Hello Fall

Although Fall may have technically started a few weeks ago; for my family today “officially” starts the Fall season.  My son had his first baseball game of the season (we won game one 5-2 and tied 7-7 on the second game!), it is the first day that I haven’t had to turn on the AC at all since April, AND, wait for it….. its raining! Really raining.  Consistent pour down, thunder and a lil bit of lightening (which in Texas (and Oklahoma) sounds like God is literally saying “sit down and be still for moment”.  🙂

These are the days I love the most.  The family is moving slower, settling into a good book, working on a puzzle or legos, or watching tv.  Together. Under blankets.  We are all “snuggle buddies” as we call it.  There is no place to go.  Nothing needs any immediate attention.  Its just chill.    

I fell in love with fall as a freshman in college.  It was the first time I had actually seen the seasons change.  Being born and raised in Los Angeles, the weather is pretty consistent most of the year.  You wouldn’t even know it was Christmas if not for the decorations.  My freshman year, I saw an orange leaf in person for the first time.   I remember my roommate laughing at me because I went to pick leaves outside our dorm.  Our college had the biggest trees, dropping the prettiest leaves.  I remember calling my mom to tell her about the leaves I had just sent her in the mail.  And I remember her calling me, saying “WHY did you mail me leaves?!” LOL!!!!  It’s pretty amazing that attending college just 5 hours away from home would offer me a true Fall.  California is awesome like that.  🙂 

Moving to the South has enhanced my love of Fall even more.  Accompanying (what will soon be) changing/falling leaves are the rain storms.  I love a good rain storm (Not when it knocks out your cable in the middle of your fav show though). I love the sound of the rain hitting your window.  The smell of freshness when the storm is over.  I’ve started to think that maybe God created Fall for cleansing, renewing, refocusing and recharging for the last leg of the year.  

With October just a few days away, I’ve started to think about what I need to cleanse from my life in this season.  There is a key area that I need to refocus my energy on- namely my health.  I have to stop procrastinating about getting in shape and eating better.  It’s frustrating to feel like you’ve been down this road before only to have made a u turn(I lost 50lbs a few years ago, had my daughter and gained it all back).  But the only person I have to blame is myself.  No one made me eat the brownies- I’m so breaking up with them.   I’m going to finish 2013 physically strong. I will be healthier.

So, as Fall kicks into full gear, what area do you have to renew, refocus or recharge? 

Be Blessed yall! 

How you treat the least of these

As Congress gets back into its groove, the republican house is back at it- proposing even deeper cuts (beyond what will already start 10/1 due to the sequester) to the food stamp (and other need based) program. They also want to require those that receive aid to take drug tests, and other new invasive requirements. Many folks, even some of yall reading this, support drug testing and other requirements as prerequisites to receiving aid. With all due respect, yall and the republican house should be ashamed.

What is the goal in requiring extra hoops and latters to jump through for a family, vet or senior who needs assistance?

People who support these types of changes to program eligibility often paint a picture of welfare recipients taking advantage of the system; with their iphones and flat screen tvs, multiple children and baby daddies, illegal citizens from Mexico (as if that’s the only country illegals come from) and if you listen to Rush or Hannity (Yes, I do- you always need to know what the enemy is thinking) you’ve heard these me say that the welfare recipients are also President Obama’s “base”.The racism wrapped up in that thinking……………

 

There are over 47 million people currently receiving food stamps/SNAP benefits (www.fns.usda.gov).

Let me say that again. There are over 47 million people currently receiving food stamps/SNAP benefits.

Most of these recipients are families with children, seniors with limited income, low income vets and military families. Some are folks who found themselves pushed out of the middle class after losing their job and possibly even their home during this recession. And yes, some are people who may very well be taking advantage- but they are not the majority.

The biggest beneficiary of the food stamp program are children. Children. Are folks thinking about the children when they consider these cuts? Are we thinking of the kids whose mom is on Meth who will go hungry when their mom fails the proposed drug test and as a result loses her benefits? Nope, you’re not thinking of them. You are sadly thinking that somehow, punishing mom will save you money- your tax dollars? It’s plain nonsensical.

