I-De-Clare…

“When the looting starts the shooting starts”

Donald J. Trump

THIS is America.


These racially diverse people burnt commercial Minneapolis to the ground in the exact same manner that George Floyd lost his life on the ground.

THIS is a revolution.


Racism is a tool of power. It is a direct action supported by the system in power to oppress a certain race of people from forward progress and opportunity. It was used to colonize every part of the world inhabited by people of color to raze the land, steal its resources, and torture and traumatize its people into burying their past to survive their present. Mentally and emotionally scarred people can only grow and rebuild with time and healing… not when that torture and trauma is constantly relived. We begin to believe we must adhere to the values of the culture we’ve had forced upon us and are virtually ignorant of the one our ancestors, the first people, the creators of civilization, were born into. We have exhausted trying to live an American Dream not meant for us. It’s time we gain knowledge of self, for when we know who we are and where we come from, we know our destination, our next move.

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.”

Sun Tzu, The Art of War

We are the original people, Aristotle, Thames, and the great Greek and Roman philosophers learned at the feet of Egyptian and Ethiopian scholars. Africans were/are communal and tribal, we lost that in favor of American individualism. That’s theirs, not ours. Africans were/are creators not destroyers. That’s theirs, not ours. Africans are/were both intellectually sound and in tune with nature not overly dependent on technology. That’s theirs, not ours. We are leaders not just followers trying to catch up to White success. As such, Black people must unlearn and relearn who we are. To gain power WE MUST believe we are powerful.

“In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity”

Sun Tzu

We take that newfound power to build by organizing… educating ourselves in every trade, legal, medical, and financial arena; buying stock in the American businesses we have helped build; starting our own businesses; supporting making those businesses quickly profitable; running for office in every state, every elected position, en masse; using our money to support Black candidates with an agenda to pass and support legislation that tears down the system that supports racism, law by law. Ensuring “we the people” are all considered and treated like human beings. As difficult the task, reactions of anger are expected and used against us. We must react with our forward movement. But be a ninja about it…

“The whole secret lies in confusing the enemy, so that he cannot fathom our real intent.”

Sun Tzu

One cannot effectuate change by wishing and hoping other people act or don’t… we change ourselves. We pivot until we get our shot. Then we shoot… not with bullets but with the only thing that will ever change racism…truth! No one will listen to your truth until you grab the mic!

“Opportunities multiply as they are seized.”

Sun Tzu, The Art of War

The time has come for Black people in America to declare war on Racism and White Supremacy. There is an art to this. We are by far the more creative.

THIS is a solution.



It took me days to write this, which isn’t normal. This was a labor of disappointment, which is born out of my love for my people. This is dedicated to every unarmed Black person who has been shot and killed in the name of justice, unjustifiably, whose murderers walk the Earth freely today. This is for Trayvon, Mike (Brown), Philando, Eric,Breonna, Botham, Sean (Reed), Sean (Bell), Oscar (Grant), Sandra (Bland), Alton, Ronald, Kendra, Jordan, Amadou, Atatiana, Korryn, Ahmaud, and every other a Black person who lost their life at the hands of a coward.

You Ain’t Black… not with a capital B

Okay let’s start here… The Breakfast Club is not necessarily the place one needs to go to explain ones political platform and policies to the Black community… but someone on Uncle Joe’s staff, that’s Joe Biden if you didn’t know, figured it was a good idea. So he talked with Charlemagne, I refuse to call him the god of anything, about what will ultimately amount to a pile of nothing anyone will remember because he made this statement…

If you got a problem figuring out if you are for me or Trump, then you ain’t Black.

Joe Biden, The Breakfast Club Interview

So what’s the MF fuss?

Let’s first just keep it all the way one hunnid… Uncle Joe meant… you ain’t Black with a capital B. Cuz the truth is if you are not for the freedom and liberation of all Black people from systems of oppression, you might be born black, but you ain’t “loving this melanin, beautiful as we are, stand up against racism, rooting for everybody Black, for the culture” Black! If you are… there are just some things you will not do. Period! One if those things is voting for the incumbent in November. Period, the Sequel!

