Your (Fake) Sensitivity

Listen… real quick… one of these kids IS NOT unlike the others! And just because the one little Black girl’s hair in it’s natural state is not long or straight, that doesn’t make this racist or mean that she was being mistreated. They ALL look disheveled about the head.

So two weeks ago or more, school started around the country and people were making posts about how neat their kids are before school and how they look like they’ve been through a tsunami after school…

So when I saw this H&M ad that originally singled out the Black child, I first thought of these before-after pictures. All the children in the H&M ad look like the after. ALL THE CHILDREN! So once I started reading I was appalled at the idea that her hair looked uncombed and unkempt and was “wrong”. But when I looked at the entire ad campaign, my suspicions that this pic was a play on the before-after were validated. But y’all kept going off.

“And that’s when my sensitivity gets in the way”-Luther Vandross

And this time my people, y’all are WRONG!

No matter how great thou, thou arguments, and thou commentary art, all of the children in that ad are fine just the way they are styled. ALL THE CHILDREN. Understand when we are talking about children it is imperative that they be treated equitably and equally and made to feel like their difference is okay. It is adults who are complicated and need all this complex shit because we complicate it in the first place. The most basic idea of discrimination and racism is how we are treated because of our difference.

So when these kids were being styled, all of their hair was in a state of disarray. To brush and comb and make neat the Black girls tight coils… or to smooth down and lengthen her texture, cuz that’s what all the appalled people really want… when that was not done to the other children, teaches her that her hair is not good enough to even be photographed as is. That after a long day of playing she should be ashamed of her natural state. Nope. Nope. Nope.

They are all just fine. They are children, they are in an ad campaign “Picture Day Style” and “Recess Fresh” …none of their hair is perfect. I had long ponytails and smooth hair by nature but recess turned into a different wild situation all together, and we don’t discuss picture day. Wanting her hair beat into submission is ridiculous and wrong. We speak of colorism often as this internal bias, and our hair being a source of external bias. But clearly we are just as internally biased about hair texture. She should know that how she is hair smooth and ponytails puffed out into perfect rounds is the same beautiful she is with her thick tight coils gathered. And you should check your foolishness. I love y’all but you’re dead wrong on this one. Say no to hairism.

We gotta stop trying to FIND racism. It doesn’t hide yo! Cultural insensitivity is not necessarily racist, but it should be minimized by company’s marketing team by hiring more people of color to inform them. But this, is neither. Check that fake outrage and sensitivity and call it what it really is… an internal bias. Y’all wanted to see her hair styled, and for Black people, women especially, that’s all hair laid down smooth and gathered into a lengthened puff or braid or braided down neatly. That wasn’t the point of the photo. So get over it, and again, check yourself.

All children deserve to be celebrated before and after. ALL THE CHILDREN!

Baby girl is a beautiful Black princess!

“Black pearl, precious little girl
Let me put you up where you belong
Black pearl, pretty little girl
You’ve been in the background much too long” -Sonny Charles and the Checkmates

Dead that Sh*t

I understand that confrontation is not easy, and I know that while the rest of us are stuntin’ on our haters and living life out loud and with reckless abandon, the tender amongst us are like…

… when someone attempts to shade, bully, embarrass, or shit on them.

“But I’m a good person out here in these streets!”

Yes you are, and you deserve good things and people who treat you well. But sometimes, SOME of the TIME… you gotta give folks a healthy dose of I got your bitch and your hoe! Believe it or not, it promotes unity.

When you use the things you observe, hear, feel, smell, and learn, or bring into yourself, to define you on your terms, you start to see so much clearer. It is because the processing of that information and your actions based on that analysis bring you closer to understanding who you really are… despite the things that other people have told you, forced upon you, or try to manipulate into your spirit. You know, without a doubt that you were born, with “3 dollars and six dimes”, 360 degrees of complete and whole human. Inside of that circle you have all the gifts you need to gather together all your hopes, dreams, thoughts, and words and bring them into fruition. Some other person’s opinions of you don’t matter.

You can choose to either ignore them fully or confront them peacefully. I fall really smack dab in the middle. Sometimes it’s best I don’t go in,because once inside I’ll go full on batshit.

Other times it is very necessary to stop whatever hurt they might be causing me. Here’s the kicker… that’s for ME not them. I’m responsible for my own healing, and that means peacefully addressing those people who threaten my healing. It’s not confrontation unless you make it adversarial… it’s teaching if you make it a lesson.

There is an art to deading shit… not making it worse, not causing more conflict, but making it go away. And yes, cuz like I’ve told y’all before, I’m an artist, so I am gonna share with you all the paint brush strokes to happy little trees in the jungle of life’s weeds.

….

Dead That Shit 101

Maybe Melinda makes messy comments to you all of the time. She’s either completely unaware of the power of words or trying to bombard you with her negativity. How do you dead that shit?

Perhaps Philip thinks he’s helping by pointing out your flaws… all your flaws… all the time. But he’s not, it’s just hurtful and unnecessary. How do you dead that shit?

Truthfully Tanya is jealous of you, and talks about you badly to others all the time. She spreads untrue rumors about you and has a general dislike for you based on nothing in particular (but her own issues). How do you dead that shit?

Sadly Sally only likes you when you are doing what she approves of. The minute you stray from her preferred image of you, she’s got so much to say to you about how you wronged her by being yourself. Sally is a clown, but you are being hurt by Sally’s words. So how do you dead that shit?

Or Orlando might just say things in jest… meaning nothing hurtful, but that’s not how you hear it or process it. While he’s just joking or messing with you, you don’t find that mess humorous in the least. How do you dead that?

You could go all knuck if you buck on em, but that doesn’t solve your hurt or stop the behavior. Anyone coming at you sideways needs to be set straight.

“I don’t owe you my soul or my spirit. Who I am is enough and if it’s not enough for you, then it may be time to move on from what used to be a friendship but now is a sinking ship. If you are determined to manipulate my feelings, I’m exiting at the next destination to get far away from you.

If you want my friendship, hurting me isn’t an option. If you want peace, hurting me isn’t an option. But either way, I’ll secure my peace.”

You can write that down and read it verbatim, that’s a freebie, or get into the spirit of remembering, with clear and complete understanding, who TF you are in all of your splendor, and speak from your heart. They’ll show and prove, or go overboard. But either way, rigor mortis has officially set in on that topic.

And notice, you don’t have to address, ask for explanation, or discuss what was said, why, when, or any of that Love and Hip Hop bullshit. It’s pointless. The behavior must end or the relationship, no matter how closer or distant, ends. Simplicity is best. I mean what is more simple… you either let it live or kill it.

