2017-03-05

When People Still Prove All Lives Do Not Matter In America


Photo Courtesy of ABC News

I just read an extremely naive and misguided post here.  In it, this woman explains how she now realizes black people and white people are treated differently in our society.  

I'd like to think it's great that she has been "awakened", but there are still some glaring issues Chelsie hasn't considered.

Her first mistake:



“You better make smart decisions. Safe decisions. No robbing a gas station. No walking down the street swinging a sword around. No rioting. You are to be respectful. You are to be a member of society that contributes to the world. You are to be proud of who you are and your heritage. If you are anything less than these things, you might not come home to me one day.”


Trayvon Martin didn't walk down the street swinging a sword. He had skittles and tea as some overgrown gun happy man stalked him in his own father's neighborhood.


Sandra Bland didn't riot.


Terence Crutcher wasn't robbing a gas station.


Charles Kinsey wasn't rioting, robbing a gas station, or swinging a sword; he was aiding his autistic patient.   


I'm going to say this and it's going to be a shocker to some people, not everyone mistreated by the police did something bad.   Sometimes officers are bad, and in most cases, most people don't deserve to die, even if they did break the law. Petty theft shouldn't be a death sentence, talking smack to a cop is worth an execution, being black in and of itself is not a crime. 


When people like Chelsie figure this out, then we can have a real discussion on police brutality and it's implications on people of color.  



"He would drive my car always on the lookout for police and in the event that he saw one he would quickly take another road, pull over to the side and wait for them to pass. I wasn’t quiet about my annoyance to his situation often complaining about his need to feel that because he was black the police were always out to get him."

You're dismissing his concerns.  Sometimes, the police are out to get you.  Sometimes there are bad cops, and sometimes due to prejudices and stereotypes; people defend these bad cops and justify the murder of people.

In our society, that shouldn't happen.  



"People who fortunately and unfortunately have the same equal opportunity to decide how they live their lives."

I live in America and I find we are not all treated or created equal.   It has never been that way.  We find ways to live our lives to survive the system, we make strides and move ahead, but my children aren't safe. People don't always see my children coming from a two parent home with educated parents. They just see thugs. My kids can never ever really be just kids because our society treats them as if their melanin makes them a threat.


"All I keep seeing are officers who are afraid of my husband now more than ever."

Have you ever thought about how scared your husband is of those officers? Police can be terrifying to certain people. 

Did you mourn the death of Tamir Rice, a child? Did you call that senseless, or were you trying to make up reasons why it's his fault he's died?


That's the problem we have in America, people can't and don't value the lives of others and have no concerns about demonizing people and children to justify their deaths.  


"I see parents teaching their children to be afraid of the police instead of teaching them to respect those that put their lives on the line to keep us safe."

You see parents teaching their children to be afraid of the police because they have reason to fear the police, the police aren't there to protect and serve them always, sometimes they're there to terrorize them. It's a cold, hard truth you failed to mention in this blog post.  I can't do that because my children have value, my black family has value.  A value you place lower than the value of a police officer, so much so you can't acknowledge that sometimes police officers can be dangerous.  



"It comes from raising law abiding citizens that respect those around them."

I'm still waiting for someone to tell me what law Philando Castile broke to justify his death?   


You seem to keep putting the blame on the victims instead of the perpetrators, and if we can't acknowledge the victims of police brutality, then we can't move forward because the discussion becomes one sided and fruitless. 


Martin Luther King, Jr. broke the law!!! He went to jail for his demonstrations. If
Rosa Parks had never broken the law, we wouldn't have the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s.  Disobedience is what fueled the movement to eliminate Jim Crow laws, the same laws you think should be respected and not broken. Laws that would have prevented you from marrying your husband in many states. 



"It comes from teaching your children that wrong decisions are coupled with consequences and that life isn’t always fair, it was never meant to be."

Every black parent tells their black kids these things, but for some reason, white parents don't tend to teach their children this and even more infuriating is their kids are allowed to make mistakes with virtually no consequences, while some kids make no mistakes and still end up dead.  That's the difference between white and black America.  You can afford to be oblivious, we cannot.
  
