Apartheid By Apathy

Soundtrack: The Temptations “Ball of Confusion”

apartheid

Apartheid: a policy or system of segregation or discrimination on grounds of race. From the Afrikaans word meaning “separateness”, usually used to refer to the (former) social system in South Africa.

Apathy: lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern

I have returned home to St. Louis, Missouri…North County to be exact, which contains Ferguson, where the eyes of the world are focused. The home that I grew up in is about a 9 minute drive from where Mike Brown was killed. As I sit down to write this, social media reports that there was just another shooting of an unarmed black man by St. Louis city police. (Editor’s Note: Apparently, this most recent shooting victim was holding a knife).

As we have all heard by now, the municipality of Ferguson is about 70% black. 1 of the 6 city council members are black. 3 of the 53 police officers are black. 7 school board members, six white, one black. The mayor is white. And this pattern is typical of the small municipalities that make up the northern part of St. Louis County.

My family moved to North County in 1985. There was a veritable flood of black people moving from the inner city into this area around that time. And, of course, the white residents began to move out in droves. Those whites who didn’t leave are now elders, by and large. The black community is largely young, poor, and constantly moving from apartment to apartment. It doesn’t take a political scientist to figure out that these conditions are going to lead to more white people choosing to vote in electoral politics than black people. Older people of all races can be counted on to vote no matter their race.

The end result of this is a situation where a minority white population rules over a majority black population that is generally too busy surviving from day to day to be worried about who is running for political office or what the issues are. And because these white people are typical white Americans, many of them really don’t like blacks very much. And it shows in the way they treat the black people who they rule over. The aftermath of the Mike Brown shooting shows us the ultimate result of all of this.

Apartheid by Apathy.

The failure of Black people to get collectively involved in political and civic affairs leaves someone else to do the troublesome job of actually running the local governments and institutions.

Apartheid by Apathy.

This situation is one of the troublesome legacies of U.S. slavery. The democratic political process is a cultural habit acquired by people over the course of time. When the first Europeans arrived in the United States in the 17th and 18th centuries, when they lived in British colonies, they didn’t have the cultural habits necessary to politically control their communities. The only reality they knew was being ruled by the British powers-that-be. Those people learned how to govern themselves through trial and error. They didn’t automatically have the process figured out in 1776. It took them 13 years after making their Declaration of Independence to come up with a Constitution. Initially the two dominant political parties in this country were called the Federalist party and the Democratic-Republican party. Those two parties fell apart around the 1820s. There was a second set of parties that dominated politics from 1828 to 1854, including the Anti-Masonic Party. And there were more distinct periods in America’s political development after that. 100 years ago it was common knowledge that much of this country’s political machinery was heavily influenced by organized crime, street gangsters. The current way that things look in this country is very, very new.

The Africans in the United States were released from physical slavery in the 1860s. After less than 15 years of Reconstruction it was decided that we would be excluded from the political process by the Jim Crow laws and the Ku Klux Klan. We were just officially let back into the political arena in the late 1960s. Less than 50 years ago. We have not had the time to develop healthy cultural habits surrounding politics that other communities have had. To expect us to compete equally on this political playing field is to deny our history in this country.

Now, it is only our responsibility to get us up to speed. No one is going to do it for us and no one should be expected to do it for us. However, it should not be surprising that we don’t have it all figured out yet. Especially when the current Establishment has been using tactics like the FBI’s Counter Intelligence Program and Reagan’s War On Drugs (which is really a war on Black people) to keep us from being able to develop politically for the whole past 50 years. That masterful behind-the-scenes repression of our political aspirations has resulted in many of our people giving up on the political process because it hasn’t garnered results for us. This is the background that has led to us now living under Apartheid by Apathy.

Our community is mainly divided between those who choose not to engage in politics at all and those who have been absorbed into the Democratic Party. The elements among our people who have attempted to develop organized groups to exclusively pursue our political interests have been nullified. I won’t take this time to get fully into our relationship with the Democratic Party, other than to say that that is not in our best collective interest.

Ultimately, we have to learn from the example of other groups who have political effectiveness. The National Rifle Association, the homosexual community, the Jewish community, and others have laid a blueprint for how to do group politics well. The foundation of it is learning how to use lobbying groups, political action committees, and fundraising effectively. Detailing how that process works would have to be the subject of a separate writing. For now, I would like to reiterate these three points:

1) Black people in the United States are living under apartheid conditions. Being dominated over by people who don’t look like us, don’t identify with us, and don’t love us. And that condition is starting to boil over into rebellions as we see in St. Louis surrounding the killing of Mike Brown.

2) This Apartheid by Apathy is the natural result of our history in this country. Having been only recently allowed to enter the political process and never having been allowed to enter the political process free of interference, it would be silly to expect us to be able to compete equally with other communities politically. That is not how reality works.

3) Our situation is an unpleasant one. We don’t have the power to control our own lives and our own communities. No one outside of our communities is going to give us any assistance in gaining power for ourselves. It is up to us to take our dissatisfaction and channel it into some serious organizing work. We have to study the example of other communities and learn how to apply those principles to our own community. We must develop a Black America lobbying group and political action committee. We must free ourselves from the clutches of the Democratic Party. If they want our votes then they will have to earn them.

Let us love ourselves and stop being so hard on ourselves for not having it all together just yet. Let history soothe our minds and allow us to be kind to ourselves and to one another. And let us charge forward as a unit, determined to claim the Power over own communities that we should have.

