MyPuzzlePeace: Piecing It Together

From the Inside In

Archive for the month “September, 2016”

Race Convo with Kids

I saw this pic on Instagram and it spoke to me, thank you Blactivist.pic

There was another senseless killing by the police 9/16/2016, his name was Terence Crutcher. Say his name! Please read this NY Times article if interested in learning more about the man who committed no crime, but had a disabled vehicle, during the day, on a public street , posed no threat, had his hands up, and got shot and killed by the police.

In response to this incident, my sister, who has a 7 year old son, posted the following on Facebook:

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I often wonder if my nieces and nephews recognize that they are Black. You may think that is silly, but I had no idea I was Black until a White person pointed it out to me in kindergarten. To me, I just existed. I was a person. I didn’t know there was a difference between me and any other person. Of course I noticed the difference in people’s skin color, but my mother’s skin color was different from mine, my brother’s skin color was different from mine (they are lighter) and we are family. So it didn’t dawn on me that I was “different.” I did notice however that the neighborhood this White girl, in 7th grade, called Niggersville had residents that looked like me, Black.

Each day as I watch the news and see more and more instances of police brutality against people who look like me and the people I love, I wonder, when do you talk about race to children. A black female high school student was dragged out of her chair by a police officer. Black teenagers were attacked by police officers while at a community pool. A 12 year old Black boy was shot and killed for playing with a toy gun. A 13 year old Black boy was shot and killed by the police, he had a BB gun. A 7 year old Black boy was handcuffed at school with ADHD. A 6 year old Black girl was handcuffed at school for taking candy. A 7 year old Black boy was handcuffed at school for crying. I can go on and on; these are just the incidents I remember off the top of my head and involve children. Black children are in a unique situation. For some reason society does not recognize they are CHILDREN! For some reason Blackness in youth does not equal innocence in the eyes of many.

Let me share a quick story. When I was in high school my mother lived in an apartment complex that had a pool. I went to the pool with a couple of my friends who were all Black. This White lady, who was not at the pool said from her balcony that we needed to leave because we didn’t live there. How she figured that was beyond me, but I suppose she felt Black people didn’t belong.  She wanted to see my pass and I refused. We argued and she threatened to call the cops. I said call them because I know that I had permission to be there, my friends told me to stand down and we left. It bothers me that the White lady ruined my day because of her racist outlook on life. Is it fair that I had to leave? NO. Would it have been worth being tackled by the cops? No. I left the pool feeling worthless and reminded of Niggersville.

I am sure that many will read the incidents above and blame the victim… I should’ve just shown the lady who I did not know and who had no any authority my pass, the girl shouldn’t have spoken back and complied with the police, the teens at the pool should’ve left and respected authority, the boy shouldn’t have had a toy gun, the girl shouldn’t have stole candy, the boy shouldn’t have been crying, etc… How about the police should have sensitivity training and learn to deescalate a situation. How about toy guns are sold in Walmart or any other store where toys are sold. How about ask questions when entering a situation. No one ever sees a problem with the police and their tactics when it comes to Blackness, but let the police shoot a dog…

Should people have a healthy respect for the police? Probably. Does continually hearing and reading stories like the few I mentioned help the public respect and have faith in the police? NO. Does it teach the community to fear and hate the police? Yes. So what do we teach our children, who are engaged and more aware than any other generation before due to social media?

Do we teach them comply with the police? Apparently when you’re Black it can still cost your life. Do we tell them keep your hands visible? Apparently when you’re Black it can still cost your life. Do we tell them to stay silent? Apparently when you’re Black it can still cost your life. Do we tell them to record footage of the situation? Serves no purpose because even with evidence people still blame the victim when you’re Black. Do we teach them their rights as an American citizen? Apparently it doesn’t matter because the police do not care about their rights.

This is a very tough discussion to have, but we have to have a conversation to protect our children. Mind you this is not just a Black problem; it’s an American problem. Nothing makes me angrier than someone justifying injustice against Blacks by saying, “Well, white people are killed more often or white people pulled over more…” That is called a Red Herring, an attempt to distract from the issue at hand. Police brutality impacts us all and instead of us standing together as a people we are divided as a nation. Black people are disproportionately targeted. People are angrier about PEACEFUL protest than they are about police brutality against Black people.

This isn’t a topic that should be ignored or our children shielded from. It is the reality of today and we have to arm our children with the proper knowledge to enable them to survive. I don’t have any children and I’m not sure what to advise her. If I had to guess what I would do…

  1. I think I would talk to my child about each incident as it is reported and advise my child to stay clear of the police at all cost. In the event you need the police, make sure to communicate clearly and not give them a reason to shoot you because apparently they scare easily. 
  2. I would advise my child as he/she sees an incident about to escalate to call me, his/her father, or a family member and leave unless detained.
  3. I would advise my child prior to their being an incident that could potentially involve the police to walk away.
  4. I also personally would never buy my child a toy gun, but that’s aside the point.

Although these words sound good, it bothers me to know I have to teach my child to back down even if they are in the right. I guess I can think of it as raising my child to be the bigger person because I know that many members of the police force are not trained to be that person.

