I Thought My Voice Was Too Small

Even in these four years of consistent blogging as well as an extension of my spoken word/musical moniker, I didn’t expect to have an impact even if it wasn’t overreaching.

I am still quite small in this microcosm and thought my voice would match the lack of height.

Perhaps my voice was bigger when I see and hear responses.

Replies from around the world have given me solace.

Inspiration takes wing for those covering multiple topics.

Maybe they soared like the ospreys in my moniker.

Maybe I spoke louder than I thought.

Then again, everything sounds louder when one has been silenced for so long.

My Heritage Confessional Pt. I

I didn’t feel judged at first since I grew up in a multiethnic area. My neighborhood had people of all races represented and everyone got along. No one had an issue with an interracial married couple moving in with my sister and I during my childhood. Having parents of differing ethnic stock was normal to me and I didn’t think that much about it. Sure, I was darker than my dad and lighter than my mom, but I didn’t had any issues with it when it came to my family.

During this time, I read a ton of books, yet I also watched a lot of TV shows (balances it out, right?). I didn’t think too much about the heroes at my young age. I wanted to see the coolest and unique characters. Maybe in hindsight, I should’ve paid more attention like how it was a bad idea for Zach to be the Black Ranger or even how Trini was the Yellow Ranger way back when. I collected action figures of various superheroes of different ethnic groups, but to be honest…most of the heroes were Caucasian that got attention for the toy marketers and whatnot. I know they’re inanimate objects, but maybe Bishop, Sunfire, and Warpath felt like tokens and I didn’t realize it (can’t you tell I was big into X-Men?). Deep in my mind though, I wondered why not many heroes looked like me. I certainly didn’t see that many superheroes who did and certainly not Disney protagonists.

I was fortunate not to deal with as much racism (that I know of) during my elementary school years. Sure, I had my own issues growing up, but nothing too severe as far as bigotry was concerned. With that being said, they slowly became more obvious as I was in my teenage years. Life wasn’t as innocent as I thought even with the history they did teach me in school. When my family moved to a majority-white suburb because of my dad’s job, that’s when it became more apparent as I didn’t see that many Black let alone other POC groups with the exception of a few people of Asian or Indian descent living there. People didn’t believe my mom and dad were married to each other. There were some neighbors who only saw my dad and said to him “At least you’re not part of a Black family moving in”. I didn’t know about that conversation until years later and it broke my heart that anyone would say that. I’m glad my dad called them out on their bigotry and we didn’t associate with them during our time in this town.

Besides that history, there was some dualism in the perception of me existing. There were people who were curious about my heritage which I wasn’t offended by them asking as long as they didn’t say “What are you?” or “Are you American?”. I’ve been mistaken for Indian, Arab, Polynesian, and Native American before (Side note: I’ve had two people directly from India ask if I was Indian and two people of MENA descent [Egyptian and Iranian respectively] wonder if I was a Middle-Easterner). There were people who didn’t have an issue with having both African and European ancestry which is awesome. Unfortunately, there were others who did low-key digs at my ethnic background or considered me worthless. I certainly had enough melanin to not look Caucasian which made me a racial bullying target for some white people and there have been been a couple of Black people who assumed I thought I was better than them because of my mixed heritage while also claiming that I didn’t know anything about being a victim of racism. Those assumptions made me so furious even though I kept quiet since I was bullied into silence back then. Even now, my self-esteem is low enough that I don’t believe I’m better than anyone and I could do an entire post listing all the times others said or did racist crap around me or to me.

I wasn’t the most cognizant of some of these factors when I was far younger, but I certainly got my wakeup call ages ago. Granted, I’m still learning and I can’t stand being put under a microscope by so many people including those that should know better. It’s due to all these jerks that I sadly have to prove my humanity or competence to anyone and everyone.

Some positive things despite the insanity of the world: African travel vlogs, traditional Burundian drumming, and Hikaru no Go song covers

 

I know things are still very intense in this world. I’m not ignoring them at all. This is just a slight change of pace. I had some rough emotional moments earlier this week, but I’m better now. It’s been amazing by getting some encouragement from offline and online friends recently. Here are some things that I thought were fascinating recently.

