It’s Time to Say Goodbye


Ladies and Gentlecats,

After much thinking, I have decided to let “The Possible World” go.  For me, it has served its purpose, as far as helping me share my stories with you.  But now I’m ready to move forward and share my journey in a positive light.

With that being said, I will be starting a new blog in the near future about my experiences as a Nichiren Buddhist.  I have been practicing for two months and my life has changed significantly.  When everything is ready, I will let everyone know.

Thank you so much for your support.  I will keep “The Possible World” open for those who still would like to read it.  

Until next time,

Shermeekafiles

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Not A Game of UNO: Zimmerman and the “Race Card”


Ladies and gentlecats,

I’ve been reading comments about the Trayvon Martin case and I am appalled.

I am not just talking about the fact that people (mostly White folks) who are defending George Zimmerman and his actions.  Nor am I just talking about the sick new trend called “Trayvoning,” which involves teens posing as Martin after his death, Skittles and a bottle of tea clutched in their “lifeless” hands.

No, Readers.  I’m talking about the “Race Card” accusations hurled at Black and Brown people.  According to many Caucasians (and even some African-American people), those angry about the verdict and expressing outrage are now playing the “Race Card,” that Black and Brown people are now utilizing race as an excuse to “be angry at White people.”  According to a FORMER Facebook friend, Zimmerman is not even White and he said so.  Therefore, why are Black people so angry about this case?

I have a few answers.

1) The “Race Card” itself.

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Let me back up by explaining the concept of “race.”  Race is a social construct utilized to categorize groups of people based on physical attributes, religion, nationality and language. However, the concept of “race” was also used as a mechanism of oppression (i.e. biologists arguing that the brain of an African was smaller than that of a Caucasian) and continues to be so.   Many people of color (POCs) recognized the latter and have spoken out against injustice, how it is actually a detriment to ALL people.  In turn, many non-POCs and other POCs  accused those speaking out of playing the “Race Card.”  What the “Race Card” refers to is a person using the category in which society has placed him/her/them as an excuse to avoid…well…just about everything.  In other words, we POCs somehow “play victim” just because we are Black, Asian, Hispanic, etc. But this can’t be any further from the truth.  We are not fighting because we’re placed in a certain category, but because we endure adversity associated with those categories on a constant basis.  If anything, the “Race Card” doesn’t make any logical sense; it doesn’t even benefit me. It’s not like I’m playing a game of Uno and I just pulled a “Draw 4” from the deck. No.  This so-called card is only used by those who choose not to examine their own privilege and many POCs are tired of it.

2) Yes.  George Zimmerman is an Hispanic male. What people do not realize, though, is that he is light enough to pass as Caucasian (colorism is also a problem affecting POCs, but that’s a whole nother blog post). If he didn’t announce his ethnicity or make it known to the media, he would have been mistaken for White.  Unlike his victim (who was dark-skinned), Zimmerman’s skin color alone makes him seem non-threatening.  So, had his skin been a couple of shades darker (and if Trayvon was lighter or Caucasian), Zimmerman would not be receiving so much support and would’ve been placed under the prison.

3) The outrage and rage POCs are expressing isn’t anything new.  In fact, this rage have been brewing way before slavery and the Civil Rights Movement.  It began when rich European nations utilized imperialism, colonization, and globalization to cripple Africa and other nations to gain resources.  It began when aboriginal families were ripped apart and their children sent to English speaking boarding schools in order to strip them of their heritage.  It started when people of European descent categorized Black and Brown people as savage, unintelligent, violent, hypersexual and used these stereotypes to either oppress or scapegoat.  So when Zimmerman’s supporters accuse us of playing the “Race Card” and of being hypocrites because we’re not addressing “Black on Black” crime, then yes, there is going to be a problem.

4)  POCs are not angry at Caucasian people (or people who pass as White), but the very system that protects them.  Many Caucasian people do not recognize their own privilege and how it actually keeps them safe, secure and uninformed.  The government and the other systems set in place is/are not even conducive to the lives of impoverished POCs.  In fact, many of the social programs and public schools that lose funding affect communities of color.  There are other injustices as well:  the prison population is predominately African-American due to petty crimes (i.e. drug possession); racial profiling; young teenage boys being murdered because of their skin color; African-American women being coerced into being sterilized in a California prison.  The list goes on.

