Does BLACK LIVES MATTER only at your convenience?

BLACK LIVES MATTER.

BLACK LIVES MATTER.

BLACK LIVES MATTER!

I hear this statement everywhere. See the declarations of support: from the community, from corporations, large and small. I have seen the marches, in the streets, for weeks. Folks of all colors, ages and stages, have marched with us POC. They have cried with us. They have taken rubber bullets with/for us. They have demanded ‘change’ from the government, on our behalf. For three weeks, white America marched with us. WHITE AMERICA MARCHED WITH US!

Then, the cameras moved on. I hear the words less. I see more and more folks, running around without masks. I see more and more, white folks, flocking beaches and going on vacations, all over the country. In fact, travel is higher, than it has been in years. Folks are living their lives, most white folks, are living their lives as if there is no pandemic, as if their actions are of little, or no consequence. For days, I have heard white folks saying ‘only the young get it’ or if they, themselves, get it, it ‘won’t be too bad’ or they recover quickly.

Or, let’s be honest, white folks see the staggering statistics that covid is affecting/killing POC at disproportionate rates, and keep it moving. They are thankful, that it is us, and not them. They are silent, once again. Another form of system racism.

Real talk, WHITE AMERICA: are you secretly glad that you can work from home, that you don’t have to make the agonizing choice of a paycheck vs contracting and/or dying from covid, if you get it? Would you be demanding, that meat packing plants open, or schools open, if you were stacked into these covid breeding places? Would you be cavalier if white folks were dying at two and a half times the rate, if white folks were hospitalized, at FIVE TIMES THE RATE, as POC?

Let’s be real, America. This country would ALREADY be in another lockdown, if the majority of white America had to work in the ‘essential’ groups. White America would have demanded, LONG AGO, that this nation be shut down. What’s more, white America, who owns most of everything and has the ear of the White House, would have already demanded a package to have them paid, while they shelter in place!

I talked to a white friend, today, who said ‘that’s just so sad/too bad’ when I told her about having to comfort a friend who lost THREE family members, in ONE DAY! I, myself, received three texts, in ONE day advising of three friends, who all passed away, THAT day. I have been fighting a severe cold, for the past week and a half, and spent time wondering if I would die alone, in my apartment, from this nasty covid, being in a high risk group.

Yes, many white Americans are socially distancing and wearing masks and going about their day. They are enjoying their meat, at the expense of POC, who are dying to help produce it. They are shopping, in stores, where ‘essential workers’ are bagging their groceries. They are traveling on trains, planes, etc where POC are keeping them clean etc.

Yet, we ALL see the rising numbers. Let’s be real, folks. We ALL know and understand that, as soon as enough people, WHITE PEOPLE, start dying that this country, will rise, en masse and demand things shut down, again. It is going to happen. I weep because, it is not going to happen: until more white folks start dying or getting deathly ill. White folks know this. The media knows this. Politicians know this.

I cry, knowing things won’t change, until those bodies pile up. I wonder, how many more of us POC, will die, until enough white Americans die or get super sick, to sound the alarm. How many of us, will be enough? How many of YOURS, will be enough before you demand law makers to do something?

People are demanding that sports, begin again. The vast majority, of players, are POC. I love sports. I pray, EVERY day, that sports gets shut down, in order for our players, and their families, and support staff, are kept safe. POC athletes have entertained America for decades. They do so, to support their families, to entertain the world. They love what they do. Yet, they have NO BUSINESS playing now.

Ah, that’s the big issue, though, isn’t it? BUSINESS? We make the money for you. Us, essential folks, keeps the trains running for you. Folks say BLACK LIVES MATTER. Apparently, it does not seem to matter, when put against the color green. Our lives are worth it, to most folks, to get the economy kick started. I dare White America, to admit that they would not choose their lives, over the economy, if they were the ones risking.

I know. I know. I already hear the arguments coming that white folks are suffering too. That they have to get out there and work, too. That they have to feed their family, too.

Bottom line is the numbers are out of control. The hospital are being over run. We need a FULL lockdown. The government needs to open the wallet, to all of us, not to big corporations, hedge funds, cruise ships, airlines, and all the other companies and billionaires and celebrities, who received MILLIONS in pay. The government needs to close up America, write us citizens a monthly check TO STAY HOME, so that we can get things under control.

America, needs to demand that EVERYBODY wears a damned mask, when things open up, and socially distance, and get things back in the right direction. Other countries, have already done this people!!!!

Evangelical Christians, what in the hell has happened to you, that you demand rights, at the expense of loving your neighbors and wearing a mask to keep everyone safe??! You want to protect a statue and could give a damn that you may be killing your fellow man!!!!

