Thursday, May 29, 2008


Years ago, when my daughter was around 11, we were walking down North Avenue when a young man in his late teens to early 20s made a flirting remark towards her. I can still recall giving him a piece of my mind and telling him that she was just a child and he ought to be ashamed of himself and to find someone his own age.

I was always a protective mother. My children's well-being was my first priority. I never brought strange men around them or exposed them to any boyfriends unless the relationship was serious and even then it took months for the guy to be around my kids and then only in my presence.

I thought of that as I was reading the news accounts regarding the current
R. Kelly trial. I have never seen the infamous sex tape, but the details that have been reported are sickening to say the least. As I read the newspaper accounts of what was on that tape, the mother in me got very angry. What mother wouldn't? Yet I cannot find any evidence that the mother of the girl (then 13-14 years old) who is allegedly on the video has spoken out in her daughter's defense.

Now, the mother didn't have to go on camera and show her face. She could have had her face hidden. But how come there hasn't been any action taken by her to stand up and defend her daughter's name and reputation from being stigmatized? What I was looking for, and hoping to find, was one of those scenes we see far too often when a crime has been committed by a young person and their mother defends her child who has done wrong and claims that the child is a "good child." Yet I can't find anything where the mother of the alleged victim has even come forward to state emphatically that her child is not the one in the video. All I've heard so far is absolute silence. How and why is that?

In reading several news reports, the sex tape for which R. Kelly is currently on trial has been around and available to people for at least the past eight years. One mother testified she found the tape in her daughter's room in 2000, and after watching a few minutes of it, threw the copy away. No call to the police or to the child's mother. No public outrage or rage against a man who would sleep with a child. Just silence, silence, silence.

For years the emphasis in the black community has been on castigating men while giving black women a pass for being the "strong black woman" and being a "single mother." But when black women are willing to look the other way when a young child is being sexually molested by an older predator, even if he has money and fame, then we as a race have truly lost our minds.

To read on the Internet the number of people who posted their e-mail addresses and asked to be sent a copy of the current R. Kelly sex tape-which is child pornography-is sick, sick, sick! Those who "had to see" and ran out and bought the video to see if it is R. Kelly on the tape-that's also sick, sick, sick.

Where is the black moral compass? Someone somewhere definitely has one because that person didn't throw the tape away. They sent it to the Sun-Times and that reporter turned it in. Someone out there cared enough about the abuse of a young black girl to do what they could to get the tape in the hands of law enforcement before another young girl ends up on another homemade sex tape. So while some folks are cheering for the predator, there are still many like myself who are in total support of the victim.

The African proverb says, "It takes a village to raise a child." I want to amend it by adding, "It also takes one adult to rape a child!"

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Confession - I showed skin at the Prom!

I was discussing prom dress with a friend and admitted I showed skin at the prom. Here's my dress. And a few more. Be kind, folks. It was the 1970s. Red dress from Store. White dress my mom made. Two piece print, I made.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

