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.

 

 

Why I Hate The Internet: The Game (rapper) and His Wayward Fingers

Technology has been a blessing. We can do things now that we couldn’t do 5, 10, and 15 years ago. One of those things is wide access to the internet and social media. For all its good, though, one of the worst things about these advances is that anybody can post anything no matter how wrong it is and they’ll have an audience that believes they’re right and agrees with them. Now, that may seem like a strange thing to say coming from a blogger, but it’s simply the truth. I mean, I get on here and talk shit all the time. Love it, hate it. It is what it is.

But what I cannot…will not let slide are statements like that in the following screenshot made by famous rapper The Game (government name, Jayceon Taylor):

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Of course, my first reaction was something along the lines of, “If he doesn’t shut the fuck up right now..!” My second reaction was something snarky like, “They don’t think past Friday, so why would they plan for next Thursday?!” My last reaction, the one that matters, was to point out the lack of fact of his statement.

Let’s back up though and analyze the post for what it is. It’s steeped in a type of misogynoir that overlooks the harm perpetrated against Black women and girls by Black men. It overlooks the violence perpetrated by Black women and girls by non-Black men. It’s the kind of misogynoir that has allowed the Chicago illiterate who shall not be named to continually violate Black women and girls and go unchecked for well over two decades. Similar to the racists who claim Black people have it “easy” because of food stamps, it seeks to give credence to a self-made plight by pretending that Black women have no plight whatsoever.

Now that that’s out of the way, I want to take some time to school Mr. Taylor. According to the Violence Policy Center citing numbers from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as of 2016, Black women were nearly always murdered by someone that they know and usually with a gun.

The study goes on to say this: Compared to a black male, a black female is far more likely to be killed by her spouse, an intimate acquaintance, or a family member than by a stranger. Where the relationship could be determined, 91 percent of black females killed by males in single victim/single offender incidents knew their killers. Of the black victims who knew their offenders, 58 percent were wives, common-law wives, ex-wives, or girlfriends of the offenders. More than 10 times as many black females were murdered by a male they knew than were killed by male strangers.”

Further, an 18-year perusal by the CDC of 18 states found that while the nationwide rate of female homicide was 2 per 100,000, for Black women, it was 4.4 per 100,000.

And we may as well talk about sexual violence, too. Black women are disproportionately prone to being victims of sexual violence.

What’s telling is that one of the risk factors for sexual violence against women is a sense of hostility towards women. The Game is in an industry known for every third word being a pejorative for women (Black women, in particular) like, “bitch” or “hoe.”

One of the community risk factors for violence against women is the tolerance of sexual violence. I just finished pointing out that “the community” allowed the Pied Piper of Pedophilia run roughshod over Black women and girls for over two decades (closer to 3, really).

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I hate to break it to The Game and all the other Black men who think Black women are walking around doing Irish clicks over puddles like Fred Astaire, totally secure, but we are probably more at danger than you are. I’ll tell you why very shortly.

But, while we’re here (insert sarcastic smirk), let’s talk about this violence that renders you all unable to make plans a week away. That violence? Yeah, that violence is perpetuated by you all as well. I’m certain I don’t need to say any more on that.

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So to recap: y’all kill us (and our children). Y’all kill each other. Do Black women a favor and stop trying to drag us into what is clearly your own maladaptive pathology. If you can’t make plans for next Thursday, look to your left and your right while you’re in the studio laying phat beats, (or, you know, a mirror), and you’ll see the reasons why.

 

True BWE: Rejecting The Need To Seem Perfect

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why did I know I would make it?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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On My Divestment From #BlackLove

I’m done with Black men romantically.

I sat staring at a blank Word document for several minutes while skipping through Pandora songs and trying to figure out how I wanted to start this piece. A friend of mine suggested, “Black love is an oxymoron,” and although I agree, I didn’t necessarily want to start with that. Then, it occurred to me that the easiest way to say something is just to say it.

Warning

Before I get into the guts of this entry, I want to make a few disclaimers.

No, this has nothing to do with my divorce. Many of my friends can attest to the fact that for at least the last three years, I’ve said that if I ever ended up single again, I wouldn’t consider re-marrying to a Black man.

No, you’re not going to hear some hood tale about how I have 10 half- brothers and half-sisters all across the metropolitan area that I’ve never met or that I grew up with absolutely no male presence and therefore have some Black man-sized hole in my heart.

