Long Live Neighborhood Nip | A Legend Lost

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When the news broke of a shooting involving Nipsey Hussle, my mind did not allow me to think he was one of the victims. When I learned that he was indeed injured, I once again did not think of death. I figured I would go online later that evening and see he was recovering and all would be well in the end. As more tweets started rolling in saying he had passed, I shook my head and waited for a trusted source. After all, Twitter loves jumping to conclusions. Shortly after, I had mentions from a few of my Followers that NBC had broken the tragic news. He was dead at age 33. I was flabbergasted. “We’ve really lost another one?” was my first thought. People die everyday, we all know this, yet for some reason, the news of his death started to hang over me like a dark cloud. My spirit felt unsettled, and this confused me. I didn’t know this man. I was a casual fan, at best, so why was this bothering me so? It finally dawned on me that this tragedy is bigger than music. Yes, he was a musician, but he was so much more in addition: a father, a friend, a teacher, an entrepreneur and investor in his community. Nipsey Hussle used his platform to inspire and educate, yet he also walked the talk. People who are actually about that action seem few and far between these days. So many of us are content spewing our grandiose ideas of how we would change things in our environment or what others need to be doing to elicit change, yet Nipsey actually put his words into play. He was not content living in a community policed and owned by no one who actually inhabited the neighborhood, so what was his solution? Let’s buy these unwanted pieces of real estate and put our money back into OUR communities. Nipsey often spoke of how depreciating assets such as cars and jewelry are desirable but unimportant, and true value lies in investments in yourself and others, perseverance and a mindset of growth and abundance. A man of positivity was taken from us. A man who delivered a message that many Black youth in American could relate to was taken from us. Whether you believe the Dr. Sebi based conspiracies, want to blame “Black on Black” crime or gang violence, at the end of the day, we’ve lost another one. When will it stop?

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It is my belief that Black Americans are desperate for leadership. Yes, we have come a long way from segregation, but we still have a marathon to go when it comes to breaking down past and current barriers that prevent us from being on equal footing with White America. I am not sure if Nipsey Hussle ever deemed himself a leader or activist, but his message and community works were an important factor in our advancement. Black owned businesses are too few in this country, and through his Our Opportunity initiative, he endeavored to partner with other Black community leaders in different cities to create businesses that would be of service to the Black residents instead of forcing them out. This is when I begin to feel angry all over again. Our progress as a people moves so slowly because whenever someone steps up to the plate, senseless violence silences them. Here is a man who made it out, but who remained dedicated to uplifting those around him, a man who refused to forget about the little guy. Nipsey never made it to the meeting with the LAPD to discuss solutions to gang violence, and his other community based projects such as Destination Crenshaw are now hanging in the balance.

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Despite his past of gang affiliations and activity, it would be an injustice to his legacy to deny the impact Nipsey Hussle left on his community and Black America in general. We need our Black fathers, husbands, and brothers, and everyday we lose too many to violence or the penal system. How many Black men committed to promoting change in their communities die everyday that we hear nothing about? The media sweeps it under the rug because it does not further their narrative that Black men are dangerous and to be feared. A son and daughter are now fatherless because someone driven by hate decided to play God one Sunday afternoon. As a Black woman, I am weary. These types of deaths are starting to feel too familiar. From Malcolm X and Dr. King, to Tupac, to the tragic killings of people I have known personally, I am tired of adding to the list. What is the solution? We cannot eradicate hate out of people’s hearts, we can’t eradicate weapons, and the American prison system is the most pathetic form of “rehabilitation” in history. How do we protect our Black men from society, and how do we protect them from US? At times, we are our own worst enemy. We cannot use the excuse that Eric Holder (the alleged shooter) is a product of his environment when his victim was raised in the same community, yet chose to elevate beyond a lifestyle of violence and discord. Nipsey’s death hit home for so many of us, and I took it personally. It is our responsibility to live out his vision, no matter how big or small your platform. Be a forward thinker, invest in your community and uplift those around you. We can’t let his death be in vain.

