Are you black enough? Aaron and Tamu chat about the challenges of being cultured and black. Come through as we spill all the tea and highlight another butterfly black history moment! And their love of the 90s continues with gone too soon, beautiful, George Michael’s Freedom ‘90. Come through - we talkin’ milk and Oreos type of bills!
WTBCD_EP11_Double Stuff Oreos
Aaron: [00:00:00] [00:00:00]Oh, I can't sing that song anymore. Can I? Right, because Barbara is a part of. Well, as she did write it. Nevermind. It's not Barbara. So I'm feeling some type of way about Barbara Mason right now.
Tamu: [00:00:50] Did you write your anti song? Okay. So then you can't keep bitching until you fix it.
Aaron: [00:00:56] I don't know. I don't think the world is ready for me and my clap back [00:01:00] version for Norman. Rockwell or whatever the fuck his last name was fuck him I'm just kidding it, Norman. Fuck you.
Tamu: [00:01:08] Welcome to when the bill comes due.
Aaron: [00:01:09] I'm Aaron
Tamu: [00:01:10] and I'm Tamu
Aaron: [00:01:11] my son just woke up with a nightmare. He's next door. He's going to get an earful today. How are you doing?
Tamu: [00:01:16] I'm all right. How are you?
Aaron: [00:01:17] I'm doing great. It's been a busy week. Actually I'm now thinking about it and God, I don't think I could even you tell you what's on the news.
Tamu: [00:01:23] I have taken a little bit of a break.
Aaron: [00:01:26] Really?
Tamu: [00:01:27] Yes. I mean, Racism. Oathkeepers getting arrested. Cops getting suspended, blah, blah, blah
Texas is on freeze.
Aaron: [00:01:39] my Texas, bless you. Bless I didn't know any of that shit. None of it like the whole Texas grid and water situation, I had no idea. Although, I remember being in college and our air conditioner runs all the time. And we'd get three, $400, electric bills, monthly. It was very expensive. Now [00:02:00] I understand why it was monopolized for Texas, essentially.
Tamu: [00:02:05] If you can donate, however you can too. Food banks and other places to people so that they can get some food and water and take care of themselves.
Aaron: [00:02:17] I think what shocks me the most, I don't know if I'm really shocked either just more used to it, but there's just always something now. Can I just get one day? Maybe inauguration had good days. For some people that was a good day, it seemed peaceful that day. Right? A little bit.
Tamu: [00:02:33] Well, I think we were all a little on edge waiting for the marauders to attack the Captiol
Aaron: [00:02:39] It's just always something like somebody has died. There's 5 million strains. Texas' no it's like, Oh my God, is there light people? Is there light?
Tamu: [00:02:50] My poor cousin had to flee Texas.
They ended up driving out on Thursday and driving to Georgia where my aunt lives to stay at her [00:03:00] house because they have no power and they have no water and they have no food.
Aaron: [00:03:03] Oh my God. What relatives do you have in Texas? And what part?
Tamu: [00:03:07] My cousin lives in Houston.
Aaron: [00:03:08] I did not know he was in Houston.
Tamu: [00:03:10] I believe I told you that, but that's ok
Aaron: [00:03:12] I'm sure you have, but you know, my brain doesn't retain that information.
Tamu: [00:03:15] And then Jim and Ben are in Rockport, I believe. They were okay. And then they weren't. Okay. I messaged him on Friday. He was like, yeah, we're good. We had power, but now we don't have water.
And then maybe five minutes later, he's like, okay, we finally got water back. Okay. Now we don't have water. We don't have power.
Aaron: [00:03:34] Yeah. We have a family chat. It's within the same thing. Like, Oh, who's got power today. Who's got water. And I really feel bad and helpless, honestly, because like I'm here and.
It's winter. We kind of know how to deal with this. Right. So, I mean, it could happen to us. It has happened to us, but, um, I felt kind of helpless in that regard. Like it's never been personal, when something happens elsewhere, it's never, it's like, [00:04:00] Oh, those poor guys. But like, I actually know people that are really struggling right now, you know?
So it sucks, but
Tamu: [00:04:06] yeah, it's tough. And then poor Alison's family in Louisiana, they declared a state of emergency as well because they got snow and they were getting cold so far all is well with her. So we're just going to hope for our friends down South, that our friends and family. Stay easy and stay healthy and the shitty is part, is that because of COVID like you can't even huddle people together, like you could take an arena or a mega church or something and you could put people in it, but you can't even do that because of the virus.
Aaron: [00:04:36] Right. Right. It's weird too, because that is not Texas weather. I've been alive for 40 something years in 25 of those years were in Texas and never experienced anything. Like what there, well, I have in Minnesota in Maine, but not in Texas. So like, it's just crazy.
It's just insane to see a lot of this happening. And Texas is [00:05:00] not winterized that way, but due to global warming, they should think about it.
Tamu: [00:05:05] they tried to blame it on the windmill energy and the
Aaron: [00:05:09] Democrats of course, and AOC the green new deal. That's it.
I digress so anyway, I really haven't watched the news. Although I watched in the morning and watched in the evening, but honestly, like I'm even tapped out to that too.
I was just sorta like, Oh, it's in the background. I just want to see the weather and make sure that, black people don't have to exit real quick, but it's more necessity. I get alerts on my phone, but it's been nice. So how about for you? Has it been nice to kind of step away from all of it?
Tamu: [00:05:37] Do you think that you're going to get on alert to tell you to get out of the country? Like it's it's happening. Run niggas,
Aaron: [00:05:48] I guess we need to figure out what
Tamu: [00:05:50] Is it gonna be like? KRS One whoop whoop whoop whoop whoop that's the sound of the beast
Aaron: [00:05:59] Fly LA nigga [00:06:00] fly.
Tamu: [00:06:04] This is not a drill run motherfuckers.
Aaron: [00:06:07] I guess the closest thing to that would be like, stay on the list, serve or Atlanta or DC. So you get alerts, you get alerts, black cities
Tamu: [00:06:16] alerts to run because of a white riot,
Aaron: [00:06:20] right? Sure. I'm just saying, you know, where I'm trying to create the network. I don't know where you'd go.
