THE TRUTH IS MESSIE…

My e-journal, all the nitty-gritty, overly-emotional, sappy stuff…

To Protect & Serve… June 18, 2017

America. The land of the free. Or so they say…

Trust the system, they say. Trust that justice will prevail. But it didn’t yesterday. Hell, that seems to be the case with most things these days. Philando Castile was an American citizen. He was 32 years old and worked a menial job as a nutrition services supervisor for one of Saint Paul’s public schools—a job, I might add, that he’d held down since shortly after he graduated high school. He wasn’t some gangbanger or deadbeat (though it wouldn’t matter if he had been). He was an innocent, up-standing citizen, from all accounts, and aside from numerous traffic infractions, his record was clean. Like so many persons of color and/or minority, he was singled out because of his ethnicity and color of his skin. You can’t tell me any different. Circumstantial and/or lack of evidence aside, he was murdered. A man in blue and with a badge killed him in cold blood…and thanks to Facebook Live, it’s out there forever—imprinted in the minds for those that had or have seen it. It’s sickening.

Like Michael Brown, Alton Sterling, and the dozens of other victims at the hands of the police, he did nothing wrong. He informed the officer of his permit to carry a concealed weapon from the start, just as he was required to do. He did everything he was supposed to do…and yet, he was still murdered. Live. In front of and watched by hundreds of thousands of viewers.

His killer was just acquitted and is walking around free, among us all. Mr. Castile wasn’t given that luxury…because he’s dead. And for what? Because his skin happened to be dark and not white? Because he supposedly fit the description of a burglary suspect with a “wide nose”? Because some officer jumped the gun and pulled the trigger without affording him the benefit of the doubt that is often automatically afforded to individuals that are white?

The system dropped the ball on this. The fact that he shot Mr. Castile on a live-stream—how much more proof do you need?!—makes it that much more fucked up that they acquitted him. Innocent on all counts…but that’s not exactly true, as we all know far too well. He isn’t innocent. He discharged his entire service weapon into the vehicle, seven bullets to be exact, at Mr. Castile from outside the vehicle—while Mr. Castile was still wearing his seat belt and gave no impression or intent of violence. No threats were spewed. No sudden moves were made. But the officer claimed (and still claims) he was in fear for his life? Yeah, no–that’s total bullshit. Even if that were the case, did he honestly need to shoot the guy seven times? Wouldn’t one bullet have sufficed? What’s even more fucked up is that the officer fired into that vehicle seven times with a passenger and a 4-year-old child in the backseat. Who the hell does that? Murder/manslaughter aside, he should still have been charged with and convicted for using excessive force, and endangering the welfare of a child, at the very least. Hell, a man is dead, but his murderer gets off scot-free. What kind of twisted shit is that? It’s not justice, that’s for damn sure. Had it been an ordinary civilian that shot him, he/she would have been charged and likely convicted for manslaughter ASAP. It wouldn’t even be a question or thought. But because that officer has a badge and chose to shoot first, ask questions later…a man is dead. And now, despite those very reasons, he gets to walk away without reprisal or consequence. How is that fair? To answer in simple terms, it’s NOT.

Something—the system, the courts—needs to change. Someone needs to do something. This hostility can’t last indefinitely…this war between the police and civilians must end. We need better laws that protect the victims, and not the perpetrators. This shit with these gun-happy, (often) racially-motivated cops getting away with their crimes has got to stop. And if they don’t do something soon, I predict that all hell is going to break loose. People are rioting and marching in the streets because they’re sick of it all. They don’t trust the police, but then, why would they—especially what with everything that’s happened recently. There’s so much anger brewing between both sides and eventually it must combust. And no one wants to be there for that. I sure as hell don’t.

What pisses me off about all this news and these cases is that it’s only adding the proverbial gasoline to the proverbial fire, making things worse. The marches, the riots…people are demanding action-demanding change. The Black Lives Matter movement is stretched thin and people are on the edge. The movement has strayed so far from its original intent that it’s barely even recognizable. Granted, I think some of it is exaggerated. If there’s a black person(s) involved—in any way—innocent or guilty—it breeds hostility and becomes a case for racism. And that’s not fair. Yes, sometimes it is racially-motivated. But what many fail to realize it’s that that’s not always the case. Sometimes it has nothing at all to do with race, but people make it out to be. I hate that…how quick people are to assume. Most people are good. Most don’t have a racist bone in their body. And still, people like to jump to conclusions based on history from decades before—experiences and injustices that they, themselves, have never even encountered, most of the time. You can’t play the victim card when you’re not really a victim. It’s hard to see through the bitter fog of misery some times, that much I do know.

I’m not even going to get started on the Bill Cosby disaster, but I will say that it’s a bun. The man admitted under oath that he’d drugged and assaulted several women, and now whole onslaught of victims are coming forward claiming the same, and yet…the guy gets to walk. I don’t care if he is a TV icon for persons of color…he’s a rapist. They should lock him up and throw away the key. Let’s wait and see if the prosecutors have the nerve to try him again. Hopefully they will so.

We live in a sad, sad world. Such a shame. All that I can say (ask) is #WhereIsTheLove. Seriously. Where. Is. The. LOVE.

