Friday, January 29, 2016

Jaden Smith and Your Dumb Fragile Manhood

I thought it was another internet prank when people said that Jaden Smith, son of Will SMith and Jada Pinkett, was the new face of Louis Vuitton’s Spring/Summer 2016 women’s collection. That is until I actually went to Louis Vuitton’s site. He is definitely on LV’s payroll. THere is even a 60-second short film, complete with a crew of pale, skinny white girls, wisping away in the sunny Florida breeze. They should really be careful. As tiny as they are, they may dissolve in the humidity or get blown away in a gust.
But there is young Mr. Smith, in the middle of his own gang of pale wood sprites, rocking a skirt and what looks like a wool mesh tank top. Well, I say, good for you, Jaden. Get that bank. You are a...unique...child.
My sentiments are not shared by everyone, though. The reaction to this news was everything from the near-worshipful praise to the visceral warning Homosexual Agenda’s™ march toward of the End of Days.
One article on Huffington Post claimed that this is a new corner to turn in the journey of the #CareFreeBlackBoy, which I didn’t know was a thing. However, Zeba Gray, the author of the article thinks that Jaden’s new career move, plus the adventures of black male bloggers like Brandon Stanciell and James Phlemuns, will usher in a new definition of the black men and black masculinity.
...I don’t think I’d go that far...But again, let them be them. They are doing things that are unconventional, but they are not going to redefine black masculinity, because contrary to 1980s casting lists, there is a myriad of different black people, just like white people.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are those who are so adamantly against this “affront” to their eyes that they promise to murder their own children if they so much as wear a pink sock, let alone an entire dress. The standard Ankh Nigga response is that Jaden Smith, and any straight black man who wears a dress or a fuzzy coat or whatever the hell is succumbing to yet another genocidal plot by our old nemesis, The White Man™. The Ankh Nigga claims that blah blah blah plot to poison our children blah blah yadda yadda make masculinity a bad thing, blah blah blah thereby diminishing our numbers by making us gay, blah blah blah, non-reproduction, “homosexual agenda”, no more black people, The White Man™ wins.
Oh Ankh Nigga, how I miss your incredibly unfocused and head-poundingly stupid misogyny and homophobia. Perhaps I miss you, because I used to be you, but then I used the mind you keep telling others to open.
The truth is that The White Man™ and his cousin, The Homosexual Agenda™ don’t give a shit about us. The White Man™ is too busy siphoning oil from the Middle East and scapegoating Muslims and poisoning poor people and administering policies that have already been in place for years (because they sadly won most of the wars), and The Homosexual Agenda™ wants exactly what black people and women want: to be treated equally as a human being. Put the Ankh down, Ankh Nigga. Stop Ankhin’.
Both arguments revolve around a prevailing entity: Black Masculinity, specifically the American flavor of black masculinity. It’s a special version, but how have we come to evoke this masculinity-on-steroids version of masculinity? What would propel us to be violently averse to any challenge to our perceived manhood, and would make people be intimidated by us, even when we’re just standing around? Mainly, how much of our augmented masculinity is thanks to the effects of the trans-Atlantic slave trade?
Some of the practices of Western hemisphere slavery are brutal beyond belief. Sadly, they happened. The Middle Passage was only one aspect of the conditions of slaves in the Western Hemisphere. People think that being packed like corpses in a ship for months was the worst of it. Even more horrors awaited Africans in the “seasoning” process. Seasoning was how slave owners would “break” their captives, much like the way people speak of “breaking” a wild horse when trying to domesticate it. The difference is that the atrocities done to captured Africans were never enacted on any horse. Men were castrated and had limbs cut off as punishment, in front of everyone, to make an example of them. Some were hanged for minor offenses and left to rot, hanging from trees. Women were repeatedly used as sex objects. Their children were taken away from them, and they were beaten brutally if they cried about it. Black infants were literally used as bait to hunt alligators. Many slaves were branded with red hot irons. With the exception of the branding and the separating of families, no animal would be treated this way in order to ensure the other animals on the farm would stay in line. As much as we like to say that people who did this were of their time, anyone who could do these things to another person without flinching is some sort of sadist. If I believed in hell, I would expect that every overseer and gator hunter is wallowing in the 7th RIng.
In the midst of all of this, black men and women were commonly called bucks and does. Strong field hands were often made to “mate” like bulls to produce more virile progeny. It is a strange case, where the women involved were being sexually assaulted, but the men who were forced to do it lest they be beaten or killed, so they were technically being sexually assaulted as well. Though true that some body types are hereditary, most of the reason that black field hands were so strong was that they had to work or die. Women in society were already not really considered or treated well, so a slave woman was even worse off. Masters had their way with whomever they wanted, and they were “bred” just like the men were. Women were the ones who had to carry the children, wanted or not, to term, only to have them taken away at birth for any reason the masters wished.
Now in modern times, we black men are in an environment where we are seen as slower, dumber, but more physically able to hurt people, and we have some inability to control our carnal urges. Black masculinity seems to always be a hyper-augmented version of the “masculine persona”. We feed into it, in our music, in our chosen religions, in the violence we inflict upon each other. Black masculinity has revolved around violence and being averse to anything that might hint at an emotion, because the augmentation was born in violence. A man can only emote anger to be considered a REAL man. Humor is…okay…but then you’re just a clown. Lord forbid you shed a tear, though. There is a lot of putting down others wrapped in this masculinity, usually anything deemed feminine, so there is a deep seated disdain for women in there. Any slight divergence from this persona means that a black man is either gay or not REALLY black.
Black people, and especially black men, are prescribed fewer painkillers when diagnosed with the same levels of pain as their white counterparts. How much of that is the residual misconception that we feel less pain since we were partially beasts of burden? People are more afraid of us. We’re more virile than other ethnicities. Many of the lynching victims over the years were tortured and hanged to avenge the honor of innocent white women that they had allegedly accosted with their uncontrollable, subhuman libido. Emmitt Till didn’t even touch a woman. He supposedly just whistled. In other cases, the “innocent white victim” never existed. Birth of a Nation solidified this idea, and it plays out up to today. “Once you go black…” is both a phrase of braggadocio and an ominous threat. If you look at any of the reports of unarmed black men, women, boys, and girls in the last five years, be they law enforcement or chubby assholes who were “standing their ground”, They all said that that they felt intimidated by them due merely because of their victims’ dress or stance. Trayvon Martin was wearing a hoodie on a cold night. Darren Wilson said that Mike Brown had “Superman strength”. Troy Davis’s murderer claimed he felt threatened, and continued to posit that Davis and his friends were likely going to do something bad had he not shot them. He called himself a hero. They were sitting in a car. Renesha McBride was knocking on a door to get help when she got shot. Sandra Bland was taken into custody because she was mad about being stopped, and she voiced it. Meanwhile, white men with assault rifles strapped to their bodies roam Texas without anyone raising an eyebrow.
A teenage boy wearing a dress is not a threat to the black community. Aversion to him is a distraction to the real threats to the black community. Rick Snyder never wore a dress (in public), and he helped to poison an entire city under his care. George Zimmerman wore pants. None of the state legislators who helped pass laws that effectively disenfranchised thousands of people in Kentucky, North Carolina, Georgia, etc. donned women’s wear. All of these things were done by men in pants. Also, they are men who simultaneously worked to keep rights away from the very homosexual people and trans people that you claim are “taking away” your masculinity. They are still legislating to keep women from having control over their own bodies. It would make sense that you seek allies in people attacked by the same adversary.

