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Subject: "The black barbershop and Coronavirus (swipe)" Previous topic | Next topic
rdhull
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Wed Mar-25-20 01:14 PM

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"The black barbershop and Coronavirus (swipe)"


  

          

https://level.medium.com/congress-is-about-to-bail-out-everyone-except-black-business-owners-bf9a568aef3c

Congress Is About to Bail Out Everyone — Except Black Business Owners
Without a lobby to advocate on their behalf, Black barbers face economic annihilation
Mike Muse
Mike Muse

Mar 24 · 5 min read

Congress Is About to Bail Out Everyone — Except Black Business Owners
Without a lobby to advocate on their behalf, Black barbers face economic annihilation

On Sunday, New York announced that the state now accounts for roughly 5% of coronavirus cases worldwide, and nearly 2,000 of those who tested positive for the virus in the state have been hospitalized.

In response, a growing number of governors, from New York to California, have ordered various restrictions on public gatherings and businesses. Such measures, necessary though they are, have crippled the economy at every level, from corporate to small business to individual.

Recognizing the moral imperative of the moment, Congress has proposed a $1.8 trillion economic stabilization package to aid families and businesses affected by the pandemic. (That’s nearly double the size of the expected federal budget deficit this year, but market stabilization and Americans’ well-being takes precedence in a moment like this.)
A bailout of this size and scope is unprecedented. Every industry is being devastated by the coronavirus. The American public and industries need immediate relief, and for the first time, voting in favor of a bailout will not cost an elected official their position. There are no conversations around deficit spending when the Las Vegas Strip is closed for business.
Unlike businesses selling goods like clothing or food, barbers can’t transition their business to online commerce or takeout service; there are no unemployment benefits to apply for. A vanity service doesn’t immediately come to mind for a bailout — and it won’t without a representative convincing legislators of its worth.

For far too long, when it comes to our nation’s well-being, the role of government intervention in citizens’ lives has come down to a single rhetorical question: Is it a moral obligation or a constitutional right? In both finance and health, the answer has mostly been a “no.” America’s economic engine is based on capitalism and the strength of the free market, with the occasional assist from tax cuts and interest rate adjustments; public health has likewise been treated as an individual responsibility, with the limited support of a social safety net in the event you fall.

Both systems have existed relatively independent of each other — at least until coronavirus struck, bringing America to an unprecedented standstill. It is here that the question is no longer rhetorical, and it is here that the answer is starkly clear: It is, without question, a moral obligation.

Yet, all money and business sectors are not created equal in the proposed stabilization legislation. The amounts that trade groups and lobbyists are asking Congress to allocate to their respective industries are numbers unseen during a presidential election year: $1.4 trillion for the manufacturing sector; $4 billion for museums; $100 billion for doctors, nurses, and hospitals; $325 billion for restaurants; $60 billion for Boeing; $250 billion for the travel industry.

The resulting allocation of funds will be a civics lesson in the power of political currency. Which industry has the best access to the politicians drafting legislation? Who has the juice? In the lobbying world, it’s a matter of who is best positioned with the party in control of the government. Their advocacy on behalf of their clients will determine not only what is included in the stabilization package but at what amount.
The major industries will, of course, be well taken care of in the bailout — but what about the industries that aren’t major? The small neighborhood businesses that are too small for representation by powerful lobbyists, but too big to fail in the community? The business that sits on the front line of services for Black men, but is the most affected by six-foot social distancing mandates? The business that not only is an economic driver of a neighborhood but a gathering spot for social commentary that challenges opinions and nourishes the soul?
The barbershop has been part of the bedrock of Black community — and there’s no Black barbershop lobby on K Street fighting for these business owners.

Unlike businesses selling goods like clothing or food, barbers can’t transition their business to online commerce or takeout service; there are no unemployment benefits to apply for. During this pandemic, the barber is one of the most vulnerable — not merely because of the nature of the business, but the value it is assigned. A vanity service doesn’t immediately come to mind for a bailout, and it won’t without a representative convincing legislators of its worth.
To understand the economic role that Black barbershops play in the community, you first have to understand the history and origin of the institution. In the book Cutting Along the Color Line: Black Barbers and Barber Shops in America, Quincy T. Mills writes that the Black barbershop can be traced back to the early 18th century when enslaved men and women acting as plantation barbers and hairstylists would groom fellow slaves on Sunday mornings — “the only leisure time they had for proper grooming.” Early barbershops were essentially the original Black-owned businesses; free and enslaved African Americans hired out by their masters “seized the opportunity to become entrepreneurs in an industry void of white competition, with minimal startup costs and significant profit potential.”

