As Long As You Shut The F*ck Up, You Can Be As F*cked Up As You Want

You can feel like this, my n*gga, but you can't say that sh*t, my n*gga.

You can feel like this, my n*gga, but you can’t say that sh*t, my n*gga.

The recent “flap” over New Jersey governor Chris Christie’s “controversial” use over the word boy in a speech he was giving at a Black church just proves how words can be your undoing. Granted, Gov. Christie isn’t catching too much flack for it, but still, the story that he used the word “boy” towards an African-American man made the media rounds on Twitter which is like yelling fire in a crowded room – pretty soon the fire actually exists and Brick will have killed a guy.

And Lil Wayne will have died.

To be clear, I’ve watched the clip numerous times and there’s no way you can convince me he was calling the guy “boy”.

Anyway, I’m going to make a fairly significant leap here into something that I thought about whilst picking a dandelion the other day on a particularly warm March day:

As long as you don’t say anything particularly controversial, then you aren’t controversial.

And the crowd said, “duh”. So what do I mean? Glad you asked.

Let’s paint a scenario. If I’m a white man and I never ever date another person outside of my race, or don’t really interact with other people of other races, does that make me racist?

I don’t think so. I think it just makes you white in America. That’s totally possible. Hell, if you live in South Dakota that might be your entire existence. Forever. And that’s okay. Just because options exist doesn’t mean you have to take them…right? Everybody’s got their own prejudices and biases anyway. Hell I don’t like women with one gray eye and one grey eye. The vowel change really bothers me.

But the second you utter the words, “I don’t date people of other races.” Or even, “I really don’t date Black people” then, well, congratulations, you’re a racist. And not even the fun kind like, like the kind who can appreciate Black women hugging. So here’s my point, while you might be a racist at heart, you ain’t a racist until you say some racist sh*t. Which also translates into many other facets of life. Such as?

Glad you asked.

“I don’t really want to date a handicapped person.”

I’ve heard this with my own two ears. I got what the person was saying when they said it. Hell I understand it. But you just can’t saaaaaaaaaaaay that sh*t out loud. You just can’t. No amount of volunteer work at the Special Olympics or backtracking is going to make you sound like anything but a total douchebag. Which is probably unfair since I think most people tend to be about that status quo lifestyle. Status quo kind of implies “whole” person. But, again, if you say it, you just sound like a douche.

“Those people….”

There is almost never a good way to use the term “those people…” and it not turn off somebody listening to you. And why is this? Well because 174 percent of the time that the words “those people” are being used its in order to draw a distinction between yourself and whoever it is your speaking about. This group usually includes but is not limited to midgets, Black people, immigrants of color, Muslims, gypsys, circus performers, rappers (of all colors), Asians at top tier institutions or in the hood, Black people in Europe, any and all Afrians, etc. You get the point. Any group that can and has been maligned is usually who is being referenced in the “those people…”

However, it ALSO gets used in the other direction by liberals to include (but not limited to): Republicans, Tea Party activists, gun nuts, homophobes, heterophobes, phobes, White people that don’t live in urban areas, etc. You get the point.

Everyone’s a little bit racist.

“I’m glad slavery happened, otherwise we’d still be stuck in Africa.”

I’ve heard this said as well. And you know, amid this young man’s mis-informed and utter ridiculous statement, I knew what he was trying to say. It’s just stupid, inaccurate, and insanely dangerous. Which brings a point up that, silence is golden. If you ever have to say “I don’t know how to say what I’m trying to say” then you probably need not say it. Love 40. This statement was made in one of my classes at Morehouse. By a Black dude. And he got raked across the coals for it. Rightly. You just can’t say that on television.

Which reminds me of another statement I once heard in undergrad…

“We’re all judging, but if back in the day it was common for men to take and sleep with little boys, maybe it was just okay then.”

Again, I get what he was trying to say – don’t hate the player, hate the game – but there’s just no way to make some grand statements like that ever sound okay. Condoning child sexual abuse in a historical context is going to get you the side-eye like a motherf*cker. Trust me. And no, I didn’t say that, I side-eyed the sh*t out of the cat who said that.

For more direct examples of things you just can’t say out loud, revisit the #Steubenville conversations via Twitter the past few days.

So, good people of VSB, as language can ruin your life, what are some other examples of feelings you can have all the live long day, that you just can’t say out loud for fear of reprisal?

Reprise.

