Tag Archives: Relationship

Effective Civil Rights 101

You may have heard me say several times on this blog that the opposite of racism is not equality–it is prestige. “Prestige” as in “better than”. Prestige as in “Black superiority”. Prestige as in “Uppity Niggers”. Prestige as in “Reverse racism”. If you ever saw a Black man claim that there is no racism left or claim that racism is not a major obstacle for Black people, that Negro ain’t crazy… from his point of view, he may see something the rest of us don’t see.

Don’t get your panties all in a bunch yet; let me explain.

See, there is much truth to what that handpicked Negro is saying. I’m saying here that I agree with him to a point, but I disagree that he said it. What he is saying, when he claims that racism is a thing of the past is this:

Racism exists. But it cannot hold you back if you don’t let it.

Some of us give White America way too much power and way too much respect. There are many things we can do to eliminate the affect racism has on us, but we simply don’t do it. Now, I’m not suggesting we can escape its clutches in a 100% guaranteed, surefire way. No way–this is still the home of racism and prejudice. But if we do certain things, we can isolate it to areas where it can be contained and dealt with. So much of the racism that we encounter is simply OUR fault. Meaning, had we not done this–that wouldn’t have happened. Had we done more of that, this wouldn’t happen. If we dot our Is and cross our Ts, this country would have fewer opportunities to wield the racist stick at us and do what he enjoys doing the most. However, so many of us screw up–we play right into the hands of Willie Bobo himself, and it gives him great pleasure to do what he does.

And let me say this:  If we do our part, we make it very difficult for racist practices to be used against us. We will never eliminate it completely. That’s like expecting the Lion to be a vegetarian. What I am saying is if you want to avoid the Lion’s jaws, stay the fuck out his cage. A 17 year old tried as an adult on his first offense and given the maximum prison sentence wouldn’t be able to complain that the cop beat his ass and both attorneys and the judge conspired to ruin his life had that stupid mother fucker NOT shot another Black child. Capiche? This country is going to fuck with us. Just don’t make it easy for them, is all I’m saying.

So. What are the steps now to gaining, building, and maintaining prestige? I’ll tell you.

Who remembers how much White people hated Asians in the 1970s and 1980s? Yeah, after the Philippine Insurrection, the Korean War, Pearl Harbor, and Vietnam–White folks HATED Asians. Even Asians who had nothing to do with this shit. Thai, Indonesian, Okinawan–if you resembled anything labeled the “enemy” they hated you and wanted to kill your children. But what happened? I recall being called a “Chink” at summer camp when I befriended two Taiwanese boys who spoke little English, because I had lived in Taiwan and spoke Mandarin (okay, I’m half Filipino too. sheesh). Those boys who ostracized me for being friends with the “Vietnamese” boys learned that shit somewhere. In 1982, none of us were old enough to truly remember Vietnam or Pearl Harbor–they learned that bullshit from their parents. But today, we would all be in our 40s, and I guaran-fucking-TEE most of those same White boys wanted to fuck an Asian girl, a few might even be married to one, loves Asian food, watches martial arts flicks, has at least three or four Asian friends, and probably works with a few Asian guys, and get this:  Will raise their hand to God and swear on their mother’s grave that they were raised to see “no race” or some bullshit ass lie like that.

What happened? Why do White folks no longer hate Asians? When was the last time you even heard a White guy ranting about Asians or calling people Guks, slant eyes, or chinks? Where did that racism go? Did Asians protest or get a law passed? Did they form organizations like we did to combat that shit? Did they push for an Asian President, walk around in Asian clothing, get mad at Asian guys who fuck with White girls or Asian women who have children by White men? They were able to eliminate that racism, but we–in all our effort, been here 300 years longer–with all our money, celebrities, even our Negro President–you can be a law-abiding, college educated, peaceful, friendly, successful Black man, and in the eyes of the dirtiest, poorest, most illiterate White dude in the trailer park, you ain’t nothing but a common Nigger.

And this is why the Brother at the beginning of this article seems to be a tad bit mentally ill when he says “Ain’t no racism”. There will always be racism. Yet Asians aren’t stung by it. And I’m sure if a White dude who really hated Asians out here allowed himself to actually say, “What are you doing talking to that Chink?” 90% of the most racist White cats who hate Obama and love Trump would look at that dude and say “Mother fucker are you crazy?”  Cause he would be. Ain’t nobody tripping off Asians no more. So the question, my brothers and sisters is “WHY?”

Let me break it down:

  1. First, Asians do commit crimes. They prey on each other, too. But they do not highlight those who commit crimes. More energy is spent on the ones who don’t commit crimes–their children and academics, local businesses, cultural centers. We, on the other hand, follow our criminals to make sure they are “punished fairly”, we glamorize those who have been to prison, our kids look up to them, we embrace them, write songs about them, pretend to be criminals ourselves, we dress like them. Asian crime doesn’t represent Asians. Black crime is actually a part of our pop culture. Don’t get mad; I’m just calling it like I see it. Any time a brother with a job is seen by our women as less sexy than a brother with a record–we are in mother fucking trouble
  2. Asian communities are ethnic. They embrace their cultures–we look to erase it. Either that, or we let big business tell us what will be our culture. You mean to tell me a billionaire record exec can determine what’s popping in the streets? Hell no–but whatever they decide negroes will listen to–y’all MFs will buy it. Asians on the other hand, send their children to “Chinese school” so that cultures are lost. We make fun of Afrocentric programs, or marginalize them
  3. They humble themselves and sacrifice their generation to make way for the next. We dress up, buy nice cars–as soon as we have the money. Yet when we die, our children must hold car washes to bury us because we spent our money in our youth and didn’t leave them shit but bills. Each time a Black man buys luxury items for himself, while his children have no college fund, and no inheritance (via our own retirement funds)–we are actually stealing from our children’s future.
  4. We “love our children” buy dressing them in the latest fashions, buying them electronics, sell them a fantasy of being a professional athlete or future entertainer–while ignoring their education. We will buy $200 sneakers but think $80 is too much for math tutoring. Many Asian kids got through college under parents who have no education past grade school, some didn’t even speak English. Our children make fun of children who excel and exclude smart Black children from the race (“you talk so White”, as if Black children aren’t articulate too)
  5. Many Asians do not believe in credit or banks. They deal with cash, save money in safes and freezers. We apply for credit and live beyond our means. This is why they can open businesses and we can’t. We live for show. By the way, please don’t believe the bullshit that every Asian arrives in America to a government loan to open a business. If they do get a loan, do you know where it comes from? It comes from a family member who had saved money for years before they arrive. How many of you would loan your cousin $15,000 to open a shop? I didn’t think so.
  6. They pool resources. Entire families will run a restaurant, a store, sometimes two or three families will collaborate on a business. You can’t even stand your own relatives for a weeklong family reunion or  Thanksgiving dinner.
  7. Here’s something you may not know:  Asian families buy in bulk. My mother use to buy a whole cow, a hundred pounds of chicken, entire goats–with a cousin and her family, sometimes two. She and my cousin would buy an 80 lb sack of rice and split it. We often sent food back and forth between households. Babysat each others children while the other worked extra jobs. For a twenty year period, we almost always had a relative living with us. Everyone had money, even though we may have looked poor. Ijs!
  8. Politically, Asians look at politics as the White man’s game. Just stay your ass out of Chinatown. Asians know these guys have no love for them, and they don’t try to demand it neither. My mother use to warn me about complaining about racism: it’s like asking the tiger to be a vegetarian. Get yours, let him get his. Stay out of his pockets and he’ll stay out of yours. We haven’t learned that. We live here, and prospered most when we couldn’t go to his stores and lived in his neighborhoods. But now that we live in his neighborhoods, and you wonder why his police are fucking with you?
  9. If we could somehow stop 90% of our children from commiting crimes and instead focus on education, if we could stop our men from using drugs and drinking alcohol and solving problems by fighting–we could singlehandedly shut down the prison industrial complex. Like it or not, this is true. A judge can’t throw the book at you if you don’t get arrested. Sure, false arrests happen. But if none of us committed crimes, it would be far easier to isolate those instances when they happen. We must eliminate crime and crimespeak from our everyday language and actions. So many kids are playing gangsta, it’s hard to discern who is a real gangsta and who is just dressing like one!
  10. Asians don’t ask America for much at all. They may demand here or there when there is an injustice–and very often that demand is answered. More on this later. But other than that, Asians don’t demand jobs; they create jobs. They open businesses. They will get into every business thinkable. If you spend money on it, Asians will sell or provide it.
  11. But here’s the thing ^^ once it is known that Asians have a business–they automatically have a client base. A fiercely loyal, consistent client base. When was the last time a Chinese or Vietnamese came into your business and spent money solely with you?
  12. Speaking of which ^^ Asians don’t say stupid shit like we do along the lines of “See? This why I don’t spend money with other Asians!”
  13. I don’t care if you offer something cheaper than a Chinese or better than a Vietnamese–most of them will not go to you when their brother sells it
  14. And items #10-13 all go towards creating not just a geographic Chinatown. They create economic Chinatowns which shrink the size of any city where Asians are spread all over. In the 1980s, my mother would travel from Silver Spring, Maryland on the BUS to shop in Fort Washington, MD, just because it was the only Filipino store in town–until one opened in Wheaton (easily 30-40 miles). We as a people do not have that kind of discipline. We only had it when we the White man told us we couldn’t shop nowhere but Black owned stores. As soon as he gave us permission to buy from him–we busted through door like they had learned to bottle up sex or something.
  15. And that economic Chinatown is what empowered all Asian people who were a part of that community. Even in cities where there is no “Vietnamese Town”, the Vietnamese know where all the Vietnamese businesses are–and will cross Hell and highwater to shop there. This circulates the money made from one Vietnamese family to the next, over and over, until someone decides to break the chain and spend the money elsewhere. If you ever got in good with an economic community–you will quickly see how powerful they are, because you will have so much business even if you hated Vietnamese–you would learn to respect them and shut your damned hole. This economic community is more powerful than any protest or social media campaign. It may only represent 2,000 families–but we are talking each member of those 2,000 families and their incomes. And their votes. And their labor. And their spending power. And their ability to not spend with you. And their friends and their families. 2,000 families isn’t much, but you take 2,000 families working in unison–it is more powerful than an atomic bomb.
  16. Question, how much money do Black people spend on nails in a month? How much money do nail shops bring in each month? Why aren’t more of us opening our own shops? The school is only 10 weeks long. Do you know how much money a nail tech makes in a day? Hundreds, but you worried about a damned $15/hr job. For as much as Black folks spend on nails each month–damn near none of us have a shop. So we are throwing millions of dollars at that community, financing their kids college funds, financing their other businesses, their cars, their homes, their monthly budgets–none of which is spent in a Black business.
  17. Now, let’s replace “Nails” with everything else we spend our money on. Alcohol. Clothing. Cars. Phones and electronics. Insurance. Rent. Groceries. Gas. Day Care. You name it. How many of these businesses are Black owned businesses?
  18. And there, ^^ is the problem. There are Black businesses out there–but you aren’t patronizing them. You might go to work, but you are, I’m sure, making less than you’d make if you sold one of those products we spend our money on. We simply don’t. Why? Because opening a day care, buying an apartment building, selling alcohol (yuck, more on this later), selling groceries, selling insurance–is not in our plan.
  19. Asian communities, then, are 100% self reliant. You think Asians don’t like Black folks? Well guess what–Asians don’t like WHITE folks. And they will not spend their money with them, they don’t ask them for shit neither. They come here, and don’t even respect America enough to learn to speak the language like you’d like em to. On one hand, you can cuss em out, tell them their dick is small, learn to speak English, whatever. But the bottom line is that he is throwing you out of HIS business, and he will never do anything to benefit you, yet no matter what–you will still end up spending money to benefit HIM. White or black, this Asian is existing here in America without asking you for a damn thing, and his resentment for what y’all did to his family back during the war is irrelevant because he is mostly likely completely independent of most of us and none of us can hold him back from achieving his goals. And if the US gets to irritating for his taste, he will take his money and hop on a plane and go someplace else. For as much as Black folks love Africa and hate the White man–how many of us will board and plane and go? Yup. That’s why the white man has no love or respect for you; cause you in his house, he knows you are not independent of him, and you will always end up having to go back to him for something. Permission, justice, money–something. We are somewhat politically immature, you see, true racism is not words and insults and calling names. TRUE racism is how it affects lives. It is economic. It affects freedom. It affects health and whether you live or die. Remember that. So what these white folks don’t like you. Live your life so that their hate has zero effect on your pockets, on your household, on your life. Stop expecting the people that hate you to accept you. Integration is garbage. Learn to be independent.

We think prestige is a state job where you dress sharp and have a nice house, clothes and car. No–prestige is not needing your oppressor for a daggone thing. Prestige is having something your oppressor wants–your business, your money, your votes–and not giving it unless he does something for you. We have no prestige. You could be a millionaire Black man who is loved by many–and he will charge you with a crime and imprison you and no one will do a damned thing about it. That isn’t prestige, there is no price tag on it. It is a condition, a state of being.

No election talks about the “Asian voting bloc”. You know what Asians are getting involved in elections? Most likely, Asians with little connection to their culture and community. Most have never been to their parents’ countries, they don’t speak the language, they have 1/2 white children. Ethnic Asians know that no matter who is in office, Chinatown will operate the same, and it will not affect my income and lifestyle. The Civil Rights leaders of the 60s had a role:  they were combating human rights issues. We no longer have that same fight, the playing field is more level. Even when they were in the middle of their Civil Rights struggle, they did not protest; they withdrew to their communities and built lives without White folks. So there is no White support of Chinatown–who gives a fuck. We tend to invite them to interfere–excuse me, join–us in whatever we do, and we so badly have it wrong. Build our communities, strengthen our families, concentrate our power and efforts. That’s how you build prestige, and that is how you eradicate racism.

Bottom line:  Effective Civil Rights movement shouldn’t focus on this country or the White man. America will always be America, the White man will always be the White man. But we focus on ourselves, our families and our communities–we make it difficult for our enemies to attack us, and we make it easy for our allies to support us. You cannot ask a man who is feeding you or seeing you at your worse to treat you with respect and dignity. You can only demand it by being a people who is worthy of it. Most of us are worthy of respect. Too many of us are not. We have to turn our focus inward. Don’t ask him for anything, be independent, be strong, be united. When he is no longer needed to feed our people–and only then–we will have the opposite of racism. Remember I said this:  You can only hold down a people when they are not standing tall. Get off your knees, my brothers and sisters.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

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Filed under Message to the Black Man

Black Problems

Wrote this piece while watching a lady in a laundromat do her daughter’s hair. I know that struggle; I became a single Dad when my daughter was 9 months old and I didn’t know anything about taking care of Black hair. My best friend came to California to hang with me for the summer two weeks after my ex left. My sister visited pretty frequently that summer from the Bay area. Then my mother arrived three months later and stayed with me for almost a year. None of us knew a thing about braiding or cornrowing. Fortunately, my next-door-neighbors were Sudanese and both daughters taught me to braid, and I ended up dating a beautician… Well, I thought about how Black girls had to balance beauty with self-esteem in a world where it seemed no one–not even Black men–loved them and who they are, or how they looked. Here was my beautiful Black daughter, in a family of non-Black women. I swore she would never have straightened hair (although her hair is somewhat straight)–I even carefully chose mates who wouldn’t leave her feeling left out or feeling like her Dad didn’t value women who looked like her. This is the dilemma of raising a Black girl in a White, male-oriented world. Teach her not to love herself as God made her, and you run the risk of teaching her not to love herself. I get that. To some, it’s just hair. To those who know better-she is the young, female version of Sampson. You teach her so much more by the seeds you allow to sprout from her scalp. I whipped out a pen, grabbed a flyer off the wall, and wrote this piece. Hope somebody out there can feel me.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

 

BLACK PROBLEMS

with a fine-toothed comb

she sorted out kinks

curls

and imperfections:

lint, grease, and debris

remnants of four-hundred years of ugliness

hoping to straighten out her blackness as well as her naps

wants nothing but the best for her baby

painful process with the power

to pursue a pampered life

mother’s prerogative to pass on

a pretentious policy for a positive future

pressing in

beauty, success and acceptance

all contained in what she perceives:

presentable hair.

as if relaxing away her pretty locks with a perm

could also relax away the tense life of being a Black woman

“life ain’t no crystal box of crayons, honey—”

mother’s desire to elevate her daughter’s beauty and status

by eradicating her African roots

the ignorant notion

of solving and sorting out Black problems

with a damned comb.

🙂

©2004

The Queen and the Princess...

The Queen and the Princess…

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Filed under Poetry

His Purple Reign Is Over…

Prince SymbolI’m heartbroken.

Yeah, I’m a Prince fan. I wasn’t always. When I was 14, I had a girlfriend who loved Prince. She talked about him, wore the buttons, wrote in that easily recognizable 80s-Prince-style shorthand, even dressed like him. As a self-respecting ghetto boy, I couldn’t get with the program. I liked Hip Hop and DC GoGo music, and his Royal Sweetness was too effeminate for my taste. I liked 1999 and some of his earlier albums–but after seeing the video, I was cool off of Prince.

But then, I had my first date.

Purple Rain hit the theaters, and Mustafa Akamo’s first date was that movie–with my Grandfather sitting between us. Hey, it was a different time then! I went, griping about the theater she chose–I sure as hell didn’t want none of my homeboys to see me coming out of that theater. Hell, it was not much different than getting caught coming out of the porn theater! Anyway, by the end of the first song and scene of the movie, I was a fan. And have been ever since.

I don’t know about you, but I was a fan in the biggest way. Being a fan of Prince’s music was something I couldn’t share with my friends. We were ghetto kids, we did manly things like play streetball, football, and boxed. We fought kids from rival neighborhoods. This was DC, we wore lumberjack jackets, Adidas tennis shoes, our hats backwards, and if you liked something strange like David Bowie, Culture Club, or Duran Duran–you’d better keep that shit to yourself. Not that I was a closet fan… It was just something I enjoyed by myself. I owned all his albums, all the 45s, collected magazines with articles and song lyrics (but no posters–I drew the line there–this was an admiration of the music, not a damned crush lol). I even started writing in the shorthand. I wore trench coats, loved purple, let my hair grow long. I had a lot in common with him. We were both biracial Black men (so I thought, turns out–both his parents are Black), loved motorcycles, rock music, identified ourselves as “brothers”. Except I liked my women chocolate and dark, but he liked mixed women. No biggie.

I had four girls during my Prince stage that I was crazy about, but they were older and liked me as a friend and didn’t reciprocate:  Lauren Kelly-Washington (who went to Georgetown Prep), Kamalah Lucas (either Duke Ellington or GP), Lisa Ponder and Bernadette Brandon (who both went to Eastern High). I wrote love letters. I called them (during my time knowing them) daily, incessantly. I befriended them and learned how to talk to girls. Prince was there all the time, telling me what to say, even when I might as well have been listening to Chinese Arithmetic, because I had no clue what he was talking about. He accompanied me on dates. He was in the background when I daydreamed about them. By the time I made it to the University of Maryland, I was a well-seasoned Playboy. armed with my ambiguous bilingual ghetto-boy/intellect/poetry-writing street kid persona–and women found me to be an irresistible bitch. I could be romantic, intriguing, and fight two niggas at the same time. Articulate-as-hell-but-carried-a-gun type of interesting. Prince seduced the nation, and he taught me to seduce those I came in contact with, simply by being different, being exotic, being strange and peculiar, and being myself. At a time I was struggling to fit in, I learned through him, that fitting in isn’t always where it’s at. They laugh at me for being different; I learned to laugh at them because they are all the same. There’s power in standing out.

I used to say that three things pulled me back from becoming just another brother on the street:  my mother insisting that I was Filipino, my Cuban stepfather who taught me to dress and dance, cook and speak some Spanish, and Prince’s music–which balanced the pull of DC calling me out my racial mixture to join the rest of the brothers. Those who know me know that I am equally Afrocentric and exotic. Many don’t like it; they want me to choose sides. Prince was all about not choosing sides. Shit, that fool wouldn’t even make it known that he was decidedly straight, riding the fence and staying in the gray area is what made this brother stand out. Everybody loved him. Black folks knew he was Black. Latinos loved him because he gave nods to Latin rhythms and music. White folks thought his momma was White, and considered him to have “transcended race” (which happens to be White people’s way of saying “He can’t be Black, we like that nigga too!”).

The brother didn’t leave the race; he wasn’t bisexual. He was just Prince. That’s all. He was who he was, and the place he loved to hang out was right there in the middle. And in the middle where everybody could identify with him and appreciate him. He was kinda White, kinda Black, kinda Latin, kinda Hip Hop, kinda Rock, even kinda Country, kinda straight, kinda gay. He taught those who loved him to get past their own limited tastes and biases and just appreciate him for who he was:  an awesome musician.

There are people who are “fans of Prince’s music”, but then there are “Prince fans”. Prince fans got into more than just the music; we learned as much as we could about him. We still bought all his albums, even though he hadn’t had a #1 hit since 1989–and went to his concerts religiously. We dressed differently, we talked differently, we wrote differently. We enjoyed his music, then studied the lyrics asking, “What did he actually mean by that?”  We categorized dates and life events by whatever Prince songs we were jamming to at the time. He wasn’t just making albums we loved; his music was literally the soundtrack to our lives. And now, he’s gone.

There was a joke about his Royal Badness–that he was the only guy who could wear a headwrap and eyeliner, and STILL take your woman from you–and it’s true. He is probably the only guy a very straight man, even homophobic ones, would admit comfortably was a Sexy Mother Fucker and still feel masculine. Like I said, there will never be another.

This was our Elvis, the Black man’s 9/11. He taught us to say screw the mainstream, screw status quo and do your own thing. For that, I’m honored I had the pleasure of being a Prince fan.

June 7, 1958 - April 21, 2016

June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016

From Him we came, to Him we return. Till we meet again, Prince Rogers Nelson. Rest in peace, my brother.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

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Filed under Inspiration

As Temporary As the Mountains

With God's might, they all move...

With God’s might, they all move…

The Quran Chapter 27, verse 88 says:  “And you see the mountains, thinking they are rigid, but they pass like the clouds. It is the doing of Allah, who has perfected all things, and he knows what you do.”

وَتَرَى ٱلْجِبَالَ تَحْسَبُهَا جَامِدَةً وَهِىَ تَمُرُّ مَرَّ ٱلسَّحَابِ ۚ صُنْعَ ٱللَّهِ ٱلَّذِىٓ أَتْقَنَ كُلَّ شَىْءٍ ۚ إِنَّهُۥ خَبِيرٌۢ بِمَا تَفْعَلُونَ

Ameen. (Amen)

God knows what you are going through. He knows you’re hurt. You get sick. You’re sad and lonely. You have financial problems. You have health problems. You worry. You don’t see a way out. But look back at your life, that time your money got tight, your car was about to be repo’d, you’re heart was broken, you stressed over finding work, graduating from school… Did you make it through? Did it work out?

Of course it did. My mother used to say that worry is a sign of disbelief in God, that you don’t believe He will pull you through. But He always does, doesn’t He? Yes He does. Yet you doubted Him when things got stressful. Did you even thank Him when it was over? Or did you claim that you found a way out?

Hmm.

Muslims say that Allahu khayru alma kareena:  God is the best of planners. Indeed He is. The Creator does not put any situation on you that He doesn’t deem you strong enough to deal with, and even when you find yourself trapped in a maze He will lead you out. If you are a believer He will save you. If you are a non-believer, He still may save you. (By the way, “Believer” can be a Muslim Jew or Christian) Just ask, and if it is His will, you will find a way. Notice I did not say “if you deserved it”, I said “His will”. Deserving is up to Him. Regardless of the outcome, God is in control and His will be done. End of story.

Understanding that even the mountains will move as easily as the clouds is a sign of God’s power. What looks more stable and immovable than the mountains? If God so desires, he will move them or crumble them just as he will move the clouds. The Creator is permanent, and He is powerful. If you stare long enough, entire continents will shift, but only Allah sees it. When you look at your love life or your job situation, regardless of how bleak it may seem or how powerless you feel there is always a way. You don’t see it, but having faith will help. You think they are permanent, but those who understand the miracle of Allah know otherwise. And this is why He told us way back during a time when men weren’t even aware that the Earth moved:  Yes, I even move the mountains too. He knows what you go through, and through this passage he is telling you that not even the mightiest mountain is permanent.

