PA Vol. 58: Black in America, The NFL, Kaep, and Everything in Between

It all started with a question. What transpired was a discussion on a bevy of topics. This is the 58th edition of PA with Drizzle Sez and Speed on the Beat.

Drizzle: What’s the easiest way to have a White person live the Black experience in two minutes?

Speed: There is no easy way, for real. Especially not in a few minutes. I would say watch The Wire, but that’s like 50-60 hours. So, for real, maybe they could ask someone “hey, Black person, what does it mean to be Black?” After the awkward stares subside, they may learn something. But, even that won’t give them everything they need to know. So, aside of–

Drizzle: I thought of a shortcut real quick. Have an old White guy set them on fire. Then, while they’re burning, have that same White guy tell them that they suck for being on fire. Then have that same white guy tell them “if they worked harder, they could put themselves out” all while sitting on a tank of water.

Speed: Don’t forget having the bystanders around saying “oh this is evil,” but then do nothing about it other than tweet and Livestream it. Simply put, being Black is often kinda like playing a game of baseball where the bases are empty, you’re down three runs, and you’re in a full count against some mutant hybrid of Mariano Rivera, Randy Johnson, and Satchel Paige as the first billion-dollar man of the sport.

You’re in a hole that is inside of another hole. Sure, it’s awesome to be Black. I love being Black. But, I also know that, by being Black, there are some things that are destined to suck major dick for me as a Black man.

Drizzle: Nope. Keep it simple. Burn. Burn and know that everyone thinks it’s your fault that you’re burning and they hate you for it, even though they’re the ones who set you on fire. I told a white guy that and he’s like “is it really that bad?”

I’m like “if you want to condense the pain cause just by being Black into two minutes, it’s worse than that.”

Speed: Hella worse.

Drizzle: And even if you do “work hard enough” to put yourself out, that same White guy is standing in front of you with a flamethrower waiting for you to breathe so he can light you up again. That’s word to Tiger, Kaep, Vick–even with the dogs, Kobe, OJ to an extent, Ben Roethlisberger–oh wait, Ben was White and wasn’t convicted and still plays ball and lives–

Speed: Like a fucking hero.

Drizzle: So, the White guy I tell this to, he drops his blind understanding and questions me. “It can’t be that bad.” I’m like “bruh, was growing up poor my fault?” What do you think his response was?

Speed: Something along the lines of “I grew up poor, too?”

Drizzle: To the T. I’m just like, “no, there are different levels of poor.” His dad was a self-admitted deadbeat who worked a deadend service job and spent all his money on booze and drugs. He retired with a full pension. My parents, on the other hand, both went to college. Both grinded their asses hard. Both were frugal as fuck. Ultimately, though, they’re still mid-middle class and still working. So, I tell him “that’s because White people are offered better shit than Black folk.”

Taken aback, he asks me for proof.

I tell him about an engineer I had working under me. He made 15K more than me, but he was a fuckup. The bosses regularly had me fixing his shit. I worked more hours, finished more shit, etc. The white boy says, to me, he “negotiated better.” I say to him “when I get a new job, fuck that.” They give me a counteroffer. A counteroffer to make seven thousand less than the White dude who’s burning the company to the ground. The boss tells me this:

“You’re near the top of your salary for your position already.”

Speed: That sounds familiar. Went through and go through some shit similar at my job. I go out for a promotion, with skills that are relevant to the job. I have the experience. I even tell them about and how I’ve grown it from a minor site to something pretty big in the region and elsewhere. I tell them everything. I don’t even get a second glance.

Meanwhile, there are folks here who don’t even show up to work and get promotions. When I ask why, they didn’t give me an answer for myself. For the other people, they say “oh, they’re so personable.” Bullshit. People in my office don’t understand why these people are promoted, but no one fights for me. That’s even though they know I’m a great worker and all that. I give my soul to these jobs and these motherfuckers do half of my work get promoted at a quicker rate than I ever will.