The silence is killing us. POC, your silence is killing us. We have to demand our legislature, friends, sports folks, ALL folks, rise up with us, and get us out of harms way! Folks are dying. WHITE AMERICA, your silence is killing us. How many more days, must we all live through, like this! Corporate America, yes, you are losing money. You are going to lose more. But, how many deaths are worth your bottom lines? This country needs to shut down. All of it. We needed to have done this, as ONE, back in March. We can do it now. Somebody’s mom, dad, aunt, uncle, husband, wife, sister, brother, cousin, best friend, only friend, is dying, as I type these words, as you read these words, that didn’t have to.

Does BLACK LIVES MATTER only at your convenience? POC are dying. From lack of testing, from lack of care, from lack of give a damn. We all watched, George Floyd, and were helpless. We couldn’t do a thing, to help him. We can do something, about this. We can ALL wear our masks, we can all socially distance. We can ALL, shelter in place. Things are close to a tipping point. Why, o why, do we have to wait until the number is too big for Donald Trump, for Republicans to stand up and say enough, for the rest of us to lose our minds, to do something.

Silence has literally killed tens of thousands, of our fellow Americans. Their lives mattered. We must NOT allow their deaths, to have been, in vain. IF you give two damns, stop wringing your hands, open up your mouth, and SAY SOMETHING. If not for me, do it for someone you care for. Death will come, for someone you know. It will. In the meantime, care for those of us who are daily affected.

Your fellow American and sister,

Cassandra

ttnette37@yahoo.com

Exhausting…

I’m exhausted. Have been exhausted since watching 8:46. Truth be told, I have been exhausted, for the past 51 years. Tonight, I was talking to a black male friend of mine. He shared how EXHAUSTING it was, living in this world, as a black man. I shared how utterly EXHAUSTING, it is, having to live in this world, as a black woman. For him, he is viewed as a THUG. For me, I am viewed as an ANGRY, BLACK WOMAN. Dammit, I AM angry. I have every right to be. I am soooooooooo truly angry that our precious KINGS, are viewed as no more than THUGS and trifling.

Most black/brown men, would give you the shirt off his back. And, they have done so, many times. Most black/brown women, would run through a wall to fight for ALL children. And, we don’t discriminate. We would, beat the holy hell out of ANY that would cause harm, to a child.

I wish that. Dammit, I am TIRED OF WISHING!!!!!

I’m exhausted…..sigh….I’m exhausted. I can’t breathe. Alas, I shall, scrape my tired/troubled heart, from off the floor and will post these words to as many places as I can. In hopes, that folks will see. Hell, in hopes that WHITE America, CORPORATE America, will read these words, hear, act and tell me that Black Lives Matter, that MY life matters. I am highly exhausted, and ticked off, that I find myself, STILL waiting for America to make me free.

ENOUGH ALREADY!! Alas, I reread these words, and find myself hopeful, yet again, that somebody, somewhere, somehow, is listening and will do something, dammit! Exhausting. Think I will post this, to my blog, and call it…..Exhausting.

To be continued…

😦

Mama: YOUR silence, is deafening…

Mama, your silence, is deafening. Watching them lower your casket, into a cold and unforgiving earth, I raged, silently, knowing I would never hear your voice. Never is such a long time. Never again, will I be able to call you, never to lay my head on your round and warm tummy. I rage, still, with the utter heartbreak/despair. I will NEVER see you again, will never be comforted: by your words, your warmth, your love and you wit. I would give anything, mama, to hear your voice, to be with you, again.

George Floyd, your silence, is deafening. Watching them lower your casket, into a cold and unforgiving earth, I raged, loudly, knowing your family would never hear your voice. Never is such a long time. I wept, thinking of your children, your wife, your siblings, cousins and friends, who can never call you, never be comforted by your presence. I rage, still, with utter heartbreak/despair. Your loved ones were robbed! They will NEVER see you again, will never be comforted: by your words, your warmth, your love and you wit. George Floyd, cried out for his mama, with his dying breaths. Mama. He cried out, for his mama, as I cried out, for mine. Mama. Your silence, is deafening. Still.

Breonna Taylor, your silence, is deafening. Hearing how your life was taken, as you lay innocently, in your bed, I wept, bitterly, knowing your family would never hear your voice, again. I wept, thinking of those who can never call you, never be comforted by your presence. I rage, still,with utter heartbreak/despair. You were robbed! Of the opportunity to walk down an aisle, bear children and watch them, walk down an aisle. Never is such a long time. I wonder, Breonna, if you had time, to call out, for your mama.

