Ashamed pt. 2 Homophobia in the Black Community

“I come up in the street around some real wild brothers, with more than one name and more than one baby mother”-Yasiin Bey.

But some of them–us–flipped shit around. Writing just “some” instead of all is far from endearing,  but it’s certainly better than nothing. I tend to recognize where such people came from, and how pretty easily, there’s something instinctual about it. Something more than the black dude head nod when I’m vacationing, though the gratification is less simple. Basketball courts and the army are gold mines for meeting ex-hood niggas. All those dudes who got several women pregnant when they were teenagers but failed at convincing them to terminate, the guys who peddled any drugs they could religiously even when it was less profitable than taking a shitty job, the bullies (especially that dude Terrance who was the first to break my nose, he didn’t make it though but you get the point), those who couldn’t stop smoking weed for one fucking week so someone could hand them one of those “good hospital jobs,” the dudes who had a problem with me walking in their neighborhood even though only lived a block away and everyone caught in between those scenarios.

Sometimes those people, my people, actually grow up. That doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t call me an Uncle Tom or whatever, but it does mean that we can work together, share beers or they can get that ass bust (burst? bursted? bussed? someone help me out here) on the court and violence or law enforcement won’t be a guaranteed ending. And that’s good. When I see people I knew, or sometimes even hoped would be dead by now buying homes, taking care of their families, sometimes even reading. Fucking reading. And talking about education, about what they should have done or will do right from now on (introspection, I know it hurts. I’m in pain every day). It brings me to tears. I’m almost thirty and it feels good to turn to someone else who had no parents, no schooling, no love, no hope and say “we fucking made it!” (Well, sort of, by any other future calculations).

And then something happens that makes me remember. Like when Young Thug expectedly released another poop tinged album. Now normally, I wouldn’t even notice when the music industry sharts out its most recent duplicate of mindless zombie gangster vomit for suburban white kids to bump as a practical representation of black life, but this time. This time, Young Thug was wearing a “dress.” I mean, personally I can get down with the kimono inspired, Samurai Champloo esque outfit more than what I typically see rappers wearing, but that’s just me. More importantly, in all this enlightenment and growth I was happy about coming from ex-hood niggas, I have to say there is a long way to go on homophobia.

I mean damn, it’s like I was transported into a Baptist church or something when the album dropped. It was all “but the kids will see this,” and “he’s teaching my son to be gay,” or worse “a girl.” Real quick though, do any of you people have mothers, sisters, daughters? Wives? Empathy? Humanity? Damn. Being a girl is still at the bottom of your list of respectables huh? (I’ll have to address this in a later, longer post). But yea, Young Thug was a “faggot,” (that one brings back memories) and every derogatory name one might think of for even mildly gentle black boys, and believe me there are plenty. There was this infinite tirade surrounding the implications of Young Thug and his outfit and what it meant for the black community and how people were going to stop listening to his music.

Really? Had you started listening, well trying to listen to his music before that? Granted I’m using the term music loosely but still. I had generally accepted the fact that sure, some people would like him, but some people like black licorice or reality television or centipedes. To each their own right? But if you liked Young Thug’s music up until he wore the dress on his album cover but you’re all reformed, personal growth, better man, looking towards the future, value education, positive living for you and the kids, acceptance of others/one with the world and let’s not forget my personal favorite #moves and counter moves, you might want to help check that rampant homophobia we’ve got looming around if you want a more perfect tomorrow.

I do love those memes with Young Thug in different anime fight scenes though.

 

 

Ice Cream

I’ve been thinking a lot about the practical implications of receiving ice cream the next time I get pulled over. The first thing I’d like to know is, do I get to choose the flavor? I mean I’m already in a car on my way to a destination, because that’s the practical purpose of a car right? Point A to point B. So clearly I don’t have time to be pulled the fuck over for no reason, but if I’m gonna humor this idea I would hope the cop doesn’t assume I like some bullshit butter almond ice cream. The least you can do if I’m gonna get written up for tardiness at work is consider my needs first. Come correct with some mint chocolate chip or don’t come at all. Ok, maybe vanilla, but vanilla bean, not that watered down shit Mr. Softie’s been pushing since the 90s–unless, of course you can get it dipped in that cherry stuff (Mr. Softie stay claiming he “ran out” but then I see some little kids with it after I’ve wasted my time chasing the truck in my flip-flops). Now I know that’s a lot to ask because inflation has it up around $2.50 right now but that ain’t not on me, I didn’t start this.

I’m also concerned with how I should consume said ice cream. Since I’ve already lost valuable time in such a charitable traffic stop, I clearly have to keep going to make up for every second, but ice cream melts so I have to eat it ASAP. I won’t be able to drive with both hands, lord forbid I’m driving stick–or worse–on a motorcycle. Do motorcyclists even deserve ice cream? Do I get a pass for distracted driving if i’m leaning over to catch the tilting cone and swerve into someone else’s lane? What if I cause an ice cream related accident? Do I have to pay the deductible or will you? I mean my insurance rates already took a hit from that time Yana’s friend crashed my car into a deer up in burning crosses PA, so I need answers. Personally I’d suggest the city pay for damages, they have plenty of money from when I lived downtown and paid more in parking tickets than rent. How the fuck you gonna give me a ticket for being on a snow emergency route when it didn’t even snow? I know, meteorologists make mistakes, but damn can we just agree that was fucked up? $160.00 though? Anyway, PPA ain’t shit.

