On May 8th, California congresswoman Rep Maxine Waters and Rep Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania had a rather uncomfortable exchange at a meeting of the House Committee on Financial Services.
Sparks flew, when Kelly addressed Waters in a way that devalued and diminished the importance of legislation put into place during Obamas administration, to protect consumers from racial discrimination by car loan providers.
Rep Kelly stated, “We are trying to make sure that we’re making America great every day and every way, the best way to do that is to stop talking about discrimination and start talking about the nation.” After his remarks he then yielded to the floor.
Visibly appalled and offended, Rep Waters immediately addressed Kelly asking him to not leave, stating: “Don’t tell me that we don’t understand,” she said. “That’s the attitude that’s been given towards women time and time again. Don’t you dare talk to me like that and think that somehow women don’t understand what goes on on the floors of automobile dealers.”
Chairman Tom McClintock attempted to redirect Waters remarks to him, however she asserted ,”I don’t appreciate that you did not interrupt him while he was making those outrageous remarks about him knowing more about discrimination than I know about discrimination. I resent that,” she said. “Having said that, I reserve the balance of my time and, no, I do not yield not one second to you.”
“I do not yield not one second to you!“
DROP THE MIC ON THEM REP WATERS!
My mother always told me, “if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”
Watch Full Exchange Below:
It takes great resolve and resiliency to be one of the only African Americans on Capitol Hill, fighting for the rights and equitable treatment of minorities and women.
How inappropriate is it, for a man that has the benefit of white privilege, to suggest a conversation about an issue that he has NEVER and will never be affected by, be halted? Discrimination or prejudicial treatment is not his problem or his concern. Hence the reason why legislation that protects marginalized and disenfranchised groups of people are needed.
However, if anyone is able to go toe to toe with the good ol’ boys, it’s Rep Maxine Waters. She is the voice for the voiceless. A modern day Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King and Malcolm X.
Thanks for not yielding Mrs. Waters, not even 1 sec.
“CHAINED TO THE CITY” Black Inequity In The American Justice System
Recently 2 big names in Hip Hop, Meek Mill and Kevin Gates were released from prison, after spending a combined 14-month prison sentence.
Gates was released January 10, 2018, from an Illinois State prison after serving 9 out of a 30-month sentence, for a felonious weapons charge. In 2015, Gates was also convicted of battery and served 180 days in Polk County, Florida, after he kicked a female fan with force because she grabbed him. As a result of Gates criminal past, he is unable to carry a weapon or leave the state of Illinois.
“CHAINED TO THE CITY”
Last week, Gate’s wife Dreka, took to his Instagram page to update his fans and express her frustrations. She captioned the video “chained to the city”. In the video, she states that:
“Kevin is unable to make it to the shows this weekend and next weekend. The Illinois Dept. of Corrections has prevented Kevin from leaving the state of Illinois. He isn’t even allowed to come home to California where we live, and since he was released in January he has not been able to come home not 1 time.”
She then went on to apologize for his absence but reassured the fans that he would make it up to them and that he is in the studio going hard.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH
At what point is enough, enough? He has already served time for his mistakes. He has permanently lost his right to bear arms. Now it appears that the justice system is attempting to take his livelihood as well.
When you look at the system and how it is designed to keep men of color oppressed. It is no wonder why often times they feel forced to regress back to their old lifestyles and street mentality. If men of color with status, money, and power are being derailed and unfairly treated, it is without question that thousands and thousands of black men caught in the prison system are just like the proverbial hamster wheel, just spinning and spinning, but getting nowhere, but exactly where they started.
Meek Mill, was also released from prison on Apr 23, 2018, in Pennsylvania, after serving 5 months of a possible 2 to a 4-year prison sentence for POPPING WHEELIES on a dirt bike and getting into a scuffle. These two offenses violated probation from charges stemming from a drug and gun case in 2008.
It is unconscionable that an entire decade later, that Mill is still paying for the non-violent transgressions, which resulted in his early adulthood.
Fortunately, Mill has garnered support from all over the world, many of whom are celebrities and individuals with money and power. Even Queen Bey herself was talking about “FREE MEEK”.
But what about the disenfranchised brother who doesn’t have the support of JAY Z, TI, and MICHAEL RUBIN?
Debt To Society = PAID IN FULL
Both Gates and Mill have paid their debt to society. But in the eyes of the American Justice System, which is just another form of modern day slavery, their offenses are unforgivable. Not because the nature of the crimes are so atrocious, but because the individuals that committed the crimes are deemed as a menace to society, simply because of the color of their skin.
If this is happening to high profile celebrities, who are able to afford elite legal counsel to represent them, it is without question that thousands of black men and women across the country are experiencing an even higher level of inequity and disparity.
Mill has promised to fight the good fight, for others who have also been unfairly imprisoned for offenses that deserve a bit of grace. Hopefully, now that celebrity light has been shed on this age-old issue, the shift for fair and equal rights will begin. Then and only then, will America truly be great, with LIBERTY and JUST for ALL!!!
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Why Millennials Are Not Here For Religion
“Religion is the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power.” -dictionary.com
I didn’t grow up in a religious household..meaning we didn’t go to church, we rarely celebrated holidays, and honestly I don’t recall us EVER praying together. You see, my parents (my mom especially) were practical. They instilled in us to think for ourselves and to ask questions, this also included religion. When it came to religion they gave us the option to choose. My mother’s exact words were, “Do your own research, visit some churches, and go with whatever fulfills you.” Funny thing about that is I never really found a church or religion that fulfilled me. I’ve found being spiritual and believing in a higher power was enough for me. There was a time when I thought my beliefs somehow made me a bad person, so when the topic of religion came up I’d bottle up my honest opinions and agree with the majority to avoid the side eyes. Ironically, when I started expressing how I TRULY felt the majority agreed.
Why are millennials shying away from religion? According to the Pew Research Center, millennials are the least outwardly religious American generation, and 1 in 4 are unaffiliated with any religion. 2/3 of millennials believe in God or a universal spirit. The question still remains, WHY?
1. Lack of Trust: Millennials have a hard time trusting anything or anyone because we’ve been let down so many times. We’re constantly hearing stories of corruption and greed going on in the church which makes it hard to fully commit to one. About 5 years ago, my mom finally started going to church consistently for about a year but abruptly stopped. She said she felt it was all about money…every 5 minutes the Pastor was asking the congregation to give money for a church that still to this day hasn’t been built.
2. Not Necessary: Back in the day, church goers were always seen as better or above everyone else but we’ve come to realize that’s not exactly true. Today’s millennials believe you don’t necessarily have to be religious or attend church every week to be a moral person with moral values. With or without it, we know right from wrong. Many people don’t feel you necessarily have to go to church to show your love for God, you can simply pray and worship in the comfort of your own home.
3. Too Judgmental: 60% of Americans from the ages of 18 to 29 admit they don’t go to church because they’re constantly being judged. As millennials we are really big on being ourselves and not being placed in a box. If you’re gay, transgender, transracial, a stripper, single mother, whatever the case..JUST BE YOU. Churches, though some are coming around to it, look down upon these kind of people…especially same sex relationships.
4. Confused: As I said before, we were taught to think for ourselves and ask questions if we don’t understand something. Truthfully, a lot of millennials simply don’t understand religion, and when we ask questions to try to understand it…we end up offending everyone. How can we wholeheartedly support something we don’t understand? A lot of us didn’t grow up in a church. I remember going to Catholic School and having to take a Religion class where I’d constantly get in trouble for asking questions, though I truly didn’t understand it.
Please understand this isn’t a religious bashing article. Religion, no religion, black, white, purple, elves…do WHATEVER fulfills you! *mom’s voice*
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Looking back at Black Lives Matter and Parkland
While I am happy the students of the Parkland Massacre have been so well received, I must admit I feel cheated.
The many calls to action for gun control and reform by the Black community seemed to fall on deaf ears. We organized, marched in the streets, protested on social media, but support was limited to thoughts and prayers. The ability to donate to Black Lives Matter passively through our Amazon purchases is nice, but nothing compared to the large donations of $500,000 each by Oprah, The Clooneys, and countless others. The outpouring of public support, rallying of officials to openly commit to making changes, and then implementing them is unprecedented. BLM never received more than the utterance of three words during opportune moments in the political spotlight where it would only serve to benefit politicians who paid our community dust. Through all of this, the media continues to paint these young activists as the new bastion of civil rights leaders and that leaves an ugly stain on my heart. I am not angry with their success, just curious — Where was the support for Black Americans struggling to make sense of our nation in the aftermath of countless deaths?
In 2013, African-Americans stood by in horror, grief, and rage as George Zimmerman was acquitted of the heinous shooting death of Trayvon Martin. This event prompted the use of #BlackLivesMatter across all social media platforms but the group would not take center stage until the demonstrations surrounding the events of Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson. After countless hashtags to raise awareness about the massacre of unarmed Black citizens that followed, Black Lives Matter has struggled to gain ground in their good fight to unite our community to crush the systems of oppression that guard privileged White Americans. To their detriment and our own, we have been out-organized and the truth of this is laid bare when evaluating the progress high school students with proper support are making. BLM lacks the political representation, wealth, and notable endorsements of other movements which continues to cripple our progress, but there’s room for growth.
This is in no way a means to discredit or detract from past, current, or future actions taken by BLM. This is also not meant to direct any negativity toward the hundreds of students and families affected by the Parkland tragedy. I am simply using them as examples of community efforts seeking change for the sake of comparison. Having visited BLM’s website as recently as Feb. 27th, 2018, it remains out of date with no posts since January 30th. Their ‘Channel Black’ programming initiative hasn’t had new content since 2017. Even the official BLM shop has yet to launch. The three queer black women who formed BLM are not enough and should not be expected to be enough to support the weight of an entire revolution. This is where community involvement comes in. This is where local politicians and leaders are expected to stand in the gap as representatives for their respective communities to rally for political change. While this process is arduous, it’s where we lacked the representation. However, the opportunity to break the wheel has come in the form of mid-term elections.
Time for Change
Politics are an avenue where Black Americans across the country need support. Motivated by the outcome of the 2016 Presidential election, more people of color are running for office in 2018 than in previous years. Although not all represent our values or have our best interests at heart (looking at you Stacey Dash), we owe it to them to do our due diligence and take into consideration that as a culture we are attempting to navigate a system that is not invested in our success. While I anticipate positive results from these mid-term elections, I say this with the utmost affection and respect for my people—We need to do a better job of holding each other accountable. We must be as fervently involved in our communities as our Caucasian counterparts. We have to respect and participate in the political process regardless of whether we believe it is manipulated or that results are pre-determined. 503 Black women are running for federal, state, and local seats in the US government. 285 of them are running in red states. We owe it to ourselves not to fail these or any other person of color candidate that means to truly serve the people.
What do you think we can do as a community to continue marching toward success? Will you be voting this year?
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