He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not: Questions For Black Christians

Recently, a pretty popular pastor in my hometown, Dallas, posted a status that basically said that we can question God but not challenge God. I read and re-read that status because I was intrigued. First, on some level, I felt like there wasn’t really a difference. I know that there is a difference between, let’s say, your child questioning you and your child challenging you. One would likely get a less gracious response than the other. However, when talking about the almighty, it seems like anything that us mere mortals would ask would be seen as a challenge to the sovereignty, omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience that we are all taught that God has.  

I deal with anxiety, panic disorder, and depression. The anxiety and panic are things that I’ve dealt with since I was a young child. The depression, I guess, may be a product of the vicissitudes of adult life. It actually began in my late teens and after a bad divorce and two monumental deaths within 2 years, it started to really show itself strong in my life. Most days I can fight it. Some days are much harder than others though. 

I’ve had Christians say that they are praying for me or will pray for me and I appreciate the gesture; I really do. I mean, if someone has a connection to any deity, I’d never try to disabuse them of their belief in it. Being Black, it’s rare to meet other people who are also Black and aren’t subscribed to some type of Judeo-Christian belief system. That system is usually Christianity. You have the Pentecostals, the Baptists, the AMEs and the CMEs. You have the 7th Day Adventists, Church of Christ, and even the Catholics. Let’s face it: Black people luuuuuurve Jesus. 

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And I get it. I don’t argue like a Hotep about why Black people love Jesus. We all know about colonialism. We all know about Africans being stripped of their native religions. I don’t really see a point in rehashing that part of the story. 

But, I do have a question: when do we make God prove himself?

Black people give God, and by extension Jesus, a lot of credit. Woke up? God. Legs work? God. Have shelter? God. Have food? God. Have water? God. Have a job? God. Feeling better from a recent illness? God.

I’ve started to wonder though, for Black people, does the standard ever get any higher? If a normal parent fed their kids, provided shelter for them, and gave them medicine or  took them to the doctor when they were sick, we wouldn’t do back flips and give rounds of applause. We’d say that’s what parents should do for their children. In fact, we’d say that a parent who doesn’t do that for their children should have their children removed from them because the children are being neglected.

So, if God is the father and we are his children, why do we become enthralled with the basics that we presume he gives us? Further, when you look at the state of Black people all over the globe, why aren’t we asking more of him? Why aren’t we asking him to prove up? 

Why is it considered blasphemy or disrespectful on an epic level to even suggest it?

Many of us were taught or told that when you ask God for something or to do something on your behalf, the answers are either yes, no, or wait. But, what if that’s unsatisfactory? When someone needs help, is it fair to tell them, “Well, God loves you so you should take your concern to him buuuuuut, he may or may not help you. Or….he might help you, he just may make you wait a little while.” 

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The last time I was seriously in mental upheaval, I asked my ancestors to give me peace no matter what happened. They did almost immediately. The next day, when I woke up, that peace was still there. When I got one of the worst phone calls of the year an hour later, the peace remained. 

But, instead of sounding like the loving benevolent father that Christians sell on tracts, it sounds like dealing with God is a bureaucratic process almost as bad as trying to get social services or an explanation of benefits from your insurance company. Who could possibly be expected to hold on and endure, in faith, if that’s the best they can get in their time of need? And what happens when that time of need extends past a couple of days, or a couple of weeks and becomes months or years of trial? When the weight becomes more than the muscles and sinews of a person’s spirit can take and they still have no answer? The elders say to “be still.” But, what do you do when you’re dying in the midst of your obedient stillness? 

Though I like to think myself wise (most of the time), I have no answer to these questions. I will say that it seems like a maze, at times. I’m an outsider, but looking in, it can seem like a game and the worst kind of game – an unwinnable one that many people are too afraid to opt out of (cause of hell and all). On top of that, it seems like an abusive game. If “yes,” “no,” or “wait” is the best that seekers have to look forward to, what’s it all worth?

 

Go Home, Roger! I Need Hillary Clinton To Stop Now

Last week was politically eventful. The House Managers and the POTUS’ counsel wrapped up their closing arguments. The Senate voted on whether or not to allow documents and witnesses. The senators gave speeches detailing their final votes on impeachment. To nobody’s shock, Donald Trump was found not guilty and behaved as I predicted here. The day before, he delivered his State of the Union address where he bestowed the Medal of Honor upon one of the most ardent racists to have a microphone in their face, Rush Limbaugh, after announcing that he (Rush) has advanced lung cancer. In between that, in order to pander to the Black vote, he awarded a beautiful little Black girl a scholarship to escape her failing school and invited a 100-year-old Tuskegee Airman to attend.

