Welcome to Sistahspeak

sistahspeakRobinswing is the Sistahspeak Editor who also happens to be old, gifted and black.

Run and Tell That – In Memory of Robinswing

December 09, 2014 By: seeta Category: Sistahspeak, Spirituality

Dear Esteemed CMP Readers:

We are heartbroken to inform you that Robinswing, the Editor and Writer of the renowned and powerful Sistahspeak series, passed away yesterday. We extend our heartfelt condolences to her family and friends.

To many of us, Robinswing was a powerful and inspirational voice for social justice, a good friend, a teacher, and an unabashed pure heart. Robinswing, a warrior for peace, justice, and kindness, graced us with some of her prophetic pieces here.

Tonight we pay tribute to Robinswing by re-posting a link to some of her resonant — and more relevant than ever — articles. Below is one of Robinswing’s most powerful and moving pieces. Her eternal light will continue to shine on and inspire us. May she Rest in Eternal Power.

Robinswing, thank you for sharing your gift and your powerful presence with us. We will miss you more than words can express.

Seeta, on behalf of CMP


We Can’t Fix Ya!

March 23, 2012 By: Robinswing Category: Civil Rights, Sistahspeak

I’ve been thinking. It happens. Most of us around here know what‘s going on. It’s gotten to the place where I don’t feel the energy of explaining. Or the need. Not that many people are listening. Only a few care. I’m talking to those of you who do.

The blackwoman has been thinking it might be time to seek out some solutions for eliminating racism. A more difficult project than I imagined.

I have come to one conclusion.

Race is a problem for white people to solve. If black people or brown people could have made racism go away it would have long since disappeared back into the nothing-ness from which it came.

Nah, it’s on white folks to make the necessary moves to kill and bury, once and for all, the notion of race. I think in a generation or two this just might happen.

For one thing no small part of the fear rising in the hearts of some our finest race-baiting carbon units is the realization that within a generation they will be the minority. This idea causes folk like Pat Buchanan to go to sleep at night clutching at his gonads. He’s been ringing the white folks we’re about to be outnumbered bell for a really long time. With the election of America’s first black president, many of the dull-normals suddenly got it.

In the America they grew up in, such a thing was not possible. A black president was not a notion the mouth-breathers ever considered. It couldn’t happen. For one thing the expectation was white people would never go for it. I still remember the old southern white man who said during the election season last year “I’m voting for the nigger.” Even so, he was in the minority.

The majority of white people in this country voted for dumb and dumber. They were willing to be led by two people who couldn’t find their butts with a flashlight and a map.

There is nothing I could ever say to such a person. I do not know these people. And if I got to know them they could really like me and retain their racism by telling themselves that I am ‘different’. This is what I heard in the sixties. “You’re different”. This was what you heard back then when you defied the stereotypes taught and accepted as true. “You’re different.”

I didn’t fall for it. Clarence Thomas did. ‘Nuff said.

I understood even back in the day, it was easier to make me an exception rather than question what had been taught. To do so would be admitting Mom and Dad lied. Couldn’t have that. Easier to put an asterisk on me and retain the paragraph about the inferiority of my race.

Settling the question of race must fall on the shoulders of those who have most benefited by racial divisions. It’s called white privilege and if you are white you have enjoyed this privilege whether or not your parents are recent immigrants, held slaves, didn’t hold slaves, ancestors fought for the Union or the Rebels. If you are white in America your privilege exists as a function of your being. It is breathing and waking. It is part of the fabric of your life whether that fabric is silk or chambray. If you do not believe in white privilege you need an intervention. White privilege belongs only to your race and only your race can call back the privilege by extending it through law, institution and practice to everyone. So far there has been no real effort in that direction. We got law. We understood you cannot legislate feelings. Only behavior.

We took what we could get.

There are of course those white people who do everything they can to educate themselves and others. It is obvious to me we need a great many more of the people who do not turn away when someone at a party or gathering makes a racist remark. Racist need to be called out. Many will deny being racist and tell you something along the lines of “one my best friends…”. Do not believe them. Anyone who is white and has a black person as a best friend is sensitized by association and if the black person considers the white person a friend will school him or her when necessary.

White people have to come up with the solution to racist. Some of these folk are family. Some are neighbors. Some are friends. Talk to them. Don’t let them get away with the stereotypes. Challenge them on privilege. Point out that as long as this privilege exists, racism has a home.

If all else fails, remind them that they are soon to be the minority and that karma is a bitch.

Now run and tell that.

rw note: this is a reprint of an article because it is relevant now.

