Dear Gabby, You are enough.

tumblr_obmvu3Lrl11raox22o1_540Let’s call it what it is: The abuse and harrassment that Gabby Douglas has been forced to experience is misoygnoir, full stop. Time and time again, we refuse to grant Black girls/women/femmes the humanity and freedom that they deserve. They are not ‘allowed’ to feel, to be, to think, and they are definitely not allowed to express. We live in a world where Black women are harassed, bullied, and tortured because they are human, and others would beg to differ. Gabby Douglas, who has been stoic and seemingly emotionless during the current 2016 Olympic games, is not actually allowed to be what many are labeling her: bitter, pissed off and disappointed. Her teammate, Simone Biles, on the other hand has been dubbed super human and the personification of #BlackGirlMagic.

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Now, imagine being vilified simply for existing… for feeling… for being. Imagine being told that you are not enough & that everything you are doing is wrong, by the people you hope only would affirm you. Imagine being Gabby Douglas at the 2016 Olympic games in Rio. Continue reading “Dear Gabby, You are enough.”

Letters To My Sisters: Raven Symoné… you’re still my sister (#BringBackRavenBaxter)

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*That awkward moment when you think “Raven Symoné” is some sort of a beautiful, Anglo-Saxon name that rolls smoothly off the tongues of Caucasian parents and Catholic priests while they consider what to name their children…* 

There is a collective sigh of hurt, disappointment and ultimately, confusion radiating throughout the black girl/woman community each and every time Raven Symoné speaks. I momentarily considered suing Ms. Symoné for emotional distress, but I decided to think it over and if anything, she’s the one in emotional distress. I mean, think about it: there is NO WAY a woman with common sense & analytical skills would say any of the mess Raven has been confidently spewing out recently. Now, while Raven says she won’t hire people with “ghetto names”, if you have a pink mohawk, she might give you a letter of recommendation for another job.

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Continue reading “Letters To My Sisters: Raven Symoné… you’re still my sister (#BringBackRavenBaxter)”

Letters To My Sisters: Taylor Wright

Dear Taylor,

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You are a queen. A black queen, riveting and unmatched. Thank you for sharing your story. Do NOT be discouraged. You have a story to tell. You experienced blatant racism and hatred from one of your former friends. My hope and prayer for you and your life is that you always move forward. Never look at your blackness as a problem or a setback. There is NOTHING that you can not do. Work harder, work smarter, and work faster. People like Makayla are in place as road blocks but you must continue on, sis. You are destined for greatness. I am so glad that you are moving forward. What makes me happy as well is that you can laugh about it while the rest of us are mad as hell. Realize the power that you hold, Taylor. Treasure yourself: your mind, your skin, your queendom and your womanhood. There is no one like you.

Love,

Your sis,

Mo

This is what our girls are facing: Blatant racism, hatred, disgust and pure ignorance. The current state that our world is in right now has me shaking my head non-stop. It’s frightening that some people have such a passion for/spirit of hate.
This may seem trivial to many of you. However, it is not. Do not count this off as stereotypical “Girl on Girl Drama”. I thought about several things when I was tagged in posts regarding this incident. 1) The thoughts and feelings that Makayla has were not spur of the moment ideas. This is an indoctrinated behavior and thought process. 2) Has Taylor been told/reminded that her “black is beautiful”? 3) Are these girls aware of the racial climate in America? 4) Where the hell do we go from here?

How are going to protect our girls? Can we protect our girls?

Here’s the story: 17 year old Tay Wright was attacked with multiple racial slurs by former classmate & former best friend, Makayla Carson. The incident began when Taylor’s boyfriend at the time was caught receiving nudes from Carson. Taylor told Makayla that she simply did NOT want to be friends anymore. This revelation led to Carson becoming irate and a fight ensued several months ago. Taylor, fed up with numerous rumors and instigated drama, decided to confront Makayla Carson. In the video posted to Taylor Wright’s Instagram, Makayla is heard confirming allegations that she said Taylor “deserved to be raped and ran over because she was black”. It didn’t end there. Makayla later attempted to apologize to Taylor via the texting app “Kik”. In the messages, Carson is seen justifying her antics by saying that while black people are “trashy” and “have never commuted to anything good”, Taylor is in fact different. She claims to have not been speaking about Taylor specifically, but about the black community as a whole.

