Category Archives: Madness

There is only one person who brings drama and madness into my life, and that is my douche bag baby daddy from a previous relationship, whom I am tasked to deal with, courtesy of the Georgia Judicial system. I hope he DOESN’T get hit by a bus this week…

Jidenna’s Appearance on the ‘Good Morning America’ Vexed Me

Jidenna and his shiny pocket watch. Image source http://www.billboard.com

You see what happens when you underestimate a man with a conk and a pocket watch? You think he’s innocuous and then one day: BOOM! You are sitting on your sister’s sofa with your heart in your throat, swallowing, breathing and pumping blood through your veins, simultaneously failing at all three. Why because the shiny conk man is pulling words from the spiritual realm to trouble your bohdi.

Oh Jidenna! Why?!? Is your father Yoruba? Are you one of the Yoruba Demons my Naija sisters have been complaining of on Twirra? Because if you are not, you are certainly displaying the tendencies of those dreaded heart breakers. Chai!

I know, I know. You’re sitting here wondering what has Malaka in such a tizzy today. What is it THIS time? Surely by now you’ve seen the video of which my title speaks? Here. Let me help you. Just watch it.

 

 

Ahaaaa. Now, aren’t you also angry? As a fellow lover of beautiful men, are you not also in the throes of vexation? Who sent Jidenna on a fact-finding mission today? It was Satan. It had to be Satan. Who else roams the earth as roving lion looking for whom he may devour, if not Lucifer himself? And did not Jidenna himself warn Bambi (i.e. ME) that there were lions out here? He did! You heard it, and so did I.

But what was this fact-finding mission that the Lord of Darkness commission and Jidenna happily accept? It was to prove that women DON’T LISTEN. But he kraaaaa, who asked him to go and pull this evidence? We were all happy in our state of inertia and now Jidenna has gone and set a forest fire of confusion in motion.

First of all, let’s discuss this coffee mug that he entered the stage with. See his face. Like he is advising me like he is my father – my father who has called me to the living room to give me a strong warning. But does my father look like Jidenna? Does yours? Then why is he giving me advise to stay away from sweet things like we share a filial bond? Just gerrarheah mehn! Just walking around under purple lights, sipping the drink he didn’t finish before he left the green room like the whole Good Morning America was his personal pool hall and he is the God Father or Heartbreak.

Oh Bambi I won’t lie

If I weren’t in this spider web of mine

If grandfather never had seven wives

Then darling you would be love of my life
Oh Bambi it’s my design

To run the jungle I must be a lion

Or be a cheetah but neither is fine

Don’t wanna hurt my dear love of my life

 

WHO

ASKED

YOU

JIDENNA?

Maybe I want my heart broken. Maybe we like it like that. After all, there is nothing that God and a little E6000 together can’t fix. Isn’t this pain you are trying to keep me/us from feeling the reason the Japanese invented kintsukuroi? I mean, sometimes the heartbreak is worth it. Something beautiful can come from a broken heart. But only if YOU break it for us, Jidenna. It’s those fiyanga boys that come into our lives as a destabilizing force that we don’t care for. But when a man such as yourself enters our romantic realm, Jidenna, there is confusion from start to finish. So issorai. You can’t tell me there is a woman you’ve ever dated who has been in her right mind from introduction to break up, where you are concerned. So please, this your Bambi cautionary tale is unwarranted. Believe us, we know. We have counted the cost from the beginning and we are okay with the price. But instead of you to be secure in that knowledge, you’ve gone to put pen to paper to craft a song revealing our proclivities for self-destruction for all to see.

Jide (pronounced Ji*day), why have you lied to us? You know the video you shot didn’t end that way in real life? Please, if you arrive at any red-blooded woman’s wedding in a cream suit and ostrich shoes, crying as you make your way to the bridal vehicle, you know very well that she’s not going to willingly just drive away fwah lydat. Tears? From Jide? Oh no, no, no, no… At least the three people involved: the bride, the groom and you will have some discussion. Who will leave fine Jidenna to sit outside of a cathedral to weep and be held back by common area boys? No one with a heart and conscious!

And that is why your appearance on the television annoyed me so greatly. Because you have been taking advantage of my heart and the heart of my sisters since the release of that single. Just causing confusion and inner turmoil. “He’s telling me he’s no good for me, but I still want him! I want him like I want a fever dream! I want to feel this delirious always!” This is a dilemma 98% of women will face in her dating life. It’s something we don’t talk about, and now you and your Merry Band of Acapella instrumentalists made us FEEL it….are still making us FEEL it at unscheduled hours for these sorts of things. Do you know how many times that performance has been shared on my newsfeed alone today? Spirit of the living God! This is not the season for skin pain! When we are ready, when we are ready…

Sir. Please. Enough. Go and wear your Ankara shorts and sin no more. Stop making songs about American antelopes and let nature take its course. And you… Next time you want to make a woman analogous to an animal, please choose something more representative of our shared West African heritage. Warriz ‘Bambi’? Dem get Bambi for Nigeria? You are a lion. I am a goat. Just devour and stop this plenty talk. Have you not read your sister Nnedi Okorafor’s book, ‘Who Fears Death’? You think we fear to die if e go be you wey you go chop us? I say again, your cautionary tales are not welcome here!

I’ve warned you for the last time.

See his face. Heartbreak Police in Chief. Tseewwww

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Post Carnival Relief: These Are My Confessions

You guys are probably going to see videos of me on ratchetblackness.com or World Star – but before you judge me, allow me to confess and explain how all of this happened.

 

Before he was struck by an illness that has kept him housebound, a friend of mine used to go soca parties every other weekend. Not only did these parties keep him connected to his Virgin Island culture, they gave him veritable LIFE. There aren’t words rich enough in the English language to describe the light that emanated from him in the wake of his post soca party euphoria. I determined then that I would attend a soca party one day and promptly added the activity to my bucket list.

