The Real Meaning of Mr. and Mrs.

Today I received a Facebook invite to a bridal shower, labelled from “MISS to MRS.”  Considering that she’s an lesbian, I wondered what “MRS” meant in that context. She wasn’t going to have a “Mister” more of a going from Miss to Misses, and where did the “R” come from in the Misses abbreviation, “Mrs?”

Until I received her invitation,  I’d blindly excepted that Ms. and Mrs. were formal titles differentiating  married women from single women. Then I wondered about the origins of “Ms.” to “Mrs.”  So I did some research.

Turns out, “Mr” didn’t actually mean “mister,” until some time in the 1700’s.  The original abbreviation stood for “Master.”  It was a name assigned to white men after they turned 18 years old.  Usually white males were addressed as “Young Master” before they were recognized as adult males.

The female equivalent of “Master” is “Mistress.”  Girls were called “Miss,” until they reached eighteen or got married.  Sometimes women married as early as thirteen.  Marriage automatically assigned females adult status and they were then referred to as “Mistress.”



#Black Lives Matter Is Fighting for this Crazy Dude too.

It is disappointing to see a Black man pushing this nonsense. The police have a very dangerous job. No one is saying the police don’t have a difficult job. No one. However, being Black is not a choice or a crime.

I would also like to note, Black Lives Matter can’t control the people who show up to protests.  Some people choose to riot.  Black Lives Matter protesters are trained in nonviolent civil disobedience.  Anyone killing or destroying property isn’t affiliated with the organization.  Shit, I’m not affiliated with the organization and I’ve been to protest training. The organization welcomes all people to protests.  Still they cannot control what all the people will do.  During training, we are told specifically not to touch the police. We are told how to stay together and remain safe.

When the Klan shows up to a Black Lives Matter protests armed, no one concludes they are part of the organization.  No one considers them dangerous either, even though they are armed.

For some reason we assume everyone Black at a Black Lives Matter protest must therefore be part of Black Lives Matter, rather than local people from the community who are upset about their relationship and history with the police.

Let me also note,  Charles Beau Menefee, the white man who won an Emmy for his coverage of Ferguson was fired after posting among other racist things, protesters should be shot and bombed. The point of mentioning this… Menefee projected his narrative more than facts.

CBS46 photojournalist fired over racist rants about Black Lives Matter on Facebook

There were countless protests over the months following Mike Brown’s murder.  However, there were only two riots.  Once in the beginning after Mike Browns body was left on the ground for four hours in his neighborhood and people responded emotionally.  In the end, after the verdict was released.  During that time, I watched along with the press as young white men broke the glass windows and doors on “The Medicine Shop.”  They were not there for protesting they were there for drugs.  No one talks about the white people looting and destroying property.  I’ve never seen the footage of them.

I don’t live in the inner city. I don’t have people being killed around me regularly. I’ve never seen the reality in this video.  I don’t know any gang members. I don’t do drugs or sell drugs. I work about 75 hours a week between two jobs. I bought a house in a neighborhood where maybe the police didn’t feel I belonged. The police pulled me over so often, I had to leave early for work to allow time.

If you look at statistics for traffic stops in Missouri, Blacks were over 90% of the traffic stops, but only 11.8% of the population. Only 30% of those stops led to citations and/or greater charges. You don’t see the other 70% of us stopped and harassed by police, which is what we are protesting. Just like people say all police are not bad, neither are all Black people. Furthermore, police choose to work at enforcing laws which requires them to deal with criminals. If a cop is afraid or doesn’t want to be a police officer they can quit. I can’t stop being Black.

I work hard. I live within my means. I live in a great neighborhood where I was constantly being pulled over by police. One time, I even got pulled over pulling out of my own garage going to work, by a Black cop. It’s not just about white cops it’s about the way Black people are viewed as one large group. Even this video, asking why Black Lives Matter doesn’t protest Black on Black crime is pushing stereotypes. Black Lives Matter is focused on addressing police who harass Blacks and kill unarmed Blacks without impunity.  There is already a system established to address criminals, black or otherwise.

I didn’t even realize Black on Black crime was an issue.  Until Black Lives Matter started protesting police brutality.  Now that I know the statistics, 87% of Black murders are committed by other Blacks, just like 82% of white murders are committed by other whites. Crime and murder is usually INTRARACIAL.  Furthermore, I don’t live in a neighborhood where crime is an issue, I live in a neighborhood where police racially profiling Blacks is an issue.

