Thursday, February 16, 2017

At The Grammys, Beyonce Got the Clinton Treatment

Imagine busting your ass from your teenage years to get successful. You put in immense work. You break a few rules along the way. At certain points, you carve your own path. You completely change the game, and because of it, you come out on top. If you’re a dude, then this is your success story. However, if you’re a woman, you might hit that ceiling and then fall right back down. Such is the way of politics.
Look at Barack Obama. His entire life is an anomaly. His name is Barack HUSSEIN Obama, and he won TWO presidential elections, all in the midst of the most ridiculous Islamophobia in the our nation’s history. Not everyone like him, but he left on top.
Hillary Clinton carved her own path, too. She even put her career on hold for 8 years, and she caught shade from every direction. She revved her career back up, and she got shade for doing that. She dealt with her husband’s infidelity, and she caught shade for staying with him. She became Secretary of State and People freaked out about her emails and Benghazi, neither “scandal” of which was actually as grave as the old white men who lost their shit about them made them out to be. SHe ran for President twice, and the second time, she actually got 2.9 million more votes than her opponent, and she STILL lost. Even now, she’s been low key, and people are talking shit about her NOT being in the public eye in the presidential aftermath. She’s damned if she does, damned if she doesn’t.
The Grammy judges this year treated Beyonce the way America treated Hillary Clinton for the last 25 years. She was up for 9 awards, and she won 2. She essentially went head to head with Adele, and even ADELE said that she didn’t deserve to win as many as she did. You know something's up when one of your COMPETITORS says something is up.
I would say that this is just how award shows go: often nominated, but seldom won. However, there was another trailblazer who chose his own path and didn’t follow conventional rules in the music industry who won big. Chance the Rapper won three of the 7 awards for which he was nominated. Chance’s wins were well deserved. If you follow him, you know he released all his albums as “mixtapes”, and he put them on streaming/downloading sites for free. He’s not on a label, either. He is the definition of independent. I am not sure if there were any “industry” rules that he followed in his career, but it’s been working for him, because he’s seen everywhere from SXSW to Kit Kat commercials. He was rewarded for his work.
Beyonce, on the other hand, did not go a conventional route to release Lemonade. As beyonce does, she released it in the dead of night, as if she were a Tooth Fairy Songstress. The music was accompanied by an album long video that could only be seen on a few platforms. She even did a country-style song, and it was dope! For all her efforts, the music execs who decide who wins a Grammy dragged her. They accused her of trying to “run the table”, because she didn’t use a major label, she blazed her own trail in production and distribution, and she didn’t stick to just R&B.
There is some great irony in the proprietors of an award show that praises creativity admonishing someone for being creative. I’m not even a big fan of Beyonce, and I see how she got snubbed. Lemonade was fire. To say that she was too ambitious because she made a rock/country song? BLACK PEOPLE MADE ROCK AND COUNTRY. There would be no “American Music Industry” without black people, and to say that a black person is “overstepping her boundaries” by making a song in the style of something her predecessors created? Utter bullshit.

Regardless, Beyonce will be all right. She is one half (60%) of a power couple. She has twins on the way, and when those children grow up, I expect that they’ll form a supergroup with Blue Ivy and take over the world, so long as there IS still a world to overtake.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Racism vs RACISM

Oh, @thenewyorker22...1
We need to have a talk about racism, but also RACISM. Too many people seem to have a hard time parsing the two, and it is getting to be annoying. Some guy named Matt L. accused me of being RACIST, on the night before Holocaust Remembrance Day of all days. He then blocked me instead of elaborating how I am RACIST…this may have been likely because he was scared of me after I told him to sleep on what he did and approach me with respect. You know how scary Negroes are when they ask to be treated like humans! Two other friends accused me of thinking of them as “white devils”, which is just not true. I don’t think that white people are devils. Just those two people. For that reason, let’s talk about the difference between racism and RACISM.
Race is a system of categorization that developed ironically in the “Age of Enlightenment”. It equated skin hue with level of humanity, putting the lightest of skins on top and the darkest on the bottom. This system was used to excuse the invasion of lands and enslave or indiscriminately kill the indigenous people. Racism was then used to separate people of different hues and deny rights and treat darker people like zoo animals. Pseudoscience and twisted interpretation of religion have been used to make people in power not feel guilty about their harsh treatment of their subjugated people. In the US, the education gap, the economic gap, part (most) of the criminal justice system all have racism ingrained in them, and it has been this way since the US ratified a constitution that explicitly stated that a portion of the population are only 3/5 a human, and said nothing of women regardless of color. Racism is all a power structure. This is white supremacy. Purveyors of the thoughts that perpetuate systems of racism are racist. It’s about power. For this reason, people of color cannot be racist, as they do not have the systematic power to do so. Had Africans explored different lands and subjugated the rest of the world to their rule by making the excuse that paler people were inferior to darker people, THEN they would have the capacity to be racist. But that never happened, and we don’t live under a black supremacist rule, no matter how much people who hated Obama may claim. Don’t believe the hype. Or the Breitbart memes.
RACISM is that Merriam-Webster definition that people use to accuse me of being racist. The first definition you’ll find something to the effect of, “a belief that ‘race’ is the primary determinant of human behavioral traits and capacities and that these racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a specific ‘race’ over another”. It IS possible for anyone to think of their race to be superior to others, and to use pseudoscience, religion, or whatever they want to deem their “race” superior to another’s. REF: hoteps. So yes, it is possible for a person of color to be a RACIST. Before you jump for joy with smug satisfaction, read the ENTIRE RACISM meaning, because when you trail your eyes down a little bit farther after your victory dance, you’ll see another definition, which states that it is a doctrine or political system based on the assumption of one “race’s” superiority over another, and the residual social systems that stem from that doctrine, so basically the second paragraph I just wasted time writing. Let’s be clear: I don’t have any inherent power in the system, so I can’t be racist, and I have no illusions about black people being on a different plane than any other ‘race’, so I am not RACIST.
I tend to get called RACIST when I mention something that is racist. If I talk about something that is racist, like uneven sentences for criminals who did nearly the same crime and the only difference was skin hue, I’m not “injecting race”. Race was already in the equation. Your claim of me being a RACIST is falling on amused, albeit deaf, ears. I have been designated black for 39 years now, and I was educated in a school system before standards went to shit. I know how to critically think, and I can tell when something is a product of racism. I can tell the level of racism, from oblivious, “Oops, we forgot to include some POCs in this depiction of NYC. LOL” racism to “Hi, I’m Richard Spencer, and I would like to get punched in the face” racism to “I am now the President, and I derived my cabinet from watching ‘Birth of a Nation’ while masturbating to a picture of the Legion of Doom” racism. My experience trumps your hurt feelings and knee jerk reaction.

Do you accuse your doctor of giving you CANCER when she tells you that your smoking gave you lung cancer? That is basically the same train of thought when you call someone RACIST. I’m sure the doctor hates cancer. That doesn’t mean she hates the person with cancer. She didn’t INJECT cancer into a conversation about your health. The cancer was there already from you chain-smoking while living on a boathouse on Radiation Lake. I hate racism, and more specifically, white supremacy. Hating white supremacy =/= hating white people. So keep accusing me of being RACIST all you want. When you accuse a person of color of being RACIST when they are talking about racism, you’re just showing that you didn’t really listen to them, you are uncomfortable with discussion of racism, and/or you want to silence the conversation instead of facing difficult issues. That is slightly cowardly. Do better. Please. Our nation needs level heads...However, if you’re talking to a hotep, it’s legit to call them bigots or white supremacists.

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