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What About Our Daughters?


Updated: 2014-10-04T16:46:27.221-07:00


Friday Ruminations 12/12/2008


Well of COURSE our hosting service would go down one day after What About Our Daughters was mentioned by ESSENCE magazine editor on

I am wondering if the site didn't go down because the auto bailout "failed" and the universe didn't want me to talk about it.

Today the Down Jones Industrial Average will likely throw a temper tantrum because the bailout failed. I don't care, let it drop. It will come back. To everyone asking "What About Retirees?" My response is that no retired person should have growth stocks as any substantial portion of their portfolio. That's not advice, that's my opinion.

What About Our is DOWN :(


Hey folks, if all the tampering I did early this morning worked, thosw of you who type in should be directed back to our old stomping grounds over here on blogger. Our hosting provider is having "issues" hopefully these issues will be resolved today, otherwise we'll be over here until they resolve. THIS is why you should follow GEM2001 on Twitter. To keep up with what's going on with this blog go to

Michelle Obama at the Democratic National Convention


As you know, I am currently at the Democratic National Convention. Last night I watched Michelle Obama's speech from the floor of the Pepsi Center. You can find all of our comprehensive convention coverage at our new home.
What About Our Daughters has received credentials to cover the 2008 Democratic National Convention. .

We're moving to


Oh my goodness. I am not ready yet, but it has to be done. W're moving to our own domain Y'all!!!! There may be some hiccups and stumbling blocks as we move from blogspot, but our time ha come. We have to do some serious upgrades for the Democratic National Convention later this month and this is the first of what will likely be many. I think I might cry, but I won't

So join us at

What About Our Daughters has received credentials to cover the 2008 Democratic National Convention. We are asking for your support in making sure that the voices, stories, and perspectives of African American women and girls are woven into the fabric of this historic event!Please consider donating by clicking our donate button in the sidebar.

Bernie Mac Dies: MSNBC Reporting


Last week Sandra Rose reported that Bernie Mac was in very critical condition, but Mac's publicist said otherwise. Well, MSNBC just put up a headline that comedian Bernie Mac has died. He was only 50 years old.

Folks stop waiting around to find some peace in your life. Tomorrow or even the next hour isn't promised to us.

My thoughts and prayers are with the family.

Black Love: Tamela and David Mann Edition


We take a temporary pause from all the mayhem and foolishness to put some Black Love on display. I know CNN wants y'all to believe that we have the suckiest lives on planet Earth, but there are some folk sout there who managed to snatch happiness fromthe jaws of despair. Soledad Obrien must have overlooked these two. Another blogger wrote a side-splittingly funny post about one of the actors who frequently appear in Tyler Perry theatrical productions and got me to thinking about one of my favorite singers, Tamela Mann so I YouTubed her and found this clip of Tamela and her husband David talking about the first time they met and what is like to work together. They made me smile. I see couples like this everywhere EXCEPT Television.
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For all you readers who voted repeatedly in that dadgum "Do Right Man- Gurl Get Cho Ring Befo' Spring" Competition, Black love tends not to be baby oiled down,hairless, and airbrushed within an inch of its life. It looks something like this--Two people who enjoy each other's company.
What About Our Daughters has received credentials to cover the 2008 Democratic National Convention. We are asking for your support in making sure that the voices, stories, and perspectives of African American women and girls are woven into the fabric of this historic event!Please consider donating by clicking our donate button in the sidebar.

Kwame Kilpatrick Jail House Vigil Open Thread


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I really don't have anything to say. The man is in jail. I don't believe in kicking folks while they are down and it doesn't get more down than being locked up. So feel free to comment and leave links to interesting posts about Kwame Kilpatrick. This is all very sad. Sad for the city. Sad for the family, and yes, even sad for him. All that talent and all those gifts SQUANDERED!

I have offered some of my pasts comments in chronological order ( that's beginning to end y'all)

Previous Posts:
Wagging Finger of Shame to Kwame and Christine (6 Months Ago)
The Apology/ Non Apology Video
Elliot Spitzer vs. Kwame Kil Patrick- Why Wives Should Get Hazard Pay
Kwame Charged
Detroit: A Love Story- My Interpretation of 18 Pages of TXT MSGs
Kwame K is Career Kryptonite

ESSENCE "Do Right Men" Want to Give us All Diabetes!-Mr. WAOD???


