The Confederate Flag is a Symbol of White Supremacy

The Confederate Flag is a symbol of white supremacy. The same people who flew that flag supported a society that was built off of the dehumanization of Black people. The flag is not southern pride, the flag is white pride, white supremacist pride, as the murderer who shot 9 people whilst praying in a church, so aptly demonstrated.

It is an insult to keep the flag on state and government grounds in the wake of such a tragedy, even more insulting is that some southern white people (who probably are racist themselves) have likened their rebel flag being removed to both #blacklivesmatter and the oppression of Jews in Nazi, Europe.

What am I talking about?

Read the attached article 

This outrageous quote actually came from a white advocate of the Confederate Flag:

“”Right now, this past week with everything that is going on, I feel very much like the Jews must have felt in the very beginning of the Nazi Germany takeover,” he said. “I mean I do feel that way, like there is a concerted effort to wipe people like me out, to wipe out my heritage and to erase the truths of history.”

No, the confederate flag, which is a symbol of white supremacy, being removed from government grounds is not oppression. What’s oppressive is 9 people being gunned down in a church because  a white supremacist, who proudly flew the same flag as a symbol of white pride, felt it was acceptable to shoot them based on their skin color. Everything he believed about Black people he learned from other white people.

I am tired of racist white people playing the victim. It’s insulting to compare the removal of a racist symbol to the legitimate oppression of Jews in Nazi, Europe, it’s insulting to compare the removal of the Confederate Flag to the oppression of Black people in America and around the world.

Racist white people, you’re NOT being oppressed. The flag needs to come down.

Forgiveness, White Supremacy and Common Sense

First, my prayers and thoughts go out to the victims and their loved ones of the Charleston Shooting. There has been some debate going around about whether or not the families of victims in the Charleston massacre should have forgiven the murderer [I won’t use his name], who in his own words was motivated by his hatred of black people.

I respect the decision of the Families to forgive the murderer. If it brings them peace and helps them to carry on, then they made the best choice. I believe in the word and I am Christian as well and I do believe that we are called to forgive, period. I also believe that forgiveness is a way to make peace, when you hold onto anger and hate, it stresses you out, runs your blood pressure up and doesn’t allow you to think clearly and you make decision based off of emotions, instead of logic. So, ultimately, I do think forgiveness is a good thing. But, here’s the thing. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you don’t have the right to defend your life and it doesn’t mean that those who commit sins or crimes against you are absolved from righteous consequences. For example, if someone is punching me in the face and they won’t stop, I may forgive them, but while the event is going on, I still am going to try and stop their punches.

That might mean moving away from them, putting a barrier between myself and the person, or if it comes down to it, using reasonable physical force to get them off of me, like punching them until they get back.  Now, once you’re no longer in danger, you should stop using physical force, but I’m not going to just let them punch me… unless it’s a situation where the person is considerably weaker and I can stop their punches by restraining them or something.

The scripture backs up the right to self-defense: Luke 11:21 “when a strong man, full armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe.” Luke 22:36 “But not let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one.”

There is a difference between self-defense and vengeance. Vengeance would be taking revenge on someone once the danger has ceased and you’ve resolved the issue. That’s vengeance and spite and that’s not Biblical, but if you’re under attack, you can defend yourself and still forgive.

My point is this,  Black people, forgiveness doesn’t have to mean doing nothing. We can  defend ourselves and seek righteous justice and still forgive and  respect the humanity and dignity of other people. We need to start differentiating between what forgiveness is and what it is not. Also there is a difference between forgive indhttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/25/forgiveness-charleston-shooting-_n_7657130.htmlividuals and forgiving institutions. We are called to forgive people, but we’re not called to forgive institutions. I can forgive a person, but I have no reason to forgive white supremacy, it’s a wicked institution. Now justice doesn’t mean randomly attacking people or doing things that don’t make sense, but advocating for your rights, protecting your person when under real threat or seeking righteous restitution under the law for crimes committed against you is justice.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/25/forgiveness-charleston-shooting-_n_7657130.html

Black People: Have You Ever Considered Relocating to another Country?

Black Women’s History in this country encompassed in one photo: “Silenced, dehumanized, subordinated by white man.”

Have you ever considered relocating to another country? Sometimes I feel like the history of systematic discrimination, the institutional racism and disenfranchisement of Black people is too much to bear. I feel so violated as a person when I am constantly mischaracterized, stereotyped and mistreated just based on my skin color.

