Tuesday, April 29

Have You Wondered Why I Call This Bikini Bottom?


I call this Live from Bikini Bottom because with all the murkiness of the issues of society in this day and age, sometimes I feel like I'm underwater. I'm swimming for all I'm worth, trying to get my head above water, but every time I think I'm there, and I get ready to take a deep breath of clean, fresh air, I'm smacked in the face by another wave, or the tail fin of a huge underwater creature. There's no black and white anymore; nothing is clear. Instead everything is gray and mixed up and murky... Sometimes, I just get so tired of swimming; I don't want to struggle to understand anymore why people do the things they do, how they can treat each other the way they do, so I just accept what is and float lazily along... but then something happens like the Jena 6, or Sean Bell, and I get so worked up by the creatures I see around me that I start furiously kicking and splashing and just wanting to lash out at anything or anyone that comes too close.

I chose 'Bikini Bottom' (from the Sponge Bob Square Pants animated show) for the name of my 'online world' because the creatures that I see around me sometimes are just like the ones that populate the undersea world of Bikini Bottom. While they have humanoid characteristics, they just cannot be humans; the way they act is totally contrary to the way one expects humans, creatures created by God, to act. They are so completely different, behaving in such odd ways, just like the denizens of Sponge Bob's world. None of them behave the way you would expect fish to behave; even though they look like fish, they are so obviously something else entirely.

Hopefully, with this blog, I'll be able to shine a little light into my own cloudy, murky little corner of Bikini Bottom, if not for you then at least for myself. I'm going to try to make it just a little bit clearer; or at least a little easier to live in.

PS and if you're wondering why the font is the way it is throughout this post, it's reflective of my mood....

The Case of Sean Bell vs. The Case of Wesley Snipes; What Kind of Criminal Justice System Is This??

This is the man with a criminal record that was so dangerous, he had to be shot at 50 times, killing him and injuring his two best friends, who were celebrating his upcoming wedding. I now see that money means more than human life in America...

Wesley Snipes, up on charges of not paying income tax, is found guilty, and sentenced to 3 years in jail. 3 police officers, up on charges of manslaughter, (which last I heard meant someone was dead, ) and were not only NOT sentenced to any jail time, they were found NOT GUILTY! How can someone who does not deny that he shot someone else and took his life be found not guilty of manslaughter? There was never any doubt that the officers shot the man, why was there a trial at all? A man is dead, a man who was due to get married the next day, who was having a bachelor party, not someone who was out on the corner casing a bank. I am so flabbergasted by this whole thing; when I heard the verdict, I felt like the judge said "Well, the officers said they shot the boys; the witnesses all said they shot the boys; the medical and ballistic evidence of the bullets still in this boy's body says that the officers shot these 3 unarmed young boys, but I'm going to find the officers not guilty." Scuse my language, but WTF?? How do you come up with that? How the hell does our criminal justice system continue to call itself that? A man who doesn't pay his income tax goes to jail for 3 years, but 3 men who take another man's life are found not guilty and walk; whether or not they were justified for shooting at them, or thinking they were in danger, the fact remains that a man is DEAD. His children have no father, their mother has no husband. There is no justification for taking a life, especially when yours is not being threatened, and I'm sorry, there is no way in hell these experienced officers didn't realize that they were the only ones doing the shooting.

There have been too many cases of officers being 'investigated' and cleared. The police department can not investigate itself, because in all but the most blatant cases, they are going to find for their own. This has got to stop.

A man is dead; his life should mean more than taxes, but the events of this week have shown me that in America, it's the money that counts.

Saturday, April 26

NewsOne.com & the grandson of Malcolm X

I watched the video shoot of Malcolm X's grandson, Malcolm Shabazz, and while I don't think that he looks much like his grandfather, there is a certain something... I can just as easily see him in hip-hop clothes with an Uzi as I see him here in the clothing of his grandfather's time with the rifle. He is a young black man, a symbol of our times; just released from prison, another visit in a long line of chaos and struggle that began long before his grandmother's death at his hand. (see Betty Shabazz left near death) He is also a symbol of the struggle his grandfather fought for so long, a struggle that ended with his death on the floor of the Audubon on February 21, 1965.

This is a powerful video; well done NewsOne.com. I hope we see (and hear) more about Malcolm Shabazz, and from NewsOne.com in the weeks and months to come.



Wednesday, April 23

Well, well, well, Hell must have frozen over!