Ashe

 

 

Let’s Talk About Squirting

Before you read this blog, you are required to watch the short introductory video here.

Soundtrack: Lil Jon & The Eastside Boyz: “Get Low”

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Let’s talk about squirting.

A lot of my work revolves around female orgasm or orgasmicness (don’t know if that’s a word but it is now). I’ve been getting a lot of questions about female ejaculation lately ranging from the people who are freaked out and think it’s urine to those who are begging and wishing to skeet skeet skeet. I’ve found that very few people actually know what female ejaculate is, where it comes from in the body, how it is produced, and why it happens. Which isn’t surprising because most people know very little about human anatomy in general. So I’ve been inspired to shed a little light on this subject and clear up some misconceptions and give hope to those who think they’ll never be able to squirt.

Squirting, or female ejaculation, refers to a stream of clear fluid coming from the vagina during sexual arousal. This fluid comes from what are called the Skene’s glands, or the female prostate. The Skene’s glands are located on the upper wall of the vagina, around the lower end of the urethra. They drain into the urethra just as the urinary bladder drains into the urethra. These glands are surrounded with tissue, which includes the part of the clitoris that reaches up inside the vagina and swells with blood during sexual arousal, usually known as the G-Spot.

The Skene’s glands are homologous with the prostate gland in males, which means that they are basically the same thing. When an embryo is forming, that part of the body either becomes a prostate gland if the baby turns out to be a boy or it becomes a Skene’s gland if the baby turns out to be a girl. In men, the prostate secretes the fluid that, combined with sperm from the testicles and fluid from the seminal vesicle, becomes semen. The fluid from the Skene’s gland is identical to the fluid from the prostate.

To be clear, that means that this fluid is not urine. Urine comes from the bladder. Ejaculate/Amrita comes from the Skene’s gland. They both drain out of the same hole at the opening of the urethra, but they are not the same thing.

There are a few common questions about squirting that I want to address. Let’s get into those.

Q: There is too much fluid when women squirt for it to not be urine, right?

A: Well, about that…glands produce fluid. That’s what they do. Sweat glands produce sweat. Adrenal glands produce adrenaline. Skene’s glands produce amrita. We all know what it’s like to pee. We all know what it’s like to be required to pee (drug test) and you just don’t have anything to give. The bladder is not a neverending supply of liquid. Either you have urine in you or you don’t. Glands, however, are always ready to go if they receive the right messages.

Q: What exactly is the G-Spot?

A: As stated earlier, the Skene’s glands are located on the upper wall of the vagina. The tissue surrounding the glands is connected to the inner body of the clitoris. When a woman is sexually aroused, the clitoris fills with blood and becomes engorged and erect. This slightly changes the structure of the vagina and makes it possible for the Skene’s gland to be directly stimulated. What is called the G-Spot is actually the spot where the Skene’s gland meets the internal body of the clitoris. This causes two things to happen. First, it feels really good obviously because the clitoris has an abundance of nerve endings for the purpose of pleasurable sensation. And also the gland starts to produce fluid which then drains into the urethra. There are two things happening simultaneously from directly stimulating the same small area. Sometimes stimulation of this spot leads to orgasm, a different kind of clitoral orgasm, a G-Spot orgasm. What can also happen is that the fluid in the urethra builds up pressure that needs to be released which is what we know as squirting. The most magical moments happen when the G-spot orgasm and the squirting happen simultaneously so that it becomes identical to the male version of orgasm which includes orgasm and ejaculation at the same time. The release of the pressure in the urethra is a pleasurable sensation in itself which adds to the clitoral orgasm.

Q: What is this internal clitoris stuff all about? 

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A: There is more to the clitoris than what you can see from outside of the body. As this diagram shows, the clitoris goes behind the clitoral hood and extends up and then down on either side of the vagina. The whole dark pink area is the clitoris. This entire area fills with blood upon sexual arousal. And any part of it that gets stimulated produces deep pleasurable sensations. I’ll let the diagram speak for itself.

Q: What exactly is the nature of this fluid that comes from the Skene’s gland?

A: Female ejaculate, which I like to call amrita, is equivalent to prostate fluid as we said before.  It contains a mixture of blood plasma, proteins, and enzymes. It is generally clear in color and has a scent unlike anything else that the body secretes. Again, when this fluid is combined with sperm in the male body then it becomes thicker and is known as semen. The fluid minus the sperm is amrita, the goddess nectar. By the way, there are many physical and spiritual health benefits for a man who drinks the amrita. 

Many women are uncomfortable with allowing squirting to happen because it produces a sensation like the need to urinate. Of course no one wants to pee on their partner during sex. Well, maybe some people do, but that’s taking the discussion in a very different direction. I suggest for women who are trying to experience squirting for the first time to urinate before they have sex so they can trust that the bladder doesn’t need to be emptied. Then trust the process. Understand that high levels of sexual arousal leads to the urethra filling with amrita, it’s a natural process, and if you let go then the magic is going to happen. When you feel that pressure building up, just relax and let it flow. Don’t tense up and try to hold it in. In part 2 of this blog post we’ll go a lot deeper into the need to relax during sex for optimum pleasure and the negative effects of stress on sexual arousal.

For now, take solace in knowing that amrita is not urine. You’re not going to pee when you feel that sensation. Every woman is able to squirt. It is a very healthy and fun part of a quality sex life. Awww skeet skeet skeet skeet skeet skeet!!!