Now Uncle Joe has apologized, it was a gaffe, a mistake, he misspoke… BUT the sentiment of what he said is correct. And this is coming from an educated, privileged, middle class, professional, and militant AF Black woman… mostly educated and militant if anyone is asking. You should tho… ask about me. I’m Blackity Black, Black mixed with Black. I don’t play those reindeer games, and I despise anything that seeks to hint that all that is Black is not beautiful. We are who they (supremacists) want to be, but they can’t. So they paint us lesser than, in need of saving, uneducated, ignorant to try to cover up all of this colorful wonderfulness and inherent goodness.

Recall… we didn’t land on Plymouth Rock, Plymouth Rock landed on us because white nationalists threw it at us. So we good people out here in these mean streets. It was our sister who was pushed, shoved, and struck by supremacists at the incumbent’s rally. It was our people he called “the Blacks”… as if we are some foreign object and not native people. It is President Obama, who we showed up for by the bus loads, that lives rent free in the incumbent’s head as the recipient of the Presidency by affirmative action and at the expense of some other old White man. He abhors Black success… because in his mind it is never supposed to usurp White success.

Donald J. Trump is the President of the United States because old and angry White men hate women and Black people, and poor angry White people never thought they’d be in the bottom of the totem. They thought, at least we above the Blacks… until Obama. I mean Jay-Z, a Black rapper became a billionaire. Kanye West married the rich White girl who had no talent to speak of…none. Beyoncé… well she bodied everybody constantly. And Mrs. Obama was a movement by herself. And White folks were big mad, bigly.

So the patriarchy reviled, attacked, sabotaged, and voted against Hillary Clinton. The racists, which outnumber the patriarchy, enter old and young, bitter, and angry White women, were trying to right the wrongs of a Black man at the helm by reestablishing the White norm. White primacy. The black peoples who voted for him want to be White-ish. They want to be free of these burdens of not being accepted, being treated as lesser than, having their success challenged. And they will throw others of us under the bus to get there. But that comes with the territory… it’s the hard water, spiders, and tall weeds that come on that forty acres. It’s our mule… but it comes with all this sauce, this dope AF, creative, historic, beautiful, overcoming, uplifting, communal, and fly ass sauce!

So if in November you are confused about who to vote for, because in the 80s, Joe Biden wrote a crime bill during the height of the drug game and the proliferation of assault weapons in communities across the country, I suggest you free your mind. Today, unarmed young Black men and women are being gunned down and hunted by police and other White people in daylight, on social media, and on camera not because of drugs or guns but because they are Black… period. We should be holding those people whose jobs are paid for, in part or whole, by our tax dollars and especially those we elect, to the highest standards. Racism and promoting a cost policies is a no go. You cannot care about your Black progeny and your Black ancestors if you vote in favor of anyone who supports that.

So while the media has big fun with Uncle Joe, keep your eyes on the prize. We need a leader in this country who values all of us and our humanity. Who speaks out against police brutality against black and brown people, who hires people who will promote our education and fair housing, and who doesn’t think there could ever be anything good about white supremacists who run over innocent people in the name of superiority. And if you would ever vote for a man who thinks that your mama is a second class citizen and only deserves a job that includes ironing his big ass draws… you ain’t Black with a capital B. You just black and you hate yourself.

Joe Biden for President 2020 … suckas!

Invisible AF

Fear is a bitch with a vengeance. When it’s coupled with both the possibility of death and tbe loss of power, it’s not just a bitch, it’s a lowley bitter savage that’s hungry of soul and cold of heart. It’s ugly and treacherous and grimy. It’s the thing that filth and wretchedness are made of at their core. The center of hatred.

Racism is fear’s first born.

While we sit in our homes binge watching and critiquing the humor, wardrobe, and audacity of Black AF, two disturbing AF videos have emerged of Black men in Indianapolis and Atlanta being gunned down. One, Ahmaud Arbery during a jog when he was hunted and left for roadkill like an animal by a White father and son team, in what they claimed was vigilante justice. The other Sean Reed was driving, pulled over, got out of the car asking his Facebook Live viewers to come help him minutes after he was shot down by police officers, one who jokes after murdering this man that he may have to have a closed casket. It’s the same soup warmed over that we’ve gotten used to burning the roof of our mouths with… videos of our Black men being killed with no concern for their humanity. It’s Trayvon, Mike, Eric, Botham, Oscar, Renisha, Jordan, Tamir, Sandra, Philando, Amadou, and Freddie on repeat. These murderers don’t abide by the scales of Justice but by the code of the Grand Wizard. In a land where a young Black woman can be manhandled by grown men at the soon to be elected President’s rally, simply because she protested and disagreed while Black , it is no surprise Black men can be dead AF at the hands of those who pledged to protect and serve and men who claim to seek justice. There is no justice or protection for us.