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Two 1st Date Questions Every Woman Must Ask

I don’t know if you watch or have read Harry Potter, but when Professor Slughorn exclaimed to Professor Dumbledore in Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince,These are mad times we live in, mad!,” I felt that. Every time I open my Twitter timeline, go on Facebook, or turn to the news, there is a new tragedy: a mass shooting, rape allegations, the killing of an unarmed Black person and/or Trump having us on the brink of nuclear war. Perilous times have been plaguing us for awhile now, and everyone has their unique set of views and opinions. Several people I knew from my high school and college days have been deleted or blocked because as platforms such as Black Lives Matter emerged, our racist counterparts also emerged with their true racist colors shining valiantly. I wasn’t too shocked to see that many of the White people I went to school with were so callous in the unnecessary killings of unarmed Black people, thus failing to shock me when they started showing their support for Trump as a presidential candidate. They say politics is a topic you should shy away from if you are not looking for an argument, but I say f*ck that. I need to hear your views. I need to hear that you are not an All Lives Mattering, Victim Blaming, Homophobic ignorant creep. When you’re on a first date or are just getting to know someone, you run through the same old questions to try and uncover who you are really dealing with: “What’s your favorite color?” “Where do you see yourself in three years?” “What would you do differently in your last relationship if you could go back?” Those questions are all fine and dandy, but in this economy and political climate, it’s time we ask some questions that will rock the boat. It will save you from getting roped up with an Uncle Tom or a crazy misogynist. If you’re not very Pro-Black or too into women’s rights, perhaps any old Joe won’t bother you. I personally would rather die alone with 14 cats than force myself to be with someone who isn’t down for the cause, but hey, that’s just me. These thoughts made me realize there are two imperative questions a woman must ask a potential suitor before allowing him access to her life.

Question One: “How Do You Feel About The Murders of Unarmed Black People By Police?”

Do All Black Lives Matter to you? They definitely matter to me. When asked, if your response even starts off with “Well, I really think All Liv…” I am getting my purse and walking out the door, word to Viola Davis. The date is cancelled and you can delete my number, beloved. Thanks for the appetizers. I really do not have the time or the energy to explain to another Black person why he should be concerned about the perpetual issue we have in this country when it comes to the lives of our own people. When a White person says they do not think we have a problem with racism in America and acts totally oblivious, it’s irritating but more understandable. Until someone opens your eyes, it is simple to walk through life completely unaware because the issues that affect others do not touch you. My mind is boggled at a Black man who thinks that because we don’t have to drink from the Colored water fountain anymore that everything is all hunky-dory. Sure, segregation is over, but Black people are STILL getting the police called on them for simply existing. All of the Permit Patty’s out here wildin’ with the 911 calls are not a coincidence. It’s racism in real time. You being able to lay up with Becky With The Good Hair and not wake up to a burning cross in your yard literally means nothing, and interracial relationships no longer being illegal did not solve 400 years of oppression. That being said, I need to know that you are not in a deep coma, unconscious to the plight of our people. 

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I am not interested in hearing that you are entitled to your opinion, because your opinion is wrong. The facts present themselves everyday on the news, and we all know Google is free. Books are not that expensive. Your parents and grandparents obviously have stories, and they don’t matter any less just because decades have elapsed. Research aside, I don’t know one Black person who doesn’t have at least one story about an experience they’ve had with a racist person or establishment. If you say you have not, you’re either lying or more lost than I thought. I am only in my 20’s but I have quite a few experiences I can share during story time when it comes to racism and microaggression, and I CANNOT STAND another Black person telling me Susie Salesgirl isn’t following me around the store because I’m Black. I can accept different views on everyday things, like music (although I can’t trust you if you don’t like Drake and Beyonce), Lebron vs. Jordan, sugar vs. salt in grits, etc. People often conflate what is fact with their personal opinions/preferences. Believing that Lebron is better than Jordan is not harmful to anyone, but turning your back on the woes of your own people definitely is. No one is saying you have to go ghost on your White friends; obviously not every White person is a stone cold racist but it’s still essential that we are cognizant of the disadvantages we face. A man willfully being Ray Charles to the Black struggle is no man for me. If I wanted to take on the job of arguing race relations with someone, I would have opted to date any other race but my own. I may end up with a man named Tom, but he certainly won’t be an Uncle Tom.

Question 2: “What Do You Think About Bill Cosby Going To Prison?”

