Category Archives: activism

Mute R. Kelly and Others Like Him

Screenshot 2018-08-08 22.14.35Why are people still listening to the old 80’s and 90’s jams of R.Kelly? Now trust I used to be a big fan, even after I knew about the Aaliyah scandal, but I was a child and childish minded and knew no better. Not any longer. I block all his music. I refuse to let my dollars line his pockets to keep more young women in captivity.

This man is a predator. We seem to let men who are well liked, get away with sexual assault, I mean many people were backing Bill Cosby even after he was sentenced. (Yes I know that a sentence doesn’t always mean someones guilty, but yal we have to admit. Bill Cosby was guilty, just as R. Kelly is.

Then there are directors like Chris Stokes that we know abused young boys like the ones from B2K, but he is still making movies. Why? Because we are still watching. I went to watch a movie until I saw he was the director.

Screenshot 2018-08-08 22.13.47I refuse to put money in the pocket of someone who is inappropriate in their private lives. It’s like the more money we put in their pockets the more we are saying its ok. Is it? Would you trust your teenage daughter around R.Kelly? Would you let your son be alone with Chris Stokes? So why is ok to support them?

Why is it ok to support their careers when we will take down every racist white person who calls the police or spits racist words out their mouth. Why not do the same to the predators and child molesters? They are worse than the blatant racist because they pry on children and our young.

When can we start standing up against the bad in all our communities like we will the bad in others? I know we are standing up for our lives, but we have to show we respect ourselves by standing up against the ones who do wrong as well.

Screenshot 2018-08-08 22.15.27Mute R.Kelly. Mute Chris Stokes (stop acting in his movies for a check!) and mute all the men AND women who are awful people in real life. Supporting them means you support what they do, and I personally cannot rock with you.

The Hate You Give – Angie Thomas

This is More Than A Story – This is Our Life

Screenshot 2018-07-21 01.54.02As I hear the stories and then find out this movie is about to be made into a book, I pull it out my TBR, out of order, and begin to flip the pages. Yes I had the hardback book, and it made it that more important to me as I flipped the pages in reality. I am shaking as I am writing this, because this book is so realistic, so powerful.

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Starr is your normal kid, I mean she is living in the hood but has the privilege to go to a private school on the other side of town. Her uncle, a police officer, lives over there. But in the beginning, she was just a girl, in a party in her neighborhood. They were celebrating Spring Break and it was the annual party that the local DJ did every year.

Starr never went to these but her best friend/her brothers other sister invited her. She sees her old best friend Khalil come in and they back and forth like it hasn’t been awhile since they hung out. A fight breaks out, and Khalil grabs her out and takes her to his car to take her home.

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Photo by Andras Vas on Unsplash

The blue lights pull up behind them, and while she remembers her parents instructions, she wonders if anyone has had the talk with Khalil. You know the talk, speak only when spoken to, keep your hands in sight and don’t make sudden movements. The talk that every Black parent has with their kid about being stopped by the police. He didn’t, he moved and came back to the car to see if Starr was ok, and the cop shot. He shot more than once until Khalil’s bullet ridden body was on the ground leaking his blood into the pavement.

This is Starrs story of being a witness to something horrible and not wanting to be public, to showing not only did she have enemies of the police, but the streets were not all on the side of justice. This shows how hard it is to know whats going on but still have to deal with death everyday.

To deal with the racism that comes with a black boy being a victim of a cop, because of course he has to be a gang banger or a drug dealer. How the victim was put on trail to determine if the police officer would even be charged.

Screenshot 2018-07-21 02.33.54.pngThis may be a work of fiction, but its not. Its the reality of being black in America. Being in poverty and feeling like you have no choice in your life decisions. In having white friends who go by everything that the media says, because their comfort is more important than our lives.

This book is a reality, and I cannot wait to see how beautiful the movie is going to be. EVERYONE needs to see this movie, and read this book, because the pain felt behind Angies words, are the pain we felt after each hashtag died.

 

Unapologetically Black

Lately there has been an attack on black people, we can’t barbecue, fall asleep studying in our dorm common area, wait before ordering coffee, nor ask for plastic ware because the silverware is dirty.

WHAT THE FUCK?

