This is another excuse people use to dismiss colorism. When a dark skinned person talks about how people have treated them poorly because of their dark skin, people will respond with saying, “It’s not because you’re dark skinned. You’re just ugly”.
The issue I have with this saying is that people say it like that makes what they’re doing any better. Disrespecting, mistreating, overlooking, discriminating against, and looking down on a person because of how they look is just as bad. Hating someone over something they can’t change is bad.
Mistreating someone because of how they look is like any other type of discrimination, like racism and sexism. But because discriminating against someone for how they look doesn’t have a name or movements of activism behind it like racism and sexism does, for example, people don’t think there’s anything wrong with it.
Also, there’s more to colorism than passing a dark skinned person up in the dating department. A lot of people try to reduce colorism to just that. But colorism is really about discriminating against and disrespecting someone just because they’re dark skinned. I see that happening way too much for me to sit here and act like it doesn’t happen.
Secondly, I think this saying is not only an excuse, it’s also another lie amongst the many lies people have when denying colorism. If people didn’t have any issue with dark skin, why are there so many names and words out there that are used specifically to insult people with dark skin? If it’s never about someone being dark skinned, then those words and names wouldn’t exist. Yet, they do. And people use them ALL. THE. TIME.
The people who have been mistreated because of their dark skin can tell you all the names they’ve been called all their lives. If it was just about someone’s looks, they’ll just comment on their looks. But instead, not only do they comment on their looks, they have to insult their dark skin, too.
You ever wonder why there’s barely any dark skinned stars in Hollywood, especially dark skinned female stars? And if there are, they most likely are always playing derogatory roles or “fight the power” roles? It’s because a lot of people in this country, black and nonblack, are highly colorist and racist and hate seeing dark skinned people. Yet, they love denying it constantly. Proof of colorism has always been in our faces. People just don’t like accepting or admitting to it.
I’ve noticed that a lot of black men and women online who date or marry interracially love to talk down about their own people. They are always talking about what they hate about each other, how much they aren’t attracted to each other, or how much happier they are dating interracially.
I’ve always asked myself whenever I see those types of comments that: If these black men and women are so happy dating interracially, why are they still talking about each other so much? Why don’t they just take their nonblack partner and be happy and just leave each other alone? Because I feel like that would be the most simple solution. If you’re so happy dating interracially, why would there still be an urgent need to talk about each other so much?
The more I thought about this question, the more I began to believe that this just might be a side effect that black people experience while interracial dating or promoting it. And there are a few reasons why I believe these side effects occur.
One of the reasons is, I believe, deep down, black people feel like they aren’t supposed to be dating interracially at all. So, all the negative talk is them looking for excuses to keep doing it anyway. They would even use negative stories about each other in the news and negative statistics as an excuse for why they date interracially.
Another reason is that, deep down, they feel like the only way to appeal to other races of people is to hate their own people. I believe that these people are, knowingly or unknowingly, trying to appeal to the racist side of these people of other races. Deep down, they think that they have a higher chance of attracting other races of people by showing that they hate their own people.
The other reason I have is that these black men and women are only dating/marrying interracially to spite each other. Based on some of the stories I’ve heard online and in real life, a lot of black men and women feel hurt by each other. A lot of them feel rejected, abused, used, unattractive to, and/or cheated by each other, and they’re just tired of it. They don’t really want to date interracially. They want to date their own people, but they don’t feel like their own people treat them right. So, they date interracially to be happier or get revenge on each other.
And I’m pretty sure there are some of those who only talk negatively about each other and promote interracial dating/marriage just for attention on social media. They’re only doing it to get people talking about them and get likes or whatever they’re looking for.
But also, another main thing I noticed is that a lot of black women who date or promote dating interracially hate when black men date interracially and vice versa. It’s the huge hypocrisy for me that has me questioning even more. If these people think dating and marrying their own people is so bad, why are they so mad when they see each other dating interracially? I thought that was their main point. I think this is yet another side effect of interracial dating. Dating interracially has them confused. They don’t know what they really want.
I’m just tired of seeing black people throw each other under the bus just because they want to date/marry interracially. They can really just go do it and be happy, but they won’t. There’s probably many more reasons than what I named here for why black people do this, but those are the only ones I can think of for now. I’m starting to believe black people have these side effects because they feel like they aren’t supposed to be dating interracially in the first place.
