Amurica

I’ve been mulling over this post for months now. MONTHS! I’m not sure why though because the topics of choice have been in the news since the Ferguson Riots; which was in 2014!  And yet every time I start this post my fingers and brain stop communicating. I can’t seem to formulate a clear and understandable thought. I can’t figure out how to sound intelligent and well versed in the fundamentals of linguistics and language but nobody got time fa that shit.

Let’s just get right down to it…

Post-racial Amurica don’t exist. For those that think it does exist, I feel you may be blinded by a false sense of the “cultural” make up of the United States. This country has more issues with the standard list of -isms than most other countries. Only in the United States can you be made to feel like your life doesn’t matter because you look, talk, live, love and believe differently.

Does anyone see the irony in the above statement? Certainly you have to see it. Amurica is a cultural melting pot of many languages, religions, ethnicities and sexual orientation; yet, there is an overwhelming sense of discrimination everywhere. That is not to say that every nook and cranny of the U.S. is racist, sexist, homophobic or agnostic. It also means that not every damn stereotype is true for EVERYONE in a particular socioeconomic group.

Not all black folks are loud, uneducated, hood rats. Not all white people are carrying around the Confederate Flag and threatening to kill “all the n*****s.” No LGBT person is out to turn the children of straight religious conservatives gay. Not all devout Catholics or Protestants are out to condemn LGBT people or even atheists to a life of purgatory. even though that ain’t they job no way

Yet, here we are talking about church fires and shootings, black women dying while incarcerated, gay bashings, hate crimes against anything different from someone else’s norm and the presence of a flag that does not convey the same emotional sentiment that it once did when it was first flown a century and a half ago. In the two years alone, President Obama has had to make more emotionally charged “We the people of the United States have suffered a great loss” speeches than any other president in my life time. Within the last fucking year. And for what?

Why has this president had to deal with so much strife? Why has this president been more scrutinized and criticized than any other president in my lifetime? Is it because he’s half black? yep I played the race card

I’m just trying to understand the mentality of Americans and the freedoms that we all seem to have as citizens but are not granted if we’re not heterosexual religiously conservative white males. Having graduated with a degree in journalism, I understand and applaud active use of free speech. I do. Buuuuuuuuuut you knew this was coming at what point, did the freedom of speech become the right to publicly preach messages of hate?

At what point, did the freedom to assemble become the right to converge on the privately owned property of a person of color to burn crosses or yell racial obscenities at a child’s birthday party as a few hateful bastards some months ago. At what point, do we stop hating and loathing our neighbors and start loving them as we would love ourselves?

I’m fearful of the present and the future of the the country we call home. The country that often on paper prides itself on being a cultural melting pot. A country that is the epitome of the land of milk, honey and opportunity. Yet we don’t have free healthcare like some European countries and Canada does.

A country that was founded on the understanding that all persons should be granted the basic freedoms of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Yet there was slavery. There are religious persecutions of Muslims. LGBTiQ persons have to fight for the right to be married and miserable. There is literally a notion of “existing while brown!” Don’t act like there isn’t when we all know this is true.

What I’m saying is it’s hard to be and feel like a proud citizen when you’re part of the minority; in terms of race, sexuality and religion. It’s difficult to understand how a country that grants perhaps more civil liberties than other countries still does not recognize that each individual person in the United States deserves to live his or her life as he or she sees fit without governmental, religious or conservative influence.

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Every year we “celebrate” Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream for every one to be and exist as one country. We “celebrate” his and many others’ efforts to gain basic civil and equal rights for all. To bring to light the obvious and apparent prejudices against people of color. Yet in the midst of the “celebration,” we’re still to this day in 2016 fighting for the right to be ourselves without question. This is America. The land of opportunity and freedom. The land of milk and honey even. Yet not everyone born here is afforded the basic freedoms that are laid out in the Declaration of Independence. We are not viewed as equal under the law.

At what point in history will everyone in America finally be equal and free under the law?

At what point will individual races not only help their own but others as well? A few people helping is great but it takes a village to be great! It takes more than a girl with a laptop writing about peace, love and the pursuit of happiness.

We have to stop taking for granted the little shit.

We have to stop believing the notion that not everything affects me, myself and I because it actually does affect all of us.

The idea of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness isn’t just for Donald Trump and his constinuents. It isn’t just for those who can afford to have multiple cars, homes and boats.

The average American citizen is not rich beyond comprehension.

The average American citizen is a dreamer praying for something more than what he or she is accustomed to seeing, doing and being everyday.

The average American citizen is not the person I see in the Stepford Starbucks in the mornings.

The average American is not Donald Trump, Hollywood movie star or Texas oil and gas tycoon rich.

