Friday, July 31, 2020

Why I Fight


Here are three of the BIGGEST reasons that I fight for the things I fight for.

I'd walk into fire for these guys.


And this is why I'll never, ever, ever stop.

Daddy has your back forever, guys! FOREVER!

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Adventurers


Man... these guys just keep finding the best spots to go burn some "quarantine energy" off!


This little dude is quite the trailblazer!


And the dogs are loving it too (kind of... they sleep a lot more now!)


I mean how lucky are we?

Super easy to social distance ourselves out there!

Ya know what else we don't find out there when it's just us?

Racism.

Because...


Even the trees and rocks know that!

Keep blazing those trails, guys!

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

It Was A Good Day...


Well that happened quickly...

One wash and my Father's Day Ice Cube shirt turned from comfy into a smedium - rendering it no longer wearable by me but PERFECTLY wearable by this girl...

I asked her to give me her toughest Cube scowl and this is what I got.

Cube wins.

Ya know why else Ice Cube wins? He HATES racism... cuz he fully understands THIS:


Always and forever.

Way to represent, Meron!

Monday, July 27, 2020

Play Well


Somebody turned in a "Daddy Coupon" from Christmas this weekend!


And he was STOKED about it!

The name "LEGO" is an abbreviation of the two Danish words "leg godt", meaning "play well."

And THAT we did!


We dove right in and got to work!


And pretty soon - things were starting to take shape!


Once we had them all done - we hit the mean streets of the 'hood to put the rubber on the pavement!


I think we both did a pretty good job...


And they were looking dope from every angle!


Pretty sure this dude was loving it!


And I KNOW this guy was... i loved spending time beside my main man at the table just building things!

And ya know what else we loved? The fact that these LEGO kits were racism-free because...


ALWAYS!

Never stop building, Z-Dogg!

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Pig Pit For the Win!


Our friend Ralph has a FULL ON RESTAURANT in his backyard!


He calls it the "Pig Pit" and his specialty is BBQ for sure!


He has designed and built a most excellent space... with his dream that it becomes a friendly space where relationships are formed and fostered over good food, good drink and good times.

I LOVE his vision...


And I love supporting stuff like this!

We recently commissioned some of his amazing BBQ - some pulled pork... and he did NOT disappoint!


I mean... come on...

YUM.


I know a certain crew who put a WHAMMY on it and loved every single bite!


Especially this maniac... who had SIX SERVINGS!

And the best part of it? Ralph's BBQ is racism-free...

Cuz he knows and believes THIS:


Thanks so much, Ralph!

We're Pig Pit fans for life!

Saturday, July 25, 2020

The Family That Putts Together...


We packed up the crew and hit the links again last night.

And by "links" I mean - 18 holes of treacherous putt putt-ing!

The ANIMAL KINGDOM course at that!


Love putting with this crew!

We even had TWO hole-in-ones!

Way to go Z-Dogg and Daddy!

Know what else we knew the whole time we were out there?


This right here!

Good games, guys!

Friday, July 24, 2020

Gorilla Butt


Sometimes - when summer quarantine gets the best of ya - ya just gotta get out and point at gorilla butts...


And laugh and laugh and laugh!

Cuz gorilla butts are funny.

But ya know what's not funny?


That's right... you guessed it!

Keep laughing, Z-Dogg... it's the very best medicine.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Fretting Over Frets


Meron and I have decided to hold each other accountable during this crazy time of quarantining and social distancing and...

Learn to play the guitar!


We have a year to learn using Fender Play lessons and if I can learn to string a few chords together... WATCH OUT ADAM SANDLER!

I got dumb songs for days in my head!


And I love watching this girl dig in and really put in the effort.

Once we're champions at it - we'll write some songs together...

ABOUT THIS!!!



Keep picking and strumming, Meron... WE GOT THIS!

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Quarantine Bakers


man... if it weren't for my 2-3 workouts a day... every day... i might be in trouble!

Cuz these ladies just keep on baking up the good stuff!

Ya know what they put in every single one of their recipes?

A little dose of the truth!


Can never get enough truth!

Keep baking, ladies... daddy will keep eating!

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Surprise!


Hey Meron...

Surprise!

it's actually not really a surprise to look up around here and have camera pointing at ya!

Also... GOOD GRIEF - she is growing up on me...


Ya know what else ISN'T a surprise?

This.

Daddy loves ya Meron!

Monday, July 20, 2020

I'm a Sinner - Not a Racist!


white american christians are a funny sort.

