I am still here…

The Lotus flower returns to the mud and emerges again … beautiful and unscathed!

I have been absent for a few months and I am returning to blog as it is one of my passions. I re-entered school beginning afresh my pursuit of a doctoral degree. It is my sincerest hope that those of you who have chosen to follow my blog will continue to support me in this quest. I will be spending the break from school preparing articles that speak to my heart as promised in the launching of this site.

In the coming weeks I will share my thoughts on the elections, pastoral issues with infidelity, why black lives still matter, and the great divide in the “body of Christ” just to name a few. Take the journey with me. Comment, share, dispute, agree it is all apart of the process! These are my opinions and I am aware that everybody has one – this space is designated for mine.

Be patient as we continue this journey there is much in store!

Where is your VOICE-BOX?!

In a private meeting inside Trump Tower days before his inauguration, Donald Trump told a group of civil rights leaders something most Republicans wouldn’t dare publicly acknowledge: lower turnout among Black voters did, in fact, benefit him in the 2016 presidential election. “Many Blacks didn’t go out to vote for Hillary ‘cause they liked me. That was almost as good as getting the vote, you know, and it was great,” the president-elect said, according to an audio recording of the meeting shared with POLITICO.

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/08/21/trump-black-voters-turnout-2016-398520

Where is your voice-box?! If you have never recognized before that silence speaks loudly, please people – African American/Black people recognize it now in the phrase presented at the opening of this conversation. When we do not vote those in power actually can take the arrogant stance that the reason is because we silently agree with them – that we “like” them. When we do not utilize the systems that are in place, broken as they may be, we act as though we are mute. The now elected President is counting on “Blacks” doing the same again.

We can watch movies like “Selma”, we can talk about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and we can talk about the civil disobedience that was enacted to tear down walls all day and night. These discussions mean nothing if we are not taking the torch that they began to remove and keep moving forward. Water-hosed, beaten, arrested – reactions to the desire of African American people to have a “voice” – mean nothing if we do not take up the torch in this broken system and keep moving forward (yes, I know that I said that twice!). We have to use the ballot-box as an extension of our voice – the “Black” voice.

Let me share a personal experience if you will. I worked in a specialized mental health rehabilitation facility (SMHRF) during the last election. Many of the clientele that I serviced were on the high-end of the mental illness spectrum (Schizoaffective, Schizophrenic, etc.) and though at times they struggled to be present in the “now” in their conversations…many of the men (Black and White) were in the “now” when they discussed electing a woman as President of the United Stated of America. They expressed their opinion by stating – “I’m voting for Donald Trump cuz I don’t want a woman running the country.” The speakers were “lucid” enough to make that conscious decision and a vocal one at that! Where is your voice-box?!

If you don’t register to vote, desire to vote, or think that voting is unimportant to your “now” consider this…there are people who still today feel that the place of the African American/Black people is on the bottom. African American women are the most educated group of people in America and their economic standing does not reflect that position. African American males are the object of police brutality regularly and when they suffer even unto death their “past” dictates how the public view of their death will be presented to the masses. Decide if that is how you want your son, daughter, nieces, nephews, to continue to be seen. Ask yourself “Where is my voice-box?!”

Let’s talk about #45

President Donald Trump Silhouette" Poster by CobwebsClothing ...

How did the American people elect a man with minimal qualifications to be President?! The Constitution states that to be President the candidate in question has to be 35 years of age, a resident, and a natural born citizen. There are, however, implied qualifications. These include experience in a governmental or military capacity, the ability to debate and respond to questions, display mental stability, raise funds, and align with the political beliefs of the party he/she represents. Even as I compose this article I am shaking my head at the fact that a person was elected to office with the minimal requirements of a leader of this country!!!

When I think about running a company and hiring employees for an expected job, I would hope that I would examine their resume specifically looking for employment in areas that align with the position in question. That said, I read #45’s resume searching for the implied qualifications as he unfortunately fulfills the Constitutional requirements. He had no political background, no legal background, and no military service. His current performance with the press leaves him lacking in fielding questions and responding with viable answers to the questions presented. As a therapist, assessing clients is an area in which I have experience – we need to realize that though there are diagnosis that have become “buzz words”, #45’s mental capacity is questionable at best. As he has won the seat as president it is fair to say that he can raise money (this is the one area in which he stands proficient). The Republican Party needs to take an introspective look at its party beliefs!! Are they racists who look to divide the American people and put their foot on the neck of the middle class and the poor?!

