The Dating Game

I get inspired by real life and in real life I’ve seen two conversations about dating that sparked my interest and my concern. These discussions were primarily happening among Black singles, and made me wonder if some of the confusion surrounding dating, “courting”, and commitment was part of the reason I know a good handful of extraordinary men and women who remain single. There seem to be so many different interpretations of what these rather simple terms really mean. Are we complicating these concepts too much, or is it like my good friend said… “interpretation is the whole problem.”

For a little insight, I have had a very varied love life. I’ve been married and in relationship with that man for many years, but no longer. I have cohabitated with men. I have been in long term committed relationships. I have also been with a few liars and cheats for short periods of time… cuz they were stupid. I am admittedly sensitive with my mates because I expect to be protected in that space in a way I am not outside of it day to day. Yet I am very self-sufficient, and looking for a partner, not a come up. What I am not is a dater. I have never had time for that. I am not going to spend any of my time with you besides a coffee date or two to talk about intentions (if you like to lay eyes and the phone is not your thing) if we are not on the same page. You gotta come to the parlor and sit and talk to me, play a hand of parcheesi, and state your purpose. If our purposes line up then we can go to a picture show. Period.

So what really is dating? The act of going on dates perhaps. A date according to good old Merriam-Webster is a social engagement between two people with a romantic character. One can go on a date to get to know a person, sit across from someone they find attractive, to share companionship, to get to know people and therefore what they like and don’t like, or to determine whether they are compatible enough to start a relationship. Only the latter if those options coincide with determining what your mutual intentions are… but since everyone has some intentions, each stage should IMO. The point at which it is determined that your goals match is the point at which healthy and transparent dating, courting, or commitment commences. If your goals just entail going on dates and don’t involve future plans, you are dating. Just dating. Once your outings have moved from just outings to purposeful engagements meant to solidify a commitment to one another, that’s courting. Dating can continue indefinitely or we can just randomly and inconsistently date. There is nothing random, inconsistent, or indefinite about commitment. That is an bona fide intention.

Most problems enter the picture when people fail to communicate, fail to believe the others intentions, or accept intentions that don’t meet their own. Some people love the spontaneity of the unplanned, but if you have work, responsibilities, and certainly children… that might not be your ministry. You need a plan. Communicate that. Don’t call me Friday to go out Saturday, we need to make plans, well in advance. Some people like to play things by ear. If that’s not you, speak up. I am dating to find a partner in marriage, what do you want? That conversation and statement of intent does not mean you will marry him or her, but you are each clear about the goal. The rest is up to compatibility, personality, behavior, traditions, emotional availability, etc., but the basic intentions have been set. You will either commit to that goal as time moves forward or not. But until you communicate them, both of you, it’s like floating in the water with your sail down… you don’t have any idea where you are going or where you will end up. And maybe that’s cool with you… maybe it’s not.

I believe most of us want to find someone to share our lives with… but a whole lot of us are not ready. If that’s your goal, perhaps readying yourself and not dating just for the hell of it, should be your first mission. The desire to be in a committed relationship won’t go away simply because you lack the resources and tools to make it work… you’ll convince yourself and some man or woman you don’t want that commitment and just emotionally injure yourself further and waste their time. Heal yourself until you can be a healthy partner, and then be honest about what you want and accept nothing less than that.

Whatever your intentions… make sure you are clear. Disappointment usually comes from having unmet expectations. You don’t have to wait in suspense for things to happen when you have clarity.

Now run along… there’s a gentleman caller in my parlor awaiting my grand entrance and my bustle needs fixing.

Bash Mister’s Head Open…

Did you finish it!?

I know you know it.

“…and think about Heaven later!”

Amen!

Everyday it seems, there is a moment that highlights for me the strength and resilience of Black women who stand in their Blackness and their womanhood. Today was no different. Today’s manifestation gave me greater insight on two groups I don’t belong to… black women (as distinctly opposed to Black women) and coy White women. As women, we couldn’t be more different.

So Black women don’t have the luxury of privilege and protection that White women do or the luxury of patriarchal privilege that White men do. We have to stand up, put our hands on our hips, and let our backbones slip with some stank on it… particularly professionally and socially. We are at the height of a pandemic where simple things like using safety measures to protect oneself are discouraged by our world leader, when the pandemic is having its most major affect in racially diverse and heavily populated areas. We have to be real clear on where we stand. Black people are continually brutalized and murdered by wayward police officers, so we have to be real clear on where we stand. Our incumbent President can’t open his mouth to declare white supremacy a human rights violation, so we have to be real clear on where we stand. We also have to be clear on who we stand in fellowship with, allow in our circle and blindly support.

For clarity, black women belong to the Black racial group but they often see their racial culture as secondary to the other cultures they belong to… women, evangelical Christian, wealthy, whatever. So instead of experiencing their race and sex and class and culture intersectionally, they backseat their Blackness. So they find themselves often in some sort of struggle when they have to defend and stand up in their Blackness with their evangelical, wealthy, White cohorts. People they usually have more affinity to than folks who look like them.

