M.E.M.P.H.I.S. : A city plagued by race , poverty, and corruption.

Beautiful city in images but in reality it is living nightmare

 

“Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed
    and establishes a town by injustice!
13 Has not the Lord Almighty determined
    that the people’s labor is only fuel for the fire,
    that the nations exhaust themselves for nothing?  Habakkuk 2:12-13

A city, a town , and a neighborhood I proudly called home. I would say it loud and proud, ” I was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee”. Whenever I made this statement people would ask me generalized questions about Beale Street, Barbecue and Blues. This was home sweet home and it had a special place in heart. Once upon a time, the city I lived in loved each other of course we had our problems like any other city. We were proud a city which thrive on our accomplishments and had the ambition to prove the world wrong. Now, I can’t even call this once beloved city home anymore because it has become one big poverty, racial-biased and uneducated war zone. Who there to blame for the decline of my city? The people who still choose to live here.

I know this come to shock that an actual citizen is saying negative things about the city. For me, this post and my opinions are long overdue. So much, I do mean so much has happened in the city for a couple months. According to a Huffington Post  article 10 Most Dangerous Cities in America, Memphis is among the top five in fact WE ARE THIRD MOST DANGEROUS CITY . We have people and dirty politicians, who used to worked for county but got to the city became corrupted, have on rose-colored about the mere perception of Memphis as good. The city of Memphis has not or probably never will address these three things race, poverty and corruption.

Race 

When I was a little girl, my grandmother always told me the day Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated here on April 4, 1968, the city of Memphis will never be the same. She told me it was a like curse came over the city and people have been stuck in the racially enslaved mindset of the sixties. As a little girl, I did not believe it . I thought everyone loved everybody. As the older I got and traveled to other states, I would say Memphis is the most if not top racist cities in America. Everything is about color about race . Why is everyone so fixated on race? Most recent news in city of Memphis which made national headlines about Memphis police officer killed on Saturday August 1, 2015 during a traffic stop. Officer Sean Bolton responded to a car parked in a particular place. The shooter Tremaine Wilbourn shot the officer multiple times. As reported, he had two grams of marijuana on him and on probation. Monday August 3, 2015, Wilbourn turned himself in to police. This was in plight when Memphis Police Director Tony Armstrong put out massive hunt and publicly calling the shooter a “coward”.

In light of the situation, the city has not been more divided on race than ever. You have one side saying the shooter deserve the death penalty and never been on streets at all. On the other hand, there is another side claiming the shooter acted in self-defense and this payback for all the police brutality among African Americans. In the light of the black lives matter movement, this year has been a year police brutality ending in murder and killer walking free. Sandra Bland, Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Eric Gardner and here in Memphis Daurrius Stewart all have been the catalyst behind the black lives matter movement.  I do agree black lives do matter but do we scream that when black man kills another black man.  Two weeks ago, a teenager in my city ,who was about to go to college ,was killed over a basketball game by another black man. Where is the uproar on black lives matter?  This madness need to stop. We as citizens definitely need to stop looking at everything through black and white lenses. Race is not always issue but there are other contributing factors.  Do I believe racism still exists? Hell yeah, it still exists. The reason it still exists because of people with a close-minded attitude passing their ignorance to next generation and sensationalized by media coverage, which adds fuel to the fire. The beast of racism will always exist if only if we allow it to.

Poverty

Poverty has always been the bastard issue that is lightly addressed. If you live in Memphis, you can make the ends meet if work for particular companies such as FedEx, Methodist, & Baptist hospitals and most importantly the city government.  If your degree or specialty falls outside the bubble, you are screwed.  Trust me , I personally know. The poverty rate in Memphis is 27.7%(35th highest) and there are 82.5% adults with high-school diplomas (82nd lowest) according to the Huffington Post. These stats tell me there is need for education. When I was growing up, my grandmother made sure I obtain not only high-school diploma but a college degree. My grandmother was a sharecropper and only obtained an eighth-grade level education. The city should pour their money into educational programs for adults instead of stuffing it in their pockets. On the other hand, people don’t need to wait on the government to educate, feed and take care of child. If you are able to part your eyes in the morning, you are master of destiny. Get up and make the necessary changes to make life for you better.  I encourage you those who are not from Memphis to take a drive around the city. Don’t travel to the Downtown Memphis area or Graceland but go North and South Memphis to see what I see. It hurts to me to see children to come to school because that is the only time they can eat. Come on, we got to do better.

Corruption

Political corruption ain’t that America. It is alive and well in Memphis. It is my opinion the city as a whole would do so much better if they fire everyone. We have the same city leaders doing the same thing absolutely nothing. They sit in their chairs, get the perks and collect a check a fat one too. I urge the citizens of Memphis to vote all these folks out. Until then, we have the same stuff but a different day. As far as the current mayor of Memphis, A.C. Wharton, my opinion is it is time to turn off A.C. in this city. That’s all. This happens because once again we allow it to happen. Everyone is comfortable in their safety net until danger or trouble knocks on your door. Corruption will continue to go on until we finally exercise our right to vote instead of standing in line for some Jordans.

