Category Archives: Conscious

Whites have become black?!

I came across this video and just want to share. Nabil Abdul Rashid says what I and many others have been thinking and saying. The use of basic critical thinking skills and intelligent thoughts shown in this video to refute the opinion of a popular historian are just incredible. He discusses the prejudice that society has against black culture. Society sees certain negative acts as being specific to the entire black population and disregards those same acts as being universal regardless of the color of someones skin. 

This particular historian, David Starkey, in 2011 during the England riots claims ‘whites have become black” because they are acting out violently. He blames Jamaican immigrants for “intruding” on English culture and hip-hop for promoting rioting. Of course no one in their right mind would belive that before the riots white people across the globe were never violent until black people started to influence them. Violence is a human behavior regardless of color of skin. I wont say that there isn’t behavior specific to different cultures and there are certain meaningless acts we attribute to certain cultures based on race. Black people have rhythm, they can dance and always talking back to the movie screen. White people wear flip flops in freezing cold weather and always run towards danger to “investigate” (which I find to be so true but hey its just an opinion). Regardless of how true these statements may be at the end of the day we are all human with the same genes and same potential to display the same behaviors. Race is always thrown out first as a reason for someones action instead of looking at class and privilege. Ignoring social and economic factors in terms of behavior is deceiving.

Simply put-Read books. Know your own history, tell your story before someone else tries to. Challenge and question.

Please enjoy and feel free to share your opinion.

Hide your uterus..Mississippi wants to ban abortions.

Today voters in Mississippi are up against Proposition 26 which would introduce the toughest anti-abortion restrictions in America by giving all fertilised embryos the same rights of people.

If passed the “personhood amendment”, would redefine the term “person” to begin at the point of conception, which would ban abortion. They could restrict in-vitro fertilization, which typically involves fertilising several eggs and then using just one or two. There will limited access to birth-controls that prevent embryos from implanting in a woman’s uterus, such as intrauterine devices.

I am pro-choice. So naturally I am against this proposition. I am looking at the consequences of this admendment. It literally forces a female to give up her own “personhood” and constitutional rights at the moment of conception. I don’t want the government with their hands in my uterus. It takes away our right to choose. A women may be placed in a position where she may be charged with MURDER for not keeping the child. Women who face pregnancy complications would be unable to terminate the pregnancy. Ending an ectopic pregnancy WOULD NOT be considered self-defense even though ectopic pregnancies remain the leading cause of pregnancy-related death in the first trimester of pregnancy.  If the right to abortion is taken away, then women would only resort to self-induced or back-alley abortions. So anyone could claim to perform them, and with no other alternatives women would be dying due to infections, unsterilized instruments and conditions, and improperly performed procedures. It is a lot to demand of a women who is raped to give birth and keep the child. The morning after pill will also be illegal, and if a woman is raped she will be required to carry the baby to term and put the baby up for adoption if she chooses.  Could you imagine if you got pregnant by being raped and then having your rapists baby? Yes, I know it is not the baby’s fault but how many women could actually raise that child without some type of emotional toll or resentment? I personally don’t know what I would do but I do know I don’t want someone else to make that decision for me.

If this passes in Mississippi, it will encourage this amendment to be put on ballots in key states such as Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin next year, affecting millions of women. This proposition will do more harm than good. It will almost be impossible to please everyone when it comes to abortion that is why it should be the woman’s choice to decide what is right for her body, her life. Proposition 26 is not the answer.

Voting in your state and local polls are so important, more important than voting for president. Know the issues and vote responsibly.

Happy Christopher ComeBusUs Day!

This morning I would have been up at 5:30 am to get ready to go to school.  Instead I slept in, had a great breakfast and completed a few chores.  It is nice to have a long weekend from time to time but this holiday doesn’t mean much more to me. In fact, the principle behind this holiday is disheartening.  Each year on the second Monday of October, Christopher Columbus and his invasion in the West is celebrated as a federal holiday.  Some school districts, federal institutions and banks are closed for Columbus Day.  Though memorialized for the first time in 1972 in New York City, Columbus day became a federal holiday under President Roosevelt.  We really need to rethink this day and which honors the tragic and brutal annihilation of the indigenous people who were “so called” discovered.

