Don’t Call Dr. Laura

On August 5, 2011, in Biracial, by Honeysmoke

A serious repost.
A black woman married to a white man called Dr. Laura and told her she was growing resentful of her husband because he would not put an end to neighbors, friends and relatives saying the n-word and making other insensitive comments in front of her.

Dr. Laura didn’t answer the caller’s question. In fact, she berated the woman with the n-word 11 times and accused her of being hypersensitive. To make matters worse, Dr. Laura said most blacks voted for Barack Obama because he is half black, leaving the impression that blacks are single-minded. Way to go, Dr. Laura.

Dr. Laura later apologized for her remarks. It is clear to me she didn’t understand the topic and couldn’t possibly advise anyone who had a question about it. I don’t have 9 million listeners, but here is what I think.

The caller said a neighbor had come to her house and asked her why blacks do this or do that. Without getting upset, I would say something like this: I am not the spokeswoman for black people anymore than you are a spokesman for white people. I can’t tell you why some people act the way they do.

As for your husband, it’s time to have a very frank conversation about race and respect. I am concerned your husband, not your boyfriend or just a friend, would allow anyone to come in the house he shares with you and make insensitive remarks about you or your race. Please talk to him and tell him how the word or words make you feel. Let him know that you should feel comfortable and respected in your own home and such words are disrespectful and make you feel uncomfortable. I hope he hears you out and makes it clear to friends and relatives that such talk will not be tolerated.

If you are out there and somehow get this message, send an email to honeysmoke at honeysmoke dot com, find a group of sisters who are also married to white men or seek some professional guidance. You definitely shouldn’t have to feel uncomfortable in your own home, and your husband should understand and stand up for you.

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Good Read

On August 4, 2011, in Biracial, by Honeysmoke

This piece by Ellis Cose explains the difference between racial and gay civil rights. Enjoy!
Posted from 34,000 feet with help of iTouch and free Wi-Fi coupon.

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No Children Allowed

On August 2, 2011, in Biracial, by Honeysmoke

Restaurant owners are fed up. Parents have been bringing children to their otherwise decent eating establishments. Children get in the way. They are loud, and they are messy.  What to do? What to do? Ban children under age 6.

When I first heard about this, I thought surely this move would put them in the red. The more I heard and thought about it, the more it seemed like the restaurant owners could cash in with all those people who don’t want to dine with children.

I like being able to take Simone and Nadia with us for a bite to eat. Ken and I take the girls to family friendly eating establishments, the ones with kids’ menus and Crayons. If we’re going out, it’s for lunch, where the crowd is smaller and the menu is less expensive. If we dine at night — and we rarely do — we go early. Children don’t take long waits well, and nothing gets in the way of our nighttime bath routine.

When trouble arises, we act fast. We packed up and left a restaurant one day when our girls wouldn’t listen to us. Going out is a treat. We also scoop them up and take them outside if they start to wail.

The general public doesn’t love my kids like I do. While banning children seems extreme, some restaurants know what their customers want. I still wonder what will happen when those young children grow up. Will their parents skip those establishments that weren’t friendly to them and take their money elsewhere? We shall see.

What do you say? Should restaurants ban young children?


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From The Inbox

On July 30, 2011, in Biracial, by Honeysmoke

It turns out curlies aren’t the only ones who are looking for good shampoo alternatives.

Q: Other than to tell you that I enjoy your blog thoroughly, I want to ask you a hair question. I am not a curly in any fashion, like I said, I’m a white girl and I have relatively straight hair, but I’ve read your curly blogs and I wanted to try to look for a shampoo and conditioner that are sulfate, silicone and paraben free and was wondering if you could point me in the right direction. I just started looking at all the backs of bottles in my shower, and ALL of the shampoos I have at the moment have sulfates. I was also wondering if I need to look for other key words, if those three things may be hiding behind a different name. Sulfates were easy to identify, but I didn’t see silicone or paraben. Thanks so much for your blog, Honeysmoke.

A: Thank you so much for visiting Honeysmoke. There are tons of low sulfate or sulfate free shampoos out there. I bet if you go to a local salon or check out the health and beauty aisle, you may find some affordable options. I am afraid a lot of the products aimed at curly hair can be quite expensive, and those are the products I am most familiar with. At any rate, I have tried Jessicurl products and love them. I don’t love the shipping costs, which keeps me from buying them all of the time. The line has two mild shampoos. Here is a link to one of them. As for keys words you can search, try: low poo and no poo. That may broaden your search a bit. I hope you find what you’re looking for and thanks again for visiting Honeysmoke.

