New Year, Same War Cry

 

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It’s a new year, and as much as I wanted to begin my first 2019 blog with something motivational, something inspirational, I found myself needing to vent, needing to purge, needing to wail the same war cry I’ve always bellowed:

“Protect Black Women, Love Black Women.”

2019 started with multiple stories detailing the assault against black girls.

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First, there was a video going viral on social media showing a black girl — Yasmine James — getting assaulted by a white man while working the register at Mcdonalds. The white man — Daniel Taylor — reaches ACROSS the Mcdonald’s counter, GRABS Yasmine by the collar, and violently PULLS her back to the counter. Instinctively, James defended herself with a series of blows she gave Taylor. Her co-wokers watched James defend herself for quite some time before mildly stepping in and telling Taylor to stop. What started the quarrel? Taylor was upset that there were no straws readily available to him, which led to a heated conversation with Yasmine.

 

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Second, the R. Kelly docuseries aired on Lifetime and chronicled the horror stories of underage black girls who were manipulated, brainwashed, and muscled into an illegal, sexually abusive relationship with the R&B star. The docuseries led to a flood of commentary and criticism from the public. There were many within the black community that overlooked the alarming evidence produced by the documentary and defended R.Kelly while chastising the victims.

 

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Third, 7 yr. old Jazmine Barnes was killed during a drive-by while out with her mother and sisters. Jazmine’s mother was shot as well. The shooters claimed it was an act of “mistaken identity”. Jazmine Barnes’ murder caught national attention. Based on a criminal sketch of the shooter, it was believed that the killer was a white male. To the surprise of many, the shooters were black. 

 

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Fourth, today it was reported that in North Carolina, 51 yr. old David Bell — who is 6’5″, 250 pound white dude — stood in the center of an altercation with a group of black girls while standing outside of a mall. He gets into verbal combat with an 11yr. old black girl  and violently pushes her away. Upset that she was pushed, the 11yr. old girl aggressively walks up to Bell, and Bell heavily PUNCHES her in the FACE, and the little girl is instantly knocked to the floor. While the girl lies immobile on the concrete, the group of spectators scream and flee the scene.
Pause. Let me breathe.

First, I will address the two white brutes who viciously attacked two young, black girls. These animals — they are not men — have no respect for black people, especially black women. Their strong distaste for black women does not surprise me considering the brutal history of this country; however, to be so bold, in this day and age, to publicly & violently abuse a black girl — a child — is beyond comprehension. No matter what the verbal exchange was, neither one of these girls did anything that would warrant such an assault. At the end of the day, these were GROWN MEN who, instead of handling the situation like mature adults and walking away, decide to fight these girls as though they were men. They acted as if these girls posed a serious threat to them, which they didn’t. 

The black consensus has been that, had these two girls been white, their safety would have never been discarded in such a manner. To be white is to be human — it means that your life is worth more in the eyes of society. To be black is to be un-human — it means that our existence holds little value in the eyes of many, and is, therefore, not protected. To know this cognitively is one thing, but to see this truth visually re-played over and over again is another thing entirely — it’s traumatizing.

 

Lastly, I will address the black brutes who also violated the safety of black girls.

What the f*%k is wrong with you?!

As African Americans we know what our struggle has been and we are aware of the war against us. Why then would we commit war amongst ourselves? R. Kelly is a sick, tortured monster who has emotionally, psychologically, and physically infected young girls with his same illness. He leaves these young girls as zombies — the walking dead — totally disconnected from themselves and the life they once had. And the fact that there are black people still willing to listen to his music and refuse to let go of the idea of this R&B “genius” is absolutely enraging. To ignore the truth shows an unwillingness to prioritize the life of black girls.

And the goons who killed Jazmine Barnes are lowly fools caught up in a familiar killing cycle that continues to take so many black lives. I also find it really hard to believe this whole “mistaken identity” non-sense. How can you pull up to a vehicle and not see a woman in the drivers seat with her kids in the back? Something about that excuse makes no sense to me.

