Category Archives: Uncategorized

Black Lives Matter Versus All Lives Matter

When it comes to protesting the Black Lives Matter movement, many people want to come in and combat it with “All Lives Matter.” It gets annoying. But maybe they just need a little shake or a Black Lives Matter 101 course.

There are different reasons why many say All Lives Matter (ALM). Some people assert ALM because they want to criticize and fight back on the term or attempt to dismiss the actual crisis of oppression among Black Americans today. Some claim ALM because they simply believe that everyone’s life matters and not just Black lives. They have good intentions and do care about Black lives but to them, saying black lives matter (BLM) sounds too concentrated on Blacks and leaves out all other races.

All Lives Matter (#AllLivesMatter) is a slogan that has come to be associated with critism of the Black Lives Matter movement.

It’s true. ALM was created as a slogan to attack the BLM movement. Notice that ALM is a only a slogan while BLM is a real movement. Per an article from the New York Times, saying “All Lives Matter” in response would suggest to them that all people are in equal danger, invalidating the specific concerns of black people. “You’re watering the house that’s not burning, but you’re choosing to leave the house that’s burning unattended,” said Allen Kwabena Frimpong, an organizer for the New York chapter of Black Lives Matter. “It’s irresponsible.” Read more on this here: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/16/us/all-lives-matter-black-lives-matter.html.

We shout, “Black lives matter!” which is met with, “All lives matter.” Honestly, one side is lying because if all lives matter, “We” wouldn’t have to scream over yours. If all lives matter, “We wouldn’t have to remind you.” -J. Wesley

Black Lives Matter began as a hashtag (#BlackLivesMatter) as a call out for immediate attention on the dangers of racism Black Americans have been facing in the U.S. It was created in 2013 after the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer. The hashtag became a movement to eradicate white supremacy, counter acts of violence, encourage Blacks to fight for justice, and bring salvation to the Black communities.

Why You Should Stop Saying “All Lives Matter”

A man who appears to be a counter protester, center, briefly takes the stage carrying a sign saying, “White Lives, Black Lives, All Lives Matter”.

Many people who say ALM have good intentions and are truly believe that all human beings, race and all, matter. But do they? Why would there be a Black Lives Matter movement if that were the case? Take a look at the issues happening today. Can you see that there has been many cases of Blacks being accused, wrongfully convicted, and killed because of the color of their skin? Now look further back into the past when there was racial inequality, segregation, and slavery. Did Black lives matter when they were forced to work in cotton fields? Did Black lives matter when they were lynched by the Ku Klux Klan? Did Black lives matter when they were attacked by dogs as they protested for equal rights?

“We are not fighting for integration, nor are we fighting for separation. We are fighting for recognition as human beings…” -Malcolm X

People are missing the real message here. Stop being so defensive and selfish. We need to get out of our egos and draw our focus to the bigger issue. Open up your mind and see that we need to help our Black community obtain social justice and racial equality. They are the ones who are having it bad. They are the ones who are hurting. Understand that they are crying for help because they are still experiencing discrimination today.

I find it ridiculous when “All lives matter” is thrown out there. They are basically throwing shade to Black Lives Matter while having no real important mission. It is rude to the movement and it shows selfishness and privilege.

Yes, EVERY life matters but the focus here is on Black people’s lives who are being taken unjustly by police and white vigilantes. With BLM, the Black people aren’t trying to say that their race matters more, they are telling us that they matter too. Saying “All Lives Matter” erases the systemic oppression Black people have dealt with for centuries. Literally, all lives cannot matter if Black lives are not included.

I hope that we can all understand the meaning behind Black Lives Matter, that there is a real important issue at stake. We can make all lives matter be true by helping our Black community to end racism and end social inequality.

Domestic Violence in times of Covid-19 Lockdown

The fear of contracting the Corona virus, wearing masks, social distancing, unemployment, economic crisis etc. have been the most highlighted topics since the World Health Organization declared the Covid-19 as a Pandemic. Following the declaration, governments declared stay at home or shelter in place orders in some cities. Governments shutting down cities, employers furloughing or asking their employees to work from home, schools, shopping malls and recreational areas being closed, and isolation has taken a toll on many. It is one thing to go through a pandemic and experience a lockdown, but it is immensely unimaginable to be locked down with abusive partners for unknown number of days. The increased amount of time that families have been spending during such times can escalate domestic violence.

