Friday, July 15, 2016

Live A Day in the Someone Else's Shoes

Hi Beautiful People,

Let me start by saying that this isn’t one of my typical blog posts.

My loyal Singlenfab followers know that the sole purpose of my blog is to give you an inside look "my perspective" on what it's like being Single in L.A. "adventures and struggles." It is strictly for entertainment purposes.

However, in light of the most recent shootings that have occurred my heart is heavy and I want to take this opportunity to use this platform to share what it's like to Live a Day in the Someone Else's Shoes.

I would have posted this Blog sooner (it took me an entire week to write it) but I was experiencing such a range of emotions that it prevented me from being objective and I couldn’t identify the right (appropriate) words to express how I was feeling at the time.

I've had several conversations with close friends and family, especially my sister Keesha and brother Bruce a "fellow social worker", trying to process what the hell is going on in our society right now! So I'm just going to share with you some of my concerns and leave it up to you to decide whether you agree or disagree.
Let me start by saying that the African American community is historically known for rallying together in times of need to address civil rights and social injustice. If we are all human beings and equal to one another why is it that minority communities always need to fight for rights that are naturally given to "others"?
If you do your research The Black Lives Matter Movement never stated that no one else's lives mattered but wanted to bring attention to the “broken” justice system.

“Black Lives Matter was founded by Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometi as both a hashtag and a political project after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the 2012 killing of Trayvon Martin. Distraught at the verdict, Oakland, Calif., community activist Alicia Garza wrote an impassioned Facebook plea ending with the words "black lives matter." Patrisse Cullors, a community organizer from Los Angeles, shared the Facebook post and put a hashtag in front of those three words. The ideals expressed — the economic, political and social empowerment of African-Americans — resonated nationwide. Since 2013, Black Lives Matter has moved from social media platforms to the streets, morphing into an organization and a movement that gained national recognition during demonstrations after the 2014 police-involved killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. Black Lives Matter is not inherently anti-police or anti-white, nor does the phrase Black Lives Matter mean other lives aren't important. The most important directive of Black Lives Matter, is to deal with anti-black racism, to “push for black people’s right to live with dignity and respect” and be included in the American democracy that they helped create.” (USA Today article, Ryan Miller, 7/12/16).

You don't have to agree to the hashtag created and how each chapter chooses to protest but understand the reason why it was created in the first place.

Not all police officers are corrupt, but there are way too many that are using their badges as a form of power and control. Police brutality needs to be addressed.

For BLACK mothers and fathers to have to worry about whether their child is going to make it home because they're afraid they will be "executed" by a cop is absolutely insane! This doesn’t automatically mean that their children don’t know how to react to police when they are approached. But ask yourself why is this particular group of people constantly being put in the position of being questioned?

Try being racially profiled on a daily basis solely on the color of your skin, based on the type of car you drive, because of the neighborhood you live in or happen to be driving in, or that you are being told you "fit the description". Why is this experience "the norm" for black people but for no one else?

Just take a minute and ask yourself if you'd be okay with being treated like an African American in 2016? Professor Jane Elliott video (only 47 seconds).

You never know what another person is dealing with until they tell you, so don't assume you know. Once you know then your whole perspective will change.

Do I believe people who commit crimes should be punished Yes! Do I want to be protected from those who are truly "criminals" and don't have any regards to anyone else's life Absolutely!

But please explain to me what egregious act was Alston Sterling committing in front of the store that put others lives in danger that warranted he be shot multiple times? Philando Castile was cooperating with police, informed them he had a gun in his possession (with a permit to carry) and died with his girlfriend and a child in the car?!

Yes, there is a lot of information we do not know but what if this was your relative? Wouldn't you ask what other ways they could have handled these "alleged" suspects? Was killing these men absolutely necessary??

Take a moment to view this Deadly Racial Double Standard video! Several different scenarios showing white men armed with weapons being approached by police officers but not killed.

Please don’t assume that just because a person of color was pulled over by a police officer that they are not a law-abiding citizen. Just because they may have a criminal record doesn’t mean that they are "actively" committing a crime. Why is it if a black man asks questions about why they were pulled over, what they did wrong, or if they are being detained all of sudden they are labeled as "aggressive" or "resisting??" How many times is it going to take for you to get pulled over before you become frustrated, annoyed and feel disrespected?? Oh you don’t know…why....because it doesn’t happen to you.

