Black Women's Empowerment

Dan Gasby might as well have killed B Smith #RIP

This is another super long post. I am sorry, but I could not keep my thoughts to 1000 words. As per usual, read the whole thing before you come for my neck. This post really comes for DEADBEAT men, emphasis on deadbeat. I am not talking about all men. If it does not apply, let it fly. However, a hit dog will holler. Remember that as you comment. Additionally, all thoughts expressed here are ALLEGED. 

The news broke on February 22, 2020 that B Smith passed due to complications with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. She died at 70 years old. I want to give her all of her flowers here.  Unfortunately, I only heard of her due to her husband’s ghastly behaviour, but she had an amazing legacy. She was a model turned restaurateur, businesswoman, author, television host, and a trail-blazer for minorities in homogenous American spaces.. She truly created an amazing brand for herself and established her businesses as a cut above. I appreciate how innovative and adaptable she was. For example, when B. tried film, she was unsatisfied with the quality of roles being presented to her, and she found another opportunity that worked for her. The fact that she could spot potential options  in different fields, learn business strategy and manage to flourish is a testament in itself. I am in awe of her work ethic, resilience and creativity.

 

That said, there is a huge cloud over her legacy: her husband’s decision in 2018 to publicly flaunt his new mistress. He cheated on her while his sick wife was still alive, going as far as to bring the mistress into the same house that B Smith built for them both. I really want to know why he thought that this behaviour was appropriate. What ever happened to “in sickness and in health?” At 65-years-old, he should not be acting like a randy teenager. Think with your big head, not the little one. If your wife is sick, you work through things with her. You would think at 65 that his libido wouldn’t be so strong that he would need to not only cheat, but bring the mistress to live in B’s house and live off of B’s money, AND, ANNOUNCE IT PUBLICLY. Even sadder still, due to her husband’s absolutely trifling behaviour, I am now seeing black women online talking about how marriage means nothing and it is worthless to align themselves with one. Maybe I am still naive, but I would like to think of a man as more than a warm flesh-covered vibrator. I like to think of two people coming together as a functioning family unit, that offers benefits to each other. There should be emotional support, financial security, mutual encouragement to conquer one’s dreams and the alignment of goals, values and experiences. 

If I were the Supreme Leader of the universe, we could take steps to see that dream to fruition. Some of my first enactments would include subjecting men who publicly humiliate their wives to flogging and a swift kick to the testicles. However, everything is better in theory. The best I can do now is recommend some thoughts to the ladies of our audience. 

 

Stop Dating Bums

Dan Gasby is a bum. Plain and simple. However, he is not alone. How many times have black women who are extremely successful chosen to date down? Mary J. Blige: married to her manager. Tamar: married to her manager. Mo’Nique: married to her manager, who subsequently got her blackballed in the industry. Jennifer Hudson: divorced and paying child support to her ex-stay-at-home-husband. (David Otunga might be the only one on this list who is not a bum, but Jennifer did date down. Plus, the stay-at-home dad dynamic isn’t for me.) Nicki Minaj: married a felon and a sex offender, at that. The list goes on. You may think this is just a symptom of Hollyweird, but studies are showing that more divorcées are paying spousal support and child support, to less successful partners, upon divorce. I am tired of seeing beautiful, successful black women with men who are beneath them. Your man should be doing better than you. If men want to be considered the leaders and the head of the house, they should be the providers and main contributors to the household. 

You Are The First Chooser

The two met when Dusty Dan took his first wife to B. Smith’s restaurant. At the time, he wished that he “had someone in my family who had that type of class and presence.” They both met again after they each divorced their respective spouses, and the sparks flew. While he did work as a VP of marketing and as an executive producer, he was nowhere near B’s orbit. Judging from the base behaviour displayed in the last years of B’s life, he should have never had access to her as a potential spouse. B. managed to win in every area of her life but her health and her love life.

The black community loves to blame all of their problems on the women – their mothers, their sisters, their baby mamas, their daughters, and so on. Ladies, if the men of our community are putting all of the power in our hands, it is important for us to take back said power and use it for our personal good. If these men always want to tell you to “choose better,” when you end up in precarious positions, then start being very choosy with the men you entertain. Your ideal man should be a provider, protector, producer and problem-solver. If he does not fit those requirements at minimum, memorize the chorus of TLC’s No Scrubs and recite it verbatim

 

These Bros ain’t Loyal

Now, I do not want to turn this post into an “all men are trash” article, because that is not true. That said, there seems, to me, and to statistics, that there is a clear delineation with how men and women view marriage. Studies have proven that if a spouse gets sick, the wife is more likely to stay, while the man is more likely to head for the hills. What ever happened to “in sickness and in health?” Do vows mean nothing anymore? Women are encouraged to be caring and nurturing, while men typically hold a more selfish mentality, constantly dialed into WIIFM (what’s in it for me). Wife gets sick? Leave or cheat. Wife gets too old? Trade her in for a newer model.

