(as I sit in Busboys & Poets and enjoy blueberry hibiscus tea and a Cobb salad)
Remember that show "Taxicab Confessions" and how wildly successful it was? It's because people will get into a taxicab (or, in my case, a Lyft) and literally tell ALL of their business. The good, the bad, and the just plain weird. I'm not sure that I've ever mentioned it here, but I've been driving Lyft for awhile to supplement my income. I like it. I like the flexibility it allows me. I also like the conversations I have with my passengers; they make for GREAT blog posts.
Kind of like this one.
Late last week, I picked up a young girl (she was about 25) from her home in SW to take her to work. She worked on 16th street, and as we were in rush hour traffic, we had plenty of time to chat. She started talking as soon as we got into my car. She was telling me all about her plans to spend Thanksgiving with her boyfriend's family, and discussing in detail the incredibly off-putting, borderline racist comments her future in-laws, religious fanatics from middle-of-nowhere Pennsylvania, For example, she told me that her future mother-in-law believes that Jesus is portrayed as having fair skin, blue eyes, and long hair because all the Renaissance artists who painted him were gay.
I didn't bother to tell her that Jesus wasn't a white man at all... It would've blown her mind. She was one of those white girls with an annoying inflection on the end of every phrase and sentence she spoke, you know? Like everything was a question? You get what I'm saying? Because I can explain more if you need me to? No? Okay. Moving on.
Eventually, we reached the point in our conversation where she stated emphatically that she never wanted children, and the thought of what children do to your body and to your life once they're here absolutely repulses her. She talked in detail about her sister's pregnancy, rife with hemorrhoids, stretch marks, and constant indigestion, and then talks about how her sister, who is awake at all hours with a newborn, is a weird, zombie version of her original self.
"My boyfriend knows I don't want kids and he's fine with it," she said. "God bless anyone willing to throw their lives away parenting. Girls like us (she was referring to me, too) know how to live on our own terms, right? Who needs kids slowing us down?"
Mind you, up until this point in the conversation, I was just interjecting well-timed "uh-huhs" and "oh, really?s" but had not offered any personal details of my life. She went on.
"What are you, like 24? 25? Way too young for kids, right?"
"Well, actually," I said, (and when I 'well, actually,' a read is coming... just wait for it) "I'm 34 with a 14-year-old son."
I watched her face turn beet red in my rearview mirror. "Really?" she said. "Wow. Black really don't crack."
I laughed. (These white women and their attempts to endear themselves to me... they overcompensate and it's hilarious to watch.)
"Yes, really," I said. "I've been a parent my entire adult life. And you know what? For me, it really hasn't been that bad."
Let me say this before I continue in the conversation. I am not one of those mothers for whom the world stops revolving for my kid. He is not the center of my universe. He is not my king, or my world. He's a fourteen year old person of his own, with his own life, his own personality, and his own interests. I love him because he's an individual, my complete and total opposite. I respect him enough to give him the space and opportunity to be his own person, with my guidance and steering.
But ol' girl, as brusque as her delivery might've been, was kinda right.
It's so important to know beyond all doubts that you actually want to be a parent before you become a parent... because parenting is a lot. And no, I don't have an infant who is waking up all night to nurse or a toddler who is writing on my walls. But I have a teenager who plays three sports, is a percussionist, attends school in a different state, and still tries to maintain a social life. He likes girls and insists that we listen to Lil Yachty and Lil Uzi Vert (these are REAL PEOPLE) in the car. There is always something to pay for. Something to buy. Something that's needed. Something that's necessary. Parenting requires commitment beyond that of any other job you will ever have, because it's constant. You're on call always. And when parenting rings, everything else, especially when you're a single parent, takes the back burner.
I had to remove my feelings from the conversation with the girl because she talked about being a mom like it was a disease, something awful and huge and incurable. I just listened to what she was saying, and I was kinda impressed that, even without being a parent herself, she understood that the commitment and dedication good parenting required was something she just wasn't interested in .
