The Whiteness Spectrum – Explained

***This blog is meant to educate, not offend.
If you you feel some kind of way, Remember, Hit Dogs Holler.***

During a conversation with one of my clients (who is African American), she was lamenting on the phenomenon of White people speaking to us (African American People) like we are idiots. Sometimes it’s overt other times subtle, but it happens all the damn time.  As I worked on trying to prevent her from punching this lady in the face, I offered her my theory on The Whiteness Spectrum.

“She’s a low functioning White Woman, you have to cut her some slack.”

As with any Spectrum, you have to make concessions at times for those who are lower functioning.  You can’t really be mad at them, because they often don’t know any better.  I present, to those of you who haven’t closed out the blog yet, The Whiteness Spectrum – Explained.


If life was a point system, White people start out about 100 points ahead. From birth. Based purely on the fact that they were born White. The point system might look something like this:

White: +100
Black: 0
Light skinned Black: +25
Born Racially Ambiguous: +40
Hispanic (in the US): +25
Caucasian Featured Hispanic (in the US): +50
Asian (in the US): +75

There are – of course – factors that can add to/subtract from, your overall point total.

Poverty (while White): -50
Poverty (while Person of Color): -100
White Male Privilege: +100
White Female Fragility: +150
Born Black Male: -50
Born Black Woman: -75
White LGBT: -25
LGBT Person of Color: -50
Born in to Wealth: +100
Physically Disabled: -50
Form of Mental Illness (while White): -10
Form of Mental Illness (while POC): -25
Developmental Disability (while White): -25
Developmental Disability (while POC): -50
Good Credit: +50
Bad Credit: -50
Single Parent Household: -25
Higher Education (while White): +100
Higher Education (while POC): +50
Higher Education (while Black): +35
Lives 200% above the the poverty line (while White): +75
Live 200% above the poverty line (while POC): +50
Exposure to other cultures (while White): +25
Exposure to other cultures (while POC): +50
Drug Addiction (while White): -25
Drug addiction (while POC): -75
Childhood Trauma (while White): – 50
Childhood Trauma (while POC): – 150

The math is important, because it will help you to understand this next part.  The lower your score, the higher you rate on The Whiteness Spectrum.  I’ve envisioned this spectrum ranging from Low to High Functioning, using the following explanations.

*This isn’t an exact Science, obviously.*


kate

Low Functioning:

Those people who have never had to work for anything. It’s simply been handed to them their whole lives. Born White, the term average is based on their life experience.  They are the litmus test for all national polls, survey’s, studies, etc. Life has been good to them for the most part.  The things that happen to some people, those events in life that build internal strength and fortitude, they passed these people right on by. They know nothing more than their own world. They have no real concept of need, barely ever want for anything. They’ve never went without life’s basic necessities.

These can also be people that use their Privilege as a weapon to attack others. The Racists, the Homophobes, the Xenophobes, the White Nationalists, etc. The people who cut in line or constantly scream, “But I was Told By Apple Care!!!” Those who refuse to see their status quo change.

They’ve never had to “do the work.”  They’ve never had to look at their child and explain why dinner is just Kraft Mac & Cheese.  They’ve never had to struggle in front of a classroom because they couldn’t read.  They’ve never had to step outside themselves and sacrifice for their younger siblings to have clothing/shoes. They are easily frustrated/annoyed when having to deal with something outside their scope of life experience.

3308895_orig

Mild to Moderate Functioning:

Those people who have stumbled in their life. Maybe labeled ADHD, or raised by a single parent after a divorce.  Maybe they were chubby/fat as a youth, or had a crush on someone who rejected them.  They’ve felt hurt/pain/disappointment on more than a few occasions.  Maybe they went to public school, and happened to make friends with a Person of Color. Maybe they saw Mississippi Burning in middle school, and thought to themselves, “Well, that’s fucked up!”

They’ve signed some petitions about Global Warming, they might even vote Democrat. They have a Black Friend. They still remember that one time in high school when everyone walked out because the new AP grading system wasn’t fair.  They have thoughts about how to change the world, but they usually keep them to themselves.

