I grew up on Burns between Warren and Moffat on the east side of Detroit. I was in this weird juxtaposition between families living in and keeping up Grandma’s house, drug dealers squatting in bungalows and selling dope on the porch, and renters tearing shit up and leaving their lawn so tall we all thought it must be a dead body in there. It was the family hood. Mama, Daddy, Granny, Grandpa, a cousin or Aunt, Ray-Ray and Pookie with the Regal outside, sporting Cartiers and Eight Ball jackets. Bikes and basketballs left on the grass. And on the corner of Warren, stuffed animals soaked with rain, discolored from the sun, tied around the light pole where some young Black person’s life was taken… hit and run, shooting, police brutality, and forgotten. The first time I saw the death bears on the utility pole on Warren and Burns, next to the mailbox, I felt like the Tenderheart Care Bear, wet and dirty from the rain the night before and splashed mud from the street, was staring a hole in me.
They were always there, every time we passed Warren to go downtown, turned down Warren to get wherever we were going, and often on our way I saw several more in memoriam tributes to lives lost in the hood. Big State Fair stuffed giraffes, the almost sad looking bears and rabbits with scraggly fur and missing an eye, sometimes baby dolls whose previous owner cut them a real bold haircut… I used to stare at those collections that left me both a little heartbroken and very confused. Representations of childhood, fun, affection, and carnivals, turned into symbols of death and more importantly the forgotten lives of the dead by everyone except the hood. These displays were basically art installations to mourn the death and celebrate the life of the lost… sad but celebratory, another kind of strange fruit, tied up and hanging from poles and trees, but colorful and vibrant. A representation of how some of us loved Black life and how others of us saw no value in it.
Usually one of the stuffed objects would catch my attention as we rode by. I never asked what happened and never confirmed or expressed an opinion or emotion. Yet it made me both angry and curious. It made me militant. It made me realize the people in my house, at my schools, myself … the personification of excellence… were still marginalized even if we continuously pushed ourselves outside those margins. We were crushed alive by white supremacy and eaten alive by cultural cycles of poverty, less opportunity, even less success, and a lack of privilege. In the city, it was as if we were left to die in this once thriving metropolis that now couldn’t keep a business open, had a ghost filled downtown area, dilapidated buildings and houses, homelessness and drugs, violence and chaos. Racism was unleashed to ensure that the hungry lacking money, jobs, food, and protection would eventually bite each other. State sponsored gladiator shit. Lynching by proxy. Those stuffed animals, our representative carcasses.
I have long moved from Burns, and in that time Black men and women, boys and girls who have lost their lives in poverty stricken, low opportunity, segregated, yet steadily gentrified areas aren’t represented by furry toys but blasted across social media. Dash cams, videos, surveillance, and technology ensures they are no longer faceless. Yet at the same time that’s both more traumatic and somehow more brutal. Out of that trauma, we have stood up and moved as one to protest and make noise against anti-Black policies and policymakers. We have called for companies who want our dollars to dismiss workers who display racist and discriminatory behavior. We have busted and rebuilt ceilings plastered with apartheid and painted in an ominous hue of black hatred. We are arming and protecting ourselves in an act of radical political warfare in a nation that still throws racist rocks and hides its white supremacist hand. We are saying their names.
And I imagine the souls on those light poles, long abandoned by their fur, are being freed from their perch, their ties popped, and they jump down and take in the new world around them, free. Southern trees bear strange fruit and urban light poles bear the souls of Black folks.
Dedicated to the life represented by Tenderheart Bear, Warren and Burns, 1983.
“Less than perfect women should not expect to be protected and provided for by a man”
“Strong women don’t intimidate men… unless she thinks strong means aggressive, rude, unpleasant, and outspoken”
Strong, old, Black, too short, too tall, too big, too skinny, and just people with vaginas say a rousing… Fuck you! The Trumps, Richard Spencers, Robert Fischers, Kevin Samuels, Umar Johnsons and all the men who subscribe to their particular brand of women hating can also grab a seat on the Fuck You train. Men who have taken credit for women’s accomplishments, deemed us too weak and not smart enough, or James Evan’ed us to the kitchen and the bedroom instead of the lectern, boardroom, classroom, or wherever the hell we wanted to be… fuck ya’ll too! Check this out, real men don’t sit around dissecting and dictating who and what women should and can be. Men with time to focus on what women are doing or not doing should perhaps find another job, lift some weights, pick up a hammer or chisel, do some carpentry or masonry, or choke on BBQ smoke. Pick one.
Sexism is a tale as old as time. Before a White man ever thought about enslaving a Black man, he was controlling his wife. Many extremely smart women in the 19th century and early 20th century never married, such as Susan B. Anthony, Clara Barton, Caroline Hershel, or their accomplishments were credited to their husbands. Women feigned being dense or dim-witted to marry, because men weren’t interested in smart women, but women who would bear them heirs, look pretty on their arm, curtsy, and make a good biscuit for their tea. Sadly, not much has changed. Women who champion feminism and the rights of women, or those whose successes brought about the need for that championing are looked at as aggressive, masculine, independent, and uninterested in male companionship, marriage, child-bearing, and things the patriarchy paints as feminine. This is true across racial lines, and especially true, a remnant of both racism and sexism, for Black women.