It made me think... How much do we really consider the weight of things before we commit to them? And how many of those commitments do we make because society tells us that they're the "right" decisions? How many women get pregnant and are miserable? How many people stay in unhappy marriages for the sake of appearance? How many parents have kids they didn't plan, don't want, and don't really like, but feel trapped in their circumstances? How many people lie to themselves about their sexuality because they are too afraid to be who they really are? How many of us are too afraid to say something like, "Parenting is awful and I don't want it for my life" because we are afraid of being judged?
That conversation stayed with me for the rest of the day. I made the decision to be a mom, and fourteen years later, I don't regret it. I love my son and the joy he's brought to my life. But there are a lot of other decisions that I could make that fall into that same category, and I admired my passenger's candor, her ability to discuss so clearly what was not for her even when she had no idea she was in the company of someone who had a totally different outlook. She was exactly who she was regardless of who was around her or what I thought (even though she assumed I wasn't old enough to be a mom because good melanin genes).
I'm challenging us all to live according to what is best for us. What feels best for us. What we know to be best for us. We all deserve a stab at living the lives we create for ourselves according to our own design. Yes, we have to work. We have to pay taxes. There is shit that is inevitable that we HAVE to do that just come as a part of adulting. But there's also stuff we don't have to do. We don't have to reproduce. We don't have to get married. We can tattoo our bodies, pierce our skin, dye our hair, dress in ways that make us feel good. We don't have to fall into society's definition of success in order to be truly successful. All that matters is that the life you live validates you, your own morals and ideas, and what you want. Happiness is underrated. It's the difference between being alive and living. I challenge you to take the time to figure out what really makes you happy. Make a damn list. What brings you joy? What makes you feel alive? What makes you happy? Live your life in ways that honor your list. If marriage isn't for you, don't get married. If kids aren't your choice, don't have them.
(Especially that. Because you do a child a disservice when you have them and don't want them. Don't mess them up for life by treating them like a mistake.)
Be you, out loud. Be exactly who the hell you are, without being afraid of what people will think. The people who really love you will accept you however you come, and those that don't really love you don't matter anyway. Your sexuality, your body, your work, your self-expression... all YOUR choices to make. Choose wisely. And, by wisely, I mean choose carefully what you want... and don't worry about what anybody else thinks of your choices.
I never once tried to convince the young lady in my car that she was wrong about her idea of parenthood. Not one time. I respected fully and completely that this was her opinion, even though I am a mom myself. She reminded me of something that is easy to forget: that my choices matter, regardless of how they may sound to other people. That my happiness trumps what other people want for my life. That life is uniquely what I make it... so I might as well make it good.
I know some of you are shaking your heads already... "She's always ragging on the church!" you're probably thinking.
And yep. Y'all gonna call my mama again... I already know it.
Listen. I am the woman I am, in large part, because of the church. Remember, I spent 30 years of my life being actively involved in the church and church activities, so I attribute a lot of the better qualities I have to lessons learned in and because of church.
But sometimes, the church ain't shit... and I gotta speak on it. But first, story time. Because I ALWAYS have a story.
When I was a 19 year old sophomore at Hampton University, I got pregnant with Michael. The pregnancy itself was a huge deal for both our families; both his AND my parents were officers at their respective churches. After we'd told our parents and everybody had a chance to deal with the news, life pretty much went on as normal. At the time, I attended Antioch Baptist Church in Hampton, VA, which happened to be the church my son's father and his entire family attended. I sang in the Youth and Young Adult Choir, and Michael's dad was the church's drummer.
I sang. He played the drums. Everybody knew that Mike and I were together; it was only because of him that I ended up at Antioch. Keep this in mind.
When I was about 3 months pregnant, the pastor called me into a meeting in his study after service. I sat down across from him and his wife, and he looked at me and said, "We think it would be a good idea for you to step down from the choir until after you have your baby. We lead by example here, and it just isn't appropriate for you, an unwed pregnant woman, to be singing in the choir."
I sat silently for a second, and then said, "Okay. I don't like your suggestion, but I can understand where you're coming from. I expect you'll be having this same meeting with Mike, right?"
They looked confused, so I went on, "I mean, it's just as inappropriate for him to be on the drums, considering he's the one who got me pregnant, right?"
The pastor looked stuck for a minute, and then responded, "Mike is a salaried musician on our church staff. He will be allowed to continue playing with the music ministry."