So many Americans at some point have needed a helping hand via government aid.The mere fact that we have these programs is a GOOD thing. It’s what separates America from a 3rd world country. We don’t (generally) having children starving, living on the streets with no one to care for them in America.America- our beloved country that so many(especially on the Right that vastly support gutting these programs) proudly proclaim that was built on Christian principles, so quickly put God and Jesus on the bookshelf when time comes to actually do God’s work. Matthew 25:40 states ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’How can we proclaim to love and serve God and not show compassion with words AND deeds for the least among us??????

SO WHAT if some folks game the system!!! That number is miniscule in comparison to the vast majority who receive aid because they really need it.These programs aren’t bankrupting our country.

Some of yall acting super brand new too. You know who you are.You grew up in the ‘hood or the trailer park, (OR in a middle class community but one or both of your parents smoked up or dranked up all the money) and your family received aid. WIC. Food stamps. Medicaid.Section 8.Don’t front.

And if your family didn’t have these programs when they needed them, YOU could’ve went hungry. Or homeless.What would have become of you if YOUR mom didn’t “pass” the tests?

My family needed food stamps.? And I lived in a two parent household in the ‘hood.My dad never EVER had less than 2 jobs. But we were a working poor family. And when Reganomics hit, my dad lost his main job for a while. Those food stamps helped keep me, my brothers and sister’s belly full so we could concentrate on excelling in school so we could all become college graduates and eradicate generational poverty. I’m grateful that I live in a country (at least back then) that didn’t punish the son for the sins of the father.

What will you do if these proposed changes take affect? Are you gonna take in the family next door when they get down on their luck? See, you cant have it both ways. We need a healthy government to serve as a temporary safety net when needed.
And if you are a Christian, you absolutely can not accept or support a program or proposal that will hurt “the least of these”.

I acknowledge that this blog post is quite soap-boxy.

Be blessed yall- and thankful. Cause if it wasn’t for the grace of God………………….

 

Back to School!

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, school buses are back on the streets, kids are walking with backpacks in tow.  Why? Because its back to school they go!! All across America, Moms and Dads are secretly doing the “Happy dance” because summer break is over- which means that in my house, a gallon of milk will now last more than 3 days,  the noise level during the day will decrease drastically and best of all, I will get to go back to taking hour long naps with babycakes instead of just 30mins- my son wouldn’t nap longer than 30 mins.  Hey, he is eight, I’m grateful he didn’t put up much of a fight.

I am now officially a mother of a 3rd grader.  I can not believe I had my 1st baby 9 years ago.  Boy, times flies.  I remember when  he was just an infant and now he’s steadily growing into a sweet, gentle, funny, intelligent young man who has a heart for God and a love of tennis shoes. lol.  He’s changed his bedroom around to look more like a dorm room than a “little boy” room.  There are no more Disney characters, just sports, sports, sports.  He picks out his own clothes- he actually has a great sense of style, that kid.  But, he’s still just 8.  So, like most boys his age, I still gotta get on him about brushing teeth twice a day and making sure he used soap in the shower.  I swear that was not an issue for me or my sister, but my brothers, oh my.  It’s a boy thing for sure.

My babycakes will be starting a new journey this fall too.  On Tuesday, she’ll start going to Mother’s Day Out- its a two day preschool type program at a local church where every Tuesday and Thursday, from 9-2pm, she’ll listen, learn, laugh and play with Mommy.  She’s so excited.  When we went to interview the Director, she didn’t want to stop playing.  I felt God’s presence a soon as I walked in, so I know we chose the right place.  It will give her an opportunity to make new friends, and give me an opportunity to do my contract work without interruption. And have a moment to myself. I love being with just me.  I like that quiet time. 

So, this new school year is a season of change for our family and I’m too tickled to see what God has in store.  I’m praying that all our children are blessed with teachers who believe they are change agents, where they are encouraged and expected to excel. I’m praying that they are safe and nurtured while away from their parents. I’m praying that this is the best school year yet to come. 

 

Happy back to School!!!! Be Blessed yall!  

Just the two of Us

Last night was date night, and we had such a ball- I just had to share it with you! 🙂

We haven’t been out on a no kids date in a while- hubby has been working a lot this summer. So, the fact that he planned our date night was special to me from the gate.  Damon is my dude! (If you can appreciate my slang, you get what Im saying. lol).  I do not have to be doing anything special to have a good time with him.  I just have to be with HIM.   We have been married for 11.5 years now, and I have to tell you, I’m still sprung (yet another slang term- means completely engulfed by the person). 🙂

I’ve blog before(I think) about our love story; started dating Damon when I was 19 years old.  We’ve been together ever since.  He was my College Sweetheart. God absolutely made him just for ME. I’m very aware how hard it can be for people to find their true love (yes I believe in that), I have friends and family who haven’t ever found theirs- so I thank God for My Gift (Damon), daily. 

The coolest thing about Damon is his versatility.   I still marvel at how he can float from one setting/group of people/situation to another with ease.  He makes you feel at home when you’re around him, no matter who you are.  You KNOW he’s listening to you when you’re speaking with him, because his eyes are intently on yours.  His smile is relaxing, so even when brokering business deals, once he flashes those pearly whites, you no longer (even if you should) feel like he’s the opposition.  He has a way of making you feel like you can do anything- just by the conviction in his voice when he’s encouraging you. 

I’ve have the absolute privilege to share my life with Damon.  I’ve enjoyed watching him grow and evolve. Please be clear that our journey has not been the easiest, but it’s been the best ride for sure.  I admire how even when things have been tough- he didn’t break.  His strength makes me stronger.  Most of my life’s accomplishments are directly aligned with Damon’s support and encouragement.  Seriously.  When I’ve doubt (ed) myself,  he’s the one that makes me push further, work harder, encourage me more.  There is peace being in love with someone who not only loves you, but celebrates you.  Peace.

Okay, okay….im rambling on about my baby and I was supposed to be talking about date night.  Oh how I love that man!

Back on topic.

So, he took me to Dallas Chop House.
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  Absolutely divine!  We were greeted with a glass of champagne and a “lobster pop” (basically a bite of lobster on a stick with this great dipping sauce). Delish! I was already excited when we walked in, it’s a beautiful restaurant, and the live music was awesome- dude looked like he couldn’t sing a lick, and was belting out great music.

He ordered us a bottle of wine- a White Chardonnay because that my fav, but he made sure to point out that we should be drinking a red with beef, lol, smh.  I don’t care what anyone says, Reds, with the exception of dessert wines, just tastes too dry and rough to me- like a cognac. Whites, regardless of the one you chose, are smooth, and delicate.  They taste “girlie” to me. 🙂

We had crab cakes for the 1st course- Damon rarely, and I mean rarely, eats seafood. And he LOVED the crab cake! It was truly yummy.  I then had a bowl of lobster bisque- my fav soup.  I order it at every restaurant that offers it.
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Can I tell you that this was the BEST Lobster Bisque I’ve ever had?!!!! OMG…… it was heaven. Damon’s main dish was a Cowboy Steak
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with Mac n cheese
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. I had the Prime Rib
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with a craw fish something (was kinda like a relish) and potatoes. The food tasted as pretty as it looked. And I’m certain
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that our leftover steak and prime rib is going to be great with eggs for breakfast this morning :).

After dinner when walked through the park across the street. I had a great time with my favorite person in the whole world. We may not get as many “just the two of Us” moments as we’d like. But I appreciate the attention and care he gives to the times we do. Did I tell yall I’m sprung? lol!

