Why Do You Care? Isaiah Washington, Yvette Nicole Brown, and Political Twitter Beef

Today, the Jasmine Brand, posted an article detailing an e-argument between Isaiah Washington and Yvette Nicole Brown. This comes on the heels of Isaiah Washington, former Grey’s Anatomy actor, expressing his political beliefs on Twitter. If the term “e-argument” hasn’t helped you figure it out yet, Washington is a Conservative. He’s also Black (for those of you who have been living in an underground tunnel for all of the 2000s.

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Contender #1: The respondent

Anybody who has remotely lived through the woke revolution of the 2010s knows that being a Conservative is bad enough. Being a Black Conservative is akin to being the troll under the bridge in The Three Billy Goats Gruff fairytale (at least in some circles). That’s why it’s no surprise that after it was announced that Washington had procured his own show on Fox Nation, Yvette Nicole Brown piped in to express her opinions on the matter. I attached the link to the Jasmine Brand article and you can go there to see the screenshots of the exchange, but needless to say, they are a gumbo of unsolicited opinions, allegations of name-calling, actual name-calling, pot/kettle analyses (Brown worked for Disney and yes, Disney was a known racist), other intra-race based insults (ie. coon and mammy), and finally, shade thrown in reference to career trajectories.

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Contender #2: The instigator, tbqh

I sat back reading this exchange the way I always read nonsense e-beef; with a hot cup of coffee and listening to Spotify. Being a human being, I’m completely attracted to spectacle. I’m especially fascinated by the rich and famous arguing online because if I had their salary and connections, I’d be doing so much more than wasting time on what someone I didn’t ask says about me. Ironically, earlier this week, I asked my Black FB friends who dislike Black Conservatives why they don’t like Black Conservatives. The answers varied and I plan to do a blog on that topic soon. But, for now, I just wonder…

why do you care?

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I’m not new to this disagreement thing. I’ve been in enough catty FB groups to get the hang of e-beef. And I know with Donald Trump as POTUS, people have stepped it up a notch with the expression of their political stance. I get it. But, it’s always intriguing to me when nonsensical blowups like Washington v. Brown happen because when I first heard about Washington’s deal with Fox Nation several days ago, my reaction was…nothing. In fact, when Washington came out as a Trump supporter and Conservative, I had the same reaction I’d have reading a story about how Cheez-Its are made which is, “oh, okay.”

Am I saying that Yvette Brown was wrong to express her opinion about his signing to Fox Nation? No. People can say what they want. That’s supposed to be one of the great things about this nation. First Amendment and shit. But, as we all agree, that doesn’t make you free from people’s reactions. I don’t see the benefit of an e-fight that ends with me digitally abusing my keyboard by typing my hardest and fastest.

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Yvette admonishes him about selling his soul and that all money ain’t good money (African-American proverb). Short of pimping or selling crack to the parents of orphans, I don’t understand the uproar over what someone (I presume) you’re not even friends with chooses to align themselves politically with. The best part is when Yvette says she’s going to block him riiiiiiiiiiiiight after she says something nice about him. She calls him a good actor and then continues to engage.

Some of you may think that I’m taking Isaiah’s side by the tone of this post. Not really. However, it costs nothing to say nothing; and Yvette had to have known that retweeting his apparent good news and adding, “Remember children, all money ain’t good money & not all skin folks are kin folk” wasn’t going to go over well. It should be noted that Isaiah didn’t respond until two days later so one could argue that he could have just let that one go since the 36-hour attention span of this generation had passed.

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I’m sure that a little forethought from either party would have avoided that clusterfuck salad with a side of vinegar dressing. We are responsible for our own political ideologies, beliefs, opinions, and all that other good stuff. I think it’s useless to be worried about what someone we don’t even particularly know thinks or does as long as there is no direct harm (and yeah, I know some of you think being Conservative is inherently harmful to mankind). This need to be caped crusaders or swoop in to comment or school everybody takes away valuable time from what you do support. I don’t know either of these actors but if I asked, I’m sure at least one of them would say that if they could turn back time, that’s not the Twitter “conversation” they’d have given their time to.

 

 

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Stop Whining: The Wayward Daughter’s Thoughts On Spoilers

Power, Grey’s Anatomy, HTGAWM, American Horror Story…

These are a few of the shows I luuuurve. Although I have access to cable, I hate commercials so I end up streaming them the day (or two or three) after they air. I’m good with that.