I feel this place is not home to me anymore. With all violence happening everyday, I have consider moving my family somewhere safe. It hurts me to core  my city has become what is war zone. Instead of teaching the children how to resolve a conflict, you have tell  them how dodge bullets and play dead if someone is shooting. This is not living not for me, for citizens and definitely for the average human being.

To citizens and politicians of Memphis,

It is high time for you to wake up or this city and everyone in it parish day by day.

What will be left of this mecca of the south? NOTHING

Links

http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/47/4748000.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/15/most-dangerous-cities_n_6164864.html

http://www.wmcactionnews5.com/story/29578116/man-dead-after-struggle-with-mpd-officer

http://www.cnn.com/videos/us/2015/08/02/memphis-officer-killed-traffic-stop-bts.wreg

Holy Grail Spilled Over : COGIC v LGBT community

cogic1

You curse my name
In spite to put me to shame
Have my laundry in the streets
Dirty or clean
Give it up for fame
But I still don’t know why
Why I love it so much

– Jay-Z

Well…………where can I start….

On Sunday November 9, 2014, I was at the drive-in with my family watching Big Hero 6. So, I happened to pick my Samsung note and go through my facebook feed. My dear college buddy and fellow blogger Ronald Matters *shameless plug www.ronaldmatters.com * posted a video about 107th COGIC convention about a gay man being delivered from homosexuality. I watched the clip like others for pure entertainment. I thought to myself, “This is going to blow over by the morning.” I was so wrong since we are living in social media/viral world we have become today. Monday morning, all hell has broken loose and started a holy war. I think this almost bad as wars we fought in the past. On one side, you have LGBT community and other side you have religious people. Baby, it has been some name calling, sentencing people to hell shade throwing extravaganza. In the midst of all the smoke, there is deep wound that is left to be healed.

For those who know me, I am an advocate for the LBGT community some of my best friends are a part of that community. I have  been raised love people no matter what background or sexual orientation. We are all precious in his sight. The concept that sickens me mostly in the church is   is placing one sin higher than other. Trust, I have not yet met a human being who have walked this earth and not sinned. Who am I judge or cast the first stone? I am from Memphis where the COGIC first stated by Bishop Charles Mason. I known the COGIC community to be saved, sanctified and filled with Holy Ghost. As I have always been told by my parents. On the other hand, I have some terrible stories about people being shunned from this community due to their life choices.  It amazing the most brutal and hateful acts can come within the church. The only thing I have against the COGIC church all the hats, diamonds and furs they draped themselves in. Jesus didn’t have diamonds and furs….I am not perfect Christian and I am not on the platform to preach. This clip shown on YouTube and has now gain over thousand views caused this wound to be open again.

There has always been disconnect with LGBT community and church. You have one side saying, “Love me accept me for who I am.” Then you have the other side saying, ” What you have chosen to be is not acceptable in God’s eye.” This caused a lot of people not just gay but straight to stray away from the church and seek peace on their own terms. It like a brick wall that blocking a bridge for peace and understand between the sides. Although, the Berlin Wall has been torn down for years now, this wall seems to be unbreakable. We continue to put drapes on it by covering up who we really are only to be accepted by people who frankly does not give a damn about us. We continue to paint the wall with lies from the past and one-sided scriptures.  It’s no longer a wall it is apart of the house now. It will take a person to say enough is enough with the Tom foolery and bring in hardcore facts.

Here are my thoughts; I don’t know what this young man was going through. It is not in place to know that is between him and God.  I do have a spirit of discernment and part of me believes him. What he was delivered from still hangs and the balance. Although,   I must say I never seen a bowtie like his. *sips tea* I urge this is not the time to play judge and jury over how people choose to live. Whether you know it or not, we are living in the last days, it is time to get your house in order. As a community, we must come together and hear both sides of the story and find a solution. If we let our close-minded thinking rule as a number one factor on accepting all people then we will forever be lost. I ask put the weapons down and come together on something. Love is key and all that matters.

I’ll end this story with Frankie Beverly and Maze …. listen to lyrics.

Related Links

Parents…. No Ratchetness

August is the time for the new school year. Children and young adults are going back to school for the new year. My desire is for every parent to step up their game this year. For those who are doing a great job already keep on keeping on.

