I Care

I care for Sandra Bland. I care what happened to her. I want to know what happened to this young woman. I want to know if she did in fact take her own life or was she murdered. The questions are many and the answers are few, but if it was your child, your sister, your mother, your wife or your friend wouldn’t you want to know? Wouldn’t you want to know the truth?

Yes, you would. I’m no expert on jail house protocol, but I thought that jails have procedures in place to prevent people from hanging themselves? With a plastic bag too? I’m not saying that it’s not possible, but I think a full investigation of her death is warranted. Too many questionable acts of violence against my black brothers and sisters. We can’t take no more.

We do know that the FBI has joined the Texas Rangers in investigating the circumstances surrounding her death and that the arresting officer violated the department’s procedures regarding traffic stops and the department’s courtesy policy. He’s on administrative leave. According to the officer she was charged with assaulting an officer when she became argumentative and uncooperative. Umm, I would too if I was asked to get out of my car because I didn’t want to put out my cigarette. It’s not against the law.

Here is a clip of the video from the arresting officer’s dashboard camera:

Here is the video that a good Samaritan shot of the arrest:

The official video from the trooper’s dash camera leaves more questioning. No editing was ever mentioned and it appears to have been edited. How can people trust those in charge when there seems to be a cover-up? What happened to Sandra Bland? The LA Times author, Ryan Parker, discusses some of these seen anomalies by stating that:

In the video, which is more than 52 minutes long, there are several spots in which cars and people disappear and reappear. When it released the video, the Public Safety Department did not mention any editing. The audio ends more than a minute before the video images do.

One of the more conspicuous anomalies comes 25 minutes and five seconds into the video, when a man walks from a truck off screen and then reappears suddenly at the spot where he began walking. The image flutters for a moment before resuming. – Ryan Parker

Was she argumentative? Yes, as the video clearly shows. But, is that against the law? Is there a crime to be argumentative with an officer? No. However, did she deserved to be slammed to the ground? Did she deserve to hear the officers tell her “good” and “I don’t care” when she told them that she had a medical condition – epilepsy. No.

Here is a photo of Sandra Bland. She was 28. Let’s remember her. Let’s not forget that we need answers to her death. We need to know that there was no heinous and illegal acts of violence that were committed. I am my sister’s keeper and I am saying…we need justice.

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Until next time loves!

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Daddyless Daughters

That’s the term I learned by watching Ilyana Vanzant’s “Fix My Life with Karrueche Tran” interview. I’m a daddyless daughter. Ilyana told Karrueche that she “believes that when young women grow up without their father it breaks something in their heart that broken men will walk into”. Wow! I was literally paralyzed with a message that God had been sending me about my own life for the last month.

I have spoken openly about how my father wasn’t in my life. He was an abusive man. He was an alcoholic. But, he was my daddy. I loved him. He never hit me. He was just sick. But, what do you do when you realize that your daddy never loved you? You rebel. You find love in all the wrong places.

That was me. A virtual non-believer in love. Love was a lie. My life was a lie. How could a man love me when the man who helped create me didn’t? You run. You avoid love like the plague. You spend years building walls reinforced with steel girders that no one can break down.

Until one day you can’t run.

You have someone who sees you and wants you to stay. You see someone who says that I see all your brokenness and baggage and I want to help. I want to love you past your pain. I want to give you reason to smile. I want to make you know love and appreciate love from a man.

He says all the right things. He may even mean those things, but when you’re broken and your heart is broken, you can’t decipher fact from fiction. That the man standing there telling you all these things is in essence…broken too. So, you love. You give. You start letting those walls down because you believe that you can change him. Fix his issues. You two will be able to fix the broken parts of your life. You believe that it is not futile to endure the b.s. You believe that if you just love harder and smarter you can change him.

Until you realize that you can’t change him.

What do you do? You crawl, walk or run away from the pain. You pray, you submit to the spirit and you get therapy. You figure out what it is about you that keeps attracting broken men. What is it about you that has you thinking that you can save a man by loving him? You start to understand and repeat fervently the first stanza in the serenity prayer. You know the one that says:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Hoping and believing that it will get easier. Easier to fix you. Because let’s face it…you are the problem. You have to learn to forgive. Not for them, but for you. You have to accept that life isn’t what you wanted and dang it was hard, but you have to let go and forgive the man who left you a daddyless daughter. You have to know that you deserve it. You deserve peace.

