Erotic provocateur, racially-influenced humanist, relentless champion for the oppressed, and facilitator for social change, Scottie Lowe is the brain child, creative genius and the blood, sweat, and tears behind AfroerotiK. Intended to be part academic, part educational, and part sensual, she, yes SHE gave birth to the website to provide people of African descent a place to escape the narrow-mined, stereotypical, limiting and oft-times degrading beliefs that abound about our sexuality. No, not all Black men are driven by lust by white flesh or to create babies and walk away. No, not all Black women are promiscuous welfare queens. And as hard as it may be to believe, no, not all gay Black men are feminine, down low, or HIV positive. Scottie is putting everything on the table to discuss, debate, and dismantle stereotypes in a healthy exchange of ideas. She hopes to provide a more holistic, informed, and enlightened discussion of Black sexuality and dreams of helping couples be more open, honest, and adventurous in their relationships.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Days Inn, Dover DE

Do you know when you watch CSI and they have to go to the crime scene at the seedy motel off the strip and it’s always disgusting and seedy and gross?  The hotel where the serial killer dismembers someone in the bathroom and there’s a crack head in the next room who is obsessively picking an open sore who didn’t see or hear anything.   When the crime scene techs show up, they flash the ultra-violet light on the sheets and there’s evidence of bodily fluids and they always say, “I doubt we are going to be able to get any prints as this room hasn’t been cleaned well in a very long time.”  That hotel would be a vast improvement compared to The Days Inn located in Dover, DE. 

I am appalled that a national chain, one that ironically advertises on television every half hour, spending millions upon millions of dollars telling people how wonderful they make their guests feel, would have such a wretched cesspool they call a hotel with their name on it.  My three day stay at the “hotel”, and I use that word very lightly, began with the most inhospitable greeting possible.  I gave the woman at the desk (identified only as being a little person as I didn’t ask her name) my name and said I was checking in.  Check out time was 3 pm and I arrived around 3:30.  She rudely told me that my room wasn’t ready and continued preparing to go home for the day.  I politely asked what was being done to ready my room or if there was another room she could put me in and she was soooo entirely rude I was taken aback.   She didn’t tell me when my room would be ready, she didn’t make any efforts to help me or even acknowledge my questions.   She acted like I wasn’t even there.  The other young lady, Jade, was helping another guest and said she would be with me when finished. 

The first room I was assigned the bed wasn’t made.  CLEARLY, no maid had been in the room that day as it looked like someone had just fallen out of bed and walked out the room.  I asked the maid who was standing outside the room when the room was going to be ready and she told me that the room was cleaned and the bed just needed to be freshened up.  UGHHHH!  She said that the bed just needed to be freshened up, which means whomever spent the night in that room was sleeping in a bed that . . . I can’t even think about it.  I went back to the desk and asked the young lady for another room.  She gave me a room that had rust on the refrigerator, a TV from 1984, furniture from 1973, and hadn’t been repaired or updated since 1962, (I only wish I was exaggerating) save a disgusting yellow paint job on the walls.  Two room assignments later, I finally settled in to my accommodations, intent to make the best of a very, very bad situation. 

If you plan on staying at the Days Inn in Dover, don’t plan on having a reliable internet connection. After I had settled in, I set up my laptop to get some work accomplished.  I called Jade again, explaining this time that I had done everything I knew how to do and couldn’t connect to the internet.  She physically came to the room to assist me (which I thought was very nice of her) and had to reset the router, which did allow me to connect . . . intermittently.  There wasn’t a 30 minute period where I was able to stay connected, and when connected, the connection speed was so slow it was reminiscent of dial up at times.  

My room had not been vacuumed as there was evidence of debris on the floor.  Needless to say, I did not take my shoes off the entire time I was there nor did I sit on the toilet my first night until I was assured that it was clean.  The fixtures and the furniture in the room look NOTHING like the pictures on their website.  There was no stainless steel fridge and the door to the room looked like someone had used a crow bar trying to break in.  Everything in the room was broken and old.  To add insult to injury, someone had seemingly urinated in the AC unit so the smell of pee came out when it was turned on.  The towel rack was held to the wall with a loose screw and there was . . . no exaggeration . . . a bloody washcloth in the safe.  I called the front desk and asked them to have someone come and remove it and she said she would write a note for the cleaning staff to come remove it first thing in the morning. 

