Friday, April 6, 2012

It's Worth Talking About

Today, I came across an article posted on a friend's Facebook page:

It's a blog post, and yes, there are lord-knows-how-many rediculious blog posts out there in the world. I hesitated to respond at first because who needs more chatter, right? But, I felt that I had a perspective to lend (although, I don't know how many people will find and read my comment, as it's 1 in 800 others).

There's been a lot of crazy-talk revolving around the case of Trayvon Martin, and there has also been a lot of valuable discussion. Personally, I feel that we can never overcome tough issues in our communities and culture without bringing them out into the open and chewing over them together. So while I really, really, really disagree with this woman's viewpoint on the issue, I am glad that she put it out there, and I am impressed and encouraged by the discussion it's provoked. Hopefully it will help all who participated to see the issue of race and racial profiling in America in a different, more human, light. And hopefully, we can take the opportunity to understand each other better, find more empathy for others, and grow from the debate.

Read the article. Browse the comments (I really identified with "Brittani McNeill" (posted April 6th, at 12:42pm) - I think she sees the issue clearly, and seemed to have a pretty intimate experience with both cases the blogger presents). Below is the comment I posted.....

This is an interesting argument, and it seems that in it you've crystalized some of what many people have been feeling about the Trayvon Martin case.
Violence and murder between any two human beings is tragic. The 2 cases we're discussing here certainly exemplify needless killing, and I ache for the families who have lost their loved ones for absolutely no reason at all. The point is we all bleed, we all hurt, and when someone is killed there are nearly always others left in sorrow and confusion.

But speaking to the issue you're really discussing: Racial profiling. It's wrong and it's obviously harmful. But the 2 cases you presented are not the same.
The case of Eve Carson is horrific. She died senselessly. But, as you yourself described, she was attacked with the goal of robbery and carjacking - for financial gain. I say this NOT IN THE LEAST to diminish the cruelty of the crime or to explain it away, only to put perspective on your argument about racial profiling. Was she idenitfied as vulnerable because she was a woman? That is probable (and not an uncommon assumption made about all women, of any race). Did they assume she was rich because she was white? Possibly. Did all of these assumptions contribute to their decision to viciously attack her? They probably did. So, as a white woman she was likely determined to be rich and vulnerable (given the time of night, the fact that she was alone, etc.). This is no reason to perpetuate a crime on someone. But it may help to illuminate why there is a different kind of outrage resulting from the Trayvon Martin case.

So let's look at that situation. Trayvon was a young man, minding his own business - YES, like Eve was. BUT, because he was BLACK - and pretty much for this reason alone (obviously how he was dressed has been a topic of interest as well), George Zimmerman assumed that he was UP TO NO GOOD. That he was doing something nefarious or had some malicious reason for being where he was when he was there. Simply because he was black. 

This is the difference between Eve and Trayvon. They both were senselessly and violently murdered, and many people are mourning their loss from the world. But, people are angered and outraged that the reason Trayvon was spotted, chased and killed was simply because he was black - and thus a suspicious person.

I know that you're saying that the police response, the follow-up, and the Florida law are not part of your argument, but I think you're misguided here. The fact that the police were so slow to even investigate the situation (which still hasn't been intiated), and the justice system has been so slow to bring charges against Zimmerman further illustrate the fact above - that STILL in this country, black people (and truly SO many different people of color of different races) are ASSUMED to be at fault in cases of interracial violence. They are the subjects of disproportionate executions of justice. And they are diminished in importance when they are the victims of crime. (I find this akin to the old assumption that when a man beat his wife, she must have done something to provoke him. It was then much harder for her to get judicial intervention. In the same way, black people are often seen as less likely to be honest victims of crime from other races).
The fact that so many elements of the Trayvon Martin case have only helped to support these facts about our country's racial climate is THE reason why we are seeing such outrage. 

I agree with you that the Eve Carson case should have had more national coverage - I would hope that it would give us an opportunity, as a country, to talk about crime and violence in our cities, and give us a chance to come together in the hope of changing it. The Trayvon Martin case has given us a chance to talk about race in America in the 21st century, and take a hard look at what we can do to ensure that ALL citizens are treated equally in the justice system.

But I hope that sharing my perspective might help you understand the nature of the outrage caused by Trayvon's killing - He was targeted and killed because he was black, and his case remains uninvestigated and unresolved largely for the same reason. And people who have experienced or witnessed this same kind of misalignment of justice are speaking out and saying that it is wrong. 
You are completely right that any kind of racial profiling is wrong and damaging. But what is illustrated in these 2 cases is that the stereotypes that were applied to different racial groups are differently damaging, and their long-term, widespread repercussions lead to much broader miscarrages of justice for certain groups of human beings - even though these 2 young people came to the same tragic end. 
So, for me Trayvon Martin has brought the harmful prevalance of the "Young Black Man" stereotype to the forefront of the national conciousness once again - the assumption that black people are inherently scary and violent, and thus don't deserve the same societal protection and justice - and is challenging our SYSTEMIC application of it.

I hope that what I've said helps you to see this case through a different lense. I appreciate your starting a discussion about it - sometimes, it feels that we are so afraid to talk about race that there is never any chance to put it out in the open, so that we can deal with it together. I firmly believe that the only way we can relieve the racial charge that exists in this country is through discussions like this - the sharing and understanding of each other's perspectives.
So thank you for sharing your thoughts.


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Ultimate Outfits 19...Oscar Edition

Yeah, yeah I know I'm a little behind schedule. But last weekend was Husband's birthday, so I didn't have time to post this.
But, in case you were wonderin', here's what I would have worn to this year's Oscars (with Ryan Gosling as other arm candy, naturally).
(Background photo:
I picked this gown out a couple of weeks ago, but as it turns out it would have been PERFECT for this year's Academy Awards - Sequins? Check. Slit to high heavens? Check. Awesome color (because everyone but Viola Davis was wearing some shade of Bleh-ck)? CHECK.