You do.

You forgive the man who made your childhood a horror story. You forgive the man who put his hands on your mother. You forgive the man who walked out your life and never looked back. You forgive the man who left you. Not for him, but for you. So, you can grow. So you can change. So, you can stop allowing broken men to occupy time and space in your heart.

Because they don’t deserve it.

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Has Anything Changed?

On Wednesday, I was looking at my “Timehop” application on my phone and it showed that five years ago I posted this on Facebook:

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Interesting that when I posted this I was happily married and not even really understanding the plight of single black women when it comes to finding a man. Why? Because I had a man. I could empathize with my sisters from a married woman’s perspective, but I couldn’t feel their weight when it comes to finding a man.

Fast forward five years later and I am one of those women. Starting over and trying to figure out the state of relationships among black women and black men in their 30’s and 40’s. Now, what’s interesting about this conversation with my friend was that we were discussing the relationships among blacks but using a fictitious white couple as a measure of success. Why? Because this was our point of reference for TV. We are both successful people, but black women and/or men as leading characters on prime time weren’t shown. Not in our age group.

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It’s five years later and we have points of reference in fictitious characters on television that resonate with us as a people. We have Olivia Pope (Scandal – ABC) and Mary Jane Paul (Being Mary Jane – BET) that show strong and successful women trying to navigate dating and relationships. This is my reality. I know many successful women in my circle who are in the same boat. Looking for their Mr. Big. Is it wrong? No.

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Let me tell you why…I worked my butt off. Hard. I stayed focus and stayed out of trouble. I was the 2nd grandchild out of 30 to attend college. Unheard of right? I focused on being able to take care of myself. No babies. No drugs and no jail. If I did everything right, shouldn’t I expect to find someone on the same level? Is having expectations for my potential mate a bad thing?

No.

Last week there was a post about how black women marry down more than any other group. You get it? We marry down instead of out. We fail to practice “assortative mating” which basically means that we choose spouses that haven’t obtained degrees like we have. Now, this was a hot topic on many of the blogs that I subscribe to with women saying that they won’t marry down. Let’s keep these two issues separate for now. Marrying down could be solely financial but there are many men who didn’t go to college but went to a trade school and make more money than their spouse. Think electrician, plumber or even auto mechanic.

When we marry “down” instead of “outside of our race” we are in essence creating wealth inequality and have a harder time trying to balance work/life than if both partners had gone to college and could afford private school. The idea that we are choosing spouses based off of love became non-existent. The study suggests that black women should choose partners based off the person that can provide for you to not create this gap in wealth. Umm, now marriage is a business transaction? I had issues with this whole argument, but moving past that and getting back to my what’s wrong with wanting Mr. Big – nothing!

It’s not about the shoe purchases, fancy dinners and a black card, but a man’s ability to take care of business. To be able to date a woman on his level that appreciates him and the things that he can bring to the table. We need to stop thinking that women are gold diggers when there are a reasonable number of people making decisions off a person’s look instead of their background, character or values. Money doesn’t make the man and good looks won’t keep the woman.

There is nothing wrong with having expectations and standards when it comes to dating. You have that right. You owe no one anything when it comes to making choices about your personal life and what you want out of a partner. I get it! Heck, if we’re being honest there are many men who don’t want to date me because I’m a plus sized woman. I’m okay with that. Your choice and your loss. I know my worth.

So, if I want a Mr. Big, I’m going to get him. You better believe that I’m bringing my Olivia Pope Mary Jane Paul entrepreneurial skills and business savvy mixed with my Carrie Bradshaw appreciation for the man who appreciates and respects me.

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It’s not the Manolo’s (no matter how beautiful) that matter, but the man himself. Find someone that is your Mr. Big and don’t settle! carrie-and-mr-big

Black Girl Broken

Unexplained infertility

That was the diagnosis

No medical reason

Why this black girl couldn’t conceive

I’m broken

I cried out “My God why have you forsaken me?”

 

“Options” was what the doctor said

“You have options”

In a cloudy haze I listened as this man

Began to explain my uterus

My womb

The core of my existence that was supposed to bring forth life

He was telling me how it worked?

