Over It

images (1)Recently I have been more than a little bit annoyed, have you noticed? Oh, I know mostly it has emerged as a bit annoyed at the body politics; certainly this has gotten my dander up. It is fair to say our nation is in a mess and we have more than enough reasons to jump up and demand changes, more than one reason, more than five reasons, more reasons in fact than can be counted on all our fingers and toes, if that is the only way you can count.

This is not the only reason I am annoyed though, not at all. Ebola rages in West Africa and sneaks into the US, the GOP uses this as a wedge and another battle-ax to swing at those willing to be afraid, very, very afraid.   However, this is also not, why today I started in a pissy mood and frankly ended in one.

My mood was set off today by something far more idiotic, something stupid yet hurtful, something personal, near and un-dear to my heart and ego. Yes, I do have an ego and yes it can be bruised and it seems today it seems was one of these days it needed a good stomping, a good drubbing as it were. It all started with this piece of loveliness.

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Now this in itself wouldn’t be bad, except for some reason it scrapped my very last good nerve, I only have one last good nerve and this entire issue of ‘big girls and their need for love’ well it simply danced on the red hot end of it. What does that Meme mean? Really, what does that mean? What assclown thought that was funny?

Then, if that wasn’t bad enough someone thought it was so funny, they felt the need to add this.

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I was rocked back, thrown right back into nearly a year ago when I was sitting on my bed looking sideways in the mirror and thinking to myself, ‘No one will ever love me or want me again. I am old, crippled, fat with dimples on my thighs and ass; who the hell would want all this’. Yes, that is exactly what I thought. I hate Fat Jokes; they are mean spirited and ugly.

Have you noticed, for those of us who are not a size 0, or even a size 10; it is getting harder to find anything to wear. Harder to find pretty clothes, things that make you feel good. I have noticed this and it aggravates me. One of the things that download make me feel ‘girly’, sexy even are thigh-high stockings, I wear them all the time. Not just for special occasions, all the time. I hate panty hose and rarely wear them, when I wear skirts or dresses, I wear thigh high stockings, sometimes with a garter belt and sometimes without. I have worn them for years, I think they are wonderfully sexy and whether anyone knows I have them on or not, I know. They are my secret.

It use to be I could buy thigh high stockings everywhere and anywhere, Target, Macy’s, Dillards, Neiman Marcus; everywhere. I could walk in the store and buy what I wanted in my size. A size that rightfully was made for women, sometimes called Queen sometimes called Women. I am not unhappy with buying stockings fit for a Queen, sized for a Queen. It does not insult me or bruise my ego to march my happy ass to the checkout counter with black, white and flesh colored lace topped thigh high stockings sized for a Queen.

I am a Queen, dammit. What yanks my chain is every single store in creation has taken my size off their shelves. Oh sure, most of them will sell those sizes on-line, but for some reason they no longer wish to see women without a thigh gap making a purchase of sexy thigh high stockings in their store.

Now if it were just stockings that I had unsuccessfully gone hunting today, last week and last month perhaps I would not be so ego bruised. Maybe if it weren’t for the truth of the matter, that finding something I feel fabulous in for my son’s wedding is damned near impossible, maybe then I would take the fat jokes with more of a grain of salt. Honestly though, everything looks like my grandmother would wear it to her own funeral and complain. Conceivably, if I didn’t look in the mirror and see every single one of my flaws I wouldn’t be so damned insulted by the random fat jokes. Unfortunately, I do see them and my ego does get bruised, the voice in my head does repeat ugly words and my heart hears them.

One of the things I always go back to is this, before Twiggy and the domination of thin women in our media; women had hourglasses figures with tits, hips, asses and yes thighs. Women came in all sorts of shapes and sizes and men enjoyed them. Men drew them, rarely if ever did they draw stick figures, they drew voluptuous women with curves, like this.