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According to Taylor, the two girls hadn’t spoken in months but Makayla made a sudden reemergence in hopes of rekindling their friendship.

Once Taylor posted the video/Kik screenshots to Instagram, Makayla sent this:

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After reaching out to Taylor and speaking with her, it is clear that this attack was unwarranted and unnecessary and in many ways, seemingly out of character for her former best friend. Taylor says that she and Makayla were the BEST of friends and had even spent several weeks together prior to the start of this incident. When Taylor found out about Makayla’s interactions with her boyfriend (note: he’s black), she made the decision to remove herself from the friendship. Makayla began to spread particularly hurtful rumors about Taylor’s family (while Taylor was going through issues at home) while simultaneously wishing that worst for Taylor (rape, death, etc.). However, Taylor is taking this as a lesson learned and refuses to let it get her down. She is anticipating her senior year and is “grateful for the amazing group of friends” she has in her life.

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We must protect our girls at ALL COSTS.

We love you Taylor!

Letters To My Sisters: Rest In Peace, Sandra Bland

Dear Sandra,

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Queen, I apologize. You, in all of your glory were victimized by the system you knew “too much” about. Your thirst for life, your prosperous endeavors and happiness will never be forgotten by those close you. In life, you lived each day to the fullest. In death, you are yet another name that is spreading the fire of a social revolution. You represent so many black women who are living their lives without knowing what may happen within the next five minutes. You represent the young entrepreneur with the passion for success. You’re the young person road-tripping during the middle of a blazing summer. You are our sister. You are us. I guarantee that your death will not be in vain. Thank you for your awareness and your courage to speak out on issues that have/are taking place within the black community. I will fight for you. I will speak on this. You will NOT just be another hashtag or face on a t-shirt. You lived your life through happiness and willpower and I promise to make sure you receive justice. Sandy, I am in tears. I see so much of myself in you. Please rest and let your fellow queens & kings work and reform on your behalf. You are loved.

Love Always,

Your sis, Mo

“Sandra Bland decided to commit suicide over a parking ticket.” That’s coming from the same people who brought you “Freddie Gray severed his own spine just to mess with the cops” and “Mike Brown was the Incredible Hulk and could run through bullets.” Steven King couldn’t even write fantasy, romance, sci-fi that well.

28 year old Sandra Bland was pulled over on Friday for a traffic stop and at that same time, she was arrested for “assaulting a police officer”. On Monday she was found in her cell not breathing from what appeared to be self-inflicted asphyxiation (suffocating). Police say they tried CPR but it failed to work. Her family says she had just gotten a new job and had no reason to kill herself, Sandra didn’t even believe in suicide. There is currently an “investigation” going on. The police didn’t want to release her name but her family did in hopes of raising awareness for this case. Sandra Bland didn’t signal a lane change, and apparently that’s enough to kill a black person in this country. A traffic violation. Black lives aren’t worth a damn thing in the eyes of law enforcement. The violation meant more to the cop than her life did. His quotas are more valuable than a black human life. In a video of her arrest, while being forcibly held face down, Ms. Bland can clearly be heard saying to the officer, “You just slammed my head into the ground. Do you not even care about that?” As she’s being picked up off the ground and placed into the police vehicle, Ms. Bland can be heard again, this time thanking the person recording the video, saying, “Thank you for recording.” Bland was arrested and booked on “assault of a public servant” charges. A police statement says that the following Monday morning Ms. Bland was released on a $5,000 bond, and was subsequently “found dead” by a female jailer who was “worried” about her recreation time. An autopsy performed Tuesday showed Bland’s death “has been classified as a suicide, with the cause of death listed as hanging” (according to Tricia Bentley, a spokeswoman for the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences in Houston). Hanged. Suicide. A young 28 year old woman who was moving to Texas to begin working her dream job suddenly decided to commit suicide, supposedly because of a minor traffic infraction. This don’t even sound right. We need answers.