Its like the racist, stereotyping or far left have decided to call the police for every little thing that we do, because perhaps, they will kill us off. What’s worse, is that some of the police think so little of black people that they automatically side with the person who has called and has resulted to them thinking they have the right to put their hands on us.

Continue reading Unapologetically Black

2018 – Year of Robotics

giphyI have been silent through the Kanye “crisis” and the latest trending topics, honestly I was tired of having to repeat myself and the blatant disrespect. I find that the attacks on him and his wife are unwarranted and wrong. So many of us have a difference of opinion, but when did it become ok to bash someone for thinking outside the box.

I understand what Kanye was trying to say, although I believe he worded it wrong, and honestly so many that I have seen comment on it have been saying the same thing. It seems like we have decided to take one way of thinking and make any other way unacceptable.

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When did we become this way? Its like everyone is trying to look the same, be the same and live the same way. Its either a full face of makeup or none at all. If someone does something different, they are not “normal”. People either wear expensive clothes and match, or they are eclectic, there is no in between. You are either all the way Pro-Black, or you’re a Feminist, or you fight for LGBT right, not a mix, thats not “normal”. But why?

Why is being who you are unapologetically not normal? I love Kanye, because he stands up for what he believes in, regardless if I agree with him or not. I respect his opinion. Its like we don’t do that anymore.

Continue reading 2018 – Year of Robotics

Review Of All Things Wrong

But Really Its About ‘For The People’

I know I usually do reviews on Thursday, so let me take a moment to say, this is coming out in the middle of the night, before I go to bed, so technically….

Yeah its Friday. So what? 

I have been watching a few of the new shows that have come out and I am impressed with the show ‘For The People’, it has hit a couple of big issues, and shows how the justice system has their hands tied as well. I just watched the latest episode, where the judge did not want to sentence this man to the minimum 10 years for the crime he did commit. He had drugs that he was the carrier for, literally the size of a cell phone. He had priors but nothing that had ever landed him in jail.

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To make matter worse, someone else another case that he didn’t like the sentencing of, the person was murdered in prison. The judge says himself, “he shouldn’t have been there.” This judge apologized to this guy because his back was against the wall and his legacy would be destroyed because they were coming after his job.

So it makes me think further, when is it time to stand up when you know your job is morally wrong? Should you continue or fight for what you know is correct? I cant imagine being in a situation where I can’t do what I feel is right, maybe thats the activist in me. I feel like thats whats wrong with the US right now, we are to busy doing things by the book, that we are forgetting to have compassion and realize that every case is different. This man did not deserve 10 years in prison, and the judge knew it, the prosecutor knew it, but nothing was done to stop it.

He was still cuffed and taken to prison. The words the judge said won’t do anything for that man when he gets in a situation in prison thats uncomfortable.

I feel like this is extended to the media and what they are portraying in this world. There are millions of black children missing, dying, being abducted but there is nothing on the news, but let a cop kill one of us. Do you see the problem? BrandyScreenshot 2018-04-13 00.50.29 Odom is proof of this. Her body was found in a active park in New York. She was beaten, and dismembered and her body was scattered around the park miles apart.

The statistics say that most predators that don’t want to be caught prey on minority women, because they are not blasted on the news. We have come so far, but are we fighting hard for the right things? The media wants us to focus on police brutality but leaving out the most important facts, that not all victims are black. There are just as many white victims of police brutality and murder, the problem is the training has changed from shoot to disarm to shoot to kill. Most police officers don’t go through the training they used to, neither does the Correctional Officers, because there is a shortage. Neither get paid enough, nor do they have enough time to train anymore because they need them in the field.

Screenshot 2018-04-13 01.00.16I wonder how many of the police brutality cases were by newbies with the shorter training, than the seasoned ones. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that racism exists, its in every thing we see in daily life. In how the poor schools that are mostly black or hispanic have no money, no books and no teachers. There are no really background checks so there are pedophiles and criminals teaching the children who go there.

The richer schools, have high technology and duel attendance options. They are given more scholarships and opportunities to make their college application look good. Yeah minorities from bad areas get into colleges like Yale and Princeton, but they work twice as hard as the ones who get in from good schools.

