Peace, yall. Welcome new followers! Thank you for following! Follow me on twitter and snap at @andcarrieon7 and like my Facebook page CarrieAmanda.
During Lent I’ll post every Wednesday, lets get into it.
I won’t assume everybody knows what Lent is so here’s a brief description. Lent is the 40 days before Easter. It symbolizes Jesus’ 40 day withdrawal into the wilderness.
The purpose of lent for the Christian is self-denial in preparation of the celebration of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection which is Easter.
It’s not just a Catholic holiday as many believe. Many Christian denominations observe lent; Normally by giving up or fasting from something. Use your Googles for more info. This ain’t Wikipedia.
I haven’t observed lent in a few years. It always sneaks up on me and I’ve been too lazy to give up something. It takes effort.
Hindsight is 2020 right? I’ve learned that I was relying too much on my job/money, my material possessions, social status/friends and not God. Idol gods aren’t just golden statues. God will take all that away to get your attention. I left my job (money and insurance), lost some people my damn car broke down, and I’m nuts.
God Got me leaning on the everlasting arms, honey. It may not feel like I have much but this Peace I have outweighs all of that.
Since I’m not on Facebook, i get most of my news a little later when I sit down and look so heres my commentary on notable news:
KellyAnne was sitting on that couch like a child with no home training. You know how a
little girl isnt used to wearing a dress and you have to tell her “put ya legs down baby”. I had the urge to tell KellyAnne that but she’s a whole entire adult. There ain’t but a FEW reasons to have your leg open this far and this was not one of those occasions.
Ben Carson is another whole entire adult that has life wrong. I am still waiting on Ashton Kutcher to come out on the country and tell us we’re punked. This nigga is a brain surgeon that said the ancestors were “immigrants” that came over on slave ships. If they were immigrants WHY WERE THEY CALLED SLAVE SHIPS. The leader of HUD, yall. Has he ever seen Roots?!? I didn’t know brain surgeons could be THIS stupid. Maybe he’s in the sunken place, him and Kanye. Can we go get them or..? The bar has been lowered tremendously for all things. Now is the time to pursue whatever you want. I’m trying out for the NFL.
Third and final commentary. Yall want Ciara to be miserable so bad. If Ciara had stayed with Future, was raising Baby Future by herself, getting cheated on, singing sad ass songs and miserable, nobody would have anything to say. She released this gorgeous maternity photo and black ashy twitter is up in arms. Yall mad at Ciara for having the nerve to move on and marry a man that loves her and her son instead of being mad at Future who is nowhere to be found. A miserable black woman is so normal to us, we’re offended when she is happy.
If you don’t want another man in your son’s life, BE THE MAN IN YOUR SONS LIFE, NIGGA. Keep on prospering Ciara. Keep right the hell on.
I’m so passionate about Ciara because look at this photo to the left. That is baby Carrie. The man holding baby Carrie is not my biological father. But he is my daddy. He married my mom when I was that age and raised me as his own. My biological father still ain’t interested in being a parent. It’s too late anyhow. So F you and your couch if you’re mad at Ciara. She isn’t the one in the wrong.
Note: I know it looks like that’s my brother holding me. LOL The resemblance is uncanny. He wasn’t even born yet. Ah the days of being an only child.
Ok, I think that’s all I got to say. I never know how to end these things.
Till next Wednesday. Bless your heart and all your parts.
I would like to front for yall. I’d like to tell you I have it all together, that I’m healthy and not broke. I’d like to tell you that I know what I am doing and what I want to do in life.
I’m stressed. My skin looks bad and my hair is thinning. My cycle is irregular and I ain’t got an appetite. I am not myself. I’m super sensitive. I’ve had 2 bad anxiety attacks in the past two days (at the time I’m writing). My father has me blocked on facebook and I didn’t hear from him on my birthday. I’m fighting mad at him. I’m broke. I was sick on my birthday. I am grieving. I don’t enjoy the holidays. Seasonal depression. Crazy dreams. Donald Trump is the President-Elect. So, I’m not ok.
I’m still here. (Runs around sanctuary)
There comes a time when you have to get honest and make a decision. I WANT to give up. But, I’m still breathing. I still wake up every morning and that means it aint over.
I got this damn semi colon tattooed on my hand.
I was inspired by project semicolon. Check them out.
Yall know I’m a grammar/spelling snob. Punctuation is useful. A semicolon separates two independent clauses; I like to think of it as more than a comma and less than a period.
The semicolon project brings awareness to people who have struggled with mental illness, for people who have struggled with self-harm and suicidal thoughts. The idea is that if we are the author of our lives, a semicolon goes after that struggle, not a period (oooh, i almost shouted. The Holy Ghost almost threw me off of this couch).