How do you dead that shit:

Remember who you are AT ALL TIMES… and don’t let fear of rejection stop you from confronting the things you fear head on and dead on. You won’t be friends with everyone. Everyone won’t like you. Sometimes you WILL take things the wrong way. But only a psychotic mofo with a death wish won’t understand where you are coming from and respect your gangsta. A tender kinda gangsta, but a gangsta no doubt!

Actuarial Science

I was born underwater, with three dollars, and six dimes…yea you may laugh, cause you did not do your math…” -Erykah Badu

I’m a pretty smart chickadee… but I learn something every day, at least I hope to. Recently, I got some knowledge that brought me full circle. The kind of shit that wows you and blows up everything you thought you knew about some of your fundamentals … mine being love, humanity, spirituality, and culture. It was a combination of thoughts I’d had, beliefs I had acquired, but in one coherent ideaology, wrapped up into one digestible morsel. A Hershey’s kiss of sorts. The God candy.

I’m your mister, you my misses with hugs and kisses -Method Man, You’re All I Need

Knowledge

So what I seek to do is share with y’all the things I learn. I believe in God. I’m a student of spirituality, a deist. I am open minded enough to know that if God created humans, nature, and the universe, we can find God in everyone and everywhere. I believe most in love and in balance. So when I’m upset, angry, disappointed, whatever… I try to get in balance by understanding where I am versus where I need to be to receive all of the gifts God has for me. As the author of my favorite book of all time, The Alchemist, Paulo Coehlo writes, “When you want something all of the universe conspires in helping you achieve it.”

I won’t get into a whole discussion in religion, but I have never been much into anything that is abstract. I know the first chicken didn’t make itself, nor did the first tree. So clearly some power much greater than me exists. As long as we have that general idea in common I’m gonna rock with you. Cuz people who believe in nothing, they scare me. But religion as a construct just seeks to control our thoughts and actions as does anything that separates us into groups.

Part of my continuing education is studying those things that our most common ideologies tell us are off limits. Astrology, numerology, Africa as the birthplace of civilization, Black people being amazing… that type shit. In numerology, 7 is the number of completion and perfection. It is made up of the number 3 which is the number of harmony (3 states of matter, 3 types of particles, 3 types of charges, 3 dimensions of space and time), and the number 4 which is the number of justice and order (four points, four winds, four phases of the moon, four seasons, and four parts of the soul). Seven is also the number of nature.

  • 7 continents
  • 7 days of the week
  • 7 species of fruit
  • 7 oceans
  • 7 vertebrae in the neck
  • 7 layers of skin
  • 7 colors in a rainbow
  • 7 notes of sound
  • 7 directions
  • 7 holes in your head
  • 7 dimensions of a cube
  • 7 body parts on a man
  • 7 erogenous zones on woman
  • 7 year cycle of economics
  • 7 human needs
  • 7 attributes of physicality
  • 7 visual celestial objects
  • 7 stars make up the Big Dipper
  • 7 days in each part of normal menstrual cycle

The God Number.

Wisdom

Full circle moment…I was talking to my brother about music, Wu Tang and New York rapper’s in particular and how he’s begun listening with the 120 Lessons in mind. He hands me a text. It is the handbook for the Five Percent Nation, Supreme 120 Lessons: For the Nation of Gods and Earths. He says to me, After reading this, I hear it with new ears. The shit sounds different.

Wu-Tang you say? I heard the Shaolin call ringing in my ears… suuuuuu.

Familiar only in passing with the Five Percenters, I read the short book sitting there, and immediately felt like I had just found myself between its pages. The crux of the text being a Black people’s guide to gain full Understanding of the Truth about who we are to become a member of the 5% of the population with freedom of mind. Religion, Education, Politics, Race Theory, Wealth… all of it a means of controlling the narrative to tell you who you are or should be, instead of giving you the freedom to discover yourself.

Deep.

This is done by implementing the fundamentals of knowledge, wisdom, and understanding to strengthen yourself, your family, and your community to bring you closer to enlightenment.

1. Knowledge 
Knowledge is the accumulation of facts thru observing, learning, and respecting. Knowledge is the foundation of all in existence, for it must be “known” in order to make it manifest.  1 or Knowledge is also Man.

2.  Wisdom 
Wisdom is Knowledge acted upon. Wisdom is Water, or the vital building block of life. 2 or Wisdom is also Woman.

3.  Understanding 
Understanding is the addition of Knowledge & Wisdom(1+2=3), complete comprehension. 3 or Understandingis also Child. The highest form of Understanding is Love. Understanding is built from Knowledge first-and-foremost.

4. Culture Culture and/or Freedom 
Culture is a way of life practiced. It can also be Freedom in certain contexts, because the greater yourKnowledge-Wisdom-&-Understanding the closer your Culture will be to True-Freedom. Your Understanding stems from your Knowledge (1+3=4)

5. Power is gained through wisdom and understanding (2+3=5)

6. Equality gained through collective understand (3+3=6)

7. God
God is Perfection, the Supreme Being/Energy which is the origin of all the universe. G is also the seventh letter in the alphabet, God sees with the seven colours of the rainbow and hears with the seven notes on the musical scale. Love-Culture (3+4=7). The God Number.

8. Build/Destroy either you elevate or ruin your culture (4+4=8)

9. Born, as 9 gives birth to itself (9+9=18 (1+8=9));

0. Cypher, the Circle, 360 degrees (120 degrees of Knowledge, 120 degrees of Wisdom, 120 degrees of Understanding)

Stop for a second. Think of all the hip hop lyrics you know with these references:

We on another level of planning, of understanding/The bond between man and woman, and child/The highest elevation ’cause we above/ All that romance crap, just show your loveMethod Man

With knowledge of self, there’s nothing I can’t solve, at 360 degrees I revolve…”–Rakim “Move the Crowd”

The 10%ers promoting slander in the airtime. -Gangstarr, Above the Clouds

To manifest the fabric mathematic black be that of asiatic. –Poor Righteous Teachers

Can you imagine from in single idea everything appeared here. Understanding makes my truth crystal clear. -RZA “Impossible”

Understanding

The Five Percent Nation was founded in 1964 in Harlem, NY, right as hip hop was being birthed on the streets of the five Burroughs. The language of the genre had clearly developed, in part, from the 120 Lessons. The merging of the two worlds meant hip hop as a culture being a way of life for youth of the urban streets to gain an understanding of their whole self. Whoa… the “three dollars and six dimes” reference. Oh damn. 3 dollars (300) and six dimes (60)=360. We are born complete… made in Gods perfect image and his perfect love. Gods on Earth.

Shut up… I don’t wanna hear it. Yes, I just got that shit 20 years later.