If you are a black man, you should examine exactly what it is to be masculine, and if it is dependent on homophobic tropes. There is nothing wrong with masculinity and bravado, but we should also know that it has been defined and redefined throughout human history. Men cried in ancient Greece, Rome, and even in what is now Uganda and Nigeria. They had homosexual partnerships, and it did not take away from their manhood or ability to be warriors. Today, modern black masculinity is ok, but only if it does not involve making us less than human or waging social war on others to edify it.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

#FlintWaterCrisis and #BlackLivesMatter

I really cannot decide which is more infuriating: that no one has been charged with criminal negligence in the #FlintWaterCrisis, or that the effects of lead poisoning are the same negative stereotypes foisted on poor and black people? Lead poisoning affects a person’s developmental skills, especially in children. People poisoned by lead are less likely to be able to handle complex problem solving necessary in school. They do not handle emotions as well. They do not mature. They are more likely to lash out in violence, so their penchant for criminality is higher. There are over 100,000 residents in Flint, 9,000 of them are children. It is a majority black, poor, and working class. In 10 years, when those children are getting lower test scores in school and being relegated to special ed classes by administrators who just don’t want to deal with their behavior issues, I’m-not-racist-but racists and I’m-better-than-you racists, and basically every person on a couch at Fox News, will point to Flint to justify their prejudices and veiled bigoted views, not acknowledging that half a decade earlier the entire city was poisoned.

This all could have been avoided when researchers warned in 2011 a Snyder-appointed financial manager that changing the water supply to Flint River water would require a $100/day water treatment to prevent corrosion and lead poisoning. But his assignment was to cut the budget “at any cost”, so the only colored people he cared about were the little green dead presidents. In 2014, Flint River water was used without anti-corrosion agents. Even when the water was coming out smelly and brown, Flint officials ignored the residents and claimed it was fine. Even when Detroit offered to reconnect to their system, Flint officials declined and continued to charge their residents for contaminated water. Even when the EPA, VA Tech, and a local pediatrician said that the water was too highly lead-poisoned to consume, officials all the way up to the governor’s office dismissed the reports. that is four times that officials actively ignored the welfare of Flint citizens in order to save a little bit of money.