Drizzle: Twice the work for half the pay. The best lie the Devil ever told was that he didn’t exist. People actually believe we choose this shit. People actually believe we choose to be depicted worse than Charles Manson because of the thing we never choose. Our skin tone. I didn’t choose to set myself on fire and have no one help me. Conservative media and the like have convinced these folks that we did choose this and, not only that, we revel in being treated lower than shit.

Speed: Fuck conservative media. On another note, fuck TMZ and Harvey Levin for saying that Jemele Hill doesn’t have the right to speak her mind as an employee of ESPN, that she should pretty much toe the line. Fuck TMZ for a boatload of other things, but that’s the soup of the day.

Drizzle: Fuck it. Meanwhile, Gingawd can run outside barefoot in Baltimore with a fucking shotgun and run at a group of white people and get what he wants–

Gingawd: I told you, I heard a noise, I went to investigate. I didn’t want knuckleheads fucking with my car or anything else of mine. I already had one experience and I got twitchy and thought it was the person who may’ve done something before. I mean, I have no other enemies out here.

Drizzle: But, the point is this–you’re White and could do that without knowing you’re going to die in a barrage of bullets. Meanwhile, if Speed or I did that, we’d be on the front of a t-shirt.

Speed: Love you Ging, but you’ve got the whole White privilege thing going for you.

Gingawd: You’re right. If I was Black, things’d go sour quickly.

Speed: Anyone who doesn’t believe that White privilege is a thing, they’re either racist or self-hating souls. Fucking Siri, when I type the phrase “white pr…” in my phone, Siri completes the phrase as “White privilege.” If a computer is smarter than you folks, it’s time to smarten the fuck up.

Drizzle: I needed you, Gingawd, to say that if you were Black, you’d be dead if you did that shit. I love you to death, but it’s always different. Anyways, setting people on fire and alldat.

Being Black on Earth is like carrying a heavy weight of impossible standards that you need to beat. Imagine spinning on a wheel. The further you push the wheel forward, the hard it is to push. If you ever relent, it’ll spring back to the original position.

In this analogy, the wheel is your social standing. The home position is every negative stereotype about Black people. And you’re pushing the wheel towards success. If you ever stop actively trying to be successful, the rest of the world then sees you as a thug that’s in need of a good, old-fashioned killing. Dear White People depicted this well. In order to be immune to the bullshit, you’ve gotta be perfect. And then, you’re still not immune to the bullshit.

People fuck up. People make mistakes. To err is to human. We learn from our mistakes. It makes us better. But, with Black folk, we have less of a chance to learn from our mistakes because when we make the same mistakes, they could have irrevocable damage on our lives.

For instance, Black four-year-olds are getting suspended from preschool. Most people don’t realize that you’re barrer from almost half of the available scholarship if you ever get suspended. A kid can’t go to college because he snatched a toy from another kid when he was four? You will never tell me that’s right. No matter who it happens to. But let me get to the point, which is this: are White kids getting suspended for the same thing?

Speed: So, speaking of the Black Experience and some White people not truly understanding it, what do you think about the “Cash Me Outside” girl getting a rap deal?

Drizzle: Rap is run by people with dollar signs in their eyes.

Speed: Exactly. She won’t be around for that long, though. I hope not anyways. She’s a novelty act like so many other rappers out there these days. Novelty acts that do everything short of kill people in real life to get noticed, but novelty acts nonetheless. But, that shit is fucking sick.

Like, look at the dude XXXTentacion. Fuck him and anyone who love him because he’s trash–and not even just musically. People still standing by him even though he’s hanging kids in his videos, trying to sexually assault people with forks, and beating up gay dudes and smearing their blood on his face. Fuck outta here.

Drizzle: Saw another “if you’re watching football–and you’re Black–regardless your reason, you’re a coon” article. All I’ve got to say to them is that they’re probably freebasing cocaine with their penis hole high.

Speed: “Got any more ‘I’m gonna fake like I’m woke’ headlines?”

Drizzle: What about the young woman who, allegedly, stuffed herself into a freezer, may she rest in peace?

Speed: Kenneka Jenkins.

Drizzle: But, why does it smell like a cover up?

