All Summer16

The Summer of 2016 started off with a bang in more ways than one.

April left us reeling from the death of Prince. And, the May offered no condolences, dealing blow after blow, in no particular order but each one equally horrendous:

A shooter killed more than 40 people and injured even more at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

(http://www.npr.org/2016/06/16/482322488/orlando-shooting-what-happened-update)

Actor and activist Jesse Williams gave a riveting speech at the BET awards that was so relevant, it prompted some to petition for him to be fired from his job on the hit TV Drama Grey’s Anatomy.

(https://www.change.org/p/boycott-abc-network-and-sign-petition-to-fire-jesse-williams-from-grey-s-anatomy-for-racist-rant)

The nation learned that the #FreddieGray trials were resulting in no convictions against the law enforcement officers that were involved in his arrest; the arrest that resulted in his death which was subsequently ruled a homicide. The lack of convictions was just the continuation of many shocking results of the matter as the remaining charges were dropped against the other officers who where involved.

(http://www.blackreport.com/archives/2016/07/27/remaining-charges-dropped-against-police-officers-in-freddie-gray-case/)

The bones of the #SandraBland case continue to fall from the closet after her death was ruled a suicide last year. Officer Michael Kelley has recently admitted that he was warned not to speak out about some very important facts regarding Sandra Bland’s case. He also revealed that his career was threatened and was told that he would face repercussions if he spoke to Bland’s family attorney.

(http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-officer-in-sandra-bland-case-20160729-story.html)

We also learned–that police officer Eric Casebolt of McKinney Texas would not face assault charges for his behavior towards a 15 year old teen at a pool party in June of 2015. Officer Eric Casebolt was recorded behaving recklessly while responding to a disturbance at the pool party. He is seen waving his weapon around at the crowd of people and then slamming a black teenager to the ground while subduing her with his knee in her back under his body weight.

(http://thescoopblog.dallasnews.com/2016/06/grand-jury-declines-to-indict-ex-cop-involved-in-mckinney-pool-party.html/)

During a protest in response to the continued racial tensions and police brutality across the nation in Dallas, Texas, a man opened fire on police officers killing 5 and wounding others, including a protester. A brief standoff ensued however it was quickly ended when the suspect was disarmed and killed by an explosive detonation by Dallas SWAT. The media was intent on blaming the outcome of the protest on the #BlackLivesMatter movement while ignoring the very reason someone saw fit that such a movement needed to take place.

(http://www.wfaa.com/news/local/dallas-county/breaking-shots-fired-and-officers-down-at-downtown-dallas-protest/266881573)

As a Dallas native I can say this was very much so a sad, horrific, and tense time. My twitter feed was on fire, the text messages wouldn’t stop coming, and my spirit was on the ropes.

Trying not to give in to my emotions, I left for work the following morning with an intent to maintain a silent protest in hopes that I would be able to get through the day with my office door closed while never speaking a word of the incident to my coworkers. I wanted to just close off and lament the catalyst that started it all: the unresponsiveness of State and Federal Government in cases involving blatant police brutality, racism, and racial profiling. Not to mention the casual feigns of ignorance when it comes to identifying #whiteprivledge

No less than 30 days after the shooting involving Dallas Police officers, two black men #AltonSterling and #PhilandoCastilewere were shot and killed (roughly 24 hours apart) by police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and St Anthony, Minnesota.

(https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2016/07/06/alton-sterlings-death-appears-to-be-another-police-shooting-that-was-both-legal-and-preventable/)

(http://www.democracynow.org/2016/7/7/you_shot_four_bullets_into_him)

Needless to say, the pattern is more than obvious but the powers that be seem to be blind and deaf. As both are being argued as legal, justified, as well as preventable.

To make an already outrageous and genocide-eque situation worse, another black man, Charles Kinsley was shot by police in Florida while unarmed, with his hands up.

(http://www.theroot.com/articles/news/2016/07/black-fla-therapist-who-was-shot-by-police-reunited-with-autistic-patient/)

For my entire life, as long as I can remember, Black People have been fighting to receive equality of the most basic means and this struggle has only gotten more intense, more severe, more life threatening, more bloody, and has encouraged groups on either side to rise up their bands to do something about it.

The Black Community has responded with strategic action plans that have gotten the attention of celebrities and professional athletes and resulted in thousands of groups forming to promote and influence change in their communities.

Social media has been flooded with black posters sharing their ideas on resolving the issues and affecting change. There have even been suggestions of boycotts, all black market co-operatives, legal action committees, protests against specific businesses and politicians, and well as the encouragement of more black to exercise their constitutional right to bear arms to protect themselves and their homes.