This is why there’s a #BlackLivesMatter movement. It was never about saying only black people matter, as many would have you think. It is a reminder that black lives are here too, and dismissing their concerns lead to things like this. You wonder why people are in the streets blocking traffic holding #BlackLivesMatter signs. Cases like Flint are why. Whenever someone recalls atrocities like the Tuskegee Experiment and redlining neighborhoods, people say, “That was another time, and it’s over, so get over it!” Thanks to hyper-edited history books, though, These things are no longer learned in school, though, and as we can see in Flint, history WILL repeat itself. Slavery is being edited out of textbooks now. Black history matters, because it is American history. Our ancestors came here and built this country just as much as white people’s ancestors did, albeit ours was primarily an involuntary migration. Our story needs to be heard, as it is still everyone’s story. I seldom hear people who bring up the Holocaust or  9/11 being told to “get over it”. We discuss these topics openly and acknowledge their horror. The second someone talks about their Freedom Rider grandparents, though, they are admonished for bringing up dark times. Those dark times are OUR times. We all grew from something, including the bad parts. Ignoring the badness doesn’t make you better. It makes you repeat it again and again. Stop trying to diminish something just because it makes you feel icky. There is no excuse for another Tuskegee or Flint to happen in the 21st Century.

Flint is one of many cities affected drastically by the auto industry collapse. While all this water crisis happening, Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor, cities of similar class with proportionally inverse population of people with melanin, are ranked high in economic growth and investment after their prime industry was gutted. Flint will continue to be poor, because they are still paying for poisoned water. The people of Dearborn are sending water to Flint out of the kindness of their hearts, something they should never have had to do. Dearborn, MI has a high Muslim population, you know, that group that a certain presidential candidate thinks should not be allowed in the country. He hasn’t sent any aid to Michigan, though, not that it is his job, but if he becomes president, it will be.

We should all be mad about the water crisis, not because the Flint residents are poor and black and have been ignored, but because the people of Flint are residents of Michigan, which is in the United States, and their state actively slowly killed citizens and residents to save money. When a state can poison its citizens and ignore their concerns for the sake of saving a little bit of money and not go to jail for it, yet armed militants can walk into a federal building and hold it hostage, vandalizing people’s hard-sought research with no law enforcement intervention, there is a problem, whether you wish to acknowledge it or not. But, like the Flint water problem, continuing to ignore the social problem will just make it grow larger; don’t act surprised when it is in your face.

Friday, January 8, 2016

The Definition of an Ankh Nigga

You are young, black, and you want to be successful in the world. You also see a lot of obstacles, and you want to overcome them, be a productive part of your community, and help uplift those after you, but you do NOT want to compromise your identity, your community’s identity. You don’t want to simply assimilate into mainstream society as if you’re a male angler fish attached to a female, melting away into the shiny, toothy beast that is American Society. You make it a point to be “woke”, to not just be complacent about BS you see in the world, to call it out, and to speak to it, all while trying to be an example to others to be a good man. Do all of that. You’ll make yourself and everyone around you proud. Just don’t become an Ankh Nigga.
I have been using the term “Ankh Nigga/Negro” a lot lately. White friends, you’re probably asking right now, “What is an ‘ankh n-word’? Can I say it using the real word and not ‘n-word’?” I will be happy to tell you, and hell no. You know exactly why. In fact, I just assume that your eyes can’t even see the word, that you automatically scan a page and see “n-word”, like some sort of race Predator vision.
I was going to explain what an Ankh Nigga is to the tune of Tupac Shakur’s “Definition of a Thug Nigga”, but given the subject matter, I thought it not appropriate to define to the tune of someone who was convicted of sexual assault.
An Ankh Nigga can easily be mistaken for a Conscious Brother. A Conscious Brother is a black man who studies up on more than just what they learn in school, who strive to enlighten their fellow black colleagues, who go out into the world and remind everyone of the greatness of black American culture, whether it be through activism, art, writing, or what-have-you. Ankh Niggas claim to do all this, and sometimes they actually do a few of these things, but at the same time think that their “enlightenment” and fight for their people includes disseminating false information that is easily researchable, defending absolutely everyone black man under public scrutiny (except for  Alan Keyes and Clarence Thomas) by way of conspiracy theories and rumor, and exalting black woman and putting them on pedestals as if they were fine China (they’d call it “fine Africa”) while at the same time being hyper-judgemental of their every move. If they don’t fit a narrow, civil rights saintly image, complete with afro halo, the Ankh Nigga will deem them trash. Ankh Niggas’ “Consciousness” is often at the expense of putting down everyone who is not a black heterosexual man, to include black women who don’t wear their hair naturally, homosexual and transexual people of color, and of course, The White Man™. It is as if they would be conscious, were it not for their abject misogyny, homophobia, and ultra-masculine heteronormativity.
Ankh Niggas are called this because of their penchant to be obsessed with Egyptian history and lore. There is an ankh somewhere on their body. A Conscious Brother might rock an Ankh, but he at least knows the many meanings of it, and he knows that the symbol was found in cultures as far as Mesopotamia and Persia. An Ankh Nigga will talk a big game about Africa, but his mental map of Africa is Egypt, and the Rest of It. A Conscious Brother can likely list off at least 45 of the 54 countries of Africa, and can likely tell you which of those countries has had a woman as head of state at least once. Ankh Niggas will throw out a few random Swahili terms, but likely knows little to nothing of Igbo, Yoruba, Congo, Fulani, or any other native African tongue that African American ancestors likely spoke. A Conscious Brother may not know many of these languages, but he can at least tell you from whence in Africa they came, beyond just The Rest of It. Ankh Niggas also have a few African masks in their houses, but on further inspection, you realize they got them from the deep jungles of Pier One Imports. Conscious Brothers may not have any African masks in his house, because depending on where he lives, the only way to acquire an authentic one would be to go through a dealer who may or may not have appropriated them fairly, and he does not want to participate in the black market that siphons away important pieces of culture to indigenous groups without knowing that it is explicitly consented by said group. Ankh Nigga’s kinte cloth may have a pattern like “Made in China” on it, but the Conscious Brother will order direct from Ivory Coast. Ankh Niggas and Conscious Brothers are the Goofus and Gallant of black activists.
Conscious Brothers look at a point in history and question the pristine view that usually prevails in history books. For example, a Conscious Brother might point out that Andrew Beard was a black engineer in 1897 who invented two significant improvements to the modern Janney Coupler for train cars. This made rail transportation safer and has been put into play for years to come. An Ankh Nigga may tell you that, but he will more than likely tell you that the wrench was invented by Joe Jackson while in prison, and they call it a “monkey wrench”, because The White Man™ wanted to insult the black inventor. First of all, it was Jack Johnson who invented a wrench while incarcerated, but not THE wrench. Yes, first black heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson invented something, Don’t underestimate the intellect of athletes. Second, Loring Coes invented the monkey wrench before Jack Johnson was champion of walking and feeding himself. All this is easily researchable, but since the bogus Jack Johnson story is one that canonizes a black man and vilifies The White Man™, the Ankh Nigga goes for the lie. The funny thing is that a real vilifying story is that Jack Johnson was arrested for having a relationship with a white woman, but that would mean the Ankh Nigga would have to acknowledge that a hero of American black history consorted with white people.