Stirring the pot isn’t really their style, but they will march if everyone else is going too. They converse with like minded friends/colleagues about the current state of the world, but they aren’t quite affected {yet}.

1010-shailene-woodley-mug-3

High Functioning:

Raised in the worst neighborhoods, or even in the Foster Care System. Affected by abuse in it’s many forms, either done to them or seen as a child that was done to a parent. Bullied as a child, or even as an adult. Fought poverty to make something of themselves, had a mentor/coach/teacher who believed in them when no one else did. Maybe had a parent or parents who insisted they be involved in the Model UN.  Went to college on some kind of financial aid or scholarship, and fought to keep it.

Took classes that no one else was taking, joined clubs just to learn about new cultures.  Joined a Black Greek Letter Organization, and not just because they liked the “dancing.” Attends every march, and not just to spectate. Knew about the Dakota Access Pipeline protests BEFORE it was being covered on the news.  Unfriends people on Facebook for saying/posting/liking stupid, ignorant, racist shit. Fights with family members who voted for 45.

They put in the work.  They see injustice, and decide to use their Privilege in a positive way to help others.  Understands they even have Privilege in the first place. Asks the hard questions, and wants to have the hard conversations for the sake of understanding.  Helps others in their job or in their spare time, sometimes both. Strives to make the world a better place for everyone, not just them.


As stated, this isn’t an exact science.  It’s not based on anything but my observations throughout my life. This is how I am trying to figure out how to deal with my daily life experiences. I welcome feedback 🙂

Based on the point system, where do you range? Is it accurate?

Advertisements

No More Mediocre 

I’m tired of mediocre people. I’m tired of mediocre people in power. I’m tired of mediocre people with power and privilege. I’m tired of mediocre people with power and privilege having any sort of say in the everyday workings of my life. 
I’ve spent most of my adulthood, being forced to deal with mediocre people in positions of power. There was a time when I didn’t really care. But it seems that since around January 20th, 2009…this shit has really come to the forefront. My contemporaries elected the first black President, and folks lost their gotdamn minds. 

The people who voted for the Only President I will ever claim, all of a sudden felt all their years of benefiting from their privilege no longer mattered. They felt they should be rewarded for their charity, and race should no longer be a part of any dialogue. 
You shouldn’t be rewarded. No one is going to clap for you. No one cares about your political act of charity. The movie Get Out just solidified some things I’ve been thinking out for the past year. I’m tired of mediocre people in positions of power (both minute and great) demanding respect they haven’t earned. 

I don’t have to respect, like, or care about you (or your feelings) just because you are a liberal (white) woman. I have the right to deny you that respect. Because, my people are free. I am notafraid of you, and in truth never have been. Because you didn’t earn your power, it was handed to you. 
The anger that comes, from knowing I’m better than people and yet I’m not afforded the same access and privilege they are. Some of this I can’t control….but there is a reason I have a therapist. Cuz sometimes that anger can be overwhelming. The difference between them and me…my knowing I’m better than you doesn’t make me address you differently. 

I don’t want your power. I don’t even want your privilege (I mean the good credit yes, but other than that….) I’m good.  
Being black is beautiful. It’s a blessing. At 35 I can say that and understand that phrase. There is nothing better in this world than an intelligent black American woman. Because we have carried the burdens of this country since it’s inception. 

The difference between “Us and Them”, we don’t want your power or your privleges. We just want to be able to create our own, without you trying to take it and make it yours. 

I don’t want your job. I know I can do your job better than you can. So do you, and that’s why you hate me.  I’m starting to believe that it’s some times in the very nature of mediocre people, to ruin any semblance of greatness. LET ME BE GREAT! My greatness doesn’t block your shine…its not meant to. 

I’m great at everything. This country created me to be a jack of all trades. I have to master everything, because survival is key. That’s why I can adapt to everything, because genetically I’m here because my ancestors did the same thing. The strong and resilient ones were the ones that lived. They killed the rest of them. 


