Why Black People Have Never “Gotten Over” Slavery

Black people have been told to “forget and get over” slavery for many, many years. We blame slavery for many of the problems that are prevalent in our communities today, from the broken families to the violence. But I would like to know, why are we being told to forget and get over such a hurtful point in our history? And why is it that we never “got over” it in the first place?

Slavery of black people in America began in the 1600s. White people used black people from Africa as slaves to help them with crops, such as tobacco, and other landscaping work. It became even bigger business after the cotton gin was invented in the late 1700s.

During this time, many black people were sold and disconnected from family members and loved ones to various slave owners. Rules and codes were created by slave masters that helped them keep their slaves divided and dependent on them. Of course, let’s not forget the long, harsh labor they were forced to do. And many of the slaves were brutally punished or even killed if they didn’t follow orders or follow them properly. All of these things were even justified because blacks were classified as uncivilized and barbaric, thus needing slavery and treatment in this manner to “discipline” them.

Slavery lasted until 1865, when Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, officially freeing all slaves. Black people had already endured severely harsh conditions for nearly 250 years by that time. There is no way so many people underwent such horrific and traumatizing events and conditions for so many years and are supposed to come out okay.

After being freed, black people never received any therapeutic help to properly heal them. A lot of the ideals that were forced upon them during slavery were passed down from generation to generation. And, of course, slave masters never got prosecuted for the things they did for so many years.

Also, things didn’t stop and change for black people after being freed as slaves. They still had to deal with racist laws such as Jim Crow laws and Grandfather Clauses that enforced segregation and denied them their right to vote, discrimination, the Ku Klux Klan, terrorism from neighboring whites, police brutality, and being mocked in minstrel shows and other racist media, amongst other things for many, many years afterwards. And just like during slavery, a great number of those white people never got prosecuted for these things they did, if at all.

It may not be as intense and violent as it was hundreds of years ago, but black people across the country are still dealing with racism from white people today and still don’t feel completely equal to them.

Of course, there is a movie made nearly every year that reminds black people that they were once slaves, probably trying to send a message saying that’s all they’ve ever been. Civil rights movies are made just as frequently, reminding black people of everything they’ve been through in this country by the hands of white people.

There has never been any real justice for black people in the hundreds of years we’ve been here. Still to this day, we never got back our original land, culture, customs, and languages that were stripped and stolen from us. We still remain lost and confused.

Today, we are told that we should “forget and get over” slavery and that we “don’t deserve” reparations because we were never slaves. But what did the slaves get? This is what many people fail to mention when they say this. The slaves never got anything besides freedom. And they didn’t get freedom because slave owners finally felt sorry for holding slaves. They were freed to save the United States and its economy. They never got back everything that was stolen and stripped from them. As a matter of fact, the promise of 40 acres and a mule (which I think slaves deserve way more than that for what they went through) was never fulfilled. There’s a reason why black people are still asking for these things. And it’s not just for a handout, like the psychological warfare would have many people believe.

I believe black people have never gotten over slavery because not only are we constantly reminded of it in schools and media, our ancestors hundreds of years ago never got fully healed, justice was never served, and the hurt has been passed down ever since. Whether anybody wants to believe or accept it or not, slavery really did destroy black people. We’re still looking at the damage that slavery has caused. Black communities would be completely different if slavery and racism never happened.

Yes, we have rights today that we didn’t have hundreds of years ago, but they weren’t given to us as amends. Our ancestors had to fight and die for them and they shouldn’t have had to been “fought for”. Our ancestors shouldn’t have had to fight for any rights because those things should already be free for everyone and no other person should have the right to take that away from anyone.

I believe black people are told to “forget and get over” slavery because if we remember slavery and all the other hardships we endured throughout our history in this country, we will get angry. And when we get angry, we will become vengeful. And, I don’t think I have to mention what will happen after we become vengeful. We are told to “forget and get over” slavery because white people are afraid of our retaliation. It all comes from FEAR.

I also believe that we are told to “forget and get over” slavery due to guilt. White people feel guilty and uncomfortable when discussions of slavery and racism are brought up. To avoid feeling this guilt and feeling uncomfortable, they try to tell black people to “forget and get over” it in hopes of getting us to stop talking about it.

Does Whipping Your Children Actually Work? 

