i remember these tweets man

Charity Wrapped In Dignity

She asked him, “How much are you selling the eggs for?”

The old seller replied to her, “Rs.5/- for one egg, Madam.”

She said to him, “I will take 6 eggs for Rs.25/- or I will leave.”

The old seller replied, “Come take them at the price you want. May God bless us, and maybe this is a good beginning because I have not been able sell to anyone today.”

She took it and walked away with a feeling that she has won. She got into her fancy car and went to pick her friend, and invited her to a posh restaurant.

She and her friend sat down and ordered what they liked. They ate a little and left a lot of what they ordered.

Then she went to pay the bill. The bill was Rs.1,400/-. She gave him Rs. 1,500/- and said to the owner of the restaurant: “Keep the change.”

This incident may seem quite normal to the owner of the restaurant. But it is very painful for the poor egg seller.

The bottom line is:

Why do we always show that we have the power when we buy from the needy and the poor? And why are we generous with those who do not need our generosity ?

Every time a poor child comes to me to sell something simple, I remember a tweet from the son of a rich man who said, “After every prayer my father used to buy simple goods from poor people at expensive prices, even though he did not need them.

Sometimes he used to pay more for them. I used to get concerned by this act and I asked him about it. Then my father told me: ‘It is a charity wrapped with dignity, my son.’”

Why aren’t more black women in rap videos?

 I’m not talking about the really light-skinned or racially ambiguous women either. I mean black women who are visibly black. Those who are brown and dark-skinned. The ones with natural hair, braids, dreadlocks, and broad features. Why don’t we ever see them be “sexy” in music videos with black men? There’s a difference between being sexy and vulgarized. When light-skinned and non-black women are plastered in these videos for aesthetics, they are made to be sensual. When darker-skinned women are shown once in every blue moon, all you see are their butts or skin; never their faces.

 Whenever it’s brought up, we are gaslighted. We’re asked if we really want to be in an environment that sexually degrades us. Of course we don’t. That’s not what we are asking. We are asking to be shown as just as sexy, carefree and beautiful as the non-black women in these videos. We know the difference between men objectifying women and glorifying them. And we are not glorified. Many black men’s excuse is that they don’t want to see us objectified, so they spare us the burden by using white and non-black women. I find that malarkey. The real reason is simple: They just don’t want us to be sexy. They don’t want us to have agency over our own bodies and sexuality. It’s a form of control. It’s jealousy. It’s possession. It’s misogynoir.

 Black men have no problem sexualizing us when it’s convenient. A Twitter user said the words I’ve been thinking: if you’re going to sexualize us, at least pay us. We hardly see dark-skinned and black female sex-workers put in the same light as lighter-skinned and non-black women. They refuse to pay us to be sexy. They want us to be sexy for free. Whenever they think of black women, all they think of is our bodies and looks. When someone asks why they love black women, they always go for features associated with black womanhood like big butts, curves, full lips, and kinkier hair texture. I refuse to believe it’s because most find us “ugly” or “undesirable.” Many do, but that’s mainly because of white supremacy, not actually believing we’re unattractive. Because notice, as soon as someone like Teyana Taylor is deemed acceptable for the mainstream, you have black men posting pictures of her calling her “sexy.” Teyana has big lips, dark-brown skin, and a broad nose. Years ago, she was mocked for her role in that Tyler Perry movie where she was saying “BYRONNNNN!” in that exaggerated AAVE. Now because she’s popular and people say she’s attractive, the same men calling women who look like Teyana “hideous” are calling Teyana “goals.” The same with Taral Hicks from A Bronx Tale and Belly. If she wasn’t glorified and made to be the most beautiful thing in DMX’s 1998 film, Kodak Black would have looked at her as just any other “ugly d*rkie.” Black men can cut the crap. Just say you hate us but want the benefit of controlling us at the same time.

 It’s the same logic as how white men hate white women but have no problem fucking them. They’re even attracted to them. It’s the same with black men and black women intraracially. The only difference is, pretending we’re ugly by default keeps us under their control. If we have low self-esteem or are suppressed by looks, then we can’t be “above” black men. One minute black women are “ugly” and “manly,” the next minute black men are on a Hotep spiel on how we’re more “fragile” than “the black man.” So my theory is that there is truth to what black men say about rather seeing other men’s women “objectified” than their own. Trust me, it doesn’t make me feel any better. It is not flattering or moving to me. I am disgusted. However, I can’t help but laugh. Most black men don’t genuinely find non-black women better than black women, they just find them easier to control anti-blackness than if they were men. It’s still misogyny, they just have less power. Black men either find black women’s bodies vulgar and “offensive,” or so “sexy,” they don’t want us to be the object of desire to non-black men. Especially white men.

