Monthly Archive: April 2015

Wednesday

29

April 2015

2

COMMENTS

Civil Unrest in Baltimore

Written by , Posted in Culture, Politics, Race

 

A major American city is talking. Will anyone listen?

protester-baltimore

Still trying to wrap my head around everything that’s been going on in Baltimore. A few thoughts:

1. The Baltimore city government needs to move quickly to make the results of their investigation in Gray’s homicide public.

1a. Using racialized language (i.e., “thugs”) at a time like this is not a smart move, even if you are a black elected official.

2. We’re at a point where only the most ardent police apologists can deny that there are aspects of law enforcement culture that are rotten and need to be changed. That will require changes in technology (i.e., body cams), recruiting, training, department policy, police culture, investigation, and prosecution. Police who betray their oaths and commit serious crimes, and the arms of law enforcement that are complicit, undermine the very rule of law they have sworn to protect.

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Thursday

16

April 2015

0

COMMENTS

#TBT – Who Sets the Tone for Your Relationship?

Written by , Posted in Relationships

 

Based on a Black and Married with Kids (BMWK) article from 2010.

Anyone who has ever taken salsa lessons should know that men are traditionally responsible for taking the lead on the dance floor. This is true regardless of whether the man happens to be a better or more experienced dancer than his female dance partner. This concept reminds me of a conversation I had recently at a friend’s birthday barbecue in which I stated that a man should set the tone for his relationship; I likened the dynamic between a man and woman to that of a thermostat and thermometer. For example, a man who is overly excited about the woman he’s dating might have the relationship temperature up a few degrees too high, and her response (e.g. avoiding phone calls) should be an indicator that he needs to cool things down a bit. Likewise, a woman who expresses her disappointment in the lack of interest or effort on the man’s part is a signal that the temperature might need to be turned up a few degrees. Unsurprisingly, everyone did not share my view on this subject. One person felt that women should set the tone by creating an environment that makes a man comfortable being himself. In her view, women should take the initiative to set the course for the relationship.

To be clear, the conversation wasn’t meant to be an argument about who holds a more important role in a relationship or an attempt to draw battle lines in a fruitless power struggle. I firmly believe that both parties in a relationship must put forth effort if it is to be successful; my point was simply that a man who takes initiative serves as an antidote to the well-worn perception of men being passive participants in relationships. Our culture has taught us that generally speaking, a woman’s natural inclination is to seek stability while men have a propensity to seek variety. Therefore, without initiative on a man’s part a woman might think that she is just his “flavor of the month”. To be clear, the initiative I’m referencing here is not the superficial gestures that some men use as a means to an end (i.e. sex). I am talking about men who take the initiative to do what’s necessary to build a strong relationship foundation. This includes spending quality time, articulating feelings about the woman and the relationship at the appropriate time, and ensuring that one’s words and deeds are in alignment. I believe these types of  actions  take the adversarial nature and senseless game playing  out of dating, courtship, and even marriage. All of these activities communicate to a woman that her mate is in the relationship because he wants to be there, not because of coercion, convenience, or comfort.

Relationships often suffer because of a lack of clarity so a man who clearly articulates his vision or desires for the relationship goes a long way to removing some of the doubt and insecurity that can erode the relationship’s foundation. This is not to say that men don’t need to feel secure in their relationships. I once had a girlfriend tell me she was taking a break from the relationship to figure out whether she wanted to be with me or one of her close male friends who had previously expressed a romantic interest. Needless to say, that experience left me feeling less secure about my place in the relationship. The insecurity I reference here is not in relation to body image issues, the residue of past hurts in prior relationships, or some of the other internal issues that must be resolved on an individual basis. The insecurities to which I am referring are the feelings that arise when there is uncertainty about the status and direction of the relationship itself. Ultimately, both men and women must contribute to the growth and development of a relationship but similarly to dancing, someone must take the lead. Hopefully we won’t step on each other’s toes too many times in the process.

Who do you think should set the tone for the relationship? Does a man who takes initiative create a greater sense of security in the relationship?

*Original article can be found on Black and Married with Kids. 

Monday

13

April 2015

0

COMMENTS

A New Day in Ferguson

Written by , Posted in Culture, Politics, Race

 

Change is on the way in Ferguson.

(Scott Olson/Getty Images)

(Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Over the last 10 months Ferguson, Missouri has become the epicenter of the growing movement against police brutality and misconduct. The outrage after Michael Brown’s death sparked protests across the country, particularly in other cities with high-profile police shootings, investigations by the Department of Justice, and new elections. In less than one year, this small Missouri city became an example of how everyday citizens could fight back against institutional racism and affect substantive change. While we’ve seen signs of progress, it hasn’t come without serious challenges.

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Thursday

9

April 2015

0

COMMENTS

#TBT – Are You Sabotaging Your Own Relationship?

Written by , Posted in Relationships

 

Based on a Black and Married with Kids (BMWK) article from 2010.

What comes to mind when you hear the word “intimacy”? Do you think of marriage, sex, friendship, affection, familiarity, or something else altogether? Regardless of what words you associate with intimacy, close relationships require it to truly be authentic. Unfortunately, we often block intimacy with our own actions, words, and thoughts. It is easy to see how verbal or physical abuse, poor communication, dishonesty, and selfishness would drive two people apart, but there are also individual habits that undermine attempts to build intimacy. This latter group of “intimacy-killers” are incubated internally but manifested externally. They do a great deal of damage if left unchecked and can counteract the peace and contentment we seek in our relationships. While my list of five intimacy-killers is certainly not exhaustive, it should prompt us all to examine ourselves to determine whether we are subconsciously sabotaging our own relationships.

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Thursday

9

April 2015

0

COMMENTS

When Will it End?

Written by , Posted in Politics, Race

 

Police violence is being met with universal condemnation. Will justice follow?

The killing of Walter Scott by a South Carolina police officer has been universally condemned by those who have seen the video. But none of us would probably even know the name Walter Scott if not for Feidin Santana. His video shows Walter Scott, having already been tased, run away from officer officer Michael Slager, who, instead of pursuing Scott, pulls out his gun and fires eight shots before Scott falls to the ground. The officer then appears to drop something, presumably a taser, next to Scott’s body. A second officer arrives on the scene but neither appears to offer Mr. Scott any medical assistance.

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Monday

6

April 2015

1

COMMENTS

Who Deserves Forgiveness?

Written by , Posted in Culture, Race

 

mone_davis

Two recent stories got me thinking about forgiveness last week. The first involved Levi Pettit, the SAE member who, along with other members of his fraternity, got caught on video singing a song that referenced lynching. The second story involved Joey Casselberry, a college baseball player from Bloomsburg University who referred to Mo’ne Davis as a “slut”in a recent tweet, apparently after hearing that Davis would be the subject of an upcoming Disney movie.

Pettit and Casselberry faced intense criticism for what they did but the actions of a handful of black folk also garnered a good deal of attention. A group of black elders, including clergy and at least one state senator, stood behind Pettit while he apologized during a public statement. Mo’ne Davis took things to a different level when she not only stated she forgave her offender but also contacted his school to ask for his reinstatement after they kicked him off the baseball team. Both instances present interesting case studies in forgiveness.

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