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Black Lives Matter and You

If you find yourself getting offended by the movement. Take a long hard look at yourself because that is a personal problem and it’s above us now.

The worlds gone to shit, it’s official. Being in the midst of a pandemic has made that all the more clear. We have less distractions whilst we’re in quarantine and that’s why our anger has so much volume this time

Things are not good. We protested in 2015 and it’s still the same. The Central Park Five where falsely and unlawfully convicted in 1989 and now we see them protesting and rioting with us. Nothing has changed.

They don’t respond to peace so we have to bring the violence.

I’m not an African American, but I am angry because I could’ve been an African American. I’m just lucky enough that my parents chose to exist in a country that doesn’t need to reform its gun laws.

Every single black person in the UK is lucky that hand guns aren’t lawful here or we would be in the same boat.

My little brother could’ve been Trayvon if we had the right to bear arms and “stand our ground”.

What worries me the most about the current state we are in is the inevitability of it.

White people have been taught to feel like they are superior to us. They have been taught that they deserve all the privileges because they have “built” the system in which we all exist in.

It annoys me that I live in a country that colonised 80 other nations but the natives have barely any knowledge of how this benefits them to this day.

Most if not all western countries grew to where they are today because of the labour of black people.

The Windrush generation was invited here to help with the post war efforts but the government was deporting them and completely disregarding their contributions to the country

We have been misinformed that we exist in a meritocracy when we exist in a nepotistic and cronyistic state.

“It’s not what you know it’s who you know” right?

How many business graduates regurgitate that tweet? I’ll tell you, countless of them because that’s the truth of the world.

You can be the most talented,gifted and intelligent person in the world but if you don’t know the right people, you will not get anywhere.

#BlackLivesMatter was founded in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer. Black Lives Matters mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. By combating and countering acts of violence, creating space for Black imagination and innovation, and centering Black joy, they are winning immediate improvements in our lives.

Black Lives Matter is about making sure those of us in the most need get the assistance and justice they deserve.

This is why All Lives Matter is such an offensive term. By saying All Lives Matter you are disregarding the blatant mistreatment of black people and the hands of the state and racist people.

If you’re finding it hard to grasp that here’s a few images to explain what it is we mean when we say All Lives Matter is offensive

Of course all lives matter but our society has a long history of treating some people as less valuable than others.

Study after study has confirmed that in equivalent situations, Black people are treated with deadly force far more often than White people, and authorities held less accountable.

BlackLivesMatter is not a statement about white people. It does not exclude white people. It does not accuse white people unless you are a specific white person who perpetuates, endorses or ignores violence against black people. If you are one of those people, then somebody had better be saying something to you.

If you find yourself getting offended by the movement. Take a long hard look at yourself because that is a personal problem and it’s above us now.

The best way to show solidarity with our American brothers and sisters and to support the movement in countries like ours (The UK) is by supporting your local grassrooots movements and charities and by signing petitions and contacting your local MP.

Black Lives Matter UK. They have a global website that they share with the Canadian and US chapters of the charity https://blacklivesmatter.com/ but you can donate directly to the UK by using this link https://t.co/jaET8jtkBU?amp=1

Show Racism The Red Card https://www.theredcard.org/ they provide educational workshops to schools, corporations and many more to tackle racism and its effects in the UK

Runnymede Trust – they ran a campaign to End Racism This Generation. Donations towards the campaign are still being accepted on their website https://www.runnymedetrust.org/projects-and-publications/parliament/past-

The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust – a trust set up after it took almost 2 decades for the murders of Stephen Lawrence to be brought to justice. The trust now focuses working with people from the age of 13-30 from disadvantaged backgrounds to inspire them to succeed in their career choice https://www.stephenlawrence.org.uk/

Stand Up to Racism- a collective of anti racists who focus on protesting injustices and highlighting that the majority is anti racist and the minority in power are perpetuating the racist state https://www.standuptoracism.org.uk/

Southhall Black Sisters– a non profit all Sian organisation that focuses on assuring women from black and ethnic minorities to escape form domestic violence and abuse https://southallblacksisters.org.uk/

SARI- Stand Against Racism and Inequality – they provide support for victims of any type of hate crime. Including faith based hate crime https://www.sariweb.org.uk/

Here is a petition currently being pushed by Black Lives Matter https://blacklivesmatter.com/defundthepolice/

And how to find out who your local MP is https://members.parliament.uk/members/Commons

And a final word from me. Let’s not forget that whilst we are protesting that ALL Black Lives Matter. So let’s take what that Dr Umar says with a pinch of salt because when I am protesting about Black Lives Matter I am protesting for LGBTQ Black Lives too.

Xoxo Tawana

Sage of the Six Paths: Confessions of a Shounen Addict

All I have to say to the Misbegotten Gremlins that think watching Anime way into adulthood is “weird” is this.

