Beyond Black & White http://www.beyondblackwhite.com Chronicles, Musings and Debates about Interracial & Intercultural Relationships Sat, 07 Apr 2018 17:00:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.5 Texas Attorney General: Parishioners Should be Armed. http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/texas-attorney-general-partitioners-armed/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/texas-attorney-general-partitioners-armed/#comments Mon, 06 Nov 2017 03:46:15 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=43495 Another day, another mass shooting in America. You’ll have to excuse me today; It’s hard to write about happy things when every week we see mass killings. And with the Texas attorney general Ken Paxon suggest on Fox News that church partitioners should be armed and ready to act if someone crazy starts shooting. I […]

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Another day, another mass shooting in America. You’ll have to excuse me today; It’s hard to write about happy things when every week we see mass killings. And with the Texas attorney general Ken Paxon suggest on Fox News that church partitioners should be armed and ready to act if someone crazy starts shooting.

I want you to really look at where we are. Armed militia at churches.

We officially have lost our souls.

It’s obviously not going to take a crazy man killing 50 people at a country music concert in Las Vegas, or a deranged man going into a church and killing 26 people to get anyone with any power to do anything, or anyone organizing in any concerted way to say ENOUGH, so…I guess this is the new normal.

The saddest thing about it is, nothing will change. The gun lobby is too strong, and our president is a sociopath with no empathy and will only care about these attacks if he can make himself richer.

This is no longer the America I believed in. Hillary Clinton wouldn’t have been better…she is thoroughly corrupt in a different way. I’m looking around as a citizen, and beginning to think, for the first time in my life, that my vote doesn’t count, that it never did, or ever will.

From my vantage point, I’m digging into my reserve and trying hard to remember why this country was supposed to be the shining city on the hill. Our policy is deeply flawed and can’t be changed without another American Revolution. Our policy makers are corrupt and sociopathic.

I give up.

I’m done believing.

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“If you were to choose between two men, one being with a white Mormon and the other a non-believer, which would you choose? “ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/choose-two-men-one-white-mormon-non-believer-choose/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/choose-two-men-one-white-mormon-non-believer-choose/#comments Tue, 05 Jan 2016 14:44:17 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=39115   By the guy we all know and love, Savage Tango. You’ll not want to miss this first-hand account of what it’s like to be a Mormon! —————— So tell me… Out of curiosity for the Christian believers amongst The Black Ladies here I pose this serious question: (those to whom this does not apply […]

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By the guy we all know and love, Savage Tango. You’ll not want to miss this first-hand account of what it’s like to be a Mormon!

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——————

So tell me…

Out of curiosity for the Christian believers amongst The Black Ladies here I pose this serious question:

(those to whom this does not apply are welcome to join in. Hey, I don’t judge! )

If you were to choose between two men, one being with a white Mormon and the other a non-believer, which would you choose? And why?
I’m dead serious about that, so let’s talk a bit and then I’ll get back to you as to why I ask.

First off, I’m fairly positive I don’t really need to elaborate on the quandary of devoting yourself to a man that holds true to the tenets of the Mormon faith. Yeah, he believes in God The Father, His only begotten son Jesus Christ and then toss in the Holy Ghost ( or Holy Spirit, I just really like saying ghost! )
BUT…
What skeletons are hidden in his closet of faith when it comes to you and your “skin of darkness”?

How did he feel about the Mormon policy towards Black people before they officially changed it in 1978? How does he feel after having once held to that belief but now discarding it upon the orders of the Mormon prophet?

OK, so perhaps he and his once held beliefs regarding the cause and nature of your Ebony hue is not your cup of tea so you choose Door #2 and get…

the non-believer!

The man of no religious faith at all.  He simply does not believe, nor will he ever believe. 

To be fair, may I remind you of the admonition of Paul and Timothy (but I’m gonna bet Paul was yakking and Timothy was scribing ) to be found in the second epistle to the Corinthians, chapter 6 verse 14 regarding such a union:

“14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?”

Personally I find that choice rather interesting, most likely because I’ve been on the receiving end of it more than a few times over the years when it came to Swirling and all the adventures that came along with it.  See, awhile back I was asked right here why I Swirl and how I began my journey down The Road To Swirling. Speaking as a devout disciple of the doctrine of Swirling, and having been previously married to a white lady for 13 years, it was indeed an unusual journey and my unusual tale was told in great depth and detail right here as well. 


Well, most of it anyway.

I kinda left out that one weird part about having been born and raised a Mormon, going on a 2 year Mormon mission to Georgia (my first real interaction with Black people by the way) and my internal struggles and conflict with the faith I was raised in leading to my ultimately disavowing it, as well as all faith and moving on with my life.


Second best decision I ever made and I haven’t looked back since! I even get to wear normal underwear now, if ya know what I’m saying here…heh heh.

Well hey, if we’re gonna bring up the topic of Mormons it’s fair to say that underwear is gonna come up along with it, so once I ditched that Mormon get up I now exclusively rock Perry Ellis silk boxers. My fave pair are the black ones with the red Chinese dragon running up the side. It’s got this appeal in a swingers club and hot tub kinda way. And they are so much more comfortable than that clown suit the Mormon minions told me I had to wear anyway, a privilege that the Black membership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was denied until 1978, even though the church was founded in 1830.
Something about a “cough cough” revelation from God “cough, cough” that changed Mormon theology, doctrine and policy that had been divinely established from God himself well over a century before.

Yeah, I don’t exactly hold Mormon theology in the highest regard but dammit, I had a front row seat to that freak show the first 26 years of my life and earned the right to freely express my informed opinion on that stuff! And by God I’m gonna do it if I feel like it! In my Perry Ellis silk Chinese dragon boxers even!


