Sunday, August 26, 2012

Step 4: Join Twitter

So I haven't been in the proper mental space to blog. I was busy quitting leaving graduate school and having a baby to put together witty blog posts. If had written about how I felt, this blog would have morphed into a sad first hand account of falling off the deep end or worse... a mommy blog. (NOT that there is anything wrong with mommy blogs, I mean how else am I supposed to know that my son is not the only baby in the world who utterly despises his car seat? It's just not what I do.) I decided my next step would be to venture out, try something new so I joined Twitter...finally.  I didn't JUST join Twitter now, I may have done so weeks ago but I got bored really quickly and forgot about it. That was until I received an email staying "We missed you on Twitter!" I'm so vulnerable, I was immediately flattered and why looky-here? I even blogged about it. Baby steps. (no pun intended)

You can find me ( it's follow me, right?) @ChinonyeCO
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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Step 3: Be Honest

I haven't written because I've been afraid to say what was on my mind.
And I think my writing sucks.
But that is because I have to censor everything in my head.
That's a tough thing when you have a blog.
The internet has become so much bigger and greater than it was 7 years ago when I began this. Stuff you say or do will be here forever and surprisingly...people actually read my blog!

I have been doing a great deal of reflecting the past 6 weeks and I have been having to ask myself  1) How many times have I really been honest with myself about the big decisions and issues in my life and 2) Can I commit to being honest with myself from here on?

I have honestly had the most difficult year of my life. Things have not gone the way I have planned or expected, no matter how elaborate or well constructed those plans were.I realize that I am a lot of what I said, fought against and promised myself I wouldn't be. I do not feel in control of my own destiny. I don't always feel like God is with me. I have never felt more defeated in my life. As I type that last statement I realize that it's not quite true. I have felt more defeated before. No that doesn't exactly make me feel better. It's more a factual observation that, yes, I have felt much more suckier than I am feeling right now. I look at myself without any recognition and a lot of disappointment. Yet, this is a time in which I should feel amazing. My husband is settled and has great job. I have a baby boy in my stomach who kicks me in the side and occasionally has hiccups that I can feel. But the devil moves. He sees impending joy and plots to rob you of it. It's working sadly, and I haven't the strength to fight him. At least not the past few days...weeks. No, it is not my hormones. 

I'm being honest.
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Friday, May 18, 2012

Step 2: Read and Be Smart

This was always my default plan in life, school. I enjoy reading when it is well first, interesting and second something I selected for myself. I like writing when I am writing for myself, as you can see blogs are great. Venues that don't include malleable self-imposed deadlines are the the pits. As I mentioned before I saw myself as a opinion writer/ political analyst/ black intellectual. I didn't include black intellectual but that is certainly on the list of aspirations. Oddly today as I resumed my efforts in reading for pleasure I came across Te-Nehisi Coates at The Atlantic a blog that I frequent and he made a comment in response to him considering himself a Black intellectual. A commenter said essentially "I gotta get one of those gigs" Coates responded...

Step 1 Drop out of college.

Step 2 Get a bow-tie or ascot or (in my case) fancy hat.

Step 3 Mix high concept notions (Dialect of Hegel will do) with an admiration for The Real Housewives of Atlanta. Better, publish a piece in a major magazine outlining the Hegelian Dialect implicit in The Real Housewives of Atlanta.


Clearly, I am screwed on all three efforts. Unless the ruffles on my beloved tuxedo shirts count.
Step 2: Read and Be SmartSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Step 1: Write

Well...