I don't know where you'd go though. Anyway, what are we talking about today?
Tamu: [00:06:29] It's still black history month and fortunately, I don't have any great moments in black America this week. Cause I haven't seen people acting like a fool.
Aaron: [00:06:40] There is one great story of black America this week. It's me,
Tamu: [00:06:51] you know, great moments in black America is just people acting stupid. Not you going viral for a day.
Aaron: [00:06:57] Yeah. Viral. Yes.
[00:07:00] I wasn't really day and a half. It was like four days, maybe four days, four days. It was exciting.
Tamu: [00:07:08] Aaron, tell us all about your. Viral moment.
Aaron: [00:07:11] So as you all know, I love to Tik Tok. I hopped on a train trend and it was a really old trend.
And the it's, it's something about the fact, what do what's the whitest and for people of color, what's the whitest thing you do. And my video is simply me looking at the camera and then walking over to my husband. And that's it. it's very funny though. I've been looking at the comments and people are like, I had to watch it three times.
I didn't understand. So I think I'm viral because people are like, I don't fucking get it. Like people are leaving comments. Like what that he does. Laundry is wearing plaid I was like, This is why I'm viral because people have seen it. Like I've seen it 30 times. I, what did I miss?
But there's a stereotype there too. I think people think [00:08:00] they see this big juicy chocolate sexual yumminess, and they're like, Oh, what white bitch is on his arm? I mean, I do you have a white bitch on my arm, but I don't think he'd appreciate me saying that to them.
Tamu: [00:08:12] I'm sure when he listens to this, he will not appreciate it
Aaron: [00:08:16] since he doesn't listen. And I have to basically call my attorney to tell him, to send papers, to get him to listen. And yeah,
Tamu: [00:08:27] we love that. Never listened.
Aaron: [00:08:29] It's true. I love him so much. I love you, Richard. You make my life. Fulfilled and lovely.
Tamu: [00:08:34] You'll never hear it so well, rich, too bad for you.
Aaron: [00:08:37] So, anyway, that was the exciting part this week like. That's, I mean, nothing ever happens amazing in my life ever. Well, I mean, everything is amazing about my life, but you know, like I don't win the lottery. I'm still working. Thank you, Lord. Knock on wood for that one, but you know, I'm riding the Tik Tok wave I'm off now.
I'm really off to get
Tamu: [00:08:59] any [00:09:00] followers as a result.
Aaron: [00:09:01] Actually, let's see, I had 760 and now I have almost 2,580, 3000 likes. Wow. 350,000 views. So.
Tamu: [00:09:17] Look at you
Aaron: [00:09:18] first and last first and last,
Tamu: [00:09:20] you don't know that if you just keep on making weird Tik Toks and just showing rich people might be like what's happening now
Aaron: [00:09:27] Rich was kind of upset about it too.
He was like, I was like, honey, you remind me. It was like, I've, I've really tortured him on Tik Tok. Like I really have tortured him and he's been such a great sport about it. I discovered early on that my husband. Is my, my muse but I think I have to branch out and like be creative now.
Right? What do I do now? I'm going to FaceTime. So I could FaceTime you and be like, Hey, I'm really busy. I'll call you back. Have you heard about this stupid trend?
Tamu: [00:09:54] No, I don't live on Tik Tok
Aaron: [00:09:56] so people are FaceTiming people. And when they [00:10:00] answer, they're like, hello.
And they're like, Hey, I'm really busy. I'll call you back. And they're like, I didn't fucking call you. So you will do this over and over again. I have not done it, but this is entertainment for the world right now.
Tamu: [00:10:12] Crickets. Okay.
Aaron: [00:10:16] It's fun. It's exciting.
Tamu: [00:10:18] Why don't you also tell us about your Random Acts of Ziti initiative?
Aaron: [00:10:22] I had a board meeting. Today. Um, and I think I identified who can identify families for me. I have been struggling really in this pandemic but primarily everything from last year, I've just been struggling with how I can give back, how can I help people?
I. Love to cook and, food is comfort, so let's see. How did I get involved in this? Oh, I caught COVID that's it? I caught COVID Thanksgiving and someone donated or someone made a meal for us. It was one of Rich's, coworkers.
And I just thought, man, that is so nice. So a couple of weeks. Later, some good [00:11:00] friends of ours got COVID and I was just like, well, I'm going to bring you a pan of ziti. It was just incredibly random. I didn't even know what the fuck I was going to cook, but I know that ziti is super easy.
I brought them as ziti and a salad and garlic bread. And I replicated that probably I did it for every week in December and then some in January. But anyway, just randomly I'd pick people, mostly people in my neighborhood. If I knew someone was. Sick or had COVID and they've always really come at the right time for people, which is really nice.
Like a couple of moms with just like, Oh my God, it's so nice. Just to not have to cook so nice, which I understand now because I've pretty much protested all week long and. We've had Gorton's fish sticks. I just sit in a bad culinary week for me. I am ashamed to say that on air but yes. Anyway, I love doing it because I am not idle in my quest to give back in some way.
[00:12:00] And it's really helpful too, because. We are new to the neighborhood. And, you know, obviously we bring the diversity and we're people of color and neighborhood. And I think it's a good way for me to meet our neighborhoods. But I, it, the fact is not lost on me that I am serving other white families that can make their own meal.
I mean, I love the gesture, but my ultimate goal is to feed. People in my community and my neighborhood that just need a hot meal. You know, like my kids go to school and everybody gets a lunch. And it is not the greatest lunch, you know, obviously I appreciate that.
They're trying to feed every kid, but it's not the greatest lunch. And I just think, well, how nice would it be for these kids to have just a nice. A meal, their mom doesn't have to cook so my hope is , this month and beyond, and the connections we have, , with my board that, we'll be able to identify some folks that I could cook for some folks that can actually cook for
I love doing this. It doesn't matter. I honestly don't care that, I'm serving white families. Obviously I have a [00:13:00] mixed family myself, and that's really not. Honestly, I say that's really not the point, but. I want to serve people in need. That's my ultimate goal. It's been fun.