Be blessed yall- I pray that you all are blessed with your gift as I am with mine.
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And side note- i dyed my own hair a few weeks ago and it came out blonde orangish. Ugh. I havent “fixed” it cause my hubby loves this ghetto hair color lol! The lighting is bad in the pic so it does look better than this blurry pic reveals. 🙂

Thankful Thursday

My last few blogs have been a little heavy……but today I’m just thankful.

Our lives move at such a rapid pace sometimes. We end up missing out on the blessings of the little things in our day because we’re so busy.

Today was a slow day. And I really got to enjoy being still. I’ve had the pleasure of having my niece and nephew visit this week-can I just say to Mommies of more than 2- “all hail the Queen!”- cause 4 kids is A LOT!! Lord have mercy, the food consumption alone! Lol!

My son has really enjoyed having his older cousins here. I’ve heard (mostly) laughter all week. And my babycakes has just adored her big cousin. She’s followed her all over the house, been her shadow really. Its been cute. With my daughter wanting to just hang with my niece, I’ve had lots of still moments this week. It has allowed me to be present and thankful. You know, we all have something we could complain about, wish we had more/less of, want to change/improve. But the fact is, if you woke up this morning, you are blessed. God gave us another opportunity to get it right.

And I just want to say to the world how thankful I am, that God loves me more than I deserve………..

“thank you for being leaders”

Today my family and I joined thousands of others across the country and attended the National Action Network 100 Cities Justice for Trayvon Rally/Vigil.

At our city hall, there were hundreds of people- all races and ages- standing together with one collective mission- to use this tragedy to ACT to repeal stand your ground/make my day laws, to be a voice for our sons and daughters, and start mobilizing to be change agents locally and statewide. And grieve as a community.

I’ve blogged previously about the murder of Trayvon Martin feeling so personal to so many. President Obama spoke so appropriately on the matter (how and why Black Americans are so passionate about the case) yesterday afternoon. And for so many reasons, today was necessary.

As we made it downtown, I started reflecting on how many marches and/or rallies I’ve attended in my life. I’m not sure if its a good or bad thing that its been more than a dozen. I looked into the back seat and gazed at my babies…….how even in their young lives, they’re racking up their march attendance.

Today was special. Yes, there were speakers. There was music. Black folks are thee best at “partying with a purpose” :). But when it was time to “officially” start, the 1st order of business was PRAYER. The Pastor and a very young boy (about the age of my son) both prayed for God’s covering over the folks gathered, and for a spirit of discernment. And then we were asked to lay a hand on a teen boy, or young person standing within reach of you. And we prayed for our children. We prayed that God would protect and cover our children in a country we love so dear and yet perpetually treats us like the children of their mistress. We prayed that our sons will be viewed as KIDS when they are, and not as suspects simply because God blessed them to be brown. And under that hot Texas sun, with eyes closed and sweat on my brow, I could feel the tears start to fall.
I started to cry because someone’s hand was on MY son. I pray for my children everyday, but to see that a complete stranger had their hands on my son, praying that God will protect him from the evils of this world, just touched me in a very real way that was totally unexpected.

I believe words have power. I teach my children that you can use them to build up or destroy. That whole “words will never hurt me” is a load of bull. And so, because I’m sensitive to giving power to words, I have not and will not ever align my words to compare the murder of Trayvon to my child. I just won’t. You won’t ever see him in a shirt that says “I am Trayvon Martin”. Nope. I speak LIFE over my babies, and I can, with complete authority proclaim that I believe with every fiber of my being that God hears every prayer I pray, and he heard the prayers today. And he is covering my children.

Finally, we prayed for Sabrina Fulton and Tracy Martin. Oh my God. Can any us disagree that these parents have conducted themselves in such a “class act” manner? I mean, seriously, could you keep such poise and decorum while dealing with the murder of your son, and your son’s murderer being made a free man? I tell you the truth. I COULD NOT.

And then various local and state officials spoke, Pastors, College Presidents, and the keynote was Dr. Michael Eric Dyson. In the mist of all that brain food, I saw people loving on each other, hugging, talking, kids playing, running and jumping. It was beautiful I tell you.