When I hear someone give up–love, work, their passions, working out, their goals–I want to share this with them. Perhaps you are too close to the forest to see the trees. So rely on the One who knows the way out. Follow Him.

Or accompany someone who follows Him.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

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New Category: Inspiration

If ever there was a bipolar blog, this might be it, to match MY bipolar personality. I have so much planned for this blog and, apparently, not enough time to make it happen. However, being the determined, driven man that I am–it will happen.

So here’s my latest. Everything that drives me–that I think may help drive you–that doesn’t fit into one of the categories already on this blog will get pinned right here. Mostly religious, but some non-religious. Self-help (I read lots of that). Psychology. Motivational. You name it.

I know some of you aren’t Muslim. But if you bend an ear to wisdom (not mine, but the wisdom of those who came before me), you may find out why Islam is the fastest growing religion on the planet. If you love me, you will have to understand Islam to understand me. I am a Sigma, but I am also the sum of my experiences and my religion is the language by which I define myself. Plenty of friends and family have asked me about my many marriages and why they failed to work, and one thing I’ve noticed as of lately is that where a woman fails to take interest in me–including this blog, upon which I explain myself–she fails to qualify herself as a mate for me. I don’t care how handsome or smart you think I am, how compatible you think we are, how good the dick is, or how pretty you think our babies will be–if you don’t understand what warms my soul and respect it, we can’t do business. You’d be surprised at how much in love some women profess to be who NEVER read this blog, despite that I place so much importance on it–even emphasizing that if she takes an interest, she will learn me faster than phone marathons. I can tell once I’ve introduced a sister (white chick, latina, etc.) to my blog, how they react to it will determine whether we have a fling or will have a strong soul connection. Shoot, I have exes who read this blog and the connection we have is a result of it.

Some say that the way through a man’s heart is his stomach, others say it’s through his dick (actually that’s the way to a boy’s heart)–but there are several ways to my heart:  through my brain, by osmosis through my skin, and going for the jugular–straight through my chest. Taking an interest in learning your man will endear you to him, trust me ladies. Find out what makes him tick and genuinely hit that button. Enjoy doing it. Whether it’s through food, sports, sex (wait, you said? yes but this is what I mean), his hobbies and interests. For me, the three things that excite me more than anything are my religion, my children, and my martial arts. Then a close second to it is my love of cultures and languages (including food and travel). Read this blog and you will find out.

I’m hoping that through AskAkamo you will be inspired to find yourself, and I have found myself.

Bookmark this page, subscribe to get updates, and stop by sometime. Thanks for visiting my blog.

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Monster

intricate roadmaps of scars

churn, swirl and twist, like

the vicious veins that torture unforgivingly

agonizing reminders of the monster I’ve become

so I hide behind prosthetic mounds of womanhood

ashamed to bare my pain

to those I hold dear

fear that it may frighten their innocent minds

or kill his desire

so I

carry these secrets to the grave

My Lord, couldn’t You save me

why have You forsaken me

refused to hear my cries:

disfigured

unbecoming

heart-swallowing

something’s missing

like Leroux’s angel of music

hideosity hides beauty

my bosom no longer blossoms

oh, what a bare-breasted beast,

half-woman i’ve become

carrying the shame of such unsightly monstrosity

wish i could tell him how much it hurt

*it won’t hurt if you touch me*

but i will hide her till the Angel comes for my soul

one day the sun will rise for me:

the pain

the shame

subsides

and–

maybe she will once again

feel

whole.

“monster”

 

beauty despite what's missing

beauty despite what’s missing

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My Mom: Drama Queen… With the Concrete Memory

I know probably half the people reading this post have a Drama Queen in their family. And half of those “Queens” are you own mothers. We love them dearly, but they get on our nerves, and for those whose mothers travel across the globe once a year to pester us and invade our new lives… We oftentimes can’t wait to put them back on a plane. Our kids hate to see them go, but they just don’t understand, do they? Don’t know them like we know them, huh?