Why a bucket list for a mere party, presumably that would be held in a warehouse in Any Metro City near you? Because of one detail – that little hiccup that would make my presence at such an event unseemly: I was married to a deacon, now a pastor. ‘Going out’ for us is dinner at the Cheesecake Factory and/or catching a movie, not getting sweaty to samba and certainly not shaking it to Caribbean tunes. Saints don’t participate in those forms of debauchery: dancing yourself into a molten hot puddle. But as I mentioned on Facebook a while back, my decision making post-surgery can generously be described as questionable, so when my sister (now a soca fanatic since her return from Carnival in Trinidad) said that she wanted to take me to a soca party before my return to South Africa, I did not refuse the opportunity! That’s how I ended up on my back in the middle of the club with a stranger dry humping me.

So, what had happened was this:

I spent two weeks watching soca videos in order to do research on how to conduct myself at this club/party. We only play worship music in our house, if ever at all, and I needed to familiarize myself with soca protocol. Nothing in any of the handful of videos I watched looked anything like what my body was capable of, so I resigned myself to the fact that I would have to rely on some old faithful boogies, namely azonto, cultural dancing and the running man if it came down to it.

Next came the question of attire. As the mother of four human beings sporting a belly that looks like I’m about to deliver a fifth, there was no way I was going out looking as though I was going to a soca club. I opted for jeggings, high top sneakers and my Cobra Kai Dojo tee from Walmart. As I applied moderate make-up, I felt and looked comfortable…until I started sweating.

“Are you hot?” I asked Adj.

She was fanning herself vigorously, replying in the affirmative. She scuttled off to her bedroom and turned on the standing fan to cool herself down. It was at that moment that I toyed with the idea that the spontaneous burst of heat we both experienced was probably due to the fact that I was going to hell, and had not warned my sister about the ills of club life as a good Christian ought. But whatever. It was too late and the plans had already been made.

At 6:30pm, my brother-in-common-law prepared dinner for the house; oven fried chicken and broccoli. He doesn’t salt his meat, so I loaded up on the broccoli and reluctantly nibbled on the chicken. Adj (my sister) had announced that we’d be leaving at 8:30 to drop the kids off at an auntie’s house before heading to the party.

“It starts at 10pm, and I do NOT want to open the party,” she said.

When we arrived at 11:15pm, the party looked like this.

Where the people at???

But that’s not even the worse part. The worse part is the drive to the event. We had to take my adorable niece and nephew aaaaaall the way to Bowie, MD for the evening, and for the duration of the 45-minute drive, I was subjected to an inane line of questioning from a 3-year-old wanting to know who was driving the car and why were the street lights on. In addition to this, my sister did not want to listen to music because it was “too loud”, which meant there was no ambient noise to drown out the sound of my niece’s voice. I sat in the back seat yawning, contemplating how different this pre-partying experience was from my college days when I used to go out. I thought fondly of my bed and yearned for it.

“I don’t see how people go from parenting to partying so quickly,” I mused. “Especially when the lead up to your night out is the ride we just took.”

Chris agreed, adding, “You just gotta push through that hurdle and commit!”

So commit we did and on to Karma we went for the post Carnival relief party! (Side note: there have been relief parties all over the city, since revelers tend to experience withdrawal after leaving Trinidad/Carnival so severe that it can lead to depression.) After a 10-15 minute jaunt from our parking space down the road, we were greeted by security at the doors who asked for ID (which I proudly remembered to bring with me) and subjected us to a vigorous pat down. I gasped as a husky woman sporting box braids lifted each of my breasts and pressed into my sternum.

“You ok?” she asked.

“Yeah…it’s just that that was the most physical contact I’ve had with anyone in two months,” I replied.

The other members of the security team howled with laughter, and she muttered something that might have passed for an apology. I told her not to worry about it.

“I’m sure it was just a precursor for what I’m about to experience in there!”

Laughter ensued. We ducked into the club. We sat and looked at each other for what seemed like an eternity. The music was NOT good, although the set up and décor was very pretty. There were a lot of people at the bar just standing there, giving a creepy voyeur vibe. And then there was this guy running around covered in flags with a whistle around his neck. The whistle indicated the nature of his employment – Mister Floor Opener, Dancing Facilitator or Winding Orchestrator. I’ll send a box of Cheerios to anyone who has correctly guessed that this is also the individual who would end up dry humping me into oblivion. We’ll get to that.

Bored and quickly becoming aggravated that my first soca party was clearly destined to be a dud, I stood to my feet and began to sway to beat with Chris – a man who needs NO excuse to party and had already committed to winding his waist against the raw atmosphere. Sensing my disappointment, he told me not to worry and promised that things would really start humping at 1 am.

“1 am?” I thought to myself. “You mean, I won’t be back hom and in bed by then? Crap!”

I began to wind atmosphere along with him.

Woman dancing borborbor. And yes. I made that same face. Image source: For God & Nation

At this point, my other “sister” had joined us at our perch and was scanning the room. She recognized two women that she’d gone to school with and they formed a part of our circle for the night…and number that would eventually swell to 11 women, plus Chris. Now that the music was getting slightly better and that I had committed to having fun no matter what, I began to dance in earnest, twirling my towel and doing borborbor or whatever other move came to mind. That’s when I felt someone behind me.

I braced myself for the impact that was coming, remembering Chris’ clarion admonishment about Carnival/soca: “You must accept the wyne.”

So when a man’s paw pushed my neck towards my kneecaps, I submitted and let him push up on me. Ah. But he was so aggressive! Why? It seemed to go on forever, and it was only until I resurfaced for air that he released me…but only momentarily. By this time I was in a playful mood, so I shook my wobbly bits to the beat, which he took as an invitation to jump on my back.