I started a Instagram, Random Acts of Ziti @randomactsofziti, where I hope it'll catch on actually. And it doesn't have to be ziti. It could be like, Oh, I bought my neighbor groceries or I bought someone Dunkin you know, what's your random act of kindness ziti
so anyway, I'm excited about it.
This week, especially I have to say, and maybe it's just being alone with my own thoughts and not social media and like the news, et cetera. I just really was honest with myself to say that bitch, you are fucking tired of this. You're ready to move on.
I've been like the soldier, right? Like, come on America. We're great. I'm just kidding.
Tamu: [00:13:48] Oh God.
Aaron: [00:13:49] I've certainly been the cheerleader, like, Oh, we'll get to the other side. This week was the first week where I was like, I just want to get back to something. It doesn't even need to be normal. I just want [00:14:00] to get back to something else besides what we're doing now,
Tamu: [00:14:02] that's fair.
Aaron: [00:14:03] no pain, no gain.
Tamu: [00:14:05] it feels like a really extreme, large amount of pain. Probably by this weekend or by Monday 500,000 people will have died from COVID that's ridiculous unnecessarily because that man killed 500,000 people.
Aaron: [00:14:19] Yup. He did. I think about all these like different parallels, like cancer, perhaps, I don't know anybody that hasn't had someone that has died from cancer that have been touched by cancer. The same is true on many, many, many levels for COVID like it is affected your mental health.
Your work-life balance, your work life period, your children's lives. It is just pervasive throughout everybody's individual lives. And we're never, ever going back to the way we were. We never are.
Tamu: [00:14:54] no, some parts of that might be okay.
Aaron: [00:14:57] Right. Agreed.
Tamu: [00:14:58] know, I'm okay to wear a [00:15:00] mask. It's fine. They have so many cute ones, I get some was with little sparkles on it or whatever I'm going to be fresh when I go out. I can't wait. But things will definitely have to be different.
Aaron: [00:15:11] Things just staying the same.
Tamu: [00:15:15] and that's okay.
Aaron: [00:15:16] Yeah, I agree. I, 100% agree.
Tamu: [00:15:18] Let's get into the meat in the heat of our discussion today. So again, still black history month I've caught up. I'm so excited. I've caught up on my black history documentary watching even threw in a couple of other things. There's a Lincoln documentary that's on CNN that I started watching it is because, They're breaking a lot of the myths of Lincoln and what he represented you know him as the great emancipator. So that's all changing, which is really good for people to know
Aaron: [00:15:51] men. Did they
Tamu: [00:15:53] that he was what,
Aaron: [00:15:54] attracted to men?
Tamu: [00:15:55] I don't think they're going to go into his personal sex life, but.
Aaron: [00:15:58] I'm just saying if they're [00:16:00] going everywhere, go everywhere.
Tamu: [00:16:01] That's been interesting. It might be four episodes of it. So the first one was this week and the second one will be this coming weekend. And I watched a documentary on Marian Anderson opera singer, and I watched that documentary on the black church.
This is our story. This is our song.
Aaron: [00:16:21] I saw that one.
Tamu: [00:16:23] it's very good. I really enjoyed it.
Aaron: [00:16:24] I liked that. PBS has had some really nice ones. I get hooked in like every night.
Tamu: [00:16:29] I finally watched the one about the freedom summer. So I'm all caught up. Then. I also watched one it's called Not Black Enough and it was on Amazon prime which leads us into today's topic for when the bill comes due.
Are we black enough?
Aaron: [00:16:44] I was just watching it earlier and I'm like, I could relate on so many levels and there's so many complexities to. To the black story, the black history and like the black experience for many, many [00:17:00] people. I remember watching this and I was just like, yeah, all of it.
All of it. All of it. Yeah. It's a great one though.
Thanks for suggesting this topic because, I often go through these moments where people and it's, I guess it's mostly been family or people teasing you, right.
That you're not black enough and they're making it a joke, but. Truly I think it's something that's been internalized for a lot of people, myself included. Right. And it's sort of part of your fabric and part of your being and how you interact with other people. It's a different kind of code switching, honestly.
Tamu: [00:17:33] I really felt bad for that little girl who was. Talking about her grandma telling her that, why do you sing in these white songs? And why do you talk like this? And, Oh, this poor little girl.
Aaron: [00:17:45] That's horrible. I remember watching that part and just remembering my own experience my parents are from Lubbock, Texas, and we lived in Austin. And so I think I've explained before that I believe my parents, moved us. To Austin. Just to have a different [00:18:00] and better life than what they grew up.
They grew up in the Jim Crow South as kids. So I think they just wanted a better life for us and I think my parents in particular really.
Suppressed what happened to them and really, engulfed us in the experience of living in suburban Austin, Texas, we were one of three black families on a block, went to a predominantly white school. Ergo we talked white, we'd go back to Lubbock and my. Father's mother, I guess that would be my grandmother. She would comment to my mom and say, Linda, those kids sound like little white kids. I have always carried that with me. And if someone says something like. You don't sound black or, I've told this story of walking into a room full of doctors and they're like, well, who the fuck are you?
You remember these moments where you were, not black enough or not enough. It's ingrained in your person. It's ingrained in your belief that, okay. I don't fit in, in the black community [00:19:00] cause I don't have a. I'll just say, I don't have a hood struggle, I'm a middle-class kid, right? So like, I have no struggle. Yes. But my struggles are very different than yours, but yes, I struggled, you know, it, wasn't easy being a black family and in suburban Austin, Texas, either, but we all have struggles and they're all different and no one's struggle is better than the other.
It's legitimate. First of all. Talking about the election.
But yeah, this is a really tough, touchy subject, I would say for me, because even in my forties, late forties, Sometimes I do feel as though I'm still proving myself proving that I'm black, and it's almost like black people have to sort of we make these iterations of ourselves, right?
Like through life. We weren't black enough, we're whiter than white or, we X, Y and Z, it's just all very complex to me,
Tamu: [00:19:47] do you think that it's been more difficult now in terms of feeling black enough now, after what happened last summer?
Aaron: [00:19:57] Yeah, I feel like [00:20:00] now it feels different to me because now.