(Update 05/18/15)

I received the following question on Facebook regarding this blog post: “So what are your thoughts on this latest study that’s saying it’s really pee because the bladder went from full to empty with the participants?”
That question is referencing this article first published in the Journal Of Sexual Medicine on December 24, 2014. The study was conducted by a French team led by Samuel Salama from Hopital Privé de Parly II. I responded to the question by saying this:

“I think the researchers in that study are idiots.

Two points. First is that the biochemical analysis showed that urine samples before sexual stimulation contained no PSA (prostate-specific antigen), and the squirting as well as the after-squirting urine both contained PSA. So just with that alone, it is clear that these substances are not the same thing. If you know what urine is made of and then you find that squirting contains significant amounts of something that is not in urine, then squirting is not urine. That’s simple.

Second point is that the skene’s glands empty into the urethra. The urethra extends out from the urinary bladder. If a fluid rushes into the urethra and doesn’t immediately get emptied then it is going to flow back into the urinary bladder. There is nowhere else for it to go. The urinary bladder becomes a repository for the fluid that the skene’s glands have emptied into the urethra. Once the woman allows the fluid to come out then the bladder is empty again, as the ultrasounds in the study shows.

Of course if there are trace amounts of urine in the bladder then that will get mixed in with the squirt fluid and that explains why trace amounts of urea show up in the biochemical analysis of squirting. That means that it’s a really good idea to empty your bladder before you have sex so you can minimize or eliminate the amount of urine that gets mixed in.

But the bottom line is that sexual arousal leads to the release of fluid from the skene’s glands and that fluid can be squirted out of the urethra. That fluid and pee are two different things.”

Love Without a Limit

Soundtrack: Mary J. Blige “Love No Limit”

The Isley Brothers “It’s Your Thing”

I am in love with three women. Saying that now takes me back to 2009 when I first broke the news to my closest friends that my wife and I had decided to have an open marriage.

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People told me that it’s impossible to truly love more than one person at the same time. People told me that my wife couldn’t possibly be ok with this; she must just be repressing her true feelings so she won’t lose me. People told me that one day, one of us would explode in a jealous rage and they didn’t wanna be around to witness it.

None of those objections have turned out to be very valid in the five years since then. A couple of years ago I began a long distance relationship that remains very loving and serious to this day.

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And the impossible happened. That woman and my wife (along with a couple of other wonderful polyamorous women) became best friends. The two of them probably talk to each other more than either of them talk to me. They have a rare and beautiful sisterhood bond.

A year ago, my relationship with my wife became a long distance one as I moved to Atlanta from Houston. We will be reunited in Atlanta very soon but the past year has been an emotional challenge and a proof of our love and commitment. She and I have both developed very serious relationships with local lovers during the year that we have been apart. I can’t imagine how we would’ve survived this year emotionally if we hadn’t had love to sustain us from other sources.

About three and a half months ago I met a woman in Atlanta who changed my life.

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During our first in-depth, face-to-face conversation, while eating seafood, I felt that Source had brought her into my life for us to work together as a team. I knew that my life had changed that day. I hadn’t felt an instant bond with someone like that since my first date with my wife. Over the course of that day I went from thinking that she and I would be excellent business partners to business partners/friends to business partners/friends/lovers to Life Partners who share in every way possible. That day turned into like three days before we separated from each other. But we’ve been together ever since.

My relationship with my newest lover and my life as a full time entrepreneur started around the same time. She has helped me with every aspect of laying the foundation for The SOL System as a brand and a business.

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And now all three of my lovers are fully involved in the business with me as a team. And it just so happens that we make a really good team. Between the four of us we have pretty much every skill that we need in this business from the healing practice to marketing to accounting to product development and more. I am completely overwhelmed with how blessed I am and how obvious it is that I couldn’t have assembled a situation this perfect if I tried.

I was inspired to write about this because I’ve felt bombarded with messages about how difficult/impossible polyamory is, from those who shun it and from those who practice it. My life is a testimony that open relationships can be healthy and loving and functional. When love is multiplied, it only gets better. It gives me joy to share random laughs and conversations with my lover’s husband. It gives me joy to have a Skype conversation with my lover while she sits in the bed with her ex-boyfriend. It gives me joy to know that even though I’m hundreds of miles away, my lover is able to share her bliss with another man who cares for her deeply.

There are two philosophical points that I want to make on this subject.

First, your life is a product of what you believe about yourself. I won’t go too deep into trying to prove that point. I’ve done that in other posts on this blog. But the Law of Attraction is just as real and omnipresent in our lives as gravity and electromagnetism. You attract to yourself whatever you think about most often. If you believe that jealousy is a basic part of life; if you believe that people who share the same lover cannot peacefully co-exist; if you believe that monogamy is the natural way of relationships and polyamory is an “alternative lifestyle”, then that is what you are going to get. However, if you believe that love can truly mean freedom and joy and honesty and abundance, then that is what life will give you.

The vast majority of people who practice open relating meet with all kinds of challenges because they are not clear about their beliefs. They only sort-of buy in to the idea that open relationships are ok. They have a lot of residual monogamy in their subconscious minds so they manifest confusion. Polyamory, or any new way of life, can only be successful to the extent that you fully remove the beliefs that you used to operate under. Becoming healthy can only work to the extent that you remove the beliefs that used to reinforce an unhealthy lifestyle. Becoming peaceful can only work to the extent that you remove the beliefs that used to reinforce a life of violence. My life in open relating has blossomed as I have successfully brought all of my beliefs about love and relationships into alignment with this new paradigm. I truly believe in this, and it is working for me.