I’m also good with people sharing their thoughts on the episodes on social media even though I haven’t seen the episode.

Why?

Cause I’m not a big baby.

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Granted, I’m clearly a creative. It’s impossible to spoil a television show for me because I have to experience it myself for it to matter. So, you can tell me the ending of every television show that’s hot right now. I’m still going to watch it because the creative journey is everything for me.

 

But, you crybabies who get on social media and demand that everyone take a vow of television silence until YOU see an episode are annoying. It’s nobody’s fault that you had to work, or cook the Shabbat brisket, or go to choir practice when a lot of people’s favorite shows are broadcast.

“If YoU tAlK aBoUt PoWer, I wIlL bLoCk Yeeeeew.”

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Sitcho’ ass down somewhere! Who are you? Princess of TV? Queen of networks?

I picture your puerile asses standing on your couch with a blanket tied around your shoulders like Superman holding your remote control like a sceptre and crying while you tell everyone else whose credit card information was current on their Hulu account to not talk about an episode that’s two days old or to wait until you decide to watch it.

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You have a choice. You can unplug from social media within the 24-48 hours of the programming so you won’t know anything until you watch. But apparently, that’s too hard for many of you and I don’t understand why.

Either way, stop trying to boss the rest of the people around because you had shit to do the night your show came on and are running behind. You’re the same people who show up late to a dinner party and get mad because everybody else started eating without you.

Seek help!

 

You’re Not Special; Just White

Yesterday on Facebook, I came across an article from The Wall Street Journal (I didn’t add the link cause it’s not free to read the whole article and I know how y’all are) about a woman who sat out of the workforce for two years and came back to end up CEO.

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Apparently, her story is supposed to inspire the rest of us. Similar to Sheryl Sandberg with her book, “Lean In” and all these other people who have pulled off career feats, these people allegedly show us the power of focus, tenacity, and intention.

Unfortunately for The Wall Street Journal, that lady they reported on (Deanna Mulligan off Guardian Life Insurance), Sheryl Sandberg and the rest of them, there is actually no magic here.

They aren’t special. They’re just white.

At one time, I had a friend who is an attorney. I remember her telling our friend group (confidentially, of course), that she was conducting a deposition at a hospital. One of the people she had to depose was the VP of the hospital. They opened with a line of questioning on this VP’s credentials.

Two years of college at a community college, no degree, no work history in the medical field nor hospital administration.

No, she didn’t start as the janitor at the hospital and work her way up. She came in as the VP making more than the fucking president.

She was also a white woman.

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*sits back and folds arms and re-reads that shit and gets mad all over again thinking about the highly qualified Black people that applied and interviewed for that job but they didn’t get it cause….*

Black women are the most educated demographic in the country, yet we can’t seem to pull off these dynamic feats in the workplace where we are allowed to take time off to raise kids, recover from divorce, go through an extended illness, etc. and come back and slide into 6-figure positions as if we never missed a day even though our education and previous experience suggests that we are a fit.

Nobody “takes a chance” on the high-achieving Black woman with potential. Instead, we get bombarded with questions about what we’ve been doing the last two years and statements that express doubt about whether or not we are capable of performing the job tasks adequately. If we’re offered a position, it’s usually some administrative support role with a shitty salary under the supervision of someone who shouldn’t be left alone with a goldfish.

Almost a year ago, I sat being interviewed by two non-Black women. In that interview, the following statements were made:

“You’re really confident.”

“I believe you could do well at this job.”

“That was a great idea!” (followed by her writing down my idea that I’m sure she used}

“You seem really competent.”

After an hour of that, one of the same interviewers said, “I’m sure you can do the job well, but I don’t know…”

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Mmmkay.

About four months later, I saw that the job was back up on the company’s website so apparently, the less qualified candidate they hired (I already know) didn’t meet their expectations.

For all the kvetching that white women do about how unfairly they are treated in the workplace, they still do better than non-white women and even when they “make it,” forget that 1) white privilege was likely a huge part of their rise and 2) there are women of color who should be where they are but aren’t and never will be because white men have convinced themselves that hiring a white woman in upper management is what Affirmative Action is all about.

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This is from an article the NY Times wrote about the fact that this partner class was so…white.

Deanna Mulligan noted that her time off taught her focus and made her realize that life is not a straight line. No shit, Sherlock! Black people could have told you that because no matter how hard we work, no matter how educated we are, we are faced with the prospect that people like yourself can and will shoot past us simply because of systemic racism.