Now don’t get me wrong here, I’m not knocking the Mormons as people. They are a studious, dedicated and focused bunch and God bless’em for it. They value education, contribute positively and are admirable in their industrious habits.  I just happen to have irreconcilable differences with their theology, especially after having been born and raised in it and had a first hand look at their innermost rituals not readily made known to outsiders. 


And trust me when I say this, there’s a lot of WTF’ery afoot over there that they ain’t telling you outsiders about. A lot. 

So, you may ask, what does my blasphemous besmirching of Mormon theology have to do with my choice to Swirl and the obstacles I have faced because of it?
Ohhh, I don’t know…how about A LOT!!

Yeah, my faith of birthright, my disavowal of that faith and my personal preferences for seeking my beloved Ebony mate are all intertwined in that messy kinda way like when you step in gum on the sidewalk on a hot summer day. Not fun, not pretty and a big huge pain in the ass to get unstuck from as it creeps from your shoe to your finger to your elbow and then to your nose.

Hey, I ain’t asking you how it got there. I don’t judge, remember?

So yeah, the icky sticky stringy mess of ditching the Mormons, ditching faith altogether and then trying to roll with The Sisters is a sad fact of life. Not sad enough that I gotta email a question of the week about it, but sad enough to where I saw it for years and had to decide how I was gonna deal with it. Side eye me all ya want, that ain’t no small task right there, Judge Judy.

Speaking of Judge Judy, ya know what she would say right now? She’d look at me all smarmy and judgey and say, 

“Tell me what happened.”

“Well, Your Honor, what had happened was this…”

Bust out Google maps and look up Burns, Oregon. Yeah, that’s it. That tiny little cow town in the middle of eastern Oregon, population 2800, then add the village of Hines right next to it and ya got maybe 4500 tops.

Now if that kind of geographic, social and economic isolation ain’t bad enough, throw in some hard core ultra conservative Mormonism, a dad who happens to be a Mormon bishop and then you really have an interesting hand in The Poker Game Of Life right there. Yeah, my dad was a Mormon Bishop and that makes me a sonofabishop. Heh heh…I like saying that too.

Let’s not sugar coat this, everyone there was white. Burns, Oregon singlehandedly kept the mayonnaise industry in business all by themselves. So how are ya gonna Swirl in that? And Swirl with who?  The nearest Black people were 200 miles away in Boise, Idaho and even they were likely imported from California. 

So hey, Black people simply did not exist in my little backwoods Mormon world way out there, which made it rather easy to go with the flow on all that Mormons and Black people thing. I might not have cared too much for it but it didn’t affect me none. I didn’t have to look anyone in the eye and then relegate them to a lesser status because I was devout in my faith.  I was only 12 when the Mormon church officially changed their policy regarding Black people but even then it gave me the creeps. I just couldn’t reconcile that in my 12 year old head, but hey!  Like I said, I didn’t personally know anyone Black so I kinda skated past that one. I thought I got away with it, but it would come back on me. Big time. 

Meanwhile, playing sports broadened my exposure to other people from other places somewhat, especially track and football. We’d hop on the bus, drive 250 miles west over the Cascade Mountains to the big city and next thing ya know, I’m standing in the same track as a Black dude. A real live Black dude! Wow, man! I’ll bet he knows Michael Jackson!!! 

And then let’s not get into the strange and unusual feelings the Black girls running around the track gave the naive, sheltered white Mormon boy from over the mountains, but I won’t hold it against you if ya wink and grin about it, either. 

So we’d finish out the day, jump back on the bus and head back into the desolate and barren wasteland from whence we came and lived a life of isolation from the outside world. The white Mormon boy repeated the process for 4 years of high school then spent one year at Mormon college where he bided his time before his Mormon mission, because that’s what Mormon guys do when they turn 19.   

Now for the uninitiated, that 2 year mission is a rite of passage for young men in the Mormon culture, and make no mistake, Mormons do indeed have their own culture. Tis steeped in years of tradition to guide you, folklore to back it up and then the faith promoting tales to lock it down. That mission is “voluntary” but, well…voluntary in Mormon terms is kinda like voluntary for providing ID when a state trooper comes up behind you with the lights and sirens full blast. Try seeing how “voluntary” that really is. 

So I ” volunteered” to serve a mission and was called by the Mormon prophet of God to serve in the Atlanta, Georgia Mission. Yeah, the same prophet of God who reveals Black people can’t have full membership in the Mormon church and then reveals that God changed his mind later is the same guy who looks at my application, takes counsel with God and then calls me to serve in Georgia. 

Or maybe it was a dart on a map. Hell, I don’t know. I was off to Georgia for 2 years and there wasn’t a damn thing I could do about it.

Now the thing is, when I opened up that magical letter from Salt Lake City with my own personal golden ticket and saw Atlanta, Georgia the first thing that came to my mind was the Atlanta Braves on TBS. 

No foolin, Sister. 

Then it occurred to me that I was heading to the Deep South and was gonna run into a colored person or two.

Yeah, I said “colored person.” This was in 1987 and that word was still being used out in the Pacific Northwest to describe people we had mainly seen on TV and maybe crossed paths with in real life once or twice a year.  I said it in Macon, Georgia one time and found out real fast not to do it again. In fact, I found out a lot of things real fast down there in Georgia, like knowing we are less than 10 years removed from that despicable Mormon policy being changed and here I am talking to people who are questioning me on that in a less than friendly way. 

I was there from 87-88 and I ain’t gonna lie, that was tough for me to handle. On one hand, we didn’t believe that stuff about Black people any longer so we could realistically say “I’m sorry, but we don’t believe that” when people called us on it But on the other hand, we sure as hell used to believe that shit and tried to sweep that shit under the rug and hope no one noticed. And yeah, I called it shit. That’s what I believed it was all along but therein lies the great religious quandary for things of this nature.  When dealing with a form of authoritarianism like the Mormons, there is no middle ground. 

