MyPuzzlePeace: Piecing It Together

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Archive for the category “racism”

Journey For Equal Justice In Valdosta, GA. The Death of Kendrick Johnson and Recent Judicial Complaints

Praying for this family and justice!

We Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident

(A note. Highlights in blue are embedded links to news sources.  Clicking on them opens the source in a new tab.)

kendrick-johnson-jpg-1-660x346 Kenneth and Jackie Johnson with a photo of Kendrick.

It’s been a long journey for the parents of Kendrick Johnson.  In January 2013, the 17-year old’s body was found in a gym mat in the high school he attended.  Local authorities ruled the death an accident.  Kendrick’s parents hired a pathologist who found that Kendrick died of blunt force trauma.

To add insult to injury, all of Kendrick’s internal organs were missing, replaced with newspaper.

In April 2013, Kendrick’s parents Jackie, Kenneth Johnson, and 5 family members protested outside of the courthouse.   The protest was designed to pressure the local sheriff’s office to release the investigative file of Kendrick’s death.  They were arrested.  In January 2015, they were convicted of civil disobedience. Their sentence was suspended for…

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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:

fullsizerender

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

Trump’s Impact on Black Dating

I’ve never used my blog to discuss politics, but this is getting out of hand and I’ve had three dating experience that have been impacted by political beliefs. Thank you Trump for inspiring my first blog post of the year. Never thought I’d thank him for anything.

I am first going to respond to Trump’s question about what Black people have to lose by supporting him, which I also previously posted on FB.

How about my life? That’s something I value. How about the life of my family? That’s something I value. How about the life of every person in this country who looks like me, male or female? That’s something I value. Those are big things to lose under leadership who’s rhetoric is so filled with hate and white supremacy that his mindless drones have a mission to shoot and kill people on sight who look like me. I do not feel safe in the skin that I’m in and there’s nothing I can do about it except not vote for Trump, because it won’t make anything any better, but can definitely make things worse. Because I value my life and all the lives of those who look like me, I have A LOT to lose!! ✊🏾🇺🇸 ‪#‎blacklivesmatters ‪#‎mylifematters ‪#‎alottolose

Now how does this relate?

I went on a blind date with a man that I was introduced to by a friend. I should’ve known his ass was crazy after I Googled him, but I’ll respect his privacy. It was going alright, yes, just alright, in the beginning, and was on a steady decline. I just wasn’t feeling his personality. It was time for me to go, however, when he informed me that he does not vote. I asked, “How can you not vote?” Of course no good response. He does not vote at all in any capacity, presidential, local, amendments, nothing!! I thought that was so ignorant. All that we as Black people have endured to get the right to vote, he was just throwing it away and thought it was funny. If we don’t have anything else, we have our voice and he opts to throw it away. No respect; no second date.

I met a second individual, a White man. For the most part, I exclusively date Black men because it is what I like, it is what I am attracted to, and Black men are who I think I would have more in common with. Anyway, I am trying to be open, I don’t have a problem with White men, just not what I’m dawn to. Very first conversation he informs me he is voting for Trump. I agree, you can vote for whoever you want. I can entertain a relationship with whoever I want. This isn’t going to work. Last phone convo. I like to think that I am an opened minded person, but there has been not one thing that Trump has ever said that I can respect or support. Heck the dude wasn’t even able to say anything, he just didn’t like Hillary. Trump does not value my life or those who look like me and he is verbal about it. In fact he doesn’t value anyone other than himself and his supporters are a distant second if that. Any man who would consider dating a Black woman, could not have possible thought his opinions on supporting Trump would go over well. I could possibly have gotten over the fact that he was a Republican, but not the Trump supporter!

Third experience, this man and I were having a political discussion. He does not support Trump or Hillary. I hear that a lot, ok, let’s discuss. I asked him, what is his problem with Hillary. His response, “I don’t know, there is just something about her.” Ok, again you can support whomever you choose, but I believe you should be an educated voter. I don’t think anyone has to support Hillary, but I find it strange when you are adamant you don’t like someone and yet have NO idea as to why. It just makes you look silly. He is just on the bandwagon. He does not have an opinion of his own. Not a very attractive quality. That’s over!

