{STYLE SESSIONS WITH...} Jacqueline Fink, Little Dandelion

STYLE SESSIONS WITH... Jacqueline Fink from Little Dandelion - super knitter and super mum from Sydney's Northern beaches Jac shares a few of her favourite eat read loves with us, and her journey in creating the most amazing large scale blankets that most definitely make people stop and look! What a treat to have Jac join us on the blog this Wintery weekend. 

It is the first day of Winter and it is now that I dream of lazy weekends curled up with my family on the couch with a cuppa and a good book, and of course a beautiful warm blanket. So it is perfect timing to introduce our latest guest on Style Sessions! I have been a massive fan of Little Dandelion since I first spotted them in a magazine about a year ago and have been following Jac's knitting adventures ever since. It is hard to believe that Jacqui never considered herself a creative person, originally choosing to study law before finally deciding to follow her creative path to find something to truly call her own. Thank goodness she did! I hope you enjoy my little interview with Jac...

Before we begin, tell us a little about you Jacqui...
I'm a 40 year old stay at home Mum living on Sydney's sunny Northern Beaches with my Husband, three children (10, 9 and 6), one dog, two cats and a menagerie of Cockatoos, Lorikeets and a possum who visit for their daily feed. It is quite a zoo! We like to live very casually and you can always be assured of some lovely food and good wine should you visit. I grew up in Northern New South Wales and studied law at Bond University. I met my Husband at Bond and followed him to Sydney on completing my degree. I practised law for a few years but found it not to be my cup of tea. I was very much a round peg and a square hole and a tremendous load lifted off my shoulders once I left it all behind. I don't regret studying law but I do look back sometimes and wonder "what was I thinking?".   I know it sounds ludicrous but I never considered myself to be a creative person.  I certainly whiled away the hours of my childhood engaged in very creative pursuits and demonstrated as a child a tremendous capacity for patience for very menial tasks involving my hands (which is essential for my work now). But not once did I ever make the connection that perhaps I could make a career out of it.  The concept of making large scale highly textured blankets and throws came to me in late 2009 and I launched Little Dandelion in March of 2012. It's been a steep learning curve but I have met some wonderful people along the way and have received tremendous support from Australian stylists, Lifestyle Magazines, our amazing farmers and from other women, who just like me, are on the search for something that they can call their own.

How did the Little Dandelion story begin.... 
In late October 2009, my Mother was in the end stages of a terminal lung disease. As I flew north to say my goodbyes, my Husband took our son Remy for a long walk, taking in the beautiful artworks of Sculptures by The Sea. My Little Fella found a little dandelion and, as we always do in my family, picked it up and made a wish. He looked up at his Dad and asked, “Will my wish come true?”. My Hubby answered, “if it is a heartfelt wish, it will come true.”. “Oh good,” said my Little Fella happily, “because I’ve just wished for Nan to get new lungs”. “Oh bugger”, quietly thought my Hubby. Many hours later, in the precious care of some awe-inspiring doctors and nurses, my Mother received a double lung transplant. Thanks to a generous and loving donor and their dear family, Remy’s wish came true and my Mother was given a second chance at life. I found the post transplant recovery haze a very surreal time of intense reassessment of everything in my life. It was during this time that I had a very vivid dream in which I was told, by I do not know who or what, that I was to knit blankets. The message was as loud as it was profound. I had been searching for something to turn my mind and hands to for sometime before then. After a law degree, some seriously hard work in my Hubby’s business over many years, three children and 8 house moves, I desperately wanted something to do for myself and I wanted it to be creative. I needed to nourish my soul and to find a “room of one’s own”. I also wanted to show my children that if you are passionate about something and you work hard you can make anything happen. And so I started to knit....

In the days and weeks that followed, I knitted a blanket for my eldest son using hand dyed woollen yarn in a rainbow of colours. It's a confection only a child could love and nothing like the throws and blankets I now make but that first blanket sent me hurtling towards the creation of Little Dandelion. I didn't know the how's, the when's or the where's at the time. But, I certainly knew the why's and I also knew that I wanted to make chunky and highly textural pieces that took on a life of their own; 

"rebellious and large scale blankets that would make people stop and look. I also wanted to provide immense comfort to people".

The idea of “Little Dandelion” teetered on the edge for quite sometime until one afternoon, over a cup of tea, a dear friend said to me, “Jacqui, so many people have “good ideas” but unless you actually do something to get your idea from A to B it will always remain just a “good idea”. My friend’s advice really resonated with me and it has sustained me through some considerable curve balls thrown in Little Dandelion’s path. Fast forward three years, an interstate move and back, 3 school changes, much experimentation, numerous mistakes, some very good advice and countless hours of knitting I have a business and a product of which I am very proud. 

How do you describe your signature style?
Natural tones and beautiful large scale textures combined with a pop of colour. I hope that people recognise my creations as being classic in their construction and contemporary in their design. 


Everything I make is unique and they take days and often weeks to make. My process is very involved and I often think to myself that people would think I am completely mad if they knew how much goes into making one of my creations. It's certainly time that I can never account for from a commercial point of view but I am not driven by a commercial imperative at all. I do this purely out of love and in the hope that I can make something beautiful and yet functional for another person to love as much as I do. I mostly source my raw materials from Australia and New Zealand as it is important to me to support our local industries. It also helps make what I do as low impact as possible.



Best chapter in Australian interiors right now? 
The appreciation of handmade creations and the push against mindless mass production is exciting to witness. Obviously mass production has its place but I love that people are seeking to introduce comfort, creativity and interesting one-off pieces  into their homes not just items of convenience. Traditional crafts are enjoying a huge insurgency and I love watching creatives transform these crafts into contemporary works of art and objects which bear relevance to how we live. That someone devotes their time and energy to create something with their two hands is a very noble enterprise because it is born out of love and passion for what they do. I am in awe of creatives who manage to eek out a living doing what they love because it is not easy. BIG RESPECT!

Any artists/designers/stylists that send you weak at the knees?
Oh so many. My favourite Australian Artist is Fred Williams (1927-1982). I love his use of colour and paint. His works make my heart beat faster and one day, somehow, one of his works shall hang on my wall. It's one of my life's missions.

The luscious textures that come out of the Dana Barnes Studio are outstanding and the work of Spanish designer and architect Patricia Urquiola is beyond clever. Rachel Johns - a UK textile artist - does extreme knitting like no other and I'd love to sit down and have a chat with Christien Meinderstma from the Netherlands

With regards to stylists, I am the self proclaimed number one  fan of Amanda Talbot. Big love for this kind hearted woman. The exquisite work of Glen Proebstel was instrumental in setting the tone of Little Dandelion from the beginning. Glen, together with photographer extraodanaire Sharyn Cairns, styled and shot my initial brand images. Those images continue to open doors for me. I shall always be grateful for his talent and skill but, more importantly, his generosity. Glen is a beautiful human being and it's a joy to be in his company. And last but by no means least, Lara HuttonLara is a doyenne of good taste and when she is not run off her feet styling for all manner of clients in various parts of the globe, Lara turns her hands to the most incredibly delicate, tactile and beautiful ceramics imaginable. Lara and I are planning a joint and curated exhibition of our works this year and I'm so excited by our collaboration. Stay tuned for more details.