When They See Us?

They won’t ever see us. We live in their neighborhoods in Calabassas, Brentwood, the Hamptons. We win their awards, when we are properly honored, and we aren’t properly honored because we’ll win their awards. We dominate their sports. Our faces are on their televisions and movie screens. We sit on Forbes lists ahead of many of them. We aren’t hidden, they know we are there. They see us with their eyes but they don’t plan to acknowledge us, our skills, our talents, our bodies, or our lives. Separated only by the color of our skin, the White people who hate us, they see us, but not as worthy of air, sun, life. Not worthy of this country’s nationality. If that ain’t some… I brought you in this country, Ill take you out … hateful AF foolishness, I don’t know what is.

Mostly, they are afraid that we will take their power because we have taken some of their accolades, prizes, and money as our own, through our own toil. But like a true bully, these bullies will only lay their weapons down if we either fight them or disarm them. They once poked holes through our bodies with water hoses and dog fangs, now they hide behind badges and semi automatics to riddle our bodies with bullets. Vigilantism is illegal, not jogging. Murdering a man who was no threat to you and then joking about it shows premeditation, he is supposed to run from murderers. They are afraid we will win their wares, secure bags they thought they had a skin color right to, and collect allies that share their skin tone but not their hatred. They should be. Bullets don’t kill spirits, they strengthen them. We get sadder but also stronger as a collective with each bullet you pierce our people’s skin with.

They are also afraid we will take their legacy. With the exception of a few acceptable Black faces, most of America’s history is only positively attributed to white people’s actions. They were the heroes, builders, creators, thinkers, great minds, and the politicians who shaped America and American government. When Ida B. wells (posthumously), an abolitionist, and Kendrick Lamar, a rapper, were awarded Pulitzers… trust it set some of them off. The higher we excel, the less their claims of higher intelligence, civility, and worthiness matter. The higher up we get in government and law making roles, the more we can pull back the veil on these institutionalized policies and systems that allow murderers to go free for months and allow judges to let their murderers go free. We saw that video of Arbery and our social media presence, sharing, and loud demands for justice had to at least be considered. But even small victories matter when our lives are being snuffed out.

Their legacy is also threatened by each biracial couple and child, White boy at a Travis Scott concert, White girl twerking on Tik Tok and speaking in what she thinks is some colloquial Black language. Cash me ousside. Howbowdat. It’s threatened by their mothers who love Oprah and Iyanla, and their wives who are our allies because every White woman is not the stereotype calling the police because Black people are having a BBQ, clutching their purse at our site, or being some version of privilege and acceptable American ignorance. They still carry confederate flags, wear their Make America Great again infamous red hats, and think Jim Crow is an actual White nationalist hero. They semi worship the American flag and the vestiges of a country where their Whiteness made everything they did acceptable. As they lose that foothold slowly but surely.

The Racist AF want us to be Invisible AF by diminishing us in any way possible. Ain’t no coming back from death. Nothing makes you more invisible. They don’t want to see us.

We here AF tho.

That’s the thing about Black people, we have been stolen and taken, beaten and bruised, relegated to 3/5th, razed, and shot dead. But still we rise. We find beauty in our ashes. Roses grow between the concrete squares that jungles. Let’s see… Black women are the largest growing sector of entrepreneurs in America. We have used the power of social media to make us small fortunes. We run for political office, and despite the stones thrown in our path, we win. We are billionaires… in America. We are the mighty Phoenix… we soar despite… even death. We have found our voices. We have already pierced America with our very existence, bullet free. But imagine us with the means to protect ourselves. That fear seeps from your wounds. Your hate is like a boomerang. Watch out for the ricochet.