Let me back up one minute. Click here and scroll down to where it says “Leadership” and see all the white faces that run the show over there.

Am I saying she’s not qualified for her position? Not necessarily. But what I know is that a Black person can’t be out of a job for 6 months without interviewers behaving as if all the knowledge they previously acquired has leaked from their ear and evaporated, thus disqualifying them from the position. What I know is that for all the articles I’ve seen on LinkedIn about not staying in a position for too long because you risk becoming stale and unattractive to future employers, every Black person I know who has tried this is believed to be a “job-hopper” by white interviewers and passed over.

So I guess these employment hacks, like “leaning in” and bouncing every 10 months only work for white people; the men first, and then the women.

I watched this video where Deanna Mulligan talks about her “unorthodox” rise. It’s only two minutes but you’ll hear the delusion I’m mentioning in this blog post. “Find your passion,” “be yourself” (since when has being yourself EVER worked for Black women outside of rap?), “hard work” (Black women are and have always been the hardest working people on the planet – we have no choice).

In that video, the claim is made that she mentors women. I wonder how many of her mentees are Black.

To the people who’ll say she probably had good connections, I’ll offer this: because Black people are often boxed out of the positions that qualify someone to be a “good connection,” we’re back at square one. The fact is that white people are in a position to close ranks at whim and if they want to hire the mediocre son of a golfing buddy over the brilliant Black MBA, that’s what they do (which is why I don’t listen to white people who claim Black people want a handout when they are the original makers and takers of handouts).

 

By the way, by the time I post this, I would have written an e-mail to corporate headquarters asking why every single person listed under the “Leadership” heading on Guardian Life Insurance’s website is white. Deanna Mulligan is the CEO and the other woman is head of Human Resources and well, we all know about white women being in charge of Human Resources.

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The Wayward Daughter On Religion- Pt. 2: Meeting The Aunt We Never Knew

To my Aunt Jacqueline: thank you and may we redeem the time.

Earlier this week on Facebook, I shared a status of a mother delivering stillborn twins. Based on the caption, I got the impression that the parents knew their children would be stillborn but still wanted to have birthing photographs done because, in their words, “stillbirth is still birth.” When I shared it, I accompanied it with the customary trigger warnings and a brief family history. My mother is the only living girl of my grandmother’s 8 pregnancies. The reason for that is because my grandmother was carrying another girl that died in utero. My grandparents knew that she would be born deceased. My grandmother, due to convention at the time, carried her until her body naturally went into the labor process.

I shared the status and moved on with my day. If you read my original blog on religion, you’ll recall that part of my journey has been acknowledging and honoring my ancestors. It is an African tradition and if you think about it, it makes natural sense to stay connected to the people who are responsible for where you are today; though they no longer inhabit a fleshly vessel.

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As I was going through my normal practice of communing with them, I started to think back on the post I shared earlier that morning. Never having heard a more obvious voice, “She is an ancestor, too” boomed. The “she” is the stillborn baby girl that my grandmother carried. All at once, I started bawling. You see, I’m the only girl grandchild of 6 grandchildren. I always wanted a sister; an older one. I don’t have one. I always wanted a blood aunt. I don’t have one…or I should say that I lived my life without one. I immediately texted the woman who is like my sister, NegraWithTumbao, with my “revelation.”

We talked about it and she gave me the idea to give my aunt a name. And after that, my spiritual imagination awakened. I feel I know how she would have looked, which foods she would have liked, how she would have lived. I imagine that she would have had the gift of sight and that’s what would have bonded us. I know she would have loved me and I know I would have been able to tell her anything in the strictest of confidence and she’d always honor that.

The most perfect part of this is that she used a FB post that highlighted her own experience to remind me that she’s here. If I know nothing else, it’s that when your eggun or the universe or the deity you serve wants to get a message to you, anything is up for use.

Spiritual awakenings are interesting in that they usually come after great loss. Mine did. But, the magnificence of loss is that when you pay attention, you realize that everything you lost is being replaced with something greater right before your eyes. Most times, we’re too consumed with worry to notice it right away but in the stillness, even if it’s a baby who leaves before they come, your eyes are opened and you become cognizant that you’ve gained so much more than you lost. I lost a husband and in return, I gained a sister. I lost a job and in return, I gained the opportunity to make money using my gift and doing what I love to do. I also gained the aunt that I always lamented not having.