Xo,

Messie

 

#NOTMyPresident January 29, 2017

( Fair Warning – I apologize in advance for the language but well…with the mood I’m min, it can’t be helped… Sorry… )


All I can say is that it must be pretty damn icy down there in hell right. I never thought the day would come that I’d literally be ashamed to call myself an American and to live in this great country. And a certain orange Nazi can keep talking out of his ass until it turns blue about how apparently NOT great this country is, but at the end of the day, his talk is just as cheap as his morality. And completely baseless, for that matter. He’s wrong. WRONG. America is already great. Granted, it’s not perfect and there’s a ton of fucked up shit that’s happened and will–undoubtedly—continue to happen every day until the end of time…but it doesn’t diminish this country’s greatness. Not entirely, anyhow.


At least, that’s what I thought…until today. Now, my thoughts and beliefs and emotions in that statement are a hot fucking mess. I’m ashamed. I’m embarrassed. I’m in disbelief. I’m angry. I’m scared. I’m sad. My emotions are all kinds of fucked up. But on the bright side, I know for certain that I’m not the only one. It’s comforting…and yet really simultaneously terrifying.


Honestly, I don’t know how we got here…how it’s come this far. Not to sound bitter or anything (although I am) but I still can’t believe that Hillary lost back in November. I really can’t. I really thought she had this election and forthright presidency in the bag. I can’t believe that America actually put Donald Trump in the oval—to run a country and subsequently hold the fates of millions of people in his hands. This man is a joke and a disgrace to not just the office of the President, but to America itself, as a whole. Trump didn’t win this election on merit or luck or capability … he won it on FEAR and HATE. And that is an irrefutable fact. Not an “alternative fact” but an actual, documented FACT. Oh no—just used that scary word. God forbid. Oh and while we’re on the subject—a big fuck you Kelly Ann Conway. Seriously. Thanks BITCH – for being a part of the problem and NOT the solution. Really, thanks.


I was shocked then, that night back in November…and I’m still shocked, to tell you the truth. America really dropped the ball on this one this time. I’ve been seeing and reading these posts by people, telling anti-Trump supporters to “get over it already”, “to accept it”, and that “he’s still YOUR/MY President whether you like/want it or not”. Oh, and also the ones that takes it step further by mocking or disparaging those who before, had no real political interest, but now – according to and conveniently, they say — do. That really hits home for me. And as such, makes me peeved as hell. It’s true, I’ve never been very fond of politics and I’ve stayed away from involving myself, let alone actually advocating for it. But this time is different. You can ask any one, this wasn’t your typical election. From the very beginning, it’s been an absolute shit show. Trump and Cruz walking around with their chests puffed out and actually thinking they’re the solution the country desperately needs…Bernie with his civil rights’ protesting and straight-shooter plans and ideas…Hillary and those emails. Those fucking emails. Did she fuck up and make a mistake? Yes. Did that mistake contribute to the tragic deaths of good men and true Patriots? Sadly, yes. Did she lie? Yes. She did those things. But she also confessed and took ownership of those mistakes. Could her sincerity have been forged and/or did it take force in the form of a subpoena for her to admit those mistakes? Yes, to both. Should those mistakes destroy her career, her dreams, or her ambitions? I don’t think so. People seem to forget that she was cleared of any criminal wrong-doing. What she did might have been unethical and just a tad bit politically/morally-corrupt, but it wasn’t illegal. And it doesn’t and shouldn’t define her or who she is. That shouldn’t be her legacy. For Chrissakes, she lied, people! She just lied. People do that from time to time…not that that is an excuse…but it’s what people do. We’re flawed. We make mistakes. But come on people, she’s also a politician…and we all know what that means. Politicians lie. It’s ingrained in them, I think. So to hold something of such little importance or effect on the country on as a whole as that over her head…it’s messed up. Not to mention, completely unfair. But we have douchebag Trump and his merry band of identical douchebags who did just that. To hell with what it could/would have meant to and done for Women’s Rights and the Women’s Movement, just in general. She could have shattered the highest glass ceiling…and by doing so, could have set an example for all little girls and women, proving that all things and dreams are possible if you want it bad enough and work hard enough for it. She could have made history, changed it, and done incredible things for this country. I believed in her. Hell, I still believe in her.


Thanks to Trump and his little cronies, those are realities that sadly, will never be. A few emails are all it took to persuade the country to jump ship and take Trump’s side. To ignore the serious faults of a man who has proven repeatedly to be nothing more than an egotistical, impulsive, childish, ignorant, petty, hate-filled, pathetic resemblance of a man, hell even just a goddamn human being. A few emails have placated the clueless, resentful, and ultimately vindictive beings of this society. The result of this election only goes to show how naïve and illogical and just plain fucking blind people are. I find it absolutely incredible that anyone could possibly feel justified in thinking that a few emails and lies are more damaging and less conducive or more destructive to the survival of this republic and country than a man who openly defies the very constitution that he was sworn to uphold, thinks who he is and has taken it upon himself to declare authoritative, arbitrary, and sole power over the rights actions, beliefs, religions, and creeds of others—in direct opposition of everything this country stands for and believes in. He’s ignored and destroyed us to our human core and foundation. He’s a power-hungry tyrant in a fragile republic and political system, out for his own well-being and no one else’s—and certainly not the American people he promised to represent and protect.