I am at the point right before the semicolon. I’ve learned that God will keep you in the storm until you learn your lesson. I am hardheaded and oblivious. It took a year almost to learn why I was struggling. So what did I learn?
I learned that I am not invincible.
I learned that I need people. I need friends and family that will listen or just sit with me until I’m ready to talk. I need friends that will go off on me if I’m not taking my medicine.
I learned that I must struggle (financially, physically, mentally) in order to help people who are struggling. Hebrews 4: 15 says “… we do not have a high priest (Jesus) who is unable to sympathize with our weakness, but one… who was tempted.. yet did not sin” Our greatest help went through what we go through in order to identify with us and intercede for us. I ain’t Jesus by a long shot. I certainly need a lesson or two in sympathizing. I feel a calling to help people. I believe good help comes from those who can identify with those in need.
I read 2 Corinthians today. Paul and the thorn. I wonder what Paul’s thorn was. I have my theories. My thorn (one of them) is my mental health. God didn’t take away the thorn even after Paul asked 3 times. But he did give Paul grace to deal with it. How would we know the power of God if we had the power? God’s power is made perfect in our weakness (v. 9) so we can boast about our weakness because that is when God sees us.
Thus are my birthday reflections. Thank you so much for your support.
Let me preface this by saying that the following reflections are mine and mine only. They don’t reflect the thoughts, feelngs or values of any organization. Don’t hold my ratchet mouth against anybody but me (but know idgaf).
This flyer (left) appeared on my Facebook newsfeed last week. I reposted with the caption #Nope. I then shared it in a certain group and on my Timeline with the question “Why do we (local BLM activists, millennials and regular ass people) keep getting left out of these conversations?”
A few people had the “kumbyah we all need to unify” rhetoric. I ain’t with it. I’m a proud member of the #CallOut Ministry. The old heads keep having forums and panels with the #BlackLivesMatter tag AND keep not inviting the activists or anyone under 137 years old. There is an official BLM chapter in Louisville. If BLM is not invited, don’t put #BlackLivesMatter on your flyer. RESPECK THE NAME. Is we finished or is we done? I’ve had to voice this to two events. In the words of Snoop Dogg “Do I look like the type of nigga that likes repeating himself?”
In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with beef and arguing. Especially if we have the same goal ultimately. Should we do it publicly? Absolutely not. But we should do it. (
I’m sure Dr. King and them argued. I’m sure somebody was like Dr. King can you quit fucking everybody?)
Nevertheless, we had a good conversation and somehow I got bamboozled into attending. I’m still not sure how it happened but here I am on Saturday at 9am at this
9am on Saturday was the first mistake. People my age and younger are not going to be anywhere at 9am on Saturday given a choice (I don’t even go to work until 10 at the earliest). People my age and younger are also the ones that are victims of police brutality. You cannot have a conversation ABOUT people that you won’t have a conversation WITH (Darrell Scott and Omarosa don’t count, Donald Trump).
2nd mistake. There was no repast. Jesus preached, and then everybody got fish sandwiches. Any time I’m a guest at somebody’s church I expect to sample the punch of the shadiest church motha. WWJD?
For this reason (in my opinion) there were only about 30 people tops. Which looks like 5 when in a sanctuary.
The forum was held at Spirit Filled Ministries (Louisville, KY). I THINK Bishop Kelsey (a retired police officer) is the pastor. That’s another mistake. Having a forum in the sanctuary. The sanctuary of a black church is (typically) NOT a space that young people or women can be comfortable speaking out. I also am not going to cuss in the sanctuary and I need to be able to cuss at a forum called Black and Blue Lives Matter.. ’cause yall out your rabbit ass mind for that title.
The first speaker was attorney (Tibbs) that gave us this handout. (below) I’ll try to provide a better pic tomorrow. Yall gon deal for the time being.
His main point was to know our rights, not argue with a police officer but instead take up our issue with the police officer in court. So I asked “what if the police officer kills me first?”. Tibbs and Kelsey responded by telling me to get involved in local politics. Bishop Kelsey also kept calling me ‘baby’ and cut me off. I passed the mic and knew I wasn’t going to take it anymore.
How in the entire hell can I get involved in politics if I’M DEAD MY NIGGA? Somebody told Philando Castile to be respectful to the police. He was and he was still killed. When are we going to address police officers behavior and not victims?!?!?!?!!? Whew. Let me calm down.
I AM involved in local politics. I’ve worked on (winning *flips hair*) campaigns for judges, council members and state reps. That doesn’t make a bit of difference if a police officer with bad aim and bad judgement pulls me over.
“But officer, I work in local politics!”