How you can really stimulate the local economy

Have you gotten your economic stimulus check yet? I got mine a few weeks ago, the money being directly deposited into my checking account. Now the question is, where and on what do I spend the money?
I've started noticing a lot of ads from businesses offering to give you an additional percentage of the check if you spend it with them. One major retailer is offering to cash the check for free, hoping you'll spend it in their store.
I was in Phoenix when the money was placed in my bank account. I was able to check on my bank account daily by logging on via the Internet using my friend's laptop computer. So if you don't own a pc yet, perhaps that is one of the first things you may want to buy.
Why is a computer so important? You need a computer (and access to the Internet) to obtain the information you need to function in today's world. Looking for a job? No longer do you necessarily need to go from place to place to fill out a job application. Many of the companies allow you to fill out an application using their websites. And with many of the companies now wanting you to send in a resume, the word processing capability of a computer is a plus.
I have decided to see how much I can do with my stimulus money to stretch it as far as it can go while at the same time being conscientious about trying to support American businesses and products "made in America." Now I know that most computers aren't made in America. And much of America's manufacturing jobs have long ago been sent overseas. But with gasoline over four bucks a gallon, the price of imported goods will soon be as much as when they were made here. So in the meantime, whenever I purchase something, I do check the label to see where it was made. I also use my computer to shop online.
As I wrote in my last column, I was helping a friend get her new baby's room ready. We had picked out the baby's room color (orange) and theme (outer space). My friend wanted the baby's name on the wall so we found wood letters at a local craft store, and when I bought the small bottles of paint to do the letters, the paint was "made in America." We also got fabric decorated with planets to use to make the curtain for the room and the fabric was printed in America.
Anyone who has ever had a baby knows that all the things for a new baby can cost a fortune. My friend and I used the Internet to find all the local garage sales and only went to those that had children's items for sale. My friend bought a huge bag of boy's clothes for $20. Some of the clothes looked like they had never been worn or barely worn once.
One of the things I introduced my friend to was the use of Craig's List, an online free service that people use to post messages. My motto is if I can't find it made in America, then the least I can do is find another American who is selling something, and I can help the economy by putting the money in their pockets. My favorite part of Craig's List is the "For Sale" section. I recently saw the exact dining room set I purchased years ago for $2,000 being offered for $600. So why buy new when there are people selling things in excellent condition for pennies on the dollar? Plus, by buying directly from another person, you can avoid that new Cook County sales tax increase. Yeah!
Many of the people selling on Craig's List are moving and need to sell off some of their stuff. So if you enjoy garage sales, estate sales or just plain saving money when shopping, this is the modern way to do it.
Lastly, I know if America's economy is suffering, Black America's economy is almost dead. I will make an effort to spend that money with a black business or a black person, like those who will be at the Juneteenth celebration on Chicago Avenue next month. I got an offer to renew my Jet Magazine, so I'll renew it for four years rather than two. I'm sending some money for the King Memorial in Washington so I can say when I see it that I helped to build it. Lastly, my handyman is going to make money doing some of the home repairs that I need done that I cannot do.
P.S.: Matthew, my friend's new baby was born last Wednesday, May 14, hours before I was scheduled to leave. Here's a picture of his room that, so far, cost less than $100 to decorate. Plus a picture of the custom build shelves next to closet organizer from IKEA. As well as the other side of the closet where I installed the organizer sideway to take advantage of the space that is normally hard to get to because it is behind where the door opening ends.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Who will replace our AGING ELECTED OFFICIALS?????

I just finished reading Bobby Rush's PRESS RELEASE wherein he states that he has no intentions of giving up his seat. But in a 'shades of HAROLD WASHINGTON' moment, my mind immediately went to who will replace our aging elected officials?

Does Bobby have a 'RIGHT-HAND man or woman' who could step in and fill his seat? What about Danny Davis?

What other aging politician needs to be letting their constituents know who should take over for a "just in case" moment?


