Dear Breonna Taylor,

Your life meant more than you were likely ever told when you were alive. That’s how it often goes. Folks love you, revere you, want to sop you up with a biscuit, but never really show you or tell you while they can. And then, one day, they can’t. How we all wish you were alive. None more than your family. But perhaps even those of us that never knew you feel like we do, and wish we could have shown or told you how amazing you were… how amazing and valuable Black girls are, Black women are, Black women named Breonna are. We hope in that last hour you were held, told you were beautiful, felt your heart beat to the rhythm of your favorite song.

Yet in death, I want to try to educate our brothers and sisters on some very important legal truths to give some clarity to your fate and the aftermath. A fate, again, that was sad, unnecessary, baseless, negligent, reckless, and unjustifiable. However, now it is your legacy that is left. Your legacy should shape how we are treated in our own homes. You, Botham Jean, Korryn Gaines, and Atitiana Jefferson. Police reform is mandatory. No knock warrants should be forever banned. Black lives should AT A MINIMUM matter. Black people must understand the law, their rights, and their legal options.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

You were a 26 year old emergency room tech, a first responder, someone to be exalted and honored. Instead, because you once had dealings with someone with a criminal past, a no knock warrant to find that person, who was already in police custody and lived over 10 miles away from you was issued. A battering ram was used to break down your door, two police officers entered without warning, and you were killed. One former detective went outside of your apartment shot into the window covered with blinds and neighboring apartments. That was March 13, 2020. We have marched, protested, hash tagged, wore tee shirts, and loudly called for justice for you for six months. Today we heard from the Attorney General… the same one who spoke at the RNC.

This case might be legal chaos, but it is not morally or systematically complicated. Yet, no charges were brought against the officers in your killing. Today the former detective, whose weapon was not involved in your murder, was charged only with wanton endangerment for shooting into neighboring apartments. This is not an uncommon result in the killing of Black men and women by police officers… no justice. I guess Daniel Cameron does turn a blind eye to unjust acts. Black people are simply not treated justly or fairly in the exercise of thwarting crime by police officers, police departments, and courts. It is due to the very sad reality in America that the lives of Black people in the criminal justice system are deemed valueless. Your precious life was cut short and he gets charged for shooting at a wall?!?

Yet again, this isn’t new. This is the very real reality of the state of white privilege, racism, and the lack of justice in America. Wanton endangerment sounds like an ’80s cover band and not the indictment in the death of a human being in her own home. This is a state sanctioned homicide at its worst! The issues here are not so much what happened after police got to your home, your murder was the direct result of what happened prior to the police arriving at the scene. A haphazard investigation into the case that brought on said warrant. A negligently issued no knock warrant. A virtual crutch to police officers feeling a duty to act reasonably. Everything about this was wanton.

The decision to issue this type of warrant and the failure to adequately research the circumstances surrounding the warrant are directly related to the racist systems and policies in place across the country. Judges most often approve no knock warrants in urban drug cases. The brainchild of a Senate staffer during the Nixon era, they are historically one of the tools used in the 1980s war on drugs in America’s Black neighborhoods. According to Radley Balko, an investigative journalist and the author of the book Rise of the Warrior Cop, about police using the so-called no-knock warrants, about 10 innocent people and 30 potentially drug involved individuals are killed during these raids. Moreover the reckless use of such a dangerous tool sheds further light on the unimportance of protecting and saving Black lives. These warrants also insulate police by allowing them to use practices that limit their responsibility to use deathly force. Police should always be and must always be held accountable for firing their weapons. They should not ever be relieved of their duty to protect.

Yet, here we are yet again. Another Black life left to perish with no consequences for the obviously flawed and biased system that is supposed to protect and serve Americans, especially the innocent. You were innocent, unprotected, and underserved.

You deserve justice of every kind.

CIVIL JUSTICE

In April 27th, 2020, your mother filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the three police officers involved in your killing. The suit also alleged the police used excessive force and the issuance of the warrant was grossly negligent. The result was a $12 Million settlement in the civil suit. This is larger than any settlement paid in Kentucky’s history and larger than those settlements for Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, or Freddie Gray. An unprecedented act, the suit also resulted in the commitment to make police reforms including officer review of search warrants, mandatory paramedics in search warrants, identifying officers with red flags, social workers on dispatch cases, keeping investigative files into officer conduct open, among other things.

What is important here is the understanding that civil justice is not the settlement of a criminal case. They are two completely different types of jurisprudence that have very little to do with each other. Civil wrongful death suits need only prove by a preponderance of the evidence (51%) that the defendant caused the death. A criminal case, particularly murder needs both intent and must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, a very very high burden. So a person can be RESPONSIBLE for the death but not have criminal intent and be found not guilty. They are two very different lines of inquiry. It is important that we understand this, and are not sitting in judgement or shaming families who seek civil justice.

