Friday, August 24, 2012


The Rape debate..again

I am beginning to sound like a stuck record but persons making foolish comments about rape never fail to irritate me. WHEN OH WHEN will it be openly realised and accepted that RAPE IS ROBBERY with violence? That it is an ASSAULT on another human being for purely personal reasons.

HOW MANY persons, male and female, -but predominantly female today- have had their lives tainted by such lustful attacks! reliving their trauma every waking moment!. Looking at, and loving, or inwardly rejecting her child because of how he/she came into the world !  Any idea Rep Akin? When will it be accepted that when a woman says 'NO,' SHE MEANS NO!

BEFORE MAKING UTTERANCES, words need to be weighed, because of the sentiments that they convey:  It does not make for good listening when a leading politician makes a statement which purports such treatment against women need not result in pregnancy because of a woman's defences!  True, there are elements that the female body rejects; that 'ANY' 'BODY' rejects, but to use this in the context of rape is to say the least, reprehensible.  In all fairness, there has been some retraction, but these ill advised statements continue to heap massive damage to the cause of women and it will take some time before it is repaired!

I am sure there are babies who were aborted because they were the product of rape. On the flip side there are instances of babies born of rape, either because abortion was not available, or because the mother believed that all life is sacred. Clearly, the choice is hers and  should be respected by the foolish law makers-mostly men who seek to make decisions about a woman's body..

Sunday, August 19, 2012


Not the babies

Last week the nation received the shocking news that an infant was suffocated by its eighteen year old mother. This following the equally shocking news that an 85 year old woman was hacked to death by her mentally ill son. Since then  anger and disgust have dominated the conversations re the perpetrator. A mother killing her child hits us in the deep recesses of our being. It goes against everything we hold dear and understand about a mother's unconditional love for  her child. So we look-often in vain for answers that explain the unimaginable.

 From listening to the too young grandmother's heart wrenching interview on the evening news a picture emerged. A picture of a young girl who desperately wanted to be somebody but  held back by socioeconomic conditions and the challenges of motherhood. I believe on that fatal day the child became the embodiment of all her frustrations causing her to do the unthinkable. Children ought not to die like this and in an ideal world they'd be born to adults who can provide them with the love and care they need..Unfortunately, far too many young girls are becoming mothers at a time when they should be furthering their education and making themselves marketable. Under these conditions  poor parenting,practices and lack of support put these children at risk for abuse.

This is such a tragedy that goes beyond the mother and her state of mind when she committed the crime. Am I to believe that no one close to her saw any signs that this child was in danger? Or did the mother do just a great job pretending that no one saw beyond her facade? Somehow, I  believe there were cries for help that went unanswered and that compounds the tragedy. People should not be afraid to use the Social Services even if it means removing the children from the household. When I think of all the teen moms out there whose dreams have been deferred I can only hope their support structures are stronger and their frustrations find a better outlet.

Sunday, August 12, 2012


Keshorn Walcott to the world

Last week I wrote about how surreal it was to see a  male 400m final without the Americans who have dominated the event.  Yesterday was to be even more surreal when 19 year old Keshorn Walcott from the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago won gold in the javelin throw. My aunt was at a wedding and I "bbmed" her to share the news. Her response was  the following short messages :

Then for good measure she asked "Are you sure girl?" Her response was understandable given that Europe has maintained a stranglehold on the event. In fact the last time a non European won the event was in 1952 when Cyrus Young of the USA was a winner.  I am still wrapping my mind around how truly amazing this is given that the javelin throw is not popular in the Anglophone Caribbean. As a matter of fact the Anglophone Caribbean does not do very well in field events unlike our Cuban brothers and sisters who have produced the great Javier Sotamayor (high jump), Ivan Pedroso (long jump),  Osleidys Menendez (female javelin Olympic and World Champion), Yipsi Moreno (Hammer Throw) et al..

Congratulations to Keshorn Walcott, who by the way is also the World Junior Champion for upping his game on a truly big stage. I hope by now his amazing feat has caught up to him but who can blame him if it hasn't!

Monday, August 06, 2012


Congrats Kirani James

This 400 meter final felt surreal since it was the first time I've seen one minus Americans. In fact, Americans have dominated the event winning gold from 1984 to 2008. In 2012, history was to be made when 19 yr old Kirani James of Grenada ran an impressive 43.94 to win gold. I think it is safe to say that not only is the American dominance over but Michael Johnson's record is under threat.

Grenada, the tiny most southerly of the Windward Islands has always stood out from its neighbours. The Spice isle as it's affectionately called for its production of nutmeg and other spices has long been punching above its weight.

First and only OECS country(thus far) to win a Miss World Competition in the person of Jennifer Hosten

First English speaking island to successfully mount a coup d'etat

Now Kirani James has given the island its first Olympic medal-gold to boot complementing his 2011 Worlds gold. Additionally, Janelle Redhead has continued Grenada's tremendous run at the Olympics by qualifying for the female 200m semis.

Large up yourselves Grenada, 133 sq miles and 93,000 to the world

Friday, August 03, 2012


Hair raising

 Gabrielle "Gabby" Douglas, the 16 yr old gymnast from the United States wrote her name in the record books by becoming the first US woman to win gold in both team competition and all round. Even more satisfying is the young African American was competing in a discipline long dominated by whites. Despite shattering the stereotypes and wowing the audience with her skill a lot of talk has been centered on her  hair.

Yes, for the black twitterverse and other online communities Gabby's gelled ponytail has been the source of  disgust and embarrassment. I wish I could be surprised at the vitriol but hair and its issues have long been a  sore point for black women. We have classified hair as bad or good depending on  its texture. Of course the nappier the hair the less desirable it becomes. In my opinion this unfortunate situation is a hold over from slavery where the European standard of beauty was adapted. Madame CJ Walker and others capitalized on this and made  a fortune by straightening the naps of black hair.

Chris Rock's documentary Good Hair discovered black women spend about 9 billion  annually on hair related products. He found the biggest money makers in the hair  business to be weaves where regular black women spend thousands of dollars on weaves and even put them on layaway. Conversely, black women is under represented in the fitness industry because among other things we just can't mess up our hair. So while we fuss and grumble about Gabby's hair be reminded that she is not her hair. How could her hair get so much play when within her tiny body lies so much talent? Her hair which does not define her anymore than ours does should be secondary.

Talent aside, the thing that stood out for me was a resemblance to a young Oprah and not her hair. Gabby Douglas could well be advised to quote these India Arie lines to her detractors:

Does the way I wear my hair  
Determine my integrity?  
I am expressing my creativity
Hey, I am not my hair I am not this skin  
I am not your expectations, no,no  
I am not my hair, I am not this skin 
I am a soul that lives within

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