What if I just don’t fucking want ice cream? Have you ever seen that short about tea and consent?

What if I’m diabetic or lactose intolerant and can’t or shouldn’t for whatever reason eat ice cream? Will there be other chilled snack options, sugar and lactose free ones I suppose? If not, isn’t that still a form of discrimination? Are we headed back to where we started? What if I’m a hypochondriac and I believe the ice cream will lead me to diabetes, which causes an anxiety attack, triggering my asthma and I don’t have my pump and I die? Or, an ambulance delivers me to the hospital but it takes so long that I have to be intubated and now I’ve lost three teeth, but I have shitty health and dental because it’s through the army, so I go broke trying to pay medical bills in this garbage healthcare system. Then I wake up with an ET tube in my throat so now I have to deal with PTSD on top of John Henryism, plus probable loss of employment because I was on my way to work (because we are always on our fucking way to work in this country) and subsequent homelessness. If I get lucky–and pull myself up by my bootstraps afterwards–the missing teeth might make me unemployable.

What if the heart dropping terror of being pulled over in the first place makes me sweat through my clothes and look guilty? What if I would prefer not feeling or being threatened when innocent? What if–and this is a big what if–you could think more deeply about a complicated problem and approach it with the seriousness and resources to which you approach your own, instead of throwing fucking ice cream at it?

Dogs and Kids

The dog park can change in an instant from serene to obscene, at least in the eyes of the right human. Dogs are after all, like children. We love them powerfully, and express it clearly, yet they do not always share our expressive language. Once someone asked me why my dog was barking at theirs and I said because she doesn’t speak English very well. This person was not the right human, at least not just then. The other day, the right human happened to be an older, well-to-do white woman–who certainly considered herself right in every sense, since she’d been acculturated to believe it so–and she made it clear, as they often do, that her authority was absolute. She reminded me of the aging, self-righteous white women at work who would “see Trump elected at all costs.” Anyway, the woman at the park, wielding a leashed Collie with it’s balls dragging through the mulch flew off the handle because of an interaction between a goofy pit bull and my little feeble Moro.

Moro approached the pit looking for play, and the pit nudged the little rabbit looking creature and then attempted to sit on him. Apparently, this dog likes to sit on puppies (which I thought was kind of funny, but whatever). Moro rolled around on the ground a little, squealing as he does, yelping at the top of his lungs, tail between his legs, big ears up and dashed beneath the bench where Ryan sat. He was of course, uninjured. Just afraid of a larger dog potentially being on top of him, the other dog was in no way aggressive. In fact, Moro has squealed and yelped twice as loud at the sound of bath water running or my yelling at him for shitting in the house. But, never the less, the right human refused to hear  any of that. When I said he was fine,she kept asking, essentially telling me, “are you sure, are you sure” in a way that clearly stated I was not wise enough, or did not care enough to know. She didn’t speak to the owner of the pit bull. Funny though, after rolling her eyes at me and turning away she said to Ryan: “at least he comes to you,” as I’m picking up a ball to throw for Cassie. Never mind the hyper aggression she couldn’t be bothered to train out of her own dog.

What gets me though is the hyper-sensitivity to all little things. Necessary mishaps of proper growth and development, the demanding of weakness and the refusal of accepting blame. As if they should be coddled at all costs even when they aren’t injured or in any real danger. Long gone are the days of getting over yourself, so then self-righteous people like homegirl embark on galactic quests to annoy the shit out of, and then berate under their breath anyone who isn’t in line with their injurious, incessant coddling. More injurious with human children I think. Those human children who may grow up to be just like her, or any blip on the spectrum of insufficient/deleterious to the remainder of our supposedly just society. Those whom regardless of resources, remain either wholly dependent on others or morally inexcusable in our current societal landscape–shredding away the well-being of every living thing they touch–and doing so with pride because they were bred to believe it acceptable. Politicians in the making.

And so when I’m walking somewhere with the kids and they’re running on the concrete, and I say to stop running and they don’t and then Leah falls and starts freaking out crying but isn’t injured, I shouldn’t feel bad at all. I should feel nothing when I tell her to get up and that she has no reason to cry. She gets right up when I say that and gives up on the tears and starts walking again. It usually takes a while before she forgets the fall and starts running again and the process is repeated, sometimes days, sometimes weeks. But I do feel something, I don’t know if it’s bad or not. Maybe I feel like I should do something about the pressure of people staring and expecting me to kiss the non-existent boo boo. The scowls from other parents when I don’t lift her up, but allow her to get up on her own. But no matter how I feel, It’s more important that I continue to hope she’ll be picking herself up as much as possible, now and in the future, when her mother and I, the rest of her family, maybe even her friends are gone ,if it comes to that. Maybe it’s because I know the stakes are so much higher for her as a little black girl in America, or maybe it’s my own angry insistence on independence. The vitriol I still have for never being  nurtured or taught anything by anyone even when I truly needed it most. Likely a combination of those things, or maybe I just can’t stand pretentious old Trump voting, ignorant, self-righteous ass chickenheads at the dog park and she got me all in my feelings.

Maybe my anger is like that damn technicolor Tootsie pop owl and as a consequence, the world may never know.