise you: I don't think he should be obligated to cut ties with the store.

I just have a problem with Jay Z saying nothing about it for as long as he did. Nothing. He can at least condemn the incident even if he doesn't condemn the store.  We know for a fact that the incident with the young man happened and we know without a fact that it landed him in jail.

But, nope that's not his style. He's not going to piss off a store selling his over-priced swag.  He's going to play the victim and whine about people attacking his character.  And again, to his credit, Jay Z is being victimized here to a certain extent because he had nothing to do with what happened.  But, he's too self-centered to realize who the real victims are in this ordeal.

As for the store, I just think that Barney's needs to readjust the attitude of its employees. I won't call a franchise "racist" for the actions of a couple of idiots.  I seriously doubt that they tell their employees to "follow all black customers."

Famous people, regardless of color, would do whatever it took to right a wrong.  That trend died a decade or two ago and got replaced with, "I gotta get mine, you gotta get yours."  Just like we do with politicians, we blindly support our favorite celebrities despite the fact that they don't always care about our well-being.

Do celebs/athletes have any kind of responsibility to speak up for the "right thing?"

Thursday, October 24, 2013

You Can't Drive A Person to Cheat

(types) "Oh, I just got finished 'working out.'"
There are a lot of things that will cause some ups and downs in a relationship, but that's par for the course.  It's how it's managed that determines if that relationship is successful or not.  So many people in relationships think that if their significant other cheats that it's somehow their fault.  I disagree.

There is never a good reason for someone to cheat on you.  Never.

Men are generally labeled as cheaters more than women, so I'll focus there.  A lot of times, especially these days, a man will use deflection to get himself out of trouble or to win a debate.  Despite the fact that he's the one being accused of some wrong-doing, he'll flip the script to put the accusations back on the woman.  Now, women do this, too, but I'm just talking about the fellas right now.

A man will cheat on a woman (or attempt to cheat) and will somehow turn things around to make it seem as if it's his woman's fault that he did it.  Surprisingly, this method is very effective in getting guys out of hot water.  You wouldn't think that it would work, but it's actually a lot more successful than you would think.

Ladies, don't fall for this.  It's a trap.  A man will tell you that he cheated because you did the following:

"You're always too busy for me."
"You won't have sex with me any more."
"You don't dress sexy like you once did."
"You're always mad at me over something."
"You drove me to cheat."

All of the above is garbage.  The proper response when a man feels any of the aforementioned junk is to sit his woman down and have a conversation.  He should then explain how he feels and why he's not happy in the relationship.  If things don't change for the better in his eyes then he needs to return to single status and move on with his life.

Boom.  It's that simple.  No one gets cheated on in that scenario.  Instead of trying to have your cake and eat it, too, just simply move on to the next one and allow the last one to find someone who is more compatible with her.
"You MADE me do this! I didn't want to, but you forced me!"

We guys want to find another girlfriend before we decide to get rid of the one we have.  That's not how it goes.  Leave her because you're not happy and not because you've found someone you think is better.

Do you think that a person can be driven to cheat?

Monday, October 21, 2013

#Relationships Can't Exist Without Trust

Relationships shouldn't be difficult, but we make them that way.  We self-sabotage a good thing more than we realize because of our own insecurities.  It makes me wonder how any of us are in a good relationship given all of the poor examples out there in the world.

How frustrating is it to try and do everything right in your relationship only to have the other person continually side-eye you with a look of suspicion?  No relationship can exist long-term without trust.  But, so many people carry baggage from previous relationships that make them doubt a new love.

For those of you who don't seem to know how to trust, allow me to offer some assistance:

Let it go

Whatever happened in your last relationship, or the one before that, or the one before that, let it go.  You can't expect to be successful in a new relationship if you're treating that person like the old boy/girlfriend.  It doesn't mean that you can't learn from a past heartache and grow from it.  I'm not saying that at all.  I'm saying that the new person isn't the old person.  So, to treat them as if they are is going to automatically result in relationship failure.