Here is a truth… as a collective, NO other group of women in history have been as abandoned and abused, and then victim blamed as Black women. None. Our victimization has been at the hands of men: men in power, particularly White men, and men we share blood or affinity to, particularly Black men. Those are facts. Slavery separated us from our ancestral families in Africa and the ones we created in America. We were forced to bear the slave children of our Masters, creating an emotional wedge between us and our slave husbands. The Civil War left us without husbands, alone to raise children, who fought on the front lines for a country that would never treat us fairly. Jim Crow and Black Codes destroyed the communities of color we built, leaving us destitute and unable to feed, clothe, and house ourselves. Black women were forced to take on maid and mammy roles while Black men were forced out of the job market. Desperation and unjust laws left them jailed and us alone to raise kids with no men in the home, practically destroying the Black nuclear family.
Today, remnants of watching our single mothers struggle but persevere while knowing our father’s chose not to participate in our family reside just under the surface. We watched our brother’s take on man roles in a child’s body, and now see them struggling to overcome the stigma of incarceration. We remember our uncles, real and play, teaching them that manhood was about how many women, cars, and dollars you could stack and never showing emotion, compassion, or vulnerability. We see them mistreating our friends and sisters, helping themselves to whatever we have and leaving us worse off than we started. We stay at Friend of the Court trying to get them to help buy a pack of diapers or help pay for DeVanté, who looks just like his trifling ass, go to the private school so he can be a doctor like he always talks about. Before you get in your feelings, YES, there are plethora of Black men, men period, who are excellent husbands, fathers, friends, and leaders. We salute you!!! 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽 But for any man to spend his time determining that how we broadcast strength and resilience is wrong and indicative of our worth, without acknowledging what we have been through… he might want to consider that he is just further victimizing us with his judgement and patriarchal bullshit. Fuck you guy.
You want us in the kitchen frying your pickerel in lace underwear, real booty banging, hair laid (and it can be weave as long as you can’t tell), smiling and calling you King. But fish grease pops, so when we put our clothes back on we are rude, when we tie our hair back we are aggressive, and when we stop smiling we are rude. No, we just got fucking burned… but we keep on cooking. It’s you who can’t stand the heat bruh… so back your ass up out of the kitchen until your balls drop, you can grab them, and come help me tend to my burns. Until then, keep your fucked up opinions to yourself. How I exhibit strength is MY BUSINESS. If you don’t like it, then go find a woman you like, cuz the fact that you are talking about it MEANS that you are single af. Figure out why that is before you lay out your philosophy on why some woman, you don’t want, acts in a way you don’t agree with. Newsflash… she likely doesn’t give a fuck!
Your homework: Before you write a dissertation on why certain women are so undesirable, figure out why nobody wants you?!?
Women are always caping for men… all women. We keep your secrets, help you hide bodies, and cover your abuse with Maybelline… because we want to help make you better before we give up in you. But we are sick of your abuse, your judgements, your dominion… and we won’t continue to be your victims. We can be bad by ourselves. We can choose who and what we want to be. We can exist, live and breathe and walk and talk, without seeking your approval. And the entire truth is…
“Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.” 1 Corinthians 11:9.
This isn’t about Black Girl Magic or Black Boy Joy. In fact, all magic isn’t good… and that’s what I’m here to talk about today ladies & gentleman, boys and girls. Black is the color of American racism… it’s the color that most threatens White supremacy and privilege, the magic color of hate and racism. So today, this, this is about calling that out, and simultaneously honoring the lives and protesting the deaths of Trayvon, Mike, Alton, Amadou, Breonna, George, Philando, Akai, Freddie, Oscar, Jordan, Ahmaud, Daunte, Atatianna, Sandra, Tamir, Ma’Khia, and all of our other murdered Black people at the hands of White people and police officers that most often goes unpunished.
Murders supported by the powers that be, per their lack of action.
I’m all for anti-discrimination legislation. Full stop.
Black people have a history of enslavement that dates back to the 1600s in America. We were the subject of Black Codes which limited our movement in post-slavery America; legal lynchings; Jim Crow practices in the South that maintained segregation; and continuing programs, policies, and legislation in housing, education, finance, employment, and politics in national, state, and local levels. While the 14th Amendment and Title VII have been enacted to seemingly deter racism, these and other anti-racism and anti-discrimination laws do little to stop the outright racist killings of Black people, even unarmed Black people.
The Dyer anti-lynching law was introduced in 1918, to make lynching illegal. 103 years later… ONE HUNDRED THREE… this bill is still awaiting passage in the Senate. 103 years. The act of hoisting a Black body from a tree limb, in public, by a rope, from the neck, is not EXPRESSLY illegally federally, after that practice claimed so many lives throughout Black history in America. One hundred and three years later we are still waiting for that law to pass Congress. Yet in 1998, James Byrd was effectively lynched by being dragged by truck until his head was severed. Black is the color of racism.
In 1999, 22 years ago…TWENTY TWO… Amadou Diallo was shot by police officers after being mistaken for a rapist, while unarmed. He was shot several times in his armpits, showing he had his hands up in surrender to the police. Yet just a few days ago a thirteen year old child, shown in a video with his empty hands raised above his head, was killed by police, and a young lady defending herself with a kitchen knife against adult women at her own home was shot and killed by a police officer, no deescalation tactics used. These kinds of stories come every few months if not every few days. So many times White police officers enter situations involving Black people and deadly force is the only tactic they recall, not deescalation, disarming, crisis management, nothing. The only skill they recall with Black people is how to fire bullets into our bodies. Yet Dylan Roof killed Black parishioners in a church and got Burger King after, and probably his choice of Coke or Sprite. Black is the color of bias.
