Just a little sick of it…

I’m going to rant today. I really need it. I’m sick of keeping things bottled up and fearing the repercussions of what might occur if I spoke up about my own feelings. But not anymore. Because my feelings are right. They are feelings of anger for the violence that is committed against innocent lives. It’s anger directed at people that commit these acts and it has nothing to do with race, creed, religion, or any other of the protected classes. Just want to make that infinitely clear before I begin. Although the words will be wasted on those that will see nothing but those things regardless of how much you, or I, or anyone try to avoid being misconstrued.

It’s time that our people. And when I say “our people” I’m talking to you. The Person reading this, regardless of what color your skin is. I am talking about our People, the Humans on this earth. It is time for us to stand up, link hands and form a barrier around our children. Crimes against our children are the most heinous of all crimes.They didn’t ask to be here. They didn’t have a choice in being born.

What infuriates me the most is when I post an article about one of these innocents and the first thing I see is a comment about the article being racially skewed.

Hello? A child was murdered.

The second thing that happens is a heated conversation repeatedly going back to “but the article is trying to point out their race and the writers are racist!”

Wake up. A child has died.

The third thing I see is, “why are oppressors surprised when the oppressed raise up”

What is wrong with you? A. Child. Has. Died.

This has nothing to do with me, you, our agenda, our crisis, our thoughts. Your thoughts and my thoughts should be for the lost soul ripped from the world in a brutal, sadistic way at the hands of another human being.

I say, “I’m not getting into a racial debate, a child was lost” and my commentors say, “It’s still exits even if it makes you uncomfortable.”

I’m uncomfortable that a child has died and you want to point out the reason that child has died being a race thing. I grew up in a neighborhood where 40% made it out. Blood is red, folks. I lost friends that I grew up with my whole life to violence. Do I feel vengeful? Damn right I do. But not to their children who had nothing to do with the violence their parents perpetrated upon my loved ones. Do I feel an all consuming desire to do harm to some of them. Oh, yes. It festers deep inside me like a chronic, end stage disease. It worms its way into my organs and blackens my heart…but not for their children.

You see, I believe we are all responsible for our own actions. Some actions may have been inspired by another, but they do not decide our fate.

If a person dropped to the ground before me, I wouldn’t stop to check what skin color they were or if they were really a naturally born male or female. I wouldn’t ask, “What is your religion?” I would get down on my knees and breathe life back into them.

Now, I’ve been accused of making things “about me”. Well yeah. Who else is it about? If I don’t do something or speak up, who else will? If I don’t keep my heart from shutting off in eternal apathy, who will do that for me? And when I post to my own (censored) Facebook page, it really is about me and how I feel. It’s the experience that I go through reading about sick crimes committed by sick people. Because Death is as indiscriminate as your God is.

And what if this was a woman who was raped? Would you find some justification for that, too? Or would it depend on what color she was?

My skin has many colors.

I’m Greek. I’m Puerto Rican. I’m Native American. I’m African American.

None of that matters. My blood is RED.

And right now it’s boiling. Where were my brothers and sisters of these “races” when I was growing up? None of them embraced this half breed. None of them believed me when I told them my last name really is Vasquez. It’s not by marriage or adoption. Or the snide looks when I say, “I don’t speak Greek, I’m sorry.”

I had no control over this. But I do have control over what I do with how I was treated. I feel sadness for those that identify with a heritage they had no control over and let it define them in everything. When they let the past dictate their future. When they make excuses for what was done to their race in the past and don’t face the opportunities given to them today.