What inspires you to get out of bed in the morning?
Coffee actually. Breakfast is also my favourite meal of the day so I'm pretty keen to hop out of bed in the morning. The thought of a full day of knitting makes me feel very inspired but they rarely happen I'm afraid. My work is very stop/start in its nature and there are, of course, three little people to manoeuvre around. I've learned to steal moments whenever I can. 

Summer or Winter?
Summer hands down. I grew up on the border of New South Wales and Queensland so I like nothing better than a hot day. I  even enjoy humidity. I'm the type who wears a jumper grocery shopping. The refrigerated aisles get me every time. The cold is not my friend. 

Local coffee stop love?
There's not a lot of coffee love over my way I'm afraid. Not that I can walk to anyway. We have a coffee machine at home and our morning routine revolves around its delicious offerings. So now the conversation is more about who has the best beans rather than who makes the best coffee. I am a fan of Campos and Allpress coffee and Bellaroma have some amazing single origin beans they roast on site over our way.

If you could travel anywhere tomorrow where would it be/why?
I am very poorly travelled so I'd be happy to go absolutely anywhere at this point. I went straight from high school to Uni, Uni to work, work to motherhood, motherhood to business. How quickly time passes. However, I like to think wonderful travels are ahead of me. In that vein, I'd love to be in India for the Holi Festival of Colours. I don't consider myself to be a very adventurous person but India calls out to me. I feel compelled to go there and absorb all of its beauty, its textiles and for cultural exchange. I also want to show my children how the vast majority of the world's population live. I'm more interested in showing them the developing world before they get to see the developed. But let me be clear, I cannot wait to get to New York, Paris, London ......

EATING Now its getting colder I usually end the day with some chocolate, and I am also eating way too much of Sonoma's Miche loaf at the moment. We are a little starved for good quality bread in our area so whenever we, or our neighbours, are in the Eastern Suburbs we stock up on bread from Sonoma or Bourke Street Bakery. We have a good thing going! 

READING I'm an avid reader and right now I'm enjoying non-fiction. Since setting up my business, I've lost the desire to escape into a good story. It's a curious thing actually. I wonder if it's because my work feeds me enough creatively that I'm just not hungry for the escapism. Or maybe it's just my inner nerd dictating my choices. I tend to read a few books on the go so currently on my reading list is Amanda Talbot's "Rethink: the way you live" which is a very clever and thought provoking book, "He'll be ok" by Celia Lashlie (I have two sons) and a gorgeous book called "The Paper Garden" by Molly Peacock. It the story of a woman called Mary Delaney (1700-1788) who started her life's work at the age of 72. Mary, with a fine pair of scissors, created a new art form - mixed media collage. Over 10 years, she created 985 botanically correct cut paper flowers which are now housed in the British Museum. It's a very inspiring read.

LOVING Instagram, natural fibres, summer, candles that capture the fragrance of gardenias and jasmine and, now that the little people are back at school, 6 hours of uninterrupted time to devote to Little Dandelion. I crave solitude as it recharges my senses and puts me in touch with my creativity.

Favourite corner of your home...? 

We live in a 1940's P&O style home in Sydney's Northern Beaches. When we first moved in I was a little circumspect with regards to the curved walls because they make it really difficult to place furniture well. Now I love the softness that comes with the curves. In our living room, we have a large curved wall in front of which we placed a French antique lounge covered with lime green linen and a blue Jeilde lamp. Above the lounge rests a beautiful painting by Fiona Greehill. It's a calm space and perfect for reading. 

We have always loved the juxtapositioning of contemporary furniture with old bits and pieces. I am big on the notion of re-use and I find objects that have been preloved even more beautiful because of the history they possess. I have a particular penchant for Depression era pieces because of the inherent ingenuity. They are also painted in gorgeous colours.

What's next for Little Dandelion...?
I do like to have a sense of where I'm going and I'm a big fan of putting one's heart's desires out to the universe and then practising positive affirmations to draw those desires to me. So for 2013, those stepping stones for Little Dandelion include my collaboration with Lara Hutton, finding the time to expand my range to include colours and setting up an online shop. On a personal note, my Husband is currently creating an app which is due to be launched in April this year. The app has been in development for many months now and during this time my Hubby has been doing his fair share of the household work load to allow me to concentrate on Little Dandelion. However, as its completion draws near and my Hubby is increasingly less available,  I very much have a sense that maintaining the momentum of my own business will become harder and harder to manage. So if I have resolved to do anything in 2013, it is to maintain a sense of balance and perspective in my life. 


You can follow the adventures of Little Dandelion on Facebook and instagram 
www.littledandelion.com

A huge thank you to Jac for taking the time to join me on STYLE SESSIONS! I am totally in love your work and your passion for creating beautiful things and love the wonderful knitting updates on instagram too! I get excited everytime I see those massive knitting needles (seriously how do you do it?!) and when the new blankets pop up on the feed. All the new colour combos are amazing! Thanks again Jac. Natalie x x 

A Good Example Of A “Colorless”—And Therefore Successful—Fiction-Writing Career


I’ve recently come across several online conversations in which African-American (AA) women are talking about getting started on their novels, screenplays, etc. Which is a wonderful thing. We need to produce our own content.

However, I would strongly urge any AA woman who’s entering the entertainment biz via writing to position her work as colorless (meaning, directed toward White consumers) FIRST.

After you get established, thenyou’ll be in a position to disseminate positive portrayals of AA women and girls. If you start off your career by writing AA/Black-oriented works, the odds are that your career will crash and burn and be over before it even begins.

As I said during a post at the other blog:
For the reasons I explained in great detail during this post, Black business owners who are serious about success need to stop structuring their businesses around hopes of appealing to African-American consumers. The masses of African-American consumers are emotionally incapable of responding appropriately to any visibly Black-owned business, regardless of its quality.
African-American business owners need to position their businesses as “colorless” in order to tap into the larger pool of nonblack consumers. Unless they find out otherwise, many (if not most) American consumers will assume that a business is White-owned. Making your business “colorless” means to preserve this assumption of White ownership for as long as possible.
It takes emotional discipline to have a colorless business and to maintain secrecy about it being Black-owned. This means that you don’t get to puff your chest out and brag about how you’re a business owner. This often means that you don’t get the emotional payoff of visibly looking like The Boss.
But if you’re in tune with reality, then you know that life is not fair and that you can’t afford to behave the same way as nonblack business owners. That is, if your priority is to make the sale while providing excellent goods and service. The reality is that you won’t even get the opportunity to provide excellent products and service to most potential customers (of any race, including Blacks) if they know your business is Black-owned. As I mentioned to a reader during an earlier conversation,
For AA business owners, it’s a difficult, hostile business environment all-around. I agree with you that things are not much better with nonblack consumers. I never said it was Paradise with them. But here’s what I feel is the (meaningful) difference:
If you can position yourself in such a way that maintains “colorlessness”—let’s be blunt, in a way that maintains the illusion of White ownership—then your business has the chance to survive long enough to maybe, perhaps . . . be judged on its actual merits. There’s NO realistic hope of that when dealing with AA consumers as a visibly Black-owned business. AA consumers won’t patronize the business, AND they’ll be more prone to rob and/or steal you blind if they know it’s Black-owned.
If your business can survive long enough, you might be able to develop a professional reputation that’s well-known enough to get you over that “racism from nonblack consumers” hump.
It’s not a direct comparison (after all, she’s a WW dealing with other White people), but this is what the Men With Pens blogger was able to accomplish with her online business. She “passed” as a WM-owned business long enough to more or less get over the sexism hump.
She came up with a decidedly MALE pseudonym, and named her blog the manly-sounding “MEN With Pens.” Her problem was that at a certain point, she had to make business phone calls. And then customers would hear her (woman’s) voice.
She talked about all of this in her post entitled Why James Chartrand Wears Women’s Underpants.
I’ve heard tales of Black business owners who do like the AA plumbing company owner who pretends to be an employee of his own company when he goes out on service calls.

