Day 18: The Right To Vote

You know that the women showed out in last week’s elections right? But, not just women. We saw men winning in town’s that saw first black men being elected, first Sikh or first immigrant. Diversity and inclusion was the theme in last week’s election.

It was awesome. I was so proud and thankful that people are exercising their right to vote. I’m still excited.

Here are some stats about notable firsts from last week’s election:

  • In Virginia, at least 11 Virginia House of Delegates’ seats will be held by women; five are women of color.  Some notable firsts: Kathy Tran (first Asian American woman), Elizabeth Guzmán and Hala Ayala (first Hispanic women) and  Danica Roem (first openly transgender person to serve in any state legislature).
  • Vi Lyles – first female African-American mayor in Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Ravi Bhalla – first Sikh mayor in Hoboken, NJ
  • Melvin Carter  – first African-American Mayor of St. Paul, Minnesota
  • Sheila Oliver – first African-American woman lieutenant governor in the state of NJ
  • Joyce Craig -first woman elected mayor of Manchester, New Hampshire
  • Jan Moore – first woman and first African American elected mayor of Statesboro, Georgia
  • Wilmot Collins – was a refugee from Liberia and was elected mayor of Helena, Montana
  • Yvonne Spicer – first mayor, first woman and first African American of the newly incorporated city of Framingham, Massachusetts
  • Melvin Carter – first African American mayor of St. Paul, Minnesota
  • Mary Parham Copelan – first African American mayor of Milledgeville, Georgia
  • Booker Gainor – first African American millennial mayor of Cairo, Georgia
  • Brendon Barber – first African American mayor of Georgetown, South Carolina
  • Jenny Durkan – elected to be Seattle’s first female mayor since the 1920s
  • Justin Fairfax – is the second ever African-American to hold a state-wide office in Virginia. He was elected Lt. Governor. The only other black to hold a state-wide office in Virginia was former Governor L. Douglas Wilder (first African American to be elected governor in the United States of America)
  • Mazahir Salih – first Sudanese-American immigrant elected to the Iowa City Council
  • Tyler James Titus – first transgender man to win a seat on the Erie School Board in Pennsylvania

It was exciting. Diversity. Inclusion. Voting. All these things matter. On this 18th day of my #23daysofthankfulness, I’m thankful for the right to vote.

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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/.

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Black Women vs. White Women

Why do they always seem to put us up against one another? Why is it that it’s always in the news that black men prefer white women or that black women have bad attitudes? Why is it that society can’t seem to find us beautiful?

If it’s not one thing, it’s another, but this is no pity piece. I don’t need your sympathy or coaxing to tell me that I’m beautiful. Hell, I know I am! My confidence and self-esteem are not defined by society nor shattered by their comments. I love me. The skin I’m in and the woman that I am.

My issue is when people want to pit us against one another. Can’t we all just get along? I mean seriously. I have some cool white girlfriends that I call my sisters and hell I’m sure that they think I’m a cool black girlfriend. Race doesn’t divide us. Our genders unite us. We are about the success of women.

So, you’re probably asking what’s got me fit to be tied? It’s this constantly circulated stereotype that asks the question why do black men prefer white women? Last week one of the bloggers I follow, Sunny over at Grown Folk Talk Radio, posted the Instagram page of a Washington Redskins player who asked the question of why do black athletes marry white women?

I’m sure it was written to get everyone in an uproar. I mean what isn’t done on social media for likes or comments? But, one “athlete” in particular posted this foolishness:

Was I hot? Absolutely. The whole response is meant to divide us. To play one race of women against another is pathetic and I’m so tired of that foolishness. Let’s be clear…love who the hell you want too. I don’t care. But, what I won’t do is allow my race and gender to be disrespected in any way. I have to set the record straight.

Here’s the thing…that question is asked to divide instead of unite us. People can’t help who they love. Color is not blind. Love is. You choose to fall in love. Love is amazing, but if you are choosing to love people that are not in your race then I wonder do you truly know what the meaning of love is? Self-love is the first step to recognizing and accepting love.