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve seen adults watch movies where people get brutally murdered in the most gory way you can think of in front of their kids. They would watch movies and TV shows where the actors say every curse word there is in front of their kids. I even know people who watch sex scenes in front of their children.
It’s the same with music. People will listen to songs about drugs and alcohol around their kids. They will listen to songs about sex. They will listen to songs calling women bitches and hoes, and each other niggas. They will listen to songs loaded with cursing. They never think anything of it.
It’s also the same thing with video games. They will let their kids play games like Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto, where characters are cursing and killing each other, stealing, and making drug/alcohol and/or sexual references. But people think nothing of it. They think showing their kids that stuff is just fine.
Even if someone tells them that they shouldn’t let their kids listen to and watch everything, some of them will say, “You can’t protect your kids from everything forever! Eventually they will see it!” Or they’ll say, “They’re kids. They don’t know what they’re talking about in this song or movie!”
1) People who say this don’t realize how smart kids are. Kids know and notice more than people like to admit. 2) Even if the kids didn’t know the negative and inappropriate things going on in a movie or song, you as an adult know! And you know what they’re portraying and talking about is inappropriate! The fact that you know that and still put it in front your kids anyway is just proof that you don’t care what your kids see and hear.
But as soon as a woman makes a song about sex or shows some skin, all of a sudden, people care about what their kids see. For example, people have been complaining about how Cardi B’s music is “negatively influencing” kids since people first started knowing about her. They’ve been doing even more complaining since she released her song, “WAP”, featuring Meg Thee Stallion.
When people heard about how Cardi B doesn’t let her own daughter listen to her music, people complained and said, “See how she doesn’t let her daughter listen to her music, but she will make your kids listen to hers?!”
People really say that like it sounds good, but that’s really what every parent or guardian is supposed to do. If Cardi B can keep her child from listening to her own music, what’s stopping people from keeping their kids from listening to her music if they thought it was that bad? Just listening to one song of hers will tell you that her music isn’t for kids and isn’t even marketed to kids. So, why not just keep your kids from listening to music like hers? People really expose their own bad parenting with a full chest and don’t even realize it.
People only think music like hers is marketed to kids because that’s how much they allow their kids to look up to, listen to, and watch these music artists without setting any boundaries whatsoever. Just because you allow your kids to watch these inappropriate music artists doesn’t mean their music is for your kids.
Whenever Kim Kardashian takes a picture of her naked body and posts it to her social media account, so many people cry about their kids. “What if my kids saw that?!” “That’s not a good influence on kids!” It’s always kids, kids, kids!
Kids aren’t even supposed to be on social media, for one. Most, if not all, social media sites require everyone on it to be at least 13 years old. And even at that age, parents still have to watch what their kids are doing and looking at on these sites.
People rarely, if ever, say anything about all the male artists that make songs about sex and how they influence children with it. But everybody has something to say as soon as a female artist does it. They don’t care when men are doing it. They just don’t like it when women do it.
Or, let people see one gay couple on TV or a transgender person and, all of a sudden, people say, “Kids shouldn’t be seeing that! Stop pushing sexuality on children!” But a lot of parents out there are so afraid of their children being gay that they will push them to think about the opposite sex at really young ages, especially if they’re boys. These people have been pushing sexuality on their own children more than any gay couple in real life or on TV ever have.
The way I see it, a lot of people don’t care about what their kids see online or on TV or what they hear on the radio. Only when something offends these people do they all of a sudden care about what their kids are seeing and hearing. Seeing LGBTQ people or women talking about sex offends them. But instead of just saying that, they act like they’re worried about their kids.
Judging from what a lot of people let their kids watch and listen to and what they say themselves in front of their kids, I can easily say a woman’s naked body or an LGBTQ couple on a TV show or movie isn’t the worst thing their kids have seen. But they definitely act like it.
People’s carelessness and hypocrisy is a shame. Everyone has to care about what their kids are looking at and listening to. We wonder why kids are acting worst at younger and younger ages. There’s tons of reasons why that is, but letting them watch and listen to any and everything is only one, huge part of it.
Letting kids watch and listen to everything sounds like lazy and careless parenting. People are letting TV and radio raise their kids, then get mad when something happens on it that they don’t like. People only care about what they don’t like and what offends them. Them bringing up kids is a lie.
