Wake up … Mr. West?

Okay so I had a whole other post planned… I’ll release that later. But I really want to talk to y’all about Kanye West because y’all concern me. Really you do. Take a psychology class, read an article on mental health, see all these posts about “support Black mental health” but then watch how you act. You don’t support a person’s basic rights… let alone their right to an opinion that doesn’t match your own. We put Brandt Jean on trial for forgiving. We wanna cancel Ellen because she sat with Dubya. Really?

Well I’m gonna tell you my opinion. Fight me. You might want to after this. I don’t care… this is what I do. Now read…

So recently he made some comments and y’all like, see keep dude cancelled cuz he’s on that bullshit again. Now I’m not gonna go back in time and argue my case for or against, but I will say this…

You cannot be for supporting Black mental illness and judge him through some other lens. You cannot also preach about privilege and racism and not see that in the past our elected leader has used this man to validate his position that he’s for “the Blacks”. We all know he’s not, but in a state of unmedicated mania, we can certainly understand, if we seek to, that this man should have been protected from that monster, not allowed to sit down with him and further his agenda as a result of his mental instability.

Okay so fast forward to this past Saturday, let’s break down what was said…

“Abraham Lincoln was the Whig Party—that’s the Republican Party that freed the slaves,” … That is truth. The Whig party was the modern party mid 19th century, that rose up in opposition to hard nosed racist Andrew Jackson, while his followers formed the Democratic Party… the party of the “people”… who were considered only the White men who could vote. They morphed into the Republican Party primarily huddled around the idea of anti-slavery. Yes the parties have “realigned”… but that does not negate his point. He was referring to being called a coon for his affiliation with the party.

“You black, so you can’t like Trump? I ain’t never made a decision only based on my color,” West said. “That’s a form of slavery, mental slavery.” Ok, so I cannot say I’ve never made a decision based on race. However, what a position to be in. To be so personally unaffected by the economic and social disadvantages of race to be able to see things from a different vantage point. Be clear that doesn’t mean race and racism aren’t important and present, but that as a singular human you can see outside of and around race, because your position allows you to. Black people VOTED for Trump, will likely again. He spoke about rights… the right to vote for whoever one desires. That is true, it is his right. We focus so much on what other people are doing we don’t focus enough on ourselves and how we play a role.

I see my social, political, and racial responsibilities involving as much my vote as my economic stability, promotion of that to my child and my peers, and use of whatever small or large platform I have to promote understanding, health, love, and more economic stability. This is America. For the love of money people will…

So while I dislike Trump, I understand it is within the right of anyone else to choose. Freedom of choice is huge. You can’t argue a woman’s right to chose then shit on his rights. I don’t listen to R. Kelly and I have not for years, he’s a child rapist. Other people do. I’ll take a racist over a child rapist any and every day if the week if I have to choose. But I get to choose. If I’m Kanye, I’ll take the racist who embraced me to use me over the Black people who condemn me and cancel me constantly and with vitriol.

Brandt Jean likely understands as does Ellen.

“Social media is designed to make you think slower. … They want to slow you down and control you”

Welllllllllllllllllllll… I can’t find the lie. Sorry. So you read an article, it contains quotes, but did you go and watch whatever they took quotes from. Chances are, EVERY TIME, the quotes, in QUOTATION MARKS are not exact quotes and are used to match the writer’s intent. So instead of reading or listening to what was said you are told what was said. Every article. Every. ERY. This quote was not about Trump but about him not paying attention to critics on social media. These are not unlike things we sat ALL the TIME.

If you got it from the internet, chances are you don’t have all the answers.

Keep in mind, this man doesn’t live in our world. He’s married to a woman who makes money because she’s a White woman with an ass and has gained more and more fame based on her relationships with Black men. He’s a genius. He’s mentally unstable. He sells out stadiums. We praise God with dude… who we hated a year ago. He’s a complicated individual. Our relationship with him is complicated.

Listen, I get it, we want our big names, the powerful, the verbose, the opinionated to stand up and out for US. I understand that. But we cannot want that so badly that we a) fail to do our part and b) ignore their ability to choose their own path and voice their own opinions. We cannot want others to be so woke, that we sleep on their rights.

