My Ancestors Did Not Die For Me To Continue To Participate In A Process That Has Always And Will Always Subjugate My People: I Am Not Voting

It is 2018 and when you listen to Malcolm X or The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. their words still hold true. Why is that? Because voting stops resistance and stifles change.

“If voting changed anything, it would be illegal.”

What’s illegal? Mass protests. You may say, “it’s not illegal, you can get a permit,” or “as long as it is peaceful and not disruptive.” Permits can be denied. Peaceful is subjective and if we don’t disrupt things, what is the purpose of a protest.

Black folk continue to walk into the voting booth like they walked into all of those white owned stores, proud that they now had the right to use the front doors to give white folk their money. Black businesses gone.

They fought and died for our humanity. Voting and equal access were the vehicles they thought would bring us humanity. If Malcolm X were alive today, do you think he would be sending you to the voting booths? The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would not STILL say “voting is the answer” after seeing decades of proof of that just not being true. He already feared that he was integrating his people into a burning house.

And here we are celebrating a victory, to vote, to participate in a society that rejects us on every level, still. No Thank You

The right to vote is the right to remain silent. MLK would not STILL say “voting is the answer” after seeing decades of proof of that just not being true. We have been given the opportunity to hurry up and wait. We have been given the opportunity to have others speak for us and determine which issues are important. This was not the dream. If EVERY person has to vote for my people to be equal, we have already lost

Voting serves to quell our anger. Voting serves to direct our reactions. Voting did not bring us freedom; fear of a revolution did.

Education Shaming

Is there such a thing as “education shaming?” I think so. Many poor people will laugh at and shame rich people for being uneducated. Usually these people share the same background “At least I can read and punctuate and have command of English grammar” has been said a time or two…about and to very, rich and successful people. And it’s funny. Not ha ha funny, but sad funny Especially since there is only one reason to be traditionally educated and that’s for work and success.

Language is used to communicate. If a person can effectively communicate, there is no problem. If someone writes “theirs” and they meant “there’s” and you can tell by the sentence what they meant because you’re busy correcting grammar, you’re an 🐴. Because if they were speaking, you wouldn’t know that they made a grammatical error. And people rarely correct others to help them. They correct to make others feel small.

So here we are, in 2018, judging people for misspelled words, missing punctuation and dropped consonants while they are dancing to the bank. But we’re proud to know the English language because somehow that makes us better? Somehow bring bamboozled into thinking that this “education” leads to a good life when it’s clear that all it definitely leads to is a false sense of superiority. “Rich people have no morals, they won’t get into heaven, and they are miserable.” Newsflash: poor people sin, but they are miserable because they don’t have job, home or food security. I could do without the latter. I can work on a better me if I’m not worried about life’s necessities. However, these are the things society teaches us so that we don’t really mind being poor. “It’s not so great being rich.” Really? Let me try it.

I don’t want to be rich. I want to be stable. But how does having command of the English language make one feel better about going hungry or not being able to pay bills? How could we have gotten it so backwards? Bastardization of the colonizer’s language has always been an act of rebellion. It’s also a form of class rebellion. Do we buy massa’s word that the slaves couldn’t speak proper English because they couldn’t read?

Language is first and foremost auditory. Children speak what’s spoken to them. We’re so caught up in a world of status and class that we’ve let the few dictate the path of the many. Only in such a world can a poor and hungry person look down on a rich and well fed person and shame them for being uneducated.

The next time you fix your face to correct someone’s grammar (who is not a troll) understand that unless you’re doing it in private, it’s shaming and ask yourself why you’re doing it. Because I’ve seen people regurgitate nonsense with perfect grammar while someone, with broken English, expresses original, logical thoughts. If you are correcting someone, 9 times out of 10, it’s because you understood them.

Quality of Life Issues?

According to Fox News, there are issues to be addressed on San Francisco’s BART system. In my Google News feed this morning was the headline “Video appears to show homeless man using drugs on BART train in San Francisco.”

It’s obvious and unfortunate that the talk of “quality of life” doesn’t apply to the quality of life of this homeless addict who is not alone. Commuters have been filming these conscious and unconscious addicts in an apparent attempt to highlight “a dangerous trend.” For whom exactly? Because it’s not the drug use that’s the issue here; it’s the drug use on the train.

We often get so caught up in our own lives that we don’t realize that our temporary inconvenience is someone’s living nightmare.

Who are these do gooder filmers worried about? I’m really confused. Well, I’m not really confused. The coverage is bland to say the least. The story is simply filed under “drugs.”

I may be assuming a lot. Maybe the writer is speaking about the perils if drug addiction and is concerned about the addicts. But it appears that relieving the inconvenience of these working commuters, is a bigger priority than helping homeless addicts. Maybe…. Here’s a thought…. What if…. How’s about, we actually help the addicts so they won’t be homeless or a danger to themselves? I think that would solve both issues.

We often get so caught up in our own lives that we don’t realize that our temporary inconvenience is someone’s living nightmare. We must do better. We must be able to empathize with those who are less fortunate.

There’s a Right Way To Protest…..