Girl if you only knew. Those kids perhaps know your mothers better than you do, and I surely hope you don’t poison your children’s minds by talking about how nosey and needy Grandma is, or how dramatic she is, or how demanding she can be. Thing is, children appreciate our mothers, sometimes more than we do. My kids? They absolutely *adore* my mother. They start counting down the months before her visits and they terribly lament her departure once she’s gone.

But not as badly as you will; once she’s really gone.

Kids appreciate your mother more than you do because they don’t know the drama. And it’s a good thing. Mothers go through so much, and sometimes they don’t tell us how much they’d endured for you–while other times they browbeat you with it so that you never forget (or is it, so you’ll understand?) We are the Kings and Queens of our households–the bosses, the Dictators, even–for so long, we forget what it’s like to have a mother around, giving us a piece of her mind, telling us what to do, and chastising us the way we chastise our own children. She’s there to remind you of all the things you’d wish she’d forget, to tell you about things you don’t want to hear about for the millionth time. It’s in this Western culture that once we are grown, we almost forget the past, and start new lives. Our forefathers did it when coming here for the first generation. You left “home” behind and became an American. You forget that old Italian culture you left behind, you allow your children to call each other by name instead of titles like “Kuya/Ate”, you cook pot roast and steam your vegetables instead of making those Keftedakia and Greek salads your grandmother taught you. You wear your shoes in the house. You stop buying Kosher food. Your children carry your husband’s bland, American last name. You pronounce your English perfectly. Your kids speak only one language. You waste your food when you’re no longer hungry, instead of using last night’s leftovers to make Ulam or Fried Noodles. Yeah, you forgot–but Mom didn’t, and it drives you nuts.

Something unique about life in the West:  Each generation generally lives better than the last. Especially for those of us born elsewhere on the planet. Our parents sacrifice heavily for us to have a “better” life. They barely got us to adulthood having the essentials, unlike many others who inherit what was left behind by a previous generation. When we had problems doing homework–we turned to another kid because some of our mothers barely spoke English. Mom doesn’t understand this culture and she surely doesn’t understand profession–why is she trying to give me advice? Mom, marriage isn’t like it was when you were younger. I know what I’m doing…

There will come a day that you will sound like your mother. You won’t understand the next generation. But you will know life a little more than your then-grown children will. Like you, they won’t listen either. I hope you won’t ever have this experience:  You stop, you reflect, and you realize that Mom was right. This is what she meant. But unlike right now, you will not be able to pick up the phone and call her to say, “Mom, you’re right. I love you.”

Instead, you will have to wait until the kids are sleep, then close your eyes, and visit her in your dreams to say it.

I have some advice for you. ALL of our mothers are Drama Queens. They ALL went through some great sacrifice to get us where we are today. They were not guaranteed to have done the best job, they may have made a shitload of mistakes. They still might be making mistakes. But she is your mother, and she has cross Hell and highwater to provide for you, to teach you, and everything she has ever done–from missing meals so the kids have enough to eat, to working extra shifts to afford to buy you presents, to marrying another man while she still loved your father just so you’d have a complete, nuclear home to return to from school, to badgering you about why you aren’t married or why she doesn’t think you’re treating your husband or wife well enough–it was ALL done because she wanted the best for you.

Don’t piss that away, just because you are too damned stubborn to shut the hell up and take a little advice and listen to wisdom. If you really appreciated the woman she’s become–like your kids do–you’d honor and hang on to every word she spoke. There will be a day, when she won’t be able to say anything else to you, and all you will have are memories, and regret.

Today’s religious lesson, whether you are Christian, Jewish, Muslim or other:  God tells us to honor our mother and father. He did not put conditions on which mother and father to honor. He didn’t say “honor parents if they were good parents”. Your parents could have been deadbeats, drug addicts, ex-cons, depressed, poor, too busy working to notice, whatever–But we are to honor them the way you’d honor a celebrity who came to your home. Imagine if Oprah came to your house, how would you prepare for that visit? What if a U.S. President gave you advice you didn’t think you needed? Or your favorite actor or singer? Would you argue with them? Some of us would treat a celebrity we have never met with more fanfare than we treat our own parents. That isn’t “honor” at all.

I would name names, because the loved ones I wrote this for read this blog and they probably recommend this to their friends. But you know who you are. Don’t do anything you will one day regret. Don’t wait till your mother is gone before you cherish her.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

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