In my opinion, political values need to be in line. We may not always agree, but when your values contradict mine, we are in for a life of disagreements and disrespect.

Let me know your thoughts. Would you date someone who’s political beliefs are a contrast to yours?

 

NAO

 

 

My Stance on the Fast Food War

First, I want to say rest in peace to Nelson Mandela, a very courageous man who’s contributions will never be forgotten.

Now, I’ve never used my blog to discuss social issues, but this is my blog and I can do what I want.

As we all know, fast food workers have been striking to get higher wages. Apparently $15 a hour… Although I can’t speak for the whole world, it seems the general consensus is they do not deserve $15. I can agree $15 may be a bit much for the high school kid who shakes the fry basket, but minimum wage is not going to cut it.

Fast food chains are a billion dollar industry and there is no reason why their employees are not paid a fair and competitive wage. Do you know why these chains don’t pay the employees a decent wage? Let me tell you, because they don’t have to!! Plain and simple!!

For those of you who say McDonalds is a job for high school kids, news flash, high school kids can’t run an establishment. Would you eat at a restaurant that was run by teenagers? To all my working professionals, when you drive up for your sausage and egg McMuffin before you head to your office job do you think it’s a kid at the speaker? Hell no, they are in class!!

Then some say, “go get a $15 a hour job.” Don’t you think they would if they could?! Who the hell wants to work at a minimum wage job if they don’t have to!?

So you say management gets more… Yeah ok, more than minimum wage!! I didn’t take the time to look up the salary of a manager nor do I intend to because quite frankly that isn’t the issue. The issue is that thousands of employees, adults, who are making an honest living serving the public can’t afford to support themselves. Think people… they could say F*** this job and just come rob you and get money that way!!! Most times you make it; one time you wont!

People can’t complain about the girl behind the counter with the bad attitude, she isn’t paid enough to care. You get what you pay for!!! If franchise owners and the C Suite want their employees to give high quality service to the consumers that are making them rich, pay them to!

To those who say, they don’t have a college education.” Everyone can’t have a college education and not just due to disparity… if everyone had a college degree a degree wouldn’t mean anything. Shoot, other than the people that I went to college with, many people that I know and work with never stepped foot in a college… and those that did go to college surely didn’t finish. I say that to say, college is great, but clearly it isn’t everything. When I started with the bank, I was telling my new manager that I was working on my Masters and she revealed that she only had a high school diploma.

Education aside, working in fast food can be a trap. Someone may start to work in fast food with the attempt to find something better, maybe customer service, choices are limited, and life gets in the way. Here is where the cycle begins, they have children who also end up being uneducated and unskilled. Why? Well, poor people live in poor neighborhoods, who get a poor education, and who wind up in… you guessed it low wage paying jobs. These people are at poverty level and will likely stay for generations.

Maybe they should’ve made better choices? My uneducated manager is doing fine… sometimes it takes getting a hand. Without education you have few paths, fast food, retail, grocery stores, call centers… the first three are minimum wage.  Oh you can also go the illegal path and be ballin’ til you end up in prison. Prison sucks, but you have shelter, cable, three meals a day…

I’m not naïve, I know that if wages are increased prices get increased. I would be willing to pay more for LOW quality food that will likely kill me!! I also realize that an increase in their wages will also mean that everyone else’s wages are going to need to increase. You can’t have CNA’s making less that fast food employees.  The cost of living will likely increase and then the fast food employees will be right back where they started.

I’m not sure of the solution, but I tell you this. I can’t eat at establishments where my food is handled by disgruntled employees. I’m sure we’ve all seen the gross YouTube videos of what goes on!

I could rant on forever, just had to get that out. My humble opinion.

NAO

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