SILENCE = CONSENT

Posts tagged “operation

George Zimmerman’s Death Would Be GOD’S Plan

Okay so let me see if I understand this correctly… It was “GOD’S plan” for George Zimmerman to stalk and murder Trayvon Martin?  It makes perfect sense that he’d say that.  His “GOD” is the same one that the Ku Klux Klan and so many other so-called Christians in AmeriKKKa worship.

Personally, it makes me angry for people to do evil and then say somehow GOD planned it, told them to do it, or had something to do with it.  Light has no parts of darkness other than to get rid of it.  I hardly think a GOD who we are taught is love, would plan or allow anyone to terrorize and kill anyone else.  This thing called George Zimmerman (yes, I said THING) is EVIL and trying to beat a murder charge.  Plain and simple.

I call bullshit on his fake-ass apology too.  Since when do people do “GOD’S will” and apologize for it?Did anybody in the beloved Bible these AmeriKKKans supposedly read ever “apologize” for carrying out GOD’S plan?  One would think if a person was obeying the orders of GOD, they are doing what is right, or holy.  Why apologize for doing the right thing?  I mean, the plan of GOD is always righteous and holy… right?

It must be his GOD’S plan for him to be a liar as well.  Instead of being a punk ass liar, George Zimmerman should have just said, “I SHOT THAT NIGGER AND I’D DO IT AGAIN!”  At least that would have been honest.  I may not agree with him, but I do respect honesty.  It takes courage.

George should be dropped off in the Inglewood neighborhood of Chicago with money pinned to his chest, forced to scream “I SHOOT NIGGERS”, stalked, made to fear for his life, chased, beaten and shot to death. And as he is being terrorized and murdered, he should be repeatedly reminded it was GOD’S plan for him to die that way. The infallible Bible says, “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”.  And we should ALL obey the Bible… right.

Bottom line, an innocent kid is dead at the hands of a man who says he’d do it again.  Whether George Zimmerman goes to prison or dies a horrible and violent death, we are never getting Trayvon Martin back.

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Frank Ocean: Say You’re Bi, and the Queers will Buy

Last night I had the opportunity to listen to Frank Ocean’s cd “Channel Orange”.  As I listened to the his lyrics, his voice, his passion, all sorts of questions started to run through my head.

Did he ever come out as gay or bisexual?  Did he ever say anything more than, “I was in love with a man”?  Is his courageous transparency about his personal life his way of reaching out to young people who are dealing with issues surrounding their sexuality?  Is he a trailblazer who is changing the rabidly homophobic landscape of hip hop and R&B music?  Is he being forced to be a “gay role model”?  Was he simply just creatively telling his story, or is all of the hubbub over this cd a clever marketing plan called “Say you’re bi, and queers will buy”?

Personally, I appreciate Frank’s artistry, his creativity and his courage.  I applaud his lyricism.  I celebrate his being open and honest about such a personal experience.  It takes a level of intestinal fortitude most black men don’t have.  In a social climate where hyper-masculinity abounds, and outright hatred and disrespect for anything feminine outside of meeting the sexual needs of irrationally afraid little boys in men’s clothes, Frank Ocean made a move that for many would ruin their careers.

But for me, it’s hard to tell if Mr. Ocean is truly an artist who has a message.  I suppose I will just have to wait and see what happens after all the fairy dust settles.  I’d like to think this talented young man lives his life with boldness and integrity.  It would be refreshing to find out that there are prominent  people in the hip hop and R&B music scenes, who when around their fellow artists, will stand up and check them on their ignorant homophobia.  He could actually be knocking down the walls that have kept people like Mz. Fontaine. Katastrophe, DaLyrical, Tori Fixx, Deep Dickollective, Deadlee and countless others from experiencing main stream acceptance for being brilliant artists.

Me being me, I have to question if Frank Ocean’s “I was in love with a man” revelation him just being authentically Frank, or if he is being used by a clever marketing machine to pimp the LGBTQ community for their dollars.


He Ain’t Man Enough for Me

Image“I just don’t know if I can be in a relationship with him,” is what my friend said as we talked about his PNB (that’s Potential New Boyfriend).  And when I asked him why, he went on to say, “he’s just too effeminate for me.  I need somebody who is gonna be a real man.”

After that conversation, I thought about how many times I’ve talked to people who were once excited about meeting a PNB either on the internet or by phone. But after they met him in person, the story drastically changed.  They were disappointed because the man who they thought could be the love of their life turned out to be “a big ol’ girl.”  The tone of their voices when they give the details of how he walked, talked, or was too animated with his conversation indicates how disgusted they are that they were duped again by someone who presented themselves as masculine on the net or on the phone but in reality was not as masculine as the image they projected.  It’s almost sad to think that people still believe the notion that masculine = top and feminine = bottom.  Don’t EVEN get me started on the numerous profiles on any group, club or chat where people insist that if you are gonna hit them up you “must be masculine” or “straight-acting”.

So what’s the deal with “effeminate men”?  And why do we have such hatred for them?  I mean, are they any less man or less real than anyone else?  Why are they undesirable? And why is it not a positive thing to meet a man who has wholly embraced his feminine side and is unashamed of it? Furthermore, why do so many effeminate men loathe effeminacy in other men?

I met a man from the United Kingdom a while back.  In our lengthy conversations, he taught me so much about how different people in Europe think versus how we think in America.  He told me, “T, it’s not uncommon for men in the UK to think of American men as brutish or barbaric.  And it’s strange that what you all call `effeminate’ we just consider it to be sophisticated unless it’s like over the top or something.”  He went on to say how most people in the UK have a live and let live attitude.  As long as people are respectful of each other, nobody really bothers anyone else.  His saying that made me to seek out other people from different parts of the world and ask them about what is considered masculine or effeminate in their cultures.  It amazed me how the definition of masculinity and femininity varies from place to place.

The truth of the matter (in my humble opinion) is masculinity and femininity are opposites on the same human spectrum.  And even though some of us can’t accept it, ALL OF US fall somewhere between the two and not necessarily on one polar extreme or the other.  We all come from a man and a woman, masculinity and femininity lives inside all of us.

Being a same gender loving man, I know that what we call masculinity can be sexy.  It’s attractive.  But I submit that often times the most “masculine” man is not necessarily a “real” man.  My father taught me that a real man loves God, himself, and others.  A real man takes care of his responsibilities.  He is respectful.  He’s trustworthy.  He honors his word. He has a kind heart and is faithful.  He’s strong enough to be gentle and sensitive.  He stands up and is willing to fight for what he believes in and is unashamed.  He’s unafraid to take the road less traveled and is able to be independent.

After thinking about it for a minute, I discovered that most of the men I know who possess the qualities my daddy taught me to have are not considered the most masculine.  The so-called masculine men are more often those who are so uncomfortable with who they are they’d rather lie or die than call themselves gay in public.  They will not boldly stand up and make their voices heard when it’s needed for fear of someone knowing that they are attracted to the same gender.  But who is often the first in line to stand in protest when injustice rears its ugly head?  Who is often unashamed of who they are and will not lie about their identity?  Who is often strong enough and unafraid to be who they are no matter what?  In my experience, those who we call effeminate are the ones who seem to possess the characteristics of “real men.”

Now, I’m not saying that traditionally masculine men can’t be real men.  Nor am I saying that who we call effeminate are all men of noble character.  The point I’m trying to make is it’s important that we not try to define each other with some binary either/or system. It does us all an injustice.  We need to learn how to accept and embrace each other.  Look at each other and judge each other by “the content of character” (thank you Dr. King).

And when it comes to relationships, just how do we know that the very man we’ve prayed and asked God for; the one who will love, respect, be faithful and honest with us isn’t a man who falls closer to the feminine side of the human spectrum than we think he should?  Why can’t we embrace each other in spite of the one of the many things that diversifies us?  When will we learn the importance of stretching out just a little bit and learning from people who are a little bit different from us?  We just might be surprised when we discover that we really aren’t all very different.  I mean, we ARE all brothers…right?

So, my bruthaz (masculine and effeminate): keep being who you are!  Don’t let anybody tell you that you are less than what you were created to be.  Let’s stop writing off bruthas as less than because they are a little different.  Learn from the diversity, don’t let it divide.  Embrace each other and celebrate our similarities.  Let’s continue to believe in our own greatness.  Let’s strive together to be the real men that this world is seems to need so desperately.

Tuan N’Gai is the co-founder of the Operation: REBIRTH Movement, the author of “Will I Go To Heaven?  The Black Gay Spiritual Dilemma”, “Little Brown Boy’s Blues”, and contributor to the New York Times Best Seller, “It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying and Creating a Life Worth Living.”  He currently lives in Chicago, IL.


About to Get My Head Cut Off

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I’ve been trying to figure out a nice way to express what I’m feeling inside. I’m once again facing the fear that I won’t be liked if I say what I truly feel, the way I truly feel it.  I’m afraid of being harshly judged, or even worse, not being heard at all if I dare to set myself free from this prison of silence.  I guess, I’ve lived here so long, it’s become second nature.  I’m used to having to compromise my own feelings so everyone else can be comfortable.

But if I’m going to grow, and conquer the fear, I have to confront it head on.  It’s not going anywhere any other way.  Sometimes I feel like I’m John the Baptist, and it’s only a matter of time before I’m beheaded for speaking the truth… or at least the truth as I see it.

Since moving to Chicago, I have heard daily reports of young Black men killing people.  One weekend, more than 40 were shot.  More recently, 15 shot in one day. We are being exterminated by our own sons, brothers, cousins, uncles… and for the young ones, our fathers.  I mean, what the fuck has these kids so angry?

I understand poverty is a bitch.  The economy has everybody in a vice grip but, REALLY?  It’s so bad we kill ourselves?  These young, misguided warriors are killing each other over “turf” they don’t even own!  They have no mortgage, or no deed to ANYTHING.  They “feel disrespected” because someone accidentally bumped into them in the store or at the club.  Here’s one… “someone disrespected they bitch.”  Or, someone has a pair of sneaks they want, and instead of getting a fuckin job, and working so they can buy them for themselves (like real men do), they bust someone over the head, or kill them.  Just for the latest Jordans.

This makes me angry. I’m angry because it seems nobody is doing anything to stop it.  Those with the resources to provide services to our community are doing nothing!  And those of us who ARE trying to do something, we speak truth to power only to be written off as heretics.  When we present possible solutions to our problems, we are barely taken seriously if at all.  We are told that our possible solutions will not work without even giving them a try.  I guess if someone other than the “leading blacks” can get any attention or credit for doing something good in the community, is too much of a threat to their non-profit salaries.

Instead of doing something… ANYTHING, it’s easy to just pass the buck and place the blame.  It would be easy to blame the mothers.  We know where they are right?  In the club with THEIR mothers, seeing who can twerk the best. When they get drunk, their “men” instigate fights so they can proudly post their ratchedness on WorldStar Hip-Hop.  I mean, who doesn’t want to be on WorldStar?

We can blame the absent fathers too, right?  When “thug” is what it means to be a real black man, and when little boys are being beat (some to death) for the simple human act of crying, what do we expect?

How about we blame “the man” or “the system”.  We all know that the United States of Amerikkka is set up for blacks to always be second class.  Oh no, wait… i forgot… blacks are too lazy, shiftless and trifling to get up off their asses and do whatever it takes to help themselves.

