why your defense of the #AssaultAtSpringValley is dangerous

This one time, at band camp, I shouted DICK at the top of my lungs.
No seriously.
It wasn’t band camp, it was elementary school, but I once sat in the back of my ‘gifted and talented’ classroom and yelled the word “DICK” so loud my teacher at the front of the room heard me.
What happened was, my elementary school bestie and I had been given bulletin board decoration privileges because we were known for being very artistic. I was excited about the honor. 
But being that I was sitting next to the bestie, I just had to try to be funny, so as we took our spelling test, and I came across the word dictionary, the gears started to turn. Thinking I was going to get a good chuckle out of her I (thought I) whispered ‘hey look. dick!- tionary’ but since ya girl can’t whisper worth a damn I later came to find I was actually SCREAMING AT THE TOP OF MY LUNGS into her ear and also at the entire class- including Ms. Paduano- who obviously relieved me of my bulletin board duties immediately. I had to go back to my seat. I even tried to lie and say it wasn’t me. (Really dumbass?)
I felt like a fool the rest of the day but it never came up again. 
I’m sharing this story for multiple reasons.
1. Even the ‘good kids’ do ridiculous shit sometimes. Doesn’t make them any less intelligent, talented or worth our care and understanding. It makes them human.
2. Notice how my teacher did not berate me for my behavior. That is by far the most outlandish thing I’ve ever done in my school career and she probably should have come down harder on me which leads me to believe
A- she genuinely cared about me
B- she knew it was a fluke and wasn’t going to allow it to erase what she already knew about me
C- she did not feel the need to involve anyone else in the situation 
Having had the fortune to have a teachers who look like me and teachers from different walks of life see something in me that allowed them to differentiate flukes from failures and manage their classrooms without arresting small children I kind of can’t believe the things I’m seeing about the #AssaultAtSpringValley
Not only would my teacher never have called the cops on one of us in the first place, but had she felt the need, and then saw a police officer kicking one of our asses, I am 100% positive she would have intervened verbally if not physically to protect us- because she actually LIKED and CARED ABOUT us.
Educators want to be respected but if you have been in the presence of people teaching you material that has nothing to do with your daily life in boring and unrelatable ways and throwing you out of class or calling school safety at the first sign of trouble, why the hell would you have any respect for educators, or education as a whole?
If you create a situation where students don’t feel the need to listen to you and then they don’t listen to you, and you come down on them with an iron fist- aren’t you part of the problem?
That’s not to say our kids don’t need to listen to reason and follow instructions, but to be quite honest, a lot of the adults our kids are growing up around are not setting an example and therefore do not command respect, so as teachers we are in a position where we have to earn the trust and respect of our students that they may not have for their parents or guardians or for adults in general. Hell, even some kids that come from ‘good homes’ don’t respect authority outside of their parents because other people have not earned their trust. You don’t have to agree with it but that doesn’t change the reality of the situation.
Cops in classrooms are not the answer to ANYTHING and the attacking of children, female children, by grown men at that, should not be acceptable under ANY circumstances. 
If the logic some of you are using is applied to my situation is 5th grade, the police should have been called, and I could have been justifiably attacked for shouting obscenities during class and talking back to the teacher when she told me to return to my seat.
Where would I be now if that’s how my situation turned out?
Probably not a Graduate of Brooklyn Technical high school in the 3rd year of of her childhood education major at Brooklyn College and working in a daycare and an after school program that serves at risk youth.
Because I would have BECOME an at risk youth. I’d be fucking traumatized. You send someone to attack me in class you think I’m going back? You think I trust a teacher or school or COP to have my back after that experience?
You think I’m about to sit around and listen to everyone talk about how disrespectful I am and how I need to learn some respect and then, THEN, I’ll be SAFE in my own SCHOOL?
I can’t even explain how unacceptable this all is but I’m so glad I’m one less completely unhinged educator in a system full of people enjoying summers off who really couldn’t care less employing a bunch of thugs who also couldn’t care less to bully truants and cell phone users.
I’m sending all my love to the educators, paras, administrators, super intendants, principals, after school employees, school safety agents, parent coordinators, tutors, coaches, etc. who make a difference and GET IT and deal with young people in a way that keeps their humanity in tact.

That is not what this teacher of this officer did and the scars of this interaction will stay with this child and her classmates forever.


On the complexity of Father’s Day Sentiments in The Black Community

My dad is dope.
My fiancé is dope.
My son’s biological father was NOT.
My brother is dope.
His sperm donor is the worst case scenario when things don’t work out with your spouse and you have a child together.
My mama tried her damnedest.
Not even to hold him accountable but just to allow him the space to come and go as he pleased so he never felt cast out and therefore she could never be to blame for his absence.
But he is absent.
And he always was.
Most of my friends have children now.
Some are married. 
Some are engaged. 
Some are single and trying not to strangle the fuck out of the fool they made a tiny human with cause that shit would be a very awkward conversation.
I got homegirls with no kids.
I got homegirls with no fathers.
I got homegirls who will be ‘daddy’s girls! Til their very last breath.
Let’s keep it funky.
Life is crazy and people will surprise you.
Sometimes it’s pleasant. 
Sometimes it’s a soul crushing let down.
I got lucky.
My mom and dad struggled through their personal shit and ultimately I was more important.
Everybody ain’t built like that.
I see my kids chromosomal predecessor in the street he better not speak to me unless the first words out his mouth are ‘my deepest apologies’ because abandoning a child is an unacceptable act.
I still might chin check that nigga.
The way I receive and perceive Fathers Day is a direct result of having experienced so many different versions of fatherhood or a lack thereof and my knowledge of so many people in so many different situations.
What good is a dad who’s ‘present’ but can’t accept your sexuality? 
What good is a dad whose ‘present’ but who won’t pick up the phone for you when his new wife is around?
We need to stop judging one another and start giving folks the space to interact with Father’s Day however they see fit.
Why spend Father’s Day bad mouthing ‘dead beats?’ They’re a non factor!
Why spend your day bad mouthing single mothers? Parenthood is a hard job and going it alone is that much harder! Why would celebrating ANY parent at ANY time be something to fight over? Isn’t mothers/ Father’s Day supposed to be ‘every day’ anyway?
There’s so much shade thrown even amidst the happiest of times in the black community.
We are so hard on each other.
So unloving.
So unwilling to share perspectives and allow others to live in THEIR truth.
I know I’m guilty of this too as much as I try to be open and honest and accepting. 
Had my last experience with love been my ex who knows how I’d cope with this holiday?
Maybe I’d be a proud single mom.
Maybe I’d be very resentful. (My choice not to use the word ‘bitter’ was very intentional. It’s like a dagger thrown at any black woman who chooses to communicate a negative romantic 

Experience with a black man.)
Regardless of what I was feeling and how I dealt with it, it would be my issue and I would be free to feel those feels and express them.
We don’t know how to disagree respectfully anymore and we do not listen to each other.
We have a specific inclination not to listen to BLACK WOMEN.
And that shit has to stop.
So I’m trying really hard not to argue with anyone today or even think any mean spirited thoughts.
I just want everyone to enjoy their Father’s Day.
Enjoy this Sunday.
Enjoy this LIFE.
And stop acting like your experiences and emotions are the only valid ones!