Unequal America

Unequal America

by Aronya Waller

No matter how much we protest, cry, riot, sit, or fight

We seem to be forever mired by this ugly blight

Infected by this dark, dank spirit of hatred and oppression

Wondering if there will ever be freedom in our possession

A country supposedly built on life, justice, and liberty

Yet, we can’t even love, pray, and live in true equality

Rest in peace Nabra Hassanen 

The Hypocrisy of Our Nation

I saw this on Facebook last night, and I had to share. Unfortunately, I do not know the original author so I cannot give credit. Yet, it was so powerful and truthful that it had to go beyond my Facebook Page. I hope that you will share this message as well. If I find the author, I will be sure to come back and update this post. 

Let’s talk about hypocrisy. 

If you voted for Trump because of Hillary’s email “problem” but are not upset that the Trump administration is using a private email server and unsecured phones, you are a hypocrite. 

If you believe Jesus was a persecuted refugee fleeing Herod, but support the ban on Syrian refugees, you are a hypocrite. 

If you believe life begins at conception, but support defunding the countries number one source of prenatal care, planned parenthood, you are a hypocrite. 

If you believe the mainstream media lies but believe Trump when he spouts verifiable lies, you are a hypocrite. 

If you dismiss the AP, Reuters or NPR as biased media but accept everything Fox news says, you are a hypocrite. 

If you think all life is sacred, but do not support reasonable gun control, you are a hypocrite. 

If you think children are the future, but support reducing funds for SNAP, you are a hypocrite. 

If you believe in education, but dismiss evolution or climate change as hoaxes, you are a hypocrite. 

If you believe in the sovereignty of the United States, but support forced incursions on Native American lands, you are a hypocrite. 

If you believe that we need to drain the swamp of Washington but support Trump’s cabinet picks, you are a hypocrite. 

If you believe in the Constitution, but support indiscriminate detainment and torture, you are a hypocrite. 

If you believe our troops lives have worth, but support Trump’s claims to foreign countries natural resources, you are a hypocrite. 

If you believe that unborn black babies lives matter, but black lives don’t matter, you are a hypocrite. 

If you believe that we deserve life, liberty and happiness, but support taking away healthcare from millions of Americans, you are a hypocrite. 

If you believe that the practice of your religion is more important than the practice of no religion or a different religion, you are a hypocrite. 

If you believe in equal rights under the law, but don’t support marriage equality and non discrimination for LGBTQ Americans, you are a hypocrite. 

If you are glad that California or New York do not decide national policy for you, but insist on forcing your red state policies on others, you are a hypocrite. 

If you believe in the first amendment, but call people who peacefully protest the President as hooligans, you are a hypocrite. 

If you are an American but think dissent is disrespectful, you are a hypocrite. 

If you think that anything that has happened over the last week is normal or acceptable, then you have not been paying attention.

**Not written by me. Sharing is encouraged.**

 

What’s Next?

civil-rights-1n9vbvn

I have not written a post since the election because it took me some time to process everything. I wanted to make sure that I truly understood what was occurring. I wanted to wait and see if Trump was going to try to unite our country, or would we the fruits of his divisiveness throughout his presidency. Always the optimist, I gave him a chance, and I said maybe things would be better.

Throughout the past 10 days, however, I have seen Trump pick people in his administration that all seem to share one scary perspective of hate in their past. He says that he wants unity, but you question the sincerity of his acceptance speech when you look at his picks. Steve Bannon has been openly connected to white supremacists and anti-Semites. Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn has been open about his anti-Muslim beliefs, and said on Twitter that the “fear of Muslims is rational.” And lest we forget good ol’ Alabama Sen. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions. His view of African-Americans sends chills through my spine because he represents that stereotypical old, white racist man from the deep South. You know the ones that many thought were dead and gone by now, but are now loud and proud again since Trump was elected. Thirty years ago, the Senate Judiciary Committee denied Jeff Sessions a federal judgeship due to his racist remarks. He has called the NAACP and the ACLU “un-American” and “Communist-like.” In addition, it was alleged that he called a black US attorney that worked for him “boy” on numerous occasions.

