The System is Against You, But It Ain’t

My little brother is in jail. Not the baby because he has been playing Jail Monopoly since he was fourteen and I shouldn’t say that I wrote him off but *shrugs* I kinda did. This brother though, I just knew that he was going to make it. He was/is this close -> <- to making it  and I’ve done something that I don’t do; recommended him for a job with a friend who has pretty much guaranteed him a career with benefits including paying for him to get a trade where he would/could be set for life. Which he would be starting the second he graduates from high school in May.

I normally don’t do that because honestly, my brothers be tripping. Anger/inconsistency/Laziness/ etc etc. Things too often associated with the job habits of dudes from the hood. Even though my mom took us out of the hood a long ass time ago. But, Not this brother. This one is goofy. Drives you crazy with talking way too damn much, knowing everything in typical teenage fashion, and being a follower. I’ve told my mom in the past that she should send him somewhere. He could make it if he went somewhere far away from bad influences. Especially my other brothers who do things with him that he can’t handle. He might occasionally act like he’s from Newark but this child is straight up Drake in Degrassi corny. Hell he was born in Woodbine NJ. As small town country as one can get.

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Of course, she didn’t. What mom really wants to send her child far away? Especially when he’s a follower who could get into all sorts of things without proper supervision. So this weekend to my utter shock this lame has landed himself in jail with multiple charges of breaking and entering. Except this loser really didn’t do any of those things. This idiot is only guilty of the last two charges, pawning other people’s shit and lying on a pawn form.

His “friends” did the crime and ol lame o is more than likely going to do the time. Even if he doesn’t go to jail he’s probably not hire-able for that nice job, probably won’t be able to go to college, which was his other option, probably now on the same track as the rest of my brothers. I know that that whole sentence is a slippery slope BUT it is also what happens in my experience. Now, I could talk about how if he were a white kid and we had money these charges would go away pretty easily. He’s getting ready to graduate from high school for christ’s sake. He’s a teenage idiot doing stupid teenage things. BUT again in my experience this isn’t what is destined to happen for him. No one really cares about messing up the rest of teens from the hood’s lives.

I’m feeling all of the emotions right now- anger, grief, frustration, sadness, and mostly annoyance. Because while the system IS setup in a way where brown boys are more likely to do prison time for petty crimes, my loser of a brother has no real reason to even be in this situation.

Why wasn’t he at home doing his homework or something? Were there no football games happening at his school for him to go and be cute at while drinking Gatorade, eating cheese fries, and macking on girls his age?

He didn’t need to pawn other people’s crap. My parents provide very handsomely for this idiot including letting him drive my mom’s shiny black pathfinder as if it’s his own. He has a nice house with two parents with a fully stocked fridge and all of the electronics that one would want. He has multiple adult siblings who want to see him thrive so they give him money for suede shoes for his prom, homecoming and anything else he could want AND if he could just go to work with my dad and not get on his last damn nerve he could have a job that pays too well for a barely trained worker. But ALAS B-Rad would rather hang with the wrong people and do the wrong things so now my mom is yet again crying over another idiotic ass black boy guilty of doing things that he shouldn’t do for no other reason than

1: He’s lame.

2: He wants to.

3: He thinks that the system is against him and he has nothing to lose and I want to tell him that yes it is, but also No it ain’t.

 

 

Today We Mourn, Tomorrow We Fight.

I’m supposed to trust in the Universe. Supposed to believe in God and trust in his name and all that Jazz. I’m supposed to suck up the fact that my Country has elected the Devil Incarnate to represent us. To not act fearful of the fact that the man who preyed upon, amplified, and gave a platform to the worst parts of the human condition is set to continue that trajectory for at least the next four years. To think that things are going to get better. To trust the same Republican senators who have blocked so many good things in congress just because they could, will now act in the best interests of this same country.

Supposed to continue to pretend that I trust most of my white friends and associates. To stand up in rooms with people who voted against all of the parts of my beings  and believe that they have my businesses best interests at heart. To make believe that DJ’s teachers aren’t a part of the school to prison pipeline. Expected to stand and make pledges to a flag that has never/was never intended to cloak people who look like me and mine.

I should continue to toe the line when it comes to discussing race and injustice, especially on social media. To believe that Amerikka is the land of the free and the home of the brave.

To think that:

  • BLM
  • Standing Rock
  • The Environment
  • The Economy
  • Women’s Rights
  • LGBTQIA Rights

are at the top of anyone’s lists of protection.