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I know this was supposed to be a review, but it has become a word dump of all the things I think need fixing, and to think it all started with a tv show. Which means the show must be pretty freaking awesome, because it made me think of all these things. Watch it! Its pretty dope! If it makes me think beyond the fact that I have blamed only the justice system and not the laws that they are barred to. Something has to change and we have to change it.

My Kids are Afraid to go to School

We Need To Protect Our Children, It Wont Change Your Rights

After the mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School, there have been several more shootings or threats of shootings, including a shooting by a teacher that the politicians are pushing to arm.

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Photo by Heather Mount on Unsplash

“Its getting closer and closer Mommy.” My 14 year old comes home and talks to me daily about her anxiety and fear of something happening. I told her today that she will be fine and nothing will happen to her, and then I paused. How can I say that? I’m sure those kids who went to school felt safe and never afraid of anything except the normal teenage things, like a test or a crush.

Then it was their school…

sometime around midnight a few weeks ago there was a post circulating, that the school my kids attend was to be shot up the following day. There were factors that I thought about as I read it, it only said RHS. How many RHS’ were there in the world? Several I am sure, but this said Rison kids be careful.

My daughter was in tears and begging for me not to let them go the next day. I pictured all the things that could’ve gone wrong. I imagined how many parents wish they would’ve listened to their kids begging them to stay home, how many warnings that were not taken seriously. So I decided they wouldn’t go. I called the police who offered no information, because the officer “just got on and had no information” (a simple hold on, let me find out would’ve sufficed, and his huff like I was annoying him as he hung up was heard as well…. I understand the police get a lot of calls but have patience).

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Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

The principal posted a FB message around midnight, that I didn’t see until the next day that said it was for another state, I believe Ohio. Like that was supposed to calm us down and make us send our kids to school. My kids decided to go at 1 p.m. I wasn’t the only one who decided to keep their kids home, as many assignments and tests were rescheduled because half the school was out. I have to admit, I expected there to be police officers on campus to protect the kids and staff that did show up, just in case, there was not one. The girls said there wasn’t any though out the rest of the day either.

To say I was a mess for those four hours, would be an understatement. I couldn’t sit still and none of my conversations made much sense. I was stressed and I was scared. I kept my phone close because I told my kids that for today put their phones on silent instead of off. I told them to pay attention to their surroundings, where to hide and to not run. That if a shooter was to show up to the school be still until the police releases them.

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Photo by D x L on Unsplash

The school should’ve had a conversation or assembly discussing the fear and what to do in case, but once again, just like when the child who committed suicide, it was swept under the rug. My daughter has a full plan in place, and knows which classes have locks and are safe. My daughter shouldn’t have had to make this plan for herself, we as parents, those of us in congress and us as voters need to stop letting the NRA run and pay for the discussion on gun control to be quieted. h

To make matters worse, instead of talking about what to do, legislators are too busy talking down on teenagers who speak up for themselves, or blame the victims and say that they were the blame in some form or fashion. Bullying is a problem, but that doesn’t give anyone a reason to shoot and kill several people, besides with this kid, it wasn’t the case.

So what do we do? Its hard enough as a parent of teenagers of color, with the threat of police brutality, and racial profiling, but now we have to deal with the fact that any kid can get and own a gun. Lets not even begin to discuss the fact that they want to arm the teachers. Teachers who have way too many titles, already stressed out and get far too less pay.

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Photo by xandtor on Unsplash

There has got to be a better way, the NRA won’t allow people to have to give away their guns, but we need a compromise. War guns have no reason on the streets or accessible to civilians. An AR-15 should be for military use only. But its not only that,  its the availability to guns. Over half the kids our school district have guns and are proud of them, but shouldn’t they have a license? To drive a car you have to have a permit and take a test to get a license. Why can’t the same be done for guns.

You shouldn’t be able to go in a store and pick up a gun like a gallon of milk. There needs to be stricter regulations, because the guns are now in our schools. They are coming after our children. Something needs to be done. We need to change the conversation or vote the ones who don’t want to out.

