Jamie Mayes, AOE

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Motherhood & Gardening: For Mother’s Day

In Culture, life, motherhood, parenting, Uncategorized on May 13, 2017 at 3:35 am

 

easterA seed was planted

I nurtured it

Started off nervously

Unsure of the process

Worried about the results

Hoping I was doing everything the right way

 

Plenty of water

Plenty of sunlight

Plenty of love

Plenty of time

Plenty of faith

Plenty of patience

 

I prune you continuously

Cutting back the excess

Cultivating your roots

For full, bountiful, abundant

Stems that reach far out and up to the sky

And bask in the sunlight

 

The pure joy of seeing my seed blossom

Of seeing the fruit of my harvest

The blessing to share you with others

Who are so happy to see you grow

Who pluck not your fruit

And break not your stems

 

What a wonder you are

Bringing beauty to my life

Giving me joy once undiscovered

Good for my heart and my soul

Before my very eyes you grow

Fruitfully, wonderfully, perfectly made

 

©Copyright 2017 by Jamie Mayes

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My Ancestors’ Garden

In Uncategorized on March 17, 2017 at 6:27 am

This year I made the decision to take my garden from a pot to a yard gardening experience. For the past few days, I have been spending the evenings working vigorously to remove eight deep-rooted tree stumps with deep roots in front of my house. Yes, this is an odd place to plant vegetables, but I think it will be a beautiful little spot of color right next to the front door. Besides, my backyard boasts three large trees that limit sunlight, so the front yard is the best place. It seems strange, but I trust that it will be a beautiful site in a few weeks. I had imagined the root-digging to be a difficult task, so much so that I had initially asked a man with a small excavator to remove the roots. Yet, a year later the roots were still bulging from the ground and I needed to prepare my area. The rain had softened the ground and I knew the soggy soil would be much easier to navigate, so I took advantage of it. The mud was easy to dig and sling around, but the roots proved to be just as challenging as I suspected. I had determination, though, so I fought through one root at a time, using the tip of my shovel to break and smash through roots.

After attacking the second root and about thirty minutes into my project, a surge of pain began moving through my back. I struggled to bend over, but I was determined not to let pain stop my progress. I continued to try to break the roots, using my hand from time to time to pull chunks of dirt, grass and roots up. After a few minutes longer, I needed a break. I went to the trunk of my car, got a bottle of water and leaned on the hood. I guzzled it down like the chilly afternoon was a scorching hot summer day. I looked at my project in dismay; my progress was small in comparison to what seemed like a lot of work and effort put into the project.

How did they do it? I thought to myself. How could my ancestors have possibly tilled, dug, shoveled and planted hundreds of acres by hand whether it was hot, cold, rainy or snowing outside. I had been at my task for a little less than an hour and my body was already in excruciating pain. My ancestors, on the other hand, worked at least twelve and up to twenty hours per day during harvesting season. This was hard, back-breaking work for which I cannot imagine fair compensation. And my ancestors had done this for free for hundreds of years on plantations across the world.

I stared at the ground again and anger and disappointment ran through me. How could America not celebrate the culture and honor the people who not only fed the people of this land, but built this country brick by brick? How dare this country reduce our more than 400 years of American history to three pages in a textbook! It is difficult imagine how Black History is not truly seen and respected as American History. Look what they had endured for the sake of this country! As pain continued to flow my body, so did anger. I could see images of black women with newborns strapped to their backs tilling and planting endless acres of land. I could see the sun beaming on the lash-beaten backs of old black men who were stooped over picking cotton with huge burlap bags dragging behind. I could see them on a tattered porch eating biscuits and pig’s feet with greens from a dog’s pan. Scenario after scenario played in my mind; all I could think about was how hard it must’ve been for my ancestors to just survive. But they did.

