Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Who the Hell Cares about Blake Lively's Butt? The Danger of Stormfronting

When I was in college, I got an interesting forwarded email. A young black man was enraged because of a site called Stormfront*. Stormfront was a fledgling site for all things white supremacist. There were articles, cartoons, paraphernalia, forums, etc. All of them were dipped deep in racist “science”, grotesque bullying, paranoia, tacit advocacy for violence, and a little dab of the white version of misogynoir (Misogynoblanc™?). The writer of the email explicitly stated that “as a BLACK man”, he was offended by everything on this site, and that everyone should look at the site and be enraged with him and spread the word.

And look, we did. We got mad at the cartoon of the African with the bone in his nose and in between his ears. We got pissed off at the article claiming that the government was engineering the death of the white man. We nearly threw a book through a window when an article suggested literally branding white women who married men of color and their “mongrel” children, since “if they’re going to sleep with live stock, they should be treated like livestock”. We were so mad, we HAD to spread the word about this dangerously despicable site. At least on HBCU campuses, we went insane with rage. This was the first case I can recall of bonafide internet angrection™.

Only one problem: the “BLACK man” was actually either a major fan of the site, or it was one of the site caretakers. It could have been Don Black himself, the founder of the site. SIDE NOTE: Do you ever wonder if he changed his middle name to “Ain’t”? Whomever it was, he wrote the email and sent it out to a few places, and we took the bait. He got some major traffic for Stormfront. It is still a major hub for bigotry and misogynalbino™(?) today. I don’t think that all of the black people who opened their emails and CollegeClub** forums and saw the fake message and distributed it in a rage were the major key to their success, but we definitely helped, as it was all were were talking about, from Morgan to Howard, from Greensboro to Spellman. We got clickbaited, catfished, AND trolled all at the same time. We should have been focusing on keeping BlackPlanet*** a viable media center, of holding BET accountable for turning into a booty video station. I think that this begrudgingly genius tactic of getting your adversary to focus on something that deserves no attention while more important things are going on should be called StormFronting. And now it is happening again.

Last week, the most famous pretty white actor with adverb for a name Blake Lively posted on her Instagram a split picture of the front and back of her in a long tight dress, and the caption said, “LA face with an Oakland Booty”. It was funny, cute, and anyone who is into women and butts took a pause to admire the motor in back of her Honda. Seriously, even white boys had to shout. Also, [other arbitrary Baby Got Back pun about anacondas or someone named Becky]! Since Ms. Lively is famous, it of course garnered attention. Not all of it was positive. JE Reich of Jezebel wrote an article about the Instagram post, not to praise Blake Lively for blaking lively and embracing her body as it is, curves and all, but to admonish her for perpetuating “passive racism”. Even though Reich acknowledges that Lively’s post was likely a nod to “Baby Got Back”, she still posits that Lively is also perpetuating a harmful dichotomy: the “elegance” (whiteness) of LA, and the “hoodness” (blackness) of Oakland. If anyone read this article, they just might get an angrection™.

And what an angrection™ it created! Quite literally within less than 12 hours, other sites beyond Jezebel were talking about Blake Lively’s Instagram post, and JE Reich’s article about Blake Lively’s insolence. Daily Mail, LaineyGossip, Entertainment Weekly, and about 100 other sites talked about this offense Blake Lively perpetrated against black women with her post. People on Twitter, famous and not-so-famous, did the obligatory body shaming of Blake Lively, and then they talked of how she appropriated a song about black women’s bodies and used it for herself without first consulting the Black Council**** and begging permission. How dare she quote a song that is on queue to play at 12:47am during the “old school” set of every bro bar in America that is filled with white people trying to dance and take a tequila shot at the same time! She should never have used the song reference! How dare this pretty white lady use her Instagram and quote a song she may or may not like! This is 2016! We’ve come so far, and now we’re back to 1992, because that is when the song was released! A POX UPON HER BOOTY! Ms. Reich didn’t even have to include a reference to Sara Baartman.

This was a perfect example of StormFronting.

I can’t even try to pretend to be offended by Blake Lively’s post. It is not only because I happen to like some of her work, but also because this is some serious red herring editorializing. “Baby Got Back” is almost 25 years old. It went at least gold, and it definitely won a Grammy. It is a staple in all jukeboxes across the North American continent, and I’d wager a few in Europe and Asia. Yes, it was written and performed by a black artist, but it was written to be popular with whoever wishes to listen to it, hence the gold album status and the award. Sir Mix-a-Lot himself said, in Cosmo of all places, that he doesn’t care that she used to lyric quote! If he did, he’d have to be mad at every sorority sister who keeps re-ordering it on TouchTunes and shaking her butt after every damn peach schnapps shot, Brienne!

