I Request Equal Time…

So y’all already know I think and process in song lyrics.

Trump: This monster who was onstage with Mike Pence…

Senator Harris: Just killed another career it’s a mild day… (Nicki Minaj, Monster)

I got your monster, you joker!

We all saw VP Pence do that white patriarchal privilege bullshit at the VP debate on Tuesday, speaking over Senator Harris, attempting to force her to bend to his whim, mansplaining, being condescendingly disrespectful, undermining her intelligence and experience, and speaking to her as he was the superior intellectual on the stage. But like a true Boss, she tapped that. She gave him the business. She did so with full on face language in moments that cursing him to hell would have been inappropriate, by coming at him with facts, and calling him on his lies despite his evangelical tone.

“Ok first things first I’ll eat your brains…”

Meanwhile Black women far and wide could relate, and were posting and group texting about how they endured that same level of sexism that showed itself in his ‘the man will get the last word’ behavior and the added intersection of race that led him to question her qualifications and experience like she could not be the most qualified and experienced person on stage. It is a reality we are all too familiar with, sadly. We are often the first or the only in the room. Our intelligence, skill, and ability questioned and excused as good guesses and somehow only pursued to engage in some nefarious activity like we are all out here on our Jamila Davis. No shade to Jamila… she’s a Boss in her own right.

Not just victims of sexism or racism, Black women face the intersectional realities of being both Black and female in a nation that hates women and both fears and despises Black people. We are often marginalized by everyone… White men, White women, and sometimes Black men. We are labeled as weak of mind to expose our alleged inferiority to White men, but strong of body like animals, to inform our need to be controlled like savages. While white women are seen as needing protection to maintain some false purity standards. Yet we are among the most highly educated group of people in America, we have increased our entrepreneurial efforts by over 200% in recent years, and we are making it harder for anyone to deny our skills, talents, and success by how unapologetic we are being about spreading our accomplishments across the social sphere. Despite the stereotypes, we are professional, educated, skilled, and respected in every facet of American finance, law, industry, government, education, healthcare, technology, art… everything!

“You could be the King but watch the Queen conquer”

The truth is, like Senator Harris, we come prepared with a script on how to handle these shenanigans, borrowed from the boardroom and translated now across every place where we take up space. Our facial expressions say everything from …

And when you don’t get those, we are forced to use our inside voices and our SAT words to slice you a new asshole, and you know it’s happening, but it’s done with such precision and care, you don’t know you are a bloody mess. Then we settle back into ourselves to give you a chance to right your wrongs. But when you question our very presence, you can’t help but be a bigot and throw your privilege around like a boomerang… until we again, less gently, fact check the shit out of you, and your own privilege ricochets to smack you upside the head. We have an answer for your every move, but it’s an exhausting game that we have been told we must tiptoe around to avoid being cast as the very stereotypes that haunt us.

But I am here to tell you, after a decade of fighting with White men and women with my pen, careful words, tempered anger, and lowered voice, I can tell you that it won’t change your circumstance or their behavior to stay in the pocket. Being angry at mistreatment is normal, you don’t have to scream and holler but you can surely call out their discrimination, bias, privilege, and disrespect by name as your full self without worrying about the stereotypes you might fall into. You were born into these stereotypes, they aren’t yours by ownership though to claim or discard. God gave you a voice to speak up and out, to educate the ignorant, and to call out the clowns. You were put into that position divinely.

You don’t think some fool man tried to take over Harriet’s plan and try to mansplain to her how to best cross the delta in the darkness… you know Soloman B. did. But Harriet’s sideeye said to him…”How many slaves have you freed?”

You don’t think some extra dainty White woman hasn’t tried to tell Serena Williams a lithe body would fare her better in tennis, of course Amy did. But Serena had to politely tell her with a laugh… “I got Masters you just got plans.” But Queen Serena wasn’t joking.

