The Ugly Side to Mankind

 

Over the past week I don’t think there is anyone who hasn’t heard about 17-year old Trayvon Martin who was shot point blank range by George Zimmerman.  Yesterday I got to hear the 911 tape of a lady who called 911 to report the shooting of Martin I must say it was the hardest things I have listened to in a long time.  On the tape you can hear Martin screaming “Help Me” over and over it was absolutely chilling.  I have five children and three are boys’ ages 14 to 10 as I listen to the cries for help I thought of my boys and it broke my heart.  I can’t wrap by mind around the pain his mother must feel.  I also got listen to the 911 call Zimmerman made and it to was chilling just in a different way.  First left me start off by saying that I studied Criminal Justice, so I find him using the fact that he studied Criminal Justice as reasoning for his actions crap. I know, having studied Criminal Justice that the things he said he observed were over dramatized B.S.  The analyses he makes in the tape are clearly made by someone who has watched one too many episodes of cops. One of the more disturbing parts of the tape is when the 911 dispatcher ask him if he is following Martin and when Zimmer replies “yes” he is told by the dispatch “we don’t need you to do that”.  In response to the dispatchers request Zimmerman makes the comment “They always get away.”  And we all know how the story ends Martin dead on the street corner and Zimmerman proclaiming he did nothing wrong.

            This tragic event angers me on several levels one it took community and national outrage for the police to look into it.  Two this is 2012 not 1952 and yet we have several wittiness coming forward and stating that the police where trying to get them to change their story as it pertains to what they head and saw.   Third Florida is not only a carry state but also a shoot first state courtesy of former governor Jeb Bush.  What that means is Zimmerman could escape being charged at all because the way the shoot first law reads a person has the right to exercise deadly force to defend oneself when they feel threaten.  Never mind Zimmerman was the one following Martin, never mind Zimmerman had to get out of his car to approach Martin, never mind Zimmerman was bigger and Zimmerman had the gun.   Florida’s shot first law justifies Zimmerman erroneously wrong actions.  I often hear pro gun people say it’s better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.  Well there is a 17 year old teenager who is going to be carried by 6 and an in my opinion an unstable racist who may avoid being judge by 12 because of an over zealous law that was signed into law by someone who made the safety of society an after thought.

Embracing Self

After wearing weaves for several years I decided to start wearing my own hair.  My real hair when flat ironed falls a little past my shoulders.  I stopped flat ironing my hair a couple of weeks ago because I was getting frustrated with going from straight to frizzy in a matter of a couple of days because I work out on a regular basis.  When my previous stylist wasn’t able to help me because she doesn’t do natural hair I found a new stylist and a new look, which I love.  It shows off my natural texture and curl, it low maintenance and I don’t have any harsh chemicals in my hair.  I have received overwhelming support from my husband and friends about my new look.  Any negativity that I have received has been from a few AA women who have given me a disapproving look or mumbled something loud enough for me to hear.  And since I have decided not to share my new look with any family outside of my husband and kids anytime soon the negativity is minor.

    Having natural hair has thrust me into a couple of interesting conversations.  Last week when I was getting my nails done there was an AA woman who kept staring at my hair off and on.  Her looks didn’t bother me because I know my hair is different and people look at what is different.  While I was waiting for my nails to dry another AA woman walked in with natural hair, she said my hair was pretty and that started a conversation.  After a couple of minutes the other lady joined in and said something that I found that I shocking and sad.  She said she had always wanted to wear her hair natural but she couldn’t because she has “bad hair” and we could because we didn’t have “Bad hair”.  Needless to say that we spent the next fifteen minutes trying to convince her that “Bad hair” is a myth and that her hair is just fine.  I tried to explain to her that every woman of every race has had a God-awful hair day, hairstyle, haircut, etc. 

It always bothers when women of any race but especially AA women say disparaging things about the characteristics that are unique to them and/or their ethnicity.   At the end of the day I believe that as women we need to start embracing our unique physical attributes and stop running from them.  We were not all meant to be a size zero with hair down to our butts.  (and if you look like that’s great if not it’s okay)  The reality is that if we were all meant to look that way, we would have all been created that way.  As women our diverse features are part of what make us so beautiful.  We can’t allow ourselves to fall prey to society’s narrow view of what is beautiful.  Any woman can dye her hair, sew in a weave, or put on a wig.  Any woman can put on plenty of make-up, nip that and tuck this to give the illusion of beauty but a woman who embraces herself knows that her true beauty comes from within and radiates out and all those other 

Fist Fighting at Red Lobster…. Really?

Just when I think humans, the most advanced species on the planet, can’t go any lower we do.  I really thought we had hit rock bottom with Jersey Shore but apparently not.  In the tri city area where I live in Illinois four women (and I use the term women loosely) attacked a Red Lobster waitress because they didn’t like the service.  What happened to calling the manager over and complaining?  I have had great service in restaurants and I have had not so great service in restaurants.  And I have never attacked nor thought about attacking the wait staff.  What happened at Red Lobster bothers me for several reasons one: unless you are defending yourself there’s no need for an adult to engage in schoolyard fights.  Two: as a black woman, I am tired of seeing black women go into “act a fool mode” just because things aren’t going their way.  Three: the level of pride these women had when they were escorted out of the restaurant was shameful. (I mean heads held high, the one woman who face you can clearly see on the video doesn’t show an ounce of remorse)  I don’t understand how people can debase themselves and not feel embarrassed.  Four: It’s Red Lobster people!!  Now I’m not dogging Red Lobster but when you’ve had Maine Lobster in Maine and seafood fresh out of the Boston Harbor you can easily put a Red Lobster meal in perspective.  Five:  These four women perpetuated at least ten if not more of the negative stereotype that plague black women and for what?  A ten or twelve dollar meal.  Now I can only speak for myself when I say this but I my dignity is work more than a ten or twelve dollars meal.   

Your customer service rep may also be a federal inmate.

While surfing MSNBC new today I came across an interesting news article that talked about how the Federal government uses inmates to staff government agencies call centers and also contracts these inmates out to private companies for their sales, service, and marketing call centers.  This is a double edge sword for me because as thrilled as I am about not have to spend the majority of my customer service call trying to over come language and dialect barriers with someone who is located on the other side of the world.  I’m not exactly thrilled about inmate 12345 having my personal information either.   I mean lets be honest inmate 12345 isn’t doing time in a federal prison because he didn’t pay his parking tickets.  I wonder if Madoff works in one of these call centers.  It’s kind of creepy to know that the next time you call a business’ customer service center you could be handing your name, date of birth, phone number, etc. over to a someone who’s doing time for fraud, identity theft, or worse.  And what’s really crazy about the whole thing is these inmates are doing a job while incarcerate that if or when they are released from federal custody they probably won’t be hired for due to their felony conviction(s).

Stay at home Mom verses Working Mom why are we still debating this?

I really don’t understand why this is still an issue; as a woman, and a mother it bothers me to see women arguing with each other over this silly issue.  And it is a silly issue.  I made a choice to stay home with my kids and it doesn’t make me any less smart, funny, social, creative, etc. than the woman who chose to have kids and work. I got to watch Anderson Copper today and the topic was stay at home mothers verses working mothers and there were two things that really bothered me about the show the first was a study done by “experts” in North Carolina said working mothers were happier than their stay at home counterparts.  The reference to the study lead to a panel of six women passing judgment on each other because some chose to stay home and others worked.  Why do we as women allow ourselves to get caught up in these trivial debates?   Why do we allow others to put us on the defensive about the choices we make as mothers and why are we so quick to judge a mother because she’s raising her children her way and not ours? When the reality is there one isn’t better than the other.  In both groups there are women who are happy, there are women who are sad, there are women who would rather be on the other side of the fence and can’t for what ever reason. 

The second thing that bothered me was the way the working moms kept using the word “lazy “ to describe the stay at home moms and how they are not as concerned about losing the baby weight and staying at home is an excuse to not be active and challenged.  The reason why the term “lazy” bothered me so much is because lazy defined means declines to do work.  And at home moms are not declined to do work but inclined to do work.  I can attest that being lazy is a luxury that I don’t have.  Along with all of the normal duties such as errands, cooking, cleaning, getting the kids odd to school and various activate.  I also take boot camp, run, go to school, and write, I read a lot I care about the way I look, and I am challenged everyday. The objective of motherhood is not to tear down other mothers or judge them for their life choices.  The objective off motherhood to raise healthy, happy, well adjusted, productive members of society.

Because at the end of the day we’re not that different, every one of us has had to clean mystery stains off our walls, floors, and child.  We have all run to the store at the last minute to get the supplies for the project that is due the next day.  We have all walked the floor at two in the morning with a screaming baby.  We’ve all fumed as we cleaned up a crappy toddler.      

            

What is it about black Friday that makes people lose their minds?

You know if could see if people we fighting for food, water, medicine, etc. like some people do in different parts of the world where resources are limited.  But in the land of plenty where we have the luxury to throw out food because we don’t like it or get rid of clothes because they are out of style I don’t understand how someone pepper spraying a group of people to get an Xbox 360, scuffle with someone over a discounted cellphone, step on someone to get an item, or hold someone up at gunpoint for the items that person just purchased.  I just don’t get it, maybe it’s because there is nothing that my family and I want (key word want because at the end of the day these are all luxury items people are fighting over) that would make me do bodily harm to another living soul, and also possibly end up in jail.  The reality is that people are going to extreme measure to put a gift under the Christmas tree that the person receiving the gift won’t give a damn about by next Christmas if not sooner.   Now granted the woman who pepper sprayed the adults and children in Wal-Mart turned herself in but there is a bigger issue that is getting over looked which is, that woman is either solely or partly in charge of developing the moral compass of the child(s) that the Xbox was bought for.  How is this child(s) suppose to learn how to act and react in society when they are being influenced daily by someone who’s mindset is take what you want at any cost. 

            Look I love watching my kids open their gifts on Christmas Day, I enjoy watching them do their happy dance when they get the gift they really wanted but I have also taken the time to put certain aspects of Christmas shopping in perspective. One: I raise my children to understand that their Christmas list is just that a list, not a guarantee.   Two: I don’t allow myself to spend more than our budget will allow, Three: when I go out shopping I take the attitude of if I don’t get it, I don’t get it because whatever it is the stores will have a shelf full by mid-January.  In the end my children aren’t going to look back on their childhood and remember the sweatshirt or video game that they got for Christmas what they are going to remember is the time we spent together as a family on Christmas day

Mississippi’s and the “Personhood” Amendment

I was appalled as well incensed to read about the “personhood” amendment or Initiative 26 that will be voted on in Mississippi next week.  If passed it would change the language of the their state constitution to read that a person will be comprised of “every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning, or functional equivalent thereof”.  Initiative 26 concerns me for several reasons one it’s verbiage is vague and broad, which will no doubt lead to misinterpretations if passed (Which I by the way I hope is not), and therefore lead to it being abused. Two it is a misguided attempt by people, who are extremists in their thinking, to decide what is best for someone else and feel that the have the ordained right to do so.  Three it completely negates the rights a woman to make decisions about her body not the state’s body but her body.  As offended and infuriated as I am I’m really not too surprised that the state of Mississippi would allow an amendment like this to be potentially added to their constitution considering they were one of the states leading the “abstinence only” charge and we see how well that turned out teenagers everywhere have stopped having sex because they wear purity rings and signed a piece of paper (wink, wink)

I believe this initiative is utterly repugnant on another level as well.   In my opinion Mississippi is tied with Alabama when it comes to backward thinking about race relations so it fascinates me that they want to pass a amendment that regards everyone as a person at fertility but then upon their birth go through painstaking efforts to treat them as less than person and take away their value due to their ethnicity or multi-racial heritage.

  I am a firm believer that when people try to in act policies such as initiative 26 they are not doing it because it’s what’s best for society.  They are doing it for purely selfish reasons; they have allowed their ego to manifest itself into a god complex that allows them to feel superior and which gives them the justification they need to impose their belief structure onto others.  People like this never see the big picture because they are too fixated on parts that support their agenda.  They don’t see how they are taking away the choice and voice of women.  They don’t see the thousand of children who age out of the foster case system every year, because no one wanted them or no one could keep them, they chose not to see the growing number of grandparents who are raising grandchildren.   All they chose to see is their own self-serving agenda.  

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