LET’S BLAME THE CHURCH!  We have churches on every corner in our ‘hoods and they are POWERLESS.  We have MEGA CHURCHES!  Beautiful, pristine, gated, prosperous, state of the art MEGA CHURCHES that have all this Holy Ghost, and all this faith and power, but can’t do ANYTHING to serve the ‘hoods they sit in.  All this “good news” being preached, and our elderly are afraid to sit on their own porches.  We have al this anointing, and power to cast out devils, but our daughters are undercover ghetto porn stars.

I guess it stands to reason the churches are powerless when Qua’shawn is giving $100 or more of his dope money to his grandmother every week, she puts it in church every Sunday, and the pastor (who doesn’t live in the hood) is using said money to pay for his Escalade and to send his kids to college.  I mean, who gives a fuck that Qua’shawn, Malik and Pookie, who paid for the new church building, will be a convicted on drug charges, will NEVER be able to vote again, will spend time in jail, and will have no opportunities to do anything differently if and when he gets out?  But, Praise the Lord for the new sanctuary, right?  And the church doesn’t see this as a problem. The black church’s REAL problem is gay people wanting marriage equality.

What I’m saying is, instead of asking, “Who is gonna do something?”, we should be asking “What can I do?” Each of us has the power to do something.  We can call for more police patrols in our neighborhoods.  I mean, it works for the rich white people.  Are WE not paying more taxes than THEY are?  We can use the power of our vote to put pressure on our elected officials to do more on behalf of our neighborhoods.  We can organize neighborhood watches.  The church and do much more than than pray, like open their doors for youth programs.  The church can be a meeting place for the community organize and educate the community on how to preserve our neighborhoods and save our children.  We can do something constructive to get our kids off the streets.  Desperate times call for desperate measures.  We cannot afford for any more of our people to senselessly die.

Okay, I’m done. I put it as nicely as I could without editing out my passion.  I feel I’ve grown up a little bit.  I’m a little bit less afraid.  It feels good.  I finally got that off my chest.  I’m even putting some anti-violence programs together to propose to local churches and the police departments.  That’s SOMETHING, right?

 

Tuan N’Gai is the co-founder of Operation: REBIRTH, the author of “Will I Go To Heaven?  The Black Gay Spiritual Dilemma”, “Little Brown Boy’s Blues”, and contributor to the New York Times Best Seller, “It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying and Creating a Life Worth Living”


Are You Afraid of My Blackness?

A young man I was mentoring called me to vent about what he perceived as a negative experience.  He was FURIOUS!!!  He was leaving a job interview in a building downtown when he was joined on the elevator by an older white woman.  Though he was professionally dressed, his “swagger” still seemed to show.

According to his account, when the elevator door closed the lady moved as close as she could on the other side of the elevator and clutched her purse, being sure to not make eye contact with him.  He said it was obvious she was afraid.  She honestly thought he would do something to her or try to take her purse.

He was livid that she would think that of him.  “Don’t nobody want that ol’ woman, her p***y, OR her dayum purse!” he said.  He rode the bus and walked home from his stop insulted that someone who didn’t even know him would thing that about him, and would make it known with their actions.

When he finished venting, I asked him to listen to what he told me.  I repeated, “The white woman got on the elevator. When the door closed, she retreated to the opposite side and clutched her purse. Why?  Because she was afraid of you.”

“Yeah”, he said.

I asked him, “when are you gonna realize the power you have?” When will you glory in the fact that as a young black man, your very presence is so intense that it intimidates people who aren’t as strong as you are, and it challenges their ignorance?”

“Dayum!  I didn’t think about it like that,” he responded.

Even though I was in a position to minister to him, this entire scenario was a lesson to me as well.  I should no longer view my blackness as a hindrance or curse. I should embrace and glory in it.  Hell, my blackness is more than beautiful…it’s downright powerful!   The fact that I’m a black man is a gift.  It’s a blessing.  It’s an honor that God saw fit to bestow.  It’s a reason to celebrate.  I also realized that my blackness is a call to responsibility.  The power that black men possess is one that should be used to bless the earth.  When I think of the intelligence and talent we possess, it makes me so proud to be who I am.  I just wish there were more black men who were vocal about their Black Pride.

