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My Real Life Hotep Encounter

Hotep is an overused phrase. At this point what does it even mean? Despite how worn out it is becoming, it is the only word to describe the man I'm going to tell you about. For the purposes of this discussion let's agree that a hotep is a black man who is pro-black, but anti-progress. He claims to be here for the advancement of the black community but only if that community doesn't include women, gays, or any other marginalized groups.

Now that we've ironed that out, here's the story. Btw it's long because y'all know how I do.

On Saturday night I stepped out into the icy depths of the D.C. weather in November to go to U Street and hang out. My girl Jessica (name changed because I ain't tryna put her business out there) convinced me to come out to Cloak & Dagger to meet with some other friends. As soon as we walked in, we had both noticed this gorgeous man there with a couple of his friends. Tall, light-skinned (yes, I do have a bit of a thing), bearded, beautiful smile. Just a full package for my eyes.

So we saw the beautiful man but didn't do anything about it, just kept drinking and hanging out. Suddenly, a guy came up to me and started talking. Now before I go on with the story of the night I have to tell you about this guy. We'll call him Melvin. Melvin and I met years ago when I lived in NYC. We'd gone on a handful of dates and as nice as he was I just wasn't feeling him and could no longer fake it. We drifted apart but I did let him know before I left New York that I was moving to D.C. and he asked if we could meet for one last drink. He showed up with a bottle of wine, a card, and one last plea to make something work. I respectfully declined. Over the next couple years he would comment on my Snaps and say hello here and there, but no real contact. Fast forward to March 2018. I moved into a new building in northeast D.C. and before I had been there a month I walked to my lobby only to see this man standing there. I was like oh wow small world! We talked for a bit and he told me he decided to move to D.C. with his new girlfriend. I just said okay cool. At this point I considered this a pure coincidence, nothing to read in to. However since then two issues have emerged. Number one is that since March, I've seen him around the building 100 times. You all have to understand how big my damn building is. It's actually three buildings connected, and each individual building is massive. I don't see ANYONE 100 times not even my neighbors. The place is so big and there are so many people that you just never see the same person twice because it's impossible. And yet, I've seen him so many times I can't even count. The second issue is that I'VE NEVER SEEN HIM WITH HIS 'GIRLFRIEND.' Now, I've never lived with a significant other, so maybe I don't know how it works, but you mean to tell me you have an entire girlfriend at home and she don't ever come out the house with you? Ever? Nah chief. So I told some folks about it and they're convinced he's a stalker. On the scale of stalking I'd say he's pretty low because I've never felt unsafe or anything like that. Plus my actual apartment is so deep in the cut there's no way he could ever see me walking in or out unless I invited him so that ain't bout to happen. So I wouldn't say full blown stalker, but I'd definitely say bonafide creeper.

Alright, back to Saturday. On a random weekend, at a random D.C. bar, on a random night I just so happened to decide to go out, THERE HE WAS. Walking up to me BY HIMSELF (no woman with him) asking how I'm doing. I tried to be nice but short so he would depart. Once he walked away I turned to Jess to start telling her about this guy and his creep ways and before I finished two sentences HE WAS BEHIND ME AGAIN ASKING ME TO DO A SHOT WITH HIM. Sir, go away and let me gossip about you to my friend! So I declined again and turned back to my girl to finish telling her about him. By that time, she had made her way over to our yellow bearded friend. He was standing in the corner behind us and she took my creep convo interruption as a cue to go shoot her shot. I wasn't going to intrude except that he looked at me and had clearly peeped my interaction with Melvin.

"Give my guy a break man, I know you think he's doing a lot but he can't help it," Beard said.

Jess and I were a bit taken aback but intrigued so we prodded him to continue.

"I know your boy was being a little aggressive and you looked a little freaked out but you gotta understand, as a black men it's just our instinct to go after what we want!"

Oh lawd. Here the hell we go.

I was a bit tipsy so I was already ready to say okay let's move on but my dear Jess was not going to let that slide by without digging. Plus dude was so fine it was like hell, let's hear more of the mess he's spewing so we can look at him while he does it.

At this point he descends into a long-winded explanation of how men have a natural instinct to make a woman they want theirs and women shouldn’t be freaked out by it because that it’s just a man’s nature and due to “the way things are now” black men are forced to change their nature.

Ahem, pardon me. What "way things are now"?!

So then he starts talking about how black men are natural protectors and providers especially if a woman is the mother of their child and women need to learn how to respect "the natural order of things" and be more submissive to their man. And due to a number of factors -- mainly the oppression and influence of the white man -- women have lost sight of the natural order and the manner in which black women are supposed to let black men lead. If black women would realize that they have a lower role (yes, he said lower role) than black men, then our community could get back to the way things are supposed to be because right now we're allowing the white man to ruin our family dynamics.

Deep, deeeeeep sigh.

I was trying not to engage in the conversation as much as I was tempted to but I had to jump in when he kept talking about children. Like sir are you saying the only way men and women interact is as potential mothers and fathers to babies? What about when two people are just casually dating, do these rules still apply? What if I don't want children? And why should I even CONSIDER submitting to anyone who is not my full blown husband?

Well of course that sends him into a rage about the deception of marriage and how -- you guessed it -- the white man has created a modern construct of marriage that does not align with -- you guessed it again -- the natural order.

At this point Jess and I are texting each other during the convo complaining about how such a beautiful man could be so crazy. At one point I asked if I could hook up with him anyway and just pray about it later.

At some point in the middle of this madness we exchanged names and he let me know that he his slave name was Elliott. When I said I was Brittany he said "oh that's your slave name too" to which I replied honey even if it is I love it!

So of course we couldn't get that far into the conversation about relationships and babies and oppression and instincts without asking about his situation. Is this theory working in practice? Do you have a wife or a girlfriend? Both? Several?

"Well I have a daughter and she has a mother and I was with her mother and now her mother exists separately from where I exist..."

Nigga just say you got a baby, damn!

So Jess was like OOHHH REALLLYYYY like I know you not out here preaching all this natural-order-this and family-unit-that and you aren't with the mother if your child! And he's all, "I'M JUST A MAN, I'M JUST A MAN!"

Okay, and I'm just a woman who thinks you're full of shit.

So then we asked why it didn’t it work out with baby mama.

"She thought she could do whatever she wanted to do and I wasn’t having it." At that point his energy -- which was already extra -- started to get more threatening and over the top. He was starting to get in Jessica's face and at some point even grabbed her arm!

She straight up told him he seems like the type who would put his hands on a woman, and asked if that's why it didn't work out with the BM.

Now, the correct answer is, "No, how could you even ask me something like that, I'm so offended you would even assume such a thing about me!"

The actual answer was, "Well men have instincts and women should be more understanding of when those instincts come out!"

Oh helllllll naw we gotta go! So they start going back and forth, and he's getting more and more worked up. Sir I'm tipsy and not prepared to fight tonight please don't do this! But at that point I knew very clearly that he'd put his hands on a woman at some point in life, and that he thought it was okay because his instincts made him do it.

So his friends who probably know his craziness all too well peeped it and swooped in, looking hella annoyed. They started telling him it was time to go and they were actually having to hold him back a little bit because he was on 11! He wanted us to see his side SO BAD. We headed toward the door and on our way out left him with one nugget.

"You know the only reason you get away with this shit is because you fine, right?"

We only listened to him as long as we did because he looks good! I'm not sure how these ideals seep in the minds of men, but please lift up prayers for me that I never have another conversation like that again.

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