-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST aka MR. I AIN’T SAY THAT SH*T aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL HE A 3

****BTW: If you purchased and received your VSB crewneck, could you take a pic for us and send it in to contact@verysmartbrothas.com.****

20 Life Lessons From The Champ

Listen up, fellas. The Champ's here to drop knowledge and drink milkshakes, and he's all out of milkshake

In a sign that the Pittsburgh-area market for Black male motivational speakers must be pretty shitty, I’ve been asked to speak to five different youth organizations this summer. But, although I originally weeped (in my head) for the young men who will be forced to sit and listen to my litany of pseudo-motivational cliches and bad Jewish humor, after giving it some thought, I think this might actually be a great opportunity to impart certain “wisdoms” they probably won’t hear anywhere else.

Here’s a few that I have in mind so far. Lemme know what you think.

1. Never run for a bus or a cab unless you’re 100 percent certain that you’ll catch it

2. There are two rules to remember if dating a stripper:
A. Never refer to her by her stripper name, even if it makes you chuckle
B. When eating hot dogs or cheeseburgers, always have extra condiments available. They all seem to really enjoy excess condiments for some reason.

3. Telling the truth is overrated. So is lying.

4. People unaware of and/or completely uninterested in geography and history are the biggest assholes you’ll ever meet. Not surprisingly, many of these people can be found in New York City

5. While in the streets, beware of Black men with dirty shoes, Black women with their first names displayed anywhere on their bodies, White women wearing any clothing that can be purchased at Rainbow, and White men rocking fatigues for any reason whatsoever.

6. Making fun of yourself first gives you a free pass to make fun of anyone else without feeling bad

7. It’s okay to make faces at the phone and scream to yourself after leaving a painfully awkward voicemail. Under no circumstances is it ever okay to call back.

8. Elitists are idealists with character

9. Don’t believe the cliches: Some people are much better people than other people, some people don’t deserve happiness, and, although there is someone for everyone, sometimes the world would be better off if they never met.

10. There is absolutely no correlation between “total number of tats” and “relaxed sexual standards.” On a completely unrelated note, it’s okay to lie about things like this if you’re trying not to offend a woman with multiple tattoos who happens to read your blog, especially if you’re trying to sleep with her.

11. Never trust a Hispanic latina/latino who doesn’t have at least a slight “Hispanic” “latina/latino” accent.

12. Two woman fist fighting over a man only accomplishes one thing: Letting everyone present know that this man can f*ck either of them whenever he wants to. Subsequently, if two men are fist-fighting over a woman, there’s at least a 97 percent chance that she’ll be sleeping with someone else within two months.

13. Every pessimist staunchly believes that they’re just realists. This is why most pessimists become drunks.

14. Don’t get disgusted with yourself if an unexpected person pops up in your fantasy. Enjoy it. It’s your fantasy and shit. They’re there for a reason.

15. The only time it’s okay to have an umbrella is if you’re wearing a suit. If suitless, just man the f*ck up and get wet.

16. If a cat is watching you have sex, make sure not to change positions until they walk away.

17. Grown-ups who say things like “high school will be the best time of your life” have shitty lives, and aren’t to be asked anything other than “Do you have that in extra large?”

18. You can have too many friends, but you can never have too many remotes.

19. People will only laugh at your jokes if they like you or want you to think that they like you.

20. You are a speck of dirt on the asscrack of time. A quarter of a splinter on a trillion mile long finger. A collection of dust, dirt, star afterbirth, and cake batter. Basically, you are not special. At all. But, do what you can to hold on to and take care of the person/people who thinks that I’m wrong.

I think I’ll stop at 20. Anything else you’d add to the list?

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)
Today, Wednesday, June 27, come hang out at the Penthouse Pool Club on U Street (didn’t even know this existed did you) from 7-10pm and get free food and free X-Rated Fusion liquor. Panama will be there hanging out and this is an invite only affair. You must RSVP and it gets you admittance for yourself and one person. Yeah, it’s that kind of affair. So peep the flyer, RSVP, and he’ll see you today for a cool ninja extravaganza. With free stuff. (This is not a VSB event btw, just an event that a VSB will be at.)

Things Black People Say?

This pictures has nothing to do with this post. I just felt like showing everybody how far Ice Cube has fallen. Those Coors commercials hurt my soul.

In a previous life when I used to frequent places where ratchetness always ruled the day and the potential for crime and/or uncivil unrest was always at a fever pitch, there were a few signs I’d always look for to indicate that some violence was about to go down. There’s the tried and true, almost slow motion-like, Bionic-man level speed of a herd of ninjas all running the same direction that-a-way, but away from something. Anybody with Black relatives knows that means either somebody pulled a gun or somebody used a gun or somebody just got stabbed.