In 1998, along with James Byrd, Mathew Shepard was murdered, but not because of his race, Shepard was a White gay male. In 2009, Congress passed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act which added gender and sexual orientation to the 1969 Hate Crimes Act, and removed the requirement for race based hate crime victims to be engaged in certain federal activities. The law did nothing to make lynching a federal crime and is known as the Mathew Shepard Act because of its sweeping addition of gender and sexual orientation based additions to the law. While we can all agree it was a necessary and needed piece of legislation, Congress failed to effectively legislate on a practice that Black people in America had feared and faced for hundreds of years. Black is the color of inequality.
In 2020, COVID-19 spread throughout America. In part due to the then administrations messaging regarding the virus being a “Chinese virus” due to it’s impetus in Wuhan, China, anti-Asian attitudes heightened in America. This led to the introduction of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act. This came to a head on March 16th when six Asians were killed in Atlanta. By April 22nd, just yesterday, the bill had passed both the House and Senate. It will surely become legislation once signed by President Biden. While we can all agree this is a necessary and needed piece of legislation, Black people have been being shot and killed by police and targeted by racists with weapons they should not have since well before COVID. Yet police and gun reform remain elusive, and people still coddle and make excuses for White people who murder Black people. Black is the color of injustice.
Hate, bias, discrimination, injustice, inequality… are all colored with the Black crayon in American culture. Devoid of light… dark… negative… unworthy. But we know better. We know we are enchanting, captivating, joyous, charming, fantastic, mystical, mysterious, desirable, amazing, miraculous, and magical. Black is not the absence of light, it is the physical absorption of every hue of visible light. We must act like we know who we are despite how others might try to convince us otherwise!
We must demand better. We must use our vote, our financial power, our voices to demand better. We can post Black Lives Matter memes and Black fists raised in solidarity in social media all day, but until we truly hold America accountable for the way it backseats Black life because of the notion that our magic makes them disappear, those posts hold no weight and don’t elevate us. The haters already know we are magic…
“Hate won’t get you high as this Levitate, levitate, levitate, levitate”-Kendrick Lamar
Those are lyrics, words, a “Prayer” from rapper DMX, who died today after overdosing on narcotics. We wish him peace, after what has been a self-admitted difficult, tumultuous, and traumatic life that was dotted with moments of brightness, great success, and much fanfare. DMX was the shit, ya heard! Nobody could make us lose our minds… say it with me… “up in here, up in here” like the Dark Man. He kept it trill always, and we wish him serenity and calm and happiness. We love you DMX!
This mantra of dying young is one we hear way too often by young Black successful rappers. Their lyrics are filled with premonitions of early death.
“What’s the 27 club? We ain’t making it past 21.” Juice WRLD, deceased
“Every breath I get closer to the death of me.” Like Me, Joey Bada$$
“Never we sleep, a thug doesn’t rest, Cause a wise man said: it was a cousin of death”-Who Is a Thug, Big Pun, deceased
“I never sleep, ‘cause sleep is the cousin of death”, N.Y. State of Mind, Nas
“Tell the homies I’m in heaven, and they ain’t got hoods.” Thugz Mansion, Tupac, deceased
I don’t wanna live no more, sometimes I hear death knockin’ at my front door.” Everyday Struggle, Notorious BIG, deceased
When we look at reality, so many of these young Black rappers die at an early age. Jam Master Jay, XXXTentacion, Pop Smoke, King Von, Fred the Godson, Pimp C, Eazy-E, Nipsey Hussle, Nate Dogg, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Proof, Soulja Slim, Heavy D, Prodigy, Guru, MC Breed, Blade Icewood, Chris “Mac Daddy” Kelly, Mac Dre, Craig Mack… the list sadly continues. Then television and media feed us the deaths of Black men littering the blood stained pavement like used napkins and receipts thrown out of moving cars. Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Oscar Grant, Philando Castile, Tamir Rice, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd. We are inundated with images of young Black men dead; the Emmett Till photos are permanently etched in most of our brains. So there is a generational, cultural, and social preoccupation with dead Black men that MOST DEFINITELY impacts their physical and mental health… and clearly their living… their LIVING.
Yes, DMX died by his own hand, but he needed help. He has needed help for a long time. He knew he needed help. Yet, for so many brothas, death is just a next step, the next progression of life. Wrong. Death is the finality of this life, regardless of what might lie beyond it. Yet when you are used to watching an image that mimics your own, dying or dead all over every source of media available, it is no surprise death isn’t expressly avoided but almost welcomed. It’s health avoidance and rejection… risky behaviors, narcotics, alcohol, unprotected sex, seeking whatever thrills one can in life to either deaden the trauma or excite the depressed mind.
It is common to accept as nutrition what is fed to you daily. So you eat poison, when poison is what is on every commercial. You similarly injest self-hate and Black phobia when that is what you see everywhere you turn. Black folks are too hood, too thuggish, too dumb, too poor, too violent, too scary, too colorful, too loud, too alive. The opposite of alive is dead. Even when we are dead there is an examination into how much drugs were in our system, how thugged out and violent we looked in photos, and how disappointing we were as humans when we were alive. Black life has no value, and Black death has no repercussions. This is the poison these Black boys and men are tasting daily. No wonder they have bitter feelings about their own existence.
