Friday, February 17, 2017

The Trump Survival Kit

I didn’t think it would come this, but after the latest press conference and Lord knows countless others, “are you fucking kidding me!?!?!” moments, I think it’s now time to invoke the Trump Survival Kit for African Americans. Some may think a survival kit is a bit drastic, but so is having an imbecile for president who has surrounded himself with the most progressive racists of our time. As a women of color it scares me what these men could do with the 13th amendment; remember the Jews in a million years never thought one man could turn nations against them.  I ain’t trying to live through a modern holocaust!

Please note: if you are any other “minority” race, I hate the word minority, but if you fall under this category based on societal standards, then you too may need to create a kit or adjust the contents of what’s being explained below:

The Trump Survival Kit

Item #1.    Passport – If you don’t have one already, it’s time to start the process. The cost for a passport whether new or renewal ranges from $110 - $165.  Check out https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports.html for exact info. And while you’re at it, start researching other countries you may want to export to. 

Item #2.      Money – Start saving your coin. You do not need anything new right now.  But, you will need bribe cash in the event you need to escape.

Item #3.      Escape Route – At this point I wouldn’t be surprised if someone isn’t building a new underground railroad. Folks, it’s time we get our Harriet Tubman on.  Figure out where you want to go as mentioned in Item #1

Item #4.      Learn a new language – Depending on the destination or destinations you’re thinking of, it will be helpful if you learn the language, which will make your transition a bit easier.

Item #5.      Swimming Lessons – If there’s one thing we learned from the slave trade, swimming was not one of our strong suits. Hell, just watch Amazing Race there’s always a black team who can’t swim.  During an escape we will not be able to control the method of transportation, some of it may require getting on a raft and then swimming the rest of the way.  Start learning, plus it’s healthy for you!

Item #6.      Natural Hair – Sistahs, sistahs, sistahs, now more than ever is the time to go natural. During an escape you will not be able to maintain a weave, plus you might pisst off the other escapees with the smell, let’s be real.  For the relaxer chicks, you can pretend your hair is not nappy, but you know six weeks into an escape you will lose your mind.  I’m personally going through the relaxer-less process now.  My advice, start slow, get use to the hair your ancestors gave you, and you’ll see you’ll adjust!

Item #7.      Berries and edible Plants – In every slave movie escape, somewhere somehow they end up in the woods and actually survive.  Back in the day, peeps knew what natural aka organic really was. Take a class on natural berries and plants that can be used for consumption and medicinal purposes. As a matter of fact, Groupon was recently offering a survival in the woods class for $59, I suggest you check your local listing.

Item #8.      Dog Training – As much as we love our furry family members, we all know they were the primary weapon of slave recovery.  With this being said, now is the time to embrace your inner Cesar Millian and take a dog training class, learn to disarm, pacify them or whatever it takes not to be eaten or caught.

Item #9.      Learn to climb a tree – If you don’t subscribe to item #8 then may I suggest you learn how to climb a tree.  This is an official reach out to Bree Newsome to host some classes.  Remember, this was the sistah who climbed the flag pole to remove the confederate flag in South Carolina.

Item #10.   Get a Massa – If you absolutely feel you can’t follow items 1-9, then may I suggest you broker a deal with a white person you can trust, and ensure he/she will be your Massa in the event the 13th amendment is repealed and we’re once again deemed legal property. 


On a final note, I encourage all folks to stay woke. We live in a country that kidnapped, abused, degraded and continues to despise us. There’s nothing they wouldn’t do to make their AmeriKKKa great again! Be on guard and if you can’t fight them, then get the hell out. At least this time it will be on your own terms! 

Peace out,
Blacktina

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Folders

I don’t have a problem with Steve Harvey, Ray Lewis, Jim Brown and Kanye West meeting with Donald Trump. Hell, I don’t have a problem with the Talladega marching band performing at the inauguration. Nope, no problem at all.  What I have a problem with is the easy way all of these people and institutions fold like a bad hand in Vegas.  I would just like to see for once in my lifetime black people stand up like other races, Asians, Jewish,  Latinos and go HAM on someone. Why do we always believe in turning the other cheek? Why is we have to be the forgivers and move on? Why can’t we demand apologies? Why can’t other party atone for their behavior? Why is it that moving on requires us to just take it and excuse the other party for the sake of moving on.