All Black people are not affected by Black on Black crime just like all white people aren’t affected by white on white crime. I’m not afraid of Black people killing me. I am afraid of the police charging me falsely, writing tickets to meet their quota, beating and/or killing me.

I hold my breath every time I pass a police car to see if I’m being followed.  Unfortunately too many times I actually am being followed. I don’t identify with people who pull guns on police. I don’t know anyone who has been shot recently. So no, I can’t name the last Black person who killed another Black person. I can tell you I was pulled over more than 20 times in 2014. I can tell you I was never ticketed. I can tell you I was pulled over several times in 2015, but it stopped after the Michael Brown protests got media attention to focus on Black people being profiled.

Once the media started investigating how Black people were being profiled, I wasn’t pulled over as often. This is because of Black Lives Matters. Before, the police wouldn’t even tell me why they pulled me over. They’d interrogate, asking questions like: do you have a job, how long have you worked there, do you have children or they assume I have children and ask how many I have. The shorter profile stops ask fewer questions, they ask where am I going or where I’m coming from, how long have I lived in the area. One asked what job do I do that affords me that type of house. Other officers after they see I have military car insurance ask who in my family served. When I say I was in the army, they sometimes just let me go without all the questions.

I’m still traumatized every time I’m pulled over.  So what they don’t write me a ticket.  So what I don’t have a record.  I am still hurt that I live in a world where I can be harassed by someone with a gun in broad day light.  Sometimes I cry on my way to where I’m going and don’t mention it, because it’s what happens when you are Black.  Every person Black knows what it feels like to be stopped, even when walking in your own neighborhood.  It is only after these protests am I able to say, I’m one of the ones, who  is being profiled. It is only after these protests are my white friends becoming aware of how challenging it is to be Black in America.

I’m a female. I’ve been pulled over and had my car searched without any reason being given, and I didn’t ask, because to ask would be considered belligerent.  My parents taught me to obey the police so they won’t kill me. All Black parents have to talk to their children about the police.

I was driving from a family reunion in Alabama back to Georgia, when I saw a police officer at a gas station.  He left before me. After I got back on the dark two lane highway about two minutes, the same officer pulled me over and trained his gun on me.  I was instructed to get out of the car.  Another officer showed up.  Then I was handcuffed, searched, questioned about where I was going and where I’d been.  Afterwards, I was sat on the highway behind my car, where I watched them search my car, pulling up the car material in my trunk and ripping my backseat away from the window backboard or whatever it’s called.  It was forever ripped. After they were done, the officer who pulled me over went back to his patrol car. The officer who assisted told me to have a good night.

I don’t have a record. I’ve never been arrested, but I’ve been handcuffed three times in my life. When I was 15, I had police officers train their weapons on me and three other teenage girls after we walked out of a McDonalds. They ordered us to put our food on their patrol car hood, then swept all our food in the trash. We laugh at how hungry we were now, and how McDonald’s fries use to be the best…but it was upsetting then. We went to a McDonalds in our rich friend’s neighborhood because she’d just got her license. The police told our parents they didn’t arrest us, they were just holding us for being out pass curfew, it was 9pm on a Friday. We didn’t know there was a curfew. Meanwhile, they didn’t arrest/hold any of the white kids at the McDonalds. Many of them were not even getting food, just road their bikes up there and were hanging out.

The comments on this video were so upsetting I had to talk about it.  People calling Black Lives Matter a terrorist group, meanwhile I’m being terrorized in my own country by the police and this is the only group of people standing up for us. I shouldn’t be told to go back to Africa because other citizens who took the job to protect me think I’m less than human. This video is part of the problem.

More white criminals have violent fatal incidents with the police.  Still, white people are not being profiled. The police don’t assume when they see a white person in a nice car they stole it. The police don’t assume when they see a white person in an affluent neighborhood they must be looking for homes to break in.  The police aren’t randomly stopping white teens walking in their own neighborhoods. And the police would never think it was okay to shoot at a white child talking on the phone walking from a local store, the way Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin. Trayvon literally ran from Zimmerman because he was afraid of Zimmerman.  Zimmerman still got off on self-defense after chasing and attacking Trayvon Martin.  Even though he stalked and chased Martin against the advice of the 911 operator.