Don't play Sherlock without a reason

I'm suggesting that you allow the new person to display signs reminiscent of the previous person before you refer back to that previous experience.  Don't go looking through texts, drawers, etc. for someone who has done nothing to warrant the investigation.  Going "Law & Order" on someone who isn't guilty could result in you infuriating your significant other.  A person who is displaying signs of trust to you will not be that forgiving when you lose their trust.  You can't put toothpaste back into the tube, so once you investigate, then you had better be right in your suspicions.

Ignore the whispers

There will be friends associates who will "put a bug" in your ear that your significant other isn't any good.  For guys, it could be an associate who wants a shot at your woman for himself.  Maybe he's attracted to her and wants to get you out of the way by filling your head with nonsense.  For women, it could be the same as the men or maybe she just doesn't want to share her time with your boyfriend.  There have been incidents of women breaking up a friend's relationship because they miss spending time with their friend.  Don't pay these people any mind.  An outside force should rarely come between you and a relationship.  It's all about you and the other person's actions.

That Mr. Furley side-eye!

In conclusion, good relationships can't exist without trust.  If you're not willing to trust the person you're dating then why are you wasting their time?  (Yes, I said "their time.")  Good people get into relationships with the expectations of their good deeds being reciprocated.  If you're not willing to at least allow them the chance to mess up on their own, then you're never going to be happy in any relationship.

Can a relationship exist if one or both people are suspicious of each other's actions?

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Power of the Internet #Privacy #Regret

Being someone who is constantly watching educational shows and listening to technology podcasts, I understand the Internet extremely well.  I can find almost anything on anyone on the web by simply understanding how to search for it.

What is so concerning is that young people don't understand that what they put on the Web stays on the Web.  Whether it's on the Internet or the Deep Web, it's out there never to truly vanish.  A photo or a comment that someone only wants to direct to a small group could be accessed by the public at any given moment and we forget that.

I remember when I was extremely active on Facebook.  I would argue politics, relationships, and other topics ad nauseam with my Friends not knowing it could come back to bite me some day.  I didn't want to lose out on a job because of something that I said on a social network.  People don't believe that companies search social media accounts of candidates, but I have a relative who did that on her job before she recently retired.  So, it's very real and she's told me some horror stories about it.

Although I knew better, like most people, I said that "it would never happen to me."  I had to ditch that attitude and I did.  I realized that I was getting caught up in the moment so I stopped.  I completely changed my ways.  I'm very selective with my online comments now because I'm refocused on the fact that people are watching.  It doesn't mean that I don't speak my mind because some things need to be said.  But, it does mean that I'm not "out there with it."

You'll never see me post provocative photos of myself, use curse words, or publicly humiliate someone on social media.  But, a lot of people under 30 years old don't seem to understand that and it's up to people who know better to teach them.

The YOLO generation views the internet as a place of conversation and not a place of "evidence."  That's why so many idiots have been convicted of crimes based on things they posted online.  That's why so many relationships have ended because someone was stupid enough to put something incriminating in print.  That's why so many lives are ruined because someone thought that a sex pic sent to a crush wouldn't wind up in a Google search.

So, my message to everyone out there who reads my blog: talk to the young loved ones in your life.  I don't mean in a passing conversation.  I mean to sit down and have a serious discussion about how anything they put online or even in a text message is subjected to public scrutiny.  It may actually save someone from future heartache.  Times are hard enough for the younger generation to find their way through life.  The last thing they need is something they did/said hanging over their heads.

Don't get it twisted, young people... The Internet can break you.

How do you prevent people from using social media as self-esteem booster or electronic therapist?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

More #Miley!

Miley is making the most of her renewed fame.  The former child star has moved into adulthood with a bang all starting with her performance at the MTV Video Music Awards.  She is now one of the most talked about people in social media and her recent appearance on Saturday Night Live has thrusted her even more into the spotlight.

We see this pretty much every few years.  A young star who comes off as inappropriate in his/her quest to be an adult.  Brittany Spears went through a phase where she was on top of the world after performing at the Super Bowl.  From there her image changed and the next thing that you know, people were calling her "trailer trash."  Justin Beiber went from an adorable child prodigy from YouTube to a bad boy speeding up and down his community streets despite complaints from neighbors.