If we are to treat “Baby Got Back” as if it is a sacred cow never to be sullied by the “other” people, then should we not hold that true to everyone? Perhaps we should go after that news correspondent who honored Phife Dawg’s passing by using Tribe Called Quest lyrics report on traffic. Oh yeah, I teared up with joy, but how DARE you, sir! Phife was OUR artist. You are NOT on point all the time! Should we probably go by regional songs as well? Have you been humming “California Love”? You bite your tongue! That song is for the people of LA and Oakland ONLY! And since Tupac is originally from Baltimore, we need to curse his ghost for appropriating West Side culture. Speaking of which, No, Montell Jordan, this is NOT how we do it. We are from the East Coast, and we would NEVER gentrify your song by quoting it. Tall people, if you sing “I Wish (I Was a Little Bit Taller”, you are taking away from short people who want rabbits in hat with bats. I’d better consult a British person before I quote “Hey Jude”. You have all been warned!

Here’s another reason why JE Reich was StormFronting: JE Reich is white. She used enough buzz words to trigger an angrection™, and she lit up Black Twitter with it. Perhaps she meant no harm, but harm was done. Whether she fancies herself an activist or ally or not, one still needs to think deeply about what actually IS a battle worth fighting. In this case, the news about Blake Lively's butt completely overshadowed an ACTUAL case of black bodies being exploited and shamed; it was the First Body.

Drawing shit demon Ben Garrison used his “talent” to draw a cartoon with the tag “Make the First Lady Great Again”, with a very attractive caricature of Meliana Trump next to a very unflattering depiction of Michelle Obama. Ms. Obama is shown scowling, with huge cut arms, and a bulge her crotch, insinuating she has a penis. Meliana looks like a curvy Barbie Doll. The comments about the cartoon ranged from despicable to “DearGodMyFaceIsMeltingWhyIsMyFaceMelting”. People compared Michelle Obama to a gorilla, a “bull dike”, and of course, a man. Comments about her body are something we see a lot when it comes to athletic black women, all of them disgusting, racist, and based in deliberate denigration and de-humanization. Then Alex Jones, radio show host and #1 contender for the Smegma Stain of America, chimed in and lauded the cartoon. He then went on a 5-minute rant hypothesizing that Michelle Obama is a man, and that she killed Joan Rivers for “outing” her. He claimed her kids were not really hers, because he didn’t think they look like her. Mark this as the first time a racist asshole actually said that black people DON’T look alike. He continued on saying that she’s always been a man, and she didn’t get “the surgery”, and Barack Obama is secretly gay which is why he’s all for “trannies” in bathrooms now, and he’s still an islamo-Kenyan dictator who [insert grotesque racist diatribe]. He finished up by reiterating his “Michelle Obama is secretly a man” line…well…he finished, or I turned it off so as not to want to get angrier than I already was.

It’s been a week, and I have yet to see an article by JE Reich discussing the damaging language and imagery used. In fact, The first two articles I saw regarding the cartoon were from British and Indian news sites. This is a black woman who has been dehumanized in order to prop up a pretty white woman. It’s not just any black woman; it is THE black woman. The First Lady and her daughters have been the targets of the most vitriolic, savage swill in the media by conservative pundits, more so than any other first family. They are depicted as monkeys, they are admonished for being teenagers, Michelle’s arms are always a target of ridicule, and her credentials are always questioned. When news came out that Malia Obama was heading to Harvard, Fox News, the source of all of the subversive racism against the Obamas, had to shut down their comment section about the story, because there was too much OVERT racism being spewed. That is like David Duke looking at Hitler and saying, “Whoa, dude…you need to chill out”. Where are all the think pieces discussing Ben Garrison and Alex Jones and their role in perpetuating racist misogyny (misogynowhite™?)? We have here the perfect example of EVERY negative stereotype about black women’s bodies utilized to de-humanize black people. It was like watching Lupita Nyong’o’s whipping scene in 12 Years a Slave in slow motion. It almost hurt. I am alternately balling up my fists as I type this thinking about it. But JE Reich and the SJW gossip columnists and the Hoteps in the Twitterverse have hardly touched this story, and decided to attack Blake Lively.


