Category Archives: Activism

My Problem With The Body Positive Movement

I’m quickly realizing that I’m not THAT woke. I’m not woke enough to defend grown ass women showing up to their child’s school in bonnets, not woke enough to touch a lawnmower, not woke enough to not laugh at a grown ass man with a yorkie and not woke enough to act like there aren’t health issues associated with being overweight.

I’ve had this blog written for awhile but I knew it’d be controversial and I always lose ‘friends’ when I talk about this topic. My opinions the body positive movement, gender reveals and child support really set people off and to keep it 100, I enjoy getting a reaction out of people. But I’m gonna say this now, I’m not going back and forth with you niggas after I write this as I am too busy living my best life.

Here’s the picture I saw that made me decide to finally post this:

I chose to leave out the @ of the person who posted this because after looking at the rest of their timeline and the thousands of responses under the tweet, I’m not going to add anymore wood to that fire. I quickly realized that this post was a simple projection of their own unhappiness and insecurity and I know how stressful it can be to have your notifications blowing up with people telling you why you’re wrong.

There’s a LOT to unpack here and I feel it necessary to get some precursors outta the way. First of all, the Body Positive Movement centers whiteness. I’d be remiss to not say that out loud. My friend Hess Love wrote a very insightful article addressing White Supremacy, Fatphobia and Colonialism.

Second of all, Fat-Shaming is very real and only one thing on a list of challenges people of a certain size face. Fat-shaming is defined as criticizing people to make them feel ashamed enough to lose weight. It does not work. It actually has quite the opposite affect. Many times critics are people who have never had to struggle with weight and who won’t say anything to their 350 pound momma. If you are not a healthcare professional, you have nWo business addressing someone else’s health. Weight is no measure of character and is no excuse to mistreat someone. It’s none of your business and if you’re doing it to a stranger behind a screen, you’re only doing it to make yourself feel better. Stop offering your unsolicited opinions, especially on people’s bodies. Nobody asked you.

But that’s not why I’m here.

I’m here about the section of the Body Positive Movement that shames people for losing weight.

The Body Positive Movement promotes being happy with your body at any size. From my view, it is largely just a marketing campaign. These days, more women are a size 12+ so (depending where you are and what you’re selling) it isn’t as profitable to JUST make clothing sizes 0-10 anymore. Clothing companies dgaf about you or your health. They only care about your money. If the people with money are a size 22, they’ll make size 22 available so they can get that coin.

I have a T-Shirt company (shameless plug!). When I started out I bought S, M, L, & XL shirts. Since many of my customers are grown ass Black women, I wasn’t moving those Smalls and Mediums at all. XXL and XXXL make up a good number of shirts I sell so those are what I buy first. Capitalism drives all things in this section of the world. The Body Positive Movement wasn’t made for body positivity for real.

As a Black woman that’s size is well into the double digits, I can appreciate the body positive movement. It DOES make me feel good and included to scroll through IG and see more girls that wear my size promoting clothes that will actually fit my body. I know exactly how bad it feels to not be able to find your size in a store. I still rarely go into the fitting room or even shop for clothes. One of my favorite stores, Old Navy just recently started going past size 12 in pants and offering XXL and XXXL shirts. I remember a time when stores like Lane Bryant were the only place I was going to find a pair of pants that fit. (It’s still one of the only places I’m gonna find a bra, pray for me.) Again, this movement in large part was created just to sell clothes and I’m buying them.

While I do believe there are many well-intentioned people behind the movement for Body Positivity and that we should love ourselves regardless of our physical state, I think the movement has the potential to be dangerous and I’ve experienced this potential first hand.

A couple of years ago, I was invited to a community group for fat people by a classmate of mine. I guess I thought eating healthier and physical activity would be involved and when I asked, the response was hostile to say the least. Frankly, it was a group for fat people to meet up… and eat. I always want to support anyone attempting to do something positive but I couldn’t reconcile being part of community of people hostile to weight loss when weight loss was one of my accomplishments and goals. I felt so guilty and shallow.

I ended up in a long unproductive Facebook debate. My fear was that the health implications behind being overweight were being denied and ignored. I talked about how much better I felt because of recent weight loss and them bitches they down played my hard work. They were attempting to gas light me into thinking the improvement in my health had nothing to do with my weight loss.

I had followed a strict diet for a month, dropped 20 lbs and as a result normalized my blood pressure and reversed pre-diabetes. I was proud of myself and they brushed it off. I ended up telling them in so many words they were full of shit and of course, got blocked. That is one of the only times in my life I’ve ever felt bullied.

Now, lets talk about this picture. I looked up the website that created it, and here’s what they have to say about before/after pics. I don’t disagree with most of their views. But the context in which I saw this picture is problematic and becoming a trend so lets address that.

How is shaming people for making a choice about their body ‘Body Positive’? How (in response to abortion legislation) do you scream about a woman’s choice then a week later say ‘fuck her’ for losing weight? In my last blog, I said Pro-Life people weren’t REALLY pro-life, but I’m starting to realize pro-choice people aren’t REALLY Pro-Choice. Many so-called liberals, social justice warriors, and people who fancy themselves ‘conscious’ and ‘woke’ are really pro-you doing only what they agree with or pro-you doing what THEY want to do with THEIR body.

I see this parallel in how women who go on ‘slut-walks’ turn around and shame women who chose to wait until marriage, be stay at home moms or chose not to post their whole birth canal on the ‘gram. That’s why y’all love to hate Ayesha Curry. But that’s a different blog for a different day. The point I’m trying to make is, some pro-choicers are fulla shit too and that there is a Regina George in every group, even those fighting for equality.

Furthermore, if you were that secure and content in your body, seeing someone choosing to lose weight and celebrating it wouldn’t be such a trigger for you. We don’t see things as they are. We see thing as WE are. Nobody posting their fitness journey is thinking about you or trying to offend you. My grandaddy always reminded us “you just aren’t that important”. In many situations, the hostility you feel for others is really the hostility you feel for yourself and your choices. The big mental health challenge of social media is constantly seeing people’s highlight reels and feeling inadequate by comparison. That’s all being mad about somebody’s before/after is. You’re unhappy with your ‘before’, lying to yourself and that has nothing to do with the person on your screen and everything to do with you.

The community and encouragement I’ve received from posting about my weight loss has really benefited both my mental and physical health. I am encouraged and motivated by the fitness journeys I’ve seen and want to provide that same encouragement to someone else.  I’m supposed to not post my journey to make YOU feel better? What about how I feel? This particular section of the movement is narcissistic, insecure, self-centered, projecting and needs to keep that toxic energy over there.

“Posting weight loss shows which bodies you value.”
It absolutely does. Mine is the body that I value, that’s why I’m making healthier choices for it. I am capable of choosing to lose weight and still valuing/fighting for a person who chooses not to.

I’m not qualified or willing to tell you why you should lose weight. That is none of my business. I can only speak for myself. 5’2″ carrying around 310 pounds was one of the most unhealthy points in my life. Granted, a large part of that was my mental health. Stress caused me to develop a very unhealthy relationship with food and I was trapped in a vicious cycle. 40-ish pounds later, my skin is clearer, my hair and nails are growing faster, my period is more bearable, my blood pressure is normal and I’m able to tackle life’s problems with more confidence; not because of my looks but because I set a goal and was able to accomplish it. I am proud and will be on the social medias celebrating and not apologizing.