Thirdly, I know that not every single Black man on the planet is a completely undateable, low-achieving, unchivalrous, pathological liar/cheater with babies all over the place. So there’s absolutely no need to respond to this post with any variation of “not all” unless you’re trying to convince yourself of that. In which case, stand in front of your bathroom mirror and say it 100 times until you believe it, it has worked its way out of your system, or Bloody Mary shows up and takes you away.

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Fourthly, I know that there are men of all races who consistently show us they ain’t shit. No need to remind me of that either.

Lastly, I suggest you read the hyperlinks and screenshots that are placed throughout this entry before you kneejerk yourself into arthroscopic surgery.

Now that that’s out of the way, some background. My grandfather died in 2015. It wasn’t sudden but of all the men I knew, Black men in particular, I considered him a great example of manhood. He had one wife, my grandmother. His ONLY children were by the woman he married, my grandmother. He worked and made sure they had a roof over their head, food in the refrigerator, transportation, and made sure the utilities stayed active. He had very little vices and didn’t throw his money away. I never grew up with stories about how he was a rolling stone and I may have three other uncles and an aunt on the other side of town somewhere. He had a lot of dignity. He had a lot of honor. He was respectable.

I was well into my marriage when I realized that, as far as Black men go, that kind of excellence, en masse, would be seen no more. Was it the profusion of webpages, YouTube channels, Facebook statuses and Tweets from Black men verbally abusing, advocating for the harm or murder of, and otherwise being wretched towards Black women? Was it #theothers that Black men used to express their desire to only date non-Black or half-Black women because they were more (fill in the blank because to be quite honest, after a few conversations about it, I’m still not sure what the fuck they were getting at)?

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Thankfully, Bougie Black Girl fixed this meme. But read between the red. Brought to you by the “brothers.”

Perhaps it was the graphics and hood “artwork” that insisted that Black women are unsupportive of Black men even though every time one of them gets molly whopped by the police, it is overwhelmingly Black women who organize, march and even go to jail for them while Black men scoffed and ridiculed Sandra Bland who was brutalized and eventually lost her life for actually no reason (yeah, I went there). Or was it when any positive press about Black women and our accomplishments was released, there always managed to be a least 10 Black men in the comments noting that “just because” we achieved what they haven’t, that “doesn’t make” us valuable…to them? Was it the countless videos of Black men harassing Black women or watching their brethren harass and harm Black women and standing idly by laughing?

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Spoken like someone who only has penis to offer. Lucky for him, he has plenty of company. If a woman getting an education and a career endangers and emasculates you, you’re already sunk.

Maybe it was Black men dehumanizing us because of our hair, skin tone, physical shape, make-up choices, clothing choices, etc…and telling us no other man would want us but them (aka emotional and verbal abuse); then when we start to date white or other men, calling us “Negro bed wenches” who were being used by the white man like back during slavery while Black men dive headlong into every non-Black vagina that’s open for business. Perchance, it’s because they are the only men I’ve seen call a woman a “gold-digging hoe” because she expects the man to pay for dates (yet, they never make enough money to have sterling silver, let alone gold, to dig). Let’s not forget their desire for June Cleaver without even the wherewithal to be Ward.

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This comment was made in reference to SERENA WILLIAMS after she became engaged to Alexis Ohanian. Notice how he refers to her as a “that.”

Maybe it was the fact that in the last five quarters, I know at least six Black women in my age group (not including myself) who have divorced due to their husbands cheating, lying, disappearing, engaging in financial fuckery, being “on the DL,” or plainly being emotionally unavailable assholes.

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Brought to you by the illustrious Tariq Nasheed.

 

Conceivably, it’s because they regularly shrug off the rates of child molestation amongst Black girls by Black men or call the little girls liars or insist that the little girls purposely “entice” men to violate them. They do the same with intimate partner violence rates among Black women.

 

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“greater good” = keep him out of jail because the white man is already mean enough to him.

 

It could be because they seem to be the only men who are old enough to shave every day but think the women of their ethnic group are the ones responsible to clothe, feed, house, ride AND die, and freedom fight for them plus procreate, raise their children and go half on bills. It may be because they are the only group of men I’ve ever heard talk about having multiple simultaneous sexual relationships with women as if that’s not pathological behavior. Or, it’s because they are the only group of men I’ve seen collectively blame everything they didn’t manage to accomplish on the women of their own ethnic group or white men.

