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.

 

 

White Women: The Kelly Bundys of Social Justice

Millennials over 30 and Xennials are old enough to remember “Married With Children.” It was about a family of four lead by a generally unhappy shoe salesman, his stay-at-home wife, and their two teen children. It was funny. One of the things that made it funny was their daughter, “Kelly,” who was so airheaded that even her attempts at seriousness failed spectacularly.

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Recently, after Georgia’s governor signed an abortion ban bill that outlaws abortion once a heartbeat is detected, Alyssa Milano of “Who’s The Boss” fame (if you’re under 30, you’ll probably have to Google that), came out and suggested that women withhold sex from their partners until the bill is reversed. The presumption is that she was talking about straight women since many of these lawmakers are men.

Earlier today, after I posted a brief schpill about women in relationships on my personal Facebook page, I had someone, a white woman, suggest that women should just become lesbians or celibate and “rid” men out of our lives. When I noted that all of us aren’t lesbians, nor are we interested in it, and expressed that I have no desire to be celibate, she told me to continue to “suffer.” She then went into a rant about how she gets sick of straight women complaining about men while continuing to deal with them.

 

Other acts used to “empower” women and “promote equality” for women include the “free bleeding movement” where women don’t use any menstrual products and just bleed through their clothes as an act of showing that women should have the “right”  to menstruate (cause if we didn’t, our uterine lining would stop shedding, I guess). Kiran Gandhi ran a marathon with blood dripping down her leg in solidarity with the millions of women who do not have regular access to menstrual products and to show that there’s no shame in menstruation.

 

Let’s not forget the various “free the nipple” style campaigns because nothing gives men a kick in the balls and says, “fuck the patriarchy” like women walking around showing their titties to every rando on the street who passes them.

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Then, there’s this picture…

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This woman is apparently a yoga instructor who thought this photo of her “free bleeding” while her kids’ heads were in the line of fire was a deep statement on womanhood and the importance of the menstrual cycle. You can read her comments on the matter HERE.

This was the picture that led me to the conclusion that white women don’t have enough to do. While they’d like to think they are fighting the patriarchy by bleeding on couches and breastfeeding while doing a cartwheel at 11 am on a Tuesday, all they are doing is demonstrating how detached from feminism, let alone reality they are; especially the intersectional kind.

Patriarchy is not going to stop women from menstruating. That’s nature. A woman’s shame or lack thereof, at least in the west, is her issue. But what patriarchy, in its various forms and mutations, does do is ensure that white women only make 60% of what white men make and that Black women make even less. It ensures that rapists walk. It ensures that we spend time arguing about a domestic abuser registry instead of just establishing one. Refusing to wear a pad, tampon, or menstrual cup is not going to address standard nor racialized sexism.

Not having sex with your male partner is not going to address the underbelly of misogyny and (to be quite honest) racism that is the true basis of all of these restrictive abortion laws.

Deciding to just become or pretending to be a lesbian is not going to even start to address the violence perpetrated by men upon women.

Instead of “freeing” the menstrual cycle (which doesn’t need to be freed because it’s going to come anyway unless you’ve surgically removed your uterus, have gone through menopause, are on certain hormonal birth control that stops it, or have an endocrine issue), I’d rather free people.

Instead of “freeing the nipple,” I’d rather hear about ideas that will actually bring substantial systemic change in areas that matter like employment and healthcare.

While white women are baking vagina cupcakes, Black women and other women of color are working, struggling, fighting structural “–isms”, fighting intra-community violence against us, and trying to survive.

It’s time for Rebecca to actually participate in a substantive way, or go sit down and shut up.

 

 

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W.D. B. 1.1: The Wayward Daughter’s Solution For Abortion

The last two weeks have been full of news of random states where nobody lives by choice proposing or enacting highly restrictive abortion laws. Alabama, a state known for its college football team (I guess), now has a law on the books that is said to be so restrictive, it peacocks in the face of Roe v. Wade. In total, 8 states have passed abortion laws that could cause even the most ardent cycle-watchers to end up in a situation where they are left with few options should they need to terminate a pregnancy.

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A part of my brilliance is that I can argue both sides of pretty much any issue. But, I’m not about to do that for free and this is a blog, not a university speakers series. I believe that everybody is in an uproar about this issue and they really don’t need to be. They need to take a page from The Wayward Daughter’s Keys To Life (not a real book but if any publishers out there want to offer me a book deal with a handsome advance, I’m up for it) and calm the fuck down and think this thing through.

