More Than a Hashtag #PhilandoCastile

Unfortunately, Facebook has already pulled the live video of Philando Castile’s murder. While many people are still raw and emotional over the death of Alton Sterling, we now have to process the death of Philando Castile. Our men are more than hashtags. They were men with families. Both MURDERED in front of their children by people who have pledged to protect us.

I pray that all people will unite together like they did for Harambe. I cannot understand how a gorilla receives more love than a person. Although Alton and Philando were treated no better than a wild animal, let us remember them as fine Black men taken from their communities. Stolen from their families. Their full potential never realized.

Let us never become complacent. Let this never become the norm. Each day, fight for your community so that we will live in a nation where hashtags like #AltonSterling, #PhilandoCastile, and #BlackLivesMatter are no longer necessary.

Read the article for more information at CBS Minnesota.

Wake Up! #AltonSterling

People want to sign petitions against Jesse Williams for speaking the truth. Fans of Lecrae threaten to stop listening for posting the truth. Politicians threaten to walk away and not support a single bill because President Obama wants to uplift communities and speak their truth. Facebook shuts down pages because they write the truth. Well hear this truth…

Our people are continuing to be brutalized and killed by the police on a daily basis. For each Alton Sterling, Sandra Bland, Eric Garner, Alexia Christian, Michael Brown, Rekia Boyd, there are many others that you never hear about. People killed while handcuffed in police cruisers, people sitting in their homes, people having mental health issues, and kids playing with their toys. Many are captured on tape, but many Americans still do not believe that police brutality is a systemic problem. When will  people wake up???

 

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Jesse Williams: 2016 BET Humanitarian Award Speech

“Peace peace. Thank you, Debra. Thank you, BET. Thank you Nate Parker, Harry and Debbie Allen for participating in that (video).

Before we get into it, I just want to say I brought my parents out tonight. I just want to thank them for being here, for teaching me to focus on comprehension over career, and that they make sure I learn what the schools were afraid to teach us. And also thank my amazing wife for changing my life.

Now, this award—this is not for me. This is for the real organizers all over the country—the activists, the civil rights attorneys, the struggling parents, the families, the teachers, the students that are realizing that a system built to divide and impoverish and destroy us cannot stand if we do.

It’s kind of basic mathematics—the more we learn about who we are and how we got here, the more we will mobilize.

Now, this is also in particular for the black women in particular who have spent their lifetimes dedicated to nurturing everyone before themselves. We can and will do better for you.

Now, what we’ve been doing is looking at the data and we know that police somehow manage to de-escalate, disarm and not kill white people every day. So what’s going to happen is we are going to have equal rights and justice in our own country or we will restructure their function and ours.

Now…I got more y’all—yesterday would have been young Tamir Rice’s 14th birthday so I don’t want to hear any more about how far we’ve come when paid public servants can pull a drive-by on 12-year-old playing alone in the park in broad daylight, killing him on television and then going home to make a sandwich. Tell Rekia Boyd how it’s so much better than it is to live in 2012 than it is to live in 1612 or 1712. Tell that to Eric Garner. Tell that to Sandra Bland. Tell that to Dorian Hunt.

Now the thing is, though, all of us in here getting money—that alone isn’t gonna stop this. Alright, now dedicating our lives, dedicating our lives to getting money just to give it right back for someone’s brand on our body when we spent centuries praying with brands on our bodies, and now we pray to get paid for brands on our bodies.

There has been no war that we have not fought and died on the front lines of. There has been no job we haven’t done. There is no tax they haven’t levied against us—and we’ve paid all of them. But freedom is somehow always conditional here. “You’re free,” they keep telling us. But she would have been alive if she hadn’t acted so…free.

Now, freedom is always coming in the hereafter, but you know what, though, the hereafter is a hustle. We want it now.

And let’s get a couple things straight, just a little side note—the burden of the brutalized is not to comfort the bystander. That’s not our job, alright—stop with all that. If you have a critique for the resistance, for our resistance, then you better have an established record of critique of our oppression. If you have no interest, if you have no interest in equal rights for black people then do not make suggestions to those who do. Sit down.

We’ve been floating this country on credit for centuries, yo, and we’re done watching and waiting while this invention called whiteness uses and abuses us, burying black people out of sight and out of mind while extracting our culture, our dollars, our entertainment like oil—black gold, ghettoizing and demeaning our creations then stealing them, gentrifying our genius and then trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit. The thing is though…the thing is that just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we’re not real.

Thank you.”

Jesse Williams, 2016 BET Humanitarian Award Speech

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

Dear Bethenny…

Dear Bethenny,

I would like to thank you for taking the opportunity for pushing women back, particularly black women, at least 30 years. I thought we were past the age of needing to sleep our way to the top, or at least having to give a little Lewinsky every now and then (sorry Monica). Darn it…those dry cleaning bills are going to rise again as women will need to remove the evidence of those infamous stains. In the same week that we nationally fight to close the gender wage gap, we discover that you still believe the key to success is through a man. How do you expect women to get equal pay by laying on our backs?

You were given this amazingly empowering opportunity to be the keynote speaker at Project Entrepeneur, a women’s entrepreneurial summit. How could you tell black women to hire white men to represent their businesses? Do you realize how racist and sexist that is? One of the attendees, Mary Pryor, tried to call your attention to your faux pas, but she was silenced.

Thankfully, she and other attendees did not remain silent. And I will not either. As a black woman and an entrepreneur, I stopped having other people representing me the day I stopped working in corporate America. The face of my business is me, with my caramel skin, natural hair, and thick thighs. If per chance, you cannot guesstimate that I am a not a minority by my name, then I also have my picture on my website. I have never slept my way to the top, and I’m sure enough not going to start be somebody’s Sally Hemmings to get a contract. I have my God-given talent, creativity, and intelligence for that. And what I lack, networking will fill in.

For many years, women, whether they consider themselves feminists or not, have been cracking those glass ceilings, and a select few have been fortunate enough to break them. Yet, with your one incredulous appearance last weekend, you have filled those cracks with Gorilla Glue and superglued the broken pieces back together. I have always been interested in time travel, but this is not what I was thinking. Next time, Bethenny, do us all a favor. Stay on Real Housewives where your lines are scripted, and you can feel free to lay up with whomever you please. Just stop messing with the lives of self-made women like me.

Smooches,

Aronya