Lest we get so caught UP in our own day to day lives(and I’m guilty of that…) that we forget things going on in OUR world/country; are just as important..I had a surreal conversation with my youngest son today that made me pause for a minute to wonder out loud@Is this really 2014???? My son commented on the latest NON verdict regarding Eric Garner..He said WOW there are some police out there who really hate Black folks!! I found myself, again, telling him the what-to-do’s on IF ever stopped by the police for random traffic stops..NO sudden movements..Don’t get out of the car unless asked to do so..Don’t get angry, just listen & be patient..WtH & OMG is this 2014 or the 1940’s??? And while I know I’m not the only Black parent to feel this way; it sure IS a heavy feeling..Heart-wrenching to say the least..I’m asking everyone who reads this who has a wordpress blog site, facebook page, or who twitters to spread the word for our ‘new cause’ @BlackLivesMatter..Doesn’t it seem like we’ve had to say this alot more lately? Because we HAVE…Police brutality against Black folks(and with no punishment/penalty), no MEN, is on the rise..IF we all stand together certainly our voices will be heard! I’m posting a couple letters from NAACP(yep folks they’re still alive , well , and working for US) and another organization I’m a member of ASALH(Association for the study of African American Life & History..) that have further motivated me to speak OUT & stand UP for the cause @ Black lives matter & police brutality must end..I can only hope/pray it helps to motivate y’all as well..Peace & light always , the One & Only Berna
..As time progresses post-the-VERDICT I’m absolutely astonished at the number of white folks across America(from reading blogs/news clips/articles) who are saying they just did NOT know racism still exists here..Whoa, WOW and Really?! I wonder where they were when the OVERwhelming amount of blatantly RACIST slurs, depictions & cartoon caricatures ; were splattered ALL over the Net during the past 2 Presidential Elections. (Not to mention the OPENLY racist comments of utter disrespect to President Obama from his D.C. peers) How in the heck did y’all miss all that?!? Led me to believe that the old adage/cliché is true..In life all of us “see” what we want to see; and ignore the rest. Some of us , are afforded the luxury, of being able to do that more than others. Personally? As a very proud Black American I’m here to profess WE have to keep our eyes , ears, and even our bodily pores! open & alert at ALL times…Fair? Nope, but it IS the way it is in America. Even in the 2013>>
^ EXACTLY what does this T-shirt mean? Want OUR country back from what? Or WHO? Again, I just can’t understand how White folks can say! they didn’t know racism was still alive and well in our country..These Tshirt slogans were EVERYwhere..Whatever did y’all think they referred to???
^ I’ll never forget the first time I saw the above bumper sticker..Only thought my eyes were playing tricks on me! WtF..I knew then, that with folks boasting this type of bumper sticker on their cars(And most of the cars I saw these on had kids IN the car..) things were going to get worse for Black America; before they got better. IF anyone thought that just because a Black brother was elected for the 1st time in American history was going to ERASE the evil, UGLY history of racism in our country…Then you’re totally clueLESS and UNplugged from reality. One positive thing though that I do recognize has happened post-the-verdict? The race conversation has once again begun…Which leads me to a blog post I saw earlier today>>
..I can fully appreciate any/all opinions; even those that differ from mine..However, in regards to this Trayvon situation(or any other..) I will never post something that I am cognizant is offensive to others..Having said that earlier I read a post today which I responded to here on WordPress..Twice. The author “chose”(and we all have choices on what we post or not here) not to post my second response to hers…SO here is “my” version(because all any of us can do is speak from our viewpoint) of what transpired. First, of all I do NOT understand why White folks feel the need; to try to one UP racism . You can not. There is NOTHING in comparison that folks that are NOT of color face..A Sista who also responded to the blog post I’m referring to; said pretty much the same thing. And she was just as frustrated with the author’s post as I was..IF not more so. The author of said blog post was titled, ‘ I am not Trayvon; but i AM the woman on the elevator’ . At first I figured I’d be reading an open thought process of what her position was. I tried really hard to see where she was coming from..BUT what she basically said in a nutshell? Is that when a Black man gets on an elevator she FEARS being raped…I can appreciate the honesty of her thoughts. And I am HIGHLY elated such thoughts are being put out