Women Equality Day

#WomensEqualityDaykarensunhambleopinion
Courtesy of PBS.org

 

It’s supposed to be #WomensEqualityDay. But I do not feel very equal. #NationalDogDay is trending higher than #EqualRightsForWomen. I even posted a pic of my dog Mocha on Instagram. But it’s saddens me that she has more rights and protections than women do in this country and around the world. Why is that? Women have been fighting for equal standing since Adam and Eve! I have said it once and I will say it again, NO ONE HELD A GUN TO ADAMS HEAD AND MADE HIM EAT THE APPLE!!

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Courtesy of Pinterest

When will the struggle for women end? Without women, we have no civilization. Women keep the population going! Men can’t carry babies and I have yet to see anything outside of a science fiction movie about babies being born outside a woman’s womb! So, I ask again and again why are women paid less? Why are women treated like cattle? Actually, cattle are probably treated better! Why do women continue to suffer at the hands of men who rape, beat, molest, and disparage on every turn? Why? Women throughout history have proven themselves equal to any task put before them. Women have proven over and over they can handle any crisis equally, if not better than men! Lastly, WHY is there even a competition between men and women in the first place? Both genders have to co-exist for the world to turn! So, can we PLEASE STOP THIS LUDICROUS WAR AGAINST WOMEN???

My Thoughts on Racism Part Two

You know that line “funny thing happened on the way to the forum”…well a not-so-funny thing happened a couple of weeks ago that just left me floored. I soul-searched and consulted a few folks that I consider family and they thought I should let it go. But, I’m NOT ELSA and I can’t let it go! In light of the continued “discussions” about race relations in America I MUST share what happened:

I found out a so-called friend had been spreading a viciously criminal rumor that I drugged him and stole money from him. Anyone who claims to know me wouldn’t believe such foolishness yet, some people did and cut me out of their lives. I confronted him and was hoping for an explanation or apology but after a heated exchange he finalized the demise of our acquaintance when he responded with the following text message:

karensunhumbleopinion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It seems folks don’t understand that this kind of treatment has been a part of my life since and before I was born and where as I can slough off most of it, this cut deeply because this person claimed to be my friend. It made me wonder how many of my other friends might be harboring this kind of venom waiting to spew it when I said or did something they deemed wrong. Some folks think because I am “light-skinned” that somehow I had it easy. WRONG! I had it worse because I got this type of treatment from both sides of the racist issue. My own race would taunt me saying I was trying to be white because I spoke grammatically correct English, call me a sell-out, and Uncle Tom’s bitch. Other races would refer to me as nigger bitch, black bitch, Queen-Kong bitch (because I’m supposed to be descendent from apes, etc.) and any other name they could think of except my given name of Karen. Racism has been a part of the American tapestry for hundreds of years and doesn’t seem to be letting up. I am not posting about this to garner sympathy or pity. I am posting this to show people there is racism and hatred out there that isn’t going away. Every time I read a moronic post about there being no racism, my stomach turns! I remember every slur, the physical violence I endured at the hands of people in authority, classmates, and strangers. I remember the feeling of shame and doubt that permeated my life for a long time before a few good people helped me realize that not everyone holds such disdain for people “different” from them. They helped me overcome any doubts as to my worth and made me realize my contributions to this planet are as valuable as anyone’s. I don’t hate this person for throwing those nasty and hurtful words my way. I feel sorry for him. He will never realize how much he is losing by being a loser. What’s worse is he is a gay man and always cries when people hurl gay slurs at him. Another reason this behavior was so shocking. I’ve said it before and I will say it until I die: It is my prayer for him and the world that discrimination becomes a thing of the past and we realize we all bleed red, die, and turn to dust and all this turmoil over race is really all about the $green$!

Men’s Health: ATTENTION MEN FOLK!

Ok MEN FOLK!

Real Talk! Plain Talk! You MEN FOLK ( I’m from Texas and I’m a little fussy right now) have a SUPER BAD HABIT of ignoring the signs when you might be sick or getting sick! This is why insurance  is cheaper for you and why you die quicker than women! But I am here to tell you, that “I can push through it” attitude isn’t cool and should be scrubbed from your psyche! It isn’t fair to those of us who have to take care of your raggedy butts! Y’all act like the world is ending when you get a hang nail! So, can you imagine how y’all would act, God forbid, if you had a heart attack, cancer, or stroke??? Well I do! It’s not cool! Patience goes out the door and y’all get mad when things don’t happen at the speed of yesterday! While y’all are acting like that, you are forgetting that YOUR STUBBORNNESS is what got you in the mess you may be currently in or may find yourself in!

