Carolina Panthers sign Eric Reid

(sorry for any typos, I’m just really excited!)

For the people who don’t really know much about me, I am a HUGE Panthers fan.  Like….YUUUUUGE…

Really!

Well today, I was eating my salad for lunch (because I went to happy hour yesterday and killed all of my healthy eating for the week) and came across a message from one of my friends on our group chat.

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I have to admit.  This was probably the most unexpected thing that I have ever expected the Panthers to do.  Why?

Just a little bit of history…

Eric Reid was basically being blackballed in the NFL.  As much as some people would like to deny it, he was. Why you ask?  Well for my people who are unfamiliar, Eric Reid was one of the first guys to kneel with Colin Kaepernick during the national anthem in protest of Police brutality, inequality, and social justice as a whole.   Also,  Reid currently has a collusion lawsuit opened with the NFL, basically because he’s being blackballed. So yeah…Eric Reid wasn’t currently signed to any team in the NFL, and has not played at all this season.  The Panthers decided to sign this guy, on a one-year deal (people call this a “prove it” contract) and I couldn’t be happier.

This joy that I share, comes from multiple places.  You see, the panthers just recently went through an ownership change.  Jerry Richardson, the old angry RBF looking guy who didn’t seem to enjoy life at all, used to be the owner.  He just seemed like someone who ruled with an iron fist.  Even though I never knew him personally, and everybody like players and staff said he was a kind person, he just seemed like someone who had this, “I treat my people right by paying them, so they must do what I say” type of attitude. In addition to this demeanor, Richardson never did high profile moves when making decisions for his team.  There would be a need and would be a perfectly good player in free agency that would be available, and if Richardson deemed he was too problematic (in his eyes) he wouldn’t sign them.  Jerry Richardson would NEVER in a million years make a move like this. Why?  Because it brings too much drama.  Regardless of how this makes him look to the many people who paid him money to see his team.  If a move requires any type of attention, he bails out.  He didn’t want to stand up for what’s right, he just wanted to make his money and go about his business.  And while people think that’s fine and dandy, he never showed that he wanted to be a a part of something bigger.

The new owner of the Panthers, David Tepper, has shown in many ways that he’s not afraid to stir the pot.  Tepper hasn’t done much, but the things that he HAS done in only a short few months of owning the team, has shown that he’s more about football than he is politics.  A simple gesture of painting the Panthers logo at midfield was welcome with fanfare and praise.  Only because fans have asked for this for 20+ years, and Jerry Richardson with the iron fist said “HELL NO”.  He didn’t give a damn about his fans, and his loyalty was to his money and the NFL.  I digress though.  With that said, Tepper is not afraid to do what’s best for his team and the fans who watch every Sunday.  Signing the best unsigned football player, who was currently being blackballed by so many others, proves that he’s not afraid of what others will say and he’s out here to support the best players out there, regardless of the inequalities they are facing.  I hope he paves the way for other teams to stand up and do what’s right.

Also, this… Panthers owner David Tepper rebuts Trump’s anthem protest criticism, calls NFL players ‘patriotic’

I can only hope that David Tepper continues to make the decisions that allow his team and the people they represent to stay on the RIGHT side of history.  And hopefully, Reid can go out here, and show people that he can still play, while also keeping an eye on and fighting for social justice.

 

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Being Mixed in Today’s Racial Climate

So newsflash, if you didn’t already know, I’m mixed. My mom is white and my dad is black. My mom is like white white. She’s Canadian for goodness sake, I’m not sure if it gets much whiter than that. My dad is pretty black. He’s from Eastern North Carolina (and let’s just settle the debate once and for all. The best barbecue. I’m not arguing with you sorry) and while I’m sure it gets more black than that, we can all acknowledge that’s a pretty special kind of black.

I’m aware that I’ve probably made like 10 racially insensitive remarks already. So if you are offended at all by anything I’ve said…you should just stop reading now. I’m not one for political correctness and I’m not a master of this topic. I’m just a random mixed woman writing at 6 am.