"So let me make sure I understand you," I said slowly. "You want to sit me down from my ministry because I'm pregnant, but the father of this child won't share the same consequences?"
"No," the pastor said. "The act of formication was the sin, not the baby. But sins have consequences. Now, you're clearly pregnant, and it's just not a good example to set to our congregation, especially not the other young women who might look up to you."
I was quiet. Then, I responded, "Until you sit Mike down from playing the drums, I will continue singing in the choir. I didn't get pregnant by myself."
The conversation went back and forth for several minutes, but I was adamant, and refused to acquiesce. They insisted that they had no reason to sit Mike down, because HE wasn't the pregnant one. I told them that if sin had consequences, and he and I committed the same sin TOGETHER, we should have the same consequence. I refused to allow them to shame me into hiding when Mike could boldly play his drum set every Sunday.
So. I sang in that choir, in that black and red choir robe, until the very day I went into labor. I was fat, hot, uncomfortable, could hardly breathe, always hungry, and swollen. I would've loved to sit my pregnant ass in the congregation instead of being up there singing. But I refused to sit down out of principle. I'm proud of myself, even at 19, for sticking to my convictions. Had the pastor called both of us into that meeting and sat both of us down, I would've accepted the consequences of my actions. But my pregnancy was no immaculate conception, and the father of the baby had just as much responsibility for my growing belly as did I, so I sang until the baby came. Literally. I went into labor on a Sunday night. I sang that morning.
Fast forward to today... I'm driving Lyft this morning when I hear Russ Parr and his morning crew talking about the unmarried female pastor who is pregnant and refusing to step down from the pulpit. You can read her story here. In summary, she got pregnant, and her initial reaction was dread. She knew that she would be judged harshly for her pregnancy because of her position in the church--- and she was. People were calling for her resignation, saying that she should be ashamed of herself. People love to claim that pastors and church officers lead by example, and should not do anything to distract others from their ministry or the work of the church.
I call bullshit. Listen to me closely.
Everybody. Your pastor sins. Yop. So does your super-saved, extra anointed, speaking-in-tongues grandma. So does the usher who rolls her eyes at every short skirt that walks into the sanctuary. So does Deacon so-and-so, who seems to live at the church because he's there every single time you are. That lady who gets to church before the doors are even unlocked and sits in the front row and wears the doily on her head and always has them strawberry candies in her purse? Yep. She sins, too. You reading this... You, my love, are a sinner.
Let's not even get me started on MY sinner status. Tuh.
Everybody sins. NOBODY IS PERFECT. And, according to the Bible y'all saints know so well, God doesn't esteem any sin higher than the other. So that little white lie you told that creditor that keeps calling your phone ("I'll send the money to you on the first of the month" when you KNOW you just said that to get them to stop calling) is no bigger or smaller sin than, say, a pastor having sex outside of marriage.
The reality is, male pastors do shady shit all the time. I've seen it with my own eyes. They have affairs outside of their marriage. They misappropriate church funds. Their eyes linger a little too long at legs walking around for offering. Their hugs are a bit too tight sometimes. But they're men... so they're allowed to continue in their shenanigans as long as they preach fire and brimstone and make the people shout and lay prostrate. I can name names of prominent pastors right here in the DMV that have approached me on some shady shit, right there in the sanctuary. PROMINENT PASTORS. And none of it would be hearsay, because I lived it.
Also, Jamal Bryant. If you don't know him, Google him. That man is a hot ass mess in his personal life, but he's a skilled orator with a huge following. And when I say his life is a hot ass mess... Man, listen. And he has quite the flock at his Baltimore church.
A well-known pastor out of Roanoke, VA, was having an affair with a woman at his church, which resulted in the woman and his wife getting into an actual fist fight during service. FISTICUFFS, y'all. Two women scrapping like they were in the streets somewhere over a raggedy old pastor WHO IS STILL LEADING HIS CONGREGATION.
But because this woman actually shows the evidence of her sin in her growing belly, she needs to resign?
