The nerve of some ni**as

Of course I remember you!

I remember that time you asked me out on a date and after I’d been waiting for you for 20 minutes, you called and told me you were having car trouble but would be there soon, but after an hour, still never showed up or called to apologize or reached out to me at all until today.

You need what, now? And how many ways can I not help you?

#AndIKnowYouFromWhere
#ElementarySchool #GoThatWay
#TheNerveOfNiggas

I Blame Hillary: An Exercise in Hate

I blame Hillary Clinton
Who ran the State Department
That issued a work visa to Steven Adams
Who was drafted by OKC, and subsequently (three years later)¬†forced Draymond Green to kick him in the balls by calling him a “quick little monkey.”
Had he been denied that visa, the altercation would never have occurred, and Draymond would have had another flagrant in his back pocket for when he punched Lebron in his balls.
He wouldn’t have been suspended..
The Warriors would have closed out in Game 5.
And everyone would hate Lebron this morning as much as I do.

I’m still with her, but this is clearly her fault.

 

1950: When America Was Great

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Last night, while my¬†cousin and I were watching “Roots” with my aunt, she explained to us how sharecropping was nothing more than¬†slavery lite. She, my dad and their 12 other sisters and brothers were raised on a plantation in Omaha, Georgia, where my grandfather worked as a sharecropper. They farmed cotton and peanuts, and she told us¬†how every season, after the crop was sold and it came time for my grandparents to “settle up” with the landlord for all the provisions they used throughout the year, they’d always be in debt. Always owe money for the work they did, because he owned the plantation store, set the prices and kept the books.

Then she showed us this¬†bill of sale from 1950, where their landlord¬†took every single thing they¬†owned, in order to settle their debt. They had no crops, no cows, no mules and no hogs, which left them completely dependent upon him the following year. And when the next crop didn’t bring in enough to cover all those new¬†expenses (because, somehow,¬†it never did), he tacked on that¬†debt to the next season, and the next…

This was 1950. Slavery had been outlawed nearly 100 years earlier, but my grandparents were no less tethered to that plantation than their great-grandparents..

So when folks ask, “Why can’t black people just…?”

This is why.¬†It’s why we’re¬†distrustful, why the¬†achievement gap, why the wealth divide, why I wish a ************ would come at me with that, “Slavery ended 150 years ago; why don’t you just get over it?” Winning in life when you had a 330-year head start, is no¬†achievement. But winning in spite of this¬†is a¬†huge source of pride for me. Ten¬†of my grandparents’ fourteen¬†children graduated college. They went on to own homes, raise healthy families, have great careers, run their own businesses. Imagine what they, and countless¬†others, could have achieved if they playing field had been equal from the start‚ÄĒif it had ever been equal.

Black dolls and black girls

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As described by its founder, Dr. Yaba Blay, Pretty.Period. is “A visual tribute to brown skin. A visional testimony of Black beauty. A vision board for healing.” It’s a place for brown women to come and, not just be appreciated, but celebrated. Where we are not “pretty for a black girl” or ‘pretty for a dark-skinned girl.” We’re pretty. Period.

I saw the above post last week on the organization’s Facebook page, and it absolutely broke my heart. We’ve all seen the doll test videos on YouTube; we know¬†how early, and profoundly and profoundly early,¬†little¬†brown girls are affected by¬†the¬†lies the world would have them believe about themselves. We know that the way to combat this is to tell them and show them and then keep telling and showing them how beautiful they are‚ÄĒthat women all over the world go to extreme lengths to achieve their brand of beauty. That they¬†are lovable and deserve to be loved.

Black girls need to play with and care for dolls that reflect who they are. Period.

Growing up, my mother insisted that all my dolls be black. I had black Kimberly dolls, a black Cabbage Patch Kid, a black Baby-Alive-type doll that scared the crap out of me, but¬†my Mom still¬†made me play with, anyway. She¬†even had two black Raggedy Ann dolls¬†made for me¬†because “if you want a raggedy doll, she’s gonna be black.” Which…well,¬†you just read that, so you know. Her intention was clear, though.

I know the "Waggedy" looks white, but she is just light-skinned.

Don’t side-eye Little Raggedy. She’s just light-skinned.

My friend Dana¬†is¬†the most creative person I know. A graphic designer/photographer/should-have-her-own-show chef/(former) beauty and food blogger and now–knitter, her ability to just pick up new skills and be great at¬†them has always blown my mind. Her current blog is about all the things she knits. She makes sweaters and baby blankets and clothes for her dog; she’s knit¬†me awesome hats and cowl scarfs. But the other day I happened upon something on her Instagram feed that melted my heart. She’d knitted a little brown doll for our friend Yuvay’s daughter, Maddie. She even made a sweater for Maddie to match the sweater the doll had on. How sweet is this? Check out her post here.