 

Featured image: Photo by Heather Mount on Unsplash

Every Parents Nightmare

Screenshot 2018-02-15 12.51.17Yesterday, the country watched as teenage students came pouring out Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School with tear stained faces and confusion. Seems a student who was marked a bad apple was back with a vengeance. One of the teachers remember the kid as one who wasn’t allowed to have a backpack at school, he threatened the school plenty times in the past, including a comment on a YouTube video that was forwarded to the FBI, so is he the only one to blame for this crime? I don’t think so, I think there is a long line of people who are to blame for the lives that were lost.

This is a former student, a student who wasn’t allowed to bring book bags to school because of his threats towards the school. A student, that instead of getting help for whatever mental health issues that was there, was put out and left to his own thoughts and dangerous threats. Parents and kids that went to this school everyday not knowing the history. Students went today thinking it was a holiday full of love and flirting, yet had no idea that some it would be its last.

IMG_1750As a mother of four girls, two of whom are in high school, I cannot imagine this, but at the same time, unfortunately, I can. We come from a time zone where we have posters that say “No Bullying”, but we don’t abide by it. I am waiting on the backstory of this kid, because while now he is a murder, I wonder where mental health and bullying comes into play.

On his Instagram page, Cruz posted a photograph of a shotgun. In another photo, he is shown brandishing a pistol, which appeared to be a type of BB gun. In other photos, he is covering his face with a kerchief, and brandishing long knives.

Other postings under the name Nikolas Cruz also included threatening comments on YouTube and other sites, including “I whana shoot people with my AR-15 (sic),” “I wanna die Fighting killing shit ton of people,” and “I am going to kill law enforcement one day they go after the good people.” – CNN

We need to do something about how we teach and mold our children, or more attacks like this one will happen. They are already a daily issue in this country, because we don’t put the movement behind the “No Bullying” posters. Principals feel like they have too much to do than to stop a bully in his tracks, school counselors usually don’t have a psychology degree let alone a license. If there are no parents to help, which trust in these days, there aren’t many, who do these kids have to turn to? What happened to the assemblies where people would come in and tell their story about the realness of life, the pain of bullying and effects of drugs? What happened to the D.A.R.E. program, that no only told you about the dangers of drug, but also gave you information about standing up for yourself.

Screenshot 2018-02-15 12.50.24In a world full of hatred and violence, led by a President who is outward with his hate and bigotry for those who don’t look like him. His words on this tragedy were not moving, nor did his words make you feel like he wanted to find a way to change what continues to happen. America is becoming a place where a camera or video is better than helping those in harms way. Where having more likes is more important that giving your time or helping someone else in need. We didn’t and don’t just see this with everyday people, but we see that with the news outlets.

So how do we change this? How do we stop letting these children die in vain? How do we protect our youth and let them know they don’t have to be afraid when a balloon pops, when a fire alarm goes off, how to we make them safe to go outside again? I struggle with this when my daughter asks me, because how can we? What can I say, because teachers are dying with these students, guns are not the answer, but taking them away are not either.

There needs to be a discussion, there needs to be people taking back our schools and our communities. We need a Crazy Joe from Lean On Me to take over the school legislator because the little quiet caucasian lady is not it. My love and prayers are with the families and friends and those effected by the shooting.

 

Review: Fruitvale Station

Lets not wait for another hashtag…

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I have watched Fruitvale Station a half dozen times, and I cry overtime even though I already know the ending. Oscar Grant was not the first police officer killing I heard of, but it was the one that I was old enough to really understand and be upset by. The sad thing is, it only got worse from there.

Screenshot 2018-02-08 22.33.11In case you haven’t heard of the movie, or the situation, let me break it down. Oscar Grant was shot and killed by police officers on January 1st, 2009. The many recordings from several peoples phones helped to convict the police officer of murder, where he was sentenced to 2 years in prison (he only served 11 months). This shows a young black man, 22 years old, who wasn’t perfect and did as was told, was provoked and murdered.

I’m sure there are plenty who look at this movie and say they should’ve been quiet, they should’ve done this and that, but I call BULLSHIT! No one deserves to be shot and killed without a reason, heres the cops reason – he thought he was reaching for his taser. Bruh, you don’t know the difference between a taser and a gun, then you shouldn’t be a cop.