We have experienced so much trauma in the black community, that we are now passing that trauma on to each other. But we know too much now to continue the abuse, to continue this idea that black women and girls are not worth protecting. If the world will not come to our defense, then it’s expected that the black men in our community will, in fact, come to our aid. But, alas, not enough black men come to serve as a place of refuge and security for black womanhood. Those voices of support and love sound faint and need to grow louder and stronger and more consistent. We need to see more black men provide a shield for us — not against us.

Until this happens, black women must do what we have always done, and that is to pick up our daily armor of whatever scraps we have been given and protect ourselves once again.

 

 

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White Women Need To Chill

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It is so easy to believe that the cause of the oppression that black people have endured stemmed from White men. After all it was White & Spanish men who forced us onto boats, and enslaved us. It was White men who created laws that to this day have kept black people socially and economically disenfranchised. It was White men who policed us and abused their power by stripping us of ours.
Being that White women have encountered challenges as a result of living in a patriarchal society and have fought to gain their own power, it is assumed that they would sympathize with the black struggle because they, too, have their own struggle. We also assume that as women, it is more in our nature to extend kindness to others — moreso than our male counterparts.

We were wrong.

Now, are there White women who empathize with our struggle and strongly disagree with the blatant injustice we endure, and have taken action to oppose the cruelty thrown against us by showing compassion & respect? Absolutely. Now, are there White women who could care less about black people? Absolutely.
Throughout our time in America, White women have stood next to White men and have hurled hatred at African Americans with audacity. Over time we have forgotten this hatred due to the strong outcry against sexism and the feminist movement. The focus of their hatred shifted from the Black community to one that prioritized their immediate needs as White women.

 

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But with the many recent news headlines about White women calling the police on Black people, we are reminded that many White women fear and assume the worst about the Black community. When someone fears you as a result of their own ignorance and conditioned hatred they will oppose you and attack you.
By White women calling the cops on Black people — Black men, especially — they are utilizing their white privilege to draw harm towards Black people. We all know that when White women cry wolf and shed crocodile tears, the entire village comes out to assist her and to ward off any perceived negative force that dares to come near her. There is and has always been a priority to protect white womanhood, and White women know that there will always be others who will fight and attack on behalf of them. They can cause harm indirectly.  

Once I read the news of a White woman — Teresa Klein — who falsely accused a 9yr.old boy of SEXUALLY ASSAULTING her and called the police on him, I lost it! 

 

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In my mind, I’m like this is damn near Emmett Till all over again!

Why would a 9yr. old grope you, Teresa?!

What was she expecting the cops to do?! Hand-cuff this poor boy? Place him jail?!
Even if the she was sexually assaulted — which she wasn’t — why not address the boy’s mother?? Because she didn’t want to confront her issue face to face and cowardly called the police to do the confrontation on her behalf. That lady was absolutely insane.

 

 

 

Some of these White women are abusing their power. Whether they are demanding that Black people not have a bbq in the park, or demand that a Black child not sell water on a hot summer day, or whether they are questioning the residence of a Black man and demand him to tell her what his apt. number is, or they secretly barge into a Black man’s residence while off duty and shoot him dead for no reason, it is an abuse of power that stems from fear and privilege. 

 

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What’s even more maddening is that these women don’t see their actions as racist. But it is. They would not call the cops if these children or these men were White and they know it. What’s worse is that they feel no remorse for their transgressions until the world berates them and they are forced to give an empty apology.

And now, we have to hear Megan Kelly’s dumb comments about black face not being offensive.

UGH! This stress!

White women, Listen: Chill the f*%k out.

You wield enough power to cause considerable harm to Black people. Your fear is unwarranted, and rooted in bigotry. You have no right to try and control the actions of any Black person, especially Black people who are causing no harm and are minding their own business. Mind your business, sis.
All of this is a reminder that sexism and racism are separate struggles in the eyes of some White women. Even though injustice is wrong no matter the category it falls under, when some White women are fighting for equality, they are fighting for themselves alone. They will line the streets and protest against the patriarchy, but if a Black woman is assaulted by police or dies while in police custody, they are silent.