Now, without further ado, I present Wayward Daughter Bill 1.1 (that’s random as I suspect most government bill numbers are)…*drumroll*

Ist CONGRESS
1st Session (Unless talking shit with my friends in FB messages counts)


W. D. B. 1.1

To get people to use common sense about the abortion issue and offer a solution that should make the churchy, men who think they have a say, women who are at the service of those men’s agenda, and expectant mothers who don’t want, can’t, or don’t need to be mothers happy.

IN THE BEDROOM OF THE WAYWARD DAUGHTER

Received (well if you’re talking about the initial epiphany)

 Sometime back in 2005 Probably

                            Read the first time

Today; as I wrote it

                           Read the second time and placed on the calendar blog

Today; as I edited it

 

AN ACT

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the “If You Want Them So Bad, You Take Care of Them Act” (not “WaywardCare” or any of the other nonsense y’all were gonna’ start calling it cause…).

SEC. A.  STATEMENT OF POLICY.

(a) Statement Of Policy.—It is the policy of The Wayward Daughter that—

(1) all United States citizens over the age of 21 who have a problem with abortion are to be entered into a national adoption draft.

Once identified as an anti-choicer, you will be involuntarily entered into the national adoption draft as a potential draftee.

Draftees cannot opt-out. Ever.

(2) once entered into the national adoption draft, draftees will be eligible to be chosen up to three times to become the parent of record of children whose mothers were not allowed to terminate their pregnancies early on.

(3) draftees cannot reject your drafting; there are no waivers for bone spurs or anything else

(4) draftees cannot choose which child(ren) you get based on…well…anything; for red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in Jesus’ sight

(5) draftees must raise the child(ren) they’re assigned through high school graduation; no exchanges. If you end up with Damien from The Omen, you better bind it and cast it out.

(6) as parent of record, draftees bear the same legal and moral responsibility as natal parents

(7) draftees will only receive $100 per month per child in food benefits; all other costs associated with raising the child(ren) are the responsibility of the draftee; don’t worry because God has a purpose for your struggle, remember?

(8) once a draftee has been assigned three children, they are relieved from future drafts; UNLESS there is an emergency…I mean, this is just based on 8 states so far.

(9) draftees who have not been assigned three children are not excused from draftability until the age of 70; no retirement for you

SEC. B.  APPEALS PROCESS.

(a) APPEALS PROCESS.—It is the policy of The Wayward Daughter that—

(1) Ain’t none, bih! If you didn’t want to get drafted, you shouldn’t have gone around telling everybody you’re anti-choice.

 

 

 

 

Attest:  The Wayward Daughter

             Queen, Judge, Clerk, “Ugh…I Can’t Stand Her”

             May 26, 2019

 

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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.

niggas are broke

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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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.

2520s: The Scourge

Scourge

[skurj]

noun

1.

a whip or lash, especially for the infliction of punishment or torture.

2.

a person or thing that applies or administers punishment or severe criticism.

3.

a cause of affliction or calamity:

Disease and famine are scourges of humanity.

 

I don’t have a clever entrée for this piece so I’m just going to go for it. White people are a scourge upon humanity. I know it. You know it. They know it. As addiction science teaches us, the first step is admitting the problem. I’m naming the problem: white people.

In the last two weeks or so, those of us who read have read several accounts of white people calling the police on Black people for doing innocuous things from napping in a college common area, to barbecuing, to not waving and smiling at them (if that’s not some early 19th century “yessa’ master” racist bullshit, I don’t know what is). These incidents are not only infuriating because they are clearly raced-based, but they demonstrate that the dark underbelly of white racism is alive, well, and going nowhere. Further, white people apparently relish in it.

 

yale

Sarah Braasch: the woman who called the police on fellow Black yale classmate for sleeping in a common area.

 

Most Black people can relay at least one experience of white people being hall monitors, getting into their business, and turning a benign situation into something way more serious than it needed to be. These white people didn’t do it because they really cared, but because, just as in the days of slavery, they felt the need to flex their muscle and show the power they have as white people (this is why any white person who says they don’t understand that racism = prejudice + power is lying).

 

rape

Jemma Beale: woman who lied about 15 rapes over the course of 3 years. k

 

These days it’s worse, as, in the last 6 years or so, there has been a barrage of unjust police killings of African-Americans and even white citizens exacting their racism on Black citizens; even children like Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis. With the acquittal of the murderer of Trayvon Martin and the judicial system’s failure to prosecute police officers who killed people (children included) for literally doing nothing wrong at all, white people have received a contract renewal to continue terrorizing Black people at whim.

 

white guy

Ronald Ritchie: man who called the police on John Crawford and lied; leading to Crawford’s execution by police. 

