Tag Archives: Boston

Today’s Word is… GASWHITERS

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So there’s a clip from The Daily Show going around, a Roy Wood Jr segment on Boston’s racist reputation.  In the video, Wood goes around asking white Bostonians if they feel Boston’s racist and of course they all responded no only for him to ask black Bostonians and get the real.  What also stood out in the clip, was this one black woman’s answer where she said black Bostonians know where to go and not go around the city, which is something I’ve articulated on this here blog.  The opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference and to me that encapsulates the Boston experience.  Boston racism is not overt Confederate flag waving “you in the wrong town, boy” racism; it’s a downtown bar with little to no desire to diversify it’s happy hour crowd.  It’s me having to tell someone that “yes, I’m in line” or having to check some dudebro at the gym because he’s working out right in front of me like he didn’t see me in the mirror.  It’s a conversation I had with a friend about how uncomfortable she felt with a bunch of white people saying nigga at a Childish Gambino show.  Yes, white people aren’t beating minorities blind with a 2×4 like Mark Wahlberg (anymore), yes they tend to vote very liberal but they’ve also ran out of any fucks to be more inclusive and like that video showed, they are ready to argue the hell out of any black person who tries to point out any sort of racial inequality.  It’s a special brand of gaslighting, I shall call it “gaswhiting”.  Merriam Webster, holla at me.

How do you make someone fix something they don’t even think they’re doing wrong?  A few years ago we had a black Governor and a black President at the same damn time; you couldn’t tell a white person shit about racism.  Their acknowledgment of racism is blackface and n*gger and you still might get Bill who “doesn’t have a racist bone in his body” complaining about how we say it and it’s just a Halloween costume.  Tell a gaswhiter that they have white privilege and they’ll tell you how they too grew up in a single parent home in the ghetto without recognizing that how easily they equate blackness to struggle. Challenge a gaswhiter too much and they’ll turn heel faster than a “nice guy” who gets turned down after a 3rd date.   Gaswhiters love to compare and contrast,  especially to extremes because that absolves them.  Trump, nazis, the south, slavery, those are easy things to point to and say Boston isn’t THAT.  Then you look at the numbers that say black families have a median net worth of $8 and it’s, well the whole economy is failing us, OCCUPY WALL STREET again pointing out an extreme and not what’s right in front of them.

I don’t necessarily feel unsafe in Boston, but I surely don’t feel welcome.  As I’ve alluded to in a recent post it feels more and more likely that if I want to own a home in a black middle class community it’s probably not going to be here.  I meet new people all the time who echo that same sentiment.  That harsh reality of you can’t grow here is as glaring as a whites only sign but to gaswhiters they don’t/won’t understand that.  It’s not like the mobs are bombing businesses (anymore).   Gaswhiters see Boston as a liberal utopia, far removed from it’s really racist past, at worst it’s no more racist than any other major city in America, and ain’t like it’s Mississippi.  To them, it’s not broke so why fix it?  To acknowledge racism is to be divisive, we need to come together at times like this.  Gaswhiters are tired of everything being about race, they just want to watch the game and the ensuing highlights on Sportscenter without being reminded of it all the time.  It must be nice to live in such a bubble.   Meanwhile, what’s actually more annoying than discussing racial inequality all the damn time?  Living it.

-Stan-

 

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Today’s Word is… COMMUNITY

roxbury_trishathadani1

I remember way back in the day, me and my friends were walking home from school and the police roll up on us. They had said something about thefts in the area and needed our information. We were in like 4th grade none of us had IDs. So one of boys immediately lies about his name the officer picked up on it and then demanded we empty our book bags for something with our names on it. An older black woman pulls over and asks what’s going on, the officers explain they are investigating something and she’s like, well I don’t know what’s going on but I was just headed to get them from the bus stop and she tells us to grab our stuff and come on. We’ve seen her around but didn’t know this woman but in the moment we knew exactly what to do,

“Yes, Auntie”.

We grabbed our bags and got our asses in that car. She spoke with the officers a little longer and she drove us around the corner to my house. It’s what my mother would’ve done, what any of my friends mothers’ would’ve done. We all we got.

