“Something’s been said,” is a quote used by members of my extended, Southern family. Although I was raised in the Midwest, I’d heard this phrase every time something suspicious happened within our clan. It means that there is something definitely wrong, unexplainable, off-putting, or weird going on with a family member, friend or associate but no one knows how to explain it or wants to expose the real issues. Details are often missing or simply don’t add up. No one could evaluate a situation with clarity or objectivity in an environment where hidden secrets and lies existed. As a child, I instinctively knew when a story didn’t make sense, and my facial expression often reflected it.
After moving south, a native North Carolinian told me that her grandmother told her to “hide yo crazy”. The statement made me laugh out loud because it reminded me of the stories we often share that provide half the facts that simply do not add up. It’s another way of saying “something’s been said“. Most people don’t internally question what they hear. Too few are willing to investigate, research or debate a topic before making a decision. There is an even smaller group who will allow room for a presumption of innocence until proof has been obtained.
In the late 70’s and early 80’s, a show called “Different Strokes” was a favorite in my household. I particularly loved the young son, played by former child actor Gary Coleman, who would question information that didn’t make sense to him…. something would have been said for sure!
In this section of Hide Yo Crazy …. Something’s Been Said, we’ll examine cultural, familial, relational, and current events, and provide a platform to examine and perhaps debate these matters in terms of appropriateness, accuracy, and relevancy. Guest writers will also participate to allow for different perspectives on subjects. I am hopeful that we will be able to unveil some of the different viewpoints and allow us to gain a better understanding of what may really be happening within our own minds as well as relationships. Come back soon …check out this video until we chat again.
What do ALL these women (past and present) have in common? Each one has a personal backstory filled with opposition and challenges that they’ve had to face and overcome in order to achieve their goals. The challenges occurred in many forms including within the family dynamic, physical and mental health issues or societal expectations and bullying violating their needs/boundaries along the way to success. It has become even more clear to me that just being YOU and trying to be your personal best is not easy for anyone.
At times, individuals will have to confront their own inner wounding head on – – fear, shame, low self esteem, guilt etc. – – in order to achieve self mastery. Many will also encounter people who do not want them to be authentic nor will they encourage their personal best. They might even resent you for even trying or set up traps/barriers to your success. It scares them sh*tless to see someone who is different or even simply struggling to achieve a goal especially when they’ve given up, don’t share your vision or maybe harbor either jealousy or envy.
This blog post is just a reminder to say that YOU will sometimes be forced to stand alone. In reality, as long as the most high is on your side you have all you need anyway. Your tribe, those who authentically love and respect the real YOU, will demonstrate their support through actions too. By that time, you will have already proven to yourself that you indeed have personal character, power and resilience. So, salute to my independent, warrior queens! Everyone and everything, including those who did not support you, have blessed you with the necessary life lessons to become who YOU were always meant to be (divinely perfect and imperfect as the most high intended).
Yesterday marked the U.S. holiday called Columbus Day which commemorates the landing of Christopher Columbus in the Americas in 1492. School age children are taught about this famous explorer, Italian born Christopher Columbus, who set sail with a fleet of ships – – Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria – – in route for Asia at the behest of Spanish monarchs King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. His mission was to chart a western sea route to China, India and the gold and spice islands of Asia. The reality that he actually first landed on various Caribbean islands that are now the Bahamas and not North America has not completely altered the fabled story told in some American schools across this country. In fact, it wasn’t until his third journey that Columbus finally realized he hadn’t reached Asia but had instead stumbled upon a continent previously unknown to Europeans. One can only wonder what he first thought as this new world came into view perhaps shimmering in the moonlight reflecting against the ocean.
Columbus also discovered Cuba believing it was mainland China, founded Hispaniola (Spain’s first colony in the Americas) and explored the Central and South American coasts. He became the first European to explore the Americas since the Vikings established colonies in Newfoundland and Greenland during the 10th century. Christopher Columbus is indeed a revered hero for many in the Italian community but there is more to his story.
In spite of his accomplishments, Columbus Day has not been without controversy particularly since it marks a critical point in world his-tory when indigenous peoples in the Americas were systematically subjugated. In recent decades, Native Americans and other groups have protested the celebration of an event that resulted in the colonization of the Americas and the beginning of the transatlantic slave trade. Millions of indigenous populations died via murder and disease (primarily smallpox and influenza) soon following the encounters with the European explorers. Natives also fought in many wars with Europeans claiming lives as well. As the governor of Hispaniola, for example, Christopher Columbus allegedly imposed barbaric forms of punishment, including torture, and committed atrocities against native peoples decimating their populations.