As the crowds started to leave and folks gathered up their things to head home, I started to think, “now what?”. Well, I’ll tell you. Keep putting words to action. Mid term elections are just around the corner, you can not affect systemic change in this country without participating in the political process.. That requires voting, mobilizing, running for office . Locally, for my family, it means expanding our community engagement. Its just not enough to work to ensure a better future for our children. This moment requires a commitment to all children.

Back in the car, as we’re debriefing on the afternoon’s events, babycakes is knocked out- the sun (and running around trees) will do that to ya. :). I asked my son what were his thoughts on the rally. He responded “I’m thankful for you and Dad being leaders”.

My heart is full.

NAN Justice for Trayvon July 20

The National Action Network has organized a Justice for Trayvon 100 Cities Vigil to pressure the Dept of Justice to open up a civil rights violations case against Trayvon’s killer.
Saturday, July 20th
12-2pm eastern
11-1pm central
9-12pm pacific

Federal court buildings nationwide

We’ve all felt an abundance of emotions of the last few days, weeks and year that this sad murder came to light.

Its unacceptable to know that something is wrong and do nothing to change it.

Please visit http://www.nationalactionnetwork.net to find where a vigil will be near you. If your city isn’t on the list, take the lead to organize one in your city.

I’m listing the locations of vigils in the cities where friends and family live. You owe to all our children to ACT!

Los Angeles, CA
Berendo Middle School
Time: 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Los Angeles, CA (2)
312 N. Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Date: 7/2013
Time: 9:00 am
Tel: (323) 546-8173

Riverside, CA
Federal Building and United States Courthouse
3470 12th Street
Riverside, CA 92501
Time: 9AM – 12PM
Contact: Carolyn Huyck
951-236-9372
carolynhuyck@facebook.com
https://www.facebook.com/events/372538802868211/

San Bernardino, CA
351 N. Arrowhead
Time: 9AM
Contact: Daughters of Nefertiti
909-910-3603
daughter_moss@yahoo.com

Seaside, CA
Broadway (ObamaWay) Post Office
9:00 am
Contact: First Baptist Church of pacific grove/ Monterey NAACP
831-373-0741
Rev.rfmont@gmail.com

Washington, D.C.
The E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse
333 Constitution Avenue N.W.
Washington D.C. 20001

Atlanta, GA
Richard B. Russell Federal Building
75 Spring St. SW
Atlanta, GA 30303
12noon EST

Atlanta, GA (2)
3201 Summer Wood Circle
Atlanta, GA
678-362-3728
stephens.savannah@gmail.com

Minneapolis, MN
United States Federal Courthouse
300 South 4th Street
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55415
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon

Fayetteville, NC
117 Dick St.
Time: 3PM
Contact: Kelechi Group
803-743-2839
Kelechigroup@gmail.com

Fayetteville, NC (2)
Hay Street Downtown
6:00PM – 8:30PM
910-339-5918
alainaclark3.ac@gmail.com

Goldsboro, NC
508 E. Walnut street Apt. 109b
Contact: Carol Durante
540-455-4394
dbaby2659@gmail.com

Greensboro, NC
US Federal Court Building
L. Richardson Preyer Building
324 East Market Street
Greensboro NC
Contact: Monica Archie
Mdarchie.ma@gmail.com
(336)491-5181

Newark, NJ
Federal Building
On the corner of Broad & Walnut St.
Time: 12PM
Contact: Steffie Bartley
(908) 296-6786

Las Vegas, NV
333 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89101
Time: 8AM
Contact: Unity in the Community
702-609-4420
chaneljackson83@ymail.com

Buffalo, NY
Downtown Niagara Square
Buffalo, NY 14202
Time: 6PM
716-299-8299
bflonan@gmail.com

Hollis, NY
191019 Jamaica Ave.
Contact: True Worship Church of Christ
347 279-7430
truewc@aol.com

