Friday, August 24, 2012


Last night's episode of Totally Biased with (my son) W. Kamau Bell, opened with a wry comment on Todd Akin's faux paus about the inability of women to get  pregnant when they are "legitimately raped." Bell said if that were true, "Why are there so many light-skinned folk in Alabama?" And he could have added, "Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Virginia, North Carolina, the U.S. of A."

Then it hit me: RAPE WAS LEGITIMATE DURING SLAVERY! That's why we have such a large number of light-skinned folk in this country. In order to increase the number of slaves, and his net worth, the progeny born of the white master's  rape of an enslaved woman, was always black, another slave, never counted as white or bi-racial. THIS RAPE WAS LEGITIMATE! 

There wasn't a court in the country that would have prosecuted any white man for forcing any woman to have sex. The custom (and it may as well have been the law) was that white men could do as they pleased with any woman—black, white, married, or single. With a powerful white male protector some women were immune from being considered fair game, but any black man who objected to the exploitation or abuse of a woman could be killed with impunity. RAPE WAS LEGITIMATE!

W.E.B. Du Bois, the scholar, historian, and activist who was a founder of the NAACP put it this way. “To the ordinary American or Englishman, the race question at bottom is simply a matter of ownership of women; white men want the right to use all women, colored and white.” 

The ownership of women. This is what the Republican War on Women is all about: returning to the days when powerful men could do as they wished with women; to the days when RAPE WAS LEGITIMATE. Todd Akin's casual remark merely referred to what they've been doing for some time now with their attacks on Planned Parenthood, trying to criminalize abortion, forcing pregnant women to have unnecessary procedures. Todd Akin did not step out of line; he merely reiterated Republican policy. This is nothing new. It's a significant plank in their platform for the 2012 election. Todd Akin simply made it crystal clear that the Republicans want to return to the days when RAPE WAS LEGITIMATE.

Saturday, August 4, 2012


This was posted on Face Book and is worth sharing widely
written by

 Donna Simone Plamondon

One problem with defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman is that there is NO LEGAL DEFINITION of male or female. Go ahead - try to find one.

My testimony to the Maryland State Legislature;

"As a Transexual/Intersex person and a registered voter I urge you to consider another perspective in the debate over Same Sex Marriage. If Marriage is to remain being defined as a legal union between a man and a woman it would then require legislation on the legal definition of a man and a woman.

As someone that has been affected by and studied sex/gender issues, it became evident that not all women are chromosomally xx nor all men xy. There are also xo, xxy, xyy and mosaic chromosomal karyotypes. Kleinfelters, Turners and Androgen Insensitivity Syndromes as well as Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia and 5-Alpha–reductase deficiency are but a few naturally occurring phenomena that result in female bodied males and male bodied females. Toxicologists are also recognizing the fact that prenatal exposure to certain environmental chemicals with hormonal properties as well as many commonly used medications for male pattern baldness, prostate and heart diseases can result in incongruent sex/genital development as well as ambiguent genitalia, intersex conditions (hermaphroditism) and transsexuality. For over 40 years now many babies born with ambiguous genitals are surgically corrected (?) to female during infancy no matter what their sex karyotype.

Scientists agree that 1.73% (1 in 58) of all babies born in the United States have some degree of intersex condition. The number of subclinical cases could at minimum double that percentage. Many of those conditions are not realized until patients present to their doctors in puberty or later with fertility issues. The medical community is reluctant to tell patients due to the potential of destroying that persons relationships and resulting in depression, anxiety and possible suicide. Instead they pursue fertility treatments, invitro fertilization, egg and sperm donors, or surrogate motherhood. If marriages were to be challenged in a court of law and DNA used as evidence many now legal marriages would need to be annulled.

Everyone is born with the innate ability to recognize their own gender no matter what genetic, medical or environmental factors they have been exposed to. None of these conditions are a choice for those affected. To exclude these people from protections granted all other citizens is in direct opposition to everything this country stands for. All citizens are entitled to the pursuit of the "American Dream". .

The original concept of the marriage license was to ensure that the union was voluntary and as societies blessing to those who choose to commit their lives to each other. The real threat to our society is the rate at which babies are being born outside of a committed, loving relationship. There are many same sex couples that are totally capable of raising happy, healthy, well adjusted children that will ultimately become productive members of our society.

Marriage licenses are given to convicted murderers, child molesters and rapists. Are they more worthy of having their relationships honored while denying the commitment and responsible actions of same sex couples? If marriage is about procreation, why are marriage licenses granted to infertile couples or those having no intentions of having children?

Let us not forget the dream of the Pilgrims – those that originally risked all to travel to and settle this country. They left their native lands due to religious rule and intolerance. They had a vision of freedom for each individual to express their religious beliefs and worship their GOD without interfering in or being interfered by the beliefs of others - Freedom OF and Freedom FROM religion.

Let us not forget the basic principles shared by all religions. PEACE, LOVE, GRACE and RESPECT for all that share this planet we call home.

If “marriage” has its roots in religion, I believe, it is up to each individual church to decide who they will and will not marry. It is NOT the governments business to legislate religious policy. It IS the right of every human being to have their love and commitment recognized by civil law as equal in all respect to that of a religious marriage."