Families of people killed by the police, racist state actors, or as a result of the racist systems and policies in place that attempt to justify the death of a Black people should be able to put their lives back together. Many of these people sacrifice their jobs, savings, and livelihoods waiting and advocating for the indictments of their children, sibling’s, spouse’s and parent’s killers. They are often unprepared and go into debt burying their loved ones. Families such as your own deserve to send their fallen soldier’s children to college, or pay for their spouses and parents to dedicate their lives to advocacy and activism against police brutality, racism, the politicalization of criminal investigations and indictments, and the oppression of marginalized people. They also deserve a means to get commitments from police departments and States that will prevent the continued death of Black people at their hands. It is not settling to accept this money – settling for money instead of justice. In many instances, it’s the tool to continue living.

And keep living we must. The fight is too big. We need all the soldiers we can muster. There are too many names. Too many dead Black people. Too many unconvicted police officers. Too many excuses. Too many failures. We deserve justice of every kind.

Please know, we said your name. Breonna. We said your name deliberately, loudly, often, and with passion. Breonna means noble, virtuous, and strong. Everyone who knew you well says you were all of those things and more. We can see it in your eyes and your smile. We honor you. We remember you. We will continue to fight for you. We mourn you. You deserved justice of every kind.

I Dissent

I write legal decisions for a living. I am a 2002 graduate from Wayne State University Law School where constitutional law became my law of choice. In light of that, I always loved Justice Antonin Scalia, despite most often not agreeing with him, but being in awe of his masterfully and magically written decisions that often read like fine poetry without the meter. I particularly loved the dance he and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg did in written word. Her dissents often unwrapped his words like they were fine chocolate not to be broken or marred, but then suddenly devoured once naked. His would seem to ooze vitriol, throwing hot lava on her cool simplicity. They were an interesting pair. But she was something special. She was smart and calculated in how she highlighted sex discrimination in her career, and how she promoted humanity and equity through her court decisions. Her brand of female liberalism was injected with a passion to expose and end sexism and see women’s rights championed and not kicked and trampled over by a court full of men. If a pen was a choppa, she “kicked in the door waving the .44.” She was notorious indeed!

My absolute favorite decision of hers is her dissent in Bush v. Gore. In the 2000 Florida recount case , y’all remember the hanging and dangling chads, she stated … “The extraordinary setting of this case has obscured the ordinary principle that dictates its proper resolution: Federal courts defer to state high courts’ interpretations of their state’s own law. This principle reflects the core of federalism, on which all agree.” Her dissent was a masterclass in tearing down a clearly conservatives court overlooking of the law to further political gain. Her use of previous SC decisions on federalism was a clinic in jurisprudence! And in GRAND and SAVAGE fashion, she ended her opinion with only, “I DISSENT!” The traditional “respectfully” left off the end. A veritable “Beef is when I see you” to the foolish decision of the majority. She was notorious indeed.

And in this day of her death, we mourn her, but mostly we should honor her. On her deathbed she proclaimed:

A statement that was inspired by Mitch McConnell’s blocking of President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court during the 2016 election. Invoking the so called “Biden Rule”, the Senate refused to hold confirmation hearings until the election was over after Justice Scalia’s death. So because what’s good for the goose is absolutely sometimes good for the gander and McConnell is a BAN… she demanded the same. ON HER DEATHBED yo! Not for herself but for the country she loved. Another confirmation by the incumbent will result in a highly conservative and frankly MAGA minded court that will tear down the social justices that have happened in America since the early twentieth century. Race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, abortion rights will see fates that will forever change our country, moving it back to the Jim Crow era. RBG was an equal rights advocate and knew the damage that could come from a Trump confirmation. She was “all purpose war” on her hospice bed… she was notorious indeed.

So ladies, let’s be like RBG. Let’s dissent… respectability be damned. We must put on our jeweled bib, our fishnet gloves, a cute lippie, and pearl earrings and loudly dissent with passion, savagery, and no apologies. Let’s allow no one, despite how long their reach, to pluck our star from the heavens! Let’s be steadfast in standing up in our beliefs and our purpose with passion and urgency! Let’s be diligent in voting for OUR OWN interests and not those of our father’s, brother’s, and husband’s… because our vote was hard fought by feminists and activists from every walk of life, some to the death. Let’s always remember we are the life force! We hold within ourselves the cypher of life… we are to be honored and respected at all times and at all costs. And when we are not, we should don our crowns and let these patriarchs know that if they don’t take us serious, no holds are barred, and well “Fuck around, shit get dark to him…”

Now go forth and be notorious!

