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Bill Withers Documentary

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Guest that is a very reasonable reaction, assuming everything you wrote is true.  

We know that Bill beat Denise, but we don't know which other women he beat. Just because we have not heard about him beating his second wife, does not mean he never laid a hand on her.  She just may have simply chosen not to make that information public. 

In general, if a man that hits a woman, in the face, hard enough to blacken her eyes, he has probably hit other women.  The vast majority of men simply don't beat don't beat anyone, let alone a weaker woman.  

But Bill came from the tail end of a time when wives where more like property or children, and it was acceptable to kick their butts when the needed it. Of course that behavior is frowned upon today, even when the wife ticks you off ;) 

Bill will always be loved and admired for the music he made.  Denise was written our of his biography, I doubt anyone under 40 knows who she is today.

bill-and-denise.jpg

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Guest Clark Dark

While I'm certain the audience for this post has long moved on I am compelled to comment.  I was a teenager in the 70's who both loved Bill Withers music and Densie Nicholas acting (Room 222).  When I LEARNED (perhaps via Jet or Ebony magazines and/or WWRL or WBLS) that Bill WAS BEATING on Denise I vowed to myself that I when got older and became an adult I would look for Bill and KICK HIS ASS!  REAL TALK!  I'm glad Bill and I never met; he probably would have whipped my ass but WE would have HAD that fight over what he did to Denise.  I STILL feel ILL towards Bill over his treatment of Denise!

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Clark even through this conversation started more than six years ago, it is good to read your thoughts.  Most people I've spoken to about this could care less about Bill's abuse of Denise.  He is held to a different standard. This sadly is a consequence of our celebrity driven culture.

When I last saw Bill about 6 years ago, he was a very elderly man. So while I won't condone you kicking his butt, I'm sure you could take him :-)

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Guest Jules

I came to this thread through my curiosity about the whereabouts of Bill Withers. As a child, I loved his voice and his music. I recalled singing Lean On Me with my Catholic school elementary class. I also vaguely recalled my mom responding to my Bill Withers admiration by sharing the abuse allegation.  My reaction: Hey, NOBODY gets to touch Ms. McIntyre (Who didn't love her?). As far as Still Bill, I am in agreement with you. It was a high profile marriage and the abuse allegation had an impact on his image at the time---short in duration, but certainly a significant part of his story.  On another note--I'd love to read a thread about Rm 222. Perhaps it is rose-colored glasses from my childhood days, but I feel as though that show was such a positive, and plausible, depiction of inter-racial relationships (of all kinds---not specifically romantic) in a multi-racial environment. 

 

 

 

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Guest dashi365

Hello, all -

 

Just came across this thread. I'm a huge Bill fan and there has never been any doubt in my mind of his complicated personality. I believe one has to feel a number of emotions - and very intensely - to write and emote as Bill does. However, I had no idea about these abuse allegations. I did some quick research and found this account of an exchange between Bill and the late Phyllis Hyman (excuse the strong language!):

 

Phyllis Hyman revealed in her book, “Strength of a Woman,” why she and “Lean on Me” singer, Bill Withers, once had a very public and heated argument.


Our beloved Ms. Hyman was a beautiful and incredibly talented woman, but when you got on her last nerve (like they say down South), she had NO problem giving you a piece of her mind at the drop of a dime. This was the case one night on tour with Phyllis, Bill Withers and singer, Regina Belle. 

 

Phyllis said that she and Bill somehow got into a loud, heated argument backstage in front of Regina Belle and others, and that she didn’t hesitate to throw a verbal jab at him when she said this to him:

 

"Come on motherfucker…what are you gonna do, beat me the way you beat Denise Nicholas?!"

