There has been so much to say about the video in Spring Valley High showing the child who was brutally assaulted by a school resource officer that went viral this week. I just recently saw a video of newscaster Brenda Woods of 11 Alive in Atlanta response to the incident in her “Last Word” segment. If her ‘cake by the pound’ makeup and crusty braids weren’t bad enough, what she had to say was even worse. In the video, she asserts that the ‘bigger picture’ that nobody is talking about is how ‘disrespectful’ children are and how we don’t know what she said before the incident to start it:
The week of Sandra Bland’s death and my subsequent post got quite a few hits. I actually got reblogged by the actor Jesse Williams on tumblr which was pretty cool. Afterwards, came the bombardment of images, videos and speculation. Normally, I don’t follow hearsay when it comes to cases like these until I get all the facts, but I’m only human and got caught up in the moment. There were so many allegations going around, I thought I was following the Bill Cosby case for awhile. Needless to say, it took a mental toll on me.
I try to be informative and write posts that change hearts and minds. I want people to understand the movement black lives matter and what racial inequality exists, however I want to be fair and balanced and not throw out accusations like I see most people, even some of your favorite activists do from time to time. Walking this fine line can be rather difficult sometimes…
Attempting to change minds and hearts is the worst because some people just don’t get it not do they want to get it. Others get it but are afraid to speak out. Sometimes I feel like a lone wolf out there fighting for justice in a world full of ignorance; I wouldn’t do myself the disservice of only speaking to people who agree with me like I see most activists do on Black Twitter, however the alternative is so mentally exhausting. In addition, how do I display my love for black issues without coming off aggressive and combative. I took a mental break these last few weeks to get my head together. I think I’ve gotten a balance and I can give you a few easy steps in helping you.
1. Step Away From Your Social Media
I can’t stress this Enough. Stepping away was the best thing for me. I was able to relax, go to the park and clear my head. I was able to prioritize things in my head including my personal life and goals with my activism which was a big concern for me…
2. Choose your battles
There are so many injustices happening towards black and brown people everyday that it’s hard to keep up with some days. As sad and foul as it is, you can’t champion every single issue that comes across your timeline or newsfeed. Think of yourself as an editor of a newspaper, things you care about this most should be the things you post or retweet. You’re only human, you can’t cover it all. There are people who get paid to do that.
3. Some People just aren’t going to get it
Some people just aren’t going to get it. It’s as plain as that. You can preach until you’re blue in the face, they aren’t not going to get it. You shouldn’t waste your time debating or arguing with them. Someone who believes racism nor police brutality exists, no matter how many black and brown men/women get killed, doesn’t deserve your time. Allow them to live in their blissful ignorance.
4. Find distractions
For the past few weeks, all I posted on Facebook was funny videos that made me laugh. Not only did it warm my heart, it was a balance to all the crap that was going on at the time. Sometimes you need to laugh and escape. We, as a black race have been doing it for a long time. Read a book, meditate, go spend time with friends or fam and remember there is a world outside of social media.
5. Keep hope alive
You have to stay strong during these times. Going to work with people who don’t understand how you feel to seeing friends at home who just don’t seem to care, you sometimes loose hope. You can’t though. Everybody has their part to play in this huge movement. Whether you retweet a story or are on the front-lines, you are somebody in the bigger picture.
Those are a few of my tips/steps. If you have any, please feel free to share in the comments…
So I keep reading about ‘Hotep Twitter’ online and wondered what people were taking about. After researching all night and doing a Twitter search through some of the most draining posts ever, I think I’ve figured it out. We have all come across these people who are way more woke than you, way more black than you and are usually full of fake pseudo-consciousness. Here’s 6 Things I’ve Learned…
1. The world starts and ends with the black man
Black men lead and everybody else follow. Black women have no say so unless it’s a man involved. Black women are subservient to men. Women have to ‘do this’ or ‘do that’ to be respected by a man. Lord forbid a woman twerks, or wears her dress to short or has sex with more than one person…. You see where this is going…
2. Everything is a distraction
You can’t fart, poot, watch your favorite tv show or follow a rap beef without Hoteps saying its a distraction. It must be nice to be that woke 24/7, I’m sorry but I love my sleep. I also like Empire and Game of Thrones…
3. They are more black than you
If you went to a PWI and not an HBCU, they’re more black than you. If you date outside your race (though most of them do), they’re more black than you. If you support ANYTHING, outside of their ideal, what it takes to be black logic, then they have no respect for you.
4. They subscribe to respectability politics
This is one I can’t stand. If you don’t pull your pants up or aren’t up to par with how white america wants us to be, then you won’t be respected. You can’t become angry, fight, riot or anything or they automatically dismiss you. These are my least favorite kind of people.
5. They’re usually homophobic
I’ve seen it many times. As soon as a man shows any sign of femininity, he didn’t have a father growing up and a real man is ‘this’ and ‘that’ (hey Steve Harvey). They are the ones shouting from the sidelines as LGBT men and women organize and protest about how the real men should lead and that gays don’t represent the community. It’s funny because those same gays single handedly ran the old and now new black lives matter movements.
This is hilarious to me because I can relate. I remember being attacked by one dude for making a joke about being light skin and he accused me of self-hating. You can be pro-black and not be draining. It’s funny because these people claim to be so progressive but they’re only setting the movement back with these fake, exclusive ideals.
Gone are the days where I solely vote on a candidate because they are the lessor of two evils. Gone are the days where I vote democrat just because it’s what black people do. As a African-American male, if you’re not speaking on issues that affect my community in detail, i refuse the right to vote for you. The Democratic Party has used and abused the black vote for too long. None of the three democratic candidates, Hillary, Bernie or Martin have made racial justice a top priority in their campaign. This needs to change and our voices need to be heard for once. I’m sick of racial issues being ignored while our communities continue to be grossly affected. Who will be the first candidate to rise up and unapologetically say “Black lives matter?”
Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley had a chance to engage Black Lives Matter protestors at a Netroots Nation conference in Arizona. They fumbled almost every question asked to them, with Bernie Sanders completely ignoring the issue. Granted, Mass incarceration and prison reform have come up as footnotes but racial justice as a whole needs to be addressed. Personally, I want a candidate who is well versed on issues of race and how it affects almost every system in our country. Barack has done a great job in his second term brining discussions of race to the forefront and whomever is in office needs to continue this discussion , frankly and in greater detail. Democrats have historically ignored black issues except when it could get them a vote. Bill Clinton was loved by black americans, yet passed one of the most discriminatory criminal justice bills this country has ever seen. This cannot happen again. Cases like Tamir Rice, Sandra Blunt, Rekia Boyd, Natasha McKenna, and Jordan Davis need to be heard and addressed. Black Lives Matter. We now have a voice and a community that cannot and will not be silenced.
Dear future candidates,
If you want my and many other votes, you WILL discuss police brutality, mass incarceration, the war on drugs, mandatory minimums, sentencing laws, prison reform, raising minimum wage, bringing jobs back to the inner cities etc. These are not just black issues, but American issues that just happen to disproportionately affect people of color. Every American needs to be educated on issues that affect people of color because we’ve been hiding in the shadows for too long.
-Sandra Bland traveled from Chicago to start her new job with her mom
-Last Friday, Bland was stopped outside the campus for failing to signal while changing lanes.
-A video has surfaced of her arrest showing the police roughing her up and throwing her on the ground
-She died in police custody
The police ruled her hanging a suicide but it’s in Texas and it involves the police so that opinion cannot be trusted. Family and friends are trying to figure out exactly what happened in that cell. Why would a young woman with a brand new job randomly kill herself in a jail cell? Why is the police’s word the sole word according to the media in cases like these? Sandra Bland knew her rights and questioned her arrest as seen in the video. So let’s put two and two together, an outspoken BLACK women who knows her rights just so happens to die in police custody in Texas and the police rule it a suicide…hmmmmm. I’m not saying something’s fishy, but something stinks.
The Obama Administration has now put criminal justice front and center as its main issue in his already impressive set of reforms. On the heels of commuting the sentences of 46 federal convicts, Obama will soon be the first president to visit a federal prison where he will talk to inmates and prison guards. He has also spoken on the issue recently in the media with a speech to the NAACP convention and also sat down ‘The Wire’ creator David Simon earlier this year to speak about criminal justice reform. In his NAACP speech, Obama spoke against mandatory minimums, a lack of voting rights, jail abuse and job discrimination that many current and former convicts face.
Mass Incarceration and over-sentencing are important issues that disproportionately affect poor people of color. Our criminal justice system is one of the most systematically racist institutions in our country. African Americans and Latinos make up only 30% of the population, but 60% of the prison system. 1 and every 35 and 1 and every 88 black and latin men respectively, are behind bars. Around 1 and 9 African American child has a father in prison. This is one of the greatest unspoken injustices in America. You want black people to stop crying about racism, changing the way we sentence and jail our people of color for non-violent crimes would go a long way in changing that. This along with an overhaul of our policing system needs to happen soon.
1. You are beautiful
Beauty comes in so many different shades and colors. The media and advertising often exposes young black girls to one definition of beauty. Every black girl should be taught they they are beautiful. This is not only important for her self esteem, but for acceptance of herself and culture.
2. You are heard
Black women and girls are often, directly or indirectly, told their opinions don’t matter as much as their male counterparts. When women often voice their opinions in a matter, they are hushed or made to feel inferior. Young black girls need to be told their opinion matters and they can express themselves. They can be as loud and as assertive as they want to be. If somebody is intimidated, fuck them.
3. You can be ANYTHING you want to be
Women can really do and be anything they want to be. The earlier girls know this, the better. We often limit our girls by exposing them to limited career choices. Showing them that they CAN be doctors, lawyers, bodybuilders, construction workers or whatever they desire early on will benefit them as they grow older and start making career choices. Although being Instagram models and using your beauty as a career is fine, young girls need to know using other tools in your chest like your brain may be more rewarding and get you a bit further in the long run.
4. YOU come FIRST
Black women have often had to make some of the bigger sacrifices in the black community. They’ve had to hold down the household while men were allowed to do whatever they wanted. It is often in the nature of a woman to put her needs aside for the greater good, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of a mans ego or selfish choices. Black girls should know that THEY come first, before family, friends or boyfriend/girlfriend, at least until you have children. Every girl should know her mental, physical, financial and emotional state ALWAYS comes first.
4. Having a man should NOT be a priority
I’ve told my niece this over and over again. You DO NOT need a man to be happy and successful. Love is a beautiful thing, however, men come and go but a degree is forever. Michelle already had her law degree and was a junior lawyer at her law firm when she met Barack. It’s human for us to desire love, but get your OWN first. I’ve seen so many women, especially women of color go through hell and high water to say they have a man. They would stunt their growth and make sacrifices for temporary relationships. That’s five years you could have many going to school, making money and establishing yourself. Im not saying don’t be in a relationship, but establishing yourself first should be of the most importance. If you do find love in the process of getting your own, that’s great. If not, that’s great too.
5. You are POWERFUL
If women knew their own power, their would be no wars, no strife, and men would be a footnote in history. Some women don’t know their power which is often distressing. Black women birth human civilization, but have never been given due credit. Black women are Kings and Queens, warriors and mothers, fighters and lovers aka complex human beings. Black culture begins and ends with black women. A Black culture that influences the world. That is power. Every young black girl needs to be told this.
We all have heard the tired stories of Sodom and Gomorrah, the verses in Romans and Leviticus about homosexuality. I’m not here to debate homophobia in the black community from a religious perspective because it takes it to an illogical level. It makes no sense, especially when so many other verses in the bible are blatantly ignored, but the verses about butt sex are plastered everywhere. I’m beginning to think the issue is something different in the black community when it comes to sexuality and gender biases. A conversation about the historical context of the black community and sexual/gender roles needs to happen. Approaching arguments from a biblical standpoint are quite pointless. I choose to make a plea from the heart and spirit. Compassion and empathy is something the black church and community as a whole SHOULD have for their LGBT brothers and sisters, however, due to religious, societal and personal insecurities. Why does a race, so historically oppressed, choose to affect this same oppression on another minority group? Why is the black community and church so accepting of other races but can’t even accept their own? Where did this all began and how can minds and hearts be changed. Let’s dig deeper.
The Bill Cosby situation is sad enough as it is, especially for somebody like me who grew up watching “The Cosby Show” and “A Different World.” I didn’t put Bill Cosby up on a high enough pedestal to feel really bad about what happened, but the personal accounts of his predatory, gross actions have done enough damage to my insides to know that this man is a criminal. Most of these women gave detailed descriptions of what Bill Cosby had done to them, and so far 40 plus have given the same exact story. He promised them some sort of favor or advice, lured them back to his hotel or what not, gave them drugs and when they woke up he was putting his clothes on. The stories are about as common now as the joke “So a priest and a rabbi walk into a bar…” Some of us believed this women due to the frequency and detailed accounts of their stories, while some held out for ‘more’ evidence. It has now come out that Bill Cosby admitted himself to giving women Quaaludes and now the rest of the world believes what we knew all along. Bill Cosby is a rapist. What took so long?
What boggles my mind and perplexes me is that FORTY women have come forward, FORTY and people did not believe these women!! I understand that the white community are quick to toss black media figures aside, so that is why we as black people hold on tight ours. For centuries, black men have been accosted with untrue accusations from rape to murder without any proof or evidence. I get the reasons why, but at what expense? All these women had this same story and most weren’t filing civil lawsuits. These stores happened decade after decade with women from every decade testifying. Why do people let celebrity and male privilege cloud their rational thinking. Why are we so quick to dismiss women, especially black women when they speak on their experiences?
So much can be written about the misogyny and sexism behind the rape culture here in America and around the world. If a women says no, it should mean no under any circumstances. It doesn’t matter what state of sobriety she is in nor how provocative she is dressed, she should still be respected and only engaged in activities in which she in which she consents. This simple logic seems to have eclisped most of America. So many excuses are made to pacify this behavior. We have all heard it and seen it but nobody wants to address it. Bill Cosby preyed on and manipulated these women. Yes, people can be coerced with money and fame. Does this mean these women deserved to be drugged and raped? Hell No.
Bill Cosby has done so much for the black community. With a top rated show and made us more ‘palpable’ to a mainstream white America. He showed them we can be doctors and lawyers with style and swagger. He showed them that we could have class and have humor. He showed them that black people bring in the bucks and also have a stable family unit. No matter how tainted his image is now, the doors that he opened for us are still open. It is okay to call Bill Cosby or any other celebrity out for their behavior. It will not undo anything he had done for us. Shows like “Empire” and “Black-ish” will still be on TV, people still realize that black people can be doctors and lawyers with swagger. True progress will not achieved until we start being honest with ourselves as well as others.
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