Despite our accomplishments, we still end up in some second class holding cell despite being born in this country, citizens by jus soli. (law of the soil). We may not ever win in your courts, because they weren’t built for us. That’s the lesson. America’s internal structure was not meant to shelter us but to keep us out. The rules are different for us. We can’t just wear clothes, go to the store, drive, play, jog, watch TV, catch public transportation, or listen to music in your America. But we have been paying attention, we are whole billionaires out here, whole judges, whole Presidents. We win your awards and take your titles. We want nice thing too. Also. In addition. As well. We don’t want your power, we just want to harness our own. We don’t want your legacy, we just want to live long enough to build our own. See us. Or don’t. But we see you … AF!

You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still like air, I’ll rise-Maya Angelou

Can We Talk

Hello, this is Coffee Talk

And I’m your host Karyn DeShields.

So listen, in Michigan and Louisiana, the number of Black people diagnosed with COVID-19 is wildly disproportionate to our population. We represent 40% of all Michigan cases, with over 7,000 cases in Wayne County, where my hometown of Detroit is situated. 70% of Louisiana cases with 4,000 in Orleans county where New Orleans is located. So folks are popping off about how Black people are responding and not complying with government orders. But there is a lot of background there.

Black people have a storied history in America. You know it, I won’t go into it from Jamestown to today… but our relationship with the government is weakened by our VERY REAL experiences. The government told us we were free people after the Civil War… the Emancipation Proclamation was signed in 1963, yet it wasn’t until June 19, 1865, that Union General Gordon Granger arrived at Galveston, Texas, bringing news to the town that the Civil War had ended and that all slaves were free. I could go on and on. But let’s not act like because the government or its figure heads say something that it’s gospel, truthful, or humane. Just a few months ago the COVID virus was similar to the flu; the numbers would go down in April because it’s warmer; and anyone who needed a test could get it. All lies. We are told if we obey the law and are law abiding we will be protected by police, yet Oscar Grant, Tamir Rice, and Sandra Bland.

So we, meaning Black People, have to fix the messaging and re-deliver it.

Here’s the rub. If a Black man in a hoodie is a thug, a Black man in a red or blue bandana tied around his face may be seen as a gang member… that’s not far off. If a Black man driving is a threat, then a Black man in a face mask who you cannot identify, looks like a thief and might be considered one. Do we really believe that these brothas want to mask up or trust the repercussions of being out in public looking like a ninja assassin… hell naw. “Mask on. Fuck it, mask off!” But a mask strapped around your face is much better than a ventilator strapped around your face. So it’s necessary… but we should understand why it might not particularly be trusted.

As far as staying inside. No one should be having basketball games, parties, BBQs, none of that. But again, many people in the Black community work in the service industry, a lot of whose jobs are considered essential. We have to grocery shop. We should be taking walks and staying active. Some of us can’t afford to put two weeks worth of groceries in the house at one time. Others of us need to take public transportation to get to our destinations. Still very many of us were still attending events (social, professional, community) well into March, because no national plan of action was put into place by the Pandemic Response Team… cuz your President got rid of them to give his son-in-law a job. A lot of Black people who are middle class belong to social, cultural, community-based, and professional groups for support and networking not available to us otherwise. Those events were likely hotbeds for spreading the virus. You have to understand who and why we are FIRST, before you judge. We have to not lose sight of who and why we are to remember why we might be a little less willing to blindly obey government.

So let’s share our very real experiences with COVID-19, so people are aware of how real, prevalent, and important it is to follow CDC recommendations. Let’s dispel rumors and misinformation. Let’s share how we are staying healthy, boosting our immunity, staying active, staying positive, keeping our spaces disinfected, and washing our hands. There are many people making masks, I know a few myself. Wearing one glove to grasp door handles and touch high traffic surfaces while you are out is smart. Cleaning your home, washing your hands immediately when you enter your home, using Lysol on items from outdoors, and just overall heeding the dangers and transmission of this virus is smart. But we must also be understanding and compassionate.

This is unlike anything any of us have experienced. Or children are out of school, many of us are working from home or not working at all, it’s stressful, it’s weird AF, and it’s real life. It represents the beginning of the rest of our lives, as things will never be the same. Let’s help each other embrace our current norms and focus on being healthy enough to adjust to our new normal when this pandemic is over.

Now talk amongst yourselves…

Proud does not equal Prejudiced

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

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

That’s racism at its finest!

