Lives Matter: Make the Media Accountable

This is a touchy subject. There is violence being escalated and people being manipulated.

Open your eyes. I don’t care about the heat I’ll take for this post. The violence has to stop.

Violence is not a new phenomenon. We’ve waged war on our brothers and sisters since the dawn of time. From the time of Mayans, from the time of first civilizations, even the bible speaks of Cain killing his own brother.

What has changed is media.

What has changed is sensationalism.

What has changed is impressionable minds being bombarded with images manipulated by media for ratings. And you know what? You’re all buying it.

Celebrities that can barely maintain their own lives are looking down from their golden towers to speak on it. Forgive me, but you are privileged. Don’t speak about struggles you no longer know about. Go back to your destination vacations, and your tweeting. Go back to your new relationship and break up songs. Stay out of the “real world” where tragedy strikes our neighbors, our family and our friends. You may have come from this but now you’re in your 1% life and you’re doing nothing to protect us. So please, just stop acting like your “powerful speeches” are helping.

If you want to help, step out of your huge house with security cameras and gates and walk among the children that live with this violence every.single.day. Sit with a child that has to lie on the floor to watch television after the sun goes down to avoid stray bullets. Sit with the young girl that has to deal with sexual violence from the hands of the demons sitting outside her door. Sit with the young boys that have dreams of being doctors and lawyers but get their asses beat until they join a gang, and ruin their chances of a bright future.

I am sick of the media showing the evil acts without delivering footage celebrating the police officers that hit the street every night, comforting victims of domestic abuse, giving homeless people their own lunches and their own money, and buying groceries for families with nothing to eat with hungry babies.

Do you know why they don’t show these stories? Because the officers don’t brag about it. This is why they signed up for the job. Not to gun down your sons, brothers, uncles, and fathers.

Aim the anger at the media who deliver the propaganda while you sit there with your pupils dilating against the blue glow of your boob tube, soaking in the grim world of fear. Blame it on the government officials you voted for (or didn’t… because you didn’t vote), sitting on capital hill with silk purses.

Blame the neighborhood families that raised kids to believe that there’s nothing in life for them but drugs, violence, and a life of crime.

Blame yourself for not being a mentor to a child who you know needs you. Yeah, that kid sitting at home with an abusive parent, an empty home, a neglectful parent, etc. You see them. Stop looking away!

Look into the mirror! You do have the power. WE have the power. Turn off your television set. Read a book and talk to each other. You sit in your house and avoid your neighbors, you sneer at the man or woman that lives beside you…you’re self absorbed!

How many of you put your hand on the shoulder of a troubled teen and offer to give them something other than talking down to them? How many of you stand up for that kid in the store whose mother or father think it’s okay to call them “dumbass”, “bad”, “little shit”. (there’s a video of a woman that heard this from another woman and stood up to her. she’s my new hero.)

The people to blame are the ones who believe that uplifting your children and guiding them to be accomplished is a “bullshit” dream. Listen, anything is possible. It takes hard work and dedication. It takes support. It takes a community. If you’re not voting, you’re complacent. If you’re voting without looking at track records, you’re complacent. VOTERS rule this government and we’ve allowed them to put us in pens like cattle. CHANGE your laws. Stop suing for any little thing that goes wrong — “my coffee was too hot” — REALLY? Stay home and brew it, it takes 5 mins!! It takes more time for you to sit in that line and wait for someone else to do it and you’re paying them!

What’s wrong with this society today is us.

You can’t speak up without some kind of hate coming at you.

I speak up in support of those that are victims of crime and I’m told I “don’t understand”. I speak about personal experience and emotions, “You’re making it all about you.” I’m done hearing more negativity. It doesn’t matter if what I say is the “root of the problem” the fact is, there is a problem! So stop aiming your anger toward those that want to help. Start recruiting them to be a part of the solution.

The problem isn’t “all whites”, the problem is that you’ve allowed races to be divided. You’ve put all your faith in the television and not your God, your spiritual health, or your conscience.

Here’s some real truth for you. People will hurt you. Intentionally and unintentionally. At some point, you have to stop putting a label on their race. At some point you have to come to the realization that it’s a problem with that individual not a race, or group of people as a whole.

You know why racism won’t stop? Because you are all feeding the fire. Getting riled up like sheep to actually take another person’s life? Really? You’re that low on the IQ scale, you want to take another person’s life and become a murderer because some person in another state has no soul, no conscience?

You’re angry. I get it. I’m angry too! I’m angry because no matter what side of the fence you stand on, you’re told you’re wrong. I’m angry because it’s impossible to make people see that if someone doesn’t understand you have to speak up. Do you listen when someone’s screaming in your face? Or do you go into defensive/fighting mode. I’m angry because I have four sons and have feared for their lives since 1991… so you’re damn right I understand what it’s like to be oppressed.

