If No More Race Cards, Then No More Racism. Right.

Even Michelle Obama pulls the Black card with a smile.

Even Michelle Obama pulls the Black card with a smile.

Do you know what I legitimately hate? I hate it when people (namely white people, not all obviously considering my, ahem, pedigree) imply that if Black people stopped making race an issue, then race would cease to be an issue. As if every Black person refrained from assuming that racism existed and stopped making any associations between the color of our skin and the conditions that exist in America (and/or globally) then things would magically be…okay. Not even better, but okay.

Are there times when some Black folks run the race card unnecessarily? (And for this post I will basically be using race card and Black card interchangeably since 95 percent of al race card mentions are really just Black cards. And yes, Virginia, I made up that stat.) Yes. Just yesterday I accused the unexplainable weather patterns of being racist in nature. I’m pretty sure that race has nothing to do with it, but there’s still about a 2 percent chance that it’s personal. Because I’m Black.

Real talk though, I honestly don’t get it – hence why I hate it since I’m afraid of things I don’t understand. Actually, let me not tell that lie. I do get it. I get it because if I wanted somebody to get over something I’d probably tell them the same thing. Hey, I ran you over with my car but I’m over it you should get over it too. And since so many white people do indeed think that racism is a thing of the past, especially considering Obama’s coloredness, then it stands to reason that the only reason that racism would NOW exist is because Black folks won’t let it go. Nevermind that a solid HALF of the country did not vote for him.

Which is interesting if you think about. A conservative white person will likely opine that racism cannot still be an issue because our country managed to put a Black man into the highest office in the land. This falls apart for so many reasons if you would take the time to look at the people who voted him into office. Yet and still, a person who did not vote for him would still make the argument that his ascendance is proof positive of a new day. Which it is, symbolically. It’s a win for the history books. It’s a win for what it represented. It didn’t represent the end of racism; it represented the possibility that racism could end. One day. Eventually. Long after anybody reading this site is dead and gone.

The other reason I get is because I’m not sure the vast majority of white people actually believe in institutional racism. Like Richard Pryor stated in his infamous, “those people are resisting arrest” routine, the view is that all actions occur in a vacuum. There’s no correlation to many white people. Even many poor white people might struggle with the idea that redlining took place. Or the most poignant test of all time in my opinion where you submit resumes with ethnic names vs “normalized” names and see who gets called back. I remember having a conversation with some white friends of mine in grad school about that and despite accepting it as fact – they couldn’t deny the numbers placed before them – they still struggled with it being true. I mean, come on, not in America where everybody wins!

Which probably explains why so many think that if you stop saying “Black this, Black that…” the issues go away because from the outside looking in there are no issues. Stop and frisk is a preventative measure, not profiling. And catching one person justifies the 99 that were profiled unnecessarily.

Or you get people who say stupid sh*t like this:

It is striking that during what many had hoped would be a post-racial America, racial division has been amplified, owing not least to sustained media attention. Then again, maybe we’re experiencing the final death rattle of our racist past. Perhaps all those suppressed thoughts and feelings of anger, hurt and frustration had to rise to the surface before they finally could be eradicated.

I tend to be one of those people who does believe that its darkest before the dawn. I truly do. Despite my less than stellar church record, much of that is rooted in my belief in God. It’s no wonder so many Black folks are religious, you need SOMETHING to keep you holding on. But I also can be realistic and to to listen to some non-sensical woman basically chide Black folks for playing the race card against other Black folks is irony that I’m not even equipped to handle. Then to even surmise that all of the alleged race-baiting happening nowadays is perhaps going to bring us out of our racist heritage (and it is a heritage)? If I could tell this woman “N*GGA please” I would. You can’t kill racism by hoping Black folks just let it go UNLESS white people acknowledge that racism is still a problem and in effect attempt to change it. It’s the same argument with rape culture…victims can’t fix the problem, it has to come from the folks who are rapin’ everybody out here.