None.

Zero.

Zilch.

You are all in on all things at all times. No cherry picking, no going with one thing but slacking on another. None of that stuff. That most definitely does not happen when a prophet of God, who the Mormons truly believe their leader is, declares it to be so. 

One does not simply walk into Mordor and one does not simply question the prophet. 

My personal conflict with all this wasn’t so much as having to convince myself to actually believe stuff like that as much as fearing for my very eternal soul what would happen if I didn’t believe it, especially when you factor in you were born in it, you were raised in it and that was all you had ever known in your very brief life thus far. That lifelong fear of eternal condemnation is quite a motivator to a young person who has known no other way in their earthly existence.  So yeah, it’s not so much as you truly believe it, but you go along with it out of guilt and fear. What’s more important here, the salvation of my soul or hurting someone else’s feelings? Sorry, it is what it is and that was my burden to bear. 

You know what really disgusted me, though? It was entirely possible to run a Black person through the whole conversion process and see them baptized as a Mormon and not have one iota of a clue that the church they just converted to was less than 10 years removed from a rather ugly history. I saw that happen and I kept my mouth shut. We sure weren’t going to bring it up, we were hoping they weren’t going to find out about and get second thoughts about being baptized. Besides, that stuff was all like, ancient history and we could truthfully say we didn’t believe that.

We just didn’t say that we used to believe that, though. 

Now personally, I didn’t convert any Black people to Mormonism when I was there and I am relieved that I didn’t.  I’m not saying I didn’t try to, I just didn’t succeed in doing so.  As Mormon missionaries we were widely viewed with suspicion and held in contempt. Can’t really say I blame them on that, but you develop a thick skin and an affinity for debate when one most assuredly comes your way. I once got into a bible debate with some Hebrew Israelites and their wacky costumes who blocked my way and wouldn’t let me pass by them. Hell yeah I just said they were wacky costumes. And they are! When a dude in a white shirt and tie riding a bike in the rain can say your costume is wacky, well…you are one wackyass costume wearing wannabe. 

Ya know, I could get into all the tales of the snake handlers, the faith healers, the speakers of tongues and the exorcisors of demons I crossed paths down there with but I won’t. When it comes to faith, my faith is to each their own. I’m a live and let live kinda guy and I respect your choice to believe and worship as you wish. 

Except for the Hebrew Israelites. One of them wackyass mofos owes me a new pair of shoes. Screw those guys. 

Suffice it to say that spending 2 years of your life trying to convert people to a faith that you had your own personal doubts regarding a certain aspect is either an exercise in hypocrisy supreme or a testimony to the stranglehold fear and guilt can have upon the human mind. I’m cool with whatever you want to call me for doing that. God knows I’ve already called myself that same thing many times before. 

Having completed my “voluntary” mission to Georgia, I returned to Oregon unsettled in my faith. But ya know something? I was back in the middle of all those sacred white people in that tiny village so I didn’t have to answer to feeling guilty about that part of my faith. That sounds like it might have felt good but it didn’t. I just stepped around the conflict rather than addressing it up front and honest. But it didn’t stop there. I began to question other aspects that really aren’t relevant to Swirling, so I’ll spare you those details. 

Well, except for one minor detail that became relevant. Remember that prophet of God guy I kept referring to earlier? Well I met him personally in Portland Oregon and, well…that was interesting. 

Again, I’ll spare you the details but he came to Portland to “dedicate” a newly built temple. Now look, dammit! I ain’t getting into all that Mormon temple WTF’ery right now, maybe later, but The Big Man himself from Salt Lake City was there to christen the temple, if you will. 

I knew who he was and had heard a great many wonderful things about this man of God. I was looking forward to meeting him and being in the presence of the prophet who communicates with The Supreme Creator of Time and All Eternity.  My heart was pounding, my palms were sweaty, my throat was dry. I found myself praying that his presence would strengthen, solidify and forever change my wavering faith.

Well, he changed it all right. 

He was old.

He was frail.

He was feeble.

He was physically and mentally unable to perform his duties as, how the Mormons say…The Prophet, Seer and Revelator.

He took the podium to address the congregation of the faithful and proceeded to go straight up senile on us. Right there in the temple, the literal House Of God. He flat out lost it grampa on Thanksgiving style right there in front of the flock of the faithful followers.

At first it was confusing, then it crossed over into the realm of embarrassing when he repeated the same phrase over and over like a broken record. We just sat there and watched him ramble and wondered what was going on. Upon realizing divine intervention was not gonna save the old man’s ass, his handlers went up to the podium, took him by the arms and shoulders and gently lead him away while looking at us like,

“You people saw nothing. This never happened.”

The congregation was silent. 

I felt a thud as my heart hit the ground and with what was left off faith right behind it. 

The prophet’s PR team cleaned up the mess and sent us on our way. As we were driving home I remember mother saying,

“The prophet’s mind isn’t what it used to be, but you can see so much light shining through his eyes.”

I, uhhhh….had a different opinion on that. 

Ok chill for a bit, I’m almost done with this Mormonism thing and we can move on to the Swirling part, but you get the idea on how that kinda thing will mess with your mind, right? 

It’s fairly obvious that a village like Burns has little to offer a 22 year old dude, so off to TV school I went to become a sports cameraman. I knew since I was in 8th grade that’s what I wanted to be, so ya gotta go where you can be one, which in my case was Seattle. After having experienced Macon, Warner-Robins, Marietta, and Albany, Georgia the boy from Burns was better prepared to deal with Seattle and the life that came with it. I went to school while working on the side and began my way in the world. Interesting thing though, I was now working and going to school with a bunch of people who weren’t like me at all. I was the naive outsider from the small town over the mountains in Oregon and found myself clinging to my faith in this new environment I didn’t fit into so well. 

