So now that we've exhaled and steadied ourselves, the next breath we take will go to heartedly thank, "J.D." who again perform food magic, beverage service by Hank and the management of Sidetracks for their continuing contributions to the area, plus the willingness to "stay the course." My life-partner, J.M. & New Horizons Restaurants, James of Jaybri, Inc., R.J., representing AAF, and Jordan representing LRPC for participating in the second Business Afterhours Project held April 12. This spirited effort was was a success because of one fact: it happened despite the odds. I, as well as, those who make attempts to affect change in the community have full knowledge of the insurmountable challenges, obstacles and gritty learning curve that exist in this city and state.
During the evening we openly discussed:
1. That new concepts take time to evolve, mature and become self sufficient.
2.The importance of professionalism vs. the lack of personal committment that is rampant within the community.
3. Competiting for the mindset of locals is a daunting task to undertake when they've either soley embraced complacent lifestyles, vibrant careers or consumed by the lavender trinity of drink, drag and desire.
4. The labyrith of Diversity juxtaposed to "political correctness" overload.
I applaud and thank those individuals who took a chance and responded to our open invitation that was circulated community wide using all networking platforms. Including personal contact, this forum, snail mail, e-mail, podcast announcements, flyers and message boards. The Business After Hours project is schedule for the second Thursday of each month from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. If you or your firm would like to host, contact firstname.lastname@example.org and www.sidetracksnlr.com for info. In closing, we must continue to plant new seeds of thought, water them with promise and prune them with persistence. Wont you join us!
ME, U, and Shirley Q. In leiu of the Don Imus meltdown, I'm wondering where's the groundswell of outrage about acerbic comic, minstrel huckster, Charles Knipp's imfamous Shirley Q. Liquor show slated for a weekend performance in Hot Springs. As I recall the message boards were on fire just a few weeks ago concerning the Gay Adoptions issue at the Arkansas Legislature. My inbox was flooded with repetitive messages rallying the troups about Senate Bill 959, urging anyone and everyone to share their voices about this measure. But, I have yet to see a message posted or opinion piece created to denounce this prouduction which falls squarely in the arena of the diversity construct. Recently, I had a conversation with a community member who admitted to the lack of knowledge of SQL, the connotations behind his characterazations and the fact that Mr. Knipp, a Quaker Minister, is a White performer who uses urban makeup to create this dastardly visage. We agreed that this type of material promoted in a GLBT outlet is seriously problematic and insensitive at best. Futhermore, this very show has been condemed from coast to coast by roster of organizations and activist. As we deconstruct the double standards that Imus devotees proclaim, I beleive that the GLBTQ community needs to assess where the "line in the sand" is drawn as well. I realize that personal choice is a factor, but why isn't the alarm sounding for this madness. Are local entertainers lacking consciousness, cash poor, or so desperate to entertain anywhere that they will accept any behavior to be in the spotlight. Case in point, Miss Gay Arakansas US of A 2007, Dominique Sanchez will be having a benefit in this venue on April 20. As an African American where is his sense of offence to a show that demeans black women, culture and the realm of good taste. Perhaps the lights on at Casa Sanchez and nobody's home? If the pink flags are raised when bad legislation is proposed, certainly the flares should be set off when the minstrel show comes rolling into town.