Category Archives: Justice

A safety pin? Y’all so easily distracted…

Madness, Tom foolery and chicanery erupted after the Presidential elections on November 8th 2016 and if it was possible, I would  have spared my soul from running the gamut of emotions listening to people rail at outcomes their votes didn’t want,  and then watched in morbid fascination as the blame game began.

White folks were embarrassed, people of color were miffed to hell and back and political party Leaders were stunned into shocked silence.

And then it happened. Reports started coming in about new Marginalized groups being targeted in the Jewish and LGBTQ communities and someone decided that the best way for folks to know who allies were and create solidarity, were through these safety pins that are now adorning clothing everywhere.

Black Folks went from miffed to hell no and the furious debate began.

I am Looking at all of this unfold and the only clear winners I see here are the savvy business heads  who jumped And began selling safety pin necklaces for upwards of $300 because I guess, even pins need to be Leveled up several social classes in order to adorn certain necklines.
People. Please. Enough already. Let whosoever  chooses to identify their affiliations through this pin, do so as they please because for me It’s a clear symbol of Privilege in a way that says should the wearers of Said pin become targets for their act of revolution, it’s a simple Matter of Removing it and blending in.

No Such  luck For Folks of Color .
So while we keep being distracted by this newest movement, let is not forget to focus on what really matters- surviving these next few years.
Dueces and mad love 

DivA

Election fatigue.. 

Dear God up in heaven. Enough already. This election has left everyone so divided and so incredibly stressed that even when I stopped in to see my doctor for a well visit, this usually unflappable and congenial man was turning all sorts of shades as he discussed the insanity of it all.

It has gotten to the point that if I turn on my television and see pundits gleefully discussing the next big scandal, I turn it off and walk away  and dare my husband to part his lips and say one word to me about anything that starts with the letter “E.”

Friends are no longer speaking, I have gotten so many pieces of divisive literature that I could wallpaper a whole section of my house and I swear, I have never seen so many signs and notices on the street “selling” their candidates.

For goodness sake already. Is it Tuesday yet?

I asked my friends on social media what to place in my new election survival kit and they offered the following-

  • Wine. Lots of it
  • Ear plugs
  • Nutmeg in both cheeks to lower blood pressure 
  • A plot on Mars


My money is on mars…. like seriously. So  no matter where you land in this vortex do me a huge favor-

Go out and exercise your RIGHT to vote.

Dueces and mad love,

Diva

The untouchables in handcuffs 

I have been incredibly fortunate in my roamings throughout earth to find myself often in spaces with eclectic groups of decision makers. The other day, the alphabet soup included, lawyers, cops, politicians, educators and folks from the federal government.

As we waited to start our work, I asked what was  a question I already knew the answer to which was simply this- what makes any politico in power lose their mind and become corrupt? We specifically cited the ethics  law that says any gift above $50 is expressly forbidden and we watched judges and politicians go to jail and lose their political seats for inappropriate behavior that becomes illegal.

And yet. 

We STILL see daily instances of once prominent figures being dragged through the news from an FBI probe/raid, their declaring innocence and then found guilty.

Some are so brazen, they continue to run for re-election as if the Feds will walk away with apologies for “bothering” them.

So it begs the question, at least in my head-what the hell is wrong with this picture?

Is it that they still  believe they are untouchable even with evidence that would suggest otherwise?

Is it that they think they brokered enough deals and carry enough entitled  power so that strings could be pulled to make it all go away?

Are folks still riding the waves of “legacy” and forgot they are servants to the people and not here to be served at the expense of the people?

Or are only ego maniacs running for public office?

Is abuse of power the new BUzz word for leadership?

Or maybe all the reasonable and sAne people left earth?

Whatever it is, I think it’s high time that we scrutinize people beyond the criteria already in place because at this rate, it seems like they are all under probe for one reason or another 

Humility is a Dish best served daily, core values are not curse words that bring doom And destruction  but rather, a set of habits that keeps one out of prison. Check those motives before they check you.

Dueces and mad love

Diva 

The Rebirth of my nation

Friday October 7th was the premiere of the movie Birth Of A Nation and while I knew I was going to view it and psyched myself up to see what was sure to shock my senses in parts, what happened was something different. For me anyway.
That day began in an interesting manner where I had to circumvent and remind a few folks who were so entrenched in how they did things, they forgot education was about the children they purportedly served.
So I was already feeling some kinda funky from a long day filled with meetings, when I pointed my diva mobile in the general direction of the movie theater.
Lawd.