Yes, you read that right. I had a 6’3” nigga on my back in a darkened club lit up only by fluorescence and the roaming spotlights. But that’s not the worst of it.

As time went on, more folk began to trickle in and we few were determined to make the most of the scene. By now I was dripping in sweat (which is not unusual) and I was just happy to be amongst such happy, unpretentious Black people. I sat on the edge of a sofa and The Facilitator popped out of nowhere. Since I was seated, I figured there was no way he could force me into any sort of position where I would be compelled to ‘accept the wyne’.

WRONG.

He grabbed me by my feet and lifted them around his waist. I immediately pulled a move I learned from my 6 year old and went limp. Dead weight. All 245 lbs of it. It didn’t matter. He hoisted me onto his hips and began to pump/wing/grind aggressively. I held on for dear life, fearful that he’d drop me in the middle of this club and burst my still-healing cranial stitches. When our interaction exceeded the threshold of comfort and reason, I bucked and tried to get down. It was at THAT point that he laid me on my back, parted my legs, and began to simulate the act of dry humping. There was never any pelvis-to-pelvis contact…just the appearance of it. Over his shoulder, I saw a woman pull out her pink iPhone and begin filming. Why? My sister sprang into action and tried to get this massive, and deceptively very strong man off of me, but because I was laughing hysterically at the absurdity of it all – ME, a pastor’s wife in a Walmart t-shirt, struggling to hold in explosive flatulence brought on by the broccoli eaten hours early, on the club floor at her first soca party – she assumed I was enjoying the experience and walked away. As in she left me there. The wave of hysteria passed quickly though, and I scooted away from under him and sought refuge on the sofa again, breathless and bewildered. (Honestly, I was really unnerved by how quickly and efficiently he was able to maneuver my body into such a compromising position. I’m no willow.)

If you see me on some ratchet Black website, please know that it was not my intention to disgrace my family or myself. It simply just went down that way! I thought about all of my friends who work in entertainment and who so carefully guard their public persona; People who I admire. I relayed what happened to one such woman early this morning.

“Oh girl, please,” she said. “I had something similar happen to me when I was in New York!”

I told her that it felt good knowing that we would both be in soca hell together when Judgment Day came. How will Saint Peter allow us into the pearly gates after exhibiting this level of no behavior?

And speaking of no and worst behavior, boy did I show it all.

I jumped.

I ducked.

I wyned.

I even stood in place and marched.

We jammin’ still!

I had THE best time I’ve had in a long time. There were no egos, no women were fronting on each other and apart from the crazy man with the whistle (who I spent the rest of the evening avoiding), the men were respectful. And as promised, by 1:30 am, the place was packed, the dance floor was covered in puddles of sweat and a guy impersonating PM Dawn was gliding through the crowd, like an apparition after a fever dream.

 

This morning I got home at 5:30 am with no regrets.

 

 

PS: Just so you ladies know, it is only mandatory to accept the wind at Carnival. In America, you can shoo a man away with a flick of the wrist or a waggle of a finger. I only learned this after the rottweiler had had his way with me. This was a great experience, but it will certainly be my last. I need to redeem myself with prayer and fasting and Hillsongs…

Vicki Yohe Unleashes Peak Beckery On The Church

When I saw a former co-worker refer to Vicki Yohe as ‘Tricky Yohe’ as a result of some foolery she had allegedly executed, I bristled. I challenged him to show me evidence of what the warbler had done to earn the moniker ‘tricky’. Surely this was a case of mistaken identity! I’ve seen Vicki Yohe perform live on at least two occasions, and on both she was all sweetness and light, sprinkled with a little bit of thunder. That’s how the church likes its worship leaders – saccharine; yet ready to rally the troops to war with a melodious battle cry if necessary.

Maybe that shield maiden spirit had momentarily overtaken Vicki, compelling her to publish this meme on Instagram just a few days ago.

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*Blink*
*Double blink*
*Siiiiggghhh….*

As if the meme itself weren’t abhorrent enough, Yohe doubled down on the disparaging posture behind it by appending her own, unambiguous thoughts, challenging those who oppose (now) president Donald Trump, his VP, his cabinet pick of unqualified dolts and his abhorrent taste in furniture by saying that they could “march all they want and protest all they want, he’s your president now!”

And then had the nerve to add a hash tag: exciting times ahead.

Exciting times for whom, exactly?

This is what postmodern, history revising Christians/Evangelicals like Yohe need to understand: This was a not a normal election and Donald Trump is not a “normal” president, let alone human being. Trump’s campaign was run – and won – on fear and hatred, which last time I checked did not constitute as fruits of the Spirit. The day after he was announced the winner, a number of college campuses suspended their classes in order to provide grief counseling for students, and elementary-aged children in with dense minority (and Muslim) populations went to class feeling a LOT less safe. In my own house, all the way in South Africa, my eldest child felt compelled to call up her immigrant and first-gen friends to make sure they wouldn’t be separated from their families in the wake of this new presidency. THAT’S the kind of president Yohe, Dobson & Co. support and helped get elected: A pussy-grabbing, tax-evading, offspring-lusting, adulterous cad who haunts the dreams of children. We haven’t even gotten to the bit where he promises to unleash ‘law and order’ (read: stop and frisk, which also happens to be a constitutional violation) on communities that are populated with people that look just like me and my family, rather than like Vicki Yohe and hers.

But about that…

vicki-yoheIf you’re sitting here wondering just WHO the heck Vicki Yohe is, don’t feel bad about your ignorance in the least. Vicki Yohe is a blonde, Amish-looking woman with a decent set of pipes. Performing on Church Chitlin circuit has buoyed her career. You see, Yohe sings Gospel, or a form thereof. She’s very much given to runs, and when no one else in the industry would really give her a chance, we took her in. “We”, meaning “Black Folk”. Because that’s what we do. We are constantly extending the hand of reconciliation. We take in everyone’s orphans, fix ‘em up, encourage them, put ‘em on and then the moment they get on, they leave us for a white girl. Or in this case, a tiny-handed, anus-mouth-shaped Tang Aberration that happens to occupy the highest seat in the land.

