How do you spell relief…

Y’all remember that commercial!?

Well this ain’t about heartburn. But it fits.

A little bit about me before I get into it, I am pretty straight forward, no nonsense, ignorance and mess averse. I grew up in a house where you were encouraged to say what you felt with respect of course. I had a hard nosed Grandmother who said WHATEVER was on her mind and didn’t care about your feelings or if you took offense. If you had a Betty Lou, you know you learn very quickly how to not only respond to foolishness but stand up in your own imperfection and own it. I often wondered what her deal really was… I recall my Aunt, her sister, telling me once “Your Grandmother needs a psychiatrist. Never forget that or let her forget it.”

I later learned exactly what that meant. At the time I thought it was funny, but as I got older she was basically telling me that I wasn’t personally responsible for managing my Grandmother’s emotions and insecurities and nor did I have to act like they were not there or like she wasn’t in need of a long sit down in the couch of her choice. Seeking mental therapy was normalized for me in that moment. I remember hearing my mom and even my Grandfather saying things that let me know Nana was not to be allowed to infect us with her unhealed trauma… whatever trauma it was.

So I got with Nana!

I’m about to get with you!


Earlier this year my closest, dearest, and bestest friend got really ill after contracting COVID-19. She was put into an induced coma, intubated, and spent two weeks in the hospital. When she was released home, she spent a very long time inside of the house and clearly afraid to go outside. The virus and it’s affects on her had left her with an acute case of PTSD that she couldn’t seem to shake, even a few months after being home. We were talking at least once a day… and each conversation her outlook on her physical healing got more gloomy and added another day in the house at the beginning of summer. So like I do, I said to her, ” Hey you might wanna talk to someone because your body and your emotions are traumatized and neither will get better if you don’t move around and start to reestablishing your daily patterns.” I let her know I understood that she’d feel different… your body IS different! But she was still in charge of her own healing… she could talk out ways to integrate some necessary changes into her life to establish a new baseline. She said something like… yeah I know. But soon after she told me she had started therapy, and next thing I knew she was at a social distance, outside event, mask on, but healing in every way. To that I say… Bravo!!!!

Normalizing therapy is important!


Life is a series of experiences… lessons and learning opportunities. Some are like Hamilton, you get schooled while folks rap and dance in costume. Others are like Saw, you get tortured in the process, but if you make it through, you can survive anything. You don’t get to choose how you learn. I believe it depends on the severity of your lack and importance of the knowledge… the path to enlightenment is paved in karma and curses you gotta learn to hurdle over. Jackie Joyner-Kersee them jokers!

But these are not unique to you. Sure your particular set of experiences and how they manifested in your life are uniquely yours, but be clear… people get cheated on, abused both emotionally and otherwise, stolen from, tricked, played, hurt, manipulated, lied to, lied on, misunderstood, and mistreated daily. That isn’t your fault, that’s based on the mental illness of the perpetrator. But you are responsible for how you handle those experiences and whether you choose to heal from them. That is totally on you. You can’t ignore it, push it aside, joke your way through it, or put a mask on it and call it something else… because it will find it’s way back, it will deposit itself on your skin, in your pores, in your heart, in your liver. It’s that starvation, insecurity, overindulgence, inappropriate behavior, nonproductive overexertion, lack of discernment, and fake shit. It will leak out from any orifice. It will infiltrate every good thing and rot it until it stinks like that old meat Langston reminded us about. It will pool around you until you drown in it… unless you save yourself from it. It is trauma. It’s worse than the most aggressive cancer or the most vile killer. That shit there is toxic and you gotta fix it. Or it will fix you.