I had two sips of some kind of  beverage and some appetizers but I was more engrossed in chatting with many of the folks who I hadn’t met before this screening and a few who knew me Well enough to be prepared for any and all Shenanigans I may spew forth.

After ALL of that preparation, I walked in and settled myself in the very back after taking a deep cleansing breath.
I would NOT be the sister who left disliking all white folks based on what I saw. 
Listen. 30 minutes in? I was cringing, tears were flowing down my cheeks,

I was talking to myself and the screen, I called on Jesus more than

A few times and didn’t know IF I would make it through.
Here is what I learned- and let me be clear, you may get something totally different but our past experiences often shape what we see and feel.
I saw a man who was chosen to be a leader who was quiet, caused no trouble, did what his master told him and learned to read because the slave owners wife took an interest in him.
Lesson? Never dismiss people based on what you see. The eyes can be deceptive. Nat Turner had something within, that the outer facade belied and he was therefore trusted in places and spaces that gave him access when the time came.

There is a courage within people

Of African descent that isn’t often depicted anywhere as it serves to remind us that we matter, we are Smart, we Are Resilient and while everyone may not be on board when the time comes to act, it only requires a few to get a movement started.
Watching The constant raping of our women and children at the hands of slave masters, only for those broken women to be sent back to their men afraid, ashamed and hurt to their core, almost put me over the edge.

I also saw the courage, love and anguish of the men, who often risked their lives to protect their families the best way they could. That visual warmed my soul.
We suffered a lot as a people and it continues to present day but we also have more power and able to make choices instead of waffling in mired hurt and pain alone.
Many are called, FEW are chosen. We all have a purpose in this life and our one job is to find it and then follow.
Nat Turner and many others lost their lives

For that insurgence but it sparked a revolution that changed slavery after he died.
We MUST make it our business to learn

About our history and stop waiting for it to become

Curriculum in schools. There are too many books, not to

Mention google

For that to even be an excuse any longer.
As a woman, I walk every day with the ancestry of Nanny of the Maroons from Jamaica whose blood runs through my veins. I am steeped in my culture in a way that serves as a reminder that I can and will continue to achieve with alacrity and I must serve those around me with same.
We had a discussion after the movie and I left wondering who were to two or three who would actually step beyond the emotions to spark the next movement.
There were a few Caucasian students from Arcadia university who watched the movie and I could FEEL the palpable

Discomfort coming from a couple. I walked right over to them and reminded them to not leave here feeling guilty but rather enlightened on how they could help to make this a better America for us all.
That movie shook my very core- but it did something that was so much more. It was confirmation in a way that I in particular needed.
Go see it. It’s worth every penny and the lessons are priceless.
Deuces and mad love,

Diva

The “June Bug” and “Snarky” debate

Lord ha mercy. This here election season has been fraught with disbelief, anger, weariness, and yes, hilarity.

Up until 18 months ago, I was floating in the breeze of ” no politics on any of my social media pages,” and then one fateful morning, I saw what looked like June Bug from the ‘hood- you know him right? The dude that ran things with threats, and had no trouble breaking legs etc, to get his way because he owned the streets  with no mercy or a conscience. That June Bug.  The thing about June Bug is that he has a loyal following who swears he is the second coming of the ghetto and everything must be approved by his royal wretchedness.

This June Bug though, is running for President.

Of these here United States.


IMAGE CREDIT: Craig’s List Ad of the day

When he first hit the stage with his announcement to run, folks snickered and said he would never be taken seriously because he didn’t have a Clue and America was smart enough to see through his facade. A whole football team of men and one woman all lined up to trounce what they called June Bug the clueless thug, only to realize, much to their dismay, good old JB had a massive following that began emerging from the shadows like thirsty , over looked mummies whose leader had finally arisen. These followers became emboldened by the over-the-top JB who finally opened the gates of no-respectability and allowed the spewing of free speech like never before.
Meanwhile- strange fruit began hanging from the poplar trees across the country. Farmers began screeching that their farms matter and they were being marginalized so they can become extinct. They took to the streets in protest to fight for their rights.