ATTENTION LADIES ( and some gentlemen- we don't discriminate 'round here), today is your VERY LAST DAY to vote in ESSENCE Magazine's "Do Right Man of the YEAR" Competition. Since it is almost over, it is now safe to post about ESSENCE's semi-annual attempt to prey upon the paranoia of single professional Black women. Its the semi annual "Sistahs I don't know Why Y'all All Still Single Because there are Plenty of Good Black Men Out Here, y'all just too picky!" psychological warfare.Y'all know all we unmarried professional Black women are all going to die old and alone and be eaten alive by nine cats! MEOW! I told y'all not to get all high and mighty and go out and get a degree and whatnot--we're all unmarriagable now. Oh and you went out and purchased a home as well? Oh well just pull out the Friskies cat food right now! Tis OVA! All is lost! Sistas run for your LIIIIVES!For about a month, I have been getting email blasts from about this"Do Right Man" competition. My dear friend and I had a hoot when I spotted a few folks she has dated and more than a few of these "Do Right" men are NOTmay not be single( according to her). But anyway, we had a good laugh about it going through the list to see if there was anybody else that we know. Tis a very . small. world.But while perusing this list of "Do Right" men I noticed something VERY WRONG....almost every single DO-Right man's most "romantic" gesture involves food:“I once serenaded a special someone with a song on a yacht dinnercruise.” The LawyerMaree says he once sent an anonymous letter to a woman that he really likedand asked her to meet him at a four-star restaurant on thebeach. Quite a risk but Charles says, “The evening went very well.” TheFiremanNo seriously, they all mention food. Even the "medical professionals" who should know better:After she had a hard day at work, “I cooked my girlfriend’sfavorite meal and drew bathwater for her. With Luther Vandrossplaying in the background, I washed and rubbed her feet.” DoctorHere is another doctor:“A young woman I went to college with was frustrated about not having beenvoted homecoming queen. So I compiled [a collage] with several photos of her onthe homecoming court and bought her a cake that read ‘You AreMy Homecoming Queen.’ ” DoctorI ain't gon' lie, the arts and crafts collage idea was kinda tight.. minus the sugary sweet diabetes inducing cake. No wonder we all got issues with "sugar" and high blood pressure. Oh wait, here is one that didn't talk about food:“When a woman I was seeing was venting to me about something, I justlistened until she was through. I believe that is the most romantic thing aman can do. Sometimes a woman just needs to know you’re there.” DooooctoooorToo bad at 48 he is just over my 15-year cut off. Tis a shame. Gosh darnit' and there I was picking out a china pattern and bridesmaids dresses. Oh well. Here is another one that wants to clog our precious arteries:I once surprised a special lady by preparing a romantic,home-cooked, four-course, candlelit dinner.” RealEstate MOGULDon't you feel your blood sugar spiking right about now. What's with the four and five course meals. Appetizer, entree, dessert. That's it. And it keeps going. R&B "Crooner" Jaheim wants to kill us all too:Jaheim also likes treating you to some home-cooked comfortfood. JaheimEven the athletes want to fatten us up:“He’ll trade his playbook for a cookbook and work hard to captivate with fivecourses. Baby-oiled Down NFL player. Is he counting the salad and rolls as a course???Now you mean to tell me not ONE person has noticed this pattern? Can a sister get a sonnet? A PO-EM? Nope, but we'll give her some scampi with a side of spare ribs.If sipping fine champagne on a secluded beach, enjoying mellow music, and sampling delectable nibbles is your idea of a great date,Ferguson is the guy for you[...]

Y'allz Boy Kwame Kilpatrick Career Kryptonite for Black Women--- ALMOST Brings Down His Mama


