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Words Don’t Do It Justice: YOU are Forty Thousand Strong on our 2nd Anniversary

Just a reminder where we started.

Just a reminder where we started.

Words Don’t Do It Justice

“It was all a dream.

I used read word up magazine.”

I could keep going with that, but really I don’t feel like quoting too much of anyone else today. So let me address this with the style most comforting.

When this all began it was an idea.

The thought that we could give the world something in this blog that would be read by our friends, maybe a few co-workers and classmates. And every once in a while I’d get to deal with the issues I have to face on a daily basis by just ranting into a text window for 30 minutes to an hour and let the world read. Certainly if we accomplished that I would have called this a successful idea and when the view dwindled I’d close it up and say I had a good time.

But that isn’t what you did. And I say that isn’t what YOU did, because it is true. You are the reason this fun time didn’t turn into just another thing I used to do. YOU made it worth it to find Rufus, Ronin, Roddo, Rebellionista, Realistic Royalty, Princess Devy, Reign, The Revanchist, The Radical Ref, Carl McPhail, Xion, Driving Misty, Rhapsodic, Reason, Kudo, Rhythmic Journey, Revolution In A Jar, causeandeffect88, Bami O, Render Verdicts, Ruminated Thoughts, Keith Labell, Smooth Phuzion, Bree the V, TEH Bobbo, and all the people who wanted to commit but just didn’t have the time to write, be on the podcast, contribute music, or be interviewed.

That wasn’t just me plodding through on my own. That was you reading. That was you sharing. That was YOU telling the world our little corner of the internet was worth checking out. in the first year we did 3500 views. In 2 years we have done 40,000! Because of all of you. And now things are possible that weren’t not long ago. YOU made this happen. People asked me when I started what I expected. They asked me what I wanted. I just wanted people to listen to my thoughts sometimes. It was so simple back then. Now? Now I want the sky and everything beyond. lol just kidding.

Now I want to give you more of what you come here for. So covering Gaming, and other topics, We’re proud to announce that Nine To Five Gamer will be joining us run by Bami O. Look for the official page as well as forums soon. You’re going to read pieces from many of our alumni writers. And that long-awaited revamp/update to the site. I can’t promise you we’ll turn into a Super Villain run Huffington Post by tomorrow. Heck I can’t even promise that by next year. But I can promise we will keep hitting these hot topics with our cold analysis. I can promise we are committed to giving you what you came here for. And I can promise you I WILL NEVER FORGET what drives Words Don’t Do It Justice. Because what drives us is YOU!

My humanity wants to cry by my Super Villainy is smiling too hard and is too excited. Thank you all. THANK YOU. Every super fan. Every random reader Every casual person who checked us out a few times or just once. THANK YOU FOR ALL OF THIS FROM ALL OF US! We couldn’t have done all this without you. Words Do Not Do YOU Justice!

– THE Ruthless Wonder

My complex relationship with Black History Month

Yes, today especially, will be one of those days.

So one of the things I’m often loathed to deal with is the current month we take part in here in the US. And there are a lot of reasons for my general state of annoyance. Some of which I’ll get to over the course of this particular piece for your viewing. Whatever this month means to you, I’m sure you will be offended. Remember all emails should be sent to yourruthlesswonder@gmail.com, but let’s get moving.

I hate the necessity of Black History Month

One of the glaringly obvious things to me about Black History Month is that we do in fact need one. The adage is often said that they teach black history 1 month out of the year, and 11 months out of the year it is white history. Now other ethnic groups with their own ceremonial months may disagree, but the very existence of their months honoring their heritage in fact exists because of black history month. So y’all can have several seats while I finish my point.

I hate that we need to have a dedicated month recognizing very specific and generally speaking, the same old accomplishments. It is one thing to talk about major firsts in a culture, it is another altogether to only talk about them, and never add in discussion of new, and or alternatively important milestones. But then I think about kids now who don’t know Missy Elliot has been rapping since the 90’s and I get it…a bit.