Black History Month is getting off to an interesting start.

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In the mix of all that, the Iowa Caucus was held and in true DNC fashion, the fuckery ensued. I’m not up on all the details but this year, they used an app (allegedly programmed by a friend of the Clintons), that failed spectacularly when it really mattered. The next day, we still didn’t know who walked away delegate-rich. Later that day, we were told 62% of the precincts were reporting and showed Buttigieg narrowly besting Sanders. The next day, Sanders claimed that he knew that he had 6,000 more votes than Buttigieg. From my understanding, as the candidates have already moved on to New Hampshire, we still don’t have a definite answer on Iowa and now, the head of the DNC, Tom Perez is asking for a recount…BEFORE a final tally.

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So…yeah. Anybody who was around for the 2016 election knows where this bullshit is headed but what makes it even more obvious is that two-time non-victor, Hillary Rodham Clinton, for the past few weeks, has been determined to sully Bernie Sanders’ name in the press. First, it was her telling us that nobody likes Bernie and they don’t want to work with him. Yesterday, it was her going even further to try to discredit Sanders as a viable candidate.

The Hillary Clinton fans (who still, apparently, have not gotten over her INEVITABLE loss in 2016), say that it is payback for Bernie Sanders either not endorsing her in 2016 or endorsing her too late (depends on which one you ask).

Really?

At this point, y’all sound like the people who blame their spouse or their best friend for not forcing the Cheetos out of their hands when they failed to use the year they had to lose 20lbs.

It’s time for Hillary to stop. First of all, she got beat by a very little-known senator by the name of Barack Obama in 2008. That should have been the writing on the wall for her. When a WW who was the former first lady to a president that Black people luuuuuurved couldn’t win against a Black man most of only knew from that one speech at the DNC 4 years beforehand, the message is clear.

Second of all, Hillary is behaving like an entitled petulant child (ironically, what “moderate Dems” probably think about progressive Dems). Hillary, you lost. I know you want to blame it on Bernie but it wasn’t Bernie. You must not have seen and read what I did during that time but your loss was predicted far before the DNC chose you as the nominee (read that last part again cause I meant it). The 53% of white women who voted for your opponent and that you explained as women doing what their husbands told them to do (the same excuse given when it’s time to address the complicity of white women during slavery, btw), didn’t do you any favors either.

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Thirdly, some of us haven’t forgotten the DNC’s fuckery in 2016.

Somehow, Hillary and her supporters still want to blame “Bernie Bros” for the loss. This is odd to me when they brag about winning the popular vote though. Sooooo…..since you actually won the popular vote, is it really the fault of Bernie and his supporters or should you REALLY be mad at the Electoral College? You won the popular vote by 3M votes. What else was Bernie supposed to do. Go in and change people’s ballots for you?

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What’s funniest to me about this situation is that if this were Trump and his bowl of sour grapes talking about why something didn’t politically go his way, people would be making fun of him and telling him to stop being a crybaby and work harder next time. You all know that I’m not one to defend Trump, but I think that advice is appropriate for Hillary this time around. This Democratic race is already a shitshow. Why add to it?

Same message goes to Hillary fans. Stop that bullshit. All you’re doing is making yourself look bad while Hillary reminds the people who didn’t vote for her exactly why they didn’t.

Land of the Free & Home of the Cowards: The Impeachment Trial

I just finished watching day 2 of the question and answer portion of the impeachment trial. I don’t even know what to say. I haven’t even titled this post yet because the things I heard in the trial are still whirling in my head and I’m lowkey speechless.

I could talk about a lot of different things but I think I’ll talk about what an international embarrassment this whole situation is. Imagine: a country elects a new president who has a firm anti-corruption stance and proves it shortly after beginning his job by getting rid of corrupt government officials and the leader of The United States of America is now on trial for his own corruption.

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Not only that, the attorneys that are supposed to be defending the POTUS have jumped from once defense to another almost by the minute. A group of between 5-6 attorneys can’t even come up with a steady, consistent, and logical defense of what their client did.

The pièce de résistance on this mountain of disgrace is that we have a body, the Senate, full of  lawyers, who have largely decided that this TRIAL doesn’t need documents or witnesses. Further, 8 minutes ago, a senator who is retiring (meaning there’s no need for political gameplay from him), and who at one point basically said he had no doubt that the POTUS did what he’s being accused of, just announced that he would vote against the entry of documents and witnesses. He just said that the House Managers proved their case and that what the POTUS did was inappropriate. By the way, that senator’s name is Lamar Alexander.