After all, This is America.

C

Nothing and Everything

Every now and again something gives me a soul lesson, unlike a simple life lesson. It’s a deeper thing, hard to explain but real. Often, I’m not quite sure that the ways in which I learned about myself were purposeful or happenstance in terms of the medium. But I find myself unwrapping whatever it is in awe… amazement… eager to be changed by it.

Jharrel Jerome in “When They See Us”

1989

I was 13 years old when the “Central Park Five” case started in New York. I am not ashamed to say I don’t remember hearing about it much, or it having much of an impact on me. I do recall it being one of the first times, other than seeing the name on TV or emblazoned in lights in Atlantic City, hearing the name Donald Trump in the news. But honestly I was too involved in my own teen drama.

2011

I do recall much more vividly in 2011, Trump calling for then President Barack Obama to release his US birth certificate to prove he was a born citizen, and seeing that horrendously racist ad he took out in four NYC papers calling for the death penalty of “murderers” who were actually innocent children that were used, tricked, and illegally interrogated for hours without parental supervision. The NYPD, in true form, put on a masterful performance of trickery and fraud and racism. No surprise there.

2014

2014 was the year Mike Brown, Eric Garner, LaQuan McDaniel, Akai Gurley, and Tamir Rice were killed by police officers. It started a series of conversations about what it meant to be Black and male in America for parents of Black sons. In my house, we discussed how my son didn’t and never would have the privilege of being seen as young and innocent, as his young and innocent little face peered back at me, confused and bewildered, too free to be afraid and too happy to understand.

2014 was the year that I experienced uncut racism at my place of employment for the first time… my upward mobility sabotaged by white men less experienced and much less educated. It was also the year, the Central Park Five, as they had become known, were exonerated for a crime for which they spent years wrongly imprisoned and rumblings of Trump running for President started.

2014 was pivotal for me in terms of my Blackness… While I abhorred and was educated on America’s racist history, my own personal Blackness had been pretty much an urban tale of an Around the Way Girl. Bamboo earrings, bad attitude, gangsta talk, manipulating minds, being gentle and kind, independent, and my grandma stayed buggin! Yet suddenly I experienced all it meant to be Young, Gifted, and Black through this lens of trauma. I wouldn’t have called it that at the time, but surely it was…

I spent a long time trying to understand some shit that wasn’t meant for me to comprehend. I had never experienced blatant racism, so it was foreign to me. I convinced myself that I didn’t belong there… not because I wasn’t good enough, I was too good, that was the problem. I started to see everything as an operation of color… whether warranted or not. I felt like a prisoner, detained somewhere I didn’t belong. So kind of frozen by that feeling, I couldn’t move. I never took my own response to their behavior into consideration. It’s not what happens to you, it’s how you respond to it that matters, right?

2019

I took ownership. I decided that my Blackness, something I always embraced, was gonna get a bear hug. I would be blue black. I might eat a chitterling… Ok that’s going too far.

I had spent a long time hearing that as a lighter skinned Black person my experience of Blackness wasn’t quite the real experience, but I knew different. My experiences were just as real and authentic as any brown skinned sista’s… not the same, sprinkled with privilege in some instances that I neither wanted or asked for…but as real and authentic nonetheless. I had definitely experienced the modern day version of racial injustice at the hands of my employers. I also had allowed it to take residence beside me… and I needed to evict it once I really processed it.

I decided that I was going to swallow whole every bit of knowledge and experience I could have that gave me a better understanding of where I fit in this unfortunately racist and sexist place. So June 5, 2019 I sat down and started to digest another piece of our history, made so beautifully and hauntedly by Ava Duvernay. Listen… it was much like what I imagine hell to be like in one bite and then just rich and flavorful and robust in the next… art and hatred. Joy and pain.

Jharrel Jerome and Korey Wise

This young man’s performance, not taking away from any of the other actors as they were all phenomenal, but this one… it made me feel some power I didn’t realize I had. Being Black is a joy… we are lit, cultured, educated, magical, unicornian and shit. Being Black in America is also traumatic af! There is a scene where Yusuf Salaam’s mother walks him out of the police station and it flashes to Korey Wise sitting on a wooden bench in the police station. At that moment, I knew he was about to take me somewhere. I wasn’t really sure where… but I just put my seatbelt on.

