PLEASE DO NOT PARTICIPATE IN ANOTHER DUMB-ASS CHALLENGE… IT’S INSULTING!

I AM SO OVER THESE “FRIGGING” CHALLENGES that do absolutely nothing but distract us from focusing on the political, economic and spiritual challenges that lay ahead for Black folks in the 21st Century!!! So here’s my challenge to you “challenge”-seekers! Repeat after me: I WILL NOT PARTICIPATE IN NOT ANOTHER DUMB-ASS CHALLENGE THAT DOES NOT […]

via PLEASE DO NOT PARTICIPATE IN ANOTHER DUMB-ASS CHALLENGE… IT’S INSULTING! — Jambalyastew

PLEASE DO NOT PARTICIPATE IN ANOTHER DUMB-ASS CHALLENGE… IT’S INSULTING!

I AM SO OVER THESE “FRIGGING” CHALLENGES that do absolutely nothing but distract us from focusing on the political, economic and spiritual challenges that lay ahead for Black folks in the 21st Century!!!

So here’s my challenge to you “challenge”-seekers! Repeat after me: I WILL NOT PARTICIPATE IN NOT ANOTHER DUMB-ASS CHALLENGE THAT DOES NOT DEMONSTRATE THE NEED FOR BLACK FOLK AND PEOPLE OF COLOR, TO BE ECONOMICALLY, SOCIALLY, POLITICALLY, AND CULTURALLY SELF-DETERMINING. To this end:

I CHALLENGE you to not “buy into increasing your purchasing quotient WITHOUT increasing your political power! In other words, BOYCOTT!

I CHALLENGE you to “Redistribute the Pain!” And this redistribution can only be done when we stop spending our money with a government that sanctions the killing of Black men and women, boys and girls.

I CHALLENGE my Christian brothers and sisters to celebrate the Son of Mary, Jesus the Christ, WITHOUT going into debt!

I CHALLENGE my FB Friends and Family to spend only a third of what you spent last year on celebrating Christmas (this is for those of you who absolutely cannot think of “celebrating Christmas” without having at least incurred a modicum of debt in order to prove how much you love Jesus!)

I CHALLENGE you to enjoy the Twelve Days of reading the Quran, Bible, and Torah; and then to share thoughts on how these sacred texts can help to transform your life, instead of “five golden rings”!

CHALLENGE you to decide that your gift this year will be a gift to Humanity, beginning with the healing of your community (and self)!

I CHALLENGE you to not participate in the mannequin, i.e., DUMMY Challenge; a challenge that is a metaphor of how many of us are currently living – immobilized – not moving forward, not moving backward, just standing still. We must mobilize ourselves into economic, political and spiritual action/power!

I CHALLENGE you to stop being a doormat for the Democrats and not even a second thought for the Repugnants!

I CHALLENGE you to teach civics and world history, aka African/Black History, to your children.

I CHALLENGE you to join an organization that is mobilizing Black folks and people of color to assume our rightful position as FREE men and women! Be it BLM, Ground Zero, NAACP, the Urban League, etc., and most especially, the Nation of Islam!

I CHALLENGE you to employ the Nguzo Saba (7 Principles of Kwanzaa) into your life:

Umoja means unity.

Kujichagulia means self-determination.

Ujima means working together.

Ujamaa means supporting each other.

Nia means purpose.

Kuumba means creativity.

Imani means faith, especially faith in ourselves, to your life EVERYDAY OF THE YEAR!

Finally, I CHALLENGE you to bring full meaning into your life through the spirit of the Most-High! I CHALLENGE you to want for your brother/sister what you would want for yourself. I CHALLENGE you to stop squandering your money with a nation that allows anyone and everyone to viciously murder our Black men and boys with impunity, does not believe in equal pay for equal work, and insists upon continuously MISEDUCATING our children. I CHALLENGE you to stop protecting Snooky after you know that he killed Pookie, leaving your community more vulnerable to violence, chaos, and spiritual depravity.

These are the challenges that we must incorporate into our lives on a consistent basis and with dedication. If you can meet just one of these challenges and pay it forward, then we are one step closer to actualizing our future and freedom. Cut, paste, and share if you agree!

TIME TO PRESS THE RESET BUTTON!

Well, I am disappointed, but not at all surprised at the election results. Yes, it is insane that Donald Trump is now the President-Elect; but, at the same time, I find it hard to be sad that Hillary lost. Actually, I anticipated this outcome. All along I have listened to the political pundits trying to configure how Donald Trump was winning in every aspect of his presidential candidacy. Everyone talked about every reason for this anomaly except for the most obvious of reasons: White folks have never recovered from a two-term Black President, who in their minds, have taken America too far away from the comfortableness of its core – white supremacy.

Donald Trump is a bigot, bully, misogynist, tribalist, white supremacist, and a racist who is morally bankrupt, and they LOVE him! As a matter-of-fact, had it not been for his very flawed character, I agreed with some of his assessments about Washington and Wall Street. As for Hilary, she had nothing new to offer that was tangible other than her history in politics and her years’ long proximity to the Oval Office. In simpler terms, she just didn’t bring it; albeit she had plenty of baggage. She was never a candidate, as much as she was coronated.

Euro-Americans were primed and ready to accept ANYONE who would speak to their deepest and most ardent fears and beliefs. Collectively they are witnessing in real time, “the writing on the wall” and clearly understand that it is absolutely incumbent upon them to put into place an apartheid system (legally sanctioned and enforced by the Supreme Court) that will sustain their inevitable minority status in the next 20 – 40 years.

So folks, Trump’s triumph is about three things, race, the rebuke of how the politics of Washington, D. C., are run and apathy. Trump’s ability to “connect” with his “people” is not unlike his predecessor Adolf Hitler, or for that matter, Tyler Perry’s ability to tap into the very ethos of their respective audiences and then to deliver to them what speaks to them most.

Trump grew up with a racist father and grandfather – not unlike most European Americans. Suffice it to say, it’s in their DNA. And he knows, rather empirically, what the Euro-Americans are feeling.

So what does this mean for Black folks, Latinos, and Muslims? We have to push the reset button! It means that we MUST remove the wool of complacency that covers our collective eyes. I have stated in earlier writings that it is incumbent upon us to create a movement – a party if you will, that I call the Indignant Party – where both Republicans and Democrats will have to come to us on bended knee, to beg for our political support. This after being ignored by one and being taken for granted by the other.

I was never at all a fan of Hilary Clinton – not at all! She represented for us – yet again – a vote for the lesser of two evils. However, a Trump win might just get us up and off of our asses to do the work that is necessary to move this country toward a sustainable system of economic, social and political justice.

