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.

 

caolyn-bryant

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.

white kid

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

 

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On My Divestment From #BlackLove

I’m done with Black men romantically.

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

Warning

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

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

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

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

bloody mary

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

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

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

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

We-Fix-Ignorant-Ass-Memes

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

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

tweet

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

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

serenawilliams

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

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

street harassment

Brought to you by the illustrious Tariq Nasheed.

 

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

 

Black abuse

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

 

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

ninasimone

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

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

simone biles

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cue Iyanla

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

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

im-not-insulting-you-im-describing-you

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

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

Oshun

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

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

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

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

Toilet scene

 

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

snooping

 

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

Lie third story.gif

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

sojourner

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

Mommie Dearest

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

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

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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.

abortion

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.

lesbian trans

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?!

stop the madness

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

Déjame: The Self-Care That People Seem To Hate

I’m going to let you all into my life a little. I work a day job. I get up and go to work most days of the week. I work long hours most of the time. On my day(s) off, I mostly sleep, do laundry, grocery shop, prepare my lunch for the week, give sassy responses to the men who contacted me on dating apps, and try to catch up on all my shows on the DVR.

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I know that this doesn’t sound too much different from the lives of most adults my age. The thing that’s different is that I’m pretty sure that at least 75% of the people at my job need to be committed long-term (insert cries of ableism). There’s also another large segment who feel the need to be up your ass all.the.time. You can’t pop the top on a Crystal Pepsi without a barrage of questions that are all code for, “can I have some?” or some other way to inject themselves into your time, space and/or business.

at work

Another thing about me is that I don’t really make friends at work – ever. I’ve met some cool people at this job and I’ve even met a few that I want to keep in contact with when it’s time for me to move on. One of these people really crossed one of my personal boundaries Friday, however, and now I’m starting to re-think where or if I want her in my life long-term.

The thing is…I don’t like feeling trapped. I don’t like feeling smothered. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that I actually fear the thought of being constricted. Friday was already a stressful day. I’m on the verge of PMS and the constant chatter was just irritating me. I put on my sunglasses, popped in my earphones, and worked away. Yet, it seemed that every half hour or so, somebody was trying to get my attention, not for work-related shit, but just because they didn’t feel like working in that moment. I felt like I had been locked up in a cell with a bunch of motormouths and, more than usual, it was a living nightmare.

screaming

Things came to a head when I ordered delivery for lunch. I went outside and got my food (shrimp) and came to my desk. I put my earphones back in, shades back on my face, and continued typing away. I didn’t even open the sack. Like clockwork, one of the people at work that I actually like came a-knocking. I didn’t even look in that direction, shook my head, and kept working.

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Long story short, that lead to some adult form of the silent treatment (which in and of itself is a paradox if you ask me) for the rest of day. I was told I had a “stank attitude” that this person didn’t “have time for.” Let’s be clear, I already knew what was going to happen. This person was going to ask what was in the bag and then eventually if she could have a taste, (though she had already easily eaten 600-800 calories worth of snacks and other foods, before I even ordered my lunch).

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On the drive home, I started to think to myself: why does society have such a problem with people wanting to be left alone? What’s wrong with someone not having something to say and deciding not to talk just to hear their own voice? That’s wrong with people wanting to enjoy the silence (cue Depeche Mode)?

I live in the south. Here, if you don’t walk around like you’re at Disneyland, you’re “cold,” “mean,” “uppity,” and any other word that’s used to try to guilt people into being social. If you’re a Black woman, you can add in the (apparently) obligatory accusation of anger. I’m not talking about the smart-alecky extrovert vs. introvert memes. I’m talking about the lack of understanding that people have a right to their space; and that someone asserting that right should not be considered to have committed a social faux pas. And though it doesn’t rise to the same level of sexual harassment, the irony is not lost on me that people are all-in (at least verbally) on taking consent seriously but still have a problem accepting being denied people’s time, space and emotional/mental energy.

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Just like we accept that annoying people can’t help being annoying and that nosy people can’t help being nosy, we need to collectively make peace with the fact that people who don’t want to spend the bulk of their time unnecessarily interacting can’t help being who they are.

Speaking for myself, I find people exhausting. When I was 16, I had a job that involved heavy interaction with customers and I knew then that I wasn’t cut out for constant interplay with others. I was “shy” as a child but in adulthood, I literally become physically tired by too much interaction at times.

We talk a lot about the importance of self-care these days. What if someone’s self-care is silence and needing others to leave them the fuck alone until they can re-charge? Energy is precious and I will never apologize for trying to preserve mine. If you’re like me, you shouldn’t either.

If you’re one of the bigmouthed offenders, it’s time to stop. Someone wanting you to go be interested in something else but them at any given moment isn’t a personal slight but if you keep transgressing their boundaries, it could become something you can’t bounce back from…

bette

2017: The Year From Hell For Which I’m Grateful

2017 was probably the hardest year of my life, thus far. It started out okay but when the leaves began to change and the temperature became colder, so did my life.

In 2017, I lost my husband (through separation) and one of my favorite people in the entire world, my grandmother, through death.