into the public..Why? Because it gives ALL Americans Black and White and INside peek into how someone with racist thoughts; thinks. And yet? She didn’t see her thought process as being racist..Or how it could be offensive. That WOWed me & blew my hair back! I’ll take that one step further..IF said author had also expressed that she felt the SAME way when ANY “man” stepped on an elevator? Then just mayhaps that wouldn’t have been as offensive to non-racist folks…Still offensive; but only a tad tiny bit. IF there is such a thing! I felt my 2nd response to her response was civil yet forthright expressing my opinion..My opinion from the stance of being a Black woman who just also happens to have been born American..And also as a mother of 3 BLACK heckfied sons/daughter of an outstanding Black Daddy/ex-wife of an excellent Black Father/Friend/exgirlfriend of the MOST supreme Black Alpha man who just also happens to be a good person through & through..And newsflash? NONE of them or the host of other good Black men that I know; would even desire to “rape” YOU or any other woman(white or not) when y’all step into an elevator! They’re just simply trying to get to the next floor(s)..But where this notion that ALL Black men want White women comes from I will never KNOW..Somebody LIED to y’all..Not only that ; to bring up something as God awful as rape immediately into one’s mind??? OMG don’t even get me started on the “rape issue”..Just let the message sink in..ALL BLACK MEN ARE NOT LUSTFUL CREATURES SIMPLY LOOKING TO JUMP YOUR BONES. Trust and believe that. Exclamation mark. Period.>>
..I wonder, briefly, if the negative images of Black men/women are taught at birth! Or IF its something that is portrayed SO much by the media; that White folks end up thinking its true..Perhaps it is a combination of both..Regardless of how the seed is planted; the plant that has grown? It IS one that must DIE. If it doesn’t die off soon more Black parents are certainly at risk ; of losing their children just as Trayvon’s parents did. My Priest said something just this morning in an off-handed way regarding ‘the verdict’..It brought tears to my eyes! Here was a man who will never have children; who was telling his parish watch over your children!(majority of our church is Black) KNOW where your children are at ALL times! Keep them safe…The verdict has many people, even those who aren’t parents, wary..Can anyone reading this imagine; in addition to all of the natural worries of a parent, HEAPING onto that pile this additional concern? DON’T BUY YOUR CHILD A HOODIE. TELL YOUR CHILDREN DON’T WALK IN A PREDOMINANTELY WHITE NEIGHBORHOOD ALONE. DON’T LOOK SUSPICIOUS WHILE WALKING BLACK..(how in the heck is that mastered???) The list of don’t-DO’s for Black children is growing & growing..This is SHAMEful in America in 2013!!!>>
I’ve said before, and I’ll say it one ‘mo time, its my belief that people have more in common; than different. I honestly believe it is the LACK of getting to know other cultures/backgrounds; that keeps folks ‘in the closet’..There are folks in America , especially in the South, who have never traveled outside of their city! So it is only common logical sense their viewpoints might be “limited”..What people who aren’t well-traveled might not realize? The last statistic I could find about the percentage of White folks in the World…8 % White 92% Non-White..Only in America, and that percentage also is changing rapidly, are White folks the majority..But it won’t be long before that is no longer the case. I would like to think ; now is just as good a time as any; to start to try to learn other cultures/learn some understanding & tolerance/stop trying to ignore racism or one UP it when Black folks are expressing their pain/angst..It is high time for folks to link up and let the past truly be a thing of the past. WE can’t do that as long as we’re still being impacted by the “chains” of the past…
It IS a pivotal moment in our American History for the POTUS to speak on out race..I wasn’t in anticipation that he would; because he’s rightfully the president for all races/creeds/genders..However having said that, I’m VERY personally glad he did. For at the beginning and end of every day; President Barack Obama is a Black man. I think it was important he spoke out on the Trayvon Martin case…Much of what he said I’d said in my post the day after ‘the verdict’ was announced..Major props to President Obama for saying so eloquently the way I feel on this grave matter
President Obama commented on the Zimmerman verdict in an unexpected press conference today. I think what he said was very real, touching, and true. I think he spoke as a person of color who for once shared honest frustrations of what is like to live with the daily little nuances of being colored to all out racism in America. I am actually quite pleased that we got to see the man and not the politician emerge for once.
