No, we will not "come together"

I've spent two weeks trying to write this post.  Meanwhile, vastly superior think pieces have popped up saying everything I want to say.
It started shortly after Election Day with my Uber driver. I climbed into the front seat of his black sedan and he smiled politely. We weren’t going far, but somehow, the talk quickly turned to Trump.

“I admit, I voted for him,” he said sheepishly, briefly meeting my eyes. “I just care about the economy.” I nodded, too tired to get into a debate.

Then there was the guy who chatted me up during a weekend getaway to Reno. “All this racist, sexist stuff,” he said, waving his wrinkled white hand dismissively. “It’s just been hyped up by the media. You’ll see. I voted for him. Obamacare just needs to go.”

Again, I nodded, trying to be understanding.

But then there was the woman from Folsom who sidled up to me at a bar in downtown Sacramento. “My cousin is gay. Marry who you want. My uncle is black. I’m all for Black Lives Matter.” She stared into her drink and continued, imploringly. “I really don’t think he’s racist. I don’t think he’s going to do all of those things he said.”

I didn’t nod.

For days, I feel like I’ve been listening to people recite a Trumped up version of, “I’m not racist. Some of my best friends are black.” Who are you trying to convince with that mess? Certainly not me.


By all means, let’s discuss this “white working class” that’s full of “rural resentment,” but if we’re going to tell it, we need to make it plain.

Because where I’m from, these degenerates were called overseers and slave patrols. What they are really saying, what they’ve always been saying, is, “Don’t group us with the Negroes just because we’re working class; we’re still white and we are owed all the rights, privileges and power therein.”

...Yes, they are angry. But they aren’t angry because they’re poor; they’re angry because they are white and poor—and that’s not the American dream. And they will starve and they will waste away and they will die before acknowledging that the world owes them nothing simply because they were born into a world where whiteness is supposed to equal power.

We can’t negotiate with that level of white self-destructiveness.

We can’t bargain with it.

We can’t appease it.

We can’t seek common ground with it.

We fight it and hope to come out on the other side.


I have no interest in seeing this country heal. And I refuse to come together.

Understand: If this were just about politics, I’d never say something like that. No, I’d do what you’re supposed to when the candidate you favored is defeated. Suck it up.

But my anger is not about any given policy of the new president. No, it is about him, about the election of a fundamentally unsound, unserious and unfit man, a misogynist who brags about sexual assault, a bigot cheered to victory by the Ku Klux Klan. I have no idea how to “heal” woman hating and no desire to “come together” with the Klan.

I am similarly impatient with those who say we must give the new president a chance to lead and hope for his success.

Is that what Republicans did for Barack Obama when they gathered on the night of his inauguration and plotted a conspiracy of obstructionism to cripple his presidency? Is it what Donald Trump did when he spent years questioning the veracity of an ordinary birth certificate?

...Forgive me — or don’t; I really don’t care — if that remains a deal breaker for me. I refuse to participate in this process of organized amnesia, to cooperate in normalizing a man who stands for everything America should not.

Jon Stewart recently stated that we shouldn't treat Trump voters like a monolith.  Sure.  Okay.  But every single person who voted for Trump...is a person who voted for Trump. Remember, kids, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Impact trumps intent - pun intended.  Every bit of damage he wreaks is on their hands, and we will not be so forgiving or forgetful.  We will remind you of this fuck-up every day that he's in office.

You think a girl being choked with her own hijab cares that in your heart of hearts, you swear you're not a bigot?  To date, over 700 hate crimes have been reported since the election - you think any of the victims care that you only wanted to fix the economy by electing a man facing 400 lawsuits, who's filed for bankruptcy several times, who just paid a settlement for $25 million on a fraud case, and who owes $650 million in taxes?

People who are feeling bad about voting for Trump need to feel bad. They don't get run from this now that they've lost the respect and affection of relatives, and are being shunned by former friends.

POC often hear the claim that we blame White people for everything and never take responsibility for anything.  We don't blame White people. We blame White supremacy, as well we should.
Every single hardship that people of color face in this country is either caused or exacerbated by the brute force of white supremacy. But the “white working class” that cries about being abandoned doesn’t pretend to care about racial equity. Its members want the right to be as oppressive as their wealthier white masters—they just want to do it with more money in their pockets. And this nation is more comfortable with this impotent white rage than with the justifiable rage of black, Latinx and indigenous people that has burst to the fore once again.