My Advice to Men

Let me give you a couple pieces of advice:

1. Get REGULAR CHECK-UP’S – I know some of you may not have insurance. Trust me, I know how you feel on that! BUT DO NOT IGNORE ANY SIGNS OR SYMPTOMS! Save a few pennies for your doctors visit. I know you have at least one day off a week that you can take to go see a doctor or go to one of those neighborhood clinics. Request a physical to see what the state of your health is.

Mens Health

Exercise…it does the body good! Photo Wiki Commons

2. EXERCISE and HEALTHY DIET– Once you have found out what may or may not be ailing you, adopt a new lifestyle. PRAY you don’t have anything life-threatening that can’t be fixed with a balanced diet and exercise.You don’t have to join a fancy gym or hire a nutrition expert. Limit your bread and potato intake. Add more fish, chicken, and fresh veggies to your diet! WALK! Just WALK! That’s great exercise! It covers all your body parts. If you want muscular definition, get a few free weights or use the internet to find muscle-building exercises that won’t break the bank or your back!

Mens Health

Healthy Diet
Photo Wiki Commons

If y’all do these two SIMPLE things, your wives, girlfriends, children, and friends will love ya!! They will appreciate not having to rush y’all to the emergency room because your heart may be shredding or your face is melting from a stroke! So, do us all a favor and TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF! Please and thank you!

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Voter Lookup

#Vote People! I voted so I get to complain! I am part of the solution! Will you be part of the problem or the solution? Our Founding Father’s gave us the RIGHT to vote. Yes, for some of us it took a little longer than other but at least it came! Not exercising your RIGHT TO VOTE is tantamount to treason in my UN-Humble opinion! YES, TREASON! So, VOTE DANG IT! SEND A MESSAGE to those nit wits who want to continue to ruin this great nation of ours! Show the world what democracy in America is about! Show it is still OF The PEOPLE and FOR The PEOPLE! Don’t keep letting our Founding Fathers turn over in their graves!

My Thoughts on Racism

racism

My Experience

I was born in 1970 when the world was in transition. I experienced racism as a child but not like my parents, grandparents, and great grandparents, etc. but I did. I knew it was part of my life and I just went with the flow and didn’t take it to heart too much. As I got older, I saw fewer and fewer incidents against me and in general. Racially based actions seemed to take a nap for a long while and weren’t in the forefront as much as they are again. However, since President Barack Obama’s election, the first and second time, I have experienced 4x the racism I ever did! I personally have been called the N-word and treated as if I do not exist. I make a phone call to arrange a meeting or purchase something at my local merchant and upon arrival, the previous telephone conversations NEVER HAPPENED. I speak the Queens English because I took advantage of the education provided me. People have no idea I am black until I arrive. It shouldn’t matter what I sound like on the phone. I am trying to spend money in these establishments. The reactions are some I’ve seen before which range from shock and dismay to complete outrage. However, there is a new element to the shock and dismay. The people become embarrassed at their reactions to me and apologize profusely for not realizing how ingrained racism is in their psyche. I have seen countless videos of the police throwing people to the ground for saying what’s on their mind. A judge told me once an officer as a public servant has a sworn duty to protect and serve and take all the verbal abuse thrown at them. He stated I could say anything I wanted to a police officer as long as I didn’t lay my hands on or spit on them. The judge said this in response to a ticket that I was given for disorderly conduct by an officer who was mad I wouldn’t sleep with him! I told the officer to go F*** himself! The judge dismissed the ticket and scolded the officer for abusing his power. Another instance of police overstepping is racial profiling. I had long braids at one time and I used to wear a lot of sporty outfits. I was pulled over by an officer who claimed I was driving with my headlights off. They weren’t off but I was in a part of town where blacks are not welcome and are often pulled over and harassed with nonsense tickets. Fast forward a few months later, when my court date arrived, the ticket was again dismissed because the officer could not identify me. The braids were out, I had a business suit on, and it was daylight! I, along with my attorney, giggled because it was a clear case of profiling. Luckily, this officer wasn’t stupid enough to commit perjury. I could go on and on with stories of police overstepping and abusing the “power” they think comes with a badge and a gun.