“Oh you do?” *Puts gun up*
The next speaker was DeVone Holt. He could only stay for so long because he had to get to the studio for his radio show. He finessed that appearance so he could talk and not have to answer questions. He talked about how he’s not going to vote for Trump or Hill and how Black America hates him for it. As a member of Black America, I don’t give a damn what DeVone does much less who he votes for. Hell, I #barely know who he is. Negros are soooooo important. *Rolls eyes* I don’t know what any of what he said had to do with the forum.
The speaker after that was Ray “Sir Friendly C” Barker. He got up and talked about… himself. He discussed the thousands (i promise he said thousands) of children he mentored and his experiences as a cop.
He was reminiscing about the good ole days and trying to defend shooting somebody. He said that cops are trained to shoot twice in the chest (not the leg or arm) and damn near had an orgasm talking about it. He also talked about how he didn’t agree with some of the ‘antics’ of the BLM movement. I think this was the point I wanted to lay in the pew and scream at the top of my lungs. But God. I. got. your. antics, old man.
My fellow activist friend and Sir Friendly got into a heated discussion and a few of the men of the church including Bishop Kelsey surrounded him. My friend was speaking passionately and using his hands, but he wasn’t a threat. Back up off the homie.
I got up and used my womanly charm to defuse the situation. These soft hands, tiddies and eye lashes serve many purposes, one is to manipulate men.
Bishop Kelsey and I ended up exchanging numbers and he’s gonna invite me to some talk he’s having with somebody next week. Negros aren’t getting another Saturday morning out of me for a few months so it better be on a weekday evening and HAVE REPAST.
After that Judge Denise Brown got the mic and stanched edges. She said not voting is the ‘dumbest argument’ she’s ever heard. I again resisted the urge to lay in the pew.
I then got up and observed conversations in the lobby. This lady, wife of a police officer asked me and my fellow activist friend if we wanted to be police officers. #Nah, Lady. I’m tired of people telling us (young black people) to become police officers whenever we have criticism for the police. I criticize my doctor. I’m not going to medical school. I criticize my mechanic. I’m not going to mechanic school. I don’t want to be a police officer. I shouldn’t have to be one to ensure my people aren’t getting killed.
I told her we could set up some programs in predominately black high schools that puts kids on a track to become a police officer like ROTC but I certainly won’t be becoming a popo.
I can’t pass the drug test.
This concludes my reflections on The
fuckshit Black and Blue Lives Matter Forum. I’m not going to anymore forums/panels/discussions/pow wows/hotep meetings. I AM going to invest my efforts in programs and organizations that are worthwhile though. Stay tuned.
It’s 2am and I got *sings* church in the morning.
When I learned Donald Trump was running for President, I was entertained. I was as entertained and had the same smirk on my face when Herman Cain was running for office. As Trump has moved to the forefront of the GOP races, I am no longer entertained and have no smirk on my face. I’m terrified.
When I heard he was coming to Louisville, I knew that I had to do something. I talk a lot. I talk loudly. But Donald Trump in my city required some walking and not talking. After talking with some of my fellow freedom fighters, I decided that I would go to Trump’s rally with my phone in hand and film everything. I think in the fight for freedom, it is important that everyone knows their skills and uses them to film the movement. Journalism is my first love. Today, I was a journalist. I also have a passion for young people and the majority of the protesters were high school age so I went with protecting them in mind. So, that’s why my black ass went to a Donald Trump rally.
I parked my car in Old Louisville so I wouldn’t have to pay to park and caught the TARC the rest of the way to the convention center. I never ride the TARC/public transportation so… I put a $20 bill in the machine and expected change back (yea, dumb on my part but hey.. i figure if a machine will take bills, it’ll give them). The TARC driver told me she saw me put a $1 bill in shrugged and said ‘We don’t give change.’ We went back and forth. She acted like my $20 was no big deal and I wanted to scratch her eyes out but I didn’t. I stayed calm. God is merciful. The other passengers on the bus were very helpful and told me to just call the hotline and they’ll check the machine and give me my money back once they see a $20 bill in there. What did we learn… Don’t put a $20 in the TARC and don’t end up in jail about $20.
Once I got to the Convention center the line was around the block. Once we got to 4th and Jefferson, there was a group of protesters across the street. (I’m going to add photos and videos later.. I’m trying to get this all out while its fresh in my mind) Some signs said “Black Lives Matter” I heard someone say “He doesn’t even have anything to do with that…”
First thing I noticed, A LOT of people in line had on University of Kentucky paraphernalia. LESS (but a good number) people had on University of Louisville ‘nailia stuff too. As a UofL alum and fan, we are going to deduce that the UofL fans were just stopping by the rally before the game and that the UK fans crazy.
