Veronica N. Davis Blog - Stability & Motion - Mountains and Water View

Stability & Motion

Veronica N. Davis Blog - Stability & Motion - Mountains and Water View

 

Stability: You

In my previous entry “Beautiful Silence” we discovered the importance of finding your strength in solitude. Beyond the clutter you find stability. A clear and positive mind results in a powerful and active person.People you admire could relay the importance of mental clarity. To achieve it they meditate, workout, and do outdoor activities. Unfortunately, you will still experience personal setbacks and the “usual” imbalances, because this is life. You can still make it a good one with work. Life is not a synonym for easy, vacation, or carefree. Our connection to nature helps us maintain mental stability. It gives us the strength to go within ourselves to reaffirm our positive beliefs and positive certainties. Your challenge is to meditate outdoors for 15 minutes.

Motion: The World

The modern world tells us what to think, how to feel, what our dreams are and how we think. Our unique journeys have been muddled together and blanketed in debts. One could argue social media has given this generation a false sense of union while isolating them. Please remember just because your life appears to echo someone else’s that doesn’t mean you should do what they do – good or bad. Your walk is your own, you’ve just got to find your stride.

The Inner: Your Mind

Today the mind is under-stimulated, while the body (and let’s face it – your wallet) is over stimulated. It pains me to see how worldly & spiritual knowledge is overlooked in favor of tabloid gossip and mindless social media conversations. Your objective is to disconnect from what is, reconnect to what was, and come out of it a better version of yourself. I know you have dreams, but you’ve shunned them and any version of them because it seemed so easy for someone else. You don’t know anyone’s struggle, or what they chose not to show and tell. Get what’s yours. It was designed for your after all.

The Outer: Society’s Mind

We know what’s going on, on the outer. We live it every day and watch it every night.
I doubt I have to address it here.

Collision: Media

There was a time where we didn’t have computers glued to our hands. It was more peaceful and more connected then than it may ever be again. Media has drained the hearts of the pure and ruined the minds of fighters waiting to claim their thrones. Children aren’t even as happy as they once were. Why? Technology, entertainment, and lack of togetherness with their families. There lies the secret. Living a balanced life requires balance between the outer and inner. None of this is to stop your use of social media, or get you to turn off the television or cell phone. It was written to help young minds comprehend that constant sensation of despair or uncertainty that lingers over this new generation. It began with mine. Lucky for us, we still got that standard 1980s lifestyle although we were born in the 90s.

Spend some time with yourself, some time outside, and some time with the people you cherish. Balance your life, clear your mind, and work for something you believe in that can positively influence your life or someone else’s. Be that beautiful individual the world needs.

Love Always,
Veronica ✌❤

thank+you_chester+bennington_8weeks

Thank you, Chester.

Your light shinned brighter in my life than I realized. I will miss your voice, your joy, your passion, and your inspiration. You helped me write my piece and my peace for years. I honestly don’t see that changing. Your music will guide my pen and my fingers the same way they have since I began. Thank you for staying with us as long as you could meanwhile giving everything you’ve had.

Love Always,
Veronica ✌❤

Resurfacing in a world drowning in sorrow - Veronica N. Davis

Resurfacing

“The hardest part of ending is starting again.”
– Chester Bennington

A since of calm lingers in the air, giving its most tantalizing dance to the shattered remains of millions. It stays just out of reach, providing false hope and shaken prayers. The world rests on a continuous loop of sorrow and heartbreak, manmade disasters and natural ones, personal torment and bullying, starvation and gluttony. What we have become is an echo of the very wild animals our race hunts for skin, hair, and organs. This reality falls on deaf ears in place of “entertainment”. For decades society has been force fed images and thoughts that don’t reflect their true selves (the soul self). Within that is the fear of erasing everything and starting again because there is seemingly no “real” source to start from. How terrifying it must be to see yourself in your truth for the first time, and then lead a life you believe in.

A life lived wrapped up in fear of action instead of taking it is a life un-lived. Your fantasies shouldn’t be the ones sleeping beside you at night, your best reality should be with you when you wake. I’m saying this to say…We can’t control much in this world, but we can maneuver our own journeys to sway and inspire events around us. So, make that move, make that change, and make that fiction, non-fiction. I believe in you because there is no one like you. In a world built on sorrow, focus on your joy. If you don’t have it, please try to create it. I know it is often easier said than done, but you deserve to be happy.

You deserve the same reality you’ve probably helped someone around you build. Don’t let life’s breakdowns be your ultimate letdown. You can do this. Just…resurface.

Love Always,
Veronica ✌❤

History Repeats and Repeats is a blog entry written by Veronica N. Davis

History Repeats and Repeats

History Repeats and Repeats is a blog entry written by Veronica N. Davis

“It is the good fortune of many to live distant from the scene of sorrow; the evil is not sufficient brought to their doors to make THEM feel the precariousness with which all American property is possessed.”
– Common Sense, Thomas Paine (1776)

History Repeats…

I allow many things to resonate with me before I speak on them. This was drafted on June 12, 2016 at 5:09 pm and may not have seen the light of day had I not meditated on it. I’ve come to a point in my life where I don’t want to bombard my readers with the media’s sorrow, especially when it’s fueled by fear. A lot of what we see on the news is about scaring people and making them feel pity, disdain, or concern which distracts them from their true purpose. I feel a great loss when any soul is lost, but I simply ask that everyone involved and/or affected takes a moment to think about what leaving this Earth really means. They are free from all that woes you.

I’m not saying it won’t or shouldn’t hurt that they are gone, but a part of you can rest easy because they don’t have to endure the ugliness that the world keeps spewing and re-spewing. As you fight to keep yourself well and strong through this process, please keep in your heart that everything is okay with them now just like everything will one day be okay with you again. Losing a cherished soul is hard and the times I’ve faced it it’s left a sting I can’t put words to, but my aunt would always say, “Baby…this world is where you pity folks, not what comes after.” It’s a simple quote, but it gets me to see beyond the harsh picture before me.

And Repeats…

So much corruption, so many lies, so much engineered and falsified “grand” occasions are constantly happening to disconnect these wondrous people from what will truly make them happy… I’m not contributing to that anymore. We’re reconnecting…

We’re reconnecting to our soul purpose.

Love Always,
Veronica ✌❤

The Origin

The Origin of Black History Month

Where I went to school, the origin of Black History Month was never mentioned. We were simply made to learn about 4 or 5 historical black figures that our school deemed fit. We never truly got into the heart of the celebration. This video below goes into the origin of National African American History Month.


The following is an excerpt from History.com:

The event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating black history.