It doesn’t matter if your eggun lived 80 minutes or 80 years, they each have something to offer you, and their love, the thing that never dies, will still do its perfect work.

 

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Advocacy: One of the Many Things That’s Nobody Else’s Business

We’ve probably all seen it. A post or meme telling us that we’re not really pro-(fill in the blank) if we don’t advocate for any number of groups that we likely aren’t a part of. The authors of these posts and memes wag their fingers at us and tell us, “If you only support _________, but don’t support _____, _____, _____, ____, ______, and _____, then you’re not really supportive at all!!!”

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Well, I call bullshit.

Who a person decides to lend their support or advocacy to is their business. Further, it doesn’t take away from their character or level of compassion or charity.

As a Black woman, I do enough emotional labor. I won’t be guilted, shamed, or forced to add every groups’ problems to my plate.

Black people are good about (rightfully) being upset when other minority groups expect us to do labor on their behalf in the fight for justice. We think about how we fought before, during and after the Civil Rights era while other groups reaped the real benefits of our hard work (hello, white women), and we are dismayed that anyone would dare part their lips (or open their laptop) to demand we do even more.

Well, that’s how I feel about being a Black woman and Black womanhood. For centuries we have stood alone delivering everyone else out of their muck and mire. We have written, orated, fought, protested, and everything else for everybody else; no matter how dreadfully they may have treated us (hello…well, everybody).

We advocate, argue with, blizzock friends over them not supporting other oppressed groups that never sever ties with their friends who don’t support us. We put ourselves in harm’s way to champion people who do not reciprocate on the same level (hello, black men). We even rationalize the bad behavior of other groups just to justify continuing to advocate for them.

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To this day, nobody can explain how a movement largely predicated on men being violent (in bathrooms, no less) has anything to do with women’s failure. Are we supposed to be bodyguards and jump in front of flying fists meant for someone else? If men are causing your problem, deal with THEM. Meanwhile, people with dicks have ALWAYS been a problem for women.

Then, we get the blame when those groups don’t quite advance like they think they should have (though they manage to get more consideration that we do); even when it actually has nothing to do with us.

So when someone dares to declare that I have to throw myself into the embers again for every whimsical cause or neglected demographic that pops up or I’m not “real” or “pro-Black” or “pro” anything else, my first inclination is to tell them to shut the fuck up.

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I mean…G-d is a Black woman so I don’t feel a need to stand in Her way by marching and arguing with people online in the name of “social justice” over someone who expressed views like this about Her image.

This is normally the place where I’d go into all of these stats and post hyperlinks to report upon report proving the trials that Black women and girls face. But, I’m not going to do that. I’ve done it in other posts and frankly, my desire to justify my perspective on this particular matter is spectacularly low. Needless to say, the information is out there for anybody who cares to look for it.

These people already know that though. They already know that nobody advocates against Black women’s own interest more than Black women. But, guilting Black women into doing more labor than their fair share is and has always been the “in thing” to do.

The funny part (cause there’s ALWAYS a funny part) is that these same people will boldly tell you that it’s not your business what they spend their money on when they post their multiple GFM links on your timeline. They’ll tell you who they choose to sleep with is their business while simultaneously telling you that if you are just as choosy about who you date/sleep with, you’re -phobic or -ist.

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The upshot is this: I wish people no harm regardless of their stripe. I hope people find their way. I hope people find the support, love, and total health that they need. I’m just not going to be the one helping aaaaallllll those people do it. I advocate for Black women and girls; straight or lesbian. Dassit!

Not only is that my right, it’s my business.

 

 

Have Mercy: The Wayward Daughter On Religion

The last almost two years have involved monumental change for me. What I thought would kill me, made me stronger. I got the opportunity to practice self-care by walking away from things and people that were no longer good for me. A door opened to allow me the chance to get paid doing what I love. I gained the older sister I always wanted but never had. Best of all, I experienced a spiritual awakening that I needed but never knew I did.

I’m like many people. I grew up being taken to worship services every week. I went through the rituals and practices by rote. I didn’t choose it. It was chosen for me from the cradle. Many of the other people knew me before I knew myself. They also knew my parents before my parents knew that I was on the way. It was tradition. It was formulaic. It was choreographed almost perfectly. I knew exactly when to stand, sit, and bow my head. I knew what to do if I messed up. Even the prayers, what was supposed to be intimate communication with the Creator of the universe, were mechanical.

