June 23, 2008

The childeren and I are growing strawberries in the backyard.  We have six plants, that are producing a fair amount of berries.  But we have only gotten TWO for ourselves.  Why, you may ask?  Well, I discovered a chipmunk in the yard last week near the plants.  It (or they, because there is probably a little crew) come in and eat the strawberries as soon as they are ripe.



I think this is meant for a joke. But there are real issues that cut a little deeper. I have been raised around many people with backgrounds different from my own. I have had things brought up by friends and lovers of different races and religions that would make any openminded person rethink their friendship and defend their background. Last night I was posed with a question by my arab boyfriend who has grown up in many countries and been exposed to many people. He says: ” This is the first time I have been around Black people on a regualr basis for such a long period of time, Is it common among Blacks to support other Blacks regardless of their ability just because they are Black.” This was his response to a family friend supporting a commentator he felt was inadequate and that the family friend on liked because he was Black..This amy sound trivial but in his question I felt a distance and seperation not only between us as races but almost as if he couldn’t see past soemthing as an individual preference and decieded to generalize an entire race. I won’t deny that things that deal with Black people pique my intrests but is that any different than any other group of people? It hurts and I never thought I would have to decode and teach a person that I love.

I actually think that generalizing is somewhat natural.  We all seek to understand the world and the things in it.  We’ve been doing it since we were children:  water is wet, the stoves are hot, glue is sticky.  Most of what we knew about the world was gained from first hand experience.

As we get older, we get more of our knowledge from books, tv, etc., and hopefully our personal experiences grow as well.  If those experiences are limited, and/or those experiences seem to bear out what we’ve heard and read, it can be a problem.  Two examples come to mind for me. 

I knew a Turkish kid in college who had come to the U.S. to learn English.  He was friendly and smart, but a couple of times I heard him say:  “American girls are this.” or “American girls think that.”  I had to tell him that he cannot generalize an entire country of girls based on the behavior of the handful with which he had regular interaction.  He hadn’t even met every girl in the school, never mind the country!

Another is of a girl I used to know, who had moved here from the Arab world.  She was living in lower income housing in a heavily hispanic immigrant neighborhood.  One day I met her at her house and we were walking to a nearby grocery store.  She spotted an empty beer bottle on the sidewalk, rolled her eyes, and said in disgust, “Spanish!” and then went on to complain about rowdy neighbors, loud music, and littering.  I tried to explain to her that what she was witnessing was a class issue and not an ethnic one, giving her my own experiences with middle and upper middle class hispanic classmates. 

Only you can decide how much “educating” you are up to.  You cannot expect someone who is not of your culture to understand it or always know when they may come off wrong.  You should absolutely expect basic respect, a willingness to learn, and the ability to self-check when it is pointed out that he is generalizing.

Discussing Race

June 13, 2008

Some people will have you believe that any white man who marries a black woman is free of racial prejudice.  But let me tell you that is not true.  He may love and accept you, but he may have a different feeling about brown people generally.

Once in awhile, how he really feels will breakthrough.  At that point, you, as a black woman, must defend your people, even though you may love him.

For example:

Recently I made a pasta dish, which Mr. Foreverloyal enjoyed.  After dinner he said, “This would be so much better with white pasta”.

So I said, “No it wouldn’t.”

“Yes it would.”

“No, it wouldn’t.  Brown pasta is better.” At this point this blatant display of white supremacy was really getting to me.

“Oh, it’s better?”

“That’s right it’s better!  In this house we do not subscribe to the mentality that white pasta is better!  We will not be brainwashed! We stand up for the asiatic brown pasta!”

Mr. Foreverloyal: “You sound like Farrakhan.”





Happy Loving Day!

June 12, 2008

thank you!I’m going to take this moment to celebrate the fact that my husband and I are allowed to be married.

I’m going to take this moment to look at my beautiful, intelligent, funny, frustrating, destructive, sweet, affectionate children and be grateful that their dad doesn’t have to hide their existence.

I’m going to take this moment to appreciate the fact that the police aren’t going to burst into my bedroom and take my husband and I to jail for living together.

Thank you Allah, and thank you too, Mildred and Richard.

(for more on the lovings, google or )

It’s Hot

June 11, 2008

It was h-o-t today. H-O-T.

I was trying to think of what I could wear that wouldn’t be too hot.  Moleskin skirts were out, so were jeans.  Didn’t have a long enough top that matched my linen/cotton pants.  Finally I remembered that I made a white cotton skirt last year, which happened to be–if you can believe it–ironed and hanging up in the closet! (FL is not the most organized sister around, unforunately).  So I wore that with a long-sleeved white cotton shirt, white leggings (I have a mild case of paranoia with skirts) and a polyester scarf.

Yep, you read it right. POLYESTER! I made sure to stop by the joann and pick up some white cotton to make a proper summer scarf.  While I was there I also picked up a black/white print.  I need some variety.

Organica had a post up about the comments muslim women get in the summertime.  People sometimes ask, “Aren’t you hot?”  Sometimes I want to say, “Dude it’s 106 flipping degrees. Of course I’m hot!”  But I don’t say that, most people don’t mean any harm.

Truth is, wearing light colored, cotton clothing is alot more comfortable, to me anyway, than having the sun beating directly down on my skin.  Tip for my sisters:  wet your overscarf.  The heat will evaporate the moisture, cooling you off without you having to sweat.  If you’re wearing a gauzy shirt over a t-shirt you can lightly spritz the out layer too for the same effect.

Stay cool!

Ok, so it’s got a 1-inch hem on the bottom instead of the professional 5-inch hem.  So the blackout/insulation liner stops a good 3 inches from the bottom.  Insha’allah when it’s hung at the window all you will see is beautiful gorgeousness!

And it only took me 1.5 weeks!

What? (blink)

Just two more to make and then I can start on the 8 I need to sew for the livingroom and diningroom…

Recently I went to South Carolina with my husband, kids, and in-laws. 

We barely got a second look and NO hostile stares that I noticed.  It was really, really nice. 🙂

A big change from when I went down some years ago with Mr. Foreverloyal.  Maybe it was just because it was a different part of the state, or maybe it’s because people just don’t care as much anymore.   Either way, I’ll take it!