Friday, September 19, 2014

Facebook Got Stonewalled (Learn Your LGBT History)

Facebook got Stonewalled, but not in the way the term is usually used.  As they say, those who don't know their history are doomed to repeat it.

Anybody who knows me knows I adore drag queens because they can be better at being women than women and yet deploy their male physical strength when they choose to.  Nobody but a drag queen can dress like Diana Ross, throw shade like Bette Davis, and beat you down like Mike Tyson.  As Wesley Snipes said in drag in the movie, "To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything," a drag queen is what happens when you have too much style for either gender.

Clearly someone at Facebook pulled the idea out of their ass that they would enforce their heretofore unenforced "no fake names" policy, and they decided to start enforcing the policy against, of all people, drag queens.

What part of Stonewall did this idiot not know?  Did this idiot not know that it was drag queens who set off the Stonewall Riots?  Drag queens who beat down police officers?  If a drag queen would beat down a police officer, imagine what she would do to Mark Zuckerberg's puny ass?

And not only did Facebook pick the most unlikely group of people with whom to pick a fight -- drag queens -- but they started with one of the most famous drag queens in the world, Sister Roma of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.

What was Facebook thinking?  The Sisters are perpetual icons of Pride Parades.  If you were going to pick on some drag queens, why oh why would you pick one of the Sisters?

Well, Sister Roma fought back and threw shade, noting that Facebook had picked out drag queens as the first group against which to enforce their policy.  Now, I'm not Facebook's lawyer, but I would have imagined that, with Facebook having its corporate headquarters in California and selectively enforcing its policy against a well known San Francisco drag queen, they were ripe for an Unruh Civil Rights Act claim, but hey, I'm not Facebook's lawyer.

That aside, Sister Roma did her thing and Facebook had to back down and, as they say in politics, "walk back" their policy.

So Facebook got Stonewalled.

Learn your LGBT history, Facebook, so you won't be doomed to repeat it. Pick on drag queens at your peril.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Blurred Lines, Clear Karma (You Know You Want It)

I believe in Karma.  I believe that what you put out into the world, good or bad, comes back to you. That's why I'm not surprised at the recent turn of events in the lawsuit about Robin Thicke's 2013 summer anthem, "Blurred Lines."

"Blurred Lines" re-created the same dilemma that any free-thinking and music-loving feminist faces:  Loving the beat and the melody, but hating the words and, in this case, the video.  Sure, we've all seen videos where women were nothing but sexual foils to the male artists in the video, but there was something creepy about the video, especially the topless version.  Sure, Robert Palmer's "Addicted to Love" video made the women in it look like vacuous dolls, but this video made the women in it look like vacuous inflatable sex dolls.  I'm not a big Robin Thicke fan, but somehow I expected more from the "Lost Without You" crooner.  Before, he sang songs about loving women, while "Blurred Lines" smacked of undertones of grooming a woman for sexual exploitation like a privileged college frat boy rapist would.  The graffiti in the video that read, "Robin Thicke has a big d***" was juvenile and over the top.  Clearly no one cared about the sexism in the song and the effect it might have on young people.  Sexism sells.

In their depositions in the copyright infringement suit against the children of Marvin Gaye, both Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams admitted that Thicke did not contribute to writing the song.  Thicke admitted he lied about helping to write the song in order to sell more records.  He also admitted he didn't do a single interview sober in the aftermath of "Blurred Lines" and the MTV Video Awards twerking incident with the tasteless and boundary-lacking Miley Cyrus.

Here's where Karma comes in.

"Blurred Lines" led to a media blitz, a twerking scandal, and a picture with Thicke's hand planted firmly in the crack of the ass of a woman not his wife.  His wife, the stunningly beautiful Paula Patton (notice Thicke didn't have her running around topless in the video in front of Pharrell and T.I.), leaves him, and despite doing an album in her honor and naming it for her, the album fails and he fails to get her back.  He disrespected women and lost the woman he respected.  Karma.

