With the slew of political news and daily “Trump Ruins the Day” updates that have been taking place lately, I’ve found myself migrating away from the social media hot topic debates. From the NFL protests to ESPN handing Jemele Hill a two week suspension, social media has become quite tiring for ya girl.
However, I couldn’t help but notice one debate in particular that's usually revisited via Twitter every 6 months or so. I caught wind of some of my timeline faves fired up or arguing with others about a series of tweets by HBO's Insecure star Amanda Seales. At first, I was confused as to why there was controversy about anything she has said, seeing that I and a good percentage of black millennials usually agree with her sentiments about race, sex and equal rights in this country. But baby, I was NOT prepared for the thread I laid my eyes upon on October 9th, 2017!
One thing I hate more than Donald Trump himself is when people stay in other people’s pockets, especially black people. It’s a pet peeve of mine that stems from historical financial issues in my family, so Amanda’s words somewhat stung.
If you're buying Jordans and Nike Suits but you're sleeping on an air mattress, YOU'RE LOSING.— Amanda Seales 🇬🇩 (@amandaseales) October 9, 2017
If you're buying Jordans and Nike Suits but you don't have a PASSPORT, YOU'RE LOSING.— Amanda Seales 🇬🇩 (@amandaseales) October 9, 2017
If you're buying Jordans and Nike Suits but you DON'T KNOW YOUR CREDIT SCORE, YOU'RE LOSING.— Amanda Seales 🇬🇩 (@amandaseales) October 9, 2017
We’re losing if we own sneakers but not a passport? Where's the correlation? Find it.
As for the credit card/credit score argument, please save it. Selling your soul for a credit card in order to build said credit is NOT the only option in doing that. How about directing that shade to the U.S public school systems as to why there aren't required classes on learning the ins and outs of credit and taxes, rather than us.
Although she didn't mention black people, it was us black folks that felt her words were directed at us because we are seen as the least traveled race that foolishly supports the Jordan brand the most. Racial dog whistle or nah? Granted, I do agree with the message, but not the delivery. Our community does need to first understand financial freedom and how to obtain that, however, what makes this topic so complex and very hard to overcome, is simply this: not everyone has the same set of priorities when it comes to dem bands. Ya dig?
No, not everyone wants to own their own business, and that’s OK. No, not everyone wants to travel the world or feel they need a passport when they haven’t thought about traveling anytime soon, and that’s OK. No, not everyone owns a credit card, and that’s OK. No, not everyone knows their credit score, but it’s easy to teach someone how to go about doing that.
Yes, there are people that buy a lot of shoes, and that’s OK. I promise you it is. And no, not every sneaker collector is out here buying Jordans rather than a bed — although I have never in my life heard of or seen someone saying “nah” to a bed but “hell yes” to a pair of sneakers if they had to choose. That type of comparison needs to be reserved for a drug addiction, not kicks. The real question is, what makes those who agree with Seales' statement think that someone who owns high priced sneakers isn't paying their rent, utility bills and buying groceries?
It wasn’t just the infamous (and oh so tired) condemnation of Jordans > Life necessities that bothered me, it was the fact that these words came from a public figure that usually hits the nail on the head when it comes to social issues, and the fact that an alarming number of people felt the same way and went on to brag about what they do with their money in efforts to defend her statements. TUH! The pocket watchers strike again! Power up!
When educating individuals in classes lower than the upper class about the system and closing the generational wage gap, a bad habit we MUST learn to kick is believing belittlement makes progress happen faster. Good education has no room for belittlement. Remember that. And please, save your "But Hov said the same thing on 4:44 album" comments for your auntie, because the delivery was very different and he actually talked about solutions to closing the wage gap, as well as putting money into our communities.
The attack on the black community’s pockets is a constant battle, but what makes it worse is when this attack on how we spend our leisure money typically comes from those that look like just like us.
When elitists usually have something to say about how others spend their money, it's offensive and not because a hit dog will holler, but because those that are belittling aren’t even in the same tax bracket as those they condemn. That’s where the conflict comes in. It’s similar to when a white person believes they can get on their soap box and go on about black issues and how we should go about rectifying said issues when they never have and never will experience life as a black person. Amanda Seales has been in the film/TV industry for basically her entire life. As far as finances go, I cannot relate to her struggles and I don’t expect her to relate to mine. Therefore, it’s an issue, and upsetting to me and my homegirl, when someone of her status fixes her thumbs to send a thread of tweets telling me and others that if I own Jordans and/or a Nike suit but not a passport or a mattress (sorry, but that comparison was trash LMAO), I’m losing. Losing at what? Life? If someone never travels abroad, your conclusion is that they didn't live an abundant life? Maybe to some, yes, but respect those that disagree.
Here are a series of tweets from George M. Johnson to further support what I’m spittin’ to the bourgeois bunch.
“Be poor. But travel” pic.twitter.com/wr9BvT88GQ— George M Johnson (@IamGMJohnson) October 9, 2017
😂 I love my Blackness— George M Johnson (@IamGMJohnson) October 9, 2017
On the real, I’ve learned to not quantify what brings Black folk joy. Material things is a part of society conditioning as is traveling.— George M Johnson (@IamGMJohnson) October 9, 2017
Black Folk are buying J’s and broke. Folk are traveling with 200k in student loan debt.— George M Johnson (@IamGMJohnson) October 9, 2017
I know both folk are happy. That’s what matters
Fighting the generational wage and wealth gaps aren’t coming at the expense of us having a piece of joy with buying nice things.— George M Johnson (@IamGMJohnson) October 9, 2017
We tell poor and broke folk what they should and shouldn’t be doing with their money. Fight white supremacy. Not other people’s pockets.— George M Johnson (@IamGMJohnson) October 9, 2017
Whether you got a passport and travel or you are buying J’s and Nike track suits.— George M Johnson (@IamGMJohnson) October 9, 2017
Fight white supremacy. Stop condemning us
If we’re being real, a passport is a luxury in my opinion. Anything outside of oxygen, food and water IS a luxury. Travel IS a luxury, not a priority, and not everyone can afford to spend $100–150 bucks on a passport just to tuck it away somewhere. I’ve been trying to get a passport for years, but life happens. Bills wait for no one and I haven’t had the opportunity, or vacation days, to even think about getting one until recently. I’ve noticed that the “but you ain’t got no passport” argument is becoming quite popular amongst black millennials, and I don’t know why. It's the new "200 dollar date" debate! Traveling is great for seeing the world from another perspective, and you can experience different cultures, foods and traditions, but whether y'all wanna admit it or not, everyone doesn’t aspire to experience that, and that’s just the way it is.
2017 has already been divisive AF. There isn’t a need whatsoever to spark a debate on how we spend our black a$$ dollars. If you're not trying to help, inspire or educate, please sit down.