Let me clarify that I am in no way branding all White women with these actions. I know that there are White women who are allies to the Black struggle and genuinely care. Unfortunately, the bigots are the ones who are getting attention. I need our White, liberal allies to speak out against such cruelty and show solidarity. As Martin Luther King Jr. said: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

We are all connected. What affects one will affect another. We will never move forward as a country if black people are still considered to be “outsiders” in the land of their birth, or if we are assumed to be “agitators” when in reality we living our lives boldly and without apology — which you feel threatened by.

However, my life is no threat to your life.

So chill the f*%k out.

We have the right to live unapologetically, just like you. We have the right to be here. 

 

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Honestly Speaking …

 

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Maybe it’s because I’m an Aries.
Maybe it’s because I’m a black woman.
Maybe it’s because I’ve never been one for pretense.
Maybe it’s because I was raised by Flo Jenkins — communicator extraordinaire.
Maybe it’s because this is simply how God created me.

But biting my tongue was something that didn’t come natural to me. If you ask for my thoughts, I will give them to you straight up and sometimes without a chaser — on occasion you don’t even have to ask. I’ve had this trait ever since I was a toddler. My mother has shared horror stories of how blunt I was as a child. For instance, she told me that she had taken me to the dentist for a routine check-up one day. When the dentist approached me, I looked at him and boldly asserted, “Who the hell are you??”. My mother gasped, and was stupefied. My mother and father did not curse, so she had no idea where I had heard that word from and, more alarmingly, had no idea how I had learned to use the word within the correct social context.

 

black-girl-unicorn-pullover-talking-260nw-1035980143 Another time, she told me that I was out with my father and he took an old weather beaten coat and draped it around my shoulders. I looked at my father, then directed my attention towards that old weather beaten coat and said, “What the hell is this??” Clearly, this coat did not meet my fashion standards at the time…maybe a l was a little bourgeois, lol.

 
Of course, as time went on and I matured, I developed a certain level of tact and emotional intelligence and can speak honestly without emotionally bruising someone. Especially as a motivational speaker, it’s all about being able to deliver words in a way that will uplift and not diminish or shatter a person. I know the power of words, and I understand how to wield them effectively.

 
What I also know about words is when to use them.  Growing up, people coined me as “quiet”, but they often confused “quiet” with “shy”. I have never been shy.  I simply speak when I have something to say.  If I don’t like something, I will voice it. If I feel uncomfortable, I will communicate that. If I don’t understand, I will ask for clarification. If I love something or someone, I will express it as soon as the feeling arises within me. I have grown to really love and be grateful for this personality trait — for this freedom to express myself.  

 

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I’m also grateful to have been born and raised in a country that allows and understands the importance of freedom of speech. Whether you strongly agree with someone’s opinions or not, everyone has the right to say what they think without fear of being legally penalized for it — or at least that was the case until now.

 

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Recently, the NFL and the Trump Administration have decided to penalize and fine athletes who openly kneel during the National Anthem. As an athlete, your only other option is to sit in the locker room until the national anthem is over, but you can not be seen kneeling in public.

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Now, it was one thing for Colin Kaepernik to kneel alone and ostracize him only. But when other NFL players and coaches from different teams started to kneel, and high school football teams across the nation started to kneel, and athletes who played sports other than football started to kneel, and the nation appeared to show unity against the unjust treatment towards and murder of Black Men, that’s when the Trump Administration decided to do what they could to shut down this freedom of expression. What they were really trying to do was silence the black voice specifically. To silence the black experience and the horror of its history in America. What they were trying to do was conceal the large blemish that was tarnishing the nation’s global image as the “land of the free”.

 
They wanted to appease white audiences, donors, and patrons who claimed that a football game was no time to make a political protest, and protect rich white folks from being reminded of the harsh reality of the nation’s most marginalized community — the Black Community.

The Trump administration and their supporters tried to claim that this silent protest was an attack on our country and showed disrespect towards the flag and what it stood for. This, of course, was not true. The intention behind the kneeling was intentionally clouded in untruths to cause anger and resentment.  This was not an attack, these were athletes who, despite being wealthy, could no longer operate under a pretense of indifference. They could not act as though these issues were not affecting them. Kneeling was a way of saying that they were against the senseless and un-ceasing black-endorsed brutality that has plagued this country since its founding. They had to do something, and they chose not to participate in America’s lie. They have a right to publicly disagree and protest.

