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A baker's dozen of commandments

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There's so much to say these days, especially after a glitch that caused me to disappear from the paper for far too long. Judging from the comments posted on the City Paper Web site, my words have inspired a need for your responses, and I thank you for reading and responding.

However, some of you are unsure what to expect from me, and can't quite handle the verbal missives of a Black woman who has the nerve and audacity to call herself a goddess. Well, you'd call yourself one too, if you had any sense of self-awareness in a society in which anybody and everybody thought it was okay to call you a "bitch" ... a society where women think it's acceptable to continuously refer to ourselves in this manner.

And I'm not the flowery, white-and-gold-robe-floating, coming-to-make-you-happy, fan-you-or-serve-you-grapes type of goddess. I'm a warrior goddess. I've come to set the world straight, no matter what your sexuality is, or whether or not you had your cup of V8 in the morning.

With that said, behold! A list of revelations in no particular order of importance:

1) Don Imus should have been fired a long time ago.

2) Just because Don Imus should have been fired doesn't mean that there are no black crooks.

3) Racism is in full effect, which means that if you are a black crook, you should assume you are more likely to be caught than a white crook, and will be punished in a harsher manner. And before you're punished -- before you are even tried -- you will be treated more unfairly by the mainstream press whether you're guilty or not. Just ask City Councilor Twanda Carlisle.

4) Poor taxpayers could use the resources being squandered in casinos and stolen by politicians. Then again, poor people will be many of the people filling the casinos, wishing their luck would change.

5) Poor people -- of any race, ethnicity, or religion -- should unite around their needs.

6) But every time poor people unite and get some justice, somebody plays the (long live the white) race card, and poor white folks lose sight of the ultimate goal. The Populist Party and the Poor People's campaign are clear examples of the above.

7) Hill District leaders and other members of the community (including myself) are demanding equity in the new Penguins arena and the surrounding development it will bring, because it is the right and the just thing to do. Anyone who knows anything about the Hill's history with the current arena -- and all the subsequent broken promises and government neglect after it was built -- should support where we are and what we are doing now.

8) We are human beings and citizens of this city, state, and country. We have the right to seek redress, and to petition for our demands. Something so obvious should not have to be stated, and yet -- here we are.

9) Before you (mis)understand our requests, be sure you get the information from the source. News reporting can only take you so far. For the love of Dr. Goddess, attend your neighborhood meeting and get involved.

10) The best thing the city of Pittsburgh can do is cheer us on, like we're your favorite sports team or something. After all, you're next. Or have you not figured that out yet?

11) Pittsburgh could actually be the "model city" its residents and government tried to create decades ago. Our story does not have to be one of continued urban neglect and finger-pointing. Our future could be one of a fantastic legacy or urban revitalization, cooperation, good corporate citizenship, responsible government, and sheer physical beauty.

12) Just because you might be shortsighted or lacking in creative vision doesn't mean we are. Just because you can't see a place for us in the development around the new arena doesn't mean we suffer from that blindness. Learn to dream again.

13) We will not stop. We will win, one way or another. Let's make it the win-win-win we've always intended our city to have -- for our neighborhoods, for ourselves, and for our families.

Dr. Goddess Says: Thou Shalt Imagine A Nation, and Love Thy Neighbor As Thy Love Thyself

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