What do you believe..?

I’ve been following this story Baby Slain in Stroller and I have conflicted views on how it’s playing out.

The mother of the slain baby identified the alleged shooter from a book of photos and then it was reported than an anonymous tip led to the arrest of alleged shooter. This information was online. I also heard a radio announcers account of the story, which is similar to that presented online; however, the radio report stated that the boys aunt provided an alibi for the time of the shooting.

Here’s my conflict…I want to believe the woman whose baby was shot and I want to believe the anonymous tip; however, an alibi was given for the alleged shooters whereabouts. To add even more conflict the my thoughts is that I know people lie on behalf of their loved ones even if they believe they’re guilty; it’s a sad fact of human nature.

Personally, I would in no way protect a family member who’d allegedly shot someone’s baby regardless of how old the alleged offender is; in this case a 17-year-old. I’m in no way suggesting or implying guilt, but I do believe there is a lot more to this story and a part of me truly does believe that family will cover its tracks quicker than a crab will bury itself in sand.

There has been no update to the crime as yet.

Live the life you love; love the life you live!

Earned; not given…

As a mentor, I listen to students talk about their lives and how they want this or that and I think to how easy/good many of them have it. Many have never worked a day in their lives and have had everything given to them without the benefit of always having earned it and the few that have worked, still had their wants and needs supplemented by their parents instead of having to save up to get what they wanted. It’s a sad state of affairs when a generation has expectations of being entitled to luxuries in life simply ‘because’. I’ve heard students talk about their $300 weaves, expensive purses and shoes, and designer clothes meanwhile they’re unemployed or can’t and don’t purchase their text books in favour of these luxuries. This attitude confirms their lack of priority and appreciation for what should truly be valuable.

I raised an only child who’s been afforded many luxuries in life; however, she earned them with good grades, a good attitude, helping around the house, and volunteering at the hospital her father worked at. She was raised to understand and appreciate that her parents worked hard for a living and that getting isn’t simply acquired with an “I want…”. Her father and I differed on what things were age appropriate on occasion, but for the most part, while she was indulged; she wasn’t over indulged. He bought the high-end things like iPods, Coach bags, and things of that nature and I took her on vacations in and out of the country, museums/galleries, and other social and cultural activities. We found balance in our co-parenting.

Sadly, I see the converse of what Lil Lady’s upbringing was. I’ve seen many of her peers and those coming up behind her getting the things she earned being “gimme’s” for no other reason than, “why not?” and “just because”. These children aren’t being taught values and that things are to be earned, which is manifested in their neglect of appreciation and the more they get is the more they won’t; further exacerbating their selfish and narcissistic attitudes.

Parents hire landscapers instead of having their children cut the grass, pull weeds, or other minor landscaping tasks. They hire house cleaners instead of having their children clean up, do dishes (read: unload dishwashers), or do laundry. These are all life skills that should and need to be taught to these spoiled and over-indulged children in order for them to grow up knowing how to take care of themselves and the spaces in which they live or will live. These skills should be not gender-specific as each gender needs to know how to perform basic tasks.

In my Jamaican culture, both men and women are equally taught and are responsible for keeping a home. Boys and girls learn how to cook, clean, do laundry, iron, and perform other chores in and out of the home. These life skills carry them far in life as they do not have to rely on someone else to perform their basic needs or requirements. Sadly, I do not see this taught often in American households. Everything seems to be gender assigned and performed accordingly, which continues to breed lazy and incapable children and that lack gets carried into adulthood where money is wasted on take our or pre-packaged foods, service companies, and other entities to perform things that which they could do themselves had they been taught.

It saddens me to see idle children. I think of entrepreneurial opportunities wasted with them being inside playing video games, engrossed in social media, or texting. In every neighbourhood is a family that could use a reliable babysitter, groundskeeper, dog walker when they’re going to be home late or away, or someone to simply share the workload if they’re overwhelmed with many other things. Teens taking the initiative to take on any of the aforementioned could give them tax-free money of which can be saved or used to purchase things they’re earned instead of being given. Knowing and understanding sweat equity could broaden their knowledge of how hard their parents work to pay household expenses and still provide for things outside of the scope of basic requirements a parent has to provide.

Lil Lady has been out of the house for a year and now has a greater understanding and appreciation of what it takes to live on her own. I’ve helped out where necessary, but overall, she’s take care of herself and her needs. She’s always seen me work hard, struggle, sometimes go without in order for needs to be met, which I think is a valuable learning tool in and of itself. Too many parents over shield their children from the harsh realities of life and end up teaching them bad life lessons in the process.
Children have to be taught that a parent’s responsibility is to provide a roof over their heads, food on the table, clothes on their backs and support them in their growth process and that’s it. Everything else they get should be earned and a privilege and NOT an entitlement.

