Why Bill Cosby Crimes Shouldn’t Be Explained Away

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Bill Cosby will not face criminal charges for two of his alleged rapes. This still does not mean he is innocent and it definitely does not mean that he needs the support of the Black community. Since Bill Cosby was arrested people left and right have questioned whether or not he committed the crimes, the morality of the victims, and furthermore blamed everything on the fact that Bill Cosby was a successful Black man.

For decades, Bill Cosby was a pillar in the Black community. He had a statue in Disney World, several honorary degrees, and always had commentary on what the Black community was doing wrong. Now, all of that is gone and finally his crimes against women are recognized.

Over 50 women have accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault. Several comedians have come forward and said that they’ve always known that Bill Cosby was a rapist. However, there are still individuals in the industry who would rather deny the validity of the victims’ stories so that can redeem Cosby by hearing his side of the story.

They believe that this is a part of a conspiracy to bring down a strong Black man. He is not the man that we need to rally behind. There are other Black men and women who are victims of true crimes that the media is too quick to forget. Trying to explain away Bill Cosby’s crimes does nothing for the Black community. Not everyone is saint. Every community has its monsters masquerading as saviors. Bill Cosby needs to face punishment for his crimes without being protected by the Black community.

Why It’s Okay to not be Here for the Holidays

 

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It’s the Holiday Season! There’s no way that you will walk down the street without seeing a candy cane or hearing a Christmas tune. For some, this is a time of bliss. Presents, a New Year, and eggnog—what more could a person ask for. While for others, the holiday season is a hard time. Not everyone can get swept into Rudolph’s red nose. Life is hard, confusing, frustrating, and a million of other adjectives that could just wrap around you all day. A certain season doesn’t mean you have to suddenly be happy and act in a way you wouldn’t have before the frankincense and myrrh.

Like always, you are most important, and self-care is your top priority. If that means skipping out on a holiday party because you’re not feeling up to it, then that’s fine. If your friends ask you why you’re being such a Grinch, then you can tell them how you’re truly feeling. However, you don’t owe anyone an explanation. YOU DO YOU.

I know that this is a simple phrase you’ve probably said in passing almost a million times, but it’s a phrase you have to remember, especially during the holidays. During this season it’s so easy to give so much away without keeping anything for yourself. If you give and give without taking a moment to relax, then there’s going to be none of you left. And no you, is not a good look. So just in case, you’re tempted not treat yourself with some much-deserved self care, here are five ideas to help you out.

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  1. Buy yourself something nice.
    • You’ve earned it. That is all.
  2. Go escape the holidays!
    • If you don’t want to be in the holiday spirit or near any holiday cheer, then find your own special place that’s away from everything.
  3. Remind yourself you’re amazing. 
    • One morning when you wake up, stare in the mirror and tell yourself five great things that you’ve done this year or five things that you plan to do in the New Year.
  4. Take some time to turn off your phone and just sit down and think.
    • You don’t have to be on all day. It’s good to restart your batteries and get a fresh start.
  5. Don’t let anyone bring you down!
    • If they’re not a part of your squad, then leave them behind in 2015.

 

Spring Valley, SC and the School to Prison Pipeline of Black girls

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The video of  Ben Fields assaulting a young black student at Spring Valley High School in South Carolina is disgusting to watch as a young black student is being slammed and flipped over out of her desk. The hard reality is the place that students go on to pursue their aspirations and dreams to contribute to their country violate their basic civil liberties and becomes a pipeline to prison.This video was an example of the School to Prison Pipeline of  Black Girls. The officer there, Officer Ben Fields was a School Resource Officer. After Columbine, the influx of school resource officers in schools began happening in the early 2000. Since the zero tolerance policy has been enacted the policy by federal government was used to punish any infraction of a rule, regardless of accidental mistakes or ignorance in schools.During that time, the number of officers in schools arose from 9,000 to 400,000 SROs.

