The Blues on my Left

The Blues has always been totally American
As American as apple pie
As American as The Blues
As American as apple pie
The question is why?
Why should he Blues be so at home here?
Well, America provided the atmosphere
– Warren G, Do You See

Listen y’all… I’m gonna make an impassioned plea for y’all to get wise and stop all of this foolishness goings on regarding this election. Let’s not spread foolishness and fuck shit… please.

1. We can decide we will vote for the Democratic candidate and STILL decide who that nominee will be, or better yet won’t be. We can do both. There is nothing that says I must vote for a racist and sexist vile human being on either side of the ticket… because he’s Democrat. Nope.

2. We can be honest about who these candidates are and what they stand for during the primary, when we are supposed to do just that. Debating about who is better does nothing to fuel the incumbent. Nothing.

3. The rules are different for minorities (hence why we have ZERO on the ballots as of today) and women. Period. There are two women running for the Democratic ticket, no minorities. Inclusivity and diversity are buzz words with no real meaning it seems.

This is America! It is a White Patriarchy. It is born of racist ideology. It’s patriarchy is promulgated by its sexism. It justifies its sexism and racism by implementing policies and systems that keep women and minorities on the lower end of the wealth spectrum thus forcing women and minorities to rely upon them to get a piece of the pie. But women rising up to realize their full potential risk and power is a more dangerous premise for White men. Especially White women.

Hear me clear. No longer satisfied simply being his mate, when she is now interested in doing for herself and controlling her own outcomes, that’s a huge problem for many rich White men. I’m sure you are thinking… nawwwww it’s Black people over everyone that he wants to see fail. Well, I would venture that he doesn’t care much about us at all to even consider us… we often are not considered as a whole. But “his women”… oh he cares. He cares a lot. So much do that he will sabotage her success to have her remain by his side where he believes she belongs.

That truth plays out on the national stage in politics. First, the two women running both have a long history in politics and frankly are wealthy. Kloubachar has a hefty investment portfolio and has been in politics since she became a prosecutor in Minnesota in 1999. Similarly, Warren has made about 8 million from book deals and started her political career in 1998 when he work as a bankruptcy professor led to her heading many congressional committees and establishing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2011. Compared to a male in the race who has been polling and doing better in the caucuses and primaries than either woman, Pete Buttigieg. He has been a mayor since 2011. That’s the brunt of his experience. It’s very telling.

Let’s go back… Hillary Clinton 2016. She was accused of actually criminally, regarding something that many Secretaries of State had done before her. Yet she spent a whole campaign trying to overcome it and it likely is what cost her the Presidency. Meanwhile her opponent had filed for bankruptcy several times, been sued for breaking contractual agreements, and had charges pending regarding his sexual assault of women… even stating on camera that he sexually assaulted women. Yet we talked about her pantsuits and emails. But her pantsuits. But her emails!?!? AND he was elected.

Women in politics face much harsher standards than men. How they dress, their hair, their voices. How they handle frustration, anger, disrespect, and abuse. How they respond to blatant sexism. Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez (AOC), Ayanna Presley, and Rashid Tlaib, all American minority women were told to go back where they come from by the incumbent. Michelle Obama’s clothes and their cost were picked apart like she loves me not flowers. Similarly, a now deleted tweet by Washington Examiner conservative columnists Eddie Scarry commented on AOC’s attire saying she “[doesn’t] look like a girl who struggles.”

I guess if we dress well that’s a problem, if we wear pantsuits that’s a problem, and if we don’t dress well enough or our skirts are too high, those are problems too. FOH with your inequitable scrutiny and standards.

In a recent Facebook discussion, I noted that five out of the six Democratic candidates have criminal justice violations in their past, except Elizabeth Warren. I affectionately call her EDub because she’s a gangsta. Anyway… I was met with an article by the questionable Washington Examiner that stated, “Elizabeth Warren’s new campaign racism scandal…” which was a bunch of sensationalized fluff over a few minority women who had quit her campaign in light of mismanagement and lack of diversity initiatives in her Nevada campaign group. Definitely an issue, but not a racism scandal. But this is the same media force that lives to berate her with articles titled :

“Elizabeth Warren is over”

“Elizabeth Warren wins that debate-for Bernie Sanders”

“Elizabeth Warren is ruining the case for a female president”

The same paper that boasted:

“Why won’t Hillary Clinton just go away.”

“Hillary Clinton: Why?”

and “Hillary Clinton should definitely keep talking” regarding the 2016 Democratic Presidential nominee. It’s not just conservatism, but sexism. The paper simply does not attack, disregard, and disrespect men in the same manner. Interestingly enough that same FB person who was backing Bloomberg… a Black male. A Black male backing Michael Bloomberg? Say it ain’t so…

Yep, Michael Bloomberg! This guy is like a painting of Trump during Picasso’s blue period… that mofo is still racist despite claiming to be a Democrat. Racism knows no loyalty. Yet he has been doing oddly well in the polls, despite being the partisan twin of the incumbent. For all of Trumps “my Blacks” and pussy grabs, he can see dudes racism and raise him sexism.

He’ll see you: “Ninety-five percent of your murders — murderers and murder victims — fit one M.O.. You can just take the description, Xerox it and pass it out to all the cops. They are male, minorities, 16 to 25. …The way you get the guns out of the kids’ hands is to throw them against the wall and frisk them.”Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Aspen Institute, 2015. And raise you… In 1989 when a male salesperson at Bloomberg L. P. was getting married, Bloomberg said to the female salespeople, “All of you girls line up to give him a blow job as a wedding present.” In another 1989 incident, he asked a female saleswoman he was unhappy with… “if the clients asked you to lay down and strip naked so they could fuck you, would you do that too?”