Pregnancy is a very public indication of a private act. She's being condemned simply because one can LOOK at her and see that she committed a sin. When you sin and nobody knows about it, it's nothing, right? Don't ask, don't tell, right? But we can't assume they don't sin. They're human. People know of pastors who have affairs, who do drugs, who steal from church funds, who drink and do drugs, and they pretend it's not happening. So how dare the public have such an outcry against this woman when they don't have similarly visceral reactions about the sins committed by male preachers?
This hypocrisy in the church is just too much for me sometimes.
This woman asked for forgiveness from her congregation. She stood up in front of them, admitted she had committed a sin, and told them she was an unwed mother-to-be. They rallied around her and supported her, and she continues to pastor her church. But Russ Parr's callers this morning got all the way under my skin. They were misogynistic and hypocritical and demanded that she be punished for her pregnancy.
Ain't a nere one of them perfect. Because the Bible says we ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. *wait... I felt a quickening...*
This isn't an article about church leadership being allowed to do whatever the hell they want. This is an article about how differently we regard men and women in church leadership when it comes to sin. Reverend Lassiter in Hampton, Virginia made that very clear to me when he and his wife asked me to stop singing but didn't dare remove their drummer (because who else would play the damn drums?). The public response against this pastor and her unborn baby prove it, too. Misogyny in the church is REAL. Men have forever been allowed to do whatever their tickles their raggedy ass fancies, but when women do it, they're slut-shamed, condemned, and shunned, and expected to go into hiding until their bellies go back to normal. And it's ridiculous.
And I'm calling it out.
Women do not get pregnant alone. Well, Mary did. But that's different. Women are as human, as imperfect, and as susceptible to temptation and sin as men are. Stop holding them to standards you don't hold men to, especially in the church.
If you're not a sinner, and everything you do is perfect, why are you attending church anyway? You wouldn't go to a hospital if you weren't sick, would you? You don't go out to eat when you're not hungry. If your life is perfect, then feel free to judge the actions of others, because you're clearly Jesus Christ himself. Also, stay home. Church is for the imperfect... the people who are striving to do a little better every day but know they need help getting there.
But since your life ain't perfect, stop pointing out the speck in someone else's eye and ignoring the log in your own.
That's Biblical, too.
Pastor Desiree Allen, you have my full support. Preach until your ankles are too swollen to stand, and then sit on a stool and preach. And as that baby grows, and pushes your organs up, and your diaphragm doesn't expand the way it used to, and you're winded, and tired, and hot, keep preaching anyway. You've asked for forgiveness for your sin. God forgives as far as the East is from the West. (Yep... in the Bible.) You've asked for forgiveness from your congregation.
Everybody else can mind their business... and/or go to hell.
That's it. Y'all be easy.
Warning: I had wine and olives for dinner tonight. So I'm not sure if this will be an actual post, or some stream-of-consciousness rant that only makes sense to me... because wine. Lots of wine. But anyway...
This will probably be another one of those unpopular posts that have the church folk calling my mom and asking her a million questions about my wayward life. Y'all gotta chill. I'm sure she's tired of answering your questions. Geez.
So I've been diving into the spiritual realm quite a bit lately in my life. I guess it's first necessary to give you some background information on my spiritual journey thus far.
I was that kid for whom church was NEVER an option. As long as I woke up on Sunday morning with breath in my lungs, I was going to church. Period. I was christened at 3 months, baptized when I was 7, and I served in every possible youth capacity imaginable. I was an usher, I sang in the choir, I was even a delegate to the Progressive National Baptist Convention for several years. Most of my friends were from church. I am a deacon's kid. I even attended Christian school for two years. It's safe to say that my life, until I was 18, revolved around church.
Needless to say, I was ecstatic when I left for college and was no longer forced to get up at the crack of dawn on Sundays, don stockings, and go to church. The first few weeks of school, I absolutely relished spending my Sunday mornings in my bed, snug under my covers. But around the 4th week of school, I felt empty, like something was missing from my life. The following Sunday morning, I woke up, got dressed, and went to service at the chapel on campus. Every Sunday from that Sunday until I graduated from college, I, without being under duress of any kind, woke up for church. I even sang in the choir-- even up until the day I went into labor with Michael. (His daddy was the drummer. Lol. ) So, just like that, church was, once again, an integral part of my life.