 

 

 

Ouch! Now of course, Bill was not by any means going to do that to her, but Phyllis admittedly was just making sure she hit him where it hurts, so to speak. For those who don’t know, Denise Nicholas is the actress best known for her role in “In The Heat of the Night” and Bill Withers was dead smack in the middle of a media frenzy, as rumors were spreading like wildfire after his divorce from Denise. Denise and Bill were allegedly involved in a really stormy relationship and there were rumors that there was a domestic violence incident, although that was never proven as far as we know. So needless to say, Bill was pissed and I guess he learned that day that nobody better not EVER get on Phyllis’ bad side because our girl didn’t play that…LOL.

 

Bill is typically a really laid back and logical kind of guy though, so it must have been pretty bad to get him all hyped up like that. What Bill eventually said about the incident was that people like Phyllis and a bunch of other folks were giving him so much backlash about those domestic violence rumors that shortly after that argument , he isolated himself from the music industry. The reputation he had acquired caused him to not tour for seven whole years and he was only able to record 9 albums within a 15 year span because he said:


“People chose her (Denise Nicholas’) side….That’s all I could make (at the time), I didn’t make any albums between 1978 and 1985 because I couldn’t get any music past anybody’s desk at CBS Records.”

 

Source: I Love Old School Music

--

Interesting, right? It's the first I've heard about the marriage being responsible for his withdrawal from the industry. And while I won't speculate about their relationship, I will say that I've typically been the first to try and fit people into boxes. However, (I believe) our own mistakes tend to be humbling and remind us that people are neither good nor bad; they just are.

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Thanks for sharing that Dashi.  Did you see the documentary film about Bill's life?

 

You know Hyman ended her own life, right?

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I don't think Bill's marital problems would be a factor in the climate of today's musical industry.  Chris Brown's beating up of Rihanna didn't seem to affect his career. He's kind of become the poster boy for irresistible bad boys, of which there are many nowadays in the show biz  world.  Maybe we can thank the misogyny of Rap for that. 

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Nah rap is not to blame here.  brothers like Ike Turner and Bill predated the emergence of Rap.  In fact, rap was all about having fun when it started; the misogyny came later, around the time the corporations got involved.

 

side bar: @Cynique, how are thing going on Facebook?  I saw that you've been liked my stuff--thanks!  How as the activity been; has it grown, stayed the same, or slowed down in recent months?

 

 

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 I don't think Bill Withers career would be affected by his alleged abuse of his wife in today's show biz climate because.gangsta rap robbed such behavior of its shock value.  

 

 I haven't notices any drastic changes in FaceBook fare.  It's as stupid and pedestrian as ever.  I appreciate, however, the memes for people of every persuasion.   Heated political and religious discussions are still just a click away. 

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I dunno, you may be right.  I guess I'm looking at it from the perspective of a 50+ year old raised in a culture where we gave up our seats, held doors; you know all the stuff people seem to give two sh-ts about nowadays.

 

Yeah, memes are a thing all to themselves and perhaps the reason for Snapchat's very existence.  People show me memes all the time.  Most I don't find most funny, but I do enjoy some.  For example, @Cynique, I really liked that video you posted, which was supposedly a documentary of America produced by the North Koreans. It may have been propaganda for the North Korean population, but I saw it as scathing commentary of American culture. 

 

When you seek out political and religious discussions are these with people you know, or are you looking in related groups and the like?  Do you use any other social media besides Facebook?

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Bill Withers is influenced more by his generation than Rap. He may be more influenced by the 50's since he would have been in his 20's on the 50's.  The song he wished he had written was Strange Fruit. Which harkens ti a time before civil rights 

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On 2017-09-15 at 12:17 PM, Troy said:

Thanks for sharing that Dashi.  Did you see the documentary film about Bill's life?

 

You know Hyman ended her own life, right?

I plan to watch it this week! I'm a bit nervous. After reading all of this, I'm tempted to just maintain the mystery lol. But I've always found his story so relatable and personally inspiring. I'm most interested in how he got started and his music process, not the drama.

 

And I did read that about Hyman, although I know very little else about her. Very sad. She sounded so troubled. 