Who do you think is supporting Black Lives Matter? Do you think gangs are collecting membership dues and paying for protesters to get out of jail? Do you honestly believe drug addicts and drug dealers are supporting a movement for an entire community? No, Black entertainers, Black intellectuals, doctors, lawyers and working class Black people who are tired of being pulled over and harassed in their own neighborhoods for being Black. College students are on the front lines of Black Lives Matter.

You only hear about Black people who disobey police and there is some tragic ending. You don’t hear about people like me, who get written up for being late to work because I’m not willing to tell my employer the police keep pulling me over because I’m Black. You don’t hear about entertainers who are pulled over so often for being Black, they buy cheaper cars, hoping that will stop profiling.  Only to find, the cheaper cars don’t stop the profiling either, because when they’re pulled over the cop says, the car didn’t fit the neighborhood they actually live in.  Black Lives Matter is saying this is not fair.

Let me also note, I’m not affiliated with Black Lives Matter. I don’t represent them and my views and opinions don’t coincide with their mission. They say they care about Black on Black crime. I’m not saying I don’t, I’m saying I’m annoyed that when someone is addressing a serious problem people try to deflect. I didn’t even realize Black on Black crime was an issue until people kept asking why Black Lives Matter doesn’t address Black on Black crime.

Here is their official response to myths about Black Lives Matter.

I capitalized Black, because I consider this my race, like Japanese, Australian and Egyptian.  Speaking of Egyptians, Africa is a continent with several countries, languages and tribes.  Black Jamaicans came from Africa, but don’t call themselves African Jamaicans, they are just Jamaicans. With that being said, I don’t claim Africa as my home. I am Black American.

All the land was once connected.

All the land was once connected.

I believe all people came from Africa, I believe Africa was once the center of all the land mass on Earth.  I believe we spread out an so did the Earth.

That whole Pangea thing is a fact.

Some resources that need to be considered in this conversation.

Here is an article where Chris Rock talks about being pulled over three times in seven weeks.

Affluent Black men discuss how wealth and hard work doesn’t stop them from being harassed by police.

Police Killings of Blacks: Here Is What the Data Say

On Wealthy Island, Being Black Means Being a Police Suspect


Jill Stein for President 2016

I started to feel like I needed to reevaluate my political position after I read a quote about what we are able to choose in late 2015.  At birth our skin color, hair texture, parents, culture and religion are already chosen.  We don’t even get to choose our name.  As children we don’t get to choose our economic standing.  In some cultures you cannot not work your way out of the class in which you were born.  If your father was a carpenter, you are a carpenter.

I started to think about all the decisions I don’t actively choose.  I didn’t like identifying as a lesbian, because I don’t like the boxes I’m forced into as a lesbian.  I don’t want to be considered fem or stud or androgynous.  I don’t want to take on some hetero-normative role or support all the toxic masculinity some women are taking on while identifying as feminist.

I hated when people started to say Bernie Sanders sold out, when he went from identifying as independent to democrat.  I wondered if no one else understood politics.  There are two ruling parties.  He could probably garner some votes as an independent, but eventually he and the democratic nominee would both lose to Donald Trump.

Then Bernie Sanders lost the democratic nomination amid voter fraud claims.  These concerns were not spoken and heard without action.  There were protests and petitions. People were heartbroken.  It was the first time I really fought for a candidate, besides Obama’s first election.

People disrupted Hilary Clinton’s speeches demanding another democratic vote.  Some people were disappointed, disillusioned and demanded to know why Bernie didn’t fight back.  I even started a petition, to stop the 2016 presidential elections until we could have a recount.  Then I didn’t know there were tons of petitions.  I’d argue those petitions were started on the proper forums, but it’s a moot point since like I said Sanders has tapped out.

<> on June 9, 2016 in Washington, DC.

WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 09: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), speaks during a campaign rally at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium June 9, 2016 in Washington, DC. After a meeting with President Barack Obama earlier at the White House, Sanders said he will work with Hillary Clinton to beat Donald Trump in the presidential election. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

In the meantime, I voted locally for judges, sheriffs and so on.  When I went to get my ballot, I noticed how awkward it was when a tall older white man identified himself as republican.  It seemed like the whole room got silent and everyone watched him walk to his voting booth.  It was the first time I thought having to identify was inappropriate.  It was the first time I noticed that someone else was taking away my choices, by limiting them to a specific party.  It was the first time I wanted a full ballot.