You can still believe what you believe and find real value in enlightenment. If you live your life with the general premise that knowing who you are allows you to love yourself and others, you are living in God’s image. Enlightenment represents the trifecta of human intelligence, spirituality, and humanity. The God Body.

Anything that goes against love or leaves you feeling or projecting the antithesis of love means you aren’t putting what you know about yourself and your own power into practice. In other words you are failing to demonstrate wisdom. Only through the active giving and receiving of yourself to others can we gain more knowledge, God’s gift to us. Through knowledge we can overcome:

Insecurity … when you know who you are, you don’t doubt your worth or your place.

Jealousy… no one else’s worth or place threatens your own because you are clear about your value and where you belong.

Disappointment… what is for you will be yours, what is not for you, throws you off balance and leads to chaos. Understanding that you give up your own power when you neglect to be wise.

Hate… anyone who understands that the giving of love, and not the hoarding of things or money, is the way towards true wealth and the receipt of all the gifts God has for them, has no reason to not spread that love to everyone. Love always KO’s hate. Always.

Fear… the exact opposite of understanding. There is nothing to be scared of when you have love guiding you, God always leads us properly it is us who venture off course. A key ingredient in hate and insecurity is fear. It is through that fear that knowledge is withheld and manipulated by 10% of the world to control the 85%. The 5% of us who truly understand know false evidence can never truly be real, despite its appearance.

If we were made in his image/ Then call us by our names/ Most intellects do not believe in god/ But they fear us just the same. – Erykah Badu

🖐🏾

🎤

Science Dropped!

Untitled Truth

I write for purpose and my main purpose is sharing knowledge. Most of the time it’s really silly and tongue in cheek, but this won’t be, not really (well maybe a little). It’s hard to talk about being mistreated. It’s even harder to talk about being abused. But as a grown up person, it is imperative that we share lessons learned so maybe one someone can heed the the words without experiencing the reality.

So here we go:

I lived in a two family flat as a kid. My grandparents lived downstairs. I’d go down on Friday and Saturday nights to have ice cream or graham crackers and milk while watching Johnny Carson. During a commercial, when I was about eight, my Grandmother told me to come sit on her lap. At that age I was almost her height, and maybe just thirty pounds lighter than her 110 pounds. I sat down in the big green chair, her boney knees in my chubby thigh, and she said “Now get on up you little elephant.” I knew she wasn’t calling me cute… even though there’s few things cuter than a baby elephant

… and in response, I got up and went back up to my house. No unnecessary criticism happened up there! I didn’t tell anyone, at the time, but I knew in that moment that she would be as verbally and emotionally abusive to me as she was to my Grandfather, and attempted with my mom and aunt.

She continued throughout my life to attempt to corner me into some discussion that was sure to hurt my feelings or make me feel bad on purpose. I would challenge her at times, and at others just retreat upstairs to my room. I wasn’t sure why she thought it appropriate to speak to me in that way. However, I heard her tell stories about how fun, secure, and social her sisters were in comparison and how they made fun of her, accepted socially only because she was attractive. It wasn’t lost on me that my mom and I, the targets of most of her negativity, looked much more like her sisters than we did like her. Lighter skinned, curly haired, and thicker than a snicker. I realized she wanted to thwart my own security in an effort to find the voice her sisters silenced.

Both of my Grandmothers were similar in that way. The other a self inflicted victim who sought to chop down those of us who found and sought success, finding some way to attempt to make you feel like that success made you responsible for the happiness of others. Both quick change artists. Wearing teddy bear suits over their snakeskin. It was best to grab your keys at their first hiss, because you were sure to get bit if you lingered.

Abuse.

I eventually retreated from those two. I went off to college and started to feel really comfortable in my own skin. I met a boy who thought I was as fine as I thought I was…and who hearted😍 me. He moved from Detroit to Ann Arbor, I thought to be near me. He supported me in school. He worked and ensured we had the things we needed. However being in a space where I had roots and he didn’t started to weigh on him. Turns out he didn’t join me but he followed me. If that sounds like stalker shit…

but at that time I didn’t get it. I was all lollipops and unicorns and didn’t have a clue what he called love was really possession. He didn’t want to be with me, he wanted to have me. Now as smart as I’d like to believe I was, I wasn’t aware of this at 19. I was bossy, ballsy, and braggadocious, and certainly didn’t plan on taking any shit from him. But with the shits he came. First, his small comments turned into full on criticisms. Again, at first I wasn’t aware of how what he was saying correlated to his attempt to possess me… but much more quickly this time, it made sense. He wanted me to himself, didn’t trust anyone I had around (really a distrust of me), tried to micromanage me, control how I spent my time, and push my buttons when none of that worked. I realized that he wanted to break me down to build me back up as he wanted to see me, not accept me as I came. He also wanted me to believe my friends simply didn’t want to see us together, as he could see in their eyes they despised him. Alienation, control, and subjugation. He pushed so hard, I walked away.

Abuse.

I never saw those experiences as abuse, not until this last go round. I ended up in a MCL 551.2 soured by poor choices. As I reacted to those poor choices, he reacted physically. It escalated from a loud voice to hands going through the walls. The pristine apartment we lived in went from looking like a showplace to looking like The Price is Right Punch A Bunch game. These macro aggressions the result of me saying No, failing to respond to his foolishness, or any other set of actions on my part, none of which gave him license to hit or feign hitting me. Also a result of scenes he’d seen before, causing conflict in his head about whether the dart or the bullseye causes the hit.

It culminated with a trip to a bespoke store, where he had to give some brief information to get into the then exclusive tailor. As he stood at the door, he looked back at me, expecting me to speak for him, and I remained silent. Use your words… But he didn’t and was rejected entry. We went to the car and he got hysterical about being embarrassed. I informed him that while I frequented the business, I couldn’t sponsor him and had given him the necessary information, it was on him and not me. I pulled out of the lot and he grabbed my seatbelt that I had just fastened, and pulled it. I yanked back for him to let it go. He then pulled tighter. It moved from over my shoulder to around my neck and cut me. I pulled over and demanded he get out of the car, and he refused. Yet as the police road by, he got out, afraid I’d make a scene… and he was CORRECT. I left him standing there and drove myself home. Later that evening, when he arrived home, smelling like ten thousand years of equatorial war, I informed him that his things were in the basement until he found a place to dwell. Love don’t live here anymore and I won’t be sleeping with the enemy. I also told him I’d bash his head in and think about Heaven later, if he so much as looked at me wrong. Otherwise everybody would be Kung Fu fighting up in that bungalow.

“Hit em with the left, hit em with the right…”

And we ain’t talking about cats or pocketbooks.

Abuse.