The TV and movie industry puts ratings on TV shows and movies (i.e., Rated R, PG, PG-13, G, Y, etc.) and radio bleeps out words on songs for a reason. They know certain things aren’t suitable for children. If that didn’t matter, they wouldn’t put those on anything. But a lot of people don’t even pay attention to those ratings or even know what they mean. If these industries know that certain things aren’t suitable for younger audiences, how come so many people out here with kids don’t?
I hear people say this so much. People say this like everybody stopped whipping their kids. People DIDN’T stop. INCLUDING the ones who say this! Why would people ask to “bring back” something they never stopped doing? What do they really want to bring back? Child abuse? PUNCHING their kids? Hitting their kids with hard objects? This is exactly what a lot of people were doing to their kids and more before it was outlawed.
A lot of people say things and don’t realize what they’re saying. This is exactly what it sounds like to me— that people really want to bring back child abuse—when they say that.
I also think people know of and heard of all the studies that came out speaking against whipping and yelling at children and exposed the negative effects of it, but they don’t want to stop doing it. They want to go back to when scientists and psychologists weren’t studying that so much and exposing it so they can go back to doing it in peace.
I am anti hitting kids as discipline. I never understood why it was necessary. Whipping children with belts is one thing, but why do some people think they need to hit their children with something worst than that? Why is it so hard for people to discipline their kids without yelling or hitting them? People have to hit and yell at their kids to “discipline” them like they’re wild animals.
If anything, the constant whipping and yelling is more than likely why the kids are acting up. The studies said that—whipping children causes behavior problems, amongst many other things, but people who like doing that didn’t listen.
I’ve noticed that whenever people see a video of a child acting horribly online, they say, “This is why we whoop our kids!” But why do these people automatically assume that the child isn’t getting whipped by their parents? They don’t know that child or their parents personally.
Also, I’ve seen tons of horrible acting children who are always getting whipped, smacked, and yelled at by their parents. These people know that, too, which is why they feel like they have to do it so much. So, a child acting badly doesn’t always mean they aren’t getting whipped. That’s just people using other bad children as an excuse to justify why they hit theirs.
Another thing I thought of is some people probably don’t think whipping their children is working as well as they thought (Studies said that, too, but again, they didn’t listen). They’re realizing that their kids are still really bad no matter how much they hit and yell at them. So, they feel like they need to up the ante and hit their kids with something more. They wish laws would let them hit their kids with more than just a belt or switch.
When people say they wish the government would bring back beating children, it makes me think that there are some people out there who are actually upset that child abuse has been outlawed and the negative effects of hitting them in any way or yelling at them has been widespread news for decades.
Many of us have noticed over the course of many years that black actors win Oscars or Academy Awards mostly for bad roles, like playing slaves or maids. Lots of black people used to speak out and against that. But some would say, “You’re just being negative! Just be happy for them!”
When I started hearing people say that, I realized that some black people don’t even care that black actors have to mostly play derogatory roles in order to win these awards. That’s how desperate some black people are to see black actors win these awards.
It’s already bad enough that very few black actors have won Oscars in movies no matter how good their performance is compared to how many white people win. So I understand why some people don’t care anymore. I guess some of us just want to see our actors win that badly. But I think we should never be that desperate to see our people win these awards!
Viola Davis would’ve never gotten an Oscar or the amount of fame she has now had she not played a maid. It had to take Lupita Nyong’o to not only play a slave, but get whipped stark naked in a movie to win hers and get the amount of fame she has today.
She would have never gotten called Most Beautiful Woman by People magazine in 2014 had she not done that role. Not to say that she doesn’t deserve to be named that because she is very beautiful. But I have to be honest, her playing that slave role is the only reason she got that accolade. Viola and Lupita are only two of many more examples out there of this.
If black actors barely win these awards and when they do, they most likely have to play a derogatory role, it’s pretty obvious that these award shows are racist. And if they’re racist, we shouldn’t want them anyway. Why do our people want these racist awards so badly?
Every year the Oscars comes around, I hear the same complaints from black people about how little or no black people are even nominated, let alone win. As long as this has been going on with these award shows, why aren’t we tired enough of complaining about the same things about these shows to want to leave them alone and abandon them? Our lack of support of these award shows is more powerful than our constant complaining, yet continuing to support them and watch them every year.
