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 recently had a brief yet interesting discussion with someone on Instagram that I thought I’d share with you all. To give a little backstory, the individual in question is a gay person of color that was having a conversation with some of his acquaintances. When he and his friends started talking about dating preferences, he mentioned that he was not usually attracted to white men. At that revelation, he was accused of being racist. Keep in mind, from my understanding he didn’t go on a rant about white men being inferior or the devil. And he didn’t say anything about practicing open discrimination against white men either. So feeling like it was two against one in the conversation with his acquaintances, he reached out to me to get my input.
While I might find this man to be morally reprehensible, culturally ignorant, politically unaware, and by all appearances completely narcissistic, today’s post is not actually a bash Trump session. In fact, I can’t believe I’m about to write this, but I think Trump should be thanked. I know I sound foolish, or perhaps heavily medicated. However, I do in fact credit Trump with a few “good things.” His political career has served as an eye-opener on three fronts.
I wanted to write this letter post-election not to necessarily express my discontent, but to express my hope. Don’t get me wrong, I’m truly disappointed by the results of yesterday’s election. It has been no secret that I was pulling for the former secretary of state. Although my enthusiasm for her dipped substantially over the course of the election, I always knew in my heart of hearts that she was the better candidate between her and Trump. Heck, I thought, and continue to think, that Trump embodies the dangers of white privilege and money, and is a champion of xenophobia, racism, and sexism. But regardless of my feelings of the now president-elect, he will be taking the oval office in just a few months.
As I’ve said, I’m not really writing this to express my discontent, so let’s get to why I’m hopeful. If you recall, at the start of the century, George W. Bush was elected to the highest office in the land. You can argue until you’re blue in the face about the legitimacy of that election process, but it won’t change history. People thought his election was the worst thing that’s happened to this country. That was until he was reelected in 2004. Eight years of bad foreign policy, economic plans, and overall decision making, left this country in a pretty low place. However, it also left this country and it’s voters in a position to receive change. Big change.
Folks we’ve got less than two weeks until Election Day, and I’ve got one word for you. VOTE! I know PSAs and the media describe every election as extremely important, but this one truly is. There is a lot at stake with this election cycle, and if you don’t exercise your right and duty as an American citizen, you’ll be doing this country, and more importantly yourself, a real disservice. Don’t believe me, well let’s look at some of the things at stake here.
- Post Obama Race Relations
It should be no secret to anyone that since the election of President Obama, race relations in this country have taken some unfortunate steps back. The fact people must chant “Black lives matter” in 2016 is just sad. I for one don’t want to let my vote go uncast knowing politicians hold a lot of power in making sure this country is truly dedicated to seeing that there is real “justice and liberty for all.” Marching in the streets and posting named hashtags is symbolic and sentimental; but, if you want to make a real difference, you’ll show up to the polls.
- Potential for War Deployment of Troops
With the looming threat of Russia, the ongoing conflict in Iraq and Syria, and the infamous ISIS still present, matters of national security will be increasingly more important during the next presidential term. You’ll want to vote for someone you believe can keep the country safe and out of wars. Someone that is of sound mind and temperament to engage with other international powers. I for one don’t want someone that will be like a “bull in a china shop.” (Old country saying for you. LOL)
- Higher Education Costs
If you are reading this and you’ve never heard of Sallie Mae or Navient, consider yourself blessed. There are those like myself that are very familiar with the two. College is expensive and is not getting cheaper. There are many in this country that hail education as being the great equalizer, and the major key needed to get ahead and reach the American dream. However, for millions of millennials it’s becoming harder to reach that dream because they are drowning in student loan debt trying to pay for a degree (or two) they were told they had to have in order to even pursue the dream in the first place. Where is the fairness in that? It’s important you go out and vote to stop the increasing price of degrees, and to help alleviate some of the financial burden on countless college graduates.
- The Supreme Court
The right for members of the LGBT community to get married just became nationally legal and recognized a little over a year ago. I want you think about that when you say you won’t vote, because that is what’s at stake. The highest bench in the land has an opening, and possibly a few more openings in the next four years to come. Do you want to risk having the wrong person elected as president, or people elected to the senate, that could possibly shape a court that overturns the rights of millions of gay couples?
