Sunday, 31 May 2015

Calls for Reparations

Posted by Nigeriacamera on Tuesday, May 19, 2015

There are voices on this video to which I simply cannot listen, and nodding heads which I cannot bear to watch. One person in particular curdled my blood.

Mad respect for the proud women who are calling for Reparations, Esther Stanford-Xosei and Fernne Brennan. While I understand that there are slight nuances of difference between the situation in Nigeria and that in the States, there are many informative pieces which address the lasting impacts of slavery today. Books have been written; and more recently Ta-Nehisi Coates has authored a series of articles for The Nation which issue a call for Reparations, backed by a comprehensive review of the injustices committed against black people from the era of slavery to the very modern era. Other well-known persons who have called for Reparations throughout American history:

Frederick Douglass
WEB Du Bois
Thaddeus Stevens
Martin Luther King, Jr
James Forman
Malcom X
Rep John Conyers
Rep John Lewis
former Rep Dennis Kucinich
Rep Maxine Waters
Rep Carolyn Kilpatrick
Rep Charles Rangel
Rep Keith Ellison
Rep Jesse Jackson
Rep Sheila Jackson Lee

Friday, 29 May 2015

Howard Sharper's Weather Post, 29 May 2014

Mid-Michigan Weather Forecast, Friday May 29: Increasing Clouds Today, Warm And Breezy With A Chance Of Afternoon...
Posted by Howard M. Sharper on Friday, May 29, 2015

Thursday, 28 May 2015

"The fact that you are struggling..." -Daniell Koepke

I don't like inspirational memes. God made books; we should read them. However, this one relates to mental health.

"The fact that you are struggling does not make you a burden. It does not make you unlovable or undeserving of care. It makes you human. Everyone struggles. We all fall apart. During these times, we are not always easy to be around. And that it ok. No one is easy to be around 100% of the time. The truth is you can be struggling and still be deserving of compassion and kindness."
-Daniell Koepke

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Howard Sharper's Weather Post, 27 May 2015

Mid-Michigan Weather Forecast, Wednesday May 27: Partly Sunny Today, Afternoon Showers And Thunderstorms Possible, High...
Posted by Howard M. Sharper on Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Patience with Whites: Fail

Installing Meme: "Installing Patience with Whites"
Installation Failed
Error 4010: Patience with Whites
not available at this time.

Please try after Patriotic Season is over.

Monday, 25 May 2015

The New Fiqh

The New Fiqh.

"Is it halal? -I don't know - is it LOVE?"

(Bright pink text, Times New Roman, on black background with embedded bright pink border.)

Friday, 15 May 2015

Howard Sharper's Weaher Post, 15 May 2015

Mid-Michigan Weather Forecast, Friday May 15: Morning Showers, Then Cloudy This Afternoon, High 70. Partly Cloudy...
Posted by Howard M. Sharper on Friday, May 15, 2015

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Take Me There

"Because that is where I want to be:
"With you."

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Stepping off the Bandwagon

I am stepping off of the gay marriage bandwagon. It has been a heck of a journey. I really have enjoyed much of it, too: the building excitement each time that a case went to the Supreme Court, the waves of happiness every time that the tide turned for individual states, the joy and comfort of seeing my Facebook feed turn red at various points through the years.

I read up on gay marriage. I browsed articles following the successes and analysing the future of gay marriage. I looked up information on the benefits that gay marriage will have for society, and I have used that information as talking points for discussions with everyone from family members to politicians.

Over the past few weeks, however, I have learned that the gay marriage movement has plenty of support. It doesn't need me waving flags, posting articles, and carrying on with anyone else about how it will benefit LGB folk. The movement already has that - so, so much of that. Loud, vociferous support. The kind of support that, if you *dare* talk about housing, jobs, intersectionality, restrooms, access to healthcare, a re-examination of family structures - *anything* else at all under the sun, you will be jumped and accused of trying to derail the movement, putting interests of others ahead of those of LGB people who will benefit from gay marriage, offering up the LGB movement to bigots as fodder for their hate orgies, etc.