We have to, as a community and culture, reject these images socially for our own mental and emotional health. While watching Derek Chauvin kill George Floyd proves his guilt on video, it does nothing but desensitize us to and normalize young dead Black men. Parents are not generally supposed to bury their children, that is not the natural order of things. Yet this is more and more common as these young men perish too soon. We want to normalize Black men living into old age, healthy and happy. We want to normalize images of old Black men in rocking chairs… not young Black bodies lying like fallen strange fruit on the ground. We want to normalize Black rappers rapping about living… not dying.
“And for as long as I can, as long as You permit me Please give me the strength I need to live, bear with me Amen” -Prayer II, DMX
I woke up this morning with a slight headache. December 21st. Maybe I slept awkwardly… so I stretched my legs, rotated my head to the left and right, and moved my hips to loosen any tightness, crooks, or stiffness. I’m over 40… shit needs a reset most mornings. I kicked my legs out of the covers and off of the edge of the bed and raised off the pillow as my toes simultaneously hit the cool floor. A chill hit me, as I stood up and slid my glasses onto my face. I walked that too familiar twenty step trip to the bathroom, and said aloud… “Warm weather, drinks in coconuts, and beaches please.” I blinked twice as I hit the bathroom threshold. I stepped one foot in…
And my toes sunk and my eyes popped open like Jack in the boxes. My head was tilted down, but still almost blinded by the light. I felt heat and a droplet of sweat along my forehead, and as things came into focus I saw my feet, my toes hidden beneath an expanse of light brown sand. I watched water bubble up around my feet and wash away the sand as I wiggled my toes. I look up and there was water as far as my eyes could see. Two people frolicked past me and walked into the water until it was waist high. I turned to my right to see sparsely filled beach chairs, kids pouring the same stand I stood on from one bucket to another. I closed my eyes again, and reopened them… and now the bead of sweat was running down my nose. I reached down, expecting to touch cold tile but my fingers sank into the sand, and when I brought my hand together and lifted it up, the sand escaped from between my fingers like brown sugar, but not sticky. I walked toward the water bubbling up along the shore, and when the water washed past my ankle, I realized I was awake… not dreaming… not even daydreaming. A woman with a kid in hand walked up next to me.
I turned towards her, “It’s so nice to be in errr uhh… uhhh, I’m having a brain fart.” She smiled and responded, “St. Thomas… I get the islands mixed up too sometimes.”
Oh my God…
I waited until she walked past me, and I did my happy dance. Thoughts and places ran through my head like Carl Lewis. I said aloud. “I want to see the Coliseum.” I closed my eyes. I still felt sand, and opened one eye to confirm. Damn now how did this shit work before. “I want to see the Coliseum in Rome.” I did the bewitched thing with my nose… nothing. “I want to see the Coliseum in Rome.” I blinked once. Ohhhhh shit, I remember. “I want to see the Coliseum in Rome.” Two blinks.
Noise. Loud noise. I opened my eyes, and a Vespa whizzed past me. I looked down and moved my feet. I was standing on concrete. I could hear horns and talking, people going on bags, cameras clicking, and phones ringing. I looked up and the sign and read it aloud “Piazza del Colosseo”. I lifted my foot off the hard street… wear shoes next time… and moved my ankle around. As I put it back down, someone rushed past me and I hurriedly put my foot down to keep from falling…pain raced up my foot to my leg. I again lifted my bare foot to see a rock underneath. Next time DEFINITELY wear shoes Karyn. I bent down to pick up the rock, and as I rose I turned towards the street. My eyes surely lit up like Christmas and got as big as saucers, as before me, more monstrously large than my mind could ever imagine, three stories of carved arches, the mastery of its architecture…
“What did you get” I heard as I felt a soft breath close to my ear. I turned towards the voice. He was tall, dark, modestly handsome. “Uhhh who are you?” ”Mark but I call myself Black Mask,” he opened his backpack and inside was, yep you guessed it, a black mask, “ This was in my hand when I woke up. I’m not totally sure what all I can do yet.” “I can teleport.” I said as I looked down at my bare feet, “ but I clearly I need to go get my shoes.” We laughed, and when the laughter subsided I blinked twice.
I felt a tap on my shoulder. “Ma, are you going to the bathroom cuz I gotta go.”
I didn’t speak I just moved out of the way. He closed the door. Stop daydreaming. I felt something in my palm, and as I opened my fingers from their grasp, there was that rock I stepped on.
Oh SHIT! That shit was real. I can teleport!!!! I hit a few more happy dancess, and “Wow” escaped from my mouth. “You wanna see wow, watch this,” my son mumbled from the other side of the bathroom door. The door seemed to blur a bit, and I wiped my eyes. Now I’m seeing things?!? As my hand cleared my right eye, I shook my head and looked again as I saw feet and arms extended out of the wood until his body emerged fully through the door. “I’d have rather invisibility, but I’ll take it. This is gonna be a greater winter break!”
WTF… The kid too!!!!
As he walked through his bedroom door, he paused and turned to me, “Oh, I’m gonna go by Sir Atom, you gotta come up with a name. And tonight there’s a superpower party, and the invite says Dr. Sebi’s Smoothie truck will be there. Your invite is in your email.”
He then disappeared into his room.
A name… a name…. hmmmm. The ability to travel across the land, over the seas, and through thin air, in a blink. They call me Trinity Beam.
I can teleport. This dude is intangible. What superpower did you get? Naw don’t tell me now, just show me later. I can’t wait to get me a Dr. Sebi smoothie tho… see y’all tonight!
