How To Avoid Getting Shot And Killed By The Police If You Happen To Be Black » VSB

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How To Avoid Getting Shot And Killed By The Police If You Happen To Be Black

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I will concede that we don’t know everything about the circumstances that led to Philando Castile’s death. What we do know, however, is that it would seem like Castile did everything Black people are taught and learn to do when interacting with the police; all things we’re taught and learn to do to avoid what happened to Castile happening to us. He pulled over when stopped and didn’t appear to resist, verbally or violently. He alerted the officer to the weapon he was carrying and his permit for said weapon. There was even a four-year-old in the car with him. And you’d assume that the presence of such a young person would conjure some sort of empathy and caution with the officer. But nah.

Anyway, since what we’ve been taught and learned obviously doesn’t work, I’ve taken the liberty of creating a helpful and practical list of things to do and don’t do to avoid getting shot and killed by the police if you happen to be Black.

1. Don’t be Black

This is perhaps the most vital part of the list. Avoiding being Black is the best, most surefire, and most reliable way for Black people to avoid getting shot and killed by the police. Of course, it’s quite difficult for Black people to not be Black. But no one said staying alive should be easy. If you want easy go play Taboo against a cat.

2. Don’t have Black parents, siblings, or children

This is also key. Because if you have Black parents, siblings, or children, there’s a pretty high likelihood that you’re also Black. Which would negate all the work we just did in number one.

3. Don’t have a Black significant other or Black friends

Although many non-Black people — including some actual White people (and even some White cops!) — have Black significant others and Black friends, if you have a Black significant other and/or Black friends, statistically speaking you’re more than likely to be Black too.

4. Don’t live in Black neighborhoods or even next to Black people

As numerous studies have confirmed, if you happen to have a Black neighbor, you’re probably Black too. And if you’re “probably Black,” that’s Black enough to get shot and killed by the police.

5. Try not to live in Detroit, Michigan, Jackson, Mississippi, Birmingham, Alabama, Baltimore, Maryland, or Memphis, Tennessee 

Because if you happen to live in Detroit (82% Black), Jackson (79%), Birmingham (73%), Baltimore (63%), or Memphis (63%), there’s a disproportionate chance of you also possessing potentially deadly Blackness.

6. Do not attend an HBCU or join any fraternity or sorority in the Divine Nine

Although you’ll find non-Black people at HBCUs and in historically Black Greek organizations, the people at these schools and in these organizations tend to be Black. (Even Kappas.) And people who tend to be Black are usually Black, and “usually Black” is just as dangerous as “probably Black.”

7. Do not appear in a movie Clifton Powell happens to be in, watch a movie Clifton Powell happens to be in, or even know who Clifton Powell is

Because if you happen to do any of these things, you’re either Black or you’ve spent so much time around Black people that you’re an honorary Black. And not a fake honorary Black like Bill Clinton. But a real honorary Black like Rex Chapman. Which matters because real honorary Blacks are Black adjacent enough to get shot and killed in the crossfire too.

8. Don’t appear in a McDonald’s or Chrysler ad that happens to air during the BET Awards

Because not only will you probably be Black, you’ll be the Blackest Black people the McDonald’s people and the Chrysler people could find. And it won’t even matter how happy and non-threatening you look holding a Premium Buttermilk Crispy Chicken Bacon Clubhouse Sandwich or cruising around with your impeccably dressed buddies with unusually bright teeth in a surprisingly roomy Pacifica, you’re Black so you might die if you see a cop.

9. Don’t be Shonda Rhimes

Although sublime showrunner Shonda Rhimes is known for her racially and culturally diverse casts — including a show where the protagonist is pretty damn Becky — and has millions of non-Black fans, she’s actually a Black person. And if there’s one thing we know about actual Black people its that if actual Black people see the cops, they need to run! (Which doesn’t work.) Or, don’t run. (Which doesn’t work.) Or just don’t be Shonda Rhimes. (Which might work.)

