Think Peace

I wake in the morning, another appointment. I hope the psychologist listenin’ – Kendrick Lamar, United in Grief, Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers

I love Kendrick, he was a part of my weekend. This is not a Kendrick think piece, but it is a think peace. It is an amalgamation of thoughts I have had this past week, framed by my guy dropping his newest album, until this very moment, that have a theme, of sorts. Hopefully you will catch it or it will resonate. Maybe it won’t but that’s okay. I don’t write for approval. It’s creative therapy.

I choose me, I’m sorry. –Kendrick,

*********

The world in a panic.” -Kendrick

Yesterday, a White teenage supremacist walked into a grocery store in a Black part of Buffalo, plagued by segregation and affected by the common highway cutting through the neighborhoods of Black people, virtually disturbing their environments and peace, and killed tern people with a rifle with nigger emblazoned on it. A nigger killer, if you will. A teenager whose manifesto was a three year plan, to save the white race and white children… basically by murdering my people.

In this country built upon the backs of Africans who begat African Americans, there is this agenda that now claims white America faces extinction snd the way to right that is to again oppress and dishonor the humanity of Black people. This child who likely wasn’t taught anything about our addition to the value of this country was able to determine that we are the enemy of his future. The murder of those people and the end of this child’s freedom are the faults of ultra conservative right wingers who supported that political lie to gain political favor.

Today a white man walked into the Black church where the Governor and Attorney General were worshipping with a hurting community, with a gun. We can’t worship God in peace. United in Grief.

Yo, I’m livin’ in this time behind enemy lines so. I got mine, I hope you got yo’self a gun. -Nas

I bought a .223, nobody peace treat. -Kendrick

The value of hip hop has become very dependent upon being a bop with quoteables that will make good Tik Tok content. If I hear “I don’t even gotta walk in with my tool out,” one more time… like sir, quiet down. It’s less about the art and lyrics and more like a recipe for pill and pussy popping. Every Future album sounds the same is considered a five mic classics. Yet an album whose admittedly different production highlights the deep and complicated lyrics, like a jazz band highlights the leader’s instrument, is criticized. The way Miles Davis was criticized for his electronic sound during the velvety jazz era, at this time of catchy twerkable rap tunes, something this different isn’t going to be an instant success.

MMBS is five years after DAMN. Well in five years the artist has become a father; live through a 2-year isolating and socially transformative pandemic; watch countless videos of Black people dying, including a man heartbreakingly calling out to his mother as he took his last breaths; a unapologetic racist President backed by the conservative Congress he bullied like schoolyard boys; and a virus wipe out almost a million people in America. The album integrates that trauma into it’s lyrics and production. Most songs feature multiple beat changes. I haven’t even fully immersed myself in it, but emerged seen, understood, connected, and more at peace than when I entered. It’s a musical therapy session. Peace in chaos.

You really need some therapy…
Bottled up no chaser
Need no chaser-
Kendrick

Sometimes therapy is not sitting on a sofa stretched out in an office. Yesterday I spent time gardening and with my great girlfriends, and it was surely therapeutic. I’m a pretty awesome friend…I give pretty good advice, I’m supportive, I am fun, and I try to make time despite being overwhelmed with priorities. My gardening skills, however, are lacking. Those peonies and lavender might not make it to Friday, but I wanted to try something new because I love peonies and lavender. Time will tell if the gardening pans out, but the conversation I had with a few of my day ones this weekend … cash money!

We talked about our experiences and issues with men and shared truisms we had collected to help us become better mates to attract better partners. We all discussed wanting and needing a mature mate, as grown as his numerical age dictates, and being at peace with leaving situations when they no longer serve us instead of staying afraid of repeating past failures. It’s imperative that when we see red flags to accept them and move on, and understand that choosing ourselves is never a failure. Dating with purpose, but being careful to vet all potential mates and date in the here and now, not just fall into relationships with people we know due to familiarity.

Can I open up? Is it safe or not?
I’m afraid a little, you relate or not?
-Kendrick

The took accountability about likely not always being the best partner, and needing to do a self evaluation on what kind of partners we are versus the kind we know is necessary, and making the moves to get there. Those of us who had been married and/or recently separated from a commitment acknowledged needing time to heal from past hurt. It was a discussion centered on being our best selves. It was centered on accountability and peace. It was centered on healing.

I’m sacrificin’ myself to start the healin’ and…
Shit on my mind and it’s heavy
.-Kendrick

I sometimes struggle with letting things go. I have a vengeful nature that I’m not proud about, but I’m very clear about. My revenge stories are legendary… just saying. But this weekend I just decided to stop cold turkey. Energy out equals energy in, and I noticed that some of the people I know with the most toxic energy constantly emit that type of energy… and it ages you, it angers you, and it makes you insecure and unkind. Only energy I’m interested in is bright and sparkly like sequins, rich like vintage Daytona Rolexes, and present like Eckhardt Tolle. After all the greatest energy is peace.