Trauma is like quicksand. You knew the ground had gotten softer but you didn’t walk around it, and it sucked you in. Eventually it started to fill your nose, airway, and eyes with sand.., your last vision, feeling, thought, sound stuck at that last moment your eyes witnessed. You reach out your hand, but you’ll just pull them in too. No one wants to go there who doesn’t have the tools to pull you out from stable ground. But it’s possible to save yourself. It requires you to put on your big girl panties or your big boy draws, pull em up, and DO YOUR WORK … c’mon Auntie Iyanla told y’all. And in the process you must seek help from people who know how to help you help yourself. Most of the people around you simply aren’t equipped to manage your emotions. It’s not their job or responsibility.

In all seriousness, I leave you with this, My favorite book is The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo and he always has the most sage advice. He once posted on Twitter, “To heal a wound you must stop scratching it.” Anyone who has healed knows exactly what you must do… change your thoughts. We focus on what is and has been wrong, keep peeking under the band aid, scratching at the scab, to just reopen the wound. Instead you have to DECIDE to do what is necessary to let it heal. For a physical wound it’s usually to leave it alone. For an emotional one it’s to bust it wide open, scoop out the bad insides, look at them, trash them, and concentrate on the present. Most times, to do that well, we need some help. Therapy comes in many forms. If couches ain’t for you, get some spiritual healing. If that ain’t your bag, try some crystals, reiki, whatever you need to do in order to learn the lessons, heed the word, and exist in a state of vainglorious.

You’ll be alright, just get yourself together and get some T-H-E-R-A-P-Y!

The Purple, People Eaters

I need a minuteā€¦just a minute of your time.

I am for and about the liberation of Black people from oppression. In order to understand that oppression, we have to call out discriminatory, racist, oppressive, supremacist, and privileged power systems that both created and continue to thwart that liberation.

Taking “whitening” off of toothpaste has NOT A THING to do with that. Nothing.

But if I have WATCHED, WITNESSED, and/or EXPERIENCED someone, maybe a group of someone’s taking advantage of what whiteness allows in America, and it negatively impacts and oppressed me, I have EVERY right to call it out. EVERY.

Picture it…

We live in the nation of Monsterica and in Monsterica, purple people are the most successful because they have a history of eating blue people, (who they forced to help them build the nation) whole or their parts, killing them off or handicapping them. It’s technically against the law now, but they still benefit from the headless, armless, legless blue folks whose families and communities suffered because of their handicap. Typically tall purple men were the ones that ate the blues, but over time short purple people ate a few blue people and used purple cannibalistic power over blue people to succeed like the talls. The blue people revolted. In calling out the tall purples they also called out the short purples. In short šŸ¤£, if a short purple man feeds on me for his comeuppance in the way of the purple people, it’s not his height but his assimilation into purpledom that has put me in chains. Once I’m freed from those chains, expect me to admonish EVERY purple person, tall or short, who shackled me and my people. You decided to ignore your short teachings and take advantage of being purple. So sit in that purpleness… you earned it right!

“He was blowing it out, really knockin’ em dead; Playin’ rock and roll music through the horn in his head”-Sheb Wooley , The Purple People Eater

I get to call out my oppressors. I get to call them out by name. When I call out white supremacists, understand that’s not all White people but it includes any White person who wants my freedom stifled for his success. That’s tall, short, Christian, Protestant, rich, poor, blue eyed or green eyed. Everybody. Period. And like the talls, the shorts have a story, and in order to educate my people on our history of oppression, those stories need to be told. That’s education. It’s not hate speech if it’s truth speech. It’s hate speech to say Black people are inferior, less intelligent, over sexualized, thugs. It’s hate speech to say Jewish people are greedy, manipulative, crooked, and sneaky. It is not hate speech to say that a disproportionate number of Black people live in poverty or that a disproportionate number of Jewish people are media and entertainment executives, owners, and decision makers. It’s factual. It’s also not anti-Semitism… a phrase that is in and of itself ensconced in White privilege… to say that Black people have suffered at the hands of White people and Jewish business owners. It’s factual. Google it, or scroll down to yesterday’s blog. The education is there if you want it.

