Category Archives: Civic Lessons

Shea moisture: When ‘buying black’ goes wrong


Hey, how about that Shea Moisture commercial that is bound to become a teachable moment in how NOT to properly court a new consumer market without angering your old market.

A lot of the anger is coming from a contingent of consumers who believe in the black centric principle of buying black.

Here’s four teachable lessons for consumers who want to practice the principle of buying black without being burned in the future.


  1. “Buying Black ensures that more Black people are employed,” is one of the reasons stated for why it’s important to support Black businesses.
    1. BUYER BEWARE: Do your homework and research the company’s hiring practices.
  2. Black owners may not share your values. (I.E. Blacks are REALLY not a monolith)
    1. BUYER BEWARE: You, dear consumer, may believe in black empowerment, collectivism, etc, but that does not mean that the business owner you are purchasing from believes in reinvestment in the community, hiring more people from the community, etc. As a “woke” consumer, it is your duty to do due diligence to discover where your dollars are likely to be used.

What are women’s rights?


I began this assignment with the assumption that women’s rights were limited to abortion/reproductive rights and voting.

With just a brief and admittedly superficial reading (WIKIPEDIA FOR THE WIN!), was able to remind me of how throughout the world and during history, how restricted women have been.

As I become increasingly disaffected with the modern feminism movement, I was tempted to dismiss women’s rights entirely. But seeing the historical gains softened me a little.

The best highlight:

“Issues commonly associated with notions of women’s rights include, though are not limited to, the right: to bodily integrity and autonomy; to be free from sexual violence; to vote; to hold public office; to enter into legal contracts; to have equal rights in family law; to work; to fair wages or equal pay; to have reproductive rights; to own property; to education.[2]

We’ve come a long way baby indeed.


Belief in a Governmental Savior



h/t to Movie Web for image. – “Big government and me!”

Over the last year, I’ve been exposed to more political philosophies (conservatism, libertarianism, and “classic liberalism) that emphasize that smaller government – i.e. less government intervention – is best. This is largely due to my increasing belief in the inefficiency of governmental bureaucracy and personal rights. In particular, I am struggling to think of rights – in this article I am thinking of the classic rights mentioned in the Constitution and Bill of Rights – as inherent to an individual person as opposed to being granted to the individual via the government. I consider the government a source of protection instead of potential threat.

This is a deeply held belief that I think was instilled by the Voting Rights Act. The mythos surrounding this legislation has been lionized all of my life. When boiled to the essential lessons learned from this time in history was that government (no emphasis on particular party either) just “THE GOVERNMENT” stepped  in and stopped one group of individuals from depriving another group of individuals their rights as citizens of the same nation. It’s a story of almost of fairy tale dimensions (i.e. the handsome knight swoops in and vanquishes the evil opponent to save the damsel in distress. Yeah, but life isn’t a fairy tale so moving along) .

Just now,  writing out what the government did with the Voting Rights Act, I believe that was the correct course of action (or what my current perception of what the government did – I’m learning more and shedding and gaining new ideas every month it seems!) because that was within the proper bounds of government. The problem is, in particular for Blacks, was to continue to look towards the government to fix problems that were no longer within the strict bounds of civic rights.

The Black Book of Communism, part I


Ahhh!! I thought about writing about the Women’s March on Washington:


(say what you want about the pink hats, cat ears worn for fashion will always be adorable to me)

(h/t for picture.)

or the numerous pieces written about how various groups -who are we kidding, these articles are usually written about white people, though I have seen one written about black men who voted Trump – betrayed the progressive movement.


If I had been able to write that article about the sense of betrayal my conclusion would have been on the hopeful look ahead that now people will come to see that “we” – and whatever demographic the “we” of the moment is suppose to represent – is not a cohesive unit that acts in one accord. But I doubt that will come about. Previously, guilt and shamig was used to convert or at least shush outsiders to the side of progressives but now progressives are resorting to suppression through violence


h/t Chicks on the Right for the image.

I’m not scared, yet. But I am increasingly concerned.

However these events have been covered every which way but Sunday, so instead I will write about how I am working my way through the “Black Book of Communism” (750+ pages!).

So far, I am reading about the Bolksheviks seizing power in the vacuum left by the overthrow of Nicholas II. I am just approximately 100 some pages in and already I have become somewhat acclimated to the number of people murdered. Paragraph after paragraph unrelentingly list thousands of deaths in various provinces,sectors and villages. The mind acclimates. The heart glazes over the pain, suffering and deaths. It is best this way. Because once the initial horror wears off, I am able to see better the bigger picture of methods and lies used by the Bolsheviks and communism.

Violence and terror is how Bolsheviks operated against enemies of the state, kulaks bourgesies, intelligentsia and Jews ( I was surprised with the anti-semitic beliefs that the peasants themselves had. And before the Bolsheviks in power began large scale “suppressions”of the peasants, it was the peasants themselves who actively murdered and fought the upper classes.  They were victimize rs who quickly became victims themselves. The cosmic justice of that last sentence quickly receded in the face of the overwhelming suffering laid upon the peasants.)

By the way, I am still in the infancy of the Bolshevik regime, they still haven’t consolidated their power.

But my most significant realization to date is what a sham is the very notion that this political movement was ever for the working person. The people – the peasants in particular – let it be known through continued riots and protests that they wanted to be able to own the land and the fruits of the labor. These desires were ignored, after all the Party knew better than the people what they should want and have.

Civic Basics: What is a Right?


Still working my way through the Constitution – so far “rights” are listed as the right of life, liberty and property. I guessed the first two correctly, but didn’t think of the third as being a right – the right to own property. Hmm, as a Black American, I think I will always look sideways at the right to own property. But if I just consider its benign meaning, I’m ok with it.

Anyway, I realized that just reading about the founding rights was somewhat incomplete. After all, I am currently thinking about the current popular movements demanding free health care and a minimum wage as rights? Technically, don’t these fall under the right to life and if you stretch the definition, do a back flip and look side ways at this, the right to own property as well?. Maybe, but not quite.

Which is why I am glad that I stumbled over this video that explicitly defined what a right is.

Just in case this video is removed – here is a brief transcription of the pertinent audio of what is a right as defined by economist Walter Williams.

Currently, I am reading “The Black Book of Communism” and reading list after list of  incidents of violence, murder and terror to impose rules on others. Well, let’s just say that I am acutely aware of the horror of enforcing someone else’s standard on another individual.

“A right is something that exists simultaneously among people. A right does not confer any obligation on another.” – Walter Williams

The Week of Rights


I have come to the galling realization that I only have a faint idea of what “rights” are.

This ignorance applies down the board – Civil Rights, Human Rights, Gender Rights (Men and Women’s) and to keep up with the latest fads Gay and Transgender right.

So, the next week will be dedicated to writing about my findings.

First up,


Civil Rights.