Now, my issue is the fact that this gentleman’s argument was flawed. Here’s why…

  • Most of the sisters were raised in broken homes.  What statistics back that up when it is a whole lot of women choosing not to marry but have children? You are sitting there trying to refer to us as your sisters while throwing shade? That is whack? If sisters are growing up in broken homes, where is the man who could fix that? I mean if your argument is that a man leads, why is he not leading the family?
  • They don’t have the proper guidance on how to treat a man. Umm, what is the proper guidance? Is there a class? Where are boys taught how to treat a woman? What are the ways in which we are supposed to treat you? This my friend is call for action instead of trying to destroy us. Teach at the Boys and Girls club or get involved with local community organizations to teach children how to communicate effectively.
  • A white woman knows her position and accepts her role. Are you kidding me? I know many white women who are alpha females and married to great men that lead the family, but they are not docile women cowering in the corner. Where are you meeting these women? Does your girlfriend know that you think of her in those terms?
  • Black women think that it is 50/50. If I went to college and grad school like you why would I want anything less than 50/50? Does that mean that we are splitting the finances down the middle? No. It means that I will be an equal contributor to our family’s future. That is what it means. Is that bad? Nope.  But, on the flip side that doesn’t mean that I will support a man trying to be a rapper in his 40’s. You are not bringing your all to the table sir. Relationships evolve and people set their own rules, but to dismiss someone’s belief is close minded.
  • Black women are stubborn, close minded and always want to argue. Umm, where are you meeting these women? See, you can always find some stubborn and close minded people that want to argue regardless of race or gender. This is not something you can put on all black women.
  • Black women are not coachable. What? Are you a therapist? Because I will tell you that I’ve always said black people (not just black women) need three things: Jesus, wine and therapy. We need help. It is not just black women. How can a man coach a woman if he secretly hates them? That is what the real issue is.

This whole argument spoke of ways to divide us and I for one am tired of it. These small minded individuals are petty and obviously unhappy with their lives that they feel the need to speak such foolishness. Last time I checked it took two people to make a relationship and/or marriage work.

In the interest of self disclosure…my dad walked out on us when I was 9. The oldest of 3 kids. He didn’t financially contribute to our upbringing. Nor was he physically present in our lives….EVER. Where the hell is the outrage for the men who just don’t care and don’t give a f*ck about the kids they leave behind? Would you expect a woman who didn’t have a father who wasn’t a man not to have any issues? Anyone would. Yet, I’m the problem. Not the man that left?

So, no my momma wasn’t teaching me how to be a dutiful wife and know my place. She was out there busting her butt working 3 jobs to provide for us because the man she married didn’t think his children were worth it. All while making $16,000 a year. Do you know how hard that is? There were no talks of how you should treat a man. We had food security issues.  That was more concerning.

The key to relationships regardless of race is communication. We all need to learn how to talk to each other in our relationships. If you’re dating someone and they do something you don’t like, talk to them. Give them an opportunity to correct their behavior. If they don’t, move on. But, stop trying to blame black women for the ills of black men or stop trying to divide black women and white women. We all have battles to fight.

P.S. The supposed “athlete” is really not a professional football player.  I hope that all women know what kind of foolish and deceitful man this person is.

 

 

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/.

Man Up!

A great read about a man’s responsibility in life. This is a new blogger, Josiah Harry, that I just discovered and I am hooked. Check out his blog Skylarity!

A well-rounded man is an artist, warrior, and philosopher. -Benvenuto Cellini

Source: Man Up!

 

 

 

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/.

My Truth

An absolutely great read in honor of Women’s History Month and Black History Month too. Check her out at http://www.gingerfunksblog.com

EMBRACING MY INNER GINGER

Do you ever find something you wrote a long time ago and amaze yourself with how smart you were?  Sometimes I think we need to remind ourselves how much we really know.  Many times we know the answers to the questions we are asking but ignore them because they aren’t the answers we want. 

