Posted by Beverly on
September 15, 2008
As a journalist who spent more than 25 years in Corporate America, one of the topics that drew some of the most heated discussions and debates was politics. Sure, we were supposed to be objective when we hit the airwaves but behind the scenes we were highly opinionated.
This is the season where political views are hot and heavy all over the place—especially in the workplace. Everyone feels they have a stake in this election and some people are doing their best to persuade others to their political side. According to the American Management Association, nearly 40 percent of companies have written policies prohibiting workers from handing out literature endorsing political parties or candidates. But that certainly doesn’t stop folks from huddling together in their cubbies or gathering around the water cooler to express their opinions.
As a business woman who is active in online business and social networking, I have seen many comments of late about the upcoming presidential election. Some people I have had the utmost respect for in the social and business community have suddenly turned into vicious supporters of one candidate over another.
Now I’ll admit that I have added my own two cents on the subject of Sarah Palin and her pregnant teenage daughter. Why? Because she and I share that fact in common.
Bringing your political thoughts into the business arena can be risky, especially if others have strong opposing views. Certainly no one can stop you from making your political thoughts known, but you could lose friends and valuable business contacts because of your beliefs.
How many times have you heard someone say they want to network with “like-minded people?” So now what does that really mean? Is it important for you to know the politics of a fellow business networker? If you say no, then what happens when you find out and discover their views are radically opposed to yours? Do you stop socializing with them? Can you do business with someone who doesn’t share your political views?
Just where do you draw the line?
Posted by Beverly on
July 23, 2008
Michelle Obama wears her hair in flips and bobs reminiscent of Kennedy First Lady Jackie O and of June Cleaver, the ’60s suburban housewife of “Leave It to Beaver” fame. In her own role as potential First Lady, Michelle Obama’s hair is politically correct.
America expects the baby boomer wife of Barack Obama, the man who wants to be president, to project an image of sophistication and near perfection. That image includes having hair that doesn’t make waves.
“As potentially half of the public face of America, Ms. Obama in locks or cornrows would be a bit too ‘in your face,’ even with her Harvard degree and her attorney status,” says Arizona State University English Professor Neal A. Lester, who studies African-American literature and culture and has written about black hair issues.
Mainstream America considers styles that reflect the European aesthetic more acceptable and less likely to offend. Hairstyles with African roots don’t get the same respect. To say someone has a nappy head is considered an insult, and the word “nappy,” which merely describes the kinky texture of hair, is practically considered a profanity. In polite circles, the word is euphemistically referred to as “natural.”
Natural hair wearers have seen their politics, patriotism and even their hygiene come under attack. Their Afros, braids, locks and twists have been considered unprofessional, and many who have worn the styles have been demoted or have lost their jobs. Wearers of natural hairstyles also have not escaped being labeled subversive or being perceived as social misfits.
The media is fully aware of how certain hairstyles worn by African-Americans can feed negative stereotypes.
Michelle Obama’s real life hairstyle plays it safe. Intended or unintended, it is decidedly apolitical.
“This is no different from Condoleezza Rice and her visits to the beauty salon for her perms these many years,” says Lester of Arizona State.
“There is a reason that Oprah, Beyonce, Mo’Nique, Patti LaBelle, Tyra, and Queen Latifah haven’t gone the way of Whoopi Goldberg. The reason is that there is clearly a public persona that makes these women culturally less threatening with straightened hair.
“I am not saying that these women are betraying their blackness. I am saying that the pattern of self-acceptance has not made its way into the realm of unstraightened hair.”
To roughly paraphrase a line by songstress India.Arie, Michelle is not her hair.
Whether she continues to flaunt the flip like First Lady Kennedy during the presidential campaign or decides to start locks like the First Lady in Philly, her real character should not be superficially determined by what she wears on top of her head.
It should be determined by the intelligence that dwells within it.
Written by Linda Jones for Naturallycurly.com Reprinted with permission.
Posted by Beverly on
June 12, 2008
Now that fellow baby boomer Hillary Clinton has suspended her campaign and made nice with Barack Obama, the question is will she be his running mate come November?
Most Obama supporters object to the idea while Hillary supporters say it is the smart thing to do. Hillary supporters believe it will ensure a democratic victory in November.
But If Not Hillary, Then Who?
A number of names come to mind: New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich, Texas Congressman Ron Paul or what about General Colin Powell. What do you think?