 


I’ve been getting into Miss Trudy’s videos a lot over the past few weeks. Miss Trudy is a Kenyan YouTuber who makes travel videos mainly of different African countries. I checked out some of her videos on Sierra Leone and Liberia among other countries and I was astounded by the beauty of those nations. That’s the Africa they NEVER show you especially in the West. Here’s one of her videos where she’s in Freetown (the capital and largest city). Also, did you know Freetown was actually created by freed African slaves from America, the Caribbean, England, and Canada? I thought that was very fascinating.

Burundi has been one country I didn’t pay too much attention to, but I have to thank Miss Trudy as well as Dr. Y. for exposing me to more things about that country. One cultural tradition in that country is their drum corps. These drummers carry on a legacy dating back centuries when Burundi was a kingdom. The drummers would play for the king and they had their own unique rhythms. This was wonderful and I even picked up the live album of the Drummers of Burundi on Bandcamp where they played at Real World Records which is owned by Peter Gabriel.

I got back into the anime and manga series Hikaru no Go this year. It was one of my favorite series during my high school years, and after rediscovering it, HNG still holds up. Seriously, if you think all anime is nothing but martial arts ultraviolence, collectable monsters, or hentai, then please rethink your priorities. I found a cover of the 2nd opening theme “I’ll Be the One” by HAL that was performed by this Thai singer named MindaRyn. I thought she did a great job at singing this song. This was almost as good as the original in my opinion.

Besides all of that, I’ve been having some thoughts about what to post, but I’m debating about having it here or on my other blogs involving different topics.

Hope you all are doing well today.

I got the Vincent Ehindero Award!

vincent-ehendero-blogger-award

Sorry for the nearly 2 month wait, but I was nominated for the Vincent Ehindero Blogger Award from Dr. Y! Thank you so much! You have an amazing blog and I’m honored to receive this award. This is a new award I’ve never seen or been nominated for, so this was very cool.

Here are the rules:

-Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.

-Post the award logo.

-Post the rules.

-Nominate up to 20-30 other bloggers and notify them.

-Notify Vincent of your nomination, via comment.

-After notifying Vincent, he’ll check out your blog, follow and give you your unique award for the good work on your blog.

-I’m not sure if we are supposed to have some questions for the nominees, but I’ll make some for them.

1. Do you have long or short hair?
Long hair, currently. Weirdly enough, my hair was short this time last year after donating 13 inches to Wigs For Kids.

2. Fantasy or Historic Fiction?
Fantasy. I certainly write a lot of it with my Revezia series and [spoilers minimized] some parts of the Hollanduscosm.

3. What book do you like a lot, but you dislike the author, because of background, etc.
I really can’t think of any at the moment.

4. Have you ever watched a movie that was better than the story that it was based on?
I guess Persepolis was slightly better as a movie, but the original graphic novels are totally worth reading, too. To be fair, Marjane Satrapi worked on both versions.

5. If you could visit one place in the world right now where would it be?
As a geography nerd, I find this to be a very difficult question. Hahaha! The only place I’ve visited outside of America is Ecuador so far. I guess one place among several that I would really like to visit is Rwanda. I’ve been seeing how beautiful and amazingly clean Kigali is, it’s very modern, stable, and there’s a lot of tourist attractions I never expected in that country.

Here are my questions for my nominees:

1. If you could get one singer, band, or composer to score a movie based on your life, who would it be?

2. Which three countries would you like to visit that you have never been to before?

3. What is one thing you wish you could do right now if COVID-19 didn’t happen?

4. Describe how you feel at the moment when you post this award post in a haiku form.

5. Which fictional character would you want to hang out with for an entire day? What things would you do? What conversations would you have?

Here are my nominees:

1. Irina
2. Merlin
3. Scarlettiger
4. Never Argue With a Fish
5. Angela Grant
6. K At the Movies
7. T Crow
8. Another Anime Review
9. Kielder Ospreys
10. H. M. Gautsch

 

Has Anyone Seen My Joy?

I’ve been through tumultuous times before

But this year has been affecting everyone

Horrific memories flood my brain

Even if those years were objectively “better” compared to now

No justice has been done

My smile has greatly diminished whether I use it to hide or not

My passions have been downplayed

One interest has only been there, so I can finish something

Have I become a drone or rather would it be better as such if I was?

I do my best to mention serious topics as well as supporting multiple righteous causes

Do people even care?

