Monday, October 15, 2012

Oh SNAP!

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.”
Wrong.
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 www.whitehouse.gov/2011-taxreceipt 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.
$3.00.
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.
Fin.

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?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Think Like a Man (my review)....Don't read if you haven't seen the movie yet.

So I will start this off by saying God is such an amazing creator for giving us Michael Ealy. I mean seriously, he is just so damn fine, he makes watching even the worst movies (see Takers) enjoyable. I mean, just look at him...

Anyway, where was I going with this? Oh yes. Think Like a Man came out this past weekend and I went ahead and saw it and I thought I'd share my thoughts with y'all. You care.

My first thought when folks started asking me did I like the movie was this:
It was good. Just like you would expect a Black romantic comedy to go. Hilariously funny, thanks to Kevin Hart, but there were, of course, those corny moments when you thought, Niggas don't act/talk like that.

I laughed enough, and enjoyed the eye candy, but I really don't think the story line was all that great. It was one of those movies where it seemed like instead of developing a great plot, they decided to throw in extra characters and sub-plots.

There was the interracial couple who were shacking up. And the playa -who was by far the cheesiest and least believable character in the movie. I mean, he's not even attractive enough to be a "playa." But he somehow snagged Megan Good who just got done boning Chris Brown. I"m so not buying it.- And then there was the on and of drama between Kevin Hart and his ex wife, the mama's boy and the single mom and his mama, the unemployed negro and the independant woman and also a random married guy there to crack awkward jokes at awkward moments.

There was so much going on that they didn't have the time to perfect it which left the movie with shitty half endings that weren't realistic (see Why Did I Get Married Too) I mean the whole issue with the "mama's boy" being so easily solved. Now I've dealt with mama's boys and I've seen my girls dealing with them too. There is no such thing as giving a mama's boy an ultimatum and seeing him take immediate action nor is there such thing as a mama approving. That would not have happened. The world of a mama's boy is a very delicate one and most will never be in a successful relationship...ever.

I just hate watching relationship movies where they make it seem like every issue is so easily solved. Like there's steps you take and then boom everyone's happy. Every single person ended up happily involved with their boo at the end of this movie. That is NOT real life. And that makes it corny. Too much like movies about white people and their picket fences and 2.5 kids. I want to see some real life shit. It ain't always rosy over here.

So what did I like about the movie? Well for one Kevin Hart was absolutely hilarious. It was like watching him act out one of his stand up routines and I swear hearing his character argue with his ex wife was probably really how he talked to his ex wife in real life. He is my favorite comedian right now so it's hard not to love him.

Other big pluses...
I love Michael Ealy and Taraji together. That was all kinds of sexy. They have good on-camera chemistry. Imagining him as a man who can cook and put it down in the bedroom wasn't half bad either. Truthfully, if the whole movie was about their relationship with Kevin Hart offering comic relief, I would have liked it much better. And no, its not because I want to lick the sweat from Michael Ealy's navel, I just genuinely enjoyed his character. He seemed the realest to me.

I also liked the little cameos. I mean, this was the best...

And I won't complain about seeing Morris Chestnut looking all fugly and washed up either. Good times.

Anyway, that was my two cents. It was worth the $7.50. The eye candy was good, the jokes were hilarious, but I honestly idn't expect much more out of a movie based on a book written by Steve Harvey.



Side note: Did anyone else notice how odd the previews were? Usually they show previews for similar movies, but I guess since there aren't many Black romantic comedies coming out, they seemed to throw a whole but of random nonsense in there. How did we go from a Tyler Perry movie to Total Recall to Madagascar 3?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

My Two Cents

Well I cannot say I'm not a little happy that Zimmerman has finally been charged with 2nd degree murder. I know it will bring some kind of peace to Trayvon's family. To have your son's life taken without any form of justice has got to hurt like hell.

However, I hope you all see this as what it truly is. A muzzle. They want us to feel like our marches and rallies really did something when in all actuality they just want us to shut up and go back to eating watermelon and drinking grape soda. They do not care whether or not Zimmerman goes to jail. They don't care whether or not a child has lost his life. They want us to feel like we have an impact on something, pat us on the head and send us on our way, once again blinded to the shit they do.

They treat us like children. Like puppets on a string. They predict our every move because the system they set up is so perfect, they know what we will react to, how and when we will stop caring. Zimmerman is simply a pawn. They could care less if he spent life in prison or moved to Brazil. They don't care about any of us. They just want to move on to the next and give us the false impression that they listen when we holler.