The following should be posted in homes and schools to teach children how to be valuable and productive in their homes, communities and in life.

Word to teenagers

 

Live the life you love; love the life you live!

For the love of soy sauce!…

Work has had me busier than a hooker when the military comes to town the past week; hence, why I’ve been MIA in my posts, but things have finally slowed down and I have some semblance of sanity and order back in my life. Phew!

All that aside, I was on the web checking out the news stories when this one caught my eye Former NFL player arrested for assault of ex-boyfriend. WHAT???? 😕 Naturally, I had to read the story even though I couldn’t tell you who the majority of NFL players are anyway, but the subject was curious as all hell.

So, I start reading and I as I get further into the story, I feel laughter erupting from the pit of my stomach and I hollered! Yes, I had a full on; full-out laugh out loud moment right there at my desk. I couldn’t help it. When you read the story, I’m sure you, too, will laugh your behinds off because this story is just that silly and humourous.

Take a read and by all means, share your uncensored and unadulterated comments for the entire class. This is definitely a run tell dat moment. 😉

Live the life you love; love the life you live!

Inauguration & Martin Luther King, Jr

What a beautiful day in time that the 57th Inaugural Ceremony is on the same day as we honour Martin Luther King, Jr.  Coincidence?  I think not.  Say you want, God is always on time and on time in all ways.  I think timing of the two events are momentous, insightful, powerful, and nothing short of graces being extended.

Whatever you choose to do today, take a moment to give thanks for Martin Luther King, Jr and his legacy and also give thanks that in spite of insurmountable odds stacked against him, a black man; Barack Hussein Obama was elected and then re-elected as the President of the United States of America.  We know all too well that the ‘United’ part is a bit of a farce; however, in spite of that, we have come a long way as a people; all people. 

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr Day and congratulations once again, to the POTUS.

MLK & POTUS

Live the life you love; love the life you live!

One persons opinion; another persons argument…

So, I read this article 10 Reasons Why Black Women Prefer White Men and it left me agreeing in some parts, saddened in another, and ultimately a bit conflicted. Why? Because I’ve dated and am currently involved with a white man and where I may want to disagree I can’t, but I can’t fully agree either; a quandary if you will. These are the ten reasons the author cited and my response to each. You’ll have to read the article to see what the author said.

1. Your children will be half White, with lighter skin and a better grade of hair, which is what most Black men wish they had
This I do not agree with; not one iota. Yes, most bi-racial children do come out with lighter skin, that does not always mean the child will be as light as one might think.  Watch an episode or two of Maury where paternity is at question and you’ll get a real interesting lesson in DNA.  And, while there are some who would prefer a “better grade of hair”, I don’t believe that creating a bi-racial child ensures that.  I’ve seen many a bi-racial child with unruly, nappy, and a rather unattractive grade of hair.

2. White men live longer
This I can somewhat agree with since there is a large amount of black men without adequate health insurance; however, white men and black men often die of very different diseases. So, if we exclude social reasons for a black men dying (death from shootings etc), I think this issue may need to be looked at again.

3. White men cater to their women
I’m not sure where this came from, but trust me, I’ve been around enough suburban mums to hear the contrary. Agreed, white men may take a different approach to how they handle their women, but I can’t fully agree that white men are dropping everything and catering to their women. In fact, I’ll go as far to say that many white men will do what it takes to pacify and placate their women so they don’t have to hear their mouths.

4. White men are gentlemen
WRONG! I had to insist my man treat me with the due chivalry I deserve. His ex didn’t insist on it and he felt it was antiquated and unnecessary. I’d told him from the door I was used to having doors held open for me etc, since that’s how my brothers and male friends had treated me. Black men do know how to be a gentlemen. Those that do not know are usually not taught or have not been held accountable for their lack.

5. White men are very easy-going and laid back
Hmm? I’m torn on this one. I don’t know any black men that are going to haul off and clock their women if they’re in an argument, but some can/will get pretty intense and nasty. That being said, white men do that too. I think for this one, the author may want to look at the socio-economic demographic of men he’s using for his view on this. The black men I know from the various rungs on the social ladder are pretty easy-going and would rather leave than get into a knock down drag out argument. I also knew a white guy who’d do everything he could to intimidate his woman, so again, a more in-depth look needs to be exacted.

6. White men know that there are ways to make a lot of money legally
Wow! That’s a grand example of shifuggery right here. When was the last time you heard of a black man being indicted on federal embezzlement charges? White men are notorious for this and that’s pretty damned illegal if you ask me. Furthermore, white men are big traffickers of many illicit drugs and other corporate crimes, so while some black men find quick and easy illegal ways of making money, their peer white counterparts are also doing the same. And for the record, I know many a black man making 6-figured salaries on their 9-5 gigs.

