Happy Independence Day

It’s the 4th of July and when I was Munch’s age, I lived in the great big state of Texas. I loved Texas and how pride in U.S. and state history were mandatory. I’m feeling nostalgic today but I’m reminded that there’s no place that I’d rather be than where I am now. It’s my country and I’ll criticize her, but that’s because I want better.

Whether you’re at the beach or on the bay, having a barbecue or just relaxing at home I wish you a Happy Independence Day!

Fourth-of-July-Sayings

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

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Anger into Social Action

I’m moving. Moving forward. I was disturbed, distressed and heart broken last week when I read about another school shooting. When will it end? Why can’t we send our children to school without them being shot? When will we stand up for our children?

Those were some of the questions running through my mind. I needed to regroup, reflect and pray. I’m tired of talking about the injustices that are going on. I’m tired of seeing the news were children are running for their lives. I’m a mom. How do you think that makes me feel?

It’s insane where we live in a society where it is easier to get a gun than a duplicate social security card for your child. It’s insane where it is easier to get a gun than a library card. It’s insane when children and young adults can walk into a school and shoot openly and still walk out alive. No I’m not advocating their death, but there are parents grieving for the lives you’ve stolen from them.

Mental health is real. I’m not denying that. But, society is cruel as hell when you can just let anyone get a gun. This young man is a fool. On what planet do you think it is okay to shoot up a school and kill people because you were told no? Get the hell out of here! No means no. A young woman is not required to date you. That doesn’t give you the right to go off and shoot up people. Don’t you know better than that?

I’m tired of crying. I’m tired of fighting. I’m tired of asking for justice. I’m tired of asking for gun reform. I’m turning my anger into social action and casting my vote in the primaries. I am asking for my elected officials to get off their butts and stop making it so easy for people to have access to guns and go on a killing spree.

I can’t take no more. I am prayerfully going to the polls as my elected officials have a responsibility to their constituents. To me and to you. I’m prayerfully asking that we think of the families that have had to bury their children due to gun violence. I’m asking that you exercise your right to vote. My voice matters when I vote. Yours does too.

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Note: I do not own the rights to this photo. A Google search was performed for the image selected.

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Version

March 30, 2018

The version seems to be the same…I was afraid for my life. Another black boy dies. Gun downed. Another acquittal. No charges. The characters may change, but the version remains the same. Different cast. Same roles. More black boys die. It doesn’t matter. Our lives don’t matter.

The sins of the father are visited upon their offspring. What the hell did my ancestors do to make our children a target for violence? Their version always ends in a chalk outline and a community in outrage.

No more tears.

No more.

There should not be separate versions.

Only one.

The truth.

V

 

This post was part of the A2Z challenge and the letter “V” is for Version. My posts will be written as a journal style for the challenge and will be on the theme: Mothering While Black. I hope you enjoyed it.

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter@mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram pagehttps://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Responsible

February 2009

Munch said that he learned about the Civil Rights movement. He was talking and excitedly sharing what he was taught at school. “Mommy, why did white people hate black people?” I didn’t know what to say. His 5 year old eyes waited for an answer. I said “It wasn’t all white people baby. Some people felt that they could speak for others. They liked the way things were. They were wrong. Everyone is entitled to live their best life without other people doing mean things to them or hating them. Times have changed. People are more responsible for their actions.” 

He seemed satisfied with that answer. Started talking about the kids that wouldn’t play with him today. “They were being mean to me mommy” he said. I began to explain that it is okay to not want to play with children that don’t want to play with you. I told him to play with those that wanted to play with him and ignore those that don’t. Everyone is responsible for their own choices.

I don’t think he understood what I was saying. How do I teach my five year old that he can only be responsible for his own actions and not those of others? He needs to know that because it goes hand in hand with the choices he will make. His free will. You must engage and hang out with responsible people. People that will stretch you and make you a better person.

I know he’s still young, but he’s a black boy. The weight of the world will someday be on his shoulders. He will assume responsibilities for a lot of things and a lot of people. But, my prayer is that he knows that he doesn’t have to do so. You are only responsible for yourself.

R

This post was part of the A2Z challenge and the letter “R” is for Responsible. My posts will be written as a journal style for the challenge and will be on the theme: Mothering While Black. I hope you enjoyed it.