My other great disappointment yesterday was that my son refused to participate in the political process, citing that he didn’t have anyone to vote for and that his vote would not make a difference. After I submitted to him that short of anything else, his vote was more about honoring our ancestor’s life-long battle to obtain our political rights, and that they accomplished this through their resistance, agitation, persistence, and ultimately, through the sacrificing of their lives. He did though decide to vote on the gas proposition, but that was it! Is this generational? My beloved son is a millennial and has a very large following on both Facebook and Twitter. Today, this is how he sees the world; a world, that is very disappointing.

So, where do we go from here?

President-Elect Trump has already retracted his views on Hilary by telling his supporters about her great contributions to America and that she is smart and a great fighter. He said that his presidency will be one that is about bringing the country together; this after his having torn it apart. He went on to say that we can expect that he will be a president for all of America. Okay, how is that done when he is considering appointing Rudy Giuliani as the Attorney General? Need I say more?

I am not fearful of a tomorrow with Donald Trump, I welcome it because according to history, even Pharoh fell!

Furthermore, it is important to cite that WE did not lose in this election. And, I would venture to say that we are the winners here because now those of us who didn’t know, are now clear and the blind can hopefully now see, that America is the same America – at its’ core – that it’s ever been: a racist and misogynist country. There is so much more work to be done. We have to remember that voting is just one of the weapons of change that we much include in our arsenal. This is our opportunity to lead!

This is not the end of the world. It is OUR new beginning!

Harriet Tubman’s face on the $20 bill don’t mean shit to me!

I’ve been trying not to, but I have to say this. I am amused and amazed at how some black folks are gushing over the proposed placing of Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill. I mean are you all really serious? WTH! What is it that I am missing? First of all, this change does not go into effect until 2030 – if then. According to the whims of white folks, there may not even be a $20 bill in use by that time – I mean you have noticed that we are consistently being moved away from using paper money, right?

Yet, here we are so excited that Mr. Charlie is placing our dear ancestor Harriet Tubman on a $20 bill – as if that means ANYTHING for or to us! If that $20 bill does not come with economic freedom, parity AND in the form of reparations, what does it really mean? Black men and women are being shot down in the streets on a daily basis and murdered in jail cells (over a weekend stay) and our asses are celebrating Harriet Tubman on a $20 bill. Puleeze! From what I know about Ms. Tubman, I am certain her choice would be to tell the U. S. Treasury Department, “Fu@# a $20 bill, give my people true freedom and their forty acres and a mule (reparations) retroactively and by today’s monetary calculations.

We are so quick to become distracted by the crumbs that white folks throw to us. “Here’s a $20 bill Negros with your ancestor on it. We’ve given you a Black president and now a black face on OUR money, so that now you can just shut-up and take a seat somewhere while we continue to devastate your community with our war on Black folks. And while you jump for joy with your black face $20 bill, we will continue to “disappear” the men from your communities into the Prison Industrial Complex.

“We will continue to criminalize your women through children services offering sentencing for bad parenting rather than assistance and upliftment. We will continue to send jobs overseas, mis-educate your children and price them out of higher education – if they can avoid the school to prison pipeline! We will continue to coopt your culture and squeeze the life out of your collective spirit whenever possible! Furthermore, we will abate (by any means necessary) the encroachment of such movements as Black Lives Matter and Ground Zero. This we will do with the same successful tactics we have always used: institutionalized racism, sexism, classicism, an unfair criminal justice system, white superiority, miseducation of the Negro, divide and conquer (one of our most successful tactics) and when necessary, we will create a new devastating drug into your community to bring home our point!” That’s exactly how that goes.

Harriet Tubman’s face on the $20 bill don’t mean shit to me! I want Black boys and men to stop being gunned down in the street by government operatives (the police)! I want Black men and women to have an equal playing field in commerce, education and the justice system. I want to see loving and strong Black families flourishing and growing – husbands for my sistahs and wives for my brothers! I want healthcare without stigma. I want to see a flourishing Black entrepreneurship. I want to see a political party established and sustained by Black people with integrity, honesty, bravery, courage and vision. I want to see sustainable Black wealth! If you want to get excited about a black face on money, then relocate your asses to West Africa where there are plentiful black faces on both paper money and coins – and some black women too!

Don’t get me wrong, I do understand that because our necks have been under the boot of white America for so long it seems that these little concessions are authentic and substantive – but they are not! Most young mothers don’t have $20 to by disposable diapers for their babies; so what difference will it make if a Black woman’s face graces the bill come 2030 if nothing has changed?

So you black folks who are over-the-moon giddy and thrilled about Harriet Tubman’s face being placed on the $20, I implore you with the upmost respect to recognize a trick bag when you see it. Didn’t Malcolm warn us about being tricked, hoodwinked and bamboozled? But here we go rolling over AGAIN! We need to remember who we’re dealing with!

Now if that $20 bill comes with the present day calculations of pay that my ancestors never received for their four centuries of free labor; for never having adequately received their forty acres and a mule; and for the abuses of share cropping and Jim Crow. . .then I’ll take all of mine in Harriet Tubman’s, thank-you.

Love is our Only Salvation!

I know that I tend to write about all things Black and some things political, but beneath my constant mantra for us to heal thyself from knowing thyself, is my belief and desire for us to know and experience a healing and sanctified love because it is our only salvation.

I believe that loving and love are revolutionary and radical acts of beingness. Love is an act of resistance against the external forces of a less evolved humanity. Love is an act of acceptance that can and should emanate from the heart. It is a verb that twirls, bounces and alights wherever it is called to. Therefore it is imperative that we must learn to manifest love into our lives so that we can move freely without encumbrances, without judgement – and most of all, without fear? For love is the healing salve for wounds centuries old and is the essential element that we are in need of embracing in the here and now.

We are in need of the wrapping of our whole selves in the essence of love. Love is what we need in order to see ourselves reflected in every countenance we encounter. It is what we need to feel in every hand that we touch. Love should be our mirror and our guide. Love should be our protector as well as the force that allows us to move into battle literally and figuratively, for what is right, sacred and whole.

Love is our only Salvation!

Recently I heard Oprah Winfrey cite a passage from a book she once read. Those words deeply resonated within my spirit. The author wrote, “Love allows your heart to expand and overflow with adoration for this magnificent creation and for the love, wisdom and power that birthed it all. Rapture is needed now! Rapture, reverence and grace!”

Ah yes, reverence and grace!