How could he know?

 

How could he know what I was feeling?

Could he see through my soul and know that

I was burning and screaming

In pain

I was broken

My uterus was the soul of who I am

It was broken

No medical reason

No real diagnosis

Unexplained infertility

Black girl broken

 

 

Woman to Woman

Let’s have a talk shall we? As I’ve stated in prior posts, I’m in a state of transition..that from married to single. It’s been a long time since I was single and my first time as a single parent trying to have a co-parenting relationship. I will always love my ex for it was he who gave me our son, but I have to say something… this crap gets hard sometimes!

Not that I’m looking to fix a flat tire or repair my marriage, but co-parenting when we can’t seem to act like adults is hard as hell. Yep, I said “we” purposely. I’m not going to sit here and let you believe that I’ve got this all figured out and I’m the best person when it comes to disengaging my personal animosities and trying to co-parent effectively. I don’t.

Most of the time it is trial and error. Many errors, some good things and a lot of okay things happen. I think letting go of old wounds from our marriage is what is contributing to the bad head space we can find ourselves in. Why? Because we’re both headstrong individuals who have to be right. We both want to have the last word. We both hope that we don’t screw up our son.

Our son lives with his dad 50% of the time and with me 50% of the time. His needs come first. Regardless of what is going on in our lives, we put his needs first. Yes, he is six and yes he is aware that his mommy and daddy will not live together anymore. But, more than that he realizes that the two people who gave him life love him more than we ever thought possible.

The reason why I am calling this post “Woman to Woman” is because I needed to get something off my chest. If you are a woman dating my ex and plan on being around there are some things you should know. A list of how to deal with me and my desire to raise an incredibly wonderful little boy in two separate homes. Here you go:

  1. Never, ever listen to us argue. You see if my ex should get reckless and try to prove to you that I’m crazy and hold a personal conversation on the phone with me while you are riding in his car, be woman enough to tell him that it’s not acceptable. What we argue about should never concern you in your preliminary role.
  2. Just because I don’t know you doesn’t mean that I don’t do my research. I’m a protective mama cub. I only have one child and he means more to me than anything in my life. That being said who you are (your first and last name) matter to me.
  3. I don’t want him back. Nope, I don’t. I love my ex because he and I were together so long. We made memories. Some good, some bad, but in the end the greatest thing we ever did was have our son. I’m not trying to do it again. No matter what you hear.
  4. Understand that no one will ever take my place. Not that I think you believe that, but my ex said that to me. He actually said, “No one can ever take your place as our son’s mother.” Dude, I know this. I still have the incision where he was taken from me five weeks early. There is never a replacement for the original. I’m his mommy.
  5. What happens in my home is my business and vice versa. Unless my son volunteers information, I will never, ever question him about what occurs at his father’s house. It’s none of my business unless it affects his well-being. That being said, very little will ever affect his well-being (because his dad adores him) so I don’t care what happens at daddy’s house as long as he is being loved, fed, clothed and nurtured in the best way possible.
  6. Being a part of his dad’s life long term will mean that you will have to meet me. Understand that I bear no ill will or animosity towards you. I am a mother. I am a woman and I believe in the unity of all women. I encourage us to be civil and make the transition for my child seamless and positive. But, understand that you will have to do your part…know and accept that I will always want to do what is in the best interest of my son. No one is more qualified to make important decisions than his dad and I. No one.

One of the greatest things his dad did after we split was rush over to my house because our son had a nose bleed that wouldn’t stop. It was almost 20 minutes of blood gushing and him screaming. His dad called and he screamed, “I want my daddy”. His dad was in a movie and left and said, “I’ll be there in 10 minutes.” You know what? He was. Not because of me, but because his son needed him. That was pretty awesome and it made me realize one thing…his dad will move mountains for him and for that I am eternally thankful.

I am new to this co-parenting thing and no I didn’t expect to have it figured out, but I’m trying. His dad and I make a lot of stupid mistakes (mainly because we’re pig-headed) but we are trying. We will someday get this right, but I want the temporary (or permanent) women to know that there is no reason to be less than a woman when attaching yourself to the foolishness that may be us. We love our son and we will get it right (hopefully sooner rather than later) someday.

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