Race and Rights

Malcolm-X-about-men

When did race and rights become separate entities? Since when has the black problem in America not have to do with both race and rights? Dare you to walk the streets of the 1920s and 40s and 50s with your prophet scented blood and expect to transgress the law of separatist signage. That “Whites Only” sign ain’t there by mistake. The one that says Negroes like you must order from the back door. Yo money may be colored like your skin but green has always been worth more than brown. I don’t like to have to go back to slavery. After all, it ain’t like I lived it and yet I can never forget what it feels like. But since we on the subject of feeling, I’m feeling like the same blood pulsing underneath my ancestor’s skin now pulses through mine so what they felt I feel it too. Perhaps I too was a slave long ago and its just taken me this long to find my voice. So, therefore, let me tell you something about what it means to be a slave. A slave is never granted the same rights as a free man, not a physical slave or a psychological one. An inferior race is never granted the same rights as a superior one. Thus anything that’s got to do with rights has also got to do with race. For the Black problem in America has always been centered around identity and always will be. Rights would have never been a problem if the problem wasn’t race. If the hierarchy of the superior and the less superior didn’t exist. If black people never walked around with bywords and proverbs tattooed on their skins there wouldn’t have been a need for them to watch movies in the Nigger Heaven1 of southern movie theaters. Would have been no need of me taking my seat alongside Miss Parks or Miss Morgan all them years ago. A Black Man’s rights and his race are always connected here, like the careful structure of his bones before he emerges from his mother’s womb. It’s the yearning for freedom written in his DNA. Black America’s rights have always and always will be centered around their identity because their problem is not physical it is spiritual. And because a spiritual problem has been long fought with physical weapons the condition of black people in America continues. And so their fight has always been and always will be centered around their freedom.

1. Nigger heaven, n. a designated place, usually the balcony, where blacks were forced to sit, for example, in an integrated movie theater or church as part of Jim Crow Laws.

Inspiration and Copyright Infringement – How Fine Is The Line?

Wow. This is too close for comfort. I’d be devastated. #ThouShallNotSteal

There are, arguably, seven basic plots. I won’t list them here, but you can find them if you click this link: The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories by Christopher Booker. All seven can be said to result from real life inspiration. While fiction can take these inspirations to incredible heights, the ideas begin from somewhere.

So we have inspiration, yes?

It was brought to my attention this morning that there has been a lawsuit taken up by Sherrilyn Kenyon, bestselling author of the Dark-Hunter paranormal romance series, accusing Cassandra Clare, bestselling author of Mortal Instruments and the Shadowhunter series, of copyright infringement. (Read the article here: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/feb/10/sherrilyn-kenyon-sues-cassandra-clare-for-wilfully-copying-her-novels )

In this particular case, it seems to me a clear case of copying: if you read the exhibit (click here) given in the lawsuit, the infinite monkey theorem comes to mind as the only other possible explanation, particularly when…

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You Have the Right to Write

Attention: You Have the Right to Write or anything you don’t say will drive you crazy by intense desire. Creative ideas will overheat until they melt themselves into fragmented descriptions of confused thought and drip like perspiration from your brow. Words will escape your mouth in an explosion of writer’s language. Soon, you’ll start bringing up the names of books to four year olds and correcting sentences fresh out your neighbors mouth, “..not a eraser, an eraser..” you’ll blurt out uncontrollably. Your lips are so bone dry they have wrinkles, and you trip over your tongue as if it does not belong in your mouth. You can’t even blame Writer’s Block for the frustration since you keep missing your periods at the end of sentences. Poor words, left to run on in a string of thought; breathlessly pulsating through veins hoping to make it to the end of your never ending consciousness. The least you can do is appoint a capital letter to keep everyone in check, a comma won’t hurt you either. If you find yourself in this condition, you have the WRITE to consult inspiration before speaking anything into existence, and to have a pen and pad ready for any glint of light amidst the darkness, now or in the future.

His crime? Not Writing!
His crime? Not Writing!