I graduated from college, came home, and jumped right back into my childhood church like I'd never left. It wasn't long before I was in the choir, singing on the praise team, and facilitating a ministry. Spending several evenings a week at church and attending both Sunday services was the norm for me. That was just... what I did. Until one Sunday, when I was 31 years old...
I'll spare the grizzly details and just say the church leadership and I had some irreconcilable differences, and for the first time in my entire life, I found myself without a church home. I was genuinely lost. Within a few months of leaving the only church I'd only ever really known, I joined another church-- a very popular megachurch not too far from where I lived. Michael and I went through the new members classes and I was excited to get involved. I'd always loved the pastor and really enjoyed the services. The Sunday before Thanksgiving 2014, Michael and I received the Right Hand of Fellowship at this new church. We were officially members. I joined a couple of ministries, and got Michael involved with the youth, but as I sat in the services along with the other several thousand members there, I felt lost. Absolutely lost. Like a needle in a haystack. Yes, there was a worship experience going on around me, and yes, the pastor preached the Word better than any pastor I'd known, but nothing about that church felt personal to me. I was going through the motions. I was just... there. One of a sea of members. I didn't know anyone. Mind you, I was coming from a small, community church where EVERYBODY knew me, where I had been loved and spoiled my entire life. This new church wasn't for me, so I stopped going. It just never "felt" right to me.
I church-hopped for awhile. There were a few other churches I'd visit. I'd even attend my childhood church with my parents from time to time (but the petty in me was careful to avoid speaking to certain people... because I don't forgive so easily). But I never quite felt like I belonged anywhere. I was church homeless. Eventually, I stopped trying, and just stayed in bed on Sundays. Forcing church felt so inauthentic to me. As a result, I suffered spiritually, which was completely confusing to me. Spirituality had to be just more than attending church and listening to sermons, right? But I felt so empty
I decided to stop searching outside of myself for a spiritual connection and do my own research, look inwardly, and figure out what spirituality actually was.
What I discovered kinda surprised me.
All my life, I heard that spirituality was my relationship with God, which was strengthened by my attending church, going to Bible study, and assembling with the saints (and the ain'ts... because y'all already know they're there, too). Spirituality, then, in my mind, was directly linked to church. And, according to my mom, who is VERY concerned about the lack of church in my life, there is no way I can grow in my spiritual life without being part of a church.
I'm not saying she's wrong. But I discovered she's only telling a very small part of the real truth of spirituality.
One night, I was on Twitter and I happened upon a thread about a full-moon ritual. It sounded kinda hocus pocus, but I was in a space in my life where I felt so spiritually empty that I was willing to try it, just to see how it worked. In this ritual, I was supposed to write down the things I wanted to get rid of in my life, and the set the list on fire. As it burned, I was supposed to imagine those things I wrote down evaporating into the air with the smoke. I made my list, and as it burned, I was moved to tears. I actually felt the weight of those things leaving my shoulders. As I cried, I prayed... and thanked God for taking those things away from me. It was strange that a full-moon ritual led me to the most sincere prayer I'd prayed in months.
After the full moon ritual worked so well for me (I actually let go of those things I wrote on the paper and have not picked them up since), I decided to dive into crystals and explore how they worked. I contacted a friend of mine who was well-versed in crystals, and asked her a million questions. Her answers led me to really taking the time to look at myself and see which of my chakras needed the most work, so I could determine which crystals were best for me to begin with. I read about each chakra, and was honest with myself about my flaws. I discovered that my solar plexus (the chakra in my belly) was the weakest.
I've had digestive issues and ulcers for several years. Last month, I had my gallbladder removed, and I was diagnosed with celiac disease, or an allergy to gluten. I also suffer from anxiety, have fluctuating self-esteem, and doubt myself and my abilities a lot. All of things are directly related to having an over- and under-active solar plexus. This site was really helpful. So I bought a couple of crystals-- citrine and tiger's eye for strengthening the solar plexus, and quartz for calm and serenity. I began to learn about the power of the crystals, how to use them, how they worked in my life. I bought a Himalayan salt lamp and sage for smudging. I began to really pay attention to the energy around me and, as a result, I started exploring meditation.