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But, this new season required a new perspective on how I tended to my spirit. I told you that my previous spiritual practice was like many people. Now, I’m going to do what many of that many do not do – tell the truth. After decades, I found that I really got nothing out of it. There were lots of platitudes and control by fear. But there was never the connection that I needed. On top of that, as someone with anxiety, telling me that “God” could say “yes, no, or wait” was never a sufficient explanation for unanswered prayer.

I was blessed, however, in that my soul sister really did open me up to that which has fed my soul. She is a santera in the Lukumi tradition. It is the practice of honoring and communing with one’s ancestors as well as reverencing the Orishas, African deities. It’s been less than 6 months but in those 6 months, I’ve learned a lot. Even more important, I’ve encountered what I was told I was supposed to experience for decades in the belief system I was “born into.” Here are the first five experiences so far in my journey.

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1. New found confidence. One of the hallmarks of my day is communing with my ancestors; called eggun. These aren’t just the ancestors that I know, but those going all the way back to the beginning of the bloodline from which I came. I’ve experienced a different level of confidence knowing that even though they no longer live in this realm, they yet live and are acting as guides and protectors. They have my back, which is something you can hardly get from the people you see every day. Further, having recently lost very close relatives (2015 and 2017, respectively), knowing that the love they had for me did not die with their physical bodies but is still being showered upon me every day is a comfort like none other.

2. Freedom from guilt. Instead of what many call “being convicted,” I receive guidance. I no longer walk around thinking about if what I did or said was wrong. I don’t have to wonder if something happened as divine retribution for something I did, said, or thought three days, months, or years prior. I don’t feel guilty when I experience real and valid feelings about people or situations. There is no scolding; just redirection.

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3. Validation of my intuition. To piggyback off of #2, I’ve received much validation of my gift of intuition. My intuition took a beating during my rough patches. I stopped being able to trust the dreams and intuition that I had been experiencing since I was a young child. As it has recovered, one of the things that is happening in the natural world is that I’m constantly receiving signs that I was not crazy. I was not wrong. Those people that I haven’t particularly liked and people said it was wrong to feel that way? I’ve received proof that I was right to distance myself from those persons. Those opportunities that I turned down or walked away from that people said I shouldn’t have? My eggun is allowing me to see where I was indeed right to leave. Those people who were malicious, or who I suspected were jealous, or envious or had some other bad intention for me? Their ability to hide is now impossible. The best part of this is that there is no finger wagging about how I’m supposed to love everybody because God does. There is no inner pressure to forgive those who are not worthy of it lest God not forgive me. There is no admonition to put on a phony smile. There is complete validation of who I am and who and what is best for me and my spirit.

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4. Answers. I don’t just mean answered prayer. I mean real-time answers to real questions. I’m no longer sitting around wondering if what’s in my head is the real answer or if, in fact, I’m going to play the “Yes, No, Wait” game again. This has saved me literally hours of futile searching, kvetching, and worrying in reference to the most pressings things in my life. My eggun haven’t been wrong yet and something tells me they never will be. There has not yet been a need for me to convince myself that my confusion or curiosity is a part of the “mysterious ways” of the Creator.

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5. Kinship. This is arguably the most important part. Anyone who has studied the Bible will know the anecdote of when a pregnant Mary met up with the pregnant Elisheba (Elizabeth), mother of John The Baptist; the man who would grow to baptize Jesus. In this story, when the two pregnant women met up, Elisheba’s womb leapt. The meaning of the anecdote, or so it has been taught, is to note that even before birth, Jesus and John The Baptist knew that they would have a special relationship. I can relate. When I am communing with my eggun, my spirit bears witness. When I am petitioning Oshun, I feel it. The other night when it stormed and I was awakened and immediately began to petition Oya, I knew it wasn’t in vain. I said to my sister today that I feel that your spiritual beliefs should be as habituated to your spirit as your ear is to your mother’s voice. You don’t have to see your mother to know it’s her speaking. You know your mother.

AsheI’m not preaching and I don’t need anybody to preach to me. I can only relay what I’ve experienced and I can say that I feel freer now than I ever have before.

 Ashe

 

 

Don’t Give Broke People Rides: Wisdom That Has Not Failed Me Yet

***Disclaimer: when the Wayward Daughter was 20, she was a lot more tender-hearted. The events in this blog with today’s Wayward Daughter would have never happened because…I don’t give broke people rides.