To my wonderful, supportive family and friends: you are awesome. I am so, so grateful for all of your support - all of it. Every single intersectional piece of it. (You didn't get up here because you tout one issue only, after all.) This includes your support for gay marriage. Gay marriage will indeed benefit me, and I appreciate everyone's efforts supporting it. It's just that I won't be as vocal as I have been in the past. I won't be changing my profile photo for it. I won't be posting articles and memes about it. The hard-core cheerleading section for gay marriage has got this covered, and it certainly doesn't need me anymore.

And I certainly don't need the toxicity of so many of its supporters.*

Much love to all of you. I look forward to many more loving and fun-filled times with you all. Thank you again so much.

Howard Sharper's Weather Post, 12 May 2015

Mid-Michigan Weather Forecast, Tuesday May 12: Mostly Cloudy, Windy And Cooler Today, Winds Gusting To 36 MPH, High 56. Cloudy And Breezy Tonight, Low 38. Sunny Tomorrow, High 58.
Posted by Howard M. Sharper on Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Monday, 11 May 2015

Howard Sharper's Weather Post, 11 May 2015

Mid-Michigan Weather Forecast, Monday May 11: Cloudy And Breezy, Afternoon Showers And Thunderstorms, High 74. Showers...
Posted by Howard M. Sharper on Monday, May 11, 2015

Sunday, 10 May 2015

On This Mother's Day

Blessings to those who have loved. Blessings of comfort to those who have loved and lost. Blessings of peace to those who feel bereft of love.

May the sun be ever on your face, a gentle wind at your back, a softly bubbling stream at your feet, and a tree over you to nourish and shade you.

Below image for Facebook visibility.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Howard Sharper Weeather Post, 09 May 2015

Mid-Michigan Weather Forecast, Saturday May 9: Cloudy With Scattered Showers And Thunderstorms Likely, High 72. ...
Posted by Howard M. Sharper on Saturday, May 9, 2015

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Mid-Spring Tour

07 May 2015 15:45, 1192, 1198
crabapple, magnolia

2015.05.07. 15.45 1204 maple

Howard Sharper's Weather Post, 07 May 2015

Mid-Michigan Weather Forecast, Thursday May 7: Sunny Today, High 84. Partly Cloudy Tonight, Showers Possible, Low 63. ...
Posted by Howard M. Sharper on Thursday, May 7, 2015

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Britain Votes!

It's election season in Britain! May the best parties win. Conservatives, UKIP, and Tories: It is URGENT that you get out the vote Friday 07 May. Don't forget! Your vote is very important!

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

But She's Smiling

I'd get up and get stuff don here, but the dog is fast asleep, and she is smiling. :)

Howard Sharper's Weather Post, 05 May 2015

Mid-Michigan Weather Forecast, Tuesday May 5: Showers And Thunderstorms Likely This Afternoon, High 61. Showers And...
Posted by Howard M. Sharper on Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Mayweather's Fighting Style

TW: Domestic Violence

Image: White words on black background. Broadway font: "Mayweather's Fighting Style." Chiller font: "He was punching ... and kicking ... in the head and ... stomping." Times New Roman Font: "If you're cheering, you need to sit down and hush up. The above is an excerpt from his son Zain's testimony regarding how Mayweather beat Zain's mother. The full quote is here: 'He was punching her and kicking her. He was punching her in the head and he was stomping on her shoulder.' -Zion, Mayweather's then-9-year-old son, describing Mayweather's beating of his mother, in a statement to police."

Friday, 1 May 2015

Love the Mother. Plant a Tree.

Show love to the Mother - rescue a seedling and re-plant it in a safe location. Here is an orphan whom I rescued from an arboricidal slaughter. He's growing up so well. (By the way, clicking the photo will reveal individual grains of sand in the soil. I took a mighty fine photo here.)

