Killer Cops: Don’t Blame The Training

***Note: There are informational links at the end of the post.

Yesterday, former Dallas police officer and murderer Amber Guyger, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for killing Botham Jean, a tenant in the same apartment building she lived in, in his own apartment while he was sitting and eating ice cream.

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What got a lot of attention was when Botham’s younger brother, during his impact statement said, amongst other things, that he didn’t want Guyger to go to jail, he forgives her, and wants her to find Christ. He was then allowed to hug Guyger.

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I’m not going to focus on that in this blog. I’m going to focus on Botham’s mother’s statement outside of the courtroom. You could feel both the grief of a mother who had lost her child through one of the stupidest incidents ever. You could also feel the fury of a person who is fed up; even more so now that the underlying racism and sociopathy of most cops had touched yet another family.

She talked about corruption in the Dallas Police Department. Having been born and raised in Dallas, I can attest to that. But then, she said something that people often say when things like this happen that I actually do not agree with. She intimated that if Guyger had been trained better (in this case, not to shoot in the chest), her son might still be alive.

That’s the part I want to talk about in this post; the notion that police officers are poorly trained and that’s why innocent people die.

Here’s a secret about The Wayward Daughter: I have a graduate degree in Forensic Psychology. I studied not only victims and defendants but police and policing as well. I studied how police are trained to trip people up in interrogation rooms. I studied how they get false confessions out of people. I studied how their interrogation techniques. Not that I was ever under any other impression, but studying policing in the United States will quickly disabuse you of the Kindergarten belief that they are your friends that you can run to in times of peril for safety. 

Police officers have high rates of things like domestic violence and alcoholism. Jordan v. New London, a case that made it all the way to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York, affirmed that police departments can reject candidates whose IQ is too high. Many officers are veterans, which means there is likely a high presence of PTSD. Self-destructive behavior and hypervigilance are amongst a set of symptoms of PTSD. There’s also the fact that policing, much like the military, works on its members following orders as opposed to a lot of independent thought or judgment. 

And then…these people are given a gun.

Someone who has issues with self-control, anger, substance abuse, is just bright enough to do what they’re told but think through their actions in the moment, is skittish or quick to (over) react, or has been in a war zone, probably doesn’t need access to a weapon because they cannot be trusted to exercise their best judgment. 

What am I saying?

I believe that many, if not most, police officers are individually at least 25% sociopathic or have antisocial traits that are severe enough to disqualify them from police work. Some of them didn’t start out that way. Some of them got into the blue fraternity, finally felt their life had purpose when someone handed them a badge and a gun, and lost their fucking mind. But, I also believe many more are much more sociopathic than not. 

Add racism and implicit bias and that’s the perfect storm for cops losing their cool and people losing their life.

I don’t think all the training in the world would have saved Botham Jean. Guyger is a racist, who based on her social media, basked in having a job where she had the ability to take people’s lives and (based on what we know about police accountability), likely would never have to answer for her actions.

I’m glad the Jean family got a jury that wasn’t buying her bullshit about a mistaken apartment. 

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But, it’s time to let go of the narrative that if cops knew better, they’d do better. Eric Garner was killed by a cop who used an illegal chokehold. Daniel Pantaleo KNEW what he was doing was improper but did it anyway. No amount of training would have kept Pantaleo from doing what he did. The same goes for Amber Guyger. 

Blaming it on training allows bad cops to get away with their bad behavior for longer. It makes people think that perhaps the training process was inadequate or maybe that officer was out sick when they were trained on how not to kill for no reason. It makes it seem like these cops don’t know what’s CLEARLY obvious to the rest of us. 

(Another thing cops are trained to do is lie). 

If I order a burger and the worker is having a bad day and throws my burger at me, they get fired. Nobody needs to train the employee to know that it’s not okay to throw a burger at someone. That’s common sense. Yet, people act like police officers are babies that don’t know better and must be walked through every scenario AFTER they kill someone and shown step-by-step how they messed up. This is worse when you think about the fact that training academies run from 6 to 12 weeks. 