10. If inviting people to a cookout this summer, don’t tell people to come at 2pm but not have the meat ready until 5pm

Because only Black people do this. And if you happen to do something only Black people do, you’re more than likely a Black person. And if you’re more than likely a Black person, there’s nothing you can do to completely rule out any chance of getting shot and killed by a police officer. So have your meat ready.

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for GQ.com And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at damon@verysmartbrothas.com. Or don't. Whatever.

  • Vanity in Peril

    *closes eyes, does Bewitched nose-scrunch

    Still black

    *closes eyes, does Bewitched nose-scrunch

    Still black

    *closes eyes, does Bewitched nose-scrunch…

    • brothaskeeper

      Just embrace your negroness and go watch Menace II Society (featuring Clifton Powell).

      • Vanity in Peril

        I never saw Menace II Society.

        • PhlyyPhree

          Well you my dear are tiptoeing on the edge of having your Black card removed, so you might be safe. Lol.
          How many Spike jointz have you witnessed?

          • Vanity in Peril

            Um…not all of them. Def not the one with the Preacher. I did watch most of Chiraq. Love Bamboozled. All the older stuff. I tell people I saw He Got Game but really, I aint seent it. I am shame.

            • RewindingtonMaximus

              Tsk tsk tsk

            • Mochasister

              I saw School Daze, Jungle Fever, and Do the Right Thing. Oh, and also Mo’ Betta Blues. I finally realized that I don’t particularly care for his films and stopped watching them.

        • brothaskeeper
          • Mochasister

            Aww, this brings back memories. Cool it now, ohh watch out…..

        • Nik White

          Say it ain’t so!

        • Cleojonz

          I don’t think I ever have in its entirety either. I think I drew the line at Boyz n the Hood.

  • Negro Libre

    Well…

    http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m7w78gYejD1rqzwo0o2_400.gif

    You can bathe in it enough till you look like an albino.

    #UncleRuckusHolyWater

    • kingpinenut

      *dead*

    • Sigma_Since 93

      Michael Jackson was onto something. He needed the Men in Black mind erase machine to make folks forget about the Jackson 5 and Off The Wall versions of himself.

      • He had Virgilio!!!! It was in the autopsy report daggoneit

      • NonyaB

        He had vitiligo

    • DocMaldo

      #PraiseWhiteJesus

      https://youtu.be/A32M0-KYTu0

  • kingpinenut

    *laughing*

    #1 is on point…. probably just could have stopped there.

  • Agitiated

    But… I woke up like this. Damn, lol.

  • Sweet Potato Kai

    11. Don’t use coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, Vaseline, ’cause…..

    • Negro Libre

      I met a white Russian guy once who told me he felt every black person smells like cocoa butter.

      Racism be effing with the nostrils!

      • Sweet Potato Kai

        Are there any other kinds of Russians? LOL. Cocoa butter smells amazing! But he felt really comfy sharing that!

      • MALynn

        I had a chinese classmate who brushed my skin and said “omg, it’s so soft! Do you use cocoa butter?” I was hella offended but in reality I did use cocoa butter lmao!!

        • Mochasister

          Cocoa butter is bomb! In the winter time I like to mix it with A&D ointment and vitamin E.

          • MALynn

            what’s A&D ointment? I live in the southwest desert and I might need this to keep the suppleness on point.

            • Mochasister

              A&D ointment is the ointment that you use on a baby’s chafed butt. It’s a thick, yellowish ointment with the vitamins A and D. You can buy it at any Walmart, Target, Walgreens, or grocery store. It’s usually found in the section for baby materials such as baby wipes, baby oil, and baby powder.

              • MALynn

                Gracias!

                • Mochasister

                  De nada.

      • MsKey

        I automatically think wht folk smell like wet dogs. I know its wrong but that is my experience *shrug*

      • Not sure if I should laugh or be pizzed. Lol

      • AnswerMe

        I’d be offended…but mostly because I hate the smell of cocoa butter.

      • Was this supposed to be an insult? Smells better than that sour funk dwights get in the summer.

  • Dustin John Seibert

    Clifton Powell, nyuguh. I’m out. *grabs hat* Good morrow to you.