There’s plenty of things I don’t miss a out living in the “hood”, the aforementioned police harassment being one, but I do miss that particular sense of community that came with it.   The neighbors, the corner store that would let you pay them back on Friday, block parties, basketball tournaments, simply being able to go outside and all my friends were there.  For the reputation Boston had as a racist city, I lived in a bubble.  I didn’t see the 900% income difference in neighboring towns outside of Halloween.  As an adult, I read more about Mandela, Massachusetts; a proposal in the late 70s that would’ve had my neighborhood of Dorchester, as well as the predominantly black nearby areas of Roxbury and Mattapan simply secede from Boston altogether and form it’s own municipality.  The city never came into fruition but existed unofficially, as black people in Boston largely lived in our own bubble until one day, white people realized they were commuting 30+ minutes everyday and we lived 10 minutes from downtown with 2 subway lines.  Fast forward to now, I live 30 minutes away from my childhood home which would cost at least $650,000 if I was ever feeling so nostalgic.  Jesus be a GoFundMe.

I think about all this as I see more and more news stories of ________ while black and having the police called on them.  It’s what happens when there’s no community; Susan and Spencer just moved a few weeks ago and doesn’t get how and why people are just on the stoop all day kicking it, or why it’s 9pm and they’re still barbecuing, or they see me walking home in a hoodie and feel uneasy.  They don’t even attempt to ingratiate themselves into the community they’ve moved into, they try to force into it’s own likeness.   So Fernandez Grocery is turning into a Trader Joes (Full Disclosure, I love Trader Joe’s but that’s not the point).  That Jamaican spot that only has oxtail from 11-2:30 on Wednesdays but you love them anyway…now it’s a coffee shop.  Didn’t that used to be a dollar store? Well now it’s a froyo spot.  And those black people that were on the stoop, well they just keep getting harassed and arrested until they just stop coming around.  Now that 3 bedroom that had a family of 4, now is being rented to 3 rad professionals, that totally like the work hard, play hard.  One guy cycles a lot and another is in a band.  No worries, he doesn’t practice at home.  They come, Thanos snap, turn us to dust and brew cold brew with it.

Then there’s me, middle class? Eh, let’s just go with “mid” class black man who can’t afford to buy, can’t afford to rent but can make just enough to get the hell out of there.  There’s no soil to sow roots, Boston is becoming more and more the city you just spend your mid to late 20s then go.  Racial AND income inequality is a mighty strong cocktail, and so you have a major metropolitan city where the median net worth for a black family is $8.00.  Eight.  Yes, one digit.  Leave or struggle, such a far cry from the city my parents moved to and started a life in in the 80s.  I long for the Dorchester that once was, and the Mandela that could’ve been.  Where I’m not the only black person on my block, where the corner store at least has a cat.  Or maybe we should just all move to a city in Montana and don’t tell *them* about it.  What the weather hitting like over there anyway?

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… BOSTON

 

This don’t really have shit to do with the post but I died.

It was about 10 years ago my father accepted a transfer and moved to Raleigh.  He says it’s the best things he’s ever done, I would argue that making me was, but you know, semantics.  Boston was always intended to be a pit stop for himself and his new bride.  He’s from Brooklyn, she from Indiana…the only connection to Boston was his mother and uncle and he went to high school here.  That pit stop turned into 5 more kids and 2 decades because that’s how life works.  My mother fell in love with the city, he simply adjusted. Being a black man raising a family of black kids in Boston in the 80s had to be troubling.  Fast forward to the 99 and the 2016, I’ve grown up love Boston as well, it’s all I’ve ever known.  I was in a bubble of sorts, it wasn’t until the internet that it set in how many people don’t bang with Boston like that.  It wasn’t until the move I realized my father didn’t even like it here.  Naiveté, I suppose.

I get annoyed with people who never been to Boston or live here on their own free will and complain.  Every time someone talks about the cold or “where the blacks tho” I want to throat chop them.  Put respeck on my city. Point  me to the black mecca where it’s always nice weather (shut up Atlanta y’all segregated).  Of course, Boston is far from perfect…but I mean neither is America, you just make it work.  I grew up around black people, went to school with black people, I work….well, never mind.