The New Face of Racism : The players change but game remains the same

It has been one year since the shooting death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, who was walking home when vigilante and citizen George Zimmerman gunned him down. His justification for shooting the teenager was the stand your ground law which allows a citizen to take matters into their own hands. After countless investigations, we realized there were facts overlooked and an enemy from the past came out to plague us again..Racism. The racial tension among certain minority and majority groups remains one of ills we have to do deal with in America. Look around in your environment in some shape or form it still exists. Instead of the Jim Crow laws  and outwardly expressions of hate, racism exists behind policies and hidden agendas set by the masses. For someone to say, ” Racism does not exist”, is a complete and total liar. If it does not exist, there would have not been a “peaceful protest” at Old Miss after President Obama re-election. What is the underlying issue for all racism is ignorance of other cultural groups. The media play an intricate part of reinforcing the stereotypes about the different cultural groups. We see examples everyday from the news, television, movies and music. The stereotype of the “Angry Black Man” is still portrayed to this day as did in the movie Birth of a Nation. Some media figures are taking the concept of freedom of speech and using to express their own vain ideas. From the infamous nappy headed hoes comment to now calling the nine-year old actress Quvenzhané Wallis a cunt, these examples are inhumane and definitely lack class in the journalism profession. Where are ethics in journalism nowadays? Is it there or just certain people killed it? After the 2012 election, the ugly head of racism was stronger than ever. My timeline on Facebook and twitter was loaded with comments that were completely racist. My generation witness racism like never before. Also, several states requested to be separated from the union. It bothers me why people cannot accept cultural differences and diversities? These are the factors that makes this country unique. It is foundation that keeps America strong.  Does the concept of change scare some people? The fact of knowing old idealistic ways may soon become abolished and people figure out things for themselves. Citizens will seek the truth and expose the ugly and nasty lies taught to them.  Do some groups still want to have control and not share their power?  As a Fox News representative *coughs Bill O’Reilly* stated, “Whites are becoming the new minority.” When I was told, the America was first belonged to  Native Americans. It was minorites from all walks of life who helped build the country today. (Please correct me if I am wrong.) Discrimination does not exist among black and white people but it is wide-spread among other groups.Even, the LGBT community have fight for their right live and marry (I said it) who they please. It irritates me when people justify their bias practices through laws and religion. When, these tools are used to keep separation among the people for centuries. Currently, my city, Memphis, you can see extreme examples of polarization among citizens. It is almost mind-blowing experience going into certain neighborhoods and being viewed at like ugly monkey in a zoo. After 35 years since the death of Martin Luther King Jr., the city of Memphis is still plagued by the curse of immense division among the races. Yet, the city decides to bring the most racist group, KKK, to hold this so called “peaceful protest” . Where is the logic in that concept? The city has bigger issues to work on than to be distracted by this clownish sideshow. As a society, we need to stop fighting with each other and work together to rebuild the nation. Our republic is slowly declining each day and we need to ensure every one has the right to live freely as they please. No matter what background, class, race or sexuality.  In the end, no matter what people say or do one thing holds true:

I AM HUMAN, I AM A WOMAN, I AM CITIZEN OF THIS COUNTRY AND I AM AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN!

I am entitled to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Related Links:

http://wreg.com/2013/02/26/christian-groups-concerns-eased-despite-kkk-rally-approval/

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/moviesnow/la-et-mn-oscars-2013-the-onion-issues-apology-to-quvenzhane-wallis-20130225,0,5054940.story

http://abcnews.go.com/US/trayvon-martins-parents-hold-hoodie-vigil-anniversary-death/story?id=18597254

Living In a World They Didn’t Make

BLOGCOLLAGE2

Living in a world they didn’t make
Living in a world that’s filled with hate
Living in a world where grown-ups break the rules
Living in a world they didn’t make
Paying for a lot of adult mistakes
How much of this madness can they take
Our childrenJanet Jackson , Living In a World They Didn’t Make

The world is so dramatic…..
I can’t believe
That we’re still livin’
Oh in this crazy crazy world
That I’m still livin’
With all the problems of the day
How can we go on
So tired of hearing people say how can we go on – Erykah Badu, Drama

I have lived through a lot of tragic events in my lifetime but today for me had to be the saddest days in America. Today, we are faced with one of the worst massacre in history and the sad part it is involving children. As mother, my heart is wounded and bleeds for the parents who sent their kids off to school only to find out they had been killed at the hands of a worthless son of a bitch (excuse my expression). Today, In Newtown, Connecticut, about 30 people have been killed and 18 of them were children at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The grades ranging from kindergarten to fourth grade. Apparently, as the story is still developing Ryan Lanza a 20 year-old male came into the school and killed children and adults. For what reason, we don’t know but the shooter is dead. In my heart, I hope he burns in the pits of hell. How can you as a human kill innocent children? Meanwhile, here in my own city Memphis, A police officer was killed in the line of duty this morning. Officer Martoiya Lang was killed in response to a search warrent for narcotics. Lang joined the Memphis Police Department back in 2003.  She leaves behind four children. Memphis Police Department Director , Tony Armstrong, made this statement,

