Who Is He? The 2020 Election Cycle Is A Flea Market

Well, it’s that time again! The time that, these days, never seems to not be “that time.” Elections. I can remember before He Who Shall Not Be Named won the 2016 presidential election, everybody was excited about the fact that Hillary was a sure bet to win.

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Here we are again but this time I think the collective excitement has waned.

I feel like how I felt when my AP English teacher had a heart attack on the first day of school and was temporarily replaced by another English teacher in the school who made us read and report on the longest books she could find. Eventually, we all found ourselves wondering why we couldn’t have just had a regular substitute who didn’t give a damn and at the 3-month mark, many of us became awfully religious and started praying that our regular teacher would recover. It wasn’t because we thought she would have been so much nicer but because she wasn’t the tyrant with whom we were stuck.

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Fast forward (way forward) to the 2020 election cycle, and just as I suspected, Tonald Frump’s (not an error) victory has convinced everybody who ever had more than 20 “likes” on a FB post that they, too, can be president.

Now, we have the regulars. The people we figured would run. You know, current politicians.

Elizabeth Warren, the white woman who did what every white person does when they want to make sure they aren’t a target of conversations about racism: claim Native American heritage.

Bernie Sanders, the guy who would have beat Trump in 2016 had it not been for…nevermind.

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Cory Booker.

Some white women politicians I don’t really know.

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This isn’t them…I don’t think. But they’re white so they’ll do.

Next, is Kamala Harris. Black people loved her when she was giving people the business in congressional hearings but now they hate her because when she was a prosecutor, she favored laws that punished criminals (or something like that…I’m still not clear about why we’re supposed to not like her). Also, she’s not Black anymore, her husband is white, and something about Wakanda.

There are a few other notables but then, we have random people who have decided that they are worthy of the Oval Office. We have a woman whose official job is “spiritual guru.” Apparently, she used to hang out with Oprah. Allegedly she’s down for reparations although I wouldn’t be surprised if she just wants to tell Black people to use Law of Attraction to get the back pay for all the work our ancestors did.

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There’s another guy who is a tech startup guy. He announced his candidacy before 2017 was up so he’s ON IT! He wants to give Americans $1k/mo. of guaranteed income as reparations for machines taking over jobs. That’s cute.

Then, there’s the mayor in Indiana that nobody (but the people in his city) have ever heard of before. He’s young, married, and gay. Kudos on your ambition and may the odds be ever in your favor, sir.

Let’s not forget Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks. He hasn’t officially announced but I don’t want to hear shit from him until he makes sure ALL of his baristas know what “breve” means and that handing someone one Splenda packet and no stir stick (I guess I’m supposed to stir with my middle finger) is a violation.

There are all the famous people who have “toyed” with the notion of running for president like The Rock and Kanye West (whew chile).

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While there’s nothing wrong with self-confidence, the fact that a short-order cook screwed up my eggs doesn’t mean I’m ready to jump over the counter, throw on an apron and start whipping up Hollandaise sauce and doing flambé.

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Further, I think that most of these people are in crisis mode and think that if someone doesn’t save us from  Eonald Rump (again, not a typo), we’re all set for the mass graves conspiracy theorists say exist. But, if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that doing major shit out of fear is almost always a bad idea.

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Exclusive footage of the 2020 Democratic field of nominees.

Nonetheless, I wish the candidates luck.

 

 

 

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Elizabeth Warren: White People Are Never White When It’s Time To Address Racism

This week, Elizabeth Warren issued an apology to a Native American tribe when it was found out that on her bar registration in the 80s, she listed her race as “American Indian.” If you’ll recall, a couple of years ago, Warren declared herself Native American and Tronald Dump (intentional) made fun of her about it, much to the chagrin of many a Liberal.

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Maybe four months ago, after DNA testing, it was revealed that Warren is anywhere between 0.1 and 2% Native American at most (6-10 generations ago according to this report). I don’t recall what her reaction was at the time (and I’m not finna’ look because this is a blog, not a scientific journal) but I know I laughed like a humyena© (human + hyena…get it?!) and so did many people of beautiful brown hue because we knew what white people didn’t and that was that the results would turn out exactly as they did.

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Fast-forward to earlier this week. Warren issued a perfectly-timed apology for calling herself “American Indian” and I’m pretty sure it’s due to the speculation that she will throw her hat in the 1st-grade prize grab bag that is the Democratic race for the 2020 presidential election. Warren made a point to say that she was apologizing because tribes decide tribal citizenship. Those of you who can read between the lines know to chuckle and shake your damn head at that line.

The reason this is concerning is that whenever the topic of racism comes up, it’s white people’s natural default maneuver to claim some other heritage or religion to deflect their receipt of white privilege and deny that they have racist philosophies or have engaged in racist practices. The reason that Black people were not surprised when that DNA test blew up Warren’s spot was because 99% of us have been in conversations with white people about racism, prejudice, or inequality and heard them claim that they are actually “part” Native American (Cherokee…it’s ALWAYS Cherokee) (or Jewish) and therefore cannot be a party to racism because their pale, straight-haired, blue-eyed, aquiline-nosed selves aren’t even really white.

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I went to college in Oklahoma. By the end of my first year, I had gotten my fill of white people claiming Native American heritage to explain (without anybody asking them) why they were part of the minority scholarship class or were receiving some type of stipend to make their lives easier while in college. I would usually look at them and then walk away because I knew that it was all bullshit. Plus, I’m Black. I’m still owed reparations with interest in the names of the estates of my ancestors for building this place and making white people comfortable enough to pretend to be another race so they can continue to knock POC, particularly Black people, down several more pegs.

I also had a Black friend while I was in college. Her great-grandfather was at one time honored for his work as a Native American elder. I saw the pictures. He was a real Native American. She and her family had been trying to get their official standing within the tribe. They couldn’t…because they are Black.