I’m supposed to act like I’m not in Mourning. But I am. I SO FUCKING AM. I am distraught. As distraught as I would be if I lost someone close to me. I mean technically I have. Today before I took a Facebook break  I deleted a whole bunch of people who were so called friends who made the choice to vote for a Demagogue whose platform directly effected me when he talked about how horrible the Blacks were, when he talked about taking away LGBT rights, when he hung out with and was endorsed by the KKK,  when he said that women who get abortions should be punished, when he said that he would make Stop and Frisk legal for the entire country, when he talked about not allowing Muslims in the country, when he discusses building that God-Forsaken illogical ass wall, when he And the list goes on.

If I were Jewish I would be sitting Shiva but since I am not I plan to eat a bunch of shit that I shouldn’t, drink my fill of very good wine, sit with my friends and family to give and receive love, move slowly, side eye white people, and cry; Until my mourning is done. And then I plan to fight for every right that I am at the risk of losing.

 

OH: AND HE WILL NEVER BE MY PRESIDENT.

*Disclaimer, I know that not all white people voted for him, some of my best friends are white.*

Diversity Must Start At Home

Currently there is a lot of attention being paid to the lack of diversity in the Tim Burton directed Ms. Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children. As a constant reader I have read and enjoyed these books for years and was not surprised at the lack of brown faces on the screen. There aren’t any people of color in the books. Why? One would have to ask the writer. The stories are fictional books about children who do everything from be invisible,  float, eat through a second mouth in the back of their heads, to emit fire from their hands; surely with an imagination that can create these characters some of them could have easily been a shade of brown.

Even more astonishing; the novels are set in a fictional version of Wales. Where is Wales? The United Kingdom. Are there black people in the Wales, UK? Yup. For the record black and brown people are everywhere.

So if this is true and people write what they know then why is there such an abysmal lack of diversity in books, movies, and television. Why is there always only one black person or Asian person included in these settings? And then why are those people usually comic relief or the villain? (See there’s a black person. And some potentially brown people. Their villains.)miss-peregrines-home-for-peculiar-children-poster-banner

 

Simple: The people who get chosen to write movies- the directors, casting agents, financiers, decision makers, screen play writers-the authors who get chosen to have their novels first published and then made into movies; are usually white. Are usually male and they were usually raised in a home in a place with at best one black family or one Asian family-with one other family. Thus we end up with a world whose entertainment is written by people who don’t know how to write other because they don’t know other.

As long as white people continue to love segregation (Thirty years after the civil rights era, the United States remains a residentially segregated society in which blacks and whites still often inhabit vastly different neighborhoods.) the lack of diversity in their lives, the lives chosen so frequently to be portrayed in the media- will continue to exist. Thus the lack of diversity in media will continue to exist.

How do we fix this? Simple: We give publishing contracts and publish books written by POC. We hire POC directors,screenwriters, casting agents, financiers, and decision makers. Who will then hire POC talent. But As long as a small segment of the people continue to be in control the rest of us will always be left out.

Oh and if you’re wondering if I’ll watch the movie, I will. I’ll just wait until it comes out on Netflix. I’m the best silent protester I know. Don’t include me? Cool. But you won’t be getting my money.

 

On Things We Should Never Forget

Sundays at the beach:I read articles, blog, and write.

She meets random people who invite her to do Acroyoga. 

I am both astonished at the beauty of life and because today is 9/11, I am also disgustingly aware of my privilege. 

I hope as people change their profile pictures to reflect on how we will Never Forget that they’re not smiling. Idk, there’s something that just doesn’t sit well with my soul every time something terrible happens and the Internet becomes flooded with smiling profile pictures, boobs up, hats cocked, teeth shining with banners across the bottom talking about how they stand with Paris, Syria, New York. 

I reflect on how the same people who can understand that 9/11 should be remembered yearly can get angered about the fact that people of color in this country are still being killed over misdemeanors and demanding (begging) to have fair treatment. (I.E if my brother is accused of a crime please just take him to jail, don’t kill him before her gets to see a judge, and don’t sentence him to a thousand years of prison labor for stealing a swisher sweet.)

Even though We The People are supposed to have the right to a fair trial. And since we don’t Colin, and whoever else should (can) do whatever they can/want to draw attention to the injustices that their people are still facing. I mean isn’t that the purpose of changing your profile pic in solidarity. To draw attention? Or is that something else that’s only reserved for certain people? 

And since I’m on the beach thinking of priviliges that are reserved for certain people I’m reminded that 63 years ago I couldn’t have even come to this beach
I’m reminded of all of the many reasons we still have so much further to go and I hope that we get a lot further a lot faster. And I pray that too many people don’t lose too much to get us there. 

Sundays on the beach. I’m privileged. I watch random men throw my wife around acrobatically. I enjoy the breeze. I listen to Sean sang about how One Man Can Change The  World. And I hope that one man can. Or one woman can. And I hope that they do it soon.