Trying to keep the balance, I’m playing strong. Stop playing with me ‘fore I turn you into a
[ BLOG ] -Kendrick Lamar

“Everybody needs therapy.” -LaToya Henry

BYOC

Bring your own CASH

This whole $500 wedding where the bride & groom had guests pay for food and drink is a whole social media debate. Some are like… oh hell nawww… I won’t be there. Other people think this couple deciding against taking on debt before starting their lives together is brilliant. I saw a variety of opinions.

People spend, on average, $20,000 on their wedding. I will tell you, when I got married, we spent $6,000. Our ceremony happened a year prior for free. I spent $500 on a dress. I made the reception centerpieces, they cost, at most $20. My bestie paid for the cake as our wedding gift. For photos I got single calla lilies for my bridesmaids, who wore the black dress of their choice, at about $50. The DJ was $300. Approximately $5,000 was for a sit down dinner and open bar for my guests. We spent $1,000 on ourselves, and $5,000 on our guests. This was a celebration of us, yet we spent more on other people. I will tell you, if I marry again, my dress will be super duper badass, it will be on someone’s beach where me and the Mr will vacay after, and when we get back we will have a bbq , it will be fun and you will have a great time, but it be about us, not ya’ll. Don’t like it… don’t come.

I would happily attend the wedding of someone who I wanted to support in their matrimonial goals … and pay for my food, and take them a magnificent gift. It is not about me. It is also not about them only doing what they can afford… if they send you an invite and you are aware of the parameters, they have told you what they can afford… not to feed you… but that doesn’t mean they should have their reception at Old Country Buffet. A couple should have the wedding and reception they want. If that includes taking on debt, that’s their choice, but anyone with a brain can tell you its not the smartest idea. If that involves saving their money to start realizing the goals of that marriage, that is okay too. What that does not include is having the event YOU want.

We live in this world where people believe in tit for tat. You feed me and let me drink unlimited liquor for free and I’ll buy you a great gift. If it’s a cash bar, I’m taking that money out of your gift’s value. Then folks claim Miss Manners ideology that having guests pay is against the rules of proper society. Wtf? A wedding is a celebration of other people, not you. They often even let you bring someone… for free! Someone they don’t know. But impropriety… they got brides twerking in rhinestone thongs at weddings these days, all impropriety has been tossed out the window and run over like roadkill. Personally, I think people have gotten used to, even to the point of expecting, to be paid or compensated in some way for everything they do. Folks show up to shit they’d never attend for the free food. Folks show up to byob parties empty handed and drink what everyone has supplied. I have heard couples talk of a wedding as a free date for them… dinner and dancing. THAT is not the point.

Beyond that, this whole idea that if you can’t afford to feed a gang of people you should just go to a restaurant or forego a reception all together is ludicrous. We treat people who are lower class or simply not yet financially well established like dregs… get married at the courthouse and go home and eat a chicken wing dinner in front of the tv together. That’s outlandish. Saving money is not broke people shit. Actually… But since when does being less financially successful mean you are not worthy of a traditional wedding? In my opinion the couple figured out how to have a celebration that would not bankrupt them that looked as close to the wedding they wanted as possible. As a guest, if you are only willing to get dressed up and buy a nice gift, if you can eat and drink on their dime… you really don’t rock with them the long way anyway… so you should stay home either way!

Lastly, if I’m honest, and I look at people’s response to this story…. not that I know everyone’s financial situation, but the folks with coin overwhelmingly thought being financially responsible over following some rules someone made up about what an appropriate wedding looks like was the move. But to the folks who call them broke… well I am not broke and I am also not paying for 200 people to eat ever again… unless it’s hot dogs and hamburgers and maybe a shrimp skewer if I’m feeling frisky.

Buy your own chicken dinner.

Overqualified

Wow… so in the midst of war in the Ukraine, horrible tornados ravaging parts of the US, and inflation making everything from gas to food extraordinarily expensive, we are witnessing history being made… the nomination of the first Black woman to the Supreme Court. It is historic. Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is among the most highly qualified judges to ever be nominated to the highest court. Her qualifications are stellar. Yet the behavior of the primarily White male Senators on the right has been appalling, but unfortunately not shocking. Surprise Surprise!

They have gathered together in Donald Trump’s name to make this very important job interview, if you will, into a performance of sound bites for the 20 Republican Senate seats up for reelection in 2022. They clearly plan to make critical race theory, transgenderism, child pornography, abortion, and the topics of police and gun law reform the trends in these elections. So they have decided to play a game of dodgeball with the Judge, to try to both expose her as unqualified and to advance their policies. But this is not an underdog story and Judge Jackson is far from your average joe… she has clerked at every judicial level up to the Supreme Court, served as a Court of Appeals and District Court Judge, worked in private practice, and as a federal public defender, written for the Harvard Law Review, and worked on the sentencing commission. She is the hi-hat and these sad little men are the spoons… in that confirmation hearing room, their arms are indeed too short to box with this goddess.