This Bill Cosby question will cue me in to your views regarding rape culture as a whole. If you say he was trying to buy NBC so they framed him, I will once again grab my purse and exit stage left. Do I think it’s odd that in several rape allegations, victims have waited years, even decades, to come forward? Yes and no. Yes, because if I’m violated, trust and believe I’m telling. I will make it my life’s mission to see you pay. However, I am not everyone, and so many women come forward time and time again and are not taken seriously. I suppose it is easy to say what you will do until it actually happens. Women who tell are blamed, slut shamed, failed, and silenced. It makes a woman wonder, why even bother? Even if charges are brought forth, the punishment is usually mild and unfitting for the crime. It matters not whether she reports her assailant right now or 10 years from now, it does not make her any less of a victim. The main rebuttal I see men use when it comes to rape allegations are “well, a lot of these women are liars. They make these false accusations and ruin lives.” Is there truth to that? Absolutely.  False accusations are deadly and many men have had their lives robbed of them because of these untruths. It also slows down the progress of real victims receiving justice. The only issue I find in that logic is this: if your mother, sister, daughter, etc., confided in you that they were sexually violated, how are you going to respond? Are you going to tell her, “hold up, sis, I need his side of the story. You could be lying.

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You may think this is macabre dinner conversation, but their answers will speak volumes in regards to their character. If you could fix your mouth to tell your female loved one that you need to corroborate her story before showering her with love and sympathy, stay far away from me because you are a sociopath. If you don’t want to have the rape and consent talk over calamari and white wine, I wouldn’t put it off for very long. Nothing sucks more than deciding you like someone and finding out later that they support Rape Culture. Bill Cosby’s case was not an Illuminati conspiracy to stop him from buying NBC, it was just an example of how we really never get away with our transgressions. Pretty much every woman knows a woman who has been sexually violated, and if you can’t stand on the side of the victim, I can’t stand with you. Men are audacious enough to say it’s a scary time to be a man in America. I guess if you are a predator, it is a scary time. For all the men who are wrongfully accused, there are probably 5x as many who are rightfully accused and are going to Happy Hour right now without a care in the world.

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Educate yourselves, fellas. Learn to look at life from the viewpoint of someone who is not in your shoes. If you are a Black man oblivious to the racism that occurs everyday in this country, pick up a newspaper and read all about it. Realize and accept that you were not blessed with immunity to oppression. Do not be deliberately obtuse. Put yourself in the shoes of a woman who has to say a silent prayer every time she has to walk past a hoard of men. You may ask, why don’t you take the time to school the guy on what’s going on, why just throw him in the discard pile? My answer is because my name is not Ms. Wikipedia, especially when it comes to my people and race. You are living it everyday; if your own life experiences can’t wake you up out of your denial, then I don’t know what you expect me to do. As for sexual assault, I can’t teach you empathy. You will have to have your own epiphany, and you won’t have me pulling my hair out trying to force a simple concept into your head. I have made it a point to find a man’s stance on these sensitive subjects as early as possible. There is no point in either of us wasting time when it comes to my non-negotiable viewpoints. Good looks or money can’t make up for ignorance, especially in the Information Age. You don’t have to be in the streets marching for freedom and equality, but at least have an awareness of what is going on in this country. As a Black woman living through my experiences of intersectionality, I can’t be with someone uncommitted to understanding my walk in life.

The New America

“…this is your life now…”


How terrifying. 