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A post in reference to the fact that both Nina Simone and Zoe Saldana, who played Nina Simone in a movie, dated/married white men. #negrobedwench….apparently

I can’t point to one specific thing, but I know that I do not believe in #BlackLove anymore. Several empirical studies have been done on Black relationships and they all point to one major conclusion: outside of making more Black people, there is no real benefit for Black women to couple with Black men. I think this is a simple cost-benefit analysis. In other words, are they worth the effort it takes to try build a viable relationship with them? You can answer that question for yourself but remember when I said to read the hyperlinks.

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They weren’t even dating but how dare an accomplished BW share space with a non-Black man!

Over and over again, Black men have failed to establish a standard of care for the women who birth them, feed them, house them, bail them out of jail, work 2+ jobs to materially support them, birth and raise their children, and the biggest of all: forgive them and remain loyal to them, even foolishly so, to the end. As a Black woman, I’ve developed friendships with several other Black women and the consensus is that, when in a relationship with a Black man, a significant amount of time is spent waiting for the other shoe to drop. Even the older Black women who chose, for whatever reason, to stay with their Black men will often express that they can’t and don’t trust him because of his history.

A couple of years back, Black men said that “white girls are winning” as a way to taunt Black women. It turns out that white girls are winning because they aren’t messing with Black men at the same rates as Black women are.

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Being the swami that I am, I already know all the rebuttals.

“Where are these men you are meeting?” In your state, city, and living room, sir.

“I don’t know any men like that.” You’re lying, sir. As a matter of fact, you’re probably one of the “men like that.”

Cue Iyanla

“You’re choosing the wrong men.” Well, sir, given the male penchant for, um, impersonation, that may have merit. It also has merit when you’re ranting on Iyanla about how some Black woman 15 years ago didn’t return your phone call and therefore you needed a life coach to fix yo’ life on national television. But you want to guess what all the men that were “chosen” have in common, sir? Basically, when Black women choose better men…I’m sure you can figure that one out for yourself, sir. 

The thing is, I’ve dated the spectrum. College-educated, blue-collar, white-collar, American, non-American; it doesn’t seem to matter at all. How far down into a pile of maggots is one to dig to locate the grain of rice?

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“It’s because of systemic racism that we, Black men, can’t get ahead.” Sir, we are Black and women. Double whammy. Yet, somehow, we manage to push forward without being complete terrors to our communities and pick up everybody’s slack in the process. Why the men, the KANGZ, who demand unquestioning submission and a permanent smile can’t do the same, I don’t know.

“It goes both ways.” Sir, I’ll just let one of my Facebook friends answer this one for you:

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This blog has become past brief but before I hop off, I want to share an anecdote. Saturday night, I was scheduled to meet with three male friends to conduct some business. I was the first to arrive. When I pulled up to the building, there were probably 8 Black men standing around outside. Most of them were smoking and they were talking to each other. I instantly froze up. When I was in undergrad, I had a friend (Black) who said she was afraid of Black men. At the time, I thought she was weird. But age and experience….Anyway, I waited in my car until two of my male friends pulled up so that I wouldn’t have to directly interact with the men who were standing around outside. This was probably the clearest portent that finalized my decision. The thought that I automatically expected the worst behavior from them unto fear, was my confirmation that I’ve made the right choice for myself.

Those of you reading are free to do what you want to do but I’ve never been a gambler, and if I have to play, I’m going to play to win.

 

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Chad Over Becky Any Day: Workplace Becky & Why White Women Actually Are The Worst

Picture this: a young Black woman starting her career in government. In her immediate office, there are two other women who seem to be friends. The Black woman is nothing but professional. She comes to work on time, dressed appropriately, puts her head down and does her work. One of the other women finds out that the young Black woman, besides clearly being intelligent on her own, is college-educated and secure. They invite the young Black woman to lunch for pizza and she declines. One of the women tells her friend, the other woman, about the young Black woman’s impeccable background and that begins a reign of office terror. The women begin spreading rumors about the young Black woman. They begin tracking her every move. The young Black woman can’t sneeze without it getting back to the manager within the hour. The young Black woman is called into the manager’s office to address false allegations. When the Black woman provides proof that the allegations are false, she is sent back to her office without so much as a “mea culpa.” The reign, however, does not stop and eventually, the manager moves the Black woman to three other offices since she, “can’t get along” with anybody. The rub is, all the young Black woman has done was come to work, work, and go home.

