My humanity is not yours to control: My thoughts on #ShiningALight


My thoughts on #ShiningALight

So I finally watched all three hours of Shining A Light concert and town hall meeting.shiningalight2

The mission statement of the initiative reads

A+E Networks, iHeartMedia and United Way have joined forces to launch Shining a Light, a multi-platform initiative designed to promote real progress on race in America, following the Emanuel AME Church tragedy and inspired by the reaction of the family members and Charleston community. The  program is designed to inspire others to go beyond short-lived, symbolic gestures and to explore the uncomfortable truth about the racial inequity and bias in our country and to help individuals and organizations that are working to make progress on issues of race.

I read through the viewing party guide, the start a conversation guide and several of the links. I went through the study guide for educators.


And I took a couple of hours to think about the concert, fundraiser and townhall meeting.


So, a lot if not most of what makes this project worthwhile are in print and on line.  Many of the interview segments were awkward and offered little new information to the viewer or the participants.

That said I fully encourage you to thoroughly investigate the website, .


I watched most of the white participants offer qualified apologies, requests for patience and demand sympathy and support for their position.

I saw many Black participants discuss the matter from a colonized mind that could not demand for itself what it would offer others.

The white participants took the forgiveness and anguish of the Black Participants for granted. And requested more of the same without offering anything in return.


Let’s assume for the sake of argument that relations between peoples mirror those between individuals.

As an individual, when wronged, mistreated, disrespected, marginalized, maimed, murdered… etc., I am looking for a full acknowledgement of what was done to me and an unqualified apology. If there is an explanation of why I was you victim, great. But no excuses.

And then I fully expect the wrong doer to make amends. To evidence his emotional state of being sorry.

Anything less than that is useless.

And then the wrongdoer is to commit to and actually never commit the harm to me again.

Whites in America are very comfortable with the notion that black people have to earn full humanity and citizenship. And upon the completion of the Herculean effort, by Black people, white people will pronounce us human and citizens.

If you don’t already see my full humanity and acknowledge my full citizenship that we don’t even need to talk.  There is nothing I can do to change your mind.  My humanity is not yours to give. It never has been.

White people as the keepers of power have the ability to end racism today.

And my question is, why don’t you?shiningalight3

this is how RACE Works, Mr. Diggs

Dear Taye, (may I call you TAYE?)

Race is a social construct.

It has political and historical context and real world, political and legal  implications.

Race is determined by how society and its members perceive you.

These arbitrary and completely subjective perceptions determine how people interact with you.

You control how you respond to these interactions.WIN_20150127_172443

in light of your ‘announcement’ it appears that on your planet, people can choose how they are perceived and treated.


(this has been tried before, see Respectability Politics)

I am going to test this theory today.. I am announcing that my family is now white.

lil teamRomeo

I would like my privilege delivered immediately. I don’t need the fragility, as I grew up Black, and well, don’t need that shit. IMG_7838

On Respectability Politics 

I am have a conversation about Respectability Politics on another post.

As we dismiss and denigrate the most ratchet among us.

I need to point out that both Martin and Malcolm had on suits when they were murdered.MLK hand on forehead

Further neither of them advocating behaving and dressing in a way that will makemalcolm x

white supremacy and privilege GIVE us our rights and ACKNOWLEDGE our humanity.

That was the twist and spin white supremacy and privilege put on a movement that said our rights humanity and citizenship were inalienable.

White Supremacy and privilege said we had to act and look a particular way in order to be treated as human and equal.

Wake the fuck up and stay woke. black power salute

we gonna be alright

generations of segregation and poor quality education.

generations of segregation and limited access to economic resources.
generations of segregation… poor quality nutrition and medical care access.
generations of segregation and internalized racism damaged, racialized self esteem .


we SURVIVE and THRIVE in the most OPENLY HOSTILE environment.

generations of enslavement, lynching, police brutality, respectability politics, murder, poverty


do you really wonder why they FEAR US!!!

we are a mighty and resilient people


Think About That! Respectability Politics! PAY ATTENTION!!!

Part of Respectability Politics intimates that if you, as a black person,
are proper enough,
educated enough,
well dressed enough,
well behaved enough,
you will gain the rights and privileges of full citizenship and humanity.

It’s not that the sales person was a racist ass, or the police officer as prejudices as all fuck, it was that you did look rich enough, weren’t well spoken enough.

At some point we have to admit that the was all a big ass pile if crap.
That the goal of respectability politics is make you white enough.
White enough to be a person.

Think about that.

You have signed on to be like the people who have and are denying that
you are a person in order to prove that
you are a person!

I have often felt that I am expected to be smart, articulate, well dressed, well behaves. A credit to my race.
And if I do those things
well enough,
long enough.

people who care, will forget that

I am black that
my hair is nappy and
that I have a vagina.

I will prove that I have the right to be.
to live to have to earn to learn to know to go WTF

who are these people to whom I have to prove my humanity? who said I wasn’t human?

Think about that.

You have signed on to be like the people who have and are denying that
you are a person in order to prove that
you are a person!Think about that.

You have signed on to be APPROVED OF by the people who have and are denying that
you are a person in order to prove that
you are a person!

Think about that.

You have signed on to be Support, Endorse, Enforce the standards of the people who have and are denying that
you are a person in order to prove that
you are a person!

Think About That!

Respectability Politics

On the subject of Respectability Politics


I am disturbed that the issue of respectability politic ha reared its ugly head again. This time I the Amen corner of the President’s new MY BROTHERS KEEPERS initiative. And don’t get me wrong, I know that they are in the Amen corner because I am there to see them – AMEN!

I have tweeted and posted before about the counter productivity of respectability politics and how it serves to divide and conquer. As a 50plus year old, I put on my respectability politics blinders and condemn young men who sag their pants and young women twerking, because the last thing I want to do is hear the voice of young people.

Being Respectable has not saved black people from murder, torture or rape. A suit and tie don’t stop a bullet or feed a family. It is the man or woman inside the suit of clothes that makes the difference, that does the work,  that we attempt to shame.

My thought on Respectability Politics today is profoundly sad and shame filled. For whom am I being respectable?  WHO AM I BEING RESPECTABLE FOR? There is a condition precedent that I am not enough as I am, that I have to clean up and act right in order to be safe in my community, have protectable rights and be safe in my skin.  How is my humanity not enough? My citizenship not sufficient?  That I must look better, be better, just to get permission to be?

Respectability politics has at its core an unforgivable and unbelievable concept. That we as black people have to EARN the right to exist.  That we s black people have to prove our humanity and worthiness to exist.  That we must seek permission to be accepted as full citizens and human beings. That the basis of white supremacy is correct, as a black person, I as all other black people are fundamentally inferior to white in particular and nonblack in general.  Those of us who reject that premise are odd, crazy and must be tamed or silenced.

Well enough, I don’t buy it and if you buy it have bought it I ask that you give it some thought… because it is all BULLSHIT!!