Monthly Archives: February 2017

UNHAND ME

‘Don’t touch me’: CNN panel goes off the rails when Kayleigh McEnanay accuses Charles Blow of ‘sinister motivations’

dont touch meDuring my freshman year in high school, there was a substitute teacher for one of my classes. She went off topic from the lesson plan and started discussing her university experiences. She told the class studies showed Black children don’t like to be touched. Yep, she actually said that as her eyes rested on me. She then walked over to me and put her hand on my shoulder while looking around at the other students so they could observe my actions. Of course I gave her the look of death and snatched away from her. She smiled knowingly as if her “let’s look at the modern Negro in her natural habitat” theories were proven but what her whiteness wouldn’t allow her to understand was my disinterest in her touching me had nothing to do with my blackness and everything to do with her anti-blackness, arrogance, attempt to humiliate me, and her disrespect.

UNCLE CHARLESI have seen a few videos and articles claiming Charles Blow “lost his mind” and behaved “terribly” when Kayleigh McEnany touched him while simultaneously insulting him during a panel discussion on CNN. The fact he is being described as the monster in this scenario is what is typical about whiteness and its persistence in attempting to force us to perform White-approved blackness. Blow’s demand for McEnany to stop touching him took her aback. I mean, here she is a blonde-haired White woman, so what Black man wouldn’t want her to touch him, right? He’s just a prop placed there to pet, not a person present to pontificate on the subject matter so how dare he decline her touch? In that moment, she heard nothing but her white indignation shouting over his demand she respectfully keep her hands to herself. I guess sometimes privilege is deafening.

Instead of respecting Blow’s words, this woman actually argued and tried to shame him for not being interested in her disrespect and dehumanizing slights. I watched and immediately knew what I was seeing – the attempts to dehumanize us then blame us for those attempts. She took him demanding respect and tried to turn it into him being Un-American, disagreeable, and difficult instead of taking it as an opportunity to consider her own misdeeds steeped in privilege. The unmitigated gall.

Today, I salute Charles Blow for his refusal to be treated like a pet. If nobody else feels you, Charles, I feel you. ©

 

WE ARE FAMILY?

‘They friends of yours?’: Trump asks black reporter to set up meeting with Black Caucus

As a child, whenever I was out with my grandmother and would see another kid around DEARWHITEPEOPLEmy age, she would ask, “Is he/she in your class at school?” Despite living in a city with countless schools, I think in her mind, all children knew each other and attended just one school. And so it is with #45. If you’re Black, you live in an inner city, whatever that means. If you’re Black, you automatically know every other Black person in the country and can therefore set up a meeting with your special Black Get Together app. I mean, you are all cousins, right?

Aside from the fact he didn’t answer her question in any way, aside from the fact he previously suggested stop and frisk type policies and the National Guard are valid suggestions for “fixing” impoverished predominately Black populated areas, and aside from the fact he assumed April Ryan’s question would be one he didn’t like because blackness, he continues to stereotype anyone who isn’t White as poor, living in squalor, and barely educated or employed.

Contrary to the message #45 wants to perpetuate, the fact I am a literate, employed, negrofrownscollege educated Black woman doesn’t make me an anomaly. I am not quite sure what an inner city is when he mentions them, though I certainly enjoy listening when Marvin Gaye sings about the blues one gets there. I live in a diverse neighborhood with a mix of folks from all different socioeconomic backgrounds, races, and ethnicities and I have never had the pleasure of meeting every other Black person in this country. But this is how folks vote when there is a disconnect from those who aren’t like them. We are losing “bigly”. ©

 

M’s-BODY-MEANT

While in the chair at my threading appointment, my esthetician mentioned that my skin hqdefaultwas dry, which is pretty rare for my face. As she was threading, dry skin was coming off with my hair. She then suggested a facial because I have some areas with blackheads. While listening to her, I realized something – I haven’t been treating myself well.

I always drink water, but I hadn’t been drinking enough, which is why my skin was dry. My lips have been chapped off and on for a few weeks and that is also because I wasn’t drinking enough water. I’ve been dozing off uncontrollably at work almost every day for the past month – because I hadn’t been taking my iron or my vitamin D. My purse gave up   the ghost two months ago, my sister emptied the contents into a really cute canvas bag then threw my purse into a dumpster and I didn’t bother to buy myself a new one. My hair hadn’t been colored in MONTHS, and I just kept looking in the mirror wondering why I wasn’t feeling myself while failing to pick up some color to address the situation. I’ve experienced weight gain over the past year, so my clothing situation is sparse, to say the least. I like to dress well, but I just kept covering up with plain clothes all the time and wearing my black Chucks with a frayed lace on the right shoe.

In that chair, I quietly cried because I realized I was punishing myself for the weight gain. I was depriving myself because weight gain had me thinking I didn’t deserve anything – not moisturized skin, not a decent purse, no the ability to stay awake at my desk, and not even some damn new laces or a new pair of Chucks. My esthetician thought it was the threading making my eyes water, but it was really me feeling ashamed for treating myself so poorly. How had I fallen so far without even noticing?

The next morning, I got up, drank plenty of water, took my iron pills, put on my good sweats (because baby steps), put on some makeup, did my hair, and took myself shopping. A purse was the first thing on the list. I followed that up with a couple pairs of casual shoes without lace issues, some tops, and a pair of jeans in my current size that 71p6NUSJpLL__SL1500_look good on all these curves – even the extra ones I recently accumulated. The day after that, I got up early and had a great workout before any Super Bowl snacks could interfere with my goals. I feel 1000% better, these lips aren’t chapped, and I can already see the difference in my skin.

I know trying to get and stay fit is hard AF sometimes and I know a setback can feel like the ultimate betrayal from one’s body. I also now know societal pressures, familial background, and the drive to achieve one’s own sense of perfection can lead to a period of self-punishment if one isn’t careful. Giving oneself grace is incredibly important during this time and so is remembering who one is while focusing on one’s strengths instead of all her weaknesses. plus-size-princessDespite the difficulties, I intend to keep plugging along with my self-care efforts and to be sure that care doesn’t stop at workouts but flows into every other aspect of ways to care for my body. I want to make my care count.