I was metamorphosed from it in a way I had never been from watching news stories or reading articles. I think I can only compare my reaction to his scenes to seeing Mike Brown lying in the street hours after being gunned down and Trayvon Martin’s sneaker peeking from under the sheet on the ground. Yet his portrayal was somehow more real, even though it was scripted. At one point, the young actor, Jerome, looked into the camera with such desperation and fear…

…it was clear he’d not just acted out this trauma but decided to experience it first hand, to become a 16 year old in Riker’s Island… if not physically, then emotionally. It was like he ingested the script. He feasted on the real life victims being on set, sharing their stories. In basic terms… he went all the muthafuckin way IN! He surrendered himself and forced me to do the same. That boy was GOODT!

There was a scene where Jerome alongside Neicey Nash, as Korey Wise’s mother, are separated by a wall to discourage contact with prisoners. Jerome leans over and grabs her hands and pleads with her to come back to see him. That shit took a gangsta all the way out ok…

I could feel what it must have felt like to be a child deprived of any loving human touch, of your mother’s presence, of any positive human interaction. He broke me down ya heard. But something came from that mix of artistic excellence and emotional transference that was seriously cathartic.

Racism has many faces. It’s the pointed hate of walking into a church with Black parishioners and shooting them. It’s the juxtaposition of power versus safety with our Black sons and trigger happy police officers. It’s the feigned ignorance about Black life, vernacular, levels of education and success as if our skin color makes us somehow foreign and less human. It’s the xenophobia against people and cultures assumed to threaten the majority, their power, wealth, and sheer numbers. I could go on and on. Whatever it’s manifestation, racism is hateful and borne of control, power, and the threat of death. What I thought would leave me even more mad at patriarchal racist white folks, left me feeling powerful in a way I cannot explain well… but I’ll try.

Have you ever had a headache and immediately grabbed for Excedrin or Aleve because you didn’t want to bother with the headache or it’s cause, only to have the headache an hour later still pounding? That is often what we do when we have been traumatized, big or small, we look for a band-aid. We want it to go away and we don’t want to deal with the root cause. Instead, if you take a few deep breaths, get a cool compress, and take a nap, the headache will be gone when you rise. It requires both taking some responsibility for your healing and some time for it.

I spent a lot of time mad about shit that really didn’t serve me. I didn’t go in, see my part in it all, heal that, and use their evil for good… instead I just let it sit and fester …

“or maybe it just sags like a heavy load, or does it explode?”

Mad at white people… not all white people but hateful, patriarchal, racist white people… the very ones who don’t care if I, or more importantly my Black son, lives or dies. Why spend an iota of energy on that mofo?!?

I liked my sheltered and innocent life… it was comfortable, safe, cozy, and easy. But that shit is a thing of the past. It got me here, I’m grateful for the shelter… but I have seen how ugly and hateful people can be. The thing is, that’s them, not me, not you, not us. Fuck hateful, patriarchal, racist white people and all that shit they hope they are making us feel… anger, rage, hostility. Don’t let the hateful shit they do stop you … from grinding, from becoming, or from watching this masterpiece.

Like any and everything else , trauma has to be faced head on. I sat down in racism and it didn’t kill me… it made me stronger. I was beasty before… I’m a muthafuckin Blackity Black superhero unicorn now. I am the dream and prayer of Harriet and Frederick, Malcolm and Fannie Lou, Thurgood and Shirley, William and Betty.

As for the racists, I ingested their hate and spat it out, so now I’m immunized. I lost nothing and gained everything. That’s the transformative power of art. They will remember me different.

