Month: September 2009

The Right Keeps On Keeping Us on the Right Track

A thanks to Conservative personalities for helping Van Jones make the right decision

While Jones took steps toward Oreodom by being the President’s environmental advisor (and notvan-jones-washington advising on something more immediate to any minority community like say urban planning or economics), he still had huge hurdles to overcome before fully distancing himself from the burden of his birth. 

Jones was a former community activist in Oakland. Couple that with being in such proximity to a high profile person of color (read: President Obama) and his stay in Washington was pretty much Oreo disaster waiting to happen. 

Jones also took pains to criticize the government after 9-11 — a move that is terribly of color in its concern and healthy skepticism. 

Further thanks goes to the White House itself for not defending Jones’s post-tragedy exercise of free speech. Other top-ranking officials have been fairly silent on the issue and on Sunday, senior advisor David Alexrod praised Jones for leaving his position.

And all of this because our fair skinned friends on the right had the courage to exhibit some tough love and push Jones toward the realization he simply wasn’t coming to. It’s just this kind of support that will help off of us Oreos get to where we need to be. 

Thanks, again ruling class. We’d be lost without ya.

xoxo

Oops, I …almost used a terribly trite cliche to describe this event

gavel1I owe my fellow Oreos a big apology. Not only did I shirk my patriotic duty to serve on a duty, but I used my race card to get out of it.

It wasn’t that I didn’t want to serve. My blood runs red, white and blue and few things are more patriotic than taking a part in America’s judicial process. But work would not wait for the six-day trial.

During the voir dire, I was asked if I could be objective in the case. I looked at the defendant of color and knew what I had to say. 

As much as I wanted to praise our fellows in law enforcement for their tireless efforts to protect and serve, I felt myself regurgitating stories that, while true, are not ones that an Oreo should dwell on. 

It was years ago and I was going on a ride-along with local law enforcement. We pulled over several cars that evening. With most of the cars, the officer ran the tags and when the vehicle checked out, the driver was sent on his or her way. 

With one, however, the officer took the driver out of the car, put him in handcuffs on the corner and then ran the tags. When the vehicle checked out, the office undid the cuffs and then sent the driver on his way.

That one driver happened to be a driver of color.

I also told the story of the time I was put in the back of a police car.

I was walking down the street with a friend in a small town we were visiting. It was late evening and I was wearing an off-label jacket. The officers drove up behind us with their lights off and stopped just inches before our heels. The jumped out of the car, separated the two of us and I was pushed back toward the car and plopped into the backseat ahead of my friend.

As it was the dead of winter, my hair was under a cap, so there was no way for them to see the relaxed locks that showed that I was not a threat; and my scarf hid Tiffany’s chain from view. The officers were nice enough to present their badges and identification to me–they were in plain sight on their clothes. I could have, should have done the same. 

While I am positive there were potentially dozens of unseen variables that led to the officers making the6a00d83518237553ef00e54f6686248834-800wi decisions that they did, I did not go into that in front of the attorneys. I simply stated those facts, allowed the attorneys to realize these experiences might make me unobjective, then collected my belongings when they dismissed me from my duty.

I left the courthouse with mixed feelings. On one hand, I neglected my civic duty. On the other hand, I was on my way back to work; and few things are more patriotic than perpetuating our beloved capitalism…so It wasn’t like I wasn’t serving at all.

And the stories served as a good reminder, especially since fall is coming up. The next time I need to layer when I’m outside, I will make sure to do it with the right brands.

All Kinds of Games at Game Night

c067416550453ada24cdd1563f8fd3There are few things more delightful than a game night in a gated community, so when I got the invitation, I had to put down my Sunday Times crossword puzzle and go at once. I knew it was going to take me an extra minute at the gate, so I told my fellow players to go ahead and start without me. I was especially excited about playing Apples to Apples, so they struck up around of Scattergories while I was on my way.

After playing a round of “convince the guard,” I drove up to my friend’s brick circle driveway and stepped inside. It was the final moment in the Scattegories game and tensions were high.

A quick recap on the rules of Scattegories: Players have a list of categories next to a column of blanks. Someone rolls a 26-sided die to choose a letter. The players must then use that letter to fill out each of the categories. So, if the categories (of which there are 12, not the three in this example) were “a dessert,” “an animal” and “a pet name,” and the letter was “C.” Someone might answer “cake,” “coatimundi” and “cuddle buns,” respectively. If you choose a word that no one else chooses, you get a point. And like any game, the person with the most points wins.

I walked in and two alpha males were locked in intense competition. They were tied, the last two to speak their words and whoever got this last point would win, or the game would go into overtime.

The final category was “things you’re afraid of” and the letter was “n.”

The penultimate player said: “Ninjas.” 

The crowd of 10 runner ups cheered. 

The final player looked at his board. Looked at me. Then offered this. “I got nothing.”

“You should have just written ‘nothing’,” one of the players said.

Game night went on. Apples to Apples went off like gangbusters. And my saddle shoe pumps were a hit.

I noticed that the trumped Scattergories player was quite a smart game player. In every game that we played, he came out the winner, so I was surprised that he folded so easily on the first game.

On my way out, I checked his Scattergories pad which was still out and under his chair. He did have a word for “things you’re afraid of.” And it did start with an “n.” 

It goes without saying that I was upset. Here was my chance to prove I was one of the crowd and I failed. I had a chance to walk into a room, make everyone comfortable with who I was and that did not occur. Something about the smart Peter Pan collar on my blouse, my hostess gift of saffron sea salts and my discussion of the Fall Fitzgerald Festival was still wanting for perfection.

The poor player. Had I played my game right, he would have felt total confidence playing his. I’m2199578954_57f764e4c6_opolishing off my pearls for the next game night and bringing my copy of Ghetto-opoly. That should make things easier for everyone.

Go Cougs!

imagesIt’s Labor Day Weekend and that means it’s time to pack away the vestiges of summer and get ready for fall. The tapered capris are going back in the cedar trunk and out come the argyle cardigans. No more endive and mango appetizers, now it’s baked apples and currants. And the soon to come chilly winds will make it too cold to take out the schooner, so I must find another activity. For that activity, I decided on college football.

While NCAA football may seem like a potentially disastrous choice and very un-Oreo, choosing the right team can catapult your status and lead to even greater acceptance.

Most teams, it goes without saying, are not organizations with which I could associate. Far too many players and fans of color attend sporting events for such events to be safe places for  an Oreo to attend as well.

2647_thumbUnless, of course, you pick the right team. And that is why I am proud to congratulate the Brigham Young University Cougars! The boys in blue pulled out the stops and showed what they were made of when they defeated #3 ranked Oklahoma today AND their team seems to contain almost exclusively players who are as blanched as the whites on their uniforms.

Also, since BYU is a religious school, these kids know a thing or two about wildly disciplined living, the potential for self-loathing and hiding what you need to to fit in.

2648Many players on the BYU team are even married, which means they have taken self-imposed constraints to a whole new level.

So fight on Cougars…for all of us! We’ll see you in Bowl Season.