Now moving on to my second point. As I said earlier, two of my relationships are long distance. I’ve been separated from my local lover for the past 8 days as she is taking our #TantraTour2014 to the west coast. None of us could make it if we were relying on someone else to be the source of our happiness. And now, a message from Osho:

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We are able to operate from a place of Abundance because we find our happiness from within Self. If your partner’s love is the source of your happiness then it can be very scary for your partner to share their love with someone else because it feels like now you have less of the source of your happiness. But you have a neverending source of joy/peace/love/bliss within your own soul. You are a piece of the Ultimate Reality. You are one with the Universe. Any limitation that you think you have only comes from losing sight of the fact of who you really are. When you know that you are one with The All, then you have nothing to worry about. It is impossible to lose a lover because there is nowhere to go. We are connected to everything else in existence.

Because we have our happiness from within Self, we can only add to each other’s happiness, not take it away. This is why interacting with all three of my lovers feels so damn good. Happy on top of happy on top of happy. This is heaven. This is bliss. This is what life is all about. I really want everyone in the world to feel what I am feeling. That’s why I can’t be quiet about this any longer. I have to share my joy with the world. Come get some of this.

hearttat (This tattoo with the infinity sign going through the heart is generally considered to be the symbol of polyamory. I’m serious about this)

Bust It Wide Open

prostitute

Soundtrack: Ace Hood and others “Bugatti” (remix)

Dr. Dre “Nuthin But a G Thang”

Lil’ Mo “Superwoman”

Ice-T “L.G.B.N.A.F.”

Donny Hathaway “Someday We’ll All Be Free”

The more I open myself to allowing Spirit to work through me as I work with my clients, the greater my empathic abilities become. I sometimes feel what the client feels, or even what they are unable to feel. Sometimes I intuitively receive messages about the client’s past, or present, or future.

Yesterday I had a session with a client that forced me into deep contemplation. This client has an enormous gift that has gone sadly underutilized for pretty much her whole life. In short, she is supposed to be living a life of the modern sacred prostitute. Her destiny is to help men connect with their own divinity through the experience of her sexuality. However, she was raised in the United States in the same way that  most girls are in this country. She was taught that sex is bad. Just don’t do it. If you have sex as much as you really want to then you’re a dirty little slut, and on top of that, you’re going to hell. Don’t explore your body. Don’t experiment with your friends. And the sky will rain fire and brimstone if you get pregnant. So she shut down her sexuality.

Now in case that statement wasn’t controversial enough, let me add a lil mo’ (not the singer): I am positing that one of the major reasons why women in this country are experiencing so many reproductive system issues (endometriosis, uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, etc) is because their sexual energy is being repressed. This client has had all of the above mentioned issues. Along with the hysterectomy that western doctors always suggest for Black women to get when they have reproductive system health issues. They ain’t got the answers on this like Sway. They don’t know how to fix it so they just start pulling out parts. Western medicine’s lack of understanding of the energy body is a fatal flaw. The Universe is a big ball of energy. That’s all that it is, and all that it has ever been. Obviously, human beings are part of the universe. To lack understanding of how our energy impacts our physical body is not to know the first thing about how the human body works.

Now, back to the lecture at hand (how many Hip Hop references can I make in one blog post??).  Our sexual energy is powerful beyond what most of us have been aware of. Our sexual energy is our basic life force. It is what makes us alive and what gives us the ability to create new life, in the physical sense and in the metaphysical sense. Our sexual energy will not be denied. Trying to repress it will only cause it to manifest itself in other unintended ways. This principle is the reason why priests have such a horrible track record of molesting young boys. They won’t allow the energy to be channeled in a natural way, with grown women, but the energy is gonna find an outlet for itself regardless.

In women, repressed sexual energy shows up in a different way. Women are yin beings. Yin energy is receptive. Yin energy holds onto things, whereas yang energy forces outward. Because women are yin/receptive, the womb functions as a storage space. The womb is where women store things, good or bad. Another aspect of yin energy is that it seeks to transform the things that it receives into something new. A woman receives her man’s seed and transforms it into a new life. In a similar fashion, a woman can receive a man’s vision and give birth to the material manifestation of that vision. The woman’s own sexual energy gets transformed in the same way. The sexual energy is supposed to be used for creating things, be it a baby or a business or what have you. When the sexual energy is shut down and doesn’t get utilized properly, it is still seeking to transform and create. This is how growths develop in the womb. The energy is taking the raw material that it has available to it and seeking to create something. Needless to say, these growths in the uterus and ovaries are undesirable.

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said that 75% of his work of breathing new life into an oppressed people involved reforming the women. It is the woman who determines the state of the culture. It is the woman who shapes the minds of the children. It is the woman who carries the vision of new ideas, new inventions, and new technology. This is why the Honorable Elijah Muhammad also said that a nation can rise no higher than its women. The change that the world so desperately needs toward a more sane and sustainable system is to be found in removing the restrictions on female sexuality.

Women and men must begin to learn the differences between feminine and masculine energy, yin and yang. And we especially must begin to appreciate the unique power of the yin. Women must be empowered and encouraged to flex their manifesting muscles. The sexual energy of women which constantly seeks to create must be exercised. All of us really want to live in a world where women are always getting good sex and always manifesting the desires of her and her partner(s), whether we realize it or not. Conscious relationships and conscious sex are an essential component of a blissful life, for individuals and for society as a whole.