The first time I watched anime I didn’t understand that it was any different from my usual cartoons. I would tune into Cartoon Network after we finished after school tea. The best cartoons showed between 5pm and 8pm and Dexters Laboratory was a particular favourite. Mainly because of the long-legged antics of Dee-Dee Dexters sister.

The confusion arose because a lot of cartoons back then used Anime as inspiration. Totally Spies frequently used Chibi animation styles to illustrate cutesy moments:

Samurai Jack drew inspiration from Anime fights and settings on a regular basis:

So when i started tuning into DragonBall I didn’t realist that Goku and Jack where from two different worlds. Mainly because my unconscious initiation into Anime was made via dubbed episodes of Goku’s adventures on Toonami.

To be honest I spent the majority of my early teens watching dubbed Anime and not realising that it was anime. The only difference for me between anime and cartoons was that Anime has a deliberate story, character development and fully realised mythos because of this. The announcement of new episodes and new seasons was a HUGE deal in my house.

I remember the day that Jetix announced Naruto like it was yesterday. It debuted on the 22nd of July 2016 and at the first sight of the yellow haired ninja in the orange jumpsuit I knew that I was watching something completely different to the cartoons I’d been mistaking as anime.

Naruto is my favourite fictional character of all time. (Elizabeth Bennett I am so sorry)

An isolated misunderstood black horse that eventually saves the world?? That’s my bag!! Inject it.

Naruto has stuck with me to this day because of the lessons it teaches. Every character grew before our eyes in a real way despite the fantastical nature of the world its built in.

Sakura taught me to surround myself with people that I admire and that can push me to be a better version of myself. Hinata taught me that love prevails above all. ( Even though she stole my mans). Lastly Naruto taught me the importance of breaking violent cycles, and the only way to truly grow is with patience and understanding of the actions of your peers.

All of the Naruto characters can teach you a lesson AND if you can get past being disappointed at how the Manga/Anime concluded you’ll see that Masashi Kishimoto‘s ( writer of Naruto) work goes beyond the scope of Anime and has real world applications.

But… Lets not make this entire post about me fangirling over Naruto.

Naruto was the first Anime that made me realise that I’d stumbled upon a completely different world.

Alas it took until I was 17 to realise that watching Naruto in Dub ( English instead of Original Japanese) was taking away from the entire viewing experience. I must confess that the only reason I even started watching subbed anime ( Original Japenese audio with English Subtitles) is because Narutoget ran out of dubbed episodes.

A MOMENT OF SILENCE FOR NARUTOGET, BLEACHGET AND ALL THE OTHER ANIME SITES FROM THE DARK AGES

See when you watch dubbed anime you are in danger of missing nuances and jokes that make the Anime special. For example DragonBall in Dub vs Dragonball in Sub.

Dubbed Dragonball has the advantage that Goku doesn’t sound like a little bitch but, subbed Dragonball and the voice acting makes the jokes hit harder. I didn’t realise Dragonball had golden moments of comic relief until A, my boyfriend, made me watch some with him.

As I’m writing this I’m thinking of all the jokes I’ve missed by watching Dubbed anime and it’s filling me with pain

So yes, when you watch anime I would advise that you watch it in Subbed and only watch dubbed on the rewatch or with Anime you’re only causally watching.

Fair warning, The Manga and Webtoon readers might beat you up if they catch you watching dubbed anime or Live Actions

If you want to find out what the issue is with live actions please Google the cast of Dragonball: Evolution and compare them to the cast of the anime series. That’s all I’ll say on this subject.

I am an self confessed Shounen addict, Naruto, Hunter x Hunter, Fairy Tail Soul Eater and D Gray Man are a part of my top 10 anime. I’ll watch most genres of anime but I have a list of genres that I wont touch.

  • Mecha
  • Slice of Life
  • Drama
  • Slice of Life
  • Sports
  • Slice of Life
  • Romance
  • Slice of Life
  • Shoujo
  • Slice of Life

Anime for me needs to have an element of fantasy in order for me to engage. So please never recommend any of the above to me

Anime is something that takes a fair chunk of my spare time. I’m an adult now

( BOOOOOOOOO)

so I pay my Crunchyroll subscription diligently and only watch on streaming sites when I cant find it on that platform. I recently stumbled upon Anime Planet which is a free website that’s completely legal and it has a decent selection.

When it comes to Anime and my life outside the house I tend to find that the majority of the people I’m around don’t like/ don’t get it. The most common response to me admiting that I like Anime is “Omg you’re weird”.

All I have to say to the Misbegotten Gremlins that think watching Anime way into adulthood is “weird” is this.

Firstly, Anime much like Cartoon Sitcoms in the West such as Rick and Morty, The Simpsons, Family Guy, American Dad!, features very mature themes and characters that visually a child may find entertaining but they will never understand.

Secondly, it is rude to describe peoples interests as weird, especially considering that all the Karens, Becky’s and Susans in this world have popularised pimple popping videos on instagram!!!!

WE SEE YOU!!