The average American is not always college education or can even afford college.

The average American does NOT drive a Beemer, Benz or Bentley.

The average American citizen is me. The hard working trying to make ends meet while not getting caught driving while ________ (insert your truth here).

Thanks for reading….

 

the southern yankee

 

Hateful Ass Fuckers

At what point in our existence will we respect each other as people and stay the fuck out of another person’s personal life? At what point will “it ain’t nonya fuckin business what or who I do” finally register to conservative religious holier than who apparently are just as sinful but never talk about it assholes.

I read a Huffington Post article about a bill proposed of course by a conservative white Republican that would allow a business and/or business owner to invoke their religious beliefs to fire an unmarried woman if she became pregnant. Does that make sense to you guys? It certainly doesn’t to me. But what do I know? I’m just a stupid girl according to some people in this world.

Pardon my French but I just don’t understand why the fuck religious conservatives feel the need to not only impose their religious beliefs on others but propose laws inspired by a book that was written thousands of years ago. I don’t understand why people like the politicians in the article or even Kim Davis, Rowan County, Kentucky County Clerk, feel their religious freedoms are being infringed upon due to the actions of others.

Someone please explain to me how the lives of others infringe upon one’s religious, political or civil liberties. Explain to me how a politician would propose such a law that would directly impact not one but two lives if a single pregnant woman is fired from her job because she isn’t married.

So does that mean the following possible scenarios subject women to dismissal from their jobs if this piece of fuckery gains enough strength to pass:

  • Single women who do not wish to be married but want children
  • Single women who are raped, become pregnant due to said heinous act and decide to keep the child
  • Women who were in relationships but the partner leaves upon finding out the woman is pregnant you know there are some triflin fuckers out there who will and have done this
  • Women in relationships but not married
Does that also mean that lesbians suffer a twofold discriminative dismissal from their jobs because their pregnant and gay? I think that’s a valid question to ask. Religious conservatives already have a conniption about same-sex relationships. Imagine the “rioting” of the religious right if a pregnant lesbian showed up at work. Shocking!
Sigh, I just want to understand. I want to understand how a country founded upon the notion of every person has a right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” somehow finds ways to alienate its citizens in every which way possible. I want to understand how we as a country became so concerned with what goes on behind closed personal doors instead of being concerned with the lack of affordable healthcare, equal educational opportunities for all and gun control. How and why did affordable housing, veteran affairs and care, homeland security and other more pressing matters take a backseat to the private intimate lives of citizens?
I’m confused at how the separation between church and state has somewhat become non-existent over the last few years. I’m confused as to why someone else’s religious beliefs should directly impact my rights as a citizen of the United States of America. I grew up in a black Southern Baptist family. I know more about the Bible than most people would think I would. I believe in and pray to what I believe is a loving, generous and understanding God. Yet I’m a strong believer in finding out who God is or isn’t in your own way. i don’t believe that my religiously conservative family has a right to tell me how, when, where and why to believe in Jesus and the Holy Father without allowing me to get to know the Holy Trinity for myself.
So many people are turning away from religion because of laws that allow citizens and/or businesses to discriminate against others because of their religious beliefs. When did God become a discriminatory individual? When did freedom become limited only to the haves and not the have nots? How can we expect our children to grow up tolerant when their are so many intolerant people in the world? By the way, intolerance, racism and discrimination are learned notions and beliefs. Children aren’t born that way. Take that for which you will. It’s just a thought.
Thanks for reading….
the southern yankee 

#LoveWins

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

I started this post as a mild “in your face you ratchet closed minded religious conservatives” type rant. I was so completely and utterly caught up in the moment in other words I was in my usual wickedly horrible unpredictable “think before I do or say” mode. I fiercely typed out my rant as I sat waiting for my oil to be changed at the Jiffy Lube. I let word after word flow from my pseudo political activist brain through my long piano fingers to my WordPress app on my iPhone 5s.

I didn’t care about the possibility of the person sitting so close to my right being able to read every word I typed in my post. I didn’t care whether or not he was a supporter of the LGBTiQ community. I caught the writing bug and I needed to release everything before I lost it. Unfortunately, I didn’t finish the said previous rant like version of this post; which perhaps might have been a good thing.

To be completely honest, even as I am now starting to write the thirteenth version of this post, I still cannot find the words to say about the U.S. Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage. I can say that I’m overjoyed that high court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage not because I’m a huge fan of marriage but because I feel like everyone should be able to choose for themselves whether or not to live in matrimony and misery. It made me happy to know that once and for all the great country I’m proud to be a citizen of would finally progress into the 21st Century. That all persons born in or become naturalized citizens of this country would indeed be granted all basic freedoms equally and protected under the law regardless of who or what a person claims to be.