Comedic Pryorities

“I went to Zimbabwe. I know how white people feel in America now; relaxed! Cause when I heard the police car I knew they weren’t coming after me!“-Richard Pryor

I feel like there is a fundamental difference between the comedy of Black folks and everybody else. We display our shit in our funny. You get to hear about our relationship problems; which one of our friends might be a hater in real life; how broke we are; our 62 year old gay uncle coming out and bringing “Lionel” to the family barbecue in matching short sets; how much toilet paper our kids use; and the amount of gray hairs we counted in the shower. We also talk about politics, racism, and all the horrible shit we experience. The thing about it is, those same jokes we laugh about, we are quick to get sensitive about if they hit home. That joke about cheating ain’t funny to your wife who decided to keep your ass despite you having an outside kid. Shit just ain’t funny. #toosoon

If you know anything about me, you know I LOVE Black people. My love is deep though, so my jokes are deep. I’m not holding you up about how extra fucked up your ways are or out here fooling myself about my own flaws. Our standards are different. Our priorities are different. We need to be honest with each other… but we can do it with laughs and love.

So…

When I post the Black Men are the White Men of Black People article again, of course it isn’t all of you. But if you are hotepping , rape apologizing, comparing Black male v female racial injustice, and R. Kelly and Bill Cosby “our Black heroes” stanning… I’m gonna clown you and label you. I’m gonna let you know you are acting real male supremacist and since you experience your race and gender simultaneously, you can’t live by the same rules and get the same privilege. That shit ain’t available to you. I feel it my job to let you know how far from the right path you have strayed. Now I’m gonna wrap it in a funny bow… but again, it’s gonna be a bow soaked in truth and potlicker because we all we got. These thick thighs save lives in more ways than one!

When I say Light Skin Ni$$a Shit, trust me I mean that with all the love I can muster. I’m light skinned. I dance randomly in stores. I likely have on something leopard print. I’m a little extra and a little sensitive about my shit. I’ve been judged. I have a privilege I didn’t ask for and don’t want. I have simultaneously had my Blackness questioned … while still being quite Black enough to face racism from white folks. Living in that space can result in attention seeking behaviors to stand out and distance yourself from that privilege, sometimes displaying stereotypical behaviors or making up a reality just to lessen that sting. The fact still is that unless he’s in a Regal blasting UGK, El DeBarge is less likely to get stopped by the police than Johnny Gill. Traveling at 40mph it’s harder to tell if El is their intended target, a Black person. But he is not immune. It’s a strange and debilitating privilege that doesn’t feel like privilege at all. A privilege you only get because you are close to whiteness, but no cigar… and you don’t smoke! I’ll take the smoke tho and call it out when we display it erratically … with humor. You ain’t gotta prove you down or lie Craig.

I’ll do the same thing when we try to box each other in, as if we can’t be both smart with a side of ratchet; study James Baldwin and W.E.B. DuBois and twerk in trap fitness; or be fiscally responsible and still buy Jordans. I got Twitter and E-Trade apps on my phone. I am multi-dimensional. I’m soul food and eye candy you hotep. And I’m gonna joke about it, but that’s my way of sparking some dialogue… because you need to know that I am not the bearer of your insecurity. Regardless of how you may decide to narrowly view yourself and your Blackness, the rest of us are out here contributing to our 401K AND busting a mf move when Cash Money takes over for the 99 and 2000s.

“There’s a thin line between to laugh with and to laugh at.” -Richard Pryor

What I need for us NOT to do is get all sensitive because the jokes hit home. If the shoe fits and it’s in your closet, you bought it. Be accountable for who and what you are, and if someone strikes a nerve with the truth, decide to do better. #WWJD… #JWDB (Jesus would do better!)

Besides, comedy is truth. It was our comedic national treasure , Richard Pryor, who said… “I went to the White House, met the president. We in trouble. 

We still are Richard, we still are!

This Woman’s Work III: A Foreword

A Modern Day Tale:

“…but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind! ” -Virginia Wolf

It was 2018, I was working in a federal government office, where I had worked since 2004, amid moves and changes in everything from job title to the way I logged into my computer. People had come and gone, and I was still plugging away. My workplace had transformed from this very robust, albeit disheveled and disorganized office, like the set of Barney Miller, to this very sterile building. It was cold, soulless. Clean and neat, but like a psychopath, it lacked a genuine personality and flavor. It wasn’t even vanilla. Very often my spirit felt held captive.

Welcome to Dystopia.