For once I agree with Tom Joyner! I never thought the day would come, but it has, he actually made a very sensible, intelligent point on his show this morning.

Although I listen to his show every morning, as a rule it's just for the comedy, (which isn't even always funny) and to get my blood going to get me ready for the day. He gets me going by making me angry, usually at least once, sometimes three or four times. I don't deny that Tom Joyner has done a lot of good for the black community, but sometimes I think his 'Black Pride" goes too far. There are times when I have to turn him off or risk throwing my radio across the room. How can you talk about someone else's behavior and then turn around and do the same thing? Example: He always talks about how his show is geared for the black community because mainstream 'white' media isn't concerned about us. Well how can you expect them to be, when the only news stories you do are the ones that involve blacks, and if it does involve whites, (say a number of people get killed) you ask "Were any of them black?" You'll read the names of the blacks who died, but no one else, as if they don't count! We're ALL human beings, regardless of our color!

Now don't get me wrong, I'm about as militant as they come when it comes to standing up for the rights of blacks. I don't believe though that we can behave just as badly as they do and expect them to change! TWO WRONGS DON'T MAKE A RIGHT. Show them that we are better than them; use your program to show mainstream media how it should be done!! If you want to make things better, and you know they're not going to take the first step, be a bigger and better man; hell, be a bigger and better HUMAN BEING and you be the one to take that step. Those young people who sat at that lunch counter in Woolworth's; do you think they would have made an impact if they had just said "Well, they won't let us eat in theirs, so we won't let them eat in ours. We'll do the same to them." Hell no! White America would have looked at them and just shook their heads and gone on about their business! That's what's happening now; okay, you're concerned about black people, instead of encouraging them to act just as ignorant toward the rest of the country as they always have toward us, teach them a better way, teach them how to rise above it.

Whew, I'm sorry, I really got off topic didn't I? I started off talking about how for once I agree with him; I actually applaud him for his show this morning. It was primarily about (what else) Hilary Clinton winning Pennsylvania. Even more, it was about the fact that so many black Americans are now saying that if Obama doesn't win, they won't vote. Surprisingly, (to me) Tom Joyner was telling his listeners how wrong that is! (see The FlyJock's Blog) He even had a poll up to see what his listeners would do if their candidate (no matter who, Clinton or Obama) did not win. It was truly pathetic at first to hear how many people were saying that they would not vote at all...don't they understand that to not vote is the same as voting for McCain? This time more than ever, every vote counts, and we must make our Democratic voices heard! Do we really want four more years of Bush? Well that's what we're going to get if we don't vote Democratic, and I was delighted to hear Tom Joyner telling his listeners that. For once he was educating them, not just exhorting them to "support the brutha". Slowly the numbers began to change, and I was so proud of our black folks, hearing them finally begin to wake up to the fact that this is not just a Clinton vs Obama issue, it's not just a white vs black issue, it's not just a woman vs man issue; this is a Democrat vs Republican issue first and foremost, and that's what we have to keep in mind. If we continue to be carried away by the emotion of having the either the first black or the first woman president, we're going to end up with neither. We've got to focus on the issues at hand, and one of those issues is that we're not going to change what's going on in this country if we don't put the right person in office. The right person is NOT Obama, it's not Clinton, the right person is A DEMOCRAT.

Whoever you are for in this historical time, whoever you want to be be president, there's one very important fact that used to be emphasized a lot in election years, but somehow seems to have been forgotten in the hoopla. If you don't like the way the country is being run, and you want to make a change, you have to vote. Every one of us who thinks "my vote doesn't count, I'm only one person!" is a member of a whole lot of "only one persons", and that crowd is enough to change the world. We have the power to bring our troops home, we have the power to get affordable health care, we have the power to stop this mortgage crisis; it all starts with just one vote: YOURS.

And that's Live From Bikini Bottom...

Tuesday, April 22

Gay Wedding in Salt Lake City, Utah

PR Banks and Holly Miller were married in Salt Lake City, Utah

Amidst all the hubbub coming out of the Mormon capital of the world with the polygamous sect (Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) and all their women, a story like this comes along as another example of the double standards present in society, and how gays always seem to come out on the short end of the stick.

IMO, this story is not just a story of two lesbians who fulfilled the dream most women have of marrying the one they love; I think when set against the backdrop of the Mormons, it brings to light an example of the double standards in this society. Look at the fact that while polygamy is illegal in the United States, as long as it was just adult women doing it, this sect of Mormons was allowed to live the life they wanted to live, including polygamy. It wasn't until the stories began to surface of teenage girls being forced into marriage to older men that it became a problem. On the other hand, when two people same-sex people want to marry each other, and have a monogamous relationship, you've got the fundies screaming "It denigrates the institution of marriage!" What the hell do you think these Mormons are doing? They're making a joke out of everything that people like me are fighting so hard for! To thumb their nose at the laws and go ahead and take all these 'wives' and make all these babies that the state is now going to end up taking care of, that's okay, but for me to marry someone that I've loved for 27 years, that's not okay. There's a group that says "Marriage is ONE man and ONE woman" so how can they call what the Mormons are doing marriage? How can they say that these people have forced girls into marriage, when marriage is ONE man and ONE woman? How can they be so outraged about 'polygamous marriage', when according to them, it's NOT marriage? Okay, so they call it something else; why can't they do that for gay people? If they don't want to consider what gay people do 'getting married', then fine, don't call it that; who cares what anyone calls it, as long as EVERYONE is allowed to do it!!

Congratulations to PR and Holly on their marriage; big ups to them for having the heart to go through with their dream, regardless of who didn't like it; and thanks to them for helping to point out another glaring example of the hypocrisy and double standards present in this country (and in this world) today.

And that's Live from Bikini Bottom...

Sunday, April 20

Undercover Racism, or an innocent typo?


So MSNBC 'accidentally' put up a graphic which identified Niger Innis as "Nigger Innis". Somehow, I just can't see an 'accident' like that happening, not in this racially charged, politically correct society we live in. There's no way (IMO) that anyone did not notice that before it went on the air. Maybe they thought it was funny, maybe it was an actual 'racist slur' which someone then figured they'd claim was an 'accident', but I just don't go for the typo excuse.

People today are more aware than ever of anything and everything they say which could be misconstrued or misunderstood, especially people in the limelight. Saying the wrong thing could ruin a career in the blink of an eye, (see Dog the Bounty Hunter) so no one is going to make a mistake like that. Besides, I am sure there's more than one person who sees that stuff before it actually is put on the air, so how is it no one else caught it? Just doesn't make sense to me, I'm sorry, I think it's undercover racism. Prejudice and bigotry is just as prevalent now as it was in the days of KKK and lynch mobs; the only difference is that now there is technology to make things less obvious. Now people can do their 'dirt' but still have everyone thinking they are such a nice person, and that they would never do something so ignorant. Now people laugh in your face, while behind your back they're trying to figure out where they should hang the noose. So many things happening today that are so obviously racially motivated, and yet John Q Society is pretty much taking the stand that things are okay today because the racism landscape is better than it was 40 years ago. How blind can these people be? No, there's no segregation or Jim Crow law anymore, but does that make the insult and injury heaped on minorities any less wrong? We should be fighting just as hard as we did in the Martin Luther King Jr days, if not harder, because it's a lot more subtle and innsidious now than it was. Before you could spot them easily by the sheets they wore; it's not so easy these days.

The person who 'accidentally' put up this graphic calling Niger Innis "Nigger Innis" may or may not be racist; we'll have no way of ever knowing unless he/she decides to come out and tell us. Until the day comes when there's no more racism of ANY kind, we need to be on the lookout for acts of 'undercover racism', and we need to speak up about it every time we encounter it. Don't let people get away with things like this, every time they do, they're made bolder; eventually, cross burning will be back.

And that's Live from Bikini Bottom...

Friday, April 18

Bitter lesbian seeks to deny divorce protection to all LGBTs in VA just to win her custody case







The title says it all; an old cliche in the straight world that also applies is "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned." (Click here to read the whole story)

These two women have been going at this for a couple of years, and the only thing I can come up with, the only reason I can see why a woman would do this to herself, her daughter, and the gay/lesbian community at large, is because of revenge. She obviously is in such a fervor to get back at her partner for whatever happened between them that she is willing to do whatever she has to; even going so far as to renounce homosexuality. This reminds me of something that I heard a man say once in a divorce case: "I'll spend millions of dollars on lawyers and court costs if I have to just to make sure that she doesn't get one."

