About The Funk...

Observational Spittle from the mind of a man of color in his 40s, without the color added (most times). Come in, laugh, and you may learn something...

90 Things That Irritate The Sh** Out Of Me Trailer

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Request for privilege used

Before I begin, it is my hope that you read the following with an open mind, as I try to appeal to your good hearts and souls.

Over the last several years I have alienated people who I have had relationships with on several levels (friendships, past romantic relationships that now are friends, etc) over the matter of race.  It has cost me support as I have chased my dreams, since a lot of the posts I have shared on this platform has caused discomfort and disgust, anger and rage.  However I feel that talking about what is going on in the country is important, because it affects me and my children.  Many of you are parents; if your kids were threatened in any way, you would do anything to make sure they were as safe as they can be.

I am no different from many of you, and I only wish that we can all co-exist in this space in history.

But I have to address my Caucasian associates and friends, including all of those who have agreed with my view that things are just not right.

It is exhausting to try to explain to you that we live in two different worlds, where the privileges promised to all isn’t that way in real life.  

Every day I read about how people like me, people who live different lifestyles that are not acceptable to you, people accused of horrible things simply because they worship a different God than you do, or ultimately because they are not Caucasian they are view as less than human.  

I am aware that the media slants things to their audience; there hasn’t been GREAT journalism in decades, where the simple truth is told to inform people about the world around them.  I am also aware that this platform has been abused to shape the mindsets of everyone...including voters, obviously.  

But what is obvious is this....hate has been the blood that has coursed through this country’s veins since its inception.  It has, in my nearly 48 years, had me walk on eggshells, trying to fit into a world that obviously doesn’t want folks like me around (to a point, anyway).  It has broken my heart, as I see people that I thought were friends run away because I have a desire to be treated like they are, judged based on my actions, not because of better resistance to the sun.  It also tears me up when folks I have know who are gay, folks that I’ve know that are Muslim, folks that don’t fit into the bright, light and white America that obviously they are threatened that will be taken away because people don’t want to go back to separate bathrooms, hangings, harassment, and basically treated like dogs.

I have personally listened to the stories of folks of all backgrounds, offering my ear and friendship, not giving a damn that you didn’t look like me.  Despite some of the lessons of my parents, children of the segregated south, I simply refused to accept that someone was lesser than I was....or I was lesser than them.  

It is why I get so irritated with my Caucasian friends at times.  While a lot of them mean well, they at times simply don’t get what folks who aren’t  like them go through.  All I ever hear a lot of the time are excuses, not change.  There are a few warriors out there (they know their names, so I won’t go there) who know things are messed up, and are doing what they can for change. 

We as human beings are so afraid of things or people different from them, and we react with hatred and rage.  Perhaps I am weird, but that is bullshit.  Inquire, ask, learn about folks different than yourselves.  Stop listening to the outside noise and actually just say, “I don’t get you...can you please explain why you are, well, you?”  I am not saying that we will all hold hands and sing “We Are The World.”  Not blind to the fact that will ever happen; we are too flawed.  Hell, I know I am on the hell express for my hangups.   

I guess, even if I am simply writing this out as self therapy, that to those who only see me as Gregory F Flagler, author, husband, father and friend, not really giving a damn that I am of African descent and sexy (had to toss ONE joke in there) try, truly, to take yourself out of your much safer position and look at wha it’s obvious.  There are no crisis actors here.  Kids are still dead.  Black people are still dead, even if they are guilty of shit.  Gay folks are being discriminated against (pretty confident that a member of the LGBQT community can shoot a gun in the armed forces).  All these things that are happening to everyone BUT YOU are real, and it sucks.

Y’all wouldn’t tolerate it.

Why should we?

A friend of mine said “not all heroes wear capes.”

This isn’t about being a hero.  This is just a desire for understanding, acceptance (and hell, even if you can’t, stay in your yard) and allowing folks who obey the rules of society to simply live.

Fear excluded.


Friday, March 23, 2018

Caucasians....what up? (Or "To The Blancos, Part Dos)

Sigh.

Something has been on my mind for a while, and since I am not one who keeps things inside (except when someone uses my body wash....looking at you, 15-year-old), I am gonna spit it out and hope my friend's list doesn't get reduced to 1.

Ok, all jokes aside. I will warn you...this will probably honk some of y'all off, but most of you don't invite me out to beer anyway, so hopefully, you will try to get where I am coming from.

Caucasians make me nervous....and tick me off.

Let me explain for a little bit, and hopefully, you will be open-minded and see why this has been weighed on my mind.

As you can see by my profile, about 90% of my associates and friends are Caucasian. Some of these folks I've known in one or the other for decades. A few of them I've kissed. One or 2 of them I've been intimate with. Now while that may be TMI, there is a method to my madness.

As I got older and learned how the world works, I remembered how my mother always drilled into me that you simply have to keep an eye on Caucasians, because you will meet very few of them who judge you solely on your character. I know this is a narrow view in hindsight (and some may say somewhat racist), but this a woman who grew up in a time (and in the Deep South) where she couldn't go into the same bathrooms as a white person.