Not all abuse is physical, although we may experience the hell of that as well. Whether one has experienced verbal castigation or cruelty, physical assault or aggressions , or that Color Purple “climb on top and do his business” sexual violation… it all feels like violence and leaves psychological scar tissue. Sometimes it appears only in context to the abused and the observer, but guarantee that it will escalate to suffocation. Whether domestic, financial, or ritualistic, it’s a powerless persons attempt to gain power over you, because they see what they want to be in you. Influence, status, wealth, self-worth, health are all targets.

What is generally believed is that abusers target the weak, and while that may be true in child and elder abuse, the fact is that they tend to see a strength in you they want to conquer to feel more powerful themselves. Whatever the case, whether it comes from family as a child, partners as adults, caregivers as elders, or employers as an employee… an abuser gets his or her kicks by preying on people that aren’t necessary weak but who represent an opportunity to strengthen a weakness in themselves.

Other people don’t get to take out their failure to heal themselves out on you. But their attempts to, are often abusive manipulation of attention, favor, finances, companionship, or worse love. Love doesn’t operate in the same sphere as hate, fear, violence, or abuse. Love doesn’t makes you feel bad, ever. Love is kind, and fuck any people that attempt to make you believe otherwise.

In closing, heal your shit so you don’t become the very thing that caused your pain!

What is a “Single Mother”?

single adjective sin·gle |  \ ˈsiŋ-gəl   \

Definition of single

  1. not married
  2. unaccompanied by others 

A single woman is unmarried, she may be divorced or never married.

A single mother is a parent without the support of the other, typically male, parent, either due to choices or circumstances. She is unaccompanied by a co-parent in raising a child.

A mother who is a single woman is just that.

Being a single mother is inherently different than being a single woman.

I am a mother who is single. I am divorced. My ex-husband is present and active in my child’s life and sees him daily. I am not solely responsible for getting him to his destinations or coordinating his social activities. I do, as his custodial parent, make most of the choices regarding his daily life, and take care of the majority of his daily needs. I’m always on the clock. And while I am sure to include his father in the important discussions, often they are mine alone to make. Despite that, he and I have our disagreements about how he parents, but there is no doubt that he parents.

There is a fallacy that married women tend to have a monopoly on proper parenting and partnership. I disagree. Marital status does not dictate one’s success at parenting. That’s tomfoolish respectability politics. Furthermore, marriage is a choice. It is not the only legal designation that ensures that a woman has the legal rights to make choices about and be supported in case something happens to her partner. That is a misunderstanding that is propagated by ignorance of the law. Yes, marriage can be wonderful, but it’s not always the ideal situation for each woman, mother or not. Marriage should always be a choice, not a necessity or a sentence. Judge ya mama.

Besides, I know a lot of single mothers who are married. Yep, I’ll repeat it.

I know a lot of single mothers who are married.

Singleness in parenthood does not necessarily equate with marital status. There are plenty of wonderful men, married or unmarried to the mothers of their children who operate in partnership in parenthood. Likewise there are plenty of products of patriarchy that believe raising and tending to the needs of children is a woman’s role and his role is typically one of extremes… discipline versus fun or chastisement versus celebration, with not much else in between. He might be a parent biologically, but he’s not parenting. She is left alone in that role. Unaccompanied. Single.

If you can’t tell I despise this designation and it’s tricky definitions.

The truth is that because the percentage of single parent households in Black and Hispanic families are 65% and 42% compared to only 24% in White households (Children in single-parent families by race | KIDS COUNT Data Center”. datacenter.kidscount.org. Retrieved 2019-05-13. ), this entire topic is colored with stereotypes and assumptions not based in fact. In fact, that very set of data includes the caveat that the definition of single parent families includes a cohabiting parents (the two parents of the child living together) but not a remarried parent (one of the child’s parents and a stepparent). The entire discussion hinges on a set of inconsistent data and conjecture that serves to more easily label Black non-traditional families. It’s a bunch of bullshit, if you ask me.

While I might generally dislike the term “single mother”, I understand it’s general context. In the spirit of the use of single mother to mean an unmarried, divorced, or widowed mother, let’s be clear about who that woman is and what you should not assume about her.

Never automatically assume a single mother is…

  • alone
  • lonely
  • unpartnered
  • struggling
  • looking for a daddy for her kid(s)
  • financially unstable
  • available
  • unavailable
  • parenting alone
  • a charity case

So if she’s not automatically those things, what IS a single mother?

She’s a MF’in superhero!

Even with a co-parent in the cockpit, she flies that invisible jet over every obstacle, tear, disappointment, celebration, punishment, hug, kiss, tantrum, school project, broken heart, broken arm, and broken dream with her cape flying behind her. She has one uniform with an S on her chest, another one with a lasso and gold cuffs. Whether sewing on a button, giving a mid-week line up, playing tea party, or helping with significant numbers… she does it all while paying bills, organizing the house, and getting the oil changed. She’s a parent every single day, at every single minute, and that’s a sacrifice and a blessing unlike any other. She’s both super and a wonder.

She’s a business, man, selling water to wells. She’s a hustla baby… I just wanted you to know.

And just in case you wanna date her, don’t be stingy with dinero… cuz she already got to spend to go out with you!

Dichotomous Reality

Do you acknowledge your privilege!?

Do you realize and own the set of variables that makes you a HAVE versus a HAVE NOT?

Everything is not just black and white. Those charcoals, smokes, pewters, and ashes represent everything and everyone in between. It benefits the ultimate systems of wealth in this country to include some of the typical outliers into it’s horn of plenty. What groups do you belong to that separate you and give you an upper hand based on no real work on your part. That’s privilege.

Chances are, if you are successful and stable, some unearned privilege was bestowed upon you by birthright that helped put you on a journey to more. If you have fared better than your ancestors, if you share characteristics with the HAVES, chances are you are a HAVE in some dichotomous reality.

Both a HAVE and a HAVE NOT, but handing down more HAVEs than nots. We are products of our privilege, as will be our children.

I give you the story of my child.

Yesterday was his first day of high school at my alma mater, if you read my blogs you know it well, Renaissance High School, Home of the Phoenix. We Soar. A Detroit Public High School of Excellence… ask about us.

Anyway, his uniform is khaki pants and a white or maroon collared shirt. He can wear the shoes of his choice, so this summer we stocked up on J’s… Jordan Sneakers. I work everyday, I own stock, it’s my money, so yes I buy my son Jordan’s. Anyway… he has blue and white, beige and white, all beige, gray and red, and several pairs of other shoes he can wear. It’s a collection to be proud of when you are only 14 and wear a 13 shoe. So when he donned his maroon shirt and beige and white boys, he looked down and had a full blown MELT DOWN! “I can’t wear these shoes, these only go with THE WHITE SHIRTS…”

Jesus be a color wheel.