Boy was I delusional and jumping the gun.

I forgot where I live. I forgot what type of family I came from. I didn’t think about any of those aspects until I saw my sister’s Instagram post Saturday afternoon. I didn’t think about her still being as close minded as the religious conservatives who run the State of Texas. I thought we were past the bigotry. I thought she had evolved and opened her mind.

I thought wrong!

Picture it. It’s a sunny Saturday afternoon. I’m not really doing much. Just lying around as I normally do. I logged into my Instagram for the umpteenth time that day and I see this:

 

I honestly wasn’t surprised by this post because deep down, I already knew she felt this way. I already knew that the battle I had with her way back when would somehow revive Itself I just didn’t know when or how.

I’m not going to bash my sister for her beliefs as she is very much entitled to her opinions and is free to express them however and whenever she pleases. She’s grown and fully capable of making up her own mind. Who am I to stifle her beliefs and thought processes? Who am I to reject her for who and what she is even though she rejects who and what I am?

You guys weren’t expecting that were you? Read between the lines and move on.

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I’ve never been the type of person to flaunt who or what I am flamboyantly. I’m very much an advocate for being and staying incognegro at all times. I speak when I have something to say or when I’m around people who make me feel safe and at peace. I’m just a girl who wants more than anything in this world to be accepted for who she is as a person. I do not wish to be chastised for being different or for not fitting into a stereotypical mold someone who knows nada about me places me in. I do not wish to surround myself with folks who says one thing to my face and another behind my fucking back. For me, that is a deal breaker in any relationship.

So imagine my dilemma having a sister who feels and believes one way and me another especially when it comes to the LGBTiQ community. Imagine not being able to trust whether or not what your ‘best friend’ of 20+ years is really and truly your best friend and biggest fan. Imagine having a rush of loneliness engulfing your every being because now you don’t know who you can be your authentic self around. This is the absolute worst feeling in this world.

This feeling isn’t just my own but is shared by thousands LGBTiQ persons everywhere. Religious conservatives wish to prevent anyone who does not fit into their conservative Christian mold from enjoying the same freedoms they take so much pride in. The conservatives feel homosexuality and same-sex marriage are abominations in the eyes of The Lord. They say God is saddened by the SCOTUS decision. They say that same-sex marriage will ruin the sanctity of marriage and will send the wrong message to children. Yet the divorce rate among heterosexuals is constantly increasing. Yet there are sick and perverted men, like Josh Duggar, who are straight and active in the church that molest young girls. There are straight men and women who have sexually transmitted diseases who don’t give a fuck about who they infect.

I’m so incredibly tired of religious conservatives using God and the Bible to justify and rationalize their blatant discrimination against the LGBTiQ community. How do we even know for sure if God is angered by homosexuality? Did God tell you so? How can a deity that stands for love and understanding possibly be upset when we were ALL created by the same person? Certainly when God created the human race, he (or she) knew who and/or what each individual would be when we grew up. Certainly a God of love would love us all the same and not pick and choose who is worthy of his or her love and mercy. Isn’t that why Jesus preferred to be with the sinner than the person who thought he or she knew it all? Is that not why the Bible says love thy neighbor as ye would be loved?

I have an extremely difficult time believing that God punishes us solely because of what we are. I refuse to believe that a book written thousands of years ago by man is the end all be all of human existence. Yes, there are passages that can provide comfort and peace for any situation but at the same time, these stories were written in a time that is not our own. We don’t know the entire context of the stories of the Old Testament to take them as literal as religious conservatives do. And yet these are the passages we teach our children. How can we expect the future to behave as God would have them to if we teach them that God only loves a certain type of person? God, at least the one I’ve understood to exist and grew up learning about, loves us all the same. Regardless if a person is gay or straight; black, white, red or purple; male or female; sinned or sinless; love is love and it should be shared by all and not just to a privileged few.

Thanks for reading…

 

the southern yankee 

Less Than Human

In the wake of the mass shooting at Emanual AME Church, I wonder when will this bullshit stop.

I wonder when this world will wake up and realize we have no right to treat another human being with any less respect than we would want for ourselves. I fear everyday prolly more now than when I was younger if someone is going to try to hurt me simply because I’m black or a woman. I live, breathe and sleep in fear. Life isn’t supposed to be this way. It isn’t supposed to be filled with thoughts of “is today the day.” 

The fact that black folks and possibly other minorities are dying far faster than the white person possibly reading this post or driving down road is completely unsettling to me.

