Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Children’ Category

20130712-134719.jpg

I, like many of us have been tuned into the George Zimmerman trial since it began. I almost typed “Trayvon Martin” trial because, at times, it was hard to understand just who was being tried. Today jurors in the case heard the closing arguments for the defense and the final rebuttal from the state. The defense rode on the platform, if you would call it a platform, that Zimmerman had every right to act the way he acted, that he was a regular man with aspirations of protecting and serving his community but was attacked by a young man who refused to “run away” upon being followed. The defense went as far as to say that Martin had plenty of time to run— four minutes. Defense attorney O’Mara went on to list all of the things one could do in four minutes, but that Martin chose to stay put. My question is, why would a person run if they’re guilty of nothing? If I am minding my business walking to the store and I notice a man following me, am I to assume he is going to kill me?

I understand that the defense attorney had to do his job and try to convey to the jury that, all things considered, Zimmerman acted logically considering these circumstances, but there were times during his argument where I wondered if even he, believed himself.

“When I first got this case, I thought it was going to come and go in 20 minutes,” Defense Attorney O’Mara said.

These were not his best moments. Many times during his argument, O’Mara sounded insensitive, condescending and even patronizing in his attempt to get his point across; certainly not a good technique when speaking to a jury of women.

This trial has ignited quite a movement via social networking, as many know. I have seen countless tweets refuting the support behind the #ZimmermanTrial and the apathy about the young black men dying in our own communities. My problem with this is that no one black man’s death is more important than the other. This case was yet another reminder of the racist society that we live in, not an attempt to diminish the violence that runs so rampantly in the African American community. We have to fight one battle at a time, or get enough warriors together to fight them all.

Trayvon’s parents decided to reach out to media to bring about some justice for their son. If every parent of every slain teenager in Chicago, Philadelphia, or Atlanta made it a point to speak out on their child’s behalf, would we still be marching to our city courtrooms or wearing hoodies to show support? Don’t answer that. That answer is too complex. If Troy Davis, Caylee Anthony, and Trayvon Martin have taught this country anything, it’s that some of the laws and the policies that are effective in this country are not JUST at all. Getting upset has to do more than a hoodie and a march. Getting upset has to send you to your local politician- has to send you to your post office with your petition- has to encourage you to get up and DO SOMETHING about it, or else, we’ll be back here, not long from now, protesting about another person killed in cold blood because of a culture that ignores hatred if it doesn’t directly affect them.

 

Disclaimer: (I wrote this post on my lunchbreak so please excuse typos and punctuation!)

<a

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Take a look at the all new web series, “He Say, She Say,” hosted by relationship expert Kevin Carr. Remember him from my MANcation Retreat video?  Kevin is hosting a new show about current relationship topics. This first episode features a diverse panel of women and men as they discuss their opinions on the “do’s” and “dont’s” of dating and relationships.

Check it out!

Read Full Post »

A woman in her 60’s was killed the other day. In her neighborhood. She was the mother of nine. Nine children. Her neighbors said she was a pleasant woman who could be found outside sweeping the sidewalk outside of her home.  Her son said she was always quoting Bible verses. She was shot in the back of the head and left for dead in an alley near her home.

A 51-year-old woman was beaten and robbed today, by a ten-year old boy. A ten-year -old boy. Police say his accomplices were ages 9 and 7.  He’s Hispanic–because I know you’re googling the story now just to make sure it wasn’t “one of us”, but it was, wasn’t it?

There is a war going on out here. The violence against women and children is increasing at alarming rates. Not to mention, our young men. But we rally, and we wear T-Shirts and we blog about it. (Exhibit A, I’m apart of the problem). Oh and we march, boy, do we march. Then we go home, and lock our doors, and ignore the suspicious looking activity on the corners because we’ve got to live in this hood, and we know that boy’s mother and couldn’t stand to send him to jail. Until, of course, he’s standing over us with a pipe, demanding money. Or until, that “crazy, fast, girl from up the street” is found dead, on that little block, where you never park your car. But you won’t tell police about that scream you “may have heard”, because, who will hear yours? You have to protect yourself. Isn’t that the way to win a war? Protect yourself; beat the opponent to the punch, or to the shot, or to the wound, or, to the grave. Pick one. Survival of the fittest. But if the armor of protection still ends in death and tragedy, what good is the shield? It shields one of us by ultimately harming all of us.