IMAGE CREDT: “From the hanging tree to strange fruit”-Susanne Collins
Then there was Snarky. You know that person right? The one who feels it’s their turn to be in charge of the free world and feels they are too super qualified to be overlooked by the masses yet again. After all, snarky had put in her time and played the game and made  her deals like a savvy politician should. And not to be out done, snarky is also trying to create history. The kind that would make you First Snarky, Senator Snarky , Secrteary of State Snarky and now President. So Snarky began lining up delegates that would persuaade people into being with her and touted all her wonderful accomplishments to date.


IMAGE CREDIT: publicdomainpictures 

Slight problem. A good majority of folks found Snarky to be untrustworthy because of her ties to certain corporate structures, her less than stellar attitude when questioned about, well, questionable things and she has been caught in a net of lies.

Snarky had a competitor too but she wore him out with her super delegate counts despite what many among the masses asked for.  What snarky wanted, snarky got and  she now walks around with a perpetual smirk while  working harder to connect with the commoners in her wake.

What is a beleaguered  nation to do?

So here we are, less than 60 days away from choosing a new Commander In Chief, and we settle down for the first debate.

A mess.

A whole stale pot of collard greens kind of  mess.

June bug threatened to start wars for simple things, does random counting because his estimated wealth is so “bigly” he’s always being audited and he was smart to not pay income taxes on millions earned, while he lamented about the horrible infrastructure that NEEDS our tax dollars to work well.
He’s sniffling constantly, didn’t answer a single question appropriately and we are left to wonder What DOES he know and even  better- who CARED, that had already decided he was their man to make Anerica Great again.
Snarky meanwhile, is asking JB to release his taxes as he hollers back when she releases the thousands of emails she erased, reminded her she was a bigot too for the laws passed by her husband that has led to many strange fruits in prison rotting away, and her desensitized behaviors to the farmers lives matter movement all around her until she was told, she was gonna need the strange fruit votes too.. 


If this hasn’t begun to sound like utter madness to you yet, the I don’t know what will.  All this talk about foreign threats when the folks stateside are crying for tax relief, good health insurance, jobs, a decent way to live.
Watching that debacle of a debate only served to remind us that we are all in for a rude awakening- no matter who wins.


And then. This happened. As my friend Mr. Mann Frisby would say, “why sway?” Clearly, Snarky had no real clue who she was or just wasn’t fully moved by the what amounted to the “strange fruit spiritual” in mixed company.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/mary-j-blige-hillary-clinton-933029

Lawd, Lawdy, Lort.

Start storing those rainy day nuts now- I get the feeling between these two,it might be raining for a long time to come.
Deuces and mad love,

Diva



Dangerous meanness.. 

Allow me to preface this piece by stating the obvious- I don’t know everything, cannot solve everything and am still learning, sometimes moment by moment.

What I do instinctively know? When you spend your very existence choosing to do major shifts that ultimately becomes all about yourself, the price for that is incalculable.
Let me stop speaking in a parables and tell you what’s brewing on my mind.

There is a phenomenal person who  took it upon themself to bring a solid vision they had to life and has had some successes with said vision. Almost immediately though, despite being supported by large swaths of people and organizations so this vision could continue to grow and bear fruit, this person alienated many by dismissing their efforts and making it all about themselves and that they did all the work etcetera.
Just mean, cold and nasty in a way that left a distaste for said person and folks began walking away.

What is even scarier though, are the “yes” foot soldiers who sees all of this happening but say nothing and continues to support the mission despite the abuse because it’s one that supports and empowers impressionable minds.

The problem with that? When you leave that kind of behavior unchecked, it becomes a monster and now even the impressionable young minds are complaining about being marginalized and emotionally abused at the hands of said person, and parents are questioning the meaning of it all.

So, I am speaking now not just to self serving leaders but those who follow them even to their own peril- woe unto YOU because nothing you put into the universe comes back to you void. You will find no peace until you make right, the behaviors that continues to destroy from the inside what looks glorious on the outside.

Find your center-do your work with intention and speak up followers when you see your leadership going down a path that isn’t healing. Your silence is not golden and you should never fear anyone to the point where you cower and continue to allow the dismantling of fragile children to keep the peace.

Because at the end of the day? The stifling of what is right to be likable or not rocking the boat because you don’t want that level of meaness  aimed your way, means you too will be held accountable for those lives. One way or another.