Meditation was difficult at first. I could never really clear my mind enough for it to be effective. My thoughts would wander. I would end up making to-do lists or thinking about writing projects when I was supposed to be mindfully mindless. So, instead of clearing my mind, I'd use my meditation time to pray.
So I'd be lying still, clutching my crystals, pouring my heart out to God in prayer, talking to Him as honestly and candidly as I knew how, giving Him all my burdens and issues, sharing with Him my dreams and hopes, and feeling His spirit literally filling my heart in ways I didn't even feel when I was attending church 4 times a week.
I'ma rewind that for you.
I left church, got into moon rituals and crystals, which led me to learn about energy, which led me to meditation, which caused me to pray to God in ways I'd never been able to pray in church.
Learning who I am, what my fears and flaws were, and exploring alternate ways of strengthening my relationship with the world around me, with the universe, and with myself, led me to God in ways that church never did.
Spirituality, then, is not a relationship with a Higher Being. It is a relationship with self.
All my life, I'd learned that spirituality equals church. It took me years of feeling empty and lost to discover that spirituality is so much more than that. Spirituality is nature. It's honest evaluation of self and a vow to improve weak areas. Spirituality is appreciating the beauty in nature and its healing power. Spirituality is gratitude. Church is simply a building. Religion is simply indoctrination, or a list of rules and rituals that govern how we live. Religion really means absolutely nothing, which, for a woman who spent almost every Sunday of her life in church, deeply enmeshed in religious activities, is shocking discovery. Spirituality is a deep appreciation of life, of self, and of nature. It's placing your relationship with your Higher Power in perspective. Sometimes, when I meditate, I simply say "thank you" over and over again.
I want us to get away from the idea that church is the only way we can connect with God. It's not.
I like attending church services. I like the singing, the preaching, and the fellowship. But I understand church and church activities as mere portals to spirituality. If a song or a sermon ushers you into the presence of the Most High, then that's amazing. But, for me, it was nature. It was learning about crystals and the moon. It was focusing on chakras and energy. It wasn't until I really found myself that I found God in a way that was real and meaningful to me.
Yes, I believe in the Law of Attraction and other laws of the Universe. Yes, I believe that my citrine and tiger's eye stones have energy that have improved my confidence and self-esteem. Yes, I believe in the power of the moon and its cycles and how they impact our lives. Yes, I believe that my salt lamp and smudging changes the energy in my home. But I also believe deeply and sincerely in God and His power in my life. I believe in the power of prayer. I believe even more in the power that God gave ME when He created ME in HIS image... I believe he made me a god in my own right, just like Him. And I believe in doing all I can to cultivate that power in myself.
Don't let anybody tell you that these things are mutually exclusive. I got into an argument with someone on Facebook who said that anybody who believed in the "universe" couldn't possibly believe in God. How stupid. Humans are smart enough to understand that everything isn't absolute. I can believe in the power of nature and in the God who created it at the same time. In fact, I think that reverencing the power of nature is another way of showing respect and admiration to God. It all works together, in my opinion.
If you are a person who believes that church and worshipping God are the only ways to engage spiritually, I want to tell you that there is so much of the spiritual realm that you are missing out on. The more I got to know myself, the more I got to know my Creator. As I grew in love and awareness of self, my awe and admiration for God grew, too. The better I knew myself and the universe in which I exist, the better I understood God. I discovered spirituality through a deep, very honest, sometimes painful and discouraging awareness of myself. As I discovered the god in me, I discovered the God in whose likeness I was created.
So. Do your moon rituals, Use your stones. Sage. Meditate. Face your flaws. Celebrate your beauty. Understand your chakras. Learn the laws of the universe. Show gratitude. Give for the sake of giving. Pray. This is the very essence of spirituality.
Funny thing... I had to leave church to find God... and I found Him where I should've been looking for Him this whole time: inside of me.
I'm sitting in the library, listening to the clock on the wall ticking, trying to think of something to write about.
Last night, Donald Trump was elected to serve as the next president of the United States of America, and I am positive I should say something about it.
For the first time that I can remember in a very long time, however, I am at a complete loss for words. The first thing I thought about this morning was happy hour... an opportunity to commiserate with friends over libations and greasy bar food. Because what the hell?