Yesterday, I had prepared somewhat of a witty post to make light of the election. This was before the polls closed, before the numbers came rushing in, and before the United States elected Donald Trump to the most powerful position in the world. That draft was quickly deleted. When Trump first announced his candidacy, like many others, I did not take him seriously. I did not believe that he was a real threat until just a few months ago. Even as a threat, I never imagined he would end up elected. I could not have been more wrong. The results of this election either left you joyous, or on the extreme opposite of the spectrum: fearful, confused, disappointmented, bewildered, and at a total loss of faith in the country you call home. In no way was this country perfect. Did I expect Hillary Clinton to wave a magic wand and rid America of the diseases of bigotry, racism, sexism, homophobia and intolerance? Absolutely not. Would I have rather had her than Trump? tumblr_oezt3o2hfp1rms5soo1_500Undoubtedly. Hillary did not successfully win me over and I was not thrilled at the idea of a Hillary Clinton administration. The difference between the two is that we have a cookie cutter politician vs. a corrupt business man who spews hate and has a looming rape case hanging over his head. A man who has been accused of sexual assault multiple times. A man who mocks disabled people, makes derogatory remarks against Black people and other people of color, makes it common practice to sexualize and demean women, doesn’t pay his taxes, intends to restrict an entire religion from entering the country, and has zero political experience. People were more concerned about emails than the blatant hatred this man seems to have for every group who isn’t a straight, White male. This is who Americans have chosen to lead the country over these next four years. I am embarrassed to call myself an American. The systemic racism that this country founded itself upon has further solidified itself, and things have returned to the status quo. 8 years of a Black democrat was too much for America, and a woman who would step in and continue to push people out of their comfort zones was too much for the White male supremacist structure to bear. Despite my shock at the audacity of the American people, when I really stop and think about this, I am not surprised. As I watched his numbers continue to rise and rise, it just confirmed all of my feelings that America is as racist and sexist as ever. I was told today by a White man that “ghetto thoughts are the cause of my oppression.” He said that if I stop my ghetto thoughts, I can pull myself up out of the ghetto with hard work (I do not and have never lived in the ghetto). This man was dead serious. His logic was maddeningly backwards. Oppression is what pushed people into the ghetto. It is what keeps them there. If hard work was a cure for racism, Black people would not still be rallying for the rest of the world to hear our cries of injustice. We have been working hard for 400 years, and I still get followed around department stores from time to time. My hard work to get into a prestigious university was still diminished because I was constantly asked if I were there on an athletic scholarship or affirmative action. If I had told them their assumptions were racist, they would have taken offense. fullsizerenderThe blinders of White Privilege caused the majority of White women to vote for Trump, selling out to a sexist to protect their favored position in the racially charged environment that is America. The election of Donald Trump is a symbol. It is more than a shift in the dynamic of politics. His election has shown us how many of those who we work with, live by and call our friends are actually supporters of racism and bigotry. My neighbors were shooting off fireworks last night, in this liberal paradise we call Washington State. They are most likely the ones to have excuses as to why a police officer was justified in shooting an unarmed individual and will always try to make you believe that your experiences with racism were simply nothing more than a misunderstanding or the result of you overreacting. Aside from his bully-ish ways and radical views, the man has no political experience. He has never spoken on what he intends to do once he gets in office. His resume does not have anything on it pertaining to causes he has fought for, bills he has helped pass, his experiences with foreign policy, the economy, education reform, environmental protection, nothing. fullsizerender-002Instead, he shouts out what he plans to do like this is a middle school election and he wants to serve candy for lunch everyday. He wants to repeal Obamacare. Well how do you plan to make that better? *crickets*.  Any interest in the environmental issues we face? *crickets*. His strategy has been to fill our heads with what President Obama failed to do, why Hillary would have messed everything up, and how terrible her judgment is. Throwing other people under the bus just tells me that you don’t have any answers, so in order to take the heat off of yourself, you point the finger. Nice strategy. If this election has taught me anything, it’s that I should always shoot for the moon. All this time, employers were telling us we need 100 years experience to get an entry level job. That’s foolery. A man with a reality TV show who spends his time on Twitter is our next president. Seems to me his experience in the political realm is sorely lacking. I was denied a customer service job at JCPenney as a teenager, a job that requires little to no skill, yet a janxy businessman who loves to call names can be president of the most powerful nation in the world. We’ve set a great example for our kids. What else has set a great example for our kids? Oh yes, those of you who decided not to vote at all, or who thought it would be funny to write in Harambe or Hennesey on your ballot. This neglectful and blase attitude could have been the deciding factor in key states like Florida, North Carolina and Ohio, states that Trump could not have won without. People tend to think everything is a joke until the real consequences come to light. If you need to learn how the Electoral College works, Google is two clicks away. Whether or not you believe this will have a significant impact on your life or not, you never know. I would have rather not taken the chance. Racial tensions have already been thick, and now the figurehead of our country is someone who casually makes racist remarks as if he is discussing the weather. The floodgates have opened for those who have been dying for the opportunity to be overtly prejudiced. Where we are supposed to go from here as a nation, I do not know. Do we fight the system? Wait these 4 years out and ensure he does not run again or win a second term? Wait for any grounds we can use to impeach him? If you have the answer, please share. I have encouraged Facebook friends and Twitter followers to delete me if they are Trump supporters, and I am unapologetic about it. I have been told it is childish to lose friends over a difference of opinion. This is deeper than a difference of opinion. If you can support someone who openly condones everything I am against,  I have no interest in having you in my circle. I do not acknowledge Donald Trump as my president. I never will, and I do not want to hear any complaints once he drives this country into the ground. This is what you wanted, America.

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Team Light Skin

col·or·ism

ˈkələrˌizəm/

noun

US
  1. prejudice or discrimination against individuals with a dark skin tone, typically among people of the same ethnic or racial group.