Lastly,

Anime is something that I’ll always make time to enjoy. I’ll be 60 years old teaching my grand kids about how Sasuke’s betrayal of Naruto’s friendship was necessary for their growth. I’ll tell them that it doesn’t matter if Goku has now reached Ultra Instinct 17 Saitama could probably still punch him once and win.

I’ll tell them to stop watching DragonBall because it needs to die!! . I will tell them that I still haven’t forgiven Naruto for starting a family with Hinata when I was patiently waiting for him for 13 years.

And I’ll tell them that like Anime, Manga and all of its counterparts is a hobby worth fostering.

xoxo Tiniwana

P.S, i’m currently watching Fire Force, Naruto from the beginning and I have Tower of God lined up. Please comment any recommendations you have 🙂 xoxo

I’ll Be There For You?….

Maybe our girlfriends are our soulmates, and guys are just people to have fun with.

Candace Bushnell

I wouldn’t call myself lonely but I do often find myself without the right person to share certain news with.

Growing up watching shows like Friends and Sex and The City I always expected friendship to just happen. I’d be doing something I like and a girl/boy with similar interests would approach me introduce themselves and Voila! Friends!

It turned out to be so much harder than that.

Even during school when friendships should’ve been easy to make and keep. I always found myself sort of “sitting on the sidelines”, the third friend to a group of two close friends, the one that walks behind the rest of the group. The Michelle to Beyonce and Kelly.

I’m one of those kids that’s slow to warm up to anything. I need a good 6 months before I can let my guard down and be myself around people.

My issue is that I want to have more casual friendships, I know how to go about it. But I’m terrified that I’ll get rejected.

The idea of being upfront with my personality to people I barely know fills me with anxiety. The idea of sharing elements of my life with friends also fills me with anxiety.

True friendship requires a level of intimacy that I haven’t figured out yet outside of romantic relationships.

My favourite part in Sex And The City is when Carrie Bradshaw and co realise that throughout their romantic relationships with men the only constant was their relationships with each other.

Your friends are your chosen Family, they’re meant to encourage, love and support you. Tell you when you’re moving mad and need to fix up, laugh with you and at you.

My biggest issue with female friendships or at least the way they have been presented to me is that there seems to be no room for individuality. The second you disagree with your girl you’re an opp. We shy away from confrontation and resort to backstabbing and chinese whispers.

Using Sex and The City as an example Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte were four really different women who as individuals, bettered themselves and, as friends, they bettered each other. Sex And The City was about four friends acting like necessary mirrors for each other through various stages in life. 

And that’s what friendships should be about. It’s not about finding similar people; but, like-minded individuals who have minds and opinions of their own.

I want to be an individual and still manage to maintain friendships with people that are different to me but, I’ve created a lot of obstacles for myself in my head.

I assume that if people learn about certain elements of who I am they’ll see no reason to pursue a friendship with me.

I’m bisexual so I tend to shy away from making friends with people that are super Christian to avoid the eventual head butting should the topic of the LGBTQ community come up.

I’m black so I avoid forming friendships with my white colleagues because I hate having the inevitable “race” discussion with them. Watching them get uncomfortable at the mention of the word “black” and having to explain why they can’t say/sing/ rap/ utter/ breathe the word Nigga.

I’m a gamer and a lot of girls find this childish so I don’t talk about that part of my life with women. The only time I mentioned it to a close friend she called it ” niggerish” ….

Niggerish…

I feel like if i were to present the entirety of my personality people would run for the hills.

On top of this the older we get the harder it is to navigate friendships. A lot of us realised that we were friends with certain people only because we were mandated to be in their vicinity for large periods of time.

Once you add Adulting to the mix ( work, relationships, moving, kids) you find that you have less time for these kinds of people.

If you’re a regular reader you’ll know that I relocated to Manchester less than a year ago. After I relocated I had to take stock of my familial relationships and friendships. I found a large amount of them to be lacking, extremely one sided and or I couldn’t point out what it was that I was getting from them.

It’s because of this that I’ve found myself lacking the right person from time to time to tell certain things but, this hasn’t been a completely bad thing.

I’ve found that dropping certain friendships has allowed me more time to spend with people that bring me joy. I’ve unintentionally used Marie Kondo’s home organisation ethos on my friendships by holding on to people that “Spark Joy” while decluttering my life of everyone else.

I essentially threw all unnecessary relationships in the bin and kept it moving.

One of my favourite Controversy Queens Slumflower wrote a book called “What A Time To Be Alone” and it centered mostly around romantic relationships and how gaining independence from seeking out love for the sake of love can be a freeing experience. She talks about how relationships need to add value to your life or you’re just better off alone.

I think that a lot of us should apply this to who we choose to call our friends as well. I’d even argue that there should be a larger focus on happy platonic relationships than romantic connections.

But, alas..

I can count my friends on one hand. But each and every single one adds value to my life and I add value to theirs in different ways. There are definitely gaps of loneliness but they just help punctuate the ugly laughs, the tears, the fights and the moments of vulnerability.

Quality over quantity…

xoxo Tawana