I’m writing all this because, as an African-American female, I feel like many people don’t see (or choose not to see) what is going on.  I’ve had too many Caucasian guys roll their eyes when I mention the lack of diversity or the injustice POCs face. I’ve been called the “N” word over a parking spot.  I’ve been stereotyped and accused of playing victim simply because of my skin color and my gender.  And the government believes I’m trying to deliberately “play the system” by “driving the Welfare Cadillac.”  People who are privileged–who say that I play the “Race Card”–are afraid of me and my revolutionary friends.

However, I also have hope that people are waking up.  This trial has brought racism and injustice to the surface and people are starting to ask questions.  Granted, racism has its supporters, but there are those–regardless of ethnicity–who are fighting and willing to fight the negativity.

In other words, a better world is possible.  But we all have to work towards it.

To Be Young, Fabulous and The Master


“The more you are motivated by love, the more fearless and free your actions will be.”

–Katherine Mansfield, author

Ladies and gentlecats,

Today, I was The Master.

For those who are unfamiliar with the Science Fiction series, Dr. Who, The Master is the the Doctor’s arch nemesis and one that has tried to cause the hero harm on way too many occasions.  In fact, this is him right here:

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The Master

And so it would make sense, here’s my version of him:

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Me as The Master

Now.  You’re probably asking yourself why I am playing the part of someone I cannot and will not look like.  There are obvious physical differences between the two of us and I am most certainly far from British.  But there is an awesome reason behind my cosplay moment.

Let me explain.

Today was the annual Pride Parade here in Buffalo, New York and Nickel City Cooperative marched in the parade this year.  The parade’s theme was “Fearlessness”–living fearlessly as a gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, intersexed, omnisexual, pansexual individual.  To live freely by celebrating your identity.  My fellow housemates and I decided to march as a crossover between Dr. Who and Game of Thrones. The reason why we went with that idea is 1) many of us are fans of either one show or the other and 2) certain characters of Dr. Who have become gay icons (i.e. Captain Jack Harkness is in an same-sex relationship in the Dr. Who spin-off series Torchwood).  The show itself has many story lines featuring same-sex couples and does so without shame.  This type open mindedness reminds of the Star Trek series, in which the concept of sexuality is a common theme.

A couple of the housemates were able to create a man operated float out of our old futon while others constructed a TARDIS out of a refrigerator box. The end result was something like this:

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Our TARDIS. Yeah. We’re nerdy like that :o)

As far as the characters themselves, my housemate Bridge played the part of the Tenth Doctor while I was The Master.  The others who participated were GOT characters, wearing dresses and looking very cute by the by (I thoroughly enjoyed watching them walking around in dresses.  But that’s just me being…well…).

ANYWAY, to make a long story short, we were the talk of the party.  Every time we walked past a crowd, people would jump up and down and scream “OH MY GOD!!!  THE TARDIS!!!! as they frantically snapped pictures with their cell phones.  Complete strangers walked up to us and said, “This is awesome.”  One person hugged Bridge after the parade ended and declared “You’re a Time Lord.  I need to hug you now.”

As for me, I was not recognized as The Master. After I took off my suit jacket and rolled up my sleeves, I looked more like a hit man than a sci-fi character.  But I personally didn’t care; this was one of the most incredible experiences I ever had.  For one, I could sense nothing but positive energy surrounding me.  Though I half suspected the parade to run into crazy religious protesters, imagine my relief when there were only three of them standing on the corner of North and Elmwood–their voices drowned out by more than a dozen of supporters.

And we have a lot to celebrate: Rhode Island, Deleware and Minnesota passed a marriage equality bill and France legalized same-sex marriage as well.  Government officials are now beginning to realize that many are calling for marriage equality. Grassroots activism made this possible by demanding that same-sex relationships be recognized legally. The result is these marriages are being legalized in twelve states; couples who have built a life together now receiving the same state benefits as their heterosexual counterparts.