Life isn't fair, but life is deadly in America for black kids, even the ones with good parents who tell them life isn't fair, and it's insulting to reduce the systematic murder of people to life being unfair.  It's downright infuriating and clueless and sick. 


"Violence no matter how oppressed you may feel will never yield the trust and peace filled relationships we yearn for."

This is the most infuriating of all. Bloody Sunday was called Bloody Sunday because of the violence.  The violence of the police officers. Violence is why Martin Luther King Jr. is dead.  Violence is what the Little Rock Nine endured.  Violence is why Ruby Bridges needed armed guards to desegregate a school after the governor of Louisiana wanted to defy the law and keep segregation going.  Violence is how slavery was sustainable.  Don't be concerned about v
iolence now when the people who were victims of it now perpetrate it, they were taught by the very people calling for them to be peaceful in the face of adversity.  

Violence has always been necessary. America wouldn't be America without it.
 

2017-01-23

This Ain't For Everyone....



If you are in your feelings about women of color being suspect of the Women's March on Saturday and offering criticisms of it, my page probably isn't going to be pleasant for you.


I'm not colorblind. We aren't united by gender, and don't you dare get mad if folks point out you only gave a fuck about ALL woman when the women impacted were you directly. If you decided participating in a march one time in your life deserves a pat on the back, you might need to realize there is more to progress than protest and pussy hats. That was one small victory in a battle, but we're at war, and if it's too much for you, you need to get out of the way.


I will not take from you the magnitude of this event. The unity it provided and the camaraderie we all saw on display all over the world.  But it simply isn't enough right now. 

Social justice work is thankless. It's hard work, and you gotta get a tough skin. It will come with looking and yourself and the others and acknowledging your mistakes, and changing your way of thinking.  This whole blog is a documented chronicle of my change in thinking. Some of my old blog posts make me cringe. I plan to address them later on, don't worry. 

Wait until the death threats come, that's when shit gets real.

Until then, just take a seat if this is too hard. Yall are probably having a hard time calling out your racist alt right uncle, so I can imagine it's going to be hard call out yourself.

2017-01-21

Quit Begging People For Your Humanity, It Still Doesn't Work




Quit expecting them to see your humanity. They are incapable of it. Demand respect, demand equality, because otherwise, you'll still be there begging.
Liberals make this mistake time and time again. We march, we yell, we seek to understand the other side. The problem is the other side doesn't see value in you, which is why they demonize you. Tell you you're mentally ill because of your viewpoints. They act as of you are lazy and taking their money via government benefits, even though statistics show differently. They pretend they don't remember the violence of their side, yet manufacture violence to degrade you and strip you of your humanity.
We need to strip them of their humanity. Their vote is their documented proof of their inability to empathize or show concern for other people. We need to let them know their humanity has been stripped away and we see them for the monsters they pretend we are. Liberals need to be blunt, call out the sexism, racism, homophobia, Islamaphobia, and all the hatred of their side and don't back down. Yell in their faces and degrade them like they have been trained to do by the oligarchs they worship.
March now, take your selfies to show you were part of history, but fucking don't ever forget your fight is not over and it won't be over for a good four years. Do more than protest. Vote with your dollars, strip those like them of their financial security, more than their current government does. Do not let them get away with their hatred. Make them uncomfortable. Make them scared, and do it without ever raising a fist.
Get in their heads. Make their fears of losing their privilege a reality.

2017-01-06

Why I'm Sitting This Moment of Outrage Out

There's a good reason.
This is the thing, everyone is up in arms because we all realize what happened to that teenager was a horrible crime. We all realize no one deserves that to happen to them.
The difference is this. When the perpetrators of the crimes are white and they commit heinous acts of racial hate and torture, we claim they aren't racist and they get to walk away almost unscathed from the crimes they commit. They serve reduced jail times and get probation. That's what happened in this story I just posted.
These black teens will spend a big chunk of their lives in prison. They will pay for the crimes. They will not be treated with kids gloves.
The justice system gives no fucks about black people. We have always known this.
The justice system says to black victims, "what happened to you wasn't that bad, just shake it off and move on".
The justice system supports and understands the plight of white victims, though.
When white criminals can be punished and held accountable the same way black criminals are, I'll be shouting from the rooftops about justice needing to be served.
When the media covers stories like this and the white people quit trying to pretend it is an isolated incident and mentioning stories like this is just "race baiting", I'll be there to support you.
When the media and white people stop worrying about the future of some white teens taking "locker room banter too far" and can sympathize with the black victim. I'll march in the streets with your in solidarity to ensure we get rid of all the bad people.
Until then, I'm really giving a side eye to this selective outrage and I'm not going to be all upset because I know these black criminals will go to jail and be punished for the awful crimes they did.