When that client is fully set free to be the woman that she was born to be, she will be more fulfilled and her health will be restored. Also, every man who comes into her life from now on will become better than how she found him. She will take his energy and transform it into a superior version of him, freeing him up to make a more positive impact on the world.

Allow me to top this off with one last reference from Hip Hop culture. In the immortal words of Ice-T, “Girls, L.G.B.N.A.F. (Let’s Get Butt Naked and Fuck!)”. We owe it to the world.

 

Got Tantra?

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Soundtrack: India Arie “I See God in You”

Raekwon “Heaven & Hell”

My life’s work recently has made me more aware than ever of just how much emotional trauma and spiritual damage the women of America are dealing with, especially women of African descent. And I have also become acutely aware of just how much bad advice women give each other for how to deal with that pain. Ways to numb it or mask it but not ways to heal it and do away with it.

But real healing is available. Like a thief in the night, Tantra has emerged in this country with real tools to transform our lives and restore what was damaged. But for the most part, the women (and men) who have benefited from Tantra are not standing on the rooftops and declaring to the world that they have been healed. I’ve wondered why that is and I’m starting to see some of the why. 

There are not enough people who have gone deep enough with Tantra to have real life-transforming, restorative change take place in their lives. They haven’t completed the process. The vast majority of people who have come in contact with the power of Tantra have had one or two powerful experiences with it and noticed some changes in their lives and that’s as far as they’ve gone with it. People are giving lukewarm testimonies because they are seeing lukewarm results.

There are not enough examples of a woman, for instance, who dealt with molestation as a child, rape as a teenager, low self-esteem and body issues and reckless behavior as a result of all of that, and then received thorough healing of all of that trauma to the point where it’s like it never even happened. This CAN happen, but it is not happening ENOUGH. Why not?

Because thorough, complete, holistic healing requires some effort on the part of the person being healed. It is a collaborative process between the healer and the person being healed. I can point out to you the beliefs that you have accepted that are not serving you well, break up the pain in the spots inside your body where you have physically stored the memory of your trauma, and even restore and balance your chakras and clean out your energy channels. But you have to make the CHOICE to reinforce all of that work by accepting new beliefs, habits, and behaviors that will produce a new life experience for you. I can’t do that for you.

The norm is for people to put in just enough self work to have some significant breakthrough and then they’re done. That breakthrough might be healing fibroids or healing a prostate or achieving better digestion or having orgasms for the first time. Not many people are diligent enough to follow that road all the way to Bliss.

Bliss requires that you live fully in the present; not dwelling on past pains or overly focusing on future pleasure, but finding the joy in the Right Now. Bliss requires you to be fully aware. Bliss won’t let you go through life with your head down, aimlessly wandering from task to task and never really stopping to fully process what you’re doing or why you’re doing it or if you even want to do it. Bliss requires you to ask questions like do I want to live in this house?…do I want to work at this job?…do I want to be in this relationship?…do I want to look this way?…do I want to be this weight?…do I want to feel this way?…what do I feel?…

Anything in your life that doesn’t feel like joy has to be let go of when bliss is your focus. And there is a core belief that has to be addressed that stands between people and their ultimate bliss. Most of us don’t really believe that we DESERVE to have complete happiness. We don’t believe that it is possible to have complete happiness. We think that we are supposed to have pain and shame and suffering. It never occurs to us to form the thought of “I’m going to do whatever it takes to make every negative experience go away because I don’t want them anymore”.

In life, we accept what we believe that we deserve. And life gives us whatever we expect to get. What is your core belief about what you deserve? This is why I am eternally grateful to the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, and others of his ilk, who taught us that we are gods and goddesses. Because gods and goddesses are supposed to live in Heaven, that is their domain. When you really, truly, deep down inside believe that you are a god then you cannot fathom accepting anything less than a heavenly daily life.

When I sat down to write this, this is the point that I wanted to make. I am here. There are others around me like my teacher Master Yao Morris, Shantam Nityama, Rakhem Seku, Sirius Brotha, Akin Olubusola…women as well like Kenya K Stevens, Sasha Cobra, and others. There are tools available to address anything we have going on in our lives that is less than desirable. If you have been the beneficiary of the healing work of any of these people that I just listed or ones that I didn’t mention, go back for more. And commit to the process of doing the self work to make the healing “stick”. And tell as many people as you can about the benefits you have already received and about the work you’re doing now. Spread the word!

If you have never experienced the benefits of Tantra do yourself a humongous favor and seek out a healer with good references. It’s time to let go of your pain. Whether you have to travel across the country or bring the healer to you or whatever it takes, it is worth it. You deserve it. Bliss is your divine birthright. It is time for us to properly value ourselves as gods and goddesses. Let’s sit ourselves in heaven      

I Said No

rape

Soundtrack: The Rolling Stones “Brown Sugar”

Sarah McLachlan “Possession”

Denise really liked Deion. She loved going out of her way to walk past the basketball court in her most flattering shorts, hoping he would be out there playing on the “Skins” team. She was mesmerized by his charisma, his smile, his abs.

Denise’s best friend Shannon started talking to Deion’s best friend Randall. Shannon and Randall would hang out at Deion’s house after school before Deion’s mom got home from work. Sometimes Denise would tag along. She wouldn’t say much. What could she say? What was she supposed to say? This was DEION, for heaven’s sake.

Deion had a girlfriend who lived across town. They only saw each other on weekends. Knowing this, Denise was determined not to allow herself to like Deion too much. No point in teasing herself. She wanted a man of her own. Sometimes being around Deion felt like torture. All the things she wanted to say. All the things she wanted to do.