Despite being beaten like he stole something by EDub, called out as a racist and sexist by EVERY other candidate… he didn’t drop out after getting molly whopped on fight night. He won’t. He won’t have to. He’s a White man… he deserves all the things right? He’s the most qualified because he’s rich, right? He must be smart, right? His acts are egregious, sure… but clearly not egregious enough for there to be total outrage and rejection of him as a potential candidate. This is America. He’s the worst of what there is to offer. But he’s a man so his suits, hairstyle, or morals don’t matter. With all of their Blacks, women, and gays matter rhetoric, even many Democrats don’t stand behind their claims. But blue is not only for boys.

When we, especially women, claim that a woman can’t win… we strengthen the systems that make us believe that very thing. Women are astronauts, pilots, professors, coal miners, coders, mechanics, professional football coaches, CEOs, and Presidents in many many countries across the world. Golda Meir, Margaret Thatcher, Indira Ghani, Isabel Perón, Corazon Aquino, Benazir Bhutto, and Vigdís Vinnbogadottir were all female leaders of countries in the 1960s and 1970s. This is America… we can make and raise your babies but…

Still waiting.

Told me I was fit to wear a crown…and then you let me down. –Billie Holiday, You Let Me Down

The Transference of Trauma is being Televised

Oooooo y’all mad at Oprah and Gayle ain’t y’all.

A little perspective: Unhealed trauma infects everything that we do!

So here’s the thing… healing is a process. It has no beginning or end necessarily. Even after healing, most of us have to figure out how to process that healing. I’m not intending to minimize the importance of healing and the effects and experience of trauma in ANY way. I most certainly am not judging anyone’s healing process after suffering the horror of sexual abuse. I understand that after a series of recalling, avoiding, and reacting to the trauma one must make their way through:

1. Emotional Stabilization (finding safe spaces to express emotions to stabilize them to less reactionary behaviors);

2. Emotional Clarity (exploring the emotions attached to the trauma, full grieving any losses the trauma caused, and discovering and promoting how these emotions manifest positively) ; and

3. Self-Actualization (integrating the experiences and lessons learned from the trauma into ones life to create a new reality).

I also understand the value of healing. When we get stuck in the process of overcoming trauma, we tend to transfer our trauma response to some or all other area of our lives for protection. And for some of us… the transference of trauma will be televised.

Harpo

Oprah is an icon. She has used her platform to teach us and guide us spiritually. Oprah confessed in 1986 that she was sexually abused as a child. She filmed 217 shows about sexual abuse. She once had 200 men on her show who had been sexually abused, after she spoke with Tyler Perry about his own abuse. She interviewed Michael Jackson in 1993 right before the first allegations against him we’re made against him, and in 2019, she hosted the talk after the Neverland documentary titled After Neverland. She recently backed out of a Russell Simmons sexual assault documentary citing creative differences. Sexual abuse has permeated her journalism and continues to over 30 years later.

Her commentary in Leaving Neverland was telling. Oprah states this documentary, which won an Emmy and is currently in court proceedings, is bigger than and “transcends Michael Jackson.” She also says it’s producer Dan Reed successfully highlighted that “sexual abuse was not just abuse, but it was also sexual seduction.” She spoke in second person during much of the interview, which symbolizes both distancing and moving closer to the storyline. But it was clear whose side she was on. Similarly when she spoke about backing out of the Russell Simmons documentary she stated it was “ridiculous to think that I could be intimidated by Russell Simmons.” It all sounds deeply personally, so personal that it’s wrapped in bias. For her it was about the patterns of abuse, particularly seduction, that she likely recalls from her own childhood. Sexual abuse may use seduction, but it is all about power and control.

Her unhealed trauma is so prevalent, I’d venture to say it lends itself to both the reality of and backlash over Gayle King’s questioning of Lisa Leslie about Kobe Bryant’s rape allegations. Regardless of her connections or proximity to sexual assault, her questions were inappropriate (regardless of CBS and it’s editing) and…well worthy of backlash. Perhaps because of her closeness to Oprah, her behavior seems like an extension of Oprah’s noble, but unsuccessful, attempt to educate on sexual abuse. However, attaching a label onto men, particularly deceased Black men, who have not been found guilty of any wrongdoing, is steeped in historical racism. We have seen this play out again and again (Emmett Till, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, etc.), where even Black male victims are demonized in the media. When we see this merit less attack done by other Black people… folks get real “cash me ousside”. This scenario is no different. Our reactions, however, should be to seek understanding and never to promote more abuse towards victims or their supporters.

Be easy.

Beyond Harpo

Comparativly we can look at Tyler Perry, who outlined his horrific and sadly consistent physical and sexual abuse as a child to none other than Oprah. He also spoke on that show about his no nonsense aunt being his only real defense against the abuse, his mother too fragile emotionally to protect him. Abusive relationships are often a focal point of Perry’s movies and shows. Women who are portrayed as needing men to overcome are often the main characters in his films. His strongest female characters were him in disguise. His male characters are deeply flawed and often abusive. They both feed off of extremely negative stereotypes about Black people, but ones that speak directly to his experience as a child. Tyler wants and takes sole responsibility and autonomy to tell and visualize these stories in a way that resonates with him. But he needs a writing room, a casting director, and a good wig person… stat!

Lack of healing is characterized by a very nuanced and troubled view of one’s self and others, paired with this desire to control the narrative from frame to frame. Healing negates the need for control, because it replaces fear with an ability to internalize and actualize what we’ve learned about ourselves. Oprah picks the project, picks the subject, produces it, and takes sole creative control of the narrative. Tyler Perry writes the story, creates the characters, casts the actors, and produces the film. Only someone who hasn’t fully mourned the loss of control that came from the abuse needs to guard his/her ability to be in control so tightly.