Basically, the ones who perpetuate the problem by being the problem in the first place are the ones who have to do the heavy lifting.

But I’m sleep.

So for now, I’m like the combination of Capitol One and American Express. What’s in my wallet? My race card. I don’t leave home without it.

Not for nothing and I hate to be pessimistic AND end this on such a loaded statement, but I don’t actually think America will ever truly make it to post-racial.

Until the aliens show up.

Love 40.

-VSB P aka MR. 39 OUNCES OF LOVE aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL HE A 3

REMINISCE Tees & Tanktops For Your #SummerTimeFly

remdraftcarolinabluev2Cop your REMINISCE tee in honor of the best damn 90s party happening in DC right about now. It’s that super fly Carolina blue for the cool summer breeze that has to come. And even if you aren’t in DC, its just a fly tee anyway. We’re livin’ in the last days right now…. Shouts to the Boogiemonsters.

REMINISCE Tees: http://www.teespring.com/reminiscetees

remtankgrayblacklettersAnd for the fly lady (or man actually as well ) out there, we’ve go the the fly tank top swagu going on as well. For those days its warm outside and especially warm in Liv at REMINISCE! Cop you one and join the movement, because everything is a movement!

REMINISCE tanktops: http://www.teespring.com/reminiscetanks

Are You Smart or Smart Enough?

[Admin Note: Earlier today on Twitter, somebody mentioned a post I wrote almost 10 years ago - literally almost 10 years ago as in June 2004 - as part of a convo they were having. I figured it must be a sign from The Sign Company to revisit and share. Mostly as a means of looking at life from the lens of a then just turned 25 year old and what my thought process was. This post was about my thought process as a parent almost 5 years before I had a kid. Let's see where I was coming from.]

Screen-Shot-2012-05-25-at-11.09.29-AMEver had a broke hug? As in hugged a broke person??? I do it all the time and in kind, I give lots of broke hugs. They suck so I want my kids to be able to give rich hugs. So I have a plan.

I’m not a role model and may never be. But a thought I had yesterday really brought it home for me. I realized that when I have kids I’m not going to tell my kids to be geniuses or even to be smart.

I’m going to tell them to be smart enough. Why do you ask? I’ll tell you why.

Because I’m learning that smart people don’t get to be millionaires. Athletes, entertainers, black folks who started stuff back in the 1900?s offspring; they all get to be millionaires. Me? I’ve been considered smart my whole life and I’m broke. I’ve been to college, twice. Still broke.

Debunking a Popular Misconception: If you are smart you can be rich. This is wrong. If you are lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time with or without the right idea, you can be rich. You know why? Smart people are risk averse because smart people know that they can get f*cked up financially by just one bad decision. So smart folks don’t take those chances because we realize we have something to lose. Smart enough people just have their balls and their word, so they take chances because at the end of the day, we all we got…oh yeah, and a million bucks in the bank.

There were a lot of smart enough people in the NBA draft the other day. Smart enough to stay eligible because they knew millions awaited them. I’ll bet lots of them fellas became honor students when they realized they could make the draft. As a result, the number of black millionaires just increased by like 20. And what’s worse, that might be 20% of all the black millionaires. 50 Cent is smart enough to know that 9 shots, which everybody is capable of getting, could make him a household name. Bingo…50 cent made like $21 million last year.

So I’m going to tell my kids to be smart enough; smart enough to make it through high school while dribbling that damn ball from the house to the school. Or singing they ass from the church to the house. I know lots of folks in college, graduate school, professional school. All of us have debt…Shaq doesn’t have any debt. Kobe doesn’t have any debt (aside from that potential debt to soceity…different talk show). 50 Cent, Dre, Cosby, Chris Rock ain’t got no debt. Jocephus from the University of Maryland Law School…debt. Anquenetta from UCLA Med school…debt.