Yet, out of what seemed like the worst of times, the best of times also emerged. You see, I’ve always liked learning and 2017 was the teacher that I needed. Being somewhat of a Type A personality, I always thought that I stayed prepared for the worst, but 2017 taught me how to really gird my loins.

2017 taught me a new fighting stance. 2017 taught me how to jump higher, run faster, duck lower. 2017 was the steeplechase that I needed to train me and get me in shape for what is to come. 2017 went in and found all the cracks and leaks that were going to cause me worse problems in the future and went to work on them.

Most importantly, in 2017, I learned I’m much stronger than I thought. I learned that the things that I thought would be Mt. Everest experiences for me were really hills that I could easily surmount.

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Nobody can promise us anything. People wish us well and have good intentions when they do so but life, I find, isn’t subject to any of us. Life, for those of us claiming to want to be better and do better, will sometimes serve us dishes that are more bitter than we like with the purpose of training our taste buds, so to speak. It’s up to us to be open to the road that leads us to where we say we want to be or reject the pruning and stay trapped where we are.

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Though I shed many, many, many tears in 2017, I’m grateful that I made it. I’m thankful that I didn’t just make it, but that I came out of it with a new perspective on life and a fresh concept of who I am. I’m not trying to BS you with some new age/shout it to the universe and you’ll get it/think positively balderdash. If anything, I hope you take with you the fact that life can be difficult but, unlike people, when life gets hard, it’s not to harm us but to propel us. Our job is to be attentive students.

Best wishes for 2018.

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

leo

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Thoughts On The Racist Roommate, Tyrese & Hollywood Sexual Misconduct “Allegations”

Partie Un

She would have caught these hands until she didn’t know her ass from a hole in the wall.

I’m serious.

I’m neither a lover nor a fighter. The last time I was in a slight physical altercation was in 4th grade when the class bully set her sights on me and that was over in 6 seconds when she flew across the bathroom floor.

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I’m quiet. I’m reserved. I’m an intellectual. But I swear fo’ gawd and all the saints, the day I find out you stuck my toothbrush up your ass, you’re going to need Jesus, the Hare Krishna, Muhammad, David Koresh, Deepak Chopra, the priest from The Exorcist, the lady from Poltergeist, and all the Marvel superheroes to save you from the fade you will surely catch.

Rubbing your bloody tampon on my possessions? You just signed up for the combo special that comes with a free colostomy bag…if you live.

I’m just waiting for the other white people to try to act like she’s either sick in the head or somehow not really racist and just a “kid” who used “bad judgment” because we all know that white people would rather be called malignant sociopaths with scabies for brains than racist.

I just hope her roommate doesn’t forgive her by reflex as Black people are commonly tasked with doing.

Partie Deux

For me to care about Tyrese’s problems, I’d have to pretend that he has not been antagonistic towards Black women.

I rarely played pretend as a child and won’t start now.

It is long past time for Black men to realize that when they antagonize, victimize and slander the image of their mother, they are cursing themselves with a thousand curses.

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I give not two damns about him being broke even though he’s been in 9874958 iterations of Fast and Furious. I still have plenty of money from my paycheck almost two weeks ago but he hasn’t figured out how to make 7 figures upon 7 figures upon 7 figures last?

“Nobody wants to hire meeeee….” Mmmkay. Not sure who else was trying to hire you but the producers of Fast and Furious or some concert promoter who likes to put on shows with 90s singers who became famous by accident but, uh-ruh….

And I’m still trying to figure out why he referenced The Rock in his fit. Don’t be mad that DeWayne figured out how to do arithmetic and save money. Don’t be mad that DeWayne has marketability by himself while you have to be surrounded by 98759377 other people for anybody to pay attention to you, Ty.

While you were looking up “mendments” and trying to tell women you don’t know how to look and behave 72 hours after marrying your true love, maybe you should have been balancing your checkbook instead.

I’ll leave him and all the other Black men who antagonize Black women with the same “advice” they like to give: you should have chosen better *shrug*

Partie Trois

So, ever since the allegations against Harvey Weinstein’s bad behavior surfaced, actors and other Hollywooders all over the place are being exposed. Kevin Spacey, Danny Masterson, Brett Rattner, etc have all been identified as men who may have either sexually harassed or assaulted either women or even children and teens.

Let’s be clear: I use the word “allegations” loosely because I’m not about to get sued by people who may not be able to keep their hands (and other body parts) to themselves.

My take is simply this: it should not take social media movements for networks and executives to put the trash on the curb where it belongs. I’d have to believe that the heads (and feet) of these companies did not know that these men were engaged in such behavior and well, I don’t.

oh please

I only know of Kevin Spacey from his screen work and even I had “heard” that he had done certain inappropriate things long before this story broke. Lil’ ol’ me….in Dallas, TX, who has never met him personally. Are we then to believe that the studio executives and directors and producers never had any clue that these men consistently behaved badly? GTFOH.

Unfortunately for Kevin Spacey, he’s not Black and heterosexual. If he were, he could sit back, still collect a check and watch people talk shit about his victims.

miss jay

There’s a word for people who cover up the misdeeds of others: complicit.

 

 

 

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.

leaves

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.

tenor

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.

laughing

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!