Most Black men and many Black women feel personally attacked by Oprah’s focus on Black men’s alleged aggressions toward White victims, but nothing of the scours of White men brought down by #MeToo. Many cite Harvey Weinstein because of his very consistent and notorious harassment, but there are also Matt Lauer, Louis CK, Kevin Spacey, and hosts of others. Oprah’s interjection of herself in only Black male cases read like her own public confrontations or exposures of the people who violated her… but they are not. The repeated interviews and shows won’t hold her Black male abusers accountable or heal her. We need fair, responsible, and balanced views to count as real information and not sensationalism.

The stories and information producers and journalists tell should all be done with a level of responsibility and integrity that minimizes the possibility of being offensive or selfish . The truth can be taken in and presented to the world, by a healed and self-actualized person in a way other than just a simple presentation of the trauma over and over. The men Oprah has attached her journalism to have been found guilty of nothing; there is no solid proof of any wrongdoing. Believing victims does not absolve us of finding truth, instead of presenting allegations as facts. She isn’t being honest if she fails to see that these kinds of amateur fact finding attempts are televised stonings. Criminal trials have rules these exposès are not held to. We try these people in an unfair hearing.

Bottom line, her 30 years of sexual abuse related journalism hasn’t moved or morphed into empowerment yet. A self-actualized victim of domestic abuse, for example, doesn’t just tell her story, but creates safe spaces for other women and seeks experiences that empower her and others by ceasing to let the trauma do the controlling and instead promoting the positive outcomes of healing. No matter the medium, a television show or a simple conversation, your newfound understanding and wisdom will shine through with sincerity and purpose.

If you are an adult, healing is your responsibility! Period. Until then…

You will not be free.
You will not live your best life like Lil Duval.
You will not be happy like Pharrell.
The transference of trauma will be televised sistas and brothas.
And… the trauma will be live.

Original : Meanwhile, the rest of us will not go Snoop Dogg in our head wrap, calling people bitches, defending druggie rapists, and inviting folks to an ass beating we might be too lightweight to dish out. This fool had women on dog leashes and idolizes a broke down pimp. He’s not exactly a pillar of the community. Never go Snoop Dogg.

Update: Snoop manned up and apologized to Gayle King. I see your growth playa. I am big enough to acknowledge that we all deserve the opportunity to be better!

Just Show Your Love

I be your Knower, you be my Wiz
I’m your Mister, you my Mrs.
With hugs and kisses
Valentine cards and birthday wishes…Please
Be on another level of planning, of understanding
The bond between man and woman, and child
The highest elevation, cuz we above
All that romance crap, just show your love
You’re all I need” -Method Man

Once some guy, with great intentions, bought me one of those 7 Mile and the Southfield Freeway clear heart balloons with a bear inside, surrounded by stale chocolates and Reese’s cups. I remember looking at it like… oh, wow, thanks. As he was grinning ear to ear like he had just hit the gift giving jackpot. I recall the bear’s eye was sitting at the bottom of the balloon rolling from side to side. I was that sad little eye in that moment, just rolling about aimlessly trying to find my way out of captivity that I shared with regret, the promise of really bad gifts, and a lifetime of dusting teddy bears with runaway eyes. I vowed that would not be my life.

Most important, gifts are not my love language, so while I understand that may have been his thing, it wasn’t mine. I also realized, when I expressed my thoughts to my friends, that people are wayyyyyy more romantic than realistic in their standards and expectations about relationships. I personally don’t care about candy and shit on Valentine’s Day, or the day at all. We put this pressure on ourselves and others to show love in ways that don’t register as such to the receiver. Moreover, we give in to these ideas because it is what other people think is acceptable, sweet, romantic, and thoughtful… and we adopt that view. Those folks selling cellophane wrapped love are not there for the true gift giver, the guy or girl whose guy or girl is going to squeal with delight. They are for the guy who knows that shit is ugly but doesn’t yet know if you do or not.

You wanna do something that’s gonna make her smile? You want to show your love… Be her knower.

Since I’m repping Black History Month all 29 days of February 2020 and Black History every 365 days I’m granted, Black Love is the highest form of Understanding that Black people can attain and aspire to. Knowledge according to Supreme Mathematics is to know, listen, and observe. The purpose of Supreme Mathematics is to give us a framework for discovering who we are in the universe. Before we can know and learn anything else we must first know and see the divinity in ourselves.

Only one who knows who he is can fully learn (knowledge), accept (wisdom), and love (understanding) who I am. Once he can explain to me who he is, what pleases him, his desires, his wants, his needs, his passion, and his purpose… he can absorb mine. Receiving gifts may be how he feels love, but other than a birthday gift, flowers from time to time, and maybe that pair of Js I’ve been eyeing, they just don’t equate to love for me. So he will be able to communicate that to me, and then both hear and listen that it’s not for me. He won’t attempt to make his love language mine so it’s easier for him to remember and process, but will want to have full understanding of who I am, what pleases me, my desires, wants, needs, passion , and purpose.

This shit is so simple. It will save you money buying two dozen red roses when she likes sunflowers only in June, that pair of $800 Louboutins when she only wears flats, or tickets for him to see Nas when he wanted to see Kenny Chesney. We shouldn’t be attempting to love our partners in the ways we want, but in the ways they best receive our love. Sure, we can sprinkle in some surprises and buy a gift when he really prefers Words of Affirmation and Physical Touch, but we first must make sure we are giving what is needed, not just what we want to give. That’s wack.

Stick with your girl, I got that M-E-T-H-O-D, man!