I’m so tired of having to dim my light to make mediocre people feel comfortable. I’m so tired of code switching to keep my attitude in check. I’m so fucking tired of being told to stay in my place, because some sensitive ass mediocre bitch is sensitive and feels challenged. 
Wanna know why everyone likes me, cuz I’m honest. I know exactly who and what I am. When I say to them, “We dont judge,” its not empty words. I actually mean that shit. People gravitate towards truth, and those who try to destory it will never win. 

Call this a manifesto of sorts, if you will. My light is finna blind (but not block) these mediocre ass people. 

I am Amazing. I am Beautiful, I am a Genius, and I am indeed Better Than You. This is my truth. I’m living in it. 

Sorry, Not Sorry.

Missing You

A few days ago I found the note you left me on my door, that night you came back. I remember wondering, am I strong enough to do this again?  Can I deal with this pain again? Because I knew, even then that losing you was going to be painful. 

About 5 years later, I can still say I miss you. I can still say I wish I was sharing my life with you. Maybe not as my life mate, but certainly as my friend. You were such a good friend, when you weren’t breaking my heart into 1000 pieces. 

But I miss you. As I’m going back to who I was before I met you.  As I’m exploring new boundaries, and trying to take these fantastic leaps of faith. Trusting complete strangers with my life’s goals and plans.  I wish you were here. To lay with me as I express my fears that most people don’t understand. 

I miss feeling so safe. Sometimes, I can be strong and say Thank YOU God that I even got to experience that feeling. So I know it can happen. But tonight, I just wish I had it back. I even called your number….even though I know you changed it. I just…..Do you remember that night we laid in bed, and planned out what our business would look like. All the ideas we had and how we actually prayed for it to happen. 

I kind of hate the fact that I’m doing it without you. Even as I’m afraid of what’s going to happen. Even as I know that I can do whatever I set my mind to, even as I look at what my life has become since you.

I miss you. And part of me always will.  I guess that will have to be enough. Writing you letters in my blog, because I know you will never read them. You didn’t read my blog when we were friends, I’m quite sure you don’t read it now.  But someone in Tucson misses you. 

And I hope that’s enough. I pray that’s enough. It kind of has to be enough. 

2016: A Year In Review

Usually when I do my end of the year blog, I have a set list of things I want to talk about.  This year it’s going to be kind of a free write.  Spotify did this great thing, where they put together a list of the Top 100 Songs you listened to this year.  For me, it’s been a true portrait of what this year has done to me.  Yes, done to me.  So I’m going to let the music guide me in what I write about.

Be Alright – Ariana Grande

Baby, don’t you know
All them tears gon’ come and go
Baby, you just gotta make up your mind
That every little thing is gonna be alright

This part of my “I Will Survive” Playlist.  I needed songs this year that took me to the After place.  After all the bullshit, After all the tears, After all the pain.  This song is the perfect vibe for that.  You are going to be alright.  It’s not gonna be like this forever.  Sometimes, when you’re stuck in the middle of a storm that seems to be pulling you down, musical lyrics can be the life preserver that pulls you up to the surface.  I still think Ariana is wasting her voice . . . but that’s a whole ‘nother blog.

Rise – Solange Knowles

Fall in your ways so you can crumble
Fall in your ways so you can sleep at night
Fall in your ways so you can wake up and rise

A good reminder that you can rise above.  Even when you don’t want to, or you feel like you can’t.  You have to rise above.  Even if the only satisfaction or acknowledgement you will ever get is from yourself. That’s what it has felt like this year.  I’ve been patting my own damn self on the back. Cuz the hater’s been hatin’ like a muthafucka in 2016. It’s hard, to not just fight everyone in the face. {Maybe that’s just me…} This song is a great way to calm myself down when I’m ready to fight, which has been frequently this year surprisingly.

Needed Me – Rihanna

Don’t get it twisted
You was just another nigga on the hit list
Tryna fix your inner issues with a bad bitch
Didn’t they tell you that I was a savage
Fuck your white horse and a carriage
Bet you never could imagine, Never told you you could have it

When you have to explain on countless occasions that you are NOT like these other females.  I can be attracted to you, even see a future with you, and not be trying to tie you down.  I can understand that we want different things right now, and either I can take what you wanna/can give, or I can move the fuck on. A Bitch has Options.