Sensible nonwhite writers already know all of this. There are successful African-American women writers who have “colorless” writing careers that I could mention. But I won’t mention them, because I don’t want to “out” them and risk damaging their careers (by bringing attention to the fact that they're Black). I want them to continue being successful.

But I don’t mind mentioning the example of an Asian woman writer who has found success by writing for White consumers: Tess Gerritsen, who writes the very popular Rizzoli & Isles series of novels.

Note that she does NOT write under her Chinese maiden name. And for the most part, she does not write about Asian characters as starring characters. I would guess that most of her WW readers have no idea that Ms. Gerritsen is Chinese-American. I would further guess that if they had been aware of this in the beginning, then her career never would've taken off. As she stated in her post, Non-white heroes: the kiss of death in the marketplace?

And there are lots and lots of novels about middle-aged white men having affairs and mid-life crises.  But rarely do you see a novel, much less a bestselling novel, that explores the Asian American experience.
 
So why have I never written one?  My three-word answer: fear of failure.  
 
That's not just my own lack of confidence speaking; it's something that a very canny (and honest) publishing executive told me two decades ago.  It was back while I was writing romance novels for Harlequin Intrigue, and I had a chat with one of Harlequin's top brass.  She loved my writing and she wanted to discuss my upcoming book projects.  I asked her if she'd be interested in a romance featuring an Asian American heroine.
 
She wasn't afraid to tell me the truth, and I will always be grateful for her honesty.  Harlequin had done extensive market research, she said.  They knew which titles were hits and which were flops.  And whenever they published a book with an Asian hero or heroine, no one bought those books.  They might be the best stories in the line, but they invariably failed in the marketplace.
  
"I want your books to be bestsellers," she said.  "And this will hurt your sales."
 
I took that advice, so generously given, and all my novels have featured white heroes and heroines.  I've slipped in Asian Americans as secondary characters: Maura's morgue assistant Yoshima, for example, or Vivian Chao, the fearless surgeon in HARVEST.  But in none of my books have I featured an Asian or touched on those painful memories from my childhood -- until now.
 
In THE SILENT GIRL, I've finally written the story I've been burning to tell, a story with bits and pieces of my own Chinese-American childhood. Not the painful memories, but the quirky bits, imbued with my mother's lore about ghosts and monsters.  One of her stories in particular has always stayed with me, the much-beloved Chinese legend of the Monkey King, a wild and unpredictable creature who was born from a stone and becomes a warrior.  When Jane Rizzoli finds monkey hairs on the body of a butchered woman in Boston's Chinatown, the legend of the Monkey King becomes key to understanding the crime.  Monkeys both fascinate and frighten me, and I get chills thinking of such a creature roaming Chinatown's dark alleys.
 
For the first time, I introduce not just one, but two major Asian American characters.

Ms. Gerritsen can afford to do this (without killing her career) because she’s already built a fan base of White consumers. She built this base by orienting her earlier novels toward White consumers. Without letting them know (in the beginning) that she's Asian. And her sales are great. I know this because I’m an indie fiction writer and publisher who keeps up with my industry. I have market analysis software that tracks and estimates monthly sales on Amazon based on ranking numbers.* Here’s a screen capture of the search I performed a few minutes ago on Ms. Gerritsen’s Kindle books (using this software)(click to see a larger image):



 
African-American women writers who are serious about financial success need to stop structuring their art around hopes of appealing to African-American consumers. When you write for African-American consumers, all you’re doing is throwing away a larger pool of customers to chase after a smaller pool of customers. You’re leaving money on the table—and damaging your writing career—when you start your career by writing for Black consumers.

 The better way (with much higher odds of success) is to get your money first by writing for White consumers, and then—afteryou have a mainstream fan base—start inserting positive, attractive BW characters as starring characters in your art.

[*As an aside, if you're looking to make a living from your writing, you'll keep track of market trends. You'll use the tools that are available to keep track of what types of books consumers are looking for. I'm not saying to chase after fads with your writing. I'm saying to see if the sort of material you're inclined to write can fit into a niche that already has a large fan base looking for that sort of material. This applies to both fiction and nonfiction.]