The story of Black History Month begins in 1915, half a century after the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in the United States. That September, the Harvard-trained historian Carter G. Woodson and the prominent minister Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), an organization dedicated to researching and promoting achievements by black Americans and other peoples of African descent. Known today as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), the group sponsored a national Negro History week in 1926, choosing the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. The event inspired schools and communities nationwide to organize local celebrations, establish history clubs and host performances and lectures.

 [Continue Reading on History.com]

Love Always,
Veronica ✌❤

Black History 2016 | Veronica N. Davis

Black History Is More Than A Month

For a while I debated whether I would mention “Black History” this year. In my life my nationality is celebrated on a daily basis. My family, friends, those I encounter are all walking, breathing, working celebrations. We strive for greatness in all we do without hesitation. We move about our days with pride, courage, and a smile to boot! Whenever an accomplishment is made that could not be possible without the brave hearts of past, our hearts echo through time to give thanks. Every instance someone of another race waves politely or holds a door open for us, I celebrate. For me, Black History is more than a month – it is 12 months 365 days, 52 weeks, 8,760 hours of gratitude and faith in the future.

In elementary school Black History month is a productive time where all races are educated (hopefully) about our past. However, I feel all races should be discussed so we may move beyond focusing on one or two. I want race to become a thing of the past. We are all sisters and brothers who should all have the right to know the TRUTH about our history, no matter how shameful some of it will be. You’ll be hearing from me soon in Newsletter 22.

Love Always,
Veronica ✌❤

Graphic Design Artwork By Author Veronica N. Davis For Toy Soldier Blog

Toy Soldier

Step by step
Heart to heart
Left, right, left
We all fall down
Like toy soldiers 

Bit by bit
Torn apart
We never win
But the battle wages on
For toy soldiers
Martika – “Toy Soldiers”

I am not a toy soldier.

Graphic Design Artwork By Author Veronica N. Davis For Toy Soldier Blog

It’s ranting time. If you’ve been a consistent reader of Newsletter 22, you know I speak from the soul and the heart. Sometimes things cross my mind that I can’t disregard. Sometimes I feel some people are greedy and they are the very ones leading the blind. When I look at certain corporate level companies and fashion designers and how people cherish them, I can’t help but take into account how folks mindlessly purchase products. Sure, we all could use a computer and phones, that’s fine. I also can’t say, “Hey stop using your money like that.” Not my place. Nor would I ever feel the real need to. It’s not so much about that. I just feel…The overly wealthy (1% or 0.0001%) are telling the poor and middle-class to donate their money while they blow theirs on anything they want every day. We can barely feed ourselves half the time. It’s all just too much for me. The more I’ve meditated the less prone to reading up on the news I’ve been. I shut a lot of things out in a simple realization that I can’t save the world. The only changes I can truly make are personal and immediate – those directly in my life. I think too much…It’s hereditary. My mother swears I get it from my grandfather and I can’t even say she’s wrong. Jasemine and I are cut from the same cloth and are very passionate people. We speak our minds. It’s what we do. So some of the things I think of are…

“We live in a nation that is called free, yet we’re imprisoned in the toxicities of greed, intolerance, and hatred.”

I figured out long ago this nation I live within builds and breeds toy soldiers. A mass of people that cannot think for themselves, is intentionally undereducated, and molded for a miserable life based on textbooks filled with lies. We live in a nation that is called free, yet we’re imprisoned in the toxicities of greed, intolerance, and hatred. That is probably something I already knew. I say this because growing up I never felt right about saying the pledge of allegiance. Half the time I put my hand to my heart and thought of God and family above all else. I specifically recall eventually mouthing the words, and no longer saying them. My allegiance has always been with the spiritual (God and the universe) and not in most people. Why would I pledge for people killing our brothers and sisters? These people are an extension to ourselves. Why would I pledge for death and murder when I only want for love? Why would I pledge for a family to lose those they can’t live without? I am not an “ends justify the means” type of woman. Getting along is not rocket science, but a large percentage of the world has yet to work out how to do it.

Money For Toy Soldier On www.veronicandavis.com

“I am not blind to the government’s will to enslave us with student loans, house notes, car notes, and insurances on things that rarely happen.”

I also think about finances. I am not blind to the government’s will to enslave us with student loans, house notes, car notes, and insurances on things that rarely happen. Recently I (re)discovered journalism is at the core of who I am. It is the reason why when I fight for things in any way I have to know every little thing about it. That’s why it wasn’t difficult to come to terms with a recent idea. We can’t save the world. It’s too far gone. However, we can save the people around us if they want to be saved. This didn’t take me x amount of years to figure out, it took about 4 to realize I already knew it. I’m an optimist so my threshold for hope is nearly endless until I investigate and exhaust every potential avenue to “cure” something.

Toy Soldier Brief: We make the best of our circumstances. We don’t fuel the fire, but defuse it where we can. I believe that every heart has good and bad in it, but it’s much healthier for the heart, soul, and mind to be at ease. When faced with hard truths, try to conquer them and make your truth more positive. Don’t let loans burden you. Don’t let debt burden you. When we’re dead and gone they’re not a problem, so why let them be one while we’re here. Live your life. Don’t judge others for how they live theirs either.

Love Always,
Veronica ✌❤

Tiger Photo on Veronica N. Davis website

Wild Tiger Number Rises In India

“We have lost 97% of wild tigers in just over a century. However, the wild tiger number rises in India.”

The largest of all the Asian big cats, tigers rely primarily on sight and sound rather than smell. They typically hunt alone and stalk prey. A tiger can consume up to 88 pounds of meat at one time. On average, tigers give birth to two or three cubs every two years. If all the cubs in one litter die, a second litter may be produced within five months.

Tigers generally gain independence at two years of age and attain sexual maturity at age three or four for females and at four or five years for males. Juvenile mortality is high however—about half of all cubs do not survive more than two years. Tigers have been known to reach the age of 26 years in the wild.

Males of the largest subspecies, the Amur (Siberian) tiger, may weigh up to 660 pounds. For males of the smallest subspecies—the Sumatran tiger—upper range is at around 310 pounds. Within each subspecies, males are heavier than females.

Tigers are mostly solitary, apart from associations between mother and offspring. Individual tigers have a large territory, and the size is determined mostly by the availability of prey. Although individuals do not patrol their territories, they visit them over a period of days or weeks and mark their domain with urine and feces.

Ninety-seven percent. In the last 100 years, tiger populations have declined that dramatically, from 100,000 to as few as 3,200 in the wild today. And it’s humans—through rampant poaching and habitat destruction—who are driving these big cats to extinction.