New York, NY
1 Police Plaza
New York, NY

New York, NY (2)
45 Central Park North HDFC
New York, NY
Time: 9PM
917-721-1186
deborah.sanders@rocketmail.com

Charlotte, NC
401 W. Trade Street
Contact: Charlotte for Peace & Justice
704-458-1374

Columbia ,SC
South Carolina State Court House on Gervais St
Time: 10:00 AM
803-206-4687

Dallas, TX
1100 Commerce Street
Dallas, TX
877-998-4623
cwcentgroup@gmail.com

Houston, TX
Mickey Leland Federal Building
1919 Smith Street
Houston, TX
713-822-6372

Can our children count on YOU?

what he said

I am sharing this article, written by award winning Author/Journalist Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post. It best expresses what so many Black Americans feel….

Denied the right to be young

Eugene Robinson
Monday, Jul 15, 2013

Justice failed Trayvon Martin the night he was killed. We should be appalled and outraged, but perhaps not surprised, that it failed him again Saturday night, with a verdict setting his killer free.

Our society considers young black men to be dangerous, interchangeable, expendable, guilty until proven innocent. This is the conversation about race that we desperately need to have — but probably, as in the past, will try our best to avoid.

George Zimmerman’s acquittal was set in motion on Feb. 26, 2012, before Martin’s body was cold. When Sanford, Fla., police arrived on the scene, they encountered a grown man who acknowledged killing an unarmed 17-year-old boy. They did not arrest the man or test him for drug or alcohol use. They conducted a less-than-energetic search for forensic evidence. They hardly bothered to look for witnesses.

Only a national outcry forced authorities to investigate the killing seriously. Even after six weeks, evidence was found to justify arresting Zimmerman, charging him with second-degree murder and putting him on trial. But the chance of dispassionately and definitively establishing what happened that night was probably lost. The only complete narrative of what transpired was Zimmerman’s.

Jurors knew that Zimmerman was an overeager would-be cop, a self-appointed guardian of the neighborhood who carried a loaded gun. They were told that he profiled Martin — young, black, hooded sweatshirt — as a criminal. They heard that he stalked Martin despite the advice of a 911 operator; that the stalking led to a confrontation; and that, in the confrontation, Zimmerman fatally shot Martin in the chest.

The jurors also knew that Martin was carrying only a bag of candy and a soft drink. They knew that Martin was walking from a 7-Eleven to the home of his father’s girlfriend when he noticed a strange man in an SUV following him.

To me, and to many who watched the trial, the fact that Zimmerman recklessly initiated the tragic encounter was enough to establish, at a minimum, guilt of manslaughter. The six women on the jury disagreed.

Those jurors also knew that Martin, at the time of his death, was just three weeks past his 17th birthday. But black boys in this country are not allowed to be children. They are assumed to be men, and to be full of menace.

I don’t know if the jury, which included no African Americans, consciously or unconsciously bought into this racist way of thinking — there’s really no other word. But it hardly matters, because police and prosecutors initially did.

The assumption underlying their ho-hum approach to the case was that Zimmerman had the right to self-defense but Martin — young, male, black — did not. The assumption was that Zimmerman would fear for his life in a hand-to-hand struggle but Martin — young, male, black — would not.

If anyone wonders why African Americans feel so passionately about this case, it’s because we know that our 17-year-old sons are boys, not men. It’s because we know their adolescent bravura is just that — an imitation of manhood, not the real thing.

We know how frightened our sons would be, walking home alone on a rainy night and realizing they were being followed. We know how torn they would be between a child’s fear and a child’s immature idea of manly behavior. We know how they would struggle to decide the right course of action, flight or fight.

And we know that a skinny boy armed only with candy, no matter how big and bad he tries to seem, does not pose a mortal threat to a healthy adult man who outweighs him by 50 pounds and has had martial arts training (even if the lessons were mostly a waste of money). We know that the boy may well have threatened the man’s pride but likely not his life. How many murders-by-sidewalk have you heard of recently? Or ever?

The conversation we need to have is about how black men, even black boys, are denied the right to be young, to be vulnerable, to make mistakes. We need to talk about why, for example, black men are no more likely than white men to smoke marijuana but nearly four times as likely to be arrested for it — and condemned to a dead-end cycle of incarceration and unemployment. I call this racism. What do you call it?

Trayvon Martin was fighting more than George Zimmerman that night. He was up against prejudices as old as American history, and he never had a chance.

eugenerobinson@washpost.com

Watching and Waiting

Most of us, in some capacity, have been tuning into the State v. Zimmerman trial over the last few weeks. Whether an avid watcher of the trial or getting recaps via the news, all of us are watching and waiting now for the Jury to make its decision. And all of us-spoken openly or kept internally- have an opinion about this case. Its been fascinating to read posts on facebook almost daily on the trial. I haven’t really posted on the case, but I wanted to share on my blog what I posted on facebook yesterday:

“as I sat (well drove) listening to the closing arguments……I heard the defense, with my own two ears, tell the jury that it was reasonable for Zimmerman to kill Travyon Martin because he was Black. Because there were a rash of break ins committed by young Black men. So of course Zimmerman felt threatened, Travyon was Black! I heard him basically tell the jury that it would be reasonable and OKAY for them to have felt threatened by Trayvon Martin too. Hmmm…………So this jury will not only be determining if a Killer will go to jail, it will LEGALLY, if it goes in Zimmerman’s favor, set precedence that Racial Profiling is reasonable and acceptable if the person in question is Brown of any hue. Think about that for a moment. Not what we all deem to be true on the matter based on life experiences- our own or others- but that in a court of law a person could in fact ” reasonably” shoot my husband, my father, my brothers or my son because they are Black. In about 30 or so states in this country there are similar “stand your ground” or “make my day” laws. How can this verdict NOT be personal to each of us?

It saddens and angers me that every few years there is an act of violence directly tied to race that gets national attention and gets everyone all worked up as if these are isolated incidents. They aren’t. We live in a country that still needs vast improvement when it comes to race and equity. That’s just the truth. A person’s unwillingness to see that this case has everything to do with race and the systemic bias in our legal system against people of color are living a fairytale. Remove Zimmerman completely. I’m not talking about him specifically. I’m speaking of a system that allowed a man to go home after killing someone-who happened to be Brown. The city of Sanford has a long history of racial discrimination as it relates to police and its citizens of color. And there are a whole lot of “Sanfords”. But instead of being grown ups and having sincere discussions/debates on this real problem and how to fix it, we all-yes all of us- retreat to our respective camps. If you’re a “fox”- Zimmerman is innocent. If you’re a “msnbc”- Zimmerman is guilty. And if you’re a “cnn”- you’re walking around looking like dummy pretending that you don’t have an opinion one way or the other.

The Country is basically divided into these 3 camps right?

And all the while, guess what? A Black kid is dead. He doesn’t get to follow in is Mother’s AND big Brother’s footsteps and go off to college. He doesn’t get to follow his Dad’s footsteps and become a husband and father himself. He is dead. He was killed.

I know so many of us are praying to God for Justice. Asking God for fairness. Seeking God for understanding.

Isn’t it funny though, that depending on whether you’re a FOX, MSNBC or CNN that prayer takes on an entirely different perspective?

I will tell you the truth. I do not believe Zimmerman acted in self defense at all. I hope George Zimmerman is found guilty. I’m concerned he will be acquitted because I feel the prosecution sucked.

I support the death penalty. I feel that if you kill someone our justice system should convict and kill you. Save my tax dollars. Period.

But this decision is not mine. Its up to 6 female Jurors.

I also know that many believe (and are correct in that belief) that God will have the final say,whether here or in the After. But my humanness wants punishment in THIS life.

So glad that I serve a God that loves me despite my humanness. Thank you Jesus.

God bless the Martin family.