Data shows… White evangelicals overwhelmingly voted for Trump, at 76%. 55% of White women voted against their own interests to vote for Trump with 61% of White men. 54% of those who make over $100K did as well. (https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/11/03/us/elections/exit-polls-president.html). So if these are your folks, you need to know these facts. If you are a black woman, you have to get real clear about where your faith and your tolerance collide. Personally I see no issue. God commands us to love, so as God’s soldier you mandated and indoctrinated with the purpose of calling out hate, whether it is rooted in race, gender, sexual orientation, class, whatever. You should have no problem condemning hate and every instance of it… socially, professionally, even politically. That’s the cause you take up as an evangelical. But again numbers don’t lie… so look your White evangelical friends and colleagues and customers in the face… be real clear or not, the choice is yours. But when they spit back racist, sexist, homophobic, classist vitriol… and you’ve been silent…

“… in yo face/open yo mouth, give you a taste.” -Missy Elliot

It is most likely that 76% of your White Christian friends see you as “a good black” and are okay with the rest of us jungle heathens going back to hellhole countries despite having a much larger ancestral claim to America, as we know it, than they do. If you are okay with that… sobeit. You black, it’s all good. But if you are Black, this is your friendship mantra, and you aren’t afraid to go tell it on the mountain…

“We can disagree and still love each other unless your disagreement is rooted in my oppression and denial of my humanity and right to exist.” -James Baldwin

Be clear, I have friends and acquaintances of many a hue. However I’m very clear about how differently we are allowed to see life. Some shit I can’t ignore or blindly accept. Other shit I just cannot do. Unless I’m surrounded by folks who look like me who make decisions, chances are I’m going to be seen as a problem professionally. I’m smart, assertive, outspoken, and equally skilled and talented. I’ve had to learn how to fight for me. I don’t have the luxury of whining and looking for barriers of protection. But white women…

Do.

On more than one occasion I have witnessed a White woman’s response to mistreatment or unfairness. It’s like watching her sink in quicksand, hand just outstretched, no fight, no struggle, just this assurance she’d be saved. Often she was. But now I know why it took so long to let women become soldiers… cuz they (White women because Black women been fighting) are gonna scream, drop their weapon, and go hide behind their captain. It’s the same way they vote for their husband’s instead of their own… phantom protection. Be clear sis… he likely dislikes you more than he dislikes Tyrone. Racism is rooted in American society, Sexism is rooted in the American family.

So while coy white women , cuz White women like Black women are not a monolith, are trying to show integrity to people who will lie to them and sabotage them, mainly White men… they willingly shrink instead of bossing up to fight. And for a Black woman who is used to being second guessed, called to prove her worth, sabotaged because I’m so fucking dope and they know it… that captain save me, lily livered, weakassery has no place in my life and it just sounds like desperation and quitting had a baby named Sarah. Stop it. Put on those big girl panties he hates so much and grab a choppa. Blow up his spot by calling out his sexism and highlighting his each and every wrong. Don’t shrink, grow up and strap on your Nancy Sinatra boots. Walk all over his ass!

“For most of history, anonymous was a woman.”-Virginia Woolf

As a woman free from her chains, it’s partially my job to show other women their own… so they can recognize them as chains and break free. This isn’t a condemnation, it’s a truth telling. So share this with your black women and coy White women friends…

Some of these Narcissists are Haters too

“Playa, turn your head round
Take off that crown, you’ve been robbed” (Playa Hater, Biggie)

I’m breaking away from Election 2020 for a second, because I recently had a realization that made me really kind of take some inventory of my folks. I tend not to bring people along that don’t bring some light in, and I am unapologetic about it. But some folks you are just expected to fuck with… familial, professional, social. Nope and Nope and Nope. My energy is reserved for folks who in turn give me positive energy. That’s it. Anything else is uncivilized…

People who value you take interest. So if you know me, you know: I’m good with the words; I am particular about how my message gets across; I handle business. If there is one thing I can do well, it is communicate. I don’t need anyone to EVER speak for me. So after a recent incident that went totally against those truths, I realized someone whose business it should be to know who am I, doesn’t and doesn’t seem to care to. It’s really too bad because I am dope AF! Quote me. But it be your own people man…

Be clear, I am not complaining, I’m realizing. There are likely many people who could give two good fucks about me… that’s cool, feeling is likely mutual. But if it’s likely that you might ever need me in any way, it’s probably a good idea to be not only interested in who I am… whether I’ll hand you water or arsenic… but to treat me like I’m equally as important as you are and not like I’m your fan. Only people I’d fan out for are moonwalking and living their purple life in Heaven… surely someone who I’ve seen in their hair bonnet would never imagine I’m impressed by their regular ass. Proud maybe… maybe…impressed, no.

It be your own folks tho…

The ones who should support you, but don’t have a clue who you are, what you do, and what you have accomplished. The ones who should big up you, but try to son you like you are a peasant among Queens (many of whom are other narcissists themselves, say less) out in these streets. The ones who share or have shared your blood, space, energy, experiences, legacy, but spend more time trying to keep up with and get noticed by the Jones’s to honor how well you are representing the ancestors. The ones who will claim you and your greatness when they want something, and then talk to you like you are one of the help… my office hours are…

Fuck you Little Red.

I got an army on my team… a few different armies in fact. They will shake the coins outta your pockets for me… “pull a Suge Knight, press the issue on sight.” (Twist My Fingers, YG).

So I’m good. But I like to share my lessons with y’all, and I learned a lesson. Narcissists want to be the center of attention in every circle they belong to… they can’t stand to concede the floor. So whether they are family, friend, or foe, eventually they will attempt to dim your light. They are an overcast, and I told y’all I need light. Be careful who you let in… and don’t be afraid to cut off anyone that doesn’t know how to honor their shine without attempting to dim yours. I’m glowing. You are dull. Sharpen up sis… or get cut! It’s that simple.

