I Just Realized Donald Trump Is Joffrey Grown Up and Now I Need A Hug

pic-jointer I’m a certified Television Series lover. You give me a good scripted show and I will give you a good 48 minutes of my life once a week. Unless you’re Netflix and then you can get me all night and I’ll deal with the consequences later. Like everyone else in the country I have been looking at the news and social media in horror at seeing our new Commander and Chief bully, whine, belittle and mock his way into the highest office in the land.

It wasn’t until today that I realized who exactly Donald Trump is, he’s Joffrey all grown up. I have hated a lot of television characters in my life, I’m not sure I’ve ever disliked one more than I disliked Joffrey Lannister. He was spoiled, scary, evil, spiteful and felt as though he was above all laws and standards because of his last name and the family he was born into. Who does that remind you of?

There were women in Antarctica protesting Donald Trump. Millions of women all over the country united in their absolute distain for one man. There has never been a more disliked political figure in our history and I know why. It’s because him and Joffrey are the same person. Melania Trump and Sansa Stark had that same look of doom and gloom on their faces.

Those Secret Service agents walking down empty streets, they may as well have had on white cloaks.

I Don’t Want to Survive; I Want to Thrive

img_2103“Grab her by the pussy.” No matter how many times I hear it in my head I can’t help but to laugh. Not one of those gut busting, tears coming out of my eyes laughs, but one of those this is crazy laughs. I’m not laughing this morning and neither are most of the men and women I know.

I keep hearing how African Americans survived slavery and survived Jim Crow and survived the harshness of the Civil Rights Movement and the Reagan era. Stop telling me how we survived mass incarceration. “We survived all that, we’ll survive Donald Trump as President.” It’s not Trump I’m afraid of, it’s Trump’s America that scares me. A world of racial profiling and 4 dollar a gallon gas. I am not my ancestors and I love them for surviving and living but I choose not to survive. I choose to thrive. I choose to not sit at home behind my computer and sulk and be afraid and not cause trouble at work. I choose to hold my head up high, walk into my office and remind anyone that’s jubilant about last night’s victory that we have HR for a reason and I won’t threaten you are curse you out. I will simply write an email getting you fired for discussing politics at work.

Last night was my youngest sister’s 15th birthday. When we were having dinner she told us she got a letter from Stanford University to come visit the school and be a part of a program. She is incredibly smart and mature, she writes short stories and loves photography. Her future is as bright as she wants it to be, that doesn’t stop because of Trump or his supporters. Today’s weather mirrors how my heart feels. Dark, cold, unsettling but with a new day comes a new sky and with a new sky comes the ability to rise above this America we are now living in.

I don’t want to survive. I don’t want to get disrespected and marginalized and not get the same opportunities and be okay with it. Surviving is what our ancestors did because they had no choice because it was survive or die. We have a choice, not just to survive but to thrive. We have a choice on whether or not we want to build something and make something of ourselves or survive. On whether or not we want to accept racism, sexism, elitism and survive or look racism, sexism and elitism in the face and say, “Move or get ran over.”

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4am Thoughts From San Juan

My First Night In San Juan
  
  

Coming from a city like Houston, Tx I’m used to noise. I live by a railroad track, the dogs barking, police sirens. Noise stops becoming noise and simply becomes a part of everyday life. Noise will never be the same to me though. I can’t sleep so I’m sitting on the 7th floor of my hotel balcony listening to the Atlantic Ocean crash against the shores. 

I ate dinner tonight at this restaurant right off the beach. I was literally the only person on the patio. The only person at the restaurant. Twenty feet away from me the waves crashed over a bunch of rocks. I thought to myself, “How do people get used to such beauty.” I had a meal of stuffed plantains with shrimp and beans and rice. I noticed two things quickly. Every meal comes with beans and rice and bananas and vegetables. 

After dinner tonight I changed and just walked for almost an hour. Careful not to get lost and taking my watch off and putting it in my pocket I wanted to just feel the city. There are no stray dogs though almost every other person I saw walking has one. Iguanas that are maybe 4-6 feet long walk around as though they don’t have a worry in the world. The bars are beautiful, almost all of them have some sort of view of the ocean. 

I’m 32 and I’ve never ridden public transportation. But paying 20 dollars every time I hop in a cab isn’t the most cost efficient way of traveling so tomorrow I’m hoping on a bus to Old San Juan. Sitting on this beautiful beach or by the perfect pool drinking mojito’s all day is appealing but culture and adventure await me! I feel like a child on Christmas Eve. Castles and Forts on the beach, 800 year old museums. I guess it would be cool to downplay my excitement but why front? 

I’ve never flew standby before so this morning I felt like I was waiting on a lottery as I watched the woman at the airport counter to see if she would call my name. It was the scariest feeling ever not having any control. And then rushing through the airport in Miami getting to my connecting flight with 2 minutes left. Sitting on the plane next to a black man from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania that has lived in Puerto Rico for 20 years. Talking his ear off, asking question after question. 

I’m not in my comfort zone and earlier that bothered me. But as the day has worn on I’ve found myself embracing it. My girlfriend is here working so our time together will be spent to evenings and maybe a lunch or waterfall if we can fit it in. I’m proud of her so it doesn’t bother me. What would bother me is if I didn’t challenge myself to do these amazing things on my on! 

Anyway. Today is only the first day and I’m already running my mouth. I have two more nights to chat with you all from my balcony in San Juan. 

How to Discredit A Black Man? Just Call Him Angry

Kanye West and Eddie Murphy

Kanye West and Eddie Murphy

This morning Kanye West gave an interview on the popular morning radio show the Breakfast Club and almost immediately the reactions started to pour in. Everything from he supports child molesters and slut shaming to he’s crazy for loving his wife. Now to be fair you also had the “he’s a genius crowd,” which is also understandable.

Let’s talk for a minute about what Kanye is. He’s a man that’s pretty open about his faith, one of his biggest hits was “Jesus Walks.” He’s a man that dropped out of college to literally become one of the biggest musical stars in the world. Something we praise Mark Zuckerburg and Steve Jobs for. He’s never been in prison or fathered a bunch of children. He’s never glorified the selling of drugs of pimping and killing of women or children. Everyone that works with him talks about his work ethic and passion.

Let’s talk about who Eddie Murphy is. This is a man that at 19 saved Saturday Night Live. A writer, actor and director that has always hired black people not just in front of the camera but behind the camera. Everyone he’s worked with raves about his loyalty and comedic timing.

Both are proud and talented men who’ve recently been given the “angry” label. Eddie Murphy chose not to make fun and mock a man he’s looked up to for all his life so he’s “angry.” Kanye talks about his love for his wife, defends his best friends wife, makes a song dedicated to his daughter and late mom. He isn’t passionate or a standup guy he’s angry and emotional.

We diminish black men’s thoughts and concerns by reducing them to temper tantrums. We allow the media and trolls to highlight a sentence here or quote there and turn a valid point into a catchy punch line.

I’ve often been accused of being too serious but the world lacks serious men. Everything can’t be about getting a laugh or fitting in. You have to stand for something. And if you decide to stand for something and have a voice people will try and silence that voice.

Dear America: Don’t Judge Us By the Worst of Us

Dear America,

Don’t judge me by the worst of my race and I won’t judge you by the worst of yours.

Who am I? I’m a black man that’s a stereotype, that’s a statistic. I grew up with a father that had a lot of kids he didn’t bother getting to know. I grew up in a neighborhood with gangs and drugs and a school district that had low test scores. Who am I? I’m a man that has refused to let any of that define me.

Often times when social issues come up other races and even some black people believe we take up for anyone regardless of their crime. That’s foolish and just not true.

My grandmother is 73 years old. She lives alone. If a 19 year old black kid breaks into her home and harms her are I or anyone I know going to cry for him? Are we going to wear t-shirts or say the police were too rough? No. Every circumstance is different and what is igniting these fires is the extreme nature of these cases. Not officers doing their jobs.

What if I judged every white person I met off of the comments I read on a Fox News post? What if I judged every white person I met off the pictures of that little girl going into a school and adults spitting at her and cursing her? What if I judged all of you based on a man choking another to death while he’s not fighting back? So don’t throw statistics about black crime at me. Don’t compare civil unrest to gang banging, criminals, thugs. You don’t judge me by the worst of my generation and I won’t judge you by the worst of yours.

We all have a decision to make. Stand up for what’s right or live your life as a coward.

Sincerely Yours,

Demez F. White

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Accountability Starts With Us: Five Ways We Need to Do Better

Martin/ Malcolm/ Barack

Martin/ Malcolm/ Barack

Whenever there’s a tragedy involving a young black man and a police officer or white man we as a community are outraged. We want justice, we want revenge, we want respect. Often times you have people saying, “What about black on black crime?” “What about what the victim did wrong?” In the heat of the moment asking those questions feels like you’re blaming the victim instead of uniting behind the victim.

This is the truth. We have to do better as a community and as a people. It’s really that simple. I’m not saying that officers or men that decide to play judge, jury and executioner shouldn’t be punished but what I’m saying is their ignorance may not ever change but our looking the other way has to. There is no difference from an 8 year old getting gunned down in Chicago or a 17 year old getting stabbed in New Orleans by a black man then there is a 18 year old getting murdered by a police officer. All of them are domestic terrorist.

