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A Potential Sugar Daddy Reminded Me Of My Worth

Dating

One of the first people I met when I moved to Bed-Stuy last year was a man named Earl. At first glance, he could easily pass as my great-uncle.


He had smooth, dark skin as a result of what seemed like decades worth of drinking lemon water, he was well-dressed even in his Velour jumpsuit, and still had all his teeth... from what I could see. I had just completed my hour-and-a-half-long trek from the Bronx, and finally reached my stop in Brooklyn. That's when he spotted me, struggling to pull my two enormous suitcases up the station's staircase, and offered his assistance.

I'd be a fool to decline, so I obliged and let him take the one with the most weight.

My apartment was just a few blocks away, which left plenty of time for us to chat. He inquired about where I was from, what I did for a living, and what brought me to Bedford-Stuyvesant, his beloved 'hood. His assistance ended once we reached my apartment, I thanked him for *quite literally* saving my life and thought, How could I possibly repay him for the trouble?

He already had something in mind… "I would love to have you over for dinner." He continued, "I'm just an old man who would love your company and to cook for you sometime."

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I'm not going to lie, I was a little taken aback by his offer. Not because I was weirded out or anything, but because it seemed like such a calculated gesture for two strangers who had only met six blocks ago. So I replied, "Sorry, I'm going to respectfully decline, but I truly appreciate your help."

As those words escaped my mouth, I could see the hope leave his eyes. And just like that, Earl was gone. Since then, I've had many other Earls, there was Mexican Earl, Wal-Mart Earl, Dreadhead Earl, and even Wheelchair Earl.

And they all had one thing in common: the potential to be my sugar daddy.

I have to say, if there's one thing that I can do right in this dating game is pull your grandfather. I never really knew what it was, but men ages 55-65 just love them some me. But don't get me wrong, I used to think something was wrong with me for attracting what seemed like only older men.

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Did I look old? Did they think I was some kind of hag? What was I giving off that gave them to cue to holler at me?

With that, I did what I always do when I have a dilemma regarding men and my dating life: I asked my dad. Luckily, as a man in his early 50's, he was able to shed some light on the situation and told me the following: "These old guys keep approaching you because they see you as a quality woman."

Hold on. Hold. ON. You mean to tell me that all these old guys can see the quality woman that I am but no one in my age bracket can? I was floored.

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Still, it made a lot of sense. Not to toot my own horn, but I am a quality woman. Through a series of premature relationships and failed dates, I learned that most of the guys that fell off the face of the earth did so after realizing that I was just too much for them and they weren't ready to take on the "challenge" of dating me.

I don't put up with a lot of foolishness. I'm 25, so I've been there and done all of that already. It's not that I'm a pill, high maintenance, or have all these outlandish standards that guys have to jump through hoops to achieve. In fact, I would argue that the bar has been lowered for guys of our generation, so when they meet a young woman who's not going to put up with their mediocrity, it turns them away like, "Oh, she's asking for too much," when in actuality, she's not.

Funny enough, I actually appreciate all of the guys who have removed themselves from the running of being My Next Man. Thanks to them, all parties have been saved the time and effort that would have been wasted on figuring out what we already knew: they would not make the cut.

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So, if you're a young, single, poppin' woman with wife-able qualities, please, I beg of you, don't settle for second best just because the wait for "the one" seems like a hopeless cause.

You're over there focusing on your dreams, loving yourself, handling your business, and soon enough, the right guy is going see you.

Don't allow yourself to think that you need to bend and conform to the world's standards in order to increase your chances of being found. Sure, it might get you a little peace for the moment, but chances are, it won't be what you need in the long run.

Continue to be quality. Don't be low hanging fruit that just anyone can grab.

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Continue to only invest your time in young men who you could see yourself with long-term, even if you feel like your patience is running thin or your time is running out.

It took the Earls in my life to teach me this. Let's take heed to their wisdom.

*Article originally published on aleyarion.com

Featured image by Shutterstock

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
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

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