Or more simply, the Loss Of Life Potential Index was at a 9. Even if you didn’t know what was going on, you can always trust the crowd in those situations. Always. Run first, ask questions later and hope nobody named Ricky is running beside you. Seriously, if a ninja named Ricky is running next to you…trip him and keep running.

Another sure sign of violence is the quick removal of a shirt. I don’t know what it is about ninjas who are about to get in a fight and taking off shirts. I suppose muskels are supposed to be imposing, but unless you’re Hancock, chances are those triceps aren’t stopping elephant bullets, laughing boy.

ELEPHANT BULLETS?

Elephant bullets.

So yeah, running crowds and random ninja shirt removal are two signs. There’s a very famous third though that should set off anybody’s spidey sense. And it’s the first in a line of statements that I’m wondering are only uttered by Black people. Seriously…

1. YOU DO NOT KNOW ME!

Almost on cue, every single time I’ve seen two ninjas (who obviously don’t know each other) begin to do the pre-fight cat daddy where they more or less circle the wagons, one person is ALWAYS going to say to the other, “you don’t know me!”, almost hoping (I guess) that the other person will realize the fact that 1) they don’t know them; and 2) the potential for what they may have in store. We so simple. I’ve always thought this was a stupid statement in and of itself in these situations because well, it lends nothing to the situation. But hell, I’ve said it before and because I’m cerebral I had an internal convo with myself on some “P, that’s dumb…he knows he doesn’t know you. He also isn’t scared of you. And genius, you don’t know him either. This could end bad. I should offer to do his homework or something…” Either way, I wonder if other cultures go down this route. At least it’s good for something; like I said, it’s a violence indicator.

2. I’m just saying.

The words “I’m Just saying” have had a tremendous resurgence as of late in our community. It seems like every n*gga “is just saying” something. Like we’re all the innocent victims of facts or something. “Yo, your b*tch is ugly dog. I’m just saying.” Newsflash, it doesn’t absolve you from sh*t and it definitely doesn’t make you a soothsayer. And yet, its almost as popular as saying, “my neck, my back…” well you know the rest. I’m amazed that no song has been made out of this saying. Oh wait…that’s right, Young Jeezy has a song called, “I’m Just Saying”. Nevermind. N*ggas.

Speaking of…

3. I’m doing me/Imma do me/Do you boo

I’m sure there are various iterations of this in other cultures, but there’s something about living in Black culture that requires us all to let others know that we’re just doing ourselves. Like other people won’t let us live so we do our thing and hope that the haters stay away. I hate haters. That might be an oxymoron or the universe might have just exploded, either way, keep doing you boo. Oh, and I’m realizing the best statements all have songs. Like Rocko’s hood classic, “Imma Do Me”. Kwame is rolling over in his condo.

4. Haters gon’ hate/Can I live?/various iterations of pseudo poetic self-motivational shots fired

You know, us Blacks are a poetic people. I’m just sayin’. Everybody’s out to steal our joy and everybody’s tryign to steal our shine. Allegedly. I’m just sayin. I wonder if other folks say this same sh*t also but not as poetically as we do. More like, “people are always going to try to tear you down, Jill!” Real talk, “haters gon’ hate” is much cooler.

Hmm…

5. Real talk

This is the first cousin of “I’m just sayin” or maybe they’re kissing cousins. Maybe they’re from West Virginia. I don’t know. But I’ve never heard anybody not of the melanin who made a statement using the words “real talk”. It’s not even slang. It’s just a statement indicating that what I just said was a fact. Maybe that’s our problem. We keep having to validate what we say with other validating statements in attempts to validate that which was said that needed validation. I feel like I just watched That’s Not Love & Hip-Hop: Atlanta again. My bad y’all. My bad.

Those are a few joints that I wonder if Black folks are the only ones to use? Are there any others? I’m sure there are. Let’s create a list and send it to the “listserv” for a response.

By the way, go Heat. Thank you and good night.

-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST aka MR. IM JUST SAYIN, REAL TALK…CAN I LIVE? DAMN aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL HE A 3

For all of my DMV heads: Next Wednesday, June 27, come hang out at the Penthouse Pool Club on U Street (didn’t even know this existed did you) from 7-10pm and get free food and free X-Rated Fusion liquor. I’ll be there hanging out and this is an invite only affair. You must RSVP and it gets you admittance for yourself and one person. Yeah, it’s that kind of affair. So peep the flyer, RSVP, and I’ll see you next Wednesday for a cool ninja extravaganza. With free stuff. (This is not a VSB event btw, just an event that a VSB will be at.)