As an African-American, I was long disabused of the “greatest country” bullshit that Americans like to run around proclaiming. So, please don’t interpret my tone as one of disappointment. What I’m feeling is more like fatigue. The electoral college put a reality TV star into the White House. He majorly fucks up like anybody with sense knew he would. And because he apparently has some dirt on a few of his fellow Republicans, people who could not stand him back in 2016 (like Lindsay Graham), are suddenly beholden to him and too afraid to do the right thing.

If the senate doesn’t at least censure him, the United States would have lost whatever credibility it had left.

 

Impeachment The Wayward Daughter Way

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been watching the ongoing saga that is the impeachment trial of President Donald John Trump. I watch it on my Firestick using the NBC app because I find the commentary from Ari Melber, Chris Hayes, and Rachel Maddow, and their accompanying panels to be the best and shadiest in the land.

Today, is the first day that the president’s counsel gets to present their defense. If you were expecting a random, largely untrue, nonsensical, so ironic it’s funny defense, you will not be disappointed.

But, that’s not what I want to talk about today. If you’ve tuned in from the beginning, you know that the GOP is closing ranks around not allowing documents and witnesses to be presented during the trial. This is stupid because what trial is ever successfully executed without documents and witnesses? Even Judge Judy requires paperwork.

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In my mind, I feel like the impeachment process needs to be changed to accommodate the ever-increasing partisanship and lack of principle of these politicians. So, here’s my proposal:

The jury in the impeachment trial needs to be the citizens. American citizens are called upon every day to sit on juries across the country. Most of these people have no legal or criminal justice background but they are entrusted by a judge, prosecutors, defense lawyers, and defendants to decide the fate of cases that range from small misdemeanors to 3rd degree felonies.

There is no reason that when the leader of the country is taken to trial, American citizens, who are most directly affected by bad political behavior, shouldn’t get to directly participate in deciding his/her fate.

I believe that the same process should be undertaken to choose a jury. Have voire dire and eliminate until the judge, lawyers, and defendant are comfortable with the final selection. Start the trial and may the odds be ever in the sitting POTUS’s favor.

The reason I feel this way, as I said before, is that politicians are now so unprincipled and corrupt themselves that they can’t really be trusted to do the right thing. I am not a Democrat, nor am I a Republican. During the Obama era, I found the Republicans to be so infected with racism that they were willing to hurt their own constituents to stick it to the n*gger in the Oval Office. Now, I find the Republicans to be such cowards that they are willing to make themselves look like utter fools by saying that a trial for “high crimes and misdemeanors” doesn’t need documents and witnesses.

Not only does this demonstrate that they are unprofessional, but it shows that they are likely as unscrupulous as the POTUS most of them didn’t even like yet keep trying to defend for no reason at all.

I’m not an expert but I think we are getting more and more to a place where a group of people whose income is supplemented by lobbyist dollars and doing backroom deals, can hardly be trusted to make (legislative), enforce (executive), or interpret (judicial) the laws and policies that affect this country’s citizens.

Yes, People Really Are That Dumb: Why I Don’t Want to Live to 100

We’ve all laughed about the dumbing down of America. Every time we see a post where adults are consistently unclear about the differences between to, too, and two or your and you’re, we roll our eyes and decide to either chide them or automatically discount everything they said. If we know or like them, we cringe inside and hope it was just a slight oversight or the result of errant autocorrect.

Well, last week, I think either the gods of ignorance were out to haunt me or I was being tested by the universe because I seemed to encounter, online and in-person, an abnormal amount of people who apparently only learned basic educational lessons long enough for the quiz and afterwards, kissed the knowledge goodbye (kind of like I did with calculus).

The week began with me having to tell an editorial assistant (I guess) that actually most of the words in a title do, indeed, need to be capitalized and no, it’s not true that words four letters and under don’t need to be capitalized. I’m not certain why this wasn’t understood, but this person was content to post my content with a title that looked like a ransom demand where the letters were cut at random out of a magazine. I was annoyed, of course, because instead of taking my writer word for it, I actually received flack for wanting this very obvious mistake corrected before it was posted under my name. I low-key had to fight for that shit to the extent of screenshotting another random article as an example. Imagine!

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But, I was even more annoyed by the fact that someone reached full adult age and made their way into an editorial position fully believing that what they did was correct. Despite the fact that they’ve seen books, articles, e-articles, and periodicals throughout their life (I’m sure), they chose to believe that all those publications were wrong and they were correct.