I feel like I have pride, I have unabashed pride, right? I feel like I've been given permission to be black, whatever that means, right.
Tamu: [00:20:12] Who gave you permission to
Aaron: [00:20:14] I'm not suggesting anyone other than myself gave myself permission. It's more of the happenings around the world made it so.
Everything last year made it. So, so I feel like there are more parts of me that are just authentically black. but I also feel like you still struggle with that insecurity or that, am I black enough? And in particular, I think people perhaps may perceive me or others, like suburban blacks, I'll say as sort of a, what I'll call like bandwagon or carpet baggers.
So like, Oh, now you're black, , or now, you're down and whatever. But again, a lot of this I think is in my mind, I'd like to believe that we, as a people want to just kind of bring everybody up. And just recognize that, everybody's experience has [00:21:00] been completely fucking different, like completely different, good, bad, or indifferent, we as black people in America.
And that was the other part about that documentary was, you know, I remember them stating the fact that, we don't know what it is to be black. We don't know our history, everything that we have and quite frankly, everything in America that we have. Is not ours, you know? So I have a problem with like, I will still tell people I do not celebrate Kwanzaa.
I do not celebrate Kwanzaa. I'll tell you this story. I worked with some lovely people and one woman in particular. It was Christmas and we were leaving. She was like, Merry Christmas, and then she leaves and comes back and she goes, happy Kwanzaa too.
And I was like, I don't celebrate content and I don't celebrate Kwanzaa, just because I am black does not mean that I have to celebrate Kwanzaa. Just as selective as we are as what religion we choose, what grocery store we shop at or who we love, I don't [00:22:00] have to choose, you know, Anyway, I digress.
What about you? Tell me your experience with not black enough.
Tamu: [00:22:06] We're already such a mixed up family in terms of, Hispanics and white people and everything else. And , growing up the way that I did with my grandmother being in civil rights movement, my dad's sort of doing that sort of stuff. I never didn't not know that we were black and that there were struggles that we have experienced and learning about those things. I guess I didn't really think about it too much.
People never know that I'm from. New York. God knows. I don't know him from Brooklyn because I do not have an accent from New York at all. Only when I'm trying to put an effect in that's it, otherwise nobody knows I'm from New York.
Aaron: [00:22:44] That's true
Tamu: [00:22:45] they assume I'm from the Midwest when they speak to me or hear me.
That's just how it's always been. Rap music and the hip hop culture totally bypassed me. I all about pop music and Michael Jackson and [00:23:00] I guess I just didn't really understand what it meant that, back in that time, my first friends were white. In our apartment building in Brooklyn, my downstairs neighbors, they were three Arab chicks.
So, always kind of had this melting pot vibe, I think when I went, started going to my grandmother's school, that's when I understood Oh, I'm might be a little bit different from other people just because I, again, I don't know about the rap musics and I don't know, about things like that.
So I had trial by fire because my cousins were. My bullies and they were not very nice and they used to make fun of me and make fun of all sorts of things about me. then when I was a teenager or junior high school, I think I started to listen to some black music, but honestly it's always just kinda been a mix of things.
And unfortunately, based on the things that we have seen growing up in terms of movies, there wasn't anything that really resonated with the black [00:24:00] experience per se. They weren't black love stories. They weren't black coming of age stories there wasn't anything like that. So, I, related to Molly Ringwald and 16 candles and. Some kind of wonderful and all of those John Hughes movies because that's just what we grew up with and we didn't have anything to relate it to.
I went to fashion high school and in my fashion high school was a mix of people. Again, Dominican's and Puerto Ricans and some white people and black people. And my black friends, some of them had harder life experiences than I did.
But they didn't like me any less than I didn't have to. I didn't feel like I needed to change in order to fit in. Yes, this was the time that everybody had a Gucci bag. Everybody had their door knocker earrings and everybody had their drug dealers, boyfriend, but you were still able to be different.
I think also because we went to a fashion high school, you were kind of supposed to be a little bit different.
Aaron: [00:24:53] right.
Tamu: [00:24:54] And unfortunately I had very protective parents, so I didn't even get to have a true high school experience of [00:25:00] hanging out and doing a lot because I always had to be home.
. It's a very interesting experience, but I have felt it, I think more probably coming here. I think I realized that I'm. I don't know. I, I guess I've tried to forget that too. when I first moved here, I knew, Oh my God, I'm moving to a fucking white place. And my ex was white. So you know, it was a big deal to make that big jump and transition, to be, with a white man moved to a very white state. And live life. And, I think also just because I've always been around diverse groups of individuals hung out with all kinds of people that it made us slightly easier in that regard, but I always was mindful of the perimeters and what was going on around me. Here it's a different story. I don't know the lay of the land. I don't know. What's what, I don't know where the places are that I might feel safe or might feel uncomfortable.
Aaron: [00:25:57] When you were talking there for a little bit, I wrote down some [00:26:00] stuff and you're so right. Our generation in the nineties, , the nineties is my frame of reference personally, like late eighties. All, all of the nineties is my frame of reference and there was such.
A great diversity of music, between grunge and hip hop and your traditional pop Whitney and Mariah. Obviously
I just said it because I wanted to see your eyes. Mariah. I love you. We have this diverse experience of pop music and when you're looking at that, like stepping out of 20, 20, 21, now looking into that, it was fucking beautiful, the music anyway, the music and the culture and the melting pot, as we say.
Right. But. There was clearly shit going on and racism, but I agree too. I was a suburban kid. I didn't really like rap and I think I didn't like rap because I didn't want to be perceived as too black. Right. It was all pop rap, [00:27:00] like LL cool. J the Fat Boys, JJ Fad salt and Pepper, you know, white people liked them. I like them. I never got into NWA and like Mobb Deep any of the New York, like any of that. To me that was my suburban white suppression that was me suppressing, pretending to be something else to myself.
I really think the melting pot is really being blown up now because. We have grown up in diverse spaces and we certainly have, I don't know, taken from those cultures. Right. Or taking from those experience with those people. But now I almost feel like we're being challenged to prove ourselves culturally, as black people, what history do you know?