The funny thing is how white people get afraid, offended and worried about black men having, vocalizing and displaying their pride.  It truly incites fear within their very souls.  I think that fear is a response to their internalized guilt for how we’ve been treated in the United States of Amerikkka.  I think Black Pride is such a bright light that it shows them their inferiority.  Maybe they are afraid because they know if we ever start to walk in all the greatness that lives within us, the white privilege bullshit will end, and the chickens will TRULY come home to roost.

It’s sad to think an entire generation of black men know nothing of their history.  They have no clue of the greatness that is manifested on the earth because of their presence.  I think knowing how Benjamin Banniker, a black man, contributed inventions that changed history would make them proud.  Knowing of Langston Hughes and James Baldwin, black men, giving us literature that transcends time would get them excited.  To know how the athletic accomplishments of Jackie Robinson, Reggie Jackson, Arthur Ashe, Mohammed Ali and Michael Jordan revolutionized sports forever is simply amazing.  To have knowledge of  Medgar Evers, Malcolm X,  Bayard Rustin, Dr. MLK,  and countless other civil rights icons would make them proud of their blackness.  To know of men like Thelonius Monk, James Cleveland, Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Prince and countless others who personify musical excellence and genius, would be an inspiration.

Having the opportunity to mentor younger black men has helped me realize that we, as a black men, cannot allow the fear or ignorance of others to make us think negative things about ourselves.  We cannot allow anyone but us to define who we are.  We cannot accept what the media says about black men as our personal truth, but rather present such a positive and powerful image they can’t help but tell the truth we want told.

It’s time we get back to teaching our sons, nephews and cousins about the greatness from whence they come.  We have to embrace the beauty in our diversity.  We can no longer use the evil perpetrated by white men as an excuse to dwell in mediocrity.  We have to accept our blackness as a “something extra” that God gave us to succeed, whether white men are afraid of it or not.


I CALL BULLSHIT!

Now that the warm and fuzzy “Kum Ba Yah” moment we had while remembering those who perished in the 9/11 tragedies is over, maybe the United States of Amerikkka can get back to the sexist, classist, racist, homophobic, divisive culture we know and love.

I call bullshit!  Amerikkka’s “we’re all one nation under GOD” pseudo-sentimentality during a national remembrance of 9/11 is about as sincere as knocking little old people over at Walmart during a black Friday  sale.  One Nation Under GOD me ass!

That is all.


Nature or Nurture (Romans 1)

It’s been argued that the first time homosexuals, or homosexual acts are addressed in the New Testament is in Romans the 1st chapter (mainly verses 26 and 27). That is if you disregard the two occasions that eunuchs are mentioned (sorry, that’s another Bible Study). And like other scriptures, this one has been misinterpreted, taught in error, and caused much spiritual and emotional harm to same gender loving people.

The thing most people who erroneously teach this scripture seem to forget is, when interpreting scripture, you cannot just take one or two verses of a chapter, build a sermon, teach it as “God’s Word” and live it as a doctrine. You have to carefully see what the scripture (and all others relating to it) is saying. It’s been advised that we read the chapter before, and after the chapter we are studying so that we can get some type of contextual view of what the author was talking about. In this case, we are dealing with Apostle Paul’s letter to the Christians in Rome. In fact, the text in verse 7 says it…”my dear friends in Rome” (New Living Translation). Since that’s who he was addressing, we have to infer that he was dealing with their situation. Am I saying that he couldn’t have any relevant truth for 21st Century America? Not at all. I AM saying that if we are going to correctly interpret what is being said, we need to understand that first and foremost, who Paul was addressing was 1st Century Rome. Let’s take a closer look and find out what that truth is.