How?

Then, there was this Twitter exchange about Prince Harry and Prince William where someone didn’t know the difference between the words “princes” (as in the plural form of “prince”) and “princess.” This person vigorously defended their poor understanding of 2nd grade grammar.

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I won’t tell you the number of people I, as a Texan, encounter who don’t seem to be able to rationalize “signal, brake, turn” in favor of “sudden brake, start turn, signal.”

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This goes beyond the comical “lack toast and tolerant” (lactose intolerant) gaffe that was made on Twitter a few years back. I mean, I don’t really understand how people have perhaps the largest database at their fingers yet seem to constantly mess theses things up, but I chalked that one up to a teen trying their hardest (God help us) to explain a medical condition they had only heard of but not seen on paper.

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I truly believe this is a foretelling of where the country is headed when its citizens increasingly cannot comprehensively read and write correctly in their native language. Further, the fact that intellectual processing speeds seem to have slowed at least 75% since I was in high school is frankly frightening. When I think about the fact that intellect and common sense never bears weight on reproductive functioning, I feel like we’re headed into a real-life Alfred Hitchcock/Stephen King type of situation.

So, to all my friends who have long-term plans of being in a rocking chair with their great-grandchildren, mazel tov. Not me. If we keep going down this path, I see myself begging for a quick death and hoping the person who makes my headstone knows how to spell.

 

 

 

Flea Market Pt. 3: Which Democrat Will Make It?

This morning, I awoke to the news that Corey Booker has decided to end his (ill-fated) campaign for the 2020 Democratic nomination. I honestly wasn’t surprised because if any of you have been keeping up, his numbers were dismal. His hopefulness was…encouraging though. Back in December, when asked on either CNN or MSNBC (can’t remember which), why he was staying in when his numbers were so low, he reminded me of a teenager resolutely expressing her plans to marry her boyfriend who had been in and out of juvie 6 times and was prone to disappear for 72-hour chunks of time.

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Anywho, Booker must have had his electoral Demascus Road experience sometime over the weekend and decided that his campaign was indeed a no-go.

So where do we stand? If you read my Flea Market Pt. 1 and Flea Market Pt. 2 posts, you’ll know we started with a mess that became a bigger mess and slowly, but surely, the mess is being cleaned up (if it could ever be).

Big hitters Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders are still in the race (duh). Notorious white man who doesn’t get it but thinks being gay means otherwise Pete Buttigieg is still in it. Then, you have Amy Klobuchar holding on like a woman at a 48-hour Pentacostal revival on her knees with a prayer cloth waiting for Jesus to zap the diabetes out of her. Tulsi Gabbard is somewhere still in there even though Dems were quite nonplussed by her “Present” declaration at the impeachment vote. Andrew Yang is surprisingly doing well and still in the race. Latecoming billionaires Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer are also running to the extent that I can’t watch Hulu or my trash TV on TLC without seeing a commercial for one or both of them.

I haven’t decided who I’m voting for (or if I’m voting but we’ll talk about that later). But, here’s my take on each of the remaining candidates:

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Joe Biden: Frankly, I think Biden missed his shot. I think there are certain grand things in life where timing is everything. I think Biden would have easily slid into the POTUS chair had he run in 2016. He didn’t use that opportunity though and I think that door has closed. Boomers and Blacks love him but with a new crop of younger voters coming in and ideas such as Medicare for all, reparations, and student loan forgiveness seriously on the table, unless Biden does an abrupt about face, I don’t see it for him. Plus, his history in politics will ALWAYS follow him. Here’s his platform.

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Elizabeth Warren: I’m willing to forgive her for pretending to be Native American. I mean…she wouldn’t be white if she didn’t. A lot of people like her Medicare for all idea. I think it’s a good idea, too. I mean, dying or having to go bankrupt because you need a surgery or expensive medication is ridiculous in a developed country. I also like that she wants to address the maternal mortality rate for Black women that is largely driven by racism in the medical industry. What I think is an issue is that her student loan forgiveness plan doesn’t go far enough. $50k is a pretty penny but from what I’ve gathered is on the low end of what A WHOLE LOT of borrowers owe. However, visit her campaign “Plans” page here to get a peek of everything she wants to do.