My child hasn’t yet learned the fine art of neutrals and color matching with different hues of the same color. So he lost it. He demanded we go get some maroon shoes. Sir… no. And then he said it…

“But you HAVE MONEY!”

Hahaaaaaaa! Yes, young padawan, I have money. You have no job, beer money, and Ace of Spades dreams. Especially if you think I’m buying another pair of sneakers because you don’t know your colors. My dude…

So, we had a gentle but firm discussion about privilege in the car, and my desires to give him every single thing he needs, but his responsibility, in light of that privilege, to participate in having his wants met. You had all summer to mow lawns and make some money… all the opportunity and access is available to you. I had to work hard to ensure you have things easier than me… but it still won’t be easy.

That’s the dichotomy

Race. White people generally have access to and come from privilege versus people of color. We outrank them in lack… of education, poverty, wages, and overall absence of wealth. In 2019 we still have firsts, because we’ve been left out of the system for 400 years, and treated as a tertiary class, treated worse than most people, a lot of things, and some animals. While that is our American history, it’s not fully our present.

Color. If you are come from a lot of any combination of educated, lighter skinned, middle class or higher, professional network of individuals, chances are you are a HAVE. And while people with lighter skin are STILL looked at as less threatening and/or “less Black” by those in power, so we tend to get access that our darker skinned brothas and sistas don’t always get. A sad but true reality that has its basis in slavery. But as we embrace our own melanin, and don’t make excuses for it or degrade it, we can rise up in our collective power.

Class. Within many communities of color, particularly the African American community, people who come from educated people tend to go to better schools, go on to college, and have a network of people to rely on professionally whether through familial channels or their own organizations, groups, and friends. Financial stability and professionalism just keep pushing you further up the totem. The system of capitalism that creates this spectrum is based on keeping you a Have by keeping others a Have not. That’s the way. But no matter your lane, unless you create your own, rarely do we reach that top head of the totem. It’s not impossible, but it often calls for us to be sacrificial.

So after school, my child, his father, and I sat down to have a conversation. He said he had to get a gym uniform. I took the money out and handed it to him. He said his shoe hurt his foot and he needed insoles, and his father said they’d go get them tomorrow. We discussed lunch and a variety of topics, all that cost, of course. The minute we asked him about something he needed to do, he had an excuse and all this unnecessary commentary about why it didn’t get done.

We let off a lot of rah rah that basically ended with this lesson:

Recognize your privilege. It didn’t come easy for us, came much harder for our parents, was damn near impossible but it happened for our grandparents, and was denied to our great-grandparents. Just four generations away from the very denial of your intellectual humanity and financial success. This is basically handed to you. But you have to EARN that next stage. Period. You can be better than us by birthright only or better than us by birth and by hustle. That birthright is for your first name, that hustle, as Dame Dash would say, is for your last name. It allows you to pass the torch.

My great grandparents planted the sycamore tree. My grandparents got shade under it once in awhile on their walk. Our parents got to have picnics under that tree, shielded at important times from the elements. We sat under the sycamore. Planted flowers around it, climbed it, found our way around it. Hustled from the tree to behind a wood desk with our names on plaques decorating the walls. Our children get to be leaders, creators, visionaries because of the paper we made by the shade of that tree. That makes them more sicker … Masters of their Class.

Teach your children about privilege. Acknowledge your own, but make it clear that the trees that shade us, the privileges we bestowed upon them, have blood on the root and blood on the leaves. Shit didn’t come easy. Just 400 years in, we have gone from property to buying the property we built for free. Racism still exists. Colorist still exists, but we have more power over our class than ever before. We have come so far, yet have so far to go. They find themselves in the best position yet. Yet their privilege yields a sense of entitlement, to entitlements they simply were not born with. For them to get to that next level, they are going to have to sacrifice as well… in blood and sweat!

-Thank you to Anika McEvans for the topic! She’s an awesome mom and motivator. Ask her about #teamnotuition in the comments.

Angelas: Side Chick Truths

…big mad. First they replace Joe in the theme song and then they got Jaime crying over Angela. Angela, the “side chick”. I have read exactly 20 various social media posts about the level of sheer disgust y’all hold for the women men cheat with. And while I might regret this, I’m gonna quote Chris Brown…

These hoes ain’t loyal!

This might not be popular, but I ain’t never scared.

First, so I can’t speak for you, but I want no parts of any man who is so foul he is in a relationship with me, but piping some other woman. He wasn’t “mine” to begin with, he’s got an option, and if his option is not me, everyday, all the time, I’m not interested. Furthermore, a respectful man would tell me, but regardless he can take that dirty pencil and write on her walls. I don’t want it. Unless I considered her a friend or we share blood, my beef isn’t with her. She owed me nothing.

I’m not a fan of the term “side chick.”

For all intents and purposes, she’s on his team whether a starter or coming off the bench. If he’s sitting his star player down, she clearly isn’t just a bench warmer. Side chicks become main hens everyday. We all know in the beginning, despite your actual positioning, it’s her whose getting the spoils and you who is actually sitting out the game wondering why he’s not picking up, where he really is, or who he is really with. She likely knows where he is whether with her or you. You are clueless. She may be the side chick but worse, he’s your “cheating man.” It is him who owes you loyalty, not her. Place your blame on the correct hoe… the hoe you picked!

These hoes ain’t loyal!

Don’t shoot the messenger. I can tell some women are upset from experience. I’m just calling it how I see it. If your dude can’t control himself, perhaps he’s an animal you plucked from the wild, but my guess is that he can he just chooses not to. We gotta stop blaming people outside of our relationships for responsibilities we dishonor in our own relationships. We owe our mates loyalty and honesty. Likewise we must stop giving all our power away. You picked him. Own that. You can unpick his ass, or keep him. The choice is typically yours. However,the side chick likely doesn’t even know you to owe you anything. In fact, no one owes you anything. Facts we might not like, but facts nonetheless.

Cheat on me, she can have you, more power to her! She can be your main chick now. Tell her Congratulations, while you get ghost. Now put that in your pipe…

Life’s full of twists and turns, bumps and bruises, I live, I learn. – 50Cent “Big Rich Town” POWER theme song

Absorb the Light

What is Black… a color, a race, a culture, a phenomenon, a way of life?

According to James Baldwin, To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time.

Is that the only experience, or is it bigger and broader or more limited? What is Black, to be Black, and the general experience of Blackness? Or is there even a such thing? Have we been defined by a word that doesn’t even begin to define who and what we are as a people?