Narcissism is a whole ass mental illness. Narcissists are also really good at fooling you. You think you see confidence, success, leadership, and empathy. In reality you are seeing the strange fruit of insecurity, loss, and weakness, and selfishness. Every picture is for a like. Every move is for attention. Every word is for applause. But I’m not fooled. Your narcissism will get you your whole ass handed to you, so settle down.

You can’t fit this crown! 👑

The Spirit of Kashiya Nwanguma

November 1, 2020: I slept all day on Halloween, so I’m up at 3.15am, when this Trump/Pence commercial comes on TV. The extreme dislike I’ve had for someone I don’t know personally know but who affects my life personally got really clear… clearer than it’s ever been. I not only work in government, but I’m a student of Constitutional Law and a advocate for the total liberation of Black people from racist systems in America. I’m a feminist. I’m always rooting for everybody Black. I’m a humanist. I’m an empath. In my 43 years, the last four have been some of the most difficult to watch play out socially. It all goes back to Kashiya Nwanguma.

While positive representation matters so people can envision themselves in their dreams, representation in negative situations can lead you to envision yourself in your biggest nightmare.

In March of 2016, Donald Trump held a rally in Kentucky. Like most of his rallies, there were protesters calling him out as a racist, booing him, the regular, and his militia of poor to working class angry White people who felt like the American Dream was denied them by some affirmative action program. He instructed the crowd to “get them out”, and the White male crowd began to mob, surround, push, shove, and manhandle three of the protestors. All three claimed some form of assault happened on the rally floor. One stated he was punched in the torso, one stated she was pushed and shoved, and the third, Kashiya Nwanguma, stated she too was pushed and shoved, which you can clearly see in all the videos of the event, towards the exit by the mob and called racial and sexist epithets. She filed suit against Trump after the incident. One of the most violent was in a MAGA hat, was Matthew Heimbach, a known white nationalist, who was charged with assault and battery. Another defendant, a Veteran, apologized for his actions. The ring leader, your President and his campaign were charged with incitement of a riot, negligence, and vicarious liability. Trump was found guilty of inciting a riot.

Kashiya Nwanguma

Watching that woman who looks like me and many of the people closest to me, started this period of intense reflection for me about the space in which I occupy as a Black woman. I am the mother of a Black son, who was younger than Tamir Rice, a 12 year old shot dead by police while playing with a toy gun in a park in 2014. I am highly educated and successful, the very person those mobs of White men see as their direct threat. I am outspoken, assertive, and I speak up for myself and others who may be silenced, especially in the face of racism and sexism and the delicate but real intersection of that discrimination. I am also a threat at work, armed with more knowledge, skill, and talents than the majority of my counterparts, especially those who make the decisions about who will sit beside them to compete for further promotional and leadership opportunities. My resumé and skill set outperform them by leaps and bounds, but I’m not given the same opportunity as the mediocre white women and white men around me. I often feel pushed and shoved towards the exit by a mob of white people. I hear “get her out” everytime they deny me an opportunity for no other reason than I’m Black, female, smart, and unapologetic about it. I am Kashiya Nwanguma.

The Presidency of Donald Trump has been a stark reminder that we are both a threat and unwanted. They will push us out, and if that doesn’t work they will pack the courts with people who will deny us our rights, and if that doesn’t work, they’ll sanction police to kill us in the streets, behind bars when we speak up and protest their mistreatment, or in our own homes when they scare us out of our sleep. These things are not new, but technology has given us the ability to videotape them and share them on every social media platform over and over so we all see it happening, sometimes in real time. The availability of these direct messages of hatred has been both eye opening and simultaneously difficult to consume on what seems to be sometimes a daily and sometimes a weekly basis. We are able to find out who the victims and perpetrators are in a matter of minutes. We are able to see the victim’s mistakes flashed before us like justification and their history of protest and activism that sealed their fate like so many of our heroes before them. We also get to see these racist monster’s manifestos and hate group participation live and in living color in a matter of minutes. These things didn’t start in 2016 but they certainly have been amplified.

Here’s the thing… we have the ability to show that we are not the same Americans who enslaved millions of people for hundreds of years. We are not the same America that put holes in humans with high pressure water hoses because they simply wanted to be treated with respect and dignity. We are not the same America that planned the execution of every Black hero that gave us hope in times of despair. There are certainly some of us who are those same people, but the majority of us have evolved past those times. We cannot sit around and allow the least of us to represent the best of us anymore. The American Dream is a fallacy because the systems of racism in place do not allow ALL AMERICANS to reap the success from the seeds of excellence they sow. However, we can redefine the American Dream, and it can morph and change over time. Right now, let’s start with this… Let’s construct an America where the laws and policies reflect the desires of the best of us and not the worst of us, where respect, humanity, and freedom from the -isms that allow some to be treated less well than the others are our guiding goals. Because this shit going on right now… is some bullshit.

The best of us won’t vote for a man who instructs a crowd to get protestors out by violence, but particularly not one who instructs White men to push and shove a Black woman like a rag doll, who admits to touching women without consent, and who has commented he would date his daughter. The best of us won’t vote for a man who says suburbanites (read: White middle class) should be afraid of urban (read: Black poor) people ruining their neighborhoods and infiltrating their schools. The best of us don’t vote for a man who says a pandemic that has killed hundreds of thousands and left long standing health implications with millions is a blessing. The best of us don’t vote for a man who can’t simply say white supremacy is horrible and children should not be separated from their parents and left in cages for crossing a border. The worst of us will and then attempt to justify it with arguments about the economy and politics.

