“Watch the snakes cuz they watching you” -J. Cole Land of the Snakes

So we all have our strengths. Mine is assessing character. I can pretty much tell you early on whether someone is full of kindness or full of shit. It’s a gift. Now my first reaction to most folks is a sideeye, I just take a little while to get comfortable with folks… but rarely am I wrong if their energy is toxic, parasitic, demonic. And even if I judge it wrong at first, it does take me long to figure out. If I tell you someone is bad business… you should listen to me.

Now I have a story, of course. So I was once becoming friends with someone who I thought was genuine, because they presented as a friend. But this person was not interested in building an intentional friendship, just wanted…viola!… a friendship. Pause in real life! People with hidden agendas and flawed character, can tell when you have the gift of insight. And SO, friends we never became. This person slowly exposed herself to be selfish, a liar, a fraud, blah blah blah. But she was literally fooling those around me. I was once asked why I couldn’t look past this person’s act of pure selfishness and narcissism at an extremely fragile time in someone’s …who I’d help bury the bodies for… life, by that someone. Sometimes even good folks clocks get stuck on demon time. So I just sat back in the cut. Demons always get exposed.

Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon.

It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people, and by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast it deceives those who dwell on earth…

Revelations 13:11-12, 13-14

I can be hard on folks, so I try very hard to do inventory on why I dislike or distrust people. Yet because I am a tiny bit possessive over my friends, I try to impress upon them when I see a snake coming, but I won’t do it long, it’s futile. Eventually I’ll just avoid said person like they are bubonic, and leave you to figure out their plague. But it’s difficult to see folks being used and deceived. It is for me. I feel like part of the responsibility that comes with being a friend is alerting you if on our walk, there are snakes in the grass. But often, snakes don’t dress like snakes. They come to the party in their teacup yorkie costume.

After the snake fools you by its image, it performs for you.

It makes grand gestures, turns the trick pages from looseleaf to Zig Zag. It often skips past the fireworks that fizzle out or that don’t reach the treetops, to get to the grand finale. It likes the oohs and aahs. We are often wooed by results because we are kept blind to the process… and that is what demons do very well. They have the power of transformation… so one minute a brunette, the next a blond…and of transmutation… lamb to dragon. And just when you think that teacup yorkie is about to jump in your lap for cuddles, it’s jaws open wide, its tiny leg ascend into its body, the fur becomes scales, it’s tail extends for miles, and it sinks its teeth into you. Dragons are just big ass snakes.

Listen folks, don’t die on the vine trying to uplift and support wolves in sheep’s clothing, just because they baa and knit you a sweater from their shorn wool. I thank God I have dealt with few humans who want to be idolized, but I can feel that energy. But the ones that do will shape shift into any form you can imagine to get its bottom line met. It’s up to you to pay attention. Anything someone will do to others, they will do to you. Judgmental people judge. Thieves steal. Liars lie. If they’ll do it to me, you are not exempt. Cuz fucking with me is a study in getting handled, and folks still do it… so you are not safe.

“This calls for wisdom.”

WEB DuBois in his essay “The Talented Tenth” opines that the exceptional and educated men among Black people will be the leaders to deliver the race from destruction by the dominant. It’s a concept originally uttered by Henry Morehouse (yep that Morehouse), who considered the talented tenth Black man in a group of nine ordinary men, needed exceptional education. Many of us just consider ourselves in that tenth, the knowing.

Yet, I believe that knowing the truth, not just the taught and written, is only among the five percent. Ten percent of the people of the world are in the know, and they opt to keep 85 percent of the world in ignorance, while the remaining 5 % are knowing and want to enlighten others (a tenent of The Nations of Gods and Earths). You can teach folks a lie, but you can only enlighten folks via truth. The five percenters operate in clarity by seeking knowledge, acting according to it (wisdom), and then revealing the truth to self (understanding, clarity). We are for the culture, because our culture is built on the communal traditions, when we reveal that truth to others. Operate in wisdom my woes…cuz the snakes is watchin’!

“One thing about the men that’s controlling the pen that write history, they always seem to white-out they sins”-J.Cole, Brackets