 

We’ve become such an individualistic, selfish society, only satisfied by attention. Like my picture, Re-tweet my post, come to my show, and take a picture with me there, so we can show everyone how amazing we are. Instant gratification is satisfying enough; we are so enthralled in ourselves, so intrigued by the lifestyles of the rich and famous. The people most of us will never be or get to meet. We have GOT to do better. I feel a revolution coming on. I’d like to channel the motivation of the Black Panther party, a little less radical, but just as passionate. We have to preserve and protect the human race against, the human race. I challenge you, whoever you are, to do something to positively benefit someone else. If you see something that’s wrong, say something, if you’re doing something that’s wrong, stop it. Figure out an action plan to promote positivity and stop some of this senseless, selfish behavior that’s killing us. Start an army of change. Don’t wait for a chain of command, every soldier that joins must also be the General. Start today.

That’s an order.

 

Read Full Post »

Today, I came to the realization that I have some extremely gifted and talented friends. I sat long and hard and thought about the fact that I could be overcome with that “proud mother” enthusiasm that every parent has. The zeal that comes with birthing a child that causes one to carry every spelling test and coloring book page to show people the work your baby has done. But then I thought, no, these people are talented; I’m not just saying that. I know writers, musicians, poets, fashion designers, stylists etc., some who own their own grass roots organizations, companies and even brands.

I can’t help but admire the people I am surrounded by. To quote one of my favorite movies, “A Bronx Tale”, “There’s nothing worse than wasted talent.”

I hear people critcize the youth so much calling them apathetic and lazy compared to earlier generations. I agree with this to some degree but that’s for another post. Everyday, I see my peers having educated discussions about issues that matter in the world, promoting knowledge through their music and exploring the arts through their style of dress. It’s amazing. I can’t help but to feel as if I’m in the middle of some kind of movement.

However, I pretty much have a degree in “Extra-Curricular Overthinking” so it would be foolish of me not to address a larger issue at hand. The majority of the amazing people I know, I met in college. Most of these people have had the opportunity to go to college and even if they hadn’t come from an affluent or middle class background, they were able to see outside of their own neighborhood. This does not include the few children that come from poverty whose parents instill the value of education in them—they should consider themselves lucky as this is not a common thing.

I was born in a middle class home where college was just what you did after high school, without a second thought. I know that in lower income homes or areas that some may call, the hood, this notion is not even on the drawing board.

It seems that the youth, and I hate to cast a shadow on an entire generation but so it goes. The high school age kids from 15-18 that I have come in contact with seem more concerned with who’s writing on their wall on Facebook than anything else. Walking through the city streets as the kids seem to have no respect for elders, or themselves, or people in general BREAKS MY HEART. I cringe when I hear a child scream expletives I didn’t know existed down the street to another. The three girls sitting in Dunkin Donuts pointing and criticizing every person that walks by for sport sickens me to my core. I can only hope that my friends and I did not make such fools of ourselves when we were young. The reality of it is, we probably weren’t too far behind. Although I wanted to walk over to these young women, who weren’t acting like young women at all and say: “Girls, you are queens, and royalty does not behave this way.”—I didn’t. I didn’t say a thing, I shook my head. We have become a generation of “mind your own business.” We do not interfere with ignorance or poor taste, crude behavior or even violence when we see it, because it is simply “none of our business.”

I blame myself, I blame pop culture, and I blame, you. I blame every person reading this that has ever experienced a situation like this and has done nothing.

I say ALL of this to say, the only way to fight ignorance is with love and patience. Teach someone something. Kind words can kill a bad spirit or at least cripple it a little. I encourage each and every person to mind someone else’s business today, and tomorrow too.

The thing that is different about my generation and the one’s to come is that there are no more people policing each other. I say this with special attention to the African American community. There are no more grandmothers or random people on the street that tell children how to act or scold them when they get out of line in public. Because of this, we pretend we don’t see the misbehavior and hurry back to our own civilized lives. We have to stop doing this.

I will wrap this up because it has already gone too long. Again, mind someone else’s business, you won’t regret it.

*** Question everything. ***

Read Full Post »

Kelly Williams-Bolar was sentenced to 10 days in prison and three years probation.

I am really surprised, actually, I’m not surprised at all that this story hasn’t gotten more publicity. I have an obligation to do my part in getting the word out so here it goes. Click the link below to read about an African American woman who was sent to serve prison time for sending her children to a school outside of her district. Needless to say, the school is predominately white.  The story broke in late January but I myself, am just learning about it today. Check the story below and tell a friend. We need to get this story buzzing, this is ridiculous.

Click here for the story.

Read Full Post »