There’s lots of black award shows out there that award black people. Why don’t we feel as strongly about those as we do about the Oscars?
I think black people should’ve forgotten about and boycotted these awards a long time ago. They clearly don’t want to give them to black people. And, to be honest, they shouldn’t have to because they created the awards. They can give them to whoever they want. Are we afraid of boycotting and forgetting about these award shows?
For many years, black people have been asking for police to stop brutalizing and killing our people and for any officer who does to be punished and to lose their jobs.
For many years, many cops have gotten away with killing unarmed people. They never get sent to prison and if they do, they get very small sentences. They get PAID leave and GoFundMes set up for them like they’re victims.
As a result, our people have been protesting and rioting because they won’t listen to us. They won’t listen to us telling them to stop peacefully and they’re not listening to us telling them to stop when we riot. So what else is left to do?
Our people created the Black Lives Matter slogan and organization to fight back against this treatment. But recently, another slogan has risen to popularity—Defund The Police.
A lot of people on social media acted like they didn’t know what Defund The Police meant, just like they acted like they didn’t know what Black Lives Matter meant. But Defund The Police means lowering the funds that go to the police department and putting them towards other things, like housing and education.
My issue with Defund The Police is that it’s not what we’re asking for. We’re asking for justice for the unarmed black people that they kill. We’re asking for any police officer to be locked up for a good amount of time if they do that. We’re asking for officers to lose their jobs if they do that. We’re asking for officers to not get paid if they do that.
The government can “defund” the police all they want, but it’s not going to stop the police from brutalizing and murdering unarmed people. I remember so many politicians this year talking about how much they were going to punish people who “looted and burned” at protests against the police. But I didn’t hear any of them talk about what they were going to do about these abusive and murdering cops.
Some people cheered and were happy about Kyle Rittenhouse shooting three people at a protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin. These people were more mad at people protesting against the cops than they were mad at cops murdering people. If the cops stopped murdering people, the protests will stop, but they don’t want to think about that.
I believe the media or whoever it is, is trying to get people to support Defund The Police to distract us from asking for justice and for these cops to be punished. I feel like Defund The Police is a slap in the face to us. They’re basically telling us they’re going to do NOTHING about these murderous cops. They want us to be happy with the police being “defunded” instead. They’re going to continue getting away with killing unarmed people. So, I think we need to be careful about supporting that.
We didn’t ask for police to be “defunded”. We asked for justice! Keep asking for justice! Don’t let them derail us!
People are always throwing around the Bible verse, “Judge not, lest ye be judged”, saying, “Only God can judge me”, “Don’t judge other people”, “We don’t know their story”, etc.
Dr. King said he wanted people to not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. I wholeheartedly believe that.
But all I’ve seen throughout my life is people doing the exact opposite of that. Not only do people judge others by the color of their skin, they judge others based on how much money they have, what kind of car they drive, how they wear their hair or their hair’s texture, what clothes they wear, where they live, rumors, how they look, their weight, their height, their body shape, their names—everything that isn’t someone’s character.
The crazy part is, the very same people who cry so much about how we “shouldn’t judge” are the main ones judging other people by these things. They will judge others harshly based on anything, even things that aren’t true, but judging someone based on something bad they did or making a bad decision they KNEW was wrong before they made it is where they want to draw the line at. I don’t get it.
The only reason a lot of people don’t like judging is because they don’t like when someone calls them out on their nonsense. If I see someone doing something that’s outright wrong, I’m going to judge them harshly. I don’t care what anybody says. I don’t feel sympathy for people who do bad things or have a bad character and the consequences of their bad character or the bad things they’ve done start biting them in the behind.
People’s hypocrisy is astounding and sad. From what I see, people don’t hate judging. In fact, they LOVE it. They just don’t want anyone to say anything about them.
I judge anyone who judges people by any of the things I named towards the beginning of this post, but turn a blind eye to people who do wrong by saying “Who am I to judge?”
If someone is mistreating their kids and always hitting them, I’m going to judge them.
If someone ends up having a child, knowing they didn’t want or weren’t ready to have a child, I’m going to judge them.
If someone chooses to be with someone who they knew was bad news before they got with them and later on down the line that person starts treating them badly, I’m not going to feel sorry for them.
