Why ‘not saying the perpetrator’s name’ when they are not a POC is inherently racist

Never in the history of crime have we been encouraged ‘not to glorify’ the perpetrator of a MASSACRE or say their name.

No Muslim ‘terrorist’ or Black ‘thug’ will EVER have the luxury of anonymity.

I am all for not giving a sicko the satisfaction of fame but we do not apply this logic when the perpetrator is someone we want the public to hate/ fear/ mistrust/ view as less than human.

Whiteness will never be demonized based on the actions of an individual and clearly even a group of people from a specific background committing similar crimes at an abnormally high frequency does not warrant the suggestion of some pathological inclination to be violent. 
#OregonShooting #UmpquaCommunityCollege #WhiteOnWhiteCrime #UCCShooting

We must remember Natasha McKenna

  
Monday, February 8, 2016, marks the one year anniversary of Natasha McKenna’s death. In February of last year, Natasha called 911 during a mental health crisis. She had been diagnosed with schizophrenia at age 12. Instead of providing her with mental health support, officers brought Natasha to Fairfax County Jail on an outstanding warrant. After being held in jail for seven days, Natasha—who weighed 130 pounds and was 5’4’’ tall—was hooded, shackled, and repeatedly tasered by officers attempting to move her to a mental health facility. Within minutes of being tasered, she stopped breathing. She died in the hospital seven days later — one year ago today.
A disturbing video showing Natasha’s brutal treatment at the hands of law enforcement has been available to the public since September, 2015. Fairfax County Sheriff Stacy Kincaid reported that her office released the video to demonstrate the “professionalism” and “restraint” exhibited by the officers who removed Natasha from her cell and tasered her to the point of unconsciousness. At the same time they released the video, a chief prosecutor declared that no criminal charges would be filed against the officers responsible for Natasha’s death.
Despite this horrific video and the total lack of accountability in Natasha’s case, her story has been met with relative silence from mainstream media and social justice groups. On the one year anniversary of her death, it’s time to stand up for justice. It’s time to #SayHerName.

#NatashaMcKenna #BlackWomenMatter #BlackGirlsMatter #BlackLivesMatter #BlackHistory365 #BlackOut #AAPF

Chris Brown Keeps Proving He Hates Women & Women keep supporting him

  

Team Breezy can go somewhere at this point. He’s an awful person. Period. And he really REALLY hates women. God bless Royalty and God help the poor child’s future relationships because her daddy is the worst. The worst part of situations like this is the amount of people co-signing and feeling justified because he is saying these things and he is a household name. 30,000-50,000 likes and re tweets for some of his most negligent comments. The irony is that these Tweets about faking suicide are coming from a man who has probably caused suicidal thoughts in multiple women of color and had his OWN mental breakdowns on national television. But she ‘fronting for the gram so her comments don’t look so bad.’ I don’t even care how well he dances. I’m not separating the two. He ain’t shit and that’s why his balls never dropped. Pushing 30 still singing soprano. FOH. And if you know me well and you’ve known me for a long time you know this man was my first ever celebrity crush. I say with confidence and clarity that he is a piece of shit and that the fact he can do all he’s done and still 
1. Be taken seriously
2. Be signed
3. Be supported by millions 
Is more of a testament to sexism than all the slut shaming in the universe.
And yes I remember when they weren’t playing his music and selling his CDs for that year or two. 
But he just keeps being awful.
While getting richer.
And more famous.
And when you forgive one infraction he commits another.
All you celebrity worshipping groupies are part of the problem. No one who is never held accountable for their actions will EVER learn accountability.
#SmallBoysInGrownBodies #ChrisBrown #Kehlani #BlackMaleMisogyny #KyrieIrving #PartyNextDoor #SlutShaming #CyberBullying #FuckPatriarchy #MisogynyKills  #MentalHealthInTheBlackCommunity

#TruthfulTuesdays – on the Gang rape in a Brownsville park

Oh Nah. I feel a #truthfultuesday post coming on.