"Pull us from the water when it is clear we are drowning and then after you are sure we've recovered taking us back down to the river and tossing us in and saying "Um don't you think its about time you learned how to swim on your own because I'm not always gone be here to rescue you!" *splash*" Gina on a Mother's LoveFirst there was Carlita, then Christine, now add Carolyn to the list of Black women who've been singed by the uncontrollable lustful urges of Detroit Mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, a seven-term incumbent, found herself fighting for her political life. Why? Because of the uncontrollable lustful desires of her fully grown son:Early results Tuesday showed the six-term congresswoman trailing both her opponents, but as the night wore on and more Detroit numbers came in, she pulled even and then slightly ahead of former state Rep. Mary Waters at around midnight.With all precincts reporting, Kilpatrick had 20,888 votes, or 39.1% and Waters had 19,183 votes, or 36%. State Sen. Martha Scott was in third place with 13,280 votes, or 24.9%, according to the Associated Press. FREEPIn a three way race yesterday, she won by 1,700 votes in a race that should not have even been close for a seven term incumbent. Mama K had over a half a million dollars, her closest challenger had $10,000 and if this had not been a three way race, it would have been lights out.I had an occasion to meet Mama Kilpatrick at an event I was asked to speak at. It was an event with a bunch of rich Black women, many of whom were not all that warm and cuddly towards the fire breathing blogtavist, but Mama Kilpatrick was one of the nicest people I met that weekend. No strike that, she was the nicest. And no, it wasn't the politician thing because I sat at a table with another Black Congresswoman and she wasn't warm and fuzzy at all. AT. ALL. If it wasn't for enabling her fully grown son and his massive lapses in ethical behavior and judgement, I really don't have a bad thing to say about the woman. I don't live in her district.So far Kwame has taken out Christine Beatty. Now his Mama barely holds on to her job, and yet he still keeps his job despite new allegations that he shoved sheriff's deputies who were attempting to serve a subpoena on one of his friends.Jim Thomas, the mayor’s lawyer, said Kilpatrick merely told a process server that Ferguson was not there and asked him to leave.“He gently took him by the arm and escorted him off the porch,” Thomas said, adding that Ayanna is married to Ferguson’s cousin, Daniel Ferguson.Thomas said he did not know why Kilpatrick did not ask his police bodyguards, who were with him, to handle the matter. FREEPIn WHAT world do you lay hands on a uniformed peace officer and escort them anywhere? Somebody reminded me that both Kwame Kilpatrick and Barack Obama gave speeches at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. Wow how quickly their paths diverged.Ladies remember this, don't sacrifice your marriage, your life, or your career for an untrustworthy, undisciplined man or you will end up like all of the women in Kwame Kilpatick's life--- Left OUT THERE while he is chillaxin in the Mayor's mansion. I know about a Mother's love and whatnot, the fact that no matter what you do in life, you'll always have your Mama, but part of being a parent is letting your kids go through the fire on their own. At a certain point, its not your job to keep us from getting burned, only to help bandage a few wounds. Or better yet, pull us from the water when it is clear we are drowning and then after you are sure we've recovered taking us back down to the river and tossing us in and saying "Um don't you think its about time you learned how to swim on your own because I'm not always gone be here to rescue you!" *splash*On a side note, I about fell out when I read this:11:15pm, Mary Waters [...]

Ain't She Grand? Michelle Obama Covers Ebony Magazine


Michelle Obama is covering this month's Ebony magazine. She looks FAB! It is so nice to see a Black women on the cover of a magazine without her g-string clad rear in the air. The issue is out August 12th. here are some quotes from the article .

Michelle on campaigning and the American people…

“It has been a blessing for us to have this opportunity to spend this year traveling the country,” she tells Ebony magazine. “We’ve been in almost every state in this nation—in people’s homes, in their kitchens, in their community centers, and just having the opportunity to be reminded of how decent the American people are and how our values are so closely linked, that gives me hope.”

Michelle on her style…

“I do think what you wear is a reflection of who you are. I love to look glamorous when there’s a wonderful, purposeful event that is appropriate. But when I’m in Iowa campaigning with the girls, I am in Gap shorts and a T-shirt.”

Michelle on being a mom…

“My first job in all honesty is going to continue to be mom-in-chief,” she says, “making sure that in this transition, which will be even more of a transition for the girls…that they are settled and that they know they will continue to be the center of our universe.”

Michelle on being married to Barack…

“Barack and I – as partners, as friends and as lovers– we accessorize each other in many ways,” she said. “The best thing I love having on me is Barack on my arm and vice versa, whether it’s having him standing there smiling at me, or watching him mesmerize a crowd or talk to some seniors in a senior center.”

BARACK OBAMA-On Michelle balancing work and family…

“Michelle believes deeply in the American Dream – because she’s lived it. And as a mother of our two young daughters, she understands firsthand the challenge of balancing work and family. That ability to empathize and understand the struggles that so many hardworking families are going through will be valuable to have as a first lady.”

MARIAN JOHNSON(Michelle’s mom)-On Michelle being driven

“She always wanted to do her best, and I don’t think it had anything to do with outdoing someone else. It’s within her.”

Robin Givhan-On Michelle’s style

“People associate her with Jackie Kennedy because that’s the last time there was a first lady with a trademark style.”

Man, BUMP that Jackie Kennedy comparison. Ever hear of Rosa Parks, Coretta Scott King? Lena Horne? Come on! We've always had style.

Looking For Graphic Artist/ Cartoonist


Finalizing site redesign for Democratic convention and need an illustration. Pretty simple, but beyond my limited abilities. Hit up the gmail in the right sidebar if you are interested. Thanks a bunch!

AIDS is NOT a "Black Disease" and Those Promoting That Foolishness (CNN) have a VERY. SHORT. MEMORY!