I want to have joy again, but it’s on life support.

So the Chauvins have been cheating on their taxes?


Here’s a twist in the story of Derek Chauvin. Him and his soon-to-be ex–wife Kellie have been trying to get one over on Uncle Sam for years. You have Kellie having checks that bounce higher than Tigger after drinking a triple espresso, but you have tax fraud and straight up tax evasion with these two.

So let me get this straight, people can cook the books when it comes to taxes and live to tell about it, but someone can allegedly have a $20 bill and they get a death sentence.

No one can tell me anything about financial crimes especially with this criminal case an this makes the George Floyd situation look even more insane as well as more hypocritical in hindsight. I’m sure there are people who have been jailed for owing less money than these two.

Unbelievable.

Colorblindness as a Fallacy

“But I don’t see color.”

That’s been said to my face since I was a child.

I never couldn’t counter it at a young age.

Once experience and research pooled in, this was an intellectual slight.

If one is legitimately blind, then I’ll give them an excuse.

Anyone else, how can anyone NOT see color?

False defenses rear up to prevent oneself from the worst word one could be called (in their perspective).

Ignoring the plight of those with melanin was a form of indirect violence.

That and feigning ignorance.

Minimizing such bigotry to either nasty slurs and hoods is beyond erroneous.

Said bigotry isn’t always that obvious although many would deny it.

I better not hear the words “Well, they didn’t mean it!”, “You’re over-analyzing.”, or “You’re a racist for assuming something or someone is racist!”

Please, I have no such sociopolitical power to enact any kind of systemic oppression in any field of activity.

Flaws on Display

Shortcomings kept me grounded, but also prevented me from ascending.

Time to get literal for a few sentences.

I struggle with self-loathing.

I get depressed or even paranoid at worst.

I internalize my anger.

My thinking is better in preparation than on the spot most of the time.

Now, back to my regularly scheduled abstract wording.

Pointed fingers and gavels rain down on me as my mind is in a monsoon season. It causes me to ponder if the storms believe they are deities in their own right. Should I point the finger back, it gets sliced off. God forbid I spot the plank in someone else’s eye even if I know I’m right. There were moments where I wished I could be beyond these flaws and others would extol me, but that’s only a pipe dream at best. I doubt a time machine would exist in my lifetime to correct everything.

2 Stories: A Karen getting arrested and Senegal & Gabon handling Coronavirus

Angela Baker, I appreciate your honesty about your racism. Now, the whole world can see how much of a hateful harpy you are. In Oregon, Ohio, this racist scumbag of a woman straight up admits to using racial slurs against Black people and was even about to give them the Charlottesville treatment by running them over with their car. She’s arrested and charged with ethnic intimidation which is certainly a good step. Angela needs to be in jail for a long time for doing that. I bet you if the races were reversed, then she’d be dead on site or if she is alive, she’ll get hard time. Sorry, but people are making up to the systemic racism in this country. I’m even seeing other white people getting sick of these Karens running around blaming Black people for nothing.

In world news (mainly Africa although this partially involves Europe), Senegal and Gabon were banned from EU countries due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, those two countries retaliate by banning Europeans from coming over to their nations. You’d be surprised how many Europeans visit those nations (especially the French since Senegal and Gabon are former colonies and they don’t have to worry about language barriers). Besides the back and forth with the travel bans, those two countries have something going for them when it comes to dealing with this pandemic. As of today, Senegal has 8369 cases and Gabon has 6121 cases. Keep in mind, they have less people sick from COVID than most European countries or let alone most states in America. Let that sink in. Those countries have been stepping up. In Senegal, they’ve made readily-available testing kits for only the equivalent of $1 USD, so anyone can afford it. There’s even a medical engineer who 3D-printed fully-functioning ventilator kits for hospitals and clinics while selling them for $60 USD a piece instead of importing them for over $10K.  Isn’t that awesome? Anyone who thinks African countries are so backward or are considered [poop]hole nations needs to check themselves. What does that say about these countries handling the virus and taking care of people when so many 1st world nations don’t have the numbers (testing positive and fatalities) as low as them?

Even Rwanda has robot nurses to take care of COVID patients while their human staff can still work full-time in the hospitals for example.

I hope everyone is being safe and doing their best to see the humanity in others.