The deeper reason I hate the need for the month is the outright ignorance the rest of the year. Part of the problem is the thing that comes from the exceptional nature of America in the first place. What do I mean? Well because America is the first, and one of few current nations made based on commonly united political beliefs and not geographic similarities, we have a “not everyone is the same.” problem when it comes to heritage. Because things can never be complex enough, add in slavery, reconstruction, the great depression, the civil rights movement, Korean war, Vietnam war, The hippies, and the 70’s and by the time you get to the birth of the legend you now know as THE Ruthless Wonder in 1982, things are odd.

Thus what seems like a good idea really can get out of hand. I hate the idea that it isn’t common knowledge how important schools like Lincoln, Langston, Alcorn, and basically every HBCU not named Morehouse, Spellman, or Howard are to the collective history of America. And that’s right I said America not black America. Black America as an idea pisses me off, but I’ll save that for another day and a probably a full on Note from your favorite super villain.

That we still need a true out and out campaign for black history month, where even giant corporations have to make some half ass attempt to act like they care about black people by repeating lock stock and barrel the same classic accomplishments on company flyers is demeaning to me. I look no further than Black Enterprise. I’ve been a BE reader to some degree since my parents were getting it while I was a kid. But when we talk about achievements related to african americans in American society, it rarely comes up. The same magazine which has not been handed over to larger(white), media corporations. That has not had the financial instabilities. That has a respectable presence, and has since the 70’s. “No no, tell them about CJ Walker, and Harriet Tubman again.” Which brings me to the next problem I have.

I hate the fake pro-black focus of Black History Month.

When I was truly a child the point of Black History Month seemed to be hyper focus on accomplishments, and talk about things that could make you proud of your heritage. As I have gotten older things have taken a turn. I remember them in waves. Wearing only red black and green. Busting out African cloths. only wearing black designers clothes. blah blah blah. The reality is for Americans who are black each of these was a means of at least acting the part of reconnecting to your roots. Which might be a good idea if the rest of the year wasn’t the almost exact opposite of that.

Dashiki aside, 90% of those who appear black in the US have only ancestral connections to the continent, and 5% of the remaining 10% are more than 3 generations Americans. And I’ll save the Black but also Latino folks for another discussion as well. Given the numbers I can understand the idea of wanting to know who you were. But for an exercise ask your Italian friends the last time they dressed up in Roman robes and spoke random latin words or phrases. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Now that they are done laughing you can see my point. It is good to research, learn about, and especially learn from the root of all people(Yes I said all. You denying humanity came from Africa is like me denying Gravity applies to feathers). But homogenizing African culture into a single outfit, and one particular language’s catch phrases is buffoonery. And it disrespects the very idea of what Black History Month seems to have been about. Woodson very rarely references the direct link of American Blacks to Africa when coming up with black history day. And even civil rights leaders focus on the accomplishments, trials, tribulations, and triumphs of Black Americans when they address the then week long and later month long celebration.

This wasn’t supposed to be back to Africa day. This wasn’t to be “Come out as a black Israelite” week. And most certainly it wasn’t call everyone not buying into your unintelligible and oblivious pro-black faux-afro-centrism month. This was supposed to be a day, week, and month to look at old, modern, and contemporary black accomplishments here in America by Black people and celebrate them. The way the month is now abused to get people to buy your stupid book, listen to your “Afro-consciousness” struggle rap mixtape, or pick up another copy of the hidden colors series is disgusting. Celebrating Black American Achievement is laudable. Trying to push your faux revolutionary agenda along with merchandise is race pimping.

I hate what it really says about America and Americans.

The hardest part of this piece today is that for all the complexity in my relationship with Black History Month, I love parts of it. Seeing parents post videos of their kids reading Langston Hughes like I did as a kid. Watching young women and young men talk about the influence researching Malcolm X now has on them. Students fighting to get to see Selma. These are great things. They are things we need to remember and cherish. These are things that we wouldn’t have the access to 15 years ago. That is beautiful. That is what I love about this month. No matter that it is the shortest of the year.

The reason I say I hate what it really says about America is that I know these things will only occur in months like this. Save the students who began their struggle at the end of January, these kinds of moments are part and parcel February only. Anything else will be an outlier. A seeming non-sequitur. Because unlike our schools, events, drinking fountains, transportation, and voting rights, history is still highly segregated. It should be normal to talk about the alleged role Benjamin Banneker had in crafting Washing D.C. alongside Pierre Charles L’Enfant after being part of the survey group. It should be simple for Literature teachers to reference the fact that Alexander Dumas was black French writer who also would use some of the lavish gifts he received to help support American Abolitionists.