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The only thing that’s going to address situations like Guyger and other murderous cops is a judicial system that is truly unbiased from the clerks through the DAs through the judges and for bad cops to be continually held accountable for their bad behavior. Police officers need to be held to the same standard as the rest of us. All of us are tired after a day at work. All of us have to deal with difficult people at work, be it the general public or co-workers. But the rest of us don’t get to use lethal force just because we’re tired, or stressed, or scared, or generally having a bad day. Policing needs a do-over. 

https://abcnews.go.com/US/court-oks-barring-high-iqs-cops/story?id=95836

https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/09/police-officers-who-hit-their-wives-or-girlfriends/380329/

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/sure-recovery/201803/police-and-addiction

https://www.themarshallproject.org/2018/10/15/police-with-military-experience-more-likely-to-shoot

https://adaa.org/sites/default/files/Henderson_100.pdf

https://www.themarshallproject.org/2017/03/30/when-warriors-put-on-the-badge

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/03/30/when-veterans-become-cops-some-bring-war-home/99349228/

https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/Publications/abstract.aspx?ID=181019

Plot Twist: The Internet Isn’t Just For Arguing

Mucous. Feces. Urine. Flatulence. Purulent.

All of these words are the technical names for words that we use in our everyday speech in a colloquial way.

Most of us know this. Most of us know that the colloquialisms we use in place of these words aren’t the actual or technical terms for these things. Most of know that if we were in a classroom or seminar where any of these things were broached (another word for brought up), they’d likely not be referred to by their colloquial names, but by their technical names.

So, you can imagine my befuddlement (that’s another word for confusion) when I came across the following graphic (that’s another word for picture) on my Facebook timeline.

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I clawed (another word for scratch) my tegument (another word for scalp) and wondered if we are really at the point now where academic language in an academic textbook used in an academic setting is “pretentious” and “inaccessible.”

Let’s start with pretentious. No. It’s an ACADEMIC textbook. Those of us who know about code-switching understand that you don’t present yourself the same way in all settings. When you go in for an interview, you shake the interviewer’s hand, you don’t hug them or fist bump them.

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In a book on language arts, you aren’t going to get, “Timmy was chillaxin’ on the block with his homies when his mama told him to bring his narrow behind inside.”

Sure, that may be how the writer of the textbook speaks when he or she is at home around their friends and family but since the purpose of a language arts textbook is to apprise (another word for inform) the reader of standard English grammar, the writer instead offers, “Timmy was relaxing with his friends outside of his house, when his mother angrily demanded that he come back inside.”

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Pretentious would be me talking to my friend and telling her that I was clawing was my tegument.

Inaccessible? Well, I don’t think it’s an unfair assumption that if you end up in college-level physiology, you have an above-average reading and comprehension level. Further, we live in an era that has thesaurus.com and dictionary.com and both are accessible, literally at your fingertips.

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We are fortunate enough to live in an era where you can Google almost anything and before you can blink your eyes twice, 92387877499937489 results of varying degrees on the topic you Googled will populate before your eyes.

Does that makeup for systemic inequalities in education? No. But let’s not overplay this thing either. If you need information, you can find it for free these days.

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Now, here’s the part that I’m known for: shade.

I will never not laugh at this generation who will engage in days-long debates with strangers over -ist, -phobic, gender, agender, sex, asexual, demisexual, pre-sexual, post-sexual, he, she, ze, thee, thou, fat-shaming, skinny-shaming, tall privilege, short privilege, etc…

but want to boo-hoo and tee-hee because an ACADEMIC textbook uses ACADEMIC words to explain ACADEMIC concepts (another word for thought or idea).

How sway? Just like you found a resource to convince you that men can have periods and babies, you can figure out what that word you’re not familiar with means.

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Matter of fact, in the time it took you to read and (somehow) agree with that pitiful tweet, you could have looked up what you didn’t understand in your textbook…or, you know, asked someone.

Priorities.

Here We Go Again: Justin Trudeau

Another day, another white person that most people liked being exposed for Blackface.

Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, was exposed for wearing Brown and Blackface on three separate occasions in the past. 

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As usual, he has issued the obligatory apology and talked about how he shoulda’ known better (cue Monica). 

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When I first heard about the story, I didn’t even bat an eye (or at least, I don’t think I did). I went on about my business. I mean, a white person doing some racist shit? At this point, it’s like your little cousin asking if you have games on your phone. That shit is gonna’ happen; probably more than once.

