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Nick Cannon On Self-Care, Success & Why He Will Never Get Married Again

#xoMan

Many women aren't lucky enough to say they spent a half-hour with their childhood celebrity crush to dish about life, love, and the pursuit of happiness, but I'm proud to say that I am. The first time I saw Drumline, I knew it was destiny. My nine-year-old heart was so captured by the film's lead character, that I bought the DVD with my own money and begged for the soundtrack for my 10th birthday.

Nick Cannon was the first man to make me "feel things" in a womanly way. I had other crushes, but Bow Wow's Harlem Shake had nothing on the way Nick hit those drums. What I didn't know about Nick during my hormonally charged adolescent years, was that his road to success wasn't a walk in the park.

Raised by a teenage mother, Nick discovered his affinity for entertainment at an early age. He was able to use his wit and tenacity to launch his stand-up comedy career, which would eventually help him escape the gang-ridden streets of his hometown in California.

Now, the 37-year-old has become the youngest executive at Teen Nick, is the creator of the longest running hip hop show in history, just opened a new restaurant in Miami, and somehow still finds time to be a great father and a student at Howard University. Nick's hit show, Wild N' Out, recently kicked off Season 12 of the show with a multi-city tour and the young mogul says this is the only the beginning.

Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Despite being diagnosed with lupus in 2012 and juggling a chaotic personal and professional life, Nick is on a mission to impact the world in more ways than one.

xoNecole got a chance to sit down with the multi-hyphenate to discuss everything from fatherhood, to how you can score a date with Nick Cannon.

xoNecole: With such a chaotic schedule, is it important for you to make time for self-care?

Nick Cannon: As someone who's dealt with health issues in a very severe manner, I know the importance of taking care of yourself, putting yourself first, and understanding self-preservation. If you ain't the best you, everything else just falls to the wayside.

xoNecole: What does self-care look like for you?

Nick: A lot of meditation. Everything from yoga to martial arts to gym activity daily. Paying close attention to what I put into my body, specifically water. I try and get a gallon a day, aiming for two gallons every day, of water, and that's kind of the foundation. Proper hydration and water intake, and then making sure I'm in the best shape I can be in.

xoNecole: How do you make time to be a dad?

Nick: I think you should never have to "make time" for fatherhood. Fatherhood is the purpose of life. My goal in life is to figure out how I can be the best father I can possibly be. From there, you take those values and apply them to the rest of your lifestyle.

Nick Cannon/Instagram

xoNecole: How has your life changed since becoming a father of three?

Nick: It becomes your number one focus, it's applied into every decision that you make. Whether it's personal, business, you move as a true man. Whereas before I operated in a very selfish way, and thought more like a boy or someone who was really just looking out for themselves, but when you become a father you gotta make decisions as a leader.

xoNecole: What advice do you have for single fathers out there?

Nick: I hate giving advice, I'm not a believer in taking advice from others because everyone's path is and journey is different. If I could say what I would do, I definitely rely on a lot of prayer and meditation.

xoNecole: It seems like you've pretty much mastered co-parenting.

Nick: I don't like the term "co-parent," I don't know where that came from. It's almost like a step down, or having to compromise what your duties are. When really it's just parenting. I think everybody parents in a different way. I attempt to just be the best father or the best parent I can be, I'm not trying to be the best co-parent.

"I don't like the term 'co-parent'... It's almost like a step down, or having to compromise what your duties are."

When you're on the same page with your family, because you never stop being family, you put your children first and it's all based and rooted in unconditional love. It usually, for me, it goes extremely well when you take yourself out of it and focus of the kids.

xoNecole: Has your fame had an affect on your dating life?

Nick: Fame is fake, temporary. I don't think that's part of my life. Those two things don't really exist to me: fame or a dating life. I don't really think I have a dating life. Obviously, I entertain people and have friends. But I'm not thinking of it like, "Who am I going to date now?" I don't even know what that means in 2018. With my busy schedule, I make time when need be.

Being a father is my number one priority and after that it's work, so if I find time to spend with somebody else, that's usually a third tier approach.

xoNecole: So, can I put it on the record that Nick Cannon is a single man?

Nick: Absolutely, you can say that for life. Put that on my tombstone.

xoNecole: For life? So you don't see another marriage happening in your future?

Nick: Nah, never that.

xoNecole: Why?

Nick: I feel like that's something that I've done before, I've experienced it, it's a beautiful thing. But it's not really something I'm looking to do again. I lived it, I enjoyed it. But my views have changed quite a bit since then. I definitely will fall [in love] again, but I don't need some paperwork from the government to solidify my love.

"I definitely will fall in love again, but I don't need some paperwork from the government to solidify my love."

I understand why people do it. Weddings are beautiful, amazing, but I've experienced that. And going forward, my ideas have evolved just a little bit than just a traditional wedding and marriage. Most people probably wouldn't agree with how I think. As a kid, I was definitely fascinated with the idea of being married and having a fantasy wedding, I married my dream girl. I definitely got what I wanted as a youngin, but now that I'm older, I can see past that. I want to focus on being the best father I can be.

xoNecole: What are the traits you look for a woman?

Nick: Honesty, sincerity, nurturing qualities. Obviously wisdom, I think women are the wisest creatures. Honesty is my first thing, and that's because I have horrible trust issues. I think in any friendship, any relationship, honesty is what a solid foundation is built on.

xoNecole: How would a woman score a date with Nick Cannon?

Nick: They gotta ask me. If someone wants my attention, they gotta show me they want it. I'll make it simple: I like who likes me. I'm not really gonna put myself out on a limb because I'm too insecure for that.

I'm an energy dude. As funny as it sounds, energy is drawn towards each other. I'm always involved with the people I'm supposed to be involved with because their energy attracts me and my energy attracts them, so we kind of end up meeting halfway when it's right, you never have to force it. If you have to force it, it's not supposed to be. I rather just allow the universe to bring it together and have a serendipitous experience.

Click here for more information on Wild N' Out Tour dates and how to score a ticket. And be sure to keep up with Nick on Instagram.

Featured image by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

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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