The lady in front of me in line struck up a conversation with me. She was an older white lady so I was on the defensive. Turns out she just came cause she was curious and was not a Trump supporter. She told me she graduated from UofL (my alma mater) in 1971 with an MBA and was the only woman in her class. Had she not been my elder I would’ve said “YAAASSSSBIIITTTCHH” but I didn’t. Cause I’m respectful.
We had to walk through metal detectors to get in, empty our pockets, and have our bags looked through.
The room the rally was in was large and it was BARELY half full. A lot of people in the city reserved tickets and didn’t show up on purpose to show Trump he ain’t welcome in these parts. I believe if there were actual seats in the room, it would’ve shown how many people WEREN’T there a little better.
Lots of white people of ALL ages in the room I was surprised to see so many YOUNG white people for Trump. I saw less than 10 other black people, one Latino, and a guy from the middle east. I don’t know if they were supporters or not. Outside the rally after I was kicked out (more on that later), I saw a Jewish family (the men had on yamakas) who were obviously for Trump because they had on his T-shirts. So like I said, Lots of white people.
Young white guys were carrying a sign, a HUGE sign that said “Build the Wall.”
An older white guy had on a shirt with Hillary Clinton’s picture on it that said “Life’s a bitch so don’t elect one for president”
Another white guy had on a shirt that said “Keep Calm and Carry Guns”
Right before Donald Trump got on stage, I noticed a young white guy with “Black Lives Matter” on the back of his shirt and “You remind me of Hitler” on the front of his shirt. I gave him the thumbs up and asked to take his picture. Once Trump got on stage, he started yelling “BLACK LIVES MATTER, TRUMP IS A FASCIST”. Another guy came up to him and was GOING OFF. He was beet red and I swear I saw smoke coming out of his ears. I walked up and stood between him and “BLM” (never caught his name). Beet Red’s friend got him to walk away. Another guy and I stood on either side of BLM cause he was gon get his ass whooped.
The cops came up to BLM and said stop yelling. So he stopped yelling, but he kept saying. “Black Lives Matter. Trump is a Fascist.” loud enough so everybody could hear. Finally, secret service came and grabbed him and told him to leave. I started filming because had I not, they would’ve gotten too physical with him. Secret Service told me to leave as well. Next thing I know, I’m surrounded by 3 cops and the secret service… all white men.
I repeatedly asked why I had to leave and if filming was against the rules. I also said “don’t fxcking touch me.” They didn’t. The cop told me that if secret service told me to leave and I didn’t then it was criminal trespassing. BLM told them that we weren’t together. We were both escorted out of the room, down stairs and onto the street by Secret Service.
I went back to 4th and Jefferson where the protesters were and filmed them some more. I had a good conversation with an older white gentlemen who asked us why Trump’s comments on Muslims were racist since Muslim wasn’t a race. He argued that Muslims had the most terrorists of any religion. I appreciate these moments because I got to engage with someone whose views are different than mine.
By the time the rally was over and people started coming out, all the protesters went down to the entrance of the rally. On one side of the street, people against Trump, on the other side of the street people for Trump. The cops were standing in the middle of the street facing the against crowd which was twice as big as and a thousand times as diverse the for Trump crowd. This was the most powerful, scariest time of the day
The for crowd started chanting “Get a job.”
The against crowd started chanting “Black Lives Matter”
The for crowd, at the same time chanted “Cops Lives Matter” then “All Lives Matter.”
It got heated, so we got the crowd to move down the street to 4th and Jefferson, Trump supporters followed that crowd and it got mixed up. But it was just a lot of yelling back and forth. A line of us stood between the crowds.
By the time I left the scene, the against trump crowd had 4th street blocked at Jefferson. I left because I was cold and my phone was dying, I didn’t want to be around that many cops and that many white people with no phone.
One last thing to note, most of the people that were selling Trump’s campaign stuff (T-shirts, pins, hats, signs) on the street were young and black. Scary.
And that is my Trump rally story. It was way more traumatic than I thought it would be and I’m definitely going to have to do some self-care. I’ll add photos/videos as i figure out how to transfer them from my phone.
Thank you for reading. Register to vote. http://www.dmv.org. We cannot let this man in the white house.
What Steve Harvey did in the Miss Universe pageant was funny, hilarious to me. Social media of course exploded at his Sunday evening blunder. This morning, a Texas grand jury decided not to indict anyone in the death of Sandra Bland. Her death was tragic, and this latest injustice angered me.
On social media, I saw a couple of posts sharing Sandy’s story with this sentiment “yall laughing about Steve Harvey, but what about Sandra?!” I rolled my eyes. My argument is this, I (we as black people) can focus on more than one thing at a time.