I’ll be your wisdom. I will help you make good decisions and process that knowledge, to a level of elevation where a whole lot of real has splashes of well placed romance… keep the card, give me the hugs and kisses! Be my knower and everyday will be like Valentine’s Day.

But hey if your woman likes cellophane wrapped love, do your thing.

This for That

Six million, six hundred seventy four thousand, eight hundred eleven people voted for third party candidates in the 2016 election.

Y’all suck.

I blame you for this.

I can’t even say his name. We’ll call him The Elected.

The Elected uses foreign policy as a personal tool. He uses his office and Presidential Power to manipulate and manuever favors with these governments for he and his cronies. According to the Mueller investigation, Russia helped win the initial election via social media and social engineering because it was strongly against a Clinton Presidency and that interference was allowed in exchange for The Elected’s real estate deals. Deals that he took Phil Ruffin, his Vegas business partner, along to help negotiate… oh and there were mad hoes present too. Money and hoes for elections and casinos. This for that.

Likewise The Elected had issues with China and trade sanctions. He agreed to relax those sanctions right around the time his Vegas buddy Sheldon Adelson notifies him those sanctions could start a major trade war with China. Meanwhile Adelson was seeing huge gains from his now very most lucrative casino resort on Chinese territory in Macao. Both Ruffin and Adelson are million dollar benefactors to The Elected’s campaign. We making Macao Money for Sweatshop Sneakers. Pay for play. This for that.

Now he is being proven guilty of manipulating Ukraine into investigating the Biden’s after Biden proved to be his biggest election competitor. History tells us, the Presidency has given him access to financial success via his international business dealings. Why would a self proclaimed billionaire who has failed at every financial endeavor he’s entered into, want to give up that position? Sinning for the winnings. This for that.

The Elected is treating America like his New Jersey General’s team in the USFL… he’s willing to tank the whole thing to make himself and his buddies more money. He once met privately with former NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle offering to ruin the USFL in exchange for an NFL franchise. Sound familiar?

This is America…

These talking heads who surround him are sad displays of legal and political leaders. Harvard legal professor Alan Dershowitz :”…if a president did something that he believes will help him get elected — in the public interest — that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment.” Republican Senator Lamar Anderson (JD, 1965): The House Managers have proven that the President asked Ukraine to investigate Biden and also made military help contingent upon that investigation… it’s inappropriate but not impeachable. So I don’t need more evidence.

These are people who educate America’s legal scholars and make the laws… but most Senators are lawyers by education.These Senators have decided to hold a trial without witnesses, even though they know that the purpose of a trial is to present evidence and witnesses to prove or disprove the charges against the accused. If Bolton is not credible (His lack of integrity [like Bannon,Flynn, Wakdh, Prisbus, Spicer, Sanders, Chen, Pompeo, Mulvaney, Kelly, Tillerson, Sessions, Perry] was the reason he was hired) that’s the job of The Elected’s lawyers to prove. However in terms of an impeachable act, this isn’t difficult! But The Elected is known for turning on those who display and require political integrity. These dudes cannot believe the trash they are spewing, but it’s the political billionaire version of Arnold giving the Gooch his lunch so he wouldn’t get beat up. This for that.

“Quid pro quo, something for something, that’s the obvious!” -Kendrick Lamar, Institutionalized

Here’s the bottom line in basic terms: The Elected’s admitted he requested an investigation into the Bidens during a July 25th phone call to the President of the Ukraine. He then withheld approved aid to the Ukraine. THIS FOR THAT! The request was the “quid pro quo” or “the favor/advantage granted or expected in return for something. It is illegal under Article 1, Section 9 of the US Constitution for anyone who holds office to receive any emolument from a foreign government. An emolument is any gift or thing of value. An investigation into an electors opponent for office, to gain public office is a thing of value. Therefore the quid pro quo by The Elected was a violation of the Constitution, an impeachable offense. The fact that Senate Republicans basically decided against witnesses and against impeachment before the trial began is a sign of the fascist times.

This is anti-jurisprudence.

This is America.

We got 6,674,811 problems and that dude is number one!

Being Black is Historical

Black History Month 2020 is five days away… at 13 I was very hopeful and optimistic about where I would be and where the world would be when we reached this point in time. Mostly, I was very forward looking… seeing time as a unit of growth. I know I have grown… the world is another story.

Even at 13 I was rooting for everybody Black. I was also rooting for women. I recall having a substitute, who didn’t know that I was the curve in my elementary school class, call a young man to the board to do a math problem. When he got it wrong, I raised my hand as well as another young man, and the substitute said to me, “we don’t have a lot of time to spend on this so let’s let him answer because he’ll probably get it correct.” I responded, “I’m the only one here who will get it correct!” I was very aware of my Blackness AND my femaleness and how both were seen as limiting by others. But I was very aware of my own abilities. Even as a child, after Harriet led slaves to freedom thousands of miles away, Shirley had ran for President, and Toni had written countless books and won a Pulitzer, I still had to stand in their shoes and proclaim our skills, talents, God given abilities to a naysayer.

So when I thought about what 2020 would look like, 30 years later, I thought certainly the world would have grown past prejudice and racism and sexism, focused more on advancing technology and less on tearing down other humans and our art, creativity, intelligence. Yet… in 2020 we are still being judged by people who don’t recognize, realize, or even research our genius. So we need to change the narrative. It’s time. Our children in 2050 should look back on the essays they write today, and see a more inclusive, not just physically and spacially, but creatively and intellectually, space to thrive, hustle, and dream.

