Written by Nicole
Disclaimer: All details in this blog are alleged. Proof of much of the interactions described in this post is yet to be produced, outside of a police report.
Something has gone wrong in 2020, guys. It’s just the middle of March, and we have had quite a few strange news stories, in and out of the community. And Friday was no different! You know how crazy news comes out of Florida all the damn time? Well, here goes my attempt of writing a catchy Florida Man title:
Except this Florida Man was actually doing something with his life! Not long ago, he missed out on the state’s governorship by a mere 34,000 votes and had a bright political future ahead of him, and now that’s all gone thanks to alleged drugs and alleged bussy-for-hire.
The Florida Man in this case isn’t some run of the mill backwoods blockhead. This Florida Man story features Andrew Gillum, a former Tallahassee mayor and Democrat darling of the moment. 2020 continues to be a big ol’ mess.
What lessons can we learn from this?
“Choose better” is the go-to response when black women’s relationships go sour, for whatever reason. If a black woman got pregnant by a numbskull, she should have chosen better. If she ended up with the herp from community dick, she should have chosen better. If she ends up as any myriad of negative statistics – you got it, she should have chosen better.
So, when black women are told not to choose “thugs”, I imagine the Andrew Gillums of the world are what we are expected to choose (from the pool of like 23 of them, but whatever). And yes, on paper, he seems the whole package. Educated, ambitious, and to my knowledge, none of the typical drama that is associated with the low-budget brothas that pervade the community. And despite choosing better, now his dear wife gets to be embarrassed on public stage thanks to this breaking news story filled with narcotics and (alleged, unconfirmed), nookie. I am as pro-swirl as they come, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like seeing healthy, happy black families. In fact, I do very much wish we had more public real-life black love out there. But where are the Choose Better Chorale Singers now? Black women are constantly sold Black Love and yet the usual detractors are grave quiet when, despite doing everything right, she still gets burned? Why is that?
The deflections about this were pretty legendary, I must admit. Threads I have seen on Twitter have been hilarious…but mostly sad. People were mad at lots of this story, but the most striking one to me was the disappointment that the escort was nonblack.
Again, there has been no evidence of cheating on Andrew’s part, and this is all alleged and speculation. But, the overdose patient, registered nurse Travis Dyson, is listed on sites like LPSG (Large Penis Support Group – VERY not safe for work!!!), where forum users list him as an escort. Apparently according to users, he also had a presence on Rent Men, a site that is what it sounds like. But one would suspect that an escort doesn’t go to hotel rooms to check the thread count of the sheets, either, especially with suspected alleged narcotics in the mix.
People who were operating on the assumption that Travis’ escort’s services were being used asked questions like “Couldn’t he at least get the goods from a black guy?” And I’m like “did this dude not take vows?!” It boggles the mind that people are taking more offense to the race of the escort over the acts that might have been happening, in direct violation to the vows the Gillums no doubt took in their 2009 nuptials. I just don’t understand how black people constantly criticize the many evils of white and nonblack people, and yet turn a blind eye to our own. If we are as good and noble as we say, should we not be extra honest with ourselves first, before seeking to correct everyone else?
Not to mention, there were no arrests made. After I had a quick Google, I found out that meth possession in Florida is a third-degree felony, and, depending on the amount, can lead to a multi-year jail stint. What’s up with that? If this was anyone else, I feel like there would be some mugshots to look at, whereas Andrew got to go home. Hmm…
And also, I’m a little concerned that a nurse is ODing on meth, so hopefully that is addressed and quickly before a patient is compromised. I know I would not want a nurse with a history of drug overdoses taking care of me or my family. And speaking of the methed up nurse…
I saw one woman in Andrew’s Twitter mentions saying we all fall short. And…yes, that’s not wrong. Nobody is perfect. But has anyone here fallen so short that they end up incoherent in a hotel room with baggies of suspected crystal meth and a grainy photo of an EMS report to back it? Not once has any of my nights out ended in overdose-induced CPR. But anything to downplay this, I guess.
Andrew’s statement made direct reference to the fact that he has never done methamphetamines (and I did see Facebook comments cosigning him, because “meth is for white people”, of course). And yet, even if he tested negative live on the air, now his reputation is permanently damaged due to the actions of someone else in his vicinity (allegedly). The people you keep as friends can uplift you, and can also be the cause of your demise. Black people in politics is still uncommon, and as a result, they have extra scrutiny to deal with, especially in election years. Andrew was tapped to be the next Obama (I guess), but that’s over, and he has only himself to blame for that.
But despite the statement he made himself, people are still jumping to defend him. Since Candace Owens, a reviled, very vocal Republican black woman, was the one who broke the news, people wondered if it was that Andrew Gillum in Florida (as if Gillum is that common a name, but okay). Then they wanted it from real news outlets, not one woman’s Twitter account (a fair request in this age of fake news). Once it was confirmed that is was him, the anger was redirected about how gleefully Candace reported this incident, since she is a “Sellout Republican” (putting it mildly), with attacks on her appearance, particularly her hair (but that’s a whole ‘nother topic…always with the hair…). Then the next thing was that Trump grabs women by the pussy (aka the What About Harvey Weinstein/White People Do It Too song). And then finally, of course it’s all a set-up, by whom, that remains unclear, but likely those pesky Republicans at it again, seeking to tear the black man down!
Whether or not those deflections are true (and some of them are), it all boils down to people being so willing to bend over backwards to give Andrew the benefit of the doubt that despite evidence, and his own choice to go to that hotel room. This is rarely extended to the black woman. Hell, people still don’t believe Candace when she provided photo evidence, and was corroborated with a statement by Andrew himself! But let’s say it was a black woman of similar station, inebriated to the point of aphasia, caught with escorts and substance baggies, how do you think the response would differ? Would everyone be making excuses for her, or would she get the “she should have chose known better” remix?