What's your favorite? I won't say food, but there seems to be this sort of own your blackness, prove your blackness. Right? And I will be the first to tell you, I don't know, shit. I will fail every fucking time. There's a prove your blackness. And it is, it is as an adult, perhaps it is my [00:28:00] fault.
But as a person that has existed in this world, it isn't my fault too. Right. Because I was raised by people that. Wanted the best for me, that thought that was a horrible time. So we're fucked up kids, because we have parents on the one hand who went through it and are just like, it's fucking horrible.
My parents. I'm not saying your parents, but Just by their actions. You recognize that it was a horrible time and it's better to blend in and keep your head down than it is to sort of like own it. And I think now black people are owning it. That's the difference now is that we can own who we are.
We can. I'll say, be who we are, but we really can't. I mean, that's, I say that that's so fucking cliche because if I were to walk into work and just decide that I was going to be Tyrone Jenkins and whatever we considered it to be the blackest experience, it's foolish to think that our world has evolved that much, that I can actually go into work and, you know, be like, Hey, I'm, I'm black now. I'm just gonna refer to people as [00:29:00] nigga. This nigga that let's move on.
I'm Aaron, can we see you for a little bit?
Tamu: [00:29:07] We made a mistake in our diversity hire little too diverse.
Aaron: [00:29:11] You're black and it's super nice, but a little bit too loud. Can you
Tamu: [00:29:18] Can you turn it down to like a number five, number five
Aaron: [00:29:21] in your briefcase when you leave por favor? I'll say this I love my childhood because I was exposed to many, many cultures.
I have friends that are white, Mexican, Indian. Mostly Mexican I love myMexican peeps.
Tamu: [00:29:39] We know.
Aaron: [00:29:41] I think that's the biggest struggle too is because God, I I think about my friends. I think about the people that I love the most in this whole wide world. And they come from everywhere and they're just beautiful, beautiful beings. for one moment, many moments, probably especially now [00:30:00] I have as doubt, almost this doubt of well, this is a different me.
Are they going to accept? Me and they will. Right. But I think it's what we all go through now. I think of my own experience in saying that I have a white existence that's, there's no other way to put it. I have a white existence and, I have changed. I have changed.
But the world around me not necessarily has. Now, like many people, I feel like we're figuring out where is our place in this dynamic. And this new dynamic and acceptance is being redefined, you know, good, bad or indifferent it's being redefined. I would say we had a really great foundation as fucked up as race is in this world.
I think where we grew up, there was a message of tolerance, or just a message, understanding at least where I grew up. There's certainly a message of understanding, not that you were walking hand in hand by some white person, and we were singing kumbaya, but I feel like we were more open to understanding them.
Do you agree with that a little bit?
Tamu: [00:30:59] I mean, I don't [00:31:00] know. I just don't think that it was even something. That anybody really thought about back then, you know,
Aaron: [00:31:06] Right,
Tamu: [00:31:07] it's like you're in an apartment building with people, your kids you're going to play with each other. It is what it is. You know what I mean? You're in school. You're going to make friends and gravitate towards different individuals and groupings for whatever the reason is. It just all sort of happens. And I think Living in places that were extremely diversified full of all kinds of different peoples and cultures. It's not even anything that's, that's a foreign concept, right? It's just normal for me to have. Asian friends and Latinos and Latinas and black friends and African friends and Indian friends and East Indian friends, like having all of that to me is normal.
It's nothing that's uncommon. I think when you come into places like here in Minnesota, It's a little bit different. I [00:32:00] don't have that anymore. I don't have a diverse group of individuals really anymore. A couple of people of color, but mostly everybody in my world is white
as I've gotten older and I've as I've lived here, I don't know if I would have necessarily had that experience as much if I had stayed in New York, but I think coming here, I have understood that you navigate things differently because you want to make sure, at least for me, people are comfortable.
that they don't feel like, Oh, you're talking about me. The whole thing of the hashtag, not all right. When all of the things went down in the summer time, I live with white people. It was really hard for me to interact for a while because I just felt that they didn't really understand.
There is no way for me to express it. And I don't think they were wanting to try to understand. And I could be wrong. I mean, there were points in time where I've asked people to read things or watch [00:33:00] something or do something and they don't do it. And so for me, that's kind of like, Oh, okay. So not important then what I'm.
I'm asking you to do something. I don't ask you to do anything. So this is not important to you because it's important to me. So you're basically telling me to go fuck myself. That's how I felt. So it took me a minute to get over, but I also, then don't say anything. I'll just shut it down.
And I won't even talk about anything, right? If I say something to you the one time, and you're not responsive, I'm out. Cause then I know where your boundary is or meeting you, where you're at. That's irritating,
Aaron: [00:33:36] First of all and that's not okay. You shouldn't have to meet them where they at.
Tamu: [00:33:39] but I mean, everybody has to meet everybody somewhere. Right?
Aaron: [00:33:42] We've been doing that for too long.
Tamu: [00:33:43] Agreed. What are you supposed to do? What am I supposed to
Aaron: [00:33:46] I don't know. I'm more of a confrontational type of person.
Tamu: [00:33:50] You're so full of shit. Cause you always make concessions as
Aaron: [00:33:53] I mean, of course we do. I don't know, and you know what I say, that's like, I'm a, I'm kind of a confrontational person, but I really don't [00:34:00] know what I would do in that instance, because race quite frankly, is icky poo it's icky Pooh. And it's, icky poo, especially when you have intimate relationships with a white person, right. And I'm saying intimate or otherwise. But yeah, it's very complex now. It's very complex and there's a part of me sometimes.
I'm just like, I don't want to fucking deal with this, it's just exhausting to think about the hoops in the levels of understanding of your blackness or lack thereof.
Tamu: [00:34:28] I think for me, as I try to try to educate myself and learn about things. I don't have anybody to talk to about it. no offense to you, and this is not. Throw in a shape or anything, but you don't read. so it's hard because
Aaron: [00:34:43] I buy the books though. Let's just point that out.
Tamu: [00:34:46] at least you're supporting,
Sometimes we'll watch stuff. So I appreciate that. I can get you to watch things. I can't get you to read. So once they make, stamped from the beginning into a movie or a docu
Aaron: [00:34:58] All over it.