Just because you are mad at your people doesn't mean you stand by and watch as someone, even one of our own, selfishly attempts to throw them over a cliff. We ALL don't deserve what CNN has been doing to us for two weeks and counting.The fact that Black people are complicit in racism does not make it any less morally repugnant. So I was all fired up and ready to blast an angry letter to CNN when I read another one of their sensational headlines that they have been dropping to promote their propaganda called "Black in America", you know, the show where CNN, with the help of Soledad O'Brien, takes every negative stereotype you can find about Black people and applies it to the entire race and beams it to the world.Last week CNN's headline writer declared that Black women were an endangered species. Then today I read a CNN headline that asked "Is AIDS an 'Black Disease?". Of course not you ninnies! Then I got to the meat of the article and the blame, for once, does not lie with the high schoolers responsible for the content of, but from a Black AIDS activist:"AIDS in America today is a black disease," says Phill Wilson, founder and CEO of the institute and himself HIV-positive for 20 years. "2006 CDC data tell us that about half of the just over 1 million Americans living with HIV or AIDS are black."CNN.comI get his point, but I question his marketing methods and that's what he is doing, marketing his message. We live in a country where "separate is inherently unequal." So have these activists thought of the long term implications of labeling ANY disease as a "Black disease"? You can hear the sound of funding drying up as we speak. Drug research. POOF! Compassion- POOF!. Telethons-POOF! Let's get real.Doesn't anybody remember how much time, energy and money were spent to shatter the myth that AIDs was the exclusive province of White gay men? We had songs, telethons and Oprah shows! Now we are intentionally trying to undo the lesson that no one is immune from this disease. Oh wait, somebody else remembers the 80s and 90s too:This reminds me of the lies that were told about HIV/AIDS and are still being told. Remember the lie that HIV/AIDS is a gay disease, and that only gay people get it? WRONG!! Remember the lie that you could contract HIV/AIDS from kissing someone with the disease? WRONG!! Remember the lie that you could contract HIV/AIDS by shaking hands with someone who has the disease? WRONG!! Remember the lie that you could contract HIV/AIDS by using the same dishes and silverware that someone with the disease used? WRONG!! Ooh, and the biggest lie of all is told by the Catholic Church, particularly in Africa. They tell people that condoms are laced with AIDS. WRONG!! Condoms can help prevent diseases!! Now we're asking if AIDS is a Black disease? Are you kidding me?The bottom line is, ANYONE AND EVERYONE CAN CONTRACT HIV. It doesn't matter if you're black, white, hispanic, asian, native american, or anything else. You can get the disease.I'm really sick and tired of hearing that it's this group or that group's disease. It's a disease that anybody can get, PERIOD!!I Wish I Were in ParisTHANK YOU!! How Quickly people forget!In addition, CNN, as the arbiter of all things Black has followed up with a report that says that Black people are genetically predisposed to developing HIV. They are saying genes increase the likelihood of developing an HIV infection by 40%.Silence Kills. So raising awareness and public education are necessary, but I question the wisdom of labeling any disease in this country as a "Black disease". When was the last time somebody held a telethon for sickle cell anemia? Y'all let me know when the "high blood pressure" ribbon campaign begins.I admire what they are attempting to accomplish, bu[...]

Black Woman, LaKecious Edwards , Wins Lawsuit Against AT&T


Hat tip to MTO

Well what are you supposed to do when your coworkers who have less experience and mared disciplinary records get promoted over you and your Black coworkers repeatedly? Well, you certainly don't wait for the statute of limitations to run out your discrimination lawsuit.

AT&T, named one of the 40 "best diversified" companies by Black Enterprise magazine, has been ordered to pay $411,339 to a Fort Worth woman who was one of three African-American employees to file suit accusing the company of racial discrimination at its Arlington call center.LaKecious Edwards received the award from a Dallas jury this week, her lawyer said Friday. FT Worth Star Telegram

Go Lakecious! The reason given for being denied a promotion:
One manager said in a deposition that Edwards was not promoted because she spoke so fast that men couldn’t understand her and because she was too emotional. SOURCE

AAAh yes, "too emotional."

But this was the kicker for me:

"Six other mi- nority employees with simi- lar complaints could not file lawsuits because the statute of limitations ran out while they waited for responses from AT&T’s legal department to internally lodged grievances." SOURCE

LaKecious, please put that money in the bank and live off of the interest.

Black Women "Emotionally Labor" At Work? - "Keep Your 'N' in Check" Study


We have another "revelatory" study on Black women. At least it isn't declaring how diseased we are like the last few rounds. This one is supposed to have findings that I do believe Dubois pointed out about a kazillion years ago. But anyway, PhDs gotta earn a living. Apparently Black women feel extra special stress at work trying to conform.