She is OVERqualified… beyond, above, more than, plus, double it and add tax. Sis is a whole mood…

…she knows what these little men are doing. She can smell their cologne with base notes of fear and top notes of privilege, race-isms, and sex-isms. Yet she remains poised and patient. She says, “thank you Senator” at every turn, but never fails to school them on the limits, powers, scope, policy, and procedures of the judiciary, something she knows much better than they do. But she even manages to pull their Congressional card, letting them know what their duties entail and how they are, in fact, responsible for much of what they are attacking her for. She is a quintessential educated Black woman, more qualified, dignified, and certified than these men she will soon outrank, outearn, and at EVERY turn outdo. They only like their little women “in the kitchen or the bedroom Florida”, but Judge Jackson commands rooms… confirmations to courts. Recognize. This is not Little Women, this is Big Bosses.

She is us and we are her. I know a myriad of amazingly successful Black women engineers, doctors, PR professionals, superintendents, lawyers, teachers, professors, nurses, directors, VPs, and judges who know all too well the unbearably uncomfortable stench of racism staring back at them through beady pupils void of all humanity, with thin persed lips that let nigger slip between them freely in White spaces, and let microaggressions pour onto the floor covering our feet so they are hard to lift. We also know, because we are stars, just like Cory Booker said of Judge Jackson, that we are singlehandedly the harbingers of hope that America will ever be as great as all proclaim. For if we are still the most disrespected, underpaid, and ignored people in America… when we are among the most educated and most entreprenuerial … things White men have been heralded for for centuries, then America has not fulfilled its promise. It indeed has not, but we won’t stop busting ceilings and busting heads until it does. Gang gang.

Being overqualified in a sea of mediocrity is not new for Black women. While we were keeping weak ass, fainting ass Missy from passing out in her corset by sneaking her tea cookies, we wear waist trainers under our suits to work like fucking what waist bosses! When we nursed lily White babies and kept them free from consumption, smallpox, and whatever was killing off White folks, our bodies kept enough magical milk to feed the babies we grew in our own bodies, often sister or brother to the baby who drank first. When we walked the halls of the first integrated schools while being harassed and assaulted, we fixed our starched shirts and perfectly pleated skirts, before tapping our curls into place to go learn and excel in spaces we weren’t wanted but knew we needed to show our faces in, so our own children would walk those halls like they owned them. And when Althea Gibson, Patricia Harris, Mae Jemison,Constance Baker Motley, Shirley Chisholm, Cathay Williams, Oprah Winfrey, Phillis Wheatley, and, Kamala Harris all became the first Black woman to reach some magnificent point of excellence, once only allowed to wealthy and powerful White men, through dedication and hard work instead of the typical privileged and nepotistic means… a way was made for this moment. This is what we do… cause lovely chaos.

So how fitting, as Black women and our allies all gather together in Ketanji’s Onyika’s name, which mean’s “lovely one”. We recognize the magnitude of Judge Jackson’s nomination and coming confirmation to the highest court in our nation, where women have gained rights and liberties once denied to us. We also join in her celebration… as this moment, like all of our biggest moments, are shared with our sisters. She is the dream and hope of our ancestors, who with us, have her back. And we feel the same way sweet Laila…who is seen below looking at her mom with the sweetest admiration, joy, and pride… your mother is our hero too! Overqualified personified!

Black women… never be afraid to be your best and bravest self… our daughters are watching!

Own your influence

I watched the Joe Budden interview with Nicki Minaj… and besides his split seam skinny jeans and her having her purse on her chair on set … I was super impressed with Nicki and Joe. Joe is an interesting character, I’ll stop there. Nicki… I haven’t rocked with her since the “Monster” era…

“Okay, first things first I’ll eat your brains
Then I’ma start rockin’ gold teeth and fangs
‘Cause that’s what a motherfuckin’ monster do”

But she schooled a generation in this interview…

OWN your INFLUENCE

She talked about starting the trend in “pink hair, thick ass” for female rappers and middle part dark hair that has come to be known in this time as “Kardashian” hair. Not that she invented those trends, but that she was the muse behind their resurrection in style. Her points were solid & salient!

But it did bother me a bit, she failed to give Kimberly Jones her due… like all of it… I mean …

But more importantly, it got me to thinking about a really solid statement she made… that when we, especially Black women fail to acknowledge and broadcast our influence we make it easy for people to attribute our style and beauty to White influence that is really just a mimic of us. It happens all the time. “Boxer braids”, the idea that wearing one side of your overalls undone didn’t come from Black folks in the 80s, the sneaker trend, stiletto nails, logo prints on clothes-helloooooo Dapper Dan… I could go on.

But unfortunately, very often when we do speak up and voice our influence even other Black people see us as cocky, narcissistic, and conceited. The number of times Soulja Boy has SHOWED us that he invented many of the popular trends in hip hop, yet he’s taken as a joke until he proves it… wild. For women it’s that much worse. Lil Kim is singlehandedly responsible for making very high end designer houses popular in hip hop and then in pop culture. But she never gets her props. I mean… again…

So it’s time we start… and not just in fashion… because most of us don’t reign there… but… in our everyday lives to own and not license out our influence for pennies. We can only get what we are due if we don’t allow our value to be stepped on so much it’s rendered invaluable… gotta sell the product while the buzz is still powerful.

