Jan 3 2012

Inventor Develops Procedure to Permanently Turn Brown Eyes Blue

“It had occurred to Pecola some time ago that if her eyes, those eyes that held the pictures, and knew the sights — if those eyes of hers were different, that is to say, beautiful, she herself would be different.”  –Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye

An  inventor in California says he has developed a new 20-second laser procedure that will safely turn brown eyes blue…for around $5,000.

Gregg Homer, founder of Stroma Medical in Laguna Beach, Calif., says the color switch is possible because all brown-eyed people have blue-looking orbs under the layer of dark pigment that covers the iris.

Homer  has conducted preliminary testing of the irreversible procedure on a dozen volunteers in Mexico, and plans to test the full procedure in both eyes of volunteers in about a year.

Stroma will first market the treatment outside the U.S. — probably Mexico, Canada and Europe. Homer said he has “no doubt” he’ll get FDA approval in the U.S. in about three years.

“People like the depth of a light eye,” says Homer. “Eyes are the windows to the soul, and a light eye is like an open window.”

Oh, really?

Not so fast, Homer.

This story reminds me of one I posted back in August about a “Pupil of the Eye” conference Bahá’is held in Los Angeles to celebrate the spiritual contributions of people of African descent:

“Bahá’is believe in the oneness of the human family, but discourage the kind of “color blindness” that leads to the glossing over of critical issues those committed to racial unity must be willing to address.

The Baha’i writings metaphorically compare black believers to the “pupil of the eye surrounded by the white,” explaining, “In this black pupil is seen the reflection of that which is before it, and through it the light of the spirit shineth forth.”

Young people today are already bombarded with media messages that tell them they are not perfect and beautiful exactly the way they were created. Breast implants. Butt injections. Skin lightening. Permanent eye color switch?

Have mercy. It seems Pecola Breedlove’s misguided survival strategy may soon become all the rage.


Jul 21 2011

Mexican Beer Ad Implies African Women Are Animals

I was driving down Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood and had to circle the block for a second look at this bus bench poster. What the hell? This is just wrong on too many levels to believe, but the most glaring offense is the negative message it sends about African women.

At first glance, the guy in the middle seems dressed for a safari, and the immediate assumption is these two men are his tour guides. However, closer inspection shows they are all holding golf clubs, which is a subtle way of lifting the African men into a higher economic class. These two men in loincloths would then represent guides of a different kind — cultural guides, so to speak, who are possibly educated and definitely worldly and sophisticated enough to be golfing with the white dude.

The wording of the ad doesn’t specify women of any race, and it is disrespectful to all women, but the African man on the left is the one dishing out relationship advice and that tells the observer that this man is speaking on what he knows from his own experience and culture, which would imply that he is speaking about the African woman. His message: The only way to deal with her is to recognize she’s basically an animal that must be approached with caution. The white dude finds this amusing.

We already are bombarded with misogynistic and demeaning messages in music, television and film. The last thing we need to see is a bus bench lesson on how black women are not human.

It is said that controversy sells, and drawing more attention to an ad like this might be what the company intends. But I’m thinking a national boycott of this brand might be just the economic smackdown needed to prevent this kind of blatant disrespect from happening in the future.

If you have an opinion you’d like to share with the company, Dos Equis can be reached at 877-522-5001, or email them at ccmcerverza@qualitycustomercare.com.

It would be great if the calls and emails came from both women and men.

by Kathleen Cross for rollingout.com


Jul 11 2011

Employers Prefer White Felons Over Blacks With No Criminal Record

You may remember the 2003 University of Chicago study by Devah Pager that sent young white and black “testers” with randomly assigned “felony convictions” to apply for low-wage jobs. The study found that whites with felonies were more likely to be called for interviews than black applicants without criminal records.

Eight years later, black male unemployment has hit the highest rate since the government began keeping track in 1972. It is estimated that only 56.9 percent of black men over age 20 are working, and the prospects for them to earn an honest living anytime soon in this crumbling economy are not good.

While Obama battles the GOP over raising the debt ceiling and preserving “sacred cow” tax cuts and entitlement programs, the unemployed poor are becoming increasingly desperate. Of particular concern is the reality that the once-supportive family members who used to serve as safety nets for struggling felons are now losing their jobs and homes in record numbers. The safety net exists no more.

According to an analysis of Federal Reserve data by the Economic Policy Institute in 2004, the median net worth of white households was $134,280, compared with $13,450 for black households. By 2009, the median net worth for white households had fallen 24 percent to $97,860; the median black net worth had fallen 83 percent to $2,170.  And, no, that is not a typo.  Algernon Austin, director of the Economic Policy Institute’s Program on Race, Ethnicity and the Economy describes the wealth gap like this, “In 2009, for every dollar of wealth the average white household had, black households only had two cents.”

Two cents. Really? If anyone has the audacity to suggest to me that having a black president means America is now “post racial,” I will have to hold myself back. And, speaking of remaining nonviolent in the face of violent oppression… If there has ever been a reason to march on Washington, it is right the hell now. –originally published at rollingout.com.