Tag Archive | Truth

I Can’t be Racist . . . I have White Friends!

It’s important to tell anyone reading this, I didn’t actually understand that I was Black, until I was about 7.  I never looked in the mirror, and some of my best friends in Elementary school were white.  I assumed I looked like them.  Call it childish innocence.  It wasn’t until my lil’ redheaded friend’s father wouldn’t let me sleep over their house, and my mom had to explain to me why.  I don’t remember exactly how I felt, but as I remember the event some 30 years later, I’m sure it made an impact.

Thats Racist

In high school, my group of friends was like the United Colors of Benetton.  We took our “Buddy Pictures” in plaid flannel of all colors.  There was a biracial girl, 2 white girls, a Filipino girl, and me. Imagine my surprise when one of my white friend’s dad was angry that she was friends with me.  I had talked to this man on the phone almost every day for a year.  He KNEW me, I thought.  That’s when I found out her dad was racist.

The majority of my life, I’ve befriended people based solely on merit. If you can hold a conversation, or we have something in common, or we work together, I’ll talk to you.  I’ve never really looked at race as a determining factor in my relationships with people.  I don’t mean, “I don’t see color,” I mean color didn’t determine your worth in my life.

Then Travyon Martin was killed.

All of a sudden, people I’d been friends with all my life – some people I considered FAMILY – were saying the most horrifically racist things about this CHILD who was killed by an overzealous asshole, who was probably racist.

“I mean, maybe he did attack that guy!”

“Why was he looking suspicious in a neighborhood he didn’t belong in?”

“I have to hear both sides . . “

Snape Flippinf Tables.gif

 

For the first time in my life, I realized that my existence as a Black Woman was in no way separate from my position/worth in some of the relationships in my life. I was the Black friend,  not the black friend.  I was being regarded as “hostile,” and “argumentative” for expressing an opinion.

Then, Mike Brown was Killed.

It was at this point, I started to lose friends in droves.  Before it had been, “Let’s just agree to disagree,” and precarious alliances were formed.  As long as I didn’t express my opinions, or acknowledge the unfairness of the USA, it was all fine.  But I couldn’t be quiet. I had to express myself, the pain was too great. First it was unfollowing people on FB, then I was being cussed out in the comments of my own posts, then it was people blocking me.

I’d never specifically expressed myself as a Black Woman around my friends.  I shied away from all that, because I understood it wasn’t worth the fight.  “Just shut up MJ, they won’t get it.”  Suddenly, I was trying to MAKE people understand.  I tried to have serious dialogues with people about race in America, and how it affects everyone in some shape or form.

Then, #BlackBoyJoy happened.

There was a video of a little Black boy dancing to some song, I honestly don’t remember what song.  I shared it on my FB page, with a comment like, “I love to see a Little Black Boy having fun!” There were probably some heart eye emojis, because HELLO! Lil Black Boys dancing is ADORABLE.

LILBOyDancing

The step sister of my best friend – my LONGEST friendship (since 5th grade Latchkey), my #WhiteBoyBestFriend – commented on the status something to the effect of, “All children having fun is beautiful, why just black boys?”

I can admit now, she caught me on an off day.  Any other day, I would have probably just blocked her.  But I had TIME that day. I didn’t call her out on my status, I sent her a FB message.  I’ve known her since she was 12 years old, and her mom married my best friend’s dad. I was trying very hard to maintain this relationship.  Maybe she didn’t understand that she was #AllLivesMattering my post.

I’d felt some time of way about her for years.  She, IMO, was the Epitome of what was wrong with America.  She was white, and entitled, and felt that everything should always go her way.  She had never had to be hungry, or experience life failures (to my knowledge), or fear for her life when she got pulled over by a cop.  She lived with her parents, was over 25 and had NO SHAME in that.  She did the absolute bare minimum on an hourly basis, and somehow, she felt she had the right to tell ME, that #AllLivesMatter.

