Dear White People // TV That’s Snatching My Weave

I’m going to keep this short, but please watch this show. This show is so important, especially now. It centers around an Ivy League university in the States and focuses on the racial issues young black people face and what they want to do about it. It is funny, entertaining and too real. I just got to the halfway mark of the first season and it has some extremely powerful moments in it. The way the story is told is showing each character in their small community on campus and how they are interwoven and what their individual perspectives are. The way they tell the story helps to be inclusive and show that there is diversity even within communities.

You may have clicked on or followed this blog for one reason. But remember all people who are marginalized and have had histories of oppression feel a similar pain. Not the same, but similar. This common thread should allow us to not only empathize but be willing to stand up for all injustices. Watch. Stay woke.

 


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Reasons Why Beyonce Losing Best Album of the Year is the Actual WORST

Grief. Doubt. Frustration. Heartbreak.

These are all emotions that were pulled out of my heart when I first watched/listened to Lemonade – Beyonce’s 2016 audiovisual masterpiece which chronicles a black woman’s struggles through love and life. What Beyonce shared with the world was not only the raw emotion captured in song and creative art. Lemonade was a statement to the music industry of it’s ever changing landscape on how the world wants and sees music. Lemonade was set to win the Best Album of the Year. Yet the GRAMMYs decided on another winner. Here are 3 reasons why that is total bullshit.

1. Beyonce wins Urban Contemporary Album of the Year

WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT? The GRAMMYs literally have an urban contemporary category. Sure, let’s throw all the amazing colored artists into one category so they have a chance at a Grammy. Do you understand how patronizing that feels? And yes as an aside, Beyonce being recognized by the colored community via BET awards is great and well deserved. But people of color recognizing people of color for excellence will never match the validation of an internationally known industry standard like what the GRAMMYs have become. People of color are held down by their own oppression – stuck in a circle of handshakes and back pats from the wrong people.

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“It’s important to me to show images to my children that reflect their beauty so they can grow up in a world where they look in the mirror — first through their own families, as well as the news, the Super Bowl, the Olympics, the White House and the Grammys — and see themselves.” – Beyonce Knowles

This woman speaks to her children for this win. She looks to the generations of people of color that would look up and see a person of color win an award for a album. We aren’t talking about equality anymore. This is about EQUITY.

2. “What the Fuck Does She Have to do to Win Album of the Year?”

Words spoken by Album of the Year winner Adele during the Q&A session post-win. Imagine, even the WINNER OF THE BEST ALBUM OF THE AWARD KNOWS THAT IT SHOULDN’T HAVE GONE TO HER! You know what the Grammys taught us on Sunday? It’s no longer about the best music. It’s no longer about art. You can completely change the music game – push boundaries, create a media frenzy from your album drop, positively affect the outlook of millions, perform at the Grammys as a lit-er-al goddess (and kill it). And if you are a person of color, you will never be enough. What an awful, backward message to be sending the millions of supporters of this award show.

3. If We Are Going to Heal, Let it Be Glorious

Spoken by the queen herself at the end of her performance, Beyonce declares “1000 girls raise their arms.” This statement was meant to be a declaration to stand up and fight against the injustices of today’s world. Instead here we are again, on the public stage, using it to tell people of color that you have to fight twice as hard to get what you want. As Malcom X said, “The most disrespected person in America  is the black woman.” Whether you are a single mom working two jobs, an entrepreneur running a business, or Beyonce herself, your excellence will always be looked at with greater judgment. I truly applaud Beyonce’s patience for this bullshit – for her ability to rise above the blatant display of inequity. It is something all people of color must keep in their arsenal from now until things change. Rise above defeat and come back stronger. Clap and cheer in the face of discrimination. Pronounce your greatness even without recognition. This is the world we live in. This is what people of color all need to do to both survive but also thrive in this world.

To anyone who minimizes this issue, they aren’t seeing the whole picture. People always say being nominated is a win in itself. But when winning means changing the outlook of millions of people of color to feel that they are included in popular culture, seen and heard, and that they are recognized for their artistic excellence by a world renown industry institution, WINNING MEANS EVERYTHING.


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Why Being Gay and a POC in America Sucks RN

November 8th 2016. Toronto, Canada. The constant weather changes seemed to take me for a spin and I tucked in early. I woke up safe in my bed still feeling a minimal level of anxiety of a Trump win. And when I checked my phone riddled with texts from outraged friends announcing his win my heart sank. In past blogs I’ve mentioned that I identify as a person of color. I am also a gay man. The dual fringe. But I surely didn’t feel close to the amount of dread that my American counterparts were feeling just across the border.

I don’t think Donald Trump is the only monster in this situation. Yes, his campaign trail to the White House is littered with racial slurs, sexist remarks, and Islamophobic quips. But he was not the one who punched innocent peaceful protesters. He did not personally spit in faces of those same people. He may have been the man with the megaphone but he was just chanting back what his audience was giving him.

What I fear the most for the people of color and LGBT communities in the States right now is the fact that him being elected as President just gave every racist, sexist, homophobe, Islamophobe a baseball bat. And with that bat, a signed letter from the government that encourages this hateful behavior.

However, people of color are not going anywhere. The LGBT community is not going anywhere. Now is the opportunity to hold strong and stay together and remember that while this might be the current situation, we refuse to go backwards. This is the time our vigilance for injustice must be stricter and our voices to speak out to be louder. I know it’s not much, but I stand in support for all my POC/LGBT American brothers and sisters in this crucial time. Continue your fight. You’re far from being done.


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Gaycation title card

Gaycation // TV That’s Snatching My Weave //

Gaycation (VICE) is a documentary series that is hosted and created by actor Ellen Page and her friend Ian Daniel. It follows the two of them as they explore the world and uncover what the LGBT communities are like in different countries. Now in its second season, Gaycation really does give you a lens of the struggles of the communities on a global level and really helps you put life into perspective.

I know that as a gay man living in a metropolitan city in North America, I have it so good. Better yet, I am living in Canada which is a country that has publicly celebrated LGBT rights since the mid 90s and continues to present the same attitude for the rest of the community (including Transgender rights into the Human Rights code just this year).

Gaycation however has completely opened up my mind to the notion that we should not live as a community on just a local level. We need to see what the rest of the world struggles with and how we need to help change it. This season touched me many times – from watching the special on Orlando where they recorded the aftermath of the tragic shooting this past summer. Even seeing the episode on India exposed me to a South Asian community that is largely underexposed even here in Canada (In fact it got me thinking about a new hosting dynamic *wink wink*). It made me feel as though my journey in my own local community needs to focus on that. For anyone who is a part of the LGBT community or is interested in being educated on it, this series is a must watch.

Have you seen it? What are your thoughts?


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