Color Me Black

The very definition of Blackness is as broad as that of Whiteness, yet we’re seemingly always trying to find a specific, limited definition. –Issa Rae

We don’t have to seek to limit who we are to understand who we are. History tells us, without doing any serious research, that when America was colonized, Native Americans and African slaves were categorized as savage, as a justification for robbing them of their indigenous land, and forced labor and oppression. Their dark skin categorized them by color, and therefore distinct from White people. Science, religion, and intelligence were manipulated to further strengthen the position of White superiority, and hence the construct of race was born. Our dark skin put us on the lowest rung of the totem pole in America.

But America isn’t where this separation by skin color began. Plato and Socrates learned at the feet of African philosophers in Egypt, where concepts such as language and mathematics actually began… not Greece. However these truths were erased from these men’s history over time, and these modalities attributed only to White philosophers, because the admission that these men were educated by Black people would interfere with the global manipulation of race as a measure of intelligence and civility. Ultimately, race is a political construct to justify power, control, and wealth. Black is the term we were given to identify us… ultimately it means nothing.

We range from vanilla to deep dark chocolate, every hue of brown with oranges, peaches, and yellows, toned up or down with white or black pigment. Our color is very real. Our race is the pigment of the oppressor’s imagination.

I guess I’m darker than the shadows of the darkest alley, that they always scared to go in, Boo! -Brother J, X-Clan “Funkin Lessons”

Phenomenal Culture

My skin absorbs the suns rays and my hair defies gravity. You can’t tell me I’m not magical.Unknown

So we know what they told us Black is… but what is it really, who are we, and what have we made it?

Black culture is American culture. Bodies that curve, hair that salutes the sun, skin kissed by it, style influenced by global art and urban youth, hip hop, rhythm, swag, creativity. We are simultaneously a people and a phenomenon. A people and a phenomenon.

As a people, we are both perfect and imperfect. We are made in God’s perfect image with human imperfections… just people. Flesh and blood and veins and capillaries. We bleed when cut, we cry when we are in pain. We love and fear and hurt and holler… “the way they do my life.” But mainly, we live. We tend to live a bit louder as a result of years of silence. So we flex harder. We hustle harder. We dance more freely. We dress more creatively. Our speech more colorful. Our laugh more robust. Our hair bigger. Our swag doper.

It’s a result of the African drum beats in our souls. The taste of the custard apple on our tongues. The smell of lavender fields in CapeTown in our noses. The bright colors of wax print batiks dancing on our rods and cones. The feel of our fingers in our ancestors hair, coils and links, curls and cottony soft clouds.

It’s our call and response…

MC:”Somebody say oh yeah…”

The Crowd:”Oh yeah”

It’s our swag surf, our milly rock, Black Twitter, slang, cornrows, box braids, and #beardgang. It’s in our community and our sense of community. Buy Black; Black Lives Matter; Black mixed with Black; I’m Rooting for Everybody Black. It’s in our harsh judgement of each other, both despite and in response to our harsh judgements from the outside. Don’t watch Empire, build an Empire; Stop Jocking Jay-Z and Judge Jay-Z; Buy a Popeyes not a Popeyes Chicken Sandwich.

We are perfectly imperfect. We are human. But be clear, we are lit AF!

Nothing I accept about myself can be used against me to diminish me. -Audre Lorde

The Light

Imitating us… and still, they’ll never be us, nigga. –Rapsody “Nina”

A whole entertainment family has profited off of our culture, so much so it’s entire set of progeny bears our blood. White pop stars show no shame copying our entire performances for their profit and popularity. And while art has no bounds, pop locking has taken over country line dancing as their dance of choice. They visit doctors to get our lips and asses. They feign our urban dialect to be down. Yeah, we are the shit… it’s true. It’s also irritating and disrespectful AF, but let’s stay on topic.

As much as we are painted as unAmerican, our very culture has been pilfered by this countries haves. The truth is, we are the chosen ones. Who else is this disrespected and this coveted all at the same time. To be Black is to be so amazing that we who we are is wanted and desired so badly, we are loathed.

Black excellence we gon let em see. Jay-Z, “Legacy

It has been exactly 400 years since we set foot in this country. In that span of time we have transformed ourselves from stolen Kings and Queen treated worse than dogs, to business owners, billionaires, artists, philanthropists, and everything our imaginations could conjure. Black people have positioned ourselves to be on par with the haves through hard work, intellect, and hustle that was kept from us by oppression, violence, and politics. We started from the bottom, and now we are definitely here. Barack. Oprah. Beyoncé. Wakanda. And while we are still very affected by the systematic use of race to threaten our rise and success, the very real truth of the matter is this…

Rainbows are one of God’s miracles, an arch of of every color on the spectrum reflected by the sun through droplets of water. The color black is the result of an object absorbing every ray of color produced by the light.

Black people carry inside of us, every color from red to violet. On the outside we are every hue of brown from the most muted beige to the most saturated umber. We are God’s human rainbow.

So, what is Black? Black is the way we walk, talk, live, and love. Black is our truth, our rhythm, our blues, our soul, our jazz, our hip, and our hop. We don’t stop. Black is the light. A people and a phenomenon.

(Thanks to Courtney Springer for the topic. He’s a comic, he’s Black, and he’s funny… {told you, we are all the things}. Check him out at Courtney2Funny )

Pay Me in Equity

What more can I say…

I admire Shawn Cater, aka Jay-Z, aka Hov. I admire, truth be told, any young Black person with a dream, who makes their dreams happen and then uses the brand they built as a result of that dream, to help the community they hail from, the people that look like him or her. I ALSO admire brilliance.

Now on to the topic.

1. Capitalism

Let’s start with all this talk about him being a capitalist…

WE LIVE IN AMERICA yo!

Everyone who is successful in America is a capitalist, they live by capitalistic standards, and operate under a capitalist framework. Capitalism is simply the system of free enterprise, where individuals control trade and industry. We don’t share our income. No one has ever came and just given me some share of their profits unless they lived with me. You aren’t socialist or communist are you… well… what’s the fuss.

We live in a capitalist society. You have to think like a capitalist if you want to effect change in a nation built upon the backs of other humans for the sake of capitalism. It’s a mindset many Black Americans simply don’t understand and frankly are uncomfortable with, and that is where we are complicit in our own oppression. Yes, I said it. Racism is a systematic system of oppression that the privileged use to disenfranchise people because of their race in order to strengthen their own privilege financially, socially, and politically. They are able to effectuate this system with wealth.

2. Negotiation And Social Justice

A revolution, or change of power structures, can be done one or two ways, fighting or negotiating. We can either break the doors down or get invited in. A very large majority of the people on the low end of the power continuum believe that working within that system makes you a sellout. However anyone who resides anywhere on the outskirts of that world knows that one foot inside of it brings resources, tools, opportunity that can change lives. Within that world lives justice, financial freedom, opportunity, health, wealth, and most importantly freedom. Freedom ain’t free. Unless we are prepared to fight, and 90% of the powerful are ready to go to war for that power-hence the influence of the NRA, we must play within the confines of the system we inherited until we have the wealth and power to change it!