Pharrell also got a bit of a Karma bite back.  The song for which he was nominated for an Oscar, "Happy," loses to "Let It Go."  It isn't often that a music artist gets nominated for an Oscar.  Is it a coincidence that he lost in the wake of all the "Blurred Lines" fallout?  I don't think so.

Sure, you can put your art out there and not take responsibility for it.  You can pass it off as just expression and, well, art.  Just because you don't take responsibility for your work doesn't mean that Karma won't hold you responsible in some form or another.  And maybe, just maybe, Thicke's behavior was a cry for help for his drug and alcohol dependence issues.  Maybe he really wanted what Karma was handing out.

Blurred lines, clear Karma. 

You know you want it.

Monday, September 15, 2014

A High Hustle Quotient (What Tina Turner and The Tamale Lady Have in Common)

Whenever I hear people who are struggling financially or in their careers tell me what they’re not going to do to get out of their situations, e.g., “I’m not going to take work outside of my field,” “I’m not going to take the bus to get to work,” or “I’m not working at Starbucks,” I smile and think to myself:
 
Tina Turner cleaned houses.
 
After Tina Turner divorced Ike Turner, she was broke.  If you saw the movie, “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” or read the book, you know Tina Turner came through her divorce without much other than her name.  To get out of the financial situation she was in, she cleaned houses.  Mind you, she cleaned houses not while she was unknown and still Anna Mae Bullock.  She cleaned houses as Tina Turner, formerly of the Ike and Tina Turner Revue.  Imagine the humility it took to go from singing and dancing on stage for thousands to cleaning houses for some of her rich friends.  Imagine what it felt like to go from having a cleaning lady to becoming one.
 
Then there’s the Tamale Lady.  A while back in the Sacramento area, there was this Latina who sold tamales in front of a local Wal-Mart.  Someone dropped a dime on her (probably one of her competitors), and she was cited for trespassing, arrested, and ended up in immigration proceedings for not being here legally.  There was a huge hue and cry in the community that the Tamale Lady got picked up for doing what she did best –  make and sell tamales.   It rankled even the free enterprise “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” conservative folks because the Tamale  Lady was doing exactly what we’re told we’re supposed to do in America to succeed – work hard, do well, and don’t expect help from the government or anyone else.  I believe she was eventually released from custody.
 
What Tina Turner and the Tamale Lady have in common is what I would call a high hustle quotient (HQ).  What is a hustle quotient, you ask?  To me, it is a combination of factors that predict how likely it is you will get out of the struggle you’re in and not end up in the same position again. These factors include:
 
1.     Willingness to take any kind of work when you don’t have any, and to work multiple jobs
2.     Effort and initiative in finding work
3.     Willingness to work under difficult circumstances and do whatever it takes to get to work (e.g., take the bus at night, walk to work)
4.     Willingness to learn from those you’re seeking help from
5.     Willingness to do something different when what you’re doing isn’t working
6.     An understanding of how you ended up in the circumstances you’re in and a plan not to end up in them again
7.     Willingness to make hard sacrifices to get out of your situation, e.g., sell some of your shit
 
Why does a high HQ matter?  It matters because it’s a predictor of how likely it is someone will have to help you again and, as a result, whether it’s worth it to help you now. No one wants to put their hard earned money down the rat hole of someone else’s unwillingness or inability to learn from their situation and make adjustments. Let’s explore these factors, shall we?
 
1.     Willingness to take any kind of work when you don’t have any, and to work multiple jobs
 
It’s usually this first factor that is a sticking point for struggling people, usually young ones or those with newly minted bachelor’s degrees.  I laugh inwardly when unemployed people with bachelor’s degrees tell me, “I don’t want to take a job that’s outside of my field.”  Let’s be clear:  Unless your bachelor’s degree is in engineering or computer science, you don’t really have a field.  The only things your non-engineering or non-computer science bachelor’s degree qualify you for are to a) Get a teaching credential; b) go to graduate or professional school; or c) get an entry-level government job.  A bachelor’s degree is the new high school diploma.  My bachelor’s degree is in political science, which qualified me for exactly what I did directly after college – a minimum wage internship with a government agency and graduate school.  The irony is that the internship I had at the California State Capitol as a high school senior had more prestige than the internship I had after graduating Stanford with a bachelor’s in political science.  Go figure.
 