At the Pre-Grammy’s reception, Sean “Diddy” Combs took the stage and started this sojourn into taking back our power. He stated…

“… for years we’ve allowed institutions that have never had our best interests at heart to judge us. And that stops right now. …You’ve got to understand. We’ve seen Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson; Michael Jackson’s holding eight Grammys and he was dropping the Grammys. But you know why he was dropping the Grammys and why he got eight Grammys? Because they never nominated him for Off the Wall. So Thriller was his revenge. It wasn’t his honest work. It was his revenge. He’s like, all right, you all want to fuck with me?  I’m going to take your souls. And then we had Thriller. …My goal used to be about making hit records. Now it’s about ensuring that the culture moves forward. My culture. Our culture. The black culture.”

You see, when you are about the culture, and that culture is being used, sampled, borrowed, but simultaneously ignored, you sometimes have to slide your credentials across the table to let them know who tf you are. We live in a musical time where EVERY genre samples and borrows from hip hop the same way they sampled and borrowed from jazz and blues. Jazz, Blues, and Hip Hop, the three most American forms of music and the most disrespected. All three created by Black people from African influence.

When Michael Jackson, my absolute favorite artist of all time, created the very R&B themed Off the Wall, it was “too Black” and “too urban” for musical purists of the time. But Thriller was more palatable because it was more rock-n-roll mixed with adult contemporary. And while I love Off the Wall sonically, I was always more drawn to Thriller. I was drawn to its boldness. I was drawn to the fact that as palatable as it was to those White music executives, it was still very Black. He danced harder. His style was more in your face, the lyrics more haunting.

“They will possess you, unless you change that number on your dial…”

It was most definitely a “fuck with me, you know I got it moment”… and he solidified his place in music with that album. It may not have been his “most honest work” but it was definitely his “most honest statement”. And because he was a consummate professional, he bucked the system without them knowing it. The music industry was forever changed by that album, from a Black boy from Gary, Indiana. Who knew…

He did.

So let’s use these next five days to harness that energy. Get real clear about who you are, what you are here to do, and start doing it. We can do it for awards and accolades if we want, that’s cool, but if those don’t float your boat, do it for the culture. If there was EVER a time for it, that time is now. We are worthy of celebration and respect for our advances to the world. They eat our peanut butter, stop and go at our traffic lights, use our heated hair straighteners, recite and sample our hip hop, sing our blues like they wrote it, and admire our Blackness with the Jackson Five nostrils. Being Black is an act of revolution and a moment in history, no matter when it’s happening… yesterday, today, or tomorrow. I for one plan to do some shit this #BHM that means someone’s baby, maybe even my own, won’t have to justify his greatness in 2050!

Proud does not equal Prejudiced

Only modern marriage has been concerned with the notion of romantic love as its impetus. Historically in America and currently in most countries and cultures, marriage serves a far greater purpose for continuing and maintaining legacy through progeny, wealth, and cultural traditions.

Anti-miscegenation laws in the US were enacted in many colonies in the early 1600s, forbidding marriage between African slaves and White colonists. Even as white men were allowed without punishment to engaged in most often forced sexual relationships with Black women, marriages between Black men and White women were strictly prohibited. Into the early 20th century many states enacted miscegenation laws also banning minority races from marrying each other . The Supreme Court ruling of Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967) struck down those laws as unconstitutional. Many legal historians and sociologists have cited the threat of miscegenation as the primary reason for segregation laws from the 17th to early 20th century. These laws were used to set racial boundaries, control immigrants, and set up a racial hierarchy.

That’s racism at its finest!

Yesterday I read an article on Black Detour, You Can’t Be Pro-Black and in an Interracial Relationship, which stated emphatically, pausedwriter’sthatideabecauseisisn’tofmanyit’ssomereasonmentallyword

I’velongershe’sexperienceIlearned

Let’s

hundredslanguageslaveryhierarchymembers ofexistedcycledayJamestown

enactmentmiscegenationofcoloniesconcoctamiseducateofandthathumanthat’sandmuchature, just wild and reckless actions in the name of racial purity and the rejection of difference. Who are we if we take on these pathologies. I’m pro-Black but I will never be a a Black supremacist.

Let me assure you, I’m educated, middle class, I’ve succeeded in terms of the American Dream, but I am not immune to the system of racism and the virulent White supremacy that infects far too many of our White counterparts. I have been targeted because I’m smart, Black, and female by mediocre White men and scared but protected White women. I grew up in Detroit, Michigan. My parents were big Afros with fist picks and Black Panther Party Black. I’m my Grandma played the numbers around the corner; dressing not stuffing; hair braided in the summertime; Pink Oil moisturizer; bamboo earrings; asymmetric hairstyle Black. My high school graduating class was 98% Black, and 98% college educated. I’m pro-Black; Black and Proud; Young, Gifted, and Black; Blackity Black. But I’ll never be a Black Supremacist.

Marriage is a civil institution, and in most of Western civilization it has morphed from a contractual agreement between families into a partnership agreement between individuals. In America, the results of immigration and war changed the priorities of marriage as different cultures brought their traditions and women went to work. The changing gender roles and integration put people in different spaces, so women no longer looked to men primarily to take care of them and people if different ethnic, racial, and cultural groups were in closer proximity to one another. As the climate changes, so does the landscape. Interracial marriages grew in number as the climate changed.

Love has always been the foundation of relationships between humans, how that love or genuine care for another began, was expressed, or was manifested has certainly changed over time. But love, at the end of the day, is the expression of understanding and acceptance of another in their truest form. Love is a choice to grow with that person and support them in finding their true self. It is void of all prejudice, celebrates difference, rejects ego, and is never an act of power or control. To declare that to be proud to be Black, and for the forward progress of the Black culture in America is impossible if you partner with someone other than a Black person is a statement of power, control, and supremacy. It seeks to keep us separate to advance some notion that the purer our Black, the better.