On more than one occasion I have seen/heard us argue SUPER HARD against giving our sin a name.

We seem almost proud of owning the title of "sinner" - wearing it as a badge of honor because our white Jesus died for us sinners...

so yes indeed we are!


But call that sin by its name...

especially RACISM...

and you get too close to dismantling our white supremacy!

And we can't have that now... can we?


Grow up, Church.

Call it out for what it is and stop hiding in the safety of our "sinner badge."

And don't forget there Church...


Always...

Even INSIDE YOUR WALLS, church!

Call it what it is!

Sunday, July 19, 2020

White Fragile Mary


DISCLAIMER: Before we even ask "Why are you posting about this?" - I thought long and hard about it - cuz I get hit up by trolls and hateful people all the time - some I know, some I don't... and usually I just ignore them. But this was such an obvious and egregious example of angry white privileged fragility that had reached its tipping point - SIMPLY FROM READING THE WORDS I TYPE - that I thought I needed to do what I always do with stuff like that - and that is process it in writing. Plus... I document most everything in our lives and this here blog is where I do it...

White fragility is real. It's entitled, privileged and when you encounter it in the wild - it can be shocking, surprising and maybe even a little scary. Definitely sad...

The dictionary defines it like this:

WHITE FRAGILITY
discomfort and defensiveness on the part of a white person when confronted by information about racial inequality and injustice.

ex: "her indignant reaction comes off as the quintessential combination of white fragility and white privilege"

It's beneficial to know and understand that definition so you can recognize white fragility the next time you're confronted with it or you see it start to fall apart in front of you.

Here's just one example of where we recently encountered it - and how it exploded right in our face.

Sunday, July 12th
While Laura was out walking with friends - Meron, Mebbie, Z-Dogg and I had an impromptu round table discussion over dinner. We talked about race, racial relations, police brutality, safety, concerns, etc.

I let them have the stage and I just listened to them share from the heart.

It was an amazing conversation and I learned from it and we WILL do it again.

I thought it was such an excellent interaction that I chose to post about it on Facebook and Instagram - and over the next 24 hours - it was a post that was shared and very well received... as it should be any time we're listening to the voices of our future - especially when they're brown and black.

As always - I was glad the lives of our kids and the stuff we share could have a positive impact - and I thought that was the end of it.

Tuesday, July 14th
Two and a half days later - after that post was all but silenced... a new comment showed up on there. It said:

Huh. Interesting... and let me tell you why.

First off... Mary is not a real-life or Facebook friend of mine. She's never met me nor have we ever exchanged words in real life.

Mary HAS - on previous occasion - weighed in on some content of Laura's and her approach has always been to negate, belittle, downplay or challenge the things we may have experienced or the approach we may be taking. She has referenced her black nieces being raised in a small, largely white town as her point of reference for her positioning.

With that previous history of Mary in mind - I proceeded to respond to her:

And that's EXACTLY how I felt about her comment. It was presumptive on two points.

Telling me "don't forget" to teach them about the good assumes I am not doing that. Also "believe it or not" was received in a passive aggressive tone towards me in the sense that I may not believe in the good in the world.

"This woman is a fool" I thought to myself.

Anybody who has followed along with us - with our 5,000+ blog posts and frequent social media shares - knows we share the good, the bad and the ugly.

This was my first hint that her fragility was at risk of exploding.

Lies. 100% lies. But it sounds better to fit her line of thought and way of feeling to say this.

Truthfully - not even counting social media posts - I have made over 5,000 posts since Meron came home - and I promise you that "most of them" are not about race.

And I am kind of over being "social media kind" to people who think they've found a safe place to spew their idiotic comments. So I responded to her:

And I believe that still. Her comment was stupid, arrogant, ridiculous, asinine and out of place.

But don't worry - stay tuned - she'll start walking back that as she gets in to her "intentions" in a minute...

Mary didn't like that one.

Notice her quick inclination to attack ME personally - not my words, not my thoughts - but ME.

This gets more interesting a little later too.

I then invited little Ms. Mary to walk away... I mean... after all... she's not even FB friends with me... so why not just... GO AWAY.

I also explained how my kids haven't had to be taught racism as they have experienced it A LOT.

And now - enter the three little dots.

I said they had experienced it from those around them... "like..." and I left it at that.

I could have added so many things after those 3 little dots. Teachers. YMCA Instructors. Friends. Classmates. Coaches. Pastors.

