No! White Privilege Will Not Start A War!

That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works!

“Otto’s fate deepens my Administration’s determination to prevent such tragedies from befalling innocent people at the hands of regimes that do not respect the rule of law or basic human decency,” he added.” -Donald Trump via New York Post

My heart goes out to Otto Warmbier and his family. And it is unfortunate what happened to him and unfair considering the minor crime he committed. But this has to be said… ‘Befalling innocent people?!’ No sir, he was not innocent. His whiteness does not make him innocent. He went to a country he had no business going to. And he stole while he was there. That does not denote innocence.

It was North Korea, for god’s sake! Not the United States of White Privilege. You don’t go to a country like that and even take a piss wrong. Especially if you’re a foreigner from a rival country.

Warmbier is a sad, but prime example of white privilege that does not extend to non-white countries. Dear White people, when you go to Asian, African (predominately black), and/or South American countries, you will not get the same benefits that you get here in the States or European countries. Just like the kid in Singapore back in the 90s who was caned for vandalism.

Let this sink in…Your whiteness will not protect you there like it does here.

Yet, I heard that some in the GOP were calling for action against North Korea. Oh hell no!!! We should not have to go to war because some kid forgot he wasn’t in America and committed a crime. He should not have lost his life, but this is why you don’t commit crimes in countries you know nothing about. But I’ll tell you this, most people know (especially those with enough money to travel abroad) not to go to a country like N.Korea and fuck around like you’re in small town USA and get a pat on the back and a verbal warning by the local sheriff (if you’re white). And guess what? There have been plenty of inmates right here in ‘Murica that have died at the hands of guards and not a single thing happened to the guards. Particularly if the inmate was a minority. Oh, and let’s not forget the brutality of actual innocent black folks going about their day by cops too. That type of injustice happens right here all the time. Now that the shoe is on the other foot, it hurt, don’t it?

So no, GOP. How about you…

several seats

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They’re Out of Your League!

Baseball Game

“He’s out of your league.”

I’ve always hated this turn of phrase. Whenever it has been said to me in regards to a guy that I like, it’s like a punch to the gut.

First of all, whose place is it to tell you or anyone else whether or not someone is “out of your league?” Secondly, that’s just rude anyway. Just a slightly more polite way of saying you’re too ugly, too fat, too nerdy, too poor, and so on and so forth.

So a couple of days ago, I was thinking about a past relationship that was very short and didn’t work out. In my mind, I was quick to think that it didn’t work out because I was out of his league and I inwardly cringed because it was a stupid thought. I’m no better than anyone else.

Which got me to thinking, how could we describe it without being so offensive and cruel?

Spheres 1

To me, it’s more like spheres or circles. Each person has a set of characteristics that make them who they are. All of those features are added together within your sphere. Education, looks, body type, job/career, income, goals, intelligence, and whether or not you’re cultured. Obviously, we have other things that factor into who we are as people, but these are the attributes or lack thereof  more often than not that makes someone “out of another’s league.”

Spheres 2

But the reason why saying someone is out of another’s league doesn’t work, is because everyone is going to be better than someone else in another way. And sometimes some of your characteristics are going to match with someone, while other features won’t. It’s up to the individual on whether they’re willing to overlook those differences.

I have my Bachelors degree (which I’ve never really used, mind you), I’m a writer (aka poor for now), I’m cute, I’m chubby, I have average to high intelligence (never officially measured), I love to travel the world, and I have high goals. What makes a man who has the same degree as me, same intelligence level, similar job, high aspirations, somewhat higher income, but drop dead gorgeous with an outstanding body out of my league? What makes me unworthy of him? Because I’m fat? Which doesn’t equate to lazy or inactive, by the way.

Well, I call bullshit on that. If we match in almost every way that matters, as well as personality, what does it matter that I’m fluffy and he’s not?

Or let’s say, he’s smart as a whip, but never went to college, he’s kinda cute with a dad-bod, and has a good job working at the electric company making bank (much more than me). What makes me out of his league? Because I went to college and he did not? Hell, he’s making more than me!

These rules and restrictions we put on each other are ridiculous. Men fear dating fluffy and/or less pretty women because of what their friends, family, and society will say. And women will pass up a great guy because he’s not making the right amount of money her friends, family, and society says he should be making. Or because he doesn’t have the same education level as her.

And we wonder why the divorce rate is so high. Stop worrying about everyone else, and go with who you know damn well is right for you.