White America/Corporate America/Evangelical America, your silence, is deafening. Hearing, George Floyd, cry out for his mama. Seeing, all the lives senselessly/needlessly taken, for no reason, other than the color of their brown/black skin, I weep bitterly, knowing their families will never be comforted. I rage, still, with the knowledge of THOUSANDS of precious souls, robbed of the chance to live, thrive and grow. THEY WERE ROBBED!!! I wonder, how many cried, for mama. I wonder, if you cared. You cared for 8:46, of silence, then. Your silence, now, is deafening.

Mama, hearing George Floyd, calling for mama, had me crying out for you. Crying out, mama, because that could have been me, or one of my siblings, cousins, or friends. Mama, WHERE ARE THE MAMAS!?

Mamas, YOUR silence IS deafening. Where are our white mamas? Where are our Christian Mamas? Why isn’t EVERY mama, out there, raging/crying/grieving with me?!

Until EVERY child can: jog freely down a street, watch a bird, have a picnic, sell a bottle of water, walk down ANY neighborhood street, obtain a business loan, attend a well-outfitted school, have a grocery store with fresh fruit in their neighborhood, be seen and BELIEVED by a doctor, be welcomed onto the golf course and into the country club, ushered into the boardroom, able to call the police without fear, express themselves without having to monitor facial expressions/voice tones, wear whatever clothes they want WHERE they want to wear them, adorn themselves/their hair in whatever manner they see fit, go to a hospital to give birth and come home alive and with a newborn, be paid what they are worth, not have to work ten times as hard for one tenth the return, enjoy the fruits of their labors, participate in the stock market, able to purchase/own home in a thriving neighborhood/community, purchase a car based upon their income and not the color of their skin, be believed when they say they have been hurt/abused/looked over/dismissed/discriminated against, enter this country to take advantage of the safety of the Flag, looked at as an equal and not a servant/subservient/less than/less qualified, attend ANY college and live in ANY neighborhood and be welcomed with open arms, protected/not locked in cages as children/adults, able to travel the world and return home without fear/threat then NO CHILD IS TRULY FREE. Mama, I don’t understand why all the mamas, out there, are silent. You would be weeping, with me. As would George Floyd’s mama. Why aren’t ALL the mamas weeping?

Mamas, especially white mamas, YOUR silence is deafening. Mamas, YOUR silence, have allowed so very many children to go homeless, to be locked in cages, to go to rundown schools, to go hungry, to die in childbirth, to be held down for 8:46. Mamas, had you been crying out, for ALL children, maybe, just maybe, some of these POC may not have died. Maybe, had more mamas, told their sons/daughters that Black Lives truly does Matter, that those 8:46 may never have happened. Ahmad Arbery, may still be jogging down a street. Breonna Taylor, may still be helping others…

Mama, I used to wonder how White America, Christian America, could not/would not see, what their brown/black brothers and sisters, have been going through, all these years. I don’t wonder now. Mamas saw, then. Mamas see, now. Then, mamas CHOSE silence, in order to protect their child’s spot and lot in life. Now, mamas see. I don’t know what, if anything, mamas will do/say. Will mamas continue to jealously guard their child’s spot, mama?

Mama, will she, put herself, in George Floyd’s mama spot? Will she, look down in horror, thinking ‘he could have been my son?!’ White America, he will NEVER be your son. Why? Because, you live, in a world, where the color, of your skin, affords you a ride home, instead of a shot in the back. The color, of your skin, allows you the benefit of the doubt. The color, of your skin, grants you, the privilege: to own, not rent; to lend, not borrow; to run, not walk; to be served, not serve. The color, of YOUR skin, has afforded YOUR children, the ability to reign and roam. The only cost to you, in your estimation, was your silence. Your silence, has allowed your family to thrive/prosper, at the expense of POC children/livelihood. I wonder, if the silence is still worth it. I wonder…

Mama, your silence is deafening. I no longer know how to maneuver in a world without your voice. Who will listen to mine? I have shouted, for 51 years, to be heard. I have asked America, many times, through tears/exhaustion, if black lives matter, if MY life matters. The silence, mama, has been deafening. The silence hurts. I used to be able to ignore the silence. 8:46 stole that delusion, from me. Mama, what do I do with this silence? Mama. Mama. I STILL hear, George Floyd, calling out for his mama. I, STILL, cry out for mine.

Mamas: YOUR silence, is deafening. America needs you. I need you. POC need you. All my white friends champion me. They pat me, on the back, and tell me to ‘keep on speaking’. They rah rah and tell me to ‘keep on educating white folk’. They tell me they wish there was something they could do. They lament and rend their clothing. They say they don’t get involved, because it’s ‘not their problem’ to solve. They say they turn off the ‘bad coverage’ because it is ‘just too hard to watch’. Try living it 24/7. I can’t breathe.