[00:35:00] Tamu: [00:35:00] you're going to watch
Aaron: [00:35:00] I have the audio book, by the way. It's,
Tamu: [00:35:03] Yeah, I know, but you don't like his voice.
Aaron: [00:35:05] a struggle. It's not him reading. It's somebody else. It's some kid. I think I was more into Mariah Carey books. Second time because she read the audio. And so I was driving, I just happened to have a trip and I was listening to it.
But I can't do audio books either because my mind wanders, you know, I'm like, Oh fuck, did I do X, Y, and Z? Like, Oh, what, what is this bitch talking about? So that's the problem for me. I'm going to read it though.
Tamu: [00:35:31] It's a long book. It's over six it's, 600 pages or whatever craziness. It's a lot. Yeah. I didn't, I don't expect everybody to go through it. And the two and a half weeks that I did, but, it would be nice sometimes I'll be able to talk to my grandmother because she's lived through a lot of, of these things and she actually read stamped and we had a nice conversation about it. There are some other friends have read things like that.
Like my friend Hannah, from the, Anti racist parenting podcast. She [00:36:00] has read like all the books. So I really shouldn't say that I don't have anybody to talk to. I could just talk to Hannah, but I feel like I'm bothering her. She's got kids and she's always busy.
Aaron: [00:36:07] So she gets a pass and I don't
Tamu: [00:36:09] I told you no shade, but she reads. Every book I have and I have, what did I buy? Like six books. She has read that. And then some already this year
Aaron: [00:36:22] Please.
Tamu: [00:36:23] I did, I bought this one this was a book that they were talking about, James cone and the church documentary. And he was talking about, , That we should have our own black Christ cause we were just basically, loving white Jesus and we need our own black Jesus. So that's we should have power in our religion. Yep. So I figured that sounds interesting. I was so surprised it was so small and it was like, Oh, thank God. I still have to read the anti-racist book and I still have Caste to read.
Aaron: [00:36:57] Caste listen. Okay. So [00:37:00] seriously, I'm, I'm dead, fucking serious. I want to read Caste let's read it together.
Tamu: [00:37:06] I'm not going down this pathway with you again.
Aaron: [00:37:08] Like it's a chapter a week. You got to slow down.
Tamu: [00:37:10] Let's be realistic. Let's be realistic.
Aaron: [00:37:15] Okay. A chapter every two weeks
Tamu: [00:37:19] We'll be reading this book, til fucking 2022.
Okay. Richard's finally, I'm sure rich has finished it now.
Aaron: [00:37:26] he just gave me my book back. Yes, he did. He said it's very well written and I'm excited to read it Oprah like that. That's my, that's my mom
Tamu: [00:37:33] Okay. So we can try a once a week thing. You'll just have to let me know when you are available to start reading it, because again, Well-intentioned but sometimes shinier keys prevail.
Aaron: [00:37:46] you know what, if those shiny or keys are my beautiful. Darling children
Tamu: [00:37:52] what I meant by the shiny keys. And you know, it.
Aaron: [00:37:55] semi keys. But if shiny keys is a [00:38:00] four pack of beer, then I understand, Let's try it. I'm serious.
Tamu: [00:38:04] We can try it. You'll just let me know when you're ready.
Aaron: [00:38:06] I carry that book around with me and my little pad and it's my intention to read some of it.
it's hard for me because , it's a hard to wind down, so I want to read it. But if we read it together, I think I'll like it more. And then you could talk to me, you can talk to me.
Tamu: [00:38:20] do have a meeting once a week that you could, that was supposed to be what we were doing with
Aaron: [00:38:25] well, now we have a book, another one. I'm a horrible friend. I don't know what else to say.
Tamu: [00:38:31] you're not, that's the thing nobody I know is horrible. Everybody that I know well-intentioned right. I'm just in a different place in terms of it. When I think of it, my black enough for me, I think at this point, do I understand enough about black history and blackness in general?
Aaron: [00:38:48] The more thing about are you black enough? You are whoever you are. We're all made up of whatever it is, whatever our experience. On some level, we have to stop, almost I don't want to say categorizing, but almost like [00:39:00] beating ourselves up for not being enough.
If you don't know it, then you learn it. I think that's just a lot of pressure on ourselves because through no fault of our own, we are here today, right through no fault of our own. I gotta be honest, like I'm okay with the person that I am. Certainly there are things that I need to change.
but I think that just like with every race, with every human being, every class of culture, there are classes within that culture. Right. black people got trash, white people got trash, you know, Mexicans got trash. Everybody has trashed. Right. Or everybody has great people too. I hate even saying that like trash because people are people, but you know what I'm trying to say?
Wherever we land is wherever we land on the spectrum. It's frustrating to me, especially within our own community. I think it's amazingly. Wonderful. The diversity of people that we are not only diversity of shades, of who we are, hair textures, levels of education.
Granted, we have been a marginalized community for a very long time, but within our [00:40:00] group, we're a beautiful class of people that are very talented, that bring many talents into this world, ultimately. And I think overall. It's mostly for myself. Yes, sure. I'm having this discovery and I want to understand what it means to be black and my blackness or whatever, but I'm never gonna, I can't live up to whoever, whoever, I don't know who the fuck that is.
If it's a media or whoever, I can't live up to their expectation of what I should be as a black person. I think that varies for every single person.
Tamu: [00:40:31] it does with the exception of when you are involved with a police officer, we're all the same.
Aaron: [00:40:39] Well, obviously thank you
Tamu: [00:40:43] That's the only way you'll know
Aaron: [00:40:44] it's true. I don't think I'll ever answer the question. Are you black enough? It is incredibly frustrating for myself. whether they mean it or not and maybe you've had people in your life say this too.
People are just like, you're not black enough. I remember I was playing some black game or something. I dunno what it was. And I [00:41:00] didn't know, half of the history though, that was trivialized there that day. And I'm just like, Sorry, I can't change what I've learned.