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Bernie Sanders: If I had to vote today, he’d likely be my choice. I was reading his platform page and in addition to the forgiveness of all student loan debt, he also wants to forgive medical debt and replace for-profit credit bureaus. I’m still mad at Equifax for promising us $125 for their fuckup and then figuring out they couldn’t pay their bill and deciding to not pay us (oh the irony) so putting them out of business sounds great to me. Several Black people have expressed concerns about certain comments that Sanders have made that sound less than progressive. I, however, never expect to get anything racially progressive from white people; especially not a white man his age. I still think that he’s the best choice of the field at this point. Let’s just hope the DNC doesn’t….nevermind. Here’s his platform page.

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Pete Buttigieg: No.

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Andrew Yang: His page has a plethora of things that he either wants to do or “explore.” For example, one of his big three issues is “human-centered capitalism” which aims to put people before money (ie. instead of the health of the economy being measured by the stock market, it would be measured by how well people are actually doing). But, perhaps, his biggest claim to fame is his desire to give each American (over 18) “universal basic income.” This entails each American getting $1,000/mo free and clear. In theory, this extra $1,000 would allow people to have a little more breathing room each month. Every single person I know who supports Yang cites this $1,000/mo as their reason. Do I think he’ll win? Neaux. But, he may be forcing the eventual winner to step up their game a little. You can find the rest of his platform here.

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Amy Klobuchar: I Googled her website to see her platform. My only option was to sign up as a supporter or visit her store. So…..moving on….

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Tulsi Gabbard: Let me just start out by saying that I don’t think she’s serious. It’s like when you do an internship in a field you’re not really passionate about just to be able to put it on your resume in case you need it one day.  I looked at her website and she  seems to care a lot about war and war-adjacent topics (makes sense since she’s a veteran). What got me was the following line under her healthcare section:

“I will also incentivize good health choices and lifestyles for a healthier, wealthier nation!”

Whew, girl! Have you met 2016, yet? That’s the perfect steak for the people ready to accuse someone of -shaming to latch onto but you know…

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Michael Bloomberg: Yes, I know MB is the source of “Stop and Frisk.” But, Judge Judy is endorsing him so he must be alright, no? I’m just kidding. I have looked at his page though and I’ll have to admit that a Jewish candidate addressing redlining and other past racial injustices is interesting. He’s also addressing Black maternal mortality rates as well. Many people have wondered why he entered so late and suspect him of trying to buy the election. I don’t think that’s the case. Frankly, I feel like the fun part of elections is people who likely won’t win to make issues big enough so that the people who might win are under pressure to take those issues seriously. Click here for more.

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Tom Steyer: All I know is the company that he founded and worked for only has like 3 non-white people on their site and I can’t imagine it was much better when he was there so….

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The cynical conspiracy theorist in me feels like Biden has already been chosen. I don’t know that for a fact but there’s a reason Trump presumed he’d be his political rival.

Anyway, I still think Trump is going to win in 2020.

 

 

Shit I Want Employers To Stop Doing In 2020

Literally, 10 minutes ago, I was on LinkedIn after getting an email with jobs I may be interested in. I scrolled and noticed a position for a “Complaint Writer.” I read the job description carefully. Basically, when customers complain, the Complaint Writer is the one who writes the nice professional letter explaining the outcome of the complaint and its accompanying reasons. Sounds easy and frankly, as a writer, when you can find a staff position with benefits, you’ll write about jelly beans all day if you have to. 

Anywho, I get to the requirements and at the very end of the list is the requirement to know how to do v-lookups and pivot tables. Now, most of us hate Excel. I don’t particularly like Excel because I feel like it’s not catching up with the rest of us in terms of usability. At this point, v-lookup and pivot table should be two buttons you can push and not some apocalyptic formula you have to know and input. Further, I’ve had a job where I had to only work in Excel and do that v-lookup shit (which I learned at that job and immediately forgot after that job) and that job was strictly numbers. I don’t understand why I need to know v-lookups and pivot tables to write people letters about the status of their complaints.

This got me thinking: it’s time for employers to stop these nonsense pre-employment behaviors. It seems like after the recession in 2007/2008, every employer decided that they were actually doing nuclear fission and that they needed to construct some high and mighty image when none of the positions they are hiring for actually merit them. 

So, here’s my list of the shit that I want employers to stop doing in 2020.

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So, in general, school counselors must have a master’s degree in counseling plus a teaching certificate with the counseling speciality. $14.50/hr. Yeah, no.

1. Ridiculous requirements: As I mentioned earlier, it’s time for employers to stop requiring skills and background that are not relevant to the position. We’ve seen far too many companies wanting someone with a 4-year degree while only paying $17.00/hr. If the position that you’re hiring for only pays $17/hr., then trust me, a 4-year degree isn’t necessary. I have two master’s degrees. When I see a job listing that requests that level of education, I presume that the knowledge needed to execute the position well is such that one will need higher education and the salary is commensurate with that knowledge. If the job only pays $17/hr., what you’re wanting people to do ain’t that special nor hard, tbqh.