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Every single time I see women touted as ‘big’ or ‘Plus Sized’ models they look almost normal. Honestly, these women are size 10-12. This is barely normal. I will grant you, one of them might wear a size 14, the average American woman. Since my divorce I have lost 237lbs, yes 200 of that was the ex the rest was all me. Even with that loss, I will never be thin again and I accept that. My problem though is the stores, whether high, medium or low end who have decided they will not carry clothing, not even stockings that fit me or other women who wear a size above the average.

Let me help you all, we not only wear clothing to cover the fat you find so distasteful, many of us dress well and have the money to spend to dress really well. Your desire to have us shop only on-line and keep us out of your brick and mortar stores, well eventually it will keep us out of your bottom line entirely. Therefore, what started out as a pissy mood, one that somewhat hurt my feelings and had me feeling low ended with me just being frankly pissed off. I may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but someone loves me, loves my curves and sharp edges. Someone thinks I am beautiful just as I am. This is what I ended up thinking and feeling.

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Hippocratic Arrogance

Rottenecards_3711530_xd6br5b52tSpice is nice but Incest is Best’.

If they are going to do this rather sick and nasty act, I just wish they wore protection.

You know, put a raincoat on, prevent conception. Do not under any circumstance visit the products of their choice to keep it in the family on the rest of us.

Next up on the hit parade: Retired Neurosurgeon, Darling of the Tea Party, Presidential Hopeful

Dr. Ben Carson


 

I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.

I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.

If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.

Except from the Modern Hippocratic Oath

Find both the Original and Modern Versions Here


 

There are no words, no polite ones anyway for this AssClown, this failure of humanity, this ideologue hot air bag. Why am I in such a tither about this wannabe relevant, two minutes of fame piece of feces? Well, let me put it right out there for you.

Dr. Ben Carson (R)

Dr. Ben Carson (R)

He is a Doctor, one who took the Oath above, you know to ‘prevent disease’ and ‘remember that he was a member of society’, one by the way with ‘special obligations to his fellow human beings’. Yes, indeed he is a Doctor, one who by the way was raised in poverty, who grew up with assistance from the government in the form of Medicaid, Welfare, Food Stamps and who attended college with the help of subsidies, government loans and Pell Grants. All programs he says are ‘bad’ for the nation, ‘bad’ for the poor. This special kind of something, bemoans in his book and in his appearances at CPAC and elsewhere that ‘government dependence kills initiative’. Guess what he really means, is it didn’t kill his but everyone else is beneath his contempt and concern.

How has the good doctor landed on my hit parade? Well, let me tell you as succinctly as is possible.

Ben Carson, MD while making the rounds of the talk shows, keeping his name and face out there and plying his brand of Right Wing idiocy, was asked by Hugh Hewitt a conservative talker the following:

HEWITT: Dr. you’re such a well-established and well-regarded national figure, the professor of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery, the head of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University. You’ve won the Presidential Medal of Freedom. You did the National Prayer Breakfast. You wrote One Nation. If President Obama called you up right now and said Dr. Carson, we need a surgeon general who will command respect and will generate calm, would you please serve, would you accept that?

Sucking up much?

Our fine doctor, who wants to be President of the United States of America someday, who retired from being a doctor to focus on politics, who by the way has never held public office with a resounding NO.

No, not even were he to be given free rein and no interference. Just NO. Because he doesn’t Trust the President.

Even the conservative Mr. Hewitt expressed shock at his answer. See the interview below.

Now let me tell you why Dr. Carson is my target for this award.

This man, who took an oath remember that one? Would refuse to serve in an administration in high office because of a difference in ideology, in fact he would refuse to serve the nation and its people, perhaps save American lives. That is what it comes down to, he would refuse to do what is best for the American People, people he wants to lead because he disagrees with the current President of the United States of America, an office by the way he wants to hold. This narrow minded, Tea Party Ass Kissing, Know Nothing, Suck Up just answered a rhetorical question and told us all we need to know about him.

He would never do what is right for all the people. He would never serve all the people. He would serve his masters, the Koch Brothers and their wealthy compatriots while the rest of the nation lay in the street in their own blood, puke and shit dying; he would laugh it off. He makes my list because he is transparent in his desires for power at any cost, including the despair and even deaths of others.