So if you are championing breastfeeding in the Black community unlike anyone else before you; you are the youngest Black female engineer in a city, state, county; you were the first of your kind in a setting that used your knowledge and example to grow and change; you are a certified FIRST, breaking glass, plaster, and drywall ceilings and walls; or maybe your influence and presence forever changed a thing… anything… speak on it. Let anyone trying to take credit for it today know you started it yesterday. Then when they circle back, tryna get some more of that thing you do effortlessly, charge double. What did Fat Joe say… “Yesterday’s price is not today’s price!” You want this excellence, FYPE!

And when the White girl at Nordstroms admires your manicure and says… you have those nails like the Kardashians… let her know… Nope, I got nails like Queen Nenzima!

Then… “put your number twos in the air if you did it on ‘em!” –Did It On ‘Em, Nicki Minaj

Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

So we have talked about the feces in the dating pool right… well BABY, it’s dead bodies too. I met one at a bar last night.

So a little background… I have had a boyfriend or husband consistently since high school. When my last relationship ended, I got very clear on what I could no longer tolerate, no matter how much love was bring professed. But I also didn’t want to get comfortable in my FTN energy… so I said, hey, let’s meet folks. Ya’ll call it dating… but again we know how much muck that is, so I considered it just what it was, dinner, coffee, a FT chat session. Not dating, because I’m not giving you multiple times to show me you are trash. You get one time. If it’s an off day, well prepare better, take a rain check, aim to be great daily, but I’m only giving limited time because all I have is limited time. I’m trying to get a whole PhD, you think I have time for your games. Nope.

“Only this, and nothing more”

So, I meet a guy. Tall, nice-looking, entrepreneur, good conversation, seems decent. We Facetime chat, he’s got a cute dog, I’m like ok seems at least mildly promising. Good Vibes. So, he asks me out, I say ok. Dinner planned for this evening. But yesterday he calls, asks have I eaten, I say no, and he says well I’m starving and I’d love your company. Spontaneous is cool. So we meet at a bar. That’s where the good part of the story ends.

“This is it and nothing more”

I get there on time, he calls says he’s running a little late but near and on his way. Strike One. Be on time to some shit you asked me to.

He walks in, we greet each other, he sits down and says I smell good and “clean”…

Strike Two… I instantly smelled Black Love perfume oil, fake wax print ink, and incense… there was none, but I smelled it.

So, I have a drink and shrimp tacos, because you are late. It’s a work night. So he orders food, tells the waitress he’s hungry. There are two waitresses, they both ask him if he wants anything to drink. He says no. He orders a burger. Who eats a burger with nothing to drink. So while waiting for his food, he sees me look up at the tv at a basketball game. He says, oh yeah you like sports. I said yes, I do. He says… sports are barbaric. Just let that marinate. Sports are barbaric. It was basketball ya’ll… not cage fighting or lion taming or Russell Crow screaming “are you not entertained…” It was college basketball yo. Sigh. Strike Three.

I knew then this would be our only time seeing each other… because something in the milk ain’t clean… and clearly it’s not me because recall… I smell clean.

Ok so his burger comes. He examines it and then says to the waitress, I smell pork. I look at her, she is looking at me like WITEF. She says, yes it has bacon jam on it. He pushes it away and says, give it to someone else, I’ll pay for it, but I don’t eat pork. He continues, I don’t eat anything unclean or hoofed, (looks at my shrimp taco) or shellfish. The waitress says well you are hungry so do you want the burger remade with no bacon jam. He says, I’m not hungry. Uhhhhhh that was the whole premise upon which you asked me here. He looks at me and says…

We can just go somewhere better tomorrow. TOMORROW?!?!? Nope. All the nopes in Nopelandia!

So, I just drank my drink, ate my tacos, and talked to the waitress. It was her second day. I planned to give her a nice tip. We chopped it up about sneaker releases. Cuz this nigga is nuts.

“Perched, and sat, and nothing more.”

So, after much prodding by the waitress to fix his order, get him a drink, whatever, HE got annoyed. He asks for the bill. He looks at it. He takes out a $20 bill and says, are you ready? (I laughed… what is the $20 for? A tip? You trying half dine and dash…) I said no, but have a good night. Oh you are staying, he says. Yep! He then slides the bill and $20 to me. He starts putting on his coat… I give the $20 to the waitress and pay the bill. The bill for the outing he asked me to leave my house to come to. She takes his food off the bill. I could have eaten leftover meatloaf and watched Snowfall… this shit was a waste. I’m leaving out alot… but isn’t this enough?!?!?!

Two guys at the end of the bar move down towards me… one says, yeah I knew when light skin came in he was uncomfortable and odd. The other says, we work here, so we see this all the time. These guys are socially awkward, so alone or on the phone it’s all good, but in person, they are weird. He probably plays video games all day. So I share the barbaric and clean/unclean dialogue. They were both like oooooooohhhhhhhhhhh…. He just extra lightskinned, he is trying hotep his way to blackness instead of just being. LPS. We talked a few minutes more… and I wished them all a good night.