...This is what we are seeing with “white working class” Trump voters. They hope that by voting against justice—by denying the urgency of racial equity in education and health care and housing and employment needed to shatter the framework of a country built on the subjugation and murders of black, Latinx and indigenous people—that they will be more closely aligned with the wealthy white people they yearn to be. They hope that by deporting immigrants from this country—something that Democrats know a thing or two about as well—they won’t have to face job competition and their own mediocrity.
Poor White people who vote against their interests generation after generation - while throwing the rest of us under the bus - don't get to cry foul. Fuck their "rural resentment".  They are a basket of deplorables.  And we have got to stop handling them with cookies and kiddie gloves when what they really need is a switch.

Heads up, White people; our new President-elect has exactly the sort of temperament that could easily start a fresh new war.  Guess whose kids will be shipped off to fight it?  Here's a hint: not his.


When you're done vomiting, sound off

2016, what have you done?


The Bar Loves #DarkMatter

So this past week I finally gave into my curiosity and started watching Canadian SyFy show Dark Matter on Netflix (they just released Season 2).

***Some Spoilers***

See the gorgeous sista to the far right?  Her name is Nyx and she's portrayed by English actress Melanie Liburd.  She was my main reason for checking it out, but I quickly realized she doesn't arrive until Season 2.


John Wick (2015)

Don't fuck with the code

I didn't bother to watch this until I learned a sequel's scheduled to drop in February, 2017.  And the main reason I didn't bother was that I don't look at Keanu Reeves and think "actor."  Don't get me wrong; I grew up in the Age of Keanu.  He was young and he was pretty, and I was a huge fan.  He's not young and pretty anymore (though he's looking really great lately).

Off-screen, Reeves is very charismatic and fun to watch (ironic, right?).  And now that he's older and been through the hellish training camps of The Matrix films, he's developed a certain enigmatic maturity which has me intrigued all over again.

It's like he's Keanu 2.0.


On paper, John Wick appears tired and uninspired.  Someone pisses off a retired hitman who goes on a killing spree to get his revenge.  We've seen that before.  Except, with John Wick, it's so much more.

The writers didn't just give us a gloomy revenge flick; they created a whole universe which had me asking all kinds of questions and genuinely looking forward to the sequel.

John Wick introduces its viewers to a society of assassins, with its strict code, its own language, its own currency, and in a manner of speaking, its own "temple".  There's an establishment known as the Continental Hotel, where a man named Charon stands as concierge, tending the needs of his visitors.  The rules are strict and to the point: assassins cannot conduct business on Continental grounds, as management does not take too kindly to it.


At the Bar with Karlton Clay


The Bar Loves Karma, the Web Series

In addition to owning his own production company, Karlton Clay is a writer, director, and showrunner from Georgia, and a part of the independent webseries movement there.  He is also a member of the esteemed Black Filmmakers group on Facebook.

Karlton! Welcome to the Bar!!! What are you sippin’ on?

Right now, I am sippin' on some WATER! I need to drink more! LOL!

You are an independent artist, so there may be some folks in attendance who don’t know you. If you would, please give us a little background.

I was born and raised in Augusta, GA, and I still live here now.


Open Mic Night: #LukeCage

Because you know we had to do it.

This is an open thread, so feel free to talk about what you want pertaining to the show.  I'll start: my favorite scene is when Cottonmouth throws Tone off a building.

My second favorite scene is Jidenna's performance of "Long Live the Chief."  In fact, he needs to just go ahead and make this the song's new official video.

What about y'all?


Toxic Masculinity: The Convo Continues

So there's a bit of writing currently making its round that I felt would be appropriate at the Bar:
"When I was a freshman, my sister was in eighth grade. There was a boy in two of her periods who would ask her out every single day. (Third and seventh period, if I remember correctly.) All day during third and seventh she would repeatedly tell him no. She didn’t beat around the bush, she didn’t lie and say she was taken – she just said no.

One day, in third period, after being rejected several times, he said; “I have a gun in my locker. If you don’t say yes, I am going to shoot you in seventh.”

She refused again, but right after class she went to the principal’s office and told them what happened. They searched his locker and there was a gun in his backpack.