Team Light Skin. Team Dark Skin. Light skins are soft. Light skinned girls are evil. Dark skinned girls are tough. Dark skinned men are intimidating. Dark skinned men are winning. Light skins taking all the L’s this year. I don’t like dark skinned girls. Light skinned women are stuck up.”

Ah, all the rhetoric we hear in the Black community regarding the skin tones of our counterparts. In case you didn’t know, colorism is nothing new. Darker skinned slaves were to work in the fields while the lighter skin slaves worked in the big house. Working in the house was considered to be a privilege; no toiling in the elements under the watch of a wrathful overseer. Have you ever read about the horrors house slaves went through as well? Working in such close proximity to your owner was not a walk in the park either. Be that as it may, Black people have been divided on skin color for centuries. During our most tragic period of oppression, this was a key element in keeping slaves from uniting. Find a way to esteem one segment of them over the other, and now you have created resentment. You can’t be strong if you have no unity, meaning you can’t come together to stir up any trouble. The idea that the lighter you are, the better has carried on into present day. Fast forward 200 years, and it is still the same. White people or other races may find darker skinned Black people more intimidating, but it seems as if the bigger issues with skin tones come from inside the Black community. All of the brainwashing has divided us on the very thing we wish to no longer be marginalized for. As I write this I am brought back to 4th grade when two of my good friends told me they didn’t want to be my friend any more because I thought I was “all that” because I am light skinned with long hair. tumblr_o4ep7dycwq1utsvwgo1_500Everything was all good just a day ago, but now I am a villain over things I could not control. They even had the teacher move their desks away from mine. Why would 10 year old girls reject a friend they had fun with daily based off of looks? No child that young should already feel so self-conscious about their skin that they can’t even hold on to an elementary level friendship. Black people as a minority are forced to live in a country where the standard of beauty looks nothing like us. Of course we come in all shades, eye colors, hair colors, etc., but we will never posses the European standard of fair skin, blonde hair and blue eyes. Instead, the Black community desires for someone to look as close to White without actually being White to be considered attractive. Light skin, light eyes, long “good hair.” That’s the recipe. The division in the Black community is staggering. We are divided across gender lines, education, and of course skin color. Outside forces contribute to our lack of unity, but we do much of the damage internally.

Pretty For a Dark Girl

One backhanded compliment that has always made me sick is “Wow, you’re so pretty! What are you mixed with? Oh, you’re not mixed? You’re so pretty to be just Black!” What the hell is that supposed to mean? I forgot that Black women are not supposed to be beautiful. I find our full lips, rich toned skin and thick hair gorgeous. Want to know what’s worse? When another Black person tells a darker Black woman that she’s pretty for a dark skinned girl. So if you took her exact same features and placed them on a lighter canvas, she would look better? The only thing that happens when you tell a dark skinned person they’re pretty for a dark girl is the negative connotations of having dark skin get reinforced. All I hear is “you’re still ugly, just not as ugly as the others.” The beauty of Black people is how diverse we are within our own race. My paternal grandmother is very fair skinned and had red hair. My maternal grandmother was chocolate skinned with thick black hair. Would there be a such thing as beauty if we all looked exactly the same? The media does not help. tumblr_n3fm0yc49w1rdu2lko1_500Usually when you see a Black woman on a commercial she looks mixed or is lighter complexioned. Turn on a music video and the video vixens all have the same look. Light skinned, long weave and voluptuous bodies. Of course this is not always the case, but majority rules. Colorism floods rap lyrics constantly: “I like a long haired, thick red-bone,” “Beautiful black woman, I bet that bitch look better red.” I salute my dark skinned sistas. You have to have thick skin to listen to your own people degrade you, yet still support them nonetheless. As Black people in America, we constantly have to deal with a lack of representation. We’ve had to create our own networks, magazines, carve out a section of Black Twitter, and usually are the only Black faces at our job. We hate it, yet we do it within our own community. So what if we have been conditioned to equate dark skin with aggressiveness and being less attractive? That foolishness has got to stop. Guess what? We are all dark skinned to the police and to the judge. I find it incredibly stupid that we diminish the looks of another Black person just because society has tried to tell us that dark is not valued. You do not have to be light to be attractive, you do not have to be mixed to be beautiful.