Rest in Power Super Diva!

Forget About Dre

“Now days everybody wanna talk like they got something to say…”

1. Dr Dre married a LAWYER in 1996, who was formerly married to NBA player Sedale Threatt,

2. Dr Dre has a history of drinking and violence towards women, both domestically and otherwise. His tack record says he’s an abuser.

3. In 1996 Dr Dre formed Aftermath. He produced, made beats, signed 50 cent in 2002, sold Aftermath for $52 million, made over 11 million in 2004, had a net worth of $30 million in 2012, sold Beats by Dre and is now worth $800 million.

4. He and his second wife Nicole signed a prenup. Many prenups have domestic violence clauses that negate the prenup if there is abuse.

5. She asked for $2 million a month temporary support after filing for divorce.

That’s the knowledge. Here’s the truth.

Who gives a damn about a woman beating drunk and how much money he has to pay to his soon to be ex-wife? He put a WHOLE woman’s WHOLE head into brick wall. He seems to like to beat up in a lot of the women he comes into contact with. You think for one minute this negro who said “it ain’t no big thing, I just threw her through a door” never put his hands on his current wife? Are we sure about that? Would you bet on that? Dude been hitting more than corners and low lows. Trust.

Here’s the thing, they married and live in California, a community property state, she gets half of his assets acquired during the marriage if there is not legally enforceable prenup. This woman is not an extra dancer in his video, she had been married to an athlete AND knows the law well enough to get a really good lawyer. Dr Dre wasn’t new when they met. So anything about him was public knowledge, including his violence. She should give back her law degree and her lawyer should just hang up his Johnston & Murphy’s if they didn’t plan for that in the prenup. Just throw your degrees in the garbage because y’all both trash in that area. But I can’t imagine that…

So she budgets $900,00 for entertainment. Well perhaps when they were happily married he flew out Toni Braxton to serenade them on date night. Maybe once a week they rented out a stadium to play a game of one on one with Charles Barley commentating. Maybe back in the day they had Bob Ross come give them painting lessons… little trees and happy clouds. It really doesn’t matter because in the grand scheme of things, $2 million is going to be her shoe money when she gets that check for $400 million. She could spend $2 million a month until she is 73, and still have money left over. She could wipe her ass with $100 bills, that’s her business. When you put your hands on women for sport as he has a history of doing… karma is knowing your money is as shitty as you are.

So I advise you, men especially not to get caught up in the matrix, no one wants your blow up mattress and your comic book collection, be easy. In fact, just be smart. If you got a few pennies, protect your assets, get a prenup, and keep your hands and your penis to yourself (there are infidelity clauses as well in prenups). But as for Dre… he gotta break her off something, and it’s FOR SURE gonna be bumping!

Sadly genius doesn’t always extend to every area of our lives and is not often a factor in common sense. But these are first world problems, and while we are living in third world conditions, I implore you to… yep… you said it already yourself… on cue…

Forget About Dre!

Hey… those are Lucy’s Diamonds

So let’s start from the beginning.

Ancient Greek philosophers learned Mathematics, Science, Language, the cornerstones of intellectual thought, deduction, and reasoning in Egypt… from Egyptians… in Africa. They wrote of this in the history of their philosophical manuscripts, but that’s not apart of general education. You can’t subjugate and marginalize people if they know you learned everything you claim as the basis of your superiority from them.

Similarly, the oldest human bones were discovered in Africa. Lucy is everyone’s ancestor. Yet that’s not apart of general education. You can’t mistreat and brutalize people if they know your racial categories are just made up tools of classic, racism, and supremacy, and they are the original beings from which everyone else descended. Lucy is humanity’s guiding star. We all see through her eyes… a collection of history and tragedy and triumph that shifts and changes colors like a kaleidoscope.

But let’s fast forward to modern day, during the most racially tense time we’ve seen since the Civil Rights Movement… where Black people are told to go back where they come from, that they come from shithole countries, that them living amongst the majority is understandably unwanted, and that their dead bodies being laid out in city streets like urban snuff movies… when images such as the one above permeate the media as a joke. But in reality it is our thoughts, art, music, style… cultural intellectual property… that is stolen and used like it emitted from their fingertips like pure magic. This can be especially true in the professional dynamic between White women and Black women. We are sick of Melania. We are taking control of our own credits!

