The Whites’ Lotus

The center cannot hold. Neither can it let TF go.

I owe a final position to my social media since I came out so hard at the halfway mark of this series on my instagram. So, where did I land in the end? Back in the motherfucking gutter where that hotel insists I belong. 

Perhaps what I can’t reconcile, what pains me the most–though there are several pains–is that I showed up for this grief. I signed up for it. I willingly followed my rich white leaders–Mike White, HBO Max, Connie motherfucking Britton and Steve Zahn, aka the benevolent whites (bene-VIOLENT?)–into the motherfucking abyss. Where they predictably left me to die. It’s not their job to save me, right? When has it ever been? Why do I keep showing up to be drowned? 

There are multiple complications to this point:

  1. This is their media; “they” being unapolegetically white folks. White folks who will not share the center with my non-white ass, explicitly. And by explicitly I mean implicitly. It’s a sunset medium. 

Don’t let the sun set on you on this platform, n****r. 

You don’t belong here. 

Don’t make us say so out loud. You won’t like what happens when we feel threatened.

The White Lotus is a sundown show. If Natasha Rothwell’s character, Belinda, had instead been played by [insert critically acclaimed fat blacktress … I’ll wait…], perhaps their emmy-caliber performance would have made more clear the dire nature of their character’s situation–how violated the character is as a matter of course. As a term of “employment.” Violated. Erased. Displaced. Discarded. Used up. And left for who-cares-what-happens-to-her.

  1. This white man (Mike White) uses her. Uses Kai. Uses Paula. Uses Lani, to move his narrative along; to illustrate just how careless with the lives of others your wealth, and your whiteness allow you to be. And then he leaves it there.  
  2. And in the final analysis, every major media outlet lets him. Most major content distributors who reviewed this show asked only the whites who consumed it what they thought, leaving them firmly positioned in the center to perhaps contemplate just how centered they are, perhaps, but mostly to emote, casually, about how it made them feel. 
  3. What TF does that matter when the stakes of a careless disregard for non-white life are quite literally human sustainability on earth? 
  4. I am galled by how passively we consume our own violent erasure from the platform of human dignity and worth. How HBO just gets to do it. Because… Exterminate All the Brutes is also on the platform for white folks to consume and dismiss? 
  5. This is why equity matters. This is why. Because when the HAWAIIIANS of Hawaii get to respond to the work, for ALL to consume (let alone the blacks), across multiple channels, across their own multiplicity of perspectives, then the art itself gets to hold a position in “right-relationship” to its audience. Gets to have a second life that actually contributes to the progress of our culture rather than the poisoning of it–rather than the entrenchment of this white supremacy which ever more menacingly and insidiously threatens our survival on earth. 

These are the motherfucking stakes of mainstream culture work, bitch–the creation and dissemination of our myths; the generation and assimilation of our social values. 

Our mainstream culture work defines what our culture is prepared to do and to be. It diagnoses what we’re actually willing to do about climate justice, liberation, and sustainability on earth. The White Lotus painfully reminds us that at present, among the so-called powers that be, the answer is not a goddamn thing. This is both true and patently unacceptable. The opportunity for progress, if there is any,  is in its audience confronting its truths. So, where is the goddamn voice in the mainstream shouting this truth through a megaphone, for at least one human who might make a difference to hear, and be validated in her genius to take that next essential step which might actually make a difference, as every culture genius who has ever lived has told us in some form is how inspiration works?? 

  1. When we only consume and credit white sources with publishing and distributing and historicizing the meaning of art, at the mainstream level, then we stay stuck in position as far as mainstream white institutions are willing to go. When there are simply 20 white think pieces across all major platforms for critical analysis, then the impact of the art has an OUTSIZE relationship to its audience. I, and you, and everyone we know who ain’t white get erased as an audience; not merely, simply, only, as archetypes in a dramatic comedy about our passive yet violent erasure from the actual society we all share. Do you think the United States Congress is prepared to take one step further on issues of sustainability than the “Mike White community?” If you think we can afford to leave the mainstream to either group, you MUST know that means we not gon’ make it. 

Come on, somebody.

The Blind Side

CBS News

Today, when I reflect on the American month of February, I feel exhausted and overburdened by how far we haven’t come. Lately, I’ve been referring to “the Big Lie” in my life as American Race. To distinguish it. To make it more recognizable. And to help remember its artificial nature. It’s not naturally occurring. It’s synthetic. Perhaps that’s why it causes cancer. 

“Well, don’t eat it then. No one’s forcing you too. 

Smile, girl. Don’t you know you’re beautiful when you smile?

You ugly as hell when you don’t. 

You oughta die screaming if you don’t smile at me, gal. 

You better fucking do it if you wanna live. 

I’m just playing. 

You might never get a chance to live, no matter what you do.”

I’m so tired of what other people don’t know and can’t fathom about what I’ve endured every day of this life. I’m so tired of what I still don’t understand about it. How much history I don’t know. How free I don’t even know I’m not. And how every confusion compounds and spreads this incurable virus, destroying all of US, whether we know it or not. It’s so fucking absurd to be consumed by imaginary, but real, cancer when the world is so very large, and naturally occurring, with or without my black ass. 

Black History” is remarkable for the ugliest reasons there are. “Black achievements” are among history’s most magnificent, but their distinction only functions to keep the worst in us alive. Caste. I don’t want to “celebrate my people” in front of anyone else but them, and not even that because my celebration wish is just to motherfucking BE. This black history month, just mark me present.  

Stand back and Stand by!