If I tell you I’m trying to engage in some Hump & Go type action, why do you THEN feel some kind of way? Especially if you told me that’s all you have the possibility to give me.    It’s just a matter of us being HONEST. Why must people lie and placate?  Or tell people what they THINK the other person wants to hear.  9 times out of 10, we are thinking the same thing, or want the same thing.  But you are too scared to be honest.  Weak People Suck. Like SO MUCH.

Better ThanGretchen Parlato

This precious heart, broken apart
just leave it there and let it go
cuz all i know’s there’s nothing better than

how it keeps beating
it keeps repeating
a blessing in disguise
dry my eyes and realize there’s something better than

So like, I know a guy who told me a story about his friend trying an edible for the first time. Supposedly, this album was the music in the background while this friend of a friend was trippin’ balls. Which lead to some major life revelations.  My friend told me that his friend heard the lyrics to this album for the 1st time, and realized why it was her favorite album to fall asleep to.

This friend of a friend felt like she was having a private conversation with God while this album was playing.  And after she got done trippin’, she was seeing her whole life in a completely different way. At least, that’s what my friend told me happened.  I wasn’t there, so I can’t say what’s the truth.  That’s only what I heard when someone told me the story.

F**kin’ Wit Me – Tank

Every time I lick it, you be losin it
These young boys didn’t know what to do with it
You got it all on my face, I love the way that it taste
When you put it all on my plate
It won’t go to waste

It’s rare that I don’t know about songs like this.  My sexytime playlist is quite extensive. But this song . . . This song reminds me of a promise made, but never kept. Folks be talking so TOUGH, beforehand.  Then, in the heat of the moment, they lose their nerve. Cuz once again, I’m not like these other females.  I bring my A game all the time, and people don’t know how to hang.  Let me stop . . . I’m supposed to be working on being subtle, and not blaming or shaming people . . . 

Perm – Bruno Mars

You need activate your sexy (activate your sexy)
Silky, smooth and snap (silky, smooth and snap)
Now lean with it (lean), throw a lil sheen in it (sheen)
Then pat, pat, pat ’til it’s flat

Yall know this song goes.  This whole album – minus Versace on the Floor & Callin’ All My LoveliesGOES. This is the new getting ready to hit the club and be fly album.  It’s so much 90’s fun.  My chair dancing routine to this song is intricate, and makes people so jealous when they see me doing it . .. in my car . . . on the way to work. Bruno put his FOOT in this album. Also, you know your girl loves any song with a good Diva Finger Snap {no seriously, I have a whole playlist of songs which inspire the Diva Finger Snap} in it. I almost made this my ringtone . . . then I remembered my phone is always on vibrate because I work so much.

Alright – Kendrick Lamar

When you know, we been hurt, been down before, nigga
When our pride was low, lookin’ at the world like, “where do we go, nigga?”
And we hate Popo, wanna kill us dead in the street for sure, nigga
I’m at the preacher’s door
My knees gettin’ weak and my gun might blow but we gon’ be alright

Aye look . . . . this is my current morning alarm.  I gotta wake up every morning, remembering my people have survived some shit in the past.  The current political climate of the US might be leading to the worst shit since Slavery.  That’s not even hyperbole on my part.  I really believe that shit.  When it becomes a bit much, when I can’t seem to get out of the bed in the morning, so I can’t face another person telling me to give that asshole a chance, this song can get me through.

Ultralight Beam – Kanye West feat. Chance the Rapper, The Dream, Kelly Price, & Kirk Franklin

I’m tryna keep my faith
But I’m looking for more
Somewhere I can feel safe
And end my holy war
I’m tryna keep my faith

This is the only song on his new album I listened to.  Legit, I didn’t go past this song.  There was no need.  This is Kanye West’s best song {maybe ever} . . . not because his verse was great (cuz it wasn’t) . . . but because of everyone ELSE’S verses.  This song is such a beautiful way of expressing what I think we all go through with our faith.  Sometimes it’s so hard to keep the faith, and trust that God really has your back.  Especially when you see people who are supposed to have  your back {read: family} don’t.