With jaded eyes we find it more and more difficult to see love in just the simplest of things. God’s love is everywhere waiting for us to notice, to remember, to revere. I have come to believe that with God’s grace and mercy, we can choose to see love in whatever we want. Simply because it is there. For far too many of us, loving is a chore. And unfortunately and rather pervasively, for far too many of us being loved is an unknown. We have children roaming the streets because they have never known love and are therefore bereft of humanity. It is becoming more common that our experience of lovelessness, is greater than our experience of love and loving.

When we walk through our neighborhoods, you can find even amongst the most dilapidated examples of deterioration, sites of love. A wildflower growing between the cracks of the protruding cement of the sidewalk or entwined in a fence, face stark to the sun. If you choose, you can see love in spaces and places where the walls of distrust, anger and hatred reside. Love can remove these walls, disintegrating them into nothingness.

Love is our only Salvation!

When we choose to search for the love that is there in our soul/spirit, we then choose to “find the good and celebrate it” in almost everything that we encounter, as a good friend once told me. For as Deepak Chopra says: “A life lived in love, is the most realistic love of all.”

I want us all to be transformed, uplifted and caught up in the rapture of light and love! I’m not talking about romantic love in particular, I’m talking about the love of self, loving the Creator of the Universe, loving your people, loving the culture that you are a part of. That kind of love that can heal a people, a nation, a continent – the world! A love that transforms is what we are in need of.

“Love is the essence of the true self” This quote is so true! The birth of a child is the greatest example of Divine Love! Love begins at a cellular level in the heart and in the brain. With love we are nurtured, cared for, given a reason for being. As infants, we experience the ultimate in feeling and then knowing love without our even knowing the language for it. Isn’t it amazing how babies and toddlers respond to you when you tell them how much you love them? Just like the word ‘no’, children connect and respond to the essence of its meaning. Love is truly amazing!

Some people never hear the word love come from their parents or family members, but can feel it because they have been held, touched and nurtured. Others are not so fortunate. They are not told that they are loved, valued or cherished. They are the ones who may never hear the word or feel the touch that confirms that love. I am very sad for them and by extension, I am very sad for us all.

I am inclined to believe that it is those very same humans who lack ongoing cutaneous touch-validation – the skin being lovingly touched, being held, hugged, or soothed by a laying on of hands – are the ones who generation after generation, burden the rest of us with chaos and wars.

Not just wars that are fought on distant shores with a heavy cost paid in human lives and cash; but also the wars that threaten our security right here: wage inequality, food deserts, the school to prison pipeline, two political parties that are self-indulgent and hopefully on the verge of imploding, sexism, racism, misogyny, a crumbling nationwide infrastructure, an economy that has two classes: the haves and have nots; a constantly deteriorating educational system that is totally failing our children and technology that has driven us into our homes and diminished the human element of communicating through physical contact.

Regrettably our heads are filled with so much chatter, so much noise, so much nonsense that means absolutely nothing. With so much noise, how do we get to a place where we can actually love our neighbors and ourselves just because we are humans – without labeling and prejudices?

I agree with bell hooks in her groundbreaking love letter to us all, Salvation ~ Black People and Love, when she advances that, “To heal our wounded communities, which are diverse and multilayered, we must return to a love ethic, one that is exemplified by the combined forces of care, respect, knowledge, and responsibility.” Furthering this topic, Cornel West postulates that “A love ethic has nothing to do with sentimental feelings or tribal connections. . . Self-love and love of others are both modes toward increasing self-validation and encouraging political resistance in one’s community.”

My Beloveds, the time has come for us to become radicalized by knowledge of self. To unify in our act of resistance to self-hatred, chaos, wars and bigotry. It is time for us to take that knowledge and embrace our gift from the Highest Power – whatever you may call it.

We have been given guidance for centuries in the Torah, the Bible and the Quran) as well other spiritual sources) towards choosing to stand in the truth of love. In this sense, it is time for us to speak love from our mouths, to see love through our eyes, to demonstrate love in our actions and to know love in our hearts.We have been given a road map that guides us, informs us, clearly implores us and ultimately delineates for us that . . .

Love is and will forever be, Our Only Salvation.

Why I’m A Free Black Woman!

I am a free Black woman because I choose to be! Despite the fact that my people have lived in captivity since the 1600’s when they were forcefully brought to the shores of the Caribbean, the Americas and beyond as stolen chattel; I am free!

Freedom didn’t come easily. First I had to realize that I wasn’t free – psychologically that is. I had to seek freedom out. Like Sherlock Holmes I purposefully followed all the clues – looking behind dusty creaky doors, under rotted floors, behind dilapidated walls, inside overgrown bushes. I searched within the yellowed pages of history, the crookedness of chronology, in the density of a haystack and lastly, through the rocks and sand that led me to the shores of the Atlantic where the spirits of my ancestors perpetually stand as totem poles stacked one on top of the other, and as lost spirits that lay as a carpet bed on the ocean’s floor. This is my constant spiritual reminder of our historical journey to America and why I needed to be free.

There is a frequency that emanates from this watery grave-site where our murdered ancestors lay. The frequency is an almost inaudible sound that can and should be heard rumbling in the hearts, souls and spirits of those who are the descendants of the mother group – the firsts of millions to come.

Like the djembe drum, their voices rise in crescendo erupting above the frost-tipped ocean waves. Those voices admonish us that we must never let their deaths be in vain. That it is our destiny and our duty to never stand still and to never accept a lot that we were not born into. It is because of these men, women and children, bones scattered across the ocean’s floor; and it is because of the survivor-millions that toiled the fertile soil of an ill-gotten and stolen continent that I can claim unequivocally – I is free!

It doesn’t escape me that talking about being a free Black woman in America might be considered a tad bit oxymoronic. Especially for a country that is built on the owning of stolen bodies forced into slavery for more than three centuries. For a country that has created the lie of inferiority in order to sustain hegemonic and oppressive control over any and all human beings of color. A country that like vampires, sucks the life-blood out of anything that doesn’t look like itself. My claiming freedom within those confines is without doubt a statement of resistance and of longing to upend the status-quo.

The First Rung

My connection to my history and the first rung in my climb toward freedom, came in the form of Mr. Rufus McClendon and his fourth grade class at Quitman Street School in Newark, New Jersey. When I first walked into his classroom, my ten-year old self was immediately introduced to the many faces of my history – Mr. McClendon’s classroom walls were covered with pictures of Black heroes and sheroes which was unlike anything I had ever experienced in any classroom before.

Everywhere I looked in that room, there was something there that told me that I mattered. That I was valued. That I had history. At that moment I fell in love with Mr. McClendon and from that day until now, I will always cite him at the point of reference where I began to love myself. He was without doubt, the first key to unlock my shackled mind. By no uncertain terms that fourth grade year was an incubation period for a little Negro girl who would one day be free! It was there that my appetite to learn more about myself had been whetted. Somehow, even at the tender age of ten, I knew that I had come from greatness; however, it would be a few years more before I realized just how great!