equality

I am scared. I believe that the civil rights of many will now be considered irrelevant. We must fight harder for every right that we have and each one that we know we still deserve. Yes, we can continue to still protest peacefully. But then what…what’s next? We must unite and mobilize. Each group may be considered a minority separately, but together we are the powerful majority. This goes beyond black, brown, or yellow; Christian, Jewish, or Muslim; straight, bi, or gay; male, female, or non-gender specific. This is the right to live with freedom and equality.

So, tell me, what do you plan to do protect your civil rights?

A Prayer of Comfort and Hope–Dr. Alyn E. Waller

It seems that every week we, as a community, are grieving another life lost. I continually say, “I am more than a hashtag.” Yet, it seems that we may be one mile, one block, one step, one breath from becoming the next hashtag. Good people from both sides have lost their lives, and we have shed too many tears to count. Community activists. Church members. Police officers. Leaders. Students. Mothers. Fathers. Daughters. Sons. Christians. Muslims. Black. Brown. Everyone. It seems no one is safe.

As a Christian, I have faith, but sometimes I find myself asking, Lord, help me with my unbelief. Dr. Waller’s prayer provides that answer.

And so, yes, we echo, even with tears in our eyes, pain in our hearts. We echo the words of the great hymn of antiquity, It Is Well with Our Soul. It is well knowing that God has a way of turning it around. It as well knowing the God has a way of using this to galvanize our efforts so that one day we shall stand and truly safe.

We cannot give up. We cannot give in. Let us fight the good fight knowing that one day we will be able to stand together safely united. Share this video as a reminder that it will be well. #LoveWillWin

The Miscalculation of the Black Woman

Her Own Beat’s Note: I wrote this article the night that Simone Manuel won her Olympic gold medal. I wanted to post this immediately, but I had submitted for publication  so I had to wait. It has been more than two weeks, but I believe that essence of this article still rings true.


As a purveyor of all things epitomizing #BlackGirlMagic, I am surrounded by greatness—in reality and virtually. In fact, I believe that women like First Lady Michelle Obama, Shonda Rhimes, Amandla Stenberg, Ava DuVernay, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie are all my girls.

While watching the Rio 2016 Olympics this week, I have been blessed with my shared of #BlackGirlMagic on Team USA with members such as Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, Ibtihaj Muhammad, Lia Neal, and Simone Manuel. All of these women have made history within their individual sports, but their coverage has not been equal. Unfortunately, for one, there was a major miscalculation that so many black women experience—the underestimation of our skill and talent.

As I was watching NBC Olympics before the women’s 100-meter freestyle, NBC Olympics decided to air a package about the Campbell Sisters from Australia. Interesting…sure. If you blinked, however, you may not have realized that there was a woman from Team USA swimming. Manuel is a black woman and a two-time NCAA women’s swimming champion. Did I mention that she broke the American record at the 2015 NCAA championship? Yet, it seemed like NBC Olympics was more concerned about showing baby pictures of Cate and Bronte Campbell and trying to figure out if they would get the gold and silver. The USA’s own, Manuel, seemed like an afterthought.

Sometimes, however, being an afterthought is the best way to win. Neither Campbell Sister placed, but Manuel made history. She was the first African-American woman to win an individual event in Olympic swimming. The commentators may have been in shock, but Manuel’s joy was overwhelming when she realized that she had tied for gold. I cried with her as she ran and hugged her coach. I cried again as that single tear could not stop streaming down her cheek as our national anthem played during the medal ceremony.

For NBC, unfortunately, it seems like Simone Manuel was more of a non-factor. She was treated like just another black woman. Yet, Manuel, like so many black women showed her #BlackGirlMagic. She swam the race of her life with poise and power; style and strength; grace and greatness. Black women are not some complex area of mathematics where an underestimation is probable. We are not a calculus problem in which you compute our limits…for we are limitless.

