Essays, poems and Stories of an African-American

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Keeping sight of the UNAIDS Political targets

As we move towards 2015 we have to test ourselves using these political targets: reducing sexual transmission; preventing HIV among drug users; avoiding TB deaths; eliminating gender inequalities; eliminate stigma/discrimination; eliminate new HIV infections among children; strengthen HIV integration; close resource gap; 15 million accessing treatment and; eliminating travel restrictions. The various CSOs/NGOs targeting the marginalized have to weigh in on HIV, TB, Malaria and position themselves to meet the UNAIDS Political targets especially now that we are getting nearer to 2015. How is your organization doing? How are you faring?

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

The man who called about the lost dog

I have two issues to bring before you sire;
an owner less dog and a dog less owner.
It is a black and white dog;
the dog with black and white spots;
the spotted dog;
the owner less dog;
the dog without an owner;
the owner less black and white dog;
the owner less dog with black and white spots;
the black and white spotted owner less dog;
the dog without its owner;
the lost dog
the dog less owner;
the lost dog without an owner;
the owner without a black and white dog;
the owner of the black and white spotted dog;
the owner of the lost dog with black and white spots.

A misunderstanding!

This here is Crawford, says Lincoln
Is he a rapper too?, I ask ponderously
No, he is gay, Lincoln says.
Then let him get on stage too, I command.
No, you don't understand, Lincoln blames me.
How is that? I ask.
He is gay, Lincoln speaks louder.
Then let him dress in a subtle way,I advise.
No, not his dressing, Lincoln interjects.
Then what? I ask incredulously.
He sleeps with men, Lincoln asserts.
In bed? I ask.
Yes, Lincoln answers.
Come on where do we all sleep? I ask flabbergasted.
Get him on the stage, I  say again this time forcefully.
No, you don't get it. Lincoln stubbornly objects.
He is a fag, he continues.
What is that ? I ask
A person who is you know... Lincoln whispers.
A lad? A fad? But that is fashionable, I continue.
Sssh! Don't talk so loud, Lincoln speaks conspiratorially looking left, right ,center.
He is gay, Lincoln insists.
If he insists on dressing smart so be it,I finally say.


Beware your pronouncements!

Disabled we all are in some way: beware what your pronouncements are!

I was walking down Franklin street on my way to the library and later to the Union Station. I happened to get to a corner that was the only space to go through. On the left two cars had double parked. On the right was a high fence on which an orange sign with the words 'Repairs' was hanging. Ahead of me were three people talking about the government shut down. One of them, the one with crutches had eaten up the little space I could squeeze in. The kind of smoke coming from their cigars (or whatever was folded and was brown in color) had taken the rest of the space.

Ahead was a group with signs saying” 'No to Shut down,'Shutdown means longer lines,' get serious Republicans,' 'get over your pettiness,' ….This was near the Commons and the green park. It was a sure way to be noticed. The government has been shut down. This is day two! Some great people saw it fit to make pronouncements to shut down the government. Many of my friends are now work less ( probably soon to be jobless). I hear furloughed! A very polite way of saying 'stay home.'

But, back to my smoking three-some friends! I was forced to reflect on my disability too.

I was talking to my friends about a chance to get a part time job. I was supposed to fill up the empty slot for two friends who were leaving for Ghana for two weeks. But when I was telling this friend, she heard me say: 'feel up.' An American, white person and well educated is this friend. Here I was going on with 'feeling up' my Ghanaian friends. She must have gone through all the emotions short of comatose. In her mind: Tom, please shut up before you go into the graphics of feeling up people. In order to say fill up, I had to say it faster. Otherwise lingering would mean I was planning to grope people! La!!!! Bwah!! Bwah!!!

It reminded me of a compliment another African friend gave to these cute looking Indian girls whose parents were formerly from Uganda ( Idi Amin saga, you get my trend of things?). This Liberian made this compliment: ' I shall make you my third wife. Oh you look so beautiful.' La!! Bwah!! The Nigerian not to be left out went on thus: 'You would be my number two but you take over the main house.' The girl or woman said: 'am married and have two children.' This was confirmed by her other work mate in this deli we frequent to make orders for snacks ( Honey Dew). Are you aware that is sexual harassment guys??? We are disabled in a way. It is a disability I want to call cultural insensitivity!

Today again, I happened to meet three of my friends who shared a sad story about a friend of theirs. This Ghanaian leaves Dorchester goes to Boston and wins a job slot with Walmart. He is so good he gets to go to New York where he is trained to become a junior supervisor. On completing the 6 months probation, he seeks out his immediate supervisor. 'I shall get you a Ghanaian woman. You are a handsome man. You deserve a woman.' Wow! So, confident this Ghanaian was that he never knew what was coming.

It was a weekend. By Monday noon time he was on a plane to Boston from New York with his allowance and severance letter. Sexual Harassment! The guy he talked to had a male partner! Cultural insensitivity proper. So, this Ghanaian is back to Boston and he is job searching! He was promised to work with an insurance company.

Wait, I am listening to this National Radio Broadcast. That over 5 million people have registered for Obamacare! But, the Republicans said: 'Americans are not interested in Obamacare.' By the by, it is called officially The Affordable Care Act. What are the lessons?