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Whose Perception?

January 2018

“There is no truth. There is only perception.”  – Gustave Flaubert

I’m sitting here thinking about perception or rather yet the verb of perception (perceive) and trying to understand how police are trained to view threats. Is there some secret to this? How can some officers discern what is real from what is fiction before shooting to kill?

It’s something that bothers me. I’m trying to gain clarity and understanding about this. I have a black son. I don’t like having different rules for him that some of my other friends that aren’t raising black sons don’t have. Are we perceived threats by the color of our skin? By our tone? By our clothes?

As Munch is getting ready to enter the double digits in a couple of weeks, I’ve been trying to wrap my mind around the fact that my son will begin to drive in six short years. That he’ll want to go out and have fun with friends, get a job or get back and forth to practice. On his own. In a car.

However, before that happens, I have to teach him things that could save his life if ever pulled over…

  1. Let me do a visual check before you drive. I’m checking for all working lights so that can’t be an excuse for you getting pulled over.
  2. No more than 2 other friends in the car. Keep your head straight and both hands on the wheel.
  3. Stay calm and clearly answer the questions that are asked. Don’t let someone rile you up. Be respectful.
  4. Call my cell phone before stopping and record the entire conversation on my voicemail if I don’t answer. Speak loud and clear.

  5. Keep your license and registration card in your wallet and your wallet in the cup holder. Don’t reach for anything.

 

I guess I’m perceiving that the officer that stops my son will see him as human. A young man. A man worthy to make it home to mama.

P

 

This post was part of the A2Z challenge and the letter “P” is for Perception. My posts will be written as a journal style for the challenge and will be on the theme: Mothering While Black. I hope you enjoyed it.

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Insurance

February 2009

I was insistent on not letting the issue go. I couldn’t believe what happened. How could this be happening in 2009? Did we just swear in a black man as President of the United States?

Munch woke up sick. Coughing and having trouble breathing. I was so worried. I called out sick and called the pediatrician. My baby was sick. They told me to take him to the hospital and that one of the doctor’s from the practice was there. I got him dressed and rushed out the door.

This was my first time at this particular hospital. Munch’s pediatricians are in a different state and I have a choice of hospitals. This one has a pediatric emergency room so it was definitely the optimal choice. I get there and check in with the receptionist. I’m trying to hold my fat baby (he weighs 25 pounds) and my purse.

The male receptionist asked me did I have insurance and I said “Yes”. As I began pulling out my card he asked me “Do you have Medicaid?” I was floored. Here was this white boy asking me do I have Medicaid. I’m carrying a child in designer clothes and a designer coat and carrying a designer handbag and you think  I have Medicaid?

I was offended. I said “No, I actually have a job that pays for our health insurance.” He said okay. I let it slide.

I got Munch in the back and met with the pediatrician. They gave him a breathing treatment and told me that he needs to rest. Upped his medications. The financial person for the hospital came to the room while he’s getting the treatment to get my co-pay for the emergency room visit.

I handed her my card as she charged $100. These dang administrators are worse than bill collectors. Can I please make sure my child is feeling better first? What the hell?

This hospital was getting on my nerves. I was one of the very few people of color there. I didn’t see one black doctor. Insurance games.

I reported the white guy at the check-in desk the next day. I called the hospital administration and registered a complaint. I explained that I didn’t judge those that were on Medicaid, but I worked hard to have great health insurance and I had never felt more disrespected or discriminated against.

A few hours later someone called me back and apologized profusely. They said that they would never allow a patron to be disrespected or discriminated against. They actually made the receptionist call me back personally and apologize.

I didn’t believe him when he said he didn’t mean anything by it. Whatever! Lies! You saw a nicely dressed black mother in her mid 30’s and you assumed I was on Medicaid?

I

This post was part of the A2Z challenge and the letter “I” is for Insurance. My posts will be written as a journal style for the challenge and will be on the theme: Mothering While Black. I hope you enjoyed it.

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Anguish

July 6, 2016

Today I cried. A silent cry. Tears streamed down my face. I stifled my anguish. I silenced the wail that was building in my throat. Another. Another black man was shot by the police. This time in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He was 37. He had a name. It was Alton Sterling. He had a family.

