RUNITBACK FRIDAY- 1/26/18

#Monique #ThisAMess #WhatsNext #Netflix #Boycott #Purpose #PurposeOnPurpose #PUSH #UnderstandDynamics #DestinyInTheRoom #NameInTheRoom #Observations #Realizations #Business #Economics #DontMissThis #TheSetUp

This is my official position about the Monique situation.  There is a way you do business, and a way that you understand the opportunities presented to you. I was asked about this at work, and I said this, “God put her name in that room, and this is how she acted. You don’t know what God was going to do–had she used wisdom.” This is why I say this.

Monique was on a talk show with Russell Simmons around the same time she had her own show on BET. She said that in regards to being black and in entertainment she said she learned to ‘make opportunities’. No one said she had to take the money, no one said she was untalented or undeserving of literally ‘being in the room.’ This is my issue.

This is what agents are for. Had she played a little 3-D chess, she could have maximized her opportunity to make the most of what was presented to her. This nation constantly underpays, undercuts and devalues the talents of black women and women of color since–ever. From Ma Rainey, to Moms Mabley, to Bessie Coleman, to Oprah Winfrey, to my mother, and even myself. How we overcome this is to have people in our corner whom can fight for us, even when we aren’t in the room. Instead of maximizing what was presented to her, she lashed out.

Monique did what so many people when the are hurt do–look for someone that will and would listen to her. She went to Instgram wanting boycotts. She did the talk show circuit and said she was the most decorated living female comedienne. Monique went into recon “Imma get all these hoes” mode. Whenever  you get pulled off your square like this, God can’t move, the universe can’t be open to you because you are too busy trying to overwhelm to bash in, rather than create to be granted access.

I can understand Monique’s frustration. I am empathetic to feeling you need to defend, check, buss in, buss up and let every hater know. TRUST. I GET IT. However, one thing I have been graced to understand that the opportunity, even the smallest is maximized by finesse and wisdom. She has snapped off, and we as the Fam at large have heard her, but now what to do, bae?

I support Monique, and I need her to #LevelUp. Like for the culture, for herself and those that follow, #LevelUp. It’s time. It’s time.

#JemelleHill #ESPN #AprilDRyan #BigSisterJemelle #ThisSo meOle #TheSix #Solidarity #Family #AuntieApril #WhoThisWomanHarpo #TryingToBeGreat #HowLong #IRideForThemDoe  #GetEmSis

Folk can’t stand to see black women being great and leveling up (yes, #LevelUp is now an official hashtag of TIFS–Fight me.). Sometimes the biggest stumbling block to you leveling up as a black woman is another black woman. This is non debatable fact–I have lived this. Often. This is why I do my best to not let another black woman who is my life, my sphere of influence to never feel less than. She is not my enemy nor my competition.

I am She. She are we.

We are they.

These are not greater than those whom are for me–or her.

Now, that said–the awesome news this week is Jemelle Hill is leaving TheSix on ESPN (the 6pm SportCenter with Michael Smith) and is going to the show The Undefeated.  This show fuses race, sports and culture. I think this is awesome for her and I’m excited to see her blossom–and flex–and be brilliant! #GetEmSis

For all this dopeassness this week, there was a tweet towards April D. Ryan, journalist whom is indeed a superhero, by this legendary bedwench of the Trump suppository whom now has a cushy job in the Department of Health and Human Services when she used to be a wedding planner–I will not mention her name here. Y’all goggle it. This same woman called April Ryan, “Miss Piggy.” And when this wench got clocked by Ana Navarro, then she wanted to apologize and delete the tweet. April Ryan, in her clapback akin to thunder, gathered her like kids under streetlights, telling her how wrong this was of her to do and was like ‘this is not over.’

Pause.