I can't change what I've been exposed two
Tamu: [00:41:11] But you can change what you've
Aaron: [00:41:13] obviously, right. Yes. I think on all levels, we have to have patience with each other because just as we're frustrated with, white people, like, Oh my God, teach me, where do I learn? Teach me what I learned. There are people within our own community that need the same thing.
Teach me why do I learn.
Tamu: [00:41:28] we're the same way. We're like I want to know more about certain things, Aspects of it that I don't know, even again, to use my grandmother, when she was watching that church documentary, she was like, Oh, there's some stuff that I didn't know. And some stuff that she, when she was reading stamped and when she was reading the warmth of other suns, she's like, Oh, a lot of these things now fit together especially about things that happened in the past, that she's like, Oh, I can put all these things together.
And then. Of course seeing people that she [00:42:00] interacted with or had crossed paths with in the sixties and early seventies was just like, Oh, okay, I get it. And of course she's like, yeah. So this pastor I saw him preach. And then he went right into his Cadillac with his white woman. So she was like, Kim, it was, the pastor that did. Martin Luther King's funeral. And she told me she met Fannie Lou Hamer. And she said that, she was actually very young and I was like, really? Cause she looks so old. She's like, no, she was a young woman and she got her ass beat and we were all sitting there crying when she told us her story.
And I was like, let's look at you lady. You really. Lived a life.
Aaron: [00:42:38] Hell. Yeah. Holy shit.
Tamu: [00:42:40] I don't know, who the hell Fannie Lou Hamer was until recently
Aaron: [00:42:42] any final thoughts.
Tamu: [00:42:45] educate yourself. That's it. As long as you know, What the real deal is. It doesn't matter if you like rap music. If you like to watch Korean dramas, if you like to play video [00:43:00] games, if you want to do whatever, just know your history and know who you are and where you came from.
Aaron: [00:43:10] Yeah, I agree with that 100%. And I would also say, you know, it's okay not to know everything. Right. But just be an open sponge to learn and be armed with the truth.
Hey, this is a good one. I like this topic actually.
Tamu: [00:43:23] All right. What are your final thoughts? Other than you don't know what you don't know
Aaron: [00:43:27] I would say don't put that pressure on yourself. focus on being a good human, a good black human.
Tamu: [00:43:32] Educate yourself
Aaron: [00:43:34] Yes, of course. But that that's on being a good black human.
Tamu: [00:43:39] All right, we'll be back with our throwback.
We're back and it's time for the throwback.
Aaron: [00:43:57] our throwback today.
Tamu: [00:43:59] Today's [00:44:00] throwback is George Michael's. Freedom 90.
Aaron: [00:44:04] All we have to do now
Tamu: [00:44:09] There you go.
Aaron: [00:44:10] Yup.
Tamu: [00:44:10] So this was on listen without prejudice volume one, which I don't think was there a volume, two, never in volume two
Aaron: [00:44:17] He was on that stuff back then. So
Tamu: [00:44:19] from my friend, George, may he rest?
Aaron: [00:44:22] RIP tell me a little bit, why did you pick the song? What's your love of the song?
Tamu: [00:44:27] Well, I love George Michael. He is one of my favorite artists. And of course this must have been, pre entry intohagdom because I had no idea he was gay.
Aaron: [00:44:38] Oh, no, honey.
Tamu: [00:44:40] Did you know he was gay in 1990? you do, know he was gay in Wham.
Aaron: [00:44:43] Jitterbug. Absolutely. I wanted to see what was under them. Shorts says
Tamu: [00:44:48] You were gay, but did you know he was gay? Interesting. See, I didn't know what gay was.
Aaron: [00:44:55] a pretty ass man. I didn't even know what gay was. I knew that he wanted [00:45:00] me. Does that make it clear for you and make it more clear?
Tamu: [00:45:08] doesn't. No, it doesn't make it more clear. That means you wanted him to want you.
Aaron: [00:45:12] No, sweetie. No. I mean, I'm just saying I'm using myself as the object, but it was like a same plumbing scenario. You understand? Right.
Tamu: [00:45:22] okay. Your gaydar was already gone.
Aaron: [00:45:25] Beaming. It was fucking so bright. I had to wear shades. That's how bright it
Tamu: [00:45:30] I didn't know anything about gays, anything, the person that I asked to go to the prom with me was a gay man. I didn't know that I just, we had fun and he was super great. And he was a great friend and I thought he got a problem with me cause we can have fun.
Aaron: [00:45:44] Oh, so like he never even wanted any like relationship with him or anything. Right,
Tamu: [00:45:49] but you know, I always like everybody because. People will pay attention to me. I'm crazy. And again, didn't know what gay was, but neither here nor there, but yes, George Michael was the first gay man whose [00:46:00] giant poster I had on my bedroom door. his faith. He's beautiful.
And I thought perhaps based on what we've been talking about, that freedom 90 might be a good it's upbeat, uptempo song. We're talking about a little heavy topics and also talking about being who you are and being okay with that. So freedom 90 also hearkens back to that.
Aaron: [00:46:23] I would say too, it's also a sign of the times, right? the sign of the times we were just talking about where there was this sense of I don't know, a melting pot of music. And I don't think a lot of cultures, I like this song, but I'm sure I don't remember what year this is, but you know, there was a. So I'm sure I listened to this as well as vision of love. And I don't know, salt and pepper or whatever. For me, this was just in my repertoire with Creep from Radio Head and like all those other songs, it was an awesome smorgasbord of great music.
But also this had a really great message too. Although I thought he was a little [00:47:00] weird. Did you think he was weird with this whole, I can't remember if he was appearing in videos this point,
Tamu: [00:47:05] he wasn't, he wasn't in this video.
Aaron: [00:47:07] It was all the models. Right. I always thought that was bizarre. Like he just totally protested faith success, but I get it.
He was a whore for the record label.
Tamu: [00:47:15] Right. Which is what the song was about him not being shackled to those things and being his own. Artistic human being, which was great. I was still in fashion high school. I wanted to be a fashion designer. I loved supermodels and, I had so many Vogue magazines I'd rip out their different pictures and then draw them. And Cindy Crawford was one of my favorite models and all kinds of crazy shit. So I was really like, wow, this video is so cool. Look at all the models. Oh my gosh. And Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell, like they had tea at all the top supermodels.