Ice Cube, born O’Shea Jackson, is truly a musical genius. He was writing some of the dopest lyrics in existence in any rap catalog at 15. He had a hugely successful rap career, even after leaving N.W.A in 1989. But in what is a very well known hip hop legend, he was still living with his parents even after Straight Outta Compton, the multi platinum album was released with Cube as both performer and writer… on EVERY song. According to Forbes, Cube had received only about $30,000 in album royalties at the time of his exit. His contract with Jerry Heller, Eazy E, and Ruthless Records proved to be legal robbery, and resulted in one of the most intense rap beefs in history. Talk about “No Vaseline”.
So recently Ice Cube has been interested in promoting a Black agenda to government, a very noble and innovative plan to have the needs and wants of the Black community heard by the powers that be. And here’s the thing, in the land of real ass Black folks, despite his Hollywood success, Cube is still that guy. Or he was until he fell for the same shiny penny our incumbent President drops in front of everyone with an anti-white supremacist policy they want to share with his whitewashed and shuck and jive administration. There is no in between. Dude cavorts with straight white nationalists or Black folks with Jermaine Jackson shellacked hair, a few dollars in the bank, and a MAGA hat dancing off beat to “You Can’t Touch This”. He is not your Svengali. He can’t save us from racism, sexism, poverty, or the deeds of Jerry Heller.
It’s less than 30 days to the election, the slave master ancestral spirits are out, and the ghosts of Jerry Heller are amongst them. Cube, you in trouble boy.
So, this is all you need to know about this Ice Cube business… at the VERY end of the day, he can talk to and promote anything he wants in the name of the progression of Black people in America. However, what is ALSO true is that (1) he is CLEARLY unlearned on how ANY of this works and (2) promoting that to a man who has picked a Black woman as his running mate versus promoting that to a man who is trying to get a White woman who thinks it’s okay to call Black people niggers at work a seat in the Supreme Court, who name checks a white supremacists group at a nationally broadcast debate, and who admits to sexually abusing women out loud on tape is wholly different.
Promote your contract on a bipartisan basis and sit down, you are no politician and therefore you don’t see that the incumbent is planning to make you look like a whole entire fool. He is Jerry Heller and this is your first contract… He dedicated $500 billion to your plan, promised to make Juneteenth a national holiday… he doesn’t know wtf Juneteenth is and doesn’t care and he has to get these billions passed through the Congressional budget. Remember Jerry Heller… $30K out of MILLION… with this dude you won’t see $500 of $500 billion. He’s a crooked ass politician… making promises he can’t knowingly deliver upon. Hence why Biden’s camp said, we will address it after the election. Beyond that, that clown is not promoting anything worth $500 billion for Black people. The last Black man to shuck and jive for him danced on camera at his rally where he contracted COVID and died, and dude ain’t sent condolences the first to Hermain Cain’s family publicly. Not a bleeding heart arrangement, a pan of fried chicken, NOTHING. You think he cares about a negro who wrote “F@ck the Police” … no sir he does not, just like he could care less about George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and any other Black life.
You’ve already been hoodwinked, bamboozled, run amok. Anything that is said this close to an election is campaigning… not policy making. He would tell you he’d paint the White House black, put in some bead curtains and bean bag chairs in the blue room, play “Tell Me Sumthing Good” by Rufus and Chaka, and have a whole basement party if he thought that would get him elected. But be clear, Donald Trump is not at all interested in contracting with Cube, Kanye, or anyone else. He especially ain’t interested in contracting with Black America. What he is interested in is himself… that’s all. And he is Jerry Hellering Cube so tough when he gets up there might be Jheri curl activator left where his head was resting.
It’s important that we don’t allow our legacies to be trampled upon because we are fooled into believing both Biden and Trump are different sides of the same coin. They are not. This isn’t about Conservative v Liberal, Republican v. Democrat. This is about Decency v. Evil, Life v. Death, and Right v. Wrong. You can’t contract with evil or death. And you most certainly cannot be on the wrong side of this election. But any contract you have sat down with Trump to promote is already worse than Cube’s first contract. At least he got something, and eventually got his royalties. Your President is bargaining with chips he ain’t even got access to yet… he’s promising you billions on a $750 budget. Talk about No Vaseline. So y’all Black Republicans and negroes with the spirit of the house slave running through you, please stop acting like Cube is doing something righteous. He’s angry, I get it, but the only contract he’s making is with the devil…Lord of the Flies…Beezlebub. Period!
“You better check yo self before you wreck yo self ‘Cause I’m bad for your health I come real stealth” -Ice Cube, “Check Yo Self”
I have a wide cross section of friends who are married, single, divorced, some in relationships and others not. Most of us don’t define ourselves by our marital or relationship status, they are surely a large part of who we are, but not indicative our whole person. There are a few women I know personally and many I’ve encountered socially who are married and believe divorce is quitting… or they say things in that spirit.
I’m here to tell you that it most certainly is not!
I have been married. I’m currently divorced and in a committed relationship. I am a serial monogamist. I am that girl whose friends say “you always have a man.” The truth is, if I always had a MAN, I’d still be married. I have been in relationship with many men who simply were not mature enough to be with someone who has her shit together, standards, and her own. I have never been looking for someone to take care of me or to lace me, I lace myself… but I am certainly looking for a life partner. In that process, I have had to learn the hard way what is best for me. That means there are some things I’m unwilling to be involved in long term. Period. But ESPECIALLY for a lifetime. We should all have some boundaries. I honestly believe many women get married and shed and erect those boundaries as they go. As Tamar would say… that right there, she don’t do that !