It is disheartening for me, to see the various things I know because I read about them in history, or learn about them in the present day, never grace history books that get updated yearly. From College texts, right down to the entry level reading for pre-schoolers. It says Americans, don’t actually care about learning. It says Americans, don’t really want to know more about the cultures that have come together to make us great. And for all the granola munching, soybean slurping, rice milk drinking, vegan cheese making, dog rescuing, gentrifying liberal wastes of my time that give it lip service, they are no better than their dip spitting, klan member, confederate flag waving, Santorum supporting, racist assholes.

But bigger than my hatred of bigots, It says America is regressing. It says we don’t want to be exceptional anymore. The fact that we need black history month to remind white America that some things are just not okay is sad. That we need it to remind black people to try and achieve is sad. That we need a specific month to pull black children aside and tell them how important to the fabric of this great experiment they are, and the ones who came before them were is sad. When American History is taught to include all the cultures that have made us great, hopefully we will have advanced enough to no longer need this month. Until then I loathe the month, but I lovingly endure it. Because It just might make us all better. And also because it pisses off racists and bigots alike, and you know I love that. I could talk about the problem of Black vs. African American. Maybe next week. For now though…Words Don’t Do It Justice!

 

– THE Ruthless Wonder

#BlackBoysRock (In case you forgot) Part 1

Black Boys Rock!

I was reading back over my old blog posts, and old stories in the Tuesday file that took me deep into my youtube subscriptions. This time it led me back to a video by internet controversy in the form of man Tommy Sotomayor. And while watching a few of his videos I found myself. 1 re-evaluating how actually controversial he is. 2 examining the idea he brought up in one of his earliest videos. The concept of black boys rock. Before I get deep into the subject matter. A subject which has actually caused me to scrap the other post I was planning to make for the site today(which is why this is late) I wanted to share a video of  Christone “Kingfish” Ingram. He’s 15.

I do hope I’ll get a chance to interview him for the ID series, but after watching that I’m sure you can imagine where this is going. One of the things we as a society are often okay with is letting one group or another go by the wayside. You can argue that the perils of any ethnic group are addressed at the same time as disregarding those of another. That one gender is addressed more often than another. But I surmise that the constant need to place groups into a line constantly and for no reason other than neglect, stunts the growth of the most untapped resource in America. Young black men. Why do I call them a resource? I’m glad you asked. Let’s look at it.

Certainly child prodigies can exist in any race. And of course innovation from young minds can be found across both genders. But ask yourself when is the last time you saw an initiative to produce more young boys as entrepreneurs? Go ahead I’ll wait a bit.

Hard wasn’t it?

That’s kind of my point. There are some great groups out there to get young girls into STEM careers, and expose them to other opportunities that they were often looked over for because some people think MadMen is a TV show and other think its the constitution. But in accounting for that problem we’ve left young black boys to fend for themselves. And what does that do? That leaves most young black boys to emulate what they see around them as their path to success. And that perpetuates a lifestyle that is killing the community. For all the successes like Kingfish, we see far too often the failures.

Last year I talked in our podcast about how happy I was to see high school seniors posting about all the ivy league schools they received acceptance letters from. That moment, though, reminds me of the problem.  It shouldn’t be a big enough story that the Huffington Post needs to cover it. I have a different goal in mind for society, and indeed for black men and boys than most. “Normal.”

Now normal sounds odd to want. It sounds pedestrian. And for those of you how have been exposed to my writing, my podcasting, and indeed just me in general, it doesn’t make sense on first glance. But when I say normal I don’t mean that I want us to become homogenized into Euro-American culture. Or become inextricably similar to our Euro-American, Latin-American, Asian-American, Aussie-American, or indeed African or Caribbean-American counterparts. No. What I mean is achievement no longer being newsworthy.