What is it that happens to people when a relationship doesn't go the way they thought it would? What turns them from loving, gentle, generous and giving people into hateful, evil, fire-breathing, stingy, vindictive monsters, who don't care about anyone in their desire to wreak vengeance? This woman doesn't even care about what this is doing to her child! They brought this child into the world together; she taught this child from birth that love transcends sex, it transcends gender, it transcends ALL. If you love someone, you marry that person, you do what you must to protect your child and give them a loving home. She gave this child two loving parents, and a good home, and now because of what happened between her and the other parent, she is taking that parent away from the child! Isn't she considering that? By "renouncing homosexuality" she's also teaching her child that there is something wrong with it; imagine the confusion this child is going to undergo when she's old enough to understand what's happened! I just can't imagine any truly loving parent doing this to their child, even under the guise of "doing what's best for them".

The other thing about this case that irks me is this woman suddenly deciding that because she and this woman broke up and she wants to punish her by taking the child away, she's going to punish the whole gay world by setting a precedent that is going to have ramifications for years to come. Not only are future gay couples going to suffer, imagine the scores of children that will be wrenched from their loving homes and told "You have to forget everything we've taught you for the last however many years, it was all wrong, now you have to believe this." Suddenly she's not gay anymore?? How does that happen, and when did she decide this, when they decided to split up, or when she realized that she wanted sole custody?

It's just plain wrong, what she's doing, and it would be really wrong for the courts to differentiate between gay and not gay when hearing this case. If this was a man and woman, and the woman took the child, there would be no question that the man should be granted visitation while the case is being decided; what makes this any different? The court would say that the child had been brought up with both parents, so both parents deserved to see the child, and in my opinion, this is the same thing. Both women have every right to see the child that was conceived and born while they were married, regardless of what gender they are, or what sexual orientation.

And that's Live From Bikini Bottom....

Friday, April 11

Tavis Smiley; What's up with that, people?


I have been listening to The Tom Joyner Morning Show for quite awhile, mostly because of the 'cash call' (the chance to win $1000), but also because I enjoy some of the features. Tavis Smiley's commentaries have always been interesting, and I looked forward with interest to hearing what he had to say about Barack Obama running for President.

At first I applauded what Tavis was saying, and totally understood where he was coming from. He was telling the black folks "Leave race out of it! Don't vote for him because he's black, vote for him (or whoever) on the issues! Vote for the candidate that you think will do the best job for black people!" Makes perfect sense to me, and I agree. Tom Joyner encouraging his listeners to support the black candidate because he's black did not sit well with me at all.

Then, when Tavis went on the TJMS talking against Obama for declining his invitation to the State of the Black Union address, I was a little surprised. Why did he feel that Obama had to be there? Why is Obama the one that you're making so much noise about Tavis? Because he's black? If so, doesn't that contradict what you've been saying about leaving race out of the race?

A few days ago, the shiggety really hit the fan. Tavis did a piece on his disappointment with Barack Obama for not attending the Martin Luther King Jr event in Memphis, TN, and used Cornell West's piece (The Huffington Post, April 4, 2008) as a lead-in for his commentary. I was going to write something then, but I was so disappointed and angry that I decided to let it go for a few days, give myself time to calm down. I could not understand what the big deal was; there are THOUSANDS of black people who did not go to Memphis, but does that mean that we are any less loyal to the causes that Dr. King stood for? Does it mean that our love of black people is any less than the love of those who showed up? Does the fact that we did not go mean that we feel the hurt of the loss of Dr. King any less than those who went? Of course the answer is a resounding NO, so why does the fact of Senator Obama not physically being there make such a big difference? If he had ignored it, never mentioned it, did something frivolous that day like when to a baseball game with the brothers, perhaps I could understand the disappointment of people like Tavis Smiley and Cornell West. As it is, I just can't see it.

I'm glad I didn't do this piece then, because now, Tavis Smiley has decided he will no longer do the commentary on the TJMS! He QUIT! Why? He claims that he quit because of "an overload of other projects: bus tours, publishing company, documentaries, etc". I wonder... It sure is a strange coincidence that he suddenly became overloaded now, when he's been getting so much flak from the Tom Joyner Show listeners over his commentaries on Barack Obama. I mean, it definitely is possible that he does have the schedule he refers to, he's a popular man, but why is it suddenly a problem now when it hasn't been all this time?