Below is a link for the Native America Rights Fund. This is a non profit that provides assistance for tribes, individuals and organizations. They also post information about events and ways to donate.

http://www.narf.org/

I am Troy Davis.

Wednesday September 21, 2011 at 11:08pm Troy Anthony Davis was executed in Jackson, Georgia.

I am against the death penalty in all cases and so I was deeply effected by this case. To kill a potentially innocent man with so much doubt is disheartening. I sat with a heavy heart last night as they executed Davis. I am now left with this overwhelming feeling of sadness but also a stronger desire to fight for human rights. I saw the face of my little brother, cousin and friend. They are Troy Davis. I saw a purpose in all of this unfortunate sorrow to end the death penalty, for prison reform and justice. I can not sit blindly to tragedy and injustice.

I am Troy Davis.

My prayers are with the family of Troy Davis and Mark MacPhail. Two lives lost does not make it right.

A message from Troy Davis:

I want to thank all of you for your efforts and dedication to Human Rights and Human Kindness, in the past year I have experienced such emotion, joy, sadness and never ending faith. It is because of all of you that I am alive today, as I look at my sister Martina I am marveled by the love she has for me and of course I worry about her and her health, but as she tells me she is the eldest and she will not back down from this fight to save my life and prove to the world that I am innocent of this terrible crime.

As I look at my mail from across the globe, from places I have never ever dreamed I would know about and people speaking languages and expressing cultures and religions I could only hope to one day see first hand. I am humbled by the emotion that fills my heart with overwhelming, overflowing Joy. I can’t even explain the insurgence of emotion I feel when I try to express the strength I draw from you all, it compounds my faith and it shows me yet again that this is not a case about the death penalty, this is not a case about Troy Davis, this is a case about Justice and the Human Spirit to see Justice prevail.

I cannot answer all of your letters but I do read them all, I cannot see you all but I can imagine your faces, I cannot hear you speak but your letters take me to the far reaches of the world, I cannot touch you physically but I feel your warmth everyday I exist.

So Thank you and remember I am in a place where execution can only destroy your physical form but because of my faith in God, my family and all of you I have been spiritually free for some time and no matter what happens in the days, weeks to come, this Movement to end the death penalty, to seek true justice, to expose a system that fails to protect the innocent must be accelerated. There are so many more Troy Davis’. This fight to end the death penalty is not won or lost through me but through our strength to move forward and save every innocent person in captivity around the globe. We need to dismantle this Unjust system city by city, state by state and country by country.

I can’t wait to Stand with you, no matter if that is in physical or spiritual form, I will one day be announcing,

“I AM TROY DAVIS, and I AM FREE!”

Never Stop Fighting for Justice and We will Win!

For more information on the death penalty and how you can help: Amnesty International, Innocene Project and Death Penalty Info

“Hey Baby”

Street harassment is the unwelcomed words and actions of strangers that can be everything from sexually explicit comments and groping to public masturbation and assault.

The other night there was this interesting dialogue about street harassment and pedophilia that young women have to deal with. It’s a normal occurrence to walk down the street and have a car drive by screaming out “hey baby” and honk. As if I would run over and reply sweetly “yes daddy?” but I don’t want to be the “baby” of any man who couldn’t approach me in a respectful manner. I don’t respond to catcalls and obscenity as a way to get my attention.

I remember going to south beach one year for memorial weekend in Miami and hating to walk down the sidewalks. It’s known that if you’re going to walk the strip you are going to get harassed and it doesn’t even matter what you have on or how you look. The men were brutal. My friends and I paused as we came up on a group of men standing on both sides of the sidewalk. Other than walking in the middle of the street, we had to walk through them to reach our destination. Walking through the crowd of men someone touched me and my instant reflex kicked in. I swung my hand back to defend myself. I looked back to realize I hit the wrong person and as the group of men started getting loud and closer my friends and I literally and quickly ran down the street. That was just too much unnecessary excitement for me. And for the rest of our time on the strip we had to deal with men grabbing us and shouting out names to get our attention. “Hey, lil yummy.” “Come here brown skin.” I saw women get approached and after turning the man down he curses her out and calls her all types of vulgar names. I even saw some women get things thrown at them for not wanting to give a man their number. It was a prime example of the male ego and feeling the need to put a woman in her place. Needless to say that was our last time on south beach for memorial weekend.