When you don’t have a job AND you’re asking other people to help you, you can’t be too picky about what work you’ll take AND expect people to help you, especially if they work shitty jobs or hate their jobs.  No one is willing to subsidize your potential happiness and career satisfaction with their current unhappiness and career dissatisfaction.  Why should you be happier than they are on THEIR dime?
 
2.      Effort and initiative in finding work
 
However, it is usually the second factor – effort and initiative in finding work – that brings strugglers and helpers to blows, especially if the struggler is living under the helper’s roof.  No grown person wants to feed and house another healthy adult person who isn’t working hard at finding a job or is picky about what they’ll do (see factor number 1). My father’s rule was that if you were an adult and living in his house, you needed to be going to school, working, or looking for work.  He also believed and made clear that there were no other men in his house but him because, if you were a man, you’d be in your own house taking care of your own self.  If he even remotely sensed that one of my brothers wasn’t going to school, working, or looking for work, he’d growl, “This ain’t no flop house.  Get up, n*****!” 
 
The point that my father was trying to make, albeit inartfully, is that there is a difference between being an adult and being grown.  Adulthood is a matter of reaching a certain age; being grown is a matter of reaching and maintaining a level of responsibility for yourself and sometimes others.  Not all adults are grown.  Conversely, not all grown people are adults.  My father was the second oldest of eight, grew up without a father, and worked to support my grandmother and his siblings, all before the age of eighteen.  For the most part, my father has always been grown, even before he was an adult.  When you have the responsibilities of a grown person without the income, you better make some effort and show some initiative in finding a job if you expect other grown people to help you.
 
It’s typically the second half of the second factor that gets under my skin – lack of initiative.  I’ve had a struggler tell me, “I can’t apply for jobs online because I don’t have a computer,” to which I’ve replied, “Go to the library.  They have computers.”  The response:  “But the library is far away.  I’d have to walk or take the bus.”  Precisely.  That’s called initiative.  And when you’re broke or don’t have a job, all you have is your initiative, which is your determination to overcome obstacles with little or no assistance from others. I have evolved to the point where your initiative only matters to me if you’re asking for my help. If you lack initiative AND are asking for my help, don’t bother.  If you have little or no initiative AND you’re not asking for my help, party on, because I’m not affected by your lack of initiative. Mind you, when it comes to my relatives, it’s taken me a long time to get to this point of view on initiative when they aren’t asking for my help (because I despise laziness in all forms), but I’m there.
 
3.         Willingness to work under difficult circumstances and do whatever it takes to get to work (e.g., take the bus at night, walk to work)
 
Willingness to work under difficult circumstances and do whatever it takes to get to work is a factor that rankles most helpers who are Depression and World War II-era folks, pre-civil rights blacks and people of color, or people who came up out of abject poverty.  When a struggler tells a helper who grew up in the Depression, served in or survived World War II, lived as a black person or person of color in the pre-civil rights era of limited opportunity, or who came up out of abject poverty what they’re not willing to do or that they’re not willing to take a bus or walk to work, these helpers literally lose their shit because they HAD to do what the struggler is not willing to do to get out of his or her struggle.  They had to walk to work or take buses.  They had to work overtime – hell, my father thought that overtime was the equivalent of Christmas in July, and he took it whenever it was offered.  These kinds of helpers had to take jobs that were hard, dirty or beneath them to take care of themselves or others or to get to the next level.  They even left behind family and friends to find work in places where they knew no one.  They came through hard times not of their making.  When a struggler is not willing to do what a helper has had to do to survive, the conversation about help is pretty much over.  Stick a fork in it; it’s done.
  