 That is why black men will call us bedwenches before they call Fredrick Douglas a fuckboy, Eldridge Cleaver a rapist and an abuser, and Martin Luther King a bumbling cheater. The worst atrocity according to black men are black women being raped. Not because it was horrible and a violation of women’s agency and rights, but because “their” woman was touched by “the white man.” I can see a man being angry and hurt that a woman he loves dearly was violated and gravely hurt. But that isn’t the case. When black men speak of slavery, they speak of ire at the fact white men were raping all the black women while black men apparently couldn’t do a damn thing about it. I remember seeing one man on Twitter tweet how white men would take all the “pretty” slaves to sleep with. As if those women consented. Therefore, black men control our sexuality under the guise of “protection.” They claim they want to protect us from white or non-black men when we so as choose to date outside of our race, but I know the truth. They’re just jealous and don’t like the idea of black women being the object of someone else’s gaze. So yes, I do believe the lack of black women in these rappers’ music videos is a reference of many black men’s egos. It’s fun for them to brag about having other races of men’s women but then when it comes to us. they don’t want to brag about us because they know those same men consume hip-hop just as much if not more than all black people combined. 

 Another theory of mine is that black men simply don’t find us pure and beautiful enough to be in their music videos. It’s that simple. It’s okay for light-skinned women to be curvy and shaking their asses. It’s even okay for non-black or mixed race women to do the same thing. But when we do it, it’s “ghetto,” it’s “ratchet,” it’s “ugly.” It’s more “sexy” for these “pure” angels to get “down and dirty” (which is where “down” comes from when it’s to reference understanding the black struggle). Those women will always be seen as “pure” and “beautiful” no matter what, so people love the taboo of “good girls” acting like “hoes,” e.g. dark-skinned and visibly black women.  You can say not all black men feel this way, and I would concur. However, since black men have male privilege and black women do not, I will hold all black men accountable for their misogynoir and erasure of us.

anonymous asked:

i just saw phils happy pride tweet now im in full blown tears i hate this man

sometimes i remember phils happy pride tweet and my heart flutters bcuz phil doesnt usually tweet about that kind of stuff himself but he used the rainbow heart emojis and a cute pikachu gif with a rainbow and i just <3 an lgbt icon <3

New Year's Eves
Greg Laswell
New Year's Eves

Greg Laswell // New Year’s Eves

maybe sit this one out
i’ll hold my breath while you breathe out
you’re in excellent shape
to quit this while you’re ahead

Jon Bellion

so many of you dont know who this guy is. but you will soon. mark my words. you will know of Jon Bellion. he is one of the most hard working and humble musicians out there. and he’s one of my favorites. 

lets rewind to two years ago. i was homeless. in a middle of a bad break up. and in the middle of a year long fight with depression. honestly it was all bad. and the thought of taking my life was a daily thing that i had to fight with. but the one guy who was there for me through all of it was Jon Bellion. I still remember the day Paper Planes was released and it made me feel so alive and I was able to feel while listening to it. which was honestly all I needed at that time. And i remember tweeting him everyday. never anything having to do with me being sad 24/7 but me just thanking him for making music. and he would answer every. time. i remember i tweeted him “man I’m feeling unconfident gonna listen to some of @jonbellion’s music” and he immediately replied with “please feel better” or one time i was like “I’m feeling lonely i need a big brother” and he was like “no problem little sis” which to him it probably wasn’t a huge deal but to me it honestly saved my life. cause it felt like somebody cared. somebody was out there. I feel so overdramatic typing this up hahaha but seeing him release all this wonderful music and getting more talented and he’s still humble and still loves his fans the same way he did the day he released that drake cover video and then paper planes is so beautiful to see and I’m so proud to be a fan. I was at his first show in NYC last year and watching him perform all these songs that got me through rough patches was so inspiring. i got to tell his mom and sister that and they looked so proud and his mom was like “he’s a great kid. even with all the cursing on stage” hahaha! Im seeing him at like 5 shows in a few weeks and hopefully i can meet him and talk to him for a few minutes and give him a hug. love you Jon Bellion. you’ve done so much for me and i can’t thank you enough



If I were to be remembered for anything, I would want it to be my twitter feed. If any of y’all partake in the twitterverse, follow me @courtneyrhodes7 and you won’t be disappointed. 

Go. Do. Create.

In my head, I’ve been an artist forever. I’ve walked the long walk. I’ve fought the good fight. I’ve raged against the machine. I’ve struggled and slaved longer than ANYONE I KNOW!  SO WHERE’S MY BIG BREAK???… and then I back up and realize… “oh, hey dude… you’ve been doing this professionally for like… 5 years. So calm the crap down.”

I truly believe the most damaging mentality that pervades almost every facet of the entertainment industry here in LA is the notion of YOUNGER = BETTER. Everyone’s jonesin’ for the next “hot” thing. Everyone wants to be the one who BREAKS or be the one who discovers the NEW BREAKOUT STAR. And yet, we know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that GREAT ART takes a whole lotta time. Like… decades. Centuries. Eons. And we also know that MANY of the “GREATS” weren’t greats until they were already gone. They went to their graves thinking themselves irrelevant and were laid to rest broke and impoverished, clinging to ideas that nobody else ever seemed to take notice of… that is, until much later.