So what’s it gonna be?  The price is to pay is too steep and there will come a day when you will have to balance that account.
Mad love and peace

Diva.

The millennial minimalists in our midst

I have often been a harsh critic of the my generation for not taking millennials under their wings to mentor so that they can have a solid foundation to stand on as we eventually stand down.

It was in that spirit, that I decided along with some accomplished people in my network, to begin fully mentoring young people in their mid to late twenties, with the hope of staving some of which they have been craving from us.

I have been in this process for a few years now and something has become glaringly evident; a few of these new leaders are becoming the very system they spoke out against by looking out for their own interests and not helping to lift each other up. It leads to lying and pointing fingers at others in an effort to detract from the real issues at hand.

Added to the madness, is the minimalism. Some are so busy trying to promote their names and organizations in headlines, they forgot there is actual work to be done. When asked to produce some work, I get minimal to no effort with a bunch of excuses attached.

Quality work, when done consistently, is the backbone of real success so when I watch those who aren’t producing what is written on paper, while looking for the next place to have their names recognized, it gives me serious pause and speaks volumes about what hidden deals may be done, in an effort to keep giving shoddy results.

There comes a time when a name is just not going to be enough to keep one afloat and if it is thought you can be ” bought and sold” for ego, then you will be.

Are you willing to work while others yet sleep? Are you willing to learn the key ingredients for presenting oneself- that is, grooming, speech and preparedness?
At you willing hold fast to the ideology around your work without cutting corners? Are you willing to listen to sound advice from those who were there before you?

Then you are ready to do what it takes to succeed. Everything else is just window dressing clothed in laziness and a recipe for disaster.

Stand for something. Be about something other than yourself. Have some integrity and be your brothers keeper because you can’t rise alone. Treasure the time and efforts of your mentors and work hard not to burn bridges.

Most of all, leave the minimalism at the door so you don’t become a younger version of more-of-the-same.

You better believe, people are watching and nothing destroys a reputation faster than word-of-mouth by key powerful individuals who know real success when it’s presented to them.

Who are YOU calling a B&?!@???

Today told me for certain that I have indeed found my calling in life..

I was asked to speak to a group of young people at a local high school
(That will remain nameless for now) who were suspended and a part of their plan for getting reinstated was to sit and listen to people who looked like them about what it took to be successful in life.

Oh yeah, their parents had to accompany them.

I knew I was in Oz when I got to the school and as the young people were leaving, all I heard were words not worthy of printing. I cringed inwardly with sadness but kept going and eventually found the room I was to be in.

The folks started coming in and the attitude was downright hostile. Parents arguing they don’t have time for this and some of the girls were saying things like

we in here to listen to this Bitch? My momma going to cuss her out and we will get to leave.”

Clearly, they were in for a treat.

I waited until they settled down, pulled up a chair in the center of them, opened my mouth and laid them all out so flat, not only could you hear a pin drop, the parents were asking to be mentored along with the kids.

The Principal walked in an hour later thinking he was going to have to keep order and his mouth fell to the floor.

He said one of the toughest judges in the city walked into that school and gave up and walked out. He was shocked at what he found.

I’m going back there. Every Tuesday that I’m in town for the entire school year. Those young people needed support and they needed to know I was not the Sista to run game on..

We have got to expect more of ourselves no matter how low we may feel in life.. Everyone left respectful and said thank you after the girls asked for these sessions to keep going…

Say what now? 😜

That was by FAR, the toughest experience I ever had with young people and parents but what I know for sure is this, no matter how crazy a situation seems, if you command the respect with your presence, miracles can and will indeed happen.

I bet you not one of them will call me a bitch anymore AND they will think twice before they use it carelessly among themselves too..

Enough said.

We liked you until he likes you more…

Imagine this scenario if you will: man meets woman, falls in love and decides to take her with stars in his eyes, to meet his family.

He is happily introducing her to everyone but his new girlfriend feels a tad funny because there is a “vibe” in the air she can’t put her fingers on. She smiles, answers all their questions and pretends to not see the furtive eye glances between family members.

Months go by, and it feels like maybe, the family are now accepting the new girlfriend. She learns her man is the backbone of the family and everyone calls him for everything. This piques the interest of the girlfriend because it is assumed that all it takes is a phone call for her love to drop everything, including her, to see about their needs.

