Lay Down Those Arms…

Seeing how this is generally my quiet place when it comes to politically-charged op-eds, I thought I’d vent a little here and save myself the digital ridiculousness that will most definitely ensue if I were to post on Facebook or elsewhere.

The recent Valentine’s Day school shooting down in Florida. Yeah. Where oh where to even begin. I wonder what it says about the person I am…or just humanity in general…that it’s getting harder and harder to be sensitive to these tragedies anymore. Not that I don’t have sympathy for the victims, their families, friends, and loved ones…I do. It’s the general aspect of it happening. How does one not become desensitized to the news when it’s happening at such a frequency that you can’t turn on a TV, open a newspaper, or go on social media without hearing of something happening here or there practically every other day? Honestly, I don’t know if there’s something in the water or the air or what…but people are seriously fucked up these days, and more and more. I mean, what the hell. Columbine. Aurora. San Bernardino. Virginia Tech. Sandy Hook. Orlando. Las Vegas. And now, Parkland. God, where does it end? When does it stop? When are we going to stop killing one another? When are the laws and these idiots we’re electing going to look past the money and the power (or the promise/expectation of it)…their own fucking egos and ambitions, and actually DO something to stop the bloodshed? When are we as a nation going to put the politics and bullshit aside to sit down and figure something out TOGETHER, as one… to reverse this fucking monstrosity, freak-show, SHIT-SHOW of a cycle? WHEN? How many people…how many CHILDREN must die before we say you know what, FUCK the system, it’s broken, something’s OBVIOUSLY not working…and do something. ANYTHING. But nope. Instead we want to keep wasting time pointing blame and fingers, bickering like a bunch of fucking CHILDREN ourselves. It’s un-fucking-believable.

Personally, I don’t get it. I don’t comprehend how a human being can just wake up one morning and decide to kill 17 people…or 58…or 20 first-graders for fucks sake. I just don’t. That goes beyond mental health or some fucking chemical imbalances, if you ask me. Honestly, I think some people are just plain fucking evil. Maybe they’re born that way, maybe that’s the mold society created or pushed them into…I don’t know. I just know that it’s EVIL. Pure and simple.

As a society, we have a duty to our countrymen…to humankind. To ourselves. But we’re slacking. So badly, we’re slacking. We should be doing whatever we can or could possibly do to make sure that what happened 10 days ago doesn’t happen again. EVER. But we’re not doing that. We’re not doing a damn thing. Mistakes were made. Big time. But instead of owning up to it…people are bitching and trying to place blame. Well…the way I see it…we’re all to blame. We as a society FAILED those 17 victims. We failed their families and loved ones. We failed all those traumatized teenagers and teachers that slid and ducked and hid from a spray of bullets. They survived, but their lives will never be the same. Never, ever again. Could we have prevented what happened and saved them from the sounds and images of hell they heard and saw that day? Hell fucking yes we could have. But we didn’t. And so here we are… left to make sense of something that by definition, makes no fucking sense… left to clean up and struggle through and move on…somehow. Left to place blame and albeit in some warped, fucked up way…try to find justice for those victims, families, and survivors. But who(m) or what exactly is to blame? Is it the fault of that cowardly school security officer who waited OUTSIDE for FOUR FUCKING MINUTES while bullets were flying and terrified KIDS were running out of buildings… running for their lives? Is it the fault of the NRA for advocating/promoting the purchasing and prevalence of weaponry that I think it’s safe to say is rarely being used anymore for what/how it was initially intended? Is it Senator Rubio’s fault for taking said proverbial blood-money from that organization (among others) to push his political agenda(s)? Is it the blame of our forefathers for writing that tricky 2nd Amendment that’s causing all this trouble we’re seeing/experiencing now? I mean, surely… they had to have known that it wouldn’t be long before we’d start slinging guns and using them on each other instead of our enemies? Surely, they would have. Is it the fault of that pitiful orange excuse of a President who’d rather spend his days twittering his thumbs away…literally… and jet-setting every weekend to play golf …and making empty promises and ridiculous proposals …than doing something productive or god-forbid—good for the country? Seriously, what the fuck. I get not wanting to piss off the super pacs that helped you (big-time!) get that cushy job and pretty white house down on Pennsylvania Avenue. Do I agree with it—hell fucking no—but I get it. But repealing your predecessor’s initiative on mental-health effective/related gun reform, only to turn around and spout the same damn idea as it was yours all along…yeah, no. And what kind of idiot would even SUGGEST that we arm our educators and turn our classrooms into—essentially—war zones? Seriously…I don’t know what the fuck this guy (TRUMP) is thinking…but I wish someone would just put some duct tape over that idiot joker’s mouth and tell him, for once and for all, to please just SHUT THE FUCK UP. Seriously, President Idiot, shut up.

The legal and moral blame is on that sicko that’s sitting down in that cell as we speak… for sure. I’m not denying that. In fact, I hope he gets everything he deserves and has coming to him. If that just so happens to be a guilty verdict and lethal injection…then so be it. He killed 17 people. Does he deserve to pay for his crimes? Without a doubt, yes. Moreover, those victims and their families deserve justice. If the price of that is his life in return then again… so be it. He owns the majority of the blame, definitely…but it’s not all his. He was a ticking time-bomb, from all accounts. I mean, he was beyond trouble. People knew it. The school knew it. The authorities knew it. Everyone fucking knew, it seems. Hell, he was expelled from the very school in which he chose to unleash his terror upon. He was self-harming and had tried multiple times to kill himself over a span of YEARS… and people knew it. He clearly had issues…BIG issues. He warned people. He was reported numerous times to the authorities…hell, even the FBI had been warned that he intended to shoot up a school and they just ignored it. They did nothing. The system really failed him. Not that that’s an excuse. He knew what he was doing. He rationalized it. He legally bought a gun that no ordinary civilian (or 19-year-old one, for that matter) could possibly need but was allowed to keep it under his bed in the home of the people that had taken him in when his own flesh and blood had put him out. Whether the media is purposely glossing over or unmeaningly quashing those supposed rumors that he’d been mistreated and bullied…but I think there’s something there…and it deserves consideration. There’s the fact that this kid planned for months what he was going to do. Also, there’s the fact that he was obviously targeting one or several targets. I mean, why would he take the time to go to the 3rd floor when if it was just a matter of a body count and numbers? If that were the case, I’m sure he could have had the time and opportunity to do more damage right there on the ground floor of the building he shot up, especially with how many would-be victims would have been running right in his direction for the limited exits. Some people are saying he probably thought he’d have more time to keep shooting if there were three floors between himself and law enforcement…and thus a matter of quantity over quality…and that we probably didn’t care because he likely planned to kill himself before being captured. Now that… I’m on the fence with. He didn’t turn the gun on himself. He completed the attack, disguised himself as one of his peers, and attempted to run…all of which gives no indication that he wanted/thought he was going to be caught. So why make it harder on himself by going up to higher floors? It seems illogical to me. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not condoning his actions…and it’s inconsequential really whether he had intended targets or not… but it’d certainly clear up some speculation into what I and others, I’m sure, have into wanting to understand/know why he did what he did.

Bullying is at hard-core levels these days. It’s not like the old days where the taunts existed mainly in those halls and lockers and bathroom stalls. Back then you only had to dread going to school… but knew you could always leave it at the door. Kids are fucking assholes these days. Thanks to the amazing invention we call the Internet and social media—there’s no escape. Bullying HELL is 24/7. The statistis on bullying and suicide are overwhelming…and understandable. I mean, of course, when you’re 14 and 15, etc. we all think we’re so damn grown… but we’re really not. Sure, you’ve seen and have probably endured more than those back in the old days might have at your age…but having grown up and been immersed in this fucked up mentality and environment basically from birth…it’s more of a common place feeling than a “special” one. Kids/teenagers these days are being raised by screens and trendy gadgets. They’re being desensitized by video games that reward them for virtual murders and rapes and attacks, etc. I’m not saying it’s the video games…but they sure as hell don’t help matters any. It’s that naiveite that leads to tragedies like Parkland. I’m no medical expert, but even I know that teenagers’ brains are still developing. They’re only just learning at that age how to cope with realities they don’t understand/accept. And sadly, they don’t really have a grasp on time so they literally don’t know how to process the idea that it won’t always be the hell like it is. That one day it WILL end. That high school isn’t forever. They don’t get that and since they can’t see past the very limited near future, they think there’s no way out and choose suicide as a means to solve their problems. I feel so sad for all these kids. I just want to hug them and tell them that it gets better. Because it does. I mean, it’s not always easy. There are some hairy parts and bumps along the way…but it does get better. And it IS worth it. They might not see it or feel like it will now…but it will. I just wish someone could have told all those kids that didn’t make it that. But I can’t do that. We can’t do that. But we can do something today or tomorrow or the tomorrows after that. We can change. We can put down the guns and enact some REAL gun reform once and for all. But we must act quick. All of us. Together. That’s how we do this. That’s how we stop the bloodshed. We open our eyes and we do what’s right…simply because it’s right and not because we’ve been forced to do it. And we have to WANT it. We have to come together for the common good now. For our sakes. For the sake of the children. For the generations to come. Maybe it’ll happen in this lifetime. I for sure would love to see it in my lifetime. But I’m not holding my breath. If that makes me a cynic, well…so be it.


The #MeToo Brigade…

If you’ve been on social media at all in the past week or so, then you’re probably aware of the trending #MeToo campaign. If not, to briefly summarize: the campaign itself is sort of a “call-to-arms” for women to share their personal experiences with sexual harassment and/or sexual assault using the hashtag #MeToo…the goal therein being to show just how commonplace both are for women. Rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment…they’re just three of the many “so-called uncomfortable” subjects that society prefers we not talk about. But thanks to actresses Ashley Judd and Alyssa Milano – and the dozens of other Hollywood elite that have come forward to speak up and out about the heinous sexual atrocities committed by well-known producer and former film studio executive Harvey Weinstein…we’re talking about it now.