See, here’s the thing: white people don’t realize how pervasive and insidious their anti-Blackness is. Their brand of anti-Blackness, where they don’t believe the treacherousness of their ancestors is still alive in them today, where they don’t want to hear how their past actions have negatively affected African-Americans generationally, where they even think they can be Black better than actual Black people, has seeped into the psyche of other races as well. That’s why my Black college friend couldn’t get her tribal membership approved (though she was the spitting image of her Native American ancestor), but Rebecca with the blue eyes and honey blonde curly perm could proudly state that she was Native American while knowing 0 actual Native American people, participating in none of the customs, celebrating none of the hallmarks, and speaking none of the languages. Even true non-white people are anti-Black and complicit (to varying degrees) in systemic racism against Black people.

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Back to Warren, not only was what she did dishonest, but it’s harmful. If I had to bet, Black people are some of the most “mixed” people on the planet (due to centuries of rape) but we don’t get to opt out of being Black when the circumstances don’t suit us. We don’t get to get the job at the 99% white tech startup by declaring we’re actually the 15% Anglo or 6% Chinese part of us. We don’t get to become 11% Greek before we walk into that job interview, or courtroom, or hospital so that we can have a better chance of a successful experience.

Further, if suddenly the visual standard of a race is the whitest with all the conveniences and privileges that come with that skin, where does that leave the authentic members of a race when it’s time to get real about systemic bias and change in virtually every industry in this world? What happens to Jacy Runningwolf when “Native American” now applies to Jessica Richardson, the random white woman who “pulled herself up by her bootstraps”? What happens to Tamika Jenkins when “Black” now applies to Susan Q. Whitewoman who has been able to step in front of more educated and experienced Black women all her life?

People

White people need to get real about race in this country and that includes giving up the game of Psychological Brown/Blackface they like to play to avoid being held accountable.

 

 

 

Anything You Can Do, I Already Did Worse: What Bugs Me The Most About The Boomers

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you know that I don’t come for Boomers. My general stance on Boomers is that they did what we were taught to do: pay your taxes, vote for whomever you feel made the best case, and try to make the best out of this shitfest called “life.” I don’t necessarily hold them blameless but I’m not one of those people hell-bent on tying every inconvenience or perceived injustice to people who were born decades before I was even thought of and probably have their own grievances against the generation before them as well.

But, there’s this one thing that I keep hearing or witnessing over and over again that I find troubling. The Boomer need for one-upmanship of the worst things in life is unlike I’ve ever known. Granted, we all know that at least a base level narcissism seems to be a recurring feature of the Boomer generation. But the constant game of “How Low Can You Go?” is concerning.

Recently, I was reading the Facebook post of a friend who had experienced a few of her own health challenges. She was recounting how after going through debilitating health issues and other issues beyond her control, her mother, a Boomer, sent her an e-mail in which, instead of empathizing with her child’s pain, she went on to talk about the tough time she had being a single mother and raising my friend. My friend is near 40.

When I read the post, the first thing I thought was:

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We’ll look over the fact that being a parent is a choice while debilitating illness is not. Where was the care and concern for the well-being of your child who couldn’t even get out of bed many days?

The problem though is that this behavior is not uncommon amongst Boomers. They seem to have the uncanny knack for either being completely dismissive, purposely obtuse, or morbidly competitive with the generation (and-a-half since the media can’t decide if Gen X/Xennials existed or not) under them. In the best case scenario, they are just flippantly aloof. In the worst case scenario, they’re prepared to argue you down about how they had it worse than you for 20 minutes.

I’m not certain how the generation that came from the generation that endured The Great Depression (aka The Greatest Generation) has turned out so callous about the suffering of other people, even their children. What’s funnier is that this was probably the last generation that, en masse, were taught things like manners in school. This is the last generation that was expected to have a grasp of the basic social contract. This is the last generation that is expected to understand and commit to, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all,” and bring soup and casseroles to people they hardly even know.

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Further, I wonder if they realize their lack of empathy is being passed down to the very people who will be responsible for figuring out their ultimate trajectory once they lose mobility, cognition, or their systems start to shut down. Tables have a way of turning, even if it’s because someone picks them up and turns them. Imagine the furor over putting Marge in the Sunny Days Senior Residence with the D- rating and roaches estimating that because her children’s super smartphones died, they had it waaaaay worse than her losing the ability to control her bowels and swallow.

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While I don’t think the beef between the generations will ever be completely cleared up, I can’t imagine the Boomer need to play tit for tat is helpful. There’s a reason the words “trauma,” “therapy,” and “depression” have been unofficially trending on social media the last 5 years.

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The Wayward Daughter’s Official #LeaveItIn2018 List

It’s that time of year again! The time when we reflect on the previous 11.99 months and vow to change our behavior for the better so that the coming 12 months won’t be the same shitfest© we perceived the previous 12 to be. With that in mind, I’d like to offer my own commentary on the things we’ve been doing that need to go on glory when the clock strikes midnight.

  1. Wraps, waist trainers, and tea that makes you shit uncontrollably. It’s 2018. No wrap or girdle…er…”waist trainer” is going to make your size 16 body look like you’re a size 10. Believe it or not, you cannot shit your way to a 27” waist unless your waist was 27.05” when you sat your ass down on the toilet. We’ve come too far in human history to still believe that any of these tactics are a feasible solution to the extra pounds and inches that so easily beset us. I absolve you now from feeling like you need to buy (or sell) overpriced Saran wrap, organ-stifling girdles, and liquid laxatives to live your best life *taps you on the forehead with Pope Wayward’s sword.* Go in peace and breathe, my child.