One thing I will touch base on before getting to the more important stuff is my choice of the word mixed. There are very small debates in parts of the world as to what is the correct term to use when discussing people who come from more than one racial back ground. And yes, yes I hear you all now “we are all the human race” or technically “every is more than one race.” Ok great. Please sit your all lives matter behind down somewhere and just listen for once. I purposefully use the term mixed because I like it best. Please insert bi-racial, or multi-racial as you please if it bothers you but as for me and my house, we are mixed. Call it what you want, just not mullato because we might fight.

Anywho…

If you are unaware of the stressful racial climate of today’s world…please read a book, open the paper, turn on the news or just kind of pay-a-fucking-ttention the next time you’re out in public, then come back and read this. It’s not good. It’s never been good and part of me fears it never will be. Yes there has been change and in some areas, progress, but there is still a very, very long way to go. And that’s a post that one of my fellow bloggers could definitely write much better than I could.

What I’m here to kind of briefly bring to your attention and then peace out about is, what your mixed friends may be experiencing right now. And if they aren’t experiencing it, I sure as hell am so it’s important for that reason alone.

It’s tough.

And maybe in a way that you wouldn’t expect.

It’s always been tough to be black, and therefore tough to be mixed if you look even the slightest bit black. Definitely not tough in the same way but tough.

And then there is the general struggle that is to be mixed. Research says I will have a identify crisis regarding what I am. And maybe this is it. But up until this point I have been very much aware of what I am. I’m mixed. And that has never confused me. My parents didn’t ram a racial identity down my throat. And I woke up every day to my white mother and black father in the same household loving me and allowing me to live my best mixed life. The question of “what are you” was always answered with “mixed” then later on when I discovered the fine art of petty the response was “human.” But bottom line, I have never questioned what I am racially. I’m mixed. The best and worst of BOTH worlds. Many many other people have not understood it, have tried to put me in a box and demanded “yea but you gotta pick one” or my favorite “well your dad’s black so you’re black” like my entire white mother just doesn’t count. Bye Felicia.

So my current mixed dilemma…

There is this definite culture right now in the black community of hating white people. Now I’m certain this is nothing new. It’s always been there. Black and white people not getting along is as American as apple pie and lynchings. This is most likely just my generations experience of that. But I am experiencing it all the same, and through my mixed filter, constantly keeping in mind my white mother, grandmother, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandfather when I hear comments like

“White people suck”

“I don’t care what white people think”

“Everyone but white people”

“I hate white people”

“White people are the devil”

I see this and much more, sprawled in my timelines every day, and I have found myself in many a conversation where these statements are made and I just kind of sit there like “ummm hello. Mixed person in the building please don’t count a whole half of me out.”

And I would be lying if I said I hadn’t said some of these things too. It’s hard not too. White people have done some seriously fucked up shit towards black people and continue to do so on a very high, political, systematic basis every day (again another post for another day that I probably won’t write, but think prison system, drug war, legalization of marijuana, gentrification type things). So I totally get where the statements are coming from.

But the reality is, not all white people have done these things or think this way and we get no where by making such broad generalizations and statements. And I know for a fact that many of the people I have heard these things from, do not think this way about all white people, because they have white friends or at the very least absolutely love my mom, but just some pure honesty from a mixed woman…every time I hear those statements I get this sucker punch to the gut of my racial identity and go into immediate fight or flight mode. And I’ll admit, the majority of the time I opt for flight. Like I said. I’ve said these things too.