As time goes on, he becomes more involved with his girlfriend and while he is still available, he is no longer as accessible because he is building a life with her and creating a family of his own.

And then, it happens. His mother, begins to make snide comments that since he has his woman, they can’t find him and it’s beginning to feel like he is a stranger to them. She goes further to say, this is how every woman he ever had, took him away from them and she sees that his girlfriend may be too strong of a personality for her son, who is easily “manipulated “when he’s in love.

The smiles and hugs they had for his woman, becomes half-hearted hellos and once warm embrace are now so cold, she needs a blanket to recover.

Try as they might, the family cannot “rid” themselves of this woman, who by all accounts, has made their son very happy.

It’s is a few years into the relationship and the son decides he wants to marry his girlfriend. Folks have just now gotten downright hostile and begin leveling accusations that their dear son/brother/ nephew deserves better than a woman who would keep him away from them.

Man stands up to his family and in no uncertain terms, let’s them know he sees what they are doing, he’s grown and is capable of making good sound decisions without their input. The family backs off because they don’t want to lose him but his poor girlfriend/wife has never been treated the same or has to spend years proving herself.

Sounds familiar to anyone? The
Scenario above has played out a thousand times in households where mothers feel no one is good enough for their child and will go so far as to create a wall so thick and high, thereby forcing their grown child to choose.

It is a self defeating habit that must cease if you want to have peace in your families. We all have choices to make. We all make mistakes. We all learn from them
But life cannot be handled for us by meddling family members. It makes no earthly sense that a grown man, still has to report to his mother daily or she will be upset. Something is very unhealthy with this scenario and it all begins when our children are yet small.

We have a small window to raise them but the ultimate goal is to make them self-sufficient beings who will make good choices in life. If the choice Is removed through coddling, meddling parents, too many people stand to lose too much.

Do your job. Raise your children and then stand down.

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till Death us do part

A local woman in Philadelphia went for a jog in the PennyPack Park, failed to return home after several hours and was ultimately found dead. A few days later, after the reward went to fifty one thousand dollars for the capture of her killer/s, her husband was arrested. According to the police, he confessed they had an argument, he followed and ultimately strangled her. It seems like just another story of domestic violence but the numbers are pretty telling;

http://www.domesticpeace.com/ed_nationalstats…
A woman is beaten every 15 seconds in the United States. Each day ….. 4 women die as a result of abuse.

5.3 million women are abused each year. As many as 324,000 women each year experiance domestic violence during … cases of domestic violence occur among U.S. women 18 and older each year
http://www.abetterwaydomesticviolence.org/ro…

In this case, there was a history of domestic violence in the home and people often say things like ” why do they stay?” I know from personal history that it isn’t always so easy and domestic violence takes a toll in ways that’s just unimaginable. In my case, I was able to get out and lead a productive life

But many other women are not so lucky.

Because we ( victims of violence) tend to hide abuse from our family members, look
For the following signs that something is wrong;

1) your loved one starts making a bunch of excuses about why they can’t visit family or family cannot visit them. This could be a classic sign of someone being controlled against their will.

2). They seem Like different people when they are with you but when the mate comes around, personality changes noticeably

3). Unexplained bruises with fantastic excuses

4) they begin to exhibit signs of nervousness and unexplained tears when you least expect it.

These are just a few. I have to caution you that no amount of begging or easing seems to work
with many victims because they are often left to feel
Like the abuse is a result of some behavior on their part. The victim
Must get to a place of ” no more” and will hopefully run when it’s safe to do so. Having children in the mix, often complicates things further.

I also must say that the abuser is usually suffering too from some sort of undiagnosed mental illness or anger management from childhood trauma. Some are just sociopaths who prey on the weak. The best way to help them, is to hold them accountable for their actions but often, the victim ( through fear guilt and yes. Love) refuses to press charges as in the case of the running back from the Baltimore Ravens.

It is a sad scenario indeed and one where education must begin literally from birth. Our children learn through our examples. What are we teaching them is acceptable through our behaviors?
We want to believe that most people are good and many are, but do not be deceived by the sociopaths among us. Protect yourselves by not getting fully vested into a relationship that spells trouble. Take those clues in the beginning and run for your life.

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