Imma need y’all to know your history.

Black oppression has never ended by violence. It’s never stopped because we protested. It’s never ended because we spoke out. It’s those moves combined with the greatest human tool of settling conflict, that has only ever changed anything… negotiation.

Nelson Mandela was imprisoned by the system that created apartheid. When he was released from prison he negotiated with that very system to end it. The white system of oppression was hurting because internationally they were sanctioned and condemned for their treatment of the black majority. They yielded political power to the Black liberation movements in exchange for economic privilege. Negotiation.

Dapper Dan x Gucci. One is an Italian fashion house, as are Dolce & Gabanna, Prada, etc. These brands have used racist American imagery in their designs, but as international brands they have to be committed to understanding the cultures that buy their clothes. The other is an urban fashion ICON. So after helping put Dapper Dan out of business in the 80s, Gucci used one of his exact designs on their runway. Instead of going to battle with the fashion house, he agreed to work with them after tons of backlash came from the Black and hip hop community. Now something Gucci and other major brands have been pilfering for years, has become something they have to share with its Black originator. That has led to other Black urban designers like Virgil Abloh, learning first hand how to build longevity in luxury fashion… something rare in the Black fashion experience. Negotiation.

Ultimately we want to all be respected. We fight for justice, whether it’s criminal justice or social justice, we want to be regarded as a person and as a people as positively as anyone else for our traditions, values, thoughts, actions, and intentions. We want to receive the same level of high esteem as others are awarded simply because they look a certain way, have a certain ancestry, gender, age, sexual preference. Unfortunately we live in a nation that doesn’t offer respect to those of us who don’t fit the model of privilege.

So, we have to do it a different way.

Money, Power, and Respect

To get to our destination, as Scarface said it best, “First you get the money, then you get the power…”

Wealth, whether we choose to believe it or not, gets you access… and access gets you in front of the people you want to influence to show them exactly how much power your name, reputation, brand yields. There aren’t a limited number of seats… these people control who they let sit in the round. When you have power, especially that can influence their bottom line, seats get pulled up to the table. The opportunities flow at that point. There are unlimited chairs, but limited opportunities.

4. The NFL and Race

The NFL has the most racially mismatched employee to exec ratio in any industry, 70% or so of the players are Black. Less than 15 Black execs and no Black owners.

Don’t attempt to make Jay the scapegoat for the NFL and it’s owners’ bullshit. They run an organization that was built upon racist ideology. Offer the opportunity for young Black men to make millions of dollars, so the owners can make billions, in exchange for their bodies, ignore the wear and tear on their Black bodies (remember 70% of the league is Black), dismiss studies done on how football damages the brain, limit hire and play of Black quarterbacks, fail to hire Black executives, attempt to control Black players by threatening their jobs due to peaceful protests. That’s not new, it’s institutionalized.

As a community we have prepared our sons for careers with this organization that cares nothing about them. We have bought the jerseys, season tickets, NFL pass to watch our community’s children make, if we go based on salary being a function of profit and our position in securing that profit, pennies on the dollar. We have watched them be fined for celebrating, relegated to the positions that leave them the most harmed physically and mentally. We must look at ourselves too. Surely we knew this organization had its share of racial issues prior to Kaepernick’s protests, but for the love of football …

3. Kaepernick & Jay

So Jay-Z did a thing. He made a deal with the NFL. It’s been said he is a sellout, that he basically shit on Colin Kaepernick, that his deal is strictly financial and has no social justice aspect… therefore Jay used Kap in order to create a means by which the NFL would see him as a necessary ally.

But let’s not be so simplistic in our thinking.

In a nutshell, Colin Kaepernick knelt during the anthem to bring awareness to police brutality, specifically murders of young Black men with no repercussions. The NFL and team owners didn’t like the protests, but Kaepernick left the 49ers for better. He didn’t get better. The fallout from the protests resulted in him not being hired. Through arbitration (read:negotiation) he got a settlement for collusion on behalf of the NFL and its owners. We don’t know the terms of that settlement, but I’m willing to bet a job with the NFL wasn’t an option. Colin sacrificed his job for something he believed in.

 “There are a lot of people that don’t want to have this conversation. They are scared they might lose their jobs or they might not get endorsements and they might not be treated the same way. Those are things I’m prepared to handle.” – Colin Kaepernick

America is racist. America in 2016 elected its most racially divisive President in modern history, of whom many NFL executives supported financially and politically. America is controlled by big business. It can’t be any surprise to you that a Black man that they employ, who stands up against their ideology, will not work for them again. When you juxtapose this to the 2014 Hands Up protests by the St. Louis Rams after Michael Browns murder and Marshawn Lynch sitting on the bench during the anthem his entire NFL career, its clear the timing of Kaepernick’s protest as well as its visibility created the adversity with the league.

Jay-Z didn’t have anything to do with that. So stop.

But this is what’s real:

A. Jay is a billionaire, he doesn’t need to make deals that will harm his brand or tarnish his image. He can make deals because he simply believes in them…whether the rest of us do or not.

B. Jay is CLEARLY a proponent of social justice… Roc Nation has backed three documentaries on Khalief Browder, Trayvon Martin, and Robert “Meek Mill” Williams that you have on prison, bond, probation reform and gun reform. He is not Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson loud and rhyming his message to the masses, but he is often in the round. He is a founding member of the Meek Mill inspired Reform Alliance. He has paid the bonds for hundreds of people jailed during the Baltimore protests. One act does not negate that work.

C. About 10-12 million ppl watch the biggest Monday Night Football Games, 98 million watched the 2019 Super Bowl, with over 114 million watching the 2015 Super Bowl. Clearly the Super Bowl is it’s largest attraction each year. There are 327 million people in America, the Super Bowl has viewership that’s 1/3rd of the US population.

You want to influence what brands/companies gain popularity and which one’s that thumb their nose at Black culture do not…you get a piece of those companies you want to promote. The owner of Cristal, a brand shouted out by many rappers, spoke negatively about that affiliation. Jay bought and heavily promoted Armand de Brignac (Ace of Spades) which quickly saw the sales of Cristal decrease. You want to help artists recoup their earnings, lost in the traditional streaming platforms, you buy into and invite them to buy into such a musical platform. Tidal.

Like many of the hustlers on the block, dude is a genius. He understands the financial society we live in… he wrote a whole album about black capitalism. With a signature, dude has just brought the NFL to the table with the culture that many of it’s Black players who were kneeling and who faced repercussions for those actions come from, are bred from, and grew up in.

