Wake up Mr. West!

Please note, that everything that I will post about the artist Kayne West is not to paint an unfair picture of him as a human being but to simply paint with the supplies I have been given. I truly understand, the importance of providing an example for the world that is influential and unbiased, however, I can only influence the world with what I have experienced or witnessed myself. With that being said—By now, I am almost certain that the whole world has read the blogs, watched every news outlet and scrolled through their timelines on any social media outlet to be sadly disappointed in yet another Kanye West ‘free-thinking rant’. And yes, I use that term ‘free-thinking’ very loosely when referring to Kanye.Kanye West
Over the last week, Kanye West has proven to be the second biggest ignorant human being in the world. With the outrageous and insulting stunts he has pulled over the last few years, I think his ‘free-thinking’ twitter rant, TMZ interview and infamous Donald Trump support have been straws that have broken the camel’s back. Now, please do not misconstrue my ideas against Kanye’s opinions and/or ideas, however, please consider the context in which Kanye has expressed his thoughts and ideas. It wasn’t until recently, Kanye crossed the line by openly supporting Donald Trump and referring to slavery as a choice. To be fair, I’ll quote Kanye properly:

When you hear about slavery for 400 years, for 400 years? That sounds like a choice. You was there for 400 years and it’s all of y’all. It’s like we’re mentally in prison. I like the word prison because slavery goes too direct to the idea of blacks. Slavery is to blacks as the Holocaust is to Jews. Prison is something that unites as one race, blacks and whites, that we’re the human race.”

As individuals in the United States of America, we are inclined to our own opinions, ideas, thoughts and so forth. However, when you openly support a superficial president, who has continuously degraded everyone who has crossed his path and has done nothing productive in office, you too, will be criticized!

Donald Trump transition meetings, New York, USA - 13 Dec 2016
Mandatory Credit: Photo by REX/Shutterstock (7555799z) United States President-elect Donald J. Trump and Musician Kanye West pose for photographers in the lobby of Trump Tower Donald Trump transition meetings, New York, USA – 13 Dec 2016[/caption
Anyone can provide numerous examples as to why Donald Trump should not be president, the disagreements with laws, policies or other nonsense in which he wants to implement, yet, you choose to proudly support his agenda. Not a good representation of ‘free-thinking’! Again, when you are given a platform such as an American musical artist, who can influence the masses, your thought process, your words, agenda and individuals whom you associate yourself with, will be held to the magnifying glass. You will be constantly criticized because you have a huge platform!
For any African American to utter those specific words of “slavery sounded like a choice”, has sadden those African American leaders who fought tirelessly and gave their life, to ensure that one day they would be free, sounds like an individual whom is deeply lost and disconnected from the reality of history. DbpshRZUQAA5cXeTo embarrass your entire race with your ignorant thoughts and to satisfy your oppressor with your negligent comments is disgraceful.
I understand that his comments are a sincere reflection of his thoughts and personal opinions BUT when we as a people have continuously been told by OUR OPPRESSORS that “slavery happened so many years ago, just get over it”, “you were given a month to celebrate your history, we don’t get a month”, or “just get over it”, shouldn’t that ignite a certain feeling towards your opinions or thoughts on slavery? The idea of Harriet Tubman, Fredrick Douglas, Sojourner Truth and countless other activities who fought so hard to ensure that slavery ended and that African Americans received equality and justice, shouldn’t that be enough Ye?
Kanye Omari West you were privileged by God to have such an incredible gift and talent to serve his people through your music to provide hope and awaken a certain flair to ignite dreams in individuals who listen to your music. Yet, you choose to utilize your platform to belittle your large African American fan-base to only gain your oppressors as supporters, you have transitioned to an image which is unlike anything you represent and you have disappointed your ancestors greatly.

[caption id="attachment_240" align="alignleft" width="354"]DbuXkxDUwAAKlEn Conversation between John Legend and Kanye West that West twitted during his twitter rant.