SistahSpeak Rides Again

March 18, 2012 By: seeta Category: Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Intersectionality, Sistahspeak

CMP is thrilled to announce that SistahSpeak by Robinswing launched over the weekend. Please be sure to check out Robinswing’s new space:

I am thrilled to introduce two of my colleagues, Amazinggrace and Wonderful. These two women are my sistahs in every way that matters. They represent different aspects of sistah-hood.

Amazinggrace is our Lifestyles and News editor. She has her finger on the pulse of trends and what’s trending. She scours news articles to bring information you might have missed. Week to week will find her writing about most anything and I for one, eagerly await her posts.

Wonderful is our Lightstyles editor. She will grace this website with positive, constructive and spiritual ways to re-frame everyday issues and challenges. She is a noted teacher of spiritual principles. She manages to do this outside the framework of religion (no small feat) and within the context of the personal. I have no doubt you will be enriched by Wonderful…Thinking, her weekly blog.

Finally the blackwoman will continue to write about those things that affect her and other black folk. I promise to do so with honesty, compassion and the sincere desire to communicate what truths I understand.

SistahSpeak…The Lie.

March 06, 2012 By: Robinswing Category: Civil Rights, Sistahspeak

sistahspeakThe blackwoman even without the strum and drunk of television news is acutely aware of the assaults against women’s health. To be clear it is specifically about white women. And contraception. It boils down, once again to math. White women need to have more babies. There I said it.

White women are not having enough babies to prevent white people from becoming minority people.

That is the primary reason for this recent round of assaults about birth control. White men have done the math. They see that they will soon be behind brown and beside black. They do not like this. They do not like this at all.

The election of President Obama was important on so many levels but none more important than the math.

I keep talking about the math. Why? Because becoming clear about this single aspect requires a different focus. We must shift our focus and begin in earnest to shape the future in our minds. What does a future with possibilities look like?

As a blackwoman who has lived long enough to see my people from the back of the bus to the helm of the ship of state. From none to Air Force One. I was part of the Struggle. My one lament was that during the Struggle we as a people did not arm ourselves with a clear picture of what our future would look like once we were treated in law as equal citizens.

Nowhere is this failure more evident than in the treatment of our President. Some treat the President of the United States of America like a nigger. All the black folk and most of the white folk I know see it clearly. We live it. Daily. Still. Daily.

I am of the conviction that O .D.S or Obama Derangement Syndrome could just as easily be called W.T.F. Until you do the math. Perception change.

The majority of white folks did not agree to have Barack Hussein Obama as President of the United States of America. Repeat this sentence. Out loud. Allow it to sink in.

The importance of the simple math is driving the conversation. It has not been an honest conversation. It cannot become an honest conversation until we talk about why women’s reproductive rights are being challenged.

The conversation ought to turn to the rationale. Why now decades past birth control for women, are we talking about birth control? Who is this aimed toward? Not black women. Nor brown women. Leaves one option. White women. Why? It won’t be long before someone other than Pat Buchanan finds a way of saying why straight up. Then we can get to the real.

The real is race. Racism.

The real is ugly. Leans hard against The Lie. You know, The Lie about the inferiority of people of color. Every day that he serves as POTUS gives face to The Lie. He stands tall and has the respect of the world. He represents a new America. An America led by intelligence and grace. He embodies the American Dream in way that leaves them speechless about his private life. He is a baby whisperer. He is the active husband. Has anybody noticed how his eyes follow his wife’s behind whenever she walks past him? No room to attack on the home front.

I do not remember a Presidency with a happy First Family. Maybe LBJ. Can’t think of another. I’m thinking this may be to his advantage. Allows him to relax. And work harder. At the same time.

His leadership on the world stage has been unhampered by the Opposition Oppression Party Stooges ( O.O.P.S). And a resounding success. It took Obama to get Osama. No room for attack there.

Iran will back away from the cliff. They are smart enough not to press too hard and scare Americans enough to hire a warmonger to replace an intelligent and gracious leader. Americans have shown a willingness to be led by thieves, crook and liars. The leaders of the world want no part of American fascination with fools. Fiddling with Carter and handing the election to Reagan was a mistake I doubt will be repeated.

He can take credit for the progress of the economy. He saved the automobile industry. He got the first health care bill passed for the citizens of this country.

They needed him to fail. Then it could be said he wasn’t smart enough. You know, The Lie. The Lie that justified the enslavement of black people. Still justifies the imprisonment of black men and women in numbers that ought to give pause about the judiciary. They lied when they claimed we were inferior beings. The Lie.

The truth is hard to take for some folk. They cling to The Lie. The truth burns through and exposes fear. Fueled by ignorance. Fanned with pseudo-religion, is a fire meant to destroy the truth rather than yield the stranglehold of privilege. White Privilege has at its foundation The Lie.

Now they cannot openly state the real reason they want to prevent birth control. It’s about the math. And The Lie.