Culture and diversity are kaleidoscopes. No matter which way you turn, there is rich color and a soundless rhythm you can still feel in those same places music makes move. Some White Americans are devoid of culture, so they latch on to the fallacy of the American Dream as their identity. When one can only see themselves as important through a lens of monetary and positional success, money and power become the things that mean the most to you. Similarly those of us who embrace our many cultures, I for example am a Black woman, of the hip hop generation, educated, urban, and a Detroiter, have an identity beyond the tools use to subjugate most of society… money and power. Most of the White people that I know and consider friends are very cultured… whether that be spiritual, regional, ancestral, you name it. And in this cold and sterile environment, cold and sterile White men had infiltrated this once robust and diverse group of people. Money and power trumped (pun intended) public service, employee development, and humanity.

In practice, these White men wanted me to turn over my brain to their whim… and I wasn’t built that way. I am of the “Mama Said Knock You Out”, “Knuck if you Buck” generation of Black women with a killer side eye, a big ass brain, and a deadly vocabulary. So as they tried to force us into servitude, held us down and forced disciplinary action and termination down our throats, I refused their poison. Instead of gouging out our eyes, they made us watch our ancestral sisters walk the green mile, cardboard box in hand, to remind us of our punishment should we disobey.

It was a pure mind fuck!

While this wasn’t unique to any particular women in the office, Black women were on the front lines. It was almost like they hired newbies to remind the old school folks just what would happen to us if we were bold. A few days in the door, and the writing on the wall was clear… do our bidding or get sold. I watched them come and go like barren slave girls, sold off, cast off. And although I knew their pain, I could at least find solace in the fact that the powers that be were threatened by my big ass brain and deadly vocabulary. I also knew that I was more competent than anyone above me, and being the smartest person in the room is a sign to find the nearest exit. You are the prey.

My daily experience seemed like a cross between films I had seen on the gestapo and life on the plantation. Overseers watched over us and used bullying, threats, harassment, and discrimination as whips upon our backs. I got paid a nice sum, so it wasn’t the horror of involuntary human subjugation, but it was inhumane all the same. To shield themselves, our overseers did the bidding of the powerful… and no one seemed to do it with more enthusiasm than other Black people. A Black woman in particular. The personification of self-hate.

A self-proclaimed minister and counselor, she was so blinded by feigned power and control, she could neither see nor feel the sting of her own abuse. Her own personal demons lashed out at us, all younger, more aesthetically pleasing, and well liked. She was Black and cracked… and not with the beauty of kintsuroi but with the fury of karma. If you didn’t kiss her ass she disliked you more, and if you did, it was only a set-up to stab you in the back. She used stereotypes to paint us as loud, lazy, Black girls with bad attitudes. Behind closed doors her White friendly smile turned into a self-hatred scowl and her fake endearing voice turned into a Newports and Colt 45 growl. She thought she was keeping us in line like a den mother, but in all actuality she just proved that Black people can be racist towards one another. She was the antithesis of freedom. Her presence was the penitentiary.

The workplace was not a place for me to develop my talents into skills, and serve my country. Instead, it was the realization of my intersectional position. My race, my sex, and my race paired with my sex, along with my age, after 40, became these identities that both made me proud and also served to marginalize me into professional pariahhood. I felt alone. I started to share my experiences out of necessity, so I could see if anyone could feel me and maybe help me navigate this space.

“Your silence will not protect you.” -Audrey Lorde

Suddenly, I had a hundred other examples and stories and anecdotes from Black women who assured me I wasn’t alone in dystopia. Soon, every group of Black women I came into contact with had discourse that would read like an anthology on the plight of sistas on the modern day plantation. I was swimming in a sea of support, and it made me realize that like Kimberlé Crenshaw before me, there didn’t just have to be one Harriet to lead us through the maze of patriarchy, racism, sexism, ageism, and colorism to freedom. I too could be in that number.

Come with me on an exploration of how Black women experience the workplace, and how despite our trauma, we continue to succeed and elevate with style and grace. Only through the sharing of information, can we expose how limiting these practices are to corporate America with the creativity and innovation Black women bring to the table. We must take our seats at the table armed with our manumission papers. We must free ourselves. Furthermore, perhaps just one somebody will refuse to participate in this exercise of inhumanity, drop their weapons, and free themselves from dystopian thought. We don’t have to join them to beat them!