Purity is a racist notion. In every iteration of the word where race is concerned, pure equals White. There is no such thing as racial purity. Europeans have colonized almost every country in the world, and they have had jungle fever, rainforest fever, dessert fever, you name it, since the beginning of time. Miscegenation was began by White colonists and continued by White people until it was in their best interests to control it. They did so under the guise of purity… yet that didn’t keep Thomas out of Sally’s bloomers. So clearly, purity was just a decoy. Power and control were the captains of that ship… and the love boat simply doesn’t sail with them at the helm.

People should be free to love who they love. Regardless of how they arrive at that choice, it’s their choice to make. That choice does not alone take away someone’s pro-Black card. Any Black person about the forward progress of Black culture is going to marry someone who is also about the forward progress of Black culture. That is not an idea that is bound by race. Ultimately, anyone pro-Black should first and foremost be pro-humanity, pro-inclusion, pro-equity, and pro-diversity. Our allies, regardless of their heritage, share that with us. That is what we should desire to see in the image of our partners… real acceptance and understanding. Love.

We can uplift, support, and celebrate all of who we are, what we produce, and our talents and still be interested in being members of the larger society that respects all people, who they are, what they produce, and their talents. Period. White supremacists have tried to paint us throughout history as savages, ignorant, unable, uneducated, thugs, miscreants, nothing more. But we are as unique, creative, intelligent, talented, and different as humans are. Yet ancestrally we come from a more communal culture that is unlike the individualistic culture that is America. Our nature is different, and that is okay. It’s neither better or worse, right or wrong, it’s just different. If we start rejecting difference, we are no better than the supremacists our ancestors were tortured by.

If we attempt to police love by injecting it with prejudice, we are attempting to build our own systems of race based exclusion, in the image of White Supremacy. I refuse to believe that is who we are. That is not who I am. I once married, and if I marry again he’ll likely be a Black man. I could also meet and eventually marry a man of any race who was interested in all people being celebrated, respected, included, and considered not in spite of their differences but because of the richness and diversity of difference. But trust…

To simplify pro-Blackness as one thing is to simplify Black culture… it’s too colorful, creative, and beautiful to fit in a box. We can spread love, promote love of all colors, still and root for everybody Black… at the same damn time!

Even Glow Sticks Break

“Her favorite thing to say, don’t worry I got it.” Neyo, Miss Independent
(That’s likely not her favorite thing to say. Try again. )

“You never ask for anything.”
Translation: You got it, you don’t need anything!
(Wrong again, everyone needs something at some time.)

She’s Self-Sufficient, Reliable, Responsible, a Perfectionist, Uber-Successful, Fearless. Did I mention self sufficient!
She’s the quintessential “Strong Black Woman”
(Call it what you want but it’s exhausting AF,cuz…)

The Strong Black Woman is every Black woman, some Black women, and no Black woman. She’s a mythical figure just like her superhero status. She’s a combination of the mule, the woman who has to work twice as hard to get 1/2 the success because she’s Black and female, the caped crusader, and a dope ass chica. She’s a role model modeled after roles past. She’s supposed to be the the antithesis of the Welfare Queen, the skeezer, or your trifling ass cousin who always needs to borrow money, but has the best Peruvian Wave bundles with the flawless closure. The a Strong Black Woman is rabbit in the hat magic, not Black girl magic! Hocus pocus.

Reality is better than fiction. She is strong and weak. She is independent and reliant, responsible and irresponsible, perfection at moments and mediocre at others, fearless and fearful. She is not one thing. She is all the things. Her humanity makes her better than any leotard clad superhero.

And contrary to popular belief, sometimes she does…Need something.

“I get by with a little help from my friends“-The Beatles

Sometimes we need something, someone. Sometimes we need someone other than our mother to ask us how we are doing. Chances are we are checking up on and checking for, many more people who just assume that we’re good because we are presumed superheroes without capes. The fact is that, we aren’t invisible, we can’t walk through walls, don’t fly, and can’t freeze people. We don’t have special powers that give us any more time in a day to accomplish something worthwhile.

Sometimes we need someone to recognize that being the person that gives and is available to, and is often called upon by, other people all the time, and never asks for it to be reciprocated struggles sometimes. We struggle with exhaustion and with loneliness. Very rarely do people reach out to us, check on us, ask us what we might need. And by nature we just aren’t the type to ask, but instead start processing how to get what we need before the need arises. But it’s just simply decent to check on folks who check on you.

It takes a lot of time and energy and internal focus to be this responsible. Yet it is expected of us like its simple. We are expected to do well, when mediocrity is accepted from others. We are expected to put in more effort, work ourselves until exhaustion, and risk our lives and health. And sadly, we get used to it. We are used to validating, not receiving validation, so we don’t broadcast our successes. Be clear, validation isn’t the goal. Most of our validation, 95%, comes from the actual accomplishment of the goal. But instead of calling us strong, call us successful, smart, accomplished. High five us for that awesome job. Stop feuling narcissists, another topic for another day, and show up for the folks who show up for you!

Don’t check on me because I’m your strong friend… just do it because you care. Let me know you see me. No fanfare needed, just a lil …

“I’m good all by myself… but ” Neyo

Yes, mostly I’m good. Mostly I’m good and I’m a movement. I get shit done. I get shit done in grand style. I set and break the curve. All that. But every once and awhile I need some help… and believe me as much as you think I don’t, I wish I didn’t. Eventually you start to believe you really are Wonder Woman, Super Girl, Miss Indie Pendant. But alas, superheroes are fictional.