I’ll end by repeating a comment I made during a discussion at my other blog a few years ago:
I don’t expect to write any more AA/Black-oriented materials. My side business (and any future projects, such as writing a technothriller novel) are totally oriented toward the nonblack mainstream consumer. But thanks so much for your kind words; I truly appreciate it.
And since I mentioned business, let me repeat part of a real talk comment that I previously made over at Halima’s blog. It might provide some food for thought for aspiring AA entrepreneurs. I explained the reasons why I didn’t and don’t want payment in exchange for this blog’s premium content:
I deeply appreciate your call to action, but NO—I DON’T want anybody sending me money for my premium content—please DON’T do that!!!
Here’s the primary reason why:
As a Black business owner, I don’t believe in trying to do serious business with “typical” AAs/Blacks. It never works right for the reasons (I’ve outlined in depth at my blog). I refuse to do business with slaves in that direct fashion. A Black business owner who tries to do direct business with slaves is only setting themselves up to be sabotaged by those slaves.
A reader at my blog previously described the AA slaves’ behavior pattern regarding Black businesses: First the slaves pretend to be excited about the Black business endeavor. Then, they start backbiting it. Then, they work their fingers to the bone to pull it down.
I’m already an online business owner. My side business is totally oriented toward mainstream, NON-Black consumers. I don’t want hateration-type AA slaves to have any possible openings to do any sabotage that could potentially spill over onto my side business.
That’s the primary reason why I don’t mix any direct exchanges for money with my BWE activism. I know that there are legions of DBRBM, disgruntled colored girls, and other trolls who would looove to have an opening to file false complaints to the Better Business Bureau, etc. about me out of spite. If I accepted money for the BWE premium content, doing so would give bad-faith slaves a lever to use to potentially impact/sabotage what I’m doing with my side business.
Keeping the premium content free protects me from the disgruntled colored girls and other Black haters.
I know that I have to protect my side business from MOST of the people in the reading audience. As Halima noted, there’s an undercurrent of resentment toward many BWE bloggers. Even from audience members who aren’t full-blown trolls or haters. That’s why my name is not on my side business. So the haters in the audience will never be able to find it and connect it to me. They can’t sabotage what they can’t find.
For any Black business owner’s self-protection, AA slaves must be kept at arms’ length from one’s business, and only dealt with via 3rd parties like Amazon.com.
That way, when the hateration-AA slaves falsely claim to have a problem or issue about their order, they have to take it up with the 3rd party such as Amazon.com. And the Black business owner is removed from the main “line of fire” from hateration AA slave-consumers.
There are secondary reasons why I don’t want money in exchange for the premium blog posts:
(1) I don’t want folks to be able to dismiss the reciprocity lesson as actually being about “money-grubbing.” I know that this is how AA slaves think; and I want them to genuinely learn what reciprocity means. AND
(2) I’m already a business owner, and my online business is totally oriented toward majority, NON-Black consumers. I want the Sojourner’s Passport social activism blog to pay for its own upkeep (through book sales), but it’s not like I’m trying to use the blog to put food on my table.
Let me emphasize that I don’t feel that there would be anything wrong with accepting donations or making the blog paid-subscription only. Other folks—people who are not African-Americans—understand how it’s often necessary to pay for valuable, life-enhancing information. Sadly, most AAs are simply too primitive and slave-minded for that—they don’t want to pay any other Black person for anything sensible.
It’s an interesting paradox: Most African-Americans are cynical and yet gullible at the same time. We’re quick to interpret any other Black person seeking fair monetary compensation for their life-enhancing work as somehow inappropriate. Yet, we’re simultaneously delighted to throw piles of money to all sorts of useless Black (mostly male) hustlers who are peddling less than useless wares such as Steve Harvey, most AA male pastors/imams, etc.
So, even though it would be perfectly appropriate to charge for the information I provide, I don’t want to do that. In addition to the concerns I mentioned in Part 1 of this comment, I believe charging for premium content would actually work against the reciprocity lesson that I’m trying to teach.
It would make it too easy for indoctrinated AA slave-women to dismiss the reciprocity lesson as just an attempt to “get over.” Which is what they’re inclined to think, because they don’t understand the idea of reciprocity. All they understand is exploitation. Either from the perspective of the user or as the person being used. How very sad . . . and downright savage.
Aspiring AA entrepreneurs: Don’t be naive about the typical AA consumer and their behaviors.
Expect Success!
**Advanced Bonus Tips For Aspiring Storytellers** ONE—When I first started writing novels, I discovered that most of the existing books about fiction writing are filled with disinformation. Very few of them were useful in teaching the tricks of the trade. I found that screenwriting materials were much more useful in teaching one how to structure a compelling story.

 TWO—One of the best ways to learn the underlying structure of good, compelling stories is to read the screenplays of good, compelling movies and TV series. Lots of them. There are several sites where you can read and download free screenplays, including those listed on this page.
 
 [As a side note, please know that people in the movie industry (and wannabe screenwriters) are reading the various drafts of film scripts even before any particular movie finishes shooting, and long before the movie comes out.  So for all the confused slaves who felt that nobody— like, oh, let’s say Spike Lee—could fairly criticize Django Unchainedor its content without seeing it: Folks like Spike Lee typically have access to movie scripts long before the movie comes out. So they’ve often read the shooting script to a movie long before that particular movie is playing in theaters.

In fact, there’s a very popular blogger who devotes a large chunk of his time to reading screenplays of movies that haven’t been produced, and/or haven’t come out yet. The ScriptShadow blog host also has an excellent book about the tricks of the screenwriting trade.
 
For those aspiring screenwriters who are really interested in keeping up with the "haps" in the industry, and want to know about the latest film and TV script sales, there's this site: Done Deal Professional]

THREE—In terms of novels, series sell muchbetter than stand-alone books. To write a successful series, you need an underlying premise that can sustain readers' interest for more than one book. Here’s a good book (Writing The Pilot) that explains how to craft that type of premise. It's specifically for writers who want to write spec TV series pilot scripts, but many of the same considerations apply to coming up with ideas that can sustain more than one novel in a series.

Woolwich attacks - false flag ... again

It will come as no surprise, but is no less sickening for all that... we are beginning to see the inevitable.
We saw it, after all, with 9/11. We saw it with 7/7.
My convert friend refuses to accept either atrocity was carried out by those following his faith. It was western governments, security forces and of course....the JEWS!
There are claims now emerging that Woolwich was a false flag operation.
On the anti-Semite site run by bonkers Canadian professor Michel Chossudovsky called rather grandly Global Research we see this:

Woolwich London Killing: Terrorism or False Flag?

Chossudovsky, by the way, has been described in various quarters as one of "Canada's nuttiest professors, those whose absurdity stands head and shoulders above their colleagues" link

The article has this to say about the recent events. Look away now if you are easily offended by rank stupidity.
These type incidents automatically raise questions. Answers are needed before jumping to conclusions. The timing of Wednesday’s killing is very suspicious.
COBRA refers to the room where committee members meet – Cabinet Office Briefing Room A. A terrorist alert was imposed. Heightened security steps were taken.
These measures don’t commonly follow street killings. It doesn’t matter how gruesome. Most incidents get scant coverage. Many go unnoticed.
The article goes on to quote Peter Eyre"a Middle East consultant, geopolitical analyst, investigative journalist, anti-war activist, and valued Progressive Radio News Hour guest."
“The gruesome scene of a decapitated actor with no police or paramedics at the scene and no blood,” he said.
The “offenders are shot by armed police who are in attendance in the background but the murder scene has not been secured!!”
Many awakened “to this amazing Shakespearean play that has unfolded in Woolwich, London where all the actors were so bad they would not even qualify for an interview as an extra in some third rate movie!
S)o much vivid violence and yet still no blood at the scene…why?”“(B)ecause the actors had not had time to splash it around before they filmed the scene.”“(I)t was however added later as the picture (in his article) shows…the blood is only on the pavement and not on the road!!”“(D)o you think they attempted to copy the Boston Bombing but somehow did not get it right?”
So, innocent Muslims were framed for 9/11. Innocent Muslims were framed for 7/7. Now innocent Muslims were framed for Woolwich.
Black is white. White is black. And I'm a small rodent called Gerald. 
Please wake me up when the nightmare is over.

eat read love & Kinfolk Workshop Sydney

 


EAT READ LOVE to co-host Sydney Kinfolk Event in May - 'Freshen Up' with Jaclyn Carlson and a team of super Sydney creatives...
As a HUGE fan of US Magazine Kinfolk, I was absolutely thrilled when I was invited to co-host the next Sydney event 'Freshen Up' in May with the lovely Jaclyn Carlson from the newly launched Blog Society and the beautiful Little Paper Trees blog

Kinfolk publishes a consistent stream of casual entertaining ideas to which readers subscribe quarterly as a collectible print magazine, weekly with online features, and in-person with workshops, dinners and events. Kinfolk redefines “entertaining” by dusting off traditions to strengthen social networks by opening doors, sharing tables and getting outdoors under the sun and stars together. Kinfolk caters to a growing audience of young artists and food enthusiasts by focusing on simple ways to spend time together with a keen attention to design and details. Whether it’s a new cooking skill, road trip guide, camping tips or a simple reminder to visit your grandmother, Kinfolk is a blueprint for a balanced, intentional lifestyle. 