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4. Celebrity beef. I don’t know about you but I’m sick of (usually undeservedly) rich people arguing on social media over whose song is the worst best or whose g-string is less flammable. If you can’t tell, I dislike many, many, many people. There are even several I can’t fucking stand. There are a handful that make me wish I was a Marvel character that could make them disappear for the 5-10 minutes I must be around them. Yet, you’ll likely never hear about me engaging in full-scale verbal or physical warfare with any of these people because I know how to dislike someone without holding up my life to Tweet and FB about it 3 hours/day. In fact, most of us regular degular people who don’t get paid 7-figures to pop our pelvis while singing about anything from ill-advised sexual encounters to shopping sprees we may not have taken manage to hate others silently. I doubt an actual celebrity will read this but in case they do, let me, Pope Wayward, settle it for you. You both suck.

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3. Stunting for social media. I have been both blessed and cursed to know the tea. I have friends whose tea I know that they don’t know I know. I have friends whose tea I know that don’t even know their own tea. That’s one of the benefits of extreme introversion; nobody thinks you’re paying attention or care so they get careless in front of you and you become the proprietor of your own Teavana. With that said, I’ve decided that the new rule for 2019 is to tell the truth or shut the fuck up. No need to lie about how “carefree” you are while posting pics of the first decent meal you’ve had in months because you swiped right on that gruesomely ugly man’s Tinder profile due to hunger. We really don’t need you to tell us about how you get ‘dat money with a fan of one 100 dollar bill and twenty 1 dollar bills. Talking about imaginary boyfriends/girlfriends or bragging about your spouse who can’t keep the utilities on may get you some attention but at the end of the day, what’s it all worth? We all lie sometimes but why add to your lifetime lie tally when nobody asked you and you could just be quiet? To the most severe offenders, Pope Wayward commands you to confess and give $0.75 to Saint Zip The Lip and you shall then be forgiven.

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2. Not reading the fine print. It happened a few times in 2018 but has increasingly happened ever since FB and Twitter made people think they are the 2nd coming of Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, or Ghandi. John/Jane Doe finds themselves in a situation. They take to social media to get the outrage rollercoaster spinning. It spins. We’re bombarded with articles about John/Jane Doe’s plight. A week later, we find out that John/Jane Doe exaggerated the whole thing or it was John/Jane Doe’s own actions that got them in trouble in the first place (see Meek Mill). I’m not a Freedom Fighter but if I were going to be a Freedom Fighter, I’d only fight for the people who actually deserve to be free. Rage makes you die more quickly so why be outraged on behalf of someone whose actions merit being exactly where the fuck they are? Pope Wayward requests that in lieu of “Free My Nigga….” t-shirts and posts, alms and letters of encouragement be sent to women like Cyntoia Brown and Bresha Meadows.

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  1. Perpetual victimhood. We all have them. That FB friend who seems to always, and I do mean always, find themselves in a crisis. In January, half (just half) of their apartment spontaneously combusted. In March, their pinky finger suddenly fell off. In April, a unicorn actually got spooked and put his horn through the window that’s on the side of their apartment that didn’t spontaneously combust. In August, they had a stroke but then they found out 3 days later it wasn’t really a stroke but a reaction to the 5 Taco Bell MexiMelts they ate. They didn’t post an update status about the findings though, until a week later when they found out there was a group PM asking how they ran a marathon 4 days after a stroke. In October, their right leg actually ghosted them because it felt unappreciated. It didn’t bleed though, so the hospital let them go home. By November, their pinky transplant was complete but then it developed an infection and started to sprout another pinky kind of like mushrooms in the forest. At the end of December, right after getting back from the Bahamas, they discovered they have the Bubonic Plague and are going to have to stay off work for 3 weeks. Of course, all of these come with their own separate fundraising requests.lies

    I get it. Shit happens. But most of us are at the age where it’s time to start guarding against what we can and trying to prepare for the worst that life may throw at us. If that means taking a break from your job as a street corner breakdancer to get a job with benefits that will support your streak of bad luck, that’s what it is. You can spin on your head on the weekends.

    Pope Wayward commands you to open a LinkedIn account (it can be the free one cause not even Pope Wayward is paying for Premium).

 

Happy New Year! Prospero Año!

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LMNOP: Why I Don’t Give A Damn About “Ab-city” and Her Mama

This is going to be short because it’s ridiculous and I’m trying to not spend too much time on ridiculous topics or people these days.

Recently, a tragic white woman has made the news alleging that a Southwest Airlines employee made fun of her child’s name.

The name?

Abcde, pronounced “Ab-city.”

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I first heard of the issue before it was a story. I read the mother’s account of what happened along with her posting photos from the employee’s Facebook page. There was a photo of the daughter’s boarding pass with her name “ABCDE” and the employee’s Facebook friends were chiming in about how pitiful a name it is. The mother also posted photos where the employee had taken secret pics of travelers, including one with a white woman in pink Ugg-looking boots that would make Miranda Priestly spaz and captioned it something like, “Snow Bunnies starting early” (paraphrase).

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Listen, I stand by a parent’s right to name their progeny whatever they’d like; even if it sounds like a garage gym where they focus on crunches and core strength moves or a fitness-inspired remix to “Rack City.” But, Abcde’s mama chose the wrong hill to die on if you ask me.

Here’s why I don’t give a damn.

I recall sitting in my AP English class in 12th grade next to a student named Yajira. From the first day, she told the teacher that the pronunciation of her name was “Ya-HI-ra” with the “r” said Spanish-style. I also recall my white teacher calling her “Ya-Jerry” (as in McGuire) all year long such that it became the running joke. Yajira managed to laugh it off. Yajira was Mexican.

Black people have been scrutinized for their names for decades. We now know, empirically, that employers regularly decline to interview applicants who are qualified but have “ethnic-sounding” names. We know that white teachers often don’t even make an effort to pronounce the non-European names of their students, no matter how young they are. This serves to diminish their self-esteem and sense of personhood because, as we all know, your name is a big part of who you are.