Really couldn't blame her for her worldview, even though in her successful management career she befriended many a melanin-light individual. However, once I got to college I wanted to learn about folks that I was rarely around unless I went to my fairly integrated church.

I won't rehash the story about my fascination with Caucasian women in my youth; the entirely different world that Caucasians lived in made me want to get to know them, see what they think...see what they thought about this kid from the Bronx who really never fit in anywhere he went. One of my dearest friends was a white female from a small town near Buffalo, NY (who I wish I still spoke to, but life happens). She never (as far as I could tell at the time) looked at me as Greg the black guy. We were simply D & G, who loved to play pool all the time, saw a few flicks, and in her drunken state, the safe guy she could lay down in bed with and know she wouldn't be molested (even tho I wouldn't have said no if she made a move on me...lol).

Greatly influenced by comedians like Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor, etc, I thought the best way to fit in was to be funny. While this served me well (especially in my whore-ish 20's), I never gave the view of the real "me"; I tried to be accepted in their world (I.e. the "safe, non-militant black guy") instead of simply being judge on, once again, my character (which from time to time was questionable; I once lied about having a brain tumor in Junior year; when I fessed up, I was one lonely dude for 6 months or so).

Once I left college, I still semi-tried to be the "safe one", not even thinking that the people I called associates and friends thought of me as anyone else but Gregory F. Flagler. Sure, I grew up in NY, sure I learned not to trust the police because of what (some of them) did to people who looked like me, and my mother and father's lessons always were on the cusp of my consciousness. However, it never occurred to me that people that I hung out with would be afraid that perhaps I wanted to be on their level...hell, to be just an American citizen, pay my taxes, go for the mythical "American Dream" that I thought we all had a shot at.

Then Barack Obama got elected president.

Now, of course, that is a high watermark (no matter what the haters may say) for what has been a traditionally bigoted, sexist and racist country in its history. But when that man took office, things that I never thought I'd see from people some I have known since my teens, came flowing out.

And dear god it was disheartening...scary...frightening.

The memes. The bigoted comments. The blame on the media (note, as a person with a degree in Journalism, I know that the news media is all about ratings, bending to the left or the right, etc instead of actually reporting the news. They have a part in it; however they would have no audience if folks didn't believe or agree with what is being reported, i.e. the folks who watch Fox News), or "if he obeyed the police officer, he'd be alive today(um, father with the cell phone, whether or not he was breaking into cars, deserved his day in court, not his day of memorial). The fact that children who don't want to, umm, DIE standing up and some folks think they are full of shit, or so boring they cause indifference and snide comments.

The United Staes is so Un-united, it is comical.

And I point a lot of fingers towards the majority.

I know folks that are bold enough to say something, even tho they were born with a "get out of jail and a hail of bullets and not being called a terrorist or OK to feel up women" card. I applaud them, and I hope that if they have children they teach them that the things they see today ain't right. I know there are folks who realize that while it is ok to own a gun, it isn't OK to own shit that folks in the Armed service would be jealous of. It is sad that a generation who think it is cool to ingest detergent also have the sense to know that since the adults don't have any sense they better do something so they can become adults.

But I am getting off track.

Today as I hope to get to 50 before HBP or Diabetes kills me, I give hugs to folks who offer them to me and accept them, I have been the only person of color in social gatherings, I have offered advice and friendship to anyone who has accepted it.

But when it comes to a good number of my caucasian associates, I always have a 3rd eye open, because while folks have said that they got much love (and have shown it; never have forgotten that) I also see how disconnected a good number of my friends are when it comes to the clusterfuck of bad things that are happening in this country.

Sexual harassment.
The disease of money and power.
The total disregard for the lives of minorities.
The forgiveness of crimes based on who the hell does it.
People just letting folks live their lives, even if they disagree with how they are living them.
Oblivious or simply not giving a shit because THESE THINGS AREN'T HAPPENING TO THEM.

A lot of white males are good for that shit. The crazy thing is a good number of these dudes are so blind that they don't know that their bigotry, racism, sexism etc are being used against them to keep the few folks who can afford to buy a yacht cash where they are.

So here I am, wondering about every time I smile at a non-black face, wondering what they think of me, or why they think the way they do.

Perhaps I am simplifying things too much...you know, where if folks, even if from different backgrounds, can sit down and actually hash out their differences so they can live together. Me personally, god knows I have made jokes in the past about Caucasians, the LGBTQ community, Latinos, women, hell my own shade. I enjoy ridiculing the stereotypes we have for each other instead of sitting down and realizing that, while different, we all bleed, get sick, hate making white men rich, and will all be DEAD one day.

In short, we are human beings. I have NEVER thought of anyone (ok, lie; since I've semi-grown up) as less than me, whether they have less education, money, if they like the same sex, dressing sexy with big ol' boobs, does porn, is free in their sexuality (whatever that is), OR IF they happen to be someone who gets burned in the sun easily (otherwise I wouldn't have married my wife...lol).

You see, Caucasians don't have to worry about the things I do because they run the place.

Correction, a few run the place, smart enough to make sure we all distrust and hate each other to keep them there.

Sadly, there is plenty of room to share America.

Too bad there isn't room in all of our hearts to do so.