Sunday, April 15, 2018

Fifty Years, Little Progress

On April 4 the social media world lit up with quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. On the 50th anniversary of his death it seemed like everyone was pulling for a society of justice and equality. Less than two weeks later there is a blatant reminder that there has been little progress made in those 50 years. In the 1960s Black people were regularly denied service at restaurants across the country. In 2018- this week, in fact- the Philadelphia police were called because two Black men were waiting for their friend in a Starbucks. Read that again.

Two Black men walked into a Starbucks. It sounds like the beginning of a tasteless joke. It wasn't a joke, but the behavior that was exhibited by the staff of this establishment was definitely tasteless. So, two guys walk into a Starbucks, tell a staff member that they are waiting for a friend and ask to use the restroom. They were denied access to the restroom and told that since they had yet to order anything, they should leave. Now listen: at this point in the story, I am already pissed off. To add insult to injury, the young men asked why they were being told to leave and a Starbucks employee CALLED THE POLICE. The police came- first two, then four, then six. The men were arrested-- even after their friend showed up-- held for hours and released without being charged. Because why? They didn't want to order overpriced coffee before their family friend got there? Oh, ok.  

A million times over, minorities tell folks that our experiences are not like anyone else's-- and time after time, y'all ask for proof that we don't just fly off the handle, or demand too much. This exchange was captured on video and posted to Twitter. The White woman that was sitting next to these men posted that they were doing absolutely nothing wrong and the police were called for no reason. She has taken Starbucks to task, stating publicly that the men were doing exactly what she has done before-- waiting for a friend. Uh, we have ALL done that before. I have had job interviews at Starbucks for goodness sake. Starbucks is THE meeting place. At the mall, in school, before study group, after a challenging meeting, or just someplace to talk shit about your crazy ass co-workers. So if you are known for being the meet up place, what exactly is the problem? Are you only allowed to meet up at Starbucks if you have your white friend in tow? Do those assholes have a quota for how many Black people can be waiting at a time? Why call the police? There was no scene, no raised voices. Why were six police officers necessary?  

We pretend like society as a whole is super evolved. Some of y'all have the audacity to tell us that we live in a post racial society or that minorities don't have it hard... we are just too sensitive. You tell us that race relations is bad because of us-- because we want too much. You are the fulfillment of the delusional dreams of your grandparents, who 50 years ago were probably spouting the same bullshit. Fifty years have passed and I can't tell-- every day we lose men, women and children at the hands of the same muthafuckas who tried to be enlightened online on April 4th. I call bullshit. This is happening in broad daylight and the reason it continues is: not enough of y'all care because it isn't happening to you.

Monday, March 05, 2018

Oh Look, A Trade War

Last week, 45 took to Twitter (again) and started some unnecessary bullshit (again). Like every other hair brain idea he has, he followed up with some ridiculous argument that he is proud to have started this trade war and it is going to be good for the United States AND easy to win. I cannot believe that I have to type this, but trade wars are NOT good, for any country involved. Ever. I live in a state that is part of what folks call the "rustbelt" meaning that parts of Ohio was part of the once booming steel industry. Those areas are mostly desolate now. So when 45 talks about helping the steel industry, he is talking about parts of Ohio but his little plan isn't going to help Ohio or any other place in the rustbelt. Let's review a few things: 1. the United States of America operates in an international market, 2. the last time the US imposed tariffs it led to the Great Depression 3. we need a leader who can finesse a good deal, instead of being a fat, balding bully on the international stage. 

First: I know that everyone likes to think that the United States could make it on our own, but that ain't the way this party is set up. Our economy is tied to the economies of other countries, like it or not. Most notably we are tied to two countries that 45 is deadset on pissing off-- Mexico and Canada. When the US went through our recession, so did the rest of the world. We cannot just decide that we are going to make significant changes to our modus operandi and expect that we will make it out unscathed. Hell, as soon as 45 announced these new tariffs from hell OUR stock market plunged. It is like other people knew this latest policy change that flew out of his ass was not moving in the right direction. Honestly, the world market has been tied together since World War II... and for good reason. If 45 doesn't like the way that trade is handled with certain goods then he should invite diplomats to D.C. and talk about changing the present set up, like a normal fucking person. 

Second: 45 is what happens when people don't know the history of their country. I wish the assholes that voted for him could feel the wrath of this side-eye I am giving. Y'all. I mean, I know that at least SOME Americans know that Hoover was a President-- and a categorically bad one. He signed a "protectionist" tariff into law and guess what we got a year later? If you yelled out "The Great Depression" you would be right. That shit did not work in 1930 and it is not going work in 2018. If you want folks to use more American made steel and aluminum, make it easier and more cost effective for them to do so. Does 45 know exactly how many industries will be affected by his tariffs? Does he understand exactly what is going to happen to our economy? Do his supporters know that he is notorious for NOT using US Steel in his building projects? I mean, if I am being nice I would say that he doesn't understand much and certainly not the complexities of an economy where you can't just declare bankruptcy to solve your money problems. Hoover wasn't the only president that thought tariffs were the answer to our problems. Over and over again Republicans (W., Reagan, Nixon) have exposed us to tariffs that did not work. Why would anyone believe that this time would be any different?