Black professionals make extra efforts in the workplace to fulfill what they believe are the expectations of their white colleagues, according to research to be presented today at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA).

Sociologists Marlese Durr of Wright State University and her co-author Adia Harvey Wingfield of Georgia State University argue that black professionals engage in two types of "emotional performance" in the workplace: General etiquette and racialized emotion maintenance.

"Our analysis of these aspects of workplace behavior reveals that women and men co-mingle etiquette and emotion maintenance to be accepted in the workplace and to fit white expectations," said Durr. "This emotional overtime in the workplace strengthens race/ethnic group solidarity."

Whether it's stressful, inauthentic or downright draining, Durr claims that emotional labor is "a crucial part of black women's self-presentation in work and social public spaces." These efforts to fit in can, in effect, make African American women feel isolated, alienated, and frustrated. SOURCE

Oh, and they couldn't have found a more "professional" way to state the following in their press release
Durr and Wingfield illustrate emotional labor as performance with a quote from an African American woman who says of her workplace peers, "They…are careful to remember…'that's not professional. Remember they got the s[hit] that'll get you bit! Keep your Negro in check! Don't let it jump up and show anger, disapproval, or difference of opinion. They have to like you and think that you are as close to them as possible in thought, ideas, dress and behavior.'" SOURCE

Is it lost on anyone that a study about professionalism at work is entitled "Keep Your N in Check"?? Anybody else see an irony or paradox or whatever? This is stereotyping I don't care what y'all say in the comments. We aren't some our of control beasts who don't know how to behave. That isn't where the stress comes from.

This study implies that we inherently don't know how to act in the workplace and it is extra taxing on us. It fails to acknowledge that we often can engage in the same behavior and conduct as their coworkers and have that behavior viewed through a completely different lens.

Next week I am going to do a study to see if Black women spend entirely too much time in the beauty salon or some other revelatory investigation.

Obama Heckled. Acolytes Slipping?? OH MY!


Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat? So I was about to shut down the blogging for the weekend I was watching a feisty Debate between Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick and two other sisters in Detroit. I love the big D they never fail to disappoint.Kilpatrick, a member of the House Appropriations Committee, said she has brought in $500 million for Michigan and asked Waters and Scott what they know about Congress's budget process. "How many appropriations committees are there in Congress? How many departments are there in the federal government? What department has the largest bill before the appropriations committee?" she asked. Waters said, "Anybody who goes to Congress can bring home the dollars." Kilpatrick replied, "You can't even carry my bra." Detroit NewsI Don't care what anybody says, you gotta love "Mama K" because "You can't even carry my bra!!!" has to be the best political sound byte EVER! Only in De-twoi. Somebody get me that t-shirt!But anyway, So while I am being entertained by Carolyn, Martha Scott and Mary Waters, I see that Obama got heckled.Now previous I have written that this election cycle Black folks have been forbidden to do anything other than vote. By whom? Well the Obama Accolytes.There are Obama supporters. There are Obama "stans" ( stalker fans). Then, there are the Obama Acolytes as we fondly refer to them here. The Obama Acolytes are like a paramilitary mercenary force. They work independent of the campaign and take orders from no one in particular. They won't even listen to their candidate. They are friends, relatives, and coworkers. Ordinary, generally well loving people except for one occasional problem, they view anyone and anything that might in anyway get in the way of Barack Obama making it to 1600 Avenue as the ENEMY that must be destroyed at all costs. WAOD July 12, 2008Those over zealous family and friends that won't let you question so much as Obama's tie color.So low and behold these Black hecklers from some group I ain't ever heard of and probably never will again, got up and cut up. The acolytes already have an APB out on those three brothers for violating the 11th Commandment. Um did ole boy said "in the face of nunumus attacks?" Y'all know Bernie Mac sent these guys.Huffington Post provided a transcript of a question to Obama that followed the dust up:QUESTION: "In the face of the numerous attacks that are made against the African community or the black community, by the same U.S. government that you aspire to lead. We are talking about attacks like the sub-prime mortgage... that was a phenomenon that started in the African American and Latino community, attacks like the killing of Sean Bell... and the Jena Six... and on and on... in the face of all these attacks, why is it that you have not had the ability to speak to the interest and the behalf of the oppressed and exploited African-American community in this country?"OBAMA: "I think you are misinformed ... Every issue you talk of I did speak out about. I have been talking about predatory lending for the last two years in the U.S. Senate and worked to pass legislation to prevent it when I was in the state legislature. I have repeatedly said that many of the predatory loans that were made in the mortgage system did target the African American and Latino communities."Jena Six, I was the first candidate to get out there and say this is wrong, that an injustice what had been done... When Sean Bell got shot I put out a statement saying immediately this is a problem..."Don't start shouting back, I'm just answering your question. On each of these issues I have spoken out. I may not have spoken out the way you have wanted me to speak out. Which is fine. I understand. On ea[...]