Have any of these people who are in the spotlight and represent us, so they say, ever think that their representation appears misguided.  I can only imagine how other races laugh at us. For real, think about it, slavery lasted centuries and we don’t even think of bringing up the word reparations.  The holocaust was a decade plus, and hell even if you think Nazi, you will be sued.  Yet, our race will sit with a man who refuses to denounce racism or sexism, rather he unapologetically promotes it.  If you’re unclear about his stance just remember the campaign and his emergence of the Alternative Right aka the new Nazi’s, remember we can’t say Nazi.  And if the campaign isn’t enough to understand his view, then go back to his history and research the Central Park 5.  Homeboy was real about prosecuting and throwing away the key for 5 young black youths.  Who ironically were found innocent 20 years later. When asked would he apologize, he said NO, cause he still felt they were guilty, despite overwhelming DNA evidence and a confession from the actual criminal.  And, when it comes to discrimination him and his Daddy were prime advocates, to the point where a Black person couldn’t even rent an apartment in one of their buildings.  But the biggest offense is when he championed the movement to overthrow the first Black President, accusing him of not being a natural born citizen and forcing him to produce a birth certificate; all because his name was “foreign”, and because he was Black.
 

I don’t know how in their conscious do any of the named celebrities in this article or anyone else of color meet with such a man who clearly belittles, and HATES your people. Yes HATE‼! He is a fear monger and if given the chance not only deport every immigrant legal or not, but hell who knows, may look to reverse the 13th amendment, after all our freedom is actually an amendment to the constitution, which one can debate that the laws of the land were not for us! Having the audacity to meet with a man like this and coming out grinning for cameras, is shameful, disgraceful and just disrespectful to your base and your ancestors.  Yesterday I heard Jeff Johnson say, that just because some people read two books they think they have the right to criticize Steve Harvey.  Mr. Johnson, I have read plenty of books, just because I’m not a journalist doesn’t mean I don’t know my shit.  I know enough to know that even before Dr. King met with the Kennedys who were Democrats aka Dixicrats, they had to prove to him with actions they were genuinely serious about helping the southern blacks.  As a matter of fact it was not until Robert Kennedy who fought for the release of MLK, who was sentenced to a chain gang, did we then embrace the Democratic party.  I ask you and all the other “folders” what has this man done to make you think he will have our best interest at heart? So far, nothing, except for a meeting with disconnected individuals who grew up hood, but have long been gone!  It’s a travesty, that what represents us is spineless and profit seeking for their own celebrity. Not to mention how insulting it is for us as Black people that this man thinks that a comedian, football player and rapper can institute community change.  He asked to speak to them because to him we’re so dumb, that we’ll listen to the radio talk show host or Kim Kardashian’s husband.  Let that sink in, how much this man thinks of us!
 

Steve Harvey glaringly attacked Donald Trump during the election and rightly so, but in the same token to shuck and jive afterwards is just so UNFORGIVING, so CHEAP.  For heaven’s sake people have some pride! Demand the respect you and all of us around you are due.  Now, I don’t expect the “folders” to carry our race, however I don’t want them to represent us.  To quote Harriet Tubman “I would of freed more slaves if they knew they were slaves.”  It’s apparent that their motives are too far removed with what’s plaguing our communities.  With that being said, I’m not here to change the “folders”, as a matter of fact, fuck them! But as citizens, we have a duty to call these people out, close the chapter and move on.  As of now, I’m taking a cue from Dr. King, until action is done in our favor, and only then will I entertain a compromise. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Ping Pong Politics