The stereotypes make me feel like I’m being stuffed into a box and all the negative stereotypes are just suffocating me.

When I was very young, I used to think that racism was a thing of the past. I never experienced Jim Crow racism with COLORED and WHITE ONLY signs in the window, so I didn’t believe it was a problem. Sure, I knew I was different. My white classmates always wanted to touch my hair and everything, but I didn’t think too much of it.

There was the one time that I was invited to my white classmate’s house to go swimming. Her father was prominent member of a country club, he took us there, we swam in the pool and ate french fries. Later, I found out that the club didn’t accept Blacks or Jews and the only reason I was allowed to swim there was because of her father. Basically, my presence there was a fluke, but my family would not have been welcome there. Things like that happened, but I always found a way to excuse them somehow.

It wasn’t until my senior year when I had my wake up call that I accepted that race was indeed a systemic issue. I had inquired about a summer job at a local store that my friend worked at, the manger said ,” they weren’t hiring graduating seniors.” I took him for his word and didn’t inquire any further. Later, my friend told me that “her manager keep hiring all these seniors for two months before they go to college.” I thought back to the store and I noticed that I had never seen any African-Americans working there. I didn’t say anything, but i knew in my heart what had happened. It wasn’t until later when my mother visited that very store and told me how no one had offered to help her and that the lady wouldn’t even look at her that I told anyone what I had experienced.

Why had the store manage told me they weren’t hiring seniors and then hire a bunch of seniors of 2 months before they went to college. It wasn’t fair.

I had worked so hard to be a “nice person,” but at the end of the day, it didn’t matter that I got good grades, it didn’t matter that I went a nice prep school in the City, it didn’t matter that I lived in the suburbs, it didn’t matter that I tried to be a nice person, when he looked at me, he saw one thing, my skin color and that was enough for him to decide he didn’t want me working there.

That was a dehumanizing experience and I have not looked at things the same since then. All the time, racism has been so in my face, but I chose not to see it. The poorest areas and the worst schools are reserved for the Black people, there is so much depth to the racism in this country, how could I have been so blind to it?

Do you all ever think about relocating outside the United States?

What would happen if there came a time where Black people needed to flee the country, do you have a plan in place just in case?

It doesn’t hurt to have a plan in case you need to leave the country ever: You should always have a passport and some liquid assets on hand just in case. Research a country that you can flee to and find out if you need a VISA to get in, have job prospects lined up, there are lots of places where you can get work teaching English etc, research and find out where, watch for the signs and leave if you feel that you need to.

There are some great things about the United States and my family is here, we’ve lived here for many many years, generations and it has been my home and is my home, but it is really hard to feel safe when you are being mistreated  and when you’re made to feel like a perpetual foreigner and not a full person, even though you were born in this country and your family has been here for generations. It’s an uneasy feeling to say the least.

I don’t know what might happen to Black people if sh-t really hit the fan.

Unfortunately, if something ever happened, lower income Black people (the people who are most at risk) may not have any way to leave the country. If Black people were supporting each other, we’d have a way to get them out, that’s the sad thing.

My Healthy Eating Plan/Emotional Eating- Week One

Hello everyone:

I started my first week of healthy eating/ dieting this week. I joined ediets.com. I am doing the nutrihand diet plan. I follow the plan in terms of caloric consumption and I record everything I eat. However, I make a lot of substitutions because I am on a budget and I have to make due with what I have.

For example, one recipe called for salmon, I didn’t have all of the ingredients, so I used another recipe for salmon and tracked the calories. I’ve lost 2 pounds this week.

What I Did On the Surface:

1) I tracked all of my caloric intake

2) I prepared my meals in advance- always the night before, I boiled my eggs, cut my vegetables, cooked the fish. I am the type of person who comes home from work and I am usually very hungry, if I haven’t prepared anything, I’ll eat junk food.

3) I ate lunch. I usually skip lunch and overeat at dinner. This week, every day I ate a real lunch. Light bread or wheat bread with turkey breast, light swiss cheese and Every day with lunch I ate an apple, without fail. Even if I didn’t feel like eating the apple, I made myself eat it and it helped to curb my hungry.