I work as a public servant. I’m underpaid and overworked and could make much more money in the private sector… but this is the path I chose. I have a law degree and upon getting my job where I decide, analyze, and write legal decisions for federal service, I knew as the only legally trained officer I’d fare well. And I did, at first. I moved to more complex and autonomous cases quickly, leading to my first promotion training other officers. I helped develop a program used nationally to help prepare new officers learn the law in a practical setting. And then our office got whitewashed. All the minority leaders were pushed out, and my Black face didn’t look like success. So, they found a way to push me aside and hire White women to benefit from my work and take credit for it. But nope… I keep all the receipts. You won’t cheat off my paper and get an A while I get a B.

So here it is… put your name on it. Add your spice to it. Pour honey and cocoa on it. Make the shit yours, so nobody can ever mistake that it belongs to you. Be Beyoncé with it. Put on your leotard and nude stockings, bling it out, and Black it out. So when they put on them dukes, holographic fringe boots, and cropped sweatshirt… you know it’s appropriated cuz it’s missing your tag. Make sure everybody knows it’s yours. Make them work for their own if they want the credit for excellence.

Similarly, be your own voice, and make everyone else have to use theirs if they want the credit for change. How often Black women are allowed to put themselves on the line and speak up for the mistreatment of women because we have experience speaking up for mistreatment because we are Black… with no support on the front lines. Then in the mess hall everybody wants to big up you for saying what needed to be said. Nope! Speak for you until White women, Asian women, other women of color join you as an ally. Talk in the office instead of in the conference room. Don’t kneel for anyone who wouldn’t even stand up for you! Take fierce ownership of your intellectual property.

Michelle Obama is a national treasure. Melania Trump is the President’s wife. We ain’t all the same. Some of us make history, others of us just want so badly to be great again. Some of us are Lucy, and ain’t nobody fucking with our clique!

“Picture yourself on a train in a station
With plasticine porters with looking glass ties
Suddenly someone is there at the turnstile
The girl with the kaleidoscope eyes… Lucy in the sky with diamonds”
-The Beatles

Ladies, Ladies, Ladies…

These raggedy men (if you ain’t raggedy but you got instantly peeved, then pull your skirt down, I’m not talking about you dear heart) are not worth all the time you put into collecting quotes and shit to let them and everyone else know… that you know … that they ain’t shit. Notice, you rarely hear about the raggedy broads men come into contact with unless they are rappers and they write songs about it. Otherwise men deal and move on from raggedy shit to ready themselves for something better. Otherwise, they become these ragged dudes we are discussing right now. It’s time to take on that same disposition… he ain’t want you, he was taken, he was inconsistent, an asshole, a cheater, or just unsure… whatever it was or is… stop giving old boy your time and attention.

“You gets no love… from me!”

We have all had at least one. One somebody who wasn’t who or what we thought, whether he just had the bomb representative and a shitty reality or because that’s what we so badly wanted, we imagined he was all of these wonderful things he never demonstrated. The key to moving beyond that trash on to greener pastures is our ability to recognize our part in our heartbreak and then acknowledge when we saw who he really was and why we ignored it. Cuz people show us who they are, hell, they often TELL us before they show us in reality. And most often we ignore it and trip over it until we face plant. Don’t stumble over your own insecurity.

“It’s not right, but it’s okay! I’m gonna make it anyway!”

Insecurity. It is a manifestation of diseased thinking about yourself. You aren’t smart, tall, thin, pretty, interesting, fly enough… or whatever lies you tell yourself. Well guess what… Raggedy dudes have a radar for that shit. They scan rooms, parties, restaurants, their friends Facebook buddies pages to seek out women who clearly need someone to pay them a compliment or give them a little time and attention. They look for the obsessed and compulsive. They look for the fisherwomen, throwing that bait out for compliments and likes and looks. They look for women who constantly big up themselves for the public… the loudest are usually the most insecure. These guys are waiting in the wings, capes on, but they can’t fly and they certainly can’t save you. They just see easy bait. Don’t be easy bait. Don’t be easy at all.

” It’s over now, go on and take a bow!”

Make him work for your affection. Make sure you know he’s worth it, because he’s already deduced your worth. And that’s the thing, if he’s looking for short term… his deductions are based on what he wants not necessarily what your traits truly represent. So when he’s had his fill of what he wants, he’ll likely not even stay to see who you really are. And that’s ok. That’s his prerogative. But you are responsible for you… your heart… your healing. So you have to limit folks access to you. Be responsible for who you let into your peace zone. And be honest with yourself, if you fail to do these things, why do you invite chaos. For attention? To cure the lonelies? Because you mistake unhealed abandonment issues for extroversion? Whatever your ailment, heal it. Toxicity only shocks the system, it doesn’t embrace it. So allow your system to heal from toxic shock syndrome before you open your doors for guests and visitors. You are more than just a stop over on a long trip. You, my dear, are the destination.

