Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The words you speak hold power

There is a school of thought that believes that the way you use a word changes the meaning. I had a long drawn out discussion with a friend about calling herself or anyone else a Nigga, Nigger or any other form of the word and at the end we just agreed to disagree.

I consider myself to be open minded when it comes to the world but I will never believe that I can change the   meaning and deep rooted history of a word. I give the serious side eye to those that tell me they use the word so they can reclaim it. Who exactly are we taking it back from since it never belonged to us? If that's the case then I will just start calling people anything I'd like. Pocketbook for instance, Yo my pocketbook what's going on? See how that makes no sense. Neither does using the other word. 

The words we use have power, they have meaning and I don't care how many times you wave the flag of change it doesn't change that. 

I stumbled upon this video recently, take out the word Pimp replace it with Nigger and tell me you still think it's okay. And while you're at it stop calling dudes pimps and yourself hoes... Do better, be better! 

This post came about after I heard a woman on a crowded LIRR train tell her son to STFU Ni**A and a white woman told her friend "They act like animals that's why we treat them like it". The first time I heard this was in a cab, I have to remember to keep my headset on when I'm out on the LIRR, it will save me from the madness

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

From Talking the talk to Walking the walk

A few weeks back I wrote a post "Lucky ones get a chance at a normal life " which ended with me wanting to do more. Well the time has come for me to leave my comfy cocoon and walk the walk.  The people at GEMS are having a holiday In-Kind to put together gifts for the girls and women they serve. I've reached out to all my friends in NYC both bloggers and non-bloggers and now I am reaching out to you my readers. 

So often we are told that sex trafficking is a third world issue, It is NOT. Currently New York meet 7-9 of the conditions thought critical to a comprehensive anti-trafficking legal framework*, this however does not mean that the laws on the books are being enforced by judges, prosecutors and law enforcement. In short it is very much our issue and in our backyards.

GEMS (Girls Education and Mentoring Services)  and their "Girls are Not for Sale" statement has been making strides in shining light on the abuse of young girls. Here are a few facts pulled from their website.
  • GEMS was founded in 1998 by Rachel Lloyd, a young woman who had been commercially sexually exploited as a teenager
  • Girls Educational and Mentoring Services’ (GEMS) mission is to empower girls and young women, ages 12–24, who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking to exit the commercial sex industry and develop to their full potential
The InKind accepts donations year round,  however the drive for the holiday season is most important because of the loneliness the girls feel during this time. If you are interested in helping click here to see a list of items and contact me at the email address. These are everyday items we often take for granted. The goal is to have all donations together by December 15th.
If you do not live in NYC and are interested in starting your own drive or would just like to donate please send an email to here and I will point you in the right direction.
*The Polaris project 2011 State Ratings. More info can be found here: Sex Trafficking in the US

Monday, November 28, 2011

Blessings abound

I had every intention of writing a post addressing the ego trip I dealt with earlier this week because I was angry, confused and annoyed. Despite the ill feelings and advice to let the person know that I saw what she was doing I decided to be zen like and just leave it alone. Then after being surrounded by my awesome family on Thursday I thought a post on what I'm thankful for would be a better start  for a Monday.

I'm thankful for my family. We are by no means perfect but we are a family that loves and supports each other. Nothing that I do would ever be possible without them.

I'm thankful for my job. YES I complain sometimes but I am still thankful to have a career I love and a firm that I believe in. I've seen too many people unemployed for long periods of time to not be thankful that I am able to pay my mortgage and keep food on the table.

I'm thankful for home. We worked hard to buy our house, we shed many tears during the process. Now we shed tears of joy because we love being home owners.

I'm thankful for the Giants. Sure they take up a lot of space and CJ is really just getting to a place where he is comfortable with his long legs and arms but these two bring me joy. The Mr. balances out my high stress, fast paced mind and CJ reminds us both to stay grounded.

I'm thankful for a healthy mind, heart and body.

I'm thankful for my friends. New, old, long term and short-term you've all served to be a blessing in my life. I'm even thankful for the people I'm no longer friends with as you've taught me to be a better friend to others.

There are too many reasons for me to be thankful and happy and I won't block that by putting any more energy into other's people negativity. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

"Black is beautiful but Black isn't Power. Knowledge is Power"

Nothing has ever rang as true as the quote above. I've been sitting on the link to this movie for sometime, mainly because I didn't know exactly what I wanted to say about being Black in America. Being Black in America isn't a monolithic experience because as with any people we are diverse in our culture. But what we do share is a history, steeped in oppression and violence only to produce some of the greatest minds, leaders and works of art.

The last week in politics with the "Their Blacks and our Blacks" getting thrown around like it's 1930 it got me thinking,how do others see themselves when it comes to being Black in America. Are they content with the two depressing hours wrapped in a bow on CNN, or the one sided views the hollywood machine produces or is there more? And how many of us can look back and say I know my history, the leaders, the sacrifice. And do we honor that in our everyday lives. I know that I do and that I'm teaching C.J too (and sometimes the Mr.), but I'm one of several million.

So with that said there is a very powerful documentary out that I believe all of us need to try and see. Not only as reminder of the sacrifice but also as a reminder that things haven't changed as much as we'd like to think. Yes I'm aware our our history didn't start on the shores of America, nor will they end but it is important to know what happened on these shores so that we can finally live up to the expectations set before us and make the changes we all long for.


I pray for the day people of color in America realize what strong stock they come from and stop with the racial slurs disguised as compliments, killing each other over land that is not theirs and oh so much more. I say this prayer with a heavy heart.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Losing Focus

This week my mind has been everywhere and nowhere all at the same time. I've been incredibly unfocused and if you know me you know that's not a good thing.

  • I've been focusing on the future of this blog. The content, strong opinions and how to tie it all together.
  • I've been focusing on my career and how to make a strategic move that has become NECESSARY!
  • I've been focusing on my family. 
  • And lastly I've been focusing on C.J and making sure he stays ahead of the other kids in school.

The only thing I haven't focused on is ME, THE individual. Not the Mom, Not the Wife, Not the Career Woman. Just plain old  ME and what makes me happy. I've been so focused on making sure everyone around me was happy and doing well I forgot that I should be happy and healthy too. So that starts today because even if it's something as simple as going to get my brows threaded I need to make sure all my wants and needs are met, or I'm no good to anyone.

I'm also going to start thinking in the now, sometimes I get caught up in the what if of life and I then if something goes wrong I freak.Clearly that goes against all my Yoga training, so it's time to own up and remember that I can't see or control the future and stop trying too. None of these revelations are new to me, it's a constant battle for me to remember that I have to put myself first.

I know a lot of my readers feel the same way, so where do you plan to start? What are you waiting for?