There had to be something greater that pushed them each day, because this type of body-deteriorating work was enough to make any man succumb to natural death. They didn’t just survive slavery; they survived being beaten, being fed scraps of food, being berated, belittled, raped and help captive. They survived hell, still believing that better days were ahead. Though they had nothing, they did not give up.  It stirred my spirit to imagine my ancestors who were born into slavery, lived in slavery, and died still in slavery; yet, America still holds tBackyard Vegetable Garden Design Plansheir stories captive. They won’t let our tongues tell the world of the burdens black people bore for this country. They deny us the privilege of a history that is respected like the Holocaust and held with high regard like the words of the U.S. Constitution.

However, after this experience, I am even more determined to not be quiet. I will study every book, I will listen to every story, and I will teach every child about the real American History. I will teach my son that he is blessed to be black and that survival comes to him naturally because it is a part of the black American bloodline. Lastly, I will till this garden with no complaints, and I will use its harvest to nourish my family and friend’s bodies. I will make no complaints about the work, for what I do by choice each day, my ancestor did for centuries with no options. I have accepted that America will never respect my ancestor’s story, which is exactly why I always will.

What My Toddler Taught Me about Love and Reciprocity

In Uncategorized on February 20, 2017 at 6:58 am

A few weeks ago, Lee3 and I arrived home after I had spent the day on the highway, and he had spent the day with his grandmother. It had been a tough few weeks for both of us. He was battling the misery of strep throat. I was trying to maintain work and travel while fretting over whether I made the right decision to go on my television interview while my son was still ill. My sleep was deprived, my body was teetering on exhaustion, and this night was no different from others. While I tried to pretend that work and woes were not getting the best of me, it seemed that my son could still tell his mama was tired. I dragged our things from the car, sat them on the floor in the living room, and then came to my bedroom. My son followed, saying very little as his little steps alternated with mine on the tile throughout the house. I sat on the side of the bed and reached for him. He came over to give me a hug and then got down from my lap, went to my small night stand, got my pajamas, laid them on the bed and said “There, Mama.”

“Aw, thank you baby,” I said and leaned down to kiss his cheek.

I sat a few moments longer trying to decide what our next steps would be and how take care of the night’s tasks as quickly as possible. On the night stand next to the bed were the small nail clippers I had used to trim his fingers and toes the night before. Lee3 reached for the clippers and examined them for a minute. I started to grab them from him, but decided there was no harm in letting him play for a minute. Besides, they were closed and I was sure he could not do anything with them. However, his little chubby fingers knew exactly how to open the clippers. I was intrigued, so I watched him. He grabbed my feet and started trying to clip my toe nails, as he had seen me do his so many times. I watched for a minute and then started laughing as his little fingers tickled the base of my feet. After a few minutes, I told him thank you and took the clippers away. He smiled and leaned in for some sugar. (A kiss.)

As I lay in bed later that night, I replayed that sweet moment in my head. My baby wanted to help his mama just as she helps him. He has watched my actions so closely that he knew I was sleepy, so I needed my pajamas. He saw the clippers and remembered that I had clipped his nails, so he wanted to do the same for me. My smile and kiss were the only approval he desired. My toddler son’s genuine act taught me a quick lesson about love and reciprocity.

So often, we spend our time and energy doing for and giving to others who do not give the same to us. We give our best because we love them, not because we expect anything in return. Yet, when we get nothing in return from those we love, we become frustrated and disappointed, questioning their love and loyalty. However, there comes a time when we must verbalize our expectations and require reciprocity. I thought about how young my son is, and how his desire was to do for me what I have done for him. He has seen the things I do for him, and as often as possible, he tries to do these same things for me- carry bags, help with dishes, help take out the trash, anything! If my two-year old can understand the art of giving and receiving, I had to ask myself why I often allow people to get away with not returning the same love I show them. Reciprocity does not mean that one is expecting others to give more than what is given to them; it is the expectation to at least give the same. This accounts for friendships, family-ships and romantic relationships.