However, he was NOT obligated financially, morally, socially, or as a man, to get permission from anyone to further his coin and further social justice. He supported Kaepernick and this deal is a manifestation of Kap’s protest.

The Bottom Line

Based on the little that had been divulged about the actual contract, Jay-Z is basically going to control what a very large majority of the viewership tunes in for, at the biggest games the NFL has… the entertainment. I think it’s clear what this is about. He’s not the NFLs pawn… it’s actually quite the opposite. He is a powerful man the NFL realizes that it needs to gain back a part of its base.

“I said no to the Superbowl, you need me, I don’t need you/Every night we in the endzone, tell the NFL we in stadiums too”- Jay-Z from The Carters “Apeshit”

Jay is a icon of hip hop culture, a culture that resides deep within the NFL players cultures, and the customers and fans of the sport. It’s the quintessential money, power, respect move. And recall Roc Nation also is an athletic management company. C’mon people. This is chess not checkers.

I just think we’re often so worried about Black people looking like sellouts, we miss the bigger picture. As a culture, Black people have been enslaved, disenfranchised, lynched, discriminated against, miseducated, imprisoned, and grossly mistreated by American capitalism and the greed it can create. So functioning inside of that system is a source of fear and distrust for many in the Black community. But there is another consideration. 

Nothing… NOTHING… will ever change for a group of people without access, power, and money. Making money is not an almighty sin. Just because it makes money, that doesn’t make it anti-Kap. Just because Kap hasn’t been hired, that doesn’t make this deal anti-Kap. This was never about a job, consider that protesting was about police brutality and not about the anthem or even the NFL. This deal brings what Kap did from the turf to the table. It’s not just about the money, it’s about the motivation.

We’ll never know the full scope of the settlement Kap took. Meanwhile Eric Reid is talking loud yet he gets paid by the NFL, and I bet you won’t see him kneel not another time. We don’t know how much money Jay-Z stands to make, and frankly I don’t think that matters. He used his wealth and power to get access to a league with less than 15 Black executives and no Black owners, and its being said he’ll soon be part owner of a team. Call him what you want. But you gotta shake shit up and agitate the folks at the table to get them to realize that you should always bet on Black! Now…

“Put some respect on my check”

Lessonships

I loved the Wonder Years…

One of the things I loved most about it was the theme song. I’m a tv theme song junkie… ask me to “sing” one, I probably know it. Anyhow, if went something like…

“what would you do if I sang out of tune? Would you stand up and walk out on me? Lend me your ears and I’ll sing you a song. I will try not to sing out of key. I get by with a little help from my friends…”-Joe Crocker (The Beatles), With a Little Help From My Friends

Friendship is a mighty powerful dynamic. It is more powerful, I believe than familial or romantic bonds. For familial bonds that don’t become friendships and romantic bonds that don’t begin as friendship tend to fade away as we get older, or at least get less of our time and our attention.

What is friendship? I believe it’s a bond or commitment between two people who share an affection towards one another to share the ups and downs of life with love, respect, compassion, admiration, care, and concern. I think all of it is necessary… the bond, the affection, the sharing, and the emotion.

It’s “through good times and bad times, I’ll be by your side” but it’s also …

whenever you need me I’m already there
Its gettin’ done hangin’ out the window
Sayin’ WOOO motherfucker UH 
You ride for me I’m a ride for you its only fair!” -Mystikal, How Many

We can be arm in arm and braiding each other’s hair or gully with it… doesn’t matter, again, it takes mutual affection, sharing, emotion, and commitment. That can come in many forms… and it might just be me hanging out the window ready to ride!

But all friendships don’t last.

Or were those really friendships at all.

I’ve been friends with folks since kindergarten, the second grade, the ninth grade, college, and made new friends just this year. I’m not friendly, but I take my friendships seriously. I honor code, I’m down to ride, I got your back, I’ll watch your kids, I’ll get on a plane, whatever is required. I have rarely lost a friend. Lost contact temporarily perhaps, fallen out with them and had to get back right, but lost… I can count on one hand and still not use all my fingers. Cuz generally, if you sing out of tune I’m gonna get up and sing with your ass.

However, there is one type of person (there are multiple but only one that fits this topic) I cannot do… Quitters. She and I cannot be and will never be friends despite what was, there is no making up… that’s a character trait that isn’t going away, and I’m uninterested and unavailable. I can forgive a dishonest moment. I can forgive a weak moment. I can forgive foolishness. But I can’t forgive what or who you are, I have to accept it. And if what you are is a quitter, I accept it, just can’t fuck wit it.

A quitter in friendship is usually supremely self-righteous. A self-righteous person is so narrow minded they think they are always right or believe they are morally superior, and will exit stage left in order to maintain that fallacy as fact. You can have that shit.

“No hard feelings…

I once had an argument with Righteous Ramona who expected me to act a certain way to appease her, and I refused. I should be accepted as is , just as I accepted her. Ramona then accused me of being selfish because I wouldn’t bend to her whim. Cuz that’s what “real” friends do… they change to be what you need. INCORRECT!!!! Now I can be selfish, but with her I had NEVER been, in fact I was more than giving and accommodating and open with her than most. She showed up at my home unannounced and wasn’t on fire, and I let her in and didn’t curse her out. She asked to borrow money that she never paid back, and I just decided that it was a gift. C’mon fam… case closed. She stood so solidly on that shaky AF premise, she was willing to die alone on that hill and not continue the climb. Well I’m on a hike not a one way trip, so stay there.

…I wish you well!

I had another “friend”, Moral Mildred, who was what I like to call a convenient moralist. When you sing Freak Like Me by Adina Howard one day and the next only associate with the mass choirthat’s some Christian holy haberdashery that I want no part of. My God loves and accepts us all… hers clearly doesn’t. I heard her sermon loud and clear… I received that message. So more power to Milly, I hope her faith remains fortified, her ridiculousness doesn’t rob her, and she gets her moral rocks off hard on every block. But as for me and mine, we shall dwell in the house of be who tf you are. I’ll leave you to deal with judgements on your judgement day… a jury I surely won’t be apart of. Let the church say…

No hard feelings…

But were those really friendships at all? I don’t really have the answer to that. But I do know this… friends are God’s gift to you to pick who you do life with. We get the family we get, but we select our friends. They are a blessing. We must treat them as such. I also know that because we select them, we can unselect them as well. As we grow and change and become more of who we really are, we may just realize that those people we thought were our friends were just lessons.

…I wish you well!”-Zo, Wishing You Well

As for me and my friends… we sing along and hang out the window! Can’t stop… won’t stop!