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Adrienne Houghton On Ignoring Logic In Her Love Story: 'He Was The Worst Look For Me'

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What you want might make you cry, and what you need might pass you by… if you don't catch it. What you need, ironically, will turn out what you want to be… if you just let it. Though these masterfully poetic words were spoken by Ms. Lauryn Hill in 1998, they still ring true, because any woman that's ever been in love can tell you that what looks good ain't always good for you. Adrienne Houghton recently echoed this sentiment when she slid through TSR's The Same Room with a word about how holding on to what you thought you wanted might make you miss out on what God has for you.


Pro tip: what God has is better.

In an episode of The Shade Room's series that also featured Angelica Nwandu and Stephanie Ike, Adrienne opened up about how it's possible to love God and still struggle. After a publicly tumultuous split from Rob Kardashian in 2009 and breaking off an engagement with her boyfriend of six years, Lenny Santiago, in 2015, Adrienne finally found 'the one'; but that didn't come without experiencing some major heartbreak, first. Adrienne said:

"For me, one of my lowest points was relationship things. Especially in my twenties. Oh, my twenties sucked. They were awful. And a lot of it had to do with wanting to be loved. I was looking for this love and I love really hard and so I expected that in return. And when I wouldn't receive that love in return it was incredibly hurtful. Even making the decision of breaking an engagement, that's not only was that depressing but it's embarrassing."

Coming from a family where she was constantly praised and told that she was loved, the 35-year-old TV host sought the same kind of love from potential suitors, and for a while, she was unsuccessful. Adrienne said that at some point, her loneliness transformed into a fear of abandonment and she began to question her faith.

YouTube/The Shade Room

"Moments like that can make you feel so low. There's so many things you think of in that moment that literally make you feel like, 'God, why do you feel so far from me?"'

The truth was, God wasn't far at all. Although God had already spoken to her and told her time and time again that he wasn't right, the heart wants what it wants, and like most of us, she was hard-headed. She explained:

"I know that I know that I know that I have a praying mom. And I know that I know that I know that God had spoken to me and told me that that was not the man for me. But I wanted that. I was on some, 'I been through too much. I deserve it. I want it.'"

Before you point your judgy finger at Adrienne, think about the last time you loved a man that you knew wasn't right for you. We've all been there, word to Adrienne and Lauryn Hill, we've all done it. In 2016, Adrienne married a man who tells her she's beautiful every single day, but along with a wedding ring, came a whole mess of scandal. She revealed that the key to finally finding the kind of love that her heart desired was understanding that sometimes, you don't have to understand. She explained:

"It didn't come in the package I thought it was. Do you know how much wrong was wrong with him? Had I gone off of logic, I would never be as happy as I am today. I went against everything that logically made sense."

A few years ago, her husband, Gospel songwriter, Israel Houghton, made headlines after it was alleged that he cheated on his wife of 20 years and fathered two children with a mistress. Despite the news breaking shortly after their wedding, Adrienne refused to jump ship and stuck by the man who God told her was the one.

"I'm not an idiot. I'm not stupid. I read everything you read. I genuinely felt led by the Holy Spirit. This is the one for you. For people who were perfect, who had no ex-wives, no children, but I would feel repellant toward them. They were on paper and what the public would have thought would have been perfect for me, they were repellant to my spirit."

Although Israel checked off none of her boxes, ultimately, she knew that life wouldn't be the same any other way.

"Israel was the worst look I ever could have gone with. I was the worst look for him. He was the worst look for me. But in the storm. What looked like a circus to everyone else, we were at home like this [leans back in a chilled position]."

All sugar ain't sweet. And sometimes, the things we think we want aren't as dope as the things we'd have if we'd just let go of what we think it should look like. Maybe finding the life of your dreams starts with you letting go of the life you thought you wanted. Adrienne thinks so.

Featured image via YouTube/Shade Room

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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Featured image by Shutterstock

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