For many Black men in the U.S., barbers are ambassadors of entrepreneurship, the first Black-owned small business that we support. But due to the close relationship a black barber has with his clients, it never feels transactional. Instead, it’s a frequent ritual that over time becomes a bond of friendship rather than a service. That’s wonderful, but it also minimizes in clients’ minds the financial responsibility being shouldered by barbers, whether rent, taxes, utilities, or any other operating expenses — costs that don’t disappear when incoming revenue does. Like say, now.

The case of the Black barber is representative of the economic trickle-down effect the coronavirus is having on all industries. In particular, similar professions that provide a service, that in good times, are viewed as optional (although I’d challenge you to find any Black man that views a weekly haircut as optional). But due to low numbers of the profession as a whole — in 2018 there were just short of 80,000 barbers in the United States, of all races — these are the professions that can go unnoticed during a global pandemic. Without the storytellers, the advocates, the lobbyist on Capitol Hill, finding financial relief will be challenging.
The current debate in Congress regarding the proposed stabilization package centers on two competing ideologies on the allocation of funding: either an emphasis on people or on big corporations. At stake is the $500 billion program within the package that would award loans to states and cities as well as businesses. The program would be administered through the Department of Treasury, at the discretion of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
I’m not sure the last time Mnuchin has been inside a Black barbershop, but it’s important for him to know that these noncorporations are still giants in the community. They may not have boards of directors, but they’re large holding companies of community interest, held together by collective bargaining agreements, with work environments that allow for Black men to show up as their authentic selves — and Six Sigma certified to deliver a consistent, guaranteed, product weekly.

Even if K street hasn’t come in for a fade.

  

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Topic Outline
Subject Author Message Date ID
I'd held off on reading this. and now that I have, I don't like it
Mar 25th 2020
1
TBF in a radio interview today...
Mar 25th 2020
7
      You Shouldn’t have to preface the article.. smh
Mar 26th 2020
15
are white barber shops getting money or something?
Mar 25th 2020
2
Really bruh?
Mar 26th 2020
14
      Didn't read the article yet...just legit curious if it zero's in solely ...
Mar 26th 2020
17
      Even if it does.. so what? You always talk about keeping our culture
Mar 26th 2020
18
           You never let me just be "On one" fam...but I do appreciate the check
Mar 26th 2020
22
                Just doing what I do
Mar 26th 2020
27
      Read it...wasn't the worst Medium post at all unlike many others
Mar 26th 2020
21
I wonder how these shops will survive.
Mar 25th 2020
3
the last cut I got was Friday, the 13....
Mar 25th 2020
4
that sounds good.
Mar 25th 2020
5
      I know, man..
Mar 25th 2020
6
i assumed everybody had emergency clippers
Mar 25th 2020
8
      yeah, I got some t-liners and another set for actual cutting.
Mar 26th 2020
24
I picked a real bad time to shrug and go, there's always next week...
Mar 25th 2020
9
same, fuck
Mar 25th 2020
10
LOL I am typically on a 3-4 week rotation.
Mar 25th 2020
11
      RE: LOL I am typically on a 3-4 week rotation.
Mar 26th 2020
20
I’ve decided that I’m still going to pay my barber while this is goi...
Mar 25th 2020
12
Mad Cobra
Mar 26th 2020
13
      LOL
Mar 26th 2020
16
My barber been slacking anyway
Mar 26th 2020
19
Really bruh??
Mar 26th 2020
23
My barber skills are decent but I don’t have the same confidence
Mar 26th 2020
26
      I tried cutting my own hair with my father's clippers on my 7th birthday
Mar 26th 2020
28
right now, I'm thankful for this bald ass head lol.
Mar 26th 2020
25

CherNic
Member since Aug 18th 2005
36228 posts
Wed Mar-25-20 01:47 PM

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1. "I'd held off on reading this. and now that I have, I don't like it"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

It's not really well written imo....and I don't like the explicit/ not so explicit denial of other small business owners - specifically women

  

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rdhull
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31727 posts
Wed Mar-25-20 03:56 PM

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7. "TBF in a radio interview today..."
In response to Reply # 1


  

          

In a radio interview today (which had me look up his article), he said he was also concerned with nail salons, women's cosmetology etc. In this short article, he is talking about the barbershop but he cares about the whole industry.