When I was about 20, I had a friend. I had a car. She didn’t. One day, she asked me to take her to the grocery store. “Sure!” I was an enthusiastic 20yo who hadn’t figured out that most people are annoying and should be avoided at all costs. I didn’t mind taking her to the store because being 20, away at college, and having my own car was the bomb dot com. Plus, at 20, I was too stupid to know that driving sucks and the quicker you can get home and stay there, the better.

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We set off to the store. Once she got what she needed, she got back in the car and asked if I minded a “quick stop” to her cousin’s house to pick up “something.” The cousin just lived about “5 minutes away.” No prob, Bob! Off we went to the cousin’s house. My friend was the GPS. Next thing I know, we were getting on the highway. Um…that ain’t 5 minutes away.

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Finally, we arrive at her cousin’s house where she goes inside while I sit outside the house waiting for her to retrieve her “something” and come back out. Well, 20 minutes later, she re-emerged…with the cousin in tow. Apparently, he needed to “run up to 7-11 real quick” for some soda or something and wanted to know if I minded taking him. “Um, yeah,” I said through my teeth. The cousin was a little…street…so I decided it was best to play it cool. Take him to run his quick errand, drop him back off, and get the fuck out of there.

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We get to the 7-11 where, apparently, the cousin knows every single person who works there, hangs out outside of there, used to work there, and thinks it his duty to greet and chat with them all. A quick “run up” turned into a good 45 minutes because, “no, you can’t smoke in my car” and if that’s the case, “Imma’ smoke one out here real quick before we leave.”

Finally, we make it back to the cousin’s house where his two friends are waiting on him. He gets out, I start up the engine (remember, I was 20 and knew not the wiles of hood living; otherwise, I’d never have shut off the engine and given myself whiplash booking the fuck out of there as soon as his 2nd shoe hit the ground; I could count on physics to shut the door) as he was walking up the walkway. I put the car in gear just as my friend yells, “Hold on! He’s asking me something.” Yeah…he was asking her for another favor. He was asking the person who did not own and was not driving the car for another favor.

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This time, it was a trip to WalMart to get something for his mama. His friends start walking towards the car because apparently, their mamas needed shit too. They all hop in my backseat. I have to repeat my “no smoking” warning and one of the little pissants decides that just rolling down the window and propping his cigarette-holding arm on the door is the same as “no smoking.”

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By this time, I was fuming on the inside. Maybe an hour later, we get back to the cousin’s house where I stopped him mid-sentence while trying to ask me to cart him and his friends to a party further across town. Absolutely not! It was dark. I didn’t go to college in my hometown; not even my home state. This nonsense had begun at around 3pm that day and we were bordering on 7pm. I was pissed, tired, and HANGRY!!!

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I sped back to the campus, dropped my friend off, went to my dorm and never spoke to her again.

By the way, I received no gas money for any of these “errands” I helped people complete.

All that because I was being nice and taking my friend to the store.

From that day on, I decided that I would never again give broke people rides. You see, we know a few things to be true:

  1. Broke people are broke. If you aren’t broke or less broke, you probably have more than they do; or at the least, you likely have something they need.
  2. Broke people know how to survive.
  3. Survivors survive by using (operative word) anything at their disposal to get what they need and they don’t really give a damn if they have to go rogue, or in this case, rabidly impolite and shameless to get it.

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See, my friend had needed to go get “something” from her cousin’s house probably all week. I’m sure her cousin and his friends could have been gone to WalMart for their mamas if there was a true need. But, nobody had a car. By virtue of me being a car owner, I was a target from jump. Could the cousin have walked to the 7-11? Of course. I’m sure he had many times before. I’m sure that they’d all taken the bus to WalMart and wherever else they had to go hundreds of times. But when the opportunity arose to more easily get their needs met, they took advantage (operative phrase) of it.

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They didn’t care that I may have had other shit to do (I didn’t). They didn’t care that I may think them classless individuals who needed to take a course in etiquette (I did…and still do). They didn’t care if the gas they used up was the last gas I had for another week (it wasn’t). All they cared about was themselves. I wasn’t a person. I was a device for them to use for as long as they could.

And there it is. My rule against giving broke people rides has nothing to do with elitism or classism. It has nothing to do with thinking I’m better or above anyone. It’s about the fact that we all need to practice rogue self-preservation like the 5 individuals I was unfortunate to encounter that day.

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Since that day, I have been very selective of to whom I give a ride – in the name of self-preservation, of course.

 

 

 

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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?

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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.

 

 

 

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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.