This is not to imply that we should not invest in or bless others with no expectations. This is to suggest that we are to expect qualities like loyalty, commitment, honesty, truthfulness and sisterhood to be a two-way street, not a dead-end road. Therefore, when we seek to build relationships, we should seek relationships that require individuals to give and take, not give and give or take and take. In the end, the expectation of love and reciprocity is not about just about holding the ones we love accountable; it is also about maintaining self-balance through the reciprocal cycle of love. To remain emotionally and mentally healthy, we must always replenish what we put out with what we take in.

Yes, what seemed like a simple moment of sweetness between mother and son, became a deep moment of reflection, and subsequently, an opportunity to grow. I gave my son my love and he showed me his appreciation through reciprocity. If a two-year old gets it, can’t we get it, too?

2016: Donald Trump Taught Me

In Uncategorized on December 30, 2016 at 5:49 pm

For the past six weeks, I have been trying to find at least one positive thing to say about Donald Trump being elected as our new President. I have searched “high and low.” I looked under my couch, on top of the refrigerator, on the roof of my house, from the roof of my house, down the highway, up the street, in the church, in the club, and even between the sofa cushions. You can always find things in the sofa cushions. Still, I could find nothing good to say.

He has already began living up to the things he preached about in this election. He uses Twitter-fingers to discuss political plans and pick fights. He has “settled” several court cases out of court and is not being pursued for anything, though at least one of his cases indicates there is reasonable cause for a trial. He appointed black medical doctor Ben Carson to be over federal housing on the premise that Ben Carson grew up in the hood. It still baffles me that Ben Carson would accept such a position despite admitting that he has no idea how to run this program. I see a token, and it is not from Chuckie-Cheese. The list of Trump’s calamities both past and present go on and on. For a while, it has been overwhelming to even discuss the never-ending, just-beginning saga of Donald Trump.

Tonight, though, I was preparing for bed and thinking about what I wanted to write as my final post of 2016. I didn’t want to write a general summary. I didn’t want to be typical with a list of the ways I have changed or a list of things I’ve have learned. I wanted something different- something that really challenged me. Instantly, my mind rolled back to the election and my concerns as we enter a new year post-Obama administration. A tear welled in the corner of my eye, and for a minute, sadness overcame me. I snapped out of it; I must get over my devastation and accept the truth. We will have a new president and that president’s name will be Donald John Trump. Sadness again. He will be our new President, and we can do this! We can make it! At some point America was great, and he will make it great again! Sadness. Grabs a Kleenex. Pours a glass of wine. Adds a shot of tequila.  I can do this.

I tried to evaluate the political scandal- I mean the political technique and strategy- used by our President elect. I could find no real strategy, but I did find a few more things. Tax audits every year for twenty years. A tax return that has still never been submitted. Declarations that he can “grab women by the p***y.” Bragging about “banging” his daughter if she wasn’t his daughter. Law suits for racial discrimination. Law suits for a fraudulent school. Multiple bankruptcies. Multiple children with multiple women. Where does the list end? Where does the list begin?

So what does all of this mean to you? Well, one very important thing that can change your life for the rest of your life! Are you ready? YOUR PAST DOESN’T MATTER! No one is better proof of this than our President elect. If you made a mistake ten years ago; forgive yourself. It doesn’t matter. If you made a mistake yesterday, forgive yourself. It doesn’t matter! If many of the U.S. citizens are willing to put the fate of our country in the hands of a man with a Santa Claus list of faults, scandals, and crimes, then you deserve to let the burdens of your past go and move forward! I mean, he is the President of the United States! You just want to start a business or write a book or mend the ties with your family or finish school! Well, look at Donald Trump and then look in the mirror. Trump. Mirror. Trump. Mirror. Now, go for it! Trust me, you haven’t done so badly. If America can forgive Trump, and he can confidently look at himself in the mirror every day, then you can do it, too! Let go of your mistakes and people who disappointed you. Let go of your past- no matter how shady or unforgiving it may seem to you. Develop a clean and genuine heart with true ambition. Find what you what to do or change and go for it! Every day you wake up is your chance to be great. Don’t let your past keep you from your calling or destiny. One more time. Look at Donald Trump. Look in the mirror. Look at Donald Trump. Look in the mirror. Trump. Mirror. Trump. Mirror. Now, remember, YOUR PAST DOESN’T MATTER!

