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Archive for the ‘President Barack Obama’ Category

What’s in a name? A whole effing lot.

In African American interest, Bahamas, Barbados, Caribbean American interest, Caribbean interest, Caribbean news, Dominican Republic, Entertainment, Family, Grenada, Haiti, Humor, Jamaica, Michelle Obama, President Barack Obama, Relationships, Trinidad on March 11, 2009 at 4:16 pm

I’m not a mother. I’m fickle about motherhood. I don’t go all goo-goo, ga-ga about the prospect of motherhood. Actually it scares the shit out me. Motherhood is a big f%#king deal, and people who are nonchalant about this privilege simply don’t get the task at hand. 

With that said, (channeling one of my fave cousins who loves that term: with that said) I feel it’s importance to give a baby a proper name. Mama MJ taught me well. A child’s name is important as it’s the doorway to their identity, their personality. It’s called nomenclature. There should be a story or meaning behind a name. Not: I’m not sure what it means but… 

Or I just named him or her Baby X cuz…

Ask Mama and Papa MJ why they named their five children their specific names and prepare to hear stories – several of which are quite riveting.

A baby’s name should be fluid. It should fit with the middle name if there is a middle name and last name. I once dated a guy who’s first name was Mshindaji; middle name Mustafa; last name Grant. 

My reaction: WTF were your parents thinking? Where’s the melody in that nomenclature combo? 

And I get it. MMG’s Black Panther parents were caught up in the black power movement. They wanted to reaffirm their blackness through their child’s name. But Mshindaji + Mustafa + Grant = yuck. Nasty. Barf!

Names are like fashion. When you mix and match, you’ve got to be careful that it doesn’t come off sounding kooky. Plaid and polka-dots don’t work no matter the color scheme. 

Idiosyncractic as it is, the name combo Barack Obama works simply because it sings. Barack + Obama. Barack + Obama. Barack + Obama. First and last name fit perfectly. It helps that his first and surname are from a distinct religion/region. Michelle Obama also works but imagine if our First Lady was Condoleeza. Let’s say it slowly. Condoleeezzzaa Obaaaama

Gross, right?

And with that said, let’s segue to a story that underscores why I feel it’s important to give a child a sound name or one that has meaning or a damn good story. After all, they’ll have to carry that name for the rest of their lives unless they’re willing to spend ducats to legally undo the damage you’ve selfishly imposed on them. Might as well give them a a name they can feel proud of versus one where they’ll spend most of kindergarten and beyond cringing during attendance roll call. 

With that said, I present to you Marijuana Pepsi Jackson

Police years ago pulled over a young woman who rushed through an amber traffic light. “I’m about to arrest this person right now,” the irritated officer radioed to a dispatcher. “She’s telling me her name is Marijuana Pepsi Jackson.”

It’s the truth. Marijuana and Pepsi are her legal first and middle names, and the Beloit woman embraces them as a symbol of her struggle to succeed and to help other children overcome obstacles.

No Mary or Mary Jane or Mary Wanda for her. It’s Marijuana, thank you, she’s told bosses, co-workers and friends over the years, and even wore it on nametags at work.

See what I’m saying? – MJ

 

 


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The chimp and the news cycle.

In African American interest, Caribbean American interest, Caribbean interest, Caribbean news, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Politics, President Barack Obama, Trinidad on February 19, 2009 at 6:12 pm

A couple of thoughts bout the dead ape: 

The New York Post cartoon by Sean Delonas was very racist! EXTREMELY. Why? Cuz historically black people have been called monkeys, apes, coons, spades, etcetera. Therefore drawing a cartoon based on Monday’s Connecticut chimp shooting that shows slain chimp and two hovering white police officers saying, “They’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill,” brings to mind President Barack Obama who is black and author of said stimulus bill and that makes it racial.

The chimp, in case you haven’t heard, once starred in an Old Navy commercial with actress Morgan Fairchild. Known as Travis, the chimp mauled a woman on Monday, ripped her face off before police shot it to death.

The cartoon sadly gives this story, though riveting in a wholly craps, a-chimp-mauls suburbanite-woman-kind-of-way, more traction. 

I wonder what’s up with New York Post editors? Freedom of speech aside, it’s their job to control (and yes, they typically do control) news stories and editorial cartoons presented in the paper before it goes to print. The cartoon was racist, insensitive, sad, unfunny, and a complete disregard for Post readership, many of whom are minorities (and in NYC the term minority is an oxymoron). 

So what happens when a racist cartoon hits newsstands? There’s an uproar and protest ensues. Then the paper rebuts with a flimsy excuse: 

Col Allan, editor-in-chief of the Post, defended the work. “The cartoon is a clear parody of a current news event, to wit the shooting of a violent chimpanzee in Connecticut,” Allan said in a statement. “It broadly mocks Washington’s efforts to revive the economy…”

Then Washington, DC, reporters are told  to get a quote from the White House.

They do:

Robert Gibbs, White House press secretary, declined comment. “I have not seen the cartoon,” he told reporters aboard Air Force One as Mr Obama returned to Washington. “But I don’t think it’s altogether newsworthy reading the New York Post.”

Then Eric Holder, the country’s first black general attorney, says we remain “essentially a nation of cowards.” 

Then New York Daily News columnist Michael Daly sides with the Rev. Al Sharpton because he can’t find the humor in the cartoon either and surmises it’s racist. 

Then things really get weird when the turn of events are discussed on ABC’s “The View”.  Jezebel reports that Sherri Shepherd twice had to correct the award-winning veteran reporter Barbara Walters who was confused about the monkey’s color in the cartoon. 

Then I say let’s put this thing to rest: Stop reading that rag. – MJ