I was out with someone the other night, she’s still fairly new to the area and she casually mentioned she would move closer to home were she to have kids.  I had nothing.  Of course it was way way way too early to be having that conversation but it did cause me to stop and wonder, was Boston a dealbreaker?  Should it be?  (Especially after what happened with the last one).  Again, I felt struck with the same naiveté of assuming everyone who is here, wants to be here.  I couldn’t imagine going to grad school (.) located somewhere I have no intention of living, a pit stop can turn to life real quick, just ask my father.  Then again, if I was from like Florida or Jersey (yuck), I would probably need to get away for a few years.  She wasn’t as anti Boston was much as she was pro family, which is hard to argue against, it’s about 70% of the reason I’M here.  (I mean for the sake of arguing, technically we would both have jobs here, so why would I have to go start anew…but again, way way way too early).  It was the first time I had even considered it, if a fish falls in love with a bird, where would they live?

It’s something I hadn’t even had to consider before, most of the women I dated, even in college were born and raised here. When I did the distance thing, it was implied they would move here (big bank take little bank).  Maybe that was selfish of me to assume (yes, maybe) but I rather just chalk it up to just being something I hadn’t considered not that I never would.  So now, the million dollar question…is Boston a deabreaker?  If my dream job was in Los Angeles, I would be like…I mean I only see my family on holidays anyway.  Dream woman? *cue Jeopardy music* I’d like to say I would.  With qualifiers….major metropolitan cities, serious relationship, I need to make at least 25% more.  That’s fair.  But of course all of this goes out the window depending on the election in a few weeks…hi international readers.

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… SNOW

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77 inches of snow.  Seventy seven.  Snow tall enough run a pick and roll in the NBA.  Snow always standing in the back of a group photo.  Snow so white, its an Oscar nominee.  Snow be like #occupyallstreets. Who pissed off Mother Nature? Was it the conservatives who think climate change is myth?  Did some little kid see Frozen and wish this shit would happen in real life?  Did I join the Night’s Watch? Did the entire continent shift up to the north pole?  Like, tiny flakes of frozen water fell from the sky and it has taken over an entire city.  In 3 weeks.  I haven’t had a full work week in a month.  I’ve gotten accustomed to a certain standard of living, I’m not here for these short checks, B

*breathe*

So anyway, I’m reporting live from my house because again, snow has decided to shut the city down and well, what’s there to do now?  I mean sure there’s

1. Sex (Unavailable)

2. Procure #1 which is an activity itself

3. Create a Hypoghettical and watch Twitter argue

4. Watch all the Fast & The Furious movies because phuck fyshics

5. Binge watch the Wire and or Breaking Bad because you’re tired of pretending you watch the Wire and or Breaking Bad

6. Post a dope pic on Instagram and watch how many extinguished flames were just thinking about you

7. Master Spanish on Duolingo then turn it to Univision to see how much you don’t know Spanish

8. Make Hot Chocolate….. With Bailey’s

9. Make a Tinder for a last ditch effort to find a Blizzard Bae

10. Start a new recipe only to get halfway through and realize you’re missing an ingredient and you’re not going out in this weather so you substitute with things you have

10a. Upon realizing your version is better; submit your recipe

11. Take pics in different outfits so later in the week you have ammo when someone wants a pic and you look like shit

12. Watch Martin reruns and peep how many times one of them break character and laugh and they were like w.e we ain’t reshooting this scene

13. Listen to the Serial Podcast and explain to others how an 18 year old pothead masterminded a frame job for murder

14.  Go on YouTube and laugh at RKO vines

15. Look outside to see that your neighbor went in so you can shovel without making small talk about the weather

16. Text someone using a bunch of Emojis you never used before even if they make no sense

17. Think of a TV show, Music artist or Movie and look at up on Wikipedia and then just fall into the rabbit hole of clicking links to more entries

18. Binge read this blog from “Start”, watch me go from bad, to kinda good, to basically running on fumes

19. Think of a random person from elementary school then try and look them up, don’t actually reach out, cuz creepy.

20. Get an update on #2…and either make a playlist on Spotify of #LeaveItInMusic or #Sadderday depending on how well that works out

