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.

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The Irrelevance of Modern Politics

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As the presidential campaign begins creeping out the dark corner, many of us are excited to see the jumble of idiots trying to convince us that their rich background can understand what the middle class and lower class is actually going through. But it should be funny. The big problem with any political campaign is that the drive to go into politics revolves around…guess it! MONEY! Not current overwhelming conditions. Money has been the foundation of political power for generations and those who don’t have the money or the right networking affiliations, but has the drive, knowledge, and passion for the progress of America, usually never stands the chance. Don’t believe me? Let’s look at it from a few angles.

Money Drives Professional Gain Like I described in a previous blog post, money is a huge part in campaigning for yourself or a mission. If you don’t believe that, ask yourselves why millions of people and businesses pay into marketing profusely. It’s why you will always see multiple types of marketing positions available. When you have an endless amount of money to pour into a campaign, you can focus less on fundraising and more on being one step ahead. More than likely, you will have access to highly qualified campaign managers, better financial assistance, better potential fundraisers, etc. While this may not be the case 100% of the time, let’s come together and realize that money gives a good push in the direction you want. Try moving to your dream destination with no money. Try buying your favorite car with no money. Try raising a family with no money. Try advertising your skills to millions with no money. (except for the irrelevant people who desire is to exploit). Money has a huge control on most decisions. Denial is why the middle class in tipping towards the lower class. Many lower and middle class citizens who have a passion for forward thinking and change for the positive couldn’t even dream about the money that pours into standard political campaigns let alone receive anything close to what the 1% does and because broke=dumb in this country, people rarely decide to choose what the broke person is trying to explain because, money.

Money Provides Reason Do you really think middle class Marcy could raise anywhere close to the politicians we come to love (on opposite day)? Most politicians will never understand the current condition of the middle and lower class. This is a sad admittance, however, we are in an era and in a generation of adult from broken homes, volatile situations, deprived school systems, extremely ignorant held beliefs passed down. Reasons for change but no money to prove validity. We are also a generation of adults who are more opened minded and willing to change coupled with experience dealing with the lives of middle and lower class people. Add being one of the most financially repressed American generation relative brings us to 2015 confirming that what we have been told over the years has been a lie. As for the high class, why change if there’s always gain? Doesn’t their money prove that?

Money Provides a Stable Flatline (ignorance sometimes included) Having the born-in wealthy control the current conditions is like having a general manager from a retail store invited to become a head coach in the NBA. Yes you may have some management experience and your work attendance is perfect, but do you really understand the concept and the situation? Most Americans are not born into easy opportunities and must experience much in order to evolve. Our political power should reflect as such. When it comes to change, relative to the American spectrum, few are open to big ones. There’s a reason why the phrase “he’s set in his ways” will never go away. There’s much less persuasion when you have more information available. But when these current politicians take what they’ve learned many wealthy, uneventful years ago and announce them, you tend to forget that we are supposed to be the country of forward thinking and future planning. When you sift through the internet babble, you will find many people who actually want and are willing to help change the direction of this country and have good reason to. Unfortunately, many of them are broke (hint). Meanwhile those with financial stability can say the most ignorant of things and have people justify their words.

Want to Play a Game?

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Money Drives Influence – But Not Always The Answer Let’s talk a little about climate change. I am not a scientist and I will not claim that I know it all (or much) when it comes to that subject. I know that the scientists who accept the change in climate are arguing whether or not the changes occurring are natural or man-made. But if you listen to politicians, they already have the answer and instead of finding a solution, they continue to argue who’s right. Meanwhile, there’s a drought in California, floods in Texas, melting ice in Antarctica, but we have to get down to the nitty gritty: Who’s winning the debate. During their political campaign, I can guarantee the redundancy speeches of the current issues going on with this country with climate change being a button to push. It’s a wonderful argument to debate. But the current political process will not address the solutions, rather point why their opponent bi-proxy shouldn’t be president. And we’ll listen not because they are providing solutions, but because we will be reminded over and over again who they are through the marketing techniques they spent thousands upon thousands…upon thousands to shove in our face. We’ll listen to our favorite media organizations backing the politicians because they help pay their salary. We’ll ignore those who are speaking solutions into the world because…well we probably didn’t hear them because MONEY GIVES YOU A LOUD ENOUGH VOICE TO BE HEARD! Now if the rich used their superpowers for good then I wouldn’t be writing this. Could you imagine if Superman was secretly Bizarro?

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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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If you can’t attempt to empathize with the other person’s argument, the debate will be over before it evens starts. It will be pointless. But today, the argument will continue. Empathy does not mean agreement. 

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.

Time to Change News Outlets

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How can this not be so obvious that we aren’t protesting, rather still supporting this type of infrastructure? The media is no longer the place to go for actual, factual information. The jury is still out on whether it was ever a source to begin with. Aside for the few that abide by the practice of Journalism, most have had a curve ball thrown at them and decided it would be easier to go with the flow and not defend what’s right.

It seems that everyone in this industry has an agenda. Everyone in this industry relies on a paycheck and the last thing a person wants to do is be insubordinate to those who cuts said paycheck. Those who cut the check have agendas that conflict with the ethical code of Journalism. On top of all that, for humans, as objective as we want to be, are bias at our core. We have to stop denying that.

Yes we judge.

Oh, and everything is another-wing conspiracy with religious tendencies.

It’s almost like watching a reality show: Do we really believe that this nonsense is actually their reality? Our reality?

I know that most industries have organizations with agendas counter to what they represent, but some will have detrimental effects on all parties involved (no pun intended). The multi-fractional split in opinion should be proof enough. Many opinions based on misinformation or an organization’s twist…potāto, potăto.

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But I’m sure many of you have noticed where actual information comes from. It’s a place where no-holds-bar is active when it comes to reality. And, it’s quite funny. I’m talking about comedy. You can find it in stand-up, skits, sitcoms, even cartoons. They all do their best to keep up with current events and really don’t have a wing to depend on for their success. At least not as much as “news” organizations. Even viewing comical shows from the past points outs flaws and the reality of previous circumstances.

Of course complete bias and obvious opinions are screamed throughout their segment. And yes, they make up stories to make things funnier. But when it comes to joking about current events, you can’t deny the harsh reality they give you. More importantly, their bias is not hidden behind smoke and mirrors. No matter what their beliefs are, no matter what side, comedians realize that not only does the truth hurt, it is currently hilarious.

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So the next time you watch Comedy Central Presents, any stand-up special, or even Nickelodeon, listen while you laugh (I know, if the comedian is that funny, the point gets lost in the laughter). Comedians and comical writers make great points when pointing out the flaws of the human race. They are direct and their goal is clear. It’s just a shame that our situation is so bad we can actually laugh at it…well, sometimes.

Make the change and make it fast because people are tired of the media getting away with twisting our lives to satisfy their clicks and ratings. At the very least, don’t take them seriously, as their actions are quite entertaining.

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Ahh the irony in this piece.