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

I’velongershe’sexperienceIlearned

Let’s

hundredslanguageslaveryhierarchymembers ofexistedcycledayJamestown

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Black Kintsukuroi

“Ring the bells that can still ring.
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything.
That is how the light gets in.”– Leonard Cohen, Anthem

Kintsukuroi (“golden mend”) is the Japanese art of mending broken pottery using lacquer resin laced with gold or silver. The beauty of the piece is the flaws that are made into art.

Black people’s hearts are kintsukuroi.

…..

But first, we are all Black in america. None of our other designations matter in this world, as much as our race. Our race is identified on site… even if our ethnicity, ancestry, genealogy cannot be as easily ascertained. It is the source of GREAT pride. It is the source of GREAT pain. It is not real…

It is not real!

Race is indeed the child of racism. Our most valued level of existence is premised upon hatred, power, and greed… death and destruction. How can any of us, whether we have been isolated from racism or not, have unbroken hearts? Shit ain’t possible! But what makes it even more damaging, is that race has no meaning. Being Black is only juxtaposed against being White. Much in the same way being poor is juxtaposed against being rich. But those designations have meaning outside of that dichotomy. “Black” is a color. It is the color of these letters you are reading. There is not a human alive whose skin is this color, just as there is not a human alive with skin that is purely “white”. Yet, white means pure and untouched, and black is associated with being devoid of light, darkness, and the shit in the fish tank the algae eat… waste. It’s not real.

In this country, Black is synonymous with ancestral African, and as a result we are all lumped together. We are primarily children of the slave trade, but we might be American, Caribbean, Honduran, Mexican, Dominican, Brazilian, or other South American designation, African and Caribbean immigrants, and mixed-race people. However our values, traditions, and customs are as wide ranged as those between the English, Irish, Scottish, etc.

“Black” doesn’t care about culture, it only cares about difference. It’s not real. It is used as a tool of oppression. For us it is a talisman of pride. In the name of money and power, our Blackness is shot dead in the street, on our own sofas. Our Blackness is relegated to a term meaning ignorant. Our men are jailed like animals, piled up on top of each other in cages like we were once piled up in ships. Our women are raped physically and spiritually. Our children, America’s sons and daughters, labeled as thugs, undereducated, underserved, and misunderstood. Yet in our Blackness we find our differences and exalt them. In that difference is where you find our golden cracks.

Black peoples are…

rich, poor, smart, beautiful, talented, brilliant, hard-working, excellent and mediocre, doctors and dog catchers, investors, kind, unkind, light, dark, sweet as honey, bitter like lemons, honest, manipulative, men, woman, transgendered, envious, jealous, supportive, from the hood, of the bourgeoisie, woke, asleep, enlightened, ignorant, basketball players and tennis champs, golfers and gaffers, everything and yet to many, nothing. But be assured, we are as homogenous and heterogenous as any other grouping of people. However, we didn’t ask for this box. It was given to us. It is not real.

Yet we have torn this box up to escape it, and put it back together with kintsukuroi. In our newness we are damaged, but not destroyed. You see, we have taken your culture and colored it Black through music, art, literature, language, and activism. It’s not ours, but we are steadily reinventing it. It’s very difficult to pour into a country others seek to escape persecution and tyranny where we face tyrannical persecution every time we walk out of our front doors. Yet we are somehow determined to offer libations to this melting pot turned stew. We continuously offer this country our earnings… rights, education, freedom, accomplishments… our voices, and our lives. But those golden cracks are our spirit. Damaged but not destroyed.

Race is not real.

Racism is very real.

Our scars are very real.

But we… Black people… are the realest!

“There is a light that shines, special for you and me.” –Common

Black Exhaustion & Success

So today I saw this video by Steve Harvey, and it spoke directly to the idea of Black exhaustion. At what cost do we buy into this theory that we are only worthy of success if we work ourselves to the point of exhaustion. It’s a known fact that healthy people need to rest their minds and bodies to combat stress and disease… yet, he states, “You cannot sleep eight hours!” Why not, and under what authority do you make that claim?

But hey this is the guy who tells women how to Act Like a Lady… go figure.

Let’s talk about this idea that to be successful and Black is to be perpetually exhausted … only if we play by rules for a game we were never intended to be allowed to play.

black-exhaustion-and-success.m4a

Genetic Entitlement Disorder

Yep… it’s real.