Those that want to post and judge a person’s political agenda or “prowess” can quite literally kiss my ass. They don’t get that this election was unlike any other we’ve had. It’s not that I don’t care about politics or that I’m being picky or overly selective. I’ve simply chosen to stand up for and advocate for a country that needs and deserves a President worthy and capable of the power exposed to and responsibility placed in his/her hands. Maybe ideally, that wasn’t Hillary. Who knows. It sure as hell wasn’t and ISN’T Trump though. That man is morally-bankrupt and fill of nothing but hate. He has no compassion for the plight and suffering of others. He’s made a fortune literally on the backs and in the wallets of hard-working men and women. He’s put himself in an advantageous position against the women he associates and interacts with. He sexualizes women –his own daughter and wife included– and feels no shame in making unwanted moves against ANY woman he deigns to lust after. That jackass he calls a VP wants to take control and make decisions for women and their bodies by defunding programs that benefit women and their health. That fucking Pence. I can’t stand him. Him or all his little pro-life buddies who think it’s a mortal/prosecutable sin to terminate a pregnancy DESPITE not knowing the special circumstances or reasons or situations involved in the decision. I love how it’s the woman that is being judged and threatened and ordered to do or not do something to her body that will 100 percent effect the quality of life and plans for her future in inconceivable, innumerable ways. Pence and his idiot followers are all for this ban on abortions and punishing women for writing their own stories…but are they even the least bit bothered to do something—anything—to lowering the number of sexual assaults and violence against women in this country? Or the stigma that still comes with being a young mother or single mother? Do they concern themselves with the circumstances of a woman’s pregnancy? That maybe a rape victim doesn’t want to carry around a constant reminder of one of the worst moments/days/nights of her life for nine long months? Do they care if that child will go hungry and starve, have no shelter, have no love or care or receive no affection throughout his/her life? Do they consider any of those things before even considering turning over Roe vs. Wade or have Trump sign some executive order against abortions? Hell no. It’s fucking bullshit. And Trump–he’s ordered a steel wall to be built that will separate families and undo political ties with a bordering country that we’ve mutually benefitted from one another at points in time.


And now with this Muslim Ban? I swear, that orange fucking POS is batshit crazy. Banning travel into and out of countries that practice the Muslim religion, thereby stranding hundreds of people, dividing families, keeping desperate refugees literally fleeing for their and their family’s lives from asylum and just a small semblance of safety, and increasing tensions world-wide in ways that aren’t favorable at all to the United States…is he for real? And the best part is that the countries he’s put his ban on aren’t either of the countries from which any extremists or terrorists who have struck on US soil in the past have immigrated from. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia—the country that has homegrown, trained, and sent thousands of terrorists to our shores with the sole purpose of taking as many human—American human—lives as they possibly can—nope, no ban on that country. Can you say oil?


I saw this quick clip earlier of the thousands of people that have gathered at Terminal 4 at JFK in New York to protest Trump’s latest ban and as ashamed as I of my country and the fucking shit that’s been piling up at the hands of that orange bastard…I was moved by their strength and perseverance at being there and speaking up and doing something to counteract Trump and to let the American people be the ones to define and write the country’s narrative (and NOT Trump’s!) and do so in a way that doesn’t alienate or create even more division within this country and around the world. There’s enough division as it is. So far, all of Trump’s so-called “great” plans have only worked to widen the division further…and nothing else. People keep saying that we need to give him a chance…but that’s now a terrifying thought. He’s gone way too far. Sure, he’s keeping his white-sheet-wearing buddies and billionaire suit cronies happy…but at America’s expense—both the people AND the country. It needs to stop. HE needs to be stopped. We need to take back this country and stick to the ideals we set forth in the past. I’m not saying there aren’t any things that couldn’t be adjusted or changed altogether… just that we need to stop this cancer at its start, before it spreads like wildfire, out of control and dangerous to all our well-beings. That’s really the only option we have at this point.

Image result for muslimban jfk


So I ask you…will you speak up or stay silent in your little bubbles of indifference? Will you join the movement to plot this ship back on its rightful course? America…we made a grievous mistake back in November. It’s on us to make that right. And we can. Together. We’re stronger when we’re together. We always have been. We always will be…<3

xoMESSIE

 

What If It Were YOUR Child?? June 23, 2016

Filed under: current events,In the News,ranting — MESSIE @ 4:23 am
Tags: , , ,

I came across this article in my news feed on Facebook today–and while I generally try to keep my timeline politics-free—in this instance, I decided to break my rules and make an exception. The article, which you can read for yourself in its entirety HERE , shares a photograph a mother uploaded to social media of her 3-year-old daughter standing on the toilet seat in the family’s bathroom, and along with it, just an incredibly powerful, thought-provoking, eye-opening caption that literally had me in tears. This is that photograph and the caption (for those of you that aren’t click-happy):

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Image  Credit: — Stacey Wehrman Feeley FACEBOOK–

“ I took this picture because initially I thought it was funny. I was going to send it to my husband to show what our mischievous little three-year-old was up to. However, The moment she told me what she was doing I broke down. She was practicing for a lockdown drill at her preschool and what you should do if you are stuck in a bathroom. At that moment all innocence of what I thought my three-year-old possessed was gone.

Politicians – take a look. This is your child, your children, your grandchildren, your great grand children and future generations to come. They will live their lives and grow up in this world based on your decisions. They are barely 3 and they will hide in bathroom stalls standing on top of toilet seats. I do not know what will be harder for them? Trying to remain quiet for an extended amount of time or trying to keep their balance without letting a foot slip below the stall door?

No one thinks gun control will be 100% crime control. But maybe, just maybe, it helps 1% or 2% or 50%? Who knows unless we try? Why on earth are there not universal background checks? Where is a universal registration database? Why are high capacity magazines ever permitted to be sold to anyone other than direct to the military? Is that really necessary to protect yourself or hunt for that matter? What about smart guns, where are they? C’mon techies! The 2nd Amendment is a beast to battle and wiping out the right to bear arms is not on the table. Does anyone really think that will be accomplished? Because it won’t. Amended to some extent? Maybe. But how many decades will that take? Where’s the evolution of our so called “living document” for this subject matter? A document that originally allowed slavery and prevented women from voting? NRA, are you even trying? Let’s talk mental health. Where is the $500 million that the Obama administration put into the budget for approval…did it go through? Is it being implemented or just sitting there? Where is the access to care for those struggling with mental illness? Politicians, I ask you…how can I help?