Truth. Honesty.  It’s amazing how speaking the truth does so much for one’s well being.  Being honest with yourself.  That is the key.  Why do we lie to ourselves?  Sometimes we are even afraid of our own truth.  Amazing.  Once we begin being truly honest with ourselves can we open up and allow the truth to flow around us.

Trust not just in other people but in ourselves!  That is the real truth.  Knowing ourselves and what we want.
Taking ego and fear out of the outcome.  Speaking your truth just frees you.  No matter the…

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Great Marriages and the Reality

My Facebook friend posted this link last month for a piece entitled “It’s time to accept this fact: A really great marriage is rare”.  I read the article and the researcher made some great points. It wasn’t a woman arguing that people shouldn’t get married, but that great marriages were rare and that there has been a shift in our society whereby women don’t need to marry because of the shift in our circumstances and/or cultural norms. Women have more options and don’t need men for financial security, sexual satisfaction, to have children or for social approval. Women have in essence changed the game. We’ve become more powerful.

I pondered that theory and I have to say that the researcher has a point. When you look at the changes in our society over the years, you see that not only in other races, but especially in the black community, there is a shift. More black women are earning more than their black male counterparts. Thus, it makes it harder for college educated women to find their ideal black man “IBM” who has equal or more to her in terms of wealth. Black women are working hard and waiting until later to get married. But, when you’re ready to get married, your IBM doesn’t come in riding on a white horse to sweep you off your feet.

Fairytales are just that. Fairytales. Not meant to provide any form of reality for our young girls. But, could I as a feminist really truly believe that I needed a man for anything? I don’t know if I was ever sold on the whole happily ever after fairytale that other little girls were taught because I knew better. My reality didn’t include a happy queen and a happy king. In my post yesterday, I talked about how my dad is an alcoholic so any chances of a prince charming taking care of me were replaced with the reality that he didn’t exist. People had faults.

Those faults translated into the fact that I grew up in a single parent home and I knew that I never wanted to be like my mother. She wasn’t a bad mother. She just short changed her life to have me and my siblings and to be a wife. Would she have made the same decisions now in today’s society? I don’t know. I would like to think no. I think she would have given birth to me and gone back to college like my grandfather insisted. I think she would have accepted that she could be considered a social pariah in a small town, but she would have been just fine raising a child on her own after getting her degree. She would have been considered a game changer by my standards.

But, she didn’t change the game. She followed her heart and cultural norms. Those norms shaped and impacted my belief in marriage. That fostered with the environmental factors and social shifts helped me realize one thing…I didn’t need to get married. I didn’t need a man for anything. Men were dispensable objects that had no real value other than fixing my car, maintenance on my house or just friends who I could toss ideas about my career path with. Not worthy of having the title of husband or father because I was jaded and I didn’t believe in happily ever after. I would never sacrifice my career to be a wife or mother. It wasn’t an option.

However, that changed when I found someone who wanted to marry me with my flaws and all. With my jaded view of reality in tow, he sought about finding refuge in my heart and spirit so that he could show me or whether prove to me that men weren’t dispensable objects and I could be both a wife and a mother and I would love it. Problem was that I didn’t love it. I loved him. I loved our family. I loved our son. But, I didn’t want to live my life being disappointed and feeling lonely and unloved. Yes, people have problems. I get that, but when the problem is the two people what do you do?

You make a decision on how your life will play out.  Whether it be a comedy, love story or tragedy, you have to know marriage is what you make it. It takes two people who share, not only the same value of marriage, but the desire to keep it healthy and functioning. You will make mistakes, nothing is perfect, but if you want to find someone who at the end of the day you would rather fight with than without then you have hit the jackpot.

“The painful truth is that really great marriages exist, but they are rare. What we as a society should probably be telling married people is, “If you have love, passion, companionship and equality in your marriage, you are wealthy beyond words. If you don’t, you have two choices. You can decide that your marriage is the best you’re going to get and try to be content. Alternatively, you can leave your marriage to play the lottery of finding that perfect partner, accepting that you are unlikely to win and may have to stay single for the rest of your life.” – Danielle Teller

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Chaos & Comfort for Ferguson

I awoke to find chaos had occurred in a small town called Ferguson, Missouri where a policeman shot and killed an unarmed black teenager. He was 18. Still in his teens. Not able to buy alcohol, but still legal. As tears streamed down my face and I ached for the young man I never met, I said a prayer for peace. Peace in that town. Peace in the family. Peace in the police department. Peace for humanity.