Then at the age of seventeen, my pivot toward freedom exponentially expanded. As a member of the Inspirational Choir of New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, I sat in the choir pews adjacent to the pulpit where the Late Rev. Dr. Charles E. Thomas, was preaching. Lawd that man could preach!

I was then, as I am now, a voracious reader of both non-fiction and fiction. I cannot absolutely remember what I was reading at that time, but somehow or other it had contributed to my consciousness rising. I had too many unanswered questions and no matter what anyone said to me, no matter what I read, I could not absorb how Jesus was God and there existed three parts to him: The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit! And the most challenging aspect of Jesus as God, was that he was white! In my child’s mind (I was seventeen), God couldn’t possibly love me – especially if he looked like my captors! Boom! In the quietude of my spirit, I determined that Sunday, would be my last Sunday, praying and glorifying a white man whom had enslaved my ancestors! That day as I walked out of the choir pew and through the sanctuary of NHBC, unbeknownst to me, I was on my way to being free!

Later on, as I entered into my twenties with greater awareness, knowledge and understanding about who I am and from whence I come, I also understood with sheer clarity, that it was imperative that my future progeny’s spirituality and religiosity, should not take the same path that I had. I knew even then that any child of mine could not be free if he believed that a white man who enslaved his ancestors and doesn’t look like him, could possibly be the world’s savior and his. Undoubtedly in my mind, this would greatly contribute to and perpetuate his feelings of inferiority and shame. I knew that it was imperative that both of his parents be free. For how can a person think freely with the image of a white man as their savior?

We’ve Already Been Paid For!

My freedom, as our grandmother Maya Angelo stated, “Was bought and paid for!” Bought and paid for with the lives of those who once lived in resistance and in protest. Paid for by those who loved us and desired for our collective uplifting. It is because of this that I have no choice other than to claim my freedom – in resistance, in protest and out of love – never forgetting that the Middle Passage has a carpet of bones that forms a path from West Africa, to the Caribbean, and then on to the Americas.

I was a sponge. Then at some point in that trajectory, I landed on the steps of the First World Alliance in Harlem, NY. This was a watering hole for the thirsty! A place where intellectuals and regular folk gathered together to give and to receive in the name of “ourstory”! A place where the water of Maat (truth) was poured into open mouths and minds by such water bearers as: Dr. John Henrik Clarke, Dr. Ben-Jochanan, Dr. Frances Cress Welsing, Ivan Van Sertimer, Johnathan Jackson, Dr. Leonard Jeffries, Jawanza Kunjufu, Dr. Amos Wilson and the list goes on and on.

Each book I read, They Came Before Columbus, Ivan Van Sertimer, Stolen Legacy, George James, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa, Walter Rodney, The Isis Papers, Frances Cress Welsing, The Developmental Psychology of the Black Child, Dr. Amos Wilson, The Destruction of Black Civilization, Chancellor Williams, The Souls of Black Folk, W.E.B. Dubois, were my constant companions and emancipators! Harlem became the backdrop for an education that the powers that be, never intended for me to have.

For several years I would trek up to Harlem to that watering hole that offered me a well-spring of knowledge and that satiated my intellect and nourished my soul. The more I learned, the more the shackles were removed from my perception of the world and my place in it; the more my cosmology was informed by the knowledge of self. Consequently, along with this new knowledge I became perpetually indignant, angry and just a little bit insane. It was then that I realized that in order to remain sane, to dissolve my anger, I had to embrace my crazy, I had to become free. Free from the burden of imagery that creates a false narrative about me and contributes to Black folks’ self-loathing and hatred. It was at the First World Alliance that my historical, political and cultural freedom exploded into being!

Ah, Freedom!

My last pivot towards claiming my freedom would materialize when I joined the International Black Women’s Congress. In that space of powerful women, I received my womanhood and sisterhood wings. With this organization I traveled many places, all memorable. However, it was our sacred sojourn to Senegal and the Gambia and our visit to The House of Slaves Museum on Goree Island, where it all came full circle.

It was there that I was able to identify and connect the voices I first heard in Mr. McClendon’s fourth grade class, with the voices of my ancestors that shared the pain, horror and terror as they exited the “door of no return”. As I stood in the door of the holding rooms no larger than 10’ X 10′, and all without windows, the fear and terror of what our ancestors endured at that time, was almost tangible. Gazing out at the ocean from the ‘door of no return’, one cannot begin to imagine what the trauma of being torn from the bosom of your mama, loved ones and homeland, could possibly feel like. Brought mercilessly to the cold and unwelcoming shores of America; stripped of their freedom, shackled and shamed and bereft of autonomy and culture.

Upon our arrival to the museum, there was a significant smattering of Europeans “enjoying” the memories of a lost past while meandering around and throughout the museum. Somehow telepathically, we all concluded that it was an insult to us that we would have to experience the tour of the museum alongside the descendants of our captors. A request was made by the president of the IBWC,  Dr. La Francis Rodgers-Rose, that we should not have to suffer such an indignity. Our request was granted. For the first time ever, the doors were closed to the foreigners so that the children of the stolen, could honor and pray for the loss of their ancestors without the presence of the European interlopers. This trip will be forever etched in my mind.

For me, being a free Black woman also encompasses my understanding of systemic sexism and misogyny and that it is not confined to the mind-set of Europeans only – no, it’s a universal phenomenon – shared by all ethnicities, but certainly not by all men. Once I understood my sheer equality as a human being, created by Allah, the remainder of the shackles fell at my feet and I was finally free.

In closing, please note that my words are not meant to sting or offend anyone. I have only shared with you my circuitous path towards understanding that I have no choice as a Black woman other than to choose my freedom; to live my freedom; and to share with other women and men that freedom is more than a state of mind. It is knowing where you come from and then by extension, choosing to continue your journey unencumbered by the shackles of a false narrative – a false imagery and a false history embedded in the lie of inferiority. Being a free Black woman ain’t always easy, but what I know for sure is that, it is always sublime.

“When Your Sister is Your Hairdresser…You Need No Mirror”

For almost three decades, I have had the honor of being a member of the International Black Women’s Congress. The International Black Women’s Congress is a Global Community of Women of African Descent bound by our Ancestral Spirituality.  Our vision is to bring forth exemplary models of African Womanhood by defining ourselves, embracing ourselves and improving ourselves through social, political and economic empowerment. This organization’s impact and influence on my life spiritually, culturally, politically, academically and intellectually, has been priceless and I cannot cite any other experience in my adult life that has been the sole arbiter of my understanding the value, notion and importance of sisterhood.