The cleaning staff showed up shortly after 11 the next morning with no instructions to remove the bloody washcloth.  Her name was Pam and she was very nice and apologized for the untidy state of the room.  It wasn’t filthy, just not as clean as it should have been for sure.  She told me that they were short staffed and she needed my towels to get them washed and she would be back to clean my room later.  She did not come back to clean my room until after 5:30 pm.  It seems that management, in their efforts to be extremely cheap and greedy, intentionally did not schedule a full cleaning staff that day and only scheduled TWO cleaning people for the entire hotel that should have had five people on staff to accommodate the number of guests they had the night before. 

The guests in the hotel, some of whom I can only assume were permanent residents, were of questionable character and I did not venture out of my room after dark for fear I would be tied to the back of one of the hundred or so pickup trucks there and dragged to my death.  It sounded like there was a band rehearsing, an actual heavy metal band practicing in one of the rooms.  I can’t imagine there was anyone with a sound system that they brought to the hotel for an overnight stay that could produce that amount of volume so I can only assume that a band had set up rehearsal space there with the management’s approval for some head banging fun. 

One of the amenities was supposed to be breakfast.  There was a hand-written sign saying there was no juice, there were two empty chafing dishes that I can only assume held some form of cooked food earlier in the morning that no one had replaced, and there was a single, lone apple in a three tiered basket of fruit.  The counters hadn’t been cleaned all morning and there were no plates at all.  Suffice it to say, I didn’t eat anything there and I went to the Dunkin Donuts just a short distance away for the remainder of my stay for breakfast. 

This hotel is not a 2 star hotel.  It is a -2 star hotel.  I would give it a 0 star rating had it been family owned and operated and not a national chain.  This is a franchise of a chain that is owned by a conglomerate with executives who are making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year and allowing this toilet of a hotel remain open.  It is my understanding that Days Inn, Dover once had a contract with the Air Force for reservists to stay on their active weekends and they lost it when a high ranking officer was subjected to staying there.  That means someone, several someones in fact, in the corporate headquarters was informed of the deplorable conditions of the hotel and they decided that it didn’t need updating, repair, or demolition.  They INTENTIONALLY put images on the website to make the hotel look better than it is.  They had the audacity to pay landscapers make the front of the hotel look pleasing and to put up a perimeter of crepe myrtle to hide the disrepair of hotel. 

To the executives of Wyndam Hotels:  You greedy, capitalist pigs.  I will NEVER, as long as I live, spend another dime in ANY of your hotel chains.  I find your level of greed and poor business practices to be reprehensible.  I will make sure that all of my friends, family, and business associates know of my stay at your hotel and I will implore them to never spend a dime at any of your hotel chains.  I stay in hotels quite frequently.  I spent almost two weeks in the Microtel Inn in Dover about a month and a half ago and while it certainly wasn’t the best accommodations I’ve ever had, it was clean and adequate (and in the process of being updated which is why I was willing to be understanding of the transitional state it was in).  Your decision to let that fetid, disgusting, hellhole called the Days Inn stay open without updating and renovating it speaks volumes about how little you care about your guests.  You have the money to update and renovate, you simply choose to lie to and manipulate potential guests with pretty pictures on the internet and deceptive landscaping.  It doesn’t have to be a five star hotel but it shouldn’t, under any circumstances, be as disgusting as it is.  While I encountered two very nice employees, the other two were so completely rude and incompetent as to completely negate whatever positive impression I might have had.  I would suggest that you’ve made your bed and now you have to lie in it but the bed is not made and the sheets are not clean. 

An extremely disgruntled guest. 

Scottie Lowe

Monday, July 28, 2014

Cognitive Dissonance

Most people have never even heard of the term cognitive dissonance, even fewer understand what it means, and an infinitesimally smaller number of people can recognize the behavior in others.  Ironically, no one can identify the behavior in themselves.   The mind is truly fascinating and its propensity and ability to protect the person who houses it . . . remarkable.  Cognitive dissonance is what happens when the mind encounters something that contradicts a person’s core beliefs, beliefs held so strongly, so deeply, rooted in the person’s subconscious mind that the person can literally not understand, they cannot grasp anything other than what they believe and their reasoning, logic, and ability to interpret any information other than what they believe simply shuts down. 

Let’s say, for example, a person believes that the earth is flat and that if you sail far enough, you’ll fall off the edge.  You can show them maps, you can show them how the planets rotate around the sun, you can show them pictures of the earth and nothing you will say will convince them otherwise.  When they argue with you, it won’t be based on anything factual but rather they will get to a point where they can no longer argue so they deflect by calling you names or bringing up another subject, or simply yelling and screaming that they are right and making illogical arguments that validate their beliefs in their mind.  The mind literally cannot process anything other than what it knows to be true. 