When speaking to women, a Conscious Brother may randomly use a term like “Sister”, or “ma’am”, or “miss”, or just use their goddamn names. An Ankh Nigga will speak of hoisting black women on pedestals and treating them like queens. He will claim to cherish his “black queen” beyond anyone. In fact, he will call a woman “Queen”, mostly in order to get in her pants, because that’s how you become one and enlightened too! The next day, though, he will talk shit about one woman’s perm, another one’s choice of dress, and another one’s profession, if it is not one of which the Ankh Nigga “approves”. He enjoys contrasting Angela Davis and Bree Newsome against Nikki Minaj or Gangsta Boo, because the latter talk about and flaunt their...assets...whenever they get a chance. You definitely want to exalt your civil rights leaders, but if you are doing so by shaming black women who show off their bodies, you’re doing it wrong. The Ankh Nigga will claim that the latter are not “real women”, because he feels that he is in a position to say who gets to be deemed a woman. No one has to like a certain type of music or patronize a strip club or ogle women in videoes, but owning and controlling one’s body and sexuality is a privilege that was taken away from women, especially black women. Black women have been treated like Hottentot Venuses even before Saartjie Baartman was born. Now, after a history of being controlled, they hold some power in what they should have always owned. I am not saying that black women who flaunt themselves, be they singers, actors, or adult performers, are intentionally taking back what was psychologically and physically taken from them for hundreds of years. They may not be Sexual Rosa Parks, but a woman owning and controlling what she does with her body deserves as much respect as a woman who climbed a flagpole to cut down an American Swastika from a state house lawn. Actually, they both deserve respect because they are both human, and you don’t know their personal history. Quit Ankhin’.
A Conscious Brother can see shards of his struggle for equal rights in other people’s struggle. He may not explicitly ally with other groups, but he doesn’t get in their way when they march, and he doesn’t say inane things like, “We can’t help anyone else until we get ours!” This is a bad practice for activism and sex, and in both cases, you will wind up sad and alone. The Ankh Nigga takes the Goofus approach, and in many cases, he puts down other people’s causes as invalid, saying that they will destroy his precious black community. Specific targets may be the LGBT community. We  all now know that gay people have been around since people have been around. They may only be 5-10% of the population, but to claim that they are tearing apart black families is ludicrous. Your family’s buying into the thought that homosexuals have some devious plan to turn everyone into a pink rhinoceros (or whatever the conspiracy is this week) is what is tearing apart the black family. The Ankh Nigga probably won’t admit that back in the time of Hannibal, sexuality was more fluid for both men and women, and today’s climate is slowly leaning back toward sexual fluidity. He will NEVER admit that Bayard Rustin, good friend and speech writer for Martin Luther King, Jr, was openly gay, and that he was an ardent activist in both black and gay rights movements. That would shatter the armor of his fragile, subjection-based masculinity. Speaking of fragile masculinity, the Ankh Nigga will most likely post and repost about #BlackLivesMatter, but he will never pick up a sign that says #TransLivesMatter, even though of the 20+ transgender women who were murdered in 2015, nearly all of them were black or brown women. I suppose #BlackLivesMatter, but only if they fit the Ankh Nigga’s binary view of gender and sexuality. This will explain why he will talk of the danger of Jaden Smith wearing a dress and how he’d beat his kid if he came out, yet he will not reconcile the fact that a lot of African cultures had unisex clothing, often consisting of a form of sarong, which is essentially an elaborate dress. His precious Egyptians didn’t even wear pants.
The Ankh Nigga will go on for days about how there are no positive images of black men on television, and how it is now frowned upon to be masculine, all because of a Homosexual Agenda®, and therefore we’re lost. That is because his masculinity is so delicate that anyone pointing out that he derives it from a point of chauvinism instead of actual brotherhood will be deemed an agent of the Homosexual Agenda®. It’s funny, because if his masculinity were actually strong, it would stand a few questions about from whence it came, and not depend on oppression of others. There are and were agendas that are detrimental to the black community that the Ankh Nigga claims to love so much. The redlining of communities prevented black families from getting homes in better neighborhoods, or even getting loans to attain said homes. This cordoned us off into specific communities where it was difficult to work and be stable. There is also the disparate rate of arrests and the harsher punishment of black men for certain crimes, especially nonviolent drug offenses. One cannot forget the effects of deliberately racist policies, like Jim Crow and chattel slavery. To this day, there are still people who think that black people are too stupid, lecherous, and/or physically strong to control. This feeds into the idea that we are so impervious that sometimes physicians will not prescribe us treatments for pain that they would for lighter hued people. They second-guess us at work, or are surprised when we get our work done on time. At worse\t, when we are unarmed and shot, a primary excuse is that we essentially looked “scary”, with Superman strength or animal powers. These are a few things that are ACTUALLY detrimental to the black community in America.  The Homosexual Agenda® did not perpetuate these myths, but the Ankh Nigga will continue maintain that the guy who likes to kiss guys is destroying his home. He also will not speak of the TRUE damage to African and African American societies in relation to homosexuality and gender non-conformity: adherence to religious interpretations fed to those communities by American and European missionaries that espouse hatred and death for all non-straight people. People are being lynched and burned alive in Rest of It, all fueled by the rhetoric of those missionaries who planted and cultivated a view of sexuality that made any binary outlier a tool of the Devil. The Ankh Nigga will not admit that this is the seed of his homophobia though; that would mean admitting that he received something from The White Man™.