Gone are the days when women had to be and remain married for financial security. Hell, not that I would suggest it, but women are choosing to have babies without a mate… times have changed. Women spend as much time outside of the home, working to financially support her family, as men do. I have plenty of friends who bring in more than their spouses. But even with those very clear markers that women no longer need to completely sacrifice and compromise themselves to stay married … never had to frankly… we continue to do so.
Be clear, I’m not suggesting divorce as a remedy for simple marital problems. I am suggesting that when you see signs that the man you chose does not intend to respect, consider, and commit to you as fully as you have him, after you have exhausted all other remedies, you don’t have to remain with that person who is refusing to treat you well. Period. We all have our own boundaries… mine are simple. If you are unfaithful to me by bringing another person into the intimate bounds of our relationship or by sharing your body with them, you gotta go. If you mistreat me or my child, you gotta go. If you steal or take from me, either materially or otherwise, you gotta go. Lastly, if you are unable to be trusted and show that continuously by your actions, you gotta go. Otherwise, the table is open for discussion and solution. But I’m not talking about you being unable to control yourself sexually, financially, or behaviorally. Go talk to a therapist.
Those women who qualify it as quitting, are typically women afraid to be alone. Women who say things like, they feel sorry for women who are dating. Women who don’t know their own strength and power.
If I’m practicing for a marathon, and the shoes I picked are not supporting me, are hurting me, are making me feel like I can’t finish the race, it’s time for a new pair of shoes. Doesn’t matter how much you spent on the bad shoes, how long you had them, or how good the reviews were. You need good shoes to plant in to make your relationship with the ground as steady and solid as possible. It may rain, the sun may go down. Other people may be ahead of you, or pass you, but your only competition is you and if you felt like you gave it your best. You can’t be at your best with janky shoes. You can’t be at your best with a janky man either sis!
Marriage is hard. Divorce is much more difficult. When you cleave to a partner, to end it, you have to chop them off like a limb. And like an amputee you will feel phantom emotions from that person you cut off. It’s very much like death. It’s also much like ending a book before the last chapter and having to wonder what might have been. So before you make that choice you have examine and exhaust all the possibilities for healing. But if you dig and find nothing but more dirt, eventually you can stop. There is nothing there. The choice is yours… but by no means is it a choice based on quitting. It’s a choice based on you, choosing you.
If you happen to be reading this and you are married and have sacrificed and compromised yourself into a person you no longer recognize for the sake of marriage, but you choose to stay, I hope you find comfort in that decision. But don’t attempt to weaken the person who makes a different choice. Like you, she too deserves support.
As for me, I chose not to subscribe to the very negative propaganda that is spread about Black couples, Black marriage, Black men, Black women, and Black love. Marriage is difficult to maintain across the board, but so can be your sense of self. One shouldn’t be sacrificed for the other, ever. Choosing you is NEVER quitting. It is imperative. Divorce doesn’t make you a quitter, just a survivor.
If you need to… and only you know that, quell the chatter, divorce is ok!
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!
I am for and about the liberation of Black people from oppression. In order to understand that oppression, we have to call out discriminatory, racist, oppressive, supremacist, and privileged power systems that both created and continue to thwart that liberation.
Taking “whitening” off of toothpaste has NOT A THING to do with that. Nothing.
But if I have WATCHED, WITNESSED, and/or EXPERIENCED someone, maybe a group of someone’s taking advantage of what whiteness allows in America, and it negatively impacts and oppressed me, I have EVERY right to call it out. EVERY.
We live in the nation of Monsterica and in Monsterica, purple people are the most successful because they have a history of eating blue people, (who they forced to help them build the nation) whole or their parts, killing them off or handicapping them. It’s technically against the law now, but they still benefit from the headless, armless, legless blue folks whose families and communities suffered because of their handicap. Typically tall purple men were the ones that ate the blues, but over time short purple people ate a few blue people and used purple cannibalistic power over blue people to succeed like the talls. The blue people revolted. In calling out the tall purples they also called out the short purples. In short 🤣, if a short purple man feeds on me for his comeuppance in the way of the purple people, it’s not his height but his assimilation into purpledom that has put me in chains. Once I’m freed from those chains, expect me to admonish EVERY purple person, tall or short, who shackled me and my people. You decided to ignore your short teachings and take advantage of being purple. So sit in that purpleness… you earned it right!
“He was blowing it out, really knockin’ em dead; Playin’ rock and roll music through the horn in his head”-Sheb Wooley , The Purple People Eater
I get to call out my oppressors. I get to call them out by name. When I call out white supremacists, understand that’s not all White people but it includes any White person who wants my freedom stifled for his success. That’s tall, short, Christian, Protestant, rich, poor, blue eyed or green eyed. Everybody. Period. And like the talls, the shorts have a story, and in order to educate my people on our history of oppression, those stories need to be told. That’s education. It’s not hate speech if it’s truth speech. It’s hate speech to say Black people are inferior, less intelligent, over sexualized, thugs. It’s hate speech to say Jewish people are greedy, manipulative, crooked, and sneaky. It is not hate speech to say that a disproportionate number of Black people live in poverty or that a disproportionate number of Jewish people are media and entertainment executives, owners, and decision makers. It’s factual. It’s also not anti-Semitism… a phrase that is in and of itself ensconced in White privilege… to say that Black people have suffered at the hands of White people and Jewish business owners. It’s factual. Google it, or scroll down to yesterday’s blog. The education is there if you want it.
