Throwback Thoughts: Love Thy Neighbor

I originally wrote this as a Facebook status update in 2018 to express my frustration with America. It’s 2020, and we’re on the eve of a contentious election, our democracy on the brink of disaster. In the last 4 years, we’ve seen hate, the likes of the 1960s, rear its ugly head, once again. I figured I might share this post again, with a new audience in the hopes it might inspire someone to love.

Been working in Higher Education for 20 years this year (1998-2018, I know scary right). The thing about education (be it in the form of college, high school, or the school of life) is that you must embrace learning and be open minded. You must be willing to learn about yourself along the way, as well as learn about other people, other cultures, other perspectives, etc. Hate is home grown and comes out of the inability to not step out of our homogeneous communities to actually meet, live with, and get to know others who are different from us. No one said this was an easy task because we are all raised in different environments, with different parents, family members, friends, neighborhoods, etc., but it is still much easier to show compassion, kindness, and love to others than it is to have a closed mind and hate. You have to work real hard to do that. Now, we don’t have to be BFFs with everyone different from us, but a simple hello, good morning, a head nod, a something, is better than nothing. Then, you are telling people you know they exist and vice versa. And then, if you feel compelled to have further conversation or engage in a social activity (even something as simple as coffee, a drink, etc.) we are all the better for it, even the smallest gestures mean alot, they are building blocks. I have so many friends and acquaintances from all walks of life, from other countries, other states, speak other languages, have different life experiences, all ages, races, abilities, and identities. And no, I don’t always understand everything about who they are, but the one common bond we have is that we try, we talk, we ask questions, we laugh, we socialize, and we share time with each other. That is it. This is what it takes and that is what it will take for #America to get back on track. Hate cannot be our signature on the world. It cannot be what others see when they look at our history. Yes, it’s a part of our history but it cannot be what defines us. #LoveThyNeighbor #LoveIsKind

Report Card. Failed. Justice for Breonna Taylor

Update: As of 10/28/20, there still have been no charges filed against any of the officers involved in this case. Also, various Grand Jury members have spoken out and expressed frustration with the handling of this case. And get this, none of the Grand Jury members have ever met the KY Attorney General, Daniel Cameron.

GRAND JURY Report 10/3/20. Please READ. This report from the Grand Jury hearing from the fatal Breonna Taylor shooting, has lots of holes in it, lots of Innuendos and stereotypes, assumptions about black men, lots of exaggeration on the behalf of the police. Absolutely NOTHING about this case sounds right nor does it sound like above the board police work. The fact that this was a hodgepodge of random officers, who were not all clear about why they were there that night is a huge problem. Tragic. Confusion. I hope heads roll, the officer who shot Breonna, the officers who botched the warrant, the officers, who botched the entrance into her apartment, and most of all, Daniel Cameron, the KY Attorney General. This clearly, is a travesty of justice for Breonna Taylor.

#BreonnaTaylor #NoJusticeNoPeace

Grand Jury Report. Breonna Taylor case
A door busted open. A chaotic scene. A life taken. What the Breonna Taylor grand jury audio reveals

https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/03/us/breonna-taylor-grand-jury-audio-highlights/index.html

Podcast Update: No Justice No Peace

#podcast #update #listen Before you write the Black Lives Matter Movement off, just remember, if freedom is what you celebrate, you must understand that both the celebration of freedom and an effort to move the needle of what it means to be free forward, can indeed coexist, because, well…. This is America. I originally blogged about this topic on the 4th of July this past summer, but I wanted to share the topic, No Justice No Peace, on the podcast because I believe it is a topic that is relevant year round. Thank you for listening and please share.
https://anchor.fm/the40andoverproject/episodes/No-Justice–No-Peace-eka2v8

And be sure to subscribe to my blog: https://the40andoverproject.com and join the Facebook group at:  www.facebook.com/groups/the40andoverprojectpodcast

PODCAST. NEW EPISODE. The Age of Digital Activism

Check out my newly branded podcast and listen to the latest episode, The Age of Digital Activism. Social Activism has taken on many forms in the wake of the many cases of police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement. In this episode, I discuss the current climate along with my own activism experience. If you have 40 and over topics you would like to see featured here, let me know by leaving a comment. Thank you for listening!

https://anchor.fm/the40andoverproject/episodes/The-Age-of-Digital-Activism-eivg3s

black lives matter. again.