The most annoying thing that the Ankh Nigga does is ardently defend every single black man who comes under any public scrutiny. In some cases, it is justified. Many of the clap aimed at Barack Obama deserves some clap back…perhaps not the drone strikes and not closing Guantanamo Bay after promising to do it in a year. However, some people need no ardent defense. When Dr. Benjamin Carson speaks, just let him speak. Critics of him are not criticizing him because he is a successful black doctor. They are criticizing him because he is either a liar, or despite his prowess at cutting people open, his is a fucking moron. The Ankh Nigga will ignore that Carson said that the Pyramids were really grain silos, even though nothing but dead people and their belongings were found in them. Being the source of the ankh, one would think that the Ankh Nigga would be more defensive of all things Egypt, but since a black man said it, he let it slide and go after the historians, who know what the hell they’re talking about. Any time a black man gets into legal trouble, the Ankh Nigga will defend him so hard. If a famous black man is in trouble, it MUST be a conspiracy concocted by The White Man™ to “keep the brother down”. It couldn’t possibly be that some successful black men make some mistakes. The White Man™ didn’t go undercover as pit bulls and convince Michael Vick to have them fight each other. He did that on his own. The White Man™ also didn’t disguise itself as Tiger Woods’ penis and have affairs to break up his marriage. The White Man™ didn’t force Michael Jordan to gamble, or give Magic Johnson HIV, or make Cee-Lo Green roofie that woman, or make Wesley Snipes evade taxes, or force Mike Tyson to beat up his wife or rape that woman. Most recently, The White Man™ did not convince 50 women from different walks of life to come forward and concoct a story about being drugged and assaulted by Bill Cosby. It was not because he tried to buy NBC back in the 1980s. They did not wait over 30 years, in the twilight of his career to “take him down”. That is the lamest revenge plot ever. But the Ankh Nigga will cling to whatever conspiracy theory (or in this case, COSpiracy theory) to defend any black man in trouble. Oft times, this defense includes slut-shaming women from all walks of life. He will call them lying sluts. He will question their motives. He will ask why they didn’t come forward sooner. Even if they came forward the minute after they were assaulted, he will question how they got to a phone so quickly after being traumatized. No matter what it takes, they will be certain to completely trash a woman, even his ever exhalted black woman, to defend any successful black man. It is ironically almost homoerotic, his devotion to defending black men.
The Ankh Nigga’s conspiracy theories about The White Man® are actually an insult to the conspiracies that The White Man® actually did perpetuate. The Tuskegee Experiment was a plot to use black men and women as guinea pigs by deliberately giving them syphilis and testing the results. The forced sterilization of some poor and imprisoned folk was another covert attack. Redlining communities was a President-approved plot. One of the crown jewels of conspiracies by The White Man® was the FBI’s COINTELPRO. It was purported to be an anti-communist task force, but it was really an excuse for Hoover’s FBI to tear apart every civil rights group that promoted racial or gender equality, sometimes from the inside. Hoover even tried to blackmail Martin Luther King, Jr with evidence of his infidelity. Even with that, Martin Luther King ACTUALLY did cheat on his wife, but King didn’t budge. His civil rights reputation is still intact today, though. Sadly, The Ankh Nigga will continue to cling to the fantastic, and not the real.
This is gymnastic twisting and bending is not often afforded to successful black women. The Ankh Nigga will continue to critique Halle Barry and her relationships even though he is probably single. He will not come to Oprah Winfrey’s defense, but he will feed into the lesbian/beard rumors, or just talk about her weight. As mentioned earlier, performing artists get much scorn from the Ankh Nigga, since they don’t fit the civil rights nun image that he fantasizes women civil rights activists fit. When he does speak of black women, if it’s not about talking about how she is the queen of the universe, it’s usually about how fine she is, but both are in objectifying terms. He thinks he sounds intelligent and complimentary, but he just sounds like every other person expressing the male gaze in words. There is nothing wrong with looking at the person that one likes and expressing interest, but the Ankh Nigga does not know how to actually do it respectfully.
So sally forth, young black man. By all means, uplift your community. Uplift your race. Uplift your world. Just don’t fall into the traps of an Ankh Nigga. There are more countries in Africa than Egypt. You can call the black woman a queen if you like, but treat her like a person, not a piece of porcelain. Fight for equality, but not by stomping on another group of people who had nothing to do with your community’s ills. Defend public figures who get a bad raps, but acknowledge that everyone is human, and sometimes, they actually DID do something bad. Here is a simple test: if you call yourself a civil rights activist, but your form of activism involves putting down certain people in (or adjacent to) your community, then you are an Ankh Nigga. Stop Ankhin’.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Almost Tuesday 01/04/2016: Taxonomy of Pander Bears