Go for your heart’s desires in 2017!

Life in the 30’s Lane

In Culture, life, media, reality, Uncategorized on December 6, 2016 at 5:25 am

It was just a few years ago that I was terrified of my 30th birthday. A laundry list of things I felt I had not accomplished loomed over my head and I looked at the encroaching new era with hesitation and fear. It took a traveling summer, a collection of poems and a few teary-eyed break downs to prepare me to f embrace and feel comfortable with turning 30. Though I was finally able to look to the future with anticipation, nothing could have prepared me for what waited on the other side of my 29th birthday. This year, I joyfully reflect on the lessons I have learned since entering the early years of my 30’s:

  1. Life is what you make of it, not what it makes of you.

For many years, I questioned many of the experiences I had, unable to understand their relevance to my life. Yet, this past year has enlightened me in a different way. Every single experience, good or bad, short term or long term, has played a significant role in developing me into the person I am today.  Some experiences have changed the way  I view myself. Other experience has affected the way I view others. One of the most important changes was the way I view my mother and the journey that brought us closer.

The truth is that many people experience the unplanned, unfair and incomprehensible, but so many people have chosen to let life make them grand instead of letting something grand make their life. When we allow factors to control our life we only know happiness based on circumstance, but we when chose to let to control of our life we know pure joy. The best decision I ever made was to make something of this life and not to let this life make something of me.

  1. Choose obedience and everything else will fall into place.

In 2014, I made plans to move. Correction. In 2014, I made moves to move. I had a job offer, friends ready to embrace my son and me, and all the right means to make things happen.  I felt stagnant in Monroe, and I had had more than enough of the “love and energy” I  felt the town was giving me. I missed Baton Rouge and Baton Rouge always shown love to me. Then, one Sunday, I showed up at a church to share a message. I was asked to speak about Ruth and Proverbs 31. It was a teaching and learning experience that opened my spiritual senses and emotions. I broke Ruth and Proverbs 31 down so intellectually that the preacher said she didn’t think she needed a sermon anymore. Yet, before I could leave the church doors, the guest preacher would pray and have a few words.  I had never met her before and I have not seen her since, even though she lives somewhere in my town. She gave me instructions, with the most vital part being to stay in Monroe. I cried…miserably. I’m talking snot slinging, can’t breathe crying. She kept talking, reaching deep into my life, and I had no doubt God had sent her to detour my escape plan. I was crushed.

Yet, obedience has been worth the sacrifice. Many days are rough and I question God from time to time; still, I remember that obedience has yielded more blessings than I can count. He continues to blow my mind and exceed my expectation. I bow my head and remember that He gives me strength and favor and fights all my battles.

  1. I have no shame in proclaiming how much I love God.

God is not always the most popular name in the room. Atheism and agnosticism have become more and more popular. Holidays have modified from Merry Christmas to Happy Holidays and Easter has become more about eggs than the resurrection. Yet, in times when God has become increasingly unpopular, I find myself more and more excited to declare how good God is to me. There was a time when I felt uncomfortable if I didn’t know the level of God-love in the crowd. However, my as I entered my 30’s my God sensor went bananas and I have not been able to stop telling the world how good it is to know and experience a relationship with God. The peace and love of God is so valuable that no one can afford it, but He so graciously gives it away become He loves us. My goal is not to preach or to convert, but to show others that the joy I feel illuminates because I know how good God has been.