In 2013 Kinfolk started hosting monthly gatherings with readers around the globe (the inspiration for my very own #eatreadlovepopupdinner series), working with hand-picked hosts to create learning-by-doing experiences. These small- scale workshops and dinners are an invitation to guests to indulge in curiosity, taking part in skills we wish our grandparents had passed down. Kinfolk has designed ten different themes for the year, all seasonally inspired. I am so honoured to help bring this event to life in Sydney and the opportunity to work with some lovely friends and fellow creatives! 

All the details of the Sydney event are listed here! 
http://www.kinfolkmag.com/dinners/

Many thanks to the lovely MAY Partners





eat read love #popupdinner launches at Balmain Wharf







EAT, READ, LOVE #POPUPDINNER series kicks off in style at the beautiful Balmain Wharf Apartments. A few weeks ago I hosted my very first eat read love #popupdinner! It was so much fun. Inspired by Kinfolk Magazine's dinner series, me and a small group of food loving friends met at the beautiful Balmain Wharf Apartments overlooking Sydney Harbour. The lovely Mario (who is an absolute gentlemen and all round amazing chef) cooked up a storm for us in the apartment kitchen, with a divine rustic chicken roast, and the most amazing almond tart I have ever tasted. As the city lights sparkled we sat together enjoying a fine meal overlooking the harbour watching the ferries pass by - a beautiful evening of Sydney magic, food and friendship. This was the pilot and it was so much fun I am definitely going to do it again, and again, and again...... big plans to come! {Oh and some late breaking news....after my first #popupdinner I was invited to co-host a very special KINFOLK Magazine event in Sydney with Blog Society which I am soooooo excited about. More on that coming soon on the blog}


A HUGE THANK YOU TO MY beautiful partners and supporters for the inaugural eatreadlove #popupdinner. You are the BEST!!


Thank you to my beautiful girls Kate, Kim, Bec, and Sam for being my lovely company (aka guinea pigs...for the first pop up) :)


“Vetting” Should Be More Than A Buzzword


Former blog readers often send me links to various online discussions that are taking place among Black women. While reading the links I’m sent, sometimes my attention is drawn to something other than what the reader has mentioned about the particular discussion. This is such an occasion. Let me preface my remarks by noting that none of what I’m about to say is about any particular blog or blog host. Blog hosts have their own reasons for posting the comments they post. Everybody’s got their own reasons, and I’ve never had any interest in running any blog(s) but my own. {chuckling}
I'm not going to post links to these troll comments at other people's blogs because I want you to pay attention to the  WM troll's deceptive behavior pattern, not any particular blog host's decision to post his comment(s).
The focus of this post is also not about this particular WM troll that’s been haunting Black women’s blogs for several years. This WM troll has simply provided enough material to constitute a “teachable moment” for: (1) newbies who are unaware of his online history; and (2) confused African-American (AA) women who don’t understand how healthy boundaries operate. My focus is on many African-American women’s lack of boundaries and lack of discernment.
Healthy individuals and ethnic groups have boundaries. For the most part, outsiders can’t just “Bogard” their way into other ethnic group’s online spaces, and talk just any kind of way to those people (from non-AA ethnic groups). Most non-AAs won’t tolerate the garbage that AAs put up with.
A large part of the reason why the African-American collective is in a state of free fall is because most of us don't have any clear values. Those of us who do have values generally fail to integrate these values into the fabric of our everyday lives. Such people only pull their values out for "special occasions."

Most African-Americans are not grounded in anything at all.

Our lack of basic, firm grounding is also the reason why we are so easily deceived and pulled off course. Especially by flatterers. Excessive and/or insincere praise is almost always rooted in negative motives. It’s typically self-serving, and designed to advance a hidden agenda. I’m reminded of a song my parents played a lot, Smiling Faces Sometimes by The Undisputed Truth.
Smiling faces sometimes pretend to be your friend
Smiling faces show no traces of the evil that lurks within
Smiling faces, smiling faces sometimes
They don't tell the truth uh
Smiling faces, smiling faces
Tell lies and I got proof
The truth is in the eyes
Cause the eyes don't lie, amen

Remember a smile is just
A frown turned upside down
My friend let me tell you
Smiling faces, smiling faces sometimes
They don't tell the truth, uh
Smiling faces, smiling faces
Tell lies and I got proof

Beware, beware of the handshake
That hides the snake
I'm telling you beware
Beware of the pat on the back
It just might hold you back
Jealousy (jealousy)
Misery (misery)
Envy I tell you, you can't see behind smiling faces
Smiling faces sometimes they don't tell the truth

Smiling faces, smiling faces
Tell lies and I got proof
Smiling faces, smiling faces sometimes
They don't tell the truth
Smiling faces, smiling faces
Tell lies and I got proof
(Smiling faces, smiling faces sometimes)
(Smiling faces, smiling faces sometimes)

I'm telling you beware, beware of the handshake
That hides the snake
Listen to me now, beware
Beware of that pat on the back
It just might hold you back
Smiling faces, smiling faces sometimes
They don't tell the truth
Smiling faces, smiling faces
Tell lies and I got proof
Your enemy won't do you no harm
Cause you'll know where he's coming from
Don't let the handshake and the smile fool ya
Take my advice I'm only try' to school ya


When we don't continuously refer back to our touchstones—or even worse, don't have any touchstones to check—we set ourselves up to be played and to do great harm to our own interests.