I’ve even gone so far as to be proud that my moms pretty much “someone’s old granny reincarnated in this white woman’s body.” Yep. I’ve said that. It sounds good. Makes me feel like I didn’t miss out on this black experience of having a black mom. I get excited when I see videos on Facebook about “things black moms say” and I’m like “yea my mom has said 95% of those things too. Yay I didn’t miss out.” But I’ve realized in the last few days, and as I write this blog, that that’s kind of a fucked up way of thinking. My mom’s white. Super white. Blonde hair. Blue eyed. Like I said, she’s freakin Canadian for crying out loud. She’s white! And yea she can throw down in the kitchen with the best of them. And she gets mad and cusses and threatens to never cook for anyone again and she definitely has asked me if I have McDonald’s money more than once. But she’s still white. I still almost cussed this black guy out at Walmart one time in his black lives matter t-shirt for getting an unnecessary attitude with her because she patiently waited for him to move and said excuse me but he didn’t hear it. She’s white. People look at her and assume things based off that and because she’s white she has certain privilege in this world that I as her mixed daughter do not have. But I think she has used it beautifully. She will politely cuss you out for using the n-word in her presence and will hold off on letting you know about her black husband and mixed children just to see if you’re going to say some racist shit first. She is legit rooting for everyone black and will tell you. Shes definitely invited to the cook out. She’s probably made half the food. And her Mac and cheese is quite possibly top 5 that you’ve ever tasted. And even though she meets all those stereotypes about what it means to be black…she’s white.

And I would not change anything about her or my experience being a mixed woman with a white mother.

So anywho, I have said all that to say this. Not all white people are evil. Not all white people are terrible. And just like we do not want all black people to be classified as thugs or gangsters or criminals or dangerous, we get no where and do not further any cause, by speaking in generalized terms in response.

These issues only get solved by open and honest communication with people who don’t look like you. And that can only be done with an open mind and a willingness to learn and understand and not the agenda to change.

So, go befriend a white person today, and if you can’t find one let me know, because my mom is awesome!

Side note: Pastor Furtick with Elevation church recently did an amazing conversation with Charlemagne the God around this topic of difference and conversation. You should check it out.

http://elevationchurch.org/sermons/come-out-of-your-corner/

Application for Diversity

A month ago, my daughter introduced me to a new app as she routinely does. What typically happens is I notice her playing something incessantly and download it to see what it is. I then obsess over it for a few days until I reach some awful level that I can’t beat and I give up. This time, however, has been different.

Sandbox

Quite possibly the best time wasting app I have ever come across. I have yet to figure out how the name relates to the app. It’s a color by number app. That’s it. No levels. No time limits. Only constraint is you have to pay for access to more detailed pictures, which I promptly did to color in order to color this lotus flower.

It also does this awesome time lapse video after you fill it in.

So there are all sorts of pictures you can color. Flowers, cars, cartoons, people, cartoon people in cars holding flowers. Okay maybe not that one but anything is possible.

The other day, however, I noticed something when a picture popped up. I had been coloring in very detailed and beautiful pictures of white women. Pictures like this.

And this

And I just want to throw out this picture of a tiger in here, because it’s awesome

There were also some really cool cartoon white people as well

But after playing for almost a month this was the first person of color that I colored

Do you see the problem?

If you don’t. That’s another post for another time. But for those who already get it let’s proceed. If you don’t, you can still proceed and maybe you’ll catch up.

I really didn’t want to believe this person was black but as I filled her in and the complexion was completed and that awkward butt thing finished I had to acknowledge it. This was their first and only black woman or even person of color all month. Unless you count this guy

And I don’t.

This one came later, but I wasn’t sure if they were black or a seriously tanned version of Gene Simmons

Even these clearly non white characters just looked like white people in costume

This initially started me writing a post in my head about white privilege. White privilege is seeing yourself represented in apps automatically and not having to question why there are no people of color.

But then I decided to try something. I never review apps or leave comments. This time I did. I left a comment for sandbox pointing out the lack of diversity and how it would be nice to see more detailed pictures of people of color and men (white men included). Diversity is an amazing thing.

I honestly didn’t expect much. Maybe a response about how they were working on it. Or no response at all.

But y’all…the most beautiful thing happened.

