Monday, June 27, 2016

Apology Not Accepted...


EXCERPT: "The American Red Cross appreciates and is sensitive to the concerns raised regarding one of the water safety posters we produced," the hospital released in a statement to NBCBLK. "We deeply apologize for any misunderstanding, as it was absolutely not our intent to offend anyone. As one of the nation's oldest and largest humanitarian organizations, we are committed to diversity and inclusion in all that we do, every day."

Are they friggin' kidding? Apology not accepted...

Red Cross apologizes for 'super racist' pool safety poster that shows black children misbehaving while white kids obey the rules

This "post racial" America 2016 poster, is as racist as anything published in the 60's! They have got to be kidding regarding their claims of diversity and inclusion. If in fact they had any REAL diversity and inclusion on their staff (translation: INCLUSIVE of Black folks), this kind of thing would never happen. It is because diversity is now largely defined as white women and/or people of color who know about nothing about and who are therefore not sensitive to the struggle [of racism in America] or why the term/concept ever originated, that these kind of blunders happen and will continue to happen. Current claims of Diversity and Inclusion EXCLUDES Black Americans and this poster proves it! Even the weakest, less proud or culturally aware, of Black folks on the Red Cross staff would have immediately seen what was wrong with this poster and it would have never been published.

This actually reminds me of being at a DC Democratic party event in Washington, DC, when DC was still VERY chocolate (translation: overwhelming Black population). At this event some young White folks were passing out leaflets depicting an overhead shot with a bold caption of "Future Democrats" all looking up toward the camera. IN DC, where Blacks were a clear majority and where you could probably count the non-Black folks in the room, the photo of "future Democrats", a party highly dependent on the Black vote, was totally void of even one Black face! You can imagine the organizer's shock and horror when I brought this "oversight" to the attention of the organizers. Frantically they tried collecting all the previously distributed brochures, but the damage had been done...  As in this case, Red Cross, the damage has been  done.

I am not one to lightly call for termination of anyone's livelihood, but if there is an executive who is this insensitive and who has such poor judgment that a poster such as this was ever printed, published and seemingly disseminated throughout the state, s/he lacks in many other ways and is likely not an effective, fair or impartial administrator in many other perspectives. This person presents a future liability to the non-profit organization and he or she should be immediately relieved of his or her duties or at the least demoted. This action would send a resounding message of ZERO tolerance not only to others in management but also to Red Cross donors, Red Cross employees and to the community at large. Gotta' Go! Gotta' Go!!! Tired of empty apologies and promises to "retrain". Can't teach compassion and common sense...    
Apology Not Accepted...

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Celebrating Me Brazilian Style!



Miss Higgi at 56!
Today is no exception. Per usual, I awake on the dawning of the day of my birth, June 8th, to celebrate me in yet another foreign land which is not so foreign after all, Bahia, Brazil. I have been to Brazil before but never to Bahia. I purposely came here because the population is largely of African descent. It is reported that Brazil has the largest concentration of Africans living outside of Africa. I believe it! It is so beautiful to spend my birthday surrounded by like people similar in look, in ancestry, in struggle but most importantly in pride. I am immeasurably thankful to be here and most grateful to be alive to celebrate 56!  Happy Birthday to Me!!!




Friday, May 27, 2016

Not Feeling the Bern...

I respect those who support Bernie. Hell, even I voted for him, for change in the status quo of government which sickens me. Being true to my commitment, how could I not vote for the Bern? But given that a maniac has risen to the top of the republican calamity of jokes, aka candidates, maintaining or even tolerating status quo far outweighs the risk of trump.


Beginning to feel a little burnt by the Bern as his actions of late seem to give fuel, certainly another platform, free press, and more free air time to the mania of trump. I want the orange one to go away.


I was equally critical of Hillary when she would not step aside when it was clear that she could not win the 2008 nomination. I even wrote an editorial about it comparing her to that of a cocky sports player seemingly over confident of victory, who did not show up or play to win, who underestimated her opponent and who then refused to be graceful in defeat. I wanted her to step aside too...