I remember sitting with my family and catching a glimpse of an episode of Dr. Phil years ago and they were talking about how to discipline children. They brought up, instead of spanking your children and yelling at them, try just talking to them and not yelling. We laughed and dismissed that as “that only works for white kids”. We believed whipping and yelling to discipline children was the best way to keep them in line.

Years after that, I checked out a parenting book from the library to help my parents with my little sister. I saw it as a good learning opportunity for me, especially if I wanted to have kids of my own someday. The book mentioned not to spank or yell at your children as well. It reminded me of the Dr. Phil episode. And at that time, I was much more mature than before and much more open-minded. So, I didn’t dismiss it as “just being for white people” anymore. Instead, I asked myself, “Well, have you tried it?”

I noticed that after all that time of dismissing not to whip and yell at kids, I never tried it. My family and I were all raised to believe that whipping and yelling is the best and only way to go as far as discipline. Our parents used it on us. Their parents used it on them. And so on. And I’m sure none of them have tried not whipping and yelling at their children, either. So, I decided to try it.

One day, my little sister was outside playing with her friends. When it was starting to get late, I went to call her in. She started crying loudly and in front of everyone. She did this every time me, my parents, or my brothers tried to call her in. It didn’t matter if she was already outside with them for 4-5 hours straight and the sun was starting to set. She didn’t want to come inside until her friends went inside. I saw this as my opportunity to try this different disciplinary tactic. Instead of yelling at her to come inside, I calmly told her to come inside. Then, I told her she couldn’t play outside for a few days as punishment for not obeying the order to come inside. And it worked! She never cried after any of us called her in ever again.

I never yelled to give orders again, either. And I saw that she listened to me more when I didn’t yell than when I or any of my other brothers yelled at her. That’s when I started to observe other kids and how they act when their parents whip and yell at them. I noticed that the kids who get yelled at and whipped the most are usually the WORST acting kids!

I realized that all the sources that said spanking and yelling is ineffective, the Dr. Phil episode, and the parenting book I read that said it were all true. Whipping and yelling doesn’t work as well as we think it does. We just use it because it was used on us as children and it’s the only way we know how to discipline.

I’ve seen lots of people whip and yell at their children all day long. Whenever they whip and yell at their kids, they sit down and cry and be quiet for a little while, but eventually, they get up and start doing the same thing that got them in trouble the first time. I thought to myself, If whipping and yelling works, why do you have to do it so much?

People can argue that since the kids who get the most whippings are the worst acting kids, that’s why they’re always getting whippings. But after realizing that all the sources that says it’s ineffective are actually onto something, I’m surprised that it never comes across their minds that the kids are acting worst because of the whippings and yelling and never try something different. I read the studies that said that whipping and yelling at children makes many of them more aggressive. I believe the studies are true. I’ve confirmed them with my own observations.

I’ve heard some parents say that they try to talk calmly, but they won’t stop until they yell or whip the kid, but I found that that’s only because the child has gotten used to the yelling and whipping because they’ve done it so much.

As a response to the studies that say whipping and yelling at your children is ineffective, people say, “My parents whipped me and I turned out fine”. But I believe that just because you “turned out fine” doesn’t mean that the whippings worked. It just means you grew up and learned right from wrong from your own maturity and experiences. I think people say that to justify whipping and yelling because they don’t want to stop doing it and are thinking that they are an exception to the rule.

I’m reminded of a picture I saw on my Facebook timeline that had a picture of a belt with a caption that said something about how it helped them to “respect others”. Whipping doesn’t help anyone “respect others” at all. Your own maturity and learning experiences does. Tons of people have gotten lots of whippings as children and still don’t respect others as adults. It has nothing to do with getting whippings as a child. I think this is yet another excuse to justify whipping children.

People think that if you’re telling them not to whip or yell at your kids that it means to not do anything at all and let them do whatever they want. But saying not to whip and yell at your children doesn’t mean don’t do anything at all. It means try something different. Try something that’s more calming and less aggressive. There’s a difference between disciplining differently and not doing anything at all. You can still be firm and set rules without whipping and yelling.