“MAMA!!”

😦

#BlackLivesMatter

“Systemic Racism”

I just wanted to put a human story, upon the much used phrase of ‘systemic racism’ currently being bandied about. America has been anxious to ‘reopen’. For POC, for myself, reopening is nothing to celebrate. America has been frustrated by their ‘inconvenience’ of being without. For me, the economic pandemic will continue.


My name is Cassandra. I am a 51 year old, African American woman, who has worked hard, all my life. I write these words, from a rented apartment.  I have never been able to obtain a loan, in order to purchase a home. Persons of color are often denied home loans as we have been advised we don’t have the ‘collateral’ or ‘don’t earn enough’ or ‘would not be able to pay for monthly mortgage payments. Often times, our rent payments are much higher than a mortgage payment would be. POC have spent much our lives paying off the mortgages,for a privileged America, who can then obtain loans, to purchase rental properties they then rent to us. POC are often denied the privilege of living in ‘nicer neighborhoods’ and are often pointed to higher priced, often poorly maintained rental properties.


POC have not been afforded the opportunity to build wealth via home ownership. Thusly, at this current time, White wealth is currently at $171,000, whereas Black America wealth sits currently at $17,000. As we speak, many of you are reading these words, from the privileged place of a home. My mother dreamed of owning her own home. Sadly, she passed away, three Christmas ago, never having known the privilege.


I will, most likely, never know the joy of home ownership due to the added issue of lack of wealth due to inequity in earnings, through lack of opportunities for growthand pay inequity. POC are generally the last hired and first fired. POC must even be careful, in naming their children, given the fact that names, viewed as being ‘black’ are often shunted to the end of the resume pile, if not placed into the circular file, in it’s entirety. As a POC, it is near impossible to obtain a well paying job. We are raised that we must ‘work ten times harder’ just to hope for an opportunity that rarely comes. And, if we are given an opportunity for a job, we often end up training those, far less qualified, who end up being promoted. Those promoted, often lean on our talents/skills, yet, they are the ones who obtain the pay/accolades etc of POC who work tirelessly, in hopes that one day, someone may notice, our hard work, and offer us higher positions, stock options , and better pay.


I have always dreamed of going to college. I was unable to earn enough to attend, due to helping care for my mom, who lived with chronic diabetes, high blood pressure, and arthritis. These, I am sure, were, in part, due to being forced to live in neighborhoods where sewage plants and other toxic waste etc are placed in neighborhoods of POC. There were also very few, if any, grocery stores where fresh fruits and vegetables are readily available. Most POC learned to live on processed foods. These are cheaper, easier to maintain, however, only exacerbates health concerns.


A beautiful white friend of mine, emailed me, recently. She hated how POC have been treated. She wanted to find a way to give me her home. She wanted to atone for all that is going on, right now, and all that has come before. I share with you, what I shared with her: POC are not asking for special treatment. We just want equal treatment. I don’t want her home. I want to be able to own my own. We just want the flag, that everyone so dearly loves, to cover us, as well. I have dreamed, for more than 30 years,  of being able to have my own website where I can spend the rest of my days encouraging others and spreading joy. I long for the day, of financial freedom, from somewhere, so that I may keep scratching for that American dream. Without a college degree, or access to learning how to build a webpage, the network to obtain a grant/loan I couldn’t afford to pay back, I despair that I will ever fulfill my dream. It took years, to scrape $1,100, for savings. Yet, one financial issue, wiped out my savings in a matter of month or two.


It took me, almost 50 years, to FINALLY purchase a new car. Even though, I had zero debt, and lived within my means, I was unable to obtain a loan. It took persistence to finally find a car dealership who offered me a 2016 Ford Focus, with zero percent interest. I have not missed a payment, in four years.


I have read all the wonderful statements by various corporations, institutions, sports leagues etc. I have been heartened to see so many who say they want to help and are donating to BLM and other organizations. Yet, where does that leave me? I work hard, care for others, encourage others every day. I still write these words, from an apartment and see no way of crawling out of my financial hole, built insidiously by system racism, to obtain a home, refill my bank account, obtain a PPP, that can be forgiven(such as large corporations were able to do).


I ask that you share these words, with others, with those, whom say they wish to help, in order for them to truly understand what ‘system racism’ does to POC. Should you wish to contact me, please don’t hesitate to do so. I welcome all feedback/suggestions.


Watching George Floyd, take his last breath, has made it impossible for me to stay silent.I want the opportunity to live the American Dream. I love America. I just wished America loved me. I can’t breathe.


With much respect,
Cassandra Jeanette
Jeanettesctt@yahoo.com