The concept came from a sistafriend who has been traveling the world on business. Meanwhile the world comes to me in my profession. I work in immigration. I literally see the world’s humanity displayed across from me daily. It’s a telling tale. And white male patriarchy is a tale as old as time….and spans across the globe. Yet entitlement is not beasty. And being an other is at times a struggle. Yet unnecessary struggle does not a beauty make. This isn’t just an American reality. All over the world color and gender separately and in tandem are used as a means to exercise superiority over others.

So here we are.

Entitlement is a genetic disorder. It’s been passed down from generation to generation since the first Romans and Greeks took full credit for the education Thales, Pythagoras, and Plato learned in Egypt from “very Black” teachers as stated by Aristotle in Physiognomonica. The effort to erase all intellectual stock present in those of us with African blood has continued present day. So much so, in many countries, those with skin other than milky white bleach to get that affect. It has both mental and emotional symptoms that lead its victims to have the actual belief that they are better than the rest of us also made from a human ovum and spermatozoa. Their whiteness and maleness attributes they associate with intellect, worth, attractiveness, civility, and humanity. If that ain’t a disorder, I don’t know what is.

It results in patriarchy, discrimination, sexism, hate, racism, and most of all… I’m bringing it back…bitchassness. You must be some type of bitch if you actually believe the color of your skin grants you anything but more or less melanocytes. That’s it… that’s all you get. White skin doesn’t make you better and darker skin doesn’t make you lesser. But if you anything like me… the darker the berry…

Sorry… I got sidetracked.

Anyway.

So we have one side fighting to hold on to its throne of entitlement and the other fighting to be considered. I say it’s a fight we should not wrap our hands and grease our faces for. The best way to handle someone who is a danger to you is to stay tf away from them or arm yourself. After all, it’s a disorder they choose to live with. It’s very easily curable.

Let’s start with the latter…

“woke up this morning, you got yoself a gun..” -Nas

When you wake up everyday you come armed with all you need to fight against entitlement. Your presence. Walk through every space of your life with your head held high and knowing you belong there. Partially because your ancestors built this shit, and partially because God placed you here. You see, your very existence, your brain, your heart, your intelligence, your hustle, your work ethic, your gangsta, your dope ass self is all you need in the fight. The entitled don’t want to see you in their spaces unless you are holding a feather duster or notepad transcribing their thoughts. But when we infiltrate those typically white male spaces, our presence alone chips away at that entitlement. You already have ammunition… your mighty self.

Or you can build your own shit. Walk away from the opportunities they provide that dictate your worth and the value of your skills, by dictating and valuing your own. We have it inside of us to build nations, we built this one with our bare hands. We have it inside of us to slide our chairs away, and take a seat at the table we bought with the money we earned first from them. We have it inside of us to build our own businesses, communities, banks, hospitals, schools…

YES SCHOOLS, where the entitled have replaced true history with feigned history that negates who people of color are and exalts white men to explorers and discoverers instead of murderers and pillagers with a bad sense of direction. Let’s arm ourselves with knowledge to fight against entitlement.

But whatever we do, be clear that it is their genetic disorder to cling to or release. It’s a birth mark of stupidity that they can erase through acceptance, information, education, and experience. It isn’t our job to free them from the bonds of entitlement. It isn’t our responsibility to fight their fight. As we move forward and people of color begin to outwork, outrank, and outnumber them… they’ll either shit or get off the pot.

Meanwhile, worldwide, men will continue to treat women as lesser than and there to simply attend to their needs and white and lighter skinned people will continue to treat people of deeper and darker hues as less civilized and less intelligent. It’s a mental state built on superiority…but more importantly it’s a mental state built upon personal gain. Anyone willing to oppress my humanity for gain is clearly not well, and their illness is a generational curse of mistreatment of others.

So here we are.

Syntax, Semantics, and shit

This will be short(ish).

Now that we got that out of the way….

So yesterday I had this conversation:

  • Him: The BBQ is on July 4th at noon, is that right?
  • Me: Yes.
  • Him: My sister got your message that asked if she could bring paper plates to the BBQ on July 4th at noon. She is confused.
  • Me: Confused, HOW?!?
  • Him: Call her and explain what you need her to do.
  • Me: What about can she bring paper plates to the BBQ on July 4th at noon do you both not understand?
  • I could literally see the confusion ensue. Internal chaos took over the cerebral cortex. It was a battle against the brain cells and the words were winning. A beautiful mind… wasted on the lazy.

