Resolved

I resolve to work hard at standing up for what is right.

I resolve to fight against injustice.

I resolve to engage in discourse around inequity daily.

I resolve to deliberately provoke and challenge stagnant thinking.

I resolve to always welcome anyone who would challenge my thinking for the better.

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I admit I have been quiet lately. The events since the election have been a lot to process. I go back and forth from feeling extremely violent, to extremely melancholy, and always ending with utter disbelief. Then, because I have a conscious, contrary to popular “white” belief, and those who feel that my perspective is too narrow or unrealistic, I beat myself up…

 

Because maybe I am too hard on Trump and White America… (she says cautiously).

 

Maybe I should listen to Barack and have some sympathy/understanding  for those in power; those with privilege; who are struggling to accept the changes in social and economic structures that have come to pass under Obama’s administration. I mean, their way of life has been literally under threat for the last 8 years….(she says as she rolls her eyes).

 

The real reason I have been quiet is because I literally have had nothing nice to say…and while that usually hasn’t stopped me, I really needed to get myself in check so that I could write coherently and intelligently. Otherwise, this post would just have be a page full of expletives.

 

Today is MLK day, and at the end of the week Donald Trump will be sworn in as President of the United States of America. If it wasn’t so absurd, I would be rolling around laughing in my bed right now. This is our reality. I am no longer in shock. I have accepted our nation’s fate, and have decided to move on with my new year’s resolutions.

 

I resolve to work hard at standing up for what is right.

I resolve to fight against injustice.

I resolve to engage in discourse around inequity daily.

I resolve to deliberately provoke and challenge stagnant thinking.

I resolve to always welcome anyone who would challenge my thinking for the better.

 

Trump’s America is a America I plan to challenge daily. Today, I rededicate myself to the mission and vision of Parlae, and I want to personally thank all of the folks who have supported us in our first year. We have a lot of plans for this upcoming year, and we are very excited. We have a dream, and we honor our forefathers and mothers today. Without them, there is no platform. Without them, there is no us…

 

PS…

 

I am not for all of the MLK posts on social media from all of my followers and the people I follow who never say anything about social justice on any other day….

 

Let’s be real. I am about this life 365, and yes I wasn’t always, but I am WOKE now. It irks me when I see posts about social justice just because it’s trending. Do me a favor and don’t bother. Consciousness is not a trend. Heads up…Black History Month is coming….please don’t get on my nerves…

 

There is a campaign to turn off all tv’s during the inauguration Friday. I have also heard many people of color say they plan to ignore the event altogether. My response to this: NOOOOOO!!!! What this man has to say on Friday is important. Why? Because we need to know what we are up against. You don’t want to watch on tv? Fine…then live stream that shit. Read the transcript. Make sure you read it to your children, your students, share it with your family. Spread the word!!! There is nothing more deadly than an unseen enemy. Knowledge is power.
Julia

Last night I dreamt of war

Last night I dreamt of war.

It was vivid and it shook me to my core.

But,

I wasn’t scared.

I was pissed off.

For,

We’ve been at war all along.

 

-Shamira

 

 

The Plight of the Safe Black Man

The plight of the safe black man.

Sitting in Ta-Nehisi Coates’ lecture “A Deeper Black: Race in America,” at Temple University,  I was frustrated.

A black man had a platform to talk about being a black man in America, in 2016. Most importantly – a black man had the platform to talk about being a black man in America, in 2016, to a room full of non-black men.

After the very public murders of . . .

Alton Sterling,

Philado Castille,

Keith Lamont Scott,

Terence Crutcher,

a black man had a platform to talk about being a black man in America, in 2016, to a room full of non-black men.

Given that platform, I wanted Coates to get up on stage and be the angry black man. I wanted him to make the audience feel what we as black and brown people feel on a daily basis.

At one point Coates said, “When people say we’re entering a new era of domestic terrorism it’s because they’ve never been black.”

I heard that.

I felt that.

And, I wondered who else heard and felt the same.

All too often black men (boys, girls and women as well) are criminalized.

Criminalized at work, in school, in the neighborhood and on the news.

It takes a special kind of black man to be welcomed into a fairly non-black space (Academia) to talk about blackness.

Just to be clear – it’s not that black people aren’t academic – but, black people, as we know, haven’t always had the opportunity to engage in academia. Even still the five faces of oppression (violence exploitation, marginalization,  powerlessness and cultural imperialism) and continual systemic debilitation of black people continue to keep us out of Academia. Thus, the academic world, in large part, is still fairly white.

What kind of black man does it take to be welcomed into the living room of white men and women?

The answer is simple: a non threatening one.

One that code switches appropriately.

What does that mean?

One that is black (skinned) but not too black.

Remember how many times Obama was called a monkey?

One that can address issues in an urgent but not irate tone.

Not doing so didn’t work out too well for Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, or Fred Hampton.

So, I wonder how many times we (black/brown people) lose out on the opportunity to speak our truths based solely on audience.

If I had to assume – I’d think that those of us who’ve earned and been given a platform have to loosen/lessen/rid of some parts of our truths in order to be heard non-threateningly.

My concern is that if we continue to go that route we might not ever be actually heard.

Lastly. I’m ready for another round of the 10 point program.

Same points.

New generation.

-Shamira