I was tired of her, and her White Privilege.  Her Whiteness was offensive to me that day. I tried yall, I really did.

Seriously, my pride in beautiful black children is my own…allow me to have it without trying to make the focus about you and ur feelings

Calm your bitch down dude. I asked a genuine question. There is absolutely no need to jump down my throat. You know, I used to believe you were a tolerant and understanding person, but I have to say that I no longer see that in you. I see a very angry person and that saddens me. I don’t know what happened but I feel sorry for you.

Note: My response . . . and hers. I started off doing so well, right?!?!? Like I didn’t call her out her name, or ANYTHING. Because, growth.  But after her response tho . . . I went the FUCK OFF.

So since you already pity me [I’ll] tell you this. You live in a world that doesn’t exist. You are the EPITOME of White Privilege and Frailty. If you have paid attention to ANYTHING I’ve posted in [the] last 3 years, you would know “what’s wrong with me.” You are vain, and selfish, and I pity what your life is going to become.

Keep talking bitch

Of course I had to call my best friend, and tell him what had happened.  I screenshot the convo, and told him I understood if he wanted to fall back on our friendship for a while.  Thankfully, he said, “That’s between you two.  I’m not in it.” It was at that moment when I had to remind myself – They aren’t all like that.

Some Facts which, at this point, must be Stated:

  • Whiteness is a threat to most people of color. Anytime I, in my Blackness, challenge the status quo (Whiteness), I am attacked in various ways and on multiple levels.
  • White Women, and their fragility is harmful to the voices of People of Color.  I’m tired of quieting my voice so that white tears can be heard.
  • I Don’t Hate White People. I hate White Privilege.

All this has been written to say: I’ve been entirely too quiet about this feeling of . . . unease I have regarding our current  society.  My fear/anger is turning me into a person who pushes buttons on purpose.  I wear/purchase shirts just to piss off the people I see.  I wear my hair in an Afro to offend the eyes of people who dislike – or are uncomfortable with – Blackness. I put color in my hair because I know people think it’s “Ghetto,” not creative, because I’m Black.

There are a myriad of White people in my life on a daily basis.  I have White friends on FB, Instagram, and at work.  Lately, I’ve had to put disclaimers on my status’ and posts, and what I say in group settings.  Sometimes I don’t even speak at all.  Because of the impact it could have on my job, my life, my relationships is too great. {Which is a PROBLEM}

The . . . silencing of my voice is getting to me.  It’s making me fall into depressive states on a regular basis.  When I trace back the origins of all my waves of depression in 2017, it was an instance when I silenced myself in some way.

Tupac Shhhhh

I’m not Racist . . . . I’m Black. This shit is HARD.

Before I’m a woman, before I’m a Social Worker, before I’m a Friend, before I’m a Daughter, I’m Black.  The burden of that . . the weight of that in today’s society is slowly sucking the Joy out of me.  It’s like you have a 1,000,000LB weight on your back, and every white person can’t see it.  Better yet, they keep saying to you, “Girl, it’s just 3 flights of stairs.  You can do it, because I did!” It’s making me bitter. It makes me think snide ass comments about Whiteness, then feel bad for thinking it.

To ME: My Blackness is beautiful.  My skin is damn near flawless, I haven’t aged since I was 12 (I have the pics to prove it.) My hair is amazing.  I can do 1000 things with my natural hair, and it will be just as beautiful. My curves are sexy – these hips can hurt you if I want them to, or they can change your life. The original woman probably looked just like me.

To Society: My Blackness makes me less than. My Blackness is ugly, and the exact opposite of Beauty. My hair is ugly, dirty, and nappy.  My curves are unhealthy and I don’t deserve to sit comfortably in any chair, ever.  People who looked like me, were shaped like me, where kept in museums and displayed at circuses. {Look up Venus Hottentot}

Adulthood for me, is finally understanding the real meaning of the following poem:

Mother to Son

BY LANGSTON HUGHES

Well, son, I’ll tell you:

Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.