You gotta let ’em know…

“What’s my name boy?”

That Hotep Over There

So I preface this with… if you don’t do any of these things, this IS NOT about you. But be clear, I speak for more than just myself. Trust and believe I do. And what will not happen on my watch is that Black women’s experiences will be negated or silenced because you read about your raggedy self, you take offense, and in the name of Black solidarity or Black love you dare try to bully us out of our opinion. It won’t work. We are sick of the self righteous and sanctimonious Black dudes who think it’s their place to put us in our place, but simultaneously preach Black love and solidarity. The hoteps are amongst us. But you can’t have it both ways.

If, however, you want to learn, grow, be better, or just understand us with more clarity… carry on.

I’m a believer that often people can better see through example, they can place themselves in the proverbial shoes of the actor to see the error of their ways. Let’s go with that.

So Black women are notoriously and consistently going to bat for Black men… and many times we get the short end of the support stick in return. We aren’t built up in the way we lay down our loyalty, lives, name, and livelihood for Black men, brick by brick. We sing their praises. We keep ten toes down to fight for and with them. We say their names louder and with more fight in our breath than we hear the names of our fallen sisters. Black Lives Matter, founded by three Black women, is often used in exclusion of the Black women who have been soldiers in the front lines. We can’t continue to love Black men unconditionally when we can’t even feel a portion of empathy or compassion back. We can’t continue to break our backs carrying the stronger of us upon it… we aren’t your mule.

So here are our demands.

1. Dead the Patriarchy

So Cardi B and Megan The Stallion were the talk of the Town of Internet, USA when they released WAP. And while White conservatives blamed their absent fathers… tell that to Megan The Stallion’s very present father… there were Black men, some that I know personally, actually questioning a Black woman’s right to be respected and simultaneously discussing or rapping about her own body parts and their fabulousness.

Similarly, Cee Lo Green stayed in an interview with Far Out magazine, “Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion, they are all more or less doing similar salacious gesturing to kinda get into position. I get it, the independent woman and being in control, the divine femininity and sexual expression. I get it all. It comes at what cost?” This the same guy who rapped, “I’d have my way with what’s left of the will of her. Cosmopolitans, and cocaine, and an occasional pill in her.” So it’s okay for him to rap about taking control of a woman and her parts under the influence, old Bill Cosby ass lyrics, but not okay for a woman to talk about her own parts of her own free, and sober, will? GTFOH.

So understand, patriarchy like country clubs was not meant for y’all. You weren’t included in the planning meetings. They don’t want you there… but they want women there even less. White men despise White women. Sexism has always been more universally pervasive than racism. The same way he controlled and commanded slaves, he controlled and commanded his own wife. He doesn’t want her there, just in his bedroom. But your Black ass ain’t wanted either… and when he sees you coming, he wants to channel Deborah Cox…”HOW! DID! YOU! GET HERE!” So stop.

You got to vote, legally and on paper anyway, before women were even imagined worthy… including White women. You! But be clear, both of us were sitting at home a long time, together, on Election Day! You weren’t included, and there are a lot of alt-Rights, skinheads, KKK members who still are determined to put us both back in chains, together. So act like you know.

You say you have reclaimed the word nigga well we are reclaiming our sexuality…. that they told us either didn’t exist or was too pervasive for our own good. But guess who couldn’t stay out of the WAP… BOFAYALL! They took it and it was given to you out of love and affection and desire… but you bought into that weaker sex bullshit and thought you owned us and the coochie. We own it. Understand. And we know ya’ll want it more than air and water. But you got a choice to make. You wanna get in here or the country club!? Your choice. But keep talking all that nonsense and you’ll be locked out of both.

We deserve respect PERIOD, to own and control our own sexuality by our own terms, and to be treated like human beings. You can dead that patriarchal judgement, because we might welcome you back , the patriarchy never let you in to begin with.

2. Do unto Us as we Do unto You

Every single one of my friends has been duped, ensnared, mistreated, or otherwise wronged by a Black man at some point in their lives… daddy, uncle, cousin, husband, boyfriend, whoever. Yet, yet, AND YET… we might bring a few pieces of luggage, but we chose you again…not HIM personally, but YOU as a collective. Very few Black women I know only date exclusively non-Black men… very very few. So if we can choose you as an independent person, often in the face of uncertainty, surely you can do the same.