I am back from hiatus. No more hiatus. I am back writing with that same feeling in my gut...as when I first started this blog. I'll never forget years ago when I was many dress sizes smaller, this blog is what got me out of bed. I had (at least I thought I had) new and clever way of putting words together, stories together about my life. I remember what I wanted to do, what I wanted to be... I wanted to do political commentary on the television and opinion writing. That's what I thought would make me happy, my ultimate dream job.  But see I have this insatiable desire to chase degrees I am not good at and probably not passionate about AND I like fine leather goods and airplane travel and cannot fathom the idea of giving that up entirely in pursuit of some damn dream. (But if you are following, chasing degrees also requires similar sacrifice...thus my perpetual state of swirling the toilet bowl.)
 I am faced with a few decision points in which I have absolutely no clue what or how to decide. On one hand the world is full of options but unfortunately I lack the wide-eyed naivete that I had many years ago when I graduated from high school. I thought the world was my oyster and high school graduation was one of the happiest moments of my life. (Isn't that sad?!?) I am drowning in uncertainty and indecisiveness. I am not sure how I will get an answer. I figure the first thing I can do is return to square one. Write.

Step 1: WriteSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Seriously?

Burger King is pulling their Ad featuring Mary J. Blige for some chicken wrap because there has been some controversy about its "racist undertones". Um...huh?

There are people dying in the streets, children being ill-taught and ill-prepared for the real world because of systemic racism in this country and folks are up in arms about a chicken wrap commercial!!!????!!!



Honestly, this is because we don't all have the ability to process the more complex issues of our society, so some of us go after the low hanging fruit. (or rotting fruit already on the ground).  This unfortunately cheapens the fight against racism. I mean somehow no one seems to think the Real Housewives of Atlanta has racist undertones...

**EDIT** After further discussion with my colleague I get that the issue is that Mary J Blige is singing about chicken. Not just singing but singing her heart out about the ingredients. His response was, "Would Jennifer Lopez be singing about enchiladas?!? (Clearly, J.Lo is Puerto Rican and not Mexican but I get his point) It's not like I didn't get that before but he compared it to the 1992 commercial featuring MC Hammer for KFC. I get that! I believe Hammer's commercial was a lot worse than the MJB commercial. This Burger King commercial was not about a bucket of fried chicken but it was a poorly executed one nonetheless.

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Friday, March 23, 2012

Where is George Zimmerman? Why don't we know anything?

One of my BFFs made a really good point today, where is George Zimmerman? Ok so yes we know he's in hiding. But so was Casey Anthony which was a big case also here in Florida. The news cameras where all over the city, in front of Anthony's parent's home waiting for them to take a trip to Publix (the grocery store). Where is George Zimmerman's home? His parent's home in Lake Mary? Why aren't camera's there? Why aren't the media stalking him the way they would stalk well...any one else? His family, his wife's family? Sure, I believe everyone has the right to privacy but rare is the case that the media actually respects that right. Why now?
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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Bigger than Race But Not Much Bigger


CNN depicts another challenge to the Stand Your Ground law here in Florida in Valrico (Tampa suburb) where the race and age of the victim and alleged perpetrator are in a sense reversed of that in the Trayvon Martin case. An older (elderly?) Black man shot and killed a 41 year military father at the playground of their neighborhood after an altercation and he too claims self-defense under the same Stand Your Ground law. The father was shot and killed in front of his own daughter.

"Who brings a gun to a playground?" his widow asks in the report. I'm asking the same damn thing.

My point is not whether the Black elder should go free. My point is if you watch the video you will see him in HANDCUFFS!!!!! And proving his claim of self-defense in court.

We don't know where George Zimmerman is but we know he is not, and has never been, in handcuffs or in jail.  I wonder the outcome if they had considered him to be an ethnic minority. Nonetheless, this is bigger than race it is about what is right.

***CORRECTION*** After further reading and researching, the shooter, 69 yr old Trevor Dooley was not immediately arrested. He even returned to his job as a busdriver and picked kids up from school!! (Eeek!) However according to David James' widow's blog there is a trial against Dooley for manslaughter that begun last month.
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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Don't Shoot me I only have Skittles.

I've been on hiatus for a couple of months now and my last post was titled "I Just Died". My absense may have convinced you otherwise but I did not. But I was gone for good reason, I promise. There has not been a more opportune time to resume blogging than in the wake of the Trayvon Martin case here in my home state of Florida.

