November 8, 2016 which officially become the day this country returned to the Dark Ages. Never in my life, would I thought the word Trump and Presidency would ever become one.
As the night of Tuesday November 8 unfolded, it was as if my world was losing light and then it just got dimmer and dimmer. It was completely unfathmoable, to think this country would elect a ...reality star. This has to be one of the lowest moments in our modern country's history. He has no experience in foreign relations, no legislative experience and no political expertise. I just couldnt comprehend, how did this country with all this wealth and power choose to elect the lowest common denominator? It made absolutely no sense. We are now into the first week of the official status of ..the new dawn of darkness.
Many are trying to normalize, noticing he has stepped back on many mandates he shared during the Presidency. He has decided to not be so extreme on Obamacare, Roe vs. Wade , the Muslim registry..(?)..I refuse to try to breathe. Even if he swayed from everyone of his campaign promises...he is completely incompetent for this job. How did we deny the woman with 30 years experience including as a U.S. Senator and Secretary of State for a man who created The Apprentice?
Each day I wake up hoping this is all a bad dream and then I look at the news and it all becomes too real again. How I yearn for 2008 when there was such hope and expectancy in the air. There was such anticipation of what was coming and not the fear or dread that seems to permeate the air now. You can't seem to have a civil conversation because the personal stakes are too high whether you were With Her or not. There are moves to try to normalize what we have just experienced and I believe this is people's way to make it palatable but this election has crossed a line that can never be uncrossed. It confirmed that we dont want to change, we want what is familiar. This country was not ready to continue to move into the unknown, charter territory that has not been covered before.
These last 8 years have been accused of being the same but that is completely untrue. We have seen siesmic change, not the least an African-American family occupied the White House. We had an amazing First Lady who was the descendants of slaves and a President who's father was a citizen of Kenya. We have seen queer people openly serving in the military, people living because now pre-existing conditions are a thing of the past, gay marriage the law of the land, the Dept of Justice investigating the death of one black child. We have a Latina on the Supreme Court, we have 3 women appointed to the Supreme Court, a President who spoke about and supported the conversation of Climate Change..on and on. It was all too much for a country that only 10 years ago went to war to protect ourselves from the "Axis of Terror". People needed reassurance that we still have cowboys who can take out Indians, that we are tough on crime, tough on terror, tough on immigration..we're just tough.
The next four years will look like anything but progress but what the end result will be is anyone's guess. The one shining light of these days of dreariness is that we have seen a mobilizing of citizens that is unprecedented. People are speaking out loudly that this is not our normal and it is unacceptable. The hope that this is momentum will carry us into a backlash of the stagnant.
I was on my favorite bus from New York to Boston..the LimoLiner. It's a pleasant way to take the bus and for comfort I would say better than Amtrack (definitely better food) but I digress... on my way back home they screened M.A.SH. My first thought was, there is a remake of M.A.S.H. I wasn't aware of? It turn out no, it was the original movie.
Then I was like, they are showing a movie made in the 60's??? Like..., why? Well, that question was never answered but screened the movie, they did.
In between the writing, travel plans and facebook , I viewed the movie mostly in silence. What I was struck by was just the absolute lack of color in that FILM! There was an Asian man who had an under 5 role, some women who I assumed were supposed to be Korean were workers in a brothel as part of prank with no lines, a pretty black woman an officer with maybe 5min of screen time , a random black man who had the most lines as he was a singing most of them and Fred Williamson lookin like a model speaking for less than 7min.
The movie was filled with the "irreverant white dudes" who bucked the system, outwitted authority with their sincere arrogance. There was alot of "tongue in cheek" humour where women served no other purpose but to be hysterical, supportive and sexual partners . It's a film that reflected the changing times but white heterosexual men were still the captain of the ship.
It was a wonderful reminder how things have definitely changed. That film represented a period of time when our prescence didnt matter at all, it was clearest example of demeaning tokenism.