Trudeau, in a press conference on the matter said a lot but in part, he was reluctant when asked if what we’ve all seen were the only times he had donned brown or blackface. The Week reports that this was his answer: 

“”I am wary of being definitive about this because the recent pictures that came out I had not remembered,” Trudeau said, adding that because he comes “from a place of privilege,” he has had a “massive blindspot.” These revelations come a week after Trudeau launched his re-election campaign. –Brendan Morrow”

When I started out, I was going to write about how I’m tired of Black folks, in particular, being shocked and appalled at white people being racist or doing and saying racist things. I mean, it’s been 400 years and we didn’t get over here because our good friend Connor invited us to visit and we loved it so much we decided to stay. 

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But that piece of Trudeau’s statement is what struck me. I want to talk about this “blind spot” that whites always claim to have when they get caught in racism. 

I think it’s bullshit.

African-Americans especially are very expressive people who are strongly tied to tradition. A whole lot of what we do and know comes from learning from our foreparents. Even the things that we do and know intuitively come from this place that is inexplicably in us such that we just know what we know. 

Though I don’t believe that white people are as spiritual, you’ll never be able to convince me that they don’t know the same history we know. They’ve had no problem perpetuating that same 1619 racism generation after generation. There’s a reason that 18-year-old Rebecca knows Blackface is wrong when she gets caught on Snapchat. They know using “the N-word” to refer to Black people is wrong at a very young age and that’s why the solemn affirmation of “I’m not racist” and “it was a mistake” starts flowing almost by rote when they are exposed. There’s a reason they still skip us in line at the deli counter, or refuse to move out of our path when we have the right-of-way, or interrupt us as if we don’t exist in public spaces….exactly like their ancestors did. 

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Yes. She learned probably by the time she was 15 but here she is on her way to 50 acting like she learned yesterday. 

Just like Black people teach our kids about slavery and Jewish people teach their children about Hitler and the Holocaust, white people teach their progeny their legacy as well. Now, how they teach it is up for debate, but none of them can say that they have a “blind spot” or didn’t know better in reference to Blackface. To do so is intellectually dishonest.

I honestly believe that white people just don’t care. They’d rather ask for forgiveness because doing so is an easier game than confronting the grave underbelly of what Blackface signifies enough to punish oneself for even thinking that it might be okay to do. 

I wish for once that when a white person is busted, instead of the typical “I’m not racist/I didn’t know better” script, they’d say, “I did that shit. I knew it was wrong but I did it anyway because I wanted to and thought it was funny. I have no excuse.”

If more white people were honest, I think that’d be a huge step forward for race relations. 

My Thoughts On Cancel Culture

This week (so far), there have been a couple of notable celebrity dustups that are once again forcing people to decide whether or not their fave (or would be) is #cancelled. 

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The first that comes to mind is Shane Gillis. He was hired…and then fired…by SNL when previous anti-Asian and homophobic remarks were discovered. It didn’t help that hired along with Gillis was Bowen Yang, SNL’s first East Asian cast member and an openly gay man. The comedy community has come out to defend him and express their disagreement with SNL’s decision. Gillis offered to apologize to anyone who may have been offended or hurt but also said that his comedy career requires him to take risks. 

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About two or three weeks ago, people (re)canceled Dave Chappelle because of jokes he told on his latest comedy special for Netflix. One of the jokes the stands out to me is when Chappelle said that transgender people are in a “hilarious predicament” and then mused about what would happen if he went around telling people he was Chinese in a nigga body (paraphrase) making the face similar to the one Mickey Rooney donned when he played a Chinese man in “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” and speaking in a stereotypically exaggerated Asian accent.

Of course, the think pieces flowed. Some loved it and thought that Chappelle offered the kind of comedy that makes us think. Others hated it, called him all kinds of -phobic, and said that “punching down” is not funny. Interestingly enough, he also addressed cancel culture in his routine. 

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Lastly, Lizzo narrowly escaped cancellation when she angered several fans after she accused a Postmates runner of stealing her order. She posted the name and pic of the person. Many people thought Lizzo was wrong for “snitching.” Some said that Lizzo was wrong because the runner works in the service industry (notoriously low-paying) and would likely be fired. Lizzo issued an apology yesterday saying that she would be more responsible with her tweeting as apparently, the young woman was doxxed by hardcore fans (unconfirmed). 

Personally, I feel like there are categories of cancellation. Someone like R. Kelly needs to not only be #cancelled but abducted, tortured, and buried alive so that he slowly feels the life leave his body due to preying on children for more than two decades. 

But I think there are a couple of things that people are forgetting. First, nobody is born “woke.” We all make mistakes and missteps. Even if what was said was written as a part of a comedy routine (Chappelle) or a line in an outrageous podcast episode (Gillis), most of us have said things that would get us #cancelled by today’s standards. 