2016-12-20

Getting Closure For 2016


2016 has been a hard year.  There were some highlights.  We have a new house, in a neighborhood we love.   Homeschooling for our oldest went well.  My youngest is thriving and doing great.   I have friends who were there for me, who will stick with me, and who can see past my quirks.  I’m thankful for that.  We’re in a good place.  

A lot of not so nice things happened as well.  I now know, I will never ever be comfortable in America.  That the rise of fascism is upon us with the new President Elect.  That scares me.   I don’t know how long I will ever be ok with Russian tampering of elections, and that people actually thought they made a great choice when electing this man, but I digress.  My mental health, I guess things brought on by the stress of selling and buying a home caught up with me.   I lost some people I thought were my friends, but I stayed in denial and finally I let go, after an extreme level of nastiness was exposed to me.  

So I’m giving closure to all the bad things.

1. FUCK TRUMP.

That’s all I got for that.  

2.  I hate depression and anxiety, I hate I have a hard time handling it, and I hate to admit I have these issues, as I see them as flaws, but they aren’t flaws they are part of me.  They make me who I am, and I am not going to apologize for being me.  I will just continue to deal with it, and I will work on acknowledging when I need help.   That’s the only thing I can do.  Take things one step at a time.  

3.  Fuck petty people. Fuck people who try to make you feel as if your anger and your hurt are unwarranted.  Fuck people who contribute to the daily microaggressions you face and then have the nerve to pretend you don’t face them.  Fuck those who question your friendship because you decide you no longer want to be hurt.  Fuck those who pretend they want to be your friend, but really have no fucks to give about you.  

Don’t say you want to be my friend, after I tell you it’s better to not be friends; and then a few months later unfriend someone, don’t tell them why, and then go through the process of letting everyone but you know, except my husband who you kept as a friend on facebook for the sole purpose of rubbing it in my face.  You wanted to be the one to break up. You’re a petty bitch and I give no fucks about you. I hate my daughter lost some friends, but I give no fucks about anyone with such cruelty and nastiness towards their friends.  

Fuck those who made it their whole goal to “kick you out of the group” Who made an effort to explicitly say you are not welcome, to play by one set of rules for you, while having different rules for others.   

Fuck those who say they want to be friends, but then are so easily convinced by others that they aren’t able to make conscious decisions without the convincing of others. Don’t say you don’t know if you even want to be friends with me and then ask me do I want to be friends. No, that’s stupid, it’s cruel, and I’m not here to beg for people to like me anymore. Also, don’t confirm my beliefs when I see you the first time after such a bullshit exchange and then completely walk away in fear because you think I am going to talk to you. I’m not that fucking bothered. I was there for my kid, not for you.  

Also fuck people with secret chats like it’s fucking high school. Secret chats should be for surprising friends with gifts and get togethers, not to gossip like basic bitches.  In the immortal words of a person who shall not be named “I have no desire to play high school bitch squad”. It’s true, I don’t.

I’m done with 2016. My goals now are to fight fascism so my kids can feel safe and eliminate the negative so I can feel safe.  Let 2017 be that year for me.  Let that be the year this blog comes back and goes back to it’s main focus.  

2016-04-06

Why Are Folks Mad About the GapKids Commercial?: An Explanation of Race, The Media, and Microaggressions.

GapKids just released this ad:




It's cute, right? So innocent. Full of girl power!!!!! However, some folks didn't see things that way:



So why are these people so upset about such an innocent commercial? It's because there are underlying messages that are oblivious to the majority and that are constantly thrown at the minority.  