    Sighs and exasperation flooded my ear… sounds. Words got flewed out, but none that answered the question… syllables. But no signs of life… no syntax and not even a hint of semantics. We are the creators (more on that in a minute). Yet I find this to be an epidemic… the inability to formulate (one’s own) and understand (other’s) complete thoughts.

    I’m sure there are communication gaps present in every culture, but I’m particularly concerned with my own. I really really need us to focus on our use of language. It is, along with body language, a key component of communication. But when we are using telephones, text messages, and emails… I don’t get the luxury of seeing your confusion or scowl. So brothas and sistas we gotta do better. We are the architects of this shit!

    ————

    Quentin D. Atkinson of the University of Auckland and other scholars have pinpointed southwest Africa, Egypt and surrounding countries, as the origin of language. According to his research, there are more sounds in African languages, at approximately 100, than in other areas of the world. Sound being the root of all language, and as you track migration there are fewer and fewer sounds until one gets to the farthest location, New Zealand, with only 13 linguistic sounds. Other scholars point Psammetichus I, Pharoah of Egypt in the 26th dynasty, as the central figure in language creation. Similarly, Ancient Africa is the birthplace of modern written language, Egyptian hieroglyphs. Like mathematics and philosophy, Egypt is known as the place where all modern science began.

    This is our history: sounds and syllables, syntax, and semantics all swirling together to form a language. That Egyptian pendant your mom got you in the ’80s that spelled your name, that big ankh ring you wore in college when you got real Black and proud…

    …those hieroglyphs are the basic building blocks of modern language. Our style, art, creativity is all a form of communication… telling others how we feel, imagine, see ourselves and the future. We are so influenced by that, African-Americans have a unique vernacular with deep connection to Southern American states accents and style along with remnants of West African influence. Our current speech patterns, sounds, and word use are the modern artifacts of Egyptian sounds, syllables, syntax, snd semantics. So there is no excuse.

    We have become lazy. Everything is about the instantaneous. We only want to press buttons. You can order a movie, dinner, groceries, and a ride with the press of a button. You can talk to a therapist, a psychic, a doctor, a stylist to plan your ENTIRE wardrobe, or a life coach to plan your LIFE with the press of a button. We can get cars out of vending machines. It’s the Jetsons, except we still have to put on our own pants and drive a car on the street. And yes, you have to talk or write, process and understand to communicate. No one is going to do that for you. There is no Shipt for talking and listening.

    The BBQ is on the 4th of July at noon.

    That’s not hard.

    Let’s do better. And if you know a Black person who can’t read… each one teach one. Looks like I got two people to reach out to.

    Oh… don’t show up at my house, I made that shit up! And it wasn’t that short.

    I’m out for Ancestors to represent me…

    So I’m about to school you, get a pen and paper… I’m serious, where is your pen and paper?

    Simple and Plain… Black Consumerism killed Black Entrepreneurship

    Wealth is not common in the Black community. I’m not talking about the ability to buy a Gucci belt for every outfit, but real wealth which is both a mentality and a lifestyle. We have not yet collectively mastered the science of economic health and the transfer of wealth generationally. Period! Some if it is not our fault… but some of it is!

    The two biggest factors in determining wealth are home ownership and inheritance. In The Hidden Cost of Being African American, Thomas Shapiro cites reports that 1 in 4 white families received an inheritance after a parent’s death, averaging $144,652, while only 1 in 20 black families inherited, with an average inheritance of $41,985. Those numbers are wild… but they are explainable. First, Black people make, on average, about 8 cent to a White person’s dollar, so earning potential in the Black community is stunted. You most certainly cannot save money you don’t have. Additionally, Black families are less likely to own homes, missing out in the ability to earn equity in those homes and the many money saving tax advantages of home ownership. Then the discriminatory laws and policies in everything from employment, incarceration, housing, and the environment that have plagued our community leaves us at a huge financial disadvantage. Many say segregation hasn’t helped much either…

    At one point in the Black community, we had communities that were largely self-contained. Black people in Detroit’s Black Bottom and Paradise Valley, Brooklyn Charlotte in Charlotte, NC, Black Broadway in D.C., and Denver’s Five Points we’re living in Black Meccas surrounded by Black churches, businesses, healthcare, and home ownership. Many of these neighborhoods were bulldozed to make way for highways or simply left underfunded and unsupported by the masses in the 50s and 60s.