4) I mostly snacked on fruits and vegetables-  I took whole carrots (which are cheaper and healthier than baby carrots), peeled them with my awesome vegetable peeler (which I never used to use) and cut them up. They look just like baby carrots. I eat them with a small wedge of laughing cow light cheese and it’s delicious. I also snacked on grapes and I treated myself with the balanced breaks from sargento for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

5) I wore a pedometer. You can get a pedometer for reasonable prices. I used my old weight watchers pedometer. I made it a goal to do at least the recommended 10,000 steps a day, most days I exceeded that. The best thing about the pedometer is you literally can get your steps in anywhere. There is something called House Walking, which was coined by Lisa Lillien of Hungry girl. You can get your steps in walking around the house or walking in place while doing the dishes, while ironing, while watching TV. You can walk back and forth through the house, you can take the stairs.  If you do anything, I recommend getting a pedometer. You can get them for affordable prices online and in stores. 

6) I also did 3 days of quick exercises.

-I did Jeanette Jenkins- 10 minute minute Booty Camp

– I used the stair twister for 15 minutes, while holding hand weights

-You can order the stair twister on amazon and it’s portable and very convenient and hand weights you can get at Walmart.

-I did ten minutes of mini trampoline workouts (i’ll give you my routine later in the week)

I never stepped into the gym, but got enough activity. I think the biggest disservice done to people when trying to lose weight is saying you can’t get a good workout unless you’re in the gym. Walking is one of the best forms of exercise and you can do it anywhere. You don’t have to be in the gym to work out. 

I plan to add dancing to my workout routine this week. 

7) I drank water. I invested in a bottle of water and carried it everywhere and drank it every day and filled it at least once during the day.

8) I treated myself- Friday, I allowed myself to relax and enjoy a glass of wine and a food I liked. It’s okay to treat yourself once a week and eat something you like, as long as you don’t go super overboard, it is okay. What mattes is what you’re doing 99% of the time, not 1 night in the week only.

On a Deeper Level

1) Trying to be more positive about my body- We live in a world where if you don’t look a certain way or dress a certain way and meet a certain beauty standard, you’re made to believe that something is wrong with you and that your body is not valuable. One of the main reasons that I have struggled with emotional eating and weight gain is because I’ve always felt like my body wasn’t good enough.

We live in a society where if you’re not thin, white and what’s considered “hot,” you’re treated like you’re not a real woman. Especially, if you’re a Black woman, it can be doubly hard not to be negatively impacted by these beauty ideals, which are really white supremacist in nature. The idea that no matter what you do, you can never be good enough can be depressing in itself, which can lead to overeating and weight gain. There is a whole history of mistreatment of Black women’s bodies and we, as Black women, have never really been allowed to love and value our bodies .

However, while jogging last Saturday, I had an epiphany. I was jogging and I was tired and breathing heavy,  it was drizzling and deserted out. I thought to myself, as tired and exhausted as I was, I somehow felt like my system was cleansed. I thought to myself, what an incredible thing to have a body that can do so much ,what a blessing.

This made me think that we have amazing bodies. Our bodies can do so much for us when we treat it well. This is my body and I am going to value it and care for it. It doesn’t matter what society says, it doesn’t matter what a man says, it’s my body and it’s my job to take care of myself because a body is a wonderful gift and the most precious gift you’ve ever been and ever will be given. Don’t worry about comparing yourself to others, just take care of your body, value your body and your body will do its part.

So I repeat the saying that “my body is a gift and a blessing, it can do so much, take care of yourself.” You have to keep repeating it and believe it.

2) Being grateful- it has helped me to be grateful for the food that I do have and slow down in general and just take in life. Take in the beauty, take in the smell of flowers, take in the breath of fresh air and just slow down and be grateful for every bit of life.

This has helped me, but it is a journey and this is only week one. I plan to continue my healthy eating this week.  BTW, this journey is far form over, I have to tell myself over and over again that my body is valuable, but keep saying it and you will believe it.

In Summation: 

1) Walk, walk, walk (a pedometer helps a lot)

2) Prepare vegetables in advance and snack on vegetables

3) Drink plenty of water

4) Value your body, it is a gift 

How has your week been?….

Goals for Next Week:

1. Pray every night (meditate if you’re not a prayer type of person )

2. Dance more

What’s on My Weight Loss Book List

1) Deliver Me from Negative Self-Talk by Lynn R Davis

2) Work it Out: The Black Woman’s Guide to Getting the Body You Always Wanted 

3) Slim Down Sister by Roniece Weaver

4) Beck Diet Solution

5) Made to Crave

6) Women, Food and God

7) God Made Me Beautiful, but I didn’t Know It

Who Wants to Adopt a Healthier Lifestyle/Lose Weight with Me?

Do you want to lose weight? Are you what is known as a “yo-yo dieter?”Meaning, you lose weight and gain it back in cycles. This is an all too common problem, especially amongst Black women.  Black women often try to take on so many responsibilities in the name of being “strong black women,” in addition to dealing with racial stereotypes. Not only does this cause stress, but it can lead to obesity. It is important to learn to address the myth of the strong black woman and cope properly with our emotions and also learn to adopt healthy lifestyles.

I’ve been reading this book called “Women, Food and God.” I’ve only read 1/4 of it so far, but it addresses the underlying causes of overeating. I would like to start a series on healthy eating and living for Black woman on this blog.

I will first focus on the surface issue of healthy eating, moving and weight loss. Next, I will focus on the emotional eating/deeper issues and finally I will do a post on positives about Black women.

Part One of weight loss/healthy eating will be coming soon.

Black Women and Internet Harassment: Why I Am Leaving the Internet

I am choosing to leave the internet because the amount of harassment and bullying that I endure as a Black woman is taking a toll on my emotional/mental wellbeing.

In 2009, when I was researching for a college paper, I inadvertently  encountered some Youtube videos by a user (who has since renounced bashing Black women) who had literally hundreds of videos demeaning Black women. I was so shocked by what I heard that I continued to listen to his videos (against the advice of my mother) and this was my first taste of online/racial harassment. Since then, many more people of all backgrounds have created YouTube accounts to specifically harass African-American women.

The negativity became an addiction, like porn or something. At times, I would try to avoid sites that bashed Black women, but sometimes I wouldn’t have to even look for them, they would find me and there is an abundance of negativity directed against African-American women on the internet.

The harassment does not end on YouTube, the harassment exists on blogs, forums and on social media sites like twitter and Facebook.  You might say that everyone gets harassed online, but no, I am positive that Black women are disproportionately targeted for online harassment. There was a study that showed that African-Americans were more likely to experience online harassment. There have been no studies that I am aware of that focus on African-American women, online harassment and the impact that it has on our mental health/wellbeing, but I am certain that if you digest this negativity there is no way that it will not impact you negatively on a mental/emotional level. If any professors or psychologist are reading this, it might be something worth studying.

Personally, I struggled with depression and anxiety and even my college grades were  negatively affected by this culture of online harassment and degradation against Black women.

The internet can be a barbarous place. People will say and write things online unfiltered, so the depths of human depravity and cruelness can be explored without consequence. I’ve been called a black ho, bed wench, n-gger, sh-t-skin, I’ve been threatened with lynching. I’ve been on multiple blogs where I’ve encountered men demeaning Black women and referring to black women as ugly monkeys and no most of these were NOT white supremacist websites in case you are wondering. I have tried multiple means to combat this discrimination, including starting a blog to specifically track internet attacks against Black women, but the job was too big. There was way too much harassment for me to track and it would not have been mentally healthy for me to do so. Most infamously, Psychology Today, a supposed reputable online magazine, published an article in 2011 that claimed that Black women were scientifically and objectively the least attractive people.

I know that I am not the only Black woman who is aware of the harassment and special brand racism that we deal with online.

See article by Terrell Jermaine Starr on Black women and harassment on twitter

I no longer want to deal with it. I choose not to deal with it online. Not only has this harassment affected my self esteem and mental health, but the most devastating impact it has had has been on my offline life. Encountering nothing but negativity online for about 7 years has made me short-tempered, paranoid and irritable with the people that I love most, I’m not able to socialize and bond with people the way  that I used to, I have even lower self esteem. I feel like I am wasting my life on here and missing out on good times with people who actually care about me and don’t judge me based off of my skin color, i.e my family and my friends.

The sad thing is, getting offline won’t make racism go away, no it certainly won’t. All I have to do is recall the incident where I inquired about a job with a manager at a local pharmacy,only to be told that he wasn’t hiring, only to witness him hire countless white friends of mine shortly thereafter, to know that racism extends beyond the internet.