No hoteps for the kid. I an anti-hotep. And I like my dudes a lil dirty… some meat from a hoofed animal and a lil bourbon sounds like a sexy time to me. Even if you are vegan, vegetarian, you don’t talk about unclean animals. Are those shoes leather my guy? FOH! Basically, dude had the appeal of roadkill. And you cheap? My girls be trying to get the bill before I do, let alone the men I know. I barely know what my wallet looks like unless I’m alone. I haven’t paid for a date I was invited to, EVER. I never will again. Yeah naw. Dating is dumb. God will provide. I’m gonna just chill, do this keto, get this PhD, and stay outta sucka shit.

To “quoth the raven.., “Nevermore!”

All quotes taken from The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe

We don’t talk about Peri

There are a lot of things Black folks don’t talk about… Nana’s full mustache, Uncle James and Uncle Charlie are not just roommates, Cousin Tanya’s drug habit, that baby don’t look like Ray, and menopause. Your mother & grandmother either hid it, described it only as hot flashes, or they had complete hysterectomies and never experienced it. Whatever the case… we gotta talk about it. Specially peri menopause, cuz it’s that joker right there that is not for the weak.

So let’s get into it!

Peri menopause is the transition into menopause, which is the end of a woman’s reproductive years. It is during this time estrogen levels rise and fall and cause a myriad of symptoms that basically feel like everything from your hair to your feet is on that bullshit! An internet search led me to a few lists of symptoms: irregular menstrual cycles, hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, mood swings, incontinence, bone fragility (1), more severe PMS, hair loss, weight gain, inflammation, headaches, back pain, forgetfulness, loss of libido, inability to concentrate (2), shortness of breath, heartburn, loss of appetite, depression/anxiety, vision issues, bloating, skin breakouts or dryness (3). And just personal one’s I’ve noticed… cold feet, spatial confusion, and tastebud changes. It typically starts in a woman’s 40s, but may start in her 30s, and can last anywhere from a few months to over a decade. (4) Not talking about peri is no bueno!

It makes no sense that women have to get surprised by this very normal and natural phenomenon. It’s not just hot flashes and your cycle ending… it is a whole fucking life change that women need to be prepared for, especially Black women. We know that Black women often face disparate treatment in healthcare settings because doctors don’t understand or have compassion for our unique health concerns, not enough medical research is done into the health realities of Black women, healthcare access is limited in poor and urban communities, and health education is lacking across the board for and regarding Black women’s bodies. When you add our reproductive health into the fold… we need to talk about Peri! She is a whole beast wrecking unnecessary havoc out here…

Our hormones are tied to damn near every physical process in our bodies. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency,

The endocrine system, made up of all the body’s different hormones, regulates all biological processes in the body from conception through adulthood and into old age, including the development of the brain and nervous system, the growth and function of the reproductive system, as well as the metabolism and blood sugar levels. The female ovaries, male testes, and pituitary, thyroid, and adrenal glands are major constituents of the endocrine system. (5)

Women with hormonal ebbs and flows are a whole environmental concern lolol! Why? Cuz we are literally a whole emotional system out in these streets, suffering from physical changes that mimic everything from mental illness to going blind. She is not to be fucked with. She might bite you. She is savage af, and she is probably sleepy and hungry simultaneously. She can wake up completely happy,

and in a matter of moments cycle through every emotion from confusion (about people, places, things, everything),

irritation,

uncertainty,

disinterest and lack of desire… to do anything,

upset,

choosing violence,

choosing calm & scary violence, or

scaring her damn self.

But whatever it is, she need to be adequately prepared to face it. And ladies, we have been thrown into the pits of hormonal chaos without a life preserver all because we don’t talk about Peri.

So if this sounds like you, if you read this and feel seen, talk about Peri… ask your sista friends, talk to your doctor, find another doctor if the one you have doesn’t listen and tells you that you are imagining these very real symptoms, and peruse social media. Women aren’t being silent… we gon talk about Peri’s raggedy ass!

Check out @kari_wright on Tik Tok… life changing!

******************

(1) mayoclinic.com (2021) https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/perimenopause/symptoms-causes/syc-20354666

(2) Cherney, K. (2020). Healthline.com https://www.healthline.com/health/menopause/difference-perimenopause#symptoms-of-perimenopause-and-menopause.

(3) Sharkey, L. (2021). https://www.healthline.com/health/healthy-sex/i-have-weird-symptoms-with-perimenopause

(4) health.harvard.edu (2020). https://www.health.harvard.edu/womens-health/perimenopause-rocky-road-to-menopause

(5). USEPA (2021). https://www.epa.gov/endocrine-disruption/what-endocrine-system

It’s Sh*t in the Pool

The dating pool that is… and the shit is fresh!

Yep, if you are single and in your 40s, it might be best to take up Cricut crafting, learn to backwards skate on your hardwoods, or maybe even pull out those old Billy Blanks VHS boys and tae bo your way to that 1980s flat stomach…but dating… CHILE.