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Making a brown doll for a brown girl gave me so much joy! — DWJ

And it looks like little Maddie loved it as well! I think it’s my favorite of all the things she’s made in the 20 years I’ve known her; it’s definitely the most important. And having just seen the Pretty.Period. post, I had to share it. I have the dopest friends. Am I too old for a doll like Maddie’s, D? You don’t have to make me the matching sweater…

#BlackGirlMagic
#BlackDollMagic

Source: 1 | 2

 

Fractions

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I don’t know why the name of this bank bothers me so much, but for years, whenever I’m in the Midwest and see it, I wanna scream,? “REDUCE THE FRACTION!!!”¬†It¬†should be 1 2/3 bank.*¬†Per Wikipedia:

“Fifth Third’s unusual name is the result of the June 1, 1908, merger of Third National Bank and Fifth National Bank, to become the Fifth-Third National Bank of Cincinnati (the hyphen was later dropped).”

Well, you know what? That’s dumb. My friend Hanna¬†said that, since it was a merger, they should have just called it Eighth Bank. Because: addition.¬†I guess we should just be glad they didn’t call it 3/5 Bank. Because: slavery.

I bet¬†the Third National Bank people¬†fought to have their name first, though.¬†I bet they were all, “We were two national banks ahead of you! Our name should go first!!!”¬†I wonder how close they came to that¬†catastrophe. I’m willing to bet¬†they had all the stationery printed, bought the domain name (yes, in 1908)… and then a dude named Earl came in like,¬†Aww naw! Hell naw, man!”¬†**

I know nothing about the quality of services they provide, but I hate this bank.

*actual neuroses, not a joke.
*joke, not an indication of actual wiilingness to bet

The Big Short

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I went to the movies this morning. At 10:20 a.m. Because it costs $6.00 to go to the movies at 10:20 a.m. I saw, “The Big Short.” It was the most excellent movie I wish I’d never seen. It was all about how a small group of Wall Steeet guys correctly “predicted the housing and credit bubble collapse of the mid-2000’s and decided to take on the banks.” But not in the superhero kind of way where they prevent destruction. It was more like the way crows wait until something dies and then feast on it.

Steve Carell was amazing in the movie. So was Christian Bale. Brad Pitt was in it, Ryan Gosling, Adepero Oduye… Tons of amazing actors, and all I could think the whole time was, “F*ck these f*ckers.”

I own a home with mortgage that is underwater. I put a 25% down payment on it, and lost all that cash when the bubble burst. I was going to refinance and live off a portion of that money when I quit my job to do comedy full time. Instead, I resigned with a 401K worth less than 40% of what it was just a year before, and a condo that was impossible to refinance. Oh and to top it off, my (paid-off) car was stolen a couple months later, so I wound up having to cash out enough money to buy a car (in cash, because no job) from what was left of my retirement account. It didn’t matter that I’d taken out a traditional 30-year mortgage; when half the folks in my neighborhood defaulted.on their subprime loans, my property value torpedoed right along with theirs.

The film almost tricks you into rooting for people who bet on the economy to fail. They saw what was coming before it happened! They exposed the crime, the coverups, the hypocrisy of the big banks! Hooray for this! Except, they had no problem making millions/billions off the collapse. Off of my misery and that of so many others.

I wanted to set fire to every bank I passed on the way home.

I’ve recently partnered with some great folks and will be embarking on a new project that will focus on how we (Main Street-ers) can change how Wall Street works. I’m excited about learning and sharing and educating others. Can’t wait to share more! Please stay tuned!

Pillow Fight

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Yesterday, on my flight from Seattle to Dallas, I had¬†the most passive-aggressive pillow fight ever with the woman seated in front of me. She wasn’t using her neck pillow and she kept pushing it into my lap. Grrrrr!!! A big believer in living within the space designated for you while flying, and admittedly a little cranky from being on the road for 3 weeks, I kept pushing it back onto her side.¬†She could have easily just put it away, but she didn’t. She kept stuffing it back in the window and nudging it back with her elbow. So it was “on.” No words were ever spoken, but it went on for nearly 10 minutes. I was flying US Airways, so¬†there was no video screen in her headrest; I had to amuse myself somehow. Every time I pushed¬†it back in her window, I would see her huff and puff and almost turn around, but she never did. I guess we were both being petty, but stop encroaching on my personal space, lady! I wish I’d videotaped it. It was hilarious.

Oh and in case you’re wondering, I won.

Maybe this makes me a bad person. But I needed it.

The end.