White women in this country are in a position of power in comparison to women of color.  We are supposed to always care about their feelings. When they talk about rape, it's sad.  When women of color talk about rape, it's not so sad, it's probably a lie (because we're under the impression rape is tied to attractiveness and women of color aren't deemed "attractive" in our society), or that women of color probably deserved it or are used to such things, so it doesn't impact them as much. 

White women are to be put on a pedestal.  If they feel threatened, we are supposed to care and fix it so they can feel better.  When women of color feel threatened, we're just supposed to suck it up, or we're overreacting.  If women of color express an opinion, if it differs from white women, they can feel threatened, and you're supposed to value their opinion over your own, because their whiteness gives the opinion more validity, especially to other white people.  

All in all, we're always supposed to take our issues to the back burner for the greater good of white women.  While the feminist movement put forth great strides for those of us with lighter skin and higher social class, the poor and women of color are still kind of in the same boat of where we were before.

So what does all this have to do with this innocent GapKids ad?  Everything.   The microaggressions that women of color face constantly start to add up and frankly, we're just tired.  It isn't the getting called the "n-word" and being exposed to the KKK, it's the constant exposure to media and society who says we're less than and we're there to supplement white people. People of color are just filler.  We are there to simply placate their lives, and if you dare consider yourself an equal, or worse better, you better realize you aren't.

Growing up, I was always told to downplay what I had to white people, because they would try to take it away or diminish it.  For the most part that is true in my experience.  They will find ways to explain to you why your accomplishments or even material things are really not that great or inferior, or just not to their liking, and usually these opinions and thoughts are unsolicited.  Often times, I just won't share, and that just makes people curious, as if they anticipate trying to figure out what's wrong with whatever project you're doing, or whatever new shiny thing you get.   I once was shopping for furniture, and me and a friend actually were looking at the same things, another friend complimented my friend about her ideas for furniture, but was trying really hard to tell me what she didn't like about my ideas, even after explaining to her I had the SAME exact idea as our mutual friend.  That's the microaggression.   It's the trying to find fault with any and everything that you do, and being eager to share unsolicited opinions about it, but yet if the tables were turned, it would be seen as a threat.

This GapKids ad shows us, we are just tokens, and the "real girls" (read white) need a prop, literally and figuratively.   The little black girl says nothing, literally does nothing, she just works best as an arm rest.  That was what we noticed, because we always notice these things, while this issue is oblivious to white America.

We want to be acknowledged as more than props and filler; and our requests for such things up until recently, were ignored.  Thankfully, there was at least an apology this time.

A lot of us are still tired and still dealing with this issue. We're not filler and it's ok to acknowledge and demand other people know this.

2016-01-13

My Problem With Linda Chaver's Problem With Black Girl Magic

Today I read an article on Elle.com outlining the problem with the hashtag #blackgirlmagic.  I have read her points, I understand her hesitation with the hashtag, but I wholeheartedly disagree with her.    Black. Girls. Are. Magic.  There are no qualifiers for that.

Black women are human, I get that; we all get that.   There are the stereotypes of black women being strong, who are able to handle pain, and who are able to handle the stress that others cannot. I agree that those stereotypes are problematic.  However, I also think that we need to be uplifted without some qualifier each and every time.  I don't assume MS or some other medical condition makes you not magic. Sometimes magic is being in pain and having to acknowledge it. Sometimes magic is being able to cry without remorse.  Those things do not and will not negate the awesomeness of a person. Pain does not diminish us or make us less than. Part of our magic now in 2016 is that we can and want to take care of ourselves. We've been relegated to caring for everyone else except ourselves and that time is over. It's time for us to let our magic shine through and let the world know we're wonderful without apology.

We live in a society where black women are considered bottom of the barrel.  We are thrown negative stereotypes from every angle. White men, women, even black men.   We make less money than our counterparts. When we get raped, we live in a culture in which we blame the "fast ass girl" who we want to believe is trying to make another black man a "statistic" if we report these crimes against us.   We are told we're ugly and that everything from our hair to the way we even talk to people is threatening.  Our existence per society is problematic. But, we're not problems, we are blessings and are deserving of praise and recognition.

We need to feel the magic of feeling human without the burdens of the world thrown at us.  Even though there are forces in the world that seek to degrade and dehumanize us, we are still awesome.

As RuPaul says, “If you don't love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?”