Which brings me to my next point; your triggers are your responsibility. You have the freedom to choose what you will be exposed to. To protect your energy, you should be very intentional about what comes across your screen. For my sanity, I do not watch videos of cops harassing/killing Black and Brown people. I rarely read stories about children being abused. I took a 5 month break off of Facebook after Surviving R.Kelly. I have my own father blocked. I don’t have the right to tell people what they can and cannot post. I only have the right to refuse to be exposed to it and enthusiastically unfollow, block and delete.

In conclusion, if weight wasn’t a factor in health, we wouldn’t lose it when we started making healthier choices. Our bodies are made to carry a certain amount of weight, period. Our organs struggle to function when surrounded by too much weight. I am an activist passionate about the freedom of my people and that includes our physical health too. I’ve lost many family members to diabetes and heart disease. As long as I’m walking by caskets and visiting hospitals about problems that could be solved with lifestyle changes, I’m not going to be quiet about health to appease anyone. Any movement that makes anyone feel guilty for losing weight is not a movement at all, it’s a group of mean girls.

Fuck my weight loss pictures?
Fuck you.

-C

 

 

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If you’re pro-life, you’re full of… : A Rant on the Latest Abortion Legislation

I’m about to rant and there will be cuss words.

Last week, Alabama set us back a hundred years and (25 red necks republican men) passed the most restrictive abortion ban in the country. The WOMAN governor signed bill last week. Since we now have a very conservative leaning supreme court, state legislatures have made it clear that Roe v. Wade is under attack.

Under the bullshit bill, abortion would be a felony. Doctors who perform them would face up to 99 years in prison. There are NO exceptions for rape or incest.

Alabama is on a growing list of states with ‘6-week’ bills. Georgia, Ohio, Mississippi, Iowa, North Dakota and my old Kentucky home have all banned abortions post 6 weeks. Pro-bullshit groups call these “heartbeat” bills because they ban abortions once a heartbeat is detected which is usually in the embryonic stage at 6 weeks. This is severely restrictive because 6 weeks is only 2 weeks after a missed period and most people find out they’re pregnant around 8-12 weeks. These bans leave a very small window of time to one, find out you’re pregnant and 2, have the procedure done. Presently, abortions are legal up to around 24 weeks.

The goal of this legislation to establish a fetus as a person.
If a fetus is a person:
Does child support start at conception?
Does maternity leave start at conception.
Is an ultrasound child p-rnography?
Do pregnant people get to vote twice?
Is your birthday now when parents fu.. conceived you?

Fetuses are not people. They do not have legal rights. At 6 weeks, a fetus is literally a parasite. I have a garden. My seeds were not food when they were put in the ground a month and a half ago.

Moreover, these laws set a very dangerous precedent. In Ohio, there is a pregnant 11 year old rape victim who under the law would be required to carry her 26 year old rapist’s baby. Is anybody else’s mind blown but mine? The doctor who would perform the abortion would probably get more jail time than the 26 year old man who raped an 11 year old girl!

The pro-life vs. pro-choice debate has in my opinion always been a waste of time. At the end of the day, if a stranger I have no connection to decides to make a personal choice about their own body, how is my life affected?

Pro-Lifers are full of shit. Here’s why I think so. 

People enjoy being passionate and outraged about issues they don’t really have any control over so they won’t be in danger of actually doing anything. I have never met a pro-lifer who adopted or fostered children. Pro-lifers sit at the same table with those outraged about Colin Kaepernick kneeling because of ‘the troops’ but who keep voting for lawmakers who consistently vote against the best interest of veterans. Their outrage is very selective. When it comes to symbolism, like standing for the national anthem or sticking a ‘pro-life’ sticker on their Subaru they participate. But when it comes to substance, like holding politicians accountable and adopting/fostering those children they really want to be born, they are absent.

Likewise, Pro-Life is one of the tenants of what it means to be a political conservative. Republicans are passionate about the government not playing a large role in people’s lives while simultaneously inserting laws into women’s wombs. Offering legislation and ideals for my reproductive system is REAL involved, guys.  They also favor less government spending on social programs. So if you don’t get an abortion? Great. But when your child needs healthcare, food and education? LOL.

Second, Pro-Life is a largely Catholic ideal (Yes, I’m going there). How do you reconcile being ‘Pro-life’ but doing nothing when priests rape children for decades on an international scale? You’re so concerned about them being born but not so concerned about millions of them being raped for years? That does not add up.

Furthermore, the reality is, 100% of pregnancies are a result of men’s orgasms. So if we want children to be born into the best conditions possible, we need to address men’s bodies not women. Women can only make a baby every 9 months. Men can make a child every day. Why are their bodies not subject to legislation? As I’ve said before, Alyssa Milano is full of shit but I don’t think a sex strike is such a bad idea. Until women can decide what they want to do to their bodies, they should stay away from sperm. (I know y’all hoes ain’t gon do that though so here’s an article on other ways you can help women subject to extreme abortion bans.)

I have never been pregnant. So I’ve never had to grapple with the choice of carrying a child or not. But I deserve the choice and so do all women. The only people who should discuss a woman’s health care are that woman and her doctor. Period. It is a waste of time and energy for men who will never have to make such a decision to even have an opinion. There are PLENTY of issues legislatures need to address. Abortion had ALREADY been addressed almost 50 years ago.

Ultimately, no one can take away a woman’s choice. If a woman wants to get an abortion, she can get one. Women were getting abortions before Roe vs. Wade in 1973 and they will continue to do so after restrictive legislation in 2019. The problem is how dangerous the procedure will become once it is illegal. If the government can provide needle exchange programs to keep addicts safe, it should provide abortions for women to keep them safe. We can all agree you probably shouldn’t shoot heroin or opiates in your veins right? Does that mean we shouldn’t provide clean needles? Likewise the fact that some of us don’t believe in abortion should not mean that people who DO believe in it should not have access to it.

Lastly, (cause I know someone is going to ‘aint-you-a-Christian?’ me) as a believer, I do not see a biblical basis for being pro-life. My Bible says to ‘do justice, love mercy and to walk humbly’. (Micah 6:8) Taking away a woman’s choice is an injustice I will continue to speak out about even against my siblings in Christ. If an abortion is a sin, the same God who shows YOU mercy in spite of your sins, will show her mercy. Right? Christians must stop using the Bible as an excuse to mistreat, judge and put people in danger of not receiving the best healthcare possible. A woman or girl getting a dangerous back-alley abortion and dying from it will not make the Christian in me feel better.

If you don’t believe in abortion, don’t get one. 

Let me get my red robe and white bonnet ready…

Thank you so much for reading, supporting, kind words and sharing. Follow me on IG/Snap/Twitter at @CarrieKeepPushn. (I’m on a social media fast for the next week, but I’ll be back to shenanigans soon!)

– C

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Commentary on Demetra Nyx & Alyssa Milano: White People Don’t Have Enough Problems.