This sort of self-inflicted damage to our own interests is the general behavior pattern for most African-Americans. We don't react to events based on clear, firm values. We react based on emotions.
Anyhoo, I’m talking about all of this because (in the link that was sent to me) I saw a comment by a WM troll that pricked my spirit:
 
As this exchange continued, this one BW reader who does have boundaries was actually called "racist" by other commenters. [!!!] Yes, the commenter named Cocoababe was called a "racist" because she has and sets boundaries, and therefore wouldn't let this WM troll get over with his drive-by snark.
As far as I’m concerned, drive-by snark is not cute. And it’s especially “not cute” in the context of an outsider coming among others to leave drive-by snark. Boundaries aren’t necessarily about race or ethnicity. They’re about being a good and respectful guest when you’re in somebody else’s “house.” Being a good and respectful guest when visiting somebody else’s space. Being a good and respectful guest when people from another group (be it gender, ethnic, racial, religious, sexual orientation, whatever) are discussing issues that are vital to their group’s interests.
How many AAs go to, let’s say, Nigerian blogs—where Nigerians are discussing issues of great importance to Nigerian people—and leave drive-by snark that makes mockery of a Nigerian person?
How many non-Jews go to Jewish blogs—where Jewish people are discussing issues of great importance to Jewish people— and leave drive-by snark that makes mockery of a Jewish person?
And if some outsider was so-called “bold” enough to do something like that, what do you think the reaction would be among most of the Nigerians or Jews present at those blogs? Somehow, I doubt they would be tickled about being disrespected in their own online houses. For the most part, the only people who seem to enjoy being disrespected is AAs.
I've seen this same WM troll leave his drive-by snark verbal droppings in other places in recent months. Here is the verbal dropping this WM troll left during a serious conversation about BW and romantic relationships at another BW's blog:
Let's take a stroll down Memory Lane. This particular WM troll has spent several years worming his way into various BF-IRR and some BWE blog conversations. I first became aware of him (due to his uninvited, unwelcome intrusions into my blog's discussions) sometime around 2009.
Even though he's probably wanted to do this all along, this WM troll didn't start off verbally pissing on BW's heads at BW's blogs. If he had shown his true face years ago when he first started interjecting himself into BW's blogs, he never would've been allowed into those conversations. He knew that if he had started off by engaging in Obvious Troll Behavior (the way most BM trolls behave), he wouldn't be able to get his foot in the door at various BW's blogs.
This particular WM troll has been patient. He spent years wearing a false mask of fake-concern for BW, fake-support, and fake manners in order to infiltrate what should be safe, denigration-free, online zones for BW. He spent years wearing a false mask so he could get in a position to verbally piss on BW's heads at BW's blogs.
He tried to infiltrate my blog discussions back in 2009. I was never fooled by his fake-concern for BW, his fake-support, or his fake manners. My instincts told me to be wary of this particular individual, and I listened. Ladies, listen to your instincts! If you're having a negative gut reaction to a person, place or thing, pay attention to that reaction! Don't try to talk yourself out of it. 
Anyhoo, in 2009, I banned this WM troll from my blog. Here's how it went down during the course of a couple of blog discussions during February and March 2009.
During a February 2009 discussion:
 
Blogger Aabaakawad said...
Respected Teacher Khadija,

Small question concerning what my role participating in this blog:
As a sympathetic older white man, where can I go and where can't I go in challenging others' views. This can clearly be tricky. I may appear to be a "duck". Ex: the controversial, but I believe sincere & appropriate, analysis in that ancient P. Moynihan report.

Can I be appreciated as a legit source of criticism? Or would that be damaging to the goals of this blog? -- Should the deconstruction be left to bw, because then it may heard as supportive?

Wishing Y'all Progress,

--- Aabaakawad
February 14, 2009 at 5:24 AM
Delete
Blogger Khadija said...
Greetings, Aabaakawad!

First of all, thank you--but I'm NOT a teacher or guru of any sort. I'm just hosting the conversations here. I learn from listening to the participants.

After some reflection, I've decided to take your comment at face value, and respond accordingly. As you know, there are a lot of time-wasting, game-playing trolls, but I decided to err on the side that maybe you are sincere about your question.

You said, "Small question concerning what my role participating in this blog:
As a sympathetic older white man, where can I go and where can't I go in challenging others' views. This can clearly be tricky. I may appear to be a "duck". Ex: the controversial, but I believe sincere & appropriate, analysis in that ancient P. Moynihan report.

Can I be appreciated as a legit source of criticism? Or would that be damaging to the goals of this blog? -- Should the deconstruction be left to bw, because then it may heard as supportive?"

Response: I don't like voyeurs. By "voyeurs," I mean people who do NOT have a stake in the issues under discussion. So their participation is simply a matter of personal entertainment.

I don't like this because this sort of behavior is disrespectful of the gravity of the issues under discussion. I'm not running a gossip blog. This is about uplifting spirits, and helping people to change their lives for the better. Lives are literally at stake concerning the issues under discussion here.

This blog is not about entertainment for me. I don't mind if people read this blog as entertainment. But I DO mind if people participate in these conversations for personal entertainment. If I see that somebody is playing games, then they're out of here.

I would also not look favorably upon your wish to intrude upon conversations that don't pertain to you. What's that about?

Why would you want to come here to (I take it from your Moynihan reference) quibble with us? Don't you know any Black folks in your personal life that you can bounce your ideas off of? If not, then this is yet another reason to be suspicious of your motives.

Just because you claim (and believe yourself) to be "sympathetic" doesn't mean that you actually are. Furthermore, I'm not looking for "sympathy" from anybody. For you to even conceive of the situation in those terms is paternalistic and patronizing.

I'm interested in JUSTICE. I support anybody who supports JUSTICE.

There are some blogs where I function as a SILENT voyeur. For example, gay and lesbian blogs. I enjoy Pam Spaulding's and Jasmyne Cannick's blogs. [They are Black lesbians.] I also enjoy "Living Out Loud With Darian." [He's a Black gay man.]

I read those blogs so that I (as a straight woman) can learn how to become a better ally in their pursuit of justice for themselves. I am not "sympathetic" to gays and lesbians. Who am I to presume that they would want or need my "sympathy"? I support JUSTICE for gays and lesbians. I read and LISTEN so that I can learn how to be more effective in my efforts to support justice for them.

I don't comment at those blogs because I feel that doing so would be presumptuous of me. I don't intrude upon their conversations. I disagree with some of the viewpoints expressed by the participants at these blogs. But that doesn't matter. I go there to listen and learn, not to lecture or debate with gays and lesbians about THEIR understanding of THEIR concerns. I would suggest that you do the same when it comes to conversations here.

Peace and blessings.
February 14, 2009 at 1:41 PM
Delete
Blogger Aabaakawad said...
Khadija,

Thank you for your careful and detailed response to my query. My missteps may have provided a teachable moment. This blog is not about entertainment for me either.

Regard this as personal communication or blog comment, as you choose. But I hope this last comment is allowed before I fade away, so that at least I can protect my reputation as a sincere participant on certain IR blogs run by your colleagues, where wm are explicitly welcome. I will better research where my input is accepted after this. I am very new to blogging.

I am sorry about the poor choice of the word sympathetic. I meant it to indicate I agree with your outlook. It was a poor choice to submit a comment thru a smartphone in the wee hours.

I will remain as a silent voyeur as u suggest. The very reason I asked my question was to understand the boundaries.

Although I do not have a place in this blog, I feel no embarrassment in being interested. I date within and outside my race with intentions of finding a LTR, likely marriage. Understanding the territory is essential for interacting without causing pain.

After posting, I realized my salutation laid it on too thick. Sorry. But I do regard u as a teacher, along with also being someone learning from others, because I have learned a lot, and I am sure many others feel this way too.