For example, if your child has their toys lying all over the floor and won’t pick them up, instead of yelling and threatening, “PICK THOSE TOYS UP OFF THAT FLOOR BEFORE I BEAT YOUR (YOU KNOW WHAT)!”, calmly say, “Pick your toys off the floor, please.” If that doesn’t work, say (still calmly, without yelling, threatening, and whipping), “If you don’t pick up your toys, you won’t be playing with them for the rest of the night.” Then, if that doesn’t work, follow through, take the toys yourself, and don’t let them play with them for a while. Following through when you give an ultimatum to a child is very important because if you say you’re going to do something and don’t actually do it and you continue to do that, eventually, they will no longer take you seriously.

And try not to give punishments that are too harsh or too long. Those are ineffective, too. And the earlier you start with calm disciplining, the more effective it is.

I believe whipping and yelling at children doesn’t work because they only remember the pain and the fear and usually not the lesson, which is why they go right back to doing what their parents just whipped and yelled at them for later after the pain has gone away and after they’ve calmed down.

I think calmly talking to your children and putting them on punishment by taking a privilege or something they like away for a while does work much better and they behave much better because it gives them time to think about what they’ve done and learn from it.

And referring back to the beginning of this post where I said my family & I used to laugh at the idea of just speaking to kids and dealing with the situation in a calm way as “being for white people”. I hear a lot of black people dismissing not whipping their kids as “being for white people”. Why do black people think being nice to your children and handling situations calmly without violence as a bad thing? Why do we see it as something that’s just “for white people”?

My Stance On Abortion 

Abortion is a very old practice that dates back to ancient times. It is the ending of a pregnancy by removing the fetus or embryo from a woman’s body. Abortions can be done with abortion-inducing drugs or surgery.

Millions of women get abortions every year and for many different reasons. Some including financial, a partner, family member or other people convincing them to get one, bad “timing”, health, already having children, not wanting children at all, and simply not being ready or mature enough, amongst other reasons.

There’s one thing that many of these different reasons have in common. And that thing is they all could’ve been thought of prior to conceiving a child. This is why I am against abortion most of the time. People know what creates a child. They know what their situations and feelings are long ahead of time. They know if they want a child or not. They know what their finances are. They already know if they are mature enough or not. …You get the picture. THEY ALREADY KNOW. When someone already knows something isn’t right for them, yet decides to go through with it anyway, made a poor decision or is just irresponsible.

There are so many different forms of free and natural birth control out here for people to still be having children they don’t want or can’t afford and they are easily accessible. Pregnancy is one of the most avoidable things you can think of. Getting pregnant and then coming up with a reason to terminate the pregnancy later doesn’t make sense to me.

Some of the few abortion instances I actually agree with are the instances where a woman is a victim of incest or rape. I agree with abortion in cases like those because those situations were forced upon her against her will. She didn’t ask to be raped by a family member or some other man. And she certainly wasn’t asking to get pregnant. She didn’t have a say-so in those situations. So, if she chooses to get an abortion in those cases, I can understand.

I can also understand abortion if a woman did use proper birth control, but it failed. Condoms break. Pills and intrauterine devices don’t always work 100% of the time. And an unwanted pregnancy can happen. That is totally understandable.

I can understand health instances, too, where there may be severe complications during pregnancy that force an early pregnancy termination.

However, having consensual sex completely unprotected is a choice and the consequences that come with it are not unknown to anyone (Being “too young” to not know is not an excuse. Many youngsters get the sex ed talk as young as twelve years old, maybe younger).

I remember in one of my high school classes, there was a girl who left the class (for some reason I don’t remember), but left her purse. While she was gone, several other girls went through her purse and pulled things out. (To this very day, I wish I could’ve said or done something to stop it, but I was too afraid to do anything. I don’t remember if the teacher was gone or not. They might’ve been if they weren’t trying to stop it. But anyway…). They found some condoms in her purse and when she came back, they, along with most of the class, laughed and made fun of her for having condoms. These girls were supposedly her “friends”. She handled it well; even laughing along with them. But she said, “Girls are always supposed to have condoms on them.”

And she was right. As many girls that were getting pregnant and talking about abortion in that school, instead of laughing and making jokes, they should’ve been doing what she was doing.

Women should always have condoms or some other form of birth control on them if they know they are sexually active, but aren’t trying to have kids. This same thing goes for men, too, because it seems like there’s never anyone holding men accountable in these situations and they are just as responsible for a woman getting pregnant at the wrong time as she is herself.

