The Norm

Say it with me…


Every episode of Cheers, Norm walked in and was greeted by the gang. It’s what he did everyday, come to the bar to have a beer and shoot the shit. Norm would hate COVID!

The thing about COVID is that the best way to move past the emotional and social difficulties it causes, sitting at home during the summer, school closings, no bars or restaurants, limited gatherings, no graduations or proms, and a lack of rubbing alcohol… of ALL things rubbing alcohol, is to get used to the premise that there will no longer be a norm as we knew it. A new normal will the established, as the transmission rates and death toll this virus has claimed has barred Americans from traveling to most countries in the world, closed businesses for good, and left a nation of millions wondering where we go from here. Well I can tell you what, it won’t look like anything we’ve seen since Europeans arrived to the “New World”… This my friends is the real New World without the pillaging and stealing and lies. The only Christopher we acknowledge is Wallace.

“It’s unbelievable…”

As of today the most similar pandemic to COVID is the Spanish flu which was a deadly strain of influenza. It killed over 20-50 million globally and over 600,000 in the US from 1918-1919. Businesses shut down, schools closed, people were asked to stay home, the government issued living and food subsidies, folks had to wear masks and limit gatherings. No vaccine was ever found but eventually through death or immunity the spread stopped in 1919. Strict adherence to guidelines helped mitigate more transmission and death. I’ll repeat STRICT adherence to guidelines helped mitigate transmissions. But we are hardheaded and wanna complain about masks… MJ wore a mask just walking down the street, you can too! Certainly you don’t think you are better than the King of Pop! But whatever…

So as we enter what I think will be the second wave, we need to start wrapping our pretty little heads around this if we want a birthday party in 2021. And as much as I love leggings, I got dresses that require mimosas, girlfriends, and fancy brioche French toast. So we have to start envisioning what changes might be forever factors. Like tuberculosis outbreaks changed the way we interact… personal space became a real issue and germaphobes were born… this will change how we go about the world.

Sure, restaurants will reopen, but likely with stricter requirements for cleaning, especially things like flatware and glassware that people reuse. Kids will go back to school, but perhaps with some online requirements, smaller classes, shorter days over time to allow for proper disinfecting and just less time spent in crowded rooms. Many jobs will become primarily work from home, which was something that was already happening, and likely the easiest transition we faced during COVID. More on that in a sec. Places may install hand sanitizing or hand washing stations. Some people with certain immunodeficiencies will wear masks and other protective gear when they leave the home. People will utilize food and grocery delivery much more often, so much so the milk and vegetable trucks of old may resurface. People will limit their physical interaction and proximity to strangers.

On a larger scale I think some really very complex changes will happen.

1. America’s position globally will look much different, as we have the highest cases and likely the worse policy on how to mitigate this pandemic. We are banned from most countries y’all… Americans!!! That’s wild AF!

2. In terms of national security, doctors, researchers, teachers, front lines workers will join the ranks of military and elected officials as imperative to our safety as a nation… and hopefully ensure all are paid a wage commensurate with their job responsibilities.

3. An increase in community versus individualism, as this pandemic literally puts all of us at the mercy of the people we share space with… neighbors, co-workers, teachers, etc.

4. Heightened respect for education and experience. Two words: Dr. Fauci. Google has made everyone an armchair expert. Nope and more nope. While Fauci hasn’t been perfect under the pressure of the administration, his expertise had highlighted how important it is to receive specialized information from specialized sources. Leave the politics to the politicians… and that’s it.

5. A huge change in how we use digital and online platforms. As we have meetings and parties in Zoom, online seminars and classes, CGI based fashion shows, Instagram concerts, telehealth doctors appointments, etc. increased access to the internet will be needed as there will surely be increased usage. I believe the way our digital lives will change will be the greatest impact of COVID. It will change how we stay healthy, communicate, work, socialize, party, share information, and share our lives.

6. Less differentiation between home and work life. As we work more from home, work hours mesh with home and family time. On average people teleworking work longer hours and later into the day. This lack of boundaries between home and work life will need to be managed to ensure we are giving as much time and energy to our families as our coworkers.

7. Lastly I don’t think government will ever be the same. The need for some universally provided healthcare is at an all time high, including mandates about pharmaceuticals and companies that research and create testing. The unequal availability of testing was one huge failure and to ensure these issues never happen again, some Central agency will need to coordinate such activities moving forward. Additionally, with the need for big government we’ll likely see a lot of economic changes in the horizon to ensure people are financially able to afford the basic necessities and become productive in the economy. These changes will likely be met without much dissension as surely overtime a new trust in government will come as these necessary changes take place.

Not worse, just different.

And you’ll establish a new set of physical and social patterns, and yes… clink glasses again with the brunch ladies or the game time fellas… your new norm!

“All we wanna know is where the party at?”

How do you spell relief…

Y’all remember that commercial!?

Well this ain’t about heartburn. But it fits.

A little bit about me before I get into it, I am pretty straight forward, no nonsense, ignorance and mess averse. I grew up in a house where you were encouraged to say what you felt with respect of course. I had a hard nosed Grandmother who said WHATEVER was on her mind and didn’t care about your feelings or if you took offense. If you had a Betty Lou, you know you learn very quickly how to not only respond to foolishness but stand up in your own imperfection and own it. I often wondered what her deal really was… I recall my Aunt, her sister, telling me once “Your Grandmother needs a psychiatrist. Never forget that or let her forget it.”

I later learned exactly what that meant. At the time I thought it was funny, but as I got older she was basically telling me that I wasn’t personally responsible for managing my Grandmother’s emotions and insecurities and nor did I have to act like they were not there or like she wasn’t in need of a long sit down in the couch of her choice. Seeking mental therapy was normalized for me in that moment. I remember hearing my mom and even my Grandfather saying things that let me know Nana was not to be allowed to infect us with her unhealed trauma… whatever trauma it was.

So I got with Nana!

I’m about to get with you!

Earlier this year my closest, dearest, and bestest friend got really ill after contracting COVID-19. She was put into an induced coma, intubated, and spent two weeks in the hospital. When she was released home, she spent a very long time inside of the house and clearly afraid to go outside. The virus and it’s affects on her had left her with an acute case of PTSD that she couldn’t seem to shake, even a few months after being home. We were talking at least once a day… and each conversation her outlook on her physical healing got more gloomy and added another day in the house at the beginning of summer. So like I do, I said to her, ” Hey you might wanna talk to someone because your body and your emotions are traumatized and neither will get better if you don’t move around and start to reestablishing your daily patterns.” I let her know I understood that she’d feel different… your body IS different! But she was still in charge of her own healing… she could talk out ways to integrate some necessary changes into her life to establish a new baseline. She said something like… yeah I know. But soon after she told me she had started therapy, and next thing I knew she was at a social distance, outside event, mask on, but healing in every way. To that I say… Bravo!!!!

Normalizing therapy is important!

Life is a series of experiences… lessons and learning opportunities. Some are like Hamilton, you get schooled while folks rap and dance in costume. Others are like Saw, you get tortured in the process, but if you make it through, you can survive anything. You don’t get to choose how you learn. I believe it depends on the severity of your lack and importance of the knowledge… the path to enlightenment is paved in karma and curses you gotta learn to hurdle over. Jackie Joyner-Kersee them jokers!

But these are not unique to you. Sure your particular set of experiences and how they manifested in your life are uniquely yours, but be clear… people get cheated on, abused both emotionally and otherwise, stolen from, tricked, played, hurt, manipulated, lied to, lied on, misunderstood, and mistreated daily. That isn’t your fault, that’s based on the mental illness of the perpetrator. But you are responsible for how you handle those experiences and whether you choose to heal from them. That is totally on you. You can’t ignore it, push it aside, joke your way through it, or put a mask on it and call it something else… because it will find it’s way back, it will deposit itself on your skin, in your pores, in your heart, in your liver. It’s that starvation, insecurity, overindulgence, inappropriate behavior, nonproductive overexertion, lack of discernment, and fake shit. It will leak out from any orifice. It will infiltrate every good thing and rot it until it stinks like that old meat Langston reminded us about. It will pool around you until you drown in it… unless you save yourself from it. It is trauma. It’s worse than the most aggressive cancer or the most vile killer. That shit there is toxic and you gotta fix it. Or it will fix you.

Trauma is like quicksand. You knew the ground had gotten softer but you didn’t walk around it, and it sucked you in. Eventually it started to fill your nose, airway, and eyes with sand.., your last vision, feeling, thought, sound stuck at that last moment your eyes witnessed. You reach out your hand, but you’ll just pull them in too. No one wants to go there who doesn’t have the tools to pull you out from stable ground. But it’s possible to save yourself. It requires you to put on your big girl panties or your big boy draws, pull em up, and DO YOUR WORK … c’mon Auntie Iyanla told y’all. And in the process you must seek help from people who know how to help you help yourself. Most of the people around you simply aren’t equipped to manage your emotions. It’s not their job or responsibility.

In all seriousness, I leave you with this, My favorite book is The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo and he always has the most sage advice. He once posted on Twitter, “To heal a wound you must stop scratching it.” Anyone who has healed knows exactly what you must do… change your thoughts. We focus on what is and has been wrong, keep peeking under the band aid, scratching at the scab, to just reopen the wound. Instead you have to DECIDE to do what is necessary to let it heal. For a physical wound it’s usually to leave it alone. For an emotional one it’s to bust it wide open, scoop out the bad insides, look at them, trash them, and concentrate on the present. Most times, to do that well, we need some help. Therapy comes in many forms. If couches ain’t for you, get some spiritual healing. If that ain’t your bag, try some crystals, reiki, whatever you need to do in order to learn the lessons, heed the word, and exist in a state of vainglorious.

You’ll be alright, just get yourself together and get some T-H-E-R-A-P-Y!

Real Friends

Friends… how many of us have them?

-Whodini “Friends”

This past Monday, Kanye West tweeted his mania and on Sunday he displayed it for everyone to see… moments of intense emotion, yelling, wild and disorganized thought, and then moments of just staring blankly while being spoken to during his rally in SC. I’ve seen people joke about it, and there is nothing remotely funny. I’ve also seen people mistake questions about his wife’s protection of him with calls for her to control him. Protection does not equal control.

No one is blaming Kim Kardashian for Kanye’s mental illness. He is responsible for seeking and following his treatment. However, to characterize questions about his wife’s whereabouts during his recent episodes as misogynistic… that’s a big nope. Her entire family has became more famous because he is present and such a polarizing figure. They crave the media and the media craves him. Match made in heaven. Today Kim Kardashian put out a statement asking for grace for Kanye and his loved ones living with his disorder… herself included. She too led with the premise that he cannot be forced to seek medical treatment. And while I understand that premise, that’s neither lost on me or some new information to me, it doesn’t negate her absence as his spouse. She has previously downplayed his disorder, tweeting “your commentary on Kanye being erratic & his tweets being disturbing is actually scary. So quick to label him as having mental health issues for just being himself.” His disorder is not a media ploy or a media toy. And it’s real AF!

Control and protection are two very different things. No adult is responsible for controlling another’s actions. But when I put myself in relationship with someone else, I should be expected to take on some responsibility to protect them, from others and themselves if necessary. There is NO way my dude’s episode of mania would be broadcast live… first, how he get outta the house to go do that shit, but beyond that everybody gotta get out! I’m buying all the cameras and the footage, fade to black, NOT on my watch. As wild and reckless as Kanye’s mouth is, he is still clearly suffering and in need of protection. Sadly his circle of protection is worthless.

To love someone is to provide the safest place possible for them in your presence.

A short story: Many moons ago, I was once in a relationship with a horrible person. I was living in Oklahoma, a few months before law school started, with him. He got worse when I got further away from my family and friends. I had shared some of behavior with my three closest friends. That very Friday, I got a call after work to pack a bag and come to a hotel by the airport, I thought, oh goody a surprise trip. The three of them lived in Detroit. One had a two month old. They were in Oklahoma, the weekend of my call, just RANDOM! It wasn’t a surprise vacation, it was a true labor of love. They basically told me I could come back with them or not but they had to show up… to let him know they could show up at any time. That’s protection. I only stayed long enough to sell everything including the bed and leave him in an empty apartment… I even gave away the food.

