Relishing A Sister’s Misfortune.

JAY-Z, 4:44Like most of you, I have been caught up in JAY-Z’s latest album, 4:44, all weekend. The album is dope, as are many of the think-pieces I’ve been reading, dissecting its dopeness. The album spoke to me and my reality on many levels (a separate post forthcoming), but interestingly, a think-piece about the album, highlighting a somewhat separate (at least on the surface) issue, has me feeling some kind of way.

Sis, We Gotta Stop Letting Black Men Ruin Us – Crystal deGregory Ph.D. – Medium

An open letter to black women who’ve listened to Jay-Z’s 4:44 and are waiting on an apology from the men who did you wrong. This could easily be a conversation about how Beyoncé lost her mind, her career, or her literal life behind Jay-Z. But, thankfully, it is not.

Honestly, the entire article speaks to me, but this quote is particularly poignant:

“That’s right. We gotta stop celebrating ruinous men ruining any woman —even a woman who has betrayed our Sisterhood’s” sacred trust. We made him and his situation look so good that Sister really thought she was getting herself a prize — a poison that looked like it tasted so good, she was willing to steal it because of her own desperate thirst.”

Okay. Those of you who read this blog know that I have had my share of experiences with no good, “ruinous”, ain’t shit men. Most particularly, my ex-FWB. I knew he wasn’t shit when I hooked up with him, but as you may recall, my ex-friend highlighted just how ain’t shit he was, and set into motion a set of sneaky, snaky events that ultimately ended our friendship.

To sum it up, she slept with him, lied about it, started a fraud ass relationship with him, got knocked up, and the rest is history. You may also recall that she ended up reaching out to me a bit after the baby was born, humbling herself to “apologize” and tell me just how ain’t shit she found out he was (a “you told me so” moment from which I took copious amounts of pleasure) — denying their baby, “cheating on her”, knocking up another woman. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

Ex-FWB & some chick he knocked up.

Digressing a bit, you know when you’re bored, on social media, and you go down that rabbit hole, searching and scouring looking for shit? Well, last week, I went down that rabbit hole, and found this photo of ex-FWB from January, with some other broad he knocked up (likely, the woman my ex-friend mentioned). The petty in me wanted to anonymously e-mail it to my ex-friend. But, truth be told, she’s probably seen it. Point being, I took pleasure in imagining my ex-friend’s pain. Like a lot.

It was beautiful — glorious, really — being able to experience karma (and its justice being rightly served). However, reading the words in the aforementioned article really made me pause. I’m sitting with it for a while.

Hoteps. A Misguided Bunch.

I’m going to start this off with a fluff, half-assed definition of hotep from Urbandictionary.com:

unnamed2This is problematic for many reasons, but mainly because I accuse “hoteps” of using unreliable, wack job “research” to support their “philosophies”. And, here I am, using Urbandictionary to provide a frame of reference for the group to which I refer.

The irony is that these folks are nothing but fluff fodder. There’s nothing real or credible about the (mainly) nonsense that they spout. So, maybe an Urbandictionary definition is fitting.

But again, it’s just a frame of reference.

I digress.

My rant, and recent disdain for this group of folks stems from a brief fwb-ship I had with a man who I initially thought was super smart and conscious (in a good way) of the injustices that shape Black life in the United States (and across the Diaspora, for that matter). Relatively soon into our situation (I don’t even know what to call it), I discovered that he was a misguided soul, seeking some sort of deeper knowledge and understanding. And, to put it plainly: a hotep nigga.

It started with comments about white people being devils. Though I challenged this extreme way of thinking, I naïvely chalked it up to him pontificating on the devil that is white supremacy. Boy, was I wrong.

It progressed to him sending me bizarre (in my opinion) and misogynistic videos of “lectures” from the likes of Umar Johnson and Bobby Hemmitt — the latter of whom he referred to as his “spiritual father”. My challenge of the content was for naught.

But keeping it all the way real, the brother was fine, and we just had a casual relationship. So, I wasn’t overly concerned with his misguided & weird social thought. I am a college instructor by trade, and folks, my time spent with him was off the clock. Meaning that I was not interested in spending time enlightening him and setting him straight. Should that have been my agenda? Perhaps. But, no.

Nevertheless.

Our conversations got increasingly weird and homophobic. He brought up a strange conspiracy theory rife with a homophobic hotep trope about Black actors in Hollywood only becoming A-list after either playing effeminate roles, or having sex with other men.

That really should’ve been my cue to exit left, but the straw that finally broke the camel’s back was him bringing up the hotep favorite documentary “Hidden Colors” and the hotep queen, Dr. Frances Cress-Welsing (and her bullshit book the Isis Papers). I immediately shot that nonsense down.

Ironically, I had a copy of the Isis Papers (back from when I was an impressionable undergraduate) that I told him he could have (because it littered my library). I gave him the book, we had a chill and enjoyable evening together.

Then, that following Monday, I got the most bizarre text (out of nowhere).

unnamed

Like what the fuck?

A bit of background. I am a biracial woman. Dad is Black, mom is white. My social philosophy and metaphysical reality is rooted in Black consciousness and power. He knew that. However, that notwithstanding, his comment was clearly a low-blow dig at my racial make up.

Yo.

That pretty much ended my involvement with him. It really forced me to pause and reflect on the parts that created this bizarre sum (his Egyptian medallions, gifting me some incense, calling me “queen”, referring to the pineal gland, all the other aforementioned red flags).

My consciousness was assaulted.

I spent some time attempting to wax poetic on what nut jobs these wackos are. I mean, how can I go from being a “queen” to a “white devil” a few days later?

Then, upon further reflection, I started to question my own elitist way of thinking. I, in NO WAY cosign any of the misogynistic, homophobic or prejudiced diatribe they spit. That said, however pa(ma)ternalistic this may sound, I think these hotep creatures are misguided and just need some critical literacy training. What’s a reliable source? What is accreditation? Why does using biological determinism for the purposes of addressing oppression make no sense? Is a YouTube video a reliable source of information on which to base your entire spiritual philosophy? Does a documentary about Black power made by a self-proclaimed womanizer who wrote a book called The Art of Mackin’ seem a credible source from which to gain empowerment & racial uplift?

I could go on.

So, yeah.

One of many bottom lines: don’t call me queen — i want no part of your kingdom.

7 Ways To Identify A Member of Hotep Twitter

** The article above provides interesting context and tips for how to identify a hotep. I wish I would’ve found this sooner.

Here I Go (Again).

My return to leisurely writing has been a long time coming. It's been over ten years. I initially started blogging back during the days of Diaryland and Livejournal (many of you likely have no idea how significant these now, essentially defunct and archaic, blogging platforms were). Those were the days when Blackplanet was the thing, and Myspace was up and coming. I don't think Facebook existed (or if it did, it wasn't nearly what it is now).

AFROTRAVESTY was actually the first domain I ever bought (I was trying to be like the cool kids -- no longer satisfied with the "free" sites). Oh, backing up a bit...back in those days, "blogging" wasn't really in the popular lexicon; "blogs" were actually called "weblogs", or journals, or diaries (you get the picture). My, how things have changed.

In any case, I was feeling nostalgic, and decided to see if AFROTRAVESTY was still available (I let it expire about 15 years ago). It was, and here I am.