It would be easy to politicize this but right now and I am sure some will. However we need to achieve peace and the way we do it is to digest the president’s words. It is time to take out those mirrors like Mike said and ask what are we doing to contribute to restoring peace to our communities and to our society.
Normally I being the conservative would take liberty to…
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MY comments? MY feelings as a Black Mother? MY feelings as an American?..I am struggling this morning with trying to don my politically – correct hat on. BUT somehow its a losing battle , even for ME..Because what IS winning out is my sense of what is WRONG and what is RIGHT..And every, single time I look at this baby’s! face splashed across newspapers and websites across our country today?!? I get more and more and more HEARTSICK as each moment passes..I am also a BLACK Mother/Ma/Moms/Momma of three(3) Black sons..I can’t seem to keeeeep the bile from rising UP out of my tummy this morning. I am so usually a content and nothing-to-complain about loving person; but on this DAY? I am struggling to fight the ANGER and the tears just keep filling my eyes UP. Two(2) of my sons wear a hoodie from time to time; what IF that had been one of them walking home??? Would I have been sitting in that courtroom , knowing & feeeeling in my heart of hearts(along with millions! of other Americans) that my son is innocent; only to hear the words, NOT GUILTY, regarding the verdict of his murderer? I’ve so, so tired, nope tyeeeed of this type of backWOODS mentality! Is it now alright to gun down a child! like a dog in the street???? What IF it had been your child? I stood on FAITH that this would not & simply could not happen….
..I thought running to Mass(church) was going to help calm me..BUT I’m still spitting MAD! Especially after standing outside after Mass, in what seemed to be 10,000 degree HEAT, discussing this “situation”. If ANY Black male in America thought they had problems/issues before this day? Pfft that was nothing compared to the problem they’ve got now. IF a price was attached to people..STOCK on Black Males in America just plummeted!!! I thought about putting a disclaimer on any/any of my next comments..BUT I refuseee to keeeeeep apologizing for BEing and LOVING being Black. ONLY in America are a people, namely Black folks!, made to feeeeel as IF they’re wrong to identify/love their color/culture..NO OTHER RACE/COLOR IN AMERICA IS MADE TO FEEL THAT WAY. The even more pathetic thing about that comment? A GREAT DEAL OF BLACK FOLKS COMPLY WITH THAT SENTIMENT EVERY, SINGLE WAKING DAY OF THEIR LIVES IN AMERICA. And I love my country with every ounce of my being. But today? I’m ashamed! of what has been “allowed” to happen in that courtroom. And for those just tuning IN? I’m on the top of a wave of a major RANT; and I’m just getting started. So hang onto to your caps/hats/wigs /& weaves or they might get blown off. As a good friend of mine would say, ” THIS is some BULLshit!”>>
1st things 1st..I believe there are a few FACTS that need to be interjected before I continue..First & foremost the constitution does NOT support that a “victim” have a jury of their peers..Matter of fact it doesn’t support that the “accused ” does either. What is does say though leans more towards the ACCUSED than the VICTIM; regarding a jury of so-called “fairness”.*Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution*=In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense..It WAS my belief that Trayvon Martin OR any victim; was due(by the LAW) a jury of their peers..Which in this case would’ve meant at the least a couple of Blacks and at least ONE Male. There were NO Males on the Trayvon Martin jury..and ALL but one of the women were WHITE. Some reading might say race doesn’t matter. I beg to differ race DOES still matter a great deal here in America. For those that still have their heads UP their fanny or eyes closed; have only to recall the highly! NEGATIVE slurs/comments/pictures posted on the Internet of ugly racial funkiNESS/3 ring circus antics of both recent Presidential Elections. IF you didn’t get IT then; let this be your eye-opener. Its time to WAKE UP >>
I wore a Black dress to Mass this morning..I do not like wearing Black. Matter of fact I refused! to have the customary Black 50th birthday party color theme(chose pink instead..) But this morning I donned BLACK on purpose. I’m in mourning..I’m mourning the death of an INNOCENT YOUNG(17 yrs of age..) BLACK MALE. I’m mourning the LOSS of FREEdom here in America. More & more of our civil liberties are being taken away..A country that just celebrated the 4th of July; a day which marks the declaration of independence..Out of the GREAT principles of freedom and justice embodied in the National Declaration of Independence; which ones are in 2013 extended to Black Males? To Black folks in general even? Yea, think about that for a minute..I’ll wait. After pondering that this very morning? The answer I arrive at is nothing to celebrate with fireworks or a BBQ. Year after year WE celebrate a holiday; which in reality doesn’t celebrate US. I’m struggling today ; and trying hard to smile past the tears that are just waiting to drop..I’m afraid today. First & foremost I’m afraid if I start crying I won’t stop>>
Before I wrap this piece up with what I feel is the beginning of the SOLUTION..I’d like to drop a few items regarding this case from folks other than me; including President Barack Obama(His comment was made shortly after Trayvon’s death..) **Even President Obama weighed in a month after the shooting, expressing sympathy for Martin’s family and urging a thorough investigation. “If I had a son,” Obama said, “he’d look like Trayvon.”**
**Saturday night, when the verdict was read, Zimmerman, 29, smiled slightly. His wife, Shellie, and several of his friends wept, and his parents kissed and embraced.** What the heck is he smiling about? He STILL killed another human being! But I guess he smiled because he realized he’d gotten away with MURDER!?! What kind of person is capable of smiling & not feeling remorse for such actions?