Timeline

It goes in cycles but seems never ending. Every generation of African Americans has that moment where the anger boils over like fire because the racism and hatred just becomes unbearable. It’s got to stop but we know it’s never ending.
Watts Riots – 1965
LA Riots – 1992
Ferguson Riots – 2014
Minneapolis Riots – 2020

#poetry #instagrampoetry
#DoBetterAmerica #AmericanHistory

A Favorite Professor

I’m 47 now, but 23 years ago, 1997 to be exact, my senior year, a group of students from #KentStateUniversity , got on the bus headed to the first ever #MillionWomenMarch in Philly, PA, accompanied by Dr Adilene Barnes-Harden (pictured with us in the Kente cloth outfit, I’m next to her, holding the sign) . During my time at Kent State, I switched my major about 5 times, had some interesting experiences (we’ll just leave it at that, thankfully before the Facebook lol) , and I had some very awesome professors, especially in the Department of #PanAfricanStudies . If there was anything that was constant during my college years, in between all of the fun, it was the classes I had the privilege to take at Kent State. One of my favorite and one of the best professors EVER, was Dr. Barnes-Harden who taught The Black Woman, The Black Family, and other courses that changed my life! She was so raw and so real in the classroom and inspired us as black students on campus! She has transitioned, gone but definitely not forgotten. Ashe! RIP #KentStateForever #PAS #BlackStudies #PeaceAndLove

The Million Women March, circa 1997

The Age of Digital Activism

I was a huge Nike fan back in high school when I ran track and played volleyball, but it’s been a while since I’ve bought a pair of the sneakers with the swoosh. In 2019, Nike created a huge endorsement/marketing/sponsorship deal with activist football player, Colin Kaepernick. With one fell swoop, many of us pledged to make our next pair of sneakers, a pair of Nikes.

Since the dawn of the 21st century, it seems that becoming an activist has become extremely easy. No longer is it a requirement for people to march in the streets, like in the 60s, unless they want to. Activists today, have a choice as to how they want to participate. Activism today, can be something as small and easy as signing an online petition to boycotting a particular company because of their CEO’s political affiliation to protesting in the streets in Ferguson, MO or Minneapolis, MN, against the injustice of police brutality against black men and women.

Activism also affects different age groups in different ways. For example, I was a super student activist in college at Kent State University, in Ohio, in the 90s, during the time of the Rodney King case and O. J. I marched, I participated in sit-ins, walk outs, letter writing, rallies, etc. Today, I’m in my 40s and while I’d love to march in the streets, my activism leans more towards attending council meetings, putting my signature on petitions, participating in virtual rallies and other events, and giving monetary funds, when and where I can. Either way, whatever you choose to do, it all counts towards the efforts of standing up for issues of social justice, as long as you stand up for something.

So, with that said, it’s almost time for me to get a new pair of workout sneakers and you can best believe, my next pair will be Nike.

#ColinKaepernick #NikeAd #TakeAKnee #StandForSomething

4th of July Freedom

As we wrap up the #4thOfJuly and I watch the fireworks on TV and hear what have become American anthems, songs like America The Beautiful, that have been sung by artists of all races, played by military bands, orchestras, kids, choirs, and the like, I can’t help but to think, because we are America, yes, this great nation we belong to, with freedoms not allowed in some other countries and with all of its hypocrisies, contradictions, and Institutional – isms, there is no place I’d rather be, because, despite #AmericanHistory, it’s still a place where we can celebrate how this nation came to be (even with all of its inaccuracies, as we strive to correct it together), acknowledge where it has faltered in its oppression of others, and still be a country that can come together as a community to protect and save lives through a pandemic (despite the leadership), and still, as a part of its history, birth movements over the years, that demand changes from the same nation like The Civil War to end slavery (which the Union won for the record), like the Women’s Rights Movement to get women the right to vote, own property, to work, etc, like the Civil Rights Movement spearheaded by African Americans in America who just wanted to continue to fully remove the shackles of Jim Crow and gain equal rights, under the law and Constitution, as well as the right to vote, which then sparked other oppressed groups like the Native Americans, LGBTQ, Latino and Immigrant communities, Gun Rights movements, Environmentalists, and more. So it’s only predictable, given the backdrop of America and its history of the quest for freedom and oppression simultaneously, that the #BlackLivesMatter movement exists because, like the past, the need for justice repeats itself. So to those who wish to listen to the negativity and those who want you to believe that BLM is a terrorist group, then if you know anything about America, you know that the KKK is also a terrorist group. For the record, the KKK killed and lynched hundreds of people based solely on the color of their skin, just because, and mostly got away with these atrocious crimes. Now, if you can live with the thought of the KKK and BLM having the same social label, then you need to check your definitions of what a terrorist is, because the last time I checked, the BLM hasn’t killed anyone, only fought for justice peacefully, for the unlawful deaths of black people in America by the hands of our law enforcement, who, by the way, are supposed to protect us all, not just a few. So before you write BLM off, just remember, if freedom is what you celebrate today, you must understand that both the celebration of freedom and an effort to move the needle of what it means to be free forward, can indeed coexist, because, well…. This is America. Right?!?… Right! #PatriotismIsForEveryone #EqualityIsFreedom #socialjustice #NoJusticeNoPeace