I’m not even sure why I was so upset about someone else choosing my candidates.  I felt manipulated.  Which is weird, because though I’m ashamed to admit this, I didn’t know much about the candidates on the ballot.  I was only up on three categories and that’s because I go to community meetings, where we’d been visited by candidates.  They discussed getting rid of a sports center which would mean the ending of a local football team.  I’m not into sports and don’t even know what season it is, so I’m all for putting that money to use somewhere else in our community.  I voted for all the candidates names I recognized as protesters.  Otherwise, I find keeping up with all the different issues and people against and for them is daunting.  Especially since I don’t watch T.V.

I’ve stopped complaining.  I actively get involved in changing things.  I’m doing what Sonya Sanchez advised us all to do.  Show up however we can and wherever we can.  I bring my gifts and my energy.  I am clear about my boundaries, but I show up.  It has been life altering and life saving.   I felt overwhelmed by all the issues facing black people after Mike Brown was killed.  Now, I’m not burned out but I’m active.  I am seeing the world with new eyes. I am expecting more from my representatives.

Recently, I started to research and follow Jill Stein, because she is interesting.  I’ve agreed with everything she’s said so far.  I also remembered her being there to protest voter fraud concerns. jill-stein-outside-dnc-620x436

Still, I wanted to remain committed to the democratic party because they were supporting the Black Lives Matter Movement.  Also, I didn’t believe Jill Stein could win.  On top of that, I really don’t want Trump to win.

About a week ago, elected democratic candidates emailed an internal memo saying they no longer supported the position of Black Lives Matter.  In fact, it directed local democratic  officials to just listen but not to agree to support any of Black Lives Matter positions. Initially, the democrats pushed our position as their agenda.  Some of them even went to jail during the Ferguson protests.  So for them to stay they were no longer supporting our position and just listening, it was heartbreaking.

I mean, what is wrong with holding police accountable for killing unarmed black people? What is wrong with addressing the evidence from the Department of Justice’s investigation that blacks are pulled over three out of four times more than whites.  Mean while, whites are cited or charged 70% of the time.  While only 30% of blacks ever get a citation are a charge and a large number of these offenses are things that couldn’t have been determined unless they were pulled over.  Like driving with insurance in lapse, disabling seat belts, not wearing glasses when their license indicates glasses are required.   Yes these are serious issues, but it isn’t the reason they were pulled over, it was discovered after they were pulled over.  While white people are pulled over for mitigating factors; not obeying traffic signs, speeding, during the commission of a crime, public belligerence, swerving while driving etc.

The position was to ask city, county and other local municipalities to stop funding their offices on the backs of poor people.  In one case here in St. Louis, a woman was arrested and charged with driving on a suspended license, when the police found her sitting in the passenger seat, in her own back yard.  Poor people don’t have money to hire lawyers and fight charges.  Now an entire community is suing their local police department because they’ve created a debtor prison.  Many false charges create warrants they are unable to pay.  You can’t keep a job if you keep being jailed over your debt.  It becomes a cycle.

Blacks are asking to stop communities from funding their local government on poor people’s backs.  Blacks are asking not to be profiled.  Blacks are asking for accountability and more training of police officers.  Blacks are asking for body cams.  Locally, in St. Louis Black Lives Matter was fighting for a Citizens’ Oversight Board, because after the Mike Brown murder, Darren Wilson’s narrative kept changing. The board would require police officers to make a statement after an officer involved shooting that couldn’t be changed.  None of these requests seem unreasonable.

I felt a little disillusioned reading the memo.  Some people dismissed it, but those are the people who aren’t involved in change.  Some people said it was a basic memo you’d get from any corporate job.  The issue is, we aren’t being paid to lie to our customers or sell a product.  We are talking about our lives, we are talking about all Americans having their civil rights respected.  We are simply asking that our police treat us fair or get out of our neighborhoods.