There’s Enough Activism For All of Us Stop Throwing SHade

unnamed.jpgI’m very aware of the things that I say out of my mouth, through my pen, or by virtue of my keyboard. I’m mindful of the pictures, books, images, audio- the everything that I both put into  or out of my body. Which is why you will be hard pressed to see me share horrible videos or images. I never need to see the body of a dead person in order to empathize with their families. I don’t need to watch the video of someone being murdered in order to feel like the value that we as a society places on humans is far too little. I don’t believe that police nor civilians deserve to die. And I don’t spend my time sharing any of this on the internet.

Sometimes, on very rare occasions I wonder if people notice my silence. If they assume that I feel one way or the other. If they judge me because I’m not posting my outrage on the internet.

Sometimes, on very rare occasions I wonder if my absence is noted at the town halls or on the picket lines. If people judge me because I very rarely attend these types of things.

And then I wake up and remember that while some people are social media warriors and spreading knowledge on the internet my feet are actually on the ground. I have been doing things like putting on our Back to School Bash and Girl Talk in The Park for years. I have donated numerous times to  way too many causes to name. Food, money, clothes, utilizing my network, etc etc etc. Most of the time without so much as a share from those same social media warriors. AND I don’t judge them. I understand that there is enough activism for all of us.

Whether you choose to be an internet activist or get your feet on the ground in your own town your work matters. We are all doing the work.This world/ our community needs the work of multiple people supporting multiple causes in multiple ways. Each of these causes is important and each of these people, no matter which way they choose to support them is important. The separation that is currently happening over who is the bigger activist and whose activism is better is utterly ludicrous and I for one wish that we would support each other as easily as we shade or look down on each other.I mean seriously don’t we all have BIGGER things to do?

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On Being Way Over This Election

IDK about you but I am pass the point of tired of:

this election

racism

sexism

xenophobia

terrorism

all of it

Like seriously as a world I think we should take the whole batch of it and dump it into the trash. Then we should light it all on fire and go have a cook out. Unknown-5.jpeg

I mean really, 99.9919892 of us already know who we’re voting for. We knew as soon as the nominees were announced. And when the people we really wanted to win the nomination didn’t win, we knew which one of the second string quarterbacks we were voting for. SO then why as a country do we continue to waste money, time, emotions, and brain cells over this popularity contest of a farce of an election?

Nope I’m not saying your vote doesn’t count. I’m saying arguing over which contestant (cause it is a damn contest) is the best contestant via the internet for fifty eleven months, unfriending your grandma, and being kicked off of your soccer team just doesn’t cause any forward motion for our country’s real concerns.

Like I am this close:

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to quitting the internet until we have “chosen” a president. Seriously what’s the point of losing friends over people who secretly hang out and shoot golf together on the weekends while they separate the rest of the country for fun Monday-Friday.

And as for all of the rest of it it is; 2016. Two thousand and sixteen years post the year of most of y’alls Lord and Savior and we are really wasting time, money, and brain cells practicing isms. I’m not saying we need to hold hands and sway to Kumbaya but maybe we should. AKA Get it together, Mind Your Own Business, and Realize that you and your people are no better than anyone else and their people.

Until Next Time,

Live Happy

 

Oh and usually I welcome comments and critiques but I am no more interested in arguing about politics than I am in buying a $2 Make America Great Again T-Shirt. #Silliness

How You Learn To Hate Yourself or When I Realized That My Lips Were Big

So I just posted a selfie on IG and when I looked at it I realized how large my lips were. Funny thing: I have never thought that my lips were large. I’ve never paid them any attention except to apply some Chapstick. If you know me you know lipstick is such a rare occasion that I don’t even own any.

Anyways, I never thought of how large my lips were until there was this huge racist uproar on MAC Cosmetics IG. And even then I didn’t say anything. I guess I just sort of absorbed it.

That selfie made me think of all of the parts of my body that I’ve thought were too much. And when exactly that happened, like my breasts… They became too large when it was cooler to have smaller perky breasts. Anything larger than a hand full was too much. That’s what the media has shown us for so long. Until getting larger boobs became a thing. Even then the media loves those perky fake ones over us heavy full breasted girls.

I know I know you’re like Adrien what are you talking about but this is how women especially black women begin to internalize hatred for aspects of themselves. I don’t hate my lips but now I know that they’re large. *shrugs* Now I know they match my Michael Jackson Nose.

Also,  I keep seeing my “social media friends” mention how they are so over the talk about racism and this and that and why don’t black people get over things that happened in the past.

Sidebar: Acknowledge your privilege. You can turn it off.

But the reason we can’t just get over it, whatever IT is, is because the past is today. It’s because being a black woman in America means that at any given moment a portion of your body can become unacceptable, too much, and ugly while it is lauded and applauded after someone else purchases it.

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