Wednesday, November 9, 2016

I am Donald Trump... and so are You!

Donald J Trump is the 45th President of the United States of America and a lot of people don't know how we they got here. I am in South Africa, so I can't even begin to imagine what Americans are facing or feeling and I won't event try, however we live in a global village and if America sneezes, the world shakes. So we are all in this together!

Donald was known for his diarrhoea like comments that were abrupt, violent and left a bad taste in the mouths of millions. Yet, here we are sad on social media and he is moving from the Trump Towers to the White House, I think we can officially coin the statement " Up like Donald Trump."

In an effort to be a better human being, who is less angry in traffic and gives hugs- I have decided to do some 'work' with the  spiritual guru Iyanla Vanzant. Iyanla has a show called "Iyanla, Fix My Life" which takes her guests down a spiritual path which often looks at the conditioning that exists in the subconscious from childhood traumas or previous hurtful events. She has a Youtube program called A Deeper Dive where she explains the processes and steps the guests on the show have taken to allow viewers at home to also do the 'work' of healing. One of the great lessons I have learned is that "what you most dislike in another person is a reflection of what you most dislike about yourself."

With that said, I want to look at the 3 burning issues (and it was hard to narrow them down, because they are so many) that we have with The Donald and ultimately in ourselves as well as society.

Spoon full of sugar: This is not to condone or make excuses for him, but like the good book says we should judge others the way we want to be judged- so basically let us be consistent with our hypocrisy. 

1) The Assault on Women

The infamous words rang worlds over "grab them by the pussy". We heard the tapes play over and over and it was categorised as "locker room talk", like that makes it all ok..

Have you ever called a woman a bitch? whore? slut? hoe? To her face, or on her timeline, or under your breath or in your mind? Yes, the degrees of vulgarity differ but the effect is the same. It violates the personhood of a woman.

  • 2 Pac's hit song 'Hit em up' starts with " First off, fuck your bitch... you claim to be a player but I fucked your wife." This is about a woman, her name is Faith Evans.

  • Big Sean's platinum single " I don't fuck with you, you little stupid ass bitch i aint fuckin with you". This is about a woman, her name is Naya Rivera.

  • Kanye West's song Famous and his reference to having sex with Taylor Swift coz "he made the bitch famous"- which he was subsequently absolved from thanks to footage from his ride or die. Taylor wanted to pull off a bit of a Hillary.. just a little bit. 

These are lyrics to songs we enjoy and they are not played in locker rooms, they are played on public radio. These lyrics then influence the conversations about women, therefore is it so unfathomable that someone could use language of that nature when we have a culture of disparaging women as part of entertainment?

Lets be honest, if those words were part of a song by Future, Designer or The Game we would be doing a juju on that beat and a series of dabs.

Too soon?

 Similarly any physical assault of women is #notokay, the millions of women who shared their personal stories of sexual assault on Twitter using that hashtag was heartbreaking. Every woman who has been subjected to men or women touching them inappropriately must continue to share their stories and most importantly report these perpetrators and perverts to the authorities.

The bottom line is we need to deeply examine the culture we have accepted with regards to the way we speak about and act around women, or it will persist. If you don't understand how derogatory and terrible to use the word 'bitch' on women, listen to Iyanla here to learn how ugly it really is.

2) Xenophobia

Have you ever thought, said or muttered "those people", "these damn foreigners" or "they" amakwerekwere referring to Chinese, Indians, Pakistanis, Nigerians, Zimbabweans, etc? Keep it real with yourself.

Donald came out very strongly with his plans to build a wall, a big beautiful wall to keep undocumented Mexicans from entering America. He has also said he will deal as harshly and drastically with people of the Muslim faith.

Lets take a moment to think about a world with no migration (forced or voluntary) and all we would have missed out on! We wouldn't know and enjoy the diabetes joys of pizza, pasta, macaroons, coffee, fanta orange, tea, french fries, haute couture fashions, sushi,  knock offs, diamonds, Beyonce, NBA ballers we love so much, the list is endless.
*Slavery is not and was not ok.