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@Delano  @TroyI am not saying that Bill Withers was influenced by Rap! I am saying that, as witnessed by how Chris Brown's career has not been derailed  by his beating up Rihanna,  in today's musical climate, Bill Withers' career wouldn't have  been so negatively affected because the misogyny of gangsta rap seems to have removed the stigma of abuse.

 

On ‎9‎/‎16‎/‎2017 at 9:39 AM, Troy said:

When you seek out political and religious discussions are these with people you know, or are you looking in related groups and the like?  Do you use any other social media besides Facebook?

I don't really have to seek out discussion.  There are all kinds of articles about current events and controversial subjects jumping out at you on as you scroll down FaceBook where in addition to a "like" option, there is a "Comment" one to click onto.  Once you click on to it, a whole thread of discussion is opened up to you where highly-opinionated strangers from all over the country engage in heated exchanges.  I also argue with friends when they post something I don't agree with.  FaceBook is the only social media I participate in.  It's enough.

 

@dashi365 I'm sure the royalties are rolling in for the insurance ad featuring singer Jenifer Hudson's "impromptu" duet with a guitar player on Withers' "Gonna Be a Lovely Day".  TV is literally saturated with this commercial.  Which is to say that Bill Withers' music certainly seems to have adequately compensated him for whatever his shortcomings were because his songs are still popular.  I think he should've just manned up and not let the criticism take such a toll on him.  Whenever I heard  the rumors about him and Denise, it was usually in a humorous context.

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On 16/09/2017 at 3:11 AM, Cynique said:

I don't think Bill's marital problems would be a factor in the climate of today's musical industry.  Chris Brown's beating up of Rihanna didn't seem to affect his career. He's kind of become the poster boy for irresistible bad boys, of which there are many nowadays in the show biz  world.  Maybe we can thank the misogyny of Rap for that. 

Ah misread the empashis.

Don't know if it's apocryphal. When asked about whether he hit Denise Williams, Bill Withers said she wanted to Use Me so I decided to Lean on Her.

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@Cynique, I never thought you wrote that Bill was influenced by Rap, not did I write anything to imply.  That does not make sense.  I know you know Bill predates rap.  In fact I even wrote that you were probably right

 

I'm beginning to see that when one person (A) has a disagreement with more than one other person (B and C). The person A has difficulty distinguishing the options of B and C, and just lumps them all together.  The reasons for the disagreement are not nearly as relevant as the disagreement itself.  I'm not singling you out Cynique.  Del does this with me an Pioneer, and I see this in the broader society as well.  

 

Yeah, all the other social media platforms are designed for handheld devices. Facebook is really the only one that is also designed for people using laptops or desktop computers.  Consumers use held held devices predominantly.  Only content creators bother with laptops or desktop devices and these folks are decreasing in numbers...

 

@dashi365, I would encourage you to see the film.  It is a very nice treatment of the man.  Went I saw the film Bill Withers spoke after the showing.  He came across as a great guy.  I was just disappointed to learn that he beat his wife, and that the wife was not mentioned in the film.  That part of his life was erased as if it never existed, which I felt made the film worse because I realized it was an incomplete depiction of Withers.

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On ‎9‎/‎15‎/‎2017 at 2:41 PM, Troy said:

Nah rap is not to blame here.  brothers like Ike Turner and Bill predated the emergence of Rap.  In fact, rap was all about having fun when it started; the misogyny came later, around the time the corporations got involved.

 

This is the statement that gave me the impression that you thought I was saying that Rap influenced Bill's behavior.  So you initially misunderstood my original statement about how Bill's abuse allegations wouldn't have impacted on his career in today's show biz scene because misogynistic rap made abuse irrelevant.

 

On ‎9‎/‎16‎/‎2017 at 9:39 AM, Troy said:

I dunno, you may be right.  I guess I'm looking at it from the perspective of a 50+ year old raised in a culture where we gave up our seats, held doors; you know all the stuff people seem to give two sh-ts about nowadays.