Bringing tigers back from the brink takes commitment on a global scale. Faced with this challenge, tiger range countries took a stand and set an ambitious species conservation goal: double the number of wild tigers by 2022—the next Year of the Tiger. The goal is called Tx2.

Saving tigers is about more than restoring a single species. As a large predator, tigers play an important role in maintaining a healthy ecosystem. Every time we protect a tiger, we protect around 25,000 acres of forest—forests that sustain wildlife and local communities and supply people around the world with clean air, water, food, and products. By saving tigers, we show the world that conservation and development can go hand in hand. Tx2 is a model of conservation for other species too. And it protects natural resources, contributing to a positive future for people, for wildlife, and the planet.

An Effective Conservation Tool

In 2010, the governments of the world’s 13 tiger range countries gathered and created the Global Tiger Recovery Plan, outlining how each country could reach the Tx2 target. Species and conservation experts, including WWF, played a key role in developing the plan and continue to ensure it is put into practice. With governments, scientists, rangers, communities, and others, we are working to ensure tiger conservation is given the priority and investment it requires.

Measuring Success

One of the biggest threats to tigers today is poaching. Wildlife crime has reached critical levels globally, with an underground market worth an estimated $19 billion annually. From the whiskers to the tail, every part of a tiger can be traded, making them a lucrative target. Governments around the world must combat poaching if tigers are to have a future. Nepal has already proved that zero poaching is possible with a professionalized approach to wildlife protection.

Over the last century, tigers have also faced massive habitat loss. But we know that given adequate space, prey, and protection, wild tiger populations can increase. Habitats for a strong tiger population—with optimal conditions for tigers to breed and thrive—have now been identified and are the focus of Tx2 efforts.

In order to measure progress toward our goal, tiger range countries must survey their tiger populations. Bhutan recently conducted its first-ever national tiger survey, counting 103 tigers. Earlier this year, India’s latest tiger census showed a rise to 2,226 tigers from only 1,706 in 2010. And Amur tiger numbers in Russia increased to as many as 540 in the last decade, while recent camera-trap footage captured the first video evidence of Amur tiger cubs inside China.

Working with governments, communities, and other organizations, WWF is building a future in which tigers can thrive. Our efforts include training rangers, tackling the illegal wildlife trade, and developing conservation standards and technology to achieve zero poaching. Together we can help tigers rebound and continue to increase in number, by 2022 and beyond.

Discover how you can help at WWF.

2015-02-20

5 Interesting Facts About Black History

Below are 5 interesting facts I chose for Black History Month. We know there are thousands upon thousands, but here’s a few that may have gone over people’s heads because our schools probably didn’t share it with you.

  1. Black History Month began as “Negro History Week,” which was created in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson, a noted African American historian, scholar, educator, and publisher. It became a month-long celebration in 1976. The month of February was chosen to coincide with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.
  2. John Mercer Langston was the first black man to become a lawyer in Ohio when he passed the Bar in 1854. When he was elected to the post of Town Clerk for Brownhelm, Ohio in 1855 Langston became one of the first African Americans ever elected to public office in America. John Mercer Langston was also the great-uncle of Langston Hughes, famed poet of the Harlem Renaissance.
  3. Hiram Rhodes Revels was the first African American ever elected to the United States Senate. He represented the state of Mississippi from February 1870 to March 1871.
  4. Shirley Chisholm was the first African American woman elected to the House of Representatives. She was elected in 1968 and represented the state of New York. She broke ground again four years later in 1972 when she was the first major party African-American candidate and the first female candidate for president of the United States.
  5. In 1940, Hattie McDaniel was the first African-American performer to win an Academy Award (the film industry`s highest honor) for her portrayal of a loyal slave governess in Gone With the Wind.

Have a beautiful day. I love you all. God bless you.

Love Always,
Veronica ✌❤

2015-02-13

Bayard Rustin, Thank You

In 2013 I mentioned Bayard Rustin in an interview. Considering it’s Black History Month and he played an integral part in our history, I wanted to help bring him to the forefront. Share this with your friends, and remind them that we got here with the help of strong, versatile, and unique people who had us in their mind without even knowing who we were or what we would become.
Don’t waste it. Do not…waste it.

Love Always,
Veronica ✌❤

* * * * * * *

“Who Designed the March on Washington?”
by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. | Originally posted on The Root

If you had been a bus captain en route to the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in August 1963, you would have known who its organizing genius was, and you wouldn’t have been surprised to see his picture on the cover of Life magazine a week later. Yet of all the leaders of the civil rights movement, Bayard Rustin lived and worked in the deepest shadows, not because he was a closeted gay man, but because he wasn’t trying to hide who he was. That, combined with his former ties to the Community Party, was considered to be a liability.

Still, whatever his detractors said, there would always be that perfect day of the march, that beautiful, concentrated expression of Rustin’s decades of commitment to vociferous, but always nonviolent, protest. It was, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, the “greatest demonstration for freedom” in American history. And it is why, on this 50th anniversary, I ask that if you teach your children one new name from the heroes of black history, please let it be Bayard Rustin.

No Lonelier Man

There was no lonelier man in Washington, D.C., at 5:30 a.m. August 28, 1963, than Rustin. He had predicted a crowd of 100,000 marchers, and with only four and a half hours to go before the meet-up, he had his doubts. Would everything he had been working toward pan out? Would the coalition hang together? Would the march remain peaceful, thus defying the 4,000 troops President John F. Kennedy had ready in the suburbs, as Taylor Branch reminds us in Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954-63?

Twenty-two years earlier, A. Phillip Randolph and Rustin had come very close to delivering on their plans for a first march as a way to pressure President Franklin Roosevelt into opening defense-industry hiring to blacks. Roosevelt was so alarmed by the specter of violence and the negative publicity during the “war against fascism” that a deal was reached before the march could even begin. Now, with the 1963 march about to begin, Rustin was forced to wonder, could they really pull this off? And would its impact help to achieve the goals of the movement? In a matter of hours, he would have his answers.

His Early Struggles

Bayard Taylor Rustin was born in West Chester, Pa., March 17, 1912. He had no relationship with his father, and his 16-year-old mother, Florence, was so young he thought she was his sister. From his grandparents, Janifer and Julia Rustin, he took his Quaker “values,” which, in his words, “were based on the concept of a single human family and the belief that all members of that family are equal,” according to Jervis Anderson in Bayard Rustin: Troubles I’ve Seen.

As a teenager, Rustin wrote poems, played left tackle on the high school football team and, according to lore, staged an impromptu sit-in at a restaurant that would serve his white teammates but not him. When Rustin told his grandmother he preferred the company of young men to girls, she simply said, “I suppose that’s what you need to do.”