The Art of War

“He only like you cuz you are light skinned with long hair.”

….light, bright, and damn near white.

Are you mixed?

#teamlightskinned

The blacker the berry the sweeter the juice.

You are pretty for a brown skinned girl.

“Don’t stay in the sun too long, you don’t need to get darker”

———

Okay first, let’s get this out of the way.

This shit is DUMB and it is like feeding racists a power pill. We cannot continue to give power to systems rooted in black oppression. Period!

———-

Light skin privilege… as real as it might be, it is not the same as white privilege. In fact, it only only has power because we continue to subscribe to these whitewashed ideas of beauty, importance, and intellect, when we know better. We allow someone else’s supremacy to affect how we see ourselves and one another. It’s the art of war. A civil war results in chaos within and a sense of accomplishment and peace to the instigator.

1. According to Sun Tzu, “All warfare is based on deception.”

The tale goes that White women were so desirable, White men treated them like precious porcelain figurines and would dare not defile them. They kept them locked up in the big house to keep them away from the big Black wild brutes they had working their fields. Yet Black folks were jumping the broom and tending to White folks kids, cooking, cleaning, farming… attempting to have a life familiar to them outside of slavery. And sadly, Black women were tending by force to the White men’s sexual needs. The mixed race female progeny of such arrangement became objects of desire, because they were aesthetically similar to White women but still property to do with what they pleased. Yet the severe psychological and spiritual damage done to Black peoples as a result of slavery resulted in us carrying many of these damaging dynamics into freedom.

Lighter skin Blacks, post slavery, got better opportunities that enabled them to become more financially secure. Black men of all hues sought after light skinned Black women both as status symbols and to have kids who were lighter than brown paper bags. This was a direct byproduct of slavery. Colorism is a form of racism that not only permeates Black life outside, but also inside the culture. This notion that lighter skin gained Black people any REAL favor is untrue. True favor is never rooted in deception or the increased oppression of your people.

2. If the forces are united, separate them.

Black peoples come in EVERY shade from 58-7 (Light peachy nude) 323-1 (Mahogany) on the Pantone scale. We have every curl pattern and type of hair that can grow from ones head. We range from genius to developmentally challenged. We are CEOs and we are homeless. We live in mansions and minivans. Our DNA translates into an extremely diverse set of aesthetics and genetics. Our lives are as heterogenous as any other group of people. Sadly, history has told us that those of us who fall on the lighter spectrum are more attractive and favored. A very painful history.

But instead of coming to the true impetus if this deceit, we take to infighting. Some people on the lighter end of the spectrum embrace these toxic ideas that they are somehow better, and cause trauma and pain for our darker skin brethren by perpetrating these lies. Who didn’t hear the multitude of stupid things kids would say to each other based on their skin color…

“Well you ain’t really Black anyway…”

“You so dark you look like a burnt piece of toast.”

And where do you think they heard that from? Adults praising or elevating light skin and putting down brown skin. Labeling those with light skin and long and fine hair as attractive, smarter, nicer, and those with coarse hair and brown skin as less attractive, less intelligent, and therefore more angry. But never exploring the true roots of this mindset, and it’s roots in the very racism we despised. Colorism is but an internal form of racism. Aesthetics had become a weapon against us, to paint a whole new picture of inferiority that somehow we took on to fight each other. Divide and conquer. “Talking bout good or bad hair…”

3. The clever combatant imposes his will on the enemy.

You see, while racism was initially used to subjugate Black peoples into a position of powerlessness, it morphed into a way to shut down all the systems of pride and forward progress Black people were making. Kathleen Cleaver was a light as they came, Angela Davis, Huey Newton… but these were people knee deep in the freedom struggle for all Black people. But in the divide and conquer spirit, racists began to find ways to break up the Black Power, Civil Rights, and other freedom movements strengthening the Black community. Only light skinned Black faces were seen in movies, ads, anything that painted a picture of beauty. Brown skinned women with proud afros could be in a malt liquor add, but in a skin care add, the model would be light and long haired. White companies used their advertising power and White entertainment vehicles used their widespread appeal to brainwash us. This was just a corporate house (light skinned slaves would be cooks, help care for the children, etc in the slave owners home) versus field (darker skinned slaves were to work outside in the field) negro ideology. By simply using the same tools they always had, white supremacists were able, without saying much, to get us to turn on one another.