I know in the first portion of this blog, I said I do not make habit or room to come for black women–they are not my competition. However, in love, I will gather a sis when necessary. This trollop has forgotten how expendable her boss sees black women, and chose the wrong one to come for in April Ryan. See? What she forgot is, how they came for Omorosa, they will come for her! Rather than accept and see what is, she feels like her boss’s incompetence is her cloak of invisibility. She is legit maximizing her coonery through the vessel of white privilege–who has time for that?!

There is a madness afoot, y’all. Friends don’t let friends come Stacey Dashes or Omorosas or this trollop whom will not be named. You can’t tell a broad to level up whom thinks the bottom is all she needs.

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For Mrs. Wilson And Mr. Jackson

I am so tired of people coming for Ciara.

I really, truly, am. Since she broke up with Future, and then she was put in the pathway of Russell “Wish my daughter would find one like him” Wilson. She got with Russell, and I was so happy for her. I was happy her son had someone in his life that respected his mother (remember what Future said about her), and could show him what a healthy relationship will and does look like–and his mother was entitled to one.

I remember the media had a field day with how Russell according to his Christian faith, wasn’t going to sleep with Ciara until they were married. There was this shade and grumbling about how Russell proposed to her. How some people thought he was ‘soft’ about how he treated Ciara. And to credit, she kept it pushing. From White House on Russell’s arm, to his proposal on Instagram, to their wedding. I rooted for her and their marriage. I wanted her to be happy! I saw her birth announcement, and was overjoyed. I was auntie level happy.

Now, with the recording of the internet and the gumbo of people whom have no desire to see other people win, people want to have something to say about her saying, “Level up.”  Now, this is in response to a sermon/talk given by Pastor John Gray talking about women, being wives and marriage. Pastor Gray now getting extra heaped on him for speaking about this.  My thoughts? Go no further than the Word of God:

Image result for the older women teach the younger women

Indeed, with my other vocation being that of a preacher, and the wife of a pastor (which is a ministry in itself), allow me to help with this. “Level up” means to simply do better. Ciara should not be attacked because she decided to do better.  She didn’t want to be in an unhealthy situation with a man that called her a fiancée but treated her less than when she wasn’t content to just be the mother of his child: she is shamed for wanting more.

There was one comment I read on Facebook in regards to this where one black girl said, “She can’t tell nobody nothing. All she did was close her legs…”

Really, Sis?

That’s uncalled for. Anytime you do better than where you were before, that’s a LEVEL UP. But because it’s Ciara, whom people think should have kept in an unhappy relationship for the culture in an age of Love & Hip-Hop so people can have something to tweet about or see someone else in their position just as miserable. I dare you to find something to do.

Being able to #LevelUp is universal!

Ciara is entitled to faith, opinion and to impart from her experience.  In essence, level up. Ciara was not going to stay with a dude nicknamed Future whom could not give her one…or her son.

It does not make Russell Wilson anything but in love with Ciara by treating her well. The saddest thing is there are not enough examples of how men treat women in healthy relationships–all we hear about with ice cream scoop quickness is intimate partner/domestic violence. Is it so foreign for a black woman to be in a healthy, stable relationship with a black man that people come for her saying “she didn’t do anything but close her legs…” Aight, Sis.

The latest blowback from this comment is being felt by Derrick Jaxn. He agreed with Ciara and defended her comments. The baddest innanet troll army told him that he was man-bashing, and he needed to shut up and all this other noise which sounds and resounds when people on get insider information. Derrick Jaxn does have a lot of female followers, and the reason I follow his (1) insider information and (2) his honesty. If there were more men willing to be honest with the women they were with, perhaps this apathy towards relationships and ‘catching feelings’ wouldn’t be what the kids aspire to.

But true form, Derrick was undeterred. Ciara is still married to Russell. The sun still rose and set.

We all have a past. Some of us are blessed that no one can google ours so readily or pull it from The Cloud. You don’t get to through people’s pasts back in their faces because you happen not to like how she was bold enough to say  she ‘leveled up.’  Men, y’all need to do better and realize toxic masculinity is a thing, and your manhood is not defined by how many women you smash, how many you leave with children you don’t help with, or shame them because they decide to love themselves enough to do better.

