It’s Not “Just” Pepsi…

For This Case:

Imagine after a long night or early morning, you start the day off with either a canned Starbucks drink or an energy drink like Amp. Be that as it may, however, today there is time to whip something up. Everybody loves Quaker – oatmeal, granola; easy peasy. Consequently, from the thickness, you have a glass of Tropicana or a Naked juice. It is probably midday and time to hit the gym because, well – you know, “summer’s coming”!

If you are a gym head I suppose you drink Gatorade?

Eco-friendly? Life Water.

Broke? Aquafina.

Above all, you aren’t that gullible, are you? You don’t actually pay shipping and handling for IG tea, do you?

Brew Lipton‘s. Buy Brisk.

Seeing that you’re exhausted, by now you have showered, rolled up and now have the munchies, yes? As a result, you head to the corner to cop quarter bags of that good: Doritos, Cheetos, Fritos and Lays. You despise Ruffles. Right! So! It is the weekend and you intend to get litty (in the house, obviously). You also buy cans of 7UP for the Vodka, MistTwist to go with the Gin and then a Mountain Dew for tomorrow’s hangover. Ooh, ooh! Are those Tostino‘s pizza rolls on deck for the 2 for $5? All right, all right, now – you are back in the house. You check social media: #PEPSIisTrending.

I’m perplexed —

  1. Are gentrifying pale women the face of this modern-day revolution?

  2. Is it specifically Pepsi that humanizes military cops?

  3. Ain’t no POC’s working at that company to have disputed this concept?

You a Cola fan, anyway, shit –  Boycott Pepsi!!!

Suddenly, you become conscious of PEPSICO. the company and not just “Pepsi” — the brand.
#BoyCottPepsiCo. 

Photo Cred: Youtube & cspdailynews.com

 

 

13th Amendment: Reinvented Slavery

13th Amendment

Last night I watched Ava Duvernay’s, Netflix Original documentary, 13th. The film exposed the inconvenient truth about living and being black in Amerikka today. The alternative to factually abolishing slavery was to reinvent it instead. The 13th Amendment indeed does away with slavery and indentured servitude. Unless, however, it is the punishment for a crime.

The War on Drugs

Ava takes us back to 1971 when President Nixon declared a “war on drugs.”

Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman, in a 2015 commentary in Free Press, wrote:

The Drug War was officially born June 17, 1971, when Richard Nixon pronounced drugs to be “public enemy number one.” In a nation wracked by poverty, racial tension, injustice, civil strife, ecological disaster, corporate domination, a hated Vietnam War and much more, drugs seemed an odd choice.

  In 1973, New York Governor, Nelson Rockefeller passed  The Rockefeller Drug Laws  which included mandatory minimum jail sentences for possession of drugs and made it impossible for judges to be lenient in certain cases.The bullshit ideology behind the campaign was a means of suppressing and punishing Black Africans for having survived slavery. The “war” sought to systematically exploit us long after official slavery had been outlawed.

The Devil Himself  and His Epic Fail

After the Watergate scandal we they brought in the devil: Ronald Reagan. Public concern over illicit drug use during the 1980’s was largely due to media portrayals of black people addicted to crack-cocaine. Black men were in the forefront.

 

The prison population quadrupled between 1980 and 2000 due entirely to stiffer sentencing policies, not necessarily more crime. More than half of Americans in prison are being held captive for drug-related offenses –  possession. Minorities make up a disproportionately large part of those in prison for drug offenses despite the fact that they don’t use drugs any more than white Americans.  Enter the mass incarceration of Black African’s – Slavery 2.0.

Slavery 2.0

Documentaries, movies, books, and television shows direct our attention to the issue of mass incarceration in this country. Donald Trump and his posse of pussies state that the economy is failing because jobs going to Hispanic immigrants. These “jobs” that he speaks of are being given to those in prison.

Many of the top retailers in the Amerikka take advantage of prison labor. Those organic potatoes or fancy, lack panties are products of prison labor. The likes of Whole Foods, McDonald’s, Wal-Mart, Starbucks and Victoria Secret are making millions off of prisoners – slaves. Prisoners are out in the field, or in the factory, for 8-10 hours a day and there aren’t any bathroom or lunch breaks. Could you imagine doing your job and earning a mere $0.45/hour? You probably couldn’t. An inmate working 8 hours a day, 5 days a week earns a scraggly $18.00 a week. Now imagine taking that same $18 to the commissary. A roll of tissue will cost you $5, toothpaste is $3.50 and food items cost $5 each.

The “workers” are not only cheap labor but are considered easier to control. Companies are free to avoid providing benefits like health insurance or sick days. They also don’t fret over unions, demands for vacation time, pay raises or family issues.

Something needs to and has to change.

**YOU MUST SAVE THE VIDEO TO WATCH** **FULL INSTAGRAM VIDEO**:

 https://cvws-001.icloud-content.com/B/ATt1Mt8fsfJY7kA9fbZWimKR9DytAWjbEWQ8J1cODa-EFB0Hqu6Mi5iA/IMG_2848.mp4?o=AvzBfL-Qa6Lw92A62flS7_kk8x0R4F4dt7M3ZGYfjbCT&v=1&x=3&a=BfVMN8sLgbXNA5xxNg&e=1476385634&k=rTpODMAieDCshuMEbH1yiA&fl=&r=62220d8e-5ad6-b9d8-b17e-91db80f3aadf-30&ckc=com.apple.photos.cloud&ckz=PrimarySync&y=1&p=19&s=kkMGQ-4yJru6tVkmkUp0Lu73bmc

 

Photo Cred: Shelived_blog instagram, the Atlantic Black Star, JusticeNoJails.org, thehornetonline.com and Youtube

Me, Them and Y’all

And It Never Fails

Sexism and colorism while working in a professional kitchen emphasized the reality of me, them and y’all. Six to eight hours surrounded by those who neither looked like me or spoke the same language. At times could be emotionally draining and detrimental to my mental state. Frustration collided with incompetency more times than men lie. Sharing them with management met no prevail.

The First Sit-Down Taught Me:

I remember the first meeting I had with the higher-ups. My 30-day review had come up and it was time to discuss the job and my performance thus far. By now, they too had become aware of the tension in the kitchen. I expressed that as the only Black individual employed and the only woman in the back-house was a cause for complications. As passively aggressive pale men in their mid 30’s and 40’s they had answers for everything. They matched my statement by acknowledging the older women who prep in the mornings. I responded that they do not work in the blazing heat on the line nor during the dinner rush hours. Those women also don’t stand on the same field as me for they speak the language – Spanish.

julia-header

In the field is Team Spanish versus Team English. Them against me. I am a woman enclosed with knives, blood, fire and frail egos. Some of the Hispanic males speak English and all the pale men know some jargon. I, however, am solely devoted to one team. In the field, collectively, we play defense against the quantity of orders coming in. Often it is a trial attempting to communicate intricate and fairly complicated food orders with a language barrier. As a result, we are constantly on the offense with each other.  I can say I wouldn’t have been extremely particular of another woman’s nationality. Preferably an English speaker.

Everything You Are You Owe to A Woman

A woman, regardless of her race, could have able to tell me what to expect from who. Which of these guys throw curve balls? Who also plays for our team? Which ones have slippery fingers? Who thinks he’s goddamn Danny Zuko? As a woman I have must be stronger, louder, faster. A routine showdown with sexism. Given that my emotions cannot compel me yet firmly stand my ground.

The threat of a capable woman results in the labeling of the word “bitch”. The inconvenient truth of the matter is had my vagina been a dick there would be nothing to discuss, no matter what color it was. The pale men say it’s because of their strong Hispanic culture. Women are not recognized outside of being devoted mothers and caregivers. In other words, women are mundane broads. This truth is apparently not of too much interest to the pale men.

But To be a Black Woman…

Being the only Black African* on the scene often times causes me to second guess myself. I constantly am self-consciously considering my blackness: ‘Be aggressive but not ghetto. Speak loud and clear but don’t be too loud. Always show up on time. Is my natural hair presentable? Yo B, they don’t know you, you can’t go awf like that. The Chef and Sous Chef, along with the front of the house, are Caucasian. There are two mixed-race women, an African woman, and two unidentified men. To sum it up they enjoy bun-less black bean burgers, have unhealthy fascinations with cats and oddly placed geometric tattoos. The women dress like it is either 1972 or 1993. A clusterfuck of hipster, pale quagmires.

colorism-photo

I recently engaged in yet another tedious and dramatically stale clambake to attempt to release some pressure. In uniform fashion, the majority of my narrative was met with rebuttals. I walked back to the kitchen and filled orders but eventually, I had broken down. Again faced with the adversity of being a Black African and a woman; filled with so much anxiety, fury and defeat I skidded to the bathroom, sat on the floor and cried. I gave myself 3 minutes to plummet grief into my lap then dust that shit off. I stood in front of the mirror and reminded myself why I’m here. This isn’t my dream, I don’t want to someday run this place. Get this money.

The Greatest Gift & Curse of All

For all these reasons I will never forget the first time, I sat down to discuss the job. I casually pointed out that this particular job has its controversy because of the inescapable “double negatives” of being a Black Woman. They looked at each other, looked back at me and spoke passively transparent in agreement that, “I guess I, or we, never saw it that way“.