Worse yet, he is not alone but simply representative of a new breed of politician that have made their way into our mainstream and continue to be elected. Dr. Carson isn’t alone in his arrogance; he isn’t alone in his bold refusal to work with this administration to solve the nation’s problems. There are many who fit into the category and whose parents should have considered protection rather than forcing us to live with the results for their bad choices.

Thankfully, this was a rhetorical question and not one that would likely happen. Beware the wolves at the door, this is what we have to look forward to. This level of disdain. This level of superiority. If we don’t vote, if we don’t toss these slavish Koch owned GOP / Tea Party members out on their asses, send a message it is a nation For and By the People, Governed by Our Will and at Our Pleasure; this is what we have to look forward to.

 

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Dr. Ben Carson isn’t alone in his ignorance and arrogance. Is this what you want in the halls of Congress and the White House?


VOTE! I voted yesterday when early voting opened in Texas. If you early vote it makes it easier on Election Day for those who wait, it shortens the lines. Do not let the doomsayers keep you away from the polls, vote and show them they are wrong.

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Now

satinsheet


Weightless in a stream of consciousness

My thoughts turn inward

Unfettered by constraints

Reaching for my own desires

Unbound by conventions

My breath whispers want and please

Yearnings long forgotten

Wrap wrists in cool silk

While satin chills bare skin

Bound by need

I rise up to your demand, now

For Me

Valentine, 18 October 2014

Black Genocide: Honoring Those We Lost To Senseless Violence.

Valentine Logar:

It is important to understand, this isn’t the rhetoric of a fringe but of an entire people. It is past time we see, past time we hear and past time we recognize what three hundred years plus of racism has done to a people and a nation.

Originally posted on MrMilitantNegro™:

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Screenshot (1017)stop_black_genocide

Black genocide

We Charge Genocide: The Crime of Government Against the Negro People” is a document accusing the United States government of genocide according to the UN Genocide Convention. This document was created by the Civil Rights Congress (CRC) and presented to the United Nations in December 1951.

The document pointed out that the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide defined genocide as any acts committed with “intent to destroy” a group, “in whole or in part.” To build its case for black genocide the document cited many instances of lynching in the United States, as well as legal discrimination, a series of incidents of police brutality dating to the present, and systematic inequalities in health and quality of life. The central argument: the US government is both complicit with and responsible for a genocidal situation based on the UN’s own definition…

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Pursuit of Rights

OpEdThe world has lost its way; this nation in particular has lost its intent though we should always be wary of setting our sights too high on a moral standard that never truly existed. I was originally going to write in one pithy piece to show, historically the truth vs. myth of this nation. I found though, there is simply too much information to write one piece, too many pivot points where we might have done the right thing and choose differently. Because of social media we can now see daily what has been before us all along. We are witness to the casual violence entwined through our cultural foundation and accepted as normal, even sometimes encouraged as necessary. We, this nation in particular, we have lost our way at every level that is important.

While the Founding Fathers and those who supported their intent certainly had a desire for ‘freedom’ it did not extend beyond themselves or their narrow worldview at the time. Despite the high-flaunting words of the documents that continue to define us today, (e.g. Declaration of Independence, Constitution of the United States of America, Federalist Papers), there was never any though that ‘all men’ had the ‘right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’. What they meant was, White Men, men of European ancestry, men of property and means. Certainly, there was never a thought regarding the idea that ‘men’ might be a more inclusive term, might embrace ‘all men’ and even women.

The nation, that is the US of A, these divided states, this unfortunate collection of frightened and poorly led humans distributed across masses of land with lines in earth and names drawn from the language of the indigenous people the European invader cheated, robbed, hunted, tortured, murdered and kidnapped. This unfortunate nation, led down paths of patriotism through fear to a misguided belief we are or should be the moral police of the world; that we have an obligation, an edict from God to direct others to do what we ourselves have failed so miserably at within our own land.

What do we think we are directed to do, what is our Manifest Destiny?

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To lead other nations to Democracy and even hallelujah Christianity, Amen and pass rocket launcher.

