Who Do You Love?

Our hearts are filled with toxic sludge and it overflows into every aspect of our lives.  We get relationship advice from JustinLaBoy on IG and niggas that cheat on their wives while they’re preaching to not cheat on your wives. I hate it here, but sometimes I like it.

It’s toxic, but we have fun though. The situationships are such a vibe, until they aren’t. If I were to be completely honest, sometimes my heart feels cold, like I don’t have access to all of it, but that seems pretty normal when I look around. Sometimes it’s like I’m just noticing the things that should bother me, but I don’t actually feel it.  

The women in our lives need us but they know that they can’t always trust us. They put up with us until they don’t — while the weight of hundreds of years of toxic programming of Black people shows up in the way that we walk and the way that we talk with one another. The “Black family” is in limbo.
We’re exhausted. We fight the battle when we leave the house against a country that wants us dead, and we come back home to argue with shorty about some bullshit, while we’re still carrying the weight and pressure of making sure that we’re paying bills, spending meaningful time with our children, and maintaining some semblance of a social life.

I’m not perfect, but I’m better than I was a few years ago. We try hard, but it’s hard out here.

But if we keep it real, everybody isn’t really trying that hard. There’s women that have settled for the bar being so low that guys are able to get away with murder. Not to mention that when Black women are murdered by the police, our bark isn’t as loud as it is when someone that looks like one of the homies that had a knee on their neck.

We feel sick when we go online and see women with the rallying cry “Niggas Ain’t Shit!” and think that can’t be about me. Sometimes the hardest part is that when you do muster up the courage to be the one in your group of friends that suggests that y’all stop calling women “bitches” that awkward feeling you get because now all of a sudden you’re acting all brand new.  But hey – who said life would be easy. Who said that our relationships would be easy?

This issue of WARTIME is meant to challenge Black men and the matters of the heart. Take a deep breath bro.

We’ve got articles about all of the big words that they expect us to know but nobody ever had a good conversation with us about. We’re diving into the relationships that Black men have with Black women, and the relationship that Black women have with the world.  We’re getting in conversation about how we need to protect Black women and disrupt the sexual assault and abuse that plagues our community.

We have a lot coming at us out in the world, and our best hope of survival is if we start at the heart.

Who Do You Love?

Written by Steven Pargett for WARTIME Issue 3

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