In 1937, Rustin moved to New York City after bouncing between Wilberforce University and Cheney State Teachers College. Enrolling at City College, he devoted himself to singing, performing with the Josh White Quartet and in the musical John Henry with Paul Robeson. He also joined the Young Communist League. Though he soon quit the party after it ordered him to cease protesting racial segregation in the U.S. armed forces, he was already on the radar of J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI.

Disappointed when the 1941 March on Washington was called off, Rustin joined the pacifist Rev. A.J. Muste’s Fellowship of Reconciliation, and when FOR members in Chicago launched the Congress of Racial Equality in 1942, Rustin traveled around the country speaking out. Two years later, he was arrested for failing to appear before his draft board and refusing alternative service as a conscientious objector. Sentenced to three years, he ended up serving 26 months, angering authorities with his desegregation protests and open homosexuality to the point they transferred him to a higher-security prison.

Once released, Rustin embarked on CORE’s 1947 Journey of Reconciliation, an early version of the Freedom Rides, to test the Supreme Court’s ruling in Morgan v. Virginia (1946) that any state forcing segregation on buses crossing state lines would be in violation of the Commerce Clause. It was a noble attempt, but Rustin soon found himself on a chain gang in North Carolina.

As part of his deepening commitment to nonviolent protest, Rustin traveled to India in 1948 to attend a world pacifist conference. Mahatma Gandhi had been assassinated earlier that year, but his teachings touched Rustin in profound ways. “We need in every community a group of angelic troublemakers,” he wrote after returning to the States. “The only weapon we have is our bodies, and we need to tuck them in places so wheels don’t turn”

Before then, however, was shame. In January 1953, Rustin, after delivering a speech in Pasadena, Calif., was arrested on “lewd conduct” and “vagrancy” charges, allegedly for a sexual act involving two white men in an automobile. With the FBI’s file on Rustin expanding, FOR demanded his resignation. That left Rustin to conclude, “I know now that for me sex must be sublimated if I am to live with myself and in this world longer,” according to Time on Two Crosses: The Collected Writings of Bayard Rustin, edited by Devon Carbado and Donald Weise.

Enter (and Exit) Dr. King

In 1956, on the advice of labor leader and activist A. Philip Randolph, Rustin traveled to Alabama to lend support to Dr. King, and the Montgomery Bus Boycott. While remaining out of the spotlight, Rustin played a critical role in introducing King to Gandhi’s teachings while writing publicity materials and organizing carpools. After helping King organize the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1956-1957, Rustin demonstrated against the French government’s nuclear test program in North Africa. As he once said, so simply and clear, “I want no human being to die” (as quoted in the documentary film, Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin).

Rustin experienced one of the lowest points in his career in 1960, and the author of this crisis wasn’t J. Edgar Hoover; it was another black leader. Rep. Adam Clayton Powell Jr. of New York, angry that Rustin and King were planning a march outside the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles, warned King that if he did not drop Rustin, Powell would tell the press King and Rustin were gay lovers. Regardless of the fact that Powell had concocted the charge for his own malicious reasons, King, in one of his weaker moments, called off the march and put distance between himself and Rustin, who reluctantly resigned from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which was led by King. For that King “lost much moral credit … in the eyes of the young,” the writer James Baldwin wrote in Harper’s magazine. Fortunately for us, Rustin put the movement ahead of this vicious personal slight.

Bayard Rustin In front of 170 W 130 St., March on Washington, Bayard Rustin, Deputy Director, and Cleveland Robinson, Chairman of Administrative Committee (left to right). World Telegram & Sun photo by O. Fernandez. (Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs division)

In front of 170 W 130 St., March on Washington, Bayard Rustin, Deputy Director, and Cleveland Robinson, Chairman of Administrative Committee (left to right). World Telegram & Sun photo by O. Fernandez. (Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs division)

The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom

The idea for the 1963 march again came from A. Philip Randolph, who wondered if younger activists were giving short shrift to economic issues as they pushed for desegregation in the South. In 1962, he recruited Rustin, and the two began making plans, this time to commemorate the centennial of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.

“Birmingham changed everything,” John D’Emilio writes in his 2003 biography, Lost Prophet: The Life and Times of Bayard Rustin. In May 1963, the nation gasped as Birmingham police under the notorious commissioner Bull Connor turned fire-hoses and attack dogs on children. The fallout forced the Kennedy administration to jump-start action on a civil rights bill, and suddenly, D’Emilio explains, “the outlook for a march on Washington” shifted. “King, who had not shown much interest in the earlier overtures from Rustin and Randolph, began to talk excitedly about a national mobilization, as if the idea were brand new.”

Rustin traveled to Alabama to meet with King and expanded the march’s focus to “Jobs and Freedom.” From the march’s headquarters in New York, he looked forward to leading the planning coalition of the “Big Six” civil rights organizations: SNCC, CORE, SCLC, the National Urban League, the NAACP and Randolph’s Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. But Rustin’s past again came into play when Roy Wilkins of the NAACP refused to allow Rustin to be the front man. “This march is of such importance that we must not put a person of his liabilities at the head,” Wilkins said of Rustin, according to D’Emilio. As a result, Randolph agreed to serve as the march’s director with Rustin as his deputy.

Their challenges were manifold: Unite feuding civil rights leaders, fend off opposition from Southern segregationists who opposed civil rights fend off opposition from Northern liberals who advocated a more cautious approach and figure out the practical logistics of the demonstration itself. On the last point, Rustin later said, “We planned out precisely the number of toilets that would be needed for a quarter of a million people … how many doctors, how many first aid stations, what people should bring with them to eat in their lunches,” according to D’Emilio.

The whole time Rustin feared interference from the Washington police and the FBI; it came from the Senate floor three weeks before kickoff when Strom Thurmond of South Carolina attacked Rustin personally. It didn’t matter that Thurmond was hiding a daughter he had fathered with an African-American woman who was a maid; Rustin was a gay ex-communist and, in 1963, reading from his FBI file made political hay.

Tensions in every direction persisted. John Lewis, one of the leaders of SNCC (now a longstanding congressman from Georgia) had prepared a militant speech for the event, reading in part, “The time will come when we will not confine our marching in Washington. We will march through the South, through the Heart of Dixie, the way Sherman did. We shall pursue our own ‘scorched earth’ policy and burn Jim Crow to the ground — nonviolently.” To appease other speakers and refrain from alienating the Kennedy administration, Rustin and Randolph had to convince Lewis to tamp it down. The quarrel continued up the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

Before then, the marchers had to know how to get there — which brings us back to our bus captains. Imagine being one, scrambling over last-minute details, reading the now famous Organizing Manual No. 2 (pdf) that Rustin and his team distributed from New York. In 12 pages, it ran the gamut from the practical to the philosophical to the political: “Who is sponsoring the March; Why We March; Our Demands; How Our Demands Will be Presented in Congress; Who Will March; What Are Our Immediate Tasks; How Do I Get to Washington; The Schedule in Washington; How Do We Leave Washington; Signs and Banners; Food, Health and Sanitation Facilities; Children and Overnight Accommodation; Captains; Marshals; Transportation Report Form.”