First Black Disney Princess In Theaters Christmas 2009- Trailer


According to Young, Black and Fabulous, the Princess and the Frog the first Disney film featuring a Black princess will hit theatres in Christmas 2009. The film stars Anika Noni Rose Here is the trailer.

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We are SOOOOO going to have a WAOD watch party!

"Black women are an endangered species"- AIDS and Black Women


By now you should have heard about the report that one out of two people with AIDS in this country are Black. Well that sounds about right because one out of two people murdered in this country are also Black.

AIDS is the leading cause of death among black women between 25 and 34, and the second-leading cause of death in black men from 35 to 44, according to a report released Tuesday.
You can have all of the AIDS prevention awareness programming you want, but what we are fighting here is as much a disease of the mind as one of the body.

"For a lot of young black women, what's putting them at risk is emotion," the 29-year-old iReporter said. "Young women are going to men for security -- you're talking about a fatherless home and a girl looking for approval. That's the kind of thing that puts them at risk."

I was horrified and EMBARRASSED sitting in Atlanta's airport at 5:45 in the morning waiting to catch a flight. I was finally forced to watch Soledad O'Brien's "Black PROBLEMS in America" I saw the vignette of the single Black woman who does not use condoms despite the fact that she thinks her "man" is cheating on here. I think every Black person in the boarding areas had their mouth open. One brother looked downright indignant.

I have no solutions to offer on this one, but I doubt that that single Black mother on Soledad's "Black PROBLEMS in America" is likely to change her mind. For some women being without a man, any man is a fate worse than death and it appears that that mentality is costing Black women their lives.

LaVena Johnsons Update:Oversight Hearing on Sexual Assault in the Military This Morning at 10:00 EST


Watch hearing on webcast
In 30 minutes a hearing Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs will conduct an oversight hearing into the current status of sexual response and prevention within the U.S. military. This hearing seeks to ensure that the Department of Defense has adequate policies and oversight mechanisms in place to prevent, treat, and punish sexual assaults.

LaVena Johnson's case is not on the agenda, but members of Congress will be asking Army Officer's questions so it was a good opportunity to possibly get a few answers on the LaVena Johnson case or highlight it again. I know many of you have written to ask the members of the committee to ask about LaVena's case and some of you are actually gong to the hearing. I would give you advice, but you are probably sitting on the hard floor of the Rayburn Building waiting to get in right now. If you take your laptop, head for the side where the power outlets are and if some high school student intern tries to tel you that the area is just for the media just say "I AM the media!" and sit down. Make sure you stick around for Panel Three were the Department of Defense and U.S. Army, and GAO will provide testimony.

Witness List

Panel One – Members of Congress (Statements Only):

Honorable Louise M. Slaughter, Member of Congress (NY-28)

Honorable Jane S. Harman, Member of Congress (CA-36)

Panel Two – Victims and Family Members:

Ms. Ingrid Torres, MSW, CSW, Washington, DC

Mrs. Mary Lauterbach, Mother of Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach, Vandalia, Ohio

Panel Three – Department of Defense and U.S. Army, and GAO:

Mr. Michael Dominguez, Principal Deputy Undersecretary for Defense
(Personnel and Readiness)

Dr. Kaye Whitley, Director, Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, U.S. Department of Defense

Lieutenant General Michael D. Rochelle, Deputy Chief of Staff G-1,
United States Army

Ms. Brenda S. Farrell, Director, Defense Capabilities and Management, U.S.
Government Accountability Office

The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10:00 am in room 2154 of the Rayburn House Office Building and is open to the public.

What About Our Daughters has received credentials to cover the 2008 Democratic National Convention. We are asking for your support in making sure that the voices, stories, and perspectives of African American women and girls are woven into the fabric of this historic event!Please consider donating by clicking our donate button in the sidebar.

BWB Roundup Podcast- Clarissa Goodlett from Color of Change and Necole from are on 8:00PM CST


Okay. So we are going to give our two lunchtime panelists from Blogging While Brown an opportunity to speak!

We had a panel about new media and online activists and their relationship with old media and old guard civil rights groups and whether there are gulfs between the two groups and whether bloggers and online activists should even bother to try. The panel went off on an unexpected tangent about money so I have invited our two panelists to the roundtable where they will get to talk about what I wanted to talk about at the conference.

Necole will be on at 8:00PM CST and Clarissa will join us at 8:30PM. In addition we will be talking with Clarissa about Color of Change's campaign on behalf of the family of LaVena Johnson.