Dave Chappelle showed up to support Kanye in that way… he just showed up in the flesh. Sometimes a text or FaceTime don’t cut it. That kind of support is necessary when you aren’t sure of how to help yourself. He didn’t come to force him to do anything, but to stand in the gap. And the gaps are huge for Ye. Big King Kong gaps. Kanye’s family by marriage, his only family to speak of, was nowhere to be found during this moment that he became unhinged on camera. Yet they are at Sunday Service in the flesh. They are at the award shows in the flesh. He’s on their show. They are at the fashion shows. So they know how to be present when it matters to them. But they aren’t his real friends. He was having a whole presidential rally with a bad mic and no agenda or platform to speak of, DOLO! I’m not suggesting they force him to take meds or any such thing… Just protect him, in the flesh. That’s all.

Protection is not control, be clear. It is guarding, defending, and honoring. It is letting someone talking shit about your folks know that in your presence, that doesn’t fly. It’s keeping information that other people don’t need to know under wraps so your people aren’t charged with managing other folks emotions. Just like Kool and the Gang would have pulled the amp plug the first sign of water on the Titanic, everything is cancelled if my spouse is coming unhinged on something being nationally broadcast, forever archived to see. It’s buying all their masters as a gift. It’s the opposite of control, it’s freedom. When they aren’t able to control themselves or the narrative in a moment, it stands time still to allow them time to rewrite the script.

I blog about Kanye a lot. I am a fan and also I am concerned. Black Minds Matter. He is a musical genius fading into a meme and social media fodder because he lacks real support and protection. I’m not a Kardashian fan, but I believe her statement was typical of the type she makes to maintain her image, as genuine as she can likely be. I also believe the whole lot of them are bloodsuckers and you cannot tell me that they don’t prey on famous Black men and aid in the destruction of their character in the media, because they do. So they don’t know how to protect. Their own mother pimped her daughters sex tape into an 18 season show. She’s good… but not at protecting. He was doomed from the start of this episode.

Kanye has likely been bipolar…but the old Kanye had protection and support. The new Kanye is bipolar, off his meds, and on his own.

And that’s my opinion on that!

How many of us are real friends?

To real friends, to the real end

‘Til the wheels fall off, ’til the wheels don’t spin

To 3 A.M., callin’

How many real friends?

-Kanye West “Real Friends”

Roll of Thunder

Most things I write I think about and plan… not today.

There is a thunderstorm outside, and I’m sitting by the window and it’s silent in the room. No tv, no music, no people, no disturbance. I recalled last night I had a dream and I was in a boat. A rowboat. There were several other people rowing their little hearts out around me, and suddenly the man next to me fell in. Someone yelled to me to help him… and I said “No.” They remarked that I had on a vest, and I should help him, and I responded, “No.” No one else was jumping in, including the man yelling demands at me. I didn’t tell him that I couldn’t swim or even that I was sure this man was a horrible person… I was at peace with my decision to stay in my rowboat. Suddenly, the man popped up out of the water and swam to shore. At the same time, all of these items also surfaced.

“Hey that’s my wallet,” said one lady. “Oh my goodness, that’s my missing room key, ” said another lady. “That’s my watch… well it was,” said one of the guys.

As things surfaced people claimed them, and I looked at the man laying on the shore. Everyone else looked his way. He then let out a loud shrill yell and hollered for help. Once someone rowed to shore, he was just laying there, a scorpion on his face. It got dark suddenly, and this shined bright in the sky.

The Scorpio constellation.

I woke up.

We are constantly reminded about who we are, and how the traits were given to us come together to form a whole human and set of experiences. We are all teachers. We are all students. I have a certain set of gifts that I’m supposed to share and so do you. I happen to believe we often feel like someone wrote our horoscopes like they know us or are secretly watching our lives because we are connected to the whole universe. The way the moons, stars, and galaxy aligned when we were born makes us who we are just as much as our DNA.

I am a Scorpio. A textbook Scorpio. I’m super determined and ambitious. I plan out everything, set a timeline, and get to it. I am loyal, sometimes to my own detriment. I generally say exactly what I mean. I stand up for what is right and take responsibility for my shit. If you want to be around me you must do the same. I’m protective of my space, peace, and energy. I can’t stand ignorance or bullshit. I am an investigator… super sleuth level. I just need a piece of hair and a recent photo. (I’m kidding…) And I’m NEVER wrong about people… ever! If I tell you they ain’t shit… bank on finding that out for yourself later. If you are good, I see it. If you are full of shit, I smell it. I hold grudges. I don’t fight fair. I often have analysis paralysis. I’m not friendly. Injurious criticism hurts my feelings, a lot, if I feel like you should know me well enough to come at me better. I’m super sensitive about some stuff and most other things I could care less about.

When you are aware of and unapologetic about who you are, truly, other people’s opinions of you don’t matter and you are freer to be exactly who you are meant to be without concern about what people will think or say. When you are sure about yourself, you in turn are sure about the decisions you make, who you share your space and time with, and your value and worth. There is only one you… only one person who was born on the day and time of your birth, to your parents, who looks like you, acts like you, and is your special combination of traits, genes, experiences, and thoughts. Fine not because other people attest to it, but because you are. Strong and smart not because they says so, but because it is so. You are ALSO clear about your flaws… you don’t make excuses for them or your behavior, but admit to them and at least attempt to be better. People can be honest with you, and you can hear them without needing to defend yourself. It’s either helpful or to be discarded. It’s a level of respect for self that doesn’t need outside validation or condemnation …

You have to demand respect in this world, ain’t nobody just gonna hand it to you. How you carry yourself, what you stand for–that’s how you gain respect. But…ain’t nobody’s respect worth more than your own.

Mildred Taylor, Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry

If you pay attention, the universe and everything in it will come together to remind you and assure you that when you are being unapologetically you, the world around you cooperates. Nature will match your energy. People who are good for you will venture near, and everyone else will fall off. The things you need and want will be appear in your hands like magic. Likewise when you attempt to conform to what you think people want you to be… more disharmony will follow. People don’t respond to the disingenuous, they either retreat from it or attack it. Good won’t come to you because you won’t be receptive to it… you can’t even see the good in yourself. You have to decide to fix whatever it is that leads you towards that disrespect of self… or make excuses for it and blame others until you find yourself alone. Not just minus company but minus the magic. What makes you… you!

Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive…who is you-er than you! Shout loud, “I am lucky to be what I am! Thank goodness I’m not just a clam or a ham or a dusty old jar of sour gooseberry jam! I am what I am!

-Dr Seuss

The thunder has stopped. It’s still quiet. I think I’ll break the silence by listening to ratchet ass trap music while I clean up the house and drink this horrible detoxing tea. It’s Sunday, y’all probably listen to Fred Hammond on Sunday. Doesn’t Two Chainz wear a Jesus Piece? Anyway, you be you, imma be me!

(Artwork by Lauryn Blanks, student at Cranbrook Girls Middle School and amazing daughter to one of my amazing friends.)

The Purple, People Eaters

I need a minute…just a minute of your time.

I am for and about the liberation of Black people from oppression. In order to understand that oppression, we have to call out discriminatory, racist, oppressive, supremacist, and privileged power systems that both created and continue to thwart that liberation.

Taking “whitening” off of toothpaste has NOT A THING to do with that. Nothing.

But if I have WATCHED, WITNESSED, and/or EXPERIENCED someone, maybe a group of someone’s taking advantage of what whiteness allows in America, and it negatively impacts and oppressed me, I have EVERY right to call it out. EVERY.

Picture it…

We live in the nation of Monsterica and in Monsterica, purple people are the most successful because they have a history of eating blue people, (who they forced to help them build the nation) whole or their parts, killing them off or handicapping them. It’s technically against the law now, but they still benefit from the headless, armless, legless blue folks whose families and communities suffered because of their handicap. Typically tall purple men were the ones that ate the blues, but over time short purple people ate a few blue people and used purple cannibalistic power over blue people to succeed like the talls. The blue people revolted. In calling out the tall purples they also called out the short purples. In short 🤣, if a short purple man feeds on me for his comeuppance in the way of the purple people, it’s not his height but his assimilation into purpledom that has put me in chains. Once I’m freed from those chains, expect me to admonish EVERY purple person, tall or short, who shackled me and my people. You decided to ignore your short teachings and take advantage of being purple. So sit in that purpleness… you earned it right!

“He was blowing it out, really knockin’ em dead; Playin’ rock and roll music through the horn in his head”-Sheb Wooley , The Purple People Eater

I get to call out my oppressors. I get to call them out by name. When I call out white supremacists, understand that’s not all White people but it includes any White person who wants my freedom stifled for his success. That’s tall, short, Christian, Protestant, rich, poor, blue eyed or green eyed. Everybody. Period. And like the talls, the shorts have a story, and in order to educate my people on our history of oppression, those stories need to be told. That’s education. It’s not hate speech if it’s truth speech. It’s hate speech to say Black people are inferior, less intelligent, over sexualized, thugs. It’s hate speech to say Jewish people are greedy, manipulative, crooked, and sneaky. It is not hate speech to say that a disproportionate number of Black people live in poverty or that a disproportionate number of Jewish people are media and entertainment executives, owners, and decision makers. It’s factual. It’s also not anti-Semitism… a phrase that is in and of itself ensconced in White privilege… to say that Black people have suffered at the hands of White people and Jewish business owners. It’s factual. Google it, or scroll down to yesterday’s blog. The education is there if you want it.

But this is also true… I can mistakenly and without malice say something in a generalized manner that is hurtful to a group of people, because it doesn’t apply to that entire group. If I say, “White people are racist”, that is wrong and I’d expect non-racist White people to expect me to retract and apologize because I was wrong. But if I say, “My experience has been that some White people are racist…” or “White supremacists are racist”, that is my truth and the truth, and I don’t have to and should never be asked to retract or apologize for truth. But if I’m wrong, and I apologize, that doesn’t mean I take back everything I said but it means I’m apologetic for condemning a group for the actions of the few and I’m sorry for hurting the people that don’t fall into that few. I’m not a sell-out, I’m an adult. And if I apologize for my bag, it’s my bag… how much is in yours!?

Guilty people don’t get to feign hurt and innocence when called out on their shit. Adults who hurt innocent people should apologize. We all need to show empathy and compassion. And oppressed people, in order to be liberated from it, MUST understand it and educate the masses about it, it’s how we pay for our freedom, cuz it ain’t free. The oppressors won’t like it tho… and when they can no longer eat you, they will just steal from you. Yep… take all yo shit!

“Never let the same dog bite you twice!”

-Chuck Berry

So don’t be afraid to call it a one eyed, one horned, purple, people eater… if that is WTF it is! Truth is like water, it takes the shape of whatever it enters, and surrounds and drowns whatever refuses it! The elected President, the state sanctioned police, their white supremacist electors and supporters, have caused what has amounted to an uprising in this country against racist and discriminatory acts, laws, policies, crimes, socially accepted images and institutions, and speech… written or spoken. It has focused on Black people who have been the victims of the most direct and continuous of these actions. But like thieves do, All Lives Matter is a tone deaf and privileged recharacterization of the real motives of Black Lives Matter (BLM). It’s a distraction to keep us oppressed. Black people don’t control any systems of power, so there is no racism inherent in BLM or any discussion of our liberation. The guilty will call it whatever they need in order to stifle it.

Power in defense of freedom is greater than power in behalf of tyranny and oppression.”

-Malcom X

Industry Rule #4080

Stereotypes be like…

Black people are lazy, stupid, overly sexual, uncivilized, aggressive, domestic, loud, lewd, brutish, ape-like, eat fried chicken and watermelon, have wild unruly hair, large facial features, and are made to serve White people while seeking approval from White people.

Jewish people are greedy, crooked, overly powerful, frugal, loud, overbearing mothers, pushy, unattractive, neurotic, manipulative, with wild curly hair, big aquiline noses, and too big suits, eating bagels.

Might some of those things be true of one or two Black or Jewish people? Of course. I’m Black and I keep a watermelon in the fridge. Might many of these things be unfair and discriminatory depictions of all Black or Jewish people. You bet. What is the difference between an unfair and discriminatory stereotype about ALL people in a group and a fair cultural observation of group behavior? I would say the difference is hard to tell!