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and they are entitled to voice it; I think though that people like Tom Joyner and Tavis Smiley have a responsibility to the listeners to be careful with how far they take it. They have a wide, admiring audience, and audience that will listen to whatever they say as gospel. I don't believe that Tom Joyner should be encouraging people to support Barack Obama because he's black, because that's exactly what they're going to do! I've heard more than one black person, when asked who they're voting for, make the statement "The brother, of course!" But if you ask what his position is on any of the issues, the response is "What's an issue?" I know, I'm exaggerating, but you get my point. We should not be voting for Obama JUST BECAUSE HE'S BLACK, and people like Tom Joyner have a responsibility to use their forums, their popularity, and their 'pull' to teach black people that. He should be encouraging them to research the issues and pick the best candidate based on what that candidate can do for black people, not based on what color the candidate's skin is.

I don't believe that Tavis Smiley should allow his dislike of Obama (and yes, I believe he dislikes him and does not support him) to seep through when he does his commentaries. The fact that he was disappointed in Obama for not showing up is a personal feeling, and one that I don't feel should have been voiced to the public at large, not when you're in a position to influence so many people. So many blacks will now jump on Tavis's bandwagon, and will down Sen. Obama for not going to Memphis, rather than looking at the issues and at what's at stake in this Presidential race.

With his commentaries on Barack Obama, and with him quitting The Tom Joyner Morning Show during this frenzied backlash of public opinion, Tavis Smiley has managed to do exactly what he supposedly didn't want to do; he has taken black people's minds off the issues that this race is supposed to be about. By giving people the idea (whether it's what he meant or not) that because Obama is black he should have gone to Memphis, and then to quit when he's called to task for his statements, he's put the focus square on the candidate's race, and not, as he used to constantly tell us, on the candidate's stance on the issues that affect the black race.

Thursday, April 10

Something to lighten your day... From The Yahoo E-Mail Ministry

BIG MUD PUDDLES AND YELLOW DANDELIONS

When I look at a patch of dandelions, I see a bunch of weeds that are going to take over my yard.
My kids see flowers for Mom, and blowing white fluff you can wish on.

When I look at an old drunk and he smiles at me, I see a smelly, dirty person who probably wants money and I look away.
My kids see someone smiling at them and they smile back.

When I hear music I love, I know I can't carry a tune and don't have much rhythm so I sit self-consciously and listen.
My kids feel the beat and move to it; they sing out the words, and if they don't know them, they make up their own.

When I feel wind on my face, I brace myself against it. I feel it messing up my hair and pulling me back when I walk.

My kids close their eyes, spread their arms wide, and fly with it until they fall to the ground laughing.

When I pray, I say thee and thou, and grant me this, give me that.
My kids say "Hi God! Thanks for my toys and my friends. Please keep the bad dreams away tonight. Sorry, I don't want to go to heaven yet, I would miss my Mommy and Daddy."

When I see a mud puddle I step around it. I see muddy shoes and dirty carpets.
My kids sit in it, and see dams to build, rivers to cross, and worms to play with.

I wonder if we are given kids to teach to, or to learn from? No wonder God loves the little children!!

Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.

I wish you BIG MUD PUDDLES and SUNNY YELLOW DANDELIONS.

--Author Unknown


Wednesday, April 9

I've decided to move my blog

Although the other location seemed like a good fit at first, after doing some research (that I should have done in the first place) it appears that Blogger is not only more heavily trafficked, (is that a word?) it's much more "newbie-friendly", much more pleasant to the eye, has many more options, and is just an all around better choice for the residents of Bikini Bottom. (Of course this is just my opinion; YMMV.) Don't know why I didn't do it in the beginning... I keep telling myself to follow my instincts, and I had thought about putting my blog here when I was looking around for a place to settle. I don't know what made me choose where I went; it's not a bad site, but it's just not for me. So, I'm going to move the previous posts here, and of course try hard to blog regularly. Now that school has started again it's going to be a little difficult though, so I hope you'll bear with me. Please keep in mind that 1. I'm new at this, and 2. I'm doing the best I can. Thanks to everyone, and I hope you keep coming to visit me and all the rest of the folks,

Live from Bikini Bottom!

Monday, April 7

A day in the life…

Nothing serious to post about today; it’s just another day here in Bikini Bottom. My trip to Jamaica is getting close; I’m a little nervous about it. I’m going to Jamaica alone, for a week, and although I act very pumped up and brave about it on the outside, I’m very frightened and nervous on the inside. I’ve never been out of the country before, and somehow I never expected my first trip to be by myself. I want to see Jamaica though, before I’m too old to enjoy it, and I finally decided that there was no reason to keep waiting. What was I waiting for anyway? Just like with going to school; why did I wait so long? I’m in the second semester of a degree program at Strayer University, and I’m loving it. Strayer is definitely geared for working adults, and they make it quite easy. Of course the work itself isn’t easy, I just mean being able to enroll and attend classes, they make easy for you.