(COMBO) This combination of pictures created on September 29, 2020 shows US President Donald Trump (L) and Democratic Presidential candidate and former US Vice President Joe Biden during the first presidential debate at Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, on September 29, 2020. (Photos by SAUL LOEB and JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB,JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

I said “white men” on twitter an uncomfortable number of times on debate night. It’s hard to say WHITE out loud, and stand by it. Did you see what that fool did up there? It’s hard to acknowledge that I found it hard to do as well. 

White solidarity (pretending  about or ignoring whiteness altogether) is basic security for most of us (learned from trauma, exploited by the traumatized bully-in-chief). Of course it plays out differently for different individuals, communities, classes and cultures. Difference is real. Systemic oppression is real. 

White fragility is a critical race construct we all share. We all have it because race is made up. 

This is what that weird, eye-roll’y, talking point means: “Race/gender is constructed.” 

Fragility in this sense (fear of death) is real. Racism is real. Fragility isn’t strict according to “race” because there’s no such thing as scientific race. 

Race is like gender. They are the subjective meanings we make of the objective reality of sexual and other difference. Sex is real. Gender is not. Difference is real. Race is not. Culture is much more complicated than “5 races. 2 genders,” objectively. (See spectra.) 

Racism and Sexism are real theories to explain the outcomes we get from our systems. 

White Supremacy and Patriarchy are theories of our social operating systems—our shared culture, rituals, traditions, past times, and resources—and their outcomes. These systems are not essential. We can do better. 

Start here: sex and difference are essential. 

Freedom, equality, dignity, love, and joy are essential human outcomes/needs/expectations; whatever container works for you.  We need systems to support our essential humanity. 

Anger and violence are also essential to humans. Life ain’t no crystal stair. There is a lot to accept in progress. This is what non-violent practice teaches by the way—ancient human peace and enlightenment includes acceptance of pain and struggle, which make joy and abundance possible.  Now you got me started and I’ll stop. 

Bottomline, in 2020 we know enough about human systems and human dignity to do better, and this moment in history is a tragedy because of that truth. That’s my current narrative structure, culturally. It continues, 

Doing better is everywhere, but our big media systems are mean and segregationist, so we miss a lot. We leave so much value on the table—not consolidating, cooperating, building coalitions, being at collaborative peace. Converging in progress. 

Korin Mills, LLC teaches a collaborative work process called Convergence. It takes time and yields a joyful and abundant harvest for willing practitioners. Find out more.

Flip the Script: JLo Wins Again

I would say dancing and music are my first loves, but acting is the love of my life. You have your first love and the love of your life, and acting is the love of my life. I feel like every time I take on a role, it is only about becoming somebody that I’m not. When they go in and see me, they don’t see J. Lo—they see the maid, they see the stripper, they see who they’re supposed to see, because I’m able to still give you the suspension of disbelief. That is the challenge of it for me, but also the thrill of it for me.

Vanity Fair, January 14, 2020

I appreciate the Keep It podcast for raising the Oscar snub convo around Jennifer Lopez and their disappointment for her.

As we (a species fighting for survival) continue to forge ahead beyond the narrative of wrongs perpetually inflicted by oppressors perpetually in power—as we continue to invalidate illegitimate power in favor of the authentic power we all share—I submit for our consideration a new opportunity:

Now that JLo has acknowledged to herself and the world that acting is the love of her life—and after she’s weathered the pain of this ultimate snub—she’s poised in front of a brand new, huge opportunity to reinvent herself once again as an actress of her generation, this time on her own terms, from an empowered position of self-awareness—of her talent and her passion. She’s currently in a moment of having been “wronged” on an international stage, by this body which we give too much power. But the injustice bears a gift equally as large; the energy of clarity. She, and we, can use that clarity to energize our grievances and disappointment with an academy which continues to exclude, predictably, or we can use it to energize work that brings us more power, purpose, and fulfillment—by us, for us.

What if JLo, the now widely acclaimed actor, who also sits atop a self-made pop empire, chooses to say, “fuck you very much. I’m free. I know who I am. And I know what I’m here to do.”

… chooses to pursue more roles that honor her gifts?

… chooses not to just say “Yes” to what she’s offered.

… chooses to lean into this calling, and to keep challenging herself to grow as an actor; one who inspires new possibilities, on screens across the world, to her fans?

Imagine that.

Because, quite frankly, she’s got it like that. I hope she takes this opportunity to see and accept that she need not chase an old, white, increasingly irrelevant academy’s validation in order to make new, dope-ass, legendary art that moves the crowd and fulfills her purpose on this earth.

What roles can you imagine for JLo 3.0? President? Madeline in a reboot of Death Becomes Her? Fucking shit up across the Marvel Universe? Give me your wildest dream in the comments.


Catch Up

Pardon me, but have you heard my most recent podcasts?

This episode features dear friend and deep thinker, Gavinn Boyce.

5:07 #facts We need to start moving faster if we’re gonna survive.

12:10 we name the stakes of impeachment: The potential for a non-corrupt democracy to exist in a free nation.
We also get into the new Netflix documentary, THE GREAT HACK
ie. the data crisis of our generation.
ie. the biggest threat to our way of life which you will not hear addressed at the next presidential debate.

16:45 Who knows what’s going on in silicon valley? Anybody? Really?

17:40 WHAT IF … finally arriving at the bleakest of possible takes

… it then still takes me TWO WHOLE MINUTES TO SAY IT, BUT…

19:25 Let’s consider whether climate change is the price of white supremacy.
And that we’re either going to overcome it or die by it.
And that this is THE test of our existence–whether we will destroy ourselves or truly reckon and survive.

25:30 the world we’re leaving our children.

27: lighter fare:
Da Baby – does he sound like TI or is that just me?
Young MA – is she getting less love than Da Baby or is that just Gav?


This is NORMANI. Get into it… or don’t.
Featuring the illustrious TAVI FIELDS.

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