Ladies, we need to get wise to the game. Either vet these men to find a keeper, stay single, or build a contingency plan to protect you and yours. (I would also like to mention that singleness is not a 100% guaranteed plan either. Black women lack a kinship network: 2.2% of black women are aging and kinless in 2015. It is projected that 1.6 black women will be aging alone by 2060. For fellow millennials who might think that is far away, that timeline is closer than we think. That is literally at the cusp of our retirement age. I would be 67.)

Just before I really got into writing this post, I saw a Twitter thread that literally made my heart weep. I always think my faith in humanity has finally hit the lowest low, and then someone decides to lower the limbo bar. In the post below, the original poster details how her sister, with stage four cancer, was getting complaints from her husband because she was not doing her share of cleaning. What the WHAT?! Your wife is literally dying of cancer and you are complaining because she cannot clean enough?! My mind literally cannot comprehend the level of utter selfishness and gall to even think something so base, never mind mentioning it out loud. It is almost like the Y chromosome might be a carrier for moral deficiency and utter degeneracy. The thread below has gone viral on Twitter, with thousands of other women sharing their experiences with men in the thread. 

 

While I was frantically searching for the tweet, Penelope informed me that someone reposted some of  the thread on Facebook, and other ladies were sharing their horror stories with the men in their lives. (Thanks Pen!)  

 

Dan may not have left B. physically, but in every other capacity, he was gone. Now, if B. had been of sound mind, but her body was wasting away, there could be a possibility that she could have suggested for him to be happy, see other women, and move on without her, as she is dying. I could see myself making that kind of concession when dying, provided that it was done PRIVATELY and out of my line of sight. 

Not only did Dusty Dan choose not to keep this under wraps, he also decided to share about this on social media, the front page of the internet, like we were supposed to be excited for him. However, as she was clearly NOT of sound mind. According to the Washington Post, during moments of lucidity, she would fight with her husband about his flirtations. We may never truly know what truly happened behind closed doors, but we can critique what is recorded on the outside. For instance, why was B. Smith lost in New York wandering the street for about 17 hours? Anything could have happened to her. Why was the mistress seen slapping food out of B’s hand? In the best interest of my blood pressure, I am going to pivot the conversation for a moment. 

Let us discuss this further, ladies. This is obviously not the ideal situation for any of us. How can we protect ourselves? Vet, vet, and vet some more. Talk to the man pursuing you. Talk to his family. Talk to his friends. Get a sense of the person he is. Use some of the tactics and strategies suggested by Christelyn in The Pink Pill.

 

Get Healthy

Look, I know that you all love to crucify us here on the blog when we mention anything to do with weight and obesity. If the topic is too triggering, skip to the next section (after the tweet below). As someone who stands at 5’6” and weighs 175 (size 10/12), I know I have shed many a tear over weight loss conversations. My mother would readily attest to that. (I know that size is not considered big in some parts of America, but here in Canada, you start getting referred to the plus sized section more often than not.) The reality of the matter is that these men don’t care. A man could look like Quasimodo or Jabba the Hutt, still get laid, and have women lining up to care for him for the rest of his days. For a woman, we have to present as the whole package, inside and out. If you are interested in being with someone, caring for your health, inside and out, is key. You have to love yourself before you can love anyone else. 

Even beyond a man, or dating itself, it is important to be healthy for you. You should be the priority in your life. Go do your annual physical. Have a good relationship with all of your medical professionals. Develop a positive relationship with food. Seek a job with competitive health care plans and comprehensive insurance. To me, it is better to be proactive about your health, so you do not have to rely on anyone else to take care of you when you get old. It will be a long time before I am old, but stories like the ones I outlined are really giving me pause. I am starting to think about what will be my legacy, and how I will spend my final years. 

 

 

Develop a Contingency Plan

Please do not answer these questions in the comments. I do not want anyone getting robbed. Just ask these questions to yourself. Do you have a contingency plan in case things go south? Are you investing in the stock market? Do you have a cash nest egg or investments elsewhere? Are you debt-free? Are you benefitting from passive income or compound interest? Do you own the space you live in outright? Do you have a friend, parent or child that you could rely on for housing and support? If you have children, do you have any finances or inheritance secured for them? Is there a long-term care or extended living facility that you could register for ahead of time? Do you have a will and testament for your life? If not, you may not be ready for life, on your own, as you age. 

I know that we women tend to cringe at pre-nuptial agreements, but there might be something to this practice. While some men and women might not respect love and marriage anymore, they have to respect a legal contract. Could you imagine outlining that an affair equates to him giving you one million in stock investment portfolio or guaranteeing you a certain level of alimony or child support? I love the idea of marriage for the sake of love, and living happily ever after, but I truly believe this world is too rancid for that level of blind trust. As Kendall says, “One-sided loyalty is for suckers.”