Nick Cannon, media mogul, was fired by ViacomCBS for making what were deemed anti-Semitic comments in his podcast, Cannon’s Class while interviewing former Public Enemy member Professor Griff last year. Griff left the group after making comments about Jewish people being wicked. During the podcast, the two spoke about the origin of Hebrew people, Griff’s comments, common stereotypes of Jewish people, and the history of Jewish people in American business. The follow comments by Cannon were found to be be be anti-Semitic in nature:

1. Cannon stated Black people are Hebrews and therefore cannot be anti-Semitic.

2. He compared the dominance of Jewish people in the media and entertainment as comparable to the Rothschild’s in banking. The Rothschilds have been accused of creating natural disasters, assassinating Lincoln and Kennedy, and controlling the global economy.

3. He commented it was a shame Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, a powerful and positive leader, had been silenced in Facebook. Farrakhan has been labeled by both the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center as anti-Semitic and anti-gay.

4. Cannon stated people without melanin were lesser people, motivated by fear and insecurity, and used power and manipulation to overcome their deficiencies to those people with melanin, particularly Black people.

I won’t bother with the last two statements. Having something positive to say about a person who has made negative comments against Jewish and gay people does not equate with being against Jews or gay people. I’m not a big Farrakhan fan but I have watched a diatribe or two of his and liked THAT particular message. I am neither anti-Jewish nor anti-gay. I also disagree with censorship. If the President can call Mexicans rapists and the white supremacists can call Black people everything from monkeys to niggers without so much as a slap on the wrist, Farrakhan has the right to free speech as well. Also, while I wholeheartedly disagree any group of people is inferior to another, I do agree that fear and insecurity, along with lack of knowledge and a desire to maintain “have” status over the “have nots” motivates racist behavior and systems of policy against Black people. That’s not a Jewish people thing, that’s a White supremacist and privilege thing.

We are in an interesting time. People get fired from their jobs because of tweets and retweets. Black Twitter calls for the firing of racist White supremacists who are caught on social media or on video making discriminatory comments and exhibiting racist behavior. Yet White people who make fake police reports on Black people walking their dog or grocery shopping are left alone until we take to social media to demand action. Similarly, murders of Black people on videotape go free for months unarrested. Yet Black people who make discriminatory statements are fined or fired real quick, and the words whitening is being taken off toothpaste.

Last week, Philadelphia Eagle DeSean Jackson was fined by the team for posting a fake Hitler quote referencing the greed of Jews and labeling Black people at the true Israelites. He further praised Farrakhan as well. When Nick Cannon’s almost year old podcast was made known to ViacomCBS they immediately fired him. At a time when police officers who murder unarmed Black people often go weeks or months before they are suspended or arrested, this swift action by ViacomCBS, a Jewish owned company, points to a level of hypocrisy in the entertainment industry that insulates Jewish people from backlash it only recently had afforded to Black people.

Here’s the truth. Semites are a group of people who came from regions where Semite languages were spoken, including the Middle East, Western Asia, North Africa, and the Horn of Africa. Arabic, Amharic (an afroasiactic language in Ethiopia), Hebrew, and Tigrinya (Ethiopian and Eritrean) are the most widely spoken of those languages. The term became synonymous with Israelis over time, who were monotheist, white Semite and non-Semite speakers. However, it was a “term of art” so to speak for anti-Jewish. Using the term Semite to historically reference Jewish people exclusively is both incorrect and like many things in history, steeped in White privilege and absent non-White influence. Semites were Arabic, African, and Israeli. Much of what is labeled anti-Semitism ignores anything that is not against White Jews. However a Black person can make anti-Semitic statements. It’s actually and unfortunately very common.

“You ever wonder why Jewish people own all the property in America? This how they did it.”

Jay-Z “Still Nigga”

The Black/Jewish dichotomy is brewed in real and presumed exploitation and manipulation of Black people by Jewish business men, music and entertainment moguls, and lawyers. It’s a tale as old as time. While we actually share oppression and a history of slavery, the success of Jewish people post WWII in America caused a new set of realities in our community. Jewish people were our landlords, store owners, grocers, and bankers. Then they left our neighborhoods as places to live and they simply became places to make money off of our backs, in the eyes of the Black people. That held true in the entertainment and music industries as well. In 1950, the Chess brothers, Leonard and Philip started Chess Records featuring black blues acts such as Muddy Waters, Etta James, Howlin Wolf, and Little Walter. Most of these artists didn’t receive any royalty payments until MCA acquired these labels and paid out back owed royalties to them and their estates. Very similarly, rap group NWA was famously taken advantage of by its manager Jerry Heller.

“Industry rule number four-thousand-and-eighty;Record company people are shady”

-A Tribe Called Quest, Check the Rhime

Jewish ownership in media is omnipresent. The Ochs Sulzberger family, which controlled the New York Times for more than a century, is of Jewish origin. Jewish-American businessman Eugene Meyer bought the Washington Post in 1933. Sam Zell who owns the Los Angeles Times is also Jewish. Robert Igor runs Disney and Sumner Redstone runs the company that fired Cannon, ViacomCBS. Top executives at Lorimar, Marvel, Warner Brothers, MGM, Spyglass, Columbia, Fox, CBS Sports, Lionsgate, CBS News, 20th Century Fox, ABC, Goldwyn, Imagine, CNN, USA Network, and Bloomberg among others are all Jewish. Similarly in music, popular names like Lyor Cohen, Clive Davis, Hans Zimmer, Barry Weiss, Phil Specter, Rick Rubin, Lou Perlman, David Geffen, and Ron Fair are just a handful of Jewish music execs. So statements that Jewish people run the media, while not totally true, certainly appear that way when a disproportionate percentage of the creative industries executives are Jewish compared with only 2% of the population. If not control, surely influence.

From news stories that highlight the negative pasts of victims of police brutality and police murder as an attempt to justify the act, to the bad contracts and exploitation of Black artists, specifically rappers, to the lack of roles forgoing to Black actors and actresses on TV and in the movies, these executives play a part. From the neighborhood slumlords taking our hundreds to the executives determining our millions, for many creative Black people, there is an unfortunate truth experienced as a result of working with record and media companies, and many of these companies are run by Jewish people. That doesn’t mean all Jewish people are exploitative but certainly these are real experiences of exploitation. Not necessarily a Jewish thing but a money and power thing.

“The grocer was a Jew, and being in debt to him was very much like being in debt to the company store. The butcher was a Jew and, yes, we certainly paid more for bad cuts of meat than other New York citizens, and we very often carried insults home, along with the meat. We bought our clothes from a Jew and, sometimes, our secondhand shoes, and the pawnbroker was a Jew–perhaps we hated him most of all… In the American context, the most ironical thing about Negro anti-Semitism is that the Negro is really condemning the Jew for having become an American white man…”

-James Baldwin, “Negroes Are Anti-Semitic Because They’re Anti-White”, The New York Times, 1967

While I’m in no way agreeing with everything Nick Cannon said, we don’t gain knowledge without understanding facts. Most of what he said, minus his negative commentary and opinions, is based on fact. We know what a Semite is and we can list Jewish executives who own or run media and entertainment conglomerates and give instances of when the dynamics between Jewish executives and Blacks were less than fair. Black people make up a large percentage of the musicians who are taken advantage of by bad contracts created by manipulative record companies and lawyers. Black actors and actresses often bring the box office numbers and awards, when nominated, but can’t demand the same salaries as their White counterparts. These very real realities are decided at many of the companies I listed above. While we have to be careful not to let our cultural observations and experiences become condemnation of an entire group of people, we must also speak truth to power. It truly is no fun when the rabbit got the gun!

As for Nick Cannon, he’s demanded ownership of Wild N’ Out which he created and has been offered programming time on Diddy’s Revolt channel. He’s got a net worth of around $30 million and took in $10 million last year. He is still cashing Drumline checks and owns a management company. Ladies and gentleman, I give you the rabbit!

“Brrrr-rap-pap-pap-pap-pap, it’s a choppa”

King Augustus the Strong

In 1967 Augustus II (Augustus the Strong) became the king of Poland. In the early 1700s, Chinese and Japanese porcelain was a highly sought after commodity, and as a result, Augustus hoarded it. He had over 20,000 pieces in what was called his Porcelain Palace. At one point, he was so obsessed with porcelain he imprisoned an alchemist to find the formula to make it. The young alchemist discovered the formula, allowing Augustus to open a porcelain factory. He considered it one if his greatest accomplishments.

On May 7, 2018, Queen Jada the Healer premiered Red Table Talk, an Internet show where individuals with issues, concerns, and problems could come air and talk them out along with her daughter and her mother. Topics such as addiction, misogyny, relationships, and sex were highlighted in the spirit of healing past experiences and trauma to be able to fully realize one’s ability to overcome their current day concerns. She often served as master healer during these conversations. Most poignantly so during a July 2018 interview with singer August Alsina, who she chronicles helping to overcome his addiction to opiates since 2014. He credited her with being the impetus to his recovery.

A lil backstory: August met the Smiths in 2015. He quickly became close friends with Jada, posting a lot of pics with her and her with him, on social media, sans Will Smith. At that time August was a 22-year old with a history of molestation, addiction in his immediate family, he had already lost one sibling, with no relationship to speak of with his father, and addicted to pain killers. At some point during that time, we now know, he and Jada Pickett-Smith engaged in a romantic relationship while she and husband Will Smith were “separated”. We also know Will and Jada stayed together, and in December of 2018 after the Red Table Talk, his sister died and August broke off the relationship with Jada and ceased all communication. End scene.

So last week he admitted, during a deeply personal and gut wrenching interview, that they had this once secret relationship. The interview and admission seemed cathartic for him, yet still emotionally raw. And immediately after the interview was posted, the innants BLEW UP! Talk about going up on a Tuesday… dude set it OFF! Black Twitter went nuts. And here’s the thing, this type of open marriage between Will and Jada had been hinted at before, this wasn’t shocking but dude had on a two toned suit and pink and orange hair and seemed SHOOK. Some folks took August’s side, understanding his need for healing from what looked like predatory behavior on her part. Other’s took the side of Jada, stating that marriage is hard and for two people to figure out, and if it was consensual and in the nature of Will and Jada’s relationship, August was little more than a snitch.

Then Jada admitted the entire thing… stating several times that being with the young man helped her heal to get back to a good place with Will… and I was all like “Hunh?!?” and “Hunh What?!?!” Will was sitting beside her looking part frustrated and part like he wanted to bust out crying. But mainly what I took from it is this… healing is Jada’s porcelain and August was her alchemist. He was understandably shook, and Jada, well…

…ain’t no such thing as half way crooks.

-Mobb Deep “Shook Ones”



Neon Light…

Stop Light

Listen, just be straight with me, okay. King Augustus has the Royal Scepter in his pants and ole girl just wanted to “feel good”…

… when she was having a hard time in her life. That’s it! That’s all! The End. Full Stop.

We all know marriage is hard, and being with any other person for over 20 years is a series of shifts and changes that are not always nice or pretty or feel good. One doesn’t have to be married or have ever been, to understand that. But one does not get to gaslight another person because you refuse to be accountable for your predatory actions in the name of healing… whatever it is you claim you are healing. That’s not promoting wholeness, it’s selfishness. That’s not a marital shift, it’s a lack of accountability. It’s inflicting more trauma on the traumatized. It’s wrong. It’s especially wrong when you have labeled yourself as and been accepted as a ally in preserving and championing mental health through healing past trauma and toxicity.

You not only a client, you the toxic President.

As for August, he is a victim. She was an old ass married woman with children his age, and she had an open opportunity to try out that monster, so she took it. The problem here is that she was a hound dressed up in a therapist’s clothing. He needed to feel loved, wanted, safe, protected… and in many ways she provided that experience. Then she took advantage of his weakness, cuz make no mistakes, any 22 year old with those kind of scars is still bleeding out profusely. She was never going to pick him, and in such a state as he was in, rejection was the last thing he needed. She had every right to salvage her marriage, but using him to scratch her itch just caused him more pain. She never took any accountability for that.

She is so obsessed with healing that she imprisoned August to find more if it. Sign of a true predator. He was so traumatized, he didn’t even know he was being held captive. Sign of a true victim.