 
4.         Willingness to learn from those you’re seeking help from
 
The strugglers who aren’t willing to learn from those they’re seeking help from just leave me shaking my head, especially the young strugglers.  What they don’t get is that the people who are helping them are in the position to help them because they know some things that perhaps the struggler doesn’t, like how to get and/or keep a job, because those things never change.  When a struggler, especially a young one, tells me that I don’t know about their profession or what they’re going through because the job market has changed since I was their age or that I haven’t had to find a job in a while, I just laugh inwardly.  True, the job market has changed in terms of the number and kinds of jobs available.  The qualities it takes to get and keep a job have not.  I may not be successful at a lot of things, but I know how to get and keep a job.  If someone who is struggling isn’t willing to learn that from someone who is helping them or in a position to help them, they lose major points on the HQ scale in my book.  As Marianne Williamson says, the youth teach us about the things that change.  Elders teach us about the things that never change.  Word.
 
5.         Willingness to do something different when what you’re doing isn’t working
 
The strugglers who aren’t willing to do something different when what they’re doing isn’t working amuse me.  It’s funny to me when they insist on continuing on a path to nowhere and want you to finance the journey, then get mad when you suggest that they try something different.  They want you to have patience with them continuing on a failed path.  What they fail to realize is that it’s okay for them to continue on a failed path, but it’s not okay for them to ask people to subsidize their journey.  If you’re not willing to try something different when you’re struggling, I have neither the time nor the inclination to subsidize you because your actions tell me you’re either not going to get out of your struggle or, if you do, you’ll be back in it again.
 
  
6.         An understanding of how you ended up in the circumstances you’re in and a plan not to end up in them again
 
When strugglers don’t understand or don’t want to understand how they ended up in their struggle, it’s almost useless to help them financially.  They think their struggle is purely happenstance and they didn’t do anything wrong, and that with time and money (yours), they’ll be back in the game without having to change what they did before.  This may be true in the event of a catastrophe such as a death, debilitating illness, or an economic downturn (to a certain extent).  It is not true, however, if the struggler keeps getting fired for the same reason, e.g., won’t go to work or keeps cussing out the boss, or if the struggler keeps insisting on finding work in a field where the jobs are disappearing, such as factory work.  A struggler who does not see the role he or she has played in creating his or her struggle is doomed to continue struggling.  At that point, giving them money is the worse thing you can do because they’ll go back to doing what they did before, thinking their timing or circumstances was  off when if fact they were off.  All you would be doing is subsidizing future struggle.  I’m all for giving strugglers a financial time out to figure out how they ended up in their struggle and to plan not to end up in their struggle again; what I’m not for is giving a struggler money to go back and do the same stupid shit that got them in their struggle in the first place.
 
7.        Willingness to make sacrifices to get out of your situation, e.g., sell some of your shit
 
Finally, if you’re struggling and asking someone for help, be mindful of this last factor.  If you have more assets than the person you’re seeking help from, they’re not likely to want to help you until you get rid of your assets that they don’t have or can’t afford.  Why?  Because they’re not willing to subsidize for you a lifestyle that they can’t afford or have not afforded themselves because of the sacrifices they’re making to get to the next level or achieve a goal.  Don’t ask someone for financial help when you’re rocking a Coach bag, rolling in a Benz, owning the latest smartphone, watching a 52 inch LED flat screen, or own two or more houses or vehicles when the person you’re asking for money or help doesn’t.  I can tell you what that person is thinking:  “You’re not willing to make sacrifices to get out of the situation you’re in, so why should I make any sacrifices to help you keep shit I can’t afford or don’t have?” An acquaintance of mine told me of how she was routinely hit up for rent money by a family member who rocked designer purses and got her hair and nails done regularly when the acquaintance was doing neither.  Needless to say, the acquaintance stopped giving the rent money. 
 
If you’re struggling and have assets that the person you’re seeking help from doesn’t have, you need to make friends with eBay or Craigslist or start your own Etsy store before you ask that person or anyone else for help.
 