Here are ten things that we as a community have to do better at or just do more of.

Five- We’re not directors or producers. There’s nothing cool about recording fights and sharing fights. If you see two people about to fight step in to stop it. Most of the time one person doesn’t want to be there anyway. Instead of five people with their camera phones out; how about we have five people calming the situation. When I see these videos I rarely see a white man holding the camera. I see us. It’s not funny to see a little girl get the hell beat of her while other people watch. Stop watching and recording and start stepping up.

Four- Read before you share. We live in a social media age where information flows so freely. Read! Don’t share a link if you haven’t given it five minutes. You’ll know fairly soon if it’s made up information. Don’t get so caught up in wanting to be first that you’re wrong. You share bad information and next thing you know a hundred people have shared that same bad information. That’s not cool nor is it beneficial to anyone. The news can be depressing, I get that but reading different news websites, watching videos. Learn what’s going on.

Three- Stop making excuses for people because you like them or love them. Wrong is wrong. If your favorite rapper goes out of his way to tell us that he’s really a gang member, that he really pimps hoes, that he’s really in the streets. All for the purpose of making sure we know his music is authentic, don’t be surprised when people look at him crazy when he is standing up screaming, “Just stop the violence!” The content you choose to put out is a reflection of you. You can rap without saying “Women aren’t about shit and I’m going to kill other black men.” It’s possible. We have to hold each other to higher standards.

Two- You can’t speak and write like you have no education online or in your text or when you’re talking to your friends and then expect to not have that carry over when you’re at work or writing something more official. It breaks my heart to see so many younger kids who can barely talk. Being articulate covers a lot of flaws. Being well spoken and making eye contact. Having confidence in what you’re talking about. It’s universal no matter your educational background or financial background. You can’t go around here calling women that look like you bitches and hoes and calling men that look like you niggas and think that’s okay. It’s not.

One- We are not each other’s enemy. When I have a disagreement with anyone on social media and I can see my words have been taken out of context or what I said was offensive. I apologize. If they say something out of line I try and understand their point and make them understand they could have said it better. It won’t always end with a smile and an understanding but it will always end in mutual respect. I come to work and have to deal with people that can be difficult. I have to worry about what will happen if I get pulled over even if I haven’t done anything wrong. I don’t want to fight with people that look like me, that I love. I want us to prosper together. To excel together.

This article isn’t me saying, “It’s our fault when other races or entities come for us.” This is me saying we can’t worry about them. We have to worry about ourselves and the more we build us up, the more we fix us, the less what they do affects us. Awhile back Don Lemon said that black men should get married and stop having children out of wedlock. That we should keep our communities clean and stop littering. That we have to speak better and pull our pants up and respect authority. People hate Don Lemon and CNN so they threw out the message with the messenger. Even though he was right. Go in Sunnyside, Southpark, 5th Ward, any other community that’s mostly African American and you’ll find beat up streets, trash. We have to start reporting people that are dumping illegally.

Hell on Earth: The Revolution

All she could remember was the noise, the deafening noise. Lying in bed, seriously considering calling in to have a four day weekend she thought her heart was going to jump out of her chest. “Am I dreaming?” Is the question she asked herself when all she saw was the backyard where her bathroom and closet once stood. The smoke, the fire, the screams, it was happening in slow motion.

It wasn’t until there was one scream in particular. One scream that shook her out of her dream state. She’d heard him cry before, heard him whine and play fight with his cousins but she’d never heard him scream like he was screaming now.

Jumping out of bed, taking in her neighbor lying in her backyard with half his head blown off she fought through the smoke and heat and crashing that seemed to be seconds away from falling on her to get to where she heard him screaming!

The front of the house collapsed, pieces of brick and glass everywhere. The harder she scratched and pulled to get to the scream the less fear and pain she felt. Her fingernails cracking, the heat from the fire scorching her thin nightgown.

Feeling hands on her waist pulling her back she turned to fight, seeing her husband bleeding from his head all she could do was scream, “He’s in there! He’s in there! Listen! Listen!” There was a dead look in his eyes, a look she could never recall seeing before, one that chilled her in her tracks even with all the noise and fire around her.

“We have to go Lauren! He’s gone baby! He’s gone!” Turning around, pushing him away! Still scratching! Still clawing! He could hear the rest of the roof creaking, he could hear the explosions happening around him! As the rest of the house collapsed he pulled her onto the front lawn screaming!

That was two years ago, that was the start of hell on earth!

That was the start of the rebellion that she now led!

To Be Continued…

War

War