A funny thing about victims… when they release their trauma they often heal. One is a snitch when they tell on someone else. He told on himself. That’s the whole idea of being involved in a love triangle… one person is usually the odd man out, and that person usually blows up the spot. But it’s their spot too! So if you share that married cougar coochie and it goes public, say nothing or tell the truth. No one cares what entanglements you and your dude engage in if that’s how y’all run your show, but understand that if you are being fake AF, that third party might divulge that he might have a King Cobra, but you the real snake.

And when these bustas try to knock you out your place

Hold on, and be strong

You stand there to they face

Tupac, “Hold on be Strong”

The Black on Black Crime Fallacy

A few days ago I was totally impressed by the conversations and dialogue going on about Black life in America.

Today, in my mom’s group on Facebook (started by Raquelle Harris, a Detroit area journalist), we started talking about the fallacy of Black on Black crime that is used to both paint Black people as inherently violent by those who hunt and kill us and still used by Black people who are ignorant about crime statistics and buy into the Black people and neighborhoods as violent trope. As much as I’d like to take full responsibility for my writing, it is experiences such as these that give me something purposeful to share with you all. So let’s get to it…

So first let’s break this bullshit down to its shitty parts.

“IF Black lives really mattered…” Black lives do matter but we know who is responsible for this based on the mere fact that there is a question about a Black life having value. Someone Black invented that light you stop at while driving that warns you first that a stop is coming, to ensure you have time to stop, to save your life. His name was Garrett A. Morgan. Remember his life when your next drive ends with you walking through your front door. Someone Black invented that refrigerator truck that carries blood and organs for transplant that saved your Granpa Joe’s life. His name was Frederick McKinley Jones. Remember him when you need that pint. Someone Black was the first American soldier to die in a US war at the Boston Massacre in 1770 which led to the start of the American Revolution in 1775. He died helping to protect the throngs of White soldiers who regarded him as less than human. Remember him. We matter, there is no IFs about it.

“They’d stop shooting each other”… well we will stop when you stop. How about that! “Most states police forces kill Blacks at a higher rate per capita than Whites” and “in 2019, 24 percent of all police killings were of black Americans when just 13 percent of the U.S. population is black – an 11-point discrepancy. ” The fact that a person TASKED with the job of protecting and serving a community can kill an unarmed Black person 99% of the time with no repercussions is a much greater example of inhumanity than the reasons that are often present when citizens kill one another. Just yesterday I watched Watch Black Market with Michael K. Williams, there’s an episode about carjackings in Newark and these guys are basically saying… I had no food, no place to live, I can’t get hired, my children were hungry… I have to eat, so I don’t want to kill you but if you fight me I will because I’m hungry. Poverty and desperation tend to fuel neighbor v. neighbor killings. Narcissism, fear, power, and privilege tend to fuel unjustifiable police murders of people of color. Hunger and poverty induced madness is far different from state sanctioned killings and directly related to racist policies and actions that just fuel these fires.

“94% of all Blacks are shot by Blacks” … Murder or killing or shooting even is not a crime of race but one of proximity. Most US cities are segregated. After White flight, neighborhoods tend to be homogenous. Crime is typically committed by a perpetrator in the area where he/she lives. According to the FBI in 2013, of the 3,005 White people murdered, 2,509 were killed by White people. Similarly, if the 2,491 Black people killed, 2,245 were killed by other Black people. If we use these statistics, White on White crime happens more than Black on Black crime, so where’s the fake outrage? Stop it… stop promoting this garbage and stop repeating it. Black on Black crime as a justification or argument about Black people being killed, specifically by police, is a non-sequitur. Don’t do it.

We have to keep tearing down these false images. Sending Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben to the Sweet Home Plantation in the sky. Talking about discrepancies in pay versus levels of education between Whites and Blacks. Breaking down these facts and supporting them with data. Figuring out ways to talk to each other and then spreading the knowledge we gain is imperative. Not for them but for us. Black people aren’t responsible for teaching White people about the racism their ancestors created and they still benefit from. But we must educate ourselves so we don’t swallow their misinformation whole.

As for Blackness… there is no shortage of that. we are drippin melanin everywhere! We are the original man, the world is ours. We are where it all started.

Black life.
Black liberation.
Black intellect.
Black business.
Black lives.
Black votes.
Black love.
Black support.
Black men.
Black women.
Black children.
Black success.

And as for a Black on Black… that’s just how we like our couples and ours cars yo!

…all black. All chrome. Black-owned. Black tints. Matte black.

-Beyoncé, Black Parade

Black Maybachs, Black seats, White piping. Remind me of Paul McCartney and Mike fighting. The girl is mine. Life’s a bitch. So the whole world is mine!

-Jay -Z, Maybach Music

Find Raquelle Harris on Rocki’s Reality, her podcast and as a contributor to Rolling Out and This is R&B.

Operation 45

Okay so we are ALL over 2020… thus far. But some things don’t change cuz I’m still…

2020 has been ravaged by plagues. First Popeyes Chicken sammiches sold out in the whole country, they ain’t have no more chicken y’all. Plus they prolly made Black people more susceptible to Covid-19, cuz it probably gave all of us COPD and mesothelioma, or some combination of the worse side effects known to man. Then because they can, cops kept killing us and trying to expose our former Black activists and community service leaders as criminals and whatnot to justify their murderous ways. And we took to the streets, defended our bodies, held our wallets, and screamed out our oppression until we started to feel at least some of the shackles pop at the links. Chicken and cops…

But like God has promised… our suffering shall not endure and joy does come in the morning. I think that morning will come on November 3rd. And on that morning we should wake up, put on our best Black tees, go to polling locations when we must, take selfies and post them to every social media account with our fists up and our Black families in tow. If we voted absentee/mail-in ballot, go light up the grill to fill the hoods and burbs with the smell of charcoal, grilling meat, and Jack Daniels wood chips. We should take the day off of work, not spend one single dollar in the marketplace except with each other, and watch as we dismantle this system of racism, inhumanity, and absurdity that has plagued us for the last four years. That is our next biggest fight. Black tees and blackouts..