Do you have discussions about race with your children? Do you have discussion on police brutality? Do you have discussion on any social issues? Feel free to share and responses can be anonymous.

NAO

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Escapada de Puerto Rico

Hola, Como estas?

I went on a Girls Getaway to Puerto Rico and had a BLAST! I would’ve posted a pic that included them, but I feel weird about putting other people’s image out there.img_2458

 

My friends and I went to Puerto Rico for Labor Day weekend, there were eight of us in total . I will admit, that I was smidge nervous about traveling with so many women especially since I have never traveled with some of them, but it was actually an awesome experience. Bonding. Relaxing. Laughing. Partying. Drinking. What more does one need in a fabulous vacation? A man and sex probably!

 

We didn’t all stay in one room, but there was enough of us in one room where I mentally prepared myself for aggravation. I’m the type of person who does not like to waste my day, it drives me crazy when people are slow and take hours to get up and ready. This was NOT that experience, I don’t know how we did it, but we were up and out in under two hours most days. The first day we woke up around 630 am to catch our 8 am bus to go to El Yunque rainforest. Not only were we early for the bus, we were able to sit down to  breakfast AND go to the gift shop for water and water shoes. I was impressed!!

 

For the most part, we managed to do everything together. Another thing that I was a little worried about. Usually when there are so many people no one wants to do the same thing. Not us!! We went to El Yunque rainforest, Old San Juan, The Bacardi Distillery, La Placita to party (met some guys), the beach…. It was amazing! When people weren’t feeling good and went back or stayed in the room, it was all good. On another note, I don’t know what the bartenders in PR put in their drinks, but they taste like juice, yet the next morning I struggled to get my life, lol. My head was like, “bittcchhhh, you need to chill today.” I didn’t chill tho, I don’t listen, I  went to Bacardi to learn how to make three drinks. I’m a certified pro, according to the distillery anyway. I actually think the rum cured my headache. Thank you Bacardi!!

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We did have one sketchy moment where I thought, Oohhh laawwd, my sis ‘bout to lay them hands on somebody. So, three of us were walking down the street and we were talking about something that occurred earlier in the day. For some reason this group of young girls thought we were talking about them. When I walked past them I said, “have a good night ladies” and kept going chatting with my friends. Apparently they started talking trash and my sister, who is the smallest of the group, turned around and started to pop off. Now of course that means I gotta turn around, cause what you not ‘bout to do is talk crazy to my sister. Only I can do that, hehe. My friend extinguished the situation. Brawl and arrest averted, I just can’t… I saw this meme on Facebook and it said, we are in the backseat of a police car and I turn to you and say… I said, “I can’t with you” my sister said, “hehe, my bad.” FYI, my sister claims she is shy, side eye on that one!

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We had such a good time, we decided to have an annual trip. We’re thinking about Turks and Caicos for next year. Except for one friend who is engaged, we are all single, so hopefully this is something we can continue. These are relationships I hope to maintain. You always hear people say that women can’t be friends. I beg to differ, I have a great circle of friends. Why do people think that women can’t be friends with other women? Maybe it is they who can’t be friends, hhmm something to consider.

 

NAO

For Her. For Him. For Us.

7d7f6ea5184ff4f2d8768924bfbcd0e2 I was listening to For Her by Ricardo Del Rio this morning on Spotify and it made me think about a man I met recently. We went from strangers to I kinda like him, to OMG what did I get myself in to, to good riddance in two weeks. That has got to be a new record for a man pissing me off, lol. This man, in my opinion, had a very structured life and no room for a woman in it. It must be true what people say, don’t stay single for too long because it will be hard to share your life. This guy was 40 and said his last girlfriend was in high school; should’ve been clue number one.

We were somewhat alike, although it didn’t seem that we had much in common. How does that work? I don’t know, but it’s true we were similar just on opposite sides of the spectrum. I was willing to get to know him because he did have qualities that I did like. After a few convos, however, it became clear that it probably wouldn’t work, especially since he said he doesn’t like strong women which I am. He was very much an Alpha Male and we clashed on every topic especially those that involved how he wants to live his life in the future. One day I told him that I feel like he has his whole life planned and just wants a woman who he could plug into her place. Yes, her place.

For Her made me think about how we need to be open to compromise after a certain age for relationships to work. It has been at least 6 years since I had to share my life with another person or consider another person’s feelings. I’m ready, but it didn’t seem to me that he was. You’re probably wondering how did I know that in only two weeks. It was the way he spoke to me, he would not waiver in his ideas, and he was somewhat controlling. I don’t think he was a bad guy, just not a good match for me. Thanks a lot Eharmony, with those commercials that come on every five minutes. Thanks a lot sis-in-law who convinced me to sign up, you both get the side eye. Ha, just kidding, sort of.

Next guy I meet I am going to consider if I come off the same way this dude came off to me. I want the next man to be open to make changes for me, me for him, and we for us.

Is there a such thing as being single too long? What do you think?

Anyway, check out the song, For Her by Ricardo Del Rio on Spotify, it’s pretty cool.

NAO

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