Every morning I wake up to 5 or 6 new pictures to color. THE VERY NEXT MORNING this is what I saw.

DO Y’ALL SEE THAT?!? Not the astronaut or the gems or the watermelon or that angry knight in the corner. No. Right there. That beautiful, detailed, obviously BLACK woman!!!

I can not describe how full my heart was when I saw that. I immediately got to work coloring her in to see how gorgeous she was. With every shade of brown that I applied my heart grew bigger. I ran to my daughter and her friend and told them what had happened. What I had done.

Yep. I’m taking full responsibility for this one. Maybe they were already working on it. But that’s a huge coincidence. THE NEXT DAY!! I’ve had guys take longer to respond to a text message than it did for this app developer to respond to my suggestion.

And then I got to thinking. Why isn’t it always that easy. That’s all it took. Correcting the issue. They didn’t have to respond. They didn’t have to apologize. All they had to do was correct the issue. No questioning. No trying to convince me I was making things up. No defending why they hadn’t had a diverse selection of skin tones up until this point. No blaming. No finger pointing. No all coloring lives matter crap. Just correction of the problem. Why can’t it always be this easy?

Maybe one day the rest of the world will learn from the Sandbox app and quickly acknowledge and correct racism when it is pointed out. Until then I will keep admiring this beautiful lady I colored in and count this as one itty bitty teeny tiny step to equality.

Here she is!

Here’s her video

And just a few days later I got to color in this possible Cardi B image that I love too

(Or is that Miley?!?)

Ps. My daughter says that if you want some good entertainment read the other reviews to the app.

Growing up an “Oreo” in America

time-100-influential-photos-john-dominis-black-power-salute-61Now this is a story all about how my life was flipped turned upside-down….

Wait…..

I’ve always lived this life. Nothing has changed, and the new normal, has always been for me, in a sense, just like every other african american in america. This is nothing new! That’s the first thing that america should understand.

All my life I have been known as the “good boy”. The one who you shouldn’t be “scared of” because of the way I carried myself (i.e. my mf’n personality). I’ve been called “white boy” more times that I could count growing up and at that time, I only took it as a playful gesture. I was called “white boy” though because of my skin. I was really really light skinned. Already being taught the importance of appearance in society before I even knew how important it would be. My family and friends used to call me this all the time, so when strangers decided to as well as I grew up and went to different schools, I didn’t think much of it. I just went with it. They were just playing, right? Unbeknownst to me, I was being called that because of how I acted.

An Oreo: “To be African-American in appearance, but to have interests that align with those of Caucasian people.”

Which brings up the question of “What is acting black/white” anyway? This is probably another story for another day.

Anywho, growing up I had minimal influence from others. Elementary school, I had two good white friends, and one indian (south asian) friend and the rest of the people I hung out with were family. All black. I’ve always loved hip hop and r&b growing up and literally had more rhythm that I could deal with (still do, but I’m just tall and awkward now), but just because I didn’t act a certain way growing up, I wasn’t considered african american by my peers. Funny thing is, I probably still am not considered “black”. Obviously my skin color states otherwise, but nope, stick me in a class with the AP and Honors kids (which weren’t even predominately white either so…wtf) and don’t hang around with a certain group and BAM. You’re caucasian.

One of those white guys was my great friend. All the way up until high school. But once we got to high school, he said one thing to me that I will never ever forget. He says “you know that we aren’t going to be friends when we get to high school, right?”. Me, being the ignorant son of a bitch I was at the time was like what? Why? What’s going to happen?

All of a sudden….Immediate disconnect of conversation. I lost my best friend from years 2 to 8 just like that. It was because he didn’t want to be associated with a black guy. I know most of you are thinking, “how do you know that?”.  Well you just don’t throw away 6 years of constant friendship, you know?