In the section “What We Demand,” Rustin and his team were concrete in laying out the march’s 10 goals. Want to teach your children what the march was all about? It’s in that list.

The march itself, of course, turned out to be a tremendous success, including those glorious moments when the official estimate of 200,000 was announced (actually, there was as many as 300,000, says Life.com); when Marian and Mahalia sang; when Mrs. Medgar Evers paid tribute to “Negro Women Freedom Fighters”; when John Lewis and Dr. King spoke; and when Bayard Rustin read the march’s demands. And perhaps the most poignant statement of the power of nonviolence was that there were only four arrests, Taylor Branch writes in The King Years, all of them of white people.

Afterward, the leaders of the Big Six met with President Kennedy at the White House. Rustin remained out of sight, though he and Randolph did make it onto the cover of Life Sept. 6. Eight days later, four young girls went to their deaths in the Birmingham church bombing; in November, President Kennedy was gunned down, leaving President Lyndon Johnson to shuttle the Civil Rights Act through Congress, signing it in 1964, the same year Dr. King received the Nobel Prize, with Rustin planning the logistics of his trip to Oslo. It was, to say the least, history at its most dramatic, shocking — and unpredictable — at every turn.

A Changing Movement

While launching the A. Philip Randolph Institute in 1964, Rustin found himself embroiled in Democratic politics at the 1964 convention in Atlantic City, where he cautioned delegates of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party to back down when President Johnson made a deal to seat the state’s conservative wing. Rustin tried articulating his views in a 1965 essay in Harper’s magazine called “From Protest to Politics,” but the damage was done. “You’re a traitor, Bayard!” Mandy Samstein of the SNCC had shouted at the convention, according to Taylor Branch in The King Years.

As memories of the march faded and the movement entered its more militant phase, Rustin’s coziness with the Democratic Party power structure (he was even spotted riding in Hubert Humphrey’s limousine) angered proponents of black power. He also alienated antiwar activists when he failed to call for the immediate withdrawal of troops from Vietnam and cautioned Dr. King against speaking out in his famous speech attacking the war delivered at Riverside Church. Increasingly, it seemed, Rustin took (or refrained from taking) positions that put him at odds with a movement he had once so fundamentally helped to shape.

International Activism and Gay Rights

Despite tensions with other black activists, Rustin remained engaged in the struggle for justice. When Dr. King was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn., Rustin participated in the memorial march and demanded economic justice for sanitation workers. At the same time, he expanded his focus on international causes, including offering support to Israel, promoting free elections in Central America and Africa and aiding refugees as vice chairman of the International Rescue Committee.

During the 1980s, Rustin also opened up publicly about the sexuality he had “sublimated” since the 1950s. (This coincided with his falling in love with Walter Naegle, now serving as executor and archivist of Rustin’s estate.) In a 1987 interview with the Village Voice, Rustin said, “I think the gay community has a moral obligation … to do whatever is possible to encourage more and more gays to come out of the closet.” For his part, he worked to bring the AIDS crisis to the attention of the NAACP, once predicting, “Twenty-five, 30 years ago, the barometer of human rights in the United States were black people. That is no longer true. The barometer for judging the character of people in regard to human rights is now those who consider themselves gay, homosexual, lesbian.”

Death and Legacy

Bayard Rustin died on August 24, 1987, just four days shy of the march’s 24th anniversary. Since then, he has been the subject of several biographies by Jervis Anderson, Daniel Levine, John D’Emilio and Jerald Podar. Thankfully, we also now have the collection of his writings edited by Devon Carbado and Donald Weise. Each, in addition to the documentary Brother Outsider from producers Nancy Kates and Bennett Singer, proved valuable in my research. I myself have been thinking about Rustin for more than 40 years, including in a piece I wrote for the New Yorker exploring the controversy over a gay rights demonstration planned for what was then the 30th anniversary of the march in 1993.

It is noteworthy that it was President Kennedy who made awarding the Medal of Freedom a presidential privilege in February 1963, the same year as the march. Later this year, Barack Obama, the president whose elections the march made possible — and the first to support publicly gay marriage — will make things right by awarding it to Rustin. “A Change Is Gonna Come,” Sam Cooke sang for the first time in a recording studio in 1963. I, like many, am glad that change is now coming for Rustin in 2013, not only because it is the march’s golden anniversary but because it is also the year the Supreme Court ended discrimination against gay couples seeking federal benefits while protecting their right to marry in California, the very state where in 1953 Rustin’s fate was sealed as the black leader destined to be “closeted” behind the scenes.

2015-01-08b

Cats in Peril

I wanted to share an article about a situation that is near to my heart.
It involves a beautiful race. A creature nearing extinction.
An estimated 3,000 – 3,200 remain to date.
It is the wild tiger.

* * * * * * *

“Tiger Farms Stoke Chinese Demand for Tiger Wine and Rugs, Putting Wild Cats in Peril”
was written by Simon Denyer

To the thump of loud dance music, four tigers roll over in succession and then raise themselves on their haunches. A man in a shiny blue shirt waves a metal stick at them, and they lift their front paws to beg.

The “show” takes place twice a day in a gloomy 1,000-seat auditorium — empty on a recent afternoon except for one Chinese tourist, two reporters and a security guard, its uneven floorboards, broken seats and cracked spotlights painting a picture of neglect.

Outside, hundreds of tigers pace back and forth in small, scrubby enclosures or lie listlessly in much smaller cages made of concrete and rusted metal. An occasional plaintive growl rends the air.

This is one of China’s biggest tiger farms, the Xiongshen Tiger and Bear Mountain Village in the southern city of Guilin. It is part of a booming industry that is threatening to drive this magnificent animal toward extinction in the wild, conservationists say, by fueling demand for “luxury” tiger parts.

Encouraged by the tiger farming industry, China’s wealthy are rediscovering a taste for tiger bone wine — promoted as a treatment for rheumatism and impotence — as well as tiger-skin rugs and stuffed animals, sought after as status symbols among an elite obsessed with conspicuous consumption.

That trend, in turn, is making tiger poaching more lucrative across Asia — because it is cheaper to kill wild tigers and smuggle pelts and parts across borders than to raise captive-bred ones, and the wild cats often are preferred by consumers. Farming has removed any stigma from tiger products and undermined global efforts to stamp out the illegal trade.