There are a number of painful aspects of this story that bother me. The gated community that (we?) "uppity, educated black folk" work hard to move into. The place where we feel will protect our kids from crime and bad public schools. This is the place where we would assume one could walk to the store and not get shot for his jordans.I can't bring myself to listen to the 911 recordings in its entirety. I am growing a little Black boy in my belly as I type. (I told you I was out for good reason!!) I am afraid for him. I feel powerless. There is no level of education or amount of money that will protect his freedom and give me piece of mind.
The another painful aspect is the comments of justification such as:
  •  Blacks kill whites all the time, Blacks kill Hispanics all the time. Why are we making a big deal out of it? 
  • Well, Blacks do most of the crimes. If they stop committing crimes they would not be viewed as suspicious.
  • He had a hoodie on to cover his face? He had it coming.
  • There must have been a reason.
  • Zimmerman was Latino so it's not racist.
Along with a whole host of hits. Who are these people? Please wear a t-shirt identifing who you are so I can cross the road when I see you.

There are easy responses, "well, most of the Blacks that kill whites are on death row or serving life sentences. EVEN when they are innocent. The point is justice is not served" "Most racists are white. The overwhelming majority of Serial Killers are white. Maybe people should take on the same reasoning and assume they all are." But honestly, I don't have the patience.

 Don't shoot me for this (awful, terrible, pun intended) but I am afraid of all youth collectives. Particularly, a group of young white boys ages 16-30 (35?) would cause me the same alarm. There have been many cases were the most vulnerable (women, homelessmen, puppies) have been victim to this demographic's desire of a good time. So I go inside and lock my door. Not too unlike the woman that clutches her purse when my brothers walk by. We all do it.

I but I don't trail them. I don't shoot any of them. Even if I did, there is no chance in hell I'd go free. Because that would be easily considered murder...for a Black person.  
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Monday, January 09, 2012

I just died...

                        Naomi Campbell in the new spring 2012 Roberto Cavalli Campaign 

Look at that jacket...that handbag! Dead.

#Iliveforfineleathergoods
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Friday, January 06, 2012

Happy New Year?

        Happy New Year! Did I miss the count down? Am I a bit late? Purple Rain in a Drought has been on hiatus for the last few weeks due to some unforeseen but very exciting circumstances. But I am back in the saddle and though we are six days in, it is the beginning of a new year nonetheless. My last post was about a missing young Black woman and the story has since been updated with the news that she had in fact jumped off a bridge and killed herself. My immediate response was disbelief, but I ultimately succumbed to the feeling of empathy and sadness. I'll just say it--- She was a girl of Nigerian heritage raised in America... I can rattle off a number of reasons you would want to kill yourself. No matter what she was going through I wish someone could have let her know it was going to be OK.
         2011 taught me that you will not die of utter humiliation and disgrace. Even if you feel like you will. It is tough being a Black woman in America in general but our subgroup mounds such expectations that leaves in its wake many young women suffering from clinical depression and substance abuse. Yes, that doctor/lawyer/professor/engineer/pharmacist/etc. hates herself and maybe uses something ---alcohol, drugs, sex--- to numb her pain and fear of humiliation. There are women suffering and we don't acknowledge it or trivialize their pain.
              Our male counterparts have no such pressure comparable in size or might. For example, we are all urged to marry with in our culture but Nigerian-American men don't actually marry Nigerian-American women. (I don't know any and if you do, I dare you to name 4 couples). No one calls them whores or disowns them.  I felt truly betrayed when I realized the double standard. I can't begin to tell you how dating Nigerian-Americans wrecked my feelings of worth and worthiness as I developed as a woman. I've actually been somewhat bitter about that ...I digress.

         As I start this new year and new chapter in my life I have taken inventory of all these feelings and I say fuck THAT shit. Yes, I said it. God did not bring me to this Earth to be marginalized. They can't have my life. I would say that to her...  "They can't have your life!" Well, not another. Not this year.  I want to encourage Nigerian-American females to develop a sense of self-worth from within not from the mythical expectations of our kinfolk. We aren't all given the tools but we should at least know it's possible. We don't talk about it in our community, it's a shame.



Not another life and not one minute more of mine. That's my resolution. Happy New Year.
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