For Vicki Yohe to suggest that Jesus is excitedly sprinting His divine self – with luggage in tow – back into the White House because godliness is hallmark of the Trump administration is not only laughable, it’s insulting. Her suggestion smacks of the sort of idiocy that has so many people disgusted with the church body at large, and it makes a mockery of God the Father, the Holy Spirit and Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. The only reason Joshua the Messiah would be running to the White House at that speed would be so that He could bleed all over it with the hope of redeeming it; not because He approves of any the shenanigans going on in there. Now, as you might imagine, the Internet grabbed a hold of her digitized foolishness and drug Vicki for filth. I can’t say she doesn’t deserve every word of verbal chastisement lobbed at her, and when the Sable Saints drag you, it’s bound to leave a mark.

It is in the realization that she’d been marked that caused Vicki to go full Becky on us, rather than leaving it be and letting time heal all wounds. Check out her ‘apology’:

screen-shot-2017-01-26-at-4-04-54-am

Right? You read that, right? Like, why is this in the third person? Because that coward couldn’t even craft her own “I’m sorry”! Oh, you were all big and bad when you told women all over the country – women who have survived assault, or had to comfort a friend in its aftermath, or who fear its impend for themselves or fellow woman/girl – that they could ‘march all they want’ because their voices didn’t matter, right? And then aren’t you the same woman, insulted by both your white AND Christian privilege who assured Donald Trump that if so many oppose him, he must being doing something right? Then why you running scared now? After all, you got all these people on the Internet streets opposing you…surely by your own logic… you’ve said and done something praiseworthy? But you’re scared, because now your livelihood and reputation is at stake.

As insulting as it was to insinuate that the Obama White House was devoid of God’s presence, it is even more repugnant that Vicki Yohe, through her publicist (who is clearly another white woman or a very, very young, very naive white man) would attempt to cause division among Black believers by putting the blame for her idiocy on the feet of Shaun King, a vocal voice in the BLM movement.

screen-shot-2017-01-26-at-4-06-17-am

All Shaun did was read your filth for what it was. That she would now try to cause a rift between Black Lives Matter and the Black church by alleging that “they” are trying to destroy her is some slimy white damsel in distress raggedy-ness that only deserves one place: the trash can. To now ask Christians – ostensibly Black Christians – to rally behind God’s will (i.e. her protection) while putting aside their Blackness and/or womanhood (i.e. our identity) is not just mischievous; it’s cruel. More so as I have yet to see an overzealous officer/sexual deviant/oppressor alive who takes the time differentiate if a potential victim meets any of these criteria before exacting their terror. Now we are being asked to choose between the two identities for her sake? Is this ever asked of white believers? In the words of Sister Whitney Houston the departed, Hell naw!

No one is trying to ‘destroy’ Vicki Yohe. Vicki Yohe played herself. Yohe posted that meme, Yohe added her comments, and now Yohe got herself uninvited from the Church Chitlin circuit, which happens to be populated by people that look like me, and which also happens to butter her bread. That’s what’s got her shook right now. She’s staring at red in her ledger with a potential loss of cheddar.

Unfortunately for her, most people have read write through her pathetic attempt at pivoting and punting, and true to their word will never buy another Yohe album or have her invited to minister to their congregation(s) again. And yet fortunately for Vicki Yohe, she insulted the first Black president’s administration, disregarded the safety of children of color, and rubbished the feelings of women. The spirit of patriarchy is strong in the Black church, and there will certainly be those pastors who invite her back to unload her warbling alto on their members. She won’t even have to repent. All she’ll have to do is weep some pretty white tears, brood over her “trials” (never mind that they were brought on by her own doing) and all will be forgiven. The elders of the church will be called to form a prayer circle around her so that “no weapon formed against her shall prosper”; when in reality they need to be praying for the spirit of self-control to come over that mouth. They will serve as Charlamagne to her Tomi Lahren.

index

I could just vomit.

The American church – and all who emulate it – is in really bad shape. As we sit, the only two requirements needed to qualify as a godly person/government are tied up in opposing two concepts: Gay marriage and abortion.
That’s it. That’s all! As long as you oppose gay marriage and abortion, you get a cape and a certificate from the Evangelical/Charismatic movement that reads Super Saint.

However, these aren’t the only issues that are dear to God’s heart and it’s disingenuous to propose that they are when someone as prominent as Yohe says, “Barack Obama introduced policies that Christians did not agree with”. What you are saying is that the Obama administration made it easier to gain access to safe abortions and paved the way to legalize gay marriage.

But what was the Father’s mandate to Adam in the Garden? Was it not to watch over its protection and proliferation? And yet we have a climate change denier who removed all references to the phenomenon that is harming Earth. Is that a Christian policy?

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Or what about when God instructed His people to ‘make the alien welcome you, for you were once wonderers in the land.’ Do Trump’s attitudes towards immigrants and his policy on immigrants sound vindictive or godly to you?

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What about training a child up in the way that s/he should go? Have you seen Trump’s pick for Secretary of Education? Is this the way you want our future to go?!?screen-shot-2017-01-26-at-3-21-28-am

 

Ma’am! Vicki Yohe! Go have a seat somewhere. It’s going to take you a while to come back from this – not because of what you’ve done – but because of who you are. The Blessed Auntie Angelou said, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.”
Today, we believe you to be Becky, Choir Leader of the Bedraggled and of the Highest Order of Messy.

Is Sugabelly Sick… Or Are We Just Too Repulsed to Admit That’s She’s Right?

