Return of the Mack

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Good morning!

As I have shared in my writing as of late, I have not been in a good place mentally over the last few weeks.

Depression is a monster, and when it takes over, even the smallest of tasks can feel insurmountable. The inability to focus long enough to get anything done is a productivity killer, and for someone like me who works primarily as a freelancer or contract worker, that means it’s an income killer as well.

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Erykah Badu and her daughter Puma broke the internet

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For theGrio, I wrote about y’all being entirely too goofy over the pictures of Erykah Badu and her oldest daughter, Puma.

I noticed two very specific types of reactions to these photos. First there were the “Oh my god! I would never” people, and to them I say, “Well, don’t then, bitch.”

Then I noticed all the grown men making nasty comments and posting rapey memes with captions expressing what they would like to do to an 18-year-old. Y’all need to be on a registry somewhere.

It’s OK for us to celebrate Erykah and Puma being empowered to show off their bodies. I want all Black women to feel this free.

What’s NOT OK is making sexual comments about an 18-year-old just because “she’s legal.” Go sit your overgrown ass in a corner somewhere and figure out why you are sexualizing someone that young.

Because to be clear, neither Erykah nor her daughter sexualized themselves in those pictures. Y’ALL sexualized them with your responses to them.

Anyway, read “Age of consent doesn’t give you permission to be a creep.”

Was this pussy pap ready? Yes. It was.*

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There’s a new issue of my newsletter, off the record, out.

Is this my villain origin story?

This is a follow up to last week’s piece, “I’m ready to be a ‘Soft Black Girl.'” I talk about the process I’m going through right now, dealing with both my depressive episode and the thing that triggered it.

This is where I tell you that if you haven’t already subscribed to my newsletter, you should ASAP.

But there’s more…

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Jerrod Carmichael was the perfect host for the Golden Globes

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Let’s keep it real: The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is still under the same microscope it has been under for the last two years as it continues to fight its way out of the negative press it received for not having any Black members.

NBC decided not to air the Golden Globe Awards ceremony in 2022 because of the fact HFPA was embroiled in so much scandal. It was a mess.

As most organizations do when they get called for blatant racism or a lack of diversity, HFPA has been bending over backwards to try and make amends, including adding six new Black members to their ranks and ensuring that more Black actors and projects were nominated for this year’s awards.

They didn’t stop there, though.

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I love when Black Twitter watches a show as a family

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My favorite nights on Twitter are the nights when some movie or program is on television and Black Twitter watches it as a family, providing commentary all the way through.

We have done this with Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon, and a lot of other television shows and made-for-tv movies.

We did it again this Tuesday when the Golden Globe Awards aired on NBC for the first time in two years.

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Habits and systems versus goals

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I’m reading a book right now that is totally changing my perspective on the way I set goals and how I go about achieving them.

The book is Atomic Habits by James Clear. I have gotten so much useful information from it, I decided to share some of what I have been learning in the latest issue of my newsletter, off the record.

Read the latest issue, “in medias res” and let me know what you think.

I don’t like Skip Bayless

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I have made no secret of how much I detest Skip Bayless, Stephen A. Smith, and Jeff Van Gundy.

When Jeff Van Gundy is one of the announcers during a basketball game, I remind everyone of how much I don’t like him.

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Goals are better than resolutions, in my opinion

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In a former iteration of my life, I was one of those people who made new year’s resolutions that never made it past January.

The problem, I discovered, was that while the resolutions may have been worthwhile, without specifically defining them and giving them deadlines, they simply became things I wished I could do or dreamed of doing. I needed a better plan.

Read “Why I started setting goals instead of making resolutions every new year.”

Do you have a personal (we)blog?

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I wrote my very first piece for The Verge, and I am super excited because it’s about something near and dear to my heart: personal blogging.

I have had a blog or online journal in some form since the late 90s. I started on Geocities, migrated to Blogger, taught myself to configure Greymatter, Movable Type, and WordPress, and I used all the other sites like Typepad, livejournal, tumblr, Vox (before it became the site it is now, it was a blogging platform similar to what tumblr is now)) and everything in between.

The point is, I’m not new to this; I’m true to this.

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The treatment of Megan Thee Stallion since the night of her shooting is disgusting

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Megan Thee Stallion has been treated like the villain ever since news broke that she was shot by Canadian rapper Tory Lanez. She has been the victim of targeted harassment, weaponized misinformation and general misogyny and misognynoir.

I discuss this in my latest for theGrio, “Before, during and after the trial of Tory Lanez, Megan Thee Stallion was treated as more of a villain than he was. Let’s talk about it.”