And screw the leagues! We’re all playing on the same diamond (life). Just in different positions. No one position more important than the other. If we learn to play correctly, we just might make the perfect team.

 

P.s. I think half the time when someone tells another person that a guy/girl is out of their league, they’re really saying, “Oh hell no! She/he better not get that hot/wealthy/smart/well-traveled person! There’s no way that he/she is better than me and can pull someone like that when I can’t!” When someone says it, don’t be disheartened. It’s more of a reflection of how they feel about themselves than what they think of you. Jealousy is an ugly and complex thing.

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World…

 

couples-holding-hands

I haven’t published a blog post in quite some time because I honestly couldn’t form the words to explain how I have been feeling. Though there have been plenty of blogs and articles I’ve read recently where the writer articulated my feeling perfectly. So I’ll let them handle all that. I, on the other hand, wanted to rant and rave and scream and cry. I did a little bit of everything, except scream. But I was close.

Anyway, in the past three years, the last thing I’ve been too concerned with is finding a man. For the most part, I’ve been entirely too wrapped up in trying to further my writing career to worry about getting into a relationship. But lately, I’ve been feeling the loneliness and slight desperation of being single. I couldn’t really figure out why. And then it hit me.

I’ve been seeking a friend for the end of the world.

Never is it more imperative to be surrounded by love than when tragedy strikes or hard times are imminent. So as I watch Hitler the second coming, build his regime against all people that look like me and other minority groups, I swallow with real fear and look around for anyone to hold my hand…

There is no one.

Don’t get me wrong. I have my parents. But it’s just not the same. My dad needs to focus on protecting my mom and vice versa. They don’t need to be worried about me too. I need my own set of strong and sure arms to seek comfort in and to give comfort back. And I ain’t got it. That’s right. I used ain’t. It fits my mood and the current situation.

We are smack dab in the middle of cuffing season (the chilly time of year where people decide to couple up). But this time, we have more reason than ever to cuff ourselves to someone and for the long haul. All of our futures are unsure at the moment. We have no idea what’s to come. A second Civil War, WWIII, the start of the Hunger Games, nuclear winter, an even worse Great Depression or all of the above. So I say if you can find a pretty damn good person to cuff yourself to. Do it. Do it now!

As for myself… I’m taking applications.

end-of-the-world

 *Side note: I’ll even take a fellow single woman if nothing more than to team up for the apocalypse. Girl Scout training preferable. I’ve watched a lot of Bear Grylls, myself. I’m also pretty smart and resourceful.

He Loves Me… He Loves Me Not

he-loves-me

Do you remember as a kid picking the vibrant petals off of a helpless flower in order to figure out if a boy loved you?

I do. I did it all the time. And I think it seriously f*cked with my head. Instead of saying, ‘he loves me, he loves me not’ we should’ve been saying, ‘do I love him, do I love him not?’

You see, I just had a small epiphany this morning. A sort of breakthrough, if you will.

I am currently, for the first time in years, in the hopes of dating someone. We don’t know each other yet, but there seems to be an attraction between us physically and I’m anxious to see if that attraction will go anywhere (mentally, intellectually, spiritually, etc). Now, as an expert overanalyzer, I have a habit of hoping and praying that whatever guy I’m interested in likes me. And shortly after waking up this morning I had to tell myself, “Wait a minute! How about I hope that I like him too!”

You see. I was so focused on wanting to be liked that I wasn’t focusing on how important it is for me to like him as well. It’s like, ‘Hold up! He has to impress me just as much as I have to impress him.” And I think focusing on being liked, is what gets us in trouble. It’s what gets us walked on and treated like yesterday’s leftovers.

The last guy I dated, who put a very bad taste in my mouth, walked all over me. I let him. All because I wanted him to love me. And when I look back, I barely even liked that dick stain. I was in love with someone that I didn’t even like. Or better put, I was in love with the idea of love. I was in love with the potential of this man, but not the man himself. And all because of my need to be liked/loved.

Don’t get me wrong. Of course, I want the person I’m feeling to like or love me. But I can’t lose sight of the fact that I’m an important part of this relationship or potential relationship too. Relationships are a two-way street.

It’s all about being present in the moment. If you’re off thinking about your future tiptoeing through the tulips in your wedding dress and him in his tux, him making you breakfast in bed, buying you flowers on Valentine’s Day, so on and so forth. You’ll be too busy in the present to pay attention to the fact that he’s eyeballing the waitress, asking you to foot the bill on the first date, burping rudely at the table, or only looking down your cleavage instead of in your eyes. That is how you fall in love with someone you don’t even like.