Sugabelly is a personality on Twitter who has gained notoriety through expressing radical views on feminism and her disdain for certain aspects of Nigerian culture, among other things. I followed her for about 24 hours 2 or more years ago, but I found her espoused positions on Abrahamic faiths not just intolerant (which is inconsequential, as we are living in a post-tolerance age), but unnecessarily malevolent. She routinely makes it a point to denigrate people who ascribe to Judeo-Christian beliefs and I personally didn’t require that sort of abuse in my life. Nevertheless, she has a legion of followers and a verified account, which is to say that she may not be astute in all her suppositions, but she certainly has influence. All this is to say that I only hold a vague familiarity with the way her mind works, so I don’t pretend to speak for her. Like Charlie Sheen’s wish wish for 2016 to take Trump instead of the slew of talented people it felled, Sugabelly does take a position many have wrestled with internally, but would never be stupid/courageous enough to assert publicly.

This is one of her most recent contributions to the conversation about gender and oppression in global society.

screen-shot-2017-01-03-at-4-50-57-am

I hardly know where to begin. One person described Sugabelly as being that “one chimpanzee who couldn’t wait to begin controversy in the new year.” It’s been pretty quite on the news front – the media’s constant shoveling of Trump’s shyte notwithstanding – and I was really hoping that we’d begin the first conversation of the new year with something more mundane. Something like…oh, I dunno… 10 ways to lose 10 pounds in 10 days, but the Innanet gods would not have it so. So here we are.

Women like Sugabelly are not particularly welcome in nouveau (African) feminists circles because they pose a real threat to the advancement of the African feminist agenda, such as I have casually observed it. She – and the women who ascribe to her values – are seen as extremists, and unrepentant ones at that. The average African feminist is more DuBoisian in her approach to equality, seeking to integrate (and ingratiate) themselves with men, whereas Sugabelly is far more radical; dare I say early Malcolm X in her approach. Her utterances often give the Talented Tenth of Afri-feminist leadership palpitations, but few women are willing to take her on directly. Frequently, they are content to discuss and deride her from the safety of their inboxes or personal Facebook walls, but rarely in her mentions where it truly counts. I see why. Sugabelly is relentless and malicious. She’ll hurt your feelings BAD, and it’s hard to recover from a Sugabelly inflicted injury.

But as to her latest remarks: Does she have a point? It will shock you to hear me say it, but I believe so. In a twisted way, I think she’s right, and the way people interact (or avoid interaction) with Sugabelly herself is testament to that.

Before you misunderstand me; NO, I do not think that women should begin wholesale, systematic murder of men every time they are slighted. That would be to advocate the same fragile masculinity we all universally agree is a juvenile and abhorrent response to a negative experience. I wish – and do hope – that Sugabelly will take the time to express her views in detail, but in the immediate absence of that occurrence, I will attempt to interpret what I think is her eventual conclusion here.

Men see men as human, while men see women as objects. This was the conclusion that one of my favorite bloggers and thinkers came to on a recent thread on Twitter. A woman is something that a man acquires, which is why men comfortably equate their relationship with women to the condition of a car, a timeshare, what have you. Because women are objects to be acquired, possessed, controlled and governed, there is a diminished fear of women, certainly a tapering of respect for the gender. We see this in how relationships with women are pursued, however casual.

Image source: pintrest

Image source: pintrest

Assume a man – your average Joe of average breeding – is looking to expand his social circle of male compatriots. Say he’s looking to play basketball with a new set of friends. What are the chances that he’s going to sit on his stoop and “holla” at every passing guy who looks like he’d be fit enough to engage in a pick up game? Very slim, because men are more likely to respond violently if they feel like they’ve been disrespected.

“Ei, dawg. Ei! You wanna hit the court with me yo? Then maybe we can hit the showers afterwards…. Whatsamatter? You don’t like new friends? I’m just trying to holla atcha, homie!”

He’d get his clock cleaned, for sure. Or even if he didn’t he’s subconsciously aware that engaging with another man in such a manner increases his chances of a series of blows to the face. And yet women are expected to respond favorably to catcalls, whistles and comments from perfect strangers about their bodies or what the verbal assailant would do to that body behind closed doors. Because women aren’t “human”. They are “women”, which is something else entirely in the minds of many men. #NotAllMen

It is unfortunate that the threat of violent retaliation is what motivates people (in this conversation, men) to treat others with respect and dignity. If more men found themselves among these statistics, I’ve no doubt that the conversation – and attitudes – about respecting boundaries where women are concerned. The UN Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women published the following quick facts on its website:

  • In Guatemala, two women are murdered, on average, each day.
  • In India, 8,093 cases of dowry-related death were reported in 2007; an unknown number of murders of women and young girls were falsely labeled ‘suicides’ or ‘accidents’.
  • In Australia, Canada, Israel, South Africa and the United States, between 40 and 70 percent of female murder victims were killed by their intimate partners.
  • In the State of Chihuahua, Mexico, 66 percent of murders of women were committed by husbands, boyfriends or other family members.

It is estimated that in America alone, an average of 3 women are killed per day by her intimate partner.This speaks nothing of the women who are assaulted in bars, parks and other public spaces for unforgivable infraction for not speaking back, refusing to provide a working phone number upon request and “not smiling”. Can you imagine a man smashing another man in the face because he didn’t smile in response? If there is violence against another male to be perpetrated, it’s in response to stepping on another man’s new shell toes or bumping into him, causing him to spill his drink. Even then, the threat of violence is quickly deescalated and neutralized with a simple, “My bad, bruh.”

Naturally, I don’t agree that women should have to resort to slapping the taste out of every man who presents himself as a disrespectful figure, but I do acknowledge that that sort of fear has power. The threat of immediate, swift and brutal retaliation is how African slaves were kept in check all over the New World and how African dictators maintain power. The threat of bodily harm, or withholding resources that will eventually lead to the body’s ability to thrive, is an effective tool of oppression. And right now, that tool is employed with regularity by patriarchal men.