But this is also true… I can mistakenly and without malice say something in a generalized manner that is hurtful to a group of people, because it doesn’t apply to that entire group. If I say, “White people are racist”, that is wrong and I’d expect non-racist White people to expect me to retract and apologize because I was wrong. But if I say, “My experience has been that some White people are racist…” or “White supremacists are racist”, that is my truth and the truth, and I don’t have to and should never be asked to retract or apologize for truth. But if I’m wrong, and I apologize, that doesn’t mean I take back everything I said but it means I’m apologetic for condemning a group for the actions of the few and I’m sorry for hurting the people that don’t fall into that few. I’m not a sell-out, I’m an adult. And if I apologize for my bag, it’s my bag… how much is in yours!?
Guilty people don’t get to feign hurt and innocence when called out on their shit. Adults who hurt innocent people should apologize. We all need to show empathy and compassion. And oppressed people, in order to be liberated from it, MUST understand it and educate the masses about it, it’s how we pay for our freedom, cuz it ain’t free. The oppressors won’t like it tho… and when they can no longer eat you, they will just steal from you. Yep… take all yo shit!
“Never let the same dog bite you twice!”
So don’t be afraid to call it a one eyed, one horned, purple, people eater… if that is WTF it is! Truth is like water, it takes the shape of whatever it enters, and surrounds and drowns whatever refuses it! The elected President, the state sanctioned police, their white supremacist electors and supporters, have caused what has amounted to an uprising in this country against racist and discriminatory acts, laws, policies, crimes, socially accepted images and institutions, and speech… written or spoken. It has focused on Black people who have been the victims of the most direct and continuous of these actions. But like thieves do, All Lives Matter is a tone deaf and privileged recharacterization of the real motives of Black Lives Matter (BLM). It’s a distraction to keep us oppressed. Black people don’t control any systems of power, so there is no racism inherent in BLM or any discussion of our liberation. The guilty will call it whatever they need in order to stifle it.
Power in defense of freedom is greater than power in behalf of tyranny and oppression.”
Black people are lazy, stupid, overly sexual, uncivilized, aggressive, domestic, loud, lewd, brutish, ape-like, eat fried chicken and watermelon, have wild unruly hair, large facial features, and are made to serve White people while seeking approval from White people.
Jewish people are greedy, crooked, overly powerful, frugal, loud, overbearing mothers, pushy, unattractive, neurotic, manipulative, with wild curly hair, big aquiline noses, and too big suits, eating bagels.
Might some of those things be true of one or two Black or Jewish people? Of course. I’m Black and I keep a watermelon in the fridge. Might many of these things be unfair and discriminatory depictions of all Black or Jewish people. You bet. What is the difference between an unfair and discriminatory stereotype about ALL people in a group and a fair cultural observation of group behavior? I would say the difference is hard to tell!
Nick Cannon, media mogul, was fired by ViacomCBS for making what were deemed anti-Semitic comments in his podcast, Cannon’s Class while interviewing former Public Enemy member Professor Griff last year. Griff left the group after making comments about Jewish people being wicked. During the podcast, the two spoke about the origin of Hebrew people, Griff’s comments, common stereotypes of Jewish people, and the history of Jewish people in American business. The follow comments by Cannon were found to be be be anti-Semitic in nature:
1. Cannon stated Black people are Hebrews and therefore cannot be anti-Semitic.
2. He compared the dominance of Jewish people in the media and entertainment as comparable to the Rothschild’s in banking. The Rothschilds have been accused of creating natural disasters, assassinating Lincoln and Kennedy, and controlling the global economy.
3. He commented it was a shame Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, a powerful and positive leader, had been silenced in Facebook. Farrakhan has been labeled by both the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center as anti-Semitic and anti-gay.
4. Cannon stated people without melanin were lesser people, motivated by fear and insecurity, and used power and manipulation to overcome their deficiencies to those people with melanin, particularly Black people.
I won’t bother with the last two statements. Having something positive to say about a person who has made negative comments against Jewish and gay people does not equate with being against Jews or gay people. I’m not a big Farrakhan fan but I have watched a diatribe or two of his and liked THAT particular message. I am neither anti-Jewish nor anti-gay. I also disagree with censorship. If the President can call Mexicans rapists and the white supremacists can call Black people everything from monkeys to niggers without so much as a slap on the wrist, Farrakhan has the right to free speech as well. Also, while I wholeheartedly disagree any group of people is inferior to another, I do agree that fear and insecurity, along with lack of knowledge and a desire to maintain “have” status over the “have nots” motivates racist behavior and systems of policy against Black people. That’s not a Jewish people thing, that’s a White supremacist and privilege thing.
We are in an interesting time. People get fired from their jobs because of tweets and retweets. Black Twitter calls for the firing of racist White supremacists who are caught on social media or on video making discriminatory comments and exhibiting racist behavior. Yet White people who make fake police reports on Black people walking their dog or grocery shopping are left alone until we take to social media to demand action. Similarly, murders of Black people on videotape go free for months unarrested. Yet Black people who make discriminatory statements are fined or fired real quick, and the words whitening is being taken off toothpaste.