I should have prefaced that before the article

>It's not really well written imo....and I don't like the
>explicit/ not so explicit denial of other small business
>owners - specifically women

  

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legsdiamond
Member since May 05th 2011
64658 posts
Thu Mar-26-20 10:39 AM

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15. "You Shouldn’t have to preface the article.. smh"
In response to Reply # 7


          

Writing about one thing doesn’t nullify other people’s struggle.

shut up already, damn

  

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FLUIDJ
Member since Sep 18th 2002
42149 posts
Wed Mar-25-20 02:07 PM

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2. "are white barber shops getting money or something?"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

  

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legsdiamond
Member since May 05th 2011
64658 posts
Thu Mar-26-20 10:37 AM

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14. "Really bruh? "
In response to Reply # 2


          

shut up already, damn

  

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FLUIDJ
Member since Sep 18th 2002
42149 posts
Thu Mar-26-20 10:44 AM

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17. "Didn't read the article yet...just legit curious if it zero's in solely ..."
In response to Reply # 14
Thu Mar-26-20 10:44 AM by FLUIDJ

  

          

on Black barbershops....
plus i'm generally weary of Medium "articles"

"Get ready....for your blessing....."
"Bury me by my Grand-Grand and when you can come follow me"

  

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legsdiamond
Member since May 05th 2011
64658 posts
Thu Mar-26-20 11:14 AM

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18. "Even if it does.. so what? You always talk about keeping our culture"
In response to Reply # 17


          

to ourselves but as soon as it’s a Black Barbershop article it’s “what about the white barbers?

We cant even vent without hearing about white businesses.

shut up already, damn

  

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FLUIDJ
Member since Sep 18th 2002
42149 posts
Thu Mar-26-20 11:25 AM

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22. "You never let me just be "On one" fam...but I do appreciate the check"
In response to Reply # 18


  

          

nonetheless....
I be reactionary with imbalance some days....



"Get ready....for your blessing....."
"Bury me by my Grand-Grand and when you can come follow me"

  

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legsdiamond
Member since May 05th 2011
64658 posts
Thu Mar-26-20 12:17 PM

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27. "Just doing what I do"
In response to Reply # 22


          

shut up already, damn

  

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FLUIDJ
Member since Sep 18th 2002
42149 posts
Thu Mar-26-20 11:22 AM

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21. "Read it...wasn't the worst Medium post at all unlike many others"
In response to Reply # 14


  

          

that got me...

He makes valid points...
My only concern is that maybe it was released too soon because no one really knew/knows exactly what the restrictions on this bailout are.

I can see the potential uphill battle for a Barber to secure a portion of the bailout funding especially if they're not the shop owner and are classified as simply "chair renters" ....


"Get ready....for your blessing....."
"Bury me by my Grand-Grand and when you can come follow me"

  

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tariqhu
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15121 posts
Wed Mar-25-20 02:31 PM

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3. "I wonder how these shops will survive."
In response to Reply # 0


          

my kids needs a cut, but it'll have to be a papa special freal.

my cousin owns a salon. still working and posting client pics on fb. she's been told to chill, but she won't. she was recently in the hospital for respiratory issues before rona caught fire.

Y'all buy those labels, I was born supreme

  

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Dstl1
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48518 posts
Wed Mar-25-20 02:41 PM

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4. "the last cut I got was Friday, the 13...."
In response to Reply # 3


          

I had an appointment for this past Saturday, the 21st...I cancelled. I passed the barber shop, yesterday afternoon and my barber is still in there...gettin his money. He's strictly by appointment and he's the only barber...so, when you go in, it's just you and him. At most, you might pass the last customer or the next one after you on the way in/out.

...cleaned up my act, made a few violent songs...but, they wack like Glen Rice with New Balance on - Sean Price

  

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tariqhu
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Wed Mar-25-20 02:58 PM

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5. "that sounds good."
In response to Reply # 4


          

but I just don't trust right now. I might send my barber a 20 just because those.

Y'all buy those labels, I was born supreme

  

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Dstl1
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48518 posts
Wed Mar-25-20 03:04 PM

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6. "I know, man.."
In response to Reply # 5


          

I hate it, cuz he's a good dude. Has a family, just like me. Admittedly...the only reason I cancelled this past Saturday was because I'm working from home and I figured I didn't really need a weekly cut, like I usually do. My boys go every other week and even though they are not going to school...they're due this coming weekend.

...cleaned up my act, made a few violent songs...but, they wack like Glen Rice with New Balance on - Sean Price

  

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hardware
Member since May 22nd 2007
42169 posts
Wed Mar-25-20 04:23 PM

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8. "i assumed everybody had emergency clippers"
In response to Reply # 3


          

these Andis about to put work in

  

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tariqhu
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Thu Mar-26-20 11:41 AM

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24. "yeah, I got some t-liners and another set for actual cutting."
In response to Reply # 8


          

I just hate doing it since I'm not good at it. I'll hook him up at some point. he aint going anywhere, so it might be minute lol.