Is Sugabelly’s assessment that societies can’t improve until women begin to employ the same oppressive tactics, including killing? Yes; but just as sick is the society/justice that gives a man 3 months in jail for raping a woman behind a dumpster, or one that forces 13 year old girls to marry her rapist. I think that as repugnant as her assertion is, it is even more so that global attitudes about gender relations give it credibility. The grim reality is that she’s not entirely wrong. By and large, our global societies are founded on and governed by the idea that might = right.

If only we could all be more like Iceland…

2016’s Final Abomination: The Desolation of Jollof Rice

I’m getting pretty tired of writing about how awful 2016 has been and continues to be. My fatigue has compelled me to ignore several events that have transpired in pop culture and favor silence instead of comment. It’s not everything that requires a verbal (or written) reaction, abi? But dear brothers and sisters, there is something that took place on December 23, 2016 – an event so seismic that is has shaken the core and foundation of all who have witnessed it. I speak of course of the utter destruction of Jollof Rice. And as for this one, I will talk. I will shout. I will scream for butchery of our precious jollof!

As you are reading this, you may be tempted to lose hope in the honor of humanity. It’s hard for me to encourage you not to in this dark hour. I mean, what manner of evil soul would violate jollof in this manner? And Essence magazine: why would you allow yourself to be used of the deh-vol in this way? How could you publish this thing and expect the world to go on as usual? Why would you allow yourself to be used as an instrument of Beelzebub’s dark plans? There are so many questions, and I’m not really interested in the answers. After all, how do you answer the query, “WHY?!?!?!”

There’s no response you can give that can satisfy and rectify the gravity of this heinousness.giphy

Let’s dispense with the pleasantries, shall we? In a now deleted post on Essence.com, the culinary assassin who conjured this weaponized version of West Africa’s favorite meal dubbed it a “jollof rice remix that is sure to be a crowd pleaser.” Well, we the West African delegation have news for this misguided individual. We polled the brethren, and 20/10 West Africans disagree with that assessment. We disagree for ourselves and we disagree on behalf of our future generations.

You have not earned our respect, only our scorn.

You have not earned our respect, only our scorn.

Either the author – or the chef doubling as one – called the recipe a “remix” in the article. Are you P. Diddy? Are you Kirk Franklin? Who sent you to be remixing things? Hein? Answer the question! My friend, why are you answering the question? Will you just keep quiet? Ah! Nonsense.

Let’s examine the ingredients in this punishment you would have us believe qualifies as a meal. It is jollof rice, but your first ingredient is beans. As the post has been taken down, I cannot share with you the precise details, but here are the steps for making Jollof Remix as I recall them:

1 cup of black-eyed peas, soaked overnight.

1 cup of rice

1 can crushed tomatoes

salt and pepper

Some carrots and some green beans

Some chicken

 

Take the water that you soaked the beans in overnight and used that to cook the rice…

Honestly, it was at this point that I stopped reading. My blood pressure had reached unmanageable levels and I began to fear an apoplexy would overtake and finish me. Holy Ghost FIYAH burn this person. What do you think you are doing? Is your dish suffering an identity crisis?

As my sister aptly put it, “It’s like the chef began making red-red (plantain and beans), was knocked unconscious; woke up to make rice, fell asleep; mistook their location for India and therefore threw in some curry; was roused from brief slumber and decided that because Essence Fest is typically held in Louisiana, a helping of gumbo stirred into the mess was appropriate.”

And then they had the audacity to call the monstrosity a ‘Jollof Remix’. Mighty God. This is not any kind of jollof at all. This dish has a name that is uttered in the spiritual realm, and we must cast it down as we would any other principality and/or power that must submit itself to the name of Jesus. osidhoshohdhosdhsbsaiuhsihdoshodhs!!!

This is serious. This means we have to go and find Jamie ‘Lemon Wedge’  Oliver and apologize to him. Because as devastating as his jollof “interpretation” was on our psyche, at least that British man had the decency not to put BEANS in jollof. Chei! How you mix beans and carrots together? Have you seen ANY PLACE in the world where they do this? Even whypipo don’t do this, and you know how we love to mock them for the funniness and blandness of their food. You this Remix Chef: You are an enemy of progress, an agent of destruction, a force for evil. You mean us evil and not good, and we will not take this sitting down.

You have to understand: Jollof Wars is not an actual war ooo. No one has to die. We were all playing nicely in our Jollof Wars and then you came and did this. We were gently ribbing one another. It was all fun and games until you brought this canon to the tournament. And then you opened fire and hit us all with your canon balls. And then you picked up the canon and rolled it over our lifeless corpses. Was this really necessary? What were you trying to accomplish by doing this?

imagesI don’t think you understand the damage you’ve done. We are trying to further and heal fractured Diasporani-Continental relations (wherever possible) this year. Blitz the Ambassador has released an album that is supposed to fuse us spiritually. For the first time in a long while, Africans on the Continent are standing in solidarity with African Americans’ fight for social justice in greater numbers. We’re beginning to look for ways to work together and rebuff the suspicion and resentment that has separated us for so long. My dear Brother/Sister Remix Chef: your food is not helping things. You have killed us all.

Look, we understand. Jollof is a magical thing and everyone enjoys a bit of magic from time to time. We look forward to magic. We want it to touch our lives. What you have to get is that not everyone is a magician. Okay? You have not been trained in the fine arts of spell weaving, and because you are untrained, you have unleashed a curse. In these Jollof Wars, everyone has a part to play. Your job is to consume and appreciate, not to charge into battle unfocused and unequipped.

I don’t know how, but we will have to fight our way back from this one. There’s one good thing to come of this, however. Nigerians and Ghanaians are united against this foe. We are looking to each other for consolation. I don’t think anything has forged us together this powerfully since Luis Suárez crushed the dreams of millions of Africans in 2010 with his foolish Uruguay fist. Essence.com, do you remember that pain? Please don’t do anything to revisit that sort of agony upon us in the future by publishing this trickery. We beg you.