 

I think we all knew that white people are crazy; and by crazy, I don’t mean mentally ill but more like a general malevolence that’s so pervasive that it’s almost undetectable. It’s a depravity so ancient that it has masks, and costumes, and is able to bend and shift better than any CGI sci-fi creature.

This wickedness walks amongst us every single day in the form of those whom we are taught to trust like teachers, firefighters, police officers, doctors and nurses, and even clergy.

But that’s not all.

This brand of atrociousness is so treacherous, scornful and arrogant that it will work its barbarity and then turn around cry that it has been harmed.

 

Crying-White-Lady-Oakland

The racist white woman who called the police on Black people barbecuing and then started crying that SHE was the one being harassed. 

 

Over the past few days, there have been think pieces written about why white people call the police on Black people for any damn reason. Some suggest that it’s white people’s fear of Black people that cause them to run to the police. Some suggest that as gentrification becomes more and more the order of the day, whites see calling the police on Blacks as a way to lower crime and protect their newly Columbused neighborhoods. There’s also been a suggestion that it’s merely a way to preserve the racial hierarchy.

First of all, why would whites fear Blacks unless whites had done something to Blacks that would merit Black people’s disdain of white people? According to white people, all their bullshit is “in the past” and we should “get over it.” So, why be afraid?

Gentrification? They could just go back to where they came from (advice they like to give Black people all the time) instead of threatening the people who were there before they even thought about coming or stay out in the first place. I mean, if the place is so crime-ridden, why’d they come? Seems like a simple enough solution to me.

As for preserving racial hierarchy…I thought racism was dead and a figment of Black people’s imagination because we don’t want to work hard and want to play the race card and blame white people for all of our problems, que no?

I have another theory. White people are just no good. En masse, collectively, in sum, no good. Their affinity for unabashedly causing problems wherever they go and then feigning ignorance, heroism, or good intention when called on it reeks of an arrogance that’s annoying at best and dangerous at worst. Their ability to lie so smoothly, without so much as a blink of their eyelash, is the stuff of any Black person’s worst nightmare.

 

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Carolyn Bryant: the woman who lied on 14-year-old Emmett Till and caused his death at the hands of a white male lynch mob.

 

What to do? They aren’t going anywhere and even though their reproductive numbers are declining, I don’t foresee them not existing any time soon.

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I support what I’ve seen a few tweets propose. Black people should start randomly calling the police on white people. Little Emily standing in the booth behind you at Chili’s and staring at you? Call the police. Who knows what she’s plotting? If 12-year-old Tamir Rice can be killed by the police for playing with a toy gun after one of them called the police on him, little Emily needs to be taken in for questioning at the least. Susan holding up the line at Bath & Body Works because she can’t combine coupons? Call the police. She’s being disruptive and trying to commit coupon fraud. Chad, Jr. having a tantrum at Kroger? Call the police. He’s disturbing the peace and his parents are accessories to his crime for not putting his ass in check. White waitress at Waffle House taking too long to serve your food? Call the police. It’s attempted murder because you’re starving and she doesn’t seem to care.

Call the police and then walk away as if what you’ve done has no consequence just like they do.

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People who treat other people as less than human must not be surprised when the bread they have cast on the waters comes floating back to them, poisoned.” – James Baldwin

 

Why I’m Tired of Hearing About “Wokeness”

It’s 2018. We are seeing notable socio-cultural changes every day. A 99% Black movie is probably on pace to make half a billion dollars by the end of its first week out. There are white people who are willing to admit their privilege, and gay teens are unabashedly giving the object of their affection Valentine’s Day gifts on camera at school. Arguably, all this “wokeness” is great. People feel more affirmed, more comfortable in their own skin, and free to be who they are a la Marlo Thomas.

Unfortunately, that also means that people are free to be as openly daft as they can be as well.

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Being labeled “woke” is the new “smart.” It’s equivalent to the senior superlatives in high school and there are multiple trophies for that particular award. And, just like the senior superlatives, I find that being “woke” usually doesn’t amount to much and doesn’t necessarily have any basis in fact. Don’t get me wrong; I think it’s great that people are starting to examine the systemic issues that have long plagued our society. Reflection and introspection is always a productive venture.

I just wish these “woke” people would get “woke” about the rudiments of life.

broadway bitchin'

Who wants to bet that if Broadway did that, the next Tumblr post would be about how it costs too much to buy so they still had to bootleg it because “poor people deserve” to experience Broadway too? -TWD

I can’t tell you how I cackled upon learning that there are books and classes for the generation who can explain why capitalism is evil to learn how to balance a checkbook or call and make a doctor’s appointment. The fact that these adults, in all their ire at the death of free checking, need help adulting between trying to argue you down on Facebook about why economically prudent procreation is a form of eugenics is one of the richest desserts that have landed on my plate.