I was raised in the church, and taught I should have unwavering faith in God. In all honesty, it took me awhile to get there.  My issue, I don’t have faith in people AT ALL. There are lots of people in the world who don’t have faith at all.  These people are hurting and for whatever reason, the way they cope is hurting other people. This song got me through the first part of 2016. It was played on repeat at loud volumes every morning. Because having faith isn’t hard, keeping it is. 

Father, this prayer is for everyone that feels they’re not good enough.
This prayer’s for everybody that feels like they’re too messed up.
For everyone that feels they’ve said “I’m sorry” too many times.
You can never go too far when you can’t come back home again.

So that’s my year in review.  Hope you enjoyed it 🙂

Awaken My Love…

I had two goals for this trip home. To see the people who matter to me, and get all the food I’m about to give up for the rest of my life. The latter isn’t working out all that well. But this blog is really about the former goal. 

I’ve stated since college, that I created my own family.  I’ve picked and chosen who I was going to rely on and trust.  I’ve actually been doing it since high school though.

My freshman year of high school, I met my best friend. Our relationship has been through so many things, sometimes I’m in awe that we’ve made it this far. But during this trip home I realized she’s my sister. We don’t even have to talk to have a whole conversation. We became a Triad our sophomore when I introduced her to a friend from biology class. From that point on, there is no picture that I could find that isn’t the 3 of us. 

We were always together, even after I changed schools. We did everything together. I was a triplet for about 6 years.  As friendships do, folks starting fighting over dumb shit (read: boys, drugs, and money) and I was the friend in the middle for a while.  Then I was the friend alone. We made up, in some shapes and forms after college, but that closeness from high school seemed to be unattainable.

In college, Zeta brought me my brothers, and another 2 sisters. They looked out for me, even when I didn’t know they were. Even though some of us didn’t develop our relationships fully until 7 years ago, the foundation started there. It’s hard to meet people, and instantly connect. Let alone if that connection stays through kids, heartbreak, marriages, and location changes. 

This trip, I got to finally introduce my high school best friend to some of the other people who make up my core. And it brought me so much Joy. Cuz she gets it now.  Why these people matter so much to me. Why I am who I am now, because of these relationships. 

In October, I sat down with the other triplet and just talked it out.  It wasn’t pretty but it was necessary. Because we let something small become something huge that changed our lives forever.  This trip, the 3 of us went to lunch. 4 hours went by so fast! It was like old times, a conversational ebb and flow that I’d forgotten could exist. 

I’m so glad we did that. I don’t know where it’s going to go, but I know that friendship isn’t stuck in the past anymore. We are grown ass women, which grown ass lives, who can still make each other laugh, cry, and think. I had missed that so much more than I probably wanted to admit to myself.

In the past, I refused to mix friend factions. Everyone had to stay in their proper lane, no merging.  I can totally understand why I did that, because I wasn’t secure in those friendships. I had yet to realize that I mattered to them as much as they mattered to me. But now…I want them all together all the time!

This trip for me has firmly solidified for me why my core group of people are so important to me. It’s also shown me, that if thrown in a room together they would probably all love each other. The mix of personalities and humors and world views would always lead to good conversations and adventures. To road trips, and girls weekends, and grown ass sleepovers. 

Cuz it’s all love. I can bask in being the hub for all this love, being the person who could bring them all together, and not be worried that I might lose them to each other.  I think they all kind of like me at this point 😀. 

New Moon Free Write

I’ve been trying to get myself together for the last 6 months. Actively trying to be mindful of the consequences of my actions. It’s hard as fuck. Because, at least for me, when I’m intentional, it’s much harder to complain about the outcome. I like complaining. It’s kind of my thing. 

That’s not really what this post is about. It’s more about how hard this is for me. How I feel like I’m taking 3 steps forward and 7 steps back. It feels like when 1 thing is working, the other 168907 are not. I decided in June I was going to have weight loss surgery, only to have my company not allow us to do it with their insurance. 

