When Children Misbehave: Parenting 45


Image Source: ANDREW HARNIK / AP

When you’re a kid and your mom catches you doing something wrong, you can ask her not to tell your dad, but she’s gonna tell him. Because your parents are a team and their job is to keep you in check and make sure you stay on the straight and narrow. They’re responsible for you and you represent them when you step out in these streets.

In this same way, 45 can go ahead and be mad at the leaks coming from his administration–that someone keeps telling on him and the judicial branch is waiting for him by the front door with a switch. But it’s their job to let us know what he’s up to, keep him in check and make sure he stays on the straight and narrow. He’s responsible for us and he represents us when he steps out in these streets.

“Why did you tell Dad?” is the sleight of hand all children attempt when facing discipline. But as any good parent, concerned about the well-being of their family, knows the only questions that matter are:

“Why did you do that?”
“Did you think we wouldn’t find out?”
“You know if you do it again, that’s yo ass, right?”

Good on whomever is leaking. Jesus be a sieve. Because the fact that we know about all this chaos is the best part of it all. If everyone was corrupt, we might never know about it and wouldn’t that be worse?

1950: When America Was Great

13343018_10154092892365605_5038464012794820667_n

20160604_183356

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.

Databasing

Donald Trump’s ascendance in the polls puzzled¬†me. His continued domination terrifies me.¬†This is certainly not the first time I’ve disagreed fundamentally with a political candidate, but it is the first time¬†I’ve thought¬†anyone this (blatantly) vile, with absolutely no political philosophy or knowledge about how¬†government¬†works, had a chance to win the White House. Trump has broken every rule of campaigning‚ÄĒof civility even. And his calls for a ban on Muslims entering the US¬†and¬†a registry of Muslims currently living here are in direct violation of (The First Amendment to) the United States Constitution, the most important set of “rules” in our nation.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…

Many posit that Trump doesn’t actually want to be president, that he¬†continues to¬†ratchet up his rhetoric in hopes of “going too far,” losing support and being ousted¬†by the GOP. I wish I believed that. Better, I wish I believed that lack of true desire to become president would stop this megalomaniac from trying to “win.” And even if this is his strategy, it’s backfiring. The more hate he spews, the more media coverage he gets, the more supporters he gains… Rabid, xenophobic (read:racist), dangerous supporters, unabashedly cheering his vitriol¬†and fanning the flames of his narcissism.¬†I want to create a registry of people who cosign his hateful ideas. Think there should be a Muslim database? Aiight, but I’ma need your name and address for a little project I’m working on. I deserve to know if I’m¬†living near one of these bammas, Am I working with one? Let’s get an app up, some interactive maps… Where dey at doe?

As we’re still more than a month out from the Iowa Caucus, it remains to be seen whether¬†his poll numbers will translate into primary victories. But if the idea of a Trump presidency doesn’t frighten you, you frighten me. If it does and you’re not registered to vote, get registered or go screw yourself.¬†And if you’re not for Trump and you’re already on the voter rolls, you period must period vote period. Period. And if he doesn’t win the nomination don’t just go, “Whew!” and stay home on election day. The dude on deck behind him (Cruz) is no¬†less dangerous; he’d be the Trump if Trump weren’t in the race.

This is real life, y’all. Act like it.