21. Look up a new workout regimen you’re not going to follow

22. Go on EBay and try and win auctions at the last minute to drive the price up.

23. Watch HGTV until you hate your house and everything in it

24. Watch a bad black movie on Netflix, make a new profile otherwise your recommendations are going to look like the dude who sells DVDs at the barbershop

25. Live Tweet a Disney movie with adult sensibilities…because “slave” Jasmine towards end of Aladdin > Princess Jasmine

26. Clean your damn house. That probably could’ve been stated earlier

27. Go on random Instagram followers pages and like pictures

28. Watch an old sitcom and think about how much easier it would’ve been if they had smartphones

29. Start a bunch of games in Words With Friends and Trivia Crack you’re going to not care about in 3 days

30. Write a blog post on things you could do on a snow day even though this was written Sunday night so when most people read this, I’ll probably be like

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All day.

31. Make a GoFundMe so I can move somewhere there isn’t Derrick Rose level of snow outside.

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… SPORTS

I’m weird.  I have a blog in 2013, I read ehow and Wikipedia for no reason, I hate hot sauce and cream cheese yet eat Buffalo wings and cheesecake, I hate when my tie doesn’t match my dress socks, Oh yeah and I still have a fuggin cat.  One of the things that has always made me not *as* weird is my 4th love; sports, the others ahead obviously being women, music, and writing.  My love for sports started where most young boys love for sports begins, my father.

Father’s Day 1993, also my 5th birthday.  I don’t remember much about the day, I mean it was 20 years ago but what I do remember is it was Game 6 of the NBA finals, Bulls vs the Suns.  My father and my brother was ready to watch the game, I was 5 so I thought I was grown I wanted to watch too.  My father called my bluff figured I would be knocked by the 2nd quarter but I watched every last second.  The Bulls would win that game and their 3rd consecutive championship, and I just remember the coronation of Michael Jordan.  He was the GOAT, I found the celebration as entertaining as the game, the passion, the joy, I wanted to be part of that one day.  I became a Bulls fan, I became a basketball fan, I wanted to play basketball.

I don’t remember what I had got for my birthday initially but I know it magically turned into a basketball hoop that next day.  It got old quick, and then Jordan retired but the love of the sports remained.  I never was the most athletic (although I was a pretty good baseball player back in the day) but as participant or spectator, from the age of 5 it was something that I just gravitate towards, just as most people do. But why do we throw billions into an industry that’s primarily centered on people playing a game?

For me it began with the camaraderie. I wanted to be “one of the guys” watching the game. That can also be applied to fanhood in general. It’s the unspoken fraternity (well not fraternity since ladies is fans too gon brush ya shoulders off) of people who invest as much time and energy rooting for the same team. The energy from being at the stadium, the local bar, even now just logging on twitter.

Then of course there’s the entertainment value. My favorite players who aren’t necessarily on my team are the ones who just flat out entertain me. There’s certain events that I just can’t miss, I remember LeBron’s first game, Stephen Strasburg’s debut, Shaq vs Kobe, Ohio St vs Michigan, sports are a spectacle. Even the most casual fan can’t not watch the Superbowl. The drama of a game 7, watching a record being broken, an inspiring back story, there’s always something to be watching for.

There’s so many more reasons but I’ll wrap this up by saying the experience. The underlying element you’re about to witness, feel and experience something you never have before or will again. Whether It’s a gracious victory or an agonizing defeat, when It’s over, It’s over. The greatest writers and analysts in the world still can’t quite recreate it. It can’t be undone (no matter how many times the NCAA white outs the history books and says something didn’t happen) can’t be done over. So as I sit and watch the Bruins or whatever NBA game is on tonight I know that win, lose or draw this will never happen again so I minds well enjoy it now. That’s sports.

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… LOCATION

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Baaaahston.

I suck at giving directions.  I know how to get places by my own accounts but ask me for directions at your own risk, I’m going to give the best sounding guess you ever heard. Its 2012 there’s an app for that.  However I’m always asked for directions, after all I live in a big city full of tourism attractions. I’m from Boston, the city just as busy as New York but with 47% less douchebaggery.  I love Boston.  I love the people(somewhat), the mayor  who I’m convinced will remain mayor for the next 20 years if you let him, the sports teams even though the Red Sox is trying to make me go grey at 24 like I’m Andrew Bynum or something.  It’s the perfect city for my career field, busy enough to keep me entertained, dead enough that it’s not overwhelming.  I could never envision myself leaving (I was sold on going out of state for college and chickened out), but now I’m not so sure.  Could hop in a cab and yell “Holmes to somewhere? “

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This can’t be life.