I was doing a web search for black millionaires. It was quite eye-opening. I couldn’t find a single damn estimate. I kept finding stats like, “the number of black millionaires has risen 75% in the past 6 years.” Nowhere did they tell me what it rose from. Not one site had any estimates of the number of black millionaires. What I did find was that in America in 2003, there were roughly 2.3 millionaires…out of about 280 million people. That’s less than 1%. So I know our numbers must be really small. The fact that I couldn’t find any numbers indicated to me that there must not be that many…like maybe 100 or 200 at most…including rappers, actors, and ballplayers. Which probably accounted for the majority of them. So that’s what I’m pushing for.

My kid wants to be a rapper??? I’m going Richard Williams style on they asses. They are gonna be the best 12 year old rappers ever. Next Jay-Z…let’s make it happen. You wanna be the next 50…I’ll drop you off in South Side Jamaica Queens n*gga you heard me so we can start your legacy. Because smart rappers are broke too. Look at Talib Kweli and Mos Def (his rap career anyway) or Jurassic 5 or hell anybody that ain’t Jay-Z, Dre, Eminem, 50, or Outkast. Oh yeah, and Cash Money, and Master P since both of those camps were smart enough to capitalize on the times.

Now don’t get me wrong, if my son wants to be an astrophysicist that’s all well and good. I’m sure DuPont will pay him a nice little bit of money. And I’ll push him to be the best damn astrophysicist he can be while his sister is on TV singing her ass off Whitney style while I’m coaching like Joe Jackson from the sidelines. And we know how great a coach he was. And I also know that there are black millionaires that made money by good ole fashioned hardwork. Well, shit I ain’t talkin’ bout them. AND most black millionaires are entertainers anyway. I see I said.

This may sound ignorant, but have you ever heard Jay-Z or Russell Simmons talk. Smart enough to say what needs to be said and do what needs to be done. And they got millions to blow. Me? Broke.

Smart enough. That’s my parenting strategy.

——

Interesting to see where I was back then and how much I still agree with those thoughts now. I definiely believe in the idea of being smart enough to succeed versus too smart for your own good and staying reserved. What do you think about that concept? Also, anything you remember from your youth that you’ve carried forward to now or any, “I was here 10 years ago but I’m here now” ideologies? Talk to me.

I’ve been writing for a LONG time.

-VSB P aka MR. IM STILL HERE aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL HE A 3

Because #OLD: Kids React To Walkmans

Looks like he could be my cousin.

Looks like he could be my cousin. He also looks like he’s thinking “WHAT IS THIS SH*T!”

As a connoisseur of ghosts of times past, watching children all born since 2000 finagle and fumble with past technology is awesome. Such brings us to this KIDS REACT video as the kids are presented with walkmans/walkmen(?…I feel dumber) trying to figure out how it works (and why?). Predictably, their reactions are hilarious. It’s one of those moments that you wonder about when you’re younger. I remember saying to myself back in the day when CDs came out what future generations were going to be using. And then Napster and Audiogalaxy, etc hit the scene and then the burst of the MP3 player. No Zune.

Also, these kids are hilarious. Fun facts are displayed throughout and did you all know that when Walkman’s first dropped, they were $200??? When presented with this fact some kids are like, thats a ripoff…but one smart, wise, and clearly reasonable chap points out that some iPhones cost upwards of $700. Smart man young man. Smart man.

So take your time young man and don’t you rush to get old. And enjoy what life was probably like for us when many of us were listening to our walkmans and our parents pulled out an 8-track of Betty Wright. What’s also interesting is how inconvenienced the kids seem – possibly for show – by them. Walkmans/Walkmen(?…still feel dumb) were and are remarkbly simple devices. Definitely easier to use than an MP3 player. The kids seem to disagree.

Respect due to my man who when given headphones states that he’s such a 90s baby though he wasn’t even born in the 90s. No RKelly.

Reminisce.

-VSB P