Overall my goal is to make sure people understand that clearly no one life is valued over another but when one group of people are dying, at an alarming rate, at the hands of police officers and they are not being “indicted” we have a "serious problem" with our justice system!

Let me be clear! This world has a history of hatred for those who are "not white." So when I hear people say that this world is made up of “people” and we are all apart of “the human race” I agree with them and then I correct them and let them know the REALITY. Those of us who walk around, that do not look white, are constantly being judged solely off the color of our skin and the stereotypes that come with our race because there are people out there who’ve been taught to hate. …we are not being judged on our religion or our sexual orientation because those are the things they don’t know…until you tell them. Because “hatred is taught” please know that there are still people all over the world who continue to teach it, hence the problems we have today. So forgive me for kindly agreeing to disagree with you because my experience will ALWAYS be different from yours.

Important Side Note - My comment about religion and sexual orientation is not an attempt to ignore the recent acts of violence that have been inflicted upon the LBGTQ community, Muslims, Latinos or any other minority population. It just further proves my point that IGNORANCE & RACISM is alive and well in our society. Donald Trump is a perfect example of it!

Are there great police officers out there in the world doing an excellent job, most definitely! I've worked with a fair share of them in the Los Angeles area. I was a social worker who knocked on people's doors and removed abused or neglected children from the home, when absolutely necessary, with police officers right there to protect me. But I did it without passing judgement on the family I was investigating, I didn't demean them, I didn't assume what was being said about that family was true, I gave them the opportunity to explain their situation. I de-escalated situations and the police officers were present to watch me do it. They've told me several times they couldn't do my job and in return I acknowledged their courage for putting their lives on the line every day they put that uniform on.

However, I strongly believe that there are certain situations, when appropriate, that it's okay for an officer to have a conversation and ask a few more questions that doesn't come off as threatening to the person they are addressing.

But let's admitted it, there are several officers out there abusing their power and making "life threatening/deadly" decisions without giving black men the benefit of the doubt. I understand that officers are trained to be on "high alert" but they desperately need anti-bias and cultural diversity training.

Let me be completely honest, you chose to be a police officer we didn't choose to be black.

Unfortunately, "my people" don't always give a good impression of themselves and feed into the stereotypes we are so adamantly fighting against. Yes I am acknowledging that at times we do act a damn fool and it becomes a reflection on all of us. As a result, our whole entire race is judged off of what these particular individuals do. (Black folks you know what I'm talking about. Just look at World Star Hip Hop and Love & Hip Hop, we need to boycott all those damn shows).

At the same time, we as a community need to take responsibility on educating our children on appropriate behavior. What happened to "it takes a village to raise a child?" I work with youth and I've seen a major change on how I was raised when I was growing up and there are definitely some kids out there who need "ass whippings" and "home training" (don't use any objects and don't leave any marks or bruises, lol, just kidding) I'm just saying we need to get back to "raising our kids" (the ones that need it the most) in an effort to prepare them so that they are aware of what they're about to face in the Real World.

So take a moment and think about what it feels like for a whole race to be judged off of a few “bad apples” in the bunch. This is exactly what happened to the police officers in Texas. They died at the hands of a vigilante who sought revenge for exactly the WRONG reasons! Violence begets violence so if our society continues down this path what do you expect is going to happen?? It doesn't make it right but you can only keep your foot on someone's neck for so long until they decide to fight back.

Police brutality doesn't only happen to black people it happens to non-blacks too, the only difference is it only becomes an outrage if it directly affects YOU.

We have to come together as a people and fight for what's right when you know what is happening is wrong whether it directly affects you or not. We have to educate one another and understand each others plight "no matter what the cause is." But until we do...this society will continue to deteriorate and regress.

If you were able to get to the end of this Blog entry THANK YOU for taking the time to read one person's heartfelt opinion/thoughts on the struggles of what black people have dealt with, continue to deal with and will fight to overcome in American society in 2016.

We've come a long way but we still have a long way to go!

The Adventures of SingleNFabulous 
will continue to support #BlackLivesMatter because it affects me, my family and friends directly, 
but I also truly believe that #AllLivesMatter!

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