So, if you’re struggling financially or in your career, start with an assessment of your own HQ before asking for help.  What strugglers don’t understand is that a high HQ is almost like a high credit score – people are more willing to help someone with a high HQ because they believe in that person and that person’s ability to get out of their struggle, just as lenders are more willing to lend to someone with a high credit score because it is a predictor of whether they’ll get their money back.  Conversely, a low HQ is like a low credit score when asking for help.  If you need to build your HQ, you might want to start by cleaning houses like Tina Turner or selling some tamales like the Tamale Lady.
 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Can We Declare a Genocide of Young Black Men in America?

I have one question for President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder:  Can we declare a genocide of young black men in America?

I don't mean to be melodramatic, and I'm not naive enough to believe that there isn't enough already in America's mean streets and hard 'hoods responsible for the deaths of young black men.

But somehow, I never hear of unarmed young white men being accidentally shot by police officers or intentionally shot by wannabe vigilantes or old people with an aversion to loud hip-hop blasting from an SUV.   I don't hear of any other race of young men in America being gunned down like dogs as often as young black men.

How many more have to die before we realize we have a problem?

Do I have to go before the U.N. to have a genocide declared?  President Obama just authorized air strikes to avert a genocide in Iraq.  Can we get an air strike or two up in the 'hood to avert the genocide of young black men in America?

I have yet to take down my "Justice for Trayvon" photo for this blog because, as soon as I think about taking it down, another young black unarmed man is shot down.

If indeed Michael Brown was shot while he had his hands in the air, that's murder. Added to all the other murders of unarmed black men (Trayvon, Oscar Grant, too many to name), this, to me, is looking like a genocide.

As someone who hopes to be the mother of at least one son, I'm at a loss of what to tell this son-to-be that he can do in the presence of police or other maniacs to make sure he doesn't get shot.  Clearly, putting your hands in the air doesn't work (Michael Brown).  Walking away doesn't work (Trayvon Martin).  Lying face down with your hands behind your back doesn't work (Oscar Grant).

How many more have to die before we declare a genocide?

I call B.S., America.  This IS a genocide.

Suicide, Depression, Forgiveness, and Robin Williams

Robin Williams starred in one of my sister's favorite films, "What Dreams May Come."  In it, he portrays a physician who marries an artist (played by Annabella Sciorra).  They later have two children, a boy and a girl, who are killed in a car accident.  Although the deaths of their children bring them to the brink of divorce, they decide to stay together.  Then the husband dies in a car accident and ascends to Heaven.  Grief-stricken and unable to continue on, the wife kills herself and ends up in Hell, not as punishment, but because the pain that brought on the suicide creates Hell for her in the afterlife.  The husband attempts what had never been achieved: Leaving Heaven to rescue a soul from Hell to bring to Heaven.  He succeeds.

This movie resonates with the African-American Protestant upbringing of my youth to a certain extent:  The idea that suicide on earth equals Hell in the afterlife.  Like many other African-American Protestants, I was taught that suicide was the one unforgivable sin for which you most certainly would be sent to Hell.  "Self-murder," my Baptist mother-in-law called it.  My husband, Black Man Not Blogging (BMNB), tells me he learned in his new membership class at his church that suicide is indeed forgivable.  How can it not be when someone suffering from mental illness commits the act?

Whenever I hear of someone having taken their own life, I wince with the residue of the beliefs of my upbringing.  Now, I question those beliefs.   I can't believe a merciful God is incapable of forgiving someone who is so mentally wounded that he can't bear the pain of another day on this planet.

If suicide is indeed a sin and a forgivable one, I pray that God would forgive Robin Williams.  If suicide is a sin and isn't forgivable, I hope God makes an exception for Robin Williams.

Growing up, I would have put Richard Pryor at the pinnacle of comic genius.  But when you look at the versatility of Robin Williams, tie goes to Robin Williams.  He wasn't like some comedians who were only capable of comedy that appealed to those who shared their race, gender, or class; he made comedy that was funny to everyone.  His mind was so quick, so sharp, so able to bend into different characters, voices, you name it.  And then he could play a dramatic role so moving, such as his roles in "Good Will Hunting" and "The Dead Poets Society," that he reminded you that, yes, he was a top-notch acting student from Julliard.  He gave so much joy to the world and did such good works while he was here.  He deserves divine forgiveness, assuming he needs it.