What have we failed at, do you truly ask this or are you simply curious what I believe our failure as a nation is? I will try to be succinct, I promise you. We lie to ourselves, the most obvious and is when anyone, whether politician or man on the street says stupid things such as:

“America is the Greatest Nation in the World.”

No, no we are not the Greatest Nation in the World. In fact, we are far from the Greatest.

In fact, we did not make the Top 10 on any ‘Best’ list.

We did not make the top of any lists, except these:

This isn’t anything to be proud of, is it? We aren’t doing a great job of building on the foundation laid by our forefathers, those visionaries of the American Dream, or are we? Shall we take just a moment to consider some of their more important contributions to infamy and how we are living up to it even now, nearly two hundred and fifty years later.

  • Slavery — yes this is a good one, the nation was built on the backs of stolen lives, stolen from the continent of Africa, stolen from the arms of mothers and fathers, stolen from their culture and homes; simply stolen. The first slaves were sold into a lifetime of servitude and misery in Jamestown, Virginia in 1619. These ’20 odd’ human beings were the beginning of the end for the nations soul. Here is a bit of history for you, want more go here:
    • 1705, Virginia codifies Slave laws some of which you might recognize today: All non-Christian servants entering the colony are slaves, all slaves are real estate, masters who kill slaves during punishment are acquitted, slaves and free colored persons are forbidden from assaulting a white person, slaves are forbidden the right bear arms or move freely without written permission.
    • 1740, South Carolina passes a comprehensive “Negro Act,” making it illegal for slaves to move abroad, assemble in groups, raise food, earn money and learn to read English. Owners may kill rebellious slaves.
    • 1788, the new nation adopts the Constitution including Article I, which reads in part as follows:
      • ……adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons….
    • 1819, Virginia outlaws, whether free or slave all blacks and mulattos, from meeting for the purposes of education and forbids teaching blacks to read and write.
    • 1837, free Blacks in Pennsylvania and Mississippi lose the right to vote. In New York, they petition for continued voting rights.
    • 1857, SCOTUS renders the Dred Scott decision denying citizenship to all slaves, ex-slaves and descendants of slaves, further denies Congress the right to prohibit slavery in the territories.
    • 1865, Thirteenth Amendment is signed abolishing Slavery throughout the nation.
    • 1866, the Klu Klux Klan is founded in Tennessee
    • 1881, Tennessee passes the first of the Jim Crow segregation laws other states follow and the era of Reconstruction is ended less than a decade after Slavery officially ends in these United States.

A few things to consider in the much-shortened timeline above, Article 1 of the Constitution has never been repealed or changed by Amendment. Though many like to think the Thirteenth Amendment emasculated Article 1 and the Three Fifths counting rule of Blacks held in slavery and ‘others’, the fact is Article 1 remains intact.

Something else to consider as we approach mid-term elections, The Dred Scott decision which in part read as follows;dred_scott

” . . . We think they [people of African ancestry] are . . . not included, and were not intended to be included, under the word “citizens” in the Constitution, and can therefore claim none of the rights and privileges which that instrument provides for and secures to citizens of the United States. . . .” Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, speaking for the majority

The Founding Fathers failed fundamentally in their vision, they failed to understand ‘all men are created equal’ should have meant just that, should have been an inclusive statement if they wanted to achieve their goals. Instead, they built a nation whose cornerstone was bathed in the misery and blood of slaves, not equality, not freedom and certainly not the pursuit of happiness for all men. This touches only on the issues of Blacks in America, I have not dived into the theft of land, destruction of culture and murder of an entire indigenous people, tell me again how you discover a land already populated by millions.

Want to be part of change? Vote. Get up and Vote. Don’t believe what they tell you, Vote. Don’t let your voice be silenced, Vote. We can no longer afford to have more than half our citizens treated as if they do not count, be part of the change, Vote. Save a life, save a child and save a future; Vote.