This Ultimate Outfit consists of...

Elie Saab - Spring 2012 blue sequin awesomeness

Gucci - Spring 2004 "corset" heels

Louis Vuitton - Fall 2011 Wrist Cuff Clutch (a 'lil bit naughty, eh?)

William Goldberg - "Anastasia" Ashoka cut diamond earrings
Because it's the Oscars, and you can't wear some costume sh*t.

Van Cleef and Arpels - Oiseaux de Paradis ruby, sapphire and diamond ring

SO there. If any budding starlets need some assistance on how to look awesome at next year's big night, you know who to call.

As for the ladies who turned it out this year, here are my favorites:
Beautiful color, and I LOVE the natural hair. 

It's a simple gown, but that cape lends a regal quality that she pulls off well.

If I had to choose from the gowns there, I'd pick this one. Thank god for Vivienne Westwood.

Ok, the leg nonsense is killing me (you don't turn you're foot OUT! It looks like you're squatting!), but this gown is gorgeous.....we need more velvet in the world.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Ultimate Outfits 17 and 18...Valentine's Day!!! (Part 2)

Woo hoo!!! I hope you had as much fun for V-Day as I did! Here are a couple more outfits (Pink this time!) to tide you over until next year :).

Here's a pretty one for a romantic dinner....
(Background pic:

Calvin Klein - spring 2012 Silk Slipdress

(Picture: Net-a-Porter)
Preen - Pink Blazer

Rupert Sanderson - spring 2012 Suede and Mesh Pumps

Marchesa - spring 2012 Beaded Fringe Clutch

The Row - spring 2012 Gold and Pearl Bracelet

(Picture: Net-a-Porter)
Marie-Helene de Taillac - Rose Quartz Earrings

And don't forget the unmentionables.....
(Picture: Net-a-Porter)
Stella McCartney - "Sam Partying" Lingerie Set

And how about this for an all-girl Valentine's evening out?
(Background Pic:

(Picture: Net-a-Porter)
Emilio Pucci - Twill Pink Suit

(Picture: Net-a-Porter)
Markus Lupfer - "Smacker" Sequined Merino Sweater

Christian Louboutin - spring 2012 Suede and Plastic Ankle Wrap Pump

Edie Parker - spring 2012 Glitter Box Clutch

(Picture: Net-a-Porter)
Lanvin - Heart Rhinestone Earrings

(Picture: Net-a-Porter)
Marc by Marc Jacobs - "Jacobson" Acetate Ring

Might as well go for full-on cheek, right?
(Picture: Agent Provocateur)
Agent Provocateur - "Ashleen" Lingerie Set

Monday, February 13, 2012

Ultimate Outfits 15 and 16...Valentine's Day!!! (Part 1)

     I have to be honest, I am a total sap for Valentine's Day. Growing up, Dad used to always bring us gals roses and Russell Stover....I ate all of the caramel ones. Yes, I get that it's a completely consumer-driven faux holiday, but I'm down with any excuse to eat candy and wear red. It's all about playing dress up.

     So in that spirit, I've concocted a few new Ultimate Outfits to put you in the mood for lovin'. These two could help you out if you're headed to a schmancy V-Day ball or out on a sexy date.....more to come tomorrow!
Maybe you're going to see ABT's Romeo and Juliet...
(Background Pic:
This look consists of....

(Picture: Net-a-Porter)
Lanvin - strapless gown
Casadei - Spring 2012 ankle cuff shoe
Devi Kroell - Spring 2012 wood and shagreen clutch
Akong - Spring 2012 necklace
(Picture: Net-a-Porter)
Kelly Wearstler - Pyrite cuff
Dara Ettinger - Felicia geode studs

And of course you need some fancy panties.....
Stella McCartney - "Josephine Marrying" lingerie set

Or maybe you're headed to a concert...
(Background Pic:
This look consists of...
Balenciaga - DrapedSkirt
(Picture: Net-a-Porter)
Joseph - Plaid Tank
(Picture: Net-a-Porter)
Balmain - Satin trimmed wool crepe jacket
Givenchy - Spring 2012 Ankle Wrap Sandal
(Picture: Net-a-Porter)
Valentino - Studded mini bag
Lanvin - Spring 2012 Lariat necklace
Lanvin - Spring 2012 Wing bracelet
(Picture: Net-a-Porter)
Bottega Veneta - Eye earrings
(Picture: Agent Provocateur)
Agent Provocateur - Lorna lingerie set

More Valentine's Day outfits to come.......

Monday, November 14, 2011

Ultimate 14

Hi Folks!
Can you believe it? We are fast approaching the "holiday season" - which is inherently my favorite season, as there are so many reasons to get dressed up! (Although, I love autumn in equal measure for the ability to shamelessly loaf around in flannel pjs all weekend, so long as you have hot cider in your know, to be festive.) I thought I'd kick off the Most Wonderful Time of the Year (and re-kick off my blog) with some winter party duds.

I like to think of this one as "Rock and Roll Ice Princess," but I guess you could don it to a fun Hanukkah party, what with the blue/white combo and all....

(Ok, so it's not much for warmth, but just imagine a great coat over it)

This outfit is composed of:

Felder Felder spring 2012 metallic leather skirt (with spikes!)

Fendi spring 2012 cable knit and chiffon sweater

Thankoon fall 2012 velvet booties

Giorgio Armani spring 2012 iridescent clutch

Balenciaga rhinestone choker

Kara Ross spring 2012 turquoise earrings

Etro white brass cuff

Thankoon booties picture from Net-a-Porter
Balenciaga choker picture from
All other images from