When I think of women’s history month, I cannot help but think about the women whom have guided me, influenced me and contributed to my social-cultural, political and spiritual development – many of whom are current IBWC members and others whom are now ancestors. Notwithstanding my mother’s influence, I have been seeded, watered, tilled and annually (via annual conferences) harvested by the powerful hands, brilliant minds, visionary soul-guides and spirituality warriors – of these women who are exemplary examples of what I like to call, Wild Women In The Whirlwind!*

My sistah, mentor and mother/friend, La Francis Rodgers-Rose, PhD., who founded the IBWC in 1983, continues the legacy of our 19th Century fore mothers. As President Emerita, she has remained steadfast in purporting the value of Black womenhood and also in perpetuating that Black women stand in support of their sisters both nationally and internationally. It is within this organization that I was introduced to the African adage that: “When Your Sister is Your Hairdresser . . . You Need No Mirror.” Those profound words resonate as much for me today as they did when I first heard them. For this reason alone, I find it incumbent upon me to share with you during this dedicated month of acknowledging the contributions of women – and in this particular case, of Black women – the meaning and value of Black women and our sisterhood.  

In the nineteenth century, there existed a cadre of Black women, born at different times during the 1800’s, who had carved themselves into the ebony framework of American history. These Black women worked fastidiously to protect and secure our social, economic and political future as full citizens of these United States; however, this task was all-consuming and at times to their physical detriment. Nevertheless, they held fast to ensuring that one day our collective value would be unassailable, that our bodies would be ours and that our minds would be able to think the unimaginable because education had not escaped us. These women intrinsically understood that our bodies deserved to be held in high-esteem and not just as objects of unpaid and cheap labor. These women knew without vacillation that Black women were holding up half of the sky!

Our progress as a people was paramount to this prestigious group of women of African ancestry who went through hell, fire and back to “make a way out of no way”, in order to reach and uplift the Black family through the social and economic elevation, and education of the Black woman.

These women, some of whom were freed slaves and one or two born free, epitomized the notion of sisterhood that the African adage espouses – for when the person who cares for your inner and outer beauty is trustworthy, and believes in your best outcome, that woman will be your fiercest protector. A protector who has your back and with whom you have nothing at all to worry about.

Nineteenth century Black women were the original “sistah-hairdressers”, and they were also the “OP’s” original progenitors: Sojourner Truth (1797-1883), Maria W, Stewart (1802-1880), Harriet Tubman (1822-1913), Anna Julia Cooper (1858-1964), Ida B. Wells-Barnett (1862-1931), Mary Church Terrell (1863-1954) and Mary McCloud Bethune (1875-1955). They are the women for whom any Black woman worth her salt, fully understands and unequivocally acknowledges, that it is upon their shoulders that every Black woman should firmly stand, unwavering and most definitely, unapologetic.

Each of these women paved the way for us to gain our voices, agency and autonomy. Each of these women did not allow for her gender or station in life to obstruct her ultimate goal – our upliftment as a people! Dr. Rodgers-Rose and the numerous Black women of IBWC, have contributed their intellectual, academic, socio-cultural and political power to this legacy and ultimately continue the legacy of Black women and their commitment to uplifting the race!

I was moved to share my thoughts within this framework as the result of my having read a Facebook post of a young woman who made very disparaging remarks about women that clearly demonstrated her absolute hatred and distrust of them. I was dumbstruck by her vitriol and absolute hostility regarding the worth of females. Rhetorically, I questioned myself about how this young woman – who is a daughter and a mother of two girls, could feel this way about all women. However, experience has taught me that this woman/child had not been schooled in the “laying on of hands” and that she had not experienced a reciprocal woman to woman relationship that was based in love and trust – something had disrupted that process and rendered her totally cynical and full of distrust.

In my response to her, I “wondered” if this blanket hatred of Black women extended to her mother and daughters. She never responded to me, but I will venture to say that I fully believe that it does, simply by virtue of the fact that self-hatred becomes extended to those who look like you; therefore you cannot hate women, without hating yourself?

Reading this young woman’s post made me think about our fore mothers who were relentless and unyielding, often times putting their lives in jeopardy – just so that we could enjoy ours, out of harms reach. Seeing how this young woman viewed women made my heart very sad for her and her contemporaries, some of whom see the world through a different and very jaded lens. Their contemporaries are the antithesis of 19th Century Black Women. Theirs are the Real Housewives of Atlanta and Potamac; Love and Hip Hop; Basketball Wives, Doctors’ Wives, The Next Fifteen, etcetera, etcetera. From these examples, my younger sistahs glean their intellectual, social and cultural beliefs and value systems. The “stars” of these reality shows and their demeaning behavior, have become the example of “authentic” Black womanhood.

Regretfully, these are the women that uniquely and decidedly propel the tireless efforts of our Black fore mothers back into the 17th Century. Many of these stereotypes are given substance, authenticity and validity. These so-called celebrities will easily suffer any amount of  indignity just for fifteen minutes of stardom; not understanding that they have already been paid for. They will trade their freedom for a nickel and a moment in time; re-enslaving their hearts, souls and minds. These women who recreate on national television, Ralph Ellison’s, the Invisible Man’s, Battle Royale when they: jump across tables, slap each others’ face, pull out fake hair, backbite and back stab; calling one another bitches as if they’re ordering a cup of tea, and wearing clothing that barely covers their bodies – these very women have sent our fore mothers legacy into an abysmal downward spiral.

It is impossible for that young woman that I spoke about earlier (and some of her cohorts) to even know what true sistahhood encompasses because of their exposure to inauthentic and disparaging examples of Black womanhood. Yes, it’s true that we don’t always learn about sistahhood from our mothers, grandmothers and aunties – for our dysfunction is pervasive. Sometimes we just have to create and build our families and sister-ties from where we are. There is so much that Black women must face in today’s world: misogyny, the triple jeopardy of sexism, racism and classicism, in addition to having to navigate through a climate of cultural and political hatred – particularly espoused by the Repugnant (Republican) Taliban whose mission is to “make America great again” by taking it back to the days of slavery, Jim Crow, sans civil and voting rights; but also to take us back to the time when women – especially Black women, were not seen or counted; were silenced and voiceless; and our bodies were literally and figuratively fucked.

What our younger sisters do not seem to understand is that they are being propagandized daily away from their legacy, history, culture and ultimately, self-love. Like sheep, they are being led to slaughter, given a belief system that has convinced them of a false reality based on a false narrative. This makes it inevitably easier to erase from memory, all that has been fought for without their noticing that their agency and autonomy has been stolen from them – just like our legacy.