Later that month I’ll turn 44. Our greatest legacy in American politics, to date, was the 44th President of the United States. He wasn’t a President for Black people, that was not his job! He was a President for all people… and even as he tried to make sure to honor all lives, Congress and State governments continued to sanction the murders of Black men and women by their actors.

Trayvon, Mike Brown, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland… and our President acknowledged them and their families and the need for change and reform that Conservative legislators refused to move on. The murders continue… Armand Arbery, Sean Reed, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd… and the incumbent says nothing, calls for more of the same “law and order” police brutality. Calling protestors looters. Calling for looters to be shot. Failing to see many of his own instigating the fires and violence around the country. No different than the “very fine” White supremacists at their Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville in 2017. It’s fine to forsake a Black life but you won’t even condemn the hateful actions of a White person. He’s a stain on the White stripes. All lives don’t matter until Black lives matter. Operative word… all!!!!!! Black bodies and White privilege…

November 2020 can be the start to the change we want and need to see. We need to be as systematic and unemotional about it as they are about racism. It all starts the morning of November 3. So make sure you turn in those ballots, offer rides to the polling locations, know who you are voting for and why, and get your can of paint and let’s paint the White House Black. That doesn’t mean a Black person has to sit in office but surely that our interests, our safety, our opportunity, or protection, our education and finance, and our lives are at the front and center of anyone’s policies that we vote for. To be Black in this country, as it’s architects, should be at least a fair balance of our interests with those of the government. We don’t have to be in a constant state of rage… that rage stems from governments allowance of racial injustice. We have to force them to change with the power of our voice and vote. We got this yo! Votes and victories…

Better rock that vote or vote for hell

Real generals now not some USFL

Not a fuckin’ game, I dare not mention his name

Operation 45 yeah, it’s the same thing

-Public Enemy, State of the Union

Note: All tees by Stoop and Stank … Copping these Fannie Lou Hamer and James Baldwin joints soon!!!

Micros in the Macro

Microagressions and macroagressions against Black people in this country are both symptoms of the same disease: racism.

Police brutality, unequal wages, the lack of justice for the murders of Black people at the hands of law enforcement, educational funding that is determined by property taxes, mass incarceration of Black people and unequal sentencing, housing disparities… those are the forms of racism we are used to hearing about. These government and legislative oriented issues that we know are major impediments to Black success, but things many of us see as factors we have little influence upon. These are macroaggressions… large scale injustices towards a group of maginalized people to further restrict their progress. These are the things we protest against and write books about.

But it’s those smaller, more prevalent, daily and incessant indignities that communicate hostile, discriminatory, and prejudicial slights against us that really eat away at our peace, emotional stability, faith, self-worth, and truths. Microaggressions are those things that happen across our intersections… sex, race, sexual orientation, religion, class, educational level… to weaken us in our social spaces. They are often harder to identify and certainly harder to prove. But they are nonetheless the most fucking exhausting form of racism.

We are in the midst of some sort of paradigm shift. Our kids care not about Black, White, gay, straight, rich, or poor. Hip hop concerts are filled to the brim with White kids who know every word of Kendrick’s “D.A.M.N.”. Black boys blasting Jack Harlow, a white boy rapper who looks like an extra from Dawson’s Creek. Black girls rocking creepers and Hispanic girls rocking baggy jeans and crop tops in reverence to Aaliyah. They march together for Black Lives Matter. The protests boasting as many White faces as Black ones. A majority of people in America recognize and speak out and about white privilege and it’s affects in the lives on non-White Americans. Yet, the shift hasn’t quite happened yet. And the shift is in the macro.

Ask any Black woman about microaggressions. It’s in the comments, the slights, the looks, the 911 calls trying to report Black people for being, impeding people of color in social spaces, and the social media comments that don’t exactly promote racism but somehow justify behaviors that slap the hands of Black people for touching the glass objects, their fragile ass egos. It’s at work when the White supervisor accuses you of something with no proof, at the store when she clutches her purse, at the restaurant when she asks to speak to your manager because you gave her three and not four ice cubes. It’s a use of power, white privilege, to demote you to a place lower than where you started. It’s racism. It’s bullshit.

The same way we do blackouts, shout and share on social media, protest and engage, and mass call and demand for arrests for the murderers of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor… we have to expose this shit in the same way. Don’t just videotape and share Black deaths. Videotape and share White ignorance… show and tell that fool calling the police on a man minding his business at the park or at his house. Then let’s go en masse to the police station with their names and addresses to demand their arrests for filing fake police reports. Let’s call out folks at work and file mass EEOC and Title VII complaints. If she stands behind your car to impede your movement, call the police, lay on your horn, videotape her and post it everywhere. Yell out loud… I’m being harassed and stalked!!!!

In 1988 Donald Trump put an ad in the New York Times demanding that New York bring back the death penalty, particularly in the case against the Central Park Five, Black males all of whom have been exonerated of their wrongful convictions of the rape of a White woman in the park. The racists use their money and access to continuously attempt to dismantle our communities, success, families, and businesses. We have to employ the methods available to us to fight hatred and fear. We also have to expose all forms of racism.. but especially those that eat away at our individual and collective psyche.

Microaggressions are used to weaken us so we submit to macroaggressions… too exhausted to fight or fight back. Imagine how many time Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown had heard themselves, their friends, or other young brothas called thugs, uneducated, stupid, violent, or worthless. How many times had Sandra Bland and Korryn Gaines heard they were bitter, angry, less refined than their white counterparts, needed to straighten their hair, lose their hips, or calm down their attitude. How many times have you been told you are LUCKY to have your job, you can easily be replaced, you are too sensitive or angry, everything isn’t about race, you have the chance, opportunity, ability to come so much farther than your ancestors… as if it’s a gift, as if our ancestors were ALL born into slavery, as if we voted George Washington and his 123 slaves having ass into office.


These microaggressions are not just being mean, being an asshole, ignorance, fear, because leadership positions are hard, because you reacted wrong, or because it’s your job to educate or change the minds of the ignorant.

It’s RACISM! These actions are a systematic part of the same systems that are written into our governments and made legal by our lack of legislation.


Call a thing a thing.

Call it what it is OUT LOUD!

Signed, a Negro with Attitude