     Today I’m surviving on 2 hours sleep,  like many others I stood up last night watching the election results.  My persistence at remaining awake was due to an enormous surge of anxiety coupled with the reality that this couldn’t be true. Donald Trump, (oh lord it kills me to write this) is the President of the United States.  NOOOOOOOO‼‼‼ Why America? Why? But then it hit me, Americans have been tired of the standard DC politics, the bureaucracy, the overall political bullshit. We vote you in and still get shitted on, so in the words of Donald Trump, “what do you have to lose” But for me I lost my sense of hope in this country.  Here I write to you as a Black Latina woman who has to self sanction what she says in public, and yet the man running for President has referred to African Americans as The Blacks, homosexuals as The Gays, and the Hispanics as criminals! To the dismay and shock of many he WINS‼‼! But did he really win because of his brashness or better yet was it because Americans had embraced his idiotic statements and internalized them to symbolize he was different, different from the standard  DC politics. Was it like, fuck it, we need somebody to say what they mean without sugar coating it, and hopefully things will get done.  As I thought about how Trump supporters felt, begrudgingly I had to admit, I get it!  I understand,  because I felt the same way when Barack Obama entered the 2008 presidential race.

      In 2008 Barack Obama was a Jr. Senator from Illinois with about a year and half experience. Prior to running for President his only claim to fame was electrifying voters as he delivered one of the most memorable DNC speeches for the Kerry/Edwards ticket.  Other than that and a few appearances on Oprah and some news shows I can’t recite what Obama had done as a Senator. But yet, with his lack of experience he beat Hilary Clinton out of the Democratic primaries. Coincidentally like this election she too had more experience than Obama, even to the point where she served as his informal mentor while in the Senate. And then the unthinkable happened, he beat John McCain, an established tenured Senator. We never asked how in the hell did this happen? A man with only a year and half political experience beat out two veteran politicians.  He was able to sail to the office because he promised what we all wanted to hear, we need CHANGE in Washington. The change from the Washington status quo, in particular the Bush presidency.  Fast forward to 2016 not much has changed. Washington is still stalled, bills for the middle class aren’t being passed.  The Affordable Care Act is not that affordable.  To note, Barack Obama has done a lot despite the clear opposition he faced from a Republican congress, but he still came up short from the CHANGE he promised.  So, 2016, here we go again and guess what we still need CHANGE. Just like we needed change from the Bush presidency, Americans felt a need to change from the lack of progress promised by the Obama administration.  Unfortunately, Hilary Clinton was part of that administration and like McCain fell prey to guilty by association.  Yes, there were the emails, Benghazi and the dishonesty of the DNC (Thank you, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and Donna Brazile, smh…..), but let’s be honest that was in no way in comparison to Trump’s “grabbing the pussy”.  Yet he wins and she loses. 

      Hilary’s lost signifies the attention span of the American voter.  We live in a world of get it done or get out.  Since it doesn’t look like the Democrats got much done, then why come back right now, again quoting Trump “What do you have to lose”.  So let’s go back and switch to Republican.  America will Ping Pong the hell out of the parties till one gets it right.  For those non Trump supporters like myself. I take solace in knowing the scales will tip in 2024 back to Democrat as I’m sure Trump and his cabinet of crooks (Guiliani, Christie, etc.) will make it easy for us to make that decision.  As an American, my psyche, my emotions and my disdain for this process can’t take any more of this.  As citizens we need to truly understand the laws of our land, and legislate to re-write them if needed; understand the election process especially the importance of mid-elections, and research/understand how to “fire” our representatives who don’t represent us but look out for their own interest.  This level of Ping Pong politics is costing us far more than we can ever calculate.  If you’re still unsure of the ramifications, then just look no further than our newly elected President, the host of Celebrity Apprentice!


Peace Out,
Blacktina

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Lena Dunham –WTF?!?!!?


Almost everyone I know has had the “curious” cousin or family friend who tried to kiss or touch you during the child game of family.  When these occurrences happened a couple of things proceeded; 1) you ran and told your parents and 2) somebody got a whipping.  Case closed! Usually the outcome was so bad for the individual they were talked about for months and not trusted to be alone with anyone.  This is how I grew up and how  my family dealt with these types of things.
Apparently, according to Lena Dunham other families may act differently, as evidenced in her new book, Not that Kind of Girl in which she described three sexual acts with her younger sister.  See quotes here. In my opinion the most disturbing aspect, is not the acts themselves but the lack of parenting.  If I caught my 7 year old opening my 1-year-old daughter’s vagina, I would have spanked the hell out of her.  This would be an opportune time to teach your child about not violating others.  Whether at 7 or 70, unless you have express permission to open up my vagina, you shouldn’t touch it.  If the excuse lies on “curiosity”, the parents still should of treated this as a teaching moment coupled with discipline.  As the old saying goes, curiosity killed the cat.  In this instance it would have killed her so-called explorations that continued throughout the years.