When he was arrested, some of my sister’s friends (some female, even) told her that she was selfish for saying no so many times. That because of her, the entire school was in jeopardy. That it wouldn’t have killed her to say yes and give it a try, but because she was so mean to him, he lost his temper. Many of her male friends said it was 'girls like her' that made all women seem like cock-teases.

Wouldn’t have killed her to say yes? If a man is willing to shoot someone for saying no, what happens to the poor soul who says yes? What happens the first time they disagree? What happens the first time she says she doesn’t want to have sex? That she isn’t in the mood? When they break up?


The Bar Pops Pink Champagne for Star Trek

See Also

"Star Trek", by Abagond

Since I blog mostly on the weekends now, I struggle to pick topics (since there are so many things to talk about).  The 50th anniversary of the Star Trek franchise seemed a no-brainer.

The Original Series

Star Trek: The Original Series first aired back in 1966 on September 8th, same as my younger brother's day.  Side note, I know some of you are like, "Um...K?  You've never mentioned having a brother.  We've heard and seen all about your sisters, but not your brother, K."  I just met him for the first time back in May, y'all.  But that's another topic for another day.

Back to TOS...one of my fondest early childhood memories was watching this show with my father back in our old (and admittedly ratchet) apartment in Austin, Texas.  My father's fandom was what made the experience memorable, not so much the show.

Despite my love for the iconic Spock and the goddess Uhura, I don't really watch TOS anymore (for obvious reasons).  It's just far too dated for my taste, and unlike many Trekkies, I don't like Kirk.  He served his purpose introducing us to the Star Trek universe, but that's pretty much about it.

The Next Generation

I remember exactly where I was when Star Trek: The Next Generation debuted.  I was with my father and older sisters in Institute, West Virginia.  There had been slight confusion; we knew there would be Star Trek on that night but when we heard new music and saw the words "The Next Generation" my father practically exploded with glee.


The Bar Loves Zulaikha Patel

Do you know how many sistas would sell their souls
for a fro like this????

I cannot express just how in awe I am of this tiny human.

I don't even want kids, but if I did have/adopt a baby girl, I would want her to turn out just like 13-year-old Zulaikha Patel, a South African student who fought - and is technically still fighting - for the right to rock an afro so flawless and majestic it rivals Foxy Brown's.


How about we stop defending male perversion?

Couple things. First, it’s not like the news of Parker’s history was on some special Google for stars of Black Netflix or some shit. A regular google would have found everything about the case. It resurfaced in the sense that more people are talking about it now, but it’s always been there.

And more people are talking about it now because more people are talking about Nate Parker now. When he was starring in
Rome & Jewel and Pride and Blood Done Sign My Name, no one — at least no one in entertainment media — gave enough of a damn about him to investigate his past. But he’s a big deal now. And when you’re a big deal with tens of millions of dollars invested in you and your project, everything about you and your past becomes media fodder. Particularly something as serious as a rape allegation. He’s not the first and he won’t be the last person — Black or White; man or woman — to make it big and then have some unflattering details about his life become news. - Damon Young, Very Smart Brothas
As the Blackest year in modern history starts to wind down, let's make a pact that by the time 2017 starts, we will no longer defend men who sexually violate women and girls.

As Nate Parker joins the ranks of Bill Cosby and Shane Sparks, we see the same tired, defensive narratives coming into play.  Folks are talking about "bringing down another Black man", "smearing the messenger", the "fishiness" of the timing, and all that other bullshit.  This has nothing to do with timing, or a conspiracy to bring down yet another Black man.  This has everything to toxic masculinity and its unhealthy fascination with sexual assault.  I don't call it "non-consensual sex" because rape and molestation are not sex; they're a form of assault.  It's crucial people learn to make that distinction.

The stories of Parker, Cosby, and Sparks read like Greek plays, in that each one is the central character whose past actions bring about his own downfall after he attains great heights.  And the catalyst is always the same - each man engaged in some form of sexual assault, and did so with the confidence that his actions would never come back to haunt him.  Nate Parker was acquitted at his rape trial in 1999.  His accuser then committed suicide in 2012.  To your average rapist/child molester, these are optimal conditions.  But now, in Parker's finest hour, in his moment of triumph as an artist, after making multi-million-dollar history at the Sundance Festival, the ghost of his accuser speaks yet again.

That's not conspiracy, children.  That is karma.