Donald Trump is not a politician. He has said so several times. He’s a business man who once hated the mere idea that in his America, a Black man… a handsome and articulate one at that… could elevate to the highest position of leadership as his businesses failed and went bankrupt, his intelligence was questioned, his hair piece ran away from his face, and his waistline disappeared. He is President because he was angry a Black man was President, so much so he incited the white supremacists into voting for him claiming to care about their economic and personal interests… when all he really wanted was for Eeny, Meeny, Miny, and Moe to put bullets in their rifles, put on their hoods or riot gear, light their tiki torches, lace up their steel toe boots, and catch a nigger by the toe.

They caught Kashiya Nwanguma… and she put on her cape, activated her Black Girl Magic, sued the shit out of them, and called them out. So in the infinitely dynamic spirit of Kashiya Nwanguma, let’s #sayhername while she is alive and well, and take the pushes and shoves we have endured and make our gold cuffs, our ballot and our lasso, our vote, and catch a racist by the toe… and when he hollers, which he will, we will sing in harmony…

“Bone, bone, bone, bone, bone, bone Now tell me whatcha gonna do
When there ain’t no where to run
When judgment comes for you”

Tuesday, November 3rd, I’ll see you at the crossroads!

The Case of Chonkyfire v. Spottieottiedopalicious

Victim OR Survivor

Real OR Fake

Narcissist OR Empath

Shit Starter OR Shit Ender

Folks swear they are the gold standard when they are just electroplated dookie chains, hollow than a mofo, clanging like symbols on their chest. A Jesus Piece dangling on aluminum, yet everybody is hating on their fly. Nigga please…

Here are some facts.

People don’t wrong you because it’s something wrong with you. They desert, disappoint, or dishonor you because they ain’t shit. Yeah hurt people hurt people, blah blah… but a good person is honorable enough not to steep you in the shit they are sitting in. Stop trying to find people in the ruins. They gotta get the ash off their soul and the weight of the rubble off of their heart before you have even a crumble of a human being to work with. Be a survivor.

Be entirely who you are, because everyone can peep when you are trying to live beyond your means and your station. If you get off at Baltic don’t ride all the way to Park Place to fake the funk. Be live af on Baltic… put some hotels on that bitch and ride out! Be real.

You either care about humanity or you only care about yourself. Period. Pick a side. There is no middle lane.

You either fix shit or cause shit.

Everyone who is in the wrong side of the OR has some life work to do. You are not fine as all outdoors, and instead of lulling folks with lukewarm lullabies you simply bring all the “rats, mice, and snakes out they hole.” Before you go thinking everyone is wronging you, look at what you are doing. Who tf are you really? If you sit on a throne of thorns, the pain in your ass ain’t other folks. It’s you Suga, it’s you.

It doesn’t matter how many roses you claim. All the judgment you heap onto other folks, all that ego tripping, all that minding other folks business, all that talking loud and saying nothing for the opportunity to hear yourself, and all that fake shit is really just anointing your head with a crown of nettles that ensure no matter what color you paint yourself… Melanin Mahogany or Moe Money Green, you end up Bloody Red and maybe missing an eye and on your knees. If you can’t stay above water, it’s the cement boot of narcissism and grandiosity that ensures you sleep with the fishes. Even beauty supply hoops are good for that one night at the club, but you turn everything you touch green with your envy.

We ain’t all the same.

Narcissists like to claim they are the bomb… yet insecurity fuels the undesirable effects their inflated self-importance, lack of humanity, intense and constant need for attention, and inability to maintain healthy relationships have on people. It’s exhausting to continue to deal with someone who only sees what’s happening to them and never sees what they are doing to others. Remember, people who continuously do other folks wrong are the problem, not the recipient of the bad behavior. You aren’t wrong if you cut the ties that bind you to folks who can’t do right by you because they don’t have the ability to. In fact, it’s the healthiest option. Sometimes you just have to drop the punch bowl and start the process of letting go…

“Damn, Damn, Damn James” -Outkast “Spottieottiedopalicious”

Narcissists are Chonkyfire… they are “if fire in the hole” was a person. They are disturbers of nature. They flood the wrong places with vermin. They release the wrong gases into the atmosphere, causing people to inhale their stink. Characters and not actors…

“…let’s add up all the factors
You whack, you’re twisted, your girl’s a ho
You’re broke, the kid ain’t yours, and everybody know…” -DMX “Party Up”

The Ghosts of Jerry Heller

Ice Cube, born O’Shea Jackson, is truly a musical genius. He was writing some of the dopest lyrics in existence in any rap catalog at 15. He had a hugely successful rap career, even after leaving N.W.A in 1989. But in what is a very well known hip hop legend, he was still living with his parents even after Straight Outta Compton, the multi platinum album was released with Cube as both performer and writer… on EVERY song. According to Forbes, Cube had received only about $30,000 in album royalties at the time of his exit. His contract with Jerry Heller, Eazy E, and Ruthless Records proved to be legal robbery, and resulted in one of the most intense rap beefs in history. Talk about “No Vaseline”.

So recently Ice Cube has been interested in promoting a Black agenda to government, a very noble and innovative plan to have the needs and wants of the Black community heard by the powers that be. And here’s the thing, in the land of real ass Black folks, despite his Hollywood success, Cube is still that guy. Or he was until he fell for the same shiny penny our incumbent President drops in front of everyone with an anti-white supremacist policy they want to share with his whitewashed and shuck and jive administration. There is no in between. Dude cavorts with straight white nationalists or Black folks with Jermaine Jackson shellacked hair, a few dollars in the bank, and a MAGA hat dancing off beat to “You Can’t Touch This”. He is not your Svengali. He can’t save us from racism, sexism, poverty, or the deeds of Jerry Heller.