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The one who really dishonors this flag and what it is SUPPOSED to represent is the NFL and The Trump Administration. What they are doing is actually illegal. They dishonor this nation and keep us in a state of regression while intensifying racial tensions. We felt we had come so far with Obama, and now the world gets to witness the hatred and the blatant contradiction that is embedded in this country and that black people have been keen to since we were brought here. I don’t know whether to appreciate the fact that America is revealing its ugly head or to fear it. 

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My fear is that this will not be the last time this administration will try to silence its citizens. Let’s not forget that before this incident, the Trump Administration tried to curtail The Freedom of The Press and denounce them for, again, revealing the ugly truth about things that were taking place in the white house. Since the beginning of time, those in fear of losing their power have always done what they could to silence truth-sayers and prevent change. This has lead to the murder or imprisonment of our most prolific social leaders: Nelson Mandela, Malcolm X, Ghandi, etc . We are at a defining point in our history where we get to choose how we want to show up in the world and how we want be remembered by future generations. My hope is that American citizens will fight to be on the right side of history.

 My fear is that people will never be angry enough, or tired enough to rise up and powerfully and consistently show opposition to this injustice. I’m not sure what will happen next.  All I do know is that I will continue to do what I have always done since childhood and that is to say how I feel. I am a responsible word wielder. That responsibility means that I operate with mindfulness, empathy, and compassion. That responsibility also demands that I am forthright and sincere. My intention is to always provide insight—and my speaking out with honesty is a way of doing that.

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I will speak honestly and out loud and point out the contradictions/injustices within my society for this is my duty and my right as an American citizen.

As James Baldwin put it, “ I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.”

To love someone/something does not mean you turn a blind eye when they do something wrong, it means that you continue to hold them accountable to their actions and force them to rise to the bar that was set because you see the potential in them. It’s about fostering growth, and not enabling poor behavior, or seeing the person you care about hamper their own advancement.

 That is love.

That is true patriotism. 

 

 

I Miss The Old Kanye …

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I miss the old Kanye…

… and apparently, I am not the only one. The level of disappointment that has been expressed from the black community in response to the inconsiderate statements that he has recently made has been considerable.

It feels like it was just yesterday when Kanye’s College Drop Out album came out. I was in high-school and it was the first rap album that I actually purchased with the limited teenage money that I had saved. Up until that point, it was my older brother who provided with rap music from artists like The Fugees, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Common, Busta Rhymes, etc. I enjoyed his music and I enjoyed him as a artist. Kanye felt like a breath of fresh air — someone who was connected with and invested in the black community.

I don’t recognize this new person. The reality of the matter is that people change. The hope, however, is that we evolve into an improved and more self-aware person. This doesn’t seem to be the case with Kanye. He appears more self-conflicted than ever. But instead of taking the time to resolve this confliction, he is spitting out concepts and opinions that are ignorant and un-resolved. Instead of sitting down and figuring out what he wants to express, he uses interviews to rant out thoughts that have not been fleshed out. To have a platform such as his and make declarations that are not based in logic can be dangerous.

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These past two interviews have been the most hurtful and damaging. The TMZ interview where he made his “slavery is a choice” comment was the one that set social media and the news cycles on fire. Whether it’s what he “meant” or not, whether he “mis-spoke” or not, is irrelevant. The point is that he said what he said. No one cares about what he “meant” to say. In all honesty, it didn’t feel like he misspoke at all, but that it had been a thought that he had been chewing on for a while and finally had the opportunity to hawk. Little did he know how much his comment would spark a flame. I am just so glad that TMZ member Van Lathan was there to speak honestly and passionately. I am so glad that he was able to articulate what a lot of black people were feeling in that moment.

Kanye, contrary to his claims, did not demonstrate free thought, but rather idiotic rhetoric.  