I have been in Phoenix for the past few weeks. No, it wasn't a well-deserved vacation, sitting under the hot sun and enjoying the weather of the desert. Instead I went to help a friend get her house ready during her last few weeks of pregnancy.
My friend is going to be a single mother. Like many single mothers who get pregnant later in life, this isn't how she thought she would end up. But for reasons that I cannot answer, her baby's daddy has decided that a child isn't on his agenda and has stepped out of the picture. My friend spent six weeks in the hospital on complete bed rest prior to my arrival. Now with just a few weeks to go, she needed to get her house in order (literally) before the baby comes.
She had just moved into her condominium and was still in the process of unpacking when she had to be hospitalized. So I went to Phoenix and became the handywoman. I did housework, unpacked books, DVDs and even went so far as to not only install closet organizers, but also to build custom shelves to go in a closet whose angled interior corner wasn't conducive to anything pre-made at the home improvement stores. I also painted and did the wallpaper borders.
I got to meet the baby's father just once when he brought over some cabinets that my friend had been storing in his garage. For the short period of time that I spent with him, he seemed like a nice guy, full of conversation, intelligent.
Yet other than to bring over those cabinets, he hasn't once called or come by to check on my friend as she gets ready to deliver their son.
With Father's Day (June 15) just a few weeks away, I challenge any of the males who read this column who have abandoned their children to write in and tell me and all my readers why they did so.
What is it in the male psyche that allows you to walk away from your children and never look back? You don't have to give your real name, but help me and others understand what goes on in the mind of men who create a life and then bounce.
Is not being married to the woman a major reason that men leave? Is it the threat of child support? How can a man who was abandoned by his own father turn around and do the same thing to his child?
Or what about the men who were raised by their fathers and then don't have a problem abandoning their offspring? What about the women who deal with the man who doesn't take care of their kids? What does it say about her and him? Or, do men really believe that they can create a child with a "good woman" and then leave, saying that the "kids will be OK."
Now I know that there are many men who could have left but didn't. So tell us your story as well. Tell us the sacrifices you were willing to make to make sure that you were involved in your child's life, how much "baby mama drama" you had to endure just to be able to know your child.
And to be fair, I know there are some females that have some stories to tell as well. So if the men don't respond, well, let us know the story about how you did all you could to make the child available to its father and the man still stayed away.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


While browsing the WEB tonite, I came across this tape of a function helded at a local high school. Sadly the dancing action of our children can be seen in the fact that adults were there but didn't stop the "talent show'.

What "talent" does it take for a boy to lift a girl's legs up in the air and pretend to screw her?? What "TALENT" does it take for a girl to bend over, stick her butt into a boy's crotch and have him simulate a sexual act?


Monday, May 12, 2008

How Come???????

If black girls like Marche Taylor in the post below are going to the prom wearing what amounts to little more than a 'SPRAY ON DRESS', how come black men haven't resurrected the Eldridge Cleaver Pants look?????

Marche Taylor - Here's video Proof why our girls need a role model

I am sadden as I watched this video and see how this child, let me reiterate it.... she's a CHILD and wants to go to her prom dressed like this!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Obama Girls - Can they become the role model for young black American Girls?