If you don’t want to have a child, either don’t have sex at all until you’re ready to have a child (abstinence) or use the numerous methods of birth control available. It’s time for us as a people to start being more responsible with the decisions we make. That is even more important when it comes to having children! A poor or irresponsible decision in anything negatively affects a child far more than it affects ourselves, whether we notice it or not.

Talking & Acting White or Black: What Is It?

(Photo: Flickr)

People have always told me that I talk white. I have a soft voice and I pronounce my words in full, including the ‘ing’s’ in a word. I always denied it. It was such a ridiculous statement. I know I was just being myself and couldn’t help how I spoke. I was speaking proper English. This is how people who know English are supposed to speak.

I thought about how people ask other people who speak like this, “Why do you talk/act so proper?” My own father asked me that once. We think that’s us asking, “Why are you talking and acting so white?” But, actually, it’s us asking, “Why are you speaking and acting so correctly. Because that’s what the word, “proper”, means; doing something correctly.

Apparently, many people are uncomfortable with black people speaking proper English and “acting” proper. I was never sure why. I thought there was no such thing as talking/acting white or talking/acting black. How can anyone act a color? I never knew where people got that from. It always sounded racist and stereotypical; basically encouraging black people to act and speak like they don’t know how.

But, one day, recently, I was sitting on my couch watching Alfonso Ribeiro on AFV (America’s Funniest Home Videos). I watched how he spoke and everything. Suddenly, it popped into my head, ‘There really IS a such thing as acting white!’

I figured this out, not as a criticism of how Alfonso Ribeiro acted and spoke on the show, but because watching him made me think of the history of black people in this country. It made me realize that there is a such thing as acting white. But it is of no fault of our own.

Remember, black people, our original language(s), culture(s), and custom(s) were lost hundreds of years ago during slavery. We were forced to forget everything about ourselves and have been forbidden from reading and writing for many, many years. When we finally did get the opportunity to learn how to read and write, we adopted the English language and the “American” way of living and behaving, which is the white, European way.

Europeans, a.k.a. white people, were the people who were running the country back then and they’re still running the country today. Because of this, there is a such thing as acting white, but there is no such thing as acting black here. It’s either you speak and act to their standards or you’re the negatively stereotypical black person: ghetto, uneducated, unruly, violent, unintelligent, etc.

What we classify as “talking/acting black” is not really talking/acting black at all. It’s just a butchered version of the standard European way of talking and acting.

I now believe that, whether people know it or not, that “There is no such thing as acting white” and “You can’t act a color” are lies created and used to hide and sugar coat the fact that white people stole, stripped, and, later, replaced our original languages, cultures, and customs. Until we learn what our original languages, cultures, and customs were, we will always be speaking and acting as something we’re not.

Did Keri Hilson Diss Beyoncé? 

Rumors have been swirling around for years about how Keri Hilson dissed Beyoncé in her verse in the remix of her song, “Turnin’ Me On”. I know this is an old topic because this song came out years ago, but I want to write about it anyway because many people still talk about this to this day and still believe that she dissed, not only Beyoncé, but Ciara and Nicole Scherzinger, as well and are still against her for it.

I’m going to break this song down piece by piece from the lyrics and see what this song will reveal and see if this song is actually dissing these women.

“I ain’t tryin’ to start some mess. It’s just somethin’ on my chest that I need to get off ’cause you turnin’ me off.”

“Your vision cloudy if you think that you the best. You can dance, she can sing, but she need to move it to the…”

Even though Polow Da Don interrupted before she finished the line, it’s pretty obvious what she was saying was, “Move it to the left”, which is what Beyoncé says in her song, “Irreplaceable”. Also, we know that Beyoncé is a singer and dancer. So are Ciara and Nicole Scherzinger.

“She need to go have some babies. She need to sit down. She fake. Them other chicks ain’t even worth my time to talk about.”

In an interview, which I will have posted down below, Keri Hilson explained that this line is actually what people in the industry have been saying about her, so she put it onto this record. I think people think this line was about Beyoncé because people have been saying these same things about her for years, long before this song was released.

“Been had dollars, boy. Go on, get your money. Know you ain’t the only homie on me lined up. I ain’t turnin’ off. I stay turnin’ on. Go on and tell these folks how long I been writin’ your songs. I been puttin’ you on. Just check the credits, ho. And if you want me, you can find me in Decatur, ho. ‘Cause you turnin’ me off.”