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Listen here, Kanye, to be a “slave” literally means that you have NO CHOICE! What you are implying is that black people made a conscious choice to hop onto those slave ships chained and bound, to be stripped of our names, language, culture, and history, to be ripped from our family, to be raped by our massa’s, to have our children sold into slavery, to be beaten, lynched, killed, and then forced to live out the next 400yrs. in un-resloved trauma and fear, while trying to survive in a country that systemically structured society in a way that would blatantly benefit white people and keep black folks in generational poverty. 

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It was a slap in the face to our ancestors who were strong enough and DARED to live long enough to fight and die for the liberties that we don’t appreciate today. I wish Harriet Tubman would rise up and beat you silly. How dare you!

Maybe you should go to Ghana and visit the “Door of No Return” and acknowledge the horror that our ancestors endured.

Not to mention, young kids, who have no idea about the horrors of slavery and the struggle for freedom, will listen to him and believe him. As a teacher, and speaker I have to be the one to go in and further de-program these young minds and speak truth to power. Thank you, Kanye, for making my job that much more difficult.

Boy, Shut up! 

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In addition to that, during his interview with Charlemagne Tha God, he says, “Why we gotta keep bringing up slavery though??”

Nothing pisses me off more than hearing black people tell other black people that we need to “get over slavery” and that it “happened such a long time ago and has no barring on what is going on today.” Sit your Uncle Ruckus butt DOWN! It’s clear to me, that those black people are speaking from some place of privilege, ego, or ignorance. To make such statements lets me know how disconnected they are to the reality of the black experience and that they have no understanding of history and how history impacts the present moment.  
I refuse to “get over” something that I am still feeling the effects of. I refuse to “get over” something that our own government has yet to acknowledge or even apologize for! I refuse to “get over” slavery when I seeing how intentionally disenfranchised my community has been for centuries. I refuse to “get over” slavery, when we have to march and protest and create countless hashtags for my fellow brothers and sisters who were mercilessly shot and killed like animals. I don’t have to get over shit!
If the jews don’t have to get over the holocaust, then I’ll be damned if I have to get over something that effects me everyday.

Boy, Shut up!

It’s interesting how he is implying that we move on from slavery but admits during his interview that “we’re still dealing with racism”. Where do you think racism stems from, Kanye? That’s right — slavery. It’s interesting how he talks about being marginalized as a black rapper in the fashion industry and wants our sympathy, but can not seem to correlate what he’s experiencing as a result of slavery and being intentionally kept out of certain spaces of power or influence. But in all honesty, he’s probably being ostracized in the fashion industry because he’s a little cray-cray and because his fashion ideas are boo-boo. He is not a fashion designer. His clothes look like post apocalyptic-chic. It’s not cute — point, blank, period. 

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During the Charlemagne interview, a Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. comparison was made. Now, I don’t know who in the hell tried to compare Kanye to either one of these instrumental leaders but they were clearly out of their minds. Kanye is no Malcolm X or MLK. But Kanye’s response to this comparison was that was some historical “figures are out-dated”. Really!!! Are you kidding me??!! Meanwhile, he compares himself to Walt Disney and Mark Zuckerberg and other white billionaires. However, these white billionaires aren’t “outdated” but Malcolm X and MLK are? The things that MLK and Malcolm X fought for like justice, equality, safety, and dignity for their people is somehow outdated?! Really, Kanye??!! 

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Guess what, Kanye, you’re the one who is out-dated. You ideas are old and tired, and your concepts are stupid. Sit Down, Sir. You wish your concepts and theories could come close to the brilliance and passion of Malcom X. Malcolm X was no sell- out.

Lastly, during his Charlemagne interview, he talks about “free thought” and being a creator that doesn’t care about and rebels against the status quo. But in the same breath he talks about how he seeks validation from society. Charlemagne asks him why must we seek validation from white people, to which Kanye had no clear answer because he knew he was contradicting himself. Listen, dude, do you want to be mainstream or do you want to rebel against it? Because, right now, you are going back and forth. I will need you make a stance and be consistent.