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Best 2014, Top 20

Global Gender Gap, 2013

Most Reputable 2013

Imprinted for Life, Attractions

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe power of attraction, what attracts us to another person is personal and fundamental. There are all sorts of ‘professional’ studies about this, do a search on Google and you will find everything from pheromone studies to Plato’s original Affinity theories. In more recent times social scientist who have proposed first the ‘Law of Attraction’ where Like attracts Like based on Plato’s theory, even more recently the Opposites Attract theory and everything in-between. Of course, lest we forget there is the ‘you will like what I told you to like’ and the ‘I will like exactly what you told me not to like’ theories, generally though these apply only to teenagers. Finally, there is that oft told and all too often snickered about mother or father fixations, better known as the Oedipus Complex.

The truth is I don’t believe any of us know what heats us up, gets our blood to boil and our panties in a twist. Not a single one of us knows what causes us to follow with our eyes down the street that man or woman we find particularly appealing;  none of us I think knows why return time and again to the neighborhood coffee shop to drool over the uncommonly beautiful barista. It is unlikely any of us could point to the place in time when our desires were set down for us, when we became fixated on a certain type and this became ‘our type’ forever and ever, amen.

We all have a type; don’t lie all of us have one. Even if you didn’t always date your type, hell even if you didn’t marry your ‘type’, you have one, I have one we all have one. That particular type of human we find we want to wrap ourselves around, that type of face that draws us, that type of body that excites us, that tone of voice that beckons us, yes even the personality that calls to our inner desires and needs. Put all of what we want into one single package and we are done, we are right there heart throbbing and knees weak. But first, we see with our eyes what somewhere in our mind we have defined as our ‘type’.

I have a type; I suspect I even know the genesis of my type. My type runs counter to social norms and has my entire life. My type has gotten me into trouble back in the 1970’s when following my personal choices wasn’t as accepted as it is interracialtoday. In retrospect, considering my relationship history I believe it is important that we understand what it is we want, that we own our desires and our choices. I think it is vital we never settle for just who wants us but for whom we want and what we want.

Do our desires change? I think they do, change is inevitable. I think as we mature our understanding of what makes us happy and what we need from relationships changes. I also think we grow less reluctant to ask for what we need. What perhaps doesn’t change is our ability to easily verbalize our needs, desires and boundaries. We are the amalgamation of all that has come before; we are our history without pretty packaging and brilliant ribbons for the unwrapping. For some of us and I certainly fall into this category, fear is a constant companion when attempting to ask for what we need or want.

I said I had a type and that I suspected I knew how mine was imprinted; I was quite young when I met Winston. Living in Germany I attended an Army base school part of the week but was not an Army Brat, this made me different from the other students and subject to bullying. I was also younger and smaller than other children in my class, another source of great amusement for my classmates and one they took great advantage of at every opportunity. I hated that school, I hated them and I hated the teachers for not protecting me. I spent a great deal of time alone during recess, book in hand finding dark corners so none of those little bastards could hurt me. Sometimes I would climb a tree, which is where Winston found me one day.

Winston was a year older, a grade ahead tall and gangly. His father was a Sargent in the Army and Winston already was a leader in his class and on the playground, much like his father. He had a brilliant smile, tight curly hair shaved close to his head and his skin was like chocolate milk. The day I met him he climbed the tree I was in and asked why I was up there alone all the time. When I told him, he frowned and climbed back down and wandered away. From that day until we moved back to the US, Winston became my protector. I ate lunch with him and his cadre of friends, if I wanted to read I did it in full sight of others and no one bothered me, ever. I was invited to birthday parties and other childhood functions. Winston never told me what he did, I guess it was a boy thing but from that day on, he became my ‘type’.images

So what is my type? Need you ask?

Tall

Milk Chocolate Skin

Strong

Take Charge

A protector

Okay, let’s just say it shall we. I like Black Men better than I like White Men. I fundamentally find Black Men more attractive. This isn’t to say I have never found a White Man attractive; it is simply that I find Black Men more attractive, physically that is my ‘Type’. Did Winston imprint me when I was eight years old? I suspect he did, I suspect his kindness in light of all the bullying had a profound effect on my psych, but it is unlikely this is the only reason.