That moment you comment on a friend’s post about the gang rape in Brownsville and a stranger tells you ‘we don’t even know if it was an assault. Let’s not assume things too quickly.’ I’m definitely not doing this with Yall today. I will readily believe a victim of rape just to combat the mind numbing amount of you who are so quick to write them off. ONE dude tells you a girl is a hoe you’ll believe it but 5,437 people and news outlets will be like ‘HES A RAPIST’ and Yall be like nah. Nope. I’m not convinced. That’s why our 14 year olds are out here raping people in the park. And you know what else? Agreeing to something at gunpoint does not sound very much like ‘consent’ to me. And if that baby DID agree to have sex with those boys I don’t see how they’re any less gross and she isn’t any less in need of some help so wtf. Yall worried about the semantics I’m worried about the broken family that led to this occurrence and the black male misogyny that Created the type of young black men who will take turns with the same chick in a PUBLIC PARK. so don’t sit here and act like she did something wrong. I will flame your stupid ass. Go get your fucking sons man. No disclaimer. I meant exactly what the fuck I said just how I said it.

#theblackcommunity #brownsville #rapeculture #blackwomenmatter #blackgirlsmatter

10 Things In My Post – Trump Self Care Kit

One week ago today America’s ugly truth was laid bare. But don’t fret.

This article isn’t about how terrifying the election of a known demagogue to the highest office in the Western Hemisphere is. 

It’s not about how aware many black, indigenous, Latino, immigrant, femme and femme presenting, LGBTQ, poor and Muslim people have always been about the discrimination and violence that plagues marginalized communities and the intersections that increase that violence ten fold.

It’s not chock full of hope in the form of safety pin solidarity and supposed ‘backtracking’ on the part of our newly minted President elect.

And it certainly won’t tell you how to feel.

If you’re already in organizing mode it’s ok.

If you’re still grieving it’s ok.

If you’ve been shocked awake I’m going to try my damndest not to be mean but please understand your horror is just a reminder that you haven’t been listening to us this whole time as we begged and pleaded with you to meet us in the streets in defense of our collective humanity and the sanctity of black lives.

But this isn’t about that either.

Like millions of people I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled for the latest news out of Washington and simultaneously praying for a miracle while preparing for the worst mentally, socially and yes- physically. 

Here are some of the things that have helped keep me sane as we complete our first full week living in Trump’s America.

He may be the President, but we’ve always had the numbers and the power in our own lives and at the structural level. We simply have to commit to seeing injustice undone and discontinued at all costs by standing with those most endangered beyond a hashtag or an election cycle and challenging those who refuse to do so.

In the meantime and in between time here’s how I’ve been getting by.

10. Coffee

There is nothing like a hot cup of creamy deliciousness in the morning. Or the evening. Or roundabout noon. I just love coffee guys. I stopped drinking it for a while but I put it back in my repertoire a couple weeks back and I must say life is definitely better when it’s vanilla or salted caramel flavored and drizzled with whipped cream. If you’re not a coffee drinker I completely support the tea lovers out there. There’s just something soothing about a hot beverage.

9. TV

The day after the election results were announced I sat in front of the television in my very comfy wine colored robe and the fuzziest of slippers hoping to snap out of my funk. It definitely helped. It just so happens that I prioritize watching television shows that celebrate different cultures and experiences.

By simply tuning into Jane The Virgin and Insecure I inadvertently reminded myself that although FAR more Americans suck severely than a lot of people would like to admit, there are many who rock and they are working to bring us art that celebrates humanity in all its splendor. (Women of Color! Woot woot!)

8. Cooking

Chopped. Is. My. Jam. I love watching cooking shows with my 8 year old son and we are always trying new recipes and making up our own creations- usually to our pleasant surprise.

Throwing down in the kitchen can be hard work but it’s also very therapeutic and the results always bring us even more joy in the form of good eats!

7. Arts & Crafts 

While my children were at their grandparents house this weekend I custom made them some wish lists to fill out for the upcoming holidays. My fiancé and I always mean to do it and somehow the holidays creep up on us every year. Except this one! 

Paint. Pipe cleaners. Crayons. Christmas and Kwanzaa details. I went all out. Why? Because art is love. If you have a knack for Crafts, and even if you don’t- consider making something to pass the time and ease your mind.

6. Family

When I wasn’t being a dork and making Christmas crafts for my children, I was enjoying their presence and that of other relatives and extended family. My dad came to get the kids Friday so I could hang out with my fiancé since I have a birthday coming up. 

We went out Saturday night to see a movie (Doctor Strange was awesome) and grab some dinner and dessert (Rabbithole + Martha’s Country Bakery = everything.) Then Sunday I had the pleasure of attending a Harry Potter book club meeting hosted by my God mother with my munchkins. I got to see my nieces and nephews and my sister. I got to revel in the joy of books and childhood and imagination. We watched Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone and had a Hogwarts ‘feast.’ It was the best. Ever. 

And I encourage you to create the same kind of moments with those close to you. You need them now more than ever not only to calm your spirit, but to remind you what’s at stake and what we’re fighting for.