Case in point, article after article negated Kamala Harris’s record as a district attorney and Attorney General. So when she was named Joe Biden’s running mate she was met with great vitriol about her record against “Black men” by Black men. Y’all got your info from articles written by the uninformed and biased. She couldn’t even get the benefit of the doubt, she was just guilty. But based on WRONG information. So take, for example, the article by Blake Simons of the Hella Black Podcast on AfroPunk, “Kamala Harris has been Tough in Black people, not Crime.” In it he references her failure to legalize marijuana, citing the high incarceration rate of Black people for marijuana related crimes. In reality while she did prosecute many marijuana related cases, which was her JOB, she rarely sought convictions for low level possession or jail time for any marijuana related convictions. These are the facts. His are the claims made by White conservative media that he latched into. Is she as a Black woman not worthy of your responsibility to independent research? He also claims she advocated for the death penalty in the case of Kevin Cooper and rejected his DNA evidence. Again, not true. There is no case where Kamala Harris can be shown to have advocated for the death penalty. The rejection of the DNA evidence was done by her office, as there are many prosecutors who work there, not her personally. And that rejection was not based on supporting his conviction, but because on appeal he had failed to bring up the evidence in a lower court… so the evidence was not admissible. If we are going to talk about it, let’s talk facts and not just regurgitate articles typically written by people that hate Black women… unless you too hate Black women. And if that is true, stop tryna get at us.

As a Black man with a platform, DO BETTER by Black women. Afropunk gets about 170,000 site visits a month, so it’s safe to say this article was likely read by thousands of people. It’s a website specifically geared towards telling the stories of and changing the narrative of Black people. So to use this forum to sabotage and spread falsehoods about a Black woman is heinous and irresponsible. And WE DON’T DO THAT TO YOU. Yes, Black women demand your respect and hold you accountable for your shit. Yep. Yes, Black women call out predatory Black men, famous or not, because they have abused and mistreated us and women. Yep, and we will continue to. Even then, many of us still stand by you. Black women defended Bill Cosby until he couldn’t be defended anymore. That was by his doing not ours. But that level of honesty should not beget blatant lies. We hold y’all up. Hold us up.

3. Be DEDICATED to Seeing Us Win

So example number three is on some straight Judas shit! Don’t bite me and call it a kiss.

So Master P’s brother Corey Miller (C-Murder) was convicted of second degree murder of a teen at a club in 2009. In true Kardashian fashion, Kim K tweeted that she was joining forces with R&B singer and Miller’s ex, Monica, to help free him from prison. She’s been credited with getting Cyntoia Brown and Alice Johnson freed from life sentences in prison. Sideye number one.

I saw a plethora of brother’s big upping her like she was really doing anything more than self promotion to get her law degree without going to law school, buying her way into the California state bar. The truth is the real WORK being done is by a team of Black women lawyers, Brittany Barnett, MiAngel Cody, and Topeka Sam, who have been dedicated to prison reform for years. While I do give credit to Kim K for helping these Black people pay for these lawyers and other legal fees, let’s not crown her as some prison reform activist. She is not. Credit belongs not to the figurehead but the people responsible for doing the real work, hidden from view, and not getting the credit they deserve. Her big ass, Black husband, and families’ medley of biracial kids by Black wealthy and talented men don’t make her down. She’d swallow the devil whole to be down. She’s a culture vulture… taking advantage and appropriating of the work, style, vernacular, and culture of Black people without paying us due homage and appreciation. Bantu knots and cornrows don’t make her honorary. She doesn’t really want this life… she wants the grillz but not the ills.

So don’t do that. Don’t Stan for her like she’s single handedly gonna get Corey Miller out of jail, like she single handedly did for Cyntoia Brown and Alice Johnson. Sideeye number two. She didn’t spin the gold, we did. Black women. If you must do that, then don’t expect us to be your loyal sidekick. Cuz we ain’t Robin, we are Wonder Women, the Dora Milaje, Catwoman, Storm, the Powderpuff Girls too… we superheroes out here saving lives and souls. We choose you, but we don’t need you if you aren’t gonna ride for and acknowledge us as the magical beings that we are. And we most certainly won’t be pushed aside for you to worship at the alter of lopsided ass and cultural exploitation without giving us our due.

So give us our due. EVERY TIME dammit!!!!!! Cuz we ride for you til the wheels fall off.

4. Fix Yourself

I shouldn’t have to suffer through your uncertainty, inconsistency, infidelity, abuse, or mistreatment, lack of personal responsibility, or misplaced self righteousness because I’m available. Drop that off at the therapists, cuz I don’t want it. Sure, I’m willing to help you across some reasonable crossroads, but I’m not bearing your cross. It’s not mine to carry… I’ve had to carry my own.

