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How To Walk And Chew Gum At The Same Time

By Brian Richards | Social Media | February 3, 2017 |

By Brian Richards | Social Media | February 3, 2017 |

Ever since January 20th, many of us have been feeling like we’ve been living in the center of an open Hellmouth, or feeling as if we’re one of the people living at the Citadel and under the rule of Immortan Joe from Mad Max: Fury Road. And with the notable exception of the season finale of The Good Place, we haven’t been given too many reasons to smile, to laugh, to breathe a sigh for relief these days.

And then…on the first day of Black History Month, when the 45th President of the United States spoke of Frederick Douglass as if he’s still alive and hanging out with fellow immortals Bianca Lawson and Sadé…Beyoncé announced that she was pregnant. With twins!

To say that people on social media lost their shit when finding out about this would be the understatement of the year.

People were losing their shit, while cracking many a joke and having plenty of fun.

And then came the Fun Police.

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You know who they are. On every Facebook Wall and on every Twitter timeline, someone reveals themselves to be a member of the Fun Police, and they swoop in and rain all over every parade they see. Especially if it involves Black women who are enjoying themselves and having fun, and not focusing their attention on them or on something that they feel is important and more deserving of attention.


It happens when they’re watching and discussing Scandal.


It happens when they’re watching and discussing Empire.


It happened when Beyoncé dropped her first surprise album. And again when she dropped her next surprise album.

It happened when they were watching and discussing the season finale of Insecure.


And as always, the Fun Police not only ridiculed what these people were discussing, but also felt the need to ask why they were discussing X, when what they should be discussing Y.

No matter how many times it is said that people are capable of holding more than one thought at a time, and experiencing more than one emotion at a time, it still needs to be said. And it usually has to be said to people who don’t care anything at all about what’s being discussed and what’s not being discussed, but simply do this to act like assholes and shit-disturbing trolls who want to see their Twitter mentions blow up, no matter how much they protest and complain about it.

This may be hard for some people to believe, but people can be just as committed to talking about things that are fun/lighthearted/trivial/’unimportant’ as we are committed to talking about and doing something about all of the things that affect nearly every aspect of our lives (this election and the administration we’re now stuck with as a result, bomb threats being sent to Jewish Community Centers, families being separated from one another due to immigration bans, protection of reproductive rights, and on and on and on). Many of them work their asses off and find themselves feeling emotionally and psychologically drained as a result of doing everything they can to try to make their communities and this world a better place, and if they want to hit the PAUSE button and take some time to focus on something else that will make them smile, laugh, and put their minds at ease…that’s their fucking right. You don’t have the right to demand 24/7 activism from anyone, and jumping into the mentions of people you don’t even know to make that demand and/or shame them, because they’re enjoying something you don’t or talking about something you have no interest in or knowledge about is downright infuriating.

(And yes, that definitely includes all of you fuckwits who comes out of nowhere to sidetrack any and all discussions regarding Black Lives Matter or acts of police brutality with either “All lives matter” or “Yeah, well, what about all the Black-on-Black crime in Chicago?”)

So because this needs to be said for the 815th time…when you see people talking about and enjoying something that you don’t like, that you don’t enjoy, that you don’t want to talk about, and you feel the need to ruin everyone’s good time by saying some dumb shit…

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And also feel free to consult this helpful diagram to remind you that people are capable of thinking/feeling/doing more than one thing a time:

Most importantly, you should feel free to remember that all of this is just a nicer and more loquacious way of simply saying to you:

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Brian Richards is a Staff Contributor. You can follow him on Twitter.