Here’s a (not so) brief history lesson: 

  1. Slavery was very common in ancient Greece. Some estimate that in Athens, around the fifth century, there was the equivalent of one slave to every free person in the city. Anyone with even a modest income typically owned a slave or two to help in the household or family business.
  2. African slaves were very expensive during the late 1600s (50 Sterling). Irish slaves came cheap (no more than 5 Sterling). If a planter whipped or branded or beat an Irish slave to death, it was never a crime. A death was a monetary setback, but far cheaper than killing a more expensive African. The English masters quickly began breeding the Irish women for both their own personal pleasure and for greater profit. Children of slaves were themselves slaves, which increased the size of the master’s free workforce. Even if an Irish woman somehow obtained her freedom, her kids would remain slaves of her master. Thus, Irish moms, even with this new found emancipation, would seldom abandon their kids and would remain in servitude.
  3. In time, the English thought of a better way to use these women (in many cases, girls as young as 12) to increase their market share: The settlers began to breed Irish women and girls with African men to produce slaves with a distinct complexion. These new “mulatto” slaves brought a higher price than Irish livestock and, likewise, enabled the settlers to save money rather than purchase new African slaves. This practice of interbreeding Irish females with African men went on for several decades and was so widespread that, in 1681, legislation was passed “forbidding the practice of mating Irish slave women to African slave men for the purpose of producing slaves for sale.” In short, it was stopped only because it interfered with the profits of a large slave transport company.
  4. A reductive view of the American past might note two major, centuries-long historical sins: the enslavement of stolen Africans and the displacement of Native Americans. In recent years, a new wave of historians of American slavery has been directing attention to the ways these sins overlapped. The stories they have uncovered throw African slavery—still the narrative that dominates our national memory—into a different light, revealing that the seeds of that system were sown in earlier attempts to exploit Native labor. The record of Native enslavement also shows how the white desire to put workers in bondage intensified the chaos of contact, disrupting intertribal politics and creating uncertainty and instability among people already struggling to adapt to a radically new balance of power.

And if you’re thoroughly pissed off? Please direct your anger to this and do something about it:

People think they know everything about slavery in the United States, but they don’t. They think the majority of African slaves came to the American colonies, but they didn’t. They talk about 400 hundred years of slavery, but it wasn’t. They claim all Southerners owned slaves, but they didn’t. Some argue it was a long time ago, but it wasn’t. ( Daina Ramey Berry, University of Texas)

  • Globally, the average cost of a slave is $90.
  • Trafficking primarily involves exploitation which comes in many forms, including: forcing victims into prostitution, subjecting victims to slavery or involuntary servitude and compelling victims to commit sex acts for the purpose of creating pornography.
  • According to some estimates, approximately 80% of trafficking involves sexual exploitation, and 19% involves labor exploitation.
  • There are approximately 20 to 30 million slaves in the world today.
  • According to the U.S. State Department, 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year, of which 80% are female and half are children.

Mine is RED.

The Pages

2 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Okay, I’m going to comment and hope I don’t go on for a long while. I’m in agreement with your blog post, Lisa, simply because it hits on so many things that folks will argue until they are blue in the face about.

    You see LIFE is not about color or creed or wealth or sexual orientation or age or any of these other factors that people argue about. LIFE is about that blood that you wrote about. We all bleed red. All of us. If I get shot and a Hispanic gets shot and an African gets shot and a Native American gets shot, we all are going to bleed the same color.

    It seems everybody has an agenda these days. Everything is about race and all that. But it’s not. It’s about Love and it’s about Hate. Sadly, it is Hate that is bred more frequently.

    I was born and raised in the south to a country (and somewhat redneck) family. I was taught to respect my elders. I was taught to help someone when they needed it. I was taught the value of hard work and earning my keep. I was taught that my skin color and someone else’s skin color didn’t matter, but what was in the heart did. I was taught that I am no better than the next person and that I should never act like I am. I was taught humility and that you say ‘yes ma’am,’ and ‘yes sir.’

    You see, I was taught to love your neighbor and while I was taught that others were taught just the opposite. They were taught to hate. People aren’t born hating or loving. We may all be sinners, but we weren’t born to hate.

    And people who hurt children, who kill them…I don’t understand it. And when someone plays the race card and ignores the facts, then their eyes are closed to the truth. Someone died. Someone was killed. When we get beyond seeing skin and seeing that someone (not only children) has died, then maybe we will be able to do something about it. Until then, there will be this divide as long and not so great as the Great Wall of China.

    I’ve said this before and I will say this again: in order to bring about change, we MUST have a change of heart. Until we examine ourselves and stop pointing fingers things are never going to change. I think Michael Jackson said it best: If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change.

    But nobody really wants to do that…


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