Rest in Peace Love.

When someone dies, the world is stripped of humanity. The sense that we are taught exists is robbed from us and mourners must rebuild on a foundation of complete anarchy. It doesn’t make sense. You call them and email them and realize that speaking through them in a dark room is the newest form of connection. Not only do they leave, their voice, their physical being leaves us, but they take a piece of our reality with them. That’s where the anger comes from, how could you take you from me, we need you. What will we do with your clothes? Your bed? Your computer? You linger. It hurts. Your diploma, what will your mother do with that? Your phone number. How are we going to bury you? Your mother doesn’t understand. How are your siblings to move beyond this point, there is no perspective without you, the view has faded. Ill feelings, sad words, jilted memories I wonder if you’ve taken with you. What do you understand now? What language do you speak? You are now a form We could never imagine. These earthly concerns you have transcended. The peace you feel and the understanding you must have attained is beyond. You have reached the all in all and we are left here racking our brains as you have a good laugh at our stupidity. You are at peace, I know this. The only comfort I have is in the fact that your complete faith and sacrifice has led you back to your creator and we must all keep that close to us. You have been chosen to return for the good of our world. You presence is needed, you have work to do and at 29 it was time for you to begin your position. Come visit me more often, your presence is always welcome. I pray you passed peacefully and will comfort everyone during this time, I’ll miss you and carry you into every part of me. You will influence my world from this day forward and I will strive to be the person that would make you smile, make you proud, and make you understand that people do change for the better. This is my covenant with you. Peace Love.

Over 30 miners shot down by South African police as they protested, according to the Washington Post, “the shooting recalled images of white police officers firing at protesters in the 1960’s and ‘70’s, but this was mostly black police firing at black miners.” I was going to sit here and speak on the irony of that last sentence in this article, but Cedric Scott Jr.’s poem is exactly what I felt when I read about these killings:

“no love or respect for each other or our ancestors, the important things remain too far past due instead we torture, terrorize, and terminate our own, so others no longer have to, we die at our very own hands, the arsons in our very own hell…now we lynch ourselves”

I am writing this because I need people on the internet to know that these images are actually setting women back at least 18,599 steps:

Some would say that these are images of strong, successful, RICH, women just being “bosses”. They are making it rain on skrippers and are smacking booties in the video for their umpteenth hit song. All good fun. All examples of powerful women doing big things in their careers. No, Stop it. This is actually what I would call unfortunate gender appropriation. Meaning that these two superstars are actually just replicating stereotypical sexist acts in order to validate their existence in traditionally masculine spaces. I.E instead of steering their music, or behavior in such a direction that would uplift the women who consume their music and images, these women revert to what they have been taught. That the public disrespect and over sexualization of black women in the media is what sells records or gets baller husbands. Rihanna I love you, I’ve been getting down to your hits since high school, but what makes you think that copying and pasting the lewd behavior of men in strip clubs is empowering? If this was your personal life fine, but to proudly flaunt these photos on your social media outlets is disappointing. To show off how much of a boss you are by dropping $20 bills on these strippers private parts is not a sign of power, it’s a sad attempt to do what the boys do, and there is nothing more tragic than a woman whose ambition is steered towards being as xy or z as a man.

On another note, when did being a boss automatically mean you need to see how closely you can mimic a Lil Wayne video? Nicki Minaj are you really doing all you can to aid in the perpetual cycle of big booty fetishization on my TV screen? Is that you really rubbing and smacking the asses of video “models” in another sad attempt to validate your existence in Hip Hop? Is this the path you are blazing for future artist and females trying to bust through the music industry? The notion that black women are unable to have successful music careers without becoming walking representations of male desire has arrested our development to the point of self mutilation and in some cases complete destruction. It is bad enough that we must navigate the deep waters of skin lightening, long blond weaves, butt injections, and the like, but we now have famous figures continuing the cycle by partaking in the same sexist banter and behavior as the men.

It is a reoccurring problem when women construct their identities, particularly in the hip hop community, around patriarchy and sexism. I know it is easier said than done, but when are our favorite artists going to begin creating their own spaces that do not include gender appropriation?

I’d love to hear some thoughts on this…