Too many friends and relatives shared the same kinds of stories. And sadly enough it all seemed so normal. The street harassment happens often and comes from young and old men. Whether it was the teenage boy who said I wasn’t shit because I said no to him or the man old enough to be my father that told me that he wanted to marry me and whispered dirty things in my ear, this mentality tells us that boys will be boys and have no self-control. More often its women who  say we just need to accept it as a part of life. Men and women alike need to challenge the sexism and patriarchy that allows for men to act this way and for women to accept it. 

There needs to be the mentoring of men and of boys who will eventually become men. They need to know the respectful and right way to compliment and talk to women. Men also need to relate and become allies in stopping street harassment. Men, show some respect when you see this being done to women, please tell your friends to stop it.

There is a simple rule: do unto others as you would want them to do to you. So simply: if you don’t want it said to your mother or daughters don’t say it to someone else’s daughter. Street harassment that women go thru by men can be compared to the harassment men go thru by the police. Seriously think about it. No one wants to walk down the street in fear of being hassled and violated.

Please remember 15-year-old Sakia Gunn. She was killed after being stabbed her in the chest in Newark, NJ after stating she was a lesbian and turning down the advances of two men.

Women have a right to walk through their communities and feel safe without being objectified. Street harassment is a real issue.  Hollaback- http://www.ihollaback.org/ – encourages the movement dedicated to ending street harassment.

Have you ever been hesitant or afraid to walk down the street because there were a group of men you would have to pass? Have you ever experienced street harassment?

Have you ever told someone to stop the harassment of another person? Why or why not?

Mid Week Inspiration- Passionate Living

Alarm goes off. Time for work. Dragging to get ready and make it on time. Physically there but mentally somewhere else. There is always some point in our lives when we have a job that we are grateful to have but don’t love. We get stuck in having a good job that supports our financial needs but does not satisfy our passion. It may seem hard but your passion and talents can work for you. Dont allow a job to steal your purpose from you. A job is work but a career is worthwhile. Love your position but plan your promotion.

Follow the signs that are placed in your life. It doesn’t matter how old you are, your education or financial situation. Passion is limitless and free. If you could do anything, that wouldn’t feel like work, regardless of how much it paid what would it be? What are you most passionate about? Think about your talents, the things you love to do, or the people you want to impact. I personally struggle between my passion and what’s practical. But I have realized that being practical and safe isn’t always whats best. Living passionately can be done by merging the hearts desires with the minds practicality.

Discover your passion and embrace it. Take baby steps. Volunteer, start a part-time home business, continue your education, travel, take every opportunity. Do what makes you happy and satisfied. Do not settle for mediocrity. Learn to fly.

Police Brutality Strikes Again… So does the bystander effect.

I was listening to WRFG 89.3 around 5 pm when I heard a father, Ron Thomas,  speak about his son, Kelly Thomas who was a known homeless man in the community.  The interview was brief but powerful.  Ron Thomas, a retired Deputy Sheriff,  told the story about his son who was beaten into a coma then died shortly after.  There was a total of 6 Fullerton police officers who beat and tazed Kelly while he cried out for help.  Officers stated that Kelly resisted but bystanders disagreed.  A few locals described Kelly as a kind man.  The City offered Ron Thomas $900,000 to settle any claims but he rejected the offer.  Kelly’s last words were “Dad, Dad, Dad.”  Hearing this story was tough.  The injustice system is so corrupt.  It’s not like I’ve never had this feeling before.  But when will it stop.

After listening to the radio interview I looked up an article and a few YouTube videos.  Then I had flashbacks of conversations held with friends regarding the bystander effect/Genovese Syndrome.  The videos showed a group people who stood around, shared their opinions and filmed  as Kelly was beat excessively by the 6 officers.   To my recollection, the bystander effect/syndrome usually occurs when people watch others being hurt by someone and are more times than not helpless.  People may stand around and watch a horrific event almost in a daze.  Somehow the expect another person to do something.  It’s a interesting topic to read up on especially when you get into the difference between individuals and groups.  When one is alone and the risk is low people are more likely to offer assistance to those in need.  Groups of people tend to stand back and wait for someone or something to help.  I’d like to charge all of our blog readers to think about this situation the next time you see someone being hurt.  I wouldn’t ask you to put yourself in danger.  I’m only asking that we become more conscious. Collectively.   Re post it on your social networks to remind other people that is it okay to help someone out or speak up about injustice.  If I was being mistreated by police or some stranger I certainly hope someone would help me.