Until the national media starts running stories about every little JaQuesha, LaKeisha, and Deja who has been taunted by peers and adults because of their name, I don’t want to hear about Abcde’s hard time, day,  5 minutes. Until we start having to sift through myriad write-ups in major publications about how LaQuetta has an MBA but still can’t find a professional job that does her intelligence and qualifications justice because the white manager decided her value based on how he/she felt about her name, I want Abcde’s mama to go sit down in the lobby and wait her turn. I’m sure there’s an oppression that fits her but I’ve determined this isn’t it.

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The silver lining to this all is that in her attempt to…actually, I don’t know what the fuck her purpose was…all Abcde’s mother did was let us all know that she (the mom) may be functionally illiterate because I can come up with at least 3 ways to construct “Ab-city” without basically reciting the opening to the ABCs. At least JaQuesha and LaKeisha’s mothers know phonics.

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True BWE: Rejecting The Need To Seem Perfect

To: Max. May you always get an answer to your “whys.”

Back in June, everyone with taste’s fave, Janet Jackson, wrote an open letter about her failed relationships and her struggles with depression and her self-esteem on her journey to happiness. It was a feature in Essence magazine that I didn’t even know had happened until earlier this week. Though I’ve chided the open letter as a late-stage revenge tool in the past, I was very impressed by the honesty of the letter and felt that it could serve as comfort and/or inspiration for Black women who have dealt or are dealing with the same thing.

However, what I did not like was the several responses from Black women who haven’t achieved one one-hundredth of what Ms. Jackson (if you’re nasty) has. Apparently, it’s not okay to show your scars; even when doing so stands to help hundreds of thousands of women all over the globe. There were allegations of Black women having a need to share their low points for “validation.” There were the, “ugh…why’d she have to let everyone know that bad shit happens to even the rich and famous?!” One pointed out that she wants the image of her favorite stars to be high and mighty. Janet revealing this low-point, in this commenter’s estimation, will take away the sense of obligation of Black women to make “better choices.” Someone even said something to the effect of her needing to keep that to a journal.

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I sat back and shook my head. Most of the women making these comments are a part, at least by extension, of the Black Women’s Empowerment club (called BWE on social media). I can’t help but ask myself how anyone, Black, white, short, tall, able-bodied, or in a Hover Round, can suppose that they are going to “empower” anyone by only showing the romantic and happy parts of their life.

They must have forgotten that Janet Jackson is a human being. To act like she hadn’t had that struggle would have been a lie, an affront to those who helped her escape (even if it was herself), and a grave disservice to the woman, whoever she may be, who needed to hear Janet Jackson’s story so that she could see there is a light at the end of her own self-image tunnel.

Three years before my marriage went to hell, I had the pleasure of meeting an older (yet not old) woman on Facebook. We spoke through messages and she told me that she had been married before but her marriage ended in one of the most horrid ways possible. I admired her because, at the time, I could have not imagined going through the situation she went through. I was in awe at how she managed to bounce back from the immense betrayal and fuckery that her first husband had put her through. I appreciated her sharing something that she could have easily pretended never happened.

Little did I know that three years later, my marriage would end in pretty much the exact same way. When that happened, it was hard; excruciatingly hard. Besides the obvious, you see who is and is not your friend. You realize who the friends and relatives are who will back you eternally and those whose empathy has an expiration date.

But what I knew was that despite the emotional kamikaze I was about to experience, I would make it.

Why did I know I would make it?

Because of the woman who wasn’t too embarrassed or ashamed of what happened to her to share her story with a virtual stranger at the time. She was my rock years before I knew I needed one and I am forever in her debt.

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For the good that the various BWE movements have done, there remains an underbelly of hateration (inside and outside of the dancerie), hypocrisy, affectation, and to be quite honest, delusion and self-esteem issues that started out funny but is now simply sad. In one thread, someone who hasn’t worked out since they were in 5th-grade gym class will be talking about how fat Black women are and why these fat Black women are often visually represented in certain stories. In another thread, a woman will have the nerve to express her displeasure that another Black woman chose a career path that’s 10-steps ahead of her own and has far more potential. In still another conversation, some woman will be lamenting the fact that a Black female celebrity was seen running errands at the Quik Trip without makeup because, of course, it’s a natural thing to do contouring before you go pick-up a 44oz. frosty drink in a Styrofoam cup.

For all the conversing, article-writing, and analysis, many of the women in the BWE crowd have failed to grasp the concept of humanity, even their own. It’s a sad statement when women who claim to be for the empowerment of other women like themselves can’t be happy to get a glimpse of an award-winning actress because in the photo, she was wearing a jogging suit. Further, it doesn’t bode well when these women can’t recognize the brokenness inside themselves that allows them to fervently bash or critique other women who are on the same level or higher than they are, usually over minutiae.

What you will hear as a rebuttal to this is that since Black people, Black women, in particular, have it harder, we can’t “get away with” the same stuff that white women do…like running to the grocery store without makeup intact. To that, I say, bullshit. I’ve often said that I refuse to carry the totality of Blackness or Black womanhood on my back. I will not be embarrassed by the AAVE and Ebonics-speaking witness to a fire on the local news. I won’t be ashamed by proxy of the young Black woman who is single with 3 children in an article about welfare reform. Why? Because I know who I am. And because I know who I am, I don’t worry about a bunch of people I don’t know pigeonholing me into a character I don’t portray.

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What I wish is that the BWE “movement” was filled with women who aren’t afraid to show their scars as inspiration or motivation for the other women who have or, unbeknownst to them, will go through similar situations.

For it is the showing of scars that sets people free.

