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 confusioncompounds 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.
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.
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 Itpodcast 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 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?
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.
Pardon me, but have you heard my most recent podcasts?
This episode features dear friend and deep thinker, Gavinn Boyce.
Highlights: 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 #enddays
… 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.
SUBSCRIBE everywhere you get your podcasts.
Let’s continue the conversation at firstname.lastname@example.org
We are in a new place in the world and we are here TODAY. It’s just, simply, gonna keep happening, all around us, on a continuum where we have arrived at a new day of PRACTICE. Of Black Women taking S P A C E. Telling black love, and black drama. SINGULAR stories, connected and connecting to many others—one story at a time because THERE WILL BE MORE. So many more. Prepare yourselves.
are coming any and every day from now on.
There was an argument about Scorsese on Twitter a little while ago. Someone made a joke about Tarantino and his latest movie and the subsequent twitter argument proceeded, in short: “Fuck you if you don’t think Scorsese’s a genius.” If you take Scorsese seriously as a genius, as I do, you (I) must acknowledge a deep, abiding love for those films.
OK, Goodfellas is still in my top 10 of all time, but I haven’t made a new list in a long, long while. Because, as I continue on the continuum, I’ve been over “it” for a while—male existential angst in the form of violence, rape, patriarchy—even if it’s deep, human drama. That’s what Scorsese does best. Not simply guns blazing, but the emotional, existential angst of men, which takes the form of brutal violence, which keeps the stakes violently high. Tarantino leans more towards brutality as comedy, but either way it’s a male take, centering men, firmly, and I’m just beyond it. I’ve seen it. I want and need something else.
I am part of a growing audience for something else. I don’t think my mother had this expectation of entertainment, though she was sick of what she was watching too. She always found something to love. Me too, until recently. That’s how I know I’m no longer satisfied. It’s incredibly hard to meet my needs these days. I have been waiting, impatiently, for THIS TRAILER that I didn’t even know was coming. Unknowingly, my expectations have risen high as the sky!
It’s as good as any trailer needs to be. That’s how it works. You build a buzz with a trailer and a campaign. And I love to follow the buzz, when I give a shit, which I haven’t in a long time.
I certainly don’t give a shit about Once Upon a Time in Hollywoood, even if it’s brilliant. I’ll probably see it, one day, but I don’t give one shit about the “buzz.” Not today.
The buzz can draw me in when the moment is big and right enough. One day, not long enough ago, I tuned into myself and realized that my gift, and my business, is in the elevation of my people’s progress. That buzzy feeling of excitement you get when your particular frequency lines up with the moment you’re in, that’s the magic of creation—the breakthrough to your next level. When you stand firmly in it, those sparks can ignite e v e r y t h i n g. You understand what’s truly possible in those moments, and it’s more than you believe in any other moment.
That’s your life force. That’s the creator in you, and it’s worth preserving, protecting, and promoting to power. It’s the current that runs through everything alive, and you know yours when you feel it. And I felt mine when I laid eyes on this trailer, of this co-creation, of a black American experience, led by black American women, who quite clearly know what the fuck they’re doing.