I’m not gonna be the Ciara to your Future, cuz I know Russell is out there. I won’t tolerate the immature playboy Jay-Z, I’m gonna call you out and demand the grown up Shaun Carter. I am not interested in inundating your unhealthy Richard Pryor foolishness into my Pam Grier goddess body. I also an not interested in your so woke you asleep Dr. Umar Johnson, Sheharazad Ali ‘How to control Black women for the culture’ bullshit. I shouldn’t have to suffer first to get some promise of the best of you later. Be your best self in that moment, the moment you walk up to me… or keep walking past me. I’m not interested. Your raggedy attempts at love are not welcomed. Bring me what I’m worth… the first time. I’ll ride, but I’m not dying… you should come with automatic seatbelts so I’m safe the minute I sit down. That’s it. That’s all.

I’m not your project or your savior. I can’t be bullied into Kente clothed submission or abused into Stockholm Syndrome. I deserve a good man ready to love me properly and completely, consistently and without limits from the very beginning. The idea that I must be tweaked to your specifications or tested to see how much I can take in the name of love is some psychotic thriller type script that Black women are disinterested in. If she does accept that and seem to like it, be careful, she’s likely not well either. Y’all should both seek counseling. But in general, we have come too far to be willing to put up with your toxic masculinity dressed up as a concerned and loving mate. Come correct or not at all!

Again, if this doesn’t apply to you, it’s just information. But if it does, do better! And when you open your mouth to speak on or to Black women, do so with our due respect. You understand? Otherwise, be ready to get exposed, cuz the cat most definitely got your tongue and she’s exposing all oppression… all of it!

The Two Kamalas

On August 10th, 2020 reports came out that James “Kamala: The Ugandan Giant” Harris, the WWE wrestling star had died from COVID-19. When #RIPKamala trended on Twitter, people assumed the hashtag was in reference to Kamala Harris, the US Senator and potential running mate for Joe Biden. The very next day, Uncle Joe confirmed he had selected the Black female US Senator as his Vice-President nominee. Coincidences are just God reminding you, He created Dave Chappelle!

Both Kamalas have excelled at the top of their respective games. Yet both have been victims of America’s favor of white mediocrity over Black excellence.

James Harris was born to very meagar means, but through a series of encounters entered the wrestling world in Benton Harbor, Michigan under famous Black wrestler Bobo Brazil. He was brought into the WCW, in 1983, and at the behest of Jerry “The King” Lawler his character, Kamala The Ugandan Giant, a play off of Idi Amin and tribal Africans was born. The character played well in the racist South where wrestling was most popular, and where the mediocre dwell. As a result, Kamala grew in popularity, moving in to the bigger broadcast at WWE, and ongoing battles with superstars like Hulk Hogan, Jake “The Snake ” Roberts, Macho Man, and Andre “The Giant”… names you likely know whether you were ever into wrestling or not. Unlike many of the larger wrestlers, Harris was more agile and flexible, and could put on a show. He was actually athletic, and provided the movement and charisma in most of his matches against the superstar wrestlers. However well into his career, he was never paid as much as the White wrestlers, despite his popularity. Harris remembers being paid only $13,000 for a match The Undertaker was paid $500,000 for, well into his career. He was a wrestling great, who suffered from racism and the justification of it based on how profitable his character was to the company.

Kamala Harris is an alum of Howard University, graduate of the University of California-Hastings with a juris doctorate. She’s a lawyer, former district attorney of San Francisco, the Attorney General of the largest state of the union, a US Senator for ten years, and a former Democratic nominee for President. Yet, like the wrestler, she’s portrayed as an equally savage prison warden because of her work as a district attorney. Minutes after her announcement, Twitter erupted in misogynoir, talking about her inability to lead, her prosecutorial record as a DA, and spouting all the right wing media nonsense we have come to accept as gospel, instead of doing our own research. I don’t have time for a history lesson, but I can assure you of this…

Kamala Harris is an educated force of nature in an upcoming battle where she is the only warrior. Her running mate, although our best and only choice, is an old mediocre White man who America picked over excellent women and people of color, including Harris. Her opponents are two very mediocre White males, one a conservative talking head and the other, the spawn of evil who has locked up children in cages, allowed Black women to be abused and mistreated at his rally’s and applauded it, surrounded himself with a circus of wild and wacky Black people to prove he likes “the Blacks”, and told four Congresswomen of Black or Muslim heritage to go back where they came from, despite three of them being born US citizens and one of them being a naturalized citizen. In this ring, she is the only person who can go the full round without needing a medic and the only person who continues to prove she belongs in the upper ranks of government.

