We Are Failing Us

What a week! Phew! Talk about exhausted but I am taking it all in stride because exhausted means that I have been working and that’s always a good thing. So! A couple of things I want to address one being R.Kelly and the other being dating, but the dating will have to wait!

I have gotten into a couple of debates on whether or not we should still listen to his music. I hear folks saying they can separate R.Kelly, the man, and R. Kelly, the pedophile. To me, it’s one of the same. I personally have not listened to any of his music for years once I started hearing the allegations. I am not going to start now. He is definitely a talented man and no one will ever take that away from him, but at what point as a community will we hold him accountable for abusing our girls? Is the CEO of a company who beats his wife off the clock, a genius still? Because he runs a company and makes a lot of money for his shareholders? Once he gets hit with those allegations, he will be asked to step down. The board of directors will not say, “what he does on his own time is his business.” Those allegations are bad for business period. So, why are we excusing R. Kelly? Why are we continuing to give him business and glorify him? We are failing us.

In a Facebook debate today, I had one guy even go as far as compare religion being a detriment to teens and sexual abuse. He said religion causes more psychological abuse than the abuse that R.Kelly has bestowed upon these young minority girls. Like, is this what we are doing now? Just because he made good music? Stir a new batch of Kool-Aid why don’t we. We are failing us. The argument that he was not convicted in the court of law and that there is no real evidence is sickening. Especially from Black people. My people. How many times has justice not been served when the black person was the victim? Don’t worry, I’ll wait…..

Decades later… nothing has changed. How much more evidence do you need? The marriage certificate to a 15 year old as a 27 year old man not enough? The countless testimonies from his family and team and the girls, not enough? Where there is smoke there is fire. These women are not getting paid to do this, to be subjected to criticism for the world. To be made a mockery of and told that they bought it upon themselves. But all we are concerned about is the fact, that he made good music. We are failing us. This whole situation just truly showed me where we are as a people and honestly, its just sad. But hey, he made good music.

-V.

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Define Yourself

Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself. – Harvey Fierstein

 

When someone shows you who they are, believe them. – Maya Angelou

Harvey Fierstein’s quote got me through a lot of rough times. I actually found this quote during my darkest days. Young, single mother, divorced. I had labels already. A family member even told me when they found out I was pregnant “Damn, your life is pretty much over.” When I got divorced and another person who was close to me said “Now that you are divorced with a kid, no man will ever want you.” Gee guys thanks. But what I did not let it do, was define me. It got me down initially and I became depressed and shameful, but I got up, dusted my shoulders off. Stuck up my middle finger to all of them and said “Oh yeah? Watch me win.” And that’s exactly what I did and still continue to do. Win. Despite of. I wrote this Harvey Fierstein quote on everything. I read it everyday and then I tackled on the world.

We live in a world where people live to define everyone else but themselves. They want to label you and place you in a box. We must not allow other people’s definition of who they think we are to define us. You are not gay, you are not black, you are not white, you are not Hispanic or what Trump calls Mexican rapists, you are not a thug, or white trash. Guess what we all are. Human. All these labels are never used in a good context. Do not let these labels define your self worth. Define Your Self!

Now on to Maya’s quote “When someone shows you who they are believe them.” This is not the same as labels or allowing someone else to define you. This is the person defining themselves and making it known. If that man you are dating says to you “I am no good for you, I don’t have it all together.” Guess what, believe him. If that woman says to you “Once your money runs out, so does my loyalty.” Yep, you guessed it, believe her. We tend to change our image of a person based on what we want from them or need to feel in ourselves. Know who you are then define yourself and watch other people’s actions to see if they fall in with your true definition of what you are about. Simple, yet such a hard lesson to learn.

-V.