This is your admission that I might be "right", but in your second sentence, i didn't see its relevancy to my original statement.  I now assume you meant that in today's world you would still be scandalized by Bill's alleged abuse in spite of gangsta rap. So, yes, people do tend to either misinterpret or misunderstand what others say in both oral and written discussions. 

 

This seems to often be the case when men and women are discussing something, and why, as women have come into their own,  "mansplaining" has become such an issue. The scenario is too often where a man simply recycles what a woman has said and feeds it back to her as if it was his idea; men are probably unconscious of this because they automatically think that women need to have things explained to them.  I have always thought that women's  brains are more fine-tuned and detailed oriented than men's and this contributes their being more sensitive. 

 

Males are also supposedly more prone to ADD in its various degrees of severity because it's like their brains transpose letters  or add or omit words or confuse similarly spelled words. e.g. Just the other day in the posted Lil Kim video you wrote: "The video did not lie, except for when they spoke about "talent" of the relativity TV show participants"  Did you mean to key "reality" instead of "relativity"? And was this maybe because your fingers and your brain are not in sync?  I think that is why "no" often comes out as "not" or "the" as "they".  I also think that some people unconsciously key what they hear in their head, and this is why they carelessly misuse "to" and" two" and "too" or "there" and "their".  Even when they proof read they are skimming and don't catch typos, etc. Of course, the most simply explanation is that people in a hurry make more mistakes! :o

 

  My problem is typing a word twice in a sentence.  I've also been told that I write in a conversational style with a certain cadence.  I know that I insert a lot of parenthetical expressions in my writing because I do like to write the way I talk.     The human brain is an interesting and complicated organ.   

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The structure of the sentence point a , then point b, then point c. And point A is related to point C.

 

Troy lately you and Pioneer seem to be on the same side of a few issues. Even though you reasons differ.

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@Cynique, I understood your statement.  Why do I to keep mansplaining that I understand that Bill was not influenced by the future misogyny in 1980s rap to beat his wife in the 1970s?!  It looks like you simply did not understand what I wrote in reaction.  Perhaps, as you suggest, I don't write well enough, or maybe it is a case "femstanding," the female way of understanding :o

 

In the context of the whole sentence, are you saying that you had no idea which word I meant between, "reality" instead of "relativity"?  Sometimes spell check corrects on the fly and if I don't see the red underline, I may miss an otherwise obvious typo.  We already spoke about the difficulty of self-editing.  

 

Actually, I spend more time trying explain things to Pioneer and Del than I do you Cynique.  Is still called "mansplaining" if it is one dude explaining talking to another?

 

@Del, at the risk of mansplaining, Pioneer and I can be on the same side of an issue, but for different reasons. In most cases, many of the things we discuss here are naused and multifaceted; there are many sides to one can take.

 

It seems however, that most people for the sake of simplicity, laziness, or perhaps human nature refuse the acknowledge that many issues are complicated and that there is no "right" or "wrong;" answer.

 

It is very easy to lump all 45 supporters into the racist bucket, but if you that you'll never understand why many people actually support him. 

 

Similarly, if you group all women together into having  brains that are more "fine-tuned and detailed" than men, you'll tend to view people with that prism and fail to completely understand them.

 

For example, you can't run a massive website single handedly without paying attention to detail--it would get away from you and become unmanageable.  Any programmer knows you simply can't write code without paying strict attention to the most minute details; a single character out of place can literally bring down an entire website.

 

Obviously I wrote that to demonstrate that I'm fully capable of being detailed oriented.  Do I have a female-like brain?  It that is the case how would one explain the typos in my posts?