Yes, there are entire e-annals at this point on what’s taboo these days. Believe it or not, though, there are a lot of people who do not spend 70% of their day on social media trying to learn what’s been added to the Do Not Say List every day. I’m guessing most of the people on the famous list make up a big chunk of those people. 

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Let me stop here to say that Shane Gillis used legit slurs. To me, that’s different than someone telling a joke about a certain demographic. I never knew who he was until this happened but I can definitely distinguish between him and Dave Chappelle. 

Two, and this may be a shocker, I’d actually much rather know what a person thinks or feels than for them to be tip-toeing around with a big politically correct smile on their face. If the person wishes all niggers would die, let me know; especially if they work in medicine, law enforcement, or the judiciary. Someone who tells jokes or stands on stage singing and doing the Reebok in a leotard for a living? I really couldn’t care less unless I’m such a fan that my hard (oh so hard)-earned money may have gone to them at some point. 

Three, there are other people you still like and have not yet #cancelled who say and believe the same things (if not worse) that you’ve #cancelled other people for. Soooo….is it that you don’t like people thinking and speaking that way or is it that you don’t want them expressing it in a public forum? 

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***Note: evaluation of your WQ (Woke Quotient) is dependent upon how you answered that question.

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The truth is, if you wanted to cancel everybody who says or believes -ist things, you’d likely quit your job, move out of your neighborhood, and settle in an area uninhabited by other humans somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic ocean. Your 100% politically correct friend would be a dolphin…or a shark.                                                                                                                        

I still use the word “crazy” and I don’t bristle when I hear “the r-word.” I guess that makes me cancel-worthy or at least complicit. *shrug* I think we all could use a crash course in managing our expectations of our fellow humans. 

What’s It Worth? The Colorado Baker is Being Sued Again and I Honestly Don’t Know Why

By now, we’ve all heard of the Colorado bakery that was sued for declining to make a wedding cake for a same-sex wedding. If you haven’t (you really should read more), Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop was sued by Charlie Craig and David Mullins for refusing to make a cake for their wedding citing his (Phillip’s) Christian faith. This happened in the summer of 2012.

Of course, the couple sued and after various wins and appeals, a Christian organization (Alliance Defending Freedom) took up the case on Phillips’ behalf and got the case to the Supreme Court. In July of 2018, the bakery owner won with the SCOTUS ruling 7-2 in his favor. It was determined that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission did not apply the Constitution with religious neutrality in its evaluation of the case.

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Fast forward to July of 2019. This cakeshop owner was again sued by a transgender individual, Autumn Scardina, for declining to make a cake celebrating a gender transition. This will be the 2nd time Scardina has sued him, first through the same Colorado commission and now, with Scardina’s own legal team.

That makes three times that this bakery owner has been sued; basically, for the same thing.

This time, the Supreme Court has declined to hear the case (I don’t blame them) and Phillips’ position is that Scardina is trying to rehash something that has already been settled.

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It should be noted that Autumn Scardina is an attorney, called in to order the cake, volunteered that this birthday cake was to celebrate gender transition and after the employee informed Scardina that they did not do gender transition cakes, Scardina called back more than once to the point where the bakery allegedly hung up on Scardina.

There is no final outcome on this current case yet.

Now, regardless of how you feel about any of the players in the aforementioned rundown, if you’re anything like me, you have to be wondering if any of this is worth it?

I am not defending the bakery (I mean, I’d make a cake to celebrate a worm if it pays…and I HATE worms). With that said, once the SCOTUS ruled in his favor over a same-sex wedding cake, it seems like that’d be a loud and clear message to other individuals in certain demographics that they may have an issue getting a cake celebrating something that goes against what we all know is evangelical Christian philosophy. I mean if gay marriage was too much, surely saying that you’re a man who feels like a woman on the inside is a non-starter.

At first, I thought the ploy was to try to sue this bakery owner into the poorhouse just to make a point. Then, I thought that it was a “get money” scheme. You know, walk into the bakery you know is discriminatory, have them discriminate against you, sue, become social media famous, win and buy the Range Rover of your dreams.

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But why? Lawsuits are a headache. They take time and money; no matter which side you’re on. Who would purposely place that type of stress upon themselves; especially with a Supreme Court precedent in place?

A bigger question I have is, what’s with this zeal to give people who you feel are discriminatory or hateful your money? If the bus boycott taught us anything, it’s that when businesses LOSE money, they are more likely to change. If money talks and bullshit walks, what’s up with being so desperate to make a “point” by wanting to… pay? I won’t even mention the free publicity that this bakery owner has received due to being sued twice by someone who likely doesn’t have snowball’s chance in hell of getting anything out of it.

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This newest cake is being called a birthday cake…for the birth of Scardina’s new gender. Scardina’s lawyers are trying to claim that when Phillips said in the SCOTUS case that he would sell any of his items to the LGBTQ community but that the religious symbolism of a wedding was what caused him to decline, he was lying to the public. Considering what the “birthday cake” is for, that sounds like a reach. However, I’m neither a lawyer nor a judge (judgmental, yes).

Without accusing of Scardina of anything, this seems…suspicious. I plan to be on the lookout for the resolution of this case.

My Thoughts on Jay-Z’s Thoughts

So, this week, the internet (aka Black Twitter) became big mad about rapper and businessman, Jay-Z, expressing his thoughts on police brutality. There is a video where Jay-Z was on a panel of speakers and he said (paraphrase) that when you’re raised in a home with a single mother, you learn to disrespect authority because it’s as if you are the man of the house. Because of this, when you find yourself in an encounter with the police, you let that disrespect flow and people end up getting hurt.

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Now, anybody who has been on the internet for at least 3 days anytime between 2013 and today knows that one of the things you DO NOT do is even insinuate that people who are brutalized by the police had a part in their own brutalization. I mean, unless you’re one of those people who simply do not give a damn what selfies with fonts think about you (me and Jay-Z apparently), there are certain things that you just don’t allow to pass your lips.

This comes right after Jay-Z, less than two weeks ago, signed a deal with the NFL and seemed to suggest that Colin Kaepernick’s protest was obsolete and it’s time to move on. So, Jay-Z was already in the corner with Black folks and this panel comment was basically the moment where someone tells you to go outside and pick your own switch from a tree before they whip your behind.

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First of all, I’m not a rap fan. I know who Jay-Z is because…well, obviously. But, I don’t have the emotional attachment that a lot of people (seem) to have to him or any of his personas. I had no preconceived notions about where he stands on political issues. Yes, I’d read that he grew up poor and sold drugs to get by and yes, I know that he’s filthy rich. Neither of those pieces of information abused me of how I thought he should feel about anything. I make that point because among “us,” though we holler about not being a monolith, there is an underlying belief that since we share a phenotype, we simply MUST share similar (if not identical) life philosophies. That’s where I think the outrage is coming from, to be quite honest.

If Jay-Z were a person of another race saying the same thing (and there have been plenty), Black folks would be upset but at the end of the day, they’d chalk it up to regular degular racism. But when someone from “our” group veers from what we think they ought to think or do, it becomes a way bigger issue (ask Omarosa).

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With that said, I’m not surprised. Maybe the old Jay-Z who had to slang rock to survive (I guess) would have thought there is nearly no circumstance under which police should use deadly force. But, alas, people evolve and there’s no better evolution agent than an 8 or 9-figure income. This new…or richer…Jay-Z may feel differently.

If it’s any consolation, there are some considerations that may lower the community-imposed sentence against him. For one, he may have said what he felt would be most acceptable in that setting when his real opinion involves much more nuance. Black people are known to self-censor in the presence of white people. We could also consider that fact that for all his be-bop and hip-hop, he’s still a man who is nearly 50 years old. The average age of the outrage machine is what? 27?

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Perhaps, he’s about to drop a new album of phat beats and was looking for free publicity.

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I’m not defending him but the truth is that a 50-year-old man and a member of the #triggered generation are going to bump heads on a lot of topics. Maybe Black Twitter’s Come-To-Jesus meeting is what he needed to re-evaluate his position.

I will say that his comments were interesting to me considering the time he spent on his friend Meek Mills’ case but often, our opinions on a topic are colored by the players in the scenario.

This week, I’ll be waiting for the myriad “think pieces” about this and some kind of statement from the man of the hour (you just knooooow it’s coming) “clarifying” his stance. Until then, I’ll continue laughing at the reactions of the fans who apparently never knew him.

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

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

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Well, I call bullshit.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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.

roadtrip

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.

highway

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.”

crowded car

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!!!

leaving

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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