Aaron: [00:47:48] You're in New York city girl, too. Like, is that to be exciting, like to be in a fashion.
Tamu: [00:47:52] It's not like we sat around and talked about freedom 90 at school.
Aaron: [00:47:56] an energy, there's an energy, like you were saying, you know, [00:48:00] you liked models and you went to fashion school and there's a different energy there, right?
When you're in the city where you want to do something or at the time when you feel like you want to do something.
Tamu: [00:48:08] perhaps for some, but for me, not necessarily because I lived a more sheltered existence, so I didn't get to, experience the city the way that I probably would have had I had the reigns loosened a little bit. So yeah, it was me at home tracing, on the TV or on a bright light or against the window,
Aaron: [00:48:29] That's awesome.
Tamu: [00:48:30] and the designs of the fashion and stuff like that.
And singing the songs in the dark
Here's a little bit of info about this. He didn't want to use his image to promote this album. But the record labels still wanted him to do music videos for MTV. So after looking at a January, 1990 cover of British Vogue, which featured five of the era's top models, Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, and Tatjana Patiz. He [00:49:00] was inspired and had this solution to his dilemma. Instead of him appearing in front of the camera, he would use these models and it costs a lot of money. Because them bitches was like, what
Aaron: [00:49:11] Hi.
Tamu: [00:49:12] shit?
Aaron: [00:49:13] I love it. Favorite part of the song is they sing, freedom for the last time. I love that part of the song to like fucking funky and just. Soulful. His part where he sings it's I call it the whisperer where he says, well, it looks like the road to heaven, but it feels like the road to hell.
When I knew which side my bread was buttered, I took the knife as well, posing for another picture. Everybody's got to sell, but when you shake ass, they know it's fast and some mistakes were built to last. That's what you get. That's the shit right there. This song to me, reminds me of Sara Barelas and her song, love song was a song that she wrote about the record label. I I've just recently been like shuffling some of her [00:50:00] songs. I swear to God every song she's written has been about the record.
They're clever, that's clever writing to me when you can't really tell who they're writing about or what it really is about. It could be about love. It could be about a fucking executive. Anyway. I love that about this song because you wouldn't have known that.
And by listening to, you would think like, Oh my God, he's kumbaya and blah, blah, blah. But he's really distinct. Fuck you. Columbia records. Fuck you. Okay. It's awesome. I love that. I love that part of the song.
Tamu: [00:50:29] Speaking of freedom, Brittany's free from her conservatorship.
Aaron: [00:50:34] Oh my God. I totally have not been watched catching up on Brit Good for her.
Tamu: [00:50:39] now don't fuck it up.
Aaron: [00:50:41] I know. Right.
Tamu: [00:50:42] That's a freedom 90 super exciting, good song. Great video, iconic video now, right?
Aaron: [00:50:50] I love the jukebox blowing up too. That was my favorite part.
Tamu: [00:50:53] I didn't get it at first. Cause it was 1990 and I was like, what? But I got it after awhile. Like, why is he blowing up his? Is that [00:51:00] his faith jacket?
Aaron: [00:51:02] Everything. I was
Tamu: [00:51:03] Is that his faith guitar is that his faith jukebox?
Aaron: [00:51:06] didn't he just make $3 million off of this, help them, like, why destroying it all? I never understood that. I mean, I love artists that way, like that. And was that way too, right? Where they protest the record label and record labels are quite frankly, they're horrible. And the music industry can suck you dry.
And in order to be successful, you have to have endorsement deals and shit on the side because you don't make money as an artist these days. Right. Everything you make, your video, everything you pay for. I'm like, what are the in these bitches still get like 5 cents on the dollar of your 3 million, 3 million albums sold.
Bullshit. It's a horrible, horrible industry. That's why a lot of people going independent, I'm going to go independent. Will you be my, would be my agent.
Tamu: [00:51:51] Sure.
Aaron: [00:51:51] Let's do it. Look at God.
Tamu: [00:51:53] Any last thoughts about freedom 90.
Aaron: [00:51:56] I will just say George Michael was a very [00:52:00] talented and beautiful man. And he was unfortunately, well, actually he didn't die because of an overdose city. He just fell asleep, but I'm sure he rode that wave hard, just so you
Tamu: [00:52:11] no. We had some fun.
Aaron: [00:52:12] he did have some fun, very talented man. Great song.
Tamu: [00:52:16] One last thing, the person who directed this video directed the movie fight club. And while I'm watching it just was watching this video. Today. I was like, Oh my God, that fucking looks like the fight club house. Like the set from fight club. It looks exactly the same as what's going on in this video with the old dilapidated house.
And like everybody in these different rooms, I'm like, Oh my God, that's totally looked like house.
Aaron: [00:52:39] The director, I'm sorry.
Tamu: [00:52:40] David Fincher.
Aaron: [00:52:41] Fincher I don't know.
Tamu: [00:52:42] But my final thoughts, I love George Michael. Unfortunately, most of my musical icons are dead and, that's pretty sad, but his music will live on,
Aaron: [00:52:52] Still alive.
Tamu: [00:52:54] she's not my musical icon.
Aaron: [00:52:56] I'm going to leave it there. Folks. I'm gonna leave it there.
Tamu: [00:52:58] On that note. Aaron, do you [00:53:00] want to do some housekeeping?
Aaron: [00:53:01] All right, so guys, thanks for listening. As always. We'd love to hear from you, please, like subscribe, share, and comment. Comment, please, wherever you podcast, where everywhere we'd love to hear from you. We'd love to hear any topics you'd like us to discuss or any comments about the show. We also are on Tik [email protected]
I don't think I mentioned this Instagram @whenthebillcomesdue and you can email us at [email protected] Thanks for listening.
Tamu: [00:53:41] stay safe, everybody still double mask it wash your hands. Six feet apart.
Aaron: [00:53:47] don't breathe. Stay in doors. Baby. It's warm inside. Baby it's warm and that does not sound okay, [00:54:00] warm inside. Let's stop right there.
Tamu: [00:54:03] We'll see you later.