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You are here: Home > April 2006 > Okay, Catching Up With The Tour

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April 11, 2006

Okay, Catching Up With The Tour

Posted at April 11, 2006 02:51 PM in Politics .

First, I want to say my earlier post here was not -- I repeat -- was not a slap at Jasmyne Cannick's post here. It was not a direct slap, a passive agressive slap, or an indirect slap. Honestly, because of what I've been dealing with recently -- sick and dying dog -- I have not been up on the latest news in the blogosphere. I have been listening, partially; reading, haphazardly; seeing, maybe; and so on, and so forth, etc.

Only today did I start paying attention to what I was actually seeing. First, I started at Professor Kim's blog where I found the following article entitled Scenes from today's immigration protests in Washington DC. Within her article I found a link not only to Jasmyne's article, but a link to an article I actually linked to myself on GLBTqZine. Honestly, I skimmed over the article without really reading it. The article was penned by The Nation's Richard Kim and is entitled Marriage Myopia.

Like I said, I've had much on my mind these past few weeks so I am only now catching up with the tour.

In the comments section of Professor Kim's aforementioned article is a link to another website with the full text of the letter mentioned within. That link takes us to Blabbeando and the post: An open letter to the LGBT community on "Gays First, then Illegals". At the bottom of this post are a number of signers who are rebuking what Jasmyne wrote. Additionally, there are others who have blogged about their thoughts on the commentary penned by Jasmyne.

On Jasmyne's site, there appears to be well over 50 comments to her post. One of the commenters, I am pleased to say, is Marta Donayre (a Leader/Legend On FemmeNoir) and her partner.

I will say this to the displeasure of many, perhaps. Those of you without sin, cast the first stone. Jasmyne Cannick is a young woman, I believe she is in her mid- to late 20's, and to be very blunt the elders in this community have done a piss poor job of raising and mentoring its young. Jasmyne and I actually talked about this once. Do we expect every young activist to learn the art of activism through osmosis? Then please, call a sister, find out if she intended to say what she said. Then serve as mentor and guide before you go off questioning her mental status or nailing her to the cross. The fiery flames of passion comes with youth. One would hope those fires temper with age. But certainly, with good mentoring, they can be shaped and molded for maximum impact. Every one of us I am sure, while still young and dumb, have said some things we would like to take back.

I do not agree with her commentary as written, but I do wonder if she really meant what she said in just the way she wrote it. For all those who have picked up plenty stones to cast, did anyone ever think to call her, interview her to at least find out what was meant? I certainly haven't read that interview. The only person I saw who actually said she had a call in to Jasmyne is Professor Kim. Now that is responsible journalism. Even Tom DeLay and Pat Robertson are given opportunities to clarify what they say and are given plenty chances, whether we agree or not, to say "the words were taken out of context. What I meant to say was . . . ." Why then hasn't Jasmyne been given the opportunity to do likewise?

I do not know Jasmyne and I think, because I really don't know her well I feel it is necessary for someone to speak in her defense though I completely disagree with what she wrote. Before we hurl an activist to the wall -- a young activist at that -- who at least has the intestinal fortitude to act on our behalf -- whether we agree with her always or not -- let's try to give her equal benefit as we seem so willing to give others. Too, the elders need to care for our young activists. Mentor them, teach them, help them, make yourselves available to them.

I know from my own experience how difficult it is to write something within stringent time constraints only to later realize what I wrote, hastilly, ain't really what I wanted to say. Did she really mean it and has anyone reached out, called her, inquired to find out what she meant?

I am not looking to make excuses for what she said which, in my opinion on some level came across as truly xenophobic. Unfortunately, within the Black community there are some folks I know who call grown middle-aged women from Guatamala "girls" . Their words are the words from the once oppressed, now serving as oppressor. I don't like it any more than someone calling my grown self "girl" and I call folks on their mess. I don't go off writing petitions against them to serve what purpose?

But again, the elders have done a piss poor job of mentoring. The Civil Rights movement fell apart after all of its leaders were shot down. Why? Because they gave little or no time to groom and mentor its young.

Okay, I'm done. No, I'm not done just yet.


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First, I want to say my earlier post here was not -- I repeat -- was not a slap at Jasmyne Cannick's post here. It was not a direct slap, a passive...

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