I wish that instead of living in a fantasy land of what people think happens in the real world, there were more voices who not only have a following but the experience that merits the crowd.  I wish more of the critiques were of things that matter and steeped in logic and evidence (even anecdotal) instead of the wide-eyed idealism of a 14-year-old who doesn’t know anything but what she’s seen on television dramas. I wish the women barking about what a Black woman should look like, were something to look at. I wish the women lamenting when and who a Black woman chooses to entertain, had, themselves, experienced a relationship that went above and beyond your standard late-teens/early twenties 6-month fling. I wish there were more voices willing to say, “Hey, this is where I fucked up. Don’t do like I did.” Or, “I grew up in a fucked up situation but here’s what I did to make sure it didn’t affect me and hinder my success….”

To me, that’s so much more empowering. To the women who do this, you have my respect.

To those so deep into the BWE-ness that they don’t realize that they’ve fallen victim to the nonsense, I urge you to start paying attention to whether or not the fruit on the messenger’s tree matches the seed that they’ve been planting in you.

“I ‘members that day I was in the store with Miss Millie – I’s feelin’ real down. I’s feelin’ mighty bad. And when I see’d you – I knowed there is a God. I knowed there is a God. And one day I was gonna get to come home.” – Sofia from The Color Purple

 

 

 

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Wise As Serpents: My Thoughts on “Male Feminists” and the Women Who Fall For Them (For Some Reason)

Last week, a noted “male feminist” and pretty popular social justice figure was exposed – big time. It seems that he had at least one long-term long-distance girlfriend in another city that he visited occasionally. She was apparently in love with him and he had finally declared his love for her – the day before he married his fiancée. Once he was exposed (by the long-distance girlfriend), he said he “confessed” (I assume to his fiancée as well as the internet). He went ahead and married his intendant.  A day later, it was revealed that besides his long-distance girlfriend, he used Facebook Messenger as his personal savings and loan branch and not surprisingly, all the lenders were women.

That’s as short as I can make that story and as long as I care to. But, this wasn’t the first time something like this has happened in these “woke” circles. Every 16 months or so, there’s an expose on yet another man who duped scads of their social media activist female counterparts into believing they were patriarchy-dismantling, toxic masculinity battling, “male feminists.” They were either sleeping their way through the group, “borrowing” copious amounts of money from women who already had a full financial plate with some ambiguous sob story, promising eternal love to 5-10 women at a time, or doing any other of the things that men are known to do.

Of course, everybody feels for the women who are the targets of these male beings’ bad behavior. I certainly feel some anger when a man thinks it’s okay to deceive his way through a relatively small community in order to get gas money, groceries, and sex from women who, on average, haven’t even begun to have enough life experience or self-concept to accept they are being played.

male feminist

This leads me to two points. The first is that there is no such thing as a “male feminist.” I’ll repeat.

There. Is. No. Such. Thing. As. A. Male. Feminist.

When I first heard that term used, I knew the backfire wasn’t afar off. When has the oppressed (in this case, women) giving the oppressors (in this case, men), honorary standing in the oppressed group because of a few meager acts of “see, I’m a good one” ever worked? Sure, it makes women feel good to know that there may be 2 wholly decent men for every 100 that they’ll encounter instead of the 0.5 (go with it) for every 100 they thought previously existed. But, in my estimation, if you want to know if there is any validity to it, there has to be measurable results.

With all the talk about “woke” men becoming “male feminists,” the wage gap still exists (including the bigger racialized wage gap) and doesn’t appear to be going anywhere any time soon.  Women are still taxed for basic feminine hygiene products. We still have a hard time getting our attackers to see justice. You would think, with all the men who claim to be in the chorus of #notallmen and who furiously claim disagreement with their fellow men in comment sections, 50% of women wouldn’t be killed by intimate partners, with Black women coming in first.

In short, I’ve yet to see one of these “male feminists” or “allies” do anything substantive to battle systemic sexism, let alone rabid Fuckboyitis™ even within themselves.

Slut Walk Toronto 2012

No, Susan, your husband cooking breakfast on Sundays isn’t a sign that he’s a “male feminist” hell-bent on seeing the full equality of women to men at some point in his life. No, your internet boo isn’t “different” because when he came to see you, he paid for the Chili’s 3 for $10 special you two split. Hate to break it to you, but disappointment is a part of life.

Parte Dos.

As I said earlier, these “I luuuuurve and respect women” scammers are a never-ending event; almost like bacteria development or seasonal allergies.

Wisdom is loosely defined as knowledge + judgment.

What do we know? We know men are trash. We know that some of the worst atrocities in human history were initiated and executed by men. We know that most, if not all, of the murderers of that 50% of women I mentioned before were men. We know that most female domestic violence (be it physical, emotional, financial, etc…) victims are so at the hands of men. We know that the male-dominated executive, legislative and judicial branches here in the US have bent over backwards to deny women basic rights. We know that similarly male-dominated governments all over the world have done the same. We know that for many of us, just encountering a group of men on the streets sends our fight or flight mechanism into overdrive.

Judgment itself is defined as good sense or the ability to evaluate a situation objectively. Since we know that men generally ain’t shit (objectively) that puts us in a perfect position to judge them unworthy of all the things these “male feminists” in social justice groups are able to bamboozle out of women based on a few “woke” FB posts.

If we combine the two, and actually put it into action, perhaps these social justice pussy hounds will be forced to find another source of income. Maybe they can start to hurt and scam each other to see if they’ve truly conquered their own toxic masculinity. We as women can’t claim to want to topple the patriarchy but toss all wisdom and logic out the door when one of its soldiers tells us he likes us.

In a perfect world, with top-notch elementary education and involved parental engagement at home, I wouldn’t have to say this but for those who won’t read comprehensively and are poised to accuse me of “victim-blaming” based on 309 of over 1,000 words, know that I find these men reprehensible. We can all wish that people would do the right thing 100% of the time, but we have advanced knowledge that they don’t. At some point, we have to recognize the dogs that bite and stop petting them.