This goes back to my enjoyment of the film 42, and Jackie Robinson’s place in my pantheon of civil rights heroes. After Robinson, you had multiple black men crossing the line to leave the Negro leagues for the MLB. integration was a wave. The same with Latino players later on. And now to see a black player next to a Latino player on a roster is as common if not more common than 2 white players. That’s what I want. That’s what I strive for. That is the normal I seek. Where it isn’t news that 4 black men worked together on creating their own comic book company. Where it becomes no more than a facebook post that A black man was chosen to be a Rhodes Scholar(Shout out to Chris Elders)

The reason I bring up Black Boys Rock today is because, as is often said, a rising tide lifts all boats. Fixing the problem, by remembering the achievements of black boys, and bringing them into contact with more opportunities, is easy. And by fixing that, you fix a lot of other problems that are symptoms of a culture which tells young boys to not be like the bad examples but does nothing to help steer them into a positive direction. Now inevitably someone will say something about patriarchal culture, and what about women, and what not. Pay them no mind. Because they didn’t actually read this piece. They assumed I was bagging on women. And you knew better than them before this even started. So let’s talk about positive things. Let’s find ways to encourage the

So let’s talk about positive things. Let’s find ways to encourage the mathematicians, and poets, and business minded whiz kids among our everyday lives. When your nephew, cousin, son, brother, or anyone else you see talks about a creative or curious subject. Take time to expand his interest. They like video games? Ask them if they thought about making one. They like music? Ask them if they thought about making some. They seem to enjoy political talk? Get them on the campaign trail for something in their community. They like some other culture? Well take them there if you can, and if you can’t see what representation of that culture is nearby and take them there. They like to read? Well don’t assume something is too far ahead of them. We’ve talked before about my reading habits when I was young. Encourage them to do the same. Encourage them to think. Introduce them to cultural opportunities. Let them embrace more than the usual, until the unusual is just more usual. Why? Because in case you forgot. #BlackBoysRock!

– THE Ruthless Wonder

Self Improvement 101: Word Usage Matters

This time I’m not talking about proper grammar or diction. Nope. This one is all about The words we use with, toward, and against each other… Its about making a relatively small change that will make a huge difference. Welcome to Reign’s Self Improvement 101.

Words have power. The things we name and label ourselves and each other matter. When you know the name; the essence of a thing or person, you can wield power over it. Sometimes, we don’t even have to know it. An accidental utterance can cut deeper and do more lasting damage than even the worst beat down… on the other hand, a kind word in passing can turn a person’s whole life around.

Words give hope, express love, and strengthen bonds. Why choose to use your words to hurt or demean when you can use them to teach and uplift? Why use words like daggers when you can use them like hugs?

Word

I know… This coming from the chick whose filter is full of holes. I never claimed perfection. These lessons are as much about me as they are about you. I’m upgrading me too. I’m even re-reading one of my spiritual guidance books: The Four Agreements. Our first lesson is in direct alignment with the First Agreement: Be Impeccable with Your Word. There once was a time when one’s word was akin to their honor, and to disparage one’s word was the kind of dishonor worth killing for. Of course I’m not suggesting that we return to the days where honor killings were a legitimate and acceptable thing, but I am suggesting that we go back to being honorable. Honor in words will give rise to honor in deeds. We’ll rest on that note… and as always…

Do More. Require Better.

Words Don’t Do It Justice: Breaking News

Just a reminder where we started.

Just a reminder where we started.

Over the weekend we were very close to an amazing achievement.

On Monday it was so tantalizingly close I was thinking of dropping a post just to help push it over after the Holidays Don’t Do It Justice post.

But Tuesday Night after Posts from Ruminated Thoughts and of course from THE Ruthless Wonder reacting to the decision by the Darren Wilson Grand Jury, we hit a milestone that if I’m honest I didn’t expect until 2015.

SO

On Behalf of the Weekends Don’t Do It Justice Writers Reason, Kudo, Xion, and Lucremo.

On Behalf of the Words Don’t Do It Justice Guest Bloggers, The Justice League.

On Behalf of the Words Don’t Do It Justice Alumni writers

On Behalf of the Keith Labell and Smooth Phuzion who provide music for The WDDIJcast and The WRATH of Ruthless.