The media’s silence on Sandra and the victims of Daniel Holtzclaw is certainly an issue and we as consumers of media should address that. But as individuals, we have no right to attack our brothers and sisters for having the nerve to search for a laugh or some relief in chronic tragedy.
Sandra Bland’s story hits home to me because of the similarities between her and myself. A 20 something year old black woman with dreads who has the nerve to speak out against injustice and forgot to use her turn signal and that terrifies me. The only difference between Sandra and I is that I’ve been fortunate to interact with (mostly) respectful cops and have never been in police custody.
I don’t know Sandra personally, but I think that she would want us to continue to have fun and smile instead of walking around with our fists raised, miserable and refusing to enjoy life 24/7. If I am a victim of police brutality or violence, my funeral better be the party of the century. I’m talking a DJ, disco ball, confetti, twerking, line dancing, a buffet, an open bar and all the trees you can smoke. (Yall better cry and climb on top of the casket at the visitation though. I WANT DRAMA. )
Since I’m nervous every time I drive my Volkswagen Beetle and I’m terrified every time a cop passes me, I think I have the right to laugh when something is funny. Laughter is relief from a very dark world. Laughter is good medicine and if we have something to laugh at, we are brought together. It’s even better if it’s at Steve Harvey’s expense (Joking. I love Steve).
Something funny on Facebook may be the only time I interact with some of my white friends because they may not be able to relate to the story I post about Sandra Bland, or they may just want to learn and choose not comment. It is important to me to interact with them and this week, a cat falling off of a table may be the source of that.
Laughing at James Wright’s review of Patti’s pies and traveling to the Walmart in the next state to purchase two myself was fun. We met up at my homegirl’s house and made our own Instagram/snapchats about Patti Labelle’s amazing pies. Everyone in the room was black, college educated and conscious. But we sang Patti Labelle at the top of our lungs while eating pie that night. It was a Wednesday so we also watched Empire.
You may have watched a documentary on Fred Hampton that night and ate a pie from the local black owned bakery while wearing and 12 pound ankh around your neck and burning incense, that doesn’t mean you are better than us.
Friday night I went to the club with one of my homegirls, had too many cranberry and vodkas and rapped along to Lil Wayne and Boosie. I had a trying week at work and needed to wind down. Saturday morning, I went to Books and Breakfast; a program I believe will grow into something reminiscent of the Black Panther’s Free Breakfast program. It was started in Ferguson as a response to the murder of Mike Brown. We talked about Rosa Parks and the organizing strategies used in the resulting Bus boycott.
I can do both. I can have fun. I can be conscious and positively impact my community as well. God blessed us with the mental capacity (and swag) to do both. He knew we’d need it as brown people in a system of white supremacy.
I write this as a black woman whose every activity is policed and politicized. From my hair style, to the music I listen to, car I drive and who I chose to be in a relationship with, there will be a meme made about my personal choices attacking ALL black women and posted on social media. It’s exhausting. I want someone to get to know ME before forming an opinion about my character based on the fact I don’t cook or that I have natural hair or that I’m waiting until marriage. I want to be able to twerk to Webbie and not be called a ‘thot’. I want to enjoy the benefits of this corporate job and not be called a sell-out.
I want all yall niggas to have several seats.
A few weeks ago, I walked by the casket of a guy I grew up with, a victim to gun violence. This summer I kneeled by a young black boy who had just got shot a couple of doors down from my house before I knew the bullets were done flying. Someone I looked up to was murdered on my birthday a couple of years ago and they still don’t know who killed her.
So yes, I’m going to laugh at Steve Harvey and James Wright. I’m going to watch Empire, Scandal, HTGAWM and The Wiz over and over and over. I’m going to laugh as my friends send me memes of Patti Labelle and Aretha Franklin beef. I’m gon smoke a little something and drink too on Friday night, because I’m not going to cry more than I laugh.
Have the nerve to enjoy the good times because the bad times are easier to find and happen more often. Be too busy enjoying YOUR OWN life to form an opinion about anybody else’s. Be authentically and unapologetically you. Enjoy whatever the hell you want to enjoy. Value balance. Play as much as you work. Cry if you need to but be sure and find a laugh as well. Keep saying their names. Keep saying Sandra. Keep saying Trayvon. Mike. Oscar. John. Tamir. Rekia. Alicia. Gyasi. Jamaal. Don’t let anyone make you feel less than for finding some relief!
AND Tell ‘em I said kiss the south side of my black…
Left, sentiments of former (Louisvil
le, KY) District 1 Councilwoman Denise Bentley.