What should we take away from this tragic loss?  Many things.  You never really know what a person is going through, even if you think you do.  People who are depressed don't always admit it because of shame and stigma.  What looks like addiction to drugs or alcohol may often be self-medication of depression. Depression knows no boundaries -- it strikes the rich and the poor, men and women, and people of all social classes.  Just because someone has all of the makings of success -- wealth, fame, etc. -- doesn't mean they are immune from depression or any other mental illness.

If Robin Williams' soul is in the Hell of my upbringing and of the movie "What Dreams May Come," he's worth some soul in Heaven taking a risk to save him.

Robin Williams, may your soul know the peace that eluded it on earth.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Summoning The Courage To Write About Dr. Maya Angelou (The Greatesst Lesson I Learned From Her)

A friend of one of my Facebook friends posted that he saw no sizable difference in the number of comments from African-Americans and whites about the passing of Dr. Maya Angelou and concluded that, based on the number of comments, she meant no more to African-Americans than she did to whites.

What the person failed to take into account was that maybe we African-Americans were just stunned into silence.  Perhaps we could not find the words to express how we felt.

I know I couldn't.

What can any writer write about one of the most gifted writers of our generation?  What could any one writer say that hasn't already been said by the obituary writers, friends, family, and luminaries? 

With that in mind, I wrote nothing.  That is, until I summoned the courage to write this entry and share the greatest lesson Dr. Maya Angelou taught me and perhaps others.

Dr. Angelou's quote about courage being the most important virtue because, without it, you cannot practice the other virtues consistently, has been repeated a lot lately, as well as some of her other memorable lessons:  "When people show you who they are, believe them the first time," and "People may forget what you said or what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel."

However, the most important lesson I think Dr. Angelou imparted upon all of us is one that she didn't speak, but instead lived:  You don't have to be just one thing in this life.  You can be many things.

How often do we limit ourselves, or allow ourselves to be limited, thinking trite aphorisms like, "Jack of all trades, master of none," or walking away from something we love because we don't have the requisite 10,000 hours supposedly needed to master it?

What if Dr. Angelou had settled on being only a cable car conductor?  Think of all the other gifts she possessed and bestowed upon the world -- writing, dancing, singing, acting, directing, writing music, teaching, and being a civil rights activist and friend to the likes of Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King, James Baldwin AND Oprah Winfrey!  And she could cook, too!  Oh my, what a life!  She lived many lifetimes within one lifetime.  Why?  Because she didn't limit herself to being just one thing.

I've always had a penchant for doing many things and, combined with being a Gemini, that has caused me to be branded as uncommitted, flighty, indecisive, and a "master of none."  But Dr. Angelou was writing music and working very late in her life.  She did not let her age limit her creativity and curiosity.  Even at an age when, statistically speaking, she probably didn't have 10,000 hours to master one more thing, she never stopped doing the many things about which she was passionate.  Her refusal to recognize limits on what she could be is the greatest lesson to me and, in my view, to the world.

So summon up the courage to do all the things that interest you, that fuel passion within you.  Don't care what people think.  So what if you don't master any -- you're not being graded!  Dr. Angelou believed that courage is the greatest virtue because you could not practice the other virtues consistently without it.  I believe that courage is the greatest virtue because you cannot be your most complete and realized self without it.

Thank you and Godspeed, Dr. Angelou.  And thank you, Stanford University, my alma mater, for providing me the opportunity to meet Dr. Angelou.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

A Different Kind of College Commencement Address (People Don't Get What They Deserve)




Here's one of many reasons I will never be invited to give a college commencement address of any kind.

If I were going to give a college commencement address, it would simply be this:  The lyrics to Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings' "People Don't Get What They Deserve, " especially the chorus:

Money don't follow sweat
Money don't follow brains
Money don't follow deeds of peace
People don't get what they deserve

Cruel, eh?  Not really.

The lyrics to the beginning of the song sum up nicely the beliefs that many middle class, working class, and poor parents send their children off to college with -- work hard, do well, and you will succeed and prosper.