 Dear Jollof: RIP.

I’m sorry this was done to you.

Return If Possible.

We need you.

Image Source: Styloquence

Image Source: Styloquence

Theory: Why The 66% Bent Over To Give Trump A Better Angle From Which to Grab ‘Em By The Pussy

Up until 3 weeks before the election, I was 80% certain that Donald Trump was going to win the presidency. I had voiced this repeatedly on Facebook, to the horror of my Democrat leaning/voting friends. As far as race and justice are concerned, I haven’t had faith in America in a long time – not since I’ve grown up past the pleasures of Saturday morning cartoons and birthday parties at Showbiz. I know it to be a country founded and built on genocide, man stealing, rape and broken treaties. Donald Trump’s peculiar brand of horribleness resonated with the soul of the nation. I could feel it.

I’ve worked in retail for the last 7 years, so I’ve seen how angry white people – white men, particularly – have been. Working in any service industry allows you to see people either at their best or their absolute worst. And because my job necessitated me working with the general public, I got to see and serve ‘real Americans’, unfiltered, for 8-24 hours a week, depending on my schedule.

What I saw wasn’t pretty.

Nevertheless, I allowed a friend of mine convince me that a Trump presidency was highly unlikely. She sent me this breakdown from the NY Times and I permitted myself to be lulled by the predictions of pollsters who had the benefit of access to resources that would allow them make (somewhat) scientific conclusions based on data gathered in real time. For what is intuition and lived experience compared to data? Surely I was wrong.

index

Well, as we all know, the polls were trash, as were the predictions, and I was right. There is a proboscis monkey and his caterwauling troop headed the White House come January. But how did it happen? Hours after the results came in, everyone was still stunned, wondering how he did it. Fingers were pointed everywhere: at minority voters who might have not turned up in force to support Hillary, or the thousands of Americans who wrote in “Harambe” on their ballots, or even those who siphoned votes from HRC to Gary Johnson in protest. Who, who I say, could be responsible for this folly?!

Once the raw data came in, it was clear who gave Trump his victory: White women.

But hadn’t Trump offended them too? Wasn’t he an alleged sexual predator who not only imposed his carnal desires on women – admitting himself that he ‘just starts kissing them’ without waiting for permission – a man who said you could do anything to a woman if you were “a star”? And since we know his appetites don’t swing toward swirl, we could only conclude that the targets of perverse urges would be white women. He wasn’t talking about kissing me. So how did white women – of all economic backgrounds, in possession of several degrees or none – bring themselves to put a man who has pretty much admitted that he has no impulse control when his fist is in close proximity to any warm vagina, potentially their own?

I have my own theory based on lived experience, and since my intuition has proven more accurate than scientific polls, I’ll share it with you.

It all boils down to white female survival at the expense of all else… or what we refer to in Ghana as stomach politics.

White women have been listening to their husbands, boyfriends and blessers bellyache about a Black man in the White House for the past 8 years. President Obama successfully won two terms, in part because of the support of the white female voter. 56% of white female college educated voters gave Obama their mandate in 2008. Mitt Romney was able to siphon off some of those numbers, reducing President Obama’s support from this group to just 42% – this despite Romney’s “binders full of women” gaffe. Nevertheless, President Obama prevailed and will complete his second term come January. 😦

From binding bodies to clamping pussies

I don’t know if white female voters enjoy being denigrated by their potential elected officials. It’s a possibility, since they were able to overlook the utterances of a man who has called women ‘fat’, ‘ugly’, ‘pigs’ and bragged about grabbing them by the genitals. Maybe Trump saw Romney’s post-binder surge and figured it was the code to connecting with this group of women. I don’t know. I DO know that those women who were fresh faced and right out of college went on to work, started families (most of them with white men) and watched real life come at them fast. There was no picket fence and dutiful, unseen colored gardener at the other end of “I do” in 2009. Everyone had to tighten their belts and pull up their socks in this new economy, and even though President Obama came into office during the worst recession America had seen since the Great Depression – somehow, according to conservatives – it was his entire fault that the event happened in the first place.

President Obama has been blamed for everything from crop failure to the creation of ISIS. It’s strange, but white men have been able to look at the world’s suffering – the poverty, the war, the genocide – and imagine that they are somehow suffering those precise fates. They look at the gains that people of other races and circumstances have made under the Obama administration (gay marriage, the fight for income equality, etc.) and imagine that this somehow robs them of prosperity. With this new imaginary reality firmly implanted in their consciousness, the persona of the Angry Endangered White Male emerges, and it is his mandate to take America back and make it great, safe (and white) again. The white man’s existence as an endangered being is all a phantasm, of course. The raw truth is that median incomes for white males have historically outpaced those of their male counterparts of color, and even saw a slight increase under the Obama administration in 2014-2015.

screen-shot-2016-11-10-at-2-32-28-pm

(Source U.S. Bureau of the Census)

But you can’t tell an irrational white male that, and it’s certainly not his longsuffering wife’s position to do so either. His enemy becomes her enemy, and if her beloved is feeling less inclined to fork out cash for trips to Destin because ‘times are lean’ under that n*gger in charge, then her duty is to make sure she does all she can to get that obstacle out of the way… which in this case could be solved with a simple vote. This is why Hillary could not have possibly been a suitable replacement for Obama. As he said clearly in one impassioned stump speech rallying support for Clinton:

“My name may not be on the ballet, but my policies are on the ballot!”

What? This is just too much.

You’re probably thinking to yourself, “Malaka, how do you know this? This is just conjecture!”

I know this because of Bones. And because I people watch.