 
Kanye then talks about how when he sees people sporting brands he sees people who are not free thinkers. Kanye says, “When I see branding, I see insecurity”.
Ummmm correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t this the same man who is creating a clothing BRAND and shoe BRAND that he wants people to buy and support?! During this same interview, didn’t he talk about how he looked up to Gucci and Tom Ford? WTF Kanye?! Which is it?
So I guess people who rock brands other than yours are the “insecure people?”

Boy, Shut up!

The only insecure person I see here is you, Kanye. Your desperate need for love and validation from the same people that you criticize — like former President Barack Obama — is incredibly clear.

I don’t know if Kanye is truly suffering from mental illness, or if he is actually being calculated in his efforts to create controversy. Either way he needs to sit down. And Kanye being a “musical genius” does not erase the damaging statements he has made. I think Kanye knows better and that is why he is conflicted.
He knows!
He knows that he is not being honest and speaking truth to power like he did with former President George Bush. He knows that he is being hypocritical. He knows that he is not walking his talk. He knows that he has evolved into the same disconnected, fame hungry, attention grabbing celebrity that he often criticized. He’s fake. The black community recognizes this and is serving as his conscious. We are throwing his hypocrisy and lies back in his face and loudly denounce his ideas. We are the therapy that he is trying to avoid. His craziness is a result of the lies he’s told himself , and unless he stops, he will never be at peace.

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No matter how much we miss the old Kanye, I think it’s safe to say that the old Kanye is gone. He will not advocate for us. He will not affirm our plight. He along with every other artist should not be placed on any pedestal. They are human just like us and are subject error. Kanye West is narcissistic, and is drowning in his own delusions of grandeur. He is dying for our attention, and after this stunt he deserves no more of it.

I will not buy what he sells.
My prayers are for his children. How will they ever know who they are if he has lost all understanding of who he is? We can’t count on their mom — Kim Kardashian — to teach them about black life or history. We can’t count on her to expose them to that part of who they are — that was Kanye’s job. Instead, you have two shallow people who lack any depth and can’t see anything past the next shocking headline that they concoct. God Bless their kids, they have my deepest sympathy.

Kanye is in the sunken place and we tried to build a ladder of support to help him free himself, but it looks like Kanye has lost the will to climb any higher and is there to stay. 

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Colorism?…But at the Club, Though?

 

 

darker_lighter_skin  There’s nothing like going out with your girls: twerking, two stepping, hip swinging, waist winding, all while singing loud and off key to all your favorite songs makes for a truly magical evening.  So, on this particular night,  I was excited to hit the city of L.A. with my favorite dance partners. We decide to explore the busy streets of Santa Monica, and so far, our night was off to a great start–we didn’t have to pay to park and there was no cover charge, which is not always easy to find in Los Angeles.  We stepped into one of the many bars/clubs on the block that was recommended to us and were surprised to hear some hip-hop music playing. The bars in Santa Monica are mostly inhabited by young white people, so typically there’s a lot of house and pop music. So upon entering this particular bar, we knew that this place was probably our best bet and decided to stay.
There we were, dancing our lives away on a crowded dance floor, enjoying every minute of it. We had made friends with another group of black folks from out of town, and one of my girlfriends ended up dancing with one of the guys we met. My friend and this guy — we’ll just call him Dante — had taken a break from dancing and were talking, while I was standing by the wall next to them. Dante motions me over, so I walk to him.  He leans in to my ear and says, “Hey, go talk to my friend over there; he’s kinda awkward. He told me he was feeling you, so you should go talk to him.”  I felt like Dante was just trying to get rid of me so that he could be completely alone with my friend. I was getting ready to tell Dante that I was just chilling and probably wouldn’t go over to talk at that moment, but before I could say anything, Dante continued, “Yea, my sister told me that I should dance with you, but, no dis to you, but I like light-skin girls”. My stomach dropped. My friend and I gave Dante a serious side eye like, WFT??!!

 

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Now, comments like this are not new to me. I’ve heard some black men say how they “prefer light-skin” girls and, normally, I just shrug off their ignorance and keep it pushing. But for some reason his comment was the final straw and I broke. I walked away from them and sat at the far end of the bar trying my hardest to hold back tears. I was really hurt.  The build up of these types of comments had finally taken its toll, yet I was embarrassed that his words had affected me to the extent that they did.