Banning together, signing petitions, rallying to get your voice heard is good, but is it actually doing anything or just making us feel better about the current situation? We need action. I applaud politicians like Senator Chris Murphy but so many of our elected politicians can’t manage to work together (maybe they shouldn’t be paid for a job they can’t do…just saying) or since they are in bed with all the wrong people, it is up to us if we want change. I want to know what new smart technology is being built for safer guns, advanced security in public places, databases, traveling care for the mentally ill…anything! Entrepreneurs, innovators, are you there? Can I help? Can I help you make a difference? I want to offer support. I cannot give you techie advice, expertise in healthcare, or financial backing, BUT maybe I can point you in the right direction? Maybe I know someone who knows someone who can help? Incubators, investors…if this issue concerns you, do what you do best and help make change. Can I help? Hold funding competitions, provide think tanks for these very things. Hollywood, the PSA’s are good, but not good enough. Eventually they disappear and are forgotten.

I am not pretending to have all the answers or even a shred of them, but unless you want your children standing on top of a toilet, we need to do something! Please share.”

‪#‎dosomething ‪#‎prayfororlando ‪#‎wecandobetter Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

— Stacey Wehrman Feeley (FACEBOOK) —


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I don’t know about you all, but reading those words, seeing that picture…I was floored. I am sickened by the knowledge that this is the reality of today’s youth. That this is the world in which we live in—where 3-year-olds (they’re preschoolers for Christ sakes!) are participating in actual lockdown drills; being taught what to do if some bad guy comes into their school with a gun and they’re in the bathroom.


Come on, people! Am I not the only one to see that there is something seriously fucking wrong with that picture? How many people have to die before something gets done about this? Columbine. Virginia Tech. Aurora. Charleston. Sandy Hook. Orlando. How many more innocent lives are to be sacrificed needlessly and senselessly and in vain before these politicians stop catering to these super pacs like the NRA, get their heads out of their asses and start earning the positions they were elected into by—oh, I don’t know—maybe following through with the promises they made/make…or just doing SOMETHING, at least, about the problem.


Rarely a day goes by that I don’t see a post on my Facebook feed, especially in light of recent events, from someone bitching about the big debate over gun control. Mostly, I feel like asking people if they even hear or read what they say…and if they realize how ridiculous they sound. Because they are. Being ridiculous, that is. They’re ranting and bitching about the 2nd Amendment and how it’s their god-given right to bear arms…and it’s just so fucking ridiculous. For starters, these rights we’re given aren’t really rights. They’re more like privileges…and we should respect that, rather than take it for granted…but most people don’t. Also, when your “rights” infringe upon the well-being and safety of another—it’s no longer your right…at least, it shouldn’t be. Either way, people have it all wrong. They don’t even know what they’re bitching about. Most activists lobbying for gun control aren’t looking to shred the 2nd Amendment altogether. No one is saying you don’t have the right to “bear arms”. You want to get a rifle or a shotgun and go hunting—go for it. You want a handgun to protect yourself and your family—again, by all means. But what the hell does the average citizen need with an automatic military and/or police-grade weapon when they are neither soldier or officer? There is no need for it. No need whatsoever. Those weapons are designed for one purpose and one purpose only—to kill. Granted, people kill people and the guns are merely tools, but why make those tools so easily accessible—why make it easy for the monsters and bad guys in the world to wreck their devastation and commit evil? Changing the policies on background checks for buying guns isn’t a punishment or a roadblock for constitutional rights as these gun-toting nuts try to claim. It’s a safety measure. A precaution. And I don’t know about you, but I’ll sleep a hell of a lot better knowing that the guy down the street with the documented history of mental health issues or who was once suspected of being a terrorist didn’t walk out of the gun store with that brand new AR-15 he was eyeing in the display case like a kid looking in the window of a candy store. Sure, his 2nd Amendment rights were trampled on a bit…but maybe lives were potentially saved. I think it’s worth it.


This is not the world I want for my nieces and nephews, or future children to have to live in—nor the millions of other children in this country. Pre-school should be about finger-painting and sing-alongs and laughter—not practicing lockdown and active shooter drills. What happened to children being children? What happened to protecting them and their innocence? Isn’t that what we should be doing? What we should be focusing on? Isn’t that what matters? It should.


I know I’m only one voice. But it’s on us, all of us. We have to come together, work together. Not for us. But for them. As their protectors and fighters, and as the ones that made the mistakes that led to this fear-filled reality they have unwittingly been thrust into…we owe them. We owe them this much.

xoMESSIE

 

Perpetuate vs. Revolutionize June 2, 2016

I read something today—a friend’s status on Facebook–that really hit a nerve in me to the point where I felt (and still feel) it was necessary to speak up. And so I did. And now I’m saying it here as well. Why? Because I feel that it’s important; that it needs to be said. This was the offending status:

Screenshot_2016-06-01-15-57-10 me and alanEDIT

For starters, I want to point out that I’m a firm believer in the first amendment. I am. I believe that everyone is entitled to their opinions, and to voice those opinions in whatever manner they choose, including and especially on their own social media pages. Having said that, normally–I wouldn’t say anything. In fact, I make it a point to NOT get involved or comment for the fact that it—at least in my experience—usually tends to lead to conflict and drama that to be honest, I really have no interest in or patience for. After all, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that most people don’t appreciate being told they’re wrong…or that some people tend to take great offense to being called out and having their opinions and beliefs questioned and challenged–especially when that calling out takes place in a public setting such as Facebook or other social media. However– if we’re being technical–it should be pointed out that those offended individuals really have no leg to stand on, so to speak. I mean, yes—it is their opinion and their page and therefore they can do and say and post whatever they like—but they also have to be mindful of the fact that not everyone is going to like what they have to say or agree with them…and that some are going to be a little more vocal–insistent even–about it than others. As such, they really have no place to take offense—if they put it out there for people to see and respond to. If they didn’t want to be disagreed with or have their opinions challenged…then they probably shouldn’t have posted them on social media. That’s just simple logic.


So…no doubt, I’m sure we’ve all heard the story by now—how this past weekend Harambe, a silverback gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo, was killed by zoo officials when a 4-year-old boy breached the barriers and fell into the gorilla enclosure. You’d have to live in a cave to have not heard about it. It’s been trending all over social media for days. It’s the talk of the town, so to speak…internet-style. Everyone and their mother’s got something to say about it. No surprise there. And of course, people are split on the issue. There are those that stand behind the zoo officials’ decision to kill the gorilla…and then you have everyone else: the animal rights activists and the average citizen who—predictably and understandably—have voiced their disagreement with, contempt for, and pure outrage over the decision that was made. Now, I’m no expert on gorillas, nor was I there so it’s really not my place to say whether or not the right decision was made, but I can understand some of their talking points as far as the animal rights issue goes. However, given the seriousness and exigency of the situation, I think the zoo officials did what they felt they had to do in order to ensure that child’s safety–and I’m sure they didn’t make the decision lightly.

Personally, I can’t say that I’m leaning more towards one than the other. The video going around isn’t damning in any one particular way, in my opinion. Also, it doesn’t show the incident in its entirety, so you don’t have all the facts. Yes, it showed the gorilla not-so-gently dragging the little boy through the moat and tossing him around a bit. But overall–from what I saw–it didn’t look as though he was trying to hurt the little boy per se— it almost looks as though he was maybe trying to protect the little boy from the other gorillas in the enclosure and from all the people that were watching. At one point in the video the gorilla looks like he’s holding the boy’s hand and tries to pull is pants up. With a doubt though, it was still a dangerous situation that could have easily had a disastrous end. I do think that maybe if they’d gotten those screaming, iPhones out & video-taping people out of there, the gorilla might not have been as agitated as he so clearly was. But again, I’m not an expert and I wasn’t there, so I don’t know. I’m no hardcore, card-carrying PETA member or anything, but I do take issue with using animals for our entertainment (I was totally that weird kid who hated going to the zoo when I was little). It just feels wrong to me. We shouldn’t be capturing and keeping and ultimately breeding these animals in captivity just to draw in a crowd or make a few bucks. We should just let them be free, as nature intended.


This whole thing could have been avoided, that much is absolute fact. But it wasn’t and it happened. And now, it’s one huge, social-media-trending mess. Because of that, someone or something has to be at fault, to blame—but whom/what is that…? Personally, I think the blame should fall with both the zoo and the child’s parent. The Zoo—because they really should have better strategies in place for these kinds of incidents, including the use of non-fatal tactics that they can use to diffuse the situation and the animal without the loss of the animal’s life. Also, structurally, none of their exhibits or enclosures should even have barriers wide enough for a child–or anyone for that matter–to breach and get through. Why they’d design barriers that way in the first place is beyond me. Even so, the Zoo officials can only do so much. They are NOT babysitters. It’s not their job to watch out for every child that comes through its gates. That’s the parent’s job. Is that little boy’s mother partly to blame for what happened? Certainly, yes. She should have been doing a better job of watching her child and not have taken her eyes off the boy—especially when witnesses alleged the boy had been insisting on wanting to “swim in the water with the gorillas”. But from what the media is saying, she had other children to watch and likely was distracted. She probably only took her eyes off the little boy just for a minute. The problem is—and anyone with kids or is around kids on a regular basis knows this—that a minute is all it takes and more than enough time for a determined child on a mission to get themselves into trouble. There’s a lot of should’ve’s where the mother is concerned going around online. How she should’ve been watching her child. How she should’ve had him on one of those child leashes or something, or at the very least, have brought another adult to aid her in watching the other children she had with her, including the little boy. Had she done those things, she likely wouldn’t have been too distracted to notice her 4-year-old wandering off and falling into a gorilla enclosure. But…I’m not going to pass judgement on the woman or insult her or call into question her ability to parent her children as so many have done and continue to do so since the incident. It’s not my place—or anyone else’s place, for that matter—to do that. Accidents happen. Kids do wander off. Parents aren’t perfect. I don’t know her so I don’t know if she’s a good mother or not, but I don’t think it’s altogether right how some people are crucifying her and demanding she be charged with child neglect and prosecuted, sent to jail, or even to the extreme—have her children taken away from her. That’s a little much, don’t you think? I mean, I’m sure the woman didn’t intend for a trip to the Zoo with her kids to turn into a viral rage-fest literally overnight. And as far as her being a crappy parent–well, you don’t see a lot of “bad parents” taking the time to bring their kids to the Zoo, do you? Most ”bad parents” wouldn’t even be bothered.