It’s less than 30 days to the election, the slave master ancestral spirits are out, and the ghosts of Jerry Heller are amongst them. Cube, you in trouble boy.

So, this is all you need to know about this Ice Cube business… at the VERY end of the day, he can talk to and promote anything he wants in the name of the progression of Black people in America. However, what is ALSO true is that (1) he is CLEARLY unlearned on how ANY of this works and (2) promoting that to a man who has picked a Black woman as his running mate versus promoting that to a man who is trying to get a White woman who thinks it’s okay to call Black people niggers at work a seat in the Supreme Court, who name checks a white supremacists group at a nationally broadcast debate, and who admits to sexually abusing women out loud on tape is wholly different.

Promote your contract on a bipartisan basis and sit down, you are no politician and therefore you don’t see that the incumbent is planning to make you look like a whole entire fool. He is Jerry Heller and this is your first contract… He dedicated $500 billion to your plan, promised to make Juneteenth a national holiday… he doesn’t know wtf Juneteenth is and doesn’t care and he has to get these billions passed through the Congressional budget. Remember Jerry Heller… $30K out of MILLION… with this dude you won’t see $500 of $500 billion. He’s a crooked ass politician… making promises he can’t knowingly deliver upon. Hence why Biden’s camp said, we will address it after the election. Beyond that, that clown is not promoting anything worth $500 billion for Black people. The last Black man to shuck and jive for him danced on camera at his rally where he contracted COVID and died, and dude ain’t sent condolences the first to Hermain Cain’s family publicly. Not a bleeding heart arrangement, a pan of fried chicken, NOTHING. You think he cares about a negro who wrote “F@ck the Police” … no sir he does not, just like he could care less about George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and any other Black life.

You’ve already been hoodwinked, bamboozled, run amok. Anything that is said this close to an election is campaigning… not policy making. He would tell you he’d paint the White House black, put in some bead curtains and bean bag chairs in the blue room, play “Tell Me Sumthing Good” by Rufus and Chaka, and have a whole basement party if he thought that would get him elected. But be clear, Donald Trump is not at all interested in contracting with Cube, Kanye, or anyone else. He especially ain’t interested in contracting with Black America. What he is interested in is himself… that’s all. And he is Jerry Hellering Cube so tough when he gets up there might be Jheri curl activator left where his head was resting.

It’s important that we don’t allow our legacies to be trampled upon because we are fooled into believing both Biden and Trump are different sides of the same coin. They are not. This isn’t about Conservative v Liberal, Republican v. Democrat. This is about Decency v. Evil, Life v. Death, and Right v. Wrong. You can’t contract with evil or death. And you most certainly cannot be on the wrong side of this election. But any contract you have sat down with Trump to promote is already worse than Cube’s first contract. At least he got something, and eventually got his royalties. Your President is bargaining with chips he ain’t even got access to yet… he’s promising you billions on a $750 budget. Talk about No Vaseline. So y’all Black Republicans and negroes with the spirit of the house slave running through you, please stop acting like Cube is doing something righteous. He’s angry, I get it, but the only contract he’s making is with the devil…Lord of the Flies…Beezlebub. Period!

“You better check yo self before you wreck yo self
‘Cause I’m bad for your health
I come real stealth” -Ice Cube, “Check Yo Self”

I Request Equal Time…

So y’all already know I think and process in song lyrics.

Trump: This monster who was onstage with Mike Pence…

Senator Harris: Just killed another career it’s a mild day… (Nicki Minaj, Monster)

I got your monster, you joker!

We all saw VP Pence do that white patriarchal privilege bullshit at the VP debate on Tuesday, speaking over Senator Harris, attempting to force her to bend to his whim, mansplaining, being condescendingly disrespectful, undermining her intelligence and experience, and speaking to her as he was the superior intellectual on the stage. But like a true Boss, she tapped that. She gave him the business. She did so with full on face language in moments that cursing him to hell would have been inappropriate, by coming at him with facts, and calling him on his lies despite his evangelical tone.

“Ok first things first I’ll eat your brains…”

Meanwhile Black women far and wide could relate, and were posting and group texting about how they endured that same level of sexism that showed itself in his ‘the man will get the last word’ behavior and the added intersection of race that led him to question her qualifications and experience like she could not be the most qualified and experienced person on stage. It is a reality we are all too familiar with, sadly. We are often the first or the only in the room. Our intelligence, skill, and ability questioned and excused as good guesses and somehow only pursued to engage in some nefarious activity like we are all out here on our Jamila Davis. No shade to Jamila… she’s a Boss in her own right.

Not just victims of sexism or racism, Black women face the intersectional realities of being both Black and female in a nation that hates women and both fears and despises Black people. We are often marginalized by everyone… White men, White women, and sometimes Black men. We are labeled as weak of mind to expose our alleged inferiority to White men, but strong of body like animals, to inform our need to be controlled like savages. While white women are seen as needing protection to maintain some false purity standards. Yet we are among the most highly educated group of people in America, we have increased our entrepreneurial efforts by over 200% in recent years, and we are making it harder for anyone to deny our skills, talents, and success by how unapologetic we are being about spreading our accomplishments across the social sphere. Despite the stereotypes, we are professional, educated, skilled, and respected in every facet of American finance, law, industry, government, education, healthcare, technology, art… everything!