On Behalf of Reign, The Revanchist, Ruminated thoughts, and Ronin

And on Behalf of 314 Publishing, Imperial Dreams Productions, and WORDS DON’T DO IT JUSTICE

THE Ruthless Wonder is proud to announce that as of November 25th, 2014 Words Don’t Do It Justice has reached 9,200 views!

ALL Because of YOU!

ALL Because of YOU! Photo edit credit: JohnHenry Balsa

And we have you to thank.

Every one of you who shares us with you friends on facebook and your followers on twitter.

Every one of you who comes back even on days when no one has posted just to see if something is dropping.

Every one of you who has stuck by us since my very first post to this very day.

Thank you for being our superfans.

Thank you for believing in us.

Words do no do you justice.

 

I could say it a thousand times and it wouldn’t be enough. But I’ll say it one more time.

We love you all.

Thank you!

THANK YOU!

THANK YOU! Photo Edit Credit: Steven Cockrell

– YOUR Ruthless Wonder

Racism, History, Bigots, and YOU!

Provided by Artist Murphy Milburn

Provided by Artist Murphy Milburn

Let’s get really heavy today

The truth of many things we deal with in society is that their history is something to be decried and learned from instead of celebrated. But in some weird self-sabotaging bout of ignorance we as humans and even more so as Americans tend to pass over that until forced to confront the matter. That comes from all sides. Because often historical issues are not just about Racism, they are about Bigotry. And while often used interchangeably, they are not in fact the same.

Racism is a systemic issue based on a combination of power, prejudice, and discrimination. Bigotry is just that cocktail of humanity greed and ignorance mixing with prejudice and stereotypes.  While one leads to the other often, they aren’t always the same. For instance, I’m often confronted by the notion that a person is not racist because they have dated an American Minority, or have a friend who belongs to an American Minority group(You’ll understand why I am singling out the US minority groups in a minute). While this often does make them less like to be a pure bigot, they are not mutually exclusive in a world where we must interact with each other for simple and basic reasons.

In fact, the very nature of the person’s interactions with the potential bigot are what can usually help you tell whether they were just caught with an inartful phrase; use their association as a shield; or happen to fetishize a particular culture or interacting with that cutlure. And in the end, that’s what you want to know. Over the weekend I was talking about the situation intra-racially with R&B singer Tank and his inartful phrasing, and I called everyone bigots who were in a particularly line of thought. That’s because the word transcends race and class. Which is what we’re dealing with. It’s the Difference between Dan Snyder owner of the Washing D.C. American Football team in the NFL, and the curious case of black women with gay friends who hate depictions of gay men on TV. But put a pin in that I’ll get back to it.

When you talk about racism people tend to get sleepy or upset. The sleepy ones have heard it all before and are mentally impervious to the idea because they have this deluded opinion on race in modern society. The upset ones are usually mad about being called out for their racism, bigotry, or the privilege that arrises for them from those. It is an interesting thing to study as a lay person. Much less in my blogging capacity. However from time to time my study calls for me to correct things and give a bit of history. Usually a glossed over or relatively unknown piece like the one behind the photo below.

Don't worry it is much worse than you think.

Don’t worry it is much worse than you think.

So this particular piece of lighter fluid has come out recently after the Ferguson Protests. And of course it is fake right? Well sorta. This is not photoshopped. And yet it is not in fact a legal government document. These have never existed as legal government documents. However, it is in face real. And has far worse an origin than you think.

In the early to mid 1980’s an event called the good Ol Boy’s roundup was held in Tennessee on a yearly basis(That part I’m sure is not surprising). The organizer of this event was then ATF Agent Raymond Eugene Rightmyer, who at all times claimed it was not a racist event. Then when caught with materials like this, claimed he was trying to get rid of it and keep things like this from the event.

During the event this license as well as T-shirts of MLK in sniper crosshairs, OJ’s head in a noose, and dead black men sprawled out before law enforcement vehicles with the title Boyz In Tha Hood. In fact, multiple agents of the ATF were in attendance at these events. So were known KKK members, and folks that belong to both categories. This was also a place filled with what actual male to female sexism is. And while some reports are officially unsubstantiated, things got very “loosely consensual” with the amount of alcohol(rumored to include untaxed Moonshine) flowing through the place. So you might wonder how I know about this. Well it is simple. They got caught. They got found out, rounded up, hauled off to jail, fired obviously, and were convicted.