All in all, today was a good day.  I was in cosplay mode and participated in the celebration of life.  I was surrounded by people who lived their lives fearlessly and with complete abandon.  I was a part of this moment and for that, I am extremely grateful.

Happy pride!

Adventures Involving Monologues and Food


“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
― George Bernard Shaw, writer

I saw “The Vagina Monologues” tonight with a couple of friends from the Living Single group I helped launch. For those who don’t know about “The Vagina Monologues,” it is a production based on the play written by author Eve Ensler.  The play focuses on everything that pertains to women, our bodies and our experiences (sex, rape, menstruation, violence, sexuality, etc).  I remember seeing it for the first time in Rochester, NY with my then girlfriend and I loved it!  So I had to see it again with my friends, Leslie and Kilissa and it was being performed at the Unitarian Universalist Church in the City of Buffalo.  Here’s the poster:

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Leslie and I were the first to arrive, but the doors were locked and it had just begun snowing.  You would think that, because I hate the cold and snow, that I would have enough common sense to put on a heavy coat.  However, that wasn’t nearly an option because 1) my coat smelled like pee (long story, but I will tell you it’s not my pee and 2) my winter vest wasn’t available because I was attacked by soap that ejected from a broken dispenser handle.  So my only option was a light pink jacket and I was freezing.

Anyway, Leslie and I sat in her car until at least 7:00 p.m. We pretty much ran to the church doors because it was -100 degrees outside and, once inside we were able to take our seats in the sanctuary.  Leslie, Kilissa and myself sat in this church, trying to have a conversation as classic Janet Jackson songs blasted from a boombox in the corner.  Then the show finally started; I either laughed at the funny stories or remained somber listening to stories of women being raped in Kosovo.  My favorite monologue was called “The Woman Who Liked to Make Vaginas Happy.”  It’s about a dominatrix who enjoyed making women happy and shared the kind of moans she loved.  My personal favorite?  The African American moan:  “Ahhhhh shit.”  It sounds better when the actress moaned it (lowercase lol).

Anyway, after the production, Leslie and I went to this restaurant called Merge, where they basically sell all things good vegetarian and vegan.  First and foremost, they have THE best fuckin’ cider I’ve ever drank.  It was so hot and semi-sweet with an huge slice of apple decorating the mouth of the cup.  It tasted like apple filling and it was so magically delicious that I shared it with Leslie and Capacine (who joined Leslie and I later on).

At Merge, we ate and talked about the crazy dating scene in the Buffalo area and how the pickings seems to be very slim.  That was when I saw the most gorgeous man fly into the restaurant!  He had wavy storm gray hair, a leather jacket, blue jeans and a black grey tie.  And glasses.  He looked nerdy and I wanted him right then and there.  AND Leslie knows him.  Unfortunately, he is very taken, she tells me and I’m like “Fuck.”  Yet this doesn’t change the fact that I could not think about anyone else for about 5 minutes.

I would tell you that the night ended with me paying for my food, hugging my friends goodnight and calling it a night before being dropped off. Nope.  I forgot my debit card at home–in one of my coat pockets–and I freak the hell out.  I literally had to get a ride home to get my card.  Meanwhile, poor Leslie waited at Merge, telling the waitress what happened!  But that’s my life and I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t make indie movie-type mistakes like this.  Though I hope to cut them down to a minimum.

Luckily, the waitress wasn’t pissed at all and we were able to get out of there without being blacklisted.  It began snowing pretty hard, so I am just glad to be home, in bed and writing.

The reason why I’m telling you all this is because I want to show that there is life beyond trauma.  When I started this blog, my goal was to connect to those who suffered from trauma of some sort.  As time went on, however, I found that I was focusing on trauma instead of writing about my life.  I cannot let trauma define who I am or let it control me and what I do.  What I am learning is that there is life beyond the pain and suffering I once endured.  I don’t have to write about tragedy.  Why do so when I have a life to live?