Current Times

In my un-humble opinion, I think we awakened a dragon that was content with blacks playing sports and making a lot of money doing it, small governmental positions were ok as well, a smattering of military generals, and a few Presidential Cabinet roles thrown in for good measure while keeping the status quo. However, to elect a black person to the highest office in this once great land of ours apparently crossed the line. So much so, instead of signaling that America had finally moved past our past, it ignited an entirely new upheaval of racism that is upon us. The violence that has been perpetrated on young black males, and some females in recent years by people in authority, those pretending to be in authority, and people scared of their own shadow is just as bad, if not worse than the previous Civil Rights Movement (Fight). People, not of color, cannot hide their disdain for President Barack Obama and continually disrespect him and the Executive Office of which he is in charge. Racism is ingrained into our society. Always has been and I fear always will be. This country and its Constitution never included blacks. The U.S. did make strides to rectify racism but it has only been 50 years since the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed. 50 years isn’t a whole lot of time considering this country is just 238 years old. It seems in just a few short years the rights afforded by the Civil Rights Act have all but been erased by the increasing violence against blacks. Some would blame the media for only focusing on racism and nothing else but I read news outlets from around the globe and have searched the Internet for young unarmed whites being gunned down in the street. There are VERY few instances. My question is, what did blacks do historically that would cause such hatred? Is there karma that pre-dates slavery that we as a people continually have to pay for? When will this hatred end? The only other race of people to have such hatred thrown their way is the indigenous people who were here before the Pilgrims and anyone else! Racist can’t claim ignorance because ignorance can be educated away. There have been so many blacks that have done great things while the dragon was asleep so you can no longer claim blacks to be an inferior race of people. So it has to be hatred in its purest form to ignite such violence. I have some law enforcement training but chose to continue on a different path but while I was in the world of law enforcement, I learned a few things about taking down a suspect in a non-violent manner. I was taught by a veteran police officer that deadly force is the last resort. There are other means to take down a suspect such as pepper spray, Tasers, and self-defense tactics that incapacitate the suspect. If a suspect looks as if he is going to fire on officers, they can still shoot to wound and not shoot to kill. If a suspect has his hands raised, one officer holsters his gun to place the suspect in handcuffs while the other still has his gun trained on the suspect. Once the suspect is in handcuffs, ALL officers are supposed to holster their weapons with the safety on as not to cause accidental discharge and wound the officer or the suspect. But this is not what is happening. Officers are emptying their guns into suspects without trying to diffuse an already volatile situation. Obtaining military gear to fight citizens of the United States of America is tantamount to Nazi Germany or other dictatorships. The United States is supposed to be a democracy and not a dictatorship. The citizens of this country, more especially black citizens are not the enemy and shouldn’t be viewed as such! I often hear in various press conferences, “The officer was afraid for his life.” NO! Police officers are sworn to protect and serve! They are supposed to be willing to lay down their life in the scope of protecting and serving! You NEVER hear Fire personnel saying, “I didn’t run into that burning building because I was afraid for my life.” NO! They run in and save whoever is in trouble! You don’t hear of military personnel running away from the fray! If they did, this country would have NEVER happened! Don’t get me wrong. I’m sure all these people are afraid and I believe a healthy amount of fear is warranted. But these jobs are service professions and you should have the sense to know there is a certain amount of danger involved. To be that fearful means you need to find another profession! If you are that afraid and that fear causes you to shoot first and ask questions later, AGAIN, FIND ANOTHER JOB!  Clearly, law enforcement has forgotten what it means to protect and serve.