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Dig, if you will, a Black woman in the middle of her career. She is educated. She is quiet and always has been. She goes to work for a mid-sized accounting firm. Her work product is beyond reproach. She shows up early and often leaves late. She even shows interest in the little irrelevant moments of their life like recitals and shit. Three months in though, it starts. One of the women starts to tell her boss that the Black woman is behind on her work. When the boss comes to her office and questions her about it, the Black woman is able to produce every file and every piece of work that the co-worker told the boss she hadn’t done. The boss is satisfied. Seeing that the Black woman didn’t get in trouble, the woman then raises “concerns” about the Black woman’s demeanor and whether or not she’s a fit for the company. After weeks of this, the Black woman is unhappy and starting to apply at other firms.

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Since bad things come in threes, a Black woman who has worked at her company for almost a decade in B2B sales, and exceeds her target every month is constantly harassed by her female boss. One month, it’s the female boss “forgetting” to correctly tabulate a large chunk of the Black woman’s sales. The next month, it’s the female boss fraudulently taking credit for the Black woman’s work; a matter that ended up having to be escalated to her boss’s boss. The month after that, it’s the Black woman being reprimanded for losing a client based on bad information that her female boss gave the client in an after-hours venue where the Black woman wasn’t even present.

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What do all these stories have to do with each other, you ask? Well, first of all, they’re all true.

But more importantly, in all three stories, the lying, conniving, insecure, envious female co-workers were white bitches.

Ask 95% of Black women who are or were of working age and they will be able to tell you at least three stories a piece about how a Workplace Becky tried to sabotage them at some point in their career. There is a clear pattern and it all adds up to white women being the worst.

I know Black men have an issue with white men but as a Black woman, my worst work experiences by far have come at the hands of Workplace Beckies. I thought about this most recently a couple of days ago after reading yet another tale of a Black woman just trying to live her life, work, and support herself and being administratively bullied by the Workplace Becky du jour in her office.

What is their fascination with Black women that makes them want to emulate us while simultaneously hating us? I have a few theories:

  • Awareness of their own mediocrity. Usually, in situations like the ones I’ve described, the Black woman in the office is smarter, better educated, more competent at the job, and has more life-long potential than Workplace Becky. Workplace Becky should never have been hired in the first place but you know, white privilege and all….When you know you have no business being where you are, you can’t help but act like an emotionally rabid dog towards the people who are sure to pass you up. If you can get the more excellent out, the pressure is off. White women have gotten by for centuries bringing little to nothing to the table but somehow are on that same pedestal that systemic racism put them on centuries ago. The thing is, they know they don’t deserve it. Basically, you can think you’re cute until you have to go and stand by Naomi Campbell, figuratively, of course.2cf27de1f1ef3ef5a83bb44e4f4cdc0c--annie-lee-ego-tripping
  • Jealousy/Envy. It’s been said that women are naturally jealousy of other women. That claim may have some merit. But when you mix racism with jealousy, that makes for a helluva drink. White women, where Black women are concerned, tend to unleash a special brand of treachery when a Black woman is stuntin’ on them in any area of life. Maybe it’s the fact that we have lips to actually apply lipstick to. Maybe it’s because we can change our hair every single day if we want. Maybe it’s because, in the words of Nikki Giovanni, we are so hip that even our errors are correct. Who knows? But workplace Becky seems to be pressed like ham about it.no butt
  • Feminism. More like white feminism. Another theory I’ve kicked around (because theorizing is another talent that Becky can hate me for), is that white women sat under the thumb of white men for so long that they need to control (read, fuck up) somebody else’s life. Who’s the easiest target of their bunco (look it up)? They know the corporate structure and systemic racism and sexism are not going to let them screw Chad over without question. They also know that Black men have an intra-community safety net and someone will come to his defense. But Black women….the double whammy. We have no friends so that makes us easy targets. White women, in the name of deranged feminism, will stick together no matter how wrong they are. What I didn’t tell you is that in every one of those stories, the bosses and managers who dangled the Black women’s jobs over their head based on nothing more than hearsay were also white women. You see how that works?