If someone gets locked up for doing a crime they’re definitely guilty of, I’m not going to walk around saying “free” that person. I’m going to judge them.
If I see a person being mean and rude to everyone around them all the time, I’m going to judge them.
I’m going to judge anyone who is colorist, racist, abusive, sexist, homophobic, a rapist, and all of the above.
I don’t really care if people get plastic surgeries or not. But if the surgery gets botched or it goes wrong to where it’s causing them health problems, I’m not going to feel sorry for them because everyone has been told and warned about how they go wrong a lot of times and they got it regardless of the risk.
I don’t really care if women wear weaves and wigs or straighten their hair, but when they tell their stories about how they lost all their edges and hair because they wore them or straightened their hair too much and neglected their real hair for too long, I’m not going to feel sorry for them because everyone has been told and warned about what happens if we wear weaves and wigs and straighten our hair too much, especially if we neglect our real hair while doing it, but they did it anyway despite that.
I don’t really care about people who choose to sell drugs or prostitute for a living. But if they get killed, locked up, or caught up in some crazy mess because of it, I’m not going to feel sorry for them because everyone has been told about the consequences that comes with going that route, but they chose to do it anyway.
I’m not going to fall for people’s old sayings, using God, and guilt tripping that they use to keep people from calling them out. People want to do bad things and have horrible attitudes, but don’t want to check themselves. And they don’t want other people to check them either. Check yourself and maybe you won’t have to worry about anyone judging you.
A reader of mine brought to my attention that interracial dating isn’t always sunshine and rainbows like some black people make it seem like. I didn’t really know what to say about this. But this video I found on YouTube, which I will share at the end of this post, is perfect for what I needed to say here.
This video highlighted a story of a black woman finally coming forward about the abuse she suffered from her nonblack husband. The focus of the video is that nowadays, interracial dating is more promoted and glorified like they’re better than black relationships, but in a lot of those relationships, the black partner is dealing with abuse. And I’ve heard many stories about black people dealing with racism from their nonblack partner’s family or the nonblack partners themselves.
Now, I’m not using this video to discourage people from dating interracially. Because I’ve heard many stories about black women talking about the abuse they suffered from black men and vice versa. So in a lot of cases, black relationships aren’t always better either.
I honestly don’t really care about interracial dating to be honest. I just don’t like how black people are always so loud about the abuse they endure from each other. They can’t wait to share a story about a black man abusing a black woman or a black woman killing a black man and use these stories as an excuse to promote interracial dating, but when stories of racism, abuse, and murder happen with interracial couples, no one is saying anything because it goes against their agenda.
I want black people to start treating each other better. And I don’t want black people glorifying interracial relationships like they’re any better because in a lot of cases, they’re not. Check out the video below if you like and let me know what you think of it.
This is very disturbing to me, but I have been wondering about this for a while. I feel like most black people only love conscious Pro-Black people after they have died or gone to prison. And I feel like that because of how I see most black people treating conscious black people.
I hear lots of black people talking about how much they love Huey from The Boondocks and wished there were more people like him in the world or praise the likes of people like Marcus Garvey and Malcolm X. But when it’s our people living today that talk about conscious Pro-Black stuff, so many of our people dismiss them, calling them “hotep” or some other name they come up with. And if Huey from The Boondocks actually existed, NO ONE would listen to him! Just like it’s depicted in the cartoon!
I often find myself wondering how us black people are still acting so lost when we had so many people fighting for us and teaching us how to empower ourselves throughout history. I now believe this is why. Our people don’t listen to these people for real. If our people actually did listen, we wouldn’t be complaining about as much things as we do now.
So many people throughout history have told us the real deal about this country and how we need to unify, love ourselves, stop begging white people for everything and start doing things for ourselves if we want to really free ourselves from white supremacy. But from the looks of our people today, we haven’t applied what they taught us very well.
I’ve seen lots of our people talk about conscious people who are still alive that say these things and people dismiss them as being “agents” because they’re not dead or in prison. I’ve literally heard people say that. It seems like our people are so traumatized by our leaders getting murdered and imprisoned that we don’t even consider anyone a leader unless they have been murdered or imprisoned.