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I was hurt by the fact that it is 2017, and the Black community is still dealing with colorism. The fact that we, as Black people, have yet to appreciate and truly see the beauty of all the hues we come in is extremely frustrating, and the fact that some Black people are completely clueless to the effects of slavery and social conditioning on their romantic “preferences” is enraging. I was hurt because for the first time I really felt unattractive and unwanted. I was unwanted by a black man whose skin was just as brown as mine. It is beyond bewildering. I felt like I had been transported to another world where everyone was asleep except for me. There I was operating amongst zombies who had no idea they weren’t “woke”.

My question is, why did he feel the need to say anything at all?! He didn’t have to continue his spiel. If that is the mindset you carry, then there is no need to say it aloud and reveal your foolishness to the public. He literally told me that the reason he didn’t dance with me was because my skin was too dark. Why the f*%k would you actually let those words come out of your mouth?! Did I mention that his beloved sister was just as dark as me?  I’m sure that he thinks his sister is beautiful, but you mean to tell me that he wouldn’t date someone who had the same skin tone as his sister?!!  I just don’t get it! How could he not see that there was something seriously wrong with his comment

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I was done. Exhausted. Defeated. And at that moment the only thing I wanted to do was go home, lay down, and cry.
Luckily Dante’s friend, Eric, came and sat next to me and started talking to me. Even though a part of me wanted to be left alone, I greatly appreciated him being there, if only to preoccupy my mind with idle chit-chat and to prevent the tears from dropping onto my cocktail napkin. Eric was not like Dante and expressed a great appreciation for all things black. Thank you, Eric. You saved me at that moment with your conversation and you had no idea.
We stayed until the bar closed and then made our trek back home. I didn’t speak a word of what I was feeling to my friends. I wanted to keep the evening fun and light and I thought that I could move past the experience. However, the next morning when I woke up, I still felt the emotional weight of the previous night and I surrendered to that feeling and cried. I told my girlfriends how I felt and they expressed their empathy and said that Dante was an asshole. They allowed me to break and they used their loving words to piece me back together. Thank you to my girlfriends, my squad, my sistas … you know who you are. 636006945613581481-1906458683_image
I spoke to my mother as well, she is always there to remind me of who and whose I am. She was sad that I had to experience the same ignorance she had to endure during her younger years, but she reminded me that there are men out there who see and appreciate my blackness. She said, “Now Beth, if you are woke and can see the beauty in our people, then you have to know that you are not the only one. You have to know that there are other black people — black men — who feel like you do, who see the beauty, your beauty. You have to know this!”
My mother was right, deep down I did know. I know that there are black people out there, black men in particular, who are awake — who see the beauty within the spectrum. I know that there are men out there who would not dismiss me because I have dark skin, but who would be ready and more than willing to embrace me. Thank you, mom, for building me up and for reminding me that there is nothing wrong with me — for reminding me that I am beautiful. Thank you for straightening my spine and helping me to stand tall and proud in my black skin. Thank you for reminding me, that as I stand, I’m helping others to stand too.

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Don’t Fall into the Ditch with the rest of the Sheep

 

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I was recently given an article to read by a good guy friend of mine. This article was highlighting a twitter thread that a young gentlemen put out about men and relationships. His thread was intended to “clarify” some things for women, to help explain the peculiar actions of men. Specifically, to provide them with the truth as to why some men go “ghost” and fade away after showing interest in a woman.

I read this thread, and the gentlemen did provide some truth — HIS truth. Some will be able to relate to this truth, others will not, and I would never discredit someone else’s experience. However, I felt his theory had some holes in it, and therefore did not provide the full scope. My friend felt as though this writer’s thoughts reflected most men, but it clearly did not. I even shared this thread to guy friends who felt as I did and who offered their objections.