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#HIStory & #HERstory


I am so grateful to be living in such a time as this. Though we have many social issues that still need to be fixed, this picture is groundbreaking. Our 44th president is hugging the Democratic nominee for the 45th president.

Fifty years ago, this would have been unimaginable. Neither would have had a reasonable chance of running. Furthermore, in some places, this embrace could have ended in a lynching. No matter what your political leanings may be and who you support, you have to be thankful for how far we have come.

The Thugs of North Beach Avenue #ChangeTheNarrative

“The truth can never be known. It can only be told in a story.”—Alex Haley, Roots

Earlier today, I saw this video of the beach brawl that occurred at North Avenue Beach in Chicago during Memorial Weekend. For the first time in media reporting, I was not surprised by what I saw. There was no mention of these hoodlums being called thugs. That’s what they are. The police did not arrest any of these gangbangers for this uprising. That’s what it was. These delinquents left the place a mess with trash littered all over the place like it was a riot. Yet, the media just said that these lovely ‘beachgoers” were only involved in a brawl or melee.

It’s time to change the narrative. If we are supposed to be all-inclusive and say that #AllLivesMatter, then we need to be all-inclusive in our offensive reporting. Let’s discuss how these thugs had a terroristic uprising. Isn’t that what you said my people did in Ferguson and Baltimore? We were protesting the unlawful death of two young Black men. What were these thugs protesting at North Avenue Beach? Too much sunshine…not enough beer? Talk about privilege.

Why aren’t we talking about their families? It’s obvious that roughnecks like the people in this video must come from broken homes. I know that people from good homes just don’t act like this. Their mothers must be drunks, hos, and prostitutes. They have to have at least five or six kids. Let’s not even start on their fathers. You know their fathers were in and out of their lives, and they were either in jail or slinging drugs on the corner. You know how those white men are (wink wink). They are all the same. Convicts and brutes. I can’t wait to hear about their criminal records. Only people from broken homes act like this.

I am no longer waiting on mainstream media to change the narrative. Our truth will only be known when we tell our own stories. Let’s continue to tell our truth, our way, without the offensive descriptions. In the meantime, let’s rewrite their stories by using the offensive language that they naturally use on us. So the next time they decide to burn a city during a pumpkin smashing or flip cars after a football game, repost the uprising with your narrative. #ChangeTheNarrative

Twitter’s Technical Foul

I’m a little confused by this one. I can’t understand why this image was considered sensitive media on Twitter. Of all the vile amount of crap that is not filtered on Twitter, I had to approve this loving image between parent and child.

Many minorities have started their own media outlets to support their visions, share their views, and portray the positive images that were lacking in mainstream media. For example, I created this blog after prompting from several individuals to provide another outlet for people who shared viewpoints and interests similar to mine. While we have progressed in mainstream media, we know that we still have a long way to go. We had national examples such as #OscarsSoWhite and Melissa Harris-Perry’s departure from MSNBC earlier this year.

Yet, we also know that there are smaller examples that we can see on a daily basis, and we all work together to combat the negative stereotypes. Throughout my timeline, my friends and I share positive images of our communities. Black men with their children. Latinas progressing through corporate America or breaking glass ceilings by founding their own businesses. Native American youth soaring high through their scholastic achievements.

We know about ALL of the positive aspects within our communities, such as the genuine love between mother and child. So I cannot understand why I had to approve this beautiful image that was attached to BonBon Break’s tweet.  The post was not labeled sensitive, the blog was not labeled sensitive, and I’m led to believe that hashtags (#race and #blacklivesmatter) are not labeled sensitive either. Just the image. I cannot understand why. I’m hoping Twitter will respond to my query, but  who knows…Until then, I will just say that Twitter made a technical foul.