“When Your Sistah is You’re Hairdresser. . . You Need No Mirror”, is a metaphor that conveys the message that there exists a woman in your life, whose shoulder is there for you to cry on or whose lap is there for you to lay your head when the pain, suffering and disappointments of life may seem overwhelming! It means that when the next bad choice in men that you make disappears into thin air, she’ll still be there to lift, laugh and sometimes cry you through the process. She is the one who knows you better than most and will not let you get away with the dumb crap. She will take care of you and your children – if the occasion arises and she will think nothing of it. She will be your encouragement and she will cuss you out if need be; and notwithstanding, she will be your ride or die chick and turn it up partner! In other words, she will be your mirror.

I am an unapologetic Wild Woman in the Whirlwind! I know exactly upon whose shoulders I stand! And I honor those women – past and present – whom have fought the good fight for my continued self-actualization. I fully understand that I must pay it forward, in any and every way that I can. I can only hope that my sistahs’ will choose to become unapologetic Wild Women as well. For the flowing of their blood, their salty sweat and bittersweet tears, to my fore mothers I am in tremendous gratitude for their commitment to our struggle. As they remain today both prominent in my heart and memory, I know that I can weather any storm with Allah’s Grace and Mercy, because they did so before me.

Women’s History Month, like that of Black History Month, is a continuum – it never ends. I beseech you my sistahs to take the necessary steps towards reclaiming and learning about the Black women who paved the way for us all and especially for you. Read such works as When and Where I Enter (my particular favorite) & Ida – A Sword Among Lions, Paula Giddings; Words of Fire, Beverly Guy-Sheftall; All the Women are White, All the Blacks are Men, But Some of Us Are Brave, Barbara Smith and Gloria Hull; Salvation & Ain’t I a Woman, bell hooks; Sister Citizen – Shame, Stereotypes and Black Women in America, Melissa Harris Perry; Women, Race and Class, Angela Davis; Black Feminist Thought, Patricia Hill Collins; A Voice from the South, Anna Julia Cooper; Every Black Woman Should Wear a Red Dress and River of Tears: The Politics of Black Women’s Health, La Francis Rodgers-Rose and Delores P; Aldridge, PhD; The Black Woman, La Francis Rodgers-Rose, PhD; and for balance, the acclaimed novels, Beloved & The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison.

I have been blessed to have been under the tutelage and guidance of the many great women of the International Black Women’s Congress. Through my association with this organization and after having grown-up watching my mother cultivate life-long friendships with her sisterhood, I know full well the necessity and value in having a woman as a good sister-friend. My prayer is that we study the lives of the women who came before us and paved the pathway upon which we all interchangeably crawl, walk, run and jump into the future! I pray that our younger sistahs will want to know and will come to know the difference between authentic and false narratives about who they are and their worth – both individually and collectively. And finally, my hope is that all Black women will turn our gaze towards incorporating the love of God, family and community into our everyday lives as our 19th Century fore mothers taught us – without apology. And lastly, I pray that we each will learn (and it’s never too late!) how to not need a mirror, because my sistah is my hairdresser! Ashe’

 

* Wild Women in the Whirlwind is taken from the title of the book, Wild Women in the Whirlwind: Afra-American Culture and the Contemporary Literary Renaissance , Joanne M. Braxton and Andree Nicola McLaughlin

 

Why Can’t Black women be “unassailable” too?

Valerie Jarrett was on NewsOne Now this morning and demonstrated that she is totally DELUSIONAL! I don’t give a rat’s ass that Obama (whom from this point on will be referred to as Barry – that’s what his white classmates chose to call him instead of Barack) appointed twenty-six African American women to lower federal courts – which only further illustrates the stereotype of Black women being “ladies in waiting.” I love that Roland Martin pressed Jarrett to explain why Barry didn’t nominate a Black woman to the Supreme Court. Her answer was evasive, redundant and weak! She was extremely uncomfortable and became somewhat combative when he continued to press her about Barry’s choice! Jarrett must have thought that she was on the Morning Joe news show where her bullshit answer would be applauded.

This woman suggested that we need to support his nominee because he is the president! Jarrett went on to proudly note that Barry met with a “diverse” group of organizations after announcing his nomination and that the “energy in the room was palatable” – her point of course being that everyone in that room was understanding, excited and accepting of his nomination. Roland then asked her who were the civil rights organizations represented in the room. She again became slightly combative and evasive, stating that news outlets were given a list of the groups in attendance at the meeting. Skillfully sidestepping the question, she claimed that the president couldn’t afford to be political – COULDN’T AFFORD TO BE POLITICAL?! Is this frickin deja vu with Bush sending Condi out to explain his dumb shit? We have truly loss substantive ground! This man has pushed us so far back in time that it is utterly ridiculous!

Jarrett claimed that Barry needed to nominate someone who’s experience was “unassailable”! You mean to tell me that there were no Black women or Black men whose experience was “unassailable”? The other day I stated that no Black women organizations had requested that Barry nominate a Black woman. Well thankfully that wasn’t exactly the case, in an official letter, the Black Women’s Roundtable did make that request of him. Bless them! Their request adds further insult to injury of Barry’s display of disrespect to Black women. And it is a clear demonstration to all of us as to just how much the Democratic Party considers us unworthy of their accountability. It also solidifies the depths of which we are taken for granted by them – including the Black Congressional Congress.

Roland Martin asked Hilary Clinton on the Tom Joyner Morning Show, that if Barry appointed a Black woman during recess and she was elected president, would she then re-nominate her; Hilary said that she would. Knowing this, why would Barry nominate a white man whose record clearly indicates that he is very conservative, is pro-police and pro-law enforcement (code speak for consistently puts black asses in jail) to fill this vacancy? I get the strong feeling that if he becomes a justice, he may very well become Barry’s own Justice David Souter (a conservative who tended to vote liberally). Except in this case, it won’t be much of surprise. Especially since his rulings on criminal justice have been anti-black. Also, there is little or no record of any advocacy for women – which is another reason that Barry thought that the Repugnants might finally accept him into the fold.

Barry heard Orin Hatch when he said that Merrick Garland would be a great choice for the vacancy. Now if Orin Hatch says that he is a good choice, what does this mean for Black people? This is a travesty folks and in all good conscience, I cannot support president Barry on this nomination! The ONLY way this man can redeem himself with me is that he pardon’s Assata Shakur and Mumia Abu Jamal on his final day in office on January 20, 2017. And we all know that if he didn’t have enough of a spine to “Do the Right Thing”, with the Supreme Court nomination, there is no way that he could grow a backbone by then and stand up to his mama’s people.

