WE ARE: 5 women navigating our twenties in search of peace, happiness and love (or not). WE WRITE: about everything and nothing. From the insane to the mundane- you will find different paths taken, lessons learned and lives lived. WE THINK: you’ll enjoy it...Warning: Consumption of these views may leave you enlightened while intoxicated.


The View From Here will conclude on Friday, October 1, our third year anniversary. We would like to spend this month thanking all of our readers, followers, haters, visitors, family, friends, and fans for your continued support, encouragement, and comments over these past few years. Thanks y'all!
-The Five Spot

Friday, July 31, 2009

Rules of Engagement

I love all things Wiz related. The actual musical. The movie even with all its highs – the Emerald City scene, and lows – the whole NYC Subway theme and Diana Ross’s old ass playing Dorothy. But one of my favorite parts of the Wiz (the movie – cause this part is not in the musical) is when Michael Jackson (R.I.P.) sangs, You Can’t Win. And I love this line: You can’t win. You can’t break even. And you can’t get outta the game. This pretty much sums up how I would describe being a Black person in America. In the past. Right now in the double 0 9. And dare I say in the future.

So I didn’t want to comment on Gatesgate because as Bellini emailed us article after article, I told her, “don’t send me nary another article on this mess. Cause right now whilst I type this at work, that nygga is chilling at Martha’s Vineyard on some ‘don’t cry for me Argentina.’” But then the chaos continued. And Obama made that “the Cambridge police acted stupidly,” comment and people jumped all on him, demanded an apology. I was like “dang son. These white people ain’t messing around.” And Obama looked like he wanted to say, “muhfcuka, I ain’t apologizing for shyt.” And so he went the Sotomayor route with his “I regret I made those statements.” And then he, Gates and Officer Charlie Crowley had a beer together at the White House. A Kodak moment. A teachable moment. A Rum Punch rolls her eyes moment.

Look, I get it. Racism and its sister discrimination and its play cousin stereotyping are wrong. They are mean and vicious. They have no place in America. And yet they’re everywhere you turn. With its overtness. Its subtlety. Its borderliness. You know when you have to check with other people, like, "I think that was kinda racist..." And then break down the scenario.

It’s the white man who voted for Obama, but will still deny your ass a loan just because. It’s the white people who have Black friends, but will be quick to send out an email through the neighborhood list serv that they saw some suspicious minorities roaming the neighborhood. It’s the white man who assumes you went to Temple because that’s where all the Black people go. Some of us fight it. Lots. Some of us try to deny its existence. But here’s what I Rum Punch have chosen to do: accept it. Give it a big ol' hug. Say come on in racism, put your feet up, are you hungry, did you eat yet, make yourself comfortable, while I go to work and then live my life.

Cause if you let them, these white folks will drive you insane. Like completely and utterly insane. You know why? Cause they will do something seemingly post racial like vote for a Black man to be Mayor or Governor or President. And then do something totally stupid like send an email to the entire Boston police force calling Gates a jungle monkey. And it can damn near raise your blood pressure. Because it’s a continual slap in the face that this isn’t our world. At all. And so here's what I propose: let's just live our lives like it’s golden.

Cause unless we are all about to get on the same page, become a revolutionary block and be on some Aaron Macruder Birth of a Nation type stuff, demand our 40 acres and start our own country – then we should just live. Work yo' job. Raise your family. Take your vacations. Go to church. Laugh with your friends. Attend shows and plays. Keep it 400 degrees from time to time, work your neck, wag your finger and school a white person on how Black folk really is, just for shyts and giggles. And then be about the change.

Change your block. Your neighborhood. Your little corner of the world. Find a cause. Help youngins' get out of gangs. Work to stop teen pregnancy. Teach our people about financial literacy. Pool your resources and open a community center. Or a beauty store just to give the Koreans some competition. Teach a child how to read – cause our babies can’t read! And just think how good you'll feel as you take your last breath, you can say, “all is well in my soul” and know you had a positive impact on someone else’s life.

This does not mean that we should act like racism, discrimination, etc., don’t exist. And this doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try to dismantle it on the larger scale levels like in education, the workplace, health care, politics - by demanding laws and policy that include all members of society. But this does mean maybe we have to reframe our thinking and start asking the question, “what if things on the everyday level don’t change. Then what?”

Look. Do y’all know that W.E.B. DuBois, prominent race man of the 20th century, a founding father of the NAACP, former President of Atlanta University (who still had to take shyt from Spelman College’s white woman President), author of Souls of Black Folk, the epitome of a man who demanded in every which way he possibly could that America treat Black folks as equals in all aspects of life, self exiled himself to Africa?!

This man, towards the end of his life, after all he had done, probably took a good, hard look at America and said, "y’all muhfcukas is crazy. I’m out! I’m going somewhere where I can die in peace." And that’s exactly what he did. So me thinks us regular folk, dealing with day to day madness of this world, who don’t have time to pontificate, research race relations, write essays, stop our lives to hold hands and sing, or be invited to share beers, don’t stand a chance. Like at all. We can’t win. We can’t break even. But we can’t get outta the game. So mayhap we should change how we play.

That’s my time y’all! Happy Rum Punch Friday!

You can't win - Michael Jackson - The wiz
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Localicious said...

well said! not livin our lives is not helpin or hurtin the ppl we say are holdin us down b/c they're still livin! still workin, still havin babies, still vacationin, still gettin educated. i'ma keep doin me and share the message with the youngins :-)

Anonymous said...

This is by FAR one of the best blogs that you have ever written...EVER!!! PREACH!!

Rum Punch said...

@ Localicious - Thanks! And exactly! Just teach the babies. That will make such the difference.

@ Anon - Thanks soo much!