A few weeks ago, my mother and I were on our way home. It was 10pm and cold outside. A white woman was running down the street, presumably for exercise. Of course, we had the ‘white people are white-people-ing’ conversation. Why in hell, are you running in the dark and cold? You’re less than a mile away from a treadmill inside a well-lit gym, Karen.

During undergrad, I remember sitting in a meeting of a certain organization listening to a white woman proclaim how much she enjoyed her period. I thought to myself, hoping it didn’t show on my face, “you’re outta your white ass mind.” 

White people don’t have enough to do.
White people don’t enough problems. As a result, they tend to create dangerous situations and faux-oppression for themselves.

From climbing a mountain with no harness, to bungee jumping, surfing, hang gliding, to running outside in the dark and then crying on 20/20, white people obviously have an adrenaline deficiency they’re trying to fulfill. None of the above activities seem reasonable or fun to my Black ass. My experience is different though. I have no shortage of adrenaline. I know this whole thing could end any time if for no other reason I’m at the intersection of Black, Woman and Queer. I look at every cop with the knowledge he could kill me and get away with it. I look at every white woman wondering if she’s going to call the police on me for exhaling too loud. I have no shortage of fear and problems.

Since the tangerine tyrant won the Presidential election over HRC, social justice is now mainstream. It’s laughable to me as social justice has been at the forefront of my mind since The Jena 6. Activism is my goal and calling. I’m tired of seeing people hopping on the bandwagon for 15 minutes.
 
White people WANT to be oppressed so bad. I do not label myself a feminist in part because at its inception white women were just trying to make sure Black men didn’t have more rights than them. There were no Black women at Seneca Falls. White women remind me every election that feminism is not mine when they put their ‘I voted’ stickers on Susan B. Anthony’s grave. Fuck Susan B. Anthony.
 

 

At the time I’m writing this, I’m 2 months into a Facebook hiatus (for my mental health, weight loss goals and my dislike of people). I peak at Twitter every now and again. But after these posts, I’m considering going back to being blissfully unplugged. The two people in particular facilitating my complete exit from digital civilization are Demetra Nyx and Alyssa Milano.

Let’s talk about Demetra first to get it out of the way cause I’m grossed out. An article entitled ‘Feminist Smears Menstrual Blood on Her Face to Show Periods are Beautiful and Powerful’ scurried across my timeline. Demetra is a 26-year-old Los Angeles sex coach who said, “Sharing pictures of blood on my face and body was just an impulse – I was creating a series to help women connect with their menstrual cycle, and I thought it would be fun.”

Cut the shit, Demetra. Our periods are not fun or beautiful.

As someone with a period, I’m fully ‘connected’ to this 28-ish day cycle. Physically, mentally and emotionally for nearly two decades, I know exactly when and what’s going on concerning my cycle. There is no more intense connection then cramps, bleeding, an irrational chocolate craving, acne, fatigue and a hurricane of a mood. I deserve some type of monthly award for managing to not get pregnant every month instead of this shit.

I realize that not everybody’s period is as bad as mine but I think we do ourselves a disservice when we try to make this cycle something its not. Frankly, it sucks for a lot of women. It is not fun, it is anything but beautiful. We don’t frolic in Lilly fields wearing white pants giving thanks that we get to bleed for a week.

 
The 20 year old me felt very alienated sitting in that circle of white woman gushing over having a period. The (almost) 30 year old me is not going to fake the funk anymore. My period is not fun. It sucks. I do not have to enjoy everything. Somethings in life are bad. I will not want to share everything on Instagram and that’s OK.
 
We also need to address that ‘free bleeding’ (a hoax) , rubbing your Menstrual blood on your body and using it for paint is disgusting, unsanitary and blood STINKS when it hits the air. I’m no expert, but its leaving our bodies for a reason. It is a natural process, yes. Our bodies have many ways to eject what is no longer needed. That is no excuse to rub the results on your face. If we aren’t going to use tampons/cups/pads, what use do we have for band-aids and toilets? Why bathe at all?! Its all natural, ain’t it?
 
*shudder*
 
There IS a conversation that needs to be had around menstruation.
&
 
 

The second white woman we’re going to discuss is Alyssa Milano. This morning, I saw this tweet:

 
Gtfoh. You’re Alyssa fucking Milano. You are a rich, cishet white woman. 
 
I would be lying if I said I was surprised by Alyssa’s latest antics. Two years ago my auntie-in-my-mind Hannah Drake told Milano to stop her performative justice. It seems she still hasn’t learned.

Oppression and identities are not a trendy T-shirt, pink hat or, God forbid blood to put on when it’s convenient. The very fact that your brand of oppression can be taken off, proves that it is not oppression at all. We do not have the option or convenience of taking our identities off. This intersection of identities is not one that we can get on a plane, train or automobile to take a vacation from. Believe me, we would if we could.

In this social justice production, your role as a person of with a certain amount of privilege: a white person in this case is an important one. Justice does not happen without advocates. The progress we have made would not be possible without allies. There are people who will NEVER listen to someone like me. Those same people will definitely listen to the Alyssas and Demetras of the world if for no other reason for the fact that they are pretty white women. Unfortunately, more often than not, those people are the very ones with the power to change. I am not holding my breath waiting on Alyssa or Demetra to be allies or advocates though. Their actions have told me what their true goal is.

When Alyssa Milano claims identities that are not her own, when Demtra Nyx… gosh I can’t even say it… uses her menstrual blood as paint, they are doing NOTHING but centering themselves. They are not being revolutionary. They are not cultivating progressive conversations. They are not leading a movement. All they are doing is fighting battles that are only real in their mind and frankly stressing me the fuck out.

I’m offended and baffled by fake outrage and fabricated oppression in a world where there is plenty oppression and a myraid of REAL reasons to be outraged. I’m worried that Demetra’s antics will take attention off of the student whose male-teacher won’t let her go to the bathroom when she starts bleeding, or the inmate or homeless person that has to put their health in jeopardy by using toilet paper as make-shift tampons.

 
I’m worried that Alyssa Milano claiming she’s ‘trans’ will distract from the fact that transwomen of color have a life expectancy of 35, that when she says she’s a ‘person of color’ she’s taking attention from the fact that the cops who murdered Stephon Clark won’t even be charged.
 
Social justice is real. The fight is an uphill battle. We do not need the distractions. Alyssa and Demetra, get out of the way. Wipe your face off and rest those twitter fingers. You look silly.
 

And while your practicing your hush, here’s a Guide to Allyship.

Keep Pushin’

– CAGW

 

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My Heart is Beating Too Fast Because Nobody Cares About Black Women

My heart rate has consistently been on the fast end of normal so my doctor sent me to the cardiologist. The cardiologist checked out my EKG and told me nothing is wrong with my heart, I just need to address my anxiety.

I knew this.

Both my primary doctor and cardiologist are white women so I didn’t feel that explaining to them my heart is beating too rapidly because of how the society I live in treats Black/Woman/Queer bodies would be fruitful. They wouldn’t get it. Maybe I should’ve given them a chance, but with this heart, I can’t afford to give out too many of those.

For nearly 30 years, I’ve been living in a society that not only doesn’t protect me, but will justify why I deserved whatever happens to me. If someone grabs my collar at work, my attitude is bad, if I’m a victim of sexual abuse as a teen, I’m ‘too fast’. 

