Tag Archives: Arkansas

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

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.