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How One Woman Took Corporate America to Task for Promoting and Profiting from Black Family Dysfunction


“We don’t use the tools and technology that we have today, to effect change the way we can, and to do it in short order.” - Ermina Hill


Father's Day card for single mothers
This Hallmark Father's Day card for single mothers has been around at least since 2011.


I don’t know if you are aware of the tremendous controversy surrounding the Father’s Day card sold through the Mahogany line of cards by Hallmark. Well, there was coverage by Roland Martin, the Huffington Post, Dr. Boyce Watkins and others. I confess that I read the headlines…agreed with spotlighting the dysfunction the card promoted but didn’t follow in detail. 

Well, little did I know, my sorority sister and friend, Ermina Hill, out of the Atlanta area, took her dissatisfaction beyond just venting on social media and organized a protest. If more people took this kind of action, just think of how great our communities would be. 

Please take the time to watch this interview and realize the power we have as individuals to mobilize others and effect needed change. Also note that Roland Martin's coverage of this issue goes back to June 2011 so the success of Ermina's leadership in this protest is all the more laudable.

Congratulations to Ermina Hill and everyone who participated in the action against Hallmark. Thank you to Dr. Watkins for the interview and the shout out to Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. Thank you to Hallmark for finally pulling that Father's Day card for single mothers from the Mahogany line.


Now, if we could get television networks to pull those ratchet reality shows...



Jenny Sanford Not Standing By Her Man…Sort of

South Carolina First Lady Jenny Sanford is not standing by her man; at least not publicly. While a weirdly sad Gov. Mark Sanford confessed and apologized for his indiscretions with a woman from Brazil, his wife Jenny was nowhere to be seen. Thank God.

It's about time betrayed wives showed some intestinal fortitude and did not subject themselves to the humiliation of public display during their husband's mea culpa. That's not to say they shouldn't try to work with their spouse to salvage the marriage but there is really little to be gained by the woman's public subjugation and humiliation.

By all accounts, Jenny Sanford is an intelligent woman. For whatever reason, she wants to reconcile with her husband Mark although he went to see his mistress in spite of his wife's request he not do so.

Gov. Sanford's disappearance, reappearance, confession, and apology tour have already received way too much media coverage. The governor has to deal with his wife, children, and the voters of South Carolina to resolve this matter. Speaking of the voters, Gov. Sanford also admitted to using taxpayer funds to finance his trip to see his mistress. Can this situation possibly get any worse for him? Yes, it can but he's not budging --- yet.

Gov. Sanford has resumed his duties as the leader of his state and by his actions doesn't plan to resign. This story continues as the calls for his resignation increase.

Oh yeah, does anyone wonder who sent the governor's personal e-mails to the media? I certainly do.

Rest In Peace: Marie Olbermann (1929-2009)

I just watched a moving tribute to Marie Olbermann, mother of MSNBC's Keith Olbermann on his show Countdown with Keith Olbermann. Sadly, Mrs. Olbermann passed away.

She was quite a lady and well-known for her love of major league baseball. I have not been a Keith Olbermann fan long enough to know of her getting beaned by Chuck Knoblauch and the subsequent celebrity to follow. She seemed to be quite feisty and a lot of fun to be with.

My prayers are with Keith Olbermann, his dad and the rest of Marie Olbermann's family, friends and loved ones. Ashe'.

Read Keith Olbermann's tribute to his mom here.

Will First Lady Michelle Obama Boost Sales for Pottery Barn the Way the President Helped BlackBerry?

First_Lady_Obama It has been reported that First Lady Michelle Obama will use Pottery Barn furnishings to decorate daughters Malia and Sasha’s bedrooms. Why this is such news is beyond me but I’m an fan of HGTV so I’ll go with it for a little while.

Mrs. Obama’s fashions and White House decorating choices are obviously interesting to some folks but far too much emphasis is being placed on matters that are not politically significant.

It’s obvious that the President and the rest of the First Family are changing Presidential culture. He is trying to live outside the bubble more than in and he’s demonstrating frugality by virtue of his decision to keep that ugly Oval Office rug when most presidents have replaced it in the past.

The world was abuzz when Michelle Obama wore J. Crew and Barack Obama uses a BlackBerry and chews Nicorette gum. Now Pottery Barn will be in the spotlight.

Surely, Mrs. Obama and her designer will select beautiful furnishings for the girls. Now, let’s get back to important news.


© 2009, Vanessa: Unplugged!,

Vote for this blog for Best Political Blog and for Best Blog Design in the 2009 Bloggers Choice Awards.


First Lady Michelle Obama Not Happy with Toy Company

First Lady Michelle Obama is not happy that the Ty Toy Company has produced dolls named after her daughters without the permission or consultation of the parents. The Ty Company makes Beanie Babies.

The dolls, "Marvelous Malia" and "Sweet Sasha" are not named after the first daughters according to a Ty Company spokesperson. Yeah, right. They also don't look like the girls either.

To my knowledge, First Lady Obama has made no public comment about the incessant merchandising of her husband but immediately addressed this Beanie Baby issue. It's unfortunate that the toy company produced the dolls but then to lie about it; not a good thing.

Regardless of Mrs. Obama's statement, the dolls will likely sell well. Put a picture of the Obamas on anything and it sells. So, here we have another installment of the Obama Stimulus Package. Watch the dollars roll in.


© 2009, Vanessa: Unplugged!,

Vote for this blog for Best Political Blog and for Best Blog Design in the 2009 Bloggers Choice Awards.



Just How Desperate is the GOP?

In an incredible poor sense of timing, poor taste, and just plain ole foolishness, the California GOP has sunk to a new low by filing a complaint with the FEC over Barack Obama's use of his campaign airplane to visit his ailing grandmother in Hawaii.

Give me a break. Is this the best these folks could come up with? The man was trying to see his grandmother before she passed and these numb nuts wanted him to catch a regular airplane. You've got to be kidding. I'm glad he used the most expeditious means of getting to her and was able to see her before she passed.

You may have noticed I've resisted the urge to refer to the GOP as Rethuglicans lately but they definitely deserve it after a shameful move like this.

You know McCain and the GOP are trying to hold on to as many seats as possible throughout the United States but they do that at the risk of tarnishing their personal brand and Party brand for many years to come. It's lame moves like this and selecting Sarah Palin for VP that may appeal to the conservative base but alienates the Rethuglicans from moderate conservatives, independents and conservative democrats.

It's bad enough that these folks seem to have no problems in attracting a mainly non-diverse ethnic group of supporters. This stunt is the lowest of the low. It's time for a change.



© 2008, Vanessa: Unplugged!,

Vote for this blog for Best Political Blog and for Best Blog Design in the 2008 Bloggers Choice Awards.




Senator Barack Obama Deals with Loss

One can only feel compassion and empathy for Senator Barack Obama as he confronts one of the happiest periods of his life and one of the saddest. His maternal grandmother, Madelyn Dunham has transitioned. Obama suspended his campaign to visit her in Hawaii as her health worsened. The senator's grandparents shaped his personality and taught him a work ethic that he still demonstrates today. Senator Obama announced his grandmother's passing and continued campaigning as the polls will open in a few hours. Please view and sign her guestbook.

The senator is also coping with the loss of his Nevada campaign director, Terence Tolbert. He passed away after suffering a heart attack while driving alone. Tolbert was only 44 years old.    

Tolbert was a well-known and respected lobbyist in New York City. He is credited with Senator Obama's success in Nevada, a swing state.


© 2008, Vanessa: Unplugged!,

Vote for this blog for Best Political Blog and for Best Blog Design in the 2009 Bloggers Choice Awards.




Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father's Day to all of the guys who are fathers or just like fathers. A father plays an important role in a child's life; he teaches his son how to treat women and his daughter how they are to be treated by men.

A good father doesn't need a lot money; just a lot of love. That may seem corny to you but it is true. My parents have been married for about 55 years so my dad has always been in my life. Guys should realize just how much of a void there is in a child's life when their dad is absent.

Fathers are so special and so important.

To my dad and all other dads, thank you.


Will Venus and Serena be Forced to ‘Denounce and Reject’ their Dad?

According to reports from The Miami Herald, Richard Williams, father of Venus and Serena, is a loose-cannon. The latest comments attributed to Williams are particularly controversial in light of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright drama of late.

In an interview with the Deccan Herald while in India for the Bangalore Open, Papa Williams said, ``The white man hated me all my life and I hate him. That's no secret. I'm not even an American, it just so happens I was born in America. People are prejudiced in tennis. I don't think Venus or Serena was ever accepted by tennis. They never will be. But if you get some little white no-good trasher in America like Tracy Austin or Chris Evert who cannot hit the ball, they will claim this is great.''

OK. Let's see who goes on the next national apology tour after those statements. In spite of the rest of the quote, you know white people are more ticked that he referred to Chrissy Evert as "little white no-good trasher."

Is Richard Williams on medication? I can't imagine what he was thinking when he went off like that. Some of what he said about the treatment Venus and Serena endure is true but was personalizing Evert and Austin necessary? Venus and Serena had better prepare to denounce, reject, repudiate or do something for damage control in this situation.