While it has been suggested that there is a chance that Bernie could pull off a delegate upset if he could clinch California, and Lord knows I respect fighting for what you believe, I say this time, no matter the odds, the stakes are far too high and far more dangerous than when Hillary was in his position and equally obstinate.


So my Bernie supporters, what's up with the Bern? Debating trump? For what and for whose benefit? His candidacy has ignited a very necessary flame in America. It has wakened a sleeping public. Like trump, he has tapped into an overwhelming discontent and feelings of misrepresentation of the people by what is supposed to be OUR government. Why risk putting the flame out by alienating current or potential supporters? Keep the flame burning and create new ways to inspire the People to educate ourselves on how to challenge our government, on how to become more engaged in our government and the process of politics. Use your platform to teach We the People to put pressure on the government to hear our voice and to meet OUR demands, the demands of We the People. Hold elected officials accountable to the standards they are elected to uphold. Remind them that they are elected by We the PEOPLE to be a Government FOR We the People not for lobbyists, big business or to line their pockets or that of their friends, families and highest campaign contributors.


We hear you Bern. Job well done awakening the masses. Now transfer that energy into defeating, not emboldening, trump. Step aside and let the wrecking ball begin that will tear down the wall of racism, xenophobia, a resurgence of the myth of white supremacy, a wall that conjures feelings of hate, fear mongering, acts of anger and violence that the candidacy of trump is building around this country.


trump is a madman and a danger to all. He is literally the threat from within. Defeating him is about the salvation of our nation. The world is looking at us in wonderment. Our international credibility is on the line. America boasts and holds herself out as the model of democracy. We must now show the world the power of democracy and not let ourselves be led into shame and embarrassment by representation by the likes of trump. We must show the world the power of the vote.


This is REAL world, REAL life, not REALity TV where the entertainment of trump belongs. Send him home to watch himself on his own TV. We do not want to see him on our world stage, certainly not in the capacity as POTUS. So come on Bernie, Do the Right Thing. I understand that you think you can beat Hillary, and by no account have I ever been good at gambling, but this time my friend, like the rent, the stakes are just too damn high. Check your ego at the door, take one for the team and get on board to help us stump the trump. With ALL due respect, that has got to be the single focus...

 



Footnote: Be very clear that who ever becomes the ultimate Democratic candidate, will have my full support to derail trump.  

Friday, April 22, 2016

Purple Tears...


Much of this morning was spent watching and listening to the many tributes to Prince; on the radio, on TV, on Facebook. The love and admiration is amazing and well deserved... Since last night, BET has featured nothing but the man and his music. Its been wonderful... 


My heart however is heavy. I feel sad and keep hearing myself asking Prince "why?", as though he can answer, as though there is an answer... We are just beyond the first quarter of 2016 and the loss of noted celebrity lives has been astounding. I doubt that I am alone when I push aside thoughts about how horrible it will be when certain of our legends leaves us. Just the thought of saying goodbye to some is too painful to bear. Crazy how personal and attached we get with folks we don't even know. I think it has something to do with our living vicariously through them and the joy their talent brings us. We become vested in folks we don't know because we are inspired by or in awe of, their drive to embrace their talent and drive to live their dream.

It is inevitable however that we will lose our giants. But Prince and I are the same age. In my mind we are still young, we are the "new 50" and there is plenty of life ahead of us! So consideration of his death, loss of his talent, never to see or hear him in concert again, was not on the list of celebrities I silently dread the experience of mourning. His death was no where on my radar. So yes, it is hitting me really hard...

I am grateful to have fond memories of attending his concert last May. It was the first time I had seen him perform since my 20's. He gave a benefit concert in Baltimore following the police murder of Freddie Gray. It was on a Sunday night. I was living and working in Harlem and decided immediately to attend no matter the cost. I was going. A colleague overheard me say I was going and asked to come along. We got our tickets and on Sunday afternoon we hit the road. Three plus hours and 200 miles later, we were there!

The concert and the crowd were mesmerizing. For the entire concert, everyone was on their feet and singing along with him. It was amazing to recall in such a way, for such an occasion the work of this true genius and to see first hand how he, the legend, had affected so many. Total peace and unison in the midst of turbulence in the city.

We were so full when we left that we got back in the car still grooving to his music and others. We laughed, we sang, we talked about the concert, which was especially special to her as singing Prince songs with her late Mother was a memory of fond and very special times. She was so grateful to have been able to attend. I was happy to share in her reminiscence. It was just a magical night.

We were so pumped that we didn't even feel the 3 hour 200 mile drive back to NY. Nor did we feel the affect of sleep deprivation when we both arrived at work the next day for an 8am start! I was so happy and lighthearted that I was reminded of a dear and departed Friend who once accused that I was an over aged teenager when I partied like a crazy woman at my party for 30th birthday. What would he say now? (smiling...) What an evening. Not only did my Friend and I make it through a long day, after work I was still floating on Prince adrenaline and somehow found energy to meet some other Friends for dinner. The power of Prince! LOL!!!

Yesterday I think I just tried to stay busy so not to focus or allow the enormity of the loss to affect me. I didn't want to let it sink in... My concert Friend sent me a text that asked what's going on with Prince. I shirked it away and wondered where she had been since he was hospitalized and released over the weekend. I did not have the TV, radio on and believe it or not, I was not on Facebook. It was when another Friend called that I got the word and turned on the boob tube. My heart dropped... 

Today, my emotions are all over the place; high as I listen to and watch his genius that is being celebrated and low as melancholy consumes my spirit and I once again I hear myself wondering why the good or those who so love life and have so much still to offer, die so young... My consolation in my head is I am appreciating that through his music, he has left us a wonderful gift that will allow him life eternal. His music will keep him alive forever in our hearts. There is no question about what lies between the dashes in his life's story. Prince lived his life to the fullest and as such, was a true inspiration to so many. 

This morning I console myself by watching and listening to the marvelous gifts he has left us, his music, footage of rare interviews, stories from his celebrity Friends and the visual of the apparent and overwhelming love of his adoring fans. Last night I drove by the Apollo Theater at 1am. The marquee displayed a tribute to him and as in his life, following his death, fans were assembled to celebrate and honor him. 










Today I am telling me that Prince would not want us to mourn him but instead to appreciate, be inspired by and find our own greatness in the treasure of gifts he has left us. I am challenging myself in Prince's honor, to be reflective, to assess my own life and what will be the story between my dashes. I will not live vicariously through others who I admire for following their dreams, but instead commit to live vicariously through me and my own treasures that others so often see but that I tend to take for granted... Today I will try not to mourn the loss of my fellow Gemini Brother but instead be propelled and motivated by the gift of his legacy. I think that is what he would want... 


He Came
He Conquered
And now he rests after a job VERY well done...
The rest of us should be so lucky. 

His presence and his brilliance will be sorely missed...


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Driving While Black: Cops Target Minority Drivers In This Mostly White New Jersey Town



Now this is the stuff law school should be made of! Kudos to the students at Seton Hall for conducting a very viable study!!! Check out the embedded story and video; Driving While Black: Cops Target Minority Drivers In This Mostly White New Jersey Town.

Municipalities across the nation are raising their revenue, supplementing their operating budgets, and distracting from their fiscal incompetence on the backs of the citizens via bogus traffic violations, ridiculous fees, unsupported fines, costs for unwarranted licensing requirements, etc. It amounts to taxation without legislation.

Courts and cops specifically are charged with the task of raising revenue for their cash strapped
or greedy cities and townships via taxation through citation. It is guaranteed cash flow as it is unlikely that anyone will walk out of traffic court without paying a fine of some kind, usually for something s/he did not do. The victim is at a disadvantage and will usually plead guilty and pay the fine for whatever charge the prosecutor has cooked up and convinced the poor victim is offered to him as a favor because usually the proffered "offense" does not involve points or require that a report is made to the motorists' insurance company which is eagerly standing by chomping at the bit to also levy a fine against the poor motorist. Its a racket wherein all system parts work in concert to screw the defenseless and vulnerable public often who is usually too poor but has no choice but to pay the fines imposed against him. Some other part of his life will suffer...

Just yesterday I advised a Friend who was shaken down by his local traffic court supposedly for the offense of texting while driving which miraculously became a parking offense to the tune of a $150 fine once my Friend produced to the court his phone record that proved he was not texting or using his phone while driving... I told him to do just what these young lawyers did, spend some time observing and documenting the practices of his court and then write an editorial exposing the court and cc'ing his letter to every government official from the local to the governor! I also suggested in his editorial that he encourage other similarly violated neighbors and drive through motorists to also come forth... This is a common practice and while Blacks and Latinos are the usual scapegoats as is determined by this expose' on Bloomfield, NJ, at one time or another, we all fall prey to this not so discreet form of police harassment for the benefit of, and dare I say at the direction of, their city and/or police administrators...

WE THE PEOPLE! WE HAVE A VOICE. IT IS TIME WE START RAISING IT!!!






Driving While Black: Cops Target Minority Drivers in This Mostly White New Jersey Town

On The Eve of the Primary...

It is nothing short of amazing that on the eve of my state's primary for the election of the next president of the United States, I still don't who I will vote for. This is unheard of... Of course it will be a Democrat but which one, Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton? For me, an astute and seasoned voter, to be this confused at the nth hour of the campaign is ridiculous. What's worse is that I am not alone...

A vote for Bernie is definitely a vote for the 99%, for We the People. A vote for Bernie is an anti-establishment vote, another vote for another stab at hope and change. Some call it a "protest vote". It definitely goes against the grain and sends a much needed message that We the People, the sleeping giant, are finally waking up to the power of our voice, therefore the power of our vote. A vote for Bernie is a challenge to status quo and sends a resounding message that while the 1% might have the money and the lobbyists, We the People, the 99%, have the vote! How empowering would it be for us, We the People, to finally absorb that concept. Oh Happy Day!!!

No matter your politics, it seems pretty difficult not to be impressed that for more than 20 years in Congress, despite the actions and undoubted pressure from lobbyists and his colleagues alike, Bernie Sanders has  managed to remain in office and reportedly has successfully rejected the enticement of accepting corporate money. He can freely campaign as a politician beholden only to We the People. We the People, like that. It is impressive and speaks volumes to his character and level of integrity. True politicians are not in the game to get rich. They don't lose sight that they too are citizens who will ultimately be subjected to the laws they pass. They are sensitive to and mindful of the task of legislating and respectful of the trust given them by their constituents. They value We the People and they value their work.  These are good and worthy characteristics that are buying Bernie Sanders a lot of political capital from We the People...

Voting for Hillary is no doubt a vote for lobbyists, status quo and the establishment as we know it. Unlike Bernie, over the years she, as seems typical of our elected officials, has chosen to accept corporate money which gives cause for pause to We the People. There is question if she will govern the will of the people or that of the corporations which mostly do not have the interests of We the People at heart. It is not their strong suit to work to achieve that which benefits or that which We the People want. As We the People feel less and less represented by our government, this is a HUGE problem for Hillary Clinton and leads to questions of doubt and trust. Of course, this is a problem...

Conversely however, while Hillary may be an establishment politician, she is seasoned, thick skinned, quick witted and a competent thinker. She will perform well and hold it together under pressure. Who of us was not impressed with her demeanor and unshakable disposition during her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding the exaggerated email scandal. She is tried, true and cool under pressure. The "big boys" don't scare or intimidate her. This is an unknown for Bernie. How will he do under pressure? Can he withstand the ruthlessness and nastiness that he will surely receive during a campaign against the republicans? Can he/will he keep it together?  Being part of the establishment may not be such a bad thing for Hillary who will leverage her contacts. For Hillary, being part of a machine or the establishment, might serve We the People well...

Hillary's connections, relationships and shared politics with her peers will prove an asset as she maneuvers and bargains to get things passed through Congress . She can muster up old relations with lobbyists and her peers, who will all be on the same side to help her get the job done; be it good for the will of the people or bad... She will establish or reinforce old relationships necessary to fight to keep the Affordable Healthcare Act in place, to protect a woman's reproductive rights, but more importantly, to protect hard fought gains for civil rights and the like. Conversely, Bernie will be a lone soldier who will have a difficult time getting buy in from his peers, on either side of the aisle, who are mostly too intertwined with corporate America to advocate against their interests for the will of We the People. Now this is a shame. Expose them. Vote them out...

The dismal approval rating of Congress is undeniable proof that most Americans are not happy with our elected officials. Further proof however, is the insurgence and endurance of both Bernie Sanders and donald trump (forgive my pettiness, he is due as much respect as he affords others), supposed under dogs, in the presidential campaign. Both men are speaking to different sides of the same coin, giving their respective supporters cause for hope and change.

While each side of that coin would argue that his candidate's ideas are realistic and achievable, the truth is that because we are not a dictatorship, both men will have problems advancing his proposed agenda. trump can no more force the Mexicans to build a wall around their country AND make them pay for it and deport all Muslims from the US than can Bernie give the rest of us free education, a single payer health plan option and freedom from oppressive bank policies. So while casting a protest vote for Bernie and all he stands for might feel good and hearing his ideas might sound good, seeing them implemented ain't likely to happen, says the pessimistic side of me. The optimistic and rebellious side of me however says, certainly We the People will not see change if we don't bite the bullet give change a chance. It certainly will not happen if we are fearful to take the chance to make it happen... So do we join the millenials, throw caution to the wind and feel the Bern? Hopefully I will know when I awake...

Finally it is imperative that we the Democrats do not lose the White House. Bernie or Hillary, I do not care. It just cannot be any of the current republicans running for office who are hell bent on "taking their country back" or "making America great again". Scary propositions both. Too many gains have been made in civil and human rights over the years and more recently during President Obama's administration, to risk losing it all now. So which Democrat is more likely to beat which ever of the republicans who wins their primary, Bernie or Hillary?

While I firmly believe that the outcome of this election is an unknown, I fear that as Bernie has been tagged the ultimate socialist liberal, his candidacy will scare the hell out of the living and serve to resurrect dead coal miners and the like who will beat a path to the polls to vote. His candidacy will energize the republican base as much as would the reincarnation of Ronald Reagan. Democrats are not that motivated. Unlike the republicans who usually back their candidate no matter who, remember sarah, Democrats are more fickle and both sides are claiming they will sit out the election before they will vote for their candidate's opposition. Let's hope that is not true...  But I am pretty concerned that blue does not see the fervor of red to win this election. That is scary...

Again, too much to consider and how ridiculous that still I am so confused at this bewitching hour. Never have I been so undecided. This is such an important and sadly, unpredictable election. I will however, do my part and encourage you to do the same, to ensure that the best Democrat wins. See ya' at the polls Folks!


Image result for hillary clintonImage result for bernie sanders

Goodnight...


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

A Plea...

Well this photo certainly sums it up...

IF you think your vote does not matter, I am here to tell ya', IT DOES! We showed up and made the damn thing happen FOR President Obama and we MUST show up and make the damn thing happen AGAINST trump, no matter who is the Democrat nominee.

I have heard folks say they will not vote for Hillary under ANY circumstances, presumably and effectively voting for trump. My only question to you, is what would those who laid down their lives for you to be able to vote say about you voting for a "man" or a party that has demonstrated its will to take back ALL that has been gained in the interest of civil rights, the Black community, not to mention humanity, ESPECIALLY our right to vote? So will you really throw your vote away and make a mockery out the hard fight of those who walked before and for us? Really? I beg you, for this Sistah' ain't too proud to beg, to rethink that decision...
Channeling our ancestors, our heroes...