  1. Not everything and everybody need a response.

This has been a long, agonizing lesson. When I think back to my years as a young, college student who felt obligated to verbally make my feelings known, I have come such a long way. My mouth was a shotgun and I was aiming to kill. I was ruthless and I had no mercy when people hurt my feelings, betrayed my friendship or mistook my kindness for foolishness. Yet, growth and aging have taught me that not everything and everybody need a response- no matter how badly they want one from me. As tempting as it is to “put people in their place”, I had to learn how to speak when I need to and let God deal with the rest. It’s not easy- trust me, it ain’t easy. My tongue and pen are tools by which I function in this life. However, I have committed myself to growing and improving on a daily basis. That meant when I recognized how lethal my tongue was, I could no longer purposely use it to harm others even when they have used their tongue and actions to harm me. There are still some moments and situations where I dig into my vocabulary and inner being to issue a swift lashing; however, it is my last resort and one I feel no need to defend when I do. However, my goal is for God to continue to give me the strength to remember that all things are resolved in due season, good things come to those who wait, and individuals shall reap what they sow.

  1. Being “woke” is a constant state of evolving; not a specific period of life.

I don’t remember a point of my life when I was not taught about Black History. My mother taught it to me like the school system teaches Math, English, and oh yeah, History. One of the first books she ever bought me was an elementary version of the biography of Dr. King. She didn’t just tell me he marched, she taught me about his life, his wife and his speeches. She, along with many of my black teachers, went on to teach me about Brown vs. the Board of Education and host essay contests to allow me to express my black pride. By the time I got to middle and high school, I had begun studying my history and culture independently, submerging myself in the facts that school history books would never teach me. By the time I graduated from high school, I had written and directed my first Black History play in a community that was over 60% white and only 30% black.

Needless to say, being “woke” (or conscious as they used to say back in the day) has never been a problem for me. Understanding why it has taken so long for so many people to embrace their blackness, learn their history and become vocal has been a frustrating to me. Yet, I am glad to see that the awakening has arrived, but hurt to see how horrible things had to be for action to be imminent. The movement has reiterated for me what I have always believed so passionately, being “woke” is a part of life for black people. Not only must we be “woke,” we must be vocal, active, persistent and insistent. We must look racism and racial injustice in the face and call it as it, no matter the setting or audience. Racial injustice takes no break and neither can I.

  1. This is my life…

And this is such a simple phrase with so many meanings. It took years for me to realize that I am not living this life for anyone except myself. I am not obligated to accept what I do not approve. I am not to be held accountable for what I cannot control. I am not to criticize myself for being human and passionate. I am entitled to feel, to think, to react and to be.

Understanding the true essence of this phrase revolutionized who I spent time with and who I allowed to borrow my time. It changed the number of chances I gave people to betray or disappoint me, and revolutionized my expectations for myself. I work hard, pray hard and try to live the right way. I get one life and it is mine. I must live it on my terms and do what makes me joyful and happy.

 

I am 34 and loving it! I have learned so much about putting my energy and time in the right direction, and eliminating anything or anyone that aims to interrupt my peace flow. I am smiling while typing this. It’s a heck of a feeling. I feel better than India Arie when she said “I am not my hair” and “Because I am a queen.” You get the point. My 30’s were once so greatly fear, now they are so wonderfully revered.

The Sweetest Gift: In Honor of My Son’s Birthday

In Uncategorized on October 15, 2016 at 5:21 am

I remember the moment I found out I was pregnant with you

A thousand thoughts my mind ran through,

Was it the time or place right?

This was not a part of the plan I’d laid out for my life.

But there you were, incalculable and alive,

Fluttering and moving already inside.

I wondered how I could possibly be carrying a child,

Though I worried, I was beguiled.

Watching my stomach as it stretched and grew,

I counted the moments to hours to days I would meet you.

You were already a love like no other,

For you were the only one who could give me the title of mother.

You revolutionized what it meant for me to be free

To emancipate myself others’ thoughts of me

To speak for one who cannot yet talk

To march for one who cannot yet walk

To protect one who cannot yet fight

You are my love and I’d give my life.

 

Who wouldn’t love a boy so sweet?

Who wouldn’t want to kiss dimples so deep?

Who would not want to hug arms so wide?

He is his mother’s biggest pride.

The past two years have been nothing but bliss

I never imagined a love like this.

Whether wiping your runny nose or reading you a book,

You give me pride with only a simple look.