It is not uncommon for children to be sexually curious even at the age of 7.  After all we see our parents sleep in the same bed, closed doors, and we all have heard the creaking of a bed and perhaps a moaning.  After a while you figure they’re not playing checkers and yes you wonder what’s it like.  There is nothing abnormal about wondering. What’s abnormal is when you see a child spread someone’s legs and open a vagina and pretend this is standard behavior. This type of behavior may manifest itself into adulthood, which at this point may equate to a child predator.  By no means do I think Ms. Dunham is predator rather she was curious child.  However, by publishing this memoir and being the voice of the millennial generation, is she giving permission to say, it’s OK for your young child to be that sexually curious to the point of violating others?  Is she also willing to take responsibility for those curious children who may turn into adult predators, all because the voice of this generation said it’s OK!  I doubt Lena Dunham wants to have the ills of society on her shoulders.  But, she needs to understand her celebrity and voice have power, to jokingly minimize these acts can spiral into a resonating delusion that these practices are acceptable. 
These excerpts from Lena Dunham’s book should make your skin crawl.  Being the comedic writher that she is, I’m sure this wasn’t her original intent.  It is clear that Ms. Dunham’s upbringing lacked self-control; rather she was raised to be free, open and told this was OK. Some things are not OK, and require discretion aligned with consequences. Perhaps her parents may not have taught her this, but it’s apparent based on the outpouring of rage the media and American public will!
Peace out,
Blacktina

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Trayvon Martin is Alive!


Unless you’ve been under a rock for the past 2 years, we all know Trayvon Martin died at the hands of an overzealous racist.  Although Trayvon is physically gone, he does still live on in each and every black child. Here's an example of how and why. 

Yesterday afternoon my teenage daughter had a mini pool party at our community pool.  We live in a subdivision and pay nearly $300 a year in HOA fees. I refer to this party as mini, since there were only around 15 teenagers in attendance, no music, no sneaking in alcohol and no profanity. Usually there is only one attendant at the pool; however on this day there was anywhere from 3-5 attendants.  These attendants didn’t arrive until they started seeing a number of teenagers.  I thought to myself, there is nothing unusual about teenagers.  But, on this occasion there was a difference.  These teenagers were mostly black.  As soon as the numbers started to increase so did white flight out the pool and the increase of white pool attendants arrived.  
These attendants had their eyes on my daughter and her friends, who stood on their side of the pool and only conversed amongst each other.  Any sudden movement by the party members caused the attendants to react and walk over to them multiple times.  In one instance while playing with water balloons, one attendant rushed up and told a girl to stop. The girl agreed and said she’ll throw them away.  Instead, the attendant insisted, by accosting the girl by pulling her arm, snatching the balloons, which ultimately broke in her hands.  At this point I had enough and so did the few African American adults in attendance.  In unison some approached the pool attendants, while others approached the kids and recited the infamous speech of  “stay calm, and don’t react with hostility”.  In speaking with the pool attendants, I asked following:

1) What’s up with the 5 attendants when there’s usually only 1? 
2) And are my daughter and her friends being racially profiled? 

Immediately the response was “Oh No, we’re just here to make sure everyone has a good time.” My reaction was we usually can, but today we’re being watched like something out of Persons of Interest. I went on to say, “I see a group of kids trying to have a good time, but for some reason YOU see a MOB.”  Furthermore, this lady who apparently may have some “Klan” gear in her closet had no right accosting this young lady, who was clearly cooperative.  If the young lady would of defended herself, Klan Queen over here would of claimed Stand Your Ground and we all know that can result in murder.   

I know a pool party may seem trivial compared to the death of Trayvon Martin, but so was his death over a perception (i.e. hoodie and skittles). As a mother of a black daughter I always thought she was safe, unlike our young black men.  Yesterday taught me she isn’t safe; and a lesson to all, if we feel we’re being discriminated, speak up, say it.  As a people we need to be color brave to those who are color blind.  Take a look at Mellody Hobson's Ted Talk and her experience of being discriminated based on pure perception. 