The fact that black people are still revered as “less than human” in a country who has a half black president saddens me to no end. Why are we called the land of opportunity when the only people who seem to receive all the opportunities are white, conservative, evangelical with a dick between their legs? 

What makes us so much easier to abuse, kill off, subject to ill humane treatment and looked down upon than everyone else? 

Why must black mamas worry every fucking day their son(s) leave the house?

Why do cops troll us on the street for no reason other than we black? Just cuz I’m driving while black through a small ass hillbilly Podunk area doing absolutely nothing wrong does not give you the right to pull me over because “my tail light is out” when it clearly worked before ya racist ass stopped me.

Why are white supremacist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan, the Aryan Brotherhood, Neo-Nazis still in existence? Why have we not grown past the hateful unjust idiocies of these groups? Why are folks protesting the removal of symbols such as the Confederate Flag when they clearly represent the Antebellum South, racism and slavery? How is that not understandable? 

Are you tired of my questions yet cuz I’m not?

What happened to being created equal in the eyes of The Lord? 

The bible teaches us to love thy neighbor as we would love ourselves. Jesus preached a message of love, understanding and tolerance yet people use that subjectively. God so loved the world that He gave his only son so that who ever believed in him shall have everlasting life. Yet here we are talking about racism and inequality. 

Dumb fucks need to realize and understand that just because another person does not look like him or her or have the same ideals does not necessarily prove inferiority. It doesn’t make another human being any less deserving of the same quality of life as you and yours.

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I’m tired. 

I’m tired of living in fear.

I’m tired of reading about someone’s baby being shot in cold blood. 

I’m tired of certain media organizations and we all know which one I’m talking about trying to down play the obvious and blatant racism the Emanual AME Church shooting as well as multiple other shootings of black folks that happened this year alone.

I’m tired of feeling helpless. 

I’m just so fucking tired. 

Thanks for reading…

the southern yankee 

Untitled

I’ve been trying to write this post for a few months now. Every time I’d sit down at my computer or take out my iDevice, the words would suddenly leave me. As if something was preventing me from speaking my mind. which as you all know is not hard for me to do

Of course at the same time, this particular post is soooooo much more than me speaking my mind. Sooooo much more than using my voice to influence change in a positive non violent nature. It’s about a parent losing his or her baby. It’s about young black and/or Hispanic males being able to exist without having to fear for their lives. Let’s just face the hard nose truth people. Driving or walking while black or Hispanic will unfortunately get you arrested, jailed or worse shot and left in the middle of the street for hours as if you’re road kill. I know that’s harsh to say but I feel like that’s how the Ferguson Police Department treated Michael Brown’s body after Darren Wilson shot him on August 9th.

What makes matters worse at least in my eyes is the fact that Michael Brown’s name is being drug through the mud as if to overshadow the fact Darren Wilson shot and killed him. He robbed a convenience store. He attacked the store owner. He attacked Darren Wilson. He’s the criminal. He’s the bad guy. But my question is why do that? What is the point is making Michael Brown a villain when he isn’t here to defend himself or his name?

What I also don’t understand is how can Darren Wilson is not affected by the events that transpired on August 9th. To me, this would be something that would rock every fiber of my being. I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night because all I would be able to think about would be that day and how it could I have done something different. But maybe that’s me. Maybe I actually have a heart.

The death of Michael Brown raises more than enough questions about how public servants treat private citizens. Michael Brown did not deserve to die on that day in August. His parents should not be without their child this holiday season. They shouldn’t have to endure the pain that this tragedy has caused them and their family. My heart breaks every time I think about them and every other parent who has lost a child at the hand of someone else.

I’m not going to pretend I know the facts of this case. Nor will I pretend that I was there as a first person account witness. I’m just a relatively young black female trying to make it in a world that views me as a threat because I’m not a part of the majority. I have two brothers, a step-brother and a cousin who are strong intelligent black men who try daily to be something more than a stereotype or a statistic.

I firmly believe everyone deserves to be treated equally no matter a person’s ethnicity, sexual orientation, nationality, gender, religion or financial background. We should be able to live our lives peacefully without fear of being targeted because of who or what we are or what part of the city we may live in. There is a reason why people, in particularly blacks and Hispanics, do not trust or have faith in their local police departments.

There. Is. A. Reason.

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If you’re protesting the grand jury decision, please be peaceful. Please do not venture outside of letting others know that change is needed in our world and that we deserve to be treated as we would treat someone else. Rioting and destroying public property that is used BY EVERYONE is not the answer because in the end you’re only hurting you and yours. Please be safe. Please know your rights when it comes to your freedom to peacefully assemble. Please uplift Michael Brown’s family and friends in prayer.

Thanks for reading…

The Southern Yankee