Any one of those issues I can justify an association to this incident with. But to drag race into it and make loaded statements such as the one in the above status—is just plain wrong. And I told my friend so. I couldn’t help it. He’s a close friend and I love him dearly, but he is wrong in this. So wrong. What happened in that Zoo and the outrage it sparked in the animal rights’ community and across the nation had absolutely nothing to do with the little boy being black. Nothing at all. Not one person or media outlet has spoken a word about the color of that kid’s skin. Not one word. Not that I’ve heard anyhow. People are angry that a beloved, endangered animal was killed as a result of an incident that could have been prevented. No one is saying that little boy’s life didn’t matter or that it mattered less than the life of the gorilla. No one is saying that at all. I’m pretty sure all people were focused on when they were watching that video was that huge gorilla and that itty-bitty little boy between his legs—that child. Not that black child. Just that child. In fact, the first few times I watched it, I didn’t know the little boy was even black, not until I saw pictures on the news of close-ups of the boy. The footage was shot from a distance and other than recognizing that it was a small child, you could barely make it out.


I’m going to be blunt when I say this. I’m sick and tired of black people playing the race card. I’m sorry, but I am. It has got to stop. I think too many people of color have lost sight of the true meaning behind the Black Lives Matter movement…and now they’re just using it as a crutch and an excuse for anything even remotely involving someone who’s black. There’s so much hypocrisy. Black people are so quick to cry discrimination, and yet the Black Lives Matter movement has gained the ground it has, in great part, on the very basis of that discrimination against the Caucasian race. Black people discriminate against white people all the time, it just doesn’t always make national news or the front page. What really irks me though is when slavery gets brought into it. That’s throwing down the figurative gauntlet for me. I’m sorry but…hell no. That doesn’t fly with me at all. Slavery was abolished over 100 years ago. Which means the slaves and the people that owned them have long since passed on. I’m not saying you aren’t allowed to sympathize with the plight of generations that have come before you or to feel strongly on the issue, especially if you have ancestors that were slaves themselves. By all means, sympathize away. But DON’T hold accountable the present generation and white race in general for atrocities that were committed 1.) Well before you and this generation were even born and 2) Weren’t actually done to you personally. And for the record, it wasn’t just white people who owned slaves. Blacks owned slaves as well. But for some reason, but no one seems to care about that. We’ve all heard the saying, “the sins of the father”. How can we as a generation be responsible for things that were done over a hundred years ago? And how are we as a generation/society/race ever supposed to heal from those wounds if there are people out there looking to try to stir up that fire by adding fuel, and fan it’s flames instead of trying to put them out and move forward? The answer is that we can’t. It just keeps us stuck where we are, with nowhere to go and no way out.


Honestly–I really wish people would just shut up about race altogether. And while they’re at it–put an end to this whole Black Lives Matter movement. I mean, what has it really accomplished? Because as far as I can tell, all it’s done is perpetuate the hate and the animosity and the prejudice. I’m not saying that racism is a non-issue or that it doesn’t exist in some factions of society. Because it does. I know it does. I’ve seen it. I’ve watched people discriminate and judge others because of the color of their skin. I know it happens. But it’s not as one-sided as the movement seems and likes to purport. So often people of color allege discrimination and point out the stereotyping by the white race against their race …but they don’t seem to realize that they’re doing the exact same thing to white people with all their nonsense and their casting of unjustifiable, slanderous accusations of discrimination. Not every white person is racist. Just as not every black person is a thug or a criminal. Not everything bad that happens to or involves someone that’s black needs to be made a federal case of. Or vice versa. And not everything has to be made a platform of for the Black Lives Matter movement. By throwing the race-card into this particular incident as well, is exactly what that’s doing–it’s intending to start trouble and stir up animosity where there doesn’t need to be any. It’s like some people of color are just trying to start a fight and/or to get people to march and protest and riot in the streets. It’s keeping the conversation going instead of changing it, like we should be doing. It’s inciting discord and conflict between our two races instead of uniting us equals–and isn’t that what #BlackLivesMatter is all about? Or what it was supposed to be about. I mean, you’d think people would be sick of dealing with and hearing about racism. Hell, I know I am. It’s 2016, people!! We have all these rights and liberties and opportunities for greatness that people–both white and black–never would have dreamed of having 100 years ago. So then why do some people have to keep harping on the past and blaming generations for transgressions made well  before their time? Are they really that clueless? Do they really not see or get it–that this hate and pointing fingers and casting blame and unjustly accusing people of being prejudiced–how is it any different from the hate the KKK and white supremacist groups perpetuated and spread (and continue to spread)? The answer is that they apparently do not. But it’s not any different. And if someone of color wants to take offense to that, well so be it. In fact, I hope he/she does. Because at least then I know that it’s being heard and (hopefully) it ruminates. Racism and discrimination and prejudice…it’s a two-way street. Both sides share blame. And both sides need to work together to change the conversation…if the nation has any hope of obliterating racism once and for all.