Now with films like Moonlight, Birth of a Nation, and tv shows like Insecure and Being Mary Jane we are on the screen AND we are occupying the screen.
My appreciation and heart goes out to all those who had to wait around for 5 hours just to say lend their "otherness" to a scene, or have your body used as an symbol of illicit behavior.
M.A.S.H. is considered one of the masterpieces of modern film and will always be a part of the canon of cinematic history. It should also be seen as a marker of how far we have come from just being the melodic voice for the benefit of others.
We are in the midst of another case of police brutality, it has become a part of the national discourse, like Trump, unfortunately. As per course, we are taking to the streets to argue the case of justice for......fill in the blank. Whenever the conversation comes to brutality, it is always seen through the experience of the black man. There can be no argument that black man are seen as the main target of police violence. The image of the hooded black man is part of the consciousness and if I was a mother, who had a son, there would no end to my worry. Concurrently, as a black queer woman, defined by femaleness and not by male privilege the perspective of my lens is slightly different. . My love for my brothas includes the physical and the spiritually while also painfully aware of the rampant misogyny that is alive and well in our community. The front lines of this #blacklivesmatter movement ( and practically every movement of civil rights) are women. It was founded by women, we are the majority of every march and every meeting. We are also dying in the streets not just to police but to our men. Tiarah Poyau, 22 a young woman who recently killed at the Jouvert festival in Brooklyn, was shot in the eye because she refused a dance with a man. This is not a new story, as there have several stories of the women who have stabbed, shot or beaten for the refusal of men. The stories of Janay Palmer ( Ray Rice now -wife), Cassandra Palmer ( who was killed by Jovan Belcher), and others where the sympathy is for their abusers but rarely for them. There has been a new term "misogoynoir' to describe this but it's actually just good ol' fashion male violence. A recent blog (written by a black female writer, sexuality unknown) has been circulating through social media describing the "fragility of black men" in regards to the systemic racism that permeates our society causing them to not be in control their anger. Well...I just may be a bitchy feminist but that iscomplete shite to me. This again brings me to my queerness, living in Boston surrounded by over-educated , underpaid black women. (If you threw an incense stick in the middle of the road there would be 10 dreaded women with PH.D's to light it for a drum circle to support their own personal development.)
There are times I believe that straight/ and or hetro-norm black women will let their loyalty to the "cause" eat their ever living sanity?
On Demand, I viewed the imperfect film "Perfect Man" which was your typical date night thriller. What struck me was the underlying message to particularly successful black woman of a "certain age". Not to give any "spoilers" but suffice it to say the Sanaa Lathan character (Leah) has been strung along for 2 years with a man (Dave played by Morris Chestnut) who will not make a commitment to her, she then meets this man (Carter played by Michael Ealy) who is respectful to her parents by refusing to engage in sexual relations, listens to her, supports her ambition and approaches her in a respectful way. He turns out to be a violent maniac, her affections then return to the Dave who strung her along and she apologizes for her core values in return for his continued affections. I sat there in absolute shock that this was depicting love in the present age?
So between Black women being told to lower their standards, now we are being told to write off our core values. When we speak about our concerns we are "the petty Black Feminist" bringing down our brothas. The dilemma of being a black man in America is mirrored by being a woke, black women in our own community. The presence of our First Lady Michelle Obama is so important, a reminder that you can be a an intelligent, successful and opinionated black women while defining your womaness, how you please.
Whether its wearing an amazing outfit ( as she always does), kickboxing, doing push-ups or loving on your man. She doesn't have to lower her shine to make Pres. B feel like a man. He is a real black man who loves his real black woman.
I have no resolve for this but to hope for all my Sistas that our ambitions, opinions, sexual expressions are valued at the same level of that to our to commitment to black men's liberty. #blacklivesmatter #feminism #womanist #blackmen #blackwomen #misogynynoir #misogyny
An Actor/Director sharing her thoughts on creativity in this crazy metropolis, New Yawk Citay.