Deion and Shannon were both virgins. And they were both ready to be done with that shit. Denise had vivid fantasies about how she wanted her first time to be. Candlelit room. Trey Songz playing softly in the background. Lavender scented sheets. And with a boyfriend who she was in love with, of course. But there was no boyfriend right now.

During school, on the first day of Spring, Deion and Randall decided that today was the day. They were going to fuck Denise and Shannon. No more waiting. The girls obviously both wanted it. They just had to bring the girls out of their shells.

When the crew got to Deion’s house after school, they didn’t chill in the living room like normal. Deion led Denise to his mom’s bedroom. Randall led Shannon to Deion’s bedroom. Mom’s room stinked. Mom smoked cigarettes like her life depended on it. The tv was on. Playing a VHS tape on the VHS/DVD player. Mom’s old copy of Master P’s “I’m Bout It” the movie. The opening scene featured Master P shooting one of his dope dealer employees in the thigh for frontin muthafuckas free dope.

“Why you keep bullshittin?” Deion asked.

“Whatchu talkin bout?” Denise responded.

“You be eyeing me like a nigga don’t exist. Girl, you know you want this dick” Deion said with a smirk.

Denise told him “Nigga you ain’t all that! And my goodies are strictly reserved for my man.”

“You ain’t gonna never have a man cuz you know you really wanna be with me.”

“Even if i did wanna be with you, you already got a girlfriend. You need to be focused on her.”

“I ain’t worried bout her. I’m with you right now. I’m focused on these thick ass thighs in front of me.” Deion caressed her legs. Denise let out a slight moan, then she slid back away from him.

“Deion, you gotta stop. I don’t want nobody’s sloppy seconds.”

“You calling me sloppy?” Deion took off his shirt to reveal his chiseled torso. “Does this look sloppy to you?”

Denise melted inside. But she kept on her poker face. “It look like it ain’t mine. I’m not interested.”

“Girl, quit playin” said Deion as he stepped closer to Denise and cupped her breasts.

“Stop it, Deion! I’m not playin!”

Deion didn’t say anything else. He laid on top of Denise. He kissed her neck. He slid his hands behind her to grab her ass. Denise squirmed and kicked, failing horribly to get from underneath the weight of his body. She was confused. She didn’t understand what was happening. She couldn’t fathom that the guy for whom she had the hugest crush in the world had decided to take away her right to choose.

“What are you doing, Deion? You gotta stop. We can’t do this.”

Deion lifted her skirt above her waist. He pulled his shorts down to his knees. He pulled her panties to the side. He entered her. He made his body One with hers. Despite Denise’s constant pleas for him to get off of her, her body betrayed her. He slid right in. She was wet. She kept getting wetter with every rough stroke. Her arms were in pain where Deion grabbed her to hold her down. She bled. She cried. She stopped fighting.

Denise started to feel like she wasn’t in her body. She was somewhere else. Looking down on her body as if the tall, dark, and handsome basketball player was violating the inside of some other girl. She came instantly back into her body when she felt a rush of energy build up in her genitals and then move through her in waves. His pumps were getting more and more forceful. He moaned and grunted. They came together. He came inside of her. He left his seed inside of her to continue moving within her against her will even after he had pulled himself out.

Deion’s grunts of ecstasy had happened simultaneously as the ones coming from Randall across the hallway. The boys exited the rooms at the same time and went to sit on the living room couch. 5 minutes later, the girls exited the rooms too. They walked down the hall, through the living room, and out of the front door without exchanging a word with each other or with the boys…

That night Denise talked to the one confidante that she was sure wouldn’t judge her, her journal:
I didn’t wanna have sex with him. I wasn’t ready to have sex with him. I wanted my first time to be with my boyfriend. Why was I so wet? Did I have an orgasm? Did I want it? Did I make him do that? I don’t know what to think…

_____________________________________________________________________________________

No means No. Non-consensual sex is rape. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. It is unacceptable. It is reprehensible. It is indefensible. It happens everyday. I shudder to think about how many girls there are in Denise’s position who don’t really know if they are raped. Can’t figure out why their body seemed to like a situation that was so scary and unwanted. Confused. Embarrassed. Afraid to tell anyone. And permanently scarred.

As a healer of women, I witness the effects of the rape culture in America everyday. It is the biggest issue that I deal with in my quest to help women experience bliss. Rape, incest, and molestation are the 10,000 pound elephant in America’s room. We’re not talking about it. I’ve never in my life seen a program or class that talked to young boys about learning healthy ways to handle their sexual energy and why they must never have sex with a woman who says no. I’ve never seen a program or class that talked to girls specifically about how to avoid getting into situations where they can be sexually violated and what to do if they do end up in that horrible situation. I would like to think that these programs exist somewhere, but I haven’t seen them, which means they’re not prevalent enough.

If I could, I would chop off the penis, then the hands, then the head of every rapist on the planet. That would be my preferred method of dealing with the problem. But there are some logistical issues with that solution. As an alternative, I am asking us to become more diligent about speaking up. Speak to the young people in your life about these issues. Tell your stories from your life, either as the rape victim or the perpetrator. I have never seen a man say that he had raped a woman in the past, but he learned the error of his ways, and he wants to atone. Do any guys like that exist?

Almost every single woman that I’ve ever gotten really close to has told me a story about her being raped. Almost all of them. I can’t sit idly by and do nothing as another generation of girls grows up like this. I hope someone out there is willing to help me with this.