To paraphrase a quote by one of my favorite singers, Sam Cooke. A Chang Has Come…

 

 

 

 

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Give and Take: Dialogue (Writing101)

I stammered…”ok ok picture this”
“…think of it as a number line…0 is in the middle. To the left of the zero is everything negative. To the right, is everything positive. Now instead of numbers being on the line, there are different degrees of love and hate. Hate is on the negative side…love is on the positive side”
I was really trying to explain myself which is something I don’t do often. I try to let me speak for myself but today it was apparently no use.
She replied back, “ What?!?” with a sarcastic look on her face. That face that says I get it but Im going to let you go on the passionate rant of explaining yourself.
I dug deeper trying to get her to understand…”Im not like you. You’re full of indifference. You often feel no way at all, don’t think anything at all about something. Im not like that”.
That’s when I got her attention more. She felt insulted or slighted in some way. Offending someone seems to be the best way to get their attention.
“The two ideas cannot compare. They aren’t remotely the same. You’re telling me that you are never anywhere in between with how you feel but you give me a number line of variation to describe yourself? That’s crazy” she was beginning to sound condescending.
I was beginning to get flustered.
“Yes, that’s right, maybe I need to sketch this out for you” I said, looking around for something to scribble on. I wanted her to literally get the picture…I wanted her to know how I operate.
“Seriously…hear me out” I said…”…on either side of the 0 there is either love or hate. How far you go in either direction determines how much I love or hate. Still it’s one of the two, not both, and if it happens to be zero, its likely because I haven’t had enough time to form an emotional opinion or I don’t care“ I was really trying to drive the point to her. I hate being misunderstood. So many things are lost in translation when two people didn’t understand each other.
I think she was beginning to get it. That or she had become tired of trying. I spoke again…”That is comparable to you because you can have no emotion or opinion at all about something or someone and I guess what Im trying to say is that I have one. Always. Even if its neutral. And Neutral for me usually means…I don’t care enough or I don’t have time to inquire” I went on, “I can ask you if you’re hungry and you might say you don’t know. How do you not know if you’re hungry or not? I can ask you if you’re a fan of Country Music you’ll say something like ‘Ive never really thought about it, I might’ What is that?”
This is what I loved about her. We can talk about ANYTHING. I am a chronic overthinker. She knows this and she still engages me. Most women are discussing men, babies, and fashion…she and I are debating how we feel about nothing in particular. Classic!
I thought I had won her over and we’d move on to discussing something less tangled. She turned around and said, “ok, ok…so tell me this…put this on your little scale of love and hate…since you ALWAYS know how you feel” She was being a jerk… I anticipated some frog prince comparison that was impossible to choose. We did that. We’d ask one another silly questions like Who would you rather sleep with…Flava Flav or Ol Dirty Bastard? Two equally unattractive guys by our own standards lol but the look on her face said something different. She hit me with it…”How do you feel about Kingston now? Where does he fall on this measuring stick of yours? We haven’t talked about him in a while. Surely he has a Love, Hate, or Neutral placeholder”.
I was expressionless.
TBC.

Interesting…who is the most interesting person or people Ive met thus far during 2014?

I really had to ponder on this one. “Who is the most interesting person (or people) you’ve met this year?” I had to go back through my Instagram posts to see if I took pictures of the most interesting people Ive met thus far because I surely cannot remember them. Ha! Classic.
I worked on this all day and I cant come up with one person that I found so interesting that they stand out in my mind. Is this bad? This is bad. Either I have to get out more or Im no longer entertained and intrigued by the people I meet. It’s September. The year is ¾’s over and Im drawing a blank. Wow.
Im puzzled.

Dream Reader

I like this assignment…its a bit realistic for me because I literally do have a Dream Reader. We’ve participated in several writing workshops and assignments. Its always been a joy. It never felt like work.I remember Nano WriMo…Awesome time you and I.

You are my Dream Reader and I dont even think you know it. You are my best worst critic. I can always receive truthful feedback from you. I recall my first awarded piece. WE won first place in that essay contest. You were my editor. You cleaned up my mess of ideas and we won. Be it love letters, poems, essays, speeches, emails to my boss, editorials, you’re there with your proverbial red pen determined to make me a better writer. You commit me to my first goal…to become a writer. Before I knew what Journalism and Mass Communications were, I wanted to write. I wanted to write long colorful stories of adventure and nostalgia. I lost touch with that and you resurrected it. You pulled emotion from my poetry and made me a performer. We’ve spent countless hours exchanging pieces of poetry, writing and rewriting and we did it all for fun.We did it for the love of the craft and for the sake of the art.

May literacy, grammar, and fine arts unite us once again.