Third: It takes a certain kind of person to be a politician... and there is a reason for that. Some folks are still acting like they voted for 45 because he was the anti-Washington guy. Yeah, ok... even if that was true (which it isn't but let's just pretend that it is) there is a reason why we gravitate to fucking smooth talking slicksters as our politicians. Ma'am, sir... those people talk and get shit done. They make it sound good. They make you feel good-- and they do the same thing to OTHER politicians. They compromise. That is how they get shit done. They aren't the bull in the china shop because they realize that situation only gives you a mess you have to clean up. Do you get it? That is the reason folks loved Barack. He was stable. Fucking smooth sailing most of the time. Shit, Bill Clinton could still sell ice to an Eskimo. Like it or not, American politics are not the advanced by coming to a decision when you are pissed off, writing it into law and SAYING that it is going to be great. That is not how this shit works. Fucking finesse me, man. But 45 can't... because his plan is shit and he knows it and so does everyone else. 

Starting a trade war will do nothing but hurt the United States. It will further break companies in the rustbelt. The economic fallout will be long-lasting. We are getting screwed by the president. Again. 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Not Bothered On Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day, my lovelies. Today I plan on hanging with my little family (hubs has the day off) and hopefully squeezing in a nap next to my very active toddler. That is all I want... nothing extravagant, just some lunch and a nap. It is the simple things, my friends. It is the simple things. 

I know that this is a rough day for some folks and I kind of want to address that. When I was single, I had a group of friends who could lead a "fuck Valentine's Day" parade. One year we ordered in and watched the same show, while talking to each other on the phone. Another year we went out the night before Valentine's and celebrated singleness. We found some comfort at the bottom of several shot glasses. Good times. But during all of those single years there was only one year where I really felt BAD about being single. One year out of 40, not bad. How does one make it to spinsterhood without feeling extremely rejected by everyone? Oh, I am so glad you asked!! 

There are three reasons why Valentine's Day never brought out a hot, Black and depressed chick... 1. I have always had a Valentine (Papa Hot, Black and Bitter). 2. Single is not forever. 3. NO matter what station you are at in life, trust me... someone wants what you have. 

The first two reasons why I was unbothered on Valentine's Day as a single are pretty self explanatory, but that third one is a doozy. Rest assured that on your worst day there is someone who would pay good money to be where you are. If being single is the worst thing that is going on in your life-- you have it made in the shade (mostly because number 2 is so very true-- single is not forever). Let's use me as an example. I am super comfortable with where I am in life right now. Shit is good. Life, for me, has been good. So, that one year when I really was down in the dumps on Valentine's Day... there was someone who would have felt lucky to be in my shoes. I think that is the case for almost all of us. While some of us are lamenting our single status, someone in a loveless relationship is wishing for carefree single days. When someone is at their wit's end with a toddler (and trust me, those days are REAL), there is someone WISHING for sweet times with a sweet baby. When there is someone bored to tears in a marriage, there is someone  who is craving the comfort of your routine. 

What you are looking for is coming. The person you are looking for is coming. But until they get to you... go out with your friends, have a couple drinks, buy yourself flowers, have a girl's weekend. Get your ass out there and have some fun. Happy Valentine's Day. 

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Soulful Sunday - I Work, Baby

This past week has been the first week of 2018 where I actually got some stuff done. We got back to Columbus on the first go January and Baby K came down with a cootie or two. Picture super clingy baby, exhausted mama, doctor visits, fevers, puke and poop. Yahoo, right? Not so much. 

Once we got from under that cloud I learned that another one of my friends passed away. One in December-- his memorial service was the second, and one in January... just a few days after his 46th birthday. The death of folks that you grew up with takes your breath away. Even if you know that they are ill, it is life altering to go to memorial services for people who are your age and have so much more life to live. 

So, I have been experiencing my own Private Idaho over here. But this last week, my mind has really kicked into gear and I have tried to get back to a regularly scheduled program around here. I have cooked a couple dinners, done some business planning, planned some PheMOMena Blog posts and taken Baby K out of the house a couple times. Here is to getting back on the horse and getting the job done. 

Big Daddy Kane - I Get The Job Done

Sunday, January 07, 2018

Soulful Sunday - New Year Edition

Well now-- welcome to the first full week of 2018! That seems so odd to type, mostly because the last time I was all the way "together" was about two years ago before I gave birth to the toddler that is now running through my house. Plus, when looking back on 2017, time seemed to fly by last year. I am glad that 2017 didn't drag-- it was a stressful year-- and I can only imagine that my stress level would have increased tenfold if the year moved at a snail's pace.

When I first started to do Soulful Saturday on this blog, it was mostly the list of songs I was listening to as I got ready to go out (yes!). Occasionally I would post songs that I was listening to as I lounged around the house reminiscing about high school loves, college parties, early 20s shenanigans... you know, all that good shit. Life is a lot different now. First of all, it is Sunday night, almost 10:30 pm and I haven't thought about spending a night out on the town in months. I would trade a night out for a nap. A well deserved, super NEEDED nap. And I would not be sad about it in the least.

So, while my musical tastes have NOT changed, the vibe that I have when posting good music has. I'm not getting dressed, plotting which high heels will stand up to a night of dancing around the club. These days I am typing a sentence or two in between chasing a chubby little girl with bouncing curls from room to room. And life is magnificent. That is the best thing that this blog shows me every year-- nothing stands still. I am ever evolving, ever learning, ever changing. And every day is a gift.

In that vein-- the song for this Soulful Sunday is super fitting for the first full week of 2018. It tells us what this year is giving us time to do... WORK. Work on ourselves. Work on our dreams. Work in our communities. Get to work, ladies and gentlemen. Happy New Year!

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