  • grownandsexy2

    I needed this chuckle after the events of last week. This list is a how to stay happy, non-threatening and alive in the age of colorblindness.

  • brothaskeeper

    At my friends’ 4th of Joo-ly BBQ, Mrs. BK and I showed up 3 hours after the start time, ate watermelon, swilled the finest Henry from red Solo cups, played Spades (she’s now my permanent partner), and took to-go plates, but we were not pulled over on the way home. Are we still Black?

    • kingpinenut

      Y’all skatin on thin ice….

      • brothaskeeper

        In addition, I watched Dead Presidents yesterday while consuming lime chicken flavored Ramen and an Arizona green tea. Am I still a member of the melanin clan?

        • kingpinenut

          Black Ice

          *daps*

          Do the damb do

        • ChokeOnThisTea

          Ninja, you’re the Grand Wizard of the melanin clan.

        • Sweet Potato Kai

          “lime chicken flavored Ramen” Sir? Da fuq?

          • brothaskeeper

            Judge ye not *holds up Celie fingers*. AND I slurp ’em with chopsticks!

            • Sweet Potato Kai

              Oh, you’re a boughie Top Ramen consumer, with chopsticks and isht LOL

              • brothaskeeper

                They’re wooden, though. I keeps it real!

          • Blueberry01

            I never knew it came in lime chicken flavor.

            • Sweet Potato Kai

              Right! That’s because you love your colon and quality of life! ?Then he tried to blame his kids. SMH

              • Blueberry01

                I literally hollered! You kill me!

        • Val

          The bigger question is why are you still eating Top Ramen, BK?

          • brothaskeeper

            It’s what I eat when I’m too lazy to cook actual food. I been hanging around the kids too long. At least they haven’t tainted me with hot Cheetos .

            • Mochasister

              Out here they eat those damn Takis.

    • Damon Young

      that’s a good question. maybe you’re so black that you blended into the asphalt and became invisible.

      • brothaskeeper

        We’re opaque? Damb!

    • Conrad Bess

      “swilled the finest Henry from red Solo cups,”…
      Please tell me you only brought 1 40oz. of Colt, or half a 26 of Wild Turkey? And when you took them to-go plates, you walked out like

    • Nik White

      You are Young, Gifted & Black!

      • brothaskeeper

        Maybe not young. LoL

  • cakes_and_pies

    11.-Don’t ask who made the potato salad. That is the Blackest question in America.

  • Val
    • kingpinenut

      She sippin #UncleRuckusHolyWater

    • cakes_and_pies

      Or avoid being identified by the FBI, CIA, and Interpol.

      • brothaskeeper

        Or the entire Universe.

    • ChokeOnThisTea

      Stop it, Val!!! Shady as s. Lol. But add Azalea Banks to the list too. ? *heavy sigh*

      • RewindingtonMaximus

        It’s funny how right after she got blasted for her crazy rants on Twitter about race, she now down for bleaching creams…..somebody got to her.

        • ChokeOnThisTea

          I think she already internalized the pains SOMETIMES associated with being a darker skin black woman. That’s why she was able to speak so eloquently to the experience. I just wish she believed her own words enough not to bleach her skin. Though I get what causes some people to go that far, I just really wish they could see the beauty in their blackness. What I can’t condone is her attempt to “normalize” it as though it’s ok.

          • RewindingtonMaximus

            People could be surprised at how easy it is to view your skin color as a harmful trope. I know for myself, my skin just felt like the worst thing that could ever happen to me, especially when I started hanging around people of other races, because my own race was rejecting me constantly. If you internalize all those bad experiences long enough, you won’t be able to seperate your feelings about your blackness from feelings of just being insecure.

            • ChokeOnThisTea

              This may sound silly, but I never knew black men/boys struggled with being dark skin the way black women/girls sometimes do. I always perceived dark skin as moreso of an advantage (especially in terms of dating) for you all. That is until my last boyfriend told me otherwise about how he hated his complexion growing up.