We're a joke to them. We're hollering Free Boosie and you think they really give a fuck about locking up Zimmerman. They know we ain't about shit and I know it too. If we really cared about justice and all that jazz, we'd know that a march or a protest won't help a damn thing. More people showed up to the Aries Party than the Rally for Trayvon. People spend more time spending money, flashing their material goods, and fighting over status than they do preparing their children for success, promoting knowledge and awareness and fighting for equality.

They don't need to end racism or provide us with justice, they just need to give us enough to get us to go about living like we always do. We have a short attention span. Just look what happened with Kony. And most people stopped talking about Trayvon last week. The arrest of Zimmerman just brought it back to our attention.

Don't be fooled folks. We didn't make this happen, our voices were not heard. Nobody was touched by images of people in hoodies. Nobody cared that Obama's son would look like Trayvon. They simply want to move on to the next thing. They have once again "atta boy"ed our community and chuckled. And we, once again, have allowed it to happen.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Something Like a Poem

It finally hit me
Images flash
My skin heats up
With just the thought of your touch
And something inside sinks
Knowing I won’t feel it again
No more intimate moments
No more minutes of simply sharing space and time
Your lips
Damn
No longer will they touch mine
Or graze my breast
My thigh
Will no longer feel the warmth of your body
Next to mine
On top of mine
The way your hair hung and tickled my bare skin
The way we connected without even touching
Gone
If only I knew
The last time
Was our last time
I would have made it last

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

My Thoughts on Racial Identity

Where do I even begin with this one?
I guess I’ll start with myself. I am a Black woman. I was raised by two Black parents and if anyone is to ask me my race, I will tell them I’m Black, every time. I am, however, mixed with many different other races. My maternal grandmother is a mix of many different European bloods and a drop of Native-American. Her husband was Black, Jamaican, and even a little Mongolian. My paternal grandmother is Black and Native-American. And my grandfather is Black, Native-American, and white. With all that said I’m obviously mixed. Most people assume that just looking at me. But first, foremost, last and always, I am a Black woman.
I think it’s crazy that I have to defend my Blackness in this society. Other Black people want to label me, call me mixed, say that I’m not Black, and I think that’s absolutely ridiculous. Why? Well I hope you don’t think your Black ass is pure. I don’t know if you all forgot about that long history of slavery, when they were raping African women and having babies and whatnot, not to mention the Native Americans who kept slaves or befriended and reproduced with them. Not that there is anything wrong with not being pure, but unless you can trace your entire lineage back to a hut in Africa, I’m going to need to take a seat near the rear of the class.
And even if you can prove that you’re pure, who the hell are you to tell someone whether or not they are Black? We can’t control who rapped who, who married who or any of that in our family tree. We just know who we are today. If we were walking around calling ourselves mixed or bi-racial then you’d act like we thought we were better than Black people. At least we’re proud of our heritage; the heritage that is usually the strongest branch on the tree. I love my Blackness more than anything and I’m not about to let any damn body tell me I’m not Black.
I find it funny that there’s always the talk that light-skinned people think they’re better or don’t have it as bad as darker people and that is sometimes true. However, the funny part is the people who think that, are usually the darker ones. I know I’ve never walked around thinking I was the shit because I was lighter or acted like my life should be easier because of my complexion. But I’ve had plenty of darker people tell me this. It’s far from true. Believe that.
I never try to separate myself from other Black people, dark or light. We are all the same. I mean, the beauty of Black people is that we come in so many different shades and colors. We are as diverse within our own race as humanity is as a whole. When I see a Black person, no matter their color, I acknowledge their Blackness. We are all equal. Besides, when other races look at us, they see us all as Black. During slavery (and still to this day at times), no matter your shade, you were still a nigger.
There is no escaping or controlling the racism we experience from other races. But the internalized oppression and self-hate that we inflict on one another is damaging beyond belief. Why would the white man have to waste time tearing us down when we do it ourselves?
I will leave you with this (I believe I’ve written this somewhere before) Black people are the most beautiful people in the world because no matter what you define as beautiful, there is a black person somewhere who will fit the description. From those with blonde, straight hair and blue eyes to those with thick curly hair and deep brown eyes, Black is beauty. Stop being so concerned with who qualifies and just embrace your brothers and sisters. Strength from within will help us stand and rise as a people.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Too Short Went Too Far

"You push her up against the wall," he [Too Short] continued. "You take your finger and put a little spit on it and you stick your finger in her underwear and you rub it on there and watch what happens."