So I know some awesome men, so I know they exist. The problem is I always date men I already know or know of… and that has not gone so great. So if you want something different, you do something different right… so let’s meet a man I don’t know already, I said to myself. I hadn’t thought that out well though, since I rarely go anywhere anymore. I mean I love him deeply, but the Amazon man is not my type. So my dearest boonapolis suggested a dating site… and I figured that would give me time to ready myself should God send my rich husband anytime soon… So ok.

Did I mention the pee and dead bodies …

These are real conversations…

This not joy. This is not the dude I could “sit and talk to…for hours.” This is not fair. Chitlin boy had on Cazals, a kangol, and a silver Jesus Piece. I cannot Krush Groove with you homeboy. I do not have the hook up. Ass man had an eye that was less sure of itself than Forest Whitaker’s joint. Then the Hi guy… yeah I’m not playing these reindeer games with your ass. Say something.

It’s definitely shit pebbles floating past you in the dating pool.

Then… THEN they using all these acronyms that really just mean “I like freak shit!” I am an ENM, seeking FWB, with NSA. I am D2F on a ONS, and I am EVWE! (in order of use: Ethically Non-Monogamous; Friends with Benefits; No Strings Attached; Down to f#{%; One Night Stand; and Extremely Very Well-Endowed). All the No’s in No Village! I mean this gives a whole new meaning to alphabet people. So many men are trying to practice polyamory with polyhater pockets. Sir, you need a lot of money to have a lot of women. You barely have enough for one, and I’m not eating beans and vienna sausages for dinner just to look across at you. I’ll have a filet on my plate… cuz that is what is on my plate now. Ain’t nobody downgrading for your raggedy ass.

Then others on the long ball side of fifty talking about they want more kids. Kids???? Is kids another name for Icy Hot? You want a woman to have children at 45 and up!?!? Can you retire her? Are you prepared to pay all the bills while she stays home the entire pregnancy until the child goes to a full day of school? You got college money saved? You got a ranch style house, cuz who chasing DeVante up the stairs? You know where they sell patience… cuz my good sis will need some after Madison does a 265 cartwheels in a row, saying, “Ma, Ma, Ma, look.” EACH TIME! Can you handle all that big daddy? If not, you better join Big Brothers/Big Sisters. The hell. A baby…

Point is… It’s shit in the dating pool… so be careful out here.

SBW

So I have worked at my current job for 18 years. I grew up in a Black family, where many of my relatives worked at government jobs with good salaries and pensions or in stable positions for years. When I graduated law school, I decided a career in government compliance best suited me because I had no desire to work 80 hours a week for only double the salary I could make at a job that offered me great benefits and the luxury of having time for other parts of my life. For a long while it was actually a great decision. As one of the only legally trained officers, the job came easy to me. I wrote legal decisions with ease, understood the law, and quickly became a go to for my knowledge. That translated into a promotion, that was in my wheelhouse. I developed a training program that was adopted nationwide. It was all good… until it wasn’t good.

So fast forward to last week. After having been turned down for positions numerous times that were given to much less qualified, experienced, and proven employees over the last few years, I took my last stab at a supervisory position. I currently am the go to trainer for my team; my supervisor and all the others as well, send their team members to me for help. I do the schedule. I am the team lead. I do everything but approve leave…. no one else, in the building, does that and still maintains their actual job. Hell the folks whose job that is don’t do that. I was gonna try one more time to get paid for ALL my labor, or get a lawyer. If you know any good civil tights lawyers…. Anyway…

So this position required no interview, but I am a boss in an interview so that was no concern, and was selected based on an interest letter (you’ve read my writing) and a resumé (I create resumés as a side hustle, ask about me). So, before I go on, I want to point this out. The Strong Black Woman stereotype is bullshit when used in the professional world to overlook Black women, to pile work on us, to ask us to train other people who they later hire over us, and to benefit their white male run, systematic racism mimicking offices to their benefit and our detriment. It is a form of racism and a macroaggression made up of hundreds of microaggressions… from denying us leave, WE HAVE EARNED, to care for our children, butting in our personal business like they are concerned when in fact it is just because they don’t respect our boundaries, and WORST when they use their Black overseers to mistreat us and say shit to us that they know would get them handled in the streets, hoops off and hair in a ponytail. I used to think they just didn’t like me… which is still true, but it’s much bigger and more pervasive than that. It’s bullshit. So keep that in your hat.

Anyway, I get a call from a Black female supervisor, who they like because she’s agreeable, and I ask too many questions, complain, call them out, and have grieved their bad behavior several times before. She says to me, “you know you are a rockstar, you have no backlog, you can do everything, you help everyone, the supervisors frequently send officers to you for help, I know I do, and you go above and beyond”… but we selected someone else, and we encourage you to apply for any opportunity, but I think you’ll understand when you see who we picked (loose quotation). She asked if I had questions, and I said no and got off the phone.