You don’t think some White man told Oprah she’d never amount to anything more than a local TV host, of course Tanner did. But now Tanner works for her, and at the latest Harpo picnic Oprah invited Jay-Z to perform … “Call me a Phil Collins I feel a billion is in the air. I affiliate with Billy Gates, that’s my peer.” (Jay-Z, A Billi)

So my sistas, don’t cower, don’t bend or beg, don’t wait for scraps. Let them know you are there and if you don’t get equal pay, equal billing, and equal time where you have earned it, first you’ll ask for it. Then you’ll take it. Periodt!

The Two Kamalas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It Ain’t About HER it’s about US

I want to shake some of y’all until you get brain damage, because at least then there will be an excuse for you being so DAMN ridiculous. You have a conspiracy theory about everything… but when it comes to negative shit about Black women, you will ride that shit ’til the wheels fall off. It doesn’t have to be even mildly rooted in fact, because we are the poster children of oppression. We are sitting at the intersection of race, sex, and class and we never get the right of way.

In America, what is White, what is male, and what is wealthy is given absolute power. In order to maintain this power, wealthy White America has set up these systems that keep anyone different from them at a disadvantage and they are able to get others (non wealthy Whites) to buy into it by convincing them to fear and ultimately hate those differences. Black men are the tools they use to effectuate these systems, by weakening them financially and socially, imprisoning them and miseducating them. Black women threaten their power and the objects of their protection, White women, because we make their dicks hard. By robbing us of our protectors, our men, we are left to fight alone.

And fight we have! In the past 100 years, no group has improved its standing financially, socially, and educationally more than Black women. Black woman owned businesses have increased over 200%; we are earning graduate degrees at two times the rate of others; and although we still only make 60 cent to the dollar of White men, we continue to increase our numbers in politics, higher education positions, and management positions- especially in companies that value diversity and innovation.

But as we have climbed, we simply do not gather the support of our own and don’t receive as much support as Black men, who we often lead the army in protecting. It’s a very perplexing fact. The numbers of Black men and Black women supporting R. Kelly and Bill Cosby was expected, and sadly not alarming, even after hearing of the numerous Black girl children Kelly had violated. When Black women are violated, it’s barely reported and barely shared. Over the past year hundreds of young Black girls have gone missing in major US cities, most of us can’t name one. Yet we still see the graphics of Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Oscar Grant and the many other young Black men killed by police officers on their birthdays and the anniversaries of their death years later. All these children, male and female, deserve to have us #saytheirname. But sadly, Black female victims rarely get that same support.

Enter Kamala Harris.

On January 21, 2019, Senator Kamala Harris announced her 2020 Presidential bid. The American machine churned quickly and turned out a myriad of articles misquoting facts and painting her as inadequate for the position. She was blamed and labeled non-progressive based on prior positions as District Attorney of San Francisco (where the prison population decreased by 2011) and Attorney General of California, and the increase in the prison population in that State during her tenure.

The Two Faces of Kamala Harris – Jacobinmag.com

Kamal Harris law-and-order past threatens progressive 2020 bid – The Washington Post

Kamala Harris Hopes You’ll Forget Her Record as a Drug Warrior and Draconian Prosecutor -Reason.com

Extramarital affair with Kamala Harris? Former San Francisco mayor, 84, admits it happened -FoxNews

Kamala Harris: Criminal justice reformer, or defender of the status quo? The record is mixedPolitifact

Kamala Harris has been Tough in Black People-Not in Crime – Afropunk.com

It was to be expected, Malcolm X told us! But sadly, we are victims of our own ignorance. The Miseducation of the Negro is real and we still allow it. So shortly thereafter, Black media sites started to regurgitate these articles, when it was clear their authors skipped American Government 101 and don’t even know what District Attorneys and Attorney Generals do. One of the most heinous was the Afropunk article written by a Black man, which stated, “It is clear that Kamala Harris is not for the people. She is for the American empire. Don’t let her identity as a Black woman, or her identity as an AKA, or her status as an alumna from Howard University fool you into thinking she is actually for us: Kamala don’t give a fuck about you niggas.