I have finally gotten to the point where I want to do something permanently about my weight, as well as acknowledged that I can’t do it alone, and It was like that world was yelling at me, SIKE! GOTCHA BITCH! So now, I have to do something different. 

That seems to be the theme of 2016 for me: Do Something Different. And I’m trying, Lord knows I’m trying. But again this shit is HARD AS FUCK. Depression is a real thing for me. Therapy helps, I won’t deny that. But thanks to my high ass deductible, I can only do it 2x a month. I need like daily therapy sessions at this point in my life. 

I’m still angry. On June 2nd, when I thought my anger was going to kill me, I said okay girl, talk to somebody. And he’s great. But he’s not there at the local Fry’s at 10pm when I discover some asshole adult has taken wooden letters and spelled out KKK in the craft section on every shelf. He’s not there when I’m trying to not yell at random assholes with Trump stickers on their cars. 

This shit is HARD AS FUCK! By this shit, I mean life. It’s kicking my ass this year. Not to say that it’s been all bad, cuz it hasn’t.  But that’s not the hard part. The good stuff is easy. 

The hard part makes you feel like God doesn’t listen to you. Or maybe he’s just mad at you cuz you happen to be in love with someone you shouldn’t be. Or maybe God doesn’t care cuz there are people in Aleppo with a much harder life than you right now.  So stop being a selfish whiny bitch and deal with your shit. Cuz it could be worse. But this shit is HARD AS FUCK right now. 

So yeah….that’s where I’ve been for the last 2 weeks. Just needed to get all that off my chest. I’m better now, I think. 

Put Me In Coach….I’m Ready to Play!

I’ve spent this year on the sidelines. Sometimes, because I was forced to be there. Other times because I’ve put myself there. I’m trying to figure out how and why this has become my permanent state of being all of a sudden. And what has kept me on the sidelines for this long? 

I started 2016 with so much hope and vigor. It was going to be the best year of my life, and I was going to live all my dreams to the fullest! I was going to be more active in Zeta, and go out on the weekends, and travel my ass off! I had everything planned out. Then, January 25th, God said ‘Girl, You THOUGHT!’ 

So okay, nothing went as planned. Everything was slowed down, and in some cases stopped completely. 

I’ve tried not to be angry about having this seizure. I’ve tried to accept that everything happens for a reason. I’ve tried to rationalize my frustration at how people treated me and/or ignored me after it happened. Sometimes, I’m really good at it. But today, I’m fucking pissed!

Because I feel like I’m starting all over again….AGAIN. I had my hopes set on weight loss surgery in 2017, only to find out my insurance doesn’t cover it. And I had started the process, the doctor’s visits, and the everything else. I had 2017 all planned. You would think I would have learned from this year. But alas….I didn’t. So now what….

Where do I go from here? My anxiety won’t let me just fly by the seat of my pants anymore. I need to have a plan to feel safe. But I’m also terrified of making yet another plan, only for that to fall apart too. I can’t take too many more disappointments. Let it also be known that the world in general is disappointing as fuck right now. 

Like, I’m 98.3% sure I’m going to spend the next 4 years high as a kite. Cuz just NO. I reject that man, that racists and ignorant people elected, with my whole entire being.  REJECT REJECT REJECT. TRY AGAIN, DO OVER! 

But whatever, back to my original point. (This is all over the place. Judge me not, it’s 4:30 in the morning, and I couldn’t sleep.) 

I want to stop feeling like I’ll never be a part of the crowd. I want to stop being terrified to put myself out there, and/or let other people in.  My life mantra of “No New Friends,” has really gone on long enough. [Well maybe, I’m still not sure, because there is that part of me that really doesn’t trust people. Because of that whole, no one is genuine or honest about who they are and what their motives are anymore.] 

See what I mean! Conflict. 2016 might have just ruined me. But yeah, I want to not be afraid to reach out. I really do.  But Anxiery/Depression is also a thing. 

Adulting is hard as FUCK.