What the fuck? Get the lawyer on the phone…

So I know, like every other time, they picked some White girl who, like me, went to law school. They figure that is enough to overlook me. They figure I haven’t gone off yet, I still show up, I don’t run through the place wildin’ out, I haven’t brought Ray Ray, Pookie, or Man up there to threaten anyone, and I haven’t hired Geoffrey Fieger. They also figure, I am a fucking mule. I am Kizzie. I can carry a baby on my hip, a basket of cotton on my head, and knit a blanket with my free hand, while singing “Wade in the Water” in perfect pitch. I don’t matter. I was made to be overlooked, let them tell it. But they don’t know me. I stayed for the stable and easy paycheck, the eight hours max. I can do that work in my sleep. But I also have every receipt. EVERY. I have already planned my exit. But this time was different, maybe because of the three people who made the decision, they sent their token negro, to deliver that trash to me.

So, I had actually planned to spend the next part of my career counseling victims of workplace discrimination so their EEO and harassment suits would show the very real trauma and damage caused. But looks like I get to practice on myself first. I got your mule… and when it kicks them square in their ass, I hope Stephenetta is there to watch what happens to racist assholes who use race-based stereotypes in the workplace to overwork and overlook minority employees. They only like you cuz you a good nigger.

Sincerely, “Diss Nigger Here”:

Overseer:

After she said, I do…

…she became a stone cold idiot if she believes that simply because a woman is in the presence of her husband, she wants him or she is interested in bringing her wild, Jezebel energy into their presence. She is also fooled into believing that she is protecting something by keeping women away from her man… does he work, get gas, go grocery shopping, get an oil change, play basketball, go to the gym… it’s plenty of women there he can fornicate with at his will, if that is in fact his will. But mostly, she has embraced the patriarchal idea that women are so purposefully enticing to men that men can’t control themselves and just naturally want to hump them and the misogynist idea that women, particularly single women, got hoe tendencies and a hoe spirit.

We can disagree and still love each other unless your disagreement is rooted in my oppression… -James Baldwin

I think marriage is grand. I have been married. I am honest about marriage, from my perspective. Marriage does not make you smarter or more valuable or a better person just by virtue of being married. Now perhaps you do get smarter or better, great for you, and if you give all the glory to your marriage for that upgrade, then more power to you. But trust and believe, there are single women getting smarter and better every minute snd they are no more or less valuable. Being married does also not make you an expert in marriage. You are not the national marriage spokesperson. You are an expert on YOUR marriage. No one else’s marriage, relationship, or otherwise is your subject matter expertise. Relax.

So do you. But the minute you try to sacrifice or demean other women, particularly Black women, and I can hear you or read your words, I am going to express. Why? Because a) I can and b) I am fiercely protective of Black women. I won’t ever allow my station in life to allow me to believe I am better than my sisters. I may be doing better, and at that point I believe it’s my duty to share my success notes. That goes for success in relationships, finances, career, health, mental well-being, or if I got a bomb recipe. You cannot say you are interested in elevating people when you simultaneously live by and promote devaluing them.

The most disrespected person in America is the Black woman. –Malcolm X

Beyond just the blatant divisive discourse, there is also this widely held notion that people who speak on marriage, who are not married, are out of order. That’s laughable. I have heard and read married women who think they can dictate what people in non-marital relationships call each other or how they structure their home. I constantly see people refer to women in long-term committed relationships as being doomed to the unnamed “special friend” label in a man’s death notice or being left financially unprotected. That has nothing to do with marital status and everything to do with a man respecting and protecting the woman he chose. That comes from some ideation that as a married woman you are automatically valued more because some man picked you to marry him. Newsflash… single women, divorced women, widows even likely have their fair share of choices in men and probably ain’t lacking in proposals either. But more importantly, you were once single yourself. What happened to your hoe spirit?

I’m willing to go the extra kilo-meter
Just to see my señorita get her pillow
On the side of my bed where no good ever stay
House and doctor was the games we used to play
But now it’s real Jazzy Belle
-Outkast

I personally don’t care WHAT you do in your house, but once you share that with the masses, especially if it’s full of negativity about other people, then be prepared for commentary. Nobody gives a damn what you do with that crusty foot negro you married, nobody wants him in real life but you, but no one has to be subjected to or accept your foolishness. If you buck, you give folks an opportunity to knuck.

So just keep all that stupid stuff you heard while getting your ears burnt by the pressing comb or from Mother Caldwell on the ursher board about the Jezebel spirit of Black women to yourself. Cuz if you think a woman’s mere presence is the reason your man will stray… you got a Not Smart spirit.

What is Justice… really

The concept of justice is both simple and wildly complex. Justice at it’s simplest is fairness, but it is also supposed to be some balance of righting a wrong by making the perpetrator of that wrongdoing face punishment or rehabilitation and an effort to make the victim whole. Hmmm…🧐

But there is often a very different standard of justice for male wrongdoers and female wrongdoers. Men who wrong women are very often, simply because they are men, given a pass on even some of the most heinous crimes. Think Bill Cosby or even R. Kelly. Even these Black men benefited from the extreme patriarchy of America, where men are applauded for as many sexual exploits as they can muster and women, the same women these men are having sex with, are slut shamed. Hatred of women is such an American truth, that drugging women to rape them and raping women too young to consent is forgiven snd pushed under the rug by other men and some women alike. Patriarchy is such a deeply ingrained American value, it is accepted by the people it harms most. But women, particularly Black women, are often demonized and set up to be burned at the stake if they make a mistake. A mistake. That is not justice, but it is lauded as such.