Before the dot com bubble burst, people were coming out of university demanding $40-50K salaries, with no experience, and getting them. The economy was booming because people were spending an obscene amount of money on luxury goods. But then the bubble DID burst, and everything went to hell. While some people were forced to take a reduction in salary to keep their jobs, others just lost their livelihoods altogether. It was a hard time and people were really concerned; concerned about things that really matter.

“Does that mean we’re not going to be able to go to Bones every Friday?” a painted 50-something woman dripping in costume baubles squawked to her husband.

People were wondering how their rents were going to be paid, and here she was concerned about whether she’d be able to schmooze and booze it up at a local high-end steak house.

Stomach politics.

Not convinced? Perhaps you might recall the Trumpettes, whose explanation for why Donald Trump would make such a great leader is if he could do such a fantastic job with his club – where there are options for 75 different desserts – he could certainly replicate that sort of excellence as president.

Madam! We are not making cheesecake in the Oval Office! What…?

Again, stomach politics.

You think I’m lying. Google it.

I’m not surprised white women sold us out. I’m surprised people consider white womanhood an enduring ally. From Harriet to this week, we’ve seen them do this before. Oh, they are more than happy to take those small business loans set aside for monitories, but outside of that, this is not a group of women who identifies with the disenfranchised. This only comes as a shock to those who are unfamiliar with Susan B. Anthony’s racist quirks that served as the hallmark for the Suffragette Movement and then formed the basis of modern day white feminism. 66% of white women voted for Trump because it was good for white men, and because they are still dependent on the rewards of a white male patriarchal society. Their fortunes are inextricably linked. So it doesn’t matter if Trump unleashes a newly formed police force (Gestapo) to separate immigrant parents from their American-born kids, or if he orders Giuliani to implement Stop & Frisk in Black and brown communities, or even if Trump himself shows up at the Toddlers and Tiaras pageant and starts snatching 13 year old girls by the crotch. As long as that 401K is protected, the rest of us can go hang.

But, but, Malaka. What about all the anti-Trump protests breaking out all over the country? Look at all the young white women taking to the streets!

Hush. Those chicks aren’t out there protesting for ME. They’re out there protesting for access to birth control. How many of these same women turned for Black Lives Matter rallies?

Selah. I’ll wait.

 

I Need My Finances To Find The Hem Of Jesus’ Garment…Quickly

hem-of-his-garment

My phone rang deep in the night as I was settling my head into my pillow. It was a dear friend calling from the US.

“Girl, I know it’s late where you are…but we haven’t spoken in a while so I don’t care.”

I laughed at her candor and told her I didn’t mind. I wasn’t going to be able to go right to sleep anyway. I had too much on my mind.

“What’s going on with you?” she asked.

“Girl,” I sighed.

“Girl!” she exhaled in response.

Now that the universal code for struggle-recognizes-struggle-but-yet-still-holding-on had been uttered, we set about the business of laying out the particulars of said struggle which always are (in no particular order): husbands, children, crazy folk en masse and in general, and finances. Finances were foremost on my mind. I told her as much when she asked:

“Did I miss something on the blog? It’s been quiet.”

“No,” I cackled. “You ain’t missed a thing. I wrote one piece last week, and that’s it. I might not even post this week. I need to figure some things out before I worry about writing…”

And it’s true.

Okay guys: This is me just talking here; just keeping it really real mmmkay? I’m feeling really vulnerable right now. I just need to talk things through. I need a miracle, and more importantly, my finances need a touch from the healing hand of the Lord Jesus Christ…or whatever His Hebrew name was before it was colonized by the Romans. Come to think of it, it’s probably why Jesus don’t really be answering prayer as quickly as we would like. “Jesus” is the Son of God’s field name…like Toby. Remember when the white people stole Kunta’s name in Roots? We done Toby-ed Jesus.

That’s not the point of this post.

Whatever the case may be, my account is hemorrhaging; It’s experiencing a proverbial issue of blood, and it needs just one Benny Hinn TOUCH! of anointing to set it straight.

Benny Hinn at Maple Leaf Gardens on Sept. 28, 1992 photos by Tony Bock/Toronto Star and handout photo.

Benny Hinn at Maple Leaf Gardens on Sept. 28, 1992 photos by Tony Bock/Toronto Star and handout photo.

It’s not like I’m not trying to inject some juice into this dried out fiscal turkey. It’s not like I’m sitting around waiting for someone to just hand me some money. I mean, I’m selling EVERYTHING and ANYTHING. That’s what Oprah and them said to do, right? Provide value for value? Whatchu need? Chances are, I’ve got it.

You need organic deodorant and essential oils? I gotchu.

You need books? Done.

You looking to buy a house? I’m selling one of those too!

Chicka chikow for some chicka chi-change!

Chicka chikow for some chicka chi-change!

The only things I haven’t done yet is tap dance on Vaudeville for a few coins, and in if the price is right, I’ll do that too! Just for that TOUCH!

I don’t have the words today, MOM Squad and Random Readers, which is why I’ve prepared this short video to convey my concern. I don’t cuss (often) and I try to treat my fellow man right (when they aren’t being insufferable douche bags), so why these fiscal trials and tribulations? Doesn’t the universe know that Christmas is coming? Don’t the ancients of days know that there is nothing more cliche than a child in Africa with no access to the delights of commercialized western Christmas? Next thing you know, the dudes from Wham(!) will be on my stoop talkin’ about some Feed the World, and I’ll be forced to listen to their condescension all because my finances couldn’t grab a hold of the heavenly hem!  Not for my children’s first Christmas in Africa. I reject it in Jesus’ name!

dotheyknowitschristmas_960

All I have is this one desire…for the linen of the Son of the Lamb to brush up against my Suntrust account and do its thing.

 

Do you need Jesus to brush up on your dollar bills too? Let’s join our faith with one another, right here in the comments section. Yessss…wind of God, blow. Whooosh!