Speed: Something about the whole thing seems off as fuck. Not even on a conspiracy theorist level, either.

Drizzle: There’s no why. Why is it a cover up?

Speed: Why is there, mysteriously, no video of her actually walking into the freezer if that’s what happened? Or even video of her going towards the freezer? Sidenote, but fuck those clowns turning this into a meme.

Drizzle: Lots of time lapses on these videos. Screams “altered” to me.

Speed: Just another case of being Black in America.

Drizzle: Speaking of–and going back to the “coon if you watching football” thing–the Kaepernick situation has reached critical mass. Tom Brady. He said that Kaep deserves another shot. Tom Fucking Brady. It’s reached critical mass when someone I despise for being a shit is not being a complete shit.

But, it’s more than a deep issue that that. The NFL has hit lower ratings due to the protest. Now I don’t entirely agree with the protest, but I see its merit. Here are the true facts.

  • He’s a player. Players get cut sometimes and don’t come back. That’s reality. 
  • He ain’t playing because he spoke up. 
  • The NFL itself, as an organization, hasn’t done shit to Kaep. As a matter of fact, they’re still giving him community service awards–and he’s not even playing! The NFL has kinda been hyping Kaep through this sort of thing. 

Pretty much, if you’re gonna protest anything, protest the organizations that said flat out “Never Kaep, because he ain’t stand.”

Speed: Ravens included or nah? Because, you know, you’ve got some folks who’d apply that logic to Baltimore.

Drizzle: B’more said “no” because his sig fig wants to go out and insult the owner on social media. They were seemingly walking through a contract when that happened. The Giants, even with their craziness, said “we’ll grab him next season.” The Chiefs said “the only reasons we didn’t grab him is because we’ve got too many QBs under contract already.”

Point is this. The NFL isn’t effectively blackballing him. There are owners saying that they want him and will take him when other contracts are up. There are, however, owners and coaches who say “fuck no” to him. Those are the ones who should be protested against.

Boycotts only achieve a point by comparison. So, yeah, the NFL has lower ratings now. But, if the Ravens’ ratings are through the roof, but the Bills’ ratings–who said “he’s not worth the chaos”–tanked, then there’d be an issue. So, when it comes to that? I feel insulted when people say I’m “not a real Black person” because I watch football.

One, don’t inkwell me. Two, it’s not the NFL that’s the problem. It’s some racist-ass owners. I’ll even further two by saying that Marshawn Lynch has, according to some accounts, never–

Speed: –or almost never–

Drizzle: —stood for the National Anthem or put his hand on his heart or whatever and he has a job.

Third, the NFL for better or worse is the highest producer of Black millionaires in the world. Yes, they pay a price for it and most’ll lose it because of poor education, but I will support any organization that boasts that. But, no. I won’t be watching no Bills games, SF games, Dolphins games, etc.

Speed: Selective boycotting those who actually have an issue with Kaep versus flushing the whole thing down the toilet?

Drizzle: Yep.

Speed: Here’s my thing. You don’t see people protesting MLB even though White players, owners, etc. have talked about certain minorities having “disrespect” for the game. You didn’t see people protesting the NBA when David Stern was calling A.I. and others like him “thugs” for dressing in “urban fashion.” Or what about David Stern pretty much making the NBA more “palpable” for…certain people again through saying “fuck the ‘thugball’ aspects of what made the NBA great in the 80s, 90s, and 2000s?” Hey, you don’t see people protesting the NHL even though there are fanbases and teams that regularly refer to Black players as monkeys and shit. Look at NASCAR. You don’t see people protesting NASCAR even though it’s still pretty much a Good Ol’ Boy club–

Drizzle: NASCAR has a couple of regular Black guys, but you speak truth. It also doesn’t help that a bunch of folks who are protesting never watched football on a regular basis anyway, at least that I know of. I keep seeing the faux revolutionaries, the White kids with dreads, and the gay dudes and some women who called the Ravens Super Bowl appearance in 2013 “The Beyonce concert.”

Now, I like Deray.