So we have to learn to accept help. We have to be open to it, unashamed about needing help, and willing to embrace it fully and completely as a gift to my forward progress. Needing support doesn’t make us weak or incapable. Accepting help doesn’t make us needy or dependent. Realizing that despite our search for perfection, we will always fall short, and we are sent help mates the same way we are sent as help mates is imperative to our success. Alot of chess pieces surround the Queen so she in turn can do her job. She doesn’t act alone! She truly gets by with a little help from her friends…

As great as you are solo, imagine how much greater you could be with the right people in your corner…” I’m a force when we’re together!

May the force be with you! Glow baby…

Dressed in All Black like the Omen

So what is NOT EVER gonna happen is that we will not be sacrificing ourselves for fools, okay.

I’ll be brief because this really won’t take long.

I have called my mother, my girls, or whoever hurt by some raggedy ass boy who thought it was okay to disrespect me, lie to me, deceive me, play with my emotions, or fuck with me. I have a few times. And each and every time, at least one of those people threatened to bust that jokers head to the white meat, or dangle him over a balcony like Big Red… my office hours are. And while I likely didn’t want harm to come to him, they truly did.

They were .02 seconds from getting dressed like ninjas, grabbing blunt objects, piling up in the car like circus clowns, but sans the colorful outfit and red nose, and riding out. I know this because they have called me with the same nonsense from some fool who got the incorrect impression that he was the prize and the beauty in that tandem. Well, if he’s the beauty, then call me the beast. It’s a tale as old as time, that boys will be boys. But like the saying goes, boys will be boys and that’s why God made hot grits and shanks.

Act up you can get snatched up.

In 2020 we are anti-tomfoolery. So gentleman, please act accordingly. Women are to be respected, treated with kindness and tenderness, and loved. If you can’t do that, pick someone else, but leave her/me/us alone. Mmmkay. Otherwise, you are susceptible to being two pieced by her friends, sister, mother… allofus.

He that findeth… and if you find someone who you cannot treat properly then you owe it to her and yourself to let her go, so that you both can make room for the right person. But at no time is it acceptable to mistreat her. At no time is it acceptable to disrespect her. And if you even think about touching her in any way other than out of love, then I hope you like nub sandwiches because you’ll be missing fingers.

We won’t be allowing our sistafriends to hurt in solitude or be mistreated in silence. While you are taking advantage of the woman who supports you and has her shit together except for falling for you, we know how y’all do. You treat these thot pockets like gold, and have the nerve to compare our hustle to her handstands. Nope, nope, and nope. That’s not how any of this goes… but until either you get the memo or she drops your potato head ass, we will support her and plan your disappearance. At the same damn time. No hesitation. And let Sasha Thumper know she can get it too, live and in living color.

And ladies, if you have a partner who treats you well, cares for you, expresses his feelings, and his actions co-sign… then reciprocate. We can’t be out her cracking skulls for you when you are acting a damn fool!

Love each other, cuz the only pouring out we acknowledge is garnished with a lemon wedge and mini umbrella… while your friends singing ‘this is for my homies’!

Girls are gully out here in these streets showing up and out for our good sistafriends. Be clear!

Where my girls at?

Relationships 301: Lessons Learned

So I’m super private. There are some things I just don’t think it’s necessary to share… mainly anything about my relationships. Even people I do talk to about it only know bits and pieces, usually until it’s over, and even then I don’t share much. As I have experienced more, I realize how many lessons there are in the journey. And lessons definitely need to be shared…

I am a relationship girl… I am my best when I have a partner because alone I can tend to be so self sufficient I’m not very receptive to others and their needs. I know, I know, you can’t imagine that…but it’s fact. Sharing a space for three years in college, sharing all my organs, womb, and every ounce of personal space I’ve ever had with my son, and working at building a partnership in a marriage and other partnerships I have been in, have certainly broken me out of some of that. Notice I said some. As my child becomes more self-sufficient, and any time I spend single and available, I can easily slip back into that mode. So I believe that the universe sends me people I was meant to learn from to prepare me for this moment.

I was once married. I’m not now. Things happened. But I met a man with his own home, ten years on the job, investments, what seemed like a fellow self-sufficienteer. But I soon realized that a lot of that was perpetrated by someone else as work by his own steam. So I was expected to help a grown man do things I thought he knew how to do. But if you know anything about me, that’s not gonna fly. So we fought, and soon our verbal fights turned to his attempts to strike or physically harm me. At that first moment, I planned my exit. So early on I learned that every relationship, EVEN every marriage is not for a lifetime. Til “death” do us part might simply mean until the death of this union… or the death of my ability to function in this union. That’s certainly the case for me… and no one can tell me otherwise. Opinions are like assholes.

After marriage I was what you’d call a serial long distance monogamist. I dated a dude in Atlanta, one in Phoenix, and one right around the corner but emotionally distant. I cannot say I didn’t know that going in though, if I’m honest. Part of their unavailability was the draw… because I wasn’t sure what I wanted either. I thought I could live in Atlanta, that a change would be good. Nope. He thought moving back to Detroit from Phoenix on some whole Captain Save’em mission was what I desired… but I didn’t need saving and I wasn’t ready to give up my Captain’s hat. This rig was mine to control and I liked it that way. Plus he’d have just run us into an iceberg or some dumb shit. The other dude, well… again I was aware he was not available and to some degree neither was I, until I was, and at that point he was no longer a viable option. Nevertheless, this period taught me that it’s better to be alone than to give or have a portion of a person. We often split ourselves into bits and pieces and spread those bits and pieces over fertile ground to see what will grow, and the answer is NOTHING! We must be whole, ready, and open or any relationship is just an exercise in futility.

