This Won’t End Soon

la-na-cvs-pharmacy-baltimore-riots-pictures-20150428None of this is going to end anytime soon. I want to start off by saying this because I believe there is a underlying question in the American sub conscience that asks the question, when is Black America going to stop rioting and move on? This is the same question that is fueled by the thought that if criminals didn’t act that way then what else do you expect to happen?

A: Severed Spine. Crushed Trachea.

tumblr_nnla15Uvcl1qzbucao1_1280People say violence isn’t the answer but we just happen to be at war all the time. Violence isn’t the answer but we’re ok with bombing other countries and we say nothing when Palestine gets leveled. So when people talk about violence, they mean Black violence. They don’t want to see any street in American on fire. Wait. It’s only acceptable if things are on fire because a sports team has won versus brown poor people acting all crazy.

I find it funny when people say, well if you don’t want the cops to bother you then don’t be a criminal (because obviously only criminals get harassed by cops). Clearly in that line of thinking… only criminals fit a particular profile. So what’s that profile? Are we talking about thieves who steal money? If that’s the case, where are the police when the housing market crashed? I don’t see anyone on Wall St getting stopped and frisked.

The reality is that to be viewed as a criminal in this country is to be viewed as less then human. So it’s apparently ok for you to get shot in the back or have your spinal column severed because these are criminals like in Law & Order. On that rare occasion they may get that Super Negro that frightens police and they need to shoot first because, as we know, The Avengers are only in the movies. They never get the benefit of the doubt (unless years later DNA tests prove otherwise….oops). Then when they get out of jail they cant find a job and can’t vote. What happens then?

A severed spinal cord is a break in the network of nerve cells in the spine. The spinal cord is a spongy white substance encased inside the hollow vertebrae and discs of the spine. This cord can be severed due to a traumatic injury. If the spinal cord is severed, it can cause paralysis below the point of the damage, which can be total or partial, depending on the level of injury and degree of impairment of the cord.

I find it funny that people say, oh, but why destroy your community? You mean the poor community no body bothers to think or care about until its actually on fire? I don’t live in Baltimore so I have no idea what they’ve been through. However, history shows that decades of police brutality, disenfranchisement, and poor socioeconomic conditions play into everything thing that’s happening right now. There’s no question that I have no idea what I would do if I grew up in a place such as this but I’m sure that if I was subjected to all these issues and was sick and tired of all the abuse and living conditions, I might burn down shit too.

tumblr_nnkh9dPVEH1qc8jh0o7_540Again, the only riots I see happening that have nothing to do with black lives are when sports teams win or lose. I see no one in the media condemning those to the same degree as what we saw in Ferguson and in Baltimore. <sarcasm font> I’m glad there is outrage over property being destroyed </f> because this is what many people value as opposed to Black lives which is what WE value. How do you expect anyone to care about property when they will never own it?

CVS has insurance for fire damage.

This country was founded on violence and murder. Black youth are criminalized all the time just for fitting a profile and while not all cops are bad….let’s acknowledge there is a problem with the system. Take responsibility by admitting this problem; if you cannot do that, then all you’re really doing is calling each and everyone of us delusional and I got news for you, none of this is going to end anytime soon.

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Constant State of Rage.

Photo Dec 01, 1 07 44 PMI was saying to myself the other day that I wish that I could see a bright future that is so vividly displayed on Deep Space Nine where Captain Benjamin Sisco is captain. I was also commenting to myself (because I talk to myself quite often) that being human means to be inherently stupid, egoistical, violent, and often times self centered. No matter how much I can be angry about the world and its war on the oppressed, the inescapable and laughable fact is that we are choking ourselves with politics and needless rhetoric.

I am good at work. You can see me at work and think I’m the happiest person in the world. I do my job well. I have a good woman that I adore. I love my family and friends, who all relatively make my days in various ways. I have a good life filled with passions, dreams, and goals. But, there is a darker side of me. There is a switch that is constantly on that I have buried. It is that f*ck you very much switch.

I am in a constant state of rage. Sure, it is a low level rage that I will equate to a semi dormant volcano and every time I see some bullshit on the news I just want to scream. Black men are still getting killed with impunity, Black women are still being treated as the lowest forms of life, Muslims get blamed for just about every fear people have, the President gets disrespected by a branch of our own government, racist chants by a Fraternity, Transgendered people being targeted and killed, Michele Obama is called a monkey on Univision, and apparently apologists are the new black. That was just to name a few.

“To be black and conscious in America is to be in a constant state of rage.” – James Baldwin

I cannot even begin to tackle each issue individually because I am just tired of all of this. Starbucks wants to have a conversation on race. What conversation needs to be had? What is talking going to do? That is all people do, talk. Granted, about 40% of all baristas at Starbucks are people of color and thus the intention might be good but honestly all it does is put people in a uncomfortable situation because many people are not trained to talk about something like this and nor should they have to.