So, apparently, she’s talking about someone she wrote songs for. This is what led me to the realization that she wasn’t dissing Beyoncé. How many songs has she written for Beyoncé? People say she wrote Beyoncé’s verse in the remix of Usher’s “Love In This Club”. When this song came out, people in the comments were saying, “How can she say this about Beyoncé when she only wrote one verse for her?” People didn’t realize that they were telling themselves that she wasn’t talking about Beyoncé right there.

On the other hand, she has written songs for Ciara and The Pussycat Dolls, Nicole Scherzinger’s group, though. But I don’t think there’s enough proof in this song to make anyone think she is talking about them. She’s written songs for so many people. She could’ve been talking about anyone.

Like she said in these interviews below, I think this song is a blanket statement about how other people were treating her in the music industry. That’s exactly what the lyrics sound like to me. And there are tons of songs out there by many singers and rappers that are like that; that sound like diss records, but aren’t directed at anyone specifically.

And if she was talking about these women, clearly she’s saying they are being fake and doing wrong by her. She’s not saying this for no reason. Why shouldn’t she be able to say something about it? Is she supposed to let these women be fake and cross her over and not say anything about it at all just because of who they are? How come no one checked Beyoncé, Ciara, and Nicole Scherzinger to find out what they did to make her say this about them if they really thought this song was about them instead of being upset that she said this? I feel like this exposed how backwards people are.

At the end of the day, nobody really knows exactly who she’s talking about. People just heard this song and started speculating. Pulling names out of thin air. I think it’s really wrong to hold her accountable for dissing people that no one has any real proof of that she dissed. The only thing anybody can do with this song is speculate.

https://youtu.be/fxFdH27jHBM

https://youtu.be/7LzTZ9msh90

Why Black People Don’t Like The “All Lives Matter” Response

(Photo: Flickr)
The Black Lives Matter movement was started in 2012, after the murder of Trayvon Martin. His murderer, George Zimmerman, was acquitted of the crime and was able to walk free. Martin was an unarmed 17 year old. It is believed that because Martin was a teen and unarmed that the situation could’ve been handled much differently. Killing an unarmed teenager was deemed as excessive force, especially since Zimmerman wasn’t even an officer. He was just a neighborhood watch captain.

Years after that, many other murders of black people by police that were deemed as unjust were caught on camera, including Mike Brown, Alton Sterling, Tamir Rice, Philando Castile, Sandra Bland, and Korryn Gaines, to name a few.

Black Lives Matter was started because it seems like this society doesn’t seem to care about the lives of black people and treat us very unfairly in the justice system compared to other groups of people, especially white people. Not very long after it was started, it got spun into a huge negative and caused a lot of controversy. The response to it was, “All lives matter”.

Black people are upset at this because it is taking away from the plight we are fighting for. Black Lives Matter does not mean that only black people’s lives matter or black people’s lives matter more than other people’s lives. Apparently, that’s what people think Black Lives Matter is, which is why they are responding like this. People also think Black Lives Matter means “anti-police”. That’s not what it means, either. What it means is black people’s lives matter, TOO; our lives are just as important as other people’s lives and we should be treated like it.

Hearing other black people, especially high profile black people, such as celebrities and politicians, saying “All lives matter” is even worst than a white or any other nonblack person saying it because other black people should be the main ones to know why Black Lives Matter was started and what its purpose is. It’s a little more understandable hearing it from nonblacks than other blacks. Hearing other black people say, “All lives matter” is majorly disappointing.

Saying “All lives matter” as a response to Black Lives Matter is pointless and just looks like a deflection. And why is it that “All lives matter” is a response to Black Lives Matter, but Blue Lives Matter was started to fight for the plight of law enforcement? If “All lives matter”, why do we need Blue Lives Matter? How come no one is telling them that “all lives matter”?

The fact that Blue Lives Matter was created to shed light on the injustices done against law enforcement shows that everyone knows why the Black Lives Matter movement was started. They know what we’re speaking out against. People just don’t want to address it and feel uncomfortable at the thought of addressing it. Everyone else is just trying to, not only deflect and sweep our issues under the rug, but also piggyback off of our movement and plights for our people.

