January 01, 2004

Confessions of a Lazy Bastard

I am enjoying 2004. While 2003 wasn't a necessarily bad year, it contained enough pain, doubt and uselessness that makes it one to move on from, if not outright forget. Between Christmas and New Year's Eve, I spent plenty of time with my baby: attended enough church services to satisfy my soul (if you know me personally, imagine my tongue firmly planted), apartment-sat in Chelsea, and enjoyed a pretty good (if slow) dinner in Williamsburg. I know that he'll be starting the Spring 04 semester soon and cherish every moment with him.

Given my light posting these past several months, I offer somewhat of an apology. I won't promise to write more because I've already promised myself to not force anything (I don't do New Year's resolutions -- they're reserved for the occassion of my latest birthday, a true marker of another year past). If it's important or intriguing enough, I'll fire up my iMac and get to work. Truth is, I don't often feel like writing/posting and I blame it all on Lynne d who introduced me to bloglines. I would take mini-breaks in the past, but the ease of reading new content that bloglines provides is addictive. I currently have 50+ subscriptions and refresh after reading all new content. By the time I've read my entire list, I don't have the energy to post. That reminds me, I need to delete about 100 temp bookmarks. I will bookmark another blogger's post for future posts of my own in a heartbeat. Bloglines often makes me forget those temp bookmarks.

The only downside to bloglines are those bloggers using blogspot and/or non-blogline friendly software. J.G. of Mac-a-ro-nies and Silver Rights fame. The former is a great blog that often mentions the Mac and Apple Computers. And the latter site is just a great resource for what intrigues J.G. One of her latest posts is about the troubling phenonmenon of color caste within the Black community. There's this bit of news about a settlement reached by Applebee's after a dark-skinned African American was discriminated against by a lighter-skinned African American:

[ ... ] The lawsuit was resolved through a Consent Decree filed with the U.S. District Court in Atlanta that sets forth the terms of the settlement (Case No. 1 :02?CV?829). In addition to the monetary relief for Mr. Burch, the Consent Decree requires training and reporting by Applebee's. Prior to the lawsuit, Applebee's did not have a written policy in effect at any of its nationwide restaurants prohibiting discrimination based on color.

Applebee's now has amended its harassment and discrimination policies to include color as a protected basis in accordance with Title VII. In both its answer to the lawsuit and in the Consent Decree, Applebee' s denies any liability or wrongdoing.

[Dwight] Burch filed a charge of discrimination with the EEOC alleging that the store manager, a light-skinned African American, had consistently made derogatory remarks to him about his dark skin color, and had discharged him when he threatened to report the store manager's harassing remarks to Applebee's headquarters office. Mr. Burch began working for Applebee's as a server at its Tara Boulevard, Atlanta, Ga., location on Dec.16, 2000. The store manager, assigned to the facility on Jan. 1, 2001,terminated Mr. Burch on March 26, 2001 ? less than 90 days after his arrival at the restaurant.

J.G. even got me to go back and revisit the Essie Mae Washington-Williams affair:

Another reason the topic has crossed my mind is the Essie Mae Washington-Williams episode. It is impossible to review photographs from her college yeas and not notice the often glaring absence of dark-skinned black people in them. Even her mother, Carrie Butler , who may have been dark, is missing.

She also recounts confronting colorism herself recently. I wish I could boast of the same. I have witnessed other African Americans making snide comments based on other African Americans' skin tones and remained silent. I guess it's a case of being fed-up with the foolishness. It's even reared its ugly head in my own family. My youngest niece is darker than most of us and became upset when a family member called her "Miss Chocolate," obviously because she's darker. I guess her peers use the term (or something similiar) to mock her. If I were a sensitive type, I'd go deeper into the problem and maybe would attempt to prescribe a cure. Instead, I'll make a semi-promise to speak up when BS like that comes up.

Back to bloglines and being lazy, for now.

Posted by ronn at January 1, 2004 11:53 PM

Happy New Year. Ringing in the New Year like you, also... I have 76 subscriptions in Bloglines, and that's after wiping away 10, so I know exactly how you feel, but like you said, it's addictive. (That's how I track you, BTW.) And at last count there were 40 temporary links saved. I still have around 13 entries in Blogrolling used as mostly placeholders for things not being able to be Bloglined, and now I'm adding one more for J.G. You're not alone. My resolutions are the same - trying to maintain. And jumping from a plane in New York. Hey, you're from Brooklyn... Posted by: ej on January 2, 2004 09:52 AM
Happy New year Ron! Posted by: Ray G on January 2, 2004 01:03 PM
Happy New Year! Thanks for the mention of Bloglines. I hate installing new software and this looks like just what I need. As for the Applebee thing, what IS it with skin color? Call me stupid but I don't understand it. When did lighter skin become associated with superiority over darker skin? I heard a great line while channel surfing a few days ago on one of those ESPN sports talk shows, I think it was Dennis Rodman talking about being "white listed" (instead of "black listed)." LOL. And did he always have that many facial piercings or had he added a few more in recent years? Posted by: don on January 2, 2004 09:14 PM
I've got 94 subscriptions. What an infoglut I am. I'm weeding them out now as I type. Posted by: karsh on January 3, 2004 02:40 PM