Pete was subjected to a targeted campaign of weaponized misinformation and had her name dragged through the mud day after day. In her testimony during the trial, she tearfully related how this entire situation has impacted her life and made things harder for her, saying at one point, “Because I was shot, I’ve been turned into some kind of villain, and he’s the victim. This has messed up my whole life.

“I wish he would have just shot and killed me (rather than) have to go through this torture,” she said. 

Black women are unprotected, and in the hip-hop community, many will rush to defend a man for his actions before they will protect the woman his abusive actions harm. It’s sickening.

Read the article, and let me know what you think.

Our children are not safe

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Why don’t Black children get the same benefit of the doubt that white children receive? Why are Black children adultified while white children are infantilized? Why are people so quick to take action when the offender is a Black child, but less likely to move to action when the harm is being caused by a white child?

These are just some of the questions I am looking for answers to in my latest piece for theGrio, Black children are not safe in a world ruled by white supremacy.

In this piece, I discuss the examples of Bobbi Wilson, the 9-year-old girl who had the police called on her by a neighbor who knew her because she was spraying a homemade concoction on trees to stop the infestation of an insect that is harmful to the trees.

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it’s like a text version of OnlyFans

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Hello, friends, non friends, and people I don’t fuck with!

If you are here, it’s because you are already a longtime fan of my writing, or you read something I wrote, or you follow me on social media, or you are some weirdo who read something I wrote that upset you, and now you are here to try and put me in my place in the comment section (alas, trolls: i moderate comments like a mutha fucka).

Whichever category you fall into, it’s obvious you cannot get enough of me, so I wanted to offer you the opportunity to sign up for free content on my newsletter, “off the record.”

“off the record” is part memoir, part cultural commentary, part news and information—honestly, think of it as a longer version of my Twitter timeline. I talk about everything. This will be the same.

Go ahead and subscribe for the free content. I dare you.

thejournalista.substack.com

Van Jones is a problem for Black people

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A recording and transcript of the speech Jones delivered were published online yesterday. Regardless of where you stand on what exactly he was apologizing for, the entire thing reeks of both-sideism. Jones discredits activism in the Black community, throws Black people under the bus in favor of trying to score points with white people and blames us for Kanye West. In short, this mess stinks, but let me go point-by-point and explain why. 

Op-Ed: Van Jones Needs To Be Held Accountable For His Anti-Black Comments

For NewsOne, I shared my thoughts on Van Jones and his apology to the Jewish community on behalf of Black people.

read more after the jump

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Twitter is dying a slow death under Elon Musk

A screenshot of Monique Judge's byline and a headline on an article about Elon Musk and Twitter.
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To be clear, Twitter was already on life support, but Captain Apartheid swooped in and started unplugging all the machinery, and now the site is wheezing for help and pushing the nurse call button, but no one is responding. 

What we lost in the fire: Elon Musk is slowly killing the things that made Twitter a force for good

You happy now, bitch?

A screenshot of the headline, header image and byline for Monique Judge's article on actor Wendell Pierce, featured on Andscape.
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“Wendell Pierce is a Black man who grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana, with parents who stressed education — understanding that your first wealth is health, and soon thereafter is education,” the actor, who recently became the first Black man to play the lead in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman on Broadway, told Andscape.

How ‘Death of a Salesman’ helped Wendell Pierce become fearless

Y’all. I had the extreme pleasure of interviewing actor Wendell Pierce to discuss his role playing Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman. Pierce is the first Black actor to play the role on Broadway.

Wendell Pierce is one of my favorite actors. I stan. I was so excited to do this interview, and he did not disappoint. (read more after the jump)

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Stephen A Smith, Jerry Jones, and defending racism

A screenshot of Monique Judge's byline on an article at theGrio about Stephen A Smith defending Jerry Jones
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“I’m pretty pissed off,” Smith said. “I’m pissed off but not for reasons people think. I am very, very fond of Jerry Jones, and I’m not hiding that from anybody. Is his record perfect? No, but I’m pissed off because he doesn’t deserve what just happened. He doesn’t deserve it. One report, our report, said he was 14 years old. Another report said he was 15 years old. At minimum that’s 65 years ago.”

Stephen A. Smith defending Jerry Jones is egregious, and here’s why

The Washington Post published an article about Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones last week. The article included a photo taken in September 1957 when six Black teens attempted to integrate the racially-segregated North Little Rock High School. They were met by an angry white mob at the front door of the school.

Jerry Jones, who was 14 at the time, is pictured in the photo standing in the crowd. When the photo came out, he rightfully received public backlash

ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith put on his Jason Whitlock costume and rushed to the defense of Jones, who he says is the victim of an attempt at “cancel culture” for something he did when he was a kid.