4. Practice dissimulation and you will succeed.

Racism isn’t going away, in fact, the more we take our natural place as leaders professionally, socially, and culturally, the worse it will get. Colorism is a powerful tool used by racists to cause divide within the culture that leads to confusion amongst us about who really is creating the discord. When Princess Tiana was brown with dark hair in The Princess and the Frog, assumed by Disney to most likely draw a Black audience, but lightens up her skin and gives her loose sandy brown curls in a more mainstream cartoon film, it simply further acknowledges that things like hair texture and skin color do impact the how America sees people of color. We cannot just accept the apology and not acknowledge that this is about more than cultural sensitivity or a black face on the marketing team. This is an example of a very real assault on us. How many times will they lighten our skin, remove our curves, make a rule about the kind of sportswear we use, before we realize it’s not a mistake at all.

When your President has been Black, your top athletes in damn near every sport are Black, our movies are winning the Oscars, our companies are thriving, our art is being coveted by some of the biggest design houses in the world, our names are appearing at the top of Fortune 500 rosters, and we are educating and performing at unheard of numbers… we are a threat to the powers that be that don’t appreciate diversity and inclusion in the world’s upper levels. White supremacy cannot exist without minority subjugation. So their “Sorry” is not often real, and we can’t be fooled by it. We have shut down whole businesses with our buying power and social influence… we can similarly insist that we all be included and valued and represented, across the color spectrum. But first we have to identify the racism and call it out, which effectively handicaps colorism. ” see if I care… good and bad hair!”

Light skinned privilege is real. It is also rooted in some of the most vile and disgusting truths about the way Black people in America and in the world have been subjugated, marginalized, and mistreated. It is typically experienced most strongly by Black women, because hair and skin color and standards of beauty are just generally not things Black men are judged based upon. But Black men are not immune nor unaffected. They are usually the main targets to the brain washing, based on the images they are fed through media. The privilege is really not a privilege at all… nothing is that is so deeply rooted in oppression. It is a weapon of war used against us. Until we accept this, we will continue to blame and lessen each other’s reality.

Being light skinned and having my heritage, my blackness, my “downness” questioned was not cool, and for many of us it was painful and isolating. Having your accomplishments lessened based on things that you had no control over, when you worked hard for those successes is hard. Even harder when your own people start to question you. Being brown skinned and being made to feel unattractive, lesser than and less desirable aesthetically, socially, romantically, or professionally caused damage to many of us that we still struggle to heal from. Being made to believe that who you are is somehow lessened based on your complexion, something some people seem to revere and others seem to hate, is a confusing and a detrimental emotional and spiritual space. We all owe each other more tenderness and acceptance of our reality. One is not more important or more traumatic than the other.

This privilege may be something some of us have, but it is definitely something many of us of us want no part of. Yet we are here in this space as a result of slavery, rape, racism, colorism, oppression, and degradation. The oppressed don’t want favor by the oppressor because she’s more like the oppressor in some extrinsic way. That has NOTHING to do with the oppressed. Yet, that same individual cannot knowingly and willingly take that favor to better her chances. My seat at the table must be properly earned.

I repeat, the “favored” oppressed is STILL OPRESSED! And the favor… is not really favor at all.

So stop it!

#teamrootingforeverybodyblack

Caught You Slippin Up

Do you know where you live? You see, we have not been hoodwinked, bamboozled… we hoodwinked and bamboozled ourselves Black people!

In case you forgot:

This time the politicians gathered together and decided to take back their majority interests in a country becoming much more like gumbo than chowder in the great American melting pot… Plymouth Rock didn’t land on us, we forgot about it. We forgot that while America is Apple pie, baseball, democracy, and freedom… it is also chitlins and Jim Crow caught a nigger by the toe bondage meets a grabbing pu**y President and kids in dog cages. It is racism, sexism, inhumanity, and rape culture. The vestiges of slavery. Freedom for some.