The call in number is 646-478-4750
8:00PM CST


What About Our Daughters has received credentials to cover the 2008 Democratic National Convention. We are asking for your support in making sure that the voices, stories, and perspectives of African American women and girls are woven into the fabric of this historic event!Please consider donating by clicking our donate button in the sidebar.

Ludacris Accepts Position With McCain Campaign - Obama Denounces


“Hillary hated on you, so that bitch is irrelevant,” declared Luda on the track titled “Politics: Obama is Here” Ludacris ( hat tip Sandra Rose)

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I saw this earlier today at Sandra Rose. It is a new "song" from Ludacris. Oh this is sure to go over well in the flyover states. Ig'nant. These merchants of misogyny don't have the sense God gave a chicken. Anything for a dollar and a bisquit.

For his part, Barack Obama quickly denounced Ludicris.
“As Barack Obama has said many, many times in the past, rap lyrics today
too often perpetuate misogyny, materialism, and degrading images that he
doesn’t want his daughters or any children exposed to. This song is not only
outrageously offensive to Senator Clinton, Reverend Jackson, Senator McCain,
and President Bush, it is offensive to all of us who are trying to raise our
children with the values we hold dear. While Ludacris is a talented
individual he should be ashamed of these lyrics.”

Sandra pretty much sums up this clear cry for attention:

Expect Luda’s publicist to issue a carefully worded prepared statement apologizing for his “unintended” offensive lyrics in 5…4….3…2 Sandra Rose
Yeah right. Unintended? Its going to be a long hot summer. Folks are we really ready for prime time?

Color of Change Launches Campaign to Get hearings for LaVena Johnson


SEND A MESSAGE TO CONGRESS! Color Of Change had written the letter for youWhew, I have been sitting on this for a minute waiting for it to launch. Color of Change has launched a campaign on behalf of Lavena Johnson's family. Democratic Representative Skelton's House Armed Services is basically twiddling their thumbs on the LaVena Johnson issue although sources say that discussions are still underway, however Color of Change is calling on another committee of Congress with jurisdiction to hold hearings. They want us to direct our efforts to Congressman Henry Waxman, Chairman of the House Government Oversight Committee.Go to their site to send a message directly to Congress. Dear member, LaVena Johnson was a 19 year old private in the Army, serving in Iraq, when she was raped, murdered, and her body was burned--by someone from her own military base. Despite overwhelming physical evidence, the Army called her death a suicide and has closed the case.1 For three years, LaVena's parents have been fighting for answers. At almost every turn, they've been met with closed doors or lies. They've appealed to Congress, the one body that can hold the military accountable. But, as in other cases where female soldiers have been raped and murdered and the Army has called it suicide, Congress has failed to act. Will you join Mr. and Mrs. Johnson in calling on Congressman Henry Waxman, Chairman of the House Government Oversight Committee, to mount a real investigation into LaVena Johnson's death and the Army's cover-up2? Will you ask your friends and family to do the same? From the beginning, LaVena's death made no sense as a suicide. She was happy and had been talking with friends and family regularly3--nothing indicated she could be suicidal. And when the Johnsons received her body, they noticed signs that she had been beaten.4 That was when they started asking questions. After two years of being denied answers and hearing explanations that made no sense, the Johnsons received a CD-ROM from someone on the inside. It contained pictures of the crime scene where LaVena died and an autopsy showing that she had suffered bruises, abrasions, a dislocated shoulder, broken teeth, and some type of sexual assault. Her body was partially burned; she had been doused in a flammable liquid, and someone had set her body on fire. A corrosive chemical had been poured in her genital area, perhaps to cover up evidence of rape.5 Still the Army sticks by their story. They refuse to explain the overwhelming physical evidence that LaVena was raped and murdered and continue to claim that she killed herself. For many Black youth, and working class young people of every race, the military is seen as an option for securing a better future. LaVena came from a deeply supportive family, and while the military wasn't her only option, she was attracted by its promise to help her pay for a college education and the opportunity to travel around the world. She also thought that by joining she could continue her lifelong commitment to serving other people in need. She made a decision to serve in the military, with all its risks, and expected respect and dignity in return. LaVena's death is part of a disturbing pattern of cases where female soldiers have been raped and killed, and where the military has hidden the truth and labeled the deaths suicides.6,7 In virtually all cases, Congress has been slow to investigate or hold the military accountable in any way. Unfortunate[...]