If only Stephen A understood that it’s a lot more nuanced than that.

My latest for theGrio.

Karen Bass is the new mayor of Los Angeles

A screenshot of Monique Judge's byline on an article at theGrio about Karen Bass winning her bid to become mayor of Los Angeles
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The job ahead of her is not an easy one, but I am fully confident that she will be able to handle it because let’s face it, if you want something done, you really just have to get a Black woman to do it. 

Congratulations, Karen Bass. You Deserve. 

Rick Caruso thought he was going to be able to buy his way into becoming the Mayor of Los Angeles, but it did not work out the way he thought. After spending more than $100 million of his own money and outspending Karen bass 11 to 1, he lost, and Los Angeles has it’s first woman, first Black woman, and only the second Black person in history to be mayor.

She deserves. My latest at theGrio.

Drake is a sassy bitch

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Listen, I get it. You are a white woman of color who was born and raised in Canada. You are an actor who got your start on the Canadian show “Degrassi,” and you are now in the midst of playing your biggest role, that of a rapper named Drake. 

Dear Drake, please leave Megan Thee Stallion and every other Black woman out of your mouth

For theGrio, I addressed Drake and his messy bitch behavior. In case you are unaware, on his recent release with 21 Savage, he decided to go after Megan Thee Stallion unprovoked, and I don’t like that.

On Kyrie Irving, Jeff Bezos, Amazon and antisemitism

A screenshot of Monique Judge's byline and the header image to her article hosted on theGrio website.
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Kyrie Irving definitely should have apologized for posting the link, but it should have ended there. If you are not going to hold the hosts of the material accountable, how are you going to find multiple ways to punish the consumer for taking it in? 

Kyrie Irving has gotten all the smoke, but why aren’t Jeff Bezos and Amazon being held accountable?

For theGrio, I share my thoughts on the sanctions the Nets have put on Kyrie Irving and question why Jeff Bezos isn’t receiving the same amount of scrutiny for hosting the infamous antisemitic video that Irving has received for posting it to his Twitter account.

White women always choose race and class over their best interests

A screenshot of Monique Judge's article on theGrio
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Most people who have watched the show have expressed their disgust and horror at what is depicted. They have often said how horrible it would be if something like this happened in real life. You can tell the people who said that weren’t Black, because Black people know (or should know, anyway) that the exact things being depicted in “The Handmaid’s Tale” actually happened to enslaved Black women in this country. 

Serena Joy of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ is the epitome of white people who don’t care until it happens to them

For theGrio, I wrote about how Serena Joy Wateford on The Handmaid’s Tale is very much like white women (and white people in general) in this country who only care about an issue when it directly impacts them.

NaNoWriMo 2022

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Thanks to some encouragement from Darnell Lamont Walker, for the first time in about 20 years, I will be participating in National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo.

The idea of the challenge is to write every day during the month of November. If you are consistent, you should be able to eke out a first draft of a 50,000 word novel. At least, that’s how we did the program back in the day.

Darnell’s encouragement was different. He said folks should write whatever they want, whether that be a short story, an essay, poetry or something else. The biggest point was to get writing.

Outside of writing to eat aka freelancing, I have not done much writing for myself, and I miss that, so I’m going to take this opportunity to change that.

For those of you who have been following me for some time, I’ve decided I’m going to work on a first draft for what will be the first book in my series of “The Pusha Stories” as they’ve come to be known.

I will post excerpts along the way.

Wish me luck.

One day I woke up and realized I am the prize

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Once my focus was taken off turning myself into “wife material,” I was able to devote that energy to improving and evolving me for me. Regular talks with my therapist, a lot of self-critique-turned-into-active improvements and consistently listening to myself helped me to improve my relationship with myself as well as others around me. 

My life changed for the better once I decentered romance

For theGrio, I discuss how my life changed once I de-centered romance.

White people: Please don’t do this

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The one part of Halloween that I don’t enjoy, however, is the predictable parade of white people doing inappropriate things and wearing inappropriate costumes. It seems like no matter how much we call them out for it and explain why it is inappropriate, they keep doing it anyway, year after year. 

A list of 5 things I am begging white people not to do this Halloween season

What we not gon do is let Sarah Silverman attack Holly Robinson Peete

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The other issue is the way Silverman came at Peete. Nowhere in Silverman’s timeline is there a tweet showing her directly addressing anyone else about their presumed silence on the issue of Kanye’s anti-semitic statements. Yet she felt totally emboldened to go after a Black woman. 

Sarah Silverman went after Holly Robinson Peete on Twitter, and it’s not OK