I sincerely hope that the women who were duped by the most recent social justice scoundrel are able to rebound emotionally and financially (if it applies). In fact, I hope that all the women who have ever been taken by these sharks receive some kind of retribution.

Let’s hope that the tide is turning and we’ll eventually get back to the feminism that doesn’t make women feel they need to discount what they know in favor of placating and keeping the company of men.

 

 

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Good Deeds Before Men: On Smartphone Generosity

I’m annoyed. I’m not sure why. Maybe I’m annoyed because I’m in Texas and for the last 4 days, the temperature hasn’t been less than 105⁰ and my Seasonal Affective Disorder is getting to me. Perhaps it’s because instead of chomping on a ribeye steak, an unexpected tooth mishigas has me eating cheese cubes. Possibly, being 16 days into keto also has my nerves rattled. It’s probably because the “e” on my laptop is acting up and so I’m having to bang it like Beethoven every third word. On top of that, I have a bunch of personal bullshit that keeps reiterating the point that life ain’t fair and doesn’t give a fuck about it.

sally field

In that vein, what annoyed me the most this week was logging into Facebook and seeing that one of my friends had posted a video of a guy giving a homeless man who was digging in the trash can for food some money. No, this isn’t new. The smartphones and Attention Whoring Age has brought us all sorts of visual fuckery in the past few years. From pancake asses twerking to filled lips puckering, we’ve seen it all. And while I’ll admit that people doing good deeds on film is the least fucknicious™of the fuckery, it’s fuckery all the same.

I digress. In the video, the Samaritan du jour sees a homeless man from at least 30 yards away rifling through the trash can and taking bites of food from food containers that others had discarded. Mr. Nice Guy starts recording before his subject even notices him. He has a commentary, similar to those on National Geographic as if he’s secretly watching the mating habits of a wild boar. He eventually comes up to the man, tells him to drop the food container, and gives him money. The man cries and apologizes (I guess for….IDK, trying to find food), and hugs Mr. Generoso while he (the selfless wonder) tells him that he’ll give him more if he sees him the next night.

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Of course, videos like this always elicit the tears of onlookers. The comments are filled with statements like, “this made me cry,” and “I know what it’s like,” and “praise God you were there.” I, however, never comment on these vids because I experience a type of secondhand offense on behalf of the targets…I mean, beneficiaries of the kindnesses.

There are two main reasons why I don’t care for these giving videos. First, I’ve known true givers. I believe true givers give because they have a mindset that says that if nobody ever finds out about their good deeds, it’s no big deal; in fact, it may be better. The givers I know don’t feel the need to make sure their camera is rolling before they give. They don’t need their largesse to be documented anywhere but in the receiver’s spirit. Some true givers will even forget they gave at certain times.

Basically, while I don’t believe the people who like to document and display their altruism are bad people, I certainly don’t believe they are natural givers who do so because of some inner awareness that most of us don’t have. I don’t believe they give without expectation of payback, be it financially or through the praises of strangers on the internet. I think they get a rise out of the fact that there are a whole bunch of people that they’ve convinced of their own goodness; and perhaps, maybe one day, they’ll be able to use this viral performance as leverage when they need or want something.

good deed dies

 

The second reason I don’t like these videos is that I find them inconsiderate. Anyone who has ever been down to their last $200 with another week-and-a-half until payday knows that just being kinda’ broke is hard. I can’t imagine being in a situation where I’m forced to rummage through a public trash can at a bus stop to find food. I can only think that the experience is humiliating, traumatic, and does not make the person who has to do it feel the best about themselves.

So, I cannot understand why the people who make what’s akin to emotional pornography think it’s okay to basically put people who are likely at rock bottom on camera and on social media for all to see. Do we think that person wants a whole world of strangers gawking at their misfortune? Better yet, how would that person feel to know that after all the gawking, people are hi-fiving the “giver” because the receiver’s immediate gratitude just wasn’t enough?

Good deeds intention

These videographers would like to pretend to that they are demonstrating a great act of empathy when in reality, they are displaying just how much empathy they lack. Would they want 9287498477959 people they don’t know to know that they may dig in a public trash can just to eat? Would they want these same people knowing they go weeks without access to a shower and sleep under freeway underpasses? Probably not. So then, why would they think that the person they’re “helping” wants to be “outed” in such a way? It makes me cringe to think that any of these individuals will one day be at a computer and see themselves acting as the charity case in someone’s braggadocio.

You can’t pretend to be humanistic while forgetting that the person you are taping is indeed a human being.

michelle o

What I’d like to see instead are videos of people who were once down on their luck talking about the person or the moment that changed their course. Let the receivers applaud the givers instead of the givers applauding themselves. I don’t know about you, but that’s far more inspirational in my estimation. Those would be stories of hope and maybe, instead of people sitting back and patting the benefactors on the back for their generosity, more of us would take the opportunity to give to others in the best way we can – earnest and discreetly.

 

“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.” – Matthew 6:2

 

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Rot In Pieces: On XXXTentacion, Black Hypocrisy, & Delusion

Last week, a rapper called XXXTentacion was killed in a drive-by. News of his death was reported on pretty much every major news outlet. I had heard of him only because a few weeks before his death, he was a part of Spotify’s short-lived campaign to no longer endorse the music of artists who had histories of abuse.