Lavena Johnson Update: Hearing on Thursday at 10:00 AM Rm 2154 Rayburn Building


Here is another opportunity for you to get answers from the United States Army in the Lavena Johnson case:On Thursday, July 31 at 10:00 am, the Subcommittee will hold a hearing entitled, “Oversight Hearing on Sexual Assault in the Military.” The hearing will take place in room 2154 of the Rayburn House Office Building and is open to the public. Oversight Committee WebsiteThis is a subcommittee of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The full committee is chaired by Congressman Waxman. The hearing will be webcast.Here is a list of the subcommittee members:Majority John F. Tierney, Chairman Carolyn B. Maloney Stephen F. Lynch Brian Higgins John A. Yarmuth Bruce L. Braley Betty McCollum Jim Cooper Chris Van Hollen Paul W. Hodes Peter Welch Minority Christopher Shays, Ranking Member Dan Burton John M. McHugh Todd Russell Platts John J. Duncan Michael Turner Kenny Marchant Lynn A. Westmoreland Patrick T. McHenry Virginia FoxxAlthough this is a subcommittee hearing, members of the full committee wil be able to attend. CBC members on the committee are Clay, Watson, and Cummings. But don't limit your inquiry to Black members. You don't care who asks the questions. Republican, Democrat, whatever! You just want answers.My source said that he could not determine whether Lavena Johnson's case would be discussed specifically, but the members of the committee have the ability to ask questions. Here is your opportunity to tell them what questions you want asked. Due to the lateness of the notice a call or FAX was recommended as every member of Congress is not amenable to the digital age ( it is what it is)For all of you who are upset burn a few anytime minutes or get on efax and tell your elected representatives what you want to know from the Army about Lavena Johnson and others like her.This is separate from the organized campaign that some other large online advocacy groups are working on rolling out. When they tell me more, I will let y'all know, but I know some of you who are in DC may want to attend. In particular you might want to ask them about the allegations in this article,Tracey Barnett: Women GIs in fear of the enemy in their army. Including the allegation that three servicewomen died of dehydration because they didn't want to drink water. If they drank water, they would have to go to the latrine where they feared they would be sexually assaulted by fellow soldiers. CRAZY!For those not famiar with the Lavena Johnson story, here is some background from JezebelWhen LaVena's father finally brought himself to look at his daughter's corpse in 2005, sent home from Iraq with a report that she'd committed suicide by shooting herself in the left side of her head with an M-16 — which, by the way, is not a handgun but a relatively long rifle, he thought there was something wrong.Private LaVena Johnson's nose was broken, teeth were loose, one eye was concave and there were abrasions over her body. The supposed M-16 hole to the head was far too small for the revolver-sized exit wound, and was on the wrong side of her skull for a right-handed woman to have pulled the trigger. Her genital area showed evidence of acid, perhaps used to destroy DNA evidence. She had white military gloves glued to her burned hands.Since then, the Army has continued to insist that the LaVena committed suicide by pointing her rifle with her non-dominant hand at the side of her head and set herself on fire, all after she beat herself up and poured acid [...]

Blogging While Brown YouTube Coverage From Black Interactive TV


The folks from Black Interactive TV have a sizable number of mini clips from the conferenceBrian Willis and Shawn Williams from Dallas South Blog, and Theo from Theo Talks at breakfast.Gina introduces Jordan from Free Press right before his presentation on net neutrality.The dynamic duo, Angela Benton and Markus Robinson from Black Web 2.0. All of our workshops rocked!We had some truly talented and gifted people presenting at Blogging While BrownBlogger Rights Panel - Kristal and AttorneymomAttorneymom from Character Corner and Kristal from Pocketbook Protest broke down copyright and derivative works, terms of use and work for hire.Podcasting 101- Fanshen and Heidi from Mixed Chicks ChatsHeidi and Fanshen discuss the benefits and drawbacks of Talkshoe vs Blog Talk Radio.Luncheon Panel Gone WildI hadn't left me seat at this point :) Tamera from Black Life by GLAM Media is speaking.The Infamous Five Minute Break ( Turned into 15)Shout Out To All of the SponsorsLunch Break[...]

Workshop and Panel Video From Blogging While Brown- Carmen D. Villager, Necole Bitchie, Clarissa Goodlett and GLAM Media


We're still chopping and slicing and dicing the professional video. There is over 6 hours of footage, but in the meantime, Theo from Theo Talks, recorded about three sessions and streamed it live on USTREAM

(embed) Video streaming by Ustream

Panel Discussion - Can New Media Work with the Old Guard and Old Media?

(embed) Live streaming video by Ustream

Blogging While Brown: Two Workshops in 1
Secrets from a Media Insider - How to Make News and Make the News Work for You by Carmen Dixon
“Umoja” from a Black Blogger’s Perspective by Wayne Hicks



Blogging While Brown 2008, Atlanta, GA. Enough said.