There is no question social media has turned a mirror on us. Korryn Gaines was one of the first times I realized that we (Black people) weren’t willing to rally around Black-woman victims of police brutality like we are for Black men. The silence and shrugs around Marissa Alexander, Sandra Bland, R. Kelly’s victims and countless Black-woman/girl-victims is telling. The silence is loud. 

Why is my heart beating so fast? 
America doesn’t care about women.
America doesn’t care about Black people.
America doesn’t care about Black women. 
Not enough Black people don’t care about Black women.


As Black women, we’ve rallied around Black men, white women (and everyone in between) without question because we know exactly what it feels like to have NOBODY advocate for you. We’ve done the work because we know that nobody else. We stood up for Stephon Clark despite his misogyny because regardless of the victim’s transgressions, murdering someone because of their race is wrong. The question now is, who is going to have the courage to stand up for us? 

I think I’ve found peace (as much as I can) with the fact white people dgaf about us, but my own people? I’m never going to be able to tolerate it. Judging by my Facebook feed, my heart rate is not going back to normal any time soon. I long for a time before social media, where I had no insight into people’s innermost thoughts and feelings. Ignorance truly is bliss.

The documentary #SurvivingRKelly came on last night. I knew I wouldn’t be able to watch it with everybody. It was the worst day of my period, I had a sinus headache and seasonal depression was winning. Besides, that documentary wasn’t going to tell us anything about R. Kelly we don’t already know. He is a serial rapist. He is a pedophile. R. Kelly is a sick son of a bitch. But, his music sounds good and his victims are Black girls so we aren’t going to do anything about it.

My friends in the group chat were talking about it, I would just experience it vicariously until I was ready to watch for myself. I was NOT ready for the storm on social media. I had fallen asleep last night and completely forgot about the documentary. I just wasn’t thinking about it this morning.

 

Then I signed on Facebook and my heart rate sped up. 

Here we are in 2019 and niggas are still playing logic olympics, to justify R. Kelly (and his enablers) decades of abuse. There is just no music good enough to support somebody who has for YEARS sexually abused and manipulated and paid off multiple Black girls and women.

The problem is men can never be accountable, only victims; and girls can never be victims, only accountable. No child should be ‘too grown’ or ‘too fast’ for an adult not to be able to shut it down. I’m closer to 30 than 20. There have been occasions throughout my 20s, I had teenagers (boys AND girls) pushing up on me, I shut it down because I am an adult. R. Kelly and adults like him are not and cannot be victims of children. They are the ones seeking them out. 

Furthermore, lets shut down the legal argument. Sure, he’s never been convicted, but neither was George Zimmerman, but he’s still guilty right? What if Black women kept that ‘never convicted, we don’t know what really happened’ energy the next time a Black man becomes a hashtag? Maybe you all would begin to understand the fear and hopelessness that comes with watching an R. Kelly fan dig their heels into the ground defending rape. 


I was so angry this morning, I didn’t know what to do. I prayed and was told ‘talk about it’. We cannot solve what we do not address. So many Black girls were victimized by R.Kelly because of cowards who would not say anything. So, I’m saying something. I’m sharing what yall are saying and I’m not blocking out names. If you are bold enough to defend it, I’m bold enough to show it. 


I decided to collect screenshots of the all the comments/posts from people in my network justifying and victim blaming abuse and rape of Black girls. I posted a status letting people know that I would be collecting, and people started sharing screen shots they saw as well. Feel free to contribute your own. I’m going to post a collection on my page as well.

If it is exposed, we cannot ignore it and maybe then we’ll rally around the victims like they deserve. 

I just hope my heart beat will slow down, eventually.

Keep Pushin.

– Carrie

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What’s wrong with white men?!

29138219_10214022411253215_1604364373_n“He was polite, a deep thinker…”
“… a very challenged young man”
“seemed like a smart kid who showed a lot of promise”
“he came from a tight-knit, godly family”

These quotes describe Mark Anthony Conditt, the 23 year old white guy who before blowing himself up carried out terrorist attacks via bombs in FedEx packages for the better part of a month in Austin, TX. These attacks resulted in the murders of Anthony House and Draylen Mason (both Black men) as well as the injuring others.

You’re familiar with the adage from James Baldwin “To be Negro in this country and … conscious is to be in a constant state of rage.” I don’t want to be in a constant state of rage and constantly try to avoid it by choosing my battles, but I’m going to have to choose this one. I hear the conversations around gun control, mental health and bullying but nobody is going to say it so I will.

White men are the problem.

In my Tonald Drump voice, we gotta figure out what the hell is wrong with white men?

Not only are white men the problem, the media constantly bends itself into a pretzel to humanize even the worst of them.

In the trend of white men going ape shit, the cops and politicians (IF they say anything) are always very careful to NOT say its terrorism or a hate crime. I call bullshit. The current cultural connotation of the word terrorism is brown and Muslim. According to the dictionary terrorism is violence in the pursuit of political aims.

2016’s  New York bomb was called terrorism. A Muslim with a name we can’t pronounce from a country we can’t point to on a map carried out an attack in the name of ISIS. We can all agree that’s terrorism and those with the microphones were quick to call it terrorism even BEFORE they had any evidence of it.

When I was reading the article about the latest white male terrorist, I thought I was reading the obituary of a victim and not the attacker. He was “polite”, “a deep thinker”, had “many challenges”. Why do those that control the narrative try so hard to humanize White men no matter what they do; while at the same time trying to harden and criminalize Black victims? White supremacy is the short answer.

The foundation of the United States of America is white supremacy. It was colonized by white men who carried out a genocide of brown and red people, then enslaved Black people to build it. America would not be what it is economically or culturally had it not been for white supremacy. Once America addresses and admits its original sin, she can begin to atone for it. Until then, we going straight to hell and I’m calling everyone out. You can’t whoop me.

I have it better than my ancestors and for that I’m thankful. I’ve never had to look for the colored section of anything but, white supremacy still affects us, its just a different flavor.

The 2018 version of white supremacy isn’t white robes and ropes hanging from trees, it’s the media painting Stephen Paddock who killed 50 people “enjoyed country music and lived a quiet life.”

It says of Nikolas Cruz who walked in his alma mater and shot 33 innocent people that he was ‘lost and lonely’

The guy that drove into a crowd of peaceful protesters? James Feilds, Jr. “had trouble making friends”, was a “very quiet little boy”.

180323143839-02-stephon-clark-family-exlarge-169On the other hand, Trayvon Martin a teenager murdered for no reason was called a ‘thug’ because he had on a hoodie on a cold rainy night.

2018’s white supremacy murders Jordan Davis because he was playing ‘thug music’ and then goes home and orders a pizza. It insists Eric Garner died of a heart attack after being choked to death and saying “I can’t breath.” 11 times. Stephon Clark was holding a fucking cell phone in his grandmomma’s back yard and shot at 20 times.

According to Vox, since ole boy took office, more Americans have been murdered by white men than by Muslim men. As a matter of fact, since 9/11, more Americans have been killed by homegrown right-wing terrorists than Muslim ones. I’m not denying that there are Muslim extremist groups that are a threat and we should probably keep one eye on them, but I am arguing that as American citizens we are more likely to be killed by a Christian white dude so we need to vet them too. But we know white supremacy isn’t rooted in logic.