As the death toll rises, the stay at home solution deemed to be effective to somewhat reduce the spread of the virus. It is during these lockdowns that some struggle to survive not because they are afraid of the virus killing them (well that too) but in fear of losing their lives in the hands of their own partners. In times like this, victims also find it challenging to report the abuse as they are constantly monitored by their abusers.

According the Marshall project, a non-profit journalism about criminal justice, it is always hard to measure the scope of domestic violence and its particularly hard during a pandemic when families are essentially confined to homes, where a victim can’t easily escape an abuser.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline highlights some of the unique COVID-19 impacts on intimate partner violence survivors:

  1. Abusive partners may withhold necessary items such as sanitizers or disinfectants
  2. Abusive partners may frighten victims by misinforming them about the pandemic to prevent them from seeking medical help if they have symptoms
  3. Abusive partners may withhold insurance cards or threaten to cancel insurance cards
  4. Victims fear if they leave, there may not be space availability in shelters, and they may fear being in close quarters with a group of people
  5. Travel restrictions may also impact a victim’s escape or safety plan

The Decline of Domestic Violence Reports

During the Covid-19 health crisis, victims must contemplate whether to continue to live with an abuser and tolerate pain or look for places to live amid the virus scare, unemployment and lack of access to other public places during the lock down. They are also afraid of further threats from their abusers if they report such cases to the police. Margaret Bassett, a training director at the Institute on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault at the University of Texas, Austin highlights that for victims, sometimes tolerating the abuse is safer when the alternative is moving into a shelter where victims and their children may be exposed to the coronavirus or when the abuser is the primary bread winner as tens of millions lose their jobs. Margaret heard a victim once say “women stay because they are afraid to leave, and they leave when they are afraid to stay”

https://www.themarshallproject.org/2020/04/22/is-domestic-violence-rising-during-the-coronavirus-shutdown-here-s-what-the-data-shows

Katie Ray Jones, CEO of the National Domestic Violence Hotline, gave an interview on Tamron Hall show stating that the agency was concerned about survivors being trapped in their homes with abusive partners and that they would have the inability to seek out help because they were in such close proximity to the person who is most likely watching their behaviors and watching who they are talking to”.  Victims are afraid to report in fear of the several threats they continue to receive from their abusive partners. Margaret emphasizes that for victims of Domestic Violence, their homes are not their sanctuaries and calling the police is a complicated factor especially during a pandemic like Covid-19.

What are Domestic Violence Indicators?

Examples of domestic violence indicators include the following:

  1. Bullying
  2. Physical abuse
  3. Verbal abuse
  4. Sexual abuse
  5. Isolation from friends and family
  6. Confinement at home
  7. Restricted movement
  8. Restricted access or no access to finances
  9. Threats

https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/mental-domestic-abuse-signs#1

What can victims do to Seek help?

  1. Have a strategy and carefully come up with a plan
  2. Never announce their strategy to the abuser
  3. Reach out to family members and friends
  4. If possible, leave unannounced and stay with friends and family members
  5. Reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline https://www.thehotline.org/
  6. Remember that they are not alone and there is help out there, the sooner they leave the safer

To reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline which is available 24/7:

  1. Call 1-800-799-7233
  2. Chat @ thehotline.org
  3. Text LOVEIS to 22522

Here is a link of resources for victims and survivors of Domestic Violence

https://ncadv.org/resources

What now?

A lot of folks could argue that there has been a lot going on lately and they wouldn’t be half wrong. However, the truth is that there has always been a lot going on. As protesters hit the streets in an attempt to solidify justice for George, I cant help but to ponder on what justice really means. I saw a post earlier today where a young lady expressed that there will always be bad people and good people in the world. Her point,get over it.

Wow, I thought to myself, how nice would it be if i simply could just get over it. The truth, is that everyday I wake up wearing black skin. My black skin gives people their opinion of me before I even open my mouth. My black skin sets the expectation and dictates the level to which I am expected to achieve. My black skin tells people how educated I am, what type of jobs I can get, what type of food I am suppose to like and how I am suppose to act. My black skin sets the tone before I am able to .