The sad thing is that the young lady was living in foster care after her mother had passed away. Statistics show that children out of foster care have a higher than likely chance to be at-risk youth and that young girl certainly was that at the moment, vulnerable and probably pissed at the world that she has to live under her conditions for the use of force to be used over a cell phone. The zero tolerance culture dominates as result of that policy that Instituted the cell phone bans, there has been more police in schools.Kimberly Crenshaw and the African American policy form have already pointed out the way that black girls are routinely pushed out of “education” due to the School to Prison Pipeline.When a student from a predominantly white neighborhood is discipline they go through all procedural steps in order to not criminalize that young student, on the other hand African American students get disciplinary action given to them based off of talking back or their attitude. These instances have caused higher suspension rates particularly among those of color and treating black kids like prisoners. When white middle class students are throwing chairs at a teacher the calm the situation down. Mass shooters of schools and churches are often racist and hate women such as the shooting in the state South Carolina.

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There have  been too many recent encounters that  black people are having to deal with as a result of police brutality such as in Baltimore, Maryland and Ferguson, Missouri. I don’d believe in respectability politics when it comes to talking about civil rights or micro-aggression because if that’s the case if a man feels as though his wife disrespected him and he slapped her does that give him a ride to put his hands on her?NO so miss me when you say “if you would just pull up your pants” ,analogy, “then the officers would have taking you seriously”… therefore you would have gotten shot at?!.Kidding me. That’s what’s going on with this little girl in South Carolina and The School to Prison Pipeline is particularly high in our communities.You have to look at the intersectionality of race, class, and gender. Women face high rates of domestic violence and it’s mixed in with rape culture. Sexual assault on campus often go unresolved. If this was a white female student would he have reprimanded her they way he did the young lady in the video?
There is a long history of criminalizing black people and I do believe that this officer was doing just that.As a southern State that fought to take down a symbol of hatred and go through a mass shooting in Charleston in which nine people were gunned down during church service.South Carolina has a major past of racial hatred. There is no justification for officer Fields to have done this and was improper protocol his procedures. Perhaps we should have waited for the story to turn into her being to death the way Eric Garner was choked to death in New York City by NYPD because he has improperly arrested. This young lady deserves justice for her body being dragged across a room and sustaining scars physically, psychologically, and to those young black, queer,straight, gay, lesbian, bi , cis, trans non-conforming women that experienced this in silence.

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Is Being a Strong Black Woman killing You?

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As a child, I was reminded that the world was against me. I couldn’t trust anyone but my close family and friends. I had to be strong and keep going. Weakness wasn’t an option. I was a strong black woman. Wonder Woman had nothing on me. When real life started happening, being strong was hard. I wanted to cry, and scream, but I hadn’t been trained in the ancient art of letting my weakness show.

I’ve quickly learned that there’s a price for never letting your guard down. I was exhausted, angry, and ready to bite the head off of anything. We’ve heard about the angry black woman stereotype, and  we have a right to be angry. The entire world wants to disrespect and exclude us by pretending that we don’t have power. It is hard. Like really hard, harder than that math test you took in tenth grade. We can’t escape our Black skin and it feels like we have to carry the weight of it everywhere.

When you’re a Black woman, it feels like you’re never given a moment to rest. Always being prepared to fight does make you stronger, but it’s not healthy for your mind.  You can be the strong Black woman fighting to have everything that you want in the world. You can also be the strong Black woman who takes herself to the spa and enjoys taking a moment to rest. You can have the best of both worlds, but it’s going to take some practice.

It’s okay to cry, and scream, or talk to someone about your problems. Keeping everything pent up inside is too old school. For our generation, it’s all about expressing yourself and self-care. For all strong women of color who refuse to rest, we have to remember the simple facts of life. The first of them being you can’t change the world if you’re dead.

Meryl Streep: I’d Rather Be a Rebel than a Slave

 

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The Internet was outraged after a picture of Meryl Streep circulated of her wearing a shirt that said, “I rather be a rebel than a slave.” Some believe that critics are being too harsh on Meryl Streep. She’s always been a feminist and this shirt just further proves the fact that she fights for gender equality. Others point out that this shirt is a representation of a lot of the problems with mainstream feminism. No one wants to be enslaved, but historically speaking Black people didn’t have a choice.

