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.


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?!”

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?!