To tell the America’s novella in its entirety is to also tell a story of suffering and sometimes annihilation of native peoples already present with a rich history and culture. School children are not often taught the complete narrative which is why many proposed in the 1970s to rename Columbus Day to honor the “others” long forgotten. It is called the Indigenous Peoples’ Day which is now celebrated in many U.S. states and cities as well.
But why do we forget our lessons? “Lessons not learned in blood are soon forgotten.”
Abe Lincoln – American lawyer, statesman and 16 president of the United States of America
Hopefully, we will one day be able to look at our collective his-tory, including those celebrated figures and holidays, without omitting the complete story that often sheds light on our past. What we teach our children matters immensely. Our his-tory lessons help to explain and provide a context for the past. They also give US the opportunity to create a future, yet to be determined, where we learn from our mistakes and successes. Without a strong teaching foundation based upon absolute trUth, we will end up further mis-educating more and more children who will not understand events (good, bad and ugly) and our collective journey. Learning from the trUthful experiences of “others” is also irreplaceable. Humanities destiny awaits to be be written with perhaps a more comprehensive narrative more profound and even richer for ALL of US to understand and share.
Skin, a Netflix documentary discussing the issues related to colorism and skin bleaching in Nigeria, appeared on my TV screen while searching for another program. It triggered my interest immediately since this is a consistent topic on this website. After viewing the documentary, I found its subject matter interesting but also tragic. The same story related to colorism has been translated globally from the United States to the farthest regions of the world. It is the belief that whiter skin is somehow better and more desirable than darker skin tones. As a result, the idealization of light skin as the key beauty standard has affected the self esteem for women and girls around the world. In many cultures, skin color is a key social marker for gauging the attractiveness, career opportunities, marriageability and socioeconomic status of its citizenry.
Today’s blog post will use videos to reinforce the content. Please review at your leisure.
$8.6 Billion was spent worldwide on skin bleaching creams in 2020.
There is trUth in this experience since the early colonizers, who held the ultimate POWER, reinforced this reality for millions of people of color. It was clear who gained access to desirable employment, business opportunities or generational wealth. Skin color has been assigned with POWER to access privilege in many societies and most of US recognize this reality in a very practical way. It is so important that the skin bleaching industry has exploded globally in spite of the fact that many skin whitening products (some illegal) contain ingredients, like mercury and hydroquinone, which have been linked to poisoning, skin damage, liver and kidney malfunction and skin cancer. Yet, the idea that skin tone alone should determine the opportunities and value of another human is both dismissive and ignorant.
For the sake of this blog post we shall now refer to colorism as a worldwide cultural phenomenon. It is so pervasive and insidious it transcends ethnic heritage and country of origin. America has it own particular relationship with colorism founded in our shameful past of slavery but its roots go much deeper influencing the early colonizers who saw the world as their birth right to explore and conquer. It is not just US demonstrating the same beliefs about people of varying shades of color and what it means if one possesses degrees of melanin. Our collective relationship to color and race is founded on the shared HIS–torical roots of racism which designated the indigenous peoples across the globe as inferior. This faulty belief still resonates to this day but people across the world are slowly starting to understand and remove the invisible mind shackles fostered under a white superiority indoctrination system. At some point, we will all appreciate and celebrate who we BE (white, yellow, brown, red, black etc.) without diminishing the “other” creating these false narratives of distinctions.
Scientists and sociologist have often argued that race is a social construct without biological meaning. This means it exists because humans say it exists. It is a human-invented classification system used as a way to define social, cultural and physical differences between people. Skin tone is one of the most obvious features to identify and immediately classify people without further assessment. From the very beginning, it has more often that not been used as a tool for oppression, separation and violence. Research studies of the complete genomes from different parts of the world, for example, have shown that there is not a single absolute genetic difference where all Africans have one genetic variant and all Europeans another one. This also has deeper roots connected to our common human ancestor, nicknamed Lucy, whose origins date back 3.2 millions years ago discovered in Hadar, Ethiopia.
Much more information is available about this topic but it is really quite fascinating and disheartening that we, as a collective, do not search for deeper trUth so easily accessible. The divisive, indoctrination constructs, via the educational, familial, and societal systems, are difficult to dismantle easily. It is the ultimate mental prison sentence with no opportunity for parol but CHANGE does happen – – gradually and eventually. The issues about race and the implications assigned to skin color are as faulty today as the original racist assumptions made so long ago. Fortunately, there is no where to run from the trUth if one has enough curiosity and courage of conviction to see it.
So join me now in a global review of this worldwide cultural phenomenon.
The results are shocking but unfortunately not surprising.