Funny how that seems to be the only thing I see – me, them and y’all.

Photo Cred: giphy.com, meetup.com

BBHMM: Where My Direct Deposit At???

Keep Playing With My Emotions

You may recall that I was just recently fired on MLK day (such a disgrace). The pale ones told me I could expect a deposit to be directed to my personal account that Friday; today. Well, it is now 4 in the evening and I ain’t got no money. BBHMM!

Photo Cred: giphy.com

I Was Fired on Martin Luther King Day

Two days ago, January 18th, 2016 – also known as Martin Luther King Day

I got fired; there was no legitimate reason. On Martin Luther King day, yall! I started working at a salon owned by two creative colored haired, tattoo-bearing white women. I saw the ad on Craigslist and almost didn’t go but I knew I needed a job so I met with them for the scheduled interview. They needed someone with self-managing experience, a customer service background and someone who was all-around fun. If you know me personally then you know that this is SO me. I was offered the position and needed to report to work the following Monday. I was yearning to start my first gig in the salon. Since the day I graduated from [massage] school I had been desperate to get a job in the industry. Now was my time to shine! It’s a new year and I’m off to a good start.

Ordinarily, in your first two weeks working a new job you take that time to familiarize yourself with the logistics. It’s too soon to be the social butterfly in the break room. As a receptionist, my core objectives are to tend to the duties specified for that particular day. I answered the phones, greeted clients, made coffee and did laundry. I remember when I met the head receptionist – she had been out of work that first week due to hurting her back and I covered her shifts. She was also pregnant and therefore incapable of doing any bending or heavy lifting. I asked her we how should divide the tasks each day and she said to do anything that she hadn’t checked off. She also told me that I was only scheduled for three hours that particular day as not to sweat it all.

White Witches

Personally, however, I knew that I wanted to do a stellar job because I genuinely fancied my work so everything needed to be checked off the list. Now in two weeks, I do believe that I’m allowed to make minor, and I do mean minor mistakes. During my first Saturday shift, the coffee had run out. It was close to the end of the night so I was asked to only make half a pot. I absent-mindedly used an entire pitcher of water resulting in weak coffee; first major offense.

My next violation came the second week when I accidentally put shampoo in a conditioner bottle and vice versa. Now even though I’ve never worked in a salon before I have a hankering that it’s something that happens at least every other month. The last straw for them, I assume, was when they noticed streaks on the floor that illuminated when the sun reflected off the floorboards. They conjured it to not thoroughly mopping or because the water was too dirty. The truth is that I forgot the dustpan on the bench and walked through to get it – remopping over my footprints; Martin Luther King day.

Martin Turning Over in His Grave

I went to work that day with a smile on my face, kush in my lungs and Mac Miller’s GO:OD AM in my ears. When I arrived they gave me “the talk”. They sat across from me, looked me in the eye and said, “we have noticed some inconsistencies in your work and don’t see the girl we interviewed, therefore, we have to let you go.”

There was never a moment prior where they wanted to know how I felt about my first two weeks. Never a moment before where they wanted to formally address their concerns and grant me the opportunity to properly correct them. None of that. It was simply, ‘we don’t feel like you should be here anymore’. And it hurt. They had already made up in their pale minds, together, to cancel out my black ass.

Lemme Get This Straight

Seriously?! I greeted every soul that walked past my desk. Every single client was asked their name, offered a beverage and showed a place to sit while they wait. Was that not engaged enough? It wasn’t my job to sit next to them on the couch and ask what magazine they decided on and why. Perhaps I wasn’t fully associating with the stylists? However, between me washing dishes, folding clothes and them cutting and blow drying hair who had the time for small talk? The salon did well for itself – I checked the numbers – not one stylist is just sitting around playing with their brushes.

Saturday was the holiday staff party and the distillery. Y’all know I love a great glass of Red or a hot-shot of Whiskey. That would’ve been the time to bond and join a sisterhood of friendship. I never got formally introduced to the team. I was friends with one of the owners on Facebook and shared a few pro-black posts and mentioned the site once or twice. Am I too black? My writing content is not for everyone, particularly white women, but I know they couldn’t have been that salty.

I don’t know what or why or who is behind these white women trying me.

I do, however, know that fixating on it will hinder my personal happiness and I’m not here for it. My life assignment is to take my existence, digest it and then rescan the menu to find something else worth ordering up. It is also to be conscious and attentive to my personal contentment. I allowed myself 24 hours to drink and drown my distress all awhile being elevated beyond the clouds. And I’m not going to talk about anymore.

Boy, I tell you – at the end of it all there’s no way they won’t be able to say that SheLived.

Photo Cred: giphy.com