While this incident was disturbing, I found myself feeling justified about how I confronted the issue.  There was no yelling or cursing, just pure honest conversation about my perception of their reactions.  In all honesty, this conversation was liberating to all those involved.  Facing fears and uncovering untruths allows us to open the doors of compromise and conversation.  For the remainder of the party my daughter and her friends were left un-bothered; furthermore I received an apology from the HOA regarding this incident.   Don't get me wrong folks, this isn't a total cumbaya moment, but it's start!

Peace Out
Blacktina

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Generational Gap - When Does it Age Out?

We often hear how this millennial generation is one of entitlement, fast spaced and is accustomed to many spoils which some may say leads to the unconventional modern employee.  Basically millennials' are the WTF generation who takes no crap, and will do as they please when they please as long as the job gets done!  Being labeled as Generation X I do tether on both the Baby Boomer and Millennial end until recently in which I think my so called balancing act is kind of swaying towards team Millennial and here's why.

By trade I am a Learning and Development professional which means I'm a strong proponent of growth and development, no shock there.  Recently I've been assigned a project to re-structure an Executive Training Program.  This program is geared to recent college graduates seeking retail management positions.  During the planning phase I included retail management seminars but also seminars geared to understand the life cycle of merchandise, the role of the corporate office and leadership development skills; afterall these people will be in management which will mean they will be leading.  As the re-structured program was viewed by leadership, the following comment was uniformly shared amongst these individuals "I don't want these trainees knowing anything else except retail, if we show them anything about corporate, they'll want to leave and join the corporate office".   It took me a minute to let the statement resonate and unfortunately I don't have a poker face so everything pretty much showed what I was feeling.  So rather than play coy, I just had to ask why?

The response for a lack of a better word was RIDICULOUS.  These "Leaders" said they have a fear of college kids who feel entitled.  To them it was insane that these young adults did not want to work on  weekends, and holidays (including Thanksgiving).  In reality who the hell wants to work on weekends and on Thanksgiving especially after I've completed four years of college and have mounting student debt.  Furthermore, their rationale was once they get a sense that there's something else out there they would want to leave, so it would be best not to expose them.  When was the last time you heard of a college graduate not being exposed; one word to defy this, Internet!  The first thing I could think of was the word oppression and a sense of keeping a group down; being a Blacktina I can relate.  As I evaluated their responses I couldn't help but notice they called the management trainees, kids; that alone means they aren't being respected.  Secondly, how can we be a Learning and Development culture and you have a fear of growth opportunities? The sentiment alone contradicts the body of work you so admiringly have pursued as your passion.  And then it hit me, it wasn't about being a Learning and Development professional, it was about being OLD!

The fear factor during this meeting was displayed by those who have been with the company 20 years plus and they weren't 40.  The average age in this meeting ranged from 40-62.  The one's in the 40 range you could tell were baffled, but those 50 and 60 year olds, good lord they meant what they said and wanted like hell to stay that way.   Adjectives like spoil, smarty pants, arrogant were all thrown out to describe these college recruits.  With the obvious resentment towards this generation I had to ask why are we recruiting them.  The answer was simple, we are a progressive organization.  I almost died! LOL.  Really!?!?! You're progressive but you're scared to let them see anything other than what they're here for.  It took all of me to say get the f*ck outta here with that bullshit! But I think my poker face showed it all.

As the meeting adjourned my boss who's also a sistah and around my age understood my frustration and applauded me for quickly recovering.  She then suggested that I "crawl" rather than challenge this group.  Basically spoon feed them only a little cause they ain't ready.  While I appreciated her advice I was pisst the f*ck off.  Why do I have to "crawl" and take it easy? Is it out respect? Is out of fear that I'll be deemed troublesome? Why can't these Boomers see their antiquated methods have aged out?!?! Coincidentally the reasoning to restructure this program was due to it's attrition rate of 32%, considerably low compared to other retailers.  Unfortunately, to this group the reason for such failure is the perception of millennial entitlement.  Their perception and control makes me really wonder who's the entitled group now?