As I’ve grown older, I now fully understand what my mother and her mother and Black mothers and grandmothers everywhere meant when they would say that white women are dangerous. Them lying and getting someone’s Black child lynched or thrown in prison is just the tip of the iceberg. Their bullshit has infiltrated every place you can imagine and for Black women, who are most often heads of household or the ones called on to care for sick elderly relatives or other children; who go to college and rack up student debt in hopes to get an education good enough to put them in places where they can not only support their livelihood but effect change, the workplace is one of many precarious places for us to be because of Workplace Becky.

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But what makes them dangerous is not only that they have it in them to behave this way, but that they are using the systemic racism this country operates in to get away with it. When are the (mostly white) men in the C-Suites going to check Workplace Becky? When is the white female boss (who was a diversity hire) going to use her brain and break rank when Workplace Becky decides it’s her job to be the hall monitor of Black women colleagues? When are people other than Workplace Becky’s targets going to tell Workplace Becky to sit the fuck down or take a pink slip? Probably never. And that’s why she keeps doing it.

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People laud Black women for being the newest crop of blossoming business owners but did anybody ever stop to ask why? Maybe, on top of the normal reasons that most people become entrepreneurs, we’re sick of having to play office politics with Workplace Becky who operates like Mommie Dearest the minute she feels threatened by us simply breathing in the same space. Perhaps, we’re tired of everybody else’s resting face just being their resting face but our resting face = “angry,” “aggressive,” “not a team player,” “not a good fit” when Workplace Becky doesn’t get the worship she wants from us. *shrug* Just a thought.

I know white men feel like these days they are getting a lot of heat; and to be honest, they deserve a lot of it. But, I’ll take Chad over Becky any day of the week.

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His Fans: The People I Hate As Much As R. Kelly

It’s been a few weeks and I’ve had many changes in my life. While so much has changed, so much has stayed the same.

Tyrese is still every bit the fuckass that those of us with common sense always believed him to be.

Even more prominent men have been exposed for being sexual degenerates.

Donald Trump is still inexplicably the POTUS, thus continuing the hope of every less than mediocre white man that they too can slink into places they don’t actually belong.

But alas, dear readers, I have some good news.

  1. R. Kelly, the HOIC (Head Ogre In Charge), got both of his homes broken into and all his prized possessions stolen.

In the words of Shirley Ceasar, hold my mule whilst I dance a jig of glee….

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Let me back up. I don’t really spend too much time talking about Robert Kelly but I’ll go on the record with a few things:

  1. I believe he’s guilty of everything he’s been accused of in terms of his sexually predatory behavior towards young Black girls.
  2. I believe he’s guilty of everything he’s been recently accused of in terms of holding “adult” women hostage as “sex slaves” of some sort.
  3. I think he’s trash.
  4. I have not listened to one of his songs in IDK how long and have considered writing the major music streaming services to offer the option to opt-out of hearing him at all because he’s not even worth a “skip.”
  5. If you can honestly listen to his music or go to his concerts with a clear conscience, something is wrong with you and, to be quite honest, you’re part of the problem in the Black community where our girls are victimized but we don’t hold these lecherous grown ass nasty men accountable.

 

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With that said, let’s talk about number 5. I often ask myself if the people who continue to support him realize that they are in league with, but a bit worse than, the people who throw a BBQ for the cousin who comes home from prison after his fourth strike but couldn’t show up for their other cousin’s graduation.

The way I see it, writing songs takes inspiration. What sick and demented fantasies do you think inspired R. Kelly, the reigning king of sex songs who has an affinity towards young girls?

In that vein, what the fuck is wrong with you who still listen and patronize his shit that you can rock, bop, and screw to the songs of someone who has a sexual perversion that revolves around children?

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In our community, we love to give predators a pass. It doesn’t matter if it’s R. Kelly or Uncle So-And-So, we find a way to either sweep it under the rug or worse, blame their victims for being “fast.” The innawebs are RIPE with men who swear fo’ gawd that little 14-year-old children not only visually entice them (on purpose, of course), but physically approach and throw themselves at grown men “all the time.”

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As a former 14-year-old girl, I can say without a doubt that every one of those mutha’ fukkas are lying through their teeth. When I was 14 and males grown enough to have facial hair and a day job instead of sitting next to me in Algebra II catcalled or followed me, I was creeped the fuck out; not flattered.

When I was about 9 and waiting for my mom to finish getting something gift-wrapped at Sears, and a man sat next to me and asked me if I was ticklish, I wished the gift-wrapping agent would suddenly develop warp speed. I did not feel complimented and if I remember myself at 9, I probably had on my private school jumper and oxford shoes. I’m thankful to this day that I told that (likely) child molester that I was not, indeed, ticklish.

