For the past week or so, I’ve been wrestling with this notion on writing another post in reference to the Jussie Smollett incident. You see, I’ve been trying to wait until all the facts presented themselves because I couldn’t imagine someone would carry out such a disgusting hoax. That a person would actually sit down and plan such a poorly thought-out scheme. That a human being of my tribe (both Black and gay) would think it was remotely appropriate to play with real issues of American racism and homophobia, in an effort to further his career and status. And yet sadly, after sifting through reliable news outlets, I’m saddened to conclude that Jussie allegedly lied to the American people.
While I love my man, we’ve recently come into a problem I’m not sure how to feel about. In light of what’s been happening with Gucci and Prada and their blackface controversies, my boyfriend and I recently had a conversation about it. Before I go any further you should know that I’m black and my boyfriend is white. The reason I guess that matters is because he basically told me he understands white people dressing in blackface is wrong, and he would never do it, but thought people may be overreacting to Gucci and Prada designs. He thinks the companies had designers who were just designing, and had no racist intentions behind their designs.
I responded to him by telling him that may be true, but that doesn’t negate the fact that the designs are offensive. I told him the black community has every right to be offended and boycott the labels. He responded that not everything has to be about black and white, which really pissed me off. As much as I love my boyfriend, I’m disappointed in his attitude about this. He’s not racist clearly, but damn it. Even though we agreed to disagree, I’m still salty. I guess the question I have is how do I get him to see that what Gucci and Prada did is a big deal? Heck, how do I now not look at him differently?
Mike & Ike 95
I’ve been trying to figure out how to address the recent events that took place in Chicago, and I’ve been struggling to filter out my thoughts. Part of my struggle comes from knowing that Jussie is me and I’m Jussie. Strip away his fame and celebrity, and we are both Black Gay men living in the United States. I keep thinking it could have easily been me that was attacked.
Another part of my struggle comes from being angry about the situation, and not knowing how to write about my feelings in a meaningful way. This is a tough topic to navigate. While I’m not sure if I’ve been able to truly sort out of all of my thoughts in a manner that doesn’t sound like word vomit, I’ve managed to write something. So please, bear with me.
Making New Year’s Resolutions is nothing new. As a matter of fact, historians have said the Babylonians were the first to make New Year’s Resolutions roughly 4,000 years ago. Which means, for centuries upon centuries, people have used the top of the year to promise themselves better health, better wealth ,and a certain glow up they’ve yet to attain before. While I’m not sure what happened back in the days of the Babylonians, I know in this day and age, commitment to keeping resolutions has become somewhat of a running joke.
Think about it. How many people do you know that have been working on their “summer body” for about four summers? (No shade intended, because I too have been working on my summer body since 2016 myself LOL). And how many folks can you name right now that have been committed to leveling-up in their career yet have made no efforts to move out of their current job? I won’t even touch on the unfulfilled travel goals people make yet make no efforts to save money for said goals. (Again, no shade intended, but I too can relate.)
Hey there folks. Lately, I’ve felt the need to share some words of encouragement in an effort to help those feeling fatigued by the pursuit of their dreams. I’m a believer that a lot of times in life, we as humans go through situations that really test us and force to either grow or shrink. Looking back on my life, I can recall countless experiences that have helped push me to evolve. But as I’ve gotten older, and I like to think wiser, I’ve realized that the things that have happened to me on my journey in life happened not only for my own benefit of growth, but also to help someone else. That is if I’m willing to open up and transparent (which is definitely not an easy thing to do.)
Being a citizen of the United States and having this platform, I feel it’s my duty to remind you all the importance of voting in these midterm elections. If you are like me and were crushed by the abysmal turn the 2016 Presidential Election took, and loath the actions of Trump and the current political leadership, then this election cycle is not one to ignore. It simply isn’t the time not to exercise your right to vote.
Look, I’ve heard a ton of excuses as to why people don’t vote and don’t plan to do so this November. And no excuse (with the exception of death, being in a comatose state, or felony disenfranchisement) has ever been a valid reason not to vote. If you say you can’t vote because you are busy on Election Day, get an absentee ballot or vote early on a day where you have free time. If you’re a person that doesn’t vote because you don’t want to be called for jury duty, know that a survey taken states only 27% of the entire U.S. population has ever served on a jury. (If you’re a person of color and feel this way about jury duty, think about the innocent black and brown folks who go to jail because they were convicted by people that don’t look like them. Or think about individuals who get off for taking black and brown lives because black and brown folks like you won’t serve.)
The worst excuse I hear when it comes to why people don’t vote is, “my vote won’t matter” or “my vote won’t change anything.” This excuse annoys me because millions of people use it, equating to millions of non-votes. For those using this excuse, allow me to present five things currently at stake, and why voting is important this go around.
Before I dive deep into this post, let me first say that this is not a post meant to bash anyone or their parenting abilities necessarily. I’m proud to have created a platform that doesn’t make a habit of judging other people or hurling out insults. However with that said, there are some things I tend to have a very strong opinion about, and relationships between estranged parents and their children is one of them. I probably have such strong opinions because I don’t really have much a relationship with my own father, but that’s a story for a different post. Anyway, let’s go ahead and get started.
The conversation about colorism and people’s dating preferences is certainly NOT new. Black folks and other people of color have been talking about skin color and sexual attraction for generations. While I’m a firm believer that beauty exists across the spectrum of black and brown, I’ve witnessed my fair share of individuals with a “skewed” perception of attractiveness. Those people that are firm believers in the “light is right” mantra. They believe that being light-skinned grants a person an automatic qualification of beautiful, and that those of a darker tone have got to have some damn near flawless features in order to compete. And while people are ready to blast those that have a preference for the Halle Berry and Michael Ealy folks of the world, perhaps the offended should give those attracted to our lighter brothers and sisters a break.
Before I dive deep into this post, let me just mention a few disclaimers. First and foremost, this is not a personal attack on anyone. If anything, I hope to make this a teaching moment, and not a “reading” lesson. Secondly, I’m not professing to be Team Nene, Team Twirl, or any other team affiliated with the show. I have no metaphorical horse in this race. While I admittedly don’t like the consistent actions of a few, my personal feelings for the ladies, or the images they portray, has nothing to do with what I’m about to go into here. And lastly, my words can be applied beyond The Real Housewives of Atlanta franchise, and Bravo TV. So let’s get to it.
Marvel’s Black Panther film is hands down one of my favorite movies of all-time. I know some people will say it’s too early for me to make such a claim, and others may argue I just bought into the hype. However, I guarantee that it’s not too early and if I bought into the hype, it’s because the movie deserves every bit of it. The Ryan Coogler project is probably one of the only films I’m willing to pay to see in the theater multiple times (I’ve seen it twice already, and really wanting to go see a third soon). I’ve talked about the movie non-stop since I’ve seen it, and have even pledged my allegiance to Wakanda forever. With that said, there are five takeaways I got from my new favorite film.