He was more than the media make him out to be. He is was more. He was a father. He was a son. He wasn’t alone.

Second day of blood shed. I watched the video and tried to rationalize that something must have happened. But, I couldn’t. I couldn’t understand this murder. It was murder right?

Another black man who leaves behind a black son who will always remember that his father was murdered. In cold blood. At a gas station. Who will protect and serve him from this tragedy?

He will grow up. He won’t forget. None of us will. I pray that his anger and rage are used for positive. I pray that he sees that he will be the force of change.

I pray that his mother will get the strength to preach love and peace in a chaotic time to the black boy that she must raise alone. That she knows that heavy the crown she wears now because it is at this point that she must choose love no matter how easy it is to choose hate. I pray that she doesn’t succumb to the pain and leave her son alone to fend for himself because he needs her. He needs everyone. He needs to know that he is not alone.

I stifle my anger and anguish and think of the words of Langston Hughes poem: A Dream Deferred:

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?

I shall pray harder tonight. I shall hold my son harder. I shall kiss him longer. I shall pray that this madness stops. I shall pray that no more mothers have to bury their children. I shall try to scrub the bulls eye off his back.

If only for one more night.

A

This post was part of the A2Z challenge and the letter “A” is for anguish. My posts will be written as a journal style for the challenge and will be on the theme: Mothering While Black. I hope you enjoyed it.

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

I AM STRONG & BRAVE

This particular Saturday morning, I’m looking at my 2-year-old son playing with puzzles. He looked at me and said: “Mommy, this is too hard, but I got it.”

All parents have read about bed or morning routines. Even Daniel Tiger and Elmo have this covered. My family has always believed in the power of words or confessions. My mother confessed to my sister every morning: “You are the head and not the tail, above only and not beneath.”  I believe (& think my SiSi would agree) that these words resonated in her mind when she wanted to throw in the towel.

Every night we pray for my son to be thankful for family, friends, and provisions. But additionally, I pray (out loud) for my son to be strong & brave. I never saw that world as a scary place until I became a mother. These glasses of parenting put a filter on everything as terrifying. Most importantly, I know the world will be unkind to a young black man. The joy he has today is delicate and needs to be preserved. I want to protect him, cover him, shield him… but I know I can’t. I can only pray that he always finds the strength to be joyous, strength to trust God and Strength to be brave enough to keep moving forward when the world will feel cold.

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I guess, I never meant for this reflection to be so emotionally heavy. I am generally not that type of writer, but out of your heart flows the truth. Take the time to speak life over the children your world. Nieces, nephews, God-children,  neighbors, & friends every child deserves to hear that they are loved and amazing.

With Love;

Southern Fried Mommy

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This post was shared by Southern Fried City Girl. I love her blog. She’s one of the newer blogs that I discovered and I’m happy to share her work. She’s a wife, a mom, a woman of faith and everything in between. Go follow her at her wonderful blog called: Southern Fried City Girl

Day 23: Today – Thanksgiving

I’m thankful for today. I’m thankful that it is Thanksgiving and that I can be with my family today. Although Munch will be out of town with his dad, he will be there in spirit. I am thankful for being able to smell the home cooked meals and tasting all my mother’s cooking. In a weird twist of fate, she will be home this year and she’s cooking so I’m thankful for that.

I’m thankful that I survived 23 days of telling you what I’m thankful for. I’m thankful that I got to share a piece of me with each of you. I’m thankful for all my followers and I’m thankful for each and every reader of my blog. Truly.

I want you to know that this day is about sharing with our family and friends and being thankful for all that we have. Even if your half is less than someone else, be thankful. Gratitude is a must. Be grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

 

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Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Day 11: Veteran’s

It’s Day 11 in my #23DaysofThankfulness and I am thankful for the men and women that have served in our armed services. Today is Veteran’s Day in the U.S. and we have to honor those that serve to protect our country. Those that were in the kitchens to those on the battlefield. Everyone plays a role.

I’m thankful for each of you. Your service matter. You matter.

I spent yesterday dropping off toiletries at the VA Hospital in Washington, DC with some of my sorority sisters. It was amazing to give back to those who have given so much. How will you honor those who have served?

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Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.