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2. Phone screens: I don’t know when it happened but this need to have applicants talk to three people on three separate occasions before you call them in for a real interview is ridiculous. In my experience, all three people ask the same thing in a different way and being the stable earth sign that I am, my answers don’t change. What I also notice is that there is often a level of disorganization present. It seems that one hand doesn’t know what the other five are doing. It feels like a popularity contest in which, instead of seeing if a candidate is qualified, it’s really more like, “I like him/her. See if you do too; then, see if Chad does too.” What a waste of time!

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3. Working interviews: Here’s the scenario: you’re called in for an interview and the questions are normal at first and get more and more specific until you realize that they are presenting you with actual problems they have and are asking you to solve them…in the interview…for free. I don’t participate in those because I see it as an underhanded way to get free labor from people who likely won’t be hired. Being a Black woman, I have to be especially careful about employers trying to use my intellectual labor without compensation; and that’s after being hired. There’s no way I’m going to let an interviewer turn me into an employment side-chick giving them what they need only for them to not commit.

4. Catchall job listings: People are trying to shape careers. This is why I find it highly irritating when employers post a job title that is very specific and when you start reading the post, you find out that they really just want someone to occupy all the other positions they can’t afford to hire different people for. It started out as a “Junior Communications Representative” and by the time you get to the end of the job description, you find out that you’re really a secretary whom they want to be able to also write flawless press releases, speak to the media on the company’s behalf, answer phones, take messages, travel to job fairs, and be on-call on the weekends. But of course, you’ll be making a secretary’s salary. I won’t start on the abusive “other duties as assigned.”

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5. Offering shitty insurance plans: You can either pay $20/month for your insurance but have a $7,500 deductible when all they are paying you is $40k/yr so that when you fall ill or need a serious surgery, you can’t pay for it anyway OR you can pay $800/month for your insurance when your net pay each month is only $2500 once your insurance is deducted, Uncle Sam gets his, your retirement is accounted for, etc. Insurance rates have risen damn near 70% while wages have risen less than 30%. Let’s not. 

6. Employee “appreciation” that doesn’t involve money: As far as I’m concerned, since the recession, the only way to appreciate an employee is money. Point blank. People wake up before dawn, sit through hellish traffic, put wear and tear on their vehicles and bodies, put up with corporate b & b (bullshit and bureaucracy) for 8-10 hours, get back in hellish traffic, and come home long enough to eat, workout, tend to their family, and go to sleep so they can do it all over the next day. Keep your pizza party. I can go bowling with people I like. There are enough streaming services to not need free movie tickets. You want to let me know you appreciate my hard work? PAY!

 

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Food Facts To Remember In 2020

We are less than 48 hours from Christmas. Then, there’ll be New Year’s. Basically, the holidays revolve around food. Since we are upon the 2nd and 3rd most important holidays of the year (the first being my birthday on the 27th), I’ve decided to help you stay as healthy as possible by offering a list of food landmines to avoid.

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LIES THEY TELL!

5. Tofu: I’m just going to give you a quote from Everyday Health about what exactly the fuck tofu is:

Tofu is made from soybeans that are ground in water, heated, and coagulated with minerals like calcium or magnesium salt. The curds are then pressed into a block, which is then sold as tofu. ”

That sounds absolutely disgusting. I mean, I don’t eat soybeans either but the notion of taking something nasty, grinding it with water, and coagulating it frankly sounds criminal. Just…stay away.

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4. Nut milks: I’m lactose intolerant…but I don’t give a shit (no pun intended). I’ll flush 15 times like Trump mentioned before I drink nuts mixed blended with water and sugar. I luuuuurve roasted almonds but I’m not finna’ drink them. The internet tries to pretend that after they do all that manufacturing magic, these nut milks are as creamy as cow’s milk. They’re lying. No, I haven’t tasted any of those nut milks. Never will. But, trust me. I’m trustworthy. I do not lie about food.

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3. Dressings, gravies, or sauces of any kind: Listen. I do like (certain brands of) BBQ sauce. I do like the lemon butter sauce with capers that they serve with the sole at Macaroni Grill. But uh-ruh…that’s about it.