“We are asking that the city continue to keep her and her family in your prayers, she is the mother of four small kids,” said Armstrong. (via WMCTV)

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I tell you…If you have never prayed a day in your life the time is now. It time out for the bickering and dumbness, we need to be proactive in society and invest in our kids. I am talking to the parents now, our kids need us for guidance and protection. This is the task that God has placed us with. We are responsible. I take this personally because I have a daughter who is in elementary school. I thought to myself what if that have been me that recieved that devasting call. Me and my daughter pray every night and I ask God to keep a covering over her. Parents, it’s time out for just looking out for us, we have a major responsibilty. Today, I urge you to spend time with your kids and brief them about this tradegy. In process, train them how to respond if something like this goes on in their school. In response to the police shooting, I have best friends and family members who served the force. I believe the city of Memphis don’t give them as much credit and pay they deserve. These are the men and women who their lives are on the line for a city who is undeserving of their service. (yeah I said it!!!). I am just being real because it’s time out for being fake. We are dealing with serious issues people.. I say WAKKKKEEEEEEE UPPPPPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!

Charity Begins With Me…..

Charity – generosity and helpfulness especially toward the needy or suffering; also: aid given to those in need

I can consider myself a charitable and giving person. My heart bleeds whenever I see someone less fortunate than I am struggling to survive in this world. I was taught by my grandma to give to those who are less fortunate and pray for those who can’t pray for themselves. This October is a special month for me because I am involved in two charitable events which impact everyone.

Making Strides for Breast Cancer 5K Walk/Run

What: Making Strides for Breast Cancer 5k Walk/Run

When: Saturday, October 13, 2012 8:00 a.m.

Where: Laurelwood Shopping Center 426 S. Grove Park Road

Who will be participating:  TheFabulous T’s (my team) and everybody else

Additional Information: http://main.acsevents.org/goto/TheFabulousTs

www.makingstrideswalk.org

 

Each year, I participate in the making strides for breast cancer walk sponsored by the American Cancer Society. Some people get it confused with Susan G. Komen annual breast cancer walk which is the end of October. This walk is in the beginning of October. It is held at Laurelwood Shopping Center located at 426 S. Grove Park Road, Memphis, Tn. This is time where thousands of people come with their teams, organizations, and families for one mission. The mission is to find a cure and provide a continuum care for those with breast cancer.  According the American Cancer Society making strides website,

Making Strides against Breast Cancer is the American Cancer Society’s nationwide series of walking events to raise funds and awareness to end breast cancer. Nationwide, more than 270 Making Strides walks occur each year, and each one is a powerful and inspiring opportunity to unite as a community to honor breast cancer survivors, raise awareness about what we can do to stay well, and raise money to help fight the disease with breast cancer research, information and services, and access to mammograms for women who need them. Walks range in distance from 3 to 5 miles.

I decided to become hands on this year because I have lost family members and friends due to cancer. I hope we will have a day when everyone in this nation becomes proactive in finding a cure. We should not let another family go through the suffering of losing a love one to this disease. Let us find ways of prevention, continue to provide for those who are struggling and give hope to families in need.

Operation Stand Down Memphis, Inc Veterans Stand Down Event

What: OSDM Veterans Stand Down

When: Saturday, October 27, 2012 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Where: UT Health and Science Center Doctors Field 255 S. Dunlap (Enter from union and located behind the McDonald’s

Who will be participating:  All Veterans and interested parties

Additional Information: www.osdmemphis.org

Contact: osdm2010@gmail.com

As a fellow veteran, my heart goes out to veterans and their families because they go through a lot. I have experience both sides of military life being a soldier and a wife of a soldier. I will tell you personally  it is not easy. It bothers to know there are homeless veterans whom exist here in the United States. It especially bothers me to know the homeless population now consists of veterans who are returning home from the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. In fact 23 percent of the homeless population in the United States is veterans. Operation Stand Down Memphis, Inc core mission is to help homeless veterans through transitional programs and services to become effective citizens in their community. Each year, OSDM host a stand down. What is a stand down?

A “stand down” is a one-day military event where veterans can come in a comfortable atmosphere to receive vital information about healthcare, benefits, housing, or to join supported veterans’ organizations. The organization will provide food, entertainment, and clothing for the veterans.

Last year, OSDM held a stand down on November 2011during Veterans Day and they were able to service about 150 veterans across the mid-south area. OSDM supports the veterans throughout the year by collaborating with other community and national organizations. Also, they host quarterly informational session for veterans who are in rehabilitation centers here in Memphis. I urge to you help a veteran in their time of need. They were there for us constantly defending our country and protecting our freedom we enjoy and sometimes take for granted.