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright said an attack on him was an attack on the black church. On a very basic level of that premise, I agree with him. The black church-just like black people-does not represent a monolithic experience. On Sunday, black folks hear a variety of sermons in a variety of ministry styles. We have prosperity ministries, Baptist ministries, sanctified ministries and just like the style of Rev. Wright, we have activist ministries. We have a variety of ministries to choose from to meet our spiritual needs.
In addition to spiritual needs, our community is also in dire need of role models. So when Sen. Barack Obama becomes president (I'm claiming it already), I hope his two young daughters Malia (9) and Sasha (6) will become role models for all young girls all over the country-and especially for young black girls.
I had been watching the news reports of Sen. Obama campaigning in Indiana with his family this past weekend. What I noted most is the manner in which his daughters acted and dressed. They aren't the sassy, smart-mouthed image of black girls, portrayed far too often on TV sit-com shows featuring black families. Instead, in both stature and behavior, they are two little black girls who have been permitted to be young children by parents who are not putting them in outfits with "JUICY" written across their butts.
What caused me to see the need for the Obama girls to be the future role models for our young black girls in particular? Well, it was a news report over the same weekend that told of five young women from the West Side who, even though gas is almost $4 a gallon, drove through Austin, then Oak Park, then River Forest and finally into Maywood to rob a store. The owner of the store was suspicious when two of the girls walked in, so she used an electronic lock to lock them in the store.
According to published reports, those two girls then called their friends who used a bat and a golf club to bust out the door, and they all drove off in the getaway car. They then subsequently crashed the car and, true-to-form, abandoned the vehicle and left behind the 7-month-old baby of one of the robbers-to-be (motherhood sure ain't what it used to be!).
Arrested were Lakenyal Lee, 26, of 1101 N. Springfield Ave.; Devonique Thompson, 20, of 4127 W. Jackson Blvd.; Tyshyra Hines, 17, of 1030 N. Avers Ave.; Tamara Carter, 19, of 3829 W. Wilcox St.; and Britney Davis, 21, of 707 S. Campbell. Now those five individuals, who range in age from just-being-allowed-to-ignore-curfew to one-who-surely-by-now-should-know-better, are becoming the joke of the Internet message boards and blogs.
Those websites not only give people who read the news report a chance to comment on the content of the story, people can also comment on anything they want. The most fun has been about the first names of those girls. Now I don't have a problem with the names. My problem is that if you give your child a unique name, then make sure if that name hits the newspaper, it's for something positive and not negative.
We do a lot of talking in the black community about the power of the black church. I don't know those girls, but I would bet my last dime that each and every one of them has family members-or they themselves-attend or have attended a black church, probably right here on the West Side.
Now if those five females had just done something to contribute to society, graduated with honors from college or done anything positive, I am sure the ministers at their family churches would be singing their praises from the pulpit. Something like: "Sister Lee's granddaughter Lakenyal has just graduated from Spellman. Let the church give her an amen," or an announcement in the church bulletin "that the church congratulates the Hines family on Tyshyra's acceptance into the pre-med training program at Howard University."
But those aren't the reasons these girls got their names in the paper. So if the black church, which is now under intense scrutiny because of Rev. Wright, doesn't begin to speak out in harsh tones when its parishioners' children or grandchildren create havoc in our community, then the black church loses it credibility. Will there be a message from the pulpit that tells the congregation that "Devonique Thompson has brought shame to this church family and the Thompson family in getting arrested for trying to rob a store," for example? How about an announcement in the church bulletin about the arrest of Tamara Carter or Britney Davis?
Rev. Jeremiah Wright represents one aspect of the black church. When you attack him as a reverend, you are attacking the black church experience. The black church is the last of the strong institutions we have in the black community. When it says and does nothing to stem the tide of violence and mayhem that comes from the households of its members, then it is as much to blame as those who wreak the havoc.
As for those Obama girls, I hope they become the model to which all our young girls aspire. Those five would-be robbers have already proven they needed one!


I was checking out the real estate for the westside. For the first time since the early part of 2000, the prices have dropped for quite a few houses below $100,000. Now is the time to buy a house if you have been thinking about it. The amount of housing stock is huge and the prices are where they should be or a complete bargin.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

I'm spending my tax rebate on products made in the USA!

I am spending my tax rebate check on products made in the USA. Since my SSN ends in the 00-20 category, I've been one of the first few millions of people to get mine.

Now I am sure many of you feel that nothing is made in America anymore. The "made in China" label AKA "they are trying to kill us" label is one that I truly think twice about before buying.

When I went on my journey to the stores, it was hard to find products made in America. But since I am a huge advocate of people having a hobby, one of my projects demanded that I buy some craft paint.

Guess what? The paint is made in America! YEAH!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Illegal Immigration - The Real Agenda

I was watching some of the news report from the marches that happened today. One of the things that struck me is when one of the marchers was interviewed and he said that they too want the American Dream.

Perhaps someone needs to tell him a key component in the American Dream is the paying of fair taxes for services that help my fellow American. I am taxed by the US goverment to give foreign aide to almost every country. What America has done can be emulated by other countries if those here illegally are willing to fight in their native countries. But it is not my job to give to them the American Dream simply because they have snuck across a border and want to demand it from me.

What is it with the signs that ask to legalize everyone? No regards to their criminal histories. That says alot about what those marching think about this country.

Margot Veranes, a volunteer organizer in Tucson, Ariz., - where 12,000 took to the streets last year but early estimates Thursday put the crowd at about 500 - blamed the turnout on aggressive enforcement by Border Patrol and police.
"People have been stopped and deported in the last week. This is a community living in fear," said Veranes, a researcher for the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades. "You never know when you're going to be stopped by Border Patrol and now the police."
But she said that's also why people were marching.
"We're marching to end the raids and the deportations, but we're also marching for health care and education and good jobs," she said.