The first thing we need to address is the cultural climate of biblical Rome. It was a societal norm for people to be bisexual. And with that being the “normal” sexuality that society ascribed to, it was expected for everyone to be that way. Since now we know that all people aren’t bisexual (in fact most are heterosexual), we can understand how pressured a heterosexual or homosexual person would be to engage in acts that weren’t “natural” for him or her. The definition of the word “natural” in this text comes from the Greek word “phusikos”, meaning instinctive or native disposition. If a person is a native to some place, they were born there. So, a native disposition would be how a person is born. The word “nature” in this text likewise comes from the Greek word “phusis”, which means production or lined descent; growth by germination, or native disposition. Just keep “instinctive/native disposition” in mind.

When Paul talks about the “natural use” of the woman, he is coming from several different places. First from a place of male dominance that thought that the only use a woman has is having babies to continue the man’s lineage. That’s all. A woman was a man’s property (paid for with a dowry)…his “baby maker” per se. So any sexual deviation that would produce offspring was not looked upon favorably. In fact, not until this century did some in the church start teaching that sex had more that just a procreative purpose.

Secondly, Paul was coming from a sexual orientation angle. He was not making a blanket statement of what is and isn’t “natural”. He couldn’t have been. Science has proven that in all species of animals, homosexuality is present (ref. “Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity” by Bruce Bagemihl). So, since homosexuality occurs in nature, it cannot be considered unnatural. And since most people are instinctively heterosexual and that is their native disposition, it IS highly unnatural for one to do otherwise. In this scripture, Paul is telling the Romans that it is unnatural for a person to go against their “native disposition” or what is “instinct” for them and do something else with their bodies to fit in. Now, we can jump on the ex-gay and DL thing right here, but we don’t have the space or time. But do you get the point? If your nature is heterosexual, be that. If you are born homosexual, be that. If you indeed are bisexual, then that’s you. Don’t try to change who you are to fit societal norms. It’s like telling God that He made you the wrong way.

Next, Paul was dealing with some religious issues as well. Paul in fact is saying homosexual activity is not a sin, but a punishment for idol worship and faithlessness. It is a result of heterosexuals not worshipping God but His creation. Turning the truth into a lie. Denying God. His argument is, if a man (being straight) is SO confused and faithless that he cannot discern who God is when creation even tells of His existence, then it’s not so far fetched that that same man (being straight) would be confused sexually and do what is unnatural for him to do. These verses couldn’t be an blanket indictment against homosexuality in that most of the most highly anointed, profound, gifted, talented, and FAITHFUL Christians are homosexual people.

Finally, Paul was dealing with what was going on in Rome from the standpoint of a Jew. There were just some things that were not customary or “natural” for a good Jew to do. Not to say that there are no homosexual Jews, there are. But one must remember that Paul was a very well educated and respected man in his time. He was a good Jew who knew and tried his best to live by “the law” according to the Torah. So to be in another land (not native to Israelites) and submerged into another culture (Rome) trying to live according to how Jews “customarily” or “normally” lived, it must have been hard to do since the society was so different.

So, is Romans 1.26-27 a blanket indictment against homosexuals? With the information we have, we can say no. Paul was more than likely addressing cultural, religious, and orientation issues in this scripture. Contrary to popular opinion, the theme of this text isn’t homosexuality. In fact it isn’t about sexuality at all. It’s about people keeping in mind who God is. It’s about understanding that humanity is without excuse when it comes to reverencing God in that creation itself tells of His glory. It’s about understanding the truth and the fact that it comes from God. And lastly, it’s about not being judgmental or hypocritical. Remember when we said that one should study the chapter before and after the text being focused upon? Well, Romans Chapter 2.1-7 Paul gets on people who are pointing at those who have forgotten God and saying how wicked they are, yet are doing the same things. Bottom line, God judges sin. It doesn’t matter who you are. Make sure you are right with God for yourself. Let God handle the rest in His own way.