I placed a comment as a prelude to weighing in on the disagreement over the legitamacy of wp and multi-racial people in the outside world, as opposed to the blog world, pointing out or describing publicly the demonry in the bc. I was NOT going to do a critique of behavior, or to shame anyone, but a defense of the legitimacy of outside-the-group analysis in the real world. Rereading my comment, I totally blew it in framing this.

Specifically I was going to support Felicia in the following exchange, but I will refrain from comment:

Felicia said:

Daniel Patrick Moynihan also told the truth but was dissed because he was white.

and Felicia supplied this link:

Four decades later, scholars re-examine Moynihan Report

[That link is a wonderful summary of the history of that report and the evolving reaction to it.]

to which Khadija objected:

In terms of Moynihan, I also refuse to meekly submit to a humiliating tongue-lashing from some non-Black.

to which Felicia replied

IMO if someone isn't personally attributing to a social problem, they shouldn't feel any humiliation or feel scolded at all if an obvious problem is pointed out. Whether the observation is being made by someone inside of the American "black community" - and judging from some of the atrocities happening in heavily black under-class areas one would be hard pressed to call them communities - or outside of it.

Khadija, I really am grateful for what u r doing, and I am sorry for the disruption.

--- Aabaakawad
February 14, 2009 at 7:36 PM
Delete
Blogger Khadija said...
Hello there, Aabaakawad!

I'm delighted to see from your thoughtful reply that I didn't make a mistake by taking your original question seriously. It's good to see that you don't appear to be a game-playing troll.

Let me make this clear to you and any other non-Black readers: You are welcome to participate within certain boundaries.

To skip forward [I'll explain in detail later in this reply]: You are welcome to participate using the same respectful, self-editing that you probably use when discussing Jewish issues with Jewish people. [That is, assuming that you are not Jewish yourself.]

You are perfectly welcome to comment, and participate as long as it's NOT an effort to TELL us how we should think about racial matters that pertain to US. This is not a forum to debate with non-Blacks about OUR business. You are welcome to ask questions, as you have done. You are welcome to ask for clarification of why a commenter believes as they do.

Be aware that nobody is under any obligation to invest time in answering questions from outsiders. Readers are free to do so if they wish. They are free not to do so. I'll do it if I'm in the mood (LOL!), but keep in mind that educating non-Blacks is not my mission profile for this blog.

The problem that often occurs with non-Blacks jumping into many of these Black blog discussions is that it becomes a form of dominance. Many Whites feel perfectly comfortable telling us about OUR experiences. And telling us how we "should" perceive OUR experiences regarding racial matters.

This is disrespectful and unhelpful.

I would suggest the following thought experiment:

If you are not Jewish, have you ever questioned or debated with Jews about THEIR perceptions of matters related to their Holocaust? [I'm not talking about debates/questions about Israeli/Zionist politics or policies, I'm talking about matters directly related to their Holocaust.]

If you are not Jewish, have you ever questioned or debated with them about how they choose to define membership in THEIR ethnic/relgious group? Have you ever questioned or debated with them about how they choose to interpret the behavior of children from religiously mixed marriages?

People take liberties with AAs' concerns and sensibilities that they would never think to do with others.

So here's a quick guide for outsiders' boundaries here: If you wouldn't do it, say it, or challenge it regarding Jewish people, it's probably equally inappropriate to do it, etc. with us.

If you don't go around telling Jews who they should or should not consider Jewish, then it's not appropriate for you to try to define membership in OUR group.

If you don't go around telling Jews that they shouldn't be offended by actions and statements they perceive to be anti-Semitic, then it's not appropriate for you to try to give us lectures about what we should or should not perceive as racist.

LOTS of people seem to be able to figure this out when it comes to other people's sensibilities. Folks can figure it out when it comes to us as well. It's not that hard. However, part of the problem is that most "mixed company" discussions surrounding race tend to be dishonest. Another part of the problem is the AAs tend not to enforce boundaries. There are boundaries here.

Peace and blessings,
Khadija
February 14, 2009 at 8:23 PM
Delete
Blogger Aabaakawad said...
Khadija,

My gosh u type fast. I am envious.

I seem to be partially redeemed.

I am not Jewish, but my two best friends in college were. One was President of Hillel. I did discuss all of those subjects with them, and I sometimes disagreed with one or both of them. However, they were interested in my opinion.

But of course you are correct, since I could only do this because we three were a very tight group with complete trust. I think I now have a comfortable understanding now why my opinion of the Moynihan report does not belong here.

You have stated:

If you don't go around telling Jews who they should or should not consider Jewish, then it's not appropriate for you to try to define membership in OUR group.

Well of course. Was that aimed at me. Or just part of general instructions to non-AA participants. Am I being thick and missing something?

Wishing you progress,

--- Aabaakawad
February 14, 2009 at 9:16 PM
Delete
Blogger Khadija said...
Hello there, Aabaakawad!

My parents requiring me to take typing in high school has come in handy over the years. LOL! [They didn't want me to have to pay folks to type my papers in college.]

Peace and blessings.
February 14, 2009 at 9:41 PM
Delete

 
I ultimately banned this WM troll from my blog during a March 2009 conversation. The first part of my comment quoted below was in response to something Evia (host of Black Female Interracial Marriage blog) had said:
 
Blogger Khadija said...

Hello there, Evia!

. . . [skipped portion] You said, "Likewise, look at all the attempts that have been made to beat me down when all I'm trying to do is offer what I can to uplift bw, and I appreciate, Khadija, that you pointed that out the other day."
You're welcome, and THANK YOU for all the work that you have done. And this is something else that Black folks in general need to learn---how to SHOW gratitude for somebody who helped them. We tend to be ingrates with each other. Meanwhile, we gush for years later over any non-Black who throws us a moldy crumb.

Let me repeat a stern warning that I heard one of Elijah Muhammad's supporters give:

If somebody helped you, you need to open up your mouth and THANK that person. And THANK them again! And tell the truth about what they did for YOU when their name comes up in conversation.

If somebody helped you, that person shouldn't have to defend themselves, BY THEMSELVES from liars, nuts and trolls. You need to open up your mouth and just tell the TRUTH about what that person did to help YOU.

If somebody helped you, and was later wronged by somebody else, you need to open your mouth and say what was wrong. You don't have to fight that person's battle for them, just TELL THE TRUTH about how they helped you!

Too often, when somebody helps us, we take it for granted and let that person twist in the wind. When we act like this this, we DON'T DESERVE any help from anybody!

Evia, I know that you're a modest person, and I don't mean to embarass you, but the following really needs to be said to the silent audience:

What the above means to me in this context:

1-Reading Evia's essays helped ME when I felt disoriented after coming out of the Black Nationalist trance I had been in for years.

2-Evia's essays have helped a LOT of other BW. She's lifted a lot of BW's spirits.

3-Evia didn't have to be bothered with any of this. She didn't have be bothered with facing the cyber-stalking, threats, and madness that has followed her public support of BW's interests.

4-Since I am one of the BW who were helped by her work, I need to open my mouth and THANK HER for her work.

5-Since I am one of the BW who were helped by her work, I need to publicly TELL THE TRUTH about how her work helped ME.