Now, let’s say someone believes . . . hmmmm . . . let’s use an example that is completely impossible.  Let’s say someone believes that pairs of all the earth’s animals fit on a boat roughly the size of a cruise ship.  First and foremost, any sane, rational, intelligent person will tell you that it’s impossible to fit one of every animal on any vessel of any size, let alone two, and that’s even if you eliminate birds and creatures of the sea.  There are simply far too many species of animals, the food sources required to feed all the earth’s animals would take up more space than the animals themselves, and the waste accumulated would be far too much for 8 people to dispose of on a daily basis.  There is no one temperature that accommodate all the earth’s animals without air conditioning.  There would be no way to transport all the animals across the globe.  .  The entire story is impossible.  Even if God magically transported every animal to the location of the arc, even if God made the animals not eat or poop or need water the entire time they were on the arc and all they did was sleep in a comatose state, there is no way that the entire earth’s population of animals could repopulate from only two animals.  There’s no way it could happen, it’s not true.  (There’s no way the entire earth’s population of humans could evolve from two people but that’s another story) 

But people who believe that the bible is the only true word of God will tell you all sorts of things to rationalize their belief.  They will tell you all sorts of things that were not written in the story.  They will make up their own explanations.  Their mind will do whatever it has to do in order to protect their belief that the every word in the bible is true.  Their fear is that if they don’t believe every word in the bible, that if they don’t believe every story as irrefutable fact, that God will punish them to burn in hell or they will be considered a bad Christian in the eyes of God.  Their mind tells them that they have to believe the stories of the bible, not because there is any proof or evidence of any of the stories being true but only that they were told at a young age that they had to believe them or they would be punished. 

OK, that’s a touchy subject for Black folks because our ancestors had Christianity beaten into them.  They were whipped and beaten and tortured until they gave up their African spirituality until they were very much afraid of believing or even reading about anything other than Christianity and that belief has been passed down in the generations since slavery to the point that people today, relatively intelligent people actually believe the fables of the bible. 

OK, people’s brains are shutting down and they are angry and outraged that I would question their religious beliefs so I’ll use an example Black people can understand and agree with.  White people are taught, socialized, and reinforced that they are better than everyone else in the world.  They BELIEVE that they are the most righteous, the most attractive, the most worthy of wealth and justice and basically everything under the sun.  No one ever has to say, “White people are better and Black people are inferior,” for them to inherit that belief, it’s in all the stories they are told as children, it’s in the traditions passed down, it’s in the perpetuation of stories that say that God and his son are white, that everything that is good is white.  Superman is white, Santa Claus is white, all these things lead white people to believe that they are inherently superior so their mind creates this false belief that only Blacks are criminal, or even worse, that ALL Blacks are criminals.  Even if they say, “I’m not racist. Color doesn’t matter,” that doesn’t mean that they have done the work of dismantling their core beliefs.  They still believe that blond hair is the prettiest, that people of color are genetically prone to stupidity and criminal behavior. 

The problem then arises when they are faced with people of color who don’t fit the mold that they believe.  Like Obama for example.  They believe he was born in Kenya and is a secret Muslim trying to destroy America.  That’s how their brain compensates for the fact that they think Blacks are evil, that whites are inherently superior.  They can scream, “I’m not racist,” all day long but it doesn’t chage their core beliefs that Blacks are inherently inferior.  You can’t reason with them, you can’t show them a birth certificate, you can’t do anything because they BELIEVE that Blacks are inherently inferior and that is the only thing that their brain will compute.  It’s called cognitive dissonance and it’s very real. 

So, while you think that everything you believe about life is true, you are guilty of cognitive dissonance as well.  Your brain shuts down when you encounter something contrary to what you believe to be true.  You hold on to your beliefs, even if they are false, because you were indoctrinated to believe that your core values were indisputable.  The process of divesting yourself of those beliefs, of even acknowledging what they are is when enlightenment occurs. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

White Privilege as an Addiction*

by Gail K. Golden, Ed.D, LCSW

As we come to understand something about institutional racism, we begin
to have some clarity about how people of color can be made ill by endless
and unrelenting assaults against their very being. We learn about
internalized racial inferiority and the toll it takes on people of color. We
begin to understand the impact of racism on the physical, emotional and
financial health of people of color.

What we are much less attuned to is internalized racial superiority and
the ways in which being part of a dominating culture creates its own
pathology, that of white privilege. The following are some preliminary
observations about distorted thoughts and feelings precipitated by
Internalized Racial Superiority.

