February 21, 2014 · 1:24 pm
*I write this in response to a creeping Kola Boofs Twitter timeline and seeing a back-and-forth between she and Rosanne*
The women reading this Blog are gainfully employed, running functioning households, controlling successful businesses, busy being beautiful, whatever; So, I’ll TRY to keep this short and sweet 😉
Tommy Sotomayor IS sending a message which although particularly controversial, is one that some people feel is a motivating force within the Black Community. Many people understand the use of his platform to simply be a self-reflective mirror showing that we ought to be holding ourselves to higher standards of morality and ethics; A necessary evil of sorts.
Others at the polar opposite of the spectrum instead believe that he is a contagion; A deadly strain of ideological virus compiled of hatred and contempt toward Black Women in general and that he is set on propagating the lie that we are on a path of self-destruction. That we are ugly, matriarchal failures. Genocidal maniacs.
I’ve watched my fair share of TS YouTube clips and am familiar with the jargon of “Beasties”, “Snow Queens”, “Mixed Nuts” and “Hair Hatted Hooligans”. I’ve also become fluent to the language of “Simps” and “Madden Kings” and so, I well understand the “message of his media” and where both sides have formed their opinions from. Tommy Sotomayor openly and scathingly critiques Black Women and Black Men however, like him or hate him; His types have become an important enigma in the world of North American internet savvy Black People. Tommy Sotomayor and the like are speaking about us and therefore they are speaking to us. But ultimately, it is our prerogative to acknowledge, discuss, ignore or silence their condescension. That us being Black People however; These messages are far reaching and unfortunately not only falling into our ears, so instead of hitting home only within the realm of our particular communities, it’s breaching cultural “boundaries”.
I believe that the judgment that some white people are allowing themselves to openly express toward Black Women is a side-effect after also being exposed to TS type messages; Collateral damage so to speak. (As if having the loaded finger of detriment pointed at us isn’t enough.) You want to judge us? Fine, it’s your right but, I suggest you sit quietly by and in blood curdling suffocating silence.
Stop assuming that the world needs you to speak for it because you can’t and yes, you assume the implication right; It is simply because you are white and inexperienced with what it means to be considered “other”. As much as it’s your right to direct your misinformed judgement toward us, we’ve every right to call you out on it and demand that you miss us with your foolishness. When we catch you in blatant acts of prejudice and discrimination, it’s not a reflection of our inherent “angry”ness to reject your violation, it’s simple self preservation of which we are also entitled to. It forces to mistrust you and therefore sometimes refrain from truly connecting with you. I digress…
Though, I don’t presume to speak for all Black Women, I think it’s safe to illuminate the sacred sorority that does exist between us.
We are all our mothers daughters but we are her first born and therefore delightfully special and beautifully unique. I choose not to pretend to understand a hierarchy where you feel you deserve to be placed above us, undermining our right to exist within the norms, mores, taboos and boundaries of our own cultures. Undermine our own agency to navigate the complexities of our relationships. Undermine the acceptance, indifference or the critiques of our own men. Men who may not love us but of who we are by nature innately designed and bound to love in spite of ourselves. (A WHOLE other essay entirely…)
Understand that we do not consider you to be beneath us; For our Mothers taught us to be especially respectful of other Women but, if you continue to chose to NOT be beside us within our framework of true and inclusive sorority which protects the integrity of Women as a whole and does not cheapen the right to exist of certain individuals, then inevitably, you will subjugate yourselves invariably.
Contrary to your popular opinion, we do not need you in order to be relevant. We are not in juxtaposition with you. We do not worship you. We can and do reject your assumption of dominion over us.
White supremacist Euro-Judeo-Anglo Saxon superiority is an utter fallacy and if you refuse to see us as equals, as fellow She-People; We will refuse to see you at all. We have each other, the majority of us do not take it for granted. Intersectionality is simply a theory, a theory that can be bitterly rejected.
P.S. Some of You will deconstruct this and claim that I am defending Ts; Resoundingly, NO I am not. I’m saying that we are mindful enough to deal with the fallout of his ideologies on our own and are also intelligent enough to see through a White persons “co-sign” on his perception of us. We see that your support of people like that is simply you giving your-less-than-perfect-self permission to stereotype and paint all Black Women with the broad stroke of ratchetness without a) Knowing more than maybe two Black Women and likely not that intimately and b) Understanding ANY thing about us. So, unless you’re defending the right of all Women to exist, be silent.
Black Women can support and hold each other up magnificently therefore, where there are changes and areas for growth within our circles, we can help to positively influence each other and we do. We have each other to help Mother and Sister each other to self-improvement, striving to becoming better individuals so that we can be better Daughters, Sisters, Mothers, Wives, Lovers and Friends. Solidarity is nothing short of love.
TS is welcome to his opinion, but as we all know by now, opinions are like assh*les; Everyone has one and some are shi*tty 😉
The moral of the story is; Always think twice before You openly climb aboard some bandwagon full of bull sh*t because we can see through misogynistic f*ckey just as well as the next Lass.
Light Reflected is enlightenment infinite.
Filed under African Canadian, Black Canadian, Black Educators, Black Literature, Education, Eurocentricism, Literacy, Musings, Parents, Racism, Uncategorized, Women
Tagged as African Canadian, Afro-Canadian, Afro-Canadian Success, Afro-Centric Education, Black Canadian, Canada, Education, Ghetto, Harmony, Know Better Do better, language, Leadership, Love, Mis-Education, Motherhood, Peace, Racism, self-improvement, Womanist, women
September 13, 2013 · 3:30 pm
UPDATE & OUTCOME
So, a few weeks back I posted about our infamous incident at the Lone Star Texas Grill in Etobicoke. Now that the ordeal has concluded, it’s only fair that I tell the story to its completion.
The Lone Star Texas Grill has put a policy in place for mandatory annual S.H.A.R.P. training of all their employees which is a major step in the right direction. Understanding diversity and it’s multitudes of complexities is the first step in developing a natural sensitivity toward governing our actions in terms of how we treat other people.
They have made it very clear that they will help to support in any way they can BlackLit101 community education support initiative. I have been put into connection with management at the location closest to my community. Although I’m not yet sure how we could benefit from this, I know there is potential somewhere! The company has also expressed a real interest in helping us with our book drive which is also greatly appreciated.
Although I did not receive a personal apology from the individual who was directly involved in this incident, I no longer feel like I need one. I’m not sure that I would have fully accepted it anyway. The people that I subsequently dealt with expressed genuine concern with what happened and that simple display of humanity alone is enough for me. He still remains nameless; Like a fallen soldier, gone but never forgotten…
I was also given a $100 gift certificate which I will be using. Hey, don’t judge me! Prior to this happening, I loved eating at The Lone Star! The margaritas and fajitas are awesome and although I probably won’t ever return to the location this happened at but, I will be using it in my own community. My friend and our daughters will have a date night out and put this behind us. I’ll be leaving my baby boy at home that night, just to stay on the safe side. Just kidding! I don’t really feel the need to and the powers that be have reassured me that what happened to us will never happen again to anyone else under any circumstances.
Unfortunately, bad things happen every day. Racism is alive and well and even in 2013, many people still believe that Black people are inferior. It’s how we act upon it that truly matters and cooler heads usually prevail. Resolution never lies in retaliation but will only ever be found in the display of intolerance for intolerance.
I want to credit the GM, Dave Cunningham and the Director Of Operations Rob Martin with dealing with me in a prompt, concerned and committed way. They took the incident seriously and although they couldn’t undo what had happened to us, they have made every effort to make us feel heard, understood and validated. I appreciate that and I commend them on their efforts to turn this unfortunate incident into one of moral growth, public progression and social evolution. Their swift and sincere reaction to this was an honorable display of leadership.
The world isn’t perfect but, it’s when we can we can learn from and turn an unfortunate event into a learning experience and kill the potential for repeat offences that we see change actually happen. We must always remember to be the change we want to see in the world. In the end, although we were initially treated unfairly, collectively we stood up against it and we all live to fight another day.
Light reflected is enlightenment infinite.
Filed under African Canadian, Black Canadian, Black Educators, Black Literature, Black Youth, Brampton, Brampton Ontario, Education, Musings, Ontario, Parents, Uncategorized
Tagged as African Canadian, Afro-Canadian, Afro-Canadian Success, Afro-Centric Education, Black Canadian, Black Canadian People, Black Community, Bullying, Harmony, Hatred, Integration, Know Better Do better, Leadership, Racism, self-improvement, Special Education
June 22, 2013 · 2:55 pm
I’m writing this article in response to the Paula Deen n*gger incident. First of all, let me start by saying that I am not the least bit surprised that a sixty-something year old Southern white woman is admitting to using the word n*gger. I’d be more surprised if she claimed that she’d never used the word in her life. I’d be even more surprised if this was never brought to light at some point in her career and I’d be extra surprised if it wasn’t causing a boisterous buzz within the Black community.
Now, this is not a pass and I’m not inferring that she should get away with what she did because our expectations of her should have been lower in the first place. What I am saying is that we must tire of these distractions and focus on the things which will inevitably propel us forward. Yes, I do believe this is a distraction. If this woman and her family are the biggest bigots in America; So. That’s their prerogative. As long as she isn’t cooking up and serving Black folks with some cheese grits and steamed collard greens, I couldn’t care less. She’s a branded millionaire. She can retire into obscurity and disappear from the public eye forever and my heart will never miss a beat. It effects me in no way and it effects you in no way either however; what it does do is spark useful dialogue to enhance the pixels of the bigger picture.
Get this angry when you spot structural racism within your respective cities, suburbs and communities. Cry foul when your local school district is still teaching Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” when Hurston’s “Their Eyes Were Watching God” is just as beautiful a love story and with just as challenging language vernacular to boot. Cry foul when your local business solicit our patronage yet they have nobody which looks like us working within their establishments. Which is why I prefer to support Black business but as usual, I digress.