Screenshot 2018-02-08 22.29.41See although black men and women (including children) are more likely to be killed than  others, I don’t believe its a race thing, I believe its a police training issue. Police around the country are starting to shoot first and then ask questions, then blame the person they murdered. Think about Justine Ruszczyk, a white woman, who came looking for help and was shot through the police car window because she supposedly startled them.

I remember a time when police officers were trained to shoot to disarm not shoot to kill and now these cops are acting like they are playing Call of Duty and going straight for the kill shot. I mean with no time to assess the situation. Tamir Rice was shot and killed within seconds of the police arriving on the scene. This was a child who was probably scared to death when they pulled up. They didn’t even give him a chance to put anything he had down, nor given instructions to. The officers came on the scene with the intent to gun him down.

The sad part is the justice system does not help by not making examples out of these officers and sending them to jail to rot, nor our their fellow officers by turning in the cops who take power for granted. The police are supposed to protect and serve, and yet there are more kids who are afraid of them than any other villain. My children are afraid of being pulled over because of Sandra Bland’s story or Philando Castile, or call the police when they are afraid because of Yvette Smith.

We have to change this, don’t be quiet now, just because there is no new hashtag to be angry over, we need to create change now. Do you know that four, FOUR Black Lives Matters activist have been murdered, oh, wait, I’m sorry, you have to include Sandra Bland because she made videos about the problem before she was murdered. Things need to change so that we can feel safe with the people who are supposed to protect us, because right now, you could call the cops and be the next victim.

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Today We Talked About Racism

 

img_1363.jpgMy 14 year old and 16 year old daughters received gifts from one of their Aunties for Christmas. Its a sweatshirt that represents the beauty it is to be black. Its a sweatshirt from Black Republic & Company that says on the front, “I’m Black Whats Your Super Power?” It’s a shirt that uplifted my daughters spirits throughout the many racist comments made daily.

Now me, I am the parent that has all types of activism shirts that I wear in the concession stands at the high school football games. I have shirts that stand with Planned Parenthood, the LGBT community, and several that stand for Black Lives Matter! NO ONE and I mean NO ONE has come for me. But today, this little boy broke my 14 year old daughters heart and scared her. He told her “I know what my Super Power is, its making a noose.”

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Pause. This little boy said a noose… like wrap around a black persons neck and hang them – noose, strange fruit – noose. Really? Deep breath!

First of all – the amount of curse words and closed fist punches to the throat I thought of doing to this kid, but I had to calm down, explain the situation to my child about the evil words of those who do not like us, even though they have no reason. I struggled to control myself, that was not just a racist comment, but a threat to my child’s life. Thats how I took it, and I have every intent to treat it like that.

Before I could even say I would be at the school the next morning, she said the Principal will not take reports of racism, he will send you to the Assistant Principal. The same one who acts like she doesn’t know that racism exists, even though she’s black. I wish they would say the sweatshirt is the problem, I will have every black person I know with the same hoodie on protesting on their front lawns. The problem is someone’s parent taught them that it was ok to disrespect my child who is black. The problem is that the leader of this country has racist people opening their mouths again like we will not beat the shit out of them.

Let me catch my breath.

Screenshot 2018-01-29 17.38.40But how do you talk to your child about racism? About the symbolism of the noose? How do you make them feel safe in a community that is only sprinkled with a few black faces? How do you make them feel like their skin is not the problem, but the ignorance of the others are. How when they hear these comments from more than just one little privileged white boy.

I always push unity, but we cannot begin to talk unity until we admit and acknowledge that racism is still alive and growing in 2018!

2018!!!! 

I had the talk, you know the talk that was on Grey’s Anatomy last week, the talk that was on a few commercials that white people everywhere was upset about. The talk that EVERY black parent has had with their child. The talk that explains to her that there is no escaping this, no matter where we go racism is there. We cannot hide the color of our skin, but we can fight so we never let another person make us feel like she felt today. You know the one white people don’t want to admit is real, because then they would have to admit that RACISM IS REAL! Its real and its hurtful. I never thought I would have to explain this today, Arkansas once again, I hyped you up and once again, I have been disappointed.

To complain with me call Cleveland County Superintendent Johnnie L Johnson at (870) 325-6344

No Review – I am judging the racist.

Its time out for the exclusions and separations.

