“Baby What is you doing?”
Babies to the left, babies to the right. Weddings over there, nothing happening over here. Up and down friends and acquaintances are making bank and paper chasing. Then……there’s me. Postgrad still trying to figure out what is actually going on, where she is headed. Clueless.
And everything in between. Sometimes it only takes one moment to spawn thoughts like these, especially when they’re lurking in the background ready to pounce at any minute.
“I Aint Mad at Cha”
It was an innocent shopping trip, me, one of my closest friends, and a large strawberry milkshake to wash it all down with. Unfortunately, I went from carelessly perusing the clearance rack, Uncle Clarence as I like to call him, to being hit in the face by ten tons of reality. I heard a voice call my name, and come to find out it was the mother of one of my classmates from WAAAY back. Naturally, we exchanged pleasantries and walked down memory lane, but it was not until she began reciting her daughter’s impressive resume for me to fill a sinking filling. It was not jealousy, it was not envy (I know they mean the same thing, I just needed another synonym for dramatic effect.) Anyway, in all actuality, it was pure disappointment in myself. I could not be mad though, homegirl was doing her thing when I felt like was not doing anything. I immediately began to shut down internally. We bid her a farewell and attempted to continue our shopping venture.
My friend could tell I was slightly perturbed. I expressed to her that I felt as if I have accomplished nothing of substance since graduating college, and hearing how amazing a former acquaintance was doing made me do a little self reflection. She tried to comfort me and say that the classmate and I were in two different fields. I love my friend, but this was incorrect! We are literally in the same field. So while she is propelling herself to stardom, I’m….I’m still here. I actually don’t even know where here is. Despite how I actually felt, I shrugged it off for the sake of my friend. I wanted to enjoy the rest of the trip, but there was still that constant nagging in the back of my head.
So it would be about right now, that I bring up the turning point in the day or the encouraging words that brought me out of my self-inflicted funk. Then I would follow with some motivating words of my own with an optimistic close! No ma’am, no sir, I cannot offer that at this very moment. Most people at one point or another have felt like this. At least I hope so because it would suck if it was just me.
With that being said, I’m left with a few options here. Two to be exact. I can either stay in my slump, feel bad for unfulfilled dreams and missed opportunities, OR I can feel what I feel and push through it. Now, I cannot lie. I might need a rest day and a large American Deli fry with blue cheese, but after that, I go back to hitting the ground running to get what I want. My supervisor and I actually had a conversation a few months back about my future. She asked me one question after my little vent session. She said, “Are you healthy?” I thought, “Huh?” She said, “You are young, healthy and able-bodied. When you have your health you can do almost anything.”
It was later on that I realized she spoke from experience. She was once in a place where she did not know what direction her health was going in. She emphasized that when you are battling health issues, getting well becomes the ultimate goal as everything else falls to the wayside. I wake up every morning with ability and opportunity to make something extraordianry happen.
The world is in an unbelievably crazy place right now. It is so easy to get caught up in our own little planets that we become oblivious to the world outside. With hate, intolerance, and death lurking around every corner, it is literally a miracle to make it to a new day. Let’s be clear, just because you are healthy does not mean you will not have issues. If it is not a health issue, it is a financial issue. If it is not a financial issue it is a relationship issue. The point that I’m trying to drive home here is, it is not about what kind of hardship or obstacle you are facing. It is about how you approach it. I do not want to drag on and on, so I’ll just end with a wise quote from the brilliant mind of 2 Chainz, ” If you woke up this morning…you winning!”
Have Peace in Your Presence
The Circle on Netflix Had A Racism Problem
Bey Ain’t Slick
The opinions expressed in this publication are those of Rafael Roden.
For far too long we’ve been giving her passes and today I say enough is enough. People are literally afraid to write about this shit because of the inevitable blowback from people who worship Beyoncé like white Brits worship their actual Queen monarch. So here goes…
Beyoncé is not above criticism. That’s the first thing. I understand the stance many Black people take when another Black person casts an unflattering light on your favorite Artist or celebrity, but not all of it is hating. A lot of it is warranted. And every charge I make in this article is coming from a major fan and someone who used to wanna collaborate with the woman. Understand that I have bias, but that’s not making me not wanna hold Beyoncé accountable for her trash ass actions as of late and the precedent it sets for aspiring “bosses”. And just know she ain’t the only member of the upper echelon guilty of this shit. I’mma take shots at a few other entertainment giants, just you wait.
What set this think piece I didn’t wanna find myself writing into motion was the information stirring around that Mrs. “of course sometimes shit go down when it’s a billion dollars on an elevator” is only paying her dancers and other various performance staff $250 a day without benefits when they are performing at the highest level in the world. I’m even flattering her in my critique so please uncock your pistols. I have caught up on all the tea and these claims are supported by many of the lead performers and solidarity exists within that community. It’s hard to substantiate every last bit of wrong in this whole ordeal, but that’s the crux of the situation. Take me at my word cause there are receipts for days.
Moving back retroactively to the Shawn Carter Foundation Gala (which is where that tacky ass clutch in the picture is from) we find our favorite vocal angel arm & arm with her sell out husband Jay Z (NFL partnership, nuff said) who gave out Rolex and bottles of champagne as invitations to a room full of people worth billions of dollars who only raised $6 million. That’s just stingy. But that’s been written about enough. I just think it’s crazy who get’s in these rooms in the name of seeming to authenticly coming from nothing. Like Fabolous. You know the dude that head butt his then girlfriend and knocked her teeth out? Not Beyoncé’s fault, hell no, but why are abusers around a self proclaimed Feminist? Why are you letting your man invite him? Why did Rihanna try and normalize him at her last few events (which I find quite disgusting considering her history)? The answer is money and optics. The message comes off as “rich black men who are seen as legendary can make the mistake of domestic violence and still deserve A Seat At The Table” (see also Nas who beat Kelis). I just can’t square these conflicts of interest. I need somebody to make it make sense. Because remember, birds of a feather flock together. Beyonce blink twice if you need help. I’m fucking serious. He cheated, who knows if there’s a domestic violence story in there. I don’t put shit past no man at this point. It’s also part of the reason why I stopped identifying as such.
Read the entire piece at RafaelRoden.com
Welcome to Uncle Tom’s Haus of Koonery
So in light of the great news of President Trump getting impeached. I was sent an article from a few twitter mutuals of an interview done by Mikelle Street interviewing everyone’s favorite problematic porn star Max Konner. I knew at that moment I would not receive any peace this week. The article at hand denoted that Konner was beginning his own talent agency for people of color. I did a double-take, but I been on this earth long enough to know a stunt when I see one. In the article, Konnor mentioned the need for porn actors of color needing proper tutelage and education before entering the pornography industry. Which I do agree with, but we also know that seeing the phrasing “people of color” does not mean black people and why would Konner exclusively help his own people? He wouldn’t, but that’s been made very clear that he has no intention of helping the Black LGBTQIA+ community after his behavior during the PR nightmare which and is still NoirMale.com.
I have to be honest that I found the interview to be amazing and at minimal a cross-examination of Konner’s work history, work ethics, and very sorted and messy racially insensitive history. Konner acknowledges that there will be criteria for all those that apply to join the slaveshi-, sorry the Haus of Konner.
He says in the article:
“Right now we have three exclusives: Derek Cline, Jabari Clutch, and Asher Lee. I have a bunch of other submissions but I’m taking my time to go through everything because it is a boutique talent management company. I am not just accepting everybody that applies. I’m trying to pick models who I feel like have what it takes to make it.”
Now, what this statement could subversively say so many things. Firstly, Jabari is the only black presenting model. Derek is racially ambiguous and Asher is Asian. Even in the first stride of selection, there is only one Black person in the mix (pun intended). Secondly, “boutique talent management company” is reading as “no fats, no fem” because knowing the shortness of sight that Konner has he may only present body boys and cis actors that are racially palatable.
Mr. Street follows up with the question:
“The release says that you all are prioritizing “models of color.” Are you referencing all models of color, specifically Black models, or will it be all models with an emphasis on models of color?”
Konner responds with:
“As of right now we are looking at all models of color. I’m trying to decide if I want to have one or two models that don’t necessarily fit that because in doing this I don’t want to become the problem that I’m trying to fight. There are so many avenues and so many arenas where we as models of color are shut down or shut out because of the color of our skin, and I don’t want this to be a thing where we say: OK it’s all models of color and anyone who is not that, get out. So I’m still toying around that, but right now we are exclusively models of color.”
My thoughts are that this is basically saying that “I’m gonna have some good ole boys in the club because I don’t want massa upset with me none.” I’m just saying. Rather than doing the right and altruistic thing and doing an all-black agency. Konner is going to appease the comfort of his white fan base in spite of the fact his black fan base was there for him when he was the porn actor Isaiah Foxx. Which if anything he owes that little boy the world because Konner is fully aware and present on the issues that BLACK porn actors face and what Isaiah a black bottom porn actor felt.
The thing that is further disturbing in the article is when Konnor says this:
“I do plan to send models from Haus of Konnor over to Noir Male but one of my big things is: if I send a model to a studio there’s agreement between me and that studio that nothing that has to do with that model’s race or nothing pertaining to the “BBC experience” is what that model is participating in. I’ve been on jobs where I’ve had no clue what I’ve been working on and then the movies come out and it’s like ‘Oh god!’”
This sounds very historically familiar. So during the slave trade, the Caribbean Islands was used as a large space for sex farms for slaves and “buck breaking”.
Noted on RacistReport.org:
“These male slaves were purchase based entirely on the prerequisite of them possessing a large penis. Black men were routinely raped by their gay slave owners. The process was known as “breaking the buck.”
It involves a strapping Negro slave, who was defiant, was beaten with a whip till bloody in front of his entire slave congregation. The slave owner would cut down a tree and, with the help of the overseer, would then pummel the deviant “buck” into submission. Once the slave was worn down, the master had the other Negro slaves force him over the tree stump where his britches would be removed and he laid fully exposed buttocks, he would remove his own clothing and proceeded to savagely sodomize the buck in front his wife, family, friends, and children.”
Konnor is basically handing these gentlemen over to a problematic porn company ran by the also very racially problematic DJ Chi Chi LaRue. After the debacle with PrEP/U=U advocate, #TakedownTina activist, and now amateur porn actor Jacen Zhu. He stepped away from the company for their purposeful mishandling of race in the studio. We can not trust that Konner will have good intentions.
So let’s be clear. Is there a race issue in gay porn? Absolutely.
Should there be a space cultivated for porn actors of color to get jobs and to be treated fairly? Yes ma’am.
Should there be a space cultivated for black porn actors of color to get jobs and to be treated fairly? Yes sir!
Should Konner be the one doing it? No, not at this juncture and especially around his limited education on race.
Konnor has clearly acknowledged that there is a problem, which is good for him I guess. I just understand that there needs to be more work done to supplant footing for black LGBTQIA+ porn actors of all genders and body types and this attempt is half-cocked, lazy, and wildly remedial. He participating in the same foolish stunting that Noir Male did as well at their inception.