Moreover, you don’t get to be mad because someone told tactics that would lead to more women being hurt, or mislead or have their time wasted.

Common sense would tell you if you were trying to be someone’s wife, then there are some things you need to do or to stop doing. Y’all can’t keep coming for people whom only tell the truth–it is still up to whether you want to take that truth which converts it to knowledge, and with that knowledge–wisdom.

What makes your story yours is your ownership of it…all facets. This way even if your couldn’t level up like you wanted to or needed to, you can tell someone else how.

When They Don’t Wanna Go

By nature, I am a person whom doesn’t really thrive or strive to have my inner circle beyond the amount of people that it is right now. I’m not the person that needs, or dreams of a lot of Facebook friends (I have less than 400, and to me that seems like it’s too many). However, keeping with these month’s theme of letting go and embracing new things, you must understand all the people you know, cannot handle all of you.

What do I mean?

There are things you desire to do, need to do, want to do which will not handle what people’s opinion of you, thoughts for you are. It may be subtle or innocuous at first, but if you are not careful, you will miss the initial signs and slights which would make it evident if they can support you.

Sometimes everyone just can’t go. And they aren’t going to go…

Understand that there will come a time where you will have to examine your circle, their motives and their intent on staying in your life as you advance, grow and change. I am not in favor of throwing people away–I don’t believe that you can throw people away. People are not commodities, but they are entities deserving of respect. Just as you are.

The scary thing about changing, about the letting go, is the inevitable loneliness. That sense of being alone in a crowded room and no one knows yours naked–or if they do know, they won’t tell you. That sense of moving along those in the world, in different spheres of the world, is frightening. It is alarming. And it is frightening–especially when you see no one around you making any attempt to do otherwise.

Indeed there is safety in numbers, but often no change–no growth–if the number you are included do not share that drive. In breaking with the number you have hitched yourself to, in the fleeing the fold as it were, you are open for people to criticize, to point out how different you are or becoming, as well as to who they think you are. This must not deter you. It may stop you, but not deter.

A stop is a pause, a deterring or a determent is almost like a paralysis. This type of hinderance in your life is always weights in your pocket, these little foxes in your vineyards, the flies in your ointment. There are these things, these unnecessary pains towards where you must be–because in letting them go you agree they no longer serve you, add to you or will ever help you.

The scariest thing about letting go is the honesty which follows. This is they type of honesty most people don’t give to other people out of being polite, let alone themselves. Revelatory honesty is the honesty that indeed wells up from secret places in your heart–and you know if you were to tell this wealth of honesty, people would leave you anyway.

So, what will you do?

“So you will have to choose between what is right and what is easy.”

-Albus Dumbledore

What is right for you may not be easy, but rewarding.

What is easy may not be right.

It’s easy because it doesn’t require anything.

Letting go will require you, to see you as you wish to be seen.

Help Yourself

It is always easier to assess what is wrong with other people. This is because of a word most people embrace or run from:  involvement.

There is something that happens when you discern what is wrong with other people, and how they can change to do better, but you will not apply that same wisdom to old or new situations. It is always easier to tell what is wrong with other people, what they should do, need to do, and ought to do, because it has no effect on you. Those free opinions are just that:  free opinions. The cost nothing to give, and nothing to receive–there is no involvement. There are no consequences.

However, when it is your or I whom are forced to face these righteous opinions according to life and self, we come indignant or suffer from amnesia. In this space, being on the receiving end of your personal involvement and accountability to your own life, you have to understand, embracing the things you don’t like about yourself, or the things your desire to change, are essential. Awkward enough, those things are sometimes best seen by people with no involvement in your failure or success.