It was an article full of generalizations that failed to look deeper into her role as DA and AG, the responsibilities of those roles, the system she inherited, her actual numbers, and the circumstances surrounding the increase in violent crimes and the rate of recidivism in California. It also generalized her stance on certain issues without an analysis into why she took those positions. Her record is not without contradiction and questionable decisions, but to imply she doesn’t care about Black people is asinine and without merit… and this from a Black man. As Natalie Hopkinson, a professor at Howard University stated, “A lot of black men are just not hearing what black women are saying because they are too busy complaining about their own situation.” We are not your enemy bruh!

As a black woman, the decision to love yourself just as you are is a radical act -Bethanee Bryant

The reason why some Black women have given Harris their vote until she does something to lose it, is because she stands at a disadvantage NO ONE but us will ever understand. She has her loyalty to Black men questioned. She has her Blackness questioned. She has her affiliations with anything historically and authentically Black questioned. She has her sexual and relationship choices questioned. She has her heritage questioned. Only because she is an attractive light skinned woman has she yet to have her looks questioned, and we understand that shit better than anyone. So we choose to stand by her, because standing by her is standing by ourselves. And this time, no matter how much major media attempts to lessen her and Black men attempt to silence her, Black women will support her, even if she doesn’t get our vote. We are never allowed to make mistakes, make wrong choices, or choose ourselves without being labeled traitors to the culture. We birth the culture, hold it in our womb, so miss us with all that!

We are living our best lives, and we give a fuck about y’all, but we ain’t going back and forth with you niggas!

Black Mixed with Black

“I’m light skinned, but I’m still a dark n!%%#…” Drake

I love this line, cuz people have assumed my whole life that I got it easy cuz I could check several boxes on the race question and no one would question it… but the only thing I claim is the only thing I am… Black.

I got two Black ass Afro wearing Black power fist raising parents. My mama dropped me off at high school bumping Ice Cube… my mama. We had Black ass records in the house… Miles Davis, Coltrane, Aretha, the Isleys, and brown Michael Jackson, and Prince before the Just for Me relaxer. We had Black ass food… franks and beans, tuna and peas, hot water cornbread and fried chicken, black eyed peas and greens, cabbage and corned beef, and that big ass yellow block of cheese on occasion. We had Black ass books… My mama had Soul on Ice on the bookshelf and my granddad had The Miseducation of the Negro, the two I remembered most, among the other Baldwin, Lorde, Giovanni, and Black Panther penned books. We went to Black ass places, Eastland, the African World Fest at Hart Plaza, and Shrine of the Black Madonna. I know nothing else, but who and what I am. My folks were educated and had good jobs and demanded I be well educated; that’s not unique to White people. We once had wealth in our communities. During segregation we were forced to do business with one another and create our own communities of necessity. We have been going to college, been doctors and lawyers. We have been marrying across the spectrum… Loving v. Virginia in 1967 was almost 100 years after Kinney v. Virginia in 1878 which held their interracial marriage in Washington, where it was legal in 1874, as a violation of Virginia law. So all of this “ain’t Black enough” shit is garbage.

Somewhere between the Middle Passage and Emancipation, we lost who we were. Although we had escaped slavery, because we weren’t just freed it was definitely a freedom mission, we were still mentally enslaved. Black people were never afforded these unalienable rights and liberties; “we the people” didn’t include us. We have been forever entangled in a web of racism so tough that the simple ratification of an amendment could put us right back into chattels. We were robbed of our history, not allowed to read or write, so we only knew we were slaves. We were were actually descendants of royalty. Our ancestors created mathematics, language, and science. Egyptians from gold to blackened brass hues, taught the masters of philosophy and deeper thought, ideology, math, science, and sociology. It’s hard to love yourself when you have only been told you were valueless, so in the nature of humans who despise themselves, we turned on each other. But regardless of where we toil, we are still Black. I’m still a Slave in the house… with no rights, no control, and easier access by the massa to the bloom under my bloomers. “House nigga, field nigga…still nigga.” And yet, after educating ourselves to the highest degree, we still are mentally enslaved. Now that we know who we really are, instead of fighting against one another, we need to rise up against theses racists who impregnated our minds with self-hate and colorism… and take our power back. We need to stop this Black enough rating system that we base on shit that doesn’t matter… I’m Black enough if I’m Black, I support Black people, I’m proud of my Blackness, and I identify. Period.

