August 18, 2015
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Tomorrow is the first day of my 21st anniversary. See unlike most folks with one anniversary date, we celebrate on the 19th and the 20th. This is because of a memory mistake on our first wedding anniversary. In 1995 we had moved to Alabama. We were away from everyone that attended our wedding. We were trying to build a life in a new place while taking care of a toddler and a baby. Stress was our daily bread. We used evening walks as family building and to explore my husband’s childhood memories. On 8-19-1995 we were out walking at about 7 in the evening when it hit me that it might be our anniversary. I asked my husband if i was tripping or had we forgotten our anniversary. He agreed that we just might have. So we stopped walking. We hugged and kissed declaring our love for each other while our daughter made faces and our son drooled. We promised each other eternity. We vowed to never forget our anniversary again. And we didn’t. For the next six years when the 19th rolled around we made sure to declare our love and devotion outloud.
Then I had someone ask me for my certified marriage certificate to verify that my last name could legally be hyphenated. Since we were back in Arizona, I ran downtown to get a copy. As I was reading over the information, I got stuck on the date. There in black and white, the date was listed as August 20, 1994. All I could think was “say what now!?!” I mean we had been clebrating on the 19th for 7 years. So I thought the certificate had to be wrong. I went home and used my phone calendar to go back to August 1994. Lo and behold, the certificate was right and we were wrong. I said eff it, we’ve always celebrated on the 19th and we will just keep on celebrating on the 19th. My husband told me “well you can celebrate on the 19th but this paper says my anniversary is on the 20th.” I told him that wouldnt feel right to me. He told me that celebrating on the wrong day didn’t feel right to him. No one was winning the war of petty reasoning until he said ” well you celebrate on the 19th and I’ll celebrate on the right day.” When our next anniversary rolled around, I was prepared to celebrate on the 20th. But on the afternoon of the 19th my husband came home with flowers, candy and a card. I asked him why he was giving me stuff a day early. He told me that this was the stuff for my anniversary and that i would get my gift for HIS anniversary the next day. So i ran in the room and gave him the card and shirt that i had bought him. I told him he would get the rest of his stuff on his anniversary. The next day we gave each other some awesome material items but i had already recieved the best gift of all, my husband. He is humor, understanding, love, support, strength and pettiness all rolled into a chocolate teddy bear. I love that dude even when he is getting on my only working nerve. He is my dream fulfilled. So the next couple of days may get mushy, corny or even exasperating but it won’t be boring cause life with Paul Jackson Sr. never is.
December 5, 2014
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#MikeBrown, #Ferguson, & #EricGarner has shown that even your own family won’t get it, if they aren’t Black too.
I’ve seen #MikeBrown and the protestors depicted as criminals. I say even if he robbed a store (and that is still in doubt as the cashier of the convenience store initially denied that) that was not a death penalty crime. But we will never know because Darren Wilson stopped his life before we could find out.
While some protestors may have committed criminal acts most have not, yet they are all considered criminals. Even Dr. King knew that riots were the reaction of the powerless and voiceless.
The decision not to indict Darren Wilson is suspect based on the asst. DA’s “mistake” in giving the grand jurors a copy of a statute describing the justifiable use of force that had been ruled unconstitutional in 1985 by the U.S. Supreme Court. And to compound that, she never completely clarified that before they began deliberations.
Everybody wants to focus on the criminality of the residents but no one wants to focus on the conditions that led to the situation.
Then we have #EricGarner. His death was ruled a homicide by the coroner. His death was videotaped. The officer was using a chokehold; a technique that was outlawed by NYPD. But once again, no indictment.
Folks are sick and tired of being sick and tired. We are tired that our lives mean absolutely nothing. We are tired of being told that we are playing the race card; hell I don’t even play spades. We are tired of our friends saying “yes, that was a terrible thing that happened but it happens to women, disabled, gays, etc. too”. I am tired of spending my day praying that my sons and daughter make it home whole. So if you don’t get it now, you never will. Just hope that folks are more understanding if it happens to you.
December 5, 2014
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The Two Races in America
Growing up I was told that I would need to work twice as hard to get half as far. I needed to learn to live in two societies: the mainstream and my home community. I had to learn two ways of speaking, thinking and acting so that I could achieve my goals. I was subtly shown that my home community was considered less than by those in the mainstream. Folks were astonished with my elocution, intelligence and interests because they were unaware that my “kind” was just like their “kind”.
In the 90’s, my “kind” was told that the playing field was level so we no longer needed the hard fought protections of certain laws. We began to be accused of reverse racism. We lost so much of the ground that our ancestors fought for.
In the new millennium, we were told we should be colorblind; that we lived in a post racial society. We were told that we were playing a hand of cards from an era that no longer existed. I knew better though because I had been in this race a long time. I knew that as long as me and mine were considered hyphenated Americans instead of just Americans that all the rest was smoke and mirrors. For too long others have determined that the narratives of their fellow citizens were only the fairy tales of race baiters. For far too long others have tried to prove to us that skin color had no effect on perceptions. Now as 2014 turns into 2015, the blinders are being forced off by the actions of the military organizations masquerading as civil servants that protect and serve. I, for one, am glad.
I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. I’m tired of trying to adjust the rules for my sons so that they can make it home alive. I’m tired of denying my daughters full confidence in their feminity so that they aren’t viewed as typical wanton belly warmers. I am tired of over thinking what I put on to run to the grocery. I’m tired of my husband being passed over for promotions even though he has more credentials than those directly above him on the corporate ladder. I’m tired of being turned into the suspect when I report crime to the police. I’m tired… I’m also mad as hell that some of the people I love more than oxygen just can’t seem to understand. I’m mad that I have to question the motives of my Mexican and White relatives because they don’t get it either. I’m mad that my children will eventually have to navigate this course.
Hopefully by the time I meet my grandkids, their race will be easier.