6-Since I am one of the BW who were helped by her work, it should be displeasing to ME to see her slandered and maligned. And since this is displeasing to me, I need to speak out about that.

7-This is how you show gratitude to God for those people among His creation who helped you!

Dear Silent Audience: It angers me that there are a LOT of cowardly BF ingrates among our ranks who are eagerly reaping the benefits of reading essays by pioneers like Evia, Halima and others, but yet these women are silent when they come under attack. And these women never publicly acknowlege how their work has enriched their lives.

Half of these BF cowards would have fits if the pioneers retired from blogging. But yet they say and do nothing to show any appreciation for all that they have gained by reading the pioneers' work. All the while, the pioneers have been out on the front lines taking LOADS of heat and harassment.

This is despicable.

{climbing down from my soapbox}
[skipped portion] . . .
Peace, blessings, and solidarity.
March 10, 2009 at 6:23 PM

 
The WM troll intruded into the conversation to say:
 
 Blogger Aabaakawad said...
@Khadija

About the women who use this material but dont speak up. Its basic human nature to seek approval. while logicly the trolls cant hurt them,it still takes a certain amount of courage to confront the trolls. The hurt the trolls cause is inside the heads of these silent listeners, as the nasty ppl press the buttons and pull the levers in their minds that bind them back up in their learned hopelessness and pain.

You understand the problems, but you have not drowned in them for a lifetime. It does not take very much to pull out the despair all over again. These are PTSD women, and the vulnerabilty is profound at this point in their progress.

Khadija, I admire you, but you need to understand that you have been blessed with a warrior spirit and you came out of a relatively safe environment. You are not normative.

Merely reading and absorbing this information puts many women at the very edge of what they can tolerate in psychic pain. The hope is that they get past that, but this phase in the process can not be skipped over. It has to be endured. Then comes the strength.

If you care, and I can't believe you would put such effort effort in this if you didn't, try to approach this from the standpoint of what works and what is possible. Shaming only inhibits their progress.

Of what use is a newborn baby? A baby grows up eventually and together with others raises new babies. And so the human race continues.

We might at this moment be present at the birth of a transforming movement. Don't strangle it out of frustration with its current weakness. The silent followers at this stage need nurturing and encouragement. As they build on that, and tentatively speak up, pull them in. Listen to each one, and you will feel when there is enough strength there in an individual that they can b asked to try to do the hard stuff.

Wishing you progress Khadija, and PROGRESS to those who have not found their voice.
March 11, 2009 at 12:50 AM
Delete

 
My response was:
 
Blogger Khadija said...
Aabaakawad,

Before I say anything else, let me repeat some of what I told you previously:

"Let me make this clear to you and any other non-Black readers: You are welcome to participate within certain boundaries.

To skip forward [I'll explain in detail later in this reply]: You are welcome to participate using the same respectful, self-editing that you probably use when discussing Jewish issues with Jewish people. [That is, assuming that you are not Jewish yourself.]

You are perfectly welcome to comment, and participate as long as it's NOT an effort to TELL us how we should think about racial matters that pertain to US. This is not a forum to debate with non-Blacks about OUR business. You are welcome to ask questions, as you have done. You are welcome to ask for clarification of why a commenter believes as they do.

Be aware that nobody is under any obligation to invest time in answering questions from outsiders. Readers are free to do so if they wish. They are free not to do so. I'll do it if I'm in the mood (LOL!), but keep in mind that educating non-Blacks is not my mission profile for this blog.

The problem that often occurs with non-Blacks jumping into many of these Black blog discussions is that it becomes a form of dominance. Many Whites feel perfectly comfortable telling us about OUR experiences. And telling us how we "should" perceive OUR experiences regarding racial matters.

This is disrespectful and unhelpful.

I would suggest the following thought experiment:

If you are not Jewish, have you ever questioned or debated with Jews about THEIR perceptions of matters related to their Holocaust? [I'm not talking about debates/questions about Israeli/Zionist politics or policies, I'm talking about matters directly related to their Holocaust.]

If you are not Jewish, have you ever questioned or debated with them about how they choose to define membership in THEIR ethnic/relgious group? Have you ever questioned or debated with them about how they choose to interpret the behavior of children from religiously mixed marriages?

People take liberties with AAs' concerns and sensibilities that they would never think to do with others.

So here's a quick guide for outsiders' boundaries here: If you wouldn't do it, say it, or challenge it regarding Jewish people, it's probably equally inappropriate to do it, etc. with us.

If you don't go around telling Jews who they should or should not consider Jewish, then it's not appropriate for you to try to define membership in OUR group.

If you don't go around telling Jews that they shouldn't be offended by actions and statements they perceive to be anti-Semitic, then it's not appropriate for you to try to give us lectures about what we should or should not perceive as racist.

LOTS of people seem to be able to figure this out when it comes to other people's sensibilities. Folks can figure it out when it comes to us as well. It's not that hard. However, part of the problem is that most 'mixed company' discussions surrounding race tend to be dishonest. Another part of the problem is the AAs tend not to enforce boundaries. There are boundaries here."

__________________________

I see that it didn't take long at all for your repeated, uninvited INTRUSIONS into these discussions to turn into attempted dominance and disrespect.

You said, "If you care, and I can't believe you would put such effort effort in this if you didn't, try to approach this from the standpoint of what works and what is possible. Shaming only inhibits their progress."
First of all, it is not your place to try to instruct me as to how I should perceive, and respond to, the actions of other BW.

Second, it's quite easy for an outsider such as yourself to advocate letting adult BW slide with inappropriate, cowardly, disgraceful behavior. Their cowardice is NOT costing YOU anything. It's not creating an atmosphere that puts YOU and others like YOU in direct danger.

You said, "Khadija, I admire you, but you need to understand that you have been blessed with a warrior spirit and you came out of a relatively safe environment. You are not normative."

So now you're telling me what's "normative" among MY people. On top of that, you're telling me that I'm not normative because I'm emotionally stable and brave.

DON'T waste my time with a response.

DON'T intrude upon these discussions again.

DON'T come back.

Peace.
Khadija

March 11, 2009 at 4:50 PM

 
This WM troll's long-term prank is a good example of stealth. He spent a long time flattering various bloggers, and pretending to sincerely care about BW's issues. The snarky, disrespectful way he's talking to BW at various BW's blogs right now is what he's wanted to do from the very beginning. But he knew that he would first have to use STEALTH and deception to get his foot in the door at various BW's blogs. As I said during this post at the Sojourner's Passport blog,
 
Part of the reason African-Americans are so easily manipulated and exploited by others is because they know our emotional thumbscrews. We tend to wear them on our sleeves. They know that most African-Americans lack racial or ethnic self-respect. They know that most of us are desperate for validation from outsiders. They also know that we are a child-like, gullible people who assume that every smiling face is a friend. We don’t understand that an enemy is actually being kind by remaining aloof and openly showing hostility. We’ve never learned that the most dangerous and vicious enemy is the one who smiles in your face and joins you.

 It's something to keep in mind.