Remember back in the day in grade school when you had to present a report or even dress like a famous historical figure? The tradition continues, but one Colorado student took the practice of theatrical costume and make-up too far.
Maybe it had something to do with Sean, who is Caucasian, also showing up with his face painted black.
Holy Bamboozled, Batman!
Sean was participating in “wax museum day,” where students were asked to dress up like historical characters for a school program. (I grew up in the inner city, so the equivalent for us would be Halloween….lol.) Sean showed up with his parents, but before the program started, he was approached by the school’s principal, Erica Mason, and asked to wash his face.
Your child did not show up wearing an “I’m with stupid” T-shirt. He showed up in 'blackface.' Hello!
We have to put this in context. Sean is an 8-year-old-boy who didn’t know any better, but what about his grown-a parents?
You helped your child design and pick out an outfit to honor one of the most famous and influential African-American figures in our history but nothing seemed odd to you about capping off his costume with a coat of black face paint?
He went on to say, "I like black people. It's just a costume, and I don't want to insult anybody."
I do believe that Sean meant no insult. He is a child with limited ability to process complex ideas of race, class and historical references of bigotry. The same, however, cannot be said of his parents.
I am reminded of Spike Lee’s film “Malcolm X,” where young people from all over the world of various races and backgrounds stood up proudly and declared “I am Malcolm X!” They were identifying with all the admirable qualities of Malcolm X as a hero and leader.
Are Sean’s parents so clueless that they could not use the opportunity as a teachable moment to talk to Sean about how he does not have to literally portray a historical figure and hero? Could they not explain to him how you can represent and speak about the universal and admirable qualities of King without showing up in 'blackface?'
What if Sean wanted to represent Coretta Scott King? Would they have let him leave the house in a Madea-inspired civil rights drag ensemble, including matching handbag and sensible marching shoes with a kitten heel?
When I was little, I often pretended to be a myriad of comic book figures, including Superman, Batman and Spiderman, but I did not feel that I had to paint my face white to embody the powers and qualities I admired in those heroes.
The sad part is that the parents totally missed the point of King and what he believed to be true:
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
Sean’s parents missed an opportunity to teach their son that he could honor and embody the spirit and principles by which King lived, regardless of his gender, class or painted black face.
I am late posting this to my blog but better late than never. As usual I had a great time hanging out with the crew Ramona, Pam and Bandy of The Satisfied Life and always enjoy when they invite me to share and discuss!
May 6, 2012 The Satisfied Life
ReleasedMay 06, 2012
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I am really struggling these days to have some pride in the state of NC. I know we all are not small minded bigots but it is fools like this that give the entire region a bad name.
We first had to deal with Rev. Sean Harris who suggested parents beat their kids into traditional gender roles, another “man of God” then Pastor Charles L. Worley of Providence Road Baptist Church’s took it to another level by saying he thinks all gays and lesbians should be placed behind electric fences and left to die.
You guys know I like to discuss anything interesting and controversial in the media, so imagine my curiosity when I ran across a story dealing with a recent cover of Time magazine featuring a mother breastfeeding.
Well, this is not your normal, warm and fuzzy moment of a mother nursing a doe eyed Gerber baby; no this cover features a modern mom in skinny jeans and a tank top with her 3-year-old toddler standing on a chair in Reebok tennis shoes and camouflage pants attached to her left breast like a Garfield car window suction toy.
Jamie Grumet is the woman caught in the middle of this lactating lunacy, but she says she was prepared for the heat.
The 26 year old mom shared with Access Hollywood that, “We knew what we were getting into and [that] there would be a lot of backlash.”
She went on to share with ABC news that,"The statement that I wanted to make was this is a normal option for your child and it should not be stigmatized.” I wonder how that is working out for you, boo?
Grumet seems to be part of a growing movement called “attachment parenting.” The movement may be new but, according to William and Martha Sears, pioneers in the practice and teaching of attachment parenting, this philosophy has been practiced for years in many cultures. So why are some of us so squeamish?
What exactly is attachment parenting? It sounds like you carry your child around in a pouch like you’re some kind of modern, liberal, tofu-eating, café-latte drinking, carpooling marsupial.
Actually, Dr. William Sears, who is an associate clinical professor of pediatrics at UCI School of Medicine in Irvine, Ca., described attachment parenting as the process of creating a warm, loving bond with babies and children through physical and emotional closeness.
Ok, so far I am with you.
He goes on to say it’s about responding to the babies’ cues and fulfilling their needs.
This does not sound to groundbreaking to me. The baby cries, you feed it. You smell something, you change it. Sounds pretty much like standard practice.
But this is where it is gets a little new age. Williams goes on to explain that parents achieve the goal of attachment parenting through three main activities: breastfeeding, co-sleeping and baby wearing.
Baby wearing? I told you there was a kangaroo reference in here somewhere…lol.
Ghatt shares in her article that “I endured all the critical and judgmental looks and questions from friends asking, ‘You’re still breastfeeding?’ Knowing the benefits for reducing SIDS risk, ear infection, asthma, diabetes and obesity, it was a no-brainer for me, though among women in my racial group I knew I made the exception, not the norm.” Don’t you hate it when folks are all up in your business?
Now I must admit that I am old-school, so I grew up with relatives and women who routinely whipped out the girls at Sunday dinners, the laundromat, barbeques, birthday parties, family reunions and even church. So what is an appropriate age to back up off the breast?
I know many have their own opinions, but I would like to offer Professor Locs’ Top 5 signs your child may be too old to still be breastfeeding:
5. Before your bouncing boy can latch on, he first has to take out his gold grill.
4. Your child has an annoying habit of interrupting this intimate bonding process by texting.
3. You notice that on Saturday morning your child is starting to show up with a bowl of cereal to watch cartoons while feeding.
2. Your child insists on posting pics of him breastfeeding on his Facebook page.
1. Your child likes to add breast milk to his black coffee while reading the Sunday paper.
Will Smith did not appreciate the public display of affection and pushed the man back and also gave him an old fashioned back hand pimp slap for good measure.
This is not the first time Smith has shied away from male intimacy. He asked for a stand in when he first started acting in the film "Six Degrees of Sepration" and he was suppose to have a six second on screen kiss with another man.
If you are an actor then act like you like it...lol.
In fact, we're told she was focused on trying to finish up an album she had been working on."
This has been a very difficult few years in that we have lost so many songbirds and Divas.
Donna Summer was a 5 time Grammy Award winning singer with classic hits like "Let's Dance" "Bad Girls"and my personal kareoke favorite "MacArthur Park"!
Donna Summer was more than the Queen of the Disco era. Donna Summer was not just a singer but a true Diva of song that has contributed to the rich soundtrack of our lives. She will be missed but she will live on through her music. RIP Diva!
I have copied my contribution from the transcript.
CHARLES EASLEY: My first reaction was like, really? Could you not have said this, like, two days before?
(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)
LATHAM: Easley is a professor at The Art Institute of Charlotte, and he's been in an openly gay relationship for 18 years. He thinks the president could have influenced the debate before the vote.
EASLEY: That really could have swayed some people because he has been very forthcoming in terms of that he is a Christian, he is a man of faith, but he is also this pinnacle of pride and success for the community.