That is an excerpt from an article written in response to a video by Too Short posted on XXL.com. The original video has been taken down, but the response article can be found here.
As you could guess, many folks are in an uproar about it. I know my twitter timeline is flooded with mentions of the rapper’s foul advice to young boys. This is all expected. This is what should be happening. We should be infuriated with this fool of a man for uttering such disgusting words, and angered with XXL.com for posting the video as well.
What bothers me is the “why are you so shocked” comments. Sure we know that Too Short has never made the cleanest music. In fact, he basically makes a living off of disrespecting women. However, I think there is a very well defined line between making foul music and advising young boy to practically force sexual acts on young girls. Even if there was a hint of consent in his suggestion, it would still be equally bad.
As an adult female, I choose whether or not I want to listen to his music and I usually don’t. The only time I listen is at the club and when I’m there, I’m not trying to win any “respectable lady of the year” awards. I also don’t go out and do what he tells me because, well I’m an adult with a bit of common sense. But for him to directly give young boys detailed instruction on how to finger a girl is completely out of line.
As a mother of both a son and a daughter I am appalled. My kids don’t listen to Too Short because I don’t play it around them, and if I continue to raise them right, if they do happen to listen to him in the future, I doubt they will be influenced by him. However, my issue is that they will encounter other children with weak minds and horrible upbringings that may take this kind of advice from this sick bastard. Lord knows I don’t want to go to jail for killing some little boy because he did to my daughter what Too Short told him to.
Goodness I’m ready to break someone’s neck just thinking about it.
The point I’m trying to make is yes, his music has always been bad and yes many of us still shake our asses to it. That does not take away from the fact that his latest show of sick foolery is worth being outraged about. I’m actually outraged at the people who aren’t disturbed by it. We have to be more concerned for our little girls. Or are we forgetting that 1 in 3 women are sexually assaulted at least once in their life. Its ideas like this that make that possible. Don’t accept it and don’t justify it by saying “you weren’t mad when you were bumping his music.” It still doesn’t make it ok.

Friday, February 3, 2012

How > Where: Some dating tips

“I could never date a guy I met at the club!” - The bougie girl war cry.
How often have we heard women utter this statement? How many of them also complain of being miserably single? Meeting your future husband at the club is a nightmare to these women, but what if they don’t meet their future husband anywhere?
Let me just clear the air right here and say I do not think meeting a man in the club is either good or bad. I mean, if you go to the club and meet a guy, great. If you don’t, ok. The whole thing is, it’s not about where you meet a guy, it’s how you meet him and what you plan on doing with him afterwards. You can meet Saint Francis at the cathedral, but if you’re throwing your p*ssy at him, he’s probably going to dog you.
A lot of these single women (myself included) are single not because of where they meet guys, but because of their process. Realistically if you’re looking for a life mate, meeting him at a place you enjoy going to is ideal. Whether it’s the club or church, obviously if you’re both there, you have something in common. That’s always a good start. So let’s squash that whole argument now and say meet a guy, anywhere you happen to be. The end.
Onto my next point. Say you meet a guy at [insert desired venue here]. If you immediately hop in bed with him, it’s over before it starts. He’s not going to respect you because you’re not respecting yourself. He may or may not even call you (depending on how good the sex is and how pressed he is for good sex.) And of course if he never calls or only calls for sex, you’re going to go on and on about how he’s a dog. How is that fair to him?
Said guy only did what you allowed him to do. He reacted to your actions and now you’re mad because of a decision that YOU made yourself. Because you wanted to screw him, he screwed you. Both literally and figuratively and you’re still single. That’s no one’s fault but your own.
Now let’s try a different approach.  Say you meet a guy at [insert desired venue here]. You exchange numbers, chat for a bit, go on a date or two, get to know each other and whatever else happens from there. Unless you really are a crazy psycho bitch, I doubt he’s going to “dog” you. Why? Because you gave him no chance to. We’re all happy.
Now, this is not to say that things will work out perfectly in the latter example. Lord knows what other factors can come into play and ruin whatever you have going on. However, I’m sure you’ll deal with less “dogs” if you’re not hopping into bed with every guy you meet. And sometimes, even when you try to handle things in a more respectable way, guys will still dog you. There are a few men that are just ass holes, but that’s why we pay attention to the red flags ladies.
Well, that’s all for today. Keep this in mind when you hit up the club tonight and tomorrow night and also when you go to church on Sunday. J

Sunday, January 29, 2012

"My girl loves to sabotage."