Not so fast, says Ms. Jones and the Dap Kings.  That equation doesn't necessarily add up in today's world.

With the wealth gap widening, the student loan debt burden breaking the backs of our young college graduates before they even drive off campus for the last time, we do a disservice to them to allow them to think that things will work out just as we were taught.  That was then, this is now. The ratio of what they owe to what they will earn is vastly different from when we Baby Boomers graduated from college.  Mind you, I'm not trying to create an existential crisis for the Class of 2014 -- indeed, without a college degree, they'd be more screwed -- but I'm honest enough to say that their newly minted degrees may not take them as far as mine did in 1986.  If, by chance, their degrees do take them far, there are equal parts achievement and grace fueling their success.

So, in the spirit of honesty, and bearing in mind that I will never be asked to give a college commencement address, not even at a diploma mill college, here are the lyrics to Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings' "People Don't Get What They Deserve":

When I was a child, I believed what they told me (every word)
To each one shall come what each one shall earn
And if I worked hard, nobody could hold me (hold me)
And cheaters will fail, that's what they all learned (cheaters never prosper)

There is a man who is born with a fortune
A hard days' work he's never done (livin' on easy street)
He lives from the sweat of other men's labor
And he sips his champagne and lays in the sun

Money don't follow sweat
Money don't follow brains
Money don't follow deeds of peace
People don't get what they deserve
People don't get what they deserve

There is a man who lives like a saint
He works from daybreak to late in the night
He's never stolen, he's never been lazy (not a day in his life)
To feed his children is always a fight (work work work)

I try to do right by all of God's children
I work very hard for all I could afford
But I don't pretend for one single moment
That what I get is my just reward

Money don't follow sweat
Money don't follow brains
Money don't follow deeds of peace
People don't get what they deserve
People don't get what they deserve

Congratulations, Class of 2014!  No, I really mean it.  You can listen to the song above.  At least it has a good beat.
When I was a child I believed what they told me (every word)
To each one shall come what each one shall earn
And if I worked hard nobody could hold me (hold me)
And cheaters will fail, that's what they all learned (cheaters never prosper)
There is a man who is born with a fortune
A hard days work he's never done (livin' on easy street)
He lives from the sweat of other men's labor
As he sips his champagne and lays in the sun

Money don't follow sweat
Money don't follow brains
Money don't follow deeds of peace
(People don't get what they deserve) x2

There is a man who lives like a saint
He works from daybreak to late in the night
He's never stolen, he's never been lazy (not a day in his life)
To feed his children is always a fight (work work work)
I try to do right by all of god's children
I work very hard for all I could afford
But I don't pretend for one single moment
That what I get is my just reward

Money don't follow sweat
Money don't follow brains
Money don't follow deeds of peace
(People don't get what they deserve)
Read more at http://www.songlyrics.com/sharon-jones-the-dap-kings/people-don-t-get-what-they-deserve-lyrics/#CFPIEG5ieZercQRM.99
When I was a child I believed what they told me (every word)
To each one shall come what each one shall earn
And if I worked hard nobody could hold me (hold me)
And cheaters will fail, that's what they all learned (cheaters never prosper)
There is a man who is born with a fortune
A hard days work he's never done (livin' on easy street)
He lives from the sweat of other men's labor
As he sips his champagne and lays in the sun

Money don't follow sweat
Money don't follow brains
Money don't follow deeds of peace
(People don't get what they deserve) x2

There is a man who lives like a saint
He works from daybreak to late in the night
He's never stolen, he's never been lazy (not a day in his life)
To feed his children is always a fight (work work work)
I try to do right by all of god's children
I work very hard for all I could afford
But I don't pretend for one single moment
That what I get is my just reward

Money don't follow sweat
Money don't follow brains
Money don't follow deeds of peace
(People don't get what they deserve)
Read more at http://www.songlyrics.com/sharon-jones-the-dap-kings/people-don-t-get-what-they-deserve-lyrics/#CFPIEG5ieZercQRM.99