CHRIS: Hey Woody. Let’s talk about bears. Can you think of any types of bear?
WOODY: I like Koalas!
CHRIS: OK, technically a marsupial, but I’ll take it.
KARA: I love red pandas! They’re so cute!
CHRIS: Um…OK, the red panda isn’t a bear either. It’s in it Ailuridae family, under the super family that includes weasels and skunks…
MALCOLM: I like woolybears!
CHRIS: Oh, come on! That’s a type of caterpillar! You’re not even trying now!
KARA: I miss Mike Barry…
CHRIS: …Yeah, me too. Well, I’m going to give some examples of actual bears. There’s the giant panda, the North American black bear, the grizzly, and my favourite, the Pander Bear!
WOODY: Wait, you said panda twice.
CHRIS: No no, not panda bear, PANDER BEAR. It’s a rare breed of bear that never hibernates. It is usually more active about 6 months before an election, and then it gets more and more aggressive with its mating attempts closer to primaries. They like to mate with other species of bears.
WOODY: What the hell?
CHRIS: You look confused. Let me give you a few examples. There are a few subspecies of Pander Bears. For example, The West coast Fiorina often fails at all its efforts. It will cost 1,000s of people their livelihoods, get kicked out of its cave, and fail at competitions with other pander bears. It also repeats false statements about how baby bears are born, and no amount of truth will sway its path.
WOODY: That sounds like a path to self-destruction.
CHRIS: Yeah, it’s not the best Pander Bear in the world. There’s also the Bear Carson. It migrates from Detroit to Baltimore. People thought it was a high-functioning mammal, but the roars that come out of its mouth as of late show that it may be the dumbest bear known to man. It actually quacks.
WOODY: There is no way any bear would follow it! It quacks!
CHRIS: You’d be surpised…
WOODY: I think I’ve seen this type of bear before. Is the Central Texas CruzBear a Pander Bear?
CHRIS: Well, yes, but come on, Woody, let’s be honest. It’s a Cuban Canadian Pander Bear. It only migrated to Texas. There should be a Bearther movement. It is not well-liked, and it panders to heavily coated, most hunkered down cave bears. Its temperament is the worst. Former cavemates of the Canadian Cuban Pander Bear could not stand its presence. He’s worse than the Cuban Florida Rubiear.
WOODY: What other Pander Bears are there?
CHRIS: Well, there’s the New Jersey Christie Bear. It does a lot of pandering in Iowa, but it’s mostly known for making bears migrating to New York for the summer constipated, stopping them in their tracks.
WOODY: Gross.
CHRIS: And a really dangerous bear is the Huckabear.
WOODY: The Huckabear? But it’s so cute and fluffy!
CHRIS: The Huckabear is toxic and poisonous! One touch of a Huckabear will kill the average reasonably thinking human. The most dangerous Pander Bear, though, is the North Astoria Bloviating Trump Bear. It disguises itself as an angry potato with a dead mangy fox on its head. Its breath is very hot, but its roar sounds horrible and has no real substance to it, but it makes the whitest of polar bears follow him to the ends of the earth! The more horrible it sounds, the more extreme the polar bears get!
WOODY: That has to be the worst Pander Bear ever!
CHRIS: Oh no. The Bloviating Trump Bear is pretty terrible, but it’s not the worst Pander Bear out there. The very worst is the Hillary Bear. This bear panders so much, it is nearly nauseating. I mean, we get that you’re a pander bear, but Come one!
WOODY: Ooooh, I think I’ve heard of this bear. Isn’t that the bear who was born in the Midwest, but  it tried to pass itself off as a Southern Muskrat, but the next year migrated north and pretended to be a  North Atlantic Bear?
CHRIS: Yes! She changed her growl and everything! And she became a Hispander bear and tried to get Central and South American Brown Bears to follow her. Now she’s going hard for Black Bears! You know she painted a picture of Rosa Parks on herself for the anniversary of her arrest on a bus? But she painted it on her HIND LEGS! Why not on the front haunches??? And she does the same thing EVERY Pander Bear does, just has a black bear at her side in the corner whenever she walks through the forest! And just last week, she repainted her fur red, black and green, in honor of Kwanzaa! KWANZAA! How much pandering can one bear do? Black bears don’t even celebrate Kwanzaa! They just put it out there to make polar bears feel guilty abou-
MALCOLM: Uhuhuh! Um…
CHRIS: Oh, right. Kwanzaa is an African American holiday that celebrates the richness and culture of the African Diaspora.
WOODY: Wait, what were you saying about polar bears feeling guilty?
MALCOLM: Nothing. Kwanzaa is the first specifically African-American holiday, derived from the Swahili phrase, “Matunde ya Kwanzaa”, which means, “First Fruits of the Harvest”.
WOODY: OK, that’s great, but can you finish the part about the polar bears? Or…
CHRIS: Yeah…see, The Hillary Bear is incessant with pandering, but is really bad at it, too. There’s a New England Bernie Bear that roams Vermont that panders like no one’s business, but he’s so casual about it, you hardly notice it. Did you see the picture taken of him with a genuine Atlanta Killer Mike?
WOODY: A genuine Killer Mike? Amazing!
CHRIS: I know! We all knew the Bernie Bear was pandering, but it was so nonchalant. And I hear there’s an O’Malley Pander Bear, but it is so bad at pandering, I fear it will die out pretty soon. The Hillary Bear, though, is over the top! Whenever the Hillary Bear is around, I feel like the recipient of a bunch of drunk texts from someone I only had 2 coffee dates with, or that lady in that catcalling video! She’s all, “Here’s a sandwich”. And I’m like, “Thanks, I’ll eat it later”, and she’s, “Did you eat the sandwich yet? Here’s another sandwich!” I’m just sitting there, saying, “I didn’t even eat the first sandwich!”  She’s all, “But I made a sandwich, I hear that’s what you like. Eat the sandwich!” And I’m all, “I NEVER ASKED FOR A SANDWICH!!!!”
KARA: Um…Chris, if you didn’t like my sandwiches, you could have just told me.
CHRIS: …I’m bad at communicating.