Just because someone hasn’t been murdered or imprisoned when they’re speaking on the real doesn’t always mean that they aren’t telling the truth. We still need to listen. Maybe the reason why they haven’t been murdered or imprisoned is because most people aren’t listening to them. The Powers That Be don’t see them as a threat because they see how so many people are dismissing them or simply don’t know about them at all.
Our people only love and praise these people after they have died, gone to prison, or are fictional. And then after that, we STILL don’t listen to them. It’s so sad. That’s exactly what The Powers That Be want. They want us to love the conscious people who are dead, in prison or fictional because they aren’t/no longer a threat. If we listen to the ones who are real, free, and alive, that would be threatening and might actually make real change.
For years, I’ve seen men on social media talk about how women hate accountability. But judging by what a lot of men do, I see they hate accountability, too. You would think that by the way they pressure women about accountability, they would have no problem with accountability themselves. But that’s obviously and certainly not the case.
Whenever I see women talk about how men cheat on them or abuse them, there’s always men underneath there saying, “That’s just the men y’all deal with!” Instead of calling out these abusive, cheating men. Instead of NOT cheating and NOT abusing women, they tell women that it’s their fault for “choosing the wrong men”.
Men’s responses under posts where women are talking about sexual harassment and rape disgust me, too. Instead of listening to the message women are giving, they’ll act like they don’t know what counts as rape, sexual harassment or consent. Instead of NOT raping and sexually harassing women, they will tell women to “watch what they wear” or “watch how they act around men”.
I’ve even heard men say if women “armed themselves more” or learned some type of self defense, they wouldn’t get raped or sexually harassed. So, instead of NOT raping women and telling other men not to do it, they would rather tell women to be more dangerous, violent, and threatening. And what about little girls that get raped by grown men? Because that’s definitely happening all over the world! Men don’t just rape and sexually harass grown women. They get little girls, too. Are little girls supposed to have guns or know how to defend herself against a grown man?
I’ve been hearing men complain about women putting them on child support since I was a little girl. But if they took care of their children instead of impregnating multiple women and trying to run out on them, they wouldn’t have that problem. If they weren’t so quick to sleep with women without protection, they wouldn’t have that problem. Sometimes, I hear some men say that they do want to be in their child’s lives, but it’s the woman who keeps them away and put them on child support anyway for the money. That’s a fair argument. But when women say men do bad things to them, men tell them to “choose better men”. How come this doesn’t apply to them? How come they can’t choose better women? If they chose better women, they wouldn’t have that problem. …But they don’t want to hear that!
I see YouTubers like Derrick Jaxn and celebrities like Steve Harvey telling women what to look for in a man, how to attract a man, which men to avoid, and this, that, and the other. But none of these men are telling other men to change how they treat women. They’re always talking to women and telling women what to do. Why is that?
And if you ask me, I’m starting to think these types of men who are always telling women which men to avoid are the exact men women should avoid. I think a lot of these men are warning women about themselves when they do that, pretending that they’re talking about other men. And I think a lot of them don’t even realize that they are warning women about themselves when they do that because I think it’s something in their subconscious that’s doing that for them.
Men talk like they hate single moms soooo much on social media. They say that single moms ruin kids lives, but none of them talk about how they create single moms. If single moms are so bad, why do men keep creating them? A woman never gets pregnant by herself. Men who impregnate women and leave them are the ones creating single moms. They’re literally complaining about their own problem that THEY create, but try to blame women for it, like it’s just the woman’s fault. Stop impregnating women you don’t want kids with. ….But they don’t want to hear that!
It sounds to me that men hate accountability just as much as they claim women hate accountability, especially when it comes to disrespecting and abusing women. They always have an excuse for why they do things that they aren’t supposed to. Men hating accountability is also why they put the blame on women for so many things that they do. This is why they want women to “choose better men” instead of BEING BETTER MEN.
I believe this is why they pressure women with accountability so much anyway. Men hate accountability so much, that they want women to be more accountable for their actions than men are for theirs, so they won’t have to be accountable for theirs. If women are more accountable than them, they don’t have to worry about being accountable for what they do—that’s what I feel like men are saying when they talk so much about accountability to women.
I believe this society was built and is run by people who hate accountability, particularly men and that’s why so many people in this society hate it. So if you ask me, I think women hate accountability for their actions and so do men. Men are NOT more accountable for their own actions than women, no matter what they say!