I think if everyone, woman or man, goes into a possible relationship with the thought of ‘I hope we like each other’ versus ‘I hope he/she likes me,’ our relationships would be off to a much better start.

Think about it.

***I do not own the rights to this photograph.

 

Word-of-Mouth Dies on the Lips of White Readers

I’ve been a self-published author for nearly three years. I’ve published 12 works and can now kind of gauge what’s happening with my books and readers by my sales. The majority of my readers are Black women since I write Interracial Erotic Romance with a main focus on Black Woman/White Man characters. Though my books rarely ever even address race. They’re just love stories like any other. Anyway, I digress.

When a book is first released, especially books that were available for pre-order, sales start out relatively high. After a while, depending on how well you promoted and how many readers are spreading the word, sales can peter off. Then let’s say, a few months later, I see Book 1 of one of my series sells on Monday, then on Tuesday or before Monday is even over, Book 2 is purchased and shortly after that Book 3. I can tell that it was more than likely one person that was really into my series and snatched up all the books. Then within a couple days of that random purchase, I’ll see sales for Book 1 shoot up when it had flat-lined for quite some time. It is relatively obvious then that the original reader told her friends, family and co-workers about the series and they want to experience the story too. In the nutshell, word-of-mouth.

Word-of-mouth is huge for an author. You can advertise, promote, and hustle all day and it will help. But word-of-mouth is what books live and die by. I’ve heard that Fifty Shades of Grey rose to the top because of book clubs that shouted praise at the top of their lungs. And I have no doubt that many, if not all of those book clubs were predominantly white. So it’s obvious that white word-of-mouth is a powerful tool when it comes to going mainstream. As a black author, I wish it wasn’t so. Because in my experience, when it comes to a book being lead by a black female protagonist, white readers clam up tighter than a virgin inside a bank vault.

Prime example:

Chasing Day Cover

Chasing Day (Book 1): He’s the golden boy quarterback of the football team. She the shy, plump orchestra geek. Unlikely best friends. An undeniable attraction… Tap here to purchase.

I’ve been involved with a cross-promotional group of authors on Facebook for nearly a year now. It’s a mix of Romance authors, but mainly white. We blast our readers every quarter with freebies in an opportunity to expand our readership to readers that may have never found us, to begin with. For some of the black authors in the group, that means possibly finding white readers that normally wouldn’t go out of their way to look for us. In the most recent freebie blast, I gave away Chasing Day, Book 1 in a two-part series. That day, I got over 5,000 downloads. The potential for read-through to Book 2 and crossing over to new readers is definitely higher with those results. And every time we do a blast for some odd-marketing-universe-reason sales for that book shoot up even after it’s no longer free.

 

It wasn’t long before I saw definite read-through to Book 2. In fact, sales for Book 2 did remarkably well for a while, considering my still relatively newbie standards. So it’s obvious that those who have read Chasing Day so far, are liking it enough to buy the sequel. There were about 40-50 books for free in the promotion, so I don’t expect all of those 5,000+ readers to get to my book right away.

 

But also, what I noticed is that, though sales for Book 2 went up, sales for Book 1 flat-lined. Which it is glaringly obvious what’s happening, or shall I say, not happening. They are loving the story enough to continue on to the sequel. But they’re not comfortable enough to tell their friends, family, and co-workers about it. I am a reader before I am a writer. When I’ve come across a book I adore, I let it be known to anyone who will listen. And I know that is what almost all readers do. Because once you find your tribe, you have to share in the joys and heartbreak of a story. You can’t be alone in your adoration of a book. Even now, if I read a book that its characters are White Woman/White Man (i.e Archer’s Voice and Me Before You), if I love it enough, I will still tell my friends and readers about them. Even knowing that many of them prefer to read black heroines. A good book is a good book, no matter the race of the author or characters.

And I know what you’re probably thinking, “Maybe your book isn’t as good as you think it is and that’s why they aren’t sharing it.” I’ll admit, I love my series and may be biased but I seriously doubt that it’s the best series ever written. I’d have to be delusional and quite egotistical to believe that. But it’s still a good story that I poured my heart into. And a few of the white readers that were kind enough to leave a review, did in fact, sing its praises. So I’m not completely off-base in my summation here.