Because of the accusations and growing scandal, Weinstein has (so far) been fired by his OWN production company and expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Once held in high esteem and respected, but no more. Many political and other prestigious figures in the business have denounced him. Even his wife left him. Basically…he’s had a rough week. You almost feel sorry for the guy…until you read all the articles and stories and number of individuals that have come forward…a number that, for the moment anyhow, appears to be on a steady incline. At the very core of it all is the one indisputable fact…that IT’S NOT OKAY. There’s no excuse or justification for sexual harassment or sexual assault or rape. None whatsoever.

The fact that some of the alleged assaults go back decades is a little disheartening, to say the least. It’s sad and truly disappointing that we’re living in one of the most advanced, modernized eras of all time, and yet it’s taken decades for us (women) to really kick-start this conversation—one we shouldn’t have to even be having in the first place. This isn’t the early 1900’s. Women aren’t the property of their husbands and/or society’s invisibles. Women count now. We can vote and hold office, we can have families AND careers (not just either/or) …and we’re finally being seen. It’s been a hard-wrought fight from the start…and continues to be in certain aspects. We’re still fighting “the man”, and progress has been a slow and not-so-easy feat. There are still some archaic aspects…though I expect there always will be. I just can’t understand why we haven’t talked about it until now…why it took 20+ years and scores of assaulted and victimized women coming forward for society to let up and take interest in what we (women) have to say and in our stories…and for us to be believed. We shouldn’t have to sign petitions or lobby for equal footing with our counterparts and employers. Nor should we have to assemble and march in the streets just to be heard. But such is our reality, unfortunately. On the bright side, I guess even a little progress is better than no progress at all…but I believe we can do better. Real change is only possible if we come together, both women AND men. It’s on us.

I’m in awe of the effort to change the status quo and of the bravery of the accusers…but I’m especially in awe of the thousands (myself included) of women that have shared their own stories of harassment, assault, or rape across social media—and all because of the power of a simple hashtag (#MeToo).

Though I wish I didn’t, I have experienced first-hand how hard it is to share such personal stories and truths with the world. It’s been years since my own assault, but I still struggle with talking about it. I can count on one hand the number of people that I’ve told about it…but it’s taken me years to gather the courage to accept it and move on. It’s empowering to know just how many others—even people I know personally—that have been in my shoes, who’ve had the exact or similarly horrible experiences as I have. Figuratively, I’ve always know that I wasn’t alone in my pain…but putting names to faces and seeing it with my own eyes makes it more real, if that makes sense. I spent years pretending it never happened and burying the pain…years convincing myself that it was simple self-preservation, when in fact, it was terror. I was terrified being of judged, ruined, and possibly even blamed for what happened. And with good reason. I can’t tell you how many times over the years I’ve overheard and have personally had conversations with people concerning rape and/or sexual assault, many of which I’ve come back from feeling just so disgusted by all the things people have said. I’ve also had some pretty heated arguments with my mother and my grams about it in which they try to justify sexual harassment and/or sexual assault/rape…and let’s just say, we’ll never agree on certain points…ever. They like to admonish women for dressing and/or behaving provocatively (even if it’s just in their eyes) …basically your run-of-the-mill slut-shaming.  I can’t fathom how my own flesh and blood could think as they do…how they can truly justify the length of a girl’s skirt for harassment and/or rape. They’re of the mentality that if a girl “flaunts” her assets, then of course she has to be asking for it. That she shouldn’t have been drunk or out that late at some party. They even agree with the ridiculous dress codes so many schools are enforcing that essentially force girls to cover themselves up and dress in the clothing and way that is the least distracting to the boys in the class—a topic I’ve vehemently disagreed with. They’re entitled to their opinions…I just wish their opinions weren’t so backwards. I can’t help but wonder sometimes if they’d feel or think different if I were to tell them the truth of what happened to me. At the same time, I don’t think I want to know. I’ve been disillusioned by them so many times over the years…I’m not sure I want to take another one in faux-stride.

I’ve been thinking of starting up this new site that will basically serve as a forum or place for victims and survivors to just come and tell their story. It’s been such a relief to me—being able to talk openly about what happened to me. It’s like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders that hadn’t even known was there. It helped to write it down. To see it in black and white. It gave me some closure. Maybe knowing and seeing with their own eyes that they aren’t that special and aren’t alone in their pain…maybe other’s will find closure in that, too. That’s the hope. I don’t know…it’s still in its planning stages. I’ll keep you posted!



To Protect & Serve…

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.




( 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


What If It Were YOUR Child??

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):


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) —


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.


Perpetuate vs. Revolutionize

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.


‘Til next time.


Peace On Earth…

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. 😦


There Are Monsters Among Us

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.


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