For Kanye’s peers who have bravely reached out to confront him on his ideas and thoughts, we as use-to-be Kanye fans applaud you for your honesty, courage and your sane thought process. It seems as if Kanye is on the road to self-destruction closer than we all thought. We will continue to solicit prayers for Kanye, seek mental health counseling for him and ensure that his free-thinking is not a reflection of us as a culture.

#wakeupMrWest

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Questions that need answers..

By now, I am almost certain that the whole world has read the blogs, watched every news outlet and scrolled through their timelines on any social media, to be sadly disappointed in yet another Kanye West ‘free-thinking rant’. And yes, I use that term ‘free-thinking’ very loosely when referring to Kanye West.
At this time, it is imperative that you all take notice to what the news is allowing to be highlighted! Briefly, we have heard of the guilty plea that Bill Cosby has faced, along with the Waffle House massacre, and the guilty plea that a white Arkansas man received after a violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, VA back in August. Why is it that the actual news of the world is barely making national attention? Why is it that celebrities with irrelevant news and/or contributes to the world are magnified in each and every news outlet?
Allow me to expound on news that we shall all be in tune with. Let’s first take a closer glance at Bill Cosby’s trial and how those series of unfortunate events turned into a guilty plea for this television legend. For years, Mr. Cosby has been accused of sexual assault by a number of women over the years. In a Montgomery County courtroom, a jury of seven men and five women deliberate and came to the result of a guilty verdict with three counts of aggravated indecent assault for a January 2004 sexual assault of Andrea Constand. Andrea Constand was a former Temple University employee who allegedly lost consciousness after Cosby gave her three blue pills and a sip of wine. Andrea’s account states that Cosby digitally penetrated and groped her as well as forced her hand on his penis. Jurors spent a total of 15 hours over two days quickly deciding the verdict. Although Judge Steven O’Neill did not have a set date of sentencing it was stated that Cosby could face up to 30 years in prison, which means 10 years for each count. Originally, Cosby escaped guilt during a trial last year after the jury was deadlocked over five days of deliberations. More than 50 women have come forth with sexual assault claims against Mr. Cosby but the only one that was tried in court was Andrea Constand due to the statute of limitations expired for the rest of them.
My question that I have in all of this is why is Bill Cosby, a successful African American male who is 80 years being a scapegoat in the #metoo movement? Why is it that at the height of his career, Bill Cosby is being targeted for sexual assault allegations? Why is it that he was actually convicted versus the dozens of notarized Caucasian males in Hollywood who are accused of the same, are able to easily walk away? So many questions that need answers because this is truly an outrage.
The news can highlight the downfall of an American legend Bill Cosby but will not highlight the lives of the innocent victims of the Waffle House massacre?
In Nashville, TN Travis Reinking made the conscious decision to go inside of a Waffle House and ultimately take the lives of Joe R. Perez, DeEbony Groves, Taurean C. Sanderlin and Akilah DaSilva.waffle-house-shooting-victims-wztv-820x430 After a 34-hour manhunt, police were able to locate Travis Reinking and charge him with criminal homicide in the deaths of four people killed in the shooting. It was later stated by authorities that for other charges of attempted criminal homicide were added. In the midst of this horrific tragedy, James Shaw Jr. was the brave soul who confronted the shooter and took away Travis Reinking’s AR-15 with his bare hands, saving other individuals inside of the Waffle House that morning. 180423-Messer-Wafflehouse-express-hero_saf35pJames Shaw Jr. stated in numbers press outlets that he ran toward the bathroom while the gunfire rang out. Once he realized he was trapped, he rushed the shooter as he was reloading, grabbed the hot barrel of the AR-15, disarmed the shooter and threw the gun over the Waffle house counter. Questions that need answers- When are we going to review gun laws? Is he going to need a mental health review before standing trial? Why weren’t the lives of the victims, their funerals arrangements or their backgrounds displayed on the news? Again, this is a true tragedy and the world deserves to know the truth and all of the details that surround this particular case.
Lastly, the guilty plea that a white Arkansas man received after a violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, VA back in August. I am pretty sure that there are a lot of you are extremely unaware of this particular story. This attack took place during the violent protests over the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from a nearby city park. Jacob Scott Goodwin, 23 was charged in the beating of an African American male during a white nationalist rally held in Charlottesville, VA that turned violent was found guilty of malicious wounding. DeAndre Harris, 20 was the victim of the malicious wounding. The jury recommended a 10 years sentence with some time suspended and a $20,000 fine. DeAndre Harris had a broken arm, a spinal injury and head lacerations that required eight staples after the attack in the parking garage. Goodwin was arrested along with three other men in the attack. Per usual, it was stated by Jacob Goodwin that he fought in self-defense. It was stated by Nina-Alice Antony, the assistant commonwealth’s attorney that Goodwin was seeking the fight. Why is it that during a rally where an African American almost lost his life, the defendant is able to receive minimal time, whereas, a police officer who kills an unarmed African American is able to walk free? Where is the line crossed for justice? Why isn’t our criminal justice system examined to make certain provisions that cover ALL of its people and not just some of its people? Why do we vote to place certain people in office and nothing changes?