Solutions

Is there a solution? Yes! Two words: Transparency and Accountability. Both sides need to add these words to their vocabulary! Black people need to “police” their own neighborhoods and quit acting out the stereotypes we so often see. Neighborhood watch groups in cooperation with law enforcement would do wonders for blacks to build trust. We need to value ourselves and stop the violence against each other over drugs or turf that we don’t even own! I understand the need to lash out and feeling the need to burn down the status quo but why cut off your nose to spite your face? Burning buildings and looting isn’t the answer. By doing so, blacks are sending a message that every negative and racist thing ever said or thought about blacks is true. It negates anything we as a race have accomplished! It tells the world we don’t value ourselves so why should anyone else? We need quit living as slaves in our mind and begin living as free. We need not punish all for the sins of a few. We need to educate ourselves about our rights. Yes, we as former Africans lost our identity, but the one we have created for ourselves in response to racism clearly isn’t working! Law enforcement agencies need to be transparent in all their dealings with the public. Especially the black public. There needs to be community involvement with thoughtful interaction between law enforcement and the people they serve. They need to be accountable for their actions and not given a pass just because they wear a uniform and carry a gun. Anytime there is a police shooting of any kind but more especially of a black person, the officer’s supervisor needs to arrive on the scene as quickly as possible. Other police need to arrive with PEACE keeping on their minds NOT CONTROL on their minds. Once the smoke has cleared, a law enforcement panel, made up of State and Federal officials, needs to be convened to make sure no civil rights were violated and that there was truly probable cause and not just because this person was black and needed to be put down like a dog in the street. Law enforcement needs to cease viewing blacks as the enemy and begin viewing us as the citizens they are sworn to protect and serve. They need to lose the assumptions because we all know that word begins with “ass!” Another word that could be added is Understanding. Both sides need to understand each other as humans. Proverbs 4:1-13 instructs us to gain understanding in all we say and do. Maybe, just maybe, if these three words are incorporated in our everyday existence and we quit looking at superficial things such as skin color, we could truly move past our racist past and coexist peacefully without all this racial strife.

 

No Such Thing As Elements of Provocation!

domestic violence

Domestic Violence Wheel of Control {He said that while men “have no business putting your hands on a woman,” he had tried to tell women in his family, “Let’s make sure we don’t do anything to provoke wrong actions.” He also referred to “elements of provocation” and implied that women should “do what we can to try to prevent the situation from happening.”During his apology on Monday morning, Smith acknowledged that “my words came across that it is somehow a woman’s fault.”via ESPN suspends Stephen A. Smith for one week – Jul. 29, 2014.}

As the result of a violent attack on me a couple of years ago, I have become a warrior to stomp out violence against women. I have started petitions, shared my story, and joined others crusading against this crime that affects us all. So, I was appalled to read that sportscaster Stephen A. Smith, who I once respected, said such a heinous thing about why women get attacked by men. Nothing a woman says or does warrants such violence! EVER! There is NO SUCH THING AS ELEMENTS OF PROVOCATION! If he or any man believes this, I pray for the women in their lives because they are all in danger. The Wheel of Power and Control list all the ways men manipulate and abuse women and it is behavior often passed down from the home environment. Don’t get me wrong, men get abused as well but the majority of violence is perpetrated against women. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) list domestic violence as a public health issue. On average 24 people per minute are victims of violence ranging from rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States, based on a survey conducted in 2010. This has to stop! People in any position of power or in the public eye should know better than to cultivate this culture of violence. Unfortunately, in recent years, we have seen an increase in misogynistic attitudes from our leaders and some of those attitudes have been shockingly applauded by women. These attitudes have resulted in a “war on women” that covers everything from reproductive issues to the almost non-renewal of the Violence Against Women Act. We have to take a stand, women and men alike, against this public health crisis. It’s effects are far-reaching all over the world in the form of human trafficking, female genital mutilation, and gender specific abortions. I feel in addition to Stephen A. Smith’s one week suspension, he should be required to volunteer in a battered woman’s shelter or attend support meetings to learn about domestic violence. He claims his statement came out wrong. I do not believe that. He needs to get counseling to discover why his statement “came out wrong.”  Until he takes steps to understand the manipulation, misogyny, anger, and passive aggressive behaviors behind the violence, his apology is hollow.

Change (Don’t Change)

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Yin/Yang Balance of Life

Don’t be afraid to change

(Don’t change that smile)

Change means growth

(Don’t change your hair)

Change can be good

(Don’t change your body)

Change is fulfilling

(Don’t change your loving spirit)

Change for you

(Don’t change your quiet strength)

Change for the better

(Don’t change for me)