In my opinion, we need to take a serious look at the psychology of the American white (straight, cis) white man and figure out why there is a different mass shooting/bombing every week. The rest of us do not go on killing sprees because of life’s circumstances. Did nobody teach white men to deal with inconvenience? We can talk about mental health and gun control, but we have to talk about white men if we want to stop mass shootings and bombings.

I’m mentally ill and that’s putting it nicely. I’m NUTS. I was bullied about my hair. My father couldn’t be bothered. I never felt an urge to kill a bunch of innocent strangers about it. I’m not saying I’d never shoot anybody, I’m just saying if I did, I’d have a reason. I’m trying to figure out what is it about the white male experience that makes him lose his marbles at experiences that are regular to the rest of us. Why kill a bunch of innocent strangers?

Furthermore, why don’t the people around him see that he’s a terrorist? There are people in my life that if they did something I’d be like “oh yea, they did that shit. guilty as hell. been crazy since they were born.” (I ain’t no snitch though) You mean to tell me that NOBODY around these terrorists saw it coming? There’s a FEW people in my life I make sure don’t have access to guns and explosives.

What if Black women went on killing sprees every time they were bullied?! What if Black women had time to make bombs?

In my humble opinion, I think that white men are used to being on top in every aspect of society. They are teaching their sons that they are special if for no other reasons than they are white men and the world is changing. We like to say that racism is over. But the guys that are carrying out these terrorist attacks are 20 something millennials whose parents been lying to them.

They must come to terms with being a white man isn’t enough anymore and that white mediocrity won’t always win. We had a Black president, a woman almost became one so they had to go get the poster child for white mediocrity and elect him. He’s racist, sexist, an all around buffoon and has emboldened mediocre white men everywhere. We in danger, yall.

In conclusion, I’m not a mental health expert… This is just my theory. I wish I could spend my energy on something else (listening to Snoop’s Gospel album) but I like going to church and the movies and don’t want to get shot. I live in Kentucky, issa lotta white men here. I got to be vigilant. A relative and I were at Hobby Lobby and this white man reaches into his coat (for what we later figured out were his car keys), and we paused and grabbed each other.

White men are the issue this time. I’ve had to take on alotta heavy loads for ALL Black women (and Black people at times) so I’m glad to give something to white men. White men are the issue. They are the domestic terrorists. They are the reason ole boy is in office. White men have a permanent spot on my prayer list.

#StopWhiteMen2018

If this blog entry upsets you, remember that you can’t whoop my ass and I only argue on Sundays. Wakanda Forever.

-CGW

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I’m Not Getting a Job.

I’m not getting a job so stop asking.

Ever since my mental health situation that caused me to leave my job (see #CarriesLifeMatters if you’re new), a relative keeps asking me (and my mother) if I’ve found a job yet… not about my mental health.. but if I’ve found a job. They are my elder so I cannot say “No nigga and I’m not looking for one.”

I did the right thing. I went to college and got a good job. It did not work. Sitting in a cubicle for 3 years was soul snatching. I’m not made to be an employee. I am a boss.

Corporate America meant constantly shrinking. Do you know how hard it is for a young black kid with locs to have to figure out how not to seem scary to white women from Kentucky? The shit’s impossible.

I had 2 corporate America jobs.

At the first job my boss (a black woman) called me into her cubicle and said, “I need you to not be the angry black woman.”

See, I had suggested to the group of white women that perhaps they’d get more work done if they’d quit watching and snitching on my team.

“What you said offended soandso…”

“I don’t care if they were offended.” I replied

“You’re intimidating.”

“I don’t care. My paycheck comes just the same.”

What is so funny is that I was a temp employee making BARELY minimum wage and they were salaried state employees and (at least) twice my age. Why you intimidated by me?!

At the next job, my boss (also a nigga black woman) told me that the way I sat in meetings was intimidating. I’m sitting, staring at a screen and taking notes. Intimidating. HOW SWAY?

I told her that if she was intimidated that perhaps it was her problem and not mine. NOT TO MENTION. She was a preacher that dressed like a sanctified street-walker. A size 24 not twenty four. TWENTY FO in a skin tight, thigh length red dress and 6 inch heels. Btch, I’m intimidated, hell.

She was so intimidated, she fired me and I pushed back and she had to hire me back because HR couldn’t even justify the reason. I shouldn’t have gone back but my petty ass wanted to walk back in there after that intimidated ho tried it.

I digress.

So No. I’m not looking for a job nor do I plan to.

Those 3 or 4 years in corporate America were damaging. Being nuts genetically on top of being told you’re making people feel uncomfortable for simply existing while you just trying to make some weed money nearly killed me.

Getting too sick to work was the best thing that could have happened to me.

Furthermore, my friends and peers have started to leave their jobs as well. It feels like a community of awakening. I have friends that are full time poets. My classmate from undergrad just opened up her own salon, another homegirl is currently on tour singing with Ledisi, my friends are boutique owners, musicians, graphic designers, promoters, fashion designers, make-up artists, massage therapists, personal trainers, dancers and doing it on their own terms.

People always ask me “so.. what do you do?”

My mother and I are starting our T-Shirt company and YouTube Channel.

I’m about to record my spoken word albums.

I’m a part of an up and coming record label. I’m developing rappers that are actually talking about something. We’re going on tour. We also sponsor a night of Non-Violence in our very violent city.

I work with my city’s chapter of #BlackLivesMatter

I’m teaching vocal instruction at a Girls Music Camp.

I’m raising money for a non-profit that has a vocational-entreprenuer school. (We don’t teach people how to work. We teach them to have careers.)

What do I do? My days off are Monday and Tuesday. I do yoga. I party on Wednesday night with my ratchet friends like its our birthday (they got $2 wells yall). I stay up until 2am writing music/poetry. I do whatever the hell I want to do. I’m broke nigga! and I moved back in with my mom but I’m happier than I was with a $34,000/year job. AND I will be back out of my momma house in my own bachelorette pad by the end of the year. Mark my words. You’ve got to speak those things… *BAPTIST FIT*

If you are not made to go to college or work in an office then don’t. If you ARE made to go to college and work in an office, then DO! I wasted time doing what I thought I was supposed to do. The women that influence me the most, my mom, my aunts a couple of my cousins ARE made to work in an office and/or be in academia. My aunt went to college and didn’t leave LOL. She got her phD and became a professor it was what she was made to do. I am not them. I never have to see another office or classroom.

I wasn’t doing what I was made to do. As a result I used food, alcohol and weed as crutches when I needed mental healthcare and am paying for it. I went to the doctor today. My blood pressure was 124/180 and my pulse was 124. They did an EKG on me. The doctors and nurses took my BP and pulse multiple times because of how high it was. I had to get blood work done. (If you know me, you know how I feel about getting blood drawn). Mentally/Emotionally I am better. Physically I have a long way to go. I’m not going to quit smoking weed doe. Idc. Idc. Idc. 

Do what you want to do. Life is too short. Don’t be afraid to be broke for awhile to have unlimited streams of income in the future. You have to sacrifice. You have to miss events, I had to stop getting pedicures and my eyebrows done (and I’m vain). I had to miss reggae fest. I haven’t bought clothes or shoes this year. I moved back in with my saved ass momma. But I am happy!