What is there to talk about? Let me guess the DOJ report that states Darren Wilson was justified in killing Mike Brown? So because the forensic evidence states he was justified doesn’t mean we know what was was said to spark a teenager to commit suicide by cop. Which also means the #Blacklivesmatter cause is a lie? Perhaps no one read the second DOJ report that states Ferguson systematically targets African Americans unfairly. So let’s talk about that.

Lets talk about Rodner Figueroa. I do not believe for one second that he’s sorry for his remarks. He’s sorry he lost his job. He’s sorry is career is done. But sorry for his remarks? Nope. That is some typical shit that can fly out of the mouth of a white person who just so happens to be Latino. Name one dark skinned person you see normally on Univision? Assuming that you don’t watch that droll nonsense, I can tell you that the number is close to zero (I’m accounting for the darker Mexicans in commercials).

The thing is, I can talk about this all day. I can discuss how people are looking to apologize or looking to suggest that we as people of color need to hold hands and pray for racism to go away. I need celebrities to shut up. You made your money and now you need to save face and play the game. It is rare see the conscious Black actor with the exception of Jesse Williams.

There is a rage that is the under current in most people of color in the country and that’s why there’s this constant fear from the majority. They want prominent black folk to calm us down and remind us of Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech while constantly degrading us in the media. So, if you want to talk about something let’s talk about the fact that you cannot kill an idea, this mind blowing idea the Black Lives Matter.

The Punchline

BLMI laugh. Everyday I laugh because someone or something inevitably happens that proves various points that I’ve been making. This doesn’t make me smarter this just means I’m observant. The thing is… I laugh because I see where we are in this world and it’s a joke to even think for a minute that people will be able to accept difference in other people.

When Gene Roddenberry created Star Trek there was this thought that at some point in the near future “mankind” would put aside it’s petty differences and we would view each other as equals thus spawning an age of peace where we would embark on exploring the galaxy. How funny is that? His vision may not have been wrong in the sense that of our evolution as a people may be based on us accepting diversity.

That is the punchline. That is our ultimate fate and the reality is that the world around us is crumbling and no one really cares because it’s not making them money. It’s not cost effective to accept diversity, or to lower our carbon emissions, or pay women equal wages, or to save the bees, or consider transgender rights, or to simply have affordable healthcare. It’s certainly not cost effective to hold our police officers accountable. Which means the world as we know it will probably end and not by some meteor that killed off the dinosaurs. Our world is ending because people simply forgot what it is to be human.

I laugh when people on my Facebook wall want to talk about how I point fingers or I incite people with posts about racism. I fucking crack up when people think that we’re delusional (meanwhile they eat, sleep, and drink Fox News) because we must believe everything we see and we must follow Al Sharpton. Then it hit me, people are terrified. CNN was amazed at how the protestors in NYC last week were so peaceful and moved with such purpose. They searched for a leader. Take me to your leader. Why are they searching? Because there is this thought in the back of people’s minds that we must have a leader because thousands of people can’t possible do any of this on their own. I laugh.

Having a leader means that people can focus on a person to blame or perhaps someone to take down in the media. Many people think Al Sharpton is a joke and are happy to rip him as the leader of everything thing black, but guess what? People of color are smarter now than ever. Some of us are highly educated with various opinions. Let’s not forget that African Americans got the right to vote in 1965. August 6th 2015 with mark 50 years. FIFTY YEARS. That is not that long ago. We may have needed a leader then but we don’t need one now because we are all leaders and that is some scary shit to the majority.

I laugh at people who suggest that we have progressed and moved on, that people are using the race card for selfish reasons. That makes zero sense because I’m quite sure that all of us would rather be doing something else instead of reminding the world that Black Lives Matter.

So have we truly progressed? Technologically we have done things that we’ve only seen in movies as kids and it’s amazing. Modern medicine has kept us alive longer than ever. We have a space station… A SPACE STATION. That shit is awesome, but you know what?

It all means nothing. Why?

World Hunger. MONEY. Racism. MONEY. Cancer. MONEY. HIV/Aids. MONEY. Sexism. MONEY. Patriarchy. MONEY. White Privilege. MONEY. Climate Change. MONEY. Gender Bias. MONEY. Pesticides. MONEY. I laugh because I hear the walk in music of Ted DiBiase.

Roddenberry might just be a genius. We cannot evolve until we solve our issues and actually BE human.

Welcome to America’s Hunger Games

Mother of Michael Brown Addresses ProtestersThere are many reasons why I don’t watch much television. Take away the fact that cable is insanely expensive. Subtract the fact that all my sports teams have no respect for my life. Just minus the fact that great shows rarely exist and focus on the fact that television has become a tool.

What’s considered good TV? Anything that Shonda puts out? The WWE? The Walking Dead? How about reality shows? Let’s think about reality shows and how “real” they are. I can’t tell if some of these shows are fake but most of these reality stars get paid with the goal of advancing their careers. Perhaps we lost the sense of creativity some where when watching rich people slapping each other around is more popular than sitcoms. But that’s really not the “good TV” we’ve been privy too lately, has it?