“You could be the King but watch the Queen conquer”

The truth is, like Senator Harris, we come prepared with a script on how to handle these shenanigans, borrowed from the boardroom and translated now across every place where we take up space. Our facial expressions say everything from …

And when you don’t get those, we are forced to use our inside voices and our SAT words to slice you a new asshole, and you know it’s happening, but it’s done with such precision and care, you don’t know you are a bloody mess. Then we settle back into ourselves to give you a chance to right your wrongs. But when you question our very presence, you can’t help but be a bigot and throw your privilege around like a boomerang… until we again, less gently, fact check the shit out of you, and your own privilege ricochets to smack you upside the head. We have an answer for your every move, but it’s an exhausting game that we have been told we must tiptoe around to avoid being cast as the very stereotypes that haunt us.

But I am here to tell you, after a decade of fighting with White men and women with my pen, careful words, tempered anger, and lowered voice, I can tell you that it won’t change your circumstance or their behavior to stay in the pocket. Being angry at mistreatment is normal, you don’t have to scream and holler but you can surely call out their discrimination, bias, privilege, and disrespect by name as your full self without worrying about the stereotypes you might fall into. You were born into these stereotypes, they aren’t yours by ownership though to claim or discard. God gave you a voice to speak up and out, to educate the ignorant, and to call out the clowns. You were put into that position divinely.

You don’t think some fool man tried to take over Harriet’s plan and try to mansplain to her how to best cross the delta in the darkness… you know Soloman B. did. But Harriet’s sideeye said to him…”How many slaves have you freed?”

You don’t think some extra dainty White woman hasn’t tried to tell Serena Williams a lithe body would fare her better in tennis, of course Amy did. But Serena had to politely tell her with a laugh… “I got Masters you just got plans.” But Queen Serena wasn’t joking.

You don’t think some White man told Oprah she’d never amount to anything more than a local TV host, of course Tanner did. But now Tanner works for her, and at the latest Harpo picnic Oprah invited Jay-Z to perform … “Call me a Phil Collins I feel a billion is in the air. I affiliate with Billy Gates, that’s my peer.” (Jay-Z, A Billi)

So my sistas, don’t cower, don’t bend or beg, don’t wait for scraps. Let them know you are there and if you don’t get equal pay, equal billing, and equal time where you have earned it, first you’ll ask for it. Then you’ll take it. Periodt!

Divorce is Ok

I have a wide cross section of friends who are married, single, divorced, some in relationships and others not. Most of us don’t define ourselves by our marital or relationship status, they are surely a large part of who we are, but not indicative our whole person. There are a few women I know personally and many I’ve encountered socially who are married and believe divorce is quitting… or they say things in that spirit.

I’m here to tell you that it most certainly is not!

I have been married. I’m currently divorced and in a committed relationship. I am a serial monogamist. I am that girl whose friends say “you always have a man.” The truth is, if I always had a MAN, I’d still be married. I have been in relationship with many men who simply were not mature enough to be with someone who has her shit together, standards, and her own. I have never been looking for someone to take care of me or to lace me, I lace myself… but I am certainly looking for a life partner. In that process, I have had to learn the hard way what is best for me. That means there are some things I’m unwilling to be involved in long term. Period. But ESPECIALLY for a lifetime. We should all have some boundaries. I honestly believe many women get married and shed and erect those boundaries as they go. As Tamar would say… that right there, she don’t do that !

Gone are the days when women had to be and remain married for financial security. Hell, not that I would suggest it, but women are choosing to have babies without a mate… times have changed. Women spend as much time outside of the home, working to financially support her family, as men do. I have plenty of friends who bring in more than their spouses. But even with those very clear markers that women no longer need to completely sacrifice and compromise themselves to stay married … never had to frankly… we continue to do so.

Be clear, I’m not suggesting divorce as a remedy for simple marital problems. I am suggesting that when you see signs that the man you chose does not intend to respect, consider, and commit to you as fully as you have him, after you have exhausted all other remedies, you don’t have to remain with that person who is refusing to treat you well. Period. We all have our own boundaries… mine are simple. If you are unfaithful to me by bringing another person into the intimate bounds of our relationship or by sharing your body with them, you gotta go. If you mistreat me or my child, you gotta go. If you steal or take from me, either materially or otherwise, you gotta go. Lastly, if you are unable to be trusted and show that continuously by your actions, you gotta go. Otherwise, the table is open for discussion and solution. But I’m not talking about you being unable to control yourself sexually, financially, or behaviorally. Go talk to a therapist.

Those women who qualify it as quitting, are typically women afraid to be alone. Women who say things like, they feel sorry for women who are dating. Women who don’t know their own strength and power.

If I’m practicing for a marathon, and the shoes I picked are not supporting me, are hurting me, are making me feel like I can’t finish the race, it’s time for a new pair of shoes. Doesn’t matter how much you spent on the bad shoes, how long you had them, or how good the reviews were. You need good shoes to plant in to make your relationship with the ground as steady and solid as possible. It may rain, the sun may go down. Other people may be ahead of you, or pass you, but your only competition is you and if you felt like you gave it your best. You can’t be at your best with janky shoes. You can’t be at your best with a janky man either sis!