              • kingpinenut

                The struggle is real for all black people living around white people..

                Shid, even my moms said I got Blacker ( and not in a good way based on her opinion ) as I got older.

                We ain’t talkin much these days.

                • My mom always comments on how black my son gets during the summer as if it’s a bad thing. Whoo boy you need to stay out of the sun – you getting black quick.

                  She also said recently that depression is for white people and they get it more than blacks. These old school ideologies are killing us!!!

                  • kingpinenut

                    Shid, I tell my kids “Go out and get darker – get your quotient of the Sun!”

                    And I just ignore / block that oldskool selfhate mess

                    • L8Comer

                      get that vitamin D!

                    • Mine got burned a few months ago so we always have him out in the sun to get that vitamin D, and hubby always loves me with a tan. I just laugh and wave my momma off.

                  • Cleojonz

                    “These old school ideologies are killing us!!!”

                    My husband stopped talking to one of his best friends from H.S. on a discussion about depression when he was told he needed to just suck it up and move on, depression isn’t a real thing. WHAT??!!

              • Ezekiel Chiagozie Nwafor

                Thats a really interesting point. For me it was the opposate. My enture family is from Nigeria, but I’m really light. I always thought I didnt look “authentic” enough when in the presence of fellow Africans and I attughles with that for a long long time.

              • RewindingtonMaximus

                For all the bravado, Black men have skin issues just like women do. We just don’t have the same beauty standards to deal with from a feminine position as you all do, but the pain exists. Women of all hues can tell us our skin color isn’t favored, they aren’t checking for us, etc. Our skin color clearly brings fear out in some White people. And of course, the darker you are, the more people have negative things to say about you as a whole, rather than positive.

                • Blueberry01

                  No, it’s not your skin color, Re. It’s the imaginary gun that you’ve been carrying around with you for 33 years that they’re scared of…SMH

                  • RewindingtonMaximus

                    Well I will admit, that bitch is pretty big.

                    • Blueberry01

                      Why did I even do that to myself? Go to sleep, lil’ nasty. :0)

              • Multi-Hundredaire

                I’m about to date myself, but I was in Middle School when Al B Sure first hit the scene….HARD. During those years, seeing all the little girls swooning over someone who was black…..but not YOUR black, it was rough.

                • Mochasister

                  Fellow old head!

                  • Multi-Hundredaire

                    Complete with sore @$$ knees.

                    • Mochasister

                      Man, you ain’t said nothing but a word!

              • Mochasister

                They always make it seem that only dark skinned women struggle with this issue. One of my brothers is dark skinned. He was teased a lot as a kid. Most of the kids who were teasing him weren’t that light themselves.

                • Blueberry01

                  But he was probably darker than them. So, as the effects of white supremacy has shown, there is a hierarchy based on your skin tone.

            • Okitech623

              My wife deals with this internalized hatred of her skin tone on the regular. It pains me to watch her struggle with it. Her Mom and others really did a number on her growing up which contributed to it plus other body image issues in general that she has. I wish I knew of some way to help her see how beautiful she really is outside of telling her as often as I can. We’ve been together for 10 years and counting and that strategy hasn’t seemed to work all that well. Maybe a few small victories here and there but the war very much still in the balance.

              I’ve personally dealt with dislike of my complexion due to bad acne when I was a teen but never pain over my skin tone itself that I can recall. Because of that (and not being a woman) I struggle to relate. Even framing the conversation proves difficult at times. I’ve caught myself saying something to the effect of “you’re not as dark as you think your are” in the moment in an attempt to cheer her up. That’s of course very problematic upon reflection because it buys into the notion that being dark is bad which is the source of her struggles in the first place. I don’t think I consciously hold that belief but if I don’t why would I blurt something like that out? I don’t know. I’m sorry for rambling.

              • RewindingtonMaximus

                You were not rambling, trust me bruh, that was a fine thing to say.