**Rachel Jeantel in Trayvon Martin’s words: He said “Get off, get off:” As Martin walked back from the store to the home of his dad’s fiancee, he was talking on the phone with his friend, Rachel Jeantel.
The prosecution’s star witness testified for two days about the final moments of Martin’s life, saying he told her someone was following him. Jeantel’s testimony is key to the State’s case that Zimmerman was the aggressor in the confrontation.
“He said the man kept watching him. He kept complaining that a man was just watching him,” she told jurors.
When Jeantel asked Martin what the man looked like, she said he told her the man “looked creepy.” “Creepy, white — excuse my language — cracker. Creepy [expletive] cracker.”
Jeantel said she heard Martin talking to Zimmerman in the background of the call. “He said, ‘Why are you following me for?’ And I heard a hard-breathing man say, ‘What you doing around here?'”
Jeantel also said she heard a bump from Martin’s headset hitting something and “wet grass sounds.”
“I start hearing a little bit of Trayvon saying, ‘Get off, get off!'” said Jeantel.** Its MY belief that Trayvon fought for his LIFE! And that is why Zimmerman had cuts on his head..I can’t fight/never been in a fight/and I like Trayvon am much smaller than Zimmerman..Yet, I also would’ve fought him off with every ounce of my body. IF anyone was standing their ground in defense in this case? It was Trayvon Martin.
**The teen’s father reacted on Twitter: ‘‘Even though I am broken hearted my faith is unshattered I WILL ALWAYS LOVE MY BABY TRAY.’’
His mother also said on Twitter that she appreciated the prayers from supporters.
‘‘Lord during my darkest hour I lean on you. You are all that I have,’’ she wrote.** (thats a deeeeeop comment that hits me like a ton of bricks)
…I used to think the way to protect my sons; was to raise them with TRUTH. I didn’t mince many words with them..I spoke/speak to them with love; but of the way things ARE. I did lie to them though when I told them that the Easter Bunny existed. I went along with the LIE..I did lie to them though when I told them there was such a thing as a tooth fairy..And I stillll to this day have a tiny felt bag with their tiny teeth that I gave them money for in exchange. It was NOT the tooth fairy sons! I lied to my sons when I went along with the LIE that Santa Clause exists..Which in America that lie has turned the entire celebration of what its supposed to be about(I don’t care if its a run-on sentence..) ; into a big FAT commercial money-making mess. I refuse to continue to keep up lies with the humans I helped to give Life..Truth IS just like Kanye West said & then got blasted it for it; there are MANY people in America that just don’t like Black folks. And never WILL. That is factual. Racism IS not dead in America. For many moons to come my dream for my sons won’t come TRUE; you won’t be judged just based on your OWN merit. And that’s including my eldest son who this coming May will be the first PHD on all sides of my family. As Black MEN my sons will always have to work 3 – 4 times HARDER than their White Male Counterparts. They’ll more than likely get paid LESS. And even though all 3 of my sons are college educated withOUT criminal backgrounds; IF they happen to walk in the wrong neighborhood with a hoodie on? Just might get gunned down like a dog & KILLED. That is my reality as a Black Mother/Ma/Moms/Momma on this day. That is my sons reality on this day and any other Black Male in America. Its not my perception…It IS the way it IS. And we’ve got to stop sugar-coating things/overlooking things/glossing things over. We’ve assimilated SO frigging well WE have forgotten our ROOTS. Family FIRST. And UNITY. And love of all mankind. The violence has got to stop. How many more Black MEN have to die or wind up behind bars for us to get IT? I am proud to be Black. I am proud to be American. I am NOT proud of what happened in that courtroom. Never