Here is a Facebook post by her close friend, Michael West:

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“While we can’t rule out the possibility that Bland actually did commit suicide, those close to her have stated that there was no indication that she was feeling anything but good at this point in her life. Mental illness and depression are complicated beasts, but so is the American system of policing. When it comes to the death of a Black person in police custody or during an encounter with officers, what reason do we have to believe ‘official’ accounts of what happened, when videos and witnesses have made liars of officers over, and over, and over again? When people of other races are routinely stopped, questioned, arrested (or NOT stopped, NOT questioned, NOT arrested) and somehow manage to live to see another day?

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We need to know what happened to Sandra Bland but tell me, what clarity can we expect to get from the same people who arrested and jailed her? Police departments investigate themselves and return to us with an emphatic response of “nothing to see here, folks, the system is working!” Sandra Bland deserves the outcry that is typically reserved for Black men who die in police custody, and the media attention that is given to white female counterparts.Say her name! (Take notice of how media outlets report on this tragedy (if they do) Sandra was a proud graduate of Prairie View A&M Univerisity in Prairie View, Texas. Media outlets are simply referring to her as a “high school graduate”. If they can’t criminalize her with images, they will undermine her accomplishments and intelligence.) I’ve been sitting here, in tears, thinking about the state murder of fellow queen, Sandra Bland- situating the mostly shredded but still deeply internalized respectability politics from my black upbringing with the everyday paranoia of black womanhood, i.e. visibility and susceptibility to racialized violence and harassment and misogynoir.I am thinking about my taught belief in police fairness, that you need only worry about them if you’ve done something wrong. I am remembering being taught that blackness was inherently deviant and “wrong.” I am remembering the role of the police within a carceral state built on the subordination of blackness. I am reconciling intellectual and emotional understandings of state violence with the hope to which i’m clinging, that no violence like this (or of any kind) would ever ever befall me. I am remembering this is a product of internalized respectability, my “exceptionalism.” I am continuing to hold my breath and panic internally and swallow my fury + disdain and maintain my composure whenever a police officer walks or drives past me. I am honestly so saddened and angry at the death of Sandra Bland. This could’ve been my mom, my aunt and my cousins… this could’ve been me. If you needed a reminder that black women are also a target in America, this is it. Please don’t let this die out. Please don’t forget her name. Please Black Men, be as vocal and loud as possible just as we are for you. Please. Please. Please. I’m actually saying this with tears in my eyes. I can’t. I despise this country. America: where Dylann Roof can massacre 9 unarmed black people in a church, be aprehended alive and uninjured without any shots being fired, gets a bullet proof vest for his protection, gets taken to a Burger King on his way to jail because he’s hungry, and weeks later he is still alive, safe and sound in prison awaiting trial America: where Sandra Bland and Walter Scott can’t even survive encounters with the law over minor traffic infractions without being murdered by the police America: where you’re safer with the police if you’re an armed white mass murderer than if you’re an unarmed black motorist stopped for a small traffic violation

They don’t give a damn…
They shot Tamir Rice…a child. They killed Mike Brown a teenager. They let Trayvon Martin’s killer walk free. They killed Freddie Gray. The sad part is there are too many names to list. So many more people….now Sandra Bland. A white dude walks in and kills 8 people. He wasn’t dragged through the media. Another white dude walks into an elementary school, they didn’t drag him. Then, ANOTHER white dude walks into a movie theatre. They didn’t drag him. It’s easy to point out the violence in cities like Chicago, Detroit, and the east coast but also point out the almost 50 years of conditioning that allowed it to happen. Let’s be real, no one commits suicide over a parking ticket and a short stay in jail. Judging by the video of her arrest, I’m guessing Sandra Bland made it clear she was intending to sue over police brutality, a cop lost their temper…and things pretty much spiraled out of control from there.I would say almost for sure she made it clear she was suing over her head getting slammed on the pavement and they got pissed at her. No hints whatsoever of depression/mental illness but she is VERY aware of police brutality.

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#JusticeForSandy

Oh! What a shame it is that blacks have to say this

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But it’s the truth. Please remember this.

“It means the moment you keep it real They gon’ take yo ass up off the scene.” – K’la