    So at a point when Black market owners, doctors, cleaners, furniture stores, etc were creating black wealth, modernization, gentrification, the influx of drugs, mass incarceration, infrastructure, and racist policy turned that on its head. After the civil rights movement and the desegregation of our communities, our once natural proclivity for entrepreneurial endeavors waned as we couldn’t get space in these now gentrified and more expensive cities and towns. We were cut out of the small business circle, as we were denied loans and generally denied access. Where there is a lack of creation, people are forced to find alternative sources for their needs. So our ancestors creativity turned into our parents consumerism, and companies owned by everyone but us profited from the demise of our self-sufficient communities.

    Black people in this country have been the biggest targets of consumerism. And when you are consuming and not creating… you are going to generally spend more than you make. So there is little left to save, and less to leave to your children. Consider this. Big brand companies such as McDonalds, Ford, Target, Coca-Cola, and General Mills have made the Black market their target audience in many campaigns. They still manage not to alienate White customers, as their privilege makes it hard for them to feel left out. In contrast, marginalized people have a history of being left out, not considered, and disregarded. So the Coca-Cola commercial featuring Tyrese, or even going back farther, the hip hop inspired “Big Mac Attack” commercial from ’86… yes I remember… didn’t alienate White consumers and the diversity pulled in more Black customers. This is what Forbes calls a “niche first strategy”, and as it took off, well…

    Quite simply, we started spending money before we even made money.

    “Knock me down nine times, but I get up ten”

    According to statista.com, the number of Black owned businesses in the U.S in 1972 was a little over 180,000. In 2018 that number was 2.6 billion, with the increase favoring Black women owned businesses. We are indeed a people of resilience! However, the Black wealth gap has not closed in similar fashion.

    Cuz y’all be TRIPPIN!!!!!!

    Last month, I dedicated myself to purchasing from Black businesses. As I delivered that message, some of my peers made comments about rejecting that notion “just because” the company was Black owned. Demanding that the company provide excellent service to earn their dollar. Yet, I’m certain, those same people don’t always demand the same of the big names companies they frequent… none of which are owned by for us or by us. If you eat at McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bell, or any fast food conglomerate that shit is killing you. I can think of several Black food businesses in Detroit that never have a line, sell well seasoned and healthy foods, and instead, the McDonalds line is over the river and through the woods, and they are guaranteed to give you a Big Mac missing a patty and the special sauce. That’s inexcusable and ludicrous. And I have been to Walmart… it’s not what’s poppin! But y’all be up in there buying those bad apples, tart ass grapes, chemically laden lotions, and irregular work shirts. The Eastern market and local farmers markets have Black farmers and Black business owners selling high quality and healthy products. Instagram is a sea of Black owned clothing boutiques. So where dem dollars at?!?!

    We must decide to keep our dollars circulating in the Black community for much longer than the reported “6 hour” statistic ( a statistic that has never been proven and really has no impetus that can be tracked), and do our part in keeping more of our 1.3 trillion dollars in spending in our hands and ultimately the bank accounts of our children. We can invest in a few Black businesses, to both make a return on my investment and help provide a Black entrepreneur with some of the start up cash they need. We can free ourselves from the misuse of the credit industry… which promotes the borrowing of money to keep you in debt. No thanks! Credit is a tool. Debt is a hinderance.

    When we start to value wealth; understand how we can truly build wealth, both in our families and in our community; learn from history; and stop being so unfairly judgmental and harsh on the businesses that people that look like us run in our communities, generally with limited financial support, we will start to build the kind of wealth we need to pass that down to our children… so they are born into wealth. Hustle for your last name and not your first.

    Don’t be the only anti-affirmative action Black student in the room. Buy Black, just because it’s Black! There a millions of Black businesses, research, educate yourself, and find companies that match your needs (webuyblack.com is a great resource). I know when I write a book, y’all better buy it and read it, and buy an extra copy, just because. Black is only synonymous with inferior to those that hate us and don’t want to see us win!

    Who you wit!