I’m Black mixed with Black and I’ve had my loyalty to the cause questioned because of traits I had nothing to do with. I can’t help a privilege, but I can surely acknowledge it and let you know that I’m uninterested. I can earn everything I get. If you are going to give me anything, let it be because I have done something to earn it outright. I am uninterested in your bias against folks that look like my Father, my Grandfather, my beautiful Aunts and cousins who just happen to be on the deeper end of the complexion spectrum because we span from milk to coffee and every latte and macchiato in between. But if I’m given anything because of my genetics, trust that I’m sharing it across complexion lines, and using it to put myself in a position where I can combat the very thing that got me in the position.

I got Black ass art on the walls. Black ass books in my library. Black ass records and songs in my Tidal playlists, cuz I support Black folks with Jackson Five nostrils who marry beautiful Black Queens and have kinky haired babies who go out with their fro out. I quote Amanda Seales, Issa Rae, Killer Mike, and Soulja Boy cuz they by culture and for the culture. I’m bad and I’m bougie. I like beauty supply earrings and authentic Gucci bags. I only shop at markets but I listen to trap music on the way. I’m looking for a trap Pilates or trap boxing class if you hear of any… and I like my men educated, Black, hairy, with a grey jogging pants and Timbs section in their closet next to the suits, and non-hotepian. I have a Black man and a Black son, who I support and love without fail or question. I’m smart, educated, dope af, and Black as hell!

So judge me and everyone else who is Black with that in mind. You don’t know my story, his, or hers. If I told you:

-I almost died because being Black and female and pregnant isn’t taken as seriously because we had babies in fields and huts and shucked corn through labor. I was Black enough to be ignored.

-I have been discriminated against because I’m Black, female, a Black female, and an educated Black female. I was Black enough to the racists.

-I carried a Black male baby while carrying a Black man, and my back still hurts from it. I was Black enough to support Black men inside and outside.

-I have been cheated on, lied to and lied on, wrongfully accused, stolen from, harassed, threatened, and assaulted by Black folks. I was Black enough to be mistreated by my own.

-I have dressed in all Black to handle the enemy.I have dressed in all Black to protest the enemy.

-I buy Black with intention.

-I speak up for Black people and Black women in ways I don’t broadcast, beyond my Facebook rants, that have harmed me personally but I still carry on because it’s necessary.

… would you discredit me because I don’t look like what you think that woman looks like? Trust me, I know where my own loyalty lies, and if you let other people and your assumptions tell you who I am, I guarantee you’d be wrong. This is just my story, but we all have one. And all of us, whether we acknowledge it or not, have been Black enough at some point to feel the pride of being Black and experience the pain of being Black.

This Black ratings scale, are you Black enough trash is hotep shit at its worst. Black attempts at supremacy is rancid poison, and a by product of White male supremacy that some Black folks have accepted to feel superior in a world where we lack power. Hoteps, both male and female, have latched on to supporting Black folks who belong under the jail, then criticize anyone who isn’t in blind support of every wrong Negro man, especially those who wrong Black women. I proudly despise any attempt to lessen who Black women are in the name of patriarchy, of any race of men, Black men in particular. All that hotep shit will get you cussed out and deuced really quick. Thou shalt not pull your dick out, be a Nazi, or be a hotep. Those three things apply to hotep high priestesses as well… no amount of sage, crystals, and head wraps will save you from being called out. The rest of us are tired of you and want to call the delegation to order every time you rear your ugly head to oust you from the kingdom. Just call me Jon Snow… I cut folks off at the neck clean. Besides, Winter is coming (well this week it arrived) my tan has worn off, I’m back to my original color, and I gotta fight off the Night walkers and shit who dare challenge me my Blackness. I ain’t a killer but…

-Signed, everyone Black person ever labeled, questioned, or assumed to be low to non-existent on the “Black enough” scale.