5. Talking about it

Most people think talking about politics is the worst possible thing you could do, even and especially after the most traumatic election in history has just taken place. But I think the truth is only scary for those who haven’t accepted it or don’t want to effect positive change.

Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself in times of trouble is find a space to let it all out where you don’t have to apologize for experiencing human emotions.

4. Unplugging


On the other hand it’s true what they say. The company you keep effects you, and if you’re on social media all day long being anxious with other anxious people, you’ll all end up even MORE anxious. 

We must allow ourselves the space and time to feel and process so called ‘negative’ emotions without getting stuck in them. If you notice you’ve been online for several hours ONLY posting about a topic that causes you stress perhaps it’s time to get some air, make a snack or make a phone call to someone you know can cheer you up. Those who feel how you feel will be waiting for you when you get back, and perhaps you’ll have an encouraging word to offer after giving yourself a break from the discouraging news.

3. Rest & Relaxation 

Sleep is life. Anyone who knows me will tell you I am famous for my insomnia but motherhood has taught me the value of rest and relaxation. Emotional stress in the past year has confirmed that lesson. Many people might say you can’t sleep your problems away but sometimes a nap or a day of laying about can give you the mental and emotional break you need to carry on. Even if you can’t fall asleep, consider doing something that relaxes you like yoga, taking a long bath or turning off your phone and curling up with a book.

2. Primping

Long gone are the days when I equated fashion, make up and physical maintenance with superficiality. It’s a scientific fact that looking good makes us feel good. So whatever that looks like for you- whether it’s a fresh face, a full beat or something in between, head wraps or hoodies, sweats or stilettos- be sure to bask in your element and take special care to look your best. It’s a simple and very effective mood booster.

1. Organizing 

You probably think I’m referring to community organizing but nope. I’m referring to good ole fashion tidying, planning and goal setting.

What does a good day look like for you?

How are you working toward your goals?

Are you practicing living your best life?

And how can you create actionable, tangible goals that will help you as well as others as we strive to be better and think bigger?

Organize your living space as well as your thoughts and watch your world transform.

This is not a demand or even a plea for you to feel any other way than you are feeling right now. But if you don’t like how you’re feeling I hope I’ve provided a couple helpful hints that will put you in better spirits.

Righteous rage and even angst can change the world, but only when those who possess them also activate their knowledge of self and know when it’s best to rest, reflect, plan and act. 

Here’s to self care and solidarity beyond safety pins.

Ashe. 

Be gentle with yourself Black Parents: An anecdote 

Extending myself a little grace today. 
The volume on my phone was very low for some reason so the alarm (and several back up alarms) went off unnoticed and I woke up 10 minutes before Hari needed to be at school. 
I usually rush and get him there as close as possible to the cut off time but Jayla was awake by then too and rushing a 3 year old is a very funky business. I could have but I didn’t want to.
Usually I’m VERY upset when I wake up late. There is an automatic feeling of inadequacy as a mother attached to lateness for me when it comes to my kids, especially with school.
I noticed I used to take it out on Hari, yelling at him and being really nasty on the mornings we were running late- but I came to the realization he is my child and his lateness is always my fault- so why should I be mad at him?
I started working on not only punctuality, but watching my behavior when we DO wind up running late. I began to turn late mornings into opportunities to hang out with them a little longer since all our days are pretty hectic and the only extensive time we had together was the weekends.
Today for the first time in a LONG time I woke up late. It was so late baby girl woke ME up. Hari was so upset. The teacher is going to yell at me! I felt bad. But only momentarily. I explained to him that she probably gets upset when children come in late because she doesn’t want them to miss any material. It’s nothing to take personally. I suggested that he apologize upon entering the classroom and jump right into the lesson as quickly and quietly as possible. 
As the mother of one of TWO black boys in the gifted and talented program at his school lateness was a particularly uncomfortable issue for me. I don’t want my baby being associated with ‘CP time.’ I don’t want anyone EXPECTING us to be late because we’re the black folks and that’s just what we do.
But I also know that assumption would be their issue and not mine, and that despite all the ignorance running rampant in this world my son has already shown improve and shut a lot of people up in his 8 years thus far, so I cannot allow the occasional lateness to alter my perception of his perceived excellence or my parenting by any means.
The lesson here? Life happens. 
I implore you all to extend yourselves and those around you a little extra favor, grace and kindness this week.
Happy Wednesday ❤️