Last week, Philadelphia Eagle DeSean Jackson was fined by the team for posting a fake Hitler quote referencing the greed of Jews and labeling Black people at the true Israelites. He further praised Farrakhan as well. When Nick Cannon’s almost year old podcast was made known to ViacomCBS they immediately fired him. At a time when police officers who murder unarmed Black people often go weeks or months before they are suspended or arrested, this swift action by ViacomCBS, a Jewish owned company, points to a level of hypocrisy in the entertainment industry that insulates Jewish people from backlash it only recently had afforded to Black people.
Here’s the truth. Semites are a group of people who came from regions where Semite languages were spoken, including the Middle East, Western Asia, North Africa, and the Horn of Africa. Arabic, Amharic (an afroasiactic language in Ethiopia), Hebrew, and Tigrinya (Ethiopian and Eritrean) are the most widely spoken of those languages. The term became synonymous with Israelis over time, who were monotheist, white Semite and non-Semite speakers. However, it was a “term of art” so to speak for anti-Jewish. Using the term Semite to historically reference Jewish people exclusively is both incorrect and like many things in history, steeped in White privilege and absent non-White influence. Semites were Arabic, African, and Israeli. Much of what is labeled anti-Semitism ignores anything that is not against White Jews. However a Black person can make anti-Semitic statements. It’s actually and unfortunately very common.
“You ever wonder why Jewish people own all the property in America? This how they did it.”
Jay-Z “Still Nigga”
The Black/Jewish dichotomy is brewed in real and presumed exploitation and manipulation of Black people by Jewish business men, music and entertainment moguls, and lawyers. It’s a tale as old as time. While we actually share oppression and a history of slavery, the success of Jewish people post WWII in America caused a new set of realities in our community. Jewish people were our landlords, store owners, grocers, and bankers. Then they left our neighborhoods as places to live and they simply became places to make money off of our backs, in the eyes of the Black people. That held true in the entertainment and music industries as well. In 1950, the Chess brothers, Leonard and Philip started Chess Records featuring black blues acts such as Muddy Waters, Etta James, Howlin Wolf, and Little Walter. Most of these artists didn’t receive any royalty payments until MCA acquired these labels and paid out back owed royalties to them and their estates. Very similarly, rap group NWA was famously taken advantage of by its manager Jerry Heller.
“Industry rule number four-thousand-and-eighty;Record company people are shady”
-A Tribe Called Quest, Check the Rhime
Jewish ownership in media is omnipresent. The Ochs Sulzberger family, which controlled the New York Times for more than a century, is of Jewish origin. Jewish-American businessman Eugene Meyer bought the Washington Post in 1933. Sam Zell who owns the Los Angeles Times is also Jewish. Robert Igor runs Disney and Sumner Redstone runs the company that fired Cannon, ViacomCBS. Top executives at Lorimar, Marvel, Warner Brothers, MGM, Spyglass, Columbia, Fox, CBS Sports, Lionsgate, CBS News, 20th Century Fox, ABC, Goldwyn, Imagine, CNN, USA Network, and Bloomberg among others are all Jewish. Similarly in music, popular names like Lyor Cohen, Clive Davis, Hans Zimmer, Barry Weiss, Phil Specter, Rick Rubin, Lou Perlman, David Geffen, and Ron Fair are just a handful of Jewish music execs. So statements that Jewish people run the media, while not totally true, certainly appear that way when a disproportionate percentage of the creative industries executives are Jewish compared with only 2% of the population. If not control, surely influence.
From news stories that highlight the negative pasts of victims of police brutality and police murder as an attempt to justify the act, to the bad contracts and exploitation of Black artists, specifically rappers, to the lack of roles forgoing to Black actors and actresses on TV and in the movies, these executives play a part. From the neighborhood slumlords taking our hundreds to the executives determining our millions, for many creative Black people, there is an unfortunate truth experienced as a result of working with record and media companies, and many of these companies are run by Jewish people. That doesn’t mean all Jewish people are exploitative but certainly these are real experiences of exploitation. Not necessarily a Jewish thing but a money and power thing.
“The grocer was a Jew, and being in debt to him was very much like being in debt to the company store. The butcher was a Jew and, yes, we certainly paid more for bad cuts of meat than other New York citizens, and we very often carried insults home, along with the meat. We bought our clothes from a Jew and, sometimes, our secondhand shoes, and the pawnbroker was a Jew–perhaps we hated him most of all… In the American context, the most ironical thing about Negro anti-Semitism is that the Negro is really condemning the Jew for having become an American white man…”
-James Baldwin, “Negroes Are Anti-Semitic Because They’re Anti-White”, The New York Times, 1967
While I’m in no way agreeing with everything Nick Cannon said, we don’t gain knowledge without understanding facts. Most of what he said, minus his negative commentary and opinions, is based on fact. We know what a Semite is and we can list Jewish executives who own or run media and entertainment conglomerates and give instances of when the dynamics between Jewish executives and Blacks were less than fair. Black people make up a large percentage of the musicians who are taken advantage of by bad contracts created by manipulative record companies and lawyers. Black actors and actresses often bring the box office numbers and awards, when nominated, but can’t demand the same salaries as their White counterparts. These very real realities are decided at many of the companies I listed above. While we have to be careful not to let our cultural observations and experiences become condemnation of an entire group of people, we must also speak truth to power. It truly is no fun when the rabbit got the gun!
As for Nick Cannon, he’s demanded ownership of Wild N’ Out which he created and has been offered programming time on Diddy’s Revolt channel. He’s got a net worth of around $30 million and took in $10 million last year. He is still cashing Drumline checks and owns a management company. Ladies and gentleman, I give you the rabbit!