Dear white people;my open letter to middle America 

You  know what I’m sick of? Being reminded how hard it is to be black on a daily basis! This morning in physics during my free time I discussed the situation in Ferguson with my white 17 year old peers.

I mentioned that I don’t particularly agree with rioting or looting but that it makes sense. They looked at me as if I was a proponent of white Genocide. The usual “why can’t you be more like MLK?” Cliche occurred and I tried to explain MLK was FAR more militant in his final years than America lets on

He was a young Christian black man in the purest most humbling sense of the word. Never made a dime off of his activism. Worked with presidents and officials who used him and distanced themselves from him as he grew more militant. He was a socialist in a sense the conservatives at “Fox news” don’t know the meaning of.

He disagreed with American foreign policy; wanted rights for the unemployed and the employed and was a true socialist but a reasonable one with valid reasons for his distaste of the establishment
Many are familiar with the famous I have a dream speech for the lines about tolerance, moral decency and character. That helped King win over the white moderate, the same white moderate he described as the most inadvertently dangerous group in the Nation.

When those with influence sit on the fence. It is best to attempt to knock yj off or hope for the worst.

I am sick of my white cohorts using the finest man this country has ever produced, to tell me I need to get over it.  

     

That FB post begins with some less famous words from the march on Washington “But one hundred years later we must face the fact that the Negro is still not free; America has given the Negro an insufficient check which has been returned with blank funds” 

A multitude of “blank checks” have been given to the opressed throughout history. All returned to sender with so much ventured and little gained.
The most recent blank check is the myth that millennial are more tolerant and accepting than previous generations. Their “blank check” is a superficial understanding of the African American experience and a willful ignorance to help when convenient for them. Using is for our skills; appropriating our culture. Whitewashing our leaders. Killing our youth fetishizing out women. Mocking our physical features and vernacular 

That is the blank check of my generation and many before it an Emory promise 

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My years long struggle with the acceptance of human error 

ever since I was little small everyday task have been very difficult for me. My first steps were at age 5, i bucked a seatbelt at 9 ,poured my own milk at 11, 

Needless to say there is a recurring theme here. Simple things are hard for those of us with disabilities. 

Now imagine being blessed with critical thinking and discernment far beyond your pears at the expectations you set  for yourself that you must never not live up to, for fear that you’ll be dismissed as some helpless burden with nothing to contribute.

There’s always been two sides of me so to speak, the intellectual with an impressive command with the english language and the shy cerebral palsy afflicted kid whose struggle for independents has him often forget his limits. And whose simple mistakes seem to individually string  together painful burdens.

The kid who’d rather sit in a corner and think than sit at lunch with strangers. Who’d rather spend his day writing instead of partying 

but only recently have I realized how important social activity is. I’

m trying to get out more, trying to understand others, trying to listen before speaking. It’s a difficult but worthwhile journey to embark on 

My struggle with awkwardness…

ever since the age of 5 jokes have been my way of initially “breaking the ice with people) (although I still jokingly feel like half those laughs were outta pity.)

But it’s worked, I’ve connected with people, I’m (somewhat begrudgingly) respected for my thoughts on social issues, film and music nerdery, listening skills, command of the English language and critical thinking.

One thing I’m almost, but not fully over is my frustration with forced interaction, i clam up; I’m still careful with wording, but I’m unusually aloof and fearful. I’m getting better but I do feel It’s given people a somewhat disingenuous look at me.

Luckily one that’s easily changeable and I’m working daily to change.

Personal update, current status, And future blog plans

Hello good people (the only two that read this thing) a great moment occurred yesterday as I was baptized after a moving sermon by my uncle Harold. Perhaps the most symbolic part was after going under and coming up I was instructed to “breathe, just breathe”

Since the ferguson verdict I feel like I haven’t come up for air, the intelligent youthful funny observer gave way to a cynic social critic (a la George Carlin) whose critical thinking sharpened but whose aspirations, humor, and most importantly GPA became dull.

I’ve tried hard to “Do the Right Thing” (not too fond of Spike Lee, Eh more so his opinions, great films)

But pointless defiance, boredom and fear for the future have pulled me back.

Highschool can be stressful. Everything I’ve done academically for the last for years has been to better my future. But one nagging thought since Freshman year has been “I could’ve done better” 

It feels like since sophmore year while I’ve tried hard and applies myself mostly that I’m not “The old Skyler” the kid who sucked up his problems, put his best foot forward and performed to the best of his ability.

Only yesterday did I realize the “Old Skyler” wasn’t gone. He just took great leaps that made him more cynical, he still had hopes, love for his friends and family, dreams, but the humor and smile he so often displayed faded away since the Ferguson tragedy. What does the sheltered intelligent black teen do when he sees a national tragedy, and those around ask for his thoughts; but not his feelings?

Simple he bottles them, afraid to seem weak, afraid to be hurt by the “secular world” afraid to display fear and release the loneliness he’s felt since he was a toddler to those around him.

Ever since I was born I’ve felt “different” I was never really treated poorly but my peers and I never connected. My humor was a way to open up. When my shy, high-pitched voice joked, I felt better, I felt fulfilled, I felt appreciated; something I haven’t in awhile. Mostly because I inadvertently closed myself off, afraid to feel, afraid to cry, to crack the shell of the little boy who tried hard everyday with little time to discuss his emotions.

“Shell” that’s it, that’s what cerebral palsy has caused me to see myself as. A helpless, burdensome shell, struggling for independence, reminded that “he better learn to do things by himself” and I tried but things took awhile, everyday task took tremendous effort to perform efficiently.