                I feel for your wife. I know better now the brainwashing done to you as a child has deep ramifications on you as an adult. I’m still dealing with my issues on a daily basis. I don’t necessarily hate the color of my skin, I hate the condition of it. I hate that it be so easily inflicted with kelosis (hardening and stretching of skin), where if I was any other race, I’d barely have this problem. I hate the fact that when I was a kid, I was called kinds of name for how dark my skin was, yet there’s nothing wrong with it. I hate the fact that I had to wait years just to look at myself in a mirror and not be fully ashamed of how bad my health & skin turned out. People put me through the ringer for things I couldn’t control. So I know your wife has the same problem.

                But you can’t fix her. No one can. That’s on her. She has to go to therapy and do the work. And it is not going to be easy. It is going to take a lot of time to pull back all of those layers of self-hate. The best thing you can do is understand when you are needed, and when you are not. You care so she expects you to say the nice things you say, but she will not feel anyone else could say the same.

                And as far as what you’ve told her, you’ve been indoctrinated on skin color just like the rest of us. You don’t even realize it until you catch yourself in the act. But now you know you need to work on that to understand why that was a subconcious thought in the first place.

        • Okaykaykay

          @RewindingtonMaximus:disqus and @chokeonthistea:disqus Is there.. a point in time where we can’t judge/critique/disapprove of others people’s body modification? Like at what point do we concede that people get to do what they want? (Not saying y’all are doing this necessarily. Just observing a lot of the push-back those two get and I don’t totally understand the anger).

          • For me, I think my critique extends as far as that person’s motivations. Like Nene Leakes KEEPS changing her nose and claiming it’s for these stupid reasons like she couldn’t breathe or whatever. Girl, just say you wanted a new, less-black nose and be done with it! Or leave the less black part out and just say you wanted a new nose! I have the side-eye when folks feel the need to do all of these verbal gymnastics. But that’s me.

          • ChokeOnThisTea

            Oh, judging is just what I do. You better ask about me in these VSB streets.

            But seriously though, I’m not here for how black women who engage in cosmetic alterations are perceived as self-hating whereas white chics like the Kardashians who do the same aren’t. Let’s call a spade a spade.

          • RewindingtonMaximus

            You can’t tell anyone what to do, what to think, or how to feel.

            Only thing I can say is that nothing happens for no reason at all. These are always deep rooted seeds of negativity in everyone’s lives, and you never know how it affects them until it is too late.

            My opinion only reflects that the changes these women made were not of their own volition of “I want my body to be the best” but rather they admit they changed to defy a hatred for their body they had.

    • brothaskeeper

      Who dis wawmun?

      • Proverbs31WIFE!

        Kim Long Ding Dong

        • MsSula

          LMAO

    • Aly

      Oh noo! Hahaha you’re wrong for this.

    • At first I was disappointed with Kim but after hearing more about her past and how terrible she was treated by Christopher Wallace, he forced her to abort their child and turned around to have one with Faith, I can empathize with why she’s going out of her way to be as light as possible. There is so much pain associated with her blackness and how being a darker woman meant she was ugly. I also believe there might be a bit of body dysmorphia happening here too.

      • ChokeOnThisTea

        Agreed. I feel sorry for her moreso than I feel the need to berate her.

        • Mmhmm it really sad but the black community isn’t one to look at people from a psychological viewpoint and recognize that the things we say to each other are internalized and can further aggravate pre-existing conditions.

          But hey, just pray to God and he will heal you.

          • Im so tired of this, lemme just pray it away. I wish people would get help AND pray. HE can’t make a move until you do something, UGH

      • Val

        I hear you, AP, but I don’t think we should let White Supremacy off the hook for things like this. Millions of us throughout history have suffered pain inflicted upon us by people we love and haven’t resorted to lightening our skin.

        This is seems more like just giving in to all the messages we get the White is better, White is more beautiful, etc.

        • Yes all true

        • Freebird

          Val…

          *Pac Voice*

          You are appreciated

          • Val

            How was your vacation, FB?

            • Freebird

              V! Started so damn well. Went to Marthas Vinyard for the first time. Several days roaming the east cost visiting friends. Was supposed to head to Vegas…Then me and the lady bird had a falling out so things did not end well….