What are you made to do?

What is your calling?

What is your gift?

Go do it.

-CGW

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lent 3: Just Give Him a Pepsi

I know this is late and everything but I honestly haven’t had anything to say regarding my Lenten experience. Here’s why. I’m supposed to be listening.

Matthew 6:33 says But ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added into you.

CAGW translation, Look for Jesus.

I am just pretty unsure about life now and my prayer is that Jesus reveals His desires and will for me.

Giving up Facebook has surely cleared my head and I don’t think I’m going to go back even after Lent is over.. not the way I was using anyway. I connect with people on Facebook simply because I know them and that ain’t enough. Being connected to errrbody is toxic. FB used to be fun. Seems more like a chore now. idk, I’m still chewing on it. So, all of my thoughts have gone into my personal notebook lately. I ain’t sharing everything with you niggas. Most of yall ain’t praying no how.

Since I’m not on FB my commentary has to go somewhere doesnt it?

This week in whiteness, we’re solving racism with dolls, fake essays and Pepsi. White people’s answers for racism never involve them DOING anything or changing their minds or hearts. Atoning for America’s original sin is impossible, but moving in the right direction is HARD.

Ziad Ahmed got into Stanford and his essay was “#BlackLivesMatter” over 100 times. This is probably the least remarkable thing he’s done. The kid is impressive. Google him. That being said, I’m not impressed. Ahmed would have gotten into Stanford regardless, i’m not arguing that; what he did was creative, but not remarkable or revolutionary.

I want to go easy because he’s still a kid but life ain’t easy. If #BlackLivesMatter to you, Ziad you better have a 3.5 essay to back that thang up. You a Bangladeshi Muslim in America. These white people don’t care what you think for real. You have a unique opportunity as a brown Muslim with a platform. Use that thing. When you get an opportunity to voice your opinion, don’t be lazy, Ziad. You say #BlackLivesMatter but from that essay alone, I do not believe you. Black people are being killed for no reason, slaves to a prison industrial complex and struggle to get clean water to name a few issues. Do not take the movement so lightly.

We’ve got to stop elevating symbolic actions that don’t mean or change anything. Ziad is capable of a thought provoking essay about why he believes #BlackLivesMatter. That’s why I’m not letting him off the hook.

If a black child would have pulled that shit, it would go viral but because we’d be laughing at that nigga. As the profit Khaled said “Congratulations. You played yourself.”

Speaking of played… I’m about to come down Kylie Jenner’s street. Again, I want to be easy on her cause she’s a kid and her daddy is Caitlyn Jenner but… life is hard. Look at this ‘mmercial.

So nobody at Pepsi has any sense huh? I refuse to believe there was NOBODY at the table that said ‘yeeaaa.. better not do this..”

I just… let me collect myself.

Here’s a lesson in white privilege: you get to be this offensive and it’s iight.

Protesting and Marches are what’s hot right now. As someone who has been in the street and faced police, it is SO offensive that Pepsi used that aesthetic to sell pop!  I know you can do better Pepsi, yall had Tori Kelly sing two bars and I wanted to drink a liter of Pepsi and I don’t even drink soda.

My mom and I watched a clip of this commercial and said ‘so all we gotta do is hand the police a Pepsi? THANK YOU KYLIE!”

I don’t march to be cute. I don’t even like leaving the house, quiet as kept. I march for Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice and the Mike Browns of the world. The black boys killed for being black boys and their murderers seeing no justice. I march for Sandra Bland because her life sounded just like mine and I could end up dead in a jail cell. I march because I don’t want my momma to bury me or my brother and then hear ‘not guilty’ in a court room. I march because I’m so familiar with the #BlackWomanatWork experience and nobody is listening to me. Nobody. Is. Listening.

So to see the likes of Kylie Jenner marching anywhere and interacting with police is almost triggering. Kylie and her sisters love having sex with black men. But they and so many other ‘celebrities’ are silent when black men are victims of state sponsored violence. This shows me that you all see us. But you are not listening, don’t care or both.

The climax of the commercial, the cop opening up the can and taking a swig and everybody cheering had me yelling expletives at the TV. So… all these people are marching so a cop will drink a Pepsi (not healthcare, reproductive rights, economic justice, racial inequality)? That was obviously the goal of the commercial. This cop is going to kill somebody later (and get away with it) but thank God he drank a Pepsi first! The Pepsi had to have some Makers in it for them to be cheering so hard.

I’m constantly exhausted by whiteness. Mind your self-care, yall.

Thank you so much for your support. If there’s anything you want me to write about hit up HunnWilliamson@gmail.com

#BlackLivesMatter

 

-CGW

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Don’t wait your turn!

We’ve already established that my Facebook (henceforth FB) News feed gives me the MOST. Part of my self care is ‘unplugging’ especially from FB.

I have a homegirl who checks in on me ever so often. I told her this morning I was super anxious. She said “maybe unplug from FB for today”. That’s EXACTLY what I needed to do.

The FB commentary issues that have got under my eyelashes lately are Karrueche and Chris Brown, the bathroom bill (and many other bills Jesus), immigration and how I’m not ‘woke’ cause I’m Christian.

I have learned valuable lessons in FB debates. It’s usually best to keep right on scrolling. Thoughtful conversation usually happens sans audience and one or one. Anytime we broadcast something, it’s to get a reaction and to show off for our friends. Which is in why my view FB debates go south FAST. I usually want to be real petty by the 3rd exchange and I’m trying to do better so I usually just skip them all together. auntie-max

The second lesson is that a good number of people are not smart or open minded enough to debate with. For example, in order to talk about rights for LGBTQ people, you must understand, sexual preference, gender as a social construct and biology. Lots of people don’t.

For us cisgender folk, being transgender may be a hard concept to grasp (use your Googles) but it shouldn’t be hard to grasp that they are people just like us. I’m more disgusted than surprised that we are having a conversation about public restrooms.

Its hilarious to me that niggas black people scoff at any legislation regarding public accommodations. Ask your granny if she could just go to any bathroom.

AND AND AND Transphobia behind ‘protecting our women’ is disingenuous. The POTUS bragged about grabbing women buy the pussy… The President. Of the United States. Some of our legislatures are trying to defund Planned Parenthood and PP isn’t even funded federally. The government could do a much better job of protecting women. The bathroom bill AIN’T one of ’em.

Lets talk about Chris Brown ole creepy ass for a minute. It doesn’t take much to surprise me but I AM surprised that yall need receipts on Chris’ crazy when we already have them.

I posted the story and people’s comments:

“I need to see pictures.”

“Why is she just now saying something?”

“She’s just doing it for attention.”

AND MOSTLY from WOMEN!

rhianna-faceMeanwhile I’m serving Maxine Waters face. This the same guy that had Rhianna’s face swollen and bloody. Why can’t we believe Karruche? Why are we defending someone we KNOW needs therapy? Cause we enjoy his music? You go on a date with Chris Brown, sis.

These issues don’t necessarily hit home for me. I’ve never been abused by a romantic partner nor have I ever thought about which bathroom to use for my safety. But they still get to me emotionally.