Marriage is hard. Divorce is much more difficult. When you cleave to a partner, to end it, you have to chop them off like a limb. And like an amputee you will feel phantom emotions from that person you cut off. It’s very much like death. It’s also much like ending a book before the last chapter and having to wonder what might have been. So before you make that choice you have examine and exhaust all the possibilities for healing. But if you dig and find nothing but more dirt, eventually you can stop. There is nothing there. The choice is yours… but by no means is it a choice based on quitting. It’s a choice based on you, choosing you.

If you happen to be reading this and you are married and have sacrificed and compromised yourself into a person you no longer recognize for the sake of marriage, but you choose to stay, I hope you find comfort in that decision. But don’t attempt to weaken the person who makes a different choice. Like you, she too deserves support.

As for me, I chose not to subscribe to the very negative propaganda that is spread about Black couples, Black marriage, Black men, Black women, and Black love. Marriage is difficult to maintain across the board, but so can be your sense of self. One shouldn’t be sacrificed for the other, ever. Choosing you is NEVER quitting. It is imperative. Divorce doesn’t make you a quitter, just a survivor.

If you need to… and only you know that, quell the chatter, divorce is ok!

You get Justice, if you’re Lucky

Now if you listen closely
I’ll tell you what I know .
-Maya Angelou, Alone

Life in 2020 is a constant cycle of trauma if you are Black in America. Black men face the constant pressure of being walking targets of brutality and fraudulent representations of waywardness. Black women treated as the weakest link when we literally anchor the totem in our dust. The last nine months have ushered in a physical and spiritual pandemic that has America in a chokehold and is both exhausting and overdue for Black folks. Protests, the exposure of racism and racists practices, and the real conversations on white privilege, supremacy, and responsibility are a true comeuppance. Yet simultaneously the constant broadcast of injustice, dead Black bodies, and loss of innocence are heartbreaking. My son’s drivers training class is having a discussion on “driving while Black”… a conversation whose necessity is obvious and life saving but also the face of racism and it’s affect on the Black cultural reality. The coming undone plays musically like the Janet Jackson sample…

Poetic Justice.

Black reality in this current space is like…
Pac and Janet.
Innocence and Pain.
Life and Death.
Trauma and Healing.
Cause and Effect.


Get your umbrella.

***

Read slow, and you’ll find gold mines in these lines. -Kendrick Lamar, Poetic Justice

Racism has always existed in the US, it is literally built upon it like bricks. It is the blood and bones of African slaves buried beneath Washington’s monuments. Yet 2020 has been a modern day Middle Passage, but cars instead of boats and prisons and cemeteries instead of plantations. State and government sanctioned murder and oppression of Black people, broadcast in living color. It reads like payback for our ascent that has challenged White men of what they thought was their birthright. A leader who with coded language and lies encourages the bad behavior of supremacy. Police officers who otherwise might have thought twice about shooting a Black man, woman, or child knows luck is on their side and justice will likely be suppressed. It seems, today is a good day when somebody got killed, instead of loved, in South Central LA.

The race of man is suffering
And I can hear the moan. –
Maya Angelou, Alone

Blackness is a state of being and a state of mind. In America, our story is one of infinitesimal degrees of separation both physically and spiritually. Out of about 400,000 slaves shipped to North America through the slave trade, we now number over 42 million. We are connected very intimately to one another genetically. Brothers and sisters literally. Since our feet stepped on American soil we have lived with external oppression that has tricked some of us into internal betrayal, by breaking those bonds between us through separation, familial destruction, and mental torture.

There is, in every hood a series of dichotomous experiences. Pleasure and pain: we exude style, confidence, and creativity that is often forced to live in the shadows of violence and generational curses. A Pac and Janet, hood boy and good girl, love story set against a backdrop of hopeless and violence. The boys and girls in the hood suffer the trauma of racism and cultural confusion that affects both how we love and what we hate.

The reality of most urban communities is that Black and brown people have been pushed into these pockets by poverty, racist housing policies, and a lack of opportunity. But as communal people we make a family out of these circumstances the best we can. Play cousins; Aunties giving you dollars for As; your cousin braiding your hair in the porch steps; getting Grandma a new church crown; and doing the hustles at the family BBQ. Simultaneously battling internal struggles about who we are and our worth that have been handled down the emotional family tree like kinky hair and curves are handed down genetically. Black on Black crime is a fallacy; we are able and intelligent despite biased test scores; we are worthy despite the ruin we often live in and around m; and we are powerful despite the lack of our faces in public spaces. It’s not nature, but external cultural oppression that breeds internal cultural betrayal.

What we have in common is pain. -Kendrick

South Central, LA gang stories make sense, but love stories? Despite lives of hardship in a hard place, the characters played by Tupac Shakur and Janet Jackson were soft reminders of the beauty to be had by healing their deep pain and generational toxicity. Grief, death, fear, misogyny, distrust, selfishness colored their experiences, yet they were both representative of the very real innocence of love and connection. Violence and aggression are stories of necessity, like hip hop, they tell our story. Softness and love are our truth, like R&B, they make babies and families and communities. Lucky had a softness only hardened by reality, like Pillsbury and Doughboy were hardened by heat…choppas or circumstances. Be sure that hard shell you develop is only protective of your softness, and not preventing your brothers and sisters from reaching it.

As we protest that longstanding oppression ALONG with our own traumatic responses to watching our brothers and sisters killed in today’s streets, we find ourselves exhausted and in need of a reprieve. Karma will be our savior. Poetic Justice. The Buddhist theory of samsara teaches that after death, our spirits return to either the good realm or bad realm depending upon our actions during life. That realm is where we’ll exist until another death. Rebirth. As we heal and pay homage to our communal history and our generational truth, we are being reborn free. The oppressive shackles of racism only have wrists and ankles to bind that are afraid to break. Healing breaks you so you emerge whole. Trust, this entire year is one big therapy session. We gon be alright!

