Posted in <<COMING SOON, @Berna's Book Reviews, Telling it like it 'TIS, Watercooler Chat, ~~FREE Flow of UNscripted Thoughts~~

~~~Shopping While BLACK~~~My 2 cents regarding the EPIC failure of the recent filmed Starbucks and Philly incident

Humiliation personified .. A surreal scene mayhaps for those who aren’t racist ; but for those of us Black Americans and minorities who have been there or seen it’s become an every day moment reality that still reeks of ISH.. Many of us , including myself!, have sons same age as the victims .. Makes it terribly personal .. And YES I said victims .. I’ve sat in MANY Starbucks from Barnes and Noble to Target stores and just SB sites ; and had meetings , link upS or just to hang out and READ.. I’ve used their restrooms whether I purchased a product or NOT.. And not once as an American Black woman have I been arrested .. Not 1 time from coast 2 Coast.. For the record to preface I’ve got a myriad of friends of all colors , sexual orientation and genders.. IF I must state I’m not racist here it IS I’m not , but what I am is a Black American woman proud of my culture and Co- parent of 3 amazing , astounding grown Black SONS .. And to quote former POTUS Obama this could’ve been one of MINE.. Honestly, I fully support and stand behind ANY person unjustly villified .. It just is not right to judge anyone , lest alone based on color of one’s skin color . These 2 college graduates weren’t wearing hoodies ! They weren’t thugs yet they were treated like thugs .. Like CRIMINALS.. Those words @ I feared for my life… I’ve heard from my own sons breathing while Black and innocent yet targeted .. For nothing .. Which IMO is the worst type of words a parent can hear from sons they’ve birthed and raised to do the RIGHT things .. Starbucks IMO let this manager who called the police OFF lightly .. Allowed her to resign , mutual parting , pfft! Many of US would’ve been FIRED for far less .. Now Starbucks due to many of US refusing to remain paying our big bucks to them ; is taking ONE day for racial unbiased training.. 1 DAY a month in advance to roll back how many years of racial ISH? Want to impress me? Why is it planned so far in advance ? Why not teach racial non bias as part of training ; period ? WE don’t need short term 1 day so called solutions .. Truth IS they hired a racist person ..What is the long term solution to keep that from happening again and again ? And mind you this isn’t an isolated Starbucks issue.. IMO with Trump thumping racist behavior and condoning it; this is becoming more and more common… Thankfully ! this time no one was murdered .. As a collective group Black and Brown have HUGE spending power .. I will not cater to companies who don’t treat those who look like ME with great fair customer service .. Ever .. Might mean being inconvenienced or making my own coffee or whatever .. But saving lives and dignity in the long run is worth it.. IF I was on fire ! and the only water available was in a Starbucks cup of coffee I would rather burn to death .. Period .. I recall when Starbucks had to close stores during the recession due to over saturation .. If it depends on my money , and I’m a coffee lover, they’ll close many more until they stand for fairness and equality . Let’s rap…

Posted in Teachable Moment, ^^Thought Provoking^^

**When a random traffic stop goes bad…**Who is right, Who is wrong?

What would you have done if you were the police? What would you have done if you were the passenger? Do you think the police were racist or following the letter of the law? How would you recommend your loved one(s) to act in a similar situation?

Posted in Telling it like it 'TIS

When a cartoon just isn’t funny …

Weak apology or not..Mind you only after public outcry..This was a BOLD openly racist reference..We all know Boston isn’t known for being especially “kind” to folks of color..The Boston Herald just figured they’d “test” the waters to see if this sentiment would fly under the radar..It didn’t! There is a line that should be drawn even with humor..

Posted in @Cultural, Black History

Final Black History Month Salute* Ruby Bridges*

Ruby Bridges is an African-American activist best known for being the first Black child(she was 6 yrs old) to attend an all-white elementary school in the South.(New Orléans, Louisiana) The pictures of her being escorted into the school by marshalls are legendary..

