Growing Up White

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Yes I’m black. To some though, I wasn’t. To some, I wasn’t good enough. No real explanation. Just blanket statements.

Some people spend part of their lives shaping themselves to commit to an already planned out existence. But each step was like a needle to the arm: you didn’t die, but you felt it and you remember what happens the next time you encounter it.

Here’s just one of many stories that left a bad taste in my mouth. The culprits may not have realized, but I’m sure I’m not the only one.Print

Growing up black in a white neighborhood in itself is interesting, but it made traveling outside of it confusing. I already knew that people were called colors that they were in fact not, but outside of the suburbs there were also levels to this said color.

While playing outside on the streets of Ilion Avenue, my siblings and I were always told we talked white. I would see my sister’s eyes bulge like their death was gaining pressure. She hated it more than I did.

I never understood why telling us we talked liked a color and that talking that way should be shameful. But hey, most of them barely left the burrow and always asked to play with my Skip-it so who’s ashamed now?

As we got older Printand more color escaped the depths of a government controlled cycle where only a few were okay with their outcome, the criticizing began to change a little. The preteens have now lived life and could tell me a few things. And now were telling me I wasn’t black enough.

First, I sounded white (ew, I guess is what was supposed to say). Now, for some reason, I wasn’t black enough. Almost like a secret timeline they kept track of for final judgement. Sad, I had no clue I was being tested.

Again, wasn’t sure how I was really supposed to take that. I know how I did take it and have a journal for a year in high school to prove it. But here I was, black, sounding white, not being black enough.

Skip ahead to adulthood. After years and years of being told  I sounded like the wrong color, and my color was not enough to be a part of the color group, I was now beiPrintng told the color I was supposed to be and sound like was no longer the latest tea.

That tasted like shit.

A long monologue about love, and many of us got the cliff notes: “You’re too loud, angry, and independent.”

I don’t care who you love, just don’t beat down someone else to justify it.

Offensive? Maybe. But Lets Confirm Before We Whine.

I watch TV a lot (thanks Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime). It’s my background noise while I’m at my computer doing everything I possibly could do to advance my career…and borderline obsess over social media observing. I suck at keeping up with the latest shows, so I usually have oldie but goodies playing while I work.

Fortunately, as an adult, I get to re-watch certain shows as if I only saw a trailer the first time. As an adult, I get to understand the smart remarks and lingo that cleared my head the first time and wow, actors got away with saying a lot of offensives things. And it is hilarious.

Things I’m sure today, you’d cry about. Thank goodness social media is only in its infancy and we haven’t always been bombarded with its presence. Movies and TV shows would have never been able to start their paths to being two of the most common things in America.

Back to my point. Throughout history (at least close to my history), people have poked fun and insulted someone in some way. Mocking Native Americans, Blacks, Spanish, Irish, Italians, blondes, fat people, nerds, the list is endless. Sometimes a joke can be just that…a joke. Sometimes something can just be entertainment and not the assumption that a result in one entertaining scenario goes across the board of specific groups. Today however, the thought of not being able to make someone laugh is frightening.

It seems the new trend is to take everything to the extreme. No longer can we say something funny and expect the very least to just stare silently. Today, we have to worry about internet backlash. Everything gets taken out of context and next thing we know, feeds are becoming virtually critical of what the entire world is doing. How many of us has already read something about a group being offended and think ‘Damn, I do that too! I guess I offend them.’

This is way too often for a lot of people.

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Yes, people thread that line where you question whether you should laugh or punch a wall. This is not the blog for that scenario, however, if all you’re going to shame and name-call something trivial as a joke, know that you’re negatively judged and criticized profusely by many. It’s silly and insanely pointless.

I have to stress the fact that people can’t see the difference between a joke to help people burn calories and something that is said or done with an undertone of prejudice is insulting as a human. So much time has been wasted these couple of years getting offended just because it gives you something to comment about. The irony is this would be a perfect time in life to take a look at ourselves and JUST. LAUGH.

This is coming from a short, fat, black woman from Jersey who hasn’t had a stable job since 2012. The internet should be one big offense to me!

And if you can’t laugh at yourself, take a trip to TV land and get your mind blown…maybe another thing to get offended about.

I know it’s hard but here’s how I make it without taking everything I see so personally.

  1. Ask yourself: Are they trying to offend, or are they just trying to make me laugh?

It actually should be quite easy to figure out if you pay attention and not just use a paragraph as a word jumble.

And if you’re truly offended, try making a difference. Even if it seems small.

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How Not To Waste A Good Debate

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EVERYONE IS ARGUING!

Of course we are. There’s 7 billion people across this glorious speck in the universe. We’re not going to agree. Shit, with all the slanted news, the odds are stacked completely against us…unless you’re like most people and have a personal jet to travel and observe for yourself.