Say his name, too!?

Stephan Clark, 22, was holding only his cell phone when he was fatally shot on Sunday night, March 18, 2018, by two police officers—Sacramento police officers, who fired at him 20 times.

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Stephan Clark (pictured on the left)

911 dispatchers received a phone call about 9:18 pm on Sunday about a man breaking into cars. In addition to police officers making response time, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department helicopter had also responded.

According to the individuals in the helicopter, they say a man use the “tool bar” to break into a window. Later, it was stated by police officers that the rear sliding glass door in an occupied home on the 7500 block of 29th street was broken into.
The resident of the home, described by police, belonged to—Bill Wong, 88, stated that he was unaware of the events that took place on Sunday night. He didn’t see or hear of how his window was broken or hear any gunshots.

Reports made by the police on Tuesday stated that a cinder block and a piece of aluminum similar to what would be used in a rain gutter were recovered from near the broken door and taken into evidence, though neither item was definitely identified as the “tool bar” seen by deputies in the helicopter.

Deputies in the helicopter stated that once Clark broke the Wong’s window, they observed him running south, where he jumped the fence into his grandparent’s yard adjacent to Wong’s house. It was also stated that he was headed toward the front of his grandparent’s property, in addition to looking into another car.

Police entered the front yard of Clark’s grandparents’ house and saw him along the side of the house. Police said officers gave him commands to stop and show his hands but that he immediately fled from the officers and ran towards the back of the home. From there, police pursued Clark and when he turned and advanced towards the officers while holding an object which was extended in front of him. NO GUN WAS FOUND AT THE SCENE and it was later stated that the object present at the time of the incident was a cellphone.

A spokesman for the police department stated that each of the two officers involved in the shooting fired 10 shots, for a total of 20 shots fired. However, the total number of times that Clark was hit is not known.
Clark’s life tragically changed when he encountered the police officers in the backyard of his grandparent’s home. Clark was staying with his grandparents at the time of the incident.

 

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Stephan Clark, his two sons and his girlfriend

Each and every day, we are presented with snapshots of the immoral behavior of our fellow citizens who hold prestigious titles within the world. However, these individuals use their titles as a  platform to carry out their own hidden agendas or pretend such laws or regulations do not apply to them. A question that I often times ask myself is ‘how many times is too many times?’ when referring to police officers responding to excessive force in reference to African Americans, which then results in a tragic fatality of an unarmed African American.

 

To be a young African American man in the United States of America. should not be an issue, in this date and time, that any African American parent should be fretful of. I, strongly, believe that there should be various training for police officers in reference to ethics, morals, excessive force, professionalism and, laws. Many individuals will argue the fact that police officers already receive this type of training, however, as many happenings of police brutality or excessive force, I would love to argue other wise! As a community, we should look more in depth towards the police reform and seek to modify and policies.

Stephan Clark may your name add fuel to the fire for your brothers and sisters to continue to fight for justice!

H&M: Culturally sensitive much?

