The Entry Point: Conversations About Race and Difference

The entry point: it’s the place of initial opportunity, first access, place where we begin anything.

Every country has an entry point. Whether by boat or by plane, there’s a place where those who care to visit must come through.

Every conversation has an entry point. Whether that begins with a hello or a glaring stare, there is something that serves as the initial opportunity for some kind of encounter with the other.

Every dwelling has an entry point, too. Whether that’s a front door, back door, screen door, or a makeshift door made out of cardboard, there’s a point of entry to get into the space.

What becomes difficult is when we desire to enter into a country, conversation or even a dwelling and cannot gain access to it because the entry points are obscure, hard to find, come with stipulations we do not meet, or we simply do not know enough to safely navigate the world on the other side and fear keeps us from even attempting to go through. Continue reading

Identity Crisis

Recently, Usher released a new song called “Hot Toddy” that explores a sexual escapade between him and an elusive woman. He wants a “Hot Toddy” to explore, sex up, and, as long as they don’t get caught, “cheat” with.

Today, I had 4 Facebook friends who changed their screen names to “first name hottoddy last name” or “Ms. hot toddy last name”.

I realized that there is a trend among a number of women (and men) who change their identities with the change in lyrical “genius” that rocks our radio stations.

Whether you’re changing your name to Jessie numberonestunnawhosmacksahoe Williams or Sheka imthebaddestbitch Jones, there’s something to be said to those who constantly change their names to match a word, phrase, or title.

Taking on the name of a “hot toddy” may be cute, trendy, or just for kicks…but consider what Usher says:

we freaking this ain’t cheating as long as we don’t tell nobody…
…I see you like it tough,
I hear you baby
claiming you a bad b-tch
show me baby
I’m a wild boy you tryna tame me baby
the way I get it from the house
can you keep me faithful
got a lot of girls
got a lot of flava
thats why when I hit em they want me to return the favor

So, if I become Alisha “Hot Toddy” Gordon, I’m letting everyone know that I am Alisha “will cheat on/with someone, I’ll do anything sexually to keep a man who doesn’t belong to me, and I’m okay with him being around a number of women who he will possibly sleep with if I don’t do these things” Gordon

Nah, son. I’m good.

Now, I aint judging. I think the song is hot, and I’ll be adding it to my iTunes play list soon. But we need to be mindful when we take on names and titles created by others. That name and title speaks louder than the speakers the music bumps from.


On the Chase,

Alisha L.