So I settled in singledom… and true story I asked for a love like my first love or none at all. It was so honest and raw. It was without pretense, neither of us knew about sending our representatives or being anything other than who we were. We met on a Friday and we saw each other almost every single day for a year until I went away to college, and although we tried, that proved just too great a distance to overcome. They say ask not, want not, and from that ask, that very guy, sent me a message out of nowhere. Yet, it was out of everywhere. Out of the universe. Sent from the heavens. And we have not missed a beat since…

Who and What we have become was only possible through the experiences we gained apart. When we talk we often wonder what if, should have, could have… matters not. The truth is that WHAT IS is all that matters. Now is the only time that matters. That is what dictates when, how, where, and what. If your right now is not where you want to be, be assured if you have put in effort to your expectations, it’s where you are meant to be. Keep living. Id gladly hit restart and experience all that over again to end up here. It’s the first moment I have felt like now is mine. He’s the first person who has assured me, without words, that if I let my guard down, he’ll protect the fort.

Lessons learned. Now back to my privacy!

The 2020 Commandments

So we are just a few shawt hours from 2020, and reflection is important for growth. So, in my search for growth I’m looking back at all the foolishness, success, good, bad, and fucking ugly that permeated 2019. The truth is, I allowed too many people to test my gangsta and too many unnecessary disruptions to my peace. So let’s talk about it.

I call these

1. Thou shalt not let clowns into your personal space, cuz that’s called a circus. I vowed to become more friendship open in 2019 and more forgiving. I did both and I realized that while being open is the key to allowing the space for blessings, you still gots to be careful about who you extend yourself too, and how. Everyone ain’t for everybody. Lemme repeat it… everyone ain’t for everybody. Some people will be good to talk to, others good to share with, others good to fellowship with, and some good for all three. Likewise, some of these folks are good for absolutely nothing. Nothing. When you recognize them, don’t expect time or your presence to change that…

2. Thou shalt not expect without effort. You gotta put in work for what you want, none of the shit… not money, success, mental health, physical fitness, love, or a good life is available in a giveaway… period.

3. Thou shalt not keep your eye on everything BUT your money … Here’s the thing… financial health is linked to overall health. Ones ability to eat well, take time out for self-care, and be mentally well is linked to how well we set ourselves up for financial success. When having and access to the basic necessities are not a concern, you are freer to concentrate on higher level needs to take your quality of life into the stratosphere. Take a stocks class. Learn about real estate and investing.

4. Thou shalt not let people treat you bad. Ever! Protect and love yourself enough to dismiss them at the first sign of mistreatment. It’s not your job to heal other folks by taking their shit and sticking around to your destruction.

5. Thou shalt not treat other people bad. Release anyone in your space that you won’t treat with ultimate respect and honor. They are not for you. It’s not their fault, but be in charge of your own life and responsible for your emotions and actions.

6. Thou shalt not remain unhealed. No explanation needed.

7. Thou shalt not let people get away with fuck shit. So here’s the thing, you don’t have to be nasty to get with somebody about their ridiculousness. You might be the only person who cares enough to let them know, so they can fix it. So tell your friends when they are out of order. Call your family out on their generational curses. Let people know you are many things, but never the one to fuck with.

8. Thou shalt not hold grudges. Forgive. Give grace if you decide to. But holding on to anger about other folks actions is pointless.

9. Thou shalt not withhold self love. You are worthy.

10. Thou shalt not compare yourself to other people. We each get a unique set of qualities put together in a package unlike what any one else has. That’s yours… work with that, better it, and worry not about other folks. Where they are, what they have, how they look, talk, or walk. That’s theirs. It’s space for all of us to be great. No one will ever have your unique brand of greatness.

11. Thou shalt use your words. Maybe you know some but I don’t know any mind readers.

12. Thou shalt not EVER apologize for who you are. Sometimes you have to apologize for the actions you take or the things you say… but who you are, who you really are is always ok. Be clear though… if you are allowing yourself to act and talk like an asshole, fix that…

13. Thou shalt not give your all to anyone giving you crumbs. If someone doesn’t want your friendship or partnership, they should walk away or you should. Only users are willing to eat from the pot and never add any ingredients.

14. Thou shalt not look for other people to give you what you should be giving yourself. That goes for love, happiness, wealth, health, whatever. Do your work. You will attract what you need in a partner when you provide for yourself.

15. Thou shalt not be unkind or unloving. We are made in God’s image to treat other people with the same kindness and love we receive from Him. In any and every situation we must be good to each other on a basic level. It’s a choice to be anything other than… no one makes us into hateful ass people, we choose to be that.

16. Thou shalt not be greedy with knowledge. Each one teach one. Let’s get communal and share what we have learned with others, so we build great people, families, neighborhoods, communities, and nations.

17. Thou shalt not mistake a win for a loss. We often feel like we have missed out, caught an L, had something taken away… when in fact we have won because that thing, that person, that feeling was not meant for us. Had it stayed any longer it may have destroyed a piece of us, but instead we were protected from its harm. Things don’t go away because we are meant to suffer because of its absence but instead because we cannot learn and grow in its presence.

18. Thou shalt not lack understanding. In Supreme Mathematics, understanding is the manifestation of wisdom gained by knowledge, which is seen and felt as love. When you know who you are, and you know your purpose, you share that with the world and it’s your gift of service to humanity. No greater human love is there than giving of yourself… extend that to others. You can never go wrong. (And no one not Muslim or a Five Percenter by faith but I am definitely striving to become a beacon of knowledge to those around me so we all reach our truest self.)

19. Thou shalt not be a hater ever! It’s enough out here for all of us.

20. Thou shalt not be lame. Take a risk. Open up. Laugh out loud. Wear sequins on a Tuesday. Wear white when you want to. Tell that clown to beat it. Stay ready. Don’t wait on slow mofos. And don’t just stand there, busy a MF move!

2019 was definitely about growth.

2020 will be about manifestation. Thou shalt manifest #thatnewshit in 2020!