When I needed peace you brought me great joy,

Only God could give me such a bouncy baby boy.

Many nights I watch your gentle breaths,

You give me energy when I have none left.

Oh, how precious you are to me,

There is no sweeter gift than my Lee3!

 bdaylee

We are One

In Culture, justice, media, News, Race, reality, religion, Uncategorized on July 2, 2016 at 3:47 am

On June 30, I was given the prestigious honor of sharing an original piece with the community of Monroe, Louisiana during Mayor Jamie Mayo’s inaugural ceremony. The piece composed was written in efforts to acknowledge the importance of unity and the necessity to be conscious of others and societal issues during such challenging times. Written from the heart, my aim is to be honest about the challenges and truthful about the only real solution to our problem. We must realize that no matter our struggles and problems, we are one humanity that can only truly survive by being learning to work together and showing empathy to others. Below is the transcript.

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A Disappointed Christian: the Orlando Shooting

In Culture, justice, life, media, News, Race, Uncategorized on June 13, 2016 at 7:31 pm

Matthew 22: 39-40And the second commandment is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

One these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.orlando1

Sunday morning I turned my television on to a woman with tears streaming down her face saying she knew her son was among the unidentified dead bodies. My heart sunk as I watched her cry hysterically and I felt my heart break as I watched her crumble to pieces. Many knew what it took me a while to figure out- there was a mass shooting targeting homosexuals at a club in Orlando. The Christians are about to go crazy, I said to myself. Immediately, a sense of discomfort swept me as I anticipated what many of my fellow believers of Christ might say.

They didn’t let me down either. I saw everything from comments about a lack of sympathy for others’ loss to claims that this happened because they were living in sin. I was infuriated to think that people could be so insensitive and outright disrespectful. I was dumbfounded to think that people were suggesting that people deserved to die because they felt they were unforgivable sinners. Here were people wearing the title of Christian so proudly but defaming the word of God so blatantly. I was so disappointed to know that so many of us are doing God a disservice. I can no longer continue to spare the rod on Christians, for so many have become spoiled and intolerant children.

I question how those who criticized Orlando’s victims felt about other American tragedies? Did they have an explanation for why the children of Sandy Hook were killed? What about the people who died in 9/11? What about the massive terrorism of slaves in America for 300 years? Did all of the people deserve to be murdered because of some people felt they had sinned?

Yesterday’s catastrophe was one of the world’s most opportune times to minister; yet, many Christians failed miserably. I continue to think back to Jesus’s ministry over and over again. I think about the number of people He healed and touched and how often he hardly spoke, he only acted. I think about the number of times He denied a sick person a healing because they were of a different religion or because they had sinned. I cannot recall one. Instead, Jesus ministered through love over and over again. He changed lives and hearts through actions over and over again. He focused on His to love and heal and not on their actions.

Yesterday was not about homosexuality or a night club. It was about a tragedy that rocked the country and a result that will affect everyone at some point- death. The pain of losing someone to violence is something that no one deserves and that hurts a family whether the individual is gay or straight, black or white, religious or non-religious. At this moment, so many Christians had the chance to extend arms and join hands to say, “I am sorry for your pain and your loss. God loves you and I do, too,” but so many failed to do so. Many tried to justify the actions of a deranged murderer because they disagreed with the lifestyle of a group. It sickens me. So often, it is not the bible that has caused people to stop going to church or believing in God; it is the actions of the so-called Christians that turns people away. Being hurt and judged by the church has caused so many to forego a personal relationship with God.

This situation is not about your opinion on homosexuality. We have all done something or do something that people do not agree with, and quite often, our opinions of people don’t really matter. This about the chance to sow seed so love and compassion when love and compassion are needed more than ever. God bless the families and victims of Orlando.