Did his party review his resume?! Have the staunch supporters of #45 look at his resume?! Did Americans look at his resume?! Pre-President his resume included President of the Trump Organization (this is his real estate company); Owner of Trump Model Management; Executive Producer and Star of The Apprentice; Part owner of Miss Universe, Miss USA, and Miss Teen pageants; and he did numerous cameo shots in various films. #45 used his access to avoid the draft and thus never served in the military and there is no mention of one political venture of any kind. What were we thinking?! I say we because just based on his resume it is apparent his thoughts of the role of women and many men (of all races) voted for him because they could not stomach the thought of a female running the country. We would rather have an ill-qualified man than a competent woman?! “HOUSTON WE HAVE A PROBLEM”!

It is my sincerest hope that with this coming election, we the people will look at the qualifications, both Constitutional and implied, of the candidates more than the party that they represent. The greatness of America relies on democracy not promises to “make” it great;especially when #45 refuses to produce documentation that reveal where he puts his money. We can not afford as a country to continue to have a narcissistic dictator run it into the ground! #45 has spent the majority of his time in office trying to erase the works of his predecessor, especially in regard to the Affordable Healthcare Act. He has ruined the image of the United States globally as he did not have the ability to maintain our allies and build new relationships with foreign nations (hard work for a bigot to perform). He has been swift to respond to protests relating to the #Black Lives Matter movement and did not respond to the violent acts of white supremacists – except to imply that they were “good people”. Let me say correctly…”good people on both sides.”

GOOD PEOPLE LET’S CHOOSE CAREFULLY!!!

Dear America

This country is called the land of the free and the home of the brave.  To whom exactly does that refer?  This country was birthed from insolent liars and thieves.  Those who came to this country stated that they were in search of “religious freedom”.  That is a half-truth, which at its core is a lie!  The people came to this country in search of a “better life.”  They were in search of wealth and that is still the goal of those pursuing the “American Dream.”  Let us not get distracted!

African Americans, Black people, Negroes (all forms – Mullato, Quadroon, Octoroon, etc.) built this country and made it great after the “founders” stole is from the Native Americans.  The ignorance of those of the Caucasian descent is profoundly amazing – only in their continued attempt to turn a blind eye to their own savagery.   A savage is a brutal or vicious person – sounds founding fatherish to me!! The very reason that the “America’s” wanted to break away from British rule was because it had become so wealthy they no longer desired to “share” the monies (in the form of taxation no less).

However, the fact remains that this country’s founders were hypocrites.  They utilized their “religious freedom” to hold those who were making them great in bondage.  They ignored scriptures such as Galatians 3:28 and Colossians 3:11 – both which share that in the sight of God there is neither Jew, Gentile, slave or free, male or female – we are all the same in His eyes.  Yet, devices have been utilized to formulate the minds of whites, as well as other nationalities, toward the African American in a way that is far from the truth.

Throughout the ages here in America, WASPs have sought to emasculate the African American male and even cause African American women to join their ranks.  I watched the “great” cinema presentation “The Birth of a Nation” and was deeply sickened.  The minds of people forever formulated by the thoughts of a white man in terms of the freed slave and the African American male in particular.  The very people who had cooked their food, picked their crops, and built their “great” nation – for free might I add, were mere Sambo’s, piccaninnies, and mammies.  Sex craved, depraved individuals – presented in “black face” looking to do to the white man what had been done to the Negro for 400 years.  Amazingly enough the true “brave and now free” have been working to recover from the traumatizing effects of slavery to compete in a country that was already setting them up for failure. 

Written into the emancipation proclamation was the illegality to enslave another, with the exception of those who were jailed.  A loop hole that has consistently kept African American men and women bound.  White judges, white juries, the inability to vote or stand on the “spirit” in which the Constitution was written – to have life, seek liberty, and pursue happiness.  Lied on and to, cheated at every given opportunity, who are the brave?!

