Friday, April 13, 2007

Talking Out Loud Rewind

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 and 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.

Rocky Foundation: Rumors are swirling and unsubstantiated murmurs on the streets cite the Arkansas AIDS Foundation as a vessel with no rudder, rapidly approaching a titantic rubicon. Alledgedly these are some the going-ons: Dr. Dean Blevins will be resigning as Board President in July admist a non-functioning board of directors, over worked case workers, lack of cohesive objectives, direction and leadership vaccum. Last year Executive Director, Larry Dearmon hastitly resigned and the nation wide search has yielded no solid replacement. But meanwhile a host of benefits on behalf of the agency raged on from Little Rock to Hot Springs. Including the high profile, Simply Red event which no one wants to talk about, the looming issues of Medicare D and it's impact on clients, the fancy Community Awareness Dinner and more F-bombs to come. Is this the beginning of the end....stay tune maybe some body will set the record straight, if there's anyone left.
PDH Research Associates is conducting an opinion poll on behalf of the NGLTF on programming for the organization. Go to If you complete the form you will be entered for a drawing of a grand prize.
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