7. White men prefer that their woman stays home and will do anything to create a comfortable life for her
REALLY? Again, I’ve heard many a suburban mum who’d rather be out doing something other than going to Mommy & Me groups, Yoga, and being their kid’s Classroom Volunteer. Yes, he may want to provide a comfortable life for her, but it also gives him a level of control over her and a means to keep her in her place so he can do whatever he pleases. This, for me my dear readers is a FACT I came to learn when I stayed home for 18 months with Lil Lady and also when I was unemployed for 20 months. White women talk a lot of shit when they get together with their counterparts at the gym, Starbucks, and their high-end grocery stores.

8. White men know how to manage money
50/50 on this one. The author is apparently talking about an urban aged demographic or one that pays his bills, but leans toward maintaining a certain social status. The ones I know, manage their money well.

9. White men have family values
Of the three white men I’ve been involved with, 2 came from divorced homes with effed up family ties and values and the others parents were still together, but the father had cheated many times, so this statement doesn’t exactly reign true with me. Family values are learned, taught, and passed on, so while some black families may not be not always traditional, it doesn’t mean that there’s a lack of them.

10. White men take care of their women
Please refer back to my comments on 3 & 7

There is SO much more I want to say about this subject, but I’m currently mentally drained from it; however, at a later date, I’ll revisit this post and say the rest.

Live the life you love; love the life you live!

Breasts of burden…

I read the following article on MSN this morning Miss D.C to have double mastectomy and found the topic rather interesting, not because she wants to have the procedure, but from those who feel she shouldn’t.

As one who’s been diagnosed and treated for Breast Cancer, I can say the decision to remove ones breast(s) is not easy; especially at an early age.  I was 39 when diagnosed and had my right breast removed two weeks before my 40th birthday.  The day before my procedure, I informed my surgeons that should my margins have changed since my last full scan and exam, they had my consent to remove my unaffected breast as a precautionary measure.  Trust me, I didn’t make that decision lightly, but I’d rather have it done then than to have had to go through the entire process at a later date. 

Miss D.C is 20; just seven years shy of when her mother was first diagnosed and treated for breast cancer by having one of her breasts removed.  According to the article, Miss D.C lost her Mother, Grandmother and Great Aunt to breast cancer and while she doesn’t carry the BRCA 1 or 2 gene mutation, she does in fact carry a variant mutation of which could very likely cause breast cancer.  Her predisposition to inheriting breast cancer is tantamount to walking around with a time bomb in her body.

Again, my issue is not with Miss D.C’s choice to have her breasts removed, it’s with those who think she shouldn’t.  Why?  For vanity’s sake!  Just because she’s young, pretty, and has succeeded as a model and pageant winner, doesn’t mean she’s couldn’t again with reconstructed breasts.  There’s a plethora of hypocrisy that comes with the very concept of reconstructed breasts; especially in the pageant world. 

Women in this country get their breasts augmented for the sake of vanity and treat enlarged breasts as a trophy to their femininity or a means to stand out from other women; once again, vanity at its finest.  Trust me when I tell you, breast augmentation is not easy, nor is it painless.  While my reasons for breast augmentation and reconstruction were for medical reasons, the extent of pain, scarring and such is the same as for those who do it for vanitys sake and I argue that Miss D.C could in fact continue to model in spite of a double mastectomy.  With the advances in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery, Miss D. C’s procedure could produce minimal scarring and render her as aesthetically pleasing as she currently looks.  And going one step further, it’s not like anyone is going to see her actual breasts anyway.  Even in a bathing suit, her scars would not be visible and the contours of her reconstructed breasts would like that of others with natural breasts.  She would have no unfair advantage because any self-respecting surgeon would not increase the size of her reconstructed (implants) breasts; they’d be left the same size as the natural ones were.

I’ve often considered posting photos of my reconstructed breast to show the advances of cosmetic surgery and how it looks very much like an unaffected breast so people might stop being so judgemental or even curious.  Trust me when I say, those pointing fingers and passing judgment would have a very different viewpoint if it were they that were in that position or that of someone they love. 

Miss D.C’s father and brother are very supportive and encouraging of her decision to undergo a double mastectomy especially after what their respective wife and mother went through. 

I wish people would think outside the both and stop thinking all that glitters is gold.  I applaud Miss D.C and the life-altering decision she has taken and hope she becomes an inspiration to all women to see past external beauty and put their health and lives first.  There are many women who’ve died or had complications  from having elective cosmetic surgery while there are those of us who’ve had it as a preventative or life-preserving one.

Live the life you love; love the life you live!