But this is also true… I can mistakenly and without malice say something in a generalized manner that is hurtful to a group of people, because it doesn’t apply to that entire group. If I say, “White people are racist”, that is wrong and I’d expect non-racist White people to expect me to retract and apologize because I was wrong. But if I say, “My experience has been that some White people are racist…” or “White supremacists are racist”, that is my truth and the truth, and I don’t have to and should never be asked to retract or apologize for truth. But if I’m wrong, and I apologize, that doesn’t mean I take back everything I said but it means I’m apologetic for condemning a group for the actions of the few and I’m sorry for hurting the people that don’t fall into that few. I’m not a sell-out, I’m an adult. And if I apologize for my bag, it’s my bag… how much is in yours!?

Guilty people don’t get to feign hurt and innocence when called out on their shit. Adults who hurt innocent people should apologize. We all need to show empathy and compassion. And oppressed people, in order to be liberated from it, MUST understand it and educate the masses about it, it’s how we pay for our freedom, cuz it ain’t free. The oppressors won’t like it tho… and when they can no longer eat you, they will just steal from you. Yep… take all yo shit!

“Never let the same dog bite you twice!”

-Chuck Berry

So don’t be afraid to call it a one eyed, one horned, purple, people eater… if that is WTF it is! Truth is like water, it takes the shape of whatever it enters, and surrounds and drowns whatever refuses it! The elected President, the state sanctioned police, their white supremacist electors and supporters, have caused what has amounted to an uprising in this country against racist and discriminatory acts, laws, policies, crimes, socially accepted images and institutions, and speech… written or spoken. It has focused on Black people who have been the victims of the most direct and continuous of these actions. But like thieves do, All Lives Matter is a tone deaf and privileged recharacterization of the real motives of Black Lives Matter (BLM). It’s a distraction to keep us oppressed. Black people don’t control any systems of power, so there is no racism inherent in BLM or any discussion of our liberation. The guilty will call it whatever they need in order to stifle it.

Power in defense of freedom is greater than power in behalf of tyranny and oppression.ā€

-Malcom X

West Side of the Story

I posted a question on FB …

“If people told their side of the story… how would your rep hold up?”

Of course the responses were… hate me or love me, imma be me. I get it, but the question is a tad more multi-layered than how people experience you, but more about how much of your truth you are living. My guess is this… most people are hiding from some of their truth, not all, but most. Those of us who have grown and matured realize hiding any part of ourselves will never lead to growth and getting better.

I’m a good person. I believe in the power of love, the action of it, and I surround myself with people who I think are good as well because I desire to be as good to people as possible. I’m smart, creative, passionate, and a SuperFriend, but

  • I’m in the Legion of Doom… I avoid and cut off people who are toxic or no good for me, when I discover it, because I can be a grudge holder and vengeful and I don’t desire to do wrong by people no matter how much they have wronged me. I’m still working on that.

Vengeance is mine said the Lord. Vengeance is mine said the Lord… I often say that like Hail Marys when I am reminded of some fuckshit someone did and the brilliant and fascinating ways I can make them pay.

  • I’m not a people person, so I have a tendency to not notice people, at all.
  • I’m opinionated… often too much so.
  • I’m a bit judgey… I do keep it to myself. But it’s there behind the scenes.
  • I’m sensitive. I’m not good with criticism.

You can’t tell me or anyone anything about myself I don’t acknowledge. So my reputation wouldn’t change, and yes it matters to me as far as how the people I do care about. So ask yourself, if those people you want to keep around knew how you were out here treating others or what you were representing to others , if their side of the story was broadcast … would you still have a team?!? What would they think of you?

….

Let me help.