My kids have been jumped for NOT being black, have been bullied, have been threatened, and have had to live with the SAME prejudice but from a different perspective. I’m a mother! What makes your love for your son any more profound than mine? And guess what? I’m not blaming “all blacks” or “all Mexicans” or “all (insert race here)”. I’m blaming social status, the government, and lazy ass parents.

Yes, LAZY.

You want to sit around all day and talk about how life is unfair. Get off your ass and play BALL outside with your kids.

You want to talk about how you can’t find a job. Get off your ASS and turn off the TV, the Video Games and read with your kids.

You want to talk about how you are looked at differently. Well maybe they’re not looking at your skin color. Maybe… stick with me for a minute… just maybe they’re looking at your jeans around your thighs, your boxers bunched up around your waste, your attitude walking in, and the vibe you give off. Still with me? Cuz I didn’t say any race in that statement. I said appearance. I walk around looking like Morticia. I do it cuz I want to. Hey! Here’s something fascinating…I know I’ll be looked at a certain way. I expect it because I choose to be different! YAY! I pass the IQ Test. You want to dress unconventionally, then expect people to gawk.

If you’re walking down the street and a Pitbull walks around the corner, are you not going to pause, maybe run, but definitely be at a heightened state of anxiety and fear? Why? The dog may be perfectly trained and friendly? The answer is because of it’s appearance. It looks intimidating. The answer is because the media has perpetrated these animals as dangerous. The answer is because someone mistreated these animals and paid the price with a malicious attack.

Now, let me take a minute because I know someone, somewhere is going to get their hackles raised because they’ll say I’m comparing people to animals.

*smirks*

Aren’t people acting like animals right now?

Let’s continue. In Mississippi, in the 1950’s when races were divided, against all natural instinct of self-preservation, other races linked arms with fellow human beings and lost their lives. They were severely beaten down to protect another human being who was being threatened.

Are we slipping back in time? No, this is worse!  We knew what happened back then and we continued to allow ourselves to be oppressed. WE, not you, or they, or “those people”. WE are slaves to the media. 

GET OUT YOUR EMAILS and email the news. Email them with GOOD NEWS around your community. Email them with your DEMAND that they report REAL news about REAL people in POSITIVE ways. Ways that ENCOURAGE our children, ways that OBLITERATE negativity. Ways that PROVIDE us with a BRIGHTER future. TURN OFF THE TELEVISION when they report biased, prejudicial content.

Am I faultless? No. But I vow to change that right now. I’m a writer for crying out loud. I’m going to use the media, the internet, and my power to make a change.

What are YOU GOING TO DO?

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.

WHAT COLOR IS YOUR PREJUDICE NOW?
Mine is RED.

This is us failing each other…

This was posted on my personal Facebook page and I decided to put it here, too.

I’m going to have to get up on the soapbox this morning. I’m going to preface this little venting moment by saying this is in no way intended to incite negativity. I don’t mind responses to what I post but if it offends you, maybe we shouldn’t be friends. If you’re here as fan of my writing, I have an author page. It might be safer to just hang around there, where I’m mostly politically “correct” — whatever that means.

I’d like to also say that I’m in no way demeaning or belitting anyone ELSE’S experiences or feelings. If you cannot handle that I see things differently and that I’ve come from a different world — again — I will have no hard feelings if you decide we aren’t really friends. I make no apologies for who I am and what I think.

Now that you’ve been warned….

The riots. Sigh…. Can you not see this is pitting race against race? Creating lines of division among you? You, who should be standing undivided to conquer the real demons? Can you not see that continuing on this path leads to Martial Law?

You riot and say you’re speaking up for rights. Who’s rights? I didn’t ask you to speak for me. I can speak for myself. That family’s business you burnt down? Did he join you? No? Then you didn’t speak for him either. Wait….did you burn your own things? Hm. Your car? Your house? Oh…

This isn’t a black and white thing. This is bullshit. You won’t be remembered as greatness. You’ll be remembered for stupidity. What was the name of the person beside you that looted? Don’t know? Ah…

Did that TV serve as a political statement? Something that would do harm to the government if lost? No? Hm..

This isn’t about police vs citizens. The ratio of people that join the police force with the intentions of doing harm is low. You can get offended if you get pulled over and a cop is rude or asks you to do things you site as “profiling” but guess what? That cop may have had a close call on the stop before you. Or maybe a fellow cop made the mistake of letting his guard down to be polite to his fellow “citizen” and ended up dead.

Oh trust me I GET both sides. No one is 100% right and no one is 100% wrong. I grew up in a neighborhood that was surrounded by gangs. You’ve seen Gangland — any of these ring a bell?