One of the greatest legacies of his administration would have been for him to have nominated a Black woman to the Supreme Court; and in my humble estimation, his legacy will always be tarnished by not having done so when the opportunity well-presented itself! By telling young Black girls and Black women everywhere, that among the plethora of qualified and previously vetted Black jurists nationwide, there does not exist ONE Black woman whose experience and background is “unassailable”? This was a grave mistake with far-reaching implications. Our foremothers (read Paula Giddings’, Where and When I Enter) fought and died so that our “value” would be “unassailable”; it saddens me to know that their efforts were lost on Barry in this particular case.

Pressing Send

 

Over the recent months, I have had interesting conversations with several women friends, all of whom I greatly admire. These women are entrepreneurs and each had a story about a similar glitch in their budding entrepreneurship. Each of these women had embarked on dissimilar businesses but experienced similar difficulties with the completion and execution of their chosen ventures. These progressive sistahs – according to the dictates and requirements of their respective businesses – had done all of the preparation. They had done the grunt work, i.e., the marketing, financial research, the testing, the background checks, explored the up and downs, ins and outs of what will make their ventures successful, etc. They’d done it all!

And then just like water in an ice tray, they each froze! Failed to launch! One woman stated that after having done all of that work; after having been relentlessly on the “grind” and very purposeful in her actions; and with being just one step away from elevating herself to the level that she had been so focused on reaching; she could not connect the last dot. Without so much as missing a beat, I informed her that she was essentially talking jibber-jabberish and that the problem was simply that she was more than likely afraid, or just was not ready to take the leap to press send!

Pressing send means that you complete your agreement. That the effort you so enthusiastically and earnestly began, is now a fait accompli! In other words, pressing send means to complete the process. No matter what your focus is, it is the completion of the process that places you within reach of your set goals and objectives. Pressing send doesn’t mean that what you’re doing requires only a computer to complete it.  Pressing send is a metaphor for completion and execution.

When we get to the point where all that is needed is for us to complete the process and we don’t take that final step, we have to ask ourselves, “What is keeping me from moving forward?” We then have to make a forensic examination of the various excuses that we glibly rationalize as our “truth”. When we understand this, we can stop playing the old tapes that immobilize us; and then we can forge new habits that will obliterate and replace those old sketchy tapes. Yes, it is human nature that everyone at some point in their lives will have self-doubt; however, it is essential that our self-doubt not be allowed to turn into self-sabotage.

Unfortunately, this is where many of us find ourselves at some point on the path of this journey called life – unable to press send. Pressing send is the only thing that stands between immobility or moving forward. Quite frankly, as much as some of us claim to want success; as much as we grind to achieve it – when it is finally within our reach, for some of us, something inside recoils and we stop just short of taking that next step!

Often we find ourselves languishing in the ineffectual land of “what ifs?” We create invisible obstacles that are totally preclusive and then we fathom up inspiring “spiritual” justifications that both salves the tortured soul and sanctions the subconscious’s plot to self-sabotage. To press send means that we must countenance whatever the outcome is of the seeds that we have sown and tilled. It means that the fruit of our labor must now be placed in public scrutiny – open to criticism and possibly even ridicule! Unfortunately, we often forget that there is tremendous growth in having such existential experiences.

Pressing send means that it is imperative to follow through! It means that we have to stand strong in our choices in order to see them manifest! Pressing send means that we are ready to navigate our progress and to firmly grasp onto the future. It is the first step in climbing the sometimes slippery rungs on the ladder to success.

Many of us will avoid pressing send by creating a false scenario that has nothing to do with the reality of our respective situations. How do I know this? Because I have been there and I have done that! I know empirically just how that scenario can play itself out!

For example, I have two novels that I began to write at different times and they are really good – I mean really good . . . if I must say so myself. However, I have used every reason under the sun not to press send. It’s a little bit worse in my case though, for at least those women whom I aforementioned were just a step away from the finish line! I still have several chapters to complete. But I’m now on my way!

Simply put, the conversations that I have in my head, offers one excuse after the other and clearly speaks to participating in my own brand of self-sabotage. Ginning up the excuse mill is at times easier to do than it is to write my own name. In chapter and verse, I can easily; albeit very lamely, enumerate the reasons why I have yet to complete either project – which I unequivocally believe to be one of the keys to my future success! The question then becomes. . .”Why haven’t I completed them?”

My answer is that I had to retrain my brain to stop creating alternate routes (via dense back roads) to my success. I am now moving forward – no detour ahead! I have consciously decided to break my bad habits and replace them with new good habits which include becoming well-disciplined and purposeful. Walter Mosely in his book, This Year You Write Your Novel, implies that it is important to become disciplined in your approach to writing and that you should write at least one hour a day to successfully complete a novel in a years’ time. In addition to that, it is said that it takes at least forty days to break a bad habit! Well, I am  there because I have been writing at least one hour a day – every day, since I decided to retrain my brain and to get out of my own way! And boy have I accomplished plenty! I don’t write an hour a day – it’s more like a minimum of an hour a day. Everyday, I diligently sit down at my laptop, put my favorite writing music on – second only to the melody of silence – and I began to write, tilling my fertile soil!

I can guarantee you that no matter what you want to accomplish, it is within your reach! Unfortunately, when you create false evidence [that] appears real (fear), it becomes the underpinning of self-sabotage. It doesn’t take a lot of muscle to press send. You have to   create the “spiritual” muscle memory that will allow you to clear the unnecessary debris, that can clutter your subconscious mind when you’re working on a project that’s going to thrust you towards your success. Once this essential “spiritual” muscle has been developed, you can lovingly, diligently and purposefully till the soil that will allow for your fertile harvest. Now with all this in mind, will you PLEASE. PRESS. SEND?!

Ode to Gun Control

Let’s talk about gun control. So if you do not own a gun to protect your family and property, or for hunting (wink, wink) in 2016, then you have no control.

I didn’t always feel this way. As a young woman raising my son, I refused to allow him to play with guns. At the time I considered playing with guns to be a dangerous precedent to violent behavior. I also believed that it just was not safe for a black male child to play with anything that resembled a real gun – especially in public.

As a single parent, I knew just how easily the streets could envelop a black boy and annihilate his chances of a future and of success. I was determined that those streets would not claim my son. NO gangs! NO guns! NO streets for my child. Well, that didn’t work out exactly as I had intended; but was not as bad as it could’ve been. He became a police officer! Giving life to two birds without a stone: he finally got his gun . . . check! He joined a gang. . . check!  But I digress! Back to my point!

As I stated earlier, I was against gun ownership. I fell into the categorical mindset that if you own a gun, then you are inviting negativity and the possibility of a fatal accident occurring into your home where anyone could fall victim. Well folks, today, I no longer feel that way. With my encouragement, I can proudly state that my son takes his family to the gun range where he teaches them gun-safety, user responsibility, and of course, how to shoot.He’s taken his mother too!