Look… in America, “race” is specifically about color. There is no Jewish box under race. So for many Americans, especially African Americans who are most affected by the racial strife and discrimination in this country, Jewish is an ethno-religious category. So the other day Whoopi Goldberg, on The View, made the comment that the Holocaust was not about “race” but about man’s inhumanity towards man. What she said was not antisemitic, be clear. What she said was just based on American views of race… the ones she knows well. Race as a means to discriminate and separate is a colonial American construct to justify the system of slavery.

Now, what I know about Nazi Germany is that Hitler was a horrible person with marred intelligence. He was a reader and he enjoyed recalling facts, but he believed that having and regurgitating that information was more important than understanding the information. That is a fatal flaw of many narcissists. His intelligence can only be properly determined in light of those facts about him. SO, Hitler determined that Jewish people were an inferior “race” to Germans. He also similarly labeled people of African descent living in Germany. The term race was simply being used to codify a categorization based on superiority and inferiority. That is how he saw the construct of race. That is a simplistic way to view it… but not a whole understanding of the concept as it was used to justify slavery and continue to justify the discrimination of Black people in America for centuries. In Europe, however, the larger countries of France, Britain, and Germany had long before created a hierarchy of superiority surrounding ethnicity. These were White people discriminating against other White people… a question of the purity of one’s whiteness. Not racism, according to it’s historical conceptualization, but nationalism and ethnocentrism. All equally horrible.

In reality, her comment was not incorrect. There is a difference between ones “race” (a socially constructed categorization based on one’s skin color or other physical traits), ethnicity, and nationality. Regardless of how Hitler used the term, what he was referring to was something wholly different, because recall, he was a student of information but not understanding. He wanted to annihilate Jewish people based on some idea of Germans being superior racially, meaning more purely White. He believed Aryan (WHAT even is that???) people were the most pure and should rule the world, and the dominance of Jews threatened that. According to annefrank.org, Hitler’s antisemitism was framed by his two mentors, Georg Ritter von Schönerer who was a German nationalist who believed Austrians, Hungarians, and Jewish people were culturally inferior and the wild anti-semite Karl Lueger who politicized Christianity in Vienna on the platform that Jewish dominance was a threat to Christians everywhere. His heroes based their anti-semite values in ethnicity and religion, and really, at the heart of it, was a strong desire to destroy Jewish financial and political success.

So Whoopi Goldberg, in light of that comment was suspended from The View. If you believe for one second that that was more about the content of her comment than the reaction of White and Jewish executives to the idea that a Black woman would even have such nuanced conversation and opinion about the Holocaust, and frame it as a White v. White atrocity… you are mistaken. As one of my great girlfriends said…

That is an exhausting and daunting BUT 200% CORRECT premise. But it also speaks to the issue of justice. Again, she wasn’t wrong. She was giving a different take on the reason behind the atrocity of the Holocaust. She wasn’t joking about it, making light of it, trying to offend, or misinterpreting history. Race is a specific concept in America and most if the world. The use of the word race by an idiot, to annihilate a group of people, doesn’t make that tragedy about race. But a bunch of White people took offense, and she was labeled wrong and justice had to be served. She had to pay for making what generally amounted to “a mistake”… and not a mistake in terms of it being untrue but in terms of evaluating, before she said it, whether it would greatly and unnecessarily offend. Because we know, we (Black folks, Black women particularly) are going to be held to the highest standard humanely possible in terms of our behavior, but we are expected to swallow simultaneously being continuously offended by EVERYBODY ELSE! It was a mistake of greater harm to herself than that done to anyone else, if we are going to keep it 100. She never negated the heinous inhumane treatment of Jewish people during the Holocaust… EVER!

But justice, real justice, looks to me like Whoopi being allowed to explain her rationale and not blindly punished like a schoolgirl especially when We can still hear whole full rapist’s songs on the radio and see their shows in syndication. Make that shit make sense. Whoopi Goldberg is a cultural treasure, even if folks don’t acknowledge her as a national treasure. She was Celie, “until you do right by me”; Sister Mary Clarence, Oda Mae Brown, “Molly, you in trouble girl”…. and in many instances, our voice. Plus, she was born Caryn… and well that just makes her special cuz she was a little Black girl probably called everything but “Karen” because it was spelled different. 🤷🏽‍♀️ But I wasn’t watching The View anyway… Megan McCain’s irritating ass ended that for me, but on the rare chance I do watch a clip, it’s to hear Whoopi wax poetic. She is a legendary philanthropist and supporter of women, Black people, Jewish people, and speaking out against inhumanity. She doesn’t deserve this shit. Period. This is not justice, it’s sexism and it’s racism. Be real clear!

“Justice is what love looks like when it speaks in public!” -Michael Eric Dyson