Almost Tuesday 12/22/2015: The Real War on Christmas

Mikey Heller's on this show! And we talk about the War on Christmas!

CHRIS: Kara and I just got here from the mall.
WOODY: Doing a little last minute shopping? I thought you were Jewish. And Kara, you’re agnostic!
we are. But we’re part of an elite team. We’re agents in a clandestine operation to eradicate the pomposity of the season.
WOODY: No…You mean…
KARA: That’s right, Woody. There is an actual War on Christmas. We’ve been fighting it for years.
WOODY: But why? What do you have against Jesus?
CHRIS: Oh, we don’t have anything against the magical love child. We actually think he’s a generally nice person. We just sabotage all those things that people hold dear about Christmas.
KARA: Honestly, it’s just kind of fun.
CHRIS: I got a bunch of kids to organize an #OccupyNorthPole protest the Elf on a Shelf, accusing him of being an operative for the NSA. Kara switched all the cups in coffee shops to red and green cups. People lost their minds!
WOODY: Wait...that was you???
CHRIS: Yup. Add the black of the coffee, and you have bonafide Kwanzaa cups. And people thought it was some anti-Christmas thing! It was totally a “Day After Christmas” thing.
KARA: Also, when people wish me “Happy Holidays”, I wish them “Happy Kwanzaa”.
WOODY: I see. I guess #BlackHolidaysMatter, huh?
KARA: We’ll dispense the jokes here, buddy.
CHRIS: I went to the mall and replaced all of the Christmas Tree ornaments with Stars of
David and dreidels. Jesus WAS Jewish, after all.
KARA: I switched the labels of the Christmas music and Kendrick Lamar at my parents’ house.
CHRIS: We both took all night to set people’s autocorrect to change any mention of “Merry
Christmas” to “Happy Holidays”.
KARA: We also snuck a fun fact about a Christmas icon into people’s toy shopping bags!
WOODY: What “fun fact”?
CHRIS: Well, did you know that St. Nicholas is the patron saint of children?
WOODY: Of course. Everybody knows that.
CHRIS: Did you also know he’s the patron saint of prostitutes?
KARA: Yeah. Kind of brings a whole new meaning to the phrase, “Ho, Ho, Ho.”
CHRIS: I hired a group of chronic stutterers to sing “12 Days of Christmas” at my office party. 4 people died of fatigue.
KARA: Yeah, we weren’t too proud of that one.
CHRIS: No…But at the same party, I brought Gingerbread cookies, but I baked them with
kosher salt.
WOODY: Um…People died!
CHRIS: They were middle management! No one will miss them. Kara dressed up like Jesus with a single tear drop, holding a birthday cake, and stood next to the mall Santa.
KARA: Whenever someone sings “White Christmas”, I have people chant, “#BlackChristmasMatters”, and start playing Kendrick Lamar. Especially at GOP debates.
WOODY: Well, after saying things like, “Make America Great Again”, and, “Take Our Country Back”, “White Christmas” sounds a little…”Ku Kluxy”…at those debates.
CHRIS: Starting the day after Thanksgiving, we not only spell the next holiday Xmas, we also replace any mention of “Christ” in names with X. So Xopher, Xine, Xal…
WOODY: But that X is an abbreviation from 1000 years ago, because the X resembles a cross…
KARA: I know that, and YOU know that, but people who get upset about these things don’t read.
CHRIS: I told the neighbor’s kid that Christmas is all about the birth of Yeezus. Now he thinks that a Kardashian is going to come down the chimney and break his internet.
KARA: Remember when you told kids that the Keystone Pipeline would go right through Santa’s workshop? Those kids wouldn’t leave their parents alone until they started lobbying against it!
WOODY: Well, there were some environmental concerns over the pipeline anyway...
CHRIS: Yeah, that was a good one. And when people started singing, “Baby It’s Cold Outside”, you interrupted by saying, “NO MEANS NO!”
WOODY: Actually, consent culture is a very important thing to promote…
KARA: I called the Human Rights Campaign and had them investigate the working conditions of Santa’s workshop. 1,000 elves were freed from forced labor!
WOODY: …So you helped them…
CHRIS: I convinced a kid in line to see a mall Santa to ask him for peace on earth
instead of gifts.
KARA: And convinced a bunch of kids in a toy store to give all their gifts to poor children.
WOODY: Well, those are just kind of nice. It teaches kids to be more thoughtful and less selfish.
KARA: One time, we collected a bunch of coats and left them on a homeless shelter’s doorstep with a note that said, “Love, Santa”. Now those suckers think Santa did it!
CHRIS: I snuck into an orphanage one time and dumped a bunch of toys in the hallway,
blocking it! They had to unwrap them to get down the stairs.
KARA: Remember when we had an ugly sweater party, but no one could get in unless they brought a canned good for the local food bank?
WOODY: Hold on, guys! Most of these pranks are not really war-like. All you’re doing is pointing long forgotten things about the season and making people acknowledge that there are other holidays in the season. Except for that office 12 Days of Christmas prank. You should probably go to jail for that.
CHRIS: Middle management, Woody. No jury would convict me.
WOODY: the point is, most of the stuff you say you did, no one should be offended or hurt by it. You gave toys to orphans! You gave food and clothes to people who most needed it! They call this the Season of Giving, and it’s to celebrate a Middle Eastern man who loved everyone unconditionally, fed to the poor, healed the sick, and berated the greed of capitalism, and then was publicly beaten down because of his outspokenness!
KARA: Actually, Barack Obama is from Hawaii…
WOODY: Not him!
CHRIS: Well who else? The Pope lives in Europe
KARA & CHRIS: Ohhhhhhh. [BOTH OF US MAKE AFFIRMING RIDICULOUS STATEMENTS LIKE, “I knew Jesus has never been to Hawaii”, AND, “I like crunchy peanut butter.”]
WOODY: Your tactics just seem like a lot of good-hearted fun, and parts of it it benefit the disadvantaged. You’re emulating the holiday that you’re trying to subvert. It sounds like your “War on Xmas” is a “Campaign FOR Xmas”.
KARA: Well, except for those for people that died. Yeah, Chris, you should probably go to jail for that.
CHRIS. Middle. Management. Besides, no one ever liked Steve in HR.

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