I’m so frustrated that its such a struggle for people to see other people as human that deserve the rights they enjoy. It scares me because I’m very other and I need someone in privilege to see me as human sometimes and I know they don’t have to.

American culture is very much to blame I think. We have plenty of laws on the books that remind the majority that minorities are people too. Also, i think we try to give ourselves moral permission to treat people bad when we “other” them.

Immigration is a good example. You can’t say you don’t want them here because they’re brown (that’s what it REALLY is). That’s too direct. You gotta straight up make shit up. They are terrorist or innately more criminal. So i don’t have to welcome them into the country, so I don’t have to treat them as people. So I CAN treat them badly. Example below:

I’ve been waiting to use this hilarious clip. They was pissed. LOL

But seriously I know what its like to be othered and it doesn’t feel good, it’s scary. That’s why I don’t want to do it to anyone else. I also believe we have a duty to stand up for people. Its way too late to wait your turn. Errrbody is in danger, girl. I have friends that are undocumented, transgender people in my family, I’m a black millennial. I just can’t afford to wait my turn. We gotta fight unjustice for ANYONE because we are ALL image bearers of God.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me. – Martin Niemöller-CGW

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Reflections on The Black and Blue Lives Matter Form

bluelives 2Let me preface this by saying that the following reflections are mine and mine only. They don’t reflect the thoughts, feelngs or values of any organization. Don’t hold my ratchet mouth against anybody but me (but know idgaf).

This flyer (left) appeared on my Facebook newsfeed last week. I reposted with the caption #Nope. I then shared it in a certain group and on my Timeline with the question “Why do we (local BLM activists, millennials and regular ass people) keep getting left out of these conversations?”

A few people had the “kumbyah we all need to unify” rhetoric. I ain’t with it. I’m a proud member of the #CallOut Ministry. The old heads keep having forums and panels with the #BlackLivesMatter tag AND keep not inviting the activists or anyone under 137 years old. There is an official BLM chapter in Louisville. If BLM is not invited, don’t put #BlackLivesMatter on your flyer. RESPECK THE NAME. Is we finished or is we done? I’ve had to voice this to two events. In the words of Snoop Dogg “Do I look like the type of nigga that likes repeating himself?”

In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with beef and arguing. Especially if we have the same goal ultimately. Should we do it publicly? Absolutely not. But we should do it. (I’m sure Dr. King and them argued. I’m sure somebody was like Dr. King can you quit fucking everybody?)

Nevertheless, we had a good conversation and somehow I got bamboozled into attending. I’m still not sure how it happened but here I am on Saturday at 9am at this fuckshit forum.

9am on Saturday was the first mistake. People my age and younger are not going to be anywhere at 9am on Saturday given a choice (I don’t even go to work until 10 at the earliest). People my age and younger are also the ones that are victims of police brutality. You cannot have a conversation ABOUT people that you won’t have a conversation WITH (Darrell Scott and Omarosa don’t count, Donald Trump).

2nd mistake. There was no repast. Jesus preached, and then everybody got fish sandwiches. Any time I’m a guest at somebody’s church I expect to sample the punch of the shadiest church motha. WWJD?

For this reason (in my opinion) there were only about 30 people tops. Which looks like 5 when in a sanctuary.

The forum was held at Spirit Filled Ministries (Louisville, KY). I THINK Bishop Kelsey (a retired police officer) is the pastor. That’s another mistake. Having a forum in the sanctuary. The sanctuary of a black church is (typically) NOT a space that young people or women can be comfortable speaking out. I also am not going to cuss in the sanctuary and I need to be able to cuss at a forum called Black and Blue Lives Matter.. ’cause yall out your rabbit ass mind for that title.

The first speaker was attorney (Tibbs) that gave us this handout. (below) I’ll try to provide a better pic tomorrow. Yall gon deal for the time being.

bluelives 1

His main point was to know our rights, not argue with a police officer but instead take up our issue with the police officer in court. So I asked “what if the police officer kills me first?”. Tibbs and Kelsey responded by telling me to get involved in local politics. Bishop Kelsey also kept calling me ‘baby’ and cut me off. I passed the mic and knew I wasn’t going to take it anymore.

How in the entire hell can I get involved in politics if I’M DEAD MY NIGGA? Somebody told Philando Castile to be respectful to the police. He was and he was still killed. When are we going to address police officers behavior and not victims?!?!?!?!!? Whew. Let me calm down.

I AM involved in local politics. I’ve worked on (winning *flips hair*) campaigns for judges, council members and state reps. That doesn’t make a bit of difference if a police officer with bad aim and bad judgement pulls me over.

“But officer, I work in local politics!”

“Oh you do?” *Puts gun up*

The next speaker was DeVone Holt. He could only stay for so long because he had to get to the studio for his radio show. He finessed that appearance so he could talk and not have to answer questions. He talked about how he’s not going to vote for Trump or Hill and how Black America hates him for it. As a member of Black America, I don’t give a damn what DeVone does much less who he votes for. Hell, I #barely know who he is. Negros are soooooo important. *Rolls eyes* I don’t know what any of what he said had to do with the forum.

The speaker after that was Ray “Sir Friendly C” Barker. He got up and talked about… himself. He discussed the thousands (i promise he said thousands) of children he mentored and his experiences as a cop.

He was reminiscing about the good ole days and trying to defend shooting somebody. He said that cops are trained to shoot twice in the chest (not the leg or arm) and damn near had an orgasm talking about it. He also talked about how he didn’t agree with some of the ‘antics’ of the BLM movement. I think this was the point I wanted to lay in the pew and scream at the top of my lungs. But God. I. got. your. antics, old man.

My fellow activist friend and Sir Friendly got into a heated discussion and a few of the men of the church including Bishop Kelsey surrounded him. My friend was speaking passionately and using his hands, but he wasn’t a threat. Back up off the homie.

I got up and used my womanly charm to defuse the situation. These soft hands, tiddies and eye lashes serve many purposes, one is to manipulate men.

Bishop Kelsey and I ended up exchanging numbers and he’s gonna invite me to some talk he’s having with somebody next week. Negros aren’t getting another Saturday morning out of me for a few months so it better be on a weekday evening and HAVE REPAST.

After that Judge Denise Brown got the mic and stanched edges. She said not voting is the ‘dumbest argument’ she’s ever heard. I again resisted the urge to lay in the pew.

I then got up and observed conversations in the lobby. This lady, wife of a police officer asked me and my fellow activist friend if we wanted to be police officers. #Nah, Lady. I’m tired of people telling us (young black people) to become police officers whenever we have criticism for the police. I criticize my doctor. I’m not going to medical school. I criticize my mechanic. I’m not going to mechanic school. I don’t want to be a police officer. I shouldn’t have to be one to ensure my people aren’t getting killed.

I told her we could set up some programs in predominately black high schools that puts kids on a track to become a police officer like ROTC but I certainly won’t be becoming a popo. I can’t pass the drug test. 

This concludes my reflections on The fuckshit Black and Blue Lives Matter Forum. I’m not going to anymore forums/panels/discussions/pow wows/hotep meetings. I AM going to invest my efforts in programs and organizations that are worthwhile though. Stay tuned.

It’s 2am and I got *sings* church in the morning.