It wasn't always like this, but times have changed.  Remember back in the day when the cast of "Diff'rent Strokes" were having their issues?  Child stars from 30 years ago simply used drugs or did porn.  There was no social media to really put themselves out there, so a lot of the abuse they endured were self-inflicted and somewhat private.  Dana Plato (Kimberly Drummond) did porn and drugs and it ultimately killed her.  Todd Bridges (Willis Jackson) and Gary Coleman (Arnold Jackson) had brushes with the law as well.  Ironically, Conrad Baines (Phillip Drummond), the man who played their father on the show, almost out-lived all of them (only Todd is still alive).

Child stars transition to the adult world isn't so private any more.  In fact, it's more in your face than ever.  The media force-feeds us photos and stories about these kids each and every day.  With that kind of pressure to stay in the headlines, it's no wonder that these kids go to the extremes that they do to stay relevant.  We can't help but see them all over the place and for those who aren't fans, it drives us nuts!

I personally have nothing against Miley Cyrus.  I never watched Hannah Montana and I never listened to her music.  I don't care that she attempted (poorly, I might add) to twerk on stage or the fact that she sticks her tongue out more than a dehydrated anteater.  But, I really need her to go away and I'll tell you why I feel this way.  In fact, I'll tell you why a lot of people feel this way:

Her act is forced.

It's one thing to transition from one personality into another naturally (a la Justin Timberlake), but it's clear that Miley is forcing her way into her new persona.  The tattoos, the new affinity to rapping, the provocative dancing, and even the hairstyle appear to be part of a "PR package."  Miley's new image is about as natural as Pamela Anderson's breasts.

But, you do you "Boo-Boo."  Whatever works and pays the power bill is all anyone cares about these days anyway.  However, just as you have the right to do whatever you want on television (within the law), I have the right to pray that the TV station broadcasting you suffers a power failure.

If there is someone in Hollywood you could ban from TV, then who would it be?

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Sometimes the Death Penalty Isn't Enough

I'm normally up on my news, especially sports, but the last couple of weeks have been extremely busy for me.  However, I received a call from The Lady on yesterday afternoon and the news blew my mind.  She told me that running back and future Minnesota Vikings Hall of Famer, Adrian Peterson's son was beaten to death.

I don't know AP or his family, but for about five seconds, I felt a knot in my stomach after hearing the news.  From what I've read online, the mother of AP's son had a boyfriend with prior domestic charges to took his frustrations out on the two year old boy.

I'm not going to get into the decision-making process of the mother.  She has to unfortunately suffer for the rest of her life for dating a known abuser.  I want to talk about the abuser, 27 year old Joseph Patterson.  I realize that he's supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, but I'm jumping the gun on this one.  I think he's guilty.

I don't know if the state where the heinous crime was committed uses the death penalty or not, but sometimes the death penalty isn't enough.  Sure, if you could sentence this guy to die, fry him, bring him back, and fry him again, then I think I'd be for it.  But, since that's impossible, then your only choice is to lock him up for the rest of his life.

That's not good enough either.

I'm sick and tired of it being Open Season on people, especially women and children.  Men were once protectors of their families and now they're exterminating them like common roaches.  It's sickening!  I wanted to throw up when I heard the news today because I can't stand to see a child mistreated, yet along hear of one beaten to death.

If I had things my way, I'd put Joseph Patterson in a jail cell with no A/C or heat and give him just enough food to survive.  From there, I'd allow the child's father, Adrian Peterson, to come in once a year to beat a handcuffed Patterson within an inch of his life.  I would allow AP an opportunity to do that on the anniversary death of his son every year until either he or the Patterson died.

I know it sounds cruel, but it's nothing compared to pulverising a child's body with your fists.  Imagine the pain the child went through.  Babies have no resistance to beatings.  They aren't capable of running away or curling up in the fetal position and surviving the onslaught.  All they can do is cry and suffer.

Why not repay the favor?

Are there upsides to simply beating felony assault prisoners as opposed to giving them the death penalty?

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Support @CieraPayton's IndieGogo Campaign!
"Graceland" and "Days of Our Lives" star, Ciera Payton, needs your help funding the United Solo Theater Festival in New York City!  With only 60 days to raise $7,500, she only has 24 days left as of October 5th to raise approximately $5,000 more.