Listening to the presidential candidates of the Repugnant Party speak in coded messages about how they’re going to “make America great again”, clearly indicates their strong, albeit misguided desire, to return to the pre-civil and voter’s rights era. The consensual and ongoing assassinations of our black boys and girls, men and women, at the hands of the police, are no different than when the slave patrols of the eighteenth century, roamed the streets and roads – especially in the South – exacting terror on black bodies at whim in an effort to keep slaves under control and to quell any possible slave rebellions!

Nothing has changed!

I marvel at how the Repugnant constituency cheers on such coded rhetoric, gleeful that they now have these true conservative champions who feel just as they do and agree with them that black and brown people must be put back into their place! The present-day political climate – especially after the election of President Barack Obama – has led me to understand the sheer necessity of responsible and legal gun ownership in America. I now believe that every law abiding Black family should legally own at least one firearm (or one per family member). For don’t we need to protect our family and property, too?!

Millions of Euro-Americans since the Civil War have armed themselves to protect their families, property and of course, to hunt wild game! Regretfully back then, Negros were not allowed to own or carry firearms – lest they use them to protect themselves from the terrorism of the KKK.

Well Black folks, I think it’s time for us to read the same memo that the Euro-Americans folks have read for centuries. Their memo states that they need firearms for hunting, gathering and protection. We live in a world where it is imperative that we understand the importance of Black folks being responsible Americans just like they are! Why should Euro-Americans be the only hunters and gatherers in possession of automatic rifles and guns? Why should they be the only people who need to protect their families? Why should they be the only ones who enjoy a little bit of skeet-shooting and gun collecting? Why should they be the only ones to take their families out to the shooting range to teach their sons and daughters how to properly and fatally shoot a moving target (with hands-up and  facing backward to them)?

Somehow or other, we think that keeping the peace means not to own a gun! Owning a gun is the American Way! Aren’t we Americans Black people? Over the past three decades, it’s becoming more and more clear to me that the Second Amendment which states that “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed,” applies to us (black and brown people) just as much as it applies to them. So why are we standing on the outside looking in?

It is time to realize that not only is the 14th Amendment, which “grants citizenship to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States” which included former slaves who had just been freed after the Civil War,” is something to be upheld and celebrated, but that it is also our American duty and privilege to use the 2nd Amendment to our best interests as well!

In New Jersey, “to own a gun, you must complete paperwork and submit a background check. If you intend to buy a rifle or a shotgun, the process is similar no matter where you apply. If you intend to purchase and/or carry a handgun, however, you will need some additional paperwork.” We can do that right?

Of course we can! En masse, we should flock to gun shows, gun stores and those mega-stores that sell firearms to make our purchases. Hopefully, a discerning Black entrepreneur  will open up a gun store and range that we can patronize and keep our gun money in the community. And with the black-owned shooting range, we can avoid white onlookers staring in disbelief and disgust that Black people are legal gun owners too! Imagine that! Black mothers and fathers standing alongside their children beaming with pride as they shoot at the “moving target”.

Another important facet will be our establishing our own rifle association. We’ll call it . . . the National Association of Black Guns and Rifles Owners. . . NABGRO! With our own association, we can raise enough money to buy ourselves some Congressmen and Senators, too! Ooh, ooh, ooh! What about publishing a firearms magazine? Stacey Dash could be on the premiere cover! We could publish such articles as: How to keep Sticky-finger Cousin Snooky out of the gun cabinet when you host the next family reunion! And how to buy the perfect gun accessories! It would be so cool!

We could actually create jobs for ourselves too with NABGRO! We would need a CEO, managers, supervisors, IT techs, secretaries, receptionists and maintenance workers. Blacks folks are a billion-dollar consumer industry; we could do this! We could hire Shug Knight (if he finds a way to get out of prison) as the CEO of NABGRO – Shug is no more a criminal than is Wayne La Pierre, the current CEO of the NRA whom mind you, brings home $975,000 annually. The NRA has a membership of 4.5 million people and their revenue is $205 million annually. And check this out, they spent $10 million on the 2008 presidential election! Hell, Black women spend $10 million a year on buying hair and getting weaves alone! (I’m just kidding…I think?) Don’t get me wrong, I love you my weave-wearing sistahs! But I digress!

There are over thirty-seven million Black folks in America and we make up over twelve percent of the population! Surely we must have at least 4.5 million black folks without a record who could legally purchase a gun and become members of NABGRO! Think about the political and economic power that our gun ownership will yield!

As the distant cousin organization of the KKK, the NRA realized long ago that they could buy an election which included the presidency and a sizable amount of Congress and Senate members whom they would need to pass legislation that would forward the NRA’s agenda to build a multi million-dollar organization that can literally buy anything and anyone that it wants! (Of course the NRA learned the value of buying elections from the Fathers of industry, i.e., Vanderbilt, Morgan, Rockafella and Ford). With our own association, we can raise enough money to buy us some members of the legislative branch too!

The downside of this scenario is that as soon as the powers-that-be realizes that we are executing our 2nd Amendment Rights, the gun laws will drastically begin to change! The Repugnants will then see the importance of restricting gun ownership so that every American will not be able to protect property and family, hunt and gather; or to become a gun collector! We will be the first people to be asked to relinquish our guns in the name of peace and tranquility. Our Black entrepreneur, who opened up the first black-owned gun store and shooting range, will have to close their doors. Our bought congressmen/women will have to take their handkerchief heads back over to the tobacco industry for financial support. And Shug might have to return to prison for the illegal stockpiling of firearms.

Now, I guess you’re wondering if I am serious? I am! I believe that our perceived weaknesses would vastly change if we executed our American rights as citizens. It seems as if to Euro-Americans, our viability as human beings is directly associated with the ability to protect oneself and family. And as long as we listen to the same party who takes us for granted – one election after the other with impunity – we are going to always appear weak and inconsequential.

Of course I don’t believe that legal and responsible gun ownership will be the panacea of our society’s ills; however, I believe that ownership will play an integral role in moving us in that direction.

According to Pew Research Statistics when comparing ideologies about gun ownership the Liberals are at 23%, versus Moderates at 36% and Conservatives at 41%. Likewise, gun ownership among political parties have similar numbers as the Repugs are at 49%, Independents at 37% and Dems are at 22%. What do those numbers tell you?

The 2nd Amendment applies to all Americans, our legally and responsibly owning guns is just another way for us to pledge our allegiance and loyalty to the red, white and blue.

This is my ode to gun control. This is my ode to you!