I was really disappointed with what happened after Trayvon Martin was killed.  I felt like something else needed to happen.  I mean, Zimmerman literally stalked a teenager walking home from the store on his phone.  Zimmerman called 911 and was advised not to follow the child.  Still he got out of his car and chased Trayvon Martin who tried to run home.  Zimmerman literally attacked a child and then shot him for fighting back.  He killed Trayvon Martin 70 feet from his back door. Martin told his friend he was afraid, ran for his life but never made it home.  I don’t even know how Zimmerman was able to get off.

We all protested.  We were all hurt.  Black people felt like it was a modern day lynching and we felt powerless.  How can someone do this to a child and get away with it?  My heart still hurts when I consider all the circumstances surrounding the murder of Trayvon Martin.

Today I learned that Jill Stein and Ajuma Baraka were being charged for standing with Indigenous Americans against the Dakota Access Pipeline.  I was grateful someone running for office was standing with the people they wished to elect them.  I feel our government has started to control us as people, when we should be controlling our government.

Dr. Jill Stein

Dr. Jill Stein giving a speech.

I hope more people will decide to write Dr. Jill Stein’s name in on the ballot.  I don’t want to vote for the lesser evil. I don’t want someone else to choose my candidate for me.  I understand that choosing to vote for Jill Stein is probably the same as voting for Trump from most people’s perspective.  I think voting for Trump or Clinton goes against my spirit.  I’m tired of the two party system.  I’m tired of the lies. I’m tired of being afraid.  If Trump wins that is what is fair, if you believe in voting.  Maybe, people will wake up and become active.

Maybe we will find, no matter who the president is there is still work for us to do. I don’t know. I’m going to follow my heart.  I can’t say I’m upset that politics have become so political where no one tells the truth, when I’m not willing to vote honest.

Jill Stein for 2016 President

Life Is A Gift

Life-is-a-gift--Live-it-Enjoy-it-Celebrate-it-and-Fulfill-itA few months ago, I woke up and realized living is a gift. I also realized my life is momentary.  Then I didn’t want to take another moment for granted.

I’ve always had a hard time saying no to others.  Either I feel guilty or I’m afraid I’ll be abandoned.  I have a hard time telling myself no, because I feel like I’ve suffered, sacrificed, missed a lot of opportunities and generally don’t have a good life. Yes, chile, my self talk needs some serious change.  So I was rationalizing not being disciplined.  Then suffering the consequences as my lot in life.

Which brings me to the main truth, I don’t say no to myself, because I lack discipline.  Which I’m working on.  It’s a practice. A habit to start.  Instead of saying, “I’m never doing this again” or “I’m giving up X.” I say, “Let’s work out today.”  “Let’s not eat X today. Just today.”  I break huge goals into doable small steps.

Now, I don’t waste energy on people or things that don’t aid in my growth.  I don’t try to make people change.  I tell people the truth as I see it when asked and I don’t worry about what they will do with that information.  We are all responsible for the pace of our own journey.  There are conversations I had years ago I’ve only recently been able to comprehend.  I’m finding love in the most unusual places… myself.  Imagine that, realizing you don’t have to look for love because you are love.

Instead of being upset there is a problem. Now I am actively evaluating if I am the person who can fix it.  Also, I’m learning boundaries. I know I can only do what I can do.  With that being said, I don’t always know what I can do, so sometimes I challenge myself to find a solution.  Other times, I’m at peace to do whatever is on my heart or whatever is within my power.  I am ok to bring my gifts to the spaces and people I wish to nurture.  I recognize I can’t be all things to all people, I am not even all things to myself… and yet I’m everything to myself. (this is one of those things it took me years to understand.  It sounds like I’m talking in circles but it’s a direct statement.  I can’t always heal what is wrong with me, but I know how to find a healer.  I am not all things to myself but I can find whatever I need… and in that I am everything to myself.  Sorry for the tangent, you may have got it the first time… me, it took a couple years.  Anyway, I am ok to say I don’t know and give others the opportunity to bring their gifts or expertise.  I don’t feel guilty when no one shows up in the ways I know I cannot.  I am sad, because so many of us are sleeping on our calling and that’s holding us all back.  Still I can only be all of myself and I’m at peace.