Again, I found myself as a Mormon going through the motions but this time I had no choice but to look people in the eye, specifically Black people who were no longer anonymous strangers but were now my friends, coworkers and classmates. That didn’t sit well with me at all and I clammed up about the fact that I was a Mormon who recently returned from his mission. No need to complicate things here, ya know?
Suffice it to say that over the next two years my wavering faith crumbled, gave way and I relented to being the person I knew I was all along but was afraid to let out for fear of eternal judgement. I simply grew weary of stifling myself on the orders of someone else and decided it was time to end the charade.

So ya know what I did? I did the unthinkable.

I took my holy Mormon temple underwear I had been rocking for the last 6 years and threw them straight into a dumpster. A dirty old dumpster with sticky Burger King wrappers, empty cans of pork and beans, greasy pizza boxes and that stinky runny stuff at the bottom of every dumpster that you never know what it really is and ya kinda wanna keep it that way. 
So yeah, right into the dumpster they went and laugh all ya want but that is a HUGE sacrilegious violation of that which Mormonism holds sacred and is an excommunicable offense. I figure if I’m gonna sin, I’m gonna sin big, dammit! So I trashed that stuff and I walked away mentally, spiritually and emotionally free to be the person I always was all along but had to stifle in order to maintain my salvation.
 


And you better believe my dad the bishop was pissed. He was pissed as hell, but oh well…
“Bite me, Bishop!”

Ok then…I was now a non-believer. I threw my underwear in a dumpster and said “bite me Bishop.” Heh heh…I ain’t messin around here, ain’t no turning back now!


Yeah. Let the non-believing begin. Not an atheist, not agnostic…just Gary the dude who didn’t care about that stuff. I didn’t want beliefs, I didn’t need beliefs and I didn’t feel the need to have an answer to things we do not know. It’s ok to say we don’t know those kinda things and be concerned with the here and now rather than the what ifs and the who knows. I’m ok with others faith and I can leave it at that. You have yours, I don’t have mine, you respect me and I respect you.

Time to quit dwelling on it go do other things!

What, ya think I ditched my Mormon temple underwear in a dumpster and then just started Swirling? Ha! I wish! But hardly.


First I had to marry the white chick I worked with in Seattle who was from a ranch in Montana and then divorce her 13 years later. She and I shared a very common backwoods background and non-religious views so it worked for us like that. We eventually got to the point where we wanted very different things in life and parted ways on good enough terms.
  So yeah, now I got that marriage thing outta the way, newly divorced dude after 13 years of the married life, it was time to take the next step in my Journey Down The Road Of Life, which was pretty much being true to myself and my beliefs, or lack thereof. 

Ok, here ya go! Here comes The Swirlin! This is the part where things get interesting and I finally have the chance to embrace that Swirliness that had forever eluded me due to things like geographic isolation, religious foolishness or, like, ya know…already being married.  Heh heh. 

So I just unleashed it.

I rocked The Swirl! I rocked the hell out of it! No hesitating, no wondering, no worrying, no waffling and no online questions asking someone else about something I could just go and find out for myself. I’m gonna do this, not sit around wondering about it and asking other people about it!


Now Ladies, here’s where things get interesting, and you non believing gentleman can attest to what I am about to say…

I ain’t never in my life met a churchier group of people in general than Black Ladies.  I haven’t. The percentage of believers amongst Black Ladies is extraordinarily high. The odds of encountering church going Ladies in this particular microcosm of humanity is astronomically high. So high that if one were to lay Las Vegas odds and place a wager, that bookie is gonna get “Bet On The Bible”. That’s one of the safest bets a Swirlin man can make.  Hey, I’m not saying that’s bad and I’m most definitely not pointing fingers here. I’m merely saying it is a VERY common reality that must be considered by men in my position who choose to Swirl. It’s simply a situation you must be prepared to deal with because rest assured, you WILL deal with it. Oh, you will, Swirly man! You will! 

Ain’t no getting around it so quit acting like it’s a big deal. It is what it is so let’s just play the hand we’re dealt here and be honest about this and give it a shot, ok?

Ok then. 

My Swirling was pretty much a result of looking in all places, at all faces, at all times. Anywhere and everywhere. Relax, smile and bring it! You never know when you will cross paths with someone you may click with so quit worrying and start enjoying the ride, and the ride is everywhere you want it to be so get out and about cuz Black Ladies are waiting to be discovered everywhere!  Malls, grocery stores, jazz clubs, Halloween parties, wine bars, intersections, festivals, work, neighbors, friends and family of neighbors. Hell..even the dog park!
Smile, make eye contact, let her know you’re interested and let things flow from there. And then when ya get home check your online dating account and see what’s going on over there while you were out taking care of business in real life. 

Why do people gotta complicate The Swirl???

So yeah, getting into The Swirl, wasn’t the issue. The true test is assessing your compatibility together, especially when you know exactly what you want and what you don’t want.  Dating isn’t going to be a problem here, long term relationship potential is. Once we both initially acknowledge that spark between us, that’s when things get interesting. 

Like I said before, certain things for me are nonnegotiable. Having been married for 13 years I was indeed skilled in the art of compromise and knew when it was necessary. I also knew a potential issue when I saw it as well.  In my case, having made multiple compromises and concessions over the years allowed me to learn what was important, was what tolerable and what was a big fat OH HELL NO. 
Ain’t no apology coming for that either. I have my standards and values firmly in place and they ain’t gonna change. I don’t care if it’s Serena Williams in a black corset and thigh high stiletto boots handing me a paddle and telling me she’s been a naughty girl, if she’s going to need me to compromise what’s important to me, it just isn’t gonna happen.
  Bottom line, what might work for some doesn’t always work for others and I know what I want and what I don’t want. 

And God knows I saw a lot of that.