Howard Sharper Weather Post 01 May 2015

Mid-Michigan Weather Forecast, Friday May 1: Sunny And Warmer Today, High 70. Clear And Mild Tonight, Low 45. Sunny Tomorrow, High 72. Partly Cloudy Tomorrow Night, Low 50.
Posted by Howard M. Sharper on Friday, May 1, 2015

Review: "The Crisis of Islamic Masculinities"

Time and time again over the years, in spoken word as well as in writing, Amanullah de Sondy has stood up to face the established masculo- and hetero-normative Islamic hierarchy. He has called it what it is and demanded change. While his speaking engagements continue, De Sondy has culminated his written work for now with his book, The Crisis of Islamic Masculinities.

 The Crisis of Islamic Masculinities is an incisive and ground-breaking text that turns traditional thinking regarding Islamic masculinity on its head. De Sondy accomplishes this first by introducing the concept of multiple, equally valid masculinities. He then derives support for this central argument from the Qur'an itself, bypassing any imprimatur that traditional Islamic scholarship might grant to or withhold from his assertions. Throughout his book, De Sondy aims to chart a new course in religion and gender studies on several fronts: by focusing on masculinities, by shifting the focus of Muslim discourses away from an Arabo-centric Islam, and by highlighting the lives of figures who might be viewed today as "flawed" Muslims.

In a move which is foreshadowed in an earlier chapter on Muslim feminists, De Sondy chooses to centre the fourth and fifth chapters of The Crisis of Islamic Masculinities on the experiences of Indian and Pakistani Muslim men. This is part of his shift away from an Arabo-centric view of Islam in which the Arabic language and culture are treated as normative to Islamic theology and practise. A minor character in these last two chapters has a disproportionately large significance to other ways that De Sondy's book can be seen as liberatory: the figure, Shah Hussayn, was decidedly homosexual and pursued the love of a non-Muslim. In spite of all of this "misbehaviour," Shah Hussayn came to be accepted as a Sufi saint; and a shrine was built over his tomb.

What distinguishes Shah Hussayn from other Sufi saints is his romantic love for and partnering with a young Hindu boy - a relationship which violates traditional values such as heterosexual relationships and intra-Muslim marriage. De Sondy explains that Shah Hussayn employed various explanations to connect his same-gender love to divine principles, thus legitimising his love for the boy. This and other stories of Muslim personalities shift the focus towards an Indian- and Pakistani-centric view of Islam and tie in to the liberatory message of The Crisis of Islamic Masculinities.

De Sondy gives the reader some basic yet fundamental building blocks to further explore the topic of Islamic masculinities. In The Crisis of Islamic Masculinities, he introduces the reader to established concepts of Islamic masculinity. He then provides one with the biographical narratives of various eminent Muslim figures in Islamic literature to open up the dialogue to new ways of understanding Islamic masculinities. De Sondy encourages his audience to consider their gender identities in terms of submission to God, rather than by contrasting themselves with others. By the end of the text, readers should be equipped to use those biographical sketches or any other examples to construct their own concept of Islamic masculinities.

Amanullah De Sondy has made it clear that he has devoted much thought to every item in The Crisis of Islamic Masculinities, even certain key terms. Each of those pieces is instrumental in deconstructing rigid Islamic hierarchies. By attacking the notion of a monolithic Islamic masculinity, De Sondy offers one the very sledgehammer with which to shatter the foundational basis of rigid and oppressive interpretations of Islamic texts - interpretations that lend themselves to hierarchical patriarchies on which many Muslim societies are established. He thus offers much-needed hope to Muslims who are alienated by the current monolithic approach to gender by traditional clerics. In the vein of liberation theology, De Sondy's book throws them a lifeline to spirituality without which they would otherwise turn to a secular lifestyle.

Purchase The Crisis of Islamic Masculinities at Bloomsbury or Barnes & Noble.