My dad told me that in order to simply keep up I need to do everything three times as well because I’m already starting ten steps back. His point was that if everyone else is getting C’s to degrees, I need to get A’s . If everyone else is taking the weekend off I need to keep working and if everyone else can look the cop directly in their eyes, I need to keep looking forward with my hands on the steering wheel at all times.

I can not simply get over it. Every day I’m reminded of what color of skin that I have. Everyday it is a topic. Everyday I am forced to act or react simply because of the color of my skin. Black people are not asking for much. We simply want the ability to feel safe in our skin. I keep thinking about something that I heard a comedian say a while back. If life was a video game then starting off black would be the intermediate level.

So what now? What do we do now? We need people of color on the force . We can not truly see change until we are on the other side of the law. The other side of the bars. We need more programs in our schools that encourage minorities to step up and join the force. We need black people and people of color to feel safe joining the force and not compromised. Then, once our people of color “graduate”we need them to work in neighborhoods that mirror their faces. According to an article written on police reform in 2017. “Police dont mirror their communities and it matters.” https://www.governing.com/topics/public-justice-safety/gov-police-department-diversity.html

We need police reform. There should be tests input that can help determine how peace officers act under pressure. We need to know that their first instinct isn’t to shoot now ask later. we need people on the force who are not scared of people of color. Not scared of black people. We need people on the force who can demonstrate and pass the tests. After these types of procedures are implemented we need renewals, surveys, continued training, and mentors. we need elevated culture.

These things will not happen overnight . They will have to be a work in progress. But they need to happen. Every college should have a group. Something like “Blacks on patrol”, “Future black cops” etc. These should be ambitious programs . Programs that one feels proud of having completed. These should be nationally recognized to encourage studious behavior. We should have measurement put in place that measures the amount of graduates that went on to become police. It would also measure attitudes, values and beliefs. We need more.

With these types of policies in place , we wouldn’t exactly have justice but we would be on our way. we need to restructure the culture , attitudes and beliefs around blacks and people of color on the force. we need to make a big statement. Once the culture has shifted we need tools put in place to guarantee that it will continue to shift. We can not tolerate racist behavior. It needs to be more than a slap on the wrist. A black person or person of color shouldn’t have to die for us to realize this.

I was driving home, to my predominately white neighborhood. I pulled into my driveway when suddenly police lights were flashing behind me . The peace officer let me know that I didn’t live there and that I was trying to evade him. The truth was that I didn’t see him behind me. He didn’t have his lights on when I was driving nor did he signal for me to pull over. Luckily I pushed my garage door button that was on my visor to allow him to see that I had the keys to my house.Luckily, my garage button was above me and not in my glove compartment. God knows how that would have played out.

There were no apologies . He simply ran my driver’s license and left. Leaving my neighbors staring at me and possibly wondering why the only black woman in the neighborhood was causing trouble. It shouldn’t be that way. Lets make a difference.

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The unpredictable 10 year Journey of working with whites..

It’s been a hell of a year… But I knew this sort of thing would happen again just like Philando Castile. I had lots of trauma but this is beyond trauma.. killing leads to injustice to rioting and it’s sorrowing in the twin cites. As you my Instagram post below, I express my anger that I had felt in the last ten years working from my youth construction job, a food service working and being an technology tutor and it all involves working with whites.

View this post on Instagram

For the past few days, I have witnessed justice, injustices, terrorism, thefts, racism and most of bigotry of a leader who does not know how to act as a leader. In the span of 10 years of employment. White people have always been under my supervision since I was 17. A few white people that I had dictating encounters with was either racist or taking the side of my own fellow black man of accusing something I had never done. I didn’t get into social justice until Philando Castile in 2016 and I decided to get into student government which was also under the supervisor of a white person.Therefore a so called "a white senate" Being under the same organizations, communities and activity as the white man can be a gift and a curse. At times I felt intimated not knowing what qualities I had the same as a white person but at I know my black privilege to learn the knowledge of the whites in order to succeed. May I ask is the American people to be true to what we say on paper to change the injustice of what happen to George Lloyd and the right for have the police officers be brought to justice! This situation could’ve happened to me or any black man, as a gamer who has a bright future and has the potential to face the challenges of becoming the world’s greatest African American video game designer. I dare to face the corrupt system of the law is that if they ever try to pull an injustice on shooting or stepping on me, They better not miss!! Cause I’m still chasing those goals! “The price of freedom is high and it’s a price I’m willing to pay”- Captain America #JUSTICEFORFLOYD