Wait a second! First they claimed they do the jobs Americans won't do and now they want Health Care, Education and GOOD JOBS?????????

Can they please ask their home countries about that before standing on American soil and insulting us ?


May 1 is expected to bring the third annual round of marches by those who want immigration reform. Many of those marching are here illegally and rather than work to bring about economic and social changes in their native countries, they are marching in the USA to demand we change our immigration policies to meet their wants.
I am not an advocate or in favor of illegal immigration. Every country has its borders and has the right to determine who that country wants to admit to it (just ask Snoop Dogg who had to battle to get a visa to tour in Britain). Currently if you are an individual like myself who doesn't go with the flow by supporting illegal immigration, you are called harsh names like "racist" or "xenophobic."
Many of the arguments against illegal immigration have been stated. Our government has gone to the time and trouble to create all sorts of laws regarding immigration and yet we currently have the largest number of foreign nationals in this country without permission in our history. By far the greatest numbers who have crossed illegally into this country have done so via our southern border. But a huge number came into this country legally and when the time came for them to leave, they chose to stay.
It is very easy to make the immigration issue about individuals or certain ethnic groups. The "Push 1 for English" option is a sore point with many people. Yet rather than blame Latinos, I blame our gutless and spineless politicians in Washington. They have had two years since the first march to address the issue-a march, I might add, in response to a bill in Congress that would have made being in this country illegally a felony. Our politicians have had 22 years since the 1986 amnesty to resolve the ongoing immigration crisis and all they have done is pander to themselves, to big businesses and to the perceived fear of a voting backlash by those in favor of illegal immigration without consideration of those who oppose it.
Why is it that individual states (Oklahoma and Arizona) have had to pass tough laws against illegal immigration while our federal government does nothing? And contrary to what many predicted would be a disaster for a state like Oklahoma, which implemented one of the toughest immigration laws in the country (House Bill 1804), a place where an estimated 25,000 illegals left, Oklahoma's unemployment figures dropped a full percentage point over a one-year period. Time will truly tell if Americans will do the jobs illegals used to do, but so far indications are that they will.
One of the least talked about aspects of illegal immigration is the human smuggling involved. Almost akin to the slave trade, human smuggling involved hundreds of thousands of dollars paid to people to smuggle foreign nationals into this country. The more smuggled at one time, the more money made. And all of those being smuggled are not individuals who are trying to "feed their families" or suffering under some sort of persecution. Just last month, an aspiring reggaeton (Spanish hip-hop) artist by the name of Elvis Manuel was lost at sea in a failed attempt to try to get to this country from Cuba. He was lured into making the dangerous trip by promises of million-dollar recording contracts. Had his journey been successful, the smuggling operation could have earned as much as a half-million dollars for the smugglers.
The immigration debate will not be fair to the American public until we are presented with news reports that take an honest and hard look at all sides of the story. How is illegal immigration truly affecting America? When identities are stolen and used by others to work, what is it like for the individual who has had their ID stolen? At what point should immigration status come into play when it involves the police? What about those who are criminals in their home countries? Do we absorb them as well? What is it truly costing taxpayers to educate children who should not be in this country? Is the current interpretation of the 14th Amendment accurate when most people ignore the "and subject to the jurisdiction thereof" clause in claiming American citizenship for children born to parents who are citizens of another country? Can American taxpayers continue to pay the hospital bills for those here illegally who can use the services of a hospital like Stroger while American citizens have been forced to lose their homes due to huge hospital bills? Is it the responsibility of American taxpayers to teach English to children born in this country whose parents choose to only have them speak their native tongue, abdicating their responsibility to the school system?
There will be a loser in the immigration debate. The only question remaining is who wins and who loses what!