When we’re trying to fight for justice and equality for our people, other groups of people playing off of and latching onto our movements makes our plight look like it’s not important or that other groups of people’s plights should be addressed and handled before ours.

When Black Lives Matter was created, it wasn’t to cause a divide and create hate. It was just to ask for justice and equality. That’s all we want.

Shaving: Is It Necessary?

(Photo: Flickr)
Shaving is made to be a really big deal in our society, especially amongst women. This post will be focused on women shaving. Is it as necessary as it is made out to be?

I remember first having the idea of shaving my arms and legs probably when I was about twelve or thirteen years old. I felt so ashamed and disgusted of my body hair. All throughout my teenage years, I saw so many girls with smooth legs and arms and would feel bad because I felt like I was the only girl that haven’t shaved. Of course, I saw the many commercials on television about shaving products that showed women with perfectly smooth legs. I’ve always wanted my legs to look like that. I never wore shorts, skirts, or short sleeved shirts because I was so ashamed of my body hair.

I would ask my mom if she would buy me some razors or if it’s okay for me to shave. She would always tell me, “No. They’re just trying to sell that stuff. You don’t need to shave.” My mom never believed in shaving. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her shave in my life.

Of course, I didn’t believe her whenever she told me that. It was really disappointing when she never got me any razors or let me shave. I thought I had TOO MUCH hair. There is a such thing as TOO MUCH hair, right?

But, one day, I found a disposable razor in the house. It was probably from one of my brothers. My mom was gone to work. I was so happy! I took that razor and shaved my arms and legs. Sure, I had a few cuts because I didn’t have any shaving cream and it was my first time shaving, but it was worth it. I was hairless. I had no more unwanted hair! I’ve been shaving my body since that day.

But as I got older, I realized that my hair would grow back very fast. It seemed like it grew back as soon as I cut it. And, on top of that, my legs are pretty big and since I have a little height on me, they’re quite long, too. And that’s just my legs alone. That’s not even counting the other places I shave. So, shaving my body would take a really long time to do.

I started to feel like taking all this time shaving just wasn’t worth it if it’s going to grow back so fast. But I just knew I still wanted a smooth, hairless body like the women I saw on TV. So, I continued to shave, despite how long it took and how fast it grew back.

A few years ago, I talked to one of my dad’s friends about wanting to shave my legs. She told me, “You don’t need to shave. Your legs are beautiful the way they are. Besides, razors cut you up.” She basically said the same thing my mom said.

This story leads me to today. I recently did some research on women shaving. I wanted to know where it came from and why it is such a big deal in our society. During my research, I found that shaving wasn’t really a big deal here before the 20th century because women used to wear big dresses that pretty much covered their whole bodies, so people didn’t see women’s body hair very much. But after the 20th century, shorter dresses and skirts were invented. That’s when a lot of shaving companies began to promote smooth bodies and advertise shaving to women. More revealing swimsuits began to be invented as well. At that point, shaving companies began to target women for underarm hair.

So, my mother was right all along. They push all these ads because they ARE trying to sell this stuff! They want women to feel some type of way about their body hair so they can spend billions of dollars on shavers, razors, waxes, depilatories, shaving creams, and many other hair removal products. But something tells me it’s far deeper than advertisers wanting to make money off of making women feel some type of way about their bodies.

Why did they feel the need to target women on their body hair in the first place? Men can have just as much body hair as they want and they’re never made to feel ashamed of it. Of course, shaving companies market to them, too, but it’s like they can choose whether or not to shave and still be accepted by society. Women can’t. Women just either have to shave or be deemed as unattractive.

I never really found a good answer to this question of why women seem to be targeted more for their body hair than men, but it sounds like it comes from sexism and misogyny. I think it’s part of trying to make women feel ashamed of themselves and unequal to men.

Shaving is not necessary. Body hair doesn’t hurt anyone. We have just been conditioned to be disgusted by hair that grows on/in certain places, especially on women. People should not be pressured into shaving, no matter how much body hair they have or where it is. Body hair is completely natural. There’s a reason why it grows back so fast after shaving it. It belongs there!

We should all be free to accept our natural bodies as they are. As a matter of fact, I feel like most women wouldn’t shave at all if they weren’t made to feel ashamed of their body hair—much like men. Women shave because they’ve been told for many years that their body hair is unattractive.