Monday, October 15, 2012


So earlier today some chick on twitter starts going on about food stamps. Some young, white chick got into a little convo with me about food stamps and people taking advantage of the system and tax dollars and whatnot and I got to thinking.
How many times do people complain about their tax dollars going to support lazy people who refuse to find work or who milk the system?
All the time.
So many people assume those on assistance are lazy and/or don’t really need the help. But regardless, here’s the deal….
The people who are on assistance actually do need it. How do I know? Because they won’t give you assistance unless you need it. I love how everyone thinks that you can just walk into an office, say “I want food stamps,” and they just give it to you and say “have a nice day.”
But since those who complain about it have never needed assistance, they wouldn’t know. They don’t know that you have to give every bit of information about yourself. Name, birth date, birth certificate and SSN of everyone living under the same roof, all sources of income, bank accounts, how much cash you have in your wallet, whether or not you own ANYTHING, etc. Then they call you in for an interview to get further proof.
If you make too much or are too young or too old or have no children (cash assistance only) then you are ineligible. My mother was making $25,000 to support 5 kids and she DID NOT qualify for food stamps. When I was 21, I had a newborn and couldn’t work because I had no childcare. I didn’t qualify then because (even though I paid rent) I was living in my mother’s house. If they gave food stamps to just anyone, don’t you think we’d all have them.
And what’s more important is this….
Food stamps buy food. Food feeds children. So why are you complaining about feeding children? Are you that upset that your precious tax dollars are used to feed children who may not otherwise eat?
Let’s take a second to break it down and see how much of your hard earned money actually goes towards food stamps.
According to 3.7% of your tax money goes towards food and nutritional assistance. Which includes, food stamps (now called SNAP), free and reduced school lunch programs, and WIC (provides nutritional foods for pregnant/breastfeeding women and children under the age of 5). Only 3.7%. For a single person making $25,000 a year (which is $10,000 more than minimum wage), only $65.68 of your hard earned money goes to all 3 programs combined. That’s less than $3.00 a paycheck.
Are you really that bent out of shape over $3.00? Is that $3.00 so important to you that you’d rather starve a family? People are really disgusting. Instead of complaining about food stamps, you should be more concerned with what our national defenses are taking.
24.9% of our tax dollars go towards national defense. 24.9% goes to Lord knows what and you’re complaining about 3.7% and we know exactly where it goes. To feed people.
Really it’s simple when you look at it, but everyone would rather remain ignorant and complain that they have to spend money (that they have) on food while those who are too poor get help.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Portrait of Gentrification

In 1996, my family was fortunate to move into a home that we built through Habitat for Humanity. Our house, which my mother now owns outright, is in the Woodlawn neighborhood of NE Portland. In the past 16 years, I've watched the neighborhood change drastically.
Earlier this evening, I had a conversation with my mother. About a year ago, they made one of the cross streets into a bike path and in the name of safety, they painted a mural in the middle of our intersection to grab drivers' attention and slow traffic. She told me they were having a block party to touch up the mural and that someone may be coming by to get supplies from her. Upon hearing how excited she was about it, I simply said, "I refuse to help these white folks in their gentrification of my neighborhood."
Of course she got upset with me for disagreeing with her. I wasn't trying to argue, just stating that I wanted nothing to do with the white people who were changing this community unless it involved uplifting our people. And we all know the only kind of uplifting they want for us is to lift our asses up out of here and send  us towards the outskirts of town.
At first my mother somewhat denied the fact that this area was being gentrified. And then I reminded her that when we moved in there were only 3 white families on the block and now there are only 4 Black families. Looking at the census, in 1990 58% of the Woodlawn neighborhood was Black, in 2000 32%, and in 2010 26%. Even the neighborhood schools have always been the "Black schools" like Jefferson, Woodlawn, Tubman, Whitaker, and King. What used to be a predominately minority neighborhood is now teeming with white hipsters, their bikes, Subarus, band practices, and hemp products.
We've all seen the city being gentrified over the years. They come in, raise rent, increase taxes, take away street parking, move us out, take over and then rename our streets after our historical figures. Union became MLK, Portland became Rosa Parks, 39th became Caesar Chavez. (If they ever do get a hold of Jefferson High School, I wouldn't be surprised if they renamed it after Malcom X.)
I'm just tired of it. I'm tired of acting like its not happening. I'm tired of these bastards smiling my face every morning knowing they just can't wait for our Black asses to leave and raise their property value. Im tired of my mother receiving letters and phone calls for the white couple begging to buy and repair the house that we literally built with our own hands. I'm just tired.
But unfortunately, my fatigue means nothing.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Plight of the Black Family

So, last night I was having a conversation about Black folks with a friend of mine. I don't know why, but I'm pretty sure my new tattoo started the conversation. Anyway, so my friend, who is a 30-something, successful Black man who grew up in the projects of New York, spent about 45 minutes breaking down all that is wrong with the dynamics of the Black Family. We covered many aspects, so I will try my best to break it down.

