Damn Millennials!

I guess I fall into the category of a millennial (generation 1980-1995? Although, I’d like to include 1977-1979 cuz technically your peers are the people born in the early 1980s??) Currently, being a millennial is a drag because everyone hates us, but in doing this I think I am whining about how everyone despises us, which makes everyone abhor us even more.

My parents are baby boomers (1946-1964). It’s interesting to me that all the social and judicial unrest in my time happened in theirs(‘?), except they were children. They weren’t as aware; by the time it all ended, it was in the history books, probably whitewashed to make the history more palatable. And my generation, we’re in the middle of it, some of us raising kids through it: marriage equality, racial justice (still ongoing *side eye*), gender equality, immigration laws, judicial reform, etc.

It’s tough, you know? Every generation has complained and nagged about something. People in the 1950s-70s complained about civil rights corrupting our “good nation” and going against the very god (not God cuz I just can’t find where in God’s word that He hates people like we do) ordained social order structure. Then in the 1980s-1990s, you had Reaganomics (was that coined like “Obamacare,” or was it endearing?) and AIDs and the crack epidemic. In the 1990s, all I remember, since I was but a babe, is Bill Clinton cheating on his wife and my parents having to explain to a 6 year old what adultery was, so then there was the whole complaint about morals going into the trash. Then in the 2000s, it was all about the Muslims, especially that “Muslim” Obama… And that my friends is how you normalize hate; too many people of the faith of Islam were murdered or mistreated (still are, irritatingly) in that time in America. And now in the 2010s, besides millennials and those wretched one-kneed protestors (my fave coined term is thugs and or miscreants lol), I don’t have to type out our complaints since we’re living in it.

Tl;dr: every generation has complained about something, and I guess it’s our turn; so can we have this moment? I’m sure 10 years down the road, we’ll complain about those kids born in the 2000s when they’re our age. And instead of guiding them, offering help or instruction when asked or needed, we’ll just yell at them too.

I would encourage you, those of you who aren’t too fond of millennials, to grab lunch or coffee with us one good time; talk to us so you can see what’s going on. It’s so easy to sit on your throne and look upon us with contempt, but why don’t you come off your high horse for a bit and reconnect? After all, we are your siblings, children, cousins, nieces and nephews, employees. Besides, you were our age once, trying to forge your own path in life; have you forgotten that quickly?  Don’t lord over us, but be examples to us; surely we’d at least listen.

 

 

 

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Wu-Tang is for the children, but racism is not: a case study. 

I hope you found that title hilarious because this post, and those forthcoming, won’t be as humorous. “They” say to keep people from becoming upset with you over serious topics, you have to make them laugh. But nothing is funny about racism as it permeates through every aspect of society; it’s that yeast Jesus talked about. I’ve come to set the captive, and maybe the oppressor, free. And especially with the future president coming into office, racism may become worse, only because of the rise of hate crimes since he won (1,2,3,4).

But what is really heartbreaking is the amount of Christians who are nauseatingly silent on such an issue. Or if they aren’t silent, they indirectly perpetrate, perpetuate, or better yet, ignore the whole bit with stupid clichés and how we live in a fallen world and blah.blah.blah. In the Bible, God says that he created everyone in His image. So, to not love your neighbor as yourself is a grave mistake; that’s the second greatest command. So, when I say #blacklivesmatter, and you sit on your hands and say that #alllivesmatter, how can you believe that if you march and are adamant against abortion? All lives matter to God of course, but they don’t to people. Did all lives matter when American citizens, who were Japanese, were interred at camps and German POWs were treated better than them and African-American veterans, some of which were lynched? Do all lives matter in Flint, Michigan? The problem with this statement is that people say all lives matter but don’t prove it; you say it to shut people up. “Blessed are the poor […]” What about those who aren’t poor, Jesus? You gonna bless them too, or…? What’s up; what’s good?”

