Chile where is Momma Dee at when you need her??!!
Miss VA aka Veteran Affairs turned a routine checkup into a situation that almost left me looking like a gay pirate. Let’s start at the top. July 12th, 2018 96 degrees, and the quarter tank should’ve let me know that the day was going to be something serious. I’ve been trying to avoid getting care from the VA because I’ve heard so many horror stories but working for yourself comes at a price. I’ve been paying out of pocket for health insurance and it is quite expensive, shout out to capitalism. I injured myself while serving in Iraq back in 2010 which allowed me to get VA services. So after months of debating, I finally made an appointment and had to wait almost 2 months after making the appointment.
That Wednesday started off late because it took me nearly 40 minutes to find parking. I wasn’t aware that this day would tell me a lot about myself besides I should watch what I eat and get more sleep. That day I found out that my smiles are sometimes hiding the depression I’m experiencing and I’m not doing a good job of maintaining it.
Since this was my first time being officially seen they wanted to do blood work. I’ve been curious if I might be diabetic considering it’s in my family. So I headed to the laboratory to get my blood drawn. Now I’m terrified of needles, but I just turned my head and let them go to work. I always prefer a woman because, as proven by my past experiences, men don’t show care. Of course I had a man draw my blood and, of course, he makes jokes about me possibly fainting. Little did he know I would and it would be serious.
I proceeded to tell him that I felt light headed and I was losing feeling in my fingers and he told me to breathe, I did and don’t remember anything else. I woke up with my leg kicking and head laying face first on the floor. The staff rolled me over and started to apply pressure to my head. I was confused and shocked. It took a minute for me to realize that I did in fact blackout. I also didn’t realize that I cut myself pretty bad twice on my face to the point that you could see my nerve.
They rushed me to the emergency room and eventually stitched me up. I lied in the hospital bed wondering how did something like this happen to me? I’ve had blood drawn throughout my military career so why now? Something deep down in me started to say that I haven’t been taking the best of care of myself. Not getting enough sleep, and depressed about situations that I can not control but truly affect me each and every day.Depression is a bitch and I'm tired of being her bottom. Click To Tweet
I’ve been fooling everyone but my body and she gave out on me and dragged the shit out of me. I am not superhuman. I know some of us to like to think so but we’re not and sometimes it’s important that we let people know we need help. How do you say it though? I debated with myself how to tell the people who enjoy my content and silly Facebooks that I flew too close to the sun. I posted about the accident but the response was limited until I posted a picture of the injury. That’s when everyone was concerned. It seems that most are reactive rather than proactive. I had plenty of support during my time at the hospital. 3 of my friends came and visited and made sure I made it home safe. I, Justin James, wasn’t used to being helped because I’m always the one helping.
Even now I feel bad because I haven’t posted much content other than a couple of live videos here and there. Then the voice in the back of my head, as well as close friends, reminded me that if I don’t take care of myself there won’t be a Justin to post any content.
Over the last 2 weeks, I’ve taken a break from creating content besides For The Culture Podcast. I’m feeling great now, I’ve worked on my diet to include more water intake (especially considering the summer heat) and including more fruits in vegetables in my diet. I’ve also started to make sure I get more than a couple of hours of sleep and I can feel the difference. I’m also making sure my friends know what I am feeling. Sometimes it is difficult to be serious when you’re the one who is telling jokes. I sometimes feel trapped in something I created. It makes me think about Robin Williams and how he felt before he was a victim of suicide.
I’m not sure where I would be without my family, friends, and supporters. This is why I feel it’s important that we check up on the people around us. I can’t imagine where I would be without my support system.
Thanks to you for taking the time to read this and to those who reached out. I truly appreciate it.
Why Voting Is Actually Important…
I’m mad. And not just the regular mad I’ve been since White people elected their president, I am rabid dog angry, fightin’ mad.
I am angry at the number of Black, seemingly well-educated people who are currently posting these philosophical rants about why voting doesn’t matter, how voting is irrelevant, how voting means nothing, how some radical Black movement is going to come by and save us all.
Side note – The last time a gang of Black people were all on the same page to do some radical shit was the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott, and even then, the wayward negro had to be threatened and cajoled to keep it going. I would love to see a radical movement that brings Black people together across skin color, social, class, gender, and sex lines. I would love to see it, but it’s just not feasible.Don’t listen to what these intellectuals are telling you online, take your Black ass to vote. Click To Tweet
Yes, gerrymandering, voter suppression, and the dismantling of the Voting Rights Act has significantly reduced the democracy inherent in voting. And yes, those in power have systematically made it much more difficult to vote, especially for people living in low income communities, who often do not have the flexibility to take off work to vote (to learn more about the dismantling of the voter’s rights act, here is a good article), but that doesn’t mean that we have to give up on voting.
Here are six good-ass reasons to vote.
1. Voting is your civic duty.
The first time I voted in a presidential election, the candidates were George W. Bush and Al Gore. For my second presidential election, I had to choose between George (again) and John Kerry. I can tell you that neither of those options gave me wet dreams. I wasn’t that excited to Rock the Vote…but rock the vote I did because, for me, it was important to make my voice heard.
And it sucks because I remember the fervor and passion people had about President Obama’s campaign. People were lined up for hours to vote. Black people, across the country, were fired up in a way that they hadn’t been fired up about voting since Bill Clinton played that saxophone on Arsenio Hall.
Side note: We talked cash shit about Hillary Clinton and that Crime Bill, and as someone who actually lived during that time, I can tell you that most of the Blacks and the Whites were 100% supportive of that Crime Bill. Yes, now we know better, obviously, but I think revisionist history put a stank on Hillary that she didn’t deserve.
A candidate that lights your political fire and gets your panties wet is a rarity, and that’s just real. Voting isn’t usually fun and mostly, you’ll be rolling your eyes as you pull the lever or fill in the bubbles, but it’s like any other chore you have to do – mow the lawn, rake the leaves – you just get it over with.
2. Voting actually does work.
I’d like to pooch on down to Brazil and have a look at their history and current political climate to illustrate my point. First, Brazil was the last country to abolish slavery, is reported to have imported more Africans for enslavement than any other country, and was considered one of the most brutal places to be enslaved (the average life expectancy of a slave was four years). The racism, police brutality, and abject poverty experienced by Blacks in Brazil rivals anything you’ve seen anywhere, including America. The country is currently ruled by President Michel Temer who aside from snatching services from millions of impoverished people, is a blatant advocate of violence as a tactic to suppress social justice movements. The safety of Black life is so precarious in Brazil that most activists have been terrorized into submission and silence.
Who should emerge in the midst of this but Marielle Franco. Marielle Franco, a Brazilian activist turned politician, was an outspoken activist against police brutality and extrajudicial killings, and a staunch supporter of the rights of Black women, and LGBTQIA people. Franco ran for city council and was supported by votes from primarily poor Black women and people living in favelas (these are the poorest of slums). On March 14, 2018, leaving a meeting, she and her driver were murdered by masked gun men – shot down in her car. You know what happened next — 1,237 Black women are now on the ballots for local, state, and federal elected positions in Brazil. These women have been activated to make change. They understand that change begins in the voting booth. They know that’s the place to demonstrate their power. Protests don’t matter because they are ruled by an administration (much like the one in America) that doesn’t give a damn about their little protests and will actually kill you in the street for having the audacity to hold up a sign critiquing the government. Knowing this story, and the story of all those who came before makes it hard for me to understand how people can say voting doesn’t matter. If these Black women, living under the shadow of the murder of their fearless leader can get the courage to not only vote, but to run for office, then I (and you too) can certainly go vote. It is the absolute LEAST we can do. #MarielleResists
3. You do realize there’s more than just presidential candidates on the ballot, right?
After you fill in your bubbles or pull your lever for the President or Senator or House Rep, you have the opportunity to vote for local issues, like allocation of funds for schools, youth programs, or new roads, like sheriffs and judges, like raising the minimum wage which research shows helps everybody. So do you really care about your community or are you just talking about it, because if you actually care, these are the kinds of issues that your vote directly affects, almost immediately?
4. I know you know this, but Black people died for this right to vote, and we shouldn’t forget that.
Listen, I know it’s been said to death but I feel compelled to say it again — Black people died, literally died, for the right to vote. During Reconstruction when Black people were trying to figure out how to survive in a country where they had nothing and no rights to get anything, one of the first demands was the right to vote because they recognized that their power was in their collective vote. Their collective vote was probably one of the only things they had during that time of deep, overt racism, aggression, and subjugation. Their collective vote was the only way they had to demonstrate their humanity. And if you don’t have some reverence in your heart for that, well, that’s a damn shame.
5. If the Supremacists and Republicans are working so hard to suppress your vote, it must be powerful.
Bruce Carter, who founded Black Men for Bernie, was seduced into the Trump campaign and paid good money by Trump and ‘dem to convince Black people to vote for Trump or not vote at all. According to Charles Blow’s op-ed, Russian interference in the 2016 election included direct attacks at the “woke” black vote. And it didn’t help that several prominent voices in the Black community – Colin Kaepernick, Mark Lamont Hill, Killer Mike, Michelle Alexander, J. Cole – were either dead set against Hillary Clinton or publicly denounced the act of voting. During one of Trump’s rallies, he is reported to have said in reference to the huge reduction in Black voters, “They didn’t come out to vote for Hillary. They didn’t come out. And that was a big — so thank you to the African-American community.”
Side note – I think we can all agree by now that Hillary Clinton, 1994 Crime Bill transgressions and all, would have been a far better leader than who White people elected. I think we can also agree that Black men who either didn’t vote or decided to vote third party like stupid ass Marc Lamont Hill, let misogyny outweigh their good sense.
Have you noticed that the same rhetoric used by supremacists to deter Black voters aligns with the rhetoric of the “I’m Black and too woke to vote” crew? If your argument against voting aligns with the arguments of Russian bots, you need to sit down and re-think your entire life because it went very, very wrong somewhere.
6. For now, with this current administration, voting is the most radical thing you can do.
They don’t want you to vote – their policies, their rhetoric, their rejection of your political needs proves that. That makes voting that much more important. Have you noticed that the fervor of the Black Liberation Movement has died down since Trump has been in office? By no fault of their own, their movement doesn’t matter in the same way it did with President Obama in office because these current dummies in office don’t care, at all, they aren’t even pretending to care. However, your local politicians who need your votes to stay in office, they actually might care a little, and the way the world is going, that sliver of possibility is enough for me.
Don’t listen to what these intellectuals are telling you online, take your Black ass to vote.
Lena Waithe and Halle Berry Join BET for Boomerang Sequel
Beloved screenwriter, Lena Waithe, will be joining Halle Berry in the BET 10 episode comedy series of Boomerang. The network wants to be clear in saying that this is a sequel and not an adaptation or reboot. Waithe will be co-writing the pilot with Insecure’s showrunner, Ben Corey Jones. The series is set to follow the children of Jacqueline Boyer and Marcus and Angela Graham as they try to create their own legacy away from their parent’s shadow.
Waithe commented on the goal of the project and said,
“This is less of a reboot and more of a continuation of the original story. There’s no point in trying to remake a classic. It can’t be done. So, we want to create something fresh that speaks to a new generation. We hope people will come to the show with an open mind and ready to embrace the new world we’ve created!”
Oscar-winning actress, Halle Berry, is also excited for the upcoming series saying,
“I’m thrilled to team up with Lena on this project as she is without a doubt a leading voice of her generation and a trailblazer in her own right. I’m truly excited to be a part of bringing this iconic and beloved film to the small screen.”
Boomerang is going to be one of the first projects announced for BET since former president, Debra Lee, left the company. The new president, Scott Mills, is equally enthusiastic for the collaboration of Berry and Waithe and says, “Partnering an icon such as Halle with a disruptor like Lena is a perfect blend for the creation of a project that tells a classic tale in a relevant voice.”
What do you guys think? Are you excited for the sequel or should they just leave it a movie? Let us know in the comments below.
The Diversity JUMPED out: Savage x Fenty Fashion Show Gave us all the Inclusion we Needed
Last night Savage x Fenty by Rihanna ended New York Fashion Week with a bang! The lingerie brand had an array of women from different skin tones to body types. Rih wanted to show the world that ANYONE can wear Savage x Fenty and feel sexy. There were even pregnant models featured in the show. Yes, pregnant. Get into the models and event down below:
— Ultimate Rihanna (@URihannaSite) September 13, 2018
— ☾ (@eallets) September 13, 2018
— Karen Civil (@KarenCivil) September 13, 2018
— Glitter Magazine (@glittermagazine) September 13, 2018
— Rih🍒 (@rihannaNepal) September 13, 2018
Rihanna is taking the fashion industry by storm. Let’s hope other fashion brands can follow suit.
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