Your responsibility in that space is to discern what is being told to you is applicable and accurate to your own life. If it is, you have the responsibility to incorporate it or let it go. In letting it go, you decide it is of no use to you, and you hold no accountability to what is being told you and will not use it. Nothing about your life will change.

However, if you decide that there may be a modicum of truth told, there is something to this new information which you believe can be used to make your life better? You have the responsibility to use it! Therein lies the difference–in order for change to be evident, you must be involved with its outcome. You must be willing to give up what is or may be comfortable in favor of what is beneficial to you.

Will it be comfortable? No, not always. Change is not designed to be a source of comfort, but of transition and transformation. These two things, require stamina and focus. Stamina is sustained strength over time, focus is to be goal-oriented and to envision a larger outcome.

You must be a participant in your own life…no matter what the larger opinion.

Dying Of The Light

One of my favorite quotes in all of literature or poetry is this by Dylan Thomas:

“Rage, rage against the dying of the light…”

This poem Do Not Go Gentle is written about aging, and by virtue of aging living bravely until there are no more days in which to do so. I am fond of saying there are only some things which are only, can only be expressed through ink:  tattoos or otherwise. I think our dear Mr. Thomas captures that quite incredible.

It is easy to give up, dear ones. It is comfortable to say what you cannot do, will not overcome especially as you wander through this life with the grace of age. It is easier to abandon dreams in favor of what it practical, safe and tangible. However, there is an element to this life which as you age, you will encounter more than once. I call it the knock.

My best friend and co-collaborator says often “step into your greatness” and “don’t get stuck the weeds.” Simply stated, this means don’t let you stop you.

Don’t let you stop you.

In this new year 17 days old, you have every opportunity set before you to manifest all you desire to become. No one will shove you towards this ideal self, but there will always be hints as to what you are supposed to do. There are nudges that guide, and there is the knock.

This incessant intrusion into the life crafted perfected which as you ignore will soften, and urge. This sense there is more to this life than that which you have crafted for yourself. The longer your ignore it, the more push it away, the harder the knock will become when it resurfaces. It will make itself known as it did for me–I decided nursing could not be all God wanted for me. The clothes of a nurse no longer fit–my power, my talent for healing was found in words and storytelling.

Walking away from what I knew to be safe an lucrative was liberating. Indeed, flying without a net. Yet, this was the thing I had done since I was 8, and committed to do at 16. The knock, my knock, was steady, it was certain and I knew once I admitted this was what I was supposed to do, I ran after it.

I raged against the dying of the light.

The years I lost towards becoming an alien in my own life, I was determined to not lose another second on my journey.

I won’t say it’s been easy. It has been one of the most difficult things I have had to do. Yet, I had no choice. Why? The knock. This divine resonance which the Almighty wouldn’t let me give up on, and push me towards, and sustained me until I could hear it again.

Don’t fear the critics, beloved. They come because that’s all they can do. They criticize to remind you to focus. They come so your God can set the table in the midst of your enemies as He promised you He would. Critics cannot stop you, they can only equip you.

You don’t see eagles in henhouses.

Not all whom are for you, are for you. Yet there more people waiting to see when you will answer your knock. You are more than what you know. You have all you need to do all you seek. The first thing you need to do is listen–in the listening, you can then open the door. You are not too old. It is not too late.

It’s not too late.

Knock. Knock.

This Ally Ship

This story came across my desk as I was out of town this weekend. Am I surprised? No. The fact this doctor did this is amazing. What is odd, which probably shouldn’t be at this point, is the mother of one of his patients reported this to the hospital and Dr. Gu was put on paid administrative leave.

Think about that.

The mother of one of the patients he was taking care of didn’t like his political views, and told the hospital. This is asinine. The article does not detail the race of the woman that did this, knowing her son was his patient, this sounds like white privilege and its exploitation of minority people.

She didn’t care what he did as long as he saved her son. Once he had outlived his usefulness to her, she all of a sudden wasn’t comfortable with him kneeling.

Kneeling.