To be brave means “ready to face and endure danger or pain; showing courage.”  Courage is “the ability to do something that frightens one – strength in the face of pain or grief.”  The brave are those who possess courage and are the very persons that have been painted as “criminals, sex craved, rapists, savages, etc.…” the African American.  We came from greatness and in spite of your damning cruelties we were and continue to be the “Rising Star” that our flag depicts.

From the ashes of your hatred we rise.  You attempt to under-educate our children in your resegregated schools, you jail our men and bind them with unfair sentencing, you underpay the most highly educated group in the nation (African American women), you call our protests tyranny; you have redline and attempted to keep us in the new “slave quarters” of your making; tear apart our families … and still we rise!  We are resilient – haven’t you recognized that yet?!

Our white counterparts ask “what can we do to change things” as they march with us in protest of those of you who still operate and lead in the spirit of the founding fathers.  This is what you can do … re-write the history books and place them in all the schools telling of your true rise to power on the backs of the African American; stop focusing on the “criminal past” of those who are shot down and killed by racist cops and know that “blue bloods” are the largest gang in the nation; stop trying to perpetuate hate among our ranks for one another favoring and encouraging us to favor/hate those who look more like you; stop looking at us through your “DW Griffith” eyes and recognize that we all are Humankind.  Acknowledge that you have for far too long operated under the auspice that your skin alone made you superior and that in and of itself is simple-minded.

The land of the free and the home of the brave – that celebration of the Independence Day really belongs to those whose blood, sweat, and tears made this country what it is…The African American!!!

I thought i was safe

In early 2008, when I found out I was going to birth a daughter into the earth, if all went well (and it did), I thought I was safe. What do I mean? I birthed an African American daughter, not a son. I would not have to worry that if she were pulled over by the police that it would be a huge problem for me as a parent – I wasn’t birthing an African American male – who may be killed for the slightest infraction. I thought I was safe!

That has proven not to be the case in our current climate. Breonna Taylor was killed by the police, in her apartment, as she slept in March of 2020. Natasha McKenna was killed while in police custody in 2015 – tasered to death during a mental health crisis. Sandra Bland, died in July, 2015 and though her death was ruled a suicide, the events that were filmed prior to her arrest cause doubt to resonate in our minds. These are three of the many African American women who have died at the hands of police officers. Additionally, I have watched more than one YouTube video that show young girls being thrown on the ground and brutalized by police officers as they spoke out against their treatment of someone being unjustly detained or even tried to defend themselves. I thought I was safe!

My daughter, who is nearing teenagedom, and I are now having to have “the talk”. Not just about having to “work twice as hard to be considered just as good” that most, if not all African American families must. It is also about “keeping your hands visible” during a traffic stop and “watching your tone” when encountering law enforcement. I have to explain that she is not to travel alone – anywhere and to keep her phone charged so that she can record everything! I am constantly reminding her, even on a short walk to the nearby store, to be aware of her surrounding. Her DailyDad (we do not believe in step-parents) has taught her to defend herself and not be concerned about the attackers size but to focus on the techniques she has learned to subdue the person. Some of these things would have been necessary regardless, but in terms to those who are to “protect and serve”, I thought I was safe.

My thought bubble, not worrying about the police mistreating my child because she is a girl, has been shattered forever. I thought I was safe and my heart, mind, and perspective have been impacted and will never be the same. How about yours?!

WHO AM I

         Hi, I am Tanya Johnson.

I am a daughter, a sister, a cousin, a friend, a social worker, a therapist, and an advocate. I was born and raised in Grand Rapids, MI and now reside in NWI. I am the mother of one daughter and a surrogate to many sons and daughters.

This blog was birthed out of the civil unrest and the pandemic scars of the year 2020. It is my desire to share things that have become are becoming matters of the heart for me as I evolve on life’s journey. I desire to share my insight concerning emotional and mental health as well. I am also a woman of faith and follower of Christ. I have come to understand the importance of embracing one’s faith and allowing it to guide your choices along the way.

I invite my perspective to be challenged through the engagement of the thoughts and comments of others.