I remember my first steps at my dearly departed grandmother Maxine’s house; a five year old taking his first independent Walker-free steps seems unusual, but it was so fulfilling. My first steps towards independence. (literally and figuratively)

So I guess cerebral palsy has caused struggle, but overcoming it through the years has been a beautiful display of patience, frustration, sadness, dissapointment, fear, and determination.

My recent baptism finally let all those feelings be released, and manageable, for perhaps the first time. And it feels good

Interview with Dead end hip hop’s Sophie (SaireMusic)

Over the past few year’s Dead End hip hop has flourished as a roundtable style discussion panel while covering a wide range of topics within the culture. As the channel grows, so do the profiles of its host; Beezy, Kinge, Myke C-town and Feefo (edited with contributions from Rod a.k.a. Modest Media (father, Jay-Z stan and creator of the weirdest ice bucket challenge vid I’ve seen)

One member however perhaps doesn’t Get mentioned enough. The host of the “Ask Dehh” segment Sophie, a beautiful young woman attending college while posting YouTube covers as a hobbie. She says DEHH has helped her in that aspect of her journey

“DEHH opened me up to be even more familiar with Youtube. All the guys are literally so sweet and helpful with anything I need for my channel”

One thing sophie didn’t need was a great voice as she’s possessed one since childhood, as her family is very musically inclined,

“I began singing because my entire family was musically inclined. I had siblings that were very vocal about their musical abilities… and so I felt as if it was kind of passed down to me from there. Inherited I guess you could say.”

She’s been putting her inheritance to good use since childhood

“I started singing when (this is really random) but when Titanic came out. I was like 5 but I would always sing “My Heart Will Go On”

Listening to her covers her influences are evident she recognizable, but there are pieces of a formulating identity in her soulful, passionate delivery
my influences.. musically: Beyonce. I say this because shes the easiest model of musical consistency, talent, and strong work ethic.

Sophie goes on to
praise Mrs. Carter further
I also personally love the way her music is written, (along with other artists) but again, shes just the easiest all-in-one.

Her family and friends push her in their own ways as well

“Other than that, people who are close to me influence me because they push me. I dont generally hang around people i’m not inspired by.”

Sophie has a strong head on her shoulders, voice in her lungs and a supportive crew. Let’s see how far they can take her…

Is secularism within religion a bad thing?

let me make this perfectly clear; I have no inherent problem with people being religious, it helps people, whether it’s actually correct or not honestly doesn’t matter to me anymore. Simply because its just a belief, and whatever somebody believes just shouldn’t bother you, and if it does, you may not have as high a tolerance as you think you do.

What I do have a problem with isn’t really specific to religion, it’s the same problem I have with many prominent institutions (charities, law enforcement, police) that power prevents people from effectively doing their job! Churches eventually lose focus when the wrong people are in charge as does every other institution.

Now what I specifically have a problem with in organized religions is this; tolerance is a basic tenet of almost every major religion and philosophy in the world? So why is it used as a justifiable reason to opress people 

*caution* people may disagree from this point on!

On the subject of homophobia…. Look I get it, people don’t like things they’re used to constantly being shoved down their throats… I understand. BUT the way you combat these things matters. And I think we should do so constructively in an effort to empathize with people.  Since tolerance is an important part of religion, tolerance by definition doesn’t mean you have to like it… It just means you’re gonna have to respect it to a degree.

I have no problem with people observing what they deem sacred and part of tradition, but I think we all need to consider the reasons you uphold these values might not be as wholesome as Ya think.

My white privelege manifesto

such a delicate topic that I don’t have time to give potential statistics on but I just wanted to let my white cohorts and close friends finally understand some things. Y’know the old qoute the “the greatest truck the devil ever pulled was convincing people didnt exist? Same with America and racism.. Well not that it doesn’t exist but just the myth that the only legitimate form of racism is the open bigoted kind

It’s unfortunately far more nuanced than that. Let me give you guys an anecdote. I have cerebral palsy which is responsible for my lack of developed motor skills; people saying the privileges this gives me are unfair used to irritate me because they never realized how hard I had to work to keep  them;  but them not  getting it is totally understandable in retrospect. I’m not here to make you understand my life neither is anybody else.. Back to the lecture at hand

I don’t think I’ve seen white people get so defensive about anything as they have with the notion of white privelege. It’s not the belief that everything you have is due to your skin color but rather that it’d take someone else with relatively the same skill set a lot longer to get what you have.

Why is this so controversial? Because it pokes a whole in the biggest fallacy of America that’s been perpetuated since the early 1800s; the “American Dream” that “if you work hard enough; you too can have the standard of sucesss designed by old slave-owning white men- I’m sorry the “Founding Fathers”

I know plenty of hardworking people who never made it… That’s not to say personal choices aren’t a factor… But  when someone fails we typically jump immediately to what they did wrong; automatically assuming there was a level playing field to begin with. 

To really take a look at the nuances there would again wake us up from the American Dream… And have have us realize what I think we all know; but just won’t say out loud. Ironic that our censuring of thought due to political corectness (the totalitarian method of convincing people to not be jerks; noble in premise… Flawed in execution) has led to this

Dialogue is necessary here guys, painful… Reality shattering open but still somewhat civil dialogue! There’s no other first step to eradicating the lingering effects of white supremacy 

But I need my white cohorts (many i value as close as family) to wake up and consider the possibility that theAmerican  Dream is just that… A dream!