You know, I just love self-diagnosing myself. With all the time I spend awake at night, it’s only natural that I over-analyze my every move. And of course I was a psychologist in my former life, so there you have it. Anyhow, one of my favorite diagnoses (only because it’s so spot-on) is that I’m a habitual self-saboteur. Trust me on this one. If you know me, or have read enough of my sad little blog entries, you know it’s true.
I have single handedly ruined numerous opportunities, dreams, relationships, you name it. Something about seeing a glimmer of hope in something or someone pushes my self-destruct button. And unfortunately, I’ve learned that it’s not just me.
 Hmmm, I guess I’m not always alone. Cue violins.
Being an observant (read nosey) individual, I’ve noticed some of my friends, family, and associates unwillingly participating in the grand act of self-sabotage as well. It’s a terrible site to see. Like a train wreck. You see it coming, but there’s no way you can stop it, so you just sit in the car and scream. And it’s always at the most predictable times.
For instance, I was dating a guy and right after I realized I was falling in love with the poor bastard I started doing the dumbest things to piss him off.  Mind you, none of it was intentional. I just found myself becoming the exact opposite of the girl any guy would like. I’ll spare you the scandalous details, but it ended in us never speaking again.
And it really is the worst with relationships. Many people tend to set themselves up from the beginning. We expert self-saboteurs like to end the party before it begins. Once the communication, flirtation, etc. starts, we put ourselves into categories based off of our own judgments of ourselves.
Make that make sense real quick.
The other party involved isn’t even allowed to form their own opinion about us, they can’t decide for themselves where they want to take things, because we’ve already done it for them. Because I see myself in a certain light, I assume that men see me in a certain light so I just stand in whatever box I figure they’ll file me in. And if they look at me and see that I’ve already graciously stood there, what are they to do but accept it?
Crazy how hope leads to hopelessness, huh?
You know, I really wish I had some awesome conclusion. A moral or lesson would fit so perfectly within this last paragraph. Unfortunately, I’m not as smart as I look. These glasses really are prescription. Honestly, this is a terrible habit I have. I second guess myself, I lose faith, and I give up. Only thing I can say to that is, “Stop it Sharde!” Well, the fact that I’ve acknowledged that I have a problem is half the battle, right? Hopefully I’ll catch myself before it happens again.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Monday, January 9, 2012

Apes, Cocoa Butter, and Jedi Mind Tricks

So, the other night, I went with a couple of friends to a comedy show. I won't bore you with too many descriptive details, I'll just say that I could count the number of Black people on one hand....if I was born with an extra finger. Anywho, the headliner was a friend of ours. A Black guy...shocker right. But in his routine he made a joke about cocoa butter and due to the lack of pigmentation in the crowd, he had to explain it a bit.

For those of you who are confused, cocoa butter is a mosturizing lotion that Black people use. In fact the only white people I ever see use it are those with stretch marks.

So anyway the joke was made, the crowd laughed, he finished up and the show was over. Following the show, they played some improv games on stage. The first game was like Jeopardy. Someone from the audience would call out a noun (the answer) and the comedians would ask the question (the joke basically.) So we hung around a bit to listen and of course someone in the crowd (a white woman) yelled out "cocoa butter." Everyone at our table tensed a bit. I felt the temperature drop by about 10 degrees. We were on standby.

It may not have seemed like a big deal and really it wasn't. However, because of the joke my friend told and the explanation behind it that linked cocoa butter to Black people, it was kind of a low blow. But of course we weren't supposed to care. So we waited, we listened to a few of the comedians make a few lame, awkward jokes, and then (as we all knew it would) it happened. One of the comedians came up to the mic and said "What is the scientific term for ape semen?"

*vigorously rubs temples*

Now I could look at that as an innocent and highly corny joke. But I've spent almost a week trying to dissect it without it having any racist connotations to it. I can't. There is no way to make sense of that "joke" in relation to the word "cocoa butter" without linking it to Black people and I really don't think I need to explain the oh so epic connection between apes and racist ass white people who are secretly jealous of the size of Black men's penises. No wait, that's not what I meant, but you get what I was saying.

This guy just makes a racist joke and we're all supposed to just laugh at it and shrug it off. And sadly that's basically what happened. We've been so brainwashed to think that racism doesn't exist that when we witness it first hand, we get stuck. White people and their Jedi mind tricks. *waves hand* "Racism doesn't exist anymore, nigger."

In retrospect, I'm actually really disappointed in myself for not reacting differently. For not standing up and cussing his lilly white ass out, for not stomping out of the room and writing a bad review on the venue's website (wait that's my white side kicking in.) But seriously my lack of reaction baffles me. I guess we've just become that used to backhanded racism that it just doesn't phase me anymore.

And yet when a Black woman makes a video about her actual experiences in dealing with white women and the stupid things they say to Black women, its an outrage and all of a sudden Black people are the most racist people on the planet. Damn, after all white people did for us, bringing us to America, renaming us, teaching us English, impregnating us with their babies, housing us in sheds and feeding us their scraps, you think we'd be a little more appreciative.

I digress.

But anyway. I just had to share that experience with you all because I've been dwelling on it for days. Oh and be forewarned, its almost Black history month. If you know me, you know to expect many of these racially fueled rants. :-)