So I say to anyone who is reading this, I urge you, for the sake of art, if you come across a good book that you thoroughly enjoyed but it’s not something you or your friends would normally read…share it anyway. If you liked it, they probably will too. Your recommendation is our life’s blood. Our books live and die by your word-of-mouth. So for the love of God, speak up!

***Anyone interested in signing up for my newsletter to get these awesome deals and freebies I mentioned above, click here. Also, you get a free eBook when you sign up for my newsletter.***

Schools vs Natural Black Hair

Stop banning natural black hairstyles!

Every few months I read another headline or see another video about a school banning natural black hairstyles. I can’t tell you how irritating this is to me and most of the black population. So I’m writing this blog as a reference for any school board who makes up these discriminatory rules, to check when in doubt.

Let’s start by going over what it takes to straightened black hair, so that you understand why many are opting to go natural. We either need to hot-comb, flat-iron, or chemically relax our hair. Absolutely none of these methods are healthy for ANYONE’S hair. Especially, for a prolonged amount of time.

Case in point…

Our hair can either be chemically burned from our scalps or our hair can thin out permanently. I, myself, have a permanent bald spot on the back of my head, due to a relaxer. Which is why many black women have made the decision to go au naturel and have chosen to keep their daughters’ hair natural as well. This is the crux of the problem. When our hair grows out of our scalps naturally, it grows out, not down like ethnicities with finer hair textures. For whatever reason (I know why, but that’s another post), this is seen as wild, unkempt, unruly, unprofessional, etc. To call what grows naturally out of someone’s hair follicles these nasty things is so wrong on so many levels, I can’t even wrap my head around it. It’s like telling a little brunette girl that her hair color is all wrong and to go bleach it blonde to ‘fit in’ better. You’re basically telling us that how we are naturally is unacceptable. Which is traumatizing to young impressionable kids that are trying to figure out where they fit in this world.

So now, to help the clueless and ignorant, I’m going to take average hairstyles worn by people with finer textured hair and their natural black hair equivalent. Prepare to be schooled…

Messy bob worn down and an Afro:

Ponytail and an AfroPuff:

Pigtails and AfroPuffs:

Bun and Cornrows, basically when parents are too tired to do anything fancy (cornrows can be worn for a week+):

Braid w/ ponytail and Braid w/ Puff:

French braids and Twists:

And let’s not forget about the boys. I’ve heard that a black boy couldn’t go to school because he had a part cut into his hair. Let me take a moment to debunk that nonsense…

Popular undercut style and black boy equivalent:

Shaggy hair cut and dreadlocks:

And there you have it school boards across the country and around the world (that goes for predominantly black schools too). I really hope this helps, because I can’t take another stupid ban on afros, afro puffs, dreadlocks, twists, braids, so on and so forth. Many of these styles are our way of taming and working with what we have naturally in a safe and healthy way. So stop, stop, STOP trying to place us in a box that we don’t fit in. And stop telling our children that their hair isn’t acceptable. They get enough of that garbage when they turn on the TV, get online, or open a magazine. They don’t need it when they go to school and are already trying their best to fit in. You picking them out of the crowd is telling them that they’re ‘other’ and that ‘other’ isn’t good enough. STOP!

***I do not own the rights to these photos.

Team Petty

Okay, this is going to be a short one, but I had to say it after viewing a couple of pictures on Facebook. And what I’m about to say, is going to solidly put me on team petty. But I’m also on the Zero F*cks Team, so… Here goes nothing.

A small part of me- Who am I kidding? A large part of me rejoices inside when I see guys that I used to like or crushed on back in the day that didn’t give me a shot because I wasn’t the “standard of beauty,” who are just as fat and roly-poly as me now. Ha!

And I’m not talking about the guys I had crushes on that didn’t give me the time of day. I knew when a guy didn’t find me attractive in the least. I’m talking about the guys that flirted with me, were willing to make-out with me or that I was intimate with or who wanted to get intimate with me behind closed doors. Yeah, those guys. Almost every lady-D.U.F.F in the history of the world has been through this.

There’s nothing worse than a man being attracted to you, but he denies it because he’s worried about what his friends or other people are gonna think. That is the lowest of douchebags.

So to see that guy you adored, turn into a full-fledged D.U.F.F himself, is the best thing since sliced bread. Karma gave you a Dad Bod! Just saying…

Muahahahahahaha!!!

#TeamPetty