We can clown Blake Lively for a few things. Her wedding on an old plantation is kind of worth clowning, if only because of the optics, but even black people have weddings on old plantations nowadays. I assume they hire white servants and rename them Chinua and Adichie for their service. Lively’s antebellum inspired website “Preserve.us” is RIPE for ridicule, starting with the name. It sounds like a sister site to Stormfront. It was like a racist GOOP, and it was just as oblivious of itself as GOOP, too. But much like the South, Preserve.us shall never rise again. Fortunately, unlike the South, it doesn’t threaten to rise again while waving its racist dick in the air and scream about its “historic” value. But Blake Lively quoting a 24 year old booty jam? That is nowhere near as deserving of level of rage that the attacks on Michelle Obama and her daughters does. Once JE Reich and the people she whipped into a frenzy write about that, then maybe she can make up for StromFronting.

…Misogynivoire™! That’s the white version of misogynoir.



*Not linking anything to related to Stormfront. It gets enough traffic, especially this year.
**Before there was Twitter, before Facebook, before Friendster, before MySpace, there was…COLLEGECLUB! I’m old AF.
***BlackPlanet was a Black Twitter, Tinder and Facebook before there was even a Friendster. It still exists. Reference: Kanye West’s “Get ‘Em High”. Don’t worry; These were his College Droput years. He didn’t evolve into his current Dragon Ball Yeezus state yet.
****There is no Black Council…or IS there???

Saturday, May 14, 2016

The Myth of the AfAc Duck

Malia Obama was the target of some really nasty comments, mostly revolving around "I'm-not-racist-but" racists claiming that she didn't earn her way into Harvard. These people think that Affirmative Action is some sort of pass to deprive hard working white men of opportunities. I had an idea as to how to deal with them.
WOODY: Well, last week’s Chronicle was…interesting. I assume you have a real topical piece this week? …(I hope).
CHRIS: …Yes and no.
WOODY: Oh no…Chris, you can’t call on God to come to the studio again. The boss was not happy. Can’t we talk about the news or something?
CHRIS: Oh no, Woody. I’m not going to reach out to Terry this week. I’m talking directly to the American people.
WOODY: Well, I guess that is okay, but I think that you might alienate the audience a little bit..
CHRIS: Don’t worry Woody, I only have a little beef with just a few people. First, to “C. Rover”: your son looks like if a piece of toxic waste threw up on a blobfish.
WOODY: WHOA! Where did that come from?
CHRIS: Haode: Your child is so stupid, it is legally identified by teachers as a chair. Barnaby Smithfield: your child is even dumber. It nearly drowned because it was looking up in a rain storm.
WOODY: What is happening!
CHRIS: And Greg14: You got your kid an Xbox One because you thought the system was named after his IQ! Jokes on you: He’s dead!
ALL: WHOA!!!
WOODY: Chris, what is wrong with you? You can’t just go on and insult people’s children like that? What did they do to you?
CHRIS: I’m just playing by the new rules of engagement, Woody. You know how Barack Obama’s eldest daughter Malia was accepted into Harvard University?
WOODY: Well, yeah! What does that have to do with these people you’re addressing?
CHRIS: Well, all of these people chimed in about the news. They called her a monkey, an ape. They said that unlike white students, she just had to show up to get a spot. They claimed that she was never smart enough to get in any school, and she took a spot from a worthy candidate. One prayed that on her gap year, she died or AIDS, cancer, or “one of those colored” diseases.
WOODY: Oh, like walking in Florida wearing a hoodie?
ALL: WHOA!
CHRIS: Too soon, bro. Too soon.
WOODY: I regret nothing. It’s a 100-year problem.
CHRIS: True…but anyway, that she got in just because she was black is insulting. She knows three languages. She’s been getting straight A’s since she was able to WRITE the letter “A”. The thought that “black privilege” is how she got in is ridiculous.
WOODY: “Black privilege”? That’s ridiculous! How would that even work? No way she got in due to privilege.
CHRIS: Well…privilege played a part, I’m sure. Both her parents went there. That’s just “legacy privilege”. You know, that thing that thousands of young white men have had the advantage of using to get into high-end private universities for hundreds of years?
WOODY: Ha…
CHRIS: So for this reason, I am addressing these people who threw insults at Malia Obama. These people, who likely could not get accepted into a Harvard University parking lot.
WOODY: But you’re going after their kids, Chris! That’s a bit harsh. The children never did anything.
CHRIS: Woody, let’s get real. Their beef is with her father, not her. It doesn’t matter what he does, they’ll find something wrong with it. It’s like Dan Savage says: if we rename oxygen, “Obamagen”, they would hold their breath until they pass out.
WOODY: Ooh, can we try that? I have a big family dinner next week. This will be a good way to shut up Uncle Carl.
CHRIS: Go crazy. And family members didn’t used to be fair targets for such ire. I guess we can thank Rush Limbaugh for this. He said some terrible things about Chelsea Clinton and opened up a Pandora’s Box of making people’s children fair game. The Bush Twins caught flak, and now we’re hearing even worse about the Obama children! So I am fighting fire with fire of children.
WOODY: Man, you’re really committed to this.
CHRIS: I think I’m just mad because besides being racist and horrible, they all have a skewed view of how Affirmative Action works. They seem to think there is an Affirmative Action duck running around magically giving black people jobs they don’t deserve.
WOODY: So, like an AfAc duck?
CHRIS: EXACTLY! If there were some magic duck running around giving people jobs at the cost of others, then everyone in my hood would be a doctor or a lawyer! I wouldn’t have been so poor growing up!
WOODY: I see what you mean. It is pretty insulting to think that you didn’t earn your job.
MALCOLM: [A LA AFLAC DUCK] AFAC!
WOODY: What was that?
MALCOLM: AFAC!
CHRIS: Um…nothing [WHISPERING TO MALCOLM] Go on! Get out of here! I told you not to follow me!
MALCOLM: AFAC!
WOODY: Is that a duck with an afro? How cute!
MALCOLM: AFAC!
CHRIS: N-no! You’re just hallucinating. You must be drunk again.
WOODY: Chris, You know I don’t drink in the studio! I’m a professional!...Mike Yates…
CHRIS: OK FINE! THERE’S AN AFAC DUCK! You happy? You know our secret. I didn’t even know about him until AFTER I graduated from college.
MALCOLM: AFAC!
WOODY: That is amazing! So does this mean you’re about to be turned into an astronaut or a neurosurgeon?
CHRIS: Well, I’m already an engineer, so I don’t really need him. Besides, Statistically, AfAc duck is more likely to benefit women than he is me.
MALCOLM: AFAC!
KARA: Guys, I just got an offer letter from NASA! They’re restarting the shuttle program, and I’m going to be the first pilot! Screw this! I’ll see you losers when I get back from the MOON! Maillie...out.
CHRIS: See? She can’t even ride a bike!
MALCOLM: AFAC!

WOODY: Well, I guess everything’s back to weird here again.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

NIgga What? Nigger Who?



A lot of people are talking about Larry Wilmore’s performance at the White House Correspondents Dinner. It wasn’t all the CNN jokes he dropped. THey were only okay. Everyone is in a tizzy because he punctuated the conclusion with, “Barry, you my nigga”.




As expected, EVERYONE got a raging angrection™ about it. Black leaders admonished WIlmore for using that type of language to refer to the commander of the Free World. White pundits were mad that he used a word that they use under their breath to refer to him when concocting hyperbolic stories about his bend toward fascism. Piers Morgan did the Piers Morgan thing that he usually does regarding feminism and women’s roles and vomited words into the Daily Mail that showed how completely clueless he is, admonishing him for using such language and announcing that he will never call Obama OR Wilmore “n****er”.


You hear that, black people? A white man told us how to talk! We can all rejoice now! Praise white Jesus! OK, UK. When are you going to apologize for Piers Morgan? I know a lot has been done in the Kingdom’s name, but can we PLEASE deal with Morgan (#PratsOfTwitter)?


First of all, no one asked Piers Morgan to call Larry Willmore OR President Obama ANYTHING. Also, Larry WIlmore came to his own defense by going after Piers Morgan for his grotesquely uneducated pot of word vomit. He designated that there is a difference between “nigga” and “nigger”, that “nigga” is black people’s appropriation of a verbal weapon used to oppress us, and “nigger” is said weapon, used to denigrate us. Either way, Morgan has no business using either conjugation. Larry’s words were, as always, brilliant funny. It was also kind of bullshit. There is no difference between “nigga” and “nigger”. Colloquialism is not conjugation. That would mean police officers would be going around amongst each other saying, “What’s up, my troopa?” That is not happening.


Ask 100 black people how they feel about the word “nigger”, and you will get 100 different answers. We are not Borg. We do not have the same opinion. There is not a secret cabal of black people that meet to decide everything for the black community, contrary to what you hear on Twitter. One thing is for certain, though. No matter what they say, every black person feels some sort of way when the word is said.

A lot of black people speak of eliminating the term. I saw at least two articles by black commentators about how Larry WIlmore set us back 50 years. There will be more. That is a ridiculous notion, though. The Supreme Cuurt set us back 50 years, and the only black person on there had already set women back 50 years. “Nigger” was used as a weapon, and it should be eradicated, they say. For them, it will always be a word of hate, and there is no redemption from it. I feel them. I respect their opinions. I really do. But it’s a bit quixotic to get everyone on board with eliminating a word in their native tongue, especially the ones who have grown fond of it, and the ones who hate black people. The people who use it now will likely not change. Black people will be all, “Nigga, please!” Racists will be all, “Nigger, please!” (See what I did there?) Also, I’m not big on censorship. For example, I am all for getting rid of confederate flags on state capitols, but I am okay with them being available for private consumption, because then we can see who the racists and oblivious idiots are!

The word “nigger” has its root in Spanish (negro), French (negre), and old English (neger), and we all know English is bastardized German. It wasn’t a bad word initially. It was just a word to identify dark people. Throughout early slavery, it was just that, and then pseudo-science came in and popularized it as a designating term. It wasn’t until the 1800s that it was actually truly weaponized as a pejorative term, over 100 years after its birth. It was used to address people who were thought of being not much more advanced than animals. Given the projection of history in America, I would not be surprised if black slaves used it among themselves. It’s a standard pattern of abuse. Keep drilling it into a person’s head what they are from birth, and they usually will internalize it.



However, I’ll bet that it’s been used as a term of endearment as long as it was used as a term of derision. If you don’t have control over a situation, you mitigate as much as you can. Taking a word and flipping it is not a difficult task. That is how a language evolves. Even after slavery was over, when Jim Crow was abolished, when the Civil Rights Act was signed, when the first black president was elected twice, “nigger” has survived, both to denigrate these accomplishments and to big up the people who made these accomplishments happen. “Nigger” as a term, in whatever form we hear it, is here to stay for the time being. There is truly no getting rid of it. Even if it WERE possible to put the racist toothpaste back into the tube, Those who use it to insult have an entire lexicon of epithets that they’ll use: jigaboo, porch monkey, ape, spear chucker, eggplant, sambo, boy...shall we incite vocabulary Crusade on all of these terms? Will we have to order an aubergine parmigiana from now on? We’d be fighting word wars for years. Racial epithets are like cockroaches wearing little white hoods: if you kill one, 20 more are under the surface, waiting to pop out and torment you.

How do I feel about this? Pretend you care for a minute…There is a long trend of words falling out of favor by the groups who were described by them. The words didn’t go away. They became essentially curse words. “Nigger” is a curse word now, no matter how you pronounce it, so it shouldn’t be said in certain realms. I used to call Hoteps “Ankh Niggas”, but I found out that they gain power from it, much like Scottish people when they behead each other. I know that on the opposite end of the spectrum from “eradicate the word” is the Tupac theory. Mr. Shakur made an album called “Strictly for My N.I.G.G.A.z”, which fueled the fire of my teenage angst. Tupac was a beacon of hope for many young black bastards who lived in abject poverty. He appropriated the word and made it a bacronym: “Never Ignorant; Gettin’ Goals Accomplished..Z”. I like what he did, but it still makes one queasy saying it. I am more and more in A Tribe Called Quest’s “Sucka Niggas” camp, I flinch as I try not to say it. I try to not say it as much, but it slips. When I am mindful, I replace it with a worse word: motherfucker. So perhaps I should calm down and realize that it is a word, and its only power is the power I give it, and the only time a white person should say it is when they are referencing Hitler, and they preface it with “Fuck that…” I’ll do my best to not say it, but I know it will slip, because I’m human, and I don’t give “nigger/nigga” the power it used to have...I don’t know if Japanese people have this similar with the J-Word or mentally disabled with the R-Word...

...But seriously. UK, apologize for Piers Morgan. We won the last war, and we’ll win the next. Punk ass niggas.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Almost Tuesday 04/04: The KardashiRose Program

I've been a bit busy and have not updated you all on the shenanigans I've been up to, 5 people who read this blog. I have not neglected writing, I've just been writing something else...Here is the first of a few new posts, starting with my radio segment where I discuss the KardashiRose Program.


CHRIS: Hey Woody. Kara and I were inspired by March being Women’s History Month, We’ve decided to take some action!
KARA: That’s right. We are not going to rest until men and women are treated equally in social settings.
WOODY: That sounds great!
KARA: Whoa, whoa. Calm down Woody. You said that pretty aggressively.
WOODY: What? No! I was just excited. I’m enthusiastic.
CHRIS: Well, you really need to control your emotions. You’re on the radio, man! Act professionally.
WOODY: But-..I-…oookay…
KARA: Also, smile! Gosh, we just gave you good news, and you don’t look very happy.
WOODY: But, I was trying to act professionally, and this is just my face!
KARA: Heh, it’s probably that time of the month.
Yeah. We should go easy on his mood swings.
WOODY: Um…I’m going to move on. What are you two doing to engender social equality
KARA: Chris and I have created a program that will guarantee that all men and women are treated the same way. We’re calling it the “KardashiRose [car-DASH-e-rose] Treatment”.
WOODY: The KardashiRose Treatment? It sounds like it was named after a famous Turkish feminist or something!
CHRIS: Not exactly, but I guess you could say it IS partially Armenian…We studied the way Amber Rose and most of the Kardashians (and honestly, everyone) are treated in the media any time they do anything. We’ve taken detailed notes about, and we are going to do something about it.
WOODY: Awesome! What are you going to do?
CHRIS: Well, for starters, let me introduce you to Larry. Say hi, Larry.
LARRY: “Hi, Larry”. HA! I did it again!
WOODY: Hold on! This is the same Larry who stole my TV! Why would you bring him back here?!?!
Chris: Larry has changed his ways. He’s now a photographer.
LARRY: Yup. Check out these pictures.
WOODY: These are of me taking a shower! How did you even take these! There’s no window in my bathroom!
LARRY: Go Pro and duct tape.
WOODY: That is a complete violation of my privacy.
LARRY: Eh, just sue me.
KARA: Yeah, you can probably get $115 million from him, just like Hulk Hogan got. Hell, that is more than what he asked for.
CHRIS: No, no, Kara. We need to treat him appropriately. Remember that female sportscaster who got peeping-tommed? Woody, ask for $75 million, but you’ll really only get $55 million.
KARA: Oh, right.
WOODY: How is any of this fair?
[LARRY, KARA, CHRIS SILENT FOR A SECOND, AND THEN BURST INTO LAUGHTER]
CHRIS: None of this is FAIR, Woody. This is the KardashiRose treatment. You’re SUPPOSED to be treated by a different standard than others.
KARA: Yeah. You’re basically a hot little microbe that we’re examining and objectifying under our social microscope.
LARRY: Yeah, you should calm down and get used to it. Where’s that smile?
WOODY: What is there to smile about???
KARA: Well for one, check out this picture Larry posted. It’s pretty disgusting.
CHRIS: Oh, Woody. Has it come to this? Picking up poop in grey sweatshirt and ripped jeans?
WOODY: Wait...Is that me walking my dog? I was being a good neighbor! You can’t shame me for curbing my dog.
LARRY: Sure we can. And who were you wearing? Armani? Pierre Cardin? More like Pierre CarDON’T! Amirite?
WOODY: Why would I dress up to walk my dog? No one thinks someone is going sneak around and take pictures of them.
LARRY: Well you’d better get used to it. These pictures are making me loot!
CHRIS: Hold on, everyone, Larry zoom into this one of Woody at the food co-op. His jeans are so ripped...is that…
LARRY, KARA, AND CHRIS WAIL IN DISGUST
Kara: That is definitely a tip slip. Honestly Woody, how could you? You’re an uncle after all. THink of the children!
CHRIS: Yeah, that’s not very professional at all. How do you expect to gain any respect, carrying on in loose fitting clothes, going out like that.
WOODY: OK, so I wore my worn out jeans to the grocery store. But I was grocery SHOPPING, not walking a runway, or trying to close a loan. Who cares what I was wearing? And who has a right to comment on what I wear or don’t wear?
LARRY: Everyone now. I just uploaded these photos to Tip-Slips.com, the biggest picture archive of men being photoed at their most embarrassing moments.
WOODY: What? Take that down now!
KARA: It’s too late, Woody. It’s on the ‘Net. There’s no putting that genie back in its bottle.
CHRIS: I mean, if you didn’t want people to look at them, you shouldn’t have taken the picture.
WOODY: I DIDN’T TAKE THE PICTURE!
KARA: But you did take this picture. It’s of you and your new girlfriend.
CHRIS: Oh, god. Again Woody? Isn’t this your fourth girlfriend in as many years?
WOODY: How did you get that? It was on my phone.
LARRY: Ha! Got me again. I do phone hacking for the FBI.
CHRIS: Stop changing the subject, Woody. What’s up with all of your torrid affairs? You were dating someone in Buffalo, then that woman in Toronto, and now this woman. Why don’t you just tattoo “Open for Business” on your chest?
WOODY: First of all, I’m pretty sure hacking my phone is against the law. Second, my relationship patterns are just like everyone else’s! I date someone, we find out we’re not compatible, I date someone else! I’d like to see what YOUR dating patterns are like with someone following you around and your pictures sent to the Net by some creep.
LARRY, KARA, CHRIS: WHOA!
CHRIS: I can’t believe you used the C-word on the air!
KARA: Way to cross the line!
LARRY: That...that wounds me…
KARA: Look at what you’re doing to Larry, Woody! He’s a shell of himself.
CHRIS: He’s just trying to make a living. Why are you attacking him like that?
WOODY: He’s making money off of my humiliation, though! How is that right.
KARA: This is the new status quo Woody. Welcome to the KardashiRose world.
CHRIS: Yup. We need to treat men the way we have been treating women, especially famous women.
KARA: So we can talk trash about Amber Rose and the Kardashians all we want, they are just living their lives the way they want to. It’s really none of our business.
CHRIS: Except Caitlyn Jenner. She DEFINITELY killed someone with her car and got away with it. And she’s voting for Ted Cruz.

KARA: Totally.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Dear #AnkhNigga (& Others): The Case for Voting

Dear Non-Conformist, Anti-Everything Activist, and #AnkhNigga,

I know, I know. I should not use such an offensive term as “#AnkhNigga” to describe you, but the point is to BE offensive, so that you’ll stop your stupid ankhin’ ways. Drop the misogyny and homophobia and I’ll drop the term…but for now, since I have a lot to say to a lot of people, and typing the word makes even me cringe, I’ll just call you the more mild term for your BS persona: Hotep.
2016 is going to be a rollercoaster of an election year, and it is going to end in an explosion in November.  I would hope that “explosion” is a figurative term for the joy some will feel, but I know that on the other side, it will be a figurative term for angrections™, and a literal term for people who WILL actually blow things up. Both are inevitable, but on which side of the blast is up to you, and you can control that by doing something very easy:
Vote.
“But the system is broken and corrupt! What’s the point?”
Show me a system of government developed by humans, and I will show you a system that has corruption. Not voting perpetuates the corruption by allowing the people in office to take whatever measures they can to KEEP the system corrupt. The US was born in hypocrisy. The Founding Fathers who preached about the inherent personal liberty of everyone, all while they owned people and would not let women have any personal liberty. It is a lot more difficult to change a regime from the outside than from within. That is why China built a giant wall…and their dynasty was still overturned, by way of their own citizens. Hitler worked INSIDE the government to create his personal hellscape, not remotely from Austria. We invaded Afghanistan and Iraq to “change the regime”, and look at how that turned out. France didn’t force us to ratify the 13th, 14th, and 19th Amendments. We voted in legislators who drafted and passed them…Mississippi was a little late. We have eons of work to do still.
Do you know what else is corrupt? Our Judicial system. Back in Post-Civil War, Jim Crow South, black men and women would be arrested, and sometimes within minutes, they would be convicted of a crime by an all-white jury, whether there was a crime or not. We are promised a jury of our peers. Do you know how most court districts choose their jury duty rosters? They use voter registration! Do you think it was a mistake that no black jurors were around, that black votes were suppressed so much? Dear Hotep, have livid about a black person is convicted by an all-white jury based on shaky evidence? Have you been angry about a person who harmed or killed a black person who was exonerated by an all-white jury? Then you should understand how important it is to vote. An all-white jury acquitted Emmett Till’s murderers in an hour. The police in the Rodney King trial were exonerated by an all-white jury. Jordan Davis’s murderer’s first trial, a hung jury, was mostly white. Just in February 2016, Donald Williams, Jr had to watch his attackers not be convicted of hate crimes by a jury of all white people. Donald Williams, Jr was attacked by three white students who latched a bike lock around his neck and tried to lock him in a closet, all while taunting him by calling him 3/5 of a person. I highly doubt that a more diverse jury pool would have the same result. In other aspects of life, diversity sews accord and understanding. Why not in the courtroom? So it is great that you protest outside the courthouse when that unsavory verdict comes out. It is a travesty of true justice. All the work you did to organize is not for naught, But you could have done something more, though. Put down that ankh for a minute, Hotep. Pick up a pen, and fill out that registration form.
“But none of the candidates are really speaking on the issue(s) about which I care!”
Here are two questions: Have you ASKED that candidate about the issue, or at least researched to see their stance? Are you really that myopic? The candidates running for office are doing it (theoretically) in service to everyone, not to only you. No one knew any candidates’ stances on the #BlackLivesMatter movement until someone confronted them. The way they responded to the confrontations speaks volumes about their commitment to the citizens and residents they might serve. There will never be a candidate who ticks every check box you want. The only potential candidate who can do that is you, so if you are not running for office, then you cannot fault another person for not having every quality you want. Perfect matches only exist in discount pulp novels and romantic comedies starring Ryan Gosling. This is the US government. There is nothing Ryan Goslingy about it.
“But I’m just one vote. It won’t even count!”
Take 20 people who feel that way, put them in one room, and have them say that simultaneously. It literally speaks volumes! Every vote counts. Just because whichever person for which you voted did not win does not mean it didn’t “count”. The outcome data showing what percentage voted for whom belies your claim, so save that sentence for someone who cares.
“If _______ doesn’t win the primary, then I’m not voting again/voting for the polar opposite.”
Be sure to abstain from voting, after I pick you up from pre-school. This train of thought is as inane and immature as the, “my vote won’t count”, diatribe. Abstinence from voting means you have no reason to complain about any policy that is made, any measure that is taken, and any action that is taken by our government, because you did not do your base duty. If I don’t say what I want for dinner when someone asks me, and then dinner is liverwurst, then I can’t really complain, because I had the option to choose something different, and I did not take it. I’m a little bit confused about someone who would vote for the polar opposite of whatever their first choice is, but at least you voted. However, again, you cannot complain when that person who is the antithesis of who you want as a candidate does things of which you are completely aberrant, because YOU VOTED FOR THEM.
Look, I know that the candidate that you like looks good on paper, but trust, they are going to be different in office. In the case of the President, the only people who think that they have the ability to run an entire country are INCREDIBLY arrogant, for better or worse. When your candidate wins, you WILL be disappointed. They WILL break a promise or two. They WILL drop the ball on something that you hold important. That is still not an excuse to abstain from voting. That is a reason to keep your voice heard and to vote them out if they mess up royally.
“But it’s an off-year! Nothing important is on the ballot!” [For anyone who reads this on a non-leap-year]
Tell that to the residents of Houston, who had a ballot measure that would have block discrimination against trans people in public places, but it was voted down because PEOPLE WHO WERE FOR IT DID NOT VOTE. This is a PRIME example of how people should not complain when they get liverwurst for dinner after they didn’t speak up, except this affects people’s lives and safety! A lack of vote is a vote for the other side.
If you claim to be an activist beyond just the armchair variety, then get your ass out of the chair, and go vote. Get the forms, ID, horcrux, or whatever you need in your state to register, and do it. And VOTE. It may be difficult to do in some regions, but it is still the simplest form of activism that you can do, but it is so important. People created “poll taxes” in order to black people from voting. They would rough them up and sit in the ballot booth to force them to vote a certain way. They would give them a grammar test in Chinese to discourage them from voting. They would KILL people. Women were ostracized, slut-shamed, slandered, and beaten when they fought for the vote. Why do you think certain legislators keep re-drawing districts and making it even more difficult for certain people to register to vote? How many times has anyone in the US blocked people from doing something inconsequential? Has anyone been put through a gauntlet of impossible tests, tortured, hanged, shot, stabbed, burned alive, or fire bombed because they wanted to take up crotchet? Because at least half of some of my ancestors (and I wager some of yours) have. They fought tooth and nail to gain the right to vote. By you saying you will not, you not only throw away the easiest way to be active, you spit on all of the freedom fighters’ graves who you claim that you exalt. Don’t vote: don’t talk to me.

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