I noticed the myriad of believing Black Ladies I encountered tended to fall into 2 categories, one of which I find rather amusing and still giggle about, and the other not so much. I had to do some serious soul searching with those Ladies.
So the first category I speak of were the Ladies who, upon hearing I was a non-believer, backed off real quick regardless of their current lifestyle and habits. I can cope with that. She has her standards as to what’s important to her and I wholeheartedly encourage her to be true to them. Do not lower your standards or compromise your values on my behalf. The part where it got kinda weird was when some of these believing Ladies I encountered, and kindly take note I am speaking in the plural sense, as in more than one, had interesting side stories or past times that made me wonder how they could reconcile them with their open declaration of faith, such as having multiple children from multiple men, regularly enjoying illegal substances, making use of various online hookup sites and offering to share their latest female fling with me in a threesome, or frequenting swingers clubs. 

Ok, maybe I still have a little bit of that Mormon prophet of God thang still in me, but I’m gonna stop right here right now, look you in the eye and prophesy…

“Behold, I know the thoughts of your heart and the judgement ye cast upon me this day. Ye thinketh unto thyself ‘what manner of ghetto, ratchet, hood rat harlot is this? Why dost he rolleth this way? Thy standards must be raised! ”

“And I saith into thee, 
Hey, I don’t judge. Her and I had a mutual spark and I felt ok to look into what that spark might possibly lead to.  I’m just sayin here that ya never know what a simple “hello” in the produce section of the grocery store can possibly lead to..heh heh.
  I’m also gonna say one of those Ladies I spoke of turned me onto this place as well. “

So all of the above mentioned proclivities aside, their hang up was that they couldn’t get past that I was a nonbeliever. That’s kinda funny when I think about it. All that freakery she just threw out there like that, then I don’t buy the salvation by Christ thing and I’m the bad guy here? Ok, I guess ya gotta draw the line somewhere…heh heh, go figure.  In fact, these believing Ladies seemed more upset that I was a non-believer than the fact that I had once been a devout Mormon. Go figure that as well. 

I didn’t see that stuff coming when I signed up to Swirl.

Looking back it doesn’t really bother me at all. In fact, quite the opposite. It always makes for a good tale…
“Hey, you gotta hear about this one chick I met by the cucumbers in the grocery store! You’re gonna love this!”

The other category of believing Black Ladies I encountered were the ones who, despite their devout faith, were willing to compromise that, set it aside and continue with the non-believing Swirly guy they met. 
This wasn’t so funny to me. In fact, it was downright disheartening and it happened more than once. Way more than once. These were good women. Honest, loyal, faithful women who just wanted to be happy and I found myself seriously questioning whether I was truly the man to bring them the happiness they sought after and deserved. In all seriousness, this was the most difficult part of Swirling I found myself dealing with. 
 This is a huge part of what non believing white men such as myself are referring to when we set out to Swirl and find ourselves encountering a disproportionately high number of believing Ladies amongst the one we seek. 
These were Ladies from all walks of life…business owners, teachers, city planners, youth ministers, even a motorcycle riding bikini model who pulled up next to me at an intersection.  They were all good women, no doubt about that.  Realistically, I wasn’t the right man for them in the long term and that part of Swirling is indeed difficult to deal with as a non-believing white guy. 
 Personally, there is no way I could form a long term relationship with someone who I knew had compromised her personal values and beliefs on my behalf. I couldn’t live with that, even if she said that is what she wanted. Our mutual attraction notwithstanding, I knew she could do better on a deeper level. That type of deep level commitment is important to me as a man and in order for that to work, her and I need to be committed on the deepest level possible with one another. I can’t ask her to do something that I am not willing to do myself.

Sure, more than one lady right here says she is agnostic or atheist, but, much like we are lead to believe with white men who love black women, they seem to be the exception rather than the norm. It’s changing, but for the time being tis the hand we are dealt and have chosen to play. 

So, after our little discussion here, again I ask the question posed before. Would the Believing Ladies amongst us choose a Mormon or a non-believer?  Knowing what you know now, I’m just kinda curious in a truth or dare kinda way. No need to answer that, just a little something to think about from a non-believing ex Mormon who happens to Swirl. 

But while we’re thinking about stuff, let’s think about this for a moment….

At the end of the day, as a non-believing white guy who Swirls I have to be honest and forthright with who I am, what I bring, or don’t bring, to the table and what is right for both of us in a long term relationship. It’s not easy. It can be heartbreaking and discouraging or it can be the most rewarding decision that this particular white guy can ever make in his finite life here upon this earth. 
I do know this, it took me years to find the right Lady for me. Years. She and I are bound together by common thoughts, common values and common attitudes. We share the same foundation and we build a strong future together upon it.
  We know we are both there for one another to the very deepest part of our being and there is no division between us. None. And that is beautiful to me. We laugh together, we love together, we find joy and happiness in the same things together. We share the Wonder Of Life together and do all we can to experience as much as we can. She is my Cocoa Puff and I am her Vanilla Viking. I live to serve and worship her, and she lives to serve and worship me.  Nothing comes before her for me, and nothing comes before me for her, none of which I could stand here and proudly say had I chosen to take a different path than the one I did. 

OK, this is starting to sound like a damn Hallmark card. I’m gonna cut out now. It’s Magic Mike Night at The Tango’s and I’m gonna bust out the old Mormon missionary outfit, ring the doorbell, give Lady Smooth some of that “laying on of hands” holiness when she answers the door and ravage her like there’s no tomorrow.

Cuz hey, why worry about tomorrow when we can enjoy today!!