-You ain’t about love if you are a bully

I don’t fuck with bullies. You are a major fraud if you are out here preaching about love and in the shadows you are being the Gooch. Nobody ever saw the Gooch. Nobody but the victims see a bully trying to front like an empath. So in effect, you are t only trying to silently torture them, you are torturing them to silence. Just wear brass knuckles and cut your hair like Drago, be out with your aggression, if you are aggressive. But that’s just it, bullies are cowards. They only prey on people they assume are weak in that one spot they keep poking. Playing on the victims tenderness and bruises.

If people told their side of the story… how would your rep hold up?

If people knew you were a bully, they’d question all that love you throw around like confetti. Gucci, you don’t love me!

-Real support can not be built upon a desire to own stock in someone

Don King was a supreme opportunist. He found Mile Tyson after Bustamante died, when he needed guidance and a friend and support. He promised him the world to find ways to take from him. He wanted to own stock in Mike Tyson, not support him. Likewise, if you are out here heaping empty promises at the feet of those in need or even extending yourself to people simply to possess them, whether for your own comfort or for your own use and manipulation, that’s foul. Other people are not commodities. Go buy a dog if you are lonely, journal, go out and make some friends… but don’t offer your support for personal gain. That’s not support, it’s a contract. People who really need and desire support will be left broken and feeling used because of your lack of humanity or your lack of attention. Own your own masters, and master your fate. Leave people alone if you arent going to be genuine.

If people told their side of the story… how would your rep hold up?

If people knew your support came with selfish motives, they wouldn’t trust you or the horse you rode in on.

-Anything you feel the need to scream from the mountaintop when you in the valley is likely not real

Thou dost protest too much. I used to know this guy who told everyone he was a model. He literally said it to me multiple times in each conversation we had… and when I finally asked him who he modeled for, what agency he belonged to, he couldn’t. He was perpetrating a fraud. Look, we know you are telling untruths, and it’s highly unnecessary. We can tell that your paychecks don’t match your profession. You can’t buy reality with misrepresentation. It just doesn’t work. Instead, you should focus on admitting your truth to yourself first, because it’s often not for everyone else, but it’s you that you are trying to convince you are happy, successful, living a fairytale or whatever. That dream world you are creating won’t stop the nightmares. Live your truth, face your reality, and heal from it. Folks that are your people will love you whether you are up or down, and will be willing to lift you when you start to fall… but they can only do that if you are honest.

If people told their side of the story… how would your rep hold up?

If people knew you were selling wolf tickets, they would probably be afraid they’d be the one to get bit.

-Textbook insecurity is when everything you find pleasing is opposite yourself

Insecurity is a disease of irony. It often manifests itself as the very thing one is not. He big ups himself as sport. He has to tell everyone how good looking he is, how successful he is, how connected he is, how fantastically wonderful popular and dynamic he is… all the time. He compliments himself so much, no one else needs to or wants to. It’s overkill. It’s ridiculous. And at the same time he’s over critical. When you are insecure, you turn those negative thoughts you have about yourself into negative actions. Actions you might not register as negative like distancing yourself, overreacting, confrontation, and being foul AF! Someone who is insecure often turns their negative actions on their head as self-protection, assertiveness, and truth telling. But the rest of us all know that’s bullshit! It’s not what they demonize that is the issue… it’s what they celebrate that tells you the real truth behind their low sense of self. They demonize folks for no good reason, to appear strong and self-secure. They highlight themselves as a distraction, while their true feelings are evident by who they celebrate outside of themselves… often their polar opposite.

If people told their side of the story… how would your rep hold up?

If people knew that your idea of being honest, assertive, and confident meant being foul and negative to other people who share the traits you despise about yourself, they’d see those commonalities as potential target practice.

….

None of us are 100% anything… humans lack perfection, it gives us something to grow towards. Anything not growing is dead. All that we are good is met with things not so good that we can work on to become better. But being honest about those things, to ourselves and to others, is necessary if we are to maintain relationships. Someone is experiencing us as we really are, and if that person exposed you, would the people who care about you experience you the same or see you different. If you are living your truth, the folks who know you, will know!

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!