I’m from the south. I grew up watching my grandma make brown and giblet gravies and watching the rest of my relatives eat it. I grew up watching people I know and respect pour Italian, French, and DRANCH (dreadful + ranch) dressing on their salads. I’m even friends with people who dip my all-time favorite food that I don’t eat anymore cause of carbs, precious pizza, into all kinds of questionable sauces like that garlic devil sauce from Papa John’s.

Because I try to display empathy, I’ve decided to offer thoughts and prayers to get them through the difficult times they must be experiencing to indulge this eating behavior. But, if I can save one person from walking this path, I will. And that’s why these foods made the list.

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Me, smelling garlic. 

2. Garlic: So, science teaches us that there is a link between our sense of smell and sense of taste. That’s why when you have a bad cold, you can’t taste anything while your nose is stopped up.

I can only hypothesize, then, that those of you who love garlic have a genetic defect in which your brain is sending inaccurate signals to your nose and taste buds. I’ve wondered for the longest how anybody could smell garlic and feel like they MUST eat it. If you sniffed the milk in your fridge and it smelled like Miss Muffet’s curds and whey that had been sitting on a hot Texas sidewalk for 3 days, you probably wouldn’t drink it. Sooooo…..I remain confused about how anybody whose senses of smell and taste are intact could possibly like garlic.

I won’t even start on you mofos who ask for extra garlic. Y’all need to wear special bracelets or something cause…

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1. Mayonnaise: Whipped eggs, vinegar, and oil. I like eggs. I like oil (well, I like cooking with oil). Vinegar…eh…But, I’ll never understand the need to whip eggs, vinegar, and oil together to create a spread and put it on other food items.

What really grinds my gears is how society has acquiesced to you people who like mayo. The fact that I have to reiterate my order at restaurants and double check before I take a bite to make sure I don’t end up with a mouth full of edible puss is annoying. Jack n’ The Box even puts mayo on their breakfast sandwiches (I found this out in high school and have never had another Jack n’ The Box breakfast sandwich again). Who the hell thinks eggs, sausage, cheese and a croissant needs a touch of mayo?

You know how people talk about not making strangers in public deal with your misbehaving kids? I feel like mayo is the food equivalent of those bad ass kids and for whatever reason, the food industry refuses to stop allowing it to come in, be loud, run all over the place, and leave a mess (on our plates).

By now, you’ve realized that this list is NOT food facts, but food opinions. But, if Fox News can do it, so can I.

Happy Holidays!

 

 

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Black Women Are Being Murdered and Nobody Cares: Remember That This Election Season

follow the Our Lives Matter page on Facebook. The woman who runs the page, Rosa Perreira, is keeping track of the number of Black women and girls that were murdered this year. At last count, the number was 795 (November). That’s 795 Black women and girls who lost their lives mostly due to male intra-community violence. To break that down even further, 795 Black women and girls have had their lives ended mostly by the hands of Black men.

Most people will never know this, however. And they’ll never know because somewhere in the mid-2010s, society’s collective consciousness was bullied into believing it’s more of a crime (at least socially) to address sex-based differences, including violence and oppression against women. Society chose to pretend that men could be women and in doing so, turned women’s rights issues into human rights issues. Abortion rights are no longer a women’s rights issue because “women have penises too” and healthcare disparities became “not only women get pregnant.” Meanwhile, Black women and girls died in the several hundreds but society chose to focus on less than 25 individuals instead.

This spilled over into politics, as we watched our beloved 44th POTUS opine that males should be able to access women’s spaces if that’s what they felt on the inside. Now, every politician looking for a vote has decided that the less than 25 were worth far more than the hundreds of Black women and girls who experience life-ending violence year after year. They decided that our deaths were not an epidemic but the less than 25 are. They decided to build this premise into their platforms while we continue to have to fight, both mentally and physically for who we are as women.

The more telling part is that the perpetrators of violence against the less than 25, are the same ones who perpetrate violence against Black women and girls. And sometimes, members of that group are perpetrating violence against us, Black women, too. Yet, only their blood seems to matter and to speak about the stark differences and underlying reasons is sin.

Well, election season is here once again. We’ve seen several Democratic candidates broach the topic of violence against a smaller segment with smaller numbers while they basically talk about Black women in reference to how much they need our votes in order to win.

I think a time-out is in order.

I don’t generally embrace political labels but in my writings, I call myself a Centrist. I’m also adamant that candidates that are too far right or too far left are unfeasible choices for public office. Now, I must state that any candidate that even implies that the TRUE epidemic of the murder of Black women and girls is not a problem; either by their silence or choosing to highlight the less than 25 instead, is a non-starter.