It’s a tale as old as time, WE know all too well. Yet we didn’t exercise all of our rights, the real dream and the hope of slaves. Instead we sat out of the ultimate game, the greatest show on Earth, the Great American race… and kept our votes like movie tickets from our first date, locked away, too precious to see the light of day. The Black vote declined 7% in the 2016 Presidential election, the one with the greatest potential impact. 765,000 LESS Black people voted in 2016 than 2012. (1) That is an outrage!

It was the worst of times. And we set it in motion, the more you pledged you wouldn’t vote, the higher the stakes got. You think they don’t care about us, they do, but only in respect to how low they will go to beat us at a game they were sure they rigged against us. Slavery, capitalism, gerrymandering, elections, the electoral college, and everything in between was a part of the big plan put into place to strengthen the big lie. Everything their ancestors learned, they learned at the feet of Egyptians. Pythagoras, Thales, Socrates, Plato, Euclid, and Homer… all studied under Egyptian priests. Imhotep, an Egyptian architect, poet, mathematician, and astronomer was in fact one of the first philosophers and helped construct the pyramids based on mathematical formulas in 27B.C., long before Greece was thought of.  The underlying systems in this country are a big FU to that history. You dimply cannot be great if you are fighting to live, learn, eat, and have a drink of water. It was political prohibition. And the only way to dismantle it is to use the greatest tool of political power, the vote.

It was like we didn’t believe him. Like he was pulling our coattails.

“…they’re sending…drugs and rapists.” (Mexico)

“…she got schlonged.” (Clinton when beat by President Obama)

“…torture works…”

“The only card she has is the woman card.”

“Look at my African-American here!”

“He founded Isis” (regarding President Barack Obama)

“You’re living in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs…I will get over 95 percent of the African-American vote”

Why didn’t we believe him?

Our “representational government” has been 80% white, 80% male, and 92% Christian since 2015. (2) Furthermore that top 2% we hear about, well 66% of Senators were in the top 2% and 41% of Representatives in 2012. (3) The American Dream… that whole premise was a fallacy. Come here and be all you can be… not.  While a few of us have broken the code and learned the secret password, we don’t broadcast it because we too have been brainwashed to think elevation is for the few and not the many. Wealth for the privileged is a birthright that buys them a position. We have to work for ours, 10 times harder. Systematic oppression is written into the laws. The only way to change those laws is to put people in office who truly represent your interests. Vote.

We failed.

So in a little over 500 days, we have watched a man ban groups of people from entry, break down Unions, withdraw from the UN, set in motion a plan to get rid of key government agencies, promote HBCUs (hahahaha…. he wants us out of State colleges and universities and especially Ivy League institutions), and allowing companies to hire H1-B non immigrant workers with less red tape, blurred the lines between church and state. He will get a chance to nominate two Supreme Court judges in under two years, setting off a plan to build a moat around Ruth Bader Ginsburg filled with the fountain of youth… oh the Supreme Court. In just a few weeks they have set out to reinstitute the travel ban, opened all your cell phone data to police, crippled labor unions, set in motion an overturning of Roe v Wade, and allowed voter suppression and gerrymandering that disproportionately affect people of color. Yep… all of that!

So where do we go from here… I don’t know. We fix the Democratic Party? We help as many of us excel as possible? We EACH register to vote, and vote every single time? We build for our kids so they in turn build for their own? We claim our worth in a system that constantly claims us unworthy? We stop trying to mimic and we live in our truth? We learn from others and history so we don’t repeat it? I don’t have all the answers but I know this to be true: we are here!! Texas isn’t gonna succeed and give us our own state. We aren’t all going back to Africa, or even to Canada. We have to participate in the process, or we shouldn’t be surprised when there is an Ofdonald, wearing nun wings, Melania is in teal with a tight chignon and dreadful disposition, and Gilead is real life.

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References

  1. Pew Research, 2017.
  2. The Washington Post, 2015.
  3. CBS News, 2012.