We Want Poems That Kill

AmiriBaraka_1

Soundtrack: Amiri Baraka “Somebody Blew Up America

Soundtrack: Amiri Baraka and The Roots “Something in the Way of Things (In Town)

Imamu Amiri Baraka joined the Ancestors today, January 9, 2014.
I was around Amiri in person once, in 2007, when he recited his poetry at the Miller Outdoor Theatre in Houston. I didn’t know as much about him then as I would come to learn later on. I would’ve made sure to ask him much better questions if I had the same opportunity today.

While he sat in the hospital in late December, I had a discussion with my wife about the 1960’s and 70’s debate between revolutionary nationalism and cultural nationalism. Amiri was heavy on my heart. I was thinking about his impact on the world, and on me. The spokesperson for his son’s Newark, NJ mayoral campaign gave the statement about his recent illness and his status at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center. Dig that picture.

The man born Everett Leroy Jones in 1934 in segregated New Jersey attended college briefly at Rutgers University before transferring to the historic Howard University in Washington, D.C. It was there that he received the initial stages of the education that would most prominently shape his thinking for the rest of his life. He had an English professor named Sterling Brown who taught him about Jazz, the history of it and the beauty of it. While he was at Howard Leroy changed his name to LeRoi, reflecting the French word for “the king”. He was forming his self identity as a leader, one who would shoulder the responsibility for changing the condition of his people.

LeRoi left Howard and joined the Air Force in 1954 as a gunner, reaching the rank of sergeant. He was dishonorably discharged two years later for having possession of “subversive literature”, which meant the writings of the famous Black communist Paul Robeson. After the Air Force he moved to New York City and became a rare black face among the “beatniks” of Greenwich Village in Manhattan. The beatniks were a social movement in the 50’s and 60’s which stressed artistic self-expression and the rejection of the mores of conventional society.

While in Greenwich Village he married a white woman named Hettie Cohen, the co-founder of ‘Yugen’, a literary magazine. LeRoi became the magazine’s editor. Later, they founded the ‘Totem Press’ that went on to publish works of famous ‘Beat writers’ like Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac. In 1961, his first volume of poetry, ‘Preface to a Twenty-Volume Suicide Note’ got published. From 1961-1963, he worked alongside Diane Di Prima as an editor of ‘The Floating Bear’, a literary newsletter. During this period, he also joined the ‘Umbra Poets Workshop’, a group of Black writers based in Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

Umbra was the first post-civil rights Black literary group to make an impact in the sense of establishing their own voice distinct from, and sometimes at odds with, the prevailing white literary establishment. The attempt to merge a Black-oriented activist thrust with a primarily artistic orientation produced a classic split in Umbra between those who wanted to be activists and those who thought of themselves as primarily writers, though to some extent all members shared both views. Black writers have always had to face the issue of whether their work was primarily political or aesthetic. Some of the members of Umbra would later go on to form the Black Arts Movement.

In 1963, LeRoi’s work as a musical critic and a historian of music climaxed in him publishing the book “Blues People (Negro Music in White America)”. In Blues People, LeRoi explores the possibility that the history of black Americans can be traced through the evolution of our music. It is considered a classic work on jazz and blues music in American culture. This book documents the effects jazz and blues had on America on an economic, musical, and social level. It chronicles the types of music dating back from the time of physical slavery up until the 1960s. The book posits that the music we have produced from our sojourn in America has come out of our collective character as a people who cannot be broken, who will always make something out of nothing, and make that something beautiful.

In 1964, Leroi’s first play, Dutchman, opened at the Cherry Lane Theater in Greenwich Village. The play was a one-act showdown between a middle class black man, Clay, and a sexually daring white woman, Lula, ending in a brawl of murderous taunts and confessions.

“Charlie Parker. All the hip white boys scream for Bird,” Clay says. “And they sit there talking about the tortured genius of Charlie Parker. Bird would’ve not played a note of music if he just walked up to East 67th Street and killed the first 10 white people he saw. Not a note!”

Less than a year after the March on Washington, Baraka pronounced the dream dead, a delusion. The war of words commenced. The Village Voice gave it an Obie award for the top off-Broadway show. Norman Mailer called it the “best play in America.” Jean-Luc Godard lifted some dialogue for his film Masculin Feminine. New York Times critic Howard Taubman was impressed, and, apparently, terrified.

“If this is the way the Negroes really feel about the white world around them, there’s more rancor buried in the breasts of colored conformists than anyone can imagine,” Taubman wrote in his review.

When Philip Roth, writing for The New York Review of Books, criticized the character development in Dutchman, the playwright answered: “Sir, it is not my fault that you are so feeble-minded you refuse to see any Negro as a man, but rather as the narrow product of your own sterile response.”

LeRoi had two turning points in his life in the 1960’s. The first was at the top of the decade when he visited Cuba as part of a delegation with the Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC). The FPCC’s purpose was to provide grassroots support for the Cuban Revolution against attacks by the United States government, once Fidel Castro began openly admitting his commitment to Marxism and began the expropriation and nationalization of Cuban assets belonging to U.S. corporations. The Committee opposed the Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961, the imposition of the United States embargo against Cuba, and was sympathetic to the Cuban view during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.

In the Nov.-Dec. 1960 issue of the Evergreen Review, LeRoi wrote an award winning essay on his experiences called “Cuba Libre”. He was no longer able to be “just a writer” after that trip. His world had been forever stretched and widened and he saw life through a new lens.