I was raped at eleven by White Boys, they did grave harm to me. My first real boyfriend, the first person who showed me real kindness after that rape was Black at fourteen. I was a runaway, most of the horror stories from the streets during my time there was by those of my own race. By the time I got off the streets, I was imprinted with fear of men of my own race.

I say all this for a reason, I like men, I did not become Lesbian it is not something you become you either are or not Gay. On the other hand, what you find attractive, what your ‘type’ is within the context of your sexual orientation, this is an entirely different issue. Though my ‘type’ is certainly not always socially acceptable it is nonetheless mine, my choice in partners is mine alone. Were it not for the landmark 1967 anti-miscegenation case of Loving vs. State of Virginia, my choice would still be illegal. My question then, how is my ‘type’ different than sexual orientation of others and why are we still discussing their Civil / Marriage Rights. Doesn’t it make sense that all members of society should have the same rights?

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I am just curious about this mind you but your thoughts are most welcome.

#FergusonOctober #Justice4MikeBrownRally #NotOneMore Do YOU Want Justice?

Valentine Logar:

The pictures from St. Louis / Ferguson march for justice are stunning. It is time we all begin to consider what we must do to bring justice to this nation.

Originally posted on MrMilitantNegro™:

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Ferguson October: Activists Call for Nationwide Convergence to Demand Justice for Michael Brown

Published on Oct 10, 2014

Demonstrations over the police killing of an unarmed teenager in St. Louis, Missouri, continued for a second night ahead of a national weekend of action in nearby Ferguson over the police killing of Michael Brown two months ago. Organizers have invited the Brown family to take part. Dr. Cornel West and actor Harry Belafonte are also among those expected to attend the events, which include a mass march and a planned act of civil disobedience. They will join local activists who have been calling for the arrest of police officerDarren Wilson, who killed Mike Brown; for the appointment of a special prosecutor in the case; and the firing of Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson.

Full episodes of Democracy Now! can be viewed at the link: https://www.freespeech.org/collection…

Ferguson October: 

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Mothers, Fathers and Nations

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

1 Corinthians 13:11

When I was a young, beginning even before I was a teen I started to run away. By the time I was fourteen I was deemed a habitual delinquent by the juvenile court system. I was also considered past redemption by many. At the age of fourteen, I was removed from my parents’ custody and placed in foster care, shortly thereafter I ran for the last time. I have written some parts of my story in Broken Chains, it might explain why I was a runaway, why I was a Juvenile Delinquent.

There was a time, many years ago when many told me, including judges and my own mother they didn’t expect me to see twenty-one they certainly didn’t expect me to ‘make anything of myself’.

I say all this because I did make it to twenty-one and beyond, today I am a grown woman; I am alive with a loving though slightly dysfunctional family. With two sons, grandchildren, friends, a decent career, my own home and mostly the things I want in life when I want them. I have books to read, a good education; I have seen the world (even if I complain about travel). I have been most fortunate, surviving heartbreak and violence in my life to become ‘Victorious’.

This isn’t the story of me; this is about a mother’s heart. I thought it was important to say first where I came from, to say first someone in fact many someone’s saw my promise and gave me a chance, thus I am here.

My two sons were a gift. I did not bring them into the world but I married their father when they were barely potty trained. At the ripe ages of two and five, they were already handfuls, already opinionated and full of themselves as little human beings. Our first run in after my marriage happened the first weekend they came to stay, with Number One Son hands on hips and head twisting side to side like a cobra spitting, “I don’t have to do what you say you aren’t my mother”.

I glanced at their father sitting calming and silently on the couch behind me and realized at that moment this would be the weft of our relationship, especially with regard to his sons. Staring at these two small humans, I realized I had the opportunity to shape lives, it was frightening and my heart hit my throat. I knelt down in front of them so I could look Number One Son in the eye, “You are right, I am not your mother but in this house your father does what I say and so will you. In this house, you will not smart mouth me. You will say Yes Mam’ and No Mam’, Please and Thank You. In this house I will tear a knot in that narrow butt if you smart off to me again.”