When I started working with my friend on “3 Blind Boys” and with Moving4ward (his production company), I actually thought the movement meant something. I believed in both the movement’s message and in what he was trying to convey in his project…and the fundamental values the company stands for. It’s been such a rewarding experience…but it’s also been a challenge. With the exceptions of some of our interns and myself—my friend, the team and anyone that’s been involved in any of our projects is black. And that’s deliberate on my friend’s part. His entire vision for the company is wrapped around the empowerment of individuals of color, which is an incredibly respectable vision, but conceptually and financially-wise–it’s very limiting. Not to mention, it makes the few of us that are white feel ganged up on—whether it’s intentional or not. It’s not a good feeling, and it makes it hard to believe in a project—to be in it 100 percent—when your heart just isn’t in it. I’m hoping my friend will come around eventually—that he’ll start to broaden some and stop limiting himself and the company with the paranoia that all white people are out to make black people feel inferior. I honestly do think it’s the only way he and his company are going to be a success…if he appeals to the whole audience, and not just a section of it…and if he stops just expecting discrimination just on the basis of him being black. He’s deeply religious and big on faith, yet for the most part, it’s as though he has little or no faith in any race other than his own. That’s not only unfair those of us that don’t give a damn about the color of a person’s skin, but it’s also very, very sad. I’d hate for him to remain so cynical…and to circumvent his own success–both on a personal and professional level because of it. He’s better than that. I know he is.


To conclude and to reiterate, not all white people are racists. We’re not the enemy out to get you. Some of us really DON’T give a damn about the color of your skin. We’re not The Boogeyman. So stop making us out to be. Please.


-END RANT-

‘Til next time.

xoMESSIE

 

Peace On Earth… November 25, 2014

Filed under: In the News — MESSIE @ 12:50 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Okay, so these kinds of topics I generally tend to stray from because of the heated emotions that can get stirred up as a result…but this is MY blog and as an American citizen, I feel that it’s my duty to uphold one of the (seemingly) few rights that I (and WE, as collective citizens) still retain possession of–albeit, for the moment–which is my right of Freedom Of Speech. As such, I’m choosing to exercise that right.

Tonight, many of us–myself included–were glued to our television sets, watching with bated breath as the Grand Jury verdict in the Michael Brown/Officer Darrin Wilson case out of Ferguson, Missouri was officially read. I–like countless others across the nation, I’m sure–am absolutely outraged and dumbfounded by the true bill verdict that was ready. Truly. For many reasons.

For starters, the tone of the man reading the verdict just irked me. His blatant criticism and blaming of the media was nothing but a transparent shield meant to cast blame and shift the focus from those responsible for this crime. That bothered me because let’s face it, the media isn’t the one to blame here. The media didn’t spark this outrage and backlash–it simply did its job…which is to cover the news. Which is exactly what they did. They upheld their journalistic principles and kept the nation informed of what was happening in the small community that’s been ravaged and torn apart at the hands of law enforcement and the failing legal system in this country. Before this tragedy, most people hadn’t ever heard of the Missouri town called Ferguson. I know I hadn’t. Now the world knows…which is as it should be. Honestly, I’m glad this case went viral because it highlights the cracks in the system and puts a face and name to a problem that we like to ignore and pretend doesn’t exist: racism. America likes to boast that racism is a non-issue nowadays, when in reality, it’s just as prevalent as ever. We simply just don’t hear all the stories–just the select ones that have managed to grasp national attention. We can deny it all we want, but racism and prejudice still exists. And it’s not just in Ferguson, either. It’s everywhere.

Already, my news feed is blowing up with all these bigoted statuses and tweets from these professed supporters of Officer Wilson. Honestly, I just don’t get those people. I really don’t. I mean, are they blind? Or are they just plain ignorant?  Maybe it’s a little of both, I don’t know. I know I shouldn’t be surprised at how gullible and oblivious people are, but I am…a little bit. I mean, come on people! What this officer did was WRONG. He shot an unarmed man multiple times and killed him. That’s a crime. That’s murder. Regardless of whatever happened that day, a man died. That happened. Race aside, someone died. Granted, we might never know what exactly all happened that fateful day. We weren’t there, obviously. What we do know is that Brown somehow got into an altercation with the officer inside that patrol car and just minutes later, Brown was lying dead in the street, yards from the patrol car, with several bullets in him. I’m not saying that nothing happened. Clearly there was a struggle inside that patrol car that day. But that doesn’t explain or dismiss the fact that Brown died yards from that parked vehicle. That, if nothing else, speaks volumes. It says that at some point after the struggle, Brown ran from the officer and the officer exited his vehicle and pursued him, shooting. Which begs the question as to why–if the officer was so concerned for his life–why in hell would he have left the vehicle to pursue Brown? Not to mention, why would he continue shooting if Brown was obviously running away? He was no longer in any physical danger and his life was no longer being threatened. The threat was gone. So WHY the hell did he do it?

At the very least, he should have been indicted for manslaughter. The crime may not have been premeditated, but it still resulted in the death of another human being. Besides, what the hell do you call shooting someone six times? Oh yeah, it’s called excessive force and overkill. Brown was fleeing. If he wanted to incapacitate him, he could have shot him in the leg or something. Once. He didn’t have to shoot him in the back half a dozen times. The fact that the grand jury came back with nothing–not even an indictment for manslaughter–is essentially saying that the officer did nothing wrong…that nothing unjust happened there that day. And that’s just not true. Or right. He was wrong. He chose to get out of his patrol car. He chose to pursue the suspect. He chose to pull that trigger, not once but six times. Twice in the head!

People can say what they want, but if that had been anyone else who pulled the trigger that day, he/she would be looking at life behind bars. I know they would. But because this was a member of law enforcement, he got off. And to me, that’s the biggest injustice of all of this. This officer got away with what he did for no other reason than because he wears a badge. That’s not right. At all. And people wonder why so many people distrust the police and have lost all faith in the legal system these days. It’s because cops like Wilson use their badge to shield themselves and skate around the very laws they were sworn to uphold. Don’t get me wrong–there are some good police out there. There are. And yes, I do realize that law enforcement put their lives on the line every day by doing what they do–but that doesn’t give them the authority to play executioner. They shouldn’t be held above the law. They should be just as accountable for their actions as the average citizen would be, if not more so.

But that didn’t happen tonight. There was no justice in Ferguson tonight. And because of it, there are–inevitably–going to be more riots. Ferguson isn’t going to find peace today, or tomorrow, or even the day after that. They may never find it because of the injustice that was committed tonight. If people thought it was bad before…they’re in for a surprise. This just set this country back. Justice wasn’t served tonight. Not at all. That officer got away with murder. And a war was just raged, and America is fighting against herself. Whatever happens from here on out–I hope it stays in the conscience of those 12 twelve individuals on that grand jury panel. I hope it stays on the conscience of Officer Wilson…because it should. This is something Brown’s family will have to live with for the rest of their lives. It’s only fair that their son’s murderer have to live with the guilt of having taken that life. He’s got blood on his hands. And that’s never going away.

So this is for Ferguson…and for Michael Brown, the victim of a screwed up system that protects its own, regardless of guilt, and tramples on the rights of the rest. May peace be with us all. I have a feeling we’re going to need it. 😦

xo MESSIE

 

There Are Monsters Among Us October 26, 2014

Filed under: In the News — MESSIE @ 2:31 pm
Tags: , , , ,

I write this post with shaky hands and a heavy heart, for this topic cuts a little too close to home. I woke up this morning and scrolled through my news feed on Facebook, as I do most days, only to come across the unfortunate article from Friday confirming what I, and most assuredly a good portion of the nation, had feared…that the remains found in Virginia last week were in fact those of the missing college student, Hannah Graham.

I don’t like writing about these things because to be completely honest, the details just sicken me. They really, really do. And I try not to focus on evil like that. But for some reason, I feel the need to write today, to put my outrage to paper, so to speak. Not for me. But for Hannah Graham. I didn’t know her. Let me just make that clear. I never met her. I never even knew her name until I read it in the news when she went missing back in September. But I don’t need to have known her to know that she didn’t deserve the fate that she was dealt, to be sickened by the knowledge of what she must have gone through…how terrifying and horrible her last moments on this earth must have been for her. My heart breaks for her family and friends, complete strangers who right now, must be completely devastated. I can’t imagine the kind of hell her parents must be going through right now. Not only are they dealing with the loss of their child, but on top of that, having to know what she went through at the hands of her attacker–it’s every parent’s worst nightmare, right down to the sickest, cruelest detail. I mean, how do you live with that? How do you even process something like that? I can’t imagine it. I just can’t.

My heart breaks for Hannah. She was 18 years old. She was so young. So vibrant. So alive. She had everything going for her. Her whole life ahead of her. It’s stories like these that really make me question whether or not there’s a God…and how can you not? I mean, how does a loving God allow something so horrible–so undeniably evil–happen like that to someone? There’s no higher purpose in something like that. There’s no silver lining. There’s nothing good or loving about a God who allows something like that to happen, I don’t care what anyone says to the contrary.

I refuse to read the details of what they find out from here on out. I’ve already read enough in earlier articles about the previous women that were abducted and raped and beaten and killed…and honestly, I can’t read any more. It’s too much. I know this is America and we’re supposed to be all about “Innocent until proven guilty” but if you ask me, that’s total bullshit. This suspect they have in custody–if it turns out he did this–if his DNA matches and all that, then I say skip the trial and let’s go Middle Ages on his ass, excuse my language. Sorry, I know civil rights protesters would have a hey day with that statement right there, but you know what–I’d like those people to put themselves in Hannah Grahams’ parents shoes for a moment–and then try to spout their civil rights crap. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not in the habit of encouraging people to trample on the rights of others…that’s not something that I do. But when you abduct a person against their will, beat them, rape them, and then discard their lifeless body as if they were nothing more than a worthless piece of nothing–then NO–you do NOT get to keep your rights or be treated with respect or deemed innocent until proven guilty. What you DO get is to be treated like the piece of evil SCUM that you are. Say what you will, but Hammurabi knew his stuff. I say that the monster who did this to Hannah Graham–whomever he is–I say they skip a trial and take him out to the farm where he left Hannah’s body and do to him what he did to her, only worse. Make him suffer, just as he made her suffer. Then leave him to rot like the animal that he is.

They say that evil shouldn’t beget evil, but in this case–and cases like this–maybe it should. I, for one, would feel a hell of a lot safer in a world where someone like him no longer existed, that much I do know. Maybe I’m a horrible person for thinking it, but there are people in the world that don’t deserve to walk this earth. They just don’t. Child abusers and rapists and murderers…they walk free and among us every day. Neighbors, teachers, friends, relatives…evil exists. I’ve seen it. I’ve looked it in the eye. I don’t know what Hannah Graham went through in those last few hours of her life. I don’t even want to venture to guess. It’s sad and horrific, but it’s stories like hers that really put what I went through into perspective. I mean, I thought being assaulted at 16 was the worst thing that could have ever happened to me, but when I think about Hannah–I was lucky. I really was. Did that night change my life forever–yes. Irrevocably. Undeniably. Yes. But at least I survived. There are so many women, Hannah included, who will never have the chance to say that.

So today while I’m counting my blessings, my heart goes out to Hannah Graham’s family and her friends…and all the other Hannah’s out there. Even to those who never knew you…you are not a statistic. You are not forgotten. Rest in peace, girls.

MESSIE

 

 
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