“We must make sure not to get lost in other hot button political issues that would serve only to use us to influence their agenda as it relates to numbers,” says Ms. Perreira. She suggests not giving our support to elected officials, even at the local level, who are not willing to put a serious focus on us. “The data speaks for itself,” she notes.

We have the ADOS movement, the #MeToo movement, the Black Lives Matter movement, the Immigrant Rights movement…when do we, as Black women, stand up and refuse to be tossed to the side? When do we start a movement about us and for us only?

In this campaign season, I’d like all Black women of voting age to think about the women and girls who have lost their lives to senseless violence and the many more who have been subjected to sexual abuse and other types of violence and decide that any candidate who is not willing to wholly and truthfully address our plight, doesn’t get to reap the benefit of us putting them in office. If they need our votes so much, make them prove it.

 

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Quick Thoughts On D. Wade, G. Union, and Internet Trolls

This has been going through my mind for a little while and the most recent incident caused me to decide to address it here.

As we know, DeWayne Wade has a son who is a part of the LGBT community. Both Wade and his wife, actress Gabrielle Union, have been vocally supportive of their son on his identity journey.

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I think this is good. I repeat, I think this is good. I felt the need to repeat and embolden that part because what I’m about to talk about may sound like I feel the opposite and I know how some of y’all can be when you don’t read exactly what you wanted to read.

There has been more than one instance where after posting family pictures, adult meanies on social media have made untoward comments about Wade and his son. These comments usually come out of the mouths of homophobic people who feel Wade should bring his son into subjection in terms of his expression of his identity. In other words, they don’t like that his son is allowed to wear fake nails, or crop tops, or whatever else these internet commentators deem feminine wares.

Usually, Wade or Union will “clap back.” They will address the meanies and talk about how they love their child and support him and it’s their business and choice to do so. They get a lot of media attention for being good parents. People pine over the way they support their son.

The question I have is, when is the clapback only adding to the insult or injury of the initial mean comments?

Let me explain. When you “clap back,” you are dignifying the comment that you’re clapping back to. You may not realize it, but when you address anything, positive, negative, or in between, you are acknowledging that even if the comment wasn’t nice or educated, it was a valid expression.

In other words, instead of letting it die at the end of the sentence, you give it a life.

At some point, I wonder if Wade and Union’s clapbacks and the subsequent praise from the media about their clapbacks is merely causing their son to relive the bigoted comments directed towards him.

For example, if I have a child and my child comes home crying and tells me that Johnny called her ugly, and I comfort the child and reaffirm her beauty, that’s good. But, if when my (imaginary) husband comes home, I tell him while we’re all eating dinner, “Johnny called her ugly today,” and then, when her grandma calls later, I get on the phone and say, “A little boy called her ugly today…” while my child is sitting next to me watching television, am I allowing my child the opportunity to sit in and absorb the reaffirmation that I gave her when I keep replaying the insult to everybody who will listen?

Now, pretend I was a celebrity with millions of followers who not only is going to clap back, but have my clapback shared by millions of followers and mass media and even end up doing an interview or two about the situation. Despite the fact that I’ve reaffirmed my child, Johnny and his ugly comment is given a life as it plays non-stop on the social media news cycle and my reaffirmed child has to keep hearing and seeing it until social media gets bored and moves on to the next piece of nonsense.

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This is my peripheral concern with Wade’s son and his parents’ need to address the ugliness that comes out on the internet. Raising children can be tricky because on the one hand, you want to be tender with them as they deserve and give them a worry-free childhood. On the other hand, you have to prepare them. You have to prepare them for the fact that some people won’t like them for no reason at all. You have to prepare them for the fact that some people will think they’re too tall, or too short, or too fat, or too thin, etc. Unfortunately, if you’re a part of a marginalized group, that goes double.

You have to teach them that the people who just want to pull them down are ultimately the people they need to avoid. In the social media era, that also means that those  commenters are the people you don’t need to spend your time clapping back at every time you decide to post a picture and they decide to be hateful.

The truth is, your clapback won’t make them abandon their bigotry, (and sickeningly enough, may gain them more popularity). And it’s likely that some of these people, no matter how much you clap back, will only make sure they show up in the comments of your next picture with similarly foul sentiments.

Am I saying they should stop posting family pictures? Absolutely not. They have the right to celebrate their family like anybody else does. I do think it’s time to stop taking the bait of randos on Instagram and Twitter with enough time on their hands to express their displeasure about a crop top.

Personally, I hope the Thanksgiving picture controversy is the last time Wade or Union feel the need to engage bigoted trolls. I think it will set a good example, not just for their own children but for the rest of us as well.