 

Controversial H&M advertisement ad

 

With everything in this world to have a great debate about, why should racial slurs be one of them? H&M recently, without clearly thinking, marketed a green hoody with the words “The coolest monkey in the jungle”. No big deal right? Well get this, a young African American boy was sporting the H&M hoody. I know plenty of individuals are probably wondering why this should be the topic of concern. I’ll let you know why…

First and foremost, for years WE have been called any and all degrading name under the sun including a monkey and/or ape. Those types of derogatory names derive from the time of slavery. I greatly applaud that someone would have the audacity to print and publish those degrading words on a hoody and have none other than an African American young boy wear it for their business. Our young African American kids  already have enough within their own community to worry about but to be ostracized still by the world is a totally different conversation.

I have always been the one to understand all perspectives when a “misunderstanding” arises but with this particular case, I truly believe I’ve exhausted all avenues. With African Americans being the target of society, this incident would just be one more dart to add to the collection.

Businesses, in general, hire individuals who specialize in marketing to various people but in a way that is culturally sensitive and appropriate, H&M were you advertising to the countless African Americans who buy from your stores? Trust me this was not the brightest idea! You mean to tell me with you being in business for so long, advertising in such a way that all ethnicities purchased your items, that this mistake accidentally happened?

Truly, we’ve got to re-evaluate who we support, in terms of businesses. In no way, my personal opinion, would our fellow melanin brothers and sisters have us out here looking crazy. Let’s educate our people, but first and foremost, let’s educate our children to know that just because you are offered it’s not always a good idea and it isn’t always good money.

#supportblackbusiness #buyblack

Black Girl Magic.

img_1305Happy New Year to each and every one of you! 2018 is a year for everyone to experience prosperity, growth, great health, new endeavors and your best life. I know each year we all set aside some elaborate “new year, new me” hype that seemingly fades away after the first week of January BUT this time, let’s stick to some more concrete plans.
What is it that YOU want to change in YOUR life? Go after that! Want to finally achieve that ideal body? Go for it sis. Want to travel the world on a McDonald’s budget? You can still see the Seven Wonders of the World even on a budget. Let’s not allow our current circumstances or our old way of thinking to deter our vision. We have another 365 days to create the life in which we have always dreamed.
Somebody needs to know that they did not read this post by accident! Whatever you set your mind to, DO IT! Whatever you want to achieve, ACHIEVE IT! There are so many things that you will regret, alone, by the end of the year. Do not allow 2018 to be in vain, especially, when God allowed you to make it this far. Go forth into 2018 with a prayer, a plan and a whole lot of black girl magic.

Taboo: Mental Health amongst the African American Community

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Why is it forbidden to speak of mental health within the African American community? As an individual who has a career in social services, I am able to interact with beautiful people every day from every walk of life. What I have observed while in my career is the level of sensitivity that those in the African American community have toward issues revolving around mental health illness.

Caucasians are more likely to seek assistance or have a conversation about the changes in their behavioral pattern such as how they think, act, feel, handle stress, relating to other and making choices. Many have consulted their doctor which results in medication to be subscribed to treat their mental illness or spoken with a therapist. Within the African American community, a majority, have chosen to suffer in silence due to media portraying mental health illness as some sort of demon that could be prayed off; or even, shrug off for that individual is having a bad day and giving the individual time to be left alone. Mental health is a serious concern within our community and it needs to be addressed!

Please note that there are various factors that contribute to mental health issues such as biological factors and life experiences. Unclear whether you or someone you know have mental health issues that need to be addressed? Experiencing one or more feelings/behaviors may indicate early warning signs:

*suicidal thoughts SUICIDE HOTLINE NUMBER 1-800-273-8255

*inability to perform daily tasks

*hearing voices

*disengaging in activities with others

*continuous thoughts of a traumatic life experience

*having little or no energy

*feeling inadequate or unimportant

*eating or sleeping too much or too little

The fact of the matter is, there are various signs or symptoms that lead to mental health issues that should not be ignored, children battle mental health issues as well that then follow them into adulthood. We need to inform our people that conversations involving taboo topics such as mental health need to be conducted for the prosperity of our culture. Let’s educate each other!