“The argument put forward by the tiger-farming lobby is that farmed tiger products will flood the market, relieving pressure on wild tigers,” said Debbie Banks of the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA). “This is a ridiculous notion and has turned into a disastrous experiment.”

Tigers’ numbers globally have stabilized in recent years, yet they are still perilously low. And wild tigers are dying in record numbers in India, their main habitat, with many killed by poachers to satisfy demand from China.

The next two years could be crucial, environmentalists say. With calls for change increasing both within the country and outside, China is reviewing its 25-year-old wildlife law and asking itself: Will it stand on the side of its domestic tiger-farming lobby or will it stand on the side of wild tigers and global public opinion?

 

More Wild Than Free Tigers

Under global pressure, China banned trade in tiger bone and rhino horn in 1993, and traditional Chinese medicine practitioners removed the products from their pharmacopeia. Conservationists say those moves tamped down demand and helped stabilize the population of Siberian tigers in north Asia.

But by then, China’s tiger-farming industry was beginning to take off. The private Xiongshen farm was established in 1993 by a former duck and snake breeder, Zhou Weisen, with investment from State Forestry Administration (SFA); its main competitor, a state-run farm in the northern province of Heilongjiang, set up in 1986.

Tigers are easy to breed in captivity, and their numbers went from a handful to a few hundred and then thousands. Today, there are thought to be between 5,000 and 6,000 tigers on about 200 farms in China, mostly born into captivity and many kept in appalling conditions — compared with fewer than 4,000 of the animals left in the wild.

Ever since establishing the farms, Chinese wildlife officials have been campaigning for international approval to lift the ban on tiger bone use, arguing that the country has a right to use its “domestic natural resources” as it sees fit, and that tiger bone wine — rice wine in which bones from the big cats have been soaking — is medically effective and part of Chinese culture. They contend that the trade could be regulated effectively to reduce the demand for wild tiger parts.

Even as the rest of the world disagrees, it appears that China has simply gone ahead. Multiple probes by the EIA and International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) over the past decade, together with The Washington Post’s own investigation, show the tiger bone wine industry has boomed, with support from the SFA.

“After these farms started selling wine, and taxidermists started selling tiger pelts, it really stimulated waning demand from consumers,” said Grace Ge Gabriel of the IFAW.

Xiongshen alone says it houses more than 1,000 tigers — although fewer than 200 are available for tourists to view — and 500 bears, legally farmed to extract their bile for a different wine.

The farm presents itself as a tourist destination, but its bleak animal enclosures and the show — where the tigers go through their rountine, bears twirl hula hoops around their necks and cycle unsteadily across uneven floorboards, and a goat balances nervously on a high beam with a monkey on its back — barely attract an audience.

On a recent afternoon, a Post team saw just five tourists admitted over several hours, each paying about $7.

In a building in the compound, the farm’s real money-spinner is on sale: bottles of wine, in the shape of tigers, listing as a main ingredient the bones of “precious animals” and of African lions. Even the name on the bottle — “tonic bone wine” — uses a Chinese character that rhymes with the word for tiger. Everything is designed to tell consumers this is tiger bone wine, without explicitly saying so. Even the park admission tickets boast of government approval to make wine from “the skeletons of animals which have died of natural causes” to support the tiger breeding program.

Across town, retailers are more open, boasting that the tiger-shaped bottles do indeed contain wine in which tiger bones have been steeped. A bottle left to mature for three years sells for the equivalent of $80, one aged six years for $155, and a vintage eight-year wine retails for $290.

In 2006, an IFAW investigator gained access to the farm’s winery in the town of Pingnan, where the manager showed off 400 wine vats and boasted that each contained a tiger skeleton. One vat, he said, was reserved exclusively for consumption by a senior local official.

The office of Zhou, the farm’s founder, said he declined to be interviewed for this report.

 

Rejecting Criticism

At the state-run farm in Heilongjiang, tourism is mixed with conservation as the public rationale for keeping 1,000 captive-bred tigers. Chief engineer Liu Dan said the long-term goal was to reintroduce animals back into the wild but said it could take generations of tigers before any were ready.

In recent months, two Siberian tigers reintroduced into the wild by Russian President Vladimir Putin crossed into China and caused havoc, killing goats, chickens and a pet dog before returning home.

Conservationists say China’s captive-bred tigers would be even more of a hazard: accustomed to people and used to eating livestock, they would head straight for villages, where they would kill or be killed. Cross-breeding also means the animals have no value in preserving the gene pool of wild tiger species. But Liu rejects that criticism, as well as the wider critique of the farming industry that he says comes from from “NGOs and foreign groups.”

“They want to ruin the image of China’s government and crack down on traditional Chinese medicine,” he said. “Some of them are funded by foreign medical syndicates.”

Today, bottles of “bone invigoration liquor,” with a picture of a tiger on the front, are openly sold on the premises. The sales staff tells visitors the liquor is made with the bones of tigers that died of natural causes.

If true, that would be a direct contravention of China’s own law and against the spirit of a 2007 decision under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) that tigers should not be bred for trade in their parts.

 

Perpetuating Poaching

But if the prospect of turning tigers into wine appalls many animal lovers, it is the trade in tiger pelts that is an even greater threat to the world’s remaining wild animals. Across China, taxidermists offer tiger-skin rugs or stuffed animals in a variety of poses — such as climbing a mountain — complete with permits from the SFA.

Skins from captive-bred tigers help perpetuate “the desirability and prestige of decorating your home with a tiger-skin rug,” said Banks of the EIA. That, in turn, encourages poaching, because the costs of raising captive tigers and of “wining and dining local bureaucracy to secure licenses” makes them more expensive than wild ones, she said.

Presented with evidence of the tiger-skin trade at a CITES meeting in July, Chinese officials admitted for the first time that their government was licensing the sale of pelts, according to participants.

In March, there was a grisly report from Leizhou in southern China that police had busted a gang that would slaughter tigers in front of a paying audience of local officials and businessmen.

At least 10 of the animals were killed on separate occasions, according to police. They would then be sold for parts and meat, a prized delicacy at some banquets. The butcher, a man named Huang who had learned his trade slaughtering pigs, was reported to have died in an accident while trying to escape arrest.

But while some arrests are taking place, the political will to end tiger smuggling is patchy at best. Between 2005 and 2012, the EIA says it has supplied the Chinese government with evidence of its meetings with several traders involved in the trans-Himalayan smuggling of big cat skins, in the hope that police would start their own investigations. “The individuals we met are still in operation,” Banks said.

