I woke up with angst in my heart. Probably because I went to bed listening to one of my favorite controversial people, DL Hughley. His take on societal problems is one that always causes me to dig deeper, not only within myself but into society.
Today, I’m going to discuss the Top 5 things we shouldn’t just be fake caring about but taking action against. I will highlight the problem and then discuss some actionable takeaways. The talking must stop and the action must happen! Thank you, Lil Duval, for waking me up with the “fake caring” too often we complain and act like we are upset about something only to forget the problem once social media stops posting about it. If you truly care, you are going to try and evoke thought and change.
This is not a topic for the good police officers as I have several of those in my own family, shout out to Danielle Woods, but I’m talking about the ones whom we have watched time and time again on dash cams and vest cameras abusing their authority and power to victimize people of color. I recently watched a video of a police officer body-slamming a black young lady, BODY SLAMMED. Meanwhile, we have seen violent school shooters taken into custody calmly without harm or incident.
A video was recently released and while we can debate the actual back and forth exchange, what we know now is that the officer approached a black woman, not based on what she was doing at that moment but based off previous encounters he claimed they had. She is now dead, first tased then shot I believe seven times (don’t quote me on that). A mother shot like she was a wild animal. Why?
- Action – DL made a great observation. Diversity classes and sensitivity training happens AFTER people/organizations are found to be discriminatory. Those type of evaluations should absolutely be done BEFORE hiring people, especially people of different backgrounds policing or providing service to communities of color. Let’s demand our local police, sheriffs and state troopers are trained and evaluated before given a position of power. We do this by VOTING in EVERY election, not just the presidential election. We do this by writing our mayor, governor. senator and our representatives. Remember, WE THE PEOPLE elect the District Attorneys, Mayors, Sheriffs, etc. We hold the power. I want my husband and my kids to feel SAFE around the police, not seen as a threat.
Far too many of our own men and women are being abused at alarming rates. I’m not talking about just physical abuse but mental abuse as well. I have experienced abuse in my life and I was fortunate enough to have a mother and a best friend that I felt I could confide in who encouraged me to get out. I also, just wasn’t going to allow anyone to put their hands on me, but I understand that many women feel alone and don’t feel as though they have the means and options to leave. Why?
- Action – We have to truly start adhering to the “See something, Say something” mantra. We’ve all been witness to a conversation between a couple and thought “He/She is speaking very foul, but that ain’t none of my business!” or witnessed a man hit a woman and we turned a blind eye cause “That ain’t none of my business!” YES, IT IS! You don’t have to be confrontational in that exact moment but pull the abused person to the side, let them know that you see them, you heard what happen and determine if there is a way for you to help. Sometimes it may fall on deaf ears but you’ll be surprised at just how many people are waiting for someone to see and care. That may be the only encouragement they need to get out.
Beginning in 2014 water in Flint, Michigan, not too far from my birthplace of Detroit has had lead-contaminated water; leading to many deaths and illnesses. In late 2018 (yep 4 years later) the governor decided that the water was “safe enough” to drink and stopped providing bottled water for the citizens. However, the water lines have not been replaced. So, is the water really safe to drink!?
- Action – You may be reading this blog eating or drinking. Your food and beverage were prepared using clean water I would assume. Now imagine that you were in Flint, would you be comfortable leisurely reading a blog while your family and children are continuing to be poisoned? Guess what, this is another issue we need to take to OUR government. WE pay these elected officials with our tax dollars. Incentivize companies to start work on replacing the water lines like we do when we send aid to Mid-West America after a tornado, or California after wildfires. Where are the celebrities, except Jaden Smith, who are contributing and speaking out CONTINUALLY like they did for the wildfires and hurricanes?
We have to stop accepting crumbs from the feminist movement (oooooo that made someone mad huh?) Well, I said I what I said. The feminist movement is NOT for black women. Hate to be the one to tell you. This women equality stuff is beneficial for white women, which is awesome. That is great. We, as black women, need to align and mobilize with those who are truly for the advancement of black women. Those allies are not trying to culturally appropriate with their hair, body enhancements and vernacular; they are being themselves as they stand beside us. One of my favorite celebrity allies is Ellen Pompeo. She is married to a black man and has beautiful black children. Guess what though, she is in the trenches with us, using her voice LOUDLY to speak to our issues as well as acknowledging that her privilege has its flaws; all while genuinely being herself. She isn’t conforming to what black beauty is to be an example for her black children.
- Action – Let’s stop giving passes to those who have taken what we have historically been criticized for and making it “in style” and capitalizing off of it. Support our true allies across the color lines; Ellen Pompeo, Jessica Chastain, Reese Witherspoon to name a few. Furthermore, let’s start supporting PUBLICLY our black women who are fighting the fight loudly and unapologetically. When is the last time you promoted Danyelle Thomas? Tamika Mallory? What about Amanda Seales and Symone Sanders? We have beautiful, strong, smart black women of all shapes and hues that we should be rocking with long before we give a “pass” to someone else.
Last but certainly not least, we need to really evaluate the Presidential Candidates for 2020 and determine which ones are honestly and truly going to address black issues. Why am I singling out black issues, BECAUSE WE SHOULD! There is nothing wrong with saying it BLACK, BLACK, BLACK, BLACKITY, BLACK! Sorry, I digress. Whether or not you agree with reparations, you have to admit that the wealth gap in America is shocking and disheartening. Why is that you ask? Well because the 40 acres and a mule we were promised allllll the way back during slavery, the separate but equal during Jim Crow… yea we are still waiting on that. What about the black maternal health crisis? The disparities in the standard of care for black women as opposed to our white sisters?
We can’t continue to ignore that. All overly religious Christians exit now, but we also need to address the MAJOR imposition to our bodies through these abortion bills that are being passed. Whether you are pro-life or pro-choice, making a blanket choice to FORCE people (rape victims, minors, etc.) to have children they are ill-prepared or mentally unstable for, is criminal in itself. The very people who are creating these bills are also doing nothing to increase benefits for mothers (paid leave, longer leave, free health care for children). Other areas for evaluation: legalization of cannabis as it has systematically destroyed our families and communities, sanction the abuse by the police, universal healthcare and an education overhaul including increased funding for HBCU’s, scholarships and increased pay for our educators as an incentive to better our school systems from primary through college.
- Action – RESEARCH all the candidates. We can’t just vote for someone because they are black. What have they done historically and what are they promising to do in the future for black issues? We have to encourage voting. If you are 18 or older … YOU NEED TO VOTE! Speak up! Many people stay away from political topics but silence is compliance.
Alright folks, that was a lot huh? Told you I woke up with a lot on my mind and I had to get it out. What do you think of the Top 5? What are your top 5 issues you think about from a societal point of view?
Would love to hear your thoughts!
Love and Light,