1. Our ideas about what is ‘normal’ are very culture bound in ways we
often do not see.
2. We have an exaggerated sense of the rightness of our own ideas and
opinions, often diminishing contributions of people of color.
('White is Right'.)
3. We have a sense of entitlement which can create an exaggerated
sense of outrage when our expectations are disappointed.
4. Even those of us committed to social justice feel we can pick and
choose when and where to speak out when we perceive racist behaviors.
5. We feel guilty for our participation in a racist society and often want our
guilt to be assuaged by people of color.
6. We tend to argue with people of color about THEIR experience.
The idea that we know better is one of the ultimate expressions of the
exaggerated sense of rightness mentioned above.
7. Those of us who are white and who count ourselves successful tend to
believe that we have earned our success through hard work and focus.
We rarely see that unearned benefits associated with whiteness have
contributed to our prosperity.

In thinking about these manifestations of internalized racial superiority
and the ways in which we as white people fail to give up these behaviors,
I have begun to think about White Privilege as an addiction.
American Society of Addiction Medicine observes:
“… addiction is characterized by impairment in behavioral control, craving,
inability to consistently abstain, and diminished recognition of significant
problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships. Like other
chronic diseases, addiction can involve cycles of relapse and remission.
Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction is

In a racist society, those of us who are called white passively enjoy the
benefits of whiteness. We do not have to DO anything in particular for the
system to continue to work to our benefit. But we certainly enjoy the
benefits, whether the enjoyment is conscious or unconscious. And I
believe that we are psychologically dependent
on the rewards of privilege. We tend to perpetuate behaviors that support
inequity, despite the negative consequences of which we are aware.
In AA, people talk about ‘stinkin thinkin’. This refers to the disordered
thought process that accompanies addictive use of a substance. As I
have suggested above, I maintain that along with the psychological
dependence on the feelings and rewards of power and dominance, white
people think in a disordered way about race, power and privilege.

Yet as white individuals, we have choices. We can opt for the sanity of
anti-racist acts and thoughts. But because of the addictive nature of
power, I believe we need to commit to a life time of active, intentional
recovery work, in the same ways that alcoholics always have to work at
sobriety. Addicts who are seriously committed to recovery work
continuously to support their progress. They can never assume they are
‘finished’ with their work. It is ongoing.

AA has steps to recovery. I am suggesting that those of us who are called
white need to think seriously about overcoming our addictive relationship
to power, dominance and privilege and am suggesting our own twelve
steps in a lifetime of recovery work:

1 We admitted we were powerless over our socialization into a racist
2. We came to understand that working to undo racism could restore us
to sanity.
3. We came to understand that we could not do this work alone and made
a decision to accept leadership from people of color.
4. We make an honest inventory of how we participate in racist policies
and practices.
5. We begin to address these wrongs by learning and teaching accurate
6. We pledge to educate ourselves and organize to undo racism, always
remaining accountable to people of color.
7. We recognize that this is a lifelong process. It is a way of life that must
be guided by Undoing Racism Principles.
8. We commit to learn how internalized racial superiority has distorted our
thoughts and assumptions, and work to clarify our thinking.
9. As white people, we have been oblivious to the racism in our families,
schools, offices, faith communities and we seek to address such wrongs
wherever possible. If we are gatekeepers, (i.e. control access to
resources), we will work to allocate these resources more equitably.
10. We agree to learn to celebrate our own culture so we do not exploit
the culture of other peoples.
11 We will seek to learn how racism was created so we can improve our
conscious awareness of the sometimes invisible arrangement that
perpetuates racism.
12 We commit to carrying our antiracist message to other white people.
Ron Chisom, co-founder of the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond,
teaches us that racism dehumanizes, and anti-racism humanizes. For
those of us called white, there are many challenges as we confront our
addiction to power and privilege. The work to undo racism is hard, but
Ron also teaches us that it gives us life. There are real rewards for
working to recover from our addiction to white privilege.
*All of the ideas in this piece have been learned from or inspired by The People’s
Institute for Survival and Beyond (PISAB). PISAB is a national and international
collective of anti-racist, multicultural community organizers and educators dedicated
to building an effective movement for social transformation. Their two and a half day
workshop, Undoing Racism is a life changing introduction to anti-racist thinking and
Special thanks to Sandra Bernabei, LCSW , founder of the Anti-Racist Alliance for her
invaluable help crafting the twelve steps, and to Diana Dunn, core trainer at PISAB,
who told me to keep writing.
And always to Ron Chisom and David Billings , PISAB, whose teaching keeps
Gail K. Golden, Ed.D, LCSW is Clinical Director of VCS Inc. in New City NY, a family
service agency with a social justice mission. She also co-chairs the Rockland
immigration Coalition and is a founding member of the Anti-Racist Alliance.
For more information see:, and
© Gail Golden 2011. Paper may be reproduced with appropriate credits.
Contact Gail Golden at: