I Hate Myself! The struggle between being honest and being real.

“The road to success is paved with good intentions.”  The quote has been said repeatedly throughout the course of time and one of the meanings of the phrase is that individuals may have the intention to undertake good actions but more likely than not fail to take action.  Good intentions are meaningless unless followed through.  A different interpretation of the saying is that good intentions, when acted upon, may have sometimes led to unforeseen bad consequences.


This is where the struggle begins and never receives closure.  For people of color, the word “real” takes on similar comparisons to the word “love”.  Being “real” is like a badge of honor; a coronation to knighthood.  Words that are commonly spoken are, “I’m a real n*gga!”, “Keeping it real!” or “Real n*ggas do real things!”  However, when someone states, “I’m just being real with you!” it’s supposed to translate to “I’m just being honest!”  No other culture has the distinction or share the importance as to what that word means.  See, when you’re being “real”, it gives one a pass to say or do whatever you want without repercussions.  It’s equivalent to praising a person, an entity or situation and then adding the word “but”.  Once a person says the initial statement then adds “but”, a negative statement or opinion is usually forthcoming.  So if I hurt your feelings with my remarks, “I’m just being real!” If I want to justify my behavior when the majority disagrees with my actions, “I’m just being real!”  If I feel threatened or want to exert my masculinity, “I’m a real n*gga!”  You can see memes that depict people of color being “real” when they have their pants saggin’, involved in criminal activity or performing other acts that doesn’t conform to the norms of society.  If someone is seeking their college degree, earning a living in the workforce, shows affection toward their significant other and/or participating in something that reflects positivity, that somehow doesn’t correlate to being “real”.  Being “real” sometimes rings hollow because it shouldn’t be an act or a word used to punctuate behavior.  It should be a way of life which doesn’t require titles or labels.


In contrast, being honest requires a level of vulnerability.  It shows an ability to express oneself despite any impending criticism.  It’s something that people seek in friend and relationships, but many of those same people can’t adhere too because honesty sometimes hurts.  Honesty creates a rollercoaster ride of emotions.  When heartfelt, it can make the receiver feel inspired, joyous and appreciated; it creates a sense of trust and a level of comfort.  On the contrary, honesty can be deflating, demoralizing and gut wrenching.  Honesty creates both tears of joy and pain; it’s unyielding and is always pure.  There should be no ill intent when spoken in its rawest form.  It should be refreshing to the ears and the speaker’s intent should never be questioned when the words ring true.


See I hate myself because I’m in constant conflict with the two (2).  Being labeled as “real” amongst your peers is equivalent to becoming a “made” mafia figure.  Being described in different circles when you aren’t present as a person that can be relied upon as being a stand-up individual is an honor that inflates the ego.  But how is that any different than being “honest”.  Honesty requires the dropping of your guard and exposing yourself to sometimes unwarranted angst.  Being honest is saying what needs to be heard despite the negative connotations.  What I’ve done, in attempts to become closer to people and be more engaging, is be extremely forthcoming with all of my feelings.  Good, bad or indifferent, I pride myself on being authentic.  It doesn’t mean this approach is right or beneficial, it only reveals what’s behind the veil and makes me more transparent.  I’m human, so I have my flaws.  And like most humans, I speak my mind and do so at junctures that is untimely.  Being honest comes with both praise and dissent; it’s never on neutral terms.  So if you’re overly positive, you have an ulterior motive; negative, then you’re deemed a hater.  People want honesty, loyalty and love, but when they meet individuals with these attributes, they at some point shun them because they won’t placate to their individual needs.  I hate myself because I aspire to be that individual.  However, the people in the world who also want to share those qualities are afraid to do so due to the possible backlash of public opinion.  So despite my continuing travels down the interstate to attain success, the intent, be it through spoken word or action can sometimes be misinterpreted.  Acts that may be thought to be in done malice are sometimes truthful assessments as to what’s taking place at that time.  Metaphysics states, “When you are truly comfortable with who you are, not everybody will like you.  But you won’t care about it one bit.”  I haven’t reached that level of tolerance yet, and until I do, the struggle will remain prevalent.  I’m gone! (b)

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Once Again It’s On

So it begins anew.  I had planned to write a blog about standardized testing in the Public School system around the United States, and how it’s detrimental to a child’s development and their ability to think independently.  However, with the impending re-launch of the show (The Porch – Reloaded), I thought I’d write a piece befitting of its return.  The funny thing is, I can pretty much write anything I want, and no one would be the wiser because people, particularly those of color (yes I’m stereotyping), have a tendency not to read anything unless there’s “pretty” pictures or a video involved.

Anti Robot Radio

It’s amazing how something can start based on conversations being held at a friend’s house.  Many companies and bands we admire and aspire to mimic began in darken basements or garages.  So this story is no different than any of those.  When you peer across the landscape, especially to a person of color, where can you find a media outlet or forum that speaks to you on a level that only you can understand; that hasn’t been “watered” or filtered to be accepted by the mainstream just to hear a squeak, not the full roar of a lion waiting to be released from the shackles that bind him. Sure you have radio and television shows featuring the likes of Tom Joyner, Rickey Smiley, Steve Harvey, Wendy Williams, etc.  But who amongst them is giving you that “REAL” shit that’s enhancing your ability to function in the public at large; that’s entertainment.  Tavis Smiley and Michael Baisden give it to you on some degree, but is it at the level of a Bill Maher; raw and uncensored.  That was the intent when the show was first created and debuted on WGGFRadio.com over two (2) years ago.  Our primary focus was sports; but we wanted to provide a perspective not being addressed by ESPN or other pundits.  Of course we were aware of other broadcasters providing the same format, but we didn’t have an agenda.  We weren’t tied to a team, an organization or in bed with ownership.  Our goal was to always be objective and provide a formulated opinion on all of the areas pertaining to sports.

But when you go to a BBQ, your family reunion, the barbershop, the hair salon or in a co-worker’s office talking about the issues of the day, you’re not talking solely sports, you’re talking about the issues of the day.  So as the call letters changed from WGGFRadio.com to trurythme.tv, the idea was to provide an overall discussion about life in general.  The struggle, children failing in school, crime in the community, the lack of resources to empower the public, high interest or divorce rates, the need for better health care, all the things that people deal with on a daily basis.  So the show evolved and became all encompassing.  We interviewed people from all walks of life, each in some way trying to make a positive impact in the community.  From Teisha Scott and Shani Studstill owners of 2 Naturally Fly Girlz to Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert, we interviewed these people who had a pulse in the community and provided a vision of growth and change.  However, inasmuch as we were doing something positive, we weren’t reaching the audience needed to enact real change.

The Porch Logo Revised

The platform has now been moved to BlogTalk; and in association with the Anti-Robot Network, the phoenix has again risen from the ashes and life has begun anew.  Many of the individuals associated with the show are no longer apart of the programming.  For the most part it’s an army of one.  An individual whose sole purpose isn’t to attain wealth and popularity; it’s the hope that with intelligent conversation, newly acquired information, people’s naturally inquisitive behavior and the thirst for enlightenment, I, and eventually WE, can awaken minds and change the world.  I say WE in the sense that WE ARE THE CHANGE.  All the things we suffer through as the public; inflation, high gas prices, the continuing loss of our constitutional rights, etc., have always been in our control.  The Preamble of the Constitution states clearly the rights afforded to us as citizens of the United States.  “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”


I can say this with all honesty, I’m scared.  Not of speaking to the masses or being unable to articulate my thoughts clearly.  My biggest fear has always been failure.  Like many of you reading this, I’ve had an opportunity to do and see many things during my lifetime.  I’ve been signed to record labels being on the verge of stardom; I’ve had opportunities to travel the world and have turned down lucrative job opportunities for the sake of loyalty to my fellow man.  Ironically, that same loyalty has never been reciprocated.  And as the failures and heartache mounted, I thought I’d never see a day where I could gasp at the dandelion floating calmly through the air on a summer’s breeze.  But I have that opportunity again.  This is and has always been my purpose; to help others.  And though I’ve offered and petitioned others to join me on this crusade, I fear this is a task I will be forced to undertake alone.  Only when the dragon has been slayed and I return battered and wounded will those who doubt become likely to see the vision.  Until then, the mission is clear.  Succeed or fail, disgrace isn’t an option. Bring me home on my shield.  Tune into The Porch – Reloaded; Rocking Chair Rebels on the Anti-Robot Network on BlogTalk, Thursdays at 7 p.m.  I’m gone!  (b)

Here Comes Peter Cottontail

So by this time everyone has taken off their Sunday’s best, feasted on the finest of foods and enjoyed the festivities of this joyous occasion. Today, people of the Christian faith celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ; that after being put to death to take the punishment for the world’s sins, Jesus rose again from the dead. In the New Testament, after the Romans crucify Jesus, he is anointed and buried in a new tomb by Joseph of Arimathea but God raises him from the dead and he appears to many people over a span of forty days before his ascension to Heaven, to sit at the Right Hand of God. Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday, two days after Good Friday, the day of his crucifixion. Easter’s date corresponds roughly with Passover, the Jewish observance associated with the Exodus, which is fixed for the night of the Full moon near the time of the spring equinox

Now by this time, many of you have seen the picture below, with the information captioned explaining Easter.


So now with this information at your disposal, and taking your religious beliefs into account, the real winners as usual were, drum roll please…. The corporations! That’s right! They did it again! As with all the customarily celebrated holidays, and those that we don’t consider relevant (Grandparents Day; Siblings Day), the corporate elite have found a way to squeeze every penny from the public’s pocket. The cartoon specials introducing Easter to children on television, the Hallmark cards, Easter baskets being sold on street corners, the acquisition of new clothing to attend Sunday service or the purchase of chocolates, jellybeans and candies to fill plastic eggs, the coffers of the companies whom benefit continue to swell. Lost in the worship of this holiday is that fact that millions of Americans who were once able to at least have this one day off from retail or grocery store sales are now required to work. Did you forget that Easter dress for Susan? Stop by Walmart. Forgot to get the sides for the dinner being prepared at Uncle Jake’s? Run by Winn Dixie and get a twelve (12) pack of sodas while you’re at it. Need to get a card to express your feelings on this occasion? Well there’s a CVS or Walgreens open, and will remain open 24 hours depending on your location.

peter cottontail

The holiest day of the year transformed into another day to exploit the working class into getting time and a half, or an extra day on that paycheck. America, land of the hardest working people on the planet. Where the gap between the rich and poor continues to widen, and the middle class rapidly becoming extinct. So as you sit at home watching the Bible mini-series on the History Channel, re-watch the Ten Commandments featuring Charlton Heston, or read your favorite Psalm before going into a deep slumber preparing for the next work day, the commercialization of everything you hold sacred continues to take place. Soon, even child birth will be sponsored by some major corporation (Baby’s R Us or Children’s Place). But this too will probably be accepted since we’re living in an era where the almighty dollar supersedes morals, values and tradition. “We Are the Change!” (b)

Put That Rock Down, and Don’t Hide Your Hand!

One of the best known verses in the Bible is John 8:7. To paraphrase, “let he who is without sin, cast the first stone”. This is a valuable lesson, as scripture states that a woman, who had been caught in the act of adultery, was brought to Jesus Christ by the scribes and Pharisees as a test to see if he was a wise, fair and liberal decision maker in matters of the Law of God. To their surprise, Jesus didn’t condemn the woman, not because he was liberal or condoned her sin, but because the men who brought the woman before him were hypocrites. Being the only person free of sin on that occasion to pass judgment and “cast the first stone”, he forgave the woman and told her to “sin no more.”

Fast forward to modern times, everyone with the ability to type on a keyboard or “share” with their telecommunication device now has the ability to be judge, jury and executioner. And in the court of public opinion, Mimi Faust has been found guilty of doing a disservice to herself, her daughter, and by in large the Black community as a whole. Gone are the days when the four (4) major networks promoted Florida Evans (Good Times) and Claire Huxtable (The Cosby Show) as the matriarchs of the Black family. Now generations three (3), maybe four (4) times removed from that era are watching Olivia Pope (Scandal) and Mary Jane Paul (Being Mary Jane) be the symbols of Black womanhood. This writer is aware that other television shows exist (Meet the Browns as an example) that promote positive imagery of both the Black woman and family. However, gauge their popularity against those of Atlanta Housewives, Basketball Wives, the Game and the other aforementioned; there is no comparison.

Now social media is ablaze by the antics of one Ms. Faust and her lover Nikko Smith. If you haven’t seen the trailer of Season 3, Love & Hip Hop Atlanta or the full clip of the alleged sex tape, the attached link provides an explanation as to why the tape was leaked: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aIxY0UUtTQ.


“We are very good lawyers for our own mistakes, but very good judges for the mistakes of others.” This statement is the epitome of our human nature; quick to cast stones but never fully taking responsibility for our errors in judgment. So now comparisons are being made between Ms. Faust, Paris Hilton and Kim Kasdashian. Questions are being raised as to how detrimental and non-profitable a sex tape can be for a Black female. Comments from around the Facebook, Twitter, Instagram social media communities speak to the following: “The price for fame and celebrity. Some like status, some go for that dollar!” Some people have grown tired of the chatter, stating, “Okay, can something else happen. I’m tired of this MIMI crap! Who cares? She is a grown ass woman. Why should we judge her and what she’s doing? We not helping her raise her daughter, nor do we have hell or heaven to place her. Geesh! Give it rest!” Another person reveals, “I’m not saying what Mimi did in her sex tape was right or wrong. I’m just tired of women getting judged at the time. Yes it’s not what you would want to show the world, but she is in show business.” Et cetera and so on; the range of emotions varies from post to post. It has gone from surfboarding and “drinking watermelon” in tribute to Beyonce’s “Drunk in Love” song, to Home Depot being sold out of shower poles.


Now opponents of “ratchet” behavior and fighters for the liberation of Black people will point to this incident and say, “We like to point fingers, make a mockery of ourselves and overlook black knowledge! We refuse to love ourselves.” They would also say that network television isn’t promoting a positive image of people of color, encourages that Black women be whores and endorses the feminization of the Black male. (Sigh) Ms. Faust is the same young lady who was calling her arch nemesis, Joseline Hernandez, a “hoe” and “prostitute” on television for engaging in a relationship with her past lover Stevie J. For those of you that rationalize that Mimi’s daughter “probably” won’t see the video until she’s an adult, you’re forgetting that her daughter’s classmates’ caretakers may have perhaps seen the footage. And though children may be full of innocence, joyful and full of glee; they can also be cruel, unforgiving and unrelenting. Her daughter may be the butt of all jokes based on what’s transpired since the release of the video. Whether for publicity, through coercion or whatever the decision, the matter has long since passed and this is a moment she will forever be linked to. I think the disappointment with men lies in the fact that men are expected to behave in that fashion; make poor, irrational decisions. Women are held in high regard and carry a heir of virtue. Men have chimed in and said, “Who’s gonna wife her now? Nobody’s trying to have her come over to their parents’ house and help prepare macaroni and cheese for Easter dinner. Their relationship won’t make it to the 4th of July!” BOL (Bust Out Laughing)! That’s narrow minded thinking and I’m sure someone will give her a chance to establish a long standing relationship if her current one fails. The fact is this is Mimi Faust’s truth. Only she can hold herself accountable for her actions. As a society, we don’t have the right to condemn anyone when we all have skeletons in our closets. We should all put our rocks down, wash our hands and go about our lives trying to be better people as opposed to judging others. (b)

Perception Isn’t Always Reality

The warmth of a smile can brighten any room upon the entry of a person who radiates with the energy of a star.  However, a smile can also hide the pain of a soul tormented by interal demons that plague their psyche.  We live in a world where our actions are monitored whether willingly or unbeknownst to the person being assessed.  Our state of consciousness is determined by images telecast for our supposed viewing enjoyment; words and musical notes blaring in varying volumes emitted from a speaker.  From the innocence of adolescence to our development as adults, we all deal with moments of insecurity and inadequacy.  On April 8, 2014, Karyn Washington, founder of the site For Brown Girls and #DarkSkinRedLip project, passed away amidst reports that she committed suicide.  A mere twenty-two (22) years of age, the inspiring young lady looked to empower women of an assortment of shades by offering them a forum to express their displeasure, boost self-esteem and triumph over any short-comings.  Her initiative, #DarkSkinRedLip project, came into existence after rapper A$AP Rocky said that women of darker complexions should not wear red lipstick.  In an interview with Madamenoire.com, Washington discussed the creation of her initiatives in the following statement:

“When the blog was initially created, my cousin and I were dealing with self-esteem issues relating to our complexion and we would vent to each other.  Through talking it out and building each other up, we felt better but also didn’t like the fact that we were even having these feelings to begin with. We also realized that other girls may be going through the same thing and wanted to use Tumblr as a means to vent, encourage others and overcome. Since then, I have gained a greater passion for the cause and helping others.” 

The irony is, in her attempts to empower others, like many people, Washington was reportedly dealing with depression; attempting to cope with the loss of her mother.  As people, we tend to mask our emotions in an effort to conceal feelings that have a tendency to be sometime overwhelming.  There are many forms of depression; symptoms dependent upon the circumstances of the individual.  Failed relationships, financial difficulties, the death of a loved one or issues with self-worth, all become engulfed in a tidal wave of emotions contributing to the thoughts of emptiness and despair.  Whatever the symptoms, depression is different from normal sadness in that it immerses your day-to-day life, interfering with your ability to work, study, eat, sleep, and have fun. The signs aren’t always visible.  Some people describe depression as “living in a black hole” or having a feeling of impending doom. However, some depressed people don’t feel sad at all—they may feel lifeless, empty, and apathetic, or men in particular may even feel angry, aggressive, and restless.  A perfect example of this is the United States penal system.  The United States makes up 4% of the world’s population, but is responsible for 25% of its incarceration; thereby having the highest incarceration rate in the world.  Keep in mind that convicted felons are ineligible for welfare, student loans, public housing, food stamps, and are often socially disconnected from community and family support structures.  So in addition to having high recidivism rates, convicted felons also have a high rate of homelessness and suicide.  Isn’t that information alone enough to make you depressed?  So how do you think a person in that position feels? And just like with going to the doctor for an annual physical, many people of color pass on seeking help and counseling because of the worry of public opinion, ridicule or shame.


Karyn Washington inspired many women to believe in themselves and encouraged all who followed to be accepting of their appearance and other personal attributes given to them at birth.  Behind that wide, beautiful smile, no one truly knows what horrors she was dealing with in her mind.  Like many advocates for change, Ms. Washington’s efforts will not soon be forgotten.  And as the condolences pour in from colleagues and followers alike, the question remains, are you willing to share your soul with someone in an effort to seek assistance with what’s ailing you, or do you continue to suffer alone; confiding in no one to help you overcome the anguish you feel?  If you suffer from the symptoms of depression, please seek help.  There are places available which are a mere phone call away.  Rest in peace Karyn Washington.  (b)