I recently found out that Kendall St. Charles has a new Facebook page. While we do not agree on everything, I love her insights. (I found myself quoting her a lot in this article.) I was surprised to find that one of her presentations in that page highlighted the kinship crisis that black women typically face. She discussed a lot of issues that I wanted to highlight in this piece. Although we are supposed to be the backbone of the black community, what happens to us as we age? How can we be prepared? (Kendall moves in stealth, but if you get a chance to see “The Time of Choosing is Here,” I would highly recommend it. Otherwise, her e-mail list might be more helpful.) 

 

Stop Going 5000/5000 (or “One-sided Loyalty is for suckers” – KsC)

Women are constantly being conditioned to build a man up, invest in his potential, and support him as he reaches for the stars. Have we not seen enough men leave the women who helped them build everything for a lady who enjoys the fruit of his wealth? Kevin Hart. Robin Williams. Will Smith. Sylvester Stallone. Steve Harvey. Harrison Ford. Dwayne Wade. Johnny Depp. Need I continue?

Of course, let us not forget Dusty Dan, who couldn’t even be bothered to build something useful of his own, but instead chose to prey upon and rob his elderly ill wife to support his blonde bimbo. I am trying to focus all my energy on that rat-bastard of a husband, but there is some responsibility for the lady in this too. How could you see that woman literally dying in front of your eyes, and choose to cosy up to her husband in the same space?! I understand the desire to level up, but not all money is good money. You should be able to live with yourself after doing all that you can to get where you want to be. How do you even sleep at night? I swear, everyday, this world makes me want to go live in the wilderness or the Yukon and never come back. The world is just becoming so forgone and degenerate; I honestly want no part in it. 

Just in the last month, I have seen two viral tweets that have given me pause. Case number one: this one girl’s boyfriend was saving up $5,000 for a car, and she decided to match his contribution. (That said, in the comments below, she did mention that he’s been faithful, he helped her purchase a car – did he give you 50% too?! – and they seem to be living 50/50 ever after.) Question though, sis. If he has been with you for 6 years, and your finances are more entwined than a bale of hay, when is he planning to marry you? Why are you coughing up so much money to spoil him? I wish you all the best, but if anything goes wrong here, you are all setting up to be one of the final episodes of Judge Judy

Another woman decided to go all out for her man’s birthday. Instead of getting him a tie, a watch, or even $5,000 for a car, she decided to purchase him a rental property. To make matters worse, this man had the audacity to complain about his gift, claiming that he just wanted a Rolex. What is with these women, and why do they have so much money to waste on men? I understand why men are so lumpen. Why drop anything except your zipper and pants when women will do everything for you? I know that if I was a man, I would just be the Whore of Babylon. Why do anything worthwhile when there are all of these desperate women out here to do it for you?

Let us tackle exhibit number three. I do not even know what to say about this. A man told you that he was not looking for anything serious, and you decided to see him again? You have been in a relationship for four years?! Do you not respect yourself? He said what he meant from the jump. Soon, women like this will complain that she has not gotten a ring yet, and when you ask the dude, he will say, “What? But I told her I was not looking for anything serious,” all the while plying her with all of the “I love you’s” his stupid head can churn out. I mean, he might marry you, but we will see.

I will never forget the post about that girl who taught a Naker to read and he turned around and broke up with her via text. Ladies, do not do this to yourself. You are worth so much more. I know many of these women think that large investments are a way to show how much they love their men, but really, you are just showing them who wears the pants in the relationship, and are subtly giving him the hint that he needs to find a woman better suited to him. Why are we as black women being conditioned to give these men the world? Why do we not see ourselves as the prize?

 

What Will Your Legacy Be?

B. Smith will always be remembered as a classy, gracious woman, who enhanced the image of black women worldwide. Whether she served looks as a model, thrived as a restauranteur or shared style insights as a television host, she excelled in all she put her hands to. What is your personal brand? What are your gifts and talents? What do you wish to be remembered for? Please figure that out and go back to the contingency plan paragraph to build a concrete plan of how to live the best life that you want, with or without a man.

However, she must also serve as a cautionary tale. Spouses are often seen as a reflection of the person they marry. Instead of bringing B. up, and upholding the dignity she embodied her entire life, Dusty Dan chose to spit and defecate all over her legacy. This is not just an insult to B. Smith. These actions are an insult to black women everywhere. I wish a pox on all his houses. Please do not support any of his future work or projects.

 

Look Out For Yourself

Dan Gasby might as well have killed B. Smith, with his despicable behaviour. I said what I said. No woman deserves to go through that level of humiliation. While I am sorry about the way that she got sick and died, perhaps she is just better off now, rather than being humiliated to her face, and in her own home, ad infinitum. That is no shade at all to the great B. Smith. She made a gamble in love and lost. Hopefully the afterlife is better for her than her trifling husband. Rest in power, B. Smith …and please haunt your no-good trifling husband from the grave. I will leave you with the Twitter thread below, on steps that you can take to preserve your legacy. It uses B. Smith as a case study as well.

 

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