Tag Archives: Human rights

#October Survives Abuse on Steroids 

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Domestic Violence awareness month is a time to recognized how problematic abuse is in our society. As domestic violence awareness month comes to an end, we should be enraged daily because this behavior is not going away. Three women are murdered each day due to domestic violence. While it is not gender driven, women are 85% more likely to be victims and 15% of men are victims in the U.S. We feel better if we hide it because there is nothing more shameful than being a wife beater, an abuser or having people ask you, “why did you stay, if it was so bad?” Domestic violence is not a singular incident, it’s a hideous behavior problem deeply rooted in our culture. Violence may grant temporary control, but it ultimately ruins people, families and society. Physical abuse, verbally abuse and everything in between. What happens in our house, stays in our house. Not any more! That’s the good news.

There have been many stories, reports and biopics about domestic violence. The one that sticks with me is the LifeTime Biopic, Surviving Compton, which, highlights R&B Singer and Ruthless Records recording artist, Michel’le Toussaint. The story is about her relationship with Dr. Dre and Suge Knight and how she survived abuse while making her mark as a promising recording star back in the early 1990’s. Her voice was credited for establishing Ruthless Records with a mainstream sound. My first reaction after watching the movie, was shock and gut wrenching intensity. What I saw was abuse on steroids. I will not give a blow by blow analysis, but will comment on a few things. Michel’le’s story evoked a disturbing reality. There was no adult responsibility or direction provided while young people during the 1990’s L.A. NWA environment made decisions about their day-to-day life, but there was structure and guidance with the making of the music and promotion of the new hip hop sound that emerged from this era. So, it was okay to live with a young man at the age of sixteen or have 5 baby momma’s at the age of 18 and fight with no purpose while living with no solid principles as long as you didn’t miss rehearsals or studio time.

The second comment I’d like to share is that the storm inside of us encouraged abused. Men will be men; if he beats you, just try to fix it and do so quickly. These were the comments Michel’le Toussaint heard from the ELDERS while growing up. When I was a teenager I remember my mom and aunt talking about how my aunt ended up in the hospital due to her boyfriends hands in unwanted places. I too, ended up experiencing an abusive relationship. The good news is that I removed myself from that situation and I have had conversations with my daughter about how under any circumstances, abuse is unacceptable! The big elephant in the room is this; Abused people and people who abuse deal with confusion. We must intervene by reporting abuse, being direct in our opinions against abuse and telling our story. God has blessed Michel’le, Dr. Dre and Suge Knight. All are alive and have an opportunity to help others see the repercussions and dysfunction domestic violence causes. Pay attention!!! No matter how difficult it is to raise your head up, you must do so and you must move forward. Click here.

 

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Human Chattel, We Are Not! Value Our Human Rights.

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History is a potent recollection of our past. It built the backbone of what being an American is all about. Some of our past is painful while many parts are joyous to remember and reflect upon. Time has a way of healing and repairing the fabric of our most tragic events. Time also gives us an opportunity to engage in generational traditions or make changes in an effort to celebrate events we are proud of. We have learned valuable lessons and worked to improve and elevate our state of being because of history. It is recorded in classical novels, written abstracts, movies and other forms of media. There is one part of our history that is disturbing. The many decades when human beings were treated like chattel. Laws supporting human beings of ethnic descent as an equal to cattle or furniture ended 148 years ago. In the aftermath of the Civil War and it’s post war consequences, Civil liberties and rights have embraced our Country and the belief that all men should be respected and given a chance to succeed. In 2014 the fight for civil liberties and human rights is still very evident. I am surprised. We continue to read about young men being shot down in the streets while the shooters go free under our legal system as well as lynchings because of dating out of ones race. We also read about the overt disrespect of man and woman in their own household. Have we not not forgotten that everyone has the right to be respected and to feel safe and protected? Our leaders are responsible for making this a reality. This is why we vote! A leader must work to have extraordinary compassion for those he or she are responsible for because when turmoil is at it’s peak, everyone looks at the leaders, those who are suppose to set the example and sacrifice (at times), their own personal gain to ensure that others are developed and off to a positive path. Click here to learn about your human rights.