Besides gay marriage, the future makeup of the Supreme Court will also be deciding on some cases involving voting rights, women’s rights, and affirmative action. These are things that impact your everyday life. And if not directly, these issues impact someone you know. Trust me.
- Empowerment of the Average Man
I may not agree with most of the things Trump says, but he and Bernie were right about the corruption in DC. Too many companies and special interest groups have their hands in politics. These groups use money to persuade politicians into making horrendous policy decisions that often disenfranchise the average man. Take for example the criminal justice system and the private prison industry. When politicians voted to impose mandatory sentencing, they often did so knowing they would be directly benefiting the private prison industry, but disguised their decision as voting to protect public safety. (Check out 13th on Netflix.)
Heck, you can look at the gun lobbying groups such as the NRA. The NRA has pretty much immobilized many politicians from voting on simple common sense gun reform policies. Politicians claim they don’t want to pass anything that limits the Second Amendment, but you would think they would pass something that makes it more difficult for the wrong people to get weapons. But again, many politicians are more loyal to the money getting them elected than the average people they swore to serve. And you can apply a similar argument to failed banking reform and failed checks on Wall Street. (It’s understandable why so many people felt the Bern.)
So in short, VOTE! If you can vote early, go. If you are sending an absentee ballot, send it. And if you are voting on Election Day, get to the polls before they close. We’ve got to take this seriously people. Remember, if you don’t vote, then don’t complain.
It’s been a few days now since the tragic deaths of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and the five police officers in Dallas, and I haven’t posted anything on the site partially in an attempt to gather my thoughts. If you stroll through my social media pages, you’ll will see short blurbs and videos expressing my outrage over what has happened within the last week. However, I’ve yet to publicly state my peace on the matter. And so here I am today. Saddened by the state of this country, angered by moral hypocrisy and ignorance, and humbled to be among the living of an endangered people.
When I first heard that ESPN was going to be doing a documentary on OJ Simpson, I was one of the many people that was thinking “my gosh, not another OJ special.” I felt America has been talking about this man and his infamous exploits since I was a young boy, barely in school. Then with all the 20/20 and Dateline specials, combined with the Ryan Murphy American Crime Story anthology from earlier this year, I really had no intentions on watching OJ: Made in America. Well, let me just say how glad I am that I ignored my original inclinations. OJ: Made in America may be the best documentary I’ve ever seen. It was so enlightening and captivating. And it wasn’t just a story of the OJ Simpson murder trial. It was an insightful history of race relations in LA. From watching the mini docuseries, I was able to come up with five takeaways. Well more than five really, but I’ll just list five here. Take a look!
With the rash of state legislatures eager to pass bills that clearly disenfranchise members of the LGBT community, I thought I’d take the opportunity to call BS. While I’m disgusted by the legislative actions of states like North Carolina, Mississippi, and almost Georgia, I can’t say I’m all that surprised. History in the U.S. has countless examples of what happens when this country finally takes steps toward equality for all.
Despite record breaking turnout in some states’ primaries or caucuses, I for one find myself increasingly underwhelmed by this 2016 presidential race. I’m sick of the media talking about Hillary’s emails, I’m tired of the back and forth pettiness between candidates, and I’m beyond over the ignorant and clownish phenomenon that is Donald Trump. To be honest, American politics is slowly becoming a sick joke that I can’t believe is our reality. And I’m left to wonder, where did it all go wrong?
Dear Straight People,
It’s 2016, so in the name of progress, please stop “gay shaming.” I’m sure some of you may be confused as to what exactly that is, so let me shed some light on the term. You know those instances when you are in an argument with a guy and the two of you trading jabs, then you hit him with the “shut up with your gay a$$” or “stop being a queen”? Well that’s gay shaming folks. Or perhaps you’ve been guilty of accusing a man you don’t particularly care for of being homosexual because his voice wasn’t the deepest. Or he took too much pride in his appearance. Or he just wasn’t the epitome of masculinity. For the purpose of this conversation, that’s “gay shaming.” And to be honest, playing the “you’re gay” card is getting too old and too tired.