Y'all buy those labels, I was born supreme

  

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Nodima
Member since Jul 30th 2008
14075 posts
Wed Mar-25-20 05:09 PM

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9. "I picked a real bad time to shrug and go, there's always next week..."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

I can't go to any of my regular shops right now, might just grin and bear it and go to a chain I find open. Luckily shaggy dog isn't an abnormal look for a white guy, but I really need a tune-up...


~~~~~~~~~
"This is the streets, and I am the trap." � Jay Bilas
http://www.popmatters.com/pm/archive/contributor/517
Hip Hop Handbook: http://tinyurl.com/ll4kzz

  

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sectachrome86
Member since Dec 22nd 2007
2423 posts
Wed Mar-25-20 05:26 PM

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10. "same, fuck"
In response to Reply # 9


          

My hat collection is getting a work out right now

-------------------------------------------------
http://www.soundcloud.com/sectachrome

  

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Brew
Member since Nov 23rd 2002
19132 posts
Wed Mar-25-20 10:06 PM

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11. "LOL I am typically on a 3-4 week rotation."
In response to Reply # 9


          

I was on like 1.5 weeks when all this started and thought the same thing. I was like I'm good for now.

Now I'm getting shaggy and it's bugging me. Not that anyone's seeing me I just hate having longer hair. I got clippers but don't trust my wife to do my fade right lol so I'm thinking eventually I'll just have to do a uniform shave all around the head at like a #2 or #3 and just deal with my misshaped head for a few weeks.

----------------------------------------

"Fuck aliens." © WarriorPoet415

  

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My_SP1200_Broken_Again
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Thu Mar-26-20 11:22 AM

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20. "RE: LOL I am typically on a 3-4 week rotation."
In response to Reply # 11


  

          

>I was on like 1.5 weeks when all this started and thought the
>same thing. I was like I'm good for now.
>
>Now I'm getting shaggy and it's bugging me. Not that anyone's
>seeing me I just hate having longer hair. I got clippers but
>don't trust my wife to do my fade right lol so I'm thinking
>eventually I'll just have to do a uniform shave all around the
>head at like a #2 or #3 and just deal with my misshaped head
>for a few weeks.


It's easy as fuck to give your self a fade with a hand held mirror and clippers.. now is the perfect time to work on it, since nobody is going to see that shit for a while anyway.. You will save a TON of cash and never have to wait around in the shop while your guy bullshits his way through 3 dudes before you can get in the chair..

And if you have a son?? Save even more $$


Give it a shot.




------------------------------------
https://soundcloud.com/djchiefone
https://www.instagram.com/dj_chief_one

  

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Creole
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Wed Mar-25-20 10:25 PM

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12. "I’ve decided that I’m still going to pay my barber while this is goi..."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

And the lady who handles my hands and feet is still gonna get paid too.

They’re both, legitimately, great people.

If I can hand cash to others, who are in need, then I can do the same for those people with whom I have established a business and personal relationship with.

Even if you don’t pay your normal rate, something in their pockets is better than nothing.

I’m saving in gas and lunch money by not having to commute to the office right now. So, spread love... It’s the Brooklyn way!



--- praying for peace, love, and power

  

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FLUIDJ
Member since Sep 18th 2002
42149 posts
Thu Mar-26-20 05:26 AM

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13. "Mad Cobra"
In response to Reply # 12


  

          


"Get ready....for your blessing....."
"Bury me by my Grand-Grand and when you can come follow me"

  

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Dstl1
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48518 posts
Thu Mar-26-20 10:40 AM

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16. "LOL"
In response to Reply # 13


          

.

...cleaned up my act, made a few violent songs...but, they wack like Glen Rice with New Balance on - Sean Price

  

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legsdiamond
Member since May 05th 2011
64658 posts
Thu Mar-26-20 11:16 AM

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19. "My barber been slacking anyway"
In response to Reply # 0


          

Gives me a chance to fuck my own hair on the cheap and not worry about going out in public.

shut up already, damn

  

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FLUIDJ
Member since Sep 18th 2002
42149 posts
Thu Mar-26-20 11:26 AM

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23. "Really bruh??"
In response to Reply # 19


  

          

lol...


"Get ready....for your blessing....."
"Bury me by my Grand-Grand and when you can come follow me"

  

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legsdiamond
Member since May 05th 2011
64658 posts
Thu Mar-26-20 12:16 PM

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26. "My barber skills are decent but I don’t have the same confidence "
In response to Reply # 23


          

as when I leave the barber shop

shut up already, damn

  

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Mafamaticks
Member since Jan 12th 2004
4167 posts
Thu Mar-26-20 01:33 PM

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28. "I tried cutting my own hair with my father's clippers on my 7th birthday"
In response to Reply # 26


  

          

needless to say I fucked it all the way up.

At least this go around I can self-quarantine until my hair grows back and try it again.

  

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tariqhu
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Thu Mar-26-20 11:46 AM

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25. "right now, I'm thankful for this bald ass head lol."
In response to Reply # 19


          

one less worry.

Y'all buy those labels, I was born supreme

  

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