Lately I’ve been feeling like it’s now or never.  There’s not much keeping me here.  Sure there’s the obvious one, friends and family, but even them I see on occasions. What difference would it make if I lived 30 minutes from the city or 4 hours away?  There are places I could see myself living but could I make the plunge?  Brainstorming I’ve come up with a top 4 (well not really a top 4, my actual top 4 are similar as are my reasons, I just picked my 4 most diverse)

4. Houston- I’ve never been to Houston or Texas at all really. But for some reason I feel like I’d fit there.  And no it’s not just because some of the baddest women I ever seen have come from there.  There are a lot of financial jobs there so that’s right up my alley but then again I hate the heat.

3. Los Angeles- One of my first dreams was comedy.  I never could see myself going full out stand up, I don’t have the stage presence of all that.  I settled for a more realistic dream of comedy writer, behind the scenes.  However, this is a distant last place pick because I can’t see myself working for 6.65 an hour living in a rooming house, waiting for my big break.

2. D.C. – I was about 75% sure about going to Howard University.  My guidance counselor begged me to reconsider, struggling to find the least offensive way to say that I was above an HBCU.  A couple years later, I and my then girlfriend had plans to move to D.C. after school, but we didn’t work out.  There’s still part of me that is curious about living there.

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Can I take my talents to the Two Up Two Down?

1. Richmond- I have plenty of family across VA and my father who finally left Boston well into his late 40s lives not too far in North Carolina.  In essence I wouldn’t be leaving my family, simply hanging on another branch of the family tree.  Miss is also moving there, that’s another incentive, but I’m not sure if that’s the best move career wise

I just don’t see how I could pick up and leave for good.  Maybe live temporarily but start a new life completely? I’m not sure.  My mother left Indiana and never looked back, my father wishes he had left Boston sooner, could I be somewhere on my hovercraft (yes I demand a hovercraft in the next 20-30 years, scientists) thinking about how leaving Boston was the greatest decision I ever made, or still here wondering why didn’t I go.  Who knows? *hums hook to “I’m on One”*

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… START

Proverbs 17:27

Take em to church

Is this thing on?

As my title implies, its only fitting the first post be brief.  I’m Tristan, a man of few words, well Stan of a few words since every carnation of A Man of Few Words was taken already.  I’m starting a blog, as evidenced from my first 14 titles being taken already I was perhaps 6-7 years too late, but hey what can you do?  I’m not fully sure why it took so long. I love writing, it’s my favorite form of expression.  Ever since way back in elementary school, I was the kid who used to go in with the blue books.  My weekend was never as exciting as the other kids but I would lie like crazy.

Fugginlovewriting

Dramatization. Me, during journal time

[Flashback: So one time I made up a story about flying to my grandfathers house.  Now I had never flew before (actually still haven’t) so I wasn’t fully sure of like how the whole airport system worked. Also I lived in Boston and my grandfather lived in Queens so the fact that I (allegedly) flew to NY and back in a weekend already made Ms. O’Brien suspicious. So just to be mean she not only made me present my entry, but opened the floor to Q&As.  Only six years old. Played myself. Hard body.  Still hate her for that.]

18 years later, here I am walking to the front of the classroom with my blue book.  My life is slightly more interesting now.  As for what this blog is, I’m not fully sure yet.  I’ve done topical blogs before (a couple of sports blog, relationship advice, poetry, songs -_- , its amazing the things that pop up in a Google search), but this will be different; I will write when I’m inspired.  Perhaps daily, perhaps weekly, monthly maybe this will be my first/last post (likely in between the first and second one). Welcome.

-Stan-

EDITOR’S NOTE: Rome wasn’t built in a day, this blog was.  Over time I will be tweaking alot of things, trying to finally utilize the design and desktop publishing skills I learned.  Also, I’m still trying to find a niche so this blog might seem all over the place initially but hopefully you’ll stick around when it gets better.

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