Jesse Williams

Unless you live under a rock, you have surely watched or heard about humanitarian/actor Jesse William’s iconic speech at the BET Awards last weekend. In case you missed it, catch a clip of that here. After watching his speech, I felt empowered. I felt understood, and most of all I felt proud. I felt proud to be Black, but I was also proud that he used his moment of recognition to acknowledge us all. It was very moving. But like with everything, people love to rain on the parade. Instead of being supportive, some Black people decided that we only responded with such intrigue to Jesse Williams because he is light skinned with blue eyes. Former NFL player Ochocinco had to write Kendrick Lamar on Twitter to say something to the effect of, he has been saying these things on his albums all along, but no one wanted to listen until a light skinned, pretty boy said something. What a perfect way to shift the focus off of what is really important to petty, dramatic irrelevance. tumblr_o9ev69frkt1qa4l1ko1_540Who cares who says what is important, as long as it is being said? What would have been the complaint if Idris Elba had said it instead of Jesse Williams? He’s dark skinned but he has a British accent, so it doesn’t count? Light skinned people experience racism everyday. I have been followed around in stores. I’ve gone on job interviews where when the interviewer came out and saw she was interviewing a Black woman, her face recoiled. When I first started college, some of the staff couldn’t believe that I wasn’t there on an athletic scholarship. I guess Black people only go to college to dribble or throw a ball around. I was accused of stealing from the mall with my friend when I was 16, and 4 cop cars surrounded us, only to find nothing. What did my light skinned “privilege” do for me on all of those occasions? Nothing. It doesn’t matter how light you are or if your eyes are the color of the sea in the Caribbean, you are going to experience racism. Why try to create a divide between Kendrick and Jesse when we can appreciate them both for trying to open people’s eyes?  The point is to care about the cause. If people were being this petty during the Civil Rights Movement, we would still be sitting in the back of the bus. It’s the message that is important, not necessarily the messenger. It seems like our generation has to make everything a competition and getting credit supersedes solving the problem at hand. I want my student loans eradicated. Would I be salty that they listened to Donald’s solution over Hillary’s? Nope, as long as I’m debt free.

When Preference Turns Into Bashing

When it comes to chicken, I prefer white meat over dark meat. I just think it tastes better. It looks more appetizing and is much juicier. Does that mean I gotta throw shade at dark meat and talk about how I think it tastes less flavorful and how eating chicken thighs annoys me? So many walk the fine line between having a preference and putting something else down. Personally, when it comes to men, I can take them either way; caramel skin or chocolate skin that looks like velvet, it doesn’t matter. Too bad we aren’t all as neutral. I see on Twitter at least once a day men championing light skinned women as if they are the best thing since sliced bread, while demeaning our darker women in the same 140 characters. tumblr_o2a6wpWy3U1slyfcfo1_500We all have a type, but we are also the roots of the same Black tree. In essence, you’re putting yourself and your ancestors down. It’s normal to have a type, you don’t have to be Rae Sremmurd. But why in explaining what you’re attracted to, you have to make it a point to point out something negative regarding your counterpart? Of course we can make jokes within our own community, but sometimes these jokes extend beyond a few laughs. I see so many insensitive jokes toward dark skinned people, the perpetual stereotype of light skinned people being weak, and the defense that everyone is entitled to their own preference which soothes no hurt feelings. As Black women, we hate it when Black men spit on our image in their pursuit of White women and other races. I personally don’t care who wants to date whom, but you don’t have the right to make us feel less than in the process. It’s very normal to fall in love with someone you didn’t originally see as your type, but many just objectify based off of skin tone/color. Do you love the actual person or are you infatuated with their looks? I had a conversation with a man once who said he would only date light skinned mixed Black women or White women because he wanted to have light skinned children. This man said he hated Black women’s nappy hair, but mixed girls have pretty curls and light eyes. I didn’t know he had a degree in genetics or had the ability to design his own children, but what flawed logic to have. He was speaking as if he was swinging his hair in Vidal Sassoon commercials. This man was midnight dark, yet he wanted his future children to look nothing like him. This is what happens when you live in a world where ‘White is Right.’ A certain standard of beauty has been drilled into our heads, and we can’t seem to shake it. We want our lives to matter, yet we throw shade at each other based off looks. Having a hierarchy within our own culture impedes progress. Whether you like light skin, brown skin, purple skin or dark, you can make a choice and still uplift the other. Even if you choose not to uplift us all, that’s fine, just don’t put the rest of us down while doing your thing. I don’t know about you, but I want Black people to be a united front, not divided among lines of color.