I’m so tired of this rhetoric “there’s a right way to peacefully protest.” Yes, there is: Disrupt as much as you can without hurting anyone. Protests are meant to be inconvenient. They are meant to bring awareness the unaware. We can’t do this on the corner in the ghetto. We can’t do this with no cameras. The cameras don’t come to the ghetto unless it’s to report on “Black on Black Crime” and neither do middle class blissfully unaware folks.

No one understands anything until it happens to them…. It’s a saying. But sometimes, they may understand if they can’t avoid the topic. If we screamed from the mountaintops, no one would hear us. So see us at your malls, on your rush hour commute, at your favorite tourism local…. disrupting as much as possible, as often as possible, until things change. Protests that disrupt nothing, serve no purpose.

Big Sigh: Dear Black People, Respectability Politics Must Go

Two Black women have skyrocketed to fame and fortune: Cardi B and Tiffany Haddish. They are both beautiful women. One of Caribbean descent and the other Eritrean and African American descent. What’s great about them both is that their rise to fame was after some really tough times. Cardi likens her success to Cinderella in her song “Best Life” featuring Chance the Rapper. We’re rooting for them right?! Well, not all of us.

Binderella – Cardi B
Tiffany Haddish –

Both Tiffany and Cardi are known for being “loud,” “ratchet” and “ghetto.” They are loved for being honest and true and all of the above. But some Black folks, can’t get past the loud. Black people continue to hold on to respectability politics like wearing nice clothes, speaking proper English and working a respectable job is going to save us from the reality that is this racist society.

They complain that these women are getting attention when more educated women are not. Are you so called educated women entertaining? Why would people want to tune in for two hours to watch you on stage reading cards “properly” with no flavor? I stopped watching the award shows long ago, mostly because of their racist history. But also, they were boring and I can read about the winners in real time via social media and I can see performance clips online the next day. We tune in to award shows to be entertained. The hosts must draw us in thanks to the internet age….ooops

Sassy Tiffany Haddish
Sassy Cardi B

Some of y’all Black people can’t even enjoy the show because you’re so busy tearing these Black women down for not meeting your standards. Preoccupied with being disgusted by their essence which is really truth when you think about it. They are true to themselves. They enjoy themselves and people enjoy them.

So my big sigh is for all of the Black people who don’t understand that MOST… THE VAST MAJORITY of Black people work hard everyday. Many work with white people daily. And these same white people go home and read the news and hear that a Black person killed someone or they see a Tiffany or Cardi and they automatically think most Black people are loud, or violent ask yourself why your respectable presence in the workplace doesn’t represent Black people to them. Ask yourself why the decades of Oprahs, Denzels, Poitiers, Freemans or Bellefontes of the world aren’t enough to cement our goodness and respectability in their minds. Also ask who set the standards of respectability. And when you are done, write an open letter to every Black person begging for forgiveness. Forgiveness for expecting them to carry the burden of proving our humanity and worth as Black people. We can’t ever be seen as either to people who aren’t interested.

And on that note…

The “This Is America” Dancers Look African

In recent years I have been very vocal about Black Nationalism as a social stance. I believe that all Black people have a connection and should embrace it globally. I do not believe in Black capitalism nor do I believe in Capitalism in general. What I believe is that if Black people unite, we can see that we suffer from the same issues wherever we are. And we can build on that.

I watched the live performance of Childish Gambino’s This Is America on SNL. I identified these dancing children as African. Meaning hailing directly from Africa. Making no stops to the islands or the West during the Transatlantic Slave Trade. I don’t know if I’m right. But what I did feel is that they FELT African to me. The music and the dancing made me feel that way. There was a vibe.

People are talking about a South African dance that I never knew existed. They are speaking like the Africaness of the music and dancing really was an afterthought or a non-thought. That it’s African inspired. But it always stops there. But I FELT the motherland when I listened. I’ve never been to the continent but I felt it. How can we explain this?

I think Gambino purposely put African elements in this video. The effects of America does not stop at the borders. What America does affects the world. Did no one else think of Sarafina when they saw the video? Maybe I’m reaching. But I couldn’t help thinking about it while watching live and watching the video. I even noted it in my last piece.

“The young dancers hit each beat with fervor. The backup singers sang harmoniously and I felt Africa upon me.”

Americans tend not to look past America and this applies to African Americans. We tend to think that we, African Americans, define Blackness for the entire Black world and then wonder why other Black people, who don’t deny their African descent, will say they aren’t Black. Black is both a race and an ethnicity. Black, for many others, specifically means African American. African Americans say things like “they aren’t Black like us” but expect solidarity and unity while putting our Blackness and our struggle above all others. We absolutely blame the others for their choice to be different; to be other than Black as defined by African Americans. How dare they embrace their Latin heritage? Why do Jamaicans speak broken English? Why can’t Africans lose their accents? How dare they speak Spanish? How dare they NOT speak English? This Is America.

I am really waiting for Glover to tell us what his vision was. I’m reading so many takes from all over. They are really good and insightful but I can’t imagine that these seemingly African children, these African beats, these African sounds aren’t connected to Africa even though This Is America.