“She’s a willing beard!” they say. “They must have an arrangement!” and “Surely she must have known there was something going on with him!”. Comments pointed to a 2018 article that alleged an “intimate relationship” between Gillum and a male lobbyist. Again, while married. Even as someone who has horrible gaydar, I don’t think it’s always that easy to tell if someone is not all the way straight if it’s something they don’t want out there. Some men will go to great lengths to hide his true sexuality, and never doubt the creativity and determination of someone desperate to keep a secret. But, like I said, the benefit of the doubt is not extended to R. Jai as it is for her husband. There is sympathy for her and her children, but it is overshadowed by comments that she must have known Andrew had a little “sugar in his tank”, so to speak.
Candace Owens tweeted there was a sex orgy happening.
Here is the last page of the report which sites the crystal meth.
Guess Florida made the right move electing Governor Desantis
— Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) March 13, 2020
Nowhere in the report did I see it documented that Andrew was naked. It’s grainy, and my eyesight isn’t the best, but after several rereads, I missed it. You can read a clearer version of the report here.
UPDATE to @AndrewGillum story:
My source says Andrew was NOT fully naked but his “friend” (gay male escort from “Rent Men” website) was.
Sex was suspected b/t the two bc there was blood & feces on the bed.
Yes— police were wearing body cams so this footage will come out.
— Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) March 14, 2020
There was vomit, there was CPR, there was passing out, there were baggies. But no mention of nakedness or an orgy. Given that one guy is an escort, though, one can see how the mind draws its conclusions. But you know what is interesting? People are not nearly as concerned about the possibility of an orgy as much as they are about the possibility of drug use!
A downlow attitude continues to be a problem among the males of the black community, who may take a wife and have lots of babies (in or out of wedlock), just to prove how “masculine” he is. Men who have sex with men remain the highest population to contract HIV, and if a man on the downlow is getting dicked down, it’s all well and good if he’s single, not when he has a wife. Again, I’m not saying this is what happened here, as I do not have the details. And then people are shocked, shocked, that straight black women have the highest rate of new HIV infections among all races of women. If the good ones are allegedly out here doing this, what of the regular dudes?
Methamphetamines is gaining steam in some gay communities, because it lowers inhibitions and helps users relax. I wasn’t there, so I can’t say what did or didn’t happen. But what is going on that a politician gets so inebriated in the presence of a male escort nurse and another guy that CPR had to be administered and 911 dialed?! Not once have I gone to a wedding that ended in such a trashy fashion…if there was even a wedding at all. Reports have said that Travis, the overdose survivor, said that Gillum “did not mention that [he was in town for a wedding.” So, who knows?
If Andrew is bisexual, or gay, or whatever he identifies as, that is fine. He should live his truth, whatever that truth looks like. If you’re having a good time with known male escorts and other goings-on in a Miami hotel, who am I to judge? But when a woman, and especially a black woman, given everything else we have to contend with in the relationship market, stands to be hurt, I have a problem with that. I hope she has already gotten tested so she knows her status, and maybe even get her children tested too, since the rumors have been around. Then hopefully her next stop is a divorce lawyer, because the only thing worse than private turmoil, is a very public, televised one.
Divorce is no walk in the park. It is painful and messy, and worse still if it takes place in the public eye. But if I was to find out that my husband was in a room with a male escort and meth, it’d be a wrap and I’d be single before the toilet paper returned to normal stock levels. To me, even the suspicion for cheating, especially as sordid as this, is grounds for immediate divorce. Hopefully R. Jai gets a clean bill of health, and leaves him for this unforgivable amount of public disrespect.
Andrew is a grown ass man. So grown, in fact, he ran for elected office to play a role that could affect how a whole state full of people lived their lives. He made some choices this week that will no doubt end his political aspirations, and possibly his marriage. He should have chosen better, right? Any future opponent can just bring up the incident as evidence of his inability to lead, poor decision-making skills, alleged infidelity, and so on. I am struggling to see how that can be spun into a positive. He went to that hotel, he was inebriated, he was associated with an overdosing male escort with his wife and children noticeably absent in the middle of a global pandemic. From the report, it was stated that body cameras were worn by the officers on the scene; hopefully the footage is released to clear up (or confirm) the many circulating rumors.
Since I don’t really have faith in any politicians, at all, this is not really a surprise. If you believe any of these people on either side of the ideology aisle is all sunshine and rainbows, that naïveté will get you got. I just wonder about this dude’s priorities. Here he is in the middle of a pandemic, with a wife and three young children, cavorting with escorts while fights break out in grocery stores over Clorox wipes and two-ply toilet paper. And he’s from Florida, the state where everything turns crazy in 12 seconds flat! Surely there must have been a better use of his time, as a married man who held public office?
How sad is it that one of the more prominent black love families in politics now has this mark on them? I just don’t understand this. With coronavirus madness cramming 48 hours of panic into a 24-hour news cycle, and this being an election year, one would think that anyone with increased public scrutiny would be ultra-discreet if they chose to do anything as stupid as this. And yes, I’m fully aware of the many scandals that white and nonblack politicians have been embroiled in over the years. Not because they do it too mean that we should take a page out of their philandering, drug-laden handbook.
He’s lucky the world is gripped by pandemic prep, because I haven’t seen much television coverage of this at all. R. Jai chose better, and still ended up in this rigmarole. I don’t feel sorry for Andrew, only his wife and children. This is why vetting men is so important, as is getting routinely tested, and knowing when to hold ‘em, and when to fold ‘em, is key.
What are your thoughts on this scandal? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments.
Disclaimer: This blog was written by me, Nicole, and my ideas are not necessarily reflective of Christelyn Karazin or other writers on this platform.