God & Poetry Saved Me from Suicide

In Uncategorized on June 13, 2016 at 1:32 am

https://power2thepen.wordpress.com/2015/05/

Black Crime, Black Self Hate

In Culture, justice, life, media, News, prison, Race, reality, Uncategorized on April 14, 2016 at 7:38 pm

wpid-20150828_191001.jpgLast weekend was filled with tragedy in Louisiana. At least 3 African Americans lost their lives due to violence. Emotions were charged as people took to social media to voice their frustration over such unfortunate events in such a short period of time. However, it was not the reply of my white counterparts that made me cringe and grit my teeth. My people pulled out a phrase that burns my ears worse than nails on an old school chalkboard, “How can we keep crying about racism when black people kill each other every day?” Several thoughts ran through my head every time I saw a status update, tweet or post implying that racism in America is excusable because a certain portion of a population’s race is involved in violent acts. I suppose these are the same type of people who say that slavery could not have been that bad because black people sold other black people and there were black overseers and slave owners throughout history. Their justification for injustice is justifying the acts of the unjustified against an unjustly subjugated people. Read it twice. Read it slowly.

I guess what frustrates me the most is the alarming amount of evidence we have which dispels the myth that black on black crime is the biggest crime problem in America. Yet, people fail to research information for self and, instead, believe the skewed information presented by the news and media. According to the FBI website (link below), in 2013 white people accounted for 3799 manslaughter and non-negligent crimes, while black people accounted for 4,379 of the same crime. However, that gap widened as I continued to research. White people accounted for 8,946 rape crimes, while black people only accounted for less than half of that number at 4,229. White people accounted for 183,092 arrests for aggravated assault arrests, while black people accounted for 98, 748. As matter of a fact, white people exceed black people in criminal arrests in nearly every single category, sometimes with double or trouble the number of criminal acts committed. The total criminal arrests for white people were over six million, while black people had 2.5 million total arrests. Yet, the news and media outlets and society places primary focus on incidents by black people in black neighborhoods. We, then, ostracize and criticize our own people without being properly informed. Do not worry; the link for the website is below. Let your jaw drop a little; the numbers might shock you.

Do not fully rely on statistics for a full justice report, though. One astounding lesson I have learned over the years is that there is huge number of unreported crimes within the white community. Time after time, I have gotten vicarious information or heard stories about violent incidents within my community that were “taken care of” financially or through some other type of agreement. Within my professional experience, I had been told stories by individuals who committed offenses, but were “let off” several times because of family connections or racial advantage. I know I am not the only one who is privy this information; however, many who know this information ignore it and deny its relevance to the inaccurate portrayal of blacks in America.

Instead of treating the unfortunate incidents of last weekend like two isolated cases in two different cities, many people passed judgment on a race. They pulled a race card, but not a king or queen; it seems more like the joker. As much as individuals claim to hate being judged and stereotyped, so many fellow black Americans did both as soon as news of these fatalities was released. What used to create a sense of compassion in me now causes me to seethe with frustration and anger. I keep wondering when the black population will stop believing the labels and stereotypes that have been attached to our people by people who feel threatened by us. We have such a lack of self love individually that we are willing to accept what others say about us collectively. The truth is that we can never expect to see justice from the system if we do not see the value of our own race and culture. We have to start having a better attitude towards and about our people. We must make an important realization: when we support stereotypes and negative assumptions about our people, we as individuals are included the number. Agreeing with the derogatory statements made about our race does not make us an exception. Speaking against these misrepresentations of our people is the only way to combat the problem.

For many, the argument that black people are America’s biggest problem and that the black race is violent angry race that is destroying the country with crime seems small. However, it is this belief that has contributed to the alarming number of hate crimes against black people, prejudiced attitudes and biases, lack of cultural empathy and respect, and discrimination in work places. In essence, supporting a negative view of our culture has prohibited all of our people from receiving fair and equal treatment more often. One clichéd quote is true; we cannot expect others to respect us if we do not respect ourselves. We must change our perspective of our own people, research and information others of the truth and become positive advocates for changes in policies and attitudes.

There is an important lesson I have learned over the years, and it’s that numbers don’t lie. Educate yourself, people.

FBI Website:

https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2013/crime-in-the-u.s.-2013/tables/table-43

 

 

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