 

 

When I was in the band in high school, there was a girl in our section (clarinet) who didn’t know her scales. We were all practicing and found out then, that despite decent performances in stage and field shows, she knew not one scale. She wasn’t kicked out of the marching band but she was placed in beginning band class so that she could at least learn her scales. We were all a little shocked. Even the band director would never have thought she didn’t know the basic nuts and bolts of the instrument she had been playing since elementary school. She was offended that she had to go and take a band class with 9th graders but alas, life isn’t fair.

To me, that illustrates the modern-day “woke” crew almost perfectly. They’ve learned just enough to deal with what’s in front of them and can even hear just well enough to blend in but when it’s time to deal with the things that require a foundation that allows them to actually maneuver themselves, they’re pretty much imposters.

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Imagine being so “woke” that you don’t even want to call women, women. I’m pretty sure calling people something other than what they are is in the “woke” list of sins.-TWD

I have a working theory that the “woke” ones tend to sound and/or be ridiculous because they jumped from knowing a little bit of nothing to being “woke” and knowing everything in the “woke” handbook, but not much else (hence, the adulting books). They lack a knowledge base from which to build substantive or at least well-thought ideas. Add that to the fact that I believe many of these people are trying to use “wokeness” to try to heal unresolved personal issues and it makes for a pot of mishmash stew that’s only slightly edible.

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IDK if it’s true that she’s the only lesbian in porn but I’m still trying to figure out how being committed to “vagene” is transphobic…since, you know, “transwomen are women.” Oh wait….! – TWD

In that vein, I’m trying to figure out how the “woke” are any better than those who are asleep. I mean granted, the sleep people may not be able to offer such treasures as suggesting that lesbians are transphobic for shunning penis but as far as I’m concerned, both the sleep and the “woke” are using (or not) the same part of their brain to arrive at their respective life ideologies.

Can’t they all just get along?!

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When are people going to get “woke” about the fact that you have to ring up the actual items you’ve selected in self-checkout or it’s theft; not a “poverty hack?” When are people going to get “woke” about the fact that their theft poverty hack is part of what makes the high prices they rail against high prices? Better yet, when will they be “woke” enough to not admit to theft in a public forum? When do they get “woke” about the fact that no business, especially not a bank, started on the premise of being nice to people irrespective of economic status? Can we get “woke” to the fact that if sexual orientation is innate, that will usually include genitalia? How about getting “woke” about how scamming the gas station with your debit card is not a feasible long-term plan?

Nothing big.

Just the simple shit.

I’m sure any “woke” person that reads this will call me sleep. I’m really more of a pragmatist who is socially conscious, yet plugged into reality at the same time. Most of my circle is the same way. And the beauty of it is that we didn’t have to consult Tumblr to get there.

jane

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.

cars

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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Can I Live? Why Watching TV in the Social Justice Age Can Suck

I am a part of a group on FB that follows the OWN television show, “Greenleaf.” Greenleaf is about a family of pastors and other churchy characters dealing with real life situations like secretly gay husbands and unruly children. The part that makes any of it salacious is that all this bad behavior is being done by Christians; plus they’re Black so that adds the extra spice.

I also watch a show called “Queen Sugar.” I was reluctant at first but after reading people up and down my timeline rave about it, I finally gave in and got hooked. The show is about three siblings trying to deal with their personal demons while keeping alive the dream their deceased father had for the family farm.

They are both, what I consider, pretty good Wednesday night entertainment. That is, until I see a status the next day about how some scene was either –ist, -phobic, or made all (fill in the blank) look bad. For example, on one episode of Queen Sugar, Ralph Angel admits that his father had a separate will that left everything to him. Of course, his two older sisters were not at all pleased to find this out and it turned into the Sunday dinner from hell. The next day, on a popular social justice blog, I noted that I felt like one of the sisters in particular were over the top in their reaction.

Why did I do that? Why did I dare have an opinion about these fictional characters on television?

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My opinion was met with multiple responses trying to “school” me on everything from misogynoir to emotional trauma. All I could say was that as a BW, I’m really clear on misogynoir and having been a head case for as long as I can remember, nobody needs to prime me on emotional distress.

It may seem shallow or anti-intellectual, but sometimes, I just want to watch television for the hell of it. Despite what the high and mighty philosophers of nothing and the moralists say, human beings are attracted to spectacle. All of us. Each and every one. I’m secure enough to watch the Housewives of Atlanta and not take it as a statement of Black womanhood; especially not my Black womanhood. If white women can watch the Housewives of New York City, Orange County, New Jersey and Dallas and not feel like they need to hide their face in shame, why shouldn’t I?