I’m open to feedback.  I am always evaluating how I can be a better friend, lover, human being, activist, editor, instructor, consultant, worker, leader, follower, writer, painter, creator and support system.  I am always looking for ways to impact at least one child.  I am always open to sharing my journey unedited with newer beings to spare them lessons I learned the hard way.

Now, I’m intentional about the spaces and energy I want to nurture.  As a result, the only time I have to say no is when there is a schedule conflict.  The people I’ve built relationships are not wounded by my absence but freed to find someone who can be there.  Can you imagine being part of a community where no one feels abandoned, because we all are practicing loving ourselves unconditionally.

People Holding HandsI am surrounded by people who are committed to evolving, living their truth and supporting others’s ability to be autonomous. Through these connections, volunteer opportunities and learning I discovering new ways to be.  I am finding we never become, we always are.  I am acknowledging myself in life’s challenges.  I am starting to think life’s challenges exist so that we can see ourselves.

I am seeing how it is the small things that make larger things happens.  It is all the conversations we have at our friends’ house over a meal, or on commercial breaks between our favorite shows.  It is during the walk we take when they are hurting that we have epiphanies. It is during our struggles to survive and get beyond survival our greatest collaborations are born.

I have so many great ideas.  I have so many plans.  I am so determined and persistent it scares others.  It scares me.  I’m afraid because I can feel how easy it is not to say how I feel or speak the truth.  How I feel is not always the truth.  Feelings are not facts.  There is comfort in silence but not salvation, not understanding and definitely no resolutions.  There are no new actions explored from our silence.

Other people are afraid because, one person told me, she doesn’t know people’s intentions.  You may be volunteering to grow or because you feel it is our responsibility as a human beings to help each other.  Someone else is volunteering to put it on their resume, to meet a degree requirement, as a commitment to their fraternity or sorority, or they have been appointed by the court as the result of being convicted of a crime.  The result is the same, all these people are here to help.  The motivations change the energy and consideration of the help.  People who believe someone who is beneath them may talk down to those who are being helped.  People who are angry they have to do community service may be careless and not follow health code standards for those serving the public.  Which is upsetting for the person who sees everyone as equals and realizes they at times need help maybe not in the way they are volunteering.

Stay On TrackAlso, when people have different motivations they can take you off your path if you aren’t clear about your destiny.  As a writer, I’ve definitely considered taking another road more than I’d like to admit.  I’ve always got someone telling me based on my skill set and my commitment to learning I could be far more financially successful.  Yes, if I want to survive as an artist and writer I have to find ways to monetize my work.  At the same time, what I consider successful is different from someone who chooses a job solely on what it pays.  I choose based on what is put on my spirit.  I’m not saying people who choose money are not spiritual or making any kind of judgment.  I am just pointing out that what makes each of us happy is different and I’ve allowed people to determine for me that I don’t know what makes me happy.  I’m currently embracing my path as I write.  We all, let me not speak for others, I, had to learn how to accept help without being derailed from my own destiny.

Losing sight of your purpose and goals is a real threat.  There are so many external distractions it’s easy to forget ourselves.  For this reason, I believe  people can miss their destiny.  Instead of living their purpose they could get lost making excuses or being afraid of it.  They could die trying to live up to other people’s expectations or trying to be someone, when we are all already someone.  They could die always trying to be someone specific, imitating them, contemplating how that person would resolve a situation.  Which is an insult to their spirit, each of our spirits know the way we should go.

With that being said, I don’t want to assume the role of judgment.  I’m just offering this blog as an opportunity for greater awareness.  I’ve definitely been afraid of my light.  I’ve definitely been drawn to another’s light and because I didn’t recognize my own want to possess it or be them.  Even as I am writing now, I’m sometimes overwhelmed and exhausted by the amount of responsibility I’ve taken on standing in my own divinity… and I’m just talking about practicing loving myself and being love.  I haven’t even gotten to all the ways I manifest self love and loving others.

I’m doing the Artist Way, again… and I’m going to write daily. Not here, because the exercise requires complete unfiltered and unedited openness.  I don’t want my ego awake as I write and align myself or remain aligned.  Whatever goodness I sift from my writing and feel will benefit others I will share.

I’m so excited about this new journey… Or finally finding the road already laid within.

Love and Light to all the beautiful souls finding me, as I’m acknowledging myself.  Love and Light to all the beautiful souls seeking ways to build deepr relationships with themselves.