In November 1960, six-year-old Ruby Bridges Hall became the first African-American child to desegregate an elementary school. Although she only lived a few blocks from the William Frantz Elementary school in New Orléans, Louisiana. Marshals had to escort Ruby because of angry segregationist mobs that gathered in front of the school. For an entire year, she was the only student in her class since white parents pulled their children from the school in protest. She wrote about her experiences in her book THROUGH MY EYES & she’s shared it with future generation in educational forums>>

Her bravery paved the way for the continued civil rights efforts; and at such a young age! I recall seeing her picture when I was a very little girl myself and hearing ‘her’story; yet not truly understanding what it really meant..As she was at the time of her step into the pages of American history; I was too young to really ‘get’ it..Her message then and now is this & it makes absolute sense @ “My message is really that racism has no place in the hearts and minds of our children”<< Quote by Ruby Bridges. I couldn't agree more! IF only all parents felt that way …

Posted in Black History

Black History Salute(&Future)*Jordan Davis Tribute*60 years is ‘not’ enough

The partial verdict has been decided regarding the murder of Jordan Davis..An un-armed 17-year-old African-American murdered for playing music ‘too loud'(according to his murderer) ; while sitting in a SUV with friends..Three counts of attempted-murder have returned a guilty sentence of more than 60 years..It is my belief that is NOT enough. The fact that the murderer, Michael Dunn, wasn’t convicted on the first-degree murder charge; again sends a message that the life of a Black male in America is worthless..I’m far too passionate about this topic to speak or write too much about it at this time..It’s a very open wound and a band-aid can’t fix it. Not in yesteryears and certainly not now.

What I will say is IF Dunn had minded his own business, not decided is was HIS right to tell anyone to lower their music, and not FELT(& thought!) he could shoot 10 bullets into an SUV with Black male youth in it; Jordan Davis would be alive . TEN bullets shot into a vehicle with unarmed Black youth who were simply listening to music. If the implications of that don’t horrify every parent reading this? Something is truly wrong with society! As a mother of 3 Black sons? It is the type of ish! that keeps me awake at night..I don’t need to watch horror movies(which I don’t; well least not without covering my eyes) with this real-life horror happening. It is my belief the Stand Your Ground Law is equal to the old Jim Crow lynching laws..Dunn said, ” It was a life and death” situation. With that I agree! It was Jordan Davis’s life and it was Jordan Davis’s death.

The future of Black men in America (and all POC, people of color) is necessary, priceless and mandatory. Just repealing the Stand Your Ground Laws(though I feel that is necessary) isn’t enough though..It IS the mindset that must be extinguished.

Posted in Telling it like it 'TIS

STOP KILLING OUR BLACK MEN

I’ve kept UP with the murder of Jonathon Ferrell..BLACK/24 years old/Worked TWO jobs to put himself through college/Shot DEAD 10 times by a Charlotte police officer in September 2013…Former FAMU student/football had recently transferred schools to be near his fiancé in Charlotte..Shot 10 TIMES by Officer Kerrick after being in a car accident & walking to a near by home for help..Sound familiar??? Yesterday the grand jury decided NOT to indict officer Randall Kerrick..Ferrell had NO weapon & Officer Kerrick claims he was assaulted by UNKNOWN means..The Attorney General’s office is re-submitting the voluntary manslaughter charges..The family of Jonathon Ferrell is ‘skeptical” about getting justice..I don’t blame them! It is target season on Black males in America! I thought long and hard about writing a piece on this, to vent out how I feel about it..Then I ran across a piece by another mother(& a lawyer) that says it ALL & far better than I’m capable of doing..It is highly personal to me..Last year I called all 3 of my Black sons; and begged them NOT to wear a hoodie! THAT IS BEYOND RIDICULOUS; but its true. And I’m not ashamed to admit it. I’m ashamed this is OUR reality in America. I’m dropping the link for the piece Shanikka wrote for The Kos..She wrote it 2 years ago & the senseless, race-incited murders(& NO justice..) are still happening..Until more people stand UP & let it be known this isn’t right; it won’t end. Stop the violence. Make stricter gun laws or BAN them. STOP KILLING OUR BLACK MALES!!!

