Wednesday, April 24, 2013

People suck except when they don't: What the Boston bombing and the Central Park 5 teach us about good and evil

I said I wasn't going to write anything about the Boston marathon tragedy because I wasn't sure if I could add anything to the conversation. Two sociopaths killed and maimed unsuspecting innocent people just trying to enjoy the Boston marathon, including a child, in the name of religion. Tragic and horrible, but unfortunately, not uncommon. The lazy media tries to pin the horrific crime on the "dark-skinned", and the perpetrators turn out to be two evil white guys. Ridiculous and infuriating, but all TOO common. As I watched the cries and screams of victims on television morph into cheers when the surviving bomber was captured, I was reminded of a fundamental yet frustrating and unsatisfying truth: People are terrible, except when they are not.

Common sense, right? Of course that good and evil are constantly in play on an intellectual level, but sometimes we need an event or some other reminder to shake us out of our mental haze and force us to examine ourselves and how we treat one another.

When watching the coverage of the Boston tragedy, I  thought a lot about the heartbreaking Central Park Five documentary I saw days earlier. For background, in 1989 a white female jogger was brutally beaten and raped in Central Park. Five Black and Latino teenagers were arrested, and in a complete and utter miscarriage of justice, were sent to prison for YEARS for a crime they did not commit. All but one of the teens spent seven years in jail. The oldest spent 13 years in jail. To this day, New York City refuses to settle a lawsuit brought by the Five, who are now in their mid to late-30s, and the prosecutors still maintain that the Five were guilty even though a serial rapist later admitted to the crime. So, the injustice of the Central Park Five situation rages on.

What does this have to do with Boston? Near the end of the documentary, a historian articulated a simple and profound lesson about what happened: "We're not very good people."

Preach! It's not a stretch to believe that a mix of racism, bad timing, lazy law enforcement, ambitious prosecutors, fear, and inflamed rhetoric from politicians can ruin the lives of young Black men, or any person of color for that matter. The Five lost their youth, have struggled to reconstruct their lives, and no one has said they're sorry or tried to make the situation right. Yes, people suck. We're horrible.

And then Boston happened and of course it started with evil and devastation, which was just confirmation of what I've always known, people SUCK! But then, you saw the heroism and the outpouring of kindness and compassion toward the victims and the city of Boston. Well, maybe people in general aren't completely awful. 

We see this dichotomy all the time whether it's Boston, Katrina, Central Park, Sandy Hook, Chicago, Innocence Project success stories, or your city block, this contrast between compassion, kindness and selflessness and astonishing evil. How can we help our fellow man one minute and then destroy him the next? Why are we like this? Would we know what good looks like if it weren't for evil?

I don't have the answers to any of these questions, and I'm guessing that you don't either. If anything, we need to start dialogues and do things that promote peace and not pain.        

Stay random,


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Look what I can do! Yours truly featured on

I had a pretty crappy Sunday night, so I wasn't expecting much going into Monday when I got a tweet from, a website that publishes insightful commentary on the fullness of Black womanhood.

For Harriet
For Harriet

Do you have a hard time asking for help? @TheRealJCarol thinks many Black women do.…

09:14 AM - 22 Apr 13

Yeah! I submitted my work  during a call for submissions, and they obviously liked what they read ;)

So, check out ya girl on For Harriet and stay random!


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Getting to my happy place

This weekend I'm going to Miami for a mini-vacay. One of my BFFs lives there (free lodging!), so I go pretty often. Miami is one of those places that's great to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there, for a lot of reasons. However, besides the free lodging, it can be a quick and relatively inexpensive trip to my happy place: the beach. I've talked previously about how the beach is one of the only places where I feel at peace and truly relaxed. Whether that's a good, bad or weird thing remains to be seen, but it's the truth. It's so much the truth that with unlimited funds I'd visit as many beaches as possible and rate them according to relaxation level (if that's a thing), all for the benefit of my lovely readers of course :)

So while the beach is my happy place, where's your happy place? If you don't have a happy place, that means you have a sad place, and that's just...sad.

Stay random and move to a happy place,


Thursday, April 4, 2013

BREAKING NEWS: Kamala Harris is gorgeous and President Obama said so. OMG!!

So here I was struggling with what to write about and the Twitter gods gave me some foolishness ripe for the blog picking. 

If you were on Twitter this afternoon, especially if you saw Washington, DC trending topics, you would have noticed the name "Kamala Harris" near the top of the list. Harris is the attorney general of California, a political rising star and a history maker. She's also very attractive and apparently President Obama mentioned that today during a fundraiser in Cali:

 "She's brilliant and she's dedicated, she's tough… She also happens to be, by far, the best looking attorney general."

Sweet baby Jesus, why did he have to say she was good-looking?! Once the comments hit the interwebs, Obama got called a misogynist, sexist and everything in between. Never mind that he complimented her skill and intellect. Nope, by acknowledging her attractiveness Obama is a lecherous misogynist creep. I mean, it's on the Internet, and they can't say anything on the Internet that isn't true. People are already blogging about it (pot meet kettle) and will blog about it even more tomorrow. Cable TV commentators, and probably the ones that I like, will analyze it to death and declare that Obama committed an egregious crime for which there is no pardon.

Seriously people? The president, first lady and Harris are long-time friends. They've done fundraisers for each other on various occasions. She spoke at the DNC last year. Heck, her name has come up as a potential pick for the SCOTUS! See, FRIENDS. He paid his FRIEND a compliment at a fundraiser. We're not talking about street harassment where some loser makes crude and inappropriate comments. And here's the kicker: President Obama is right. I've seen her in person, and she's a pretty woman (she's also very petite in person, but I digress). As Johnathan Capeheart of the Washington Post notes:

"Judging by some of the comments I’ve seen on Twitter you’d swear the president was guilty of luridly cat-calling a woman he doesn’t know. If I thought for one moment that’s what was going on, you better believe I’d hammer him for it. But that’s not the case here. Far from it. So lighten up, people."

Co-FREAKIN'-sign! I have my issues with Obama (Lord knows I do), but I have to defend him on this one. If you really believe that this president, husband of Michelle, father of Malia and Sasha, raised by a single mother, appointer of women to the highest offices in the land, has an issue with women based on this comment, then you've never met a sexist, misogynist or had to suffer the indignity of sexual harassment (I have and also lost my job because of it. Believe me, it ain't fun). The last time I looked, misogyny is defined as the hatred of women. President Obama hates women? Yeah, I don't believe that and whoever does, needs more people.

Stay random,