MLK Musings

If you are not riding for black lives in the current political climate in some way, form or fashion please understand that I’m not trying to see/ hear you post any MLK quotes to ‘honor’ him today. If your life is not an homage to the man, your quote/ picture combo certainly will not be. 
There’s lots of debate about how much good things like integration and non violence did for the black community and constant talk of what ‘could have happened’ had we used different tactics at pivotal points in the movement but some things are certain. 
Martin Luther King Jr. Was much more radical and revolutionary than he is given credit for today. The fact that recycled quips about love driving out hate and peace are used to demonize and trivialize the current movement for black lives only proves that we are dealing with a sanitized version of a great man, only given a holiday because the powers that be had every intention of painting him like the most respectable, pacifist negro possible- and they have succeeded.
No mainstream source will ever post his views on capitalism or his understanding of situations like those that erupted in Ferguson because ‘a riot is the language of the unheard.’ 
We need all different types of leaders, including men like MLK and it’s not just because he wore a suit and didn’t curse.
Revolutionaries come in all flavors and some of you praising bits and pieces of his memory would have never marched alongside him for black equality sooooo…..
SHHH. 
#ReclaimMLK

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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

McGrawHill Textbooks refer to African slaves as ‘workers’

  
Absolutely disgusting and their ‘response’ is almost as embarrassing as the sordid act itself. Referring to African slaves as ‘workers’ and referencing slavery in your ‘apology’ as ‘forced migration’ and ‘unpaid labor’ does not speak to the rape, castration, flogging, lynching, abduction, mutilation, degradation, destruction of heritage, communities, families and an entire diaspora still reeling from the modern day effects of slavery which led to jim crow which led to the new Jim Crow. I know I cannot expect better so I will not demand that you do better. I’m just glad people are willing to call you and your joke of a publication out. Shameful. Absolutely shameful. Rewriting history and wondering why modern society is falling apart. We aren’t being properly exposed to the lessons of the past and are therefore doomed to repeat them and all those traditionally marginalized will continue to fall by the wayside. My blood is BOILING. #McGrawHill #RewritingHistory #HomeSchoolingIsAMUST #StayWoke 

assault at spring valley highlights the criminalization of black girls and our tendency to do nothing to help

  
The fact this child never leaves her seat and is attacked in such a manner is cause enough for concern at the very least and fucking outrage if you’ve been paying attention long enough to realize this is the NORM which is why everyone let it happen and the one student who spoke out was arrested. All this over a phone? And folks are saying she should have ‘just put it away and this all could have been avoided?’ When did not listening to your teachers become a crime punishable by violence and worthy of arrest? Stop rationalizing the violence black girls face and let’s keep our girls safe- especially from those meant to protect them- especially in school. It is an absolute TRAVESTY that we are not even at rest from anti Blackness in the house of God or institutions of education. #AssaultAtSpringValleyHigh #BlackLivesMatter #BlackWomenMatter #BlackGirlsMatter #SchoolToPrisonPipeline #DecriminalizeBlack #StopCallingTheCopsOnKids #ThatsNotNormal #ButItsEasyWhenYouDontSeeThemAsChildren #DefendBlackWomen #ALLBlackGirlsMatter

Where are the vigils, Facebook overlays and public outpourings of solidarity for Nigeria?

   
   
Meh.

We don’t need ’em.
And we know why we won’t get em.
So I encourage everyone to download the photo blend app and create your own photo in solidarity with Nigeria. As corny as it is that we don’t receive the support others do in times of crisis, we honestly don’t require it. We all we got. And that’s a lot. Let’s support each other ๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’š #PrayForNigeria #BlackLivesMatter #AfricanLivesMatter #UniteTheDiaspora #POCUnite #BlackLoveSavesLives 

Oh I’m watching you Hilary, but I ain’t tryna see you whip

Hillary Clinton, the same woman who claims ‘well meaning’ White people are fearful of Black folks in hoodies, is not allowed to do the Nae Nae. Same kids doing that dance would make you fear for your life on a dark street corner.

Miss me.

Ellen Degeneres is the homie but I need every single democratic candidate who wants my vote- granted to me by the blood of my ancestors- to do better.I have yet to be impressed and I will not be distracted by publicity stunts when my peoples lives are on the line. The Republican Party is very clear and calculating with its campaigning. Zero shame in their game. They are about our death, displacement and demonization. That does not mean we should blindly follow the democrats to the gates of hell. Show me something real shawty.  

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.

Hey blog, I’ve missed you! Writing updates & news.

Im going to be on BBC radio today talking all things Azealia Banks at 4pm. Producer reached out after reading my Huff Post piece. (Last link in the list)

I know I’m playing myself by not updating my PERSONAL blog but it has the lowest viewership between all my social media.

I’m going to fix that.

In the meantime these are the articles I’ve written from March- May of this year that have been published.

I am so grateful and this is just the beginning. 

I can see myself becoming a stronger writer without compromising my voice or views and I’m very happy about that.

http://www.forharriet.com/2015/11/black-friday-black-folk-and-black-guilt.html?m=1

On Jada, Janet, Sisterhood & Why it’s all ‘That Serious’

http://www.forharriet.com/2016/03/on-kehlani-shaming-of-black-women-and.html?m=1

http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/next-person-who-calls-hair-unprofessional_b_9661216.html?

http://tajimag.com/10-reasons-i-will-never-get-tired-of-slave-stories/

Afrocentrism as elitism: The gift and curse of consciousness in the social media age

http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/the-day-buzzfeed-died_b_9690844.html?1460640932=
http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/azealia-banks-i-bid-you-adieu_b_9913980.html

Be gentle with yourself Black Parents: An anecdoteย 

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 โค๏ธ

Oscars Been White & Plan To Stay White

I haven’t posted in a while here and I’m sad about that cause I’ve been going off on my Facebook and I think you would have enjoyed it lol. I promise to be a more consistent blogger this year!

But here are some quick thoughts about these God forsaken Oscars.

Fuck the ‘academy’ man. We know what it is with them. Once in a blue there will be a pleasant and well deserved surprise but we are rarely ever even in the running to ATTEMPT to win the race no matter how worthy we are of being in the competition. Thank God I’m not out here looking for White validation. No shade on our couple of nominees or past winners either. We talented as fuck. I’m just convinced we don’t need anyone’s awards to tell us that. Doesn’t make the theft any less preposterous but I think it’s an important thing to note. And this goes for the Oscars and other award shows in general not just this year before somebody comes out of the woodwork with the ‘there weren’t many black Oscar worthy performances this year’ and gets flamed. Not even gonna start the ‘and when they DO give us awards it’s for…’ Conversation #OscarsSoWhite #oscarsstillsowhite