There’s a form of privilege that’s involved with being able to say that you would rather be a rebel than a slave. Some have a choice to fight against the oppressing systems. However, for those who are the ancestors of slaves, the shirt makes us want to give a Rihanna worthy side-eye. Our ancestors didn’t want to be enslaved. We were dragged from a different continent placed on a new continent that was not melanin friendly, forced to work for centuries while enduring the rape and massacre of our people, and then once freed were forced to learn how to function in the Plessy v. Ferguson world where institutionalized racism is the norm.

I too would love to be a rebel, but first I have overcome years of being enslaved. It’s moments like this that make you want to pull a Marcus Garvey and go back to Africa, but plane tickets these days are too expensive. Lately, it’s been a tell all tale of who’s accepted and not accepted in mainstream feminism. During these moments where Hollywood’s favorite feminist are caught in a moments of tone-deaf tomfoolery, you realize that it’s not just enough to say that you fight and always fight for the equality of women. If you’re going to say that you fight for the right of all women, become culturally aware. Remember that for generations of individuals, slavery was not a choice.

Open Letter to Raven Symoné

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Hey Ms. Symoné, 20-something Black girl here. So, I heard some of your comments and read your apology and—oh snap. It’s great that you’re an equal opportunity employer. We are so relieved to hear that you wouldn’t discriminate someone because of his or her name. For a moment I was worried that you would’ve discriminated against me. My name is normal, but with me being a Black feminist and all, it could’ve made things a bit awkward.

Then again Ms. Symoné, I’m not sure that I want to work for you. After all, you did agree with the people who said our First Lady looked like a monkey. That was disrespectful and uncalled for. Perhaps, you did it to raise ratings on The View. Maybe, you thought the monkey joke would fuel your dying stardom, but it was a cruel and uncalled for joke. These days you keep rambling and spewing antics. It feels like you’re that drunk uncle at Christmas party who keeps touching people inappropriately and spewing racists rants.

We excuse the behavior because drunk uncle doesn’t know any better. Somehow, people were able to forget that you insulted our First Lady, and said that you don’t believe in there being a race. A few people were surprised at your nouveau noir tendencies; however, for the rest of us it was just another Raven day.

Not everyone has to be an advocate for fighting against discrimination. We get it—it’s not your thing. Raven, you might feel that you don’t need to talk about racism because it’s so passé. Plus, you have money and might feel that racism doesn’t affect you anymore. You have the right to keep thinking this way, but not addressing the issues circulating in the Black community is toxic and can reinforce modern day racism. Nowadays, racism is stronger than ever. Racism has moved from the overt to covert. We’re recruiting agents to stop it and if you don’t want to want to be down with the cause, that’s fine. I hear the ratings for The View are dropping.

Just Do You: Say No to Cuffing Season

 

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Perhaps it’s the pumpkin spice lattes that’s causing cuffing season to start. With the start of cuffing season, questions about dating will start appearing again. Instead of planning your amazing Halloween costume, you’re left wondering whether or not you’re supposed to get drinks and if you get drinks what does that mean.

On top of all that, everybody and their mommas know that dating as a woman of color is hard. There are so many unseen expectations or rules that guide your hand with every Tinder swipe or settle wink at a party. Either you have to be as classy as the First Lady or as seksi as Amber Rose or Nicki Minaj combined. For some reason, people don’t want to give women of color the right to be bad, or different, or anything that we want. We have to exist in some cookie cutter form that makes it easy for others to understand us.

I have no intentions on waiting on someone who doesn’t understand who I am to tell me how I am supposed to be or behave. I can go from Rihanna to Annalise Keating in .25 seconds. Furthermore, cuffing season doesn’t mean that I’m going to start linking up with anything in sight and trying to make myself into someone’s Happy Homemaker. We’re not pieces of double sided tape. We don’t have to stick to anything that we don’t want to.

People need to stop waiting from some unforeseen force to give them the right to behave a certain way. This isn’t Star Wars—the force is not with you. At the end of the day is just you and your choices. No one can dictate what you do because they aren’t you.