I wasn’t surprised to hear that XXX (from now on, that’s all I’m typing because I don’t feel like typing all that shit) was killed. I mean, you live by the sword, you die by the sword. When you build your life around glorifying or making light of violence, it’s no surprise when violence stops by unannounced and eats everything in your house, including you.

dylann roof

What was troubling was how Black people reacted to XXX’s death with weeping and gnashing of teeth knowing that this was a person who, based on his history, would sooner kill them than appreciate their blind devotion. But, before I get into the meat of this piece, let’s briefly travel down memory lane, also known as XXX’s rap sheet. According to this article, he was into bad behavior as early as middle school (I’m excusing the stabbing incident at age 6). He had done time for a number of other crimes like gun possession, robbery, and assault. At least one of his earlier assaults was against a cellmate he referred to in an interview as a “faggot.”

The coup d’ grace was domestic violence, which happened more than once and included beating, strangling, punching, etc…his then girlfriend after threats to do things like cut her tongue out and stick a BBQ fork up her vagina.

Since XXX’s death has been announced, we’ve been beleaguered by people, famous and not, sending e-condolences to XXX and his family. We’ve also been beleaguered by memes and tweets scolding those of us who either generally don’t give a damn or feel like XXX got his just desserts considering all the mayhem he visited upon others during his short life.

Those e-admonitions about our lack of sympathy made me think about the delusion and hypocrisy in the Black community where Black male pathology is concerned.

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I got this meme from Facebook. A “friend” shared it yesterday and when I looked at the source she got it from, it was a committed hotep. I’m sure whoever made this meme thought he (because I’m willing to put money on the creator being a male), was on to something brilliant. Well, he’s not. The truth is that the way society in general, and the Black community specifically is set up, if Maya Angelou had died a young sex worker, nobody would have cared and in fact would have tried to blame her death on her own actions.

I can hear it now, “Well, if she hadn’t been turning tricks, the pimp/John wouldn’t have killed her. She should have gotten a normal job as a maid.” There would have been no empathy. No declarations of how she could have eventually grown and reached a spiritual and emotional maturity that would have surely caused her to become someone great.

How do I know? Well, my years of being Black and a woman, and therefore having to deal with everybody’s bullshit has taught me some things. Plus, I’m generally an astute, highly observant person in my own right.

This is the same community that blamed Sandra Bland’s death on her being “sassy” and not knowing when to shut up but wanted us to rend our garments and open our wallets for Alton Sterling, who had his own history of domestic abuse and was a sex offender. This is the same community that had  #fasttailgirls that brought awareness to the fact that Black girls are often blamed for the evil actions that men perpetrate against them. When you take internalized misogynoir into account (all the women who co-sign this bullshit), it’s like an avalanche.

death to darkskins

My second observation is our tendency to make up fairy tales even though all evidence suggests that what we’ve constructed will never be the truth. The only difference between romanticizing XXX’s potential to become a decent human being and my recurring daydream from ages 6-8 that I would marry Ralph Tresvant, followed by Jordan Knight, and then Shaquille O’Neal (in 7th grade) is that I at least knew that none of them would happen.  XXX is gone. He’s never coming back. He was not “the next Tupac.” He was not on track to become some law-abiding citizen who respects women and supports anti-domestic violence initiatives. Talking about a rehabilitation of which there were no signs is delusional. To be quite honest, even if XXX were planning to change once he got back home, it doesn’t matter because he didn’t make back home. XXX did exactly what he wanted to do while he was here. His book is concluded.

jidenna

Thirdly, these attempts at comparison make no logical sense. Being a sex worker, as Maya Angelou was, doesn’t inherently entail beating people to a bloody pulp. In fact, women who engage in sex work are far more likely to be victims of violence than to perpetuate it. Further, single motherhood isn’t a crime. Kweisi Mfume’s arrests for “suspicion of theft” didn’t leave a woman beaten almost to the point of being unrecognizable. If people like Jidenna and the hotep want dangerous criminals to have the chance to “grow” and develop into something less heinous, they need to move people like XXX in with them, take them to the altar, and wish upon a star; and in the meantime, pray that they don’t trigger these people to the extent of being threatened with sticking kitchen utensils up their genitalia.

mcdonalds denmark

As a parting gift, I can’t help but point out the hypocrisy of celebrating the downfall, harm, or death of a politician who held an unfavorable political ideology but mourning someone who was a walking nightmare and frankly a danger to all women but that’s for another time.

Until then, I hope the people who XXX inflicted his brand of terror upon are able to sleep a little easier and that at least one weight is lifted.

Objections: Dawnta Harris’ Lawyers Should Stay Off Facebook

Believe it or not, I hardly ever write when I’m mad. Miffed? Yeah. Mildly annoyed? Maybe. But, real mad? Hardly. Well, that ends tuh-day.

This week, in Baltimore, a police officer was killed when she was run over by a 16-year-old in a car named Dawnta Harris. He was the alleged “mastermind” behind a series of burglaries with his friends. This particular incident happened after 4 arrests within a period of 6 months and multiple attempts in the days leading up to his coup de gras of killing the officer to contact him and his mother after violating the restrictions of a type of juvenile probation program Baltimore has. He was on an ankle monitor and his caseworker and others in the program tried intently to track him down once they saw that he was not following the edict to only go from home to school and back.

Now, why am I mad?

Well, before I knew anything about this incident, I was innocently strolling my Facebook timeline when I saw that someone shared a “statement” by Harris’ attorney. I read it. I was, for lack of better word, livid. I’ve posted the statement below.

Dawnta Lawyer

Reading this statement, I had more objections than Perry Mason.

First of all, I have said forever that I object to the notion that teens (the ones who don’t organize crime operations), must be reckless, deceitful, disrespectful and generally amoral. I object to this because I’ve seen so many teens show a consistent pattern of good behavior. I was one of those teens (and I’m not just saying that).

For Dawnta Harris’ attorney to chalk up his 4 arrests in the last half-year, failure to comply with the conditions of his program, and eventual murder of a police officer to him being a child who “is not perfect” is frankly offensive to so many teens out there who manage to go through the emotional, mental, and physical upheavals of adolescence WITHOUT a rap sheet.