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Charleston church shooting victims: Who they were ~ from the LA Times http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/charleston-church-shooting-victims/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/charleston-church-shooting-victims/#comments Fri, 19 Jun 2015 15:36:13 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=37675 Cynthia Hurd, 54 (Charleston County Library), Ethel Lance, 70 (retired, Gaillard Center), Susie Jackson, 87 (longtime member), Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, 49 (retired county employee), Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney, 41 (pastor of Emanuel AME, state senator), Tywanza Sanders, 26 (graduate of Allen University), Rev. Daniel L. Simmons Sr., 74 (Emanuel AME ministerial staff), Rev. Sharonda Singleton, 45 (Emanuel AME ministerial staff), Myra Thompson, 59 (wife of Rev. Thompson of Holy Trinity Reformed Episcopal)

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Link to Original Story

 


 

Cynthia Hurd, 54

(Charleston County Public Library)

Hurd, who was the manager at St. Andrews Regional Library, had been an employee of the Charleston County Public Library for 31 years.

“Cynthia was a tireless servant of the community who spent her life helping residents, making sure they had every opportunity for an education and personal growth,” the library said in a statement.

Douglas Henderson, executive director of the county’s library system, said Hurd was driven to offer literacy programs to children in some of Charleston’s poorer sections and believed literacy was key to a better life.

She was “a phenomenal employee,” said J. Elliott Summey, chairman of the Charleston County Council. “She was greatly loved by everybody in our library department.”

Susie Jackson, 87

Jackson was a longtime church member, according to the Post and Courier. She served in the choir and on the church’s usher board, her grandson told ABC5 in Cleveland.

“It’s just hard to process that my grandmother had to leave Earth this way,” Tim Jackson of Euclid, Ohio, told the television station. “It’s real real hard. It’s challenging because I don’t believe she deserved to go this way. It hurts to process.”

Jackson was an aunt of Tywanza Sanders, who was also killed Wednesday night. She was also a cousin of fellow victim Ethel Lance, the Post and Courier said.

Ethel Lance, 70

Lance had retired from the Gaillard Center, a theater in Charleston, before beginning to work as a church janitor, according to the Post and Courier. The newspaper said she was a cousin of Susie Jackson, who also was killed.

DePayne Middleton-Doctor, 49

The Rev. Middleton-Doctor was a retired county employee, according to Wooten, who said she had served as director of the county’s community block program.

Summey said Middleton-Doctor had a “good heart and a good soul.” Her entire career, from the county government post to her time as a minister, was about service, he said.

Middleton-Doctor had recently begun working as an admissions coordinator at Southern Wesleyan University, where she was also an alumna.

“DePayne truly believed in the mission of SWU to help students achieve their potential by connecting faith with learning,” said university President Todd Voss, who called her a “warm and enthusiastic leader.”

Clementa C. Pinckney, 41

(Grace Beahm / Post and Courier)

The Rev. Pinckney was a booming voice for Charleston’s black community — not only locally, where he was pastor of Emanuel AME Church, but also in the South Carolina State House, where he had served since 1997. The Democrat won his seat in the House at age 23, becoming the youngest African American elected to the state’s Legislature, and served as a state senator since 2001.

“Sen. Pinckney was an icon in Charleston and an icon in Columbia and the state Legislature,” said state Rep. Peter McCoy of Charleston. “He’s a guy that I’ve always looked to, always looked up to, in terms of always being morally sound and loved by his community.”

Tywanza Sanders, 26

Sanders was a recent graduate of Allen University in Columbia, S.C., described by school officials as a “quiet, well-known student who was committed to his education.”

He grew up in Charleston and began attending Emanuel AME at an early age, said a close friend, Tory Shaw. Both of Sanders’ parents were deeply involved in the church, Shaw said, and the 26-year-old was attending Bible study with his aunt, Susie Jackson, when the gunman opened fire.

Shaw said he was told by Sanders’ family that he tried to shield his aunt from the hail of bullets.

Sanders graduated from Allen University in 2014 with a degree in business administration, the school said. He was planning to attend graduate school, and he wrote music and poetry in his spare time, according to Shaw.

Daniel L. Simmons Sr., 74

The Rev. Simmons, a member of the Emanuel AME Church ministerial staff, died in surgery at a local hospital, according to coroner’s officials.

His granddaughter Ava Simmons said he regularly attended Wednesday night Bible study at the church. “We love him and we miss him,” she said.

Sharonda Singleton, 45

The Rev. Singleton was on the ministerial staff at Emanuel AME Church, according to her son’s school, Charleston Southern University.

Her son, Chris Singleton, is a sophomore and plays on the university baseball team, according to a statement released by Charleston Southern.

In addition to her work at the church, Singleton was a speech pathologist and track coach at Goose Creek High School, according to the school’s website.

“Chris’ mother was just that parent that as a coach you are proud to have as part of your program. What she brought to our team is immeasurable,” Charleston Southern baseball Coach Stuart Lake said.

Myra Thompson, 59

Thompson was the wife of the Rev. Anthony Thompson of Holy Trinity Reformed Episcopal Church, according to the Anglican Church of North America.

 


 

Link to Original Story

 

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We Rock! Check Out These Black Women You Should Know http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/rock-check-black-women-know/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/rock-check-black-women-know/#comments Wed, 20 May 2015 16:14:58 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=37245 Black girls rock! Read on for stories of black women doing amazing things in industries like tech, fashion and entertainment. Mickey Guyton is a country singer with a current Top 40 hit, ‘Better Than You Left Me.’ Her debut album drops this month. While I don’t listen to country very often, I really enjoyed this […]

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Black girls rock! Read on for stories of black women doing amazing things in industries like tech, fashion and entertainment.

Mickey Guyton is a country singer with a current Top 40 hit, ‘Better Than You Left Me.’ Her debut album drops this month. While I don’t listen to country very often, I really enjoyed this song. Overcoming a bad relationship is a subject that’s been beat to death in R&B but the country vibe made it feel fresh. I also like the video. In doing research on Mickey for this piece, I came across this article chronicling the history of black women in country music.