It’s had tacks in it,

And splinters,

And boards torn up,

And places with no carpet on the floor—

Bare.

But all the time

I’se been a-climbin’ on,

And reachin’ landin’s,

And turnin’ corners,

And sometimes goin’ in the dark

Where there ain’t been no light.

So boy, don’t you turn back.

Don’t you set down on the steps

’Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.

Don’t you fall now—

For I’se still goin’, honey,

I’se still climbin’,

And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.

This is Blackness in 2018.  This is Me.

Can You Hear Me? Do You See Me?

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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.

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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?

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 🙂

Letters to Stupid People Vol 1.

So you know how you see people being stupid as shit and you really wanna just slide them a note letting them know that they are doing it wrong?…… No, just me?  Oh. Ok. O_o

And that’s fine….But instead of writing people notes, I’ve decided to just write them letters. This might be to you, so you have been warned.

Dear Christian Black Woman,

I know you think that God lead you to your fiance. I know, becuz you meet him at a church function it must be a God sanctioned relationship. I know you think that the sign of a real relationship is Struggle, Pain, and Unhappiness. But God wouldn’t want you to be unhappy. He also wouldn’t have you continue to doubt your relationship less than 6 months before the wedding. That’s not God hunny, that’s you making a fcuked up decision. Just thought I would let you know.

Sincerely, A Concerned Soror

Dear Twitter Friend,

Your wife is cheating on you. I know you don’t wanna hear it, and I know becuz we met via twitter I don’t really have the right to tell you your wife is a selfish slutty bicth. But someone needs to tell you. Just know, when you finally accept the truth, I’m here for you.

Sincerely, Your Faithful Internet Friend

Dear Ex Boyfriend’s Fiance,

I broke up with him for a reason. Sure the dcik was good but ummmmm he’s an idiot. I’m sure that you have seen his potential and its great that he has it. But that’s all it is. So good luck with that. You have my deepest sympathies.

Sincerely, The One Who Got Away

Dear Ebe,

We will always find you. Doesn’t matter how many times you change your twitter handle, your face (In all its Oatmeal Clowny Goodness) can’t hide. Just like you jumped out the bushes when you were stalking AK so will #FGSSUM07. In your mentions and in your heart. Forever reminding you of the credit you ruined and the money you still owe some of us. We ain’t going nowhere.

Sincerely, Most of my Timeline

Dear ComicBookNerds,

Some of us don’t care that in the first edition of XMen Xavier’s wheelchair was made of wood. Let us just enjoy the got damn movie. We almost don’t care that Optimus Prime couldn’t have died in the second movie because in the ORIGINAL cartoon he was invincible. Shut The Fcuk Up!

Sincerely, People in the Movie Theatre

Dear Rev Dr Man of My Dreams,

I tried really hard to convince myself that I didn’t think we would probably be great for each other. But I also know that becuz of your belief system you could never publically date me. Becuz Fcuk will always be a word that I use frequently and I’m always gonna speak what I feel about uberreligious people. That’s too bad, cuz I really like you.

Sincerely, That Little Tinge of Regret

Dear Alcoholic Friend,

I know that your life was hard. I know even though you wont admit it, that your childhood was completely fcuked up. But liquor isn’t going to make it go away. Your parents and others are really worried about your safety at this point. Every time I get a call from your number at 4 in the morning I’m praying its your voice that I hear and not the police telling me that they found you laying in a ditch somewhere. Rehabilitation is the answer,

Sincerely, BiscuitHead

 

Dear Guy who’s in Love with my Best Friend,
I know you love her. She’s worthy of your love, even if she doesn’t believe it. But don’t sell yourself short. You can’t love her into loving you. She needs to learn to love herself first. Take care of you.

Sincerely, Me

No, I really don't tho . . .

You may consider this cowardly or passive/aggressive. Again, that’s fine. But I mean every word…..so there’s that.