Aviva

I’ll admit that I notice certain social justicey things too. For example, it doesn’t escape me that on both Queen Sugar and Greenleaf, you have a light-skinned (biracial, tbh) sibling who is well-intentioned and gets hostility from her dark-skinned siblings, seemingly for no real reason, and the script is written so that, at least in the beginning, everybody pities the sibling who doesn’t look like everybody else. But, everybody needs some let-up; even from social justice warrioring. I’d proffer that 24/7 fixation on everything that’s wrong with society is only going to wear us down in the end.

Lynn Whitfield

This world gets crazier by the minute. We have a sitting president that e-beefs with everybody, including a world leader that likes to “test” missiles and possibly nuclear weapons. I am glad to watch two middle-aged rich white women argue about a 2 year-old rumor. I need to spend an hour each week watching a pretend bishop throw shade at his pretend wife for a pretend affair she had before any of us were born. These days, the more I can escape, the more of my sanity I can retain; and frankly, if I have to risk my health and well-being to fight the power 365 days/year, scratch my name off the list and call me again in 5 years.

Lydia

Now, I have to go. Lydia is in Shannon’s face on the Housewives of Orange County and I’m not gonna’ miss this!

 

Consider The Source: Bloggers As Life Guides

Social media is a great way to develop a following. People who may be introverted off the web can blossom into stars on the internet with the click of a “POST” button. Since the days of the AOL free trial CD, the world wide web has been a place where utter cowards could be emboldened, social outcasts could become the part of the “in-crowd,” and people who thought Caddyshack was deep could become life philosophers.

As romantic as that may sound (or not), I’m afraid that many of these electronic mavens have begun to warp the minds of their followers. What used to be largely for entertainment purposes only has turned into a cult-like bastion of bad advice being passed to the young and/or naïve.

I’m not talking about beauty bloggers who recommend products that are sure to offer a Sammy Sosa finish to brown-skinned ladies everywhere. That’s dreadful, but makeup can be washed off and you can start over. But, there are highly influential writers and bloggers who can often be spotted offering terrible life advice to their (usually) homogeneous reading audience. This wouldn’t normally be a problem, but that people are shaping whole ideologies around what they read on blogs and FB pages. Ideologies eventually become behaviors, and then none of us are safe.

So, as a public service, I’ve decided to give you clues as to whether or not you should take the advice/teachings of your social media “faves” seriously.

  1. What is the logical possible outcome of following their advice? If the outcome of following their advice leads to poverty, illness, incarceration or severe emotional upheaval, ignore them. I can guarantee that they will not be contributing to your GFM campaign for bail, rent money, antibiotics, or your “self-care” retreat. You may experience the warm n’ fuzzies reading their account about how their scheme method worked for them but if in the real world, the risk far outweighs the reward, it’s best to skip it.

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  1. Have they or are they doing what they are saying you should do? Anybody who suggests (or even co-signs) that something they would never do is okay is a bullshitter and shouldn’t be trusted. For example, the “pro-hoe” movement that gained popularity last year. The premise is that well…the tenets of “hoeism” should be celebrated and those who participate, given high-five cause…empowerment. Sounds nice and inclusive but then, I noticed that some the biggest endorsers of the “pro-hoe” movement were women who had to preface their applause for “hoeism” with, “although it’s not my choice….” Hmmm…..why would you applaud a philosophy that you spurn?

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  1. What are their credentials? I’m not even talking about degrees and certificates. Picture it, Facebook, 2017. A prominent male SJW telling women how they should feel about bathroom bills. Enough said.

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  1. How has their viewpoint worked for them? What is the fruit of their years of work and discovery? It goes without saying that it makes no sense for anyone to take advice from someone whose own life isn’t a replica of where the advice-seeker wants to be. Would you hire a poor financial adviser or a routinely single or oft divorced relationship expert? Probably not.

Lastly…

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  1. Follow the money. By now, I’m confident that most of us know bad advice when we hear it. Our personal sensitivities may get us to travel to the other side of good sense, but, we know. If the person offering you…um…guidance, can’t say two words without asking for donations for their…um…wisdom, you may want to re-evaluate their platform. While I agree that those who teach deserve a wage, if they were that profound, they’d set up a consulting company instead of asking for money for information that can be easily found on Google.

Follow who you want. “Like” who you want. Read who you want. Just exercise caution before you become an –ite of theirs and find yourself on the opposite side of functional. But, what do I know? I’m just a blogger!

 

 

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