By the end of that first weekend, both of those boys had been swatted and stood in a corner. Number One Son never was swatted again, ever; though he found a few corners to his liking over the years. Number Two Son on the other hand, he was me all over. When my mother use to say to me, ‘some day you will have a daughter and she will be just like you, then you will reap what you sow’, honestly I thought I had dodged that bullet, until Number Two Son, he was my Waterloo. During my marriage to their father, their mother and I made a pact, to raise them with love. We didn’t always agree on tactics, but we did agree on one thing we wanted these young men to survive to adulthood.

 

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It is thirty-two years later, water has passed under the bridge, I divorced their father seventeen years ago. In that divorce the best thing I got was custody of my youngest son, no one fought this; his place in my home was secured with love. At the time he was just turning seventeen, he and I had a unique relationship. While his brother was the child of my mind, he was the child of my heart and soul. His mother and I agreed the best place for him was with me. His father did not want him, walked away without a backward glance.

My two sons were by no means angels, they weren’t devils either, like so many they were simply teenagers. They weren’t complete delinquents though Number Two Son certainly worked hard at achieving this goal. Certainly if you saw them during their teen years, walking down the street you might have crossed to the other side. They had their days, with tongue piercings, eye brow piercings, tattoos and sagging pants, hair midway down backs and dyed colors not intended for humans, Goth finger nails (black and dark blue were popular) and yes experimentation with marijuana and drinking that I am aware of. My sons were no angels.

Do not get me wrong, I fought hard for Number Two Son, for his safety and his sanity. Some things you can ignore, some things you can shrug off as childish; other things you yank chains and demand change. I knew too well the path he was following and I put a leash on him, marshalled every resource I had and fought hard to save him. Number One Son, he played at being ‘Cool’, but really he just wanted to grow up and be part of the crowd. He didn’t want to rock the boat; he listened and was smart enough not to be truly stupid about the choices he made.

I tell the story about my two sons because it is important, Number One Son just turned 37 this week; Number Two Son will be getting married next month. Both have good jobs, their own homes, lovely families, brilliant futures. All it took to get them here was love, patience, belief, a few tears and sometimes a whack upside the head. All it took to get them here was giving them a chance to thrive on their own, the opportunity to grow up a support system and trust.

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Though I sometimes worried about Number Two Son reaching adulthood, I never once had to worry either of them would be gunned down in the street by a rogue cop. Every child in this nation has the right to grow up and achieve their full potential. Every parent has the right to raise their child in safety, without fearing the people who are paid to protect our neighborhoods will murder their child.

Every child has the right to walk down the street in broad daylight or at night without fear. Every child in this nation has the right to an education, to hope, to a future. Every parent in this nation has the right to believe their child can be successful in life including education, work, family and home.

Every parent has the right to believe they will outlive their child. Every parent has the right to believe they won’t bury their child due to violence, especially police and vigilante violence.  We have seen far too many mothers and fathers burying their children due to violence and especially recently due to police violence against mostly unarmed young Black Men. It is hard for me to call them men, so many of them aren’t out of their teens, so many of them haven’t yet reached their majority. So many of these young ones couldn’t even tell you what they want to be when they ‘grow up’, yet they are gunned down in the street by cops or vigilantes, or by a ‘good guy’ with a gun who ‘feared’ for his life and made up a story to justify what there is no justification for.

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How did we get to this place? The media are complicit with the police painting each shooting as justified; each young person becomes a ‘thug’ and the murderer the ‘victim’, even as brokenhearted parents bury their child. When did we become so lacking in compassion, so deficient in empathy as a nation or a people. When did we lose our heart, perhaps we never had one to start with and now it is more obvious with every loss more reported on within social media and the contrast so clear.

I realize I am blessed, along with their other mother we are both blessed. We have sons who are alive, healthy and grown to adulthood. There are far too many mothers today who can only visit their sons at gravesites, who will only see their child as a teenager in photographs because that is the age he was when he was gunned down in the street. This must end and only we can end it. Every parent has the right to see their child grow to their full potential in safety. No parent should have to bury their child due to violence.

Only we can end this. Only we can stand up and demand change.