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/12/02/1166032/-Hey-America-Can-you-please-stop-killing-our-usually-innocent-Black-male-children-now

Posted in @Cultural, Things That Make U Say Hmmmm@, ^^Thought Provoking^^

>>the Are U Racist test..Hint=If U start a sentence with I’m not racist because..<<

This topic comes UP alot these days..It came up recently while I was chatting with a friend; I decided then I was going to bring it to my blog to dialogue. A taboo topic that need not be taboo IF folks could/would..speak openly & honestly about IT. Very hopeful to make that happen here as I do what only I can do; the way I do it..Sincerely & with finesse, somewhat?>

>WASHINGTON — Lawyers for Arizona, a state that has clashed repeatedly with the federal government on the issue of immigration, will be back at the Supreme Court on Monday defending a state law that requires proof of citizenship in order to register to vote in elections.

< I want to be clear before I dig into this topic. I’ve had issues with Arizona’s proposed citizenship law; since its very inception. Living in California at the time & quite in-the-know-about-politics(I once ran for office long ago..) ; I understood the law for what it was/IS. Voter suppression. Point blank. For the record there are already laws/statues in place for voter identity. (to ensure folks that vote are indeed American citizens) The proposed Arizona law desires measures in ADDITION to what the Federal law already requires(according to the National Voter Registration Act) Take into account Arizona didn’t introduce the idea for this law; until a very eligible Black American ran for President. Also take into account Arizona was one of the very last states(they held out, with New Hampshire, until they received a litany of heavy criticism) to make MLK, Jr birthday a paid state holiday.  Coincidental? I don’t think so…Lets dig a bit deeper>

We have a fear about talking about RACE ISSUES in America..Its like a dirty little secret that the ENTIRE world knows about(that our country was built, including majority of D.C., on the backs of slaves…) and yet; it’s not talked about openly in public. Because of this being factual is my belief that racism can still exist in our country. Or least that is one of the reasons .  Can’t work to erase something that “allegedly” is already dealt with…But even a blind, deaf-mute  knows that the days of racism/racist attitudes/racist beliefs/racist tendencies are  far from over>

*I could keep my head buried in the sand..Act as if racism is truly dead in a country I love..On a daily basis living as a Black American woman I’m not physically touched by racism..But our Black men, America’s Black MEN, are catching HELL..As a mother of 3 grown Black beautiful Black men I simply can’t pretend racism is dead. As an American I can’t turn a deaf ear & blind eye either. How many more Martin Trayvons, Chavis Carters, & Oscar Grants have to die for us to openly discuss race issues in our country? Very well could’ve been one of MY sons..two of whom are fond of wearing hoodies from time2time. To think the unthinkable could happen to them or ANY law-abiding citizen in our country; is more than I can bear to think. And more than enough to motivate me to use my freedom of speech to speak on IT..yet another thing I love about my country@freedom of speech & thought. I think therefore I blog>

I wonder everyonceinagreatwhile IF I weren’t Black if I’d care so much that racism still exists..IF I were privy to White privilege would I feel racist beliefs/treatment were unjust? IF I were White would I turn a blind eye to people’s freedom & lives being taken away without justified reason? I’d like to think I’d still feel the same as I do now. Matter of fact I’m almost willing to bet I would; because I’ve got an enormous heart. Wrong is wrong no matter the color of a person’s skin/ethnic background/cultural foundation/personal belief system. 

If you start a sentence with, I’m not racist because…More than likely you probably are or have racist tendencies. And for the love of God; I wish folks would stop saying I’ve got Black/White friends so I’m not racist. As IF! I’ve said it before & I’ll say it one ‘mo time; that only means you’ve got Black or White friends. I don’t try to dis-prove or UNprove anything; or least I try not to. What I attempt to do is love & accept everyone..That inofitself has been something that is an on-going process. As I’ve evolved as I’ve learned more about different cultures and life styles; my level of acceptance has broadened. I really can’t express it any other way..So read between the lines. I believe that IGNORANCE is what lies as the foundation of racism & prejudice. What folks don’t understand or know about; they often form negative opinions about. What can also feed a person’s belief system is = what they’re taught as children. Thankfully I was taught self-pride/cultural pride/LOVE. But what about children that were taught to hate from birth? I wasn’t one who thought racism would die overnight because we’d elected a Black POTUS. Rome wasn’t built in a day; and something it took many moons to create will take more than a minute to change…What I do think is that as a country WE can do better. The next 4 years will be a time of great positive change for our country..Or so its my belief based on many factors. That is another topic for another time. However having said all of that; there is NO time like the present to do what is right. I’m hoping we can do it together. *One love*