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Now that you’ve accepted that, together we can understand how to argue an opinion without being an asshole or an idiot. While the debate can be intense, there are only a few simple steps to follow to make sure you leave the debate satisfied you made your point and you’ve thought critically of what your opponent had to say (yes that is important too).

  1. Have An Argument– You don’t know how many times I’ve read an opinion so far-fetched, it was obvious a 747 could clear the space between the person’s head and the moral of the story.
  1. Do Some Research It’s not necessary to spend endless hours outlining studies. But basing your argument on one story that you just happen to scroll pass and agreed with the headline is possibly the laziest thing a person could do…and we’re either sitting at a computer just clicking, or sitting somewhere more comfortable just swiping. Confirm a few things before typing. Make sure the current event isn’t tied to decades of things you didn’t consider…or common sense. I say this knowing if you take my advice, I’m sacrificing some of my online humor.
  1. Accept When A Point Has Been Proven Wrong  It becomes funny when you keep insisting the trickle-down effect worked.
  1. Respond To The Argument  Not what you think will distract people from your dwindling points.
  1. If You Are Going To Use Sarcasm, Be Good At It  Nothing is more satisfying than getting a sarcastic response that you can tear into pieces in 3 three sentences…You know what? Ignore this, I’m not sacrificing my hobby.
  1. Be An Adult  The world will never completely agree with each other so don’t end the debate making the opponent feel like you ran and cried into the arms of your confidant. Even if the argument becomes intense with emotions writhing, do your best to calm the situation and actually consider their side before ending the debate. Doing that will allow you to confirm how thoughtless your opponent was after you calmed down leaving you less likely feel like maybe you missed something. Your opponent will have had no choice but to at least consider your side since you did your research on both the specifics and the broad range of the issue. Your opponent’s choice whether to use critical thinking skills is why society is crying.

When Did It Become Ordinary For Unnecessary People To Be Famous?

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ALL THESE RECENT SCANDALS SHOULD BE ENOUGH TO STOP THIS TREND! 

I know there are enough channels and outlets to suffice, but why are we tolerating so much nonsense to enter our minds and ignoring scenarios that reflect our current situation? Yeah, go ahead and say it’s for our entertainment. Our ‘guilty pleasure.’ It’s almost believable. I wouldn’t have given it a second thought had I not seen a trend in the last decade of people striving to be some type of star by some irrelevant means. Spending countless hours trying to become someone with an exploitation background.

Let’s be clear so no groups rally against me. My taste does not clear the spectrum of entertainment and I may not understand why people are glued to certain shows, but I understand that my taste doesn’t dissolve any chance of my dislikes’ respect and admiration. While I’ll defend my dislikes about any particular show, webisode, podcast, movie, or song, defending someone’s desire to be famous by any means necessary is ridiculous.

So I ask again: When Did It Become Ordinary For Unnecessary People Be Famous?

When did we lose sight of those who are helping to promote our world? To progress our species? I am seeing multiple epidemics around the world. Nothing as major relative to the dark ages yes. But serious ones nonetheless. I’d name some, but I’m sure your news feed beat your eyes with it all day, everyday.  All areas of importance are receiving blow after blow on multiple sides in multiple opinions with negative results overriding any hopes of moving forward from this sidestep we’ve come accustom too. Yet cameras all around some famous person’s baby? Articles trying to explain a one-year-old’s expression. People making millions just because. That’s where we are right now. necessary people

Let me put this in perspective: In order for me to start a nonprofit organization for…let’s say sheltering homeless people. Or an animal shelter for you pet lovers. After obtaining sufficient amount of education and experience, on top of the dedication necessary to move forward in my mission, I would need sponsors to help pay for it. Remember, nothing is for free. A proposal must be written pretty much begging people to help with the mission. Begging to help a situation that most people should hold dear to them. Of course, rejections would be received as the begging progresses because a variety of reasons: Not interested, not worth it, no money, etc. The journey will go on. Finally, once the funds are in, then begins the endless effort to make the mission a reality. Trust me, it won’t be easy. Especially since the begging is continuous. Always preparing for sudden changes such as budget cuts. And this journey is not-for-profit, in case it was forgotten.

Suffice it to say, the organization’s success will not be overnight and the journey will be uphill with a lot of stumbling backwards. We also can safely say that those who have a stake in having homeless people on the street will have an effect on the success of the mission. Oh yeah, they’re out there.

So I’ll ask another question: Why Are Unnecessary People Famous?

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And making money based on being irrelevant?

Can someone explain why we are paying more attention and money to those whose unnecessary experience in life for some reason made headlines while those who spend their life putting the entire world ahead of themselves, barely getting shares on social media? How is it possible for someone whose biggest accomplishment was having shitty company can draw more attention than…ANYTHING RELEVANT? It’s sickening to know that although we do not want to deal with our current situation, we are not responsible enough to ignore the obvious distraction created and focus on what needs to be done.

Step 1: Stop making unnecessary people relevant.

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