Now run and tell that.

SistahSpeak…Let Freedom Ride!

February 21, 2012 By: Robinswing Category: 2012 Election, Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Sistahspeak, Voting Rights, White Privilege

sistahspeakBehold, he travaileth with iniquity, and hath conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood. He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made. His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate.

This is another way of saying Karma can be a most muthaf*cker.

Folks that know me know that it gets serious when I go all Old Testament. It has gotten serious. These folk are Philistines. The republicants are Goliath.

What happens inside a person to make them do hateful and hate-filled? Don’t know. Don’t care. What I care about is what needs to be done to render the haters null and void.

Been busy latelt taking care of myself. And thinking. A lot of watching.

And prayin’.

If I hit my knees in prayer, I wouldn’t have any knees.

Been praying for understanding. And guidance,

Seems evident that we have been fighting a second civil war. Mr. Obama’s Presidency means we won. Now we are in the reconstruction phase with the insidious rise of James Crow. Go to and read Deaniac’s excellent article about the assault on voting rights. We are in a battle for the political future of this Republic.

It is time to ride. Fired up and ready to go must have a new meaning.

This generation must become Freedom Riders. This generation must organize, get in their cars and take black and brown people to get voter ID’s. In all of the states where this onerous requirement seeks to disenfranchise black and brown voters.

It will once again be a dangerous undertaking. The enemy is real. Frightened and hate-filled.

They are also powerless to win. We must render them powerless. Not by hating them, but by loving each other. Enough to fight for those who would be powerless without us. The elderly,the young. Black. Brown.

This generation will have a time of greatness as they step up and help to bend the arc of justice so that it points toward the freedoms guaranteed.

Compassion calls each of us to do what we can. The time is now.

Let not mine enemies triumph over me. David found out that Goliath was a punk.

The Philistines found out that karma is a most muthaf*cker.

Now run and tell that!

CI: Giving Thanks

November 23, 2011 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Corrupt Judiciary, Criminal Defense, Criminal Injustice Series, Intersectionality, LGBTQ, Prison Industrial Complex, Prisoner Rights, Sistahspeak, Voting Rights, White Privilege

Criminal InJustice is a weekly series devoted to taking action against inequities in the U.S. criminal justice system. Nancy A. Heitzeg, Professor of Sociology and Race/Ethnicity, is the Editor of CI. Criminal InJustice is published every Wednesday at 6 pm CST.

Criminal Injustice: Giving Thanks
By Kay Whitlock

Tonight, Criminal Injustice offers profound thanks for all those who work to name, challenge, resist, and dismantle the racial, gender, sexual, and economic violence embedded in the U.S. criminal legal system – violence that often touches both those who suffer the harms of violent attack in homes and communities, and those who suffer it behind bars at the hands of prison authorities as well as other prisoners.

We also want to give thanks for those who refuse to demonize prisoners and who work in light of the recognition that incarcerated people – and their families – are also part of our communities. And we give thanks for all who would rather see more public investment in education, health care, social services, community-based drug treatment programs, jobs programs and the like – investments that reduce and help prevent crime and recidivism – than in more policing, more prisons.

The individuals and groups acknowledged here are among those who courageously insist that real safety can never be created outside an unshakable framework of racial, gender, and economic justice. They are among those and who not only document the racial, gender, sexual, and economic violence historically and currently embedded in current policing, prosecutorial and prison practices, but seek to expand our justice visions in new ways that lead toward healing, wholeness, and well being – not only for individuals, but also entire communities.


November 11, 2011 By: Robinswing Category: 2012 Election, Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Intersectionality, Sistahspeak, White Privilege

sistahspeak Lately the Black Woman has been blown away by certain realizations. On the drive home one of my dear friends asked me when the Civil Rights Movement began for me. Hers began in the early sixties. She is white. Though she is older than I, my awareness being black started earlier. In the fifties. Emmet Til. His mother insisted that his coffin be opened. She wanted the world to see what hatred and racism had done to her son. I saw it. It changed me. I remember thinking at the time ‘this shit has got to stop’


SistahSpeak…Send in The Clowns

October 18, 2011 By: Robinswing Category: Civil Rights, Sistahspeak

sistahspeak I’ve trying to figure out why Herman Cain is the flavor of the month in the Republicant who we going to find to beat Obama Sweepstakes. Every other week or so,another name is floated. A rather lean biography with an attempt to hide their real often embarrassing past,and lots and lots of polling goin’ on.. I generally make two assumptions about polls.. The first being that most people even if they are not,can act and say things predictably stupid. The second is stupid can be predictably and easily confused. Repuglicants are predictable as hell. From where I’m standing this means we ought to be able to whip their asses with relative ease. (more…)