When dating.....

We've noticed a trend in the (not so)great northwest when it comes to Black men's dating habits. They love white women. Go to any show/concert/event and you will see more Black men booed up with white women than Black women. And why is this, well simply put, they're looking for a come up. They want the one thing most white women have to offer, financial aid. You have the young thugs that pimp out white women or lay up on their sofa, borrow their cars and leech off every dime they earn. And, even more despicable, successful Black men who attach themselves to white women to enhance their financial stability.

These men are not interested in Black women because they can't (won't) pay their bills, cash them out, or let them use their trust fund.

So then we see all these mixed couples breeding light skinned babies, watering down their Black roots trying to get closer and closer to that good old "White" money, but that Black man will never ever get a piece of that pie. What he fails to realize is daddy is going to disown Becky for dating him and if at any point times get hard, Becky will not have the survival skills required to help him hold it down.

How can the Black Family survive when its being diluted and there are fewer and fewer Black men who are willing to create a family with Black women?

**I know all Black men who date/have dated a white woman are not like that. I am simply speaking of those who's preference is to date white women.**

And then you have fatherhood....

A concept foreign to many Black men. No matter how often we talk about it, how hard we try to fix it, Black men just have a tendency to leave. I have more friends with absentee fathers than friends who's fathers were involved. We see it all the time, at home, on tv, amongst our friends, Black fathers disappear like the stars on a cloudy night.

Whether a couple is married or two strangers have a condom mishap, many of you Black men skip out on the biggest responsibility of your life...your children. My mother's father left her, my father left me, my daughter's father left her. And they think its ok. Nobody is telling these men to take care of their children. Nobody cares. Men aren't telling their sons to raise their children, because they dipped out on their sons as well.

Now, yes, there is a long history of broken families. Fathers were ripped from their wives and children and sold to different plantations. They were brutally murdered by the Klan. Men were wrongfully accused and placed behind bars. But now, they simply leave. They heartlessly turn their back on their seeds and repeat with the next (or try to find a white girl.)

And Black women are left to shoulder the burden. To raise their sons without a father, to raise their daughters strong enough to hold it down when they get left. And they're tired and hurt and disrespected and unwanted. (And you wonder why we're so "angry and bitter")

So what needs to happen?

Simply put (yet not so simply executed) Black men need to step the f*ck up. Even if you don't have children of your own, you need to do your part to rebuild the Black Family. Reach out to your brothers, nephews, cousins and instill that sense of responsibility. Teach them to love their beautiful Black women, to stand on their own two feet no matter how tired they get (kinda like Black women do) and to take care of their children no matter what.

I do understand that some women make it ridiculously hard for you men to enjoy fatherhood. They are nasty and crazy, they try to hold your children hostage when you end the relationship and a myriad of other obstacles are placed in your way. You have to be strong enough to ignore all of her drama in order to be their for your children. In order to raise daughters who will not exhibit such behavior and sons who will not make the mistake of creating life with those types of women.

All excuses aside, Black men need to start doing their part. And no, that's not just paying child support and taking your kids every other weekend. Step up and rebuild our homes, strengthen our youth and please start loving your Black women because your daughters see what's going on.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Facebook Etiquette

Texts You Should Never Send a Girl

Ever get a text, pick up your phone, read it, and then set your phone right back down? Yeah, I’m sure you have. We all have. It never fails, at some point, some dumb ass guy will send a text that will have me staring at my phone like you’ve got to be kidding me. Anyway, I’ve taken the time to actually go through my phone and post the most common annoying texts I receive. Starting with……
  • “Hey” - Really? That’s it. “Hey” oh yeah, that’ll make me respond right away. You’re going to have to come harder than that sir.
  • “You miss me?” -This has to be the worst. Like really, If I missed you, I would tell you. And don’t go asking dumb questions you haven’t answered yourself. Just ugh!
  • “WYD” - Ignoring this text.
  • “You up?” - Nope, I’m sleep. Seriously though, this is the booty call text. I mean late night rendezvous are fun and all, but I need to know before 10 so I can at least shave my legs. lol
  • “Hello” - This one either comes after I’ve been ignoring your texts (and at that point you should lose my number) or if one of us has an attitude. Either way, it will probably be ignored or answered with a teaspoon of hatred.
  • “I’m horny” - uhhhhhhh ok congratulations. Do you want a cookie. Need me to direct you to a website. Why the hell are you telling me this….via text at that. Boy bye!
  • “Send me a pic” - Nigga, of what? I don’t send naughty pics and I probably look like shit right now so if you’re that pressed to see a pic of me, you better log onto facebook. I have thousands…..literaly.
Anyway, That’s all I got for now. Going back too far in my phone causes me to vomit and convulse. What are some dumb texts guys have sent you? And guys what texts to girls send that have you wishing your battery would die?