I can’t imagine what that family is going through at this moment. I am saddened to think “what if”. What if it had been my son? What if it had been someone I know? My church school students? My friend’s son? What words of comfort could I offer to help them through this difficult time? What words of comfort could I offer to other parents who raise black boys? I stumbled over the words to write that could offer a semblance of hope in a difficult time. Another young man was murdered and we are left to wonder why? Was he armed? No. It was this picture that broke my heart.

RIP Michael Brown
RIP Michael Brown

I believe in an officer’s right to protect and serve. I believe that in order to do their jobs sometimes they have to make difficult judgement calls in life threatening situations. I believe in safety. But, I also believe that there are bad people out there that want to wage a war against our youth. I believe that bad people work in all fields hidden in society where we are left wondering their true intentions. They wear a mask of anonymity and we always question it when situations like this occur. What is their real motive?

We will never know. Because it seems as though it is open season on our young black men. I am scared. I am scared for my son. I am scared for my beautiful black boys in my church school class. I am scared for the many nameless young men out here who will never grow up and be able to legally buy alcohol, graduate from college, vote or get married. Your life has ended and there is no excuse, but I will pray for peace for you, your family and your community. Violence begets violence and no one should ever think “Kill the Police” is a good idea.

Be patient my loves and know that we have a justice system. Although flawed in some areas, I know that God will have the final say in all that we do. Prayer is essential in this time and I want you to know that I found some words to comfort you in the chaos:

Revelation 21:4 (KJV):
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Never Stop Marching

I am a woman. I am black. I can’t change the color of my skin anymore than I can change the fabric of my gender. I have so many complexities to who I am that I sometimes have to consistently remind myself of which battle I’m fighting today. With that being said, I’m addressing the post, Why I Will Not March for Eric Garner written by Kimberly Foster, founder of one of my favorite blogs “For Harriet”. I read each word of her post with pain in my heart. I was hurt that one of the women that I admired in regards to feminism was saying that she would cry tears and mourn for him, but that she would not give empathy to black men when it is not returned to black women.

I was sitting at my computer in tears reading this piece. I had to comment. I had to say something. I had to try to reach her with love and pleading in my heart. Would she read it? I don’t know. The comments had been amassed to 973 by the time I wanted to post (24 hours after posted), but still I posted. I couldn’t understand how we could ever deny the fact that all life matters and we should all fight for one another. We are a nation divided and how can we explain that to the younger generation? How can we not support or march for Eric Garner or any man that is tragically murdered in a questionable way?

So, I literally typed “I don’t agree with this. I understand your choice to choose battles, but as a human being, all life is valuable. I have one child. A son who is six. I can’t imagine losing him to foolishness (i.e. Eric Garner or Trayvon Martin) and I would never want another woman to tell me that she will cry for him, but won’t march for him (if he were killed senselessly) because black men aren’t there for black women. We are all one and I can never understand that. I birthed a king and I pray that through my educating him on Malcolm, Martin, Mahalia, Maya, Assata Shakur or the many other important black men and women in history that he will march for black women because his mother is black and he respects and supports the struggle for black women.” There. I had said it. I said what I felt was the truth. We are women. We are black. We matter.

I am the giver of life and I know how the death of this man has sparked a fire in our community once again, but we can’t continue to turn away from each other and stand divided. I have a son. I have to protect him. I am a woman. I am black, but more importantly I am a mother and I will always choose to march and protect the rights of everyone. If not me then who? I know that the author was just tired of the black men who may not defend us. I could hear the despair, but I have your back and so do a lot of other women. Hold my hand when you get tired, but we should never stop fighting or marching for one another because we are all God’s children.