Like... I'm stunned. I can't believe that this country overwhelmingly voted into office a man who has gone on record making incredibly racist, bigoted, sexist comments... a man who has absolutely no political or military background whatsoever. A man so uncouth that he mocked a handicapped person during a campaign speech. A pig of a man who believes it his right as a rich man to force himself on women and violate them as he pleases. This country elected a man whose wife has published nude photos in several national and international publications . A man who believes that all African-Americans are living in poverty. A man who, not at any point in his entire campaign, revealed his strategies for accomplishing anything in this country.
This man is the next President of the United States.
Well, what I can't say is that I'm surprised, because I knew this would happen exactly the way it did. I knew that in all those preliminary polls and surveys that had Clinton winning overwhelmingly, that people were lying about their true intentions. "Of course we wouldn't vote for Trump! We love our black friends!" they said. Their actual vote, however, tells a very different story. Preliminary reports revealed that Trump's follower base was low-class, uneducated, poor White trash. The rednecks. The idiots who inbreed and keep Jerry Springer on television. The vote last night, again, told a very different tale. Understand what I'm about to tell you, and hear me WELL.
When Barack Obama ran for President in 2008, he ran on the premise that people were tired of the mess created by George W. Bush. He ran with the promise that he would make changes, that he would shake up a government that wasn't working for anyone, that he would fix our broken economy, add jobs, and make life better for all classes of American citizens. He spoke to a marginalized group of people and rallied them, got them excited, got them to the polls, and eloquently spoke his way right into the White House. And served there for TWO TERMS. President Obama's presidency, however, is a slap in the face of the American way.
We were brought here several centuries ago as slaves, the labor force on which the American economy as we know it was built. Our sole purpose in this country was to work. We were seen as property, as a tradeable commodity. Never did the founding fathers of this country think that we would demand to be treated equally and humanely as free residents with rights. Somehow, though, after Lincoln signed the document that freed us, we managed to survive sharecropping. We survived Jim Crow. We survived the atrocities of the Civil Rights movement. We survived the KKK. We've survived attempt after attempt to marginalize, oppress, and berate us, and somehow managed to rise to the highest position in the United States of America-- a Black man had become President.
Let that sink in. They brought us here to serve them... and, for the last 8 years, they have had to accept the authority of a Black man as the most powerful man in the free world.
Donald Trump won because, just like President Obama, he managed also to appeal to a marginalized group of people-- people so desperate to regain White supremacy and rule in the United States that they'd be willing to elect a man for President that has had several failed business ventures, has a disgusting reputation with women, even an existing RAPE CHARGE. He managed to mobilize the idea that, with him at the helm, American would be "great again"-- the way it was when it was run by White men. I'm not fooled. The rhetoric Trump used all throughout his candidacy reflected an America of the past, an America where women were not allowed to make decisions about their own bodies, an America where there was no gay marriage, an America where Blacks knew and stayed in their place.
I dare somebody to tell me I'm wrong. This his how I feel. While I'm open to feedback, I am not here to defend my opinion. If you want to argue, go elsewhere.
Donald Trump is the next President of the United States and while I am not surprised, I am so very disappointed. I'm disappointed that this is the best that we have to offer, that this buffoon will be representing America and her ideals to the rest of the world. I'm disappointed that White supremacists are so desperate to get their own back in the White House that they are willing to cut off their noses to spite their white faces for it. I am disappointed because Donald Trump represents the idea that you can be a complete ass, a bully, a racist, a jerk, and still rise to the top position in the country.
I'm disappointed because, for the past year, my kid has watched Donald Trump act a complete ass and I had to tell him this morning that he won the election anyway. His little face crumbled. I'm disappointed.
And I'm angry.
I get it. Life as I know it will roll ever on. I still have to be a mom. There are still large projects on my plate. I'm still planning to take over the world. Nothing has changed, logistically. I get it. I'm just... uncomfortable... because, in "post-racial" America, we still managed to elect a man who is the very embodiment of the discrimination and prejudice we have been fighting against since we first came here as slaves.
What a difference a day makes.
I think that's all I have. I am watching the clock. Two hours until Happy Hour.
Until next time...
I write because a lot of what I have to say is too crass and inappropriate for me to say out loud.