Cop Shooting In East Harlem

The school I work in 5 days a week is exactly 1 block away from the street where Officer Holder was killed in the line of duty yesterday in East Harlem. As I left work with my co workers we hoped the police were there for something drug related. How sad is that? That we would rather people be destroying their minds and bodies because at least it would mean no human lives were immediately lost. Sadly one was, just not the way we thought. For me, It gives you an idea of what these kids are dealing with, coming out of step or arts and crafts or soccer and being greeted with a vast police presence and caution tape around an entire city block. It’s like damn, what do you tackle first? How can I help them once I dismiss them? Troubling times man. Troubling times. And I must say that as much as I am fully aware of systemic injustice, we must hold members of our community accountable for their behavior. What if it was one of my kids walking down that block when bullets started flying? We absolutely positively have to do better and we have to realize that your circumstances can become someone else’s. Your life of crime could end a complete stranger’s life. There are KIDS where you deal your drugs and have your fights and FAMILIES trying to make it through the day where you smoke your weed and drink your liquor. I shouldn’t be subjected to all of that in a 5 block radius going from the train station to my job- where I choose- DAILY- to be in this environment in the hopes I am making an impact. In these moments it feels like nothing matters or can have enough of an impact because at any given moment- BOOM. I will work my ass off for change until the day I die in my community and beyond but I cannot do it alone folks. No one can.

WOC suggests white folks pay for her therapy and I’m like… Word.

   
 
It’s real out here and so many POC suffer from so many undiagnosed/ untreated mental & physical health conditions directly related to the harmful mental, physical, emotional and psychological effects of living in a white supremacist patriarchy which can easily and often does effect individuals ability to maintain employment, living arrangements, pursuing higher education and the list goes on. 

Shout out to the folks who donated already. Yall legit. If you don’t get it, you don’t want to, and that’s cool- but I won’t be entertaining any vitriol on this post. 

The truth of the matter is We will all face bullying in our lives but it won’t come from individuals, institutions, AND systems specifically designed to promote our destruction and subjugation. That struggle is unique to the poor, women, the sexually ‘abnormal’ and pigmented people, and the more seriously we take that and the more eager we are to find tangible solutions (ie assisting a victim of the white supremacist power structure in covering the cost of her therapy), the closer we get to realizing what’s at stake for marginalized individualized and making a concerted effort to alleviate the kind of stress.

The UCC Shooting is a tragedy. So is the slanted reporting that occurs every time this happens.

  

My heart breaks for these victims just like it breaks for any victim of a senseless violent crime but I would be remiss if I didn’t point out the painfully obvious implications of the way this tragedy and others like it are framed as isolated incidents acted out by children who need help.
If I held my breath waiting for someone to refer to just one of the 45 school shootings this year alone as an act of domestic terrorism or the perpetrators as ‘thugs’ ‘terrorists’ or ‘savages’ I would die waiting.
If I thought perhaps someone somewhere would question whether or not violence is a pathologically white phenomenon based on the frequency with which a certain kind of person commits a certain kind of crime, I would die waiting. I’ve never even heard the phrase ‘white on white crime.’
Why aren’t we drawing attention to the shooter’s ethnicity like we would if they were Black? Where is the angry looking photo? Why are we not widely publicizing the fact that he had victims state their religion before opening fire on them? If the shooter had been Muslim we would be seeing a very different kind of reporting.
But whiteness is always secondary to human story/ tragedy when the perpetrator is indeed white. Blackness however is the reason for any crime 

Committed by a black person and Islam has been the root of all extremist evil since 9/11. 
I hope yall paying attention.
My heart breaks but my eyes will always be open. 
#UCCShooting

A reminder for the supposedly conscious community about #BlackHair

  
I can love natural hair all I want, it doesn’t give me the right to judge my sister just for having a different texture. We are still fighting the same battles and part of the reason we are losing is because we refuse to focus on our similarities and instead spend too much time arguing about what makes us different and in our minds, better than one another. Our men, women and children have inherited this psyche and the cost to our families and communities is great. It’s time to start talking to each other and building together in spite of individual preferences. I don’t need to be just like you to value your life, health, safety and happiness. #StayWoke #Sisterhood #RealBlackLove #BlackHairMatters #TeamNatural #NaturalHair #TeamRelaxed #BlackGirlsRock #BlackGirlMagic #BlackPower #BlackUnity #locloveliveshere #loctalk post by @afrocenchick founder of @locloveliveshere @bestoflocsawards @youngpeopleofcolorinc pic found at @theloclife