You want to see change? Stop your own Black children and your friends from using this word. Stop giving our own people a pass! Black people have fought and struggled for freedom and to be physically free from bondage yet mentally enslaved with the verbal remnants of degradation is pathetic. I hate the word n*gger. I grew up in a black community where it wasn’t just taboo, it was unfathomable to utter such filth.
How degrading and I truly believe that when Black people say it, they are out of touch with their pride, identity and personal integrity. Further proof that re-education ought to be at the top our our collective priority list.
All in all, I’m upset that I can no longer cook along with Ms. Deen because I can’t in good conscious support an admitted bigot and I hear they fired her anyway. But, one monkey don’t stop the show and I refuse to allow this distraction to get in between me and my good priorities and those are to do my part in shaping a positive future for myself and the loves of my life; My People.
Oh and one more thing, the media is calling for her to donate millions to the NAACP and other “ethnic” institutions in retribution for her actions. I say BS; If money is accepted from the same hand that was only yesterday trying to dress Black folks up like a scene out of “The Help”, then we should stay on mute an sit idly by while the Paula Deens and the Ms. Hilly’s of the world say it like they mean it while we eat their sh*t.
Always remember, Light reflected is enlightenment infinite.
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Filed under African Canadian, Black Canadian, Black Educators, Black Literature, Black Youth, Brampton, Brampton Ontario, Education, Literacy, Musings, Ontario, Ontario Curiculum, Ontario Curriculum, Parents, Uncategorized, Women
Tagged as African Canadian, Afro-Canadian, Afro-Canadian Success, Afro-Centric Education, Bi-Racial, Black Canadian, Black Canadian People, Black Community, Ghetto, Harmony, Private Education, Racism, Re-Education, Segregation, self-improvement, Special Education, Womanist, women
June 4, 2013 · 8:45 pm
She is a Woman who is who she is
Does what she wants and lives how she lives
She is a Woman with so much to give
Open and freely she wonderfully gives
She is a Woman who wears what she wears
Treasures her body and looks as she dares
She is a Woman who sensually shares
Erotic to all she evokes to ensnair
She is a Woman who openly cares
Loves who she wants to and faces her fears
She is a Woman who believes in herself
Takes risks and chances because she trusts herself
She is a free spirit who knows that to Be
She must exist in a veracious pure state of She
She understands that she can’t possibly Be
An underrated cheapened shallow version of She
She is a believer in diligent prayers
Knows God is listening and comforts her tears
She is a warrior her victory clear
Always ready for action never caught unaware
She knows her lover must honestly be
The truest most masculine version of He
She submits to her man because she trusts that He
Will do what he must to take care of She
She respects her virtue and knows her true worth
Understands that as woman she mothers the Earth
She is crowned royal because of her birth
And celebrates life with a tangible mirth
How dare that Woman feel at home in her skin
Accept who she is both outside and in
If only all Women could beautifully be
Her truest and honest authentic own She
~Rachelle M. Turple
June 4, 2013 · 8:02 pm
A yellow woman approached me
Slanted were her eyes
And asked why she had never seen a black woman cry.
I could answer not her question
And was taken quite aback
Does not every woman cry no matter yellow white or black?
We absolutely do cry.
What else consoles our pain?
We pray for our oppressors and then we cry to calm our shame.
A black woman’s tears are sacred.
They cleanse her as she weeps
But sorrow sends to soil her soul and steadily it creeps.
She cries when she’s with wisdom
There’s none left to do but cry
Her lament surrendered honest, it needs not an alibi.
After pondering the ponder
I believe I’ve found reply
I know why it is you’ve never seen a black woman cry.
Seldom are her whispers heard
Far too often she’s invisible
The world around her seems to think that she’s somehow invincible.
She runs nowhere when she’s wounded
Pain enough to want to die
Silently she suffers as she finds the will to try.
Perhaps you’ve never noticed
Truly coming eye to eye
Maybe that is why you’ve never seen a black woman cry
She cries because she knows
People think she doesn’t cry
And she doesn’t need
~Rachelle M. Turple
Filed under Poetry, Women
Tagged as African Canadian, Afro-Canadian, Black Canadian, black literature, Canada, Female Poets, Harmony, language, Love, Peace, poetry, Womanist, women
June 3, 2013 · 6:01 pm
Picture the ugliest ugly
I’ll make it heavier
Multiply it by 10
So that it really
Grotesque and unpleasant
Repugnant and monstrous
Ominous and loathsome
Sordid and horrid
The revolting stench
of something repugnant
Rancid and rank
Disgusting and putrid
This is the reeking
Reality of hatred
Biting and ruinous
It’s gonna ruin US
It’s screwin’ US
Rotting us from the outside in
And they say that sex is
But way back in Genesis
Abel was slain
And for what?
The jealousy and hatred
Of his own brother Cain
Leads to certain
The assured extinction of humanity
Hatred is ugly
But I want you to see
Immorality fiddles up our
If that ain’t an incentive to be
Just a little bit righteous
I don’t know what is
This might just…
~Rachelle M. Turple