The list goes on and on. It's called "creative writing" to let the reader fill in the gaps... and ya know what Mary filled it in with?

She filled it in with... MARY!

Her mind... not mine. This comes up again later.. as her fraglity begins to unravel...

When I told Mary her comment was asinine - she took it for me saying her parenting style was asinine.

A reach? Uh.... yeah. So I commented back to help her have some clarity there.

Now... up to this point have I been irritated from the get go? Sure.

Are my comments strongly worded? Maybe.

Have I called Mary, Mary any names or anything? Nope.

Let's keep going....

So - now Laura - who was tagged in this post as usual - decides to weigh in with logic and an actual thought process...

I responded to Laura's comment with something our good friend Mareba has been saying to us for some time now:

"White supremacy will go to any length to protect itself."

Please note - I referred to the system of "white supremacy" - not fragile Little Marry...

And there it was... the "I support your nonprofit work" bit.

Sigh...

Let me be crystal clear on something around this. I have never ever ever been anything but incredibly humbled and grateful over people who choose to give to Brighton Their World.

I have shed so many tears over that giving - from young children saving pennies in Tic-Tac containers to large, unbelievably generous donations... they've ALL affected me.

And as a donor or supporter - you have EVERY RIGHT to take your money elsewhere if you so please or even pull your money away if you simply don't like me.

But what those donations and/or support do NOT give you is the right to tell me how to raise my kids. How to run things in my household.

Nope. Never.

We have supported many many organizations over the years - and not once did I feel like my support gave me influence or control over the personal lives of the people running it.

To hold that over our heads - while not the first time - it is still as appalling as it was the first time.

It's super sad and speaks to the entitlement and privilege that the donor feels they have.

Also... she is SHOCKED by the whole post and feels attacked.

PLEASE NOTE: fragility unraveling - here comes the "feels attacked" - even though SHE came to a 3 day old post and started commenting... but now SHE feels attacked.

Fragile white crybaby.

She's shocked that I would have open dialogue with my kids and listen to their very real black experience in white america.

Unbelievable...

Laura is so much more grace-filled than I am - as she continues to try and get fragile Mary to see why her words were perceived the way they were...

Sigh... (again)...

Here is the point where Mary was allowing her anger, irritation and hatred of ME get ahead of her ability to properly process words (see also: READ)...

I never called her a white supremacist. Re-read it to check me... I didn't.

Don't get me wrong... i absolutely believe she IS one right now... but I never called her that.
But here - she was allowing those three little aforementioned dots to drive her anger... because SHE filled in those gaps with her own name. Not me.

More name-calling... BY HER (not me).

Again... trying to explain words strung together as sentences to her... seemed to be a lost cause...



She's shocked by my name calling that I have yet to do (please - I beg of you - go re-read this and see where I called MARY a name...)

Again with the holding of her donations to BTW over our head... just gross, Mary... GROSS.

And then - one of my favorite Mary comments:

"It feels like you guys are always looking for a fight."

From the lady who came to the wall of somebody she isn't friends with on Facebook and posted passive aggressive, troll-esque comments.

Who's looking for a fight, Mary?

Here is where Mary's backtracking started and where she started to make it all about her...

How she felt so bad...

How she was just trying to be nice...

How all of a sudden we are just randomly attacking her...

Stop centering yourself, Mary... you and your privilege and your fragility are falling apart!

Laura was spot on in trying to help her understand that we do actually share the good things of the world - we just don't hide our kids from the bad things - we talk about tem here...

It fell on deaf ears.

And me? I was kinda over it... and hoping this would be the end of it.

And also - if I can be accused of "calling her names" of any sort... "entitled" would be it - as I stated here...

Here is here Mary threatened to "show others how two faced we were" and again accuses me of "calling her names."

And while this SOUNDS like an exchange with an immature 6 year old on a school playground at recess... alas... it was not.

Here again we see Mary's fragility breaking down... the woman who came to my wall... to comment on my content... didn't like the response she got so of course the work that is needed to be done is needed by me... couldn't be precious white and privileged Mary who might wanna look inward... no way... has to be big, mean, angry, short-fused Tymm.

Mary is a joke.

Ya know what functioning narcissists are amazing at doing? Lying and fully believing themselves.

Mary may not have ever intended her comments to be negative (in this interaction or before) - but that perception is subjective - and perception is reality.

Mary IS and HAS BEEN negative in this space.

No need for me to lie when reality presents itself.