The biggest discussion during the Presidential and Vice-Presidential debates will be the handling of this pandemic by the Republican administration, and its failure to save American lives by issuing a national policy to curb the spread of COVID and race. As sad as James “Kamala” Harris’s death is, it’s fate that the next day a Black woman with the same name would be in the running to break the ceiling on another first for Black Americans. Black Lives truly do Matter. She has a unique opportunity to wipe the mat with Trump and Pence, to not only expose them for the racists and public health piranas that they are, but to soak up Kamala The Ugandan Giant’s blood, sweat, and tears in honor of every Black person who has persevered through racism to bust through those ceilings. Just when we begin to wonder if our living is in vain, the universe yells out to us, “No, of course not!”

Like Kamala the wrestler had to don a costume that certainly was offensive to Black people, he also had a job to do and a character to play in the wrestling production. Similarly, Kamala the district attorney had to abide by policies and laws made by the government of California that continued to put Black men in prison, she too had a job to do and a character to play in the government’s production. Neither entertainers or politicians are at liberty to make their own rules up, they have to follow the producer’s rules and the government’s laws… if they want the job. But they must get the job to reckon with and expose its evils. We expect Black politicians to represent Black people, when in fact, their jobs are to represent the people who elect them. Instead, we should expect all politicians to be excellent leaders dedicated to freedom for all people, and against marginalizing people to keep them from success and realizing their true potential. Black people have had to sacrifice to get success despite being excellent. It’s time for America to take on excellence as the standard and discard this notion that Black people have to be 10x better to get 10% of the spoils of white mediocrity. After all, you can’t be truly free and truly brave AND mediocre.

Now grab your war paint and get in your wide legged stance, because we need to go win this thing. Ya heard.

WAP: Wack Ass Perspective

This’ll be short cuz it’s really simple.

“There’s some whores in this house” fa sho… some of them sell and serve up cutty and others sell and serve up patriarchy. They the same. A hoe is a hoe anyway you slice him or her.

On Friday, two videos came out.

WAP by Cardi B and Megan the Stallion.

Lyrics include: If it don’t hang, then he can’t bang
You can’t hurt my feelings, but I like pain
If he f#ck me and ask “Whose is it?”
When I ride the d*ck, I’ma spell my name.

No Dribble by DaBaby

Lyrics include: I give her d*ck, she walk out like it’s Thriller (Yeah)
She do a dance on a the d*ck, make a Triller (Dance)
Make a TikTok on the d*ck, she official (Go)
Check my wristwatch, that’s a motherfuckin’ blizzard (Bling)

So everybody had something to say… we can’t get a stimulus bill passed but a whole Congressional candidate was tweeting about WAP. California hopeful James Bradley noted the two rappers are “what happens when children are raised without God and without a strong father figure.” Yet he watched the video. I bet he likes ass and WAP, but he’s mad women are talking about it. Patriarchal bullshit much? I read tweets and posts about the song being in conflict with “Black women” wanting to be supported and respected. Real talk, you respect your mother, and I bet you are here because your father liked your mother’s WAP! Fuck your respectability politics.

Miss me with this TRASH y’all are talking. You know all the words to It Ain’t No Fun, Freaky Tales, and Akinyele “Put it in your Mouth” and you had THAT poster of Lil Kim on the inside of your closet. Moreover, I didn’t see ANYONE upset about DaBaby’s equally raunchy and sexual lyrics. No one tweeted about it. But that’s the whole entire problem. Men and holier than thou women who buy into patriarchy like good little women, believe it’s okay for men to talk about coochie and hell, even grab coochie, but the person with the coochie, to whom the coochie belongs, is not allowed to talk about it. That’s the dumbest thing I have ever heard. Here’s the truth, you don’t have to like the song, that’s a personal choice, but to ever infer that these two women, who had 13 million views and sold 200,000 copies of this single in one day, aren’t owed respect is ridiculous. You can’t get five people to like your Facebook post… but you think you get to determine what woman is worthy of respect.

Your Mother (PhD, head of the usher board, second soprano, Secretary of The Ladies Who Lunch community service organization): Cecil you better come get this WAP

Your Dad: Dry it off for me first…

SAID NO MAN EVER!

So chill with that foolishness.

Oh and Black women deserve respect because we are the life source. We are the creators of magic. We support everyone, we birthed the nation, but we are the most disrespected people in the world. Despite the world’s hatred and hypocrisy, we know our power. It rests in our minds, our hearts, and our womb. WAP is the cypher… it’s your mother’s womb, your father’s favorite place, and from whence you came. Judge ya mama!

The Norm

Say it with me…

“NORMMMMM!”

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

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

“It’s unbelievable…”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not worse, just different.

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

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

How do you spell relief…

Y’all remember that commercial!?

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

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

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

So I got with Nana!

I’m about to get with you!


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

Normalizing therapy is important!


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

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

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

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

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