The content of this thread is not as important to me. What is important is how this man’s thread is possibly being shared amongst women and being taken as truth or as this hidden gem of knowledge that all women should know. My concern is not for the article, people have the right to share their thoughts and opinions. My concern is for those out there who have yet to learn how to think for themselves, and will regurgitate theories and ideas without analyzing whether or not these ideas and theories actually apply to them. Especially in regards to relationships, some women long for answers and want to understand the nature of men, hoping that this insight will allow them to navigate with much more clarity amongst the male species. So they cling to these “gems of wisdom” and pass these ideas along to their girlfriends only resulting in more confusion, poor interpretation, and inevitable mis-understanding, which leads to misguided action. Here’s some insight for those women: If a man really likes you and wants and is ready to date you, he will enthusiastically and consistently pursue you. If he does not like you, then he won’t. Simple. Don’t stress over it. Keep Stepping.

There are other theories and catch phrases too, such as the “middle child syndrome”, “daddy issues”, “children in single-parent homes will undoubtedly face emotional and psychological struggles/instability”, etc. Who coined these terms and ideas? And more importantly, why do we take these theories and offer them up as facts?? They are opinions, based on personal experience —that’s it — and there is nothing wrong with that. (Some will argue the statistical data that proves their theory, but even the acquisition of data should be questioned). But their experience does not reflect everyone else’s and should not be readily generalized. If it applies to you then great, if not, then that’s fine too.

All I ask is that people take the time to process what they read and hear — including this blog — before fully jumping onto a particular bandwagon. Think first. The ability to think for one’s self is one of the best tools we have at our disposal, and it’s disheartening to know that so many people abandon this God-given muscle and permit others to do the heavy lifting for them.

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Don’t be lazy, utilize your mental muscle and put in some cognitive work. It’s not necessary to always follow the pack. Dare to think outside of the mass mind and go in a different direction. Going against the grain and raising an objection isn’t always easy and can be intimidating considering the collective agreement surrounding a particular topic, but going against the grain keeps us sharp and forces us to grow as a whole. So raise our awareness and challenge us to grow…think for yourself.

 

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Kardashians vs. George Zimmerman: Who do the people care more about?

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So Black Chyna and Rob Kardashian are having a baby.

Excuse my language but … who the f%@k cares?!

Congrats to them.

But, again, I ask, “Who the f*%k cares?!”

I NEVER thought I would write a blog post that mentioned the Kardashians but I’ve reached the zenith of my annoyance. Why do we care so much about this family?!? Do they pay our bills? Do they come to the family cook-outs? Do they pay off my monthly school loan to Sallie Mae? Have they ended world hunger? Did they find Bin Laden?? What DO THEY DO?!
What have they contributed to society aside from superficiality, scandal and confusion that keeps us tuned in to their every move?!

I must give props to this family; they certainly know how to keep people talking and the money flowing. But my frustration has less to do with them and more to do with the fact that we live in a society where #1). people can become famous from doing absolutely nothing and from exerting no real mental or creative efforts, and #2). that people have no idea about the issues that plague our communities, but they know details of celebrity life, which has no bearing on their day-to-day reality. They don’t know any updates on the Flint, Michigan water crisis, but they know who wore what at the 2016 Met Gala. They don’t know what Bernie Sanders’ and Hillary’s politics are, yet they know the exact day that Beyonce tickets are going on sale and all the dates for her Formation Tour. Our priorities are clearly warped.

Don’t get me wrong, entertainment is good and has it’s place, however, to have entertainment take precedence over real life issues is not only enraging, but, incredibly disheartening.

George Zimmerman has the audacity to try and sell the gun he used to KILL Trayvon Martin!!

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Hello! Wake up people!!
This is what needs to be the topic of discussion, this is what should be on the blogs and magazine covers. The focus needs to shift. So many things are happening right underneath our noses that we neglect to properly address. The media does such a good job of distracting us with nonsense that we forget what is real and what actually matters. Don’t forget what actually matters. Jerk yourself awake from your zombie-like state, wipe the sleep from your eyes and take interest in what is happening in our world before it’s too late.

 
So unless the Kardashians are joining Black Lives Matter to help put George Zimmerman behind bars, or are helping to combat the blatant disregard for black people/culture whose style and creativity they CONSTANTLY STEAL from and salivate after, then I urge you to take your chatter elsewhere.

I don’t want to hear it, because they honestly don’t matter.