The Urban Bush Babes, aka twins Takenya and Cipriana Quann, have stormed into the fashion world while fabulously rocking their natural hair. Living in New York, they’ve rocked spreads in Vogue and W Magazine, been captured in the New York Times Style section and have done campaigns for major retailers like the Gap. These women are trendsetters and know exactly how to capitalize on the unique beauty of Black women. They are #winning.

Have you heard of the Diary of Two Mad Black Mormons? Or Sistas in Zion? Tamu Smith and Zandra Vranes were raised Mormon and have LOTS of observations about faith, black church traditions and the challenges of a faith which banned Black priests until 1978. If you enjoy hearing of the experiences of Black women who live nontraditional lives, check them out!

| Courtesy Mama Rine Clark Tamu Smith (left) and Zandra Vranes (right) are "Sistas in Zion" and have written a new book, Diary of Two Mad Black Mormons

| Courtesy Mama Rine Clark
Tamu Smith (left) and Zandra Vranes (right) are “Sistas in Zion” and have written a new book, Diary of Two Mad Black Mormons

Angela Benton is the Founder & CEO of NewME Accelerator, a business that “helps out of the box entrepreneurs transform cool ideas into great businesses.” Particularly, women and minorities who may not come from Ivy League backgrounds or have tech experience and therefore don’t fit the mold of a typical Silicon Valley entrepreneur whom venture capitalists often salivate over.  Angela has a long, storied career in tech and has lots of thoughts on being a person of color in the industry, as well as a single mom.

angela-benton-3

And last but definitely not least, let’s honor Olivia Hooker, the first Black woman to join the U.S. Coast Guard. As a child, she survived the burning of “Black Wall Street,” also known as the Tulsa race riots. Racism didn’t deter her pursuit of higher education nor service to her country and in 1945 she joined the U.S. Coast Guard. She turned 100 years old earlier this year.

olivia hooker

 

What stories do you know of amazing black women?

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Conservative White Men Married to Black Women Sound Off on Jesse Peterson Bigotry http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/conservative-white-men-married-black-women-sound-off-jesse-peterson-bigotry/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/conservative-white-men-married-black-women-sound-off-jesse-peterson-bigotry/#comments Fri, 16 Jan 2015 16:08:29 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=35655 People should really do their homework when they come for this community, because I find that you folks are truly galvanized to protect what’s yours!! After the disaster of an interview with the “Reverend” Jesse Peterson and his screeching, bigoted caller, you all wrote in to ask the host and producers some HARD questions. So many […]

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People should really do their homework when they come for this community, because I find that you folks are truly galvanized to protect what’s yours!! After the disaster of an interview with the “Reverend” Jesse Peterson and his screeching, bigoted caller, you all wrote in to ask the host and producers some HARD questions. So many of you wrote, that they were compelled to respond, which sounded like a whole lot of back tracking.

 

But anyone with a scrap of sense knows what they heard in that original interview. I informed Jesse’s producer on Twitter that they have offended countless conservative men and women interracially married by calling their unions a “liberal agenda” and that folks who engage in such relationships are “damaged.” Here’s what a few of them wrote to the “good reverend.” Once you read, you’ll realize that conservatives aren’t “inherently racist.” But the small group in the corner often make it more difficult to communicate that message. Lucky for them, I believe in reciprocation! Once you read, you’ll realize that these TRUE gentlemen are not only willing to speak up for what’s right, they are also willing to stand up and for OUR honor. These men are my heroes.

————————

Ms. Karazin,

I’ve recently started watching your videos on YouTube, and I find them very interesting and entertaining. I admire how you’re taken your own person experience and entrepreneurial drive, and turned it into a production company. Your most recent video regarding your interview with Jesse Lee Peterson was especially interesting, but painful for me because I’m a very conservative person, who strongly believes in conservative principles.

170214_1796167509432_3004042_o
I went ahead and listened to your radio interview with Mr. Peterson, and after less than 15 minutes I couldn’t take it any longer. He played into just about every racial stereotype you could think of, which really caught me by surprise. He was obviously unprepared for your interview, and he also seemed to have little to no personal experience to draw from to help him through it. His efforts were a big fat fail.Conservative principles and lifestyle are actually very compatible with interracial relationships because, although conservatives get a bad rap for racial insensitivity, the truth is, people are more important than race to them. Popular media constantly rants that conservatives don’t care about blacks, the truth is that they don’t care that a person happens to be black, brown, white or whatever. What the person aspires to be is a whole lot more important, and putting your spouse and family above all other issues is very much to the same point.When I hear you touch on the differences of race and culture it grabs my attention. Perhaps you have done this already and I have missed it, but I would really like to see you do a feature on race and culture and their individual influences on relationships. In many of your video blogs it seems to be the elephant in the room that only occasionally get its trunk in the frame of the camera.

On a personal note, I happen to be white, and I’ve been married to wonderful person for over 18 years who happens to be black. We met on the “L”, (subway and elevated train system), in Chicago and were married 15 months later. We’ve since moved to the suburban Detroit area and are busy raising our family.
Please keep up your good work.

Sincerely,
Andrew Isble

——————

I don’t know if you heard the “Black Bill O’rielly”show today but I tried my best to stick up for what’s right. Typically, my words were twisted and the larger content of my message was ignored. That said, he walked some of his comments back!

It is not God’s will that I be on the radio. I will lend no further credibility to his cause. If I see a snake and pick it up I can expect to be bitten. I won’t do it. Anyway, I hope you know that there are plenty of people that listen and are willing to fight the good fight .

Rev. Dave

Rev. Peterson,

Would you please define the nature of a traditional relationship or marriage for me? I have always seen it defined by the religious right as a relationship or marriage between a man and a woman. Nothing more and nothing less. Perhaps I missed something in the Bible? Some things aren’t so clear in scripture but that sure seems to be.