But let’s pretend these bitch ass child molestation sympathizers on the web aren’t lying. Let’s pretend that they do, indeed, live in a real-life version of some Lifetime movie where the teen babysitter tries to have sex with the 40-year-old husband. Where is the maturity and responsibility of adulthood? You aren’t 12 and she, the CHILD, isn’t the jar of candy your mom told you not to touch. Of course, I’m not a pedophile so maybe my brain just functions differently, but it seems to me that if I were approached by someone who is young enough for me to have babysat them at some point, I’d tell them to go home and study for their history test.

I sit and read and watch people in our community make excuses for all manner criminality and play mental gymnastics as to why some dude who would sooner knife you for the $10 in your purse, (turns out, they may not only knife you, but want to rape your child too), didn’t deserve to get molly whopped by the police but then twist their fingers to type a badly-spelled diatribe about why a 13-year-old deserves to at least share the blame for being violated by someone who probably has kids her age.

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At this point, I think it’s a hopeless proposition to expect our community to ever care about Black girls and women. As far as R. Kelly is concerned, I await the day a white girl or white woman comes out against him so that maybe he’ll see a few days in the clink….or his maker (because white men are good about setting a standard of care for their women and making people pay who dishonor them).

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I Won’t See Ya’ Later: The Importance of Mental Divestment

It’s fall now (well, for most people. I live in Texas and it was 90 today but kudos to the rest of the country). I like fall. I like the fall lines of most of the major nail polish companies. I like the full sweaters with creative necklines and corduroy pants. I like the non-white cups at Starbucks that start in the fall. I like the cooler temperatures that fall brings. I like the fall candle line at Bath & Body Works. I like fall because the leaves change color and start to literally fall onto the ground.

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This week, I want to talk about divestment. Just as the leaves start the process of divesting from their branches, I think it’s important for people to make sound divestments as well. We have all put up with situations and things longer than we should have at one point or another. We stayed at a job too long. We kept a friendship too long. We sat in a relationship for too long. We knew that we were past our expiry, but we held on because we thought walking away would cost us too much.

Little did we know that not walking would cost us much more.

Women, for all of our innate gloriousness, are particularly bad at divestment. We dig in and take on burdens that simply aren’t worth the effort. Of course, the social, familial, religious and other varied pressures that insist we perform the mental and emotional labor of everybody and cause us to hate ourselves when we don’t (or at least don’t want to), are the battery packs that make us keep on keeping on.

We are shamed into thinking that it’s wrong to put ourselves first. We are told that it’s “not nice” to stiff arm people for our own reasons. We are made to believe that we shouldn’t expect a standard of care and ought to be grateful for whatever positivity we do get from the people around us. We are convinced that our most precious gift, our intuition, is just paranoia. We are admonished to “let go” or “not harbor” negative feelings from the past.

I think it’s time for us to stop.

It’s time to stop the advocacy for people who don’t do the same for us.

It’s time to stop jumping into pseudo-philosophical e-arguments to defend people who would sooner throw us to the wolves.

It’s time to stop protecting the very people who physically harm us.

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It’s time to stop entertaining people who have proven day in and day out that they simply are not worth the legwork.

It’s time to stop pretending like our family members are evidence of a pretty picture that doesn’t actually exist.

In that vein, it’s time to stop pretending like our family members aren’t a part of the ugly picture that does exist.

It’s time to stop believing that if you have the 3rd, 12th and 49th heartfelt conversation with people about the same shit, hoping it’ll get better. It won’t. They aren’t that stupid. They know better. They just don’t care.

It’s time to stop not putting people in their place when they fail to honor you or your wishes.

It’s time to stop being nice when it’s not organic to the situation.

It’s time to stop picking up spiritual hitchhikers. They’re on the side of the road with their thumb out for a reason. Leave them there, lest they hop in your back seat and slit your throat while you’re rescuing them.

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You’re getting tired and worn down and wasting time and they are reaping the spoils of your travail; calling you crazy while they eat the cake you made.

And the icing on the cake is that we’re told we need to seek help by the very people who are the reasons we need to seek help.

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Fuck that.

Christmas is coming early. I’m Santita Claus. I’m using this season to make my IDFWU list and check it twice…and keep adding to it as necessary.