Racism is a spiritual disease that causes the oppressor to live in a fantasy, a bubble. And when you pop that bubble with truth in love, all of a sudden, they try to chase you off a cliff (5). “Racism isn’t going to go away if you keep talking about it.” Oh, is that so? Maybe you’re just uncomfortable and should admit that then. Race is a societal, man made construct to keep one group in power by any means necessary and another oppressed. Racism is anti-God. It causes you to see your neighbor as less than. And when you do that, the problems they face because of you are insignificant for they just “need to get over it.” And for the oppressor, it spiritually binds and blinds you; you aren’t as free as you think you are. This system becomes your faith, and somehow God supports it.“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?”

Racism is a spiritual disease that causes the oppressed to feel and live as if they *are* less than. When you’re told all your life that your skin is too dark, your hair too unruly, and your natural body too sexual, your spirit becomes downtrodden, and society, in conjunction, agrees. The closer you look to the oppressor, the worse off you’ll be because you won’t be accepted. Bleaching my skin to be lighter won’t help; straightening my hair won’t help. Who I am is the problem, and my existence should cease. And, you can’t be what you can’t see. So, if I don’t see someone who looks like me being an engineer, a producer, a writer, a doctor, how can I become that? And the sad thing is that, we who aren’t considered the majority, people of color, have always achieved, but that history has been cast to the wayside; why? Take the movie, Hidden Figures, for example (6). It is a movie about three black women, there were more, who are the reason NASA is NASA. They live/lived right here in Hampton Roads, so why wasn’t that in the history books, especially since we were so obsessed with beating the Russians to the moon (7)? ABC ran a drama about the astronaut wives (8,9), but why not about these women engineers who happened to be black? These women were scientists in a time when women were “supposed” to be homemakers, fighting not only sexism, but racism, and the intersectionality therein.

White people, racism does exist. It is not just personal prejudice, but institutional and systemic. Racism is prejudice + power. Everyone has reserved prejudice, but in this society, only white people have had their prejudice put into law. Don’t believe me (10)? And you have privilege; it is unearned favor. It’s that favor when you walk into a store and are asked if you need help, instead of being found suspicious and followed (11). It’s that favor that gets you a better bank loan (12). It’s that favor that you won’t be mistaken for being a criminal when you’ve lost your key to your house in the suburbs (13). It’s that favor that gives you the benefit of the doubt in criminal cases; you get maybe a year, while a black person gets the mandatory minimum (14). The system is built to support you, whether you want to believe it or not. It supports you so much that God himself is white! And it sucks because you might be poor and white (15). Or it sucks because you think people are taking away from your hard work, and if you did it, why can’t anyone else? I will address how racism affects you (oh yes it does! 16) and how it benefits you the most, and why supporting white supremacy, whether directly or indirectly, is detrimental. And I will come with receipts out the ass; don’t worry. I am here to challenge your comfortability in the status quo, to smash white supremacy; may you be freed.

Black people, People of Color, I don’t have much to say because the majority of you already know what’s up. We all got that talk about how to act around police, to work twice as hard to maybe be considered half as good, etc. Yet, I can only speak to issues I face being a black person/woman; I can’t speak to the issues of the Asian or Latinx/Hispanic Diaspora, but I can shed light on them and be an ally. So if you want to send something my way, please feel free to do so! On a personal note, let us not internalize the hate we receive for who we are. We face systems of oppression everyday, and it can be tiring and draining. Keep the faith in God. Loving those who persecute you is not weakness, nor is it acquiescing to their whims. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you?”

Finally, I am not silent on these issues. If I haven’t spoken with you about it, it’s because I knew you wouldn’t receive it well. I speak about it all the time with my black friends and other friends of color, and very few white friends. But I have reservations with my white friends because, for those I have spoken with, you tell me it’s in the past, to get over it, ignore it, or you make light of a situation that has cost people their lives. Or you think it’s a personal attack when I’m speaking in general, but maybe it is a personal attack if that is your heart. And I speak on this because of Ezekiel 33:1-11:

The Watchman and His Message

Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, speak to the children of your people, and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from their territory and make him their watchman, when he sees the sword coming upon the land, if he blows the trumpet and warns the people, then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, if the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be on his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, but did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But he who takes warning will save his life. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.’ So you, son of man: I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me. When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you shall surely die!’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Nevertheless if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul. Therefore you, O son of man, say to the house of Israel: ‘Thus you say, “If our transgressions and our sins lie upon us, and we pine away in them, how can we then live?”’ Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’