Only we can stand up and demand a change to Police behavior across the nation through better hiring practices, training, education and penalties.

Only we can stand up and demand Stand Your Ground laws be repealed nationwide.

Only we can stand up and demand changes to gun laws, nationwide.

Only we can stand up, demand the Department of Justice do their job and investigate police violence.

Only we can stand up and demand more money for education less for incarceration.

Only we can end this violence. Only we can protect our future by protecting our children, all of them.

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Reciprocity

OpEdI believe strongly in the idea of nature and nurture that we are products of both but that we also ultimately choose how we will interact with the people we meet throughout our lives. We choose whom we will love and how we will love them. We choose what we will give of ourselves, of our time, of our resources, our heart and yes even our secrets in each relationship we engage, whether friendship or love.

At the end of the day, no matter what happens we choose how we will react and thus, how we will act. Each of us makes a conscious choice how we will face adversity and whether we will live our lives with joy or something else, something less, whether less is apathy, guilt or true regret. What I know, deep in my soul is we do have choices, no matter what, we have choices.

What else I know is human beings are taught to be evil through nurture and despite our nurture, we can overcome our training and choose to be better human beings. Parents have enormous influence on their children; they bring blank slates into the world and write evil onto their hearts turning them into horrifying, selfish, racist, misogynist shits. Children are sponges; they walk through their young lives watching their parents, their neighbors and other influential people, sucking it all up into their hearts and spirits.

If you are a racist shit, it is nearly a guarantee your child will carry on your terrible legacy of race-based hate. Beat your wife, some lucky girl will likely be the recipient of your son’s future fury or your daughter will lay down and accept some man’s fist as her due. These are some examples of the horror stories of what happens; the legacy children are gifted by ignorant parents. There are more, abused children are likely to abuse, children of alcoholics are likely to become alcoholics. Children are blank canvases; we paint upon them what we want the world to know about us.

Despite history, despite learning at the hard knee of a parent we still have a choice not to carry forward a legacy of hate, racism, of violence. We are all gifted with free choice, whether you are Christian or otherwise, all of us share one core value: Free Choice.

I do not believe in angels and devils as a birth ‘defect’. I believe we choose how we will interact with the world and those within it. I believe we choose how we will interact with communities or individuals, it is true whether we are talking about friends, family, lovers or a broader community. I choose how I love, where I love and whom I love, without asking for or excepting the judgment of others, I choose.

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My nature is not formed by my history, or perhaps it is but not in the way planned or expected by those who tried hard to warp it. My nurture did not corrupt me, those who would have twisted my heart into unrecognizable forms failed to change my core. Yes, there are days, even weeks when I question, when I pull into myself and build walls; those times do not last. Yes, I know my nature opens me up to the potential of being hurt more easily, even of being taken advantage of at times. I also know there are those who think I am blind to their faults, that I live in a world where there is only sunshine and rainbows without a darkside. I do not live in that world, I have seen the worst in people, I have lived on the darkest side of the world and within the shadows. I made a conscious decision not to be corrupted, not to be bent, not to be twisted, not to hate others or myself by the hurt others did to me or I did to myself. I made a conscious choice to choose joy, to choose hope.

Choosing joy doesn’t mean I don’t grow despondent at times. Choosing hope doesn’t mean I don’t feel hopeless at times. Truthfully, there are days I feel despondent and hopeless, unloved and unworthy of love. Choosing joy, choosing hope LindaHead_2doesn’t mean I don’t see the possibility others are not kind, it simply means I don’t base my willingness to love on reciprocity. My giving doesn’t require an even return, love is not an investment rather it is simply a choice we make. For me, it is a choice I make every single day.

Morning Whispers

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Filtered light beckons me to movement

Dust motes swirl in the air

Muscles sore, straining against memory

Reaching up across the distance

The vast emptiness of cool sheets

Stretching to find submission

Compliant softness, arms welcoming

Hips unhinged with yes

No more as breath hitches

Fingers curl around silk and silver

No more, but yes whispered

In the morning

Valentine, 5 October 2014

 

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