Is it wrong to care? No.

Does everybody deserve your care? Hell no.

I’ve long disabused myself of the need to take the moral high road. Letting people transgress your boundaries and acting like it’s okay doesn’t make you righteous, it makes you daft and secretly hating them with a smile on your face is a YUUUUGE waste of energy.

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Save yourself and be willing to rid yourself of anybody who thinks you shouldn’t save yourself.

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Throw your car in gear and peel the hell out.

As for those fallen leaves, they eventually become the nutrients that the soil needs to regenerate more lush plant life and, perhaps more relevant to the topic at hand, help choke out weeds.

While I get that physical divestment isn’t always an option, the one thing you can control is your mind and you can most definitely protect your spirit. You may not be able to control when the city comes to collect the trash but you can sure as hell make sure the stench doesn’t cloud your space and put it on the curb.

Lastly, to the people who will read this blog and whose foolish nature will compel them to try it…..

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Picking Your Battles: In Defense of People Who Just Don’t Give A Damn

I’m a woman. Words like, “nurturing,” “caring,” and “accepting” are all commonly used to describe women. There is an implicit understanding that women are the ones who should bend over backward and support everyone, even when doing so is completely thankless and without benefit. Add Blackness to that same womanhood and you have the expectation that you should go hungry, sleep outside, march, come in early, stay late, and pretty much sacrifice your own standard of living to make sure other people are comfortable. In social media speak, it’s referred to as “muling.”

We can all attest to having that one (or one hundred) social media acquaintance who claims moral superiority because we dare talk about someone’s Oscars gown instead of multiple posts about the newest tragedy complete with footnotes and multiple links. They start hating you when you point out that laws aren’t necessarily based on morality, reparations were never on Obama’s “to-do” list, “just start a business” isn’t a feasible economic plan, weed isn’t a cure-all, and unconscionable decisions are pretty much a part of the presidential job description. Their final straw is when they post about a two-time felon and violent criminal being killed by a prison guard and instead of following their direction to call the governor of that state, you post about the 2 for $24 3-wick candle sale at Bath & Body Works. You are then DELETED!

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Unfortunately, in this era of heightened social consciousness (real or feigned), many of us refuse to deactivate our “Care” lever, and those of us who do, are often lambasted for doing so.  It just isn’t politically correct to not give a damn. If you don’t lie prostrate at the altar of social outrage about pretty much everything, you’re “part of the problem,” “stupid,” “denying your privilege,” “evil/cold-hearted,” an –ist/-phobic or some combination of any of the above. As we progress (technologically), we can be updated within seconds of everything newsworthy that happens almost anywhere in the world. This makes for a constant barrage of natural disasters, war, and bombings. It also means that we get a steady stream of sob stories, over-exaggerated cries for attention, and plain ol’ bad news. At some point, it’s just too much.

Is the IDGAF Club wrong for deciding to divest from this perpetual cycle of acrimony completely and mind their own business? I don’t think so. Further, I don’t believe that one has to throw themselves headlong into every social movement we’re presented with to be empathetic. One of the things that is repeated over and over again by SJWs is the requirement that people feel and be safe. Yet, we don’t think about the fact that for many people, it is safer for them not to invest tons of emotional and mental energy, let alone physical, into problems that are 1) ancient, 2) likely irremediable, or 3) wildly remote. In fact, a lot of the SJWs who want everybody to be concerned about everything and everybody should probably take a care sabbatical themselves (but that’s another blog post). Trying to be a caped crusader for others when you can hardly get your own life in order is imprudent and ultimately harmful.

The IDGAF Club has mastered one of the best life skills there is: picking their battles.

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As a BW, I choose to focus my concern on Black women and girls. I wish everybody well in their respective struggles, but I can’t be bothered with everything that every group deems unfair; especially when those same groups have historically disregarded the struggles of my own group. The rate at which Black women are killed by intimate partners is shameful. The numbers concerning the sexual abuse of Black girls is terrifying. That’s worth my outrage. That’s worth my energy.

The fact that there are kids who can’t afford school lunch is sad. The newest gentrification crises is a bummer. But, you probably won’t see me at a march, not even a town hall; and there usually has to be a dire situation to get me to sign a Change.org petition. It’s not that I don’t care about anything. I’d just rather be selective about the problems that I spend my time, effort, or resources on.

We’re no good to any movement if we keep trying to jump into every movement.