It was the kind of embarrassing thing that should have been blasted everywhere. And it was for a bit when the initial information came out due to citizen militia-men infiltrating. But you don’t hear it brought up. In fact, despite all of the people involved getting handled by the alarmingly swift hand of the Government, John William Magaw then director, as well as most other parties who know or knew about it spoke very little. Not even to cash in for lucrative expose based deals. Why is Magaw important here? Well he was there.

So out of this 80’s event, we had the first instance of these existing. And we all know how well bigots hold on to “good ideas” so updated versions have been seen new as recently as this year. And it doesn’t help that things like race in America never get talked about honestly enough to be dealt with. So every day you create more bigots. Why did I use bigots on something like this? Because even though they are government employees, they were not in that capacity for this. The ATF could be called racist for employing them. And certainly they may be racists if they use system discrimination to be proponents of their prejudices, but since we don’t have that info we just have bigots.

And it doesn’t just cover black and white issues in America. Because remember what a bigot is. And let’s pick up that pin from earlier. Daniel Snyder the bigot who owns the Washington D.C. team does in fact do a lot of charity work. And even gave money for assistance during Hurricane Katrina and the Indian Ocean Tsunami victims. But remember as I said, you have to look past the interactions to the person. For instance, a big deal was made about the current, but outgoing Navajo Nation President sitting with Snyder in his booth during the game between DC and Arizona. But it shouldn’t surprise you at all. Afterall, what better way to take some heat off that get accidentally caught with someone who is constructively out of power already, and who you just closed a business deal with.

But I know I know, he’s Jewish how could he be a bigot? Well as I said before anyone can be a bigot. Their nationality or ethnic classification does not matter. In the same way, you are still a bigot if you care about animals, but think the Romani are all tricksters. The same way you can want to protect black people from systemic racism, but think women shouldn’t have the same ease of access to birth control as men have to condoms. The same way you can claim you want gender equality but bash any depiction of women or men as conservatively sexist when they are restricted in abundance of clothing, or liberally sexist, when they are without a majority of clothing. The same way you can have gay friends, but not support gay marriage. The same way you can fight sexism, but call Obama a “Halfie” or a Nazi. Or the black guy who does IT work at your job, “not really BLACK.” or say “That girl is pretty for an Indian.” Or go to church every Sunday to praise Jesus that you’ve had painted to look like an Italian man instead of the dark skinned arabic Jew he was. Or of course some of my favorites, the things in your online dating profiles, your method of writing characters that don’t share your ethnicity, and how badly you want to hold on to bigoted phrases like Paddy wagon, Peanut Gallery, Redskin, and be a member of the Tea Party.

But before this gets into a Note from Your Favorite Super villain I have one last image for you. And it does a great job at illustrating the way bigoted thoughts turn into racist action.

Get the point?

Get the point?

The words used in each photo come from media depictions. And while this was particularly telling, just look at the difference in the coverage of Ferguson now, and the riots at Penn State after Paterno quit and Sandusky was found to be a pedo. Look at how championship celebrations are talked about and then think about this. Is your city’s sports team winning an excuse for rioting? Okay if you said yes is that more riot worthy than actual brutality by the government on unarmed members of the community? If you said either was not okay fine, but if one is okay and the other is not, guess what group you just joined? The reality is Civil Libertarians, Republicans, Conservatives, Liberals, Democrats, and yes even Moderates excuse all kinds of civil displays of lawless behavior. Until of course that is done by a group other than those who look like them. Remember the backlash at Occupy? Even so called liberals were on television saying those people need to get broken up, and those people need to get back to work and stop leaching. Think about Immigration, those people coming over our borders and stealing jobs. Think about Ebola, we need to stop those people from Africa from coming and bringing it here.

Something to think about as you relax tonight and go to work tomorrow. Notice I didn’t call you a bigot. But I bet you almost felt like I did and dismissed me for saying it. The funny part is a purposefully put you in that position. Either you will examine your biases and bigotry and do something about it. Or you’ll reject the notion and go deeper in. But I’ll be content either way. Reform or Regression, I’ll have been proven right. Now I have more to talk about the difference between racism and classism, but I’ve talked a lot and…WORDS DON’T DO IT JUSTICE!