A post shared by Pierre Young (@pierrethegamer2k19) on

There are no words

Minneapolis is on fire.

I’ve hardly been able to stop watching the attached video. It’s a live stream of Minneapolis from the wee hours of May 30, 2020.

I have worked in that neighborhood for 17 years. I have walked on all of those streets. I have shopped at many of those stores. I’ve eaten at the restaurants. I’ve worked in that neighborhood longer than I’ve lived anywhere in my life.

In the video, I can see people trying to burn down the building that I have spent countless hours, days, weeks, months, and years. It looks like a war zone. It looks like a movie. It’s hard to comprehend the destruction while sitting miles away, in my home office. It’s breathtaking and heartbreaking.

I can’t seem to focus on anything else, just watching the familiar streets filled with glass, hearing the fires crackle and the alarms sounding. I’ve been trying to do homework for hours and I keep coming back to the video. I can’t stop thinking about the people who live and work in that neighborhood. There is a hospital two blocks away, full of patients with COVID.

I remember on 9/11, I was drawn to the TV in the same way that I am drawn to the internet today. I know that this will pass, that we will rebuild, and this will be relegated to a “where were you during the Minneapolis riots?” moment.

In the meantime, I think I will try to focus on the good in the community. It’s out there if you look for it.

http://mspmag.com/arts-and-culture/general-interest/how-to-support-the-twin-cities/

Maintaining relationship with your friends

If you are like me you want to meet up with your friends and hangout in person. After all you don’t get the same social connection with just communication with them online. Here are some ways to maintain social connection with your friends during this difficult time. I have definitely done a few things on this list to get some social interaction other than my family and coworkers. My favorite thing on the list is number one face-timing with your friends and family. Seeing their face is better than reading a text and makes for a more meaningful connection. It is very important to have social connections if we are stuck inside all day. As humans we are very social creatures and not having  connection can be bad for us.  

 https://thewildcattribune.com/8950/quarantivities-stories/quarantivites-stories-5-how-to-hang-out-with-friends-while-social-distancing/

The Demise of content shock?

Mark Schaefer made a controversial post entitled “Content Shock” in 2014 that talked about how in the near future “content marketing will no longer be an effective strategy. In his blog, he emphasizes that the only successful future marketeers will be those who have “deep pockets.”

He goes on to talk about how potential consumers will be so overloaded with media that the idea of giving something for nothing will eventually disappear. The examples that he gave to back his claim were those that deemed that time was the most expensive asset yet and that by spending five minutes on a so called “free product” will one day be more than we should be willing to spend.

The idea of content marketing’s demise can be critically analyzed in many ways. However, I would like to start by saying that I disagree. This age-old strategy has potential for years to come. I’d like to argue that the reason why it works so well is the exact reason why Mark says it won’t. Overcrowding. Plain and simple.

Overcrowding means that the market is saturated, but it also means that giving someone a sample will always be effective if you have a great product. That’s the one way to set yourself apart from competitors. To argue that it doesn’t work simply suggests that your product lacks in innovation and can’t sell.

Content Shock: Why content marketing is not a sustainable strategy

In “social media is bullshit” Mendelson emphasizes the fact that in order to truly be an effective marketer one needs to have a good product. Mark’s insecurity suggests that his products won’t sell in the future because there will no longer be innovative products. I beg to differ. As technology continues to progress, there will be more opportunity for creativity therefore more opportunity for content shock. The competition will stiffen but only for those that are trying to sell you a bland product.

Fizzle | Purr in ink

So is it really that content marketing will go out of style or is it that Mark’s creativity will fizzle?

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