 

Pressure at Home

At the CITES meeting in July, a working group was established to look into ending the tiger trade, with China in the chair. Pressure for change is also mounting at home as part of a review of China’s Wildlife Law, which promotes the domestication and breeding of wildlife and the “utilization of wildlife resources.”

Conservationists have been lobbying hard for a change in emphasis, away from utilization and toward conservation of habitats and of animals in the wild, but they face significant opposition from a wealthy and powerful tiger-farming lobby, said Mang Ping, a professor specializing in ecological ethics at the Central Institute of Socialist Studies in Beijing.

In December, reports emerged that the new law will stress the importance of animal welfare. That might be good news for animals kept in zoos and on farms, said Mang, but not if it is “used as an excuse for using and breeding wildlife.”

What is needed, conservationists say, is a clear government decision to outlaw the trade in tiger parts — backed up by enforcement and education. Otherwise, they say, these big cats may ultimately be reduced one day to the status of farm animals.

There is also some hope that President Xi Jinping’s crackdown on corruption could benefit tigers, just as it has already thrown a lifeline to the world’s sharks. In 2013, the government outlawed shark fin soup at official banquets as part of an effort to curb lavish displays of official wealth and consumption.

Like ivory products, tiger skins and tiger bone wine are often presented to officials as bribes. Several pelts were reported to be among a huge haul of luxury goods seized when a former lieutenant general, Gu Junshan, was charged with corruption and abuse of power in March, for example.

In 2010, at an International Tiger Forum in St. Petersburg, then-Premier Wen Jiabao joined other world leaders in promising to end the tiger trade. There was no follow-through. The hope now is that Xi will be more decisive and more effective.

“I firmly believe he knows the risk to China’s reputation,” said Gabriel of the IFAW. “This is not contributing to China’s economy at all; it just contributes to China having a bad name.”

Xu Jing contributed to this report.

Source: The Washington Post

Listed in Human Rights as not to be overlooked. 

19Jan2014

Nan Pwem Lapriyè Ki Pa Gen Amen

“Nan pwem lapriyè ki pa gen amen.”
[There is no prayer without its amen.]

Amidst the uplifting roar of laughter and immense smiles I’ve found myself stunned by worlds I had only met through news broadcasts and columns. Jamaica, Haiti, Grand Cayman. In 6 days time I didn’t even scratch the surface of the history and current conditions of three places thriving only in darkness and surviving solely on faith. It is remarkable how these deplorable and heartbreaking territories are surrounded by beauty yet buried in misery. The poverty level is as sickening as the near non-existent healthcare services they are provided in Jamaica. With 78% of their population representing the masses and 18% barely making it in middle class as well, that leaves just 4% upper class individuals (most of which are celebrities/people who earned money in the USA and migrated to Jamaica soon after).

WOULD YOU BE ABLE TO SURVIVE ON $50/MONTH???

VND-Kind-Man

See, I made an incredible friend. Her name was Tracy Davis – a beautiful coincidence. Tracy gave me a tour of the island and fed me an endless array of facts that both made me smile and destroyed me on emotional planes I was unaware I had. Like most people who have witnessed with their own eyes the way our distant brothers and sisters have to live, I immediately realized how displaced our own values are in America. I mean I already knew. Look at reality television. But these people don’t even know who Brad Pitt is or about franchises like Twilight, Hunger Games, Harry Potter, and so on.

COULD YOU IMAGINE A LIFE OF MISERY WITH NO FORM OF ESCAPE???

VND-sky

No. I don’t mean that break up you just went through or the fact that your phone MIGHT be off next month because you can’t make the bill. I mean, when all you know is the sorrow that surrounds you. Nearly every building you see is falling apart, that which encircles those same structures is unkept, the children are unhealthy because healthcare is so high 96% of the population cannot afford it. Imagine. Imagine for one moment. Your child is in your arms with the most terrible fever, the most debilitating cough, tremors, all of it. And you can’t do a damn thing about it.

Now amplify that hopelessness. And you have Haiti.

I WONDERED, “WHY CAN’T WE ALL LIVE LIKE AMERICANS?”

VND-Haiti-Row

Not even the vast and endless mountains can hide the truth that hangs over the heads of Haitians. In my time there I witnessed several rowboats trudging across the sea in search of food for the fast falling night. It is truly as if the governmental figures of these three places have lost sight of the overall solution: breathe life into the middle class and watch them flourish once more.

I refuse to believe this.

I refuse to believe that this way of life has to continue…in 2014.

People across the globe have been making positive strides to change living conditions for Haitians and Jamaicans for a while. Below are links for you to learn more about our distant brothers and sister, and get involved as well.

Let’s make the world beautiful.

LINKS TO HELP HAITI AND JAMAICA

Mission-Haiti

UNICEF – At a Glance: Haiti

UNICEF – Jamaica

The HELP Jamaica! Education Centre

Pride and respect photo LGBTQ

Pride & Respect – ENDA

I do not follow politics much, but I do follow that which pertains to the safety and well being of my people. Workplace discrimination toward gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people was addressed today. A bill referred to as Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) earned 60 of the necessary senate votes to surpass its initial hurdle. Millions of our family and/or friends have been denied the bare minimum in terms of security and now the veil has dropped and rights are being realized.

 

Verbal and physical abuse, being turned away from jobs (you all saw the ‘Gay Need Not Apply’ tweets?), denied benefits, harassed, fired… The conduct of management can be intimidating for most people because we rely so heavily on income, and without it we cannot survive so we tread lightly. Never able to put up a fight.  I am glad someone found it within their heart to stand up for us all. Maltreatment is ludicrous thus uncalled for. The human race is constantly finding reasons to hate someone else, losing sight of what it means to show compassion and be present and aware for one another. I have had enough of the ridicule some of us face based off of irrelevant facts (or fictions). The revolting cases I read about (like my post on Africa) are overwhelming. The same people that preach for us to stand tall with pride while the world is watching are sometimes the very people tearing us right back down.

 

ENDA is our chance in the workplace to be viewed as human beings and valued, even if we know it is a sham. We should only be assessed based off of our achievements and experiences, nothing more. Banning unjust behaviors toward others is something I hope has a positive impact. I say that not just because of retaliation, but because there are laws against violence, stealing, murder…. and it still occurs. I just hope the world can find peace among their fellowman, but I seldom deem our species capable.

 

Truthfully, it all comes down to respect, both for oneself and for those around them.