If I told you that a flower bloom in a dark room, would you trust it? -Kendrick

Ever wonder why we got all this rhythm? How we turn our blues into funk? Why we sing and cook and dance with soul… collard greens in our feet, baked mac and cheese bubbling over, and the sweet honey colored juice of yams coating our vocal chords so we can sing high line Minnie and deep like Mahalia. Why our hair winds, twists, turns up to the Heavens? Why we are painted in color? We are the sons and daughters of soul. The very place where love lives. The softest place on Earth.

And this is our exhausting reality. In one moment we mourn Breonna and the next celebrate Kamala. We are here to teach everyone else how to emerge from the ashes, whatever burned them. Only healed hearts can have that experience. You get Justice, if you are Lucky; if the stars align; if the color of your shirt is blue; or if you have dirt under your fingernails. But that doesn’t mean you ever stop fighting for her if you don’t get lucky. Despite what you’ve been told and no matter how many of your teeth they try to pull to force feed you racism, know that in reality they only want to slur your speech. We must speak, write, tweet, telegram, and Pony Express our experience, and let our collective, communal, and familial words holler out for justice and freedom, come hail, snow, sleet, or…

…there’s blood in my pen. –Kendrick Lamar

Rant: Make Sure Your Information is Correct

I have a gripe.

Y’all just WONT STOP putting misinformation out into the atmosphere and then assuring folks you read, you are smart, you are involved, you care. You most likely are all those things, but I have another description for you… you are wrong.

Some of y’all are so woke, you are blind! White folks are not the enemy, white supremacy and white privileged are the enemy. Racists are the enemy. Black people who support racists are the ultra raggedy enemy! Yes, every conservative is not a bad person. But every card carrying Republican that supports the alt-right, racist policy, and hatred is. Every liberal is not a good person. But if I have to chose between a human who has made mistakes, even racial ones and an inhumane racist… my choice is easy.

During desegregation in the 50s, we saw Black children trying to enter schools after Brown v. Board of Education, met with extreme hatred. After white flight, racist behavior and tactics still kept many Black students out of the more fully funded and educationally superior schools in White neighborhoods, so the Supreme Court in 1971 determine that forced busing could be used to ensure racial desegregation. This meant sending Black students from often poor neighborhoods to affluent White ones, where they were often treated as inferior, less intelligent, and unwelcome … and sending White children to schools in Black neighborhoods that were underperforming their native school.

When Biden made the comment about sending his children into a “racial jungle”, and YES he could have used a better word than jungle which has race implications in and of itself, he was specifically against forced busing because he thought the methods being used would not further racial harmony but drive a wedge through it. He was for integration, specifically housing integration, but felt forced busing only exposed the unequal education present in Black and White areas, and would ultimately lead to a race war. Integrating communities, he felt was a larger and longer lasting change to really help Black and White families to break down racial barriers.

Inner city schools should have the same resources and its students the same opportunities as those in the suburbs. Black people should be able to live where they feel most comfortable, whether the city or the suburbs and still have quality education for their students where they live. The policy makers were not interested in ensuring all children were given a quality education, but instead desegregating with the least common denominator. It wasn’t a practice in social change but simply a legal mandate that many of them didn’t agree with. Biden wanted to find ways to integrate that would result in racial peace not war. You can’t read one article and get the whole story. No professor in America would take your one source bibliography. Stop it!

We want people to vote, but we (intellectual and civic minded folks) do ALOT of misquoting and misdirection in our posts and comments about things going on today and things that shape opinions about people. Joe Biden is FAR from perfect, but he’s not a racist. I don’t deal with or find any human value in a racist. So in my opinion, Biden is the only choice. But be careful what you put out there… somebody may take your words for gospel and use them to make a decision. Make sure your information is correct!

Similarly, if I have to chose between criminal justice for my child’s state sanctioned death and millions of dollars, there is no amount of money that is worth my child’s life or justice for it. However I can want both. And if I cannot get justice, for whatever reason, taking the money doesn’t make me wrong or mean that I’m selling out. If I can use my life to fight for my child’s legacy and every child like her, and I have the money to do that without worry… my choice is easy.

When we are ignorant of the law, we should keep our opinions on legal settlements to ourselves. {If you need a lesson in civil v. criminal cases see my post yesterday. } However, imagine losing someone to a crime and them getting off without a conviction but you being awarded a settlement because of their death. The standards to make those determinations were completely unrelated. While you are angry that there is no justice for the death, you realize now that you can pay back loans you took to help you maintain during the trial, for the funeral, and now you can start scholarship funds, non profits, and be an agent of change in your community with the money you were awarded. You can put a loved ones kids through school. You can dedicate yourself to their legacy.

Yet people are accusing you of taking money to settle the criminal case. That’s not how ANY of that works… but that’s the vile sentiments some of y’all are putting out into the world. That undermines the need for police reform, court reform, and spits in the face of those of us who chant Black Lives Matter, who pleaded for the arrest of Breonna Taylor’s killers, and who are working to bring awareness to police brutality and its oppression. Don’t defile her death with bullshit. Make sure your information is correct!

Now go forth and do your research, not just read one article from http://www.medianewsrus.com, and be better!

End rant!