Here’s the response of the local #BlackLivesMatter Activists. (Not authored by me personally, a collective effort among BLM activists.)
You asked a few questions of the local #BlackLivesMatter movement on Facebook and we were looking forward to answering them for you, but the way your profile is set up, we can only read but not respond to what you wrote to us. A few of us sent you friend requests so that we could comment on your status and answer your queries but it seems you’ve declined our invitations to engage. So now we have a question for you: Do you desire a sincere dialogue among different-minded black people who genuinely care about this community or do you simply seek to posture in the politics of respectability by asking rhetorical, one sided questions on Facebook to an audience of your friends without a response or engagement from those of us in the BLM movement that you’ve called to the carpet? We’d love to explain to you and other black folks who’ve jumped on the #AllLivesMatter bandwagon all about what the BLM movement represents. We are sure that once you all know us better you’ll find that we share many fundamental beliefs and common goals despite any generational or tactical differences.
Our group meets every Sunday at 3pm, usually at the Carl Braden Memorial Center. Our meetings are pretty casual and open to everyone. We usually have free food and our space is kid-friendly. We’ve been happy to host political candidates, elected officials, law enforcement officers, Human Rights Commissioners and other local decision makers over the last year and we’d love to host you and your friends for a dialogue. We hope you all can stop by some Sunday soon.
If in fact you are not interested in a mutual exchange and challenging of ideas like the ones you raised in your Facebook post, well then it feels to us that you just want to further propagate the divisive misinformation that prevents the development of a more broad-based coalition of unified and organized black activists and organizations across lines of difference.
We will give you the benefit of the doubt and take this time to address some of your questions and concerns about the BLM Movement. Rutgers University Professor Dr. Brittney Cooper answers some of the questions you pose in her September 2015 essay “11 Major Misconceptions About the Black Lives Matter Movement” on Cosmopolitian.com. The mostly-white readership of Cosmo Magazine seems to be the perfect audience for such an essay, as the majority of pushback that BLM activists and supporters have received has been from white people who are ill-informed – or who are flat out racist. Do you know that the racist #AllLivesMatter hashtag was created by white people as a direct response and counter-point to the notion that black and brown people deserve a quality of life equal to that of white people? It isn’t uttered as a more diverse or expansive concern for human lives, it’s uttered as a rebuttal of the notion that black lives matter.
As author David Bedrick surmises in his essay Huffington Post essay “What’s the Matter with ‘All Lives Matter,’” ‘asserting that all lives matter in response to black folks declaring that black lives matter, turns our eyes away from acknowledging America’s racist past, functioning as a form of dismissal or denial. Through the constitution, slavery and Jim Crow laws, America stood for the belief that some lives were more human, more worthy — that some live mattered more…America codified in its constitution…the notion that a black life was only considered to be 3/5ths of a white life. If we stop highlighting and focusing on black lives, but instead focus more globally and generally on all lives, then we become complicit in not seeing color as a factor in American life. Putting it simply, if we erase race, we won’t see racism.’
As to your specific assertion that BLM doesn’t care about so-called “black on black crime:” The majority of crime in this nation is, in fact, intraracial, meaning that both the perpetrator and the victim of a crime are within the same racial group. Dr. Cooper reports that 93% of black murder victims are killed by other black people and 84% of white murder victims are killed by other white people. She notes, “the continued focus on black-on-black crime is a diversionary tactic, whose goal is to suggest that black people don’t have the right to be outraged about police violence in vulnerable black communities, because those communities have a crime problem. The Black Lives Matter movement acknowledges the crime problem, but it refuses to locate that crime problem as a problem of black pathology. Black people are not inherently more violent or more prone to crime than other groups. But black people are disproportionately poorer, more likely to be targeted by police and arrested, and more likely to attend poor or failing schools. All of these social indicators place one at greater risk for being either a victim or a perpetrator of violent crime. To reduce violent crime, we must fight to change systems, rather than demonizing people.” Simply put, we refuse to shift the blame of inner city problems squarely and exclusively onto the backs of black folks.
You asked, “BLM, why not stop and block traffic on the killer’s street?”
Our hearts ache and break like anyone else’s when a black life is lost at the hands of another black person. The reason we don’t shut down streets in the hood is because it is apparent to us that the majority of black people in our black neighborhoods understand that there is a problem, both internal and external to black communities. What we seek to do is disrupt business as usual. From our actions in shopping malls (where we chant things like “No Justice, No Profit”) and public festivals, to shutting down streets and occupying offices, we are inserting ourselves and our message of #blacklivesmatter into places where our message is not usually wanted, welcomed or well-received.