I want to personally thank him for giving up his six-figure career to fight for us. But, him musing on Twitter about how to reform the NFL is useless. The NFL needs work, that’s true. However, nothing Deray does will fix the NFL. Why? Because the NFL doesn’t give not one shit about Deray. Deray can’t even get TV not to call our movement(s) nonviolent. Why would billionaires listen to his proposed changes?

On top of that, having us complain about one player who wasn’t even formally blacklisted makes us look like whiny babies who cry over any perceived injustice. This furthers their “Black people are just complaining” narrative.

So, if you wanna stand by Kaep by boycotting, go for it. Just know why you’re doing it. And don’t criticize me for not boycotting. I stand with Kaep. I bought his jersey. I told Biscotti that I’d buy one in every color if the Ravens grabbed him. I stand with Kaep, too.

Speed: Another point I wanna make. By saying “oh Drizzle, you’re not Black enough because you watch football,” some of these folks are doing exactly what fucks like Jason Whitlock did with Kaep. As a matter of fact, I want to ask people if they’re really standing because it’s en vogue to do so or because they truly understand Kaep’s intentions? You’ve got a lot of folks that are doing it without knowing why they’re doing it.

Drizzle: Most people don’t know how the NFL works. Period. If you wanna see a player on a team, buy his shirt. I guarantee Al Haynesworth was on the Skins because of that. I guarantee that Ray Rice wasn’t immediately cut by the Ravens because of that.

Speed: Greg Hardy is an example of this as well.

Drizzle: I was gonna say him next. But, here’s the kicker. Let’s use me as an example. I work for X-Awesome LTD. The minimum salary of an X-Awesome employee is $300K and the max, for non-execs, is $120M. They hire a city’s worth of Black people. Their product is the best in the business. They provide more community service than the Red Cross. They donate more money to public schools than the Federal Government. They are, all in all, awesome.

Now, one day at work, I say “I won’t stand for the Pledge of Allegiance because this country don’t pledge allegiance to other Black folk like me.” A year later, I’m fired from X-Awesome. Will you boycott X-Awesome? Will you boycott a company that pays stupid high salaries to people like me and helps the underprivileged? All because I got fired?

Speed: Meanwhile, the general public stood idly by while rapists, murderers, and other deviants all graced the halls of X-Awesome?

Drizzle: Yep. Oh no. X-Awesome has its issues that need solving. It sure as fuck isn’t perfect. I’ll never sit here and say “Don’t call out X-Awesome for its flaws.” But don’t pretend that this is the one that hurts you to the point where you wanna undo all the good it’s done.

Speed: It’s like Black Twitter “canceling” something or someone. The shit was problematic in some ways before it was widespread for the problems. Either denounce it all or none of it. Call it all out or shut the fuck up, you know?

Now, I understand the boycotters. I do. I didn’t want shit to do with the Eagles game after knowing about the owner’s sentiments towards Kaep, either. So, I get it. I fuck with a lot of what you’re putting down.

But, there’ve been a lot of rally cries to help change the game that’ve gone silent in the past. A lot of them, from assault to sexual violence to harassment to concussions to racism to xenophobia and all in between. Don’t all y’all ride in with your savior complex now.

Where were you when Jovan Belcher killed himself and his girl? Where were you when Big Ben was doing his dirt? What about when Brett Favre was showing his dick off to reporters? What about when Al Haynesworth was stomping the fuck out of his opponents? What about Bill Romanowski? What about the racist owners before this whole thing with Kaep started?

I have a whole row of seats just waiting for your asses.

Drizzle: Look. At the end of the day, Kaep will get himself a job. But will our integrity live that long? Every time we whine about something without fully understanding it, we fuel their fire to say “the niggers don’t know shit” and “they just complain,” no matter how valid our complaint is. I stand with Kaep. I lobbied for him to play in Baltimore like other Baltimore fans have. I’ll just let y’all stand how you wanna. 

Speed on the Beat

Whatever you need to know about me, you can find out on Dad of two, cat dad (of two), mental health advocate, Team Support Dope Music in All Its Forms.

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