The drama we’ve been watching unfold in Ferguson is reality TV. It’s important to note that anyone who has seen this show before knew what was going to happen. There were no such thing as spoilers because we all knew there would be no indictment but things kept dragging on. I knew that there were going to wait until the week of Thanksgiving to make this announcement. Why? Because it made sense in a sick way.

They were gonna wait until the last minute so that people couldn’t make travel plans to Ferguson. I’m sure they thought that the holiday season would make it hard for people to protest…unless there was a desire to have the opposite effect. Think about it, the Governor calls for a state of emergency prompting the national guard to come just days before this announcement. Clearly they expected some thing to go down. Monday rolls around and they tell the media outlets that a verdict will be announced, but no time was given. So that gives the various news channels time to gather. Then they say it will happen at 6pm CST. Then they postpone it until 8pm CST but still have a pre-press conference. This is like the meeting before the meeting.

So the time finally arrives and they makes us wait about 20 minutes before the ever boring District Attorney Robert McCulloch begins to monologue about how everyone else but Darren Wilson is to blame for this mess. The speech was so long that it just seemed like it was all done for ratings. Then, as expected, the no indictment charge is announced and people lose their minds.

Now, one of the most important things here is the timing of all of this. As McCulloch is taking questions there is pop up on the screen saying that Obama is about to speak. Now, if you know anything about presidential speeches, you never know when they will actually start. But just as the clock hit 9:59, McCulloch wraps up and when the 10pm hour hits the President speech starts. Like fucking clockwork. Of course the President goes on TV talking about how people need to remain calm meanwhile on the split screen you see rioters breaking windows of a police car. He mentions “Good TV” in his speech. I’m not entirely convinced that was an accident. I made up my mind right then and there that this was all a coordinated effort to show that people of color are animals.

Also take note that the National Guard was no where to found when buildings started to burn. So what were they guarding? (I know the answer, do you?)

They could have made this announcement in the morning but they knew that if they timed it right, the power of television will distract people, like an Ebola outbreak, from the real issue. We have a problem in this country and not everyone sees it and that’s part of the problem. I’ve made it clear several times over the last few years that everything is about race but many people don’t see it that way, so I guess we’re all just making it up.

Most people believe what’s being presented to them with no question and it is those people that are stuck on the 24 hour news channels as they spill garbage. They are all guilty in some way: Fox News, CNN, & MSNBC for trying to grab that all mighty dollar for ratings. But it is the folks at ABC that get the prize for landing the interview of the year. Darren Wilson gets to tell his story about slaying the demon and the majority eat it up faster than Thanksgiving turkey. Welcome to America’s Hunger Games.

Mixed Emotions

mixed-emotions

There are so many things going in the world and in my life right now that I have SO many mixed emotions that its getting to the point that I just don’t know how to feel on any given day. I know that I’m a versatile person that allows me to adapt to any situation in my life but lately things have been overwhelming. There is a multitude of feelings I can have a given day: anger, fear, joy, sorrow, excitement, and sentimentality. It is an interesting and frustrating mix because how do I deal with it all.

Anger. I’ve been angry everyday since the Michael Brown incident in Ferguson. I’m angry because police killings/brutality has become the norm. Watching the protests turn into riots with tear gas and bullets flying is ridiculous. We are watching history and seeing the way people react to all this is beyond interesting. I suppose I’m tired of showing people that we are not delusional. We don’t make up racial issues. The anger is there because I know all of this will not end well.

signingExcitement. I announced yesterday on social media that I have book signings in Syracuse on 9/20 and NYC on 10/8. I am traveling down a road that I have never experienced and it is exciting. When I started the novel last year events like these were not on my mind. I just wanted to contribute the literary world. The support that people have given me is tremendous and I’m not used to this. It is truly humbling.

Cover ImageFear. I HAVE A BOOK SIGNING. This scares the shit out of me. I’m a chronic over-thinker so I think about too many things that are close to irrational. What if no one shows up? What if too many people show up? Do I have to read an excerpt from the book? What chapter? What if I’m late? <— This right here is my life. I’m so used to being behind the scenes at events that being the main event is abnormal. Yes, I have been a key note speaker before but it never gets easy for me. lol

Sorrow. There are many things that I just don’t share with people so I will keep this to a minimum. I have two family members with cancer and it weighs on me. It weighs on me more than I admit to people. I stay strong because as one of the youngest members of my families (paternal and maternal) I feel the need to be responsible so I can to make sure that family stays together.

Joy. I love my job. I cannot say it any clearer. I have found a place that values me as a person and values students. Granted I am about to make 2 years at Barnard College and maybe I’m still on a high but having the ability to be creative and to be myself is something that allows me to thrive.

Sentimentality. A few weeks ago the woman in my life has left to pursue her MBA at the Tepper Business School at Carnegie Mellon. It is incredibly awesome to be with a woman who is smarter than me. Our relationship is strong and we will continue to be together while sharing our success separately until she returns. Yet, I miss her and it becomes hard to focus because of it.

All this makes it hard for just to do what I need to everyday but, thankfully, I know how to take my emotions and transfer them into words.