Secondly, I object to the insinuation that this is more the system’s fuck up than Dawnta’s or his parent’s. Yeah, he should have never been out on the street in the first place. It was a complete misstep to allow someone who had his record to be integrated back into society. But, his attorney’s last statement, that implies that the environment in which he grew up caused him to make decisions that were not “advantageous” to his social welfare is laughable. Who the fuck cares what’s “advantageous” to someone who not only burglarized people’s property that they worked to acquire but killed someone’s daughter/sister/mother/ friend (even if she was a cop)?

That leads me to the third objection. Apparently, the general public is supposed to give a fuck about Dawnta being charged as an adult and being held in an adult detention center. Apparently, because he’s either Black or from Baltimore or both (first three lines of statement), “we” are supposed to embrace him even though he has proven, more than once, that he’s a danger to “us” and a bane of his own community. When the attorney asks if the public is comfortable “forsaking” him, I offer a resounding, “fuck yes!”

Let me pull over here and say that I can’t help but notice the irony of his lawyer invoking The Almighty when it clearly states in the “good book” that we all reap what we sow. Maybe his lawyer missed that part, or maybe he thinks it doesn’t apply to his client.

But I’m not done yet.

After I read that dreadful nonsense from Harris’ attorney, I broke the international rules of reading anything on the internet and perused the comments. I feel like several of them were worse. I just screenshot two.

Dawnta crazy comment

Ob-mutha-fuckin’-jection!

First of all, I’m not a cop sympathizer by any stretch but you have to be one deranged person to read the account of what happened and come up with this as your response. Cops are paid by taxpayer money and I can say for certain that Lanear, who doesn’t know the difference between “hear” and “here”, would be one of the first ones to howl if the cops took her up on her suggestion to “mind their fucking business.”

Next, Lanear, in a stunning display of contradiction, sounds a little miffed about all the cops who don’t “actually” do their job. At least she has a weak grasp on sarcasm to make up for her misunderstanding of homophones.

For the finale, Lanear asserts that (apparently), Dawnta Harris shouldn’t be held accountable for his actions because cops in general kill so many “prince” [sic] and “kings” in the Black community.

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Now, I don’t know who these princes and kings in the Black community are but I cannot wrap my head around someone saying that a cop should not have been doing her job as a response to a thieving recidivist killing her.

The second crazy comment…*sigh* where do I start?

Dawnta crazy comparison

I’ve chosen to ignore the Go Fund Me part because I don’t know what to say but, “damn that!”

Let’s talk about how Candice shows up in the clutch with the sound financial advice to nix the Go Fund Me campaign and just but it on the boys’ books once they are sentenced to life. Great idea, Candice. I have another idea. Donate to a victim’s assistance organization. Help someone replace the things that were stolen by Dawnta and his friends.

Mdot Innc (which I’ve decided is just a YUGE typo), comes back with the fact that George Zimmerman, an adult who murdered a child who actually did NOTHING wrong (unlike Dawnta and his homeboys) had a Go Fund Me. I love how Mdot notes that George Zimmerman was “clearly wrong” when Dawnta Harris has confessed to running over the cop. Plus, you don’t get put on an ankle monitor and a probation program because there’s confusion about whether or not you did anything wrong. It’s as if Mdot isn’t clear whether or not burglary and running over someone on purpose is a “wrong” thing to do.

For her final stroke of genius, she notes that a white kid killed a family of four (I’m thinking he’s talking about Affluenza) and got probation. Here’s what, MDot, Dawnta Harris was in a probation-style program too after 4 arrests within 6 months sooo…..I guess the “if they can do it, we should be able to do it too” defense is out the window.

To that end, it’s terrifying how people like Lanear and MDot will choose the most horrid, base, wretched behavior to declare their desire to be equal to white people. All the hardships our ancestors fought through to get us here was not so that we could comport ourselves as badly as white people and get away with it.

Here’s the biggest reason why this pissed me off:

it’s another dazzling display of how in the Black community, we willingly overlook, downplay, and even excuse Black male pathology at all stages of the game. Dawnta Harris (and probably his friends too) should not have been free to exist among us-at all. Even Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore’s state’s attorney who stuck her neck out over the Freddie Grey case, seemed very dismayed that Dawnta Harris wasn’t locked up where he should have been.

Though I have divested from everybody but Black women and (law-abiding) children, this thing where the community makes up excuses for the criminal behavior of Black males still affects me and society at large, to be quite honest. Similarly, this problem spans across all of maleness, as even the Santa Fe shooter’s father has attempted to shift the blame for his son’s murder spree on being “bullied.”

This bullshit has got to stop.

To Dawnta’s attorneys:

No it wasn’t basically a “traffic stop.”

No, he was not in “survival mode.”

No, it wasn’t an “accident.”

No, it’s not a problem if the officer showed “aggression.”

I don’t need to see the video. I have common sense.

To the rest of you dunderheads who came out of your keyboard to type some bubbameister defense of Dawnta Harris:

what if the officer he killed was your family member? Would you be so quick to engage the mental gymnastics you’re performing now to excuse his actions or would you want him and his clique under the jail? Be honest.

As for me, I’m on #TeamUnderTheJail.

In my estimation, Dawnta Harris’ lawyers are a part of the same “system” that they are blaming. The county allowed him the opportunity to further victimize those in his community by not keeping him locked up and now, his lawyers are trying to minimize the fact that this child is a serious problem and needs to be treated as such.

I understand what lawyers do and I understand it’s their job to defend their client. I think they would have been better off leaving that baloney attempt at a soliloquy about how less guilty their client really is off of Facebook.

Crime is perpetual. We know this. But if our communities keep cradling these males this way, nothing positive will ever be accomplished long-term.