              Thanks for asking.

              • Val

                Sorry to hear about the relationship thing. Hopefully that will work itself out. Did you hang in Oak Bluffs?

                • Freebird

                  Yeah I did. Saw then Inkwell. That s hit is small. Beautiful homes down there. Nice public lawns too.

                  • Val

                    Yep, the ‘gingerbread houses’ are beautiful.

        • Mochasister

          I once read somewhere that proclaiming the beauty of Blackness is a form of rebellion against white supremacy.

          • Blueberry01

            You must have read that in the “How To Be a Willfully Ignorant White Person” manual, which is sent home with each white family upon leaving the hospital.

        • Blueberry01

          I think you both are essentially saying the same thing.

      • L8Comer

        as sad as it is it’s not uncommon for men to allow their wives to have babies and force their mistress to get an abortion. No one wants to pay child support and spousal support when your wife leaves for having a baby outside of wedlock. I’m inclined to think it was more about that than her skin color, but maybe she felt different… Or maybe she felt like that’s why she wasn’t the wife in the first place.

        • He wasn’t married to faith at the time of Kim’s pregnancy

          • L8Comer

            Ohhh. Didn’t know that :/

      • troubleman

        Stop making excuses for her. Everything a woman does wrong is not a man’s fault. No man made her ruin her looks. She did that on her own.

        • I mean yes but what I said still holds weight. We don’t exist in vacuums outside of the influence of others. Yes she is her own woman but the experiences that she has had in life have shaped who she is and how she sees herself

        • Freebird

          Biggie seemed to be dealing with his issues being black and ugly as ever.

      • NonyaB

        Was about to say this. Another possibility I’ve also wondered about is whether she has vitiligo (like Michael Jackson did) and is lightening in attempt to even skin tone.

      • I have thoughts about this I can’t articulate right now, but I feel like that’s giving Biggie a heck of a lot of credit. Faith was very light, but she also didn’t have that hardcore edge to her that Kim did. It’s almost like Kim was his little rap ragdoll to do what he wished with and Faith was the soft R&B queen who won his heart. I might be talking out my a s s but that’s where my head is going with this.

    • RewindingtonMaximus

      This is just proof of what happens when the people you’ve always been surrounded by all your life are also your enemies, but you wouldn’t know it because they say they care. They say they love you. But you aren’t smart enough, black enough, pretty enough, light enough, cute enough, not worth the effort.

      I used to straight clown her makeovers, but I thought about it long and hard. Half the crap I’ve been through in my life…if I was born with money, I probably would have traded this Black skin eons ago just to avoid how fucked up I am now.

      Just glad that’s not how it actually turned out and I learned to endure. Unfortunately she didn’t.

      • Val

        I would never tell someone that their feelings or life experiences were not valid, so I’m sure that those closest to you can play a huge part in something like this but the genesis for this is America’s hate for us.

        • RewindingtonMaximus

          It does and you’re right, but when you are young, who’s opinions count more…your family & friends or what the tv, magazines, & internet say?

          Friends & family come first, and if they make you feel like crap out the gate, you already lost the battle before you even got to fight. Tv, movies, the internet..it’s all powerful and has the potential to hold way more weight than people close to you…but they won’t be part of your first memories. Your loved ones will though.

      • Blueberry01

        What exactly makes you think you are fucked up now?

        • RewindingtonMaximus

          1)Depression
          2) Trust issues
          3) Lack of direction
          4) Mid-life crisis
          5) Looming divorce
          6) Lack of motivation
          7) Anger issues
          8) Frustrating with my job, finances, etc
          9) Complicated health issues
          10) Self-esteem issues

          That’s the gist of it.

          • Nik White

            I hate to hear/read how your family treated you but believe it or not, you haven’t lost the battle. The fact that you can articulate your feelings/concerns is a win! It’s my prayer that you’ll be guided to right people, places and things to irradicate, overcome or endure these things.

            • RewindingtonMaximus

              I thank you for those kind words.

