“Uncomplicated Conditioning and Deep-Down Knowing”

Perhaps I am a cynic, but my uncomplicated conditioning and my deep-down knowing about the ubiquity of racism remind me that the invisibility of a symbol is not the same as the absence of racist hate.  I have had numerous interactions with white folk in nice suits, who would turn their nose up at a “redneck” racist, who share the same views but don’t literally wear it like an ornament around their neck.  It’s 2015, it is not okay to wear your racism on your sleeve (or your t-shirt), but that doesn’t mean it is not still carried around.  And that is what worries me.  Deep-seated, hidden, structural, institutionalized racism is just as (if not more) dangerous as out in the open racism because we don’t always recognize it or see it coming.

…In a moment when some faith seems to dictate that some black folk need to forgive (and forget) while some white folk stubbornly hold on to a flag and revisionist version of history that condones their racism and insistence for white supremacy, we have a lot more to worry about than whether or not the rebel flag will live on.  What we know for sure is that nine churchgoers who went to study the bible last week won’t.

Racial oppression doesn’t occur in a vacuum so it cannot be neatly or conveniently taken down (or away) without the residue, implications, consequences and permanent scars of its existence, and neither can the confederate flag.

Go read the rest here.

Thank you, my sister, scholar, teacher, proclaimer of truth, Dr. Robin Boylorn.

Until We Can’t Feel Them Anymore

I read these strategies over at the Crunk Feminist Collective, and while they’re especially written for Black women, I think all women and all men who love women and want to love women well should ingest them.  We need to know how to live, how to address the stressors in our lives, how to stop pushing away our “needs and desires down until we can’t feel them anymore.”

I think mothers, fathers, and friends of mothers and fathers need to be aware these strategies for staying alive.  I think of this list, and lists like them, as little love points for the people I care about.  I think these are some of the ways we ought to push each other live and thrive and flourish.

Read the full post here.  Because there’s a steeped personal introduction to the tips, a poem you really need to sip, a lot words I’ve left, and a few other things that are worth seeing over in the Collective.

  1. Take some time to/for yourself and be unapologetic about it.  At least one hour a day should be yours.
  2. Say no!  Be impolite.  Say no (without an explanation/reason).
  3. Reject negativity.  …we don’t have to take on other people’s baggage.
  4. Pay attention to your body.  When your body speaks, listen!  And do something about it.
  5. Have a bi-annual or annual check-up.  While sometimes our family histories can be mysteries, it is important to know what hereditary diseases or ailments you may be at risk for.
  6. Do a regular inventory and purge anything toxic in your life.  This includes people, relationships, thoughts, habits, and hobbies.
  7. Let people go.  If someone fails to treat you like the queen you are…on to the next one.
  8. Don’t be a people pleaser.  Living your life for yourself and not for other people makes a world of difference.
  9. Have a confidante.  We should all have someone in our life we don’t have to “put on” for.
  10. Celebrate yourself and your accomplishments even if/when you have to do it (by/for) yourself.  Don’t miss an opportunity to acknowledge all of what/who you are and where you come from.
  11. Take care of yourself mentally, physically and spiritually.  Figure out how best to take care of yourself.
  12. Kick it, regularly, with your homegirls.  This can be magic.
  13. Let people do things for you.  When someone offers to do something for you, let them!

If I didn’t suggest this already, read the full post here.