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Quote, Unquote

On July 30, 2011, in Biracial, by Honeysmoke

Knock, Knock. Who’s there? Banana. Banana who? Knock, Knock. Who’s there? Banana. Banana who? Knock, Knock. Who’s there? Orange. Orange who? Aren’t you glad I didn’t say banana again?

Simone, developing her sense of humor.

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Going To First Grade

On July 28, 2011, in Biracial, by Honeysmoke

Ken did the honors. He ripped open the envelope and read the letter inside. He read every word aloud about what a good school year it will be, when to pick up school supplies and when the school’s open house will be held. What we wanted to know was in the very last paragraph. The name of Simone’s first-grade teacher.

We had gotten the heads up from a parent that we would learn our child’s fate this week. With the teacher’s name in hand, we launched a fact-finding mission to learn as much as possible about her. In seconds, we landed on her web page and read all about her education and teaching philosophy. We even know the name of her cat.

Ken plans to get the lowdown from a few teachers we know, while I will shake down some parents for information. If all else fails, we will do a full background check on her.

Sad, huh? Ken didn’t think so. It’s a big deal, he said. This teacher will be part a part of our family for the next nine or 10 months. Whether we like it or not, we will send our child to her five days a week. Much of what happens at school will shape our lives. There will be school projects, homework and trips.

Simone is ready. We think she’s bored with day camp. She comes home and reads or plays with her learning games. When I told her her teacher’s name, she ran up to other kids to share the news like she had gotten into college or something. What can I say? The kid loves to learn.

Simone is fine just knowing her new teacher’s name, while we have so many questions. Will Simone like her? Will we like her? Will she be tough, hard, mean? A softy? The answers will come in the first few weeks of school. This is what our life has come to: anticipating the what ifs of another school year.



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Positive Rejection

On July 26, 2011, in Biracial, by Honeysmoke

Trust me when I say last week was not a good week. It was awful. Like a rain cloud was hanging over my head with its own lightning bolt awful. Seriously, I cried last week — twice, and I am not a crier. This week didn’t start out much better. For starters, there were more tears. I cry one time a year, if that, so I am done, with a capital D, with crying for the next three years.

I couldn’t take much more rejection or bad news. Then I received a letter in the mail. Writers know what kind of letter I am talking about. It’s one of those letters from you and addressed to you, the self-addressed, stamped envelope writers include in query letters so that agents can deliver rejection on our dime.

There are two types of these letters. There is the dreaded form letter, which is practically useless, and there is the personal rejection. Thank goodness, this one was the later. Agents are busy people. They don’t have time to write personal notes. They have clients to represent, deals to close. So, it’s a compliment when one of them takes a moment to reject a writer’s project and encourage her at the same time.

What in the heck am I talking about? This 12-word sentence: “Your picture book is an original and effective tool for all children.” I needed that positive rejection. That sentence let me know I am doing something right. The agent didn’t offer representation. She can’t take on any more clients during these tough economic times. But I am close to finding the right agent for me and my work. So close.





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Quote, Unquote

On July 23, 2011, in Biracial, by Honeysmoke


Nadia, reminding her father that she doesn’t like his whiskers.

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Mano Alla Mano

On July 20, 2011, in Biracial, by Honeysmoke

Everyone all together now-American Family line American Family Line.

I was looking for something else when I landed on Mano Alla Mano on Such colorful, beautiful people. Mamas, papas, children. After a flew clicks, I had to know the story behind the art. Here’s what I learned:

Hello! Well, that is a big question, but the simple answer is that my then three-year-old daughter wanted a blanket with “Kids that look like me” and I searched the internets, fabric stores, etc with no luck. I am a designer and artist by trade and designed some fabric with kids that she approved of. 🙂 I posted some photos of the finished blanket on my blog and was flooded with email requests for yardage. There is a real need for prints that are reflective of our current culture and so after I started selling the kiddo prints I expanded the line to bi-racial families, two mamas, two papas, single parents. As I said on my site, we are all normal and we all deserve to have ourselves and our families represented.

Everyone has a story. If you know of one that should be featured here, send a note to honeysmoke at honeysmoke dot com.

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Good (I mean, Hard) Read

On July 19, 2011, in Biracial, by Honeysmoke

ETA: The mother was spared jail time. She was sentenced to community service and 12 months probation. Thanks to Blanc2 for pointing this out in the comment section. 

A mother has no car, takes the bus for work and errands, and has three kids. The bus lets her out on a five-lane highway. She and her three kids get safely to the median. One of the kids squirms away and is hit by a drunk driver. Why is the child’s mother also going to jail? A sad account spotted on Check it out.

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