Right now the world is experiencing a mass exodus as people flee from war and poverty torn countries in pursuit of peace, food and safety. A dose of compassion could serve us all. Compassion, as defined by Iyanla is "the ability to understand how someone could have made that decision, but it does not mean that you condone their actions".

I believe that we are all citizens of the world with every right to be on earth, but at times we find ourselves without the required documents to be in our location. My advice to people in that situation is when find your feet and a place to lay your head, get the documents you need to- its ultimately for your protection because  you will have access to benefits and can enforce rights you can't without the documentation.

My humble opinon regarding the wall is it is not going to happen. The African National Congress promised free education and 22 years later students are still protesting for fees to fall. #FeesMustFall and #WallsMustFall!

3) Racism

I will have to disagree with my long time crush Lil Wayne on this one. Black lives do matter physically- in America and fiscally- in South Africa. We will not stop protesting on social media and on the streets until we sit at the table and we are served what is ours from the blood and sweat of our ancestors.

Many of us, even the most educated and spiritual struggle with challenges around race. Hatred, paranoia, ignorance and fear are the seed-bed of racism. Donald has preyed on these and his association with the KKK has perpetuated it to frightening point... to where African Americans are considering coming back to Africa. We will be waiting for Samuel L Jackson at the airport and we have prepared his RDP next door to Trey Songz.

So What Now? Do we hide our heads in the sand and hide ya wife, hide ya kids for the next 4 years?

A friend of mine gave me a MacBook Pro a few months ago when I was having PC drama- which was subsequently resolved. I tried to use the Mac a few times, but it resulted in frustration because I couldn't figure it out and I let it gather dust. Then yesterday, after visiting a client I realised I forgot my PC charger at her offices and I was not back there during peak traffic, but I had work to do. I picked up the Mac, spent 90 minutes watching a Youtube tutorial on how to use it, downloaded Office :) and I am typing this post from my Mac!

See, change is upon us and how we respond it entirely up to us. I was unwilling to change my habits until I was forced to- but I also had the option to go "tools down" until I got my charger. Trump is here for the next 4 years, you can chose to wait for the next leader or you can find a way to win and create better a world so next time you have worthy candidates. The leaders we have today are a reflection of all the behaviour we have allowed to infiltrate our personal lives; each vote tells a story.

Here are 5 practical things you can do over the next 4 years; consider it as getting a degree in being a better human. I am going to challenge myself too ..

1) Grab a new vocabulary.

We want to eat clean, so how about we speak clean? If you want to grab something for a woman, try grabbing a door and leave her pussy alone!

2) Lean In

Get involved in causes that promote women's rights, even if its an activity for a day or simply wearing a sticker! In the wake of the migration crisis, human trafficking has become a big problem, find out what you can do to protect and rescue young victims.

3) Invite a person of a different race for a meal in your home.

Be genuine and sincere in your invitation with a real desire to know who they are and hear their story. To those white people who have accepted that white privilege is real and admit you are beneficiaries of it, we are recruiting you to join the BLM movement. Perhaps when you explain it to your counterparts they may understand and have their own road to Damascus moment!

Side note: black people, when invited do not rock up empty handed- get flowers or wine even the cheap kind will do!

4) Ask a person of a different nationality to invite you to their home.

Try to time this request around their country's independence day because they will probably celebrate it. People in the diaspora love to be patriotic, from afar. Ask them to prepare a native, homemade dish from their country and some of their local music for you to have  a culinary and sensory journey to their birthplace.

*With 3 & 4,it  has to be intimate and do your best to learn. You can't control how the other person experiences it, but you will be better for it!

5) Love yourself

I love this poem by Nayyirrah Waheed from her book Salt:

If someone does not want me, it is not the end of the world. but if I do not want me, the world is nothing but endings.

We can only give the love we have for ourselves to others and to love Him, who placed us here with all our soul, heart and mind. He controls the universe,  regardless of who is in the White House.


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