Moving on…

I will ALWAYS be a black man. I can’t change that. No matter how proper I talk, and what crowd I hang around. I could be the most non threatening man in America, but I will still be seen as a BLACK MAN. Unfortunately, this is something a lot of non black people can’t seem to understand. You know me, sure. You understand my personality, and how I carry myself, sure. But when I’m in a situation where someone who doesn’t know me, the first thing they see is a big black aggressive male. Essentially, a threat.

I remember my mom giving me “the talk”. No, not the birds and the bees one, but about how I should “act in public”.  My dad was a cop and sheriff, so I already had a grasp of the bullshit happening even back then.  Luckily, I was more worried about embarrassing my mom (who was a teacher) and my dad that I didn’t really get into too much trouble. But that doesn’t negate the fact that I had to hear about my blackness being a problem; Even though I was called “white boy” on multiple occasions.

“But Malc, how could someone like you be seen as someone like these other guys out in america who are breaking the law and that shouldn’t have been causing trouble in the first place.”  “You’re seriously the nicest black guy I know and you wouldn’t hurt a fly”. (Yes, I have heard these quotes VERBATIM on multiple occasions). All of these quotes from well-intentioned  Caucasians, of course, but because you don’t have to deal with this on a regular basis, there is no way that you could could imagine.

Don’t believe me….Here’s a small example;

Many of you who know me already probably already know this story, but I was down in the “dirty” Myrtle for a random friends trip, and me and my friend were on our way back to our hotel. Mind you we’ve been drinking, as all of america in Myrtle Beach that night. Ocean Blvd was literally backed up with cars full of drunk kids. Even kids riding on the back of pickup truck yelling out obscenities and who knows what else. The point I’m getting across is, me and my boy were not the only ones out and about at this moment.

I bump into one of those trees that these cities always think is good idea to place in the middle of the sidewalk walking back to the hotel, and a police officer decides to stop us. Mind you, my friend probably looks like he’s about 11 at this time, so the officer lady probably thought she was stopping an underage drinker. Whatever, that’s not the problem I have at the moment.

So she stops us. Asks us where we were going, asks us how old we were, and we tell her. She doesn’t believe us and asks for ID. We show her, and boom, legal. This should be the end of the conversation right? No. She decided to roll over to the fact that my boy was too drunk and he was bumping into trees (which she was wrong, that was me) so we need to chill out before we go anywhere. We were about 3 blocks from the hotel at this point. I tell her that, and she’s like no, you need to call a taxi. Me, being the slightly drunk irrational person I am, asked her why we couldn’t walk (since we were literally 3 blocks away). Woman told us that she would arrest us and take us in for public intoxication if we didn’t call a taxi. Again, ALL of ocean blvd was probably two times more drunk than myself and my friend at this point. We look at nearby taxis….TWO HOUR wait. We tell her and then she calls her little cop friend. Idk what she said, but she was like “as long as you go back to your hotel, you can go back”. Like bitch, I didn’t break the law, I can go back regardless.

I know this story isn’t a “bad” as other stories you’ve probably heard from other people, but to be stopped and almost arrested, even after proving your age AND being coherent enough to have AND remember a conversation. There was no reason for us to be stopped when there were clearly other people more drunk than us around.

This is how the average black male lives their life. You might not believe it, but things like this happen more often than you realize, and THIS is what needs to change in america. This is why we say BLACK LIVES MATTER.  It’s unfortunate that we have to “censor” ourselves.  It’s unfortunate that I have to review EVERY. SINGLE. EMAIL. I send because I don’t want to sound like the angry black man even though I’m asking a simple question. It’s unfortunate that we have to actively ensure we aren’t being a threat for fear that we may be arrested, or fired, or even KILLED.

And you have people caring more about how they feel like people kneeling is disrpecting a flag when Mike Brown, Philando Castile, Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, and every other male or female who were taken from us, by someone who felt they were the Judge in each situation.  That could have been me, arrested because I’d rather walk and save money than call a lame ass myrtle beach taxi.