Laura continued to attempt to be a voice of reason - simply calling out what she was seeing happening.

SIDE NOTE:
It's worth noting that around this point Mary began private messaging Laura at the same time... continuing to bash me, call me names and say how terrible we were for not kowtowing to her because she supported BTW.

Ewww.

Facts don't matter to people like this usually... when white fragility gets pushed too far in to its zone of uncomfort - reality isn't considered.

When whiteness doesn't get its way - these are the things they throw around...

"Intolerance"

"You're a liar"

"My comments were meant to be nice and good"

It's all super gross to me.

Fragility backtracks so well... ya know... i wasn't saying anything or insinuating anything... just trying to be so positive...

At best - she is gas-lighting us. At worst - she's suffering from a break from reality...

God bless Laura and her perseverance to try and work with Mary to help her understand how her comment was received.

Except... that I wasn't assuming anything - I was just going off of what she said...

So I reminded her of what she had JUST said...

Laura reminded her too... cuz... HUH? This Mary lady was painting a picture of crazy...

Again... I was NEVER her friend on Facebook...

Laura gently tried to help Mary, Mary understand this... again.

But Mary, Mary just keeps on buggin'

And here - Mary really revealed her modus operandi.

She was apparently SO MAD about the things I typed that she was willing to try and hurt the work that Brighton Their World does in Ethiopia.

But then - like only a glorious white privileged savior could do - she opted NOT to slander or defame Brighton Their World online because that would only hurt the kids.

God bless you, white savior. God bless you.

Ugh.... can I pause for a second and talk about the oh-so-common rebuttal of white fragility?

When white fragility is pricked, prodded, poked and pushed to the edge... it's common response is to lash out and hurt.

For example - a white woman calling the police on a passive black man in a park - KNOWING the outcome can be violence and death.

Or... pulling a gun on a mom in a parking lot...

Or - while nowhere NEAR as dangerous - threatening to harm the good work of a nonprofit.

White fragility almost always responds with hurt, destruction and pain.

I had to point this out because that is the callous arrogance of white fragility... it knows what it is doing when it does it.

And Mary, Mary didn't even care. She owns it. Because...

She felt threatened.

Good grief.

Let us not forget that Mary, Mary came digitally knocking on MY door... uninvited... spewing her passive aggressive "good intentions" and now... now... she feels threatened.

Y'all... I just can't...

Shortly after this - I pulled the thread down because it was detrimental to the point of the original post that was primarily well received by all.

However...

Mary, Mary continued to message Laura privately and had a whole slew of things to continue saying...
Why on earth would Mary imagine that our supporter base is mostly white people? What are you saying?

Also - sorry if Mary felt I was being "racist" towards her - but that simply shows she has a LONG WAY to go in actually understanding racism in America.

Mary bragged to us about how smart she is with her doctorate degree and all - so I am sure she can get that big brain wrapped of hers around the history of racism here in America.

Passive aggressive comment again about my kids and their safety in our care.

THAT is unacceptable.

Also - my kids aren't scared and we've chatted openly since about Mary and her feelings about them...

I don't even really have anything here except laughter.

She wants to paint me as someone she is "concerned about" after reading my comments and my posts.

Again - for the record - this woman has never exchanged real-life words with me, isn't even social media friend (more like stalking troll) - but she is "concerned for me."

Her white fragility is completely unwound at this point.

Let me be real clear here, Mary.

We're not fighting FOR black injustice and inequality... we're fighting AGAINST it.

Fruedian slip, maybe?

And yet again - the white privileged woman who showed up late to a concversation and posted passive aggressive and presumptive comments and then didn't like the response says I'm too hostile.

Man... go away! Go all the way away!

Oh for sure... I never say no to prayer... THANKS MARY!

And finally - with one final message to Laura before blocking her - she let her true self be seen.

She is just tired of me and needs me to stop.

Toss in one final passive aggressive jab at the safety of my kids in my care... and off she goes to lick her the wounds that opened up in her fragility in the safety and privacy of her blocking.

Because with the white and privileged and fragile... everything is always ALL about them.

And there ya have it... the anatomy of a white fragile explosion!

And all I had for Mary at that point were some lyrics from one of the best groups ever:

Be warned... if you're out there fighting against injustice, inequality, racism, white privilege and white supremacy... YOU WILL bump into a fragle white explosion at some point or another.

This was not our first one... and will likely not be our last.

But ya know what?

Fight anyways!