How can an interracial relationship or marriage be agaisnt God for no other reason than the fact that it exists? How is it an attack on the family? How does it degrade the morals of people? How does it defy the written Word? The old testament is filled with stories of righteous men and women who married outside their respective people.

I am shocked and offended by the position you seem to have taken on interracial relationships. Particularly your racist and unfounded attacks on black women. Black, white, latin, asian, native, or other, we are American. We are the We People. We are a people under God.

Please apologize for your undignified and racist remarks.

Yours in Christ,
Rev. David S. Hill Jr.

——————–

To the Rev. Jesse Peterson,

It has come to my attention that you had a Mrs. Christelyn Karazin on your show and things didn’t go so well. I’m disappointed to hear that.

My wife and I have been married for 18 years now and have 3 beautiful, healthy children together. We were both Christians when we met and have been serving in the church together as long as we’ve been together. Before I met her, my prayer was that God bring me the best potential wife and most Godly woman that he could find that would be
that very best help-mate possible for me as the scriptures proclaim a wife should be. I left my prayers in God’s hands. Not long after that I met my wife to be….I’m sure you can guess by now where I’m going with this. She happened to be black and I am white. I understand now this doesn’t jive with your idea of a “traditional” marriage, but I really don’t care about the use of that word according to my marriage because after 18 years of being with her, there’s no doubt in my mind she was the one for me. An army of nay-sayers couldn’t convince me other wise. I have all the proof from God on this that I feel I need.

This brings me to my next point. As a believer, I don’t want those who share my faith in Christ and who are supposed to be shepherding me focusing harder on my skin than on my soul. If that’s what’s going on, then I know their heart and priorities as Pastors and leaders are not in the right place. The Church (as I know you are aware) is under attack on all sides as it’s always been by the wiles of the enemy and we have much bigger problems and bigger fish to fry than a few white dudes married to some “sisters”. We have anti-God movements by all sorts of communities that are anti-Christian and against the Church going on all across this nation. Interracial marriages, where the man and woman are both Christians are NOT part of those negative groups and should not be lumped in as such. Interracial couples who are
Christians should be loved, discipled and shepherded like any other.

I’m not sure what your motives were for bringing Christelyn on your show and agreeing with callers you had on there that our kinds of marriages are not of God. I hope it wasn’t nefarious because if it was, I truly feel you should go back and pray and ask God to deal with you on this issue and soften your heart or open your mind up a bit.

If you are truly serving God brother, I wish you the best. It is my humble opinion that your time could’ve been better served that day, then going off on Christelyn’s and my types of marriages. We are NOT the enemy…and as far as my wife and I are concerned, we are part of the Church. WE are your brother and sister in Christ, whether you want
to see us in that way or not based on my skin.

I hope this e-mail finds it way to you and P.S. ….maybe we shouldn’t speak of “totem polls” and where people should be placed on them (women or men). Doesn’t that seem contrary to the Kingdom of God and everything that Jesus taught? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder when it comes to preference. Personality and everything else on the inside that is good in us comes from God (as I know you already know as a Pastor).

I wish you all the best in your ministry, brother (as long as you don’t target marriages like mine in a negative manner). Then, my prayers would have to go to other ministries who I feel are purer in
aim and goal.

In Jesus name,

Samuel Girard
United States Air Force (Retired)

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We’re going to have a special G+ hangout discussion TONIGHT at 7PM PST/ 10PM EST that you can watch via my You Tube channel, so make sure you subscribe to listen live! 
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As Much as I Love Christian Bale, I WON’T Be Watching “Exodus: Gods and Kings.” http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/much-love-christian-bale-wont-watching-exodus-gods-kings/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/much-love-christian-bale-wont-watching-exodus-gods-kings/#comments Wed, 10 Dec 2014 15:20:50 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=35084 …And neither should you. Hollywood has a looooong history of white-washing biblical stories that originated on or around the continent of Africa, so much so that Egyptian history is part of the Western History curriculum. There are some people who have no idea that Egypt is in AFRICA, and the average citizen looks like this… […]

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…And neither should you.

Hollywood has a looooong history of white-washing biblical stories that originated on or around the continent of Africa, so much so that Egyptian history is part of the Western History curriculum. There are some people who have no idea that Egypt is in AFRICA, and the average citizen looks like this…

0308-egypt-tahrir-square-international-women-s-day_standard_600x400

Not this…

1749821_f520

In ancient Egypt, people ranged from brown to ebony, and dark AFRICAN peoples where in positions of power and status, and not subjugated to slavery and thievery.

So looking at the cast of “Exodus,” I notice a marked absence of dark brown people in the cast, but the most glaring race reappropriation is that of Zipporah, Moses’ Ethiopian wife, who is being played by Spanish actress, María Valverde.

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 6.59.39 AM

 

Wait. Hold up. Moses’ wife was Ethiopian. The average Ethiopian woman looks like this…

4dd173f6f9fc115a0d16f296b999f297

 

ethiopian-traditional-dress-for-sale

 

Ethiopian woman

In an age where interracial relationships are more accepted that ever before in history, I can’t understand WHY Hollywood chose to cast Moses’ AFRICAN wife with a white woman from Madrid. This should be a major slap in the face for the IRR community, regardless of gender. Do these people STILL believe that a casting a black woman next to a white man in legitimate matrimony will cost them ticket sales?

And don’t get me started at the casting of Sigourney Weaver as Tuya, the mother of Rameses, king of Egypt. What Hollywood is telling the world is that brown and black people are too inferior to even play THEMSELVES!!!! Hollywood believes no one would see a movie accurately depicted by the people it’s in reference to, with the ONLY exception being slave movies, which movie execs have absolutely NO PROBLEM depicting black folks with pinpoint historical accuracy. It’s only the major accomplishments of brown and black people that whites want to claim as their own.

I find it disgusting. And I won’t be watching.

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