It’s going to be great having a week away from work, and away from the worries of home. I’d recommend anyone who wants to get away, and has dreams of going to the Caribbean visit Cheap Caribbean, they are awesome! It’s a great site for finding an all-inclusive vacation, and they’re pretty cheap too, especially if you do it far enough in advance. Give it a shot, what can it hurt?

Don’t know what I’m going to do with my cat for a week. I’m trying to find a place to board her, but it’s not easy. I’m going to keep looking though, there has to be a place I trust. If anyone knows a place, please let me know.

That’s about it for now; maybe I’ll write more later if I run across something good to post about. Hey, leave me a comment, give me some ideas!

And that’s Live From Bikini Bottom…

Wednesday, April 2

And just when I thought I couldn’t be surprised by anything…

I got this email in my Inbox at work today: (I’ve deleted all identifying information except the speaker)

————————————————————————————————

Marital Relationships and Well-being:
An Examination of African-American Couples

Chalandra M. Bryant, Ph.D.
Pennsylvania State University
http://www.hhdev.psu.edu/hdfs/faculty/bryant.html

(Date and Time Deleted)

(Location Deleted)

ABSTRACT:

Among African Americans in the United States, 44% of men and 37% of women are married, compared to 63% of White (non-Hispanic) men, 59% of White
(non-Hispanic) women, 63% of Asian men, 65% of Asian women, 57% of Hispanic (any race) men, and 60% of Hispanic (any race) women. Moreover, African Americans are more likely to experience marital dissolution. Among African Americans, the divorce rate is more than 75% higher than that of Whites or Latinos. Most divorces occur within the first 10 years; however, the divorce rate peaks during the third year of marriage. There is a decline in the divorce rate at that point, until about the tenth year of marriage. The first few years of marriage are, therefore, critical time periods to study changes in marriage. Beyond the demographic information gleaned from Census reports, relatively little is known about marriage and marital relationships among African Americans. The ability to form and maintain happy and stable intimate unions is associated with well-being. Conversely, the inability to form and maintain such unions may result in negative social, behavioral, physical, emotional and financial outcomes. Given that marriage has the potential of providing significant benefits to well-being, the aforementioned statistics suggest the need for a careful examination of African American marriages, because this group may not reap the benefits to the same degree as other groups. Despite differences in marital patterns by race, the vast majority of studies of marriage and well-being have focused on Whites. While the early and vulnerable first years of marriage are subject to a universal set of stressors, African Americans are additionally subject to stressors associated with having minority status in this country.

————————————————————————————————

I am FLABBERGASTED!! Sure, the marriage rate may be lower, and the divorce rate higher, but there is still a divorce rate for other ethnic groups, so why is no one studying why they’re getting divorced? As long as there is ANY divorce rate, it would seem that someone should be concerned, so why is it that no one is holding seminars and giving speeches on why whites and/or latinos are getting divorced? " the inability to form and maintain such unions " - What does this say to blacks? What does it say ABOUT them? It’s incredible that someone is not only studying this, they’re going to give a speech about it, and I’d be willing to bet that the audience will be SRO; and it will be whites who attend. Half of them will be going because it affirms what they have always believed, that blacks are lessor human beings, and the other half will go because they think they’re somehow to blame for it, and they want to learn what they can do to "help". STOP treating blacks like second-class citizens, that would be a good start! Stop treating them like they are somehow different from everyone else. Blacks are human beings, just like anyone else on this entire freaking planet, and I wish people would stop putting them in a separate category. They don’t need "Ebonics", they don’t need separate SAT tests, they don’t need special classes or training. They don’t need affirmative action, they don’t need studies and surveys, and they damn sure don’t need other people telling them that they get divorced more than anyone else! TREAT THEM THE SAME WAY YOU TREAT EVERY OTHER ETHNIC GROUP, and maybe eventually the phrase "One nation, under God" will be true. Treat ALL ethnic groups the same, as if there is no distinction, and maybe eventually the phrase "All men are created equal" will have some meaning.

Until the day when the color of a man’s skin has no more meaning than the color of his eyes, there will be no peace. (Haile Selassie I, paraphrased)

And that’s Live from Bikini Bottom….