Click here to contribute anything from $1 to $1000!  

Every little bit counts and not only does it fund her performance, but donations also benefit the Step Up Women's Network and  Girls for a Change organization for kids!

She will also be my guest on the Talk 2 Q Radio Show on Wednesday, October 9th @ 10 PM EDT / 7 PM PDT.  Click here and then click Follow under the T2Q logo to get an e-mail or text reminder the day of the show.  Take advantage of the opportunity to call and ask her a question on the air or use ask questions from the interactive chat room!

Ciera will be performing "Michael's Daughter" on November 23rd.  Learn more about the event below:

Michael’s Daughter is a one-woman show created and performed by Actress Ciera Payton. As an aspiring young actress dealing with the ups and downs of the Hollywood shuffle, Ciera is suddenly confronted by the constant letters from her incarcerated father. These letters provide the backdrop for her soul searching and a beginning to address her unconventional upbringing and troubled past. 

Her New Orleans roots are tested constantly through a series of failed relationships, struggles to make ends meet, and the ongoing loneliness that comes with Hollywood dream chasing. Ciera guides the audience on a journey from a little girl in New Orleans' 3rd Ward to a woman in Los Angeles fighting to forgive her family. 

Throughout the play, Ciera artfully portrays her stuttering, city-slick Father, southern belle Mother, and her endearingly crass Aunt Patty. She does so in a manner, completely filled with humor, compassion, and understanding. Michael’s Daughter's universal appeal and impact transcends race, gender, and economic class. 

People of all backgrounds will be touched by this story and moved to DO SOMETHING and MAKE A CHANGE after watching it. 

Remaining true to her goal to give back and help in providing creative outlets for inner city children, Payton is pledging a portion of the donations received through the IndieGoGo campaign to Step Up Women's Network AND Girls for a Change.

Twitter: @CieraPayton

Thursday, October 3, 2013

I Chose #Scandal Over #BUFvsCLE

I'm embarrassed to say what I did, Olivia. SMH.

Those who have followed me for a minute know that I'm a huge football fan.  Especially the NFL.  (Sigh)  I almost feel dirty typing this, but tonight, I did the unthinkable.  Tonight, I did something that could possibly get my Man Card revoked.  Tonight, I chose to watch the hit show "Scandal" over Thursday night football.

What intrigues me so much about "Scandal" is the writing.  The show writers do an excellent job of taking you down a path, getting you comfortable, and then blindsiding you with something completely out of left field.  Top that off with a cast of amazing actors who surprisingly left the Emmy's trophy-less and you have something rare for prime time TV these days... an amazing show.

But, the NFL on Thursday night is a no-brainer for a sports nut, right?  Despite the fact that the game involved two un-sexy teams in Buffalo and Cleveland, it's still the NFL.  (BTW, the game was pretty entertaining).  I started watching the game at 7:25 PM Central Time and once 8:59 PM CT rolled around, I found myself changing the channel to ABC.

I still love the NFL, but with the magic of DVR's, I can pause the game, flip over to "Scandal", and watch the game during commercials.  Although it makes sense to most men to record "Scandal" and watch it after the game, it's virtually impossible to do due to social media.

If I don't watch "Scandal" live, then one of my Twitter or Facebook followers will be sure to tweet something that spoils the show.  That's not what you want in a show like this where the writing is so superior to 95% of the things airing on TV these days.  Shows like "Scandal" spawn copycats like "Deception" or "Betrayal" and all of those other shows with edgy names, but empty stories.  It's one of those trendsetters that every other station wishes they could duplicate.

I got on the Scandal bandwagon on Day One.  It's very rare to see an African-American as a lead character on network TV and for it to be a woman made the show more interesting to me.  I wasn't familiar with show creator, Shonda Rimes, also African-American, and my knowledge of actress, Kerry Washington, was very limited, too.

Despite all of that, I knew after only watching the first few episodes that this show would go down in history as one of the classics.  The ever-changing plot is great and the cast of characters is even greater.  It's the best cast of actors that I've seen on a show since ABC aired "Ugly Betty."

Dag, I may lose my man card for admitting that I watched that show in its entirety, too.


Don't feel so bad, guys.  I'll be back!

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