Here’s Maya Angelou and Oprah, in their pajamas, in 1997, talking about what Oprah calls her most important life lesson: “When people show you who they are, believe them.”
I was reminded of the line when Hanif Abdurraqib (author of They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us) tweeted about Kayne saying outrageous things:
people are saying what they mean to say, and they are doing it with intentions. whether those intentions are to provoke attention or outrage or whatever else…. writers, inventors, creators, politicians. people who know what they’re saying and why they’re saying it. The great lie of people speaking without direct and clear intentions is one (of the many) to stop falling for…. when someone says some wild shit, I’m going to assume they know exactly what they’re trying to articulate & why. It is foolish for me to assume otherwise. Whether or not someone “should” or “shouldn’t” be speaking on something is beyond the point…. it’s hard to see people keep arriving at places of frustration or heartbreak or disappointment because they chased after the romanticized idea of a person despite that person repeatedly telling and showing people that they are not that romanticized idea.
I’m also now reminded of this Paul Noth cartoon I clipped out of the New Yorker to explain 2016 if anyone is around in the future to ask about it: