Colin K on mag

Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who remains unemployed due (at least in part) to his protest of systemic racism during the national anthem, is GQ‘s 2017 Citizen of the Year.

Kaepernick, 30, did not speak to the magazine for an on-record interview but did pose for photographs and helped provide GQ with confidantes to offer “some rare insights into Colin Kaepernick himself.” He has not given an on-record interview during the entire 2017 NFL season despite still being at the center of one of the year’s biggest controversies.

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What does it say about us as a nation, about us as a people, that we are no longer saying anything about this? I don’t see Change.org pages for him, I don’t see demonstrations outside the 49ers

Colin K on field

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

(or anyone else’s) games, I don’t see anything about him except from sports nutz {sic} who are against what he started. I don’t even hear anything about ‘the Movement’ anymore. How quickly we forget that which has to do with righting this country’s wrongs toward marginalized minorities.

Colin Kaepernick was the first person in a very long time to risk anything by coming out against the sorry treatment minorities have been getting for years; he hasn’t worked, and he’s had threats against his person. Even his own ‘family’ has spoken out against him.  This is a man who has felt committed enough about something to give up the multi-millions of dollars he could be earning in the NFL to protest the mistreatment of his fellow citizens, but the NFL has not been as committed about it. No one will hire him. Why?

colin-kaepernick-kneeling

This  man deserves all the support we can give him, it’s the only way to move forward. Thanks to GQ Magazine for recognizing how important what he’s done is. He may not have been football’s MVP, but he’s certainly proven himself to me to be the nation’s Citizen of the Year! Let me know in the Comments below, what do you think of Colin Kaepernick and the sacrifice he’s made?

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You Don’t Make a Man Renounce His Faith By Throwing Him In a Dryer

Which is what the Gunnery Sergeant in this story tried to do. A man might say anything to get out of a closed, running, hot dryer, but it doesn’t mean he’s telling the truth. What was going on in this man’s  mind that made him think A. the men would seriously renounce the Muslim faith; and B. that he could treat anyone he wanted to any way he wanted to, and never face repercussions?

Marine drill instructor gets 10 years for abusing recruits

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FILE – In this Oct., 31, 2017 file photo, U.S. Marine Gunnery Sgt. Joseph A. Felix, his wife, and his lawyers exit a courtroom after testimony at Camp Lejeune, N.C. (Rory Laverty /The Washington Post/via AP, File) (Associated Press)

RALEIGH, N.C. — A Marine Corps drill instructor has been sentenced to 10 years behind bars after being convicted of tormenting and abusing young recruits, especially Muslim-Americans, including one who later killed himself.

A military jury also ordered Gunnery Sgt. Joseph Felix, a 34-year-old Iraq veteran, to forfeit all pay, be demoted to private and given a dishonorable discharge.

Friday’s sentencing at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, came after Felix begged for forgiveness before the eight-member jury, which a day earlier convicted him of abusing more than a dozen trainees at the Marine boot camp at Parris Island, South Carolina.

Felix was convicted of dozens of criminal violations as the jury on Thursday found he taunted three Muslim recruits as “terrorists” or “ISIS” and ordered two of them to climb into an industrial clothes dryer, spinning one of them around in the scorching machine until he renounced his faith.

Defense attorney Navy Lt. Cmdr. Daniel Bridges declined a request to comment on the conviction and sentencing.

Felix was a central figure among a group of abusive drill instructors at Parris Island, the jury was told. After the March 2016 suicide at the base, a hazing investigation led to charges against Felix, five other drill instructors and the training battalion’s commanding officer. Eleven others faced lesser discipline.

Abusive drill instructors have long been stock characters in books and movies such as “Full Metal Jacket,” a 1987 film set during the Vietnam War. Yet the Felix trial shows that the Marines have since drawn clearer lines between what instructors can and cannot do, said Michael Hanzel, a former Navy attorney who attended the proceedings at Camp Lejeune.

“This generation now, there’s things that I think that we’re much more focused on … in this trial, it’s calling people names based on their religion and targeting people based on their religion,” said Hanzel, now a private attorney specializing in military law. “I don’t think anyone would say that was acceptable ever, but it probably was not prosecuted in the past the way it would be now.”

The charges against Felix included commanding recruits to choke each other; ordering them to drink chocolate milk and then training them until they vomited; and punching recruits in the face or kicking them to the ground.

“He wasn’t making Marines. He was breaking Marines,” prosecutor Lt. Col. John Norman told the jury on Wednesday. He called Felix a bully who heaped special abuse on three Muslim recruits because of their faith.

One of them, Raheel Siddiqui, a 20-year-old Pakistani-American from Taylor, Michigan, hurled himself to his death after what the jury decided was mistreatment by Felix that included slapping Siddiqui and calling him a terrorist. Siddiqui’s family sued the Marine Corps last month for $100 million.

The government did not charge Felix with any crime directly related to Siddiqui’s death. The judge, Lt. Col. Michael Libretto, did not allow testimony about whether Felix’s actions were responsible for the recruit’s suicide.

Felix also was convicted of ordering Lance Cpl. Ameer Bourmeche into a dryer, which then was turned on as Felix demanded, “Are you still Muslim?” Bourmeche testified that he twice affirmed his faith and Felix and another drill instructor twice sent him for a bruising, scorching tumble inside the machine.

After a third spin, Bourmeche said, he feared for his life and renounced his religion. The drill instructors then let him out, he said.

Felix also was found guilty of ordering Bourmeche to simulate chopping off the head of a fellow Marine while reciting “God is great” in Arabic.

The jury decided Felix also ordered Rekan Hawez, a native of Iraqi Kurdistan, to climb into the dryer. The machine was never turned on.

Felix was also convicted of rousing nearly two dozen recruits from their sleep, ordering them to lie on the floor, and then walking on them along with two other drill instructors.

 November 11 at 5:32 AM

Does it seem like the racists are getting more blatant and more hateful, or has it always been this way and because of the Internet and the media we’re just paying more attention? Comment below, let me know what you think.

Sometimes I just cannot believe that someone who is supposedly well educated and well versed in what happens in the streets can make the most ‘bass-ackward’ decisions, decisions that a 12 year old homeless street kid in Ethiopia would not make!!!

I hate to say this, but it’s the way our country has become; the police are trying to become the complete ‘law of the land’, with no judge, jury, even court clerk necessary! They want to be the ones to decide who gets a lawyer when he asks, and who ‘wasn’t asking for a lawyer’ despite their clear understanding of the language he was speaking. It was the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s office who decided how to punctuate the sentence, ( ‘get me a lawyer dog’ as opposed to ‘get me a lawyer, dawg’) but I’m willing to bet he based it on the officer’s interpretation of the interrogation. I know there are 3 or 4 occasions in his subsequent statements where he used the word ‘dog’ and they understood he was saying ‘dawg’, not ‘dog’!!

 

Warren Demesme

Warren Demesme seemingly asked for a lawyer while being interviewed by police, but his use of slang negated that request, Louisiana courts say. (Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office)

Warren Demesme seemingly asked for a lawyer while being interviewed by police, but his use of slang negated that request, Louisiana courts say. (Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office)

When a friend says, “I’ll hit you up later dog,” he is stating that he will call again sometime. He is not calling the person a “later dog.”

But that’s not how the courts in Louisiana see it. And when a suspect in an interrogation told detectives to “just give me a lawyer dog,” the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled that the suspect was, in fact, asking for a “lawyer dog,” and not invoking his constitutional right to counsel. It’s not clear how many lawyer dogs there are in Louisiana, and whether any would have been available to represent the human suspect in this case, other than to give the standard admonition in such circumstances to simply stop talking.

The ruling by Louisiana’s high court could have serious implications for a suspect charged with raping a juvenile, because it will allow his subsequent incriminating statements into evidence at his trial, which is pending. And it clarified that requesting a canine attorney need not cause the police to stop questioning someone.

Warren Demesme, then 22, was being interrogated by New Orleans police in October 2015 after two young girls claimed he had sexually assaulted them. It was the second time he’d been brought in, and he was getting a little frustrated, court records show. He had repeatedly denied the crime. Finally, Demesme told the detectives:

“This is how I feel, if y’all think I did it, I know that I didn’t do it so why don’t you just give me a lawyer dog ’cause this is not what’s up.” The punctuation, arguably critical to Demesme’s use of the sobriquet “dog,” was provided by the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s office in a brief, and then adopted by Louisiana Associate Supreme Court Justice Scott J. Crichton.

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Louisiana Associate Supreme Court Justice Scott J. Crichton wrote that a suspect asking police to “give me a lawyer dog” was not invoking his right to counsel. (Louisiana Supreme Court)

Demesme subsequently made admissions to the crime, prosecutors said, and was charged with aggravated rape and indecent behavior with a juvenile. He is being held in the Orleans Parish jail awaiting trial.

The public defender for Orleans Parish, Derwyn D. Bunton, took on Demesme’s case and filed a motion to suppress Demesme’s statement. In a court brief, Bunton noted that police are legally bound to stop questioning anyone who asks for a lawyer. “Under increased interrogation pressure,” Bunton wrote, “Mr. Demesme invokes his right to an attorney, stating with emotion and frustration, ‘Just give me a lawyer.’” The police did not stop their questioning, Bunton argued, “when Mr. Demesme unequivocally and unambiguously asserted his right to counsel.”

Orleans Parish Assistant District Attorney Kyle Daly responded in his brief that Demesme’s “reference to a lawyer did not constitute an unambiguous invocation of his right to counsel, because the defendant communicated that whether he actually wanted a lawyer was dependent on the subjective beliefs of the officers.” Daly added, “A reasonable officer under the circumstances would have understood, as [the detectives] did, that the defendant only might be invoking his right to counsel.”

Bunton’s motion to throw out Demesme’s statement was rejected by the trial court and the appeals court, so he took it to the state Supreme Court. The Supreme Court, in a ruling issued last Friday and first reported by Reason, could have denied the appeal without issuing a written ruling, which it does in most cases. But Justice Crichton decided to write a brief concurrence “to spotlight the very important constitutional issue regarding the invocation of counsel during a law enforcement interview.”

Crichton noted that Louisiana case law has ruled that “if a suspect makes a reference to an attorney that is ambiguous or equivocal . . . the cessation of questioning is not required.” Crichton then concluded: “In my view, the defendant’s ambiguous and equivocal reference to a ‘lawyer dog’ does not constitute an invocation of counsel that warrants termination of the interview.”

Bunton said, “We’re obviously disappointed we didn’t win,” but declined to discuss the case, or the finer points of punctuation when using the term “dog.”

 

 November 2

My answer? Not if it means dressing up in blackface! We already know what kind of emotions dressing in blackface causes; why would anyone want to evoke that kind of feeling when their children go to Trick or Treat on Halloween unless they are racist? Unless somewhere down deep in their psyche they feel that their whiteness entitles them to dress up as anyone they want without repercussion? If you believe that all people are equal, and you want to be a character of another race, why do you have to use blackface and emphasize that person’s color, unless you’re saying that without the color no one would recognize that black person? If your child wants to be Tupac, the bandanna, the earring, the tattoos should be enough to identify his character to those who know who Tupac is. Around those who don’t know, even blackface isn’t going to help! Same with the Lil Rascals character, Buckwheat. (yes, I’m going back a bit, that’s my age! lol)

The following article is pretty much saying what I’m saying, but it gives a whole new way of looking at the subject:

Here are some useful guidelines.

Blackface is as predictable around Halloween as candy, and by now the outrage in response is also pretty predictable. Julianne Hough was still apologizing two years after her ill-advised use of Halloween blackface in 2013 as an homage to her favorite TV character, and even current media coverage of her “dream wedding” cannot eclipse lingering resentment. The anger after a Facebook post featuring a mother who used blackface as part of her children’s Halloween costumes resulted in a prompt take-down of their picture and disavowal from the military base on which the photo was taken. Plenty of white people, including parents who watched Disney pull its “Maui” zip-up suit costume from store shelves last year in response to accusations of brown-face, are probably wondering when, if ever, it’s okay to dress up as a figure of another race.

The answer: It depends. Like most issues involving race in our country, avoiding offense at Halloween requires thinking not just about stereotypes or discrimination but also about white supremacy.

One problem with racism is that it advances white supremacy — not just the notion that white people are superior, but also that they are the baseline, the default, the standard in our society. Conduct that presents white people as normal while presenting other groups as exotic (the “magical negro,” for instance) is racist. Behavior that positions nonwhite groups as behind, or sometimes even ahead (such as the trope that East Asians are a “model minority”) is also racist. The tragedy of white supremacy is that it casts whites as ordinarily and fully human, while those of us outside of ordinary — behind, ahead, exotic or something else altogether — are denied full humanity. Living life as the standard is powerful, and that power provides protection, status and agency. Going through life being perceived as abnormal, however, can lead to any number of vulnerabilities. To see others turn the signifiers of that vulnerability into a Halloween costume just adds insult to the injury.

White supremacy, then, can seem benign, as in the case of kids who just want to look the way “Indians” or Polynesian characters look in movies but never in their everyday lives. And white supremacy can be masked as “cross-cultural understanding,” as in the case of parents who “honor” less powerful groups by adorning their children in native or ceremonial dress without understanding the significance of, or appropriate context for, the clothing. Absent that understanding, entire peoples are turned into objects — costumes — for fun. And when we objectify people, we are more likely to take from, harass or hurt them.

All this helps us think a little more clearly about Halloween costumes. Sure, dressing up in a stereotype — a black person as a rapper or an Asian person with a coolie hat — is offensive, but those are the easy cases. Going deeper: Does your getup present another group as unusual when compared to whites? Does it use a white person’s power to don attire that certain groups are punished, humiliated or made uncomfortable for wearing in public? Does it require you to color or darken your skin in simulation of skin color that actually increases the likelihood of violence and harassment for others every day? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, find another costume.

Don’t be fooled by false equivalencies: Sporting an afro to look like Angela Davis is simply not the same as donning a blond wig to be Marilyn Monroe. The latter look is identified with by a more powerful racial group that has been considered the standard, while the former references a hairstyle that young black girls are still punished for wearing to school.

This doesn’t mean that white children can never dress up as nonwhite public figures they admire, or that the national dress of other countries can never be worn by non-natives. But focus on individuals rather than groups, as entire peoples — especially those historically denied power — should not be made into costumes. The most significant component of your costume shouldn’t be the color of a person’s skin. Focus instead on a distinctive style or demeanor that has nothing to do with race nor identity. W.E.B. Du Bois sported bow ties and groomed a dashing mustache. Who could forget J. Lo’s all-white outfit for the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards? Armed with a microphone, red lipstick, a bob, and awful shoulder pads, you can channel Connie Chung. A military jacket, key-earrings and baseball cap recalls A Rhythm Nation. None these costumes require a drop of paint.

Finally, when in doubt, just don’t do it. You or your child’s desire to have fun or be funny doesn’t outweigh the concerns of people around you who don’t want to be caricatured (again) as strange, exotic, abnormal, or different for your amusement — especially when their existence is shaped by challenges (disproportionate rates of poverty, job discrimination or police harassment, for instance) with which you don’t grapple. Dealing with power and white supremacy requires caution, and erring on the side of deference is an expression of power we can all get behind.

Osamudia James is a professor and vice dean at the University of Miami School of Law.

  Follow @OsamudiaJ

 

 

I’ve been thinking about the word impeachment since the day #hesnotmypresident stole the election. And yes, I said stole, stole by colluding with other people (or his family colluding for him). I never realized though that impeachment doesn’t happen as easily as I thought. There are only certain offenses that a president can be impeached for, and being an a*)hole isn’t one of them.

I’ve realized something though, in reading this article; perhaps we can make it happen, and if not, perhaps we can change who is in that office as of November 2020. If we do what we should have been doing all along, which is taking more of an interest in the whole political process and learning who controls what, then taking 5 minutes to vote (which a lot of us can do by mail now instead of standing in line for an hour) we can do things like put who should have been in power where she belongs. Not that I’m a big Clinton fan, but by rights she is who the people voted for and who should be in office.

Speaking of learning, did you know that it is still, in some circles, questionable as to who won the Bush-Gore election, back in 2000 when there was all the noise about the Florida recount? It’s a very interesting story…Anyway, here’s today’s article:


(CNN)Top White House aides, lawmakers, donors and political consultants are privately asking whether President Donald Trump realizes that losing the House next year could put his presidency in peril.

In more than a dozen interviews, Republicans inside and outside the White House told CNN conversations are ramping up behind the scenes about whether Trump fully grasps that his feuds with members of his own party and shortage of legislative achievements could soon put the fate of his presidency at risk.
Donors who trekked to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, in support of House Speaker Paul Ryan were treated to a slide show late this summer to fund raise off those very fears, according to multiple attendees. Among the slides: An overview of the Democrats who would be tapped to lead key committees if the GOP loses control, including Rep. Elijah Cummings as the head of the House Oversight Committee.
To some attendees, the subtext was clear. If Republicans forfeit the House, Democrats will almost certainly create a spectacle that will derail conservatives’ agenda and the remainder of Trump’s first term — a spectacle complete with a raft of new subpoenas, a spotlight on the Russia investigation and, many are convinced, impeachment proceedings.
“When Democrats take control of the House they will absolutely move for articles of impeachment,” one Trump confidant predicted.
Alex Conant, a partner at GOP public affairs firm Firehouse Strategies, said Trump should focus on protecting his own party.
“The number one thing Trump should be doing to save his presidency is helping congressional Republicans maintain their majorities,” Conant said. “Instead he’s allowing his allies like Steve Bannon to really undermine Republican reelection campaigns. It’s just reckless and politically naive considering how devastating it would be to his presidency.”
Conant served in George W. Bush’s White House when Democrats swept control of the House and Senate in the 2006 midterm elections — and remembers the constant stream of investigations and subpoenas, a stream he said is sure to look more like a deluge in the Trump administration.
“It just cripples your agenda. You’re constantly forced to play defense,” Conant said.
Steve Bannon season of war GOP values voters sot_00002129

 Bannon: It’s a season of war against GOP

 

The primary problem

Republican handwringing over losing control of the House has played out largely in public. But in the hushed conversations that follow, Republicans have wondered whether Trump fully grasps the misery Democrats could unleash on his presidency.
A number of Republicans asked not to have their names used in order to speak candidly about a sensitive topic.
“If we lose the House, he could get impeached. Do you think he understands that?” one top GOP donor recalled an exasperated Republican senator saying privately.
“Won’t it be ironic that Steve Bannon helped get the President elected and impeached?” another top Republican official said in a moment of venting.
Bannon, who served in the White House as Trump’s chief strategist before he was fired in August, is planning to field primary challengers against nearly every Republican senator up for reelection.
“Right now, it’s a season of war against a GOP establishment,” Bannon proclaimed at the socially conservative Values Voter Summit over the weekend.

At Values Voter Summit, Bannon declares 'war' on GOP establishment

It’s the latest in a string of political calculations that are set to backfire on the President, some Republicans warned.
“It will be on steroids, the amount of lawyers, investigations, inspector generals that come out of the woodwork” if Democrats win back the House, predicted Sara Fagen, who served as Bush’s White House political director. “It will be very debilitating in a way they don’t understand yet.”
Marc Short, director of legislative affairs at the White House, said the White House hasn’t resigned itself to the notion of losing the House.
“We don’t have a defeatist approach on this,” Short said. “There’s no doubt that history suggests that there’s sort of a recalibration after the first midterm, but I don’t think we view it as that means it has to go that way.”
And he insisted the President is cognizant of the havoc Democrats could cause if they regain control of the House.
“I think the President’s keenly aware of that,” Short said, adding that he expects Democrats would move forward with articles of impeachment if they win the majority.
GOP operatives are already envisioning Trump family members and acquaintances being dragged up to Capitol Hill over months to testify.
“Once the House is lost, then it just becomes, ‘Let’s look into Don Jr.’s tweets, let’s subpoena his country club locker,'” one GOP strategist quipped. “Nothing is going to get done.”
“It’s so much more painful than going right to a proceeding of impeachment,” another senior Republican operative added.
Another GOP congressional aide predicted the Democrats would make Trump’s life a “living hell.”
Sources: White House lawyers research impeachment

White House lawyers talk impeachment 

Top White House officials have openly discussed the threat of impeachment among themselves, multiple sources said. And to many, the risk to Trump’s presidency is obvious. But White House personnel are loath to broach the topic with the President, sources said.
“Nobody over there is interested in delivering really bad news to the President on a consistent basis,” the GOP operative said, particularly when it comes to the potential for impeachment proceedings. “Like, ‘hey, this could be a real thing. You shouldn’t be so dismissive about it, because Chuck (Schumer) and Nancy (Pelosi) aren’t your friends.'”
Presidential impeachment 101: 

The uphill impeachment process

Booting the president out of office is exceedingly difficult, a point conceded by even some of Trump’s fiercest critics.
If Democrats win the House, they could vote on articles of impeachment. If at least one of those articles garners a majority vote, the president is technically impeached, as was the case with former President Bill Clinton in 1998.
Then the issue moves to the Senate, which conducts a trial presided over by the Supreme Court’s chief justice. If two-thirds of the Senate finds the president guilty, he is removed and the vice president becomes president.
No American president has ever been removed from office via the impeachment and conviction process.
While Trump may not be overly preoccupied with the threat of impeachment, he has been livid about what he sees as Congress’ inability to execute his campaign promises.
“The Congress has been frustrating to him,” retired Gen. John Kelly, Trump’s chief of staff, told reporters in the White House briefing room Thursday, lamenting the sluggish pace of the legislative process. “In his view, the solutions are obvious, whether it’s tax cuts and tax reform, health care, infrastructure programs, strengthening our military.”
In response to that frustration, the President has begun making as many changes as he can unilaterally. He announced he was ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protected young immigrants brought to the US illegally as children.
Last week, he began to chip away at Obamacare with an executive order that overhauls the insurance system. He chased it with an announcement that the administration plans to end subsidies to insurance companies that help low-income Americans pay for health care.
Trump also said he had no intention of certifying Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal, punting the issue to Congress to determine whether to reimpose sanctions on Iran and scrap the deal.
Still, the moves fall short of a signature legislative accomplishment. They also risk charges of hypocrisy after Republicans, including Trump, spent years hammering Obama for governing via pen and phone rather than through Congress.
“The most important factor for how the Republican Party does in 2018 is whether we cut middle class taxes or not,” said Corry Bliss, the executive director for the Congressional Leadership Fund and American Action Network. “The Republican Party controls the government and we’re going to be judged on delivering results.”

I found the best definition for it in ABC News, the best for me at least. Rather than a celebration of coming out or being gay, rather than a celebration of the fact that we’ve come from being fired from our jobs, losing our friends, and possibly being beaten by so-called ‘authority figures’ for being gay, we now  have the right to love and marry who we want, anywhere we want, thanks to the installation of #hesnotmypresident National Coming Out Day is a day to concentrate all efforts on fighting for the rights of LGBTQ. Here’s the article from ABC News;

national-march-on-washington-02-ap-jef-171010_4x3_992Terminally ill victims of Aids are pushed in wheelchairs as they participate in the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, Oct. 11, 1987.

Today is National Coming Out Day, dedicated to raising awareness of civil rights for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community.

LGBTQ advocacy group the Human Rights Campaign says that National Coming Out Day is meant to help create an environment where living openly and honestly is possible.

“Coming out is one of the most courageous acts any LGBTQ person makes, and on this National Coming Out Day that courage remains essential to our continued progress toward full equality,” said HRC President Chad Griffin in a press release today. “As LGBTQ people across the nation and around the world continue to come out, opposition to equality will continue to crumble. Sharing our stories is a key way each of us can fight back against attempts to turn back the clock on LGBTQ equality.”

The idea for the day was the culmination of four months of momentum where more than 100 activists were gathered in Manassas, Virginia near Washington D.C., according to the HRC, conceived by psychologist Richard Eicherg and activist Jean O’Leary on October 11, 1988. Their meeting followed the second march on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights on Oct. 11, 1987, in which half a million people participated and the AIDS Quilt was displayed.

In the 1980s, AIDS and HIV disproportionately affected the gay and lesbian communities in the U.S., but many felt the epidemic was not being researched because of discrimination against that community.

recent study sponsored by GLAAD, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, said that 20 percent of millennials identify as LGBTQ. According to the National Coming Out Day Report sponsored by the HRC, about 42 percent of LGBT youth say the communities in which they live are not accepting of LGBT people.

GTY-gay-pride-manila-6-jt-170625_4x3_992Participants parade the rainbow color flag during a gay pride march in Manila, June 24, 2017.

The American Psychological Association says positive feelings about one’s sexual orientation foster greater well-being and mental health. They define coming out as “self-awareness of same-sex attractions; the telling of one or a few people about these attractions; widespread disclosure of same-sex attractions and identification with the lesbian, gay and bisexual community.”

The three stages of coming out, according to the HRC, are opening up to oneself, coming out and living openly.

Coming out can be a difficult time for many in the LGBTQ community, advocates say, and many organization offer counseling and support.

“National Coming Out Day has become an important holiday for LGBTQ youth. Each year around this time we speak with a great deal of young people weighing whether or not to come out to their loved ones. As many folks who have done so can tell you, coming out is a deeply personal experience, and it’s different for everyone. We work with each individual caller who is seeking support on the issue to make sure that if they do feel ready to come out, they have a plan to do so safely. We help them explore friends and family who may possibly be a support system for them. We want to make sure that young people aren’t coming out just because they feel pressured to do so by a holiday, but are doing so because they themselves have made the choice best for them, ” Amit Paley of CEO and Executive Director of The Trevor Project told ABC News.

The Trevor Project, which provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth, has counselors to help LGBTQ community members come out.

What’s your most favorite story of coming out? It can be funny, sad, or touching. (If it’s someone else’s story, please change the names unless you have their permission,) Leave it in the comments below.

Weather’s been beeyootifull the last couple of days, and I’ve certainly been enjoying it. Since the doc and I found a new cocktail (medication mix) for me to take life has definitely been getting better. Too bad I can’t do it naturally (but that’s another post)…

About the title; I’ve found myself involved in two online debates on the same subject, with a couple of people who, tho each believes differently, don’t agree with me! Subject: religion. Stance: My stance on religion is that it is what the dictionary says: a particular system of faith and worship. Baptist-ism is a religion (And I don’t mean Baptism. Big difference.) Catholicism is a religion. These are particular systems, as are Methodist-ism, Satanism, Buddhism, and many other (to quote Bob Marley) “ism schism games”.

One of the debates is on whether Jesus (and God) exist now or ever did exist at all. The Bible has been called a “fraudulent piece of plagiarism” written by “frauds of authors”. The other debate is (I think; this one just started) whether or not people like Pat Robertson are “The people who created this religion (Christianity) and forced black slaves to believe in it in the first place!” I guess that person is saying that Christians (black & white) believe in something which is untrue, which was created from whole cloth, and forced upon the newly arrived slaves for some reason. What reason? What reason could there have been, and if it was created as a means of controlling the ‘ignorant black slaves’ how was it supposed to control them, and why were there so many white people who believed in it? And if it was created then, what was the religion that the Spanish Inquisition was done in the name of? What religion were missionaries from England going to Africa and other (what we call) Third World Countries in the name of? I thought it was Christianity…

Do any of you take either of these stances on the subject? There are 3 stances to choose from:

  1. You believe in God, Jesus, and the Bible
  2. You believe the whole thing is a pile of doody, a “fraudulent piece of plagiarism”, or
  3. You believe someone “created this religion (Christianity) and forced black slaves to believe in it in the first place!”

Please comment below, whichever one  you believe, and  hopefully we’ll get a lively conversation going without  deteriorating into ‘bashing’ each other. If not, oh well, hope I gave you something to think about.

FOCUSED…

Posted: September 26, 2017 in Goal-seeking

FOCUSED… That’s what I need to be, on where I’m going; what will I find when I get there? Will I get there? It makes little difference when it ends up being, as long as it’s done. As long as I arrive at that place that I need to be to do what I want to do.

Sounds like I’m talking in riddles, doesn’t it? I’m not, I’m just at a crossroads of my life, can’t figure out in which direction to go. Do I want to write, and publish my writing? If so, shall I write a book, an autobiography perhaps? Or shall I write a number of short stories and create an anthology of them?

Should I go back to get my degree, the one I almost had, until I was informed that I’d used all my financial aid funding for undergraduate school. I was so close, but should I focus on finding a way to complete my undergraduate so that I can begin working to get my Masters?

Focused… I was focused when I was married, as I was focused when I had my children. I was focused when I married again. All through my life I’ve been focused on what my family wanted or what my husband wanted and later in life, what my children wanted, and what my wife wanted. I was divorced, then widowed, now single, and it’s time to be focused on what I want.

Time to do what I want, but unfortunately, not in a position to pursue whatever I want. My time will come though, and I’ll be whatever God has planned for FOCUSED…FOCUSEDThat’sme to be.

I finally decided to move Little Known Black History Facts Over to WordPress. No more procrastinating. Actually I HAD to do it, thanks to Blogger; they screwed up my account again so that I couldn’t post! When I first discovered it I just posted the article on Live From Bikini Bottom, figuring that it would be fixed in a couple three days. It wasn’t. So, when I came across an article on Sterling K. Brown and his history – making Emmy award which I knew I had to post, WordPress here I am!!

Of course, as with most things, I don’t know how long I’ll keep up with this one on a regular basis, but as this one is personal I’m hoping that will be the incentive to keep me here more than not.

My life, the way I choose.

I think I was trying to sound profound… did I succeed? Probably never know, since I’ll probably never have any visitors/readers to tell me. I’m learning to live with that though, the thought that I’m not the big famous-on-the-Internet writer/blogger that I’d hoped to become. No one is interested in what I have to say (not even me sometimes) except a very select few who I can see in the stats keep reading, but they’ve never made themselves known to  me, not even by a comment. So what can I do but accept it?

Taking Coursera courses to learn how to write Creative Fiction; seem to be doing alright. Hmmm, think that’s what I’ll do here, post some of my work, perhaps some lonely person will run across it and get a kick out of it…

This was a very short assignment I had to do. I’m not going to tell you what the assignment was, as I want you to read this little piece for what it is, a very short story.

What’s Up, Doc?

Samantha, 17, is riding home on her bike, excitedly planning tomorrow’s events; it’s Picture Day at her school!  Picture Day has always been one of the seniors’ favorites; it’s a day when they can wear their own clothes, rather than a uniform.

She rode along, thinking of her best friend Sandy and herself, in matching outfits and hairstyles; they were going to sleepover at Samantha’s house to make sure that everything was perfect for school tomorrow!

She was so excited that she turned the corner a little too quickly, and while she avoided the truck in the road, she didn’t see the boy on his skateboard in the crosswalk!  She struggled to miss him, but knew she was too late when she found herself staring up at the sky.  She sharply inhaled, then realized with shock something was wrong. With her tongue, she slowly checked the inside of her mouth. A tear spilled from her eye as she realized that there would be no Picture Day for her tomorrow; matter of fact, she wouldn’t even be in school. She would be at the dentist, having her broken front teeth fixed!

If  you like, tell me in the comments if this fledgling writer has any kind of talent at all. I’ll be thinking of which story (longer of course, like a real story!) next!!

Until next time!

This is wonderful, I love it! Hope it makes an impression where it’s needed…

Interrupting the Silence

Mr. President, I did not vote for you and I never thought I would be saying this but I owe you a debt of gratitude. Less than a week into your presidency you have already done for me something I do not think Mrs. Clinton could have or would have done had she been elected president.

Your words and actions have inspired me. They have struck a chord deep within me. You have challenged me to be and do better. The violence in your words and actions have been a mirror before me. I do not like what I see. I do not want to be what I see. I may not have said or done many of the things you have; that, however, is not an excuse or justification for the violence that does inhabit some of my thoughts, words, and actions. In that regard, maybe we are not…

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