will be. Its time. Its time for people to stand UP for what is right and just. Things are declining instead of getting better. That is just not progressive folks. WE are moving backwards and with a quickness..As a loving parent I can’t stay quiet and muted. Someone said something today that for a moment gave me clarity and peace..He said mayhaps this is God’s way of making something DRASTIC happen for us to SEE how F’d up and ugly things are? What if there had to be a sacrifice? There are so many what IFs going through my head..What IF that was one of my sons? I’m going to keep thinking that over and over and over again. As positive as I’ve grown to BE; I quite honestly think I’d lose my marbles. TO SIT IN A COURTROOM AND HEAR THE WORDS NOT GUILTY AND SEE THOSE WORDS SPLASHED ON NEWSPAPERS ACROSS AMERICA; FEEEEEELING IN MY HEART OF HEARTS, KNOWING! MY SON WAS INNNOCENT AND GUNNED DOWN LIKE A DOG IN THE STREET??? I say its time for another Civil Rights Movement. Drastic actions call for drastic actions. No different than it was a movement of MANY colors/creeds to get the “right” person in the White House; its time for great change. Nothing changes until something changes. I’ll say that one more time so I can read it..Nothing changes until something changes. Its time. But that’s just the way I see IT. And right now I’m not “seeing” with my eyes; I’m seeing with my heart. Until I write/read y’all again stay UPlifted & blessed. 4ever sincere Berna(the 1 & only)
AFTERword..Reflection can be a good thing sometimes..BUT today it is not working..I can’t stop thinking about this matter. What truly bothers me? Is as culturally aware & politically savvy as I profess to BE; I was still naive enough to be BAMBOOZLED. Hoodwinked and caught UP believing in OUR JustUS system..Thought we’d prevailed when at the least this case went to trial! IF anyone is keeping UP; at first the city wasn’t even going to press charges on Zimmerman. None. Zilch..So one might just be a little “naive” ; and I’ve got my hand held UP high; to think at that point that there would be consequences for murdering an innocent person. A young 17 yr old person. Alas, having a voice got Trayvon the trial he rightfully deserved..And then BAM the reality of the worst of a Black American’s nightmares came to BE. Not a dayum thing in the form of punishment was done..If nothing else Zimmerman profited from taking a life. And now that he is FREE? Mark my words he’ll write a book & make tons of money. I wish NO ONE buys IT..sadly though that won’t be the case. Zimmerman had tons of supporters; but hopefully not as many as the folks who knew right from wrong. Recently my Pastor Priest spoke about “ownership” of our church..and it comes to mind now regarding our country. The US of A. Aren’t we law-abiding tax-paying HIGH as HECK gasoline paying citizens of this country? Doesn’t that mean that WE should be treated as more than a DOG? Anyone recall when Michael Vicks got JAIL time for so-called animal abuse???? And YET a man can walk free after killing a Black young male..something is funkier than funky with that picture. As tax paying citizens WE have to take ownership rights..We have rights. Right to live freely is one of said rights..In the pursuit of happiness..And I believe that includes being able to BE Black ; even in a predominantly White neighborhood. Zimmerman took ownership of an entire neighborhood! One that he did NOT even own a home in. WOW now that’s cojones! This is our country just as much as the next person ..We deserve the right to sleep well at night; NOT worried that our Black sons can be gunned down just because..What is the next because going to BE? Because someone has had a bad dang day & gets a notion to start killing off Black men? It might sound far-fetched; but so did getting killed armed with skittles a couple of years back…I hope there is a potential next MLK, Jr reading this. And I hope said person is motivated enough to get BUSY.