*Check out this article about Kelly Thomas.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/03/kelly-thomas-fullerton-ho_n_917713.html

Mid-Week Inspiration: Live Your Legacy

I was recently reminded about one of my college experiences where I asked numerous people “how do you want to be remembered?”  There were many different responses and it really showed the character of that person. Some people wanted to be remembered as fun or kind or loyal. But in order to be remembered as something that’s how you should live your life. It’s about living your legacy. Your legacy doesn’t have to start when you die, you can create and live that legacy now. People never remember what you said to them, they remember how you made them feel. How you make people feel is a part of your legacy. How you feel is a part of that legacy too. If you feel good about yourself then it will show. No need for makeup or fancy clothes. Wear a joyful heart, a confident smile and a loving spirit. I truly believe that everyone has greatness within them. You can be great! Greatness should not be defined as being a celebrity, professional athlete or popularity. Greatness is being the best at who you are! Take the time to think about who you are and what you represent. Regardless of our personal, financial or professional situations how we act and think should be aligned with our legacy. Everything that we do causes a ripple effect in someone else’s life and your greatness could be as simple as helping someone in need. Dont underestimate the power of you. Be great today! Be accepting. Be humble. Be brave. Be encouraging. Be focused. Let your life be your message.

School’s In for Summer

As the month of July comes to a close most children in the traditional school settings will be returning to their classrooms within the next 2 to 5 weeks.  Some have been reading or going to different camps and others have probably spent a large portion of their summer in front of a Wii or Facebook.  Summer is a great time for parents and other mentor like adults to make the biggest impact on students.  My parents made sure I was well prepared for the world and the classroom before the next school year rolled around by enhancing our informal education and setting high standards.

Each summer my mother would take us out of school approximately two weeks before the year started or two weeks before the year ended.  Most parents wouldn’t dare trying this especially since we would be home all day for the summer and “needed” to spend every moment in the classroom.  Well my mother didn’t agree with that philosophy at all.  She preferred to nurture our minds with experiences outside of the classroom.  No TV in the bedrooms, limited TV if at all during the school week, lots and lots of reading, went fishing with my dad, camped in the back yard, played all kinds of instruments, and often museum visits.   We played a lot with each other and even made our own home music videos.  Each summer my family would use those extra weeks towards our annual trips up and down the East coast with anywhere from 6 to 9 of my siblings in one vehicle.  One summer we even drove from South Florida to Canada.  These trips were most exciting and continued from the time I was in elementary school until my junior year in college.  We would stop along the way and learn about the states we were passing through, the history of our culture in each place and visit family.  My most memorable stops were always Savannah, GA, Washington, DC and Philadelphia, PA.  Reading was simply a requirement.  The books we read were mainly about our culture and successful people around the world.  I think that was when I began to develop an interest in non fiction, especially biographies.  I cherish those summer trips and learning experiences I shared with my family.  I know these trips along with some very special teachers are what sparked my interest in education.  The American school systems miss the mark in almost every subject across the board, so my summer trips helped to pick up the slack.

Now I spend my summers traveling, studying other schools systems and getting ready give my students a richer education each year.  I do this because I see each child as a new opportunity to make a positive difference in the world.  Tests, evaluations, salaries nor achievement gaps deter me from giving my best to any child.  We must continue to take our childrens’ education seriously, as early as two years old.  It’s not just about teaching them the test or making the deans list every semester.  Children must know that someone cares about their educational success and they have to be groomed to compete on a global level.  I plant seeds of success, faith, dignity, integrity and a love of service to the community in every child I teach.  By imparting quality information and a positive attitude I feel like I am paying it forward.  They know within the first lesson that I have high expectations because I know that they can ” be the change they want to see in the world” M. Ghandi.

This is a short list of films every teacher, mentor and parent should see.  Try a movie night with friends or other parents.  Netflix has #1 and #2.

Top 3  Films

1. The Lottery

2. Waiting for Superman

3. The Finland Phenomenon: Inside the World’s Most Surprising School System