But, I can’t spend my life trying to make people see me as human being and an individual when they have blinders on. Someone told me “if someone judges you just based off of your being an African-American woman, then they are the ignorant ones and that is their problem, not yours. Don’t let them ruin your life.” Tis true, all you can do in life is worry about those who matter and make sure that you’re doing what you need to do to live right and make sure that you are treating others with respect and be an example of kindness.

Forgiveness is something that I’ll need to practice and pray for to live well.

This is not to say that nothing good has come out of my time on the internet, I’ve made some real friends, I’ve learned a lot, especially a lot about the different cultures across Africa and the history of African-Americans. The negativity forced me to research more to find out the root of all these stereotypes. Books like Ain’t I a Woman by Debra Gray White and Sister Citizen by Melissa Harris Perry have helped.

But, I have to move on.  This negativity online has become too much and the only way I can improve my life is to get away from the internet altogether because it’s impossible to avoid the negativity no matter where I go as a Black woman online.

My game plan is to avoid the internet, unless it is for work-realted or school-related research etc.  and to surround myself with friends and family who care about me, become more social and avoid people who mistreat me, get my life back on track and that pretty much sums up all you can do in this life. As Dr. Seuss says, “those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

I am hoping that once my health care get straightened out, I’ll be able to see a therapist at least twice.

My plan is to only sign onto the internet for leisure 1-2 times per month and for no more than 1-3 hours at a time. During those times, I will do a post on this blog, but I will not be venturing onto YouTube, unless it’s for educational purposes and I am avoiding blogs that are not safe spaces for Black women. Other than that, I am getting off of here.

I am considering installing software to block off the internet on my non-work computer during blots of time to avoid temptation.

I encourage Black women to be careful about the negativity that you take in on the internet. I am not saying that getting off the internet will end your experience with racism, please…but it is one aspect of racism that you can control in your life and avoid.

If you can, I would limit my time on the internet altogether.

It is funny because  you wouldn’t think that words on a computer screen matter and it seems so silly and stupid, but words can hurt…they really can hurt and violence often starts with words…after this weekend, i’ll be starting my game plan.

The internet can be a good thing, in small doses, but beware.

“Those who live out more of their lives online—whether for work, pleasure, or both—are more likely to experience harassment.”

source

Christian Bale Stars in Movie Exodus, They Won’t Be Getting My Money!

what Zipporah probably looked like…

Let’s discuss this new, up and coming movie Exodus, which stars Christian Bale.  This famous story of the Bible is one that most people are familiar with but…I bet that you didn’t know that Moses’ wife, Zipporah was a dark-skinned Cushitic woman. And you won’t know, do you know why?.. You won’t know, unless you actually study the story because in the movie they cast a white actress as Zipporah.

Not only that, but Black people are almost entirely absent from the film, even though during that era there were MANY Black Egyptians in prominent positions. The only Black people apparently are portrayed as thieves and criminals. Also, Egypt is in Africa after all, not Europe. Therefore the odds of people looking like WHITE EUROPEANS is slim! Therefore, due to this erasure of Black people and other people of color,  I will not be going to see the movie. I can just read the Bible if I want the real story any way.

Grand Jury has spoken: Officer Darren Wilson will NOT face any charges

Don’t be mad, don’t take to the streets, even if the system can feel like a cheat

Don’t cry or yell just because  this world basically tells you

“Go to hell!”

We mourn, we weep and we fear in our sleep

Like they were men  in white sheets,

Instead of all blue and badged, nice and neat

We could say fuck the police or down with the pigs,

But we’ve been saying that since the time when our parents  were saying “Ya dig?”

True, we won’t be hanged from trees and by the grace of God we’re legally and technically free

No longer three fifths of a person by law, we should be able to stand proud and tall

“Change we can believe in,” that’s what they said after all…

Legal, fair and just, that’s what they said applied to us

No more unjust, disgust or unwarranted distrust

These were the words, the hopes and the dreams,

but as we grow older, we wonder what does it all mean?

Blind to race and color, they claim

Judge only by character, for we’re all the same

these words appealing on paper, they may be

but, how can they be true when one man walks free

while the other, unarmed and all,

Gunned down like an animal

No Fair Trial, in accordance with law

Whether it be skittles and tea, whistling at the corner store

or surrendering hands , not resisting please!

Are we really who we say we are?

All men created equal, our immortal declaration.

Were these words meant for every member of this great nation?

I don’t know, if only I could ask Trayvon or maybe Michael Brown

All I know is with every broken declaration, my heart is more cast down