Quite a few things have been going on in my life this past week or so...nothing huge or life threatening...but now that things have calmed down, I figured I'd share.
My alma mater (Eastern Michigan University) ran this mess right here, and I had to be a whistle blower on it. I mean, I was APPALLED when I saw it! I wrote an e-mail to the editor of the paper, editor of the comics section and CC'd the University President, as well as the president of the alumni association, Black Alumni Assn., Center for Multi-Cultural Affairs, Diversity Involvement (I used to work in that office at school), Black Student Union, Campus NAACP, as well as the Channel 7 news (who's website you have been referenced to). I received a response from the comics editor, basically citing "freedom of speech", and that I should submit a letter to the editor, to be featured in an upcoming issue of the Echo. Also, he apologized to me...blah blah blah. I am an ALUM!! I appreciate his concerns for my feelings, but what about the rest of the students on campus, who this will actually affect? I let them know in my letter,
"Though I am no longer on campus, I can only imagine the tension this will cause. I am wondering how this racially charged comic was chosen to represent the artist on that day, and why it was then chosen to be displayed publicly. Hopefully, this will not cause so much tension on campus that violence will be the result, but I am more than certain that there will be demonstrations and protests. Please plan accordingly. This is not a threat in any way, but even from here in the Washington, D.C. area, I can see that the result of this posting will not turn out well.
I am hoping that the advisory team and editors of the Echo will use better judgment when it comes to publishing content in the Echo."
"We realize some readers found the comic offensive, however, we feel the message contained within was worthy of publication. The message in the comic was that symbols people find morally reprehensible, like the kkk and nooses in trees, are adored by a select few, and that same select few assign sentimental attachment to things no sensible person would. The joke is at the sheer absurdity of the situation and directed at the klansmen within it. Therefore, we apologize to those whose sensibilities were offended, but we reserve the right to publish opinions and ideas that might be considered offensive to some in the interest of furthering open and public discourse.
I encourage you to write a letter-to-the-editor to be published in an upcoming issue. Here is the address of our Opinions Editor..."
Okay...so I get the point. However, most of the students on campus are not going to look into the 'point' or 'message'...they will see 'the picture' and GO OFF! They will see Klan hoods and nooses, and TRIP! Honestly, I have to admit that it took a few looks before I even saw the point. I happen to know that the BSU met this past Sunday night, and are probably already laying on floors, drawing out their posters of protest, working closely with the NAACP to figure out the best plan for the day.
I am not a political person, at all. But I could not sit back and let this one go!
Facebook. And Dr. Sistagirl. She sees me wanting to mother/sister/friend/counsel so many in my life...which is why I can't focus on myself and my household. She asked me how many friends I have on Facebook...1274. No...I'm not super popular. I got on Facebook back in 2006, when it first started, and was for college students. I was also the President of my organization at the time, and we used Facebook for all of our advertisements at the time, so all of our members befriended EVERYONE we knew on campus, even if it were just by face. We'd then send mass invites, and always kept a crowd at our events. Over the years, I have gained friends in real life, on MySpace, from shows that I've been in, etc., etc. I just never got rid of any of them on Facebook.
So...I had to make some cuts. I don't need to know all of these folks business, folks I haven't seen in years, folks I have NEVER spoken to...even folks who live next door, but we don't speak on the regular. As I type this, I am down to 675 friends...and still cutting. My goal is to get down to 400 or less...which is not easy. Shoot, it wasn't easy cutting those that I already have...but I already see a difference. I have to find other things to keep my mind on...Ive started 2 new craft projects, I just finished a flower girl basket for a friend's wedding, and am finishing another book. More time to focus on bettering me...rather than taking in everyone else's drama.
I auditioned for a new play this weekend. I also participated in a page to stage reading (basically, reading the play from the script...often used to try newly written plays out on audiences, to get reactions). I LOVE being an actress, and hope that I can continue being a performer.
I am also back in program regularly with my students. We only had 5 girls return from past years, and so far have 6 new girls, with room for 7 more. Getting to know these new girls has been a challenge, because the returning girls expect the same attention they have always gotten from the staff. In the past, we knew all of their personalities, and were able to balance out the attention...but in learning the new girls, this is kind of hard...and no one wants to be patient and wait it out. But wait, this is middle school--who has time to be patient? lol...I will admit though...I still love it.
There you have it. My life in a nutshell for the past week or so. I am preparing a natural hair blog for a faithful reader, and knitting a gray winter hat for another. I appreciate you guys for your support, your reads, your comments. Thanks for hanging in there with me. Let me know if there is anything I can address for you...even if its just some random question. I need things to focus on, and I certainly don't mind you being one of them...hmm...am I contradicting the whole Facebook deletion thing? Nah...there aren't 1200 of you. Ask away!
Til next time...