              At some point, I will figure out what to do with myself. Until then, I will just continue pushing forth.

          • Blueberry01

            You’re not fucked up, Re. You. Are. Human. (Have you been riding the A-Train lately and found #SummerBae like I suggested? Lol.)

            1) Human emotions, as a result of your life experiences, that have been suppressed over time led to this, but you have (or are currently) receiving therapy to broaden your emotional intelligence and awareness so you may cope effectively;

            2) Issues that not only can be resolved but strengthened over time through positive, healthy relationships;

            3) Continue to select things that you like, enjoy doing, and/or passionate about. (In other words, your current job which you can’t stand needs to be re-evaluated. It’s not adding anything but stress in your life). Continue to stumble forward, instead of standing still or moving backward;

            4) There is no crisis unless our expectations have not been met. What were you expecting to do (or have happen) by now? Why are these particular expectations important to you?

            5) I thought you wanted to get divorced from her. Did I miss something? Do you deep down want to reconcile and repair the relationship?

            6) Yeah, this is a tough one; however, motivation is directly tied to your confidence, self-concept, and self-esteem (in regards to what you want to be motivated about). Are there ways that we can build these areas in small ways to make that thing (you need motivation for) less daunting? For instance, if it’s looking for a new job, can you send your resume to be edited at a resume-writing service so it can have a fresh look?

            7) Again. You’re human. Anger is a very real emotion. It’s what we do with the anger — or even worse, how the anger affects us — that we need to focus on.

            8) Yes, I know about this real struggle, both living in NYC and down here. I pray that all of your needs are met — and in the meantime, you find some relatively legal ways to make additional money. You like to write, right? Get a side job being an editor or something.

            9) Understandable. Again. You’re human. I’m praying for your complete and total healing and recovery. Do what you need (and find the resources available) to heal. Whether it’s eating better, visiting the doctor, or taking your medications regularly, please take the necessary steps. Also, stress has a well-documented affect on the health of our bodies. (If you ain’t rocking with the A-Train, go talk a walk around Prospect Park or visit the Botanical Garden to just enjoy a serene environment.)

            10) You are cutie. And you’re chocolate! :MUAH: Aside from this, in all seriousness, let’s focus on building your self-esteem in a healthy, meaningful way. Instead of focusing on what isn’t going well, what have you been able to accomplish, persevere through, or improve? It could be anything from developing a new skill to enhancing your wardrobe. If you can’t think of something, is there something you’d like to try (e.g. cooking class, learning a new language, skydiving, etc.) Too often we compare ourselves to other people and forget we are unique beings.

            Can’t nobody do YOU like you, Re! Thus, we, as people, need to focus on developing ourselves and not looking around to other people.

          • Mochasister

            I promise you that I don’t mean to derail but I don’t understand number four. If memory serves me correct, you’re only in your early thirties, no? You are still a very young man. I don’t mean to come off as flippant or seem uncaring. I just thought mid-life was around forty-fiveish. I am sorry for the difficulties that you are experiencing right now. You will be in my prayers.

            • RewindingtonMaximus

              I call it a midlife crisis for me because for half of my life I was sick and fighting to stay alive. I don’t have to worry about my health as much anymore but because of that, many things I needed to do to grow into the man I’d like to be today, were never done. So the consequences have all been rushing at me at once and it has been taking a toll on me. A very large one. It’s all making me understand I stand on a thin line of being mentally a teenager and a grown man at any moment

    • PDL – Cape Girl Shero

      Gosh….wow….so sad

    • Sweet Potato Kai

      You might be on to something!

      • Cheech

        Or she wants to be on GoT.

        • Sweet Potato Kai

          Hey Cheech! You might be right, her rap career is not what it used to be.

      • Mochasister

        I thought that was Lady Gaga for a minute. She looks so scary. Like a vampire.

    • Amber

      That’s what it is. lol

    • Mochasister

      Poor thing. Is that what she’s doing? I don’t that looking like a mutant will protect her but at this point anything’s worth a shot.

    • HJ

      I just died reading that. I’m a ghost now.

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