Peace Out,
Blacktina


Monday, October 28, 2013

Be Careful Calling Yourself "Hov"

Ingenious to cryptically call yourself God and have billions of followers respect you as the same.  I'm talking about rap great Jay Z aka Hov, or Hova.  For those who don't know Hov (Hova) is derived from the God name of Jehova.  When I first heard this back in 2002 I was like damm, dude is smooth who would of thought!?!?! However, Mr. Hov's actions of late do not seem very godly like!

Jay Z like other countless hip hop moguls have partnered with a high end store, in this case Barneys.  When was the last time someone from your hood said I bought this from Barneys, just saying.......Granted his partnership is to benefit the Shawn Carter foundation for the socio economic under privilege.  According to Hov he's not making a dime off this venture.  Yet its been highly publicized, his new line is debuting on November 20th.  When I first heard of this partnership I was like OK here we go, you'll tote that you're still all that, you're hood, blah, blah and if you don't believe me just listen to his music.  But if you're still in touch then you should know we don't shop at Barneys or any of the exclusive high end retail.  Hell even Oprah gets profiled in these stores.

But despite what he says he has a right to partner with whoever and if it's for the benefit of the under privilege what better way to do this than with an expensive ass store such as Barneys.  And let's be fair Jay Z is not the first to bullshit his love for the hood and put out apparel, gadgets, etc. that your average hood person couldn't afford except for the drug dealer.  (Read my article about my open letter to Steve Harvey regarding Sean Combs, written a few years back  http://blacktina.wordpress.com/?s=Steve+Harvey&submit=Search).  However this is where it gets murky; Barneys recently discriminated against two young African Americans, they did so by having two undercover "toy cops" stop them outside the store and bring them back in for interrogation.  The toy cops and most likely Barneys as a whole were not convinced that these two individuals could have legally purchased a $300 belt and a $2500 bag.  Barneys proceeded to check their debit cards and hold them to verify no fraud was committed.  In all due respect does it seem crazy to anybody that an establishment now stops paying customers?!?!  Stores usually don't do this, but if you're black there's a strong possibility you're suspect.  The question to Jay Z then begs, how are you going to continue a partnership with a business that discriminates the very same people your foundation is trying to help?

Before I began writing this article and opening up a can of worms, I decided to research the foundation.  The Shawn Carter foundation is headed by Jay Z's mother and provides scholarships in the range of $1500 - $2500, a drop in the bucket for Jay.  When looking at the site most of the recipients are of African American descent which is no surprise since whenever the underprivileged is mentioned its usually us.  What came next was Jay Z's comment which again wasn't a surprise to me but thank the real God it's hopefully an eye opener for others, especially our somewhat blinded youth.  Jay Z stated he won't make a snap judgment, he too has been profiled and empathizes with those who have, but as of now he will continue business with Barneys; raised eyebrows here.  You have been profiled you know what it feels like but yet you'll do business with them.  This is like saying yeah the KKK hung my family, I get it but I'll work with them to benefit my business.  OK maybe Barneys is not the KKK but you get the point.  When does anyone of color (celebrity status) stand up and say Fuck that!  I mean he could of lived up to his "Hov" status  and issue a statement to Barneys requiring them to  change their practices.  I would of accepted him saying he would continue the partnership with the contingency that Barneys up their diversity training, review discriminatory practices, etc.  But he said none of that.  What Hov proved to many of us is he's not God, he is man and like many his morals are compromised by greed. 

I hope his actions opens up the door to our communities that we must make these profiled people accountable.  No longer can they say it's not my job, on the contrary it is your job.  Whether you like it or not you've become a messenger who bridges the gap between cultures.  When you show you don't give a fuck why should we give a fuck about you!  For the most part I strongly believe the 40 and older are hipped to his shit already, it's the young and impressionable I'm concerned about who follow him as a true God.  Listen young people always know if someone or some establishment doesn't like you due to the color of your skin then you have no business ever spending your money there.  Learn this don't give your green to those who don't respect your black and this also goes to Mr. Jay Z aka Hov, make him accountable youngoens, his time has come!

On a side note: Nas would have NEVER done that shit!

Peace out,
Blacktina