 

[tabs slidertype=”top tabs”] [tabcontainer] [tabtext]From Civil Rights.Org[/tabtext] [/tabcontainer] [tabcontent] [tab]

Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement in advance of an expected Senate vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act:

 

“One of the most important ideals behind our nation’s movement for civil and human rights is that every worker should be judged solely on his or her merits. Today’s news that 60 senators have committed to voting for cloture on ENDA brings us another step closer to making this ideal a reality.

 

As we have seen with the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ the growing number of states that embrace marriage equality, the demise of the Defense of Marriage Act, and ever-increasing levels of public bipartisan support, our nation’s progress on LGBT equality has reached a tipping point that can no longer be denied. As ENDA moves to the Senate floor and beyond, the only question left for lawmakers is whether they want to be remembered for standing on the right side of history.

 

We urge the Senate to allow a yes-or-no vote on ENDA and to swiftly approve this long overdue legislation.” Wade Henderson is the president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its 200-plus member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.[/tab] [/tabcontent] [/tabs]

Anti-Gay Violence News And Quotes

Anti-Gay Violence

“The Most Homophobic Place in the World”

The legacy of DEAN MORIAH and DWAYNE JONES.

On July 21st a group of individuals attacked gender-nonconforming Dwayne Jones. He was shot, stabbed, and left for dead on a road near the party he had earlier attended. He was only 17. On August 23rd another group attacked two men they perceived as gay following a car accident. Five days later, yet another mob repeatedly stabbed and set aflame a man they alleged to be gay, called Dean Moriah. He was 41. All of these hate crimes involving homosexuality occurred in Jamaica. These unlawful acts occur so often it leads one to believe without a doubt that their authorities are doing nothing to end it. Perhaps they truly aren’t trying. It is not my place to decided that though. This is simply the kind of madness that becomes too much for me. To dislike someone’s lifestyle is one thing, to hate it enough to brutally torture and kill them is another.

On many levels these unforgivable and heartbreaking instances seem to quickly be becoming a way of [some of] the Jamaican people. This disgust…this homophobia…this untarnished hatred. They’ve been branded as “simply being this way”. It is fine to have a negative feeling toward someone’s way of life – people will always judge you and hold different values, but killing someone else just because you detest their life choices is wrong.

As sad as it is to say…love and equality are two strangers to Jamaica. Darkness and rage consume them and it is then spread to their children. I wonder how anyone can survive in a place where the light rarely shines…

Note: In accordance with Anti-Gay Violence, Time Magazine coined Jamaica “The Most Homophobic Place in the World”. 

EQUAL MARRIAGE IGNORED BY MAJOR MEDIA OUTLETS

Equal Marriage Ignored By Major Media Outlets

Can we talk?

I mean really talk? About equal marriage…

Guys, the LGBT community has come a very long way and it has taken years to get where we’ve gotten. Still, people try to hold the LGBTQ family back, and suppress the dynamic steps we’ve taken as a whole. They also ignore those who actively make changes to support us.

 BBC News, Channel 4 News and other media outlets failed to give sufficient coverage of this week’s historic passing of same-sex marriage in Parliament.

Needless to say, some of my friends “across the pond” had no idea this even occurred. And I’m talking about my friends who have made it a habit to watch the news and read the newspaper…We are talking hardcopy articles here! I would like for you guys to read this article: here. Benjamin Cohen, founder of Out4Marriage and poster to PinkNews, was quoted saying: “So Kate not giving birth yet is a BBC News at 10 story but the end of centuries of inequality for gay people isn’t? “.

I absolutely agree with his dismay.

Society is so caught up in the obsession of (royal and) celebrity life that they’ve overlooked their own. They’ve repeatedly failed to acknowledge the positives in life, they exploit the negatives, and remain hung up on the rich and famous. It’s amazing. Some stories don’t make the news for editorial reasons, and as a journalist I am aware of that, but as a human being, I view this as a real disgrace. I am fairly positive most people don’t even know the great thing Parliament did for the community. Media outlets rather form armies of bashers, than congratulate the far and in between wins we do have as members of society.

Thanks a lot, she says sarcastically. Thank you very much.

A GENERATION DESENSITIZED

A Generation Desensitized

A Generation Desensitized

Yesterday afternoon I was trolling through an app on my phone called IFunny. Usually it throws me into an array of flashbacks involving the days of *Nsync, Pokemon, Nano Pets, and Gameboys, but yesterday…none of that happened. Actually, not a single thing I came across had a trace of hilarity. As a matter of fact, that day was a high contrast to the ones before it. It was like…super duper opposite day. No fun stuff, just some random things to upset you. There was plenty I was discouraged about, and yes I know it is a “ya dig” updated by a bunch of young bored adolescents who have nothing better to do. That’s all the internet really is. A bunch of people congregating digitally because they have too much free time. By too much I mean so much that these kids today have time to make light of serious issues like rape.

Yeah.

They call it…rape sloth.

Sick.

To save you the trouble of typing that into GOOGLE Search here is a [link] to some of the images I saw. I briefly discussed those edits with my cousin, [Photographer Jasemine Denise], and she immediately said, “That’s disgusting.” It truly is. Like even right now as I’m writing this I’m frowned up and I do NOT like being frowned up man! Has this generation become so detached from their morals (do they have any?) and desensitized by the media and sexual content in movies and games (and hell…where ISN’T sex…) that they find this entertaining? The vulgarity of the word and all they add to it…it’s not…right. I was born in 1991, not that far off from these kids, and we were never this dark. At first I thought I was overreacting because there are hundreds of words in the English language that we use in the wrong situations intentionally because it is literally funny, but I can’t find the humor in this.

I reverted back to my own writings in my novel [Tomorrow Never Came] as well as conversations I had in the past with one of my girlfriends. She had been raped in broad daylight while she was away at college. Room full of people and no one cared to stop it. Needless to say she became introverted and found it hard to trust again. Just a side note, she wasn’t a partier, not even close. A friend convinced her to go. While she was telling me what happened…her eyes grew dark, from a honey brown to almost chestnut, her shoulders tensed, her breaths shortened, and she couldn’t look me in the eye without crying. I knew her as this insanely strong and independent woman, but soon discovered she was ready to break and shatter at any moment. To see that and know what I know, my reaction to this “humorous sloth sh*t” is…what the hell are you guys thinking? To those who think it’s comical, um…may I just ask a small…..question…….WHY? I honestly want to know why it’s funny. I thought jokes were supposed to make people laugh…not take sexual crimes and turning them into…this repulsive supposed jest.

What more can I say?

I’m worried about the minds of the young and it doesn’t stop here. There is so much that they have lost sight of because they aren’t being guided in the right direction. I only hope that the same minds that find things like this compelling, mature. Sadly, not all of them will because not all of them are capable.

This world needs better role models. Better teachers. Better leaders.

 

VND ❤

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