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I know its Thursday, the day I have scheduled to do reviews.. but today, I don’t feel like much of a review, at least not of a book, movie or television show. I will save that for next week. This week, I want to talk about the failed system protecting these kids, protecting us.

“A system cannot fail those it was never meant to protect.” – W.E.B. DuBois

I live in a small town in Arkansas, a town with more animals that black people and the population is less than 500. I only moved here due to circumstances beyond my control, but I accepted it and I am here. I knew I wasn’t welcomed here when the woman across the street made sure her confederate flag faced my house, when people stared a little longer because not only were we black, but we weren’t the black kind that tries to fit in.

I have been feeling the pressures of being black in this house and in this county. It seemed that during Christmas time, we were everyones charity case. The family that everyone did so much for and said it was because I was a single mother of four girls and a caretaker of two elderly, I accepted. I have never been above anything free, but I found that everything free, comes with a price. Comes with a cost.

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A UPS driver came over one day with is sister in his truck (violation, right), to bring a dog house for my larger dog. His house wasn’t quite big enough and he didn’t like it. I thought it was a blessing, as odd as it was. He had no package to deliver, but offered to help out a lady and her dogs. His sister came off as helpful, someone who wanted to help keep my costs down and offered to send her vet friends to look at my dogs for free. I trusted this woman, until the phone calls became to frequent. The accusations that I could not care or pay for my dogs care. She assumed that because I was black, that I was poor.

Now I am not the richest person, nor do I have a lot, but my family has always been blessed. So her assumptions was wrong. She came over a few more times, in her UPS brothers truck, with dog food and a handout of help. I declined her help anymore and decided they had visited enough. Her visits stopped, although her brother continued to come by daily in his truck, according to her, to feed my dogs. (We ALWAYS had enough food to feed our dogs. We never asked for her help).

Last Friday, I received a call from Kim (I will not change her name because she mad a fool of me and I am not above making her look foolish). She offered to purchase my dogs from me. Now anyone that knows me, knows that my dogs are my babies. They are like my children. I rescued Chip, and Bella was given to us from an unwanted litter. I didn’t choose my dogs, they chose me. I am proud of my dogs and how they grow. Now Chips weight goes up and down and anyone that doesn’t know that, may look at him and think he’s sick, but he’s not.

She warned me that I would change my mind. So what happens today? The sheriffs come to my door and first gives me a warning and says that my dogs are healthy looking, only to return 45 minutes later saying I was a liar and I didn’t tell him I didn’t buy the dogs houses. (Why does that matter?) I was issued a criminal offense ticket of cruelty to animals, he said because my dogs didn’t have 24 hour access to water. *blank stare*

My dogs are a bit glutton and if I give Chip a big bowl of water, he will drink it until he throws up. I give him water when I feed him, and sometimes in between, especially depending on the weather. So now I have court.

Here’s my problem, Kim’s brother should’ve NEVER been on my property without a package to deliver nor should his sister been in his vehicle. Plus he was speaking to my children without my permission. (No… called UPS and they are “limited” on what they can do, oh but keep them updated.)

“I didn’t learn to be quiet when I had an opinion. The reason they knew who I was is because I told them.” ~ Ursula Burns

All this the same week that a boy commented on my daughters hoodies, asking if being shot by police was a black persons super power. All after the principle said that he will not address complaints of racism, to talk to the Assistant Principle.

Arkansas, I stood up for you. As much as its is a state that is all white vs black and KKK filled, I stood up for you, and now I am facing a felony and jail time that is equal to more than a murder of a person because I didn’t have a water bowl continuously filled for my dogs? With all the strays up and down Highway 79, why are my dogs on trial?

Screenshot 2018-01-25 20.19.39I am not dumb, I know my rights, and I have my proof. I cannot wait until court, because once again, I am assumed to be dumb, black and poor. I am assumed to go to court with a “no sir, yes sir” attitude. They picked the wrong black person if thats the case. I will not be run from this little racist ass town, nor will I bow down to the bullshit at stake.

So today I review and judge RACISM, and I am OVER IT! Sorry, but you will not have a head down sister over here. I will win, and I will still be here when the smoke clears. Smiling and possibly having a few new jobs to my disposal.

Sorry for the rant, but I am a pissed off sista with an agenda.