And yet here we are in 2015 where I will see a tweet that goes something like this:

“Remember __________ ? Man, weren’t they were on that show like TWO years ago. What happened to them? Guess they never did anything.”

At which point I flail over my laptop computer dramatically, sink to my knees and raise my hands to the sky. (see pic below for visual reference)

There’s this idea that, if you’re not hitting it big NOW, then you’re done. You’re toast. Why?? Well, I suppose social media is somewhat to blame. We live in a have-it-now culture and what we can’t have or don’t have or can’t see is therefore irrelevant to the present moment. I get it. I am a guilty culprit. But what’s so damaging is when you, as an artist, take that burden on yourself and apply it to all scenarios of your life. You didn’t get that part? FAILURE. Someone took your script and never got back to you? FAILURE. You did a thing but that thing ended and now you’re back to square one? FAILURE.

What’s so messed up about this mentality is it goes against everything we know about the creative process. We know that good art takes time. We know that we can’t just pick up a pen and write the next great American novel without a few rough drafts first. We know that we can’t just pick up a camera, press record and become Stanley Kubrick overnight. We know that we can’t just grab a guitar from a music store and become the next Eric Clapton in one day.

I did a workshop with an indie film casting director last year who gave some of the best advice I’ve ever heard and it applies to ANY artist. Basically, she told us that every year she sees an array of breakout stars that lack the work ethic and the stamina and the skills and the craft to continue beyond their window of fame. She warned us to never become like that and to use this time of waiting to prepare for the success we want to have. This hit me like a ton of bricks. So you’re not successful yet? Then go prepare for the success you want to have because when it comes, it comes fast. If you’re not ready, you’ll be washed away in the tidal wave of opportunity.She went on to tell several stories of actors who’d blown up from their first job and never bothered to work to get better. When the offers came pouring in, time quickly showed that they weren’t nearly as equipped as their star power or “name” led people to believe. This is the downfall of getting too famous too fast.

On the flip side, there’s a also a lot of AMAZING artists who’ve worked on their craft for years out of the spotlight, only to hit the right thing and then be thrust in the public eye. Unlike the first example, they are prepared for the onslaught of opportunity because their primary goal was to be excellent in their work. People may say “overnight success”, but in reality, they’ve been working at it for YEARS. It’s only now, once publicly recognized, that we get to see the full fruition of their work. So we know that the great ones work for years and years to perfect and refine their work. SO WHY DO WE EXPECT OVERNIGHT SUCCESS OF OURSELVES?? Why do we say “You screw up. You didn’t hit the lottery and become a superstar overnight. What’s wrong with you? You suck.” This mentality sounds insane and yet, I am 100% guilty of it. I feel like I’m not doing enough or haven’t done enough or even more so… 

I just feel so friggen’ far behind.

Vision is both inspiring and deflating. In one aspect, you see how far you CAN go. In another aspect, you see how far you have YET to go. If we only fixate on this aspect, it will soon become an obsession and we won’t be able to see anything else. No matter what we do, we will also look at it through the lens of failure and say “well, I’m not THERE, therefore it’s worthless.” This is so tragic. It’s like having an amazing kitchen of ingredients at your disposal (your imagination and creativity) and looking over at someone else’s food and saying “man, I just want that now.” The process is a part of the joy of creating.

I wonder if Anne Frank or van Gogh or or Emily Dickinson or Franz Kafka ever contemplated the impact their work would have on the world. They passed before they could be recognized. And yet, we revere them.

If we only let our success be defined by other people’s warped or naive assumptions, we will always be chasing their affection and praise and this does nothing to better our work. It only makes us desperate. There is a fine but noticeable line between passion and desperation. I hear casting directors say it all the time. They can “sniff” desperation the minute it walks into their office. I don’t want to be a desperate artist… desperate to hit the marks that I am told equal success and desperate to achieve the accolades that supposedly represent me “making it.” I want to be a PASSIONATE artist. I want the work I share to come from a burning desire to share it. I want the quality of my work to be defined by the ideas and the person behind it, not by the number of twitter followers or YouTube views or subscribers or whether or not I was trending or whether or not I’m on some studio’s “short list” for a pilot.  Don’t get me wrong… I’d be lying if I didn’t say I want all those things, sure. I want to be successful in people’s eyes and I want the opportunity to showcase my work. But at what cost? At the cost of hating myself if I never get it? Nothing is worth that. I don’t really know what success means anymore. If it means being on a TV show or being a celebrity then I guess I’m not that. But I spend every day creating my own work and helping other people create and I get to call that my job. That’s pretty freakin cool in my book. I don’t know what success means to you either. But if you’re reading this, then you’re alive and you have a creative voice. Use it. Don’t wait for someone to make you successful. Go do your own thing. Create from a place of passion, not of desperation. That’s where your best ideas will come from. What you have right now is enough to start.

Go. Do. Create.  

“it seems to me that later on neither I nor anyone else will be interested in the musings of a thirteen-year old school girl. Oh well, it doesn’t matter. I feel like writing.” - Anne Franke