But I promise you, she will swear up one wall and down another that she isn’t a racist and is, what is the phrase now, but ‘concerned about the state of the country and doesn’t think the workplace is the right place to express political beliefs.’

If anything, those whom call themselves allies or practice allyship need to understand progress and change are not catch phrases or trends. There is a level of agreement you commit to which you remain vigilant to those you agree to help. You don’t just abandon that because it gets hard or something else cooler comes along.

Take a cue from Dr. Gu and the God’s Son album, track 12  (Revolutionary Warfare):

“..and listen more, and talk less…”

“…be ready to die for what you believe in and ride all the time, not just when convenient.”

Being an ally will cost you something. Being a part of a things greater than yourself will require you to do things greater than what would expected of other people. It will demand you understand what you agree to support will require your support. Allyship is no respecter of time or situation.

Your support, if it is true, will require you to do something. It will require you to be comfortable with being uncomfortable–and that may cost you. However, if the goal is change and that is achieved by disruption, that is great gain.

Don’t lose sight of the goal.

Thank you to all those who support the movement (not just the moments), and desire to see the world change to benefit and protect all people.

Thank you.

If I Don’t Get There With You

Reproclamation.

This act is defined by the reannouncing of something public and official.

According to USA Today in January 2016, here is history as to the legislative history around Martin Luther King, Jr. Day:

On Nov. 3, 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed a bill marking the third Monday of every January, as Martin Luther King, Jr., day, according to the center. The holiday was to begin in 1986. In January 1986, the first national Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday was observed.

Coincidentally, 1986 was when I began my elementary education. Moreover, every president since Regan signs this proclamation every year, ergo it remains a holiday. Seems redundant.

However, in keeping with the man and the honor expected of today, I offer the same wisdom he did half a century ago:

It’s expected to say something today to be encouraging and profound today. The life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  is encouraging and profound. However, there are portions of his life and work, that don’t qualify him as ‘the good Negro’ he is sometimes classified as.

The work, social justice, civil equality, dismantling of systems of oppression, is not easy and is thankless. We see now the lust towards the power certain white people had generations ago where words and looks could, would end the lives of people of color. We see a march towards the reversal of things equitable, just and fair in favor of reestablishing what white supremacy has dictated to be the most right way. We see those using coded language for its implementation–and the silence of those whom have seen such an incarnation before, yet do nothing–because whiteness, its privilege and the profits gained or granted therein.

There is a romance to racism this country worships and imbibes  which I’m sure that my grandmother could better explain, and my mother endured as a nurse at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Being alive to see this, it is easy to be afraid, and look for the rescue from the slow march to national destruction from Washington, D.C. Even one of my writing sheroes, Roxanne Gay, in an article from the New York Times details that no one is going to save us from this administration.

She’s right.

However, there was no one to protect us in administrations prior. We as a people began to do that–creating our own schools, businesses, and edifying one another. And we still had to fight to get a cat up off you because in the words of Barack H. Obama “Folk wanna pop off…”

On today, I want to know that you are valued, you are worthy, you are entitled to all this life has to offer. Today is a celebration of the life of a man that embodied one aspect, one facet of a movement meant to uplift and encourage people, and change the face of this nation. This work, social justice, civil rights, equality for all people, dismantling of systems of oppression is on-going. Now, in this dispensation it is our turn, my turn, your turn to fight. The rescue is in your mouth and resources–and what we as a people are willing to pull together to create the better we so desperately want and know what can have.

Today, we celebrate the life of a man who dared to look this nation in the face and call it a lie:   in word, in action, and in deed. Today, we celebrate a forged path able to withstand those that walked with him, ahead of him, and us coming after. Today, remember your power is service–even when no one calls your name or sees you.  You must remember the rescue you seek, you can create.

Today, let no one tell you that you cannot. History has proven that you can, you shall, and you will. We shall overcome indeed, but sometimes, you need to first acknowledge you first must get over.