Chinatown

We were in Club 112.  It was the first night of the best Spring Break of my life, and we were kicking it with some Deltas from Spelman.  We made fast friends.  College.

A ‘homeboy’ comes to our area and starts hollering at the light skinned girl in our crew.  The rest of us giggle; he was wasting his time the moment he thought to walk over.  The girl I was bonding with leans over and says ‘Malik, watch this fool step to me next.’

Me: ‘Come on, he’s trying to get with your homegirl.  Ain’t no way…’

Homeboy: ‘Aye gal, what’s your story?’

I was stunned.  I was still a baby in the Game, but Homeboy was blowing past EVERY sign of initial attraction:  Is she making eye contact with you? (No.) Is she engaging with you in conversation? (Hell no.) Is she touching your arm as you talk, or any of the other million subtle body language moves that suggest she likes you? (Nein. Negative. Red Light. Sad trombone.)

That night sticks out in my mind as one of the earlier episodes of me realizing, that I was completely naive to how many experiences, played out from the point of view from my female friends, play out completely different.

Now, let’s add power to the equation.  Power corrupts, it just does.  Power feeds into our deepest insecurities.  And unchecked power?  Well…

You didn’t feel like ‘the cool kid’ in school? Maybe you wake up one day, and you’ve surrounded yourself by people who only tell you how great you are, and who never question the choices you make.

You grew up without money?  Maybe you only wear designer brands, have a 10 car garage and three houses so no one will ever question your material wealth again (since you can’t wear a credit score.  Or you shouldn’t…)

You grew up sexually frustrated or denied?  And you get to a station in life where even if people disagree with what you’re doing or frankly, it’s illegal, and you still don’t fear consequence?  Maybe…

I’ve said this in private conversations and I’ll repeat it here: it’s been something to see the tidal wave of momentum in favor of punishing bad behavior that’s been enabled for decades.  But the cynic in me still wonders if everyone is being honest about how much work is necessary to really ‘break the wheel’ (also see: systemic racism).

It’s a year late, but if part of the legacy of a certain someone’s political career is Hollywood looking in the mirror and cleaning itself up…I mean, that’s good.

I still refuse to use the phrase ‘silver lining’ in talking about him, but it’s good.

 

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