 

 

 

 

 

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@TroyWell, you didn't discern that I wasn't accusing you of "mansplaining" when it came to the Bill Wither's subject. My first response in my last post  was specifically directed to the last sentence in your second response wherein you said " I guess I'm looking at it from the perspective of a 50+ year old raised in a culture where we gave up our seats, held doors; you know all the stuff people seem to give two sh-ts about nowadays",  an observation which struck me as kind of a non sequitur.   Note that I started a new paragraph when I switched to the subject of mansplaining,  - which is a ticklish subject.  

 

Moreover, "relativity" and "reality" are two different words.   There are no relativity shows on prime time TV.  But there are a plethora of reality shows on it. The word "relativity" would be more appropriately  used on the Science or National Geographic cable channels in connection with Einstein's theory of "relativity".  You didn't misspell "relativity",  which was why the spell check didn't kick in.  Your brain inadvertently mixed  up the similarly-spelled words when you were keying.

 

Technical expertise doesn't require being "nuanced".  This is more in the realm of a woman's instinct which is triggered by her fine-tuned antennae.  :D

 

 So you and I do have difficulty in being on the same wave length.

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On 2017-09-18 at 8:10 AM, Troy said:

@Cynique, I never thought you wrote that Bill was influenced by Rap, not did I write anything to imply.  That does not make sense.  I know you know Bill predates rap.  In fact I even wrote that you were probably right

 

I'm beginning to see that when one person (A) has a disagreement with more than one other person (B and C). The person A has difficulty distinguishing the options of B and C, and just lumps them all together.  The reasons for the disagreement are not nearly as relevant as the disagreement itself.  I'm not singling you out Cynique.  Del does this with me an Pioneer, and I see this in the broader society as well.  

 

Yeah, all the other social media platforms are designed for handheld devices. Facebook is really the only one that is also designed for people using laptops or desktop computers.  Consumers use held held devices predominantly.  Only content creators bother with laptops or desktop devices and these folks are decreasing in numbers...

 

@dashi365, I would encourage you to see the film.  It is a very nice treatment of the man.  Went I saw the film Bill Withers spoke after the showing.  He came across as a great guy.  I was just disappointed to learn that he beat his wife, and that the wife was not mentioned in the film.  That part of his life was erased as if it never existed, which I felt made the film worse because I realized it was an incomplete depiction of Withers.

Wow! Where was this screening? And I see what you mean about erasing the incident(s). And it does make me think immediately of Rihanna and Chris Brown, and how journalists and fans and anyone you can think of still being that's incident up almost daily. It makes it impossible for the perpetrator or the victim to move on. Maybe it would've been better if it was mentioned in the film, even if Bill didn't discuss it personally. Otherwise, you don't get a complete picture of the person, which (obviously), is the point of making a documentary. 

 

And @Del my heart smiles a bit every time I hear that commercial (even though I find Jennifer's voice a tad shriek-y :)). 

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9 hours ago, dashi365 said:

And @Del my heart smiles a bit every time I hear that commercial (even though I find Jennifer's voice a tad shriek-y :)). 

Actually I, Cynique, am the one who brought up the Jennifer Hudson commercial, and also the one who compared  the Chris Brown and Rihanna brouhaha to the Bill Withers and Denise Nicholas situation.  ...Yet another example of people being confused about who said what.  :huh:

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@Delano that is easy, because both men and women exhibit the characteristics Cynique describes.  Now I know stereotypes might support the generalizations, but stereotypes don't reflect reality.  

 

If i may, I think you and I both defy cultural norms and stereotypes in a number of ways.

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Yes but i love fried chicken but not pig feet. 

I didn't realise how much of an American I was until I left the country. You are an alpha male (perhaps) you can't see how much gender influences you. 

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I'm not saying there are no gender differences, I'm just not sure the ones Cynique described are. Are you sure those influences are not based on culture?

 

While I love me some fried chicken (I make it at least once a week), many white people love fried chicken too.

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Troy you're an alpha male that doesn't think gender affects your thinking. That's like white people who dont see racism. The irony is lost on you.

Tee hee hee and a chortle. 

 

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Like white racism, I think the drivers are cultural, not inherent to the person or their gender. 

 

But keep in mind I'm not speaking in absolutes. I'm not saying there are no differences in thinking due to gender. I'm just saying there are certainly not as many as we think they are are.

 

Most of these differences, I'm arguing, are defined in our culture; the way we are raised the media messages we are sent, etc. Not all cultures see the same differences between men and women that we do.

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To what do you guys attribute your incorrect word usage, grammatical errors, misspellings, garbled sentences, and typos, all of which frequently occur in your proof-read versions? ;)   Carelessness, ignorance, dyslexia or something else? :huh: 

 

 I am deficient in computer technology  and am not good at math. :blink:

 

 

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Maybe I'm just stoopid.  I don't know what Del's excuse it :P   It could be men are just dumber that women.

 

Seriously, you can't possibly be deficient in technology.  You'd run rings around most of the people I know anywhere near your age.  If you think you are bad in math it is probably because you had crappy teachers when it mattered most.

 

Nope, @Pioneer1, your problem is not syntax, just reasoning ;)

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I'm glad you guys, don't take me too seriously.  If i taunted women like this, they would be at my throat.  Because, - well, women take things differently than men...    Generally.  :rolleyes: 

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No Pioneer you are in a class by yourself. We agree on this.

 

Cynique 

My writing is actually better. People used to ask me if English was my second language. 

Reasons: I type on a phone and unlike you and Mel writing was relatively unimportant in my jobs. 

 

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@Delano I find using the speech to text function works well when I post using my cell phone.  Though it does sometime choose the wrong word, it is better than typing.

 

Touché @Pioneer1 LOL!

 

@Cynique, well I know women you can take a joke and others who can't. This is also true for men.  

 

As a guy coming up the way I did, if you could not take a joke, or took everything said to you seriously, you would never have made it... just as I wrote that I realized, in hindsight, that is probably our collective problem.  We spent so much time demeaning each other it probably did have an adverse impact on our how we perceived ourselves and our potential for success...

 

Del were you ever teased by any of the kids in your neighborhood for being smart, or going to that fancy school?  I was called "brainiac." By the time I got to high school the last thing I wanted to be known for was being smart.   

 

 

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Troy as a kid we would snap on each other. All the neighborhood kids would insult you and your parents. And you couldn't lose your cool. You had to have a funny comeback. O don't know for certain but i think this is common among black boys growing up. I look at is as training for life. 

 

There was one kid who usef to sit on his stoop and read law books. Incidentally he was a legendary fighter. He was so good he would just be a bit better than you. I remember we were sparing once and this neighbourhood kid said if you beat him you're the man. 

 

There was another kid who was in gymnastics. He would do leg cuts on the ground. And he couldn't beat him either. He was fast strong and flexible. 

One time a cat was holding his foot he jumped and kicked him with the other leg. 

Pne time i was sparring with this kid he had tem pounds in me was a little shorter but i was faster. I would dance around and tag him with punches. Je was a flat footed straight ahead fighter. When he came at me i dropped my hands didnt block his blows but he could barely touch me. He lost his cool charged me a side stepped him and punched him in the ribs.

So for a little guy i was nice withy hands and had good footwork. So om addition to snapping we sparred.

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Well, a little perspective is called for here.  Everybody has painful childhood memories inter-dispersed with the happy ones. That's all a part of the growing-up process.   There is such a thing as constructive criticism.  The alternative to this is to reinforce bad habits with silence.  A balance has to be struck. 

 

Black folks should strive to be able to compete in the mainstream instead of setting themselves up for ridicule. This can be done without sacrificing their identity, and  a dual consciousness is what the black mystique is all about.

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Yeah my astrological nemesis told me he struggles to understand what i mean. We ain't besties but I make more corrections to my posts.

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