It may not make sense to you, but disruptive civil disobedience and direct action have long been a tactic of the movement toward black liberation. According to KET, members of Louisville’s Quinn Chapel A.M.E. Church organized Kentucky’s first protests of racial discrimination in 1870 – challenging segregation on streetcars. This protest sparked other actions demanding the right to testify in court against whites, the right to serve on juries (which is exactly what we are fighting for 145 years later), and the right to vote. In 1941, Louisvillians staged sit-ins to protest a segregated library. In, 1959, the Louisville NAACP Youth Council picketed the Brown Theater because its management refused to admit black patrons to see Porgy and Bess. It was 1960 when young folks in Louisville formed a chapter of CORE and held protests at downtown businesses. And many Louisvillians know of the “Nothing New for Easter” boycott in 1961 that targeted segregated businesses in downtown Louisville and sparked other acts of nonviolent resistance around the state. In other words, whether you call it a sit-in, an occupation or a #shutdown, the notion of disrupting business as usual has a long history in this nation and in this state and has always been a crucial and necessary tool in the fight for black equality.
We affirm that all black lives matter. Black Lives Matter is an ideological and political intervention in a world where Black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for demise. It is an affirmation of Black folks’ contributions to this society, our humanity, and our resilience in the face of deadly oppression. The BLM movement has some guiding principles that we can all get behind, including: Diversity, Black Villages, Restorative Justice, Collective Value and Intergenerational. You can find more principles at www.blacklivesmatter.com
While thoughtful critique and critical examination of BLM by our fellow activists is always welcome, it is both counterproductive and destructive to our collective work to dismiss our respective work as invaluable or insincere because our tactics differ from yours or because the places we apply pressure are different than the places where you push. Just as black people are not a monolith, we don’t all have to focus on the same issue at the same time. It’s precisely the opposite, in fact. Our collective liberation requires a diversity of ideas, viewpoints and priorities.
Here’s a little more about us and what we do. When we don’t agree with a public official on an issue, we bring them to our table. We’ll also go to their office if they are unwilling to come to ours – and we don’t make appointments. We are consistent in what we do. Stand Up Sunday is held every Sunday and is open to the public. We are present at community events. We attend Metro Council meetings and committee hearings. We have been active in campaigns ranging from No Methane to Raising the Minimum Wage. We are Affordable Housing advocates and we have lobbied JCPS to close the achievement gap.
In 2015, we produced the Louisville Juneteenth Festival, returning such a festival to our city for the first time in many years. We host a monthly “Feed Your Mind” event at the Catholic Enrichment Center in West Louisville to promote literacy, family and community, where we serve free brunch and provide free books for all ages and host a discussion about the current movement for black liberation. We recently sponsored a workshop for Project Warm to give folks free weatherization supplies and teach them how to make their homes warmer and more comfortable this winter.
We nurture strong leaders who work in a variety of fields including healthcare, social services, therapy, media and education. We have a broad network of individuals, businesses and organizations that believe in us and support our work. We believe in the power of new media and we invest our energy into telling our own stories through social media platforms, photographs, community radio and podcasts.
Despite your insinuation, for us it’s not about media attention because much of what we do goes unnoticed and untelevised, as evidenced by your own ignorance to our work. We must all understand that we can’t rely on mainstream media to tell our stories. There have been numerous walks, rallies and candlelight vigils, both for specific victims and for a general end to community violence. One of our partners is the LoUnity Movement. Just because media doesn’t deem it worthy of reporting doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. If you feel that something somewhere is lacking, you should work to fill in the gaps, not criticize those of us who are already working in gaps of our own.
Please consider that we are literally putting our lives and our livelihoods on the line, only to be told by other black folks that we aren’t doing enough. And many of the folks signifying such remarks are folks who’ve literally done nothing themselves. Nonetheless, we will carry on toward our collective liberation, using as a guide these words that we learned from Assata Shakur:
“It is our duty to fight for our freedom.
It is our duty to win.
We must love each other and support each other.
We have nothing to lose but our chains.”
Stand Up Sunday – Stand Up Louisville on behalf of Louisville’s #BLM activists
The 502 Crew
Women In Transition (WIT)
Kentucky Health Justice Network
Edjukated Rebel Productions
Louisville Showing Up for Racial Justice (LSURJ)
Kentucky Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression
Black Queer Louisville
Diversity At The Table (DATT)
Khalilah Veneable Collins
This week theGrio interviewed actor Taye Diggs about his new book “Mixed Me”. He said he wants his son, Walker to ‘embrace’ being mixed and not chose black or white. This is Diggs’ second book, his first entitled “Chocolate Me” is about his own experiences growing up in a mostly white neighborhood and being made fun of for being black.
Taye received praise and backlash for his comments. I see both sides. I’m not a parent and I’ve never been in an interracial relationship so my experiences are very limited but I’ll offer my opinion on why Taye’s comments are problematic. Only because Taye responded to backlash with “it’s not that deep” and Lori “Lolo” Jones (biracial) praised Taye’s comments and said the only race she’s claiming is the 100 meter hurdles.
In a perfect word, Taye’s son Walker would be able to not have to chose and live his life comfortably at the intersection of Black and Jewish. But that’s not reality in America and in a few years, Walker may be pulled over by the police and they won’t ask him if his mother is Jewish before they treat him like a black man.
It is very dangerous for Taye to encourage Walker’s biracial identity and not make him understand the fact that he will grow up to be a black man in America. Of course, I don’t know what conversations Taye has had with his son and I do believe that Taye is conscious enough to have the ‘black man conversation’ with his son. I do not think however that Taye is taking the history of this country into account. It IS THAT deep, Taye.
We can’t fully, affectively address racism until we (ALL OF US) are willing to admit that it does indeed exist. This country was built on principals of racism. Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence “All men are created equal” and that obviously did not include black people since Jefferson owned some. In 1776 being considered a citizen meant that you were white and you were male. Black people in America, those who were enslaved were not considered human. They were property. They were 3/5ths of a person.
As a matter of fact, they edited the Declaration of Independence, deleting the controversial ‘anti-slavery’ passage. Abolitionist Thomas Day said “If there can be truly ridiculous in nature, it is an American patriot, signing the resolutions of independency with one hand, and with the other brandishing a whip over his affrighted slaves”. I agree Thomas. Ridiculous.
The economic institution of slavery survived for so long and birthed Jim Crow (and Jim Crow, II which is another blog entry for another day) because of the social institution of race. Scientists say there is no scientific genetic difference between the races. Western civilization uses skin color primarily to determine race but that isn’t full proof because Walker has darker skin than some people with two black parents. I have siblings and cousins that are lighter than Walker.
The point is that race is social. In our society, whiteness is at the top of the racial hierarchy and (dark-skinned) blackness is at the bottom.
It is rumored (not confirmed) that Thomas Jefferson (or his uncle) had several children with a woman he owned as a slave, Sally Hemings. Three of those children (daughter Harriet and sons Beverly, and Eston) looked white enough to ‘pass’ and lived as white people as adults (after their daddy-uncle freed them…) Had they favored their mother more, they wouldn’t have been able to integrate into society in America in the 1820’s.
There are no known photographs of Sally Hemings, it’s rumored that Sally’s mother was biracial and that Sally was the illegitimate daughter of John Wayles, who was Martha Jefferson’s daddy making her biracial as well. (What is that? 1.5 parts black and 2 parts white? Idk. Math isn’t my strong point) This is scandalous ain’t it?!? One of our f
orefathers (and the 3rd POTUS) was sleeping with his wife’s half sister and had kids with her. That makes the kids sister/brother-cousins. I can’t.
Anyway, I gave that history lesson to show how complicated, interesting and engrained the social construct that is race is in this country. Sally was black looking enough to be a slave. 3 of Sally’s kids were white looking enough to live as white people.
Walker Diggs certainly ain’t white looking enough to ‘pass’ and there will come a time that he will have to address his blackness. He simply does not get to decide to be not be black and be ‘mixed’ or ‘bi-racial’. Race isn’t personal. It’s societal. I’m purple and green as far as I’m concerned but my skin is chocolate and I have a foot of dreadlocs hanging off my head. There are some people in power that will see me as a
nigger black person regardless.
Lolo Jones ain’t ‘passing’ in the summertime either. She can decide to not claim any race but as my cousin said the world will tell her (and has already) just how black she is.
It could also be argued that Taye is pushing his own insecurities about himself and his race onto his son. Maybe he married a white woman and had a baby with her so his kids (and in turn him) would be able to enjoy some white privilege. We want our children to have better lives than we did right? I get that logic, but I believe that embracing yourself is a much more rewarding experience regardless of how society sees/treats you.
Maybe if Walker gets with a white woman, Taye Diggs’ grandson will be as white (looking) as Taye Diggs wants to be.
I understand why people want to deny/shrink/hide their blackness. Taye and Lolo wouldn’t have anything to say if being black in America didn’t come with a painful history and a stressful present. I challenge them and others to deal with it. Embrace that blackness, that skin, that nappy hair, them hips and that nose. This side of confidence and identity ain’t so bad. Plus we don’t age. THE POTUS done aged 20 years in 8 cause his momma white and FLOTUS hasn’t aged a day.
Well Wishes. Thank you for reading/supporting. Anybody a word press expert that can spruce up my site?