The other 60’s turning point for LeRoi came on February 21, 1965. “Our shining black prince” Malcolm X was assassinated in Harlem. “After Malcolm X was assassinated we came to believe there really was a war against Black people and not just the work of some disconnected racist white folk,” Amiri explained in 2012. Malcolm’s assassination “drove us from Greenwich Village to Harlem.”

After that day LeRoi did three things that had been on his heart to do. First he left his white wife, and their children. He literally moved from Greenwhich Village to Harlem. Second, he changed his name to Amiri Baraka. And third, he started the Black Arts Repertory Theatre/School (BARTS) in Harlem. For the better part of a year they sent five trucks a day into the Harlem community promoting art shows, poetry readings, music, graphic illustrations and drama on vacant lots, playgrounds and in housing projects. They determined to make art that would intentionally raise the consciousness of Black people and recruit them into the Black Liberation Movement. And they took that art out of its traditional spaces and set it down right on the streets of Harlem.

After 1965 Amiri simultaneously became a pivotal leader in the movements for Black cultural nationalism as well as grassroots Black Power political organizing. He was Maulana Ron Karenga’s right-hand man in spreading the philosophy of Kawaida, out of which came the celebration of Kwanzaa. As second in command in Karenga’s organization, Amiri received the title of “Imamu”, Swahili for “spiritual leader”. Amiri’s work in the Black Arts movement was based on his belief that the Africans in America could only rise up and take their freedom once they had their African culture restored.

As the founder and leader of the Committee for Unified NewArk (CFUN), Baraka spearheaded a mass movement for democracy and self-government. He helped lay the foundation of a black and Puerto Rican political alliance that culminated in the 1970 election of Newark’s first African American mayor, who was also the first African American mayor of a major northeastern city.

In June 1968, one thousand people drafted a political agenda for municipal elections at the Newark Black Political Convention in New Jersey. By November 1969 hundreds of African American and Latino leaders joined at the Black and Puerto Rican Political Convention, selecting a slate of candidates for municipal offices in Newark. By June 1970 the Black and Puerto Rican Convention candidates won the Newark elections.

The Black Power movement entered the national political arena in 1972 with the National Black Political Convention in Gary, Indiana. Leading up to that Gary Convention to forge independent politics, the movement had generated a series of National Black Power Conferences in Newark in 1967 and in Philadelphia in 1968, culminating in Amiri’s new organization, the Congress of African People (CAP), in 1970. Unlike CFUN, CAP aspired to a national mass movement. The congress sponsored a series
of pan-African political conventions and helped organize the first African Liberation Day in 1972. Meanwhile, the Congressional Black Caucus formed. The convergence of CAP, the Congressional Black Caucus, and the black convention movement resulted in the Gary Convention in March 1972.

In the midst of the 1972 presidential campaigns, the Gary political convention drew eighteen hundred black elected officials within an assembly of somewhere between eight thousand and twelve thousand African Americans. The Gary Convention fashioned a National Black Political Agenda to guide black American development in seven major areas: human development, economics, communications and culture, rural development, environmental protection, politics, and international policy.
This movement generated many local organizations, schools, and community institutions, as well as county and state political organs and at least four national organizations: the CAP, the African Liberation Support Committee (ALSC), the Black Women’s United Front (BWUF), and the National Black Political Assembly. The CAP joined the Black Power politics with pan-Africanism; the ALSC structured African American efforts against colonialism on the continent; the BWUF mobilized communities and fashioned a political agenda joining the struggles against racism, imperialism, and sexism; and the National Black Political Assembly, created by the Gary Convention, charted the road to independent black politics.

Between 1974 and 1976, the Black Power movement became embroiled in ideological and political battles between black nationalists and black Marxists on the one hand, and between proponents of independent politics and party politics on the other. As the 1976 presidential races approached, the Black Power movement split into numerous factions, weakening the thrust of independent black politics.

Finally the CAP transformed itself from a Black Power organization into a Marxist-Leninist group and changed its name to the Revolutionary Communist League in May 1976. To reflect this new change to focusing on class struggle, Amiri no longer wore the title of Imamu, calling it a “bourgeois nationalist” thing.

Amiri’s fame declined after this time but he never stopped with his life’s work. He remained a world-class poet, playwright, and activist. His last bit of controversy surrounded his penning the poem “Somebody Blew Up America,” after the bombing of the New York World Trade Center in 2001.

“I could see the World Trade Center from the third floor of my house in Newark, New Jersey,” he offered. “We were particularly frightened by (then) President Bush’s statement that terrorists had blown up the World Trade Center because they hated us and our democracy. All I could think of was that the (Ku Klux) Klan was the terrorism that we knew and that Afro-Americans had gotten to this country through terrorism.”

After reading the poem at a Newark festival, Amiri was stripped of his honor as New Jersey’s Poet Laureate and the $10,000 stipend that went with it. He continued as Poet Laureate of the Newark Public Schools.

Amiri created numerous artistic expression spaces with his wife, Amina; and he served as Professor of Africana Studies at the State University of New York. His children continue his legacy, especially his son Ras who has served as Newark Deputy Mayor, City Council member, high school principal, and is now running for Mayor.

Amiri gave us the blueprint for making art that aids in liberation. I’m absolutely sure that the Ancestors are making a big ado about welcoming him into their realm. It is our duty now to properly canonize him as a Deity of Artistic Expression. Praise be to the God Amiri Baraka. Rest in Power.