Vice Lords, Two-Six, Ambrose, Satan Disciples, Latin Kings — I’m sure my Lizette D (FB full name and link removed) can tell you what we went through. I can tell you that we weren’t singled out due to profiling. My brother was bullied for skateboarding. He’s white. My son is 1/2 Chinese and got jumped all the time because he lived near the projects. I’m Hispanic (Edit: and Greek!! My BFF actually called me a Malaka for not including that I was Greek.) and look “white” ..I don’t speak enough Spanish so I got bullied from my own kind, not the cops. In fact, if it weren’t for the cops, I’d be in a different position in life right now.

Furthermore — I have good friends, that I love dearly and family that are cops, so please keep that in mind when you bash the cops and tell me they are all corrupt. You’re insulting me when you insult them. Some people honestly just DO want to SERVE and PROTECT. Maybe if we didn’t make each other scared to walk down the street, we wouldn’t NEED all this but that’s not going to happen. It’s not, so please accept it and move on. There’s always a Jeffrey Dahmer and a Ted Bundy. If you believe there isn’t, you’re lying to yourself. I’m here to tell you first hand if a person like one of those two tries to harm one of my own? I don’t mind getting my hands bloody. I won’t need a cop — but I won’t fight one that tries to put me in handcuffs for going unhinged.

Do you know why our justice and government systems are jacked up? Look in the mirror. Our fathers, and their fathers, so on and so on have bartered and “politic’ed” their souls away. All in the name of “Our way is the right way!” We’re micro-managing our lives into the ground and it’s the collective “YOUR” fault. Don’t believe me?

There’s a law against drunk driving. GREAT! It’s harmful. I don’t want to lose loved ones to someone that is impaired. Oh but….Joe Vodka sues the BARTENDER for serving him another drink! “He should’ve known!”

Are you serious? Oh yeah I am. Because Mr. Bartender who is just doing what’s in his job description, has now become Mr. Vodka’s father and keeper and should’ve known that a grown man needed to be coddled.

You go to a fast food joint and get food. It’s against the law to serve you dirty food. GREAT! I dig it. You shouldn’t serve people dirty food, it’s just bad all around. Oh but……..Joe Roll sues McD’s cuz he’s fat. …../facepalm.

All these lawsuits? They make the laws go from 1 paragraph to:

Law 1.23455
(a)
(b)
(c)

CLAUSE
(only on Tuesday’s and Friday’s, but only if following a national holiday)

……Deep breath……..

You have women say, “Don’t tell me what I can and can’t do to my body!” then turn around and ask the government to pay for three kids with different parents who they refuse to get jobs to help pay for — all while denying the father the right to see said child until they “pay more money” — which they spend on manicures, hair, and other bullshit. All while a mother who works 3 jobs at 8.25 an hour, while going to school at night when her ONE child is asleep is told “you make too much”.

Want to tell me why these people are looting TV’s and not books? Why are they not looting educational material and shouting about the right to free college education? Why? Because that’s not why they’re looting.

Why haven’t they picketed outside the mayor’s office. Why aren’t they writing to the senators and picketing there? Why aren’t they demanding time on the local News stations?

WHY aren’t they blogging, making websites, using social media for good rather than posting pics of them holding guns at the bathroom mirror looking “thug” and glorifying the hard knocks life? The “I’m more ghetto than you are” game is over-played, homies. It was over-played when people I loved were shot and killed for real.

And if one more person — stranger or friend — tells me I don’t really know because I’m not a person of “color”? Oh man…it’s just not going to end well. I don’t know what it’s like to be black no more than you know what it’s like to be “white” ..Don’t project your shit onto me just because you want to prove a point of how you’ve suffered.

Victims aren’t we all?

I’ve been the “white” girl walking into a “black” hood, the “black store”, the “black salon”. I’ve been the “white” girl, going into the Taco joint that can’t order in Spanish. And I’ve been the “white” girl that bullied because she didn’t bow or break when others thought she shouldn’t have black/ethnic friends.

You know what that makes me? Not a martyr or better than anyone else. It makes me human.

The violence and hate — it’s coming from your OWN PEOPLE…..white on white, black on black, brown on brown, yellow on yellow. Does it matter what side of the line (law/outlaw) they’re on. These are human lives. This is someone’s son, brother, mother, father, sister, teacher, mentor….

What are you doing?? Stop. Just stop!

Get control of yourselves. You’re not wild animals. And if you want to act like it, then — well you see what happens when wild animals run amok. They get put down. YOU……you make the choice of taking part of the chaos. And if you do just remember there is no way to determine the outcome. It’s just you and fate at that point.

Be at peace all of you. Find a way to love one another and care for one another. You don’t have to be friends….but give a shit.