-CGW

 

 

 

 

 

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Self-Care: Benefiting the Activist and The Movement

audre lorde

Activism is a calling. Activism is my calling. My purpose is to fight against white supremacy, racism, classism, homophobia and rape culture (to name a few). I cannot walk in my calling if I am not the best possible Carrie. In order to be the best possible Carrie, I need to sleep, exercise, have me a glass of wine (not in that order) and put my phone on ‘do not disturb’. We must recognize Self-care as caring for the movement. Self-care is a political act.

The day after I went to a Donald Trump rally, I lashed out at a Facebook Friend. He was being funny. (He’s a comedian in real life). I had just dealt with a very traumatic experience and I took it out on him. I had not processed the trauma properly. What I did was completely out of character for me. It was not fair to my friend and I’m glad he called me out on it.

As a black woman from many generations of black women, the idea that I have to be strong 24/7/365 is normal. But this idea isn’t healthy. I am a black woman so yes, I’m a super hero 🙂 but I’m also human and trying to be strong all of the time is detrimental to my physical, emotional and mental health. I need a ‘woo-sah’ moment every once in a while.

Activism is hard work. Fighting for freedom is draining and at times disappointing and we’re doing it in 2016. I cannot imagine what our ancestors went through in 1916. We have to deliberately proactively practice self-care. Sometimes, we may have to choose our personal well-being over the protest, the panel, the debate and the TV.

Here are some “Self-Care/Care for the movement” tips. These tips are for me and by me so all of them may not help you. I hope you are inclined to develop your own list and share your tips with me.

Know Your Role

nah rosaA body has body parts. Everybody cannot be the head. Everybody cannot be the feet. We need hands, hearts, eyes, lungs, a gallbladder.. all ‘at (I got a C in biology) There are things I’m good at that you are bad at. There are things I can’t do that you can.

Take the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955 for example, the only two names most of us know from this movement is Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. They have written the history so that we think Rosa just happened to say ‘nah.’ that day because she was tired. What Rosa Parks did was planned and strategic.

In preparation for the boycott, The Women’s Political Counsel had circulated 500 leaflets calling for the boycott of the Montgomery buses. Those boycotting had already arranged the alternatives to using the bus. (They organized a city, and later regional-wide boycott without Facebook or public transportation. Our grandmomma and them was LIT)

You may not be the 2016 MLK or Rosa Parks. You may be Ralph Abernathy, you may be Claudette Colvin, or you may be the one passing out the flyers or driving the church van so your homies can get to work. I would’ve been the one designing the flyers and organizing some kids to pass them out. I certainly would not have been Rosa. I’m not going to jail for you nggas.

Know your role because nobody can do it better than you. There is less anxiety and stress when you’re doing something you do well. Perform in your role even if it means you may not be in front of a camera or publicly recognized. You must love the cause more than you love your fame/reputation. But that’s another blog for a different day.

Take time to grieve

“The condition of black life is mourning.”

In Judaism, Shiva is the seven days after the loved one’s funeral. The family of the deceased gathers at home to mourn and pray. They don’t go to work or participate in normal daily activities for a week.

We forget to mourn. We forget to cry. With so many of our brothers and sisters being murdered and not seeing justice, we do not take the time to mourn before we get angry and political. We don’t even have the time. But ee MUST take the time.

Grieving is a deeply personal and necessary process. Everyone has to do it their own way. In December, 2 of my childhood friends were shot and killed within a week of each other. I beat myself up for still crying and being angry; but it’s only been a matter of months and my feelings are justified. Daniel. Alicia. Jamaal. Gyasi. All murdered childhood friends and nobody has been to jail about it. That pisses me off.

Cry. Scream. Pour out some liquor. Put one in the air in their honor. But do what you must to grieve/mourn.

Choose your battles wisely

You cannot educate everybody all of the time. Sometimes you have to say “God Bless You” and move on. When people disagree on my Facebook posts, it makes me very anxious. At times, it is an instant anxiety attack. For this reason, I cannot always debate/educate or engage. I have to force myself to leave that thing alone sometimes.

Last week I posted an article about Ciara and Russell Wilson getting engaged I (jokingly) said “Ladies, see what ‘click clank’ gets you?” A few of my friends (who are sleeping with men who aren’t going to marry them) got offended. It was Friday night and I was at the bar having a good time. I finally said “No standards. No walls. I love you anyhow.” and left it at that. I basically said that to say I’m not going to change my views, I’m not going to judge you and I’m done arguing about it.

I’m also not going to every protest, every event, and every community meeting or participating on every panel. I’m just not always available. We must learn that ‘No.’ is a complete sentence that needs no further explanation.

Unplug

unpluhFor a couple of weeks, I wouldn’t get on Facebook from 8am-8pm. My mind was clearer and I was less anxious. My jobs require I get on social media, but I think I’m going to start scheduling my social media messages and limiting personal use of FB to an hour a day tops.

Researchers have studies the effects of social media on mental health. Check this article out.

http://psychcentral.com/lib/the-anxiety-of-facebook/

Unplugging also means not checking text messages and emails. The #BusinessHours rule means that if you hit me up before or after a certain time (9am-9pm) it will get handled the following business day.

Self-care means not being available 24/7. If you give people an inch, they will take a mile. I have had to stop people from talking “business” with me while I’m at the bar trying to have a good time. Let’s take a shot (of water, cause my momma reading) instead.

Get your house in order

sarah palinYou cannot change the world if you cannot get a grip on your house! (See: Sarah Palin’s kids) It is my belief that your spouse, children, bills and legal affairs must be in order before you can be an activist. This applies to self-care because you must be able to come home and find solace from this crazy world. If your kids are hungry and you ain’t had sex with your wife/husband in months you cannot do this.

Also, I believe if you don’t have a heart for your loved ones, you don’t have an activist’s heart. Activism is largely fighting for the rights of strangers. How much more should we work for our loved ones? We’ve got to make sure we have the time, money, resources and connections necessary for activism. How you trying fight for our rights without a ride to the revolution? Amen lights.

Go down to the church

(This may not apply to you if you are not religious. I’m an unapologetic every-Sunday-church-going Christian.)

God called me to activism. God has kept me safe in spite of myself. My activism is tied up in my Christianity. I need a weekly reminder that God is still on the throne and to shake my dreads to some gospel music. (*sings and sways* I’m GLAAAD TO BE IN THE SERVICE.) I also need to be around my brothers and sisters in Christ. The sense of community is healing. The hugs and kisses help. Sometimes you just need a church mother to suffocate you with her bosom. More often you need to be reminded of your role in the shadow of the cross and that God is still on the throne. *Runs*

Have Fun

james baldwinIt would behoove you to loosen up, beloved. Take time to chill with your loved ones, go dance. Go to the movies. Do something you like. Unwind. Wind down. Don’t talk about the struggle. No activists allowed. No hotep-ing. Play spades, eat good food. Do it around people you love. I feel much better after I’m with my friends/family. My friends and I like Kart Kountry. Go-karts, arcarde, mini-golf… be the oldest ones in there knocking the kids down. SMH. Find something fun… grab your best friends and do it often.

These are my 7 Self-Care Tips. I hope they help you and again inspire you to develop and share your own list.

-CGW

 

 

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