– THE Ruthless Wonder

Notes From Your Favorite Super Villain: The way I talk

Now she said a lot of what I might have opened with. And far nicer than I would have. But let’s get into it anyway. First let’s get the white people who often compliment how well I speak. I’m aware. In fact, most people who happen to have my level of education and have participated in speaking competitions (since literally the 2nd grade) also happen to have no problem speaking English fluently–and with proper enunciation and pronunciation of my ever-increasing vocabulary. What a shock that the guy with a dream of getting his JD, and who now has one, speaks as though he has a grasp of the English language. “You speak so well…” is the compliment you give when you don’t expect much of the speaker. So in short, fuck you.

Now that we’ve gotten them out of the way. Let’s get to who I really planned to take aim at today. And I’ll give you a hint: They happen to share similar amounts of melanin and my ethnic classification. Since I was in Kindergarten I have had to hear the “You talk like a white boy…” critique from people. As a younger version of me, I actually was hurt and confused by it. As I got older, it just made me angry. Away from school I was surrounded by people who spoke English like they had some fucking SENSE and yet that was somehow wrong? As I got even older, I also noticed this critique came from kids and adults older than me.

That’s right; the problem is multi-generational. This internalized hatred of all things intelligent is disgusting. I speak correctly because I paid attention when learning. Does that mean I cannot speak with slang terms or other common vernacular regionalized to my particular background or current residence? No, I do it all the time. But you are in fact just another idiot if you spend the balance of your time in that fashion. Time and place is a standard for behavior for a very good reason.

Unlike the casually racist white people saying I speak “so well,” this is a far more deeply rooted problem. And an example that often leads to the alarmingly accurate Crabs In A Barrel/flies in a jar metaphor. And while I would normally go to great pains to make sure that was analyzed and discussed, I’m just going to move on by saying you idiots who want to stay in the barrel can stay in the barrel. And for those of us who paid attention in school, Why go back into Plato’s cave when they clearly don’t want to see more than the shadows on the wall?

Because you want to waste your life saving someone who doesn’t want to be saved? Because it isn’t just about how you speak? You talk like a white person is a way of dragging you back down to their level. Just like critiquing the things you enjoy that don’t fit into their stereotyped version of blackness. I forget which YouTube personality said it recently, but If speaking correctly is speaking white, wouldn’t that make speaking incorrectly speaking black? You run down only yourselves by putting that negativity out there. And I refuse to participate in it. I’ve seen some of the best minds of my generation dragged back to Earth by the expectations of lesser minds, and the implication they might not be authentically black enough.

But who does that hurt right? Its harmless right? WRONG. It tells a kid that the smarter they are the less like their own people they are. And for someone who’s attachment is the constant subject of how they are judged socially, that is detrimental to very high degrees. Watching a friend regress and recoil from intellectual pursuits because they don’t want to appear too smart and thus too white is horrifying, but I endured it while being encouraging for one reason; I wanted more. And when the desire of one for more overrides the crowd’s desire for one to be more like them you escape.

I talk like an intelligent person, and you don’t. So why are you surprised when I look down at you as though you’re beneath me? Isn’t that what is supposed to come from being an elitist who, according to you, acts and speaks like someone other than you? I often make it a point to talk about my love of people who hate me, of conspiracy theorists, and of other people your mind tells you that you shouldn’t like. And while those are usually for the selfish reason of them making themselves known, or of course making them talk more about me, thus making themselves look less important. I have a particular undying affection for people who have the unmitigated gall to lob this charge at me. Why? Because all they do is prove my superiority. And they often do it in a crowd. So I get to further remind them how dumb they sound. It brings a smile to this villain’s face. You just lobbed an insult the rest of the planet thinks is stupid AND you gave me an audience to show how dumb you are for saying it? Before I get into that, I’m outta here. Needless to say at this point, if you had to deal with this at any point in your life, just remember where you’ve reached in life, and where they did. And raise your glass in honor of your success and speaking like you have more aspirations than you do liabilities.

 

– Lex Luthor

THE Ruthless Wonder